Sure as the most certain sure, plumb in the uprights, well entreated, braced in the beams,
Stout as a horse, affectionate, haughty, electrical,
I and this mystery here we stand.
The first thing Dean did when he woke up and didn't know where he was, he tried to call Sam. When Dean pushed the call button, the phone had done nothing. A dozen or so alerts came on his screen and he couldn't get rid of them. He turned the phone off.
He was in the middle of nowhere. He had woken up by a tree with the sun directly in his face. This was one of the better times of waking up in an unknown place.
He got himself up and started walking, turning his phone on and off to check the compass. His GPS wouldn't even work.
He finally found a road, flagged down a car before it passed. It was a teenage girl, looking nervous.
He made sure to stand back away from the car, "Hey, how far is it to the nearest town? My phone isn't working out here." He held up his phone, but put it back in his pocket when the girl looked at it strange.
"Fifteen minutes? Are you okay?" She still had both her hands on the steering wheel. Dean knew what this looked like.
"Yeah, I'm good. Just looking to get into town, that way?" He pointed, and saluted when she nodded. "Thank you, I got it from here." He started walking and she called out to him.
"Hey! Don't you want a ride?"
He turned back. "Nah, I've seen this movie."
“On Lifetime?" She had her head out of the window.
"Dumb and Dumber."
She laughed, and he was tempted to hitch a ride with her. "If you feel bad, how about telling someone in town that I'm out here? I don't mind walking."
She smiled at him and pulled back on the road.
A few miles down, a man wearing a cowboy hat and a rifle in the backseat, pulled up next to him and told him to get in. They said nothing until they got into town and pulled up next to a bar.
"Need a beer?" The man asked, his mouth was mostly covered by his white and brown beard. Dean had nodded once and followed him into the bar.
Sam's number turned out to be not in service. Dean wasn't really surprised. He should have known something was up, when he was messing around in the bunker and woke up in a forest.
Dean had a few more beers at the bar, before checking in at the motel. When he went to go put the date after signing his name, he noticed that the guy had put 01 as the year. He paused for a good couple seconds, and copied the date before the guy could notice.
When Dean got into the room, he checked the room for anything out of the ordinary. He took out everything in his pockets and put it on the bed. His wallet, his spare keys, a keychain with a bird on it, a pen and a receipt from the gas station when he got gas for his car. It was wrinkled from being folded up and stuffed in his wallet, but the date definitely did not say what he wrote on the form. The date in his hands was years into the future.
He remembered the Angels and all the crap that they pulled. He started talking out loud to Cas. Thinking that it was worth a shot.
He had been in the past before. This time he found out much smoother. He would find out if Sam was in the same situation that he was and they would go from there.
Dean had stumbled across himself on accident. Dean had stopped to get gas in a beat-up car, one he found in the junk yard, with plates on the seat and the keys in the ignition. He had noticed his Chevy pulling into the parking lot and his heart caught in his rib cage as he saw his long dead dad get out of the driver’s seat. He turned away when he saw himself get out of the passenger’s seat.
He took his time pumping gas, waiting for the men to come out. He walked behind John, knowing he would be the most observant. He paid for his gas, and grabbed a pair of sunglasses.
He pulled out his newly bought flip phone when he was walking to his car. They were pumping gas right next him and he made sure to not draw any attention to himself. He kept checking to see if anyone was following him. He kept this up for most of the day until he put so many miles between them and knew he needed to sleep. He decided to sleep in his car, not wanting to risk getting found. He'd need to get a new car.
Dean thought of Sam and if he'd run into his counterpart yet. Dean had woken up close to where the current Dean was. Sam must have done the same.
Dean had driven up to see Sam a few times after he had left, screaming at their father and slamming the door. Sam being gone was a metaphorically lost limb. Dean had spent so much time with Sam that letting him go wasn't an option. It would take years until they dealt with this issue.
Because Dean had stalked Sam before, he knew where Sam lived at this time. He watched to see if Sam was still Sam and checked if he wasn't hiding older Sam in his apartment. He was as normal as a walking awkward moose could be. He had just grown into his height and was not accustomed to it. He remembered this from one of Sam’s last insane growth spurts. It still made him laugh.
He left this Sam alone. He didn't have to be dragged into this yet. Sam would have this for as long as he could. He checked around hospitals, libraries, and police stations to see if he could find his Sam. Sam would have no idea where Dean was and would start looking for what happened. He would leave clues to Dean to find him.
Dean had done the best he could. Sam was not here. Dean was alone in this and Cas still hadn't shown up.
He was at a loss of what to do next and decided to start driving and see where that got him.
I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the beginning and the end,
But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.
Dean had found a truck.
He found it off an exit on the 277 in Oklahoma. It was tan colored and with little rust. It sat on the front yard of a farm. The farm looked like one of the thousands Dean had seen in his life. He was comforted by the fact this farm, the small well-cared for farm house and the big red barn could have been one of the farms he'd drive passed on his way home.
He had driven some shit cars in the past weeks. This was a luxury car compared to them. It was a car that a good man would drive. One that would work hard during the day, and come back home to his family.
He sat there on the side of the road, idling in his rental car. He thought of his friends, his family, so far removed from him, and felt a little closer to them.
Bobby absolutely had owned a truck like this. It would have been an older model, but no less cared for. He'd probably cracked jokes about how older didn't mean broken, how he didn't need to upgrade with new parts, he would have found used parts to fix it up. Bobby was a good man and deserved the life of one. Where he could have bitched and moaned about what the kids were up to, and kissed the wife every morning. He would have verbally knocked him upside the head for thinking those thoughts. Bobby lived the way he was.
His dad would have had one similar. Not for long, in between keeping distance from the cops and repairs done on the Chevy. He didn't think of how life would have turned out if that one thing hadn't happened. He'd thought about it so much there was probably a book on it. His dad was a good man, not altogether an easy one, his dad had made him the man he was and that was that.
He saw his mom driving down the road with her hair pulled back enough to keep out of her face, and with those sunglasses that should have stayed in the seventies. The window would be half down, she'd be singing along to one of the classic rock songs on the radio. She wouldn't be happy or sad, but she'd be smiling as she drove.
Sam would be driving it like it was something that could get them where they needed. He had no preference on cars. He would enjoy the leg room and the open cab. He felt a rush of fondness of thinking of Sam in the truck.
Cas would have known the entire history of the owner of the truck. He would drive it for its usefulness, like Sam, but he would understand Dean’s feelings.
Dean shut off his car and got out.
The owner was an older man, hard callouses on his hand when Dean shook it. He let Dean check it out and offered a test drive. Dean had declined, already looking at the engine. He wanted to agree at the price the owner had set, wasn't his money, but knew that would be too memorable and suspicious. He got it lowered by a few hundred.
The owner had chatted with him for a while. Dean realized that this was the first conversation he had with a stranger that didn't have to do with anything paranormal for a long time. When he asked what Dean was planning to do next, Dean answered truthfully, "Whatever I want."
Dean had been in many DMVs in his life. His Chevy was completely legal. Couldn't impersonate authorities without it. Sitting there filling out forms, he thought of Cas. How he would act if he was sitting next to him. He would be sitting a little too close, asking every question that had him confused. He'd have a little furrow between his brow. Dean would know exactly what he would want to ask. He would whisper each one, remembering what Dean had said about "Ordinary people behavior."
Dean would have been the one attracting attention to them. He would have laughed a little too hard.
Loafe with me on the grass, loose the stop from your throat,
Not words, not music or rhyme I want, not custom or lecture, not even the best,
Only the lull I like, the hum of your valved voice.
Dean had picked up many girls in his life, from college co-eds to bored housewives. He loved women, if they weren't actively trying to hurt or kill anyone, he would enthusiastically consent.
He had read up on sexual "labels" and felt exactly how old he was. He sat at the bar, drinking like the old man that he is. He could hear Sam in his head yelling, if Dean thought he was so old he could start looking for the hospice care he needed, that Sam was going for a run. Don't touch any of my stuff, I don't want to catch your old.
There was a man in corner, drinking, and checking Dean out so often. There was a girl laughing with her friends near the back of the bar. She had come up to order a few rounds, and gave him not so shy smiles.
Dean knew he could take what was offered from the girl no problem. He never had an interest in men. Women were more than enough. He imagined how it would go down if he walked over to him. If they would hook up in the back or the guy would take him back to his place. Dean finished his drink, put down some money, and walked out of the bar. It smelled like asphalt, cigarette smoke, and fried food.
Dean got in his truck and drove to an old dirt road with no sign of life around. He got into the truck bed, and made it as comfortable as he could. He thought of home as he laid there, periodically taking a sip of the half-empty whiskey bottle.
He thought of Sam, sitting at the table, laptop open, eating a piece of toast. Forgetting that he had tea and letting it go cold. He'd be looking at one of the books from the library, the title in a different language. He'd be using it for a source or translating it. Cas would be in the kitchen, making toast. It would smell like burnt toast, but Cas only burnt the toast on his first attempt. He said the best toast was the point when it was almost burnt. Dean had to try it.
Dean wished Cas was with him on the truck bed, answering Dean’s questions about the constellations. He memorized a few from when he was a teenager, trying to impress a girl.
Dean should have seen where it went with that guy at the bar. He loved Cas. He knew this, everyone knew this. He was going to spend the rest of his life with him. What he needed to figure out is what he wants Cas to be to him. What Cas wanted from him or in general. He knew Cas would just go with it. He'd be curious on what Dean had to offer. Dean was mostly positive him and Cas were on the same page.
Dean wanted to know if he could get down to business with a guy. It wasn't something he was wondering for a long time. As he laid underneath the half-remembered constellations, he thought why not?
It turns out he enthusiastically consents with guys too. Dean was laughing as the guy had his hand on Dean’s dick.
"What's funny?" The guy mumbles against Dean's neck.
"Would you believe this is my first time with a guy?"
The guy laughs and says, "You are way too good at this for this to be your first. We can stop if you want." He pulled away from Dean, giving him some space.
Dean pushed him on the bed and climbed on top of him. "Nah, I'm good."
I mind them or the show or resonance of them—I come and I depart.
Dean had always wanted a hammock. He could have had one when he was living with Lisa. Remembering her didn't feel like rocks in his stomach anymore. He remembered Lisa and Ben mostly with fondness. He would never fully get over how he lost them, not giving them a choice in the matter.
He had bought a hammock from the store and was driving around trying to find the perfect spot for it. He had picked up a handful of maps, he had them spread out across the hood, with a few coke cans holding them down. It was sunny, and not too breezy. He was parked in the shade under a huge oak tree.
He was thinking of setting it up near a lake. Not wanting to be around anyone. He found the perfect spot deep into a park. He would need to hike a bit, he could start early tomorrow and spend the day there.
He held the protein bar in his mouth as he packed up his maps.
He'd been swinging there for a while. He had stopped by the Ranger’s Station early, letting them know he was there, showing the permit for the gun that he had. He knew what could be in the woods, relaxing or not, he was covering his ass. Dean knew he wouldn't be remembered well, the Ranger being tired and Dean looking so average.
He imagined Cas, curled up half-on-top of him, and his face in Dean’s neck. Dean was not over the fact he had no way to get back to them. But he trusted that Sam and Cas were looking for him. They wouldn't give up.
He had gone and seen Jimmy Novak. He had just bought a house with his new wife. Jimmy had smiled at Dean while they were both at the check-out of the supermarket. Dean had smiled back, and felt better for it. He left Jimmy there, the same feeling he had when he left Sam.
He was touching the bird on his key chain. Cas had got it for him, a few months back, saying how it reminded him of Dean. Dean kept it in his wallet, wanting to keep it with him where ever he went. He didn't put a feeling on how it made him feel, but he would pull it out when he started feeling lonely. Before he left the future, he had got Cas a small fuzzy bee that Cas had put on his rear-view mirror.
He left the hammock there, knowing he wouldn't be back, but wanting to leave something of himself behind. A piece of himself that someone would stumble on and be delighted in its existence.
He went to a few amusement parks, just for the heck of it. He went to a few bars, a few coffee shops, libraries, and one time a church. He picked up women, men, and took them on real honest dates. He didn't take up any of their offers at coming inside though. He had his fill of sex with strangers. He wanted sex with Cas. He told them off by saying he was only in town for a night, but he was glad he got to spend it with them. He was being truthful, and they all gave him sweet kisses that left both of them smiling.
He made his way back to the town where he had found he was so many years in the past. He hadn't intended to go back there, but he got off on the closest exit anyway. He didn’t stop in the town, he kept going until he found the spot where he had come out of the woods. He parked on the side of the road and pulled out the compass he used while hiking.
When he got to the spot he woke up at, on the ground leaning against a tree, was a grey stone. It didn't look out of the ordinary until you got closer. He touched it, because of course, this is what got him into this mess.
He woke up on a couch. He heard muffled talking from the other room. He took inventory of his pockets. Wallet. Spare Chevy keys. Bird keychain. Truck keys. A receipt for gas, date ending 01.
He walked out and saw Cas and Sam at the table. Sam with his laptop, Cas on his phone. They both stood up when he walked in.
"How you feeling?" Sam asked, concerned, but he wasn't overly. If Dean had been missing for weeks, Sam would have been much more expressive. He must have not been gone for very long.
"We found you asleep on the floor, we put you on the couch." Cas was staring at Dean. As intensely as he usually did. Dean had missed him, the big weirdo.
"Yeah. I touched something weird. What's the date?"
His phone had long died, the charger that was needed, not invented yet. He thought about making his own, but he couldn’t do much with his phone anyway.
Cas and Sam looked at each other, it was the look between two friends having to deal with something obnoxious.
"Touched something weird."
"Yeah, I ended up in 2001 and just kind of went with it. I ended up touching the thing again on that end. Now I'm here."
Dean went to the kitchen and grabbed an apple. He and Cas must have bought them a few days ago at the store. Cas would have inspected each apple before putting the best apples in the bag. Sam and Cas followed him with concerned looks.
"Are you okay?" Sam asked, knowing that Dean would try to bullshit his way through an answer. He would fail, with Cas being a human lie detector. Dean would then try to bullshit Cas, which always put them both into a mood. Dean answered truthfully, having done it most of the time in the past few weeks. "As much as I can be. I missed you guys."
Sam hugged him, Dean was bitching and moaning the whole time. Cas came in for a hug, before pulling back and saying, "I'm going to kiss you now."
Dean laughed and kissed him first.
"Yeah, yeah. You can."
He didn't take Cas to places where he had taken other dates. Instead he took him to all the places he had wanted Cas to be there.
They tracked down Dean’s old truck, it had been stripped for metal and crushed a long time ago. It was hard for Dean to take at first. The car that had kept him company was gone, and there was nothing he could do about it. He was quiet for a while, drank a few beers, and mourned the loss.
Cas would leave sometimes, but always came back to sleep with Dean. They would have sex and Cas would still be lying there when Dean woke up.
Cas spent a lot of time watching videos on the internet. The animal videos were Dean’s favorite. Cas would always show him the best ones after kissing Dean awake in the morning.
Cas surprised him with a baby blue truck that was the same model and year as Dean’s beloved old truck. "I like it," Cas had said and got in the driver’s side.
Dean rolled with it and got in the passenger’s side.
They were laying in the hammock that Dean had put up. It had been mended over and over again. Used, but well-loved.
Dean kissed the top of Cas's head.
"You think we can have sex in this?"
I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.