The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors (halfshellvenus) wrote,
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors

Supernatural Gen Fiction: Living Outside The Lines

Title: Living Outside The Lines
Author: HalfshellVenus
Characters: Sam, Dean, John, Mary, Missouri, others (Gen)
Rating: PG
Summary: 50 sentences on Supernatural, for 1fandom.
Author's Notes: These use the 5th Theme set. The Slash version on these same prompts is here.


She couldn't know that it wouldn't matter, that nothing she did could save her baby from his fate: she was a vessel, chosen without ever knowing it, and it was she that was expendable, never Sam.

The little orange kitten belongs to a family upstairs, but Sam couldn't love it any more than he already does even if it were his own.

The whole house stinks when Dean burns dinner, but he mostly gets it right and Sam is lucky Dean even tries all those times when Dad is gone.

Another school, another town, and though he's good at making friends he still wants a chance to keep the ones he's already got.

Sam doesn't say it anymore, but he still feels it on these endless road trips: one day the sight of dirt and tumbleweeds going on forever might actually make him scream.

Sam's rare moments of unconditional love come from his brother, usually when their Dad isn't watching; sometimes he wonders about the life he's missing—the one with a mother's tender touch—when Dean holds him tightly like Sam will leave if he lets go.

There is very little that travels with them through the years-- a photograph, a knife—and all those things they can't hold onto are still more solid than the barest flicker of memories.

Their sparring is graceful, calculated and fierce all in turns, a warrior's dance that keeps them primed for survival.

This is peaceful, losing himself into books and ideas and silence; Sam is often happier doing this than anything else in his chaos-directed life.

They are the resolvers, not the summoners, and so much time is spent putting back all the dark things that others raise up.

That one little word eludes him, and he's waited a lifetime to hear it when it's needed: "Yes, I'm proud of you Sam" or "You did good back there, son" or "This is your decision, and I'll support whatever choice you make."

"Are you sure this is what you really want?" Dean keeps asking; Sam keeps telling him Yes because he never hears the part underneath, the part that sounds like "Please don't go."

"If you go, don't come back" was the ultimatum, and Sam can't even be homesick because if it starts he's got no way to unburden that feeling or resolve it.

Under the normal-looking boy is a skilled hunter of the unbelievable, and yet the surface is actually the truth of what he wants to be.

Sam is gone—three months already—and Dean still feels like his heart's being ripped out every morning when he remembers that Dad and their work are all that's left to keep him going.

"My name is Jessica," she says, and Sam can tell this is a future he wants to sign up for.

Sam's always had the grades, and it's not that he wants fame or glory… but he'd make an exceptional lawyer and he's tired of how he grew up-- where you could be incredible at something and still have to make sure you stayed invisible.

Her mother always said she'd know when she found The One, and Sam's smile at her across the table proves the truth of it; she only hopes Sam knows it too.

Sam tried it once or twice in high school during a sleepover, but this is different: here with friends, in a life he calls his own, he can let go for awhile without always staying ready for some danger that normal people have never heard of and wouldn't even believe.

Sam finds it at a bookstore, between philosophy and religion, and it shouldn't even be there, this gris-gris made of hair and herbs and a rusty nail that smells like mold.

"I know you miss him," John says one morning, and it's three years later but Dean can't believe his father is finally willing to acknowledge that pain.

He and Dad set up the battle and let Dean get tossed aside, and when Dean's glad to see him and he's more annoyed than anything, Sam agrees to find their father because he owes Dean after forgetting him all this time.

On his lips is the frozen refrain of "Jess," in his head the flames of nightmares, and the only thing that reaches in is the arm around his shoulder and the soothing sound of "Sam."

That bright future is gone and its destruction was tied to him; all he can think to do is mourn and stay within Dean's orbit—whatever's waiting, he knows it he'll never want it.

He could say "Thanks for saving me" or "Thanks for sticking around," but instead he glares at Dean like it's his fault how things turned out, and Dean wonders if his brother's still inside this angry stranger.

Dean's talking too much to that silent little boy, but then Sam hears something Dean would never say to him and the memories flood back instantly—the way Dean listened to him when no-one else would.

Dean saw it coming, but he still can't believe that he's trapped here between choosing Dad or Sammy, but never both.

It's what they do, Dean's always believed that: it's helping other people, using knowledge that no-one believes in, and every time they save someone it just underlines why this is important.

Lawyers, reporters, policemen, priests—they have an arsenal of false identities, of ways to shoehorn themselves into confidence, and underneath it all the truth is more unbelievable still.

Dean's always been tougher, that's what Sam tells himself, but he never noticed that Dean had no defense against his family, while on the other hand he just walked away…

Crossing over the wall—shadows with no source—this is the faceless death that wants them all, that lies quiet but never forgets and never stops.

Sam belongs to it, no matter who else he tries to be, and no-one will stand in the way of what it has planned for him—not mother, lover, father or brother, and not even Sam himself.

So long as the whole family is there together—even if Sam's not thrilled about it, doesn't want to be there or even in this life— that's all the happiness Dean ever counted on.

This is the color of failure, of evil getting loose before they can track it or those terrible times when they know it's coming but they're still too late.

It's obscene, really, that the baby of the family should tower over both of them when all is said and done.

She can't help that they speak to her, bring her the future in vivid pictures and washed-out half-memories; Mama Lilith always said she had the gift, but she never told her that once awakened she couldn't stop it.

All these things that look so ordinary—paintings, water, mirrors, dolls—hide links to Evil, unseen faces, unspoken names under a surface of false mundanity.

Going alone—without the Colt—might turn out badly, but John has to try it; someone will meet him there and he'll learn something from them, and he's so close to finding the answer that no amount of reason will hold him back.

"Please, Dad—don't!" Dean said again and again, trying to reach the man being held at bay by the force behind those yellow eyes.

It took almost no time, going from escape to crash to devastation, and Dean doesn't answer no matter how many times Sam calls with a violence that would wake the dead.

He looks so washed-out, clinging silently by a thread, and it's just wrong that Dean can stand by the bed and be looking at himself, knowing all too well what it means.

In the end, there is a price even for this, and John's finally ready to pay it: of all the things worth dying for, Dean's life is higher even than the vengeance that has driven John for so long.

It is hot, the summer after they lose their father, but the sun-baked earth and dusty, dry air can't keep their world from being terribly, endlessly cold.

He can stand it, this empty existence where his life has lost all meaning—Dean's teeth clench as he repeats it in his head, every morning of every day he doesn't even want to wake up to.

Whose eyes look at Dean from the mirror—the boy he forgot how to be, or the soulless man he's afraid he will become?

Will it ever stop being urgent, Sam wonders, or will his visions someday become nothing more than background traffic he doesn't listen to anymore, because it never stops and he can't control it, and it just makes him so damned tired?

This secret, this burden, changes every truth Dean spent his life living: he doesn't care now about the hunt, he'd walk away like that just to keep Sam from taking that next step.

These hands once carried Sam to safety, have kept him alive and soothed his pain, so how could Dad expect Dean to use them to hurt Sam no matter what comes down or who his sons become?

Sam hasn't changed, Dean's sure of that right now, but he never stops watching for the hint of anything that tells him that's no longer true.

In the end, what they have is each other— flawed halves of a whole bound by unspoken love and fierce loyalty—and with no home and no resting place in sight, still the two of them somehow is enough.

------ fin ------

Tags: my_fic, one_sentence_fic, sn_gen, spn_pre_series, spn_s1_fic

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