The moon-lit water in the small stream turned a pinkish red as the brothers rinsed their hands.
The killing of the vampire had been messy, the blood from its headless neck spurting towards the two men, so the stream was a lucky extra for a quick wash-up, though their blood-stained clothes would have to wait until they got back to the motel.
They quickly burned the vampire's gruesome remains and started back towards the Impala.
"God, I'm tired," Dean said passing a weary hand over his face before entering the car. "I'm gonna sleep for a week now that we've got rid of the last of the nest."
"Yeah; I hear you bro. I'm exhausted," Sam agreed as he folded himself into the passenger seat and let his head flop back against the leather.
At the sound of his brother's fatigued tone Dean threw him a quick glance, frowning at the ethereal paleness of Sam's face, eerily enhanced by the silver rays of the full moon.
"You okay, Sammy?" Dean asked, keeping his voice even, for he'd learned the more he sounded worried, the more Sam would deny feeling bad.
"Just tired, Dean. We've been going non-stop for two weeks now. When the fuglies come out, they seem to run together."
"True," Dean nodded as he put the car in drive.
"We're gonna take some time off, Sammy. We deserve it. We aren't the only hunters on the planet; someone else can bask in the glory for a couple of weeks."
"If only," Sam replied his lips curling up in an ironic half-smile. "Usually it's trouble that comes looking for us, as if evil has an EMF that tells them when the Winchesters are in the vicinity."
"Huh, dude; wouldn't surprise me if they had. They gotta have something to contrast my awesomeness as a hunter!" Dean smirked while Sam gazed at him with a mix of affection and indulgance; he knew Dean was an awesome hunter but he was an even more awesome big brother.
In fact Dean had thrown off his hunter persona and was now exclusively in big brother mode.
Sammy needed a break and he would see that he got it.
"I've been thinking..."
"Whoa, there Sammy! You thinking usually ends up with us getting into trouble. You should think less and get laid more," Dean smirked but there was an undertone of seriousness to his voice.
"Why don't we go down to Vegas and 'fraternize' with some of the nice obliging ladies that hang out there?"
He glanced at his brother, eyebrows wiggling and eyes rolling!
Sam ignored his brother's idiot expressions and continued on. "I've been wondering...you know we've always been told to keep hunting a secret that it's better for ordinary people not to know about what's really out there; about the monsters we kill, but I m beginning to doubt if it's the right thing to do."
Dean studied Sam as if he had grown the pair of furry antlers that would give Crowley a reason to keep calling him Moose, but all he saw was Sam's brow-furrowed face.
His little brother was serious.
"Oh, so you wanna tell the whole world that demons, vampires, werewolves and ghosts exist, not to mention that angels instead of being white feathery goody-goodies, are dicks?"
Sam sent him an annoyed glare.
"Whether we like it or not, they're part of our reality, of our world, and maybe once people got over the first shock of finding out, they could better defend themselves against evil. Think of how many we haven't been able to save, Dean, but if they'd known the dangers that surrounded them perhaps a lot more people would be alive right now. There aren't all that many hunters and evil is everywhere.
Those who have been clued into the secret seem to have dealt okay. Rebecca and Zak, Sarah, Haley and her brothers, even Lisa and Ben."
He paused as he saw Dean's features darken at the mention of their names. It still hurt his big brother even after all these months.
"Sorry, Dean. I didn't mean to remind you," Sam said softly.
Dean just nodded.
Lisa and Ben were still an open wound, but nevertheless he was convinced he had done the right thing in mind-wiping them. He knew Sam didn't agree but Lisa had been his problem to resolve, and he had done what he thought was best.
Dean studied his younger sibling but he could see Sam wasn't joking. He had obviously given the problem some thought.
"You're serious? You really think putting everything out in the open would be a good idea?"
Sam sighed as he spoke. "I dunno. Maybe! I'm beginning to think that hunters are a little jealous of their knowledge. You know, that it somehow makes them feel superior to the normal man of the street."
"Dude. That is really weird! What is wrong with you? You really need that break in Vegas, and instead of one hot chick, Dr. Dean is going to prescribe an orgy with rivers of alcohol. Telling everyone would cause world-wide panic; worse than UFO's because monsters are already here and feeding on them.
Then we're hunters too, man, or did you forget? Do you feel superior?” Dean continued.
“Most hunters got into the life like Dad did, through a tragedy in their family. I'm sure most of them would have preferred not knowing. Even that crazy bat-shit of a Gordon Walker was dragged in because of his sister. So no, Sam! I think things are better left as they are. We do our best and save who we can; even one is a blessing," Dean finished off.
"Yeah, okay, Dean. Whatever you say. I'm too exhausted to argue it out any more. I just want to feel a bed beneath my ass and hit oblivion until tomorrow," Sam answered closing his eyes and turning his head towards the side window, his dishevelled hair forming a soft cushion against the glass.
Dean gave him one last glance and turned his attention to his driving.
He pushed in a soft-rock tape that was Sam's favourite lullaby music, but his conversation with his brother kept invading his thoughts.
He had always believed that keeping the supernatural world a secret was the right way to go, but if his geeky little brother was beginning to have doubts then he was going to have to give the idea some serious thought, but not tonight!
He surrendered himself to the pleasure of driving his Baby and to the rhythm of the music.
They would head to Vegas, and for two weeks he was gonna concentrate on getting himself and Sam some serious us time, monsters be damned!