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Dec. 10th, 2010

Drabbles for tomorrow will go up sometime tomorrow, not tonight at midnight as I've been doing.

But here's this to tide you over.

Everything Is Clearer Now
Supernatural 611 coda. Implied Sam/Dean, 1600 words.


Dean is quiet. When Stacy thinks about him, she ends up thinking the kinds of things people think about guys who turn out to be serial killers--he's quiet, keeps to himself, never bothers anyone. He worked with the construction company for a while, but no one can really afford to build houses these days, or even keep them up very well. He moved on to the mechanic's after that, and Stacy's had him fix her car a few times, even. He doesn't smile much, but he's not unfriendly; greets her by name, asks how Erin's doing, the usual small talk.

He comes in twice a day, not quite as smooth as clockwork, but as predictable. The first time's during his lunch break, varies on when he gets off, and he stays all of the hour he can, eats his sandwich and then just sits until he has to leave. Some people talk; he doesn't.

He comes back after work, doesn't stay as long. Stacy thinks he's just making sure nothing's changed, or maybe that Sam is still there.

He's down as Dean's brother, that's how it is in the file. Sam Braeden, born May 2, 1983. Father Robert Braeden, mother deceased. She's looked at the file more times than she probably should admit, but it's strange. She thinks they're probably not really brothers; it's the kind of lie people tell. It explains the closeness, gives Dean some legal power he wouldn't otherwise. Stacy doesn't mind it. She hasn't met many people like that, not out here, but it's obvious how close they are. It explains why they came to a town no one knows them with a run-down little hospital.

Sam's not the first coma patient they've had, but he gets her interest in a way others haven't. There's no medical explanation. The way Dean tells it, he just collapsed, and there's something in his eyes that says there's more to the story, but there's nothing wrong with Sam.

It's a sad story. You don't see love like that every day; it seems like a shame to waste it.

*

"Of course I want to see him. Stop asking. He's mine as much as you are."

Stacy looks up, surprised. Dean comes in on a Tuesday with an older man, scraggy beard and dirty baseball cap.

"There's not a lot to see, is all I'm saying," says Dean.

"You keep coming back, don't you?"

"Of course I do, you know I do," says Dean. He almost smiles at Stacy, looking a little abashed. "Afternoon, Stacy. This is Bobby. He's--our dad."

"Pleasure to meet you," says Bobby, extending his hand. "Thanks for taking care of my boys."

"It's been my pleasure," says Stacy. "Dean's been real helpful down at the mechanic's. Keeps my car running like a dream."

Dean laughs. "Bobby taught me everything I know."

"Don't go blaming me for what you know, boy," says Bobby. He walks over to Sam's side, holds his hand. Dean never does. It's sweet, how close he is to his son's--husband, boyfriend, lover. Whatever Dean would call him. "Hey, Sam."

"I don't talk to him much anymore."

"Not all of us are used to this," says Bobby. He turns back to Sam. "Glad your brother's here to take care of you. But you'd better hurry up and wake up, okay? I know you're in there."

Dean snorts. "Being in there isn't the problem."

"I don't want to hear that attitude from you. This is Sam. He's strong. You know that."

"I don't know if anyone is that strong."

"But you're not giving up."

The look in Dean's eyes is like nothing Stacy has ever seen in her life. "Of course I'm not giving up." He clears his throat, looking at Stacy like he forgot about her. "I'll see you tomorrow," he says, with another little smile.

"Nice to meet you again," says Bobby.

Stacy nods to both of them, and listens to the soothing, steady tones that mean Sam Braeden is still alive.

*

Bobby doesn't come in as often as Dean, but the way Erin tells it, he's in the library a lot, checking out big, old-looking books. Erin doesn't know about Sam and Dean--Stacy doesn't bring her work home, not like that, not to her kids--but she's interested in strangers, the same as everyone is. After a year, Dean isn't strange anymore, but his father is. Stacy has to wonder what took him so long.

"He reads a lot," Erin is saying. "And he helps me get the tall books. His name is Bobby, and his son is in the hospital. Do you know him?"

"I do," says Stacy. "Set the table."

"I told him we'd have him over for dinner. He's nice. I like him."

"He's a little old for me," says Stacy. It's not the first time Erin has decided that she should marry some stranger. She tried with Dean too, and Stacy shut that down fast.

"But we could still have him for dinner." She frowns. "It's so sad about his son. How old is he?"

"Twenty-nine," says Stacy, too quickly, but Erin doesn't notice.

"That's twenty years older than me!" Erin seems excited by the connection; Stacy has to smile. It doesn't seem that different than the connection she's been forging between herself and the boy in the coma, except Erin has an excuse. Stacy just--

Stacy just likes them. She wants them to be happy.

*

"My daughter wanted me to invite the two of you to dinner," says Stacy, when Dean and Bobby come in for Dean's lunch break. It's nicer with Bobby there; he and Dean talk. It's more like they're keeping Sam company than keeping watch. She smiles at Bobby, a little apologetic. "She's been talking to you at the library after school."

"Oh, you're Erin's mom!" says Bobby. He sounds pleased. It's strange; she's not used to anyone being happy in here. "She's a great kid. Very talkative. I've heard a lot about you."

Dean is looking at Bobby with this mix of horror and amusement, the kind of look Stacy associates with children realizing their parents have sex lives. She fights the urge to giggle.

"We'd love to have dinner with you sometime," says Bobby.

Dean looks less sure, but he nods, and it's settled.

*

They're supposed to be having dinner on Friday, but Sam wakes up on Thursday.

Stacy isn't in the room, but she hears the screaming. She doesn't recognize the voice, and when she follows it, she sees Sam, about to be sedated, and she says, "Don't!" before she's even realized she's planning to say it.

She doesn't have the authority to stop them, not really--she's just a nurse, but she says it with enough force that they listen.

The screams have evened out, turned into words. One word. Dean.

It feels like someone else is moving her body. Stacy walks to the side of the cot. "Dean is here," she says, and that much is coming from her. "Dean is here, and we'll call him. But you need to be quiet, you hear?"

His eyes are wild, crazy. They seem to change color as he moves. It's almost hypnotic. She can see him calming as her words sink in.

"He's here?" His voice is strong. Stronger than she would have thought.

"He's at work." She looks over at Isabelle. "His contact is Dean Braeden, over at Tom's. You call him, tell him his brother woke up. I'll stay here with him, sedate him if I have to."

It's not her job, but Sam's shut up, and everyone knows Dean's his contact. Everyone's seen him come in. Isabelle nods, and the others disperse.

"You've been in a coma for almost a year," Stacy explains. "Dean has been so worried."

Sam licks his lips, looks around. "Where am I?"

"Iowa," she says.

"A year?"

"Just about."

"And Dean's coming."

Stacy smiles. "He's due in about three hours, comes in every day after work. But I think given the circumstances, he'll want to come in early."

*

Sam seems surprisingly calm, given how terrified he was to start with. Stacy can't explain it, can't explain any of it. The recovery seems miraculous, but the entire illness was miraculous, in its own way.

Sam is quiet and polite. He asks a lot of questions, from what year it is to what Dean has been doing to how the presidential election turned out.

She knows the exact second Dean shows up, because Sam suddenly stops seeing her at all.

She moves out of the way without meaning to, back and away, and someone catches her shoulders as Dean goes by her.

"Sammy," he's saying. "Sammy, Sammy, Sammy."

She looks behind her and Bobby's there, not quite holding her back. There are tears in his eyes, which shouldn't surprise her.

"Hey, Dean," says Sam. His face is a little screwed up, like he's halfway between smiling and crying. She's seen the expression before, but she's never felt it quite like this.

"Is it you?"

"Yeah," says Sam, like it's the most logical question in the world. "It's me."

"Oh, thank--" Dean cuts himself off with a wet, joyful noise. "You know what, let's not thank anybody." He pulls Sam in close, and Sam's arms go up around him too, so tight it looks like he'll bruise.

They stay like that for a long time, as if they're afraid Sam will slip away again if he lets go.

"Always told you not to scratch," Dean says roughly. "Never listen."

"I got better." He pulls back slowly, sees Bobby and Stacy. "Hey, Bobby."

Bobby smiles. "Hey, kid. How are you feeling?"

Sam screws up his face. It's almost a smile. "Like I've been to hell and back."

"But you came back," says Bobby.

"Yeah," says Sam. "I came back."

Comments

( 46 comments — Leave a comment )
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transfixeddream
Dec. 11th, 2010 04:48 am (UTC)
I absolutely adore outside POV, and this was wonderful. :}
whitereflection
Dec. 11th, 2010 04:52 am (UTC)
♥♥♥ Lovely. And I love your cut text, too. Blue's one of my favorite songs.
mdlaw
Dec. 11th, 2010 05:00 am (UTC)
This was great. m :)
jesseofthenorth
Dec. 11th, 2010 06:08 am (UTC)
Well done!
I only read at most half a dozen codas a year , I don't really like them much, but I knew yours would be really good and it was! Very poignant with a nice pay-off, so thanks for that. :)
without_me
Dec. 11th, 2010 06:09 am (UTC)
Mmmm, lovely.
vorpalblades
Dec. 11th, 2010 06:10 am (UTC)
Eeee, so perfect.

And now I'm going to have Blue stuck in my head, and it may make me cry.
faunaana
Dec. 11th, 2010 06:11 am (UTC)
This is terrific. Thank you
not_sally
Dec. 11th, 2010 06:14 am (UTC)
Oh my god, this.
I loved the "always told you not to scratch" because \o/ YES, that's totally what Sam would/will do and therefore THIS.
AWESOME little coda. Wonderful OC.
elliemurasaki
Dec. 11th, 2010 06:24 am (UTC)
*adores*
saturday_v
Dec. 11th, 2010 06:35 am (UTC)
This made me flail like an idiot because I can't squeel like I want.

I should be asleep, but I read this and was happy instead. Screw work in the morning, I needed this. Thank you so much!
britomart_is
Dec. 11th, 2010 06:52 am (UTC)
This is exquisite.
leslieo54
Dec. 11th, 2010 07:33 am (UTC)
Oh, so lovely - definitely worth delayed drabbles. And, oh, show...
paula_lirio
Dec. 11th, 2010 08:20 am (UTC)
*sobs*

I really needed that.

You are awesome.
samantha890
Dec. 11th, 2010 08:44 am (UTC)
I can't even begin to explain how beautiful this was. If Supernatural wasn't the kind of show it is, we'd probably have things like this in cannon. But they can't exactly do that. But this fic is beautiful. Makes me wish the epsiode after hellatus starts off with "one year later - Sam wakes up from a coma" and they show us little flashbacks of how bad it was for Sam - how he clung to his brother - how he couldn't stop scratching (Sam never stops scratching!) and just everything. That would be so perfect. But I like the fic - so thank you for this. :)
equally_dour
Dec. 11th, 2010 08:54 am (UTC)
That was so damn good!
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( 46 comments — Leave a comment )