June 17th, 1927
Dean groaned as he felt a boot connect with his sternum.
"Get up you lazy vagabond!" came a gruff commanding voice. "I ain't having you sleeping on my porch another night!"
Dean cracked opened his eyes and instantly regretted it. The sun was bright and high in the sky already, indicating he had slept away the better half of the morning.
His mouth felt dry and tasted like rancid stale beer, courtesy of the illicit juice joint he'd found the night before. Dean glanced up at the man, who was in turn, glaring down at him.
"Where am I?" Dean croaked, hauling himself tentatively upright into a sitting position and wondering where the nearest bucket was.
"Weiser, Idaho. On my establishment's front step to be precise." The man scratched his chin, "You're one of them travellin' boys looking for work aren't you?"
"Yeah," Dean groaned, clutching at his head, "You got any going?"
"All gone," the man replied with a snap, "and you will be too by the time I get back or there'll be hell to pay. Already getting enough odd folks through here what with the circus coming to town this weekend."
"The circus?" Dean frowned, but the man had already disappeared back into the building with an ear-splitting slamming of doors.
Dean sighed and fished through his pockets to see if he had enough money left over to buy some breakfast. He didn't.
"Here," as if on cue, a sweet smelling paper bag was chucked right into his lap. Dean glanced up to see his sister standing in the middle of the dirt street grinning at him. "And there's coffee too when I think you're sober enough to not spill it."
"Where have you been?" Dean grunted, fishing out the pastry and devouring it ravenously.
"Getting us more cash for the road," Viv shrugged before walking over and sitting down beside him, holding two steaming cups.
"I saw you disappearing with that blond guy last night..." Dean began.
"As I said little brother, getting us more cash for the road," Viv retorted with a snort.
Dean sighed guiltily and looked out across the street, there was a large family stood in front of the store opposite them. The mother was talking animatedly with some other townswomen and the children were playing with a particularly erratic spinning top, laughing and shouting.
A pang of loss and sorrow clenched around Dean's heart like a vice before he felt Viv's hand slide gently up his arm.
"I miss them too," she murmured, passing him a coffee that was strong enough to awaken the dead.
"I just wish we could stop moving, try and settle somewhere," Viv sighed, tracing swirling patterns into his skin with her fingertips.
Dean disagreed, the constant moving was the only thing that was keeping him going. He wanted to run as far away as possible from the memories of the past.
They had to keep travelling anyway, nowhere had any permanent work and if they timed their arrivals into each new town right, Dean could pick up farm jobs that kept them fed for a while. When those farm jobs occasionally didn't materialise...well, that's when Viv would leave him on his own for a night.
"Hey, did you hear?" Viv nudged Dean’s shoulder playfully. "The circus is coming to town!"
"I'm pissing myself with excitement," Dean deadpanned.
Viv chuckled and batted his arm, "Oh come on, don't be such a killjoy - you wanna go?"
"We're not wasting our money on going to the circus Viv," Dean replied gruffly.
"Of course not!" Viv trilled dismissively. "We'll find a way to sneak in."
"Are you nuts?" Dean eyed her, "Have you seen the men that circuses have to stop people doing exactly that?"
"Where there's a will there's a way little brother," Viv grinned, winking at him. She stood up, stretching and looking down the street, "Now where the hell are we?"
"Weiser, Idaho apparently," Dean replied, shutting his eyes and wondering how long he had to sleep before the irate man came back.
"Hey..." Viv murmured, her eyes sparking and oh no, not that look, Dean knew what that look meant and it always spelled trouble for him.
"Do you think we could get some work with the circus?" Viv asked enthusiastically.
Dean took a deep swig of the questionable black liquid in his cup before attempting to answer. "You're kidding right?"
"No, deadly serious lil' brother - just for this weekend obviously. But they must have a need of extra hands when setting up all their big tent things!"
"Big tops," Dean replied.
"That's it! Whaddya reckon? Strong young lad like you - they're bound to find a use for ya!" Viv winked.
Dean sighed and rubbed at his face, "I'm pretty sure they have all the hands they need. You know circuses don't hire outside help - they like to stick to themselves. Circus folk are secretive like that."
Dean had been to the circus twice before in his life, his mother had taken him when he was a little boy back in Ohio and he had demanded to go. Viv had been sick both times so he had brought her back toffee apples and bags of candied popcorn.
"We could at least try!" Viv pleaded, pouting and kicking her shoes at the ground. Dean noticed that one of them was worn right through and there were holes in her stockings.
"Fine," Dean grumbled. "But when some bearded lady beats me up it's all your fault."
Viv threw her head back and laughed loudly, causing the townswomen across the street to shoot them both disapproving looks.