Rating: PG - Gen
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: The boys pull over on a lonely road when they see a strange roadside accident...
Water should either be rain or snow.
It was this in between stuff that was a real fucking drag. It was even more of a joy trying to drive through it in the middle of the night, each mile that passed making him ease up on the gas. The only thing worse than driving through the shit was plowing through it slowly. It would be fine with him if the weather finally decided if it wanted to kill him or just refresh him or--
What made it even more pleasant was that the car seemed to only want to recycle cold air through its vents. He'd tried shutting them all but they still leaked the cold from outside into the air all around him. Mostly down by his feet. He stomped his boots for a moment before easing back onto the pedals.
"You know what I'm gonna do when we reach Anderson?" Dean asked.
"I'm going to take a shower so hot that it kills me."
"Dean, pull over..."
"Do you know how hot water has to be to kill a guy?" Dean asked. "Well, me neither but I'm gonna find out--"
"I said pull over!"
Before Sam could finish that short and direct sentence, he had swung open the passenger door even though they were going at a conservative fifty miles per hour.
"Jesus--" Dean reflexively slammed on the brake while simultaneously grabbing the arm of his brother's jacket.
But Sam wasn't falling out the door. And that was only because he happened to have his seat belt on.
Dean gritted his teeth as the Impala went into a sickening spin as she decelerated too quickly. Thanking the patron saint of highways for the odd hour and lack of traffic, they came to a hard sharp halt in the middle of the asphalt and pointing the opposite direction they had been traveling. Wide eyed, Dean was still gripping the steering wheel and Sam's arm so hard it hurt. Swallowing back the pounding heart that seemed to have risen up into the back of his throat, he released both. The sight of his brother pulling off his seat belt as quickly as possible made him get his shit back together fairly quickly.
"What the hell is wrong with you--"
Sam had flung his door the rest of the way open and was suddenly gone out into the sleet. Dean struggled with the rear view to check for any on coming semi trucks before he flipped on the high beams to catch his brother disappearing right off the edge of their reach onto the roadside. Confused, he sat for several moments before heard his name being called faintly and urgently from the dark. Resisting the urge to just get out and follow, he lurched the car into gear and pointed the headlights towards Sam had gone. Whatever it was, it was important enough to almost make them wreck.
Ironically, what Dean found in the stark intensity of the head lights, was just that.
A new one too. Steam was rising out from under the crumpled hood and all the windows were busted. The back windshield hung tenuously like a shattered curtain. The entire thing looked like an empty beer can someone had put between two hands and squeezed. The twisted blue car glittered with beads of rain, pools of it gathering and running down its sides.
Sam was by the driver's side waving to Dean to hurry.
Sliding out of the car, Dean winced when an icy raindrop hit the back of his neck and got down under his collar. He did a brief mental inventory on just what exactly they owned that would be of any help. He thumbed 911 on his cell and watched the signal drop all five times he tried it while he opened the trunk. He picked up the crowbar and hefted it while he sought and quickly found the small duffel that held all their medical supplies. The air was rank with gasoline, burned rubber and melting plastic.
As he walked quickly to the crashed car he gave his brother a look.
"Later." Sam said as he grabbed the crowbar. He plunged the business end of it down hard in between the driver's side door and the metal frame.
Dean clicked on his flash light and leaned down to look inside.
"I- I almost got it." Sam groaned, jumping up to strain his entire weight down on the bar. The metal creaked and whined under his strength. "Al-almost!"
The bar suddenly slipped and Sam swore when it recoiled and struck his leg. Dean also cursed when he saw the steam turn into a boil of smoke, the flames starting under the hood were a dull angry orange in the dark. He watched Sam look at the passenger side which was jammed up and crushed against a large wounded tree.
"Sam, come on, it's gonna go--"
Dean tried to pull him away but Sam shrugged him off and headed for the back of the car. With one strong downward strike of the crowbar, the windshield's broken lattice collapsed, falling loudly on the trunk and falling down in glittering pieces into the wet slushy grass. Sam was tugging down his jacket sleeves to cover his hands so they wouldn't get slashed by the glass.
Dean realized he was just standing there staring.
"Wait! What are you doi--!"
"I can get her Dean, she's alive!" Sam was already up on the trunk, ready to crawl in. "Just help me pull her out--"
Everything went white hot.
The small explosion sent them both backwards in a wave of roiling heat. The hard contact with the blacktop knocked the air clear from Dean's lungs. Rolling painfully onto his side, he struggled to breathe while wondering just how big this fire was going to get now that it had hit the gas tank. Looking down at the puddle he lay in, the flames were reflected with spilled oil made into nebulous rainbows in the glint of the Impala's lights. He waited for the next roar of heat to come but nothing happened.
He didn't feel anything. Except bone racking cold.
With the rain stinging and blurring his eyes, he searched the roadside and beyond, the head lights penetrating the forest for what looked like forever. He couldn't see anything but the flecks of rains as they fell through the harsh glare of the high beams. Chest still hitching, the air began to slowly flow back unhindered as he managed to get to his knees then stumble to a stand. Dean saw that Sam was already up. He was standing just beyond the edge of the lights reach and staring into the woods.
Squinting, Dean saw what his brother was looking at.
More than a dozen yards in was an old junker. It must have been sitting out here for at least a decade, its twisted frame overgrown with ivy and its rims half sunk right down into the ground. The entire thing was blackened.
The scent of it lingered like the frigid mist over the trees. There wasn't a sound in any direction but the hiss of rain in the leaves.
"I- I tried to tell you." Dean said with one hand clasped ruefully up against his chest. "There was no one in there."
"I heard..." Sam stammered in confusion. "I heard screaming."
Dean felt his eyebrows twitch upwards as he shook his head to himself.
"Guess you just uh... tuned in..." he hypothesized.
Great. Now Sam's stuff was showing up for him too. Sam was broadcasting like a goddamn ham radio. A ham radio of doom. It would have been almost funny if it hadn't been so completely not.
"I'm sorry." Sam muttered.
Dean shifted in place unsure of what to say.
"Next time, just ask me to stop the car would ya?"
Nursing the arm he had fell on, he watched Sam carefully. Soaking wet and silent, his brother walked stiffly back to their car and got in. Dean let his gaze fall back on the rusted old wreck that sat forgotten on the edge of a deserted two laner. If he bothered to fight his way through the mud and under growth, and if he managed to get up next to it, he knew what he would find in the driver's seat. Someone's bones that the fire never got hot enough to do away with completely.
He sighed when he looked at the tangle and rot of weeds, tree and whatnot that was between him and over there. It was going to make this wonderful evening even better than it already was.
Dean felt something of a grin come on when he examined the slightly bent crowbar before putting it through one of the belt loops of his jeans. Heading back towards the trunk for a few other things he'd be needing, he reasoned that the both of them hadn't seen near enough fire for one day.
But he figured he'd let Sammy sit this one out.