It's snowing in South Dakota in June. Some damned politician or celebrity must've mentioned "global warming" again, 'cause every time they do, it gets cold enough here to snow in the beginning of June. There's got to be some supernatural connection behind that. I'm looking into it.
Despite the temperature, Dean's working on his car right outside my kitchen door, even though I've got a perfectly good, fully stocked, - and thoroughly heated - garage just a little farther down my yard. And the reason he's working right outside my kitchen in the cold and pinprick snowflakes is sitting on the steps just a few feet away from him, long legs folded up and arms wrapped around his knees, not doing anything but reading a book balanced on those knees.
Even after the car accident a ways back, after John died, those six weeks the boys were here with me, even then Dean worked on the car right outside the house and not in the garage where there's a lift and a convenient power supply and lights and anything he might need right at hand.
I didn't ask him about it then; he was never anywhere near what you'd call in a talkative mood then. I figured he was grieving, and he was, and whatever he needed to do that, he could have and welcome. And I don't ask him about it this time either, because by now I know - no matter how well equipped any garage might be, that far away from the house the one thing Dean really needs wouldn't be close at hand.
Not close enough, anyway.
No matter what's happened to them, with them, or between them, those two being with each other is always like a sling to a broken arm, and now that Sam is fighting off the flood of hell in his brain and Dean is fighting off losing Cas, these two being together is the closest thing to a magic pill I have yet to see this side of angel wings.
Things pretty much went hairs to Heaven in Kansas. Cas - well, don't even get me started. 'Worship me or I'll kill you.' Really? I wanted to ask him, 'Kid, do you know what we've done, seen, hunted and killedlately?' I didn't say it though. I let Dean go face-to-face and toe-to-toe with him, and Cas blinked. And then he blinked himself outta there, and Dean and me were left with the task of getting Sam and the Impala back to my place.
It took some doing, but we got it done.
Sam first, of course. But the Impala not too far behind. We got Sam out of that building - Dean got him out - and I made a lot of calls until I found a wrecker not too far away who was a friend of a friend of a hunter, who could follow behind us and get the car back to my place.
While we waited for him to show up with the flat bed, Dean got Sam sideways in the front seat of the Taurus he'd nicked from my yard. Then for a little while it was nothing but,
"Sam? Sammy? Look at me. I know, but I need you to look at me. Just look at me Sammy. Okay. Okay, good. What d'you see?" I could hear Sam answering, but I couldn't make out his words. I could sure make out Dean's growl though. "Sammy - what do you see besides the fact that I need a shave?"
Soon, but not soon enough, we were on the road, with Sam camped out - and cramped up - in the backseat, and Dean in the front seat turning around every thirty seven seconds to have a look at him. He couldn't keep that up for the next ten hours or more.
I gave a glance or two in the rearview. Sam was folded into that backseat, mostly upright, bundled up against a duffel full of clothes shoved as a cushion between his back and the hard door. He had his eyes twisted shut and every now and again he shook his head like a bug was buzzing him or he was arguing with someone only he could hear or he was trying to shake loose a thought.
And every time he did it, Dean saw it.
"Nothing, Dean. S'okay. M'okay." He answered every time, sounding exhausted, not even opening his eyes.
"Sam - "
"Let him sleep." I finally said. "And while you're at it, get some sleep yourself. We've got us a good ten hour drive back home and I don't plan on doing all the driving."
The truth was, of course, that I could drive that long and longer, but I wanted Dean to sleep, and I knew my only shot might be if he thought his sleeping would help me.
"But Sam - ."
"Sam will let you know if he needs something, or I will. Dean -." I dropped my voice. "Sam just got the door to hell blasted open in his mind. And in spite of that, he got himself out of my house, got a car, somehow GPS'd our location, drove ten hours plus having to stop for gas, and still got himself right where we were, right when we needed him. He needs to sleep."
Dean looked at me, and looked away, and sighed.
So, he slept some of the way and drove some of the way, and Sam managed to sleep most of the way and we got home. And now Dean is out in the cold, rebuilding their car, and Sam is out in the cold with him, rebuilding his wall. At least that's what I figure he's doing. He's been reading a lot, either research or one of the plain old regular books that Dean got for him by the dozens at a bag sale at the library. He's been talking to me a lot, and asking Dean a lot of questions about things he already knows the answers to.
He hasn't said and I'm not going to ask - but I do think he's making himself another wall. A wall of new memories and experiences and good things happening to him, to hold back hell. I think it's working. He gets through each day with no dead patches, no seizures, no outward sign of anything agonizing going on inside of him. It takes him longer to puzzle things out sometimes, but only sometimes. Sometimes, other than Dean's laser focus on him, sometimes it's like there's nothing going on with Sam at all.
He follows Dean around most of the time, but he usually does. Dean does it too, to Sam. Those boys have to be knuckle deep in something pretty serious to not notice the comings and goings of each other. Can't be one of 'em heads outside without the other one following along pretty soon after. Not to keep tabs, not to check up, not because something big and nasty is coming down the pike. They just like spending time together. They always have.
Even that doesn't have to be anything grand and glorious or complicated. I've seen those boys sit still for hours on my couch, watching some old movie together. They can sit there, not saying a damn word to each other about anything. They just like being together.
So Dean is working on the car and Sam is reading his book and neither of them is saying anything to the other and I know because I'm keeping an eye on them every now and again out the back door window. It's after dinner and before bedtime and I'm waiting for Sam to pack up his book because Dean says he's done working for today and he's ready for a beer and bad TV, or for Dean to pack away his tools because Sam asks if they can go to a bar or a movie or a bookstore.
Sure enough, Sam checks his watch and says something out to Dean, who nods and puts away the tools and waits on the steps until Sam has stood up and they both come in my back door, both with red noses and snow melting in their hair.
"Hey, Bobby," Dean says right away. "King Kong down at the Imax, they're re-showing it all this weekend. You know you want to go."
Whatever they're doing, they always invite me. Sometimes I go, sometimes I don't.
"Thanks, I'll pass."
"Have you ever seen it?" Sam asks me. Before I can answer, Dean butts in with,
"He saw the original. In the theatre."
He grins while I scowl and Sam puzzles the math of it out in his head.
"But - you're not that old, are you?" He asks, and it's only because he's got hell competing for space in his brain that I let that pass. Dean of course can't let it pass.
"They got talkies now and everything, Bobby." He says as he washes up at the sink and gives me a knowing nod. "Technicolor, even."
Sam catches up with it then and grins. Both of them grin; it's good to see.
"You idjits gettin' outta here or what?" I ask in my best growl, just for show, and Dean holds his hands up in surrender.
"We're going, we're going. C'mon, Sam. If we stay much longer, he might tell us what his plans are for tonight."
Sam smiles me a goodbye, and then Dean does and when they leave the house is a little too quiet, like it always is when they leave.
I grab a glass of milk and switch on the TV, intending to stay awake until I hear the chug of that Taurus pull back in my yard, whatever time that happens at.