||[Mar. 17th, 2008|10:02 pm]
Category: SPN Gen
Word Count: 6,086
Disclaimer: Don't own, don't sue, no offense, no money.
Notes: This is my sweet charity fic for baileytc. My bidder's request was simple. Sam with powers. The execution... not so much. Further notes at the bottom of the story.
“If you could make one chick cartoon character real long enough to bone, who would it be?”
Sam’s startled snort of laughter makes Dean grin. His little brother had been staring out at the scenery for four hours straight, brooding per usual. Sam took a little work to crack a grin but it was always worth it. You could almost startle him into a good mood that would last if you timed it right.
“Is this what runs through your mind as you’re driving?” Sam asks, but he’s no longer slumped against the passenger side door like the world’s largest Sad Sack. Instead he’s up and blinking in the late afternoon sunshine slanting through the front window.
“Nah,” Dean denies, his grin deepening. “Sometimes I’m thinking about real women I’d like to bone.”
Sam makes a noise of disgust but his eyes are tilted up, lines carved deep in amusement. He surprises Dean by answering. “Josie.”
“Pussycats Josie?” Dean asks and Sam nods. “Totally lame.”
“Why is that?” Sam asks, his mouth a pissy line that has Dean biting on his lip to stop out and out chuckling.
“Why would you pick someone… normal?” Dean waggles his eyebrows and Sam just raises his. “I’d totally do it with Wonder Woman. Join the mile high club in her invisible jet and everyone on the ground would get a nice shot of my bare ass as we flew by.”
“You’ve thought about this way too much,” Sam accuses and Dean indicates, taking the next exit. Bobby had called them that morning to send them to a little town nestled at the base of a mountain called Castle Rock. Got a Bigfoot sighting for ya, he’d said with a smirk in his voice.
One thing they knew for damn sure didn’t exist and Bobby got his jollies sending them out after one. It was going to end up being college kids or nerds with too much time on their hands.
It always was.
Their father’s journal hadn’t been much help. The only entry entitled Bigfoot had been about how it didn’t exist and the possible things it could be instead. There were dozens of large, upright hairy creatures so they wouldn’t really be able to narrow it down until they got a lay of the land and maybe a chat with any so called witnesses.
If they hadn’t hit a dry spell, no demon activity whatsoever in four weeks, Dean would’ve told Bobby where to shove his Bigfoot sighting.
“Steaming butt press with wheels for my adoring fans,” Dean adds.
“What would that-?” Sam flinches and makes a horrified face, it obviously dawning on him just what Dean is describing and maybe, as an added bonus, accidentally picturing it. “Oh gross.” Sam flails his hands as if he can bat the idea right out of the car. “Pull over so I can hose out my brain.”
“There’s a motel just a couple of blocks up,” Dean says, pointing to the sign flickering in the distance. It’s hot as hell and he’s really hoping for a pool, preferably one that hasn’t had a body floating in it all that recently. It’s always a bit of a crapshoot. He’d settle for a shower with halfway decent water pressure. The last place had only enough to tease you into thinking you were vaguely damp, like you’d run through a sauna.
Dean checks them into the Blue Oyster, adding Cult mentally every time he looks at the sign and the clerk behind the counter is the bad kind of skeezy. “Can’t use the pool after ten,” he says and then his eyes flick past Dean’s shoulder and crawl over Sam leaning against the back of the Impala just outside the doors in a way that makes Dean want to punch him in the face. “Can’t have sex in it neither,” he adds pointedly while sucking through his teeth and Dean really would have socked him one if Sam hadn’t chosen that exact moment to stick his head in and announce he’s melting so Dean better hurry his ass.
“Yeah, yeah, keep your pearls on princess,” he snaps and snatches up the room key, casting the clerk a final, narrow-eyed gaze. Before he can escape, the clerk pushes a pamphlet across the desk at him. It’s bright yellow and has a fairly poor rendition of a really hairy guy with fangs on the front. Come take the tour! the pamphlet fairly screams. Castle Rock’s own Abominable Mountain Man.
“Wonderful,” Dean groans, handing the pamphlet off as soon as he’s outside. Sam is immediately and annoyingly delighted that they have a starting point for the whole pointless exercise. Some bright spark had inscribed very solemnly on the front of the pamphlet in pen that the picture of the so-called Mountain Man is not actual size depicted.
“I need pancakes,” Dean announces and usually Sam would complain that it wasn’t a proper dinner but for once he just nods, intent on gleaning some hidden information from the pamphlet that was mostly likely run off in someone’s basement to be passed off to gullible travelers.
There’s a diner down the street that has a blessed twenty-four hour breakfast menu so Dean orders pancakes and a side of bacon and asks for a plate of spaghetti for Sam. He watches Sam set aside the pamphlet finally, only to pick up a pen and start filling in the activity placemat meant for kids. He’s completed the find-a-word and moved onto the maze, making two false starts which is hilarious because it’s meant for five to eight year olds, before their food arrives.
“You okay?” Dean asks, because Sam’s been doing everything possible not to look Dean in the eye since they got out of the car and it’s starting to be annoying. He plucks the pen out of Sam’s hand when he moves onto the Spot The Difference and Sam makes an annoyed huff and sits back, picking the pamphlet up again.
“Not sure,” Sam says, tearing a corner of it free and folding it until it’s a little sharp point that he starts cleaning under his nails with. Dean isn’t sure how a habit like that survived Sam living with a girl.
“Care to elaborate?” Dean prompts while he cuts a section of pancake free, slides a segment of bacon on top and then rolls it, dragging it through maple syrup before stuffing it in his mouth.
“Ever since we hit town I’ve been… I feel…” Sam curls his hands briefly and then lets go. He hasn’t picked up cutlery yet and his food sits untouched. “There’s just something… off,” he finally says, studying the tines of his fork with a little too much interest.
“Sam, you know I trust your spidey sense, but you gotta give me something to work with here,” Dean says and the simple fact is, he does. Sam gets a bad feeling and nine times out of ten there is something that goes wrong. Dean and he have the same gut for trouble. “Hell, this whole thing seems to me like a sham, how about we blow this town?”
“Abandon a hunt?” Sam asks, finally looking up.
“I’m not sure there’s a hunt to abandon,” Dean says, shrugging. He’s run out of bacon while there’s still pancake on the plate and he’s considering flagging the waitress for more.
“There’s definitely something here,” Sam says. “Maybe not this guy,” he adds, tapping a finger on the pamphlet. “Just… lets give it a day or so. Actually look into this like we promised Bobby.”
“I’m pretty sure he’s just yanking our chains," Dean grumbles.
“People have gone missing," Sam points out.
“People have hauled ass out of this town, more like,” Dean says and is reassured when Sam smiles briefly and it actually reaches his eyes.
It’s after ten when they get back to the motel but Dean just picks the padlock on the pool’s gated fence and he and Sam slide in. He shucks his jeans and t-shirt and resists the urge to bomb because it’ll make too much noise. Instead he edges in, finding the water disappointingly lukewarm and not glacial like he’d hoped, but it’s better than the air soup they’d been wading through on the way back.
Sam only rolls up the legs of his jeans and sticks his feet in, kicking them gently. The spotlights around the pool are switched off so it’s pitch black but after a while and with the benefit of a half moon, Dean’s eyes adjust and he can make out his brother. For a second Sam’s eyes catch the light and reflect it back flat and Dean feels a cold sweep over him that has nothing to do with the water. Sam shifts slightly though and his features are back in shadow. For an uncomfortable handful of seconds Dean was reminded of a dead man’s face, coins propping his eyes open and ready to pay his way to the ferryman on the other side.
“I asked the waitress while you were in the bathroom and there is a library but I don’t think it’s going to help us much,” Sam says. “Apparently it’s a room full of Reader’s Digest, National Geographic and the books from the old high school that weren’t water damaged enough to warrant being thrown out.”
“So we’re high teching it? You using your google-fu or whatever?” Dean asks, letting his legs drift up until he’s lying flat on the surface, all sound becoming muted. Something hits his belly with a soft plink and Dean pushes his legs down until he’s upright again just in time to see Sam digging for more pebbles to throw at him in the “landscaping” which was basically a mound of rocks and a single, sad looking palm.
“Yeah, if I want to trawl through a million sites because we’re looking for Bigfoot,” Sam says, pausing in his throwing when he realizes Dean is no longer a passive target. “Margie collects old local newspapers and said I was welcome to come and check ‘em out.”
“Margie?” Dean asks.
“The waitress,” Sam says. “Kind of reminds me of Missouri in a scary, wooden spoon-wielding way.”
“I’m assuming they’re not scanned into a computer for easy cross-referencing?”
“In stacks in her basement actually,” Sam says with a sigh. “But it’s the best place to look for reports of other disappearances since these days we can’t exactly wander into a police station and ask to see their reports.”
“Check out the probably bogus tour in the morning and then hit Margie’s in the afternoon?” Dean proposes as he moves to the side of the pool. His fingers are pruning and the pool isn’t proving to be as much of a relief from the sticky heat as he’d hoped. He’s pretty sure he’ll be breaking a sweat before they get back to their room.
Sweet, helpful Margie turns out, of course, to be the bad guy.
Dean thinks as he hurtles his way through the dense forest that was bordering Margie’s place, that he should see these things coming. Margie, now seven and a half feet and covered in blue-black fur, is the sound of breaking branches and snorting breath behind him. Perhaps way too close behind him.
The only consolation in that is that Sam and he had separated and if Margie is chasing him, Sam is safe. Dean feels something catch at his t-shirt and he puts on a desperate burst of speed, mindful of the fact that there are tree roots and loose branches littering the ground and just waiting for the chance to twist an ankle out from under him. The thickly clumped trees are mostly responsible for Dean still being alive though, he knows that.
No way would he outrun Margie in a flat race.
Dean digs the pearl-handled pistol out of the back of his jeans as he runs, not even bothering to check the clip because he’d checked it on their way out of the motel that afternoon. It was like checking the oven was off and the lights were flipped for him. Ritual that had saved his life more often than not. Sam, despite his protestations, only ever armed himself when he knew they were going to get into something so this was another reason Dean was glad Margie was breathing down his neck instead of his brother’s. Sam had a single knife in his boot and that was it.
The sound of pounding feet fall off a little and Dean senses this is his only chance at blowing Margie away and has to take it when he’s gotten a little distance. He spins, still running full out and brings up the gun, squeezing the trigger as soon as it’s level. Margie is gone in a blur of dark movement and all too late, Dean sees that Sam was right behind her, damn little boot-knife in hand.
Dean feels everything slow down as his finger relaxes with the trigger already depressed. There is the crack and sharp smell of the bullet leaving the chamber, another crack like hands snapping together and Sam is just gone.
Dean skids to a halt. “Sam!” he screams, already darting back the way he’d been running. There’s nothing but flattened grass where Sam was just standing. Dean spins in a full circle, not really believing what he’s seeing. Sam by all rights should have been hit square in the chest but he’s-
There’s another crack and Dean is hit full-body, driven into the ground. He flails automatically but whatever has collected him is too big to just throw off. Another second and there’s the sound of something hitting the ground right near him. Hands are prying the gun out of his own and he fights it but loses, too winded and surprised to really do anything useful. There’re two loud, close reports and a horrible shriek and then everything’s silent.
Dean coughs when he breathes in and gets a noseful of ash. Hands find his face and he struggles out from under the weight on top of him. He spins in place and manages to recognize it’s Sam. His brother is coated in something grey and he’s breathing hard, staring up into the sky, Dean’s gun held loosely in one hand. Dean turns again and can see Margie lying only a few feet away, tongue out and eyes glassy, very dead.
“What the fuck was that?” Dean wheezes because it was all just movement and noise and nothing’s making any goddamn sense to him.
“I’m not sure,” Sam says, sounding eerily calm. His hair is plastered to his forehead in sweaty curls. “Just…” He doesn’t finish his sentence, the hand holding the gun going slack. Dean scuttles forward and lays a hand on Sam’s throat, only breathing out when he feels a steady pulse under his fingers. Sam’s out cold though. Dean swipes a finger through the fine grey powder caked on Sam’s face.
“Sammy,” he breathes and then gathers his brother’s large frame up as best he can, half dragging, half carrying him back to the waiting Impala, wanting to put as much distance between them and the damn forest as possible.
He’s feeling cold all over and he’s not even really sure why. All he knows is something major just happened.
Sam sleeps through the next eighteen hours and Dean’s just about ready to haul his ass to a hospital when he finally makes noises and blinks blearily awake. He groans and rubs at his face for a second, which is still a little grimy despite Dean’s best efforts with a washcloth. There’s a few things that only a good long hot shower can fix.
He’s ravenous when he wakes up and makes his way through both egg and bacon rolls Dean had waiting for him before he’ll say a word. Then all he does is ask for the phone. Dean obliges him, unable to take his eyes off Sam. He looks like he’s lost weight, which is ridiculous but… undeniable. He waits Sam out, because while he could talk your ear off when he was in the mood, trying to pry something out of him he’s not ready to talk about yet is like blood from a stone.
Sam makes a grunt of frustration when whomever he’s calling doesn’t answer and tosses the phone aside. Dean sits passive on the other side of the room, watching Sam get up and pace. Sam, feeling the stare, finally turns on Dean and spreads his hands wide. “I don’t know, okay?” he blurts and Dean raises his eyebrows at him.
“Just don’t try and tell me it was a trick of the light,” Dean says, as Sam drops to the edge of his bed with his hands dangling between his legs. “In the wood, did you…?” Dean feels like an idiot for even suggesting what he’s about to but he’s had a good long while to think about what he saw and really, there’s only one thing it could’ve been. “Dude, did you… teleport?”
Sam rubs a hand over his face for a moment and then looks up. There’s a frown line carved deep between his eyebrows. “I don’t… no, I don’t think that’s what happened,” he says. When no further explanation seems to be forthcoming, Dean claps his hands together and stands.
“Right, glad that’s sorted,” he says, faux cheerfully. “Dinner?”
“C’mon, Dean,” Sam tries and Dean smacks a flat palm down on the table nearest him.
“No, you c’mon Sam!” he snaps. “The visions are one thing. The whole moving a wardrobe with your mind was a little… but this?" Dean doesn’t like the way Sam’s face is collapsing down into hurt and worry but he’s too freaked out to really get a grip and be reasonable. He can feel all rational thought slipping away from him like a greased cable, leaving nothing but panicked ranting behind. “You ever so briefly popped out of existence,” Dean practically yells.
“I didn’t just disappear,” Sam says in a small voice and it’s enough to dump cold water all over Dean’s agitation. Mostly because his little brother sounds a little freaked out himself, a lot like when he worked up the nerve to tell Dean that he’d moved something with his mind.
I saw you die and I…
“Where’d you go?” Dean asks, unable to help himself.
“I think,” Sam says, wincing slightly. “I think maybe the future.”
Dean looks at Ash sitting across from them incredulously. The man takes a moment to curl a finger around one of his dirty blonde strands of hair before sitting back in his chair and tucking the other hand into the top of his jeans. It seems like interesting is all he has to say on the matter.
Sam had explained it, how he’d realized he was running right into Dean’s line of fire but too late to actually do anything about it. He wasn’t sure what happened next but he was apparently on the other side of the clearing, seeing Dean get nailed by Margie when she jumped out from a dense thicket to the right of him. Sam said that there was still the smell of Dean’s blood in his nostrils when he’d snapped… back. He was just in time to fling himself on top of Dean just as Margie leaped.
“Everything was kinda grainy, like an old movie. All the sounds muted,” he’d explained as they’d driven towards the Roadhouse, Dean’s foot nearly on the floor most of the way. Sam had tried to call Andy and Dean could kind of understand since he was the only sane and still breathing Very Special Child they’d found and Sam wanted to see if perhaps Andy was manifesting some other neat tricks. There’d been no answer and the Roadhouse and Ash had been Sam’s only other idea for getting some answers.
Neither of them had suggested going to Bobby. Dean wasn’t really ready for that and he suspected Sam wasn’t either.
“Looking for a little more than that here, DB,” Dean says, keeping a wary eye out for Ellen. She’d set them up with sandwiches and beer before disappearing.
“I’m not sure what I’m meant to say here, my friend,” Ash says, pulling his hand out of his pants long enough to rub at his jaw before settling it right back again. “I mean, that’s some freaky shit right there.”
“But impossible, right?” Dean prompts because he’s starting to think that maybe it all was just some random trick of the light, a shared hallucination he and Sam had brought on by stress and adrenalin.
“I didn’t say that,” Ash says, shrugging. “Anything’s possible. You boys should know that better than anyone.”
Dean feels Sam’s hard stare on his ear but he resolutely doesn’t turn to face him. “Maybe Mar-… the monster secreted some kind of hallucinogen. You heard of something like that?”
“Not really,” Ash says at the same time Sam snorts in derision.
“If you’re not going to believe me-” Sam starts, pushing his chair back but a hand on the shoulder stills him.
“I’m just trying to figure this out,” Dean insists, wanting nothing more than to beat his head against the table in front of him a few times, maybe Sam’s too for good measure. Apart from Sam’s explanation, they’d driven towards the Roadhouse in uncomfortable silence. Every time Sam came up with something new and… freaky, Dean knew Sam was terrified he was going to scare Dean off for good. Andy mojo-ing Dean’s confession that he was actually worried about Sam maybe starting on down the dark road hadn’t helped any. Dean had cried foul on any and everything he’d blathered during that little stint of mind control but he knew Sam had filed it away for later, to turn over and over in his mind until he’d worked it up into a nice little bruised patch on his confidence.
Ash gets up and disappears back into his room for a few minutes. When he re-emerges he has a battered book in hand with a plastic dust jacket that’s cracked with age. He opens it and flips through pages as both Dean and Sam watch him with growing impatience. He holds up a finger after a moment and then turns the book around. Dean and Sam both lean forward, shoulders jostling. Dean catches the title scrawled across the top of the page.
The Fluidity Of Time.
“You should totally borrow this,” Ash enthuses. “It’s a real mind bender.”
“You mind giving us the gist?” Dean presses as Sam reaches out and snags the book, drawing it back to himself.
“Was written by this woman named Helen Barker, apparently went looney tunes but not before she got this published by a small independent. She has a lot of wacky theories but she says if man were to ever time travel, like really, then he wouldn’t do it by inventing a machine. Someone would just kind of… figure it out. She reckoned that all time was happening all at once which meant you could see or experience any part of it because it was happening… simultaneously. We live it linear because that’s kind of what we’re conditioned to do.” Ash’s eyes were round with enthusiasm, his legs jittering under the table.
“So Sam just… figured it out?” Dean asks, blinking. Sam has his nose buried in the book already and Dean rolls his eyes.
“It’s not really that easy,” Ash says, like Dean’s the crazy one for thinking that. “I mean, the way I figure it, your brother can already see the future. He’s just learned how to, I dunno, drag his body along too.”
“You know what? I’ve had enough,” Dean snarls, standing. He gets a hold of Sam’s jacket, practically hauling him out of his chair as well. Sam keeps a hold of the book but doesn’t try to fight Dean’s drag, only struggling a little to get his feet under him with the movement. “You’re crazy and you’re going to give him ideas,” Dean adds, jerking a thumb at Sam, who scowls but doesn’t say anything else.
“Whatever,” Ash dismisses. “Just drop that back next time you’re passing. I like reading it when I’m baked.” Ash disappears back into his room and Dean herds Sam towards the door. When they’re outside, Sam only comes to life when Dean tries to wrench the book out of his hands, meaning to toss it back in the door and never look back.
“Don’t!” Sam protests, hugging the book to himself. “This might answer some questions.”
“All it’s going to do is fill that big damn brain of yours full up with crazy,” Dean sighs, making another grab for the book and glaring when Sam bats his hands aside.
“You know, for someone that deals with the supernatural every day of their lives, you’re strangely willing to bury your head in the sand,” Sam says, hunching around the book and making for the Impala.
Two uneventful weeks pass. Sam is reading the damn book every time Dean and he stop for more than five minutes and while Dean is tempted to get rid of it when Sam is in the bathroom or sleeping or something, he’s not really game to. They’re both walking this fine line at the moment. Despite the frisson of weird coloring everything, they’re actually getting along.
Dean almost does a dance of relief when he comes back from snagging a six-pack to find Sam asleep on the bed closest to the window in a motel room with big fat roses on the wallpaper. There’s a Crichton novel open on his chest and the time travel book nowhere to be seen. His relief at maybe them putting this whole wackiness behind them lasts only until Sam wakes up and makes his way over to the computer.
He’d taken his research online.
The next couple of weeks see Sam barely sleeping. He’s got hundreds of pages of notes and goes to every library and tiny decrepit bookstore they can find in every town and city they pass through. Sam’s eyes look constantly bruised from the dark circles and he only eats when Dean sits across from him and glares until he takes a begrudging mouthful.
What’s most disturbing is that Sam has stopped talking. He makes affirmative or negative grunts when Dean asks him a direct question but he ducks simple attempts at conversation. His brows draw down and he hunches into himself if Dean yells at him but doesn’t try and argue back. Sam starts taking small catnaps, probably when his body loses all power and gives up but he’s only ever out for maybe twenty minutes, usually bowed over a table with the ink from his scratchings bleeding onto his cheek.
Dean almost kicks himself when he finally figures out just why Sam is so obsessed.
“You think you can go back, don’t you?” Dean asks one morning while brushing his teeth. He hadn’t really been thinking about anything. The worry about Sam was a constant buzz that had become like background noise to his brain, leaving him kind of swimming in a constant state of agitation which he somehow managed to function through. He’d been looking at the tube of toothpaste and thinking they’d need more and maybe if he got some fruit, like apples or some shit then Sam would eat something and it had just… hit him.
Sam jerks and looks at him. “Don’t be stupid,” he snaps, but there was too big a pause in there for Dean to actually believe the automatic denial.
“Wow, that’s it, isn’t it?” Dean presses, untucking the toothbrush from his cheek and tossing it back into the bathroom. He hears it clatter in the sink as he rubs the back of his hand over his mouth to get rid of the residual foam.
Sam had started skipping showers unless Dean complained long and loud about the smell and currently, he’s hovering around three days without a wash. His hair is a greasy, tangled mess and there’s a smudge of something on his neck just above his shirt collar. Which is why Dean knows Sam is trying to avoid this particular confrontation by pushing back from the small motel desk and claiming he needs a shower right at that very second.
Dean, closer to the bathroom, moves to block the doorway. “C’mon man, you’re starting to scare me,” Dean tries and isn’t prepared for the short, bruised-sounding bark of laughter Sam lets go of.
“Starting to?” he snorts. “I’m pretty sure we passed me starting to scare you a ways back and we’re well into me creeping you out country.”
“Well, talk to me for fuck’s sake!” Dean growls, moving with Sam as he switches direction and tries to head for the door to the outside instead. Sam makes a huff of frustration when he finds another exit blocked and digs both hands through his hair.
“Maybe I can…” Sam flails a useless arm back towards his piles of research. “Maybe I can stop all this before it even starts,” he finally admits and Dean just gapes at him.
“You think you can go back in time and stop Dad dying… stop Mom dying?” Dean demands and everything in Sam deflates.
“Yes,” he says in a too-small voice.
“Jesus, Sammy,” Dean breathes and he’s not sure whether to hug his brother or shake him. “Just… let this go. What’s done is done and there ain’t no changing it, no matter how much we might wish different. Can you stop this now, please?” Dean is now close enough to put hands on Sam’s shoulders and squeeze.
“What if I can, though?” Sam insists, shaking Dean off and moving back to his laptop. “We’d still have a home and a mom and-”
“Everything would be peachy, postcard perfect?” Dean asks and Sam flinches again, slowing his pawing through his work. “Life isn’t like that, I hate to say. You figure out how to do this and who knows what it’ll do. Hell, maybe you’ll collapse the space-time continuum or some crap.”
This last surprises a laugh out of Sam. It fades though quickly, like most smiles do with Sam these days. “Why can’t we have this? Why can’t I try?” Sam asks instead, changing tack. Dean doesn’t like the way Sam’s eyes dart away when he’s speaking and something truly horrible occurs to him. Like maybe, just maybe, Sam’s looking like refried shit because he hasn’t just been researching all the time.
“Have you….have you done it again?” he asks slowly and now Sam ducks his whole head down, intent on his toes. “Holy crap. When? How?” Dean demands, but of course, he knows when. Every time he goes to grab a beer. Every time he gets them dinner. Every time he closes his eyes.
“I’ve only been able to get about twenty minutes back so far,” Sam says, scrunching his face up like he used to when he was doing math problems as a teenager. “Maybe half an hour forward but I’m getting better. Just give me a little-”
Dean hits Sam, hard. A quick, vicious backhand that surprises them both. Sam flaps a hand up to his face, fingers spanning the blossoming red on his cheek and Dean takes a step backwards, hands balled into fists. “Don’t do it again,” he says in a low voice. “Just… don’t.”
Dean leaves the room then. Just turns around and slams out the door and paces the small strip of concrete outside. If he was honest with himself, he couldn’t say exactly why this all scared him so badly. He should’ve been all about a plan that would save both his parents but he couldn’t, not when it risked his little brother. He knows what it felt like for Sam to be taken, stepping out of a bar at night and Sam just being gone and he couldn’t truly fathom what it would be like for Sam to be somewhere he couldn’t actually get to. He’d been panicked when the Benders had taken Sam, damn near insane with it, but deep down he’d known he was going to get him back.
Dean digs his cell phone out of his jeans’ pocket and dials Ash.
He needs to know what he’s dealing with.
“There’s this theory,” Ash says, crunching peanuts in Dean’s ear. “That time is… dense I guess is the best way to put it. Travel back a few minutes or maybe even hours and it’s like pushing through water. Anything more than that and it’s like trying to shove a pillow through rock.”
“So he just…. won’t be able to do it?” Dean asks, ready to be relieved but Ash puts a damper on his enthusiasm.
“You gotta understand how purely theoretical all of this is. Maybe he can do it, make a tunnel or something, but then again maybe it’s like chipping at slate. He’s trying to use blunt force and a whole rock shelf is going to slide off and squash him underneath.”
“You’re really not reassuring me any,” Dean says with a small groan and Ash laughs.
“Not m’ job, Dean-o.” There’s a pause like Ash is contemplating something and then he says, “You know Sam’s doing this because he thinks it’s what you would want, right?”
Dean wants to scoff at this, but it makes all the sense in the world. Sam always yearned for a normal life, but then he’d actually walked away from hunting. It had reeled him back in, sure, but he’d felt like he’d had a choice. Sam never thought Dean had a choice.
I’d ask you to come, but I know you won’t. You can’t escape this, can you? You can’t see a way out.
The last words Sam had said to him before he’d gotten on a bus to California.
Sam is sitting on Dean’s bed when he walks back into the motel room. He’s sitting with his legs folded up underneath him and his chin resting on one hand. He just raises his eyebrows when Dean pauses in the doorway.
“If you want me to apologize for hitting you, I’m not gonna,” Dean says petulantly and Sam actually smiles. Something twists inside Dean because he’d almost forgotten what that looked like.
“I’m sorry,” Sam says and Dean just blinks at him.
“I kind of got a little… obsessed and I didn’t realize… I just wasn’t thinking,” Sam huffs and stands. All of his research has been shoved into a canvas satchel and he waves a hand at it.
“So you’re going to stop, just like that?” Dean asks, puzzled.
“You asked me to,” Sam says with a shrug.
“I asked you to a million times,” Dean says with a note of complaint in his voice.
“No you didn’t. I mean, not really. You kind of stomped about and was disapproving but… I don’t know how to explain how it was different this time. Just was.”
Dean knows it’s not as simple as Sam is making it out to be. That down the road, maybe next week, maybe next year, it’s going to come up again. One of them is going to do something monumentally stupid and Sam will think he can fix it.
But not now.
Right now, probably for the first time in their lives, Sam is doing something just because Dean asked him to.
“Well, alright then,” Dean says, trying to hold onto the relief in his voice because Sam is liable to get all dewy eyed and want to hug. “How about you go get me a sandwich, bitch?” he asks with a grin.
“But Sam, I really want a sandwich.”
“I’m never going to hear the end of this, am I?”
“I might get tired of it somewhere around the year twenty twelve,” Dean says with an exaggerated eye waggle and Sam rolls his eyes, before tackling him to the floor.
Sam is going on little sleep and less food so Dean is able to flip and pin him. They go out for burgers though and Sam sleeps for twelve hours that night so Dean’s willing to call it even.
Just this once.
Author Notes: So, this story on my harddrive is called Blame It On The Morlocks. I just couldn't leave it that way but... heh.
baileytc actually originally asked for wing!fic, but since I was already planning another installment I felt like that would be... cheating? Maybe? Especially since she'd *bought* me. I kind of felt like she'd paid me to make her a muffin and I already had a two-day old one in my hand and I just handed her that... or something. It made better sense in my head. Anyway, I agreed to incorporate some elements she suggested into the next wing!fic and write a request in addition to that. She asked for Sam with powers. I wanted to write him with a power that I hadn't seen written before... I'm sure someone else has already done this out there somewhere but I hadn't seen it and I'm sticking to that.
As always, my stories about Sam end up in Dean's POV. Maybe because I can only really get a good grasp on Sam dealing with something through Dean's eyes. Weird, yes. Do I have control over it? Not really. Maybe because any story about Sam is about Dean as well. Maybe it's late and I'm tired and the Dean voice is always strongest when my defenses are down...
Oh and Castle Rock? Stephen King's town. You would *never* live there because the most cracked, scary stuff happens there...