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04 July 2007 @ 08:57 am
Supernatural Slash Fiction: In This Moment (S2 spoilers)  
Title: In This Moment
Author: HalfshellVenus
Category: Sam/Dean (Wincest)
Rating: PG-13
Summary: (Post-S2 Finale) Who will Sam and Dean become with what waits in the year ahead?
Author's Notes: Dedicated to the lovely and patient kronette, whose birthday was late last week. This was my 60_minute_fics Anniversary Story, where I was given the Tom Petty song, "You don't have to live like a refugee" as the prompt; the story is based only on the title. Could be considered an unofficial follow-on to my earlier Healing, Body and Soul.

x-x-x-x-x

Fighting is what they've always done, and it's how they pick up the pieces after the showdown is over.

A lot of bad things got loose in that period when the Hellgate was open, things to be hunted down and destroyed while they have the chance. They sleep in watches. The iron railways form a binding for the demons, keeping them locked inside that area. The things that aren't demons are harder to stay on top of.

Two weeks is all Sam's willing to give it. Other priorities are calling, whispering out of Dean's deeply drawn breaths at night on the pillow next to Sam.

Family is more important than hunting—it's the oldest argument in Sam's life. And Dean is more important that anything. Sam will never be ready to give him up when that year comes due.

They spend more time close to the big cities, where Sam can get to the Internet and libraries more easily. Ash could have helped him, if he hadn't… But there's no use crying about that now. Sam reads through dubious, dusty books in back corners of libraries and used bookstores, piecing together notes and ideas from various reports. Weeding out the insightful from the insane is an unsure process; Sam hopes he's getting it right as he goes.

Bobby reports back with the latest news through his phone tree of contacts, and Missouri sets time aside to try enticing the arrival of visions. So far, nothing.

It's an uneasy situation for him and Dean. Their relationship changed—for the better, Sam thinks—when they became lovers the night of the Hellgate opening and closing. Things are softer between them sometimes, though the bite of being brothers and pushing each other too far isn't completely forgotten. But that's not what's causing this wavering now.

Dean wants to enjoy the time he has left, while Sam is desperate to stop the inevitable. Trying to balance those two impossibly different goals adds friction between them and puts Sam at war with an essential part of himself.

The sweetness of everyday living is exactly what he wants for Dean— it's what he's always wanted. So now he's still trying to encourage Dean toward that while finding his answers in secret or in snatches of time that don't cloud Dean's every waking moment. He knows the effort he's making probably isn't enough…

"Let's go to the beach for awhile, Dean."

"And do what?"

"A lot of nothing. Watch the waves, smell the air. Sleep in late every morning and have sex three times a day."

"Really?" Dean sounds surprised. "There's a ghost in Battle Mountain, and a poltergeist in Michigan…"

"We'll let Bobby know, and he'll get the word around."

"Okay."

The place Sam finds has a kitchenette and sofa, and the first night there he unpacks their clothes into the dresser and closet—side by side, just like the two of them.

"Why're you doing that?" Dean asks. "We hardly ever take things out of our bags, let alone hang them up."

"I've been thinking about that, though," Sam answers. "We've spent our whole lives acting like we're running from something, one motel to the next. It really doesn't have to be like that— it's okay to get comfortable where we are."

"We're not moving in here, are we?" Dean sounds aghast.

"No. We're just settling in, is all."

"Oh," Dean says. "How about breaking in the bed, then?"

Sam grins like a maniac. "Now you're talking."

They love and laze while the sky goes from amber to red to black. Dean's asleep before the moon is done rising.

Sam wakes in the early morning hours, slipping out stealthily from under Dean's arms and over to the table. The motel is Internet-ready, and he's falling behind.

His days are mixture of intensely driven research and the casual downtime he tries to put on for Dean when it's time to be "relaxing." He's often up at night, making up for those lost periods earlier in the day. He wouldn't stop himself even if he wanted to— who can sleep with that kind of worrying anyway? Sam no longer even tries.

The thing is, he really enjoys all that "nothing" time he spends with Dean. He's the first one to suggest stopping off for ice cream at a small town soda shop, or pulling off the road to climb into the backseat so they can lose themselves in each other. That's the sunlight he knows Dean's gone years and years without. Sam loves giving it and taking it in turn. Just seeing Dean smile—softly or joyfully now, instead of the sarcasm- or jerk-laden grins of the past decade—that's everything Sam ever wanted. He just never knew it would come in this package.

But sometimes when Dean's smile turns wistful, the moment shifts from beautiful to bitter and Sam feels like he suddenly just can't breathe. Those are the times when Dean's remembering that this can't last forever... and Sam can't get out from under the countdown of how little time he has left to prevent that.

Over that motel room table, the window is open to the sounds of the ocean and the soft, curling caress of the seaside air. Sam has salt lines laid along the sill for safety, and the breeze is a tempered pleasure—danger warring with enjoyment, far too much like his time now with Dean.

"What're you doing?" Dean's voice rasps from the bed, where his skin gleams blue in the glow from the laptop screen.

"Just checking some stuff," Sam says. "I couldn't sleep."

"You never do, anymore." Dean rolls up off the bed and comes over to stand next to Sam.

"I—just—this is important, Dean. I have to find it." Sam can't keep the emotion from straining through his tone.

"I know it is," Dean says quietly, his hand rubbing over Sam's shoulder as he leans in closer. "But I'll be fine with it if you don't." He kisses Sam's hair.

"Dean—"

"No really, Sam. I mean it." Dean pulls the other chair around and sits knee-to-knee. "A year is pretty good, and I've gotten so much more from it than I expected with you already."

"But…" Sam begins helplessly.

Dean stops Sam's words with his fingers, leaning in to kiss him with warm, gentle lips. "I know how much you love me—I really know it, more than I ever did before. And I wouldn't trade this for anything. You shouldn't either. Stop running from the clock and start living in what we've got."

"I'm not sure I can do that, Dean," Sam says honestly.

"Maybe not, but I want you to try. This time is what we've got, no matter what happens. Let's be in it while we can..."

Dean pulls Sam back to the bed, all stroking hands and urgent mouth against Sam's skin.

The air brushes over them silently with sea-salt softness as they sigh and moan together. Sam loves Dean with every rough-tender feeling in his body, while his thoughts speak their own refrain:

I won't give you up that easily. I never could.


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



 
 
 
angels3angels3 on July 4th, 2007 04:46 pm (UTC)
Good God
the quiet and not so quiet desperation in this piece put a lump in my throat and unshed tears in my eyes. Especially the parts of Sam watching and giving Dean the sunshine and love that he never had in his life and the end where Dean tells him that if he can't find it he's still happy with what he got that it was more than he ever expected.

This was magnificient.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam/Dean kisshalfshellvenus on July 7th, 2007 09:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Good God
Thank you very, very much. I was hoping that Sam's desperate inability to stop worrying-- and his need to hide that from Dean as much as he can-- would be clear to the reader.

I don't know how he could NOT be obsessed with trying to save Dean, but at the same time, if he can't... he'll ruin what little time they have left. What a dilemna. *sigh*
I'm Mulder, She's Scullyrunedgirl on July 4th, 2007 05:02 pm (UTC)
I loved the one before this, and love that you've continued it. The tension between wanting to just enjoy this exquisite new turn their relationship has (finally) taken, and the desperation of wanting to make sure it doesn't end is just heartbreaking. Very realistic, I think -- can totally believe Sam just wouldn't be able to sacrifice any hours to sleep. Touching and sweet with a touch of hot.
Lyns
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: SN Lovershalfshellvenus on July 7th, 2007 09:24 pm (UTC)
It's such an impossible bind-- loving what you have (but being desperate not to lose it), and trying not to poison its atmosphere with your attempts to keep it all from ending.

Season 3 is going to be tough on all of us, for exactly this reason.

I'm glad there's a tinge of "hotness" there too, in spite of the quiet mood and Sam's tangible worry. :)
a cool and cryptic inside joke: she chose bluefleshflutter on July 4th, 2007 05:52 pm (UTC)
There's a wonderful feeling to this, both beautiful and very tragic. Really lovely stuff. :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam/Dean kisshalfshellvenus on July 7th, 2007 09:25 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much! I love the wording you chose, the contrast of beautiful and tragic. That describes this point in their relationship perfectly. *angsts*
I'm for wine and the embrace of questionable womenmissyjack on July 4th, 2007 10:26 pm (UTC)
"We hardly ever take things out of our bags, let alone hang them up."

Lovely image that encaspulates their life - they never stop moving do they?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam/Dean kisshalfshellvenus on July 7th, 2007 09:27 pm (UTC)
Lovely image that encaspulates their life - they never stop moving do they?
Sometimes it seems like they rarely stop to live either-- it's a constant flow of the things that happen to them more than the experiences (other than hunting) that they directly choose.

Once in awhile, you've got to stop and notice where you are-- especially if what you've got is good. :)
Kronette: I heart halfshellvenuskronette on July 5th, 2007 01:56 am (UTC)
*points to story* That's what I want to happen in season 3. The End :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam/Dean kisshalfshellvenus on July 5th, 2007 06:55 am (UTC)
Oh, me too. The schmoop, the feeling of acceptance (hoping it'll turn out better, but just enjoying what currently is without the Anvil of Angst hanging over every moment)... I want that, and I definitely want to see at least some moments of that and not have my heart ripped out every single week.

Did you notice the dedication? :) Many happy returns. ♥
Kronette: DA-acklesistehtasty thumb lickkronette on July 5th, 2007 07:26 am (UTC)
Did you notice the dedication? Many happy returns. ♥

OMG!!!!!!!!!!! No, I usually skip reading the headers/info on stories, because I want to go into them completely unspoiled. Which is why I don't like writing them; that and I suck at summarizing my stories.

OMG! *flail* Thank you :)

...hoping it'll turn out better, but just enjoying what currently is... some moments of that and not have my heart ripped out every single week.

Yes, yes and yes. I have many ideas, but July is going to be INSANE with all the work I have to do around the house, and helping mom with HER house. I definitely think we need to have some normal, happy moments mixed in with our angst. Why can't they see the badlands of Nebraska? The desert sky filled with stars? Drive through the Redwood Forest (and before you get ideas, that's one of MY story prompts and have already worked out their route). I love my angst so much, but there has to be moments of laughter, too. Or at least peace. It will all be worked out in my story; promise.

I just hope Kripke doesn't disappoint us. I've already had to adjust how I watch one of the few shows I like (Atlantis) because they're shaking up the cast, and I may give up the show completely by the end of the year. I did that for Lost already, recording on DVR then skipping to what I want to watch, and it's saved me...probably 10 hours of boring crap. Same with Smallville, though it actually ended good last year.

2:30am, I should probably go to bed, seeing as I have to leave for work at 8am *g*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam/Dean kisshalfshellvenus on July 7th, 2007 09:32 pm (UTC)
OMG! *flail* Thank you :)
You're welcome! Many happy returns. :) I was hoping to write something for you, but there are so many assignments and stresses right now that the what and when is very unpredictable. If I get a "what" that's just right and it's in the ballpark of that special person's day, I'm going to grab onto it. And I knew you'd understand this one-- the feelings, the drive, the need to cherish what's there. All the beauty and angst that combine for S3 Sam/Dean.

I definitely think we need to have some normal, happy moments mixed in with our angst. Why can't they see the badlands of Nebraska? The desert sky filled with stars? Drive through the Redwood Forest (and before you get ideas, that's one of MY story prompts and have already worked out their route).
:D Yes-- all the things they should have been doing before, all this time. They've got to enjoy life a little more (and god, if Kripke spends all next year with hunt-hunt-hunt and a Magical New Female Character Who Can Save Dean, I'll be sorely disappointed (really hopes he won't do the latter, and that he won't give us the impression of the boys frittering away all the time that's left on the wrong sort of mission).

Glad you liked this story, and I'm glad your birthday went so well! ♥
albeitslowly on July 5th, 2007 02:28 am (UTC)
aww, that was beautiful, desperate, and yet schmoopy. Makes me happy in a saddish way, LOL. Thanks.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam/Dean kisshalfshellvenus on July 7th, 2007 09:34 pm (UTC)
Oh, I live your description of it. It really IS all those things at once, isn't it? And I think it leaves you with much of the same feeling that runs through Sam-- perfect in the moment, but clouded by the larger fear of time slipping by without a solution being found.

Thanks so much for reading and commenting! :)
zenamydog: Savior Iconzenamydog on July 5th, 2007 10:45 am (UTC)
There are so many "Dean's last year" stories about now, but this was so well written, it pulled me right in.

Wonderful stuff hun!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam/Dean kisshalfshellvenus on July 7th, 2007 09:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Zena!

I don't expect to be writing a ton of stuff in this timeframe myself, because it's so bittersweet and angsty. There's always this urge to creep back into the vagueness of Season 1, where Sam wasn't devastated over Jess anymore, and John was still alive and the Big Evil wasn't coming yet.

I'd saturate on too much Season 3 pretty darn soon!
Rachel_sin_attract on July 5th, 2007 04:35 pm (UTC)
This was excellent...schmoopy but still with desperation and Sam's determination to find a way out for Dean. I love the idea that this brought them closer together, and I know that Sam wouldn't give up until he found a way to save Dean.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam/Dean kisshalfshellvenus on July 9th, 2007 12:53 am (UTC)
You would sure hope it would make them closer, though the desperate fear of Dean being taken away would put that friction there sometimes too.

This story was not only the balance of the "now" and the future, but the struggle not to let either one of them dominate. What an almost impossible position to be in. :(
Montmorency: J2montmorency on July 5th, 2007 05:09 pm (UTC)
Oh, make me cry, why doncha!? Poor boys, that their pleasure must be bittersweet. Dean deserves this life, and so does Sam, and I want them to have it, blast it. Then again I feel certain that Sam will find a way.

Lovely vignette. <3
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam/Dean kisshalfshellvenus on July 9th, 2007 12:55 am (UTC)
Thank you so much, I'm glad you liked it. "Bittersweet" describes this situation perfectly-- neither fully happy nor entirely sad, each aspect tending to poison the other. Argh, what a struggle!

Hope you were caught up to the end of S2 when you read this! :)
Montmorency: J2montmorency on July 9th, 2007 06:28 pm (UTC)
Yep, I hope you noticed I've been leaving little comments hither and thither in your older fics! It's like a treasure trove discovered after the fact.

I am NOT caught up to end of S2. I have no cable and honestly didn't get into it until very recently when I got the first DVD from netflix. Then I was hooked - bought the set for S1. But S2 does not come out until Sept. 11!!! *insert bawling sound*

In spite of that, I read fics anyway, and look at screencaps, because I cannot stop myself. And it's all so angst-arific... my fave thing. :)
sndreamer on July 22nd, 2007 01:30 am (UTC)
I enjoy seeing the other side of Dean. I am concerned about how Sammy is going to save Dean in Season 3. Thanks for this nice piece of fiction.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam/Dean kisshalfshellvenus on August 1st, 2007 08:01 pm (UTC)
I'm wondering that too, and I'd really like to see a little role-reversal in their relationship as a form of character growth for both of them.

And I'm so glad you liked the story. Thank you very much. :)
Gem: Crayon rainbowiceandlime on August 1st, 2007 03:06 pm (UTC)
I just found this and I really love it. I love how subtle you manage to keep it while still getting the emotional intensity across.

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam/Dean kisshalfshellvenus on August 1st, 2007 08:03 pm (UTC)
What a wonderful way to describe the mood of the story! And there's such a fine line between subtle and flatness sometimes, so I'm glad you feel that the emotions are still vivid.

Thank you for reading!
Gem: Stained glass swirliceandlime on August 2nd, 2007 12:51 am (UTC)
Definitely, I think sometimes when people are too in your face with certain aspects it can really draw away from the emotional side. You managed the perfect balance.

I'd love to read more of your stuff :)