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do i dare or do i dare? [userpic]

SPN fic: The Last Laugh 1/1

May 26th, 2011 (08:09 am)

Title:  The Last Laugh

Disclaimer:  Not mine

A/N:  Again, written a long while ago and is being posted thanks to the mad beta’ing skills of sendintheklowns .  Also just want to take a second to pimp the latest edition of summer_sam_love .  Check it out and spread the word for this summer's celebration.

Summary:  Sam looks at his hands, and shifts in his seat.  They don’t celebrate their hunts anymore.  They don’t even stop to crack open a beer and kick back for the night.  They just load their gear, adjust the mirrors and get the hell out of dodge. (Tag to Ghostfacers)

-o-

Driving away, Sam almost feels guilty.

The Ghostfacers were jokes, and he knows that.  Their little operation was a recipe for suicide, and they lost a colleague because of it.  A young man is dead because of their overzealous plans, and Sam and Dean took their only evidence to make it a death not in vain.

He feels guilty because it will always be in vain.  Every death is.  His mother’s.  Jess’.  His own.  Dean’s...

But he wonders if everyone should have to suffer like he does.  If they should inflict their joyless pursuit on others.

Sam looks at his hands, and shifts in his seat.  They don’t celebrate their hunts anymore.  They don’t even stop to crack open a beer and kick back for the night.  They just load their gear, adjust the mirrors and get the hell out of dodge.

In the seat next to him, Dean has settled in.  His brother drives with purpose these days.  Driving because it’s something he can do.  Dean doesn’t like sitting still, not even for a little bit.  The constant moving wears Sam out, but he doesn’t have the heart to say anything.

“You’re not actually feeling sorry for them, are you?” Dean asks, his voice carrying a hint of incredulity and accusation.

Sam startles, stiffening a little.  He furrows his brow, slouching.  “Of course not,” he says, and it’s the truth.  He doesn’t feel sorry for them.  He pities them a bit, because they’re too naive to know better, but he can’t feel sorry for those who choose this kind of life, because Sam understands it’s not an adventure, it’s not some grand exploration.

It’s life and death.  It consumes you.  When hunting chooses you, you can never get out.  God knew Sam had tried.  Tried hard and failed harder.

Dean snorts.  “You know we had to toast their footage,” he says.

Sam sighs, and rolls his eyes.  “We’re legally dead,” he says with an air of exasperation.  “That’s the only good luck we’ve had all year.”

Dean nods a little, accepting that.  They drive for a moment longer in silence.  “So what’s got your panties in a twist, then?  Upset because they didn’t film your good side?”

Sam rolls his eyes, shaking his head.  “My entire face was swollen and bloody,” he says blandly.  “I’m not sure it makes a difference.”

“I don’t know, Sammy,” Dean says.  “Chicks dig it when guys get roughed up.”

Sam levels a glare at Dean.  “And you think I’m concerned about that because?”

Dean shrugs.  “Because I keep hoping that you’ll show signs of being a healthy American male,” Dean says.

Sam sighs again, louder this time.  “Just never mind, Dean,” he says shortly.

Dean raises his eyebrows, but shuts his mouth.

A new wave of guilt floods over Sam and he slouches deeper, glaring out over the road, watching the dotted yellow line twist around the bends and lengthen on the straightaways.

They go a mile, maybe two, and Dean asks, gently this time, “Your head doesn’t hurt or anything, does it?  Because it sure does look like a bitch.”

Sam frowns, and the dull throbbing comes back to him with a renewed clarity.  It feels like a bitch, so Sam can imagine how it looks.  He shakes his head.  “It’s fine,” he says.

Dean purses his lips.  “Right,” he says.  “Just like you are.”

It grates on Sam’s last nerve.  He looks at his brother, his eyes hard.  “Oh, and you mean like you are?”

Dean cocks his head at that.  “I’m not the one acting like a little girl after every hunt,” he says.  “We had to destroy the footage.”

“I know,” Sam says, cutting him off shortly.  “But not everything is that easy.”

Dean groans a little.  “I so do not want to talk about this right now.”

“And when do you want to talk about it?” Sam snaps.

“How about never?” Dean asks. 

Sam sits up straight and turns in his seat, looking at his brother fully.  “I thought you wanted me to help save you,” he says.  “Isn’t that what you said?”

Dean’s fingers tighten on the wheel and his jaw works.  “Yeah, I said that,” Dean says.  “But not the way you’re thinking.  We can’t run around half-cocked.  We can’t be willing to sacrifice virgins and run off shooting from the hip.  We can’t make compromises on this stuff.  You’re a bleeding heart one minute and a cold hearted son of a bitch the next.  I don’t want to spend my last few months with some stranger.”

The words are hard and a little surprising.  Sam feels them roll coldly in his gut.  He swallows.  “I don’t want them to be your last few months at all,” he says.

Dean sighs, his shoulders slumping.  “We’re going to have to face it sometime, Sammy,” he says quietly.

Sam’s jaw locks, tears burn at his eyes.  “No,” he says.  “We don’t.”

“What, you have some magic fix for us?” Dean asks, not cruelly but his words still cut deep.

Because Sam has no answers, and they both know it.  Sam has Ruby and the promises she makes, but neither of them trust her enough for that.  Sam has no solutions, he has no options.  He can’t fix Dean’s deal.

And that’s what’s bothering him.  They can run around and fix everyone else’s problems.  They can save civilians from themselves, kill ghosts and exorcise demons and then clean up the mess with a powerful magnet and a well timed sleight of hand.

But Sam can’t get Dean out of the deal.  Sam can’t wipe the past year clean, can’t erase it out of existence.

It’s still there.  No matter what Sam does, it’s still there.

Sam’s throat is too tight to speak and he doesn’t trust himself not to cry.  His face hurts in earnest now, and his head is starting to throb with the pulsing of his heart.

After another mile, Dean clears his throat.  “We still have time, Sammy,” he says, almost like an olive branch.

And it just breaks Sam’s heart.  “Not enough,” Sam says, his voice taut.

Dean has no response to that.  No reassurances.  No jokes.  They both know it’s true.

Dean lets the road carry them another mile and then he shrugs.  “If it makes you feel better, we can go back and tell them what we did.”

Sam shuts his eyes and wills the emotions away.  When he opens them, the world looks bleaker and he feels tired.  He manages a weak grin.  “They had it coming,” he says.  “Morons.”

Dean’s grin has more bravado than it should.  “That’s the spirit,” he says.  “Do you want to call them about the fake book deal offer, or should I?”

Sam’s smile widens and he lets himself believe it.  “You can, but only if you pitch it as a possible series,” he says.  “Anything to get them out of their parents’ garage for a little bit.”

Dean smirks, eyes on the road.  “You’re all heart, Sammy,” he says.

Sam follows his gaze and just keeps staring.  “Do you want me to find us another hunt?” he asks.

Dean nods.  “Sounds like a plan,” he says.  “Maybe something with a werewolf this time.  I love werewolves.”

Sam snorts and picks up the paper, unfolding a section.  He shakes his head, settling in.  “I’ll see what I can do,” he says, and hopes that it’s enough.

Comments

Posted by: carocali (carocali)
Posted at: May 26th, 2011 03:05 pm (UTC)

"I don’t know, Sammy,” Dean says. “Chicks dig it when guys get roughed up.” -

This is a nice afterthought for a very bizarre episode; a little h/c, a little angst. Very much a nice way to start off the morning!

:D

Posted by: sendintheclowns (sendintheklowns)
Posted at: May 27th, 2011 01:08 am (UTC)
Summer of Sam Love S6

*giggles* That's the exact same quote that caught my attention when I read the fic.

Posted by: carocali (carocali)
Posted at: May 27th, 2011 02:02 am (UTC)

Great minds, my friend. Great minds!

Hey, maybe we can do Perkins this summer! :D

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 28th, 2011 12:17 pm (UTC)
bloody hero

It's usually the episodes I don't like as much that lend themselves to the best tags, IMO. It's like there's just more room to fix it that way :)

Thanks!

Posted by: ravanne (ravanne)
Posted at: May 26th, 2011 03:23 pm (UTC)
The boys

I've missed your SPN fic so much! Was so happy to see this posted and it did not disapoint.

Loved the contrast between the angst and the easy banter between the boys. I've missed seeing them like this.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 28th, 2011 12:17 pm (UTC)
broken sam

It's actually kind of nice to know that some people miss it :) Thanks!

Posted by: dtwilight (dtwilight)
Posted at: May 26th, 2011 04:09 pm (UTC)
Sam

Loved what you have done here!!! It's just so them. Thanks so much for sharing ;)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 28th, 2011 12:19 pm (UTC)
geekboy

Thank you very much :) S3 was never my favorite, but there was still something I liked in their dynamic that year--where Sam so desperately needed to save Dean. The fact that he couldn't is still one of those things I wish the show had done differently.

Posted by: harrigan (harrigan)
Posted at: May 26th, 2011 11:41 pm (UTC)

I get why the episodes don't indulge us like this. They only have 42 minutes or so, and they need to cover things like... plot. But I totally think this is what happened after the episode ended. It fits exactly right.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 28th, 2011 12:19 pm (UTC)
never desert you

You know, sometimes I think the show could go with a little less plot and a little more character. Considering that's what a lot of fans watch for :)

Thanks!

Posted by: sendintheclowns (sendintheklowns)
Posted at: May 27th, 2011 01:10 am (UTC)
Summer of Sam Love S6

You're a pimper and a writer. *giggles*

Thank you so much for posting weekly. I always look forward to Thursdays.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 28th, 2011 12:20 pm (UTC)
whole

I imagine you must look forward to Thursdays because that means you've already done your obligatory weekly beta :) Truly, you are a saint with that.

Thanks!

Posted by: medusafox (medusafox)
Posted at: May 29th, 2011 11:18 am (UTC)

Ghostfacers will never be on my favourite episodes list, but I love what you've done with this tag. This is the point in season 3 that we really start to feel the clock ticking down on Dean's deal, and the start of Sam's hopeless desperation. You've captured that perfectly. Thanks!!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 3rd, 2011 09:39 pm (UTC)
brothers herding

It's an odd episode to be sure, and it was never my favorite either, but part of me loved the subtle things the show didn't talk about at this stage--of course, I thought they'd get there eventually, but I guess that was wishful thinking :)

Thanks!

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