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Learning to Breathe

June 5th, 2006 (08:55 am)
chipper
Tags: ,

feeling: chipper

 

Summary: Sam can’t breathe and reflects on how that struggle has haunted him all his life.

Rating:  PG, gen

A/N: Why is it that Sam is always the one getting strangled? I guess two times doesn't really make it a pattern, but really, who gets strangled twice? The more I thought about it, the more symbolic it seemed.  Beta'ed by geminigrl11.  Posted already at ff.net.

Disclaimer: Not mine...any mistakes are but not much else.

Learning to Breathe

Sam couldn’t breathe.

The pressure increased around his neck as the creature raised him off the ground. His feet scrambled, looking for leverage, looking for some kind of purchase that would keep him attached to the earth. His hands clawed at the shaggy, coarse hands that encircled his throat, but to no avail.

Looking up, Sam stared into the squinty, dark eyes of the Sasquatch-like creature. The hairy beast was easily seven feet tall and had strength that exceeded its massive frame. It had flung both Sam and Dean more than ten feet with a swipe of its arm before they had managed to get a good shot off. Sam hadn’t yet collected his senses when he felt its shadow fall over him. Dazed, he could not stop himself from being dragged to and off his feet.

For a moment, Sam thought it was going to eat him. He could see sharp teeth protruding from behind its lips, and saliva slithered from its scowling mouth as it growled at him in anticipation. But suddenly a strange look came over it, and its hand tightened around Sam’s throat and squeezed.

The burning of his lungs was an all too familiar sensation. The shape shifter, the poltergeist back home—Sam seemed to be the poster boy for paranormal stranglings, as though a supernatural bull’s-eye was plastered to his neck After all, whenever the occasion arose for someone to be oxygen deprived, it seemed to be him.

Frantic, Sam twisted, trying to dislodge himself from the creature’s grasp. The need for air intensified.

He really should have been used to it, or even learned how to live with less of it somehow, but the need for air was instinctual. Sam couldn’t control his body’s desperate reaction. Not breathing—that was like not living, not being, not dreaming. When those necessities were threatened, Sam would kick and claw with everything he had. Even if it was in vain.

His struggles slowly lessened. He couldn’t see if Dean was even conscious.

Sam had spent his entire adolescence trying to breathe—trying to create a pocket of air that was just for him. His father and Dean had left some room for him in their fractured family, but with every passing year, he found it more constricting. The role he was allowed to play was already scripted for him. His father wanted him to fit into the mold of a good little soldier. Every time he started to chip away at the mold, every time he wanted to pursue a hobby or a dream beyond the Winchester business, he could feel his father’s stronghold tightening around him. The more he asked for, the tighter it got. The tighter it got, the more Sam needed.

Sam had left for Stanford in a last ditch effort to catch his breath. After a few months at college, sometimes Sam could momentarily forget, could breathe normally like the rest of his peers. But the vice grip of his father’s legacy was always around him, no matter how hard he fought.

Black spots danced before him now, swirling together as they grew. He could no longer see the dense Oregon forest around him. His fingers felt numb as they clutched limply at the thick, snarled hair that distantly tickled his chin. The overpowering stench of the creature’s breath wafted into staleness. As emptiness subdued the remnants of his consciousness, Sam wondered one last fleeting thought: would he ever truly breathe?

The pressure released suddenly, and Sam crashed to the ground. The contact resounded hollowly in his mind and at first he could not figure out what happened. Air rushed into his lungs as he took a shuddering breath. Though still blind and paralyzed, Sam sucked greedily at the air which now surrounded him so freely.

A moment later, he felt strong arms pull him up.

"Breathe, Sammy. Just breathe."

His vision began to clear, and Sam realized Dean was holding him. The body of the creature was sprawled out a few feet away, a stake protruding from its chest.

Cradled in his brother’s arms, Sam felt a somewhat like an infant—safe, secure. He let himself be rocked, gasping like a newborn, until his breathing slowly evened out, falling into a strong and steady rhythm.

Comments

Posted by: This IS my warm and sensitive side (choasangel)
Posted at: June 5th, 2006 02:53 pm (UTC)
Dean Broken Beautiful

Awesome, Dushi! Poor Sam always getting deprived of oxygen. He does seem to have a target on his neck doesn't he? Great job...think that I read it over at ff.net, but not sure...

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 6th, 2006 01:43 pm (UTC)

Thanks! I posted this on ff.net probably back in January. And since then, Sam's neck has definitely become the place where the poor kid always seemed to get attacked. Twice--perhaps coincidence. Every other episode--makes it a pattern :)

Posted by: Forget the method, skip to the madness. (faryfly)
Posted at: June 5th, 2006 06:29 pm (UTC)

Yeah, I'm pretty sure the writers are obsessed with JP's sexy neck.

Well done on the whole metaphor.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 6th, 2006 01:45 pm (UTC)

*imagines JP's neck*

You can't really blame the writers for being obsessed with something like that :)

Thanks!

Posted by: we're all mad here (relativity1953)
Posted at: June 5th, 2006 08:48 pm (UTC)

"Sam seemed to be the poster boy for paranormal stranglings"

That's got to be one of the funniest lines I've ever read! Great fic!

{yay - you used an icon}

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 6th, 2006 01:47 pm (UTC)
Nightmares

I liked that one too! And, weirdly enough, I wrote this around the time of Scarecrow, so we only had TWO examples of Sam being attacked in the neck. Little did I know the writers would keep up the pattern.

And I LOVE the icons. I really, really do! I can't thank you enough!!

Posted by: kaly (kalyw)
Posted at: June 5th, 2006 11:46 pm (UTC)
sam&dean_3

Aww. Kinda reminds me of a joke a friend and I have. How do you know it's Thursday? Sammy's getting strangled!

More seriously, I liked this take on it - how he very well could feel it emotionally as well as physically - very cool parallel. And he does have some sort of "get your asphyxiation kicks here" sign, doesn't he? But add in a healthy does of Dean saving baby brother and it's allll good. :)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 6th, 2006 01:49 pm (UTC)

LOL!! Yep--Sam getting strangled is a sure sign it's Thursday :)

And I'm glad the metaphor seems to work. I look for symbolism in everything (that's what happens when you graduate with an English major I suppose). And you have to love Dean coming in and saving the day--that's a dynamic I will NEVER get tired of seeing :)

Posted by: kaly (kalyw)
Posted at: June 7th, 2006 12:45 am (UTC)
sam_1

And you have to love Dean coming in and saving the day--that's a dynamic I will NEVER get tired of seeing :)

Of course there's also Sammy saving big brother. Also something I never get tired of. *bg*

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 7th, 2006 01:30 am (UTC)
baby brother

Very true...come to think of it, I get tired of very little when it comes to the boys...

Posted by: iyalode (iyalode)
Posted at: June 6th, 2006 10:32 am (UTC)
Supernatural: Dean pic 1

Ooh, nice. Lovely comparison between his life and this fight, the urgent need escape.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 6th, 2006 01:52 pm (UTC)

Thanks! Sam's seeming tendency to get strangled seem to obvious not to be symbolic :)

Posted by: Finn (tallisen)
Posted at: June 7th, 2006 06:04 am (UTC)
SN- Sam hood slut

This was creative and artistic and so damn SHINY. I LOVE it. Symbolism = Gold.

I'm totally sticking this in my memories! :)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 8th, 2006 03:14 pm (UTC)
Touch

Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. I'm a sucker for symbolism myself, so it's good to know I'm not the only one.

Posted by: i want to cause a ruckus (geminigrl11)
Posted at: June 23rd, 2006 03:46 pm (UTC)

Poor Sammy! They are always strangling him! (can't blame them for the attraction with the beeyootiful neck, though . . .)

Perfect metaphor - and in the end, Dean brings him back to life.

Love.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 23rd, 2006 08:16 pm (UTC)
sleep

You were super-reviewer this morning!

And yeah--his neck is lovely. If I were something supernatural, I'd be tempted to go after it to, but you know I'm partial to the lips and hipbone. And now this is a train of thought that simply cannot continue.

YAY for metaphor!!!!!!!!!! I love symbolism!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And I love you. I think this was the second fic you ever beta'ed for me. It's OLD.

Posted by: The Queen Of Wishful Thinking (ejtheviking)
Posted at: August 9th, 2006 05:11 pm (UTC)
Dean Car

Yeah, Sam's neck... the oxygen deprivation...
hee, this is kinda funny in a way.
Ok, so I'm spamming you with comments now, but you'll see what I mean in my next chapter!
Another great one, I love that he likens it to aras of his life.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 9th, 2006 05:17 pm (UTC)

I love Sam's neck. No wonder everything goes after it. I mean, LOOK at it...

(I am beyond weird)

Now I REALLY want to read your next chapter. Can't you update faster?

Posted by: The Queen Of Wishful Thinking (ejtheviking)
Posted at: August 9th, 2006 05:22 pm (UTC)
Brothers Eyes

I have a funny thing with the dates. I like to link it so it goes to the proper page not the white page. So I link it to the archived page...
I posted chapter two after midnight my time, so it will have to be after midnight again. Because I am a freak.

5 1/2 hours...
Yes, I am evil :P

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 9th, 2006 06:11 pm (UTC)

We all have our weird quirks...so while I don't understand your date thing, I can appreciate and respect it. Though 5 1/2 hours is a LONG time for good fic.

You are SO evil.

So why do I still like you so much? :)

Posted by: The Queen Of Wishful Thinking (ejtheviking)
Posted at: August 9th, 2006 06:14 pm (UTC)
Dean Car Grin

Hee, I dunno.
If I put 2 chapters up on the same date, the link would go to both chapters instead of 1. I *could* just link to the entry instead of the archive page, but I like it linking to the blue proper background instead of the white.
*shrug*
Plus, I'm evil so I like to keep people in suspense by not posting too close together.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 9th, 2006 06:23 pm (UTC)

AHH! I get it now. I really do. And it makes perfect sense.

And the suspense thing? Totally necessary. No matter how much I beg you to the contrary, I get that too. I don't post multi chapter fics here at LJ (because it gives me a headache to post anything here) but over at ff.net I always wait a few days between posts. Just to prime the audience :)

Posted by: The Queen Of Wishful Thinking (ejtheviking)
Posted at: August 9th, 2006 06:26 pm (UTC)
Dean Prank Dance

Exactly!
You have chapter fics...
I've yet to delve into ff.net.
I fear I'd never leave my computer!
Plus it looks a bit hard to navigate.
Is you user name the same there?

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 9th, 2006 06:39 pm (UTC)

HEE! Yeah. With LJ and ff.net and e-mail and just everything else I am kind of a computer junkie. I've been on summer vacation and have enjoyed my days of computer time. Work starts up again next Wednesday and I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to cope with doing things NOT related to computer, fic, and SN.

I personally prefer ff.net, but I've been on that site far longer than I have here. The fic is more condensed since there's only ONE group for SN, not multiple like on LJ. I find it easier to upload stories (though harder to edit later) there, but LJ has icons. Now if I could just upload something here without the formatting taking five years to fix, I'd be all set.

And my username is mostly the same...Faye Dartmouth. If you do a search, I think you should be able to find it. If not, I can probably scrounge up the link for you.

Posted by: The Queen Of Wishful Thinking (ejtheviking)
Posted at: August 9th, 2006 06:43 pm (UTC)

I'll go have a look :)
I find it pretty easy on here, but then I've been using it as a regualar journal for years.
If you ever need a hand, or want a shiny header type thing, give me a yell :)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 9th, 2006 06:59 pm (UTC)

The thing that happens to me here is that I copy and paste my text into an entry and anything that is bolded or italicized screws everything up when I upload. I have learned that this usually occurs when the bold or italics are at the beginning of a line and if I merely delete and retype that part in LJ then usually it formats fine. Otherwise it moves text around and changes everything to bold or italic. And then I want to run away screaming.

Oooh. Shiny headers. I wouldn't even know what to do with one if I had one. I'm pretty incompetent when it comes to this site.

Posted by: The Queen Of Wishful Thinking (ejtheviking)
Posted at: August 9th, 2006 07:04 pm (UTC)
Dean Pan Up

It's doable if you use a certain layout (on basic at least, mines a paid acc)
It involves alot of code that hurts my brain, but troub just does it with her eyes closed.
She made one for my friend based on Angel The Series, that has 12 rotating headers that change every time you refresh the page.
She lives for it! I'm not creative in that way, I just like to look!

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