?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
27 August 2008 @ 12:42 pm
Supernatural Gen Fic: "Silent World" (PG)  
Title: Silent World
Author: HalfshellVenus
Pairing: Sam and Dean (Gen, Drama)
Rating: PG
Summary: (Late Season One) Sam hates cemeteries, and he hates what he and Dean do there.
Author's Notes: *flails* I finally finished this one! I started it for 60_minute_fics about 18 months ago, but couldn't get the ending. Last night it finally all came together. This combines the two-word title prompt from the 60_mins challenge and "Grave" (from my Supernatural Switch_25 table)

x-x-x-x-x

Sam hates cemeteries, and he hates what they do here.

Whether it's digging up and burning the bones of angry ghosts, or waiting for something that comes from the grave, it's all wrong. Things should die only once and stay buried. No good comes of anything else.

They're not sure what they're watching for tonight, but it's probably undead. The pattern shows that it's ambitious and mobile, and there are bodies to show where it's been.

This is the part where the two of them don't talk, where they sit back-to-back in the shadow of a tree scanning the darkness. Sam thinks he can feel the heat of Dean behind him, but it's probably just awareness. So many times through exactly this routine, their movements are choreographed strategies and hand-signals without words.

Sam's seen enough movies to know where this comes from, where Dad learned it. He wonders whether Dad really told them everything about what he'd done in the War.

Dean leans into him suddenly, and Sam turns his head to see what Dean's found. They're as careful as always: no words, no noises of any kind, if they can help it.

In all this silence, the slightest movement can be heard without much effort. This time it isn't theirs—it's a rustle off to the right in the direction where Dean nods. Sam can't quite tell what that shape is in the space between the trees. It's bulky and tattered, and the half-moon doesn't reach the area where it moves.

Sam rolls into a crouch on his knees, his nerves as taut as the string on his loaded crossbow. This is the part that's hard—waiting to see if the thing comes closer or whether they have to track it with noiseless caution until it's in range.

It approaches on the diagonal, and it isn't that it's stealthy— the creature is simply slow. It's on a directed path, Sam can tell that now, and two rows over it stops at a tall, granite headstone.

The head lifts in the moonlight, one eye missing on the side that droops toward the ground.

Sam's arrow catches the creature near the middle, and Dean's rifle shot brings the thing to the ground.

It dissolves, and the earth rushes upward to claim it. God, that's unsettling—they can't be sure it's dead if they can't tell what it is. No specimen, no certainty.

They could be back here tomorrow all over again.

"Dean," Sam whispers.

"Dig it up," Dean murmurs back.

"No! Dean…" It's not whining, it's just that digging up and burning isn't the answer to everything. Especially when you don't know that the thing you're digging up isn't using those bones right now.

"Let me put salt around the grave and use a binding spell." Dean stands up and scans the area.

No more visitors for the night, not yet. But they make no assumptions—not everything that causes trouble returns here all at once, and not everything that's quiet remains dormant.

Dean seals the site where the creature fell, and then Sam turns the earth slowly under the watchful beam of the flashlight Dean's holding. "Pieces," Sam says finally. "Random bone and loosened chunks of flesh."

"The animate undead," Dean murmurs, nodding his head. "Doesn't matter where the grave is then, we can take care of it here."

And so they do.

Sam brings the supplies from the car: a bagful of pennies, and a crucifix blessed by a priest. Dean has already dug a circle around where the creature lies, wider than necessary just for safety's sake.

Laying the pennies all through the trench to form a line of copper, Sam glances at the name on the headstone.

"John Leverteaux, Husband and Father, 1930 – 1992."


Seeing his own father's first name reminds him of all the parts of this he hates. People are laid in cemeteries to rest, to be honored by their families and to form a place of repose for when those who love them come to visit.

What he and Dean do—the digging up, the desecration, even the waiting around for something to unfold—breaks peace with that. As necessary as their work is, it still feels like a betrayal of all the unknown families for whom the cemetery is a sacred place.

Burying the crucifix down inside the earth, Sam helps Dean cover everything over and smooth it out. This job is done.

Sam gets to his feet and looks around him, listening once more. All is silent as ever but for the muffled sound of Dean's boots on the grass, and the waning moon casts shadows that touch and change the midnight landscape of this lonely place.

Sam follows Dean, stepping around the graves as he goes.

I'm sorry, he thinks.

No-one answers but his own heart, soothed by knowing that the sentiment is true.



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

 
 
 
Pheebs1pheebs1 on August 27th, 2008 07:49 pm (UTC)
"As necessary as their work is, it still feels like a betrayal of all the unknown families for whom the cemetery is a sacred place."

Aw! Oh Sam! I really liked the feel of this - the image of his nerves as taut as his crossbow, and the quiet/soothed end. Lovely!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Samhalfshellvenus on August 27th, 2008 08:28 pm (UTC)
I don't know why it took me so long to recapture the mood that the story had started with, but I guess I really hadn't looked at it in awhile.

This more "sensitive" side of Sam is one of the aspects of him I've always liked. He has the mixed inside/outside view on hunting that the other Winchesters lack.

So glad you enjoyed this. :)
iamstealthyoneiamstealthyone on August 27th, 2008 08:39 pm (UTC)
Good look at what it must be like for the boys, particularly Sam, when it comes to sitting around graveyards and then taking care of business. I like that for Sam, it's not a callous thing, that he feels sympathy for those gone before him.

I especially like this bit:

All is silent as ever but for the muffled sound of Dean's boots on the grass, and the waning moon casts shadows that touch and change the midnight landscape of this lonely place.

Nice.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 27th, 2008 09:28 pm (UTC)
like that for Sam, it's not a callous thing, that he feels sympathy for those gone before him.

Me too-- that there are feelings associated withe place they're in and who rests there, and that it isn't all just "solve the case and move on." The fact that he and Dean are there to conquer some form of evil doesn't change what the cemetery's actual purpose is.

Glad you liked it! And you picked out one of the lines I added last night, which was intended to show some of the eeriness of cemeteries as well. :)
brigid_tanner: brothers-on fence at lakebrigid_tanner on August 27th, 2008 11:33 pm (UTC)
Like Sam's contemplating their choreographed strategies and hand-signals without words. and wondering what John didn't tell them.

Really liked this line: As necessary as their work is, it still feels like a betrayal of all the unknown families for whom the cemetery is a sacred place. and Sam's heart-felt apology. I don't think either of the boys takes their job in places like this lightly.

Love the feel of this. I like the way you make Sam think cause it feels right to me.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Samhalfshellvenus on August 28th, 2008 12:57 am (UTC)
It's kind of an ethereal atmosphere, isn't it? Doesn't feel quite real, like something half-seen in moonlight.

I so rarely write the contemplative stories from Sam's POV that I'm always pleased to find something that seems very much like him and that contrasts well with Dean.
Becky: SPN HUGewanspotter on August 28th, 2008 02:17 am (UTC)
As necessary as their work is, it still feels like a betrayal of all the unknown families for whom the cemetery is a sacred place.

Sad, but lovely thoughts from Sam. It would be hard to NOT be sensitive to this.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Samhalfshellvenus on August 28th, 2008 06:52 pm (UTC)
One of Sam's strengths for me has always been that he doesn't lose sight of what this looks like to the outside world. He still has perspective on the idea that not all deaths turn out bad, and that cemeteries usually have a purpose other than being a kill space for something he and his family are hunting. :0

He still has reverence, you might say, both for the living and the dead.
Becky: SPN Tuesdayewanspotter on August 28th, 2008 07:50 pm (UTC)
Amen.
cindy: spn - emo sammy (by nyaubaby)tsuki_no_bara on August 28th, 2008 03:02 am (UTC)
i really like how quiet and almost serene this is - they don't even have to burn anything. i also like that it's all thinky!sam, and that he's very aware of how most people use cemeteries and how different that is from what he and dean do, and i love that he apologizes to all the dead folks.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Samhalfshellvenus on August 28th, 2008 06:55 pm (UTC)
i really like how quiet and almost serene this is

The title (which was also a prompt) really guides that tone, too. It's a different world for Sam, both from the usual living world and from the one Dean's in at the moment. He's seeing it in a complete different way, which makes it almost an alien experience.
ErinRua: Samerinrua on August 28th, 2008 05:43 am (UTC)
I love this. I love Sam's thoughts, and the introspective, almost dream-like flow of the piece. You really put the reader in the moment and in Sam's head, and even take us back to a little simpler time, (I'm thinking Season 2) when Sam had time for the luxury of remorse. Before the war really put its mark on Sam's heart.

Just very nice, and an excellent, beautiful Sam-voice. This is definitely a side to their job that I bet neither speak of. Saving to mems! :-)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Samhalfshellvenus on August 28th, 2008 06:59 pm (UTC)
and the introspective, almost dream-like flow of the piece.
It really has a "midnight" feel to it, doesn't it? I think part of that is the disorientation Sam feels at stepping outside what it is he and Dean are doing at that exact moment.

I wrote this originally in mid-Season Two, though it could be Season One as well. Sam's been back long enough that he's in the rhythm of hunting again, but he still hasn't forgotten how all of that would seem to someone else not caught up in the pure goal rather than the larger picture.

I'm thrilled that you like it enough to put in memories! Especially because it's Sam, since I have an easier time getting a feel for Dean for some reason. ♥
ErinRua: Samerinrua on August 28th, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC)
Sam *is* a tough one to write. His thought processes are so deep and mysterious that it's often very hard for me to write him. LOL, I actually find him easier to write as he gets more Dean-like! *g* Dean, though, yeah. What you see is what you get, and the more hidden thoughts seem more straight-forward to me, so I feel very comfortable writing him.

Anywho, you did an awesome Sam! :-) *applause*
sangga: hoodie Samsangga on August 28th, 2008 12:30 pm (UTC)
atmospheric and it has its own sense of quiet...really nice. thanks!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 28th, 2008 07:00 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it!

And the whole tone of "quiet" really flows from that title prompt. I never thought the switch_25 prompt of "Grave" would wind up being quite like this. :)
Entendre? Make mine a double.: SN Sam's beauty makes me weakdeirdre_c on August 28th, 2008 04:07 pm (UTC)
Lovely one, my dear!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 28th, 2008 07:00 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Deirdre! I know how you love Sam, too, so that's especially nice coming from you. :)
getting the chocolate in the peanut butter: spn:sam:candlesdotfic on September 5th, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC)
This is beautifully atmospheric and I love the insights into how Sam feels about hunting, and working with Dean. So many small yet important details in this.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 5th, 2008 09:55 pm (UTC)
It feels very much Season One, doesn't it, before Sam's come to accept his role in hunting (and later, pursue it just as John and Dean before him).

So many small yet important details in this.
Thank you! The atmosphere of it was so interesting to work with that when I finally re-opened it for another look, I couldn't believe I'd let it languish for so long. The atmosphere was what got me started on it in the first place, really. :)