Sam Winchester’s Journal – Entry #73
Since the day Mom died, Dad trained us to be prepared to face every kind of situation and to keep our cool no matter what the circumstances. That’s what being a hunter meant. And you mastered this at a young age if you wanted to make it to your eighteenth birthday. However, there were rare times in my life, where in spite of all the education I received, I was unable to keep control and stave off the panic and confusion. I can count the times on my fingers: when I was almost killed by a lake monster during my first hunt, when Dean left for Hell and later for Purgatory, and…today.
Can you blame me? Can you really blame me for feeling absolutely lost the day my own brother died in my arms?
Dad would have certainly told me to get my shit together, but Dad wasn’t here anymore. I’m not sure even he would have known what to do if forced to cradle Dean’s body after Metatron plunged an angel blade through his heart. What the hell am I even saying? I’m sure he would have known what to do. He’s John fucking Winchester, or he was anyway… But I’m not him, nor do I want to be.
I stayed with Dean in my arms, resting against the wall of the warehouse, for who knows how long. An hour, maybe? My brother was gone and I was helpless. I held Dean against me as I wept, and could hear some of the homeless from the camp who had made their way into the basement, alerted by the noise of the battle.
Is that guy dead? God! Look at all the blood! No, no stay away, this asshole pointed a gun at me earlier, he’s fucking dangerous! Have you seen Marv? Yeah? No? I hope he’s fine! No, no, I don’t want to have anything to do with that! There’s no way we’re getting the cops here. Let’s see if we can find Marv.
I couldn’t care less about “Marv”. I knew I should. Marv was the reason Dean sacrificed himself in the first place, but honestly, I couldn’t bring myself give a damn. The only person I could focus on was my brother.
I took a deep breath. It was time to bring Dean back home as I couldn’t stay in this dingy warehouse forever. And then what? Wash his face and change his clothes, like I did when he was eaten by that fucking hellhound? Prepare a pyre? It’s not as if we were lacking wood anyway; we had stacked quite a load of material when we had to burn Kevin’s corpse. At the time, Dean had even joked that “this will come in handy sooner or later” and dammit if the son of a bitch wasn’t right. I just wished it hadn’t been about himself.
So yeah, I had to take care of this – the pyre and all. But I couldn’t. Not tonight. I wasn’t even sure I was going to burn Dean anyway, but I’d have to make a decision eventually. It’s not as if I had all the time in world anyway. At this temperature, rigor mortis sets in after about three hours, and after 24 hours, the body will have lost all of its internal heat, and…
….Why the hell was I even thinking about this? Those aren’t the thoughts that should come to mind when the most important person in your life dies.
I should try to remember… remember all the good times, or even the ridiculous and often completely offensive and inappropriate jokes he was telling – the ones that made me facepalm until I begged him to stop because I really REALLY didn’t need to hear another “Batman at the dwarf throwing contest” joke. I should remember his cursing when he was fixing the Impala, and how he talked to that damn car as if she was a flesh and blood woman. I should remember the taste of his homemade burgers (double cheese, no onions), or how he couldn’t stand losing even if it meant cheating during a pinball tournament just to prove a eleven-year-old kid wrong.
I should remember all of this, instead of planning how to dispose of his body and calculating how much time he has left until the worms feast on his corpse.
Maybe I couldn’t help it because it kept my mind busy, and prevented me from thinking too much about the fact that I was alone again. For good, I mean. When Dean left for Hell, Bobby’s reassuring presence was here to pat me on the shoulder and tell me that “everything is gonna be alright, son.” I didn’t let the old man him hug me when we buried Dean, but now, I would give anything so that Bobby could be here. And this time, I wouldn’t act like a fool and push him away.
And Cas? Well, I had no idea what happened to him, if his mission was successful, or if he was even still alive. There was this strange earthquake right after Metatron killed my brother. It could mean that Cas and Gadreel managed to break the Tablet, but I’m not sure. In fact, it could mean anything! And even if he made it out alive, how am I going to tell him that his best friend is dead? I know this idiot far too well; he’s going to blame himself one way or another even if he had nothing to do with Dean’s decisions. Or maybe he’s already aware of what’s happening because Dean’s somewhere in Heaven, hopefully reliving his most beautiful memories.
I stood up and did my best to transport Dean to the car. I had no idea how to lift him and after two or three awkward attempts, I went for the fireman carry. The guys from the camp were looking at us, afraid and intrigued, trying to check if Dean’s body wasn’t the one of Marv before finally stepping out of the so I could make it to the Impala. Dean was heavy on my shoulder. He seemed to weigh a ton, but I managed to reach the car, stumbling around a few curious stragglers until they finally returned to the camp without saying a word.
I opened the door, but I didn’t put Dean into the car right way. I just sat on the floor with my brother at my side, resting against my shoulder. To be honest, I was wondering how I was gonna place Dean in the Chevy. At the back, lying flat across the seats? No, Dean hates the back seat, “the back seat‘s for Cas, Sammy.”
I started to laugh. I couldn’t stop.
What kind of guy does that, huh? I mean, laughing with the body of your dead brother, both of you covered in blood and asking existential questions about the right way to stuff a corpse into a car? The same kind of guy whose mind thinks of rigor mortis and decomposition to avoid facing something else, I guess.
Big rigs and Greyhounds were passing us by, completely indifferent. The sounds from the train tracks echoed in the distance, punctuated by the sharp noise of the railroad crossing. The city was noisy, almost cacophonic, even in the middle of the night, but there was one sound missing. The only one I wanted to hear: my brother’s breath.
I let Dean go, reluctantly, and laid him down on the pavement. I pulled off my jacket, folded it, and placed it under his head. I went to look for a blanket in the truck and spread it out over the front seat. I know my brother. If even one drop of blood found its way onto the leather seats of his beloved baby, he would haunt my ass until the day I die. I awkwardly maneuvered Dean inside, making sure his head didn’t hit the car roof, then wrapped him in a blanket. His face was still against the window pane as I talked to him, telling him everything was gonna be fine. He looked as if he was just sleeping.
I couldn’t leave him that way, face bloodied, so I took a wet cloth and wiped as best I could, using delicate strokes as if I could still hurt him. There was a large cut above his eyebrow, under his eye too. His cheek bone seemed broken, and so was did his nose. While you could still decipher his features, for the most part Dean’s face was nothing but a mess of tacky blood, swollen skin and various cuts.
I finally sat behind the wheel, exhausted and resigned, but I didn’t feel right. How could it? I rarely ever drove the Chevy. Even when Dean was so exhausted he had no choice but to let me take the wheel, he wouldn’t sleep, but rather stay awake just to offer “constructive criticism” on my driving technique.
Sam! For fuck’s sake! Easy on the clutch! Your Sasquatch foot is going to pass through the floor one day/ Treat this car with respect. Go slow, with delicacy. She’s like…she’s like a beautiful lady you bring to the prom for the first time. Were you this rough with your prom dates? Well dude that explains why I had all the girls in high school while you could hardly score one! This and your haircut at the time. Yeah. Your mushroom ‘do, it was 50% of the problem. Should ask Bobby if he still has photos.
We drove, two, three hours in a complete silence, interrupted once or twice by my ridiculous sniffing. Dean’s head was bouncing, banging lightly against the window at every bump in the road. There was also this damn Lego piece trapped in the air conditioning vents. I haven’t heard it in years. It was maybe the Impala’s way to pay her last respects to Dean and confirm my brother’s theory that this car has a soul and wasn’t just a random assemblage of metal and bolts. But to me, it didn’t sound like condolences. I had the feeling the car was mocking me and was begging for the return of her real owner.
We drove another hour before I realized that we needed to stop for gas because “baby was hungry” as Dean would have said. This monster is always hungry. You could tell it was built at a time when gas wasn’t a problem.
I parked at a small gas station down a strangely crowded interstate. It was around 3 am, but there were people out and about as if it were the middle of the afternoon: SUVs packed with families on their way to vacations, truck drivers who needed their caffeine fix, hookers too. They were all fortunately too busy to notice the big black car with the dead guy inside. Only a kid in the Prius next to ours stuck his nose out of the window and looked at Dean, intrigued by the mop of hair peeking out from under a blanket. But his mother interrupted, telling him not to stare because it’s rude and you should be sleeping, Jeremy!
God bless good parenting.
I pumped the gas, my eyes never leaving Dean until I was back behind the wheel. I couldn’t move, though. My hands started to shake and all I could do was stare at the dashboard as if I were waiting for something to happen.
For the first time in years, I was alone. Truly. I had the same kind of realization when Dean left for Purgatory, even if at the time there was no physical body to mourn. My brother had just vanished with Cas and Roman in front of me in a flash of light. I thought Dean was dead, gone forever, but sometimes though, after a couple of glasses of whiskey, I entertained the idea that Dean would come back. And just like in a normal missing persons case, I could carry on hoping until the police came knocking to tell me they found a body. But this time, there was no dream to cling to. Dean’s body was here to remind me that my brother was well and truly gone, and there was no escaping it.
So, what now? Leave hunting? Find a great girl, live a normal life? I mean, it worked so well with Amelia. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. All this was assuming Metatron was dead, and that everything was over. As far as we know, the guy could be in Heaven writing his next trilogy about the end of Humanity complete with pompous foreword describing his glorious triumph against the infamous Dean Winchester. Metatron always did have a penchant for hyperbole.
I was done.
I was crying at a gas station, bent over the dashboard, drained. My hands clutching nervously around the wheel, a line of cars honking behind me and drivers shouting insults telling me to move my fucking hearse sometime this fucking year!
The whole situation was laughable and downright grotesque. It might as well’ve been a joke, like Batman and the dwarves. Did you hear the one about the dead guy at a gas station?
I wish Dean would’ve been here to see that.