Chapter 2: The Rivers
Connor woke from a startling dream. He blinked at the ceiling a few times, trying to get his bearings. The fan rotated slowly above him. What had he dreamt about? Now that he was awake he couldn't seem to grasp it. Connor yawned.
He could hear his wife in the kitchen. Glancing at the bedside clock as he stood, Connor Rivers stretched; she was up early again. She had been having nightmares even more frequently than he had. Connor padded across the plush tan carpet towards the door.
"Damn it!" Lindsay swore.
A clanging signaled that she'd dropped a pan on the wooden floor. Connor rounded the conner with a smile. Lindsay was bent over, scrambling to snatch the hot tater tots before they'd gotten too germy.
"Mornin', Sunshine," he greeted with a playful smack on her behind.
Lindsay straightened and tried to arrange her angry features into a smile. "Hey, Love," she replied. But her attempt didn't stick.
She turned away from Connor to turn on the cold water---she'd burned herself when she'd dropped the pan.
Connor wrapped his arms around her and leaned his head on her shoulder, burying his face in her long mahogany hair. "Bad dream again?" he asked.
They had had this conversation so often in the past few months that he decided to skip the foreplay this time.
His wife nodded. Her palm was pink. "Did I wake you up?" she replied.
"No. I had a nightmare too."
Lindsay snuggled into Connor's chest. "Well, I made us breakfast," she murmured. She didn't like that Connor was still having nightmares.
It was bad enough that hers had been going on a year. His were inching towards a month. They should have been going away by now.
"It looks great, Babe," he said.
She could hear the smile in his voice. It made her feel better. Her hand didn't throb too much anymore, either.
Connor stepped away from her. "Let's eat before it gets cold," he told her, still smiling. He could tell she hadn't wanted to let him go.
She'd been lingering longer on kisses, hugs, even holding his hand ever since she'd been attacked by that Djinn last year. Was that the reason for her nightmares? Connor couldn't be sure. Lindsay didn't talk about them or even mention that she'd woken in the middle of the night that often. He knew it was because she didn't want to worry him. But he always worried about her.
And Connor didn't mention his nightmares anymore because it was always the same one. That first night had painted a crazy enough picture that he didn't need to repeat himself every time. It would just make things worse. Lindsay had developed a quiet understanding that whenever he woke up, all she had to do was to snuggle up real close to him under the covers. Her closeness never failed to give him comfort. It helped him feel safe.
But she hadn't been there this morning.
Lindsay drove down the highway a tad slower than usual. She knew Connor was surprised when she chose the on-ramp; but she wasn't. Though she had been Dean and Sam's shadow for years, back roads were not safe today. The snow could be called treacherous if the plows didn't get there soon.
The car slowed and pulled over to a spot in the breakdown lane that wasn't in anyone's blind spot. Lindsay put it in park and reached over for the map on Connor's lap. She wanted a distraction; the highway was safe and that meant there was time to think. And thinking freely was the last thing she wanted.
"Alright, so we're here," Lindsay said, pointing. "It's got to be what, ten more miles?"
Connor wanted to tell her that they'd just discussed this not five minutes ago but he clamped his mouth shut. The mouth that wasn't too smart, at least. "Do you think Sam and Dean checked this out already?" he asked instead.
Lindsay nodded. "It'd be nice to see them, though. We haven't seen them since the wedding," she replied.
The brothers had made more than an appearance on the most important day of their best friend's life.
"But you want to check on the house too, don't you?" Connor asked.
Lindsay couldn't help but smile sheepishly. "Yep," she said.
Sam and Dean had been Connor's groomsmen.
She gave the map back to Connor, tousling his black hair. They rarely fought anymore. Neither of them thought it was worth it. Lindsay's hospital stay---and the story that went with it---had put that to rest. The bad fights, at least.
The Rivers drove to the next gas station to refuel. That was when Connor took over as driver. It had been five hours since their start, after all.