Kalliel (kalliel) wrote,
Kalliel
kalliel

Fic: Dry Salvages, Part 2


2.


"Free Willy meets Freaky Friday? Let's do this."

It's this simple: Dean smells burnt flesh. He feels the tug of Kevin's body in his arms, first limp and then stiff and finally, soiled and limp all over again. And nothing gets him up like the smell of pyre in the morning.

He's up and grabbing Crowley's shoulder before Sam can stop him. And Sam must be planning to stop him. He's about to do what he'd just told Sam not to do, after all; and Sam's a big fan of pointing out these kinds of inconsistencies. Sam's cease-and-desist must take the long way out, though, because it's Crowley, not Sam, who pries Dean's hand away.

Crowley forces Dean backward with a flick of his wrist, and he smiles. "That's my cowboy."

Dean glowers. "That's not your anything. You keep talking like that, and I'm gonna kill you first."

"Surely you know what befell the boy who cried wolf."

"Hear tell he lost his kingdom and spent some time in my basement. But who believes rumors?"

"You do, if you want your little grubbies on this blade."

"Yeah, well, like I said. Let's dance."

"Wait," Sam cuts in. Sam finally cuts in. "Dean, wait."

Dean doesn't want to wait. He's spent months waiting, and he's done with waiting for shit to blow up in his face. He wants to get in front of something for once, and if that something's a Knight of Hell, or the Mark of Cain, then all the better. And he can't afford to wait anymore. Because right now he's the kind of heart-pounding exhausted that feels like it's somewhere between a heart attack and an overdose, and if he waits anymore he's gonna crash hard. And people like Kevin, people like Sam, are going to eat shit.

Dean won't let that happen again.

He points to the whale steak on the table. "So, this whole thing?"

Free Willy, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and the First Blade--sounds like a great weekend.

"Dean, wait. Maybe we should just call Cas. At the very least, he--"

Crowley shuts Sam down. "Bioengineering is not under God's purview. Of the many insane things your feathery friend is willing to do for you, this is not his sandbox." Then he readjusts the rumple in his suit and motions for Dean to sit.

Dean doesn't.

Sam scowls and folds his arms against his chest. "Yeah, because you know so much about angels. You're not exactly part of the mile-high club, Crowley."

"Ah, but we were bunkmates in the quest for Purgatory. And Castiel was not the one managing our Alphas, was he. I was the one with the menagerie, and I have all their answers. And yes, of course the whole thing. Now sit."

Dean does. Which, fuck Crowley, but he's starting to lose the adrenaline spike, and sitting doesn't really sound inherently bad. He feels sick to his stomach before he even looks at the whale steak again. Whole thing, huh?

He doesn't even like sushi.

"I said wait."

Which, fuck Sam, too, but Sam's not talking to him; all Sam's focus is on Crowley, and Crowley returns the attention.

Dean should be a part of this, he knows. If anything, he should be the biggest part of this discussion, since he's the puzzle piece in question. But that rush of guilty endorphins has abandoned him, and he can't fucking do it, can't bring himself to rise to the occasion. How the hell he's managing to third wheel his own species dysphoria, or whatever Crowley'd said, is a puzzle for another rainy day. It's like everything keeps sliding in and out of focus. He's fucking tired.

"Wait all you like, Moose," says Crowley. "But while you're chewing your cud let's get this spell started, shall we? We've a long way to go from dick to Moby."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Sam asks, when Dean doesn't.

"It means if you want your brother alive at both points A and B, you might consider reading the dosage and doing this in stages. You're familiar with the concept of a whale, yeah? And with not-human? There's a reason it's called magic, not a miracle. Do I have to explain this to you?"

"Gabriel turned me into a car fairly painlessly," Sam points out. "Also not human. And apparently not that hard."

"And you think you're still an angel? As I said, Cain, the First Blade, this ocean--not your sandbox." Crowley says. "Besides, staking the world on cheap alterverses and quick fixes doesn't sound very Winchester, now does it."

Dean bristles at the insinuation, but like he said, he's fucking tired; he doesn't really care. If Sam does, hell, he can do whatever he wants. Dean's got other things on this plate right now. (It's just so... raw. Was there a reason they couldn't pan-sear this real quick?)

But, jaw tight, Sam doesn't rise to the bait. "How long do we draw out the spell?"

"There's my--" Crowley stops and revises. "You're a product of intelligent design, after all. Safely, I'd err on the end of twenty-four hours. Proportionate snacks at regular intervals, that sort of thing."

"And which ocean are we headed to?"

"Miami, I hope," says Dean. Hey, it's something. At least he said something.

Crowley rolls his eyes. "You know nothing about the world, do you. Would it kill you to have logged some time in the Pacific Northwest?"

Sam bites his lip. But if anything, Sam's overcompensating. Dean's not sure what his problem is; it's not like he's the whale part of this equation. And if he's doing the road math, he shouldn't have to. They'll make it; he should know that by now.

But Sam says, or attempts to say, "Those twenty-four hours. What'll-- How does--" In the end he lands on, "Will it hurt?"

Which probably still isn't exactly what Sam meant to ask. They've been in the game long enough to know that yes, of course it will; and no, it doesn't matter. But it makes Dean wish Sam would meet his gaze, or that he could meet Sam's, or something. He wishes he could--

But he doesn't lift his eyes from the table.

He says, "Don't answer that."

He faces off against his whale steak one more time. Drive hard, commit early, strike first.

And it's funny, really. Dean's sampled hex bags, potions, food he knew was cursed. Other's people's hair. Hell, food he knew had gone bad. Leviathan specials. Phoenix ash. Sam still won't tell him all the ingredients in that vampire cure, and it's not like that dog potion had been a chocolate milkshake, either. But put a sea creature in front of him and he still balks. He tells himself it looks a little like venison. Whales were mammals, right? Dean's had a couple last suppers, up to and including deep-dish with Death, but this is up there. After all that bluster, he's not actually sure if he can eat this.

To his credit, it's from Crowley's House of Crapcakes, and it's going to turn him into a whale. This is a little hasty, even for them. And if this goes the way the Mark has so far, well. Dean has his reasons to be concerned.

But whatever Crowley's other demerits, he was right about Kevin. Dean hadn't tried to save him, not with all the tricks in their bag. He hadn't been able to protect him, hadn't tried hard enough or given enough of a damn. And then he hadn't even thought about it. He's not sure if he'd been unwilling to pay, or afraid for the inevitable thorny lining, but this he knows: They're not gonna get very far if they start hedging their bets now. The ante's up. (He's fucking sorry, Kevin.)

"This. This is why Hell has force-feeding." Crowley snaps his fingers impatiently. "Full disclosure: Magic pre-dates Michelin stars. What do you want, a baked filet?"

Dean glowers. He pulls a knife from his belt and butterflies it open, prepares to saw off a nib. Crowley clicks his tongue and Dean goes for nugget-sized instead.

Down the hatch.

Dean jams it so far to the back of his throat his gag reflex nearly preempts him. He chews. He wants to say it tastes fishy but he can't remember the last time he had fish. Mostly it's just fleshy. Gamey, for sure. Slightly coppery. And there's something in it that goes down like a razor blade. It feels sharp until the pain starts to radiate, and then it's just hot--a burning sensation all the way down.

And possibly back up. He must be making a face, because Sam tries a "Dean?" and sounds worried.

He sounds worried but at some point he'd drifted to Dean's left, and he's cutting the rest of Dean's whale into nibs.

So Dean keeps going. He redirects all he's worth to ignoring the roiling in his gut and in his heart, and the way his teeth sing "fire!" in their gums and his tongue's ritual suicide as he grabs a new mouthful of nibs.

Sam startles when Dean's hand swoops that close to his knife (Ruby's, Dean notes, which would be disgusting except he's not actually sure where his tac's been, either). But by the time Sam jerks back Dean has chewed and swallowed.

He grabs another mouthful.

He's not even thinking about the taste anymore. It's raw and slippery, but Dean can believe it's tender, and juicy, and worth it, though the afterburn is still something piquant and feral, either too-fresh or definitely rotten. He tastes blood and he thinks about fire. It does not, at first, remind him of the sea. But few things do. Then he loses himself to the pattern, the rolling of his jaw and the turning of his stomach morphing at his synapses; it turns to the pull of the ocean, water sucking at barnacled piers and shaggy algae. Everything hurts and maybe it's not fire after all, maybe the ocean, the whale, the spell, all of it, maybe it just burns cold.

Then someone's calling his name. There's a pain in his hand, pins and needles. A numbness in his body. The pressure relents then comes crashing back down, and the needles multiply. Dean feels a tingling in his lips and under the scruff, his cheeks itch.

"Shut up, Crowley." It's Sam. Apparently Crowley said something.

Sam's hand is mashed over Dean's wrist, pinning him to the War Table. With his other hand, Sam sweeps the half-eaten whale steak away from Dean. The juices sluice in the opposite direction and spill towards him, across the table's lacquered surface.

"Dean," Sam says. (Sam says again?) When he's finished cleaning up, whale wrapped tight in its paper and in Sam's hands, not Dean's, Sam releases him. Dean wants to say his wrist is sore, and fuck, a little overboard, Sam?, but mostly everything is numb and number.

He eyeballs the package in Sam's hand. All things considered, he'd done pretty well with the steak. He hadn't even realized he'd eaten that much. And he doesn't understand why they're stopping.

"Dean, hey. Hello!" Then Sam's crouching eye-level with him, snapping his big obnoxious fingers in Dean's face.

"Fuck, what?" Dean snaps irritably. "I could have kept going," he insists.

Sam swallows. There's a hiccup, or an omission, and Sam opts for, "Yeah, but we are still in Kansas, and I'm not hauling a whale up 218. Remember? the word 'gradual' ringing any bells?"

"Whatever, Toto."

"You're going to want to put that on ice, by the way. Nobody likes a rancid whale." Crowley interrupts, and waves offhandedly at the packaged whale in Sam's merciless grip.

Sam sucks in breath. "Tell me why you're still hanging around, Crowley. Don't you have a 'kingdom' to win back?"

"Fuller disclosure," Crowley continues, sucking in the smell of dead guy oak and dead guy letter and, hopefully, a lot of dead guy Fuck You. "Magic like this isn't DIY; you'll need an attending who understands the art. I may have generously volunteered."

Crowley turns circles around their chairs, runs his hands along the edge of their table. Dean doesn't understand why Crowley feels like he has to get his hands on goddamn everything. Maybe because it's driving Sam crazy; though why Sam's letting that happen is beyond him.

Dean tries to keep the room from spinning. Dean's feeling a little more alive now--or a little less alive. He feels more normal now.
When the spinning stops, he'll stand. He'll have a drink. All will be well.

But the room still resembles a pinwheel when Crowley moves directly in front of Dean, so close his pants leg brushes against Dean's knee. Beyond the confirmation of touch he's just a muddle of black and mahogany and tile.

Let the world spin then. Dean's still getting up, and he still wants his drink.

"Of course, this is me assuming you wanted a way back," says Crowley. "Maybe you don't need a counterspell."

Dean doesn't look at Sam, and doesn't answer the question. But he does finally push himself out of the chair, backwards and away from Crowley.

Dean must wobble, because Sam grabs his elbow. Dean jerks out of his hold and his hands find the back of the chair he'd been sitting in. The dizziness lets go. Or doesn't let go. But he swallows it down and it jitters in his heart and throat instead. If he weren't gripping the chair so hard, he imagines his hands would be shaking. Which is all kinda how he started this morning off in the first place, and breaking even's not so bad.

In the periphery of his vision, Sam creeps up on him--the place where hallucinations usually find harbor. It's disorienting.

Then Sam's pushing his way between Dean and Crowley and picking up Dean's coat, which makes Dean feel claustrophobic and a little like an invalid. But Sam doesn't hand him the jacket, just drops it onto the War Table adjacent the puddle of whale juice after he's extracted the car keys, and that makes him feel a lot like an invalid.

"What the hell are you doing, Sam."

"Are you ready to go?"

"Sam--"

Dean jumps after him, as Sam beelines it for the stairs down to their bedrooms. He's about to grab the back of Sam's shirt, or maybe his hair, and turn this into a violent altercation, when he changes his mind and swings back around to Crowley. "Touch anything and die."

Sam's waiting for him at the bottom of the stairwell.

He says, with very conscious restraint, "I think this is a stupid plan."

"Noted and discarded. What else you got?"

"I hate Crowley."

"Great. We're on the same page."

"Are you?" Sam questions. He adjusts the keys in his hand. The jangle is piercing and Dean can almost taste their metal, hot and sweaty.

"What, are you jealous of him?"

He just wants the keys back. He wants his goddamn keys.

"No, I mean." Sam gesticulates vaguely. "Are you on a page? Any page?"

If he means just now, with the spell and the whale juju and all that crap, Dean really couldn't tell him. If he means this morning, he should know better. If Sam means last night, and Stillwater, and Garth, and his stint with Crowley and Cain in Missouri, Sam doesn't really want to know. And if he means anything, at any point, before, Dean doesn't want to talk about it. He doesn't fucking know, and that's all he's got.

He takes a deep breath.

"I didn't see a warning label on this particular plan. I mean, besides the usual."

"What, Crowley isn't enough of one?"

"You know, Sam--"

'You know, Sam' what? You know, Sam, fuck it, mostly. But he's not going to waste his breath; he can't do this right now. Because it doesn't matter if Dean thinks this plan will work or not, if Crowley's screwing them or not, if he even disagrees with Sam on any particular point or not. They don't have the luxury of a Plan B; hell, they're probably starting with X. And they just gotta own it.

"You know, Sam, I know what I'm doing. It's my body."

Sam laughs, like he's really, actually stupefied by this. Completely and furiously awestruck. "Seriously? That's your defense?"

He's not gonna do this in a stairwell; not with the King of Hell upstairs, not when they're T - 24 and counting. What other options that leaves, Dean's not sure. "Sam-- fucking--"

"Don't--"

"Just give me the keys!"

Sam yanks them away from Dean's grab. "Why?"

"Because you're not yelling at me about the car! Fuck, Sam--"

"I'm not yelling at you. We're arguing. And I'm not done."

"Apparently you are." If Sam thinks Dean is above jumping for his keys, he's fucking miscalculated. Because Dean does jump, and he snatches them from Sam's hand, and he shoves past Sam and down the hall. He stumbles only slightly before the lightheadedness abates. Sam lets him go.

And Dean says, "If you're not in the car in ten, I will leave you behind."


--



Except Dean's not at the car in ten. And he's not in his own room, but Kevin's. It's been months (a month? three weeks?) since anyone's been inside, and the stale air can testify to that. But there's still fossilized bread crusts on the desk, the bed's unmade, there's a selection of drab clothing piled in front of the closet. The books and all the paper are meticulously, if mysteriously, organized. The rest of the room is lived in; a shitshow; lived in by someone whose life was a shitshow.

Even then, Kevin's tools of the trade are too easy to locate; corner of the dresser, easily accessible from both the desk and the bed. Dean reappropriates his bottle of pills--green for pep--and immediately dry swallows several.

He should have chewed them, he thinks, as he pockets a few more. (Contingency.)

He wonders if they're the kind of thing where that would make them work faster. He's surprised he's never tried before. The bottle says not to.

The bottle's almost empty. Well, Kevin can't say Dean never gave him nothing.

Dean sits down on the bed, even though it's creeping with Kevin's memory. He closes his eyes against the headache building low in his forehead and tries not to hurl.

He wonders if it's too soon to regret this whole plan. To start over halfway through Minnesota. Or maybe halfway through last year. Or three decades ago.

Because he's tracking out how many miles it must be between the bunker and the bottom of the ocean in fucking Washington or wherever and he must be getting old because it feels like too many. They just got back from that whole fish taco thing, and Dean hasn't even figured out how to get to sleep yet, he hasn't figured out what to say to Sam yet, he doesn't know how to listen to Sam yet. He'd sort of been looking for new ways forward, for Sam's sake--or as Sam puts it, for Dean's own sake--but the hell with it. When hadn't old habits served him well fucking enough.

(Every when, he thinks. Probably every single when. But hey, he's still here.)

He doesn't remember when he last slept, but he remembers the 600 miles back from Stillwater, the three days in Stillwater, the 600 miles to Stillwater, and it's sort of a haze before that, but the haze involved Wisconsin, and werewolves, and Garth. If they hadn't obediently trucked it back to the bunker, if they'd poked around in Wisconsin a little longer, Stillwater sure would have been closer.

No, Dean amends. If they hadn't had the bunker they'd have found a case in New Mexico instead, or somewhere equally stupid. That's kinda their style. It'll probably always be their style. If you log enough miles on the road, you stop remembering any of them. It's a decent way to pass the time.

Dean jolts. He'd drifted off for a second, only to be shocked out of sleep by the sense of falling.

He's awake now, the hair on his arms standing pathetically on end. And they no longer have any time to pass.

Beneath the hair, in the crook of his right arm, the mark burns. Not in the caustic, superficial sense, the way it sometimes does, but with a deep hot bone ache Dean hasn't felt since Cain himself. It makes him want to snap his arm open and drink out all the marrow, though that thought doesn't keep the whale down any better.

But he's not sure where one thing ends and another starts anymore. Could be he's just tired, and everything else is an elaborate hallucination. It wouldn't be the first time. But he'd have to be an idiot to chalk up every stupid thing he's done to sleep deprivation. If he'd found something to drag him under for a full night's sleep he'd still have taken the mark. He'd still have Abaddon and Crowley and all of fucking Heaven on his To Do list. He'd still have given his brother to some Criss Angel douchebag. He's said as much.

There's no time, anymore, to meander. It's all just straight flumes--ride them or drown.

Dean's done enough praying for a lifetime, but he does shoot off a text message to Cas while he waits for the drugs to kick in. He hasn't asked Sam where Cas is, or where he'd gone after Dean left them, but Sam seems hale-ish, and he'd said something about grace and removing it, and all of that had to be Cas's doing, so Dean assumes nothing drastic happened. Of course, if Cas wanted to answer a text message, ever, Dean wouldn't mind that either.

He waits for normal. He waits for wakefulness. He waits for himself.

This whole--everything--is going to shit altogether too quickly, he thinks. And he thinks, the world just needs to take a moment and stop spinning, and he'll be fine. He could be fine. At the very least it needs to move just slightly slower than he is, because he feels outpaced; he feels like shit keeps piling up before he gets to the loading dock, no matter what he does. He doesn't know why the fuck he keeps lashing out at Sam; that can't possibly make shit better. He doesn't know why he keeps justifying himself to Sam, even when he knows that won't do shit. The kicker being, of course, that knowing that doesn't keep that whole mind game from making perfect sense. Half the time he wakes up and it still makes perfect fucking sense. He sees Sam's face, and he sees the way Sam looks at him, and he knows he's fucked up; he can look at himself in the mirror and know he's fucked up; but every other day he'll do the same damn things and it feels like all he'll ever know is how goddamn right he is. He needs time to figure things out, he just--

Nah, he thinks. He knows this game. Bullshit expands to fill the space it's given. He keeps sitting here, and it's just gonna build and build, like some comfortable homebody. Take this morning, for instance. It was a whole fucking mess, and one that wouldn't have happened if they'd been on the job, Dean's certain. If he'd been more on top of his shit. He hasn't had a flashback like that in over a year, and some dumb thing Sam says late at night should be able to tip him like that. It's pathetic.

But when Sam says things like that, when he announces he wouldn't do every single damn thing to save Dean's ass, how the fuck is Dean not supposed to think about Purgatory.

Whatever. It doesn't matter. Bygones, and all.

He just needs to drive hard, any direction. He needs to drive hard and outrun everything. Cross that finish line, and forget anything else until he gets there.

He needs to get a fucking grip.

"Dean?"

Dean swims to alertness. He blinks a few times before cocking his head towards Sam. Get a grip, get a grip.

"Oh. Hey," he says. Great start, Winchester.

Sam's got plenty of anger riding in him still, Dean's sure, but either Sam doesn't want it or he's not sure what to do with it, because he sure as hell ain't acting on it. All he says is, "Are we, uh. Are we going?"

Dean pauses. If Sam can put it away, he can put it the fuck away, too. Clean slate, screw everything. He can put on whatever face he wants. And don't doubt for a minute he's not gonna try. "Yeah. I just--"

Just go back to page one: "What the hell did you pack? You planning an expedition?"

Sam raises his eyebrows at the shift in Dean's demeanor. But he just shrugs the straps of his backpack higher up onto this shoulder and bumps a small cooler against his thigh.

There's a weekend supply of whale in there.

"You know, stuff," Sam says. "We don't know what we're walking into, so I want to be prepared."

"Well, I'm sure your Boy Scout pocket knife and your lashing kit will be useful as hell, Sam."

"Raise me, then. What're you looking for in here?"

Dean moves to gesture at the pill bottle, but the mark burns and his arm feels leaden, suddenly very heavy, numb again; he lets it drop halfway and tries to ball his hand into a fist. "Just some things I lent out," he offers instead.

Sam's gaze flicks quickly over Dean, the room, and the bedside table. "Dean."

"What."

"You need actual rest."

"Fine. Then I won't take any."

This mollifies Sam, though Dean can already feel the uptick behind his eyes, body dredged out of exhaustion and thrown back up into a chemical high. If Dean doesn't feel bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, he's certain he's more with it than Sam is right now; after his mote of relief fades, Sam looks mostly concerned, confused, and distracted.

"So how long are you planning to red-eye it? I'm just sayin', there's nothing wrong with a little help," Dean points out.

"I'm hoping we can make this short and sweet. We'll still have Abaddon and Crowley to deal with afterward."

"Oh, you're hoping for something."

Sam's expression flatlines. "As I said earlier, I'm planning for something a little different. You're all over the map, Dean."

Dean is Sam's favorite non sequitur and he knows it, so he's not actually sure if the two statements are supposed to relate to each other not. But 60/40 they do, and 95/5 Sam expects Dean to say, "I'm fine."

So Dean says, "I'm fine."

And Sam says, "That's what you keep saying."

It's an almost perfect exchange, until Sam belabors the point. "You say that, and you say that. But how am I supposed to know if I don't even have a baseline?"

Because this is clean slate; this is no frills. This is single-minded, to the point, no room for bullshit, business attire. "This is baseline," Dean insists. Fuck everything, "I know what I'm doing. I'm fine."

Dean's not sure why he always pokes the bear, or often even how he's managed to, but he does it every time, it's a gift, and now he knows for sure--Sam is still pretty fucking furious.

"You'd better hope not," Sam mutters.

"What? I didn't catch that."

Sam glowers. The fire between them ignites so quickly, like a natural instinct. Dean can catch Sam's teeth working at the inside of his lip; and for the last time, he doesn't fucking know why, but this all feels like victory.

But Sam doesn't shout. He sounds almost sad. "You can do better than this."

"Inspirational." But there's a strange lilt to his own voice also, strange enough that even Dean can hear it. And maybe it doesn't all feel like victory, or maybe Dean doesn't want to win, or something, he doesn't know, he just.

Sam must flag it, too, because he says, "What?"

"Nothin'." No lilt this time--just garden variety mouthiness.

"Let me have the keys," says Sam, before Dean can say more.

Sam has this deprived puppy look he falls into sometimes, and it gets to Dean; it always gets to him.

"The keys," Sam repeats. "You need sleep."

"Hmm." Dean thinks about that. The keys bite into his palm. And he says, somewhat dreamily, "You know, there was this one time."

He looks everywhere but Sam.

"You were just a baby. But Dad got done splinting my wrist or something and he must've gone into the kitchen to get a beer, 'cause he found you sitting in front of the mini fridge eating the center out of all the bologna. He was so fucking mad. And it wasn't even my fault, you know? 'Cause something had practically just broke my hand off."

Dean chuckles, but Sam's still on guard. He shifts his feet uncomfortably. Dean continues, "When he snatched all that bologna away, you cried and cried; you wanted it so bad. And I'm looking at you like, this is a fucken tragedy. You wanted it so bad."

"Uh," says Sam.

"Every sandwich I brought to school that whole week had this little baby doughnut hole in the middle of it. We shoulda just got bagels."

"Right." Sam downshifts from guarded to quizzical. "But uh, what's with the memory lane?"

Dean shrugs. This doesn't feel like a victory. This does not feel like a victory anymore. "I dunno. We're out of food now, too. Isn't that what you said? I could go for a bagel."

"What, with lox on it? You suddenly craving salmon?"

Dean snorts, and Sam almost grins, too.

"Aw, look at you," says Dean. "Sammy's cracking jokes now."

But he shouldn't have said anything; should have just let it be. Because 'Sammy' has the wrong taste to it, too, and Dean watches as Sam's mouth greets the flavor with an illegible twist.

Well, it was nice while it lasted.

"You know, you loved Free Willy," Dean says, because apparently he just doesn't know when to shut his mouth. But he opens his palm and flips the keys up to Sam.

"What? I definitely didn't love Free Willy," says Sam, and catches them. "Okay, seriously, man. What's up with you?"

"We saw that movie like, a thousand times. You loved that movie."

Sam frowns. He registers the deflection, but doesn't push it. "No, Dean, we saw the trailer a thousand times. On TV."

"Yeah, and you were always excited! You wanted to see that movie so bad--"

"I wanted to see a movie. Any movie! I just wanted to get out."

Sam shoves the keys in the pocket of his jeans--and he's got a real shirt on now, too; he must have changed. Huh. He's always so slow to spot Sam's changes.

"I wanted to get out, Dean," Sam repeats, when Dean does not respond.

And Dean says the only thing he can think of. "Why didn't you just tell me?"

Sam gestures toward the door, asking Dean to lead. Sam switches out the light and closes the door on Kevin's memory.

They're halfway to the garage before Sam replies, "You were supposed to want it, too."

Dean doesn't answer.

Crowley's waiting for them at the car. He's the first to speak. "Gentlemen, you've been holding out. This dungeon has a bidet."


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Tags: fic: spn
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