After a protracted exercise in getting Sam and Bobby out of bed, and Bobby's insistence they get some breakfast inside them first, Sam was genuinely afraid Dean might actually explode with pent-up excitement, and briefly considered slipping another Sominex into his grapefruit juice.
To his relief, it proved unnecessary when, sated by a gloriously satisfying breakfast which even managed to distract Dean, the three men finally made their way down to the resort's stunning beach, in the process getting their first good view of their magnificent, palm-strewn surroundings; it's crystal-blue pools, cocktail bar, sun decks, tennis courts, and al-fresco dining.
Breakfast notwithstanding, it was still ludicrously early, and they guessed that was why both the beach and the resort were largely unpopulated. Earmarking three loungers in a discreet corner of the beach, they dumped their stuff; beach bag, towels, books, and the ever-present inflatable dolphin (who looked even more bug-eyed than usual after Dean had somehow managed to over-inflate it) onto the glistening ivory sand beside them.
Dean shrugged off his shirt and spun round, ready to charge, like a horse out of the starting gate, headlong into the sea, when his progress was halted before it began by a large hand gripping his shoulder.
"Aren't you forgetting something?"
Dean turned to see Sam clutching a bottle of high-factor sunscreen.
Sam had been lucky enough to inherit his father's dark features and olive skin; they all knew that by the end of this two weeks Sam would be flying home effortlessly sporting the kind of rich nut brown tan that most mere mortals spend a lifetime courting bankruptcy and skin cancer trying to achieve.
Dean, on the other hand, was his mother's son, inheriting her fair complexion. Sam was only too aware that if they were diligent with the sun protection Dean would go home sporting a healthy, tawny sheen; not so much a tan as a honey glaze. If, however, Dean were left to his own cavalier devices, he would no doubt be spending the best part of the trip in agony and looking like a boiled lobster.
"C'mon dude, humour me here;" Sam coaxed, leaving no time for argument as he popped the cap and squirted a generous dollop of the lotion into his palm.
He passed the bottle to his eye-rolling, sighing brother.
"You do your front, I'll do your back."
Sam cheerfully ignored Dean's snarking and petulant huffing, noting however, that he didn't argue and began to rub the oily cream into his brother's muscular back.
Sam was used to only ever catching a glimpse of Dean's bare torso in the dilatory glow that passed as illumination in most of the skeevy motels they stayed in. In that dim, depressing light everything, including Dean's complexion, looked ten shades darker. However, here in the vivid, crystalline light of day, Dean's skin looked comically pale; even the freckles across his broad shoulders were faded to nothing more than a cluster of creamily faint splashes.
Bobby watched the exchange with amused affection; "Jeez boy, when did your body last see the sun?" he chuckled; "I reckon if you took your shirt off in a disco, you'd glow in ultra-violet light!"
"Kiss my ass, Golden Oldie," snorted Dean as he impatiently rubbed circles of the cool lotion across his chest.
Sam spluttered with suppressed laughter; "I dread to think how white that is!"
Dean offered the bottle back to Sam along with an extended middle finger.
"Legs?" Sam reminded, and was answered with a theatrical eye roll as Dean bent down and began to rub the lotion into his equally pale legs.
Eventually Sam was satisfied that between them, and despite Dean's unhelpful squirming, they had covered every inch of vulnerable flesh including those easy to forget, easy to burn places such as the back of Dean's neck and the tips of his ears.
"Right; you're done," he grinned.
"Can I go now Mom?" Dean snorted.
"Yup, knock yourself out;" Sam grinned as Dean disappeared at a gallop down the beach with his dolphin.
Sam shucked his own shirt and settled back in his lounger, watching for a moment as Dean and dolphin plunged into the ocean with a whoop of delight, then turned to see Bobby brandishing the bottle of sunscreen towards him; "c'mon son; you might be Mister Permatan, but you'll still need this, sun's friggin' strong up there."
Sam knew Bobby wasn't asking, and took the bottle, smiling his thanks.
Bobby, for his part, had no interest in gaining a tan. He was just happy to see the boys enjoying the trip of a lifetime, to lock his cares in a box for two weeks, rest his back and power his way through half a library of John Grisham novels.
Suitably priotected against the sun's glare, Sam slipped on his shades, pulled a cap over his forehead and settled back with a sigh of bliss against the lounger to catch up on a few of those delicious zees his hyperactive brother had deprived him of this morning.
Green slime dripped down the walls of the long-abandoned factory as the brothers picked their way warily through the darkness, stepping over fallen masonry and decades-worth of trespassers' litter. Their flashlight picked a tentative path through the miserable detritus as they gingerly inched forward searching the gloom for their quarry.
Behind him, Sam could hear Dean's quiet breaths, slow and controlled but undeniably nervous. Both Winchesters' senses were tingling wildly; something was amiss, this awful place was wrong, so very wrong …
The attack when it came was sudden and brutal; bursting out from behind a rotted wooden door, the werewolf was upon them in less than a second, sinking it's stinking yellow fangs into Dean's shoulder.
Sam instinctively cried out his brother's name as he heard Dean's terrible, strangled howl of rage and pain echoing through the crumbling building's forsaken shell.
Snapping awake, Sam felt momentarily light-headed from the pounding of his heart; "DEAN!" his terrified cry still rang in his ears. He sat motionless for a moment, blinking against the vivid, glaring sunlight. When he regained some degree of his senses, he fumbled shakily for his shades which had flipped into his lap as he jerked awake.
"Y'ok kid?" Bobby was looking across to his lounger, his book abandoned in his lap, face a picture of concern.
"Uh … yeah," Sam mumbled, feeling himself gradually calming; "I ... uh … had a dream!"
He looked across at Bobby's worried face with a rueful smile, "still tryin' to switch off, I guess!"
Bobby regarded him for a moment, then relaxed, seemingly satisfied that he was getting the truth; "ya brother doesn't seem to be havin' any problems switchin' off …" he nodded behind Sam with a smile.
Sam turned to see that Dean had gatecrashed a game of beach volleyball and was currently lapping up the enthusiastic attentions of four undeniably attractive bikini-clad girls.
The four, for their part, clearly had no issues or concerns about being interrupted in this manner, and in fact seemed completely enchanted by their interloper judging by the squeals of laughter that were drifting across the beach.
Sam shook his head with a smile, and giving up on the idea of sleeping, he picked up his book.
He guessed he had been reading around ten minutes before he heard a cry of alarm again; his head snapped up from his book just in time to see Dean dashing wildly across the beach being pursued by all four women who had completely abandoned their game of volleyball in favour of this far more entertaining sport.
Furthermore, Sam noted in amusement, Dean wasn't running at anywhere near his top speed, and clearly had every intention of being caught.
He plunged wildly into the shallows where his four pursuers caught up with him, dragging him down into the water and piling on top of him.
Sam and Bobby watched, listening to the splashing, spluttering and breathless shrieks of laughter from all five parties as Dean, wriggling out from under the melee, tried to crawl, exhausted, soaked and draped in seaweed, back up the beach, only to have his ankles grabbed and be dragged back into the sea.
A few moments passed before they looked up from their books again to see Dean staggering up the beach toward them, his lotion slicked torso caked with sand.
"Sammy," he panted, snatching Sam's book out of his hands; "c'mon Dan Brown'll still be there tonight; come and play volleyball with us," he scraped his soaked hair back off his forehead.
Bobby watched as Dean leaned, dripping seawater over Sam; his whole body shuddering periodically from unsuppressed stray chuckles which ran through him like tiny tremors. Sitting back into his lounger, Bobby smiled broadly; he couldn't remember the last time he'd seen something that made him feel so happy.
Sam grinned; "but you don't know how to play volleyball," he observed.
"I'm a fast learner," gasped Dean; "c'mon."
He looked keenly over his shoulder at the four giggling girls who had gravitated back towards their net and stood, beckoning him wildly back into their fold.
"C'mon Sammy, they keep accusing me of cheatin'," he coaxed, tugging at Sam's arm and grinning back at the girls; "I need some back-up before they finish me off completely."
"So I see," Sam sniggered; "I didn't know volleyball was a contact sport!"
"Neither did I;" Dean's grin turned into a smirk; "but it's freakin' awesome."
Sam smiled in submission and stepped up out of the lounger; "see ya later Bobby; if we're not back by sundown send in the police."
"Will do," smiled Bobby, returning his attention to John Grisham; "have fun."
The brothers jogged back over to the four girls who were already eyeing the newcomer's tall, muscular frame appreciatively.
"Mel, Brandi, Jenny and Francesca;" Dean gestured towards the girls for Sam's benefit, Jenny's a nurse, Brandi majors in Tennis, Francesca likes horseback ridin' and Mel plays the flute," he turned to Sam, lowering his voice; "she can do awesome things with her lips apparently!"
He turned back to the girls; "ladies, this is my brother, Samantha; he's twenty-six, with an IQ of twelve thousand, he's a Taurus and he makes all his own dresses," Dean introduced Sam with a completely straight face.
"Hi;" Sam smiled shyly to his admiring audience; "actually, it's Sam, an' I've got a complete jerk for a brother, he forgot to mention that bit!"
Sam lurched sideways with a laugh as Dean punched him in the arm, much to the hilarity of their gleeful audience.
"Okay," snorted Dean, eyes glimmering wickedly as he gathered two of the girls in close to him, "here's how it's gonna work. One guy, two girls on each team, the dolphin's the referee and when Dean's Dynamos led by the fearless warrior hero, Dean, squash Sam's Saps into the sand, I'm going to let my team-mates loose on Samantha to braid her long girlie hair and make her walk around all night like it."
Sam snorted in response, "Yeah well, Mister Hard Man; when Sam's Superstars, led by the evil Genius, Sam, trounce Dean's Donuts, I am prepared to release highly classified and devastating information about the opposing team captain to my victorious team-mates!"
Sam's evil grin was met with five sets of enquiring eyes; six, if you counted the dolphin.
"Namely, a certain self-proclaimed fearless warrior hero's secret ticklish spot!"
The game was afoot … and the stakes were high.