Dean rolled over, squeezing his eyes shut, trying desperately not to wake up. Just a few moments longer, if he kept his eyes closed, maybe he could sleep for just a few moments longer. It only felt like minutes since he’d gone to bed, dropping his exhausted body onto his memory foam mattress after a long drive and a brutal hunt. He pulled a pillow over his face and moaned as the promise of sleep drifted out of his grasp. Rolling onto his back and rubbing his eyes, he reached for his phone. It was just after 8.30am. “4 hours”, he thought, “Not bad”. 4 hours was a pretty solid amount of sleep for Dean.
Leaning over the side of his bed he grabbed his laptop, flicking it open and waiting for the wifi to kick in before clicking on a tab to do a random news search for weirdness. Nothing jumped out at him. Scratch that, the horrors of the world jumped out at him, but not the kind of horrors he and Sam specialised in.
He tossed the laptop onto the bed beside him, and stared up at the ceiling. “Maybe Sam’s found something”, he thought, as he shook the remaining sleep from his head. He rolled out of bed, feet hitting the icy bunker floor. He quickly pulled them back up and shuddered. He’d been too tired to shower last night; just dropped on his bed fully clothed. At some point, he vaguely remembers waking up and wiggling out of his jeans, then sliding under the covers to fend off the chill. It was damn cold in his room. The hairs stood up on his bare legs as goosebumps appeared. He really needed to talk to Sam about the heating!
Dean reached out for his boots with one foot, trying to bring them closer so he wouldn’t have to stand on the frozen floor. He awkwardly dragged them towards him using his toes, fist punching out a “Yes!” when he got them close enough to grab. Reaching inside, he pulled out the socks shoved down into the toe, habitually putting them to his nose to see how they smelt. They were tolerable.
Dean pulled the socks on his frozen feet and stood up, back cracking as he stretched towards the ceiling. Oh man, there were days he felt old. Most days, actually. He didn’t bounce back like he used to. And he ached…pretty much everywhere. Sighing, he threw on his bathrobe, grabbed his toilet bag, slid his socked feet into his old man slippers, and headed to the shower.
As he wandered down the hall, Dean could hear faint noises coming from the kitchen. The smell of coffee drifted into his nostrils. He inhaled deeply, the delicious scent almost making his mouth water. Sam was up he thought, and wondered if he’d even gone to bed. His brother had developed a nasty habit of staying up researching all night, or jotting notes on various files, or cataloguing every fact housed in their library onto his laptop. He was trying to move the card database to an electronic database, typing and scanning any time he had spare. Dean was gunna have to hold an intervention if his brother didn’t sleep soon. Maybe today, if nothing was killing and no one was dying, he’d try to convince Sam to take a break.
Dean walked into the bathroom, shrugged off his robe, pealed off his t-shirt and underwear, leaving his socks and slippers to last, then practically sprinted into the shower cubicle. The Men of Letters bathroom had left a lot to be desired when Sam and Dean had decided to move into the bunker. Sure it had great water pressure, but that was about it. It was spartan, almost military in style. No doors, basic fixtures, ancient plumbing. Not that the brothers needed luxury, but a bathroom circa pre-1950 was a little too primitive even for them. Over a few months they changed out the shower taps and showerheads. Sam insisted on water saving devices on everything, but Dean argued long and hard about his need for strong showers to rinse off the grime of hunting and managed to score his very own nozzle for his very own shower. Big and powerful and one he didn’t have to run around under to get wet. He busted Sam using it on more than one occasion.
They put in doors too, for a little privacy. Privacy was in short supply for the brothers and any they could grab, they did. They re-grouted the tiles, replaced the tarnished mirrors, changed the taps on the sinks from old school brass to newer models, added a few power points and updated the toilets; they really didn’t need those urinals. The bathroom still looked like something in a college dorm, but at least now it looked like something in a college dorm built this century.
Dean turned on the water extra hard and extra hot and sighed out loud as the spray hit his sore and sorry body. He put one hand against the wall and just stood there, letting the heat soothe his muscles and warm his bones. He noticed some blood residue wash down the drain as he ran a hand through his hair. He grimaced. He really should have showered last night. He reached for the soap… body wash actually; a spontaneous purchase on the advice of a pretty girl in the supermarket…
He was out shopping, stocking up on supplies and stopped to buy some run of the mill soap. “Oh that stuffs no good,” the girl beside him had said, eyes slightly too wide and focused on him to be nonchalant. “Full of chemicals”.
Dean looked at the soap in his hand and then looked at the girl. He really couldn't care less about chemicals in his soap, but he always cared about a pretty girl. He put the soap back on the shelf. “What do you suggest?” he said, giving her his best, patented Dean Winchester smile. Wide and bright, with more than a hint of bad boy trouble.
“Um” she replied, seeming suddenly flustered, she looked at the array of soaps in front of her. “Maybe this?” She held up something with flowers on the wrapper. “Oh, errr… maybe not”, she said, seeing Dean raise an eyebrow.
“Yeah, not sure my brother would appreciate the flowery kind…though…” He chuckled to himself as he thought about putting the flowery soap in Sam’s shower.
The girl continued looking at the various soap on the shelves; nervously picking up a cake and putting it back down, before selecting another one. Dean could have helped her, let her off the hook, but he was enjoying how nervous she suddenly was. It was cute. And it made him feel good. Besides… she started it.
“What about body wash?” the girl suddenly blurted out.
Dean gave her a conspiratorial look, “Tell me more,” he said.
The girl walked down the aisle with Dean in tow. She tossed a smile over her shoulder at him. Dean felt a familiar warmth creep over his body.
“This one,” she said, handing Dean a bottle of white body wash. “Vanilla?”
Dean’s eyebrows shot up. “Really?” he thought, wondering why this girl presumed he’d like a vanilla scented body wash.
“It’s my favourite,” she continued, looking up at Dean through long, dark lashes.
The girl checked around to ensure no one was watching, then quickly opened the bottle passing it to Dean for him to smell. Dean took a whiff. He won’t deny it... it smelt pretty good!
“It’s the same one I use,” the girl said, smiling.
Dean slowly leaned forward and smelt her neck. “Smells good on you,” he said into her skin, goosebumps coming up where his warm breath touched her. He stepped back. “I’m not sure though, might be a bit strong, you know, a bit too vanilla, shame I can’t try before I buy….” He left his statement hanging in the air. What the hell, he thought, no harm, no foul.
There was a long beat of silence as the two of them looked at each other. Dean could tell the girl was tempted. He acted casual and gave her the time she needed to weigh up her options. No pressure. The ball was totally in her court.
“You, ahhh, you, want to come to my place and, um, err, try it?” she said equal parts shy and bold…it was damn intoxicating.
Dean smiled at her, “Well that does seem like the smart thing to do…”
The girl smiled back
“I’m Beth”, she said.
“Well Dean….” she reached down and took his hand. They headed out, dumping their shopping on the way to the exit.
They spent a lovely afternoon showering, doing things other than showering that then required more showering, sometimes cutting out the middleman altogether and doing things other than showering whilst showering... It turns out the body wash smelt really kind of great! Beth gave Dean her bottle as a parting gift, and he’s used that brand ever since.
Dean smiled to himself at the memory, as vanilla scent wafted around him in the steam. Maybe he should call her up…though, it’d been a couple of years now, she’s probably moved, or at the very least, moved on.
He stepped out of the shower and slid into his slippers, grabbing a towel and drying his hair, before making a half assed effort at drying his body. He ran a hand over the steamy mirror and looked at his reflection. His beard was growing in nicely, he hadn’t shaved in a few days and his whiskers grew quick. He reached into his toilet bag and took out his razor. (He really needed to talk to Sam about putting some cupboards up in here to store stuff!) He lathered up and ran the razor over his chin, looking up at the mirror to check his handy work; still a bit of stubble, just how he liked it. Then he had a crazy idea. He lathered up again, and this time carefully guided the razor over his face, slowly and methodically removing every trace of a beard. He bent down and rinsed his face, looking up at the mirror again. He laughed out loud. He looked about 12 years old. Well, maybe 25. Or 30. Younger anyhow. He looked younger for sure. He threw his robe back on and walked back towards his bedroom, feeling distinctly more human…and a little less old.
“Dean?” The holler came from the kitchen. “You up?”
Dean stopped and hollered back at Sam. “Yeah”
“Want breakfast? I’m making eggs?”
“Omelettes?” Dean asked...sort of.
There was silence.
“I was doing scrambled but… yeah…I guess…okay.” Sam yelled.
“Be there in a few.” Dean yelled back.
He heard pans clinking as he headed to his bedroom.
5 minutes later, Dean was dressed in jeans, a long sleeved t-shirt and an old hoodie he’d dug out of the back of the cupboard doubling as his wardrobe. He was still cold, damn it. He silently padded down the hall in his socks, clean ones this time, boots in hand, which he popped at the foot of the stairs to the bunker door before heading to the kitchen.
“How’s that omelette going?” he said, scaring the crap out of his brother.
“Jesus Dean! If I had a gun on me, I coulda shot you! What did you tip toe?”
“Calm down,” Dean said dismissively, “Want a coffee?”
Sam frowned at him as he shoved his cup towards his brother, a spatula in his other hand. “What the hell did you do to your face?”
“You look like a 12 year old!” Sam laughed.
Dean grinned. “Feel it”, he said walking over to Sam and offering his cheek. “Smooth and soft as a baby’s ass.”
“I’m not feeling your face, Dean” Sam said with a scrunched up nose.
“Go on. You know you want to.” Dean persisted.
“Dean, I am not feeling your face.” Sam couldn’t help but laugh.
“Your loss” Dean shrugged as he went back to making coffee.
Sam shook his head, still smiling, and returned to the omelette on the stove.
The brothers sat down at the table in the kitchen, plates of steaming eggs and mugs of steaming coffee in front of them.
“Maybe this’ll warm me up,” Dean said taking a slurp. “This place is freakin’ freezing. We’ve gotta do something about the heating.”
Sam grunted, his attention clearly on his laptop and not on his brother’s heating needs.
Dean rolled his eyes. “I looked this morning man, it’s quiet out there.”
“What?” Sam said looking up, a fork filled with egg half way to his mouth.
“I said I checked this morning, ain’t nothin’ happening.”
“Oh yeah, I know, I checked too. I’m reading up on some religious text I scanned to my hard drive. It theorises about where God came from and if there was anything before Him. Really interesting stuff.”
Dean rolled his eyes again, “Sounds fascinating, Poindexter”
“It is” Sam said, without even a note of irony in his voice.
“Did you even sleep last night?” Dean asked, closing Sam’s laptop with a slam.
“I slept.” Sam frowned.
“Yeah? For how long?”
“I don’t know. A couple of hours.”
“Sam, you can’t live on a couple of hours a night. You can’t. You must be averaging about 12 hours a week tops. Even I can’t survive on that. The library ain’t going nowhere, no use killin’ yourself over it.”
“The more information we have on hand on the road, the better armed we are…anyway, I’m fine.”
“Well you won’t be unless you start getting some more zees. I mean, you need to stay frosty, I need to know you’re frosty, for your own back as well as mine.”
“Dean. Both our backs are fine. I’m frosty. Stop fussing.” Sam replied, staring hard at his brother.
“Fussing!” Dean thought, and nearly defended his manly honour! But Sam’s face said to back off, and Dean knew when to leave it alone. He didn’t want to start making Sam feel like he’s being mothered. They’d moved passed that. He’s worked hard to make sure Sam didn’t feel like that anymore. Didn’t feel like Dean was calling all the shots…or at least trying to. It was all part of the rebuilding… Dean was determined to get back to being brothers above everything else. A team.
“Yeah well, I’m damn frosty.” Dean mumbled breaking the silence. “Freakin’ frosty…FROM THE COLD IN THIS PLACE.”
Sam looked up. “Awww…you all cold, Dean?”
“Yes, wiseass. It’s freakin’ freezing in this place. Look that up on your laptop, how to heat a place this size.”
Sam smiled, his brother was the toughest person he’d ever met, but he sure did like his creature comforts.
“What you smiling at?” Dean looked at Sam suspiciously.
“Can a man not want to be warm? I mean.” Dean was in full force indignation.
Sam laughed and opened his laptop back up, “I’ll order you a heater for your room, okay?”
They ate in silence, for few minutes.
“So?” Dean said, getting up to fill his and Sam’s coffee, “What did you wanna do today? Seeing as we seem to have a day off from saving world.”
Sam briefly looked up, “There’s plenty more books to go through in the library. I say we hunker down and work on that. Get a bit of reading in.”
Dean openly groaned. “Sam. Look, I know it’s important, it’s all important, I know, but between killing ourselves on hunts and then killing ourselves with books… We need a day off.”
Sam didn’t register.
“Okay, I need a day off.” Dean said.
Sam remained focused on his laptop.
Dean put down his coffee, reached out and slammed Sam’s laptop closed again.
“Dean! I was in the middle of ordering you a heater!”
“Oh.” Dean said. “Sorry.”
“Look, I hear you Dean, but if we’ve got down time, we should utilise it.”
Dean looked at his brother. “I know, Sam. But one day isn’t going to make a difference. One day.” Dean stopped, before quietly adding, “I need it, man. Even if you’re not, I’m fried.”
Sam looked at Dean and sighed. “What are you thinking?”
Dean brightened slightly. “I don’t know. Catch a movie? Maybe a double feature? Shoot some pool. Have some beers. Meet some chicks…dig into the lore a little.” Dean winked.
“Ha ha funny guy. That was one time, Dean.” Sam shook his head. “But, I could do a movie I guess. What’s on?”
Dean reached for Sam’s laptop, suddenly excited. He flipped it open again and looked up the local movie theatre, which was about 20 miles out of town. “What about the new Batman movie, that’s playing in a couple of hours.” Dean looked up excitedly.
Sam spun the laptop around.
“Or the latest Hunger Games movie?”
“Hunger Games? What are you a 14 year old girl?”
“You’ll like it. It’s violent. Hot tough chick kickin’ ass! Katniss.”
“Kat…niss, that’s her name.”
Dean stared at Sam.
“…Well I vote for Batman.” Dean said, ignoring his brother.
“Shall we rock-paper-scissors it?” Sam smirked.
“No.” Dean said emphatically.
Sam laughed. “Tell you what, Dean. We’ll do Batman first, and if the timing is right and we feel like it, we’ll do The Hunger Games too. You said you wanted a double feature.”
Dean pushed out from the table. “Okay. Well we better make a move, or we won’t make it” He picked up his plate and then grabbed Sam’s.
“Hey! I haven’t finished that!” Sam protested.
“You can get some popcorn at the movies” Dean said, continuing to clear Sam’s unfinished breakfast.
“Tell you what, I’ll even buy you an ice-cream, how’s that sound?” Dean dumped the plates in the sink. “I’ll wash ‘em later. We should get going.”
Sam shot his brother a look. “Give me ten minutes”, he said and stalked from the room.
Dean headed back to his bedroom and swapped his hoodie for a jacket. He grabbed his Colt 1911 from his bedside table, and slid it down the back of his jeans. He took the demon knife from his duffle and tucked it in his inside jacket pocket. You never know what you might come across. Grabbing his keys Dean headed up the stairs to the bunker door picking up his boots on the way.
Sitting on the top step Dean pulled on his slightly blood splashed boots, wetting his fingers and running them over the stains to see if he could budge them. He should have wiped them down last night. He figured no one would notice. He’d give them a good clean when he got home later.
He stood up and hollered for his brother.
“Come on, Sam! What’re you doin’?”
A voice boomed from the hallway.
“Jesus. I’m coming.” Heavy footsteps followed.
Dean rolled his eyes (again), turned around and opened the bunker door. His shoulders dropped.
Sam came up the stairs behind him. “What? What’s up?” he said, seeing his brother’s face.
Sam looked out the door. It was snowing. A lot. The Impala was pretty much completely covered, and the stairwell outside the bunker entrance was knee deep in white.
“Huh. That’s a lot of snow.” Sam said, stating the obvious. “We musta got Lebanon’s yearly snowfall in one night!”
Dean turned and silently glared at his brother.
Sam tried not to grin, “I don’t think we can go out in that, Dean.”
Dean closed the door. “Ya think?”
“Sorry.” Sam said. “Guess we’re snowed in.”
Dean turned and pushed past his brother, stomping down the stairs. “This doesn’t mean it’s back to research, Sam. We’ll do something else. Something fun God damn it”, he called over his shoulder.
Sam sighed. When his brother was determined, he was determined… and pretty annoying.
Sam followed Dean into a room off the library that they’d turned into a lounge area of sorts. It had a sofa and a couple of old chairs they’d found in a back storeroom, and a small table, they’d dragged in from the war room, as well as a TV and DVD player. On the floor was a pile of DVDs from Dean’s collection. They’d always meant to make the room into something more, but if they were at the bunker they were usually either researching or sleeping, so they never got around to it.
Sam watched his brother shuffle through the pile of DVDs. “Predator, Speed 2, or Braveheart?” he called over his shoulder.
“Um, none of the above?”
“Okay, what do you wanna watch?”
“Dean, the day’s a bust, let me just get back to sorting through the library and…”
“No, Sam, no. We agreed! We’re having a day off! We’re going to enjoy ourselves. We’re gunna watch movies or something, I don’t know…just…just…pick a damn movie.”
Sam sighed internally. He knew when arguing with his brother was futile. “Predator”, he said. “But no saying the lines before they do!”
Dean frowned, “I don’t…”
“Yeah you do…in a bad Arnold voice usually.” Sam kind of chuckled as he dropped to the sofa.
Dean huffed and slid the DVD into the machine, turning on the TV as he dropped down beside Sam, nearly sending his brother flying with the bounce.”
“Dude” Sam said with a note of exasperation.
Dean pulled his gun out from his jeans and placed it on the table, stretched out his legs and pushed his boots off with his toes, “Alright…here we go! Movie day!” He pressed play on the DVD.
Sam couldn’t help but smile at his brother’s resolve to have a good time. “What the hell” he thought, and kicked his boots off too.
“Dean…stop damn well saying the lines!”
“What? I wasn’t!”
“Yes you were…again.”
“Geeze sorry if I’m enjoying myself!”
Sam rolled his eyes and stood up.
“Where’re you goin’”
“To the kitchen.”
Dean paused the DVD. “Don’t even come back here with your laptop.”
“Dean…I can have my laptop and not work…I can order you that heater, I can…”
“Sam, you agreed…day off…movies…and…stuff…and…I dunno…but day off. When do we ever take the time?”
Sam rubbed his eyes; sometimes his brother could be a pain in the ass, but sometimes… He could see from Dean’s face how much he needed this. They’d been in a good place for a while now. There’d been a lot of honest conversations. There’d been apologies and there’d been forgiveness. It meant for the first time in a long time their life, at least in their relationship, was strangely harmonious. Both of them didn’t realise how much energy they expended on being mad at or disappointed in each other. It meant a lot to Sam, that his brother was trying to change…as much as Dean ever could. And to be honest, Sam could do with a break… And hanging out with his big brother, just hanging out… “Yeah okay…day off. How about a coffee.” Sam said.
“Or a beer?” Dean said, sort of beaming.
“It’s only eleven, Dean”
“It’s beer ‘o ‘ clock somewhere!”
Sam shook his head.
Sam came back from the kitchen with a coffee for himself and a beer for Dean. The movie was still on pause.
“You didn’t have to wait for me, Dean”
“I didn’t want you to miss anything”, Dean said shrugging.
“I’ve seen the movie like 20 times!”
“Yeah but we’re at the good bit, I know you like the bit where the Apollo Creed dude loses his arm”
“And it keeps shooting…yeah, I do like that bit. Hit play.”
The brothers sat side by side on the sofa, long legs stretched out in front of them, laughing and clapping at their favourite parts. Dean saying all the lines he knew, and Sam not caring.
“Oh man, I love that movie” Dean said as the credits rolled.
“Yeah, it’s a good one”, Sam agreed, “Though I’ll never understand how Arnie survived a nuclear explosion.”
“Movie magic, Sammy. Movie magic. What you wanna watch now? Braveheart?”
Sam got up… “Hang on, I’ve got something in my room.”
Dean shrugged and stood up heading to the kitchen to get another beer.
“Do you want another coffee or anything?” Dean yelled as his brother walked down the hall.
“I’ll take a beer.” Sam yelled back.
Dean raised his eyebrows…as a grin spread over his face…he was genuinely having a good time.
Sam came back in the room just as Dean was putting their beers down. He walked over to the DVD and slid in a disc.
“What we watching?” Dean asked.
Sam tossed the DVD cover to Dean.
“HARRY POTTER?! No no no.” Dean tried to wrestle the remote from Sam.
“You’ll like it Dean. This is the last chapter. The last movie. There’s lots of action and killing. You’ll like it.”
“It’s a kid’s movie, Sam!”
“No it’s not. Seriously, just watch a bit and you’ll see.”
Dean rolled his eyes skyward and huffed out a sigh as Sam pressed play.
2 hours later, Dean was leaning forward on the sofa, eyes glued to the screen.
“So he named his son after the Snape guy?” Dean said, as Sam hit the stop button.
“That’s pretty cool. I can’t believe they killed one of the twins though.”
“Fred”, Sam said.
“Yeah, Fred. Man…I can’t believe they did that. That was harsh. Poor the other twin.”
“George” Sam added.
“Yeah George…poor George. Imagine…” Dean was silent.
“Neither of us has to image, Dean” Sam said softly.
“No we don’t. But we’re luckier than them.”
Sam nodded, “Yes we are.”
The brothers sat quietly for a moment.
“Okay”, Dean said clapping his hands to break the silence, “Well that wasn’t too bad. I didn’t hate it. But that don’t mean I wanna watch another one!”
“So what now?” Dean asked getting up and stretching skyward. “You hungry?”
“I could eat.” Sam said.
“Well I can’t get you that ice-cream I promised, but, how about some pancakes?”
Sam smiled, “Yeah I could go some pancakes!”
“Cool, maybe we can play some cards after,” Dean added as he grabbed the empty beer bottles.
“Wait, that reminds me”, Sam said as he walked from the room.
“Reminds you what? No more Harry Potter!” Dean yelled, as he headed to the kitchen.
Dean was shaking up a bottle of pancake batter when Sam entered the kitchen carrying a box.
“What you got?” Dean asked, nodding to a fresh beer on the table and then turning to fire up the stove.
“You remember a while back I went to that second hand shop in town, to check out their books.”
“Yeah…No…” Dean said, “That’s not a box of books is it?” Dean frowned as he poured batter into a steaming pan.
“Nope” Sam emptied the box onto the table.
There was scrabble, monopoly, pictionary, battleship and…
“IS THAT OPERATION?” Dean boomed…batter dripping from the end the spatula.
“Okay, we’re playing that.”
Dean flipped the last of the pancakes on to a plate and set them down in the middle of the table. He watched as Sam grabbed a stack and proceeded to drown them in maple syrup.
Dean smiled to himself at the sight of his little brother shovelling a fork full into his mouth.
“So where you been hiding those games?” Dean asked reaching for the syrup.
“I’d forgotten I had them. I just put them in the top of my cupboard and forgot.”
“Why’d you get them in the first place?” Dean wondered through a mouthful of food.
“I dunno, it was like 10 bucks for the box, sounded like a bargain…and I remembered…I remembered how you liked Operation…” Sam drifted off, awkwardly shoving more food in his mouth.
A small smile spread across Dean’s face. “Yeah…I used to drive dad crazy with that game…with all the buzzing. Remember that?”
“Yeah I remember that,” said Sam, “That’s because you were so crap at it.”
“Beat you a bunch of times!”
“I was like, 7!”
“Oh yeah? Excuses. Bet I can still take you?”
“Really? Bring it on.” Sam said motioning with his hands.
Dean pushed the remnants of his pancakes aside and grabbed the Operation box. He carefully opened the lid.
“I wonder if the pieces are all there?” he thought out loud as he emptied out the contents. He sorted through the tiny plastic organs. “I think it might all be here!” He beamed up at Sam, looking approximately 5 years old – especially with that shave. Sam couldn’t help but beam back.
Dean carefully put all the pieces into position. “Let’s check if it still buzzes.” He carelessly removed the heart. A hideous buzzing noise screamed out.
“Oh man! It works” Dean blurted out excitedly, “And the nose even still lights up! Let’s play!”
Sam stifled a laugh. His brother was a fierce son of a bitch, but he had the heart of a kid sometimes.
“Let’s do it,” Sam said cracking his knuckles.
“DAMN IT” Dean spat out as he unsuccessfully tried to extract the funny bone; the buzzing noise filled the kitchen. Sam was up 2 games to nil and Dean was getting more and more infuriated.
“I don’t get it,” Dean moaned, “Put a gun in my hand and I’m as steady as a rock. I can stitch you up without even a wobble, but I can’t get one freakin’ piece of plastic out of this stupid thing with out…. SON OF A BITCH!” he yelled as yet another buzz sounded out.
“You gotta relax, dude.” Sam offered, “You’re squeezing those tweezers so tight your knuckles are turning white! Just breathe and take it slow! Give it another whirl.”
Dean scowled, then huffed, then took a deep breath. Slowly he went back to hovering over the funny bone, his hand trembling from the stress.
Sam winced as he watched his brother get closer and closer to the offending object…waiting for the buzz and another explosion from Dean. Dean chewed on his lip as he steadily moved the tweezers around the tiny plastic bone. He gently clamped them shut and slowly and steadily extracted the piece, lifting it up several inches before carefully putting it on the table.
“A-HA!” he yelled, fist pumping a little too enthusiastically.
Sam let out a long breath he didn’t even realise he was holding. “There you go, told you!”
“Yeah yeah”, Dean mumbled as he drew a new card from the deck.
Dean won the third game. Sam was incredibly relieved (and maybe let him a little). Being stuck in the bunker was bad enough, but being stuck in the bunker with a petulant Dean would have been a nightmare!
Dean wanted to go best of 5, but Sam feigned Operation exhaustion and suggested they watch another movie…an Eastwood movie, a western, A Fistful of Dollars. He knew Dean couldn’t resist that.
They grabbed a couple more beers and some Lays from the cupboard and headed back to the sofa.
Dean nudged Sam, “Remember when Dad took me to see this?” It was a happy memory Dean relived without fail every time they watched this movie.
“I remember I got dumped and Pastor Jim's while you two went” Sam laughed.
“You were too young, Sammy.” Dean said, looking at his brother.
“I know, Dean. It’s cool. I used to love hanging out with Pastor Jim. And I’m glad Dad took you. Really.”
Dean smiled and nodded turning back to the movie.
“Dad thought the Stranger was a real hero, you know? Rides into town, saves the family, doesn’t even tell them his name, and rides back out. You know…no glory…no nothin'"
“Yeah…the tough guy with a good heart.”
“Yup…” Dean reached into the bag of Lays. “I freakin’ love Eastwood.”
“I’m gunna make a grilled cheese, want one?” Sam asked when the movie finished. All they’d done all day was sit around but for some reason, Sam was starving. “Then maybe another movie?” He had to admit; this had been the best day he could remember for a very long time.
“Grilled cheese sounds great, and it’s your pick…what you wanna watch? And I won’t even belly ache if it’s something lame.” Dean said, teasing his brother.
“What about Braveheart?” Sam said. Sam knew Dean had been dying to watch it all day, it was his favourite movie of all time.
“Really?” Dean’s face lit up.
“Sure. Just give me five to rustle up some food and then we’ll start.” Sam smiled to himself at Dean’s face. He didn’t often see his big brother looking genuinely happy, and in that moment, Sam knew he was the reason... and it felt good.
The brothers shoved the piping hot cheesy sandwiches in their faces, while chatting and watching the movie. Sam, as always, filled in some holes in the history, and Dean as always, only half listened. Dean got up and did the entire “Freedom” speech in front of the TV, and Sam as always laughed and clapped and hollered.
When the movie finished Dean stretched a contented stretch and looked over at Sam…he was fast asleep. Dean hadn’t noticed that at some point in the last stages of the movie, his little brother had crashed out.
Dean went to shake Sam awake, but changed his mind. He flicked off the TV and got up quietly, picking up their dirty dishes and empty bottles and taking them to the kitchen. He went into the storage cupboard and pulled out an old blanket. Tip toeing back to the lounge-room, Dean carefully placed the blanket over his little brother. Sam stirred a little and stretched out his legs, taking up the entire sofa. Dean tucked Sam in. He smiled to himself and shook his head as a flood of memories rushed through his mind, of nights just like this, but in motel rooms, waiting for their dad, Sammy crashed out, as Dean kept watch. Who would think, all these years later, it would be just the two of them going through this life, side by side, against the world.
Dean turned and switched out the light. He climbed the stairs to the bunker door and quietly opened it. It looked like the snow had stopped. He could see stars. Tomorrow they could clear the stairs and the car, and it’d be back to the job.
He closed the door, padded down the stairs and back down the hall to his bedroom.
It was still damn cold in there but he didn't notice as much. Stripping off his jeans and pulling on some track pants, he drew back the covers on his bed and slid in. It was only just past 9.30. He turned off his bedside lamp, and lay there in the dark, a smile dancing at the corner of his lips. It’d been a good day…movies, and food and beer and games with Sam…all day. All. Day. Dean racked his brain to think of the last time that happened, and came up with never. As he felt an unfamiliar feeling of restful sleep and contentment washing over him, Dean silently made a wish…that the weather would change...and there'd be more snow tomorrow.