Sam is mostly sleeping in the car. The case has been long and boring and if he didn't have the promise of proper beds once they got to Bobby he probably would sleep. But to spare his neck he's keeping awake. Not that it mattered since he is too tired to hold his head up and will probably end up with a crick in it anyway from leaning against the window.
They haven't told Bobby they're gonna come, but they regularly crash at his nowadays, and he doesn't think there'd be a problem. He's fallen down some stairs, nothing broken, but he is a bit bruised. Dean is too, but when they have made sure nothing is broken Dean pretends like it doesn't hurt. There is an unfamiliar car in Bobby's parking lot, but Sam doesn't think much of it. Dean gets out of the car and Sam decides to wait and rest just a bit before entering. He has almost fallen asleep when he hears Dean's yell.
"Sam!" A moment later Sam is standing at the front door.
"What the hell? Where's Bobby?" he says to Dean.
"Apparently he's out shopping," Dean says, not bothering to hide the irony in his voice.
"Ok," Sam says, stroking a hand over his face. Sam looks at the two persons Dean has at gunpoint. One is a woman with purple hair and the other is a guy with blond hair in a complicated do. They are both wearing a weird mix of men's and women's fashion and some strange necklaces.
They all hear the sound of a car approaching and everyone stands still. "Looks like Bobby's truck," he says. "Looks like Bobby," he adds in a much lower voice.
"Sam," comes Bobby voice from the outside. "What the hell you doin' standin' in the doorway like that." Sam steps aside and lets Bobby enter. Bobby looks at the scene with raised eyebrows.
"Dean, put the gun down," he says quietly but firmly. Dean does, reluctantly, but he doesn't put his gun away. The other people slowly lower their arms.
"Didn't your mum tell you not to point a gun at a lady," the woman says and Bobby snort.
"You're not a lady," the guy says. Sam note that they have accents, the guy's stronger than the girl's but both still unmistakeably there.
"Is there coffee?" Bobby asks.
"Yeah," the girl says. "Might be a bit cold." They all go into the kitchen.
"Vacation?" Dean asks and looks disbelieving. Sam sighs. Dean has some trouble trusting people, but not generally when Bobby trusts them. On the other hand, he isn't sure himself that these two people aren't really some kind of monsters in disguise. He just hasn't figured out what kind of monsters. Bobby looks at both of them and shakes his head.
"I knew their grandma once upon a time. She was a real lady," he says with a look at the woman, who calls herself Neon. She looks back, completely unfazed.
"What has that got to do with anything?" Dean says.
"Bobby here had a problem, called our grandma, except she's dead, so he got us instead, and we came here and fixed it, I hope, and now we're on vacation," Neon says and smiles cheekily.
"Bobby had a problem?" Sam asks. "That you could fix?" There is nothing in the world he can think of that Bobby can't fix himself, wheelchair or no wheelchair.
"They're experts," Bobby says.
"Oh, experts," Dean mumbles. Everyone stares into their coffee.
"Ok," Bobby says after some awkward silence. "I'll leave you kids to it." He wheels over to the sink and puts his coffee mug into it.
"Where you going?" the guy asks. Viktor. Her brother.
"Anywhere but here," he says. "You young people can sort yourselves out, I'm sure. There's room for all of ya." He leaves the kitchen.
"So..." Sam clears his throat, trying to play nice. "What is it you do?"
"Well, I'm the most expensive hooker you'll ever meet and Viktor's my assistant," Neon says. Sam chokes a little. Viktor puts his head in his hands. Dean looks at her with a bit of interest. Of course.
"We help people with trolls and stuff," Viktor says from behind his hands.
"Of course," Dean mutters. "Trolls and stuff." He stands up. "I'm gonna take a shower."
"Want company?" Neon asks with a dirty smile. Sam closes his eyes.
"Neon för helvete!" Viktor looks up from his hands to glare at her. She smirks. Dean leaves without a glance at her. Awkward silence settles over them again. Viktor stands up and collects the cups and starts doing the dishes. Neon looks uneasily at him. She and Sam stay still until he is finished and sits back down.
"What do you do?" Viktor asks Sam as if nothing had happened.
"We help people," Sam says. "With ghosts and stuff." Viktor nods.
"Like Bobby," he says.
"Something like that," Sam says. He feels a bit uneasy.
"Bobby told us," Neon says suddenly. Both Sam and Viktor looks at her. "He said not to mention the apocalypse, or demons, angels or basically anything from the Bible. Or blood."
"Ok," says Sam slowly. He knows why Bobby had said that but it still hurts, after all this time.
"Eh, everyone fucks up," Neon says. "And I have no control over my mouth, so I figured it was best to mention it at once. Me and Viktor are practicing heathens." Silence settles once again. Sam is confused, hurt and tired, but he feels like he shouldn't leave the crazy people alone in Bobby's kitchen. When Bobby comes back and says it's time to start making dinner he quietly sneaks out.
A few days pass in uneasy silences, (mostly involving Dean), weird conversations (mostly involving Dean and Neon) and improper suggestions (exclusively from Neon). Sam has seen her ogling Dean's car and talking in a low voice about all the things you could do with, in and on the car until Dean had cleared his throat and left her. She had stood out by the car, talking to it and stroking it for a long time after he left. Sam and Viktor had sat on the porch drinking beer until Viktor had yelled at Neon to stop it. She had reluctantly left the car in peace.
Dean had tried to avoid her after that, but it was difficult since Bobby's place wasn't that big, and she seemed to be looking for him, finding new ways to annoy him. Or at least Dean thought she was looking for him, Sam thought she was just a bit bored and wanted to talk to someone, since he had been hanging with her brother, or rather, Viktor has been hanging with him.
“Do you think she's got some kind of mental illness?” Dean asks Sam as they sit out in the junkyard, Dean having hid there and Sam having found him.
“Maybe. Viktor say's that they've never seen a doctor about it.” Dean looks at Sam in surprise.
“You talk to him about that stuff? I thought you only talked geek.”
“A bit.” Sam shrugs. “He's good with computers, and nice. Normal.” He feels helpless, and he thinks he looks it too. “Normal-er.”
“It's strange that Bobby seems to like them as much as he does,” Dean says thoughtfully.
“Maybe he likes that they actually talk about stuff,” Sam says. “Or maybe he just likes their hair.” Dean is silent.
“You seem to like her though,” Sam says. Dean snorts. “No, honestly. You walk around and act like she annoys you and you hide from her and it's all very junior high.”
“I was never like that in junior high,” Dean mutters.
“Yeah, that was so my point,” Sam says, and pats him on the knee before leaving him to his thoughts.
“Dean,” Bobby says, in that tone of his that makes him sound at once annoyed and amused.
“Yeah,” Dean answers.
“Could you find time in your very busy schedule to teach the crazy kids how to shoot?” Bobby asks. “I would do it myself but,” he gestures at his legs. Dean thinks it's the most convincing argument he could have made, making Dean feel guilty yet again about his legs.
“Don't they know that already?” he asks.
“Nope,” Bobby says. “Says they don't need it.”
“And you think they do.”
“Everyone needs to know how to shoot,” Bobby says, and wheels away. Dean sighs and goes to find Neon and Viktor.
They spend most of that afternoon out in a field close to Bobby's. Dean has brought out shotguns to start with, and Neon is completely lousy at using them. It's as if she just doesn't get how it works, and she gets more and more frustrated. It's annoying and Dean looks at her condescendingly, just because she is a girl, she's sure. She considers telling him that Viktor isn't exactly a boy, but in the end she goes to sit down on a rock instead, and watches Dean teach Viktor. He seems to have some natural talent, even if he isn't exactly good at it. Neon looks bored every time he looks over at her.
“You could make an effort, you know,” Dean says and looks annoyed with her non-participation. She sighs.
“Don't you have a pistol or something. Something smaller, you know. More 'ladylike'?” Dean looks at her speculatingly.
“I'll go get one,” he says. The car is parked not far from there and he's back soon. Neon looks at him as he walks away and back, admiring his ass. Viktor sits down next to her. Dean gives her a gun.
“Try this,” he says, and she stands up.
“What now?” she asks, holding the gun awkwardly.
“You hold it like this,” he says, stepping up close to her to show her. She leans into him a bit, and he clears his throat and corrects her posture. “You look through here, and then you breath out and pull the trigger.” She leans at him even more, and pulls the trigger. It's not good, but definitely not as bad as she had been with the shotgun. He steps away from her.
“Ok, try it a couple of times,” he says. Then he makes them both keep practicing until they don't suck spectacularly anymore but just a bit.
Dean's outside in the yard again. Neon has been looking for him, not that it's all that difficult. He usually comes out into the yard when people have been talking to him too much. It's easy to tell when he is going, he gets that look, and Neon usually doesn't follow him, because despite what people think she does have some tact. She knows he thinks she's a pain, and she makes him uncomfortable. She doesn't know why.
He sits on the hood of an old truck and stares out at nothing when she comes walking. She isn't making any efforts to be silent, and when she comes close she sees that he has his gun in his hand. Fortunately he doesn't point it at her this time but only holds it. When he sees her he relaxes somewhat, but not entirely.
"Hi," she says and sits down next to him. He grunts something in reply. They sit in silence for a while.
"You're not allowed to sleep with my brother," she says suddenly.
"What?" he says, sounding completely confused.
"You can't sleep with him." She looks at him seriously.
"I don't want to!" Dean says somewhat angrily.
"Good. 'Cause you're pretty enough to make him want to try. He hasn't said anything, but I know my brother." She is silent for a while. Dean shifts a bit. "And I need him to stay a virgin."
"Ok," Dean says. "I'm straight."
"Ok," Neon says. There is another uncomfortable silence.
"I..." Dean says awkwardly. "I have had sex with men."
"But I'm not gay," he says emphatically.
"No," she says softly.
"Ok, just so we're clear." He looks out over the yard.
"Yeah," she sighs. "We should fuck though."
"No, we shouldn't," he says.
"Thought I'd try, you're really hot," she says with a smile. "Like really, really hot. Anyway, I'm going back now, coming?" She stands up and leaves without waiting for an answer, but she knows he won't follow.
Viktor is sitting in the kitchen drinking his eleven o'clock coffee with Bobby when Sam comes in and drops into a chair with a sigh.
“He's so completely stupid, I don't even believe it,” he says and puts his head on his folded arms on the table.
“Yeah,” Viktor says. Sam lifts his head a bit and glares at him before dropping it back down. “No?” Viktor asks.
“Whatever,” Sam mumbles into his arms. Bobby puts a cup of coffee in front of him.
“You always have coffee at this time?” Sam asks.
“Swedish tradition,” Viktor says. “But there should be some cakes or something, baked by someone's grandmother.”
“Yes,” Viktor says and smiles. Sam smiles back a bit.
“What's your sister saying?”
“She wants to sleep with your brother,” Viktor says and Sam chokes on his coffee. Bobby laughes quietly.
“Ok,” Sam says, taking a few deep breaths. “Ok, she wants to sleep with Dean.”
“Is that all?” Sam asks.
“I don't know. She hasn't said. I think she doesn't want to date him,” Viktor says, his strange accent making English sound like an almost different language. “But she did say he has, what's the word, pussy eating lips?” This time Sam inhales his coffee and has to cough for a minute, Bobby pounding him on his back and laughing.
“It's not funny!” Sam says. “I don't want to hear stuff like that! He's my brother.”
“I didn't tell you what she said about you,” Viktor says, sounding smug. Sam stares at him.
“You're going back home soon, aren't you?” he says in a pathetically transparent attempt at changing the subject. Viktor goes with it though.
“Yes. Maybe in a week, maybe in a month. We don't know,” Viktor says.
“Huh,” Sam says. They sit in silence for a while, until Bobby makes them help with lunch.
“Are you always like this?” Dean asks as he pushes Neon further away from him.
“Like what?” She is still trying to get closer, push him into a corner.
“Aggressive,” he says and lets her get close, and she counts it as a win, even if he probably does it because it's easier.
“Do you want me to play hard to get?” she asks. “I don't do that. If I want something I take it. And I want you.” She pushes her breasts into his chest and feels his muscles. He really was quite as ripped as he looked.
“You've already said that,” he says. “And I don't want you.”
“You're lying,” she says and smiles. “But hey, let's not get hung up on details.” She stops crowding him and sort of rolls off him to lean on the wall instead. “Did I tell you about the time my brother had to milk a magical cow?”
“No, and I don't want to know,” Dean says and tries to leave.
“Ok, so tell me something interesting you have done then,” she says, and follows him out. It takes him half an hour to dodge her and by then he has forgotten why he was so determined to get away from her.
Sam and Dean leave Bobby's before Dean has quite figured out what happened between him and Neon, and why he felt, and still feels, the need to tell her stuff. It didn't feel like witchcraft, more like something in her personality, weird as it was. They drive in silence for some hours before Sam decides it's time to talk.
“You miss her,” he says. Dean doesn't say anything and looks resolutely at the road. “You really miss her, and you didn't even sleep with her.”
“How would you know?” Dean asks, still not even glancing at Sam.
“Viktor said he would know, and that she would tell him anyway,” Sam says and shrugs. “Did you even talk to each other?”
“Not that it's any of your business, but yes, we did talk,” Dean says.
“And now you miss her.”
“Did the end of the world make you stupid?” Sam doesn't answer but smiles smugly. Dean decides to continue ignoring him until they reached their destination.
His plan goes overboard when they drive through a forest close to a mountain. The car's headlights suddenly flickers off and on and the engine revs itself. Dean swears under his breath and parks the car in a grassy patch next to the small road. It is dark and he doesn't see much but he opens the hood and tried to figure out what is wrong with the engine.
“Sam! Get your ass here and bring a flashlight!” he yells. Sam comes out and holds the light for him, looking bored and a bit tired. Dean can't see anything wrong with the car.
“Let's drive on,” he says, “we can't stay here.” When he closes the hood and looks up he sees something out of the corner of his eye. Something that glitters in the woods. “Sam,” he says quietly. Sam nods.
“What did you see?”
“Humanoid, glittery, possibly not alone,” Sam says. They both go around and open the trunk. Dean pulls out some guns and gives one to Sam. When he looks up a creature stands by the driver's side door. It looks human, but something is off with it. It has red hair down to its waist and is dressed in furs and more bling than Dean has ever seen. He points his gun at it and it cocks its head.
“Silver,” it says. “Not going to do much.” Dean recognizes the accent as something close to what Neon and Viktor has, but not as strong.
“It's going to hurt,” Dean says. The creature smiles. Its teeth are yellow, and looks sharp.
“Not enough,” it says. Dean pulls the trigger anyway. The bullet seems to pass through it without causing any damage. Sam shoots it with salt and it suddenly looks less happy. Then Dean hits it in the head with the butt of his gun and gets in the car. They are out on the road before Sam has had time to close his door.
Neon för helvete! - Neon for fucks sake!
Sam and Dean barely speak on the way back to Bobby's, just enough to decide that they're going back and that the car seems to be fine. Dean seems shaken, and Sam can feel his own heart pounding in his chest. Nothing happened, really, and it didn't seemed all that threatening, but there is the feeling of something being wrong, and Dean feels it too, he was sure, and even if he doesn't, the way it affects his car upsets Dean like nothing else. Besides, the furs are just tacky.
He has calmed down somewhat by the time they return, and both he and Dean storm into the living room to everyone's surprise and fling themselves down in the sofa. Dean refuses to say what has happened until he gets a beer, and even then he mostly keeps quiet and lets Sam explain.
“So, let me get this straight,” Neon says when they are finished, “you met a troll, a powerful one by the sound of it, and you shot it with silver and rock salt and then hit it over the head?” She shakes her head. “Wow.”
“I think that Neon is trying to tell you that she's happy you are not eaten,” Viktor says.
“Eaten?” Sam asks, feeling a bit spooked. “There was a risk of getting eaten?”
“Since they didn't do a good enough job on the trolls,” Bobby says, looking a bit annoyed.
“Hey, we tried! It's not my fault those trolls don't know the proper way to behave,” Neon says. “Anyway, I offer my body as penance.” She looks at Dean and smiles in a way appropriate for a porn star. Viktor hits her over the head. She hits him in the arm, and it all turns into some kind of wrestling game that to Sam looks like hugging.
“Children!” Bobby says. Neon looks up from where she was half lying on Viktor.
“We have a problem to solve,” Bobby says, and Sam thinks he sees something indulgent in Bobby's eyes. He thinks maybe Bobby had looked at him and Dean like that when they were younger, but perhaps not when John saw. He has stopped now, but Sam sometimes thinks he sees Bobby look at them wistfully, like he wants to express softer feelings and even indulge in hugging, but doesn't dare to. Sam wants to hug him too sometimes, but he doesn't know how to start something like that, not with Dean and not with Bobby. He envies Viktor in that moment.
“How do you kill them?” he says, and realizes that he has missed something while thinking since everyone looks at him strangely. Neon sits up, putting a hand in Viktor's stomach and making him groan.
“You don't,” she says.
“You don't, or you can't. Or you don't know how?” Dean says, looking her straight in the eye.
“I don't. I have no idea how, anymore. I mean, my grandmother used to say that they could be killed by priests and that they died when they heard churchbells, but that's not true anymore, not when Christianity is so...secular, I guess, or maybe it's just that people don't believe like they used to.” She looks serious. “And apparently they can't be pistol whipped into submission either,” she adds with a smile.
“Funny,” Dean murmurs. “So, what did you do before that didn't work?”
“Negotiate. Speak the old language. Talk about our gods,” Viktor says.
“You do know that your Gods have died,” Sam says. Both Viktor and Neon look at him. “Well, some of them.”
“I...don't think so,” Neon says slowly, but she looks shaken. Sam sees her reach for Viktor's hand.
“We saw some of them get killed. During the...” Sam trails off.
“Apocalypse,” Dean adds. Strangely, Neon looks relieved
“I think,” she says. “Yeah, I think that maybe that wasn't...” She looks frustrated. “I don't know what it's called in English, but I'm mostly sure that Oden isn't dead.”
“Mostly sure,” Dean echoes. He looks skeptical. Sam just feels confused and not all that interested.
“Yeah, mostly sure. Problem? How's your God doing nowadays?” She suddenly looks angry. Viktor pulls her close and hugs her.
“We're not getting anywhere tonight,” Bobby says, “I'm going to bed.” He wheels out from the room and calls, “no screaming matches, I need my beauty sleep,” from the hallway. Sam also rises and looks meaningfully at Dean, who just shakes his head. There is silence as he leaves.
Sam's sitting in the kitchen staring at his laptop when Viktor enters. He looks up distractedly to greet Viktor and then does a double take.
“You look...different,” he says. Viktor hasn't put any make-up on that Sam can see, and it looks like he hasn't shaved either.
“I feel naked,” Viktor says, and gestures to his face. “I had to put on my best sparkly shoes so no one would notice the glamour-lack.” He holds his foot out and Sam is treated to a view of pumps with purple sequins, roughly in size 9.
“Nice,” he says faintly. Viktor smiles.
“Is there coffee left?” Sam nods and Viktor helps himself to a cup, and a cheese sandwich. He sits down next to Sam. “Find anything?” he asks. Sam shakes his head.
“Mostly they seem to think that trolls look like the ones in Lord of the Rings,” he explains. Viktor snorts. “And those that know stuff don't know more than you do.” Viktor leans back in his chair.
“So we don't have a plan,” he says. “That's not very good.” Sam raises his eyebrow.
“No,” he agrees. “And nothing we have seem like it would work. Iron is supposed to hold them off, but they came close to the car, and we have lots of iron in that.” They sit quietly a while.
“Maybe we can try some stuff at the same time,” Viktor says. “Like iron and crosses and prayers and talking Swedish at the same time,” he adds when Sam wrinkles his eyebrows.
“Will that work? I mean, you and Neon don't believe in God,” he says.
“You do,” Viktor says. Sam is quiet.
“I don't know,” he finally adds. “I don't think Dean does anyway and I don't....believe. Not anymore.” He feels very uncomfortable and Viktor apparently picks up on that since he decides to change the subject.
“Where is my sister anyway?” he asks.
“With my brother I think. I really don't want to know more than that,” he says and makes a face. Viktor laughs.
“I think you don't have to worry. She says he's playing hard to get, I think it's called.”
“That's...I never thought I'd hear anyone say that about Dean,” Sam says, feeling mildly shocked.
“I think that she likes it. But only a little,” Viktor says. “She said that she would like it more if they had sex. Lots of sex.” Sam feels uncomfortable again.
“How do you do that?” he asks.
“Just...talk about your sister's sex life like that. I just...try to think as little as possible about Dean having sex. It's like...I don't know. I just don't want to know.” Sam shudders.
“When I had just turned fourteen we were walking in a forest and there was this creature who has sex with guys and makes them crazy. It wanted to have sex with me but Neon said no and then she had sex with it instead. She told me to run home but I couldn't leave her, so I sort of...had to watch.” Viktor shrugs. “I had to carry her home after that, and since then it's just not a big thing.”
“That's just...wow.” Sam feels like he has been thrown into a world he doesn't know anything about and wonders if all people they helped feel like this when he and Dean tells them that ghosts are real. ”I think that would have made me more determined to not know.”
“Maybe it's because I'm asexual,” Viktor says. “It's not related to me. But one time she had sex in the room I was sleeping in.” He makes a face. “That was not funny.”
“I guess not. So you think they're just talking?”
“Maybe screaming at each other. Neon likes to scream,” Viktor says. Sam probably looks as skeptical as he feels. “Shout, get mad at, argue!”
“Yeah,” Sam says. “Match made in Heaven.”
“...och sen sa han att han inte ville ligga med mej. Han ville inte ligga med mej!” Neon says, sounding outraged. She's supposed to be packing her stuff but she has flung herself down on her bed in a dramatic manner instead.
“Jaha,” Viktor says in a bored tone. “Alla män i hela världen vill inte det.” He folds one of his shirts neatly into his bag.
“Han vill ligga med mej, jag vet det.” She removes her arm from where she has draped it artfully over her eyes. “Vi har något, det är bara som att han vägrar att erkänna det.” She sighs theatrically.
“Am I interrupting something?” Bobby says from the doorway.
“Dean wont have sex with me,” Neon says. Bobby looks at her with a frown.
“What you do in your free time is none of my business,” he says mildly, “but if you hurt him I will hurt you.” Neon looks at him.
“You love them more than us,” she says whinily. Bobby doesn't comment, just stares at her. “I'll be nice,” she says at last. He nods.
“Get going,” he says and wheels out. Neon sighs again and keeps on packing.
After some really extensive packing they are finally ready to go. Neon and Viktor apparently don't have a clue what packing light is like, even if they too seem to live out of a car. A small, French car. Dean had shuddered when he had heard about it, but he hasn't said anything, for which Sam is grateful. Not that Sam has any warm feelings toward French cars himself, but at least he has manners. When they have settled and Bobby's house is in the rear-view mirror Neon pokes him and gives him her iPod.
"Playlist called 'other cars'," she says.
"O...k..." Sam says, with a look at Dean.
"No way," Dean says. "Driver picks the music." Neon looks at him with raised eyebrows. Sam waits for the fight that was bound to break out with equal parts anticipation and fear.
"So let me drive then," she says. Dean snorts.
"I don't think so," he says. Neon looks thoughtful for a while and then she starts to sing at the top of her lungs.
"'In my daddy's car, it's you I really wanna drive, but you never go too far.'"
Viktor joins in after a while and Sam feels himself giggle helplessly. Dean looks like he wants to hit someone, which makes Sam laugh harder. Viktor and Neon also start to laugh and Dean mutters about 'kids' and 'not funny'. He then puts in a cassette with AC/DC, which doesn't help at all with the singing so he turns off the music.
“New rule,” he says. “No singing in the car.” Sam looks at him and smiles a bit. Dean glares.
“Can I talk?” Neon says sarcastically. “Or maybe you just want me to stay put and be pretty. Oh, no, you don't think I'm pretty anyway, I just remembered.” Dean groans.
“You know that's not what...” he tries.
“Funny, that's what I heard,” she interrupts. Viktor pokes her hard in the side. “Ow,” she says. He looks at her, a look Sam can't interpret, but she quiets down for a while after that, and Dean seems to relax. It's fascinating, Sam thinks, Neon really is the kind of person you'd think would just brush off any and all rejection, and still, the fact that Dean won't have sex with her seems to wound her. Or perhaps she's pretending, it isn't always easy to know.
They go to where Sam and Dean have seen the troll, and of course there is nothing there. They search the area, with EMF and by looking for traces, while Neon and Viktor hang around and look bored. Neon has tried to say that they won't be there, it's too far away from their home and the troll they have met was probably a scout or a hunter. Dean refuses to listen and Sam decides to take his side. But there is nothing there, no traces of anything, basically. Sam looks over to Viktor who stands close to Neon and lets her head rest on his shoulder. He feels a certain jealousy again at their closeness, or perhaps the way they don't need any excuses for physical contact like he and Dean. They just hug because they feel like it, it seems, and for a moment he wants that so strongly he almost goes over and tackles Dean to the ground just so he can hug. But in the end the black eye he would most likely get isn't worth it. He goes over to the car and rests against it with a sigh.
“Nothing?” Viktor asks. Sam shakes his head.
“We looked at the map and we still think those trolls we met in Black hills are the ones that do this,” Neon says. “But we still need some kind of plan. And some place to stay in Newcastle.”
“Place to stay is no problem, but maybe a plan is,” Sam says. Dean comes walking back, taking care to make a lot of noise so no one will suspect that he was pleased or in a good mood.
“Get in the car,” he orders, and not even Neon bothers to argue.
They drive for another 7 hours before they get to Newcastle, WY. Neon has tried to get to drive, but Dean drives for most of the time and only lets Sam drive so he can nap for half an hour. She thinks he is probably trying to be all manly and stoic, but she can understand that need to have control over your car, even though Dean has dissed hers. She still doesn't like that he doesn't let her drive though.
They find a motel that looks cheap, a bit too cheap for Viktor, Neon was certain, but he doesn't complain because she glares at him. She hopes there isn't mould in the bathroom, and if there are cockroaches Viktor will sleep in the car, she has watched him do it before.
She tells him about talking to Dean and making him promise not to sleep with Viktor and Viktor solemnly says that there isn't anyone in the world pretty enough for him to sleep with them, and that he feels that Neon is projecting. Not that he minds. Neon tells him loudly that she does no such thing, and Viktor smiles gleefully and tells her that he'd rather sleep with Sam, if he had to. She considers talking to Sam too, but in the end she doesn't. Too much trouble, and Sam doesn't generally have sex with men, she's sure.
The room doesn't have any cockroaches that either of them can see, but there are suspicious stains on the carpet. Viktor says that he doesn't know why they had decided on such a low standard place, he and Neon can afford something better and Sam had said that they had gotten some kind of inheritance or something, so apparently they have some money. She knows he doesn't want to ask, and she isn't interested enough to go ask about money. The place has beds after all, and they are working, but then again she doesn't have cockroach-phobia.
Neon is sitting on the bed applying more mascara when Viktor comes out of the bathroom, pink faced and freshly clean from removing his make-up.
“Ska du ut?” he asks. She shrugs.
“Det ligger typ nån pub I närheten. Jag tänkte passa på att ta en öl.”
“En öl,” Viktor says, his tone flat. “Visst, ok.”
“Inte en gång till. Det är inte synd om mej och jag är inte förtryckt,” Neon says in what she considers a very resonable tone.
“Du är min syster,” Viktor says but seems to realize it's not a proper argument. He hands her some condoms from his handbag.
“Jag blir tillbaka ganska snart, ringer annars,” Neon says and leaves him alone.
Dean grabs her arm just as she's going to follow the old man out the back door to the alley outside.
“Where are you going?” he asks. She looks at him sarcastically.
“As if you don't know,” she says. She tries to pull her arm free but he tightens his grip.
“You're not,” he says. She clenches her jaw.
“I am. This is what I do.”
“It's not,” he says. She tries again to get free. “Neon.”
“Ok, let's go then,” she says. “You owe me money.” She goes after him outside to where the Impala is parked and he gives her the money.
“Get in the car,” he says.
“Front or back,” she says and bites her lower lip coyly. He doesn't say anything and she gets in on the passenger side. They drive in silence the short way back to the motel. Dean parks and turns off the car but doesn't say anything.
“If you're not gonna give me a speech, which I've already heard multiple times, by the way, I'm going to bed. Unless you want your money's worth that is,” Neon says, but her tone is tired and it doesn't come off as very aggressive.
“I don't know, what do you get for that kind of money nowadays?” Dean asks.
“I was gonna blow him. It was already negotiated, price and all,” she says.
“Huh,” Dean says.
“You haven't done it in a while then,” Neon asks and Dean looks at her sharply. “Come on, takes one to know one.”
“Not since Sam grew up,” he says, vaguely. “I, no, not since then.”
“I guess you'd have different people now. Less pervs,” she says quietly.
“Perhaps. More violence.”
“I still pass for fifteen in bad light,” Neon says. Dean winces. “Men call me by their daughters' names.” They sit in silence. Dean looks thoughtful.
“Do you really need money that much?” he asks after a while.
“I don't know,” Neon answers. “Truthfully, I could probably do something else, but it's simple. If you've got it, you know.” Dean sighs
“I know,” he says.
“You've probably got all kinds of noble reasons,” she says.
“No. It was just easy. Probably easier for me than for you. Let someone blow you. Fuck someone. Get fucked on occasion.”
“Lot's of old guys wanting you to pretend you're younger than you are.” Dean suddenly grabs on to Neon again and turns her toward him. She doesn't protest. He kisses her softly on the lips. She puts her hands in his hair and deepens the kiss. When she lets up they are both panting. Dean has his eyes closed. Neon untangles her hands from him.
“Let's not,” she says. Dean nods. She almost reaches for him before she opens the car door and gets out.
Translations:...och sen sa han att han inte ville ligga med mej. Han ville inte ligga med mej! - ...and then he said he doesn't want to sleep with me. He doesn't want to sleep with me!
Jaha – So
Alla män i hela världen vill inte det. - All the men in the world doesn't want to do that.
Han vill ligga med mej, jag vet det. - He does want to sleep with me, I know that
Vi har något, det är bara som att han vägrar att erkänna det. - We have something, he just won't admit it
Ska du ut? - Are you going out?
Det ligger typ nån pub I närheten. Jag tänkte passa på att ta en öl. - There's some kind of pub nearby. I'm gonna grab a beer
En öl – A beer
Visst, ok. - Yeah, right
Inte en gång till. Det är inte synd om mej och jag är inte förtryckt - Not again. You don't have to feel pity for me and I'm not repressed
Du är min syster – You're my sister.
Jag blir tillbaka ganska snart, ringer annars, - I'll be back soon, call you otherwise
Neon wakes up in the morning to Viktor shaking her.
“Pengar?” he asks her. She shakes her head and burrows lower down into the covers. “Vi måste betala för nästa natt.”
“Ta mitt kreditkort,” Neon murmurs. “Gå!” She listens to Viktor walking around the room and then the door opening and closing. She tries to go back to sleep and just when she has almost succeded someone bangs on the door.
“You awake?” Dean shouts.
“No,” Neon shouts back. Dean opens the door and comes in. Neon sits up. Dean takes one look at her and turns around. She feels like she has missed something.
“What?” she asks.
“You're not wearing clothes,” Dean answers, his back still turned. Neon looks at herself.
“I've got pants on,” she says finally. Dean snorts.
“That helps a lot,” he says. She roots around and finds a shirt that she puts on.
“All decent,” she says.
“I doubt that,” Dean mutters but turns around. “What's the plan?”
“You're supposed to be the experts, what's the plan?”
“I need coffee before any planning takes place,” Neon says and steps out of the bed. She starts looking around for proper clothes and puts them on. Dean turns around again.
“You can look, you know,” she says conversationally.
“I don't want to,” Dean says.
“'Course you don't,” Neon says.
“I really feel it would be inappropriate.”
“I mean, I would look, but we're going to work together and all, so it would probably be best not too,” he says. She considers interrupting his babbling but then decides not to. He is funny when he gets nervous after all.
“I'm done now,” she says. He turns around. She is dressed in a white summer dress, with white leggings and ballerina shoes. Her strange necklace suddenly looks less like something occult and more like a fashionable hippie thing. She isn't beautiful by normal standards, for one her nose is too big, and she is too loud to be feminine or anything like that, but there is something about her, and she knows how to work it to her advantage. The illusion of soft hippie woman is broken as soon as she opens her mouth though.
“I know, but it's totally easy to get laid when you look all 'the earth goddess guides me'”, she says. “I need coffee like nympho's need cock. Let's go.” She leaves the room and Dean has to hurry out after her.
Sam finds Viktor inside his room poking sadly at his hair, and forces him to come get brekfast before trying to fix his hairdo. They find Dean and Neon inside looking into their respective coffee cups. Neon looks at Viktor when they enter and Sam thinkst she had probably practiced that blank expression a lot of times in the mirror.
“I know,” Viktor says to her as he sat down. “I need coffee.” The waitress appears as if called there by magic, but probably she was just bored by the tiny amount of people in the diner. She looks at them and does a double take at Viktor, who despite the state of his hair has managed to put on a perfect and rather distinct eighties make-up.
“What can I get you all?” she asks and Dean rattles off his and Sam's usual orders before anyone else can say anything. Then Neon orders pancakes and fruit for her and Viktor, and lots of black coffee. The waitress looks confused, but she leaves and comes back with their orders soon, even though she keeps sneaking glances at them. Neon and Viktor seem used to it and Dean tries to flirt with the waitress while Sam ignores everything and especially his brother, something he has practised a lot.
After they've finished with their breakfast they try to agree on a plan. It escalates really soon and the waitress asks them to leave before they have done more than establish that Dean and Neon think each other's plans are the stupidest ever, which, as Sam feels the need to point out, was not at all helpful. They all pile into Neon and Viktor's room so Viktor can fix his hair while they talk. Neon lies down on the bed and states that she will sleep until they decide to take her seriously, Viktor hits her in the arm and calls her something in Swedish that makes her laugh and then he goes into the bathroom.
“I don't see why we can't kill them,” Dean says when Neon has stopped laughing.
“Because we don't know how,” Neon says. “I've already told you that.”
“And I've told you anything can be burned.”
“You don't know that. Maybe they'll just get pissed,” Sam says.
“You're supposed to be on my side!” Dean says, looking a bit betrayed.
“I didn't realize there were sides to take,” Sam says tiredly.
“I'm on Sam's side,” Viktor shouts from the bathroom.
“You're not,” Neon shouts back. “You're on my side.”
“Can't we go and check out the mountain,” Sam says, trying hard to be the voice of reason. His head is starting to hurt. It is like having two Deans instead of one, and that is really one and a half too many.
“Not if they're gonna eat us,” Dean says.
“Come on, they're not gonna eat us,” Sam says, looking at Neon.
“Probably not. You're with me, or rather, with Viktor, so we'll be safe.”
“Ok, then, let's go,” Dean says. “We're off in half an hour, then.” He leaves the room without looking back and Sam feels a bit bad for Neon. But just a very small bit. Mostly he feels bad for himself having to spend hours in the car with those two.
Neon spends most of the time in the car sleeping, and Viktor assures everyone that she really is sleeping, claiming that 'she doesn't fake'. Sam thinks this is funny but that Dean looks a bit tense. He doesn't get what is happening with his brother at all, and it makes him a bit worried. It is unusual for Dean to get this attached to someone, and especially someone he doesn't even seem to like all that much. It is confusing and talking to Viktor doesn't seem to shed any light on the situation. Sam basically has no alternative left, he is going to have to talk to Dean. But he is going to have to be sneaky about it. Dean is actually good at talking about feelings, as long as he doesn't realize what he's doing until it's too late. But as soon as it seems like there's going to be some kind of talk he evades, so Sam needs some kind of plan for this.
They get up into the mountains via winding roads that Dean drives a bit too fast on, as usual, but Sam has stopped worrying about that. All in all, a car accident seemes like a decent way to die. Viktor looks serene so Sam guesses that he is used to reckless driving. Perhaps he drives that way himself.
“Where are we going exactly?” Sam asks when it seems like they are just driving deeper into the mountain with no goal in sight.
“Somewhere to park,” Viktor answers. “We are close now, but we need to walk a bit too.”
“And we don't want to park where there's lots of other people,” Dean says.
“We don't?” Sam says.
“No, we don't. The regular paths are gonna be full of people wondering why we don't follow the tracks.”
“Right, it's probably not even legal to go walking off track in the forest,” Sam says.
“And it's longer to walk,” Viktor says. “I don't like walking shoes.” Sam turns around in the car and looks at him with raised eyebrows. “No heels,” Viktor explains. Dean mumbles something that sounds like 'oh my god', but doesn't offer any more comment. Viktor smiles.
“Your brother is sweet,” he says to Sam. Sam and Dean snort at exactly the same time. Then they look at each other and Sam starts laughing. Dean smiles but manages to not crack up.
“Thank you,” he says, “that's...nice of you.” Viktor smiles. They drive in silence a while longer.
“Maybe you should wake her,” Sam says after a while. Viktor pokes Neon in the side, which makes her groan, so he pokes her a bit harder.
“Sluta,” Neon murmurs.
“You guys live a pretty sheltered live, don't you,” Dean says.
“Mmmhmmm,” Neon says and tries to bury her face in Viktors shoulder. It seems very bony and uncomfortable and apparently she agrees because she gives up.
“Is there coffee?” she asks, rubbing a hand over her face.
“No,” Viktor says. Neon looks out the window. She looks thoughtful.
“Maybe we did it wrong,” she says.
“No shit,” Dean says. “They're still eating people, and you think you might have done something wrong.”
“I mean, maybe the negotiation didn't work because we said something wrong. Maybe they don't speak the old language as well anymore.” She laughs a little. “Maybe they thought you were a woman,” she says and pokes Viktor in the side.
“That...would be a problem,” Viktor says.
“Dude, she just insulted your manhood,” Dean said from the frontseat.
“Isn't manhood another word for penis?” Viktor asks and looks confused. Sam and Neon giggles and even Dean cracks up a little.
“Something like that,” he says, and Viktor still looks confused, but stays silent. Dean suddenly turns off the main road into what looks like it had been a road at some point, but is now only a general lack of trees. He drives for a while before parking the car.
“Ready for the walk-about?” he says, turning toward Neon and Viktor and grinning like a maniac.
Viktor actually doesn't complain a lot, after he's pointed out just in the beginning that his legs don't look all that good in walking shoes he's mostly quiet and keeps walking. Neon hums a bit to herself, but otherwise she doesn't say anything. It's very silent, almost too silent for a forest in the summer. Sam thinks that there should be birds and insects around, but he doesn't see a living thing. Dean has pulled him aside and asked if he felt there was something wrong around here, since he looked so uncomfortable, and Sam doesn't quite know what to say. 'It's too quiet' sounded lame, but still, if Dean doesn't hear it then it was possibly important that he know.
“Do you hear any birds?” Sam asks. Dean listens.
“Not a lot,” he says, and listens some more. “Ok, not at all. That's freaky.”
“Yeah. Let's ask our experts.” Dean snickers some at that but sobers up when they get close to Viktor who is leaning against a tree.
“Where's Neon?” Sam asks. Viktor points into some bushes.
“She had to pee,” he says.
“Is it usually this quiet around trolls?”
“I don't think so, not that I...” Viktor says and turns abruptly to Dean, “are you trying to watch my sister pee?”
“No,” Dean says, but Sam can see a faint blush on his cheeks.
“She'd probably like that,” Viktor says thoughtfully.
“That's a lie,” comes Neon's voice from the bushes. “I only like wholesome stuff, like salad and granola and missionary position.” She comes back to them and Viktor gives her a wet wipe which is then disposed of somewhere in her backpack. She catches Dean and Sam looking.
“What?” she says. “Just because we're in a forest does not mean you can give up on style and common hygiene.” Sam shakes his head.
“You really don't shoot things,” Dean says.
“We really don't,” Neon agrees. “And Sam's right, it's too quiet. Don't know what it means though.”
“Let's keep walking and find out,” Dean says, and double checks his weapons.
They don't find anything at all, no EMF, no traces and Neon shouting at the top of her voice doesn't do anything either. Sam just wants to go to sleep, he's not used to these long hours anymore, not since he and Dean scaled down after the end of the world and all that jazz. They decided not to go back to the motel they stayed in before; it's not quite high season yet so there's rooms available at a lot of the small places where nature enthusiasts stay. They find a place that looks cheap enough and Viktor stays with the car while the rest of them go to get rooms. The girl behind the counter is young, perhaps nineteen and pretty, in a very wholesome and virginal hippie way. Neon walks up to the counter. She smiles at the girl.
"Hi! What's the cheapest room for two people you have?" she says. The girl looks a bit flustered at having Neon's smile directed at her.
"Er, that's a room with a double bed" she says, her gaze drawn at Neon's cleavage which has been pushed up by her arms crossed under her breasts.
"Ok, we'll have that. Is it ok to get one for one night and pay later if we plan to stay?" she asks as she signs her name on the papers. The girl nods and gives her the key. "See you later, baby," Neon says as she walks out the door. The girl looks at her ass as she leaves. Then she clears her throat and helps Dean and Sam. Dean obviously feels as if the race is already lost, or perhaps he just feels a bit skeezy hitting on someone that young, but he behaves like the perfect gentleman.
Sam collapses as soon as they are inside the room. Dean lays out salt lines, a habit Sam thinks he'll keep up with until he dies, before he declares that he will go sit in the lounge the hostel has and grab a beer. Sam mutters something into his pillow and watches him leave through slitted eyes before he falls asleep.
He wakes up again to raised voices. No, not raised voices, just voices very close.
“...so you think it's a good idea to drag me in here instead,” he hears Neon whisper harshly.
“I already told you no!” Dean says, not bothering to keep his voice down properly. Sam guesses he thinks Sam is dead to the world.
“And I told you it's none of your business!”
“You don't need the money,” Dean says, and Sam doesn't want to hear this. He considers coughing or something.
“It's not always about the money,” Neon says, voice getting louder as she gets more upset.
“Right, 'cause you really did want to sleep with that old jerk,” Dean says sarcastically.
“Maybe I did, it's not really your problem, is it?”
“You didn't. What did he offer?” She mumbles something Sam can't catch. “You're not selling yourself cheap anyway,” Dean says and he sounds almost...impressed. Sam decides that enough is enough.
“Please go somewhere else,” he says, and enjoys the guilty way they both jump.
“Didn't mean to wake you,” Dean says quietly, and they both leave. Sam resolutely does not think about what he heard and goes back to sleep.
In the morning they drink coffee in the small kitchen at the hostel. Sam didn't think there was anyone in the world who drank as much coffee as hunters, but apparently he was wrong. Neon and Viktor also have weird hang-ups about drinking coffee at certain times, like eleven and three, which Viktor claims is cultural. Dean looks like he hasn't slept at all, and he drinks two cups of coffee before even looking at Sam. He does look mildly guilty, and Sam knows it's not because he was woken up during the night. They never talk about it, but Sam knows that Dean hustled when they were kids, sold his body to strange men to be able to give Sam food. He also knows that Dad never found out, because if he had he would have killed every man he even suspected had bought Dean's body. It still makes him vaguely uncomfortable to think about, and he knows Dean isn't too happy about him knowing it either. He wonders what Viktor thinks, if he knows. He's almost certain Viktor knows, they seem to talk bout everything, not like he and Dean at all. Or maybe a little like that, they're all a bit dysfunctional, Dean more than most, admittedly, but he's not far behind himself.
There was a time, just after the end of the world that wasn't, when Sam thought he'd settle down instead, stop hunting for real and get himself a place, finish college, get a job, have the normal life. It seemed like the thing to do, the thing to want, and yeah, maybe Sam does want it. He just can't have it. He'd gotten himself an apartment in Austin, not wanting to go back to Stanford and just picked something. It took two weeks before he stole a car and drove to Bobby's to wait for Dean to come back so he could go with him again. Two weeks of walls closing in on him, boredom and anxiety warring inside him and a longing for something tangible, visceral. Like a gun in his hand, his brother beside him and miles and miles of road. It's stupid, and it's romanticized but when he was pacing the tiny kitchen of his apartment it was all he could think about.
There are some dry bagels lying around in the kitchen, which they eat for breakfast. No one is really talking, and the atmosphere is tense; Neon is refusing to look at anyone and Sam doesn't like it. He prefers uncomplicated, and he prefers talking about stuff, but he knows his brother. For all that Dean seems to have a one track mind he's sometimes ridiculously complicated. Sam clears his throat.
“Are we sure it's even trolls doing the eating?” he asks. As an opening it's perhaps not the smoothest but he couldn't stand the silence any more.
“Ok, random,” Dean says, but he looks up from his coffee and Sam thinks he looks a bit better already.
“It shouldn't be,” Viktor says. “They never eat people home.”
“At home,” Neon says absently.
“What else eats people?” Viktor asks, ignoring Neon completely.
“Uh, lots of stuff,” Sam says.
“Helpful,” Neon says. Sam ignores her, it seems to work for Viktor.
“You must have thought it was the trolls anyway, why? I mean, if they don't eat humans then there should be no reason for you to think it was them,” Sam says.
“Bobby thought it was. He said they spoke some kind of language he didn't understand,” Neon said.
“I had to speak Swedish to him in the phone,” Viktor says. “Say stuff like, 'I'm gonna eat you' in different dialects.”
“And then he decided it was trolls,” Neon says. “And we travelled here.”
“You just travelled here,” Sam says. “That's just...”
“It was time for a vacation anyway,” Neon says, her gaze far away.
“We had some rough times,” Viktor says.
“Yeah, rough times,” Neon says. Sam looks at them. They seem to gravitate toward each other, as if thinking about the 'rough times' is enough to make them need to get closer, to know that they are both still alive. Sam recognizes this, he thinks maybe he and Dean look the same to outsiders, but he knows there are differences; he and Dean are never that comfortable touching each other. It just isn't something they do, touch casually like that, hug each other and sleep in the same bed. It happens, on occasion, but neither of them sleep well. It's like there is a perfectly calculated distance, they need to be in the same room, but not too close.
“Ok, so we're going back, or what?” Dean asks.
“I guess,” Viktor says. “I have no other plan.”
“What are we going to do back there? Just try to find them again?” Neon says.
“I guess,” Sam says. “Maybe you can try something else.”
“Ok, let's hit the road,” Dean says.
Pengar - Money
Vi måste betala för nästa natt. - We have to pay for our next night
Ta mitt kreditkort - Take my credit card
Gå! - Leave
They trek up to a place close to where they were yesterday, and Neon shouts in some kind of musical way but nothing happens. Viktor also tries to call for the trolls, but nothing happens. Sam sits on a rock, feeling completely useless. Dean is walking around, clearly feeling more agitated by feeling useless than Sam, or maybe just bored. The sun is out, but it's a bit cold still. It probably wont get properly warm ever, the mountains are too high for that, but the sun is shining down on Sam and it feels good, just sitting and breathing the clean air that smells of the pines growing around them. They're in a small clearing and Sam thinks he zones out a bit, Neon's calling in the background soothing him. He comes back to himself by Dean shaking him.
“I think we need you,” he says. Sam looks up, somewhat groggily.
“For what,” he asks, rubbing his eyes.
“I'm not sure,” Dean says, and Sam can tell he's a bit freaked. He looks over to Viktor and Neon. Viktor has taken off his shirt and is in the process of taking off his shoes and socks. Neon has already taken off her boots and is wriggling her toes in the moss. They're painted purple, an exact match to her hair. Sam stands up and walks over to them.
“What's up?” he asks.
“We're doing a spell,” Neon says. Sam blinks at her. “Well, not a spell like witches, it's more like...”
“Calling for them. But louder,” Viktor says.
“Ok,” Sam says.
“Dean didn't seem comfortable with it,” Neon says.
“No, and I'm not either,” Sam says, looking over at Dean, who's resolutely not looking at anything in particular. “Ok, what do you need me to do?”
“We need some blood. Yours is apparently more magical than Dean's,” she says, and Sam feels chills down his spine.
“No,” he says. “No way.” He takes a step back.
“Can I tell you how the spell works?” Neon asks him. She's looking at him intently and Sam can see what Dean sees in her, he thinks. She's a bit scary, she looks at him like she really sees him but at the same time he can really see her and she's not hiding anything.
“I don't...” he says helplessly. She just keeps looking at him, waiting. “Not blood.”
“Ok,” Neon says. She picks up a swiss army knife from her discarded backpack. “Maybe you should go stand over there then,” she points with her knife at Dean, “I'm going to use my own blood.”
“Wait,” Sam says suddenly. “Explain it to me.” Neon puts down the knife.
“It's not very complicated. The runes work as a magical amplifier,” she says.
“We're going to call them again,” Viktor says. “If they're enough close they will hear.”
“How close is close enough?” Sam's still not sure he wants to be a part of this, blood is still such a sensitive subject and he can feel Dean's disapproval and worry like a physical thing, but he's interested despite himself. He's never heard of a spell like this, and he wonders.
“We think it will work better with blood from a person who's not calling,” Neon says. “But we're not sure.”
“Ok, let's do it,” Sam says. Neon flicks her knife open and takes his left arm. She cuts a shallow cut along the inside of his underarm. She presses on the side of the wound to get the blood to well up and paints some signs on Viktor's chest. Then she takes off her t-shirt and bra and Viktor paints similar signs on her back. Then he paints a streak on her nose.
“We're done now,” she says. Sam walks over to sit next to Dean, taking care to sit close.
“I'm fine,” he says, before Dean has time to say anything. Dean doesn't answer, just looks at his arm like he wants to touch it, make sure Sam's ok. Sam thinks that for all Dean's talk about them being equal he'll never look at Sam's injuries, no matter how small, and not want to kill whoever hurt his little brother. It's just one of those things.
Viktor and Neon are holding hands and doing that strange song-calling thing. It sounds very weird together, it's out of tune but at the same time it works. Though Sam supposes the musical quality is not the point. Dean shudders next to him.
“You were looking at her boobs,” he says. Sam starts to protest out of habit, and then he thinks about it. He hadn't actually been looking at her boobs, but now that they've been mentioned he can't stop looking. Not that they're spectacular or anything, but they're there.
“So were you,” he finally answers.
“You could probably fuck her if you wanted,” Dean says, in a flat tone.
“Yeah, don't think so,” Sam says.
“You're probably the stupidest person alive,” Sam says. “It's a good thing I love you.” Dean stiffens a bit at the L-word, but he doesn't comment on it. Sam counts it as a victory,
“Well, you could,” he says sullenly.
“I don't think I could,” Sam says. “Besides, what happened to bros before hos?” Dean looks at him like it's Sam that's completely stupid, and Sam sighs and turns his attention back to the almost song. It ends pretty soon after that and Viktor and Neon comes to sit next to them. Neon has put on a shirt, thankfully. Sam doesn't want to be accused of staring at boobs again.
“What now,” he asks.
“We wait,” Viktor says.
They wait for something like an hour before anything happens. Sam can see something out of the corner of his eye and suddenly it's standing before them. Viktor and Neon scramble to their feet and bow deeply. The thing bows back, and Sam realizes that yes, this is a troll, this is their enemy. It isn't the same as the other one, this one also has red hair but in tangles and dreadlocks and is wearing what looks like silk in addition to the furs. It also has a lot less bling, and its eyes are blue, weirdly blue like its wearing contacts.
“Why are you here?” it asks in a low, raspy voice.
“We need to talk to you. Why are you speaking in English?” Neon asks and Viktor pinches her in the back.
“Insolent woman,” it says and tilts its head. “I thought your consorts would like to know what I say. You can go to them now, human, and let me speak to the male.” Neon clenches her jaw but goes to stand next to Dean. Sam thinks Viktor looks small where he stands face to face with the troll, despite him being taller than Dean, and the troll slightly shorter than Dean. But Viktor is so lean, he looks like a teenage boy despite being 24, and wearing only jeans obviously makes him uncomfortable, no make-up or heels. He is making himself smaller than he is and Sam can sympathize. He's done so himself when he was growing up and still getting used to being tall. He wonders if Dean has ever done that. He can't remember it, in his memories Dean is always large, always there to protect him.
“You have already stated your case,” the troll says. “We have nothing further to talk about.”
“You're eating people,” Viktor says, straightening up a bit.
“They're on our territory. And we did as you asked, we're not eating your people anymore.” The troll sighs.
“You're still eating people,” Viktor says, clearly confused.
“Not your people,” the troll says. “And I wont eat your consorts either. The woman is amusing, even if she has not manners, and she likes the short one.” It smiles, making it seem even more strange. Dean makes a move like he wants to protest, but Neon puts a hand on him and he clearly thinks better about it.
“You can't eat anyone,” Viktor says.
“And you humans are going to stop us. I think not,” it says.
“We will,” Viktor said, and Sam winced. Baiting the trolls just didn't seem like the best option.
“You can try, human boy,” the troll says and then it bows quickly before it disappears again. Viktor sinks to his knees on the moss and Neon is at his side almost instantly. He is hyperventilating and speaking rapidly in Swedish, but Sam is almost sure he is saying something like 'please don't make me do that again'. Neon holds him and strokes his hair.
They go back to the car slowly, Viktor leaning on Neon until Dean takes pity on them and lets Viktor lean on him. Neon still hovers close like a mother hen. Sam tries not to feel disappointed, but he still feels that thing in his belly. The thing that signifies failure, not managing to save people. He can't even look over at Dean, because he knows that Dean feels the same, if not more. Dean always blames himself, all the people that can't be saved are all gathered as dirt on his soul. Most likely not literally, but he hasn't met God after all, and Sam isn't sure. Sometimes he thinks Dean wants damnation, since it is so unlikely that Sam will ever go back to Heaven. Dean wouldn't like to leave him even in death, and Sam is comforted by that, even if it possibly signifies less healthy aspects of their relationship. Maybe God doesn't approve, but Sam honestly doesn't care about God anymore. Not his God and not anyone else's gods. He doesn't get how Neon and Viktor can care so much about their gods, but perhaps it is different for them. Perhaps it is different for the rest of the world. Sam just feels so tired, but unable to stop. He secretly thinks that Dean is tired and crazy enough to just flip one day and drive the Impala into a mountain wall, and it doesn't bother him. Seems like a fitting way to go.
When they get back to the car Dean lifts Viktor into the back seat and then he goes to sit on the hood. Sam comes and sits down next to him.
“What the fuck do we do now?” Dean asks, sounding tired.
“I don't know,” Sam says. Neon is standing a bit away from the car, silent, almost as if in prayer. She sinks to her knees gracelessly and Sam can hear her murmur something. He doesn't care what it is. Despair is so close to the surface nowadays. Stopping the apocalypse should have made it better, but it doesn't make Sam better. It just makes him directionless.
“Stop it,” Dean says.
“Stop angsting or whatever the fuck it is you're doing. I can tell,” Dean says.
“I'm not angsting!” Sam says.
“Sure,” Dean says, looking out into the forest. Neon rises and comes over to them.
“I need to talk to you,” she says to Dean, and takes his hand to drag him off. Sam glides slowly down from the hood and lies down on his side where he falls.
“What do you need?” Dean asks as soon as they can't see the car anymore.
“A break,” Neon says and sits down on the ground.
“Ok, what do you need me for?”
“Company,” she says. “Sit down.” Dean looks skeptical but sits down next to her. She takes a deep breath.
“What happened to you?” she asks. Dean looks even more skeptical.
“What didn't happen,” he says.
“I don't know.”
“Well, you see, there was this apocalypse,” Dean says sarcastically.
“You don't have to tell me,” Neon says.
“What happened to you?”
“What didn't happen? Bad breakup, getting back together with guy that kills people, my brother almost dying, my parents disowning me for real, having no home anymore, hustling, more hustling, getting stalked by said murderous guy,” she takes a deep breath. “No Ragnarök though.”
“Uh, that's good,” Dean says cautiously.
“Means apocalypse. We didn't have one,” she says ”That's probably good, I don't really want to meet the snake that eats the world.” They sit in silence
“I don't have a crazy ex-boyfriend who kills people and stalks me,” Dean says thoughtfully. Neon coughs at that. “What,” he asks.
“Well, he's not actually a boyfriend, I guess.” Dean looks at her. “On account of not actually being human.” She looks a bit pained.
“Not human?” Dean says. He looks a bit spooked.
“He's, well, he's this guy who plays the violin naked in streams and lures people into the water so they drown, ok?” Neon says. She looks a bit pissed at herself for even bringing it up.
“Ok,” Dean says slowly. “Eh, why?”
“Don't know,” she says. “He just does.”
“No, why were you dating him.”
“I loved him, I guess. It just happened.” Dean sighs.
“Yeah,” he says.
“How about you? Bad breakups?” Neon asks, not sounding very curious.
“Nah,” Dean says. “Never had a proper relationship.”
“Just as well,” Neon says. “So it's just him then?”
“Yeah, it is,” Dean says with a sigh. “He's the only one. Don't know why though, he keeps leaving me.”
“Hey, they break your heart but they always forgive you,” Neon says. “Maybe we should go back.”
“Yeah,” Dean says. “Maybe.” They sit in silence.
“Hey, can you hear the birds?” Neon says suddenly. They both listen to the sounds of birds singing in the trees.
“Weird,” Dean says.
“Aren't you going to kiss me?” Neon asks. Dean looks at her like she is mad. “The birds are singing again, it's like totally romantic,” she says and Dean laughs a little at her horrible imitation of a Valley girl.
“Do you want me to kiss you?” he asks. She raises her eyebrows. Dean leans in and kisses her. It isn't a particularly good kiss, the angle is sort of wrong, but they try to make it work until Neon makes a frustrated sound and pushes Dean down on the forest floor.
“Condoms?” she asks as she climbs on top of him.
“No,” Dean says.
“No, we're not,” Dean says, sounding a bit breathless. Neon is grinding down on him, looking almost angry. She leans down and bites his jawline.
“But you want to,” she says. Dean rolls his eyes. “Fine, we're going back.” Neon get up and draws a hand through her hair. They walk back in silence.
The entire drive back to the hostel is tense and awkward. Sam doesn't know what had happened, but he knows something has. He is still tired, worn out, and Dean being worried about him sleeping on the ground has only made it worse. He feels like a headache is coming on. Neon had talked excitedly about the birds singing, which Sam thinks is probably some kind of metaphor, even if they are singing. She has stopped talking, fortunately, and is sitting with Viktor's head in her lap. Sam just wants the quiet, wants to listen to the car, and wants to sleep for a thousand years. He doesn't get any of that, since Neon starts singing quietly to her brother, but it is strangely soothing, even if it is off key. Sam is lulled to sleep by it and is then rudely awakened by Dean when they arrive at the hostel. He helps carry Viktor inside since he now seems unconscious, and he wonders what had really happened in the mountain. Or maybe what had happened in the car. Is Neon a witch?
Sam stumbles inside his and Dean's room and falls face first onto his bed. Dean comes in after him and closes the door.
“Your girlfriend is a witch,” he murmurs into the pillow. Dean snorts.
“If you say so,” he says.
“Made me fall asleep.” Sam turns onto his back. “Made Viktor fall asleep.” He was really sleepy
“Didn't make me fall asleep.”
“You're driving. Can't sleep when you drive.” Sam turns his head toward Dean with his eyes still closed. He is smiling, he can feel it, and he has no reason except Dean being there. And Dean being there is awesome, so he smiles some more.
“Yeah, Sammy.” Sam's eyes opens to slits.
“I love you,” he says. Dean is everything that is good in the world and it is time he knows it. Sam can't figure out why he hasn't said it before. Why he doesn't tell Dean all the time how much he means to Sam.
“Okeeeey,” Dean says. “That's...good.”
“Hug me.” Dean looks incredulous. “Please, Dean. Pretty please.” If Dean doesn't want to listen to him Sam is going to hug him until he understands.
“Yes.” Sam looks at Dean with big puppy eyes. Dean closes his eyes and turnes away.
“If you tell anyone about this I'll kill you myself,” he says as he lays down next to Sam in the bed. Sam snuggles up to him, sneaking his arms around Dean and clinging to him. Having Dean close to him makes him happy. And sleepy.
“This isn't really a hug,” Dean says.
“Love you,” Sam murmurs. He puts his head on Dean's shoulder and starts snoring.
“Fantastic,” Dean says, and settles down for a night of sleeplessness.
Neon wakes up in the night from Viktor lying almost on top of her. She can't breathe and Viktor is hot, Neon thinks he's running a fever. She feels that old dread in her stomach that she has every time Viktor gets ill, like he can be taken from her at any moment. She doesn't think she will ever get over that feeling as long as she lives, the feeling that he can die away from her , disappear at any moment. She wonders sometimes if other people feel like that, like every time her brother gets even slightly ill he is going to die. She is almost sure Dean feels that way, but he isn't exactly the most healthy and normal person she knows.
She pushes Viktor off of her and he doesn't react. She goes into the bathroom and wets a towel in cold water before she places it on Viktor's forehead. He doesn't really react, only makes a small noise of protest. She sits next to him and watches as the world gets brighter. She has a fleeting thought of waking Dean but she doesn't want to leave Viktor alone. He and Sam will probably come knock when they wake up.
She drifts off to sleep and wakes again when the knock comes on the door. Viktor is still dead to the world and she gets up and opens the door. Dean immediately walks in and closes the door behind him. Then he looks at the bed and notices Viktor.
“Him too, huh?” he says.
“What?” Neon asks, still not quite awake.
“Sam's also still sleeping. I managed to wake him up a bit but he fell back asleep. He didn't make any sense, and he just wanted to...snuggle.”
“Guess that threatened your manliness,” Neon says.
“Shut up,” Dean says, without heat.
“Ok, something's happened with them,” Neon says. Dean looks at her.
“That's painfully obvious. Trolls?”
“I don't know,” she says. The panic is starting to set in again, and makes it almost difficult to breathe. She knows she has to push through the panic to get to the other side, where she can just take action and not think about consequences and death. But it's more difficult now, when she isn't alone. It's as if the fact the she shares responsibilities with someone makes her panic seem stronger.
“I can't...” she says, and stops. She doesn't know what she wants to say.
“Can't what?” Dean says. He looks a bit worried, but Neon doesn't know if it's because she is acting strange or because his brother can't be awoken.
“I don't know.” She sinks down onto the bed. “I don't know.”
“You can't have a breakdown,” Dean says.
“You are. Stop it.” Neon takes a deep breath.
“Ok, I'm stopping.” Dean looks skeptical.
“You have to trust me,” Neon says.
“Ok, I trust you. Now what?”
“It could be the trolls. I mean, what else?” Neon says.
“I guess so. Why? And how?”
“I don't know. I've heard of people being lured into the mountains, and kept there for long times, but I've never heard of this. And trolls are known for treating people good. The trolls I know back home are nice. Strange, but, you know, friendly.”
“You know trolls back home. Of course. Didn't anyone ever tell you not to hang with the evil supernatural things?” Dean says tiredly.
“Not everything that's 'supernatural' is evil, you know,” Neon says. Dean is rolling his eyes at her air quotes but she decides not to call him on it. She's too tired anyway.
“Yeah, right,” Dean says. “Maybe not, but mostly they are.” He sighs. “If it is the trolls, what do we do. They didn't seem to like you all that much.”
“We kill them,” Neon says. Dean looks at her in something close to shock. It isn't a good look for him. “They hurt my brother, they deserve to die.” Dean smiles without much warmth.
“I knew you weren't all that different,” he says.
“We tried to talk to them first. It didn't work, obviously, so the next step is killing them,” Neon says, feeling calm again, and grounded. A goal, even a bad goal, is always better than no goal at all.
“How do we do that?”
“Blow them up?”
“Really?” Dean seems to perk up at the thought of explosions.
“You seem like the kind of guy who knows how to build a bomb,” Neon says, in her most flirtatious voice. “Pack it with iron, rock salt and holy water.”
“Do you use rock salt too?” Dean asks.
“No, but Bobby told us you do. Might start using it. So, what do you say? Let's build ourselves a bomb.”
They decide to move Sam into Viktor and Neon's room since it is actually possible to wake him. Neon has only managed to get Viktor awake enough to swallow some water, but Sam is awake enough to move, even if he leans heavily on Dean and seems very snuggly. Neon almost laughs, but Dean's expression tells her that it wouldn't be a good idea. She can't help giggling a bit though, but she stops when Sam seems almost as happy to see her as he does Dean and slings himself around her neck. She barely has time to brace herself before he leans his full weight on her. He puts his head on her shoulder, which is a bit to reach even if she isn't short, and then he spots Viktor.
“Is he ill,” Sam says, sleep making his articulation sloppy.
“Yes,” Neon says. “You have to keep him company.” Sam walks over to the bed.
“Hey, Viktor,” he says as he lays down. “I really like you, even if you speak weird English.” He then snuggles up to Viktor and falls asleep.
“Let's never talk about this again,” Dean says.
“Does that mean I can't take a picture,” Neon asks. Dean considers for a millisecond then he says:
“Take a picture.”
“Thought so,” Neon says smugly and takes some photos with her phone. “What do we need?”
“Rock salt, iron nails and something to keep water in,” Dean says.
“How do you make it holy? Shouldn't there be a priest involved?” Neon asks. “And what are you going to make the bomb out of?”
“There are ways to get around the priest issue. And I thought I'd see what I could find, improvise. Worst case we have to use gas.” Dean shrugs. “It's not like they keep C-4 lying around.” Neon thinks he sounds a bit wistful.
“Gas must be easier though, just light the fire,” Neon says.
“Yeah, but someone has to be close to light it,” Dean says.
“So we need some kind of trigger thingy, then.”
“Yeah, something like that. You stay here and I'll go see what I can find.” Neon pokes her tongue out at him when she hears the ordering tone he uses but she stays. Someone needs to stay and she really doesn't know how to make a bomb. She could probably improvise something that would blow up, but there is a real risk that she'd also get killed in the blast.
Dean checks in with her before he leaves. He looks relaxed, but Neon knows that intent feeling. You have to push away your worries and just focus, but the worry is never that far away, and if something were to go wrong it's a big risk one of them would break. Neon's only half sure it would be her.
The time spent waiting for Dean is boring but also nerve wrecking. Sam wakes up at one point and doesn't look happy to see her at all. He asks for Dean, and when Neon tries to explain he starts to cry. She does her best to sing him to sleep but she doesn't think it works, even if he does fall asleep eventually. Viktor wakes up for a short while during Sam's quiet crying, and she manages to get them both to drink, Viktor simply by telling him and Sam by telling him that Dean would want that, would in fact come back quicker if he just drank some water. Dean comes back after little over one hour. He looks drawn.
“Did you find anything good?” Neon asks as soon as he's inside the room.
“Not as good as I'd hoped, but hopefully nothing that will get us killed,” he says.
“Best I could do. No change?”
“Do you know that it's almost as horrible when someone else's brother cries as when your own does?” Neon asks him.
“Sam cried?” Dean asks, looking alarmed.
“He woke up and you weren't here and when I tried to explain he started crying as if you were dead. Woke Viktor up too, so I guess it wasn't all bad.”
“Not all bad,” Dean echoes. “My brother doesn't cry.”
“He does now. We have more pressing issues anyway.”
“Like, hoping none of them pees themselves. And what we're going to do with them when we go bomb the fuck out of the trolls,” Neon says.
“We're taking them in the car,” Dean says.
“Ok, so let's hope they don't pee in the car,” Neon says. Dean looks a bit ill at the thought.
“Do you know where they live? I've bought enough stuff to blow up a mountain, but we need to get close enough,” Dean says, still looking like pee in his car is the worst thing he can think of. Neon is suitably impressed by his skills of repression.
“I have a pretty good idea. Hopefully we'll notice when we get close. If nothing else they should behave weirder.”
“Oh yeah, that's what I've always wanted, crazy Sam. Awesome,” Dean mutters.
“Could be worse,” Neon says. Dean looks at her. “He could be dead.” Dean clenches his jaw. “Ok, let's talk about something else. Are you going to let me drive?”
“No, I'm very much not going to let you drive.”
“Asshole,” Neon says.
“Takes one to know one, baby.”
They check out of the hostel to suspicious looks. Neon thinks it's well deserved on this occasion, since they're half carrying Sam and Viktor out into the car, and they were both in the room with the double bed. Still, it grates on her nerves. Her patience is not very well developed at the best of times, and she feels like hitting someone now.
Dean has filled most of the backseat with explosive stuff so both she and Viktor don't quite fit, but Viktor isn't awake to complain about being smashed against boxes of... something, so Neon places herself as comfortably as she can and makes sure Viktor's head isn't lolling too much. Sam has woken up again and is very happy that Dean is nearby. He acts like he's taken some very weird drugs and Dean looks uncomfortable. Sam is sitting close to him, too close Neon would guess, and when Dean starts the car he starts petting the dashboard and murmuring about how much he loves the car.
“But not as much as I love you, Dean,” he says when Dean looks at him. Dean raises his eyebrows.
“If you don't stop that people are going to think strange things about you,” he says.
“But I do love you Dean. You're the best big brother ever. Bestest in the world.” Sam's voice has taken on a strange quality, almost like he's younger; it sounds innocent in some way. That more than anything freaks Neon out.
“And yet you keep leaving me,” Dean mutters, seemingly unable to help himself. Sam looks heartbroken at hearing that and flings himself at Dean, who almost drives off the road.
“I'm never gonna leave you, never ever,” he says, his face pressed into Dean's neck.
“Don't say stuff like that,” Dean says, and he also sounds a bit heartbroken. Neon wishes she were somewhere else. She hardly ever gets uncomfortable, but this makes her itch to be anywhere but here, she doesn't want to hear this. It cuts too close to her own emotions, and she knows that it makes Dean feel bad knowing she's back there.
“But it's true. When I was in Texas without you, it was boring. I couldn't sleep, because you weren't sleeping in the same room.”
“Ok, Sam, that's enough,” Dean says in a voice that's more of a command than Neon has ever heard him use. It apparently works on Sam because he keeps quiet, but he stays pressed up close to Dean. Neon hopes that Viktor wont wake up and do the same thing, but she thinks it might not be as bad for them as it is for Sam and Dean. They do talk about their feelings every once in a while (which really means almost all the time) and she knows most things Viktor thinks about her. Dean probably knew all the stuff Sam had been saying too, but that didn't mean he wanted to hear it out loud. And especially not in front of people.
They turn onto different roads than last time to try to get as close to the place Neon thinks the trolls lives and Sam has started talking again. Only this time he doesn't make sense at all. It sounds like he's hallucinating, which is a good sign because it probably means they're closer to the trolls, but it's also a bit scary. Dean has his jaws clenched so tight together Neon thinks he's going to break his teeth. Viktor still hasn't woken up properly, but he's started moving around restlessly, and it's probably not long until he wakes up too. When he starts pushing at Neon she tells Dean to pull over. She gets out of the car and Viktor stumbles out after her, eyes almost closed, and she worries that he's going to fall over or walk into a tree, but that doesn't seem to be a problem since he almost runs into the woods away from them. Neon starts running after him and manages to tackle him to the ground. He struggles against her for a while before he seems to realize who she is. Then he goes lax and Neon slackens her grip on him a bit.
Dean catches up to them just as Viktor has started talking. Neon's worries about great declarations of love were unfounded, or so she thinks since she can't really understand what he's saying. It sounds like Icelandic, and Neon is almost sure Viktor doesn't speak it that well. She can only understand certain words, and the speed with which he speaks doesn't really help.
“What's happening?” Dean asks.
“I don't know, but I think that direction is the right one,” she says and points in the direction Viktor was running.
“Yeah. What's he saying?” Dean says.
“Don't know. It's not really Swedish,” Neon says and tries not to let the worry she's feeling show in her voice. They don't really know if blowing the trolls up would really help, and what seemed like a good idea now feels desperate and badly thought out.
“I bound Sam to a tree further back. You need to help me carry,” Dean says and hand her some rope.
“What's this for?” Neon asks.
“You have to tie him up,” Dean says like it's obvious. Neon thinks she looks questioning because he goes on to explain, “we can't have them running into explosions, and we need to be two for this thing.” Neon nods and goes to tie Viktor. In the end Dean has to help her because Viktor does not at all want to be tied to a tree.
When they've finally tied him down they walk back to the car.
Carrying the explosives up the mountain is really heavy work and they have to walk back down and up again three times before everything they need is close to where they're going to set the bomb up. They've checked on Viktor and Sam each time. Viktor is agitated and angry and Sam is sad, looking at Dean with big eyes (and Neon is really happy she doesn't have to resist him), but none of them seem like they're going to escape. Dean mutters something about Sam being able to get out of those bonds in no time the first time they come down, but after that he just seems resigned to the fact that Sam is not himself at all.
The setup takes close to three hours and Neon has no clue what she's doing, she just does what Dean tells her to, putting stuff up in a pile and using duct tape to secure stuff together. Dean's design looks a bit like an abstract piece of art, boxes of nails and big piles of salt combined with large cans of gas and smaller cans of holy water. Neon takes pictures at different steps of the setup and Dean glares at her each time, but he doesn't say anything. They go down one last time to check up on their brothers before it's time. Neither of them is apparently so out of it that he can't go pee on his own, to Neon's eternal gratefulness, but there is almost no change. If anything Neon thinks that they're getting worse. Perhaps it's the closeness or perhaps the trolls know what they're doing. Neon doesn't think that they have really gone unnoticed, and she is worried that she has picked the wrong mountain, since no one has tried to stop them. They go back up the mountain slowly, Neon feeling the day's work in her body. The sun is low in the sky, but it will be light for at least another hour yet. Dean hands her a gun when they are almost there.
“You know I can't use this properly,” Neon says.
“Yeah, I remember,” Dean says. “It's iron and rock salt, you might have to use it. Just, aim and hope for the best.” He looks a bit pained.
“You wish Sam was here,” she says.
“Well, I'm prettier at least,” she says, and then looks down at herself. Her jeans have been torn and her boots are wet all the way through. She's bleeding in several places and she's covered in a film of dust which has mingled with her sweat until she has taken on a slighty grey-ish tone. She probably smells really bad too. But then again, Dean is no better off.
“You're really pretty,” Dean says. “Let's do this.” He goes over to the pile and pours gas over it. Neon goes to stand a bit off to the side and tries calling again. Nothing happens, and then a bit of the mountain moves.
“Run,” Dean shouts, and lights a Molotov cocktail while he runs away from the pile. When Neon is close to him he stops and throws it, with an accuracy that would have been impressive if Neon wasn't worried that she would get blown up, and then they run faster. They manage to get a bit into the trees when the first blast hits. Dean drags her behind a big pine tree and holds her. It makes her feel a bit like a damsel in distress but it's nice too. Except for the part where they would possibly die. They hear some more blasts from the explosion before Dean decides it was safe to go look. The forest looks completely wrecked and the mountain wall has had a big chunk blown out of it. It's still burning in places.
“Burn, motherfucker, burn,” Neon says quietly.
“Did you just quote Bloodhound gang?” Dean asks.
“Yeah,” Neon says. “Should we check if they're dead?” Dean looks considering at her.
“You stay here,” he says, and starts walking towards the blown up mountain. Neon walks after him.
“You know,” she says conversationally, “you really don't have to take care of me. I'm a big girl.”
“No, you're not. You're tiny,” Dean says, but he slows down a bit to let her catch up.
“I'm very much not tiny, thank you very much. And I've managed to stay alive for this long,” Neon says, still sounding very reasonable.
“Can we not have this discussion now? Or at all?” Dean says as they get nearer the opening. He slows down and looks carefully inside. It looks like it would be a bit dangerous to go inside, so they just look into the opening.
“I can't see any movement,” Neon says, hushed.
“Me neither,” Dean says. Neon then sinks to her knees next to him.
“Oden, vi viger dessa döda till Dig. Ta dessa döda och gör med dom vad Du vill. I ditt namn helgar vi detta krig.” She stands up. “Ok, now we can go.”
“What did you do,” Dean asks her. He looks spooked. Neon notices that he does that a lot when he doesn't understand what happens, and when she speaks Swedish.
“Our chief God is a warrior God, Oden, and I gave this war and these deaths to him. It's mostly just a ritual, but anything to get them on our side, you know,” she says.
“I'm pretty sure I saw him get killed,” Dean says.
“And I'm pretty sure he's not dead. They're not that easy to kill,” Neon says.
“How can you know that?”
“Hopefully Viktor will be speaking normally when we get back. He can explain,” she says.
“Ok. I guess Sam will be more interested anyway.”
They make their way down slowly. Now that Neon lets herself feel she feels like she can just fall over and go to sleep at any moment. Every part of her body aches. She isn't used to feeling quite like this, her and Viktor's jobs usually contain less heavy lifting, and mostly less excitement, even if it was sometimes a bit too exciting. Neon really appreciates easy jobs that end with grateful people who give them food at the end of the day and some place to sleep.
When they get back to the place where Neon has tied up Viktor there's no one there. She can feel the panic creeping back in.
“It's probably a good sign,” Dean says. “If Sam's gotten free it means he's back to himself.” Neon thinks he doesn't sound all that sure of the good thing in Viktor's disappearance. They start walking faster toward the Impala. When they get there Viktor and Sam both sit on the hood. Neon is so relieved she starts to laugh.
“You tied me up,” Sam says. “Why?” He looks puzzled but not especially angry.
“You don't remember anything, do you?” Dean asks, looking like he desperately hopes that this is the case.
“I remember you tying me up. And sleeping in the same bed,” Sam says.
“That was not my idea.”
While Sam and Dean have been talking Viktor has glided off the hood and makes his way to Neon on shaky legs. When he gets close enough he throws himself on her, and she is to tired to take his weight so they go down into the grass in a heap. He hugs her too tightly, and she hugs him back just as hard. Neither of them say anything. After a while Neon releases Viktor and looks up. Sam and Dean are standing too close to each other, something she has come to recognize as a substitute for hugging, and are talking quietly. She stretches out her arms and relaxes into the forest floor. She feels like sleeping, but she's too wired to relax properly. Besides, it's not a very good idea to sleep in the forest. She rises slowly. Viktor stays close to her the entire time, holding her hand while they walk to the car.
“Hi,” she says, startling Sam a bit.
“Hey,” he says.
“We leaving now?”
“I guess,” Dean says. “Nothing to stay here for.”
“Ok,” Neon says and starts to open the backseat door.
“Hey,” Dean says, and throws her the keys. She's so shocked she almost drops them. She looks at him incredulously.
“You gonna drive or what?” he asks with a smile. Neon scrambles to get in the driver's seat.
Neon drives down quickly; Sam thinks they all want to get away from the mountain as soon as possible. Sam sits next to her and guides her toward Bobby's. She has already told him she can't drive the whole way without sleeping, and Dean looks like the only reason he's still awake is because he doesn't quite trust her not to crash his car. Sam could drive himself, but seeing as he's spent the day being mildly psychotic and crying and tied up it doesn't feel like a good idea, so instead he starts looking for a place to sleep that doesn't look too gross. They could all use a shower, especially Dean and Neon who smell like sweat and fire, and considering how hungry Sam is he'd bet that the others are too.
It takes almost an hour before they find a place to stay that is far enough from the mountain for Neon to feel comfortable stopping the car. It looks very average, nothing special but they won't have to chase cockroaches out of their rooms either. He's the only one clean enough to go get the rooms, so he does while the others wait in the car. Neon has ordered him to get a double bed for her and Viktor, so he does, even though the guy at the desk looks at him funny.
He comes back with two rooms that lie wall to wall, and passes Neon her key. Dean looks almost dead to the world, and Sam knows the feeling. Not that he'll ever say, but Dean has been worried sick, Sam knows that. He still decides that pizza will be ordered and eaten in their room.
Neon goes into her and Viktor's room and heads for the shower immediately. She stands there until Viktor bangs on the door, and then she stays for a little while longer, until he comes in and pulls aside the shower curtain to tell her the food's going to get cold. She put son a dress that lies topmost in her bag and goes next door. The guys are sitting around looking very stereotypical guy-ish, even Viktor, and it makes her feel weird. Her brother does not do that kind of stuff!
“Hey,” he says. “I couldn't find my make-up bag.” He crosses his legs at the ankle and sits up straighter and suddenly he looks more like her brother again.
“Eh, it's probably in my bag somewhere,” she says. “Give me food before I do something I'll regret.” A pizza box is sent her way.
“Like what?” Dean asks.
“Huh?” she says, mouth full of food.
“What would you do that you would regret?”
“Faint like a Victorian lady, probably,” she says, almost inhaling the pizza. When she's done she lies down on the floor.
“I'm never gonna move again,” she says, closing her eyes.
“Don't fall asleep,” Viktor says. “I will not carry you.”
“You totally will,” Neon murmurs. Viktor kicks her in the side. “Ow,” she says slowly.
“Up!” He kicks her again.
“Yeah, I'm on my way,” she says. She rises up slowly from the floor. “Night,” she says, and stumbles after Viktor into their own room.
“What happened,” Sam says when Neon and Viktor has left them.
“We blew up a mountain in a national park,” Dean says. “It was kind of awesome actually.”
“Ok, yeah, I'm sure, what happened between you two?” Sam feels frustrated, and he really wants to sleep, but if he wants to know anything he has to ask it now while Dean is still vulnerable.
“We blew up shit,” Dean says. To anyone else he might look like he doesn't know what Sam is asking, but to Sam he looks very evasive.
“Yeah, and then you let her drive your car,” Sam says. “You looked nervous the whole time, by the way.” Dean looks tired, and Sam almost feels bad.
“She wanted to drive,” Dean says.
“She didn't say anything about it. In fact, she seemed like she had accepted the fact that you wouldn't let her drive.” Sam begins to feel upset and he doesn't quite know why. This fact upsets him even more.
“Drop it, Sam,” Dean says, a bit louder than necessary.
“You haven't had sex, have you? You didn't have sex while we were tied up?” Sam feels a bit nauseous at the thought.
“No, we didn't. Hell, what do you think Sam, that I'd hold up rescuing you to have sex?” Sam thinks about that and realizes that he doesn't think that at all.
“No, I don't,” he says. It reassures him some, but there's still a nagging doubt in his mind, something Dean is not telling him. But there almost always is and Sam's pretty good at ignoring it.
“Good,” Dean says. “Go the fuck to sleep now.”
Sam wakes up in the afternoon. He feels a bit like he had been run over by a steam roller. Dean has left the room and Sam hopes he will come back with food. Now after sleeping he can think about yesterday's events a bit clearer. He remembers stuff, but rather vaguely, and he's thankful for that. He thinks he hugged Dean and told him over and over how much he loves him. Just the thought brings a blush to his cheeks. He guesses Dean feels even weirder, what with remembering clearly. It isn't as if it's not true, but still. They never tell each other stuff like that, not without serious provocation anyway. He doesn't remember if Viktor had also done something like that, and he makes a mental note to ask him what he remembers later.
Dean comes back with coffee soon after Sam has managed to get out of bed and get dressed. Dean hands him his coffee and a cheese sandwich and sits down on the arm chair.
“I thought you weren't going to wake up on your own,” he says, and Sam feels guilty. Dean looks so tired, even if it strictly speaking has only been a day in which Sam has behaved weirdly.
“No, I'm better now,” he says, sipping his coffee.
“Good,” Dean says. “I thought maybe we could go out, have a beer or so before we go back to Bobby.” Sam doesn't quite know what to say.
“You wanna stay here,” he says finally.
“Yeah, they have a pub down the road.” He's silent for a while. “I don't think I can drive today,” he says quietly. Sam takes it to mean that he can't face being in the car at the moment. Or maybe he really is just tired, but not willing to let anyone else drive.
“Yeah, ok.” Sam says. Dean clears his throat and blushes. “What?”
“And maybe you and Viktor can stay in here later,” he says, looking at the wall next to Sam instead of at him.
“Seriously?” Sam says. Dean doen't say anything. “That's not...exactly smooth.”
“She isn't exactly a smooth girl,” Dean says. He's still blushing. Sam laughs.
“It wasn't your idea, was it?” he asks gleefully. “How does it feel?”
“How does what feel?” Dean asks.
“To be the pick-up-ee?” Sam's smiling a big smile now. Picking on Dean always makes him feel better, and it's making his guilt go away. The weird feeling in his stomach, almost loneliness, doesn't.
“Shut up,” Dean murmurs.
“Aww,” Sam says. “You're blushing.”
“Ok, won't say a thing,” Sam says. “Hope they have decent soundproofing in this place.” Dean blushes even brighter and Sam laughs loudly. “I'll be quiet now.”
They go to the bar later, and have a couple of beers. Dean and Neon are sitting next to each other, but Sam has real difficulties anyway to figure out what their deal is. It isn't like any of Dean's other hook-ups, not the ones he's been around to see. Dean isn't trying to charm his way into her pants, and he isn't nervous or tense like he usually is if he's really interested in someone. He's just relaxed, and looks almost happy. It's strange but nice to see. The bar is mostly empty, so it's quiet. They don't have a jukebox either, so Sam isn't forced to listen to any of Dean's music.
Neon is at the bar getting the next round when a man comes up to her. Sam's only looking that way because Viktor is, so they both see the exchange.
The man leans closer to Neon.
"So what do you say we head to the bathroom and you suck my cock," he whispers. She doesn't answer and Sam is on his way over when Viktor lays a hand on him and motions for him to watch . The man leans back to look at her.
"Sorry, I'm still waiting for the rest of that sentence," she says. It's quiet enough in the bar for Sam and Viktor to hear her perfectly.
"What?" the man says.
"I mean, come on, giving you a blowjob? Not a very generous offer, is it? Unless your cock has some kind of magical abilities (unlikely) then there's really not anything in it for me. If you want we could go to the bathroom and you can eat my pussy though," she says with a sweet smile.
"Bitch!" he says disbelievingly. Sam tries desperately not to laugh. She looks the man square in the eye.
"Maybe your parents didn't tell you this but sex is something nice shared by two or more people," she takes a breath, "and it's about everyone's pleasure, not just one person's, so unless you're going to pay me, which would mean you think I'm a prostitute, then my offer really isn't any stranger than yours, is it?" She looks triumphant and Viktor snorts beer out of his nose. The man is silent, slack-jawed.
"And by the way, pussy tastes much nicer than cock, so you should be grateful." The man's eyebrows knit together and he takes a swing at her. His arm is stopped by Dean who has stepped close to her when he realizes what's happening.
"Settle down," he says and pats the guy roughly on the shoulder. They pay for their beer and leave. In the doorway Dean stops and turns to the man.
"She's right, you know. Pussy does taste better than cock. Have a nice evening.”
Oden, vi viger dessa döda till Dig. Ta dessa döda och gör med dom vad Du vill. I ditt namn helgar vi detta krig .
Loosely: Oden, we give these deaths to you. Take these dead and do with them as you please. This war is hallowed in your name.
Dean and Neon go into Neon and Viktor's room. Neon almost feels a bit nervous, but she tells herself it will be fine. Dean is after all not the first person she's slept with, or even in the first hundred persons. Still, the atmosphere is really tense, and she figures it would feel like that if you were really dating someone and it was time to take that step. They have almost been dating, and Neon can't remember even waiting this long before sleeping with someone. She guesses it had happened sometime in her youth, but still. It has just been building and building, and she's sure the picture she has painted in her mind is much better than the reality could ever be. She sits down on the bed.
“So,” she says.
“Seriously?” Dean says. “You want to talk about this?”
“Not really,” she says. “It just... feels like we should talk.” Dean sits down next to her.
“What do you want from me?” he asks.
“Love, respect and babies,” Neon says. Dean looks shocked. “Kidding.”
“I think I just had a heart attack,” he says.
“I want to be fucked, if that's not too much to ask. Perhaps some oral, perhaps a few different positions, but really, I'm not in the mood for anything fancy.”
“Ok,” Dean says.
“Unless you want me to tie you up,” she says with a wicked smile.
“No thanks,” he says. He stroks her arm slowly. She turns towards him, and before she has time to think they are kissing. It's really dirty kisses, none of them hold back and Neon thinks she might have to revise her earlier opinion. This could be good, at least if Dean fucks like he kisses. He pushes her down onto the bed and she wrappes her legs around him. He kisses her throat and bites her a bit. She moans, and then bites down on her lip.
“Do you think they can hear us?” she asks.
“I don't want to think about that,” Dean says. “Just shut up.”
“And drive?” she says.
“Hmm?” Dean says, licking his way up to her ear.
“Nothing,” Neon says, and starts taking off Dean's shirt. She kisses him again deeply.
“Let's give them something to listen to,” she says with an evil grin.
Sam and Viktor sit in the room next door and try not to listen, but Neon is really loud.
"Does this..." Sam says. Viktor looks at him amused.
"No. I'm used to it," he says. "I try not to think to much about it."
"Huh," Sam says. He takes a swallow of his beer. "We really should have gone back to that bar."
"I think she wants me to be here," Viktor says. "I have to be here then. She would be worried otherwise." He looks mostly comfortable.
"Ok," Sam says. "And you've never...given her payback?"
"I have, but not in that way."
"Not ever. I mean, how does that even work?" Sam looks curious.
"I don't know? I just don't want to." Viktor is silent for a while. "You know how you look at some people and you love them a lot but you could never imagine having sex with them?"
"Yeah," Sam says and his glance flickers toward the wall.
"Yeah, and then there's some people you perhaps don't love as much as your sibling, or at all really, random people you meet that you just...don't want, right?" Viktor looks right at Sam who laughs a bit.
"Have met some of those."
"And then there's some people you want to sleep with." Sam nods. "I don't have those kind of people."
"So, no one."
"Not even your brother," says Viktor and laughs. "I don't even feel like touching myself, but I do it anyway because it's less messy that way."
"Ok, that was too much information."
"Sorry. She sort of...rubs off on you."
"You must be used to it by now."
"How's that working out for you?" Sam asks.
"Really bad." Viktor shrugs.
"Do you think they're finished now."
"I doubt it. Let's go outside for a bit." They do and sit far away from the room where Dean and Neon are.
“Neon said I should explain the God thing to you,” Viktor says. Sam nods. “Well, we sort of know Oden’s wife, Frigg, and we think she would have told us if her husband and kids had died.”
“Oh,” Sam says. “How do you know her?”
“Long story, but she saved my life one time,” Viktor says. They sit in silence after that until they decide it’s probably ok to go back.
The next morning Sam and Viktor knock at the room next door and no one opens. Considering the loud music coming from the room it isn't all that surprising. Sam tries the door and it opens without trouble. They both go in and then he stops abruptly. Viktor walks right in to him.
Neon stands on the floor, dressed in only her underwear, which is very practical and not at all sexy, and she is doing the campiest lip synching Sam has ever seen, and he's seen drag queens. The song in question is 'Bat out of Hell', which just makes it more hilarious. Or scary. Dean seems to be of the first opinion, since he's singing along and laughing. He looks really happy and Sam feels a stab of jealousy. Viktor is also laughing at her. Sam sits down on one of the chairs. Neon turns down the music when she sees them.
“Hi,” she says.
“Hi,” Viktor says. “Was it everything you dreamed?” Neon makes a pose.
“That, and more,” she says in a simpering voice.
“You ready to leave soon?” Sam asks.
“Yeah, I think so,” Neon says, looking at Dean. He looks at her with a soft smile.
“Yeah, we can,” he says, still looking at Neon. Sam feels his heart clench when he looks at them. He needs to get out of the room before they notices, so he goes back to his room to pack up their stuff.
They take it slow back to Bobby's house, but they make it there before nightfall. Dean and Neon take turns driving and Sam sits in the back seat with Viktor. It's uncomfortable but he can't say anything because he already feels like the worst brother in the world. He should be happy that Dean is happy, because Dean is never happy. He's content at times, but never like this, never smiling and looking like he has everything he wants right in this car. Sam still can't help but feel like he's being left, that Dean is disappearing from him minute by minute, stolen from him by a woman. He thinks there has always been a risk of this happening, but he's never thought it would actually happen, and it hurts like nothing has ever hurt before, the thought of Dean choosing someone else over him. He finally understands how Dean felt all those times and it makes him feel worse. He thinks Viktor knows how he feels, because he reaches over and takes Sam's hand, but he doesn't say anything. Sam isn't sure he will even be able to answer if he does, all his energy goes into keeping on breathing and trying to look normal. Dean has his head in the clouds at the moment though, and he probably won't notice even if Sam faints.
Finally Viktor fakes having to pee and makes Sam get out of the car with him. They go a bit away from the car and Viktor tells Sam to sit down on the ground. He then sits behind Sam and makes him breathe in the same rhythm as Viktor does. It calms him down somewhat, but not enough.
“You're not panicking any more?” Viktor asks.
“Don't think so,” Sam says, still breathing to Viktor's calm rhythm. Sam looks over at the car and sees Neon and Dean close together in the front seat, not kissing, just breathing in each other's air. He thinks Dean's telling her things, secret things, things he hasn't even told Sam and that sharp pain in his chest comes back.
"He's not gonna leave you," Viktor says in that straightforward way of his.
"What?" Sam asks.
"Ok, I didn't mean to make you sound like a jealous boyfriend," Viktor says, and Sam still hasn't gotten used to that accent. He sounds a bit like Ingrid Bergman. It's so much easier to focus on that than on the fact that Dean really was going to leave him. It looked like love, at least from this far away.
"I really hope not." Sam also isn't used to how easy it is for Neon and Viktor, how they seem to speak about everything all the time. All the things he and Dean speak in code and with looks they just say out loud.
"She's not staying, and he's not asking her to. You know that." Viktor pats him on the arm. "She's not leaving me, and he's not leaving you."
“How can you be sure?” he says, but it does make sense, in a way. But it still doesn’t calm Sam down enough. He still feels his heart pounding loudly in his chest.
“I just am,” Viktor says. Sam thinks it feels weird having someone to talk to about this, someone who hasn't known them forever but still knows what they do. Knows enough perhaps. But he doesn’t know Dean. Dean would want her to stay, he wants to have a family, a real family, and kids. It’s always been his dream, even if he’s always projected it onto Sam.
"I don't think she could love him. She's still too messed up from Näcken. The guy that broke her heart. He really wasn’t a good person. Thing." Viktor looks sad as he looks at his sister. "I don't think she'll ever love someone like that again, but if she did it would probably be Dean." Sam looks morosely at Viktor.
“That’s not helping at all,” he says.
“No, but it’s true. I know her well, and even if she did love him she wouldn’t leave me.”
"Well, Dean probably hasn't ever been not messed up for a relationship to work," Sam says. "It's a match made in heaven." Viktor snorts.
“We could move here, maybe,” Viktor says. Sam looks at him with narrowed eyes. “Or maybe not,” he adds. They looks up and see Dean and Neon walk towards them.
“This looks cosy,” Dean says. “Something you want to tell me, Sammy?” Sam looks at Viktor.
“No,” he says, but he makes no move to get up.
“Do we need to talk about this?” Dean says, and Sam shakes his head. “I’ll be fine.”
“You’re not fine. Did you think I wouldn’t notice?” Dean looks upset, and Sam feels bad for making him sad. He feels so bad for not being happy enough for Dean and he feels bad for breaking down, if it’s true what Viktor says and they’re really going back home, because that means he’s destroying what little time they have together. Viktor squeezes his hand and he and Neon go back to the car.
“What is it?” Dean asks as he sits down next to Sam.
“It’s nothing,” Sam says. Dean stares him down. “I thought you were going to leave me, ok!” he snaps.
“Why would I do that?” Dean asks, looking genuinely puzzled.
“Because you love her?” Sam says.
“That’s not a reason, Sam. I won't leave you.”
“I know,” Sam says, and deep inside he really does know. Dean won't leave him even if he did get married and had lots of kids.
"Hey, let's go," Dean says. “We don’t want to wake the old man when we get back.” When they get to the car Neon and Viktor are sitting in the back seat and Dean takes the driver's seat. As Sam pulls the door closed he feels like it's going to be ok.