Pairing: Sam and Dean (Gen, Angsty)
Spoilers and/or Warnings: Up to mid-Season 2
Summary: All that might have been, should have been, as time moves by too quickly.
Author's Notes: For mercurybard's birthday, and I'm sorry it's angst-- I know you wanted a different flavor altogether!. Also written for 60_minute_fics, this was for the "Shakespearean Quotation" prompt, where I picked the phrase that is the title.
"Tomorrow" was the day they were all going to the zoo. Before it happened… before the fire. Dean remembers Mom promising popcorn and lions and a balloon. But there was no zoo on the day tomorrow came. There was no Mommy either—only him and Sammy and Dad.
Dean never liked the zoo much after that.
"Tomorrow" was a book report in second grade—a book he'd read two days before in the car, while Dad was watching something in the woods. The teacher wanted them to stand up in front of the class and talk about their story. Dean's was about witches and spells, though, and a lot of it was lies and he didn't know how to explain that part.
When tomorrow came, John took the boys out of town on a tip from a priest in Scranton. By the time they came back a week later, Dean's teacher had forgotten and moved on to something else.
"Tomorrow" was Sammy's birthday, with ice cream and a Cubs game as soon as school was out. But it didn't work out like that the next day, and Sammy was heartbroken when John couldn't leave work in time. They were promised another chance on the weekend, which didn't even happen until four weeks later.
Peanuts and hot dogs couldn't change the fact that doing it later just really wasn't the same.
"Tomorrow" was the day Dean and Leah Randall were going all the way. He'd been on edge for weeks, getting so frustrated when she stopped him, and they'd been dating for three months and it was time already. Dean elbowed around with his friends at the record store, waiting, until a senior he'd never spoken to smiled shyly at him around the edges of her long, blonde hair.
When tomorrow came, Leah told Sarah Cable to tell Dean not to call her ever again. Dean shrugged off the message, his thoughts already on Deborah Tanney and the quiet way she'd said his name when they'd spoken. He wound up dating her for the rest of his Junior year, and when his family moved again he watched her blur through the back window of the car as they drove away.
"Tomorrow" was the day Sam would leave for college. Dean lay in the dark fighting nausea and listening to Sammy breathe, watching the clock blink through the minutes all night long. He thought of all the places they'd been together, of the places they wanted to go. He wondered now if they ever would, if Sam would come back after the things that Dad had said.
In the morning, Dean drove Sam to the bus station and bit his lip while all his goodbyes lodged in his tight, dry throat. He watched the doors close behind his brother, and drove to the nearest bar. He didn't come back until nightfall.
When he unlocked the apartment door, Dad was waiting with unreadable eyes. But his father just turned off the living-room light, and went to bed without saying a word. Dean thought about how quiet the room he'd shared with Sam would be now, might always be. He slept on the couch.
"Tomorrow" was the day that had no name. A day that wasn't supposed to be.
Dean was finally free to leave the hospital… and their father needed burning. There were no words to describe such a day. It would be the day after the Now Dean could hardly stand to be in, and the one before all the forever that had no shape, no color… no end.
"Tomorrow" is the day Dean wants to stop living the way they have, and do something like brothers instead of brothers-in-arms. He wants to stop tempting Fate, stop brushing against the darkness that waits for Sam to become one of its own.
He wants cotton candy and popcorn, girls in bright-pink bikinis, beer and salsa, and movies with explosions. He wants bad jokes and aimlessness and a few pranks along the way. He wants a day job and a steady paycheck, if it comes to that. It's not as awful an idea as he used to think.
Most of all, he wants time to enjoy all the tomorrows he has left before they run out.
Sometimes he's afraid tomorrow isn't coming, that whatever battle is looming will be here before they've even had a chance.
Other days, he worries that Sam will "turn" right in front of his eyes, that he'll become somebody or something else and it will already be too late.
Those days are the ones that scare Dean most.
He doesn't say it and he tries not to think it, but he's afraid that tomorrow is already here.
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