Gentle Sound of a Breaking Soul
Summary: Sam finds Dean in a church. Set in season four around Christmas. Spoilers for season four.
Warnings: None that I can think off.
Disclaimers: I don't own Supernatural.
I don't know how the timeline is, the episodes with the holidays, but in this one-shot Sam knows what Dean did in hell by the time Christmas comes. Just so you know.
Sam turned around on the street, sighing in defeat. There was only three bars in this town, two diners, one shopping-mall and he had been to them all. Not a sight of Dean. How the man had managed to disappear from the beginning was a riddle. Sam had turned his back, for what, five seconds, and when he had turned back Dean had mysteriously disappeared on him.
He tried his brother's cell again, already knowing it would go straight to voice-mail.
"Dean, where the hell are you?" Sam said, as if he hadn't left five messages starting like that earlier. "Bro, you're making me worried. Call me back."
He began walking when he heard the first notes of Ave Maria being played… on a guitar. How he remembered it he had no idea but now Sam looked around and located its origins; the local church. The doors stood open and the light was welcoming him in.
Dean was probably having fun so why couldn't Sam indulge himself a little bit? The tall man stepped towards the church, turning the sound off on his cell but leaving it on before shoving it into his pocket.
With only a few days before Christmas, this was probably the most Christmas-like thing he would get. Dean hadn't looked too happy about celebrating Christmas this year, pointing out that they were kinda busy with all the seals breaking and the angel stuff and the apocalypse hovering on the horizon.
According to Sam, all the more reason to celebrate Christmas. Who knew if they would ever celebrate it again? Maybe by this time next year they were goners.
Stepping into the warmth of the church, Sam smiled a bit and felt the darkness retreat a bit. He would put aside all worries in here, even if just for a few minutes. Opening his jacket, he focused on the two people playing.
Or, one guy was playing the guitar. A girl was sitting next to him, both looking around their early twenties or younger, the girl singing. Her gentle voice was perfect for this, and the church was perfect for her voice. To not be in the way of anyone wanting to come in, Sam moved towards the back seats when he saw someone he never expected. He stopped in shock.
However, Dean appeared not to have noticed him. His gaze was fixed, not upon the girl singing or her friend playing the guitar but the wall behind them with its great coloured windows. He was leaned forward a bit, elbows on the seat in front of him and hands clasped together, as if in prayer.
Sam blinked. His brother rarely walked into a church of his own free will, and he had never seen Dean sit so still. He looked almost like a statue. He also looked like he had been sitting there the whole time.
The younger of them shrank back a bit so he could watch Dean undisturbed, and now saw his brother's lips move. Wishing he had focused more on lip-reading, Sam tried to make out what Dean had to say.
Luckily most of the people in the church sat in front, no one was focusing on the two. They were more interested in the girl's singing or the decorated walls, the candles giving the whole place a gentle atmosphere.
Sam narrowed his eyes, almost tuned out the song just to focus on what his brother was praying.
Dean's head dropped, his hands tightening and his shoulders shook slightly. Sam swallowed. This was not like his brother.
Then again, a lot of things had not been like his brother lately. Having spent time in hell, he guessed everyone changed. He had just hoped Dean would be different.
Dean's head came up again but this time he wasn't looking.
I'm sorry, I failed, I'm sorry, I failed.
Sam couldn't take it anymore.
He had spotted the church when they came to town, not even noticing the bars or diners or shopping-mall. His mind was fixed on that church.
The moment Sam turned his back, Dean had bolted. Walking quickly through the streets to the building, Dean trusted his brother to take care of their things and the car; he would apologize later.
Reading on the sign outside, a certain Ginger was currently singing with her boyfriend Jamie and the people around him talked about that. He could hear her voice even from where he stood outside, and thought of opera. Or church choir, the lead singer. Just the right kind of tone in her voice. He was no great love of this kind of music but it was okay.
Making his way to the back, Dean shuffled as far away he could, hoping no one would see him. He was not even sure why he was here, and felt a bit like an intruder. Last time he had been in a church of his own free will was when he was like seventeen and they had stayed a few days with Jim. He had spent a lot of time listening to the choir sing, or Jim practising his speeches (the man had never done those outrageous gestures or tones when he did have those speeches with the locals, but then again he would probably have given them a heart attack).
Dean watched the people around the church and felt something starting to tear up in him. He had never given himself time to think about everything that had happened. He had no wish to do so either but he always thought too much in a church.
Clasping his hands together, he tried to keep them from shaking but to no point. He pressed them to his forehead, the knuckles of his thumbs digging into his head and he clasped the hands even tighter.
The quiet words spilled out of him without him allowing them, but out they went anyway, lulled by the echoing voice that spilled out flawless Latin words, smooth instead of his chopped-off wording.
I'm so sorry, please, I'm so sorry, forgive me, I failed, I screwed up, I couldn't do it, couldn't do anything, can't do anything, was never able to, I'm just a big screw-up, forgive me, please…
He was quite sure he said Sam's name a lot, small whimpers of Sammy because his little brother wasn't so little anymore, took control of the situation a lot and would surely hate being called that. Sam had always hated it, ever since they had started working together again, looking for their father. He had refrained ever since coming back from hell, calling his brother Sam but when he was alone, he could just sit and repeat Sammy a million times and never get tired of hearing it.
Dean wasn't sure how long he had been there, or if he had prayed the whole time but suddenly someone sat down next to him, and before he could go away an arm was around his shoulders and pulled him close to a warm body.
Dean bit his lip hearing his brother's voice, feeling his brother's arm but leaned in a tiny bit, letting his arms fall down, his hands on his lap.
"You got nothing to be sorry for."
You know I have. Dean was about to say it when Sam continued:
"I won't let you feel sorry for that. You hear me? I won't. And you won't either."
"It's okay," Sam said again. "Everything's gonna be okay."
Dean let his head drop forward, keeping the burning tears inside.
"The song?" Dean asked.
"I know… it's okay."
"She's got talent for it."
It was her voice that pretty much had made Dean's words tumble out. That in combination with Sam made it all fall apart.
Sam held on tighter when he heard the first, quiet sob, nothing more than a shuddering intake of breath from his big brother. He dropped his chin onto Dean's head and said:
He hated hearing this, the soft noises Dean made, the gentle sound of his big brother's soul breaking apart but knew it would be better later. Dean would feel better.
So he let his brother cry into his collar, and closed his eyes to listen to what made his brother break, allowing Dean to take the time he needed.
Twenty minutes later the two stepped down the stairs to the church, leaving Ginger and Jamie behind while others came to listen. Sam turned to Dean and said:
"How about some dinner?"
If anything could make him heal, Dean realized it was not just the presence of Sam but his little brother's voice. He turned to the taller man and replied:
This was inspired by my brother's version of Ave Maria. He played guitar while his girlfriend sang, and they sound just awesome. First time they actually played it, they did it in a church.
Until another time,