LEAVE YOUR MESSAGE
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters from Supernatural. They belong to Kripke. This is done strictly for fun, not profit. Also, if anything seems familiar, I don't own it.
A/N: Okay, so this little plot bunny came and whapped me upside the head this morning, and I just had to write it. Also, I think it's kind of ironic on the timing of it. Plot bunny…Easter bunny… Anyway, I hope you like it. By the way, Happy Easter to all of you who celebrate the holiday.
Spoilers: Up to Season 3 up through "Mystery Spot". Nothing REALLY revealing though. If you've watched the preview for the episode, then you pretty much know all the spoilers for this story.
It had been almost a week since Dean had been taken by the hellhounds, and Sam still felt numb. He still couldn't believe that his brother was gone. That he hadn't been able to find something that could save his brother. But he couldn't and Dean had slipped away that night to go pay his due without even a look back. Sam took another sip of beer and then looked forlornly down at the empty bottle. It was Dean's favorite and Sam's heart ached that his brother wasn't here to drink it with him.
Sam looked up when he heard boots on the wooden porch and followed them up to see Bobby looking down at him with a sad expression.
"How long have you been out here?" Bobby asked with a hint of concern in his voice.
Sam squinted as he tried to remember and then looked down at the empty bottles sitting beside him along the edge of the house. "Uh, as long as it takes me to drink five beers I guess," he said his words slurring slightly.
Bobby just frowned. He'd been gone for over a week trying to find Sam. He had known that they had been down in Georgia when Dean's deal came due and he had wanted to be there knowing that Sam would probably take it pretty hard. But once he had gotten there, he hadn't been able to find them. Now, after he had been worried sick that Sam had went and done something stupid he couldn't help but feel a touch of anger to come home and find the idgit sitting on his front porch drinking beer. He took in Sam's haggard appearance and red, swollen eyes and the anger faded into a bitter sadness. "Come on. Let's get you inside," he said as he reaches down to help Sam up.
Sam groaned slightly as he unfolded his legs and they began to protest from how long he had been sitting there. If he was honest with himself, he had been sitting there a lot longer than he wanted to remember. After Dean had slipped out to go meet the hell hounds and pay the devil his due, Sam had frantically looked for his brother hoping that somehow he could stop this. Maybe he could make a deal or something. He just needed a little more time.
When he found Dean it had seemed almost surreal. His brother was just laying there, peaceful, not a scratch on him; but he was gone. Sam had flashed back to all the times he had watched his brother die on that twisted Tuesday several months ago, and felt like maybe this couldn't be real either. Maybe he would wake up and he could try to save Dean all over again. But the longer he waited, the more it sank in that this was real.
He had cried for what seemed like forever until the sun had come up and bathed the world in light. It seemed wrong for it to be a beautiful, sunny day when his brother was dead. Sam had not said a word as he had packed Dean up carefully tucking blankets in around him as if he were just sleeping, and then he just drove. He hadn't even realized where he was going until he had looked up and saw that he was parked in front of Bobby's house.
"Come on, Sam," Bobby gritted out through clenched teeth as he tried to maneuver Sam to his feet. "Help a guy out here would ya? You're not exactly light you know." But Sam was not budging.
He was staring off into the distance with a sad look on his face. "He's gone, Bobby," he said quietly and Bobby stopped pulling and just frowned in concern.
Sam's jaw quivered slightly, but he clamped his jaw shut trying now to break down in front of the older hunter. Bobby put a hand on Sam's shoulder and waited for Sam to look at him. "I know, son."
Sam blinked hard several times trying to keep his tears from falling. He had cried so many times since Dean had died he was surprised he still had any tears.
"Come on. You know Dean wouldn't want you to get sick," Bobby said pulling the only card he knew Sam wouldn't ignore.
Sam finally nodded and helped to pull himself up on unsteady legs.
Bobby slipped an arm under one of Sam's arms and snaked the other around Sam's waist noticing how skinny he was. Damn, didn't this boy ever eat? They slowly made their way inside and back towards the spare bedroom that Sam and Dean usually stayed in. Once Sam was lying on the bed, he just laid there staring up at the ceiling for a moment before his face crumpled and he turned his head away to hide his tears. Bobby's heart broke for the youngest Winchester. Now the only Winchester left in this world. He wanted to just gather Sam up in a hug and try to tell him it would be okay, but he knew that it never would be. Not without Dean.
Bobby laid a hand on Sam's shoulder trying to let him know that he was there before moving to remove the young man's shoes and then draping the blanket from the other bed over the top of him. Sam had quieted slightly as he worked and by the time he had finished Bobby realized that he had finally drifted off to sleep. "Don't worry, son. It'll get better. You'll see," he whispered the last as he couldn't quite get the words past the lump in his throat. He ran a hand through Sam's hair once before getting up and leaving the room, pulling the door closed behind himself.
"Sam, is that yours?" Bobby asked as he continued working on one of the many trucks in the junkyard trying to get it to work. He had heard the phone ring several times now and knew that it wasn't his.
"It's not yours?" asked Sam as he peeked his head out of the truck's interior where he had been sitting not wanting to be too far from the older man. He and Bobby looked at each other for a moment and then something dawned on Sam. "Dean." He then took off for the Impala at a run which sat not too far away.
Bobby just stared after him with a touch of sadness as he watched Sam fumbled for the keys to the trunk. He then sighed and put down his tools. "Sam," he said trying to get the boy's attention as he walked slowly towards the sleek, black beauty that had been Dean's pride and joy. He could see Sam rummaging around in the back and his eyebrows knitted together in confusion. He watched as Sam frantically pawed through a box and grumbled slightly to himself when the phone quit ringing. "Sam?" Bobby asked tentatively as he came up to the side of the car. He wasn't sure what Sam was looking for, but was a little concerned that he might think that it could actually be Dean calling. He was about to call Sam on this when the boy let out a triumphant whoop.
"Aha!" Sam almost shouted as he pulled out a cell phone from the bottom of the box.
Bobby just stared at it for a moment and then looked back at Sam in bewilderment.
Sam smiled slightly with a hint of tears in his eyes. "It's Dean's. Was I mean," he said sadly as he handled the phone gently as if he was afraid he might break it. He swallowed hard against the emotions building and tried to push them down as he stared at the phone. Now was not the time to break down. Maybe later, but first…
Sam opened the phone and noticed there were about five missed calls. He hit the button to see who had called and a number that he didn't know popped up with the ID of Dave. He frowned trying to wrack his mind for some clue. "Do you know a Dave?" he asked Bobby.
Bobby thought for a second and then shook his head. "Not that I can think of," muttered Bobby as he shook his head.
Sam just frowned slightly.
Suddenly the phone rang again and Sam and Bobby about jumped out of their skins.
"Damn it," muttered Bobby as Sam looked to see who was calling and then pushed the Send button.
"Hello?" he asked tentatively into the receiver.
"Hey, Winchester, what'd you do? Fall off the face of the Earth or something?" asked a friendly male voice from the other end.
Sam just stood there not sure what to say.
"Hey, Dean, you okay?" asked the other man when he didn't hear a response to his question.
"Uh, I'm sorry," Sam started hesitantly. "Dean's not here." Sam hoped that the sudden wave of emotions that swept through him at saying that one statement didn't show in his voice as he wasn't sure who this was and if he wanted them to know that his brother was not going to be coming back. He still couldn't bring himself to say dead. Not yet.
There was a beat of silence from the other end. "Oh… Well do you know when he might be back?" asked Dave suddenly feeling like there might be something else going on that he just wasn't aware of yet.
Sam just looked at Bobby with big eyes not sure what to say. He knew that this would probably happen eventually, that someone Dean had known might call not knowing what happened; but now that it had he didn't know if he could handle it.
Bobby seemed to know what Sam was thinking and motioned for the phone. Sam gave it over without saying a word, not trusting himself to say anything; and then walked away into the junkyard not wanting Bobby to see the tears streaming down his face.
About thirty minutes later, Sam could hear Bobby calling for him in the distance. Sam had walked pretty far into the yard just wanting to get away. Hoping that no one would find him if he went far enough amongst the junk. He looked back towards the direction where he could hear Bobby's voice and called out to him. "I'm over here," he shouted as he brushed at his tired, burning eyes. He knew they were probably red-rimmed, but there was nothing he could do about that.
A few minutes later he saw Bobby come around the corner and he gave him a tentative smile. "Hey," he said softly not bothering to get up from where he sat in one of the junked cars.
"Hey." Bobby said just as casually as he came and leaned against the side of the rusted out car. He folded his arms across his chest and then looked down at his feet where he scuffed his foot across the hard packed earth. "That was a friend of Dean's. Apparently they use to exchange info once and a while on possible jobs. He said he hadn't heard what happened." Bobby informed Sam trying not to make a big deal of it.
Sam just nodded. "Thanks, Bobby." He knew that the simple thanks was not enough for everything that the man had done for him and his family over the years, but at the moment Sam didn't think he could say much more.
For his credit, Bobby just nodded and fished Dean's cell phone out of his shirt pocket. "I thought you might like this back."
Sam accepted the phone gratefully. "Thanks," he said as he palmed the phone. "I kind of forgot I had kept it. I'm surprised it's still got a charge after all this time," Sam said as he flipped it open.
The phone wasn't anything spectacular, but it had been Dean's. Even though it was less than a year old, it had dings where Dean had dropped it, and one spot that looked suspiciously like it had been nicked with a knife. Sam ran his thumb over the small groove wondering if that had been something that Dean had done himself, or if it had been something that had happened during some hunt. He opened it up and searched first through the contacts noting that most of the names were of women. Some Sam had heard of and others that he had no clue where or when Dean had met them. But for some reason they had held Dean's attention long enough for him to put their number in his phone. One name in particular caught his eye and he swore that he'd call her later to let her know what had happened.
He then thumbed through the menu checking the missed calls and text messages. Nothing too interesting there just a few coordinates and random messages.
And then his thumb hovered above the button for the media gallery. He knew that his brother took pictures, but he had never really looked through them and was a little hesitant at what he might find.
"You okay?" asked Bobby pulling Sam out of his thoughts.
He looked up at Bobby and smiled slightly. "Yeah, I'm okay, Bobby." He then turned back to the phone and pushed the button.
Sam grinned slightly as the first photo he pulled up was one of himself, a spoon hanging out of his mouth, while he slept in the passenger seat of the Impala. He could feel tears start to well in his eyes and he blinked several times to keep them at bay as he scrolled on down through the pictures and shook his head slightly at his brother's sense of humor. Almost all of them were pictures of Sam in some kind of funny pose or asleep, and then there was one that seemed to be taken from further away as if Dean hadn't wanted Sam to know that he had taken it.
Sam stood leaned up against the Impala with his arms crossed seemingly in deep thought a crease between his eyebrows as he looked off into the distance seemingly a million miles away.
Sam felt one tear escape and he brushed it away slightly. All of the photos were of him of course there were none of his brother, and suddenly Sam felt so very sorry that he hadn't taken more pictures of his brother over the years. There had never been many chances for photos throughout the years, and when they did they were usually lost through the many moves that they had done. Sam reached the end of the photos and then clicked the End button to take him back to the main display. He stared at the phone feeling in some ways a little more connected to his brother by seeing those pictures, and he was suddenly glad that he had kept the phone.
"Anything good?" asked Bobby as he looked over Sam's shoulder to see what was on the phone.
Sam just shook his head. "No, just a few pictures. I'll have to see if I can crack his voicemail code and see if he's got anything in there."
Bobby just nodded. "Yeah, well, good luck with that."
Sam just smiled. "Yeah." He and Bobby both knew that when he wanted, Dean could be just as mysterious as their father used to be; and suddenly Sam wasn't looking forward to the task of breaking his brother's code.
Bobby sat there for a moment as Sam started to try different codes and then patted Sam on the shoulder as he pushed away from the car. "I'm gonna go make some supper. I'll call you when it's done."
Sam didn't even acknowledge Bobby as he walked away already engrossed in trying to figure out what his brother's code might be.
Almost an hour later Sam finally cracked the code and almost kicked himself for not realizing what it was sooner. Classic Dean: he had made his code the day that Sam left for Stanford. Sam knew that probably in some twisted way his brother had blamed himself for Sam leaving and wanted to remember that day forever as a reminder to try harder.
When the code went through, Sam held his breath in anticipation not sure if there would be anything there but in some way wishing that there would be something that could give him a just a little bit more of a connection with his brother. Another small glimpse into who his brother had been.
"You have one new voicemail and twelve old voicemails. Press-"
Sam let out his breath in a huff of air. Twelve old voicemails? Didn't Dean ever delete his old messages?
"Hey, Dean, what are you doing or should I say who?" came Dave's voice from when he had called earlier.
Sam listened to the message feeling slightly like he was an intruding. He suddenly felt like he was invading Dean's privacy; and even though he knew Dean was gone, he kept waiting to hear Dean's voice berating him for getting caught doing something he shouldn't.
"Those things are private, Sam. You don't go poking around in other people's private stuff." A little voice inside his head said sounding exactly like his brother.
Sam smiled slightly at the thought and then grimaced as his heart gave a sudden pang of loss. He would never hear Dean say those words ever again. With a jolt he realized that a new message had started while he had been thinking.
"-so just give me a call when you get this," came Ellen's voice through the receiver and Sam smiled slightly. Sam listened to the message and several others from other women and people that Dean had known. Some Sam knew and others he didn't. A few were from him asking Dean where he was, or telling him that he was done at some random library and was waiting for Dean to pick him up.
Finally he reached the last message and Sam's heart seemed to jump into his throat when he heard who it was.
"Hey, Sammy," came his brother's soft voice. "Now I know you're probably sitting there going through my voicemails to see if there are any hot babes that I left behind for you, but I gotta say…there's just too many too remember." Dean gave a soft laugh and Sam found himself smiling through the tears that blurred his eyes as he imagined the little smirk on his brother's face when he had made this message. "But seriously, Sam." Dean's voice suddenly sobered and Sam swallowed hard against the lump in his throat. "I know that you're probably sitting around Bobby's moping and I want you to know that this is not your fault." Dean paused letting this sink in. "I knew what I was doing when I made that deal, and I don't regret making it for one moment. It meant that I got to spend one more year with my pain in the ass little brother, and I wouldn't trade that for anything."
Sam felt tears start to slip down his face and he pressed a hand to his mouth trying to hold back his sobs so he could hear the rest of Dean's message.
"So I don't want you to worry about me. I mean what could be better. I mean, I'm probably kicking some demon ass and having the best damn time of my life," Dean said enthusiastically and Sam scoffed at his brother's words. He knew that Dean was probably suffering in Hell right now, and he knew that Dean knew that also by the underlying sadness he could hear in his brother's words. But Sam also knew that his brother wouldn't want Sam to worry about him so he wouldn't for now at least.
"Oh and one more thing, I left something for you at Bobby's. It's in the spare bedroom under the floor boards by the dresser. There's a place I found when I was a kid. Just…promise me that you won't go all chick-flick when you see it and…I hope…that I won't see you for a long time." There was a long pause and Sam wondered if the message had ended before Dean continued. "Take care of yourself, Sammy. Otherwise, I'll come back and kick your ass."
With that the message ended and Sam just sat there. For a moment he felt like he couldn't breathe and he had to just focus on that one simple task. Finally he was able to close the phone and gripped it tight as he moved to stand on shaky legs. And then suddenly, he was up and walking. He started out slowly almost stumbling on wooden legs as his mind body tried to catch up with where his mind was going, but soon he was gaining speed until he was at an almost dead run Dean's phone clamped tightly in his hand. As he neared the house he tried to slow down and ended up skidding in the dirt almost losing his balance before taking the three steps all at once. He was breathing heavily as he ripped open the door and tore through the house to their bedroom at the top of the stairs.
"Sam?" asked Bobby as he heard the screen door slam and Sam tear through the house in his single-minded attempt to get to the spare bedroom. He quickly turned off the fire under the soup and followed trying to figure out what was going on. He found Sam on the floor by the dresser in the bedroom they had called theirs for as long as Bobby had known the boys, and suddenly Bobby was worried that something was terribly wrong. "Sam?" he asked again.
Sam was clawing at the floor trying to seemingly pry the boards away with his bare hands before he remembered his pocket knife and quickly flipped it open to start prying them away from the floor.
"Sam, what the hell are you doing?" asked Bobby as he came further into the room.
Sam didn't answer him as he quickly pried up the boards that Bobby could now see had been loose and stuck his hand into the hole. The young man suddenly stilled and then slowly pulled out a small, flat box that had Sam's name scrawled across the front in Dean's messy handwriting. With shaky fingers, Sam hesitantly opened it to discover about ten CDs with numbers on each of them.
Bobby and Sam just stared at the box for a moment before Sam was scrambling off of the floor and over to his computer. He quickly opened the computer and stuck in the first CD as he held his breath not sure exactly what this could be. Bobby watched silently as Sam shakily clicked through the menus until he came to where he could open the CD prompt, and then his finger hesitated over the mouse button for a second before he double clicked on the icon. As soon as he saw what it was, his eyes began to fill with tears.
Each CD was filled with photos, and videos, and sound clips. Photos of Dean, Sam, and their father doing various things: sparring, cleaning guns, homework. There were even a few of all three of them together or with other people that they had known throughout the years. Pastor Jim, Bobby, Caleb. There were even a few of their happy family, including their mother, before the Yellow-Eyed Demon had come and ripped their family apart.
The video clips were of Sam that Dean had evidently taken on his phone of Sam sleeping or doing something stupid, a video clip of Sam playing soccer when he had been a kid, and audio clips of all three of them talking about different hunts and little memories that didn't really mean anything at all to anyone else, but held so much meaning for the Winchesters. There were clips of their Dad telling some kind of joke or some kind of story about their mother, Sam talking about how he had met Jess at Stanford, or Dean just talking about little things that he remember about their mother. And then there were other things, lots of things, bits of papers that Dean had evidently scanned in such as Sam's first straight "A" report card. Some of the things were not very good, the audio really scratchy, or the video almost a little too shaky, but all of them seemingly important to Dean.
"When did he have time to do this?" Sam asked with a slight tinge of awe to his voice as he continued to click through the collection that Dean had managed to save of what their life had been. Sam and Bobby sat there laughing and crying at the items on all of the CDs until it was well past dark and their supper was completely cold. Sam then swiped at his face trying to wipe away the last remaining tears that had fallen feeling that his cheeks were sticky and stiff from all of the tears he had cried, but strangely he felt slightly lighter than he had before finding the CDs. Like a weight had been lifted from his shoulders and that he might actually be able to go on without his brother.
The last document was a note from Dean that he had obviously written on the back of some cocktail napkin. It simply said, "Be happy, Sammy. I love you, Dean."
Bobby swallowed hard against the knot in his throat and placed a hand on Sam's shoulder knowing that even though Dean was gone, he was still there making sure that Sam was all right.
Sam just looked at the older hunter and gave him a sad smile remembering the rest of Dean's message. Remember, no chick-flick moments. He just nodded and then looked back at the computer screen where he had pulled up a picture of him and Dean when they had been younger. Dean was all smiles with his arm around Sam's neck, and Sam was leaning slightly into Dean's side with a big grin on his face. Both of them were looking into the camera with a sense of mischief in their eyes and Sam could feel a grin start to work its way across his face. "That's my brother," he said softly and then gently clicked the computer closed.
A/N: Well, there it is. I hope you liked it. Please click the little button on the left and let me know by reviewing. And once again, thanks for reading.