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20 August 2008 @ 01:22 pm
Supernatural Gen Drabbles: Stanford Kaleidoscope (PG-13, drabble set)  
Title: Stanford Kaleidoscope
Author: HalfshellVenus
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."

x-x-x-x-x

I.
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.



II.
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.



III.
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.


----- fin -----

 
 
 
Gretagretazreta on August 20th, 2008 08:33 pm (UTC)
Eeee awesomeness.
These are great: they say so much with so little.
I'm fascinated by how Dean coped while Sam was away (they're so co-dependant now that such a long separation seems hard to imagine). These are so poignant - even when Dean has Sam back again, he's always going to be fearful that Sam will leave again.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Diner Deanhalfshellvenus on August 20th, 2008 08:45 pm (UTC)
I'm fascinated by how Dean coped while Sam was away (they're so co-dependant now that such a long separation seems hard to imagine).
It does, even though I remember how vivid S1 was for me.

even when Dean has Sam back again, he's always going to be fearful that Sam will leave again.
This is what I miss most about S1-- the angst was as simple as that, and it was already so compelling. Dean's ache over losing Sam and his fear that it could happen again any time was rich and perfect enough by itself, and so uncomplicated compared to the S2-S3 "doomed or dying" angst.

Thanks for reading!
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on August 21st, 2008 12:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on August 22nd, 2008 04:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
boogirl: profileboogirl13 on August 20th, 2008 09:19 pm (UTC)
Stanford Kaleidoscope
Oh, nicely done. I can feel their pain.

Thanks for sharing.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 20th, 2008 09:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Stanford Kaleidoscope
It's funny, because of the structure I couldn't really intermix the segments from each of them to make a single uber-drabble. So instead, I got three different moments on the same topic! All of this while I was trying for the single angsty slash drabble, too.

The structure was a great personal challenge, but it was more limiting than I'd thought it would be. ;)
Re: Stanford Kaleidoscope - boogirl13 on August 21st, 2008 06:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Stanford Kaleidoscope - halfshellvenus on August 21st, 2008 11:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
iamstealthyoneiamstealthyone on August 20th, 2008 10:06 pm (UTC)
Good drabbles, as always. They fit together well.

I.

Poor Dean, lonely and sneaking around to try to hear Sam’s voice.

Favorite line:

It's been a week and Sam's clear across the country and Dean can hardly breathe.

Oh, Dean.

II.

"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.

Ow. And yes, I can see this, how the reminders of Dean would be as painful as they are comforting.

III.

Time is Dean's only ally. If Sam's here long enough, Dean might even convince him to stay.

I like the subtle aching and longing here, mixed with a sort of joy.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 21st, 2008 12:23 am (UTC)
These were so interesting to write, because they brought up so many different emotions from both characters that in the end they're even more powerful as a set than if they were taken apart and pasted together in pieces.

The conflicting emotions in that situation-- "I love you but it's killing me. You're killing me"-- is so human and fascinating to me.

And thanks for quoting some of my own favorite lines above!
jelly babies to manual: jensen prays thehighwaywoman on August 20th, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC)
*heart breaks quietly* This is wonderful.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Hughalfshellvenus on August 21st, 2008 12:24 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! This is one of those situations where I really can't tell how well the story comes off, so that's really nice to hear. ♥
(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 21st, 2008 12:25 am (UTC)
That part of the pilot and early S1 just killed me. You can feel Dean's palpable ache for Sam-- how desperately glad he is to have Sam back-- but at the same time Sam's so broken that he isn't really who Dean remembers and there's always the question of whether he'll fully get him back. *angsts*
cindy: spn - ouija handstsuki_no_bara on August 20th, 2008 11:45 pm (UTC)
*snif!* i love the thread of how things used to be vs how things are now, and i love that in all three drabbles - even the last one, when they're hunting together again - they're both so alone.

(i can see the bones of the slashy drabbles. :D which is not a bad thing!)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 21st, 2008 12:30 am (UTC)
and i love that in all three drabbles - even the last one, when they're hunting together again - they're both so alone.
That loneliness really is the overriding theme here, as you noticed. In the first, Dean's alone because he's not 'allowed' to miss Sam so desperately. In the second, Sam's pushing Dean away in emotional self-preservation and isolating himself. And in the third... they're physically reunited, but still very much separated (and Dean has no way of knowing whether that will ever change). Lord, but I miss this part of S1! The angst never grows old for me. :D

(i can see the bones of the slashy drabbles. :D which is not a bad thing!)
Mostly it was I and III, where by the "A" part of the prompt I was more than 50% through my word-count and I hadn't worked in any of the romantic angst at all! And clearly wasn't going to. The slashy one was the PG-13 "The Fairy Tale Ending" a few entries back, and it's the same era and same prompt, but a different take because of the slash. The other emotions, though, are very much like those here. The whole Stanford-era thing has its own flavor of angst and ache for me.
ErinRua: Deanerinrua on August 21st, 2008 12:14 am (UTC)
Oh, my dog. I just got done weeping over a fic ficwriter1966 posted, and now you're trying to turn on my waterworks again!

Oh, Dean. Oh, Sam. Oh, you poor boys. You know, they really are the only real friends either one of them has. *wibbles*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 21st, 2008 12:33 am (UTC)
You know, they really are the only real friends either one of them has. *wibbles*
That's the part of the show I love best, whether you take it from a Gen or Wincest perspective. They will never be loved or understood by anyone the way they are by each other, and no-one else even comes close. That's very powerful, with the flip side of pain stemming from how incredibly much they lose by being apart (whether by distance or death).

I could write that epic angst forever, truly!
brigid_tanner: Dean-breakingbrigid_tanner on August 21st, 2008 12:24 am (UTC)
This is beautiful. So much love and pain and hope.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 22nd, 2008 06:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Brigid!

I'm sure this period was hard on Sam, but it makes me ache for Dean most of all. Sam, at least, understands why the choice was necessary.
The Huntress: SamSmile-Scarecrowhuntress69 on August 21st, 2008 01:45 am (UTC)
Ahh, I so thank you as always for drabbling. I started school today (very overwhelming) and have been too tired to read any long fics and lo and behold, one of your famous drabbles which always make me feel good.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 22nd, 2008 06:35 pm (UTC)
Oh, first day of school after years away-- yow.

I'm glad this was waiting for you at the end of a hard day! And with luck, it'll get smoother after you're back in the groove again. :)
fiery_fox2fiery_fox2 on August 21st, 2008 03:31 am (UTC)
My comments must be clogging up your inbox, but I can't help it.
This was so heartbreakingly lovely and sad. The part about Sam keeping Dean's picture in a box was so powerful that I was choking back tears. Really.
Thank you for this wonderful little drabble. It truly spoke to me.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 22nd, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC)
The part about Sam keeping Dean's picture in a box was so powerful that I was choking back tears.
I can so easily see Sam trying to keep all of his past life secret, at least for a long time at the beginning. And that the constant reminder of Dean's picture being where he could see it would be too much for him to deal with every day. *ouch*

So glad you liked this one. The Stanford dilemna, as I think of it, is all the more painful because it was so necessary for Sam and yet so hard on both of the boys.
tabaqui: s&dportraitbycrisisarrivestabaqui on August 21st, 2008 04:18 am (UTC)
Oh, man, that's so damn pretty. And it *hurts*.
*sniffle*

Oh, boys.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 22nd, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC)
I sometimes wonder if there's any part of Sam being at Stanford that doesn't hurt, at least for me. He found Jess there (and then lost her), but he also shut Dean out entirely during that same period.

It's all pain, I think. *sniffle*
I Plead The 5th..: spn dean scorescribed_n_blood on August 21st, 2008 04:53 am (UTC)
Wow. So many wonderful lines in each piece..I wish I could quote them all back to you. This is heart-wrenching and a perfect idealization of what Dean (and Sam) must have been feeling.

and Dean can hardly breathe. ..Don't know why but that line made my heart tighten in my chest, I loved it. Fantastic job and a joy to read. =)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Diner Deanhalfshellvenus on August 22nd, 2008 06:46 pm (UTC)
Don't know why but that line made my heart tighten in my chest, I loved it.
There's such a sense of desperation in it-- we know how devastating it was that Sam left, and now he's on his own and unprotected and too far away for Dean to do anything about it, and meanwhile their father's choices have forbidden Dean to grieve. It must have been killing Dean to go through that.

Obviously, I get all desperate on his behalf just thinking about it!
Beckyewanspotter on August 21st, 2008 05:12 am (UTC)
Sad, but lovely.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - ewanspotter on August 22nd, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on August 22nd, 2008 06:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
layne: dean bleedlayne67 on August 21st, 2008 05:36 am (UTC)
"Don't call anymore, Dean— I don't need this bullshit."

Oh God, I can'y imagine what Dean must be feeling when he heard Sam telling him that :((
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Diner Deanhalfshellvenus on August 22nd, 2008 06:48 pm (UTC)
We know Sam cut Dean off at some point while he was at Stanford, and however that went down (or why) it has to have been totally devastating. *cries*
lovely_lady_jlovely_lady_j on August 21st, 2008 12:34 pm (UTC)
::long time lurker, first time commenter::

This is quite the triptych - rich with visceral emotion. I can hear/feel Dean choking with it in each one. Well done.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 22nd, 2008 06:52 pm (UTC)
You used the word "triptych"! I haven't had the pleasure of that word in ages. :)

I can hear/feel Dean choking with it in each one.

I like that, even though the middle one is Sam's POV, readers know how devastating that had to be for Dean. What an awful time for him that would all have been.

Thanks for commenting! It's always nice to hear from new people. :)