LEAVE THE DEVIL IN THE DUST
By: Karen B.
Summary: Season Seven Spoiler Warning. -Super short missing scene for 7.05. Written because 'sweaty new-Sam' is a-friggin'-dorable!
Disclaimer: Not the owner.
"Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever." – Lance Armstrong.
One… two breathe in, one… two breathe out, one… two breathe in, one… two breathe out, one… two in, one… two out, one… two in, one… two out, in and out, in and out; Sam held his breathing pattern, taking air in and out through his open mouth, completely engrossed in his long, early morning run. He'd started out in the darkness of pre-dawn, had watched the horizon slowly turn from black to gray to peach colored with the rise of the sun. Felt the night air turn from damp and cool, to fresh and warm as he embraced the quiet rhythmic beginning of a new day.
He'd started running again two weeks into the trio's layup at Rufus's cabin. When they'd first arrived, Sam had found it practically impossible to motivate his body to do anything, including crawl out of bed. He was skittish, stressed, frustrated, and okay, yeah, he was confused and scared. Until one day, for whatever reason, he just woke up and his body screamed, "Run!"
So Sam obeyed the call and he ran. It didn't take long before he began to see a difference in himself. He became stronger and more confident and more relaxed than he had ever remembered feeling in a very long time. When he ran it was one of the few times his mind held little thought, and he knew he was doing it; building that wall like Dean had said- stone-by-stone. The blood-curdled, screaming fury of hell seeming to disappear with every mile he left behind him.
At first he didn't think Bobby or Dean would let him out of their sight, but they seemed okay with him running, at least they didn't say anything that first day he'd strapped on his running shoes and headed off into the woods alone. Although Dean had made him take his cell phone making sure the GPS was turned on, not to mention a couple added-in weapons: a silver knife, small bottle of holy water, a pouch of salt, along with explicit instructions not to sprain his ankle or stop to talk to little girls wearing red hoods in search of grandmother's house.
The thought of his overprotective brother shielding him from 'the big bad wolf' always put a smile on Sam's face.
One… two breathe in, one… two breathe out, one… two breathe in, one… two breathe out, one… two in, one… two out, one… two in, one… two out, in and out, in and out he ran.
There came the caw of a crow, the call of a loon, the screech of a blue jay, the whistle of a train. It all seemed so peaceful and normal and felt so good.
The two-lane highway was lined with telephone poles; across the street on Sam's left was an empty brown field, next to him on his right a grassy green golf course. He snickered to himself imagining Dean swinging a nine iron, dressed in crisp white slacks and blue striped polo with matching blue sun visor.
One… two breathe in, one… two breathe out, one… two breathe in, one… two breathe out.
There wasn't much traffic this time of day, but Sam made sure to keep his feet on the gravel shoulder, following the twists and curves of the old, country-like road. Salty sweat poured off him like rain, his hair slicked back and sopping wet, the T-shirt under his jogging jacket also sopping wet and stuck like glue to his back and chest.
Running was invigorating and Sam savored the sound of his feet smacking heavy and hard against the ground, heart pumping overtime behind his rib cage, the blood flowing faster through his veins. He was on mile seven, only one mile left and he'd be back at the motel. The thought almost made him sad. He sometimes wished he could run forever. Day and night and never ever stop.
Running had been one part of dad's military training Sam had never objected to. When he was a kid he used to dream about running so fast and so far and so long until he would finally run out of road. And when that would happen he would still not stop. He would keep on running straight across the ocean if he had to. Running and running until he outran their past and their family curse and the thing that killed mom. And then he and his family could finally start a new and normal life. It was too bad childhood wishes tarnished like old pennies sunken at the bottom of a well. He didn't remember when he'd given up on running, or on wishing for that matter. Didn't know why either. He just did.
One… two breathe in, one… two breathe out, one… two breathe in, one… two breathe out.
Maybe he'd taken up running again out of boredom. Or maybe he ran to escape the things that were haunting him. Or so that Dean and Bobby wouldn't see the wild-eyed fear he knew to be shining in his eyes. But no matter the reason, Sam soon realized how much he'd missed stretching his legs and his lungs. How good it made his body feel. How it tightened every thigh and calf muscle until they ached. How free and in control he was when he ran.
Not at first of course. At first he was slow and stumbling, his breathing pattern making him dizzy and lightheaded. The first time he'd returned to the cabin from just a mile run in the woods, Bobby had to grab hold of him by the arm and haul his ass over to a chair before he face planted; while his couch-potato brother hounded him 24/7 with super-freaked-out looks for the next four days straight. Was damn near embarrassing and annoying to say the least, but with the passing of each day that Sam woke and his body screamed at him to get out of bed and run, his pacing improved and Dean's kooky brother goggles fell wayside.
One… two breathe in, one… two breathe out, one… two breathe in, one… two breathe out, one… two in, one… two out, one… two in, one… two out, in and out, in and out.
After a month of running, Sam started to challenge himself, jacking up the mileage from two, to three, to five. He was up to eight miles a day now and proud of it.
It was cathartic how the road- be it gravel, concrete, or dirt- never judged, never eyed him worriedly. Never noticed how messed up he really was. How he'd sometimes lose his grip on reality. See things that weren't there. Shout out at random. Struggle to wake from a nightmare. Talk irrationally to - what he knew to Dean and Bobby was – nothing more than an empty chair.
The road didn't care where he came from, or where he was going, or whether he got there, or how many dings of the bell it took before a guy totally cracked-up with crazy. The road never cared what he'd done in his past or what he would do in his future or what kind of person he'd become-or had not become. The road never tried to fix him. Because the road never knew he was broken. The road never said a single solitary word, and Sam was just left to simply be… Sam.
"Ugh." Sam shook the emo, girly thoughts from his head, they sounded way too much like Mel Gibson's 'Nike campaign pitch scene' in that movie he'd watched a while back.
What Woman Need. No, What Woman Want.
Dean would rile him forever if he knew he'd watched that chick-flick, by himself, no less.
A small rusted pickup truck whizzed by crossing over the double yellow, and giving Sam a wide berth. Most folks seemed respectful and cautious and extra careful watching out for him as he ran. There was, however, the occasional car that came too close. One motorcyclist, several weeks back, and ignoring anyone's safety, zipped past Sam so fast and so close Sam swore he'd brushed shoulders with the biker dude and nearly toppled down a small incline into a sewage ditch. Sam made sure not to let Dean ever know about that, or his running days would have ended right there and then.
He was in the home stretch now, and Sam pushed his body harder and faster. The wind had dried his lips and parched his throat. He couldn't wait to get back to the motel and down a bottle of Gatorade. Running was fantastic and gave him renewed energy, making him feel like a catastrophic hurricane. Like maybe he really could keep the pieces of his mind, body, and soul together.
That thought made Sam feel cocky. Maybe he could beat the devil. Maybe Bobby was right. He'd done it once before… he could do it again. Speaking of the devil-
Twisting around, dance-like, Sam jogged backwards. His cockiness growing even bigger at the sight of Lucifer over one-hundred yards back, lagging behind him alongside the road, face flushed and scowling and moving along in a sort of lazy half-jog, half-trudge. The dick was always yammering about a donut and coffee fix, no wonder running was the perfect way for Sam to shake the fallen angel from his shoulder-at least for a few hours a day.
Sam happily held up the fuck-off sign, then turned back around to face forward. Taking his right hand, about to squeeze the wound on his left, to make the devil vanish, he quickly decided against it and let his arms and hands go back to moving his body along faster. He rather liked the idea of Lucifer trailing behind and powerless.
Sam knew then, he would stay the course; keep piling up those stones. Keep Lucifer from separating him from reality, from his family, leave the devil in the dust.
There was, however, one downside to running – the way it made him stink- he wrinkled his nose as he hit the motel room door and burst inside, on a runners high.
"Someone better be chasing you," Dean snarked bitchily from behind his laptop.
AN: Rock on! Season Seven is phenomenal!