Jumping Waves

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I can feel the sun burn the back of my neck, but it doesn't make me move. I'm aware that I'm staring into the trunk of the car but no one can see me and I need time to think.

At least there's only weapons and bags of salt in this trunk. Don't think I'll ever forget the sight of what was lying in Ruby's trunk.

At least he told me. Couldn't even look at me as he said it. He popped the trunk and there she was...

Thought we were screwed. Thought Sam was gonna refuse to come with me. Thought he'd decided to stay and die in that convent. Some fucked up death wish to make up for the reign of terror he'd just brought down on the world. As if they'd know Sam Winchester's name and what he'd done.

I pull the salt bags into some kind of order. Tuck the amulets behind the foam board. It's just a stall to going inside. Sam needs his space and so do I.

We've holed up at an old hunter's house. He's been dead five years now and his old family home serves as a handy half-way-house for his hunter friends and acquaintances. No family see. It happens. Key under the brick by the porch door.

Soon the trunk is delivered from its former, dishevelled state. I've filled a carrier bag with the trash I have a habit of throwing in there. I think about Dad and what he would think about all this. His children. The Apocalypse bringers. The Armageddon Boys. The original harbingers of doom. I press the heel of my hand into my eye and think about lying down for an hour. Damn the apocalypse and all its chaos.

I let the door swing gently behind me and throw the keys on the little table in the hall. There's no one in the lounge, and I stand still, listening for signs of movement in the kitchen. What would he be doing, anyway? Washing the blood off his hands. That's what I did when I first came back. Doesn't do much. 'Cept clean your hands.

Then through the window, I see Sam out in the yard beside some tyre stacks. His back to me, his head bowed, hand in jeans pockets, kicking stones. Waiting for something.

For what?

For time to pass?

For the earth to open up?

For lightening to strike him down to a toothpick?

I look away and take off my shirt and fire it into the hold all that lies misshapen against the wall. When I look back out at him, I see he has turned to his right. Then I see that he's holding the Colt. I freeze.

He smoothes it with his other hand. Appreciates its fine lines. Contemplates its power. I can already see what's inside his head. Silently, I move out towards him. He doesn't see me, and as I inch closer, I think I see his mouth moving. But there is no sound.

He suddenly catches sight of me, and I see that he's crying.

The first time and it's been three days.

I don't know if it's the look on my face but he suddenly looks down at the Colt and lowers it at his side. I can't work out if he's ashamed at being caught, or frustrated...at being caught. We stand locked in a moment. I swallow before I speak.

"Where's the note?" I ask quietly. I rub a sweated palm down my tee shirt.

He just looks out towards the barren desert land behind the yard. He knows I'm pissed, hell ,I can hear it in my own voice.

"See there's usually a note - you know, last goodbyes, 'Please forgive me'...'It's for the best'...that sorta thing." I know how sarcastic I sound, but I can't help it.

He doesn't answer me. He swipes at his face with his free hand and turns away. So I edge closer.

"Or I've got it wrong. You were...just appreciating the weight of the Colt. A little target practice before supper. " He shakes his head because he wants to speak, but he can't. "If I'm wrong, I'll apologise, Sam. Tell me I'm wrong."

He tries to sober up. Pulls himself taller. Draws in a resigned breath.

"I can't." He finally says.

"What? Can't tell me I'm wrong - or can't shoot yourself in the head and leave me to find your corpse out here in the yard?" My words are brutal but it's like I'm not even saying them. "'Cos that would've made things much better. Yeah, you leaving me to fight Lucifer on my own, best decision you've made all week."

I'm crushing him and I know it.

I should just shut up.

Pull back and let him explain it too me.

I bite the inside of my mouth to stop the added pressure I know I'm putting on him.

He's the one with the gun after all.

A sudden gust of wind blows the dust up from the yard and we both bow our heads to avoid it.

"I think about it a lot," he says.

I look away.

"It comes in waves."

"You've always been a strong swimmer, Sam."

He nods and swallows back a sob. Looks down at the colt. Twists the barrel in his hand.

God, the pain just radiates off of him.

It stings me.

Digs into my bones.

And there's nothing I can do.

I can't talk to him, no matter how I try.

"Tell me something," I begin. Not entirely sure where I'm going with it. "Why didn't you leave?"

He frowns and turns his head towards me.

"What?"

"It's a fair question, Sam. Towards the end I'd wake up every day and wonder what kept you with me. What stopped you from running off with Ruby to hunt down Lilith?"

He receives the question like a revelation. Struggles with an answer. No eye contact again.

"I did."

"You know what I mean," I snap back. On the surface again. Bring it down, Dean. Bring it down.

He sets a hard expression. But he turns to face me. Open. Vulnerable.

"You just got back...you were...you were suffering," he offers. "And yeah, Ruby asked me to go. All the time, in fact."

"But you said no?"

He nods. Not proud. Almost ashamed in fact.

"And, you feel you can leave now?"

I immediately regret saying it.

I don't want to hear the answer.

"Sometimes."

We fall into another silence.

I think about what I want.

I want him to stop hurting so much.

I want him to accept what's happened. How we were both sucked in by everyone we wanted to trust.

I want him to make peace with himself. With or without me.

I want him to keep jumping waves until...until he can't jump them anymore, and then I'd help him jump them. If he lets me.

I want him to live.

"I know I can't keep you, Sam...if you really wanna go, " I say quietly. "Truth is...we don't do so well apart." I admit.

He nods. My deal and all its consequences running through his mind now.

Our weak spots.

"I know," he answers me. Resigned. Accepting.

He turns and hands me the Colt. The handle warm in my hand. We exchange a sad glance and for a moment I get trapped inside with him. A sudden wave of utter grief and misery washes over me as he walks back towards the house.

I jump the wave.

The End