Not sure where this vicious little plot bunny came from, possibly from a discussion this morning with an older colleague about how much motorcycles have changed since she rode her first one. My first ever Supernatural fanfic without a dog in it! Anyway, the miserable thing kept hopping around under my desk, twitching its nose at me, so I just had to stomp it if I'm going to concentrate on anything else today...
DISCLAIMER: None of it is mine. Except Timothy. (Okay, that's what I call my car, my bikes are actually named Boadicea and Druss, but, well, look, there's nothing weird about naming, talking to or bonding with vehicles, all right? All right?)
SUMMARY: Sam is convinced that Hell is freezing over, because Dean is happily having a friendly chat with a witch. Mind you, she's another motorhead who can't stop saying nice things about his car. He's quite impressed with her ride, too - it's certainly not a broomstick.
RATING: K. True dinks, this one is perfectly harmless. Suitable for maiden aunts, vicars, and Nancy Reagan.
BLAME: Still blaming the people who review and encourage me, and The Usual Suspects who actually breed the damned things.
Sam couldn't wipe the grin off his face. Somewhere, in the lowest pits of Hell, he thought, somewhere, a demon has just paused in its work, shivered, looked around uneasily, then bent down to the soul it was tormenting on the rack, and asked, "Is it just me, or is it actually a bit chilly in here?" Because Hell was starting to freeze over.
He knew that was happening, because Dean was chatting with a witch.
Not just talking to a witch, certainly not taunting or abusing a witch, which was usually all Dean ever said to a witch if he did talk to a witch, but smiling, laughing, amiably chatting. With a witch.
Yep, that poor little demon shivered again, and said apologetically, "Look, I'm just going to get a sweater, hold that thought, I'll be right back…"
It could be on account of her having helped them in their last Hunt; with her assistance, the missing girls were located, the offending he-witch and the demonic assistant he'd summoned had been dealt with, and the grimoire had been destroyed.
The fact she was wearing leathers probably helped, too. Dean had a thing for a woman in leathers.
What it really was, he suspected, was that Dean had just found someone who spoke his language, and was saying lovely things about his car. So now, they were chatting, two happy little motorheads in their own petrol-soaked, oil-infused, engine-powered, hydrocarbon-saturated world, in a dialect he didn't understand at all.
"She's a thing of beauty, Dean," the witch breathed, admiring the Impala, "I could sit here all day and just listen to her idle. There's not many of this model in the sedan around, I don't think… V8?" she asked inquisitively. Smiling, Dean popped the hood, and the two of them stood there, gazing adoringly at, well, he wasn't sure exactly what they were gazing at, but they were clearly taking a moment to worship at the Altar Of The Great God Engine. It was like a disease, Sam thought to himself. It could strike anywhere, anytime, and there was no cure…
"You work on her yourself?" asked the witch.
"Sure do," Dean affirmed, "I wouldn't trust anyone else with her."
"Smart man. What's her name?" she asked, giving the hood a fond pat as Dean shut it.
"I just call her my Baby," he answered, resting a hand affectionately on the duco. His eyes strayed to the witch's transport. "So, your friend over here got a name?" He continued, "Because I gotta tell you, that's not what I was expecting. A broomstick, maybe, but not that."
She laughed. "I call him Timothy," she confided. Dean's eyes widened.
"You call that Timothy?" he repeated. "Jeez, that's like having a pit-bull and calling it Fluffy!"
"Oh, he's a wonderful ride," she defended in a smiling tone of mock hurt, "He's my little baby beastie, and I think he's adorable. You sound like my father, he hates it when I show up on Timothy. 'You're going to kill yourself on that thing, young lady,' he tells me," she rolled her eyes, "I'm in my thirties, and he talks to me like I'm a teenager!"
"What does your Mom think?" asked Dean.
"Oh, Mom rides one, too," she told him, grinning, "Like her mother did. That was my first ride: when I was eleven, I stole Grandma's, got it started, and crashed it into a tree…"
"Oh my God!' Dean gasped, "What did she do?"
"What do you think she did? She tanned my hide, then sat me on it in front of her, and taught me to steer."
The two of them laughed together, then there was more incomprehensible dialogue about 'rake angles' and 'modified headers' and 'ignition remapping'. Sam had a mental picture of himself as an anthropologist, studying a strange tribe, trying to understand their social conventions and religious beliefs and practices. He'd probably hand back his clipboard, and change to studying something more comprehensible, like quantum string theory…
"I've done most of it myself," she was saying, "A friend of mine who specialises in aftermarket exhausts did the pipe for me. Washed off a few pounds, that way…"
"Oh, of course," nodded Dean, "And the fact that it just happened to flatten out the spike in the power band, and gave you a few more horsepower, that was just happy coincidence…"
"It's so nice to talk to someone who understands," she sighed. She held out a set of keys. "Hey, wanna take him for a spin?"
Dean's face suddenly froze. "Er, no," he finally answered, "I, um, I'm not sure that, er, maybe..."
"It's okay," she told him, "I'm exactly the same – I'm always far too terrified to ride someone else's, in case I crash it. I'd never forgive myself."
Sam snorted quietly to himself as Dean's expression changed to one of relief – the witch might've graciously given him an easy exit, but he wasn't going to let his big brother forget his chickening out in a hurry…
"Anyway, I'd better get going," she said, starting the engine. It roared into life, settling into a thumping idle that hinted at speed, power and something a little bit dangerous. "You look after your driver, madam," she told the Impala, with a last pat, "Because he sure looks after you, you gorgeous creature."
"She will," Dean assured her, smiling, "She always has." With a grin, she pulled on her helmet, and threw a leg over her ride.
Dean waved as she set off for home. Sam joined him.
"So, what exactly was that?" he asked.
"That, Sam," replied Dean, as they watched the vacuum cleaner rise rapidly into the air, "Is a Dyson DC25 bagless 8-vortex cyclonic with ball steering, motorised head, aftermarket 8-into-1 full exhaust system, modified intakes…"
The growling vacuum wheeled rapidly against the night sky, then swooped back past like an attack helicopter…
"…and air horns," finished Dean, with an admiring grin, as the cleaner rapidly dwindled into the distance.
Sam nearly jumped out of his skin. "Yaaargh!" he yelped, "It sounds like a semi-trailer is falling out of the sky!" He peered after it. "Does that thing have running lights?"
"Well, I guess you need 'em after dark," surmised Dean, "Don't wanna run into a passing airliner, or anything."
"That really wasn't what I was expecting," mused Sam, as they hit the road. "Witches were traditionally supposed to ride broomsticks, okay, but… a vacuum cleaner?"
"You've been reading too much Harry Potter, Sam," Dean told him. "Technology makes progress. We're not driving around in a Model-T, why would a witch ride around on a broomstick? Apparently, they handled like cows, the mileage was lousy, and they were barely faster than running. Her grandmother taught her to ride. She sounds like an amazing old lady – she still gets around on a classic Hoover upright, does all the work on it herself. I'd like to get a look around in her garage. Her mother was a test pilot for Electrolux before she married. And, she was the first to get a canister vacuum to Mach 1, on a factory machine! They had to turn the wand out of titanium in the end, because it kept bending, and screwing up the steering, and right in the middle of the second attempt, the turbo blew out and blade fragments cut the brake lines, and she had to get it back down on nothing but the fan…"
Sam let Dean's enthusiastic description of the first ever vacuum cleaner to break the sound barrier, and his admiration for the woman who flew it, wash over him, and marvelled at his brother's capacity to enthuse about things with motors in them.
Somewhere, in one of the deepest pits of Hell, a shivering little demon was wearing two sweaters, a pair of mittens, and a ski hat with a motif of little snowflakes on it, clutching a mug of hot chocolate as he fired off an email to management about the malfunctioning heating.
Motorhead. Not just a band, decided Sam, glancing fondly at his brother, and not just a brain disease; for some people, it was unavoidably a way of life.