First multichapter of the account, whoop whoop! It's looking to be somewhere between 10-15 chapters, possibly more or less. And lots of angst and whump to go around, which, of course, is always fun. There is a point in this chapter where things switch tenses, and yes, that is completely intentional. I think you'll understand it when you get to it. Other than that, I don't think there's much left to say. Hope you enjoy!
Set S1, sometime after Skin but before the end of Asylum.
Disclaimer: I don't Supernatural or anything affiliated.
He's seen her somewhere before.
He's been alone in his apartment at Stanford for some time now, but she's here now and he knows he's seen her before and she obviously knows him pretty well. She's in and out of the room, so quickly that he can barely even see her face, barely hear her voice, but whatever she's saying seems like something he should be listening to, someone he wants to listen to, so he tunes his hearing for her soft, high-pitched voice and tries to make out what she's telling him.
But suddenly it's silent, and when he turns around she's no longer in the room, and this time he can't hear her in the next room. He feels the sudden urge to call out for her, because for some reason he wants her to be there with him so badly, but he can't recall her name, even though he's sure it's on the tip of his tongue. A timid hello escapes his lips and he waits for her to respond to him, because somehow he just knows that she will and the strange feeling of unease that he's just noticed will disappear.
But she doesn't.
He takes a step forward, calling out again and again waiting for her to come back into the room so that he can see her face. But again there's nothing, and he finds himself taking more and more steps. There are a few pictures scattered around the room, in girly, very Martha Stewart frames that his brother would mock him relentlessly for, but they're obviously hers and he finds that he loves them. He sees himself in the pictures, smiling and laughing and happy, and he wonders when they were taken because it's so rare that he looks so carefree and unburdened, and it's even rarer when anyone other than his brother gets to witness it.
And then there's her, standing next to him and hugging herself to his chest. At least he assumes it's her, because for whatever reason all of the pictures seem to be blurred and distorted where her face should be, but who else would it be? He continues to make his way across the room, poking his head through a door and calling out one last time for her, holding his breath and straining to listen for her answer.
He feels that sense of unease escalating, and before he can truly understand why, he's rushing across the room, looking in the bathroom, the closet, the kitchen, the stairs, the living room, just anywhere she might be. But she isn't there. The pictures of her have become even more unclear, and he's straining his memory to remember her face and coming up blank. And somehow it's the worst feeling in the world.
And then he gets it. A flash of blonde, curly hair that he's seen before, and he knows deep down that it's hers. Another flash; her eyes, bright blue and the most beautiful things he's ever seen. Another flash, and he's seeing her entire face now, and she's laughing and smiling at him and he feels so much love for her in that one moment that the unease jumps to full-blown panic, and now he has to find her and figure out what's wrong, and who she is because he still can't remember her name.
And then she screams.
It takes him a moment to notice that he's back in the bedroom, and even longer to realize that her scream came from right above him and that something's falling on his head in a steady drip, drip, drip. And even as he comes to the conclusion that something is horribly wrong and that he needs to look up and see what's happening, he can't, because he can already feel his chest tightening and his throat closing up, and he's frozen where he stands.
But he can't seem to control his body and he finds himself looking up anyway, and then he sees her. Her eyes are wide and scared, and her mouth is open in another scream, this one silent and unending. But the thing that really catches his attention is the fact that she's pinned to the ceiling with a wide tear across her stomach that's still dripping blood down onto his face.
And then the fire starts.
He doesn't even know how it starts, because there's no spark to ignite it, no warning that anything's going to happen; it comes completely out of nowhere, and suddenly the entire ceiling has burst into flames, surrounding her and consuming her body and dancing off of her eyes, which are dulling now as the life slowly drains from her. The fear, though, and the pain and confusion is imprinted in his mind, and he knows in this one moment that he will never be able to forget this.
But he can't remember her.
Even as she's slowly dying above him and he's screaming for her, he can't think of her name to save his life- or rather, save her life. The complete and utter pain in his heart is screaming at him to remember her, remember who she is and why he loves her, because he knows that he could only feel this way if he really and truly loved her. As he stands there, screaming and holding back tears, he can see her lips barely moving as she tries to say something to him.
She knows his name. She knows his name, knows his face and who he is, yet he can't remember her. Why can't he remember her? He wants to tell her how sorry he is, comfort her somehow as she's dying, but before he can her lips are moving again and her voice is louder this time.
He freezes, and for a few precious seconds he can only stare at her as she continues to speak.
And her voice is louder this time, and it gets louder each time she repeats it.
"JESSICA!" Sam's eyes flew open as he jerked awake, feeling the cold sweat that had soaked his shirt and breathing heavily as he sat up. He reached blindly for the lamp, suddenly needing to be out of the darkness. When the light finally switched on he saw Dean out of the corner of his eye, already on his feet and holding his knife in front of him, looking wildly around the room. When his eyes locked on Sam he stopped, lowering the knife as a new, different kind of caution came into his eyes.
"You okay?" he asked quietly, watching his younger brother carefully as he sat back down onto the bed. Sam nodded, rubbing his hand across his eyes and letting out a deep breath. "M'fine," he muttered, swinging his legs over the edge of the bed and trying not to stumble as he made his way to the bathroom. He splashed cold water over his face, feeling Dean's eyes on him from the doorway and ignoring the quiet, "Of course you are."
"When did I fall asleep?" he asked tiredly. He'd barely slept at all in the past however long it had been and he hadn't slept in at the least the past 72 hours, but damned if he didn't hate those rare moments when his eyes fell shut of their own accord, because that always led to him either jerking out of a nightmare on his own or being shaken awake by Dean after his screaming had woken him up.
"A little after three, I think," was the answer, and he found himself nodding even though he really didn't care. "I wouldn't know, since unlike some people I try not to stay awake until I pass out." Sam nodded again, refraining from pointing out that he'd been sitting up when he'd fallen asleep and not laying underneath the sheets, which meant that obviously Dean had either gone to bed or woken up sometime in between then and now. Instead he dried his face and brushed past Dean, going straight for his bag and searching for an aspirin for his pounding head.
Dean's eyes bore into his back as he swallowed the pill dry, rubbing his temples. "Did you find anything?" he finally asked, desperate to bring the attention away from himself. There was a slight pause before his older brother sighed, and Sam finally turned around, deeming himself in the clear. "Nothing, nada, zip," he said, grabbing a small pile of articles that they'd been sifting through the night before. "We'll have to hit the road and start looking somewhere else, maybe call up one of Dad's old contacts and see if they've heard anything that we might be interested in."
Sam nodded, sinking down onto the bed and reaching for his father's journal, flipping to a random page. "Alright, sounds good. Hey, why don't you go grab us something to eat? I'll look through Dad's journal one more time, just to make sure there isn't something we missed."
"Sure, okay." Dean reached for his jacket, sliding it on and pulling his keys out of the pocket. "What do you want?" Sam shook his head, and when he did Dean couldn't help but notice how pale he looked and how dark the rings under his eyes had become. "I'm not really that hungry," Sam said dismissively. The elder Winchester frowned, opening his mouth to argue. "But you just said-" Then he seemed to think better of it and just sighed. "I'll bring you back a short stack," he muttered under his breath.
As soon as the door closed behind him Sam leaned back against the headboard, rubbing his eyes and taking a few deep breaths. Jessica. He repeated the name in his head a few times, just to comfort himself. Jessica, Jessica, Jessica. He remembered her; of course he remembered her. She had been the love of his life, the one person that kept him from going insane during his time at Stanford. The pain was still as fresh as it had been the night she died; there was no way that memory was going away any time soon.
Her memory was one that he'd make sure never, ever disappeared.
That nightmare had been worse than any of the other ones he'd had since her death. Granted, there hadn't been more than a dozen or so since he refused to sleep unless his body just couldn't carry him anymore or Dean threatened to hit him over the head with one of their shovels. But the other dreams, they were different. Those had a repetition to them, a pattern that he could at least figure out. This one, though, had brought one of his biggest fears to light: the fear that one day, he would forget her, and she would be nothing but a happy roadblock in his life.
"God, Jessica…" he whispered, feeling his throat close up as he thought of her. No, he told himself, no. He would never forget her, never. He might forget the pain one day; god, he hoped he would forget it. But Jessica herself? It would never happen. Jessica was a part of him, and he would take her memory with him to the grave. He would never forget her, he wouldn't, he wouldn't, he wouldn't.
He slipped under the thin sheets of the bed, letting his head fall limply onto the pillow and staring straight at the wall. Jessica, Jessica, Jessica, he repeated, picturing her face in his mind, her hair, her laugh, everything about her that had made her so incredibly beautiful to him. Jessica, Jessica. Blonde hair, blue eyes, those cute little freckles. She was the best thing that had ever happened to him, and if anyone had helped him get over the guilt of leaving his family behind, it had been her. Even Dean had seen what an amazing person she was in the brief time he'd met her. Jessica…
He let his eyes drift slowly shut, still picturing her in his mind.
And even as he found himself dozing off, he could almost swear that he heard her voice calling out to him again…
Don't let the complete lack of anything but angst fool you. If I have my way, there will be much limp!Sam and limp!Dean to come. But because it's set S1, and because Sam had trouble getting over Jessica, there will still be a lot of angst from Sam, and Dean will have to swoop in and be that amazing big brother that he's always been. So with that sad, I will bid you all adieu, with the promise of the next chapter being up sometime this week. Reviews?