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Good-bye Without Regret

Chapter 1: Good-bye Without Regret

by HeartoftheNight

A/N: Just so ya'll know, I just finished watching the Season 1 finale, so I haven't seen anything beyond that. But I do know that Dean made a deal with some one to save Sammy's life and he's going to die in one year. And I heard that daddy Winchester was dead and due to some youtube vids that didn't warn of spoilers, I saw his gravestone. So this story is based on those little spoilers I've seen. I'm sorry if some of the facts are wrong or things are missing. Please don't tell me any other important storylines I have yet to know about.

Summary: Dean's year is up and its time to say good-bye.

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Everyone thinks they want to know when they’re going to die. They say they can live their lives better then, without the regrets. Say all the things that need to be said, do all the things that need to be done, that want to be done. Say good-bye to everyone they had ever loved. Once, he had thought that way. Once he had thought that was true. But now he knew the truth. He didn’t want to know when he was going to die. He didn’t want to know. Knowing was the hardest part because he knew he had to say good-bye, that he could say good-bye. It would have been easier to not know, to die with the regret instead of having to say the words, accept the truth. He was going to die and he knew when. But if he had to know he was glad he had the time. The time to find everyone and let them go. He never told them, Sam never told them. He just went to them to let himself know he’d seen them one last time, that he’d kept promises everyone had believed to be empty. He went back and he said good-bye in his own way, the Dean Winchester way. Some asked why Sam looked so sad as they walked out their doors, some merely wondered at the solemnity of the brothers as they walked away without looking back. One day Sam would find them all again and tell them, give them the answer to the question that was sometimes never asked. There’d be anger, regret that they never got to know the truth, never got to say that one word in finality. Sam would explain, he would be patient and they’d come to understand, to accept, to forgive. That’s all that mattered to him now.

It was so close now, hovering, waiting patiently for the clock to stop. He could feel it, pressing in around him, tighter with each breath, with each second that ticked away. It choked at him, cutting the air short, squeezing his heart, weighing him down under memories he had thought forgotten. Images, broken and cutting as sharp as glass, flickered through his eyes as he gazed at his parents’ tombstones. Images of times gone by, regrets and moments of happiness, loss and one heart-wrenching moment of one being returned. The price of his life now. Looking back on the memories he couldn’t regret it. So much of his life he had given to him; there should have been anger, resentment. But there wasn’t. All that was there was the familiar love that he could never put into words but displayed in actions. The jokes, the pranks, the teasing, the protecting and worrying, arguing and fighting, all meant to keep him safe, keep him happy.

He remembered clearly when he first saw Sammy, there in the hospital hours after being born in his mother’s arms. He’d seen that little round face and he’d thought of the cherub angels in the little prayer book his mother would read to him before bed each night. He’d asked his mother where Sammy’s wings were because all angels had wings. She had laughed and so had dad and she had told them they were there, that he just couldn’t see them. He remembered holding him for the first time, mom telling him how to hold him, dad hovering, warning not to drop him. He’d felt so grown up then, cradling his little baby brother as he sat in the rocking chair in the nursery. Dad had told him he was a big brother now and that it was his job to look after little Sammy, to always protect him. He’d nodded seriously and when he’d placed his baby brother back in his crib had promised that he’d always be there. He’d been there when his mother died, running from the house cradling him in his arms as his whole world burnt to ash. All throughout their childhood, bathing him, feeding him, making sure he got through school, holding him when the nightmares shook him awake in the middle of the night. Intervening in the fights at school, the fights with dad. Watching over him during hunts, telling him Jessica wasn’t his fault, throwing himself in front of the bullets so Sam wouldn’t get hurt. Selling his soul so Sam could go on. What happened to all of those memories when you died, when no one else shared them but you? Did they die with you, fading from the world? Or was there someplace where they were held, where one day, one special person could find them and open that box and remember? That’s what he was afraid of the most. Not knowing if all that love, all that struggle, would be forgotten. Is that why people made headstones and wrote those words that seemed so meaningless to the ones who didn’t know? To hold onto memories that wanted to leave? What would Sam write on his? Just a name and a date? A brother, a son. Was he more? Had he been less?

“Dean.”

His name echoed in this open empty place, all soft cool grass and wide branching trees. Nothing here but the headstones and them. He turned to the voice, so broken and aching, his throat closed and his heart stopped. Sam stood away from him, hands thrust into his pockets, shoulders bowed, looking so lost and sad. He wanted to say something, to comfort, to protect him from the awful truth, but there was nothing to be said, nothing that could be said. So he simply looked back at him, feeling as lost and broken as Sam looked, wishing he could say the words that he needed to hear.

“Dean?”

And this time it was a question and he wanted to ask what, but he still couldn’t speak because he knew if he let any words out he’d fall apart. He wouldn’t be able to hold onto his control, he wouldn’t be able to hold in the tears, the “I’ll miss you’s” and “I don’t want to die” that just wanted to come tumbling forth. So he stayed silent, because Sam needed him to be strong and if he spoke, he wouldn’t be.

“Dean, are you ready?” The words halting, voice breaking on each word, with the knowing that he could never be ready.

He wanted to say yes, to nod, to do anything to reassure him, but the words were frozen, locked behind that lump of emotion in his throat. So he moved his eyes away from him, away from the broken image of him, back to the only reminders of his parents, resting beneath the cool ground where he’d soon join them. It made it easier to not look at Sammy, to look at empty reminders of what was to become of him. He wanted to go like that, he could, just leaning against the hood of the Impala and staring at mounds of grass and silly stones with words. But Sam couldn’t let him. He sat silently beside him and leaned in close enough to let his shoulder brush Dean’s jacket. The fact that Sam needed to touch broke open his walls and he spoke.

“You look after my girl, alright?” He was surprised at the strength of his voice, the steadiness, the calmness, such contradictions to the heaving of his soul.

Beside him, Sam nodded wordlessly, gaze affixed to the ground, the grief so aching around him that it drowned out Dean’s.

“Remember everything I taught you, dad taught you.” He sniffed roughly because the tears were wanting to come and he had to be strong. “Keep your head cool; don’t lose your concentration cause all the world is going to hell around you. They’ll use that against you; trick you up because you weren’t paying attention. Don’t let ‘em.”

Again the wordless nod, the shoulders beginning that final downward slump of defeat as the realizations began to slam down that there really was nothing he could do to save his brother’s life, that Dean was going no matter how hard he wished it wasn’t so.

“Sam?”

It made him look up; seek out his brother’s face, looking for the tears, the moment when he’d break. But they weren’t there, just the sadness, that soul deep sorrow that he had to go. “Yeah?” And Sam couldn’t stop the tear that rolled down his face and dropped into the dew covered grass.

“Keep my tapes, please?”

It was such an absurd request that it made him laugh and he didn’t know when the sobs began and the laughter ended, when he fell into Dean’s arms and cried against his shoulder like he used to do when he was small. He could feel Dean’s arms around him, holding him, rocking him like he had that younger him, telling him it was alright, that everything was going to be fine when they both knew nothing was farther from the truth. But lying was a family tradition and believing those lies even more so, so he nodded and he cried, hoping against hope that if he just held tight enough that Dean couldn’t leave him just like everyone else had. And as if sensing his brother’s thought’s, Dean gently held his shoulders and pushed him away so he could look into his face.

“We’ll always be here, Sammy,” he told him forcefully. “No matter where we go, how far you run or fight, we’ll be here, you understand?”

He nodded and stilled his sobs but the tears wouldn’t stop no matter how much he told himself that Dean deserved for him to be strong just this once. And they stood like that, holding each other’s shoulders, staring into the other’s eyes until Sam saw the tears clinging to his brother’s lashes. “Dean.” And it was a choked sound, no longer resentful or resisting, just achingly sad.

“I’ll miss you, Sammy.” His grief echoing his brother’s. His little baby brother. “Given the chance, I’d do it all the same.” And he didn’t even realize he’d spoken the words until he saw Sam’s face open up in deeper grief. “Good-bye.” And he was the only one he said the word to, the only one he wouldn’t let himself regret. Because this had all been for him, all his life for him, and Sammy had the right to know, to know that he didn’t regret. So he smiled that famous grin that everyone always remembered as he felt his soul torn from his body. From far away he heard the screams, the agonized sobs echoing in his soul as he left, felt his body being cradled in loving arms before the last connection severed and there was nothing more. He was gone.

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Well you've read, review if you like or hate or see something wrong or suggestions, just please don't tell my story points that I got wrong. Spoilers made this story. Just remember that. Very Happy smiley face

Thank you for viewing.

Peace out.