Stepping into the Real

Chapter 9

The first thing that Sam noticed as he came to was the smell, a hideous, rank scent that seemed to pervade all his senses, making his mouth water and his eyes hurt. He swallowed hard, his throat rough and harsh, his neck sore; for a moment he lay on the cold hard floor, then he opened his eyes. It was very dark and all he could see was a shadowy figure kneeling over him, hands scrabbling for purchase, checking his head, his heart, his neck. Sam lifted his head slowly, his heart pounding hard in his chest "Dean?"

"Fuck Sammy" hands came around his shoulders and he felt himself being hauled, unceremoniously, to his feet "You were supposed to be the fucking bait, not the victim"

"Dean" he was unable to say another word, just his brother's name over and over again, his arms coming up and embracing his brother, holding him as tight as he could, breathing in the familiar scent of his leather jacket, sweat and cologne, for his part Dean just held him, mumbling something about 'chick flicks' and 'prissy girls' but Sam didn't care, he just held on, the vision of Dean lying dead beginning to recede from his mind as he clutched him harder until his older brother snorted and pushed him away

"Enough Sammy – come on man – I'm ok – you're ok – chill bro"

"Yeah – sure – sorry" Sam brushed his face, not wanting Dean to see his tears, they had done it, he wasn't sure how or why it had happened but it had and he was back with his brother – a brother who had no idea what had happened and, probably, never would "Dean?"

"Yeah Sam"

"I could handle a beer"

"Sure" the green eyes widened with shock but Dean nodded his approval "Sure I know a great bar – good chicks, cheap beer and a pool table with my name on it – you up for it Sammy?"

"Oh yeah" Sam felt a smile split his face in two "Oh yeah – lets go big brother – I'm buying.

Dean Winchester sat on the bar stool, his chin in his hand, fuck he must be drunk – either that or someone had slipped something illegal into his beer because – well Sammy had beaten him at pool, had downed at least five beers and two shots of tequila, had slapped his large hand across a barmaids ass and was now treating the entire bar to a very bad version of Black Sabbath's Paranoid; Dean shook his head and slugged down another beer, a smile playing round his lips – he would have to have a talk with little Sammy – but not now – now he was having too good a time and he needed to decide just who was going to be driving them home when the bar closed.

00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

Jared opened one eye cautiously, his head no longer seemed to hurt, but his mouth was dry and he felt vaguely nauseous; the lights were very bright and he seemed to be lying on his back – no longer in the Impala – he wondered if he had had some sort of weird Sam like vision – and he had ended up in a hospital somewhere in nowhere USA, then he felt gentle hands on his face and a familiar voice said, gently "Jared? Jare?"

Both eyes flew open instantly and he saw a figure squatting next to him, arms supporting him, green eyes wide and questioning, Jared swallowed, the leather jacket, jeans, biker boots all seemed familiar but this – this wasn't Dean; he swallowed hard, a lump forming in his throat, salt burning his eyes

"Jensen!" he threw his arms around the other man "Fuck Jensen" he was aware of Kim shouting that they had ruined the shot again and then he burst into tears, burying his face in Jensen's shoulder, sobbing like a child.

They sat in Jensen's trailer, sharing a bottle of whiskey, gazing out of the window into the darkness, wondering what lay beyond their little world.

"Jesus – Jensen – I can't even begin to tell you…" Jared clutched his hand "It's been – it's been so fucking weird "

"You're telling me" Jensen stared at his friend, some of the brashness, some of the confidence had been knocked out of the younger man but he could see a much more rounded, more mature Jared and he felt a little sad for innocence lost "I don't really know what to say man – he was here – Sam was here and – what he saw – their whole life – we've been portraying their whole life – it doesn't make any sense – it just doesn't"

"Did it really happen Jen?" Jared took a slug of whiskey and looked out into the night again – his thoughts on a black Impala and a lost friend "Or do we both need to be committed?"

"It happened Jare – all we can hope is that they survive it all and come out on the other side" he thought of Sam and their friendship "I hope we do too"

Jared nodded, his hand covering Jensen's, his eyes still on the great beyond "I missed you dude" he whispered

"Yeah – I missed you too" Jensen smiled, sadly, "You always get the lines right"

00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

Six months later

Jensen sat in his trailer, checking his e-mail. It was late and he really should be getting ready for the wrap party but something had told him to do this and he, somehow, couldn't resist the urge. It had been an excellent shoot and they had left the series on a fucker of a cliff hanger which surely would have the fans and the network coming back for more. It had been a long journey and he, for one, was glad for the hiatus which was coming their way. He knew Jared needed the break more than anyone – the last months had been difficult for him, he had taken time to adjust and, every so often, Jensen would catch the younger man staring off into the distance, his mind elsewhere. Jensen shook himself and stabbed at the computer keys – there was an e-mail address he didn't recognise and he clicked the mouse, heart pounding as he read the words in front of him.

'Jensen – I googled you man – and after calling in a few favours – thanks Ash – I finally found you. We did it dude – we totally wasted that son of a bitch – everyone made it out alive – no Armageddon this time – Dean and me, we celebrated with beer and karaoke. I've missed you dude – and that's why I'm sending you this – Dean and me – we've decided that Vancouver is a nice place for a vacation and I just know that you would like to meet him – show him that favourite bar of yours – he still doesn't believe me – so maybe this will open his eyes – I can't wait to see you and to finally meet Jared – feels like we will be stepping into the real dude – get back to me – Sam"

Jensen smiled and hit the reply button.

End