FADE TO BLACK
Summary: This is my sappy, soapy, peaceful dream of how I'd like to see the series end -- good luck -- too me!
Wha'?" The Impala door opened, jarring Sam awake.
"We're here." Dean hiked a thumb over his shoulder, gesturing to the spectacular scene behind him.
For a moment, Sam couldn't move from his seat. He blinked, looking past Dean to the view. Shadows cast down from the darkening clouds above. Their silhouette prowling across the purple, gold, and red hue of the craggy rocks of Hopi Point. It was hard to imagine that it had taken tens of millions of years for the region to form its wide open valleys, plateaus and steep-walled gorge. The abstract stone cliffs, and weird shapes of the Grand Canyon were mesmerizing.
"Whoever knew rocks could be so awesome," Dean said with an air of awe, never taking his eyes off Sam. "You ready?"
Sam was silent. His body relaxed, the long car ride to Arizona was the easiest he'd slept in -- well in years.
"You okay?" Dean kept his voice smooth and calm.
It had been weeks since what Dean and Sam had come to call -- 'That day'. The danger gone. Not so much as a cattle mutilation, freak lightning storm, or unexplained phenomenon had occurred. It seemed the supernatural world had stopped circling them like the hungry wolves they were, and all was quiet on the Western front. Yet, fear and guilt still snaked its way through Dean's heart -- there were still three other fronts -- to confront. Dean knew it was only a matter of time before some demon found another sacrificial lamb to use against the world, but for now they were safe.
"Sam, look at me," Dean called quietly.
Sam stirred in his seat, unable to take his eyes off the beauty.
"Hey!" Dean whistled impatiently through his teeth. "A girl applying mascara on a roller coaster can move faster than you."
"What?" Sam broke his gaze, wonder-struck eyes meeting Dean's.
"Bro, what's going on?"
"It's breathtaking." Sam's tone thread thin.
"Sammy," Dean laughed softly, taking Sam by the arm and helping him out of the car. "You're just out of shape," he said, wishing that wasn't true. His brother, although healed, was still weak from yet another near death experience.
Sam's long legs untangled and he slipped on the graveled ground nearly taking them both down. "Slow." Dean caught their balance "Slow. Slow. Slow." Dean warned, his features going stone-cold -- matching the view around him. "You, okay?" he helped Sam sit on the hood of his car.
"I'm good, Dean."
Sam nodded, rubbing the grit of sleep from his eyes.
"Good, 'cause I'm starving." Dean disappeared in a flash.
Sam scooted back until he rested against the car's windshield. The metal beneath his ass was warm and the glass against his back, cool. Sam took in a few deep breaths, enjoying the quiet calm as the sun crept lower in the sky.
"While you were having your Rip Van Winkle moment…" Dean reappeared. "I stopped at a Convenience Mart and got us a few things." Dean effortlessly hopped up onto the hood, digging in a plastic bag. "Apple Juice and peanut butter and grape jelly for you." He handed Sam his food. "Italian sub with jalapenos and six pack of Coarse for me."
"P.B.J?" Sam frowned. "Get out of dodge, Dean."
"Sam, you're lucky to be back in dodge. You're not ready for pickles and ice cream, man." Dean popped the tab and took a swig of beer.
"Martha Stewart, you're not." Sam stuck out his lower lip, pouting.
"Seriously?" Dean gave Sam a confused look. "Dude, that hasn't worked since you were, seven. Eat, Sammy." Dean encouraged.
"Eat, Sammy," Sam mimicked, taking a bite of his sandwich.
"Good, boy." Dean smiled, happy to see Sam eating he took a bite of his sub.
"Good, boy," Sam mimicked again.
"Looks like something out of an Indian Jones movie." Dean took another swig of beer, looking out over the canyon.
"Looks like something out of an Indian Jones movie." Sam took a swig of apple juice.
"Sam." Dean shot his brother an evil look.
"Sam." The response came quickly.
"Are you copying me?"
"Are you copying me?"
"What are you, eight?" Dean narrowed his eyes.
"What are you, eight?"
"Come on!" Both brother's said in unison.
"Dude, you suck."
"Dude, you suck."
"Enough," Dean cautioned, giving Sam's arm a playful punch ending the game.
"Yeah, okay," Sam laughed, not pushing the game further. Titling his head back against the glass, he stared up to the pink and purple sunset sky. The whoosh of the warm wind and the heat of the Impala's hood was making him sleepy again. "So, of all the places we could go for a vacation, why here?" Sam asked, taking another small bite of his sandwich.
An eerie quiet replaced the previous child-like banter. Sam turned his head to see his brother's face. Worn, green eyes twinkling with unshed tears, yet Sam could see a newfound inner strength that was never there before.
"Dean?" he questioned.
"Dad." Dean whispered, shifting his gaze to Sam. "Dad always talked about coming here."
"He did? How come I never knew that?"
"You and Dad were like a couple of kangaroos in a boxing match. Always squaring off. It's hard to pay attention when you're ducking a right hook," Dean chuckled lightly.
"I guess you're right." Sam snorted. "So why the Grand Canyon and not Hawaii or some tropical island paradise."
"Tropical island paradise was my dream," Dean admitted with a devilish smile.
"Dean, your idea of a tropical paradise is… you stretched out on a lumpy motel bed of magic fingers, wearing a tee shirt and boxers, with a cold beer in one hand and a porn mag in the other."
"True," Dean waggled a brow. "But, Dad -- he had a list."
"What kind of a list?"
"A, 'sixty-seven things to do before you die', list." Dean shrugged. "This was the one number he never got to," he said sadly, turning his attention back to the craggy rocks.
"So..." Sam nodded his understanding. "You're doing this for, dad." It wasn't a question. "Why sixty-seven?" Sam asked in after thought.
"Think about it, Sam?" Dean patted the hood of the car.
"No." Sam's eyes lit up in wonderment.
"Guess Dad and you had more in common then you think, Sam."
"Both your brains always working over time."
"I don't believe it."
"Believe it or not, Ripley, it's true."
"I guess it is," Sam said fondly, scooting a little closer to Dean. "Dean, what do you want to do?"
"Sit here and drink my beer."
"No. I mean, what do you want to do with our lives from here on out?"
"What do you think we should do, Sam?" Dean rubbed the back of his neck.
"I don't know." Sam leaned forward, stretching out his legs. "We could both go to college."
"No." Dean shook his head.
"Work at Home Depot?" Sam yawned.
"Hell, no," Dean mumbled around the last bite of his sandwich.
"How about a video store."
"What kind?" Dean's face broke out in a slow smile.
"The rated PG-13 kind, Dean," Sam muttered. "How about we become billionaire business men." Sam leaned back, struggling not to yawn again and taking a small sip of juice.
"Yeah, that." Dean reached over and ruffled Sam's hair.
They sat shoulder-to-shoulder. Quiet and still, watching the rosy pink sky until the dark purple of twilight rolled in. Sam smiled to himself, enjoying the moment. A moment without madness, without nightmares. A moment of beauty. Like the end of a good book, the superheros walking off into the sunset -- cliché' never felt so good. There was nothing left to hide. No more secrets. Only open space between he and Dean. No demons or angels pulling them apart -- in different directions. Life now began and ended on their schedule, on their terms. Maybe, he and Dean could just be brother's again.
A pair of eagles sailed over the gorge, wings outstretched as if to take each other's hand. Sam rubbed his eyes, half-drunk with happiness, half-drunk with sleep, on the verge of tears.
"Hey." Dean's voice was firm, but the nudge to Sam's ribs was gentle.
"What?" Sam looked blurrily at Dean, sensing his worry.
"I'm okay." Sam answered before the question was asked, slightly annoyed at being babied.
"That's not what I was going to say," Dean whined.
"Oh, no?" Sam eyed him suspiciously.
"What then?" Sam challenged.
"You think we'll see any nude hikers?" Dean's eyes darkened with lust.
"Come on!" Sam spat apple juice.
"Relax, Father Sarducci, it's the new thing."
"You think God likes hearing you talk that way, Dean?"
"Don't you worry, Sam. God and I have an understanding."
"Oh, yeah." Sam's curiosity peeked. "What kind of understanding?" he asked, blinking heavily.
"We're getting to know each other." Dean stared at Sam for a few long seconds, then turned his attention to the canyon. "That's a big chunk of rock," he said, without further explanation.
"Dude," Sam huffed, not getting the answer he was looking for. "The Grand Canyon is not just a chunk of rock. It's one of the seven natural wonders of the world, 277 miles long and 446 kilometers long, ranges in width from about 0.1 to 18 miles and 0.2 to 29 kilometers and extends in a winding course from the mouth of the Paria River. Its greatest depths lie more than a mile, some 6,000 feet 1,800 meters below its rim and…"
"Calling all geeks," Dean grumbled. "I didn't think you're head was big enough to store so much info," Dean snuffed. "Anything else you want to tell me, bro?"
"There's this glass 'Skywalk' that sits along the edge of the Grand Canyon overlooking the Colorado River. The horseshoe-shaped glass walkway is suspended 1,200 meters above the canyon, capable of holding 70 tons of weight (the equivalent of 800 people weighting in at 175 pounds each, but…"
"That's just wacky," Dean interrupted.
"Want to know something even more wacky?" Sam baited.
"What?" Dean bit.
"When you're 80... I'll only be 76," Sam smirked, rubbing his eyes again.
"Ha. Ha." Dean moaned. "You've had enough for one day, Sammy. You need to get some sleep."
"Not yet." Sam pouted. "So, you and God are getting to know each other, huh?" Sam tried again to extract the information.
"Somebody else I want to get to know." Dean put an arm around Sam and pulled him close to his side. "Sam. Not my baby brother, but the man.
"Dean, have you been watching Days Of Our Lives again?" Sam laughed softly.
"General Hospital." Dean admitted.
Laughter and brotherly love filled the canyon to brimming as the last of twilight faded to black.
That's all she wrote.