Another stand alone ficlet written for the 30 snapshots challenge community on LJ. This is #10 of 30 and the prompt was "Shadow". A third of the way there, woohoo! ;-)
Same disclaimer as usal: I don't own the car, the boys or anything to do with the Supernatural show. Not making any money while writing them. I'm just taking my favorite hunters for a little joyride through my imagination.
Hope you enjoy the read! And remember, reviews are love :)
It's Not the Shadows, It's the Unknown
It used to be the shadows that frightened him. Something to do with not knowing what was lurking out there, what was lying in wait to pounce. They always held a healthy mix of anticipation and fear. That was the thrill of the hunt right? This was the life they'd been raised into.
Back in the day it had made them feel like they were at the top of their game. Sure, the job wasn't glamorous. "But we get to help people, save lives… you know?" That made it alright, worth it even. Hell, sometimes it made them feel like superheroes. Dealing with life and death as regularly as they did? There was a reason doctors and surgeons sometimes developed God complexes. Not his brother Dean though. No, he felt more like Batman, with less cash and more women.
There had been a time when all it took was a good brew, a sexy set of legs and a good long drive down a winding road to make his day. Lately Sam had noticed he was a little harder to please.
It used to be the shadows that frightened him and that hadn't changed. Now, though, the shadows were in Dean's eyes as opposed to beneath that basement flight of stairs or down that dark alley in the night. He couldn't just shine a light on them to reveal the monster and kill it. These days the monsters lived in Dean's head, unseen and unidentifiable unless he gave in and talked about what was bothering him. Not that he ever did. "Relax Sammy. I'm fine." Never mind that he hardly slept any more. He barely ate either and as for those other extracurricular activities, they'd become just another ghost of the past.
Day in, day out Sam sits shotgun in the Impala and watches his brother become increasingly haunted by his own personal demons. "Don't tell me nothing's wrong Dean. Have you taken a look at yourself lately? You're a mess!" Every stop takes them closer to the next job, every job takes Dean closer to that invisible edge. "Shut up Sam." The smartass answers getting shorter and shorter as the fight slowly ekes out of him.
Sam's still scared of shadows, but it's the ones that have made their home in his brother's eyes that hold the power to truly terrify. One day they'll be the death of his once invincible big brother and that'll be the beginning of the end. When they claim him Sam knows Dean's shadows will start staring back at him from the other side of the mirror, making their new home on his own face. Damned if he has a clue how to stop the train wreck before it happens, but he's not ready to give it up just yet.