(July 4th – 2008)

Sam stood alone at the edge of the field. It was smaller than he remembered it. Anyone would peg it for just another dark patch of weeds. Only two people in the world would know the true magic that had gone on here twelve years ago. Well, only one person now.

Dean was dead. He'd been dead for two months now.

. . . "Come on, let's go!" . . .

His legs began moving of their own accord, following the voice that echoed in the back of his mind. Exiting the belt of trees that surrounded the field, he pulled a box of sparklers out of one coat pocket.

. . . "Got your lighter?" . . .

Sam pulled a lighter out of his pocket and looked down at it. It was stupid, the whole idea, and Dean would have called him a pansy if he ever found out Sam even remembered this place.

Sam doubted if Dean could have recalled that night in 1996 when he had stolen the Impala after their dad had passed out in the kitchen, a half-empty can of beer still clutched in one fist . . .

. . . "Where are we going?" Sam demanded, sitting in the passenger's seat. "Dad's gonna be pissed!"

"Dad's always pissed," Dean shrugged. "Anyway, it's no big deal."

"You just stole his car. That's a big deal."

"It's for a good cause." Dean would say no more on the subject.

They pulled up to a gas station. Dean parked rakishly across several spaces and then hopped out. "Well, come on, bitch. You just gonna sit there?"

Sam grumbled but got out of the car and followed his brother into the dimly lit convenience store. There was a plastic crate sitting at the end of the first aisle, filled to the brim with cheap fireworks. Sparklers, firecrackers, even some of the big round ones that looked like kegs of dynamite. Sam tried to stop himself from salivating.

"Well, pick out a few." Dean said brusquely.

"What?"

"It's the Fourth of July. And that means fireworks."

Sam beamed at him for a second before diving headfirst into the box and choosing several.

"You know what?" Dean said after staring at the few low-priced sparklers Sam had wisely chosen. "We'll take the whole crate."

Sam's eyes bugged out of his head. "That's gonna cost a fortune!"

"Good thing I save my money," Dean winked and paid the cashier, then walked over and hoisted the crate up. "Get the door will you, Sammy?"

"Can we light them all up at once?" Sam asked as they stowed their treasure in the trunk.

Dean laughed. "Sure, you little pyromaniac." . . .

Sam breathed in shakily and knelt in the damp grass. Wordlessly, he opened the box of sparklers and pulled one out, lighting the end and watching it listlessly as it sparkled to life, hissing and spitting silver fire.

He would have stayed longer, but he had a date to keep. Ruby would be waiting for him – he could feel the need for her blood beginning to tickle the back of his brain, like a growing itch that desperately needed to be scratched. He had to go.

"Thanks, Dean," he muttered softly, planting one final sparkler into the soft damp ground. "It was great."

After lighting it, he walked back to the Impala quickly, leaving behind a single bloom of light burning in the middle of the field. Sam didn't look back. He didn't want to see it go out.