Rating: PG - Gen
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Sam doesn't heed the dangers of tequila and therefore everyone suffers.
Dean had learned at a very young age what exactly made up a spot on the map an honest to God town.
It wasn't its library and it wasn't its charming little run down school or even the world war memorial every one ignored at the center of town. It wasn't even the quaint story about the Swedish immigrant the main street was named after. Oh no, Dean knew what really ran a joint like this one. It was in the barflies that nightly closed the dump that sat out by the highway exit. It lay in the gossip amongst the members of the one steepled church. It was a conversation over the purchase of a pack of smokes with the stoned guy that sat behind the register at the 24 hour gas station convenience store.
If you really wanted to know what was going in a one main streeter like this one, you hit all three and you'd have the entire picture almost crystal clear.
Timing his evening, Dean made sure they'd hit the bar last.
An over indulgence of fun didn't happen very often despite how often they stopped along the wayside in places like this. Dean was always a little bit shocked that somehow they didn't degenerate into sailors in some foreign port with every new city limit sign. Well, maybe not that shocked. On his part, there was something he found personally and ultimately unappealing with being just that far out of control of himself. For Sam, well, his brother tended to use words like: irresponsible, reckless, have to be up early in the morning don't we?...
The place was classically what made a dive a true dive. Dean always worried just a little bit about bringing his brother into places like this. There was some magical combination of Sam's size and that look of fresh meat on him that was really attractive to those who wanted to start shit for the pure hell of it. The guy could look down at everyone in the room but he had never quite gotten down that art of quiet intimidation.
It turned out he needn't have worried. They came in late enough that everyone that might have arrived with any static on their mind was now too far into their pitchers of beer or the music to give them much more than a second glance.
Dean went to work.
It wasn't long until an inked and portly biker insisted upon buying them a bottle of cheap tequila. It was the least he could do when he found out Dean was from the exact same home town out in Colorado. Not long after that, the bearded and wallet chained man had claimed their shared brotherhood. It was astounding to find out that Dean had lost his virginity to the exact same large chested Brazilian that ran the tattoo parlor of said mountain town.
They toasted the strange and happy coincidence.
Dean watched Sam pick up the amber fluid filled shot glass hesitantly. To his credit, he downed it without even a grimace, taking the lime his brother pushed towards him quickly and shoving it into his mouth without a word.
Tipping back his glass, Dean bit down on his own wedge and encouraged the guy along with his story. There seemed to be some local trouble regarding some missing kids and an old gravel pit turned swimming hole. Turned out this guy worked security just outside in the nearby construction yard. Nights even. Been seeing some strange stuff that his old lady told him he was nuts for even telling her. Told him to lay off the grass while he sat in that security trailer by himself all night with all those close circuit monitors.
The man, happy that they were listening and not laughing, refilled their glasses.
"Easy on that stuff." Dean warned as his younger brother tipped back another shot. The echo of his words were from another bar, a bar just like this one down by the Mexican border. Dad had warned him back then with the exact same words and the same half smile. Dean briefly wondered where he was at this exact moment.
"Don't worry about me." Sam mumbled. "Besides, I barely have a buzz."
Dean grinned. Ah. Good old tequila. That subtle feel good creep of happiness as you took one innocent gulp after another. Then as soon as you thought you were God's gift to alcohol tolerance, it came right along and kicked you in the ass so hard you'd feel like a rock star verbalizing free form poetry out in the desert by the light of your headlights.
It figured, just like Dean way back then, that Sam wasn't real interested in taking their father's sage advice. He half wanted Dad in the seat across the table to share a private smile over Sam's head. Have a laugh at how Sammy always had learn the hard way.
"Party on." Dean shrugged.
Time went pleasantly as he sat back to let the details come forth slowly and naturally in the conversation. It was amazing really how much you could get out of a person if you were just willing to sit and listen. In fact, the guy was so pleased that Dean not only believed him but actually appeared sincere about it, that he finally offered to show him the security tapes the very next day. Excellent. It was really hard not to pat himself on the back sometimes. In fact, he deserved one last drink for the road...
When he went for another shot he was surprised to find the bottle empty. Dean glanced around. He had no idea when Sam had left the table.
"Looks like your friend found a friend." The biker gestured behind Dean with his cigar.
Dean turned to the old jukebox that sat in the corner of the saw dust covered plywood floor.
Sam was doing something that could be mistaken for dancing with a woman his younger brother would normally step nervously away from if she got too close to him in an elevator. It figured he would be dancing to the Kinks. Lola. Dean gave the woman a second look to make sure she was more legit than the woman in the song.
He honestly wasn't completely sure.
Dean sighed. Wonderful. He glanced at his watch. Almost 3AM, an hour after official last call and six hours away from when he said he'd meet this guy tomorrow. Time to get moving. With a nod to his unwitting informant and a brief shake of hands, Dean went to collect his brother and what might be left of his dignity.
"Hey there tiny dancer, let's go."
Dean smiled in apology to Sam's dancing partner. Her caked neon blue mascara was running a little, her dyed blonde hair showing an inch of brown at the roots. Even this close, Dean was still on the fence about the 'dude' thing.
"Gotta go..." Sam slurred to her. "Call me!"
Dean yanked him away by the arm causing Sam to follow him in a drunken stumble.
As soon as they got into the parking lot Sam decided to be funny. He grabbed Dean by the shoulder and started going through his jacket pockets.
"God damn it Sam, stop it--"
Dean had always known that every time he had ever physically stopped Sam from doing anything was only because his younger, but much larger, brother had let him. Sam wasn't in the mood to let him now.
"Want em?" Sam playfully held up the keys he had pilfered. "Come and get em..."
Dean didn't really feel like chasing Sam around the parking lot so he let him run around figuring he'd get tired eventually. Or puke. Or, if he was lucky, both. Better out here than in the car.
"Can't get your keys!" Sam called out with a sway that almost landed him on his ass.
Dean yawned and sat back on the hood of the car. "Sure can't."
Sam made a face and staggered back over to the Impala.
"Yer-yer no fun."
Dean grabbed the keys back and swung the car door open.
"Just get in."
Thankfully, Sam dropped off into passed out slumber as soon as he settled into his seat. Dean was privately always a little happy that Sam wasn't particularly interested in altering his mental state on a regular basis. He'd always figured if Sam looked down that road too hard he'd slide right down into the dark side.
Kind of like how Dad did when he'd had a little too much.
It was a little strange, Dean thought, how much and how little Sam and the old man were alike. There were a few drives like this one growing up. Dean putting Dad in the car. Dean driving them back to wherever home was at the moment. Dad's slurred apology as Dean made sure he got into bed. But Dad had never been the sort to get happy at the bottom of the bottle. It was a little discerning that his brother had.
"Let's go swimmin'" Sam briefly surfaced with the suggestion. "We can go where those-those kids disappeared..."
"Okay." Dean knew you only agreed with a drunk. Anything else was a waste of time.
"We-we can be..." Sam murmured before he started to drift off again. "...we can be just like them."
Dean wondered what that meant as he parked the car.
It wasn't easy keeping Sam upright while he opened the motel room door. Dean flicked on the light and briefly considered the logistics of the five feet of shag carpet to the nearest bed. Sam came to his senses long enough to see salvation so close at hand that he lurched towards it, taking Dean with him.
Sam fell face forward down onto the mattress but unfortunately didn't wait for Dean to get out of his way.
Dean lay there under him for a moment wondering how to proceed. Kick his brother to death or try to extract himself humanely? He pushed Sam up by the shoulder enough to drag himself out from underneath the dead weight. He slid and fell off the side of the bed down onto his knees.
At least Dad hadn't been so freaking heavy.
Leaving Sam hanging awkwardly half on and half off his bed, Dean tossed down his jacket and turned off the light. Instead of heading to his own bed, he sat down heavily into the uncomfortably rigid motel chair.
He slipped out his cell phone and looked at it.
It was still laying in the palm of his hand when the gray dawn light began to seep through the parted curtain and the sound of birds began vague and far off from the forest fringe across the street.
"Uuh." Sam said down into the motel quilt.
"Gonna hurl?" Dean asked idly.
"Uh huh." Sam confirmed.
Dean gave a small a sigh as he watched Sam successfully right himself before stumbling hurriedly towards the bathroom.
One hour before he had to meet his local friendly biker. That gave him just long enough to run to that corner store and grab some breakfast along with some black coffee. Dean cringed at the tragic sound of Sam in the bathroom. He remembered the pain of all that tequila coming back up well enough.
In fact, down by Mexico, Dad had even kindly eased the experience by waking him up with a plate of pork and greasy rice from some street vendor. Dean could still remember the smell of it.
He clicked the phone shut.
If Sam was lucky, maybe that shop down the way made a real nice runny egg sandwich.
Dean's grin came back as he headed out the door.