Rated: PG - Gen
Spoilers: General (for all aired episodes)
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: When there is no meat loaf around, you must accept what's on hand. No matter how close to alive it may be.
"What the hell is this?"
Sam had to agree with his brother's sentiment. For a Midwestern strip mall establishment, the interior of the only open restaurant in town was freakishly grandiose. They paused at a garish koi pond that looked like it had been made out of several colorful fiberglass kiddy pools and decorated with neon plastic plants. The plastic gold lanterns that hung over every red lacquered table were lit with blinking Christmas lights. Some Cantonese version of pop music was playing on a decade old tape player on a counter.
It smelled good at least.
"What are the odds I can get a pastrami on rye in this joint?" Dean asked seating himself and looking wearily around.
Sam followed him, picking up the paper menu that was already laying on their table. "Japanese-Thai Fusion...."
"No wonder this place is empty." His brother mumbled.
For Dean exotic was anything off the appetizer section of a Chinese take out menu.
"Would you rather eat at the gas station?" Sam asked, distracted by the waiter that suddenly appeared with a tea kettle and small ceramic cups. The bitter warm scent of it was clean and perfect. He poured both of their cups full but Dean just looked down at his.
"Just try it?"
Dean answered his request by signaling to the waiter for a beer.
Sam sipped the hot tea with a sigh. The heat of the porcelain on his lower lip took him to those Friday nights when he would go out with his friends and they'd sit in places like this with better decor and higher prices. They'd talk grad schools and grade point averages. They'd get buzzed on 10 dollar drinks and make fun of their state governor and everyone else's red states. They had basked in the knowledge that they were ivy leaguers on the cusp of everything. Teetering on the edge of a world waiting for them to take it, save it, own it... hell, anything they wanted.
The waiter arrived with Dean's drink and was stopped from pouring it into a glass for him. His brother took a tentative look at the unfamiliar beer bottle before he took an even more tentative sip.
Sam scanned the menu quickly and ordered before Dean could interfere or start making bad 'Lost Boys' quotes about rice.
"Wait-what... what was that?" Dean watched the waiter move away. "I'm not eating raw fish Sam, come on, that's just gross."
"Ever heard of a dish called 'Dancing Shrimp'"? Sam asked knowing very well that his brother hadn't.
"What's that?" Dean grinned. "They make some poor impressionable shrimp strip for ya before you eat it?"
Sam resisted the urge to encourage him by laughing. "Not exactly. Its Thai, you eat a bowl of them alive and kicking in some chili sauce."
Dean's eyes lit up as he thoughtfully tipped his beer to his mouth. "Really?"
"Some Koreans," Sam continued because he had Dean's interest. "...eat live octopi ... on a stick."
"Oh come on!" Dean laughed one of his truly easy laughs, and slouched back into his chair with his dark brown bottle, a winding red and green dragon undulating around its silver label. "That's not just gross, that's just...well ... mean."
Sam smiled back, amused by when and where his brother's sense of justice appeared.
"But seriously, if you just ordered some stripper shrimp and dudes on sticks I'll seriously hurl."
"Don't worry," Sam assured him, picking up his small cup again. "I think you're safe."
Dean rummaged around in an ornate bowl that sat among the soy sauce and hot mustard. "Hey Sam ... check this out."
"You're supposed to do that after you eat, you know."
"Yeah yeah..." Dean shrugged, his sense of propriety either lost or never there to begin with. He cracked open one cookie and slipped out the narrow slip of paper. "Hey, this is weird, I got your fortune."
Dean shoved the crumbled remains of cookie into his mouth and slid its tiny prophecy across the glass top table. Curious despite himself, Sam picked it up and sat back with a raised eyebrow to read it aloud.
"You will soon meet strange and interesting people."
"In bed." Dean added.
Sam couldn't help it, he did laugh out loud then and it felt almost as good as the tea.
"You know something," Dean said begrudgingly. "This beer is pretty good."
"Wait till you try the Pad Thai."
"No," Sam interrupted him with a sigh. "There's no raw fish in it."