Navigating Illinois sidewalks in a minor-to-middling snowstorm is difficult enough without being stopped by a chick in a bright red duffel coat waving a pile of soggy leaflets, Dean thinks.

"Are you a Christian, sir?" she demands accusingly. Her tone of voice makes it clear she'll think you a dirty sinner condemned to purgatory no matter what you say in answer. Dean kinda wants to give her a few pointers on sales technique.

"Well, my brother goes to church," Dean says, talking mostly over his shoulder as he sidesteps her and carries on walking. "I just talk to angels."

Round the next corner, the Salvation Army are playing obscenely cheerful songs under the protection of the root over the entrance to the bus station. Dean glares at them. A funeral march would be more appropriate for his current mood, although he's not sure why, beyond being a burden to his ungrateful ass of a baby brother and a complete failure at life in general.

It's not as if the witness he spoke to could even give him any useful intel about the case. You'd think if you were a sixty year old woman with a penchant for gossip who lived next door to the victim of a gruesome murder you would have seen something, right?

Apparently not.

When Dean gets back to the motel the first thing he does is check his baby. She looks cold and lonely out here on her own in the snow, but he'd rather she didn't get stuck in a snowdrift out there, thanks very much. He stamps the snow off his boots on the way up to their first-floor room, earning a disapproving look from the older couple coming towards him.

"Some poor maid will have a lot to clear up tonight," the woman says pointedly to her husband.

Dean sticks his tongue out at her. He can't help it. It's been a crappy, useless, cold, wet, irritating day.

The door to the room sticks, of course. Damn thing. Dean jiggles the handle and puts all his weight on the door and it comes unstuck with a spectacular whoosh. He nearly falls flat on his face, numb fingers and legs aching.

Sam doesn't even look up. He's reading Dean's copy of American Gods.

"Hey man. You find anything? And how come Gaiman never mentions the Christian God in here?"

Dean is starting to detect a theme to this day.

Hopefully that means Cas will stop sulking about that whole thing with Anna and drop by again. Dean is determined to get him a) laid, b) drunk and c) into a lot of trouble with Him Upstairs, just for kicks and not necessarily in that order. Cas needs a little perspective on this angel stuff; and also, if Dean butters him up, he might be able to keep Uriel off of Sam's back for a bit longer.

Not that Dean ought to be worrying about the lying little brat.

"I don't know, man," Dean said. "Maybe 'cause he's boring?"

Sam sniffs. "Your prejudices are showing again," he says.

Dean straightens up and crosses his arms over his chest, prepared to say something so scathing it withers Sam completely.

Nothing comes to mind.

In the end, he drops his boots in the bath and his gloves and jeans in the kitchen sink. Pulls a dry pair on and grabs the laptop, taking it over to the bed and wrapping the sheets round himself. His hands are still tingly.

"Research?" Sam asks.

Dean pauses for a minute. He'd meant to, yes, but suddenly...

"Sarah Connor Chronicles," he says.

Sam snorts. "Educational. Useful. Knowledge of the Terminator franchise will probably save our lives one day."

Dean glares at him. "You never know," he says, totally irrational.

Sam twists to look at him. "What would we do if the world did end like that, you know, tomorrow?" he asks sseriously.

Dean stares at him. "Go to L.A. and join John Connor," he says. "What did you think we were gonna do? Sit around in some rusted-out bunker and wait to be tracked down and stuck in a disposal camp?"

"Well, there is Bobby's place," Sam says.

Dean snorts. "Come with me if you wanna live," he says. It's not really an answer, but it is, and Sam gets it. Puts the book down and sighs.

"Yeah, whatever. So is this the one where Sarah sees -"

"NO SPOILERS!" Dean yells at a volume that could crack a window-pane if they weren't made of plastic. Sam just snickers.