|Six Ways to Sunday
Dean & Sam, G - Gen, Nightshifter coda.
The characters and situations
portrayed here are not mine, they belong to the WB. This is a fan authored
work and no profit is being made. Please do not link to this story without
appropriate warnings. Please do not archive this story without my permission.
There's no sin in this: getting
dressed to kill, laughing down the sun like a jackal will.*
They drive for sixteen hours straight, stopping only long enough for gas, heading vaguely southwest. Dean doesn't have a plan -- he just wants to put as many miles between them and Wisconsin, Agent Hendrickson, and the bright failure of Ronald's death where it pools blood red and sticky in the back of his mind.
Sam doesn't bitch or blame, only checks map markings when Dean asks for them to make sure they aren't driving in a huge circle. He doesn’t tell Dean they need to ditch the car -- even though they do. He doesn’t ask Dean what they are going to do, but if Dean knows his brother, he's already working through the angles and possibilities and options.
In hour seventeen, at a truckstop two hours outside of Cheyenne, Sam calls Bobby without asking. Fifteen minutes later they are headed to Minidoka, Idaho, west of Pocatello. Bobby knows a guy who has a cousin who's got a little house there. The cousin is down in Nevada visiting his new grandson. Key is under the back step -- look for the loose brick, don’t break anything, there's venison in the deep freeze in the basement, might have to let the taps run a bit. Anybody asks, tell them you're Gertie's boys. Gertie's his sister.
Bobby can find them wheels but it might take a few days.
The house is a one story, cinderblock ranch with a storm cellar that makes Agent Hendrickson's speculation on backwoods survivalists less of an irony. Minidoka is a pitstop along the freight lines and the house itself is five miles out of the city limits which puts it in the middle of nowhere. There are two bedrooms but one of them looks like a better organized version of Ronald's house or John's truckbed office. Bobby never said what happened to the guy's wife.
The Impala barely fits in the offset garage even thought the garage looks a lot deeper and Dean spend ten minutes staring at the back wall until he sees where the shelving is mounted against the wall, so the whole thing can swing forward. He doesn't try to find the latch he knows is there, but it's good to know. Sam hauls out all their clothes to wash, even the ones that are clean and Dean lets him. He doesn’t know when they'll get the chance again.
Dean ignores the venison in favor of frozen chili and a box of nearly stale crackers. He has to thwap Sam's head to make him eat something. They watch the news but Milwaukee's a long way from Minidoka and the trouble there, if it made the national news, has already scrolled off in favor of more reports of freaky weather, warming trends, and the record low levels of water in parts of the upper Mississippi.
They haven't spoken much beyond the basics in nearly twelve hours. There's a king-sized bed in the master bedroom and they both fall into it after food and showers and sleep for eight hours straight.
Sam's the first one up, though he taps Dean when he rises, makes coffee and uses their host's computer to search for anything they can use, anything they can do. Dean spends the morning washing and waxing the car, until she gleams black and shiny, ready to do battle.
Dean wants to say, "we should split up." Wants to drop Sam in some small town where he can make a life for himself like he always wanted. He knows it's not possible, that aside from anything and everything else, there's no safe for Sam. There never was, but he can wish it. He can want it for Sam now when it's too late to do anything about it. He's starting to feel the weight of the inevitable; that if it's not the things they hunt, it will be the demon hunting them, if not the demon then the Feds. They're boxed into a corner and Dean's first instinct is to shove Sam in one direction while he tries to lead whatever's hunting them in the other.
Sam comes out of the house when Dean's clearing the last of the fast food wrappers, papers, cans and clothes they missed out of the car.
"Craters of the Moon National Monument is two hours away. Let's get gas and go."
Dean stares at him for a moment. Sam's dressed, hands loose at his side, eyes clear. The weight that feels like it's pressing Dean flat on the ground doesn't show on Sam's face. "You want to go to the park?"
Sam shrugs. "Why not? I've never seen it. It's rocks and lava flows and mule deer." He glances over Dean's shoulder, vaguely north. "It's not the Grand Canyon, but why not?"
Put like that it seems less crazed but no less of an avoidance than waxing his car. "Okay. You find anything?"
Sam shakes his head and walks back toward the house. "Your picture's not on the FBI's 100 most wanted list, yet."
Dean tosses an empty Coke can at Sam and it hits him square in the back of the head. Sam barely flinches and keeps walking. "When you were a baby I wanted to exchange you for a puppy, you know," Dean calls after him.
Sam pauses and then turned around. "Why didn't you?"
Dean meant it as a joke, but the humor all falls flat now too. "Dad told me I'd never be able to play football or baseball with a puppy." Sam puts his hands on his hips and nods, looking at Dean through his bangs. "We never played football or baseball together."
"That's because you decided to play pansy-assed soccer."
"You came to every game."
"Yeah, I did," Dean says.
"I'll pack us a lunch."
The Craters of the Moon National Monument and Wilderness is definitely a weird place. Dean stays on the porch of the visitor's center with a pair of binoculars while Sam is inside geeking out over the geology and informational displays. He's already picked up a dozen brochures. They plan on taking one of the unguided trails, maybe head into the lava caves. The landscape is very surreal, oddly uniform in its bizarreness. Dean thinks the Grand Canyon would overwhelm him with its hugeness, make him feel small. This place though, reminds him that there are weirder things than their lives, and feeling alien in his own skin is kind of relative.
They spend most of the day there, Sam reading out the tourist information for the areas they walk through. They eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at the edge of a lava flow that reminds Dean of an uneven patch of asphalt on I-80, except it's ten times wider. Some of it looks like tree bark, if a huge tree were half buried in the earth. They stop in Arco for no other reason than to get Atomic Burgers from Pickles Café. There's probably a joke in there somewhere about atomic reactors and the lava flows they spent the day crawling over but Dean still can't make it funny.
On the drive back Dean makes himself say what he doesn't want to. "I'm not going to jail, Sam. Not for….the drunk tank's one thing but--"
"I know. It won't happen."
"It could. This guy Hendrickson--"
"It won't," Sam says, with absolute conviction.
Dean believes him. He's not entirely comfortable with why he believes Sam but he does. "He called us Bonnie and Clyde."
"Let me guess, I'm Bonnie," Sam says in a weary but still amused tone.
"If the shoe fits," Dean says and grins for real for the first time in two days. "We need to figure out--"
"I think I've got it."
"A way to go after Hendrickson," Sam says. "To…we tell him everything."
It's all Dean can do not to slam the brakes on. He doesn't though, letting Sam's words sink in. "Keep talking."
"We send him…on the cases he already knows, the ones the cops threw in our faces -- we send him the clippings, the research, everything. Every case we work from here forward."
"Isn't that like leaving him a trail of bread crumbs?"
Sam nods. "Yeah, it is. But it's him following, not getting ahead of us."
"He's going to think we're nuts."
"He already thinks that."
"It's kind of like bear-baiting."
Sam nods, stares out into the dark beyond the window. "It's asking for trouble. I know, but if he's smart…"
"He's not going to want to believe."
"Dad didn't want to either…in the beginning."
"We could…we could just stop, Sam."
They don't say anything else for the rest of they back to the house.
Sam spends the next few nights putting together information on the cases they've worked: detailed, annotated summaries; drawing articles and past news items together for a half dozen of the cases they've had thrown in their faces. He writes a letter to go with each one, puts them in separate envelopes, addressing them to the main FBI branch in Wisconsin. Dean spends his nights venturing into Pocatello, Rupert, and a few neighboring towns, building them a stake, keeping an ear and eye out for even a hint of anyone watching them.
When Sam's ready he gives everything to Dean to look over. They are like field reports, lawyer-precise, information categorized and cross referenced. Sam's even attached a bibliography. "He really is going to think we're sociopaths," Dean says as he signs his name to the letters next to Sam's. It feels weird. It's been a long time since he's signed his real name to anything.
Sam seals the envelopes. "You should call Bobby. Tell him we won't need a car, we might need new tags though."
"Make us easier to find."
"We've never been that hard to find. It's just that nobody was looking."
"We're going to have to be careful," Dean says as they grab their gear and lock the house back up. "Contacting Bobby, Ellen…"
"Yeah. I'll call Ellen. Give her a head's up."
They drive all the way to Boise to mail the first letter. Sam thinks they should give it a few weeks in between, give Hendrickson time to get them, read them. Chase his tail.
"So, maybe the Grand Canyon?" Dean suggests as they head toward Salt Lake.
"Monument Valley is closer. Also there's poltergeist activity in Baltimore, Ohio, again."
"Baltimore? Wasn't that Fodor's case?"
Sam nods. "Yeah. Been quiet for nearly fifty years. Looks like it's starting up again."
"Anybody hurt or killed?"
"You got something against the Grand Canyon, Sam?"
"You ever see Thelma and Louise?"
Dean gives that a half seconds thought and then reaches over to thump Sam on the chest. "I'm not driving my baby off a cliff, Sam."
"What? No…that's not what I mean."
"You're going to think it's weird. Or girly."
"I already think you're weird and girly. Spit it out."
"That's just…it's the last place. Okay? When we've got no other options, then we go to see the Grand Canyon."
Dean's quiet for the next forty miles. He stops outside of Salt Lake, fills up the tank and waits for Sam to come back with their next infusion of coffee, sugar, and starch.
He kind of would like Sam to freak out a little bit or get pissy, give him something to push back against. He knows Sam is scared. Dean's scared too, and not of the poltergeists in Ohio. He never wants Sam to see a courtroom from the defendant's seat, when he should be up there charming the judge and jury. He doesn't want to see it either; knows he won't. Better to go out like Ronald, except he can't -- won't -- leave Sam alone with this. Sam's got bigger fears than an FBI Agent with a vendetta.
Sam hands him an extra large coffee and two packages of Ding-Dongs. He's munching on an apple that's seen better days and Dean knows there's a second one in his pocket for Dean. Sam worries about what and how Dean eats.
"I really, really wanted to see the Grand Canyon someday. Damn it," Dean says as they pull out onto the highway.
They head east.
January 28th, 2007
*Author's Note: The lyrics are from The Blondie song No Exit. Deborah Harry (lead singer for the group) was in a film called "Six Ways to Sunday". I didn't know it when I wrote this, but tripped over it when looking for a cut text reference to the title. I am Irony's Bitch, yo.