notes: 1300~ words of gen; an experiment in point of view. Written for spn_north.
summary: Sam and Dean follow the ghost of Tim Horton through a variety of Tim Horton's coffee shops along the 401 in Southern Ontario.
The last thing I think I remember is a hell of a ride. Also, something about a right wing?
Both of them sat across from me, and smiled.
"What's the last thing you remember?" one of them asked, and I thought about it. There was Demerol involved, I think?
I could smell donuts.
"Look," he said, "I know this is weird, but it's important."
There's a morbid joke about timbits in here somewhere, isn't there?
We're sitting in one of my shops, but I don't exactly remember it. Everything's a little different - a lot different. The closest car I saw looked right, looked kind of hot, but everything else was too round, too little. I didn't get it.
"Pay attention," the other one said, and he looked different. They both did, and I felt kind of like laughing hysterically. I felt like I just woke up. It was dark outside, and we were in a gas station. I don't like the smell.
"Have some coffee," the floppy-haired one said, and he pushed a mug at me. There was a girl sitting at the other end, and I didn't understand what she was doing, sitting at some screen thing? It made a clapping sound when she hit it, tap clack tap clack.
I reached for the mug but my hand went through it. I tasted coffee at the roof of my mouth and I wasn't sure I wanted to understand at all.
I have calluses on the insides of my thumbs. I hadn't really noticed those before, but I guess they've been there a while.
I felt better. It was light out, and I don't remember the sun coming up but I like the sunshine. Those two are wearing different clothes, and I don't know when we moved but I guess we did. There's a lamp post outside the window, and it's very old-fashioned.
"How long has this been going on?" I asked, and both of them smiled, as if we're making progress or something and I guess we are. I don't really know, though, because I'm not sure what's going on exactly.
He looked older, now - both of them did, like they'd been keen on this, like they were settled in. Maybe time's going by a lot faster than I realise. I think I'm in a strip mall, or a plaza or something. I can see a grocery store from where I'm sitting, little kids playing in a park across the street, people standing at a bus stop. Everything seems like it's slowed right on down.
"And you guys are?" I said, curious again. There was a dog hanging upside down from a curtain rod and that seemed kind of weird.
"I'm Dean Winchester, that's Sam," he said, and there were laugh lines at the corners of his eyes.
"So, what am I doing here?" I asked, and Dean grinned.
"You hit Twelve Mile kinda fast, kinda high." I sat back against the booth seat. "We're guessing that you really weren't suppose to kick the bucket just yet."
I laughed, "Offside! Offside!" and I wished I could light up a cigarette or something, bury my face into a roots sweater that smelled like somebody's rec room; wet dog and dirty hockey sticks.
"How did the tournament go?" I asked. Sam raised his eyebrows.
"Russia! Us versus Russia! Didn't you hear about it?! Canada and USSR?"
"Dude, that was thirty years ago."
I was shocked, and sat up straight. "So, how it'd go?"
Sam picked at lint on his sleeve, and it was different than it was before. The light was different, too.
"How'd what go? The hunt?"
"What? No, the game!"
Sam grinned. "Yeah, you won. Awesome, just like '72."
That feeling, it's kind of like sliding across ice on really sharp blades right after a zamboni's gone over it, all smooth and easy. Slipsliding easy. There's definitely a timbit joke in here somewhere.
"You make great coffee." Dean said.
"Why am I here?" I asked, and Sam looked at Dean carefully.
"We've got an idea, but we've been tracking you for years-"
"-and we think it's because Tim Hortons was sold to an American corporation-"
"American!" I sputtered.
"-and your spirit won't rest until your company is back in Canadian hands."
"Huh," I said, and I propped my elbows on the table between me and them. "Have the Leafs won the Cup yet?"
Dean shook his head. "Habs?" I asked hopefully.
"Six times since you, uh-" he shook his head, "-but not recently."
I perked up slightly.
"Seriously," Sam said, "we need to figure out how to get you to move on. Nothing to salt and burn, nothing to exorcise, it's not like you're causing any-"
Dean elbowed him, and I was grateful because I don't really give a damn about how they did whatever it is they do, and I guessed that the less I know, the better.
"Gee, thanks." I said dryly. There was a Petro-Canada outside, all rounded off and self-serve and dear lord in heaven - was gas really a buck ten a litre?
Dean had a new jacket. "C'mon, dude," he said, "let's focus here."
I looked around - I used to insist on big windows because I liked a nice view. There was an LCBO nearby too, I could see it, and I wondered if corporeal spirits had to show ID. There was something else, too-
"What is that?" I pointed at a store across the street. Sam looked up from his coffee - he'd been nursing a large double double, rrrrrrrroll up the rim to win on the side - and shrugged off my question.
"Just a Krispy Kreme."
I could hear the K's in his speech. "What's Krispy Kreme?"
"A donut and coffee shop."
"Donut and coffee shop!" I sputtered. "American, I bet."
"Is there an echo in here?" Dean asked idly and I rolled my eyes at him.
"They'll just roll on in and take over." I complained. "Like always. I'm so sick of it."
"Actually," Dean started, "they're folding. Tim's won."
Sam pulled up the screen thing and moved it around so I could read it.
Tim Hortons Inc.  (TSX: THI, NYSE: THI) is the largest coffee and doughnut chain in Canada. It is well-known for its coffee, doughnuts, Timbits, bagels, soups, and sandwiches. Some Canadians consider the chain a notable part of their national identity and culture.
"Boarding!" I laughed. Sam hid a grin and Dean shook his head.
It's fall, and there are dirty brown and red leaves on the ground. It's winter, and there are kids with skates slung over their shoulders crowding a minivan-driving mom holding hot chocolate.
It's spring and there's construction. It's summer, and there's construction.
Sam pulled out a box of timbits, and I knew there was a joke in there somewhere.
"What'll you have?" Sam asked. I looked in, and there were glazed ones and powdered sugar ones and honey-dipped and dutchies and maple and chocolate and jellies. They all seemed pretty good.
I looked over at them both. "Surprise me."