E/O Challenge: Label

The Band Played On

Many had claimed the violin was a fake; that it had not belonged to Wallace Hartley, despite the claims on the museum label. But as Dean stared at it through finger-smeared glass it began to play; a bitter-sweet melody that filled the older Winchester's mind and swept him back in time.

And suddenly he was jumping for his life; leaping from a huge ship as it slipped beneath the inky-black waves; devoured by the sea. He swam amongst a swarm of screaming men and women, all desperate to find respite from the bitter-cold water.

Minutes later their thrashing-bodies stilled; their terrified voices fell silent. Dean, his body frozen, stopped swimming; stopped fighting for his life. He closed his eyes and waited for death; welcomed it in fact.

"Dean...Dean," the familiar voice was urgent. "Come back to me, bro."

Trembling hands shook his too numb body and reluctantly he opened his eyes, convinced he was still floating in an icy sea of despair.

Blinking he stared up at his worried brother, instantly realising he was safe; that he was back in the museum; had in fact never left.

"You with me," Sammy murmured, helping him to his none-too-steady feet.

Dean squeezed his brother's arm in reply, the reassurance as much for himself as for Sam.

He looked again at the now silent violin; saw his own gaunt reflection in the dusty glass. And just for a moment Wallace Hartley was reflected there too – head pressed firmly against his violin; his bow gliding majestically over pure-white strings as he played; a prayer for himself and the other lost souls:

There let the way appear, steps unto heaven;

all that thou sendest me, in mercy given;

angels to beckon me

nearer, my God, to thee;

nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!

In memory of the 1,503 people who died on the Titanic 100 years ago today.