Title: Lost in the Sea of Sky
Pairing: Sam/Dean (Slash)
Rating: PG-13 (language)
Summary: Losing the past and losing themselves…
Author’s Notes: Written for spn_50states, for Montana. The first chapter began as a standalone fic for the “Amnesia” trigger on 60_minute_fics, but the boys deserved a happier ending.
x-x-x-x-x Chapter 1, Dean : Starting Over x-x-x-x-x
His head felt like he’d collided with a brick when he awoke. Everything was muddled, clumsy, painful. Beeping noises intruded, and a dark blob of—hair?—covered the bed near his legs.
“What—“ he croaked out. The hair lifted and became a face, its worried eyes peering into his own. He felt a sudden urge to scramble backwards, but the bed kept him right where he was. All he could do was stare nervously as those eyes became closer and wetter, and then…
“Whoa!” He pushed hard on those shoulders that were much too close, narrowly avoiding a major personal encounter with some total stranger—a guy no less—who apparently was about to kiss him.
“Dude, what the hell do you think you’re doing?” Was this someone who molested random guys in hospitals or what?
“Sorry, I just—I was worried, that’s all. You’ve been out for days.”
“Uh, okay. Don’t you think you’re maybe overreacting a little then? I mean, it’s nice you’re glad to see me and all, but just… keep it over there, okay?”
“There’s nobody here, Dean. The nurses only come around every half hour. The doctor checks in maybe once a day.”
“That first part. What did you call me?”
“Was it a name? Is it my name?”
“Oh, God.” The guy got up and paced across the room and back. He seemed awfully tall. “You’re kidding, right?”
“About what? Do I know you well enough to pull something like that?”
“So that’s my name then? Dean? What kind of name is that? I feel more like a Jack or a Steve...”
“What’s the last thing you remember?”
“Before you tried to put the moves on me? And waking up?” Dean thought a moment, reached up to scratch his head before the IV lines pulled him up short. “Not a whole hell of a lot, to tell the truth.”
“Crap.” The guy sat down and ran his hands up over his hair, head bowed in exasperation. “So you don’t remember me?”
“No. Should I?”
“Yes! I’m Sam! I’m your brother, for god’s sake!”
“Oh... Wait, what? Then why did you—“
“Never mind. Long story. Well this is going to be more than a little inconvenient.”
“Gee, sorry to put you out. Not like it’s a problem for me or anything.”
“You’re dicking around now, aren’t you? You sound exactly the same as always.”
“No, I just…whatever. Why am I in the hospital?”
“We had some trouble with the poltergeist at the Smithson farm, and it nailed you in the head with a candlestick. It’s okay, though—I got rid of it.”
Dean just stared. And stared. His mouth opened, and then closed when he ran out of a focal point for all the Did you just say…What? Polter-what? thoughts running through his head.
“Oh,” Sam said uncomfortably. “I guess you don’t remember that.”
Dean was thinking it might be time to call for a nurse, or security, because someone here was clearly off his meds.
“It’s okay,” Sam said, as if he could read Dean’s mind-- or the expression on his face. “I’m not nuts. This is just… it’s what we do. Our family, I mean. It’s the family business.”
“You’re shitting me.” The headache had really picked up, and the pounding put a major dent in Dean’s sense of humor.
“I’m really not,” Sam said. “But that can wait. We’ll have to see what the doctor says about your head, figure out whether you’re ready to leave yet.”
Not on a bet, Dean thought. Not with you, and not anytime soon.
Surprisingly, this Sam guy turned out to be fairly persuasive.
The doctor discharged Dean that afternoon, and he found himself getting dressed and leaving the hospital despite his own driver’s license that said he was Gerald Wilkins (what kind of a stupid-ass name was Gerald?), while Sam’s claimed he was Harry Wilkins. Sam told him to ignore the fake IDs, that it was part of the business, which was pretty damned suspicious, Dean thought. Maybe he was getting sprung by a convenience-store robber or something.
In any case, even their IDs said they were family, and Sam’s ride turned out to be a gleaming, black wet-dream of a muscle car, which was not too shabby a way to get kidnapped if it came to that.
They drove for awhile until Sam pulled over at a seedy-looking motel and parked. Dean did the quick mental math while Sam climbed out of the car and waited for him to follow.
“I am not going in there for some kind of quickie with you, so maybe you’d better take me back to the hospital until my real family shows up.”
“Christ, knock it off, Dean! I am your real family. And this is where we’ve been staying while we worked on the poltergeist case.”
“Don’t start with the poltergeist thing again. And this place is a dump!”
“It’s not a rich business, Dean. It never has been. Now will you please get out of the car?”
Dean got out warily, following Sam into the dimly-lit room. Duffle bags, roadmaps, and a musty smell waited inside. Dean suddenly felt immensely tired at the thought of coping with whatever this was that lay all over the room waiting for him.
He sat down on the nearest bed, which quickly turned into leaning back and staring at the ceiling. His head was killing him, and he was not up to being welcomed back into whatever degenerate life he appeared to be leading. This had to be some sort of bad dream. Maybe he was still unconscious, and he’d wake up in awhile to find himself in a dorm room at Illinois State or something.
Sam went into the bathroom, and came out with a cool washcloth to drape over Dean’s forehead. And that felt kind of nice, actually. It helped. Not so much the part where Sam kept sitting on the bed next to him, obviously wanting to touch him, but Dean guessed he couldn’t blame him too much.
“I’m sorry I don’t remember,” he said softly.
“Me too,” Sam whispered hoarsely. He patted Dean’s arm awkwardly, and got up to fish around the room. He brought a driver’s license and a book over from one of the duffle bags, and a map from the table.
“This is you,” Sam said, and showed him the driver’s license that proclaimed “Dean Winchester” to the world. Winchester was actually a pretty cool last name.
“This is Dad’s journal, with cases we’ve worked on and what we’ve learned. And stuff Dad’s picked up along the way from books and friends.” The journal was a mixture of newspaper articles, handwriting, photographs and sketches. Many of the pictures showed dark, unworldly things, evil creatures of various kinds.
“And this is where we were working near town.” The map of Montana—apparently the farm had been just outside Kalispell-- had circles and lines and marks in several different colors of ink and of different apparent age. As if they’d used it many times over the years, adding information as they went.
“I can’t believe this is my life,” Dean said. “Hell—I can’t believe it’s anybody’s life.”
“It’s not what most people do, but we’ve been at this since we were kids.”
“Why? Are we all insane? Why would we want to spend our lives doing this?” Because this honestly did not look all that great. It looked dangerous and depressing, and even burger-flipping had more appeal.
“I’ll tell you in the morning—if I still have to,” Sam said. “But believe me when I say that we need to do this… and that you want to do this. You actually love it—far more than I do. You like to think of it as your destiny.”
Great, I’m a delusional thrillseeker. Makes me so eager to remember all the details of my past.
“I guess it can wait,” Dean said. He was as tired of trying to think about it as Sam probably was of telling him.
“Why don’t you go to the bathroom, and then I’ll help you get settled. You’ll probably want to sleep for the rest of the day.”
Dean came back to a turned-down bed and his pain pills on the nightstand. He stripped off his outer clothes and pants while Sam got him a glass of water, and he climbed in bed gladly after taking the pills. The bed was lumpy and vaguely dirty-looking, but he was so terribly, terribly exhausted all of a sudden.
Sam brought the covers up, tucking Dean in (to his embarrassment), and then stood there uncomfortably for a moment. Dean took pity on him.
“I’m sure I’ll remember soon,” he said, and he reached up to grasp Sam’s hand.
Sam’s smile was both heartbroken and grateful, and Dean wished he had more to offer him. But he just couldn’t, not knowing who either of them were.
Sam squeezed Dean’s hand, and turned off the bedside lamp. His shoulders slumped as he moved over to sit on the unused bed.
Dean couldn’t help but think that whatever he and Sam had together… it was nice to see how badly it was missed.