It's an Olympic Event
Disclaimer: The Simpsons, Calvin and Hobbes, Supernatural, and the Olympics don't belong to me. Although, lucky Canada is hosting two out of four this year!
Dedicated: To Muffy Morrigan, who enjoys curling even more than Dean does. Special thank you, girl, for proofing your own story!
Time Line: February, 2010
It's all bro-fluff. Don't come here looking for a great deal of plot, there isn't any.
They'd needed a break. A break from the apocalypse, from panic room detox, from guilt, from responsibility, from hopelessness, they needed a break from everything. A simple salt and burn near Bismark had lightened the load reminding them how good it felt, and how things just seemed to fall into place, when they worked together as a team.
Dean sighed, flipping through the channels. Television didn't hold the same appeal it once did. It no longer provided mindless entertainment because he couldn't escape reality, not even for thirty minutes. The apocalypse, or rather his supposed destiny, weighed heavily on him. His responsibility to the – he couldn't even say it without feeling ridiculous – but to the world.
Just as his younger brother bore the weight of crushing guilt for thinking he'd doomed it.
Speaking of Sam, he was taking the longest shower in Winchester history. Dean no longer felt guilty for calling first dibs. Had he known Sam was going to take up residence in the bathroom, he would have insisted on food and Jack beforehand, too. As it was, they were fresh out of both.
"Whatcha doin', Lis? You aren't usually this interesting."
Dean smiled, the familiar cartoon family taking him back to simpler days with a one-liner. He and Sam used to watch The Simpsons starting when they were kids and the show was new. The last one he'd seen was before, well, before things went to hell – literally. He frowned, brow puckering as he tried to place the episode, but couldn't. Turning thirty-one sucked.
"You better stop or your face will get stuck like that," Sam quipped, sitting down heavily on the other bed. He reached into his duffel for socks and started pulling them on.
"Is that what happened to you?" Dean asked, without missing a beat. He smirked at the scowl on Sam's face that quickly morphed into a smile and an eye roll.
"Yeah, but I don't remember this one."
"It's a new one, Dean."
"They're still making new episodes?" Dean tossed the remote onto the bedside table. "I'll be damned."
Sam's face crumpled in disapproval. "Don't say that," he said quietly.
Dean stared at his brother, eyebrows peaked in incredulity. He wouldn't have guessed joking about his trip downstairs would bother Sam after a year and half. Then again, Sam joking about his own death wouldn't make Dean very happy and it had been even longer, well, since the first time.
"Sorry," Dean mumbled, the television catching his eye again. "What're they doing?" He laughed as Marge swept the ice in front of a large stone trying to stop it in the middle of a circle.
"Curling." Sam didn't look over at him, but continued getting dressed, slipping on his shoes.
"I thought you said this was a new episode?"
"Then how did you know it was curling?"
Sam stopped double-knotting his shoe long enough to Spock an eyebrow, looking at Dean as if he were a fascinating science experiment gone awry. "Dude, it's an Olympic event."
For a brief moment Dean considered that Sam might be trying to get even with him for all the times he'd convinced his younger brother of some stupid thing, like sticking his tongue to the jungle gym on a cold Michigan morning. "Seriously?"
Sam didn't say a word. He walked over to the table to retrieve his laptop and after a few keystrokes, handed the computer to Dean. "Here. You watch, I'll grab dinner."
Dean clicked on the first link, waving a dismissal at his brother. A highlight clip from a past Olympic game flashed on the screen, sucking Dean in until his face was practically glued to the monitor. It was like some kind of screwed up marriage between a childhood street game, hockey, and shuffleboard on ice. Not the fastest paced game on the planet, but definitely one of the strangest and the strategy of the shots was right up his alley.
Before long he was familiar with several curling terms, including 'wicky wacky woo' which reminded Dean more of the comic strip Sam had liked as a child than a sporting phrase. How he'd missed this game was beyond him. He looked up when the room door opened and clicked shut, then refocused on the newest curling clip. A cup of coffee appeared between him and the computer screen.
"Don't spill any on my keyboard," Sam admonished in a teasing tone.
"This is awesome," Dean said, gesturing to the screen with his cup. "How'd you know about it?"
"I'm on the computer all the time, Dean," Sam said, blowing into his cup. "I'd have to be under a…stone not to have heard of curling, especially this year."
"Why this year?"
Sam puffed a laugh. "The Olympics, man, they're in Vancouver right now."
"Yeah, and we haven't missed the curling yet, we could try to catch it." Sam was grinning at him. For a moment, he was just Sam – his brother. Not Sam, weight of the world Winchester, or Sam the hunter that out-hulked their Dad, just his brother with a little edging of Sammy in the crooked smile.
Dean wondered if Sam could still see the big brother in him. Judging by the relaxed slump of Sam's shoulders and the genuine affection Dean saw in his brother's eyes, he had to guess it was a yes. Some part of him deep inside breathed a sigh of relief and he couldn't stop the answering grin that spread across his face.
If they only had months and one crazy shot at stopping the big Michael vs. Lucifer showdown, Dean couldn't think of a single person he'd want by his side and at his back more than his brother. Maybe it wouldn't be enough to stop destiny or save six billion souls, but it was more than enough for him. Dean prayed he could hold onto that thought the next time things became really tough.
"I'd like that."
Sam clapped him on the back and handed him a burrito. Pulling a book out of his duffel, Sam settled onto the bed propped up on pillows to read. Dean turned his attention back to the curling clips and if he noticed his brother peeking over his book periodically to laugh quietly at Dean's animated commentary, so what? They could afford one night off to remember what they were fighting for.
The Winchester family line may have cursed them both, but it could save them, too.
AN: Thanks, Muffy, for headache removal pointers! I've got the heating pad on right now!
There was a small call-out to Scullspeare in this story who, many moons ago, wrote Muffy a feel better story involving curling (and did a far better job than I, I might add!). If you missed it the first time around, you should pop out and give it a look-see.