Rating: PG - Gen
Spoilers: General (for all aired episodes)
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: They lose cell phones, eat not!icecream and talk about the weather.
Losing a phone, Dean found, was much like waking up and finding someone had removed one of his hands.
The frail illusion of his own almighty autonomy went right out the window with a speed that startled even himself. After a meager 24 hours had gone by and he couldn’t immediately locate his brother by hitting a button, he started cultivating an anxiety that he didn’t know a few imported lithium-Polymer batteries could prevent. Sam had found the pathetically restrained dismay all fun and games until the very next day his own phone mysteriously suffered the same fate. Dean considered his brother wasn’t stupid enough to believe the coincidence was anywhere near an actual one, but fair was fair. Chucking Sam’s cherished piece of technology over a freeway pass during rush hour felt almost as good as anything Dean could quite remember. Besides, in the interest of staying slippery, the need to switch out their telecommunications was embarrassingly long overdue anyway.
Luckily for them, the acquisition of brand new devices was a simple and anonymous exchange within the world wide intraweb. But even with the relatively short wait of 3 to 5 business days, it was quietly driving both of them fucking nuts. They didn’t mention one moment of their mutual anguish out loud about the maddening inability to make contact with the outside world. Even if 99.9% of that contact was with someone usually standing, sleeping or driving less than three feet away. But from time to time they actually did require to speak to someone other than each other. With the steady decline of the common disease ridden phone booth, it made the task much more difficult than it ever needed to be.
What little there was to the downtown was typically quiet for a midweek afternoon.
It had taken about thirty minutes and four blocks to find anything open before the evening dinner crowds started looking for a place to finish the night. A shrill noise immediately caught both of their attention. They automatically went for their jackets before they realized a passerby’s cell had went off. Dean thought he did a much better job at pretending that he was actually going for his watch, but Sam made sure to give him one of those looks anyway.
A gust of wind made Dean take a look up at the clear sky. That was another thing his phone had been giving him along with time, news, dates and reminders. He relied on it to inform him of the weather even if he was standing right in the rain. With a forlorn sigh, Dean forced his attention back on the mission at hand. It figured when everything else in sight was locked up tight, a place like this would have the lights on. There would probably be riots in the streets if high fructose sugar wasn’t available at any hour of the day.
“So what is this?” He studied the shop window dubiously. “Ice cream?”
The candy colored decorative storefront had a huge faux antique ‘We’re Wide Open!’ sign and some jaunty accordion music being piped in over its allotment of sidewalk. Someone had tried way too hard to make the joint look like it had been plucked right off the New York streets during the most charming moments of the Depression.
“What part of ‘ice’ and ‘cream’ aren’t I getting?”
“It’s not ice cream.” Sam yawned. “It’s just… not.”
Dean eyed the elaborate door before he pulled it open.
“Just ask ‘em if we can use their phone.”
Sam had already slumped into a seat in one of the fancy wrought iron chairs. The metal twisted artfully to resemble winding ivy looked as substantial as dollhouse furniture and about as comfortable. Dean felt a strong willingness to heave the argument a little further along but he bit it back. His brother had already folded his arms down on the lovely chipped mosaic of the round table and had shut his eyes. So much for the long discussions about making an effort to look less homeless than usual.
There was only one person behind the glass case of barrels of, as far as Dean could discern, all sorts of various smears of ice cream. He wasn’t even remotely hungry before he walked in but that sweet vanilla scent and slight chill from the freezers always put him in the mood.
“So?” He began conversationally with the young woman in the lavender apron and perfect blond ponytail. “I hear this isn’t ice cream.”
“Gelati is milk and sugar.” She informed him with a helpful smile. “Combined with other flavorings.”
He gnawed at the inside of his lip, the urgency to ask what he was sure had to be the most unintelligent question ever hanging right on the tip of his tongue. He decided on trying another method to figure out what the junk in the tubs was without any further loss of his dignity.
“Chocolate, vanilla and strawberry?”
“Cioccolato, vaniglia and fragola!”
His fists clenched as he examined the stacked waffle cones and cheerful cup of pastel plastic spoons. It wasn’t rocket science to know that by purchasing a scoop of whatever this extravagant bullshit was, he’d be closer to his current short term goal. By laying down some cash, he would be way more likely be allowed to use the precious employee telephone that had to be sitting somewhere behind the counter. With another smile, he pointed at something brown and the closest thing to recognizable.
It turned out the smallest cheapest version of it emptied his wallet.
“Hey, is there maybe a phone around—“
“The phone is for employee use only.”
“Yeah, but ya see my car is broke down and—“
She sincerely looked pained when she had to shake her head again. He took the delicate container of iced milky mystery and shrugged in a show of good natured acceptance. Tentatively sniffing at the stuff, he slid it across the table into Sam’s arm. His brother jerked and blinked awake at the cup before gamely pulling the spoon free.
Dean took a seat and wondered if he should have asked if they had any coffee. The loss of a potential phone line was a drag but no big deal. There were better and even more accessible options out there in the world. In all actuality, the management responsible for store policy made a pretty good call. Because if that phone had been slid in his direction, Dean had been planning on dropping a $35-a-minute number right down to a guy he knew in Mexico. Besides asking about the wife and kids, he was going to take his sweet time negotiating some of those nice and light 5.56 mm rounds that Dean liked so much.
Pulling out the unread newspaper in his jacket, he gave the headlines a cursory glance before flipping right to a section that usually didn’t get that much attention. For all the media they had to absorb on a daily basis, the state of the skies outside the fifty states was usually the least of their collective worries. The international weather section laid out flat in large primary colored sections of wind speed, temperature drops and pressure gradients. The edges of the paper crumpled in his grip. Sam looked up while licking the spoon clean of whatever it was exactly that he was eating.
“What’s the problem?”
Sam tugged the paper out from under his brother’s hands and took a look for himself. Dean let him do it, giving the melting glop in the cup a more considerate look now that it was sitting there completely paid for and all.
“Would you like two spoons?” The girl ventured from behind the counter.
For an accommodating member of the service industry, she was really the most completely unhelpful person Dean had encountered in a real long time. Faced with the happy inquiry, he couldn’t figure out in his head what looked worse. Already shoving his brother’s used utensil into his own mouth without thinking or having a cute matching pair of pink spoons for the same 1x1 inch scoop of not ice cream. Rubbing at his forehead he just tossed the spoon back in Sam’s direction.
“A tropical storm is still good.” Sam assured him with another yawn. “I bet it could take out a couple of power lines. Maybe some major basement flooding.”
“Hey, it even says here that it* has sustained winds of up to and including 60 Mph.”
“60.” Dean sat back in his chair with a sigh of disgust. “I can whack faster than—”
“And, further strengthening is forecast for the next 24 Hours.” Sam shook out the paper and tapped the article. “Plenty of time to turn into a hurricane, dude. Category 4 even—”
“Let’s go find the last pay phone on earth.”
His brother stood and laboriously stretched, watching despondently when Dean snagged the last bite of the overpriced desert before he could. Dean was kind enough to let him take care of the left behind trash however. Tossing the newspaper to join it, the spread grid of ocean map made him grit his teeth.
“What do you want?” Sam executed a decent overhead dunk right into the sunflower decaled garbage bin. “A death toll?”
“Some property damage wouldn’t be asking much.” Dean muttered.
Sam shrugged, pulling up his hoodie and jamming his hands into his pockets.
Dean paused at the counter at the departing wave the girl was giving them both. He pointed at her to add emphasis to his own departing sentiments which were much less friendly and engaging than hers.
“And this?” He gestured down to the lavish frosty wares. “This shit is ice cream.”