|Message in a Bottle
Author: a.lakewood PM
GEN. Sam hauled his arm back and hurled the clay jar as far into the sea as he could...Rated: Fiction K - English - Drama - Sam W. & Dean W. - Words: 1,157 - Published: 09-06-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4523598
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: Message in a Bottle
Warnings: Does my limited knowledge of Greek mythology need a warning? And probably a spoiler for No Rest for the Wicked, just in case you missed the end.
Word Count: 1150
Summary: Sam hauled his arm back and hurled the clay jar as far out into the sea as he could...
Disclaimer: As always, I own nothing
Sam hauled his arm back and hurled the clay jar as far out into the sea as he could.
His face was mostly shadows in the twilight hours, pale moonlight dimly illuminating his profile. His hair was cast about his head in messy, shaggy tendrils, shielding his eyes, caught on the salty breeze.
He dug his toes into the wet sand, wrapping his arms around himself in an effort to ward off the slight chill, and glanced at his brother.
"What now?" Dean finally asked, voice barely louder than the crashing waves.
Sam made a futile attempt to push his hair back from his face. "Now," he started, "we wait." He backed up to where the sand was dry and all but collapsed. The hunt that led to this beach on this night had been long and exhausting. He breathed deeply of the cool, briny air as Dean silently sand down beside him.
The whole thing was a long-shot, a last-ditch effort. Only brought about because of a tattered and folded page that had been half-hidden behind a yellowed news clipping of a "mysterious creature" in a New England lake. The lined paper didn't match that of the journal but the handwriting was John's. Most of it was illegible as if was written in a drunken haste, but Sam could make out Poseidon in my debt and something about a water nymph, then a bunch of scrawling before Antik-something, Greece. It took extensive research to decipher the entry and figure out what it all meant – two weeks before he could even get to the intensive research that brought him to Antikythera.
Sam also had to brush up on his Greek mythology – he'd somehow forgotten that Poseidon was Hades' brother. So it had to mean something that he found that slip of paper when he did.
"It's gonna work," he whispered to Dean. "It has to." He glanced to his left, but Dean was gone.
Sam drew his knees to his chest, hands clasped in front of his shins, and stared, unblinking, into the steel-gray water.
He remained on the beach until the sun had completely set, then headed back to his small bungalow. He crawled into bed, suddenly too tired to keep his eyes open, and dreamed of nothing but drowning.
Finally, the nightmares loosed their hold and Sam awoke only a handful of hours after he'd first fallen asleep. He looked out his window into the gray darkness, absolute night kept at bay by the glimmering lights of the tiny village and the full moon. Dawn was still several hours away.
Despite the nightmares, Sam felt compelled to go to the sea. The dark water called to him, beckoned with hushed murmurs of the waves. His rented boat was moored half a mile away – too far, too long to wait. He hadn't even realized he'd left his room and crossed the beach until he was knee-deep in the cold water of the shallows. Just as suddenly, he saw Dean standing behind him, just beyond the tide's reach.
"What are you doing?" Dean asked in that deliberately quiet and slow way he usually reserved for crazies and morons.
"There's no other way," Sam replied, eyes drifting to the sea for a moment before flicking back to his brother. But, again, Dean had disappeared. Searching the beach futilely, Sam sighed.
The sea's magnetism took its hold once more, gently coaxing him with its lapping waves. It wasn't long before he was fully submerged – and the part of him that should've been panicking at that felt oddly calm, more curious towards the greenish luminescence of the water around him. It had seemed so dull, so gray, from the shore. But below – it practically glowed.
It wasn't until tiny bubbles floated up from below him, right in front of his face, that he remembered that he needed to breathe. However, the only pang he felt in his chest at the thought wasn't from a burning need for oxygen, but from the shock that, at the moment, he didn't feel the need to breathe.
The bubbles gathered, rose densely, then finally stopped. Beyond the diminishing curtain, the water shimmered in a peculiar way as if it had been contaminated by an iridescent oil. The shimmer focused, and Sam could see the shape of a man.
Not a man, his mind amended, but a god. Poseidon.
"Who do you think you are to call upon Poseidon?" a voice questioned harshly in his mind, sounding as rough and tumultuous as a squalling sea.
You were indebted to my father, Sam thought. John Winchester.
The water grew slightly colder. "Yes," Poseidon admitted.
He...He died and – I've come to settle the debt.
"What makes you think I can help you, mortal?"
Hades is your brother. Mine sold his soul-
"There is no way. I cannot help you."
It should've been me – he sold his soul to bring me back.
"It is of no matter. I cannot help you," Poseidon repeated. "Hades has never, and will never willingly allow a soul to leave his realm. If you were to help him escape, you would be sure to be subjected to Hades' wrath as well. There is no cheating death."
There must be a way!
Poseidon was calm, silent, for a long moment. "Are you ready to die?"
The question shocked Sam. What?!
"I could drown you now. Then you could go to your brother and try to save him. I must warn you, though, that very few men have ever escaped Hades' realm. And those that have always return, and the punishment in much more severe than you could ever comprehend."
Sam's thoughts raced faster than even Poseidon could make sense of them.
Again, "Are you ready to die?"
No, Sam realized. No.
"Then there is nothing I can do for you. I will send you back to the shore, and this debt will be settled."
Sam knew there was no other option – he should be dead, as long as he'd been without air – so he didn't argue. Thank you.
He couldn't move and all he could hear was the crashing of the waves and he thought for sure that he was dead. Then he realized that he was breathing, lungs slowly filling with warm, Mediterranean air.
He realized that Dean really was dead.
And he wished he had drowned.