Pair: Sam & Dean
Summary: Sam gets an unexpected gift.
Warnings: Spoiler for season 6
Disclaimer: I make no claims of ownership or profits.
Cross posted to fics_by_vex
Written for yanyann for her prompt:
1. slice of life (a.k.a. curtain fic)- cabin in the woods maybe? as detailed as you want to make it. You have no idea how much I enjoy reading about them going to get groceries or such - in length.
Dean stared at the heavy wooden door that sat across the tastefully decorated office. If the reason he was sitting alone had been case related he wouldn't be as worried. Unfortunately, that was not the reason, instead, it was because one of the lawyers requested a meeting with Sam as soon as possible.
That was warning bell number one is his head, then after a closer look, he saw the letter was addressed to Sam in his legal name. He wondered who would do that, there weren't many people left that would send them mail. He was trying to think about the fact that the office he was in was the lobby of a very high price law firm.
Why would they want to see Sam? He was trying his best not to worry about why just Sam had been summoned. All Sam had muttered was something about a woman named Gretchen, before clamming up tighter than a virgin in a whorehouse. He couldn't think of anyone named Gretchen. He was sure they must have saved at least one over the years. If that were the case, then wouldn't they both have been mentioned? If the old harpy behind the desk hadn't been staring at him like she knew he was on the most wanted list, he would have tried to charm the old biddy. What he would have given for her to have been any one of the helpful and cute girls he usually seemed to find.
His thoughts were preoccupied with Sam. He had more question than his brother had answers for him. This time around, Dean didn't get the feeling that Sam was hiding things from him because he was doing something he shouldn't have done. He had spent enough years reading Sam to know what made him tick. This was Sam wearing his “I did a bad thing and if Dean finds out he will be so mad” face. He may have perfected it when he was a toddler, but it had stayed in the many faces of Sammy repertoire ever since.
Dean recalled one of the more memorable times he had seen it, was when Sammy was five and tried to make cotton candy. He had covered one of their Dad’s flannel shirts with an entire bag of sugar and then dumped a jar of strawberry jam on it for color. Unfortunately, young Sammy didn't realize that all the sugar and jam would melt and run, or that he should have put in some kind of pan.
Dean had only been gone a few minutes when Sammy had managed that.
He had only been across the street at the convenience store long enough to grab a couple of sandwiches and chips for dinner. By the time Dean had the food spread out on the small table, he began to smell something burning. He knew something was wrong when he saw the smoke coming out of the oven. He couldn't believe the mess he had found in there.
“What did you do?” He had been aghast as he tried to get the smoldering mess out, without burning himself. He didn't know whether to be horrified or impressed with Sammy’s logic. Their Dad had taken them to a carnival over the weekend and they sampled every deep fried and sugary treat they could find. They had decided that a lot of the foods were like the food they ate every day. The corn dogs were tasty, but they were just hot dogs after all. The funnel cakes were giant doughnuts, tasty and sugary, but still a doughnut. The cotton candy had been different and Sammy’s favorite of the day. He begged for one more bag until he sadly had to settle for just one more bite.
He was convinced he could make his own at home and wanted to surprise Dean with a bowl for dessert. After a tear filled explanation and a lot of scrubbing, they split a bag of M&M’s and Dean sternly told him that he is not allowed to touch the stuff under any circumstances.
It wasn't like Sammy had grown out of that habit either, when he was ten he accidentally dyed everyone's socks, boxers, and undershirts pink. He was trying to be helpful and wash their clothes while Dean was out with their Dad. He really was trying to make up for the fighting with Dad that morning. Dean remembered Dad had found a simple case one town over and took Dean along for extra practice. Sammy had felt excluded and in typical Sammy fashion had thrown a temper tantrum to end all temper tantrums. Dean recalled how John was not happy about it and lectured him for the entire drive about how Sammy was too old to act like that. Dean had heard his meaning clear enough; it was a long standing source of disappointment between Dean and their Dad. He always said Dean was too soft on his brother. That he would grow up to be a spoiled brat, if Dean didn't put his foot down occasionally.
Dean tried to clear his mind of the walk down memory lane it wanted to take with or without him. He checked his watch once more and was beginning to worry. Sam had been in the office longer than he was comfortable with. He was self aware enough that on some level he would always want Sam to be that same little boy that used to run to him for everything. Not that he would admit it to anyone, but it felt good to be the center of Sam’s life.
Just when Dean was ready to open the inner office doors himself and drag his wayward brother out, he saw him finally appear. He watched as Sam shook a well dressed gray haired man’s hand and nodded towards the door. They both ignored him like he was part of the wallpaper or something. Normally that would have been enough for him to make a scene, but he decided that he would rather have Sam in a good mood if he hoped to pry any information out of him. Sammy could be a tight lipped little bitch when the mood struck him.
“I was beginning to think you slipped out of a window and forgot to tell me,” Dean hissed as they walked to his car.
“Seriously, I did that when I was six and you were harder on me than Dad was. I think it’s about time to let that go, man,” Sam huffed as he folded himself into his side of the front seat.
“One of the many privileges of being the older brother, I get to bust your ass about any and all things you have ever done,” Dean answered, pulling out his box of cassettes. He glanced at his brother as he shuffled the contents of the battered old box. He was not happy to see Sam moved from embarrassed to actually what looked like a new face to add to the ever growing list.
‘Really you would think a man his age would learn how to control himself,’ Dean could almost hear their Dad whispered in his ear.
Dean disagreed, he always like that he could read Sammy so easily. He knew what Sammy was feeling so he could figure out the problem.
Dean grabbed the first tape he touched and set it up to play. He was so busy worrying about Sam that the opening notes of AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black’ could have been ‘The Wheels on the Bus’.
“You goin’ to let me in on the big secret? Like the one about who the hell sent a lawyer after you? Or maybe the one about why just you? I thought at this point everyone you knew I knew. I have been trying to remember a Gretchen and I can’t think of any. Well, there was the one, but she was what eight three years ago. I highly doubt a kid would bust open her piggy bank just to sic a lawyer on you. Oh maybe the best kept secret, that you seriously need to spill, where the hell are we going?” Dean tried to keep his tone light, but he really was concerned about each point. The destination seemed to be the most pressing point. How did Sam think he could drive there if he had no idea where they were going?
Sure they had taken many trips just like that over the years. There were the few rare lazy days when their Dad was off on a hunt and they had nowhere to be. It had started when Dean turned sixteen and the Impala officially became his girl. They would scrounge up all the money they had between them and just pick a direction and drive.
‘Those times were some of the best of their childhood,’ Dean thought as he glanced over to where Sam was doing his best to blend into the seat.
“Here, there is a map to where we are going. See the big red dot, that would be the last place to get any supplies we want,” was all the explanation Sam gave him as he handed him a hand drawn map.
“You've been here before?” Dean asked him as he changed lanes once he realized where there were on the little map. All he got in response from his brother was a grunt and a slight shrug of his shoulders.
“So, this Triple G shop, are we talking M&M’s and gas station sandwiches, or opossum on toast?” Dean asked and reached over to flick Sam on his ear.
“I never stopped there, Dean,” Sam mumbled.
Dean was at a loss about what was eating at his brother. It was not something he was used to feeling. They drove in silence until Dean spotted the red and white checked sign with what could only be the Triple Logo on it. He parked the impala and got out, leaving Sam behind.
Dean looked around as he walked in and eyed a section that was labeled “Gourmet Grub.” He walked over, hoping to find things to annoy Sammy with. Maybe something disgusting to dare him to eat, it would serve Sam right to be tortured by canned goods. First he was too quiet and now he refused to come into the store. He claimed that they wouldn't need anything where they were going. Dean doubted that, they never stayed anywhere that was fully stocked. Well, there was that one time they were called in on a haunting at candy shoppe and they spent the night, sampling everything in the bins. Dean realized there were a few more jobs over the years that provided ample snacks, but that was not the same as bunking down fully stocked.
After quick circuit of the store and a sales total that rivaled any he had seen in awhile, he was back on the road with Sam. He still had no idea where they headed. He had the map and an idea that where they were going was Gretchen’s, but that didn't seem like enough intell. Dean hated walking into the unknown. Dealing with anything that was unknown and that made Sam look that miserable was not a good thing in Dean's thinking.
After another forty minutes of silence from the passenger side, Dean finally saw a cabin in the distance. “So we drove out here for a cabin? Not that I mind a break, but you could have said it was a cabin. Dude, I went in for supplies you could have mentioned it.” Dean wanted to be annoyed, but the cabin really did look nice. There was nothing else around them for what looked like miles and a small stream in the side yard. He wondered how deep the water was. Maybe if they stayed long enough he could get Sam to check it out. If it were shallow maybe they could just dangle their feet in it like they did when they were little and John took them to the safe house in the woods.
Dean took a moment to admire the craftsmanship of the outside of the cabin. It was old and made to last,and he was impressed by the work that went into it.Nowadays too many people went in for a look that didn’t say authentic, but a faux modern rustic. Those were the same people that he knew had a love of glamping. He was dumbfounded the first time he had heard the term, you either camped or you vacationed somewhere to be pampered, but not both at the same damn time.
He walked up to the front door and found it locked. He pulled his lock picks out of a pocket and heard Sam smother a laugh.
“Dean, I have the keys to both doors,” he said as opened the door and stepped aside for Dean to enter. Dean was glad to see him move aside and let him check out the place first. They walked into a small mud room and Dean hung his jacket on one of the many hooks.
The main room that was adjacent to it had a large fireplace that Dean knew would be great on a cold winter night. There was a large overstuffed couch off to the side and an old fashioned standing record player stood in the corner. Two of the walls looked like they had been converted into bookshelves. He could definitely see Sammy geeking out in a place like this. He could see his little brother curled up on one of the huge armchairs that sat in front of the fire. He watched as Sam opened the heavy drapes that covered the front windows and allowed the sunshine to flood the room. The room was covered in a fine coat of dust, so Dean knew that it had been empty for a while. He waited for Sam to enlighten him about the cabin and its previous owner, and after a few moments, he realized that it would not be happening.
Dean found the bedroom easily enough. The bed was the biggest bed he had ever seen. It looked like someone’s great great granddaddy had built it. The more Dean thought about it, the more he figured that was most likely what had happened. All of the furniture in the bedroom had that sturdy old world feel to it.
They had stayed in enough run down hunting lodges over the years that Dean could appreciate how nice this one was. The room was not as girly as he imagined someone that knew Sam would have it. The colors were all deep and rich; and the only girly touches were a bunch of antique looking dolls on a shelf. There was also a small bathroom that made him ridiculously happy as he was not looking forward to pissing in the woods in the middle of the night.
He walked back out to the family room and saw Sam was still in there, looking out the window. Dean stood for a moment, trying to figure out where his brother’s head was at. He looked almost guilty as he stared out at the yard. Dean left him to brood and walked off to investigate the final room.
He walked into the small kitchen, and after a quick glance, he silently thanked their Dad for making them stay in so many off the beaten path places. The potbellied stove would have been a major pain in their ass. He would have hated to fuck up and have them get hurt over something as simple as cooking. He saw there was a door at the far end of the room and he walked halfway down the wooden stars, before realizing it was a large pantry and old fashioned root cellar. ‘Whoever this Gretchen chick was, she knew how to can her own grub,’ he thought. That was a good thing he realized because most of the stuff he bought at the Triple G were things to annoy Sam with.
Dean was surprised to see Sam in the kitchen when he walked back in the room. He was holding a framed photo in his hand as he sat at the wooden table.
“That her, your girl?” Dean asked as he sat across from his brother, grabbing the frame. “Sammy, is that her grandma?” Dean asked, confused.
Sam exhaled and dropped his head on the table. “That is Gretchen, I think you would’ve liked her. She was an original,” he mumbled.
“Original, you mean she was here when the Earth was new?” Dean snickered.
“Dude, really can’t you be an adult for like five minutes?” Sam asked as he lifted his head to look Dean in the eye.
“Okay this is me being an adult, so are you goin’ to tell me how you met Grandma Moses?” Dean was curious.
“When you were with Lisa, and I was still hunting with Samuel and the family I was sent up here with. I got the intel from Samuel,but in hindsight I think he just wanted to get rid of me for a few days. Maybe he thought if I saw Crowley I would snap. He might have been worried that Crowley and I would team up, cutting him out. Whatever the reason, I found myself tracking a werewolf just beyond the property line. It turned out that it was a rabid wolf and not a werewolf so it wasn't a case after all,” Sam mostly explained to the table.
All Dean could think about was that his baby brother was hunting a werewolf alone. Sure he towered over most normal sized humans, but he would always be that same little boy that turned to him for all of his problems. He hated that anything could have happened and he wouldn't have even known about it.
“The bags, I’m going to go grab the shopping bags,” Dean all but yelped as he jumped up from the table. He couldn't stop thinking about all the crap that could have happened that year with Sam running off into danger by himself. He reminded himself that Sammy was in one piece and alright. The big brother in him just wanted to grab Sam and remind him that you never hunt without backup. A simple salt and burn he could see, not that he would ever allow it or want to see Sam do that either. How could he be that reckless to take a werewolf on alone?
He dropped the bags on the table and sat down across from his brother. Dean rummaged around in one of the bags, looking for a small jar. He pulled itout with a grin. “Hey, Sammy, look, fig mostarda. I saw this at the Triple G and it made me wonder if you could eat figs yet?” Dean asked as he tossed Sam the small jar.
“I never really liked them much. The cookies always smell a bit funky to me.” Sam shrugged.
“When you were still little, I mean really little just before you even started school, you got so sick off of them. You scared the hell out of me. Dad went out for the day and you cried for an hour about how bad your tummy hurt. As bad as it was watching you cry, it was worse when you started spending more time in bathroom than anywhere else. I couldn't believe one little body could crap that much and not die. I finally broke down and called Bobby. He got the story out of you; Dad had found a deal on soon to expire snack cakes and bought a ton of crap. In the mix were a few boxes of fig cookies and you ate like three boxes in one afternoon. For months after that, you would turn a funky shade of green whenever we had the cookies in the room,” Dean explained.
“I don’t remember any of that,” Sam admitted.
“Than I am an awesome big brother for reminding you.” Dean grinned back at him. He dug out a six pack from one bag and some crackers from another. Dean handed a beer to his brother.
Sam accepted the bottle and made a face at the snacks. Dean pulled a couple rolls of salami out of a bag and a wedge of cheese as well. Sam rolled his eyes and muttered something about fat and cholesterol versus the figs being craptastic choices. Dean smothered a grin as he saw Sam find a knife in the drawers by the sink. Sitting in the kitchen with a snarky and bitchy Sammy made him smile. Life really was damn good.
“You seem to be pretty comfy here, how long did you stay exactly? Why am I thinking there is more to the story than you were letting on? For the crazy old biddy to leave you this place, you must have done something to deserve it.” Dean felt that he had given his brother enough time to brood and wanted some answers.
“It is like I said I came up here to work a job. It was easier than I had originally thought. I tracked the wolf to damn near the back yard. I had a clean shot and I took it. Dropped the damned thing with one shot too. The next thing I knew, a cake pan came flying across the yard and smacked me in the head. I marched over to see who the hell had thrown it. Imagine my surprise, when I saw a tiny old woman on the porch. She told me, ‘ Boy you are damned lucky I took the rotten meat outta the pan, before I nailed you with it.’ When I got to the porch, sure enough there was a pile of meat that had definitely gone over,” Sam stopped there and drank a quarter of his beer.
“So, then what? The old broad apologize?” Dean asked as he spread the mustard on a cracker and then topped it with meat and cheese.
“I grabbed her up so we could see eye to eye. Then she kicked me in my junk, so I dropped her on her almost one hundred year old ass. She kicked me again and then decided she liked me.” Sam blushed to the tips of his ears.
“Really Sam, you dropped an old woman on her ass.” Dean felt the familiar anger over his brothers past actions.
“She invited me in and decided that I was the best person she had ever met. She was different, definitely not the grandmas we had seen on TV baking cookies. She was a cantankerous old woman who had lived her with her parents until the day they died. In fact, their land can be traced back to when the town was founded. She was mad that I shot the wolf, before she had a chance to drop him. Seriously, Dean a huge rabid wolf wasn't twenty feet from her and she was mad I saved her from it. She decided I was like the son she never knew she wanted and semi-adopted me. I stayed about six weeks and I put every kind of protection and warding I could think of on this place,” Sam explained. “I guess that is why she left this place to me. I was thinking maybe we could use it as a safe house, or home base or something.”
“We never really had one of those, unless you count Bobby’s place. Never one that was just ours,” Dean mused. “It might be nice to have a place to stow our crap. If we do this you have to see what I found in the cellar,” Dean demanded and dragged Sam to the cellar stairs.
Dean led Sam over to a rack of canned goods. “I dare you to try some of these. In fact I think if we live here we should have a can a week.” Dean poked Sam in the chest and grinned.
“Vegetarian haggis, creamed armadillo, creamed possum, buzzard gizzards, seriously, Dean, who eats this crap?” Sam backed away from the cans in a hurry.
“No clue, Sammy, but your girl liked them enough to keep them,” Dean smugly replied.
“I bet she brought them out to scare away guests. She never was one for company. Well, except for me that is,” Sam called back to his brother as he made his way back up to the kitchen.
“Dean, why don't we grab a nap and later I’ll show you the property lines. I think you’ll be happy when you see how much land we have up here. After that, I’ll make us some non-creepy food for dinner and then maybe a movie on the laptop. I swear this week we’ll go take a chunk of the money the estate has for me and I’ll buy you a television and blu-ray player.” Sam waited for Dean to agree with him.
“Estate, I thought she left you the cabin?” Dean was confused again.
“Dude, she left me everything she owned. The cabin, land, money, and investments.” Sam grinned.
It may not have been the future Dean had wished for them, but he was grateful for a future where they were both alive. He figured everything else was small stuff. He secretly thought if he could get Sam to sample any of those funky canned goods, well, that would just be an awesome bonus.