A/N: I don't own the characters within this story, they are the property of the brilliant Eric Kripke and the CW. I just took them for a little angsty fun. Also the title and lyrics in the story are the property of Kelly Clarkson. Heard the song and it just screamed Winchester...actually three of the songs did...and this was the first to be ficc'd. Anyhoo, thanks to Jen and Samroz83 for helping me out. Read and review, because I'm really excited to see what you guys think! Now, on with the story!
This could break my heart or save me
Until you let go completely
So here I go with all my thoughts I've been saving
So here I go with all my fears weighing on me
Sam ran his fingers around the grooves of the steering wheel. The Impala's engine had gone cold twenty minutes ago but he didn't care. His fingers begun to trace patterns onto the cool hard leather as he looked out at the road ahead of him. He stopped tracing as his long fingers gripped the wheel.
He wasn't sure if what he was about to do was the right move but he didn't know what else to do. He couldn't stop thinking about him. Every time he heard the creaking of the Impala doors or the rumbling of her engine he was reminded of shining green eyes, freckled skin, and a smile that could stop anyone in their tracks. And he was reminded of how he failed. How he failed the one person who gave up everything to keep him safe.
Reminds him of how three months ago he had to sit by and watch as Hell ripped his brother away from him.
Three months and I'm still sober
Picked all my weeds but kept the flowers
But I know it's never really over
He doesn't really know what Dean would say if he knew what he was about to do. Maybe he'd be pissed yelling at him, "What the hell do you think you're doing with my car," or maybe he'd understand how much this hurt him. He'd tried so hard to save him. Dean had given up his eternal soul for him and he wanted so badly to be the savior for once. For months he'd spent nearly every waking hour researching, desperately trying to find a loophole. All the while Dean idly sat by, doing nothing. God, how it had pissed him off.
In those first few months Sam couldn't count the times he'd begged his brother to fight, but each time Dean would merely shake his head and say, "No, Sammy, fighting isn't worth the cost." Sam had never understood what it had meant until it was too late.
In the end, it was Dean who did the saving. All those months Sam had had no idea of the steep stipulation that came with the Deal. Dean hadn't simply given up the fight, he hadn't merely lain down and waited for death like Sam had accused so many times. Dean had given up his life for Sam and made damn well sure the deal stuck. No weaseling his way out of the deal….that's what that red-eyed bitch had said and Dean had done just that. He'd kept his mouth shut, never aided Sam in his research, he merely continued on with his hunts, trying desperately to return as many of the demons who had escaped hell back its lowest levels.
One year seems like such a long time, but it ended faster than Sam was ready for. The collection day came and Sam had been livid. His emotions ran high that day. He was angry at himself for not finding a way out for Dean. Angry that he had been weak and allowed himself to be in a situation that would cause his brother to have to even consider making that kind of deal. He was angry at Dean for not telling him sooner about the stipulation. He was scared of what would happen to Dean when it was over. But most of all….most of all he was ashamed. Ashamed at himself for all the things he hadn't said to Dean, for all the things Dean would never get to do because of him, ashamed that he got to live while his brother didn't.
Sam hadn't been there when the hounds came for Dean. It wasn't of his own accord either. He'd made damn sure Sam didn't have to see it happen. Dean had given him a beer as he'd tried one last time to find an escape. He'd felt fine when suddenly a wave of dizziness had hit him as he stood. He called out to Dean only to hear him say, "I'm sorry," before the world went dark. He'd woken up in his bed the next morning at sunrise, his head fuzzy and his mouth feeling like cotton. On the bed his brother once occupied was his leather jacket and a note written in Dean's normally sloppy slanted handwriting.
Sorry about the headache. You know it's kinda funny, the one time you get roofied, there won't be any play in it for you. Anyway, I couldn't let you see what was going to happen to me. You and I both knew there was never going to be a happy ending for me. It meant a lot though that you tried at least. I don't want to make this sappy but, Sammy, I want you to know that I don't regret the deal I made. Seeing you alive makes it worth it. I don't want you to beat yourself up over this, ok? It was my choice, you have no reason to blame yourself. Now, I want you to take care of my car. Don't make me come and haunt your ass because if you wreck my baby you'll regret it. Tell Bobby thanks for being there for me...I never really got to tell him in person. It's almost time, so I'll end this. I want you to go on, live that normal life and remember that you were worth it and you're the reason my life finally meant something.
I love you baby brother,
Sam wiped away a tear as Dean's finals words replayed in his mind. He didn't feel worthy of Dean's sacrifice. And because of that, he'd spent the next month after Dean's death in a drunken haze. It took Ellen and Bobby to finally smack some sense into him. In the second month he'd done nothing but hunt, rarely stopping for food or rest. Just trying to finish the job Dean had started.
And now, three months after losing the last family he had, Sam had sent the last of the evil sons of bitches to hell. Yeah, there was still evil to be hunted, but the ones who had been let loose from the gates, the ones that were their responsibility to retrieve, were back where they belonged. But still, without Dean at his side, he felt no satisfaction.
Been a long road since those hands I left my tears in but I know
It's never really over, no
Three months after the worst day of his life, he was still alive. He had a few more scars to add to the already faded ones but he was still breathing. The job Dean had wanted to finish was over but still, Sam found himself unable to move on; unable to stop looking for Dean in every hunt. Three months later he knew it was time he woke up from his hunt filled haze and did what Dean has asked of him. It was time to move on and he only knew of one way to do it.
He started the Impala up once more and headed into Bobby's junk yard.
Three months and I'm getting better yeah
Three months and I still am
Three months and it's still harder now
Three months I've been living here without you
Three months yeah, three months
Three months and I'm still breathing
Three months and I still remember it
Three months and I wake up
Finally after three months of battling with his demons, with his guilt, and with himself, Sam was ready to move on. But as long as he had the Impala with him, he had a constant reminder of what he'd lost.
No, he didn't want to forget about his dad, forget about his brother and the sacrifices they had made, but he couldn't go on knowing that the only reason he was still standing, still living there without them was because they were willing to sacrifice their lives for him. His dad had died for Dean, so that there would be someone to save Sam in the end. But in the end, when the final battle came, there was no Sam going darkside, only a moment of weakness, an ultimate sacrifice for Dean and a year of sadness for Sam. He wasn't doing this to rid himself of the guilt, to rid him of the daily reminder that Dean wasn't alive. He'd always remember the sacrifices made but in an attempt to move on he needed to make a sacrifice himself. Even after three months the car still smelled like Dean but the scent was fading and Sam knew that if he clung to the memories, he'd fade away right along with it.
So, now it was time for Sam to let go. He knew Bobby would take good care of the Impala and in a way he wasn't going against Dean's final wishes. Dean's baby would be looked after and taken care of….just not by Sam.
Sam parked the car and gathered his things. He slipped the keys of the Impala into a large envelope and grabbed Dean's leather jacket. Surprisingly enough, given their size difference, Dean's leather jacket did fit Sam. Dean had always said he liked it bigger on him because it made him look bulkier, but Sam really knew it was because he got it cheaper since it wasn't really his size.
Inside the envelope was a letter to Bobby because Sam knew that if he tried to say these things to his face, he'd start second guessing himself and there would be no release. So what if Bobby may think it to be too soon after Dean's death, but Sam needed to do this now or it would never happen.
He sealed the envelope and slid it under Bobby's door. Sam sighed as he gave the Impala one last look. He put on Dean's jacket and slowly walked by the Impala, his fingers gliding over the cool slick metal.
He smiled to himself as he left Bobby's without looking back.
Three months and I'm still sober
Picked all my weeds but kept the flowers