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When It Was Over 5a/5

January 12th, 2010 (01:58 pm)

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There is a love that never fails
There is a healing that always prevails
There is a hope that whispers a vow
A promise to stay while we're working it out
So come with your love and wash over us

-from “When It Was Over” by Sara Groves


He runs into Nina Porter at the General Store. Sam is looking for something resembling a newspaper, but is coming up painfully empty.

“Makes you feel a little backwater, doesn’t it?” she asks, grinning at him.

Sam blushes a little. “Some habits just die hard, I guess.”

“Nah, it’s not you,” she assures him. “It’s this town. Great as it is, there are some things it just doesn’t got.”

“Like a paper,” Sam concedes.

“And a Starbucks,” she says. “Lordy, what I wouldn’t give for a vanilla latte some days.”

Sam laughs. “We are a bit out there.”

“Moving here was one of the hardest things I ever did,” Nina admits. “I wanted nothing to do with it. I’m a city girl at heart. But it was so very important to him--”

Sam smiles ruefully. “Did you ever find out why?”

She shrugs, frowning a little. “Damned if I know,” she admits. “But I know it’s important to him. I’ve seen the change in him. The way he is here--and well, it’s just hard to regret.”

“So, you don’t regret it then?” Sam asks.

She makes a small noise in the back of her throat. “You just have to figure, it’s not about you. It’s about what they need. You keep that in mind, you can do anything. Even the impossible.”

Even the impossible, Sam thinks. That seems just about right.


After dinner, Dean and Grace are snuggled on the couch. Sam almost joins them, but they have that look in their eyes, and Sam knows that he’d be more than a third wheel if he stuck around.

He slips onto the porch, and settles onto the swing with a sigh. He could do some work up in Jefferson’s library. A hunter called in regards to an Indian ritual for a hunt in Oklahoma, but Sam’s got time yet.

He’s thinking about a new way to sub-categorize the books in the library when Everett yells at him.

“You goin’ to daydream all day, boy!” the old man bellows.

Sam blushes. “Sorry,” he calls back. “Just thinking.”

He sees Delores next to him. “Tell him to come over, dear,” the woman says.

Everett swats at her. “I’m getting there.”

“Before I’m dead, dear.”

“Not soon enough.”

“Watch that or you’ll never live to see morning.”

“Don’t tempt me.”

“Tell him!”

“Okay!” Everett yells. He looks to Sam. “Delores wants you to come over!”

Sam just grins. “Really?”

“Yes, dear,” Delores calls to him. “I’ve got something just for you.”

It makes his chest tighten and a lump forms inexplicably in his throat. It’s not just their thoughtfulness, which Sam might almost expect by now. But it’s just so hard to grasp. Sam’s a no one, even in Peace. He works on the Tanner farm, blends into the background, and does his best to make no trouble for anyone. He doesn’t want attention, and the times he gets it anyway, he pulls back harder until he’s invisible again, just to make sure he doesn’t get it.

But it’s not even that. It’s...all the surprises in his life have been bad. The truth about hunting. Holiday let downs. Getting kicked out of the family for a full ride. Finding Jess on the ceiling. Finding his father dead. A knife in the back, the knowledge that Ruby had played him--

No, Sam and surprises didn’t mix.

But Delores and Everett are watching him, hope so plainly written on their wrinkled faces, and Sam doesn’t have the heart to say no.

When he gets over there, Delores has disappeared inside. Everett is in the swing, arms folded over his chest and scowling. “Damn woman didn’t shut up all day,” he mutters. “Just Sam this and Sam that.”

Sam is embarrassed as he settles into the rocker. “I’m sorry.”

The front door bangs open. “You’ve got nothing to be sorry for,” she tells him. “Everett’s a jealous old thing. He used to hate on our dog so much whenever I gave him table scraps that we had to get rid of him.”

“It was a vile thing,” Everett snipes.

“He was a sweet puppy,” Delores says. “Just like you. And I can actually feed you chocolate without killing you, which is so much better.”

Sam is just kind of perplexed, especially since Delores is laying out cake on the table.

It’s a sheet cake, iced with thick white frosting that is frothy at the ends. Globs of it are molded into points across it, and Sam knows it’s homemade.

“The cake looks beautiful,” Sam says.

“Thank you, dear,” Delores says as she takes her knife. She slices into it, slow and clean. “I was thinking of you this morning, and I just thought, that boy needs a cake. Skinny thing like you, all that hard work. If anyone deserves a cake, it’s you.”

Sam shakes his head. “I’m fine, really,” he tries to say.

But Delores is still going on. “So I went into the General Store and I bought everything I needed. Even sent Everett back for a little cream cheese to add to the frosting.”

“Two damn times,” Everett gripes. “She wouldn’t use the low fat kind.”

“It’s just not the same, dear,” Delores says. “And have you seen that boy? Too skinny!”

“Really, I mean--”

“It was nothing,” she says shortly. She lifts a generous piece up and puts it on a plate. She repeats the process. “I wanted to.

She hands the first piece with a fork to Everett.

Then she picks up the other, puts a fork on the plate and hands it to Sam.

“Saved the best piece for you, dear,” Delores says with a smile and pats him on the head.

“I’ve been trying to eat that piece all day,” Everett gripes. “See all that frosting? It’s damn near perfection.”

Sam offers him the plate. “You can have it.”

“Samuel Winchester,” Delores admonishes. “I gave that to you.”

Sam looks up, startled. “I know--I just--”

“Do not insult me by giving it to Everett,” she says. “That’s your gift, and it ain’t no crime to enjoy it.”

Sam draws his brows together and slinks into the seat, pushing gently at the cake with his fork.

“Now you enjoy it, dear,” Delores tells him firmly.

Sam doesn’t look up as she goes inside.

“You goin’ to eat it?” Everett asks.

Sam glances up. “Yeah,” he says. “I, uh. I didn’t mean to take your cake.”

“It wasn’t my cake to begin with,” Everett says. “I just wanted it.”

“But you should have been able to have it,” Sam says. “It’s your house.”

“It don’t matter if it’s my house or your or the damn White House,” Everett tells him. “It was always yours. Ever since Delores made the thing, she had you in mind.”

Sam looks at the cake and nods.

“You think you’re not worth it?” Everett asks.

Sam shrugs. He’s past lying to the old man, who knows all the truths anyway.

Everett whistles. “Boy, there’s plenty to go around, of the good and the bad. You have to believe your worth is inherent or you’ll throw away the things that matter most. Sometimes taking what’s good and right ain’t selfish; sometimes acting like you don’t deserve nothing is even worse, and don’t you forget it.”

Sam tries to believe it. As a show of good faith, he plunges his fork in, slicing off the end. He takes a bite and smiles at the man.

Everett smiles back, his own teeth coated with frosting.

Sam swallows and laughs a little, taking his fork to the cake again. The frosting is thick and rich, sweet and smooth.

When he’s done, his stomach is full and he’s still smiling.


New Hope is a small town, so it’s not hard to find the church. It’s tucked on a quiet road on the backside of town. It’s easy to find, because every car in town is there.

Sam sits in the car and watches for a second, as mourners pour out of their vehicles. Old men, middle-aged wives, teenagers, and little children: the entire town is here, Sam thinks. Maybe the entire county.

He feels silly, suddenly. That he came. That he thought his presence might matter.

But he’s here, and he made a promise. He doesn’t break his promises. Not anymore.

Swallowing hard, he checks his tie in the rearview mirror and climbs out.

Inside, the church is packed. There are people from wall to wall and all the pews are filled. He stands uncomfortably in the vestibule, trying to find a place for himself, when he sees her.

She looks different than normal, with the dress and high heels. But still the same. Still beautiful and timeless.

He realizes he’s staring when her eyes meet his and recognition dawns on her face.

He blushes and thinks to leave, but she’s already moving toward him, navigating through the crowd and headed straight toward him. Sam has no choice but to stay there and greet her.

“You came,” she says, and she sounds surprised. Her eyes are red but dry, and her nose looks a little sore. But she’s not crying, and Sam can only think how hard that must be for her.

“Yeah,” he says. “I’m so sorry for your loss.”

She nods, blinking back fresh tears. “It’s--hard,” she admits. “But I know it was his time.”

Sam nods back and tries to think of something to say. Maybe before, when he still believed in things like heaven and eternal rest--but now--now Sam just doesn’t know. He doesn’t know what to give her. He doesn’t know why he’s here.

Then she smiles a little. “Will you come sit with me?”

Sam blinks, opens his mouth and shakes his head. “No, I mean, you’ve got your family--”

“I want you there with me,” she says. “Please.”

Sam’s come this far for her. It seems silly not to walk a few dozen more feet.

He sits by her side, ramrod straight and almost painfully rigid. He glances at her through the service, feels his breath hitch as she breaks with a sob during the benediction.

The casket is open, a pair of pale hands folded in death, and even the preacher cries as he remembers the good things this man has done. Acts of kindness and noble obligations and there’s a church full of people that reminds Sam that good people exist, good people matter; even in a world of darkness and evil and death, people still find hope.

People, but not Sam, even though Sam’s here, and he’s beginning to wonder.


After the service, they all move to the cemetery in a long, slow procession. He’s going to take his own car, but she looks at him and Sam knows enough just to follow.

He stands next to her at the cemetery, close enough to touch her, but he doesn’t let himself. The sky is gray as the casket is lower to the ground, and Sam watches her as she bows her head during the final prayer.

There’s something magical about that, watching her pray. It’s more enticing than anything else. Because she prays like Sam wants to, like he used to, eyes squeezed closed, face scrunched in concentration, as if she’s trying to make sure God hears her.

She’s reaches out without looking and finds his hand. She takes it in her own and squeezes it for the rest of the prayer.


She’s beautiful--inside and out. Sam’s always sort of known it, but not like he does now.

There’s a reception at the church, something simple and low key, because that’s the way it is in towns like this, with people like this. Sam figures it’s his cue to leave because she has family to attend to and friends to remember with.

But she lingers, willing him to stay with her eyes alone, until they’re alone in the cemetery, standing on the hot grass in front of a mound of dirt.

“Death is so hard sometimes,” she says.

Sam knows.

She looks at him. “But I don’t need to tell you that, do I?”

He blushes a little, shoving his hands into his pockets. “It never gets easier,” Sam tells her. “Even when you expect it. Even when you see it coming. It still hurts just the same.”

She nods a little, and looks back at the gravestone. “It’s funny,” she says. “Sometimes I don’t think we mourn for the person who has died, but for ourselves.”

“What do you mean?”

She smiles at him in the sunlight. “When someone dies, they have the chance to move on, and we can only have faith that it’s a better place. But for those of us who are left, who have to keep on living, we’re always haunted by the memory. We carry the loss with us and we can never let it go. We can accept it, we can deal with it, but we never let it go.”

Sam swallows hard, and remembers how there wasn’t really anything left of Jessica to bury. He remembers a mother he never had the chance to know. He remembers his father sprawled on a hospital floor. He remembers burying his brother in a pine box in Pontiac, Illinois.

These are his losses, and so much more. One is enough. Added together, and Sam doesn’t know how to function, doesn’t know how to breathe.

She reaches out, touches him gently on the cheek. Her head is cocked and her face curious. “It doesn’t have to define us,” she says. “You have to know that, don’t you, Sam?”

It’s her grandfather’s funeral, and Sam’s the one who suddenly wants to cry.

Without warning, she moves closer. Her arms reach up and encircle him, pulling him into a hug. At first, Sam is startled--he doesn’t know what to do.

But her arms are steady and her warmth is reassuring and his fears and doubts melt away until he’s holding her, too.

Sam’s not sure how long they stand there--seconds, minutes, hours--but it’s long enough to count. It’s long enough to matter. It’s long enough.


Dean is watching a baseball game on TV. He’s sprawled on the couch, one leg up on the coffee table.

“You want to pop a brewsky? Maybe join me?”

Sam looks at the screen. It’s Atlanta and they’re up by three in the fifth.

He looks at his brother and considers going upstairs. But Dean’s offer is innocent and sincere. So Sam smiles and sits. “Much of a game?”

“Pretty good pitching battle,” Dean says. “You want me to get you a drink? I was going to get a refill.”

Sam shakes his head.

Dean groans a little, sitting up and putting both feet on the floor. “A little drink won’t kill you, Sammy.”

Sam’s stomach clenches and he thinks about the powerful taste of alcohol. Sam knows his limits, and he’s proven himself to be an addict before. He can’t risk it. He can’t risk anything. He shakes his head tightly. “I just shouldn’t.”

Dean sighs a little. “I know, I know,” he mutters. “The whole twelve step process.”

Not quite, but close enough. Sam’s had to cope with this somehow, and he’d be a liar if he said that he still didn’t dream about sliding a blade across the soft skin of Ruby’s arm.

Standing, Dean claps Sam on the shoulder. “I’m proud of you,” he says suddenly. “The strength it takes to do what you do--I don’t think I could do it. Hell, I know I wouldn’t last a day.”

Sam just looks at him, perplexed.

Dean smiles and heads out.

Sam watches him go and feels like he’s been sucker punched. It’s been years since he’s heard his brother say that--years since he’s heard that tone in his brother’s voice. Not just acceptance, but pride. Not just love, but respect. Not just commitment, but trust.

It’s dumbfounding to think that sometime when Sam wasn’t looking, his brother let him in again, not just for the hunt, but completely. How many months had it been since Dean second-guessed him? How many years had it been since the shadow of doubt lurked in Dean’s eyes? How long had they been brothers without Sam even noticing?

Dean comes back with a beer and a bottle of water. Dean pops the cap of his and takes a sip, settling back into the couch. Sam breaks the seal of his water and takes a drink. He looks at his brother for a long moment, before looking back at the screen. He takes another drink and when the next batter hits a home run, they both cheer.


The nights are getting longer, and knows he should be working, but sometimes he can’t help himself. The air is fresh in Peace and the company is good. The town has certain expectations and Sam can’t break them after all this time, no matter how much he should.

“You never told me how you got here,” Sam says. “You told me that no one was born here, and that everyone has a story--but how did you end up at Peace?”

Everett seems taken aback a bit. “You really want to know?” he asks, a little bemused.

“Yeah,” Sam says. “I do.”

“I was working for a big company out in New York,” he says. “I was damn good at it, too. Lots of money to be made, and I made more than my share.”

“So why’d you leave?”

“You’ll laugh.”

Sam shakes his head. “I promise.”

Everett chuckles, then sighs, looking over the street. “I’d like to tell you it was that things were going badly. That I was winning the world and losing my soul, but it weren’t true. Life was good. Life was perfect. Delores was glowing--a true socialite. We gave most of our money to charity, but still had a nice little brownstone. Had a boy and a girl, and they’re perfect and beautiful.”

“So what happened?”

Everett sucked on his chew for a moment, spitting a little. “God told me to leave,” he says.

Sam waits for more. “God...what?”

Everett nods, seriously. “I was praying one day, thanking the Lord for his blessin’s, and he done laid it on my heart. Told me to sell everything, quit my job and uproot my family.”

“So--you did?”

“I did,” Everett says. “Delores thought I was straight up mad, but she came with me, not a second’s hesitation. And we just packed up what we could in the car, and drove. We drove until the car died, and ended up here. Too bad your brother wasn’t around back then, because that damn car still don’t work.”

“Wait--you--just left?”

“And settled here,” Everett says. “Peace ain’t such a bad place to be.”

Sam swallows, and thinks on that. The porch swing creaks, and he can hear Delores humming in the kitchen. “Did you figure out why?” Sam asks. “Why God wanted you here?”

Everett stretches a little at that, squinting out into the growing twilight. “For near forty years, I’ve wondered that,” he says. Then he looks at Sam. “But after all that time, I think I’ve finally figured it out. And don’t you ask me why, boy, because I think you know as well as I.”

Sam’s mouth opens, but nothing comes out. He tilts his head.

“Forty years I’ve been sitting on this porch,” Everett tells him. “You’re the first one to come up and join me. That means something, don’t you think?”

“Yeah,” Sam says slowly. “I guess.”

Everett harrumphs a little. “Well, good thing for you, I know. And there ain’t nothing you can say to change my mind. So, until you get there yourself, I’ll just keep believing for the both of us, you hear?”

Sam hears, but he’s not sure he understands. But there is a force here, more powerful than Everett’s wisdom, more alluring than Delores’ cooking. It’s the force that drives people from successful jobs and prosperous lives. It’s the force that brings people from every walk of life. It’s the force that brings them all together, all here, and maybe Dean was right. Maybe this is a sign.

Sam’s just not sure if he doubts the sign, or doubts himself, but maybe if he stays here long enough, he’ll figure that out.


It’s Tuesday night.

Sam finds Tuesday nights kind of boring.

Every Tuesday and Thursday, Dean goes into New Hope. He meets Grace there, sits in Grace’s art gallery and finds ways to make her smile. He doesn’t usually come home until morning those nights, and sometimes it makes Sam so lonely, he even heads over to the bar to eat something.

Self-imposed exile is important, Sam knows. But too much time alone with himself is a dangerous thing. For him. For everyone.

After showering from a day in the fields, he heads out. Everett and Delores are fighting over dinner. He can smell the barbecue from the Porters’ backyard. Erick’s dog is barking, and Caris’ soft voice trails on the breeze from her open kitchen window.

The bar is mostly empty, like it usually is. Sylvie is nursing a beer and eating a sandwich, talking jovially while Zach sits hunched across from her. She winks at Sam when he comes in, but doesn’t slow her pace, and Zach looks almost pleadingly to him for some kind of escape.

Sam isn’t the right guy for that. He simply smiles and makes his way to the bar.

Anita comes up. “What’ll it be, stranger?”

“I’ll start with a water,” Sam says.

“You do know our water’s just from the tap, right?” Anita asks. “It’s not very clean.”

“It’s fine,” Sam assures her.

She shrugs, grabbing a glass and moving to fill it. “I figured you wouldn’t care,” she says. “I wanted to make sure you knew, though. Before you decided what your Tuesday regular should be.”

“My what?” Sam asks.

She puts his glass down. “Your Tuesday regular,” she repeats. “What you’ll order every Tuesday night.”

“I don’t need a regular.”

“But you do,” she says. “That way I can have it ready for you when you come.”

“What if I don’t show up?”

“You’ve been here every Tuesday night for two months,” she informs him.

That takes Sam by surprise. “I have?”

She nods. “Julia is the one who noticed.”

Sam hadn’t realized it’d been that long. Time in Peace is slow and fast all at once, flying and crawling until Sam feels like he’s just standing still.

“So, you have to have a regular,” Anita insists.

Sam shakes his head. “No, really, I don’t.”

“But you like consistency,” she tells him.

And that much is true. Sam’s life exists in small schedules and measured actions. It makes things predictable and safe. Makes him predictable and safe.

But he’s not ready to accept this yet. A regular means he’s regular. A part of this town. He can’t do that--he can’t.

“It’s really not important,” Sam tries to deflect.

“But you already have a Thursday regular,” she tells him. “You order turkey on rye every Thursday.”

It’s a revelation to Sam. It hasn’t been a purposeful choice, and he certainly hadn’t expected anyone to notice. “I order turkey on rye every Thursday?”

“Like clockwork,” Anita says with a nod. “Julia even goes to the store first thing on Thursday to make sure you have fresh cilantro.”

Sam glances to the kitchen; Julia is nodding seductively in the doorway. “It’s just a habit,” he says slowly, turning his attention back to Anita.

“Habit, regular, it’s the same thing, brother,” she says.

This flusters Sam, and he wants to find the words, but Anita’s logic is pretty good. “But--”

“But, what?” Anita says with a incline of her head.

“It’s just not permanent,” he says.

She snickers. “Sam, you’ve almost been here for a year now. Your brother runs a tab at the General Store. You sit on your front porch every evening and we all know the path you walk around town in the morning. How much more permanent are you going to make it?”

It’s a little mind-boggling, to hear it all spelled out like that. The months have bled together with the simple ebb and flow of Peace. It’s been day to day living, hard work out at Tanner’s farm, early mornings with Everett, and evenings with the town. Sam’s a part of all of it, he’s in all of it, so why is it so hard to believe?

“You like the chicken and rice,” she says. “You cleaned your plate the week Julia put extra picante on it.”

Sam remembers that. He remembers eating it, but he can’t remember liking it. He can’t remember liking anything, and that strikes him suddenly as sad.

Sad and right.

“So chicken and rice maybe?” she asks, and she sounds hopeful.

He looks at her and looks at Julia and knows this isn’t for him. With a weak smile, he nods. “Chicken and rice sounds great.”

Anita just smiles. “Chicken and rice,” she says, sounding quite satisfied. She pushes to her feet and yells at Julia over her shoulder. “Chicken and rice, extra picante! Don’t forget.”

Julia’s reply is in Spanish, and Sam slinks lower in his seat as he wonders how this became his life without his knowledge.


One morning, the air is crisp and there’s still a layer of dew on the grass. Sam’s pulling on his work gloves, flexing his fingers in the stiff leather when Tanner comes up to him and says they need to talk.

They sit on a pair of hay bales and Tanner smoothes his hands on his thighs. “You have a nice night last night?”

Sam is confused but nods anyway. “Sure,” he says. “I guess.”

Tanner nods and then swallows. “Because I’m afraid I have to fire you.”

Sam blinks and waits for the punch line. When it doesn’t come, his mouth opens and he stutters. “What?”

Tanner nods, more certain this time. “You’re fired.”

“You’re firing me?” Sam asks. “But--why?”

Tanner cracks his neck. “Son, you’re a damn good farm hand,” he says. “If I only could have one hand, you’d be the best one for the job. You work hard and you work right, and that’s a damn near impossible combination. I never hear you grumble, and I never hear you ask for anything you aren’t given.”

“I don’t understand.”

Tanner looks at him. “Problem is, you shouldn’t be doing this. You came to Peace for better things than this, son. Even if you don’t know it yet.”

Sam’s a little speechless. He’s just been fired and he’s been complimented and he isn’t sure which one bothers him more.

“Stop by with the missus and she’ll have your last check. The kids wanted to say goodbye to you, too,” Tanner explains. “It’s been a damn fine time having you on, son, and you’d better stop by to pick up some tomatoes or Alice’ll have my hide.”

“Yes, sir,” Sam says, still too stunned to come up with anything else.

Tanner nods once, claps Sam on the shoulder. “You’ll do well, son. You’ll do well.”


Sam’s too bewildered to walk it off. Instead, he goes straight home. Dean is eating his lunch.

“You’re home early,” Dean observes.

“I got fired,” Sam reports, slouched on the couch.

Dean considers this with a surprisingly nonchalant manner. “Daydreaming about those midget strippers again?”


“Clown porn?”


His brother shrugs. “It’s got to be a sign, dude.”

“A sign of what? That I’m a bad farm hand?”

Dean takes another bite and chews for a moment. He swallows and looks at Sam. “That you were never meant to be a farm hand to begin with?”

“And how do you figure that?”

“It’s farming season.”


“Who fires their best hand during the height of farming season?”

“What do you know about farming season?”

Dean shrugs. “I hear things.”

“About farming season,” Sam concludes.

“And signs from God.”

Sam rolls his eyes.

“Dude, you’re in Peace, not purgatory,” Dean says. “It’s about time you accepted that.”

Sam snorts and heads upstairs. If he slams his door like a petulant teenager, it’s totally a coincidence.


Sam turns his attention to Jefferson’s library in full force now and ramps up his contacts. He stops in the General Store each morning to buy the paper, and starts scanning the headlines for suspicious happenings. He can’t hunt without Dean, but he’s got connections in the hunting world. As long as he treads carefully, he might be able to tip some others off.

He tries to get a job at the bar again, but Julia comes onto him in Spanish and Anita says they’d never get any work done if he was around.

Sam loiters around the house, looking for ways to be useful. He starts sweeping every day, and has taken to dusting on a weekly basis. He reorganizes the kitchen cabinets to increase the efficiency.

When Dean can’t find the coffee cups and Grace has trouble finding the spices, Dean curses. “You could get a hobby, you know,” he says.

Sam tries to look innocent. “I already have the library in top condition. There’s only so many hunts I can find and I don’t get questions every day.”

“Yeah, that’s not the kind of hobby I’m talking about.”

Sam is perplexed.

“Fun, Sammy,” Dean says. “Build model airplanes. Start a garden. Get a dog. Something. Anything.”

When Sam starts trying to organize Dean’s closet, his brother draws the line and pulls Sam into the garage.

“Here,” Dean says, and hands him a wrench.

Sam looks at it. “We tried this once,” Sam remembers. “It didn’t work.”

“Well, this time I’m not teaching you so you can do it on your own,” Dean says. “This time I’m teaching you because I could use a hand.”

Sam just stares. “You don’t need a hand.”

“I need a hand so I don’t kill you,” Dean points out. “Besides, it’s a good idea. You learn about cars, and I’ll help you with the hunting resources.”

“You’re serious,” Sam says, and he still can’t believe it.

“If you don’t shut up and listen, I’m going to bash you upside the head with that thing,” Dean threatens. “So using it correctly is really in your best interest.”