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the island of conclusions

'So let it out and let it in" (SPN fic: minor spoilers for 5.13)

the island of conclusions

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'So let it out and let it in" (SPN fic: minor spoilers for 5.13)

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Impala
Title: ‘So let it out and let it in’
Genre: gen, h/c (PG-13 for language)
Word Count: ~1,450
Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit
Warnings: not exactly a coda for 5.13, but minor spoilers for the episode.
Summary: Sam wakes up to Dean singing.

a/n: For a prompt at spn_hurtcomfort, here—though the fic takes it in a slightly different direction.
a/n: Set at some unspecified time. To me, it has more of a S1-2 feel to it than S5, but I’ll let you all be the judge of that.
a/n: omg, the fluff, y’all *facepalm*. I actually thought that 5.13 was an emotionally complicated episode, but this? Not so much. I think the combination of the little bit of info the fic is based on and the youtube clip of Jensen singing at the 100th episode party kind of did me in. Also possibly a reaction to that dollop of angst I wrote last week.



’So let it out and let it in’

Sam woke and was pleasantly surprised not to feel like shit. He tested cautiously, and sure enough, he could breathe through his nose for the first time in days. The dull ache behind his cheekbones had eased up, and the rest of him was warm and relaxed under a pile of blankets.

Enjoying the sensation, he kept his eyes closed, and listened to the familiar sounds of Dean puttering around the motel room. Mostly familiar, anyway. Over the usual muted clanking and clicking of weapons being cleaned, he could hear the much less common sound of Dean singing.

Sam knew from long experience that Dean indulged his musical impulses in two distinctly different ways. Mostly, he amused himself by accompanying the tape deck in the car with a variety of yowls, barks and chants —all delivered in the key of drive-Sam-crazy he had perfected over the years. But sometimes, when he thought nobody was around, Dean would actually carry a tune, his voice higher and lighter than anything he would allow himself in ordinary life, almost achingly sweet.

Apparently, this was one of those times.

Sam willed himself still, savoring the return of his well-being and the rare beauty of his brother’s real voice.

::::

It felt like he’d been sick forever, though it couldn’t have been more than a week. Just a nasty cold, nothing worse than that. But his nose was stuffed up, his throat raw, and all his muscles sore and tense. He’d shivered under a permanent chill exacerbated by weather that perpetually promised snow and kept delivering freezing rain instead.

Nothing to be done about it, of course. There was no question of slowing down—they’d been raised not to slack off for anything less than broken bones or a triple digit temperature, and usually not even then. And anyway, he would have had to have been a lot sicker to consider letting Dean deal with the batshit West Virginian poltergeist on his own. So Sam had resigned himself to riding it out—hoping the virus would back off before the over-the-counter cold medicine in his system reached toxic levels.

Dean had been pretty good about it, in his taciturn, faux-grudging way—not complaining when Sam cranked the heat in the Impala, and silently tossing a bottle of juice in his lap whenever they stopped for gas or coffee. Every once in a while, Dean would unceremoniously palm the back of Sam’s neck, checking for fever. Not finding any, he would turn the gesture into a light cuff or head rub, disowning the concern before it had a chance to surface.

Really, the worst of it had been that he couldn’t get a decent night’s sleep, his own snuffling and tossing waking him up every couple of hours. Once, he’d coughed himself awake and found Dean already perched on the side of his bed, water and meds in hand.

“Just about to get you up,” Dean had said, handing him the glass and pills and deftly straightening the tangled covers, “you sound like a freakin’ hacksaw, man—some of us are trying to sleep.” But he’d stayed on the bed until Sam drifted off again.

Still, they’d dispatched the poltergeist fine, and the bug had started to lift of its own accord right about the same time the weather had really begun to close in. Sam had almost been able to feel the cold exiting his body, leaving a gaping pit of weariness in its wake. They’d pulled into a motel just ahead of the storm, and it had been all he could do to brush his teeth and shuck a layer of clothing before collapsing into a dreamless sleep.

::::

Sam tried to figure out what Dean was singing. It sounded familiar, but it definitely wasn’t from his usual repertoire of Zeppelin and Metallica. Dean seemed to be having trouble remembering the words, mumbling his way through most of the lyrics, but he had every note of the wistful melody down. After a bit, Sam was able to peg it as something by the Beatles, which was weird, since they hadn’t had any Beatles albums growing up, and Dean had never picked up any for the car. Still, everybody knew Beatles songs, right? You learned them through osmosis or something.

Blurry with sleep, Sam couldn’t dredge up the title or words for this one. He had a vague memory of what it was about, though—something encouraging, or consoling—a far cry from the fast cars and hot chicks that were typically his brother’s first choice for musical content.

There was something about the song, a kind of earnest sweetness, a hopefulness that seemed at odds with their lives, that triggered a complex yearning in Sam, as if it wasn’t just the name of the song he couldn’t remember, but a whole set of feelings and responses he had lost, or had never had long enough to put words to. He wondered if Dean remembered those nameless emotions, whatever they were, carried them in some hidden reservoir that also had also bodied forth this song. He wondered why it had emerged now.

After a while, the song devolved into a chain of nonsense syllables, the refrain more upbeat than what had come before, almost joyful. Dean enunciated every sound carefully, seemed let himself go a little, getting into the lilting rhythm, his boot tapping lightly to the beat.

And then it was over, the room quiet again except for the slotting of metal back into place as Dean reassembled the guns.

Feeling the sting of the song’s ending more sharply than he expected, Sam opened his eyes, allowed them to adjust to the morning light and pushed himself to his feet,

“Hey,” Dean said, voice returned to its regular growl, “glad you could join us, Rip Van Winkle,” he looked Sam over, “Feeling less like road-kill today?”

“Yeah, I’m good,” Sam answered, still a little hoarse, and headed to the bathroom.

When he came out, though, he just had to ask.

“I didn’t know you liked the Beatles,” he said, voice carefully neutral.

Dean looked patently confused, “Huh?”

“Just now. You were singing a Beatles song. The one—“ the name of the song still eluded Sam’s sleep-addled, post-cold mind, “you know, the one about the guy with the girl’s name—It’s really pretty, and, uh, kind of lyrical…”

“Dude,” Dean managed to look even more puzzled, and a little offended for good measure. “I don’t sing Beatles songs. And even if I did, I don’t think I’d sing a pretty one about some girly-man.” Sam peered at him. He couldn’t tell if Dean honestly wasn’t conscious of what he’d been singing, or whether he was just bluffing his way past something he was embarrassed about. He knuckled his eyes, deciding he didn’t have the energy to press the issue right now.

“You still look wiped,” Dean said, not unkindly, “Go back to sleep. I’ll go get us some food in a bit.”

“But don’t we have to—?“ A massive yawn cut his question short.

Dean understood anyway. “Nah.,” he said, “I paid for another night. It really came down yesterday,” he continued, before Sam could attribute the move to fraternal solicitude, “Roads are a mess. No way am I taking my baby out before they clean them up a little—have you seen what all that salt does to the undercarriage?”

Grunting his agreement, Sam burrowed under the warm covers again, realizing just how exhausted he still was. Dean’s singing might have woken him, but the much more familiar sound of Dean bitching about the roads quickly lulled him back into sleep.

fin

a/n: title from “Hey Jude,” by Lennon and McCartney

  • Oh, that was so sweet. I really would love to hear Jensen singing Hey Jude or Let it Be (especially about Mother Mary...though I think he'd choke up at that part.. I know I would)

    Really well done and you're right, such an emotionally complicated episode and such a great one too.
    • I really would love to hear Jensen singing Hey Jude or Let it Be (especially about Mother Mary
      Oh my goodness, me too! though you'd have to scrape me off the floor after *g*

      So glad you enjoyed the fic--thanks for reading and commenting!
  • What a sweet moment between the two of them. I love how Dean takes care of Sam. &hearts
    • I have a such a soft spot for Dean taking care of Sam (can you tell*g*) Thanks so much for reading and commenting--I'm glad you enjoyed the fic!
  • That was a superb idea to take from that episode and spin out a little. And I love that we are in Sam's POV, so we see that he never gets the full significance of the song. And your caring-but-pretending-not-to Dean is a joy.

    A lovely, lovely 'oh, boys'.... moment.
    • I'm so glad the Sam POV worked for you--I wanted to play on the difference between what he knows and what the reader knows (and never quote from the song *g*). And I have a big soft spot for Dean taking care of Sam in his special Dean way (like you couldn't tell that!).

      I'm really glad you enjoyed the fic--thanks for reading and commenting!
  • Aww. So sweet and wistful. And it made me laugh that Sam would be lulled to sleep by Dean bitching about the roads (I usually fall asleep to the sweet sound of my brother swearing loudly at his computer).
    • IKR? the strangest things can be soothing--

      I'm so glad you enjoyed the fic--thanks for reading and commenting!
  • Really enjoyed this. It's lovely and has a light bittersweet touch; I admire how you've captured the relationship between the brothers.

    Dean had been pretty good about it, in his taciturn, faux-grudging way—not complaining when Sam cranked the heat in the Impala, and silently tossing a bottle of juice in his lap whenever they stopped for gas or coffee.

    Yes!
    • I'm totally tickled you liked it :D (and found it bittersweet instead of just gooey--I was hoping for that!). I have a big soft spot for caring-without-being-overt-about-it!Dean (as if you couldn't tell!)

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
  • This was so sweet (in a good way!) Loved it, esp. the following lines:

    "But sometimes, when he thought nobody was around, Dean would actually carry a tune, his voice higher and lighter than anything he would allow himself in ordinary life, almost achingly sweet."

    "Every once in a while, Dean would unceremoniously palm the back of Sam’s neck, checking for fever. Not finding any, he would turn the gesture into a light cuff or head rub, disowning the concern before it had a chance to surface."

    Thanks for sharing this!
    • I'm so glad you enjoyed it! And thanks for picking out those lines--they were probably my favorites, too :D

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
  • Oh, that was sweet and lovely. I could hear every word of it. ♥

    Edited at 2010-02-10 05:29 pm (UTC)
  • Awww. Boys! Lovely look at Dean taking care of Sam while totally pretending not to. Thanks for sharing!
    • I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I have a big soft spot for Dean taking care of Sam while pretending not to (as if you couldn't tell!)

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
  • that was beautifully written, well done.

    Seriously, Hey Jude has always been my favorite Beatles song, so when Dean said that line, I literally got goosebumps.

    Still, everybody knew Beatles songs, right? You learned them through osmosis or something. that's the truest thing ever xD
    I doubt there's a single person alive that doesn't know the chorus to All You Need Is Love, or at least the 'na na na na' part of Hey Jude.

    the mental image of dean mumbling along with the song is amazing to me right now btw <3

    great job with this ♥

    (also, if I ever heard Jensen singing this...I may die, just sayin.)
    • (also, if I ever heard Jensen singing this...I may die, just sayin.)
      oh my goodness, me too! there's just something about that song, huh?

      I'm so glad you enjoyed the fic--thanks so much for reading and commenting!
  • Oh. Oh oh oh.

    That was just beautiful. Thank you for rebreaking my heart, by the way. I still can't listen to the song without getting teary-eyed.



    ~Nebula
    • Oh, I know--there's just something about that song, isn't there?

      Thanks for the kind words--I'm sorry it made you cry, but I hope that was okay! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!
  • So sweet! I wonder if Dean really did know what he was singing and why. At least we do. :-)
    • I kind of wanted to leave it mysterious as to whether Dean knew what he was doing...I guess it's canon that he remembers Mary singing him that song, but as to whether he was conscious of singing it while Sam slept....Well, there are lots of things that Dean knows, but doesn't want to know that he knows, if you know what I mean *g*

      Glad you enjoyed the fic--thanks so much for reading and commenting!
  • Oh, Sam. Oh, Dean. This is lovely!
  • Oh I really liked this. Nice and mellow. I think my favorite parts were:

    "Sam knew from long experience that Dean indulged his musical impulses in two distinctly different ways. Mostly, he amused himself by accompanying the tape deck in the car with a variety of yowls, barks and chants —all delivered in the key of drive-Sam-crazy he had perfected over the years. But sometimes, when he thought nobody was around, Dean would actually carry a tune, his voice higher and lighter than anything he would allow himself in ordinary life, almost achingly sweet.

    Apparently, this was one of those times.

    Sam willed himself still, savoring the return of his well-being and the rare beauty of his brother’s real voice."

    and the ending.
    I really liked what you were getting at, about how Dean puts on a voice that fits the persona he wants people to see.
    • Thanks so much for picking out those passages--that was exactly what I was trying to get at!

      I'm so glad you enjoyed the fic--thanks so much for reading and commenting!
  • Oh just perfect! I love how you use Sam's POV so effectively in this... this is such a lovely coda, Dean's scene with Mary making your sweet story even more poignant. Loved it - thank you!
    • I'm so glad the Sam POV worked for you--I wanted to play with the difference between what he knows/understands and what the reader knows/understands (plus, I wanted to see if I could describe the song without quoting from it *g*)

      (and you're right--it is fun sometimes to write Sam POV--you can use words like "solicitude")

      I'm so glad you enjoyed the fic--thanks so much for reading and commenting
  • Aw, boys.
    • *pets them* (though I was grateful to this episode for making me want to write them together again). Thanks for reading and commenting!
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