Title: Paradise
Author: Dhvana
Rating: PG (some swearing)
Pairing: None (gen)
Summary: Even ghostbusters need a break sometimes.
A/N: Just a little something to lighten the mood.


"Come on, Sleeping Beauty," Dean said, slapping his hand on the top of the Impala, "wake up. Don't make me hunt down a spinning wheel."

He paused, tilting his head in contemplation. "Do they even make spinning wheels anymore? What the hell does a spinning wheel do, anyway? I think it has something to do with cloth. Maybe. I don't know. I must have slept through that class, assuming we even talked about spinning wheels in school because, let's face it, they're kind of irrelevant now what with machines manufacturing everything in bulk for mass consumer consumption so we all have to look alike and dress alike and wear the same crappy clothing that falls apart at the end of a month. . ."

Sam groaned, covering his ears with his hands. Having been slowly annoyed awake by his brother's babbling, he wished for all the world he'd remembered to wear earplugs. This was the last thing he'd wanted to wake up to, not that he knew exactly what was occupying his brother's thoughts that morning, but it didn't matter. He could pretty much guarantee it wasn't worth listening to if it meant waking him up to hear it.

"What the fuck are you talking about?" he growled, rubbing at his eyes with the palms of his hands.

"Spinning wheels."

Sam let his head fall back against the seat. "Why?"

Dean thought about it for a second, then shrugged. "Don't know. Can't remember."

"Then would you SHUT UP?"

He glared at his brother. "Gee, someone's touchy this morning. Come on, princess--princess!" He snapped his fingers. "That's why I was talking about spinning wheels. I called you Sleeping Beauty while trying wake your lazy ass up."

"There's one of the world's great mysteries solved," Sam muttered as he opened the door, nailing Dean in the ass as he did so and earning him a dirty look.

He stepped out of the car and stretched, raising his arms high above his head, standing on his tip-toes to get the kinks worked out of his legs. Opening his eyes, he blinked and stumbled forward in surprise. Catching himself, he quickly looked around. In front of him stood a strand of trees and a primitive campsite with just a circle of rocks around a fire pit. Behind him was a dirt road and a valley that stretched to the foothills of some rather sizeable mountains.


Surely he hadn't missed an entire mountain range.

Had he?

"Dean, where the hell are we?"

"Paradise," his brother grinned, opening up the trunk.


"You mean specifically?"

"Yeah, that would help," he said calmly, knowing Dean was baiting him and trying not to give in.

"We're at the Paradise access site to the Yellowstone River in Montana."

"Okay," Sam nodded, staring at the snow-covered peaks towering over them in the distance, "I guess that would explain those. What are we doing here?"

"We, Sammy-boy, are going fishing."

"We're what?"

Dean held up a couple of rods and a tackle box, an expectant grin spread wide across his face. "We're going fishing."

Sam pinched his leg, and flinched. Nope, not a dream. His brother had definitely said 'fishing'. "Why?"

Dean's smile faded and he sighed. "Because, Sammy, we've been going non-stop for about two months now. I thought we could use a break. Besides, haven't you ever wanted to go fishing?"


"Not even once?"

Well yeah, sure, when they were kids and he still believed in the father/son myth, the one where fathers played catch with their sons, built them tree houses, took them on fishing trips over the weekend. The only part of the myth that ever came true for him was his father teaching him how to shoot, and that was for self-defense instead of sport. Having given up on the myth years ago, and everything that went along with it, Sam could honestly say he had no desire to go fishing.

"Never," he said, sliding back into the car.

"Well, tough shit," Dean snapped, shouldering his backpack and grabbing the tackle and poles. "We're going fishing. Grab the cooler and the chairs from the trunk and meet me by the river."

Dean stomped off into the woods, muttering angrily under his breath. Sam sighed. He considered resisting. He considered just sitting there with his arms crossed over his chest until Dean came looking for him, but there was a pretty good chance that Dean wasn't going to come back. He could tell this was something his brother had his heart set on, and if Sam continued to sit in the car, it would just piss Dean off even more and he would stay out by the river until he'd caught every damn fish in it just to spite him.

Rolling his eyes, Sam climbed out of the car and slammed the door shut. He grabbed the cooler from the trunk, listing momentarily beneath the weight, and then grabbed the folding chairs and slammed the trunk shut as well. Let Dean yell at him for it. It wasn't like he wanted to be there in the first place.

Sam followed the path through the narrow strand of trees to the riverbank where his brother was crouching down next to the water, piling up a group of rocks against the current. He dropped the chairs and cooler in the dirt and breathed in deep the fresh air. Surveying the area, he had to admit, the spot definitely earned its name. The river stretched wide in front of them, the water running smooth and blue beneath a cloudless sky. On the other side of the river were more trees through which he could catch glimpses of the valley beyond, and he only had to look to the north to see the mountains that towered over them. There didn't seem to be a sign of another human being for miles around. It was quiet, it was peaceful, it was most likely miles away from the nearest cell tower. They were truly isolated.

It was a little unnerving.

"Bring the cooler over here," Dean said without looking up.

Sam did as he was told, letting the cooler drop next to his brother. "Where did you pick up all this stuff, anyway?"

"At the gas station."

"I didn't even notice we'd stopped."

"I know. You were asleep," Dean said softly, setting the cooler in the water, and then looked up at Sam with a grin. "Nature's refrigerator. Want one?"

He opened up the top and Sam peered inside to see it was filled to the brim with beer.

"Yeah, sure," he shrugged, since it was clear they weren't going to be driving anywhere any time soon, "why not?"

"Now you're getting into the spirit of things," Dean said, tossing him a can and grabbing one for himself.

Sam popped it open and took a long drink, the bitter liquid soothing his dry throat. It'd been hours since he'd last been awake, and from the growling of his stomach, just as long he'd last had something to eat, but he couldn't help it. These days, hotels made him jumpy. The only time he could sleep anymore was when they were on the road. It made him feel better knowing that so long as Dean was behind the wheel, his big brother was safe. When they were stopped, there were just too many things that could happen to him.

"So. . ." he began after a few moments, "fishing."

"That's right," Dean said, setting up the chairs next to the river.

"Have you ever wanted to go fishing?" Sam asked, then nearly spit his beer out laughing at his brother's expression of pure disgust.

"It isn't the fish," Dean said, rushing to protect his manhood as Sam continued to laugh. "It's just. . ." he shuddered "I can't stand the thought of putting a hook through a worm. It gives me the willies."

Sam laughed even harder.

"Oh, shut up," Dean muttered and dug through the tackle box, lifting out what looked to be a jar filled to the brim with hot pink marshmallows.

"What the hell are those?" he asked, still chuckling.

"Garlic marshmallows," his brother said with a triumphant grin. "The worm lover's alternative to live bait."

Sam eyed them skeptically. "And the fish are going to want those?"

Dean shrugged, unscrewing the top of the jar and taking a sniff. Making a face, he quickly held the jar away from him and screwed the top back on. "Does it matter?" he asked, looking at Sam as he stood up. "Do people ever go fishing to actually fish? Half the time, if you do catch anything, you have to toss it back in anyway. Fishing is basically an excuse to spend a day getting drunk in nature, the sport of seeing how much you can drink without falling into the river. We've got the beer, we've got the nature, we've got the river, we're set."

"Do we have food?"

"There's hot dogs at the bottom of the cooler and food in the backpack. If you're hungry," he said, eyeing Sam's increasingly skeletal frame, "we can make a campfire and roast the hot dogs."

"Maybe later. These will do for now," Sam said, removing the bag of pork rinds from the backpack.

"A nice, well-balanced breakfast," Dean smirked, and Sam raised the bag to him.

"Just like dad used to make," he said, sitting down in one of the chairs. Opening the bag, he munched on his breakfast and watched the glitter of the sunlight on the river. The sound of the water was soothing to his ears, and as he sat there, some of the tension eased from his shoulders. Maybe this wasn't such a bad idea after all.

"Yeah," Dean said, sitting down next to him. "I thought about those days when I bought them. I kind of wish I hadn't passed on the Funyuns."

"But you got the cupcakes with the cream in the middle."

"And the frosting you can peel off the top," Dean said, tying a hook to the end of one of the poles.

Sam rolled his eyes. "That's so gross."

"It's the best part!"

"It's all sugar!"

"And the rest of the cupcake isn't?" Dean asked, arching an eyebrow, and Sam conceded with a nod. "Let's make a deal. You give me the frosting, and you can have the rest."

"Deal. I always liked licking the cream out best anyway."

"And you think I'm gross," he chuckled, sliding one of his pink marshmallows onto the hook. "All right, here goes nothing."

Dean swung his arm back and then thrust the pole forward, letting the line fly out over the water. The hook with its little pink passenger landed in the middle of the river and was immediately carried downstream. Dean quickly locked the reel to keep it from letting out any more line and settled back in his chair.

"Well, that's that. We're now officially fishing."

"Yep," Sam nodded, crunching on his pork rinds.

"Uh-huh," Dean said, taking a sip of his beer.

Glancing sidelong at his brother, Sam waited, trying not to smile as he began his mental countdown. Five. . . four. . . three. . . two. . . He immediately stifled a laugh when, right on cue, Dean began to fidget in his chair.

His brother traded hands with his beer and his rod, and then back again. He tested the rod, just in case, to see if in the past minute he'd managed to catch anything. He hadn't. He looked upstream, and then downstream. He kicked at the pebbles beneath his foot. He sighed.

"Goddamn. How can anyone stand to do this all day?"

"I believe they find it relaxing," Sam said, turning his head away so Dean couldn't see his grin.

"If I get any more relaxed, I'll go nuts. There's got to be something I'm missing."

"Some people actually stand in the middle of the river to try and catch a fish."

Dean snorted. "Yeah, right. Have you touched that water? It's freezing-ass cold! There's no way in hell I'm going in there!"

"Then this is it."

"Well, shit," he muttered. "I'm going to need some more beer if I'm going to keep from going nuts."

Finishing off his can and still holding onto the rod, Dean walked over to the cooler and grabbed another beer. "You good?"

Sam tested the weight of his can and nodded. Dean closed up the cooler and settled back in his chair, popping open his second beer of the day.

"How long were you planning on staying out here?" Sam asked.

He shrugged. "Hadn't really thought about it."

"Were we staying the night?"

"Don't know."

Sam looked at him. "You really didn't think this out, did you?"

"It was an impulse thing."

"I noticed."

"Look, if you really don't want to stay--"

"No--no," he said, quickly cutting him off. "It's fine. Really. It's actually kind of nice out here. Pretty."

Dean grinned at him. "Yeah, it is."

"But you're not gonna catch anything."

"I know."

"So why bother?"

Dean heaved an aggrieved sigh. "As usual, Sammy, you're missing the point."

Sam waited a few seconds to see if he would continue, but his brother didn't seem interested in explaining what the point was. He looked out over the river and nodded. "Yeah, I guess I am."

"Don't worry," Dean smirked, slapping him lightly on the thigh. "Give it some time. You'll figure it out."

Sam rolled his eyes and ate another handful of pork rinds. They sat there for the rest of the morning, drinking beer, eating foods with ingredients that were not found anywhere in nature, and keeping Dean from going stir-crazy by telling tales of their lives during those few years when they were apart. Around noon, he gathered up pieces of fallen wood and started a fire in the fire pit. They roasted the hot dogs on sticks and ate them with the outsides blackened and the insides still clammy and cold. Sam swore they were the best damn hot dogs he'd ever tasted. Dean just looked at him funny and told him not to inhale so much campfire smoke.

After lunch, he tried his hand at fishing while they traded their favorite cupcake parts in the afternoon sun. He didn't get a single nibble the whole time, dooming his fingers to smell like garlic for the next three days for nothing. Dean, on the other hand, almost caught a fish, but it slipped off the hook before he could reel it in. Sam thought it was worth it, though, to see for even a single second his brother's green eyes glowing with excitement and the grin stretched wide across his face as he fought to bring the fish in. That was a moment Sam swore he was going to carry with him for the rest of his life.

As night began to fall, they watched the sun set over the mountains while using cigarette lighters and bits of fishing line to send flaming pink marshmallows flying into the Yellowstone River. The beer had run out about mid-afternoon, but Sam still felt drunk, laughing continuously as he and his brother tried to see just how far they could fling the marshmallows across the water.

He had to admit, it had taken him a while, but as their laughter echoed through the valley, the sound unhampered by any care in the world, he finally figured it out.

"Hey, Dean?" he said as they packed their gear into the car.


"Thanks for this."

Dean shrugged, trying not to look too pleased with himself. "Anytime. After all, the river's not going anywhere."

"And with you around," he teased, "neither are the fish."

His brother flipped him the bird and shut the trunk. "So, are you ready to get back to work?"

Sam took one last look around Paradise, and nodded. "Yeah," he smiled, "I think I am."


Next story in series - Escape to Paradise