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21 January 2006 @ 10:22 pm
Supernatural Fanfiction: Letting Go  
Author: HalfshellVenus
Category: Dean and Sam (Sam’s POV. Gen, Angst)
Rating: G
Summary: He had dreamed once of leaving the darkness behind-- of going forth into the world of sunlit surfaces and glass…

x-x-x-x-x

He thought he saw her again this morning, drifting past in a car someone else was driving. Her head turned toward him too late, and she was gone. Again.

The weight is on his chest now, the one that makes him strain to breathe, to even think. It may be guilt or sorrow… or resignation… but naming it will not help him to conquer it. This is when he knows his destiny was never in his control. His hopes and plans were his to create-- even now if he wanted to try again. But they were fragile, unprotected, and just waiting to be destroyed by the evil that had marked him long ago.

It wants him.

It needs to devour him and own him, and he wishes he could slip out from under its gaze. It will wait… but not release him, and he wonders if he can stand trying to outrun it for much longer. The lack of knowing makes him tired. The need to end it helps him move forward. He will marry one of those into resolution, if something else does not find him first.

He had dreamed once of leaving the darkness behind-- of going forth into the world of sunlit surfaces and glass. Others survived there, oblivious to the danger lapping at the edges of what was real. If he could forget what he knew, and pretend disappearances and strangeness were just coincidence or hysteria, he could live as others lived. He could let the undead die.

But now he knows that darkness follows him. He cannot escape the thing he draws toward him, compelling its interest and hatred for some secret he carries deep inside. There was no chance for Jess once he loved her. And he never would have left if he’d known.

In Arkansas they rid a courthouse of ghosts, and the sun sets as they wind up the road over the town. Sam is quiet, lost in the hazy colors settling over the peaceful, little houses. This is what it should have been like, he thinks. All of it. He could have grown up in a place like this, and even stayed, if only happiness were a promise to be kept.

A wood spirit in Colorado draws them West again in March. Sam’s ears are vigilant as he watches for movement in the snow. The sparkling softness over trees and hillsides makes him think of Jess trying to teach him to ski. It was clumsy and cold, and he’d never laughed so hard. But by the time he and Dean have finished, the snow is roughed up and covered in soot. Sam wonders if he’ll ever have that other memory back again, the way it was before all this beauty was marred.

They arrive late on a Friday night in North Dakota, and the only room left is a honeymoon suite. The clerk lets them have it for the price of a double, and Dean shrugs and pockets the key. There are ruffles and satin and too many pillows on the bed, and being here with his brother is a step beyond surreal. But it is clean and they are tired, and their lives are shaped by strangeness anyway. They stow their baggage and their clothes, and Sam turns off the lamp as they climb into bed. Dean is asleep within minutes, but Sam is wakeful despite being weary. He can envision that room in the dark, and the details of the overwrought décor have faded. It is the sense of what it represents that crowds him now, the meaning behind the lace and hardwood and ribbons. This is a room filled with the remnants of new beginnings and fledgling hopes, and his chest tightens as he shuts his eyes against the expanse of ceiling looming above him. It is too much, too soon. He slips out of bed and into the bathroom, curling up in the dark while sorrow flows to the ground with his ashen dreams. It was never going to happen, he knows that now, but that doesn’t stop him from wanting it, from grieving. The death of his future is not granted so easily. Now that he understands to let it go, it is ripping away pieces of him that can never be replaced.

Dean’s frantic voice rouses him later from his cold slumber on the floor, and he groggily moves aside to let him in.

“Sammy, what’s wrong?” Dean’s voice is strained. “Why are you sleeping here in the bathroom?”

His eyes are stinging as he tries to form the words. “That room… I couldn’t.” He swallows and tries again. “I’ll never have that—any of it. I’ll never sleep in a room like that for real, or have a wife or family of my own.”

Dean crouches down beside him, his shoulders stooped under this pressure to solve Sam’s pain. “I’m family,” he says, like he knows it’s a pale shadow of what Sam means.

“Not so much, now,” Sam says, though he can see Dean flinch at those words. “We don’t talk about anything real now, and you won’t even touch me anymore. It’s like I don’t even know you.” And he doesn’t, doesn’t know anything anymore, except that the life he has now is nothing like what he wanted and it will never be enough.

Dean pulls him close, his touch awkward but well-intentioned, and Sam leans into him and breathes tightly until he finally just has to let it go. All the loss and the fears and the loneliness that fill his head and heart are too heavy, too much for him to hold inside. And Dean just rocks him and waits in silent sympathy.

When Sam's pain has quieted, Dean brings him Kleenex to dry his face and nose. Those eyes are worried, but do not rush him, and Sam is grateful to be allowed to feel whatever it needs to be—this thing he has pushed away for so long.

“Are you ready to come back to the bed?” Dean asks hesitantly. “Or… do you want me to spend the rest of the night in here with you instead?”

And that’s the brother Sam remembers. The one who stood by him through everything, and tried to make it all a little bit better. He stretches his hand up to Dean’s face, and smiles faintly through the sadness.

“I’ve missed you, Dean.”

And then his brother’s eyes squeeze shut, and a few drops slip down beyond all control.

Sam leans closer, holding on tight and helping to heal the scattered path that lies between them.

There are sunsets and mountains, and weddings and forevers. So many things of beauty that he will witness but never own.

But then there is this, a moment of understanding as he clings to his brother here on the unforgiving tile.

And somehow this-- so simple and graceless-- this is the part that is perfect.

-------- FIN --------

 
 
 
Sorrel, the artist formerly known as goddessleilasorrelchestnut on January 22nd, 2006 06:38 am (UTC)
Gorgeous. As always. Dean saying "Do you want me to stay in here with you?" All that love and, well, love, wrapped up in one sentence... perfect.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Gen: icon by Tinamishihalfshellvenus on January 22nd, 2006 06:50 am (UTC)
Thank you very much :-)

That seemed the essence of Dean, to me. To hold out a choice that will be sleepless and uncomfortable for him but might be the only right one for Sam-- that selfless love that lies in his actions-- is the best part of who he is.

And I see you found that moment with no trouble at all :-)
(no subject) - sorrelchestnut on January 22nd, 2006 09:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on January 23rd, 2006 02:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sorrelchestnut on January 23rd, 2006 02:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
Stacey: my weaknessstaceey on January 22nd, 2006 06:39 am (UTC)
This is so beautiful. :) And the ending? Sammy said it best, it's perfect.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Gen: icon by Tinamishihalfshellvenus on January 22nd, 2006 06:52 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you!

I wanted to show him finally seeing that what is good and beautiful is not always as we expect. When it is perfect, it may catch us by surprise.
Portdesertport on January 22nd, 2006 06:41 am (UTC)
Talk about perfect. What a wonderful potrait of loss and grief. The simple town, the snow, the honeymoon suite. Those images evoke so much. And now I want a picture of Dean and Sam sleeping in a honeymoon bed. Heh.

Thank you.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Gen: icon by Tinamishihalfshellvenus on January 22nd, 2006 06:56 am (UTC)
Talk about perfect. What a wonderful potrait of loss and grief.

Oh, those are lovely comments.

I think we understand, probably better than Dean, what Sam wanted and how hard it is to let a simple, beautiful, ordinary life go. Dean had never expected to have it. But Sam thought he'd found it until he saw that it was always destined to be destroyed, and Jess along with it. So utterly awful.

And now I want a picture of Dean and Sam sleeping in a honeymoon bed. Heh.

With the big shiny knife peeking out from under a rose-pink pillow :-)
Are we back to hos over bros?lissa_bear on January 22nd, 2006 04:00 pm (UTC)
Beautiful. I especially loved the ending. You did a wonderful job conveying the magnitude of Sam's pain.

“Not so much, now,” This line broke my heart.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Gen: icon by Tinamishihalfshellvenus on January 23rd, 2006 02:11 am (UTC)
Thank you very much :-)

This line broke my heart.

That would be so hurtful to Dean. He did so much for Sam and still feels so much (including the fear of losing him again). But he is not conveying it to Sam very well right now, and that is keeping the distance between them. :-(
The Good, The Bad and The Lanathelana on January 24th, 2006 11:00 am (UTC)
I don't know if she's in your friendslist and if you therefore can read her entries, but quincykat loves your Supernatural stories ;D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Gen: icon by Tinamishihalfshellvenus on January 24th, 2006 05:21 pm (UTC)
She's in my f-list, and I saw her note, which was very sweet. (Still holding out a vague hope she'll give some comments on this one).

I also read the other one she recc'd, which was heartbreaking but very good. *Sniff*

Thanks for the just-in-case pointer, though. Usually, I'm oblivious to these things!
(no subject) - thelana on January 24th, 2006 05:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
spikers91 on January 26th, 2006 05:36 pm (UTC)
Yeah, just...whoa.
So very touching. I love the idea that they get stuck with the honeymoon suite, and Sam can't deal...

"And that’s the brother Sam remembers. The one who stood by him through everything, and tried to make it all a little bit better. He stretches his hand up to Dean’s face, and smiles faintly through his tears."

Just...whoa. I think I've got something in my eye...*wipes face surreptitiously*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Gen: icon by Tinamishihalfshellvenus on January 26th, 2006 06:07 pm (UTC)
I love the idea that they get stuck with the honeymoon suite, and Sam can't deal...

Yes-- it's exactly the kind of thing he'd be prepared to scoff at along with Dean, but then realizing what it represents that he can't have... ouch.

Just...whoa. I think I've got something in my eye...*wipes face surreptitiously*

Now that's perfect. :-) Thank you.
i want to cause a ruckusgeminigrl11 on January 26th, 2006 09:11 pm (UTC)
Haunting and sad. So much heartbreak that it's like drowning. And the the rescue line in the form of a big brother who may not get it but will do whatever he can anyway. Beautiful. *sniff* “I’ve missed you, Dean.” *wail*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Gen: icon by Tinamishihalfshellvenus on January 26th, 2006 09:42 pm (UTC)
Oh, such lovely words.

*sniff* “I’ve missed you, Dean.” *wail*

And you know he has. The Dean he's traveling with now is not the doting brother he grew up with.

But I don't think Sam realizes that this is the brother he made. That's a topic for a different fic altogether.

So glad you enjoyed this :-)
(no subject) - geminigrl11 on January 29th, 2006 01:32 am (UTC) (Expand)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Gen: icon by Tinamishihalfshellvenus on January 29th, 2006 02:47 am (UTC)
Now, I hope you write it. :)

Oddly enough, the first SN fic I ever wrote hit on this theme, because it was what really stuck out in the first few episodes. The fic was It's Sam.

Not to say that I wouldn't take another stab at it :) I've already got 5-6 started but not complete SN fics backlogged, not to mention that Prison Break is actually my main fandom! But... you just never know :-D
The Good, The Bad and The Lana: happy hug Veronicathelana on February 9th, 2006 12:41 am (UTC)
I'm not exactly sure what you changed, but I like it :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Gen: icon by Tinamishihalfshellvenus on February 9th, 2006 01:14 am (UTC)
I'm not exactly sure what you changed, but I like it :)

See? It did make a difference.

I changed somewhere between 20-30 words, that brought the tone down from waterworks to implied pain (possibly implied crying, BUT not throwing it in the reader's face).

The tweaking didn't hack up the story at all, just refocused some of the dramatic moments.

If you were squirming before and no longer are, then I did a good job!

And again, your original feedback on this made me think quite a bit. If I didn't feel your points were valid, I would have left this alone. But those comments helped me see away to slightly changing the descriptions without losing the power of the story (I hope).

Thanks :-)
(no subject) - thelana on February 9th, 2006 01:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on February 9th, 2006 06:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thelana on February 9th, 2006 07:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on February 9th, 2006 05:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thelana on February 9th, 2006 08:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on February 9th, 2006 08:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
tyrical: SPN_Taillypo_SD_togethertyrical on February 10th, 2006 03:36 pm (UTC)
Sam wonders if he’ll ever have that other memory back again, the way it was before all this beauty was marred.

Wonderful imagery here. It was like the visual of the statement right before it.

Sam's pain is so tangible. It mirrors our broken dreams. You can recognize the feeling of wanting something so much and then having it ripped away. Then struggling to deal with always seeing what you can't have.

Then realizing that you may not have what you thought you were going to have but you do have something just as important right there with you. At least Sam can see that he has Dean.

Dean. We don't know if he ever had the same dreams as Sam but ever the realist Dean is and deals with the here and now better than Sam ever could.

I think they are quite lucky to have one another.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Gen: icon by Tinamishihalfshellvenus on February 10th, 2006 04:51 pm (UTC)
You can recognize the feeling of wanting something so much and then having it ripped away. Then struggling to deal with always seeing what you can't have.

And worse yet, understanding that you probably never will. Because once you do, the evil that follows you will destroy it. You will kill what you want just by loving it. :-(

I think they are quite lucky to have one another.

I agree. It isn't perfect, but it's good and real and it's enough. And even if Dean doesn't fully undertand Sam's feeling and fears, no-one else is going to come closer than that. Their father may understand... but Sam refuses to hear him.

*Sigh*. I've missed you. Hope you're feeling better, and a little less stressed at work.
(no subject) - tyrical on February 10th, 2006 10:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
ivy_x3 on June 3rd, 2006 05:18 pm (UTC)
this is really good!

Sam is destroyed by the fact that no matter how he tried, he couldn't save Jess and save that life that he had wanted so badly. he tried so hard to run from it, he was actually quite resistent to it too. He could let the undead die

And then there's Dean who's willing to shoulder all of Sam's problems and make them his because Dean is Sam's brother. Nothing else to it, even when Sam says he's not family.

::claps:: lovely!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on June 3rd, 2006 06:12 pm (UTC)
this is really good!
Thank you! It got posted at a bad time (around the Xmas holidays), and sadly was kind of overlooked because of that.

This piece was mainly written for Sam's grief-- for the realization that what he'd wanted so badly (and all such simple things) was destined never to be. And how awful that is-- to be denied the things other people take for granted, to destroy someone else in the process of finding out you were never allowed to have the lasting-love part of Normal at all.

And Dean... comes through at the end. He is all Sam has left, and all he ever really had in the first place.

Glad you enjoyed this, Ivy! Thank you again. :)
Black Samvarablack_samvara on July 15th, 2007 01:30 pm (UTC)
Oh Sam, oh Dean.

I'm not sure if I'm more saddened for Sam's grief or just totally touched by Dean trying to care for him.