Author's note: So this is a little different from what I usually write in that it's a Sam-centric story. There is a very good reason for this - it's a present for Ziggy (Sarah), whose birthday it is today!
She is a die-hard Sammy-girl (although she does appreciate Dean's loveliness, of course) so I hope she will enjoy it. I'd also like to thank her for all the encouragement, her long reviews and for recommending my stories to what seems like pretty much everyone she knows!
The only warning Sam had of the impending disaster was the screeching of tyres desperately trying to grip the wet road. He looked up just in time to see the stunned expression of the woman driving the car seconds before it hit him.
When the world finally stopped spinning he looked up at the cloudy sky, blinking as the rain fell in his eyes. He heard the sound of a car door slam and running feet. The feet skidded to a stop beside him and the woman's face came into view, looking down at him anxiously. His brain noted helpfully that it was the woman who'd been driving.
"Oh my god! Are you alright? Wait, that's a stupid question – I just ran you over, of course you're not alright!"
Sam found himself wondering if she actually needed him for this conversation.
"Don't move, I'll call an ambulance. Not that you were probably going to move - I'm sure that had to hurt. Actually can you move? Oh man, you're not paralysed are you? Ok, could you please say something?"
"I would if I could get a word in edgeways." said Sam, wincing as he tried to sit up.
She glared at him. "Oh great – I ran over a comedian. Wait – what did I just say about not moving?" she said, putting her hand on his shoulder to stop his progress.
Sam managed to bring his arm up to brush her hand off.
"There's no need for an ambulance, I'm fine." he said, deciding to ignore the dizziness he was now experiencing from being upright.
The truth was he'd been injured in enough hunts to know he really was pretty much ok, aside from the many bruises he was going to spend the next few days discovering. He was lucky the car had slowed almost to a stop when it hit him.
The woman didn't look convinced but she closed her phone and shoved it absently into her pocket so she could give him a hand getting up.
"I'm really not sure you should be moving around like this – you went down pretty hard."
Sam shook his head, then made a note not to do that again.
"Honestly, it probably looked worse than it was. You'd almost stopped so you didn't hit me that hard."
She eyed him warily still, as if expecting him to keel over at any second.
"I still think you should get checked out at the hospital." she began, but Sam cut her off.
"No, no hospital. Really, I just need to get back home." he said, hoping he could get rid of the woman before she turned the whole thing into too much of a drama. He could already see a few curious people up the street stopping to look at them.
She frowned. "At least let me drive you home then. Is there someone there who can take care of you?"
Dean's face instantly sprang to mind and Sam felt his expression soften. But then the whole reason he was out there in the rain in the first place also came flooding back and his jaw clenched. The woman noticed and put her hand on his arm.
"I'm sorry, did I say the wrong thing?"
Sam gave her a rueful look. "No, its ok – my brother's there, he'll be able to keep an eye on me." And never let me out of the door again his brain helpfully added.
She looked at Sam for a moment, as if she knew he wasn't giving her the whole story. Sam shifted uncomfortably, willing her to leave. Unfortunately it seemed his psychic abilities were taking a day off.
"Well, that's good then. Come on, let's get you inside where it's dry and you can tell me how to get to your house."
Great. I got run over by a good Samaritan thought Sam. Aloud he said "There's honestly no need for you to drive me. I can make my own way there, it's not far."
"Nonsense. I'm sure there's some ancient Chinese proverb that says 'woman who run someone over must drive them home'. Or something like that. It'd be rude to just leave you out here in the rain. Which by the way is quite heavy, in case you hadn't noticed."
Sam realised that the woman was in fact as soaked as him now, her shoulder length brown hair almost black and water dripping down her face from her fringe.
"I'm sorry, you're getting soaked." he said and she gave him an incredulous look.
"Are you serious? I run you down in the street and you're apologising because I'm getting wet? Your mother really did raise you well." she said.
"Actually my brother raised me. My Mom died when I was a baby." Sam blurted out, before he could stop himself.
What the hell is the matter with me? he thought, appalled that he was now giving his life story to complete strangers.
"Well, in that case your brother did a good job. Is this the brother that's waiting at home for you?" she asked and Sam nodded.
"Yeah. I really should be getting back." he said, straightening up and putting on his best 'I'm totally fine' look.
"Well, the sooner we get in the car the sooner I can get you home."
Sam silently groaned. This really was not his day.
"Actually, it's not exactly home – we're just passing through so we're staying at the Motel on the other side of town. I'm sure it's totally out of your way, so honestly you should get going. I'll be fine, really." he said, practically pleading now.
"I'm guessing this place isn't gonna be on your list of towns to visit twice then? In our defence, we don't really have a 'running down visitors' policy - must just be your lucky day. Look, since you're so wet, and you need to at least have that cut on your head cleaned, why don't I take you to my house? It's just around the corner. Then I can drive you back to the Motel – no arguments." she said firmly.
Sam had only known the woman five minutes, but he could already tell there was no point in arguing. She had this look on her face that said she was going to take care of him whether he liked it or not. She definitely had to have kids, he thought.
Resigning himself to his fate, he gave a wan smile and followed her back towards her car.
Now he was getting a slightly less close up view, he saw it was an older car that looked well cared for but nonetheless definitely past its best. The woman opened the passenger door and waited until he sat down before shutting it and jogging round to the driver's side. She got in, pulling one her sleeves right down and rubbing it over her face to dry off some of the water. She turned the key and put the heaters on full blast to try and clear the condensation that was now obscuring the windows.
"Sorry about the mess. With three kids, one husband and a job I don't have much time to spend on valeting." she said with a rueful grin.
Sam gave her a quick smile. "It's no problem. My brother's the one who obsesses over cars. He's got a classic and no one's allowed to breathe on her, let alone make a mess inside."
He mentally slapped himself upside the head. What was with all the personal sharing? Maybe he'd hit the ground harder than he thought.
She glanced across at him as she wiped at the windscreen with a cloth.
"What kind of car is it?"
"A 67 Impala." replied Sam automatically and she gave an appreciative whistle.
"Wow. Now that is a car I'd give up sleep to keep in mint condition. Think he'd let me take it out when I drop you off?" she said hopefully and Sam actually laughed out loud.
"Yeah, I think its pretty unlikely." he said, picturing Dean's face if she asked.
She shrugged. "I can't say I'm surprised, a car like that is a thing of beauty. Besides, I guess he wouldn't have a great view of my driving skills considering I just ran over his brother."
Sam shifted in the seat, wincing as he found the first bruise.
"Listen, that really was my fault. I wasn't watching where I was going." he said, which was the truth.
"Well, I wasn't going to yell at you since you'd just bounced off my hood but you did kinda step out in front of me. I think I aged about ten years, which I really can't afford by the way." she said with a wink.
Sam chuckled. If he had to guess, he'd have said she was in her forties although she looked in good shape considering the three kids part. Dean, he knew, would have said that out loud but Sam had never been as forward with women as his brother so he just smiled at her instead.
"I still don't know your name," she said as they pulled away, the windshield finally clear enough to see through.
"It's Sam." he said, deliberately leaving out his surname.
If she noticed, the woman didn't say anything.
"Nice to meet you, Sam. I'm Sarah."
It literally was minutes to Sarah's house and Sam barely had time to stiffen up by the time they came to a stop outside it.
Sarah jumped out and opened his door, holding out her hand to help him out of the car. He waved off the help though, actually managing to stand up without too much grimacing.
He followed her inside, wiping his feet on the mat as he went in and earning himself another amused look.
"The bathroom's just up here. I'll find you a towel you can dry off with and some of my oldest son's clothes will probably fit you. I'll put your stuff in the wash when you've got changed, it won't take a minute." she said, as they made their way up the stairs.
"There's no need to go to all that trouble. I can get changed back at the Motel." protested Sam. Sarah took no notice though.
"I'm not sending you back to your brother looking like that. Besides, you'll catch your death if you stay in that wet stuff much longer. I promise your virtue will be safe with me – there's even a lock on the door." she said, flashing him a wicked grin that made Sam actually blush.
"I didn't think. I mean, I wasn't implying." Sam tailed off, cursing the fact he hadn't inherited at least some of Dean's easy way with the opposite sex. His brother always knew just what to say or do to have women eating out of his hand. Sam meanwhile always found his mouth went dry and his brain switched off when confronted with anything resembling flirting. Jess had always found it hilarious.
Sarah seemed to think so too, as she laughed at him.
"Honestly, your face! I'm just kidding, Sam, although if I were a few years younger you might have cause to worry. "
Sam gave up trying to think of a witty response and just smiled weakly, wondering if he was really as red as he felt.
Ensconced in the bathroom with a fluffy towel and some clean clothes shoved in his arms, Sam looked round, wondering quite how he'd managed to get himself in this situation.
He knew Dean would most likely be both worried and mad as hell right now, and he wasn't looking forward to explaining himself. He knew he shouldn't have taken off like that, but he had to get away before he exploded and the Motel room had suddenly felt claustrophobic.
He was lucky really Sarah had managed to slow down so much before she hit him – it could have been much worse. He was such an idiot. As if their week hadn't been going badly enough, he had to go and get himself run over.
Dean was never going to let him live this down.
Realising Sarah would probably come looking for him if he was in there too long, Sam quickly stripped off his wet clothes, dried himself and pulled on the clothes Sarah had given him. The tee shirt fitted fine and the pants were only slightly too short. It wasn't like he would be winning any awards for fashion anyway so it hardly mattered. Putting on the thick socks last, he unlocked the door and made his way down the stairs.
Sarah was in the kitchen pouring some boiling water into two mugs as he came in. She was looking much drier herself although her hair was still damp and curling slightly as it dried. She turned round as she heard Sam's footsteps and smiled at him.
"That's better – here, give me those clothes and I'll get the washing machine going."
"You really don't have to do that." said Sam, giving it one last shot, but Sarah ignored him and grabbed the clothes.
"Sit yourself down, I'll be right back."
Sam did as he was told, glancing round the kitchen as he waited. He could feel himself warming up nicely thanks to the dry clothes and the heat from the house. There were some photos pinned to a board on the wall and he looked at them with a slightly wistful smile. There was one of Sarah and a man he guessed was her husband, dancing at a party. Then there was another of them both with two boys and a girl who were obviously their kids. One of the boys looked in his late teens and the other in his early twenties, while the girl was most likely in between the two. They all looked really happy, which gave Sam a pang as he thought of Dean stuck back in their hotel room. Feeling guilty that he'd left it so long, Sam reached into his pocket for his cell phone – retrieved from his jacket before it went in the wash – and dialled Dean's number. His brother answered on the first ring.
"Where the hell are you, Sammy?"
Sam winced at Dean's tone. It somehow managed to convey the fact he was both relieved and homicidal, which was quite a gift when you thought about it. He swallowed before answering.
"Hello to you too, Dean." he said and he heard the deep breath which told him his brother was operating on probably his last nerve.
"Sam, I'm really not in the mood for this. Do you have any idea how worried I've been? What the hell where you thinking, taking off like that?"
"I was thinking I needed some space. I'm a big boy you know, I can go out alone." said Sam, part of him noting this was not how he'd wanted the conversation to go.
"Oh yeah, cos that always goes so well. You know what? You want to take off and sulk by yourself somewhere, you be my guest. Just at least do me the courtesy of letting me know you're not lying in a ditch somewhere or running round possessed!"
Sam actually jumped as his phone screeched when Dean cut off the connection. He stared at his phone for a second before closing his eyes.
Shit. That had not gone well.
Sitting in Sarah's kitchen he'd felt an almost physical need to connect with his brother, yet as soon as they actually spoke they started fighting again. He knew it was his fault really. Not that Dean wasn't being a little unreasonable, and very slightly over protective, but the blow-out in the Motel room had been his to start with and then it'd been unfair of him to take off. He knew what a touchy subject that was to his brother and he hadn't really thought about it at the time, too distraught and upset to be thinking clearly about anything.
But now he was thinking, and he felt guilty. He pressed redial, and wasn't surprised when Dean answered straight away. He spoke quickly before Dean had a chance to say anything.
"I'm sorry I took off, ok? I just needed to try and clear my head. I'm gonna be back soon and we can talk properly then."
He could picture Dean frowning, see him running a hand through his hair in frustration.
"Where are you?"
Sam let out a sigh of relief. It wasn't exactly a sign he was forgiven but he was grateful Dean hadn't hung up again or started yelling.
"I just stopped for a coffee. I'll be back in an hour, ok?" he said, deliberately being evasive. Finding out he'd been hit by a car, however slowly it had been moving, was not going to improve Dean's mood any.
He should have known Dean wasn't going to fall for that though.
"Coffee where? It's raining hard, Sam, in case you hadn't noticed. I'll come pick you up."
"No! You can't drive, not with concussion. I'll make my own way back." said Sam firmly, but Dean wasn't gonna be put off.
"It's five minutes down the road and I told you, my head is perfectly fine. That doctor was just covering his ass, that's all. Now tell me where you are."
Sam sighed. He glanced up and saw Sarah come back into the room. She saw he was on the phone and handed him one of the mugs wordlessly, with a smile. He smiled his thanks and tried to work out how he was going to get out of this mess.
"Actually I'm at someone's house. They offered to give me a ride back to the Motel, so I won't get wet." he said. He hadn't really intended to let Sarah drive him back but right now, it was the lesser of two evils.
There was a pause as Dean considered this new information.
"Who's house exactly?" he said, with exaggerated calmness.
"Just someone I met this afternoon. Her name's Sarah."
Sam cringed inwardly and waited for the inevitable.
"You picking up strange women now, Sammy?"
Yep. There it was.
"No! Could you get your mind out of the gutter for just one second?" hissed Sam, seeing Sarah grin out of the corner of his eye. He felt himself going red again and wondered if it was actually possible to die of embarrassment.
"Well what do you expect me to think, Sam? You've only been gone for a couple of hours and now you're cosily having coffee at Sarah's house and she's driving you home? That's pretty fast work, especially for you. She must be really hot."
Sam closed his eyes. He was really starting to wish the car had been going faster.
"It's not like that, Dean. Sarah was just kind enough to offer me somewhere to dry off and a lift back to the Motel. It's not a big deal."
"Somewhere to dry off? Is that you and your clothes, or are they drying somewhere by themselves?"
Sam could hear the amusement in Dean's voice and while he was glad his brother was no longer mad at him, he was however going to kill him.
The need to connect was definitely fading fast.
He was so busy working out ways to make Dean suffer he hadn't noticed Sarah reaching across until suddenly the phone was pulled from his hand. He stared horrified as she put it to her ear, winking at him as she spoke.
"Hey – I take it your Sam's brother? I'm Sarah." she said.
Sam was literally frozen to the spot. This was so not going to end well.
She listened to whatever it was Dean was saying before laughing loudly, a slight blush appearing on her cheeks.
"Well that's very kind of you, Dean, but I'm afraid I'm probably old enough to be Sam's mother and yours. It's really no bother for me to drive him back to your Motel though, it's the least I can do."
Before Sam could stop her, Sarah responded to whatever question that particular statement had prompted.
"Well we had a little run in – literally – out in the street. Luckily there was no real harm done, but I felt bad about it so I suggested Sam come here and clean up then I'd drive him home."
Sam wondered if he'd actually hear the explosion from where he was sitting.
"Sure, I'll just hand you back."
Sam looked up as Sarah held the phone out to him. Bracing himself, he took it.
"Define 'run in', Sam."
Sam wasn't fooled by the false calmness, knowing Dean was just being polite because they weren't alone.
"It was nothing. I wasn't watching where I was going when I crossed the road and Sarah nudged me, very slightly, with her car. I'm totally fine, she just felt bad about it and wanted to help me get cleaned up before I came back."
"Where are you – I'm coming over right now."
"You want me to drive round town yelling your name out the window?"
Knowing it wasn't an empty threat, Sam gave in and described where Sarah's house was.
With a final plea for Dean to drive carefully given his own recent head injury, which he wasn't even sure Dean heard before he put the phone down, Sam sighed and put his own phone on the table. He looked up and saw Sarah watching him with concern.
"Is everything alright? There really was no need for your brother to go to all the trouble of coming here." she said.
"It's fine, he just worries that's all. I'm sorry about all this." said Sam, thinking about the impending encounter as well as what had already happened. He had no doubt Dean was going to be in big brother overdrive by the time he got there and he was already thinking of ways to get him away from Sarah before he gave her the third degree about the accident.
Sarah waved away the apology. "It's no bother – he's older, right? My two boys are the same, they fight like crazy but if anything happens they're right there at each other's side in a flash. Did I hear you say your brother was hurt too?" she said.
Sam nodded. "Yeah, he had a fall yesterday and got knocked out. The doctor said he had concussion but Dean insists he's fine, as always."
The last part slipped out before he could stop himself. There was something about Sarah it seemed that made him want to tell her everything. It was disconcerting.
"I'm sorry to hear that. Where you there when it happened?"
Sam couldn't answer so he just nodded instead. The image of Dean lying at the bottom of the flight of stairs was fresh in his memory and he could still feel the total and utter panic as he'd taken the steps two at a time in his rush to reach his brother. The fact Dean had stepped in front of Sam to protect him – again – and the fact that was why he was at the bottom of the stairs and not Sam, didn't help one bit. He'd been so certain that Dean had broken his neck this time that when he'd finally found a pulse his knees had given way and he'd ended up on the floor beside him.
He'd not wanted to risk waiting for an ambulance so he'd carried Dean to the Impala and driven to the hospital. He was so sure it had been bad he'd been stunned into immobility when he'd walked into Dean's room to find him struggling into his jacket and telling the doctor there was no way he was staying overnight. It had turned out Dean had escaped with no more than a concussion and several bruises, but the whole thing had pushed Sam's nerves to breaking point.
He'd brooded over the incident, and all those like it recently, all through the night and by the time it came to morning he'd worked himself up to a real frenzy. Dean's tetchy comment about Sam 'overreacting' had been the final straw and he'd literally erupted.
Dean had been able to do little more than stand there with his mouth open as Sam had raged about Dean's suicidal tendencies, about how he put himself in danger too many times, about how one day it really would be a step too far and then what would Sam do? By the time he'd got to that last part his voice had cracked and through a blur of tears – partly borne out of anger and partly out of anguish at the thought of Dean getting himself killed – Sam had wrenched open the door and blindly run off down the road.
Which was how he'd ended up sitting in Sarah's kitchen, wearing her son's clothes, and waiting for a seriously pissed off Dean to arrive to get him.
Some days it really didn't pay to get out of bed.
Sarah could sense Sam was upset and guessed it was more to do with his brother's accident than about what had happened this afternoon. She felt sorry for him and reached out, putting her hand over his.
"You two really aren't having much luck here, are you?" she said and Sam managed a slightly shaky laugh.
"You're not kidding. It's just been one of those weeks I guess." Or one of those years he added silently.
"I'll go see if your clothes are ready for the dryer, then we'd best see to that cut on your head. We don't want to go scaring your brother." said Sarah, getting up.
Sam reached up and felt the dried blood on his forehead. He'd forgotten all about that.
Sarah came back a few moments later with a First Aid kit. Sam sat silently while she cleaned the cut and declared it wouldn't need anything more than a plaster, which she dutifully applied. As she finished Sam heard the rumble of the Impala's engine and felt himself tense. Sarah meanwhile looked excited.
"That has got to be your brother's car, yes? If you'll excuse me I have to see this."
She was up and gone before Sam could even reply. He couldn't help grinning to himself. Dean hardly had any trouble attracting female attention and coupled with the Impala it was a winning combination. It was a good job Dean didn't have that much of an ego, otherwise he'd have been unbearable to live with.
Well, more so than he already was of course.
By the time Sam reached the door, Sarah was running her hand admiringly over the paintwork and asking Dean a million questions. He noticed it had stopped raining, although he wasn't sure that would have stopped Sarah in all honesty.
His brother looked a little taken aback but as always was never happier than when talking about his 'baby' to a willing audience. He had the full-on charm offensive going, and as Sam watched Sarah actually honest-to-god giggled at something Dean had just said.
Sam reflected it was probably a good job her husband wasn't home. A smack in the mouth wouldn't exactly be good for Dean's concussion.
Dean turned to look at him then and Sam saw his brother's gaze narrow as he assessed Sam's condition with one glance. Seemingly satisfied Sam wasn't about to keel over, Dean leant against the Impala and continued talking to Sarah, but Sam knew full well Dean was still watching him out of the corner of his eye as he made his way towards them.
"Please don't encourage him, he obsesses about that car enough as it is." said Sam dryly as he reached the bottom of the steps.
"I do not obsess. Sammy here just has no appreciation of classic American engineering." said Dean and Sarah grinned.
"Now boys, play nicely." she warned in a motherly tone and they both found themselves smiling.
"I'm not surprised you're proud of her, Dean – she really is a beauty." she continued and Sam shook his head.
"Great - now he's never going to quit." he said with a long suffering sigh.
"Don't mind him, he's just jealous the car gets more attention from the ladies than he does." said Dean and Sarah winked at Sam.
"Oh, I'm not sure I can believe that." she said and Sam was torn between being mortified, and laughing at Dean's expression.
"I'm sure the both of you get more than your share of appreciation from the opposite sex." she finished and now Sam was pleased to see he wasn't the only one slightly taken aback by Sarah's flirtatious side.
It was just unfair he seemed to be the only Winchester with the blushing gene.
"Come on inside and I'll get you some coffee. Sam's clothes should be nearly dry." said Sarah, switching seamlessly back to simple friendliness as she headed back inside.
Dean shook his head as he walked up to Sam.
"You really do know how to pick em, Sam. I'm not sure if she wants to mother us or lock us in the bedroom." he said, a little warily.
"I think both, which is kinda scary." Sam replied.
Back in the kitchen Sam sat back down and picked up his mug, which was still warm. Sarah handed Dean a fresh mug and went to check on the dryer. Sam wasn't entirely certain that she wasn't giving them a little space as well as finding out if his clothes were ready. She seemed pretty perceptive.
Sam eyed Dean cautiously as he sipped his coffee. Dean was blowing on his and deliberately avoiding looking at Sam. Sam sighed.
"I really am sorry about earlier. It's just." he tailed off and Dean finally looked up, his gaze more sympathetic than angry now.
"It's just what?" he said quietly and Sam swallowed.
"It's just I was so terrified when I saw you lying there like that. Do you know how lucky you were not to break your neck?" he said softly and Dean rubbed his face with his hand.
"Of course I do! But would it have been better for you to take a header down the steps instead of me? It's a hazard of the job, Sam, you know that. We can't dwell on it, we just have to get on with it."
"I know, but do you have to keep taking such risks? We've been over this, time and time again, but still you do it. You just throw yourself in harms way without a second thought and I'm not sure how much more I can take, Dean. What do I have to say to get you to understand?" he pleaded.
"Well, I think throwing yourself under a car might be a little dramatic." said Dean, his lips quirking and Sam glared.
"This isn't a joke."
Dean raised his eyebrow at him. "You think I don't know that? Fine, I admit I maybe didn't think the plan through when I stepped in front of you yesterday but you weren't exactly thinking either when you decided to play chicken with Sarah's car. Maybe we should just both admit we were lucky and move on, don't you think?"
"It's not that simple though, is it? My accident was just me not paying enough attention, you – you deliberately do this stuff to protect me. But you know what? I'd rather take my chances and know that at the end of the day you're still going to be breathing."
Dean was saved from having to answer by Sarah's reappearance, carrying Sam's now clean and dry clothes.
"Here we go. Looks like they didn't even shrink." she said cheerily and Dean smirked.
"Good job. Sammy here has enough trouble finding clothes that fit with those freaky legs of his."
Sam kicked him under the table, which lost some of its impact given he was wearing socks, and took his clothes from Sarah.
"Thank you. I'll be right back." he said, heading upstairs to change.
Sarah sat down in Sam's recently vacated chair and watched Dean as he drank, taking in the deep bruising around his left eye and temple. Dean shifted a little under her scrutiny.
"So I should thank you for taking care of Sam. It was good of you to bring him here." he said politely.
Sarah shrugged. "Like I said, it was the least I could do. I'm just glad I managed to slow the car down before I hit him. He must have had a lot on his mind to just step out like that." she said thoughtfully and Dean found himself wondering just how much Sam had actually said.
"That's Sam, he always thinks too much." he said, trying to sound casual.
"I know it's none of my business, but it strikes me the two of you are a lot like my sons. You and Sam both seem pretty stubborn and it's blindingly obvious you both worry about each other. Maybe you should try seeing things from each other's point of view a little more? It would save unsuspecting drivers having to peel one of you off their hoods." she said dryly.
Dean chuckled. "Yeah, I guess. Things just got a little out of hand – it's the way it goes sometimes. We'll be fine." he said and Sarah could see he was completely confident about that.
Not wanting to meddle, she nodded and stood up to clear the empty mugs. She had a feeling Dean was right, she couldn't imagine anything getting between these two for long and she'd only known them for barely a few hours.
Sam chose that moment to come back in, dressed in his own clothes and looking much better.
"I wasn't sure what to do with these?" he said, holding out the tee shirt, pants and socks he'd been temporarily wearing. Sarah took them from him.
"That's ok, I'll just pop them in with the next wash. That's the price of having three kids around – the washing machine is on constantly." she said and Sam smiled.
"I bet. Well, we'd best leave you to it. Thanks for everything, really. You've been very kind." said Sam sincerely.
Sarah waved away the thanks. "Oh, nonsense – I'm just glad you're not suing me for running you down! Now you be more careful next time you're crossing the road, you hear? The next car might be a bit sturdier than my old wreck!" she said with an amused glint in her eye.
"Don't worry, I'll go through the whole crossing the road thing with him later. Guess he must have forgotten it first time round." said Dean with a grin and Sam glared at him although Sarah couldn't help laughing.
She walked them to the door and on impulse gave Sam a quick hug as they got outside. Dean looked amused right up until the moment she leaned up and gave him a kiss on the cheek. She was blushing as she finished but it had been worth it, if only for the look on both their faces. They really were so cute.
Sam cleared his throat. "Right, well. Thanks again, Sarah – take care of yourself." he said.
"You too – both of you. Feel free to drop by for coffee if you're ever out this way again." she said, unable to resist.
Dean grinned and Sam ducked his head, nodding slightly. They both waved as they got in the car, Dean winning the argument about driving having pointed out loudly that Sam's head injury was more recent than his.
Sarah waved until she couldn't see them anymore then went back inside. She smiled to herself. She was definitely going to have trouble keeping a straight face when her husband asked how her day had been.
In the car Dean glanced over at Sam as his brother tried to get comfortable around bruises that were now beginning to make themselves known.
"So I think you made a fan there, Sammy. They say older women can be hotter than younger chicks you know."
Sam rolled his eyes. "It's Sam, and could you just not please? She happens to be married in case you hadn't noticed. And besides, you were the one she kissed back there."
Dean shrugged. "Yeah but you were the one she had undressed."
Sam gaped at him. "You did not just – ok, that's it. We are done with this conversation. And don't think I've forgotten you didn't answer me by the way."
Dean grimaced. Leave it to Sam to always get to the point.
"What did you want me to say? It's my job to protect you and you don't agree with that. We can argue the point till we're blue in the face, we're not going to get anywhere. I don't know about you but I'm tired of fighting." he said, allowing the weariness he normally wouldn't allow to show to creep into his voice.
Sam was silent for a moment. "I don't want to fight either, Dean." he said after a while. "I just want you to be more careful."
Dean looked at him and saw the worry on his brother's face, feeling bad for being the one to put it there.
"Ok. I'll be more careful – I promise." he said and Sam smiled, feeling slightly better.
"Thank you." he said and Dean nodded.
"As long as you promise to look both ways when you cross the street." he couldn't resist adding.
Sam cringed. He knew Dean wasn't going to let that one go.
"I was distracted! I already said I was sorry, could you please just drop it?" he implored.
Dean seemed to consider the request for a moment before taking pity on his brother.
"Fine. Besides, it's not like the afternoon was a total loss. I think you're definitely set if you ever need a bed for the night when you're next out this way. I'm telling you, that Sarah chick was totally into you, dude."
Sam groaned and slid down the seat.
Next time he was definitely looking both ways.
And making sure it was a speeding car he stepped in front of.