|"Sunday Morning Coming Down"
||[Feb. 3rd, 2007|09:07 pm]
Title: Sunday Morning Coming Down|
Summary: Mary was the one to survive, Sam to hunt and Dean to leave. (Dabbling in the Reverse 'verse - title from the Johnny Cash song.)
Dean had stopped answering the phone four months after he left. Well, technically Sam and his Mom had left him, moving on when he didn’t. He’d shown his mother the EMT traineeship pamphlet and all she’d said was, "What's wrong with the way you save lives now?"
Dean woke up with a start, heart thudding in his chest. A warm hand snaked up his arm and came to rest on his shoulder and a sleep-muzzled voice asked, “You okay, baby?”
Dean scrubbed a hand over his face and looked down at the girl disentangling herself from the sheets, short cropped black hair in disarray. She hadn’t taken her makeup off the night before and dark circles of mascara underlined her eyes.
Mindy, Mandy, Melanie?
Dean wracked his brain, trying to come up with a name before she cottoned on to the fact that he had absolutely no idea. He knew she was aware of his name, had yelled it enough the night before.
“You wanna go get some breakfast?” she asked, sliding up and looping her arms around his shoulders. Dean looked around and was relieved to see that they weren’t in his apartment so the only person he had to worry about getting out the door was himself.
“I’d love to but I can’t. I have an early shift.”
“Really? That’s too bad,” she sighed, swinging her legs out of bed and dragging the sheet with her when she went. He watched her pad barefoot to a desk under her bedroom window and pull a pad of paper and a pen free. He was left to wonder idly how he hadn’t noticed that every available surface of the bedroom was covered in stuffed teddy bears, most clutching red hearts to their furry bellies.
“Here’s my number. Maybe we can see a movie or something on the weekend?” she said, passing him the slip of paper.
“Thanks Melissa,” he said, holding up the slip of paper and silently thanking the inventor of personalised stationary.
Dean’s phone buzzed and he leaned over the bed to retrieve his jeans and pull the phone from the back pocket. He groaned when he checked the caller ID and Melissa looked at him with raised eyebrows when he snapped it shut without answering.
“My Mom,” he said, pulling his jeans on.
Hi Dean, just checkin’ in…
Hi Dean, just ringin’ to let you know…
Hey Mutton, you ever going to call me back?
Dean changed his voicemail message daily with the date so his mother would know he was fine, just not answering. She was a stubborn woman though and called him every fourth Saturday of the month, nine a.m. and reported in. Every third or fourth message she’d ask him if he was tired of pretending to be normal, missed their life, missed them yet. Sometimes he could tell she was talking through pain or a hangover.
On the rare occasion, she would call and say nothing, leaving background noise and breath but nothing else.
He didn’t know if she understood why he stopped picking up, why he stopped calling back. He did it because it was too painful listening to his mother make excuses for Sam every time Dean asked to speak to him.
He’s making a supply run…
He’s in the shower…
He’s sleeping off a bender, you know how he gets…
“I won’t forgive you if you leave,” Sam had said and Dean had thought that he didn’t really mean it, that he would come around eventually. It was going on three years and Dean was starting to get the feeling that he was never going to speak to his brother again.
That hurt more than he could handle so he stopped contact altogether.
He knew he should delete the voicemail messages without even listening to them, but he wasn’t quite there yet. Some part of him was worried he would miss the one time when it was Sam calling, and a larger part was terrified he would miss the important call.
The one telling him that Sam or his mother was hurt or worse.
There’d been one of those already. He knew that Mary and Sam had been hurt badly, had to have been more times than either of them could count, but once it had been so bad Mary had been scared enough to call him and ask him to come.
He’d driven halfway across the country before he’d received the second message, telling him Sam had woken up, was sore and grumpy but otherwise fine.
Dean had turned the car around and had headed home.
“Yo Dean, Earth to Dean.” Fingers were snapping in front of his face and Dean turned to frown at Freddy, his partner going on six months.
“Sorry, I was miles away,” Dean admitted, giving himself a little shake.
“Well, I’m duckin’ in to get a coffee, you want anything?” Freddy asked, hooking a thumb out the driver’s side window at the gas station office.
“Nah, I’m good.”
He dreamed of fire.
It was perfectly natural considering the way his father had died, but Dean had never had nightmares so vivid, that he could recall. He looked up into his bathroom mirror after he’d splashed cold water on his face.
Sam, he’d been dreaming about Sam, for days.
Dean dragged himself back into his bedroom and flopped on his bed, belly first, smashing his face into the pillow. He knew they were only dreams, but that didn’t get rid of the cold knot of dread in his belly. Dean reached blindly for his phone and dragged it back towards his ear, punching in his mother’s number.
“You’ve reached Mary. Leave a message.”
Dean pulled his face out of the pillow to blink at the phone and then put it back to his ear.
“Hey, it’s Dean. Listen, I know this sounds weird but stay away from Florida, just for a little while. Keep…keep Sam away. I got a bad feeling.”
Dean snapped the phone shut and then tapped himself on the temple with it a couple of times. He almost dropped it when it started ringing. He fumbled it open and said, “Look, Mom, I know it sounds crazy but-”
Dean froze, heart thudding in his chest. “Sammy?”
“How’d you know I was heading to Florida?”
Dean felt gooseflesh chase up and down his arms. He swung his legs out of bed and curled his toes reflexively when they met the cold floorboards. “Why have you got Mom’s phone?” Damn it’s good to hear your voice, I miss you, you giant dork.
“She left it behind.”
“Behind where? You two split up for something?”
There was silence on the line for so long that Dean was starting to worry that Sam had simply dropped the phone and walked away, when he heard the sound of Sam clearing his throat. “I don’t know where she is. I was on my own thing and she was heading to Florida for a Black Dog and she hasn’t…” There was another long pause and then Sam said, “She’s been gone nearly two weeks.”
“She’s been gone longer than that before,” Dean said, trying not to let the queasy feeling in his stomach at the news make him believe otherwise. She had been gone longer, but she’d always reported in.
She never left her phone.
“The phone was in the post box in Denver, along with a stack of cash and a couple of credit cards.”
“When did you find this out?”
“About four days ago.”
“You didn’t call me?” Dean demanded.
“I didn’t think you’d care.”
There it was. Sam’s voice was hollow, almost resigned and Dean wanted to be close enough to knock some sense into him. He didn’t know how many times he’d tried to tell Sam that he hadn’t left him, just the job, but Sam didn’t believe it.
“Look,” Sam said, sounding impatient. “Mom must have called you so tell me where she is and I’ll let you get back to your life.”
“She didn’t call me.”
“Then how did you know I was heading to Florida?” Sam asked again and Dean put a hand to his face, rubbing his eyes.
“I had a dream,” he said, not knowing how else to put it.
“I beg your pardon?”
“I had a… I dreamed about you in Florida.”
“Okay, that’s just weird, even for you,” Sam said, sounding so much like his old, exasperated self that Dean felt a lump in his throat. He and Sam had been inseparable once, and ceasing all contact had been like losing a limb.
“I know it sounds crazy but I’m not sure how else to… look, just don’t go there okay? For me?”
“Why would I do anything for you?” The chill was back in Sam’s voice and Dean felt it like a punch to the gut.
“I’m sure you think this is all hilarious, but I’m going on about three hours sleep here so can you just tell me what the punch-line is?”
“You think I’m kidding?”
“I don’t know what to think about you, Dean,” Sam said, and now he just sounded weary. “All I know is you gave up the hunt, gave up us and you call out of the blue when mom is missing and tell me you had a dream and, what? What am I supposed to do Dean?”
“Just… you said mom was heading to Florida two weeks ago right? She probably isn’t there anymore. It’s probably a waste of time.”
“I gotta check it out. It’s a starting point at least.”
“Then come get me.” Dean had blurted it without thinking and the silence on the other end of the phone told Dean that it had taken Sam as much by surprise as him.
“You’ve got a job.”
“I’ve got some leave I haven’t taken and a boss that isn’t too much of a hardass. It’ll be fine.”
“No, Dean. You don’t want to get involved. You made that very clear.” Even though Sam was saying no, Dean could hear the small note of hesitation in his voice, the slice of hope.
“Mom’s missing. I’m in,” Dean said simply. He listened to Sam take measured breathes for a few moments.
“Alright, fine. I’ll be there by tomorrow night.”
“You know where-?”
“Yeah, I know your place.”
“I moved four months-”
“Dean, I know where you live,” Sam said, sounding exasperated again and Dean smiled in the darkness. So Sam wouldn’t talk to him on the phone but he’d been keeping tabs.
There was hope for them yet.