Chapter 1: July 13: Tipping
Pete’s exhausted. He’s coming up to the end of his shift, and the it’s been at least three deliveries since the last time he was paid by a sober person. It takes a certain kind of person to order three pizzas after midnight, and it isn’t a kind which normally tips well.
He knocks on the motel door, swearing that tomorrow he’ll trade the next graveyard shift off to Ken. The door is opened by some guy in an honest to God suit and tie, who makes no move to take the pizzas.
“Delivery for Mr. Page?” Pete asks. The guy continues to stare at him with wide blue eyes, and Pete revises his account of the evening: three drunk guys, and a stoner. He is so trading shifts.
“Are you familiar with any babysitters?” the stoner asks, tilting his head slightly. Before Pete has a chance to respond, a second guy appears, smile a bit too forced as he pulls his companion away from the door.
“Thanks for these.” He snatches the pizzas and shoves some money into Pete’s hand before practically slamming the door in his face. As the door closes, he hears a voice begin to say “Cas, you can’t -“
Midnight shifts. Pete thinks, shaking his head as he walks away.
Pete looks down at the notes in his hand. Then he looks again. He counts the notes out with his fingers, double checking, triple checking. Then he gets on his bike and gets out of there fast before the stoners can realise their mistake.
For a $50 tip, maybe he’ll stick to the graveyard shift after all.
Prompt: "Overtip the pizza delivery guy." - Daily Advice Calendar, July 13th 2012.
Chapter 2: July 14/15: Memories
Weekends share a calendar entry.
Sam turns around slowly, already assessing how fast he can reach his weapons. He’s shopping for supplies in whichever store happens to be closest to tonight’s motel. No-one should know his name.
…Unless, that is, he just happens to run into an old flame.
“…Sarah?” He can’t believe it. He actually can’t believe it. This has to be a demon, or a shifter, or -
“Sam Winchester.” She looks him up and down, and smiles. “Now there’s someone I never thought I’d see again.”
Or a coincidence. Maybe, just this once, pure chance.
“How are you?” he asks.
She shrugs. “I’ve been keeping busy. Met a guy, got engaged.”
“Congratulations,” Sam offers.
Her half-smile tells a different story. “He chose the wrong weekend for a business trip to Boston.”
The earthquake… “I’m sorry.”
“It’s been two years.” She shrugs it off. “What about you? Been busy?”
She raises an eyebrow expectantly, and Sam isn’t quite sure what to say. After a moment, she laughs.
“Come on, Sam. You think I can’t put two and two together? The past few years, the natural disasters, the crime sprees? People call it a run of bad luck, but sometimes, it really is a curse.”
“I…” He doesn’t know what to say.
“Long story for another time?” She takes his hand, and writes a number on it. “Well, if you ever want to talk - about anything - call me.”
He opens his mouth to say he will, but she shakes her head.
“No promises you won’t keep. But don’t dismiss it out of hand either.” As she finishes writing, she glances at his basket, and then shoots him a questioning look. “Or have you given it all up to become a cleaner?”
He looks down at the assorted borax cleaning products uncomfortably. “I have a few messes to deal with. But… I’ll think about it.”
“You do that.”
She flashes him a smile before she walks away.
Prompt: "Men must know this: Whether the relationship lasts for twenty minutes or twenty years, the woman involved will remember every word you say." - Daily Advice Calendar, July 14th/15th 2012.
Chapter 3: July 16: Apology
The motel room is far too quiet.
Sam doesn’t know why Dean hasn’t said anything yet. Their dad will be back tomorrow, and he’s bound to be mad. So why isn’t Dean saying anything?
It’s not like Sam meant to do it. And yes, he should have known better than to toss a ball around inside. But he was bored, and he didn’t think bouncing it off the wall would do any harm.
He didn’t mean for it to break the lamp.
Dean had to have seen it when he got back, so why isn’t he yelling already?
Sam can’t just go around breaking things. He has to be more careful. He knows that.
But Dean isn’t saying it. Dean is just sat there, watching the TV Sam can barely hear over his own heartbeat. Sam’s meant to be watching too, but all he can do is stare at Dean, waiting…
“Look, I’m sorry, okay!”
Dean starts and looks around. “What?”
“I didn’t mean to break it, but it was my fault, so just yell at me already, would you?”
Dean looks around. When he sees the smashed lamp on the floor, he walks over to it slowly, and picks the tennis ball out of the wreckage.
“You broke this?”
Sam nods, understanding. Dean hadn’t seen before, but now he’ll get mad.
“Nice going Sammy.” Dean laughs. “Real smooth. Co-ordinated.”
“I didn’t mean to-“
“Of course you didn’t.” Dean grins at him. “You’re just not as cool as -“
Dean bounces the ball against the floor. It hits harder than Sam expected, and flies up, past Dean’s hand, into the ceiling lamp. There’s a smashing sound, and the room is suddenly dark.
For a moment, everything is quiet. Then Sam laughs.
“You okay, Sammy?” Dean asks.
“Real smooth, Dean. Co-ordinated.”
Dean opens the door, and the room is flooded with a thin wash of yellow light. Silhouetted against the street light, Dean gestures towards his brother.
“Come on, Sam. Let’s go fix this.”
Prompt: “Don’t delay an apology.” - Daily Advice Calendar, July 16th 2012.
Chapter 4: July 17: Sentences
The first murder made headlines, and the second caught Sam’s attention. By the time they arrived in town, the third crime scene was all over the scanner, and they arrived in time to see the bloody mess of the third unfortunate man.
It took Sam a good ten minutes of looking at the carnage before he noticed it.
“Dean. That shape in the blood. I think this is the work of a -“
“Gorgon.” Dean finished, holding up a telltale silver-green scale.
“So we’re going to need -“
“Silver knife dipped in horse’s blood.” Dean smiled. “Watched Black Beauty lately?”
Sam ignored the comment. “Well, gorgons prefer to nest -“
“Somewhere dark, damp and underground. Like the sewers.” Dean grimaced. “Okay, I’ll get the widow’s story to confirm, you head to the library for the town maps.”
“Why do you -?”
“Get the widow?” Dean laughed. “Because I’m older, and you’re nerdier.”
Dean began walking towards the grieving blonde woman, and Sam sighed. Sometimes, his brother could be a jerk.
“Bitch.” Dean said, without looking back.
Prompt: "Resist finishing other people’s sentences." - Daily Advice Calendar, July 17th 2012.
Chapter 5: July 18: Tipping (Again)
When Dean puts the cash on the table, Sam almost does a double-take.
That’s… generous. Very generous.
Since when does Dean tip that well?
Of course, it’s not like his brother never leaves a good tip. He’s been over-generous before. But normally, it’s accompanied by a whispered “I get off at eleven,” a phone number on the receipt, or at the very least a particularly low-cut top.
Sam glances over at the waitress. Unless Dean’s type has aged fifty years overnight, she isn’t it.
So who is he trying to impress?
“Sammy? You coming or what?”
Dean and Cas are already on their feet, side by side, looking at him.
Sam ducks under the table to retrieve his bag. And if it happens to conceal his sudden smile, well, what Dean doesn’t know won’t hurt him.
Prompt: “Never become romantically involved with someone who’s a chintzy tipper.” - Daily Advice Calendar, July 18th 2012.
Chapter 6: July 19: Returning
He was never sure why he had retrieved it.
It bore him no small significance, but it was not from nostalgia. The memories associated with it were not ones he considered favourable, and he was unlikely to require anything to prompt their recollection.
Nor could he claim it as his own property. He may have carried it for a while, but it was, and always would be, Dean's.
But Dean had cast it aside, and, although he had considered intervening, Sam had let him. It had been their right, and it should have been the end of it. It should have been buried, lost, destroyed.
But Castiel could not let it be. And so, a few days later, he had returned, and pulled it from the earth, and placed it in the pocket of his coat, and never quite understood the reason.
Until this moment.
They have been in purgatory for what feels like a long time, but time moves strangely here and in the frame of the world they knew they might have been here moments or millennia.
Whatever time they have spent here, they have fought for it; they have battled wendigos and sirens and ghouls and every other kind of monster. They have fought the ancient and the nameless and the terrible, and they have not broken.
They are both filthy, drenched in dirt and blood and bile, and their clothes are torn while his meagre Grace strains to hold their skin together, and in the firelight, Dean's face holds a look Castiel has seen only once before.
It is the look of a soldier about to lay down his arms.
His hands trace a rip across his pocket, and he extracts it with care. He understands now. If there is a purpose to anything, this moment holds it.
"You should have this."
He hands Dean the amulet. It has lasted millennia. It has been crushed and snatched and drenched, it has even been wrapped in newspaper and given with love, but through it all, it has endured, and it has found its way back.
Dean does not speak, and for a moment he is still, but when he meets Cas's eyes, there is wonder in it.
Prompt: "Be well-dressed when returning a gift." - Daily Advice Calendar, July 19th 2012.
Chapter 7: July 20: Gardening
Once, when Sam was eight, he and Dean spent three days in a motel with a diner just across the parking lot. Instead of cooking, Dean had thrown a burger at him every evening, then settled down to watch TV.
The second evening, Sam was bored and not particularly hungry. He picked at the salad in his burger, and had an idea.
Ten minutes later, Dean looked over and told him to stop being dorky and gross, but Sam ignored him.
When he was done, he asked for money for the vending machine, found the patch of dirt beside it, and carefully buried the tomato seeds he had extracted. In a few days they would move on, but maybe - just maybe - this time, they'd leave something behind.
A couple of decades later, they passed that way again, on route between a vamp nest and a couple of angry spirits. The diner was now a Biggerson's, and the motel's name had changed, but when he went to the vending machine, Sam found a thin vine winding its way up the side, and smiled.
Prompt: "When bored, plant a small garden." - Daily Advice Calendar, July 20th 2012.
Chapter 8: July 21/22: Bus
Sam gets off the bus in California. It isn't the Impala, but the change is good, reminding him of the world he's always wished he was a part of. He smiles at the driver and says "Thank you." Leaving is hard, but the bus took him where he needed to go - away from always being the freak. Away from his dad.
Castiel gets off the bus in Iowa. It isn't like flying, and the change is disconcerting, tying him down to a world he does not know how to live in. He does not look back as he says "Thank you." For all its discomfort, the bus took him where he needed to go - back to the battle for the world. Back to the Winchesters.
Dean does not know where he is when he gets off the bus. It isn't what he's used to, but the sound of engines is familiar from somewhere, reminding him of memories from a world he had forgotten. He does not make eye contact or speak. He isn't sure how he got here, or where the bus has taken him - but he knows where he needs to go.
He needs to find Sam.
Prompt: "Thank the driver when stepping off a bus." - Daily Advice Calendar, July 21st-22nd 2012.
Chapter 9: July 23: Note
I’ve never seen markings like this on a wendigo before. What do you make of it?
Prompt: “Send a far-away cousin a short note and a photo of your dog.” - Daily Advice Calendar, July 23rd 2012
Chapter 10: July 24: Composure
“You ready, Sammy?”
Sam nodded, but he didn’t look ready. He looked green, in every sense of the word. When Dean was that age, he knew how to handle himself on a Hunt - but then, Sam hadn’t started as early as Dean had.
Sam was starting tonight.
If he looked ready to run now, things were only going to get worse. Sam might know what he was doing by the book, but when he came face to face with his first angry spirit, Dean didn’t know how he might react.
“Just don’t freak out on me, okay?” He didn’t really mean to say it that directly, so he followed with “If Dad realises what a girl you really are, he won’t let you come again.”
That earned him a glare, but Sam pissed off was better than Sam pissing himself.
“We’re here to do what we’re good at, okay? So act like it.”
Sam looked at him, and Dean expected a complaint, but none came.
Sam sat up a little straighter, and for a second, Dean believed he might even be ready.
Prompt: “Be composed when others are not.” - Daily Advice Calendar, July 24th 2012
Chapter 11: July 25: Baking
Jess loved to bake.
It was the first thing anyone knew about her. She was the girl who would come to class with a tin full of whatever exotic recipe she had discovered online the night before. She shared the results with everyone, because the alternative was drowning in them. She made a lot of friends that way, because even when the flavours were - rosemary and lemon? pistachio and cardamom? - unusual, the cakes were never anything less than delicious.
When they moved in together, Sam quickly got used to arriving home to find the kitchen looking like a disaster zone. There would be flour and butter and sugar everywhere, and in the centre of it all, Jess would be sat there reading some book for class one-handed so she could sneak fingerfulls of batter from the bowl. When Sam walked in, she’d smile at him like the cat that got the cream, and he’d know that he’d just been landed with washing up duty.
As much as Jess liked to experiment, though, she always loved an excuse to break out an old favourite. For birthdays and holidays she’d turn to her old fallbacks, the ones she’d learned from her aunt as a kid: gingerbread, or chocolate sponge, or even a fresh apple pie. She’d take any excuse for a classic, even just a friend visiting from out of town.
So when Sam walked in and saw a plate of old-fashioned chocolate chip cookies, he knew in spite of the note that they weren’t really meant for him. Jess had cooked them for Dean. For a moment, he wished his brother could have had a chance to try them.
But that would never have worked out.
Sam would just have to eat this batch himself.
Prompt: “Have cookies baking when someone comes to visit.” - Daily Advice Calendar, July 25th 2012
Chapter 12: July 26: Introduction
He was sat in the back of an ambulance, blood splattered across his shirt, and the heartbeat hammering in Rachel's ears skipped at the sight of him.
"What's going on? Are you okay? I -"
"I'm fine, honey." He wrapped his arms around her. "I'm okay, it's - it's over, I'm okay."
She hugged him back, tight. Behind her, someone coughed. Rachel turned around to see two men in suits.
"We'll just -"
"No. Stay." Her father looked at her carefully. "Rachel, I want you to meet Agent Sam Angus and Agent Dean Young. They saved my life."
Rachel looked at the two of them. If she had passed them in the mall with her friends, they would have been the cause of giggles and gossip, but this felt different.
This felt adult.
She held out a hand, and Agent Young hesitated for a moment before shaking it.
"Thank you," she said quietly. It needed to be said. "Whatever you did. Thank you."
Prompt: "Introduce your teenager to the two most important people you know." - Daily Advice Calendar, July 26th 2012
Chapter 13: July 27: Wait
"I think I've found our next case."
Dean glances over at Sam, intent on his laptop. "Already?"
"String of "animal attacks" a few towns over. Missing hearts. Sound familiar?"
Textbook werewolf. "The lunar cycle fits?"
Sam nods. "Dean, this thing is vicious. It came out of nowhere, and suddenly there are two, three, even four bodies every night this past week."
"So we'll check it out in the morning."
Sam looks at him pointedly. "The last night of the lunar cycle is tonight. It's only a couple of hours drive -"
"No!" This hunt only finished a couple of hours ago. Dean's hair is still wet from the shower. Sam has two stitches in his arm - "Are you crazy? No."
"It's tonight or another month from now," Sam says in a voice which makes this sound actually reasonable. "If we leave now -"
"And do what? Look at us! We're no good to anyone this evening."
"Dean. People are going to die."
"And if we go out there like this, it's going to be us." Dean looks his little brother in the eyes. "I don't like it any more than you do. But you tell me you could drive over there and gank this thing. Tell me, and I'll back you up."
Sammy looks away.
The next morning, the morning news report claims a rabid dog killed six people, and injured a seventh. At the end of the report, Dean turns the casette player on. They don't speak, and they don't look at each other.
Dean starts the car.
Prompt: "It's better to help someone today than to plan to do it tomorrow." - Daily Advice Calendar, July 27th 2012
Chapter 14: July 28/29: Bones
The noise behind him made Sam jump, and one hand went to his knife...
The knife that wasn't there any more, because it was really Dad's, and he'd left that behind. Perhaps he should have found another, because now he didn't know what was out there in the dark.
"Who's there?" he called, hoping it was something normal, something safe.
From the vicinty of his knees, something whined.
He looked down at the dog. Its fur was matted and caked in mud, but even through the mess Sam could probably count its ribs.
"Hey!" He leant down and offered it a hand, and it sniffed at him eagerly. "Look at you! You're all bones..."
It - he? - barked quietly, and Sam laughed at the relief. How could he have thought this was a threat?
"Let's see if we can find you some food..." Sam offered, his own stomach rumbling at the thought.
His new companion panted his eagerness.
"Come on, boy!"
Prompt: "Don't look an aggressive dog in the eye." - Daily Davice Calendar, July 28th-29th 2012
Chapter 15: July 30: Together
It takes Sam a few seconds for anything else to register. He isn't sure where he is, how he got here, even if he's awake or dreaming - but Dean is here and alive and for a moment that's all that matters.
Then he remembers.
This all stopped being fun months ago. I'm over it.
Dean's back. Dean's really back. It's Wednesday.
For as long as he's been waiting to think that, it doesn't ring true. This could be a dream - or worse, another trick. He can't let himself fall for another one.
Then Dean pulls that face at him. "Turn that thing off."
Who's he kidding? He'll fall for this every time. Even if it doesn't last, Dean is here, now, and suddenly the couple of metres between them is far too much.
It feels so real it hurts. The moment of confusion, the tension of why-are-you-touching-me? and then the half-reluctant oh-go-on-then leaning into it, with a slight sigh of my-brother-is-such-a-girl.
It's all Dean. Really Dean, after all those months of searching.
And suddenly, he's Sam again, in all the ways he thought he'd forgotten how to be.
He doesn't know how long this will last, or what might happen. But everything is going to be fine. Dean's here, and they'll face it together.
"How many Tuesdays did you have?"
Almost too many.
Prompt: "A simple hug is a great restorer." - Daily Advice Calendar, July 30th 2012
Chapter 16: July 31: Prom
One night. That was all Sam wanted. He had everything planned out. It was going to be fine.
And then, just as he had been about to leave, Dean had held up the car keys - snaked from his pocket - and, with that I’m-a-jerk-and-I-know-it grin, said “I’m driving.”
Sam had been running late, and he hadn’t wanted to screw up his tux with a fight. That was the only possible excuse for arriving at Rachel Nave’s house with his brother in the driver’s seat.
He sat with her in the back, glaring at Dean through the rear-view mirror. Dean ignored him, and grinned at Rachel.
“Hey, gorgeous. Let me tell you, you are way out of Sammy’s league.”
Sammy. Such a little kid’s name. Sam hated it, and Dean knew it, just like he knew he shouldn’t be openly checking out Sam’s date.
“You think?” Rachel asked blandly. She glanced at Sam, half-smiling.
“Definitely. So, Rochelle -“
“You have any big plans for later? After the dance?”
Sam was going to kill him.
Rachel leant over and took Sam’s hand before answering. “That would be telling.”
Shot down. Sam couldn’t help but smirk a little.
“Really. Well… good for you.”
Rachel didn’t reply, and Dean didn’t speak again until Sam was getting out the car.
“Have fun, Sammy! Don’t be back before midnight!”
Sam was about to snap back when Rachel leant into him, pressing her body against his.
“I’m sure we’ll be plenty busy, Mr Winchester.”
Dean’s face was priceless, and Sam looked at Rachel with pride.
What did he ever do to deserve a girl like her?
“Never intentionally embarrass someone.” - Daily Advice Calendar, July 31st 2012
Chapter 17: August 1: Waking
The first thing he learns is how to wake up frozen. Not silent - he already knew that, Sam sleeps light - but still. Don’t wake Ben. Don’t scare Lisa. Don’t let them see it. Be normal for them, and they won’t ask questions you don’t know how to answer.
Prompt: “The most effective control of human behaviour is a wife.” - Daily Advice Calendar, August 1st 2012
Chapter 18: August 2: Kid
The woman at the door nods.
"Hi, I'm Dean Pierce. I -"
Business card, business card, he put it in there ten minutes ago where is it?
Dean's fingers meet the hole in his pocket, and he falters.
"Yes?" Mrs Webb looks suspicious. Of course she does, there's a strange teenager on her doorstep. "What do you want?"
"My brother wants to know about the monster!"
Dean bites back a curse. Sam was meant to stay out of the way while he spoke to the local historian. The last thing he needs is an eleven year old raising suspicions.
Dammit, Sammy knew better than to interfere with this kind of thing.
"Oh really? And who are you?"
"'m Sam." Sam looks up at her with big eyes. "He told me all about it. It's big and it's fierce and it eats kids who don't brush their teeth."
Dean pauses. He hadn't said any of that to Sam, and even if he had, it's been years since his brother believed in that kind of monster.
Mrs Webb smiles and leans towards Sam. "And what does Dean want to know about the monster?"
"How to kill it!" Sam announces. He drops his voice, and leans in, all little-kid-with-a-secret. "He kills a lot of monsters. He's a hero."
"Is he really?" Mrs Webb looks up at Dean, and the false awkwardness comes easy.
"I might've got a little carried away..." He smiles at her, nice and gentle. "I'm writing an article on local folklore for the school paper. I heard you were the one to talk to about the Beverly Beast?"
"Well, anything to help a monster-hunter." She smiles at Sam. "You boys had better come in. Would you like some lemonade?"
She turns to walk into the house. Behind her back, Sam glances at Dean.
He's never looked smugger.
Prompt: "If you carry around a pocket full of excuses, cut a hole in the pocket." - Daily Advice Calendar, August 2nd 2012
Chapter 19: August 3: Lunch
They'd already decided to wait until after they crossed the state line to get something to eat. But neither of them had expected that diversion.
"Finally." It was three fifteen by the time they reached the diner. "Okay, we've got time to make up. Looks like we're eating on the road."
Dean didn't even bother looking at the menu, he just ordered two specials to go.
"Lunch specials?" the waitress asked, looking a little surprised.
"Yeah. Look, we're kind of pushed for time, but my brother will be in to collect them in a minute. Really tall, you can't miss him."
By the time he'd hit the head and filled up on gas, Sam was emerging with a couple of bags.
"Talk on the road." More importantly, eat on the road. He was starving. "You mind driving for a while?"
"...Okay." Sam shrugged and got in.
They'd barely made it out of the parking lot when Dean ripped open the bag to find...
"Hey, I tried to -"
Dean took a breath, and looked at it again. They had a long way to go. They didn't have time to waste.
Tuna casserole? Seriously?
...Dammit. "Turn around."
This time, he ordered burgers.
Prompt: "Never order the luncheon special after 2pm." - Daily Advice Calendar, August 3rd 2012
Chapter 20: August 4/5: Purgatory
In many ways, purgatory felt familiar to Castiel.
Not the arid, shifting landscape, or the abominations which roamed there; not, in fact, the strange realm at all. But the experience of it, his existence there - in many ways, it was one he knew well.
They fought together. Against unimaginable darkness, they stood side by side, and defended one another. Their alliance was assumed, axiomatic. True from the first moments, in spite of everything.
Castiel supposed he should be grateful for that much.
He had fought alongside his brothers once, and had never for a second imagined they could betray him. That much he knew to be true, although he could not recall any longer when it had become otherwise.
Many things had changed since those days.
Those were the days when Castiel had not understood true regret, a burden so heavy no brother could lighten the load. When he had not seen the consequences of his own choices causing injury in the world, had not watched as every attempt to make amends tore ever greater rents.
He had done unforgivable things.
Yet, in its way, all was forgiven. He had angered at Dean before, but no longer. Resentment was a luxury they could not afford.
He did not know ifwhenhow that might change. Since he had met Dean, Castiel had often felt like he was retracing his own footprints, but that path never led to the same place twice.
If there was one thing Dean Winchester was best at, it was defying expectations.
He had done as Dean had asked before, and he had defied him. Neither had ended as he would have wished. Now, perhaps they had found a balance, a space where there was nothing to be asked, because their only purpose was shared, survival.
But perhaps it would not last. Could it, if they left this cursed place? And Dean swore they would, in a voice more like prayer than any Castiel had known from him: "Soon, Cas, Sam will help us, soon."
Castiel doubted it would be so easy.
It was so easy to doubt.
Prompt: "Extraordinary marriages are about three things: trust, forgiveness, and partnership." - Daily Advice Calendar, August 4th-5th 2012
Chapter 21: Bonus 1: Reverence
This isn't technically a real DSA because it isn't based off the calendar in any way, but it's the same format. Essentially, I had a weirdly vivid and specific dream and started planning for a non-existent DSA prompt. I no longer recall what that was, but I do remember the story. So here it is.
Dean Winchester had never been one for reverence.
If you didn't know him very well, it would be easy to imagine that Dean had 'inappropriate' carved into his bones, but it wasn't true. There were some people who had earned his respect.
But earning Dean's respect mostly meant having a beer together, and being able to touch the Impala without a threat of decapitation. Sometimes he would even make the effort to lie unconvincingly when he was ignoring your good advice.
The bad jokes, well, those were pretty much non-negotiable.
The only authority Dean had ever really obeyed had been his father, and even that had been more about sergeant and soldier. And it was a long time since it had been anything.
But the point was that Dean had never been especially subservient, especially towards the people who wanted him to be. Dean thought he was better than anyone who thought they were better than him.
And that went double for non-humans.
Admittedly, the only demons smart enough to be worth worrying over knew better than to seriously try for anything more than fear - they'd be lucky to even get that much. But there were plenty of monsters who thought they were something special.
Funnily enough, after enough of them had tried for a bite of you, "god" stopped meaning anything more than another awkward conversation in the nearest speciality butcher's.
...Speaking of which.
Sam had prayed to angels all his life, right up to the day when he had actually met one. Once, Dean had been apathetic towards religion. Now, if he stood in the House of God, he'd take the long-awaited chance to give the guy what for, and probably pocket some silverware on the way out.
Prayer was not exactly Dean's thing either.
So, the long and short of it was that there really wasn't a lot that Dean Winchester would get on his knees for.
Sparking red, the demon's unfortunate host fell to the ground, and Dean dropped so fast his bones jarred on the concrete.
"Sammy? You okay?"
Sam blinked. His arm was bleeding, and his head was thundering from where he had hit the floor.
"Yeah. Yeah, Dean. I'm fine."
Chapter 22: August 6: Scars
Dean used to have a lot of scars. It went with the job. He'd been bitten, scratched and tossed into walls by an encyclopedia of nasty - acheri and zombies and everything that came in between.
Most of them, he could remember, if he cared to. There weren't many that he did. But if pushed, he could point out the jagged line on his leg where Sam had first stitched him up, fifteen and shaking with nerves, or the faint line on his palm that was, of all things, a bad spill on his bike.
Some mattered. Most were just battles. Every hunter had their share. And yeah, a scar meant you'd fought, but it also meant you weren't quite fast enough to get out of the way that time.
But he didn't really think about them. His scars were just a part of him. His past, written on his skin, just the way it was for everyone else.
But that was all before he'd come back.
(Sometimes, being clean felt like the worst mark of all.)
Prompt: "Be proud of your scars for they give testimony to battles faced, fought, and won." - Daily Advice Calendar, August 6th 2012.
Chapter 23: August 7: Smile
He'd managed to find his feet okay. He was staying in the dorms, and he'd found an evening job at a bar near campus to make ends meet. He wouldn't have a lot of money, but then, he was a student now. It was expected.
The rest was a little harder.
He didn't know how to talk to people here. There was no longer a clear dividing line between what was allowed and what was forbidden. Everything was up to him.
It was his first study session, and he didn't know what to say.
(When he had been learning to pretext for the first time, Dean had told him to always smile. Smiling too much meant you were overenthusiastic, but not smiling enough meant you were nervous, and that made people wonder why.)
He forced his mouth to curve upwards.
"Hey. I'm Sam."
Prompt: "In social situations, a warm, genuine smile is a good icebreaker." - Daily Advice Calendar, August 7th 2012.
Chapter 24: August 8: Phone
Dean always made it very obvious who was on the other end of the phone. Even when they were teenagers, Sam could always tell. Of course, there weren't a lot of options - but if Dean grinned and left the room, it was a girl.
Whereas if he turned the TV off... well, that meant Dad would be gone a couple of days longer than he thought.
Of course, over time, things changed. Still, Sam could tell.
So when Dean checked the caller I.D. and turned off the Dr. Sexy marathon, Sam already knew what to expect - Bobby, probably calling with a hunt. Time to pack up and hit the road...
"Hey, Cas. What's up?"
Sam couldn't help but smile. Sometimes, Dean still managed to surprise him.
Prompt: "Turn off the TV when speaking on the phone to a loved one." - Daily Advice Calendar, August 8th 2012
Chapter 25: August 9: Judgement
Hunting was, at the most basic level, one long judgement call.
You never had all the facts you needed. What you got was guesswork and probabilities and, most of all, risks. It didn't matter how many backup plans and emergency measures you had, sooner or later you had to make a call and deal with the consequences.
It was a high-stakes gamble. And just because you knew how to hustle this game. that didn't mean you couldn't lose.
It happened to everyone, and when it did, you got hurt - or worse, it got someone else hurt. And it never stopped being the worst part of the job.
But you had to keep going, and hope you made more good calls than bad - because if you didn't, you wouldn't be making them for long. But you had to hope that, on average, you weren't making things worse.
So it was a little worrying to find out that you had spent over a year with no judgement whatsoever. One year of bad calls and causing more pain than you stopped. A year in the red.
That was a lot of good calls to make.
Prompt: "Consider this sentence in the Nordstrom's policy manual: 'In all situations, use your own best judgement.'" - Daily Advice Calendar, August 9th 2012.
Chapter 26: August 10: Perfect
There's one day Sam thinks about a lot lately. One hunt he can't forget.
They'd pulled into Small Town, Nowhere in the morning, and spoken to the witness right away. There had been EMF all over the crime scene, so they spent the afternoon in the library, and Sam had found an old story about the house which was more history than legend, some local nasty buried in the town cemetery.
They'd eaten in some diner to kill time until sunset, and Dean had hit on the waitress like he'd just invented the concept of hitting on waitresses and teased Sam for eating actual food instead of something which was 2% red meat and 98% grease. The waitress had slipped Dean her number, and he'd bragged about it on the way to the car then tossed it in the nearest trash can.
The ghost had been pretty pissed when they unearthed the remains, and it had a good attempt at murdering them, but they'd managed to salt and burn the fucker without any bones getting broken or stitches being called for.
When they'd got back to the hotel room, Dean hogged the shower, and Sam had to wait his turn, bruised and crashing after the adrenalin high and debating the merits of just passing out on the clean sheets, mud or no. By the time he'd finally gotten properly clean, Dean was snoring in the next bed. Sam had fallen asleep as soon as he shut his eyes.
There hadn't been any nightmares to drag him back to consciousness in the middle of the night, soaked with sweat, or to send Dean jolting awake with a half-muffled shout. There hadn't been any apocalypse to worry about, or world to save. They had woken up in the morning, checked out, and put the town in the rear view mirror, with nothing on Sam's mind but the string of strange deaths forty miles east, and Dean in the seat next to him, blasting Metallica loud enough to wake the dead.
(It had never been like that, and Sam knew it. But he still believed it could be, one day.)
(Once Dean was back.)
Prompt: "A great fortune awaits the person who can solve but one problem a day." - Daily Advice Calendar, August 10th 2012.
Chapter 27: August 11/12: Praise
The was time Dean burned some bones, it wasn't planned.
His dad had been showing him the ropes of hunting for a while, and on this hunt he was just supposed to hang back and watch. But when his dad threw salt on the grave, the spirit had appeared, and thrown John backwards into a mausoleum.
Dean hadn't panicked. He had done as his dad had taught him, and stayed focussed. He grabbed the lighter off the ground, struggled with the mechanism for a few seconds, and then sent the spirit packing.
Dean kept a straight face, and nodded. He wasn't some kid like Sammy, beaming at the gold star on his homework. He was thirteen and almost grown up, almost a real hunter. He'd done the job right, and they both knew it.
That was enough.
"Next time, a little faster would be nice."
Prompt: "Remember, a word of encouragement is more welcomed and productive than a paragraph of criticism." - Daily Advice Calendar, August 11th-12th 2012.
Chapter 28: August 13: Leaving
There have always been bad days, for as long as Sam can remember hunting. Days when everything goes wrong, and people get hurt and it's all your fault. Days which leave you tired and aching and wishing you were somewhere else, anywhere else.
But there are also good days. Days when Sam gets to save someone, or maybe even a lot of people. Days when Dad and Dean don't get beat up, when Sam isn't left bleeding. Days when the hunt finishes on a high and all Sam can feel is alive, and happy to be where he is.
Until, one day, one good day, he finds himself thinking: what if that was it? What if I stopped now, went out on this high? What if I just gave it all up?
That's the day he knows he has to leave.
Prompt: "Regardless of how you begin, finish strong." - Daily Advice Calendar, August 13th 2012.
Chapter 29: August 14: Change
Normally, Dean took relish in reading out the fortune cookie fortunes - as loudly as possible, with the 'in bed' rule heavily implied. But this time, he just looked at it for a second, and passed it to Sam.
"Branching out a little, aren't they?" Sam observed.
"So... what do you reckon?" Dean asked. "I mean, I know it's hard to think of anything -"
"Taste in music." Sam said instantly.
"Hey, man, come on -"
"You wanted honesty." Sam laughed. "Come on. What about me?"
"Hairstyle. You look ridiculous."
Sam threw the fortune at him, and Dean retaliated. They both wound up laughing, and for a second, it was easy to pretend that no-one had lied.
Prompt: "Muster the courage to ask a loved one, 'If you could change one thing about me, what would it be?'" - Daily Advice Calendar, August 14th 2012.
Chapter 30: August 15: Car
When Dean learned to drive, his dad established one very clear rule: he could borrow the car as much as he liked, but he'd better bring it back in the same condition it had left in. Not dirty, not scratched, and definitely not low on gas.
After a few months sticking to that rule, Dean's dad started to trust him with the car. If there was a job nearby he didn't need help with, he'd send Dean off to Pastor Jim or Bobby's with Sam riding shotgun, and call to be picked up when he was done.
That was how Dean wound up driving around outside Sioux Falls with nothing but time to kill, when the engine suddenly made a whining noise and stopped cold.
"Shit." His dad was going to kill him.
He rang Bobby. "Hey, it's Dean. The car broke down. Could you bring the tow truck?"
"What's the problem?"
"I don't know, it just made this whining noise -"
Bobby sighed. "Where are you, idjit?"
But when Bobby arrived, it wasn't in the tow truck. He didn't say a word, just walked around the front of the car and popped the hood.
"Get yourself over here, boy."
Dean walked around and looked blankly at the engine.
"This is your machine. You can fix it yourself."
Dean didn't know a thing about how to fix a car, and he said as much.
Bobby glared at him. "Then it's about time you learned."
By the time Dean's dad called, the Impala was as good as new.
Prompt: "Establish the rule that your children return the family car with a full tank of gas." - Daily Advice Calendar, August 15th 2012.
Chapter 31: August 16: Smile
Dean smiles a lot.
There's the I-think-I'm-cleverer-than-that-joke-actually-was grin, the I-take-pleasure-in-your-pain smirk, and of course the terrifying I-will-enjoy-ripping-you-apart face, which Sam is glad to have never been on the receiving end of.
Dean smiles sarcastically and bitterly and angrily, through doubt and through pain and through tears. He never seems to stop, and sometimes Sam wonders if he's simply forgotten how.
Then, one day, they're eating pie in some diner somewhere and Sam has to stop for a second and work out why this, of all Dean's smiles, seems to strange.
Genuine. Huh. It's been a while since Sam saw that one.
Prompt: "Your smile is a blessing to others. Pour it on. You have an endless supply." - August 16th 2012.
Chapter 32: August 17: Smell
Dean didn't believe in using air fresheners in his baby. It went against everything she stood for. Besides, he kept her clean, no matter how much blood Sam got on the upholstery.
He also didn't believe he would ever be glad Baby was in storage. But that was before they'd discovered the thing oozing noxious slime across the back seat of the stolen Ford. Apparently, if they wanted it to stay down, it needed burial on consecrated ground bordered by four crossroads.
The nearest cemetery to fit the bill was another three hours away. The windows were wound down as far as they could go and there were plastic pine trees strewn over every surface. Nothing was helping.
"We are ditching this car."
Prompt: "If a used car smells of air freshener, there's a reason." - Daily Advice Calendar, August 17th 2012.
Chapter 33: August 18/19: Poof
Credit where it’s due: I got a touch of writer’s block here and it was Opal who came up with the final idea. So you can thank her for this.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
[Credit where it's due: I got a touch of writer's block here and it was Opal who came up with the final idea. So you can thank her for this.]
Every so often, Sam would decide that the universe wasn't capable of surprising him any longer. Everything was real, and most of it he'd killed, and nothing could possibly shock him.
And then there were days like this.
First it had been the singing. And then the hedges. And then the whole thing with the mice. And now...
"Just turn the pumpkin back into a girl, and no-one gets hurt."
It looked like a grandmother, a kindly old lady. Except for the butterfly wings. And the wand. And the glitter. The answer had seemed pretty obvious at first, but it turned out the spilling salt trick didn't work on it and nor did iron and now they were out of ideas.
The lore had nothing. After all, who would want to kill their fairy godmother?
"Now, now, what kind of tone is that to use when talking to your elders?" It/she/whatever waved the wand vaguely at Dean.
(The wand in question was a long stick with a star on the end, and it seemed a lot less menacing five minutes before when Sam hadn't known about its prediliction for turning people into orange squashes.)
"I'll give you elders, you psycho bitch." Dean fired at her, but she vanished in a puff of glitter and the bullet hit the wall instead.
"Now, now," said a voice behind them, and they turned. "Where are your manners?"
This time, Sam shot, but in another puff of glitter she/it vanished for good.
"Son of a bitch," Dean lodged his normal complaint to the universe.
And then a puff of pink glitter appeared around his head.
"What the hell?" A second puff materialised. "What the fuck -" Another. "- did that bitch-" And another. "- do to me?"
Sam saw what was happening, and burst out laughing.
"This is not fucking funny, Sam!" Dean was drenched in the stuff, sparkling from head to toe. "Why am I being redecorated in seven year old girl?"
"She said she'd teach you manners," Sam explained. "Every time you swear..."
More glitter rained from the sky.
Sam laughed again. Dean ignored him.
"Okay, no swearing, I get it," he said cautiously. "So, we need to get our ass-essing minds back to the hotel, and figure out what to do about this bi-rdlike creature."
Dean spent about ten minutes brushing himself off carefully before getting into the car, because "I'm not getting fu-nky glitter all over my baby's seats."
But, when they sat down: "So, how do we kill her?"
"What the fuck? Kill isn't even - right, when we find this bitch I'm going to -"
Apparently, graphic descriptions of violent acts were also a no-no. Sam was laughing so hard he couldn't breathe.
No. Wait. There was glitter in the air. He actually couldn't breathe.
Suddenly, the world turned purple. Every part of his head itched, and his eyes burned. When he finally blinked them clear, everything above his neck was speckled with violet.
"What the hell -?"
This time, it was Dean's turn to laugh.
Prompt: "Remove all curse words from your speaking vocabulary. It will brighten your life in a surprising way." - Daily Advice Calendar, August 18th-19th 2012.
The source of my writer's block was the existence of this fic, which is brilliant and also fits the prompt amazingly well.
Chapter 34: August 20: Food
Sam doesn't know how Dean does it.
When it's Sam's turn to drive, they stop at random places. Sometimes they're good. Mostly not so much, because most of what they see is the middle of nowhere. But it's pretty variable.
So how is it that when Dean's driving, they always wind up eating in the kind of place that thinks cheese is a vegetable?
At first, he thought it was some kind of homing instinct, because if Dean could remember lore as well as he could remember "that pie with the cinnamon topping" they'd never need to visit a library again. But, however much it feels like it sometimes, they haven't actually visited every diner in the Lower 48, and Sam knows they aren't all like this.
When he was a kid, he didn't even notice. But then Sam discovered food that wasn't fried, and the lack of it was amazing. They'd pull over to find nothing on the menu but pie and triple bacon cheeseburgers, and Dean would be happier than a pig in a poke.
Sam just couldn't figure it out.
Prompt: "When choosing a good place to eat, look for a place with a gravel parking lot and trucks with trailer hitches." - Daily Advice Calendar, August 20th 2012.
Chapter 35: August 21: Hero
Sam's brother is the best.
He has the best ideas for what to do, things Sam would never dream of - taking Sam out at night to watch the stars, or to set off fireworks in a field.
He shows Sam how to take care of himself - how to handle himself in a fight, how to use someone's height against them so he can take down someone twice his size.
He makes sure Sam knows the truth about things, even when their dad doesn't tell them much about anything.
But most of all, he's a hero. He always says that it's their dad, but that isn't true. Their dad's a grown-up, and he chose to fight the monsters.
Dean's just a few years older than Sam, and he's still braver than Sam can ever imagine being.
(But Sam's still going to try.)
Prompt: "Let your great thoughts become noble acts." - Daily Advice Calendar, August 21st 2012.
Chapter 36: August 22: Regret
Dean could still remember the way she'd smiled when they first met. It had just been another bar back then, another hot girl in another state. A memorably hot girl, but still.
She'd still smile like that sometimes when they lived together. Not often, though. Normally, it was the sigh as he poured another drink, the frown as she turned away, the crease of worry as he walked out the door. The little, everyday annoyances which were so unfamiliar.
But he remembered other things. The look on her face when she was concentrating on something unpleasant - like doing the taxes, or learning how to shoot a gun. The glare when she thought she could handle things herself - changing a lightbulb, protecting her son. The stress in her voice when something really got to her: "Me and Ben can't be in this with you."
And then there was Ben, who it was so easy to imagine was his - who was his responsibility, if not his son. Who had looked at Dean and told him he was abandoning his family. Who had held off the demons with a shotgun while his mother bled out in Dean's arms.
He had been breaking them, inch by inch, for as long as he'd known them. He hadn't even seen the damage until it was too late. But then he had looked at Ben and seen a kid who wanted to grow up to be a hunter, and known that he had ruined something perfect.
So he had tried to fix it.
He still had her number. Sometimes he'd scroll to it, imagine dialling. If it hadn't been for what Cas had done, he would have called by now. But he couldn't, not ever again.
When Sam saw him do it, he glared, and Dean knew he wasn't forgiven for what he had done. Sam wouldn't ever understand. But Dean knew: it was better not to have been born than to die bloody. And sooner or later, he was dying bloody.
So when he stared at her name, he wasn't thinking about calling, not really. He was just reminding himself about something he should have learned when he was four years old: the people he loves are not safe. He can't protect them forever.
If he could change anything about his life, he never would have seen that smile.
(Dean was always good at lying to himself.)
Prompt: "Life is as good as the love of your spouse, the thoughtfulness of friends, and the happiness of your children." - Daily Advice Calendar, August 22nd 2012.
Chapter 37: August 23: Career
When Sam first arrived at Stanford, he couldn't really believe it. He kept expecting to pass a black Impala in the parking lot, to see a familiar face there to pick him up - or worse, to feel a cool chill in the air and scent ozone. He was constantly waiting for his old life to reappear, to drag him back into it again.
It was halfway through his first year before it really sank in. It had been some stupid event - a career's day. It was mostly aimed at the higher years, the juniors and seniors, but he'd been dragged along by a friend who was pre-med.
It was there, among stands for every job he could name and plenty he couldn't, that he first wondered what he wanted to do with his life.
He knew what he wanted to avoid. He didn't want to live on the road, live in fear, be a hunter. He wanted to do something normal, something legal, something real.
But he still wanted to help people. He wanted to make people's lives better. He wanted to use everything he knew how to do - all the knowledge, all the research, all the smart talking to get himself out of trouble - and turn it into something which didn't hurt as much as it helped.
Someone handed him a leaflet as he passed, and he looked down. "Have you considered a career in law?"
He smiled. Maybe there was more than one way to save people.
Prompt: "Become an employee of a company where those at the top arrived there by merit, hard work, and good character." - Daily Advice Calendar, August 23rd 2012.
Chapter 38: August 24: Remind
Dean says that there's no point. There's nothing more to reach. You can dial as much as you like, but there isn't anyone left to answer the phone.
Sam doesn't believe that. He can't. If he believed it was possible, then he should have given up a long time ago.
He's heard Dean praying before, if you can call it that. Dean prays like every word is an accusation. There's hate in it, hate for the intention and the act and the vague sense that maybe, no-one is listening. It's scored into every word he says, the resentment and the pain etched into his voice.
That voice once told Sam that he was a monster, that he wasn't him any more. He had said there was no way back.
But they'd found a way. Together.
So maybe this time it was up to Sam to remind him of that. To make the connection. To remind them both.
"Hey, Castiel. Maybe this is pointless. I don't know if any part of you even cares, but... I still think you're one of us, deep down..."
Prompt: "Whatever it is you want, you'll get it sooner and more of it if you're pleasant and composed." - August 24th 2012.
Chapter 39: August 25/26: Boat
There was a kelpie, and for a kelpie, you needed a boat. They'd thought they might be able to hire one but apparently the locals had caught wise on staying away from the lake. So instead they were buying one. It wasn't big, but it was brand new on the water, and it was - in that way that boats could be - kind of beautiful.
And one of them had to name it.
"Tell me we aren't going to fight a kelpie in a boat named 'Baby,'" Sam pleaded.
"Of course not!" Dean said. "Baby would get jealous."
"Well, not in the good ship Van Halen, then."
"Like you're so much better at naming things?" Dean scoffed. "I'm not setting sail in the USS Peace and Harmony."
Sam glared at him. "So what are we -"
"Give me a second."
Dean looked at the boat. Really looked. And he knew there was only one choice.
"I christen you the good ship 'Joanna Beth.' May she never sink."
He clinked his beer against the helm, and Sam followed suit without a word.
Prompt: "Pretend you have a yacht. Think of three names you might give it." - Daily Advice Calendar, August 25th-26th 2012.
Chapter 40: August 27: Worry
"Now, are you sure you two idjits can handle -?"
"Don't worry, Bobby. We've got this one covered."
Prompt: "Never tell your mother or father not to worry about you; that's their job." - Daily Advice Calendar, August 27th 2012.
Chapter 41: August 28: Expectation
Dean wasn't expecting her.
He doesn't really know what he was expecting. He only had a vague idea of how Sam was living now, a sketchy outline. It wasn't something he was familiar with.
But he hadn't been expecting her. He hadn't expected Sam to have someone else's back, to look at Dean like he was the outsider. Like he should leave.
Maybe he should. He didn't really think this through. Hadn't thought about it at all, beyond the nagging worry that was trying to turn itself into panic, and the need to go investigate. But to investigate, he needed backup, and that meant Sam.
He was trying to act normal, like nothing had changed. But something had - Sam, who was acting like he didn't understand any of it any more. Like he'd forgotten it all.
Or perhaps he just didn't care.
But Dean tried one more time, just one more shot at what the old Sam wouldn't have needed telling.
"Dad's on a hunting trip. And he hasn't been home in a few days."
Prompt: "When you lack confidence, fake it." - Daily Advice Calendar, August 28th 2012.
Chapter 42: August 29: Reference
Maybe it was the blow to the head. Or maybe the stress. This job had been stressful, simultaneously fighting a ginormous dick of a witch and the incompetent ghost of one of his victims, who had thus far taken out half a dozen innocents with badly-aimed revenge attempts.
Because, even though the witch was a nasty son of a bitch and the ghost some hapless teenager who’d gotten in his way - even though maybe, just this once, Dean might have expressed the sentiment - there was no way he would have made that reference.
Nope, Sam must have imagined it. Because no way in hell did his brother just up at Polly White’s inexpert attack on the chandelier and mutter “it unscrews the other way.”
That it crashed to the floor ten seconds later must have been a coincidence too.
Prompt: “When loosening or tightening bolts remember, righty tighty and lefty loosey.” - Daily Advice Calendar, August 29th 2012.
Chapter 43: August 30: Lost
"Okay then. Let's go!"
Sam leapt up, taking Dean by surprise. He'd zoned out a little there, nodding along without really listening. Okay, perhaps he'd been a little distracted by their waitress. But now, Sam was leaving, and Dean had no idea what he'd just agreed to.
"Come on. We ought to hurry."
"Right." Dean followed his brother into the parking lot. He could just ask where they were going, but then Sam would realise why he was distracted and Dean couldn't really deal with the smugger-than-thou face right now. He fished for information professionally. He could be subtle about this.
...But asking Sam to drive would give the game away. Right. So, how was he going to do this?
"Which route do you think's best?"
"Main Street's probably fastest."
So, somewhere in town. What was the rush anyway? They'd wrapped up their last case two days ago and three towns over. Scouring obituaries hadn't turned up any leads since, so they were taking a few days shore leave.
Until, suddenly, they weren't.
"Dean! You missed the turning."
"I did?" ...Damn.
"Just head right at the next intersection, okay?"
Dean obeyed, wondering if the road was one he knew. He'd driven down too many like it in his life to really remember.
"And right again by that sign."
Dean found himself turning into a half-full parking lot, next to a building which looked familiar...
Because they had just left it. They were around the back of the diner.
Next to him, Sam burst out laughing.
"The look on your face..."
"That was not funny!"
"It really was, Dean."
"You are such a bitch."
Prompt: "When engaged in a conversation and unsure of how to respond, ask a question." - Daily Advice Calendar, August 30th 2012.
Chapter 44: August 31: Baseball
Sam hates Games. He’s sick of always being the new kid, the one who gets picked last for every team. He sits out whenever he can, or disappears off to the library where no-one will bother him.
But he can’t always avoid it.
Today he’s up last, like always. His team isn’t doing great. He can see on their faces that they’re already counting this one up as a loss.
He tracks the ball with his eyes, swings the bat, and feels it connect.
No-one even sees where it lands.
And there it is again, the amazement, the I-can’t-believe-we-won, and through it all, Winchester-you’re-the-best. He’s won the game, and he’s won them over.
Just like he does in every town, and will in every town after this one.
Next time, he’ll bring a book.
Prompt: “There’s nothing wrong with batting last.” - Daily Advice Calendar, August 31st 2012.
[Note: This is a baseball thing, right? Yeah, not a topic I’m familiar with. Apologies for any blunders.]