Prompt 25: Yearn

If only

Dean packed his and Sam's bags in silence. Sam and his Dad were downstairs making enough noise for everyone. It wasn't like it would make any difference anyway, Sam would shout and Dad would still do what he wanted to do and Sam and Dean would go wherever he wanted them to go; that's how it worked.

He sighed and moved back over to the dresser, pulling open another drawer and sorting through the stuff inside. He heard a movement behind him and looked up, unsurprised when he saw Pastor Jim standing there. The Pastor nodded and smiled sadly, moving across the room to wrap an arm round Dean's shoulder. "Are you okay? You know what I've said, I'm always here, you only have to call me and I'll come straight away . . . wherever you are."

"I know," Dean said softly. "Thank you."

"Has he said where you're all going this time?" Pastor Jim asked, stepping back to sit on the edge of the nearest bed.

"No, just that we needed to hurry. He's not listening . . ." Dean didn't finish what he'd been about to say.

"Dean?" Dean shrugged, it wasn't worth saying anyway. Nothing good would come of saying it, that was why Sammy and Dad were still downstairs shouting the odds at each other, because Sammy had tried to get Dad to listen. If he told Pastor Jim that he'd asked Dad if they could stay and go to school here, nothing good would come of it and as for asking for time to go and say goodbye to Eliot that would just piss him off even more. No ties, no one to report them . . . no friends. Not for them, it was okay for Dad, he'd got friends; hunters, ex-marine buddies, hell even some of his 'clients' would call him back and stay in touch putting him in contact with other jobs, letting him know of other people he could help, but not him and Sam. They'd got each other . . . a small piece of him conceded that they'd got Jordan too.

Sam's voice rose even more, "That doesn't even leave us time to say goodbye to Eliot!"

Dean's eyes snapped shut and his breath caught. He didn't need to tell the Pastor anything, he'd understand now. "You're leaving this afternoon? I know he said he wasn't stopping long but . . .. Oh Dean, I'm sorry. I'll call Ava now, maybe she can drop Eliot out just so you can say goodbye."

Dean's eyes opened and he looked truly hurt as he answered, "It doesn't matter. He's going soon anyway, it's not like . . ."

The Pastor caught his hand, the one he'd ended up having bandaged a few days earlier after the Pastor had seen the cut across the palm and the dirt he'd managed to get in it since then by working in the garden and shooting hoops with Sam and Eliot. "And this? I thought you told me . . ."

"He's going to College, he's . . . he's gonna settle in and he's gonna make new friends there, he's not gonna need me anymore."

"Need . . . maybe not. Want, without a doubt. Eliot is not going to trade you in for new friends, Dean. Maybe he will get new friends, but he's still going to want to be your friend, he's been trying to tell you that for the last few weeks. I honestly thought that with this," he gestured at Dean's hand again, "You had understood that."

Dean shrugged again and the Pastor sighed. "Okay, Dean. I'm going to go downstairs and try and talk some sense into your father and call Eliot. Just hang in there."

Dean wished that things could be different, wished that when the Pastor said he was going to try and change things that something would really happen. Dean wished that his Dad would listen to this one thing and let them stay, let them have the one thing they both really wanted.

Jim had had to be honest he hadn't really expected John's reaction to be different to what it was, but he was still disappointed. Eliot and Ava were hurrying round which was one good thing. Amazingly the ongoing screaming match between John and Sam was also a plus, because while they fought it delayed their departure. Sam was a real contrast to the amenable and pleasant young boy Jim was familiar with. Sure he'd had his moments over the last few weeks, but to see him fighting back against his Dad like this was a real surprise even though Dean had told him about it. It also emphasized exactly why Dean was suffering such a huge confusion of conflicts as he tried to do the best for both his brother and his dad. Jim wished he could offer a solution, wished even more he could offer what Dean really needed; a permanent home.

Ava had had no qualms at all about dropping everything and rushing Eliot straight round to the Pastor's house. It had taken some coercion to get Eliot to admit how he'd hurt his hand a few days earlier and she was conflicted when she had learnt the truth. It was a stupid thing to do, to deliberately harm oneself, to cut your own hand open and she'd lectured him on the stupidity of it, the nurse in her prevailing at first, the possibilities of infection, relieved that the boys had followed some weird ritual involving dripping blood on the ground and not each other at least, still it left plenty of opportunity for the open wound to turn bad or for there to be damage to the working of the hand. Later that night, she'd gone up to his room to talk again about his friendship with Dean and how pleased she was that he had a friend who meant so much, that he was tying himself to something even as he prepared to leave for his new school, that he was committed to making the friendship last. She praised him for how much he'd grown, how much he'd learnt and how supportive he'd been for Dean. She was proud of him.

She wished she could change the past for Eliot, have it that it hadn't been so hard on him, made it so hard for him to make friends and do well. If that wish came true, she knew she'd never have met him, he maybe wouldn't even have been the wonderful young man he was today. She thought again and wished that she could have done something, anything to let him keep the precious friendships he'd made with the Pastor's boys.

Eliot watched as the Impala drove away, prayed that Dean and Sammy would be safe and unhurt, looked after until they next stopped at the Pastor's. He wished that he knew how to make sure he saw them again, but their Dad hadn't even told Pastor Jim where he was taking the boys. He hoped they'd get somewhere decent to live and an okay school to go to, one where someone would help Dean not just assume he was too thick and had too much attitude to want to do well. Eliot knew Dean had started hiding behind a mask of indifference, of cocky backchat or smooth talk to try and draw people's attention away from the fact he had no real friends, he was struggling to keep up as he balanced looking out for his father and brother and the time he spent out of school. Eliot knew from his own experience how hard it could be to hold on and fight for what you need for yourself. It was much easier to fight for a younger brother or sister, fight to protect them, fight to ensure they got what they needed and to never let anyone realize that you needed someone to fight for you too.

Eliot wished things could be different, that Dean could be just at the end of the phone line, at the other side of a postal address. Eliot wished his best friend could be here for when he came home from his new school, wished he could be here to listen as Eliot talked of his own nerves and anxieties.

Dean had sat in the back of the car with Sammy, despite Dad's offer of the front seat. He'd stared out of the window, looking at the waving hands of Pastor Jim, Eliot and Ava and he'd wished he could have said no, wished his Dad could have understood just this once how important it was to stay here. He wished he'd had time . . . time to make a difference.

He looked back and saw the figure of his only friend. He watched as first the people and then the house disappeared from sight and he wondered if he'd ever have a friendship like that one again.

Author's Note :- Dean and Eliot's story ends here for the moment, however, there is a part 2 which will have the final seven prompts and Dean and Eliot meeting again as adults. I shall start posting it shortly.