Sam Winchester’s Journal – Entry #74
The five-hour drive home was the kind of final journey nobody would wish on their loved ones. Dean’s corpse fell against me a couple of times, the jostling movement forcing the last bit of blood from his nose and mouth onto his jacket. The stench of dry blood and sweat made me crack a window. And the blanket insisted on falling at every bump, leaving me in constant fear that someone would notice “the dead guy on the front seat” at every traffic stop.
We finally reached the bunker in the wee hours of morning. I lifted Dean from the passenger’s seat, still wrapped inside the now completely stained blanket, and carried him carefully to his room before laying him down on his bed.
I lingered in front of the corpse, delaying the moment I would have to prepare him for the cremation, the burial…the whatever was to come. I still had no idea what to do yet, but I was aware I would have to make up my mind soon.
I took a deep breath and sat on the edge of the bed. With shaking hands, I finally found the courage to tug Dean’s jacket off. The dark green t-shirt underneath had absorbed so much blood that it appeared black under the dim light of the nightstand; his flannel was a mess too, like the upper part of his jeans. At least this time, there wasn’t a cavity so big that you could see pieces of ribcage jutting out of his chest. There was just a tear in his t-shirt, no wider than an inch or two, leaving his abdomen undamaged for the most part.
But these kind of cosmetic preoccupations were worthless if you truly think about it, Dean was gonna end up six feet under or burning on a pyre, body intact or not. Yes, it was worthless tradition to clean the body if you ask me. The dead don’t care or even need this sort of attention. It’s something the living do to feel better, and they bullshit themselves into believing they have to respect these antiquated rituals to honor the departed. Dean wouldn’t give a damn, I’m pretty sure of that. He would bark at me not to embarrass myself with this useless crap, even if Bobby told me that Dean had spent an hour just cleaning my face and my hands when I died in Cold Oak.
And that’s what I was going to do too, in spite of the knowledge it wouldn’t make any difference in the end. I couldn’t leave my brother like this.
I went to the bathroom, looked for a bowl of hot water and a sponge, mind blank. I wouldn’t need the first aid kit this time, I guess, as there was nothing left to repair or to take care of; no scars to sew or disinfect. And as far as I know, dead people didn’t need band aids either. I placed the sponge to his forehead, then his broken nose and cheek, and finally his lips, removing as much of the encrusted blood as I could. The right side of his face was deformed, features almost indecipherable under mottled shades of purple and blue. A hunter’s death is never pretty, Dean was right. At least there was a body this time, even if I couldn’t say what was worse: going through all these rituals–the cleansing, the pyre, the grave– or staying behind and having to wonder everyday if the most important person in your life is still alive somewhere, maybe needing your help while you remain among the living, enjoying your morning cup of coffee.
I carried on scrubbing his face before moving on to his fingers, carefully removing the dirt under his nails and in the cracks between his phalanges. His freshly-cleaned forearms were free of marks, reminding me how he never did get the old school swallow tattoo he wanted so bad at eighteen. A patch of hair on the side of the head had turned dark red, and no amount of scrubbing seemed to have any effect. It’s like 2008 all over again but I’m on my own, Bobby isn’t here to bring me a bowl of clean water and offer to finish the job for me. It’s the same feeling of helplessness, inevitability, or whatever you want to call it. The same anger, too.
I finally went to wash my hands and left the room. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I wandered through the bunker. The whole place was silent. No Kevin, no Cas, just a rat with a piece of apple in his hands staring at me from behind a pipe.
You want something, Ratatouille?
Dean would have certainly whined that Ratatouille was the name of the movie, the movie SAM, not the rat. The character was called Rémy or something, but I didn’t care. I made my way to the library, ignoring the rodent in the corridor behind me. My hands were sticky because of the all the blood I’d touched, or at least they still felt that way.
I sat down at the big table and started to drink Dean’s finest scotch. This would’ve made him mad, too, as the bottle, this precise bottle, was for big occasions and big occasions only. I don’t know if you can call your brother death’s a big occasion, but I was pretty sure at least it was an occasion deserving of getting wasted with $100 scotch. That’s all you need in this kind of situation, the alcohol messing with you head and making you so dizzy you can’t focus on the memories, good or bad, linked to the dead guy in the room below.
This dead guy was an idiot anyway. The kind of idiot who made deals with demons, angels or whatever crossed his path, if it meant saving his little brother’s ass; the kind of idiot who literally went to Hell and back, who would die one hundred times and even accept a demonic mark to exact his revenge. He was also the kind of stupid, fucking idiot who deserved better than this whole mess and should be savoring every swallow of this scotch, marveling at its taste and its deep amber color because making it out alive against Metatron would certainly be considered a momentous occasion.
Two, three hours passed before I got up, and with wobbly steps managed to park myself in the arm chair at the corner of Dean’s room, glass of scotch still in hand–the third, maybe the fourth one of the evening. I stopped counting.
It was high time I had a talk with my brother. Words were leaving my mouth without me even realizing:
I…I have no idea if you can hear me, if like Kev your soul is still in here somewhere, wandering in bunker, or if the Gates of Heaven are finally open and you’re already there reliving your favorite memories. But…well, it doesn’t matter, here it goes.
I don’t know where to start to be honest. God knows I tried to prepare myself for this moment. You…here…this whole mess, but you can never really be prepared to face you brother’s dead body, can you? But you already know this: it’s not as if you weren’t confronted with the same situation before.
You are…you are… the worst freaking idiot to ever walk this earth. From the moment I saw that damn mark on your arm, I was sure it would end up this way. I…I usually love bragging and repeating “I told you so!” until you storm out of the room rather than admit you made a mistake, but not this time. This time I wish I had been wrong. However, HOWEVER, everything that happened to you is your fault, you stupid son of a bitch. I know, I know, who am I to talk with Ruby, the Apocalypse, trying to take down Lucifer down all by myself…. but at least I learned!
For fuck’s sake, what were you thinking? I mean, seriously? The Mark of Cain? Accepting this “present” from one of the most powerful entities of Hell?
You were right on one point, though: your death wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t like in the movies either, but you were not the one left to clean up the bloody mess.
But you know what is funny Dean, really funny? The fact that I feel responsible for all this. Not for your stupid decisions, those ones are on you dude, but for not being able to stop this mess, for not being there. I did everything I could, I swear, but “doing everything you could” is great when you are a schoolboy, not when you want to save your brother from a demonic curse. I’m trying to understand where I fucked up, what decision I could’ve changed the course of events, but I got nothing.
I’m aware you did all this because you thought it was the only way to kill Abaddon and Metatron, but you also let revenge guide you. You didn’t think of anyone else, as usual. You didn’t care about your life or the consequences. You didn’t think of everything you would leave behind, you ASSHOLE. And you did all this for NOTHING. Metatron is still somewhere. Cas could be dead. It was heroic in a twisted sort of way, but it didn’t amount to anything.
I’m certain that’s not the kind of eulogy you were wishing for to mark your last moments on earth, not that it was the one I had in mind either, but I’m not even sure you care anyway.
By the way, you know what is even FUNNIER? Seeing you like this makes me consider the idea that after everything, it just can’t end this way. In fact, I’m doing more than just “considering” it right now. Yeah, yeah, I got it, I’m nothing but a fucking hypocrite who lectures people on their life choices and does the exact opposite when reality slaps him in the face, but the way Metatron closed your arc… Dean, I’m not a fan. I’m gonna write my own epilogue because the hero of the story deserves a happily ever after, and so do I.
That’s what you thought too when Gadreel offered you that deal, right? It can’t end like this? Of course that’s what went through your mind! But I’m not blaming you anymore, you know. I see where you were coming from because…because I’m realizing right now that all these long and self-righteous speeches I gave you about “consent”, “doing the right thing” and “learning to let go” mean nothing, NOTHING, in the face of your the corpse.
You have theory and you have reality, and I’m learning it the tough way once again.
I’m not making any sense…I’m saying all this as if…as if it was the first time I was losing you, as if I had forgotten everything that happened a few years back. But you know, I was convinced that with time I could face the reality of the most important person in my life leaving me. And the fact that I was gonna stay alone for good, that I was finally an “adult”, that all the mistakes I made in the past, like trying to bring back you back, making deals, whatever, couldn’t happen now because I’m was a wiser, more sensible person who had learned his lesson! But this is crap. As I already said, you never get used to seeing people around you die, and I shouldn’t have forgotten that when I told you I would have refused Gadreel’s deal if the tables were turned.
I don’t have the luxury of those ethical considerations anymore.
In before, “Sammy, what you’re planning to do isn’t reasonable.” I’m aware of that thank you very much, but tell me something Dean. When have we ever done the reasonable thing in our lives? I mean, WHEN? Oh, yes, when we tried to stop hunting. You with Ben and Lisa, me with Jess and Amelia–the normal life and all. Also, when I made one of the most stupid decisions of my life by hesitating to look for you when you left for Purgatory. It worked so well, didn’t it? A fantastic success!
So you know what? Screw it. As Churchill said: “When you’re going through hell, keep going.” So I’m gonna keep going…
There will be no pyre, no funeral and no white lilies either. I know what I have to do now. I can already feel it’s gonna be a mess, a huge mess, and that this time I’ll be the one facing the consequences. But that’s fine, that’s what being a Winchester means after all. Even when we fuck up, we do it big.
So be it, then.
Help me God for what I’m about to do.