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Bottom floor meant something might get in, but they could deal with that. Upper floors meant risking being trapped, by a fire, or a crowd of whatever might be left.
They made a quick search of the main areas and hallways of the hotel, then took a bunch of cardkeys and wandered around on the third floor and found a corner room they liked that was ridiculously fancy.
Three rooms, huge bathroom, fireplace, sitting area. Fridge with snacks not commonly found in a convenience store. And they had a fireplace. They emptied the car and brought everything into the room.
No way they were risking losing anything, even if there were plenty of other places nearby with supplies.
Dean parked the Impala close to the stairwell their room was on, next to six other cars left behind by patrons who no longer needed them.
He locked it up and looked around carefully before going in the side door and barricading it with a couple of chairs and a bunch of empty cans from the kitchen.
Sam was surfing the internet, looking for any sign of life when Dean came back in. He was checking CNN. They were all the same. September 13 th , The oldest post he could find was 1: I expected to open the laptop and find somebody, some kind of gathering of whoever was left, some kind of All the major news sites, as many of the stupid celeb entertainment sites as I can Sam nodded and clicked the laptop shut.
Not everyone on the planet had access to the internet. And no posting only meant no power, no access to computers. The hotel still had wireless running, and the chances of their locale being the only place that did He did not revise his running tally.
The evidence was too shaky. Dean went downstairs with one of the walkie-talkies and checked the kitchen. What do you want?
Sam got to listen to him sing while he cooked. He could hear something frying, then a clatter and some pretty inventive swearing, then more singing.
Anything indicating something odd, disappearances, disturbances. Strange lights in the sky. He came up empty.
Had screwed up all transmissions, of everything. Kind of like the whole plot of that show that had had Jessica Alba in it.
He thought of Exodus; the ten plagues. His impression of Bon Scott was lacking. Sam went down the stairs to help Dean with dinner. He found Dean in the kitchen wearing an apron, and a strip of cloth around his forehead like he thought he was an Iron Chef.
They watched movies on cable and drank beer and tried not to think about how, sooner or later, neither thing would exist anymore.
As exhausted as they were, they only managed a few hours of sleep between them. A detour up into Ashland, then on into Kentucky.
Grayson, Olive Hill, Morehead. It was in Morehead that Dean quit paying attention to stop signs and traffic lights. The center line had never meant that much anyway, since on the long stretches without traffic, Dean had always straddled it.
Then they just kept driving, passing places by until they hit Winchester. Left their phone numbers. They left a stockpile of gasoline in Lexington and then pushed on.
Louisville - more markers, another stockpile. They stopped there for the night, to stockpile gas and hide medical supplies in case someone or something came along and demolished the place.
Another hotel, another corner room on the third floor, another decent meal. Kansas City, then Omaha, Nebraska. While they were stashing stuff and restocking in Omaha, the power went off.
The coal-fired stations had run out of fuel, and the electricity bled off, flickering away. Jesus, we have a world full of batteries.
It was the first time either of them had mentioned the possibility of settling down. It seemed early yet to give up and say there was no one left to look for, no reason to keep moving and searching.
No signs of evil. Had evil been to blame for any of it, then there would have been something left behind. Evil liked to take the credit for its handiwork most of the time.
And ending the world? That was a lot of handiwork. Their whole lives had been about being prepared.
Preparing for the unexpected; preparing for eventualities. The leap ahead to discussing the future was nothing more than a natural progression.
They had always adapted to their surroundings. This was one more adaptation, and if there was nothing left for them to chase, there was no reason to wander from place to place endlessly.
They would search while they could. When they were satisfied that they were alone - if it ever came to that - then there was a decision to be made about how they spent the rest of their lives.
And tequila keeps, like, forever. When it started to get dark, the differences hit even harder. No streetlights, no store lights, no headlights.
The dark was total and ominous for miles. The boys had been in only two windstorms in their lives that had been bad enough to kill the power; once for two days.
It had been a rare occurrence, because as soon as it was safe to move on, they had. John Winchester had known better than to hang around where the only light could be had by flame.
They had always driven until they found a place where the power was still on. It had been something amazing to them, a world without artificial light, larger and looming and mysterious.
It just needed watching. They finally found emergency lights on a fire station they passed. Automatic generators and backup power were still running in the places that needed it most.
They found a hotel in the dark among buildings that were suddenly forbidding. They chose another corner room, kicking the door in because the lock was electronic.
They checked a few other rooms and the kitchen by flashlight. There was still enough pressure in the lines. Dean watched him, trying not to be caught doing it.
Sam was all business when it was needed, but he was taking it all just as hard as Dean had feared. Dean only felt the loss of parts of the world.
He could only deal with so much. But Sam would feel the loss of the whole, sooner or later. They took showers with what could very well have been the last hot water that manmade electricity would ever provide.
Dean swore he was going to find a place with a generator. He was not going to live without hot showers. They headed north to Sioux City first thing in the morning.
It was a serene, partly cloudy fall day that should have been rife with school buses and people rushing to work, sirens and laughter, talk radio, exhaust and fast food.
It was a ghost town. There was no sign of movement aside from pigeons. They watched from a slight distance before parking closer and walking right in the emergency room entrance with hands on guns.
The waiting room area, admitting, the labs. The emergency generators let them come and go through electronically operated security doors.
They made all this stuff, and maybe they got taken or vaporized or who knows what. Sam stared at him for a long moment, but already knew he had no reason to try and deter him from digging someone up.
It would just be more evidence, in the end. Sam was afraid that the coffins would be empty, and it would prove Dean wrong. People had never been there.
The world was a construct of their imagining, one big hollow echo still holding the constructs but not the creators. A Djinn had them in its grasp, and instead of what they wanted, they were getting what they feared.
Calvary Cemetery was the largest cemetery in the area, just off a golf course. They drove through the gates and followed the main drive.
It was sloping and well kept, open, green. Sam knew without asking that Dean was looking for the newest burials so that the digging would go quicker.
It was a requirement in most places in the last couple of decades to place a coffin inside a cement liner prior to burial, to keep the earth above from sinking once the coffin below collapsed.
Near the far northwest corner was a recent burial, the headstone already set in place but the earth still piled, the covering sod loose and humped.
They retrieved shovels from the trunk wordlessly. Sam rolled up his sleeves and gently rolled up the sod, dropping it several feet away.
Nobody would be coming to visit the grave again, and there would be no one to care whether anyone had disinterred their loved one. No one was going to care whether the sod ever looked good again, but it was still wrong to completely disrespect what was left.
It took both of them to roll the headstone back. They worked in silence. The day stayed cool and got breezier as it went on, thin clouds skating by above as they partially buried themselves in an effort to unearth someone else.
At roughly three feet they hit the cement liner. Dean hauled himself up out of the hole and headed back for the car, taking an automatic glance around.
He got a crowbar and a sledgehammer out of the still-open trunk and held them both out for Sam so he could jump back in.
Like the resurrectionists used to do. Like the anatomists back in the early to mid eighteen hundreds had done in an attempt to get bodies to examine.
It had become a popular way of making money in those times, in Edinburgh and London, to bring fresh corpses to medical schools.
It was quickest and easiest just to dig at the top only, break the coffin open, and drag the corpse up and out by its head.
Students often dug up their own family members just so they could learn. Sam laid into the liner with the sledgehammer, and it took half a dozen blows to get it to crack apart enough to get the crowbar in and take enough of it out to allow them to look in at the top of the coffin.
It was a dark hardwood with brass fittings. They looked at each other for a moment. Then Dean took the sledgehammer to the top of the coffin, first only denting but then shattering the treated wood.
He dug more out with the crowbar, watching for splinters. When the silk lining became visible, he tossed the crowbar aside and got his knife out, slitting the cloth lengthwise.
There was a pale female face below, only days dead, false color applied to the bloodless skin in the form of makeup, dark hair still carefully in place.
It meant people had been there, had really inhabited the same space they were currently in. Then maybe anyone underground for any other reason might still be out there.
Not just below ground in buildings, but maybe for What good will it do to find anybody? Dean finally stood and brushed himself off, then made an exaggerated gesture toward the hole above the head of the coffin before jumping back up and standing above Sam.
Sam shook his head and filled in the smaller hole. They both filled in the larger hole, then leaned against the closed trunk of the car and listened to the world out of habit.
No air traffic, no distant sound of semis on the nearby interstate downshifting. They stopped back in Sioux City to find something to eat and for Sam to leave more notes behind.
Not everyone spoke English, but math was universal. Sam kept watching him with what looked like patience, but Dean knew it was sadness on the edge of panic.
They checked one more area hospital and a small medical center for signs of the living. A high school, a police station.
No one had huddled there in hopes of being rescued or discovered. They parked by the garage, not bothering to try and disguise their arrival.
Nothing looked any different. They heard the dog barking long before they got near the door. The door was unlocked, like usual.
Rove shot out past them then wheeled back, snuffling, checking their hands and jumping up on them to look in their faces.
Then he took off into the yard. The house was still and cool. Any fire Bobby might have had in the woodstove had long since gone out on its own.
If anyone on the planet would had been able to leave some sort of sign or message behind, it would have been Bobby. They took him out to the garage and broke open all three fifty-pound bags of dog food that were out there and let him dig in.
He could come and go and eat as he wished, that way. Sam sifted through it all listlessly. Dean reached across and rested a hand on his shoulder, knowing it was about more than just pets, even though that was important.
Sam was mourning the world. But if it would make Sam feel better, they could try and open as many as they could reach while they were passing through.
The zoos -- they could unlock all the cages and run like hell. They could at least do that. He got up from the table and walked away.
Dean took a look around even though he already knew Bobby was set up to be trapped for a good long time.
Oil lamps, extra oil and gas, canned food, chopped wood. They could get a couple of generators and keep them out in the garage, stay there for a couple of days and regroup, figure out what they were going to do next.
They were trapped on a deserted island that happened to be the size of the planet. He checked to see which of the trucks was still running, checked their fuel gauges.
Dean wanted to be able to keep moving, but he also wanted to be back. He wanted to keep using the place as a centerpoint.
Rove came back and followed him into the house and laid on the floor by the door. Sam had lit several kerosene lamps, and it was a warm but eerie light.
His eyes were dry, but Dean knew better. Dean looked down into his coffee. For just a moment, the way Sam stilled, Dean was certain an emotional explosion would follow it.
Sam looked like he might sweep everything onto the floor and start shouting. All he did was stand, though, and run one hand through his hair.
Like before, the total darkness was disorienting. Not even emergency backup lights were visible on any of the buildings in town.
Nothing ran across the road in front of them. It took Dean a little while with just headlights to make sure they were even headed in the right direction; everything looked so damn foreign.
Once he found the hardware store, he left the headlights on and shining into the front windows. They left the door propped open and went in, flashlights on.
They stayed together the entire time. Dean picked out a camp stove and a grill and two generators, which they put into the back of the truck.
Dean put them on the grill outside and used the camp stove to begin boiling potatoes, and got the woodstove going again. Sam hooked up one of the generators in the meantime, finding what he and Dean had known they would: Dean came out and yelled at him to come eat dinner or else, so Sam gave it up for the moment.
Dean set two chops aside to cool for the dog, who was very interested in all of what was going on. They ate mashed potatoes with butter and pork chops and still slightly cool beer out of the fridge while Rove gnawed on the bones of his portion.
It was likely all the memorial he would have wanted. They felt his absence keenly in the old house. Dean went back out with Sam to wrangle with the generator, and within half an hour, they managed to get it going.
Dean made sure there was enough gas in it to keep it going awhile. At least the half that worked included the hot water heater.
They took turns in the shower after the water heated back up, then Dean went out and shut the generator off. They kept trying to catch something, anything on the crank radio, and failed.
Not the weather, not the time, nothing came over the air. Eyewitness accounts from other hunters, ancient lore.
There were so many ways for the world to end, so many ways it had been foretold over centuries, but none of them mentioned this. Even had something like the Rapture been a possibility, there would have been someone besides Sam and Dean left behind.
Plagues, famines, the intervention of deities, these he understood. But none of them had come to pass. Whatever the hell had been done.
Dean got under the crawlspace and made sure the pipes were wrapped for winter. He circled the house with the dog, checking the roofline, looking for trouble spots.
He knew there had to be a solid reason behind it all. Nobody had warned humanity about this one. So Dean chose to worry about what he could control.
They cooked up whatever sounded good and left a good bit of the rest out for the dog. They cleared out the perishables to keep the place from becoming a moldfest once they were gone They tried not to eye anything Bobby might have made too closely.
His handiwork was all over the house, but the leftovers were too personal, somehow. Dean went out to the garage and messed with a couple of the ham radios Bobby had out there, checking to see if there was anything but static on the airwaves.
Sam kept reading long into the night, until Dean hassled him into coming in and reading in bed. That way, Dean could sleep, even with the light on, because Sam was in the same room.
It was Sam who left a note taped to the inside of the glass on the back door, and Dean who locked the house.
They each spent a moment looking back at the house. The roads and surrounding area, the towns nearby, the cities beyond, all seen before and so familiar.
But no longer the same. No longer as recognizable. Rove watched them from the garage, ducking his head back in periodically to eat from the open bags.
If the dog food attracted rats, he would probably eat them too. He was better off outside and running loose to handle the new order of things however he saw fit.
Sam flipped a coin and they headed west on the 90, pausing in Rapid City to check hospitals and schools and fire departments yet again.
There was no sign of life, but there was still electricity, so they holed up in the Hotel Alex Johnson, a huge old building that Dean remembered from some Hitchcock flick.
Dean wandered around the floors and decided one of the presidential suites would be fine. Sam was too tired to so much as roll his eyes. Sam found a wireless connection and tooled around for awhile, and Dean flipped channels to see whether there was anything left, anywhere.
Even the cable channels had stopped broadcasting. Plus its own coal-fired plant, and Dean looked out the windows, down onto narrow streets and lower brick buildings with red and green awnings.
Sam tapped his fingers along one edge of the keyboard, frown developing. Dean let his gaze slide along the rooftops below, watching for any sign of movement aside from the birds.
Hell of a legacy the whole race left behind. Sam bolted upright hard enough to tip his chair over, and Dean startled away from the window. Bobby would have left us some kind of hint if he could have, but it all happened too fast.
So if everybody went that fast, then there was no one to leave warnings or flip any switches and shut anything down. Sam began to pace, sweat breaking out on his forehead and upper lip.
In the houses we were in. Nobody left a stove on. A coffee pot sits and heats for a couple of hours and shuts itself off. Those were the kinds of things we found on.
The big factories and stuff would just run until the grid shut down. The grid is shutting down everywhere, Dean. Either it fails before the grid goes, or it fails because the grid goes.
Not everything is gonna blow. Some of it might just shut itself down. All we have to do is find out where the worst stuff is, and get the hell away from it.
Just one reactor went, one, and it sent radioactive fallout all the way to fucking Sweden. It killed everything for miles. I mean, do you wanna go the rest of your life in a hazmat suit?
Sam paused to catch his breath, coming to stand at the windows by Dean. Everything else is gonna go, too. We can do this. Sam nodded, hands at hips, mouth pressed into the line Dean feared the most.
Sam in shut-down mode was harder to deal with than a rattled Sam. Especially when Dean was an instant from being rattled and pacing around the room, maybe hyperventilating, maybe trashing a place that presidents had once stayed.
He was president of the United States, suddenly, because there was no one else for the job. Of the roughly plants and reactors in the US, a significant number had been shut down and were in no danger of starting a chain reaction.
Of those that were active, the majority were near major bodies of water for coolant purposes. The entire south was out because of the possibility of tornadoes and hurricanes.
Of the disasters that nature could hit them with on a regular basis, they had to avoid those. Texas alone was oil refinery hell and not worth the risk.
There was nowhere they could go, in the world, and not be at risk for some kind of contamination. Sam took them all. Dean spent ten minutes slapping Sam away as Sam tried to pin something called a film badge dosimeter on him and then make him put a pen-shaped one in a pocket.
Dean circled around the densest downtown areas, looking for anything out of place and some kind of sign of life aside from the birds and the occasional loose dog that was looking for garbage to root in.
He noticed the cars again. None were blocking the main roads or side streets, none had crashed into each other or into the buildings.
Not one had gone up onto the sidewalk. The only ones left had already been at a stop when their drivers had vanished.
Where the hell had they gone? Sam was right, no one had had the time to shut anything off or figure out what was going on; did the cars vanish with the people?
What the hell for? Yeah, well, he thought. The suburbs began just south of I, and the first neighborhoods he began to see were full of eighties and nineties-style construction, multi level homes with attached garages.
They passed several haphazardly arranged apartment buildings in painted standard tans and grays.
He picked one street and pulled over. And we keep the radios on at all times. Sam looked at him for a moment with total and complete understanding.
Dean had learned to both fear and hope for that look, because it came so rarely and knew him too well.
Sam knew exactly what he was doing. All the rest of it was out of their control, but they had this one little thing they could do.
Then he headed for the nearest house. It was a whole day of kicking in locked doors and simply opening the unlocked ones. Sometimes a dog or a cat ran out, but most often not.
Dean figured most of the cats just hid because a lot of them were unfriendly little bastards anyway.
Nothing really tried to attack him. He heard a bird yelling occasionally, and went in and opened the cages. He would never tell Sam, but he had let a bunch of gerbils and hamsters go, too.
It seemed kind of pointless, because they were rodents, and the whole world was going to be overrun by the little bastards as it was.
It was still better than starving. Dean sat in a stairwell of an apartment building and put his head in his hands, right after that. They were going to be okay, they were going to be okay, they were going to be okay.
One cat, some big brown tabby with a fluffy tail, followed him from door to door after he let it out.
It was whining and begging for something to eat, and twining around his legs no matter how fast he tried to walk.
Why did people keep those things? It purred and grabbed at the denim on his legs, snagging its claws. He went into the next apartment and opened the fridge, and there was some leftover roast in foil in there that still smelled okay.
He crumbled it on the floor and then took off, hoping it would eat and then leave him alone. He was careful not to look around at the things that people left behind, their furniture and their pictures, the detritus of their hopes and dreams and details.
It made them real again, and truly missing. He left the gates of back yards open, opened anything that looked like a pen, wondered if they should check a few farms in the outlying areas and make sure the horses and cows could all get out if they needed to.
The absence of the sound of life was beginning to weigh on him, and he tried to shake it off yet again.
No human voices, no cars, no aircraft. Just a breeze running through open doors and an occasional barking dog. The utter absence of other voices unnerved him into nearly checking in with Sam earlier and earlier.
He hummed to himself to avoid it. He found a cage of ferrets in one house, and hesitated to open it. They were looking at him with way too much intelligence — little masked faces and unblinking dark eyes.
Clutching at the bars like tiny prisoners. We gotta pack it up. Yeah, this was going to be a bitch. He started walking back toward the car.
He was blocks away, and he knew he and Sam had covered a pretty good area, overall. He waited ten minutes before he buzzed Sam again.
He was lying, and Dean could hear it in his voice, even over a simple wireless walkie-talkie. Sam sucked at forced nonchalance.
He would be feeling sorry for everything and everyone and the way things had been left and left behind. It was who he was.
When Dean reached the car, nothing was different. He drove slowly, watching for what might dart out into the road.
He cruised down a couple of streets, trying to acclimate himself and look for the tracks Sam had mentioned. There were lights on in a lot of houses, left on in the wake of Moment Zero.
It made everything look just a little normal for a moment, and Dean resisted the urge to let himself fall into the hope that they would wake up in the morning and discover the whole thing had been a blip in reality.
Sam showed up in his headlights, sitting on the edge of a curb with something dark and four-legged wiggling excitedly around his legs.
Dean left the car running and the lights on and got out. When he did, a black lab puppy nearly fell down trying to decide if it should stay with Sam or come look at Dean.
It finally ran for him, flapping its big paws and giant head, ears pinned back and tail tucked in submission, wiggling and whimpering with excitement.
No more collars or leashes, nobody telling you to sit and feeding you that dry crap anymore, right? Turn back into wolves and stuff.
It bounced away from him and back toward Sam, trying to burrow into his chest. Sam quirked a smile and dug his hands into dark fur and loose folds of skin, pressing his face into its side.
Dean looked around, and tried to focus on the sound of the engine, because aside from Sam and the puppy, there was nothing left to hear.
The quiet was going to chip his sanity away long before anything else did. If Sam was getting all emotional, then it was because he was dealing.
Sammy, these guys all have to figure out how to do without people, and the sooner the better. He needed to hear it, himself.
Sam finally rose and left the puppy on the sidewalk. It jumped on him, front paws scrabbling at his legs, little ears flopping.
Sam looked down on it for a moment, then stepped away carefully and headed for the car. He had to dislodge the puppy twice to keep it from getting in with him.
They got back on the main arterial toward the hotel before Dean felt he could talk past the lump in his throat. Somewhere in Sam there was still a little boy that looked to Dean to fix everything, and somewhere in Dean — much, much closer to the surface — was a big brother who desperately wanted to.
He missed the world, too, already. The next morning was spent with Dean forcing Sam to putter around the kitchen with him and then forcing him to eat.
We need to keep a good fifty miles between us and any nuclear reactor all the time, and stay the hell out of Texas because almost all the infrastructure there is built over pipelines.
I mean, we should keep checking around a few of the major cities. There still might be someone who was underground, and made it.
Demons will have left some kind of sign behind. Dean thought about that for a long moment. Sam was talking about it like it was attainable, like it was about avoiding radiation and fires.
There was no point wandering around all over when there was no one to check on and nothing to fight with. Canned veggies and fruits, peanut butter, and soups all expire within a year.
Stuff like cereal, too. In two years, max, none of that stuff will be good anymore. Too much of a freeze-thaw cycle in the midwest, too much for two people to handle.
Plus, lots of reactors in the midwest. How long will batteries last? Sam tilted his head forward to give him a look that said come on. Dean was silent for nearly a minute while Sam finished breakfast.
It was overcast outside again and looked like it might rain. The leaves were just beginning to turn. They had maybe six weeks to hunker down somewhere and let winter pass.
He quirked his brows when he realized how ridiculous the statement sounded out loud. Dean nodded and rubbed at the back of his neck, trying to get a knot out and unconsciously comforting himself.
Sam drew patterns in the crumbs on his plate with his fork. Busting out of hellgates, tearing people up.
They make big gestures, and enjoy it. I mean, Azazel was a fallen. He was one of the fucking Grigori, Dean. Where are we headed with this?
He came and sat across from Sam at the table. Sam swallowed hard and kept his eyes down. I mean, when I woke up that morning, I knew something was different.
Probably because everything was so quiet. They did all their laundry in the machines in the basement, knowing it was likely going to be by hand from then on out.
Sam fooled around online while he still could, jotting notes and marking maps. Dean packed their stuff and laid on one of the beds to stare at Sam for awhile.
Then we can hole up in California for the winter. Then west to Salt Lake City. So quit staring at me. Sam sighed, an entirely normal sound, and went back to searching catastrophe preparedness websites.
Sam clicked the laptop shut, and found Dean staring at him from the bed. The last of the grid had collapsed.
Dean ran down to the lobby and picked up copies of the last newspapers humanity had ever produced. They ate dinner by candlelight in their room, looking for signs in print that something odd might have been going on.
Dean blew out the candles and stared out the windows long into the night, beginning to wonder if something else would happen or if the big surprise had already landed.
He glanced over at Sam, then found it was hard to look away. Sam had brought up the possibility that one of them might vanish during the night and leave the other as last man standing, and the idea had sunk in harder than Dean wanted to admit, even to himself.
They showered with the last of the still-warm water and packed the car. Sam left dates and coordinates at the front desk in the lobby, on the big windows facing the street, spraypainted them on several bigger street signs just off the freeway.
Numbers almost anybody could understand, no matter where they were from. Into them, in places, where they just filled the rivers in. So it takes — took — a huge system of pumps to keep the water back and out of the sewers and tunnels.
It used to get bad enough when there was too much rain, and the tunnels would flood anyway. So much for civilization, right?
Sam was working on dealing with things by turning them into facts. Dean could admire that. They were so good at adapting.
It had begun to seem plausible that everyone was really gone, instead of intolerable and insane. They cut south to Casper, then down to Cheyenne.
There were dogs and birds and a few whitetails roaming and nothing else. Sam left more dates and coordinates and added Wyoming to his tally: They spent the night in Cheyenne.
There was nothing left but emergency lights from wind turbines or residual solar energy. Everything else was gone, even the emergency generators.
It had been a week, and things had lasted longer than either of them had really hoped. Dean listened, constantly, waiting for something to else hear.
Waiting for Sam to speak. Listening to him breathe. Sam caught him awake again and shoved their beds together, saying he felt better that way. But he dozed for awhile.
At first it seemed so normal that neither of them really cared, but then it sank in and they bolted out of bed and to the nearest window.
They threw their stuff together and stood by the car, trying to center on the cause. The air had an acrid smell, the burning of plastics and artificial fabrics in addition to wood.
Could have started while the power was still on. They glanced at each other over the top of the car. Whole areas were going to vanish that way.
Sooner or later, most areas would vanish that way. They headed south again, to Fort Collins and Boulder and then Denver.
They found an REI and stocked up on survival gear, jackets and extra pairs of boots and water treatment kits. A couple of backpack stoves and a camping stove with plenty of extra fuel.
Dean found a camping percolator. They spent the day turning Denver into another stockpile of fuel and medical supplies, choosing basements and large fireproof safes this time after realizing that fire could take it all.
Sam checked both the Geiger counters compulsively and never seemed to completely believe it when nothing registered.
That night he shoved the beds together automatically. Dean wrinkled his nose. They stayed south and went into Colorado Springs. Finding everything looking the same as everywhere else had become less of a shock and more of an expectation.
Colorado Springs was not the place to give them any hints, though. Dean went into a Starbucks and got several pounds of ground coffee and a French press.
Dean sighed and walked back outside. He stood and stared at the street for a minute or so, wondering how long it would be before weeds and ice and all kind of other stuff would start just breaking it apart.
Do you wanna stop for a couple of days? Dean looked at him incredulously. For once, while making an obvious statement, his tone was not laced with sarcasm.
Dean carefully looked out into the street, again. Humanity was kind of dumb, for the most part, but Sam kept his hands in his pockets.
Dean was beginning to scare him, a little. Sam felt like he was still in shock, that he would wake up again and the world would have started all over, but he was beginning to accept that it would never happen.
He was reacting in an attempt to deal. Dean was doing what Dean always did: We can keep track. Sam debated for several minutes before leaving a date and coordinates on a couple of street signs.
He realized he had made himself timekeeper for a clock that no longer had hands. They got on the 24 headed northwest out of Colorado Springs, following miles and miles of cattle fencing.
A lot of hay fields had been harvested in the preceding weeks, and huge rolls of the stuff sat at regular intervals. They took the 67 west for awhile until they could pick up the 24 north again, leading them back to the They stopped twice to refuel and use the restroom and check the tires and poke around for food.
That, at least, had not changed. Something to distract him a little. Or keep him awake. It occurred to him to find a book store and look through the books on tape.
Dean had listened to it and laughed his ass off for days afterward. That is one crazy bitch. Dean came down the aisle Sam was on and picked up some sunflower seeds.
But Sam suddenly had an urge to hear Gods Of War at top volume. It was late when they got to Salt Lake. They checked carefully for smoke, driving slowly around a couple of blocks with the windows open.
They found a Hilton and chose the second floor, easy enough to get out of in case of fire and still high enough to deter anyone or anything that might be prowling around.
He dug around in the big walk-in freezer and found that most of the things in the center were still frozen. He thawed a couple of stuffed chicken breasts on the camping stove and steamed some mixed vegetables, tucking a six pack of beer into the center of the freezer to chill.
When he looked up, Dean was leaning against the entryway into the kitchen, staring at Sam. He looked so weary for a moment that Sam stepped back from the stove to turn toward him.
So he wondered how the hell Dean had to feel, with nowhere near enough sleep. He knew better than to try and drag anything out of Dean.
Might wanna take a couple. They ate in the bar area with candlelight flickering off the mirrored walls. Dean ate the vegetables without complaining about it.
West into Nevada, or north into Idaho? We could cut over to Oregon, then up into Washington. We wanna stay out of Arizona.
He heard the faint cajoling tone in his own voice and wanted to kick himself. No point spending the rest of our lives wandering around trying to figure out what the hell happened.
No point watching everything collapse. He laid in bed reading by flashlight and tried to ignore the utter silence that should never have existed in a hotel even in the most off of off seasons.
Dean was in the bed closest to the door, turned away from him. Sam glanced over every so often to note how damn tense his back and shoulders looked.
He waited, trying to relax but not wanting to drop off. Twenty minutes passed before Dean sat up suddenly and almost silently.
He was still for a long moment, then got up and headed into the bathroom and closed the door. Sam rearranged his pillows and folded his hands behind his head.
He realized he had no idea what time it was, but his internal chronometer said it had to be close to midnight. He heard water run — not much water pressure left, but enough to make it possible to wash up — and then silence for several minutes.
It was enough to make Sam begin to tense up. Then Dean came out, feet hunter-soft on the thick carpeting, and sat on the edge of his own bed.
Sam watched his back. There was so little light that even with his dark-adapted eyes, it took him a couple of minutes to realize Dean was shaking.
Instead of saying anything to him, like he usually would have, he got up. He nearly startled at how cold Dean felt to the touch. Dean tried to elbow him away.
Somehow, somehow, that hit home. He felt Dean relax fractionally. It was just the right thing to say. Maybe the only thing to say.
Sam had almost been using it as a kind of mantra to calm himself. Arabic, Arab arbiter m. Sea of Azov azurny adj. Baptist Protestant baptizm m. Byzantium Bizantijska imperija f.
Byzantine Empire bizantijsky adj. Virgin Mary bogoslovec m. Bosnia Bosnija i Hercegovina f. Bosnia and Herzegovina bosnijsky adj. British briti brije v.
Bulgarian woman bulgarsky adj. That is the question bytje n. Church Slavonic crkovny adj. Lower Sorbian dolnosrbsky adj. Lower Sorbian dolny adj.
Dominican Republic dominovati v. Galicia Eastern Europe galicizm m. Galicia Southern Europe galon m. Upper Sorbian gornosrbsky adj. Upper Sorbian gorsky adj.
Gothic architecture gotovina f. Gothic Germanic govedina f. Vienna sausage, Frankfurt sausage hrestomatija f. India Indijan, Indijanin m.
American Indian Indijanka f. American Indian woman indijansky adj. American Indian indijsky adj. Indian; Indijsky okean Indian Ocean individ m.
Italy Italijan, Italijanin m. Israeli izrasti izraste v. Orthodox priest jeremiada f. Kashubian, Cashubian kat m.
Colombian kolzati se v. Quran, Koran kordon m. Costa Rica kostarikansky adj. Costa Rican kostel m. Crimea; Crimea krysa f. Latin alphabet latinsky adj.
Magyarisation, Magyarization Madjarka f. Mars Marsian, Marsianin m. Muslim, Moslem muslimanka f. Muslim, Moslem muslimansky adj. Neanderthal man nebesky adj.
Nigerian nijedin nijedna, nijedno pron. Nile nilsky konj m. New Zealand novak m. New Zealandic novy adj. United Kingdom objedinjeny adj. Friday petsot, petsto num.