A three hour drive to the location for the nights' hunt gave the Winchesters an opportunity to discuss the Leshy. For once Dean appeared quite focussed in his own uniquely Deanish way, and Sam was chalking that up as a win in his book.
The Impala, for her part, had been unusually quiet on the journey, knowing better than to distract her boys during such an important conversation.
"So like I said," Sam continued his narrative from the notes he'd made; "as far as I can tell, we've got all the weapons we could possibly need to kill it, we've just got to be sure we keep out of its way except at the very last minute."
"'Case it tricks us?" Dean asked, demonstrating to Sam that he actually had been paying attention.
"Yeah, Sam nodded enthusiastically; "and the best way to do that is to trick it back."
"I still prefer the option of skewering it through the throat," Dean mumbled.
"Yeah well," Sam continued, ignoring Dean's protests; "all the lore says that travellers can confuse it. They should put their clothes on backwards or inside out, and put their shoes on the wrong feet, that way the Leshy can't tell which way round you are or which direction you're moving in."
Dean chanced a glance across to Sam; "So, old Treebeard ain't the brightest tree in the forest then?" He sniggered briefly before his face dropped into a petulant scowl; "seriously? I'm gonna look a complete dick with my pants on backwards!"
Sam shrugged; "yeah, wellbeing strung up or drowned or tickled to death by the Leshy is so not a good look either."
"Man," Dean groaned; "the things I do for this friggin' job."
"Oh yeah," Sam continued; "and it's apparently also a good mimic and it uses that to trick and confuse its victims too."
Dean glanced across at him and shrugged; "how?"
"Well," Sam began; "if you hear my voice calling for help or anything like that, be real careful, because it could be the Leshy luring you into danger."
Dean smirked; "I never listen to your voice anyway, it just kinda fades into white noise after a while."
It was at that point the Impala decided to join the conversation. "You always did have a smart mouth, Dean Winchester," she scolded; "now quit your smartass comments, and listen to Sammy; he's trying to keep you safe."
Dean glanced across at his smugly grinning brother. "Jeez, first there's Sam and now I'm getting grief from the car," he groaned, throwing his hands up in mock despair; "I'm destined to spend my life surrounded by nagging women."
He ignored the prize bitchface Sam sent his way.
"Yes, well Smart-Alec, "she replied; "given that I've carried you around since you were a newborn, I've had you puking over me, peeing in me and falling asleep face first into your food in me; I think I've earned the right to nag you now and then."
"Honestly," she added; "Sammy was never that much trouble."
"You can't hold all that against me," Dean grumbled; "I was only a baby."
"You were nineteen," the Impala retorted smartly.
Dean shot a look of wounded indignation across to Sam who barked out a laugh so hard he sounded like he was about to burst a blood vessel.
A brief sulky silence fell over the impala's cabin, punctuated only by Sam's sniggering, until Dean spoke up again.
"Hold on," he murmured, a look of wide-eyed alarm growing across his face; "if you remember all that stuff, do you remember any of the times when I, you know … like, with a girl?"
"Sweetie," the Impala replied; "don't be coy, it doesn't suit you. I'm not some blushing schoolgirl; I'm forty five years old. I'm a woman of the world." She paused for a moment; "I know a healthy young man has needs, so I'm not going to judge you for bringing those fat-assed, brainless little floozies back here."
Sam basked in the crimson glow that was radiating from Dean's face, grinning in unashamed satisfaction at the very real possibility that Dean's ears might actually spontaneously combust.
"yeah, but …"
"Of course, none of them are good enough for you,” she added sniffily; “they don’t appreciate you enough even though you’re such a considerate lover with them. I mean, when you …”
"Okay, OKAY" Dean snapped, his voice rising in volume and pitch as panic set in; "no more, okay? One more word and I'm taking your battery out."
Even Sam was looking vaguely nauseous now.
"It wouldn't achieve anything if you did," she replied calmly and as if by way of a demonstration, she whipped her steering wheel to the right, dislodging her shocked driver's sweaty hands and pulled over slowly onto the side of the road, rolling to a smooth stop before engaging her parking brake.
"There," she said sweetly, "now you can jump out and have that pee you've been desperate to have for the last hour."
"What am I? Six? I don't need a pee," Dean snorted indignantly.
Dean, you know you can't lie to me. Do you think I can't feel you fidgeting and bouncing around in my seat," she replied; "now go on, go do what you need to do. Next time be a good boy and go before you leave the bunker."
Dean scowled as he obediently opened the door, trying his best to ignore the stifled laughter coming from Sam's side of the car.
"I think I might have to join you," Sam snorted, wiping his eyes as he choked through his laughter.
"You can friggin' wait until I get back, bitch," Dean grunted.
It was another hour’s driving before the Winchesters arrived at the spot which Sam had calculated as the epicentre of all the Leshy attacks. The forested areas were well served by access tracks for rangers, foresters and emergency vehicles, they were pleased to note, so they could park the Impala up away from the main drag and conceal her among the trees, away from places where she might draw attention.
Suddenly, the Winchesters' conversation turned serious.
"Okay, Sam, you got the maps?"
"Yeah, you got the knives?"
"Yeah," Dean nodded as he reluctantly shucked his jacket turning it inside out.
"I'm going to look such a prize jerk," he grumbled.
"Shoes on the wrong feet too," Sam reminded him as he reach down and began unbuttoning his fly.
"Great," Dean sighed; "I'm gonna be a prize jerk with blisters."
Sam ignored him.
Eventually they were ready, jackets on backwards, pants on inside out and boots on the wrong feet; and looking, as Dean rightly pointed out, like a pair of prize jerks.
"Okay Baby," Dean turned to the Impala and patted her fender. "We'll be back for you before nightfall."
"You boys be careful now," she replied; "are you sure you've got everything? You got all the weapons you need?"
"Yeah," Dean replied.
"You got water?"
Sam nodded; "yes," he pointed to the black flask slung on a long strap over his shoulder."
"What about your phones," she checked; "you've got them, haven't you?"
"Yes," both Winchesters responded in unison; "and look, we appreciate the concern," Dean added; "but if you ask me if I've got clean underwear on, that's it; I'm trading you in for a station wagon."
"I just saw your underwear - it met with my approval," she replied mischieviously. "Okay, go on," she continued, her demeanour suddenly turning solemn; "go … and be careful."