Rating: PG - Gen
Spoilers: General (for all aired episodes)
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Beta: Thank you Kat!
Summary: Dean attempts to give Sam the silent treatment. Sam ain't having it.
It felt good to swing the passenger door shut as hard as he was able.
The jarring pain traveling up to his shoulder was as satisfying as the harsh reverberation of metal striking metal. It was mostly free therapy, but he was hoping the abuse would make Dean say something: A threat, a warning, or maybe even a violent lunge in his direction. Sam glared over the roof of the car at his uncooperative brother.
“This is why I said to slow down,” Sam mumbled. “I knew this was gonna happen.”
His normally verbose sibling didn't even grant him a glance in response.
Sam took a deep breath of air thick and clammy with cold humidity. Staring at the headlights hitting an impenetrable wall of fog all morning had given him a dull ache behind his eyes. He bit at his upper lip and decided to try to alter his tone to something more conducive.
“That town back there will have a tow truck,” he said. “Or at least a phone right?”
He'd always had a great appreciation for the all mighty power of the silent treatment. However, it wasn't quite the same fun and games when the technique was being used against you.
Dean slammed the driver's side closed harder than Sam had. With a growl of frustration, the gesture continued with a savage kick to the front wheel for eloquent emphasis. Even if there were some discussion to be had, any conjecture over the possibilities of multiple flat tires was unnecessary. The way the car had veered off the unpaved shoulder Sam knew the rims were probably all bent to hell too. His brother stumbled backwards and kicked again, this time reining it in enough to spare further bodily injury. The resulting splatter of rocks and mud onto the black paint job didn't seem to calm him any.
Instead of taking out his gun and opening fire, Dean leaned back and vented his indignation heavenward vocally.
The incoherent yell of outrage didn't seem to reach the hidden orchards that lay obscured in every direction. The fog ate everything up, stifling every sound under a wool blanket of dense mist that hung in layers over the dirt road. Sam didn't like how the stuff swallowed you whole if you wandered just a few feet away. Dean promptly faded into the slow churning white as he headed towards the only signs of civilization they'd seen in the last hour. Shouldering his duffel bag, Sam hurried towards the steady sound of boots on gravel.
“Hey!” Sam called out. “Wait up!”
He swore under his breath when he stepped into a deceptively deep pothole, the frigid brown water soaking him up to his ankle. Trying to simultaneously focus on his brother's location and keep a wary eye on the treacherous dirt road, he raised his voice so there was no question of being heard.
“We should strap a spare to the roof,” he suggested. “Ten of 'em.”
Sam adjusted his pace when the vague shape of his brother reappeared a few yards ahead. A look over his shoulder and he saw the car had already vanished in the haze.
“Maybe just keep a few in the backseat.”
Stupid ideas usually brought a word or three.
Although it was the first thing he'd attempted when the car had lurched to a stop, he pulled out his cell again anyway. The signal was as fuzzy as the sky. If there wasn't a watch strapped to his wrist he'd have no idea what time it was besides sometime in the late afternoon.
“I bet that gas station we saw is closed.”
Zipping up his jacket to his chin helped with the chill but the wet boot was getting real lame really fast.
“I bet that whole freakin' town goes to bed before sundow--”
Sam stopped when it sounded like Dean was clearing his throat to say something. His brother had a knack for formulating poetic new ways to explain the art of shutting the fuck up. He was even better at telling Sam where and how far to stick the narrative whine.
But all his brother did was turn his head to spit into the roadside tangle of weeds.
“I remember seeing a bait and tackle store tho.” Sam had to walk into the bushes to get around another rain filled trench. “The lights were all on. A few guys were drinking on the porch too.”
Head down and hands shoved into his pockets, Dean dissolved into the fog and became just the crunch of footsteps. There and then gone again. In focus then nothing but a blur.
“I say we use the Winter Break Story."
Sam stumbled when the slippery mud sent him sideways into another deep puddle. He frowned down at the icy water now squelching loudly in both boots.
"But this time do me a favor and pick a state college,” Sam muttered. “'Cause we definitely look like two assholes on a road trip.”
He remeasured his stride to keep Dean in sight but allow maximum distance. Call it good policy or pure automatic pilot, Sam had learned when to fall in step early in life. As much as Dean tended to bemoan the fact that their father enjoyed existing like an annoying enigma wrapped in a brooding mystery, Sam thought the exasperation was a little funny to watch. He knew his brother had picked up a few things from the old man, and it wasn't just a taste for expensive firearms and films by National Lampoon.
Speaking of guns, Sam decided it was high time to pull out the big ones.
“Nice job driving by the way,” he sighed. “Are you aiming for the potholes now?”
He felt a corner of his mouth tug up when his brother's hunched shoulders straightened slightly. Some crap was impossible to ignore even if that was your current mission statement. It was a pretty good shot but it still wasn't quite the score Sam was looking for.
“I'm just sayin' man.” Sam said. “You could've at least put on the hi--”
“The high beams?”
Sam hopefully waited for some elaboration.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” Dean demanded.
It was nice to watch his brother perform a full halt and purposeful turn. Sam got rid of his grin when he saw the move was accompanied by the glare and pointed finger. The cautionary phrases about being careful with wishes ran through his mind.
“You don't use high beams in the fog you idiot.”
“All I am saying is that maybe you woulda seen that lunar crater sitting in the middle of--”
“Save it for the hicks.” Avoiding another giant pothole directly in front of him, his brother got back to the unpleasant nature hike. “I got a feeling Billy Joe Bob ain't gonna take VISA and that's all we got.”
It also felt pretty good to get in the last word no matter how uninspired it may be. His brother slowed and allowed Sam to catch up until they were practically side by side again.
“Besides,” Dean grumbled. “Look who's talkin'.”
There was a snort of disgust at Sam's water logged boots.
Sam bit back the instinctive retort on his lips and clutched the duffel bag closer for warmth. The hour hand on his watch said it was getting close to chow time and every backwater on the map had at least one place to eat. His brain quickly shifted back to the more gratifying task of generating insults that Dean might not have actually heard before.
He kept quiet instead.
Getting in two last words probably felt even better than one.