caranfindel (caranfindel) wrote,

Fic: Swim out past the breakers, watch the world die (13.22 coda)

They get everyone squared away. Mary back in her room, New Charlie and New Bobby as close to Dean as he can reasonably put them. Ketch and Mary seem to have come to an uneasy truce, but he still puts the man as far away from her as possible. Some people have already partnered in one way or another, and others pick roommates. It works. It's fine. Most of the good guys made it through safely, neither of the bad guys did, and dear god Sam is alive. He's here and alive, standing in the kitchen in bloodstained jeans and someone else's sweatshirt, drinking whiskey. They don't need to think about how it happened. It happened, and nothing else matters.

(Sometimes Dean watches Sam do something he never did Before - an overly-startled flinch at a loud noise, a very specific hands-clenched thousand-yard stare, the way he accepts Cas's healing with fearful eyes and a stubborn jaw - and he thinks this is from Hell, this is Lucifer's doing. And if he allows himself to think about it further, which he tries not to do, he thinks if I had let him go to Heaven after Cold Oak, if I'd just had the balls to let go, he never would have gone to Hell. He never would have met Lucifer. This is all on me.

He has never mentioned it to Sam, because he's terrified that his brother will turn to him with those sad, fearful eyes and say yeah, I think about that too.)

Sam looks up with a tired smile when Dean comes into the kitchen. "How's Jack?" he asks.

"Huh? He's fine. Why wouldn't he be fine?" Jack's safe in the bunker, with Mary and all his new friends.

Sam rolls his eyes, but with less gusto than normal. "His... Didn't you notice? He's not fine, man. We left - I left Lucifer on the other side. He's upset about that."

"He's upset. That we didn't bring the Devil back to the bunker."

"Dean. He's Jack's father. It mattered to him."

"And why is that? Why does he care so much about evil bio dad? He spends one day with the devil whispering in his ear and suddenly he forgets everything that son of a bitch did to you?"

Sam's free hand anxiously kneads the hem of the borrowed sweatshirt. "I don't know that he knows. I mean, he read the Bible, and we told him how Lucifer corrupts people. But unless you or Cas told him something, he doesn't really know anything about... you know. About me."


Sam looks away (thousand yard stare) and drains the rest of his whiskey. "It just never seemed like a good time. He's worried enough about his powers. About being bad. Why would I want to make him think about just how bad he could have gone?"

"He needs to know, Sam. He needs to know what kind of monster he's moping about."

"Yeah, okay. But not today. He's been through enough today." Sam puts his empty glass in the sink and runs a hand down his face. He looks pale and tired, and Dean suddenly wonders if Lucifer brought him back with a full tank, or if he left him just enough blood to get the job done.

"You should go to bed."

"Yeah, I should. I think I'm gonna shower first." Sam looks down at his jeans, still stained with his blood, and gently rubs at his throat, and yeah, judging by the clothes he was wearing when he stumbled into camp, he's probably still got blood behind his ears and at the nape of his neck and Dean needs to not think about that right now, or preferably ever.

And Dean sees his point about giving Jack a little bit of time to digest what happened. But when the kid comes into the kitchen not five minutes after Sam leaves and starts rooting around for something to eat, it's hard not to think he's been avoiding his biggest ally out of some fucking pity party for Lucifer, and Dean can't let that stand.

"Sit down," he says. "I'll make you some eggs."

As he whisks the eggs and milk, he begins.

"I don't know if you noticed, but Sam gets pretty anxious around Lucifer." Jack is quiet but looks thoughtful. He's listening. He's here, he's listening; it's fine. "It's because of their history. Sam was trapped in Hell with him for a long time. About a year and a half in our time, but time runs different in Hell, so it was hundreds of years for him."

Dean grabs a pan and turns on a burner. It's a lot easier to talk about this if he's busy, doing something with his hands, not looking at Jack. "You said Michael tortured you while you were his captive? So, Lucifer did the same thing to Sam, except worse. Because Michael would have wanted to keep you alive, but Lucifer didn't care if Sam died. He'd just bring him back and start over. And the things they do in Hell... you can't even imagine, Jack."

Not that Dean has to imagine. But Jack doesn't need to know Dean's dirty secrets tonight. He throws a pat of butter into the pan and dumps in the eggs. "It fucked him up pretty bad. In fact, after we got him out, it all made him insane for a while. Long story short, he's fine now." Fine is relative, of course. "But that's why he did what he did. That's why he left Lucifer on the other side. I'm sorry, I know this is hard for you to hear. But the guy is bad news, man."

He scoops the eggs onto a plate and slides it in front of Jack, who's doing that head-tilt thing that reminds him so much of Cas. And the kid is half angel, but he's also half Kelly Kline, and that's the half Dean's trying to reach. "It doesn't mean you're bad news. You're nothing like him, Jack. You don't ever have to be anything like him."

Jack picks up his fork, still doing the puzzled head tilt, and asks "But why was Sam in Hell? Was he bad?"

Well. Okay. Dean gives him a condensed version of two angel brothers trying to live out their fated end, and two human brothers trying to stop it, and Sam's final sacrifice, how Sam was brave and strong enough to trap Lucifer, overpower him, and drag him into Hell. Jack eats and listens and doesn't say a word.

When Dean's told as much of the story as he can stand to tell, Jack puts his fork on his empty plate, looks at him thoughtfully, and says "So, Lucifer was in Hell because Sam trapped him there."

Dean nods, maybe a little afraid of his voice betraying him.

"Okay," says Jack. "I think I understand now. Thanks for the eggs, Dean." He puts his plate in the sink and heads down the hall - to his room next to Sam's - and Dean has an uneasy feeling that Jack missed the point.

(In his dreams that night, Jack speaks slowly, as if he were carefully chewing each word before spitting it out. Did it ever occur to you, either of you, he says, his eyes glowing gold, that maybe my father punished Sam because he was asking for it? Dean wakes up gasping and spends the rest of the night in Sam's room, watching him sleep, feeling fairly certain that he absolutely should have let him go that first time, and he absolutely should not have left him alone this last time.)


The title is from Santa Monica by Everclear.
Tags: 13.22 exodus, episode coda, fic: dean winchester, fic: hell trauma, fic: sam winchester, my fic, season 13, supernatural

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