In the end, Sam resorts to bribing Dean with three bags of marshmallows, one of those truly enormous Hershey’s chocolate bars, and a box of Graham crackers (sugar, not cinnamon).
“You know, we could just toast them outside,” Dean tries once they’re in the car, fingers tight on the steering wheel and back slightly hunched—like someone bracing himself for an attack. “Make a fire in the middle of the road—not like anyone else uses it.”
“You said I got a birthday wish.” Sam settles back against the seat, arms crossed, eyebrows up in exaggerated disappointment. “Building a fire in the road is not camping, and you know it.”
Dean shrugs without looking over at Sam. It could’ve meant either ‘Sorry I tried to welsh’ or ‘Worth a try’. “Just saying—I know your mattress is hard as a rock, and almost as lumpy, but at least there aren’t any actual rocks in it.”
“Head out to Waconda Lake,” Sam says instead of answering. Dean has him there, and perhaps he can feel Sam silently conceding the round; the tension drops from him and he slings his right arm across the back of the seat, a move that sends Sam straight back into the days when his brother was still young and stupid and cocky.
“We could’ve just gone to the other place,” Dean says for the fifth time in thirty minutes. “It’s closer.”
“Yeah,” Sam counters, “and it’s also where we dropped a defunct Hand of God.”
The camp grounds, when they finally get there, are empty–so they abandon their assigned site for one that’s literally spitting distance from the lake itself. The tent they’ve brought is one Dean found on one of his exploratory sessions into the vast sprawl of the bunker’s storage rooms. Army surplus, circa 1950, by the looks of it, and stinks of mothballs. But it’s actually large enough to fit the both of them, and they get to the lake in plenty of time for it to air out before nightfall.
When they were small, before John got the hang of scamming credit cards, they’d done a fair bit of camping, thanks to lots being so cheap. That lasted until around when Sam and Dean stopped fitting into a single sleeping back together. Twenty years later, though, there weren’t any bags in storage long enough to fit Sam comfortably, so he’s making do with a couple pillows and the blankets off his bed. Dean mutters under his breath about memory foam and rocks, but carefully lays out his own bag and pillow with military precision. Sam’s tangle of bedding looks unappealing in comparison, but right now he’d rather hike than fuss with bed linens.
He goes for the hike on his own, Dean staying at the campsite under pretense of getting their food supplies organized—which, Sam knows, was inevitable. When younger, he might have felt snubbed, but hey: Dean’s doing something he legitimately despises just because Sam wanted it.
Forty minutes in, he winds up in the middle of a mosquito swarm, runs back, all but throws himself into the lake beside where Dean’s sitting, feet in water, half-empty beer by his side. He’s pensive, but his mood lightens at Sam’s return, and he laughs over Sam running from mere mosquitos.
“A man who’s sawn off vamp heads with razorwire and you run from a couple of bugs?” But he leans over to hand Sam the remnants of his beer before getting up to fetch a couple of towels.