Author's Notes: A little ficlet I wrote for a song challenge over on LJ. Took me a while to post because when it's all said and done, there should be about 100 different ficlets. We'll see if I post them all or not. :) Enjoy.
The day after Sam left for college Dean sat by the phone from the time he woke up until the time he went to bed. He took three bathroom breaks and one microwavable dinner break. He caught John walk in and out of the room eleven times without saying a word. He read four Hardy Boy books and watched all three Star Wars movies, four episodes of The Simpson's, and two reality shows he only watched for the chicks.
Sam never called.
A week after Sam left for college, Dean kept Dad's cell phone in the front right pocket of his jeans as they took on a poltergeist in Washington. He set it to both vibrate and ring. A loud tone monotone version of the theme from Close Encounters. John got thrown through a wall. Dean got hit in the head with a ceramic vase.
He mistook the ringing in his ears for the ringing of his phone.
Two months after Sam left for college, Dean shot out of his bed to grab John's cell phone on the second ring. He answered it, "Sam? What's wrong?"
It was a wrong number.
Five and a half months after Sam left for college, Dean sat on the bathroom floor with the cell phone in his hands and stared at Sam's name in the digital phonebook. "S-A-M." Dean typed in the "M-Y." His thumb hovered over the "send" button for 32.7 seconds before he set the phone down delicately on the floor and fought back the tears.
He wished Sam a happy birthday.
Nine months, four days, eleven hours and twenty one minutes after Sam left for college, Dean lay in a hospital bed listening to his roommate's family read get well cards and talk about all the people who were taking up a donation to help pay for the car he'd just wrecked. He had a new visitor every day.
Dean had John and an empty chair.
One year and seven months after Sam left for college Dean bought his own cell phone. He choose the number and the style and the color and the ring tone. He made the bill go to a P.O. box in California. He made sure the area code was the same as Stanford's. Easy to remember. No long distance if he wanted to call his brother. Sam's phone number was the first number he programmed in.
It was the only number in his phone he never dialed.
The first day John went missing, Dean drove 300 miles to California with his cell phone laying on the passenger seat next to him. He glanced at it a total of 173 times. He checked for missed calls a total of 29 times. He dialed his Dad 13 times. He hovered over Sammy's name twice. He only pressed "send" once.
Sam never picked up the phone.
The third day after John went missing, Dean scrolled through his phonebook looking for contacts who could help. Most of the numbers were out of service. Some didn't pick up their phones. A few told him they couldn't help. A couple said they'd do what they could, but they couldn't make it out to California.
There was only one Dean was too afraid to call.
The sixth day after John went missing, Dean sat in his car outside of Sam's apartment with his cell phone in his right hand. He hadn't talked to Sam in two years. He hadn't talked to John in six days. His phone was beeping with low battery. He sat in the Impala until the phone went dead.
Dean never liked calling ahead.