Author name: clex_monkie89
Artist credit: manessa
Word Count: 27,275
Warnings/Spoilers: Spoilers up until 2.12 - Nighshifter. Established relationship,
Summary: After Nightshifter, Sam and Dean hit the road. What follows is three months of fear and frustration with the FBI hot on their heels, trying to avoid the long arm of the law while still continuing to work. It's not easy; being on the run doesn't leave much time for breathing, never mind sleep, sex or any much-needed downtime.
Author's Notes: Takes place before Folsom Prison Blues and was written largely prior to the episode's airing. Established relationship.
When they leave the bank, it's in silence. There's no music coming from the stereo, no talking, just the heavy sound of their erratic breaths and the deafening silence in the car.
Dean's foot stomps on the gas pedal as he pushes the car to her limit. Sixty, seventy, eighty, ninety... He tries to put as much distance between them and the bank as he can before Henriksen can send his merry band of armor-plated goons after them.
They're out of the parking complex and down the side streets by the time Sam's brain can think any further than, oh God, oh God, oh God, oh God, oh God. It's early morning, late enough for the sun to be fully risen, but neither Sam or Dean are stupid enough to think they're clear of danger yet.
Sure enough, just as they're about hop on the interstate towards Sheboygan and get the hell out of Dodge (and Milwaukee), Sam hears the by now familiar sounds of helicopters overhead. All night long the choppers had been circling the bank. Sam had assumed he would get used to them, but he didn't; in the middle of the night, in the early morning, he still had to force his ears past the sound of the blades to hear the things Dean said, to hear his own thoughts. He thought they were loud before but now that they're outside, now that the only thing separating him and his brother from the helicopters is the thin metal of the Impala, they're thousands of times worse. It's almost deafening.
Like a switch is flipped, Sam's heart starts to race; his blood rushes through his veins so loudly he swears he can almost hear it pounding in the back of his skull. The surge of blood is so sudden that the he feels dizzy for a moment; everything swoops and spins and he feels his eyes screw shut and his whole face scrunch up.
"Stop it, Sam." Dean's voice is steady and sure but Sam can hear the way his leg is shaking from the change in his pocket, can hear the jittery pinging noise Dean's ring makes as he taps it against the steering wheel.
"I'm not doing anything," he protests weakly. Sam's stomach churns and rolls as the adrenaline spikes and pools with nowhere to go. It's the traffic, just the traffic. It's morning and it's Thursday—Friday?—and it's just some local news station monitoring the traffic. It's not a police chopper.
"They probably don't even know we're gone, yet." Sam doesn't know whether he was thinking or speaking, but he does know what the heaviness in his jaw means.
Before he can ask, Dean's shoving a plastic Wal-Mart bag at him and telling him, "If you chuck on the car, you're licking it up so you better aim right."
Sam gags up the Chinese food from yesterday afternoon and the chocolate shake he made Dean pull over and get on the way to the bank last night. His mouth tastes rancid; it's thick with stomach acid and teriyaki. His voice is hoarse and cracks, croaks as his throat closes again, briefly. "Ugh. That was gross."
"Think you'd be used to throwing up by now. You've been doing it on the run for like, what? Nineteen years of your life now?" Dean's voice is hollow, an awkward attempt at teasing.
"I don't throw up on the run. When we're running, I'm fine; it's when I'm doing nothing that—oh God." Sam gags again, his stomach emptying itself of the rest of its contents.
"Well, that was downright sexy."
Sam tries to respond but all he can manage is to slump forward, lean his forehead on the dash and groan. He can feel his head pounding, throbbing. It feels like there are a thousand tiny people inside his skull and they're all trying to dig their way out with pick-axes.
Sam's eyes are clenched tight but he can feel Dean's hand just above his knee, gripping tightly for a moment before relaxing. Dean's hand doesn't leave; it slides until his fingers are between Sam's thigh and the seat. Dean's thumb is stroking back and forth on the inside of his knee, and Sam is grateful for the contact. "Get some sleep, Sammy. We'll be in Green Bay by the time they pull their heads out of their asses and start looking for us."
Sam spits a mouthful of saliva and predigested egg foo yung into the bag and grimaces. His voice is slurred and low when he mumbles, "Fucking Packers."
Victor Henriksen is not amused by the little "present" the Winchesters leave him. He is also not surprised. They have escaped custody before; they've been arrested and booked four times since Dean's "death" in St. Louis and pulled over at least a dozen more times since then. They've been in and around countless gruesome crime scenes and may or may not have had a hand in a detective in Baltimore killing her partner to let them escape.
The unconscious guards are a peace offering. We let your guys go, you let us go.
Unfortunately, Victor's never been much of a man for compromising.
"Put out an A.P.B. on them, get the choppers up and set up roadblocks. The Winchesters will not be leaving this city." He knows they're already long out of the bank; they're smart enough not to stick around. If he moves quickly, though, he might be able to catch them before they're out of the county. "Tell the news stations we've got a manhunt going on. These Winchesters are armed and dangerous with no respect for human life; they can and will kill anyone who gets between them and their goals." So close, he's almost got them. "And don't forget the dad; if his sons are here there's a chance he is, too."
Dean pulls over at around two in the afternoon. He's not completely sure where they are, but they haven't seen civilization for an hour or so. He's almost positive they're still headed towards Lake Manitoc, but it's hard to tell, what with the old maps and blacked-out road signs.
The gas is almost completely gone, the needle sitting squarely on the E, and there's an extra four hundred miles displayed on the car's odometer. Dean drove in circles and squares and crosshatches the whole way here, leaving a trail he hoped would be difficult, if not impossible, to follow. He got "lost" on purpose twice on dusty back roads, and got lost by accident once, completely turned around by his random maneuvers. He was seventy-something miles closer to Milwaukee by the time he realized it.
He hasn't seen hide or hair of anything even slightly resembling law enforcement in three hours, but he knows better than to think they're safe. False security kills people. It killed Jess, it killed that lady in New York, and it almost got them killed on more than a few occasions. Hell, if they hadn't let themselves forget about the cops fucking surrounding the bank, Ron might still be alive right now. But then he and Sam would be dead or worse.
Dean almost feels guilty for that thought, but it's true so he can't let himself feel too bad. Ron died to save Sam—a noble sacrifice. Or something. There's no use beating himself up over it anyway; there's nothing he can do to change it now.
Dean groans to himself and drops his head backwards. "I've been up way too fucking long. Sam, wake up! Wake up, dude, you're drooling all over yourself." He flings a hand sideways in Sam's general direction and hits air. He does it a second time and the squishy resistance at his fingertips combined with Sam's pained yelp tells him he hit eye.
Sam tries to talk, fails, wipes the drool off his chin and tries again. "Whuh?"
"Come on, Sleeping Beauty, rise and shine and all that shit."
"My arms hurt."
"You fell asleep in the S.W.A.T. stuff; I'm surprised you can feel anything at all." Dean opens his door and climbs out of the car. "Come on, Sam; get your ass in gear."
"I have to pee," comes the groggy voice from inside the car. Dean doesn't even bother trying to hold in his laughter. "Bathroom. I have to go to the bathroom. Shut up." Dean is still snickering when he maneuvers himself out of the vest and peers into the car.
"Well, what are you waiting for? I'm not gonna hold it for you."
Dean's shirt hits Sam in the face as he strips.
Two hours after they've changed and pissed and gotten going again, they make it to what they think may have, at one point, been Lake Manitoc. It doesn't really matter one way or the other, though, so long as there aren't people around to call the cops on them.
After a few hours of wading and searching, they manage to stumble across a cabin that is still mostly whole. There's some water damage and the smell of mold is heavy on the inside, but they've lived in worse conditions for much, much longer than they plan on staying here.
They can't get the car up the muddy hill no matter how hard they try. It keeps getting stuck and lodged in the mud and no matter how hard they push or how much Dean sweet-talks his girl she just won't budge. They end up guiding her to a somewhat dry spot underneath a patch of trees and grabbing their bags and weapons from the trunk.
By the time they get everything in the cabin and settled, Dean has already been up for over twenty-four hours. Despite this, and despite Sam sleeping through most of the morning, Dean manages to guilt and browbeat Sam into sleeping the first shift.
During his first shift as lookout, Dean cleans every last gun, knife, and crossbow they own. Twice. He doesn't walk the perimeter; he doesn't feel safe enough to leave Sam in the cabin by himself. He checks and rechecks the salt lines and cats' eye shells obsessively. With an hour left to go, Dean gets bored and antsy and starts carving any and all the runes and protective symbols he knows into the floor.
They're both too tired at the first shift change to do much more than acknowledge each other's presence. Dean grunts in Sam's general direction and Sam throws a half-hearted hand gesture in Dean's.
Sam spends his entire shift sitting as close as he can to Dean and angling a flashlight away from his sleeping brother's face while he reads. He goes through two and a half playlists on his iPod before the alarm on his watch beeps. He gives Dean another half an hour before he wakes him up.
If Dean notices the extra time Sam gave him, he doesn't show it. Sam tosses and turns for fifteen minutes before Dean gets fed up. He spreads his legs, tells Sam to lie down and pulls a blanket over him. Sam finally falls asleep with Dean's hand in his hair and John Mayer wondering in his ear whether or not he's living his life the right way.
Dean spends his entire second shift with Sam asleep in his lap, his head on Dean's left thigh. He has his left hand running through Sam's hair and his right scribbling down possible plans of escape and contacts in a notebook.
Hot cop in Minnesota - Kaitlyn? Karen? Courtney? K sound.
Chick cop in Baltimore - Let Sammy out - Ask Sammy her name.
Deacon - Arkansas - C.O. - Knew Dad.
Rookie in Georgia - Mandroid Light - Erinn? Aarron? Aerin? Fucked up spelling.
Alex Brenin in New Jersey - Man love for Sammy - Do not leave alone together no matter what.
Somewhere around the fourth hour of his shift, coincidently right around the time he gets to Brenin's name, Dean allows himself to be distracted by the stray and in no way purposeful thought of accidentally pouring a large vat of flesh-eating bugs onto a person while they are still alive.
Dean sleeps one more shift during which Sam reads over his notes and barely manages to hold back his laughter at the crude drawings of what he presumes to be The Many Deaths of Alex Brenin.
Three days after they arrive at the cabin, they decide it's finally safe enough to leave. They spend an hour and a half trying to dig and push and shove their car out of the mud. Sam makes no less than three references to My Cousin Vinny and Dean makes no less than five threats to Sam's life and/or various vital and functioning parts of his body.
Dean meanders along in a vaguely southern direction until they manage to get Bobby to pick up his phone and give then the rundown. Bobby says the roadblocks have been taken down but there's still increased patrols on the state's borders. He says they should be able to get out of the state easily, just so long as they don't do anything stupid.
It's only a small car chase; it probably wouldn't even have made the news if it weren't for the Blues Brothers car crash the cops got into that let them escape.
Gotta love those five-way intersections.
Dean still doesn't think it was bad enough to warrant getting hit for.
And Sam hits friggin' hard; Dean's arm is numb for a good five minutes afterwards.
He was only doing seventy-five. How was he supposed to know there was some sheriff's deputy sitting behind a billboard? That kind of shit didn't really happen outside of old TV shows, anyway.
Sam and Dean make it from the Wisconsin border and the "routine stop" from Hell to Bobby's in three days.
Bobby sets them up in their old room, even though they all know the boys will be gone in about a day or so.
It's at breakfast in the morning when Sam brings up the car.
"We're gonna need to leave it, Dean. You don't think the FBI didn't take down the plates of every car in this whole parking structure? We're lucky we got out!" That condescending tone is creeping into Sam's voice again and Bobby knows exactly how Dean is going to react to it -- the same way he always does.
"We're not leaving my fucking car, Sam! Why don't you just find something else to bitch about, eh, princess?"
"Why don't you ever just listen to reason?" Sam is roaring now, getting that same pitch to his voice he used to get with John right before The Big Fight.
Bobby cuts in before they get started again, trying to prevent another Winchester war from exploding in the middle of his kitchen. "Why don't you both shut up?" To Bobby's amazement they do. They always do, but it never ceases to stun him how quickly they listen to orders; it's like hitting mute on a TV set. "You know damn well you don't have to leave the car, Sam. I don't know why you boys have to pick a fight about every last thing."
Sam tilts his head to the side. "What do you mean we don't have to leave it?"
"I mean the invisibility spell on it." Bobby sees the blank looks on their faces and wishes John were still alive so he could shoot the man again. Nowhere serious; just the leg or an arm. Just something to teach him a lesson for leaving his boys so far in the dark. "Don't tell me you ain't never wondered why you weren't getting pulled over every time a cop spotted your car."
Dean scoffs and cocks his head back. "Our car isn't invisible; I can see it from your window. Part of it at least. When was the last time you cleaned?"
"Yes, it is. Invisibility ain't what everyone thinks it is. You don't just vanish off the face of the Earth, or blend into a wall or anything like that. Invisibility spells affect the memory. Nine people can stand around her and each one will see a completely different car."
Sam looks nauseated; his face is all screwed up and for a moment Bobby is absolutely sure that the sausage and eggs Sam just ate are going to come back up all over his kitchen table. "You—you, uh, put a spell on us? On our stuff?"
"I did what your daddy told me to." Bobby knows the boys share their father's aversion to nearly all things having to do with magic, but even John Winchester knew when to suck it up. "It's just a small spell. A little tickle to the memory. It's cheaper than painting the car a new color every state."
Sam giggles. A full-on, little kid giggle. He is obviously nervous. "You know, when Harry did it, it actually made him invisible."
Dean cocks an eyebrow at Sam. "Who?"
Sam winces and struggles with himself for a moment, mouth opening and closing like a fish, before sighing. "Harry Potter."
"That some dude from Stanford?"
"Hey, Hardy Boys, you two wanna focus?"
"What?" they echo. Bobby suppresses a shudder; fifteen years and that still hasn't stopped being creepy.
"Invisibilty? Your car? Ringin' any bells, here?"
"Right, right." Dean bobs his head and sucks his teeth absently. "Well, hell." He takes a swig and finishes off his beer. Dean leans back in his chair, kicks the front legs up and scratches his stomach. "If it's that easy, then why don't you just put some of that magic mojo on us? It'd save us an assload of trouble."
"Don't either of you boys ever read anything in your Daddy's book?" Honestly, sometimes he doesn't know how those two are still in one piece. Lifetime hunters and they still don't know their heads from their asses. It's like speaking to retarded children. "I put that spell on you two and ain't either of you ever gonna find each other again."
Sam walks to the fridge and grabs another beer, opening it on the counter. He takes a gulp before he hands it off to Dean. "Why not? Don't spells and curses usually go on blood?" A moment ago he was disgusted at the knowledge of magic being used on their car, but Dean asks about magic being used on them personally and he doesn't even bat an eye.
If they were anyone else on the planet, Bobby would say that kind of blind trust would get them killed.
"Yeah, why else would Sammy here grow tits with me every time I piss off one of the fluffy bunny pagans?" Sam grabs the beer back out of Dean's hand and smacks him across his head.
"You know, maybe if you would stop referring to them as 'fluffy bunny pagans' they would stop turning us into women to try and teach you how to respect them."
Dean points a finger right at Sam in righteous indignation. "If they spell woman with a 'y' they're asking for it. Besides, I respect women; I just don't respect idiots. Or amateurs. Or anyone who names their pet 'Mr.' or 'Mrs.' anything. Will you gimme back my beer?"
"As I was saying," Bobby interrupts. "Invisibility ain't meant for people. It don't work like that. You two can see the car 'cause it's your property; I can see it 'cause I'm the one who did the spell. If I put it on you two, you ain't never gonna see each other again 'cause blood don't own blood. Your own Daddy, rest his soul, wouldn't be able to see you two, either."
Dean drops the front legs of his chair back on the ground, one eyebrow climbing high on his face. "Well, then what the hell are we supposed to do?"
"Run? Stop flashing your pearly whites all over every goddamned news program there is? Try not to get arrested? Is any of this getting through?"
Growing up, Sam hated all the "resetting" they would do: all the times they would pick up and cut ties from whatever lives they were living at the time. New names, new back-stories, new pagers (or cell phones when they had them), new everything. But now Sam is grateful. Now they have protocols. They know exactly what to do in case of an emergency. And the FBI on their tails most definitely qualifies as an emergency.
Sam shreds, breaks, cuts and dumps all checks, IDs, credit cards and papers they have. Dean pulls all the numbers out of their cell phones, snaps the SIM cards and runs over the shells.
They both take turns hustling pool and poker for a week and buy new phones with cash and names they haven't used since Sam was nine.
Dean uses payphones and rehearsed names to call Bobby, Ellen, Joshua and the others and warn them.
Sam finally gives up his Stanford email and contacts Becky with a shell account to tell her it's not true, the news is wrong, and he's sorry for the mess.
He purges the shell before she responds.
Dean's shaving when Sam springs his big plan on him. It's not the best timing in the world but Sam justifies it to himself with the knowledge that it's damn near impossible to actually cut yourself with an electric razor.
Sam doesn't actually manage to get his whole plan out, Dean cuts him off right after he gets to the part where he thinks Dean should stop being the only person in America who still dresses like a greaser from the fifties. He's less angry than Sam thought he would be, "good morning" sex keeping his anger to a dull roar instead of the all-out screaming match Sam was expecting.
"I like my clothes, man! The Feds are after us, so what? What do you want me to do, dye my hair blond and start going by some douche-baggy name like Chad?" Sam refrains from telling his brother about all the rich-kid frat douches at Stanford named Dean, Sam's already brushed his teeth so an "I'm sorry" blowjob is out of the question for at least another half hour.
"They've got our fingerprints. They've got an old mugshot of you and a shitty mugshot of me. All we need to do is keep one step ahead of them, okay?"
Dean tilts his head up and to the side to get at the curve of his jaw by his ear and Sam is mesmerized, transfixed by the arch is his neck. The tanned skin and light stubble, the fresh hickey just under where Dean's thumb is now; the one Sam sucked onto Dean's neck a little more than an hour ago. Sam almost forgets that they're having an argument right now, that Dean has just said something that requires some form of coherent response. "I just don't want us to get caught."
"We won't." Dean's voice is soft but insistent, like getting caught is impossible; like there's no way on Earth it could happen. Sam is positive that Dean knows better than to rely on false bravado. But he also knows about self-fulfilling prophecies. Sam's pretty sure that only works on people, though, and probably, with their luck, only in regards to juvenile delinquency.
Dean's always been better at lying to himself than Sam is. For all Dean's talk and the way he acts, Sam is the actual realist here; Dean is the one who is under the false assumption that everything will work out in the end. Sam doesn't want to rot in a prison cell; he doesn't want to die strapped to a chair. "But what if we do?"
Sam knows better than Dean this time. There is no way to get out of this one all right; there is no magic gun to fix it and take care of all the quarter-million FBI agents who want them dead. Sam almost feels like laughing, either that or throwing up; he's not too sure which.
"We're not going to get caught, Sam." Not Sammy. Sam. "You heard the news; we're Bonnie and Clyde. They never caught Bonnie and Clyde."
Sam's brain can't even begin to think of any of the obvious jokes.
He knows for a fact that Dean knows exactly what happened to Bonnie and Clyde.
Agent Frank MacIntire has been working on the Winchester case for more than a month, since before the fiasco in Milwaukee. He's not new to the FBI but he's not nearly as experienced as most of the people on this case are. He's got almost a decade of work here under his belt but this is his first real high-profile case and it's so completely different from what he's used to that sometimes he has flashbacks to his first week.
They can't get a solid make on the car. It's not that they don't have enough witnesses; they have them in fucking droves. If Winchesters are one thing it's... Well, if they're one thing it's psychotic. If they're two things they're also terrifying. Delusional and remorseless rank up there too.
If they're ten things they're show-offs. They almost don't seem to care who the fuck sees them. Their "disguises" are laughable at best and they use the names of rock stars and TV characters like this is some fucking game to them. No, the problem with their car or cars isn't not having enough witnesses—it's having too many of them.
At first there were so many conflicting statements that they thought the Winchesters stole their cars and just lifted a new one every hundred and fifty miles or so.
That theory had its first hole blown in it quickly, though; none of the supposed cars they were driving were ever found or reported stolen. Add that to the fact that in several small towns they were seen in nine or ten different cars at the exact same time and the conclusion is simple: no one on the face of the planet seems to be able to make out the likely custom built mutt of a car.
It moves and that's everything they know for sure; it's the only constants in every report.
They've shown picture after picture to everyone who has ever even glimpsed someone who looks like any of the Winchesters. MacIntire would be hard-pressed to say if the same car has ever been picked twice.
It's a Mustang, it's a Ford, it's a Chevy. It's a Pinto, it's a Corvette, it's a Cadillac. It's an El Camino, it's a pickup, it's a Jeep.
It's a '57, a '62, a '65, a '67, a '69, an '03 and an '07.
It's a '57 Plymouth Fury, a cherry red '64 Rambler, and a brand new Aston Martin. It's a silver DeLorean, a black Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, and a bright, prison orange '69 Dodge Charger. It's a beat to hell, falling apart at the seams '74 Dodge Monaco, a sparkling new '73 Ford Mustang and a run of the mill VW Bug.
If the car has been made, someone has reported seeing one or both of the Winchester brothers in it.
It's a gleaming beauty, it's half restored, it's a piece of junk with duct tape doors and cellophane windows.
It's the motherfucking Batmobile and the goddamned Black fucking Pearl.
On a long and lonesome highway, east of Omaha, Dean is taking advantage of the unusually nice weather to spend some quality time with his brother.
They're pulled over on what passes for the shoulder. The car is in park, idling and rumbling in place like it has been for the last twenty minutes. "You Shook Me All Night Long" is blaring from the speakers, words nearly lost to the loud, thumping bass of the stereo turned up to eleven.
Dean's got one hand on the trunk to steady himself and the other on Sam's waist, keeping Sam's dick far away from the sun-heated metal as he thrusts into him. Sam has both of his hands planted on the trunk, palms sweaty and slipping, sliding and forcing him to tense up to keep from possibly sliding right off the car. Dean leans forward and thrusts again, nips at Sam's shoulder as his brother arches his back and scrabbles at the metal.
He's pressed against Sam's back, bending them forward and sliding his hand onto one of Sam's. He guides their hands until Sam's head is resting on one of his forearms and Dean's mouth is skating trails through the sweat on Sam's neck. Sam is moaning and babbling and pushing back against Dean, trying to kick his own legs out wider, but the pants around his ankles traps him in place.
Dean's hand slides from Sam's side towards the front, scritch-scratches the soft spot below his navel and presses against his stomach, pulls Sam flush against him, fucks Sam so deep his toes start to tingle from the straining muscles. Sam moans, whimpers, rolls his head on his arms and closes his eyes. He bites his lips, licks them and mouths wet trails along his own knuckles and fingers. Dean lets go of Sam's hand to slide his own up Sam's arm, across his back and up his neck. He slips his fingers into the hair at Sam's nape, pushes the thick strands up and off his neck, fists his hand in place and pulls lightly until he can get his mouth on Sam's neck.
He bites at Sam's shoulder and neck, leaving puffy red welts, maps open-mouthed kisses to his ear, takes the lobe into his mouth, bites it gently and lick and sucks at the sweat behind his ear. Dean laughs at the sudden huff of air Sam lets out when he starts to scratch Sam's stomach again. "What d'you want, Sammy?" he pants, out of breath and running out of steam. "Want some help or do you, fuck, or do you still wanna try and come without anything?"
Sam scrunches up his face, tightening around Dean and making them both moan. "Fuck, fuck, fucking, Jesus Christ, Sam." Dean's hand slides from Sam's stomach down to grip his cock. It's not long at all before Sam comes in Dean's hand, gasping for breath and moaning loudly. It's even less time before Sam comes again, unaided except for the tight grip in his hair and around his chest as Dean fucks his overly-sensitive body, desperate to get himself off. It's that, Sam losing it that quickly, and messily, from nothing but Dean fucking him that helps to finally push Dean over the edge.
They both win the bet, but Sam doesn't get control of the stereo for even a single song. Dean declares himself the one and only winner on the grounds that since Sam didn’t go soft after his first little performance, that he only came once -- from Dean’s hand. "That was just a delayed reaction. The Dean Winchester Special. You're welcome, by the way."
Sam has this list of things he wants to do before he dies -- not that he thinks about dying often or anything. Only sometimes.
It's a long list that has gone through several incarnations since its conception right after his thirteenth birthday.
Over the years, several things have been checked as they were completed, such as graduate, have sex, and get a legal job. Several others have been struck through and scratched out as their possibility has diminished. Among those are turn thirty, get law degree, and buy a house.
Sam knows he won't make it to thirty, and probably not even to twenty-five. He's never going to law school now; he's never even going to finish the two degrees he was almost done with when this whole mess started up again. That angers him in the deepest parts of his brain when he realizes that if it weren't for meeting Jess there, his four years at Stanford would've been a complete and utter waste.
There are still over three hundred things left on Sam's list. A lot of them, like that stupid one about going to Hawaii with Dean on a vacation, will probably never happen but Sam can't make himself scratch them off.
The list ranged from things like getting a tattoo, which Dad never allowed, to going to the Guggenheim, with Dean, without him complaining.
Sam knows he has a clock hanging over his head ticking down how much longer he has before he turns and Dean has to take him out. He has two lists. The "original" one that doesn't matter much anymore and the new one that has the things he absolutely, positively does not want to die without doing.
Number one on his new list, the only one that matters, is kiss Dean in public.
They're walking through the middle of Detroit the first time Sam almost does it.
It's somewhere around one in the afternoon and the street is fairly busy. Dean's been jabbering on about something for the last half an hour, and Sam has no idea what it is exactly that Dean's been talking about because he stopped listening about three and a half blocks back.
It's just a kiss. Just one small kiss, in the middle of the sidewalk, in a big city. There's probably not even anyone looking anyway. Sam gathers all his courage together and stops his brother right in the middle of a sentence by throwing an arm across Dean's chest.
Dean is face to face with him now. "What?" He doesn't look happy. He doesn't look mad either, though.
Sam takes a deep breath and—
—promptly loses all of his courage.
Sam only lets himself worry about one thing at a time.
When they hunt, it's his destiny. The Yellow-Eyed Demon and its plans for him. The ones for Ava and Andy and all those other kids they don't even know about yet.
After and in between hunts, it's the FBI.
When he sleeps, his nightmares combine them for a brand new and different kind of torture.
Fox Mulder has bright yellow eyes and a tray full of razor-sharp and pointy instruments he hands to Sam. Gillian Anderson narrates the scene as Sam happily, gleefully hacks his big brother to thousands of tiny pieces.
Dean bleeds in a multitude of colors and whispers, "I'm not sorry. I couldn't do it. I'm not sorry. You can't make me."
Dean does not worry.
He doesn't worry about Sam and his so-called "destiny." He doesn't worry about The Demon or any stupid fucking "plans" some thing out there might have for Sammy.
He certainly doesn't worry about the fucking FBI or the police. They're a bunch of clueless, brain-damaged humans anyway. They can't find their asses with two hands, a map, a flashlight and a goddamned sherpa. They really aren't a threat. They don't even register on the radar. Really.
Dean is above all those other humans; it would be an insult to himself and to his father to be afraid of them. Ridiculous.
He doesn't have nightmares or anything like that. He doesn't wake up sweaty and crying like Sam does sometimes.
He does have these dreams, though. Reoccurring ones.
Sam's on the floor in some random motel room. Dean knows in his heart that the bloody body is Sam, even though most of his head is missing.
Sometimes it's Dean holding the gun, but more often than not it's Sam with the Taurus held lax in his grip.
The dream has some small differences, but it always ends the same. Dean takes the gun, sometimes from Sam's cold, dead hand—sometimes it's already in his own hand—and puts it to his head to follow his brother. The gun always jams, and he's stuck in a room with the body of his dead baby brother until Sam wakes him up.
They aren't nightmares, though. They're just... unnerving. That's all. They only affect him for a few minutes when he first wakes up, and then they're gone like they never even happened.
And it doesn't matter what Sam says; he doesn't know anything. Dean just likes keeping his nails short now. That's why he bites them. It's cheaper than going and getting a manicure.
Not that he ever got manicures or anything either.
... Sam gets pedicures. With clear nail polish on them and everything.
The first postcard comes almost two weeks to the day after the botched bank robbery, and Victor's name is in perfect inked print on the front. The ink is purple, sparkly, and smells like grapes. It's the kind of pen his twelve-year-old, Vikki, would use.
The postmark is from Winnemucca, Nevada. The card is of a dark sky with lightning striking and cacti in the foreground. The blurb on the back tells of Arizona's legendary thunderstorms.
The name on the card reads Dick Kimble and the messy scrawl on the back says something he can't decipher.
The Winchesters don't even bother trying to avoid their detection. Their fingerprints are all over the postcard, even going so far as to leave one perfect thumb print right in the middle of it in dried ink.
The one-armed stick figure in the bottom corner mocks Victor from its perch next to his computer.
Their money is running low again and a run-in with a cop car in Florence means they need somewhere to sleep until they can get the Impala fit for legal driving once more. The Motel 6 is the cheapest thing in the city so they've been staying in a room there for the last two and a half damn weeks.
It's the longest they've stayed in one spot in years without one or both of them stuck in a hospital. That's not counting werewolf cases of course, which usually take, with rare exceptions, at least two months to do.
Sam and Dean are both jittery and punch-drunk. They are restless and are getting reckless as of late and the paranoia that comes along with too many days of too little sleep is starting to set in. Sam can't stop complaining about every little thing and Dean keeps needling at Sam, poking every one of his pet peeves just to have something to do.
The propensity for crack fiends and hookers and drug dealers in Motel 6s, along with the frequency in which the police are at the motel because of the previously mentioned crack fiends and hookers and drug dealers, are usually enough to keep Sam and Dean away from a Motel 6 at any cost. But in this case, they have no other choice. They don't have any spare credit cards—two are earmarked for hospitals, three for the car, and one is for bail in case of an absolute emergency—and they can't exactly sleep in the car when she's locked in a garage getting worked on.
The first night they spend in the room is pure hell. They fall asleep on the bed furthest from the door sometime around midnight, after their ears finally adjust to the screaming coming from the room next to them and the constant slamming of doors on either side of their room.
They don't usually share a bed unless it's a king, even after sex. Sam sprawls and rolls in his sleep and smothers Dean. And while Dean is used to waking up covered by a Sam blanket, he would much rather not have to wait an hour in to morning to piss just because he can't get out from under his brother. Lately though, since Milwaukee, they've been sharing beds almost every time they stop. Sam feels safer when he's close to Dean and Dean won't admit that he misses his Sam blanket. They still get rooms with two beds, though, both too paranoid and nervous to ask outright for a room with a king.
That first night in their room, they're woken up sometime around two-thirty in the morning by the unmistakable sound of a cop pounding on a door. The only thing that keeps them from either wetting the bed or shooting straight through the door—there's a reason Dad never let Dean keep a gun under his pillow—is the realization that the pounding is not on their door.
They don't go back to sleep that night.
The following nights aren't much better.
Sam is naked on his back with Dean between his legs. Dean's hand is wrapped around Sam's cock, tugging lazily as he kisses his way from his brother's neck to his mouth.
Sam's missed this.
They've been running non-stop since Wisconsin and haven't had time to do much else besides run and hunt. Normally that wouldn't be too much of a problem, but when you don't have the time to pull over for sleep, pulling over for sex is pretty much right out of the question.
Right now, though, they're still taking their forced break. Nineteen days so far. The car is still being fixed, they have no money for food, and even Sam can only walk around a barely open K-Mart for so long before he starts to get bored. And Dean has always said that the best way to cure boredom is to have lots and lots of hot, dirty, sweaty sex.
So here he is, naked spread out underneath Dean, with nowhere to be and nothing to distract him until check out, and that's not for another nine hours. Sam can't ask for anything more.
Well, maybe one thing.
"Dude, am I doing something wrong here? If you're not in the mood, just say something." Dean rolls onto his side a little and gives another sharp tug on Sam's still-soft cock. Sam feels his face get hot as the embarrassment sets in; he's supposed to have at least another twenty years before he starts not being able to get it up.
"No, I want to, I'm just kinda tired," Sam lies as he reaches for Dean's dick. "Let me—"
"No," Dean barks a moment too late. Sam's hand is already wrapped around Dean, who is half-hard at best. Sam lets his hand and head drop back to the mattress dejectedly. He'll bet all fourteen dollars he has in his wallet that he knows where Dean's thoughts had been a moment ago; they're afraid of the same things. What if the cops come now? The guns and knives are on the table out of reach, our clothes on the floor. We can't run naked. If they catch us now everyone will know. Bobby, and Ellen, and everyone will know we're fucking.
Well, okay, maybe not quite that dramatic, but whatever the Dean equivalent of Sam's thoughts are.
Dean drops his forehead to Sam's and sighs. "I hate the FBI."
Sam nudges his face forward to catch his brother's mouth. They kiss and Dean grunts as Sam spreads his legs wider, his calf rubbing at the back of Dean's thigh. Dean takes the hint, rolling his hips, and Sam feels that nice stirring in the pit of his stomach. He slides a hand up his brother's back, fingers digging into the soft flesh on the shoulder blade as he thrusts up lazily.
A siren wails in the distance outside and both start and break apart.
"You wanna sleep with our clothes on tonight?"
The next postcard arrives from Panama, Oklahoma.
The front of the postcard boasts of sunny Florida skies and has a crude, hand drawn arrow pointing randomly into the beach crowd boasting WALDO in large, messy letters.
The back of the postcard has a children's rhyme on it.
Run! Run! Run!
As fast as you can!
You can't catch me!
I'm The Ginger Bread Man!
It's a sudden blow to Victor's pride when he realizes he's being outsmarted by someone who doesn't know that "gingerbread" is one word.
Will Makoff watched one too many spy movies growing up. His whole life he knew he wanted to be just like one of his childhood heroes. Will spent nine years working undercover in Detroit before moving down to Virginia and joining up with the FBI. The movies lied. There's nothing exciting about the FBI; he's spent nearly every day of his last four years here doing paperwork and calling people on phones.
Sometimes Will thinks he'd give his right arm to leave the office.
Harvelle's Roadhouse. Owned by Ellen Harvelle. No physical address, but it resides off of a dirt road near a highway in the middle of Nebraska. The damn place has been there as long as anyone can remember, owned by her husband before her, and before that, his parents, and back through the generations for who the fuck knows how long.
It has been on the FBI watch-list for almost forty years, ever since Starkweather and his girlfriend grabbed burgers there on the way to Wyoming back in '58.
In those thirty-nine years, dozens more people on dozens of wanted lists have been seen in and around Harvelle's Roadhouse, many of them repeatedly. It's like the place is some kind of nexus, a safe haven for all the scum in the country. Or at the very least a big chunk of them. But there's never been a scrap of real evidence, just a few vague witness accounts, not enough for a search warrant or even enough to bring Ellen Harvelle in for questioning.
When Gordon Walker was spilling his guts to the police and the FBI and anyone else with power who would listen, he mentioned "the roadhouse" one time. Only once. Every time he was asked about it after that, his mouth slammed shut tighter than a nun's legs and twice as fast.
Gordon Walker, who voluntarily ratted out everything he knew about Sam and Dean Winchester (apparently, John just up and vanished a few months back) despite knowing what hardened killers they are, won't say a single damned word about that place.
Agent Makoff wants to know just which one of his bosses' daughters he must have drunkenly fucked to get sent there.
The Roadhouse is dim and smoky. It's the middle of the afternoon and abandoned except for a couple tourists, just passing through. Ellen dries her hands with a dishrag as she leans against the counter, looking down at the fuzzy photograph he slides across to her.
"Ma'am, I just want to know if you've seen the man in this picture," he says, clipped and as polite as he can be. He doesn't think she'll recognize him based on the mugshot. It's eight years old and blurry to the point of nauseating, but it's the most recent picture of Sam Winchester they've been able to find.
The story goes that the kid was fall-down drunk and cracked his head open immediately after the bulb flashed. The rest of processing was skipped and the kid was taken to the ER—to this day no one will own up to why he didn't go to the infirmary in the jail—where he escaped within the hour.
"Isn't that that boy from Maine who went missing last year?"
No, no it wasn't, you scary bitch and you know it. That kid was Chinese.
"No, ma'am. Maybe you might recognize him better from a police sketch. This is only an approximation, though, so he may not look exactly like this." Or anything like it.
Ellen takes the picture and looks at it. She stares long and hard and shakes her head.
"Sorry, he doesn't look familiar."
"What about this man?" He hands her another photo: Dean Winchester's latest mugshot from Baltimore. She stares at that picture, too, stares at it for a good five minutes.
"This one, I've seen him before." Thank you, Jesus, a lead! "He was on that America's Most Wanted show, wasn't he? He killed a bunch of kids in Missouri, right?" Fucking John Walsh.
"Only one woman, ma'am. He was stopped in the act of two others. This is very important: have you seen this man in person?"
"Sorry." She shakes her head, a small smile on her face. "Can't say I have." Bullshit. Walker said they were here.
"If we find out you're lying, we can charge you with aiding and abetting known criminals."
"Boy, let me tell you something: I'm the only decent grub for a hundred and fifty miles in any direction. Probably a few hundred people come through here on any given day. I'm not saying those boys haven't been here, I'm just saying I haven't seen them."
"Of course you are."
Ellen slowly sets the glass she had just been cleaning down on the bar. "You know, I think you should leave right now. I've answered your questions."
"Of course. Thank you." Scary, scary, bitch. He tries not to be glad that he's leaving empty-handed, but at least he's getting the fuck out of there.
In Montana, Sam comes close to actually doing it.
They're in some diner off the highway, eating. It's seven in the morning on a Saturday and the place is almost completely empty. They're stuffed in the same side of a booth because Sam lied and said it looked like there was a bloodstain on his side. Dean bitched and moaned, but it was all for show because he scooted further inside the booth immediately.
Dean's got a stack of pancakes and a bacon cheeseburger in front of him. He's slurping on a glass of Coke and complaining about the lack of Pepsi, Mountain Dew and Dr. Pepper in diners across the country.
Sam has already long since plowed through his omelet and hash browns. The fruit is out of season and too tart; he only needed one bite of a strawberry to figure that out. His orange juice was gone before his food ever even arrived.
Sam's running out of things to distract himself with. It would be so easy to do: just turn his head a little to the left and kiss his brother's neck. Just a small kiss. It doesn't have to be anything big.
He can't do it.
He can kiss Dean in the car, can suck his cock and beg Dean to fuck him 'till they both limp. But only as long as they're in private. Once there's even another single person around, Sam can't even make himself hold Dean's hand. Not that Dean does the whole "holding hands" thing, even alone, anyway.
Sam strikes a compromise with himself. He can't make himself kiss Dean in public, or do anything else openly affectionate where others can see, so instead he hooks his left leg over Dean's right and twists and turns his ankle until he has his foot tucked behind Dean's heel.
Dean swings his leg lightly, not in an effort to knock Sam off, but as a small acknowledgement of the action. Sam smiles and cuts himself a bite of Dean's pancakes.
The third postcard arrives at his house while he's chasing ghosts in Florida.
He's standing in the middle of aisle four in a Publix grocery store when his wife calls him. Victor ignores the first three calls because he's talking to a bakery manager who claims to have been living with Dean Winchester for the last month. He's almost positive she's blowing smoke up their asses but she's the first lead they've had in a week.
An hour later, he and Reed are done talking to Kandi the bakery manager and in the car on the way back to their hotel when he remembers the calls. He calls the house twice before trying his wife's cell phone.
She's talking a mile a minute when she picks up the phone and Victor can't understand a word she's saying. "Vanessa, Vanessa, slow down. Slow down and speak clearly."
"They know where we live, Vic." He doesn't have to ask who they are. "Keisha brought in the mail and asked why we got a postcard from Lincoln Burrows. I didn't even know anything was wrong until Nicolette came home; I thought he was someone you knew, someone real. I didn't know he was from a damn TV show." Her voice is shaking and she's out of breath. She's sniffling. She's scared and she's been crying and he was too busy listening to some glory-hound babble on about nothing of consequence to answer the phone when his wife needed him. "I've got the kids, we're going to my mother's house, my battery is dying and I don't have my charger with me. I love you, baby, I'll call you when we get there." She hangs up before he can say anything else; before he can even tell her he loves her.
Sam has been staring out the window for the last five hours. He's been silent all morning, even going so far as refusing to tell Dean what he wanted for breakfast—and, okay, sure, it was either stale donuts, stale bagels or cereal with gray milk, but still. Little bastard's still pouting over last night; you'd think the fucker could take a joke.
"Come on, 'who's your daddy?' That's funny!"
The glare Sam levels at him might scare a lesser man, but all it does to Dean is... Well, to be honest, it makes him a little horny. "It's not funny during sex, Dean."
"Of course it is!"
"I was very uncomfortable."
"That's what makes it funny!"
"Dude, come on. Lighten up."
"You brought up Dad during sex."
"Lots of people say 'who's your daddy' when they fuck and they aren't actually talking about their parents."
"And how many of those people are fucking their brothers when they say it, huh? Exactly." Sam doesn't even pause, doesn't give Dean the chance to answer before he barrels right on through. "You're an asshole and you're not funny and you can go fuck yourself."
"Oh, come on. I'll let you blow me to make up for it."
"You'll be lucky if I ever touch your cock again."
"Oh, what-the-fuck-ever, man. You're a total cockslut and you know it."
"I am not. And you're an asshole."
"You beg to go down on me. You love my cock even more than I do. See, look at that," he nods towards the tented fabric of Sam's jeans. "You're getting hard right now and I'm only talking about it."
Dean and Sam are at an all-night laundry mat in Oklahoma washing their clothes after a bad fight with a chick that tried to go all Carrie on her senior prom. It took four runs through the heavy-duty washers to get all the blood—sheep, cow, goat, and Carrie Jr.—out, but three hours later they're almost done.
It's the middle of the night, so they didn't even bother to change. They just grabbed a couple of pairs of underwear from the backseat and hopped up on a counter to wait for everything to dry.
The dryer dings and Dean leaps off of the counter with a bounce, stripping off his jockeys on his way to get the clothes out. Sam doesn't even bat an eye. Dean's done this for as long as Sam can remember. It was part of the reason why they never did laundry during the daytime growing up. Sam has fond memories of Bobby reminiscing the one time they did, and Dean's naked adventure in the strip-mall. He was nine.
And of course, just because Dean is standing there, naked as the day he was born, that's the moment some random college girl—if her shirt is right—comes walking in. She just stands there for a moment and Sam can feel his eye twitch. Dean's right, he can be a little possessive at times.
Dean bends over and pulls on his warm, freshly clean jockeys. "Oh, yeah, nothing beats a pair of underwear fresh from the dryer!" Dean tosses a pair of Sam's stupid little briefs at his head. "Come on, bitch, tuck it in and hurry up. I wanna be out of here before Bambi over there drools herself to death."