Nothing Remains

Author: gidgetgal9

Beta: sendintheklowns

Banner: Princess_schez (located on Live Journal and Supernaturalville)

Rating: PG-13

Summary: It is time for Dean to unpack. Episode tag to Swan Song.

A/N: This story was written for the Summer of Sam 2012 challenge and is based off a prompt by my wonderful friend Floralia. Floralia along with myself and our friend sendintheclowns, decided to have a little friendly prompt fest among ourselves for this summer. Original prompt in the ending notes.

Title from the Poem,

Nothing Remains by Sri Chinmoy

Whatever appears to leave us
Actually does not leave.
Whatever appears to stay with us
Actually does not stay.
Nothing remains.
Everything is a mystery
Of constant gain and loss.

It was a hot May Day and Dean felt like he was burning up as he sat on the back porch of Lisa's house sipping beer. It felt right to suffer considering where his brother was. He wanted to suffer, but that wasn't fair to Lisa or Ben, so he was trying, he really was, but geesh, if this wasn't the hardest thing he'd ever faced.

His musings were broke by Lisa's presence.

"Dean, I was thinking."

Lisa's voice was tentative and soft, like she was afraid of startling a wild animal and Dean supposed that was the case. He at least felt like a caged wild animal.

"Yeah, what's up?" Dean tried to keep his tone light and fed her a slight smile.

Lisa returned the gesture with a bright smile.

"Just, if you are going to stay with us, maybe you should, unpack?"

Dean gave a slight nod. "Yeah, I'll um, get on that this afternoon."

"Dean, I'm not pushing, I'd never push you but if you take baby steps this whole process of adjusting won't be so overwhelming. I've had a few do overs in my life and while none of them measure up to what you are experiencing, I just want you to know, I do get it is hard to start over. Just baby steps, okay?"

"Yeah, and thanks." Dean took the last draw off his beer and handed the bottle to Lisa.

She took the bottle and headed in without another word. Dean made his way to the garage where he had the Impala parked. He and Lisa had decided that with all the secrets it held, maybe it was best to keep it under lock and key. Dean was sharing Lisa's car until he could find a job and a vehicle for himself.

He unlocked the side garage door and entered, turning on the light as he moved toward the car. His car, his baby, his home. The Impala had saved him from Satan and looking at her now brought all those feelings right back, not that they were ever far away. Alcohol dulled them but never totally took them away.

Sam's face full of fear but determined to finish what he had started as he jumped into the cage. That moment was what had Dean waking drenched in sweat, Sam's name on the tip of his lips. Lisa taking him into her arms and holding him until the shaking stopped. That was his nights now.

Lisa was right; he needed to move forward and he had in some ways. His duffel was in the house with the essentials but it was still all packed like he was ready to bolt and he needed to remedy that situation. He did need to put everything away properly, and to clean the car one last time before storing it.

Cleaning and unpacking could wait until he sorted the car out. The trunk, that was what needed tending first but it was what Dean was dreading. It contained their weapons and what was left of Sam's life.

Dean opened the trunk and the first thing his eyes landed on was Sam's duffel. He reluctantly grabbed it and closed the trunk, sitting his brother's bag gingerly on top of the trunk.

He unzipped the bag and the first thing he noticed was a piece of paper on top. A note, with the name Dean, neatly written on it in Sam's handwriting.

Dean picked it up and slowly slid to the floor as he contemplated unfolding the paper. This would be the last time he got to communicate with Sam. Sam's last words.

Damn him for creating one last chick flick moment. Dean thought as he smiled and wiped at the tears threatening to fall.

As he shakily unfolded the paper in his hand, the first thing he noticed was the neat precise handwriting. His brother oozed perfection right down to his handwriting. It was something Dean gleefully teased him about and something that he would definitely miss along with so many things.

God was he going to miss the big dork.

Dean took a steadying breath and began to read.

Hey Dean,

I hope this letter finds you at Lisa's house like you promised. Not that I can do much about it now, but I just know from my experience, when you left me, well being alone is not good. Being with Bobby just made things worse, and I think Lisa could make things easier, keep you from making the mistakes I made.

I wasn't sure about leaving a final note but I remembered wishing you had left me one, so I decided it would be best. I played with the idea of making something light hearted or silly like Gabriel's final video but that's really not my style. But, I did leave you my porn collection, I stuck the few mags I had courtesy of you, in your stash. Enjoy bro.

I'll try to keep this short and to the point, but bear with me because you know I tend to ramble when I'm nervous.

In my duffel you will find two books that belong to Bobby. I really wanted to give them back to him before...well, I just couldn't go there and be so final. He'll probably kill be because I made notes all in the margins. Give him my apologies.

Dean snorted in sad amusement. Bobby always liked when Sam added information from his geeky brain, to his collection even if he did bitch about it.

I guess you can toss my clothes when you are up to it. Not that I could go there with you, but yeah, don't feel like you have to hold onto them.

My weapons are yours or you can give them to Bobby. Whatever you think is best.

The laptop has some things that you might want. My files on hunting and I have some photos saved you might want. Right before, well... I sent those files to Bobby so if something has happened to my computer don't worry.

I also kept kind of a journal over the years that was my thoughts and... yeah I can so hear you calling me a girl right now.

Dean snickered. Samantha kept a diary, such a girl.

I made a lot of mistakes and I think you and I were on a good place at the end, but the journal has my thoughts on why I did what I did, and how I hated myself for the mistakes afterwards. It might make it easier to understand and in time forgive some of my actions.

I wish I had something to leave you besides porn mags and weapons but such is our lives. I know the amulet was something I cherished when you were gone. It made me feel like part of you was still with me, but I don't have something like that to leave you. Part of me wishes I had grabbed it from the trash when you tossed it, but at the time you seemed to be done with it and any meaning it might have had in the past so I left it. I was afraid if I kept it, knowing how you felt about it now, that it would cause me more pain looking at it.

Just know that I will always be with you in spirit and you don't have to have some silly symbol from our childhood to remind you of that. Move forward and live life for the both of us. That is all I ask.

I'm not even sure how to end this letter. Goodbyes are never easy even on paper. Just know that I do love you Dean and I have no regrets.

Take care of yourself, Jerk, Sam

Dean stifled a sob. He ached for his loss and ached over how little he had left of his brother. There would always be memories but God Damn It, all of Sam's life was crammed in the truck of the Impala. He didn't even have the amulet and for the first time since he dumped it in the trash, ready to let hope go, he physically ached for it.

At the moment he had let go of the amulet, his mind had been on how futile it had been for Castiel and how it no longer represented Dean's life anymore. It was the past that had dragged him down and he had to let it go.

Now, he realized how foolish he had been. It had been one of the few links to his childhood with Sam. A childhood that had been hard but the one shining spot had been his relationship with Sam. Now it was gone just like his stupid heroic brother and he was left all alone to pick up the pieces.

Dean slowly folded the paper back in place and stood up. He gently placed the letter back in Sam's bag and zipped it. This was too much to handle right now.

Lisa had said the words baby steps, and damn it, he was going to have to take some awful small steps to even begin to move forward but he would. He owed it to Sam to move forward with the life Sam had always wanted.

Sam had wanted this for him and even if it was going to about kill him to do it, he would. Sam deserved at least the peace of knowing he could trust his brother to follow through. Dean wasn't going to let Sam down.

End

A/ N: Thanks for reading. I would like to thank Floralia for the wonderful prompt and sendintheclowns for handing holding and beta work. Princess_schez made the very cool banner and I appreciate her doing that for me!

Prompt- 2) Set after Swan Song. Dean's been at Lisa's a couple of days and she tells him if he's going to stay he has to unpack. So he's going through the trunk of the Impala and through Sam's effects and is generally dismayed by how little physical evidence there is of Sam in the world. At some point Sam stopped saving personal possessions and everything that says about his mental state. The thing that eventually breaks Dean – he reaches for the amulet and it isn'tthere. He has to realise he threw it out in a petty moment and has now denied himself the one physical representation of his relationship with Sam that has always been with him. No surprise finding it hidden away in Sam's sock – he has to live with them both being gone.