Chapter 23 - Heading into the Future
Dean's ankle is bandaged and Sam's checked his ribs and wrist three times before he finally agrees to sit down and listen. "So yeah, I went for a run, just a short one and then I walked down to do some shopping. I know it's corny, but it's Jordan's birthday, so I thought I'd make what Pastor Jim used to make him and I was just on my way out when this dog hit me. I didn't see it coming, I tripped off the edge of the kerb, hence the ankle and wrist and the dog landed on me. Nothing major, I just slipped really."
"You went running on your own?"
"Yeah, but it's no big deal. You know Jordan and I have been running, well I didn't even try to run that far. I just thought that maybe it was time I wasn't so reliant on everyone else, I guess."
"You didn't tell me you'd been running. Why not?"
"The time just never seemed right and... and... I didn't want you to think I was training for a hunt, not after everything I said to you about you going hunting and it was never about that anyway."
"So what was it about?"
"Getting out, feeling better I suppose. I dunno."
"So Jordan's birthday, huh?"
"So how old's that make him?"
"Old! Leave it at that for your own safety."
"What did Pastor Jim used to do for his birthday?"
""Mexican tortillas and a chocolate cake. It was his favourite when he was a kid. I just thought... you know..."
"It was a nice thought. I didn't know it was his birthday. I probably owe him an even bigger apology."
"I told him he was an idiot and he was irresponsible."
"Because you'd gone out and he didn't know where and I was worried."
"That's stupid, Sam."
"Well... I didn't know you'd been out at all, let alone so far, or on your own. Maybe if you'd told me... well then maybe I wouldn't have been so concerned."
"In which case, sorry and I'll apologise to Jordan too. Done now, can I get up and get on.?"
"No. We still need to talk."
"What about Sam?"
"What we're going to do from now on?"
"The future. Are we staying here?
"What do you want to do, Sam?"
"I want to know what you want?"
"What? Look, we could head for Stanford or back to Sarah or..."
"No. I want to know what you want." Sam sits down next to Dean's feet on the couch , stopping him from moving to stand up.
"I...," he sighs, "Sam, I don't know."
"Tell me what you don't want then." Sam watches as Dean looks anywhere but at him, as his hands begin to twist, and he's reminded of the days back in the care home when Dean first started to recover, but the least thing could make him anxious. "Dean? Anything, it doesn't matter."
"Sam..." he closes his eyes, "I don't know what I can do if I don't hunt... it's not a matter of wanting to hunt, it's about what else is there for someone like me? I'm not like you, Sam, I'm not clever. I'm not the sort of person who inspires trust in other people. I'm not someone who gets a break. There's no point in my wanting something because anything I want won't happen. I should stick to what I've got, what I know."
"Do you really believe all that? Really believe it?" He gets his answewr as Dean looks away. "You know something . Your life sucks and sure there are no guarantees that you'll get what you want in life, but there is one way to guarantee you won't and that is to not even try."
"No, Dean, you think you're not clever. Why? You know more languages than most Americans, you know how to fix the Impala and make stuff like the EMF and I don't know what else and you can research stuff and you plan and organise hunts and draw conclusions and associations that other people couldn't and..."
"...and what good is any of that in the real world Sam? Honestly, it's no use, is it?"
"You're wrong, you could get a translating job with the languages."
"Get real Sam, knowing a bunch of dead languages and bearing in mind I concentrated on learning ritualistic stuff - I'm hardly conversant in any of them at a useful level."
"Fixing cars, you could get a job as a mechanic."
"I know about the Impala, dude - modern cars, I don't know shit."
"So you learn... start with the classics, the stuff you know and learn the rest..."
"How Sam? Who on this earth would be stupid enough to give me a job? I'm... I don't know... a drifter, I guess is the nicest way to put it."
"But you don't have to be... not anymore... not... not unless it's what you want. Look at Jordan, he's older than you and even he's managed to get and hold down a job."
"It's not a real job though, is it? Same as yours. You got them because your boss felt sorry for us and knew you were stuck here because of me."
"Dean, they are real jobs. Maybe you nearly dying to save her daughter got us the jobs, but they are real jobs, real work, she will replace us if we leave. You can get a job, if that's what you want. People do trust you, when you don't do the whole idiot act or the incorrigible flirt, when people see you, they trust you. We'll find someone who'll give you a chance. You just need to decide what to try. You could do anything."
"Loads of people do training on the job now. You could..."
"Sam, what do you want to do?"
"I want to go... no Dean, no, this is not about what I want , it's about you."
"It's alright saying that now, but what if I want the wrong thing?"
"What do you mean the wrong thing? How can you want the wrong thing?"
"I want to be in the same town as you," Dean sounds almost ashamed as he says it.
"Yeah, so that's good for me too. Hell I was hoping we could share a place to live. So that's not the wrong choice, so we're okay so far."
"What if..." he sighs
"Dean, what if what?"
"What if what I want and what you want don't happen in the same town?"
"We work it out, we find a way round it. And that is easier once we know what you want or even where you want to be."
"Where would you like to be?"
"No. Dean, you get to choose... look to start with, we can stay here or Bobby has offered the three of us room at his or we can go somewhere new."
"What does Jordan say?"
"Funnily enough it's the one thing we agree on... you get to work it out."
"Are you up to cooking or do you want me to do it? We better get a move on as the others will be down before long."
"On second thoughts, you rest your ankle there, keep it up and I'll get some ice and while you're there you can get to thinking about all of our possible futures."
Author's Notes: Firstly a big thank you to everyone who stuck with the story to the end. A huge thank you to everyone who reviewed, it really is much appreciated. The story ends here because the future is open for them, all we need to know is that they can get better and move on. If you want to know what I think, I think Dean and Jordan will continue to hunt but part-time but as for what they'll do with the rest of their time... who knows! Thank you again.