Here is yet another find from the laptop depths... Something appropriately fitting for the cold rainy day outside. I actually really like rainy days but relevant is relevant. Even with these findings that only require ten minute clean ups I still might be a little slow with fic this week because any free fun time I have I'm giving to Methodology. (Which has two parts to go!) I promise at least one part up before the end of this weekend and no more than another week for the end. There's even a sequel in the works for some future date... Who knew all this Sam Peril would be such rolickin' good times for my keyboard?
Anyhoo, hope everyone out there in LJ land is doing okay.
*opens an umbrella over you*
Rating: PG - Gen
Spoilers: General (for all aired episodes)
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: The boys do some unpleasant freelancing to make some extra cash.
Sam stepped up onto the wrought iron fence, vainly trying to make out the elegant metal numerals nailed to the side of the house.
A tangle of holly bushes grew up wildly around the front door and obscured the critical latter half of the address. He stepped backwards down onto the sidewalk, brushing chips of rusty black paint off his hands. Adjusting the umbrella in his grip, he tugged free a piece of paper he had tucked in his jeans. The steady rain had already soaked the ink into soft blue lines but the handwriting was still mostly legible. Trying to unfold the paper the rest of the way, the umbrella tipped sideways, its tiny slippery plastic handle as practically useless as the brief circumference of its insubstantial canopy.
He let the obnoxiously plaid nylon fold in on itself and collapse against his thigh. It was getting him wetter than using nothing. Artfully funneling the icy water off its sides and onto his shoulders, he was even more soaked than his brother who had no protection from the unrelenting skies at all. Sam had found the unhelpful device while perusing the cluttered bulletin board of the deserted laundromat that morning. Feeding the washing machines the last of their change, Dean had wanted little to do with the broken and stupidly colored finds left or forgotten in the stand by the door. He wanted even less to do with the photocopy Sam had ripped off the tack amongst the flyers and assorted business cards.
Sam looked uncertainly back up and down the empty wind of the narrow street.
The last house they’d seen was a mile away at the bottom of the hill. But even if odd numbered addresses were still supposedly situated on this side of the road, this old place didn’t even start with the same set of digits. Thinking of the warm dry rented room with their freshly washed warm dry clothes, he wished again that the laptop map searches on small towns weren’t so completely worthless. His thoughts wandered to how pleasantly warm and dry it would be doing this task from the car. However, they could currently barely afford to get to the nearest gas station, let the small fortune it took to get her topped off. He had never minded walking anywhere but wandering out in the weather during October’s decline wasn’t real high on his fun list.
“Do you think this is it?”
A check over his shoulder showed that Dean wasn’t even looking in the right direction. Hands shoved in his jacket pockets, he was hunched as far into the sopping leather as he could get. Gazing solidly out across the street at a patch of woods with nothing of much interest besides a sagging utility pole, he didn’t seem to have any opinion on what their present location might happen to be.
“Maybe we missed it.” Sam mumbled. The walk back was as enjoyable to contemplate as any more further frigid hiking out into nowhere. “Maybe it was the other street by that stop sign—“
Dean had redirected his forlorn attention down into the dripping evergreens drooping over the fence. Reaching into the thick overgrown bushes, he experimentally tugged at something. Sam heard the complaint of metal as the hidden mailbox was wretched open. Routing around in its depths, a damp stack of envelopes was promptly pulled free. Flipping through one or two, his brother tossed them back inside. He quickly replaced his shaking hands into waiting pockets, breath fogging in the air as the attempt to speak began with some harsh coughing.
“W-What do ya think the odds are on this hole having two Ms. Cornelia Van Schoonhovens?”
Sam felt the small petty thrill of victory despite the loss of all sensation from the knees down and the neck up.
The gate opened easily under a firm push, the creak of it sounding loud in the hiss and splatter of the rain. As soon as he put one foot on the weed choke front walk he saw a hand part the drawn curtains on the first floor. Looked like company wasn’t expected very often around here. Expected or desired. The yellowed curtains dropped closed. Even though it was a long couple day’s ride to the coast, an aged wind chime made of moldy seashells hung unmelodious by the porch lamp. The soft rotted wood of the steps groaned under their combined weight as they doubtfully considered the ancient doorbell.
His brother gave a noncommittal shrug of halfhearted encouragement.
Before Sam could try the buzzer out, the door was suddenly jarred open a few inches. One blue eye of a white haired woman glared suspiciously at them over the thick chain. She didn’t ask why they were there but he knew the drill when it came to appearing on the doorsteps of people who didn’t want your presence. You put on a smile, stated your case and hoped for the best. There were plenty of woods to get gone in if she headed straight for 911 on the speed dial. Sam held up the soggy piece of paper.
“I’m sorry, but did you hang this downtown?” He asked politely as possible while still trying to control his chattering teeth. “In the coin wash?”
There were a few tense moments before the door slowly shut and the chain was undone. Standing nervously in a flowered housecoat, the cautious belligerence faded. Twisting her frail hands, she regarded them both with something that looked a lot more lost and bewildered.
Dean cleared his throat and started to carefully unzip the front of his jacket.
“This belong to you?”
Besides the frayed washed out arc of the Led Zeppelin logo, the sag of protective leather revealed something else. A very small something else. The tiny wet head of a minuscule dog reluctantly peered out in the sudden disagreeably chilly exposure. Pushing its grayed muzzle back into Dean’s armpit, it let out a whimper of offense that the cozy shelter of the coat had been cruelly removed. However, its large brown eyes found and blinked at the elderly woman hovering behind the heavy door. The small hopeful whine of recognition was just as genuine as the old lady’s astonished gasp.
Sam felt a real smile on his face.
“W-Where did you find him?” She asked with a hand to her throat.
His brother sighed.
“Drainage pipe.” Dean answered tiredly. “A really cold drainage pipe.”
Sam watched his brother extract the shivering dog from his jacket and place it into outstretched trembling hands. There was an expected pang of guilt when she handed over the folded wad of cash. But according to the details on the lost and found, it wasn’t all that much for half a day in the trenches and a job was a job. Although, even if he wasn’t really expecting to be invited in for tea and a trip through the family albums, the abrupt slam of the door still felt a little unnecessary.
With the exchange completed and the door closed, the weathered quiet house was suddenly once again just another weathered quiet house. Grimacing up at the rain that hadn’t let up since the sun rose somewhere behind the clouds, they pulled drenched collars up around their necks and stepped back into the deluge. It wasn't until they were headed down the street that Sam bothered to see if the lady had even remotely matched the offer on the photocopied plea for help. He paused in weary surprise. Right there in his hand was a full hundred dollars over what the reward had actually promised.
The sight of a few full tanks of gas and a couple decent dinners was the best thing he’d seen all week. His sodden spirits were suddenly a mile high despite the ebbing battle with hypothermia. Spreading out the prize like a hand of cards, he grinned and smacked it triumphantly against his brother’s forehead. Dean irritably grabbed it away. After a quick count of his own, it vanished into the back pocket of his jeans.
They were almost back in sight of the one light main street before Sam heard anything but the steady tread of boots from the usual few paces directly ahead.
“Hey?” Dean ventured.
“What did the priest say when he walked into a bar?”
Sam didn’t know why he didn’t see it coming. For some reason known only to kung fu masters and practitioners of pain, a grazing swipe seemed to always hurt a lot more than the direct trauma of impact. The force of the full on swing was thoughtfully punctuated by a carefully raised middle knuckle. Cradling his elbow, the well placed strike sent an excruciating throb keen enough to cause a slight double over.
“Actually the priest said ‘ouch’.” Dean grinned. “But that’ll work.”