Mother of God! You people rock! Firstly, I don't write much really and certainly not fan fiction. I thought I'd give it a try as it might be easier to write using existing characters. So I wasn't expecting much of a response. Maybe some constructive criticism but not so much praise. So wow! Thank you all so much for sticking with my story and being so nice. and to Tuppence, who reviewed each chapter- you rock balls. Also I hope this answered your questions re-dreams. (You made a good point and I'm not sure if I really thought that part through ;-)) Anyway this is probably boring as sin as it's all talk no action but...Here goes...
God doesn't care.
God doesn't care.
Sam repeated the words in his head as the Impala meandered toward Bobby's place. It had been a long, tiring, very quiet drive. Cas had disappeared, presumably to sulk or mourn or whatever angles do when they're upset. Dean hadn't even put on the radio.
Sam thought of a discussion... Well... Argument he'd had with pastor Jim when he was a teenager.
'If God's so powerful then why does he care bout us and what we do? I mean come on Jim! He flooded Earth because he didn't like what we we're doing?"
"Sam..." Replied a frustrated Jim " That's one aspect of what we call God, one, very old, very tribal aspect. The Hebrews worshipped a God that punished wrongdoing. It was right for its time but..."
"So you don't worship the same God?" Interrupted Sam." 'Cause you use the same Bible!"
"Well..." Jim continued cautiously. "As I said there are different aspects, God the Father with his strict commandments being one. "
'Thou shalt not..."
"Right! Then there's The Holy Spirit that lives in all things. Then of course there's the aspect of God that bought a commandment to love one another into an era and place that was devoid of that understanding..."
"... Yeah and they killed him for it..."
"...Yes! Don't you see Sam, what a terrible way that was to die? Imagine just for a moment loving someone enough to be tortured to death for their redemption! That's true love, that's how important and powerful that commandment is...To love one another.`'
"And how's love going to help me Jim? I can love all I want but I'll still be stuck in this mess! If God loves us so much then why doesn't he help us?
Jim Smiled at the infuriated teenager.
"Ah! Sam, have you considered the possibility that we don't need that Fatherly guidance anymore? Maybe he gave us the ability to help ourselves?"
He glanced at Dean. driving hell for leather down the dark highway, expressionless, hopeless. His brother, who had loved him enough to die for him. Who had ben resurrected, not as a shining beacon of hope but weakened, damaged, helpless.
That's where love will get you. He thought sadly. He felt ashamed at having his memories exposed to his brother like that. He could never explain to Dean how trapped and scared he'd felt back then.
How fucking sad that the best memories Heaven could muster for the two of them were a parental break-up, a friend's Thanksgiving and a shack in the woods!
Had he really been happy in that shack, by himself? He hadn't thought about it in years. He could hardly remember the feeling. Why? He'd pretty much tried not to think about that whole horrible episode ever since it ended. So why would it be a happy memory?
He'd run away the night before ... He flinched at the memory of John threatening to beat him with his belt. Suddenly he was back there. In that crappy motel room in Gallup. He could almost feel the texture of John's old shirt under his cheek. He'd felt close to Dad that night, he'd felt safe and fallen asleep on his chest, and dreamed...
Of Dean, on a hardwood floor, Blood... Everywhere. But it hadn't been Dean then, it had been... He almost cried aloud at the realisation. It had been Dean now... Or rather before. When his Deal came due, and he'd died in Sam's arms in that nice, middle class dining-room.
John had spent many a restless night after Flagstaff, reassuring Sam that his dreams weren't premonitions, that Demon's lie. Sam had almost believed him. But underneath all the taunting and teasing about mercy killing and dead babies, Azazel had shown him the truth. His brother would die, he would put a bullet in Madison's heart, and John would order Sam to shoot him, while Dean lay bleeding on a dirty floor.
All that did actually happen.
If only he'd trusted his instincts, he might have saved... No! No, don't think like that, you know where that leads.
He'd run away in fear. In denial. When he realised he was alone in that hunting cabin, that his terrible destiny couldn't find him. He'd slept for nearly 24 hours. He'd felt relived.
The silence ended abruptly when they arrived at Singer's salvage, and Bobby discovered that they'd both been murdered earlier that day.
"God dammit!" He raged from his wheelchair. "Roy and Walt? I'm going to track those bastards down!"
"Bobby!" Dean growled. "Calm down! It's fine, We're fine. Those Jackoffs think we're dead now anyway."
"Yeah! Only because the Angels won't let you die!" Bobby huffed. Dean sighed wearily and got up, walked over to the desk and picked up a half finished bottle of Jack.
"I'm going to get drunk." He announced, and went outside into the yard. Slamming the door.
Bobby stared at Sam. Who slouched at the kitchen table. his head resting on his arm. "Dare I ask?"
"You don't wanna know Bobby. " Sighed Sam. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out Dean's necklace, which he had salvaged from the trash. "Here, you should probably take this back."
Bobby looked nonplussed "What? why?"
"Dean and Cas aren't trying to find God anymore." He explained. "An Angel up there told us..." He swallowed "Told us... That he wanted us to stop looking, that he's not going to help us." He said, tilting his head down so he wouldn't have to see the look on Bobby's face.
The pattern on the wallpaper began to blur, Sam rubbed his eyes. Then Bobby spoke up.
"Sam, tell me exactly what happened up there. I know you don't wanna talk kid, but I need to know."
Slowly the story unfolded, Sam told Bobby about the road, the memories coming to life, meeting Ash and Pamela. Bobby smiled when Sam told him She was happy. "She really is Bobby." I don't think Dean agreed. with her assessment of heaven though. He thinks it's like the Matrix., I'm inclined to agree."
"Sounds like you were both being manipulated by Zachariah Sam, I wouldn't let it get to you. "
"Yeah." Sam murmured. "Tell that to Dean. He wasn't thrilled at my heavenly memories I can tell you that much."
"How did you feel about his?" Asked Bobby.
Sam thought for a moment. "Sad." He replied with a shrug. What kind of four year old counts 'that time when Mom and Dad broke up' as a happy memory?"
"Well," Said Bobby, wheeling over to the fridge and getting them both a beer. "Kids aint that complicated. John had problems from day one and Dean lived and died by what your Daddy thought of him. It was probably kind of a relief to have him gone for a while, awful as it sounds."
"And to have Mom to himself." Sam replied. "Well, almost. I guess I was there too... But it wasn't my memory." He stared into his beer... "Bobby I just wish I'd known her."
"You do." Bobby said
"Sure, you know your brother. He's just like her. I mean, I never met the woman but John was always going on about how they were so alike, they were practically the same person. I think it broke his heart to tell ya that truth."
"To see Mom when he looked at Dean?"
"Sure, and not only that, to see what he'd done with her memory, with her hopes and dreams for her children too, all in one package. Imagine the guilt there. "
Sam shook his head in astonishment. "No wonder he was distant... Especially with Dean, he was..."
"...Sam make no mistake he loved you, both of you, more than life. But yeah... He was always hard on Dean."
" Sam paused for a moment, considering his question, did he really want to know the answer? "Um... Bobby? When... When I ran away to Flagstaff..."
"Sam", Bobby warned gently. "That was a long time ago, let it be, son."
"No." Sam was nothing if not determined, and the question had been burning in his mind ever since Dean had confronted him the memory of the cabin. "I want to know... When I ran away to Flagstaff, Dean came here to you right?"
"I went to him actually, John called me from hospital, he wanted me in Gallup to protect you boys but he managed to get the jump on me and arrive first."
"To find me gone?" Sam felt a chill run up his spine. "Bobby, what did he do?"
The older hunter sighed. "Ah, Sam you have to understand he was drugged from the hospital still and half out of his mind..."
"Bobby Just tell me!" Sam insisted, sure he wasn't going to like this one bit.
"Well... I don't know exactly but, when I got there John was a wreck and Dean was in bed sleeping but it was pretty clear he'd roughed him up a bit."
"Roughed him up?" Sam said softly, bile rising in his throat the idea... "What does 'roughed up' mean Bobby?"
Bobby shrugged. "Bruises, Black eye." He whispered.
Sam didn't reply. He downed the rest of his beer in one. Swallowing around the awful nostalgic feeling of the lump in his throat.
"You know Sam. I know he's a pissy drunk but you should probably be asking Dean about this not me." Said Bobby , who the turned and rolled out of the room. The memories were painful for him too. Bobby didn't like dwelling on the past, too may regrets and fallen friends.
Dean sat out on the porch swing, his neck craned back, looking at the stars. The Heavens. Fuck! What a disappointment! Heaven just as empty and meaningless as Earth. Pathetic.
There was nothing left, no hope for salvation, no Messiah for him, them... Although he wasn't even sure of Sam any more, bitch had always been more concerned with himself than anything else anyway.
"Speak of the Devil." He slurred as Sam sat beside him on the swing. "Was just thinking about you Sammy!"
"Dean. We need to talk " Sam began.
Dean held up his hand. "Before you start ...I'm pretty wasted right now so I probably won't retain any of your womanly wisdom." He giggled. Then stared back up at the night sky.
"Haha Dean. Look, you don't have to listen to me just hear me ok? I need you to know somthing... About Flagstaff. I ... Um ... Sam was already having trouble keeping his emotions in check. Man up you dick! He thought to himself.
"You um... You um what Sam? just spit it out!" There was good old drunk Dean! Sam found himself getting irritated. Good! irritation was easier to deal with than other stuff. Irritation he could work with.
"I didn't run away from you ok!" He snapped. "Or Dad either, not really... I.. I didn't even know why I did it at the time but I do now."
Dean was still looking upwards, seemingly absorbed in the sky. Sam wasn't even sure if he was taking any of it in, but he continued anyway. His voice softening.
"I ran away from this... He whispered, from this future. I knew Dean, somewhere deep down I knew I'd do something terrible... That you would die because of me... That nothing good could come out of my life. I got away from reality, just for a little while and... I guess that was my idea of Heaven..."
He felt a hard punch to the arm
"Ow!" what was that for?"
"Bitch!" Dean hissed, Don't you ever say that to me again!"
"What?" Asked Sam, brow furrowed in confusion.
"That nothing good could come out of your life!"
"Well? Dean look around you? I stared the apocalypse! I got you killed and sent to Hell!"
Dean was staring at him, totally outraged.
"You think I made that deal because I had a gun to my head? I did it because I wanted to Sam! The whole lousy mess happened because of my choice not yours... You just... Turned over the wrong freaking stone."
Sam blinked, surprised. "So... What are you saying?"
"I'm saying shut up about how all this is your fault! About how your life is supposedly some kind of curse upon the world! I wouldn't have sold my soul for someone who wasn't worth dying for! Fuck Sammy! You were the only thing keeping me going half the time! The only thing..." He trailed off.
They sat silently for what seemed like hours. The air began to chill, the clouds cleared. Eventually Sam broke the silence.
" It's funny how what felt good at the time can be so freaking sad in retrospect huh?"
"You can say that again." Dean murmured.
"Do you remember why we were in New Mexico to begin with? Why Dad was so hell bent on getting to Sedona? That Elephant in the room no one could talk about?"
"Sure Sammy. I think about it sometimes, even after all the awful things I've seen and ... And done." He stammered. "Even after Hell."
"You bet... Never forgot those pink socks." He choked a little on the words.
"What was her name again?" Asked Sam, staring out into space.
"Daphne." Supplied Dean. " She'd be a bratty teenager right about now."
Sam couldn't speak. So when Dean asked him:
"Hey Sammy, you remember that 4th of July don't you?"
All he could do was nod affirmation.
"That was awesome wasn't it?"
Sam nodded again. The sky was so clear that the stars seemed to be layered against the black, there were so may of them that they silhouetted the mountains.
"Fireworks." Dean whispered, closing his eyes.