Log in

No account? Create an account
do i dare or do i dare? [userpic]

Lightning Bugs

June 23rd, 2006 (08:52 am)

feeling: pensive

Title: Lightning Bugs

Author: faye_dartmouth

Rating: PG

Pairing: Sam/Jess

A/N: It's a miracle! I wrote a story without angst! That being said, this is a short fic inspired by my own childhood memories of summer and lightning bugs. Thanks to geminigrl11 for the motivation to actually write it and the clear direction to make it a Sam/Jess piece.

Disclaimer:  The only thing that's mine are the mistakes.

Summary: Sam and Jess and a summer night. 

Lightning Bugs


There is something familiar about this place, although you've never been here. Something in the way it smells so fresh in the soft twilight, something about the way the warm air feels as you breathe it deeply into your lungs, something in the way the grass tickles your toes in your sandals.

And there's something right about it all, as though you were meant to be here, with him, holding his hand, feeling all the world was yours and safe and perfect.

There are stars peaking out in the clear sky and the park is quiet and deserted. Summer has arrived, heralded by the cicadas and crickets, and for a moment you feel like you're a child again.

He is quiet and following you, and when you look at him, his eyes are not on the landscape but on you. So you grab his hand and lead him forward. "Isn't this perfect?" you ask him and he can do nothing but smile. "This is how every night should be."

And he's still looking at you, his eyes mesmerized and his dimple permanently in place.

All of it just makes you smile more, touches something deep within you and makes you feel like you can float.

Right when you think nothing could make this better, the sky seems to dim a little more and the hum of the cicadas rises just so, and the lightning bugs begin to sparkle in the velvet haze of the park in front of you.

"Sam," you breathe. "Did you ever catch lightning bugs as a kid?"

"Sometimes," he says. "Why?"

You're running ahead of him now, trying to pull one into your cupped hands. You turn back to face him, sharing a memory. "I used to chase them all the time when I was a kid. I would run after them and try to catch them. I liked the way the wings fluttered in my hands. But I'd never capture just one," you explain, pulling one from the air and turning to find another. "I always captured pairs."

"Why?" He is curious and enthralled and it makes your heart skip a beat.

You open your fingers just enough to let another one in. "You capture them together," you say, and the bugs are crawling in your hand, glowing intermittently through the crevices. "And then, when you let them go, they'll live happily ever after."

"And how can you be sure of that?" he asks, his voice light and airy as the breeze. He's by your side now, watching your hands.

You push at him with your hip. "You just know."

"But what if you have two girls or two boys in there? What if they don't get along?"

You glare at him, but you can't keep a straight face. "You're missing the point," you say. Then you open your hands and let them go, still amazed that it brings goosebumps to your arms to watch them fly away together. You grin and look at him. "Try it."

He makes a show of resisting, but you can see he wants to. He chases after them with a youthfulness that surprises you. You laugh as he stumbles after one and yell for him to come in the direction of the one you just saw whirring above your head.

"They're trying to get out," he complains as he tries to keep them in his hands.

"Just cup your hands," you say, guiding his fingers. "Like this. You don't want to hurt them."

His hands are large and almost awkward with the delicate task, but he lets you mold them until both bugs are captured gently in his hands.

His face is full of wonder as he watches the light emitting from his hands. This time you're watching him, watching the light reflect of his features, glimmer in his eyes. You swear the bugs in his hands are lighting in tandem, perfectly in unison, as though they are meant to be.

"Now what?" he prompts and you look down again, blushing.

"Now you just...let them go."

He hesitates and then opens his hands. The bugs flutter for a second just above his fingers then take off together, and you watch, standing side by side, as they rise up and away, disappearing from view.

You both stand there, trying to watch them still, but they're lost now, somewhere among the stars.

"You know," he says after a moment, maybe more. "When I was young, we moved around a lot. It was easy to lose track of where we were or what time of year it was. But I could always tell it was summer because of Dean."

"Your brother?"

"Yeah," he says, and you detect something different in his voice, something subtle but palpable. "He always got more rambunctious in the summer. Sometimes he would take me to whatever park was nearby and we'd wrestle or chase each other or whatever. And sometimes--" He breaks off with a small laugh. "Sometimes he'd catch lightning bugs too. He'd catch them and then showed me how to mash them on the pavement because they left these cool glowing streaks where you smeared them. We tried to draw things sometimes. Once he even managed to write my name."

Part of you wants to squeal at his memory, chide him for desecrating the image of happiness you created with the bugs, but he's not telling it to you to gross you out. He's not trying to impress you. He's just talking, and you realize he seems more real now than he ever has before.

"You've never told me anything about him before," you say, softly, your voice daring to penetrate the dimming light.

And Sam smiles, just slightly, and you wait for him to speak, to continue, to add something. But soon you realize that's all there is, that this memory is all he can offer you right now. For a moment you want to ask, to push, to prod, but you see that mix of sadness and contentment on his face and cannot bring yourself to pry.

So instead, you take his hand, rest your head on your shoulder, and together, watch the flickering of the lightning bugs in the evening sky.


Posted by: Allocin (fadagaski)
Posted at: June 23rd, 2006 02:30 pm (UTC)
gamer girl

I love the comparison of memory, how Dean shared things with Sam as Jess did, but not in the same way. Two halves, one peaceful and one violent. A nice contrast. :)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 23rd, 2006 08:09 pm (UTC)
baby brother

Thanks! The comparison was sort of at the heart of what I was going for here--showing that even though Sam and Jess had different backgrounds, they still had a connection over something so simple that had made them each happy in their own way.

Posted by: i want to cause a ruckus (geminigrl11)
Posted at: June 23rd, 2006 03:45 pm (UTC)

Yes, I should be working. I have no excuse . . . none. Except that it's Friday. And it's beautiful out. And tonight is going to be a Lightning Bug kind of night and I want to feel that, if only for a moment, while I am trapped inside this building and wishing for 5 o'clock . . .

I gave you all my best words on this already . . . but "oh . . . " still sums it up. Lovely and perfect.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 23rd, 2006 08:11 pm (UTC)

HEE!! You should be working!! I really did know the feeling and give me a few months and I'll know it again :)

You should go to a part tonight--take a walk and just enjoy it :)

Thanks--and you really did make this piece come together.

Posted by: tutorgirl_73192 (tutorgirl_73192)
Posted at: June 23rd, 2006 05:01 pm (UTC)

I loved how Sam told Jess how Dean was in the summertime! Overall, I loved this fic! :D Is ff.net letting you post yet? Or is it still being mean??

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 23rd, 2006 08:11 pm (UTC)

Thanks! I often think about what and how much Sam told Jess about Dean. She clearly had heard of him, but you know he didn't give full disclosure. And ff.net is still driving me crazy!!

Posted by: tutorgirl_73192 (tutorgirl_73192)
Posted at: June 24th, 2006 04:38 pm (UTC)

There were practically no updates for the past couple days, but now people are pretty much able to update, from what I've seen! :D

Yeah, I think about that too. I can imagine Sam making up some half-baked story about Dean living like, 3000 miles away, or something weird like that. :D We all know that Sam is pretty creative! :D

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 25th, 2006 05:40 pm (UTC)

I FINALLY got something to upload this morning. I was going crazy!

I think Sam was probably pretty vague--I don't like to think he outright lied to Jess, but obviously evaded the truth, and I think she probably always knew there was more going on but didn't push him on it.

Posted by: tutorgirl_73192 (tutorgirl_73192)
Posted at: June 25th, 2006 09:24 pm (UTC)

Yay! You updated! I reviewed chapter 17 of O'erthrown under my penname, it was mostly, "Yay! You updated!" Heeheehee.

Hmm, makes a lot of sense. I agree! She definitly [sp???] knew who Dean was, but didn't know that much about him.

I'm in the mood to read something REALLY angsty, with a ton of Limp!Sam!...hmm...I'll probably go re-read 'Death's Other Kingdom'--which made me cry!--or 'Ruptured'.

--Bye! :D

And keep writing! :D :D

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 25th, 2006 10:07 pm (UTC)

HEE!! Thanks for reviewing O'erthrown--I appreciate it :)

Jess will always be one of those pivotal enigmas on the show that we'll never know enough about. I'm not often driven to write about her, but she deserves to be more than a plot device.

You must have a penchant for depressing stuff--rereading DOK is no small undertaking. Ruptured is a bit lighter, which really says something about my fic :)

Thanks so much!

Posted by: Pheebs1 (pheebs1)
Posted at: June 23rd, 2006 10:51 pm (UTC)
Coffee Sam

I love the detail of Sam's story to Jess about Dean. Dean and Jess's very very different reactions to the lightning bugs. It was beautiful then awwwSam all at once, I could really see the two of them. Thanks for posting and sharing it with us.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 23rd, 2006 10:58 pm (UTC)

Thanks! The image of the lightning bugs is what got me thinking about this piece, so I'm glad you could picture it all :)

Posted by: Don't shoot the pianist (northface11)
Posted at: June 24th, 2006 02:23 am (UTC)

Read this 12 hours ago, first thing in the morning at work, but then I had to, well, work, so I'm only getting around to commenting now--I enjoyed this whole-heartedly, how Sam experiences fireflies with two entirely different people and in two entirely different ways, but both mark him.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 25th, 2006 05:33 pm (UTC)

Isn't work annoying? They should totally pay us to just be fic writers and readers.

And thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it! It's interesting to think about how Sam balance his new life with Jessica with his past with Dean.

Posted by: Preocupied with a rubber chewy bone (krisomniac)
Posted at: June 24th, 2006 01:23 pm (UTC)
spn brothers

Aww. This is my favorite squishy pairing.

I especially enjoyed that you didn't pass moral judgement on Sam and Dean killing the lightning bugs, even if Jess had to fight back her indignation; they're just boys being boys after all. And I love me those boys.

Very sweet. Kudos.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 25th, 2006 05:38 pm (UTC)

Sam/Jess is one of those pairings you want to love because of how important it is but is so hard to love because it ended in tragedy. It's always stuck in the past, so even with a happy moment, there's that lingering sense of what will come that makes it a little less fluffy.

And it was hard not to pass judgement on the boys! I somehow lived in a weird vacuum as a kid and never smushed the bugs so when I learned that most people had I was pretty indignant! But they're BUGS, so it's not like it's bad, and it's not so much what Sam did with the bugs, but just that connection and that memory of Dean that matters here.

Posted by: Preocupied with a rubber chewy bone (krisomniac)
Posted at: June 26th, 2006 12:25 am (UTC)

I somehow lived in a weird vacuum as a kid and never smushed the bugs so when I learned that most people had I was pretty indignant

Hehehe. Make that two of us. I think they were kind of precious because there wasn't much of nature in manhattan, but certain areas of the park at dusk in the summer, you could find fireflies.

We had a lecturer come in and tell us last year, that kids who killed or hurt small animals had a significantly higher likelihood of becoming serial killers... I wonder if the same holds true for insects? ;) Or not. (apologies for spamming your journal, btw, just a little Sunday night loopiness shining through)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 26th, 2006 01:48 am (UTC)

I just loved them so much that the thought of squishing them seemed wrong. Glad I wasn't the only one. I was really shocked when I was told otherwise. Though I must admit the thought of glowing entrails on the pavement sounds kind of fascinating....

Yeah, I've heard that thing about killing animals too. I think if you're torturing insects, it may be a problem, because I've heard it builds to other things. But killing a spider in your basement probably doesn't mean you're going to turn into a killer (I hope not). And with the fireflies, I think it's different too--I hope so, or some of my best friends are on track to commit murder...

Though that would be a funny thing to have them talk about. Jess trying to psychoanalyze Sam and not having a clue what she was getting into...

And I love loopiness! Ramble away!

18 Read Comments