"I am not a goody-two-shoes," Sam said. He scowled, looked around the empty bunker library, and threw back the second half of his whiskey.
Okay, so it wasn't his first whiskey. Or his second. But who was counting, anyway? Nobody. Nobody cared. Dean didn't care.
Dean thought Crowley was more fun than Sam.
Dean had also thought Gadreel, Benny, and Castiel were better companions than Sam, Sam thought unfairly, in no mood to be charitable, even if he, too, had wound up liking them. Eventually.
The point was, Dean liked monsters better than his own brother.
"I could be a monster, Dean," Sam muttered. He sounded kind of petulant, even to himself. "I could have been really, really evil. I had Satan in me."
But Dean was still palling around with the self-promoted King of Hell, probably off drinking in some bar somewhere, having orgies and killing demons by the truckload, probably. Leaving Sam all alone with his bottle of whiskey—Sam looked closer at it— only, there was not as much of a bottle as he'd thought was in there. Huh.
Probably, Sam decided, it wasn't weird weird. Probably Sam was just drunk. Because he'd been drinking the whiskey. Yeah. That was good logic.
Sam stood up. Wow. Not a great idea. He crumpled back into his chair, waited for the head rush to settle, and then stood up again, more slowly.
The trouble, Sam circled back around to it, was that Dean thought he was boring. Too prissy, uptight, never getting into trouble. At least not — low-key, non-mortal-peril type trouble. And yeah, okay, so Sam judged Dean for the orgies. Honestly, Sam didn't know why Dean needed to get laid so bad that he'd just fall in with any strangers who expressed interest. Sam could probably get Dean off twice as well as all of them combined, because Sam knew all Dean's buttons like the back of his hand. Not that his hand had physical buttons. …But Sam knew what made Dean tick.
…Did buttons tick? Sort of, Sam supposed, if you dropped them on a hard floor or something.
But the point was—Sam had a point—the point was, did you see Sam seducing everybody every time he felt like it? No, because Sam didn't go around sleeping with anything that moved. Not unless he was soulless, anyway. And what he did when he was soulless just went to prove that Sam could be having sex all the time if he wanted to, didn't it? But Sam had standards, and that was what Dean didn't appreciate…
Honestly, Dean didn't appreciate Sam nearly enough. Here Sam was heroically refraining from giving Dean awesome orgasms—way more awesome orgasms than anything Dean would be getting hanging out with Crowley, Sam was sure—and Dean thought Sam was too boring even to get drunk with.
But how else was Sam supposed to behave?
Sam needed to change his image. He needed to do something un-Sam-like, he decided muzzily, and then Dean would look at him again and be sorry he'd ever gone off with Crowley and gotten that stupid Mark and was now out carousing. Yeah. Crowley was lowballing, lying pond scum.
Sam was halfway to the garage already, only weaving and stumbling a little. Not very much. It would hardly be noticeable, he thought. If there was anybody around to notice it. He got to the garage and flung the door open dramatically.
There were the old bunker cars lined up, and there were the three motorcycles—one of which had been Dorothy's—as well. Sam paused. He'd never actually ridden a motorcycle. On those rare occasions when Dean had the Impala elsewhere, Sam usually just chose the most functional-looking of the remaining cars and went, if he needed to go somewhere.
That was probably one reason Dean thought he was a stick-in-the-mud. Dean cared about a man's choice of wheels, as Sam had heard from him, on occasion—frequent occasion, even.
Sam's new image should start here. Not with Dorothy's motorcycle—he wasn't going to mess around with that in his current condition. He wasn't that dumb. And anyway, Dorothy was a girl.
No, one of the others. He eyed the two left, and picked the one that looked bigger.
There was a little rack of keys hanging on the wall right inside the door, neatly arranged by row, corresponding to the parking slots. He picked out the key he wanted—his vision was only swimming a little—and strode confidently over to the big black motorcycle. He was gonna look totally badass riding it. Alarm bells were going off in the back of his mind somewhere, warning him that this was a really, really bad idea, but that was the voice of practicality. That was the voice of no-fun, boring, do-the-right-thing Sam. That was the Sam Dean had wanted to get away from.
Clearly Sam had to ignore that voice. He had a point to make. Dean was gonna see. He was gonna see how bad-ass Sam could be if he wanted to.
Sam looked at the motorcycle. He stuck the key in. Was he supposed to check anything before starting it? He knew Dean had spent time messing around down here, claiming as an excuse when Sam questioned him that it was a good idea to make sure everything was in running order if they ever needed them. So it should be fine.
Sam eyed the motorcycle uneasily and decided that if you checked a gun every time you got it out, the same principle probably applied here. He looked for the fuel tank, unscrewed the cap, and looked in. It was dark, but he was pretty sure he saw liquid in there. So far, so good.
He got on the motorcycle and turned the key. Nothing happened. He looked at all the switches and stuff on the motorcycle, and then he swung his leg off, retreated to his laptop, and googled motorcycles.
Somewhat later, slightly less drunk, and with a starting checklist printed off the Internet—who knew petcocks were a thing?—he returned to the garage for round two. Get right back on the horse, or on the horsepower, anyway.
That wasn't right. Horsepowered thingy. Wheels. Artificial hoof replacements, that's what they were.
The bunker hadn't had any helmets for the motorcycles when they'd moved in, possibly because helmets were still being invented, but Dean had picked up a modern one at some point and, fresh off of his Internet research, Sam grabbed it off the wall and put it on.
He got back on his artificially hoofed vehicle, switched on the petcock, and went through the rest of his starting checklist.
The motorcycle started. Vrooom! Sam felt very accomplished.
He considered the possibility that he wasn't as less drunk as he'd felt.
This was still probably a really, really stupid idea.
Sam let the bike warm up for the recommended three to five minutes, and put it in gear. He toodled slowly out of the parking space to the garage doors.
They were still closed, of course. Sam had to get off the bike, run back to the other end of the garage where he'd come from, and get the key in order to open them.
He totally should have thought of this while the bike had been warming up.
Meanwhile the exhaust was starting to choke up the air around the bike by the doors. Back with the key now, he tried to hold his breath, but the old doors were the kind you really had to heave at, because electric door openers were still being invented way back then, too.
Finally, the door opened and the air started to clear. Sam got back on the bike and took three tries to get the kickstand up, and then he was moving! Vrrrooooom, the bike went, picking up speed … except wait, that was a tree … there were a lot of trees, shit, shouldn't hit the trees…
Sam felt a lot of dust on his face. Something was wrong. He was on the ground.
A monster was pinning him down, fuck, he couldn't move, where was his weapon, he could feel it growling over his legs, huge and heavy and immobile, where was he, where was Dean…
"Dean," he croaked, voice rough from all the dust. "Cas," he added, just in case. He didn't hear anything, except the continuous loud growling of the monster. He forced his eyes open.
Oh. The motorcycle. Right. He'd swerved, and, it appeared, fallen over. He made a conscious effort to pay attention to his body, to pain, trying to figure out if he'd seriously fucked anything up; bruises, some bad scrapes, but his fingers and toes all moved and tingled, and there was some messy bleeding but the familiar wooziness of massive blood loss wasn't there. This was just normal, drunken, took-a-bad-fall wooziness, he was pretty sure.
Concussion? Sam considered. No worse than the usual. Whatever. Sam shoved the awareness of pain back down to where it didn't matter anymore, and considered his next step.
Turning the bike off? Sam tried to remember anything special from his checklist, but he couldn't, so he strained over and twisted the key. The motorcycle obligingly stopped growling. It also didn't explode. Thankfully. Sam decided to move to step two.
Getting the bike off him, or getting out from under the bike. He shoved at it experimentally. It moved, but barely. His boot was caught against something, not letting him just drag his leg out. He yanked and pulled for a couple minutes, struggling, but he was pinned at the wrong angle to be able to sit up and he didn't have the right leverage to just lift the damn bike.
Fuck. This really had been a stupid plan.
Okay. Where was his phone?
Another minute or so of undignified thrashing, and Sam managed to extract his phone from his pocket, where it had miraculously not been crushed into plastic chunks. He thought about his speed dial options.
The first four numbers were for Dean. Dean was not going to be impressed with how awesome Sam was, given this situation. Plus, Dean was out in some bar, getting trashed with his scummy demon buddy.
Sam hit number five. It rang and went to voicemail. Cas's voice, stiffly rebuking the machine for some reason Sam wasn't up to tracking, rattled on and then got cut off by the beep. Sam said, "Cas! I need help!"
Then he hung up and dialed again.
The phone was ringing for the fifteenth time when Cas stumbled out the still-open garage door, looking bleary-eyed and wearing the dead-guy robe from Sam's room that Sam had never worn. He'd wondered why he hadn't seen it lately.
The robe wasn't important. "Cas! Cas, buddy, thanks, I'm stuck!"
Cas stared at him. "Clearly."
Sam shifted uncomfortably. Embarrassment started to creep in. "I mean, can you please just get me out and then ask me what I was thinking later? Or maybe never?"
Cas considered this. "I was sleeping when you called me."
Sam was momentarily distracted. "I thought you didn't have to sleep anymore now that you have grace again?"
"My grace is limited and ill-fitting, and does not regenerate itself," Cas said, taking his time with the explanation. "I have found that even the shreds I can conserve by not using it to maintain my vessel are… not insignificant. So yes, I sleep, and eat, and I do not heal minor injuries."
Sam's leg was falling asleep. "Okay, yeah. But you don't need grace to lift this motorcycle, c'mon!"
As it turned out, Castiel was actually pretty bad at lifting things using plain muscle power. Who knew. "Use your legs," Sam grunted, straining to add as much leverage as he could from the bad position he was in.
"I'm standing on them, what do you expect?" Cas shot back. Angels were just as grouchy as people when they were woken up, apparently.
But the bike shifted, and Sam dragged his leg out, rolled over, and flopped down onto his back. Bracken from the ground tangled in his hair but he didn't care. "Thanks, Cas."
"How badly are you injured?" Cas asked, eyeing him.
Oh, right. Sam lifted a hand to feel the blood on his face. "S'nothing," he decided.
Cas stepped towards him and knelt down. His fingers were gentle as he felt out the bump on Sam's head. Sam felt the tiniest little glimmer of grace go into the wound. The ache he'd been ignoring eased.
"If it gets worse, let me know and I'll use more," he told Sam. "But for now, we should put the motorcycle back in the garage."
Sam sighed. Then he heaved himself to his feet, he and Cas got the bike upright, and he started walking it back to the still-open garage door. Hopefully no mice had gotten in, or he'd never hear the end of it.
He might not ever hear the end of this anyway.
Cas maintained position by the side of him that wasn't buttressed by motorcycle, and Sam managed not to weave so much that angelic intervention was required. They got the bike back in its parking space. After that, though, he staggered, moving across the garage floor. Leaning on the motorbike had been keeping him upright more than he realized.
He wound up leaning on Cas instead, arm slung around his shoulders, the rest of the way to the hallway with their rooms. Cas dropped him on his bed and turned to go.
"Thanks, Cas," Sam called after him.
Cas looked back at him from the door. His face softened. "Get some rest."
And then Sam was alone in the room, still sitting on his bed. Cas' advice was tempting. Part of him wanted to just fall over, give in to sleep and let everything wait till morning. He stared at his pillow. But how could he just go to sleep when Dean was out engaging in who-knew-what debauchery with Crowley? Some things were just too important to put aside, and the fact that Dean didn't even want Sam around anymore was definitely one of them.
On the other hand, in hindsight, drunkenness and motorcycles were a really bad combination. Sam was aware of how lucky he'd been that it hadn't gone worse. So no more motorcycles until he wasn't drunk anymore.
But how else could he prove to Dean that he could be the total badass that Dean needed (or wanted) to hang out with?
Sam wasn't thinking straight. Clearly he needed to clear his head. If he wasn't drunk anymore, he could not only get back on the motorcycle, but probably think up even more solutions, too.
That was it! Sam suddenly remembered a spell he'd bookmarked in the library for exactly this kind of situation. He leapt to his feet, remembering too late that he shouldn't be moving that suddenly. He waited for the dizzy feeling in his head to clear, and then purposefully stalked out once more to the library. He listened carefully for any sign that Cas was still up, but it appeared he'd gone back to his interrupted rest.
It only took Sam fifteen minutes to find what he was looking for. With a growing sense of hope, he started scanning the page with the spell he remembered. "An aide for when the imbibement of liquors has rendered one's goal inaccessible…"
Sounded like just what he needed. Now, if he could find all the ingredients—for the hundredth time, Sam appreciated how well-stocked the Men of Letters had left their hideout—and say the incantation, boom! He'd be ready for anything. Sam would do whatever it took to get his brother back, he swore to himself.
What if he got a tattoo? Sam paused, momentarily distracted, pondering if Dean would be impressed with a pirate skull and crossbones. No, that was too common. Maybe an awesomely gory scene: taking the head off a monster with a machete, maybe, or dismembering zombies. That would be a good reminder of why Dean shouldn't ditch Sam for Crowley.
Sam bet Crowley wouldn't even get his hands dirty if a pack of zombies attacked while he was partying with Dean. No, Crowley would make some stupid wise-ass comment and then fuck off while Dean did all the work.
Sam didn't get why Dean even hung out with that guy.
Sam was even pretty sure he'd be able to find the tattoo gun they had tucked away for sigil-related emergencies, if he went and looked, but he sighed and looked back at the page in front of him. Being drunk probably wasn't any better for self-administering tattoos than it was for learning to ride a motorcycle. Sam took a moment to admire his own sagacity. He wasn't about to make the same mistakes twice, no.
So, getting sober first. Sam unfolded himself from the chair again—remembering to pause long enough this time for balance—and picked his way over to the stockroom.
Half an hour later, guppy scales all down one side of his shirt, he had conglomerated together everything mentioned in the spell. Only breaking one jar wasn't bad, all things considered. Sam was unfortunately accustomed to being tall enough to reach what he wanted, which meant that it never occurred to him to go grab a stepstool even if he really did need it when the jar was nine or ten feet off the ground.
Whatever. No point in lingering on the mistakes of the past. Sam mixed everything together and then used his fingers to swipe some guppy scales off his shirt and flick them into the bowl. It whooshed up with blue flames.
Sam rattled off the Latin, barely glancing at the page as he ran the English words through his head: 'Let me attain my goal which I seek! Translate me to my desire!’
Sam staggered, the world spinning about him more than ever. He wasn't feeling any less drunk; this was crazy. The world stopped spinning abruptly but Sam's head didn't. He turned around once in place, dazed, and sank down onto the ground, to his knees and then onto his side.
He wasn't in the library anymore. He wasn't in the bunker. He was in a parking lot. There was an unfamiliar bar in front of him—Sam racked his brains, briefly, trying to recall if this was one of the thousands of bars he'd been to in his life—but he didn't think it was anyplace he remembered. It had a hokey neon trout on the sign.
He looked around the parking lot, bewildered.
Oh. That cleared things up considerably. The Impala was reposing, dignified as ever, right behind him in a parking space.
That implied Dean was in the bar in front of him. Sam's spell, instead of making him less drunk so he could drive, had skipped over the issue of transportation entirely by dropping him a few hundred feet from his brother.
Pretty awesome spell, really, even if Sam was kicking himself over not reading it right. That could really bite him in the ass someday if he wasn't more careful.
Well, he was here now. Sam strode forward to the doors leading into the bar.
Sure enough, Dean was inside, taking up one whole side of the booth with the best view of the room. His head was bent over the table, listening to his companion who was leaning forward, talking to him.
Sam saw red. How dare Crowley be that close to Dean, like he had any right. After everything he and Dean had been through together, for Dean to cozy up to this demon, this murdering hell-scum…
Sam marched across the room and loomed. "I need to talk to my brother," he told Crowley. It came out a bit of a growl.
"I don't recall inviting a moose to this party…" Crowley started off.
Sam reached into that part of himself that smelled demons coming, and very lightly pressed a mental thumb against the dark, smoky energy in front of him. Crowley gave a slight cough, like something was tickling his throat. He jerked his eyes up to look at Sam; Sam smiled, razor-edged, at him. He didn't have the strength to do anything more, not without demon blood powering him, but Crowley didn't have to know that.
Crowley narrowed his eyes at him, assessing, and then he said, "You know, on second thought, I've better things to do with my time than mediate a lovers' spat. You two have fun. Call me when you've worked out who's topping and bottoming today—or don't. Toodlepip!" And with that, Crowley popped out of existence, air whisking into his empty side of the booth.
Dean looked at Sam warily, trying to figure out what was up with him. Some of the other customers were staring. Usually, Sam hated causing scenes and being stared at, and he especially hated stunts like teleporting in public. It should have made Sam antsy to leave before anyone recognized their faces.
Usually. Right now Sam didn't care. He glared around at anyone looking their way. The number of rubberneckers very rapidly dwindled to zero. Satisfied, Sam slid into the booth across from Dean.
Dean eyed Sam even more askance and raised his eyebrows. Sam abruptly became conscious of the blood still on his face. He was covered in dirt, oil, and fish scales, and when he ran a hand through his tangled hair, there were dead leaves still caught in it.
Sam scowled to forestall whatever pissy jerk comment Dean was about to come up with. "Why are you here, Dean?"
Dean was looking a little freaked. He could probably smell the whiskey on Sam, too. "I dunno, Sammy, what's it look like?"
"Looks like you're out drinking and carousing with a demon instead of your brother. Long time since that's been an unforgivable sin, huh, Dean?" Sam had to be really pissed to reference Ruby to Dean, and Dean knew it.
But it hit home: Sam saw it. Dean just wasn't ready to surrender yet. "So what? You know you're not one for ‘carousing’, Sam. Me, well, I'm a free love kinda guy." Dean spread his legs and cupped his crotch obnoxiously while he waggled his brows at Sam.
Sam leaned forward over the table and lowered his voice. "Fuck you, Dean," he hissed furiously. "I'm still not having orgies with you." Sam's patience, abraded and frayed through this whole ridiculous night, was just gone, suddenly. He hadn't planned on saying any of this but the words came stampeding out, horses from a flaming barn. "But you wanna know what I will do? You just keep insisting you want to go out and have orgies with Crowley instead," Sam sneered, practically spitting, "and I will put you over my knee and spank you."
Dean's head jerked up and he forgot, for a second, to maintain his habitual too-cool-for-school public demeanor. Sam sensed an opening and went for broke, dropping his voice as low and deadly-soft as it would go. "You heard me. I'll beat your ass until you call me 'Daddy.'"
Dean sucked in a breath and shifted in his chair. He looked surprised and—Sam narrowed his eyes—was Dean looking…turned on? Sam was already starting to rein himself in, vaguely regretting his outburst. But…
"Alright, alright already," Dean was saying, gone loose and easy in his seat. A fond little smile played at the corner of his mouth. “You want me, I'm all yours, Sammy. All you had to do was say so."
Dean smirked and ran his toes up the side of Sam's leg, just to be that much more of a jerk.
Sam kicked him. Lightly. "C'mon, pervert. Let's get out of here."
"Takes one to know one," Dean grinned, but he was throwing down money on the table, so Sam stood up with him and together they started towards the door.
"So how'd you even get here, anyway?" Dean asked.
Sam thought quickly. The full story of his adventures tonight weren't likely to earn him any cool points. And the night had turned out surprisingly well; he didn't want to ruin it.
Sam levelled his brother a look and shrugged. "Nowhere you can go, Dean, that I can't—won't—follow you."
Dean looked surprised but pleased, glancing away and back.
"Aw, shaddup," he grumbled. "You've got so much sap, that's probably why you're a goddamn tree." He looked back up at Sam's familiar height, assessing, and then frowned. "You can follow me into the restroom to wash your stupid face off before you go anywhere near Baby, though."
The restroom sink stop wound up being a bit of a splash battle, which turned into a wrestling match, which turned into…well, anyway, they made it out of the bar to the Impala…eventually. It was a warm, clear night and they were still slightly buzzed on alcohol; they sat on the hood, while their clothes dried out, far enough across the parking lot for the bar to be a distant hum of light and sound, and watched the Big Dipper spin across the heavens, their shoulders bumping companionably. After a while, they would get in the car, maybe nap in the seats, or else just drive straight back to the bunker.
Sam had his brother back at his side. There wasn't anywhere else he needed to be.