sketchydean

smalltrolven

The Wanting Comes In Waves

All Sam/Dean, All The Time


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sketchydean
smalltrolven

fic: Doesn't Matter What I Remember (Dean/Sam, R) Chapter 2 of 3

Back to Chapter 1

He had to read the last ones over several times to make sure he’d understood it:

Sam: Not sure this is the pain or the meds talking, but thanks.

I really needed to hear this from you today.

Did you know I feel the same way about you?

I wish I could just tell you everything, pretty much all the time.

But I don’t think you could stand it, the weight of it, what I have to say.

I don’t want to burden you with that when you’ve already got so much to deal with.

So I don’t say anything. But I want to.

About the army man picture, it’s because that’s the last thing that tipped the scales over when I was battling Lucifer, back in Stull.

I saw him stuck there in the ashtray, through the Impala window when my body was about to lay the killing blow to your head.

When I saw it, it was like it unlocked a flood of memories of us. They flowed through me in this huge rush and then I had him. I had control again.

So I keep a picture of it to remember that I did that, that WE did that. That’s how we won. The memories of our lives together, how deeply I love you and know that you love me. That rock solid thing is our secret weapon. Always has been, always will be.

That was where Sam left off. And maybe that had to be enough for now. It wasn’t like the whole world could change overnight. But the good thing was Dean could hear his brother’s footsteps in the hall. So he hadn’t left, he wasn’t sending the texts from far away. The relief that swarmed through his guts made him feel itchy all over. He tried to go back to sleep, to put it off, but nature called. He couldn’t hide in his room all day, he was not going to go as far as peeing in his sink, and besides he was hungry.

He debated answering the texts from his brother and almost stopped himself, but he heard the crinkle of the folded up magazine article in his back pocket. Send reckless texts, it reminded him. Well, okay then.

Dean: Thanks for listening. I’m glad it was what you needed to hear.

No, I didn’t know you felt the same way. That’s good to know.

I wish I could tell you everything too.

I’ll always listen to whatever you have to tell me. This isn’t a time I’ll tell you to shut up, promise.

Thanks for telling me about the army man picture. I guess he means the same kind of thing to me too, that’s why I leave him stuck in there even when I’ve redone Baby from the ground up. Not that I need a reminder of how much you mean to me, but it’s nice to have him there riding along with us.

***

Sam wasn’t sure what to do, how to handle it, when the new texts from Dean came that morning. The ones from yesterday had been weird enough. He’d barely been able to sleep after reading them. All night he’d composed replies in his head, stopping himself from being honest about something that he’d hardly admitted to himself was easy, because it was what he’d always made himself do.

It wasn’t until he reread the messages one last time and pictured how hard it probably had been for Dean to send them at all that he started typing a reply. That had made him have to respond, he couldn’t ignore what Dean was trying to do, the reaching out, being startlingly honest, all of it. He sent some replies that gave away as little as possible but still were honest enough to give something back to his brother. Maybe he could work up to saying more about the deeper truth, even if it was just in a text.

He was washing up his coffee cup in the sink when he heard his phone ding with the French horn. Was it yet another text from Dean? He dried his hands and slowly walked across the kitchen, folding himself back into the chair. He quickly read the series of texts from Dean and was again surprised at the almost desperate nature of them. Like his brother was worrying that if he didn’t get all this out he’d lose hold of it somehow. Maybe it was related to the whole losing his memory thing. He quickly sent a response.

Sam: I don’t think I’ve ever told you how glad I am that we still have the Impala. It means so much to me that the home I’ve always known, always counted on is still rolling. And that’s all because of you, Dean, so thank you. Having that continuity as something I can count on has been the crucial difference so many times. But it’s really you, you’re the home I can count on being there for me. Even when I’ve left so many times, you’re still there for me to come back to.

Breakfast in five? I’m making eggs and toast and there’s coffee.

After he pushed send on the replies, he tried to steady himself a little and prepare for the fallout as he finished off a new cup of coffee in their kitchen. Maybe it would just be another one of a thousand times they didn’t actually talk about something important. He hoped though, he couldn’t help hoping that it would all come out. After what felt like a lifetime of hiding his true feelings from himself and his brother, which come to think of it, it was really, a whole lifetime. Maybe it was finally time for both of them to be honest. Was that possible for them, though? Finally saying ‘I love you’ to each other was one thing but anything past that? Seemed pretty damn impossible.

Maybe the texting caring and sharing thing was a result of something leftover from Dean almost losing his memory permanently, maybe it didn’t all come back to him the right way. That was possible, Sam knew from too much personal experience, getting your mind messed with took a while to get over. But these texts were so…honest and open, exactly the opposite of how Dean usually acted, even after a close call.

After some thought, Sam decided it was a real possibility that Dean might still be under another spell. Maybe Rowena had tagged him with a sneaky one, or the witches had cast more than the one they’d known about. It had to be something like that, or maybe it was just Dean messing with him. He remembered how Dean had gotten him just the other day, coming down that staircase calling him a hippie. How Dean and Rowena had laughed at his confusion and relief. There hadn’t been time then to be angry about it, all it had meant was that Dean, his real Dean was back. In that moment of sheer relief he couldn’t have loved his brother any more that he already did.

But he still had a duty to check, what if it wasn’t his brother? A shifter, demon or something else could be doing this sort of thing, imitating his brother but getting the emotional part slightly wrong, maybe on purpose to mess them up. These texts, they weren’t close to Dean’s normal m.o. It wasn’t out of the realm of possibility, their lives being what they were. So he had to go through the usual routine of holy water and silver.

When Dean finally made it into the kitchen, Sam handed him a cup of coffee that had been dosed with holy water. Just as a first test.

“Coffee’s a little watery this morning, we running out of grounds or something?” Dean asked.

“Guess I didn’t count out the right number of scoops, sorry. I can make a new pot if you want,” Sam offered, disappointed that this was the first thing Dean said this morning of all mornings, but happy that the holy water hadn’t affected him.

“Nah, that’s fine, thanks for making it. Sorry, I got up so late today,” Dean said.

“How’s your back doing?” Sam asked.

“It’s better. The heating pad really helped, thanks for thinking of that,” Dean said.

Sam handed Dean a plate of eggs and toast, along with one of the silver-plated forks they had. “You’re welcome, glad it helped.”

He watched as Dean ate, not reacting to the silver or the holy water, relieved that it wasn’t one of the usual things. He’d have to try out that spell he’d found in the search for something to help with Dean’s memory. It was an indicator spell, to tell you if you’d been hexed. Unfortunately, Dean would notice that one because it involved using one’s own blood.

After the breakfast dishes were cleaned up, Sam decided he had to propose doing the spell. He’d never forgive himself if Dean was under someone’s control or if he lost his memory again. He couldn’t go through that particular hell again.

“Hey, uh, I was thinking we should try out this thing I found, to make sure none of that witch’s spell is still active.”

“The memory spell that Rowena told us was all gone?”

“Yeah, I’m…uh, not sure we should trust her one hundred percent, you know?”

“This related to why you’re testing me with holy water and silver at breakfast?” Dean asked, finishing off his coffee.

Shit, he noticed, of course he did. “Yeah, listen, I’m just checking, it’s not a big deal.”

“Hey at least you skipped throwing borax water on me. Why are you checking, though?” Dean asked.

“I’m…just worried that after something that major, there’ll be traces left,” Sam said, hating that he didn’t have the guts to just say what he was really worried about.

“Fine, get it over with then. I’m pretty sure it’s all good, nothin’ left over, except for my back hurting a little,” Dean said.

Sam assembled the ingredients for the spell and had Dean sit in a chair near the ritual bowl on the library table. “I’ll need a couple drops of blood,” he said, holding out a small silver knife to Dean.

Dean frowned and grabbed the knife out of Sam’s hand. He nicked his finger and squeezed some drops of blood into the bowl.

Sam said the words of the spell and added the ingredients one by one, setting it all on fire with a match. It flared up a bright purple for a few seconds and then went out on its own.

“So, am I in the clear or what?” Dean asked.

“Yeah, the purple was the color we wanted to see,” Sam said. “Thanks for…uh letting me try this.”

“Thanks for checking, I guess.” Dean sucked on his finger where the knife wound probably still hurt. He shrugged and left the room. Sam hoped he would get over the idea of being tested like that sooner rather than later. He wished that he’d brought up the onslaught of text messages while they were having breakfast. Now who knew when he’d be able to do it. His phone pinged again with the French horn alert.

Dean: I wasn’t mad about you testing me.

It was really smart of you. Which isn’t surprising.

You’re the smartest person I know.

Yet another reason I’m really glad you’re on my side.

Sam got this text and he was momentarily stunned. Dean handing out compliments, even in a text was…well it was unexpected. It took him a little while to come up with a good answer that wouldn’t give away too much.

Sam: I’m glad you let me try the new test out on you.

And I’m always on your side.

No matter what.

****

A few days later, they left for their next hunt out in a small Colorado mountain town, just a plain old poltergeist, nothing world-ending this time, thank god. It was almost refreshing in a way, to not think about Lucifer or the British Men of Letters or really anything else for a little bit. Just being together like usual, hunting, doing the usual routine. Except for, this new thing of Dean sending him weird texts.

He couldn’t find a pattern, sometimes they came when they were separated, like Dean was thinking about him instead of the case like he should have been. But sometimes they came even when they were together, like today during a witness interview when Dean was supposed to be checking out the report of a strange smell in the kitchen.

Dean: I shouldn’t be surprised because most people’s kitchens are gross, but this one is so damn clean, it’s almost suspicious.

I really like how you let me cook for you, it’s how I always wished I could have taken care of you when were kids. Seeing you enjoy something I made for you is, hard to explain, but it makes me feel good.

But just so you know, I’m never going to have this kind of cleanliness standards.

He included a picture of the gleaming toaster without a crumb anywhere near it.

Sam chuckled and then blushed a little at Dean’s words about their domestic bliss. It was a bit much when he was sitting here reading right in front of their distressed witness. It was getting distracting wondering when yet another text was going to show up and knock him off the usual routine. And something distracting like this on a hunt was going to get one or both of them hurt or worse. The problem was he liked them, he really really liked them a lot. Dean was being so—real and honest with him in the texts, it was kind of blowing his mind.

*****

They were finally done with the case, kicking back in the motel room with a couple of cold ones when he got another text from Dean who was sitting right across the table from him.

Sam glanced at his phone, but didn’t pick it up. “I don’t get it, Dean. Why are you sending me these texts? Why don’t you just say whatever it is since I’m sitting right here in front of you?” Sam knew his face was a mixture of frustration and maybe a little bit of hope. “It’s been affecting my concentration for this hunt, and I know it was for you too.”

Dean looked like he was about to puke or maybe start yelling and Sam was worried then that he’d missed something important. Dean stood up, drained the rest of his beer and dug something out of his wallet. He threw a folded-up magazine page onto the table and walked out, the door slamming behind him. Sam could hear the Impala start up and take off down the highway.

Sam unfolded the paper carefully, wondering what in the world was going on. He read the words between the creases and everything suddenly made sense. Until it didn’t. This wasn’t a thing that was actually possible, not in his world, not in this shitty life he’d been living. There was no way he’d get everything he’d ever wanted handed to him so easily like this. No way in Hell.

Hell, oh hell no, Hell. There was only one conclusion he could come to: It had to be Lucifer somehow.

He remembered back to thinking he was hearing God, but it had really been Lucifer sending him visions and messages. That’s what this had to be. It couldn’t possibly be true or real. Sam tried to stop the cascade of worst-case scenarios, tried to hold onto reality. It felt like he was caught in an enormous web of lies and possibilities and realities that were all pulling at him, trapping him, taking up all the air, all the space and absorbing all of the light.

Darkness.

No air.

No room for him.

He detached and felt his brain struggling as something separate. It had been invaded one too many times lately. He had been invaded, taken over, used over and over again. The torture from the British Men of Letters, the isolation in prison, seeing Lucifer walking around free, almost losing Dean again, all of it was too much.

He had to get out of the web—had to find someplace safe. Someplace they couldn’t find him. Michael and Lucifer always knew where to look though. They always found him, no matter how well he hid himself.

***

Dean had known it was coming at some point. He was actually kind of proud of Sam for having held out that long about his new texting habit. He hadn’t anticipated Sam asking like that though, just straight out. He knew it was a chicken-shit response to Sam’s frustration, handing him the page ripped from the magazine, and walking out the motel room door because he still couldn’t bring himself to talk about it in person, out loud. Or even to be there while Sam read the thing that had caused all of this.

When he finally came back, a little drunk but bearing dinner, their room was dark, and seemed empty. His stomach sank at the thought that maybe Sam had left him for good after all. He wouldn't have blamed him really. He switched on the room light and set the plastic bags with their dinner on the table next to Sam’s laptop and cellphone. He wouldn’t have left those behind, so he was probably still here. Dean was just about to call out Sam’s name, but he heard a small gasp behind him.

He turned around quickly, pulling his gun and training it on the spot where he’d heard the sound. Whatever it was sounded like a hurt animal, maybe something trapped between the wall and the bed. He kicked the bed to the side a bit and found him.

Sam was curled up into an impossibly tight ball, he seemed to be trying to hold himself as still as possible, eyes wide and unseeing. Dean instantly knew his brother was in the grip of some kind of hallucination. It reminded him of the ones he’d gotten back when he was hallucinating Lucifer.

“Sam?” Dean asked, crouching down next to his brother’s unnaturally still form, putting a hand on his trembling knee. “Hey, it’s me, I brought us some dinner. Got your favorite kind of soup.”

Sam trembled and shook, his eyes falling shut, the crease of pain between his eyes gone much too deep. “Not falling for it, not this time,” Sam muttered, not opening his eyes.

“Sammy, look at me, c’mon,” Dean asked.

Sam squeezed his eyes tighter, looking like that four year old who had loved to play hide and seek more than anything.

“You look just like you did when you’d count for hide and seek. I used to love playing that with you just to see you make this exact face,” Dean said, letting the fondness he usually tried to keep under wraps color his words, hoping it would help.

Sam’s eyes opened and he looked at Dean with surprise. “Dean?”

“Yeah, it’s me, Sammy. Real, live, technicolor, surround-sound, the whole nine,” Dean said with a smile he hoped was encouraging.

Sam’s body relaxed a little and he seemed to take in a little more breath. “You never tell me things like that.”

“What, memories of you being a little squirt? Dean asked.

“Yeah, but he doesn’t know that stuff, he wouldn’t even know how to lie about it well enough to fool me. He only knows the stuff I remember myself.”

“He’s not here, Sammy, but I am. I’m real,” Dean said, not saying Lucifer’s name in case that would help. He was starting to get worried that Sam wasn’t snapping out of it. “Here, feel me, so you know I’m here, that I’m real.” Dean grabbed Sam’s hand and unfolded it and brought it to rest on his own cheek.

Sam’s hand flexed and then relaxed, the soft fingertips gently grazing his cheek felt so good it make Dean shiver.

“Ticklish?” Sam asked, his voice shaky with emotion.

“No, just feels…uh, feels nice or something,” Dean said, because he couldn’t say what it really felt like—the best thing he’d felt in ages.

hotel

Sam’s hand tightened a little, pressing into the line of Dean’s cheekbone. Dean barely held back a moan when the fingers moved, brushing lightly over his ear. Sam was tilting his head a little to the side before Dean saw him moving forwards into his space. Sam’s body transforming from a small ball to a looming presence taking up all of his space in the most wonderful way. With his hand still holding there, gentle and soft on his cheek, Sam guided him in a little closer. It was like there was a landing path to a kiss all lit-up.

*****

Chapter 3

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