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Tougher Than the Rest (13/15)

Title: Tougher Than the Rest
Chapter Title: Glory Days
Word count: 824 this chapter
Rating: T
Characters/Pairings: Sam, Dean, OMC with appearances by Castiel and Crowley (in later chapters)
Warnings: None
Spoilers: It's set in the second half of season 6.
Disclaimer: If you recognize the character, it's not mine
Summary: Sam and Dean are checking out a mysterious death on the Jersey Shore. After a long day of research, all Dean wants to do is put up his feet and relax with the TV. The two men waiting in their motel room put an end to that.
A/N: This is a sequel to my first SPN fic In Spite of All the Danger The setting is the Jersey Shore, where I lived for 9 years (1978-1987). My sister coquillagement still lives there and helped me out in a few spots. The wonderful msninacat heard my plea for a beta and jumped right in. Thanks ever so!

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Alan stepped out of the car just as Sam pulled the Impala into the next spot. He and Ryan were smiling, probably sharing older brother stories that hadn’t come out the night before.

Sam got out and tossed the keys to Dean. “We good?”

“For now. Just don’t keep harping on it and we’ll stay that way.” He started for the bathroom.

“’Harping’. Good one.” Ryan grinned.

The Winchesters glared at him and Dean shut the bathroom door behind him.

“Ryan, zip.”

“What?”

[Humor like that now is not wise.]

Ryan rolled his eyes and dropped onto the foot of Dean’s bed.

“So, how does this end?” Sam ran a hand through his hair.

“Sam.”

The younger Winchester looked to Ryan. “He’s the one with the memories, not me, and he’s not sharing.”

“Yeah, I know about that. Must be an older brother thing, shouldering the burden themselves.”

“Or it could be because this particular younger brother doesn’t always know when to keep his mouth shut.”

Dean emerged from the bathroom. “How’re we gonna handle the vamps?”

Alan shared a look with Ryan and Sam before turning to Dean. “We don’t know where they are. We don’t even know if they’re around.”

“You guys lied to me.” There was controlled fury in his voice.

As he was already on Dean’s bad list, Alan took the full brunt of the blame. “It wasn’t a lie, not really. I woke up, saw it was dark, you weren’t there and I panicked. With the chance of them still being around and you possibly inebriated, we thought it best to bring you back.”

“Did that have anything to do with your memory returning?”

“Guess not, since I was wrong.”

“Do we have to stay in here all night?” whined Ryan. “There’s got to be somewhere we can go.”

“If we stick together, we should be okay, right?” Sam looked at each in turn.

“Then why did you pull me from the bar? I was so in there!”

“Which one?” questioned Sam.

“Doesn’t matter.” He flopped onto one of the chairs. “I’m with Ryan on this. I do not want to spend a night cooped up in this room with you guys.”

Alan didn’t particularly like the idea either, especially with the risk of another temper flare-up. “I guess we could hit the boardwalk somewhere. At least we’d be out in the open should anything happen.”

“I could go for some greasy deep-fried food.” Dean rubbed his hands in anticipation.

“You can always go for greasy deep-fried food.”

Alan watched the banter (or bickering, depending who you asked) and suffered a bittersweet moment that only he knew. The Winchesters would not have many more light moments like this. It wouldn’t be long before Dean learned the truth about Castiel, and then shortly after that the angel would remove Sam’s wall, bringing on the hallucinations. Then there were the Leviathans.

They walked out to the Impala debating if they should go south to Point Pleasant or north to Asbury Park. Dean wanted Asbury Park because of the Stone Pony but changed his mind when Sam told him there were no games.

They drove south along the ocean until they had to cut across to a main highway. As it was late in the season, parking was easy to find. They crossed the street to the boardwalk so Dean could get his greasy fried food: fries, corn dogs, onion blossoms, funnel cakes and deep-fried Twinkies. Alan picked at a few things as they walked along checking out the booths and arcade games.

Alan smiled at the discomfort of the man running the shooting game as Sam and Dean took turns hitting every target. It was during Ryan’s turn that Alan saw a familiar figure off to the side by one of the souvenir shops. Making sure the others were still occupied, he slipped away.

“Alan Kelly.”

“Castiel.” He couldn’t call him Cas. He wasn’t a Winchester. “I remember.”

“Then you know why I am doing this.”

“And I also know what will happen.” It’s weird, knowing more than an angel.

“My intentions--”

“Your intentions, no matter how good or noble, won’t mean a thing to Dean.” Alan followed the angel’s gaze as it settled on Dean stuffing his face with a giant soft pretzel. “I won’t say anything. That’s up to you.” He turned to walk away and heard the rustle of feathers. Yeah, it’s kinda hard to walk out of an argument with an angel.

“Hey, where did you go?” asked Ryan as he reached them. “I told them you could beat this thing blindfolded.”

“With one hand,” added Sam.

“Over your shoulder,” finished Dean.

“Where would be the sport?”

“So, where did you go?” asked Sam.

“I saw something at one of the booths and went to take a look while you were playing marksmen.”

“And?” prompted Dean.

“It wasn’t what I thought it was.”


Fourteen

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