ASHES TO ASHES
A/N: This is a little bit of fun for the Worldwide-Spn Sports Challenge over on Livejournal. The brief is: Bring an international flavour to Supernatural using a sporting theme; write a story revolving around a sport that is associated with the country of your choice, excluding the USA.
As I grew up in a Cricketing household; and Cricket is England's national summer game, I couldn't resist!
Cricket is an odd little game, which although surprisingly simple, confuses the hell out of a lot of people. It is responsible for some of the strangest phrases in British sport, with gems such as silly-mid-off, googly, wrong 'un, dibbly dobblies, cow corner, short legs and my personal favourite; bowling a chinaman.
So, this little tale will be predominately humour, plenty of brotherly humiliation, a little bit of whump, and a bit of case!fic, all set against the crack of leather against willow - the soundtrack of an English summertime.
Usual rules apply; rated T for the odd naughty word and no particular resemblance to canon.
Disclaimer: I don't own them and I am not at all bitter about that.
The brothers latest case leads them to entirely new experiences - with mixed results.
"I am so gonna kick Bobby's raddled old ass when we get back from here," sighed Dean.
Sam shrugged nonchalantly, "well, he's workin' that ghoul job in Chicago; he can't be in two places at once."
"We could have taken that job and sent him down here," countered Dean; "then we could have been celebratin' a job well done with a beer an' a deep pan pizza 'stead of standin' here lookin' like a pair of freakin' pussies."
Sam sighed; "well, we'll get this job done, then you can unpussyfy yourself, and then I can get some peace."
"Bite me," Dean grumbled sourly, and folded his arms across his chest.
The job had been intriguing, both Winchesters were prepared to testify to that..
A cricket league made up of ex-pats from all across the US, mainly out of England and Australia, meeting once a year in Florida to play a big tournament; and each year for the last three years, the tournament had been blighted by an unexplainable death.
The first guy had been found spread over the outfield, late after the match, torn up real bad by a rogue coyote apparently. That's what the cops had said. So the Winchesters knew for sure that was a crock of crap.
The following year, an unfortunate batsman slipped, halfway through the England innings, and impaled himself on his wicket, (which the Winchesters had discovered, through the wonders of Google, was the little wooden gate-stick-thing that the batsman stands in front of). Now, that had actually made page four of the Tallahassee Gazette.
But the best was yet to come; last year following a hard-fought competition, the after-match party had been a doozy, but when the English team's fast bowler was found dead in mysterious, and frankly quite disturbing circumstances, it had somewhat put a dampener on proceedings.
Sam had felt compelled to look into the matter further, and his findings more or less sealed the deal on it being something supernatural.
"That guy last year?" he announed; "he choked."
"On his own bat."
It was Bobby who had found the job first, his interest piqued because this years' tournament was imminent. Since when do rogue coyotes make a bee-line for ripping a man's heart out? And as for unexplainable impalement and bat-swallowing – who could resist?
And so a plan was hatched.
Under the guise of journalists looking to learn more about the mysterious game of cricket, and spread the good word across the USA, the Winchesters would infiltrate the teams and in the process, learn more about what was picking off these cricket dudes.
It was a well-thought-out and neat plan, but it was fair to say that it was also a plan that had majority, rather than unanimous support.
"But Sam, Cricket's got to be the most boring, pointless game in the history of boring pointlessness!"
"Actually, I've been doin' some reading up on it," Sam replied calmly; "it sounds quite interesting; it's a game of strategy and patience as well as endurance."
"Endurance? Standing around in a friggin' field scratchin' your ass all day?"
"Five days," corrected Sam; "the toughest challenge in Cricket is Test Match Cricket and that's played over five days; seven hours a day," he grinned; "they're out so long, the players even have a break for lunch each day."
Dean shook his head in dismay; only the English could invent a game that takes five days and has meal breaks.
"And it's named after a friggin' insect for chrissakes," he threw up his hands in despair; "you invent the stupidest game in the world, and then you name it after a bug! Who were these people? Why weren't they locked up for their own good?"
Dean's heartfelt objections were duly noted and considered.
Then they were ignored.
If Sam had hopes that the experience would improve once they got on the road and down to business, he was tragically mistaken.
"Dude, I'm tellin' you, I am not going out in public dressed like this!" Dean's face was a study in indignant petulance; "why the hell do we have to play the stupid friggin' game? I thought it was gonna be bad enough having to watch it." He stomped across tiny changing room that they currently stood in, a full three strides taking him the whole distance; "We only came here to check out batsman-kebab and bowler popsicle; how the hell have we got roped in to ..." Dean gestured down the length of his body; "THIS?"
"Because the teams invited us," Sam stated bluntly, as if Dean wasn't already aware of the fact; "they're being polite and trying to make us feel welcome."
Dean harrumphed grouchily; "they wanna make me feel welcome? They can give me a beer an' let me keep my goddamn jeans on!"
Sam's eyes scanned the pacing figure in front of him, and he had to admit, it was a very different look for Dean. His whole body longed to subside into helpless mocking hilarity, and the only thing stopping him was the fact that he was similarly attired, and was in no position to laugh and point at Dean's misfortune.
"What's the big deal?" Sam asked; "everyone's dressed like it."
Glaring at Sam from under the drooping brim of his cap which appeared to beat least two sizes too big, Dean paused; "what's the deal?" he snapped; "what's the deal? The deal is that I'm WEARING FRIGGIN' CABLE-KNIT!"
Dean bounced belligerently on the balls of his white cricket boots, a slightly demented glaze forming across his eyes. He was resplendent in a full set of cricket whites, so crisp and new and eye-wateringly white that the blush colouring his cheeks seemed to glow molten against them.
He fidgeted miserably, looking around him for a hole in the ground to crawl into, as he picked listlessly at the knitted sweater-vest, lip curled in abject disgust.
"You look fine," lied Sam.
"But … cable-knit Sam," Dean whined; "no-one wears cable-knit except fishermen and German U-boat captains."
"Well, apparently cricketers do too," Sam replied sharply; "think yourself lucky, at least they had pants that fitted you; mine look like they've fallen out with my boots."
A brief silence fell across the tiny dressing room, as Sam stared down at the loose white slacks which flapped breezily around his ankles, exposing a good two inches of blue sock.
"We should go out," Sam coaxed, breaking the silence; "c'mon, get your bat, they're waiting for us."
Knowing the battle was almost lost, Dean was painfully aware that he would have to pull out all the stops for a last-ditch reprieve. He looked up at Sam, employing his rarely-used, own-brand, weapons-grade puppydog eyes, the super deluxe version, complete with tiny lip-tremble; "but dude; ca …"
"If the words cable-knit pass your lips," Sam warned, completely unmoved by Dean's Oscar-worthy performance; "I'm going to snap a photo of you right here and now and text it to Bobby."
"I hate you."