Title: Three Endings
Characters: Sam, Dean, woman in a white T-shirt, 20 million bees
Word Count: ~3400
Warnings: Choose not to warn.
Summary: Almond season's over, and there's a truck crossing the country to deliver those bees elsewhere. There's also an Impala seeking Cain; there's some overlap. And post-9x23, Sam and Dean try to make use of what they have left. Things ramble on until they don't.
Additional Tags: [Click to View]Beekeeping, Sam Winchester's wedding (no not that one), allusions to demon!Dean, background Cain, Mark of Cain, abandonment Issues, depression, nightmares , late night conversations, hurt!Impala, alternative women in white, things come full circle, abrupt ending
Notes: S9/post-series. Rampant S1 callbacks.
EXT. OVERHEAD -- DAY
A semi trundling down flat highway, drought-brown in every direction.
INT. TRUCK - DAY
If there were a wet T-shirt contest going on, she'd win it. But it's just CONSTANCE, CW attractive, wedging her way down the 5 in a Peterbilt with no A/C and hating her underwire. Soaked with sweat, her thin white T-shirt sticks to dark skin and her polk-a-dot bra. A ROSARY hangs from her rearview mirror. She passes a billboard for Neiman Ranch and wrinkles her nose. Then her radio blares to life.
Got a blue light special down the 5. Big one; got the Feds crawling all over it. Over.
More of that weird shit? Over.
Hell, I don't know. Buncha rubberneckers crawling over the crawlers is what I mean. Be ready to sit in some heat. (Over.)
The traffic in front of her has slowed to a noticeable crawl. The sun smacks off the rooftops of the cars and makes them into waddling, iridescent beetles. CONSTANCE brakes softly, and assesses the traffic. Quickly, she lunges toward her passenger seat and retrieves an empty WATER BOTTLE. She sucks it dry until the plastic collapses in on itself, and glances back at the road.
EXT. OVERHEAD -- DAY
Flyover of the line of traffic. At its source, there are several CHP VEHICLES and their attending officers. An AMBULANCE and a PARAMEDIC TRUCK. Sheltered from the view of the road, several shrouds conceal recumbent human bulk. The AMBULANCE is in no rush. At a diagonal to the rest, the IMPALA--which has not to much pulled to the side of the the road as driven right off it, into the middle of a crime scene.
We hear MUFFLED, OVERLAPPING dialogue from the various law enforcement agents, two of which have confronted the Impala's passengers--of course, SAM and DEAN.
(heated, in medias res; the muffled conversations outside of them continue)
That's because we're the Feds; I'm telling you, we're the goddamn Feds--
SAM coughs pointedly.
And I'm telling you, there ain't no way in hell Feds caught this that quick.
Really? You don't think we have our eye on terrorism?
We're halfway to fucking Barstow! People don't terrorize the middle of nowhere.
(bereft the brusque federal authority he'd put on before; this is quiet and low)
What better place?
DEAN's eyes flick BLACK.
END OF TEASER.
INT. IMPALA - NIGHT
The insinuation of a truck stop, harsh white light and the shadow of slumbering trucks, from out the windows.
DEAN jolts from sleep. SAM, beside him, looks up from his phone, though the screen is blank and dark.
DEAN wipes a hand down his face. He tries to readjust his position in the driver's seat.
Are there other options?
SAM doesn't answer, though it's clear he hasn't slept. He pulls out his phone charger instead and pops the cover to the cigarette lighter.
Don't--her battery's shot to hell as it is, remember?
SAM sighs. He shifts his gaze to the sudden blaze of headlights outside his window, and squints. A truck engine turns over. DEAN (O.S.) mutters indistinctly: That's not even what happened, nothing even happened, bush league nightmare, man. That's not even how it happened because nothing happened.
What time is it?
SAM throws his dead phone into the backseat and pulls out a ROAD MAP instead. Old-school it is, then.
Not even midnight.
There's a diner shaped like a train in town.
(without looking up)
Always has been.
(unrattled by the shut-down)
Okay, then. Where to?
Pick your poison.
DEAN sighs and his eyes pitch up to the roof of the Impala.
Kingman, Winona, and then Flagstaff, Arizona.
SAM shoves the road map between the dashboard and the windshield and dips under his seat. He comes up with a small black case, and offers DEAN a SYRINGE.
That did all the good it's gonna do a long time ago, Sam.
(half-joking, though not for his benefit)
Take your meds.
I'm not a demon anymore.
As SAM replies, DEAN turns the key in the ignition. Blessedly, the car starts. It's clear she's been having some trouble lately.
Yeah, Dean, and we're gonna keep it that way, okay?
A BEAT. DEAN doesn't respond. But he jams the needle in his forearm. When he rips it back out, he leaves a live streak of blood. He pulls his sleeves down and lets it soak--none too careful.
Where are we going?
To Cain, of course. To anywhere but there. It almost doesn't matter.
A BEAT. They drive.
I dreamed I was at your wedding, you know.
SAM stiffens visibly.
No, not that one.
But that's not Sam's issue here.
(Why what, Sam? Why would Dean dream that? Why would it be a nightmare? Why what.)
Why the hell would you tell me that?
INT. TRUCK STOP - NIGHT
CONSTANCE, from behind. She's in the back hall of the truck stop, toilets on one side and showers on the other, using one of the last PAY PHONES in America.
Yeah, comin' straight out of almond season. Yeah, they're gentle-bred. Yeah--we're all hitting the road about now, but tell him I'm the best. (A BEAT.) Means I drive the fastest; I don't care if you're gonna be in Florida. Hell, you could be in Nova Scotia. Tell him I can get you the bees before the end of the month. Just name me your boss and I'll fax an invoice.
CONSTANCE shifts position as she listens to the person on the other end of the phone. She pins the phone between her cheek and her shoulder and crosses her arms. She FIDGETS, and gets a PEN ready. She's planning to scrawl the info onto her wrist.
What do you mean you don't know if his name starts with a C or a K? Who the hell are you working for? Oh no, no. You ain't giving me that bullshit right now; you said it was a done deal, Joe. I don't care what Mister K, or Mister C, or whatever told you--you make sure he's legit, aiight? I've got 20 million fucking bees in my back seat, man; I'm not gonna drive out there for nothing.
EXT. TRUCK STOP - NIGHT
We can still see CONSTANCE in the background, through the truck stop's front door.
If that happens, Joe, I'm gonna drive these bees to your fucking doorstep, Joe. Go ahead, put up your new, fancy gate! I'm not gonna stop, and I got a big damn truck. You wanna see what kind of damage it can do? Bring it.
CONSTANCE exits the truck stop with a newly purchased WATER BOTTLE and crosses the parking lot to her semi truck. Its bed is stacked high with MULTI-COLORED WOODEN BOXES, securely fastened. They are bee hives. CONSTANCE gives them a once over.
That's it, babies. You know we gotta go now; we've got work to do. Momma found us a job back East.
Fastenings having passed muster, CONSTANCE gives her cargo an affectionate pat and hops into the cab. She turns her HEADLIGHTS on. They illuminate the lone sedan across the lot--a black IMPALA, naturally.
EXT. A CHURCH -- DAY
The camera passes over the top of a burning church, a CROWN OF FLAMES swallowing up the cross (Orthodox) at its top. In the daytime, the spectacularity of this is somewhat downplayed; mostly what we see is the transparent flicker of mirage heat as it emanates from the structure. The IMPALA careens into the parking lot.
INT. IMPALA -- DAY
Really went all out on the decorations for the big day, huh?
There's a WOMAN riding shotgun, though DEAN's body is in the foreground, and obscures her face. DEAN turns to face her.
--You and Sam.
Maybe it's AMELIA, but DEAN's imagination never gives her a face, and DEAN doesn't name her. DEAN's body language speaks to scrutiny and memorization, not recognition. She is SAM'S FIANCE and today is Sam's wedding day. Of sorts. Okay, you can't marry the legally dead, and technically they're on the clock--an unspecified haunt--but hey, there's a church involved, even if it's a haunted church. That's about as close as a Winchester is every going to get.
And it's as good as, because suddenly there's a POP, and a surge of heat so strong that even from the car, DEAN and SAM'S FIANCE reel from it. DEAN steals a rushed glance back at the church, then shields his face with his arm. We see the backdraft only reflected on the IMPALA's chassis.
We hold on DEAN as he yanks the keys out of the ignition. As he scrambles for a WEAPON, SAM'S FIANCE jumps out of the car. From her torso down, she is a blur across the foreground. She's wearing a white dress.
DEAN follows quickly, and we watch emotions run the full gamut in the span of moments as he looks O.S.--first, no building is going to incinerate his brother, goddamn it; second, a building might have just incinerated his brother; third--still no brother, no SAMMY. Fourth, indescribable.
EXT. CHURCH -- DAY
Finally, SIRENS in the distance. The CHURCH blazes on. But SAM is safe, if gray, and he and SAM'S FIANCE hold each other tight. DEAN looks on.
So it's not a wedding. But it's as good as, because it's this moment when DEAN realizes he is not the one who rushed Sam the fastest. In this moment, he is not the one hugging Sam. He is not the one in tears (yet). DEAN doesn't know much about this girl, for whatever reason, but she rushed toward a burning building for his brother. That means she's 1) crazy, and 2) a keeper.
And DEAN looks on. And he is proud of them. This time, he is proud of them.
OVER BLACK --
INT. BEDROOM -- NIGHT
CONSTANCE is in bed, obviously naked but tastefully arranged. There's a prone form beside her, indistinguishable--we assume the owner of the bed. CONSTANCE is using his/her phone.
Fuck, seriously? In Salvation? Well, there's some irony for ya. For real, though; that's shit luck. That is shit luck.
Blew a tire. Truck jack-knifed. Sadie and Jim are okay--some whiplash, Sadie's got a concussion and a bruised spleen. Went to the hospital mostly for all the bee stings, though. To hear Jim tell it, highway patrol nearly shit itself. Honey and comb and bees fucking everywhere.
Well, what are they going to do?
Gals at Hillcrest went to deal with the rest of the bees. Probably salvage a couple thousand, I'd wager.
CONSTANCE's POLKA-DOT BRA and BIGGERSON'S LEFTOVERS are strewn across the foot of the bed. Draped in the bedsheets, CONSTANCE crawls toward them and munches. Cold french fries. Her BEDMATE moans softly.
Fucken apocalyptic. Shit. Tell 'em both I'm fucken sorry.
She continues CHEWING.
You be careful, you hear?
Hear, hear. Listen, uh--
CONSTANCE inclines her head toward her BEDMATE.
It's uh, it's gonna take me an extra couple days. Someone came up--something came up. (carefully enunciated) Something came up.
Take your time; hell knows where Mister K's been, anyway. Gone off somewhere. Be safe.
MONTAGE as both CONSTANCE'S TRUCK FULL OF BEES and the IMPALA cross the country. They're headed up ROUTE 66, as DEAN promised. Sometimes they cheat and use the interstate. Then they veer off book. (This is not the road trip God intended.) The MONTAGE shifts to quick cuts of various bedspreads--CONSTANCE's UNDERCLOTHES and FOOD WRAPPERS against cold sheets and the WINCHESTER ARSENAL, accompanied by indications of greater or lesser mishaps along the way--
Rifle, rifle, shotgun. Empty shells. Shells filled with rock salt. Silver bullets. Steel ones. Book of syringes: Five full. Four full, one empty. Three full. Two. Bloody fingerprints, matte against gunsteel. Shattered glass. Used gauze. A pack of herbs. Bowl of god knows what. Ruby's knife, clean. Ruby's knife, not clean. More shotguns. Field-stripped rifles. Empty shells. Rock salt shells.
Just blood. Med kit--norco. Machetes. Used machetes. Five syringes, four. Three.
(The bedspreads beneath it all are classic Winchester motel fare.)
FIRST BLADE, clean and sheathed.
FIRST BLADE, back seat of the IMPALA. Very much not clean.
EXT. A BACKROAD -- NIGHT
SAM and DEAN appear to be conducting a salt and burn--a nostalgic sight. They have no shovels, however; just a can of gasoline and an armload of rock salt. When they move, it's apparent they're in deep mud. They've pitched their jackets higher up the embankment. It's hot and very humid.
So long, "Mister K." Even though you're definitely not the wrestler.
DEAN squelches toward his jacket to retrieve a lighter. His arms are bare--no Mark. Just mud and scars.
We're not gonna burn anything, you know, worth burning. Not like this.
I'm pretty sure that part of the job's been done. First Blade doesn't fuck around, you know? It's not like Cain's gonna come back to haunt us.
This is just a courtesy.
SAM catches something in DEAN's tone.
And away, it's Florida. I'm sure alligators will eat the rest of him. That's what they do, right?
You're free now.
DEAN shakes his head. But he flicks the lighter on, and they watch Cain's body burn.
You've got it wrong. It wasn't like that--not really.
Well, how do you feel?
DEAN doesn't answer verbally, at least not at first. He feels sticky. He smells like a toilet. He feels empty. He feels done. That all just means he feels like Dean.
I feel great.
Which sounds too much like a lie. So DEAN continues.
I can think all my favorite, complicated thoughts. And hey, now I'm allowed to actually die. How liberating.
SAM looks stricken.
What? I'm just saying.
Too soon, Dean. Way too soon.
But for all that Dean hadn't wanted to become what the Mark had made him, he doesn't want to be the other guy, either. He doesn't know if there are any other options.
DEAN closes himself off; he is not open to interrogation at this time.
But that's not Sam't objective.
DEAN's expression says it all: You've got to be kidding me.
(without looking at Dean)
Look, we did the thing. We did all of it. And we got you fixed, and you're okay now, so.
(a sharp intake of breath)
So there are some things I need to do for me.
DEAN is not okay. And this sounds suspiciously even less okay.
Well, don't let me stop you.
SAM furrows his brow. That's not the response he'd been expecting.
I'll back your play. Whatever you want to do, we'll do.
That's more like it. SAM shakes his head.
"We" won't do, Dean. We can't. I--need to do. For me. I do.
Sam, get in the car.
That's not how this is going to go.
We can talk this out. Just--get in the car. Get in the car.
It's not forever. I just--I need this, okay? It won't be forever. It's not gonna be forever, man.
You don't know that.
SAM squelches away from the pyre, towards the car.
No, but I trust in that.
Trust--the magic word. Or so SAM hopes. Besides, where could he go they haven't already been? There's no door they haven't opened.
Gimme the keys.
DEAN quickly obliges. Almost too quickly--SAM expects resistance, and only barely manages to keep the keys from falling to a slow rust in the mud and reeds. Then he understands.
Just get in the car, and we can talk this out--
SAM takes a deep breath.
I'll take you wherever you want to go, Dean. And then I'll leave. That's my offer.
This opens an atlas in DEAN's mind: Alaska. He wants to go to the ass-end of motherfucking Alaska. Hell, DEAN will go to Siberia if it takes them a good long while to drive there. Is there still a land bridge? Because he can't do this; not tonight. Probably not tomorrow, either. He can't. It will kill him, and he can't. He's tried. He can't.
SAM won't play DEAN's game.
Fine. Alaska it is.
SAM pauses, as though he's about to say more. A thousand scenarios play though in his eyes, among them pain, among them indecision, fear, and regret, but he sticks to his guns.
ALASKA it is.
I didn't know you liked reindeer that much.
DEAN doesn't care. His relief is palpable. He's riding with SAM, and that's all that matters. They'll work out the rest when they get there. SAM and DEAN get into the IMPALA. Their doors close in unison.
The IMPALA stalls and squeals as SAM tries to back her up onto the road. So he creeps her forward instead, eating up the reeds in front of them, then guns it in reverse. With a spray of mud and a metallic scream as her undercarriage scrapes the rim of the asphalt, they're back on the road.
Still, Alaska seems like a long shot for her. But what journey hasn't been? For the first time in forever, her riders turn the RADIO on. We watch as the taillights become smaller and smaller, bobbing up and down as the IMPALA rambles on and onward--
Until the radio cuts out.
It's not a problem; SAM has plenty of tunes loaded onto this phone. The music restarts, albeit slightly tinnier. Carry on!
INT. IMPALA - NIGHT
Shotgun shuts his cakehole, Dean. And driver picks the music.
(His self-awareness with this line is positively shit-eating. And yes, cake and pie are close enough. Because he's determined--they're gonna be happy. Whatever form that takes: They will be happy.)
SAM presses harder on the gas. Up a HILL they go. But DEAN won't be shut up. Radio goes out, that's not a good sign--and not always for demonic reasons.
No, seriously. Radio's linked up to a circuit the car kind of needs, so if it--
HEADLIGHTS extinguish when they hit the bottom of the hill. Summarily, perfunctorily, the ENGINE cuts out. With their remaining momentum, SAM tries to turn them off the road and back into the reeds, but the IMPALA's only up for a halfsie.
EXT. HIGHWAY - NIGHT
It's dark in the middle of nowhere. But a pair of headlights crest their hill.
INT. - TRUCK CAB - NIGHT
CONSTANCE is thirsty, and she isn't looking at the road.
I am not a screenwriter. Sorry, screenwriters, for my formal missteps. Sorry, everyone, for cheesiness.