What if there was another?

Chapter 7: Almost Home Free

It's been a week since the gate was opened; the Winchester brothers were on the road again. They were about half an hour away from Bobby's place and just sat listening to music; A 'Led Zeppelin' album playing from the speakers. Part of the way through 'Good Times, Bad Times' Sam started up a conversation.

"Do you think it was right? For us to just leave Hope, without a goodbye?"

As Dean chanced a glance at his younger brother, he was hit with the kicked-puppy look. He looked back at the road, then his brother and back to the road again before replying.

"What's so good about saying bye, huh?" he questioned slightly nervous with a slight tilt of the lips.

"Dean." Sam sighed with a crack of the neck, before facing his brother again.

Dean sighed himself, "Look, Sam. Hope needs stability. We're constantly on the move and Bobby's not." Den raised an eyebrow at his brothers disbelieving look. "What?"

"Seriously, Dean?" Sam's hands slapped down lightly onto his thighs. "We were constantly on the move with dad. Why couldn't we at least say goodbye? To Hope as well as Bobby?"

"Because," Dean paused to lick his bottom lip quickly. "She would've insisted on coming with us." Before Dean could say more;

"Damn right I would've!" an angry voice inserted from the backseat.

Both guys jumped, causing the car to swerve as Dean cussed. "Shit!"

"Hope!" Sam yelped out, sounding guilty as he looked back at the teen that had just pop up on the backseat. She glared lightly back.

"Sam." She deadpanned. "Fancy meeting you here."

Dean coughed awkwardly. "Hope, where'd you come from?" he forcefully chuckled out nervously.

"Oh! Just around." She turned her glare full force onto Dean, her lips tight. He gulped, his eyes shifted slightly. She blamed Dean more than Sam, considering what she just listened to. Sam muffled his laughter behind his hand, making fake coughs to cover up. He thought Dean's reaction was hilarious, especially since he couldn't have seen her glare for more than a second. Sam realised Dean could probably feel his back burning right now though.

"You know," Hope starts conversationally. "You should really double check you know where people are. Don't worry; I left a note for Bobby. It explains what you were trying, and failing, to do. Expect a call soon." She smiled devilishly. Sam did not like that look on her face. Not at all.

As if planned, Sam's phone went off. The caller ID read: Bobby.

"Uh, Dean." Sam called out nervously.

As Dean looked towards Sam, he showed his big Brother the screen. Dean looked at the road then back to the phone. "Crap." He muttered.

Hope leant back into her seat, a smug smile on her face and a mischievous twinkle in her eyes. "You should answer. Better to get it over with, right?" She chirped with a raised eyebrow.

Sam cleared his throat as he answered nervously, "Hello?"

"Hello!?" a booming voice called through the phone. Sam removed the phone from his ear with a flinch. "What are you two idjits up to now? What were you thinking, running off without a say so? And then leaving it to a teenage girl to let me know what was going on? Hope more mature than either of you two. A good thing to. I would a 'ave had the cavalry come knocking!" Bobby's yelling could be heard throughout the whole car, no need for speaker phone right now. Sam was looking at Dean worriedly. Dean's hands were clenched on the wheel and his face had paled.

Hope found it incredibly humorous. She giggled softly, sounding like a five year old that just got their way. She stifled her giggles into her palm so that Bobby wouldn't hear and stop ranting. She must have zoned out for a while. When she tuned back in, she heard Bobby's sigh through the phone speaker.

"Look. Next time ya gonna pull a hit and run, warn a guy, will ya? Ya idjits." With that, he hung up. The caller tone the only thing left coming through the speaker.

Hope leaned in between the brothers expectantly. "So," She stated. "Where are we going? Hmm?" she inquired with a raised eyebrow and self satisfied smirk.

Dean and Sam shared a soulful look, before turning to face the road with a simultaneous sigh. Hope sat back again contentedly. Then she noticed something on the seat next to her. She was too mad at the Winchester brothers before to notice straight away, but now she was calm she saw a journal.

A look of interest crossed her face as she reached out for it.

"Well, well, well. What do we have here?" she asked rhetorically, drawing out the word 'have'. She raised an eyebrow when she saw Sam stiffen once he saw what was in her hand. "This yours Sammy, dear?" she questioned with amusement.

Before she could open it, Sam snatched it from her hands possessively. She stared at Sam in shock before raising her hands in a surrendering gesture. "Ok, sorry." She exclaimed when Sam stared blankly back at her.

"What is it?" Dean glanced at Sam, noticing his stiff posture he grew worried. "Sammy? What is it?"

"She almost read dad's journal, Dean." Sam responded.

"A word of advice Hope." Dean called back to the teen. "Don't, and I mean, Don't. Read dad's journal unless we tell you that you can. Understood?" the seriousness of Dean's frosted voice made her feel really small, all of a sudden.

"Yes, sir." She whispered looking down. The playfulness had drained from her suddenly.

At around noon the next day, they pulled up to a Wal-Mart.

Hope looked at it curiously as Dean ordered; "Sam. Take Hope in to get clothes. I'll get some snacks and go to the toilet if you need it, ok? We'll meet back at the car." Sam nodded as he climbed out of the car.

Hope looked down at the cloths she was wearing. Her own cloths had finally been washed. Her jeans were beyond faded and torn at the knees, hems and right side of her right thigh. She thought they made her look tough. Her top was just a black vest that once said 'Heaven doesn't want me and Hell's afraid I'll take over' in silver glitter, which had faded to mostly just the glue used to stick the glitter on. 'Yeah' she thought, 'I could use some new cloths.'

With a shrug, she crawled across to where Sam was holding the door for her. As she got out she put on a snobby posh accent to say;"Why, thank you, good sir!"

All she got for her efforts was an amused look and raised brow. She crossed her arms behind her back as she smiled innocently up at him. Sam sighed as he closed her door and turned to lead the way too Wal-Mart after his brother.

Sam got some new cloths for himself and Dean as he waited for Hope to finish in the changing room.

When he heard the lock slide back and the door open he looked up at Hope. She held five tops in her left hand, and two pairs of jeans, one denim skirt, one set of jogging bottoms and one pair of denim shorts in her right hand.

"Are you ready?" he asked her. He got a shake of a head, and a glowing blush, to which he raised his eye brow in confusion.

"I need under garments." She shifted on her feet awkwardly. Now Sam was blushing slightly too.

"Ahh, right. I'll, umm, be over there." He stated before hastily moving to where he had pointed, turning his back to her and the lady's underwear shelves.

Once Hope had her embarrassing moment out of the way, she realised it was almost that time again. 'Well, crap.' She thought. She was really regretting not going shopping with Ellen some point last week, so that she could get her girly necessities. Taking a deep breath in, she bravely marched up to Sam, poking his shoulder.

Sam turned from looking at some shirts to face Hope, who had started to blush again as she started to speak. "Sam," she drew his name out, trying to stall. "I need to, ya know, get stuff." She nodded her head awkwardly, hoping against hope; he would be able to read her mind just this once so she didn't have to say anything more. He didn't read her mind. He did, however, look beyond confused as he replied.

"I thought you were already getting stuff."

"Well, yeah, but ... I need other stuff." She pursed her lips, looking anywhere but at Sam. 'This isn't awkward at all' she thought sarcastically.

Sam still didn't get. "Ok?" he asked confused. "Well, let's go then." He gestured his arm out, indicating she lead the way. She didn't, just blushed more.

Dean looked down at his watch wondering what was taking those two so long. With an irritated sigh, he shoved open the car door, leaving the bag of snacks on the passenger seat and going back into the shop and over to the clothing area.

When he could finally see them, he saw a confused looking Sam and a blushing Hope.

"What's going on?" he wondered. Hope snapped her head over to the new arrival.

'God, why are you so cruel?' she thought. Now she had two guys with her.

Taking another deep breath, ready for more awkwardness. "I need girl stuff." She stated loudly, turning scarlet.

An elder lady and her niece had been walking pass as Hope had said that. The older woman assumed the boys had gone shopping with their little sister or cousin and wouldn't let her out of sight and were just being over protective. She decided to help out the poor girl.

"Excuse me dears?" the trio turned to face the two women. "Would you like us to help? We'll make sure nothing happens to this sweetheart, whilst in the womanly area, hmm?" she raised her eyebrows inquiringly.

The brothers traded relieved looks. Neither of them had wanted to leave Hope, but they didn't feel comfortable going down that way.

The elderly woman's niece added, "I know karate, I'm a brown belt. No one will hurt her." She smiled gently at the three, noticing the looks of relief on all of their faces.

"Thanks, lady." Dean said.

"It's no trouble dear's." The older woman replied.

As the three females walked over to the feminine aisle, Dean turned to Sam, "Dude. That was too close for comfort." Sam nodded his agreement. Still slightly red cheeked.

Hope told the women as they walked; "You two are my new hero's. Thank you."

"No problem." The younger woman smiled. "I'd hate for my brother's to come with me to go to get tampons and stuff. Just helping out a girlfriend."

"Us women have to stick together." The older woman nodded.

"They're actually my cousin's." Hope fibbed.

"That's even worse." The younger one chuckled.

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