A/N: ROAD TRIP MONTAGE!
To Save Dean Winchester (Or Something)
Part 4: In Which Wilbur Generally Has No Idea What's Going On
Wilbur is just lucky that Led Zeppelin, along with Miley Cyrus, has made a huge comeback in his time. When Dean switches the tape to "Houses of the Holy" an hour into the ride and Wilbur gleefully begins to sing along, the tension in the car eases considerably. Dean, in fact, breaks what was an extremely stony silence and even starts up a conversation.
"So, Will, tell me… Castiel, is she hot?" he calls to the back seat. Sam snorts. Wilbur seems to take the question very seriously.
"I couldn't say…" he says after a while. "I think she might be. She's kind of old. Like thirty."
Dean frowns slightly at the comment, being almost thirty himself at this point, but lets it slide in order to get more information.
"All right, man, but what does she look like? I mean, say she wasn't an old lady. Would you do her?"
Wilbur still seems unable to find a definite answer. "She looks… I don't know, she's got dark hair… I mean, I guess she's attractive. I can't really think about her like that, though, the angel thing weirds me out. I mean, can you imagine sleeping with an angel?"
Suddenly Dean loses interest in the conversation.
They stop at a diner about three hours in to piss and get some late lunch. Sam lectures Wilbur extensively before they go inside about keeping a low profile and not exclaiming about every little thing he happens to find amazing. Wilbur nods fervently as if he understands.
But clearly he does not.
"LOOK, A REAL LIVE WAITRESS!" he says, marching directly over to the middle-aged bottle blonde as she straightens from pouring a cuppa' for an old man in the corner booth. He takes in her pink dress, coffee-stained apron, and over-done makeup in a single sweep of his almond eyes and grins happily. "You're wonderful!" he exclaims to her, with certainty.
The waitress immediately blushes, but as she gives Wilbur her own perusal and notes his green hair and extremely-buckled trench, she seems at a loss as to whether she should be flattered or not.
Sam and Dean make their way over with long-suffering gaits and through a series of shrugs and wan smiles try to convey wordlessly to the poor woman that, yes, they are with this guy, yes he is a little touched in the head, and really they would have nothing to do with them if it weren't for the kindness of their hearts. Whether or not she receives this message is unknown, but she does shrug and smile a little.
"You boys can take the booth by the window," she says, and hurries back to the kitchen.
Dean grabs Wilbur by the elbow and forces him over to the booth before he can cause any more trouble.
"Were you even listening to all that good-behavior crap Sam was giving you?" Dean whispers angrily.
Wilbur does not appear to be listening even now.
"This place is awesome," he says, not bothering to whisper back. "Look at all the little booths. And that woman, did you see her? She actually brings you your food. Most of the restaurants in my time have automatic delivery, but it's so fun to talk to somebody. Oh my God, does she write it down? With a pen and paper? Do you guys still use that?"
"Wilbur, shut up," Sam snaps. Wilbur shuts his mouth tight, but he's still smiling and his eyes are sparkling.
The same waitress from before returns, better composed this time. She gives a full smile to all of them, but Sam and Dean can't help but notice that she regards Wilbur in the way one might regard a small child.
"Coffee for you guys?" she asks. Sam thinks that giving Wilbur coffee is probably the worst idea in the history of ideas, so he makes a point of only ordering two cups. He feels justified in this decision especially when the waitress suggests a pancake special.
"PANCAKES!?" Wilbur bursts out.
Right, definitely no caffeine for him.
It's late afternoon when their surroundings very noticeably transition into a shore town. There's no mistaking the colorful sidewalks, souvenir shops, and beach-themed motels. Sam catches a glimpse of the ocean during one stretch of road, but the further in town they get the more hidden it becomes behind buildings and boardwalks.
Overall, the town looks pretty interesting, but it doesn't hold much interest to either of the Winchester boys. Wilbur, on the other hand, has his face literally pressed against the window, and he stares out with wide eyes.
"This is amazing!" he exclaims happily. "Did you see the huge lobster? Did you see it?"
"It wasn't real, Will," Sam answers, unable to keep from smiling. "It was a gimmick for some restaurant."
Wilbur shakes his head, bewildered. "Do all restaurants have big fake lobsters here? The one before didn't!" It is hard to believe that he is serious, but after spending six hours in the car with the guy, neither Sam nor Dean doubt that he is.
The motel they settle into for the night is a few blocks from the beach. The outdoor pool is fenced in and surrounded by giant plastic palm trees decked out in Christmas lights. They shine through the thin, seashell printed curtains.
This has not prevented Wilbur from falling asleep cozily on the floor in a haphazard nest of towels and extra blankets. Neither of the brothers was very keen on letting him off to his own devices again. Sam, feeling a little sorry for the time-lost Hunter, offered to be the one to sleep on the floor (only after Wilbur had cheerfully offered to bunk with Dean, and was, of course, refused before he could even finish his sentence), but Wilbur was all too happy to experience a night that way.
For the first few minutes he snores with gusto, and Dean comments under his breath that he might have to kill him for the zillionth time that day. But after a while his breathing settles down, and Sam catches Dean smiling a bit at Wilbur, as if he's not actually all that mad to have him along.
Or at least it seems that way until the two brothers are settled into their own beds.
"Hey, Sammy?" Dean asks quietly. Sam doesn't like his tone and wonders if he should pretend to be asleep.
"You're not sleeping," Dean says after a few seconds. "Your legs twitch when you sleep."
"That's weird," Sam points out, sitting up slightly and facing his brother. Dean shrugs.
"You're the one who does it, not me. I think it's 'cause they're too long. Seriously, do you even fit in a bed?"
Truthfully Sam's feet almost go over the edge of the mattress, but not quite. He frowns. "What's up, Dean?"
With his eyes adjusted and with the helpful glow of the tacky lights from outside, Sam can see that his brother's expression grows serious.
"I know why you want this joker along, and it's got nothing to do with keeping him out of trouble."
Sam defends himself weakly, wondering why he even bothers. "You know we can't leave him by himself, Dean. You saw him in the diner today, even after I talked to him."
Dean shakes his head. "Give it a rest, Sammy. You're worried about this stupid saving-me thing. You should just forget it. I don't like it when you think you can be all sneaky, and like you're doing it to help me. You pull this crap all the time."
"Not all the time," Sam sighs, his statement conceding at least that he does do it. "Just when you're in danger."
"Yeah, well, it pisses me off," Dean snaps. "And I don't appreciate that you think I need someone like Will here to look out for me. He's a nut-job!"
"Maybe," Sam admits. "But you can't say he's not useful. You saw what he can do. He'd probably be an even match for either one of us."
Dean highly doubts this. "Maybe you," he says, "But not me, freaky tattoos or no. And I don't care if he even is useful. Three's a crowd, you know?"
"You, me, and Dad were three. That was all right."
This, of course, only makes Dean angrier. "Stop acting like he's a permanent addition to the group or something, okay? We are not on a TV show. Wilbur is not some new lame-ass character added in the fourth season to mix things up a bit."
"When were you ever able to follow a TV show long enough to even know about that kind of stuff?" wonders Sam, who discovered that shows like "Law and Order" and "CSI" actually did have traceable story arcs only after having a permanent residence, and a permanent television.
"Not the point," Dean sighs. "Look, he can stick around until Castiel decides to send him back, but he's not going to save me, and he's really not coming on this hunt with us."
Sam thinks about arguing, but decides against it. He'd rather sleep than fight with Dean when his brother is clearly in a mood.
"Fine," he says, "He won't go on the hunt with us. Unless we need back-up. It wouldn't be the first time."
"Whatever," Dean grumbles. He turns away as if he is settling in to sleep, but Sam knows he's only pretending.
To be continued…
Post A/N: Sort of serious ending, wah wah! I'll try to fix that next time.