Don't talk to me about conversation
Disclaimer: So Dean and Sam aren't mine unfortunately and Rae Artemis doesn't belong to me either... but she is my friend and she didn't mind me pinching her for the story! Any chance to chat with Sam and Dean that girl! Also this is yet another idea that kind of stemmed from reading her Rae Artemis is Crazy series.
Summary: Dean and Sam try to cheer a friend up at the top of a mountain... certain elements of this story really happened... I'll leave you to work out which...
Thanks to Rae Artemis for all your help
Dean looked out over the barrier at the gondolas slowly rising up the side of the snow-covered mountain, flitting in and out of view between the trees. Rae Artemis had said that today was the day. He looked round at the crisp white snow, pristine and beautiful. There was an amazing tranquillity and stillness at the top of the mountain, surprising when he looked round at the number of tourists visiting Sulphur Mountain in May. There was a constant stream of them emerging from the shelter where the gondolas came in.
He looked round again at Sam and smiled. His brother was shivering and hadn't come anywhere near the edge of the walkway. It was a shame he was so cold, bizarre though, because apart from the one spot just over the way, where the wind seemed to whistle through, Dean didn't find it cold at all. In fact he was surprised the snow wasn't melting and pouring off the mountain top, it was so pleasant today.
Mind you, looking at it the other way, it was quite fortunate that for the minute, Sam's attention was taken entirely by how cold he was, because if not… Yeah, if he'd actually ventured for a walk around, he might have noticed a very distinct lack of any significant hoof prints up here. So yep, in the grander scheme of things, Dean had told a small white lie… or maybe it wasn't quite so small. Yeah, truth be told a possessed elk… well he hadn't really expected Sam to fall for it but there you go… and here they are at the top of the mountain supposedly casing the joint to protect the unsuspecting tourists.
Dean grinned to himself again, after all Rae had also said Sam wouldn't fall for such a ridiculous story and even though he'd thought he was on to a loser, he'd bet her two bags of M&Ms, he could suck Sam into it. So he was the Master of Deception and better still, he would shortly be two big bags of M&Ms richer. After all, Rae had pointed out, elk don't climb that high up the mountain preferring to stay on the lower reaches where there was more to eat, they weren't inclined to go up above the tree line. Soon… he figured… the truth would be revealed about their trip to the top of the mountain.
Rae and he had been talking late into the previous night after she had introduced he and Sam to the joys of "Fin du monde"… way out of Sammy's league that one… it hadn't taken him long to fall asleep, softly humming, Reo Speedwagon's 'Keep on Loving you' distinctly out of tune which Dean had managed to capture on the camera phone and giggling like the kids they still were at heart, they'd already uploaded it on to Rae's computer so it was safe from Sam's trigger happy delete finger.
Rae had told him how she and Morning Sunlight had been chatting on Messenger late the previous evening and how Morning was reaching the end of her tether and was working on different methods for committing murder. Dean's first reaction was to check that she hadn't suddenly decided to kill either him or his brother off in a new story, because she was going right down to the bottom of his list of people to visit if she was or maybe straight to the top so he could put her out of her delusional state… he hadn't finished deciding, but no, apparently, she was working on just hurting them and fixing them up again as usual, no killing in the latest work. So the murder research then… Dean thought of the generally easy going Morning Sunlight, even more chilled than normal as she'd been travelling for so long. Providing her luggage turned up at each destination and she could find a can of coke and something vaguely edible, she tended to be a happy soul. Not this time according to Rae, which was a worry. Here she was trekking round Canada, her favourite place after home, the one she'd been dying to get to all year, regardless of how much she liked all the other places she'd been and now she was murderous… hell it didn't sound right at all.
"So what's gone wrong?" he'd asked Rae. The answer had surprised him… room-mate… well he'd seen some of the people she'd shared rooms with over the course of the year… yep, some of them had been weird to put it mildly… there was the girl who said dude at the beginning and end of every sentence, which Dean had to say began to grate after a while; the woman who didn't like foreigners, and Dean had agreed with Morning on that one … what was she travelling for if she didn't like people from anywhere else in the world; then there'd been the girl who had to talk to her boyfriend at home four times a day and send multiple texts in between… she never seemed to have any time to see anything on her travels, always worrying about when the next phone call would come in and whether she'd got enough signal, credit and charge left on her phone; there'd been the woman who had left her husband at home and was busy looking for a replacement, because if she could find someone better well…. "it was all good!" or the really odd American, who was almost sixty and attending a bondage convention because it was safer than dating… After that comment, Dean hadn't been surprised to find that Morning was a little wary of unknown American men! So what could the latest room-mate be like if Morning was actually contemplating murder?
Rae's explanation was that "she talks". Dean couldn't see a problem with that… in fact he couldn't imagine Morning having a problem with that… then he looked at Rae again to see her grimace of sympathy for their friend. He pressed for details. Apparently the latest room mate talked non-stop. She would talk from when she got up in the morning, always about herself, she would ask questions only to interrupt and tell her own story, on the bus Morning had no choice but to sit with her and she would talk there, all day regardless of what Morning was doing… watching the scenery, listening to the trek leader's commentary, writing in her notebook. She talked through meals, through TV programs in the evening, over other people's conversations. Then finally she would fall asleep and Morning would be granted a few moments' respite… but it was only a few moments because then she would start to snore until she rolled over and started to talk in her sleep. Morning was being driven crazy by lack of sleep and constant conversation and so the normally friendly girl was now seriously contemplating murder according to Rae. The gravest sin though was when in desperation Morning had climbed on board the bus with her MP3 player already plugged in and turned up loud enough to block a banshee's wail and had settled down into her seat with her notebook, only to have her headphones removed so that the aforementioned talkative room-mate could speak to her. She'd barely contained herself then. Dean wondered if the room-mate was actually still alive! It was followed by the sudden panicked thought that maybe Morning would not be coming today at all if she'd been arrested for murder! It wasn't often that Morning Sunlight lost her temper but… he imagined it would probably make it all the more impressive.
So now he was stood at the top of Sulphur Mountain in Banff on a glorious day, waiting to cheer her up because supposedly this was today's stop on the tour and now he'd got his fingers crossed that the girl's better nature would prevail, he didn't really went to visit her in prison. Sammy would soon perk up too when he found out she was here. He might even stop sitting there shivering like Jell-O. He gradually became aware of the peace being destroyed by a loud voice, disturbing the tranquillity, walking along the walkway toward him. He turned and cast an angry glare toward the culprit, forgetting that the likelihood of her being able to see him was minimal. She wandered on, ignorant of his disapproval. He walked back to Sam to check his brother was okay.
"Any sign yet, Dean?"
"No Sam, no sign of any elk, possessed or otherwise. You should maybe walk around a bit, it might warm you up. Just don't go that way, the wind whistles through that spot."
"Just hurry up and work it out Dean, so we can go somewhere warm."
Leaving his sulking, shivering brother for the minute, he walked towards where the tourists were coming out and there she was walking towards him. She looked calm enough as she manoeuvred through the crowds looking for a quieter spot, camera already out and ready. All of a sudden, she broke into a smile. Moving quicker, she negotiated the last few people to reach his side, flicking headphones out of her ears as she reached him. "Hey you. What are you doing here?" she said quietly, looking round hoping nobody was watching her.
"Came to see you… brought Sammy too, but he's whining about the cold, oh yeah err… he doesn't know that we came to see you… I told him we were on a job. It's pretty cool up here, the view is amazing. You'll like it. We should have a walk round."
"Let's say hi to Sam first. Cheer him up. Are you going to lead the way?" Dean did just that guiding her through the crowd. "Hey Sam," she said creeping up behind the shivering figure. "You feeling the cold there?"
"Morning? What are you doing here?"
"Taking in the scenery. Isn't it beautiful?"
"Don't know… it's cold as far as I can see."
"So what about you? What are you doing up here?"
"Job. Rae put us on to it… there's a possessed elk taking down tourists."
"A possessed elk? Sam… you are kidding me!"
"No, Rae told us all about it. It started just before the end of the last tourist season, an elk that chomps down on certain types of tourist, pounds them with its hooves and then sucks the marrow from their bones."
She chuckled, "An elk! I mean an elk that chased the tourists I could believe, but you're telling me that there's an elk up here that likes the marrow from certain types of tourist bones! You'll tell me it tap dances as it pounds them with its hooves next. Seriously…"
Sam huffed, not used to Morning Sunlight laughing at him, "This is serious… this is our job, I think we know what we're doing after all this time you know."
"Yeah, well you know what Sam… I think one of you knows exactly what you're doing and the other one I'm not so sure at the minute…" She nodded in Dean's direction to where he was wearing a face-splitting grin and holding on to his ribs as he tried not to laugh out loud.
"Dean… there's no elk is there?" His brother shook his head, laughter rippling out of him, in small waves. "Then what are we doing here?" Dean still couldn't bring himself to speak, so he just nodded his head in Morning's direction. "We've come to see Morning… so why didn't you say that? Why the pretence?"
"Would you have come knowing it might be snowing?" Dean said in self-defence, "We both know you hate the cold and snow."
"Well, I'll leave you two to sort this little situation out, while I go look at the scenery." Morning shrugged off her coat and hooked it over her bag, before picking her camera back up ready to set off to explore.
"Hey, I'll come with you. Sammy, you want to come too?" Sam just muttered a comment about staying where he was and conserving heat. Morning retrieved her coat and draped it over his lap to try and give him a bit more warmth, although given his height it wasn't going to make any real difference to him. He gave her a conciliatory smile.
She and Dean wandered along the boardwalk, admiring the view, spotting the birds and ground squirrels as they moved around looking for food. She felt Dean tense alongside her as they passed a group of people looking down to the Bow River. "What's up?" she asked.
"It's so nice up here and there's all these people, yet it's still quiet, except for that one voice that is just disturbing everything. That woman needs a volume control and every time I've seen her she's talking non-stop and no one else can get a word in edgeways. Have you seen the look on that guy's face next to her? He looks like he could throttle her."
"Aaah!" she nodded. "He probably could and I understand totally…. She's my room-mate." She smiled at him, "You think this is bad… trust me… she's conserving energy in the cold, she talks a whole lot more and a whole lot louder when she's in the warm."
"Your room-mate! Rae said you were contemplating murdering her."
"The thought had crossed my mind, but don't worry, I won't, although the temptation to smother her in her sleep is pretty strong, I'm pretty sure I'll manage the next few days. I'm going to catch up with Rae again in a few days. Oh and I've discovered that so long as I say things like 'Really!' and 'uh-huh' every now and then I can more or less get away with not listening to what she's actually saying. Does that make me sound like a really awful person? I mean I don't do it all the time, sometimes I tune in, it's just it doesn't make much difference whether I listen or not because I don't get to say anything anyway."
"If Sammy talked that much, I'd gag him."
"Yeah, but he's your brother, you can get away with things like that… I can't. Anyway, you probably wouldn't, you'd just turn the volume up in the Impala and listen to some really good music."
"Yeah, probably. I saw you'd got your headphones in as you came out, what ya listening to?" She fished her headphones back out from her pocket and handed them to him, pressing play so it picked up where it left off. He nodded in approval as the sound of Blue Őyster Cult's "Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll" erupted through his ear drums. "Good taste as always, girl."
She gave him another grin. "Of course, I'm also keeping as an option, putting my headphones on her and blasting her eardrums with a bit of something… maybe 'Silence is Golden' by The Tremeloes, although I don't think I've got that on there and it might be a little subtle for her, or maybe Green Day's 'Give Me Novacaine', think that's on there somewhere."
"How about Lacuna Coil's 'Enjoy the Silence'? Seem to remember you having that…" They laughed at the prospect of playing her a whole list of music to convey their current thoughts on the matter.
"So it is truly awesome up here," she said as she snapped off yet another round of photos. Dean posed for a few which made her smile even wider. "Well, I don't know about you, but I think it's time for ice-cream," she said. "See if they do hot chocolate to warm up poor old Sammy. I'll go in and get them, you two better find somewhere to sit where we are less conspicuous than Sam's current spot, because vanishing ice-cream is so not going to be easy to explain. I know what occurred to me… why has no one actually sat on Sam? I mean if they can't see him, and there isn't that much seating up here… how come no one looks at where he's sitting and thinks 'hmm looks like a good spot to sit and watch the world go by.'?"
"Don't know, never really thought about it. I guess it's like when we walk they tend to go round us, rather than through us, maybe it's an edge of awareness thing, you know like some people sense spirits and others don't, not enough to see what's there but a feeling that stops you doing that." They made their way back up to where Sam was sitting, where Dean went ahead to creep up on his brother and make him jump. When Morning caught up, he said "I've got another one for you…'Brain Damage' by Pink Floyd."
"Well, I'm definitely suffering from some of that. How about 'Our lips are sealed' by the Fun Boy Three," she responded.
"Even better." Sam looked at the exchange and wondered what the two of them were talking about this time.
"So Sam, we're having ice cream. Want some?" Both Dean and Morning laughed as the younger Winchester shuddered at the suggestion of the frozen confectionery. "Okay, hot chocolate, I'll see if they've got some of that. What do you reckon?"
"Sounds good," he smiled, relishing the thought of the sweet warmth it would bring to his insides.
"So you two, go find somewhere to sit where we can catch up without everyone thinking I've lost it completely and started talking to myself and I'll go find the ice cream and chocolate." She walked towards the shelter to see what she could find.
"So Dean, what's with the music titles?" Sam asked his brother as they wandered looking for somewhere quieter to sit. Dean explained about the idea of putting the talkative room-mate into headphones and playing certain types of music until she got the message. "Geez and I thought it was bad sharing a room with you…" Sam left the sentence hang with a smirk as his brother turned abruptly to give him an indignant look.
It didn't take Morning Sunlight long to catch up with them and while Sam inhaled the heat and sweetness of the hot chocolate before even starting to drink it, his brother and friend smiled at him with sympathy. The two of them meanwhile sat in just hoodies soaking up the sun as it bounced off the snow.
"Well, it's been really good to catch up with the two of you, I probably ought to start making my way back down before I miss the bus to our next stop!" she said reluctantly a while later.
"We'll walk you back over," said Dean, standing up and retrieving her coat from his brother and holding it out for her with a smile.
The three of them wandered amiably back through the crowd and were just saying their goodbyes when a shout went up on the other side of the walkway, "Oooh! Look at that elk, what's it doing?" The three of them shared a shocked glance before pushing through the crowd carefully to see the unexpected elk.
Reaching the barrier ahead of the boys, Morning had a shocked expression on her face when she turned to look back at them, mouth open speechless. Dean had dived for the barrier worried that his joke had backfired and like the tulpa at the hell house he had somehow conjured a possessed elk… only to see… something that he was not expecting… he was pretty sure that that was… Sam was the first to regain the power of speech, although his first word didn't make him sound that much more with it than the other two, "What the…? That's not an elk!"
He'd turned to Morning Sunlight for confirmation and she was now grinning in agreement. "Isn't that a…?" Dean had started to say. Looking round the crowd, they were all looking at the same person in astonishment… It was Morning Sunlight's room-mate still excitedly raving about being the first to spot an elk.
Morning Sunlight turned away with a huge grin, saying "Yep, it's definitely a mountain goat, but I can definitely last the rest of the trip with this moment etched in my mind and the look on everyone else's face. I might even put her right later… figure I'll let her show off a bit longer first though!"
The three walked back to the gondolas, where with a quick hug and a promise to catch up again soon, maybe even at Rae's when Morning got there, Morning got in a gondola and left. Just before the gondola set off, Sam leant in and said, "Try 'The sound of silence' by Simon and Garfunkel" and the three of them laughed again.