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24 April 2018 @ 06:31 pm
Fic - Glory Days  

Title: Glory Days
Summary: Sam packs up the bunker, and goes on a road trip. Future/curtain fic.
Rating: PG13

Genre/Pairing: Gen. Sam and Dean

Warnings: Language.
Word Count: 1800+
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural that privilege belongs to CW, Kripke and Co, I'm simply borrowing them for a while. I'm not making a profit, this is just for fun and all the standard disclaimers apply.
A/N: This was written for the 2018 spnspringfling challenge for vyperdd for the prompts don't give up and sunset sacrifice. A huge thank you to my wonderful beta harrigan for all her help and hard work. I've tinkered so all mistakes are mine.

Originally posted here

Glory Days

It all starts with the bunker. Adding his own additions and notes into The Men of Letters' archives and writing up their entire hunting history; recording every kill, every monster, every mistake, and every lesson learned. It's takes a lot longer than Sam initially planned; his eyesight isn't what it once was.

He records and files away Dad's journal; he takes his time with that one, fingers lingering over the well worn leather, and tracing over the indentation of his Dad's writing. It hurts more than he thought it would to leave it behind.

He leaves their rooms just as they are; as a reminder for future generations, or maybe because he doesn't have the heart to pack it all away, like it somehow erases their existence. He's set up an automated email to be sent to the girls. They'll get that in a few days. It doesn't say much, but he hopes the coordinates to the key that he's hidden will be clear enough. This is their legacy now.

But it's the desk Sam has trouble with. He's all packed up and ready to go; everything is in its place and just how he wants it to be. But he's lost count of how many times he's run his fingers over Dean's initials carved into the wood on the desk, his own right next to them, and that's fitting, right? ...side by side, never to be parted.

He huffs at that, sniffing back the tears that fill his eyes. It's been too long.

He hovers a little longer before pulling himself away, taking a last walk through the library and down the empty corridor, until he gets to the archives. He remembers where the spell box was stored, and it's still there, ready and waiting, and covered in a thick layer of dust that he wipes away with the palm of his hand, his fingers a little twisted with arthritis.

The spell box isn't heavy, and he knows that all he needs is packed inside, so he carries it to the garage. There's a power switch on the wall, and he takes a deep breath before pulling it, the whole bunker plunged into darkness. There's no hum of electricity, no alarms, or water clunking through pipes. It's silent.

Sam uses his phone to light the way to the Impala that's waiting patiently. He gets into the car, knees cracking as he folds himself slowly and carefully onto the bench seat, the spell box tucked safely by his side, his duffel already packed in the trunk. He can't remember the last time he drove her. Over the years, he's looked after her; doing all the upkeeps and repairs himself, kept her running and clean, and just how like how he's always remembered her.

He turns the key in the ignition, and he can feel her purr through his fingertips on the steering wheel and then he drives away from the bunker with a silent goodbye, but with no regrets. He counts that as a win.

Sam puts in a good five days of driving before he touches the spell box again. It's dark out, a thick blanket of cloud covering the moon, and when Sam pulls the car onto the side of the road, there is no second-guessing, no doubts. He knows it's time.

It takes him a while to walk far enough so that he's hidden from anyone that might be passing by; even if this is a quiet side road, he isn't taking any chances. There's a light drizzle that dampens his jeans and blue plaid shirt, and makes him sniffle. His knees are weak, and he struggles to weave through all the roots and twigs, his joints protesting the movement, but eventually he finds a small clearing; loamy soil under his feet, and this will be just fine.

He lifts the lid of the spell box, bypassing the sigils that are carefully carved into the dark oak of the box. It's all safely packed inside; every ingredient he needs, every tool, every word of the spell.

It doesn't even take that long.

There isn't a plan. Sam doesn't have a map with any locations marked, and he isn't following any kind of logic or strategy. He figures he's just going to travel where the car takes him. There's no weight on his shoulders, no heavy burdens to carry. He's finally free.

It takes a while for him to feel any kind of change from the spell, and it happens much slower than he thought it would. But something shifts deep inside, and he feels lighter, brighter, and more alive. He turns the rear view mirror slightly and sees less grey hairs and wrinkles on his face. He squints at the road for a while longer before he realises he doesn't need his glasses any more.

He wonders if that's all that's changed. He knows that he's not the same person that he was years ago, when Dean was alive. Losing his brother changed Sam, and it was never something that he could quite put into words, but there was something missing; a piece of Sam that Dean took with him when he died. He wonders if the spell will make him feel whole again.

Sam spends a lot of time waiting for it to happen, and a lot of time worrying that maybe the spell didn't fully work; that he screwed it all up somehow. He goes over and over the spell in his head; analysing every action, every ingredient, and every word spoken. If there was a mistake, he can't find it.

It finally happens when he's standing in the Grand Canyon, the Impala behind him on an unmarked pullout, the wind stealing the breath from his lips as he takes it all in.

“So it's time, huh?”

Sam looks over his shoulder, and Dean is so much younger than Sam remembers but the crows feet around his eyes are still there when he smiles, and damn, it's good to see him. So damn good that Sam knows he's staring. But Dean doesn't say anything, just let's him look all he wants.

“Yeah, first stop Grand Canyon.” He croaks out. “That OK?”

“Sounds pretty damn good to me, Sammy.”

There's a lump in Sam's throat, and he leaves it there for a little bit, letting all the times he'd wished he could hear that name wash over him, letting all the pain and relief that this actually worked leach down through his body and out of his toes into the dirt under his boots.

They stand there for a long time, the sun slowly sinking into the horizon, the sky smudged with pinks and purples. They've been here before of course, but Sam doesn't remember it being like this at all; the memories stacked on top of memories, all the times he's fought and sacrificed to save the world, to save this, and the feeling of being so small and insignificant. It's a lot, and Sam can feel the sting as his eyes fill with tears that he doesn't want to shed. Not here, not now.

“You gonna fill me in on what's going on?”

Sam turns to look at his brother, his brow creased in concern and Sam's waited for this moment for so long that he just can't find the right words.

“I know this was always the plan, but we promised Sam, we promised each other that we wouldn't give up, that we'd live our lives, no matter who kicked it first. This spell, this road trip, it's supposed to be our last huzzah, our big send off, but only when the timing was right.”

Sam doesn't say anything. He's not sure that he can.

“I just...it's too damn soon, Sam. It's too soon.”

Sam takes a deep breath, and looks up at the stars that are now twinkling in the huge expanse of the inky sky. It's all he can see, and there's something about that that gives him peace, soothes the ache in his bones. “For you maybe, but it's been years, Dean. Trust me, it has. I kept my promise, and I didn't give up, I lived my life without you, and it was... at times it was hell, and I thought about breaking the promise so many times. But I didn't do it. I could never do that to you.”

He opens his mouth to say more; to talk about all the work he did to the bunker, all the hunts he did, how well the girls are doing, about the dog that he had, and going back to school, about the nightmares, and feeling so alone in a room full of people that he could barely stand it. But the words just don't come.

“Now is the time.” He can feel Dean's eyes on him, and he can feel the moment that Dean really sees him, not just the younger version that the spell created, turning back the years to their glory days, but the old man underneath the magic, whose body is slowing shutting down.

“Yeah, I guess it is.” Dean voice cracks, like maybe he's the one who's not ready to accept that this is finally happening.

Dean takes a step forward, and Sam can feel their shoulders brushing against each other; maybe it's the spell, or just his imagination; he doesn't really care either way. “You deserve this, Sammy,” Dean says. “After everything you've been through, you've earned this.”

“Right back at you.” Sam flicks his gaze over at Dean. “You have no idea how long I've been waiting to go on a road trip with my big brother.”

Dean smiles, scrubbing his hand to the back of his head and knocking his shoulder against Sam's.

“So you did miss me, huh! I knew it! I bet you left my room as a shrine, and cried yourself to sleep in a mound of my dirty clothes.”

“Dude, that's just wrong.”

“I bet that you even-

“Shut up, Jerk!”

“You know you love me, Bitch.”

They walk back to the car, pushing and tripping each other until they get into the Impala, where they sit in the dark in silence, and for a moment it feels like they're the only two people left in the whole world.

“So, where next? Vegas? Biggest ball of twine? Start your own best pie in the US list?”

Dean grins, and then shrugs. “Sure. But for now, let's just drive; you, me, and Baby, back on the road, where we belong.”

Sam couldn't agree more, and he turns the volume up on the radio, Led Zeppelin pounding through the speakers, the engine revving over and over, and then Dean's winding down the window and whooping out loud, his eyes big and bright, and his smile is so wide that it fills his whole face. It's contagious.

The End

milly_galmilly_gal on April 25th, 2018 01:19 pm (UTC)
I am filled with all kinds of feelings right now. When they've died down some I'll come back and glomp you, but for now *sits down and just enjoys the fic feeling*
madebyme_xmadebyme_x on April 25th, 2018 03:13 pm (UTC)
Hehe! It is a bit of an emotional roller-coaster this one, but I'm really happy that you enjoyed it. Thanks for your lovely comment. Take care :)
milly_galmilly_gal on May 11th, 2018 10:31 pm (UTC)
Just wanted to come back and say thank you for always but always making me wibble!
madebyme_xmadebyme_x on May 15th, 2018 12:40 pm (UTC)
Hehe, thank you! I do have a terrible habit of writing sad fics, but I'm happy that you enjoy them :)
Ellie Reynoldsereynolds74 on April 27th, 2018 09:52 pm (UTC)
so //not sure if i got that...uh the spell made Sam Younger or only gave the illusion he was younger and Dean isn't really there just a ghost the spell brought across or was the spell to bring them back and die again after their road trip or this road trip is in heaven??
Or was there a spell at all and this is just in Sam Head since he's driving the car in the end, not Dean....???
madebyme_xmadebyme_x on April 30th, 2018 11:04 am (UTC)
Yes, my idea was that the spell made Sam appear to look younger and reunited him with Dean's ghost so they could go on a last road trip together. But I hope that maybe the fic is open to all sorts of different interpretations, and I guess that's the fun thing about them; different people can read different things, and there is no right or wrong, just lots of different possibilities. Thank you for reading :)
becc_jbecc_j on July 13th, 2018 08:20 am (UTC)
oh wow, very emotional...you always bring the feels and this is so sad but just right. <3 Amazing.
madebyme_xmadebyme_x on July 13th, 2018 09:13 am (UTC)
Yes, I seem to be drawn to these kinds of fics, don't I?! But I'm happy that you enjoyed the emotion here and that mixture of sad and happy. Thank you for stopping by ♥