Rating: PG - Gen - Humor
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Sam hates to go food shopping. More specifically he hates going food shopping with Dean.
There were three things that Sam just liked to do alone.
The first was shower. He knew that most people in the world didn't have to go out of their way for a shower with no one else around but he'd never had much of that luxury. As a kid it was like what he imagined it was like living in some crowded barracks. Someone at the sink, someone flushing the toilet, someone telling you to hurry up when you just got the water how you wanted it. Now days it was a little less hectic without Dad around with a timer if you took too long but it still wasn't hassle free. If he didn't close the door he could still hear the TV and Dean talking at him. Sometimes he could even still hear those things when the door was closed. He liked just having a few minutes to think in what was a relative peace. A ceramic tiled, plastic curtained sanctuary with small bottles of shampoo and paper wrapped soap.
The next thing he liked to do was drive alone. Alone being, his brother so lost down in his sleep that he might as well be. The bench seat could be as far back as he wanted it so his knees wouldn't start to ache. The radio could be off for once and the cassette player silent. All the mirrors bent to suit him, all the vents tilted just so. The choice to stop or go was his. The decision to take that route or that road didn't have to be discussed. He didn't have to speed and they didn't have to pass every car in the far left lane like a race his brother never seemed to finish.
The third thing he liked to do was strangely enough the only thing he was actually alone for. It wasn't a lot or for very long but he looked forward to it whenever he got the chance. He had long ago started taking early morning walks. It had begun when he was a kid and the youngest therefore sent out in search of coffee despite any and all weather conditions. He had resented it at first until he realized he enjoyed slipping out before anyone had even woken up. There was something about that pre waking day world that grounded him for the coming waking one. These days even if there was no coffee to find he just walked until he knew Dean would soon be awake. He was even fairly certain that when he didn't have the beverage as proof he'd been out, that his brother usually had no idea he had been away at all. Sam liked that too. He liked to vanish and not have to explain himself.
It was the sum of a small collection of things he'd carefully created and learned to find as he grew up without the standard notion of privacy.
And until just recently he hadn't realized that he had a new item for his list of things he'd rather do solo. He supposed he never noticed because it tended to be something that fell on either his brother or himself individually. Why should they both venture out when one of them could be sleeping or eating or assembling firearms?
There really wasn't much need for both of them to go to a crowded annoying grocery store.
A soft stream of the musak version of George Michael's Careless Whisper was droning somewhere out from the speakers above. It was occasionally broken with blurred incoherent requests for the meat department to pick up a phone. A customer service desk emergency. A warning that everyone had only 30 more minutes to buy beer before the law said you couldn't.
Sam shifted in place behind the shopping cart and reevaluated the check out line. Dean was behind him flipping through a gaudy Enquirer magazine he'd picked up off the nearby rack.
"Check it out, Tom Cruise's baby is an alien."
Sam looked at the badly photoshopped green alien baby on the cover. "Thinkin' about going to check it out?"
Dean shrugged as he flipped a page. "Extraterrestrials aren't really our thing but hey, we could always start branching in different um, business directions..."
Sam looked down into their cart and sighed. It had been so long since they had performed this task together that he had really forgotten as to why he disliked it so much. It was easier not to watch his brother load it with the stuff he usually did. It was easier when he just came back to their motel with it and it was too late for Sam to feel any way other than tired.
It wasn't exactly that the guy ate badly, he just ate strangely.
For example, Dean had a weird liking for those weird pre made lunch things for little kids. Sam wondered if he actually liked them or his older brother was on some demented mission to fill in all the blanks of what they were denied as children. There was also all the high fructose drinks that would be better suited in a humming bird feeder. They came in alarming colors. Toxic blue. Or antifreeze green. Sometimes with enough Red#40 to dye a stainless steel surface.
Other purchases made by his brother just confused Sam.
Tamales in cans. Mystery seafood salad. Instant grits. Matzo crackers? There was a kosher bottle of pickles in there too. Sam wondered exactly when his brother had picked up a predilection for Hasidic cuisine.
He picked up a cylindrical plastic wrapped package from the cart.
And just who exactly ate rice cakes besides soccer moms on diets? And what was the sole bottle of jalapenos for? The idea that the two may have some joint purpose disturbed him.
His brother had replaced the tabloid and suddenly turned to walk away.
"Where are you going?"
"I forgot something." Dean explained with a shrug and a small grin on his face.
That was another reason Sam usually avoided this tedious adventure with Dean. His brother would invariably wait until they were next in line to the register and suddenly remember he needed something on the opposite side of the store. For some reason, getting closer to the cashier and waiting for whatever stupid thing Dean needed always made him vaguely panic.
The line creeped forward.
The woman in front of him eyed his cart over her shoulder.
"You know, they say salt in your diet can greatly increase your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke."
Sam felt his eye brows raise as he looked down in his cart filled almost to the brim with canisters of course salt.
"Yeah, thanks, I'll um, keep that in mind."
She turned back to the cashier who had her credit card slip waiting.
Sam looked around, his check out line anxiety peaking. He started putting all their stuff on the belt and privately decided that if Dean didn't make it than he could wait in line all over again by himself to buy whatever turkey baster, marshmallow fluff, aftershave, egg timer, whatever freaking thing he had forgotten...
"Hey! Sorry." Dean announced while appearing right beside him.
Sam watched Dean unfold his arms and drop countless plastic bottles all over the check out belt. They were almost as numerous as the salt canisters but in jaunty shiny colors.
Sam blinked down at them all.
"What the hell is all this?"
Dean smiled at him in a way that made Sam frown.
"Oh I'd say about 200 bucks worth of personal lubricant."
Sam blinked again.
With a wink, Dean clapped him on the shoulder.
"Think I'll go wait out by the car."
He was gone.
Frozen in place Sam heard the cashier clear her throat.
He looked up and saw her holding a particularly shiny bottle that purported that it heated up when subjected to friction.
"Sir, do you um, have a coupon for all these?"
Sam swallowed, his mouth suddenly very dry.
"Because I can get the manager and they can key it in for you--?"
He numbly shook his head and tried not to listen to the multiple beeps the machine made as she rang out each one. Staring hard at the floor, he tried not to look at the startled gray haired woman that was bagging each one with small worried noises and shakes of her head.
There was one other thing Sam was going to add onto his list of activities he'd like to accomplish alone.
It involved a secluded wooded area, a shovel and his brother's head.