Chapter 1: Volume
"Holy water, Buddhist amulet, rock salt, iron, more holy water, Orb of Thesula, ammo, ACDC greatest hits…"
"Orb of Thesula, Dean? Isn't that from Buffy?"
"Huh? Oh, what you think they make every thing up?"
Dean Winchester continued searching through the Impala's trunk. More items passed through his hands before being dropped on to the growing pile at his feet.
"Reliquary, blessed sword, crucifix, sage, box of rosaries, gasoline, crossbow…"
Sam put the orb to one side and stared at the pile, trying to remember how to figure out volume. He looked at the trunk, that was easier, but… he watched Dean drew out a long bow. Even without all the things Dean had, and continued to pull out, he was pretty sure they'd have to break it in half to fit it back in.
"Dean? Is it just me, or is the trunk bigger than it should be? There's no way all this stuff should be able to fit inside. I mean, it's good that it can, but… It's like the insides bigger than the outside. Or some thing."
Dean stared at his younger brother for a moment, before turning away, shaking his head and muttering under his breath.
"What is this? Harry Potter? … bigger than the outside…"
Chapter 2: And space!
Sam shifted in the front seat of the impala, blinking in an attempt to clear the sleep from his eyes. Dean was stretched out on the back seat, sleeping for what seemed like the first time in days. Their last hunt had barely been over when the next was called in. Something killing people every new moon. It was two days away, with only three days until a new victim. They'd research when they got there. Sam swore once more at the stupidity of the guy, waiting that long to call them. He concentrated on the road, mind still half-fuzzed from lack of sleep. A faint grinding sound reached his ears, almost like wheel rims on bitumen. He blinked again, this time from surprise. Sam stared at the road, then glanced at the odometer. It had hardly changed from the last time. His eyes went back to the road. Instead of the wheat fields which had stretched for miles, they were passing through a small town, surrounded by trees. Sam slowed the impala, searching the map on the passenger seat for a location. If he didn't know any better, he'd swear he'd driven nearly a hundred miles in seconds. While asleep.
Sam thought about waking Dean, asking him to take over driving. No, he decided, even with his nightmares, he'd had more sleep than his brother recently. He heard the grinding again and on the edge of his vision a blue light flickered. The road changed, both gradually and at once, making his vision blur. When it cleared, they were on the highway again. A sign went past. Sam hit the brakes, making the car fishtail across the road. Dean remained asleep, oblivious to the waking world. They were only fifty miles to their destination. One night, when it should have taken two days, driving it turn. Sam waited until his pulse returned to normal then started the car. As he continued driving, Sam really, really hoped it was the Impala, and not him or Dean that had done it. Cupboards, a few inches was one thing. Cars, hundreds of miles, were another entirely.
Chapter 3: Refuelling
They would wonder about it later, the wreckage of a black car, appearing, right next to the invisible lift, as if by magic. Or like something from the Rift. But for now, only the cameras saw it. It sat there, just long enough for the mangled doors to fall open, the crumpled bonnet to lift. The air seemed to move, to thicken, then, the bonnet dropped, the doors slammed shut and with the faint sound of an engine turning over, it was gone. As if it never existed.
Later, Tosh will fiddle with the picture, run it through various programs to straighten it out in to a car again. Jack will take one look and identify it as a 1967 Chevy Impala.
Chapter 4: The Car that Wasn't
In the year that wasn't.
Dean watched the light appear in his brother's eyes for the first time since the world had gone to hell, and smiled. It wasn't a nice smile, but then, it wasn't a nice look in Sam's eyes either. For months, since before Missouri's death, Sam had been lost. Dean wondered, again, what weight Missouri had passed on to Sam. Something about the Toclafane, about what they were. But Martha Jones had bought Sam back. So Dean smiled.
He'd been on a supply run when he first met her, to a factory, a few days hike from the camp. Dean hadn't really been paying attention to Martha's story, until he heard the words, "It can look like anything and it's bigger on the inside." He'd insisted on meeting her then, the 'great Martha Jones'. Dean had told her about the hidden camp, the number of people there, the arm one of the kids had broken four days ago. A cold snap the second night going back had had them sharing blankets. When it dropped below freezing just before dawn, they'd shared more than blankets. Dean had ignored it when she called him Jack.
Dean had grinned at the shock on Martha's face he'd lead her inside what appeared to a space between two boulders. He didn't blame her. It still surprised him, and he'd been living in it for nearly eight months.
"This is a TARDIS!" Dean had just shrugged.
"Used to be a 1967 Chevy Impala. Sammy and Me were in it when the President died. It stalled, next thing we know, we're on our asses behind that thing."
The thing Dean had pointed to reminded him of a world tree. An uneven, vaguely hexagonal pillar, spreading out at the top and bottom, like roots and canopy, circling round to form roof and floor and walls. He'd glared at when it started growing leaves around the doors.
Dean listened to Martha talk and watched his brother find more hope with every word, and smiled, and found a little bit of hope for himself.
Chapter 5: Five Things That Probably Didn't Happen and One Thing That Probably Should Have
"What the fuck am I doing on top of my car?"
"Radio says it's the aliens. Apparently, people have been finding the highest place they can find and standing on the edge. "
Dean jumped down from the Impala's roof.
"Good thing we're in the middle of nowhere then."
"Yeah. The British Prime Minister's trying to stop these, Sycorax I think."
"What, that Harriet Jones chick?"
Dean opened the car door and leaned against the side. It had been a weird day, even for them.
"I still can't believe you waved at fat."
"It waved at me, I waved back. Just leave it Dean."
"You waved at fat."
Sam could hear the smirk.
"You tried to exorcise it."
Dean hammered on the wind screen, yelling at the family inside. When they looked at him, he held up the axe, tapping the glass with it. The driver, the mum, nodded, coughing and turned to speak with the others. Dean heard smashing glass behind him and knew Sam was doing OK with the sledgehammer. He swung the axe. The drivers window fractured, spraying her with tiny pieces of glass. Dean moved, shattering the back window before dropping the axe. He leaned into the car, undoing seatbelts and pulling the two kids out. Dean picked up the axe, paused to help mum untangle herself and moved to the next car. They continued to work as the gas thickened around them, freeing people from cars, and organising others to take them away from the highway. Dean even gave the Impala keys to a mother of five, who'd later told them she'd fit eleven people in at a time. They didn't stop until the sky turned to fire.
There was a woman studying the Impala when they came out of the motel that night. She was blonde and just Dean's type, trailing one hand along the car's bonnet as she circled it. As they approached, she looked up and smiled.
"Nice car boys. See you around."
Then she left, down an unlit alleyway, that crackled with blue light a moment later.
In a small roadhouse bar in America, two men sat, listening to a transmission that could be heard world wide.
"DALEKS ARE THE MASTERS OF EARTH. YOU WILL OBEY YOUR DALEK MASTERS..." The two men looked at each other, then pulled guns from under their jackets. Almost simultaneously they ejected the clips, checked them and slid them back in to place with a snap that drew the attention of every man and woman in the bar. Lining up on the radio that still broadcast the Dalek's message, Dean Winchester uttered sentiments echoed by others in a hundred similar bars around the world.
It's a quiet night at Harvelle's when the soldiers arrive, there's only five guys drinking and two more sleeping. But twice that many soldiers spread out in the bar, and Ellen knows there will be more outside. Ellen's never seen them before, but the red caps seem familiar for some reason. The lead guy sends three soldiers to search the back rooms. One marches Ash to a bar stool five minutes later. Ellen and the others watch silently. The lead guy reports an 'all clear' and the the soldier nearest the door holds it open. The woman who enters is younger than Ellen expects, not that she expected a woman. Ellen watches her examine the room, searching each face carefully before finally turning to Ellen. Ellen leans on the bar as the woman walks over.
"Something I can help you with?"
The woman smiles and pulls an ID card out of a front pocket.
"Doctor Martha Jones. UNIT Medical Officer."
The accent is English, not one Ellen can pinpoint. She studies Doctor Jones' ID. It looks genuine and she's heard of UNIT before. Just rumours, some kind of think-tank trying to explain away the supernatural. She hands back the card.
"Like I said, anything I can help you with?"
"I'm looking for Sam and Dean Winchester."
Ellen looks her up and down.
"You pregnant?" Jones smiles.
"God no. I have a job offer. For the Winchesters and for every person who drinks at this bar. Including you."
"What kind of job offer."
Jones takes a file from one of the soldiers and starts laying out the papers inside. Ellen notes Sam's and Dean's names on what looks like a federal pardon.
"Field Operative, under UNIT jurisdiction. Salary, full medical insurance, training, even an expense account. Presidential pardon for any who need it. Within reason of course. And we do require a psych evaluation. We've heard of Gordon Walker." Ellen stares at her.
"There are a lot of things out there weirder than ghosts and spirits Mrs Harvelle. The Winchesters might just be one of them. But they do a good job, one we don't have the experience to handle. We just want to make it a little bit easier."