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do i dare or do i dare? [userpic]

When It Was Over 5b/5

January 12th, 2010 (01:59 pm)

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PART FIVE (b)
 

-o-

“Holy hell,” Ella Montgomery says over the phone. “That tip about sanctifying the grounds was a damn good one.”

She’s a hunting acquaintance of Ryker Carter. She contacted Sam a week ago about a black dog in the Tucson area.

“I told you it was a good idea,” Sam says.

“You didn’t say it was going to save my life.”

“I thought that was implied.”

“I’m a hunter, not a mind reader,” she says. “But I just about peed my pants when that thing charged me.”

“You’d do better with backup,” Sam tells her. “I told you that.”

“Good help is hard to find,” she drawls. “Speaking of which, I got a lead on kelpie not too far from here. You think I could pick your brain?”

“I still think you need a partner,” Sam says. “Ryker’s not bad.”

“He’s also got the personality of a board. Too many years on the hunt.”

“You don’t need him to entertain you,” Sam explains. “You need him to watch your back.”

“Well, what about you?”

“I had a partner.”

“I mean, why don’t you get out there on the hunt?” she says. “I could use something with the experience you have. Hell, we all could.”

Sam’s heart skips a beat. “No,” he says. “I don’t have experience you want.”

“Just the stuff we need,” she says. “You’ve been to the brink of Hell and back, they say. You’ve seen the darkness, been surrounded in it, and still came out on top. If there’s anyone who’s more up to the job, I can’ think of them.”

“It wasn’t like that.”

“No,” she agrees. “But I’d bet my life that it was more.”

Sam closes his eyes, and breathes for a moment. “Call me about the kelpie when you know more.”

“Sure thing,” she says. “And thanks again.”

“Anytime,” Sam says. “Anytime.”

-o-

Byron Lin asks him if he’s interested in some file folders. He has a whole assortment in his garage, with color-coded labels to stick in the top.

Sam’s pretty sure the entire town is taking pity on him. Word gets around fast that he’s been let go from Tanner’s farm, and though the rumors vary wildly, everyone seems to want to coddle him just a bit. Anita gives him free sodas with his meals and Erick always throws in a Ho-Ho with his purchase, on the house.

It is very possible, then, that Bryon Lin is doing the same.

But file folders.

How can the anal retentive in Sam resist?

Byron seems relieved to have him there, and lets him pick through the boxes to Sam’s content. There’s lots there--the file folders, binders, paper clips, even a T-square.

“You must have done a lot of paperwork,” Sam notes, trying to finagle a three-hole punch into his box.

Byron laughs. “Too much paperwork.”

Sam grins. “Isn’t that always the case.”

“Have you worked in business?” Byron asks conversationally.

Sam shakes his head. He thinks about his dreams of being a lawyer and how he’d worked so hard in school. It’s a different life. His mouth flattens, but he tries to smile anyway. “No.”

“I was in architecture,” Byron informs him. There’s a hint of wistfulness in his voice. “I was very good. I enjoyed the clean lines and the mathematics behind it. Every choice I made had a clear and definitive purpose. It felt good to be so measured and so precise.”

“Maybe I should have considered that, then,” Sam says with a laugh. “I was pre-law for awhile in school.”

“Another profession of logic and reason,” Byron comments. He winks at Sam. “Far too much persuasion involved for me, though.”

“I didn’t finish my degree,” Sam says softly, and he looks down, fiddling with a tape dispenser.

“I’m sorry,” Byron says.

“It was a long time ago,” Sam says. “Things happened. I had other things I had to do.”

“That’s why I left, too,” Bryon tells him.

Sam knows Byron’s comment is innocent, but Sam tries not to smile with incredulity. Byron’s girlfriend probably didn’t die in a fiery mess over his head and Byron probably didn’t throw himself headlong into revenge until he destroyed himself and the world.

“It was a very demanding job,” Byron continues. “And no matter how many lines I drew, or how many calculations I made, I still wasn’t getting any closer to figuring out the things that really mattered.”

There is a faraway look on Byron’s face, and Sam recognizes it. It’s the distance of a dream, not lost and not deferred, but given up. “Like what?” Sam asks, and suddenly, he really needs to know.

Byron looks at him and smiles. “How to be a husband. How to be a father. How to be a person.”

Sam’s throat tightens inexplicably.

“I spent a lifetime trying to build my own happiness, trying to construct it with my knowledge and skill,” Byron says, and he’s looking out the open garage door. Thomas is shuffling cards on the cement and Katherine is running in circles, her pigtails trailing after her in the sunlight. “But you can’t find happiness. Contentment, the real thing, is something that finds you. You just have to accept it.”

And that’s what Sam wants. More than anything. More than normal, more than safety, more than family. More than atonement.

Contentment.

“That’s what Peace is for me,” Bryon says, meeting Sam’s eyes again. “This town is my contentment. It lets me focus on the things that matter. Everything else just sort of falls into place. You know what I mean?”

Sam almost smiles, and if he let himself, he could cry. But he doesn’t. “I think I do,” he says instead, and he’s pretty sure he means it.

-o-

He goes to the library so often that he’s on a first name basis with Phil. Phil is more interesting than he seems, and he will take Sam through the stacks for hours at a time, pointing out obscure books and rare copies. He even has Sam convinced that the copy of The Grapes of Wrath with the scribble inside the back flap may actually be from John Steinbeck himself, though neither of them have proof.

It reminds Sam of why he fell in love with libraries, of the long hours at his father’s knee flipping through books of things he didn’t understand, couldn’t understand--but wanted to understand. In a life full of lies, the library was a refuge of answers, and Sam has not lost that wonder quite yet.

His questions are specific now. Where before, he wanted to know who he was and what purpose he had, now he just wants to know if something can be killed with iron or fire.

Phil, though--he’s just happy for the company.

“It’s so quiet here,” Phil says. “There just aren’t enough people interested in libraries anymore. All this darn-fangled technology. But I’ll tell you, libraries have things the interweb or whatever just doesn’t have. It has concrete knowledge. Proof that it exists. That it’s just not some mad man in his basement in South Dakota.”

For a moment, Sam imagines Bobby making Wikipedia entries.

“So I’m so glad to see a nice, young man like you take interest in it,” Phil is continuing.

Sam raises his eyebrows, his attention back on Phil. A nice young man, he is not, but it’s not worth it to ruin Phil’s fantasy.

“You and that girl.”

Sam’s interest is piqued against his consent. “What about her?”

“Such a bright thing,” Phil muses. “Comes in here every weekend, almost like clockwork. And so polite and courteous. Always re-shelves her books correctly.”

“Do you know who she is?”

“She’s one of the locals,” Phil says absently. “Family’s been here all their lives. The Fullertons, I believe. Her daddy’s the minister at the New Hope Christian church.”

Sam’s practically salivating, leaning in closer. “Yeah?” he asks.

“Oh, sure,” Phil says with a wave of his hand. “She’s the only girl--they’ve got four boys--and yet she smoked them all. Graduated top of her class in high school. School plays, debate team. Full ride scholarship to Princeton, but I tell you, I never seen a girl more heartbroken over college than that one. No one was surprised when she came back to do her masters at Georgia State. She’s as much a part of this town as they are a part of her.”

It is a mesmerizing tale, almost hypnotic. Sometimes, Sam thinks she’s just in his head, a figment of his lonely imagination. But to hear that she is real, that she exists outside of him--it is strangely invigorating. For a second, the tendrils of possibility rise within him.

He had the willpower to stop using his powers. He had the dedication to give up the demon blood. He’s given up hunting, he’s given up atonement--he’s given up everything, but for some reason, he can’t find the strength to fight this right now.

“She deserves only the best,” Phil adds thoughtfully. “Pure, wholesome girl like that.”

He shakes his head, and smiles at Sam, adjusting his glasses on his nose.

“Between you two, my job is worthwhile,” Phil concludes. “I have to get back to updating the card catalog, but if you need something, just let me know.”

Sam mumbles his consent and watches Phil go.

A pure, wholesome girl like that.

Doesn’t deserve a pathetic, screwed up guy like him.

The hope within him recedes, and he lets his common sense take over again. He doesn’t deserve to even think about this. He never has.

It’s time to let go. This place has made him soft. These months away from the hunt have dampened his resistance. He has to fight harder and stronger than before. He has to stop letting himself believe that Dean’s happily ever after could be his.

He just has to stop.

The day, on the drive home, Sam drives clear past Peace. He keeps going and going, as far as he can, until the inevitable pull of it all draws him back.

-o-

As far as Sam wants to go, Peace always draws him back. He’s not sure if it’s Dean or if it’s Jefferson’s library or if it’s Everett or everyone else, but he can’t go far and he can’t stay away.

Sam spends a few mornings each week in the garage. It’s about as much as either he or Dean can take, sometimes. Things are better between them, but Sam has a hard time forgetting. He’s still healing, he’s still learning to trust in Dean’s forgiveness, and between the sounds of metal on metal, Sam can hear the words that he’ll never be able to let go of.

Boo-hoo.

I don’t know when it changed.

You’re weak.

It means you’re a monster.

I’m sorry.

I just don’t think I can trust you again.

But Sam’s learning about engine and he knows how to change the oil and sometimes, fixing the cars is close enough to make things seem right.

One day, Sam’s trying to see his way around a car’s radiator when Dean says, “I’m sorry.”

Sam looks up around the hood. “What?”

Dean sighs, and fondles a wrench in his hand. He looks up at Sam. “I’m sorry for telling Grace about you.”

Sam doesn’t know what to say. He looks back down at the engine. “You had to tell her the truth.”

“But it wasn’t my truth to tell,” Dean says. “That stuff’s personal. Off limits. Even for girls.”

Sam still doesn’t have a clue what to say and his eyes are watering.

“So I just wanted to apologize,” Dean says. “And tell you that it’s not going to be like that.”

Sam finally manages a nod, and turns his eyes to his brother. “Okay,” he says.

Dean is tentative. “Okay?”

Sam smiles a little, blinks back the tears. “Okay.”

-o-

Dean is doing the dishes, and making a racket of it. Grace finds Sam on the porch and settles on a chair near him with a sigh.

“He’s going to break something,” she says lazily.

“It’s just so you don’t ask him to do it again.”

She smiles and nods. “He can break every dish and it won’t make a difference.”

Sam nods approvingly. “Good,” he says. “Dean needs someone to hold him accountable.”

“Since you clearly won’t.”

Sam frowns.

“You let him get away with everything,” Grace continues.

Sam’s good humor has faded. “I owe him.”

“No more than he owes you.”

At that, Sam looks at Grace, shaking his head. “You know better than that. I owe Dean my life. More than my life.”

“And you think he doesn’t owe you the same?”

“He doesn’t.”

“And you think Dean’s the stubborn one,” Grace muses.

They lapse into silence, the sound of Dean’s frenetic dish cleaning resounding in the evening.

“You know,” Grace says. “Some people would think you don’t like me.”

Sam tenses a bit but forces himself to keep it under wraps. “Why would they think that?”

“You tolerate me,” she says. “Answer my questions, leave me the last of the orange juice in the mornings. But you avoid me, too, when you can. Lock yourself in the library. Take walks when Dean and I invite you to watch a movie.”

“I don’t want to be a third wheel,” Sam explained.

“So you’d rather be a liar?”

That smarts. He’s worked hard to overcome that habit and he’s worked harder to prove himself trustworthy. “I don’t lie to you.”

“But you don’t tell me the truth,” she says.

“You already know the truth,” Sam says back, with more bitterness than he should.

She smiled, nods a little. “That’s it, isn’t it?” she asks. “It’s not just that I’m helping Dean grow apart from you, it’s that you can’t hide from me. You hide the things you can to compensate for the things you can’t.”

Sam stiffens, and holds himself rigidly in the chair. The Wanet children are screaming down the street, fighting about kickball and who’s in the outfield.

Her rocking stops, and she leaned forward. “I want you to look at me, Sam,” she says.

It takes everything he has to comply, and he doesn’t do it for her. He does it for his brother.

Her eyes are looking deeply into his, and there’s an intensity there that is more than a little unnerving. She presses her lips together, and says, “You drank demon blood. You trusted a demon. You started the Apocalypse. You failed your brother, you failed your father, you failed your girlfriend, and for all you can know, you failed your mother, too. Your life is full of one failure after another, some that weren’t your fault and some that were.”

Sam’s throat is tight and his body is screaming to run, but he finds himself immobile, locked into place by Grace’s firm gaze.

“When most people look at you, they see a broken man. When Dean looks at you, Dean sees your regret. When I look at you, I see a good man.”

Sam’s eyes are watering and it’s everything he can do not to cry. “How can you say that?” he asks, and his voice is small. “Knowing what I’ve done--”

“You’re a sinner, Sam, same as me and Dean. Same as everyone in this town. But it’s not just what you do that counts. It’s who you are. And I’m not talking about demon blood or family legacies. I’m talking about you. Even in all of it, even when you killed a girl and started the end of the world, there was good in you. You wanted to do the right thing, and you forgot that the ends don’t justify the means. People don’t go to Hell forgetting. They go to Hell for not letting it go.”

Sam’s heart is pounding and his palms are sweaty. His mouth goes dry and he can feel the blood throbbing in his temples.

“Do you believe me, Sam?”

Sam works hard to swallow and he can’t break eye contact. “I want to.”

“Then do,” she says.

With that, she leans back, starting her rocking again. In that moment, Grace belongs there, on that porch, sitting next to Sam. She’s the one who can take Dean’s Peace and make it a life.

What she offers Sam, however, might be even more important, he thinks. Not just forgiveness, because Dean gave him that a long time ago. But the possibility to believe.

Sam’s not there yet, but as he rocks next to Grace, he thinks maybe someday he will be.

-o-

Sam’s in the garage with Dean, poking through a tool box and looking for a wrench. He’s telling his brother about his latest case that he’s consulting on for Bobby and Ella Montgomery.

With a grunt, Dean slides out from under the car he’s working on and gives Sam a look. “I can’t believe you’re trusting a kid like that to do that kind of job.”

“She’s not a kid,” Sam reminds him.

Dean raises his eyebrows and stands. “Sure seems that way.”

Sam snorts a little. “Well, we could always hit the road and join her for this one. It’s only two states over.”

Dean makes a face. “We’ve got a life here.”

“I’m sure Everett will watch out for it,” Sam says. “Jefferson’s place did just fine without us around to mow the grass.”

Dean just gives him a look.

“What?” Sam asks.

“Jefferson’s place?”

Sam shrugs. “That’s what it is.”

Dean looks a little hurt and a little disappointed and a lot sad. “Dude, really?”

Sam rolls his eyes. “What?”

“This isn’t Jefferson’s place,” Dean says. “This is our place. We’ve been here almost a year, when are you going to accept that?”

Sam’s mouth is open and he’s surprised. This has always been Jefferson’s place to him. This is Dean’s break. This is something to everyone else, and as long as Sam doesn’t have any ownership, he doesn’t have to face the fact that he’s here.

If he doesn’t have to face that, then he doesn’t have to come to terms with the fact that everything is changing.

No, everything is changed.

He’s been so scared, so utterly terrified, because he knows he could lose Dean to this. He could lose Dean and worse--he could lose himself. It hurts to be so close to peace and prosperity and not to be able to touch it. It just aches to have all the dreams within his reach and still have to let them slip away.

He doesn’t deserve these things. Not calling them his own makes it easier to reject them. He can’t reject what he has never been offered.

Dean is looking at him, shaking his head. “You really don’t get it, do you,” he says. And there’s not disgust, there’s surprise. “This is ours, Sam,” Dean says. “Yours and mine.”

Sam shakes his head. “It’s yours--”

“Yeah, so what are you doing here?”

Treading water. Living for Dean.

Mostly, Sam doesn’t know.

“I came here for us,” Dean says. “We’ve both earned that.”

“I want to believe that,” Sam tells him.

“Then believe it,” Dean says. “Wake up and realize that all those things you’re fighting against, little brother, are already here. You don’t want to let yourself make a life--too late. You don’t think you deserve connections--too bad everyone in town loves you. You don’t want to be happy--if you’d just get your head out of your ass, you’d realize that you have everything. You’re just too stubborn to take it.”

Sam swallows hard and his eyes burn.

“I can’t do this one for you,” Dean says. “If I would, I could. But I can’t. It’s time to step up to the plate and decide how this ends.”

With that Dean, leaves the room. Sam’s left, staring at the door.

It’s a confusing moment. Full of surprise and dread; inevitability and regret. Everything he wants; nothing he’ll let himself have. Penance and letting go. It isn’t the sin that condemns most people. It’s holding on too tight.

It’s Peace and it’s Grace and it’s Dean and it’s Everett and it’s a girl in a library in New Hope. It’s Jefferson’s legacy and his father’s last wishes and it’s Bobby’s influence and it’s everything. It’s a hunt that never ends and an apocalypse that did. And it’s sins and atonement and it’s moving on and letting go.

Sam’s here. He doesn’t really know how he got here, but he’s here. This town, these people, this life. They’re his for the taking.

But he’s eight-years-old and the world is built on a shoddy lie. He’s fourteen and no one has ever asked what he wanted. He’s eighteen and when he takes a chance, he gets shown the door instead. He’s twenty-two and his dreams go up in smoke. He’s twenty four and Dean dies for his mistakes. He’s twenty-six and he ends the world with demon blood coursing through his veins.

Sam’s life is one of lies and failure, misery and rejection.

So to believe, to hope....

After everything...

It’s scarier than Lucifer himself, and Sam knows.

Lucifer fell to Dean’s sword.

But only Sam can vanquish these doubts.

But Sam’s many things, but a good little soldier was never one of them. It’s do or die time, he thinks, and he’s just not sure which side of the line he’ll fall on.

-o-

Peace doesn’t need a reason to get together, but it takes every one it can find. When Sylvie finds out that it’s Zach’s birthday, that’s more than cause enough for everyone to make their way down to the field behind the General Store for something of a celebration.

There’s food, of course, and an assortment of drinks to keep everyone hydrated. Chris has a grill going and Tanner hauled his over as well, so there’s more food than anyone could ever eat, but they’re all giving it a go.

There’s even gifts--which Zach looks embarrassed by--and someone turns on a radio and blasts Creedence Clearwater Revival so everyone can hear. There’s talking and there’s laughter, and there’s even a party game or two.

Sam sips his lemonade and stays out of the way, but can’t escape a game of pin the tail on the donkey when the Wanet children corner him. Julia tries to seduce him and Alice Tanner almost force feeds him a bowl of pasta salad, and all in all, it seems about right.

Then Sylvie brings out the cake. It’s a huge concoction, dropping a little to one side. It’s been frosted by hand and the sloppy lettering on top says Happy Birthday Zach! There is a line of candles running around the outside.

For a second, Zach looks like he wants to bolt. But Sam sees the kid look around and take it in and just accept it.

Then it all changes--Zach disposition relaxes and his smile widens as his eyes light up and it’s like he’s seeing Zach for the first time.

He watches Zach grin, and it’s like the kid is entirely new. Bright eyes and white teeth: Zach looks alive. He’s hardly the same kid Sam has seen moping around town and fighting miserably with Sylvie’s cash register.

Suddenly, he’s Zach, and it means something. He’s alive and he’s glad for it.

Erick is patting him on the shoulder as the town reaches the climax of the chorus. Sylvie looks like a proud mother and Everett is bellowing out the notes for all he is worth.

This is what this town does. This is who these people are.

The singing ends and the crowd claps. “Now, blow them out!” Everett prompts.

“But make a wish, dear,” Sylvie reminds him.

Zach closes his eyes for a long moment, and Sam feels time stop. He can see it, on Zach’s face. The pull of letting go is finally stronger than the need to hold on. The desire to be is finally outweighing the fear of being.

And when Zach opens his eyes and blows out every last candle, Sam knows Zach’s wish came true.

Zach’s finally blown out the candles. Sam still needs to have the courage to make his wish. Once and for all and for always.

-o-

Habit is Sam’s saving grace. It’s what keeps him going even when his heart just isn’t in it. It’s what keeps him grounded when his mind just can’t quite get the job done.

So he wakes up, takes his walk, and makes breakfast. He eats with Dean and sometimes Grace, and three mornings a week he ends up in the garage, taking Dean’s jokes and huffing some of his own. He spends his afternoons in the library, buffing up his contacts and deepening his growing wealth of resources.

Weekends are different, because Grace is always there, and Sam still goes to the library in New Hope. He still doesn’t go to church with Dean, but he listens to the singing through the open window and closes his eyes like the girl from the library did at her grandfather’s grave.

And evenings always find him on Everett’s porch, sipping lemonade and looking out over the street. They talk and they don’t, and it’s quiet, punctuated by the rough guffaws of Everett’s laugh.

“You asked me why I came here,” Everett says one night. “But you’ve never said why you showed up.”

It’s an honest question and a legitimate one and it hurts so much that Sam can barely think. He looks out across the yard, the street, Peace, and he just shakes his head. “I don’t know,” he says. “I just don’t know.”

Everett is quiet for a moment. He spits a little, then nods. “I think you do,” he says.

Sam looks at him.

Everett nods. “I think you just won’t let yourself admit it.”

Sam knows he’s right.

-o-

Sam goes back to the house and goes up to the bedroom. He goes through the closet and sits at the table in the library.

He looks at the books, neatly lined on the shelves. He sees the meticulously kept files. Even the maps hung carefully on the walls--this is his. His.

Not Jefferson’s.

His.

Sam sits there, soaking that in, trying, trying, trying to believe.

-o-

She beats him there, and she smiles at him when he comes in.

It’s different now, more complete. They’ve existed outside these four walls. Sam’s held her hand while she prayed and he’s hugged her while she’s cried, and Sam’s beginning to realize that they’re more than study partners.

They’re friends, and yet, even more than that. They’re connected and interrelated and there is something to this Sam can feel, some indefinable point they’re building to, but Sam’s not sure what happens next. He’s not sure he wants to know because he’s not sure if the right answer is yes or no and what each one will say about him.

They talk about studying and school. She talks about her thesis and Sam tells her about his research. It’s as much as he’s told anyone, and it’s not the whole picture, but it’s the best glimpse he’s afforded to anyone in years.

She smiles like she knows it.

When the afternoon is spent, she packs her things with a sigh. “I meant to thank you again,” she says. “For everything.”

Sam’s eyebrows knit together. He shakes his head. “It was nothing.”

She smiles at him. “It was more than you think.”

“It was the least I could do.”

She looks at him--really looks at him--and Sam feels her eyes take in every feature of his face, every part of his body. She’s looking at him and she’s looking into him and she can see everything, Sam realizes. She doesn’t know details, but she can see his failure. She can see his failure and his brokenness and she can see his persistence and his fear. She can see him more clearly than anyone else has in many, many years.

It’s as terrifying as it is reassuring and Sam doesn’t know what to do.

She nods, smiling. “I have to get going,” she says, and pushes to her feet. “But I’ll see you soon, Sam.”

She’s moving to leave when the question comes to him. “You never told me your name,” he says.

She turns and looks at him, amused. Her head is cocked. “Yeah, I guess I didn’t,” she says. “After all this time, I sort of forgot.”

Suddenly, this is very important. Sam’s not sure why, but it just is. “So?” he asks. “What is it?”

Her smile widens. “It’s going to be a letdown after all this.”

“Please?”

“Hope,” she says. “My name’s Hope.”

Sam’s heart skips a beat and his mouth goes dry. His palms are sweaty and his heart pounds loudly in his ears. “Your name is Hope?”

She is embarrassed. “Hope from New Hope, I know,” she says. “My parents weren’t very creative. It’s a family name. We’ve lived here forever, and there’s always a Hope, you know?”

Sam just stares at her.

She looks uncomfortable. “You okay?”

Blinking, Sam nods. “Yeah,” he said, his voice small. He nods again, looking at her in wonder. He remembers Dean’s Peace and Dean’s Grace and all the signs and wonders his brother told him existed. He hasn’t wanted any part of it, has only tagged along on his brother’s journey, but this time he’s not so sure he can resist, not even if he wanted to. “It’s really good to meet you, Hope.”

She smiles, ducking her head a little before looking at him from under her hair. “It’s good to meet you, too.”

And for the first time in a long time, almost longer than Sam remembers, he believes.

-o-

Something changed inside me, broke wide open all spilled out
Till I had no doubt that something changed
Never would have believed it till I felt it in my own heart
In the deepest part the healing came

And I cannot make it
And I cannot fake it
And I can't afford it
But it's mine

-from “Something Changed” by Sara Groves

-o-

END

-o-

 

Comments

Page 1 of 2[1][2]
Posted by: iilaiia (iilaiia)
Posted at: January 12th, 2010 10:42 pm (UTC)

That was so amazingly sad. Sammy breaks my heart kinda like the show ignoring him breaks me too. I love you're work, it's so touching and quiet and just depressing. The level of self hate and despair Sammy's in is awful. I wish the show even remotely cared about family anymore, reading these stories makes me want to cry. I love these boys so much. Great great job.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: January 25th, 2010 04:54 am (UTC)
spooned

Sam has destroyed my heart in every way possible and the way the show treats him makes me almost irate sometimes. All things considered, I'm not sure there's such a thing as a truly "happy" Sam fic, but I wanted to give him some measure of peace when all was said and done.

Thanks!

Posted by: loveandthetruth (loveandthetruth)
Posted at: January 12th, 2010 11:17 pm (UTC)

I can honestly say, nothing has ever made me cry so hard as this fic.

And I love it. I really, really do.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: January 25th, 2010 04:54 am (UTC)
christmas awe

I don't relish making people cry, but it means a lot that you were affected by it.

Thanks :)

Posted by: sunrize (sunrize83)
Posted at: January 13th, 2010 04:05 pm (UTC)

I don't tear up very often while reading fanfic, but you got me with this one. What a lovely look at Sam's journey. I'm a sucker for redemption stories, and I really, REALLY hope Kripke delivers for Sam. But if he doesn't, I'll be making this ending my own personal canon. Wonderful job on this!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: January 25th, 2010 04:55 am (UTC)
brothers malleus

Redemption stories can be powerful--Sam's has all the right elements, but I just don't have faith in the show anymore to do it. So this is the ending I need to think about in order to stay sane.

Thanks!

Posted by: sarallan (sarallan)
Posted at: January 13th, 2010 11:24 pm (UTC)

Just wonderfull. I miss Sam in the show, but you bring him here. Thank you

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: January 25th, 2010 04:55 am (UTC)
geekboy

I miss Sam in the show, too. Dean, too, for that matter. Heck, I miss the show when it was GOOD.

But anyway, thanks :)

Posted by: Gabrus47 (gabrus47)
Posted at: January 14th, 2010 09:10 pm (UTC)

This is absolutely beautiful, Faye. I was in tears by the end. Great, great story. This is the Sam I know and love and want back! :-)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: January 25th, 2010 04:56 am (UTC)
the things I'd do

I think the Sam we know is still there, but he's just being completely ignored for the other more "important" elements of the show.

But I'm so glad you enjoyed it :) Thanks!

Posted by: Dani (pinkphoenix1985)
Posted at: January 14th, 2010 10:08 pm (UTC)

Faye- this is mindblowly fantastic! I love that you made a town that basically exists so that people can live up to their potential.

I ached for Sam the entire story especially since Dean just fits right in. At some parts, I think that I was reading with a DG's mindset (that Sam is being obsessive about the whole monster thing, etc) and that just made me feel even more for Sam.

I liked how you did Dean and how he adapts so easily. I can definitely see S5 Dean become that.

As for Sam- this is exactly what I want him to get to- to have hope eventually. Sadly, I honestly don't see S5 Sam get even close :(

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: January 25th, 2010 04:58 am (UTC)
speechless

That is such an awesome way of describing Peace. I hadn't thought of it in so many terms, but you're so right. Wow.

I don't think S5 will get him even close either, but I believe he has this potential. Sam's biggest obstacle will always be forgiving himself. What's worse, there's no one around him to tell him he's worth anything, which will only keep him locked in his own guilt.

Poor Sam :(

That's why he needed his happy ending :)

Thanks!

Posted by: Dani (pinkphoenix1985)
Posted at: January 25th, 2010 03:52 pm (UTC)

Posted by: harrigan (harrigan)
Posted at: January 15th, 2010 03:39 am (UTC)

I was going to wait till the weekend to indulge, but I couldn't make it that long...

And now I have to recover before I can comment coherently.

So for now I'll just say the ending is perfect! (and maybe I'll have more to say when I can breath again.)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: January 25th, 2010 04:59 am (UTC)
wistful

I always worried it was all a bit hokey, but the fic was always going to end this way--with Sam finding his Hope and letting her in.

I'm glad you liked it :) Thanks!

Posted by: iyalode (iyalode)
Posted at: January 15th, 2010 12:18 pm (UTC)
SPN: Sam 3

Oh, Sam. His own taskmaster and judge. Wonderful story, I really like how he fought his own happiness the whole way.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: January 25th, 2010 05:00 am (UTC)
pretty sam

I think Sam will have a horrible time ever getting over the things that have happened to him and the things he's done. He so needs someone to remind him of his worth. I wish the show would start that rebuilding, but it's really slow in coming.

Anyway, thanks!

Posted by: annj_g80 (annj_g80)
Posted at: January 16th, 2010 05:23 pm (UTC)
spn flashback

Dammit! How do you do that? How do you make every word count so much? How do you make them weigh so heavy?

I'm jealous. I hate you. And I'm jealous.

*sobs some more*

*hugs*

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: January 25th, 2010 05:01 am (UTC)
little bro 2

Well I did take over 50,000 words to get here, so I think Sam just had a really long journey. He was more messed up than I intended.

And never be jealous of me. For so many reasons.

*hugs back*

Thanks for reviewing.

Posted by: meckman37 (meckman37)
Posted at: January 20th, 2010 05:08 pm (UTC)

Thank you for getting and caring about Sam in a way it feels like the show hasn't. And thank you for sharing that Sam with us. Your writing is so measured, so sad and healing at the same time.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: January 25th, 2010 05:01 am (UTC)

The show is quite neglectful, but I can't help myself. I still care about him. I'm glad others do, too.

Thanks!

Posted by: Megan (wicked_crayon)
Posted at: January 22nd, 2010 06:35 am (UTC)

I cannot even handle how real this story felt to me. I dunno how SPN is gonna end, but this is how I'd like to believe it pans out, sometime in the future. Your Sam is so perfect in a terrible, masochistic way. I'll be rereading this story for sure.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: January 25th, 2010 05:02 am (UTC)
bruised sam

I have mixed feelings on how I think the show will really go, but this is what I want to believe will happen. They just deserve it, I think, and Sam especially needs to learn not only how much he sucks (like the show is showing him as of late) but how much good is in him, too.

Thanks!

Posted by: supernaturalmommy (supernatrlmommy)
Posted at: January 30th, 2010 12:08 am (UTC)

Oh Faye this is absolutely beautiful! I loved the imagery and the angst and raw emotion. How wonderfully you tied the boys and their "after" was so well-done. I would love the show leaving us with this kind of ending. *squeezes you*
So awesome lady, so awesome!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 4th, 2010 08:36 pm (UTC)
brothers malleus

Hey you! Despite all the angst, I do want these boys to be happy. They so deserve it. Poor Sam will just take awhile until he believes it.

Thanks :)

Posted by: deanish (deanish_ness)
Posted at: February 10th, 2010 04:31 am (UTC)

Nothing makes me cry like your repentant Sam. Best thing I've read in a long time.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 20th, 2010 01:09 am (UTC)
find me

I'm so glad he resonates with you. I want to see the show redeem him so badly it hurts.

Thanks.

Posted by: messervo (messervo)
Posted at: February 14th, 2010 09:33 pm (UTC)

OMG this is so sad and beautiful at the same time. Stunning work x

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 20th, 2010 01:09 am (UTC)
christmas awe

Thank you so much :)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: February 25th, 2010 04:12 am (UTC)

Wow, this is a really beautiful story; gorgeous and so well-written. You're extremely talented and your Dean and Sam were spot on. I loved the OCs, so interesting. The concept is really intriguing and very well executed. Amazing, amazing fic.

That said...I don't know. I felt sort of uncomfortable with how Sam still doesn't have any agency.

I get Sam's self-loathing, why he does everything he thinks Dean wants. It takes everything he has to comply, and he doesn’t do it for her. He does it for his brother. [...] It reminds him even more why he has no right to keep Dean from happiness. I wish he wouldn't, but I can understand Sam limiting himself, and that works for me, because Sam is making that choice.

But that he can't leave Peace, that he's somehow forced into a place there--Peace needs a Sam, so Sam has to be there, and that's that.

“You didn’t show up,” Everett says. “You can’t be part of my schedule and then not show up. If you don’t show up, then I can’t start off with that riveting conversation and then I’m just going to be in a foul mood all day. Metamucil ain’t the only way to keep regular.”

"Some people fit in here right away; others, it takes some time before they realize they belong."

It’d be easier if the people of Peace didn’t remember everything so clearly. Now, Anita gives him free drinks, whatever Sam wants, and the Wanet children have a lemonade stand and give him all the proceeds to buy bottles with. Sam tries to refuse but they look so earnest, that Sam doesn’t have the heart to say no. He carries a bottle of water with him, and flashes it to concerned citizens, just to preempt their concerns. Not that it works.

how this became his life without his knowledge


Maybe it's just because I'm more of an introvert than not, that, okay, it's wonderful that people care about you, but that just makes me so uncomfortable.

It also makes me so sad, that no matter what, Sam doesn't get to make the choices in his life:

There’s a frustrating inevitability with that, and Sam has no choice but to acquiesce. [...] The day, on the drive home, Sam drives clear past Peace. He keeps going and going, as far as he can, until the inevitable pull of it all draws him back. [...] As far as Sam wants to go, Peace always draws him back. He’s not sure if it’s Dean or if it’s Jefferson’s library or if it’s Everett or everyone else, but he can’t go far and he can’t stay away.

It just makes me ache--maybe Sam doesn't know what's best for himself, maybe he does need to stay in Peace until he realizes he can have peace and hope, maybe if he'd left, kept hunting, he wouldn't have gotten his absolution. But that Sam still never gets to choose. I get the point, he was in such a bad place...but everything in Sam's life has been about some sort of destiny and he doesn't have a choice. I just wish he could.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 25th, 2010 04:29 am (UTC)
brothers malleus

That's a truly interesting comment that never had occurred to me before. In some ways, I can see your point. However, I think the larger context which Peace represents is not so much about destiny but acceptance. Sam has a place there, but it is his to choose. And it's interesting, because while Sam consistently uses other people as his reasons for staying and going and everything, they are still very much his choices. The main shift toward the end of the fic is that he begins to choose for himself, and not for the other people in his life.

I think Sam's inevitable pull to Peace is less about a fate he can't fight and an acceptance he craves but doesn't want to admit to. It's the life Sam always wanted and the only thing that is keeping it from embracing it is his own guilt.

This is a fic about Sam letting go of that guilt and accepting that he deserves Peace just as much as anyone. In my mind, Sam has always wanted to be in Peace but he spends most of the fic convincing himself that he doesn't. Only when he can forgive himself can he open himself up to it all.

Or something :)

Interesting comments, nonetheless, though. Thanks.

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