Author's note: I do not own these characters and no copyright infringement is intended. As a reader, if you're looking for "Wincest", you will NOT find it here...unless you feel that term envelopes the concept of the brothers being with the same girl, quite possibly at the same time. I would like to thank PTB for all of his help with the Metallicar details...having someone with passion for the subject provide information is so insightfully helpful. I would also like to thank moira4eku for pointing out that Dean's eyes aren't actually brown. After making the sacrifice of looking at hundreds of pictures of him (I almost got dehydrated from all the drool) and searching reliable sources online I have made the necessary changes. Throughout the story, you will find songs that, due to copyright crap, I am not allowed to quote lyrics from. If you don't know the song or the lyrics, I encourage you to check them out - they DO hold clues. This is my first story and have already worked out details for many chapters from beginning to end...please review and let me know what you think - good, bad or indifferent.
A beacon pushing through the dark, still night, the Impala sped along through the Oklahoma flat lands. It felt much like they'd been driving forever and in the grand scheme of things, if you're on the road more than you're off it, it's close enough to forever to qualify. At the moment, things are quiet. They've been waiting for the next thing that needs to die to work its way to the surface so they can do what they do best. These are the times they live for, but these can also be the times that make them the most nervous – the calm before the storm they know is out there because they can smell it...but it just can't be seen.
The boys had been enjoying companionable silence for the last hour...quite a stretch for these two – especially Dean who can't seem to stand the idea of it. Maybe it's the fact that the quiet times are when his mind chooses to rehash the past and all the atrocities it's held. Maybe it's that the silence all too often summons the What If's. What if we were normal? What if we just stopped all this craziness and started living real lives? What if we didn't know what we know? Pointless questions that had no real answers because once the reality was examined, it was always the same conclusion: It doesn't matter because it's NOT possible.
"Hey, you wanna call it a night," Sam broke the silence. "You're looking beat and I'm starting to get hungry."
"Sure...I was thinking we could pull into Fairview – according to the sign a mile or so back it should be another three miles or so up the road," Dean replied, rolling his neck in an attempt to ease the stress from the drive.
They fell comfortably back into silence while the flat, empty landscape rushed past them. In no time at all, a small town appeared on the horizon – a speck of refuge in a sea of desolation. Dean eased off the gas pedal and let the Impala slip into an idling roll. As they began rolling down Main Street, they could see the time on the bank clock read "8:39 PM"; not late really, but by small town standards they knew their window of opportunity for sustenance was rapidly closing. It was only Thursday and most local businesses rolled up the sidewalks by 7:00 p.m. Most restaurants might stay open until 9:00 if they were lucky.
Like so many small towns, Fairview's main thoroughfare was lined with two- and three-story brick and cinder block buildings. There'd been an obvious attempt at refurbishing the facades and, despite the more modern niceties like electronic door locks and neon "Open" signs, they gave that feeling that you've stepped back in time. As always, the brothers took their perspective sides to scope out the lay of the land. Sam quickly added the businesses on his side to his mental inventory – First Savings and Trust of Fairview, Roth Insurance Agency, Admiral Real Estate, Second Chance Thrift Shop and two empty businesses. Both empties had matching "Space for Rent" signs. All of the businesses were completely dark with the exception of the bank's security lighting. Dean has scanned his side and spotted what they were looking for instantly – it was the only business with the lights still on. He coasted past Ed's Barber Shop, Bailey Finance, and Bryant, Ball & Langley, attorneys at law. The name on the attorney's office made him instantly want to break into the Three Stooges bit about Wee, Cheatum and Howe, but he refrained. He parked the Impala in front of Goldie's Hardware which shared a common wall with the pay dirt – Our Place Diner. There were cars lined up in front of the little diner all the way down to the building on the end which displayed a shingle that read, "Peter Peterman, Taxes and Accounting". How original...his parents obviously didn't put much effort into stretching their imaginations when it they named this poor sap. Dean absently wondered how the guy made it out of middle school alive with a $2 handle like that one.
"They're open, but we'd better get in there quick before they decide not to take any new customers," Dean said as he started opening the door while simultaneously pocketing the keys. Suddenly his stomach grumbled with a hunger he hadn't realized was there before, forcing his weariness to take a backseat.
Without further discussion, the boys walked down the sidewalk and into the diner. Both took note of the sign on the door that proclaimed closing time as 9:00 pm. They were quietly thankful they've made it in time. Walking through the door, they were struck by the smell that all greasy spoons like this one have...and instantly had a feeling of home. Booths lined the wall to their left and tables scattered throughout the space on their right. The room had been arranged so there was a clear path from the door to the cash register.
Probably for those customers in a hurry for lunchtime take-out, Sam thought.
As they made their way to an open booth in the back, they ignored the eyes of the locals following them. This was a scene they had been through too many times to count and as familiar to them as the conglomeration of scents wafting from the kitchen.
They sat across from each other, Sam facing the door. Within seconds of their weight pressing the air from the cushioned booth seats, a waitress was at their tableside placing tiny glasses of water in front of them. As she began pulling two sets of silverware rolled tightly in napkins from her apron, Dean glances up at her to make a quick assessment of her placement on the "Doability Scale". Her uniform, which looked like something out of a 1960's soda shop – red and white stripped button-down shirt and white skirt that just touched the top of her knees – flattered her figure. Her name tag pinned just below her collar on the left side of her blouse announced that her name was Meranda. She's somewhat tall with long, dark chestnut hair that fell to her waist and her greenish-blue eyes stood out from her fair complexion. She wasn't drop-dead beautiful, but not homely either. She possessed that girl-next-door aura that usually appealed more to Sammy, but Dean wouldn't complain about if he happened upon. After careful consideration and a glance around the room in search of other prospects, Dean decided that she fell into the "Doable" category. Without noticing she'd been assessed, she quickly removed the menus she'd been holding to her body with her elbow and hands them over.
"Can I get you boys anything to drink while you decide?" she asked, flashing a tired, cheerful smile.
Sam noticed that her voice carried no discernible accent, which he found a little out of the ordinary. This wasn't his first time through small towns in Oklahoma and he knew that most of the locals had at least a tinge of southern drawl to their vernacular. It wasn't uncommon for people outside of small towns to move into one, but generally they were older. Typically it seemed that the indigenous folks, at least the younger ones, were all doing their level best to get out. She appeared to be young enough to be one of those so the lack of accent seemed out of place.
They ordered soft drinks, thanked her, and then turned their attention to the menus as she turned and walked away.
"OH! They've got a bacon triple cheeseburger! A triple! I gotta get me some that!" Dean exclaimed. Bacon always had a way of exciting him...and burgers...put the two together and Dean would be on the verge of spontaneous orgasm. The thought of his dream in triplicate? Well, that was just almost more than he could handle without needing a shower afterward.
"Cool...I can listen to your arteries harden while we eat – dinner AND entertainment," Sam quipped back.
"Look, Healthy Herman, lettuce and tomato belong on a bun, surrounded by their friends Burger and Bacon...and a threesome with their pal Cheese isn't frowned upon either...NOT in a bowl or on a plate drowned in that crap you call dressing. If it wants to be dressed, it needs to come to my side of the table." Dean was, as usual, verbally visual in his descriptions.
He was about to continue his assault on Sam's healthy choices when the waitress appeared with their drinks. With the swift, smooth motions that only a seasoned waitress seems endowed with, she placed the drinks, supplied them with straws and produced an order pad and pen in what seemed like one fluid move.
Dean was taken by the grace she displayed in the seamless transition of actions. He found himself looking at her again. This time taking in the shape of her nose and mouth, the contours of her face, the ample bosom that somehow escaped his gaze before - yet he didn't know how as her cleavage was right there on display...he must be slipping or maybe just plain tired. Either way, the realization that Sam and the waitress were staring at him while he was staring at her chest crept over him. His eyes, wide, darted from her breasts to her face to Sam's face and back to her face; Sam's smugly content smile causing the heat in Dean's face to rise even more.
Clearing her throat, she blushed and self-consciously lowered her head. Gazing back up at Dean, she smiled a shy smile and asked, "So what can I get for you tonight?"
Dean just sat there, the embarrassment slowly fading, with his soft hazel-brown eyes locked on her green-blue ones, clammed up. Sam's brow furrowed in curiosity as he smiled taking in the scene. Dean is rarely speechless, especially when there's a bacon triple cheeseburger to be had. Sam decided to break the silence. With a little chuckle, he began to order. The sound of his voice seemed to break the spell these two appeared to have on each other.
Clearing her throat again, she shook herself a bit. The motion must have also cleared her head as she began writing Sam's order on the pad, offering him choices of dressings, side dishes and preparation options. Once Sam finished, all eyes in their little group turned back to Dean who had opened his menu and was effectively hiding his face with it. Both Sam and Meranda attempted to hide their smiles. Meranda had more success than Sam in this endeavor...perhaps because she was shy, but more than likely because Sam was enjoying the sight of his normally calm, cool and collected brother squirm.
Finally finding his composure, Dean ordered his trifecta of indulgence with a side of fries and, of course, a slice of pie for dessert. Meranda took everything down on her pad, took the menus and then quietly took her leave. Once she was out of earshot, Dean shot a look across the table at Sammy who was grinning - all but bouncing with joy at his brother's discomposure.
Dean's brow creased. His lips pursed and he let out a deep sigh.
Sam broke into a laugh, "What?" Then more quietly, "You gotta admit, Dean, that was pretty impressive for you. Since when do you have trouble communicating with those of the female persuasion?"
Dean's eyes narrowed. "I dunno. Maybe I'm just tired. Hey, I think she's cute though...you know, like doable cute. What do you think?"
"I think that we've not been here a hot half hour and you're already looking to mark territory. How long did you wanna stay here?"
Dean gave a half-shrug. "A few days maybe? Maybe longer. It's kinda perfect since we're less than 20 miles from four other states, don't ya think? I mean, if anything happens in Texas, New Mexico, Kansas or Colorado we just point our asses in that direction and we're across the state line in no time."
That was true enough...Fairview, Oklahoma was 20 miles from all four of these borders. It was also in the middle of nowhere. Plus, being between jobs meant that they'd have some true down time when they could relax a bit, catch up with Bobby and maybe sampling a little of the local flavor wasn't exactly off the menu, so to speak. Sam raised his eyebrows and gave a slight nod to the side in silent agreement. They sat mostly in congenial silence taking in their surroundings. Random comments about the locals and the town itself were passed until Meranda reappeared with their food.
She put their orders in front of them, pulled a bottle of ketchup from her apron and asked, "Is there anything else I can get you?"
Sam's eyes instantly shot from his plate to his brother's face, his lips curled in a sly smile. He tilted his head inquisitively.
"Uh...um..." Dean stammered. "Do you know if there's like a um...hotel here in town maybe? We were thinking about staying here for a day or two."
Sam's gaze followed Dean's to Meranda's face which lit up with a sincere smile. Her body language hinted that her timidity had melted away, at least a little.
"Sure!" she replied, "There's the E&L Motel just a few blocks up. Just go right up the road here and make a left onto Hoffman – that's the second street on your left. Down a little ways, you'll see Mick's Grandboy Bar on the left and the E&L's across the street from it on the right. You can't miss it."
Now that she'd said more than the waitress script, Sam thought he could hear more of what he'd expected – a slight southern elocution that was common to the area. She opened her mouth to say more when the overweight but clean cut older man from behind the order window interrupted her.
"Meranda! I'm already gonna be here 'til 9:30! Stop all that chit-chattin', girl! I wanna be home before 10:00!"
By this time, the boys were the only customers left. It was obvious that if it was up to the cook, they'd have taken their meals to go.
Meranda brandished a tight-lipped smile, raised her index finger in a "just a minute" gesture in Dean's direction, and turned on her heels to head toward the kitchen.
"Joe, you don't have to be rude, you know. I was just being poli..." her voice trailed off as she left the dining area.
The brothers exchanged matching raised eyebrow expressions and half-shrugs then turned their focus on the food in front of them. Their meal was consumed in silence as they savored the quelling of their hunger.
In less than fifteen minutes, their meals were finished and Dean was scraping the last of the apple pie filling from his dessert plate. He tossed his fork onto plate and slid it away from him. Almost synchronal, they both leaned back and let out deep sighs of satisfaction. As if on cue, Meranda emerged from the kitchen, their bill in hand. Laying it on the table face down, she looked at them both.
"I'm sorry about Joe. He can be a little...grumpy. I don't believe he's come to terms with his station in life," she said, smiling apologetically.
"Oh, it's nothin'," Dean shot back at her with a half-smile. "Hey, uh...what about this Mikey's place?"
"You mean, Mick's Grandboy?"
"Yeah...you said it's across from the hotel. Is it still open?"
"It's about the only thing that is at this time Sunday through Thursday."
"Would you like to grab a drink? From the sounds of Joe back there, you guys should be outta here in no time, right?"
"I'm actually ready to leave now...I just need to grab my stuff. If you want to pay this, I'll meet you out front and you guys can follow me."
"Oh, I uh...I really don't know that I'm up to a nightcap, Dean," Sam said. "I could get us checked in while you guys go over and grab a drink."
Seeing his brother's attempt at avoiding Third Wheel Syndrome and selfishly trying to oblige him, Dean replied, "Hey, sounds like a plan."
After paying the bill, they headed out the door to find Meranda sitting her car parked beside the Impala. The red '88 Cavalier had seen its better days, but on a waitress' salary in such a small town, how could she complain? Since the car wasn't out front when they arrived, she'd obviously been parked behind the building – especially since she hadn't left through the front door as they had.
"I figured this must be you since it's the only one left," she said, nodding her head towards the Impala.
Normally Dean would have gone into his spiel about the Impala's beauty, making sure to list her status as his "baby", but this time he just smiled and nodded, transfixed again on her eyes. Somehow she looked different...maybe it was the different location or possibly the condition of her vehicle made her appear more attractive...or perhaps Dean just needed to get laid and had locked his sights on her. She wasn't swooning over him so it wasn't like he knew it was a sure thing and would've felt no need to pour on more charm. Sam quietly chuckled as he observed his brother's lack of smooth.
"Well, if you're ready...follow me." She tilted her head slightly and smiled.
Just as she'd relayed earlier, they took the second left. Instantly they could see the neon signs on both sides of the road ahead of them – E & L Motel in green and Mick's Grandboy Bar in blue. As they got closer, it was clear that both establishments were a far cry from being new.
The bar was an old cinder block building that, even in the security lighting, showed it was in dire need of painting. The parking lot was littered with potholes. The railroad ties that had been set up as outlines for the parking lot were all askew – more than likely victims of patrons who'd been too plastered to remember that reverse came before drive on the steering column. Meranda pulled in and parked.
The motel wasn't in much better shape. It was comprised of tiny cinder block cottages set in a semi-circle with the office nestled in the middle of the "U" at the very back of the drive. The buildings at the front of the drive were smallest and each one progressively grew in size with the office being the largest version of the cottages. There were eight rooms in all and the grassy section of the "U" was home to a shuffle board game, picnic tables, two grills and a makeshift attempt at a flower bed. There was a sign beside the office with a single word, POOL, and an arrow directing swimmers to the rear of the building. The lights were on inside the office, which was obviously doubling as the owner's home. Pulling up to the designated parking area in front of it, Dean parked and tossed Sam the keys.
"Don't wait up," he said through a smug grin.
"Do I ever?" Sam asked with a slight scoff.
They got out of the car and went opposite directions – Dean towards the bar and Sam towards the office. Dean could see Meranda leaning against the trunk of her car, looking at her feet as if they were the most interesting things in the lot. Compared to her surroundings, she was probably right.