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Deep In the Meadow

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Sam has a gun in his bedside drawer. Not the pearl handled colt that Dean gave him so long ago, no. Something small, black, like a revolver you see in those old movies that women hide in their garters. Sam bought it at a second hand store before he was even settled in Palo Alto. He knew he couldn’t carry around a knife in his book bag, he’d probably tear up his homework or even tear a hole in the bag.

No, the small pistol was impersonal, nothing with emotional attachment, just a piece of metal with a single bullet he would twirl in his fingers at night when his roommate was gone or asleep. He’d press it to his lips occasionally, feel as though he could shove it in his mouth and pull the trigger without a blink.

He could end it, he could finally be away from every stress, every danger, Dean and Dad wouldn’t even ever know. He might be able to meet mom, might be able to finally be safe and sound and never have to worry.

But he always thought that was the coward’s way out.

If anything, his death would just be painted like a depressed college student’s desperate attempt at attention.

A spectacle.

A tragedy.

He might be on the news, but the anchors would have nothing to say, because what was there to say about a nobody who came to Stanford on a full ride scholarship with no friends or family to speak of.

Dean’d probably tear the earth up, maybe. Dad might huff and say good riddance.

You make me feel like I’m not good enough

What could Sam have done then, that might have been memorable. He never saved anyone from a monster without help, he’d not left anything behind with his name. There’d just be him with blood on the sheets or the wall, probably the gun still clutched in his hand and mouth still wide open, eyes scrunched up in a reflex that would stick to his cooling corpse.

There was nothing to live for besides a better life, back then. Sam was never sure he would get there.

Each day was a struggle.

Deep in the meadow, under the willow

But now, here, almost twelve years later, he’s 30 years-old, and he never thought he’d get that far. He never thought, not in his whole life past the point of Jess’ death had he thought he might make it to three decades of life. Of barely skating by.

A bed of grass, a soft green pillow

And at 30, he finally had a home. What Dean had dubbed as their home of course. Sam had had really no choice in the matter of finally settling down with his brother in a singular spot. But the bunker was large and cold, brick and sheetrock carved into a mountain side. Real polished stone tiles on the floors, no carpeting.

A real-life old house.

Except to Sam, it couldn’t be a home.

He couldn’t have a home.

It was scary to even think that he could finally have a home that was safe and protected and good.

Lay down your head, and close your eyes

And when they open the sun will rise

Those first few months, Sam couldn’t even claim a room to himself. He hadn’t slept in a room by himself in good conscience ever. Maybe Flagstaff counted, maybe those two weeks of junk food, half a real job, and a dog to call his own could be in good conscience, but then Dean had been waiting in the trailer one day. He had the most disappointed scowl on his face, the most tired eyes aimed pointedly at the floor, that Sam had ever seen in his life. When Sam thinks back on Flagstaff, especially after running from angels in Heaven, it’s definitely not in good conscience.

And now, alone, Sam takes out the gun and turns the gun over and over in his hands. The grooves are memorized and worn, familiar even this long after the purchase from some skeptical hawker. So many times have they stared back at him, those grooves. How there would be no evidence of anything but suicide. There would be no evidence of murder, of any monster pulling the trigger for him.

Nothing to give reason enough for someone to even try pulling the trigger.

Here it’s safe, here it’s warm

Then the Trials came, and Kevin was so exhausted but so elated, so happy to have found a way to stop the madness. Sam couldn’t take the opportunity away from him, not again.

So he put that gun away. Put it deep in that drawer under notebooks he’d since used up.

And then Dean said he’d go through with them. He said that Sam saw a light, that Dean didn’t. Sam had a hard time wrapping his head around Dean taking a head on suicide run.

Here the daisies guard you from every harm

I don’t see a light at the end of this tunnel. But you do. After this is all over, go get that white picket fence and that dog.

And suddenly, Sam was on the suicide run. Sam was the one running towards the end of that tunnel, towards that light. The gates of Hell could be closed for good, the King of Hell turned human.

Sam could die for something this time.

Here your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true

It’s almost like watching a horror film. Except he’s also playing a first person shooter game. Purgatory and Hell, brimstone and watered down greys, even his skin is whiter than he’d seen it since he’d gotten pneumonia.

And then Bobby was in Heaven. Sam got sicker than he could ever remember. He wasn’t getting better. He stumbled and slept for hours. He fell asleep at the table, over his food or over a book.

And Dean. God, Dean. The big brother, trying to give him soup, crackers, salads.

Telling him all these sins he’s committed, everything he’s done wrong.

Stanford.

Ruby.

Demon blood.

Lucifer.

Soulless.

Every single thing Sam could think of, Dean was telling him.

You make me feel like I’m not good enough.

But this time I’ll die for something good, and then I’ll be enough for you.

Sam was so determined, so close, so weak. Crowley shackled to the chair, Sam’s eyes red rimmed. He could feel mucus coming down his nose, over his lips. And all he could think was that he was probably going to look better than if he’d put a bullet through the back of his head.

Here is the place where I love you

That last syringe of blood, that last needle in his arm. Glowing veins, agonizing pain.

Aren’t I good enough?

He saw that light at the end of the tunnel now.