Rating: PG - Gen
Spoilers: General (for all aired episodes)
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Sam gets a great idea therefore Dean must shoot it down.
It was just about impossible to keep reading let alone pretend the lawn mower wasn't tearing by about 5 inches from the table.
Sam pulled his knapsack out the path of the whirring blades the second time it roared past, a fine liquefied spray of green grass splattering up the leg of his jeans. The following haze of the gasoline fumes from the sputtering engine made him start coughing on his caffeine enhanced beverage. The thin strip of grass that sat between the outdoor tables of the coffee house and the street took two more passes before it had been shorn down to a precise leveled plain.
When the greasy engine finally rumbled to a stop, Sam thought maybe the coast was clear to try to get past the same sentence he’d been reading for the last ten minutes. But before he could even give it a shot, another even more obnoxious sound broke through the late afternoon. Shutting his eyes against the gust of street debris and lawn clippings, he waited a few moments before watching the industrial strength leaf blower continue down the curb.
The prospect came to him like most of his thoughts did. Abruptly and with a deep conviction that it was close to genius.
“We could do that.”
A quick and ready agreement from his brother always meant Dean was doing his best not to expend any energy by paying attention. Glancing down at his watch Sam couldn’t really blame him for tuning out. Sleep hadn’t been very easy to find this week and for once they had next to nothing to do. It was a really nice day too. The sky was clear blue without even a wisp of cloud to block the sun shining down over the jagged line of the Rocky Mountains. It was nearing off season but the well dressed tourists still flocked here to ski the hills nearby. The vacationers were easy to spot in the cafes as they austerely compared the second-rate slopes to the superior powder in Switzerland. Although, Sam was forced to wonder how many of them actually strapped on some skis to go with the trendy fur trimmed coats. Sitting with a latte next to the charmingly overpriced boutiques was considerably safer than any steep snow trail marked by a black diamond anyway. The rows of open bars probably didn’t hurt much either.
Somehow ignoring the commotion of the landscapers, his brother was slumped back in the opposite elaborate black metal chair. Sun or no, Sam didn’t think it was warm enough to be sitting around in a T-shirt. But Dean had his head comfortably back and bare arms limply spread for maximum exposure to the meager rays. Sam’s attention went back on the man of dubious nationality who was directing the machine on the neat squared hedges.
“We could.” He repeated. “All you have to do is be on time.”
Dean cracked an eye open when it was obvious that to respond and make sense, he’d have to actively participate. Unsure of what Sam was referring to, he looked at the sparsely occupied tables first and then back over his shoulder at the empty sidewalk. Finally following Sam’s pointed attention on the crew of busy men, his brother thoughtfully observed them push one of their gigantic stand up mowers into the back of an enormous four door pick up.
“That’s a fantastic idea.”
Dean resettled into his sprawl and closed his eyes again.
“We could work for someone else.” Sam explained. “You know, get day hires like some of these guys do—“
“Sure, we could just tuck all that equipment right into the back seat.”
His brother could never simply say no. Or nah. Or forget it. It was a time honored tradition to not only disagree but carefully relay how retarded it was to have ever had the thought in the first place. Sam was sure it was considered a bonus if Dean could make himself laugh while he was at it. Loudly flipping his book, Sam was annoyed when his own aggravation made him crease and tear one of the pages.
Dean roused himself enough to sit up a little when the waiter arrived.
His brother usually maintained an amazing obliviousness to the sexual orientation of others but the never ending flow of free biscotti had been hard to ignore. Watching the effect the friendly smile had on the guy with the tray made Sam sigh a little. But he honestly couldn’t recall one single situation in which his sibling had been able to resist an opportunity to satisfy a basic but sublime enjoyment of attention. Sam thought the painfully well put together young man could do a lot better than the unshowered and ill shaven display that was his brother. However, he’d managed to stop feeling guilty about it after the third complimentary refill was sent to the table. Besides, after he recognized Dean’s tactic was identical to what was employed relentlessly on the opposite sex, it started to feel like any other diner at any other time.
“I know.” His brother groped for his imported beer bottle and tipped it back. “How about this?”
Sam shoved another Amaretto biscuit into his mouth and waited for it.
“We could pick up a couple of guitars and head for a subway station?”
“It’s unreported cash, Dean.”
“So is a jackpot.”
The general philosophy on gainful employment had always been fairly straightforward. His family wasn’t exactly in favor of the easy way out when it came to life and its endeavors but they had an unwavering belief in the art of the con. There was a pride in the ability to sustain oneself without adhering to all the convention that had been long since chucked aside.
Sam’s lack of participation in the other half of their income that didn’t involve credit had always vaguely made him feel like a slacker. When swindling people out of most of their cashed pay checks became legitimate wages wasn’t very clear, but Sam supposed all sorts of families had their own trades. Skills passed down from parent to child, tools kept and maintained generation after generation. Sam envisioned a black and white sepia toned photograph of an old western storefront with the name ‘Winchester & Sons’ above it on a wooden plaque. Shooting Folks and Faking It Since 1983!
“Why do you wanna work so badly anyhow?” Dean grumbled. “We work all the time. Why should we have to work for work?”
Biting into baked crisp chocolate, Sam decided it maybe wasn’t his family’s fault if they inspired others to bend their own rules. Especially when a few sandwiches were inexplicably on the way and courtesy of the house. The plate of cookies weren’t quite filling the gap from an early breakfast and who the hell was he to argue with results? Sam figured he might as well drop the news he had been keeping to himself. Clearing his throat, he lowered his voice appropriately.
“There’s a poker game tonight at the Hilton.”
That snapped Dean’s attention up from working on his sunburn. There wasn’t any need to ask how Sam knew. That was one of the nice things about the clutter and annoying causal use of cell phones. Why drop a precious twenty on a doorman when the details that were once considered the most private could be overheard across the room?
“About five hands going.” Sam said. “And all of them have suites on the top floor.”
His brother grinned as fancy ceramic plates arrived to the table. The food didn’t look any better or worse than what Sam was used to be served in the country’s finest truck stops. The comforting average quality helped ease the lingering pang of shame over the waiter’s hopeful generosity. It also helped to remember that Dean had done far worse for pie.
“Hey?” Dean asked the evenly tanned blond. “Do you know where I can get a suit around here?”
“Acquaviva, Hugo Boss, Leonardo Valenti or Prada?”
Dean shoved the fifteen dollar equivalent of a ham on white into his mouth and shrugged.
“Uh, that last one sounds good?”
Sam listened to the easy directions towards the shop that sat nearby on the small mountain town’s manicured roads. He didn’t bother to inform his brother that places like that had more security than some of the sturdier institutions they typically broke into. But people were just another kind of lock to pick when he really stopped to think about it. When you got a particularly tricky one to give, it always felt pretty close to great. Truth be told, he was a little curious to see if they could walk out of one of these shiny stores with a few thousands dollars worth of label in their hands.
He murmured a thank you when his water was topped off and Dean’s beer was replaced.
After all, if nothing else, they had a reputation to uphold.