The heaviness of the air surrounding the Winchester brothers was oppressive, and had only gotten worse since they watched Pamela die, and Sam refused to share what she said, saying "you didn't feel the need to tell me what Dad said, I don't have to share this." Dean grumbled something about how he eventually shared, but Sam didn't seem to notice or care.

After delivering Pamela's body back to Bobby Singer, and offering their services to help burry or salt and burn her, they took off again, nowhere really to go, but go they went. The sheer act of moving kept the brothers from looking at one another and going off, because both wanted to, both had just cause to, but both didn't want to say anything else that could harm the other, or damage their relationship any more than it currently was. They hung onto each other by a thread, a fraying thread, but they both held on tenaciously and with the hopes that they could manage to repair the thread, and work on building it back into the rope it had been.

Dean pulled the car into the parking lot of the motel. "I'll get us a room." Dean said softly. "One or two?" That was a new question, well a question that he had only been asking since the siren.

"One Dean." Sam said with an agitated edge. This whole self pity thing was getting old. Dean nodded and slammed the door and headed towards the motel office. Sam rubbed his forehead and sighed. Sam missed his brother, the man who would take charge, the man who wasn't so self loathing that he asked if his brother wanted his own room. He wished these damn angels would stop making their lives so freaking complicated. Sam snorted when he realized that it wasn't simply the angels, the demons definitely had a stake in making their lives miserable right now. Necessary evils. That is what Sam kept reminding himself, necessary evils.

Dean emerged from the office and headed back to the car, opened the door, handed Sam the room key, and closed the door, went to the trunk, and started gathering the things they would need for the night.

"Laundry?" Dean asked as he handed Sam his duffel. Sam considered what was inside and nodded.

"Yeah, I guess so. I hate laundry."

"Who reminded you to wash your clothes…" He's gonna say it, he's gonna ask if Ruby did my wash too. Sam thought and prepared himself to get angry. "At Stanford. Did Jessica do your wash?" Sam was taken aback. They never talked about Stanford. Never. That was more of a NO TALK ABOUT ZONE than Ruby and his psychic crap.

"Stanford?" he asked. It was such a long time ago. He had to dig in his mind to get back to that. "Well, I did it at first." He smiled. "Turned my underwear this funky shade of blue black, because I washed jeans with them."

Dean smiled as he turned the key in the lock. "Yeah, did that too. Sucked majorly."

"Then when Jess and I got an apartment together, she did my wash. Never asked her to, never expected her to, she just did."

"What was it like?"

"What do you mean?"

"I've never had a woman do my wash." He said as he watched his duffel.

"I guess it's like washing it yourself." Sam said with a shrug and pulled his night clothes out of his duffel.

"Hmmm." Dean said and pulled out his bag of toiletries.

"Were you expecting something different?"

Dean shrugged. "I just always wondered."

"Why are you suddenly interested in Stanford? You never talk about that time, yours or mine."

"Just wonder what you were like back then is all. Just thinking about it in the car today. Wondered what Jessica was like that kind of thing. No big deal. Sorry." Dean retreated back into himself and Sam suddenly didn't want his brother quiet. They had spent too much time lately silent and unmoving.

"Jessica was beautiful. She was strong she was smart and she was the love of my life." Sam started and started pulling everything out of his duffel. "She knew what made me smile, she knew what made me sad, she knew how to make me get out of the house and do something other than study. She knew me. She knew me like you knew me when I was young. And I'd been away for over a year before I met her. I'd been lost, considered leaving school, I felt adrift, and she came and anchored me. Filled in that hole that you had left. We liked to go to movies, talk, just be together.

She took me to her parent's ranch, taught me how to ride a horse, I met her siblings, and they were all such wonderful people."

"Sounds like you found your slice of normal." Dean said and started refolding all of his clothes, because he too had removed everything from his duffel. Neither brother looked at each other, they simply continued to fold and refold the clothes.

"I did. And that week that I spent up there with her parents, was the week that I actually told her about you." He chuckled. "She said something, I don't even remember what, but I said that it sounded like something you would think, and she asked about you, for the millionth time, and I finally caved and told her. I told her stories of how you stole that Barbie for me that one Christmas, because you didn't know it was a chick gift, told her about the waitress in Tampa, told her how you took care of me. I never told her about Dad, but I told her about you." Sam said and sat down next to his full duffel.

"And she washed your clothes?"

"She washed my clothes, she cooked, she clucked, she was a real live girl who wanted to take care of me."

"Sounds good." Dean said softly.

"What about you? You want a shot at that kind of thing?"

"Naw. Too old."

Sam scoffed. "You just turned 30."

"Too old. Too tired." Dean said grumpily.

"But that dream."

"What dream?"

"The one that Jeremy made you have. You know, with Ben's mom, on the grass…the picnic."


"Is that what you really want?"

"Dream Sam. Just a dream." He said softly and stood. "You want to shower first?" He asked closing the subject. Sam looked up, and was greeted with green eyes. When was the last time Dean had looked him in the eye? When was the last time he looked Dean in the eye? Had it really been that long?

"Nah. I don't. Go ahead. I'm gonna do some digging online, see if I can find us another hunt." Dean nodded.

"Sounds good. Find us something interesting. Find us something classic. Anything that doesn't involve a church, a demon, an angel, a priest, a rabbi, anything. Find us a ghost—not connected to a demon, a good old fashioned monster. Hell I'll even take a possessed truck." Sam smiled.

"Okay, one classic monster hunt coming up." Dean nodded and softly shut the bathroom door behind him.

For the first time in months, the tension was gone. His brother was taking a shower, he was finding a hunt, and they were brothers again. No angel hovering over their shoulders getting them all confused and twisted, no demon on his shoulder encouraging him to do things that only he can do, no lying, no deception. Just a conversation between brothers. God how he missed that.