TITLE: Just Drive
RATING: T for the boy's potty mouth.
DISCLAIMER: No money was received or exchanged.
I do not own Supernatural or any of its Characters.
This is purely for fun.
SUMMARY: Sam tries to figure out what makes Dean tick.
NOTES: Takes place mid season 1, thanks to Fyn and Nureek for giving this a read through.
This is a repost of this story. It's been fixed up and I hope to have it turned in into a podcast soon.
It's futile to gaze at the world through a car window
- Albert Einstein
It was late… or early, depending on how you looked at it.
Sam Winchester's long thin body stretched out as far as it could in the passenger's seat of his brother's impala. His back twinged in protest and he couldn't help but grimace. He returned to gazing out the window with lidded eyes. Despite his back he felt numb from hours of watching the road fly by with out a single word of conversation from his brother.
He shifted again, and a half finished bag of chips crunched under his foot.
"You better be cleaning that up later." Muttered Dean, low and quiet.
"Huh, what?" Sam twisted in his seat trying to shake off his grogginess.
"Dude, if the grease from those chips stain my floor mats you're buying me new ones."
Dean was serious and Sam smirked at his brother's anal tendencies. "Don't worry I put them in the bag from the store, its fine." At least Dean had finally said something, even if it was just to complain. At this point Sam would take anything."
"Why didn't you just eat them?" Dean grouched.
Sam shrugged. He hadn't really wanted them, he was sick of convenience store food, and with Dean being in one of his moods, Sam new better than to question it.
The silence stretched again and he couldn't help but sigh.
Every so often Dean just had the need to drive. Usually they just went from one hunt to another, but every once in a while something seemed to get stuck in Dean's craw and then it was like he had his own personal demon chasing him. It was the most Sam could do to get him stop for gas and food when they needed it. Dean would drive, fast, music blaring, but directionless. It was usually 2-3 sleepless days later before his brother's exhaustion finally forced Sam to take action. Then he literally would have to shove Dean in to the passenger's seat until he could find them a motel.
It was then that Sam ached for Jessica and his college apartment the most. Dean and his Dad just couldn't understand why college was so important to him. Even Sam had trouble answering that question, but in the end maybe it was because he was just so damned tired of watching his family try to self-destruct; like now for instance. When Dean got in these moods, Sam knew his brother was right on the edge of doing something drastic, but Sam didn't think that even his brother knew what that 'something' was. When Dean did finally figure it out, he wasn't sure he would be able to stop it. Dean was about control and when whatever happened in that freaky head of his became too much…. Instead of letting it boil over… Dean drove.
It worried Sam that one day the driving wouldn't be enough for his brother. He was terrified about what would happen when Dean finally met his breaking point. Sam knew he couldn't watch it happen, yet at the same time, what else could he do?
Dean was the strong one, stronger than their father, though Dean would never be able to see that. These moods were really starting to worry Sam. They had been coming more and more often lately, and it was like Dean was crumbling right before his eyes. Sam studied his brother for a few moments before turning away to watch the road again.
So now they drove, barely speaking. Both of them just so damned wrapped up in their own thoughts, fighting the demons that haunted their dreams, and their waking lives.
They had been driving for two days; it wouldn't be long now till Dean burnt himself out, another day … if whatever it was that was really bugging Dean was bad… then maybe two at the most.
Sam groaned trying once again to stretch out his long legs in the car's cramped interior.
"Yeah?" the younger man looked at his brother in surprise. He thought the chip comment would have been it for another couple of hours.
"You ever think about mom?"
Dean studied his brother for a moment. He really wasn't one to dredge this stuff up; getting Dean to talk about anything important was near impossible. This came totally out of left field. Sam replied carefully, not knowing where this was going, "Sometimes, not really, I don't know. I never really knew her." It was a half assed answer and he knew it. He paused for a moment, clearing his throat. "Sometimes I wonder how things would have been if she were around, you know? I always feel weird around Mother's Day and stuff. What it might have been like… you know."
Dean nodded accepting the answer.
The silence grew again but the question nagged at Sam's consciousness. "Do you remember stuff about mom?"
The older Winchester looked startled. "Yeah, of course!" he snapped, and then scowled, seemingly at war with himself. His voice was quieter when he spoke and again, Sam studied his face as it glowed in the moonlight and the flashes of other cars passing on the highway. "I-I don't remember much. Just sort of feelings and sounds, its kind of blurry, I can't really remember her face even."
"Dean, you were only four…I can't remember much from when I was that age." Sam tried to console, but comfort wasn't what Dean wanted.
"I remember being mad. I remember I told her I hated you. I wanted a puppy." Dean gave a small grin.
Dean grew serious again. "Then after she left, I hated her. She died to save you and I felt cheated. But I mean that was before I knew better. I was never sorry you were saved… just that…" Dean waved his hand trying to dismiss the uncharacteristic emotions.
Sam sat up a little straighter in his seat. "Dean, she didn't leave you; she was murdered."
"I know! Freaking hell, I was a kid; I didn't say it was rational. Things are different now."
Sam was getting more worried now, as his brother stepped on the gas causing them to drive even faster and they were well over the speed limit before. "You're tired, we should find a motel."
The older man grunted at him, he wasn't ready to stop yet.
If Dean wasn't ready to pull over then Sam was going to get to the bottom of what was making his brother so pissy. He wasn't ready to pull a Thelma and Louise no matter how many times Dean called him a bitch. "What the Hell's up with you?"
"Dean, you're starting to freak me out here. Slow the fuck down."
The older man's eyes flicked to the speedometer and eased his foot off the pedal a bit. "Pussy," He snarked at his younger brother with out much conviction.
Sam ignored the comment, and pressed his brother for more information. "So, you thought mom abandoned us?"
"I didn't say that."
"I know, but is that how you feel?"
"Sometimes; I don't know… it's just that… Dad hasn't called for a while, but the last three times when he did, he has he asked for you."
"You're upset because dad called me, you're jealous? What are you five?"
Dean didn't reply right away, just studied the road. "As soon as we find that freaking yellow eyed Demon, you're going back to college, and now Dad's never around…."
Sam was getting riled himself, now. "You answered the phone, why didn't you just say something to him? You practically worship him and he treats you like crap. I wish you would get pissed off at him just once. Dean, he deserves it. I didn't ask for any of this, remember?"
"I can't get mad at him…" It was nearly a whisper.
Sam's bluster was gone in an instant. "What? Why?"
"I was eleven I think… anyways, we were in some abandoned house up in Maryland. Some gnarly werewolves, easy kills, so dad dragged us along. I shoved you in a closet, to keep you out of the way. You remember that? You were always shit with werewolves."
"Bite me," Sam replied easily.
Dean laughed icily, "They nearly did. Before we got them all, one of them hit me across the shoulder with a two-by four. Broke my wrist in two places."
"What's your point?"
"Dad lost it. Killed them all before I could blink. Then he yelled at me cause I had been careless."
"The bastard! And you wonder why I left?"
Hurt flicked across the older Winchester's face. "He was right though, I should have been more careful. We could have been killed cause of me. But at the time I didn't see it, I was hurt and I yelled at him. He didn't say anything, didn't reply… you know how he is sometimes. Loosing us scared him, and he couldn't deal I guess. He took us to some hotel, wrapped my arm. When I woke up the next morning he was gone. He didn't come back for over a week."
"Hell, I don't remember that!"
Dean shrugged, "Like you said before, you were just a kid. It's okay; I took care of things."
Sam stared at him in disbelief. "You think getting mad at him makes him leave?"
"When you guys had that fight and you went away to college, he left too… didn't hear from him for over a month. After that… well he's been gone more than he's been around."
"I was in my third year… you were mostly alone for nearly three years! I just assumed…" Sam's heart was falling into his stomach… when he left; it was to get away from Dad and the family business. Dean had always worshiped their father, and Sam just needed to leave it all behind. He had never once considered what affect his leaving would have on his older brother. Dean just always seemed to roll with the punches.
"Its okay Sammy, you didn't know. You needed to get away. It truly and royally pissed me off though. But, you're here now. I just wish…"
"You wish what?" Sam's voice cracked with emotion.
"Ah, forget it; it's just crap…Sometimes I just need to drive, put crap behind me, you know?"
Sam nodded numbly. He knew then his brother's unspoken wish and it was a big one. Dean didn't want to be alone anymore. Everyone he had ever cared for had left Dean behind, so instead of being left behind, he drove. He left them before they could leave him. Sam's thoughts whirled around his head. "Maybe I can take correspondence courses or something."
Dean sputtered with laughter and Sam smiled back relieved.
They sat in comfortable silence for a moment before Sam started again… "Dude, I can't promise, after we find the thing that killed Jess…I just don't know what's going to happen. I can't think that far ahead, yet."
"I know," replied Dean quickly, once again focusing on the road. "I'll always be on speed dial though, right?"
Sam smiled. "Yeah," He whispered. "Always."
Dean yawned loudly then and blinked blurrily at the highway.
Sam smirked at him. "Getting tired? Need me to drive?"
Dean slowed the car and started to pull over to the shoulder, "Yeah maybe."
As they got out of the car to switch places Sam couldn't help one last jibe. "You're getting soft in your old age you know."
Dean threw the keys at Sam's head. "Just drive, asshole." Dean paused to point his finger at his younger brother, "And if you start singing that damned Willie Nelson song again I'll shoot you myself."
Sam laughed as he climbed in to the drivers seat and snapped on his seat belt. Sam waited until his brother got settled in to the passenger's seat before he started humming…loudly.
"Dude!" Dean's yell of outrage echoed through the cool night air.
Sam broke off laughing as his brother lunged for the gun in the back seat. Wisely he started the engine, popped her into drive and stepped on the gas, kicking up gravel as they took off.
The Winchester brothers were on the road again.