Disclaimer: I don't own anything Supernatural. No copyright infringement is intended and no money is being made with this.
Summary: There are some things that they always did together. They had few enough traditions in their family, so the ones they had were honored. And not even hell was going to stop Sam from keeping up this one.
Spoilers: Everything up to season 4 "Monster Movie" is fair game, especially for the second chapter. Also, major spoilers for "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" and some minor spoilers for "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom".
Merry Christmas everyone!
And as a little present to all of you, here's this little story. I've been planning to write it ever since "Monster Movie" aired, because that one quote just didn't let my hyperactive fantasy rest. So here you go, hope you enjoy!
"We still gotta see the new Raiders movie."
"You were in hell."
"That's no excuse."
Sam and Dean, 4.05 Monster Movie
Another day. The 62nd day of Sam Winchester's new life.
Day 62 since the hellhounds had torn Dean apart right in front of Sam's eyes. Day 62 since Sam had buried his brother. Day 62 since the world suddenly seemed so much bigger, so much emptier and so much more hopeless to Sam.
Another day spent trying to find a way to bring Dean back from hell, and another of those days that hadn't brought Sam any closer to achieving his goal. No crossroads demon wanted to deal, no other demon knew anything or they all pretended not to know anything. Sam had even tried to find the Trickster – or any Trickster, if there was more than one of them roaming the country, but to no avail.
For about a month Sam had been doing his best to find a way to bring Dean back now. The first month after his brother's death…it had been a dark time. The pain of losing Dean had been blinding. Sam had felt like a huge part of his soul had been brutally ripped out, and he couldn't stop the bleeding. He had spent most of that first month in a drunken stupor. It had stopped him from thinking, and it had dulled the pain. Not much, definitely not entirely, but at least a little.
Only, he had realized after a while that he couldn't go on that way. Drinking dulled the pain, but it also let his guard down, and it made him vulnerable. Twice he had nearly died because he had seen a threat too late, because he had barely been able to react in time. The first time he had put it off as a one-time thing. The second time had been his wake-up call.
After Dean's death, he had been heading towards his own demise in a straight line. Fact was he hadn't really cared about what happened to him.
Not that he cared all that much now. He was more careful, true, but that wasn't because he appreciated his own life again all of a sudden. No, the only reason why he didn't jump into every monster's way with complete disregard for his own safety was the thought that Dean wouldn't want that. Dean would want him to continue. Dean wanted him to live. And so Sam did his best to stay alive.
He still wouldn't call it living, it was more an existence than a life, but he kept going. And he would keep going for as long as there was still even the tiniest sliver of hope that there was a way to get Dean out of hell.
And if he had to single-handedly find every demon in the country to press them for information, if that's what it took, Sam was going to make it work. He did what his brother had asked of him – he kept on hunting. And at the same time, he kept on looking for a way to bring Dean back. That was the only thing that kept him going.
And when he wasn't chasing demons, or taking on the occasional hunt for some other supernatural creature, he spent his free time in the nation's most obscure libraries, browsing every piece of lore he could find on hell in the hope of finding something that might help him bring Dean back.
And today, like all the days before, he hadn't found anything.
As Sam tossed the keys on the rickety table next to the door and tossed his jacket onto the bed, he forced himself not to think about that most recent failure. Not tonight. First thing tomorrow morning, he was going to leave town and go to Peoria. There was a monastery a few miles outside of the city that had an archive containing lots of ancient texts. Maybe he'd find something helpful there.
But for tonight, Sam Winchester was going to the movies.
Checking his watch, Sam figured he still had enough time for a shower before he had to leave. He quickly rinsed the stale sweat of hours spent in a too-warm library with no air condition away, shaved, and dressed in a pair of jeans and a clean shirt. No need to dress up for this, it wasn't as if he was going on a date.
Well, not really.
This was actually a lot more important to Sam than any date could ever be.
Sam arrived at the movie theater with a little time to spare. It was the early evening showing, and judged by the empty foyer the theatre was going to be anything but full. No small wonder. It was the first truly hot July weekend, and people had a lot better things to do than to go to the movies at 6.30pm. Besides, the movie had been running for nearly two months now, and the big rush of people standing in line to see it was long over.
Nevertheless, Sam bought two tickets from the young man at the ticket counter, earning himself a slightly befuddled stare. A guy, alone, with no date in sight, buying two tickets for a movie that was not going to be sold out by a long shot seemed to be cause for surprise. But Sam couldn't bring himself to care. He had to buy the second ticket, and not only to make sure that the seat beside him was going to stay empty. No, he had to buy those two tickets because if things had gone differently, he wouldn't have gone to see the movie alone. Not this one.
Sam didn't wait around in the foyer. He didn't even try to justify his buying a second ticket by pretending to wait for a date to show up. No, he went straight for the concessions stand and bought a large bucket of popcorn. Salty. Personally, he would have gotten the buttered and sugared version, but he still picked the salted version. Whenever they went to the cinema, Dean always bought salted popcorn, no matter how much Sam protested against it. If he was already going to pretend, he was going to go the whole way.
The few people that were lingering around in the foyer and behind the concessions counter were staring at him as he purchased the popcorn and a large soda and walked towards the entrance of the theater. Sam was used to it, people tended to stare at someone his size. Especially since he was walking around with a thick jacket slung over their arm in the hottest July blaze the town had seen in a decade, and even more so because he went to the movies all by themselves on a Friday afternoon.
But Sam didn't care.
This wasn't about what others might think of him, and come tomorrow morning he'd leave the town in the rear-view mirror and never look back, anyway.
Fifteen minutes before the movie was scheduled to start, Sam sought out his place in the theatre and settled down. He picked the right one of the two seats that he had purchased tickets for. He carefully took Dean's leather jacket from where it was folded over his arm and arranged it on the empty seat beside him, sat down and put the bucket of popcorn down on the seat beside him. Dean had always claimed older brother rights to be holding the popcorn, and had threatened dire consequences should Sam's hand miss the bucket in the darkness of the theater. Sam made sure that the bucket was standing safely and wouldn't fall down, then he leaned back in his seat and took a deep breath.
Growing up, whenever their father had left them to go on a hunt and they had had some money to spare, Dean had taken him to the movies. Disney films at first, which Dean only sat through because he knew how much Sam enjoyed them, and later on all kinds of action movies, the odd western here and there, and even later, some horror movies that had both of them laughing at the absurdity of the ghosts and werewolves portrayed there. Mostly it had been small-town cinemas they had gone to, so their choice in films had been limited, but for Sam it had never been about the movies.
It had been about spending time with his brother, time away from their normal lives and the dangers of it. An hour and a half of fleeing from the reality of life, and dreaming themselves into a different life.
As they had grown older, those movie visits had become more infrequent, but it was a habit they had slowly picked up again after Sam had left Stanford and gone back to hunt with his brother.
And whenever they rolled into a town where a theater was replaying one of their favorite movies, they did their best to make the time to go see it. Over the years, they must have seen the three Indiana Jones movies twenty times each, if not more often. They both loved those movies, and Dean had been positively ecstatic when he had first heard that they were doing a fourth one. Then the release date of the movie had been announced, and Dean had never once mentioned it again.
But Sam had vowed to himself that they were going to see this movie together. He had planned on making that happen. Only, he had failed his brother, and now he had to watch the movie alone. But at least he could still pretend. It was a poor substitute, but it was all he had left.
Sam closed his eyes and took a deep breath of the unique movie theater smell – stale popcorn, cold salsa sauce and a variety of candy smells he had always claimed to sense, but which Dean had brushed off as his little brother's overactive imagination.
Only when the lights in the theater went out and projector came to life with an audible cackle over the speakers did Sam open his eyes again. As expected, the theater was nearly empty. Maybe ten or twelve other people were here to see the movie with Sam, and they were all sitting far enough away so that he didn't need to pay any attention to them.
And that was good. This was only about Sam, and his brother who was no longer there.
The movie started, and Sam leaned back in his chair as the title credits started to roll. From the corner of his eye he could just about make out the popcorn bucket and the shadow of his brother's leather jacket on the seat beside him, and that was exactly what he had wanted. Just a little help to keep up the illusion.
The movie started to run, but Sam was only half listening. He was watching the movie, was listening to the dialogue, but in the darkness of the theater, Sam's brain started to add Dean's running commentary. It was a trait he had wanted to smack his brother for more than once, that constant talking during movies. Dean had perfected it – he was always talking in a way that he wouldn't disturb the other moviegoers, but just loud enough so that Sam couldn't miss it.
Right now, Sam would have given anything for his brother to sit next to him, jabbering on and on about the movie.
Dude, Cate Blanchett is hot.
"But she's the villain." Sam barely noticed that he had whispered those words out loud, as if responding to his brother's comment.
She can still be hot. Seriously Sammy, you need to get out more. Mostly it's the villains who are hottest in the movies. Just remember Elsa from the Last Crusade. Now that was one hot villain. Mmmmmm…Elsa.
Sam smiled and grabbed a handful of popcorn.
Hey, watch out where those fingers end up. You start groping me and I'll end you.
"Then don't hog the popcorn. Seriously dude, shut up and watch the movie."
It was a fun movie. Not much of the flair of the old Raiders movies left, and Harrison Ford had definitely grown older, but still. The action was fun. That is, until that scene with the refrigerator.
"Now come on," Sam found himself mumbling. "No way he's going to survive that blast in a frigging refrigerator."
Shut up, heathen! It's Indy, of course he can.
"It's a nuclear blast, Dean. I'm telling you, no way. It's simple physics."
Gah, physics! It's a movie, professor. And now shut up before I shut you up. I wanna watch this in peace.
As if Dean had ever watched a movie in peace. Or even in silence. Seriously.
Okay, who else thinks it's obvious that this Mutt is Indy's son? And I mean glaringly, painfully obvious?
"Shut up, Dean."
No seriously. I mean, it is obvious five minutes after the guy first appeared, but Indy has no clue? The guy single-handedly defeated the Nazis and has no clue that it's his own son he just met?
"He did not single-handedly defeat the Nazis! Seriously. And besides, it's a movie, Dean. Weren't you just telling me that it's just a movie?"
Shut up, Sammy.
It nearly was like watching the movie with Dean. Only nearly, but maybe as close as Sam was ever going to get to watching a movie with his brother again. And even if one of the other people in the theater heard his whispered comments, nobody turned or showed that they acknowledged him.
Dude, I'm totally getting myself a whip like that.
"That's what you always say, Dean. Whenever we watch one of the Raiders movies. Do I really need to remind you what happened the one time you tried?"
That tree was totally asking for it.
"But I wasn't. And neither was the car. Seriously Dean, you're not getting a whip, end of discussion. Stick with your knives and the gun, at least you know how to handle those."
You're such a spoilsport, you know that?
Halfway into the movie, Sam was getting cold. The air-conditioning was working on full blast, cooling down the theater to a point well below what was still comfortable. It might be hot outside, but in here it was icy, and in his short sleeves Sam was getting chilled. He didn't really think about it consciously when he stretched out his hand and picked up Dean's leather jacket from the seat beside him. He spread it over himself, and immediately the smell hit him like a blow to the gut.
The jacket smelt like Dean.
Of course it did. Because after his brother's death, Sam had kept the leather jacket in the duffel bag with Dean's other clothes. He had carried it into the motel room every night, but the bag had remained unopened the entire time. Of course the jacket smelled like Dean.
It was that comforting smell of old leather, gun cleaning solution, a faded note of aftershave, sweat and gunpowder that was so purely Dean, it made Sam's vision blur with tears. And for the first time since the day Sam had buried his brother, he didn't fight them. He hadn't cried since the day he had buried his brother. Sam had thought about Dean often, countless times, during nearly all his waking hours. But no matter how much it had hurt, he hadn't allowed himself to cry. No matter if it had been in the car, in a diner when one of Dean's favorite songs had been playing on the radio, or in another anonymous motel room when he had been staring at the empty bed beside him, Sam hadn't allowed himself to cry.
But right now he couldn't stop it, and in the darkness of the movie theater, while Harrison Ford was chasing over the screen, Sam clung to his brother's leather jacket as if it was his lifeline, breathed in his brother's scent, and silently, but thoroughly fell apart.
A large part of the movie's climax was lost to Sam because he was too lost in his pain to pay attention to how exactly Indy defeated the bad guys. By the time that his silent sobs had abated and the tears had stopped, the bad guys had been defeated and the end of the movie was approaching rapidly.
Dude, don't be such a wuss.
"Must have gotten something in my eye."
Yeah, right. You're a closet romantic, Sammy. Just admit it, you love it that they put in a marriage scene. But seriously, what the hell? This is Indy we're talking about. Indy doesn't get married. He's the love 'em and leave 'em type.
"They have a kid, Dean."
Yeah, a kid who is already grown up. You don't get married for that. Besides, of all the Indy girls, why Marion? Why not Willie from the Temple of Doom? She was hot. Well, aside from all the screaming, of course. That was annoying. But dude, that ending is so sugar-coated I might get cavities from it. Indy simply doesn't get married. No way.
Sam heaved a big sigh, watching the last scenes of the movie.
"Let them have their happy end, Dean. Let at least someone have their happy ending."
The end credits started rolling, and the lights that slowly went on again broke the spell. Sam quickly wiped his eyes, folded Dean's leather jacket over his arm and left the cinema before the few other moviegoers decided to get up and leave.
It had been a fun movie. A lot of things that had made the old Raiders movies so special had been missing, but still. It hadn't been that bad. Dean would have loved it, that Sam was sure of.
And one day, he was going to make sure that his brother got to see it, and he was going to sit right beside him, eating salty popcorn and listening to Dean's running commentary.
Somehow, he was going to make that come true.
TBC in chapter 2
Thanks for reading. As always, please let me know what you think. Thanks a lot.