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31 July 2006 @ 04:18 pm
Supernatural Post-"Shadows" Gen Fanfiction: Impasse  
Title: Impasse
Author: HalfshellVenus
Characters: Sam and Dean (Gen)
Rating: PG
Summary: Post-“Shadows,” Sam and Dean struggle for balance between them now that all the cards are on the table.
Author’s Notes: Written for super_summer, for “Shadows” week.

x-x-x-x-x

Dean’s not looking at him again.

He is and he isn’t—it would be subtle if anyone else was watching. Dean half-glances his way, or makes pronouncements to the air or to the ground. But he rarely makes eye contact now. Sam isn’t sure if Dean’s afraid Sam will see what’s in his eyes—if Dean would crumble under the scrutiny—or if Dean half-expects that Sam isn’t actually here anymore.

When Sam came back after four years of being somewhere else—being someone else—Dean’s eyes seemed to be boring through his skin. Every time Sam turned around Dean was there, always watching to make sure Sam didn’t bolt off again.

The ease they once had-- the way their differences brought them balance instead of disharmony-- was rare even after things got better between them again. Now all traces of it have fled, and their trust is tenuous. This is the legacy of too much said and all the wrong things promised.

He knew it in Chicago, after Dean’s motel room confession. Sam’s four-year fling with the life he’d always wanted had been four years of fooling himself that Dean was prepared to let him go. He’d listened to Dean’s words instead of to what he was saying, back then. He wasn’t old enough to know it was a sacrifice Dean kept hidden.

Dean’s confidence—his insistent support—had made it easy for Sam to pretend that his choices left no pain beside his own. That was years ago, like yesterday in his mind. Those memories ran up against reality a few weeks back, when Sam went after their father while Dean stuck to their assignment in Indiana. Dean’s phone call to him at the bus station had turned Sam’s denial on its ear, triggering a flashback of everything Dean’s voice had been careful to say while his eyes kept the lie from reaching the surface. Sam had heard the truth hiding under the reassurances, the truth that had always been there even before he went to college.

Dean was better at being Sam’s big brother than he was at being himself. If Sam kept leaving, there’d be no Dean left to come back to anymore.

And how it hurt to finally know that, to know too much of Dean was inside himself and that Dean had been willing to let it go.

Sam speaks suddenly as if the conversation is still running in the background, and indeed--it’s every aspect of their lives right now. “I can’t go back to being with Dad,” Sam says. “There’s no me anymore when Dad’s around.”

“You seemed broken up enough about leaving him back in Chicago.”

“It was four years, Dean! I needed to see him, and to know that he saw me. And I still want the three of us to finish off this demon that stole our lives. But that’s the short term, until this thing is over. I can’t live with Dad on a long-term basis.”

“I didn’t ask you to stay for Dad. Right now, I just want you to stay for me.”

It isn’t as small as Dean makes it seem— it’s not a temporary or casual change in their lives. “I can’t be the only thing in the world that keeps you happy,” Sam says hoarsely. That’s the burden under those words that all sound so simple. “It’s too much weight for one person to carry, and I can’t be that for you or anyone else.”

Dean looks so tired and defeated-- so unlike the brother who hauled him away from Stanford. “All I’m asking is for you to be here, Sam. That’s all. Everything else just flows out from that one, basic thing.”

“Why does it have to be this, instead of settling down in one place?”

“Because we were raised to hunt down evil and keep the world safe one piece at a time. There’s nothing I could be doing that’s more important, and it takes me where I’m needed. But at the same time, I can’t live with just visiting you a couple of times a year, like you’re someone I hardly know.” Dean’s words are finished but his face is not. A history of unvoiced sadness echoes onward in his eyes.

“So why does it have to be me?” Sam asks. “Why not you and Dad together, like it was before?”

“Because with Dad it’s always business and no time for living. I’ll burn out before I’m thirty if I go on like that.”

“I’m not exactly a barrel of laughs Dean—especially after losing Jess last year.” Sam knows he strained Dean’s patience early on, when his grief consumed what was left of him after his future went up in flames.

“You’re the light against the darkness in a world that forgot my name.” Dean’s voice is every dream abandoned, every hope that lost its way.

Sam is speechless against that bleak and naked truth. But if I stay, the darkness will own me.

And he knows that a piece of it already does.

Another day passes into stillness after that. Then it’s nighttime, and the air is strained with questions. Sam can’t guarantee a promise, and can’t deny the only thing Dean’s ever asked. This impasse is a riddle without an answer… a tragedy without an end.

“I’m still here,” Sam tells Dean as they head on down to Texas.

“But not for long,” Dean whispers dejectedly.

And the silence is already back.


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



 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 2nd, 2006 06:55 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! :)
I'm for wine and the embrace of questionable womenmissyjack on July 31st, 2006 11:56 pm (UTC)
beautiful, and poignant. Too rarely do we get to see the pain of Sam's dilemma - to give Dean what he (what they both) desire, but in doing so lose himself.
*mems*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 2nd, 2006 06:58 am (UTC)
Too rarely do we get to see the pain of Sam's dilemma - to give Dean what he (what they both) desire, but in doing so lose himself.
The viewer is on Dean's side, because what Sam wants is ordinary, and what the Winchesters do is something no-one else takes on. And there's John, backing up Dean's viewpoint.

But what Sam wants-- even simply to have a life that belongs to himself instead of duty and darkness-- is an important and worthwhile thing.

Losing his soul, his spirit, to the evil they pursue is a very real risk he knows he faces.

*mems*
*Happy sigh* ♥
Entendre? Make mine a double.: SN brothers beauty both by marishnadeirdre_c on July 31st, 2006 11:59 pm (UTC)
“I can’t be the only thing in the world that keeps you happy,” Sam says hoarsely. That’s the burden under those words that all sound so simple. “It’s too much weight for one person to carry, and I can’t be that for you or anyone else.”
Who are you, and what have you done with my Venus? *g*

Just kidding! I just never expected to see that come out of you!! (again, KIDDING)

Jokes aside, this is a wonderful little piece. It is strange to think that they could have that moment in the hotel and then just go on as if nothing had ever been said.

This impasse is a riddle without an answer… a tragedy without an end.
I can't wait to see how (NOT IF) they will address this fundamental problem in the next season.

Thanks so much for sharing! *hug*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 2nd, 2006 07:02 am (UTC)
Who are you, and what have you done with my Venus? *g*
:D I'm still here....

Just kidding! I just never expected to see that come out of you!! (again, KIDDING)
This direction this viewpoint took was inspired by a comment conversation we had following your notes to one of my stories. It really stuck with me-- and I couldn't resist playing with Sam's side of it so strongly.

It is strange to think that they could have that moment in the hotel and then just go on as if nothing had ever been said.
That scene was just so hard to watch. Dean put his heart out there, and Sam skipped on past it like he didn't even see it. Sam probably didn't mean it that way (oh, tone is SO important), but that isn't what it feels like to Dean. I'm sure Dean remembers every painful moment of that conversation, and that he's back to thinking he'll wake up some morning and find Sam gone. :(

I can't wait to see how (NOT IF) they will address this fundamental problem in the next season.
I agree with you that it had better be a WHEN and not an IF. ;)

So glad you liked this one, Deirdre. I definitely had you in mind when I wrote it. :)
(no subject) - deirdre_c on August 2nd, 2006 05:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on August 4th, 2006 06:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
teamane: SDloveteamane on July 31st, 2006 11:59 pm (UTC)
*..*
*it's speachless, still*

So much pain.
“You’re the light against the darkness in a world that forgot my name.” That is just so powerful and..and... I have no words and a knot on my throat. I suffer for them. I realy do.
Very well writen
*hugs both boys and feels like dying with their pain for wanting things that will destroy each other*
*_*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 4th, 2006 06:07 am (UTC)
*it's speachless, still*
Wow. Thank you.

That is just so powerful and..and... I have no words and a knot on my throat. I suffer for them. I realy do.
It hurts so much that they are both right in their own way, and that there's no easy answer coming for either of them.

This aspect of them is the main crux of the show to me. It's the most emotionally compelling part of it, the way in which there really is no middle ground for either, and the sacrifice of giving in is too great for them both.

Thank you so much, teamane. ♥
mercurybard on August 1st, 2006 12:40 am (UTC)
“I can’t be the only thing in the world that keeps you happy,” Sam says hoarsely. That’s the burden under those words that all sound so simple. “It’s too much weight for one person to carry, and I can’t be that for you or anyone else.”

You are pulling no punches for this piece. Bravo to you for that.

::sniff::

Unresolved. But I guess it's the way it has to be. Too sad.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 4th, 2006 06:09 am (UTC)
You are pulling no punches for this piece. Bravo to you for that.
It's the only way to make Sam's side clear. And oh, how devastating that truth is to Dean. *aches for him*

Unresolved. But I guess it's the way it has to be. Too sad.
Until one of them stops being who he is right now, stops believing in the things that matter to him, it stays unresolved. And it hurts so very much not to be able to fix it.

Thank you for reading this. I had no idea you were interested in Supernatural as well as Prison Break.
Shainalady_shain on August 1st, 2006 01:24 am (UTC)
Oh.

I want to say that this was beautiful - and it was. It was also incredibly heartbreaking.

Dean's statement about Sam being the light against the darkness is really very powerful.

This will stay with me for a while..
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 4th, 2006 06:11 am (UTC)
It was also incredibly heartbreaking.
Sam's truth-- and all of it finally comes out here, to Dean and to himself-- can only destroy some part of Dean. I both love and hate Kripke for creating that unsolvable dilemna.

This will stay with me for a while.
Oh, I hope so. That is such a wonderful thing to hear. :)
(no subject) - lady_shain on August 4th, 2006 11:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 4th, 2006 06:17 am (UTC)
I've tried to read this four or five times tonight and I can't seem to read it all the way through in one go. I keep getting stuck on these extremely painful images you've painted.
This whole dilemna between them IS painful. Where is the answer where both of them keep being who they are? *Sighs*

Right now, I just want you to stay for me.” <=== this line hit me especially hard ::cries buckets::
It's such a huge admission for Dean-- and it's what he said in that hotel room, only more directly so. That Sam didn't seem to hear it when it was implied just... argh. You have to listen around what Dean says, underneath the words. Sometimes the fact that he's talking about a particular something at all is an enormous indicator of how important it is to him. :(

So sad. I hate to think of Dean this way, a lonely journeyman.
I've seen that come up in a few fics, and it just devastates me. I really can't see him being happy doing that. And he isn't all that happy right now.

Impossibly heartbreaking. I can see the forlorn look on Dean's face, the deadness in his eyes.
I love your description here. That's exactly what I see in my mind. Already destroyed, because in some ways the "inevitable" has already happened.

Much love for this work. Thank you.
Oh, I've said it before, but I love how much these stories make you feel. It is just hugely rewarding for me as an author to reach someone so deeply. ♥


a fiction worthy wind: SPN - Longingquietdiscerning on August 1st, 2006 03:32 am (UTC)
oh wow. that was so good but it hurt so bad.

*sniff*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 4th, 2006 06:20 am (UTC)
that was so good but it hurt so bad.
Thank you so much. I'm hoping that it hurts in part because it's almost too real to stand. All our fears for them never finding resolution are just laid out here-- with a very clear view of why Sam sticks to his guns. Which hurts me all the more as a DeanGirl. :(
The Grammarian about whom your mother warned you.acostilow on August 1st, 2006 04:16 am (UTC)
*cries*

Why? Why do you have to write hurty!broken!Dean so well and make me sad and want to hug him? 'Cuz I'm beginning to hate Sam a little.

*sniffles*

Write pr0n.

What I'm actually saying is that I loved this, because you're amazing, but damn. You kill me.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 4th, 2006 06:23 am (UTC)
Why? Why do you have to write hurty!broken!Dean so well and make me sad and want to hug him? 'Cuz I'm beginning to hate Sam a little.
Oh, I feel so much for Dean-- always. But here, it's worse in that Sam's reasons are important too, and undeniable. He's trying to survive within himself, and already losing the battle. Which just... *cries* Does not make this situation any better.

but damn. You kill me.
Only in the good ways, I hope. (haven't written Badfic yet, at least not intentionally :0)
Alexmerihn on August 1st, 2006 04:31 am (UTC)
Aaaww! I only just started watching the show, cos when it was on tv it was on at the wrong time.. but ive been reading all these stories and I keep seeing subtext where there isnt meant to be any (lol)
That was an awesome story, succinct and perfect.
*loves*
♥ Alex
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 4th, 2006 06:25 am (UTC)
but ive been reading all these stories and I keep seeing subtext where there isnt meant to be any (lol)
:D I'm not so sure of that-- there's a whole crowd of like-minded people who worship the Wincest love. I write both the Gen AND the Wincest (fair-minded? Or fence-sitter?)

That was an awesome story, succinct and perfect.
Yowza! Thank you so very much! :D
(no subject) - merihn on August 5th, 2006 07:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
Sue: first kisscandygramme on August 1st, 2006 04:31 am (UTC)
Dean was better at being Sam’s big brother than he was at being himself. If Sam kept leaving, there’d be no Dean left to come back to anymore.

So true. So painfully true, and beautifully put.

I love this, but it's as painful as anything I've read about them.

These two need to reassess who they are and work things out. That would be an amazing story.

Ummm... gentle hint there!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 4th, 2006 06:27 am (UTC)
I love this, but it's as painful as anything I've read about them.
I'll take that as a compliment, because this single, enormous area of pain is the strongest and unresolvable conflict between them. And it keeps cropping up again and again, because it isn't finished.

These two need to reassess who they are and work things out. That would be an amazing story.
:) I've written those, and I know many others have. But I have to admit, they fundamentally require one of them (usually Sam) hugely changing who he wants to be.

Your icon made my heart skip. *fans self* It's lovely. :)
(no subject) - candygramme on August 4th, 2006 03:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
leelustleelust on August 1st, 2006 05:00 am (UTC)
"You’re the light against the darkness in a world that forgot my name".
What a wonderful, heartbreaking sentence. Can I plagerize it from you to post to my friends? It was a pleasure to read your work even if I cry on every paragraph. Thanx.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 4th, 2006 06:31 am (UTC)
What a wonderful, heartbreaking sentence.
Thank you. :) It's so much of Dean, too-- living mostly in the dark, unthanked and overlooked even by his own family. Ouch.

Can I plagerize it from you to post to my friends?
I prefer quoting rather than plagiarizing. :D I did have someone make an icon with one of my quotes, and somebody else excerpted parts of a story in his journal (with credit) because apart from the actual Sam/Dean relationship, parts of it seemed just like they could be truths about anyone. Which is great, I say. So yes, quote away.

It was a pleasure to read your work even if I cry on every paragraph. Thanx.
Oh, thanks so much! This one was just horribly sad, because there's no good answer that lets Sam still be Sam. :(
(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 4th, 2006 06:33 am (UTC)
That line just killed me! Wonderful, truly wonderful!!
:D Thank you! It seemed so true to me, too. Big brother and hunter are Dean's identity. I don't think he has any idea who to be other than those two things-- nor does he want to.

Everyone wants to hug Dean, but sadly Sam is the only one whose hug would matter and so far he's been uncooperative in canon. :(
Madders: spn- lost without youmadders on August 1st, 2006 11:38 am (UTC)
I think I just broke.

Beautiful stuff!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 4th, 2006 06:34 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! Those are perfect, perfect words. ♥
jellicle on August 1st, 2006 01:55 pm (UTC)
I read this last night and the truth of it broke my heart.

This? “You’re the light against the darkness in a world that forgot my name.” Dean’s voice is every dream abandoned, every hope that lost its way.

and this:
“I’m still here,” Sam tells Dean as they head on down to Texas.

“But not for long,” Dean whispers dejectedly.


were perfect.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on August 4th, 2006 06:35 am (UTC)
I read this last night and the truth of it broke my heart.
Oh, thank you, jellicle. I think so much of the sadness comes from it being true. If only... all of it.

So glad you liked it. Hope you're doing well. :)