Rating: PG - Gen
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: "Sometimes, Sam played a game in his head to pass the time."
Sometimes, Sam played a game in his head to pass the time.
Time in the car. Time while he oiled and assembled weapons. While he lathered shampoo into his hair. Even when he was just out walking alone.
His talent for recall had always astounded people who had witnessed it. But he wondered just how much of his gift was just because of his own personal repetition that went unnoticed and unseen behind his eyes.
c.1340, "intimate, very friendly," from O.Fr. familier, from L. familiaris "domestic." The sense gradually broadened. Of things, 1490. The noun meaning "demon, evil spirit that answers one's call" is from 1584.
It had always amused him when certain words could be an adjective and a noun at the same time. He liked it even more when they could be used side by side. And even though he wasn't remotely certain, Sam bet if he looked back deeper in the Latin origins that the word familiarity might have some distant connection back to the word family.
The early fog of the dawn hovered in the trees and along the side walk, swirling around him as he made his way. He always enjoyed the quiet muted stillness just before the world woke up and started moving through their routines. Boiling water to steep some tea. Glancing dutifully at the news or a paper. Letting in the cat. Waking up their children and spouses.
Just like every other day.
There was a certain level of inevitably of spending long periods of time around another person. And what exactly were people after their various collections of habits and aversions anyway?
Sam crossed the empty street even though the light told him not to. The birds had started their shrill welcome to the day, cold enough for him to see his breath for now, but surely warm and sunny before even midday.
Some habits were innocuous.
There were some things that were just quiet cues that another person never intentionally performed. For example, Sam always knew exactly when his brother was headed to bed. He could list the series of events that fell into place within whatever span of the day that happened to be the end of theirs. A brief and lackluster flip through the channels. A trip to the bathroom with or without the run of the shower. There were plenty of other things like that. The gradual rise in fidgeting until Dean would suggest they eat. The small yawns he'd stifle when he'd soon ask as casually as possible if Sam would like the privilege of driving. His silence when he wasn't happy with the day. The certain cassettes that went right into the player when he was.
Some of it wasn't as harmless.
His brother's tradition of leaving wet towels on any bed that wasn't his own for instance. There was also that tendency to never just take Sam's direction from the map without always looking at it for an extra five minutes himself. The constant use of the phrase 'little one' at the start of a sentence whenever he wanted to remind Sam, just in case he forgot, that he was the younger of them. Taking the last of Sam's clean underwear when he ran out of his own. Playing air drums at stop lights where anyone could see them. The same opening pick up line he used on every waitress that came to their table for the past 100 years.
He lived in the blur between annoying observations and things he had learned of his brother like a language that he no longer had to give any thought to speak.
However, Sam wasn't blind to the fact that he surely had a set pattern of his own.
Idiosyncrasies. Staunch tendencies. Whatever it was that made up a person and how they moved through the hours of the day. He had received glares for clearing his throat too often during the long miles in the car. He'd been sternly asked to quit tapping on the brakes to any music that happened to be on. Dean once had even ripped a spoon out of his hand that he had been unknowingly clinking repeatedly on a water glass. Leaving toothpaste in the sink. Making his own motel bed. Filling the car with the cheap stuff.
Who knew how many other things Sam did on a daily basis that told his brother just what he was about to do next? There was no doubt a long list of things that Dean kept silent about while he gritted his teeth.
It made him smile to think that only someone else could actually see you as your whole. Even if you lived inside your own head didn't mean you knew anything about yourself.
He slipped the key into the lock and entered the dark room. The silence inside was filled with that vague heavy warm pleasant smell that Sam had always associated with sleep. Blankets and body heat. Shut curtains and privacy.
Dean had roused with the sound of the door opening.
He shrugged his jacket off and watched his brother wake up enough to find him in the room. As usual, Dean's blurry look was a mixture of expectant and grateful.
Sam held up the large cup of black coffee.
He had often wondered what was really so desirable about the unknown. Even their life that most would consider unpredictable and haphazard was filled with a strange structure of its very own.
Even if they were the only two that could see it.