The ocean is cool and fluid and blue.
Of course, the ocean is, by definition, largely cool and fluid and blue. It's not that remarkable. But maybe that’s the point, in the end.
Dean doesn't swim toward the horizon; he has no business there. And he doesn’t swim back to Sealand. Something in him tells him that he needs to swim as far from there as possible. As far from the nets and the screaming and Sam and all of that. He needs to get out. And he swims down. He swims down. Then farther. Farther. He swims so far into the deep the light fades away, and even he can start to feel the pressure of the water all around him. It’s cold still, certainly, but almost less fluid, and no longer blue at all.
Dean swims down, and down, and down. Even the scratch of small bony crustaceans carries for miles here.
When Dean lets out a sound, it travels. It travels farther than Dean’s ever imagined himself. He extends farther than he has ever imagined. And for the first time, he can hear himself. He can hear himself singing. Dean dives downward until the sound overpowers everything else. Dean drives hard.
He dives into the soundscape and lets himself filter into music.
He hears a bright, beckoning thing.
But that's not his song, he thinks, and hesitates.
- Title and inspiration are borrowed from T.S. Eliot's "The Dry Salvages", from Four Quartets. Unlike Eliot's, however, my title doesn't rhyme with 'assuages.'
- Sharks don't have pelvises, you have to pay for your gas before you pump it, and Dean probably doesn't weigh 12 tons. But this last is an (understandable) overestimate on Sam's part.
- There's a group of Mexican killer whales that actually damaged the population of great white sharks around the Channel Islands by flipping, drowning, and eating them. (Sam wasn't a great white, but a shortfin mako, fwiw.) However, eau d' dead shark is a strong enough negative stimulant that sharks have been shown to rocket out of tonic immobility when exposed to the scent.
- Many thanks to my flist for their dauntless cheerleading and patience with my whinging, as well as their writing advice and inspiration. <3 And a tremendous thanks to my team of beta-readers, who were so unbelievably thorough and thoughtful in spite of the fact that I dumped 40k on them in a single weekend: caranfindel, for her beauteous attention to canon details and discrepancies, and fortitude in setting straight questionable logics (sartorial, magical, and everything in between); ephermeralk and harrigan for their attention to concision, clarity, and grammatical correctness; and especially their acute senses of Sam and Dean as characters, and how to best express their convoluted actions and headspaces; and steeplechasers for her help with the pacing and dynamics of troubled scenes, and the fic as a coherent whole. This fic would not be a fraction of what it is without all of their insights and assistance.
- And a very special thanks to blueteainfusion, whose wonderful art never ceases to stun and inspire. Thanks so much for being my partner in this expedition, bb, especially at such a busy time in your life! You're a total rockstar and a true visionary. <3