He winds up waiting on the tiny public beach for a good 15 minutes before Dean arrives: still smeared with ash in a couple of places, disappointment visible in his gait. "No luck?" Sam asks, shifting over on the wooden bench to make room.
Dean shakes his head and drops heavily down beside Sam; the bench creaks and wobbles a little, but holds. "How about your end?" he asks in turn, running a weary hand through his hair, slumping enough to touch shoulder and hip with Sam.
"Pretty sure it's natural--something to do with the temperature this past winter."
"Crap," Dean says with great sincerity, and drops his head back so he's staring up at the blank blue sky. Sam turns back to look across the narrow end of the lake, trying to ignore the gaping pit of dread reopening in his stomach.
"You want to hear something kinda funny," he says at last, after a pair of kingfishers have finished their elaborate ballet and retired to no applause but their own filled bellies.
"I could use a laugh," Dean admits without turning to look at him. "But your jokes are never funny, man. When I laugh it's just 'cause I feel bad for you." A younger Sam might have kicked him in the ankle; in his maturity, Sam settles for rolling his eyes.
"Funny 'weird coincidence', not funny 'haha'," he clarifies, nudging Dean with his elbow to get him to straighten up. "If you look across the lake--about 2 o'clock--I'm pretty sure that's the place Jess and I were going to stay at for a week if my law school interview went well." It's an old memory, covered with mental dust, lost to him until unearthed by being in this place. "I feel kinda guilty about it, but I can't even remember whose house it was, or how we talked our way into staying there." He could probably find the name if he dug around, but some things are better left buried--that life is long over.
"Huh." Dean sits unmoving for a moment before lifting his head just enough to look at Sam. "You want to--" he hesitates, and Sam can almost see him rewriting the sentence before he finishes, "--want to get lunch? I saw a BBQ place on our way into town. Feel like some pulled pork?"
"Yeah, okay."His stomach is empty, and—well, Dean is Dean. "Just don't call me a pansy if I order something that includes a vegetable."
Dean squints at him. "Don't bitch about my arteries and it's a deal."
They shake on it, like they used to when Sam was small and Dean's one purpose in life was to keep him from turning into a feral wolf-child.