Middles. Jo's midsection is hotter'n Hell in August, and Dean feels justified in saying so; her abs are strength and her skin is life and so when these get ripped straight through Dean finds it hard to believe the story doesn't end right there.
Ends. "Hey Cas, you think it's going to be a good day?" Dean wants to know, and his voice is far off like Heaven and getting further--and Castiel doesn't lie, so he says nothing.
Insides. Dean is frequently incomprehensible, and Castiel doesn't make an overenthusiastic effort to discern his vagaries; but when Dean says, "Like in Inside Man," Castiel wishes he hadn't learned about that one after the fact.
Outsides. There's no soul inside Meg, but her vessel wept when it hit the pavement--wept tears and piss and blood; she picked it up, shattered as it was, because outside of that moment, she's never felt closer to anyone.
Hours. "Quiet hours," Jessica whispers, and produces a little red bag, filled with rubbers and lube and what looks like a horse's bit; Sam has to calmly explain that any sort of...restraints bring back bad childhood experiences--too late, he realizes that this sounds truly awful, but she doesn't ask, and he knows then that he is going to marry Jessica Lee Moore.
Days. Bela wonders how many she has left (and hates that they're of that elusive stock money just can't buy--like everything else, it seems).
Weeks. Deal's cut uneven if the hallucinations start in three weeks early; Little Barbie Lilith straddles Dean's pelvis and chimes, "No infernal assistance, Dean--this is all you."
Months. On April 30, 1971 when John ships out of Vietnam, he passes a tin house-boat on a long road-river, which is a sad, vagrant, war-time thing; he closes his eyes to blood and death and vengeance and thinks of Lawrence, Kansas (home)--thinks of never leaving.
Years. Eight years, Tamara tells him, and Sam is impressed, because he's never known hunters to love that long; he had Jess for three, and he knows he can't survive that kind of hurt again (but you're gonna have to, rasps Small Voice, gossip in Sam's ears and mind, got three years with Dean, too, and now you're gonna lose him), so he wishes Tamara and Isaac the best--if they can do it, so can he.
Red. Dean hates the color red, not because of blood, and in spite of lust and passion; it reminds him too much of a little red bird in a big redwood in Stanford, California.
Orange. The world goes champagne supernova like it's falling into the sun, and for the period it's left standing, Detroit becomes the new City That Never Sleeps.
Yellow. It's Corn Pops this time; when the box starts running out, Dean claims to lose his taste for them, and gives the rest all to Sammy.
Green. "Your eyes are such a lovely shade," says the girl on the swing, whose eyes are red; "I can save your life, if you give them to me."
Blue. Human souls are blue, white-blue like Creation, and cold (but not near so cold as you are, Anna, she recalls, though then her name was not yet Anna)--and so, she jumps, she breaks; she Falls.
Purple. Sam graduates in May, done all up on peacock purple and mauve; but it's the trans-national bus ticket in his breast pocket, not the gown (in March too long, and now too short), that Dean thinks is just too fucking wrong.
Brown. John's no stranger to seeing life razed by fire, so it's not the violence of the flames seared into his memory--it's watching once-white walls as the wallpaper curls brown, tasting the fine lace edges of Mary's gown, similarly darkened, as it crumbles into his open mouth.
Black. Jesus, you could hide a body in that trunk! says the toll-road supervisor, What a sweet fucking ride; Sam nods but returns no words, because it's May 2, 2008, and if he doesn't acknowledge what's really in that trunk, maybe it's not true, and maybe he doesn't need to speak, because maybe it's Dean in the driver's seat, making friendly with the toll-road guy, and maybe he's saying, "She's my sweet fucking ride--gone to Hell and back with her," and maybe Sam isn't facing the black, black future all alone.
White. Mary's not going to cry on her wedding day, not when she believes in ghosts; Momma and Poppa are angels dressed in whites even brighter than hers, and they are here, and they are smiling.
Colorless. Heaven Is.
Friends. Jo walks out that door, and she knows she's going to lose them all; her friends will become co-workers, commiserators, even rivals--but this was her Daddy's way, and now it's hers.
Enemies. "You're never going to know your enemies by their looks," says Ruby, as she edges up on his lap and presses her forehead to his--"Sometimes, Sam, you just have to...feel it."
Lovers. Love isn't the same flavor twice, and Sam has never been more glad in his life; Ruby is blood and power, and everything Jess absolutely wasn't--so at least he's only betraying Dean, and not her, too.
Family. Dean's sitting in the car, wiping salt out of a gun barrel, when their latest client asks Dad, How do you do it? keep on? and Dad just says, "Got someone waiting for me in California."
Strangers. "Do you remember the Apocalypse?" asks Dean for the thousandth time, though he knows Sam doesn't; it's just that--it's just... he didn't think forgetting that would make them such strangers.
Teammates. "Team Free Will needs a theme song," Dean declares, some time after the fig tree casteth her untimely figs; "I vote R.E.M."
Parents. Some years after Ethan Winchester ships home with what's left of the 127th, he beats his wife to death in a post-traumatic rage; after Vietnam, John comes home to Mary and wraps her in an embrace that lasts a lifetime, because he is not his father's son.
Children. Because he refuses to be his father's son, Sam ships out to California and never once looks back; John wonders what that must make him.
Birth. "Our Lord Jesus was born with a cowl, too, Ms. Mary," the nurse says of Mary's infant, but Mary isn't convinced: "Well, Jesus this kid ain't; he's going to grow up, do whatever he wants--isn't destined for anything but a good life and a safe home."
Death. Lucifer raised Death two days ago, but the two deaths that really, truly mattered? the ones that knocked them, made driving that second car back to Nebraska utter hell?--they can't even blame the Devil; those two are on them.
Sunrise. Sunrise streaks up out of the road median, and cuts through the mist that's made Sam's shoes derelict, soggy messes--in the distance, he thinks he sees a girl with hair like sunrise, too.
Sunset. It's 7:47pm on the 360th day, and they've been rolling through red Nevada sky almost twenty minutes before Sam says, "Ruby said--they give you 'til midnight--on the last night, I mean; so if it--if we... We'll have until midnight if, if--yeah."
Too Much. "I knew you'd come around, Sammy," says Lucifer; "I told you my sin, because of course I knew it would speak to you--God's children do so very many things for love."
Not Enough. It's 5:42 on Tuesday morning and Sam still walks out; this highlights--high-beams, actually--what he must've thought of last night's "Please, Sammy-- Sam."
Sixth Sense. "Whoa there, Haley Joel--where's this proactive streak coming from?" and Sam feels eighteen again because his head feels like fire and his temporal lobe is calling it quits and he wants to cry and he is keeping something from Dean and it's something big; it's just that this time, it's bigger-than-Stanford big.
Smell. Ellen knows a lot of smells, and most of 'em ain't pretty, but it's the smoke and tobacco and sour alcohol and old piss that pay the bills--only one that does her in is the smell of blood hanging like death 'round the one thing left makes the bills worth paying.
Sound. Meg has the volume up max, and demons have got good ears; she grins, because it's like being there--though thinking back, she thinks maybe she was.
Touch. "Zachariah says that his are shaped like lions," says Uriel, though Castiel assures him that it was just a handprint, like a human hand, in God's image; either way, they've met a quandry--angels aren't supposed to leave traces.
Taste. Castiel tastes human (sick scent that cuts through the sulfur and fire and hollow, rotting room), Meg thinks--just like that, a skip-beat flutter on her lips--and his deception is on her tongue even before he flings her down.
Sight. Overrated, Pamela whispers into her pillow, a mantra low and soft--a dying decrescendo, like the pond ripples she will never see again.
Shapes. They are blurs at first, and colors; eventually, shapes; then suddenly, they are breathing living things, and he knows their scars and their tics, and above all else, he's somewhat flattered by the notion that guys like them are getting far less tail than he is, and that's saying something; and maybe he's driven by pain, and booze, but part of it, he thinks, is creation--he can craft them (and he can shape the world).
Triangle. He stands at the point, between Sam (who looks smarter than he is) and Dean, indescribable; and he's thinking (all he's really thinking) is you can't want what you never had--and this sibling deal? isn't doing it.
Square. Square center; a swift tug, and Jim Murphy takes his knife and throws--he will never miss again (not when it matters as much as it had).
Circle. Ellen's gone out for pretzels--Ash can hear the truck turn circles in the mud 'til the motor warms up and she shoots off, but this can't wait: "You know what circular argument thing, the thing I was working on, you know, the thing, the Winchester thing--" he starts in, the moment Ellen picks up her cell (and maybe that last round of Jack hadn't been such a good idea, he's talking in circles, he just knows it) "I solved it, it's done, I solved it, and I know what's--"
Moon. It's never dark in Heaven, but Lucifer sees the white moon hung in the black sky as he flies past the Garden, and weeps--for he is the Morningstar, and he is falling.
Star. "You really think he's that great?" Dean says, in haughty disbelief, but not without some degree of pride, and Sam's Composition teacher nods yes, yes she does; Dean looks pleased--at least, until he realizes what 'star pupil' and 'university' and 'Sam Winchester is going' really mean.
Heart. Made to be toyed with: Bobby can feel her arterial blood splash warm onto his face, settle salty on his lips; it's the second time, the second goddamned time, and Bobby wonders if that phrase isn't meant for the whole fucking person, 'stead of just the heart.
Diamond. It's a shit diamond, but it's not gonna break, he tells her, on their engagement night; You like it? he asks, and he's asking You're really gonna marry a hunter?, and she says, "'Course I do--" (of course I am) "It suits us."
Club. The night Bela's debt comes due, Dean dreams about Hell: "Why, Dean!--looking a bit grotty, for a club this exclusive; they gave you an entire year to prepare, didn't they?"
Spade. "I don't mind Gardening; I mean, if it doesn't involve too much digging," says Gabriel, though Zachariah isn't smiling: "Hey, yo Adam! time to wake up."
Water. Before Rufus seals himself in upstate Vermont, Bobby asks him about Johnnie Walker Blue (you can get rougher, more interesting flavors for half the price tag, after all): Rufus shrugs, says, "Can't drink it like water; gotta savor every second."
Fire. Pain is dissociation; Meg stands, and the skin sloughs from her belly, adipose tissue congealed and uneven in places, dead black skin hanging in tatters, and she remembers: It's not really hers.
Earth. Mary kisses Sam's eyelashes, still wet from the bath, and tells him that angels are watching over him, because he's the prettiest baby on earth--six months in a row now (and she laughs).
Air. He slips into cells and tendons and tissue, and for the first time, air is something to breathe, and not create; with His first breath, God says, "So the prodigal son wins after all."
Spirit. Sam watches as Dean's gaze trails up the noose-rope, to Sarah Hadley's neck, tinged morning glory blue; You think she made the deal? he asks, You think she made the deal and then she just couldn't stand the wait--? (and Dean whispers, yes, voice taut and scratchy, and Sam's looking at Sarah, and looking at Dean, and he does not like what he sees).
Breakfast. She fries her eggs in the flatbed of a fieldhand's truck, dyed with tabasco and blood, and from her chalice, drinks deep the rest of Eddie Garcia; it's a beautiful morning in Winslow, Arizona.
Lunch. At high noon, Bela opens a bottle of champagne and celebrates the end of something (twelve hours left).
Dinner. "Don't give me that face, Sammy; we've only got a couple months left of free Biggerson's--you'll survive," says Dean, and Sam looks pinched and hollow, the way he gets when they start counting down months, and Dean is (always) sorry.
Food. Demons don't need to eat, but they entertain a scattering of other daily sustenances, from french fries to little girls' toys to gay porn: "Just a little food for thought," Crowley explains, the one time Lilith asks.
Drink. "You drink too much," Jess says; Sam frowns, and Jess laughs, and she says, "You didn't drink this much when I died."
Winter. The Impala's heater's been broke since January, 1979.
Spring. Bobby and Karen live like watch springs, with a bounce and a catch and a slow ticking down, and they're gonna grow old together.
Summer. It's summer in Saratoga, and John hangs back from the lakeside and Dean jumps in, and John tells him, "You swim; you learn to swim, or you drown."
Fall. It's November in Nebraska when Jo falls in the Niobrara, and Ellen doesn't have to save her, because Dean does.
Passing. Doesn't make it any easier when Bill dies; Ellen forgets Dean and the river, and Dean forgets Jo and the river, and the styx carry Bill right on down between them all.
Rain. It rains on her wedding day, but Mary refuses to be superstitious; this is the first day of her new life.
Snow. The first time Ash sees snow, he frosts a glass with it and takes his whiskey on the rocks; it's 20 below outside, but the Roadhouse keeps him warm.
Lightening [sic]. It's the lightening of the sky as the storm breaks over that assures Gordon his will is God's.
Thunder. Castiel echoes what the thunder said, but he isn't sure how close his message is to God's anymore.
Storm. "You know me," whispers Lucifer, just before an electric storm breaks over Sam's eyes--"That's why you chose this; Michael is a stranger and therefore dangerous, whereas I am..."--he smiles--"The Devil you know."
Broken. Hell is unkind to Michael; Sam tries not to look, because it's like Dean said--Hell is just one big
( m i r r o r ).
Fixed. Gabriel knows telenovelas always have happy endings.
Light. Adam's vision settles around the dark patch hovering above him expectantly, framed all in shining gold--but that's not Jesus, is it.
Dark. "You're on the wrong side, Anna," Castiel says, once; You don't even know what side yours is, Anna replies.
Shade. Uriel is born under the shade of a baobab tree in the Garden of Eden, just before the world splits into Heaven, and Hell, and the space between.
Who? "A name is a powerful thing, John," says the man, eyes closed, expression restive; "Does 'Azazel' mean anything to you?"
What? The man opens his eyes--yellow!--and John opens his into black; he is back in bed, with two boys, no wife, and motel fleas.
Where? "Where do you keep your condoms?" asks Ruby; Sam will never admit this, but that first time, the words sluice down his back like a cold sweat, and he shudders.
When? "Right now, Sam, we're the only two...things in the whole world," she says, and there's something about her hair, or her lips, or her dress that just screams Jess, chased by fiery demonic passion (and very, very belatedly, hex bags, Winchester; hex bags).
I'm an older sister, I--! Meg tries to scream, beg, but her tongue doesn't move and her mouth just laughs, and the thing inside her croons, "So am I."
How? "You want to know how you break someone in Hell, Sammy boy?" Alistair mouths, pink frothy spittle coming up instead of sound; "See, Hell is made of demons--one big Jenga tower of 'em...and your brother's demons? are all named Dean Winchester."
If. "You're quite the writer, Becky," says Crowley; "If only the Winchesters knew you understood them so...intimately."
And. "Surf and turf," Henricksen says, but there's something about Dean Winchester and his brother that grates; he sees the loyalty, solidarity, and he absolutely can't believe that they deserve each other.
He. Bela can feel the panicked heat of scars and welts prick on her back as she meets the police officer at her door, but car crash, I'm sorry, your father (and your mother, too) has never been so calming.
She. She's Pamela's first, and probably a little too young, but she's soft and sweet and she takes Pamela's mind off Sam Winchester's ass, her ruined eyes, and the dickfuck angels up in Heaven, which is just enough.
Choices. Every day, Chuck keeps writing, and the world keeps ending, but he keeps a loaded .45 on his desk, and every day he thinks: They'd (whoever 'they' are) bring him back, sure, but if he were to--could he...could he stall them long enough?
Life. Life is short, and school is hell, but Jess is glad, because she knows she's going to spend the entirety of both with Sam.
School. Why diagnostic medicine? Adam's application asks, and he types, "Saving people, hunting things--the family business!" before he sighs, backspaces, and waits for the sound of Mom's car pulling into the driveway.
Work. Lisa is afraid to go to work the first couple weeks, is afraid to leave Dean so alone, for so long; but each day, he surprises her, and slowly, slowly--it gets better.
Home. Sam looks in those windows, and somewhere between the Dean he doesn't know and the woman whose name he doesn't remember, he realizes This is not your home.
Birthday. Dean's birthday was four, five months ago, but he rolls into Bobby's, fresh from a banshee in Waco; Bobby's not home, and neither is Dad, but there's a postcard from Sam: Happy birthday, I'm fine; miss you and thank you.
Christmas. Bobby stopped celebrating Christmas in 1994; after the Winchesters dropped by with that John claimed was 'fresh venison,' not roadkill, he mostly lost his taste for the holiday.
Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is turkey and gravy from KFC (and the biscuits Sam vocally dislikes), and it's that month, but it's the one day John still prays; because in the end, there are still things to be thankful for.
Independence. "Bill Harvelle didn't teach me how to shoot a gun, boys; he just left me the bar.": (click goes the safety, and scatter go Ellen's drunken belligerents).
New Year. On New Year's, Jo tries to go home, but the Roadhouse isn't there.
This Amazing Life. Mary doesn't lose her childhood, because hunting has been a part of her life since the day she was born; she's just decided she's outgrown it.
Over the Hills and Far Away. Meg and her baby sister, Claire, used to read storybooks--hundreds and hundreds of storybooks; one day in March 2006, one demon disproved all those happily ever afters.
Livin' La Vida Loca. Sam is sixteen and he is sitting outside the Milford Unified SAT test center playing with his shortwave when he gets his first taste of "Livin' La Vida Loca."
Silent Night. Leaving Detroit happens too quietly.
Duck and Run. Bobby is a man of high principles and rigid discipline when he wants to be--and, John concedes, a pretty good shot.