The Blackout

"I hate rain," commented Dean Winchester as he stared out the window of yet another motel room.

It had been raining for hours, and the weather didn't seem like it would let up anytime soon. The sound of thunder booming came almost constantly, and the flash of lightening that proceeded it brightened the sky as if it were day. The electricity had gone out a couple of hours before, and the only thing giving off light was a tiny candle that was quickly dwindling down to the wick. To make matters worse, the room was stifling hot and stuffy.

"Did you hear me?" Dean asked, not liking that fact that he was being ignored. "I'm friggin' bored!"

Sam Winchester was huddled over the tiny candle while trying to read about their next job. A somewhat famous haunted plantation house's ghostly occupants had suddenly turned violent on its visitors. Four people had already been killed along with one of the tour guides who worked there. Sam sighed and finally looked up from his book.

"And what do you want me to do about it?" Sam asked as he rubbed his eyes.

"I don't know! It's just too damn quiet in here. Come on, let's do something."

Sam looked at his brother skeptically. "Like what, Dean? There's no electricity. There is nothing in this motel room that is remotely interesting."

"I knew we shouldn't have stopped here," Dean muttered for tenth time.

"Dean, we had to stop here. We couldn't even see two feet in front of us the rain was so thick. This place is fine. It's not like we have the money for any place better."

"Yeah we do," Dean countered. "We still have a few of the credit cards. It would be nice to stay in a real hotel for once. God, I could go for some room service right now."

"That would be real conspicuous," Sam said sarcastically. "Agent Hendrickson would be sure to find us then. Especially after he finds that John Bonham is back from the dead and staying at a Hilton."

"You always know how to bring me down Sammy," Dean said while looking out the rain streaked window. But then he suddenly perked up and announced, "Hey, I've got an idea."

"Wow, I hope you didn't hurt yourself," Sam retorted as he returned to reading the book about the haunted plantation they would soon be investigating.

"That's real cute, smart ass. No, we could play some kind of game or something. You know, like we used to do when we were kids and stuck in those crap motel rooms for days."

"Well, last I checked we don't carry around travel-sized Yahtzee," Sam said wearily, rubbing his strained eyes again.

"We have a deck of cards – "

"Yeah, in the Impala."

The brothers stared at each other, each mentally willing the other to brave the rain and lightening. But after almost a full minute of silent staring, it was obvious neither of them were going to cave.

"Okay," Dean said. "We don't have to play cards. We could play I Spy, or Twenty Questions, or – "

Sam interrupted, "I Spy? You really want to play I Spy?"

"Do I want to play I Spy?" repeated Dean, finally leaving his spot by the window to sit in the chair across from Sam. "Hell no. I wish I were at bar having a few beers. I wish the electricity were on so I could at least watch some TV. But that's not going to happen, is it? And if I have to sit in the dark and stare at you for the rest of the night, I might go insane. So humor me."

"Fine," said Sam as he shut his book. Reading in the dark was giving him a headache anyway.

"Great," Dean said as he clapped his hands and jumped to his feet. As Dean began to pace, Sam was reminded strongly of an energetic puppy locked in his cage.

"I'll go first. You know, because I'm the oldest."

"That's your argument for everything."

Dean ignored him. "I spy something black."

"Dean, this whole room is black," Sam said, knowing it would annoy his brother.

"Would you just guess already?" Dean ordered.

"I don't know . . . you're shirt?" Sam guessed half-heartedly.

"Damn it," Dean hissed. "Okay, I've got a better one."

"Isn't it supposed to be my turn now?"

"No, I'm going again because that was too easy."

"Dean, come on," Sam argued. "You were always doing this! Every time I would guess on the first try, you would call a do-over. It got old a long time ago."

"I spy something red," Dean said, ignoring his little brother again.

Sam scoffed, but his small eyes quickly scanned the room for something red. It wasn't that difficult to find considering there were very few items in the motel room to begin with and even fewer of them were red.

"That coffee mug," Sam said in a bored voice.

Dean just stared for a moment before finally saying, "This game sucks, lets play something else."

"And that's why I never got a turn," Sam muttered.

"No, you never got a turn because you always cheated," Dean countered.

"How did I cheat?" Sam inquired. "I want to know how a person could possibly cheat at this stupid game."

"I don't know, you just did," Dean insisted.

Sam didn't bother to answer. He twirled the pen in his hand distractedly while remembering all the other times and places he and Dean played these ridiculous games. It always ended the same way, but arguing about nothing was as good a way to kill the time as any.

A bright flash of lightening suddenly illuminated their motel room. Dean heard Sam's sharp intake of breath from across the room.

"Pussy," Dean laughed, but then a large clap of thunder so loud it shook the walls caused them both to wince. Their tiny candle finally extinguished, leaving the brothers in complete darkness.

"Well, that's just great," Dean grunted as he blindly sat in his chair across from Sam. "Wanna play Twenty Questions?"

"Not really," Sam replied. Dean looked towards the vicinity of Sam's voice. Dean could picture the bored look on his brother's face. The silence was so deafening that any little sound seemed to be magnified times a thousand. The steady drip of water in the sink, that maddening buzz coming from somewhere in the bathroom, Sam . . .

"You breathe loud," Dean stated.

"What?"

"You are breathing loud," Dean repeated slowly and clearly. "What about that didn't you get?"

"How about I stop breathing, would you like that?" Sam asked sarcastically.

"That'd be great thanks," Dean said as he put his hands behind his head and stretched his legs.

Sam only snorted in response as he began drumming his fingers lightly on the table. He didn't want to admit it, but the quiet was starting to get to him too. It wasn't like when they were riding in the Impala. They never had to fill the silence because Dean usually had the radio blasting classic rock. That's when Sam would stare out his passenger side window watching the country go by in a blur time and time again.

"Is it a person?" Sam finally asked resignedly.

"What?"

"Well, we're playing aren't we? Is it a person?"

"Yeah, it's a person," Dean answered as he sat up straighter in his chair. A happy grin crossed his face he was glad Sam couldn't see.

"Is it a girl?"

"Yeah."

"Is it Paris Hilton?"

Dean cursed under his breath. "Wait, I've got a better one."

"Of course you do," Sam muttered. "Is it a person?"

"Yeah."

"A girl, right?"

"Naturally."

"Is it Lindsay Lohan?" Sam guessed.

"How do you do that," Dean wondered, a little annoyed and slightly perplexed.

"Come on Dean, you never change your game. The only thing that has changed over the years is the names of the girls."

Good point, Dean thought. Of course, he didn't admit it aloud.

The rain seemed to finally slowing down. The thunder wasn't nearly as loud as it had been earlier. There was still no electricity though, and the heat was getting to be unbearable for Dean. He wiped at the sweat rolling into his eyes with the back of his hand.

"I thought these games used to be fun," Dean said.

"Dean, these games were never fun," Sam said with a smile in his voice.

"Sure they were. When we were kids, we could make anything fun," Dean said nostalgically.

"Yeah, when we were kids," Sam said sadly, the smile now gone from his voice. "A lot has happened since then."

Dean was hardly ever a kid, but he had to agree with Sam that they were much more hardened by their lives now. There was just a point where a man couldn't turn back after all the thing he had witnessed.

"I guess it would just be nice if things could be how the used to be, you know?"

"Yeah," Sam sighed wearily before suddenly perking up. "But I just figured it was a good thing that we've grown out of doing stuff like double daring each other to eat the oldest things we could find in the refrigerator."

"But that was fun! Remember that time you dared me to eat that disgusting ham?" Dean asked with a reminiscent gleam in his eye that was lost on Sam. "I was sick for two days."

"I don't think it was solid enough to be ham," Sam smiled.

"Well whatever it was, it was disgusting," Dean shuddered. "That makes me think of that time I dared you to eat something . . . I think was rotten fruit. Well whatever it was, you threw it up all over dad's boots."

"I don't remember that," Sam said. It was remarkable to him how much older siblings could recall about their younger siblings. Unfortunately these recollections could often times be the source of humiliating torture in later years, Sam certainly knew.

Dean immediately jumped to another memory. "Oh, remember that time we lived in Georgia by that peach orchard? There was that crazy old lady who would scream at us every time we stole her peaches."

"Yeah," Sam remembered. "You kept telling Dad she was a banshee, but he wouldn't listen to you."

"Well, she certainly screamed like one," Dean said. "I just thought we should be sure."

"Yeah, you drew protective circles all around the outside of her house," Sam said with a laugh. "And then you tried to exorcise her. She called the police and told them some kid was throwing holy water on her and speaking in tongues."

"After that job was done in Georgia, Dad couldn't move us out of there fast enough," Dean grinned.

They both chuckled softly at the memory. The room drifted into a peaceful silence. It wasn't awkward like when in the presence of strangers, but a true state of sereneness that only occurred with two people most comfortable in each other's presence.

The brothers listened to the rain lightly tap against the window. Suddenly, the electricity returned causing them both to squint against the harsh light. Neither made to move towards a more desirable activity. They simply continued to sit in the quiet stillness.

Dean finally cleared his throat. "Well, I'm just gonna, uh . . . watch TV or something."

"Okay," Sam said softly as he pulled his book towards him once more. "I'm just gonna do a little more research before I turn in. We still have a days drive ahead of us."

Dean turned the TV on loudly before falling backwards onto his motel bed. Sam settled over his book and other research and began to read. Each brother alone in his own thoughts again, they were truly amazed that all it took was a blackout to get a family to talk to each other as a last resort. And it really hadn't been so boring, not boring at all.