AN: I can not thank everyone enough for the lovely reviews it's good to know my Sam girl legion is still as passionate, loyal and stong as ever. The boy rules!
And I hope I haven't put off any Dean fans, it is as I say a story that involves all three Winchester men and I really hope people enjoy it.
Thanks for your love.
On to the next chapter…
Sam's feet hit puddles as he makes his way down the school steps. Dean usually picks him up, but he and Dad had gone to interview the vic and Sam is walking. It rains hard and fast and he tucks his chin into Dean's old hunting jacket and wanders.
Oregon is as wet as it is gloomy and the clouds move harsh and fast across the sky tonight. Sam walks. He walks through streets with broken streetlights and passed shops boarded up and rusty. He wonders what would happen to Dad and to Dean if he never stopped walking. If he carried on as far as he could go. He wonders…
He wouldn't do that. Couldn't do that. His shoes, Dad's old pair, Dean's are too small for him now, much to his brother's consternation, are soaked through. His socks are drenched and he curls his toes as he walks. He couldn't do that to them. He loves his magic eye. They're a puzzle. But they're his puzzle and he's not selfish enough or quite invisible enough to try walking that far from them yet. They for all their fucked up ways, for all their sheltering and arguing and for the strength with which they love him, they're all he's ever known. They're all he's fucking known.
These two immovable objects, these hurricanes of nature, these two terrifying, fierce, protective men are all Sam has in the world. They don't deserve that. No matter how badly he wants to keep walking, no matter how hard he has to plant his feet to stay on course.
The rain grows fiercer and his hair is in his face. He ducks his head, battles on. A man shelters in a grafitti strewn doorway and Sam bends down places a crumpled note beneath his shivering arm. 'Bless you son.'
Sam thinks it's worth it. Ten dollars for a blessing is worth it.
His Dad would say he wasted good money, that the guy's a drunk, the money'd be gone and a bottle of Jim'd be joining him the next morning but Sam figures he'll take a chance. Not much left in this world without faith. And that's one thing he's clinging on to.
He's halfway to the motel he's currently calling home when the lightening starts up. A flash illuminating the sky, and a rumble that would terrify god himself just after. It doesn't scare Sam. For as long as he can remember he's been fascinated by lightening, 'a poet is someone who stands out in the rain hoping to be struck by lightening' Dickey, he thinks, James Dickey. Geek, Dean would think, Threat John would murmur, beauty Sam thinks, pure unaltered beauty. The lightening forks, great daggers ripping across the sky and Sam stares up as he walks. It's nature at its greatest and he feels insignificant, so insignificant.
It's through pure chance he comes to the Church. His jacket, Dean's jacket, is wringing wet now and he tears his eyes away from the bolting sky and hunches once more, shrinks in on himself. 'First rule of hunting boys, make yourself invisible to the threat that way you're the one in control of the situation.'.
'Son!' He doesn't hear the voice at first, "Son! Come in here quickly."
His head snaps up like a bullet and for a split second he thinks it's his father before he spots the figure hovering in the door of the church before him. A priest, Sam thinks, and his spine tingles and he stills. Thinks of the possessed holy man back in Rhode Island when he was twelve. Sam's still not all that fond of Priests.
'Son, come in here.' The figure shouts again and Sam digs his fingers into his pocket feels for the salt packet around the sharp edges of the cigarette carton. Holy ground, he tells himself slowly, nothing can touch you on Holy Ground you know that.
He gingerly makes his way over. Through the rain he can see the man is around his father's age, he's wearing a collar and the lines around his mouth deepen as Sam steps nearer.
'Thought you'd better get in away from that lightening kid' he offers, stepping to the side and shouting over the roar of the rain. 'You want to wait it out here till it stops a little?'
Sam's father and brother would advise against this, probably with strong expletives and a lot of language that would make this clergyman blush but Sam shrugs his shoulders and jogs up the steps, into the small church. He hasn't been in a church for years and for reasons unfathomable to him in that moment, he needs it more than anything.
The Priest allows Sam passage and then turns, hauling the large oak door closed behind them. It echoes down the galley and Sam can't help but gnaw on his lower lip and wonder if this man is someone he can trust.
The Priest moves slowly a few pews down the galley and picks up a towel from a seat. Sam sighs as he throws it towards him. Perk of the job, he is permanently unable to trust anyone anymore. Permanently unable to trust himself.
He eyes the Priest warily, wants to ask him how he became this, wants to ask him if he'd still make this choice if he knew what was out there in this world, if he knew that so many bad things existed, that so much bad out there outweighed the good. Instead he offers a tentative smile, 'Thanks.'
'You're welcome son.' The Priest smiles. 'I'm Father Thomas, parish priest here. I don't believe I've seen you around here before.'
'Sam.' Sam offers carefully, hurriedly scouring his brain for this month's alias. 'Sam Connors, I just transferred'.
The father nods his weathered face turned up in remnants of a smile. 'Welcome to Astoria Sam. What brings you here?'
He stiffens momentarily not entirely comfortable lying to a priest and huffs out a breath running the towel through his wet hair, possible mass possession his mind says but his lips say otherwise 'we're army brats, my dad's ex military we kind of move all over.'
The towel brings his hair to his eyes and he peers through too long bangs around the church, eyeing the oval windows and the glass and the crucifix above the alter. On the pew before him lies a flyer which reads Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament 'St Mary's Catholic Church'.
The feeling creeps up on him far too quickly and his hands still the towel. The windows are illuminated in a flash of lightening and for the briefest of moments he can't breathe for terror. A tight, claustrophobic all consuming fear from his toes to his head.
Run Sam his mind screams, run.
And then it's gone. And he's sitting head between knees hard on a pew, a hand against the top of his shoulder. 'My son…Sam?'
Images flash, a hand uncurling, stretching, reaching, clouds and fire and lightening and darkness and someone's crying and Sam can't breathe.
And he shrinks, shrinks back to himself and his blood feels too tight for his veins and he takes strong, gasping, shuddering breaths and his forehead is pressed tight to his jeans and Dean's stupid jacked rubs against his skin and he breathes.
Father Thomas paces before him and eyes Sam warily. Words and phrases like asthma and epilepsy and heart problems and ever happened before? And Sam feels wrung out and tired and kind of wants his dad but instead he finds himself staring past the father and he wants to, he needs to, he's not even sure if he believes in all this, hell he's pretty sure he doesn't but he's afraid and lonely and pretty damned lost and…
'Father…' he finally croaks 'would you hear my confession?'
There's a card in front of Sam and he figures it's for Sunday School children but he's infinitely grateful as he clings to it desperately in the semi darkness of the booth.
'Bless me father…' he stammers eyes scanning words foreign against his lips 'for I have sinned, it's been…' he pauses and searches his memories of Pastor Jim and his father's angry scared face gripping his five year old arm, hauling him from the dark room, shouting and screaming at Jim something about souls and fucking religion and my children and stay away and clinging to Sam, god clinging to Sam. '…11 years since my last confession'.
The net before him shields anything but the priests mouth and Sam watches transfixed as the shadow reflects tiny little pinpricks over his face. Hole after hole after hole. Sam can relate.
'I have this life Father,' he manages, 'I…I have this life that I feel like, like I'm living for a whole other person. And a person I don't like very much. Sometimes…' he begins after nothing but silent prompting, 'sometimes father I find it really hard to breathe, sometimes it makes me want to just run and keep on running for a really long time.'
'And I know that I can't and I think that makes it worse, I mean wanting something so badly but knowing you can't ever have it, it makes you feel…'
'Makes you feel how Sam?'
He pauses as if the very act of voicing his feelings aloud is a sin in itself.
He thinks of the rabbit their father hit when he was seven, struggling at the side of the road, crawling, crawling for safety and how Sam had watched out the back window at it as it was hopelessly and helplessly crushed between every vehicle that followed.
'Sam have you always felt this way?'
He's suddenly claustrophobic and confined and he wipes sweaty palms up over his face through his hair before resting his head in them. 'My whole life'.
'And what about your support system, family? Friends? Do they know how you feel?'
He doesn't even bother with the friends comment, thinks of Jack and his ability to stop trying. 'My family love me father, I'm not dumb enough not to know that, but they don't understand, they pull me, they're always pulling me closer' he sighs, it echoes 'and all I want to do father, all I want to do is run.'
Samuel do you know what your name means my boy?'
'I hear it means his name is God.'
The Father laughs at that, a deep rumble.
'More like 'God hears''
Sam stills. 'Really?'
'You must find solace here. There's a reason you were led here today Sam, perhaps you should try talking to God. Sometimes all one can rely on is themselves and their Lord, "To obey is better than sacrifice, to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry." That Sam was your namesake Samuel rebuking Saul."
'I'm never around somewhere long enough Father.'
'Churches, God's voice…it is everywhere Samuel. Maybe you should start listening to it, maybe you should ask yourself some questions my child and if you pray those answers can bring you the solace you're craving. Perhaps it's time you started to look to yourself to find the answers Sam. A person can go through life blaming others, looking for somewhere to station that responsibility but ultimately it all comes back to you in the end.'
That's what I'm afraid of Sam's mind screams, that's exactly what I'm afraid of. But to the priest behind the screen he only nods.
"Dominus noster Jesus Christus te absolvat; et ego auctoritate ipsius te absolvo ab omni vinculo excommunicationis et interdicti in quantum possum et tu indiges.' He makes the sign of the cross. 'Deinde, ego te absolvo a peccatis…'
'I absolve you from your sins' Sam thinks. And then he thinks Christo and can't help but feel guilty for that. He's in a Church for christ's sake.
'…tuis in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.'
…in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
And if Sam mutters 'Amen' a little like a curse rather than a benediction the priest pretends not to notice.