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The Blackest of Days (31 days left to shop!)
by Sarah (grrli)
at November 27th, 2007 (12:43 pm)

Author: grrli
Pairing/Character: Sam, Dean, Impala
Rating: Pg-13 (for some language)
Prompt: Prompt 16: The Winchesters VS Black Friday
Summary: Fighting evil on Black Friday is surprisingly difficult
Spoilers: none
Warnings: Shopping can be some dangerous business... No beta, and I didn't spellcheck because I'm a bad, bad grrli
Disclaimer: Supernatural and characters are copyright. Not to me. To other people. I'm just creatively promoting or something, yeah thats it.

Sam And Dean In The Car

Rain sluiced down the windows as the two brothers sat half sodden in the car, waiting at the stop light. Ahead of the shining black hood of the Impala were an abundance of mini vans and SUVs, lined up for a good quarter mile to the light itself.

"The traffic out here is nuts," Dean muttered, slouching a little in the seat. Hair glistening with droplets from the quick run to the car, he looked immune to the annoyance of being a little wet.

Sam, on the other hand, looked the part of miserable. His longer locks stuck to his cheeks, shoved out of his eyes but somehow still dripping into them, causing him to blink rapidly. Palm grazing more water from his face, he made an uncaring noise and broached the subject his mind was on. His voice was sullen and a little heavy from the cold he was starting to develop as he spoke, "I know we can get all the stuff we need in one shot. Destination One has the black mirror... In the form of a serving tray, but it's black and mirrored, so it'll work. It has the incense and the cherry wood that we need to burn. We just have to whittle the salad tongs to get the wood shavings. Uh, was there anything else?"

"Black candles. Ah, finally! You'd think freakin' Elvis was up there, with all these cars..." Dean replied. "We have one left from the last time, but since Destination One has everything and the kitchen sink, might as well stop by the handy dandy craft section, huh?"

Sam's brows quirked and he nodded, fishing a small notebook out of his pocket. The list just got officially big enough to warrant an actual written record. He didn't forget stuff, usually, but being prepared was the key to never forgetting.

A stub of pencil was brought out and he jotted the list down. The traffic stopped again, and Dean groaned. Sam hunkered down a little more, knees firmly against the dash, as comfortable as he could get. His eyes were just turning towards the rain streaked window when Dean's grumble got louder and the car rocked gently to the brakes.

"What the... That crazy bitch in the Escalade just cut me off! The hell is going on here? Nobody cuts me off!"

Sam looked up to see that it was in fact an Escalade, though as to whether a bitch was driving, he couldn't tell. Frowning a little, Sam fished under his seat for the rumpled flier in which he'd seen the black mirrored serving tray. Pulling it out, beneath the colorful lettering of Destination One: Your One Stop Shopping Experience!, he saw the two day sale, the post-Thanksgiving greetings, the signs that he and Dean and most hunters everywhere had no regard for...

He looked up, eyes wide, a faintly horrified grimace on his face. Dean's eyes widened in response. Dean thought that maybe there was some sort of cataclysm coming, from the look. Sam, who had lived life on the normal side for a very brief time, knew the truth. It was a semi-natural destructive event.

"Dean, it's Black Friday," Sam said, and Dean groaned again.

"Oh, God, that sounds bad. What does it mean? Some sort of demon uprising? An evil magic holiday, what?" Dean braked again, suddenly, and if Sam's knees weren't up against the dash, his forehead would have been, because the second time he was cut off at a faster clip than before. Dean broke into a string of generic curses.

Sam cleared his throat, smiling a little apologetically, "Its actually a shopping holiday. It's the most shopped day of the year. Everyone's out shopping, today."

Dean looked at him. Blinked. Looked at the road again, jaw stiffening slightly. He shot him a fast, 'I should kill you' look, then growled, "Dude, what the hell? You got me nervous there for a second. Jeez."

"It doesn't sound that bad, but people are crazy on Black Friday," Sam straightened and begins his exposition while Dean drives through increasingly agressive traffic.

"They get weird. Like, their hunter gatherer instincts go overboard. Retail stores abuse it, too. They put limited availability merchandise on sale at the ass crack of dawn and it's like, chum in the water to these people. Once the premium stuff is gone they frenzy, picking up whatever secondary merchandise they can at only moderately reduced prices. There have been virtual riots for crap like Tickle Me Elmo."

"That's messed up," Dean muttered, scowling at the rain washed windshield. Ahead, the lit sign beckoned them. Destination One.

"Yeah it is." Sam nodded, pushing his still wet hair from his face. Dean's military style cut was mostly dry, in contrast. Sam leaned forward a little to see past Dean's profile.

The parking lot was full. Overfull, it seemed, because there were less cars leaving than entering, and most aisles had at least one car trolling for a space to park. Dean spared a glance toward it. Sam could see his Adam's apple bob gently when he swallowed hard.

Three seconds after turning into the lot entrance, Dean said in a faintly panicked voice, "I can't park the car here. Do you know how many door dings I've witnessed in the last five seconds?"

"What do you want to do, then?"Sam asked, sighing with a sound of infinite patience.

Dean, knuckles white on the wheel, eyeballs shooting about wildly to keep track of the flashes of backup lights, tail lights, pedestrians and shopping carts in random drift, paused a long moment as he cruised very, very slowly behind a caravan that was half rust, half duct tape, then said suddenly, "You get out. Call me when you're done. Good luck."

And there was the entrance, flush full with people entering, exiting, babbling excitedly, walking slow, nearly running. A plethora of people. They swarmed the car as they inched into the yellow demarkation of crosswalk. Dean visibly cringed as a large bagged object with sharp looking edges swung an inch over the shiny smooth hood. He reached over and gave Sam's shoulder a shove, "Go on."

Sam let himself out of the car. People backed away when Dean revved the engine. He still had to crawl out of the area, but Sam could easily imagine the tension slipping from his older brother as he moved further and further from the danger zone.

Sam In Destination One: Your One Stop Shopping Experience!

Grinning a little, Sam turned and walked towards the door only to catch a sharp elbow in the side. Lurching away, his arm dropped protectively and he said loudly, "OW!"

Not so much because it hurt, but to make it known that it was rude to elbow strangers. The little old lady that had done it didn't even bother to look back. She hurried in and disappeared into the crowd. Confusion on his face, he continued in.

He got ten feet before he came to a dead wall of shopping carts that choked the aisle. Veering around the carts, and the vaguely irate looking people, he dove straight into the girl's department. He walked between pink sweaters and tiny jeans with purple hearts embroidered on them, successfully avoiding tripping over three separate children who were running about and hiding int he racks.

He was just stepping off the carpeted area and back onto the linoleum walkway when his shin was struck. Hard. Really hard. Scowling, he looked down to see a shocked looking infant looking back up at him. Sam's mouth fell open when the lady pushing the infant's stroller said with a hint of irritation, "Excuse me!"

She wheeled around him, canopy and undercarriage of the stroller packed with goods from the store. He turned to watch her, then turned back around again quickly, wary of any more stroller wielding matrons. Every twenty feet or so he saw a Destination One associate in their customary bumblebee colors of yellow and black. Every one he noticed had a look of impending doom on his or her face.

Understandable, he thought, as one poor guy was being quizzed on why there was no more of 'it' and why won't they be getting any more in and how come the advertisement claims that...

Sam veered away from the larger clusters of people. He sharpened his attention, kept his defenses up. He didn't get hit again, didn't get stuck in the pointless flow of customers.

He also didn't find the mirrored glass tray. He found the craft section fine, got the wax and dye and wicks for candle making. Got fresh chalk, grabbed some salt when he stumbled into the dry goods area. He found the incense by chance when he stopped in the candle aisle to see what they had.

The whereabouts of the tray eluded him.

Dean Escapes The Lot

"Jesus, a kid... Watch your damn children, lady! God!"

He hit his brakes and began rolling his window down simultaneously. Only opened it a few inches because of the rain, but enough to speak his mind to the lady who wasn't watching the knee high squirt that just ran a few steps towards the moving car. Dean's moving car. Dean spent way too much time saving people from weird shit to kill someone in a mundanely shitty way.

She shot him a dirty look in response and that just brassed him right off. Not that he could do anything about it other than fume and snarl under his breath as he rolled past at an agonizingly slow pace towards the lot exit. Then he had to stop because some dipstick, who had been watching him approach for the last FIVE minutes, decided to take NOW to back out into the driving aisle. Instead of pulling out of their space when they had ample room and time. Forcing Dean to stop, of course. Because the fact was that these assholes were all out to get him. Out to make Dean Winchester nuts.

It wasn't really, but God, did it feel like it.

There was a diner down the way. If he could get there, he could find a nice parking space in the back and get a cup of coffee and try to relax for a minute. Try to figure out how in the world there were so many people in this one place. He hadn't really thought about how many people there were in the world, or in the US, or even in the damn state, really.

It seemed like all the people who lived in the tri-county were here, and shopping like this was the last day to shop, ever. Freakin' wackos.

Sam's Quest Continues

He hated to do it, because the guy looked like his eyeballs would fall out of his head if someone asked him a question, but Sam was lost. He couldn't figure out where the tray was, and all these people around him, swarming, picking up things and making off and then more came like... locust... Even the ever present babble of people talking, to phones, to each other, to themselves, it was starting to make him feel off balance. There were just so damn many people that even when he was moving through the racks he felt confined by them.

At least at concerts everyone is having a good time and enjoying the music. Here, everyone was frantic, focused on what they wanted and nothing else. It was a little creepy.

One last wander up and down a random aisle, finding only nutcrackers and candy dishes, Sam sighed and gave up, heading for the guy with the yellow shirt and the vaguely bulging eyes. Someone else beat him there.

A woman with a shopping cart loaded with a miscelany of things was pointing at the display wall where there were barstools. From where Sam was a few yards away and closing, he could hear her.

"I need three more of those and there's only two up there. Get me another one."

The bugeyed dude that had a name tag which identified him as 'New Member', stuttered and nodded, then flat out ran to the wall and peered up at the stools a moment before bolting off in another direction.

"What was that about?" The woman snapped, and it took Sam a second to realize that she'd spoken to him.

He shook off the half daze and cleared his throat, "Ah-hum, huh? Are you speaking to me?"

"Yes, you. You rolled your eyes at me, didn't you? Well, boy, lemme tell you something..."

He heard her talking, but she fast stopped making sense to him. He was really tired. His watch told him he'd been there almost an hour. He hadn't even noticed that he had not controlled his disdain at her casual rudeness. He did, however, play dumb until she was done venting at him and was glad when she stopped and he was free to go in search of another associate.

He found someone. She was in yellow, with black slacks and her name was 'Sam', which seemed hugely ironic to him. He kept still the chuckle he felt stuck in his throat. He thought that it might sound a little crazy if he let it out.

"Hi, can you possibly point me towards the black glass serving tray?"

With a knowing nod, her hand waved toward an aisle halfway down the long, human choked aisle, "Midway down, on your left."

"Oh, God, thank you. I've been looking for that thing for almost an hour," Sam sighed with relief.

And then when he got to the aisle she suggested, he grumbled, because it wasn't there.

Dean Gets Into Traffic

Merging is a bitch. Merging when no one wants you to merge is a motherfucking bitch. Dean sat at the exit and waited until someone in a brand new Mercedes was the one that would have to give way, then he gunned into the lane, counting on the cost of the car as a deterrent to getting hit. Sure, people with cars like that have good insurance, but they have good insurance because they don't abuse their insurance. A sideswipe would make their ratio of liability higher.

Crowing a triumphant yell, he glanced back at his rearview mirror and then settled in for the dragging drive to the diner.

He didn't feel as happy a moment later when some hippie dude in a poncho made from a garbage bag rode past on a bike. Effortlessly hauling ass, in fact, with a few Destination One bags hanging off his handlebars.

Dean rubbed his face and sighed.

Sam Winchester And The Elusive Black Mirrored Tray

One more associate later, Sam found the secondary location. He had dodged flying bits of dried cereal flung at him from a child in a cart, side stepped a large puddle of what might have been spilt soup or, more likely, vomit, and narrowly avoided being crushed in a three way rush of shopping carts converging on the last three 30$ microwaves.

He stood at the place, looking down at the gleaming tray, finger smeared and slightly chipped on one edge. He didn't care. It was his. He bent to pick it up and found that he wasn't the only one with a hand on it.

Eyes flashing up, he stared a young man right in the face. The guy looked to be about the same age as Sam, but a little thinner, a little geekier looking, a lot weaker looking.

Neither let go right away. They both peered at the other with a look that verged on suggesting the other was rude for not letting go. Sam's glance slipped sideways to see if anyone was watching. At worst, he could give the guy a hard pinch in a nerve cluster to make him let go. At worst. If no one was watching.

But first, he'd try words. "Dude, I really need this, I have to get out of here and meet my brother, who's waiting for me. Maybe you could check with an associate and see if there's more in stock?" Sam thought he was being nice, but the other guy apparently didn't.

"I need it too. what if there isn't any more? Then what am I supposed to do?"

"Get it another time? Can you let go? This is getting a little awkward," Sam said, his kind voice fading a little, about to slip into something more stern. Suddenly that pushy bitch from earlier was starting to make sense to him.

"If I let go then you get it and I get nothing," The guy wasn't whining, but he was. Sam felt a slight urge to slap him come and go.

Sighing, instead of slapping him, Sam tried to explain in the best lie possible, "Look, I won't be back this way again and I really, really need this thing to complete the... present. For Christmas. Has to be a black mirrored tray. This is my one chance."

"I need it, too," The guy replied. He had not let go yet.

Sam eyed the guy's elbow for the position of the nerves he'd need to hit. In a tone that was both exasperated and a little dangerous, he asked, "really... for what?"

To which the guy said, "... Uh..."

Sam smirked angrily and jerked the tray out of the other guy's hands. For a brief second he thought the guy would physically respond, but felt the moment slip just as fast. He didn't turn too quick, though. Last thing he'd need is to get shivved in freakin' Destination One on Black Friday. That was just too much fun to handle, in Sam's book.

Dean Is Seated

He did find a place to park that didn't make him feel twitchy. However, he hadn't stood in line for a seat at the counter in forever. Especially in a no name little place like this. Might have been the holiday, might have just been a popular place.

A spot was cleared after a long time of leaning against the wall, watching people. Smiling at the occasional pretty face. Gotta get a thrill somehow, especially after the drive. Hell, might as well have tried driving through D.C. traffic during the height of rush hour. It was that much fun.

He settled onto the stool and even got a waitress that was easy on the eyes. Just... JUST asked for a cup of coffee when his phone rang. Dean's eyes closed in a gesture of defeat. Slowly his hand dipped into his pocket and pulled out the phone. He looked up into the big blue eyes of the girl who was pouring his coffee and smiled sadly.


"Hey, Dean, I'm heading for the checkouts. I'll be out of here in ten."

Dean paused, and the girl smiled. "Take your time, bro. Seriously."

"Dude, I wanna get out of here. I think some of these shoppers are out for blood. I just want to get a... oh, shit."

Siting up straighter, Dean asked with a touch of concern, "Sammy? Sam, what's wrong?"

There was a moment of pregnant silence. Then Sam's moody voice, already resigned, "The express lanes are backed up far into the aisle. Make that twenty."

"Sure thing, buddy. Hey, grab some M&Ms at the checkout lanes? Peanut if they got 'em."


Sam hung up the phone, and Dean tucked his away.

There And Back Again: Black Friday Shopping

Sam yanked open the door, dripping all over the interior in order to put the back in the back seat before climbing all the way in. Dean mumbled a wordless protest to the wetness, but his heart wasn't in it. Sam had bounded across half the parkinglot to meet him instead of standing under the awning to wait the extra fifteen minutes. It would have been an extra fifteen minutes with a bunch of people who Sam felt might have hostility issues. People with whom he did not want to rub elbows or get his toes stepped on or step on someone else's anymore. He was sick to death of people.

Dean glanced at him before focusing on the marked perils of an overpopulated parking lot. Murpy's law seemed to be the master of the day. To him, Sam looked extra miserable. Which made Dean secretly very glad he had not been the one to go into the store. He could only imagine what it would have been like if he had gone in there. It would have sucked.

"Did you get everything?" He asked while watching the asphalt and the flash of lights and random motion of human and cart forms.

"Yeah. though I thought this one guy would fight me for the tray. But... thinking about it, I have this... I dunno, this feeling that he was grabbing it just because it was the last one and I was grabbing it. You know? Does that make any sense?"

Dean caught Sam's confused expression and snorted, "No. You're paranoid. Know what you need?"

"Beer?" Sam replied, because he did need a beer. Beer and tranquility, which wouldn't be happening until after tonights ritual.

"That, definitely," Dean laughed, then he sobered and added, "You need to never again suggest we go get anything on Black Friday, okay? I mean it, Sam. Seriously."

Sam exhaled and swiped his wet hands over his slightly less wet thighs and nodded.



(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Sarah (grrli)
Posted at: December 2nd, 2007 02:35 pm (UTC)

I could have played Sam's cold up more in order to get that extra level of misery in there, but ah well.

People are crazy. Especially the door busters. It didn't make sense for them to battle the people who line up hours before the store opens, but that could have been a fun scene.

Thanks for the comment!

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