Title: Highly Eccentric Orbit
Rating: PG - Gen
Spoilers: General (for all aired episodes)
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Sam drags out Dean in the middle of the night for a special once a year show.
Sam didn't often spend a full sleep in the dark.
Not total dark anyway.
They often went to bed out of synch with the rest of the world. Not even on some solid nocturnal set of hours but something even more disjointed and strange. Deep sleep in mid afternoon was about as usual as waking up fresh for the day at midnight. Curtains never quite blocked out everything. And if it wasn't sunlight than it was a left on lamp or television when they were not only out of synch with the world, but also each other.
So when Sam woke up in perfect black at some hour when it should be and he was still actually tired, it wasn't just exactly what he was used to.
"Wake up." He urged in a rough unused voice.
Pulling on his jeans, he listened to the slow laborious process of his older brother returning to the world.
"Whah time is it?" Dean rolled over onto his face, his shape somehow seeming to shrink to half its size as he tried to burrow and hide within his mass of covers.
"It's time to go." Sam told him.
"I got a great idea..." Dean's voice was muffled from under the warm and comfy layers of his nest. "Why don't you go and uh, I'll stay right here and make sure no one steals my pillow."
Sam yanked his flannel on before searching the floor for his boots.
Dean was drifting off again. "I'll guard it with my life..."
Sam decided it was time to play his card. He didn't want to but he had no choice. With a deep breath, he planned to just say it quickly instead of delaying the agony. Like pulling one of those super adhesive military bandages off some leg hair or that first splash of after shave after you used an old dull blade.
"After ... afterwards, you wanna go to ... we can go to..."
He usually boycotted the word on his lips because of the establishment's unflagging habit to fill half the newspaper in pages with their health code violations on a weekly basis. Really heinous ones too. Not like a dishwater that was using water a few degrees under regulation. We were talking the big guns. Just using one of their bathrooms might get you featured in an article in a medical journal.
It was however, one of Dean's most favorite places on the planet that he was cruelly and consistently denied unless he wanted to eat alone.
Sam spit it out.
"....We can go to that-that Waffle House down the street?"
The blanket pile was tentatively flipped back with grudging interest, a blurry eyed and mussed haired Dean regarding him suspiciously in light of the offer.
"Yup." Sam sighed. "For real."
"And I can order anythin' I want? I mean, anything without you telling me its rat crap percentile? Because, I gotta say, that always kinda a drag..."
"Sure." Sam laced his boots. "I won't even mention the roaches."
"And none of those 'fingers in the chili' stories either." Dean qualified.
Sam knew he had won.
The grassy field was completely empty.
Washed with the anemic dim flood of the moonlight, it casted the forest around its fringe in sharp blacks, grays and vague everything else. Far from the town center, they had it all to themselves.
"Right here." Sam announced happily.
"Looks perfect." Dean murmured sleepily as he settled himself down. The dew soaked cold wet grass didn't stop him from laying down into it like it was as comfortable as the bed he'd left. "So when does it start?"
"It doesn't start." Sam smiled as he sat down next to his brother. "It just uh, does its thing."
Dean yawned beside him and folded his hands behind his head.
Sam let his eyes adjust to the black blanket of the sky.
"Hey, there he is." His brother was pointing above them.
Sam turned away from overhead and looked at the sharp edge of the night sky horizon. Indeed, there he was. The massive winter constellation was rising as summer drew to its close. Orion. The Warrior.
"Always liked that one." Dean murmured.
Sam already knew why.
"He's got that sword." His older brother chuckled.
Sam thought of the asterism of Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka that made up the belt that held the weapon up in the sky. The Chinese had called the blue-white super giant that sat at its center the "Measuring Weight". Other cultures dubbed it a Scythe. A Staff. The bible had called the entire thing "The Three Kings".
There was something comforting about the common language and curiosity that all men had for the heavens. Consequently, it was fascinating just what each different part of the world saw in the same distant glittering array. Wisdom. War. Even a beast.
"It's freakin' cold out here." Dean halfheartedly complained.
Pulling his own hoodie down closer over his head, Sam shrugged off his jacket and tossed it in his brother's face.
Dean wasted no time covering himself with it. "I'm just sayin', I mean if this shebang was so great wouldn't there be parades and all sorts of shit on the news--"
Just then, the dark expanse above them subtly and fantastically ignited.
The first arc of light that flared over them lasted just a few seconds. A handful more trails suddenly streaked and followed right behind it, bright white and burning, their tails roiling and evaporating behind them in a ripple of luminescence.
Several more appeared, each wider and brighter than the next, dropping in every direction.
Sam heard himself laugh a little at the sound of his brother's wonder of it.
They were pieces of what a comet had shed when it had strayed too close. Flecks of dust and rock tumbling down through the atmosphere. Once a year and every year, just as the summer made its exit, the sky lit up with a celestial body's passage. Each one fell in a glowing rain across the sky, the farm land Sam had found was so far off from the town's meager street lights that they could see each glimmer no matter how faint.
"Well, this isn't so bad." Dean admitted softly.
Sam silently agreed.
"Besides, its fitting." Dean reasoned. "... This will be the last thing I see in life before I eat delicious waffles made of sweet sweet anthrax."
That was a good point. His brother could be using his last moments on Earth watching those 'Girls Gone Wild' commercials that always ran on a loop on late night cable. This was as good a way to go out than most.
Sam suddenly remembered a particularly good story involving his brother's favorite eatery.
"Hey, did I ever tell you about that time they were mixing up some batter and they found a half dead maggoty--"
A hard fist with a knuckle out grazed Sam's bicep painfully.
"When the hell are you gonna learn that what I don't know can't hurt me?" His brother grumbled.
Sam laughed as he watched another falling star flare overhead. It was a good time as any to make a few wishes.
Like maybe if the Waffle House could burn down within the next hour.
The Perseid Meteor Shower