TW: [Spoiler (click to open)]Suicide
Amara's brother takes her on a tour of the uninhabited portions of his worlds, and she has to admit his creations are beautiful. Without the shabby chaos of humans, his fjords, mountains, and oceans serve as exquisite backdrops for the peace she loves. But after they watch the seasons turn a few times, he grows bored. "Let me show you my stories," he says. "Dean Winchester was your favorite character, right? I have so many Dean stories."
It would be more accurate to say he was the only character she was aware of, the only voice that stood out from the buzz of random noises her brother seemed to adore (even now, sometimes, she hears him). But she acquiesces. Her brother lifts his chin as though testing the air. "Oh, here's a good one." They land in a motel room long past its prime, where a man with a familiar face slumps at a small table. A pistol and an empty whiskey bottle are laid out in front of him. "This Dean," her brother says. "He shot a pregnant woman in the head before she could give birth, because she was carrying a nephilim. His Sam walked right out the door. Never forgave him. And he's been drowning in guilt and doubt for over a year. See, he doesn't know if it was the right decision, and it's killing him."
"Was it the right decision?" she asks.
"I guess it depends on what you like. He prevented some things, but he caused others." He smiles. "Either way, it's good drama."
The Dean in front of her looks like her Dean, but she can't read him and doesn't feel connected to him. She watches him take a phone out of his pocket and make a call. The person he's calling doesn't answer, and he doesn't leave a message. He slumps further, his elbows on the table, his phone pressed to his forehead.
"He seems so sad," she says.
Her brother's smile widens. "I know, right? Like I said, it's good drama."
"But I thought you loved them."
"Oh, I do! Did you see the look on his face when Sam didn't answer his call? I mean, you could tell what he was thinking, right? That he was wondering if Sam was just away from his phone, or if he knew it was him and chose not to answer? That's why I love these guys. So much anger and pain, and yet, so much love. That's where all the drama comes from."
Perhaps Amara doesn't understand what love is after all. She watches this Dean put the phone on the table and pick up the pistol, pushing the barrel against the soft flesh under his chin. Her brother grips her arm. His face is alight with anticipation. When he notices her watching him, he motions toward Dean. "Watch him, not me," he hisses. "I think he might really do it this time."
Dean fires the gun and crumples onto the floor. Amara's brother squeezes her arm, hard.
"Wow. Wow! He actually did it! He's come so close, so many times, and I never thought he'd go through with it, but he actually offed himself." He leans over the bloody man on the floor. "Or. Well. Almost." Dean's eyes have rolled back in his head, and his breath comes in shallow, pained gasps. "I was afraid of that. He was too drunk. Messed with his aim, or his hand wasn't steady enough, or... anyway." He looks around the room, distracted. "I mean, we can stay, but this part could take a while, and it's kinda boring. The only unpredictable part is over. It could be fun to watch Sam find out, but I don't know when that's gonna happen, so maybe we just... bounce? I can find us another story."
The dying man's fingers twitch as if he's trying to hold onto something. Or someone. Amara's brother closes his eyes and tips his head back, searching for more drama to share with her.
No, she doesn't understand love at all.
"May I?" She motions to Dean. "Since he's dying anyway?"
"What? Oh, sure. Help yourself."
His soul goes down bitter, like blood and ash. But he's no longer in pain, and he's part of Amara now. He'll never be alone again.
Her brother takes her hand. "I found a story with some potential. There's a Dean who's trying to trick his Sam into a really bad decision. Want to go watch? It's fun to try to guess what will happen. They're so hard to predict sometimes."
"This unpredictability you enjoy," Amara says. "Trying to guess what might happen. Is there some way to experience it with less pain?"
"Oh, crap, I'm sorry," her brother says. "I guess you're not used to all the emotions, are you? I've been playing this for so long, I didn't even think about having a higher tolerance than you do. We should try something different. Maybe Vegas." But when they land there, the lights and sounds feel like an assault, and he quickly wings her somewhere else. "Reno will be good for now," he says. "We can work up to the bigger stuff."
Keno is sufficiently unpredictable. And completely emotionless.
Her brother joins her for a while, but soon becomes restless and starts searching for good stories again. He suggests a few, but she doesn't find them tempting, and he seems content to stay at her side. But eventually he comes to her, flush with excitement. "You'll like this one," he says. "It's your Dean, and his mother was killed by someone he loves, so he's got some awful decisions to make. Want to watch?"
"His mother?" She frowns. "But I gave him his mother!"
"Oooh, yeah. That. Sorry." He looks down, as if embarrassed, but she sees the traces of a smile playing about his lips. "That was an amazing plot twist, by the way. And then, stuff happened. It's turning into really good story, if you want to go see it unfold."
He holds out his hand, but she doesn't take it. "And I assume it will be painful for him?"
"Yes, most definitely. For all of them."
"I think I'll stay here," she says. "I enjoy keno."
His hand drops to his side. "Oh. Yeah, sure. That's probably a good choice. This one might turn out to be more than you want to see. I mean, it's gonna be awesome. Biblical, even. I love these two. But I guess it's more of a me thing than a you thing." Her brother kisses her on the cheek. "I'll be back soon. Promise."
Amara returns to her keno. When the screams begin, she looks around, frustrated. This is what she was trying to avoid - all of creation's messy emotions and disruptive noises. All of this unnecessary shouting and wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Then her brother appears at her side and takes her hand. "So... it's getting annoying around here. What do you say we visit some squirrels? I think you'd like that."
She feels her Dean for just a moment. Terror, fury, an almost bottomless well of grief. Her brother whisks her away, and it's gone.
And the squirrels are amusing, she must admit.