The sun makes an appearance before setting, too low to make a difference in temperature, and fuck but it's a cold winter.
A long, hot summer is what Dean wants. The one he's missed. Actually, that would be fucking great, and fucking impossible. Like wishing on the moon, perfect and rounded the other side of the sky, barely visible and veiled by the clouds.
"Where we're going?" Sam asks, some sort of resigned tone to him that sounds too fucking unfair, but he doesn't feel like doing anything to confront it. Sam's still there, in the car, beside him. And it's something Dean should thank his good star for. Until it lasts.
He drives, gets distracted by the idea of summer, plays it again and again, looking at it from every side and corner. Stuck in Dean's head, as unreachable as before. He remembers months spent in the cold humidity, hunting with Dad, always cold in winter, mud and rain and melted snow, as if every supernatural shit they had ever hunted shied away from the heat. He'd craved summer then, too, dreamed of sun-bleached beaches and warm air, he'd dreamed of Sam laughing, happy and free as he built castles of sand.
"Dean?" Sam again and Dean shakes himself back, looks outside at the darkening road. Two, maybe three miles before they hit the highway, then they'll have to chose, north or south. Both options as unappealing as green beans soup. As any kind of food, actually. Dean's pretty much tired of hunting and unable to stop. He's tired of eating and going through the motions and yeah, if he's really, completely honest with himself, he's pretty much tired of living, too.
More stuff to be wished upon. And what he's become, anyway? He's pathetic, feels pathetic and can't even muster enough strength to be annoyed at it.
Sam's still waiting for an answer, so Dean raises his palm without moving his hand from the wheel, wriggles his fingers and hopes it conveys his insecurity without needing to voice it. Sam seems to get it, which is a fucking miracle all in itself. Not a miracle, no. Regret sharp and biting twists his gut.
"I have something, then," Sam says, voice on the soft side, like he's testing the waters.
"It came up some months ago, you know, when you--"
Dean nods and Sam may have nodded too, only Dean isn't turning to look at him. He won't think about that, because he's back, for fuck's sake, he's back but Sam keeps acting as if that's just a small detail.
A sigh, long and dragged. "I never got to check it out properly, kept being distracted by other stuff."
Yeah, like have your ass toasted by Lilith. Like fucking a fucking demon.Traitorous thoughts that needs to be repelled with a shake of his head, like the buzz of an annoying fly.
"Disappearances. Down on New Mexico," Sam continues. Enticing, like he's offering steak with a side of fries, and cold, thick-foamed beer.
"Unless you have something better in mind."
Dean does look at Sam, then, the engine purring softly when he stops at the intersection. Sam's pointing outside, at the gray sky.
"It'll be warm," Sam says. The fucking cherry on the fucking top of the fucking cake.
Dean stares at Sam and at his long arms. Outstretched, they cover the entire span of the car, from side window to side window. They could, anyway. But Sam's only pointing out with a single arm, the other tucked tightly against his chest to chase the cold away.
Dean swallows and uses the time to find his voice wherever the hell it went in hiding. He doesn't find it. He's left it in a motel's room, wrapped around the axe he was going to chop Sam's head off with.