Title: It Starts With Goodbye
Characters: Dean, Sam, Jess, Bobby, OFC
Pairing: Sam/Jess, Dean/OFC
Spoilers: Set in the back end of season two (pre-finale) so anything before that is fair game.
Summary: Dean would do anything to make Sam happy but what would Sam let him give up? How far can you push brotherly love before you have to be selfish for your own sake?
Previous Chapters: Pt 1 I Pt 2 I Pt 3 I Pt 4
Sam found Dean in the motel parking lot, leaning against the hood of the Impala. There was a bottle of beer clutched in his hand but it had hardly been touched. He was just looking at, swirling the liquid around as though the small whirlpool would somehow reveal all the answers if he stared hard enough.
The sight put Sam a little on edge. It was always a bad sign when Dean couldn’t even bring himself to try to drink away what was bothering him. To be fair to him though his brother had put on a good face in all of this so far. He’d understandably been pretty shocked when Sam had first explained to him what had happened but that had quickly turned to something Dean found more constructive - namely anger directed at Wendy Vandean. He was all for going and finding her and demanding that she put this right but Sam had managed to persuade him out of that one. For a start they wouldn’t need her help to reverse it – they probably knew more about what she’d done than she did anyway. He also figured that the girl hadn’t really meant to hurt anyone, that she was just scared and had wanted to get the spirit off her case. That didn’t make Dean feel any less antagonistic towards her though and it was probably therefore a good thing that she seemed to have gone into hiding.
On the ride back to the motel Sam had sat in the back, Jess or Izzy or whoever they should be referring to her as now, close next to him. They still hadn’t told her what was going on and fortunately for them she seemed to be in mild shock, happy to ask no more questions about it as long as Sam stayed nearby. Dean spent most of the journey in silence and Sam was still not ready to bring the subject up even though he knew he should. They just needed to get her somewhere quiet and a little more private was his excuse, then he would explained it all.
Sam had nodded his thanks when Dean had adjusted his rear view mirror, making fully sure that Jess couldn’t see her new reflection. To be honest Sam didn’t really understand how she could not have already noticed. Surely her body felt all wrong to her? But she did seem tired and still a bit out of it so maybe that was the reason. When she pressed closer to him, laying her head on his shoulder for comfort, Sam saw Dean glance back at them and Sam gave him an apologetic look. Dean’s expression was blank and almost calm, not giving anything away. Sam had a strong suspicion however that he wasn’t as okay with this as he made out. That was pretty much confirmed when they finally parked up at a local motel and Dean had instantly said that he was going to get a few beers and that they should go in without him. An hour later when he still hadn’t turned up Sam had gone looking, having a good idea where he would be.
“Hey,” he said, hands dug firmly in his pockets as he stepped up to the car.
“Hey. Beer?” Dean offered, waving one of the unopened ones in Sam’s direction, as always a master at avoiding the pertinent conversation for as long as possible.
It seemed though that this was something that even he couldn’t ignore.
Sam refused the offer and there was just a moment of awkward silence before Dean spoke again, unable to keep quite on the matter.
“How is she?”
He was too casual about that Sam realised and his calm and unbothered demeanour was definitely forced. He watched as Dean took a sip of his beer, his eyes scanning across the uninviting car park, gaudy neon signs and empty highway. Looking anywhere it seemed but at Sam, not wanting to give away how truly screwed up he found this whole thing.
Sam knew his question likely referred to Izzy rather than Jess but he ignored the matter for the sake of not turning this into a pointless argument.
“She’s a bit out of it still,” he explained, “I left her sleeping. I guess the process must have been tough.”
Dean’s lips curled into a wry smile around the mouth of his beer bottle.
“Yeah coming back from the dead has gotta be hard work.”
Again Sam just let it go.
“Have you told her?” Dean asked after a moment’s silence although there was something in the tone of his voice that suggested that he already knew the answer.
“No,” Sam confirmed, “Thought I’d better wait until she was a bit more with it. We don’t want her confused and running scared.”
“No,” Dean agreed, “We kind of need that body back.”
That wasn’t entirely true. ‘We’ didn’t need it at all. Izzy did and Dean did. Dean wanted his girlfriend back and that would mean Sam would lose his for good. He knew it was stupid, knew that Izzy had to have priority and that Jess had to move on, but Sam couldn’t help but feel the slightest bit of resentment. A tiny bit of his brain was having a tantrum, screaming at the top of its lungs that it wasn’t fair. Jess had been too young, she had a future ahead of her and that he been taken brutally away. It wasn’t right and it really wasn’t fair. But there again he already knew that that was true about life in general and so he ignored it best he could.
He scuffed his feet to the ground, hesitating for a moment before adding the thing that was really bothering him.
“And what exactly am I gonna say huh? ‘Hi honey, nice sleep? By the way you’re dead and can we have that body back that you’re borrowing please’?”
He shook his head with sigh, truly at a loss. Jess was gone, he’d accepted that a long time ago and he was completely unprepared to have all those feelings dragged up like this again. Not to mention the fact that she was rightly going to be upset and scared and he had to be the one to do that to her. He wasn’t sure how he was supposed to deal with that.
Dean it seemed wouldn’t be any help either.
“Whatever, man,” he replied, brushing off Sam’s worries before seeming faintly amused by it all, “I just hope you covered all the mirrors up or she’s going to be wondering when she dyed her hair and had facial reconstruction.”
He paused momentarily before a flippant smile graced his lips.
“And a boob job.”
What Sam needed right now was help and advice from his brother not offhand jokes and stupid comments. His hurt and temper momentarily got the better of him.
“It’s not funny Dean!” he snapped back, angry at not only Dean’s unhelpful nature but also at the fact that he appeared to be almost laughing at Jess’s situation, amused at her expense. She deserved way more respect and sympathy than that.
For the first time since Sam had gotten out there Dean turned to look at him, eyes fierce, finally showing the anger and the worry that this whole thing was leaving him dealing with but which he was hiding behind a hard front.
“‘Your dead former girlfriend just hijacked mine, do you see me laughing?” he asked sharply, deadly serious.
Sam backed down. Dean coped with things by making light of them, that was just his way. It was certainly better than him going in there all guns blazing and demanding that she get the hell out of his girlfriend’s body. He was being remarkably tolerant given the circumstances and Sam had to be grateful for that. He had to cut him some slack when he said stupid things at least.
“Look,” Dean said, calmer than before as he got his feelings back in check, his voice holding a hint of understanding for Sam’s situation, “We’ve gotta to get her out of there, Sam. She doesn’t belong here, simple as. It’s not right.”
Sam nodded, “I know.”
“It sucks but that’s just the way it’s gotta be.”
“I know,” Sam repeated again, more firmly this time. He didn’t need telling any of that. He understood that Jess had to be let go and Izzy restored, of course he did. And he understood that, for the time being at least, Dean had lost someone he loved too. It was a feeling that Sam was all too familiar with.
Yes he had great understanding for the way things had to go down here but it didn’t mean he had to feel good about it.
“I’m sorry, Dean,” he said quietly, “I’ll sort this out. I will. Just let me do one thing first...”
“This better not involve nakedness and bodily fluids,” Dean joked dryly.
Sam half smiled.
“No. I just want to tell her that’s all. I need to tell her everything. Who I am, what we do...I lied to her the whole time I knew her, Dean. I kept such a big part of my life a secret.”
It was something that had played on his mind a lot. Should he have told her? He knew it would have been hard, knew that chances were that she never would have believed him, thinking he was either playing some sick game with her or that he’d lost it, but if he could have somehow convinced her would things have been different? Would knowing about demons and the like have given her an opportunity to save her own life that night?
He knew it could obviously make no difference now but it would put his mind more at rest to at least know he had finally stopped lying to her.
“Well to be fair,” Dean pointed out, “If you’d told her the truth she would’ve thought you were a wacko and then she never would have gone out with you.”
“Suppose not,” Sam agreed with slight laugh.
“But hey,” Dean said, shrugging too lightly, “If it makes you feel better there’s not much harm in it now is there. She can’t exactly walk out on you.”
“Dean...come on...” Sam complained, giving him a pained look. He knew Dean meant no harm by it, that his gallows humour was a coping mechanism, but he really didn’t need to hear it right now.
Dean shook his head, looking a bit disgusted with himself.
“Dude, seriously just don’t listen to me, okay? Don’t listen. Just go talk to her. Say what you gotta say.”
Sam nodded gratefully, “It won’t take long. Things’ll be all back to normal by morning, I promise.”
“Our lives?” Dean questioned with a raised eyebrow, “Normal?”
“Okay,” Sam conceded, “Normal for us.”
He had walked just a few paces back towards their room when Dean’s voice called him.
He turned, seeing Dean looking steadily at him.
Sam held gaze with him for a long moment, seeing the conflicting emotions in his brother much more clearly now. He felt pity for Sam, understanding how hard this must be for him to face. But it was tainted by more selfish concerns; worry for Izzy, a small underlying fear that this could somehow hurt her or take her from him permanently. It was the first time Sam could see just how much Dean really did love her even if he never properly admitted it.
Sam nodded. He had to be all noble and do the right thing, for Dean’s sake if nothing else.