This fic was inspired by the lyrics of the song Lullaby Suicide by Ryan Starr.
I believe everything I was told, I believe that we'll never grow old
I will tell you the same today, so take my days and take them away
Take my wings and tell me that I never caught you and I never can
It was never forever. You always knew that. You didn't want to believe it, you wanted to close your eyes and plug your ears and believe that when he looked at you, he saw a blue house with shutters on the windows and two kids and a dog named Daisy and twin rocking chairs on the porch where you could drink coffee every morning until you were shriveled and grey. You wanted to believe he saw a nine-to-five life and PTA meetings and backyard barbeques and you getting lines around your eyes and loosing your figure but him still saying you made his heart race. You wanted to think he saw everything you did when you looked at him. But somewhere, deep inside, you knew there was another force in his life pulling him away from you. Somewhere, passed the puppy love and the rush of emotions and the way he made you feel when he smiled at you, you knew it wouldn't last.
It was never forever. That's the horrible truth of it all. Even right from the beginning, he was never truly yours. It would have been beautiful – could have been beautiful, if he'd been yours unconditionally. But he wasn't.
The day you met him stands out so starkly in your mind; it's on your list of the best days of your life, right up there along with the day you got your braces off and that one Christmas when Mom and Dad gave you a cat. He was just walking in the hallway, you didn't even notice him until he was pointed out to you. Even with his height, he had this way of sinking into himself so it was easy to overlook him. But once you noticed him, you couldn't stop looking. No one could. He was ethereal, like a beacon. He radiated warmth and life, he drew people in like a moth to a flame, and you were no different. Brady called him over; they were roommates and he happened to be walking by as you and Brady were leaving the Chem lab. Or was it a history class? You can't remember. Because time stood still the moment those magical hazel eyes met yours.
"Thought you could get away with sneakin' passed me?" Brady accuses jovially, clapping him on the shoulder when he gets within reaching distance.
"Sorry, man," he grins sheepishly, "didn't see you there."
"Excuses!" Brady snorts. "This fine little piece is Jess, by the way."
He looks at you, and then he smiles, and the whole world stops turning for a moment.
"Sam," he says, extending his hand, which thank the lord you manage to take and shake it without drooling all over yourself.
It's easy, from there. Natural. You bumped into him from time to time in Arts building or the library or the cafeteria. It was effortless banter at first, and then an actual conversation or two, or three, and then once he bought you a cappuccino and you sat by a window in the student's lounge and talked for almost three hours before either of you realized you completely missed your afternoon classes. He was sweet; kind and complimentary; easy to talk to. He was charming in that quiet, timid way, like he didn't quite realize how charismatic he really was. And he flirted almost apologetically, like one disdainfully raised eyebrow from you would've sent him running home with his tail between his legs. But you got the impression right away that there was so much more to him than he was letting you see. He was a bit mysterious under his gentle demeanor; there was something dark in him, just enough to be interesting. Like he had a lifetime of horrible secrets hidden just behind a mask. His eyes had sorrow in them, but his smile was wide and dimpled and full of promise and affection, and you fell for him hook, line and sinker.
At first, it was wonderful. He was funny, you found out, once he knew a person enough to let his guard down a little. He made you laugh until you cried, and he said you had a beautiful laugh and then your heart melted all over again. And he was smart, he would come home from a philosophy class or a geology class all flushed and lit up, he'd go on for an hour about everything he'd learned and how fascinating it all was. You could sit there and watch him talk about anything and never get bored. He was so passionate, even about little things, that he was captivating. The way he touched you, even if it was just a hand on your shoulder, was always so gentle and reverent, like he thought you were something perfect and precious, something that should be worshiped and protected. He made you feel things you never thought you would, and he made every emotion a million times brighter by just being there with you. It took less than a semester for you to fall completely in love with him. You were even doodling 'Mrs. Jessica Winchester' on your notebooks, for god's sake.
But you were right about him, all those months ago when you first met and you thought you saw shadows behind his eyes. He didn't tell you much about his life, he made up some story you didn't believe for a second, about his mother dying in a fire and a brother he didn't talk to anymore and a father who was on the road all the time as he was growing up, but you didn't press the issue because you always thought he'd come clean when he was ready. He never did, and the few times you actually got him to talk about his family, little flickers of thunder would pass over his features. The sheer weight of the look on his face whenever he spoke of them, how dark and quiet he turned – in those moments he sort of scared you. There was something horrible in his past, or maybe some things, and as much as you itched to know you rarely asked. You pulled him into bed with you instead, did your best to touch and kiss and tease the pain away. It never worked, not really. But you kept trying, because he was wonderful and amazing and you wanted to spend the rest of your life by his side, even if there were parts of him you'd never know.
And then there was the brother. Sam talked about him the most, but even then it was rare. His face would light up, though, when the word 'Dean' passed over his lips. His big brother, his best friend growing up, the only person from his pre-Stanford life that he actually regretted leaving behind. You saw a picture, once. He was stunning, he looked like a movie star. He was standing next to an old muscle car in this beat up leather jacket that was a little too big for him, but it looked like an add from a magazine. The way the sun played on his skin, his bright eyes and toothpaste-commercial smile; you could hardly look away.
"Yeah," Sam mumbles, shrugging and laughing a little in response to you staring at the picture like it's made of solid gold. "That's kinda how everyone reacts to him. He always got all the girls."
"Hey, c'mon, you are gorgeous. You're a total stud, people look at you all the time when your back is turned," you say, deliberately setting the picture down on the counter and sliding your arms around Sam's neck. "If you weren't with me, you'd be beating 'em off with a stick."
He smiles and shakes his head fondly, but he kisses you anyway, warm and soft, and perfect. You get lost in it, drowning in dreams of a life full of this; of the two of you together, talking and laughing and fighting and loving each other.
There were signs. If you'd gotten the chance to look back, you'd have realized there was something there all along. Maybe if you hadn't been so busy making goo-goo eyes at your big, strong, handsome boyfriend, you'd have seen everything coming and gotten yourself out while there was still time. You didn't, you never had the opportunity, but there definitely were signs. He'd retreat into himself sometimes, he'd go quiet and sad and detached for days at a time, even when nothing had happened as far as you could tell. A few times, you caught him sitting at the kitchen table with his cell in his hand, just staring at it with an intensity you'd never seen before. He'd just stare at it, like he was waiting for it to ring, or like he was hoping if he looked long enough it would give him answers to a question he wasn't ready to ask. And there were times, too many to count, when you were in the throes of passion together and he'd make this noise, soft and barely there and to anyone else it might just sound like a small puff of breath, but to your hyper-aware ears it sounded like "De". It didn't make any sense, so you put it out of your mind, but maybe you shouldn't have. Maybe that was your fatal mistake.
You knew, the night the man you'd only seen pictures of showed up in your living room, that it was over. You may not have wanted to believe it, but you knew. Somewhere, as deep down as feelings can go, you knew that watching him walk out of your apartment with his brother was like watching him walk out of your life. The way he looked at Dean, the way the older man only had to say a few words, obviously laced with hidden meanings, and in a heartbeat Sam was packing a bag and running off with the brother he claimed to not even speak to anymore. As far as you knew, Sam hadn't had any contact with his brother for the whole two years you'd known him, and yet all it took was a few sentences and a well-placed look and Sam was gone. Like it was that easy, like all along you meant that little to him, that he could just leave you at the drop of a hat. Maybe that's petty. Maybe he really did love you, but he just loved Dean more.
You never had his heart. Not completely, anyway. That force, that magnetic force you always almost felt pulling Sam away from you, all along it was Dean. It was Dean's call Sam was waiting for when he'd stare at his phone with unseeing eyes. It was Dean's name Sam would try desperately not to moan while you had your mouth wrapped around him. It was Dean who would spontaneously enter Sam's thoughts and make his face crumble and leave him moody for days at a time. All the times Sam seemed wistful and distant like he wasn't really there, it was because Dean was a part of Sam that had gone missing. The glimmers of green in Sam's eyes – that was Dean, peeking through the curtain and watching you and controlling Sam from the inside. Every moment in your life together suddenly felt like a lie; like a terrible fabrication of something Sam thought he wanted but was never meant to have.
When Brady's eyes turned black and his voice changed and his smile went cold and cruel, you were hardly even surprised. You should have seen it coming, it all made sense even if really it didn't make any sense at all. He flung you across the room with just a nod of his head, pinning you to the wall and somehow defying gravity as he slid you up to the ceiling. He sliced you open with invisible knives, piercing your skin and muscle and you were paralyzed, unable to move or even scream even though it seared like fire. And then he left, and just as the excruciating pain was almost becoming too much and you were about to pass out from it, Sam came back. He laid down on the bed, your bed, the one you shared. His eyes were closed for a moment, he looked sleepy and casual and almost peaceful, until a few drops of your spilled blood fell onto his forehead and he opened his eyes.
He shouted out for you, your name and an agonized "No!", but it was too late for you. It was too late for you the moment you shook his hand hello. The last thing you see before the world explodes is him – the other one. The brother. Dean. Pulling Sam away from you, one last time.