Rating: PG - Gen
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Sam watches his father and brother play a game they don't even know they're playing.
"Get a load of this." Dean laughed under his breath.
Sam looked up at him from across the table where he was seated next to Dad. Their plates were nearly empty and the clock on the 24 hour diner wall was way too past midnight than he'd have liked. He yawned, forcing himself to finish food he didn't really feel like eating just so he wouldn't have to worry about waking up with that sick empty feeling he got if he didn't.
"Python swallows electric blanket."*
"Don't ask me man, I don't write the news, I just read it." Dean told him from behind the laptop.
"Well?" Sam asked.
"Is it okay?"
"The snake or the blanket?" Dean grinned down at the keyboard as he typed.
Sam sighed and stabbed at another oversized french fry with a fork.
Even though they were all grown men, Dad shifted in his seat, ready to intervene like he always did and just like they had never nor ever would grow up past the age of a collective year ten. Sam wondered if most families worked that way. You were your parent's perpetual child until and even after the day you went gray yourself. Sam felt it keenly as his father stretched and rested an arm comfortably out behind him on the back of their booth.
"Dean, quit messing around and just look it up."
Dad matched Sam's tired sigh and upped its edge with impatience. But the reprimand was automatic and with nothing behind it besides a few nights lack of sleep.
"I know, I know..." Dean murmured in a half hearted apology. "I'm on it..."
Sam watched his father gesture over at the counter for more coffee. He was almost certain the old man could subsist on the black stuff better just as well as his own blood.
"Jack pot." His brother declared.
He spun the computer around to face them and cleared his throat.
"1985. San Francisco 49ers. Miami Dolphins."
With a half smile, Sam looked sideways to see their Dad's face screw up in frustration.
Dean laughed as he tapped the screen for emphasis. "I told you! 38-14. Dolphins lose!"
"Any old jerk can put up a website." Dad stated as he gulped back the rest of his coffee. "Completely unreliable. You boys shouldn't use them so much."
Sam wasn't sure when this had started between his older brother and father. They had been doing some form of it or another ever since Sam could remember being large enough to sit in a diner booth to eat his grilled cheese. His family owned an endless mental recording of decades worth of football scores. Batting averages. Soccer goals. Basketball teams. The both of them put together were like some sports almanac encyclopedia of a never-ending stream, as far as Sam was concerned, of near useless facts.
Dean collected the crumpled bill that was sitting between them on the table and tucked it into his shirt pocket.
"Well, at least the Dolphins showed em back in 82 " Dad assured them as a waitress refilled his mug. "Now that was one great game."
Sam raised an eyebrow.
"What are you kiddin' me?" Dean asked in undisguised disbelief.
Dad scowled. "What? You don't think I'm sure?"
"Sure enough to lay down another ten spot?"
"Yer on." Dad growled while yanking out his wallet in annoyance.
"Cuz I'm sure that not only did Miami go down in flames, they did it in a crushing and humiliating 10 point spread--"
"Why don't you look it up on your little intraweb there..." Dad goaded him with a small smile of his own.
Dean began to type confidently in anticipation of his sure victory.
"Don't have it yet?" Their father chuckled as he settled back even further into his seat. "How's your what, yeah that bandwidth, it workin' okay for ya? Have you Goggled it?"
Dean shook his head to himself in distracted exasperation. Concentrating on the screen, he pretended to ignore the continuing jibes. Looking down at his now clean plate, Sam felt himself hold back a soft laugh of wonder. It had somehow never occurred to him that their father enjoyed agitating his older brother with a slightly different brand of inherently the same thing that Dean practiced himself.
With an amused sleepy exhale of breath, Sam slumped back in the booth beside their Dad and waited for Dean to triumphantly declare his superior knowledge of violent team sports. He had a fairly good feeling that his Dad was wrong about the outcome of the 1982 Super Bowl. The finely archived set of numbers, stats, and names that he could usually recite on demand seemed to fade away a bit whenever they started playing their own little all star game.
"Found it." Dean's mouth quirked into a grin.
All his father's carefully memorized facts. All his stubborn and sure recounting of stadium weather conditions. Jersey numbers. Famous and hideous injuries. There were some things his father seemed to never forget no matter how tired he was.
It all seemed to conveniently disappear altogether as soon as Dean started smiling.