There is nowhere else to run

He couldn't get past her scars any more than he'd get over the look in her eyes when she realized what he had called her.
Disclaimer: The Winchester boys aren't mine but I'd make Dean wear his boots all the time if they were.

Rating: T (Angst)

Pairings: Sam/OFC, Dean/OFC (Het)

Warnings: None!

Miscellaneous: This was written for the Freefalling in 500 Words challenge on spnhetlove. Obviously, I failed at the word count requirement but Sam is definitely freefalling in angst. It is a sequel to "Backdoor Man" and is set in my Strange Angels 'verse. The lovely embroiderama asked me to write a story from Sam's POV.

Beta: Just me and my own mistakes!

It wasn't the first time Sam watched Dean pick up a blonde in a bar. Sam had seen that grin before, always followed up by Dean sliding a drink across the table before leaning in and whispering something in the girl's ear and one stray light off of the dance floor would illuminate her hair when she leaned her head back to laugh.

But it was the first time Sam had helped the blonde pick out a dress – complete with a swishy skirt and a sweater to match. He felt a little strange when they were picking up the wig, watching her tuck red hair underneath the cap and rolling her eyes when Sam mentioned the Winchester fascination for blondes. She had teetered across the aisle at Payless when they were trying on shoes, stumbling three times right into his arms with a dorky laugh and flushed cheeks.

Just the same way she flushed when she walked out of the bathroom, hands brushing against her hips as the flounce on her dress swirled around her knees, and caught a glimpse of her left arm in the mirror – its puckered white scar peeking out from underneath the cup of the sleeve. One hand came up and covered the mark, her torso twisting away from him, but he could still see white skin between whiter fingers; her eyes were focused on the sweater they'd thrown on the bed when they were pulling her clothes out of the bags.

She never hid herself like that from Dean, a smile flickering across her lips whenever Dean slipped a hand underneath her shirt and started rubbing her stomach – forgetting that Sam was there until his eyes landed on the criss-cross of scars woven on her abdomen with a clench of his stomach and a dry mouth. She'd pull the shirt down fast, arms coming across her belly, but never before her shoulders stiffened.

As she walked past the bed, she reached out and grabbed the sweater; a reflex gesture. She already had her left arm in a sleeve before Sam clutched the collar in his hand and shook his head. You don't have to hide anymore, he had told her. And he pulled the sweater back down her arm while he said it, tossing it on the bed. She worked her lip with her teeth, staring hard at him before her eyes softened and she threw her arms around his neck.

Sam, she whispered against his cheek when she started pulling away – but that didn't keep his arms from tightening any more than the fact that she was dressing up like this for Dean kept his mouth from coming down on hers. Her fingers curled up in his t-shirt, the fabric balled into both fists as he held her upper arms and tried to pull her closer. The scar was softer than he thought it would be, spreading underneath his palm like a sliver of the fire that caused it, and he breathed the first word that popped into his head when she lowered her head and took a step back.

He just stared at a spot over her shoulder, a fuzzy spot on the wallpaper, until she squeezed his hand to get his attention.

It's okay, Sam. It's all going to be okay.

She could have been talking about the kiss or the things he'd left unsaid or the demon slithering through his rib cage and leaving black stains in its wake while it coiled through his vertebrae; her voice was calm all the same, with the same soft cadence she used whenever she was remembering her dad or whispering to Dean when the lights were off. A private voice reserved for private moments.

He swallowed, trying to cover up the aches in his throat, and she smiled at him. Her hand slipped into his, fingers intertwined, and his heart started rattling between pulses when she leaned in close, stepping up onto her tiptoes to brush her lips against his cheek before tripping on her heels and lurching forward with an 'oops' muttered into his chest. That made him laugh, returning her grin and wondering if she wasn't clumsy on purpose sometimes because it made people laugh, and watch her totter out the door in front of him.

They managed to get to the bar without her falling again, even though she still wobbled on her high-heeled shoes down most of the back alley and the sidewalk. He watched her tap fingers on the table lightly, head cocked to one side as she listened to the music and the blonde hair on the wig picked up one of the flickering strobes overhead, and then his phone was buzzing and Dean was cackling in his ear wondering where in the hell they both were and how he was going to kick their asses for ditching him when they should have been helping with the laundry.

Sam met him near the front door and he wasn't surprised when Dean spotted her less than thirty seconds after he slid into a seat – making a crack about how she cleaned up nice when someone convinced her to ditch the granny sweater but there was something like pride in the way Dean said it because strangers' eyes froze on her arm whenever they walked past. Her shoulders stiffened like it was just the three of them back in the room and Sam was catching a glimpse of scars on her thighs until she saw Dean and her whole body relaxed and she started doing something with ice cubes that might have been considered illicit behavior in more conservative states.

Too many beers later, Sam was still trying to wash the taste of her out of his mouth. And maybe he wondered for a couple of sips what it would be like for her to shimmy up into his hips as she dragged him across the dance floor towards a secluded hallway – but he couldn't get past her scars any more than he'd get over the look in her eyes when she realized what he had called her.



The title of this piece is a lyric taken from the song "Insect Mother" by Robyn Hitchcock.

This is a companion piece to "Backdoor Man" requested by the lovely embroiderama. Given that she's pretty much beta'd everything I've written in the last month through my IM spammage, it was the least that I could do.

It's been strange writing a series of stories that explores the Sam/Charlotte/Dean dynamic more intimately than I do in the main storyline. Ultimately, there's only one way this little foray into the 'verse is going to end. Of course, I promised quellefromage and zelostmind that I'd be writing it for them back in April…