By Agreement

For parkersolderbro , because of a particular comment in my LJ. He knows the one. <3. The Winchesters are an underwriter's nightmare. Right alongside Jackie Chan. So...a ramble. I actually have an insured who follows the same pattern, and I have to wonder what they're really doing out there.

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(c)2006 gekizetsu

Crazy as I may make my way through this world
It's for no one but me to say what direction I shall turn
I am the captain of this ship.
--DMB, Captain
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Dean still has insurance on the Impala. Just in case.

It's one of the only concessions he makes to societal requirements because he doesn't want to get pulled over for stupid shit like tags and then get slapped for no insurance on top of it. In some states they'll impound your ass, and he isn't going to let that happen to his girl. Cops immediately look closer at you for no insurance, and suddenly there are searches and all kinds of uncomfortable things, and he really doesn't need anybody looking in the trunk. Ever. It's just simpler to keep his insurance current, even though that's never really simple at all. Plus - and this would never happen - if it's totaled, he needs to be able to get it fixed. And that's something he can't bring himself to skimp on or pull a con for.

He's got it rated as a classic for agreed value of about $22,000, because despite everything they've been through it's still cherry. He doesn't have an agent or anything; he just calls the company directly and checks in every six months. By agreement. He doesn't want to have to explain everything over and over to the customer service rep of the week. It wastes his time.

The Kansas DMV hasn't realized that he supposedly died in St. Louis. If they do catch on - and he doubts they ever will - he'll just switch everything over to Sam's name. Sam doesn't realize that there's a safety deposit box in Kansas with Dean's will in it, naming Sam as his sole beneficiary. Not a hell of a lot to his wordly possessions, but Sam's all the same.

Otherwise, all he really knows or cares about insurance is that you are screwed if an underwriter is paying attention to you.

He came to the attention of an underwriter by accident five years earlier, and as much as he believes she may be hellspawn, he can't salt or burn her. He's not even sure where she is, anyway. He has to call in every six months, straight to her, so he can verify his info and keep his policy. He was dumb enough to tell the truth to some service rep five years ago about the fact that his car was not garaged anywhere in particular for any significant length of time. Apparently most insurance companies have a panic button for anything out of the ordinary. Oh my god quick tell the underwriter! Whatever. Bureaucratic bullshit.

So, they were at a dinky rest stop in BF Egypt while he dialed the same direct line he always had, because his renewal was coming up and damn if the policy wouldn't get set to cancel for 'no reply' if he didn't. He loved finding that in the PO box in Kansas, that first year. Sadistic bitch, like he had time for this crap. And she'd know if he was driving while talking to her on the phone, and she'd yell at him for that, so he had to pull over.

He got her voicemail. He won't leave a message and he sure as hell won't hand out his cell number to these lunatics. He just wanted it over with for another six months, so he flipped his phone closed and watched Sam chuck stones into the reservoir at the edge of the rest stop. Sam had never quite gotten the skipping thing down but it was fun to watch him try.

"It's all in the wrist, Sam," Dean said.

Sam ignored him and chucked another rock.

"You'd think your wrists would be in Olympic form with all the work they get," Dean said.

Sam drew back an arm as if to send the next rock into the water, but instead he rewarded the lame jibe by whipping his arm around and lobbing the rock straight at Dean at the last second. Dean saw the rock coming in 3D and ducked out of the way. The rock nailed the side of the rest stop's men's room and richocheted at an angle. By some twist of fate or because Sam really was that good, the stone hit Dean right in the ass.

"Dude, what the fuck!" Dean said as he straightened. No way, no way was he going to rub it. You get hit with a pitch, you walk it off.

"Stand still next time," Sam said, face placid with contentment as he wound up for another throw. "I'd have missed you. It's all in the wrist."

Rather than admit that Sam's aim was damn near infallible and always has been, Dean flipped his phone open again, still scowling.

This time there was an answer, and Dean let her get through her corporate-America standard official spiel that dictated she ramble on about what company he was calling, what department he'd reached, and warning him that he was on a recorded line. "Yeah," he said, "My name's Dean Winchester, and I just need to make sure my policy's still good for awhile." He rattled off the number from memory and saw that Sam was about to be mugged by mallards. Sam didn't do well with ducks, or waterfowl in general since that one time at age seven. There was an incident involving geese and the fact that Sam hadn't armed himself with enough bread to go around.

"Oh."

Great. She remembered him.

"Been six months already?"

"Yeah," he said. "Um...yes. And nothing's changed."

"No difference in the use of the vehicle?"

"No," Dean said. Still busting evil's ass at top speed, thank you.

"Garaging address should still be Lawrence, Kansas?"

"Yes," Dean said. He confirmed the mailing address - the PO box - and the odometer reading, and yeah, the Impala was still registered in Kansas only.

"Any other drivers?"

Dean was watching Sam make wary eyes at the ducks, so he wasn't paying attention. "Yeah. My brother, Sam."

When he heard the beat of silence on the other end, he realized he'd messed up somehow. Now his ass really did hurt. He sighed internally as the lecture started, about how drivers who are not permanent residents of the rating state at least ten months out of the year are not eligible for coverage, all drivers being rated on his policy, blah blah, she started to sound just like Charlie Brown's teacher. The problem was that he didn't have a residence. No residence, not eligible for insurance. Maybe one of dad's old friends could let him use their address for garaging so he didn't have to go through this all the time.

"Listen," Dean said, "...it's just a road trip. He actually goes to Stanford."

Every now and then - not often - a lie hurts a little, and this one does. But in his mind Sam will get a chance to finish Stanford because all that work should never go to waste. Sam's here until things get settled. Sam's agreed to do that. Things will get better, the fire-demon will meet its end at their hands, and the Winchesters will ride off into the sunset. All three of them.

He's never really thought about what riding into the sunset entails because...why? Now's now and later's later. It doesn't matter if later is some big ephemeral idea; once they get there, things will work themselves out. They always do.

"Dean?"

She quit calling him Mr. Winchester after the second renewal, when he asked. He was too young for it. Only his dad deserved it.

"Yeah," he said. "He's just taking a quick break from school to hang out with me. Temporary thing."

"So what state is he licensed in?"

Well, shit. He had no idea anymore, and no way was he going to ask her to hold on while he found out. Sam was slouching away from the ducks toward the car with his hands in his jacket pockets. "California," Dean said.

"So who's he insured with? Does he have any activity?"

Jesus Christ, what did it matter? Did she have nothing better to do? "Well, see, he doesn't have his own car. With school and all, he's just been walking everywhere or grabbing rides." Please don't ask for his information, just have a fire drill or something and go away.

There was a sigh. Not impatient or anything, maybe just a little worried, which confused him. "Okay. We'll call him a permissive user."

Not really , Dean thought. There's never really any permission involved, it just sort of happens, I kind of don't want him ever driving, he always puts the goddamn seat back way too far and I never get it back where I want it. "Yes."

"And you're still a...contractor, with short term variable employment," she said, with too much emphasis on 'contractor'.

"Yeah," Dean said. "Yes."

"And everything's okay," she said.

He paused. He wasn't sure how to answer that. It wasn't as dumb as the other questions. Crap, was she human? No. Insurance people were not human. They were drones. "Sure," he said. "Business is good, no problems." Sam was staring at him over the roof of the car, looking smug. "Show the kid brother the ropes, get him into the family business, see what he thinks after he finishes school."

There was a beat of silence, and Dean was worried there would be another volley of nosy questions. But all she said was, "Whatever you're actually doing...be careful. And check in, okay?"

All he could do was agree.

He signed off for another six months and headed toward the car. The smirk he gave Sam meant there would be teasing about the ducks. At least that was predictable.

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