Disclaimer: I do not own "Supernatural", or any of the characters portrayed on that show. The title of this story comes from a song with versions by Celine Dion, Natalie Cole, and many others. The song lyrics in italics at the top of the chapters are from "Far Away" by Nickelback.
Dean makes toast, sliding the two slices of generic white bread into the tiny dinged toaster John dug up at the pawnshop. As he watches the bread darken through the scratched glass, Dean knows full well he has no intention of eating. He admits to himself how dissatisfied he is with how his father is handling this situation.
Because that's exactly what this is-a situation. Temporary. Non-permanent. One day and John has already anointed the small motel room with toaster and fridge, microwave and freezer. Dean does not want this to feel like home or become home in any way.
The toaster dings, but Dean does not remove his breakfast façade. His feet now propped up on the old wooden coffee table, Dean realizes this is the longest he and Sam have gone without seeing each other since the night Dean pulled Sam from the wreckage of Jess's demise.
Dean blames the emptiness inside on hunger, but when he removes the toast from the toaster, it is to throw it in the trash.
Sam stares at the tky, but his imagination has abandoned him and he cannot see anything in the cloud but rain. Lightly adjusting his weight on the hammock, he rests his hands on his stomach, lightly tapping out a Led Zepplin melody.
Inside Missouri washes dishes from the breakfast Sam couldn't eat. Through the window she watches Sam gaze upward, her hands slipping in the warm soapy water as Sam shifts onto his side and their eyes meet. Missouri waves, a soft sweet smile on her lips, and Sam waves back as though through deep water, each movement an eon and energy he does not possess.
Three days, Missouri thinks as she keeps her sad gaze on Sam. It has only been three days.
Dean stretches out on the relatively comfortable single bed, the covers crumpled on the floor by a fitful failed attempt at sleeping the night before. The cell phone is unfurled in his hand before the first ring, and a wide smile spreads across Dean's face as Sammy flashes on the Caller ID.
"Hey Sammy." Dean grins, the smile transmitting through his voice along a wireless path to Sam under a tree so many miles away.
"Hey Dean. And it's Sam." Letting out a soft, affectionately exasperated sigh, Sam curls up in the hammock. "You answered fast."
"Yeah, well, you know…" Dean trails off.
"Yeah, I know." Shifting his weight again, Sam swings his legs to the side, the sturdy rope closing around him as he sits upright. How are you doing, Dean?"
"Fine." It is the answer Sam expected and the one he would never believe. But he knows it is all Dean can give right now. Sam can picture his brother extended on the bed, his fingers fidgeting with his jacket as he struggles to avoid finding the right thing to say, his breathing slightly hitched as he shoves the emotion back into his chest. "You ok?"
"Missouri's taking good care of me," Sam answers softly, avoiding the question in his own way. "She dragged me away from the books actually. She told me my eyes would melt straight off my face if I didn't stop searching through all those dusty books."
"Yeah, Dad did the same to me. Except without the melting eyes threat. Dean chuckles, taking comfort in Sam's echoing laugh, and adjusts the pillows behind his head. "He went to meet with some old friend of his to try to get some more books."
Over the phone, Sam suddenly hears a door opening and shutting, and a muffled greeting in his father's voice. "And now he's back," Dean concludes. "He says hi. He brought some books and he needs to talk to me, so…I guess I should go."
Sam does not comment on the wistfulness in Dean's voice, nor the way the last statement was voiced so achingly like a question on the inevitable. "I know you have to go," Sam answers softly, letting the wistfulness overtake his voice as well. "We'll talk tomorrow."
"We will, Sammy." Dean finds he cannot help the overwhelming protectiveness his words convey, the pet name combined with the assurance of contact. His father is listening, and Dean is suddenly so overwhelmed he knows he has to get off the phone before he says things he hasn't spoken in years. "Bye."
"Bye Dean." The phones click off in unison.
It's been a while since I've tried a chapter story, so I hope you guys are liking it. Please please leave reviews-I love to hear what everyone has to say, and they inspire me to keep writing. I promise in later chapters it will be revealed what exactly happened to keep the boys apart. I also promise Dean and Sam will have many conversations on things we all wish they would talk about---if you have anything you'd like to see them talk about, leave me a note in your review and let me know. I can't promise any or all will make it in the story, but I bet some will. And for those of you who have been leaving me such amazing reviews, telling me you're a fan of my work, and that you've read everything I've written, encouraging me to write more, thank you can't even begin to cover it. You all are amazing.