Title: Never Meant to Fail
Characters: Sam Winchester, Dean Winchester
Summary: He sits in a cross-legged position on the floor surrounded by another person's possessions...
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural, nor do I know any of the actors that appear in this fic. This is just for my own entertainment and enjoyment.
Never Meant to Fail
Try as he might, Sam just cannot stop the tears that are steadily sliding down his face. His mind is firmly on depressed, nostalgic mode and there is nothing he can do to divert it. He gets like this from time to time, and once he gets started there is nothing anyone can do to cheer him up.
He had been doing fine all day, woke up in a good mood and was having an even better day. That all changed when he was cleaning out his closet and stumbled upon a box hidden in the back. He knew what was inside said box, and knew the last thing he needed was to open it, but that is what he found himself doing regardless.
Now he sits in a cross-legged position on the floor surrounded by another person's possessions, along with a few of his own. Old cassette tapes litter the carpet around him, varying from Metallica to Ozzy Osbourne to Alice in Chains; all bands he can't bring himself to listen to anymore.
A few t-shirts lie discarded at his side, a few sizes too small for his now bulky frame. They were never his shirts to begin with, but he used to wear them from time to time when he was younger; inside the privacy of his bedroom. He even used to sleep with the black one that has a couple of buttons at the top. His father never knew this, though. At least, not to Sam's knowledge. This shirt was it's owner's favorite, and so it is special to Sam.
Lying wide open on his lap is an old photo album, filled with smiling faces and cherished memories. It is not often that Sam can bring himself to look at these old photographs because they bring back memories of a happier time, as well as pain and guilt. After all the time that has passed, Sam thought things would get easier to deal with, but the pain is just as bad as that day. It is like a wound that refuses to heal; an old wound that re-opens time and time again.
Sam can still remember how all of this started, so vivid within his mind as though it were caught on tape. That night Sam had been so frustrated with his father because he wanted to go to a friend's birthday party but his father wouldn't let him. He was going out hunting, as usual, and wanted Sam to stay at home where he knew he was safe.
Sam clenches his fists in anger and stares his father down; glare fixed firmly on his face. John just lets out a sigh and turns away from his youngest son; returning to the task of gathering his gear and some clothes. The fact that he is now being ignored pisses Sam off more and he turns to find Dean watching from the doorway.
Knowing that his brother isn't going to take his side in this argument, he turns away and moves to stand in his father's line of sight. John drops the things in his hands with a growl and looks at Sam with a warning in his eyes, but Sam doesn't back down.
"Dad, Matt is the only real friend that I have. He's the only real friend that I've ever had. I'm not asking for much, I just want to go to his birthday party. I can just imagine what he'll think if I don't go." Sam pleads once again.
"We talked about this days ago Samuel, you're not going and that's final." John's voice is firm but holds a hint of exhaustion.
"Just this once can you let me do something I want to? I'm thirteen dad; I want to be able to hang out with my friends like normal teenagers do."
"I have heard enough of this; I don't have time for it. You already have my answer and I'm not changing my mind." John says in a tone that ends the discussion and then grabs his duffel bag; exiting the room.
"This isn't fair." Sam mutters under his breath as he and Dean follow their father into the living room.
"There's some money on the counter for a pizza, but other than that just eat whatever you can find in the house. Keep the doors locked and the windows salted. I'll be back on Sunday." With that said, John leaves and Sam and Dean are left alone.
Letting out a huff, Sam throws himself down onto the couch and crosses his arms over his chest like a child throwing a tantrum. Dean lets out a sigh and moves to sit beside his brother; laying a hand on his shoulder. Dean frowns and puts his hand in his lap, however, when Sam shrugs it off.
"Look, Sam, I know you were really lookin' forward to going to that party. I'm sorry you can't do all the things ya want to. I wish you could have a normal teenage life, somethin' you won't look back on and regret or resent, but our lives have never been normal. We can't have what other's do, we just can't." Dean's voice conveys all the comfort that his rejected hand would have.
"It's not fair that we should be punished for what that thing did to our family. For just a couple of hours I wanted to pretend like I was normal; have a portion of what I'm missing out on." Sam says softly; looking like a dejected puppy.
"Do you really want to pretend for the rest of your life Sam?" Dean asks with a shake of his head. "Besides, our life isn't so bad. Once ya accept that this is how things are, the better off you'll be. Anyway, this kinda life is all we've ever known, it's normal for us."
"No, I'm going to have a normal life one day. I'm not going to live this life forever." Sam says stubbornly; with finality. "I don't care what dad says."
Dean's lips turn up into a half smile, feeling neither happy nor sad. "Yeah, I know you will Sammy. If any one of us can have that life, it'd be you."
Sam's eyes light up a second later and he quickly turns to face his brother. "You could take me to Matt's party."
"No, No I can't. You heard what dad said." Dean refuses; looking away uncomfortably.
"Come on, please Dean. Dad will never have to know." Sam pleads, puppy dogs eyes staring up at Dean.
"As much as I'd like to do this for you, Sam, I can't. It may not seem fair now, but other parties will come along and maybe dad will let you go to one of them." Dean tries to reason, but sighs when Sam returns to looking like a kicked puppy. "Why don't we make tonight a brother's night instead? We can order a pizza and watch a movie, or listen to music and play games. What do ya say?"
"Thanks for trying to make me feel better Dean, but I'm just not in the mood. Maybe we can do that another night." Sam says as he stands up and heads into his room.
He hears Dean say he is going to order a pizza just before he shuts the door to their bedroom and sits down on his bed; releasing a heavy sigh. After a few more moments of silence the faint sound of No More Tears by Ozzy Osbourne can be heard through the closed door and Sam knows it will be a while until Dean checks on him.
Unable to just sit around any longer, Sam walks over to the window and slides it open as silently as possible so Dean won't hear him escaping. Part of him just wants to get out of this house for a while, another part wants to see if he can leave and then sneak back in later without getting caught. He also wants to prove his father wrong, that he can go out alone without anything happening to him.
He knows it probably won't be long before Dean notices he is missing and comes looking for him. He will probably be pissed as hell too, being the overprotective brother that he is, but that just makes him love Dean more. Though, he will never tell his arrogant older brother this.
He figures he can be gone for a couple of hours at best before Dean finds him, though. That will be enough time to give him the freedom he is craving; the chance to prove, even to himself, that he isn't as helpless as his father thinks him to be.
Sam isn't sure how long he has been sitting in front of Starbucks but is pretty sure it's been a few hours. Oddly, Dean hasn't found him yet like he expected him to. Which isn't a bad thing, obviously, but he is beginning to get cold.
Deciding he has been gone long enough, Sam stands up and begins heading home. As he walks he wonders what kind of mood Dean will be in when he arrives. He also wonders if Dean will be there when he gets home or if he will still be out searching for him. He knows his brother will be in a worse mood if he comes home to find Sam waiting for him. He couldn't just wait at Starbucks for his brother to find him, though. He was cold and honestly ready to return home. He will just have to deal with whatever kind of attitude Dean will have. He brought it upon himself, after all.
Finally reaching his house, he re-enters through his window after finding the front door locked and walks out into the silent living room. The whole place is dark, so he switches on some lights and heads into the kitchen. On the table is a pizza box, so Sam opens it and pulls out a couple of slices; leaving the cheesiest slices for Dean because he knows he likes those the most.
Moving into the living room, Sam takes a seat on the couch and turns on the television. Settling down into the cushions, Sam watches a re-run of the Simpson's and munches down on his food; waiting patiently for Dean to get home and take responsibility for his own actions.
Sam's eyes flutter open and he groans at the stream of light attacking his vision. Pushing himself into a sitting position, he looks around with sleep clouded eyes and instantly frowns. The television is showing the morning news now and all the lights are still on. Sam finds this extremely weird. Sure, maybe Dean was too pissed last night to deal with Sam, but he would have turned off the lights.
Forcing himself to stand up, he heads to their room and hesitantly calls out, "Dean, are you awake in there? You want some breakfast?"
When he receives no response, Sam opens the door only to find the room empty. The beds still made, indicating that no one slept in them last night. Rushing into the kitchen to check the pizza box, Sam finds only three slices missing, slices in which he ate.
"Where are you Dean, and why didn't you come home last night?" Sam asks the empty room, silence being his only answer.
Not knowing what to do, and knowing there really isn't anything he can do, he sits down at the kitchen table and waits impatiently for Dean to saunter through the front door. An anxious and unsettling feeling is firmly lodged in the pit of his stomach that makes him want to call their dad this moment, but he holds off; hoping Dean will come home on his own soon.
After hours of sitting around, nervously waiting, Sam broke down and called his dad when there was still no sign of Dean. He definitely didn't sound too happy to hear that Dean is missing, and said that he was coming home right that minute. The last thing Sam wants to do is deal with his furious father, but finding Dean is more important.
Sam will admit that he is beyond worried at his point, he is in full on panic mode. Dean hasn't stayed gone this long before, especially when it is just him and Sam at home. He thinks it is his responsibility to take care of his little brother and would never stay away this long. Sam keeps imagining the worst case scenarios, Dean lying in an alley somewhere or in the hospital fighting for his life.
As soon as these thoughts enter Sam's mind, though, he is quick to bash them away. In Sam's eyes, Dean is strong and fully capable of taking care of himself; no one could best him. He doesn't know where Dean is, and he isn't about the condition he is in, but him lying beaten and broken somewhere just doesn't seem possible.
Sam tenses when he hears his dad's truck outside, and prepares himself for the yelling that surely will ensue. Only a moment passes by before John is barreling through the front door with jerky, angry movements. He doesn't say a word to Sam as he passes by and walks into his room to drop off his things. Sam remains where he stands, afraid that even the slightest of movements will set his dad off.
John returns from the room moments later and stops in front of his youngest son. Sam slowly raises his gaze to his father's intense one and hesitates to say anything, afraid it will come out wrong and start a fight.
"So, let me get this straight," his father says slowly, "you left this house, even though I specifically told you not to, and you think your brother went out looking for you."
"Yes sir." Sam replies automatically. "I'm pretty positive that he went looking for me."
"Okay and you haven't seen him since then."
"That's right, he hasn't come home."
John's lips are set in a grim, tight line as he brushes past Sam and heads toward the front door with his keys in hand.
"Where are you going?" Sam asks stupidly.
"To find your brother," John responds rather coldly; slamming the door behind him.
Sam lets out a heavy, guilt ridden sigh as he lays the photo album on the floor and pulls his knees up to his chest. That night, much to Sam's disappointment, his dad had returned without Dean. He had searched everywhere but Dean was nowhere to be found. Sam could see how worn out and worried his dad was. Hell, he had been freaking out as well.
All they could do was go to the police station and file a missing persons report. That didn't stop his dad from searching every day, though. Hunting for whatever killed their mother was put on hold at that time; all John could focus on was finding Dean.
Three months had gone by with no sign of Dean. Sam had become a complete wreck. Days were hell and nights were worse. It was hard for him to sleep in the same room he shared with his brother. All the room did was remind him of Dean. All of Dean's stuff remained where he left them, and his bed still held his scent.
Nightmare plagued Sam in his sleep and while conscious he was constantly reminded of what was missing. No matter where he turned he could find no peace and he had the sinking feeling that he would have to get used to it; this was what his life would be like from now on. He wouldn't allow himself to dwell on these disheartening thoughts, though, he never lost hope. He truly believed Dean would return to them, he was sure of it.
Things between him and his dad had changed, though. His dad could no longer seem to look him in the eyes. In fact, he barely talked to him. He knows his dad blames him for what happened. He has never said this to Sam, but he knows that is how his father feels. His dad's body language, and the look in his eyes, tells him as much. He can't blame his dad, though, because he can't help but blame himself as well. He knows it is his fault. He just doesn't know how to live with this knowledge.
Sam can still recall the day an officer showed up at their house. His dad had made him leave the room but he stayed around the corner; listening to their conversation. What he heard still haunts him to this day. The officer had informed his dad on a killer in the area that they had brought into custody. They had found four bodies buried in the woods behind the man's house; they had confirmed Dean to be one of them.
It was a few days later that Sam learned exactly what this guy had done. After abducting Dean, he took him back to his house and chained him in his basement, where he proceeded to beat him. Dean had also been sexually assaulted. After the man was done 'playing' with him, he slit Dean's throat and watched him die.
Dean was just another victim of a mad man who killed teenagers, boys and girls alike. Sam had always been afraid one of those supernatural creatures they hunted would take his brother away from him, but in the end it was just some sick and twisted human being.
Sam is now nineteen years old and Dean has been gone for six years. He knows that he will forever live with the guilt of getting his brother killed. Those who know what truly happened try to tell him that it wasn't his fault, but he knows it was. He is the reason his brother is dead and there is just no forgiveness for that.
There are many things Sam regrets; many things he wishes he would have done. He can't help but think that if he hadn't snuck out that night Dean would still be alive. He often wonders who his brother would be today. Would he have a steady job and a family of his own or would he have followed in their father's footsteps and became a hunter?
We never got to have that brother's night, I wish I would've taken him up on his offer, Sam thinks somberly to himself; bringing further down into depression. Looking down at a picture of Dean and himself, taken five months before Dean's death, he gets teary eyed because his brother is actually smiling in the photograph. As Dean grew up he formed a hatred for pictures and absolutely refused to smile for them. The only one who could get him to smile was Sam.
Running his fingers over his brother's face; a tiny smile forms on Sam's face. "God, I miss you so much," he whispers to the silent room before placing everything back in the box and returning it to the closet.
Even though six years have gone by the wound on Sam's soul is still too fresh. He can't look at Dean's stuff without living in a permanent state of depression, and that is why it is all locked away in his closet. He honestly doubts the wound on his soul will ever heal, though, and the pain he feels will never ease. Sam didn't just lose his brother; he lost part of his soul.
As it goes
By the story that's already told
Comes a time when we all must let go
What happened to the story?
Discontent it cuts inside
It's not meant to be this lonely
We were never meant to fail
Never Meant to Fail - Alex Lloyd