Rating: PG - Gen
Spoilers: General (for all aired episodes)
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Dean flops around in bed and listens to music.
Dean liked the loud steady racket of an electric fan.
There was something about the comforting rattle of white noise as it pushed and pulled the same hot air across the room that put him right to sleep. It didn’t mean that over the years he hadn’t learned the true beauty of too much air conditioning. Especially when the map dipped down south in the languid melting point of August. The car didn’t stop anywhere that didn’t promise artificial artic air up alongside some basic cable. But there were some nights that it was okay to leave the machine alone and slide the window wide open. If the mercury wasn’t high enough to settle you in a sweat you couldn’t shake, he was more than happy with one thin sheet and a breeze.
Rolling on to his side, the threadbare fabric twisted and clung across his legs as he pushed one folded arm up under his cheek. The sheet and mashed pillow both felt heavy like they had been taken out of the dryer just a few minutes too soon. Making its leisurely pass, the fan gusted and carried the thick humidity hanging through the weather. Dean watched the sparse fall of rain streak the rusty window screen with glittering gray. He had woken up about an hour ago but he felt just gone enough to not want to get out of bed. It had been still dark then anyway and he had no where to be but late for his own breakfast. Reaching out he tilted the digital clock, the warm plastic sticky under his touch. Comparing it to his watch he determined one of them was either 31 minutes too fast or too slow. His eyes narrowed. Sitting around nebulously between two completely different hours pissed him off a little.
A thud drew his attention across the room.
Over the course of the night his brother had kicked everything off the other bed in an effort to self regulate the temperature. There wasn’t even a pillow left. The sound that had broken the quiet swelter had been the twin of the clock Dean had in his hands. It had been slung against the wall when Sam had attempted to grab it without opening his eyes first. Dean wondered when the both of them had been so firmly entrenched with the need to be aware of the time. All night long, if he was awake enough to notice then his gaze went right to that set of glowing numbers in the dark before he slipped back under.
Sam’s subconscious endeavor had failed half way through its execution. With a limp hand still hanging over the fake wood paneled formica, Dean could hear the familiar shallow pattern that meant real sleep. Smacked out of place, the other cheap clock was flashing some numerals that meant the sun shouldn’t even have risen yet. Frowning, Dean considered getting up for his cell phone to solve the dilemma. Stretching and collapsing back into a deep sag in the springs, he looked over at the collection that came out of his pockets sitting on the opposite side of the room beside the blank television.
That shit was totally too far away.
His gaze fell back on the clock he was holding.
Clicking the switch that rigged the thing to whatever horrible brutal sound the alarm incorporated, he twisted the volume up just high enough to catch the low hiss of the radio. He had to hold it right over his head to hit a clear signal, the stern AM voices shifting to the tinny electric keyboard of elevator muzak. It was impossible to read the minuscule span of degrees that stretched the entire inch of bandwidth. But that didn’t matter much because he didn’t know exactly which station he was actually looking for. Well, he kind of knew. There was always at least one on the dial no matter where he parked for the night.
Looked like Sam had briefly surfaced again.
Dean waited for the forced laborious heave Sam performed when extracting himself off any mattress before it was really the true moment to make a move. As he half expected, the ensuing silence and serene snores indicated that Sam didn’t think it was so late that anything drastic should be done about it. He yawned with another glance at his watch that purported it was too early to even get coffee at the not quite 24 hour joint down the street. The radio squawked and stuttered on a preacher man reading from one of the books in the New Testament. Dean was slightly annoyed that he immediately recognized it. The ranting about a cosmic mission to redeem humanity was hard to forget. The Gospel of John.
With a lopsided smile he turned the knob again.
It was easier to pick the good ones up at night.
He remembered sitting around with his dad with nothing but a battery fed box sitting between them and the silence of a campsite. He’d listened to his father explain it all. Something about how during the day the AM worked on a groundwave, never getting more than a few hundred miles from the base of its transmitter. But after sunset, something changed. All those jumbled signals falling short and crashing into nowhere suddenly became sky bound. Those waves went wide and far when it got dark, only fading to buzzing electric whines again when the planet finished its rotation back to the sun. Dean held the clock up closer to the window and flipped it upside down. It didn’t mean you couldn’t get lucky sometimes. With a small grin he heard the faint cords of guitar break through the wash of static.
“It’s ok.” His brother assured no one in particular. “I’m up.”
Ignoring Sam’s lumber into the bathroom, he flinched at the tragic sound of something that had better not be his falling off the counter.
Sighing, Dean tweaked the dial carefully left and right until all of Brian Jones rifts came through as close to crystal as it was going to get. It was a tune from early on, way before the descent of the decade had rocketed the band into sex, drugs and rock-n-roll. There were a few polite years when the Rolling Stones wore suits like the Beatles and combed their hair. The commercial clean of it made him start staring out the window again.
He wondered if the car would be able to pick up on the same weak signal he’d found. It’d be nice to have something to pay attention to on the way out of town. There were always all his tapes but it was nice to mix it up every once in a while. Closing his eyes, he let Jagger lull him back to the dreams he had left off. As the chorus wound down he idly wondered what song would be next.
Feeling his damp hair tussled by the fan’s next rotation he settled back down into his wadded up covers. Sometimes it was nice knowing what was coming up on the horizon.
But for the time being, Dean would settle for decent reception.