Title: Upside Down and Sideways
Category: Angst, whump
Summary: Set just after ELAC. Dean's world has been turned on it's head- He's alive while his Dad is dead and Sam just won't leave him alone. Consumed by rage and grief, his anger has consequences that neither he nor Sam can foresee. Limp!Sam, Angry/protective/hurt!Dean, ultra-awesome/curmudgeonly!Bobby.
Disclaimer: Supernatural and it's character's aren't mine, but it sure sure would be nice if they were.
Upside Down and Sideways
I'm not okay, and neither are you....
Angrily wiping the tears that had filled his eyes away, Sam retreated from his brother, knowing that the confession he had just made to him would not go over well. He was only a short distance away when he heard the first crash of glass breaking and shattering. His first instinct was to turn around and run back to the sound, but he held himself back, hearing the metallic thuds of metal slamming into metal. Dean was beyond reasoning with now and he had to let some of the anger he had been bottling up inside out. He wanted nothing better than to go back to him, but Sam thought it wiser to let Dean take his frustrations out on the car rather than him.
Besides, he was too angry with himself to go back. He tried to help, tried to get Dean to open up to him, to share the pain and grief that they both felt, but Dean's lancing and spiteful words still hung heavy over him. What Dean had said was true, he had never been the model son that their father had wanted and trying to make up for it now he was dead was never going to bring him back or win his approval.
It was all too little, too late.
The beating Dean was unleashing on his car continued as Sam walked up the rickety wood steps of Bobby's porch and sat, feeling the crushing weight of despair and guilt he was choking on. Dean had every right to want nothing to do with him right now and he needed his space. Sam ran a hand through his hair and breathed a heavy, sorrowful sigh.
By the time the sounds of the metal being crushed finally stopped, Sam had made up his mind. He needed to get out of here-Dean needed him to get out of here. There was just no way around it. Determined now, he stood and made his way inside to pack.
Dean threw the crow bar down to the ground, letting it land with a heavy, metallic clank and sank down next to it, his back up against his now ruined car. He clenched and unclenched his fists as the anger that had so totally overpowered him minutes ago receded into a haze and left him panting and exhausted.
At first, the release had felt good and it had felt right to smash something. If Sam had stuck around any longer than he had, he probably would have hit him. He hated it that his brother had confessed his hurt to him and that he wanted him to join in some sort of fucking pity party.
Instead, the rush of adrenaline as he took that crowbar and smashed it repeatedly into the trunk lid. allowing the destruction to flow out of him freely and onto the metal had been cathartic. He was glad at least But now he was just tired, so damn tired. Tired of fighting with Sam, tired of his prodding, tired of him trying to get him to break down into some mass of blubbering, girlie goo, tired of working on the car endlessly in order to keep from turning into said blubbering mass of goo.
Looking back on it now, he could only feel regret. Dad would have kicked his ass from there to the end of the yard if he had seen what he had just done to the Impala, but his dad wasn't there, was he? No, instead Dean was alive when he should be dead and his dad was dead when he should be alive. It was all wrong and unnatural, as if the entire order of his life had been turned upside down and sideways.
Dean let his shoulders slump in defeat. He couldn't bring his dad back, but he could fix his car and bring that back to life and now he had ruined even that. With his racing heartbeat coming down a notch, he stood on unsteady feet to survey the damage.
"Ahhh, shit." He breathed to himself seeing the havoc he had wreaked. It was going to take him forever to repair this. But fix her he would. There wasn't much else he could fix in his f'd-up life, but this he could.
Hauling his newest acquisition behind him in his tow-truck, Bobby Singer had been glad to get out of the junkyard for a while and leave the two Winchesters to themselves for awhile. Not that he didn't love the boys like they were his own flesh and blood, but damn those kids were determined to drive him into and early grief was palpable, he could see the pain in each of their eyes, but what was worse was seeing them both drift away from each other when they needed to be united now more than ever.
To be fair, mostly it was Dean doing the pushing away. Bobby had seen Sam make the effort to reach out to his brother, only to be shut out. He knew that that hurt the younger one almost as much as losing their dad, but Dean's pain was too raw for him to see any of that.
Pulling into the yard, he pulled off his cap and wiped the sweat from his brow, deciding that a drink was in order before he put his newest jalopy away.
Striding up the stairs and into the house he noticed how quiet it was. Dean was no doubt still working on his damn car, though Bobby had been impressed by how quickly the kid was making progress on it, he didn't think the thing was even close to being salvageable, but Dean was proving him wrong every day.
Sam was nowhere in sight, his usual spot by the bookshelf was empty. Just as his older brother was determined to restore his car, the younger one had been just as adamant to find the demon that had taken their dad away and had read almost every book in Bobby's extensive collection to find any way of finding it.
Bobby could only shake his head and walk over to the kitchen, opening the fridge to grab a beer and twisting the cap off before downing half of it straight away. The sounds of feet walking down the stairs caught his attention and he headed towards it just in time to see two lanky legs descending.
Sam seemed surprised to see Bobby at the bottom of the stairs. On one shoulder he hefted a full duffel bag and the older man frowned. "What the hell is that bag for, Sam?"
"Uh..." Sam began eloquently.
"Well, boy?" Bobby prodded impatiently.
Sam walked the rest of the way down the stairs and slumped the bag to the floor before answering. It had been bugging him for the last couple of days that their father's truck had been left abandoned in Lincoln. He had meant to talk to Dean about going back for it, but his brother's rebuffs and refusals to even so much as mention their dad had left him holding off, but now he knew that the time had come for at least one of them to go and retrieve it. Besides, it also gave him the perfect reason to give Dean and himself some much needed space for them to both clear their heads.
"I'm going to Lincoln." Sam finally spit out after taking a breath, knowing that Bobby wasn't going to be pleased with his decision. "Dad's truck is still there and I'm going to go pick it up."
"And you were going to mention this when?"
"Well, I was going to ask you if I could borrow that rusty old van of yours again, that is if you got it running. Thought I could take it to the bus station in town and I'll ride the bus to Nebraska then drive the truck back. You guys can pick the van up from the station later."
Bobby tore off his cap and rubbed his head. "Sam, that truck's bound to be in impound by now. Hell, I wouldn't even be surprised if it's been auctioned off already."
"I called ahead, The truck's in the impound, but I'll get it out. It's set to be auctioned by the police next week, but I just can't let that happen. Dad's bound to have left some of his notes and papers inside it that might help us and besides, we could use another working vehicle....it's gonna be some time before the Impala's up and running again and I don't think Dean is too keen on using that mini-van any more."
"What does Dean think of all this?" Bobby had to ask. At Sam's silent, hardening of the eyes, Bobby knew right off that Dean didn't know anything about him deciding to take off.
"Ahhh shit, Sam. You didn't tell him?"
"I left him a note."
"A note? That boy's gonna have a conniption if you don't go and talk to him before you go."
"Bobby, I think the last thing he wants to do is talk to me." Sam sighed. "He's made it pretty clear that he's done talking. Look...Dean doesn't want me around right now and to be honest...I could use some time alone too. I'll only be gone a few days- a week at most. Dean probably won't even notice I'm gone with all of the work he still has on the car. I think this would be the best for both of us right now."
"So you're just gonna go all half-cocked on your own without even saying so much as a 'see ya later' to your brother?"
"It's better this way..." Sam shook his head sadly and with a weariness that men his age shouldn't have to carry. "I've tried. I've tried so hard to talk to him, but I don't want to fight anymore, Bobby. I'm sick of it." Bobby saw the truth in Sam's eyes, the bone-tiredness that he held in them and it was enough to make him cave. Against his better judgment, he found himself fishing out the keys to the old mini-van that he had just got running again and tossing them over to Sam. Catching them in the air, Sam gave Bobby an appreciative nod before picking up his bag and heading for the door.
"Sam-" Bobby called out to his retreating back, causing the younger man to pause and turn around. There was so much he wanted to tell the kid, that his brother would come around sooner or later, that the anger Dean kept barely at bay wasn't directed at him, but at their father, but he knew that all of that would just be lip-service until Dean actually did reach out for the one person he needed the most.
"I know, Bobby. I'm sorry to leave you with him when he's like this, but I gotta go, the bus's leaving soon.... He'll understand."
Sam turned and left and as Bobby heard the engine to the van turn over and the squeaky whine of the suspension as he pulled away from the house, he muttered to himself. "I wouldn't bet on that, you idjit."
As the van sputtered and spewed large, black billows of exhaust from the muffler, Sam prayed that it would keep running long enough for it make it all of the way to the bus station. It was with a breath of relief when he finally made it and pulled into a parking spot at the station. He turned it off, hearing it clack and rumble until it finally stopped and a white cloud of steam and smoke came pouring out from under the hood.
Grabbing his bag he thanked his lucky stars that the mini-van hadn't died before getting there as the bus was leaving shortly and he didn't want to wait around until the next bus left at midnight. He rushed over to ticket counter and purchased his ticket with only minutes to spare before the bus was scheduled to depart.
Filing into the bus, he found it practically full, he had hoped for a seat by a window, but they were all taken, in fact the only seat he could find was near the back and he excused him self over and over again as he brushed by people on his way down the narrow isle.
Coming to the seat, he bent over a little to speak to the young lady sitting next to it by the window. "Excuse me." He started, she turned her head from the window towards him and he gave her a polite smile. "Is this seat taken."
The girl smiled back shyly and just shook her head.
"Mind if I sit here?" He asked.
Again she didn't speak, but shook her head again.
"Great. Thanks." He picked up his duffel bag and lifted it over his head to shove it into the cramped compartment above before taking a seat. The girl eyed him and he felt his cheeks begin to flush, as if finally realizing that she was staring at him she turned her head away sharply as though embarrassed and took to looking out the window again.
Sam's knees hit the back of the seat in front of him as he could barely squeeze his long legs into the space, but when the man in front of him, decided to lean the seat back even further, Sam glowered, but held his tongue, not wanting to ask the man in front to raise his seat back up. He just wanted to blend away into the mass of humanity on board and not cause anyone to take notice of him. For once he just wanted to feel what it was like to be normal again, to not feel like a freak, to not feel the weight of knowing that out there somewhere there were demons and monsters ready to strike at anytime or that he had a brother that couldn't stand the sight of him right now. He just wanted to be like everyone else on that bus. Just Sam Winchester, average, ordinary Joe.
Bobby walked out onto the porch and watched the dust that trailed behind the mini-van as it peeled out of the salvage yard. He shook his head in dismay and a sigh of frustration. Obviously something had to have set Sam off for him to take off like this and he was going to find out what. Dean needed a talking to, had for some time, but like Sam, he hadn't made much headway into breaking through that stubborn boy's hardened shell he had built up around himself.
Knowing exactly where to find Dean, Bobby headed into the yard, past the heaps of junk and rust until he found his target standing behind his car, grasping both sides of the trunk with his head down. Crunching across the gravel to reach him, it was with a gasp that he saw the damage that had been inflicted on the poor vehicle, taking in the sight of the crowbar on the ground, the smashed glass and the dented and ruined trunk lid.
"Goddammit, Dean. What the hell did you do?" Dean didn't reply, his face set in stone, yet the white knuckles of his fingers digging into the exterior told of the turmoil rumbling inside of him.
"Not now, Bobby." Dean finally ground out through clenched teeth.
"Boy, this is a helluva mess you made here. Did you and Sam have a fight?"
"No." He came back tersely. Bobby could almost feel the rage and anger rolling off of the young man beside him. Now Bobby understood a little of why Sam was in such a desperate need to get out of there for a while. He almost felt like bolting himself, but he stood his ground, enough was enough, things couldn't go on like this.
"Can't you just leave me alone for awhile. First Sam, now you?"
"Sure, I could leave you alone...That's what Sam's decided to do."
"Was that him running off to sulk?"
"You want to talk about sulking, kid, just take a look at yourself." Dean's eyes shot up at that, narrowing in on Bobby with a deadly glare, his nostrils flaring.
"Oh yeah, tough guy, you can hide out here all you want under that car, no one's gonna bug you, not now. Especially not Sam...He's going to Nebraska by the way, if you care."
"What?" Dean suddenly shot up.
"You heard me. He just up and took off, says he's gonna get your Dad's truck. Sounds like a pretty lame excuse to me, but can't say that I blame the kid for wanting to get away for a few days. Not when you're in full-on temper tantrum mode."
"What? So... you just let him go? Without even telling me? What were you thinking?" Dean eyes boiled with unrestrained anger.
"I was thinking that Sam's a grown man and he can take care of himself for a few days. He can make his own decisions."
Dean wasn't listening, already stalking back towards the house with a determined stride. Bobby shook his head and followed after him, just hoping that he wasn't going to do anything rash or start throwing shit around his house. He knew the boy wasn't going to take this well, but if he had know what an explosive mood Dean had been in before, he wouldn't have let Sam go without at least speaking to his brother first.
Barging through the front door, Dean bounded up the stairs and flung open the door to the bedroom he and Sam were sharing.
"Shit." He cursed, seeing Sam's bed made up nice and tidy, his duffel bag missing and a note perched on his pillow. He grabbed the note, seeing Sam's distinctive handwriting and quickly read it before crumpling it into a tight ball and hurling it across the room.
He thought he had gotten out some of the rage that had been building in him on his car, but now it was back with a vengeance and he just wanted hit something- mainly his brother, but without the kid there, he had to take it out on something. Anger was his constant companion of late, the one emotion he felt he could indulge in. Anger was a good thing, it sharpened the mind and the senses, created adrenaline and he never failed to channel it well when need arose. Clenching his fist tight he slammed it into wall, glad for the flair of pain through his knuckles as it made hard contact and the drywall gave way, leaving a fist-sized dent.
"When you get back, you little shit, I'm gonna whoop your ass from here to eternity." He growled to Sam's empty bed, ignoring the blood beginning to trickled from his knuckles as they started to swell. He also chose also to ignore the voice of the man coming up from behind him.
"Not before you fix my goddamn wall!"
Despite the cramped position Sam found himself in on the bus, he tried to make the most of the next 500 miles and get a little shut-eye. The sun had already set and the interior of the bus was dark, save for a few reading lights on here and there. The girl sitting next to him seemed to be one of those incredibly shy and awkward types, every now and then he would catch her watching him and he would just give her a quick, but polite smile to which she would blush ferociously then turn away from him.
She wasn't what anyone would call a classic beauty. She was about his age, he guessed with mousy brown hair, a little overweight, eyes a little too close together and she wore thick framed, rectangular, black glasses that did little to enhance her looks. But Sam was never one to judge a person by their appearances alone, that was Dean's department. He had tried to strike up a conversation with her as a means to pass up the time, but with only one or two word phrases as replies, he found her too nervous and guarded to carry on much of a talk. So after the first hour on the road, he gave up trying and focused and getting some rest instead.
Trying to put all thoughts about Dean, his Dad and how messed up and screwed his life had become in the last year, he closed his eyes and was actually surprised to find just how tired he truly felt. All of the pain from the accident, Dean's near-death and then his father's passing had been accumulating into a large sleep debt as nightmares and insomnia had kept him from any semblance of a normal night's sleep in weeks. Giving in to the pull, he drifted off into a light sleep.
Alicia watched the man beside of her close his eyes. She felt stupid around him, he was so tall and way too good looking for a girl like her and when he actually tried to talk with her, her heart felt like it was going to flutter out of her chest. She was too tongue-tied to get out anything and she knew how stupid she must seem to him.
Oh how she had dreamed of finding a man like him. Someone, tall, dark and handsome. That old cliché was something she she could never hope for, but there was something about this guy that told her that he was different from any other person she had ever met. But who was she kidding, she was a dumpy waitress from the backwater town she had just left behind with no possible hope of him finding her as attractive as she found him.
She sighed and tried to relax, but it wouldn't be easy with him smelling the way he did next to her. He smelled like cleanliness, but without the need for cologne. A manly smell, she decided, that's what it was.
Her eyes drifted towards his face again. She had felt so embarrassed when he caught he looking at him and she tried so hard not to stare at the sharpness of his features, the perfect angle of his jaw or the softness that she was certain he held in his lips. But, with him asleep she indulged herself to fully take in his countenance.
She imagined what it would be like to be kissed by him. For all of her 23 years she had still yet to be kissed and it was horrible being a virgin at her age. But she had never been able to get any guys to notice her, she was always the girl that sat in the corner, that was invisible. She knew she was nothing special, just an average girl, but she always had dreams of one day making something of herself, of finding that one guy who would find her to be all they ever wanted.
But that wasn't going to happen. Especially not with the fine specimen of manhood that was asleep beside her.
Dean was still fuming by the time dinner rolled around. He pulled out his cell phone for what had to be the hundredth time, hitting the redial button with more force than was necessary and yet again got nothing but Sam's voice informing him to leave a message after the beep.
"Come and eat, Dean. He'll call when he calls." Bobby called grumpily from the kitchen
"Dammit, It's not like him to not answer his phone."
"He's a big boy. He's only going to Lincoln. It's an eight hour bus ride for cryin' out loud, How much trouble can he get in?"
Dean snapped his phone shut and walked over to the table. "This is Sam we're talking about. He's like a walking trouble magnet. I swear for all the brains he packs into that ginormous head of his, he does some seriously stupid shit."
"Will you sit already?" Bobby asked out of frustration. "Food's getting cold and I ain't cooking any more tonight."
Dean yanked out a chair and finally sat, his face set in stone.
"Now eat." Bobby ordered. Dean eyed the bowl of beef stew in front of him with contempt before snaking a quick look over at the empty chair that Sam always occupied.
"I'm not hungry."
"I don't care." Bobby grumbled back.
"Fine." Dean came back with his own growl and took a petulant bite.
"You know, maybe Sam's right and this ain't such a bad thing. You and your brother might need a little break from each other for a few days. You two need to get things right inside your own heads first, then maybe you guys can-"
"What?" Dean interrupted coldly. "Have a heart-to-heart and hug it out like some episode of 'Seventh Heaven'? We don't need that crap, Bobby."
"Oh well, of course not." Bobby spat out, sarcasm dripping from his voice. "Not Dean Winchester, macho-man extraordinaire, son of the even more macho, John Winchester. But what about Sam? You and I both know he's not cut from the same mould as you and your Dad."
"Oh don't start on this whole, 'Sam's just more sensitive' crap. He's gotta learn to suck it up."
"Yeah, just like you and your Dad. Just bottle it all up and keep pushing it all down until there's no more room. Gotcha...Sounds like a mighty fine plan, Dean. I know Sam and your Dad never saw eye-to-eye even up to the day he died, but how do you think that makes Sam feel, knowing that he'll never have the chance to make up with him or have the kind of relationship that you had with the guy? How would you feel believing that your Dad died thinking that you hated him?"
"I don't need this, Bobby. Not now." Dean pushed his food away angrily and scraped his chair back from the table, rising to leave. Bobby knew he hit a major nerve, he could almost feel the raw emotions struggling to break free from the kid. "I got parts to find for the car."
And with that Dean was gone, leaving Bobby frazzled and envisioning his tombstone, inscribed with the epitaph, 'Here lies Bobby Singer....Dead by exasperation'.
William Jarvis, Slick Willy to all of his friends, smiled as he counted the bills in his hand. Boy, he was good at what he did. He couldn't believe his luck when that stupid kid passed by him on the bus, and he had never felt his hand reach into his pocket and pilfer the wallet and phone that had been haphazardly stashed in his coat pocket. It was almost too easy.
He counted two hundred dollars and it was more than he had had in far too long. He had had to pick another pocket just to afford this bus ticket. The phone he had taken was a nice one too. One of those cool new ones and he figured he could use it to make a few calls to his friends before he fenced it. However, the damn thing had started to ring off the hook and he had to turn it off when it got to be too annoying.
Lincoln was only a few hours away now and when he got there, he had friends that could hook him up with a hottie and some dope and now that he had some money, he could have a really good time. He folded the money back into the wallet he had stolen and stashed it away, taking a quick glance at the driver's license for one Sam Morrison before slipping it into his back pocket. Settling back for the ride, he smiled to himself again. Yeah, he was going to party hard when he got to Lincoln.
It was starting to rain. Not too heavily yet, just enough for him to use the wipers intermittently and leave a sparkling sheen on his windshield. The yellow lines from the road blurred in front of him, weaving in and out, and doubling. It was hard to distinguish one from another, but he was certain he could keep the car moving in a straight line. He'd driven this stretch of highway between O'Malley's and his home for years, never once did he get caught or get in an accident and tonight he didn't even have that much to drink, just a few beers and a whiskey shot. He'd been far more drunk before and still made it home in one piece. Tonight wouldn't be any different.
Further up ahead, two headlights appeared on the horizon. He was confident that at the speed he was going that he'd be able to keep the car on the right side of the two-lane highway. That was until a shadow appeared out of nowhere from the side of the road, bounding into his lane, moving with explosive speed from it's powerful hindquarters. But the animal wasn't quite fast enough and he slammed on the brakes, hoping to God that the deer wouldn't end up flying into his windshield.
Thankfully, he missed the deer and it ran off into the dark landscape, but the hard braking car swerved with a mind of its own across the slick blacktop and he over-corrected, trying to steer the car away from the headlights that were now moving way too fast and way too close for him to get away from.
His reflexes, sluggish as they were, weren't quick enough to get out of the way on time and he could only watch in horror for the oncoming headlights bore down on him, it's horn blaring. The split second of realization that he was going to die seemed to last for an eternity. The headlights before him, careened in an evasive maneuver, but it was too late to avoid the inevitable. His world exploded in a furious noise of squeaking tires, twisting metal and fire.
Jerking awake with a gasp, Sam's hopes of going unnoticed during this trip were quickly dashed as several eyes, darted in his direction before, turning away again dispassionately to leave him to his misery. His embarrassment was only overshadowed by the lancing, searing pair that spiked into his head. It was a familiar pain, one he had come to hate and it left him without a doubt that the crash he had just witnessed in his dream was more than just a nightmare. It was another goddamned vision.
He blinked furiously against the throbbing and rubbed his hand to his forehead, praying that the pain would go away quickly this time. But, if anything it seemed worse than it ever had before.
Startled by the sudden awakening of the man beside of her, Alicia broke out of her shell out of concern and shyly asked "Are you alright?"
Taking his hand away from his head, he sighed and leaned his head back against the seat. "Yeah...just a little headache."
Glad for once that it was her time of the month, Alicia reached for her backpack under the seat and pulled it out, grabbing the bottle of advil she had stashed in there before leaving that day. She offered it over to him. "Here...I've got some Advil, if you want it."
He turned to her with a pained crease in his forehead, her heart lurched at the sight, his hazel eyes were even more beautiful now that she could get a good look at them.
"Thanks." He said as he took the bottle and shook out a couple of pills them swallowed them without the benefit of a drink to chase them down.
"Bad dream?" She asked tentatively.
"Something like that." His eyes took on a distant look as though he was trying to figure out a puzzle before him.
She could feel sympathy for him. She wasn't about to get into the dreams that had been plaguing her for the last few months, especially not about the ones she had been having about her Grandmother. The thought of it still sent chills up and down her spine.
For his part, Sam was trying to piece together what the vision meant. The location of the vision had been too vague for him to pinpoint other than it would happen on a two-lane highway somewhere and that it was dark and raining. He looked out the window to see that it was still dry and no rain was falling here and they appeared to be on a large interstate rather than a rural road. But still, he hadn't seen clearly the other vehicle that crashed with the drunk man, only the headlights. However, the could of it's horn still rang clearly in his head and it was definitely not a car horn, rather the horn from a very large vehicle, much like this bus.
There had to be some way of stopping it. Maybe he could talk to the driver, somehow steer him clear of any two-lane highways. He got up from his seat in determination. Somehow he knew in his heart of hearts that he had seen this bus crash and it was a warning to him that he needed to save the people and himself. How he was going to do was one thing he wasn't sure of, but he had to try.
He made his way up to the front of the bus, ignoring the irritated glances of those he brushed past. When he finally made it up all the way, he crouched beside the driver.
"Hey buddy, go back to your seat." The driver, a heavy-set man with a balding head ordered him. Sam brushed off the driver's annoyance and single-mindedly stayed put. Rain was just beginning to fall , splashing in fat droplets onto the windshield and Sam knew he had to work fast.
"Are you turning off onto any two-lane highways by chance?" He ventured to ask.
"What's it to ya?" The driver asked.
"I was just thinking that with the rain and all, it would be a lot safer to stay on the interstate, don't you?"
The driver snorted derisively. "Are you nuts or something, kid? Go sit back down." Up ahead an exit loomed and the driver veered the bus to the far right lane, his intention of turning off the interstate quite clear. Sam had to stop him.
"Look, just trust me...We have to stay on the interstate, I'm sure it's quicker anyway."
"Kid, if we stay on the interstate, that adds another 45 minutes to our drive and I for one, don't want to get chewed out for arriving late."
"Please." Sam was near begging. An idea popped into his head and he hoped that the driver understood the language of money. "I've got a couple hundred on me, it's all yours if we just stay on the interstate."
"A couple hundred, you say?" The driver asked, suddenly interested. "Let's see it."
Sam quickly fished into his pocket to find his wallet, but when he found nothing inside but lint he blanched. His wallet and his phone were gone. He had put them in his pocket out of haste for wanting to catch the bus on time, but someone must have snatched it. Most likely someone on this very bus. He cursed himself for being so careless.
"Well?" The driver asked impatiently.
"I promise...I'll pay you when we get to Lincoln."
"Yeah right. Why don't you shove it and get back to your seat or God so help me I'll stop this bus right now and kick you off."
Defeated, Sam was unsure of how to proceed and as the driver turned on his blinkers to indicate their exit from the interstate, he grew desperate.
"Please...you have to believe me... the highway isn't safe." He pleaded. Feeling a hand land tightly onto his shoulder, he spun around to see a man, taller than him in stature and heavily muscled.
"This guy bugging you, man?" He asked of the driver, gripping Sam's shoulder even tighter.
"Yeah, get him back to his seat, will ya?" Sam watched hopelessly as the bus driver took the off ramp.
"C'mon, buddy. You heard the man. Quit bugging him."
"You don't understand-" Sam tried to explain, but the big guy's hand squeezed even tighter and hauled him up, causing him to wince. He had half a mind to slug it out with him, even though he had to outweigh Sam by a good 40 pounds, but he was certain he could take him, he'd faced far worse than some backwaters bruiser before. However, things took on a life of their own and happened far too quickly for him to escape from after that.
Half dragging him down the isle to his seat, Sam tried to protest, but only seconds after the bus entered the smaller highway, the rain intensified and distracted by the hubbub, the driver failed to notice the car ahead of him careening out of control and skidding into his lane before it was already too late to do anything but honk his horn and try to swerve around it.