debbiel66: (Sam and Dean cloudy sky)
[personal profile] debbiel66
Title: Flesh and Blood
Author: debbiel66
Word Count: 5,500
Genre: gen, h/c
Characters: Sam, Dean
Rating: R (language)
Spoilers: very vague Season 6 but takes place between the seasons.
Author’s note: Thanks to my beloved beta readers, [livejournal.com profile] callistosh65 and [livejournal.com profile] ancastar. Posting this fic is my birthday gift to myself because it is breaking an almost three month gap between stories… so relieved to have actually finished a story.

Summary: Sam can hardly believe Dean’s greeting card life is not just another hell-blown bubble that’s going to pop if Sam pokes at it or gets too close… but when he stands here outside Dean’s window, the memories are so real and so visceral he feels like he’s living them all over again.



Flesh and Blood



Underneath skies so dark and cold the stars seem frozen in place, Sam stands back and watches. It’s not the easiest way to keep up with his brother. He’s something between a stalker and a witness, but the truth is Sam can hardly believe Dean’s greeting card life is not just another hell-blown bubble that’s going to pop if Sam pokes at it or gets too close…

So Sam keeps his distance.

Most of the time, he stays busy, working his ass off hunting every evil sonofabitch he can find, but when he stands here outside Dean’s window, the memories are real. And so visceral, he feels like he’s living them all over again.

Memories aren’t tools. They can’t build up his body, nor can they sustain him. They are an inefficient use of his time. There is little in this pared-down life that demands retrospection.

Yet, he can’t help himself. Sam wants ten thousand things but would settle for one. Dean is the reason for all of this.

So in the present darkness, Sam stands outside that lighted window. He watches and he waits—for what, he doesn’t know.

But he remembers.


***


The earliest memory hits Sam like a sucker punch.

Because he’s in the back seat of the Impala, and Dean is bleeding.

Sam is crying so hard, his heart feels like it’s going to burst out of his chest. It’s the way he always cried when he was a kid—huge hiccupping gulps of air, while tears and snot steam down his face and into his mouth. He’s wiping it away with his sleeve, trying to keep all the muck away from Dean, who is bleeding all over the seat.

Dad is yelling out orders. Put pressure on the damn wound and stop crying—but Sam’s hands aren’t big enough. Sam is trying so hard, but no matter what he does, he can’t keep the blood inside his brother. His fingers keep slipping and scrabbling over Dean’s wet and open belly, trying to keep the cloth in place.

It’s only five more miles to the hospital—Dad keeps promising him that. It seems like he’s been promising that for a long time. He keeps saying it like the worst is over. Sam is sure that even a baby could keep his big brother alive with only five miles left to go. But the white cloth he’s holding is deep red and soggy, Dean’s lips are turning blue, and Dad is flooring it, swerving the car around corners so violently that Sam’s butt keeps sliding into the door.

His brain isn’t working right either. He should be thinking about keeping the pressure against Dean’s belly, but instead Sam keeps thinking about the brand new box of cereal in the trunk and how Dean said that Sam could have the toy this time.

Dad is glaring at him from the rear view mirror. “Sam! You’re not doing it right. Keep the pressure up!” Dean’s breath is just bubbling out, little pink foamy bubbles around the corners of his lips. Sam is just too little to save his brother. “Try harder, Sammy…” Dad is pleading now.

Sam is trying as hard as he can. He doesn’t even want the toy any more. Once they’re at the hospital, he’s going to surprise Dean with it, sugary with cereal dust. Even if Dean calls him a girl and makes fun of him for it, Sam won’t care, if only Dean would stop making that awful sound when he breathes and stop bleeding. If only Dean would stop dying….

Sam would do anything.


***



He’s standing on a litter-strewn field on the outskirts of a town with no name he can remember. They didn’t stay long enough for Sam to even learn the names of the other boys who are huddled around him, trying to keep their hands warm in threadbare pockets of jackets most likely scrounged from Goodwill barrels. They are only there because Dad got wind of wendigos in the surrounding woods. It’s supposed to be a two-week job at most. Dad only registered him for school because Sam insisted. Dean is sitting this one out. Says he has better things to do than sit behind a desk with a classroom of losers.

As it turns out, Sam would have been better off teaching himself, holed up in the motel with Dean. This is a rough town—lots of kids with parents too busy working to pay much attention to what their children are doing in school or during their free time. Dean likes this kind of place the best, but Sam has always preferred suburbia, with its organized play dates and supervised sidewalks. He fits in there, can usually make friends, even though Dean and he are the poster boys for unattended children.

Sam has got enough trouble in his life, so he’s decided sucking up to the local assholes is easier than fighting them. If a little blood is all it takes to buy a few friends and some peace and quiet, Sam figures he can live with that.

But for whatever reason, he’s beginning to have second thoughts.

“Go on. What are you waiting for?” The biggest boy forces the knife into his hand.

They’re all glaring at him now, shifting from foot to foot in the dusty field. Sam looks down at the dorky civilian knife he is holding. Calling it a “butter knife” would be high praise. Sam isn’t even sure he could get a flesh wound with the thing. But Dad would give him a hell of a lot more than a flesh wound if he used his own knife for this.

“If you wanna join, you gotta do it,” the kid reminds him.

Sam sighs. He’s not even sure why he’s hesitating. He could be done and on his way home by now. This is a no-brainer. These kids have already let him know that they’ll kick his ass back to Kansas if he doesn’t throw in his lot with them. Sam knows he could just tell Dean, and he’d take care of it, but it’s time Sam starts to fight his battles on his own.

“Little chickenshit’s not gonna do it.”

Sam could just hear Dad letting him have it, telling him not to let anyone talk to him like that. In the other ear, Dean’s spectral voice starts laying into him about communicable diseases. Exasperated, Sam rolls his eyes …he doesn’t need the advice. Doesn’t need the two of them, hovering, reprimanding, and always judging. He can do this.

Sam should be ready. This is nothing—it’s not a spell, not an invocation. There’s nothing binding in this at all. There aren’t going to be any dark destinies birthed by two nine-year old boys mashing their bloody thumbs together.

So Sam takes the knife and jabs it across his thumb. The sharp edge is absolutely dull, and it hurts more than it should. It’s going to bruise more than bleed. But a perfect drop of blood wells up slowly. Sam stares at it, kind of fascinated. He’s never been afraid of blood, but he respects it. It’s the thing they worry about the most—keeping the blood where it belongs, and here is Sam, shedding it purposefully. Lose too much and there’s no coming back. It’s a desecration of sorts.

Dean would kill him if he found out.

A kid with a huge zit on his nose snatches the knife and jabs at his own thumb, but Sam can’t stop staring at the drop of blood. The kid reaches for him, clearly intending to do the whole blood brother deal, but Sam grabs his hand back. The drop of blood breaks perfect form and drips down his thumb.

“Hey, dickwad—you gonna faint at the sight of blood?”

There’s giggling, honest-to-God giggling coming from the other boys, and Sam takes a better look at them. They seemed bigger when they were surrounding him in the school hallways. But really, they’re just a bunch of dorky, snot-nosed kids. They’re not a threat. The only thing they’ve got going is there are more of them than there are of him. But Sam has Dean. That’s always been enough for him before. Throwing in his lot with them would be a waste of his time and his blood.

Sam sucks the blood off his thumb, tasting copper.

One of them, the nicest one, takes a step forward. “What the hell are you doing? Don’t you wanna be blood brothers?”

The kid sounds genuinely disappointed, but Sam shrugs. In his mind, he’s already shaking off the dust from this town. “Sorry. I already got a brother.”

Sam hears them cursing behind him, threatening to tear him a new one tomorrow after school, but he doesn’t care. His thumb doesn’t even hurt any more.

“You’ll be sorry!” one of them screams at his back.

Sam doubts that. Dean’s gonna be pissed though. He promised to make mac and cheese for dinner, and Sam’s already late.


***


“Hey, Sam—are you coming or not?”

It is the fifth time Dean has asked in the past hour, and no, Sam is not coming. If he doesn’t finish his essay for AP English, he won’t have time to work on Physics tomorrow. Dad has already made it clear that basic training trumps midterms, and he wants them out doing drills when he gets home. Running drills at midnight isn’t going to do much for his college applications, but loading up his courses with AP classes will. It’s a matter of priorities. Simple as that. Too bad Dad doesn’t see it the same way.

“I’m busy,” Sam mumbles, trying not to make eye contact.

But Dean prods at Sam’s textbook distastefully like it’s some form of exotic monster secretions. “You’ve been studying all afternoon. Time to save the world with some Winchester blood.”

Sam rolls his eyes, even though he’s been trying to stop doing that because Dad hates it so much. But sometimes, his eyes simply roll on their own.

“That’s bullshit and you know it. The only reason you want me to give blood is we’ll make twice as much money if I donate too.”

“Language, Sammy,” Dean corrects cheerfully. “Look, you’ve got the good stuff, same as me. RH-negative, O-negative blood. Purest blood known to mankind. It’s the only thing we’ve got that’s worth something. Be a crime to waste it.” Sam looks up, and Dean is grinning cheekily like they’ve hit the genetic jackpot.

Dean knows exactly what he’s doing. He knows Sam could debate for hours about the morality of the Red Cross having a frequent donor’s club, complete with cash prizes and gift certificates.

Just say no, Sam warns himself. Don’t get sucked in.

And yet he can’t help asking, “Don’t you have any qualms about selling your own blood? It’s one thing if you just want to donate out of the goodness of your heart. It’s another when you’re putting your blood out to the highest bidder.”

Now Dean rolls his eyes. “Qualms, Sammy…. really? Don’t give me any more of your SAT Word a Day bullshit. Dad says we’ve got at least a year before you grow out of this crap, but I think he’s being a little optimistic.”

“I really wish the two of you would stop talking about me about my freakin’ back,” Sam says huffily.

“If wishes were horses, dude.”

“We are beggars, and we do ride,” Sam says, but he begins shoving his books in his bag. He might as well get some studying done while they’ve got him hooked up because this is one battle he is going to lose, and he’s just wasting time.

“You coming?” Dean actually looks surprised.

Sam doesn’t know why Dean should be surprised. Sam always ends up coming along and not just for the extra hundred dollars his blood will bring in. It’s because Dean is actually right—donating blood is the right thing to do. He would feel absolutely shitty sitting in their motel room while Dean donated, when blood transfusions have saved their life on more than one occasion. It’s only right they give something back.

Still…Sam wishes college applications had a space for doing the right thing. Unfortunately, selling one’s blood for profit isn’t exactly an approved extra-curricular activity, no matter how good Sam is at manipulating the more questionable aspects of his education.

Sam reaches for his binder, as well as his Physics textbook. He still has so much homework, even though he’s been doing his best not to get behind. Maybe Dad will skip tonight’s drills because they gave blood and earned enough money pay for the motel for another week….

“I can help you study.”

Thrown off guard, Sam glances up at Dean who is practically bouncing on his heels. “What?”

“You know…when they’re sucking our blood….” Dean makes like a vampire, mimicking fangs. “I can test you on whatever…” Dean makes a vague motion toward Sam’s book bag. “On, you know, whatever geeky shit you’re working on.”

Sam smiles. It’s been a long time since Dean helped him study. He can’t even remember the last time.

“I think I’m okay studying on my own,” he starts to say, but Dean almost looks disappointed. Quickly, Sam adds, “You could help me review for History. I’m not doing great with the Middle Ages.”

The vulnerable look on Dean’s face is gone so quickly that Sam wonders if he imagined it.

But Dean slugs Sam on the arm and says, “Hey dude, maybe they’ll give you one of those ‘Kiss me! I donated blood’ stickers. Chicks love that shit. Bet your teacher will give you an A if you wear it to school tomorrow.”

Sam rolls his eyes so theatrically they actually hurt afterward. But it occurs to him Dean might be on to something. He wonders if he could get some sort of note from the Red Cross, just in case he doesn’t finish his essay. Sam has always managed to finish his homework after major blood loss, even after being mauled by that black dog but his English teacher doesn’t need to know that.

Maybe his blood is worth something after all.


***



The water stops so suddenly, it’s almost shocking. Sam opens his eyes to find Dean in the shower next to him, soaked to the skin and looking so terrified that Sam immediately glances up to see if anyone else is up there burning on the bathroom ceiling.

“Sammy, what the hell are you doing?” Dean has his hands on either side of Sam’s face and is gently forcing him to look down again. The horrified look is gone. Instead, Dean just looks sad and so worried, Sam feels bad all over again.

“I’ve got to get clean,” Sam says, wondering why he has to explain it at all. It should be obvious to anyone looking at him, especially to Dean. “It’s all over me.”

“What’s all over you?” Dean places his hands on Sam’s shoulders and gives him a little shake. “Sammy, what are you talking about?”

“Blood,” Sam whispers. “Jess’s blood. It’s all over me.”

Dean is frowning at him. “Sam, there’s no blood. You were asleep—you woke up and started yelling and then locked the door and got in the shower.”

That’s not how it was. Sam had been lying on the bed, eating cookies. He’d looked up, and there she’d been—her eyes, so scared and accusing. Her blood, all over him…

“Knock it off, Sammy. Stay with me now.” Dean shakes him again.

Sam swallows and stares at his hands. Maybe he’d dreamed it, but he could swear it was real. Her blood was all over him. No matter how long he stood underneath the scalding water, it wouldn’t come out.

But now he’s just wet and shivering, and he’s staring at Dean like he should have all the answers. “Dean…there was blood was all over me. I swear I saw it.”

“C’mon, man, you gotta get some real sleep. You can’t keep doing this to yourself.”

“But the blood—”

“It’s gone,” Dean interjects firmly. “Sammy…you’re just worn out. Get some sleep, dude, you’ll feel better in the morning.”

It’s not really true but they both want it to be badly enough that they’re willing to lie to each other.

Sam takes the towel Dean is handing him and wraps it around his shoulders. “I’m okay.”

Dean studies him for a long, hard moment and then nods like he understands. He grabs the other towel and crouches down to start mopping up the floor. Apparently, Sam hadn’t bothered to close the curtain—there’s water pooling everywhere.

Sam knows he should go change out of his wet clothes…he’s only in the way. But he doesn’t want to sleep, doesn’t want to dream. Sam leans against the doorway and watches his brother clean up another mess he’s made.


***


Sam can taste blood in his mouth, along with bile and rough bits of tooth that come loose when he pokes at it with his tongue. Everything feels wrong. He has no idea what’s happened, so the first word that comes out of his mouth is the only one that can make things right.

“Dean?”

There’s a low groan coming from somewhere. Sam might not know where he is, but he would know the sound of his big brother in pain anywhere. He tries to sit up too fast and the whole world is undulating around him, so he lies back down again. And not only that, he’s ridiculously uncomfortable. It feels like he’s lying on a riverbed.

He opens his eyes, but his vision is screwed up. Everything is blurry. Desperately, Sam gropes the floor around him and realizes what’s been digging into his back. It’s some kind of godawful seventies linoleum embedded with small smooth pebbles. It is also slippery with blood, and Sam is definitely lucid enough to understand it’s not all coming from him.

“Sam?” It’s a rasp of a voice, but it’s Dean. “Sammy, over here. I’m over here.”

“Dean?” he begins, but his tongue feels sloppy in his mouth, like it’s tripping over the words he’s trying to say. “Where…w—what?”

Dean’s hurt. Sam knows that, even though he can’t quite see him, can’t wrap his head around what could have happened.

“Sammy, the poltergeist…it’s coming back. You’ve gotta…”

But Dean’s voice is drifting off, and Sam can’t keep his eyes open any more. He really can’t understand what a poltergeist has to do with anything, when he’s so freakin’ tired…

“Sam, I swear…if you go to sleep, I’ll kick your ass.”

He’s loath to stay awake, but Sam orders himself to move his aching head and keep his eyes open. Slowly, painfully he turns to look at his brother. Only a few feet away, Dean looks like demon fodder. He’s got to be the source of most of the blood. He’s soaked with it. It needs to be taken care of.

Put pressure on it!

Dad’s scared and demanding voice is always in his head. Sam opens his eyes almost grudgingly. He’s just knows he’ll be listening to Dad barking drill sergeant orders on his deathbed.

“It’s about freakin’ time,” Dean grits out and starts scooting over, leaving a smeared trail of blood in his wake. “No, no. Don’t go back to sleep, don’t sleep.” He cringes and reaches for his leg. Sam’s eyes follow the movement, and God, there’s so much blood…Dean’s jeans are sodden with it. Even his boots are dark-stained around the toe and heel.

The questions are all perfectly formed in his head. What happened? How did you get hurt? What the hell is trying to kill us now?

But it’s like there is some kind of hitch between his brain and the rest of his body. Nothing will move the way he’s thinking it should, and it’s not like his brain is firing on all cylinders either. He grits his teeth and forces himself to latch onto the last thing he can remember for sure. He can last remember eating lunch.

“I had a chicken salad,” Sam mumbles, trying to prod his memory along. “You had a—” Sam frowns, willing the right answer to come. “A cheeseburger.” Relief warms him a little—it feels good to remember something. He hadn’t realized it before, but he is shivering “Lunch,” he repeats just to be sure. “You had a burger and fries.” He looks up to Dean for confirmation, but Dean only looks freaked as hell, and Sam wonders if he got it wrong. “Onion rings?”

“Dude, you can’t be hungry with your head bashed in like that…” Dean sounds like he’s joking, but Sam can smell the sweat on him. Dean is pasty white, almost gray. Sam reaches for his hand, and it’s clammy and cold. Shock, Dean’s in shock. Sam remembers his first aid manual at least. Sam has to get him warm. He gropes at his own chest to see if he’s wearing a jacket, but he can’t tell what the hell he’s wearing. His fingers are thick and clumsy.

“Sammy, you hit your head. You tracking with me?”

Sam tries to nod, but nodding is a terrible idea. The last thing he remembers…Dean was sitting across from him at the diner, drawing red circles on a map while taking enormous, enthusiastic bites out of a burger.

“Albie’s Diner,” he mumbles, remembering the sign out front before he walked in.

“Sammy, I swear I’ll find you something to eat when we get outta here, but you gotta stop talking about food. I’m about to puke all over you. Work with me now. I can maybe haul myself outa here, but I can’t carry you, and we still have to gank that sonofabitch…”

Sam just stares dumbfounded because he has no idea what Dean is even talking about. All he can think is that Dean is bleeding and Sam has to make it stop. That’s what Dad would want him to do. He makes a half-hearted grab for Dean’s torn up leg. Dean jerks away, grunting in obvious pain, and shoves Sam’s hand off.

“Dude, knock it off—getting all touchy-feely right now is so not helping….”

“Did something try to eat you?”

Dean gives him a funny look. “It was a freakin’ flying axe. Don’t tell me you don’t remember.”

Sam really doesn’t want to live in a world where axes fly. “Was it possessed?”

Looking exasperated, Dean shakes his head. “Dude, this is like the fourth time I’ve told you. There’s no point in telling you again—it won’t stick. Look, if you want to help, just put your hand on my leg and push down. Need to put pressure on it so I can find something to tie it with.”

Sam reaches out with instinct more than anything else for his brother’s leg and squeezes at the wound, fighting off the instinct to let go when Dean hisses in pain.

“How…?” he tries to ask, but honest to God, he’s not sure what he’s asking. Not sure if he just asked the same question a minute ago.

But Dean is going boneless next to him, slumping onto the ground, his eyes practically rolling back in his head. Damnit, Sam has to do something—anything—because Dean is bleeding, Sam is clueless and pretty much useless like this, and God only knows what’s trying to kill them now.

There’s a howling coming from somewhere—light bulbs exploding in their sockets and books flying across the room. Sam can see the axe rising in a corner and spinning menacing. Whatever it is they’re hunting, it’s back and it’s mad. But Dean is out cold, and Sam can’t remember what the hell he’s supposed to do about it.

He tries shaking Dean, but his brother is all out. Sam presses the heel of his hand against his forehead, trying to clear his thinking, and brings it away bloody. Fucking head injury, and Sam can’t afford this now, he just can’t.

The world is receding, the axe is rising, and Sam can feel the undertow of his concussion pulling him under.

He reaches for Dean’s hand and whispers “sorry”. No matter what he does, he just can’t save his brother.

Sam doesn’t want to be here for what’s coming next. He closes his eyes as tightly as he can, but somewhere inside of him, some untapped power seems to wake up. He doesn’t even have time to ask himself if this is a good idea or not. It’s acting of its own accord, turning him inside out, and exploding out of him like a punch. Sam feels the cold spirit in the room take a direct hit. His eyes snap open of their own volition. The lights crackle and hiss, and there’s darkness again, but it’s quiet and good and restful.

He thinks that maybe they won. It’s unlikely, but not impossible. One way or another, he’s done. Sam keeps hold of Dean’s hand in the dark and waits for help to come. Not letting go this time.


***



Ruby is waiting. She knows he is going to give in soon. He knows he is going to give in soon. It’s only been a matter of when it was going to happen, ever since Dean died.

Sam has tried everything else but this, and Ruby says this is the only thing left. Sam isn’t sure he believes her, but he’s also pretty sure it doesn’t matter. Without his brother, he has nothing left to lose.

On his own, he is too weak. He’s always been too weak—that was why Dean made the deal with the crossroads demon. Because Sam screwed up and let Jake live in Cold Oak, and then had the gall to turn his back on that sonofabitch and get stabbed. It was weakness that drove Dean to make that deal, and Sam can’t let his own weakness fail his brother again.

The trace of demon blood that runs through his veins isn’t enough to do the job on its own. Ruby said so. Without help, he doesn’t stand of chance of driving Lilith to her knees and forcing Hell to give him his brother back.

Sam doesn’t want to do this. Sam knows the difference between right and wrong and knows this is putting him on the wrong side of the good-guy tracks. Dad would rise from cold ashes and kill him for even thinking about it—maybe literally, maybe not, but Dad isn’t here any more. It is just Sam, here alone, and he’s doing everything he knows how to do but screwing up with most of it.

God, he misses Dean …his grief for Jess seems almost quaint in comparison. It’s asking too much of just one person to lose so much in one short life. He has begged every crossroads demon he can summon to take him instead. But none of them want anything to do with him. He’s worthless like this.

Sam is an empty thing, and Ruby is waiting.

What kind of idiot trusts a demon?

That’s what Dean would say, if he were here.

But Dean is not here. Sam is alone, with impotent blood running through his veins and a demon behind door number two who tells him that he alone can save the world. That only he can save his dead and damned older brother.

Sam isn’t sure he believes her. But Ruby is offering, and Sam is a poor man begging at the gate of Hades. The weeks and weeks of cajoling and tempting come down to this. Sam is made of flesh and blood, but that’s not enough…it’s never been enough. Sam can see that now.

Ruby promises it will be quick. Just a cool slide of the blade nicking a vein, the first offering of blood, and he can drink and be satisfied. A soul that’s already fallen can’t keep falling forever. There’s got to be a bottom somewhere.

That’s what Sam tells himself as he opens that door and walks in.


***



Sam stares at the plastic jug of blood in the trunk of the car. He can do this. He knows he can… that’s the problem, the real reason he doesn’t want Dean watching him. It isn’t that he’s worried that he’ll keep the demon blood down. He’s worried that it will be easy. That it will be the best thing that ever happened to him.

God, he hates this.

Demon blood is a misnomer. This blood is every bit as human as his. Draining it from the human host insured that human being’s death. Sam is a vampire, in every sense of the word. Gordon Walker was right to want him dead. Sam has no doubt that the world would have been a better place without him in it.

But Sam doesn’t have a choice. He is the one who got the world into this—now it’s his job to save it.

Sam glances at the others who are waiting for him, the motley ruins of all he has to call family. Improbable as it may be, they haven’t abandoned him yet. It’s likely that by the end of the day, everyone he has ever loved will be dead.

Sam lifts the plastic container, feels its weight. It’s still warm.

He sneaks a glance at Dean, who is hunched against the car. He’s clearly exhausted. Sam knows one thing for sure—Dean needs to get out of this life. It’s killing him…has been killing him for years, long before the Apocalypse. If they live…if they survive this, no matter how ridiculous a concept that might be, Sam is going to make sure Dean gets the life he deserves.

It is absolutely the least he can do.

Sam pops the cap of the jug and watches it tumble onto the ground. There was a time when he would have picked it up, pocketed it, so as not to litter the filthy alley. Sam used to care about all the statistics. A single gum wrapper could lie on the ground for twenty years, without decomposing…

Sam wonders if it will be the same for him. Whether his defiled body will lie intact underneath an unforgiving sun for eternity as a warning for anyone who might dare to follow in his footsteps.

There’s a quiet voice inside that has been trying to comfort him since he came to the decision to say “yes” to Lucifer. The voice tells him all is not lost, not to blame himself, and who knows—maybe everything will turn out okay. It’s true that sometimes voices lie, but sometimes, they tell the truth. And this time, the voice sounds like his big brother. Sam wants to believe.

His throat is so dry, but he can taste the blood in his mouth already. He wants to do this. He can do this. He is the only one who can. Who knows…maybe he can save the world.

Sam tries to remember all the things his brother ever tried to teach him.

And he drinks that blood down, but good.


***



It’s all about blood…like any garden-variety vampire, Sam can attest to that. Blood transports. It regulates and protects. Without blood, life is over. Sam feels alive, still knows he’s corporeal and part of this world. He is flesh and blood. His heart pumps more efficiently than ever. It beats in his chest. It sustains him, keeps him alive.

But his heart does not ache. If it weren’t for his memories, he wouldn’t be able to tell that it ever did.

Sam glances back at the lighted window and sees the three of them—Dean’s perfect little family that is only a little bit fucked up. Dean deserves this life. Sam gave up everything to save his brother. He can give up a little bit more just to make him happy. For whatever reason, it’s the only thing Sam can bring himself to care about any more. Dean chose to keep living. Sam has never been so proud of his brother.

Overhead, the streetlight finally hisses and burns itself out, but that’s just as well. Sam was about to go anyway. He’s got three hundred miles of empty roads until the next job.

Dean’s doing well—he’s fine, he’s safe. Even if he’s not exactly happy, he’s doing all right. Every screwed up thing Sam has done, every unthinkable place he has been, every evil sonofabitch he has killed is all worth it for this.

God help him, Sam doesn’t regret a thing.


The End





.

Date: 2010-10-20 11:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mimblexwimble.livejournal.com
I'm so glad you found your writing-fu again! This was wonderful.

Dean chose to keep living. Sam has never been so proud of his brother.

I love that so much.

And happy birthday! <3

Date: 2010-10-21 04:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] debbiel66.livejournal.com
Thanks so much! Yeah, I was definitely thinking my writing-fu might have been on permanent vacation. Thanks for your encouragement on some of the older stories - that definitely helped!

Date: 2010-10-20 11:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] harrigan.livejournal.com
I have a resolution that whenever someone on my Friends' List has a birthday, I get to re-read one of my favorites of theirs, to celebrate. So I log on just now to pick one of yours and --- you posted new fic! Yay!

And as achy as this is, it actually has an upbeat ending! (As much as Winchesters ever get satisfying endings, anyway!) So glad you're writing again!

Write more!?

Date: 2010-10-21 04:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] debbiel66.livejournal.com
You need to win a cheerleading award because seriously, you are just awesome at making my day.

(I started a new story - hopefully, this broke the block for a while at least)

Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

Date: 2010-10-21 12:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] borgmama1of5.livejournal.com
Damn, this is awesome!

The flashbacks are so visceral, so real--especially the concussion one!--but they all just grab and don't let go...and the drinking the blood in Swan Song brought me to tears.

Well done!

Date: 2010-10-21 04:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] debbiel66.livejournal.com
So glad it worked for you! The concussion scene was part of a story that I never could finish, so I'm glad it felt real. Thank you so much for reading! &hearts

Date: 2010-10-21 12:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] geminigrl11.livejournal.com
Oh, wow. What a punch. I'm so glad you wrote this--if anyone could get into Sam's head at that moment in time, it's definitely you. The thread of blood between all the vignettes was pretty powerful. And I think this one If only Dean would stop dying…Sam would do anything was maybe the hardest to read. Sam then and Sam in the middle and Sam now, and for all that's changed, that one thing has remained a constant. Poor, poor boy.

Happy birthday again, darlin'!

Date: 2010-10-21 04:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] debbiel66.livejournal.com
Aw, thanks! Dean dying is definitely the one constant for Sam. Poor boys!

(Hey - I've got an idea for a story that I'm all excited about... do you mind if I email you about it to brainstorm a bit?)

Thanks again for the b'day wishes and for reading the story!

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Date: 2010-10-21 01:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] roque-clasique.livejournal.com
Gah, what a gorgeous look at Sam, and what a strange and terrible angle -- blood, one of the only constants in Sam's life, and also the thing keeping him and Dean together, above everything else. Beautiful and achy. SAMMY. *weeps*

wait omg

Date: 2010-10-21 01:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] roque-clasique.livejournal.com
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!! YOU'RE AMAZING. I &hearts YOU AS BIG AS THE SKY.

Re: wait omg

From: [identity profile] debbiel66.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-10-21 04:44 am (UTC) - Expand

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Date: 2010-10-21 02:36 am (UTC)
sistabro: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sistabro
Oh, this was so visceral. I love how blood linked it all together and how in the end, it's all Sam has. The blood in his veins and his brother. Wonderful.

Also, happy birthday :)

Date: 2010-10-21 04:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] debbiel66.livejournal.com
I'm so glad you enjoyed the story and that you felt like it tied together in the end. Thank you so much for reading!

(and for the birthday wishes!)

Date: 2010-10-21 08:03 am (UTC)
ext_13391: (Default)
From: [identity profile] smilla02.livejournal.com
Beautiful story. It made me ache for everybody. The thread of blood was a nice touch. Blood is what they shed, but it's also what keeps them together.

Date: 2010-10-21 02:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] debbiel66.livejournal.com
Aw, thanks so much. I'm so glad you enjoyed the story!

Date: 2010-10-21 02:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sandymg.livejournal.com
Yeah! New fic from you. So good. I haven't touched S6 Sam. Can't. Haven't a clue. I can accept this. You sell in holistically and tie it to the series at large. And, of course, your writing is divine.

this: A soul that’s already fallen can’t keep falling forever. There’s got to be a bottom somewhere.
--- Oh so perfect

I am not spoiled so don't know the answer to the 'what's up with Sam' mystery ... but his reasons for wanting Dean to have 'normal' are well stated here and make sense -- despite what might or might not be 'wrong' with him. Bravo and well done.

Date: 2010-10-22 02:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] debbiel66.livejournal.com
I can't believe I finally wrote a new story... was beginning to think I was all out. How do you come up with so many new and original ideas??? Seriously, I'd love tips! :)

Thanks so much for reading - I've actually been enjoying season 6, but boy is S6 Sam hard to write!

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Date: 2010-10-21 03:15 pm (UTC)
embroiderama: (Sam - angry/scary)
From: [personal profile] embroiderama
Oh wow, this is so good, even if every single bit of it hurts.

Date: 2010-10-22 02:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] debbiel66.livejournal.com
Aw, thanks! Supernatural is kind of that way, you know... :)

Date: 2010-10-21 04:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pixymisa.livejournal.com
*wibbles* OH SAMMY!

Date: 2010-10-22 02:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] debbiel66.livejournal.com
Totally wibbles wih you! Oh Sammy indeed...

Thanks so much for reading! :)

Date: 2010-10-21 05:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ariadnes-string.livejournal.com
yay--fic from you!! this is gorgeous--Sam seems so powerful, and so conflicted--but I love how he has a little boy hearing his daddy's voice buried inside him even when he's at his most powerful--

Date: 2010-10-22 02:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] debbiel66.livejournal.com
I seriously thought that maybe the muse had left for good...

So glad you liked this. Hope you're hanging in there for Season 6. Good things are gonna happen - I just know it. :) Thanks so much for reading!

Date: 2010-10-21 07:12 pm (UTC)
ext_1310: (Default)
From: [identity profile] musesfool.livejournal.com
Oh, Sam. *pets him*

Date: 2010-10-22 01:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] debbiel66.livejournal.com
Oh, Sam seems to cover everything, doesn't it? Thanks for reading!

Date: 2010-10-21 07:58 pm (UTC)
fufaraw: (5.22 stars)
From: [personal profile] fufaraw
I love this--all the scenes in his head. I wish I could be more articulate. I'm glad I read it. I'm glad you wrote it.

Date: 2010-10-22 01:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] debbiel66.livejournal.com
Thank you so much for reading and commenting! Tis very much appreciated! &hearts

Date: 2010-10-22 01:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] de-nugis.livejournal.com
This is so beautifully constructed, and so relentless, and yet there is an element of hope in it, that Sam has let go of all the bits of himself except Dean, again and again, in one way or another, but that holding onto Dean turns out at crucial moments to be enough. Beautiful.

Date: 2010-10-22 05:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] debbiel66.livejournal.com
I am so glad that you found the structure worked, because I struggled with that, more than anything in this story. I wanted there to be an aspect of hope running throughout, so I'm thrilled that worked as well. Thanks so much for reading and for the lovely feedback.

Date: 2010-10-22 06:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ash48.livejournal.com
Oh honey, this is spot on. Just loved it. So very Sam and it tears at the heart. Particuarly this:

Sam leans against the doorway and watches his brother clean up another mess he’s made.

Oh Sam. :( It makes so much sense that with the way he feels about himself that he left Dean alone for that year. I've been wanting to read some reasons why he may have done this and this makes so much sense.

Love the blood connection, especially as it's such a strong theme in the show. But this takes it deeper and show just how important it is.

Truly wonderful. <333

Date: 2010-10-22 05:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] debbiel66.livejournal.com
I'm just so glad you liked this one. I obviously have a heart for Sam and just find his story so heartbreaking. Thank you so much for reading and commenting! &hearts

Date: 2010-10-22 02:20 pm (UTC)
ext_37245: (Default)
From: [identity profile] el1ie.livejournal.com
A really thoughtful and crucial look at Sam's motivations, I really think you did an excellent job looking inside him, at this awful legacy, the guilt he carries over it and the overwhelming love of his brother. Simply gorgeous writing, linking the blood theme from the demon blood addiction to the loss of Dean's blood as he lay dying that once again awoke Sam's power was a stroke of genius that really tied everything together in this ache for Sam and his perilous predicament.

Thanks for sharing. Image

Date: 2010-10-22 05:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] debbiel66.livejournal.com
Wow, thank you so much for such lovely feedback. I'm just thrilled that the blood theme worked for you and you found it convincing. &hearts

Date: 2010-10-22 07:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sjames-centre.livejournal.com
So glad to see you writing again. I know the feeling of wondering if you'll ever write anything again...I seem to have nothing to say lately.

THis was an excellent look at Sam's past- you have this wonderful ability to see the whole of the series at once and make connections that the rest of us (i.e. me) don't. I love the way you write Sam's memories - always bittersweet and so full of love for Dean. You are far kinder to S6 Sam than I can be (still waiting for the writers to explain it all). I'm more WTF? I guess.

Wonderful story Debbie and belated happy birthday!

Date: 2010-10-24 12:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] debbiel66.livejournal.com
Thank you so much, Susan, for such lovely and encouraging feedback. With the Show so... difficult... lately, it's hard knowing what's coming next, let alone how to write these characters. I sure hope you'll give it a try again as well.

Thanks so much for reading and for the birthday wishes!

Date: 2010-10-23 06:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] callistosh65.livejournal.com
If ever a person's story could be told in blood, it would be Sam's - and you told it beautifully. Just made me ache for both of them, in the best possible way. Marvellous story-telling, Debbie.

Date: 2010-10-24 12:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] debbiel66.livejournal.com
Thanks so much for your encouragement and gifts in tidying this one up. So glad you enjoyed it... &hearts

Date: 2010-10-24 07:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jenilees.livejournal.com
Oh that was perfect. This left me with that same bittersweet feeling Swan Song did. Just to clarify, I loved Swan Song. :D
Your Boys and Sam especially, make me ache they feel so strongly for one another.
I loved the way each piece fit with the theme of Sam's life revolving around blood.
I love the section with the poltergeist and the beginning one on the car, they were very visual.
I also loved Sam thinking about how he would have picked up the cap once, how he used to care about statistics.
I think that's the stuff that gives this the bittersweet feel. It's a reminder of how much Sam is not that boy anymore but essentially still is that boy because the one thing that is always consistent is his love for Dean.
Lovely story, great to see you writing again and Happy Belated Birthday. :D

Date: 2010-10-26 06:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] debbiel66.livejournal.com
I'm so glad this worked for you... I also loved Swan Song and am very cautiously optimistic. Because Supernatural has always been the epic love story of Sam and Dean, and I'm confident we will see that again. I miss Sam!

Very happy to be writing again - I already have another story in the works. :)

(Any story recs??? I always peek at your site.)

Date: 2010-10-26 04:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ancastar.livejournal.com
Yay! I've been such a stranger to LJ lately, I didn't even realize you'd posted this. I'm so pleased you're writing again and doing such a beautiful job of portraying our boys. I love your version of Sam here. Let's hope the show follows your lead.

Date: 2010-10-26 06:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] debbiel66.livejournal.com
Aw, thanks so much. Here's to hoping! :)

Date: 2010-11-06 06:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cordelia-gray.livejournal.com
Oh, my heart! I think you broke it.

This feels so true, so real. The concussion flashback in particular was so visceral.

And it seems to fit so well with where Sam is right now - on the outside of human life, looking in, and not quite understanding what he's missing.

Date: 2010-11-07 01:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] debbiel66.livejournal.com
Aw, thank you so much! I'm seriously so glad you enjoyed it. It's terribly hard to write Season 6 Sam, so I'm glad that it didn't fall apart completely with last night's revelations.

I love your icon! Did you draw it?

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Date: 2011-05-16 08:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rince1wind.livejournal.com
Really good. Thanks.

Date: 2011-05-16 11:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] debbiel66.livejournal.com
You're so welcome! Thanks so much for reading!
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