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"Holding Pattern" (SPN birthday fic for dotfic!) (PG, Gen, missing scene from 1x04)
the arch of the eyebrows gives it away
innie_darling
Hi, everybody!

So it's the birthday of the fabulous dotfic, and when I asked her what she wanted, she said season 1 boys getting stuck somewhere together. Because my default setting is eeeeeeeeevil, I decided to make things as rough as possible (in a funny way) for Dean, and borrowed an incident from my little brother's life, where he was on a plane that landed safely but the doors of which would not open after landing. So here's a "missing scene" from 1x04, "Phantom Traveler," Gen, PG. Beta and title by the awesome janissa11. (I also stole a line from Chuck, and the shark is real.) Happy birthday, C!




"Holding Pattern"


"No," Dean said. More specifically, Dean said, "Nonononononono, this is not happening!" But Sam wasn't going to call him on it, because, frankly, he'd had a hell of a day too. He was deliberately tuning Dean out, la-la-la-ing in his head, and it was going really well until Dean snarled, "I could really use that friggin' demon now! Nice timing, jackass!"

Then Sam had his hands full trying to steer a stiff-legged and highly vocal Dean back to his seat in the midst of all of the hubbub. Fortunately, Dean hadn't yet figured out how to spit like a wet cat and go boneless like a proponent of passive resistance at the same time, so they were making progress down the aisle; Sam knew better than to press his luck by going for the seat belt.

*

"Hey," Sam said, striving to remember how he'd found that voice that had worked on Dean before, some combination of soothing and demanding. "This isn't so bad, is it?" Dean was still sitting stiffly in his seat, hands balled into fists on his lap, so Sam lifted the armrest between them just to press warmly into his brother. He'd missed this so much when he was gone, the way Dean had never minded giving him attention or praise or even just shared body heat, some silent assurance that Sam would never have to be alone. But being gone for more than three years meant things had changed, and Sam was the one who had to initiate contact this time.

Dean resisted at first, staying stubbornly upright, but Sam was bigger now, and kept inching his way over until Dean finally slumped the slightest bit against him. He'd forgotten how Dean's hair felt like brush bristles, the way the grain of it mattered, could make it prickly or velvety. It smelled soapy, like the thin shampoo from the last motel, which Sam was willing to bet had been nothing more than diluted dishwashing liquid.

"Come on, Dean. This isn't so bad. We did it. We kept this plane from crashing, saved all of these people's lives. So there's a little problem with the door; I'm sure they'll let us know what's going on in a sec. It's probably something really minor, and we'll be out of here any minute."

As he spoke, he became aware of a noise growing louder; when he stopped, it was all he could hear, but it still took a while to realize what it was over the din of all of the passengers griping and braying with fear. Hysterical laughter, like the person had snapped down to the last few fraying threads, and he knew it wasn't Dean by the stillness pressed against him. He craned his neck and turned his head until he spotted the source. "Amanda, right?" Dean asked sourly. "Knew that well-adjusted thing was just a sham."

*

Dean bitched about Sam being the best man-stewardess ever when Sam returned to his seat after a doomed attempt at trying to calm everyone down, and Sam turned to look at him. Dean's eyes were fever-bright, there were hectic spots on his cheeks, and Dad's damn journal was peeping out from his inside jacket pocket and no doubt pressing uncomfortably against Dean's bruised ribs. Sam had forgotten this, too, the way Dean forced himself to endure until anyone else would have given way, but he'd just keep marching on.

It got on Sam's last goddamn nerve now.

"What, Dean? Just what is so bad about our current situation? We're not injured, not badly injured anyway, we're warm, we're in comfy seats," - his back twinged as he lied through his teeth - "and we've got food and water." He straightened back up, willing his traitorous muscles to quit twitching. "And not just us, but all the people we saved too."

"Yeah, that was a great move on our part," Dean snapped. "There's only so much air getting recycled here, and the guy in front of me's been letting them rip like there won't be Taco Bell tomorrow. Seriously, we should plug him up or something."

Sam's knack for reading Dean's tone apparently hadn't rusted and dropped off; he heard fear, not irritation, and the words spilled from his mouth before he could think them through. "Holy shit, you're claustrophobic too?" He banged his head against the seat in front of him until his tray table unbuckled and fell into his lap.

*

The pilot and the sane stewardess had finally clued in to the fact that Amanda, still giggling feebly at the rear of the plane, was going to be of no use. The stewardess was distributing bottles of water, cans of soda, and more of those tiny peanuts-and-pretzels packets, and the pilot's professional voice came over the intercom, sounding like he was reading from a script written for a made-for-TV movie. "Folks, this is your captain speaking. I know you've been sitting tight and being patient while the ground crew here at Indianapolis tries to get this door open so that we can all deplane and this runway can be put back into use. I'm going to ask you to bear with them a bit longer - in fact, I just got word that they're going to bring some engineers out here to help us out."

Sam refrained from joining in the booing and hooting this announcement brought on; Dean did not. "They need engineers now to figure out that a door needs to open and shut?" Dean snorted derisively. "Yeah, I can see that this place is crawling with the best and the brightest."

Sam hid a grin; on the ass-backwards scale of Dean, bitchiness trumped fear. Dean grumbled pettishly that he needed more peanuts.

*

"Fuck it, I'm not sitting here near Ass-Vesuvius anymore," Dean grumbled while Sam dispiritedly flipped through the in-flight magazine for the fourteenth time.

"You can't go anywhere, Dean," Sam reminded him wearily.

Dean dug around in his bag, crowing when he found the EMF meter, headphones wrapped neatly around the body of the Walkman. "Maybe there's a reason the door won't open," Dean said, shaking the meter in Sam's direction. "And it's not like the brain trust up there can't use all the help it can get."

"Fine, whatever," Sam said absently, having progressed to ogling the remote-controlled robotic hammerhead shark featured on page three of SkyMall.

*

"This is ridiculous," Sam said, watching Dean laugh about everything in SkyMall, even the shark. "What if I had to get off the plane - what if I had had a connecting flight that I needed to get to?"

"You mean, what if you had had a lobotomy?"

"Dean! There's nothing wrong with air travel! Millions of people do it every single day!"

"Chill, Rain Man," Dean said, then looked up at him and tossed the magazine aside. "Hey, Sammy. Come on. You're okay."

"I just want to go -" Go home, he'd almost said, but home wasn't there anymore, home no longer had Jess in it.

Dean pulled him close, and Sam realized he'd forgotten this, too: how improbably soothing Dean's scratchy stubble could be against his cheek or the top of his head.

When the stewardess came by, once again distributing drinks, with Amanda sheepishly trailing behind her and handing out peanut packets, Dean waved them by and just kept his arm around him.

*

A ragged cheer went up when the door finally slid open, and everyone jumped up, chatting eagerly into cell phones to let their families know they were on their way. Sam sat tight, resting under the weight of Dean's arm, because his family didn't need to be told anything; Dean already knew.


+++++++++++++++++++++
As always, I'd love to hear what you think.

<333
The boys have so much love for each other. This was pleasing.

The way you seamlessly move from silly to serious is always amazing. This is lovely.

That's something I was particularly worried about here, so thank you so much for the kind words!

Awwww, S1 boys. I MISS YOU!!! Also, Sam's knack for reading Dean's tone apparently hadn't rusted and dropped off. Hee!

What a fun little fic, hon.

Hee, Sam's POV is always fun to write!

That was very good! Ass-Vesuvius made me snicker; great word choice!

Dean CANNOT BELIEVE how long the guy's been going!

Thanks!

Aw S1 boys! Lovely. Poor Dean stuck on the plane ;)

The S1 boys were so shiny and new and so much happier! I wish they could be happy again!

Thank you!

Oh boys! I love this so much. Dean and Sam being
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Oh boys! I love this so much. Dean and Sam being <Dean and Sam</i>, snd Dean's snark and Sam's tenderness, and in the end they hug, sort of, which was exactly what I wanted to read tonight.

They really did take such good care of each other - I love that about them.

Thanks!

Aw, boys! This is adorable.

*glee* This is so EXACTLY what I wanted, and needed to read with them. I probably enjoyed Dean suffering in this more than is healthy--Dean is claustrophobic, oh yes. Aw, poor Dean.

Loved the way this shifts, from Sam comforting Dean, to Dean comforting Sam, and Sam's awareness of what it's like to be close to his brother again is really poignant. This is also hilarious--and Amanda's reaction to the doors being stuck shut, I think I'd be laughing too after what happened to them on that flight. Haha, sarcasm and snark FTW.

This is wonderful (and very comforting). Thank you so much! *hugs*

You know that old Statler-and-Waldorf routine where one of them starts out saying, "That was wonderful! I loved it!" and the other says, "That was terrible! Awful!" and they start to convince each other, so that by the end, they've completely switched opinions? That's what I wanted this fic to be like - Dean needing care, then Sam needing it. And they're awesome because they both want to reach out and help. I love them.

I am SO glad that this worked for you, and I hope it helps make the rest of the month seem like smooth sailing! Happy birthday again!

Awwww, so cute and funny. I love how it takes Sam freaking out for Dean to finally calm down. ♥ Love their kindness to each other and Dean's bitchiness, too.

The boys' kindness to each other is one of my very favorite things about the show! Thank you so much!

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Thanks very much! (I hope you haven't had that experience lately!)

I love S1 and what a great job this was. I have to admit, I think I snorted coffee after I read Ass Vesuvius. Nothing like some fart humor to make me laugh/snort. That being said, you can feel the love here, the comfort that both boys take from each other. Thanks.

Ah, bathroom humor - the things I'll do for Dean! And thank you so much for the very kind words!

That last line is so perfect. Liked how it went from Sam comforting and supporting Dean, to Dean calming and understanding Sam, and the mix of humor and serious.
Especially enjoyed this line:
"There's only so much air getting recycled here, and the guy in front of me's been letting them rip like there won't be Taco Bell tomorrow. Seriously, we should plug him up or something." LMAO!! That's so Dean.

Hee, Dean is full of bright ideas!

Thanks so very much!

Awwwww. Love them and this!

Aw, back in the days when they were re-learning how to be brothers instead of imploding. Very sweet.

Remember when their biggest problem was finding John? Amazing how much they've been through (and we with them!).

Thanks so very much!

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Aww! And Ass Vesuvius FTW!

I do like that Dean's insults are part intellectual and part just dumb. I love him so!

Oh, this is awesome and adorable.

I loved this fic. So cute. I loved Dean trying to calm Sammy down. Adding to memories.

That's so nice to hear - thanks!

I love the way they take comfort in each other, and Dean's bitchings and Sam's frustration with his brother is a joy to read. Love this!

These boys are just wonderful, aren't they? Thanks!

Great to read something set in season one, and a lovely mix of humor and angst. Ass-vesuvius cracked me up!

I was pretty psyched when dotfic asked for season one boys, because that's when I fell for them. Thanks very much!

This was awesome, I loved it. The shift from Dean needing Sam to Sam needing Dean was just perfect.

These boys just complement and reciprocate and are AWESOME. Thanks!

this made me "aww" at the end. i just want to hug them both, y'know? first dean's all panicky and sam's trying to calm him down, then sam's all melancholy and dean's comforting him. i love the random things sam has forgotten or still remembers or has missed about being with dean - it's so sam-in-s1, it roots the fic really nicely.

(and also phantom traveler is one of my favorite episodes ever, so any tags or codas for it are good in my book. :D )

I like that Sam counts up all of the things he's missed and/or forgotten about his brother, like the information is necessary again. And yes, the switcheroo was super-fun to write.

Thanks!

This is lovely in all its season 1 glory, but I could not stop laughing because this exact thing happened on my last flight home; I pretty much had Sam's reaction.

I really don't understand how this keeps happening - they can fly, but they can't get a door open? Seems very strange to me.

Thanks very much!

Thank you so much for this story. I love the interaction between the bos and the love they share for one another.

The boys are all wrapped up in each other! Thanks!

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