Title: Can't Get There From Here
Rating: PG-13 ( a couple of swear words)
Spoiler Warning: 7.13 The Slice Girls
Category: annnnngst, mild h/c, auditory hallucinations
Summary: If Sam wasn't enough to bring back Dean's desire to fight and survive, then maybe there was something else that could help.
A/N: Since I am unable to deal with my own problems right now and find my way out of a situation that is leaving my stomach in knots, I decided to do a quick fic that deals with the boys' problems instead.
This is a tag to 7.13 'The Slice Girls' -- perhaps it wasn't the greatest episode of SPN IMHO, but the final scene left me thinking and wanting to 'fix' things a little, even if Show won't go this route. Also, this fic was written in about an hour and barely edited, so there are bound to be about a billion mistakes in it that are all completely my fault.
Can't Get There From Here
“I don’t care how you deal … I really, really don’t … but just don’t … don’t get killed. ” Sam pleaded, gripping the wheel and staring ahead towards the oncoming road.
“I’ll do what I can.” Dean replied without any conviction, avoiding eye contact with his brother.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Sam demanded to know.
“It means I’ll do what I can, alright? You can just shut up about it.”
And that was it – end of conversation for Dean while Sam felt a pit growing in his stomach. Dean leaned back in his seat, closed his eyes and settled against the headrest, making it appear as if he was going to sleep – making it clear that he wasn’t going to say another word to Sam that night.
Sam grit his teeth together, unable to do much more than that and keep driving on into the night. But ten minutes later, he a little sighed in relief when Dean’s feigned nap turned into some real sleep; Dean needed it after the clusterfuck the last few days had been and neither one of them had their heads in the game and they were both making far too many mistakes. And since Bobby died, things weren’t getting any better.
Even though it was Dean’s M.O. to pick up some random chick in a bar and bang her brains out, Sam was still pissed at his brother for not being more careful and for taking stupid risks that could get him killed. But then again, Sam was irate at himself as well for not putting the pieces of the puzzle together sooner – for being distracted – for being so damned tired all of the time that he couldn’t even come up a reason for why the FBI might be investigating the case when he was confronted by that detective/Amazon bitch in the morgue. God – how long had they been pretending to be FBI? One would think he had just started conning people yesterday and his little trip-up is probably what set that off that woman and led to the whole tribe of them packing up and leaving without a trace before he and Dean could finish them off.
Yeah … this whole thing was FUBAR from the get go and Dean wasn’t the only one to blame. And on top of it all, Sam had been battling a four-day, non-stop migraine caused by a constant, repeated melody in his ear. More than once Lucifer liked to switch tactics and instead of physical torture, he’d bombard Sam’s mind with something as simple as Mary Had a Little Lamb repeated over and over and over again, for days, weeks, months -- so loud that it drowned out all rational thought. If Sam had had access to any, he would have gladly driven a railroad spike through his ear just to make that damned song stop. Not that it would do him any good anyway, it was all in his head and that notion alone made him more than a little irritated.
He’d be the first to admit that he’d been a bitch towards his brother the last couple of days thanks to the constant barrage of music in his brain and he felt a little remorseful for taking it out on his brother, especially when Dean questioned how that Greek manuscript showed up out of nowhere and wanted to believe that it might have been Bobby's ghost trying to help them out.
Sam had been having a particularily bad moment right then, what with Lucifer singing in his ear, his constant headache and all of it blew up in his face at once. All he could do was storm out of the room with the manuscript just to get away from Dean's desperate desire to have Bobby back -- that was something he well and truly could not fix.
Despite his guilty feelings for being a dick to Dean, he wouldn’t let himself feel any remorse for killing Emma – not when she was a monster hell-bent on killing his brother, and she would have – if Dean had let her go, she would have found a way to come back and finish the job she started.
Sam had to kill her -- he had no choice, even if she was technically Dean’s daughter because if Dean wouldn't save himself from her, who would?
Yet truthfully, Sam couldn’t bring himself to even think of her as that. Dean hadn’t raised her; he’d just been an unwitting sperm donor and while she may have shared some of his genes, he’d only known her what … ten minutes? What sort of father/daughter bonding could there have really been, especially when she drew a knife on him?
Yet Dean still hesitated and was about to let her go as if she had indeed been his.
Okay … maybe Sam was feeling a little guilty about killing her, mostly for the utter look of betrayal on Dean's face after he shot her, but why couldn’t Dean understand that Sam was desperate to keep his brother alive? Why couldn’t he for one moment look at himself and see that his life was worth saving?
Why couldn’t he look at Sam and think that he was worth sticking around for?
Then again, maybe that was the thing … Sam was bat-shit, certifiably crazy and staying with him wasn’t enough incentive for Dean to keep fighting – not anymore. Not after Dean lost Dad, Lisa, Ben, Cas, and now Bobby … Sam alone wasn’t enough – not when he wasn’t something Dean could fix anymore.
What if finding out he had a daughter only to have Sam take her away from him was the final straw that would break him? What if Sam couldn’t save him from the brink?
Mary had a Little Lamb continued from the first bar again, this time louder -- Lucifer’s off-key voice singing the chorus with abandon. Sam gripped the steering wheel until his knuckles became translucent, but it wasn’t enough to make the music stop. In fact, not much was working anymore.
A fresh spike of pain lanced through his temples that almost drove Sam off the road. As it was, he had to shift his grip on the wheel to keep the car in a straight line and he was tempted to pull over and let the pain pass before continuing on, but they needed to get as far as possible and away from the mess that was left behind before he could even think about stopping, so he pressed on, squinting through agony in his skull.
Thankfully, the pain finally began to recede and lingered on only as a constant ache and he was able to see straight again. The music in his head continued to repeat, but at least it was somewhat quieter and he was able to concentrate on the road for another hour.
At last, Sam drove the car across the state line and he figured it was far enough for one night and while sleep might not be desirable since the music only seemed to follow him in his dreams, he didn’t think he could drive much further before fatigue and exhaustion took over his body and he was no longer able to keep his eyes open.
Dean didn’t so much as stir as Sam pulled into the parking lot and stopped the car in front of the main lobby of the first shit-ass motel he figured they could afford with what was left of their meager cash reserves. Sam let his brother sleep on as he got out of the car and stretched his cramped muscles. He was thankful that they had at least found a car that allowed his legs some room to maneuver, but it still wasn’t the Impala – nothing fit quite like that car had – God, he’s never thought he would ever miss that car so much after all of the years he had complained about it being cramped.
Sam knew that if he missed the car, then how much more so did Dean, who loved that machine like it was part of the family?
Sam looked back through the windshield seeing his brother fast asleep in a car that had no emotional connection to him and he was struck once again by the utter wrongness of it all.
Maybe that car was family after all. It had taken them all across the country, helped them escape from sticky situations, and more than that, it had been their home – a refuge and shelter from the storm that was their lives.
They had lost so much in such a short amount of time – but maybe --- maybe that two-ton hunk of steel was one thing they could get back – maybe it was time to say ‘screw-it all’ to the Leviathan’s looking to make a meal out of them and reassert their own control over all of the crap that’s been flying in their faces – maybe it was the missing piece they both needed.
Sam knew what he had to do.
Sure – this might make it easier for them to be tracked down and it just might get them killed –– but at least they’d go down on their own terms and it was better than watching Dean’s internal flame die out slowly. And if anything was Dean's creation, his kid, his baby -- it was that machine -- he'd rebuilt her up from a pile of rubble more than once and poured more of his heart, blood and soul into her than he ever could have with Emma.
Besides, the Leviathan’s had made it quite clear that they could track Sam and Dean down no matter what car they drove, so what was the point of stealing a different car every week?
He climbed back into the car and revved the engine. Dean shifted in his seat and mumbled, “We there yet?” without opening his eyes.
Pulling the car out onto the open road once again, heading south this time on a direct course for a storage garage in Texas, Sam glanced over at his brother with a little smile, “Not yet – just go back to sleep.”
Dean muttered something else that wasn’t quite intelligible, but drifted off again in a matter of moments.
Sam felt a second wind fill his sails and for the first time in days, the damned song in his head was muted, replaced by a renewed sense of mission. If he wasn’t enough for his brother to find that desire to live again and he was too broken for Dean to fix – then he’d get back the one thing that gave him purpose again -- something tangible that he could dote on and repair when it didn’t function right. Maybe it just might bring him a little joy in an otherwise desperate situation – something that Sam couldn’t give him anymore.
Even if it was just a damned car, it was what they both needed.