SPN || PG-13 - language, angst || Sam, Dean || 1,100 words || coda to 4x22, general spoilers through S6
In which Dean finds out that the Apocalypse began with a single voicemail.
Dean is reintroducing himself to Jack because he doesn't want to know what Robo-Sam is doing, rustling around with a duffle on the small table off to his left. If he doesn't look then he can pretend that Sam is digging out clean clothes and is going to start bitching about needing to do laundry and Jesus, Dean, how are you fit for decent company, to which Dean would grin and ask why he'd want decent company when un-decency was way more fun. Better one slutty chick than sixty or seventy virgins or whatever.
The silence stretches. The whiskey sloshes as he raises the bottle to his lips. Sam makes a thoughtful sound.
"Now what?" Dean asks, more biting than he intended but it's not like Sam is going to start sulking or snap back.
"Why do you still have this?" Sam asks. Dean finally turns around and dude, dude, so not fucking okay.
"The hell're you doing with that?"
Sam shrugs. The movement doesn't look natural somehow, all sharp edges. "We need to do laundry. Since these were my clothes, I figured I'd use them until we found a Laundromat. Why do you have this?"
Sound reasoning, of course, because nowadays Sam was all about the fucking reason and logic but honestly, Dean is just tired. He didn't want to look at the duffle that had been stashed in the farthest corner of the Impala's false trunk, not when it'd once been Sam's , like, Real Sam's, and he'd had just enough whiskey that he was going to start getting maudlin soon. A cheap, slim cell phone is dwarfed by one of Sam's huge paws.
"You've been keeping it charged," Sam observes.
"Never know when a werewolf is gonna smash the usual phone and leave you high and dry." He shifts, his spine starting to dig uncomfortably into the wall at the head of his bed.
"You haven't been hunting for a year," Sam points out.
Dean takes another swig of whiskey before saying roughly, "What're you doing with that, Sam?" But the hollowness wearing his brother's skin just tilts his head thoughtfully.
"Why did you tell me I wasn't worth trying to save anymore?"
He says it like he's asking a question about the crossword puzzle in the newspaper, but Dean has to take a minute to remember that, no, there isn't a huge weight on his chest and he can still breathe. "What're you talking about?"
"The message you left me, the night I let Lucifer out of his cage. You said that I was a freak and a vampire, and that Dad was right when he said you might have to kill me. Well, Sam, I mean."
Dean remembers that night. He's seen it replayed behind his eyelids often enough that his body remembers the echo of every punch, those big hands around his throat, tang of blood in his nose and ears ringing with the shattering of glass. He remembers the pleading in Sam's expression that he'd been too blinded by fury and hurt at the time to see, instead letting out some of that forty years in Hell because Sam was right there and so easy to blame. He's been driving himself insane wondering how the fuck almost thirty years between them could be smashed aside for the sake of a goddamned demon, and then he thinks about Sam after the Mystery Spot, thinks about what happens when your sanity goes the way of a postal worker and someone comes along saying just the right words.
"I never said that."
"Yes, you did."
"Dude," says Dean, and this time the bite is edging towards a hostile drop the subject right the fuck now before I end you, "I would've remembered. I didn't say that."
Sam's fucking around with the thing and suddenly there's a tinny voice scratching out from the speakerphone, "You have – one – saved message."
Dean doesn't want to hear this. He seriously contemplates throwing the bottle of Jack at Robo-Sam's head. His body feels carved out of stone. Huh, he never knew that the label on a whiskey bottle could be so fascinating.
"Listen to me, you bloodsucking freak. Dad always said I'd either have to save you or kill you. Well, I'm giving you fair warning. I'm done trying to save you. You're a monster, Sam – a vampire. You're not
'you' anymore. And there's no going back."
It'd be silent in the room except Dean's ears are roaring with his jackrabbit heartbeat. He wants to get in the Impala and drive until he pulls a Thelma and Louise. Wants to play Suzy Homemaker in the bottom of the bottle because, hey, he'd always been good about following in his daddy's footsteps.
"Don't…don't talk," he whispers, not moving because if he does then he's going to start. Start swinging. Or…something. He doesn't know what he's going to do and isn't that the story of his life.
Sam idly tosses the phone back into the duffle and pulls out a purple shirt with a greyhound on it. He raises an eyebrow at it critically before giving an obvious mental shrug, and Dean wants to yank it out of his fucking hands. "It must've been the angels," says Sam. "Castiel let Sam out of Bobby's panic room, and Zachariah manipulated which memories you two saw in Heaven. One of them probably also messed with the voicemail."
Shut up. Shut up. Shut up.
"Why're you bringing this up now?" Dean asks hoarsely.
"I was just wondering. It was the reason Sam went ahead with Ruby into that convent."
"He was having second thoughts. He wanted to call you and apologize. Sam was going to change his mind, but after you left that message, he figured he didn't have anything to lose anymore."
There's a low, hurt sound and it takes a minute before Dean realizes that it's coming from him. He slides to his feet and stumbles towards the door, grabbing his jacket along the way, pushing past Sam without actually touching him.
"Where're you going?"
"Out," he says tonelessly. "I'll be back in a few hours, and you better not be fucking some chick when I get back. Just don't – " There are so many ways to end that sentence but none feel quite right, it's like they're all mashed together and clamoring pick me, pick me! "Just…just don't." The door slams behind him.