I had to. It came in my brain with a tiny gun and forced me.
She hath perused conclusions infinite
Of easy ways to die - Antony and Cleopatra, V.II
It wasn’t that the Winchester’s had ever ‘done’ Thanksgiving, in any meaningful way – but if Dad was around they’d get takeout and watch the game, Sam with one eye on a book and Dad half asleep with a beer in his hand and a whiskey or three in his system. It was just one of those days that they tended to come closest to being a normal family. One year, they’d been at Bobby’s, and he’d actually gotten a real turkey in, and some mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie, the house smelling like somebody else’s childhood and eight-year-old Sam nearly delirious with pleasure. It was amazing how many people from his memories were dead.
It was by now fairly clear that death itself wasn’t terrible – the Winchesters were probably on better terms with Death than most of humanity, having had more than one semi-civil conversation with the Horseman – the thing to fear was getting stuck, not crossing over, not doing it properly. Sam didn’t know where he was going, but at this point, even Lucifer’s cold comfort and sadistic camaraderie would be better than –
- he couldn’t think about it. The look in Dean’s eyes, the absolute hard conviction in his voice when he’d accused Sam of betrayal. And he was right. Sam had betrayed him. He’d had his reasons, but they were nothing more than excuses really. This time, Dean could not forgive him, and again he was right not to. Everything Sam touched, burned.
Over the years, he and Dean had sort of kept up the tradition: if they weren’t on an urgent job they’d sit around, drink a beer, watch the football….Dean didn’t support anyone, but he tended to root for whoever was playing Washington on principle, some inherited shade of Dad’s distrust for central government. Of what he could gather from the TV low in the background, the Redskins were winning.
In his old daydreams, the quickest cleanest way to die was a bullet in the brain – somewhere out of the way if possible where nobody would have to deal with the splatter. But he couldn’t quite bring himself to do that after Bobby. Sam was no masochist – he had no desire for a painful and drawn-out exit. If they were staying someplace with a parking garage, he could shut the door, hotwire a car and turned the engine on (not Dean’s car. That was unthinkable). Slitting his wrists in the tub would essentially justify a lifetime’s taunting regarding him being a teenage girl. As it turned out, the solution was right in his hand, literally. Before he and Dean left the psychiatric unit, they’d pragmatically raided the medication cupboard. Their haul included a large supply of heavy-duty painkillers and the powerful sleeping pills.
Dean was out. He’d taken the car and gone God knew where. Away from Sam. Good. It was better that way, safer for everyone. Sam didn’t want to cry. He didn’t deserve the luxury of tears. He just wanted quiet.
He went to the cabinet in the tiny bathroom of their motel suite. If there was one thing they kept in order wherever they were staying it was the medical supplies. He opened the smeared glass door and took out the first little bottle with its printed label, fumbling the childproof cap for a moment.
He was tired.
Please, let there be nothing after this.
The door of the motel suite banged open. Sam jumped and dropped the bottle. To his dismay, the half-dozen pills that were left in that bottle clattered down the sink.
“What are you doing in there, bitch? Come help me with this shit.”
Sam gaped at his reflection in the mirror for a moment, then turned to stare at the doorway. Dean was carrying several bags, plastic and brown paper. They smelled of meat, spices and pastry.
“Take some!” Dean ordered again. “Before I drop the damn pie.”
“You got…pie?” Sam asked stupidly.
“Turkey, sweet potatoes, apple pie. They were all out of stuffing.”
“What – who were?”
“Some church people,” Dean dismissed. “They’re giving free food away on fourth. My credit’s maxed out, Sammy, I ain’t turnin’ that shit down.”
The lump in Sam’s throat threatened to get the better of him. They were not going to talk about it. Dean was not going tell him it was okay, it was the coin, he hadn’t meant what he’d said and he understood.
But nor would he return betrayal for betrayal.
“Dean,” he said.
“Look,” Dean actually coughed, awkwardly, setting the bags down on the table. “I know we don’t normally, but…..it’s been a hell of a year, right? Hell of a week.” He looked Sam in the eye.
“That’s for sure.” Shocking, how normal he sounded.
“So what you say we just…put all that behind us, and be thankful for free food, okay?”
“Yeah. Okay.” Something released in his chest. It was still – shredded – in there, but the weight of suffocation and absolute clarity of vision that would have preceded suicide seemed to dissipate suddenly.
“Even got green beans,” Dean said. “Look, they’re green. That should make you happy.”
“It – thank you,” Sam said.
“Thank the good people of St. Martin’s Parish. Now eat, it’s getting cold.”