Disclaimer: Still own nothing.
Author's Note: Because it seems rather silly for this series to continue to be called Future's So Bright... what with recent developments and all, and because it's already so long, this is going to be the final chapter. But, oh, do not despair! There will be a sequel, named Lineage, which should begin very soon, and, like this story, will, I promise, have tons of fun and humorous parts interwoven around the angst.
The house is quiet, Dean and John having left hours before, barely a word spoken between the three as they headed out, leaving that dreaded journal in his hands.
Sarah, as has been the case for so long now, is in bed, alone. Crying, no doubt, maybe fitfully sleeping through the tears. And Rachel left two days ago to head back to school, finally agreeing to, at the very least, try and finish out the semester.
And Maya is, still and always, he reminds himself, gone.
So the house echoes with the sort of silence it hasn't experienced in twenty years time, not since before he and Sarah moved in, made it their home, the place to raise their family, host parties and get-togethers, watch as five sets of tiny feet went from tapping out first steps to pounding viciously on the hardwood floors.
Even just a couple of weeks before silence had been a foreign state for this home, this very room, as John and Maya moved furniture to the corners, supervised, and giggled, as Samantha taught Michael how to plie.
At night, things tended to be quieter, especially since Rachel left and took her too loud emo music with her. But there was still…life, still a sense of joyous, or perhaps irately adolescent, noise to come. Now there was nothing.
So Sam doesn't go to bed, can't. Not just because he knows that sleep will certainly not come, not with that terrible buzzing lack of sound in his ears. And not just because he has no desire to melt into his wife's bitter pain, let her tears lull him into fitful slumber, her display of grief mocking his inability to so much as feel that same loss.
No, he doesn't go because that awful little leather-bound book simply won't let him.
He's always prided himself on minding his kids' privacy, never being one of those parents who rifles through sock drawers looking for condoms, or sneaks into their email accounts to check correspondences. He's always trusted them, even when they may not have really deserved it. And for some reason, though she's not here to get angry and yell, slam her door and scream right through it in that angry teenage fashion, even though she's not here to call it such, reading her journal now still feels like a betrayal, like a break in trust.
It was left for John, she left it for John. And that smarts like a slap across the face. Not just because he's her father, but because he'd said, time and time again, you can talk to me, come to me. I know.
John didn't have any psychic dreams. John hadn't been haunted in his sleep by a murderous demon. John didn't know about all the stuff Sam did.
But maybe that was the point. John didn't have any psychic dreams. John hadn't been haunted in his sleep by a murderous demon. John didn't know about anything. John was simply her best friend, confidant. Her only real tie to the sane world.
And because of that, perhaps she thought it'd be easier, safer, to leave her journal in his hands. But the fact still remains that John is…John. Too sweet and too careful to bring himself to read what he must have thought was his cousin's suicide note.
He couldn't read it. But he believed that Sam could. He convinced him, if only with his large sad eyes, his utterly sincere conviction, that someone had to do it. That Sam was stronger, braver, somehow capable. That, no matter whom Maya had left this awful legacy to, it was only right for Sam to read it first.
So he does, flipping slowly, cautiously through the messy scrawls, too big letters written in child's print by a young woman's hand.
He takes in every detail, reading, rereading, scouring each and every entry for some clue, some hidden message or meaning. But most are of no real consequence, visions of things past, glimpses of those to come. An argument between him and Sarah when they were first starting out, first deciding to live together despite barely knowing each other at all. A longwinded description of Grandpa John, sitting alone in the dark with a bottle of bourbon before him – no action, save long sips and contemplative stares.
And there were others, more positive in nature, dreams he could tell she had enjoyed, had hoped they wouldn't end, just by the whimsical tilt to her letters, run-on quality of the sentences. One, dated some four months prior, talks about Dean's fiftieth birthday party – a surprise even for the man no one could keep a secret from, a surprise even to himself, she notes, as Uncle Dean never felt younger, more alive.
Every detail of that night Sam can remember clear as day, the simple sort of joy their family would undoubtedly never be able to regain. It was the last time they all were together – Rachel returning for the event as well – and though it was only last month, it now seems like decades ago.
Deep into the book he finds a dream he never expected to, a description of a day he thought he knew so well. It's a vision of her own birth, detailing in the most vivid detail how utterly calm and at peace Sarah had been – in part likely due to drugs – during the scheduled C-section. She wrote about the joy and relief, palpable in the room upon welcoming another girl into their family. Her mother's eyes, wide pupils blanketing over the color of her irises, exuding love, life.
He reads it slowly, soaking it up, taking in every detail he'd long ago forgotten or was too distracted to notice, comes to realize that he had not been nearly as present or aware as he should have been that day, so much of her retelling surprising him, sparking some sort of I knew that, I should have known that chide in his brain.
Nearly an entire page is devoted – in her wide and misshapen letters – to Sam first holding her, rocking slowly, swinging from side to side at his hips in an often rehearsed motion, staring haplessly at her tiny pink form. He tries to remember just what that felt like, to hold his baby in his arms for the first time, but it was so long ago, in another time, another world.
Rachel holds her too, a moment Sam does clearly recall, her sitting by her mother's side on her hospital bed, Sarah's arm falling lazily round the little girl's hip. It's the next day, very next morning, and he distinctly remembers him not having slept at all, sitting either by his wife's bedside, watching as her chest rose and fell with steady breaths, or standing at the nursery window, watching as his yet unnamed daughter's tiny torso did the same.
Yet this is the memory he holds so dear, remembers so well, with such clarity. Rachel smiling bright, turning her round little face up to him and saying, sure, she can come home with us before scooting further into Sarah's side, all three of his girls huddled into one sweet and cozy mass. He smiles despite himself, expression feeling foreign on his face.
But that's where the good times end, remembrances of a birth she should never have recalled being replaced by visions of a death she never should have seen.
The date on the next page reads September 14, day before she died, day before she drove herself into a wall, fast enough to ensure that whatever she had seen would never come to be. This is the entry that seems to stop his heart from beating, stills his breath, catching it tightly in his chest.
There's so much blood, all over the floor, all over my hands. All over her. But I barely even notice, just keep on going, cutting deeper, like I'm trying to cut her heart right out of her chest. Maybe I am. I don't know. I don't why I'd do such a thing. I don't know why I will.
But she makes me mad, so mad. Always telling me what to do and how to do it. And the things she says about him…I know they're true. But I also know she's a liar. I hate her. I can't stand to look at her. I can't stop cutting, can't slice deep enough, can't get enough of her blood on my hands. I can smell the copper.
And I like it. And I hate it. Because she's my sister.
But then he shows up again. And he says they're traitors to the cause, all of them. She is too, even though she had nothing to do with his death.
It doesn't make any sense. He won't even tell me what the cause is. He never tells me anything.
He says he's shown me all I need to see, and that's all I need to know. But I don't even know what it is I've seen, or what, of all I've seen, he's shown me. Because Soren used to say that no matter how I got my gift, who gave it to me or why, it's mine, and I can control it. I used to think he was right.
But he tells me different, says I only see what he wants me to.
I had that dream again, after all her blood drained out onto the floor, I had the dream with him and Dad and Grandma Mary. The one where she dies. And he talks to her before the fire starts, or she talks to him, like she knows him, like she's known him all along. I don't know why I can't hear what they're saying, can't make it out. Maybe it's just because he doesn't want me to.
But once the fire starts and the baby, my dad, cries, he comes over to me and I can make out his words perfectly. He tells me I'm his, I belong to him. She said so. And I know, I just know that it's true.
Sam closes the book, fast and hard, presses his eyes shut tight. And he moves quickly, rising from the couch and rushing into the kitchen, gathering the lighter fluid and matches from the top of the pantry – away from tiny hands though all the hands in their house had been too large for too long now. And he tosses the journal into the sink, dousing it with far more fluid than necessary, enough to create flames that will forever pock and scar their wall and ceiling.
He burns it, every bit of it. The entry about Dean having a Winchester rifle backfire into him when he was 14, laughing maniacally through the pain at the irony of it. The one about Sam dropping Rachel, slippery from her bath, only once, it only happened once, when she was barely a month old, and no one had been there to see, no one had known. The vision of a pedophile being sent to prison, the outcome of one of his finest cases, helped by a psychic tip from his own daughter.
The entry about her birth, in all it's beautiful detail that he couldn't stand to recall.
And the one about her death, several pages later, the one he hadn't even turned to, hadn't known existed. The one he hadn't even thought to look for.
The pages brown and curl, thick burning flesh scent of melting leather covering and concealing all the truths that had been shown to her, that she had tried so desperately to show them all.