Rating: PG - Gen
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Clothes shopping + Dean = Trauma
The nice thing about having such a minimalist lifestyle was that it was just that.
You didn't own too many things you had to store or polish or worry about. It was as almost as unfettered as you could get before you started wearing leaves and living off the land in some cave with your fire. Half the crappy motels they sheltered in felt that way most of the time anyway. Sam felt another yawn coming on.
"Did you get any sleep last night?" He asked his older brother.
"Sure, a sugar plum danced through my head and everything."
"Man." Sam rubbed his eyes. "I kept waking up every time those damn kids next to us slammed their door."
"Aren't you a little young to being using phrases like 'those damn kids'?" Dean asked distractedly over his shoulder.
"And that loud music..."
"Whatever." Dean said. "If their baseball lands in your yard you can keep it as revenge."
Sam made a face at his brother's back and tried to stifle another yawn.
"Could you concentrate at the task at hand please?" Dean demanded.
Sam looked around and tried and failed. "Why do I have to be here? I was done a million years ago."
Dean made a pained sigh. He swung at him lowering his voice so other nearby shoppers wouldn't hear him. "You said you'd help me, so help!"
As it turned out, the big problem with owning so little was that if anything happened to it, you had very little to fall back on. For instance, if one of their very dated but effective bolt action shotguns wasn't performing just as it should, they were down to half of the arsenal. If the laptop crashed, they were pretty much screwed unless they had a library near by. Sam couldn't even contemplate where'd they'd be if something happened to the car...
In fact something had. And as usual, nothing that ever befell them was ever exactly what could happen to just anyone in the normal course of a regular average day. A fender bender? Sure. A full out wreck on the freeway? No problem. But losing the Impala into a swamp seemed as if it should be much more unlikely than it was in the everyday scheme of things.
Her backside anyway.
Just up over the trunk into a slurry of green slime and God knew what else was down in there. Sam resisted the yoda jokes when she was finally and miraculously pulled out by a local tow. It didn't seem fair to poke too much fun because he had no paper bag for his brother in case he started to breathe too frantically to require one.
It had taken nearly the entire weekend and late into last night to fully clean out the mess. They had laboriously re oiled and reassembled their supply of various and dangerous items that had been submerged in the foul stuff for almost a day. They'd somehow salvaged almost everything. What they couldn't wasn't very difficult to replace.
But what had seemed the most easy to restock had turned out to be the hardest.
For Dean anyway.
This had all been much easier when they were kids.
Every now and then a female counterpart to one of Dad's many and various friends would take one look at the Winchester boys and clear her throat. They'd get dragged to a Walmart and the tattered remains they had brought with them would be quietly put out by the curb in black hefty bags. Even some of Dad's male friends took pity on them with some helpful advice that Dad didn't think or have to give. Little snatches and moments to help them along just as much a new pair of sneakers or a warmer winter coat had.
You know Sammy, you're old enough to start shaving off that dirt off your upper lip.
Hey Dean, why don't you come over here, you ever sit behind a diesel engine?
Dad wasn't always completely lax in keeping them maintained. Sam had vague unpleasant memories of dusty old Good Wills and their Dad tossing anything likely at them. He remembered those flimsy lame shower curtain dressing rooms with the clothing pins always stuck in the dirty carpet floors.
If Sam was lucky enough anyway. Usually he just got what came off Dean when his older brother grew another inch. Then there was that summer when they had all blinked and suddenly Sam was looking down at Dean and eye to eye with the old man. Then it was the odd process of hand me downs right from their father.
He razed Dean about it until his brother thoughtfully pointed out the old man's tendency towards 1970s lumberjack plaid.
Sam smiled to himself and turned his attention back to the ocean of racks upon racks of clothing. Out of everything they had been prepared for in life, it was funny what life skills had somehow fell right through the cracks.
Sighing, he went back into the fray.
"How about this one?" He held up a shirt that looked more or less Dean's size.
"It's too blue."
Sam groaned and shoved it back where he had taken it. How much longer could they possibly do this? They'd been at it for an entire goddamn morning. Sam had managed to find and replace his entire scant wardrobe in a considerate and brief act which took little under a half an hour. He tried another tactic.
"Look, this one is almost like the one you are already wearing. Like, right now."
"It's too... red."
Sam rubbed at his eyes again. Maybe this was why Dad had never given his older brother the luxury of choice. It was so much easier to just tell him what to do. Sam considered the implications of that revelation.
He grabbed something else. "Here, you want this one."
Sam was hopeful when Dean looked at it and didn't immediately make that face he'd been pulling all these hours when he was going to say no.
"Well, it's a little too--"'
"A little too black, Dean?" Sam asked in a low controlled voice. "Because, just so you know, black can't get any more or less black than it already is."
Dean thought about that carefully.
"Yeah? Great." Sam grabbed all ten of the identical ones beside it and moved towards the cash register.
Maybe Dad had taught him decent and useful shopping skills after all.