His head hurts. Opening his eyes is worse then lifting a hundred pounds. He coughs around a tube in his throat. The heart moniter by his bedside picks up its rhythym. He is in the hospital. There is someone in the room in the room. He blinks.
The world around him is shrouded in a light haze and it takes him a few minutes to remember that he isn't wearing contacts. Everything hurts. He coughs again and the noise finally attracts attention from the people in the room. "Mr. Cale!" a nurse says. "Mr. Cale, are those your eyes I see?"
Logan blinks blearily at her. He can't talk. His throat aches. They've just removed his feeding tube. He almost starts crying because this means he's alive.
He's alive and he's awake and it's 2019.
"I don't believe it," the doctor says, moving to check his vitals. "Looks like the shock to his system jarred him back into consciousness." He leans toward Logan. "Mr. Cale? Can you hear me, Mr. Cale?"
The first thing Logan asks is barely more then a whisper through a throat raw with disuse is: "How long?"
"It's been about six weeks since your accident, Mr. Cale," the doctor says kindly. "We were starting to think we might never get you back."
Logan stares out the window. The world looks darker then he remebers. It's raining. There are no lights on in the city. Another brown out. Usual after the Pulse. He's back. This is home.
He spends most of the first week sleeping. His nurse, Layla teases him for it, laughing about a coma patient spending all of his time asleep. "Wasn't the world's most restful coma," Logan says and tries to smile at her. It's like his mouth has forgotten the motion.
He keeps expecting to see snatches of 2009 in his dreams. He keeps expecting to have Dean Winchester walk through that door with a cocky grin and a sawed off shot gun announcing their next hunt but it doesn't happen. He keeps expecting to see the demon girl in her red dress every time he closes his eyes. But it doesn't happen. He doesn't dream.
Not long wakes up he decides he can make it out of bed and winds up on the floor cursing at ineffectual legs. He tells himself it's a fluke. That the painkillers have dulled all sensation. That his muscles have atrophied while he languished in a coma but then he realizes that he can't feel a thing. That he can't feel his toes. That his entire body is dead to him from the waist down.
The doctors explain the situation. He was shot twice. One bullet had punctured a lung. Another had slammed into his spine. He had cranial trauma from a severe blow to the head that he'd sustained sometime after the hover drone had stopped filming. Logan listens but he doesn't hear. Worlds float past his ears like paraplegia and collapsed lung and bullet fragments and he closes his eyes and thinks of a burning corpse and a city of bodies and Dean Winchester looking at him from the driver's seat.
He has no visitors except for doctors and nurses. His uncle sends him a message wishing him a speedy recovery but he doesn't show up in person. But he won't have a speedy recovery. Paraplegia doesn't go away. He is never going to be back on his feet.
All I ask is your legs, a demon's phantom voice whispers from the past. Do we have a deal, Logan Cale? It's not much to give considering they're gone already.
Logan wonders why he wanted to wake up so badly. It doesn't seem like this life has a hell of a lot going for it. He's a useless cripple. The world's in shambles around him. He doesn't have any friends.
Dean had been a friend, Logan realizes. Dean had been his first real friend in years even if he hadn't been real. Logan misses that. Misses having someone to talk with. Misses his own damn coma hallucination.
But he can't help it. It felt real. It felt like he's lived two months in the past while his body rotted here alone.
After a week, they assign him a physical therapist. A hulking black man who introduces himself as Bling. Logan can't help but think the name sounds made up. Sounds like more fiction then anything he saw when he was unconscious.
But Bling turns out to be just what Logan needs. He refuses to let Logan wallow in self-pity. He forces him to start moving forward. In a lot of ways, he saves Logan's life. It's easy to lose himself in the repetition of physiotherapy and he starts thinking that maybe, just maybe this will be all right.
Two weeks in, Matt Sung swings by for a visit. Logan is relieved to finally see a face that is not a doctor or Bling. Matt lets him know that Sonreisa is gone, taken out by his own man in a hail of gunfire. Lets him know Lauren and Sophie are safe. It takes Logan a few minutes to remember Lauren and Sophie but when he does a warmth washes over him. Someone out there was looking out for them.
For the first time since the accident, he lets himself dwell on Max. He thinks of the small barefooted child in the woods of Wyoming. He thinks of Dean Winchester standing behind his brother and new beginnings. He thinks maybe this is real.
"Matt. Do you think you could do me a favor? I need you to look someone up for me. Dean Winchester. Anything you can find on him."
"Project for your boss?" Matt asks, raising an eyebrow.
"This one's personal," Logan says after a pause. "It's just something I've got to know. No real rush. Just whenever you have the time."
Time moves slowly here. It's been more then a month since he was shot. Two weeks since he'd woken up. He's starting to claim his life back. He checks the black market and sees the statue of Bast up for sale. He buys it back without a second thought because Max might come back. She'd saved Sophie after all, saved Lauren, taken Sonreisa out cold. She'll come back and he'll be ready. He doesn't want to do this on his own.
Bling brings him his laptop from the penthouse and he's going through his notes, picking out Eyes Only's next target. This is something he can do.
He starts dreaming of 2009 again. It was ineveitable considering that's all he thinks about. Dreams of his mother's flickering form and the way Sam Winchester's face changed and Dean driving the impala singing off key to AC/DC. He dreams of running full tilt through the campus of Stanford and the feel of his toes curling around carpet. It felt real.
"I feel like I'm a different person," he tells Bling after one physical therapy session. "I feel like I changed and no one noticed."
"This kind of injury's going to effect you more then you know," Bling says. "It takes a lot of adjustment, but you're still the same person you were two months ago."
It isn't what he meant.
The day before he is supposed to be discharged to his penthouse, he gets a package from Matt Sung. It's a thick casefile with the tab reading Dean Winchester. He runs his hands along the top of it.
Dean Winchester exists.
But he knew that before. Dean Winchester is supposedly a serial killer. Dean Winchester died in 2008. He doesn't know what he expects to find here. Closure? Confirmation that it was all a dream? No matter how real if felt it just isn't possible.
He opens the file. The top picture is a booking photo with Dean Winchester doing a Zoolander impression at the camara. Logan almost laughs but he can't because the evidence is laid out in front of him. The crime scene photos. The most bizzare crime scene photos he's ever seen.
What is more believable; that Dean Winchester had killed all these people or that ghosts and demons and vampires did?
Dean Winchester died in 2008 when the helicopter the feds were using to transport him and Sam blew up. There had not been enough left of the body for identification. Dean Winchester is dead. Logan never woke up in 2009. The only thing that is real is this.
The realization takes the wind out of his sails and his mild tailspin sets his discharge date back a day.
But he recovers. Seattle is out there. Seattle is broken and he can still do something to fix it.
And he'll be alone but that's all right. He's been alone for a long time.
Everyone always said Eyes Only had to be crazy. Now it's true.
Before he leaves, a nurse pokes her head in. "Mr. Cale? A letter came in for you today."
Logan accepts graciously and wheels himself over to the door cursing how the chair already felt like an extension of himself. He doesn't want to adapt to this.
Bling is the one giving him the ride home. Logan can't help but think this should be a friend's job, a relative's job. He doesn't dwell on it. Back at home, Bling asks if he's all right and then says he'll see him tomorrow.
The penthouse looks bigger from the new vantage point, but at the same time infintely smaller. In his mind, Logan has spent the last few months traveling across the country hunting down ghosts and demons.
He pulls the letter out. It's addressed to the hospital with his name on the front. There is no return address but the postmark is from Kansas. Logan doesn't know anyone in Kansas.
He tears the envelope open and unfolds the letter and skims the first line.
Hey future boy,
It stops him cold. He takes a deep breath to steady himself and then looks at the signature. Dean.
He goes back to the beginning.
Hey future boy,
Guess I owe you an apology, huh? You weren't batshit crazy after all. I about had a heart attack when I saw your name in the news. You would go and get yourself shot.
We looked for you, you know? Me and Sam, we looked for you. It was like you just vanished into thin air. Guess you went back. Guess you woke up. We didn't find any evidence you even existed. Half thought I'd made you up instead of the other way around. Wouldn't have surprised me. I wasn't in the best place when you first showed up and I guess I owe you.
Me and Sam are around. Working a poltergeist gig in Kansas. Lillith has been gone for a while. Apocalypse averted. Sam says he's sorry about the Pulse but between that and hell on Earth I think we're better off.
If we ever make a swing up to Seattle. We're crashing with you.
He gets to the end and immediately reads the whole thing again. It was real. It happened. He's not crazy. He's fought impossible things and he's still breathing. A smile sweeps over his face for the first time since he woke up to a broken world and a bullet shattered spine.
He might just survive this new life after all.
First of all, if you're reading this, you've made it through this whole story and I thank you for your time and I hope you enjoyed it.
The best part of this for me was watching your reactions, not just because it's great to get comments but because you all sounded EXACTLY like I did while watching Life on Mars (which was the plot baseline for this story). Therefore if you enjoyed this story and haven't had the pleasure of viewing LOM, I highly highly recommend it. The UK version (my preferred version) is sixteen episodes of pure gold. Rest assured, this will have spoiled you for precisely none of it the actual series went in a very different direction.
At the moment at least, this is supposed to match up with cannon for both Dark Angel and Supernatural. I doubt it will remain so for Supernatural but I like the idea that there was something more then just the shooting that caused the drastic change in Logan's character we saw in the Pilot. As odd as the premise for this story was, I tried to frame it as a character study in just that. I'm not entirely sure I pulled it off, but hey, I had fun at very least.
Happy holidays to all of you. Take care.