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The Wanting Comes In Waves

All Sam/Dean, All The Time


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sketchydean
smalltrolven

Coded For Remembering


Coded For Remembering

Fic title: Coded For Remembering
imming, excess Schmoop, spoilers aplenty for up to mid season 6

Disclaimer: Not my characters, just playing with them, thanks Kripke!
Author Note: First time ever posting a fan fiction. Hope you like it!
Summary: Sam WInchester left behind a lot of things when he jumped into the cage to save the world (hisbrother).  This is a story about what Dean does with those things.

Read here at AO3



Sam Winchester left behind a lot of things when he jumped into the cage to save the world (hisbrother). 

They were all in the Impala, their Home ,  just exactly where he’d left them as he’d said goodbye in Detroit, and Dean couldn’t, just wouldn’t deal with them for a while.   Dean landed on Lisa’s doorstep just as he’d promised his brother.

(remember, always remember, he who is more than just brother, he who is now gone, he who is not dead, but He Who Is Gone Forever, amen.)

Dean just covered up his car in Lisa’s garage and tried to force himself to forget Sam and his things left behind. Tried to forget the reason he couldn’t bear to look at that empty passenger seat for one more second, or see that extra duffle bag snuggled next to his in the trunk, or the last few books Sam had read scattered on the back seat, or Sam’s extra pair of boots with the red laces stuffed  partway under the seat.   So many things to not ever look at again, or figure out what to do with, just leave them be for now.  

He wrestles with it daily, sometimes hourly, depending on how much and what he’s drinking. Whether to just make a big scene and throw it all away so he wouldn’t be reminded or tempted to  wallow in reminiscences instead of trying to make a go of an apple pie life. That life he had promised to try and have. A promise he truly regrets most days. A promise that is the last and only thing keeping him from driving right back to Stull, reopening the cage and jumping in. 

Maybe he can get Adam out that way, and Sam and he can just hang out for eternity with Michael and Lucifer.  Which would have to be better than being apart like this, left with nothing but memories and Sam’s things.   Dean tries to tell himself that he’s got a choice here, but he doesn’t really. He knows that it would be letting Sam down, would negate the whole sacrifice he made. That’s the worst burden of being left behind, knowing he has no other choice than to accept it.

Dean doesn’t like to think about it too much, but he thinks that stopping the apocalypse is both the best and worst gift Sam’s ever given him. Knowing that his brother really did love him enough to get a hold of Lucifer and drag him down. That gift of finally knowing, really truly knowing that Sam loved him just as much as he’d always loved Sam. That’s the gift that hurts the most though, because he can’t thank him for it and tell him how much it means to him. Ever. Because Sam is gone

 (remember, always remember, he who is more than just brother, he who is now gone, he who is not dead, but He Who Is Gone Forever, amen.)

After three or four months of constant drinking at night just to numb the pain of separation enough to function and be able to participate in life during the day with Lisa and especially Ben, Dean decides it is time for him to deal with just one of Sam’s things. One thing at a time, surely he can handle that, right? He picks a day when Lisa and Ben are out of the house for some school event, and settles in on the couch. This seems innocuous enough; just something he noticed sticking out of the side pocket of Sam’s duffle. It is a small, brown unremarkable leather-bound calendar journal with no real writing, just mysterious data points noted in the weekly calendar boxes in some simple code:

 F.D. 1stX 10/1/09,

F.D. x2 10/3/09,

 F.D. 10/4/09,

F.D.10/5/09, etc., pretty much daily for a few months until it changes to

M.L.W.D. 1stX 2/17/10,

M.L.W.D. 2/21/10,

 M.L.W.D. 2/28/10 and then the same notation just about daily up until the last day, that last day they spent together at Bobby’s trying not to say goodbye to each other. 

Dean wonders for a while what Sam did every day that he wanted to make a note of it like this. What was he doing almost every single day for that last month? Dean was there, so he ought to be able to figure this out right? He thinks about their routine during that time, it was anything but routine what with hunting down Horsemen and all, but what were the things they always did every day that would be worth writing down in that neat, small Sam handwriting? Then it hits him what M.L.W.D. means.   And he smiles to himself and feels as if he’s being hugged from inside by Sam, with his huge hands and outrageously long, strong arms.  Oh of course his girly, emo brother would do something like this, wouldn’t he?

M.L.W.D. means “Made Love With Dean.”  

The tears don’t start until Dean figures out that F.D. meant Fucked Dean. And he remembers what it was like at first with them, trying to repair themselves after Ruby and all that she’d wrought between them. They had to knit themselves back together, and how hard, how far apart they were then, almost like strangers. No wonder it was “Fucked Dean” for those first months after he asked Sam to come back to hunting with him and handed him back Ruby’s knife. Coming together in bed after years apart hadn’t meant too much at first, beyond just a welcome physical release, another way to try to reconnect, and then it had started to be another way they communicated. There were a lot of things they didn’t talk about, and the sex was definitely one of them. It just happened, night after night, one or the other would get out of bed after fruitlessly trying to sleep and join the other in his bed. It wasn’t the same every time, not at all.

 Sam realized right away that he really loved fucking into Dean as deeply as possible. So he of course researched the best positions for that result. Every night he’d try another one out, sometimes surprising Dean, sometimes not.   Dean went along with all the variety, taking whatever Sam decided to try with him for what it was, an offering made on faith, that Dean still wanted him.  Every time, another layer of healing of the rift between them was laid though, and slowly it built up to be recognizable to both of them. And they held it as a precious, fragile thing.

Dean had realized right away that he was really screwed (ha-ha) that he was never going to be able to stop doing this with Sam, never going to stop needing it and that Sam just wasn’t going to be with him forever, it just wasn’t going to happen. Life didn’t ever seem to work out for him that way; he would never expect it to. So he’d held himself back from getting too emotionally involved for those first months, just to protect his still-healing-from-betrayal heart. They never talked about how things were changing between them, not wanting to wreck anything by trying to discuss it. But Dean remembered how much closer he got to Sam over that time, closer than he’d thought he’d ever be again,

(remember, always remember, he who is more than just brother, he who is now gone, he who is not dead, but He Who Is Gone Forever, amen.)

So, no, the tears start for real when Dean remembers what happened on 2/17/10 to change the notation from F.D. to M.L.W.D. That was the day after Sam had finished detoxing the second time, when the demon blood temptation that bastard Horseman Famine sent had proved too much to resist. He remembers how hard it was to lock Sam up in the bathroom of that crappy hotel. How Sam had pleaded and begged for him to hurry and just get Famine’s ring as fast as possible. And then Sam saving both he and Cas, exorcising all those demons and using them against Famine. Dramatically choosing Dean over giving in to his powers and saying yes to Lucifer, so strong and true against that ultimate temptation.    

Dean settles back in to Lisa’s couch and closes his eyes against his tears as the memory plays back. They’d left Bobby’s as soon as Sam had had most of a full night’s sleep post detox and just driven away with no particular plan, just needing to be back together in the Impala, on the road, where things always made more sense. After driving for an hour in silence, just listening to one of Dean’s Zeppelin mix tapes, Sam turned to him asking “Hey Dean, could we stop soon and get something to eat?” Dean had taken that to be a really good sign, since he hadn’t shown much appetite back at Bobby’s. He smiled at Sam “Sure Sammy, sounds good to me, what’s coming up next Oh Mighty Navigator?”

 A little while later they pulled into the next little South Dakota town and located a promising looking diner. Dean said “Check out that huge slanted roof, whaddya think maybe this was a Howard Johnson’s? See how the diner is attached.” Sam looked over the small, neat looking motel. Not painted that garish, trademark orange though, this was a nice light blue with dark blue trim, “Yeah, I think you’re right, those roofs were pretty distinctive. All I remember about HoJo’s was the nick name, and how we never had enough money to stay in one.” Dean grinned over at him, “well sky’s the limit today Sammy, we’re not hurting for cash for once.”

 As they stepped out from the Impala, Sam had groaned and stumbled a little bit, finding it hard to readjust to being vertical after the rigors of detoxing from demon blood. Dean remembers putting his hand on the small of Sam’s back to steady him, and holding lightly onto one of Sam’s wrists. Sam had turned and looked down at their hands so close together and enclosed them in his other hand, engulfing and warming Dean suddenly. Sam had stopped walking and turned into Dean slightly, “Dean thanks for always being here for me.” He’d almost whispered. Dean caught his eye, smiled and nodded, saying “No problem Sammy, that’s my job, right?” Dean had patted Sam’s shoulder with his one free hand then briefly caressed his neck.   Sam squeezed their hands and then dropped them, bumping shoulders with Dean as they walked into the diner.

He remembers that they didn’t talk too much, but he does remember Sam interlocking their knees and pressing together, like a constant under the table hug while they ate. Sam had been too out of it to look at the menu or deal with the waitress, so Dean had taken his best guess and ordered for him. Sam had looked up from plowing through his enormous chef salad and caught Dean’s eye saying “Dean, this is the best salad I’ve had in ages, thanks for finding this place; it was just what I needed. How do you do that anyways, always get me just what I need?” 

Dean had chuckled and stolen some of Sam’s milkshake, “You’re welcome Sam, and this is pretty awesome food for just a diner.” 

Sam had pressed their legs together again and run his hand over Dean’s hand, resting them together on top of the table. “Dean, I really want to just stay here tonight, can we get a room.” 

Dean had noticed the strange, heated urgency in Sam’s voice and said “Sure of course, maybe the rooms will be as good as the food right?” They settled the bill and walked over to the motel office, Sam chose a room with a single king, which had caused Dean to raise his eyebrows in surprise, but he didn’t say anything. They moved the Impala around and brought their bags in to the room. The room was nice, actually smelled clean, no crazy stuff up on the walls, fairly boring really, and the carpet looked like it had been vacuumed sometime in the last few months.  It was a little early to just turn in for the night but maybe that wasn’t what Sam was wanting right then. Dean remembers feeling an anticipatory fluttering feeling in his stomach, was he nervous or just excited.

(remember, always remember, he who is more than just brother, he who is now gone, he who is not dead, but He Who Is Gone Forever, amen.)

As they settled into the room, spreading their belongings out into the usual places, Sam came up behind Dean, wrapping his arms around his waist and pulling him in close, fitting his front to Dean’s back. “Dean, I really want you now” he murmured into Dean’s neck, the touch of his lips making Dean lightly shiver all over. 

To cover it up, Dean had turned around to face him, saying “okay Sammy, sounds good.” Then he was pulling his brother in close with a hand on his neck and one on the back of Sam’s head. They didn’t usually kiss much, even with all the sex they were having, so this was a bit of a revelation to both of them. Sam explored deeply into his brother’s mouth, running his tongue along his teeth and stroking Dean’s tongue. They sucked each other’s lips and lightly nipped each other for a long time. 

Dean remembers feeling his chest expand with sudden warmth, that hole that Famine had taunted him about being filled with Sam’s love that he was pouring into Dean through this amazing kiss. He didn’t want to stop; neither did Sam, so they both coordinated sinking down to the big bed and stretching out together side by side without breaking contact. Sam kissed him thoroughly and reverently as if it meant something to him, there was a difference to the way he was tenderly holding Dean, none of the rough, needy back and forth that was their usual. With this realization that something was different Dean began to give the same back to Sam, setting up a feedback loop of love and desire that he’d never felt before. Not with Sam, not with anyone.

It felt like they’d been kissing for hours by the time Sam reluctantly broke it off, flopping onto his back and panting for air. “Wow, um Dean. Just wow. Now that was a kiss. And yes I’ll do it again, just let me get my breath here.” 

Dean chuckled softly, running his knuckles up and down Sam’s side.   “Can I take off your shirts Sam? I really wanna touch you.” Sam lifted up and pulled his layers of shirts over his head, Dean stroking his tensing abs, Sam shivered lightly at his touch and smiled up at Dean. “Fucking hell Sam, you’re so strong, you feel so good, can’t get enough of touching you.” Sam’s eyes darkened with passion in response and he returned “I can’t stop touching you either, don’t want to stop.”

Dean kept stroking Sam’s chest as he crawled up over him and began tonguing softly at the skin behind his ear. Sam groaned and pressed his hips up into Dean’s.

 “You like that Sammy?” Dean softly chuckled and began to suck hard at the skin there, leaving a darkening, aching mark.

 Sam groaned again “Are you marking me Dean? Am I yours now?”

 Dean was startled at the question, hesitated a second, but answered truthfully in a low growl, “Yeah, Sammy you are, all mine, right?” 

Sam thrust up his hips hard at that, pulling Dean in for a passionate kiss, breaking away with wild eyes, murmuring almost too quiet to hear “Dean, Dean, My Dean, always have been, all yours Dean, always.”

 Dean pulled up then and locked eyes with Sam, blinking back his sudden tears, growling “Sam, god what you do to me, can’t handle it sometimes, just hearing it like that, god.” He bowed his head embarrassed by the rush of emotion. Sam caught at his neck, pulling him close and whispering “I’m sorry, I’m sorry Dean, I didn’t mean to, it just slipped out, you just, god you just mean everything to me and I can’t keep it all in anymore. Gotta show you somehow.” 

Sam quickly pushed Dean over onto his back and began taking off his shirts, then the rest of Dean’s clothes as well as his own jeans and boxers. Now it was just them on the big cushy bed, and Sam set about showing Dean what he meant with his lips and tongue and hands, loving on each and every inch of Dean’s body. Dean could barely stand it at first, being adored like this, didn’t feel like he deserved it.   But he knew Sam needed to give him this and he gave in and started just soaking it all up. He could hear Sam mumbling every time his lips touched his skin; some of the words he heard were “beautiful, mine, My Dean, love you.”

After Sam had worshipped just about every part of Dean, and Dean was shaking with his need, he finally, finally began to lavish the attention on Dean’s very hard, now very impatient cock. “Oh Saaaaam god, finally, thankgodnggh.” Groaned Dean as Sam sucked the tip of his cock into his hot mouth, swallowing him down all the way. Dean struggled not to buck up too much, Sam holding down his hips. He pulled off with a noisy slurp and licked his way down to suck on Dean’s balls, first one and then the other, licking back to the sensitive spot just behind them. 

Dean‘s groans grew louder and more incoherent. “Sam I want you in me now, no more waiting please.” He unashamedly begged. Sam grinned down at him and pulled Dean’s hips up and spread his legs, stroking up and down his inner thighs, “So beautiful, My Dean, you’re so beautiful.” then diving back down to tongue at Dean’s opening, it clenched and fluttered then released as Sam’s tongue gently licked around, alternating sucking and licking, finally delving in, spearing as deep as he could reach, adding fingers slowly opening Dean up, getting him so wet. Dean thrashes around and begins making keening animalistic noises he’s not recognizing as his, no one has ever done this to him, taken him apart like this, he isn’t sure he can take any more. He pants out “Sammy c’mon please, now, oh you gotta now, please.” Sam releases him, wipes the spit off his smiling face with the back of his hand and reaches off to the side of the bed digging in his duffle bag.

Luckily he’d remembered to put the lube in the side pocket for once, quickly coming back and slicking his fingers, putting three in Dean in quick succession, twisting slowly, gently scissoring, steadily pumping them in and out. Dean presses down wriggling and writhing onto Sam’s hand, and Sam gulps “Dean oh god Dean, want to be in you so much, are you ready for me?”   He’s somehow slicked up his hard cock, it glistens, bumping up against his stomach as he knees forward toward Dean. Sam lines himself up and slowly enters Dean, making this exquisite feeling of joining together last as long as possible. He leans over to kiss Dean deeply as he finally bottoms out and stops. 

Dean feels it then, feels what his brother has done to him, he’s taken him apart and put him back together, because he’s together, with Sam, always with Sam. “Oh Dean I’m glad you understand. Always wanted this with you.” Sam smiles at him. Dean realizes he’s said that out loud, but he doesn’t care at this point he just wants Sam to start moving. “Sammy, you gotta move now, c’mon now baby.” 
Sam begins a slow grinding thrust in and out, then circling his hips, the whole time he’s cradling Dean’s head and kissing him. 

The words begin flowing out, unstoppable now,
“Dean, I can’t, oh god Dean I love you. Love you so much. Always loved you. Sorry so sorry for everything for hurting you for being so weak, please let me. Let me make it up to you. I can make this good, love you Dean, oh please, please don’t make me go.” Dean stops him with a finger pressed to his lips, stills his grinding hips, and locks eyes with Sam. “Sam what do you mean make you go?” he asks deep and urgent. Sam dips his head down, looks at him through that ridiculous hair, “I thought you’d want me gone after this last demon blood thing. I just. I’m just so sorry, I couldn’t help it, I tried so hard not to. I know it’s too much to ask, just please don’t make me go away again.”

Dean gasped and pulled Sam in even closer, beginning a slow grind of his hips again, pulled up Sam’s face so he can see his eyes, “Sam, I don’t ever want you to leave me again. You get me? I want you with me forever man. You’re all I want, no one else, just you, you and me together like this. Sam, I love you too, so fucking much it hurts sometimes. So much I can’t hardly ever say it to you. Please believe me, and please no more apologizing, it wasn’t your fault, you hear me? You were amazing, I was so proud of what you did, you saved me and Cas, you were stronger than a fucking angel Sam, do you get that?”

He punctuates those last words with several sharp thrusts hoping to get that deep satisfying rhythm going again. Sam’s eyes turn into shining pools and spill over, hot tears hitting Dean’s neck. “Oh god Dean thank you, you won’t regret this, I swear you won’t. This, this right here is everything I ever wanted. ” Sam starts up again with those slow purposeful thrusts and hip circles, their eyes now locked together, Sam’s hands running all over, through Dean’s hair, up and back down his sides, twisting and rolling his nipples until Dean doesn’t know where he ends and Sam begins. 

This is it then, they are truly together, puzzle pieces clicking into place, the key in the lock, all that jazz, no more doubt or separation between them, everything laid bare and still Dean wants even more, greedy grasping at Sam’s shoulders, pulling at his hair, searching his eyes for the last bit until nothing is held back, they’ve given everything to each other now, the pleasure builds from that knowledge, spirals up catching hold of both their hearts and they become more frantic, thrusting together until Dean falls over that bright edge, body finally releasing with un-measurable pleasure, making him clench down hard on Sam , pulling him right over too. They don’t stop moving for a little while, until they do, still breathing hard, smiling full-on at each other, eyes wide with surprise at how good it was, stroking each other’s faces over and over. 

“Sam, it’s never been like that with anyone before. Never. I want this with you forever. Please god please forever.  I love you so much, thank you for coming back to me, thank you so much, I thought, I thought I’d lost you, but now, thank god, finally, you’re here with me, thank you, I’m sorry, so sorry I ever made you leave, I love you My Sammy.” Dean crumples into Sam’s neck too blissful to be embarrassed at spilling like that. Sam takes in a deep breath and giggles, actually fucking giggles, god damnit.

 “Dean, it’s never been like that with anyone else for me either, ever. And yes I want this with you forever too. I know it’s a cliché’ but, I really love you more than I can ever say. I’m so glad you want me to stay, it means so much that you trust me again, thank you, Dean my Dean.” Sam lays light lick kisses on Dean’s throat up to his ear, whispering. “How about I fall asleep here, inside you, wake up and do it all over again?” Dean wriggles his hips and groans, “Oh dude, if I could breathe with your body on me I’d say yes, how about you shift over a bit?” Sam slides his torso off Dean’s but still stays inside him, his softened cock twitching now and then. They both keep softly petting each other until they are asleep.

(remember, always remember, he who is more than just brother, he who is now gone, he who is not dead, but He Who Is Gone Forever, amen.)

Dean comes back to himself in the present finally, still sitting there on Lisa’s couch, fully hard, achingly hard, which he hasn’t been since Sam’s swan dive, heart pounding with love remembered, face covered in tears, sobbing softly. He scrubs the back of his hand across his eyes, “damnit Sam, why’d you have to make me remember?” He opens his jeans and pulls himself out, stroking roughly just a few times till he comes with a choked out Saaaam on his tongue. Dean collapses back into the couch, tucks his softening cock back in and zips up, wipes his hand on his shirt and promptly falls deeply asleep. He dreams of Sam, of course, helplessly remembering Sam,

(remember, always remember, he who is more than just brother, he who is now gone, he who is not dead, but He Who Is Gone Forever, amen.)

Dreams of Sam, moving over him, and through him and in him,

 riding with him in the car, Sam curled up in the passenger seat sleeping against the window,

 fighting beside him, digging up graves covered in grave dirt, laughing at something Dean had done,

cleaning knives while Dean cleaned the guns, competent hands moving quickly, knowingly,

 grinning at him over chili fries in one of a thousand diners that all run together in his memories,

handing him a beer as he works on the Impala on a nondescript roadside,

 running with him, stupid long wet hair plastered to his skull, flashing those dimples and spearing him with those eyes filled with love, always so much love.

 Dream/memory Sam makes him feel whole again, himself again, less alone, just by seeing these memories play out in his dreams Dean starts to feel better.

When he wakes up, feeling more refreshed and together than he has in months Dean knows now that he needs to make himself go through the rest of Sam’s things, no matter how hard it was to look at the journal calendar, that this was good for him to bring up memories of Sam instead of trying to forget him. Why was he even trying to forget him, he was, no is his world, that hasn’t changed, won’t ever change.  Dean knows now that remembering is what is going to save him from drinking himself to death, or getting too weird for Lisa to have around, or making that trip back to Stull. Remembering is the work he needs to do now,

(remember, always remember, he who is more than just brother, he who is now gone, he who is not dead, but He Who Is Gone Forever, amen.)

One of the other things Sam left behind was his iPod, Dean doesn’t really like using it, but he finds the charger, and headphones and starts carrying it around and listening to the songs Sam had taken the time to put on there. There’s lots of classic rock that he knows by heart, pleased that Sam had put Dean’s music on his iPod at all. For all the complaining about it he did, that’s kind of strange. But there is even more music he doesn’t know at all, all that emo alternacrap music he always gave Sam such a hard time about. But he starts listening to it all as he works, dry walling, or other mundane construction jobs.

 The music soothes him so he can get through the work day and it starts teaching him a little bit about Sam, especially the lyrics to some of the songs, they are quite moving and a lot of the rock is pretty killer which surprises. Now he feels bad that he hadn’t made more of an effort to learn to appreciate Sam’s music while he was still here to listen to it with. Eventually he figures out the controls of the iPod enough to notice something called playlists. He sees that there are playlists that are titled;

After Arguments

Silent Treatment

Porn Avoidance

ApplePie

MyEverything

Apologies R Us

At first he can’t make himself look at what songs are contained in these playlists. It seems too much like it would be prying, or reading Sam’s personal journal. But then Dean finally does. He’s already read the calendar journal thing, it doesn’t get much more personal that M.L.W.D., so why not this? It might give him more clues about the Sam he wishes he’d known more completely.

The first playlist he listens to is ApplePie, since well, it is his favorite. And what do you know, that’s what’s on the list, all his favorite songs, every one. All the ones he’d ever noted to Sam as *this is my favorite* are contained there, god that means Sam was listening and making a note of what Dean had told him over these years of driving around listening to music. That means a lot to Dean, not just the music, but that Sam had been paying attention to what Dean liked, it is a good reminder of Sam’s kindness and generosity. All those years of listening to this same music over and over, it must have gotten old for Sam, but he put up with it for him didn’t he?

Next up he tries the playlist Porn Avoidance, since well, since it has Porn in the name, its gotta be good right? Well it is the loudest, angriest music yet, all in one playlist. This would be great for blocking out a lot of external noise, like if you wanted to ignore something even though it was right there in front of you. He blushes remembering how shameless he’d been about watching porn in so many of those motel rooms with Sam one bed away from him and not as into it as he was. Sam had always ducked his head, turned away buried in a book or on his laptop, and always with his iPod on. Guess he must have been listening to this then.   Dean feels thankful again for Sam’s tolerant, giving nature, that he let him porn out to heart’s content without too much shit, figuring out a way to handle it.

The last playlist he listens to that day is MyEverything, which is filled with songs about lovers, heroes and friends. He starts to choke up listening to one of the last songs “Little Lion Man” by Mumford & Sons, which has these lyrics:

Weep for yourself, my man,
You'll never be what is in your heart
Weep Little Lion Man,
You're not as brave as you were at the start
Rate yourself and rake yourself,
Take all the courage you have left
Wasted on fixing all the problems
That you made in your own head

But it was not your fault but mine
And it was your heart on the line
I really fucked it up this time
Didn't I, my dear?
Didn't I, my...


Dean collapses in on himself after listening to that one, just folds in and holds himself and has a good old fashioned sob fest. “Ah if you could only see me now Sammy, angsting with the best of them, huh?” After his crying subsides Dean puts the iPod away and goes to bed, this time not needing a drink to get to sleep. Sleep where he meets dream/memory Sam again for all their greatest hits, the ones Zachariah didn’t let be shown in their heaven. Even in his sleep Dean thinks that there isn’t any way Sam is dead, not if he can still connect to him this deeply, he’s got to still be there, alive, somewhere. Awakening with the strangeness of hope in his heart is enough to make Dean smile a few times during the day. Even Lisa and Ben remark on it, which makes him happy.

All of this going through Sam’s things one by one, sustains Dean in a half-life, where he’s more than just surviving day to day, he’s almost coping with living with Lisa and Ben, and not suicidaly desperate most of the time. He’s still drinking a lot. He knows he needs to cut it back some, but old habits die hard, and the memories hit him more softly when he is slightly tanked. Then Sam comes back. And he’s not right. And they don’t connect. Or talk about the past. He is so different that Dean forgets all about Sam’s stuff left back at Lisa’s, he guesses this different Sam doesn’t care anymore about his old things, he’s replaced it all with new stuff, more efficient and effective stuff, not clogged up with memories or anything useless like that.

Dean still feels like he needs to remember Sam, the real Sam, not this soulless version that he feels unsafe around. So he goes back to Lisa’s to get Sam’s things, managing to do it when neither Lisa nor Ben is there. It was hard enough to talk to her on the phone and hear her Veritas inspired estimation of his and Sam’s relationship. There wasn’t ever really an apple pie life waiting for him with Lisa and Ben, just a last-wish fulfillment for Sam. But it saved Dean, being there, he knows that, and is thankful that Sam had made him make that awful promise. Who knows what he would have done otherwise? Dean is self-aware enough to know that he most likely would not have been alive when Sam finally put in his appearance when the djinn came after him. 

Having Sam’s things with him now makes it easier to remember the real Sam, especially when he realizes that the effort to get Sam’s soul back is going to take a confrontation with Death. The night before he tries that desperate gambit with the iffy doctor behind the seedy storefront Dean goes through all of it again. Piece by piece he handles it reverently, the calendar journal which holds the most important memory and the greatest load of love, the iPod with all the emotionality and intensity of his Sam, god he misses that the most, he swears he does, the books tracing over and over with his fingers where Sam had made notes in his neat small handwriting, trying to feel an echo of his Sam, the worn clothing which doesn’t smell like Sam anymore, but stroking all the fabric in the places where it lay upon Sam in the spots he liked to touch Sam the most is arousing and calming at the same time. All this remembering makes him even more determined to get all of Sam. 

(remember, always remember, he who is more than just brother, he who is now gone, he who is not dead, but He Who Is Gone Forever, amen.)

One of the first things Dean does after Sam wakes up now newly re-souled is to give him his calendar back, with a pen.   “Thought you might want to have this ready in case there’s anything new to add.” Dean shyly smiles. Sam blushes when he sees it. “Guess you figured out what this meant huh?”

Dean grins “Yeah Sammy, I did. Thanks for leaving it with me. It got me through the worst of it.”

When Sam gets into the Impala for the first time after getting his soul back, the first thing he notices is his iPod sitting in its dock on the dashboard. “So you finally decided to join the rest of us in the 21st century, huh Dean?” Sam gestures towards the shiny iPod, which looks so out of place on the matte dash of the Impala. 

“Yeah Sam, I started listening to it a few months before you came back. Thanks for leaving it with me; some of those playlists are definitely worth listening to more than once.” Dean grins shyly and knowingly at Sam. Sam’s eyebrows shoot up in surprise “Wow, you figured out the playlists too Dean? You’re quite the intrepid detective big brother.” 

Dean leans over and says “You have no idea, I even made myself a new one, you should check it out.” Sam scrolls down and sees a title he doesn’t recognize:

Always Remember

On this playlist are songs that reminded Dean the most of Sam, through all of their years together. A couple kids songs he used to like to sing to Sam, like their mother’s favorite “Hey Jude”,  a few songs he remembered Sam always singing along with in the car with their dad, mostly CCR and Lynrd Skynrd, a few of the classic rock songs that Sam never objected to or always reached over to turn up, and then a selection of the songs from the Sam side of music, deeply emotional and moving and heart-grabbing stuff. Sam’s eyes widen further and further and he starts grinning happily as he looks at all the song titles. 

 He reaches the end to the last two songs one of which is Wilco’s “On and On” and the other is “I Will follow You Into The Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie. 

Sam looks up at Dean, with his eyes shining, filled with that piercing love, always so much love. “Oh Dean, my Dean, thank you.” He reaches over the seat and pulls Dean into a kiss that some would call searing, some would call soul-deep. Dean wouldn’t call it anything, but he feels that hole that’s been there in his heart for the past year filled right back up. 

Dean can’t say anything yet, except “Sammy” as he gently holds his brother’s face between his hands and sees his Sam, His Sam, finally looking back at him out of that beautiful face.

~Fin~

For Reference:

The lyrics to “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” by DeathCab for Cutie are:

Love of mine
Someday you will die
But I'll be close behind
I'll follow you into the dark
No blinding light or tunnels to gates of white
Just our hands clasped so tight
Waiting for the hint of the spark

If heaven and hell decide that they both are satisfied
Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs
If there's no one beside you when your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark

In catholic school, as vicious as Roman rule
I got my knuckles bruised by a lady in black
And I held my tongue as she told me "Son fear is the heart of love"
So I never went back

If heaven and hell decide that they both are satisfied
Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs
If there's no one beside you when your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark

You and me
Have seen everything to see
From Bangkok to Calgary
And the soles of your shoes
Are all worn down, the time for sleep is now
But it's nothing to cry about 'cause we'll hold each other soon
In the blackest of rooms

If heaven and hell decide that they both are satisfied
Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs
If there's no one beside you when your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark
And I'll follow you into the dark.

And the lyrics to “On and On” by Wilco are:

On and on and on we’ll stay together yeah
On and on and on we’ll be together yeah
You and I will try to stay together yeah
On and on and on we’ll be together yeah

Please don’t cry we’re designed to die
Don’t deny what’s inside
On and on and on we’ll stay together yeah
On and on and on
On and on and on

One day we’ll disappear together in a dream
However short or long our lives are going to be
I will live in you or you will live in me
Until we disappear together in a dream

Please don’t cry we’re designed to die
You can’t deny even the gentlest tide
On and on and on we’ll be together yeah
On and on and on
On and on and on
We’re going to try

Please don’t cry
This world of words and meanings makes you feel
outside
Something that you feel already
deep inside
You’ve denied
Go ahead and cry

On and on and on we’ll stay together yeah
On and on and on
On and on and on

You and I will stay together yeah
You and I will try to make it better yeah



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Such a tremendous journey with Dean of his time without his Sam!! Crying when I got to the part about Dean's new playlist! Such a beautiful story, just so spot on with their characters and the way it unfolds!

I can't believe this is your first fanfic! It was awesome! Just the right amount of tenderness and heat! I loved the whole W.L.M.D. and the writing that followed! Going straight into my memories!

Thank you so much! First comment on a first fanfic, and such a great one, you win the triple thanks award or something. I found myself crying in the same spot while writing (didn't know that was even possible). I think a lot about that Sam-less time for Dean a lot since they didn't give us much on the Show. You just know a lot of angsting went on, but what exactly did Dean do, how did he really cope?

WOW, JUST BEAUTIFUL AND SAD AND SWEET AND HOT AND PERFECT. XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXXOXOXOX

THANKS VERY MUCHLY! I was going for sad sweet and hot, since that's my favorite type of fic to read.

Truly one of the most heart wrenching & moving stories I've ever read. Amazing! I loved every word.

Oh thank you so much, I'm glad the story moved you too, I really appreciate your taking the time to comment.

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