After the incident with the talking chair which Dean was commanded under pain of death and chinese burns (not necessarily in that order) to rectify, he disappeared down into the garage, armed with a box of tools, a bag containing the enchanted parts, a soldering iron, a cup of coffee and the biggest bag of chips Sam had ever seen.
Knowing that Dean wouldn't appreciate any kind of distraction, Sam left him to his own devices, occasionally venturing down to the garage delivering top-ups of coffee, a regular supply of jelly donuts and a little moral support.
Each time he ventured down, he found Dean, contorted into increasingly more impossible positions, working tirelessly in, around and under the Impala, each time a little more grease stained, and a little more impatient for a reaction which as yet hadn't appeared to be forthcoming.
He hoped against hope that Dean wouldn't be disappointed once again.
letting loose a jaw-cracking yawn, Sam arched into a long stretch. He'd lost himself in a pile of Etruscan texts in the library and had completely lost track of time. The creeping shadows that had deepened around the little pool of light from the table lamp beside him told him it was very late; the clock on the wall behind him confirmed it. It was well past midnight and as he sat back, trying to roll the tension out of his shoulders, and he realised how tired he was.
Rising from his chair – a non-talking chair he was relieved to note – he walked back up through the main hall, to be met with silence, save for the echo of his footsteps around the cavernous space; and emptiness.
Scratching his head and then his ass in turn, Sam knew exactly where he'd find Dean, and he began the long walk down to the garage.
Entering the garage he found the Impala standing in the middle of the room, gleaming under the glare of a pair of arc lights. She was surrounded by oil stained sheets, scattered tools, empty coffee mugs and, Sam noted, a pair of Dean's boots tossed on the ground beside her.
Peering through her wide open driver's door, Sam saw Dean sprawled into her drivers' seat, his socked feet crossed at the ankles and resting on her dash next to the steering wheel. He snored softly into his shoulder, as sound asleep as Sam wanted to be right at that moment.
Sam smiled to himself as he leaned forward, reaching into the car to nudge Dean awake, when a voice stopped him.
"shhh …" came the voice, quiet as a whisper; "let him sleep, Sammy; he needs his rest."
Sam gasped as his face split into a grin and he nodded, patting the Impala quietly on the fender.
"Sure thing," he replied as he reached up to switch off the arc lights that Dean hadn't got around to switching off before sleep overtook him; "and welcome back Baby."
Wishing his brother and the car a whispered 'goodnight', Sam made his way back to the main bunker; walking on air the whole way. Stopping off in the main hall, he poured himself a scotch and settled into one of the great Chesterfield armchairs that dotted the bunker to drink it. It was barely a moment later that the drained tumbler dropped limply into his lap as sleep claimed him.
Dean woke the following morning, blinking the heavy fog of sleep from his eyes, and yawned loudly; groaning as he contorted himself to stretch the kinks out of his back within the confines of the Impala's cramped interior.
He sat up, scratched his nose and stretched again.
"Mornin' baby," he grunted absently into the echoing silence of the garage.
"Good morning Deanie-Bean," came the response.
Dean jumped so high in his shock he bashed his head against her roof, letting loose a stream of muttered curses.
"Dean Winchester," she scolded; "you mind your language!"
After a day of reacquainting themselves with their much-missed companion, the brothers said their goodnights to the impala and switched the garage light off.
"So she's back," Sam grinned as they headed back to the main bunker; "good as new."
"Yup," Dean replied, radiant with satisfaction; "an' she says you should get a haircut."
"Hmph," Sam's smile faltered; "she's a car, what does she know about hairstyles?"
"More than you, Sasquatch," countered Dean with a mischievious grin, ignoring the elbow in the ribs that came from Sam's direction.
The brothers fell into a companionable silence as they walked, and it was Sam that eventually broke it; "what about those enchanted parts," he asked; "did you use them all?"
Dean shook his head; "no, I tested a couple …"
"Yeah, I remember," snorted Sam.
"… and I used as many as I could in her. I've still got a few left, and now we know what to do, I'll make more so that we're never out of them again."
Dean's eyes sparkled with pure, unhidden joy. It was so rarely that Sam ever saw that look on Dean's face, he wished he could bottle it and save it forever. There was something about that look that made everything right with the world.
Dean grinned, throwing his arms above his head as he took a deep breath; "my Baby's back, and life's good. I've promised her I'm gonna take her for a long drive tomorrow to stretch her legs – wheels … whatever. Wanna come?"
Sam smiled and shook his head; "not this time dude, I'll let her have you all to herself for a while!"
"That's my boy," Dean playfully punched Sam's shoulder, and Sam couldn't even find it within himself to pull a bitchface.
Sam made his way to his bedroom. He definitely wasn't going to spend another night slumped exhausted in an armchair, and with the general air of wellbeing that was pervading the bunker tonight, his bed looked mightily inviting.
Toeing off his boots, he stepped out of his jeans and pulled his T shirt over his head. He dropped bonelessly down onto the mattress and let out a sigh as his head sunk into the plump down of the pillow beneath him.
It was good to know that, even as a Winchester, when all you were entitled to expect was crap and pain, there were days like this. Days when everything was great; when Dean was the best brother in the world; when life was just freakin' awesome.
That was the thought that crossed his mind just seconds before a cheery voice piped up from underneath his mattress and wished him goodnight.
Sam's eyes snapped open.
"DEEAAAAN ... YOU ASSHOLE!