~10/30/06, 2:33 pm
Dean had said there’s two kinds of elementals - the little ones you call up and set, and the goddamn naturals. Air, earth, fire, water.
Neither was their thing. The first usually expired like parking meters, either out of time or when they’d finished an assigned task. The second were just forces of nature, and no point messing with them anymore than they’d want to mess with tornadoes. Destructive, yeah, but not even and not targeting folks purposely. They just acted according to how they were made.
Sam had seen one, once, or he was fairly sure he had.Could’ve been a wood nymph or a dryad, but it had seemed way too tall. He’d been fourteen and cutting though a greenbelt on the way home from school one early winter night. One of the trees...had not been a tree. He hadn’t said anything about it, but he’d been quick to agree when Dean had suggested that this newest thing might be an elemental. The really old, original, beginning of time kind. Wild and waiting for a trigger.
This one, though, was an asshole.
Random downdrafts in Kentucky outside of storm season were flattening buildings. No cumulonimbus for miles, no precipitation, not even a breeze. Just a sudden crash of air from above.
“We’ve got three choices,” Dean said. “Big bad wolf, new meteorological phenomena caused by global warming, or really big spook with architectural issues.”
They were standing in the parking lot of something called the 18th Street Marathon Service in Ashland, Kentucky, just off Winchester Avenue, which Dean insisted was some sort of omen. It was a combination gas station/minimart and it no longer had a neighbor. The building across the way had been hit from above so hard that there was no one piece of it larger than a pack of cards. Part of the sign declaring that it had been a dollar store was lodged in the side of the 18th Street Marathon Service. Hard.
“Happened after closing,” Sam said. “No casualties except for a lot of incredibly cheesy crap.”
“No loss,” Dean said, looking at a tangle of Happy Bunny keychains inches from his foot. The parking lot was scattered with what looked like a sad commentary on capitalism and free trade. He was pretty sure that one thing rolling along in the breeze was supposed to be a TP holder. “Will be, when the right building gets hit, though.”
They were silent for a moment while they stared at the wreckage.
“Dollar store, daycare, pharmacy,” Sam said. “All in the middle of the night, no witnesses, no casualties. No connections between the three that I can find. The only one with an alarm system was the pharmacy, and it went off at 12:01 a.m.”
“And it’s dead center of the building,” Dean said, lifting his chin toward the wreckage. “What do you think - inside or out?”
He was asking Sam whether the perpetrator was getting in and spinning out, or slamming down from above. “Out,” Sam said. “The center’s flatter than everything else. We’d have a radius of crap if it was coming out rather than down.”
Dean nodded a little, keeping his hands tucked in his pockets. “Why here? Stupid kids and witchcraft, natural cycle, random rogue? These things go nuts sometimes, but not with a plan. This one’s got a plan, because otherwise it'd be playing three little pigs all the livelong day, not going off at regular intervals.”
He wasn’t expecting an answer, and Sam knew it by the tone of his voice. Dean liked extrapolating aloud, always had, and it had gotten much worse since Sam had left for college. Sam privately decided it was because he wasn’t used to being heard or answered over the last five years or so.
Sam was listening now.
“Twelve oh one,” Dean said. “Sixty one seconds is all it takes, for the nine to five man to be more than one minute late.”
Sam knew it was a lyric and it tripped a memory, but he couldn’t remember the band. Listening to Dean think often meant hearing bits of everything he’d ever run across, liked, hated, craved or evaded.
“Like it’s stuck and trying to get out,” Dean said. “Maybe the day turning over is the only window - these things love time, get too close, get caught, and freak out.”
“They’re not linear to begin with,” Sam intoned.
“Right,” Dean said. “I mean, this is all nothing but talk if it’s not an elemental, though.”
“Walks like a duck -” Sam began.
“Quacks like an elemental,” Dean said. “Okay. Let’s figure out how to boot it back off our plane.”
“Opposite element?” Sam said. “Fire and water, earth and air, so...I got nothing. We’re gonna have to look for someone who’s done this before and written about it.”
“Garden shop,” Dean said.
Sam looked at him and grinned. “No way it’s that easy.”
Dean shrugged, the light striking bronze highlights out of his hair when he moved. “Air elementals can’t touch the ground the same way fire elementals can’t touch water. If it comes down on all that bagged dirt thinking it’s just hitting another building, it’s out of commission and we can nail it.”
“Um,” Sam said, still half-grinning. “If it’s one of the real, here-before-humans type, nailing it’s not a good idea. It’s not evil.”
Dean swivelled to look at him, face closed. “If it’s gone nuts, then we gotta put it down,” he said. “It’s not like they look out for each other.”
Sam wasn’t so sure, but he was busy mulling over the emphasis Dean had put on they. “You ever call one before?” he said.
“Nope. So you figure that out while I find a garden store. Hope their insurance is paid up.”
~10/30/06, 11:26 pm
Sam decided it sucked. All of it.
First off, they were in the damn garden store. After breaking in and dismantling the alarm, they’d opened every single bag of potting soil in the place. Sadly, he’d mistaken a bag of chicken fertilizer for soil and was kind of annoyed with that. Dean would not stop saying ‘chickenshit’ over and over, either. So it was a relief to find access to the roof and draw all over it in chalk. It was a summoning and a trap - it would be able to pass though once, but only once while the symbols were in place. Seemed like a lot to ask for the thing to see it, decide not to smash the building (with them in it), come on in, get stuck in the dirt, and hold still long enough for Dean to plug it full of hollow silver rounds he’d filled with dirt and salt and then sealed. Arrows would have made less noise but not traveled as fast, and it was an air elemental, for crissakes.
Elementals usually left humans alone unless the humans went out of their way for attention. Sam was pretty sure they’d get some attention on this one, if there was any kind of elemental union or something. Dean wasn’t necessarily always right even if it was Sam’s gut reaction to think so and knee jerk reaction to deny it.
When he came back down from the roof, Dean was straddling the checkout counter, eating M&M’s from a display near the register and flipping through a bulb catalogue. “Ten million colors of fuckin’ tulips,” he muttered. When he glanced up to find Sam looking at him with exasperted disapproval, he said, “What? This’ll all just go to waste unless I eat ‘em. Whole building’s gonna go, Sam.” He threw a snack-sized bag at Sam, who sighed and ate them. He checked his watch. 11:38.
“What if it doesn’t see the roof in time, flattens another building, and takes off?” Sam said. “We’re fresh out of garden stores.”
“It’ll take them longer than just tomorrow to clean this up,” Dean said, still flipping thorough the catalogue. “Still a chance to trap it tomorrow night. ‘Course, there’ll be someone watching the place but they’ll go running out screaming when Tinkerbell falls in.”
“You realize what tomorrow is,” Sam said.
“Halloween,” Dean said. “So what?”
“So there’s gonna be bigger stuff to watch out for,” Sam said. “There always is. All that stuff on the roof is gonna get something else’s attention if we don’t get this done tonight.”
“Worrywart,” Dean said.
“Realist,” Sam corrected.
“It’ll be fine,” Dean said, shoving another handful of M&M’s in his mouth. “Go ‘ook atta hoses, wash the car.”
Sam wandered away with an eyeroll.
At 11:59, they were both crouched on the floor, weapons drawn, waiting. At midnight, something struck the roof. They each held their breath, hands steady, each hyperaware of where the other was. At thirty seconds after twelve, something only passingly humanoid and edged with a sun-yellow phosphorescence dropped through the ceiling and right into the knee-high dirt. Dean decided to hold onto his smugness over that for later, because the thing thrashing around in the dirt had the face of a piranha and dozens of tiny arms, and was enough like an insect that shooting it right between its flat, staring eyes seemed like even more of a mercy. He shot it three times before the yellow began to fade to a stoplight amber and pale to cream. It didn’t flail or roll; it sank down into the dirt with little more than a twitch.
~10/31/06, 12:01 am
...so when it went off, Dean was already standing and neither he or Sam were prepared.
It was nowhere near the force it had obviously been using to flatten buildings with, but it was enough to cause a shockwave that blew Dean backwards and right out the storefront’s plate glass windows. It took part of the front wall and the counter with it in one direction and slammed aisles of shelves over in the other. The stacks of planters Sam was crouched behind took the brunt of the impact, shattering in place and showering him with terra cotta.
Covered in earth-toned dust and shards, Sam climbed to his feet with a cough and looked. The front of the store was gone. Dean was nowhere in sight, and where the elemental had collapsed there were only chunks of glass. The sand and minerals in the soil had melted from the force. A chunk of ceiling tile near the front of the store crashed down, startling Sam out of his shock.
He picked his way free of the rubble, climbing over ruined, twisted shelving, sliding in soil and glass. “Dean answer me!”
Sam jumped the two-foot-high section of metal and jagged glass left in the frame of the storefront and crunched through the rubble underfoot. Dean was spreadeagle on the asphalt, covered in glass sparkling in the light from the nearest streetlights, his gun another ten yards or so away, his fingers outstretched like he really hadn’t wanted gravity to take it.
“Oh, hey,” Sam said, kneeling in the glass, hand shaking hard enough that when he tried to brush the glass shards off Dean’s face and out of his still lashes, they lodged in his fingers. He left paintbrush streaks of blood across Dean’s throat while checking for a pulse, then left smears across his own face out of relief when he actually found one.
At first, he thought Dean had landed on drywall or insulation that flared out under his back and protected him from a rough landing.
It was neither.
~10/31/06, 12:18 am
It wasn’t the first time that Dean’d had to navigate a motel room door sideways. Yeah, usually it was because he was stealing furniture or moving a body. They’d had to shag ass out of there, since gunshots and a freakin’ explosion always worked to get attention. He’d been too busy playing peekaboo with consciousness to do more than let Sam stuff him into the backseat. He’d known something was different, but his bell had been rung a little too hard and he was only just getting a real sense of how messed up things were.
He was very, very different.
Dean was 6'1". The new additions to his frame peaked 18" higher on either side of his head, and trailed all the way down to the backs of his knees. And no matter how hard he tried to fold them in - no, mantle them - they extended out about a foot past his elbows. He hadn’t tried it yet but he estimated that they’d flare out about ten feet or so.
He fucking had a fucking ten-fucking-foot fucking wingspan.
He had wings.
“Son of a bitch,” he said in front of the mirror.
They were white. Christmas pageant, Angels In America, driven-snow crystal white. He stared at the individual feathers like they might turn on him. The air elemental had bitch slapped him during its death throes and here was the random result.
Lost a perfectly good shirt, too. The wings had shredded it right off him.
He glared at Sam in the mirror. He was glad Sam was unscathed, but no way was it fair that he was totally unscathed. He should have had wings coming out of embarrassing places. That would have been fair.
Sam was staring at the wings with unblinking fascination, and it took Dean a minute of finger snapping to get his attention.
“You’re sure you’re okay,” Sam said, eyes dropping to the wings again.
“I’m fine,” Dean said. “And I’m not, you know, craving millet or anything yet, so at least it’s all external.”
“You...you don’t have a halo,” Sam stammered.
Dean turned from the mirror and looked at him like he’d grown a second head. “Why the hell did you think I would?”
Sam made a small motion with his hands, a mini-shrug.
“That’s nuts,” Dean said. “That’s...are you high?”
“Shut up,” Sam said. “They’re not bird-like. They’re more...angel-like.”
“They’re X-Men movie-like,” Dean said, involuntarily twitching the wings.
“How’s it feel?” Sam said, leaning around to watch them move.
“They’re heavy,” Dean said, tone distantly offhand. Clinical. “So, not just like something’s resting on my shoulders, but like my shoulders are different. My back’s not used to it. It’s like wiggling your ears - I can feel them but moving them’s kind of tricky.” His voice got a little less clinical and a lot more I found the coolest new weapon and I get to use it first.
“Let me look,” Sam said. “See how far it goes, see if there’s a way to...”
“Remove them?” Dean said sharply, jerking away so that he could keep his wings out of reach. “They’re not teeth. I can feel ‘em, they’re growing right out of my shoulder blades. Part of me.”
“I just want to see how solid they are,” Sam said, one hand twitching outward a little. He couldn’t quite keep himself from reaching. “You can’t...I mean - “
Dean turned his face a little to give Sam a sidelong glance, narrowing his eyes.
“You can’t even get in the car,” Sam said, gesturing widely to encompass the situation. He used the motion to get a little closer.
“I don’t want to keep them, Sam,” Dean said. “We gotta reverse it, I know that. We’re not yankin’ ‘em out just yet, though. There’s got to be a better way.”
“Yeah,” Sam said. “Yeah, that makes sense. Just...we should look at them.”
“We,” Dean said, watching Sam’s hands. “Uh huh. Sam, something you wanna tell me?”
“What?” Sam finally looked right at him rather than at the wings.
“You got a thing for wings?” Dean said with a smirk. “‘cause you’re freaking out.”
“I’m not ‘freaking out’,” Sam said defensively, but as he did, a touch of color gathered across his cheekbones. He put his hands in his pockets, then took them right back out.
Dean blinked, smirk gone. “Whoa, whoa, you do have a wing kink,” he said. “I was only kidding. Stand over there, pervert.”
“Dean,” Sam said with an exasperated huff. “Knock it off. We have to figure out how to reverse this. We don’t know what else was...changed.”
“We popped an elemental, Sam,” Dean said. “An air elemental. Elementals wear off.”
“No elemental we’ve ever messed with actually changed our forms before,” Sam said.
“Wow, really?” Dean said, dropping his voice into a rough, sarcastic parody. “Are you sure? Because my dick got bigger after that one chick with the gills, and - “
“Shut up, Dean,” Sam said, and came close enough to catch a handful of feathers.
Dean wasn’t sure what it was, at first - maybe a little extra adrenaline, his imagination, anything. His rational mind said feathers are like fingernails, like hair, they don’t have any nerve endings. Yeah, well, Sam had a handful of feathers and was sliding his fingers though them and not only could he feel it, but it felt like fingertips along his skin, in all the right places. Worse than that, it sent tiny shocks right to his brain, and Sam may as well have been blowing him, the way it felt. Maybe the shock rooted him in place, because he knew he should have pulled away and he just didn’t move. Sam’s hands were so warm, so certain, so damn full of reverence -
Sam stroked along the grain of the longer feathers (flight feathers, he thought), watching them glisten in the inadequate light from the lamp on the nightstand, careful not to separate the vanes from the shafts, no longer paying any attention to whether Dean was going to move away or not. The feathers were warm, and he knew somewhere in the back of his mind that they shouldn’t have been, not so far out from Dean’s body, so far from his skin. If he swept his hands closer in, they got even warmer, right up to his shoulderblades where they melded into the broad muscle and bone of Dean’s back. Smaller contour feathers rested in layers, rounded shapes, soft snowy blades of warmth, and he used finger tips to trace them before pressing palms on either side of the top of the right wing and drawing them down as if thinking of caressing a harp. He never noticed when Dean braced his hands on the wall to keep from falling down. He never knew how close Dean’s knees were to buckling, never heard the whimper in the back of his throat, never felt him shudder.
Dean relaxed involuntarily until the wingtips were trailing along the floor. Sam pressed his face into the bend of the top of one wing where it curved around Dean’s shoulder, then spread a hand between Dean’s shoulderblades, to skin almost too hot to touch, and breathed in scents of cool evening air and Dean and something he’d never be able to place, something older than time, something that had nothing to do with the world he knew.
When he stepped away and came back to himself, trailing his fingers down the longer, sharper feathers a final time, he had no idea what had come over him. He watched Dean straighten from the wall and didn’t realize what had happened.
Dean kept his face turned away, tried to purposely straighten the wings, and just didn’t have the strength or control yet to do it. Either that, or Sam had taken it right out of him.
Okay. That had to stop. Having wings was bad enough. Letting your little brother fondle them was a whole new level of creepy, and enjoying it was just off the scale.
“Yeah, well,” he said, and it sounded almost normal to his own ears. “I’m gonna...”
run along and die now
Any other day of his life the best place to hide would have been the bathroom. But he immediately discovered that trying to get in and out of there was ridiculous. The things were huge and scraped along the goddamn walls and door and knocked everything off the counter, and then the shower curtain just simply got tangled.
Well. You know what they say about guys with huge wings.
Getting comfortable on one of the beds meant lying on his stomach. The things relaxed by themselves and opened up to trail along the floor on either side. That was odd and kind of restrictive, but he was tired enough that he could live with it. Sam covered him up and then stood too close for too long, staring, until Dean growled at him to get some sleep. Jesus. Awkward.
When he awoke at 8 that same morning, he was stiff from being stuck in one position for so long and he was alone. He took a good while maneuvering himself off the bed and folding everything into place, but he could ‘feel’ them a little better and had a little more control. The bathroom was still a goddamn joke, though, and the shower was impossible, so he splashed water on himself and tried desperately not to think of it as a birdbath.
By the time Sam reappeared at about 8:30 with coffee and breakfast and a bag that had come from somewhere with a craft-store-type name, he could actually fold the wings enough to stop knocking things over.
“Pick a couple of shirts you don’t like as much,” Sam said.
“Because you’re gonna get cold otherwise,” Sam said. “It’s the end of October.” He handed Dean a cup of coffee and shook the cellophane craft bag. “I figured out how to get clothes on over the wings.”
Dean watched him take out a pair of shears and a mini sewing kit. “Cut ‘em up the back and sew ‘em back together,” Dean said.
“Or velcro them,” Sam said. “But, like you said, it’ll probably wear off, so no long term solution. If they do stick around...I have no idea what the hell we’re gonna do.”
If it came to that - if they were permanent - Joshua or Caleb or even Pastor Jim would know someone who’d removed stranger things from the backs of hunters. It surprised Dean that for just a moment, he didn’t really like the idea.
“It’s just temporary,” Dean said. “I know it is. Nothing elementals do is permanent on the physical plane. From what I’ve heard, anyway.” He sipped his coffee and thought about how he wasn’t even going to try to fly. That was out of the question, even if there was a snowball’s chance in hell that it was possible.
He let Sam go through his bag and gave a thumb’s down to the first three shirts that were pulled out, then nodded over the fourth and then an older flannel. Too bad Sam’s fucking whippet shirt didn’t fit him - he could trick Sam into cutting it up and then that gay-ass thing would be ruined.
Sam held a shirt up to Dean’s back, made some sort of mental notation, then slit the shirt up the back in two places to just past the height of Dean’s shoulderblades. Then he waited while Dean pulled the shirt over his head. Dean watched him thread a needle. “Aren’t you just Suzy Homemaker,” he said.
“Polly wanna cracker?” Sam said without looking up.
“Fuck you, Sam,” Dean said. “In the eye.”
“Nice,” Sam said. “You’re more like a flying monkey anyway.”
“But Toto had a better groomer than you,” Dean said. “Shut up and sew, Betsy Ross.”
Sam made a tsk sound. “Did you know eagles do it in midair?” he said.
“Gives all new meaning to the term ‘three point landing’,” Dean said.
Sam threw his head back and laughed.
But he also buried his hands right into those feathers again as soon as the stitching was done, and wow, how the hell Dean managed to pretend he couldn’t feel anything was beyond even him. He was already sitting down that time, and looking at the ugly wallpaper or thinking about that stupid boring tulip catalogue just didn’t keep him from ohmygodthatisjustsogoddamngood.
So, so messed up.
“Let’s go see where all the parties are, around here,” he said, almost knocking Sam over when he stood suddenly.
Sam blinked at him. “You can’t go anywhere, like - “
“Sam,” Dean said.
“...that,” Sam said, gesturing at the wings.
“Sam,” Dean said. “It’s Halloween. I can go anywhere I want.”
Sam blinked again but with self recrimination. “I knew that. It’s still not a good idea.”
“No sense wasting it,” Dean said. “Let’s go see if there’s anything in the old section of the library about why an elemental would love it here so much. Then, we party crash.”
“I’m not getting dressed up,” Sam said.
They got glances in the library and on the street, but only the kind that admired whatever lengths Dean seemed to have gone to with a ‘costume’. There wasn’t much to show except a couple of old newspaper accounts of doors randomly blowing off houses exactly a century earlier, followed by several instances of crypt doors exploding. The latter had to do with why sealing coffins in the middle of summer was just a bad idea.
They sat on the library steps and watched kids get out of school nearby. A lot of them were dressed up in those boxed costumes that came from any party store, or they had facepaint on. It had not been their experience to trick-or-treat as kids. Halloween was the busiest time for a Winchester. They’d done a hell of a lot more to appease or ward off spirits than wear costumes and carve pumpkins. It was still fun to imagine how it felt to be as excited as all those kids obviously were.
A small group of what looked to be fourth graders walked by a little slower than the others and stared at them. “Cool,” one said to Dean, a boy with a shock of red hair spiking off his head and a white skull pattern painted across his face. “You make those?”
“Nah,” Dean said. “Friend made ‘em for me.” He stood - carefully, since the weight kept trying to pull him back. “They work, too. Wanna see?”
Sam was in the beginning stages of an eyeroll and calling Dean a showoff when he fell sideways off the stone stairs in shock.
Dean unfurled those wings to full span with a rustle. The result was glaring white and intimidating as hell because he’d been right about the span. And they were nearly as wide as they were long.
The kids backed away, but only in amazement. “Kickass,” one said.
“Eat your Wheaties, kids,” Dean said, tucking back to half-span. When they’d moved on, he looked at Sam, who hadn’t even bothered to get up. Sam’s eyes were dark when he gave him a hand up. Desire-dark, obsession-dark, despair-dark.
Dean finally got it, right then. It wasn’t so much just a wing kink as it was a my brother has wings kink.
“You okay, Sammy?” Dean said.
Sam made sure he was looking anywhere but Dean. “Yeah. Just, uh...you wanna watch it, with those things.”
“Yeah,” Dean said softly. “I guess so.”
It wasn’t hard to get in anywhere. Mostly he and Sam dropped random names and scored most of the time. That, plus Dean’s kickass costume kept anyone from booting them. Dean managed not to knock anything over after a few beers, flirted with anything that moved, and let girls mess with his feathers all they wanted. He was beginning to think it might be good, really good, to let one of them stroke his flight feathers while he fucked a second one, and -
Okay, no shame taking advantage of a one-time thing, but no way were any of those chicks drunk enough not to notice the wings were real. Oh well.
Sam had wandered off somewhere after the first handful of times Dean had introduced him.
He’s my conscience.
He’s a demon. Horns are really five minutes ago, all demons look just like everybody else.
He’s John the Baptist. Later? His head comes off.
He’s my wing man.
We’re characters from Dogma. I’m Loki, and he’s Silent Bob.
We’re a before and after. He’s Elijah and I’m Sandalphon.
“No one here gets that one but you and me,” Sam said. “Just give up.”
Plus, there’d been that one blond chick dressed as a nurse, and Dean remembered Sam telling him about Jessica’s costume the night he’d come to grab Sam exactly one year earlier.
It wasn’t hard to find Sam since he was the tallest thing going. “C’mon,” Dean said. “Let’s go find someone doing stupid shit and pretend to be the Malake Habbalah.”
“You sure?” Sam said. “Not everybody’s felt you up yet.”
“The only thing funnier than a bitch is a jealous bitch, Sam,” Dean said. “You got first dibs, didn’t you?”
Sam headed for the door.
Dean sighed. Sometimes he wanted to shut up, he really did, but it was so hard. He followed, watching Sam slouch away across newly dark streets with a mist of rain just starting to come down. A sheaf of leaves drifted across the street ahead of him, swirling into a brief spiral. He walked right through them without a thought, surprised into flaring his wings and throwing his arms wide when he couldn’t take that next step. He looked down and couldn’t see anything, but the body-slam of wind that followed from his left was a clue. He mantled the wings and crouched, trying to make himself less of a target while he went for the gun tucked in the small of his back. It was still loaded with rounds meant to take out air elementals, and if he was right he was getting called out for walking around practically screaming hey, wearing all the signs, come and get me.
He touched cold metal too late, the air shifting and building around him until it wasn’t quite air; something seemed to solidify and he moved without thinking about it. He ran for it, ran out of the street with the extra weight of wings bearing him down and the air too heavy to breathe, head ducked for a blow, thinking of whole buildings crushed down to hand-sized remains.
Sam must have felt the air change, because Dean heard him shout. Just before the blow landed, Dean had time to think about how glad he was that Sam had walked ahead.
An invisible fist landed from above, shattering the asphalt and collapsing the street itself. The ground below buckled so far from the force that when Dean rolled over from where the concussive blast of air had thrown him, he was feet and knees over an impact crater thirty feet across and just as deep.
The asphalt at the edge was cracking beneath his hands as he scrambled back, loose soil cascading away beneath, barely held up by a now-anchorless web of finer tree roots. He could see the ruined opening of what had been a sewer pipe down and across from him, and the wings didn’t save him when the asphalt gave way.
The hand at his elbow did.
Sam hauled him up one-handed and was shoving him back while he pointed his own gun at the darkness above the crater. Dean reached back and was relieved to find he was still armed. He had time to draw before the world popped and then he discovered that grabbing Sam out of the way was good, but wrapping a set of wings around him was better as far as shielding him went, like putting on armor and standing in the way. He hadn’t consciously meant to do it, but it was a pretty handy trick, especially when a big-ass old growth tree happened to fall across the damn hole and nearly slice them lengthwise with its upper branches.
Dean finally let go of the back of Sam’s neck and let him straighten out of being gift-wrapped in feathers. “C’mon,” he said. “Can’t fight ‘em, and shouldn’t kill anymore of ‘em either.”
So they ran, before anybody could come out to see what had happened, before the air could become a weapon again, before Sam could get used to the idea of being wing-hugged.
So, so messed up.
Nothing came after them and Dean figured it was mostly because using the kind of energy it took to make an air weapon would wear anything out. It would take a while to build up again.
They had a ways to walk back to the motel, and when it finally began to really rain, Dean opened his wings until Sam could duck under.
Maybe Sam had to hold onto a few feathers to keep his head dry.
And maybe Dean was fine with that.
And maybe at 12:01 am when the wings evaporated like smoke, it didn’t actually itch between Dean’s shoulderblades....but making Sam scratch his back at random intervals made them both feel better, somehow.
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