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Operation Blank Slate

Chapter Text

A freak snowstorm was what drove the Winchester brothers to seek shelter in the small motel, that was located on some back road, in some city they didn't know the name of. For the last two weeks they had been just behind a string of freakish weather that was trailing across the states, and now it looked like they might have finally caught up with it, considering the roads were now too snow-covered to drive on when the radio said that the weather had called for a hot night. The other towns that had been affected by weird weather were stuck in sudden heat waves or heavy rain, or even a stray tornado, all gone within a day or so, leaving people baffled as to what had just happened.

The two brothers stood at the window, staring at the blizzard raging outside as the heater chugged inside in a pathetic attempt to provide warmth for the room's occupants. Dean was the first to break away from the window, and he moved to the table to sit in one of the two old, wooden chairs with cushioned seats that were sporting some weird red and brown pattern that blended in with all the other horrible decorations. Turning on Sam's laptop, he attempted to connect to the hotel's WiFi but the signal was pathetic, due to the odd weather outside, so that didn't work well.

Dean scoffed at the inconvenience and started opening the lore files that Sam had saved during their years of being hunters. "Why a blizzard?" He glanced up at his brother, who was in the process of sitting across from him at the table. "Most of the weather has at least been reasonable to the area. A blizzard in July? In Iowa of all places?"

Sam shook his head as he turned his computer towards him, seeing as he was better at research than his brother, who was lazy at it, unless of course the case seriously piqued his interest. "I don't understand it either. I'm not even sure it's a demon thing at this point. It looked like it at first, with the electrical storms, but now the way it's changing, I don't know what to think."

"Yeah," Dean shifted in his chair, uncomfortable as his hunter instincts, and memories of getting drawn by bad weather to the Elysian Fields Hotel so many years ago, made him uneasy. Ever since that rainy night, if bad weather was the reason they stopped at a hotel, his nerves went on end, and this place was no exception, no matter how low class the place was. "But what's got...whatever this is...so worked up?"

Sam gave a small shake of his head as he browsed though his files, trying to find something that would cause such sporadic weather changes. "Your guess is as good as mine." He glanced up at Dean, understanding the barely contained fidgeting of his older brother, and knew to save his breath by not pointing it out. "Hey, why don't you see what the news is saying?"

Dean rolled his eyes, but definitely didn't object at a chance to watch TV, before he got up and made his way to the bed that he had claimed earlier. He paused on his trip long enough to turn the TV on and grab the remote before he stretched out on the mattress, eventually coming to rest with his upper back against the headboard and his arm draped over his stomach.

As soon as he was settled he started going through the channels, stopping when he found the news since they had some poor sap standing outside in the raging snow storm with a parka and a mic. At the bottom of the screen was a news ticker that read 'BIZZAR BLIZZARD HITS OSCEOLA IN CLARKE COUNTY', telling Dean which city they were in. As soon as Dean was about to change the channel, due to the station's lack of knowledge, the blizzard abruptly stopped, which made Dean shoot up straight.

"Sammy."

Sam looked up at the urgency in Dean's voice just in time to see the guy in the parka push back his hood to look around as he frantically told the camera that the clouds had begun dispersing. Sam's face contorted slightly in disbelief as he and Dean looked at each other. "What just happened?"

"The freaking storm just stopped on live TV," Dean answered, while also answering the silent question of 'Did that just happen?' as he tried to fully take in what he just saw. At the same time he was affirming that something was going on, right now, with them in town. He got up, went to the window, and pulled back the curtain some to reveal clear night skies without a cloud in sight and a blanket of powder on the ground. "Dude, come take a look at this."

Sam got up from his chair and joined Dean at the window. When he pulled the curtain open further, his jaw dropped a little bit at the sight. "I've never seen anything like this, have you?" He turned his head to look over at Dean as the other hunter shook his head. "Maybe call Charlie to see if she's found anything in the books?"

"Sounds good," Dean answered as he shut the curtain after taking a quick, customary glance around outside. An extra precaution now that something could be around.

While Sam got on the phone with Charlie, Dean took out his phone and called someone else. It took a few rings before the familiar, gravelly voice picked up on their side.

"Hello Dean."

"Hey Cas," he greeted in return. "Do you have a chance to talk?"

"For the time being I am not busy," Cas answered. "What did you need?"

"Have you found out anything about this weather yet?"

"Unfortunately," he sighed heavily, "I haven't. Are you having any success on your side?"

"Actually, Sam and I might be in the eye of the storm," Dean answered and he could almost picture the fallen angel's brows coming together in worry. "We're at the Evergreen Inn in some funky name town in Iowa and the weather stopped, mid-storm, all over the city, at one time."

"Are the witnesses su-"

"Cas," Dean interrupted, “me and Sam were watching the news when it happened. It just stopped--as if someone just turned off an ice shower--and neither of us have heard of anything with this kind of mojo, have you?"

There was a few moments of silence before Castiel finally spoke again. "No." Another sigh, this one was full of frustration. "I haven't. But now it sounds to me like you might be in danger. If something was trying to get your attention..."

"We just pulled a Leroy Jenkins." Dean shook his head as he sat on the edge of his bed.

"I don't understand that reference."

"We rushed in like fools."

"Oh, then yes, you pulled a...Leroy Jenkins."

It was difficult but, out of respect for his friend, he managed to not laugh, settling for a huge grin that he wasn't able to prevent. "Alright, well keep your feelers out, I'm going to see what else the boob tube has to say."

"I'll be in touch if I find anything."

"Yup, same here."

Dean hung up and stood from the bed, moving past Sam to look out the window again. He didn't pull the curtain open as far this time, and as he looked out he noticed that the snow on the windowsill was already melting as the heat the city was expecting had begun to roll in. It was obvious to him that he wouldn't be getting any sleep tonight, and with that thought he went to work on putting up sigils to keep them hidden in case they were indeed being watched by someone, or something.

-----

All through the night the Winchesters continued researching and calling around, but their efforts failed to turn up anything of use. By the time morning came the brothers had decided they would risk going into town to see if they could find out about anything that might have happened before the blizzard hit the town. After not sleeping through the night, Dean decided that a cold shower would do good at keeping him awake and when he came out Sam went in, agreeing it was what he needed as well.

Dean went outside ahead of Sam, to check on Baby, because he could swear he heard a whining from under the hood when they parked last night. Outside there was still a bit of snow but most of it had been melted by the increasing temperatures. At this rate the snow would be fully gone before the sun started to set.

Dean had the hood propped up and was leaning over the engine when he noticed someone approaching him out of his peripheral vision and he tensed slightly as he worked. As the person stopped within a few feet of him and his car, and then cleared their throat to get his attention, Dean looked up at the younger male who was possibly just barely out of his teens.

"I'm so sorry to bother you," the other male apologized, "but I just have to say that your car is wicked awesome. What is she, mid-to-late 60's?"

Dean gave a nod as he stood upright, eyeing the stranger with slight weariness that he tried to not be obvious with. "This baby is a '67," Dean answered with a little pride to his voice. It was the kind of tone all car enthusiasts had when showing off their vehicle. "Good eye."

The stranger smiled around the sucker stick that was slid to the corner of his mouth. "I've always loved cars, especially classics like this one. It's a good thing she didn't get damaged by the hale last night."

Dean frowned at the thought of multiple dents and dings in his car's body. "We came in from behind that thing; I didn't even know there had been hale." Hell, he had a witness without even leaving the parking lot, why not get a little questioning in? "Anything else weird happen before the storm? Besides it going from hot to freezing, obviously."

"Well, yesterday the morning news said it was supposed to reach record heat temperatures by mid-day, but by then we had heavy rain, by early evening we had the hale, and then the blizzard." The stranger frowned. "I've never seen anything like it... Well, you looked like you were busy, I'll let you go. Keep taking care of that beauty."

Dean watched the retreating form of the kid, until he disappeared into the front office, and went back to checking out his car. He was just shutting the hood when Sam finally came out, dressed in his usual blue jeans and plaid button-up shirt.

"Did you get the noise fixed?" Sam asked, already figuring out why Dean was gone when he came out of the bathroom.

"Just a loose belt," Dean answered as he wiped his hands on his rag that he had pulled from the trunk when he got out his tools. "But yeah, I got her fixed."

The ride into town didn't last long, but it was filled with conversation, including Dean telling Sam what the stranger had told him...while slipping it in that someone had called his Baby "wicked awesome" with a grin. Sam rolled his eyes at his car-crazed brother and got out when Dean parked the Impala at a gas pump outside of a place called Casey’s Grocery Store.

Walking inside, Sam went up to the counter and handed over some money so Dean could gas up his car. “Some crazy weather you guys are having,” Sam commented, trying to lead into small talk.

The guy behind the counter unwrapped a piece of chocolate and popped it in his mouth as he nodded in agreement. “Yeah,” he replied and shrugged his shoulders, “it’s got the bible thumpers of the town crying ‘Rapture’. Even the sanest guy in this part of town is talking crazy crap.”

“You mean crazy, besides rapture?” Sam questioned as his brows rose in curiosity.

“The guy said he saw something in the storm, some light or some shit.” The guy chuckled and tossed the little balled up wrapper from his chocolate into the trash. “This dude’s been the manager at Fareway Grocery for almost six years, and it’s finally got to the guy.”

“He doesn’t usually say stuff like this?” Sam prodded, seeing the potential of a hint as to what’s going on.

“No way,” scoffed the guy as he unwrapped another piece of chocolate. The register made a noise and he looked over before he tapped somewhere on the screen and took money from the till. He handed it over to Sam with the explanation, “Looks like your car didn’t need as much as you thought.”

“Thanks… Hey, you said the manager worked at Fareway Grocery? Can you point me in his direction?” Sam asked as he pocketed the change from Dean’s fill up.