Drifting on the Wind
Word count: Around 800
Rating: G, Gen, pre-season
Characters: John, Sam, Dean
Summary: One of Dean's earliest memories is of bubbles.
Notes: This is really, really sappy! The kind of sappy you write when you're on a plane flying home from a wedding sappy. (That's my excuse anyway.) Thanks to Shannon for the beta. Any remaining mistakes are mine. Comments are loved.
Drifting on the Wind
Ooo Dean ooO
One of Dean's earliest memories is of bubbles. He never told anyone (because how girly is that?), but he'd never forget it, or trade it. Bubbles.
In his memory, he's standing at the window with his mother, bubble blowers at the ready. They laugh, reaching out to touch the bubbles before they can float away into the garden down below.
He remembers the warmth of the sunlight where it touched his outstretched fingers and scattered rainbows off the soapy spheres. He remembers how it seemed like magic.
It is the only memory he has of his mother's face that he is sure didn't come from staring at a dog-eared photograph. His mother is ethereal in his memory, beautiful blonde hair burnished and haloed in the sunlight, her yellow dress fluttering and her smile wide and open.
And if he closes his eyes, lets the memory take over his senses… If he does that, he thinks he can feel her love – almost like a physical presence – and he knows why his dad does what he does, and why he can't let her go.
He's never told his dad or Sam or anyone else about his memory, yet he shared it as best he could. He shared the experience in the only way he knew how with his little brother and he's pretty sure that Sam understood.
Ooo Sam ooO
Many of Sam's happy childhood memories are of bubbles. Bubbles and his brother.
Dean would mix a little detergent with water and they'd find somewhere high up to sit. Sometimes Dean would hoist him up into a tree, or they'd clamber onto the roof of a caravan, or occasionally they'd get to stay somewhere that had a balcony and Dean would pick him up so he could peer over the railing.
Then Dean would produce a bubble blower and he'd laugh watching as Sam's face lit up. Watching as Sam reached his fingers out toward the bubbles that drifted on the breeze, as if he could touch the rainbows that danced inside.
In all these memories, Dean was always happy, always laughing, and so was he.
Sam had shown Jess one day. They'd just moved into the house (the rent supplemented heavily by Jess' parents) and had stopped for a break in their unpacking. He'd dragged her out to the balcony overlooking the yard and, with soapy water and a makeshift bubble blower made from a drinking straw, they'd sent bubbles out into the remaining sunlight.
"Thank you, Sam. They're beautiful," she'd said, and he remembers how sappy he'd felt when he'd told her that she was just as beautiful.
And she was beautiful, standing there in her old gym pants and a baggy t-shirt, her wild hair coming loose where it had escaped from its ponytail, and her features limned in gold by the setting sun.
Sam never really talked about his family, and Jess had often found her probing questions avoided, but he got the feeling that night that she understood that he was showing her a piece of himself. And that he was making it a piece of them.
Ooo John ooO
When John sees bubbles, he thinks of his family, of the wife he lost and of the sons he raised as best he could.
John remembers the bubbles that showered him, as he'd exited the church that day – a day that seems so distant now – with Mary at his side. Mary, the woman of his dreams, who had become his wife that day, and he remembers sadly how he'd thought that life couldn't get any better than that.
He thinks of all the times he bathed his kids when they were young, splish-splashing about in the water, and especially the way the bath bubbles seemed to enchant Sammy. Then he remembers the day he'd realised exactly why that was.
He'd heard his sons before he'd seen them, their voices and laughter drifting down from the roof of the hotel where they were staying. The owners had put some tables up there and fenced it off, so that the guests could take in what little view the place afforded.
"Here you go, Sammy. That's right."
Something had made John pause, stilling beneath a tree that blocked him from his sons' sight… and then John had been surrounded by bubbles. They'd popped against his skin and clothes and hair, and they flew all around him carried by the breeze. He remembered how Mary used to do the same thing with Dean and he'd felt his heart constrict for a moment in a mix of grief and happiness.
He'd stood there quietly for a long time, listening to his sons' voices until finally the storm of bubbles had stopped raining down.
Like memories drifting on the wind.