“Wait, wait, Bobby. Could you run that by me again? He what?”
“Son,” Bobby sighed. “I’m sure your hearing was fine the first five times I told you. It’s not gonna change if I repeat it once more.”
“But why would he go there? What the hell is he thinking?”
“That’s exactly the matter, isn’t it?” Bobby’s voice turned cold. “Do I need to remind you we wouldn't be in this situation if you were a little less pig-headed?”
Dean ran his palm over his face, feeling the roughness of his several-days-stubble. He really needed to shave.
“No, Bobby, I get it. I–I’ll call him, okay?”
“You are both idjits, that’s what you are. But I guess better late than never. Call me as soon as you spoke to him, you hear me?”
“Sure.” Dean hung up, not waiting for any reply. He was sure Bobby would just tear him a new one if he gave him the chance, anyway. They had been at odds ever since Dean told him he had let Sam go alone at that parking lot.
It had been weeks since he had spoken to his brother and he knew Bobby was worried. Hell, he was worried too. After that last conversation Sam hadn't called again, not that Dean was complaining – after all, that was exactly what he had wanted. But just a couple of days ago a nice little detour to the future had opened his eyes and now he couldn’t wait to see his brother again, to make sure he was okay, that he was still Sam.
Bobby had been drilling him to call Sam and fix things, but Dean really didn’t want to have that conversation over the phone. So he had used Bobby’s connections to find out about Sam’s whereabouts, and set to meet him. What he hadn’t expected was to end up in a rundown motel just outside of Taxco, a small city in southern Mexico. He and Sam had often talked about visiting Mexico but, just as with the Grand Canyon, they had never seemed to find the time.
He had looked through the local newspapers to see if there was anything strange going on, but as far as he could understand with his limited Spanish everything seemed pretty normal. There was nothing going on that offered an explanation what the second best hunter of the planet could possibly want here.
And then Bobby had called and informed him that one of Sam’s aliases had appeared on the passenger list of a flight to freaking Argentina! What the hell? Was Sam doing tourism by himself or something?
Anyway, it would take ages to drive there and maybe by then Sam would have moved again. The flight he had been on left last week, after all. How much time could a person possibly spend in Argentina?
So there was no way around it. As Bobby had been telling him again and again, Dean had to call his brother.
And he would, any second now. Still, in spite of his resolution he spent a couple of minutes staring at the screen of his mobile, caressing the ‘call’ button with his thumb until he felt utterly ridiculous and just pressed it. He waited, holding his breath, and finally sighed in relief when Sam didn’t pick up. If his brother was busy somewhere it made sense for Dean to simply leave him a message for them to meet. But the call sign went on and on without jumping to voicemail until finally it disconnected.
Huh. That was strange.
He tried again with the same outcome and Dean felt something cold running down his spine. Okay, Sam had disconnected his voicemail. No big deal, except they never disconnected their voicemail, they depended on it, since half the time they were too busy to answer the incoming calls.
The same happened the next time Dean tried and the one after that. And it still didn’t make any more sense than the first time. He started pacing the room. There were a thousand reasons why Sam might have judged it best to disconnect his voicemail, sure. Dean couldn’t think of any right now but that was just because he wasn’t a technology geek like Sam. And if Sam wasn’t picking up the phone that was just because he was on a job, or in a diner eating one of those disgusting salads he favoured. He would be back soon, see the missed calls and call Dean back right away like the OCD freak he was.
Although if Sam was who-knew-where having fun by himself, Dean didn’t see any reason not to do the same. He picked up his jacket and went to the diner just across the street. Several tacos and a few beers later the waitress was all over him and Dean was feeling pleasantly buzzed and extremely proud that the Winchester Charm translated so well across the border – no that he had ever doubted it. He flirted briefly with the idea of bringing her back to his room (or at least to the back alley), but Sam was bound to call soon, and knowing his pain in the ass little brother he would probably decide to do it the moment things became interesting. Dean kind of preferred not to be interrupted – he was an artist after all. While the waitress seemed disappointed when he left, some of the clients who had been giving him the evil-eye all night seemed appeased. He didn’t want to start a fight either, so it was probably a win-win situation in the end.
In a way.
Back in the motel room, Dean kicked off his boots and stretched out on the sheets. Not satin-like soft, but not bad either. He drew his phone from his pocket and placed it on the bedside table, but not before checking it again just in case his brother had called and he had somehow missed it. He hadn’t.
Dean firmly squashed the faint feeling that he was being ignored deliberately. Okay, he knew better than anybody that a hunt could take a long, long time, so damned if he was going to wait awake for Sam to come back and bother checking his mobile. He could use the time to catch a few blinks.
Except, for some reason, he couldn’t fall asleep. The sheets weren’t so nice as it had seemed at first, and somehow Dean couldn’t find a comfortable position. He kept turning and tossing until the first weak rays of light were falling through the window.
He sat up and looked at the mobile’s screen again. Eight hours. It had been fucking eight hours and he was running of out excuses to explain his little brother’s behaviour. If Sam had gone for food he should be back by now and even if he was in the middle of a hunt he should have had the time to check his fucking phone at least once! Dean pressed his lips into a thin line and called again. Sam was in for the scolding of his life. They didn’t ignore calls in their line of work. Especially not with an apocalypse going on. (And whose fault was that again?) Sam should goddamn know better!
“The person you are trying to reach is unavailable right now. Please try your call again later.”
What the fucking hell? Dean felt a chill run down his spine, but ignored it in favor of the increasing anger (at least he was fairly sure it was anger) that was gnawing on his chest. Was Sam really ignoring him? Seriously? Because if his phone was unavailable that meant he had switched it off. And in order to switch it off he had to fucking touch it! And why would he even do that? They never switched off their phones! Even their father’s phone was always charged and on!
Dean was still streaming curses at his brother when the phone started ringing. Finally! If he was honest with himself, Dean was sorely tempted to hang up or let it ring just to give his brother a taste of his own medicine, but he wasn’t that childish. He’d have to be satisfied with kicking his selfish little brother six ways to Sunday the moment he saw him again...
Except the name showing on the screen wasn’t Sam. It was Bobby.
“Well?” Bobby grumbled. “What did he say? Do you realize I’ve been waiting the whole night?”
“There was nothing to tell, Bobby. He didn’t even pick up!” The anger (worry) was back in full force.
Bobby cursed under his breath. “Did you at least leave him a message?”
“No, I couldn’t. ” Dean was still really pissed about that, in fact. “The little shit has disconnected his voicemail. And now I think his mobile is switched off.”
Bobby’s silence at the other end of the line was louder than any of his previous curses.
“Battery must have died,” he finally offered.
Dean clenched his teeth. “Yeah, right. Of course. That must be it.”
“Why don’t you come back here? Better to figure out a way to reach him if we can stick our heads together rather than hanging on the phone the whole time.” Bobby sounded gruff as always, but Dean knew him too well not to recognize the attempt to calm him down.
And just like that, his hands started to tremble and the weight in his chest became ten time heavier – he didn’t like Bobby’s tone. Not one bit. Because he knew that tone.
“Don’t talk to me like I’m some cowering tulip. Out with it.”
“Bullshit! Just tell me! Whatever is it!”
“I was able to track Sam’s movents. He’s not in Argentina anymore. He took a flight to Madrid two days ago.”
Dean sagged in relief. “Well, that’s actually good news. If I start now I can be in New Mexico in under a day.” He was already making plans; he would have to step on the gas, but his baby could take it and he would make it up to her as soon as he had found Sam and kicked his skinny ass from here to...
“No, Dean. You don’t understand. Not Madrid as in New Mexico. Madrid as in Spain, Europe.”
“Europe? He has taken a flight to another freaking continent?”
“I don’t know, Dean. It doesn’t make any sense and it doesn’t seem like he’s following any pattern. First Mexico, then Argentina, now Spain... it’s like he’s fucking changing hemispheres!”
And then Dean got it. It didn’t hurt less than a punch to the gut.
‘You know, on that basis alone, we should just pick a hemisphere. Stay away from each other for good.’
“Bobby you... you have to come here to pick up the Impala.”
‘We're not stronger when we're together, Sam. I think we're weaker.’
“The Impala? What are you...?”
‘We're better off apart. We got a better chance of dodging Lucifer and Michael and this whole damn thing... if we just go our own ways.’
“It’s in the parking of this motel just outside of Taxco, I’ll send you the address by message. I haven’t been taking good care of her lately, so you should check her oil before taking her back to the scrapyard.”
‘Dean, don't do this.’
“Dean, calm down! What are you thinking?”
“I’m going after him, Bobby. I’m going to Spain.”