Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural
Author's Note: These one-shots don't even begin to cover the fall-out of "In My Time of Dying." It's just something that has been on my mind. Any healing that is does... has to be done with the entire family present.
Thank you for reading.
They'd burned the body.
They'd stood there and watched as fire consumed yet another chunk of their lives.
The tears had slid down his cheeks without permission. His breathing had betrayed him and soon the tears were accompanied by sobs.
He'd stared at the flickering flames and cried; cried for all their senseless arguments, cried for all the years they'd lost, cried for all things stolen from them...
He'd cried for a man he'd never really known, for a man he'd loved more than he'd known...
Dean only stared at the fire, the dancing flames reflected in his eyes.
So Sam had cried enough for the both of them. He'd cried until he couldn't see anymore, until his voice faded, until his knees gave out and he sank to them. He'd cried until Dean's hand had found his shoulder and he'd been able to turn into his brother. Until he'd felt Dean's hands slowly run through his hair. Until the fire had turned to embers and Dean's hands had slid under his arms and hauled him up. Until exhaustion had ushered him into the welcome blankness of sleep.
Bobby's hand on his shoulder startled him, made him blink at the older man who was saying something to him, to them...
Dean stood at his side-- silently. Dean had been very silent lately, very still. His body was healing quickly, his spirit not so much. Sam had tried to talk to him, tried to get Dean to open up to him, but the effort had been fruitless.
Dean's response to his questions, to his nagging, to his pushing had deepened the growing horror Sam felt.
There had been no anger in response, not even a glare, nothing but silence. Dean had sat there, silently taking in everything Sam had to say, but he made no move to respond, no move to leave the room-- no move at all.
He'd sat there and stared at Sam with eyes so empty the younger man had wanted to scream.
Bobby motioned for them to follow him. He was taking them to the Impala. He'd started work on it, he said, there was still a lot left to do...
The older man's voice carried on, but Sam's gaze
fastened on Dean as they rounded the corner of the house and
approached the Imapala.
A week ago he'd looked at the car and dreaded the fury his brother would unleash at the sight of it-- now he hoped for nothing more than to see it. A flicker of it even; he hoped to see something, anything on his brother's face...
This stillness, this quietness that had enveloped Dean was terrifying him. His brother spoke only when necessary, he answered questions softly, he stared off into space, he didn't ask questions, didn't initiate anything-- no conversations, no decisions... he'd retreated to a place where Sam could not reach him. A place Sam couldn't even see.
And even as they stood in front of the devastation that had once been his brother's precious baby, that had once been Dad's car and studied the mess it was in-- there was nothing on his brother's face. Dean stared at the Impala with emotionless, oddly dark eyes.
Somehow, the Impala managed to look worse than the last time Sam had seen it. Bobby had stripped it and was apparently working on the frame. There were tables set up around it with tools and parts on them. There were tarps and a creeper nearby too. The area was ready to be used, ready to restore the Impala... and Dean gazed at it all with disinterest.
Bobby was talking again. Something about food and inside and getting late...
Sam turned to follow the older man, but stopped, because Dean did not move.
His brother remained still, his eyes on the Impala.
Sam eyes met Bobby's and after a moment the older man nodded, leaving the brothers alone.
Sam shifted and watched Dean, as Dean watched the Impala.
A moment later Dean began taking a slow, deliberate steps towards the wreckage.
Sam watched as his brother reached the car; watched as Dean extended a hand out to the wreckage and touched the metal of the frame; watched as Dean slowly wrapped his hand around the ruined steel.
And suddenly Sam couldn't breathe, because something flashed across his brother's face, so quickly he couldn't identify, but it something nonetheless.
Without realizing it, he'd moved closer. Close enough to see that Dean had a white-knuckled grip on the metal, close enough to see the unfocused intensity burning in his brother's gaze.
Dean came into sharp focus as the world blurred around him. He couldn't breathe, he couldn't speak. Dean was looking at something Sam couldn't see; his minds eye turned to a world Sam never knew.
His brother was standing at the edge of a precipice looking down and Sam had no idea what to do, no idea if there was anything he could do...
"Dean." He whispered... a reassurance, a question, a plea...
A jagged noise left his brother's throat, so low Sam barely heard it.
"We... we can fix it..." he offered softly, but the words sounded hollow even to him.
They couldn't fix this.
It wasn't about the Impala.
Their world would never be right again.
His breath hitched suddenly. God... things would never be right again...
"Dean..." he whispered again; lower this time, no reassurance, only a question, only a plea...
He needed his brother.
But Dean remained silent, without moving. His head bowed slightly towards the Impala, his hand still fisted around the metal...
He needed Dean to wake up from whatever dream-state he'd fallen into. He needed his brother shake the silence and stillness off and tell him what to do, where they were going... what was going to happen now...
He needed Dean to be okay.
Because losing Dad made it hard to breathe, made it hard to think; losing Dad shook the foundation of everything he'd ever known, it hurt in a way he could never have imagined... but Dean... he needed Dean to be okay, because anything less-- because a world where Dean wasn't-- he didn't know how to breathe or think or even be in a world like that...
The moment stretched and pulled and enveloped them both blurring time and then Dean moved; shifting his weight forward, bringing his other arm up.
Reverently he leaned against the frame and lowered his head to rest on the Impala before holding still again.
Sam stared at the gesture, something tightening in his chest. There was nothing Sam could say to him right now. Nothing that would matter.
There was a connection between the Impala, Dad, and Dean that Sam had never been privy to. A bond that was born before his memories began.
He swallowed hard and slowly leaned back against the wreckage, then he shifted closer to Dean, so their shoulder's were touching.
There was nothing he could say, but there was something he could do.
He could wait.
He could stay.
He closed his eyes and lowered his head...he didn't know, would never really know how long they stood there like that... time melted, leaving them alone with the memories.
They and the Impala...
The sun had long since met the horizon when he felt Dean shift a little. It wasn't much, but it was something other than the stillness and Sam lifted his head to look over at his brother.
"We'll fix her," he offered again, his voice surprisingly deep, as if he'd been crying.
The words had slipped out, he didn't know what else to say...
The silence stretched and expanded and he resigned himself to more waiting when Dean shifted again and lifted those dark, hazel eyes.
Sam felt that gaze like a punch to gut; it left him winded and shaky.
Dean's lashes clumped together, tear streaks were visible down his pale cheeks and his eyes were so somber they made Sam's heart clench...
His brother had been crying.
Silent, still tears while he'd stood there and said nothing.
But the eyes were dry now. They were dry and steady; glimmering with something Sam couldn't really identify... but rejoiced in anyway, because it was something and anything was better than the emptiness of the past week...
Dean's voice startled him. It was low and scratchy and somehow it sounded so young.
"She'll... run again... but she won't be... fixed... she'll never... be right again..."
Sam swallowed hard, tears burning his eyes. His hand was on Dean's shoulder suddenly, gripping it as tightly as Dean held on to the Impala, "No," he agreed softly, "... but she'll... run, right?" he whispered, "She's been... through so much... this... it looks bad... it looks... impossible... but... we can do it... we can... she'll-- she'll run again..."
Sam felt a tear slip down his cheek.
Dean's gaze went back to the Impala. It rested there and Sam waited, his hand on Dean's shoulder-- he stayed.
Slowly, Dean pulled away from the car, dropping his arms to his side and lifting his head to look at Sam.
Sam watched a tear slip down his brother's cheek.
"Yeah, Sammy..." he murmured, "... she'll run again..."