Title: Not Speaking

Author: tarotgal

Fandom: Supernatural

Pairing: None, Gen
Rating: PG

Disclaimer: not my characters. Not my paycheck.

Summary: Dean and Sam are too old for the silent treatment, but that’s exactly what they’ve found themselves doing.

Notes: Snow drabble written on my snow day—March 17, 2014



Not Speaking


It started with a fight. These days, everything that happened to the Winchesters started with a fight. And this wasn’t even a new sort of fight for them. Dad was dead. The yellow-eyed demon was dead. There was no reason for Sam to be hunting still. But every time he brought up the fact that he was leaving, Dean would find himself in trouble, needing back-up. And Sam wasn’t about to abandon him in the middle of a hunt. But one hunt led to another, which led to another, which led to a fight.


They weren’t speaking. It was stupid and childish and not the best way to make it through a hunt. But it was what it was. And, by now, they didn’t really need to talk to get a job done. When they got to the site, they slipped into their FBI cover and split up to interview witnesses and cops. When Sam had a hunch, he turned his laptop in Dean’s direction. When Dean found something in the newspaper, he shoved it across the table. And when it started to snow, Sam dug out the gloves while Dean attacked the windshield with the ice scraper.


They’d been in a lot of libraries across the county. But this one in Maine was tiny. And freezing. And it was doing nothing for their shoes and socks, which had been soaked in the two-foot tall snow drifts and slush on the way from car to library door.  Sam curled his toes in his shoes, shaking with cold.


But it was Dean who sneezed. Sam lifted his head, studying his brother. They were both still wearing their coats, their wet gloves shoved into coat pockets. Sure, their noses and cheeks were both red and they were both sniffling from being outside, but Dean didn’t sneeze. He just didn’t. Not unless he was sick.


Sam reached into his jeans pocket and felt the wad of Kleenex he kept there. It was only six squares, individually folded, but he took them out and slid them across the table to Dean.


Dean stared at them. Then, without looking up at Sam, he picked up a tissue, unfolded it, and then folded it around his nose. There was massaging, followed by sniffling, followed by Dean’s eyes shutting tight and quick as he snapped forward. His chest hit the edge of the table. His sharp gasp was far too loud. But his hand cupped to his face half-muffled the sound. “Ahchhhhhtt!


Sam didn’t say anything. They weren’t speaking. But he stared at Dean until Dean met his gaze.


And Dean didn’t say anything because, again, not speaking. But he shrugged as he sniffed and then helped himself to a second tissue.


At this rate, they weren’t going to get far with the research before Dean ran out of things to blow his nose into. And if he had a cold, which Sam was willing to bet he had, it was only going to get worse before it got better. So Sam sighed and held his hand out.


Dean stared at it. He lowered the tissue, making a face at it. Sam pulled his hand back at once, making the same face of disgust. He huffed and scooted back in his seat. Then he got up, walked around the table, and fished the car keys out of Dean’s pocket. He offered them over, but Dean ducked his head and pretended to be intently studying the newspaper again.


Sam pulled his soggy gloves  on while walking out of the library, keys jangling far too loudly, causing several librarians to hush him as he went. He sat in the car for a minute. Alone.


It would be the easiest thing in the world to turn the key in the ignition, step on the gas and never look back. Dean would be fine, eventually. Fine with his demon hunting and his guns and his stupid sniffly head cold. Damn him. Sam turned the key and directed the impala to the nearest drug store.


When he returned, shivering because the temperature had dropped another five degrees, he plopped a small pack of tissues down on the table. He noticed that the short stack of tissues he’d left was very much gone. And he definitely noticed the way Dean ripped into the tissue pack and pressed a tissue immediately to his nose. Dean sighed with relief, rubbing, wiping, massaging.


Then Dean slid a newspaper across the table and pointed. Because they weren’t talking. Sam took a look. A report about a man who’d lost his job, offed his whole family, and then drunk himself to death in the very house where the woman had been found dead. The vengeful spirit theory had legs. Sam nodded. Dean produced a second newspaper, this one with an obituary. He passed the newspapers back along with the keys.


Dean started to take them then pulled his hand away. He cupped it and a tissue to his nose and turned in his seat, hunching over preemptively. “ah…ahhh-Htchhhh!” He rubbed his nose, coughed, and rubbed his nose again. Then he sat back in his seat with a deep breath in and out. He looked sideways at Sam and waved dismissively at the keys, then at his nose. And he coughed again.


Sam nodded and slipped the keys into his pocket. Dean rounded up the books, papers, and magazines while Sam checked the internet for the cemetery’s address. It was on the edge of town, which was fine. But digging through feet of snow was not going to be fun.


Dean slumped, shivered, and sniffled in his seat the whole ride back to the motel. He went straight into the bathroom when they got there where he turned the shower on full and sneezed his head off as if Sam couldn’t hear. But it wasn’t a very good motel. Sam guessed the people in the room at the end of the row could probably hear. Plus, Sam sort of needed to use the bathroom.


But he fell asleep on his bed before Dean finished sneezing. He managed only to toss the Dayquil, nasal spray, and other tissue packs onto the bed before passing out.


When Sam woke, Dean was sitting on his bed, a pile of tissues surrounding him, and the medicine boxes both broken into. Dean looked awful. Dean probably shouldn’t go. And Sam started to tell him as much. But they weren’t talking.


So Dean stood and put his coat on. And Sam did the same, following Dean to the car.


Thank goodness for the snow. Snow insulated. It kept the ground beneath it warm. So by the time they’d shoveled the snow out of the way, they found the ground warm and wet and easy enough to dig into. But by then, Sam was the one doing most of the digging and Dean was stopping to sniff and rub his nose more frequently.


Sam should have been annoyed. He was supposed to be back in college by now. He shouldn’t even be here. But he wasn’t annoyed. He wasn’t even angry any more. Maybe it was the hunt or the exertion or the fact that Dean looked too pathetic to stay mad at.


He still didn’t say anything as he ripped off the coffin lid and dumped handfuls of salt over the bones. And he didn’t say anything when Dean squirted lighter fluid in and tossed in a match. But as they stood there, wet and exhausted and shivering, Sam felt some sort of weight lift.


hahhChihhhhh!” Dean sneezed again, openly. He wasn’t even trying to cover them now, and his nostrils were a violent shade of red.


“Bless you,” Sam said. He dug the keys out of his pocket and headed back to the car.


“Thanks,” Dean replied, following. And sniffling.