The Wrong Side of Eternity
A/N: This story is dedicated to silverblaze85, who succeeded in the nearly impossible task of teaching me how to vaguely understand what I'm doing on LiveJournal.
There should be about four chapters. And there's some swearing, 'cause they're Winchesters.
Set in season one.
The first time it happens, Sam is pissed.
After a few moments of disorientation, of mild panic and what-the-hell-holy-shit-it's-cold, he regains enough mental clarity to get angry because seriously, this is going way too far.
He's not even wearing shoes or a coat or anything. Just the sweats and t-shirt he went to sleep in, and the rain might only be an apathetic mist rather than actual drops but he's still soaked to the skin when he wakes up, and really, this is exactly why he tries so hard not to let Dean suck him into these things because it's stupid and childish and Dean always crosses the line.
The alleyway is dark and there's a dumpster nearby that reeks like it hasn't been emptied in months and Sam guesses that Dean chose it because there's a payphone across the street and, no matter how Sam feels at the moment, Dean's not such a complete asshole that he'd leave him in the middle of no where without a way to contact him.
It's still not much of a comfort as Sam trudges across the road, socks squelching in puddles, letting the anger build as he alternates between trying to come up with the cruelest prank he can think of and considering the merits of telling Dean that this is it, he's done with these juvenile wars and he's never going to let Dean drag him into one ever again.
Really, all he did was load Dean's burger with hot sauce. A lot of hot sauce, but even so, he thought it was pretty mild seeing as it was in response to Dean putting bleach in his shampoo, resulting in hair that was almost white at the roots and a mottled combination of ginger and brown everywhere else, which, Sam clenches his teeth, he's still sporting two days later because he's broke and Dean refuses to lend him the money to dye it back, and while he's on this whole hating Dean trip he may as well mention that he is completely and utterly over seeing Dean's face break out in that smug little smirk every time his eyes flick up towards Sam's hair, which is pretty damn often because, Sam has to admit, the results of Dean's prank are pretty damn eye-catching. The whole damn town seems to be in agreement there.
Dean's cell rings for longer than Sam would like, while he shivers in the phone booth, eyes scanning warily around him. He can just picture his git of a brother sitting warm and dry in the Impala somewhere nearby, watching him with that same dumb smirk on his face as he lets the phone ring just to torment Sam further.
"'lo?" Dean's voice finally answers, rough with sleep, and Sam can feel himself getting ready to explode because the jerk fell asleep – he fell asleep – which means he hasn't even been keeping an eye out to make sure Sam was safe during this worst prank of all time.
"What the hell, Dean?" Sam spits out furiously, sweeping his dripping bangs off his forehead as his other hand clenches the phone so hard that it's in very real danger of snapping in two. "There is something seriously messed up in your head, you know that? You really think this is funny?"
"Sam?" Dean asks, doing a good impression of sleepy, confused innocence, which just makes Sam madder.
"I mean, how did you even pull it off, Dean? You spike my coffee with sleeping pills or something?" Because there's no way he would have slept through Dean's manhandling otherwise. "That's just so far over the line and you know it. Damn it, Dean, you better come get me right now or I swear to God-"
"Come get you?" There's a rustle of movement over the phone line and suddenly Dean sounds a lot more awake. "Sam, what the hell? It's 3am, where the hell are you?"
Something in Dean's voice makes Sam pause. There's genuine surprise and concern in there, buried under confusion, and Dean might be a good actor but Sam doesn't think he's that good.
"Sam?" Dean asks, a little more urgent now, and Sam's not so sure about anything anymore.
"You, uh..." Sam struggles to find words and a small thrill of fear sneaks up his back as he takes in his surroundings with fresh eyes. It seems darker than it did a moment ago when he still thought Dean was hiding in the shadows, ready to take him back to the motel and gloat over his cleverness, and the mist and silence seems eerie. "You're not pranking me?"
"Pranking you?" And that does it. No way would Dean go to all this effort and not take credit for it. "Sam, where are you?"
Sam's head is spinning. "I don't know," he manages. "I thought you knew."
"What? You go for an unscheduled midnight stroll and I'm supposed to know where you are? What the hell's going on, Sam?"
Sam swallows, eyes flicking around nervously. He suddenly feels tremendously exposed in the phone booth, without weapons, without even shoes, for Christs sake.
"I don't know," Sam says again, dropping his voice in case someone – or something – is listening, lurking somewhere out of sight. "Dean, can you come get me, please?"
There's a pause before Dean answers and Sam knows his apprehension has come through because Dean's voice slips into the calm and soothing 'big brother mode' when he replies, "I'm already in the car, Sammy, just tell me where to go."
It takes a few moments for Sam to locate a street sign and then he actually has to leave the phone booth so he can get close enough to read it in the dim light, which sucks because as exposed as he felt in the booth, with Dean's voice in his ear, it's nothing compared to how he feels out in the open with nothing but the sound of rain for company. Of course, Sam knows it's a false comfort; if something did decide to jump out and eat him the phone booth wouldn't be much help. What was he planning to do? Beat the thing over the head with the handset? Or hold the phone up so Dean could yell at it?
"Argentine Street." He can hear Dean rustling through maps for a moment.
"Shit, Sam, that's clear across town. How the hell did you get there?"
Sam shivers, wrapping an arm around himself as if that will somehow stop his clothes from being soaked through. "I dunno. I just... woke up."
"Okay, just hang tight, Sammy, I'll be there in fifteen."
Dean gets there in twelve, which Sam figures means he blasted every speed limit between here and the motel, which he would usually nag – Dean's word, not his – Dean about because, unwanted attention and all that, but he can't feel anything but grateful when the Impala pulls up right next to the phone booth he's now huddled on the floor of, trying to preserve body heat.
"Sam?" Dean's out of the car before Sam can even stand up, so he figures he's not the only one who's a bit freaked by this random incident of teleportation. "You okay?"
Sam takes the offered hand and hauls himself up. "Yeah. Just cold... and confused."
Dean runs his eyes over Sam critically, checking for injuries as if Sam might be hiding them for some reason. Satisfied that Sam's in one piece he turns back to the Impala, pushing Sam ahead of him.
"Come on, lets get you back to the motel."
The car's warm and Dean turns the heater up as soon as Sam climbs in, then he reaches back and pulls a blanket out of no where – no doubt one they've liberated from some nameless motel somewhere along the line – and tosses it to Sam before he pulls back out onto the road.
There's silence for a while as Sam wraps himself in the blanket and takes comfort in the warmth and the hum of the engine, Dean's solid presence beside him.
Finally Dean clears his throat. "So, what? You sleepwalk now?"
Sam watches the scenery pass. "Seems like a long way to sleepwalk," he says dully.
Dean's eyes are on the road, hands tight around the steering wheel. Sam frowns at the tension rolling off his brother. It's not quite the something-freaky-just-happened tension he was expecting, although there's that, too. Sam opens his mouth to ask but Dean beats him to it.
"You really thought I'd do this?" Dean blurts out, hurt buried under indignation. "Just dump you in an alleyway?"
Oh. "Well, it's not like you've never crossed the line before, Dean," Sam reminds him.
Dean's gaze flits upwards to Sam's hair. "Oh, come on, so I played a little hairdresser. I'm not stupid enough to..." Dean coughs awkwardly. "I wouldn't put you in danger, Sammy. Give me some credit here."
Sam pulls the blanket tighter around himself. It's definitely a lot harder to imagine his big brother pulling this kind of stunt now that he's in the car next to him, now that he can see the worried creases around Dean's mouth and the concerned furrow of his brow.
"So... what? Sleepwalking, teleportation, wormhole in the motel room?"
Dean doesn't even bother rolling his eyes but his lips set in a determined line. "Dunno, but we're gonna figure this out."