5.16 Dark Side of the Moon tag

"Heroism is endurance for one moment more." – George F. Kennan

Lost in a Moment

"Sam, the bottom line is I'd rather take real over pretend." Dean raised his arms, turning around in a half-circle and indicating with his outstretched hands all the personal versions of Heaven that surrounded them, each soul seeking out their own private Idaho. "Everyone here, every memory, every feeling…it ain't real." His mood was somber while his face masked any true indication of how he was feeling; except for his eyes, sincere and clear, earnest in his openness and yet still registering the bitter sting of stolen dreams. "Yeah, I can get lost in the moment. Why wouldn't I want Mom back, telling me I'm her angel and baking me a pie? But it's just a moment…it can't be forever. I wouldn't want it to be."

"You wouldn't?" Sam stammered, his voice steeped in wonder, barely above a whisper as if he feared breaking the spell that had been cast upon his brother, suddenly so open and willing to talk.

"No," Dean quickly replied, no pause to consider his feelings and what he could be surrendering, no doubt lingering within his steel tone.

Sam shifted, off balance and hesitant, his eyes softening as he processed the certainty Dean projected. His brows arched in a silent question, every hope and chance hinging on the answer.

Twisting his lips as he reacted to the concerned look on his brother's face, Dean furrowed his brows and answered the silent question with a startlingly sharp, "What?"

Sam seemed lost in thought, still wading through the revelation. "I don't know, I guess I'm just surprised. I mean, after all you've been through…with what we're facing. Why wouldn't you want to lose all those bad memories and just hold on to the good?" And with every fiber of his being he was hoping in Dean's true heaven there would be only his memories, the good memories, and none of his own, the ones that had caused so much pain. Pain Sam would give anything to take back.

Luminous green eyes flickered through a half dozen emotions, tears glistening before being relegated back to that dungeon, permission denied. Dean looked straight at his brother, determination and confidence strong again, surging forth from some hidden reservoir. "Even Dorothy wanted to go home. Chose to leave that Technicolor bright and go back to living in the black and white gritty…" Dean paused, collecting his thoughts, sorting through his feelings and coming to a conclusion, his voice firm and sure as he continued, "'Cause that's where life happens." His eyes turned tender, assuming the familiar role of big brother, sharing his insight and wisdom with a clarity that harkened back to the old Dean. "Sam, if you settle for those fake memories then you never have a shot at making something real. It means…it means your life is over, done."

Struggling, unsure if he could say what he needed to, ask the question poised on the tip of his tongue that demanded to be answered, Sam shuddered through his own surging emotions before he set his shoulders and barreled into unknown territory. "Aren't you acting like your life is already over?" He audibly gasped as his voice went even lower and softer, probing…pleading…trying to grasp hold of where his big brother's head was. "Dean, you've been down for months now. After Hell…after everything else, I'd think you'd welcome the chance to chuck it all."

"Yeah, maybe…" Dean nodded in recognition of past actions. Then in defiance his eyes rose as he straightened up to his full height, his voice rumbling with that familiar grit. "But if I do, then it is over. If I can hang on, then there's always a chance, slim as that might be…" His voice trailed off, a distant longing touching upon every feature of his face, his reaction pensive and thoughtful as he tunneled inward. It was unclear whether he was seeking to hide behind yet another fortress or find comfort in a safe harbor, in all probability most likely a combination of both, not that Dean would ever truly hide, but even a strong man needs to regroup on occasion. He closed his eyes for a moment and softly breathed. Soon all tension was banished, all worry and hurts somehow magically chased off. Dean's eyes opened and clear green crystals gazed upon his brother, that young boy who still believed miraculously back again, his face pure and angelic, his stance youthful and carefree, standing there unscathed within the shipwreck that was his life.

A hush fell over Sam, the image before him so long missing, in actuality never before existing within his memory. His only glimpse of this undamaged Dean coming from his brother's memories in Heaven, a small boy sharing a quiet moment with his mom, a child. A child long ago surrendered in their dad's fight with evil. Dean's real childhood weighed down by the demands placed upon a boy forced to grow up too fast, morphing into that forgiving child who readily took on too much responsibility, freely abandoning childhood for duties unfathomable to most grown men. Not wanting to disturb the mesmerizing sight before him, but needing to know, Sam softly whispered, "A chance for what?"

Dean offered the slightest hint of a smile, blessed by pinpoint dimples, serenity embracing him from within and filtering out as a glimmer of hope flickered deep within those expressive eyes. "For things to change…for us to…" He paused, sensitive eyes opening wide, inviting his brother in, welcoming him into his inner sanctum.

The pause was excruciating, the wait for Dean to release the last of his thoughts taking Sam to the very edge of anticipation. He was so close and he needed to know. He leaned in, trembling and expectant. "What, Dean?"

"For us to find our way back to us."

The trepidation Sam had been under cracked wide open releasing his anxiety and fears, the concern on his face easing as hope again filled the empty caverns. Dean was still fighting for them, still in the fight, still hoping.

For just a moment Sam allowed himself to relax, contentedly stretching out, his right hand pushing beneath his pillow as he settled down in soothing slumber, a peaceful smile drawing up his lips. The world was right again. Dean was right again, back on track to becoming who he'd always been, the man who despite all odds always found his way back from the precipice. The man who somehow managed to conquer each new challenge placed before him, steadfast and sure in every battle, confident and so damn capable of overcoming whatever trials life brought.

The bliss of the moment was fleeting as Sam startled to consciousness when a loud bang registered off to his right disturbing his newfound bliss. Slowly he opened his eyes, blinking back the sleep and confusion to silently observe his brother. Dean had his back to him, shoulders tense and stooped as he packed his duffel, every movement stilted and precise, like a hundred times before. Like every morning since Dean came back from Hell, actions cold and deliberate, hard and unyielding, detached and distant.

"You going to sleep all morning or we gonna hit the road?"

The words were loud and gruff, far removed from the tender words spoken just a minute before, all hope and faith wiped out as the stark reality of Dean's struggles intruded into the fantasy of a lost moment. In response Sam closed his eyes and pretended he was still asleep, preferring the dream over reality…if just for the moment. Maybe when he woke up, when he next gazed into Dean's troubled eyes he'd find something within them, something to take away this bitter taste, something to give him hope again.

He only needed a moment…just one more moment.

The End


April 2010

All standard disclaimers apply.

This was written when the episode aired and I felt it was somewhat depressing but real. Somehow it got lost and never posted, and maybe that's a good thing because we now know Dean did find hope again, that faith in Sam.

I love that Sam again found something in Dean's eyes; I'm seeing it now as that wink in Point of No Return. I knew Kripke wouldn't leave Dean this broken for long, or allow him to let Sammy down.

Thanks for reading, reviews would be lovely. Take care, B.J.