Rating: PG - Gen
Spoilers: General (for all aired episodes)
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Sam misplaces his brother at a crowded biker rally.
The sun was out but it wasn’t hot.
It was close enough to autumn that a jacket still felt like a good idea. The air was rank with mud, fuel exhaust and coconut suntan lotion. Some good old boys were working hard at playing classic rock on a makeshift stage right by the edge of the woods. A scattering of cult famous skin inkers and chrome artists had set up in tents in the muck. Others merchants sold everything from engine parts to ammo to drugs and back again. Surrounding them all on every side and packed wheel to wheel was every rumbling American made transmission from a 100 square miles. But besides the lucrative flow of flea market commerce there was another reason the faithful came here in droves. Discounted leathers and rare spares aside, the real purpose to find this old farm land was for the hardcore party thrumming right underneath it all.
Sam pretended not to watch the naked girl seated on a 69’ Harley Davidson pose in any position requested for any camera that clicked.
He’d been to more than a few of these things growing up. The massive gatherings were held all over the country all year round. He wasn’t actually sure who pulled together the barely organized swap meets for the dedicated motor heads and roaming bikers. The events were never advertised on a TV commercial or a flyer tacked on a laundromat wall. You just kind of heard about one and showed up. The handy made some attempt at camping for the duration. The average didn’t sleep at all. The rest just passed out wherever they found a comfortable spot.
He had lost Dean within 30 seconds after parking the car.
Sam had never quite figured out how overweight unshaven guys with all the appeal of an intoxicated Santa Clause always had some of the most blatantly beautiful women he had ever seen. His time in California tempered all his natural inclinations to go a little wide eyed at the sight of tight shorts and no top or tan lines to speak of. A few years of late night coffee houses with women working on their second or third PhD had beaten that latent shameful desire for air headed trashiness right out of his head. At least he thought it had. Taking a walk around this joint forced him to realize that no matter how evolved he thought he had gone and made himself, his hormones tenderly remained true to his simple teenaged roots.
It annoyed him that all the cheap bangle jewelry and candy glossed smiles still invoked an adolescent yearning for one of them to look in his direction and notice back. But oddly enough, after a short while, the sight of so much naked flesh that appeared whenever someone drove by and honked got incidental fairly quickly.
A girl on Sam’s immediate left peeled up her neon green tank top when a guy on an old hog with custom monkey bars forwent the honking and just loudly suggested that she show her tits. She waved when she did so, grinning affably up at Sam when she noticed his gaze locked on her Dixieland tattoo. Sam scrubbed a hand over his face and tried to make believe he just got caught reading over someone’s shoulder on a bus. It figured when he did get that smile he wanted he instantaneously realized that he didn’t want much else that went with it. Feeling a little better about his disobedient masculinity, he backed up in the crowd away from the wet dirt road that lead into the improvised parking lot and the green damp field beyond.
Dean had a habit of accidentally misplacing himself when distracted by things that were capable of catching his elusive attention. Knowing his brother’s interests were for the most part extremely uncomplicated, the everyday real wide world didn’t usually offer much to cater to them. It was what made this particular environment bizarrely unique. The landscape unto itself was extraordinary just for the fact that it seemed to deeply involve everything and anything Dean had ever the merest glimmer of passion for. That list wasn’t miles long. Domestic engines, illegal weaponry, drums of alcohol and—
Two gleaming hardtail choppers demonstrated their deafening mufflers to a group of girls standing at the ready up on the bed of a pick up. Shirts and bras long since cast aside, they had skipped the flashing part all together and just settled for happily jumping up and down whenever someone new arrived. They were collectively holding up a hand painted sign that read: Loud Pipes Save Lives!
Dean had to be loud to be heard over the rumble of motorcycles and the steady beat of countless working pistons. Coming through the crowd, his eyes were bright with a happy distraction that Sam realized he only saw when they were in the middle of a job. At least a job that was going well. He watched Dean’s pleased gaze scan the masses while he drank from a huge plastic cup of what appeared to be icy refreshing beer.
“Where’s mine?” Sam asked.
Sam speculated what exactly he’d have to go through to find a bottle of water around here. However, his brother’s awe struck voice interrupted his concerns of dehydration.
“Jesus, check that out.”
Sam wouldn’t have known which direction to even start looking to see what his brother could have possibly picked out from the teeming toplessness all around them. He had been trying to keep his attention almost completely skyward and only making cursory journeys down through the crowd so he could avoid knocking anyone over. But for some reason, his eyes went directly to the woman that his brother had singled out from the herds. Of all the retro fashion of the disjointed decades on display, this chick actually stuck out even more than the rest.
The white fringed cowboy boots and hot pink snakeskin bikini helped in the task. The curled perfect waves of her bottle blond hair were reminiscent of that famous Farah Fawcett poster and her neatly clumped eyelashes were painted electric blue. In a way it was kind of refreshing that his brother was so far removed from main stream media that he didn’t have a good solid idea of what was currently deemed attractive. But AquaNet hairspray abuse and fondness for plastic accessories aside, Sam realized his own mouth was hanging open when she leaned down a second time to get bottles out of the promo cooler she was manning.
He knew it was all bad news as soon as her dimpled smile shone like a floodlight directly into their vicinity. Not necessarily because she owned possibly the most incredible body he had ever witnessed outside the airbrushed pages of pornographic magazines, but because of the gigantic and terrifying individual who was standing directly behind her. But even more alarmingly, the exceedingly enormous and broad shouldered gentleman had somehow completely failed to register on his brother’s honed radar.
“Oh, yeah.” Dean chucked his cup down onto the ground and nodded determinedly. “I’m talkin’ to that.”
Sam automatically caught his brother by the back of the jeans and yanked him backwards. Dean swung around at him in irritation, his inherent loathing at being manhandled in no way tempered by his abnormally high spirits. Sam thought fast.
“Look.” He quickly pointed. “A-Aren’t those turbo chargers for a 78’ Chrysler?”
His brother immediately pivoted in the direction Sam was gesturing. He stared a moment before his shoulders hitched in a laugh of disbelief.
“Not with that kinda impeller.” Dean started towards the table littered with greasy parts like he had been subtly magnetized. “Gotta be an 80’...”
Sam breathed a sigh of relief as one of his brother’s great loves momentarily superseded the other. He was about to follow when his gaze went back inadvertently to the amazing product of nature in the lame cowboy boots. He finally was able to take his eyes off the flat tanned span of stomach and vocabulary reducing cleavage long enough to notice what she was selling for a buck a piece.
“Huh?” Dean was flipping one of the vintage turbines over in his hands in unconcealed wonder. “What?”
Sam regretfully watched the passing crowd thicken and obscure the girl. More importantly, hiding away the view of cooler after cooler filled with even more alluring bottles of ice water.
About another 30 seconds had passed before Sam looked up and found his brother was gone again.
Being a size that was easily spotted in a crowd didn’t work both ways unfortunately. Especially when a crowd was as disproportionably filled with large guys like this one happened to be. When the sun started to go down he fought the urge to use his phone. He had seen quite a few other people do it but he didn’t want to stick out anymore than he felt like he already did. It was all so lamely stupid. At a University campus party people always looked at him funny if he stood still for too long with his favorite cheap shirt on. Out here among the armed lunatics, people were still looking at him funny if he stood still for too long wearing the same damn shirt. The day Sam found some magical happy land where he felt like one of the guys he’d throw a fucking parade. If one more grizzled highway nomad gave him the up and down he was going to go find the car and get some shut eye until Dean finally got bored.
An abrupt violent crash rang out over the chaos and almost made Sam hit the dirt.
Everyone around him turned towards the source of the noise in vague curiosity. Suddenly a loud roar of cheering rose up over the incessant engine noise when a guy drunkenly stumbled from a steaming car he’d crunched right into an old tree. He was studying the V his crumpled hood made around the impact while others were patting him on the back and handing him more to drink. The band burst back into song again, the electric guitars going right into a slurred but heartfelt rendition of Free Bird.
Sam clenched his jaw.
Dean was never going to get bored here. In fact, his brother might not ever want to leave.
Sam had done his best to kill time looking at atypical carburetors, reading questionable white supremacy literature and not getting any tattoos. He’d even appropriated a nice little pearl handled .32 caliber to replace the one he’d lost in a sewer. But it was time to start actively tracking his brother down and call this one a night. Rubbing his forehead, he realized he was getting a nice pound behind his eyes from not drinking anything but beer all day long. If he was feeling it, he wondered anxiously just what excessive condition his brother was probably in by now. His tension eased when he knew that a completely inebriated Dean could be much more easily tossed into the car than a coherent and coordinated one.
Unwilling to accept one more nauseating cup of Milwaukee's Beast, he knew before he started the search that he really needed some fluid without any alcohol content involved. Sam’s thoughts turned hopefully to the inanely hot water bottle girl. Wandering through the rows of vendors, he retraced his steps back to where he had seen her. Seeing most of the booths empty, he wondered if she would still even be around. Most of the event’s attendee’s had started congregating by the small concert that was still rambling on down the hill, leaving the dealers to pack up their wares and head home. To Sam’s relief, the only water source in existence was right where he left it.
But the inanely hot water bottle girl wasn’t there.
The sight of the huge guy standing there alone suddenly made Sam’s stomach sink like a lead weight. There was just something about a man’s stance that Sam had learned to read. He could tell when they were relaxed. He could tell when they were worried. He could also tell when they were really pissed off.
“Price has gone up.” The guy kicked the cooler that advertised for $1. “Inflation.”
Sam held up a five dollar bill and considered how the sales had probably drastically decreased without the other more appealing representative present.
“Where’d uh, where did—“
“My sister had to go home.” The man said curtly.
Sam briefly squeezed his eyes shut. Sister. Probably a little one. Possibly even somehow considered virginal. This was even worse than he could have imagined.
“Y-Your sister?” He attempted hopefully. “She not feeling good?”
“Caught her in some jackass’s car.” The man shook his shaved head in genuine disappointment. “You think you raise ‘em right and then, well, you know.”
Sam actually had no idea about the trials and tribulations regarding rearing someone that liked to wear snakeskin undergarments in broad daylight. But he safely assumed it would be pretty worrisome. Taking the purchased bottle he tried to keep his tone as casual as possible.
“Did the jackass happen to have an Impala?”
“How’d you know?”
Sam wondered how to phrase his next question without alluding to any concern. All he wanted to know was where this guy had left a comatose body with a black eye and a greatly hindered short term memory. If Sam was really lucky, Dean might even still have possession of his pants. He decided to scrap the direct inquiry route and go for the sympathetic routine.
“That’s really tough.” He cracked the plastic open and took a grateful gulp. “I would have kicked his ass.”
“Nah.” The big guy smiled a little. “I’m what you’d call a pacifist.”
Sam blinked up at the largely muscled man in unconcealed surprise.
“So- So what’d you do?”
“I just locked him in his trunk.”
Finding more cash in his wallet, Sam bought another bottle and thanked the guy for his services.
Sam started to head down towards the people and lights, his hand going into a jacket pocket and settling around the feel of the car keys. Dean had claimed on more than one occasion that the trunk was even more roomy than the substantial backseat. Considering the state the springs were in under all that old upholstery, the trunk was probably a hell of a lot more cozy place to be anyway. He flipped the car keys into his palm and grinned at the thought of actually leaving his brother to that indignant fate for a short while.
The cheerful rock music straining through old amplifiers was floating nicely through the cooling night air. Glancing down at his watch, he knew there was nowhere to be before midnight. There was no rush to get to a bed he’d probably lay wide awake in anyway. The laughter and voices of the mellowing party were at ease and carefree. He considered melding down into the contented stragglers and catching a few more tunes by the strangely skilled cover band. Maybe go see what was cooking down by those smoking grills and crackling open fires.
Sam could think of worse ways to spend an evening.
At least for a few hours.