Pairing: None really, slight het.
Spoilers: Finale Spoilers
Summary: Seven ficlets about the Winchesters and the Impala.
Author’s Notes: This fic just sort of came out of me, I’m not sure what happened, but I hope you all like it. Thanks to my beta lady_shain, she rocks.
Feedback is Love.
The first time he sees her, he gets butterflies in his stomach. She’s used and a little rough around the edges, but she’s still gorgeous. The 1967 Chevrolet Impala is light blue and has nearly 60,000 miles on her, her engine’s a bit neglected but she’s in decent shape.
John lays a hand on her hood and represses the urge to smooth his hand over the paint. He offers 650 for her and they haggle for a few minutes before settling on 900. The man hands him the keys and John smiles the whole way home.
John’s been out of the service for a little over a year and he’s finally got enough saved up for his first car. He learned to drive on an old Ford rust bucket that belonged to his father, but he kept it running and that’s all that mattered. His first real car, though, is something to be savored. He’d been looking for something for about 3 months when he finally laid eyes on the Impala. She looks wrong in that shade of blue and her engine scratches a little too much on the turn over, but John doesn’t think he’s seen a better car in his life.
He’s got a job in a local garage and he’s more than ready to pop the hood on his new ride and see what he can fix. Finding the Impala is like finding home, but John doesn’t realize that until years later. No, when he first gets his hands on her he just feels joy and pride. She’s a keeper and that’s all that matters.
Mary complains about the Impala a lot. She loves the car, but Sammy’s car seat never quite fits right into the back and John has to repress the urge to tell her that his Impala wasn’t made for kids.
Sam is a little over three months old and John doesn’t remember having this much trouble with Dean. Dean’s car seat always seemed to fit fine, but then Dean loved the car. There were even a few times when Dean couldn’t fall asleep that John had to circle the block just to put Dean to sleep. The vibrations were comforting to him, something that thrummed beneath the skin; he always fell right asleep nestled in his car seat. Dean never made a fuss about the car, but Sam doesn’t like being too far away from Mary and the backseat is just too far away for his liking.
Sometimes, John takes them out on Sunday drives. Dean always giggles through the open windows and sings along to the radio, despite not actually knowing any of the words. On these drives Mary complains about the wind in her hair, but John always seems to catch her secret smile when they cruise around a bend and the air seems to hum with life. Even Sam appears happy at those times, or maybe just less fussy. Sometimes they even drive out to a field in the middle of nowhere and lay out on a blanket beneath the stars. On the way home Mary always holds his hand while Dean and Sammy sleep in the backseat.
Times are good when they’re in the car. It’s tough stuffing the car seat into the back, and Sammy always cries when the sun gets in his eyes, but when they are finally able to just drive they all quiet down because the car will always get them to where they want to be.
Three days after his 18th birthday Dean gets the Impala as a birthday present.
They’ve just pulled off a very lucrative hunting job and they’re sitting down to breakfast when John hands over the keys. He gives Dean a smile and a ‘Happy Birthday’ and Dean’s eyes nearly bug out of his head. John grins as Dean starts screaming in excitement and Sam only rolls his eyes in annoyance and jealousy.
Dean runs out of the diner and hops behind the wheel; he grins and checks out everything about his new car. He’s driven her before, but its different driving a car that you own; it’s more empowering. After breakfast Dean drives Sammy back to the hotel before he and John go out looking for John’s new car. Dean turns the radio up as loud as John will allow and they enjoy the feel of the road underneath the tires.
That afternoon, 20 minutes after John buys his truck from an old car dealer, the Impala stalls out. Dean pops the hood, babbling about how he didn’t do anything wrong, and John thinks that maybe the car is just a little heartbroken. He checks the radiator and the transmission, checks out the rest of the engine, all the parts he’s rebuilt, but she looks fine. John closes the hood with a sigh and rubs it absently, thinking. After a minute he signals for Dean to try her again and she dutifully starts up.
John smiles and heads back to his truck. There’s nothing wrong with the Impala, she just needed her goodbye.
Dean drives Sam to the bus station on a hot August afternoon. The thermostat breaches 100 and the sun bounces off the Impala’s hood like a mirror. The black leather interior sticks to their skin and they drive in silence with the windows rolled down. The humid mid-day heat doesn't cool the air and the noise from the passing cars drowns out the awkwardness.
Dean is so fucking angry his hands are clenched around the steering wheel and he feels like something is about to break. That little voice that whispers about jealousy screams in his head and he swallows back the angry words he wants to express. Everything feels diluted and awkward and almost surreal, because Sam leaving is so unthinkable it’s almost scary.
When they reach the bus station Dean pulls into a random parking spot and the engine of the Impala hisses when he turns off the car. They sit in silence for a few minutes before Sam clears his throat.
Dean turns to Sam, ready to lay into him and his anger just shrivels up inside. Sam’s face is hard but his eyes are liquid and he’s so scared that Dean feels a flare of something protective rise up in the back of his brain. Dean isn’t sure what to say to Sam, and Sam looks equally unsure, so Dean just sighs.
“You have a gun?” His voice sounds gravelly. Sam nods in response and Dean continues, “Knives? Holy water? What about that protective amulet you got when you were 13?”
Sam nods through all of Dean’s questions, eyes downcast and submissive. He looks up into Dean’s eyes when Dean finishes. “I... Thanks Dean. I don’t know what to say. Just, thanks.” Sam tries to smile as he says it.
Dean nods and then grabs Sam in an awkward hug. They bump shoulders on the back of the seat, but Dean doesn’t care.
“You be careful. Call when you can.” Dean pulls away and Sam nods in agreement.
Dean’s mouth tastes sour and his stomach flips awkwardly. Sam opens the passenger door and he’s halfway out when Dean stops him. Dean gives him all the money in his wallet and Sam just accepts it, not wanting to argue. They share a last look before Sam shuts the door and pulls his bags out of the backseat. The backdoor slams off of the frame of the car loudly and Sam takes off toward the bus station.
Dean only starts the engine and drives away.
The Impala is a chick magnet. Dean has been with more girls than there are states and one out of every three girls coos over the car.
Passing through Little Rock or Denver or even some little nowhere town out in the boonies, Dean can pick up chicks anywhere. Sometimes, after a night of hustling pool or the day after a hunt, when Dad is off on his own or has gone back to the motel, Dean will just smile at a lonely waitress and he’s got a bedfellow for the night.
Most times he’ll take them to the motel, whisper dirty things to them and keep them occupied for a few hours before they have to scamper home to their boyfriend or husband. Dean is the one night stand that girls go for because he’s got a dirty smirk and a nice car. He’s the type of guy women can have once or twice in a night and not feel guilty about; a nice-lookin’ guy just passin’ through.
Sometimes if he’s on a hunt with John, Dean has to get the girls in the car. He can pick up a girl anywhere, but most over the age of 18 don’t go for the high school backseat fuck anymore. So Dean’ll drive down the block, maybe pull into a deserted grocery store parking lot or a park and they’ll make out a little before they hop into the backseat. Sometimes the girl will go down on him in the front seat, but most times they just end up fogging up the windows in the back. On a rare occasion the girl will go down on him while he’s driving and Dean secretly likes that the most; the thrill of maybe driving off the road, getting off with so much horsepower underneath him, It’s sweeter than some of the worst sins.
Dean has had every kind of girl imaginable in the Impala, sweet little wallflowers and drunk rowdy college chicks. He’s had brunettes, blondes and red-heads; even a couple of girls with blue or green or purple hair, hell, he’s had ‘em all. Pressed into the leather, groaning and whimpering and hissing in pleasure, every kind of girl imaginable has been in his car.
Sometimes Dean will take a girl in the backseat of his car and sometimes they’ll have nice night in a motel room, but in the morning the only girl he ever keeps around is the Impala, and that has to count for something.
It takes Sam a while to get used to the feel of the Impala again.
He’s been on the road with Dean for about three weeks and he’s only just started to feel her out. He’s driven a total of five times, awkwardly shifting gears and checking the rearview, but the passenger seat still always feels like home. Little things spark his memories, Dean popping gum into gum wrappers and leaving them in the ash tray; the curve of the seat against his neck when he slouches down to sleep. Everything he’s forgotten about the car comes back to him slowly. He grins when Dean’s old AC/DC tape skips in the exact same spot as before, they never really knew why, it always played normally on regular tape players. The smell of old leather and roads less traveled keeps Sam grounded; after a fight when they’re too banged up or tired, Sam can just close his eyes and breathe and he feels comforted.
Dean lets him drive more than he used to, and Sam thinks it’s like a compromise. Dean will let Sam drive if Sam doesn’t leave again. Sam never knows what to say to tell Dean that it’s not like that, and the only thing he can think to do is to just not ask to drive too often.
They cross the country quickly, stopping here and there, dotting the landscape with places that they’ve been, always finding another job. Sam researches and looks up cases while Dean drives. Sometimes, at night, as they’re crossing through Tennessee or Georgia or South Dakota, Sam can forget about Jess and listen to the crickets and the sounds of the nightlife with a smile on his face. Dean taps his fingers along the steering wheel and they push through to the next town, the next hotel, through to the next mile.
The miles roll by on the odometer, but now that he’s home, Sam never really notices the distance.
The Impala gets totaled just outside of Holyoke, Colorado.
Dean comes to in the hospital, Sam’s leaning over his bed, and Dean fights to keep his eyes open. Sam’s got a cast on his right arm and his face is black and blue, but he’s sitting up under his own volition. Dean’s throat cracks when he tries to speak but Sam only shakes his head.
“Dad’s alive; he’s in surgery.” Sam’s got this look on his face, like he’s unsure of what to do, but Dean only nods and passes out once more.
When he wakes up for a second time, the sun is shining through the blinds of his room, and Dean feels more coherent. His body is bandaged and padded with almost three inches of gauze and he can’t feel anything below his neck. A doctor comes in after about ten minutes and explains what happened and that everyone is okay. He throws out a lot of big medical words, and then he explains that the car saved their lives. Two tons of metal, as opposed to new-aged fiberglass and plastic and they’re only a little worse for wear.
After everything is said and done, after weeks in the hospital, waiting for his body to heal from not only the car wreck but the demon, Dean is finally able to leave. John’s going to be in the hospital for at least another two weeks and Sam and Dean have to take a hospital provided shuttle back to the motel.
Two days later Sam takes him to a storage facility on the edge of town. Sam lifts the garage-style door and Dean feels as if he’s been sucker-punched; all the breath leaves his body as he stares at the Impala.
The passenger door has been ripped off by the fire department and the entire right side is dented inward. The windshield and side windows are gone, broken. The hood is folded up and the right headlight is cracked. The front right tire is deflated and the seats inside are torn and ripped. The dashboard is bent and broken, the glove compartment jammed shut.
“I told the insurance company not to take it.” Sam says quietly.
Dean slowly places a hand on the car’s dented hood and nods. “Yeah,” his throat scratches and he clears it before continuing, “Yeah, that’s good.”
They’d had the Impala for a long time, it was their home; it had given them shelter and escape, and it had saved their lives. Dean felt his eyes prickle and he just pressed his hand into the hood. She’d always been a good car.