Rating: PG - Gen
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Some things never change.
"Froggy went a courtin' and he did ride, mmm-hmmm, mmm hmmm, FROGGY went a courtin' and HE did ride oh yeah!"
Sam stared silently out the window.
The radio was broken and the tape player on the fritz. The price you usually paid for riding around in a classic piece of ride was that nothing ever quite worked all at the same time. If the air conditioner by some miracle was spitting out something other than hot engine air then the windshield wipers weren't working. (Dean had drove many a mile leaning out the driver's window in the rain.) If the turn signals were both working than the brake lights were out.
It was the price you paid for the glory of antiquity.
"Froggy went a courtin' and he did rideeeee, with Miss Mousy by his sideeeeeeeeeee--"
His brother was filling up the silence with some music of his own. Kind of weird music, but music nonetheless.
"Bring it on home Dean." Sam strongly suggested.
"And they all went sailing across the lakeeeeeeeeeee, and they all got swallowed up by a big fat snakeeee--"
"Nice." Sam mumbled.
"Thanks." Dean answered as he snapped his gum and resettled himself in his seat. "Hey, when's the next exit?"
Sam didn't have to look down at the map he'd finished memorizing over three hours ago.
"A couple miles, why?"
"No reason." Dean smiled to himself and blew a bubble.
Sam knew that Dean knew that Sam knew they had to be in Iowa before sundown. Sam also knew that Dean knew it would piss Sam off to no end when he pulled off the very next exit when they had little to no time to spare.
They could live without food for another few hours. The tank was full. To his credit, Sam kept his mouth shut. Besides grabbing the steering wheel and driving them into a telephone pole there wasn't much else to be done but to wait and see what Dean was up to. But as they reached the light at the bottom of the exit ramp, Sam took a good look around.
'Hey, isn't this--"
"Sure is." Dean confirmed as the light cycled to green.
Last time Sam had seen this town it was from the back-seat and he had been a little shorter. But not by much.
"Used to be a small town."
They both stared at the Walmart Super Center that dominated the landscape, the parking lot like a few football fields put together. The last time Sam remembered coming through here there was nothing but farm land as far as the eye could see.
They always begged their father to stop here though and more often than not, he did.
Dean stopped at the next red light, the intersection jammed up with Walmart shoppers trying to get across the street into the Best Buy and Linens-n-Things. The cross traffic was trying to get to the Starbucks that sat shiny and new on the corner.
"Used to be a town." Dean muttered.
Strip malls had replaced those farm plots with the small houses and barns. People with unlocked front doors and kids playing with the hose in their front yards. Sam remembered wanting something like that once in a while. Someone calling him in when it got dark. Getting tired from playing instead of his daily lessons. Lessons other kids never had to do.
"Look," Dean pointed. "That store is still there. The one that sold lotto tickets."
Sam looked at the simple red bricked building and vaguely remembered the P.O box that their father once had there. He'd sometimes give them a dollar to try winning one million dollars or more often those stupid scratch offs. Sam could still remember the time Dean had won $500 on one of them and Dad said he could keep it. It had seemed better than a million dollars back then.
His brother took a left off the main road and all of sudden the remnants of the town he could recall from his yesteryears appeared. The Mega stores were almost like Hollywood backdrops, propped up with a couple two by fours to hide the unseemly residents that were now all full time employees of the new market place for the surrounding masses.
With all this bustling economy in this place there was no way the reason they had stopped here would still exist. If they were lucky there would be a condemned building left over. Some colorful graffiti and a pay phone. Or maybe converted into one of those video rental places or a dog groomers.
Dean floated through a stop sign, the house on its corner the same as Sam knew it back when. Stuck in his memory because of the black and white collie that always sat in its front yard and the brilliant flow of flowers that grew under its bay windows. The dog was gone and the paint was peeled, but the flowers were still there.
Sam smiled as they passed.
There was the gas station they had always stopped at. They passed the ancient Duncan Donuts where Dad always got coffee and there was that store that claimed it sold fabric but always had looked closed up and abandoned. It still appeared devoid of business and the windows were still settled nicely in their own dust.
"Well, I'll be damned." Dean murmured as he turned the corner.
Sam couldn't help himself from laughing a little out loud.
It was there. It used to seem like a gigantic place, a shining star on their turn off the interstate. The food impossibly cheap on their budget and the free refills of rootbeer like something from heaven. Saw dust on the floors, newspapers on the tables and plates full of barbecued pork with sauce so hot it would burn your fingers.
But he place was little more than a shack, its dirt parking lot filled with a few beat up cars, and the old blinking Christmas lights decorating its porch. A shabby sign outside proved that the prices had risen by a bit. He could hear the bluegrass music playing inside and see the fragrant smoke coming from the fire pit that burned all day and all night long.
"Best in all Missoura." Dean grinned.
Sam grinned back.
It might not have been but it sure felt like it.