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Once There was a Thing Called Spring

March 26th, 2010 (01:56 pm)

Title: Once There was a Thing Called Spring

Author: faye_dartmouth 

Rating: PG-13

Warnings: spoilers up through MBV

Disclaimer: Not mine

Word Count: 2000-ish

A/N: I wrote this little ditty for the Sam, Monthly contests over at the summer_sam_love  community on LJ. The prompt was anything related to Sam and spring, so why this came out, I'm not entirely sure, but I still think (hope!) it qualifies :) Much thanks to sendintheklowns  for the beta and dontknowmyname  for organizing the event.  The contest ends soon and voting is soon to follow, so be sure to check it out!

Summary: Dean curses again. At the weather, at the flowers, at the baby bunnies. At Sam and spring and Dean's horrible bad luck.

 

-o-

Spring is here, Why doesn't my heart go dancing

Spring is here, why isn't the waltz entrancing

No desire, no ambition leads me

Maybe it's because nobody needs me

-from "Spring is Here" by Rodgers and Hart

-o-

Spring.

Time of renewal, rebirth. When the world breaks out of its long winter thaw and slowly but surely bursts forth into life once again.

The little yellow flowers in the fields, the baby bunnies being born. Leaves on the trees, green grass and fresh air.

Spring.

There was a time when that may have meant something to Dean. Now, after everything, he's not so sure. After all, what the hell kind of world is there to wake up to anyway? One where he spent forty years in Hell? Or when he broke the first seal of the Apocalypse? One where Lucifer walks freely and Michael wants to wear him like a prom dress?

Or heck, one where his little brother lies to him, drinks demon blood, and then tries to kill?

Yeah, real great world there. Maybe he'll just hold on to winter a little longer.

Not that the world listens to him, though. The damn birds keep singing, the freakish blue sky stretches forever above them. They can start leaving their heavy jackets in the car.

Spring.

Oh, and there's Sam in the passenger's seat, a stricken look on his face. Dean's about to ask what's wrong when Sam waves one frantic hand at him. "Pull over, pull over," he gasps.

Dean barely has time to throw the car into park when Sam's got the door open and he's leaning out, retching.

The sounds and smells of spring.

Dean curses.

When Sam's done, he lays himself gingerly against the back of the seat. "I don't feel so well," he murmurs.

Dean curses again. At the weather, at the flowers, at the baby bunnies. At Sam and spring and Dean's horrible bad luck.

"Just don't puke in the car," Dean growls, and he puts the car in gear and books it to the nearest motel.

-o-

The nice thing about motels is that they're the same, no matter what season it is. Winter, spring, summer, fall. If you're in four generic walls, it always smells like toilet bowl cleaner and stale coffee. Not even the fresh air can make up for the faint sense of overuse and misuse seen by most of the places they stay.

And that's the good part of the motel room.

The bad part?

It's only two rooms and just him and his brother who seems to have a bad case of the stomach flu.

At least, that's the best Dean can figure. Sam hasn't said much since they checked in. Instead, the kid locked himself in the bathroom where Dean has heard an intermittent series of groans and other unnatural noises.

Dean turns the volume up on the TV and tries not to listen.

When Sam finally comes out, he looks worse for wear, face whitewashed, hair straggly. He's walking with a hunched over gait, one hand curled protectively over his mid region. He's foregone modesty and left his jeans in the bathroom, and he shuffle-steps over to his bed without a word.

"You okay?" Dean asks.

Sam gives him a look and collapses to the bed, curling carefully on his side. He shivers for a moment, almost violently, before the tremors taper off and he falls into a restless sleep.

Dean watches him a moment, then sighs. He turns the volume lower and hunkers down.

-o-

It's not even twenty minutes later when Sam sits upright with a jolt. His face is a little greenish in the faint light of the TV and Dean doesn't have to ask what's wrong when Sam bolts to the bathroom. The retching is pronounced, and Dean almost winces in sympathy.

Sam really has it bad, Dean knows. Somewhere inside of him, Dean remembers what that feels like. What it's like to feel, to experience emotion. Pain and hurt and joy and happiness. The bad and the good, and sometimes Dean thinks Sam takes that for granted. That if he can still feel grief and guilt, that there's something left to salvage in him.

Dean hasn't felt much of anything. He wonders what it'd be like to be hunched over the toilet, spewing up his insides. He wonders if he'd even have anything to heave at all.

Sam comes back out and Dean almost regrets feeling envious. Sam is downtrodden and miserable, dark circles rimming his wet eyes, mouth hanging open as he pants. The kill me now is implicit on his features.

Dean wonders if the I'm already dead is evident on his.

-o-

The night lingers on. Sam's trips to the bathroom are frequent and frantic, and Sam looks even more beaten down after each bout. Dean starts to doze a bit, fingers still on the remote and when he wakes up at 3 AM, he's surprised to find that it's quiet.

Looking over, Dean thinks Sam's finally settled down, but he's surprised when his brother isn't there. Sam's bed is rumpled, but empty.

For a second, Dean listens. There is still a dim light coming from the bathroom, but there is no sound.

Concerned, Dean puts down the remote, and throws his legs over the edge of the bed. He moves cautiously toward the bathroom, although he's not sure what he's worried about. He knows it's just the stomach bug, it happens from time to time. Sam's just gone through demon blood detox--and he survived that, hallucinations, seizures, and all--so a 24-hour bug surely isn't going to do the kid in. Hell, if the kid can let Lucifer free and still live to fight another day, Dean's pretty sure there's something indestructible in his little brother, for better or worse.

Sometimes that's what Dean resents most about Sam. Not just that he makes bad choices sometimes, because they all do that. But because Sam survives. And not just that, he thrives. The mistakes Sam makes are real and passionate ones. When it's all falling apart, Sam can still stick to his guns and follow through like the selfish bastard that he is.

Dean? Dean's folded like a cheap suit and he doesn't even know what the hell he's doing anymore. Team free will? Is a load of bull. Saying no to Michael is about the only thing he has left, one big last screw you to the universe before his body checks out and follows his soul to wherever it holed up and died years ago.

Dean reaches the bathroom and knocks once on the door. There's a muted groan in response, but nothing more. Dean knocks again, asking, "Sam?"

The door is ajar, and it edges open easily. Peering inside, Dean is surprised.

Not really surprised that Sam is there, shivering on the floor. Not all that surprised that Sam's face is twisted in discomfort and that his kid brother is mumbling with only marginal coherency about the inequities of life.

But surprised how Sam looks.

Not just sick, but vulnerable.

For a second, Dean sees his brother for who he is. Not just the demon blood addict or the guy who tried to kill him. But the screwed up kid who just wants to do something right. The guy who lost everything and never quit. The guy who is supposed to be Lucifer's vessel, who can't even trust himself to say no until the end, and is still there, fighting by Dean's side.

The same brother he's always been. Not perfect, but real. Wanting the last of the Lucky Charms. Insisting on going to school. Going after Lilith anyway. Locking himself in the panic room and coming out with shame written all over him but still going on. Always going on.

Sam.

Broken and alive.

And suddenly, out of nowhere, it nearly breaks Dean's heart. To see Sam, to see everything he's been through, everything he is. They're in this together. They're in this together.

It's almost like a breath of fresh air, little yellow flowers blooming in the fields and bouncing baby bunnies hopping all over the place. Leaves on the trees and green grass and a blue sky that goes for miles.

Even when it's the middle of the night and he's with his brother in some crappy motel room bathroom.

It's not the seasons, it's the relationships. It's not doing it right, it's making the effort. It's not feeling alive, it's living. Breath after painful breath until there's nothing left to breathe at all.

With a sudden confidence, Dean leans over, putting a hand on Sam's shoulder, kneeling until he can scoop the other under Sam's cheek. "Hey, kiddo," he says. "How about we try the bed this time?"

Sam's eyelids flutter and he mumbles, "Wanna die."

Dean grimaces, pulling Sam upright. His brother doesn't resist, and makes marginal efforts to stay upright when Dean gets him in a sitting position. "I know that feeling," Dean commiserates. "But here's the deal. If I'm going to make a point to stick around, then I need you to do your part, too, okay?"

Sam's eyes open blearily, but there's a trace of recognition in them. "You need me?"

Dean's mouth quirks into a half smile. "About as much as you need me, bitch."

Sam's tired face breaks into a grin. "Somehow I doubt that."

"Yeah, well," Dean says, with a shrug. He repositions himself to pull Sam to standing. "I don't."

Before Sam can reply, Dean heaves them both upwards, and Sam gets on his feet with a grunt and a long moan. He nearly keels over, and he's bent over so far that Dean can barely keep a grip on him. After a long moment, Dean takes a tentative step, encouraged when Sam follows.

They move like that, step by step together, all the way to Sam's bed. This time, when Sam curls up, Dean is there to pull back the covers, pulling them over the shivering form. For a second, he watches his brother, and it feels funny, it feels different. Dean's not sure it's a good or bad feeling, but really? It doesn't matter. It's the best Dean's felt in years.

-o-

Spring.

Time of renewal, rebirth. When the world breaks out of its long winter thaw and slowly but surely bursts forth into life once again.

The little yellow flowers in the fields, the baby bunnies being born. Leaves on the trees, green grass and fresh air.

Spring.

Sam died in the spring, and come to think of it, Dean did, too. The world ended in the spring and there's no promise that this year will be any better.

But Dean's been outside loading up the car, and he has to admit, the world makes a pretty compelling case after all. If the sun can keep shining, if those damn birds can keep on singing, then maybe there's something worth fighting for in this world after all. And not just by rote, but because Dean wants to be a part of it.

Maybe there's something in Sam, in Sam and Dean worth fighting for. Not because of duty or fear, but because they're brothers, and no matter what they've done that still means something.

Sam is up and about, even if he's still a little sluggish. He hasn't had any desperate visits to the bathroom in over a day, and even though Dean would have let Sam stay put for longer, he is glad when Sam's ready to move on. Because Dean's more than ready to move on too. The fact that he doesn't know the destination doesn't bother him as much as it used to.

Dean's got most of the car packed and Sam's slowly putting the last of his things away. He pauses over his dirty clothes and looks at Dean cautiously.

"Thanks," Sam says, and it's a simple gratitude, but Dean can read the meaning beneath it.

Thanks for being there.

Thanks for not giving up on me.

Thanks for finding yourself and coming back to me.

It's enough emotion to make Dean remember that he doesn't do chick flick moments. So instead he scoffs, shrugging his shoulders. "Whatever, man," he said, pulling his pack over his shoulder. "You ready?"

Sam's smile is almost hesitant, but it spreads over his face with growing certainty. "If you are."

With a confident swagger, Dean moves to the door, and he doesn't have to look back to know that Sam's right behind him. "Then let's hit this, Sammy," he says, and he opens the door to the blinding sunlight and just keeps going.

 

Comments

Posted by: gidgetgal9 (gidgetgal9)
Posted at: March 26th, 2010 08:25 pm (UTC)

I like how you wove the theme of spring into the boys life and end the story on a positive note! Awesome! :0)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2010 02:45 pm (UTC)
pretty sam

Thank you! Sometimes I like happy endings :)

Posted by: medusafox (medusafox)
Posted at: March 26th, 2010 09:30 pm (UTC)

Tears came to my eyes reading this. Awesome story.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2010 02:46 pm (UTC)
brothers2

Aw, so glad you liked it. Thanks :)

Posted by: Kris (dontknowmyname)
Posted at: March 26th, 2010 11:32 pm (UTC)
I couldn't save you-sam

I love this! I never even thought about the fact that it had been spring when Sam died. For some reason that fact was my favorite lol. This was great and I think it worked best that it was more Dean centric cause it showed the big brother coming back around. I could be bias because I just love the big brother Dean and I missed him so much. Thanks so much for writing a submission! =)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2010 02:47 pm (UTC)
earnest

Spring is not kind to the Winchesters (though really, nothing is kind to them). I really want to see something like this on screen. Right now, Dean is not really the big brother I thought he was, and it's getting hard to keep liking his character.

Thanks--for reviewing and for organizing the event :)

Posted by: Kris (dontknowmyname)
Posted at: April 3rd, 2010 01:09 am (UTC)
I couldn't save you-sam

Hehehe I love you for saying that! I feel guilty cause I'm always advocating for Sam and getting mad at all the Sam hate but then a part of me feels the same toward Dean =/. I don't want to be a fan who chooses sides cause I love them both. I don't know if you saw last night episode but the beginning broke my heart and within the first 10 minutes of the show I was like "WOW! This is the supernatural I loved." Then the ending came and I wanted to punch Dean in his face. I have so many fics bugging me to be written now haha. We'll see if I get one out.

I love sharing ideas but wont spoil you lol. If you'd like me to bore you with some I shall =P. Have a great weekend! If you celebrate Easter, I hope you enjoy it! =)

Posted by: sendintheclowns (sendintheklowns)
Posted at: March 27th, 2010 12:36 am (UTC)

Does it make me a bad person that I enjoyed Sam's bout with stomach flu? *sigh* It does, doesn't it.

But it's not just Sam's pretty face (and stomach issues) that capture the attention. Dean's connection between the rebirth of the earth coinciding with Sam's resurrection is right up there. And the brother's caring about each other is always a huge bonus in my book.

Oh, the competition is getting stiff!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2010 02:47 pm (UTC)
lost2

It does make you kind of a bad person :) But, I wrote it, so what does that make me?

Thanks :)

Posted by: Dani (pinkphoenix1985)
Posted at: March 28th, 2010 02:34 pm (UTC)

Cliche to say this yet again- but I just love this! And you've made me realize something that the Show said about Dean--the fact that he's "empty" inside. You've addressed it in a way that makes me understand that because I disagree with Show.

Dean isn't empty empty rather he's just to bone-tired that nothing fazes him anymore. And the only thing that keeps him going is that 'No' which is so utterly sad.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2010 02:48 pm (UTC)
the things I'd do

Aw, I always love hearing it from you :) It means a lot!

The show is basically dumb and stupid. I like fic Dean so much better than canon Dean that it's not even funny. The show is determined to make him the most annoying character ever.

But hey, there's always fic :)

Thanks!

Posted by: Dani (pinkphoenix1985)
Posted at: April 3rd, 2010 04:11 pm (UTC)

I just wanted to say that it's official for me now--fic Dean even S5 fic Dean is my Canon Dean

Posted by: annj_g80 (annj_g80)
Posted at: March 28th, 2010 08:27 pm (UTC)
teddy bear doctor

I have a warm, tingling sensation in my stomach. And I'm pretty sure it's not the stomach flu :-)

Thanks.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2010 02:49 pm (UTC)
brothers herding

I'm glad it's not the stomach flu. But I'm even gladder you liked it :)

*HUGS*

Thanks!

Posted by: scarlettraven9 (scarlettraven9)
Posted at: March 29th, 2010 10:04 pm (UTC)

I'm glad that Dean found his faith in spring and Sam again. :0)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2010 02:49 pm (UTC)
find me

I really wish canon Dean could learn this same lesson.

Thanks!

Posted by: princess_schez (princess_schez)
Posted at: March 30th, 2010 01:23 am (UTC)

Truly a great fic. You definitely captured the brother's emotions very well, especially with Dean dealing with his time in hell and Sam's addiction. I love how at the end they almost reconnect, and it gives hope that they *can* and *will* get through this. :-)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2010 02:50 pm (UTC)
never desert you

I like hope from time to time. I wish the show would give us some, because the unending pity party is getting kind of hard to take.

Thanks!

Posted by: phx69 (phx69)
Posted at: March 30th, 2010 04:24 am (UTC)

Lovely. It was like watching the rebirth of a brother.

Nice.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2010 02:50 pm (UTC)
never alone

Thank you so much! I'd like Dean to finally get there.

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