Fic: Battening Down the Hatches [SPN]

"Shelves are looking a bit picked over," Sam comments as he lays everything out on the counter to be rung up. If it was Doucie, he wouldn't bother saying anything, but her cousin usually makes an actual attempt at customer service.

"Big storm coming, everyone decides they're going to need to make french toast," Lily shrugs at him, methodically scanning and bagging his purchases. "I'm surprised we had any milk and eggs left for you to buy."

"Storm?" Sam asks. He hadn't noticed any odd weather formations on his drive over.

"They're predicting a foot between tonight and tomorrow evening, and likely power outages--I'm surprised you didn't know. It's all anyone's been talking about." Everything neatly packed away, she cocks an eyebrow at him. "Ready to pay, or d'you want to go grab some more stuff?"

Sam tips his head back, studies the age-spotted drop-tile ceiling as he runs a quick mental inventory of the supplies on hand, back at the bunker. "Yeah, give me a minute, I'll be right back." Batteries for their camping lanterns, the last two bags of ice from the freezer in the corner, and more supplies for PB&J sandwiches--and he's probably forgetting something, but they'll just have to make do. On a whim, he grabs a pack of Oreos. It's not pie, but it'll make Dean happy anyway.

Maybe it's just his imagination, but there does seem to be more of a chill when he exits Ladow's, the wind kicking up a bit more than when he'd entered. The sky slowly hazes into gray above him, but he hasn't lived here long enough to tell whether that does in fact mean snow's coming--though he parks in the garage just in case.

Dean's still in the kitchen where Sam left him, leg propped up to keep his stitches from pulling, nursing a beer and engrossed in whatever he's watching on the laptop. "Traffic jam on Main Street?" he asks, not bothering to look up from the screen.

"Nah, just had to grab some extra supplies--apparently there's a storm coming." Sam hesitates over what to do with the bags of ice, finally throwing caution to the wind and jamming them both into the freezer--the one carton of ice cream in there is old enough that it's cocooned in ice crystals, so no great loss if it gets smashed.

"Been a while since we got snowed in," and Dean sounds nostalgic, though Sam remembers it as a misery of grinding cold, since they'd been squatting in an abandoned cabin at the time. "Least we won't have to worry about gathering firewood." True--the kitchen's gas stove had given Sam a headache when he tried to figure out the logistics of it, but he's not going to complain about a never-ending (and free) supply of gas.

"You start working on a list of what we need to do to prepare, and I'll go get the rest of the groceries." His shoulder twinges a little from when he'd been thrown into a wall during the hunt; he hopes it's a short list.


It winds up being mostly a matter of making sure everything's charged up and piling half a dozen blankets on Sam's bed. Dean balances on one leg long enough to make them soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, and Sam busies himself with downloading stuff for them to watch if the grid does indeed go down, and then they each take a camping lantern and go to bed in their separate rooms--they hadn't gotten much sleep on the last hunt, trying to track down a ghost that only showed after dark.

Sam sleeps hard, too deep to dream, or even really wake up when his room's briefly lit up or Dean shoves at him--"c'mon, man, just give me another six inches or I'm going to fall off the edge here"--and when he finally wakes, it's to disorienting darkness and a warm body down his back that wasn't there the night before.

The world around him is absolutely silent, aside from the sound of his own breathing, echoed back to him by the covers he's pulled up over his ears at some point during the night. There's no light anywhere, and his feet are very cold. It feels like a nightmare.

"Sam, you awake?" and then Dean turns on the camping lantern and Sam remembers--snow storm, power outage--Dean joining him to conserve body heat.

"Yeah," Sam says, and shakes off his moment of vague, creeping horror. "Guess we're in lock-down mode."

His morning ablutions are quicker than normal--they're far enough below ground that they probably don't have to worry about the pipes freezing for a while yet, but the water's still appallingly cold--and he piles on half a dozen layers afterward to compensate.

It's kind of eerie, walking the halls with only the harsh blue-white light of the lantern, but he's done it before in much more dire circumstances.

When he tries the main door at the top of the stairs, it won't budge; when he heads up to the garage, the snow at the entrance is up past the top of his boots and continuing to fall fast, so he heads down to the kitchen for breakfast, moves the slightly-melted bags of ice down into the fridge, and then hurries back to bed where it's still warm.

He makes Dean a PB&J sandwich while he's in the kitchen and leaves it on the bedside table, next to the laptop he's loaded up with the Marx Brothers and Beastmaster 2, because Dean secretly loves those time-travelling ferrets. Just this once, he's willing to overlook the likelihood of crumbs in the bed.

"We trapped yet?" Dean asks, words muddied with sleep.

"Eh, we could get out if we needed to, but what would be the point?" Sam sheds his boots and top couple of layers and then crawls back into bed beside Dean. For a moment he's struck with memories of all the times he's done this before--for warmth, for comfort, as a way to annoy his brother or thumb his nose at their dad. "Got everything we need right here."

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What a sweet 'stuck-in-a-storm' story, such a change of pace from the ones that have them stuck in an abandoned building or the Impala and in danger of freezing to death! :)
Ha, yes! A little celebration of what a difference it makes to have your own house, I suppose. ;)
I love this, and I wish we got episodes like this; just the boys doing everyday stuff in the bunker. I loved the hints of Sam and Dean knowing the check out girls at their local store, and then preparing for the storm. The last line was perfect. Thank you for sharing :)
Aw, high praise indeed. I really do enjoy speculating about all the mundane things that must happen off-screen, between episodes. The surrounding craziness makes them seem more precious.
What a sweet story; I think it would be lovely if they really did get snowed in, and got some time to rest and relax. I loved Sam getting Oreos for Dean, finding stuff for Dean to watch and, of course, the perfect last line.
They deserve a bit of guilt-free downtime, for sure.

I seem to be on a small Sam-taking-care-of-Dean kick, for some reason. It's quite enjoyable to write.
really love the ebb and flow between eerie uncomfortable thoughts and bodily, familiar comfort! Brings tension and history into a small sweet scenario without overwhelming it.
I do try to keep these things from turning into excessive fluffiness, so it's nice to hear that it worked in this case. :)

What a lovely, sweet slice of life.  I really enjoyed reading it.       m.    :)

Glad you liked it! Just doing my small part to counterbalance all of the drama and angst found in most fics. ;)