Rating: PG - teen!chesters - Gen
Spoilers: General (for all aired episodes)
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Dean loses something big in a poker game & Sam doles out some helpful advice.
The front door swung open and slammed loudly into the wall.
The gesture didn’t need much raw emotion behind it to embed the doorknob into the plaster. For some reason the unduly oiled hinges made every entrance an accidental personal statement. They had accepted the unintentional drama the first day they had moved in and had thereupon created a nice sized hole that exposed the wiring. Nonetheless, Dean was looking a little more breathless and hectic than he ordinarily did at 2AM on a weekday. Sam initially considered the possibility that he was wasted but the usual slurred conversation and ensuing violent affection didn’t seem to be forthcoming.
The routine refrigerator inspection and bathroom use appeared to be delayed.
Dean was instead looking decisively at their father’s closed door. It reminded Sam of the terrified determination he’d seen on peoples' faces before they were about to do something victoriously stupid like jumping out of an airplane or asking a pretty girl for her name.
“You don’t wanna do that.” Sam warned as he flicked over a thin page of Webster’s.
His brother halted and regarded him in distraction.
Sam noted Dean’s skinned knuckles and detected the heavy scent of cigarettes that no one in the house smoked. His brother’s school career had ended a while back but there was never a shortage of people to do and places to see. He didn’t usually ask how his uncommitted relations both spent their days and nights unless he felt particularly curious. Besides, the exciting and unending stories were always faithfully recounted to their very own uncaptivated one man audience.
“I didn’t see you raise your hand.” Dean said. “No one’s askin’ for your two cent—”
“Dad got a call from Bobby.”
“He did?” His brother’s shock momentarily overcame his irritation. “Holy crap.”
“Yeah, so I’d stay out of firing range until he sleeps it off.”
Sam noticed Dean seemed to be inexplicably relieved to hear the reason for the shut door normally left open despite any range of mood. Over the years the vibe between their father and his cohorts could be called tenuous at best. However, any contact with Bobby Singer after their latest catastrophic disagreement caused any words they’d with one another to be of the four lettered variety.
He abruptly realized he hadn’t heard the familiar rumble of an engine outside.
“Where were you?”
Sam was in the depths of another brand new high school’s work contingent so he knew why he was up in the middle of the night but Dean’s daily agenda tended to be a minor mystery.
Ever since his brother had turned twenty there had been an astronomic drop of accountability for his frequent meandering whereabouts. Their father might not notice a lot of things but there would be a whole festival of pain real freaking fast if Sam’s school started calling about skipped classes. Dean didn’t have any societal monitors meticulously documenting his hours down to the classroom minute. Every evening when that door banged shut it was time to stare hard at the text books and not care where his brother was going and why. Sam felt his frustration seep back in. He wasn’t a little kid anymore but everyone around here kept a lid on the details like he’d never surpassed the oblivion of Saturday morning cartoons.
His brother's subsequent vagueness wasn't astonishing.
A sudden dull crash directed their attention back to the closed door.
“What the hell—“
“Sounded like the TV.” Sam grabbed a donut out of the box on the coffee table. “What were you doing?”
“Out.” He prompted, through a mouthful of powdered sugar. “What were you doing out?”
“Oh.” Dean rubbed his face and glanced in surprise at the bloodied backs of his hands. “I kinda bought a car.”
Sam’s detached obligatory concern shifted into genuine interest.
An extra vehicle in the household had just only become a topic of great importance to him. Before their recent last move he had briefly experienced the novel freedom of private transportational bliss. Sam’s ride for all of three weeks had been too sickly to make the journey with them to their new home. The crushing plummet back to pedestrian life had turned out to be completely intolerable. The inability to take off to parts unknown whenever the whim struck felt like the worst thing that could be inflicted on a human being. In fact, the devastating loss of his very own set of wheels had been what kept him tight lipped and silent during the first full weekend in this new dusty spot in the Midwest summer.
“A car?” Sam tried to sound as lukewarm as possible. “Really?
He knew his father hadn’t noticed the verbal boycott but it felt right to act like an asshole anyway. Though by the steady increasing force he used to slam the slippery front door, he thought for sure he would have gotten a rise out of the old man by now. As a rule if there was no grim satisfaction to be had with his parent, his brother was typically good for some therapeutic backlash. Unfortunately, Dean hadn’t offered much to convince Sam he was expending his wrathful energy for a decent cause. All weekend long his brother had been quietly driving him insane by giving the demonstration in resentment no acknowledgment whatsoever.
Being mindlessly dismissed by one person and purposely being discounted by the other made his campaign to ignore everybody completely infuriating.
The issue of silence caused Sam to recall the suspicious lack of piston noise upon Dean’s arrival.
“Waitasec.” He ventured. “W-Where’s the Impala?”
“Here’s the thing…”
Another loud sound made Dean look nervously towards their father’s room.
“I sorta went double or nothing with the rent money Dad gave me—“
“We’re not paying rent.” Sam said.
“Yeah, don’t tell Dad that?” Dean suggested. “Anyway, I went to double the rent and I ran outta cash.”
Sam didn’t get how some stupid botched poker game equated to a scenario which featured him driving his own car again the next day.
“So everyone started putting in their car keys.” Dean explained with a smile. “And I won the hand!”
Sam actually held his breath.
“Almost!” He added.
Dean had a way of making his failures finish on a triumphant note. Sam closed his mouth when he realized it was hanging open.
“You… you lost the car?”
“Dad is gonna beat my ass like a rented mule—“
The wall shuddered as something large and heavy struck it from the other side. Sam observed the reweighing of options on his brother’s face and knew what question was coming next.
“So when did you say Bobby called exactly?” Dean ran his fingers through his hair.
“I didn't." Sam said sullenly. "About an hour ago.”
The sustained rumble of rage going on in the other room was reconsidered with renewed appreciation.
“What’s he drinkin’?”
“Bottle or a cup?”
“A crystal champagne flute.”
Hesitant relief blossomed into full blown happiness. Sam understood why. The mass consumption of the cheap stuff meant that door was going to stay closed until the following day. Late afternoon most likely.
Dean flopped down contentedly on the sofa without moving the clutter of papers and folders out of the way.
Sam really had to marvel at the easy departure of his brother’s concerns. The one and only possession the Winchester’s rightfully owned to their collective names was in the hands of some hustler because of the irresistible sight of four aces. Dean yanked a bulky theology text out from under his ass and tossed it aside. Studying his brother’s pleased grin, Sam jealously wondered when his own tragedies would be as effortlessly diffused.
“She’ll be back on the curb before he knows she’s gone.” Dean yawned with a nod. “I’ll even get her waxed first.”
Dean’s boots on the table accidentally upset a teetering stack of bookmarked photocopies on its edge. Sam watched hours of careful organization vanish as they spilled onto the floor in a fluttering heap. He wanted to protest when the very last of the stale donuts was acquisitioned but the thought of eating it himself caused a sickening lurch of light headedness. When more empty green and white cardboard boxes were spotted piled by the kitchen garbage can, his brother thoughtfully took in Sam’s boxers shorts and knee high tube socks like he hadn’t noticed them before.
“You uh, got a test tomorrow or something?”
“Yeah.” He lied.
Sam allowed his pen to be dragged away from the notebook on his knee.
“Come on, Jabba.” Dean did some motivational clapping. “Get some clothes on! Let’s go!”
“I need something to distract the guard dog at the impound yard.”
They both cringed when what sounded like a window shattering was followed by a string of incoherent cursing.
“It’s not a long walk.” He quickly explained. “But I bet that mutt will get a couple minute-miles outta ya.“
Sam could have said that the last thing he wanted to do was hit the streets in the middle of the night to climb some chain link topped with rusty barbed wire. It would have been easy to maintain the look he had set carefully in place ever since they had passed over the city limits. Beginning the dazed search for pants, he decided to retire his ineffectual tantrum. It was high time to accept that there was going to be no gloriously won previously used vehicle waiting at the end of this lame rainbow.
Nevertheless, between cramming for Physics or fleeing from mangy four-legged security, only one would leave him with a smile on his face when he woke up in the morning.
He could even burn a few deep fried calories in the process.