A/N: This is my first Supernatural fic, so any suggestions and constructive criticism are welcome! Hope you enjoy.
The Impala is dead. Dean prides himself on being able to save anything mechanical, but he's learning that there are some things—like being hit by a several ton truck—that not even he can fix.
He's alone in the lot, just him and his beautiful, beyond-hope car. Sammy's inside with Bobby, giving Dean the space he'd asked for but didn't really want. Dean's been trying not to think too hard about what Dad had said.
And then there's his car, the hood crumpled like a tin can and long buckles across the trunk. Those at least he can blame on himself. It doesn't seem right though. This car's been around for years. It's saved his life, and his dad's, so many times. That it would just be over for it—it doesn't seem fair. Dean knows better then most that you can't bring the dead back to life, even things that were never technically alive, but he and Sammy have lost so much, if they lose the Impala too… So he comes to a decision.
Inside there's no sign of Bobby, and Sam's fast asleep on the couch. Dean freezes in the doorway, breath held, waiting to see if he's really asleep or just faking. Finally convinced he's out, Dean makes one of his rare successful attempts at stealth and inches across the room. Sam's laptop is on the table by the couch, and Dean reaches across to grab it. Sammy snores once, but he doesn't seem to realize his brother's there at all.
Once he's back sitting in the sad shell of his car, Dean flips the laptop open. There's a page open—Sam's been doing searches for yellow-eyed demons. Again. Dean's gut twists, but he ignores it. He does leave the window open though, so he can make it look like he was never there later. Sam doesn't really need to know about this, and he feels horrible about it anyway.
"You did it!" Sam's somewhere between amazed and incredulous, and Dean's fine with that. It's a return to the older-brother mystique he used to have that ended sometime around when Sammy turned fifteen.
"What, you thought I couldn't do it?" Dean pats the glossy, freshly-dry roof with as much affection as he's ever shown Sam. The black of the new paint job is even shinier then it was before the accident. Of course, there's a good reason for that.
"So are we ready to go?" Sam's gotten as cabin-fevery as him. Dean only nods. He's been ready to go for a long time.
There're little differences in the car that he notices at once. They can go a few more miles before stopping for gas then they used to. The glove box is a little cleaner. There's a long, shallow scar down the inside of the passenger door that wasn't there before, though Dean guesses it could be passed of as a last battle wound from the accident. He doesn't know if Sam's noticed yet. Dean thinks he has, but neither of them are exactly Mr. Communication right now. They just keep going, trying very hard to stay oblivious to the little things they both know they'll have to talk about sometime.
The dam breaks about a week after they leave Bobby's. They're somewhere in New Mexico when Sammy turns to him.
"This isn't your car, is it?"
Dean tries to buy time. "Whoa, what'd you mean?"
"I mean, it's not the same car."
"That's crazy talk." Dean can't meet his eyes.
Sam laughs. "You really went out and bought a new car?" Dean's awkward silence is the only answer he needs. "Where did you find it? EBay?"
"Craigslist," Dean mutters.
"Wow." Sam's got a goofy smile on his face that makes Dean want to slap him upside the head, but he restrains himself and focuses on the road. It's good to see Sam looking just a little happier. He waits for Sam to say something else, to call him out on his Grand Fraud Auto, but he doesn't. He just pulls out his laptop, studying something on the screen.
"So, I found all that there's been all these cattle mutilations…"
It's a peace offering, of sorts, and Dean takes it.
"Cattle mutilations? Wow, just point me to them."
Oh yeah, they're back.