Title: But One to the Wind
Category: Gen episode tag
Word Count: 442
Characters: Dean and Sam
Spoilers: "What Is And What Should Never Be"
Summary: Sam asks him every question but one.
Disclaimer: The following characters and situations are used without permission of the creators, owners, and further affiliates of the television show, Supernatural, to whom they rightly belong. I claim only what is mine, and I make no money off what is theirs.
Sam asks him about it. What Mom said when she saw him. If Jessica loved her engagement ring. How Carmen looked when she smiled.
Sam asks about Dad as the miles spin past them in a car that was once their father's who died making a deal with a devil and not of stroke so quiet and peaceful in his bed. Dean tells Sam what it felt like to be able to stand at a grave of granite and not at a pyre of smoke. He wishes now that he had a place to mourn.
Sam asks about Mom when they stop to eat at a restaurant with food greasy and hot that tastes nothing like a sandwich she made with her own two hands. Dean tells him how she looked with her hair pulled back and dressed up pretty and how she had let him take care of her as she had cared for him as a child. If he closes his eyes, he can still feel her hand, soft, against his cheek.
Sam asks about Jessica when they go to sleep for the night in beds without the women they could have had by their sides. Dean tells him that Jessica liked to tell jokes at dinner just to see Sam choke on his drink and she loved Sam so much that she glowed with it. When he looks over to Sam, Dean sees his brother smiling through the tears in his eyes.
Sam asks him questions that never end, and Dean answers every one with patience and precision. The questions help him to remember. They hurt with the could have beens and should have beens, but he doesn't want to forget. He doesn't want to forget the perfectly placed photos in the living room and the sight of Sam's college books peeking from his suitcase. He wants to always remember the feel of Carmen wrapping her arms around him in their bed and what it meant to be able to greet the morning, drinking coffee with his mother.
Sam asks him every question but one. He never asks why. He never asks Dean why he chose to give it all up because Sam already knows the answer.
But, if Sam were to ask Dean what made him come back to a life of pain and fear, where darkness lives in their rooms and death sits in their backseat, Dean would look at him and say, "You. You're my brother and everything that's real to me, and I'll always come back."
And Sam would smile and Dean would laugh and every question Sam had would be answered at last.