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Trelawny

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The tink-tink-tink against the windshield is impossible to ignore.  Sam sighs, refusing to look up and see what Dean is doing now.  Sam is trying to concentrate, find them a new case, which are a whole lot harder to come by since they successfully closed the gates of both Heaven and Hell.  His search is getting a little desperate because a bored Dean is just about as much fun as July in Vegas.  But so far, he is only coming up with something that might end up being a big nothing.  A maybe possible something, all the way up in Vermont is better than nothing. Nothing else left for them to do, but a maybe possible haunting which would be a welcome diversion at this point. 

Finally Sam looks up to see Dean reclining on the front hood of the Impala, he’s clinking his empty beer bottle in time to the music. Even when they are stopped Dean is in motion, preferably moving to his preferred tunes.  Sam can see Dean’s face in profile as he looks off the edge of the cliff they are parked on.  The sunset is spectacular, and the orange light reflects on the planes of Dean’s familiar, well-worn face is made even more beautiful.  He sighs, wishing for the thousandth time that he could just pipe up and say that.  Give Dean something to chew on besides just the boredom, give them both something to work on, like getting them back to where they were. 

Sam sighs again, admitting to himself that it is probably not ever going to happen if it hasn’t by now.  They barely stuck together when Dean came back from Purgatory, and at least as far as work goes they’re pretty much in sync again, which is a good thing.  But everything else that they had once between them has vanished along with all the angels, demons and monsters.  Sealed up as tight as all those Heavenly doors.  Where’s the tablet for us? He wonders to himself, I’d like to open that door up, see if there’s still anything left inside.

He’s startled out of his reverie by the sounds of Dean moving around and looks up, meeting Dean’s eye through the windshield, “C’mon Sammy, got another cold one out for you.”  Dean’s holding up two beer bottles in one hand and gesturing at him.  Sam puts away his smartphone and gets out, stretching his arms out wide and then hopping up next to Dean on the hood.  Dean hands him a beer wordlessly and sits back in their comfortable silence.  They both look out over the ravine, the sun sinking down, over the far hill backlighting the ridgeline of trees.  Sam points it out so that Dean won’t miss it. 

“Not bad huh?” Dean asks, clinking their bottles together.

Sam smiles and doesn’t answer just takes a long pull off his beer, noticing that Dean’s looking at him.

“What?” he asks.

“Nothing, just glad you joined me research boy.”

Sam rolls his eyes at the name, and answers with a bit of sarcasm, “Well, this research boy found us a new job.”

“Spill it then.”

“Looks like it might be a haunting, up in Vermont.  Near Smuggler’s Notch.”  Sam says, knowing with about one hundred percent certainty that Dean will love the name of the place.

“Smugglers huh, like prohibition era booze stuff?”

“Yeah pretty much, there’s a house that’s disappearing pairs of teenagers at almost every equinox.”

“So we’ve got a little time before the next one then.”

“Yeah, but we might as well get up there and check it out.”

“Not like we’re doin’ anythin’ else right?”  Dean clinks their now empty bottles together in a congratulatory sort of way.  Being the guys who shut the doors of Hell, then Heaven and finally Purgatory counts for something at least.  A reduced work load.

Days of driving from Oregon finally get them to Vermont.  These cross-country trips are so much a part of their lives they don’t even notice the miles flying under the tires of the Impala.  Sam folds his big frame up like he always has, practically curls up in the passenger seat, re-reading all of Terry Pratchett’s books now that he finally has the time.  He’s got the whole series in a cardboard box in the back seat and is just plowing through them one after the other. 

Dean’s gotten used to his snorts of laughter by now, happy just to have this at least.  Them in the car, onto another case.  At least they’re not fighting anymore, but if he’s honest with himself, he misses the rest of it.  They’re friends again at least, and their bond as brothers has been cemented through the trials that they underwent together to close all those damned doors.  But the rest of it, seems so out of reach, and he just plain misses it.  Being able to reach over while he’s driving and touch Sam’s neck or knee or look at him for longer than a glance or two.  So close, but yet so far, at least they’re still alive at the same time and seemingly pointed in the same direction for once.  He sneaks a look at Sam out of the corner of his eye, and bites his lip thinking of all they used to have together.

~!~~!~!

As they roll into town, there seems to be only one choice for lodging, Dean’s heart sinks into his stomach.  Not sure he can take what he’s pretty sure is about to happen.  “Looks like we’re going to be bed and breakfasting on this one Sammy.”

Sam ruthlessly shoves down the thrill he still gets hearing that nickname, and at the idea of their usual ruse at these kind of places, “We decide on a cover yet?”

“Since we’ve got to stay at this place, probably for more than a few days, how about writers?” Dean suggests.

Sam nods at Dean’s good idea, “Ghost story book or something else?”

“How about we mix it up a little, travel website?”

Sam smiles at the idea of it, them writing for a travel website, “Ooh, good one, then they’ll have to treat us well so we mention them in the article.”

They get out of the car, slamming the doors in sync, and walk up the wide steps to the porch.  A middle-aged woman is sitting on a swing sewing something out of colorful pieces of fabric, probably a quilt given where they are in Northern New England.  “Good afternoon gentlemen, can I help you?”  She asks, barely looking up a moment from her stitching.

Dean gives Sam one of those patented ‘get a load of her ignoring our awesomeness’ looks, “Yes, hello, we’d like to book a room for a few nights.”

“We’re completely empty right now, so you have your choice, hold on just a moment, gotta finish this.”  She takes a few more stitches and then cuts her thread, puts her needle away in a case and stands up. 

Sam’s eyes go wide as he sees how tall she is, she’s looking him eye to eye, she winks at Sam and then says, “Come on in then.”

She leads them through the fancy stained wood door into the sitting room, “You can have a seat there, I’ll be right back with our rate sheet.”  She points at a small floral upholstered love seat which is at least thankfully free of doilies, although there is a beautiful quilt folded over the back of it.  They both sit down and arrange themselves as well as they can on the small piece of furniture.

“So here, we have some package rates for some of the nearby spas, one with the nice restaurant in town, or just the room, or there’s always our honeymoon one.”  She’s trying to suss out exactly who they are to each other without asking the elephant in the room question, more polite than a lot of the lodging people they’ve dealt with over the years.

But how to answer that question, for them right now?  ‘It’s complicated’ isn’t really a good answer that she’d understand.  So Dean just goes for it, what they usually do at a B&B, “The restaurant one looks good.  My Sammy here loves good food.” He hands over the credit card of the week, hoping it still has enough on it for a few days at this place.

She relaxes as soon as she understand him, “Oh, I’m so sorry, I didn’t introduce myself. My name’s Celeste, welcome by the way.”

“I’m Dean, it’s real nice to be here Celeste, we’ve had a long drive.”

“Oh really, where’d you come from?”

“We’re based out of Kansas usually, but we’ve been on the road for a while.”

“Oh really, on a road trip for fun?”

“Business really, we’re travel writers.”

“Well that’s great, let me know if you need any information about the local area.”

“We’re actually interested in the oldest house in town.”

“Oh you mean Trelawny?” she asks, sounding a little surprised and slightly hesitant.

Sam checks his notebook, “Yeah, that’s it.  Do you know anything about it, is it nearby?”

“It’s about five miles out of town, and yes, there’s a book that one of our locals wrote, let me see.”  She walks over to a small bookcase that has paperbacks and other random books, “yes here it is, this should help.  It’s an interesting place.”

“How so?”

“Everyone always has a different story about it when they see it, you’ll just have to go look for yourselves.   Now let me show you up to your room.”

They follow her up the creaking wood staircase, looking at the unassuming watercolors on the wall, at least it’s not overly froofy like most of these B&B places usually are.  “Here you go.”  She opens the door to a large room that has a huge, bigger than king-sized bed in the middle of it with a rounded wall of windows across, a door off to the side looks to be a bathroom.

“What a beautiful room.” Sam says, struck by the sunlight and the freshness of the place.

“I hope you enjoy your stay.” She says as she leaves the room, closing the door behind her.

Dean flops down on the bed, stretching out like a cat, trying to unkink from the day of driving.  Sam putters around for a while, hanging up their suits and looking out the big windows.

“I like this place.”

“Yeah, it’s not bad.  How about Celeste?  She’s as tall as you Sasquatch.”

“I noticed, pretty unusual.”  He sits down in the overstuffed chair and starts paging through and scanning the book she’d lent them.  Sam’s not sure why Dean went with  this particular cover, them as a couple, but it usually works best in these B&B places where you are expected to interact with the owner a little more than at their usual fly-by-night motels.  “So, uh dinner package huh?  You takin’ me out on a date I need to know about?”

Dean rolls his eyes and laughs, groaning internally at Sam’s perception, he thought he’d be able to do something nice for Sam without him noticing for once, “Nah, just thought it would work for our cover, and I really didn’t feel like hitting a spa you know?  Plus, we gotta eat, might as well be good stuff for once.”

Snorting a little at his brother’s practicality, and to hide his not-so-small disappointment, Sam buries himself back in the book.  Pretty soon, Dean’s snoring lightly and Sam can look at him without consequence.  Stretched out on that huge bed, relaxed and peaceful instead of wound-tight and on-edge, Dean looks like another person almost, someone he recognizes and misses so strongly it’s hard to imagine how he’s going to get through the next few days sleeping next to him in that big bed.  Sam mentally gives himself twenty lashes for even going there in his thoughts, and concentrates on the book.


~@~!~@~!~

Dean finally wakes up from his nap, and they head out in the early evening to see the house for themselves, the late August sun still pretty bright even this far north.  Celeste was right, it’s not too far of a drive through the deep forest, the streets and town are pretty, well-kept, yet sparsely populated, the houses seem to be very far apart from one another.  Finally they pull up to the top of the biggest hill in the area, up a long paved driveway where it ends in a circle around an enormous tulip tree.  Sam gets out and looks up at the tree, “Man this thing must be two hundred feet tall!”

“Yeah, but look at the house!” Dean says waving towards the empty grassy meadow space, Sam can just see the river twinkling way down below.

“What house? I can see the river way down the hill though.”

“The house Sam, right here in front of you.” Dean gestures emphatically in front of him.

Sam walks over to stand next to him, “Dean, I can’t see anyth…hold on, if I stand here I can just make it out.”

“Whattaya mean?” Dean asks, craning his neck up behind to look at Sam.

“It’s like see-through or something, I don’t know.”

Dean strides over to the house and starts to put his hand on the door knob.  “Do you see this?”

“Dean, stop, don’t touch it!”

“Why?”

“I don’t know, don’t you think we ought to investigate it before you go in, it might be cursed or something.”

Dean pulls his hand back just in time without touching the doorknob,  he can peer into the bay windows on either side of the front door from the porch,  “This place is amazing Sam, come here maybe you can see if you’re standing closer.”

Sam reluctantly joins him on the porch and yeah, he can see it a little more clearly, and the place is gorgeous, like something out of a fantasy house contest magazine.  Now that he’s concentrating and standing right next to it, he can see that there are comfortable couches in a living room on one side and on the other there’s an enormous dining room table with chairs and a china cabinet gleaming with crystal and silver.  “Wow, yeah, I can.”

“I think we should go in.” Dean says, obviously itching to explore.

Sam reaches out and lands a hand on Dean’s shoulder, holding him still, “No Dean, hold on.  If I can’t see it all the way and you can, that’s got to mean something.”

“Fine.  But we’re coming back tomorrow, I’ve gotta look around inside this place, who knows what’s in all those rooms, I think it’s got like three stories.”

Sam steps off the porch and leans back to look up, “Yeah, I think there’s a room or something up there besides just an attic, but I can’t really see it clearly. Let’s go, I’m getting hungry.”  He turns and starts walking back towards the Impala.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m comin’” Dean says, hesitating on the porch for one last look in the front window, but giving up when he sees Sam already getting in the passenger side door.

They spend a long time enjoying dinner at one of the nicest restaurants they’ve been to in ages, where they spend most of the time not even talking about the case, but about where the best steak they’ve ever had instead.

As they walk out of the restaurant, Sam holds the door open for Dean, “This was really good Dean, thanks for uh, picking the dinner package.”  It’s pretty much the best night they’ve had together in a long time that he can remember, and it seems like they’re both feeling on an even keel around the other. 

Dean looks up at him in surprise, touching Sam lightly on the small of his back to get him going towards the car, “Yeah, uh, guess it was a good call.  Even I can’t eat cheeseburgers every night. Glad you liked it Sammy.” Something in Dean relaxes a little, just hearing his brother acknowledge that this was a good thing, the dinner, the whole evening so far has been just what they needed. He realizes that he feels more like “them” than he has in a very long time.

But then they pull up to the Smuggler’s Rest and he remembers that they have to be a couple in front of Celeste, and then stay in that room, with the one enormous bed and he can’t help it, things get a little hesitant and strange between them.  It’s nothing he could call Sam out on, but it’s there, because it’s too close, too much of a reminder of what they used to have together.

Sam stays up late in the chair by the window, reading the last of the Pratchett book he was in the middle of on their drive.  Dean’s been in bed for a while now, but Sam can tell he isn’t asleep quite yet.  Sam hears him sigh and turn away. 

Before Dean turns away, he had been looking at Sam, soaking in the sight of his long, lean body sprawled in the huge overstuffed chair, relaxed and engaged with his book, a world away.  The new lines on his face relaxed so that he looks like the Sam from before.  Dean can almost picture him, how it used to be, how he’d tease Sam until he’d join him in bed and then they’d spend an hour immersed in each other before collapsing into an honest sleep.  But now, all he gets to do is look, and remember.  Dean falls asleep remembering those other nights.

Finally after he hears Dean’s breathing even out into the familiar ‘I’m really asleep’ pattern Sam pulls back the covers on his side of the bed and slips in as soundlessly as possible. Thinking about the bed in thirds, he makes sure he’s arranged on his third, and hopes that he sticks to it through the night.  Whenever they’ve ever had to share a bed it’s a guaranteed almost-magnetic attraction and one of them will wind up wrapped around the other.  It’s fifty-fifty on who has glommed onto whom in the morning.  As a last resort to actually fall asleep, Sam lets himself remember what it was like to hold his brother close.  It’s easier with the smell and sound of Dean so nearby, the heat of his body within touching distance.  He can almost dream it into being once again.

~!@~!@~!@

In the morning, Dean wakes up first, surprised to be comfortable and almost too warm.  Then he realizes why.  He’s completely wrapped up with his brother, Sam’s got his arm over him, and they are pressed up against each other completely.  He pushes down his first response which is to sneak out of bed and get into the bathroom before Sam knows what’s up.  But then Sam snuffles into his hair, this warmth spreads through Dean and he can’t bring himself to escape Sam’s arms.  Even though he knows he doesn’t deserve this or get this anymore, it’s still so much what he wants.  He’s a bad person, he knows this, to take this from Sam when he’s asleep.  It’s not right.  But he does it anyways, there’s been so few comforts since Purgatory, he takes what he needs.  And if that means finding that comfort now in a few stolen moments in his brother’s embrace, well so be it.

After a deliciously indeterminate time which could be as long as an hour or as short as two minutes, Dean can feel the moment Sam wakes up.  Sam’s whole body stiffens minutely, his breathing hitches slightly and the delicious weight and warmth is slowly removed.  Dean pretends to be asleep until the last second when he turns his head and smiles a sleepy conspiratorial grin at Sam, “Mornin’ sunshine.  Thought you’d never wake up.”

“Uh, yeah, sorry about being an octopus.”

Dean continues his grin, “Don’t worry, you didn’t do anything you shouldn’t have.”

Sam sits up and just looks at Dean, tilting his head slightly as if he’s trying to work out what Dean means by that cryptic comment.  But he’s too tired, so he shrugs a little and stands up, going into an immediate huge yawn and stretch.  “Imma hit the shower.”

“Don’t take too long, I can smell breakfast already.”  Dean really wants to say something like ‘let’s save time and shower together’ but he guessing that would be way too much, too soon based on Sam’s non-response.

As soon as Sam’s in the bathroom with the shower going, Dean rolls over onto his side of the bed, burying his face in the pillow his brother had used.  He can still feel the warmth from Sam’s body that’s heated the sheets, and the scent of Sam is strongest in the pillow.  After letting himself linger just that little bit longer in the Sam-shaped depression in the bed Dean finally talks himself into getting up.  There’s no point in wallowing and pining, that never does anyone any good, right?  He’s ready to jump in the shower the moment Sam comes out, the issue of the bed something he’s put out of his mind for the rest of the day.  There’s always tonight.

As Sam takes a little time in the shower he realizes he’s not just shocked by his brother’s response to being cuddled all night, he’s kind of warmed and excited.  Maybe it means nothing, just the easy familiarity with each other’s bodies that they’ve had their whole lives together.  But maybe Dean didn’t mind, because he wants that again.  The thought of that even being a possibility now seems like a remote pointless hope, but one that Sam’s mind refuses to let go of. He tries, but he can’t wash it away in the shower, Dean’s touch all along his body a precious reminder of what could be again.

Over breakfast down in the small dining room, served by an all too perky Celeste, they go over their plan for the day.  Sam’s researching in the town library for more local information on the owners of the mysterious house and property. 

“There’s got to be some kind of local legend about it.  C’mon, slightly visible house, don’t see that every day.” Sam says, as he watches Dean stuffing the second helping of eggs and home fries into his mouth. 

“Yeah, you’ll find something.  I’ll go see if the county has anything on the current owners since you couldn’t get it online.  Might be so old that it’s not digitized yet.” Dean says through his mouthful of breakfast. 

Sam pours himself another cup of coffee and watches his brother thoroughly enjoy his meal, that’s one nice thing about still being with Dean, the vicarious carnal enjoyment of food.  Dean just gets so into it, like he’s absorbing more than just the calories and nutrients.  Sam almost forgets to eat himself sometimes when he gets entranced by watching Dean display his more than healthy appetites.

Dean gets directions to the county seat of Stowe from Celeste, and he takes off for the day, Sam deciding to walk to the library.  He watches the Impala speed off and feels that pang of separation that he can never escape.  Sure it’s more efficient to split up on a job, but sometimes he wishes they could stick together on all of the aspects of a case.  But Dean’s a pain in the library anyways, Sam laughs to himself as he approaches the small house that houses the town library.  Just picturing some of the antics Dean’s gotten up to when he gets bored in libraries is enough to make Sam actually smile.

After a few hours with only a few new facts coming to light, Sam takes off to head back to the B&B, as he’s walking through town he passes by a bakery and stops in, thinking to get something to share with Dean when he gets back.  A bell jingles as he opens the bottom half of a blue painted Dutch door.  There’s a heady aroma of just-baked bread and something sweet.  Behind the glass-front counter a friendly faced young woman looks up in surprise.  “Good morning!” She greets him.

Sam tries not to flinch at her sunny greeting, he’s usually so much better about this human interaction stuff, but sometimes he’s just not when he’s been buried in books for hours.  “Uh, good morning to you, can I get a bear-claw and a lemon scone?” 

“Sure thing.”  Susan, well that’s what her nametag says gets the two things out of the case, bags them up, and is over waiting at the register before Sam has even noticed she’s moving, “That’ll be $4.50, you just visiting?”

“Yeah, we’re staying a couple nights over at Smuggler’s Rest.” Sam answers, handing over a five.

“You and your wife?” Susan asks, cheeks flaming a little red.

Sam wonders why she’s embarrassed, it’s almost like Dean is with him, usually this is how women react to his brother’s presence. But then he realizes that it’s just him, she’s giving him this dreamy kind of stare, so he answers, “No, my uh, husband and me,” his stomach sinking as he goes for the easy answer.  Hoping that it doesn’t come back to haunt him.

Susan snaps her fingers and grins, “Shoot, can’t blame a girl for trying.”

“No worries.” Sam smiles back in return.

“Well, I hope you enjoy your stay.”

“Hey, you mind if I ask you a question?  You know anything about the Trelawny House?”

Susan’s face goes from previously embarrassed to a combination of concerned and spooked.  “Yeah, it’s . . . uh been there a long time.  No one lives there though.  Why?”

“We’re travel writers, and we’re doing a story on old houses to check out in the New England region, it was on our list of historic homes.  You ever been to see it?”

“Yeah, everyone in town goes there at least once.  It’s a strange kind of place though.  Not everyone sees it the same way.”

“How do you mean?” Sam asks, leaning on the counter.

“Well, this is going to sound really wacked, but some people don’t really see it, some see it partway, and the rest are going in and walking around.” Susan says, shaking her head a little at herself for actually saying this crazy stuff out loud.

“Doesn’t sound wacked at all.  We experienced exactly that last night.  My br -- husband saw it, no problem, and I didn’t at first, but then there it was.  What’s the story with it, you know?”

“Oh there’s all kinds of rumors of course, but no one can agree on exactly what it is.  We just know not to go there on the equinoxes.  Bad stuff happens then.  Otherwise, it’s just a big empty field or a big beautiful house that no one lives in.”

“What kind of bad stuff? Is that the people disappearing I read about?”

“Yeah, it doesn’t happen a lot, but the story goes, if you’re a couple that’s getting trouble for being in love and you’re there at midnight on the equinox, you’ll get taken to somewhere better.  So sometimes idiot high school kids try it, and uh, we don’t ever see them again.” Susan answers, voice getting quieter towards the end as if she’s thinking of those who’ve gone missing.

Sam tries to clarify, “Trouble for being in love, like parents not agreeing with who their kids are going with?”

“Yeah, or worse.  People getting kicked out of their parent’s house.  That happened to Tim Belloit last year.  His dad wasn’t down with him being in a relationship with Randy Musgraft.  Even though they’d been together for a year, and friends their whole lives.  His dad threw Tim out of the house.  He and Randy went to Trelawny later that month and no one has ever seen them again.  We all hoped they’d just taken off to Burlington or something.” Susan says, with a wistful tone.

“The police looking for them?” Sam asks in a gentle voice, he can tell that she misses these people.

Susan shakes her head, “No, not anymore.”

“Thanks for your help Susan.  I’m Sam by the way.” Sam extends his hand to shake.

Susan brightens up a little and shakes, “Nice to meet you Sam by the way. Glad I could help.”

Sam leaves, holding the white paper bag, and thinking on the story that Susan just shared with him.  This new information really fits in with what he found at the library confirming all the disappearances at the equinoxes.  He hopes that Dean’s got something to add at this point to round out the story.   They’ve got to stop more couples from disappearing, especially ones that are just not accepted by their families.  That’s a whole level of wrong on top of everything.  He knows about that, well he did.  Back when he was part of a couple.  The only one that ever knew was Bobby, and he was, well he wasn’t accepting, but as close as he could manage it.  He and Chuck were the only people they’ve ever known, that realized they were brothers as well as lovers.  Not that it’s an issue any more, or that they have many friends to worry about either.  Who knows what the few left they do have left, would think if he and Dean were to rekindle that past fire?

Sam’s phone rings as he’s halfway back to Smuggler’s Rest, he answers when he sees the letter ‘D’ on the display, “Hey.”

“I found the owner. Coming to pick you up, wanna get something for lunch and then go find her?” Dean asks.

“Sounds good, I got some info too.  I’ll be back at our place by then.”

“See you in twenty or so.”

Our place? Why the hell did I say that?  Sam chides himself.  Too much thinking about how it used to be, and what he still wishes for.  No, Sam reminds himself, they don’t have a place.  Not even the Men of Letters bunker anymore, thanks to the damn angels.  It was such a tease for them to have had it for that little while, a tiny slice of normal just to whet the appetite only to be snatched away.  Only home they’ve really ever had is the Impala really.  He used to think that it was the driver of the Impala that was truly his home, but that’s all so uncertain now.

After the short walk back to Smuggler’s Rest from the library, Sam sits down in the chair by the window and writes up his notes.  He looks up a few things in his digitized lore books to figure out what sort of spell or creature could cause this house to snatch up rejected couples.  There’s not too many things left on Earth that could pull that off, possibly a really powerful spirit, but then there’d be bodies, like in that case they’d worked with Annie’s ghost.  

More likely is the Fae, both he and Dean hadn’t thought about the Fae all that much in the last couple years.  But now that he’s examining possible remaining foes, it would be pretty unlikely that the Fae would have been affected by the closing of all the Gates.  They’ve only encountered faeries twice in their hunting careers, last time was with Charlie.  And that had been a faerie under the control of a human.  Sam’s deep in thought in the chair, staring out the window at the tree-line on the mountains when Dean finally comes back.

“Hey. Snap out of it. Let’s go, I’m hungry.”

“Yeah, uh, got you this earlier.”  Sam holds out the bag with the bear claw.

Dean snatches it and his eyes go goofy wide, most of the bear claw is in Dean’s mouth by the time he’s mumbling, “Thanks Sammy.”

Sam just laughs, hoping the crumbs and flakes of sugar glaze aren’t too much for Celeste to clean up and heads out the door, notebook in hand, not letting himself get used to hearing his nickname out of Dean’s crumb-filled mouth.  “Let’s get sandwiches, saw a place down the street.  So where’d you have to go?”

“Morristown, county offices are there, about 20 minutes away.  This place close? I’m starving.”

Sam laughs, “Even after that bear claw?  Yeah, it’s like two blocks, walk it with me, I think you’ll make it.”

“What is this Healthy Sam Time again?”

Sam shrugs, “No, not really.  Just wanted to walk, been sitting a lot today.  And it’s nice out.”

As they pass by the bakery, Susan sees them, waves and smiles at Sam, quickly coming to the door to poke her head out.  “Hi Sam, this must be your husband.”

“Yeah, uh, hi again Susan, this is Dean.”

“Nice to meet you Dean.  Hope you two enjoyed those treats today.” Susan winks at him.

“That was the best bear claw I’ve had in ages, thanks.” Dean says, trying to keep smiling although he wants to punch Sam at this point because he didn’t warn him that he’d spread their husband story around town, and she’s being awfully flirty anyways. So now he’s jealous and mad about their cover story, great.

“Hey Susan, Is the deli any good?” Sam asks, knowing that he’s got about 3.8 seconds left before Dean explodes because he didn’t give Dean a heads up about telling Susan they’re married.

“Oh yeah, best sandwiches in town, oughta be, they use my bread.” Susan says proudly.

“Thanks!” They say in unison walking away together like the happy married couple they’re supposed to be.

Sam hurries Dean along with a hand on the small of his back, hoping they get out of Susan’s earshot before Dean unloads on him.

“Who’s that Sam?” Dean says through gritted teeth, trying valiantly to get himself under control.

“Uh…Susan, she’s just the baker, got a lot of info out of her earlier.”

“And why does she think I’m your husband?”

“Just came up in conversation, it’s our cover story, remember, you’re the one that started it?” Sam says in a huff, because he doesn’t get why Dean’s so mad about this, it was his idea.

“She coming on to you?” Dean teases, though he knows of course he’s doing it to hide the sudden spike of jealousy which he has no business feeling.

Sam bristles a little at the teasing, even though he’s wondering about his brother’s jealous questions, “Yeah.  Sorry about that.  Thought it fit with our story with Celeste. Sorry I didn’t give you a heads up.”

And that’s one sorry too many for Dean, so he throws Sam a bone, “That’s alright, it’s legal here in Vermont right?  Gay marriage?” He holds the deli door open so Sam can walk through.

“Uh huh, has been for a while.” Sam answers as they walk up to the counter, looking at Dean as closely as he can out of the corner of his eye , confused as anything about why his brother is suddenly asking for that particular information.

“Good cover then I guess.  So what’d you find out?” Dean asks, pointedly changing the subject.

Sam smiles and lets that hot button topic go and answers, “That the town knows about the house not always being visible, and that the couples going missing are said to be ones that are being rejected by their families.”

“Huh, what do you think is causing it?” Dean asks.

“Well, there’s not much left it could be.  Vengeful spirit or maybe Fae?  Not sure yet.” Sam suggests.

Dean whistles lowly, “Damn, hope it’s not Fae.”

They order their sandwiches, pay, and wait on stools at the counter.