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Like a Moth to Flame 2

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In the early hours of the morning, Dean found himself drawn away from a semi-relaxed sleep.

A steady tapping filled the background, blocking out the soft bird cries that echoed from outside. Dean's eyes blinked open, unfocused and confused about where he was for a minute.

His surroundings became clearer as he woke. A leather seat. His head propped against the handle of a door. Dean's gaze trailed over to the army man Sam had managed to get stuck in the ashtray so many years ago. A smile touched his lips. Sam barely stood twice the height of that toy now, but he'd lay bets that the small hunter could still get the toy stuck there again.

The tapping that Dean realized was coming from the front seat tapered off as the hunter let out a groan. He did his best to stretch out in the cramped backseat he had all to himself, mashing a hand against his face to clear the last traces of sleep from his eyes.

The tapping resumed as Dean hauled himself up. That's right, he remembered. Before passing out the night before, he'd set up the laptop at Sam's request. That way, if Sam was the first one up, he didn't have to either wait for Dean to wake up, or wake up the hunter himself. He could just hop on and start checking things out online.

The laptop now had a card installed in it that could catch a satellite signal, giving the Winchesters access to the internet wherever they traveled. Even here, parked a half mile off the road near a field. It was set up the same as Dean's multiple cell phones were, making it impossible to trace back to the hunter. He'd learned a thing or two from Bobby and John, picking up PO boxes in the towns they passed through more than once. They gave Dean a wide range of possible addresses to draw from when he needed a mailing address. It never hurt to keep his options open.

Finally awake, Dean curiously draped an arm over the front seat, peering down to see what Sam was up to so early in the morning.

To his credit, the small hunter didn't flinch when Dean suddenly appeared above him. He was finally pushing away the skittish reactions to his human friends, caused by his previous abduction. It had taken months, but with careful work and patience, he was recovering.

Sam craned his neck back, meeting the groggy green eyes a few feet over his head. "Morning, sunshine!" he chirped brightly, grinning up at Dean.

Dean groaned at that, rubbing his forehead and slumping back down into the backseat. It just figured Sam would be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at the ass-crack of dawn. He was probably getting back at Dean for that one time he'd gotten up first and even managed to have his coffee while Sam was sprawled out in sleep.

Like it was Dean's fault.

In truth, Bowman had been sleeping in the nightstand with Sam that night. The wood sprite was an unknown, abducted from his forest home under the assumption that he was a part of the undead menace terrorizing the forest. With him so close to Sam while the small hunter was defenseless, Dean had been unable to sleep too deeply. More than once he'd been up throughout the night, checking to make sure Sam was safe and Bowman was asleep.

Of course, nothing had happened. Bowman was an innocent victim of the scourge that had attacked the forest. One sprite of an entire village of pacifists that Dean had helped defend. Unlike the sprites of Aeternum that Sam and Dean had dealt with previously, these wood sprites had no natural defenses, illustrated by how easily Dean could simply stick Bowman in a pocket and leave the forest with him.

With Bowman's help, the brothers were able to stop the creature trying to steal the life energy of the sprites, given to them by the Lady of Life, the Spirit that had created them. If the brothers had never journeyed to the Wellwood in search of a new case, the entire village that sat in the heart of the forest could have been wiped off the map with no way of preventing any of it.

Now, though they had to leave the forest behind, Sam and Dean had gained new allies. After discovering Bowman had a human friend of his own (and things would have been very interesting if this Jacob had found Dean abducting his friend from the forest), they'd left the sprite one of Dean's business cards. If any other supernatural problems cropped up in the future, they could come back in a flash.

The connection to the Earth Spirit blessed the sprites with their own form of magic, and magic had a habit of attracting the greedy or the evil. It was good to have a fallback plan for worst-case scenarios.

Dean and Sam had no problem being that fallback plan.

It was a pity they'd had to leave so soon. Sam would have loved the chance to explore an entire village his size. But a hunter's work was never over.

Sam's voice drifted up from the front seat, interrupting Dean's morning woolgathering. "Oh, I would have gone out and grabbed you some coffee, but you just had to hang onto the keys overnight. I just couldn't get the car to start without them."

Dean smirked, his eyes lighting up with mischief. He bounced back up to a sit, scooping the keys out of his pocket. "Guess I should just hand them over then."

"Dean, what are you..." Sam peered up, spotting the keys dangling over his head and the mischievous spark in Dean’s eyes above.

"Don't! "

With a snicker, Dean let them drop. It was only from an inch over Sam's head, so he easily caught them in his arms. Off balance with the cumbersome keys in his grasp, he pitched backwards with a strangled growl, only to be swept up into a hand with the keys. Dean raised the hand with his little brother sitting in it up to eye level, giving Sam a familiar smirk and getting a bitchface in return.

"What?" Dean asked innocently. "I thought you were volunteering!"

He snickered for a few more seconds, watching Sam try and untangle himself from the keyring. "So, what has you up at the crack of dawn, shorty?" He grinned, ignoring the constant glare shot up at him by piercing hazel eyes.

Sam whapped away a finger that intruded on his personal space to brush at the top of his head. "What do you think?" he grumbled as he adjusted the flyaways in his hair. "I'm looking up a case for us."

Dean instinctively brushed his own hair, reminded by Sam's actions that he'd just woken up and had bedhead. He leaned over the back of the front seat. Sam's small hands grasped a finger, trying to stay balanced on the precarious perch as it moved around him.

"You could at least put me down, jackass," Sam grumbled as Dean's other arm stretched out overhead.

Dean dug a newspaper clipping out from under the shirt Sam had slept on. "Almost forgot," Dean quipped, ignoring the complaints. He unfolded it, then let Sam down onto the seat so he could survey the article. "Found us a case last night in between games."

Sam stepped onto the crisp newspaper, pacing back and forth as he scanned it over, easily reading letters that were as tall as his fingers. The torn paper crumpled under the tread of his boots. "A suicide?" he read out loud.

"A strange one," Dean spoke up as he dug through his duffel. "This 'Mike' the article is talking about had the perfect life and everyone always said he was perfectly happy. There's no real reason for him to do himself in. He not only tried to smash his SUV into a tractor trailer blazing down the highway at 80 mph, his entire family was in the car with him. The only reason the family survived was his wife, Marissa MacDavis, wrestled the steering wheel away from him and sent them off the road. There were a few broken bones between the kids, but nothing life threatening. Mike was placed in a locked psychiatric ward for evaluation. Later on that night, he hung himself."

Sam crossed his arms with a frown. "Depression doesn't always 'make sense,' Dean. It might just be a suicide. These things do happen."

"Did I mention his wife said his eyes were red when he went nuts in the car?” Sam’s eyebrows went up. “Doesn't hurt to check things out," came the muffled reply from the back. The car shook slightly as Dean moved around out of sight. After a moment, he popped back up, a toothbrush and water bottle in one hand and a clean set of clothes in the other. "Back in a flash."

Sam watched him get out of the car, slamming the door behind him. A brief breeze of the chill morning air slipped in, ruffling Sam's hair and making him glad he had his jacket.

In the sudden silence of the car, punctuated by the receding footsteps outside, Sam got an idea.

He grinned.

During the course of the next ten minutes, Sam was on a mission. If Dean thought it was so funny to pick him up with his keys, they'd see how he enjoyed the consequences of his actions. It was time for some good old-fashioned revenge.

The hunter's boots were sitting on the floor of the car, by the backseat.

Dean, you really should have put your boots on before getting out of the car today.

The dirty socks the hunter had worn the day before were sitting nearby in a heap. Sam wrinkled his nose at the smell as he lifted one up. It wasn't that his smelled pine fresh after a long day of work... Dean's were just too damn big. Just the one sock probably stretched three times Sam's length at a minimum, and was ripe.

Sam forced that from his mind. Revenge was more important and time was running out. Based on Dean's normal ablutions, which after a year of being with the hunter, Sam knew very well, he had about a ten minute minimum window of time to get his mission done. Twenty minutes max before his older brother returned and time ran out.

One at a time, each sock was taken in hand. Sam cautiously scaled each boot using the thick laces that stretched across the front. Each one was the thickness of his palm, and easily held his weight as he made his way up. He did a careful scan of the windows before going any further. It wouldn't suit to have Dean return early and grab his boots while Sam was still inside.

Sam dropped down inside, almost hacking at the smell. It was worse than the socks! Keeping his nose pinched, he used the sock to pad the sides, giving each boot an unexpected insulation. With any luck Dean wouldn't notice the sock, and would think his boots were shrinking.

Perfect.

Another three minutes later, and both boots were ready. It wasn't likely Dean would realize his socks were missing in his usual hurry to get ready, especially since they had no food with them. A diner would be the only thing on the hunter's mind by the time he got back to the car.

With everything set, Sam snuck back to the front seat and was keenly reviewing the article by the time Dean returned.



A shadow fell over the backseat as the door reopened. Sam glanced up, just barely able to see Dean in a clean outfit. The hunter leaned into the car, grabbing his boots.

Sam had to hide a grin as he sat down in the open door to put them on. Aside from a slight frown and a brief shake of his feet, Dean didn’t react to the dirty socks padding the insides. Nor did he notice their absence from the floor of the car.

Finally ready to face the day, Dean bounced out of the back. The car shook in time with the movements from the older hunter, almost offsetting Sam’s balance up front. The duffel was packed up again, all their overnight supplies vanishing into the dark interior. Sam had only been inside once or twice, and never while Dean was holding it. The haphazard arrangement of the items within was dangerous enough while stationary. If it was moving, there was almost a guarantee he’d end up sandwiched between items, and that could cripple or kill him if the force was enough. The fact that the majority of items inside was weaponry was just another reason to avoid the bag.

With their supplies settled, Dean drove off with Sam nestled in the crook of his neck.
CHAPTER 2: The Start of the War

The start... of the long awaited prank war!!! :la:


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Note for all who follow the tumblr: This is the story that i had a falling out with my editor over, and the story used to be much different before that falling out. The original beginning is posted on the tumblr here. That is all.



brothersapart.tumblr.com

PL1 is my beautiful beta reader for this seat of your pants fic!


If you're looking to read the series from the beginning, visit Brothers Apart 1!

Previous story: Calling John Bonham

First: Like a Moth to Flame 1

Next: Like a Moth to Flame 3


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Tsunderebecca's avatar
“Then he got an idea. An awful idea. Sam got a wonderful awful idea.”
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