Perpetual motion. It was the phrase Sam always thought when he watched his brother, never sitting still, never idle, always moving as he drove down yet another dark and lonely stretch of road always seeming to be going nowhere and everywhere, all at the same time, fingers tapping to the beat of some long forgotten big hair band Sam couldn't even identify, and didn't really want to try. They'd been driving for hours, the view from Sam's passenger seat window nothing but black and white as the snow that had been piled at least a foot high on either side of the highway's blacktop whizzed by, somewhat mesmerizing him at the wonders of mother nature. Why she would need to dump that much snow on the ground at one time amazed him, it was the reason they'd been held up for the last two days in some god-forsaken little town in Montana, a town that Sam couldn't even remember the name of. Two days it took for them to clear the roads, two days of going stir crazy with nothing to look at but each other, two days of listening to Dean bitch about how inept small towns were at dealing with snow, even though they knew they would get dumped on every year like clockwork. Yeah, Dean had been exceptionally irritable the last two days, and Sam was grateful when they were finally back on the road, back in motion.
He'd napped for the last couple hours, the scenery nothing much to look at unless you dreamed of a white Christmas, but Dean had been driving for the better part of the day, and now that it was well into night, Sam could tell he was dog tired. His yawning came more and more frequently as his knuckles dug into his eyes more and more often, rubbing harder and harder each and every time in an effort to keep himself awake, the dark road disappearing under them as they drove, threatening to hypnotize him into sleep. So, he watched Dean just turn up the volume on his radio and tap away on the steering wheel as he drove.
"Where did you say we were going Dean?" Sam broke the verbal silence, cringing when he heard the huff that escaped his brother lips before answering him for what felt like the tenth time today.
"Chester, Montana. Population of 871 humans and apparently one very nasty Yeti," he answered in an irritated tone, thumb thumping harder against the wheel as he tried concentrating on the road.
"How far out are we? We've been driving all day, aren't you getting tired? Do you want me to drive for a while?" 'Oh shit, why the hell did I say that out loud?' Sam asked himself, unable to take the last half of the question back but wishing with all his heart that he could, wanting nothing more then to tuck it back into his head and forget he ever thought it, let alone said it.
Another huff and the roll of his eyes later, Dean answered his brother as calmly as he possibly could, not really in the mood to argue anymore, and not really sure himself why he was so irritable. He knew he was taking things out on his brother, he just didn't know what those things were. Well, he did really know, he just wasn't telling. "We're almost there Sam, maybe another hour," was all he said, ignoring the rest of the question altogether. Yes, he was tired: yes, he was irritable: and yes, he just wanted to curl up in a nice warm bed and go to sleep, but first, they had to get where they were going, and he just wished Sam could stay quiet for one more hour, but he knew that wasn't going to happen. Once he was wound up, Sam just couldn't stop.
"And let me make sure I heard you right, you said we were hunting a Yeti, didn't you? When we catch it, are we going jackalope hunting too? Come on Dean, Yetis don't exist, you know that," Sam rambled, knowing it was annoying his brother, but the thought of hunting a Yeti, and in Montana no less, was absolutely ridiculous, and Sam was going to make damn sure he pointed that out.
"Yeah Marlin Perkins, I know they don't exist in the Wild Kingdom, but something is mutilating the wildlife out there, and it's not anything natural. Groups of deer and rabbits have been ripped to shreds and piled up in neat little stacks, all drained of blood. What kind of animal does that Sam?" He didn't wait for Sam to answer, he just kept talking. "That's right, none, so we are going to at least check it out before it decides to venture into Chester, Montana and start snacking on the 871 fine residents there, ok?"
Dean was just about out of breath by the time he'd finished his mini-vent, and unfortunately for him, he was unable to suppress the true source of his irritation from the past few days any longer as his fist flew up to his face in an attempt to stifle the coughing that was now forcing it's way out, Dean no longer being able to control it anymore. The second he heard it, the low rumble coming from his brother's chest, Sam also knew instantaneously why his brother was being such an asshole, and now he immediately felt guilty for not noticing it sooner.
'Some brother I am,' he thought to himself as his eyes bored into his brother's face. He'd been so put off by Dean's constant irritability and need to bicker like a girl he'd never noticed the heavy bags under his eyes, or how much he'd actually slept over the last two days. It hadn't occurred to him either that the more his brother had slept, the darker and heavier the bags became. He'd also failed to notice that Dean hadn't been eating much over the last couple days, blaming it on the lack of good selection and their surroundings. He'd even passed on a night out to a perfectly good bar just down the street from the relatively clean motel they were holed up in, even after Sam had said HE wanted to go. Yep, all the signs were there, Sam just failed to see them, and it made him feel like shit. Even looking at Dean now in the dark interior of the Impala, Sam could finally see what he'd been ignorant of all along. His brother looked like hell, plain and simple.
Dean saw the motion from the corner of his eye and cut it off instantly, his eyes never leaving the road as he doled out his threat to his now overly-concerned brother. "Sam, if that hand of yours so much as brushes against my forehead I swear to god I'll rip it off at the elbow and beat you with it," he grumbled and Sam just raised both hands in mock surrender, not saying another word as he just turned his head and continued watching the snow pass by.
Sam being Sam though just couldn't keep quiet for long, but he was at least smart enough to change the subject. "Where'd you hear about this 'hunt' Dean?" It was all news to Sam because he just couldn't even find anything about Chester online, other then the fact that it was in Montana when he'd briefly looked while Dean was packing up the car before they'd left.
"Bobby sent me a text. Some friends of his live in Chester and were hoping he would come and check it out. He said he was somewhere in Arkansas and wouldn't be back for a few days, but knew we were already in Montana and asked us to at least look into it. Sounds like a wild goose chase to me, but we owe Bobby big, so here we are." Finally spitting out the entire explanation, he found himself short of breath again, this time not even bothering to hide the coughing fit he'd finally decided to just let out, now that Sam already knew. Sam gave him that look, but Dean ignored it and just kept driving, indicating to him he just better drop it, which he did, for now, but not for long.
"So, we hit Chester, get a room, crash for the night, and check out the Abominable Snowman in the morning? That it?" Sam asked, Dean already knowing where he was gong, his tone of voice asking a whole different question altogether.
"I'm fine Sam, it's just a cough, and yeah, that's it. Now just drop it, please!" He was getting a little more then just irritated now, and Sam knew it.
Sam finally did let it drop, knowing he'd pushed Dean to the brink, not wanting to push him over the edge and start something far worse then just a war of words. He sat in silence for the next half hour, sure their destination was close now. They had both fallen back into their own thoughts and both men jumped almost out of their skin when they'd heard the loud pop, followed by the lurch of the car to one side, Dean momentarily overcorrecting before regaining control and pulling the car over to the snow covered shoulder, sure one of the tires had blown.
Taking a few deep breaths to regain his composure, Dean just shot Sam a look and grabbed the door handle of the car to get out and survey the damage. Sam reached for his arm and caught hold of a handful of jacket as he tried to stop his brother, offering to get out and check himself.
"I'll go look, you stay here," he told Dean, pulling on his own door handle to get out. Dean just jerked his arm from his brother's grasp and got out, slamming the door behind him and feeling irritated all over again at Sam's need to treat him like a child the instant he thought something was wrong. Sam caught the hint too, and just stayed in the car, not wanting to face the wrath of Dean right now. He was like a caged animal when he was sick, and Sam did not want to intentionally set him off.
He walked around carefully to the passenger side of his baby and dropped to one knee, his assumption dead on the money as he looked at the blown out back tire. He examined it carefully, trying to figure out what the hell had blown it in the first place. He'd just checked them before they had left, making sure they were all properly inflated and still had plenty of tread. The only thing he could think of was that he must have driven over something, because his tires were in perfect shape, the key word being perfect. When it came to his car, Dean kept everything perfect.
Rising back up, he gave the tire a swift kick before heading to the trunk and popping it open, grabbing the tire iron and jack and throwing both the to the ground as he dug in further for the spare, his finger catching on something sharp and slicing a nice tear in it.
"Son-of-a-bitch!" he yelled, and not quietly either as he tossed the tire down next to the jack and sucked in a deep lungful of air before bending down to start the tire changing process, the cold filling his lungs starting yet another fit of coughs, making Dean spit out the nasty fluid that had somehow found its way into his mouth, making him gag. "This is just f'n great," he cursed and just went to work.
He situated the jack under the frame and cranked up the car just enough to raise the whole body off the ground to remove the flat, only to have to swear at himself as he lowered it back down to loosen the lug nuts. If his father had stressed the importance of one thing only, it had been that you NEVER loosen the lug nuts with the car jacked up. You were just asking for it to fall off the jack if you did. The nuts all finally loose, he started jacking the car back up again, only to be stopped this time by the low rumble of an engine pulling up behind him.
"Great, just what I need, some yahoo with half his teeth offering help that I obviously don't' need. This day just gets better and bet…" he mumbled to himself, his words and thoughts trailing off when he saw the half-toothed yahoo was actually a rather buxom blonde beauty staring at him with her hands on her hips and a twinkle in her eye.
"Need a hand there handsome?" She asked with a coy look in her eye, her smile speaking a thousand words itself.
Dean stood to his full height and cocked his head to the side, is own winning smile spreading wide across his face as he arched his brows and replied, "Which one you offering, the left or the right?"
She raised the gun she'd been holding at her side, quickly taking aim and firing before Dean even had a chance to react, the dart propelling itself forward and hitting him right in the neck. "I think the right," she told him as his knees buckled, all his weight landing hard against the trunk before he fell onto the cold ground, the drugs now working their way into him and paralyzing him as his mind slipped into the dark, never once being able to utter one word.
Sam reacted first to the heavy thud against the trunk, then to the sound of the snow mobile approaching, and no longer seeing his brother behind him, climbed from the car to find out what the hell had happened to him. He didn't think Dean was that sick, but when it came down Dean, anything was possible. He saw the pretty blonde woman leaning over his brother as he laid sprawled out on the ground, and Sam made a mad dash for his side, never once seeing the other blonde woman standing behind him, her own weapon trained at his back as she pulled her trigger, the drug filled dart she shot hitting dead center and lodging in his back. He immediately crashed to his knees and slumped forward, his face resting against his brother's shoulder, both men unaware of the other.
Thanks to all that put up with all my indulgences! Don't know what I'd do without it!