?

Log in

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

SPN Fic: A World That's Lost Its Meaning

August 29th, 2010 (08:36 pm)

Title: A World That’s Lost Its Meaning

Disclaimer: Not mine

Rating: PG-13

A/N: Written for the ep WIAWSN for the summer_sam_love  2010 Celebration.  Beta’ed with love by an ever-reliable sendintheklowns .

Summary:  Sam knows what it’s like to have everything you want, to hold it so close, to touch it, feel it, have it.  He knows what it’s like to cherish it at a price, to trade the truth for safety--for the illusion of safety. 

-o-

Time out on the running boards
We're running
Through a world that lost its meaning
Trying to find a way to love
This running
Ain't no kind of freedom

-from “Freedom” by David Gray

-o-

They ride in silence, rain thrumming on the Impala’s roof, running down her windows with crazy patterns.  Sometimes Sam will try to track a raindrop, watch it bounce across the dirty glass, join with others until they’re all the same, running off the window entirely.

This is not uncommon, of course.  So much of the Winchester existence is lived on the road, a series of paths from one hunt to the next.  This is the only stability Sam has ever truly known, the security of trusting that no matter how far they drive or what hunts they chase, the road will be there to carry them.

This is a comfort as much as it is a curse.  Because the endless pavement seems as much like prison walls as it does a freedom.  Some prisons don’t have to have bars and locks.  Some just have the promise of something more, but the harder and harder you work to get it, the less possible it becomes.

The road is like that.  The promise of a destination, a glimpse of the horizon.  But no matter how far they go or how many things they kill, they are still as far from attaining it as before.  Never closer, never farther.  Just stuck, a transient limbo that Sam has given up all pretenses of escaping.

This has always bothered Sam, but Dean has always taken to it with a flourish.  Sometimes, Dean seems like he’s made for the road, the way his body can ease into the seat, the way his hands touch lightly on the wheel.  But today--is different.

Dean is rigid in his seat, sitting awkwardly with one hand tight around the wheel.  There is no music on, and the only sound that fills the stale air of the car is the rain against the roof.

It’s more than that, though.  It’s Dean’s eyes, constantly in the rearview mirror.  Looking back, as if there is something to see.

There’s nothing, of course.  Just a completed hunt, a near miss, and another bit of themselves they might never get back.

Sam’s never hunted a djinn before, so he doesn’t know exactly what their effects are like.  He knows what it’s like to be touched by a ghost, what it’s like to be trampled by a black dog, and he even knows what it’s like to be possessed by a demon.  The supernatural is clever and cruel, good at using what’s inside of you to overcome you entirely.

Dean’s always taken these things in stride, but the djinn showed Dean something.  It took Dean’s dreams and hopes, turning them into a prison.  Dean had to turn his back on his dreams, to make the choice between happiness and reality, and Sam knows how hard that is.

Sam knows what it’s like to have everything you want, to hold it so close, to touch it, feel it, have it.  He knows what it’s like to cherish it at a price, to trade the truth for safety--for the illusion of safety. 

Sam chose normal.  Sam chose school.  Sam chose Jess, even in the very end.  Only Sam wonders now if any of it was real.  Not that Jess didn’t exist, not that Sam’s scholarship wasn’t valid, but if it was ever his to have.  Because he can still feel the heat the night it went up in flames, the horrible loss when the fantasy of possibility crumbled and all he was left with was the open road ahead.

Dean’s fantasy didn’t involve real people.  It didn’t include real death.  But the things you can learn about yourself, the things you come to see when you’re so close to having everything you want--it’s hard to let go of.  Even when it’s right, even when it’s inevitable, it’s hard to let go of.

Sam turns his eyes back to the window, looking through the jagged raindrops.  Dean made his choice to come back.  Dean fought his way out of it because it was the right thing to do.  Dean’s stronger than he is, in so many ways, and sometimes it makes Sam wonder what he brings to the table at all.

It’s his turn to stay the course.  It’s his chance to shoulder the burden.  He can’t take away Dean’s doubts, but he can provide the counterbalance Dean needs until he believes it again.  Sam can offer the explanations, he can tout the good fight, he can tell Dean it’s worth it, even when neither of them can ever be sure that it is.

Because this fight, this road, this hunt, has cost them everything.  A mother, a father, a girlfriend, a life.  John left Dean with a promise and Sam with a condemnation.  They’re floundering now, under the weight of things they can’t understand.  No matter how far they go or what they kill, the inevitability never fades.  They can’t outrun what’s inside of them.  They can’t change who they are and what they’re meant to do. 

They can lie to each other, and they can offer platitudes, and they will--they always will.  Because in a world that has no meaning, the only real hope they can find is right here, in this car.  In the solidarity between them.  They won’t leave each other now.  They won’t fade away.  When one is weak, the other will be strong.  When Sam’s getting drunk on the hunt, Dean will make promises he can’t keep and put Sam to bed.  When Dean’s wondering what is and what should never be, Sam can feed him the party line and sit quietly in the car until Dean’s ready to talk about something--anything.

This is what they do.  This is who they are.  This is what’s real.

And Sam holds to that.  Sam holds Dean to that. 

With a sigh, Sam settles back and tries to find a comfortable position for his legs.  He rolls his head toward Dean, mustering up a smile.  “You need me to drive for a bit?”

Dean looks at him, face puckered a bit.  He shakes his head.  “No, I’m good,” he says.  “I think we’ll drive for a few more hours, then find some place to stop for dinner.”

Sam snorts.  “Maybe a real restaurant?”

Dean rolls his eyes.  “We have to keep driving,” he says, because they always do.  The road never ends, never gets longer, never gets shorter.  It just is.

Sam sighs again and settles back, closing his eyes.  “Then wake me when we get there.”

Dean doesn’t say anything, but he doesn’t have to.  This is the balance they have, and it’s as much as they could hope for, as much as they can want.  This road is hard, this road is long, this road is nothing that they want, but they’re going together.

They’ll always go together.

Sam looks at Dean one more time, watches as his shoulders relax, as his grip eases.

With a smile, Sam lets himself drift, slipping away to sleep as the road stretches on.

Comments

Posted by: harrigan (harrigan)
Posted at: August 30th, 2010 11:25 am (UTC)

Thank you for everything you do to make this celebration a success!

This - is Sam in a nutshell here:

It’s his turn to stay the course. It’s his chance to shoulder the burden. He can’t take away Dean’s doubts, but he can provide the counterbalance Dean needs until he believes it again. Sam can offer the explanations, he can tout the good fight, he can tell Dean it’s worth it, even when neither of them can ever be sure that it is.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 3rd, 2010 02:34 pm (UTC)
the things I'd do

Thank you for your consistent readership--it means a lot for people to support the celebration :)

Posted by: dtwilight (dtwilight)
Posted at: August 30th, 2010 05:52 pm (UTC)
Sam

Another fine job of getting into Sam's head and showing us his state of mind. I love this line:

The road is like that. The promise of a destination, a glimpse of the horizon. But no matter how far they go or how many things they kill, they are still as far from attaining it as before. Never closer, never farther. Just stuck, a transient limbo that Sam has given up all pretenses of escaping.

Thanks for sharing!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 3rd, 2010 02:34 pm (UTC)
breathless

The more I explore Sam's headspace, the more tragic he seems. Thanks!

Posted by: sendintheclowns (sendintheklowns)
Posted at: August 31st, 2010 01:16 am (UTC)

'Because this fight, this road, this hunt, has cost them everything. A mother, a father, a girlfriend, a life. John left Dean with a promise and Sam with a condemnation. They’re floundering now, under the weight of things they can’t understand. No matter how far they go or what they kill, the inevitability never fades. They can’t outrun what’s inside of them. They can’t change who they are and what they’re meant to do.'

You are forever slaying me with your insight into Sam's psyche. *sniffs*


Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 3rd, 2010 02:35 pm (UTC)
weary sam

Slaying is a good word :)

Thanks!

Posted by: CeCe Away (cece_away)
Posted at: August 31st, 2010 03:56 am (UTC)
silly boys

*but if it was ever his to have* Waaaah. Love that. So much emotion and telling in one little line.

Edited at 2010-08-31 03:56 am (UTC)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 3rd, 2010 02:35 pm (UTC)
whole

I hate that Sam had to come to such conclusions. I wish he could have his happy ending.

Thanks!

Posted by: scullspeare (scullspeare)
Posted at: August 31st, 2010 11:45 am (UTC)

"Dean’s always taken these things in stride, but the djinn showed Dean something. It took Dean’s dreams and hopes, turning them into a prison. Dean had to turn his back on his dreams, to make the choice between happiness and reality, and Sam knows how hard that is." Lovely.

I love the last scene in WIAWSNB - it's one of the few times we see Sam in a caregiver role with Dean, and this fic seems like a really natural extension of that scene.

Once again, fantastic job getting inside Sam's head.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 3rd, 2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
wistful

I also like seeing that side of Sam--it shows how mutual the love and concern is between them.

Thanks!

Posted by: Dani (pinkphoenix1985)
Posted at: September 1st, 2010 06:25 pm (UTC)

wow Faye! you just have this amazing ability to get inside Sam's head! if it wasn't for your fic--I would never feel like I understand Sam!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 3rd, 2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
spooned

Aw, thank you so much! The show really does neglect him, doesn't it?

Posted by: Dani (pinkphoenix1985)
Posted at: September 3rd, 2010 02:47 pm (UTC)

They do neglect him so much poor Sam *cuddles*

Posted by: gidgetgal9 (gidgetgal9)
Posted at: September 2nd, 2010 09:34 pm (UTC)

This was an amazing tag, such a logical look at what Sam had to feel in dealing with Dean's loss of normal. Well done. :)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 3rd, 2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
doe eyed

Thank you so much :)

Posted by: floralia2 (floralia2)
Posted at: September 16th, 2010 07:44 pm (UTC)
Sam - gun shot

It’s a lovely parallel that Dean experienced something Sam had already lived through. I love that you never have them talk about it, but they can both find some kind of comfort from each other in their own ways. You always manage to bring new emotional depth to an episode and you make it look effortless. You rock.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 18th, 2010 09:03 pm (UTC)
doe eyed

I think it's classic Winchester--to find comfort without talking--and it's always been an understated part of their relationship I've liked.

Thanks!

Posted by: princess_schez (princess_schez)
Posted at: October 11th, 2010 12:15 am (UTC)

That was an awesome tag. And I love the fact that the brothers are always there for one another, balancing each other out - trough rain or shine, thick or thin.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: October 13th, 2010 03:45 am (UTC)
whole

I loved the way the brothers completed each other, especially in earlier seasons. It was always my favorite aspect of the show.

Thanks!

19 Read Comments