Kalliel (kalliel) wrote,
Kalliel
kalliel

infamati et obliterati: 15x16, "Sometimes I think about what it would be like to leave you."

These memories are so old now that if Sam isn’t careful with them, doesn’t give them the benefit of the doubt and buy in to the slipstream, he feels too old to be putting his hands on Jess’s body like this. Even in memory. His memory.

This is going to sound weird, she said.

Slipstream, Sam reminds himself.






Sam thinks about leaving sometimes.

It’s one of the few things he can do without feeling even the slightest modicum of guilt. None at all. (Pour coffee. Guilt, at the memory of Mrs. Butters. Walk into library. Guilt, Kevin Tran. Leave Jack alone, self-explanatory. Caitlin Johnson, reflex.)

Unlike so many pasts and moments within them, this is the one thing he knows he’ll never do. He has no desire to. Which makes this the one what-if he can entertain without feeling like someone is watching him, someone is enjoying the fact that he’s actually weighing the odds.

Chuck can destroy all the worlds and all the Sams he wants, and Sam will always be able to imagine some other edition of himself walking away from Dean and never coming back. He can watch it cold—nor worry, fear, guilt, yearning—because it is a story so entirely apart from himself, there are no secret desires, mirrors, uncanny valleys. It’s not like possession, or soullnessness, which are alien but closer. There are maybes involved. Admissions.

They are driving away from Caitlin Johnson, the umpteenth motel they’ll probably never return to (really, this time), away from the initial burst of the newest of Dean’s betrayals, as perennial and inconsequential as the multiple Midwestern pop-up showers they’ve now driven through.

They are the only thing that’s really ever of consequence. They’re how all these soybeans get grown, Sam thinks.

Sam thinks about leaving. Him and Cas against the world. (Sounds miserable.) Sam thinks about someone else leaving, really. He knows he never will.

It’s not about devotion, though by all estimations, he loves Dean quite a bit. Love doesn’t feel like a piece of reality that really matters, because it’s like earth and tarmac, it’s like pop-up rain. It’s not going anywhere, but it’s also not going to do anything (except when it does). It’s part of the infrastructure. It’s no ace in the hole, or lightning waiting to be bottled.

It’s not about feeling trapped. It was sometimes, a long time ago. Maybe not so long—Sam can count back the time in years. But years these days are lifetimes.

Dean is the person he is. Maybe that’s all there is to say.

It’s stupid as shit, Sam doesn’t bother saying. But it is—just for the record. It’s not like wasn’t going to find out that this story didn’t have a bad twist, people becoming bombs and dying or whatever. It’s generally how these things go; Sam’s reasonably certain they’ve been here before, or close enough. But maybe that’s why it matters, and why it doesn’t. It’s never about the bombs.

Sam thinks about leaving and knows exactly which Sam he is. The Sam of this universe, and his alone. Sam is grateful, for once, that he’ll never have to explain this to anyone. Not even Dean.

This story, he owes no one.


He still thinks about the weight of Jess’s head on his chest, his arm slung around her waist, under her shirt, the soft hairs of her belly as her breath rose and fell under his fingers.

This is going to sound weird, she said, before she told him what Mason had heard from Tracy had heard from Sasha had heard from Lainey. Sam’s not sure if Lainey was the one who’d heard it from Jess, but the whole train of them had heard—as though it were the cargo being rushed, coal-powered, into Leland Sanford’s coffers—about Jess’s little fantasy. (Everyone had cared so much about everyone else’s business, back then. All that concern, all that anxiety. It had been so stupid, honestly.) But these memories are so old now that if Sam isn’t careful with them, doesn’t give them the benefit of the doubt and buy in to the slipstream, he feels too old to be putting his hands on Jess’s body like this. Even in memory. His memory.

This is going to sound weird, she said.

Slipstream, Sam reminds himself.

Sometimes I think about what it would be like to leave you.


Not like that, she assured him, and he could feel the sudden heat to her skin, the rigid anxiety that strained her neck and dug her shoulder blades into him. He wonders if she’d noticed his reaction. In his mind he hadn’t had one—he shouldn’t have, because he’d already heard this from Tracy from Sasha from Lainey—but maybe this story can only be told with two voices, which means it will never be told at all.

Sometimes Jess thinks about what it would be like to leave him. Not because she wants to but because she knows she won’t. It feels like just a story, something cleaved off from any part of her reality, which makes it somehow but idle and fascinating. Like she can watch a separate version of her live that life and feel nothing about it—no fear nor longing.

It sounds stupid, she said. Embarrassing, maybe, and like, god Sam, that’s so weird—I’m sorry. It just felt weirder not to tell you.

Jess is rarely insecure; that’s Sam’s job. But this moment makes him fall a little bit more in love with her.

(And maybe it should have been him confessing--because here Jess was, telling him her certainty, her complete assurance in her love for him, to the extent that she was cleaving entire realities from herself, carving them away because this was the one, he was the one. And here Sam was, realizing he hadn’t been entirely in love with her—not until just now.

Not until just now, and he hadn’t even realized that he didn’t love her as much as he could have. Maybe he hadn’t finished falling in love with her—cute. Maybe they’d only been twenty-one—less cute. Maybe—)


Dean is the person he is, Sam thinks again, and he will always be the person he is. Which is nothing revelatory. It doesn’t stop Sam’s anger. You know, the anger that he knows he’s not actually going to do anything with. That doesn’t mean he has to give Dean what he wants, though.

"Just drive," Sam says. At least feel bad about it, he thinks.


He knows Dean can do that.
Tags: fandom: spn, fic: spn, infamati et obliterati
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