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do i dare or do i dare? [userpic]

SPN fic: Drive

August 22nd, 2010 (07:33 pm)

Title: Drive

Disclaimer:  Not mine.

A/N:  Written for summer_sam_love , the episode Dead Man’s Blood.  You all should check out the awesome turnout for S1.  S2 has started posting today :)  Beta'ed by my partner in crime sendintheklowns .

Summary:  It’s wrong that the last time they saw each other, they hugged and fought side by side, and this time it’s been orders and need to know and just like it used to be.


Sometimes, I feel the fear of,
uncertainty stinging clear.
And I can't help but ask
myself how much I'll let the fear
take the wheel and steer.

It's driven me before, and it seems to a faint,
haunting mass appeal.
But lately I, am beginning to find that I,
should be the one behind the wheel.

-from “Drive” by Incubus


There’s something wrong with this.

Their father shows up out of nowhere, after months of no contact, and that’s weird, but Sam’s kind of used to weird.  It’s possible they’d cross paths on a hunt.  The supernatural world is bigger than most people think, but still its own little community.

These things happen, and Sam’s okay with that.

And vampires are real, but that’s not what’s really wrong.  That’s a shock, though probably not as much as it should be.  Sam’s used to people taking the bottom out of his world, so he takes the news better than Dean does.  Sam lives from moment to moment with fear and skepticism, even as he hopes against hope that he’ll be wrong about it all.

Sam’s been wrong a lot in his life, but usually not about the good things.

It doesn’t matter that they’re vampires.  It really doesn’t.  They can still live and die, and Sam can hunt one just like he can anything else.  This is what they do, he is reminded, and Sam has resigned himself to that.

But still.  There’s still something wrong with this.  Something wrong with the way their father acts, the way he comes in and starts criticizing.  The comments about Dean and the car.  The soldier mentality.  The way Sam and Dean are following with nothing more than John’s orders to cover them.

It’s not even that Sam’s driving the car, because he does that from time to time.  In some ways, it’s like he’s been promoted, but he knows Dean lets him take the wheel to blunt the edge of their father’s incessant orders.  Sam likes driving sometimes, likes the hum of the car under his hands, but tonight his grip is deathly white on the wheel, eyes narrowed and bared down on the headlights of his father’s truck.

It’s just wrong, Sam thinks.  It’s wrong that he’s been through so much and he’s still playing low man on the totem pole.  It’s wrong that Dean’s still caving in, even when his brother is a hunter in his own right, as good as John has ever been.

It’s wrong that the last time they saw each other, they hugged and fought side by side, and this time it’s been orders and need to know and just like it used to be.

Just like it was when Sam was growing up.

Just like it was when Sam left.

John gives orders.  Dean follows.  Sam is expected to fall in line.

No questions.  No answers.  Just a hunt.  They clean it up when it’s done, and move on to the next.  No questions, no answers.  Just a hunt.

This is the endless cycle of Sam’s youth.  This is the life where Sam is nothing but a soldier in an army, a tool in an arsenal.  They love each other--Sam knows they do--but there is no place for love on the hunt.  There’s just getting the job done, a bigger picture that is worth any cost.

Any cost.

Sam thinks about Jessica and how she died.  He thinks about what he’d give to make that right.

Sam thinks about his brother in a hospital.  He thinks about other kids, just like him, getting powers and using them for the wrong reasons.  He thinks about his scholarship at Stanford, about how much it meant to him, about how he’ll never get it back.

These are things he wants to fix.  These are things Sam wants to understand.  Things of love and loss, purpose and pointlessness.

But Sam’s still following orders, trusting in answers he’s not privileged to know.  This could be vengeance, or it could be a wayward lead.  It could be anything for all Sam knows, because no one’s told him anything.

His father thinks he doesn’t need to know.  Dean doesn’t want to rock the boat.

Sam knows he can’t live like that.

He couldn’t do it when he was eighteen and believed he had a chance for something better.  And he sure as hell can’t do it now when he’s lost so much and been hurt so badly.  This is his fight, not his father’s and not his brother’s, and he doesn’t want to fight it blindly.  This is his decision and he chose ignorance for four years and he can’t let himself fall into that trap again.

He needs to know everything.  He needs to know the truth.  Maybe if he’d known when he was 18, he wouldn’t have left.  Maybe if he’d known a year ago, Jessica would still be alive.

There’s more than something wrong with this.  Everything is wrong with this.  From his father’s orders, to Dean’s acquiescence, to Sam’s inability to change any of it.

This is what drove them apart, all the way from the beginning.  This is what it feels like to be seven years old and suspect that Daddy is telling lies.  Other children have two parents and a home address they can remember.  They have dogs and cats and a father to show up on Career Day.  Sam gets a pat on the head and an extra serving of frozen pizza for dinner.

This is what it feels like to be eight years old and find out that nothing could be trusted, not even his family.  Not just that there are monsters, not just that monsters could kill them all at any moment, but that there is nothing he can trust in.  Dean says they’ll be okay.  Dad says it’ll get easier, but they’ve lied to him before (and they’ll do it again--and again and again).

This is what it feels like to be fourteen and realize that he doesn’t even know what happiness is.  Hunting is a reality now.  Monsters are just another part of his existence.  There should be some clarity in that, but for as clear as it is, none of it makes Sam happy.  Nothing makes Sam happy, and it isn’t until someone asks him that he realizes he wants it at all.

This is what it feels like to be fifteen, sixteen, seventeen and just wanting out--not away from his family, but away from this life that will keep him cloistered until he was insane or dead.  If he lives like this, then he’ll die like this.  He asks questions, challenges orders, because he wants to understand.  He wants it to make sense.  He can’t be duped again.  He can’t, and he wishes they understood.

This is what it feels to be eighteen and leave it all behind.  It’s hard to hurt Dean like that, but Sam doesn’t see it as a choice.  He leaves because it’s the only thing he can do.  Staying is suicide, slow or otherwise.  Sam needs a chance at happiness, at completion, at reality, at safety--once and for all.

This is what it feels like to have your back against a wall.  The further into despair someone gets, the more desperate they are to get out.  His father should understand that.  Dean should, too.  Sam’s not fighting to piss them off, he’s fighting to find his place.  He’ll follow orders worth following.  He trusts leaders who earn his respect.  This is what he’s learned with Dean since leaving Stanford.

This isn’t what is happening now.

There is something very, very wrong with this.  And it’ll kill them, one way or another.  Lies never win.  Secrets never help.  Sam knows this (knows this in his nightmares where Jessica still burns).

Sam’s lived so many years stewing under circumstances he can’t control.  He’s lost so much of himself at the hands of fate and lesser forces.  Sam can’t make it right, but he’s pretty sure he can make it better.

So Sam grabs the wheel, turns it hard, and refuses to play this part any more.


Posted by: sendintheclowns (sendintheklowns)
Posted at: August 23rd, 2010 12:50 am (UTC)

Partner in crime...*snorts*

I'll say it again--I love when you crawl inside of Sam's head. This is fabulous.

Thanks for pinch hitting. You're awesome.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 28th, 2010 08:18 pm (UTC)
behold the limp

I would even go so far to say that you are the master mind. I just am easily (and usually willingly) duped.

Thanks :)

Posted by: harrigan (harrigan)
Posted at: August 23rd, 2010 12:56 am (UTC)

I can't get over how quickly you can whip something out! Off to read the ones you planned to write all along... *g*!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 28th, 2010 08:19 pm (UTC)

I have no filter between my brain and the keyboard most of the time. I am never sure how good anything I write is, but when I just let loose, I can usually make it flow quickly.


Posted by: borgmama1of5 (borgmama1of5)
Posted at: August 23rd, 2010 02:03 am (UTC)

You nailed what must have been going on in Sam's head at that moment!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 28th, 2010 08:19 pm (UTC)

I'm glad it resonated for you. Thanks!

Posted by: dtwilight (dtwilight)
Posted at: August 23rd, 2010 03:22 am (UTC)

You rock!! I love this look into Sam's head and all the emotions and feeling you bring bubbling to the surface.

Thank you for sharing!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 28th, 2010 08:20 pm (UTC)

It's interesting post S5 to look at Sam's anger in the early seasons. I think I understand it more now, how long it's been coming for him due to all the control others have had over his life. I have much more sympathy for Sam now.


Posted by: scullspeare (scullspeare)
Posted at: August 23rd, 2010 04:00 am (UTC)

I love this scene in Dead Man's Blood: you can see the turmoil in Sam's head in JP's expression and you expressed it perfectly here. Bravo.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 28th, 2010 08:21 pm (UTC)
find me

I always did love watching JP get angry in this ep. It was so raw, unlike much of what we'd see before.


Posted by: CeCe Away (cece_away)
Posted at: August 24th, 2010 01:10 am (UTC)

That just made that entire scene come alive with thoughts I hadn't even considered. Nicely done.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 28th, 2010 08:21 pm (UTC)

I'm so glad it worked for you. Thanks!

Posted by: trinaaron (trinaaron)
Posted at: August 24th, 2010 04:00 am (UTC)

Sam spinning out the car is one of my favorite scenes from this ep, and I love that you ended with that. So cool.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 28th, 2010 08:22 pm (UTC)

My favorite part of the ep was Sam's gravelly voice when he was yelling at his dad--so angry and hurt. It still makes me shiver with its authenticity. Thanks!

Posted by: Dani (pinkphoenix1985)
Posted at: August 28th, 2010 04:31 pm (UTC)

This is great and I would have loved for Show to explore this more than they had which was basically nothing.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 28th, 2010 08:22 pm (UTC)
never alone

The show has missed so many Sam opportunities--to dwell on them would make me resent it even more :)


Posted by: floralia2 (floralia2)
Posted at: August 29th, 2010 12:54 pm (UTC)
Sam - gun shot

I came out of the finale satisfied for maybe the first time in 4 years, so it’s really nice now to have the opportunity to go back and carry that feeling back to earlier episodes and reminding myself why I got so invested in the first place. It’s like falling in love with the characters all over again. It’s great how you can really get in Sam’s head and expand so well what were just subtle moments in the show.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 29th, 2010 08:40 pm (UTC)

I know how you feel about the finale--I'm still surprised that the show gave Sam that moment. I'm still not quite able to fully enjoy the earlier seasons again (and any talk of S4 will still put me on edge), but writing in this mindset does take me back to all the reasons why I fell in love to begin with.


Posted by: gidgetgal9 (gidgetgal9)
Posted at: August 29th, 2010 06:17 pm (UTC)

I really liked this peek into Sam's thoughts at the time- he had a lot of crap on his plate and I think he dealt with it the best he could. :)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 29th, 2010 08:40 pm (UTC)
never desert you

Sam has had way more crap than anyone could ever handle. I find his efforts admirable.


Posted by: princess_schez (princess_schez)
Posted at: September 15th, 2010 10:10 am (UTC)

Someone's been a busy fangirl! lol

Seriously though, I really liked this fic and how you explored what Sam was dealing with emotionally when Papa Winchester popped back up into their lives.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 18th, 2010 08:52 pm (UTC)
never desert you

After all this time in fandom, sometimes writing Sam just comes naturally. He's in my head :)


Posted by: swellison (swellison)
Posted at: September 18th, 2010 04:46 am (UTC)

Oh, peerfect glimpse into Sam's head as he reaches a boiling point and confronts John at the side of the road in Dead Man's Blood. Awesome, strong-minded Sam.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 18th, 2010 08:53 pm (UTC)

I love that moment when Sam confronts John. It's unexpected and explosive and gives us such a good look at the long-burning anger and frustration Sam had with his family.


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