A/N: Last night I dreamt, as I so often do, of exploring the sea on a small vessel operated by my hands alone. I always see many wondrous things on these voyages, although I can never properly name them. In the mornings after these dreams I like to call my brother Brice, as he is a marine biologist and quite knowledgeable when it comes to sea creatures. Sadly, he never is much help. Today I remembered that Brice very much enjoyed watching Thomas and Friends as a younger man; thus, this story. Please enjoy it for what it is: a fun little piece of nonsense and joy between brothers.

Trains on a Snowy Day

by Deanie McQueen


Sam hadn't been gone for that long.

It took less than five minutes to drive to the store and back, the only wait being the three minutes Sam spent lecturing the clerk on the importance of keeping her bills turned the proper way in the cash drawer. It pained Sam to see George, Abraham, Alexander, and most of all Andrew defiled in such a way. These men were meant to be respected, not flung under metal springs all willy-nilly.

Most days, Sam set aside ten minutes to mourn the state of the nation's education system.

Leaving the store's cash drawer in a state befitting of historic icons, Sam had climbed into the Impala with the sense of a job well done warming his chest. This warming feeling was welcome, as it was quite cold and Sam had absentmindedly left his heavier jacket back the motel. As it was, his nipples were hard and fairly noticeable in the winter air. Keeping an eye on the parking lot for any voyeurs, Sam rubbed at his chest in an attempt to warm himself up even further. The burn of accomplishment could only go so far to reduce pointy nipples, after all.

Snow was beginning to fall when Sam pulled the Impala into a parking space directly in front of the motel. The faint blue he could spy through the thin drapes told him that Dean was watching something. Porn, if Sam had to guess. Which reminded him of that awkward incidence last week with the free cable and the leopard-print bras and the broomsticks.

Sam shuddered.

Careful not to leave his Jergens in the car (Sam's skin demanded nothing more, nothing less for a smooth and soft feel), Sam bounded out into the chilly air and twisted the door open.

"Cold," he mumbled, making a show of closing the door so Dean would have time to turn off his programming full of adult activities. "Dunno how it got so cold."

"Mmm," Dean hummed back in agreement, and Sam fervently hoped he'd given his brother enough time to change the channel. So much of what Dean watched was unclean.

So it was with a heavy and hesitant heart that Sam fully turned around, eyes first going to Dean, noting the way he was spread out on his belly, feet up in the air and swaying ever so slightly, a faint but pleased smile on his face as his eyes stared down the television where he was watching—

"Thomas and Friends?"

Dean jolted, nearly falling off the bed. He stared at Sam with no small amount of confusion, like Sam had suddenly teleported into the room. "I—" Dean started, swallowing a little bit of spit before clearing his throat. "I enjoy this show," he said, somewhat defiantly.

"You enjoy watching a blue train and his friends?"

"His name is Thomas and he has more friends than you'll ever have," Dean spat back, clearly intent on defending his show. He resituated himself on the bed, obviously ready to ignore Sam's presence altogether.

But Sam had a secret.

"I, too, enjoy children's programming from time to time, Dean," he said, moving cautiously closer. "SpongeBob Squarepants has given me many laughs."

Dean turned to him, wide eyes blinking. "It has?"

Sam nodded. "It has indeed. Their underwater hijinks amuse me. Also, Patrick is an interesting color."

"He really is!" These words burst out of Dean's mouth like he'd been waiting to say them for years. "He's such an odd color! Very pink and sickly looking, don't you think?"

"I do think," Sam confided, pleased with the way the conversation had turned. Most of the defensiveness had leaked out of Dean's body, and Sam was suddenly aware of how they'd be spending the rest of their afternoon.

Salting and burning could wait.