Characters: Sam and Dean (Gen, Drama, Drabbles)
Rating: PG-13 (language)
Summary: Three overlapping scenes dating from Sam's departure for college.
Author's Notes: On the way to writing a slash drabble with this same theme and structure, I wrote these three others which are all different takes on that angst-laden Stanford period.
For 100_ghosts, this is "Once Upon A Time."
Once Sam leaves, the silence begins— about Sam and the ultimatum. Dean aches with loneliness.
Upon reaching Saratoga, Dean sneaks off to a pay phone to call California. He doesn't have Sam's number, but he can narrow things down and hope for luck. It's been a week and Sam's clear across the country and Dean can hardly breathe.
A call to directory assistance and few transfers later, Dean finally dials Sam's dorm.
"Time to go." Dean jumps at his father's words. Caught—and he didn't even hear Sam's voice. Now Dad's angry. God, but Dean hates what his life's become.
Once Sam says the words he can't take them back: "Don't call anymore, Dean— I don't need this bullshit." What Sam means is, I can't stop missing you when you remind me of how it was.
Upon on the dresser is the box that hides Dean's picture. A sunlit smirk and too-green eyes are all Sam has of him now.
A year ago, Sam decided he'd only look at it once a week, tops.
Time helped a little, until now. But Dean was everything in that world— Sam's world, once. It hurts Sam to know he can't ever go back.
Once, life was good. Not just that early innocence, but later moments too— Dean's first kiss, his first hunt, and above all growing up with Sam. Dean only realized that after Sam left.
Upon seeing Sam again—in the dark apartment Dean breaks into, nothing but years and shadows between them—the swell of hope and love threatens to burst Dean's chest. He's never struggled so hard to act casual.
A week later Sam is his again—fractured and unfamiliar, but still his.
Time is Dean's only ally. If Sam's here long enough, Dean might even convince him to stay.
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