Work has been crazy and I felt the need for some Supernatural excitement - just some self-indulgence! I made a mental list of all the things I like in a SPN fanfic and tried to incorporate as many of them as possible...

Rated T just to be on the safe side but could probably be K+.

The title of this fic is taken from the Coldplay song of the same name, off their album X & Y.

Disclaimer: Don't own them *sniff*... (oh, and I don't own Coldplay or its lyrics either!)

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Click.

Click.

Click.

"Dean?"

"What?"

"Stop it with the remote. I'm trying to work here."

"I'm watching TV."

"No, you're channel surfing. I can't concentrate. Just pick a channel, will you?"

Click.

Click.

"Dean!"

"What?"

"You know what!"

"Deal with it, geek boy."

Click.

Thud.

"Ow! Sam!"

"Stop it!"

"Okaaaay.... Ah. This'll do."

"Dean – switch channels!"

"You blushing, Sammy? This is very educational –"

"Deeaan..."

Click.

Click.

"Fine. I'm going out."

"Double cheese burger with extra onions, and a pie. And you might as well get some beers while you're there."

"I wasn't-"

"Well, we need to eat. It's dinnertime. And face it, Sammy, where else would you go in this thriving metropolis?"

"Thriving metropolis?"

"Just shut up and get the food."

"Whatever. And it's Sam."

"Okay, Sammy."

"Jerk."

"Bitch."

****************************************************

It was cold. The sky was a pewter expanse, heavy with a threat of snow. Sam thrust his hands into the pockets of his jacket, beginning to rue the impulse which had seen him turn his back on the Impala.

But he'd sat for too long, hours and days of driving in search of the next hunt and evenings cooped up in motel rooms doing research on the laptop. He was beginning to think he'd lose the use of his legs.

The ground squelched wetly underfoot, and he eyed his muddying boots with mild distaste. It had been raining for most of the day, the sort of chill wetness that was just yearning to turn into sleet, and pools of water lay waiting to trap the unwary. Sam peered at the sky and increased his pace a little.

If it rains before I get back, I'll...

Well, not sure what I'll do. But it won't be pretty.

Especially since this is my last clean pair of jeans.

Sort-of clean.

Sam had a momentary ridiculous mental image of himself on a hunt clad only in a pair of boxers.

Dean would never let me forget that.

He grinned to himself, imagining Dean's reaction.

'You'll scare away the monsters, Sasquatch!'

An icy little wind caressed his neck and he hunched his shoulders into the collar of his jacket.

Shoulda brought the Impala.

Despite the cold, though, there was a certain beauty about his surroundings. The trees were naked, gaunt black skeletons against the metallic sky. It was too early for the green which indicated the approach of spring. Some might have found it too stark, almost frightening, but Sam had seen too much that was truly fearsome to be thus impressed.

The road was quiet. The occasional truck passed him, ignoring him as he ignored it, pedestrian and driver both too occupied in their own purposes to pay attention to the other. He was enjoying being alone. Alone in a good way. Able to think his own thoughts, happy, sad, whatever came into his head. That was why he'd left the Impala: because to drive would mean a quick trip, in, out, get the food, get back to the motel, and sometimes solitude, even cold solitude, was what he needed.

Not that he didn't appreciate Dean's company. He'd rather be with Dean than with anyone else. But Dean's way of working through things was to drink, sometimes until he was drunk, and have a good time with a pretty girl. Sam liked to talk. And if there was no-one to talk to, he would talk to himself. Not in a crazy psycho way. Just sorting through his thoughts, filing them neatly until he was ready to move on. Dean... Dean didn't like talking. Sam's mouth twisted in a rueful, half-amused grin as he thought of the deer-in-the-headlights look that came over his older brother's face whenever Sam began what Dean termed a "sharing and caring" moment.

From up ahead, over the blind rise, he could hear the roar of an engine that was unlike any truck he'd ever heard. Dean would have been able to identify it. Sam just knew it was moving fast. A sports car, maybe. Something fancy. That was unusual out here in the boonies, where most of the vehicles were built for durability and efficacy in transporting cows and sheep.

All too abruptly, it appeared on the crest of the hill.

It was Sam's turn for the spotlighted deer expression, as he realised two things at once: it was on the wrong side of the road – his side – and it was going far too fast for him to get away.

Sam had been a connoisseur of the unexpected for too long to have slow reflexes. He was already hurling himself sideways as the scarlet convertible bore down on him. Even as he moved he knew it wasn't enough, that the car would hit him, catch some long lanky part of him that was still in the way. He was flying, catapulting through the air, then crashing and bumping and rolling through damp squelchy wetness that he couldn't identify as his head and limbs and torso were all over the place and the sky and the ground and the air blurred and spun and merged into one crazy confusion.

**************************************************

It was cold.

It was wet.

It was quiet.

Sam lay motionless. His eyes blinked cautiously, the only part of his stunned body that he dared move. It had happened too fast for him to feel anything in particular. He had no doubt that he was seriously damaged in some way.

There was, surprisingly, no pain.

That was the shock, of course.

He was actually kinda comfortable.

Okay, not comfortable. It was too cold for that. And wet. But he was surprised that his injuries weren't already making themselves known. As soon as he moved...

Come on, Samantha, stop being such a girl.

Head injury, then – I'm channelling Dean.

Not that he isn't right.

Sam gritted his teeth heroically, and lifted his head.

He was not greeted with mental screams from his maltreated body, and encouraged, he gingerly sat up.

There was a twinge of pain from the region of his right hip.

Oh yeah... something crunched when I landed.

I think I broke something!

Oh. Ah.

My cell phone.

He eyed the mangled remains with regret.

He had to conclude that there was not much else wrong. Various twinges made themselves known as he completed his mental inventory, but they seemed to be nothing more than bruises.

He was, of course, now thoroughly wet.

I landed right in a puddle. Guess I might just be hunting that Wendigo in my boxers after all...

He was not going into town like this. If Dean wanted food, he'd have to get it himself. Sam wanted a shower.

A hot one.

Followed by clean clothes.

Or non-wet clothes, at any rate.

He looked around, for the first time taking stock of his surroundings, and discovered that he had landed in what appeared to be a ditch. It was deep: sitting up he could not see over the edge, and the rain which had fallen had created a little lake in the bottom of it. Leaves and twigs and grasses tangled sullenly, creating a kind of rotting soup.

It did not smell good.

Dean is so doing the laundry next time.

Sam shivered, not appreciating the chill wetness against his skin. It was time to make a bid for freedom. It was not going to be fun walking all the way back to the motel wearing wet clothes in this icy wind, but sitting here like a newly-bedded rose bush, complete with mulch, was even worse.

He half-rose, lurched sideways, and fell hard, back into the water. It hurt, this time, although still not bad enough to suggest anything was actually injured. What the hell...

The yank on his ankle gave it away.

Somehow, without actually hurting it, he'd managed to get his foot trapped. He couldn't clearly see what was holding him prisoner, but whatever it was, it was not going to let him go easily. He tugged, cautiously at first, and then with increasing force, but without success.

His ankle was beginning to protest the rough treatment.

Sam flopped back with a fervent and unrepeatable exclamation. He was trapped, in a cold, wet ditch, and it would be at least ten minutes before Dean could get there. He did not relish the idea of sitting in a puddle in this cold weather, waiting for his brother, who would undoubtedly have many uncomplimentary things to say. He yanked his leg again, but gave up hurriedly with a cry of compounded pain and frustration.

He was going to have to call Dean.

And suffer the humiliation for the rest of his life.

Sam reached into his pocket for his cell phone.

Cell phone.

Sam repeated his earlier exclamation, with a few embellishments. His cell phone was broken. He couldn't call Dean.

I'm stuck, in an icy wet ditch in the middle of nowhere. Dean doesn't know. Nobody knows. Dean doesn't expect me home for at least an hour.

Okay, this is so not good.

Sam knew the workings of his brother's mind well enough to be aware that Dean would eventually come looking for him. After a sufficiently worrying time had elapsed, Dean would mumble and swear and get into the Impala and find him. He wasn't going to starve to death and die here, and be found years later.

It's not the years I'm worried about. I don't want to spend the next two hours here until Dean finds me. It's freakin' cold in this stupid ditch.

He gave another experimental tug on the captive ankle, but gave up in disgust. There was no point in breaking the thing. Then he'd be royally screwed.

Okay, Dean. Now would be a good time to be a mother hen. Get worried Dean... get worried now.

It would be so convenient if Dean and I could communicate telepathically....

Ha. That isn't going to happen any time soon. We can't even communicate the standard way half the time.

Sam wrapped his arms around his chest, trying to fight off the shivers. It was surprising how much more he felt the cold now that he wasn't walking. Of course, the wet didn't help. His jeans were sodden, and the hem of his jacket. The cold was inexorable, slowly working its way inside him.

At least it isn't raining.

Oh.

Well, this isn't rain.

Snow won't wet me as fast.

I think.

He bent his head down, burying his chin in his chest and drawing his untrapped leg up in an attempt to conserve warmth. It wasn't very effective, the main result being that his shirt began to absorb the moisture from his jeans.

"Help! Somebody! Help me! Anybody? Hello?!"

It was as if the sports car had wiped all other traffic off the road. The silence which had been pleasant half an hour earlier was now menacing, ominous. No-one was around. No-one would hear him. He could shout himself hoarse, but until Dean realised he'd been gone too long, he was doomed to sit in this unpleasant little trench.

For the first time a chill that had nothing to do with the weather slithered through him.

It was cold. It was freakin' cold. Already his fingers were growing numb. He was shivering uncontrollably now, his teeth chattering violently. The wet fabric which encased his lower body was an almost physical pain.

The soft white flakes of snow drifted gently down around him, masking the ugliness of the ditch and adding to the beauty of the landscape, and he hated every one of them.

***************************************

Dean shifted and settling his back more comfortably against the headboard. Eyes at half-mast, he stared at the flickering television, not really taking in what he was watching.

It was pleasant to be sitting. Just sitting, without having to watch the road. He adored his car and was more than happy to spend hours in her, but sometimes it was nice to be stationary. Not to have to concentrate, to switch his mind off and just vegetate.

Vegetate?

I'm turning into Sam here.

His stomach gurgled loudly, and he patted it comfortingly. Those pancakes seemed an age ago. Sam needed to hurry up with dinner.

Or he'll get back and find that my body's eaten itself from the inside out.

He glanced at his watch.

He's been gone almost an hour. Should be home pretty soon.

He slid down a little further, enjoying the rarity of a comfortable motel bed. The television mumbled gently, the images blurring into a soporific haze.

I could so fall asleep right now.

Better not, Sam will be back with din...

*****************************************

Dean...

Sam lifted his head from where it had come to rest on his knee, and peered with unfocused eyes at his wristwatch. His movements were sluggish and uncoordinated, and it took several attempts before he comprehended what time it was.

'Kay. Night-time's comin'.

Cold.

How long since I fell in here?

He tried to calculate, but his mind was slowing along with his muscles.

Too long.

Gettin' hypo... hypo...

Um... too cold.

He was still shivering, but not as violently, and the part of him that was still aware knew that that was a bad sign. He wasn't feeling as cold as he had been, which, paradoxically, meant that he was getting colder.

Dean... y' need to come... find me.

How much longer would it be before Dean realised something was wrong? Sam couldn't figure out how long he'd been gone from the motel, but the gathering darkness suggested it had been a while. Dean would start worrying soon.

He had to start worrying soon.

"Hell..."

Not what... I meant to... shout.

Works too... though...

He clenched his teeth, trying to curb the chattering, and clumsily thrust his hands inside his jacket. Even in the dim light he could see that they were unnaturally pale. His jacket was thoroughly damp now, from the snow which had fallen on him and the water which had wicked up from the ground, and it didn't really help his hands much.

Hope I don'... get frostbite...

Wouldn' help with... killing Wend'go... 'f I couldn' fire... gun...

In boxers.

Why boxers again?

Know I was... gonna be 'n boxers...

Oh... wet jeans...

Dean 'ud...

Dean.

Dean, please come...

Need ya...

Dean'll come... know I've been gone f'r too long...

***************************************

Images flickered, the humdrum of evening television. Voices came and went, interspersed with music which might have been familiar had anyone been listening. Fluorescent light began to filter through threadbare motel curtains as the natural light of day bowed out and an artificial one took its place.

Soft snores indicated that the young man on the bed was unaware of it all.

********************************************

Eyes blinked open slowly. It was almost dark, the heavy clouds hastening the night. In the ditch it was even darker, and he could make out very little detail.

Something wasn't right.

It was the only coherent thought that he had, and it flitted in and out of his mind. What it was that was wrong he had no idea. His mind was functioning with the agility of a man swimming through treacle.

He really just wanted to sleep. Vaguely, dimly, something warned him that he shouldn't, but it made no sense. It was comfortable here, huddled in this... place... with the soft snow gently covering him like a blanket.

Snow...

There was that thought again.

Snow was... wrong.

He didn't know why.

Shouldn't sleep...

His heavy lids lifted, dropped, and lifted again.

Wanna... sleep....

Somehow, without really meaning to, he was lying on his side. One hand slid out of the meagre shelter of his jacket to fall with a splash into the shallow water in which he lay.

Wrong...

It was gone. That ephemeral thought, drifting gently, then slipping away. It was just too much effort to think. To stay awake...

Glazed blue-green eyes slid shut, and stayed shut.

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