Rating: PG - Gen
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Who needs an alarm clock when you got Sam around?
Dean always did things in phases.
It was a natural pattern that had been formed at some point between his entry into the life and however many more miles that still stretched ahead. Like the methodical way he laid out his weapons and sorted his laundry, he'd taken the slow but thoughtful approach into pretty much everything he did on a daily basis.
Like waking up.
He'd never been able to jokingly tell people about an alarm clock that he'd hit snooze on three times that morning. There had never been some familiar annoying slant of sunlight that always came through the same old shades. It helped to have a plan when your routine was in a state of perpetual free fall. You found your own constants. And if you couldn't find them, you created them.
He heard himself groan. The sensation of his limbs and the awareness of his tingling arm that had gone almost numb were reassuring signs of his own life.
But first he had to surface from the shallow pool of his lingering dreams. The vivid bright ones that boiled and tumbled in their languid way right as you started to come back to yourself. He never could quite seem to remember any of them. He'd always been in a half private wonder at the type that sat and retold epic accounts of their subconscious. Movie like plots and action sequences. Long lost grand parents and snatches of mediocre prophecy.
He figured he saw enough when he was awake so maybe his brain was just giving him a break. Frankly, that was more than fine with him.
The second phase usually encompassed whether or not he was either in a bed or riding shot gun. There had been occasion of the random park bench. The sunny strip of grass. A few times in jail. Being and what and who they were required a certain amount of opportunistic behavior. Get it when you could and all that.
He fought out of the stubborn haze of sleep and sat up blinking.
Sam was silently driving, settled back with the radio off and quiet. One hand was resting on the worn leather of the wheel and his gaze was steady on the stark broad stretch of the headlights on the gray surface of the road.
Dean yawned hard, stretching his body until it hurt.
Next was the third and sometimes the most difficult. It was figuring out exactly what town or state he'd shut his eyes in and just exactly where the hell he might be now. The highway sign that flashed by told him he'd been away for at least four hours and only one state line. He rubbed at his eyes and kneaded at his shoulder that had been cramped up against the passenger door.
The car was dark and filled with the comfortable rumble and roar of her parts. His head ached a little bit from the window he had been laying against. He was stiff and sore but that was all just another part of the sum of skills he'd had learned to absorb. He could sleep at any time and any position that was available. Easy lesson to learn when it was that or no rest at all.
Fourth was knowing what the weapon of choice was and exactly where he'd left it. His hands slid automatically to his sides and his jeans before he once again reconciled his location. The pistol was in the glove compartment. The knife under the seat. The trunk filled with everything else. That only left one more item to mark off his mental check list.
Dean fumbled for the cup he knew he had left in the holder. Ice cold and gas station grade thick, he didn't care just as long as it was exactly what it was. He flipped off the plastic cover and gratefully made to take a sip.
The car shifted into another gear, making them lurch ever so slightly forward. It wasn't much but it was enough to make him get a few drops of cold coffee onto the front of his shirt. Swearing a little under his breath, he waited and listened, timing his next attempt so he could actually drink some of it. Satisfied that it was safe for the moment, he lifted the cup once again.
The car suddenly jerked, the brake dropping them down out from their steady cruise of 90 and right into 80. All in about less than the time it took the odometer needle to prove it. Startled, he was tossed forward, sending the entire cup's contents sloshing up over his face and down his chest.
Dean looked over at the driver's seat with a sigh.
Sam smiled broadly back.
He had never needed to add his brother into the list of things he needed to find upon waking. Sam usually did a pretty good job of that all by himself.