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[ photographs of you ]

/ photo # 74 /

Sam looked at Dean so long that Dean thought he had something on his face.  “What,’ he grumbled.

“Why won´t you look at them?’

Dean rolled his eyes.  “What, the pictures?’

“Yeah, Dean, the pictures,’ Sam said, grabbing a fistful and shoving them in his face.  “It´s memories of us!  Why won´t you look at them?’

Dean´s fingers clenched on the steering wheel.  “Well for one, I´m driving.’

Sam rolled his eyes and starting flipping back through the pictures.  “You´re an asshole.’

“Why,’ Dean asked, exasperated.  “Because I don´t want to pour over memories that fucking hurt to remember?!’

“Because you have these memories,’ Sam said, taking the picture off of the top and directing it in Dean´s direction.  “This?  This memory of Mom holding me?  You have that memory.  I don´t.  I don´t remember anything.’

Dean sighed, his fingers relaxing on the wheel.  “Sam--’

“Dean, I want to remember too,’ Sam said, turning in his seat to face him better, the buckle digging into his neck.  “But I can´t.  I was just a baby.  Why won´t you share your memories with me?’

Dean closed his eyes briefly, feeling a headache creeping up his neck.  “Well unless I´m not remembering correctly, until a few weeks ago you didn´t even give a shit!’

Sam sighed, thumping his head back against the seat.  “Yeah, well that was before she saved my life, Dean.’

Dean looked over at him, flexing his fingers on the wheel with the need to reach out and touch him.  “Sam.’

“Forget it,’ Sam said, lowering his hand to his lap and closing his eyes.  “Nevermind.’


“Nevermind, Dean,’ Sam said with a wan smile, shaking his head.  “I´m being selfish.’

“No, I am,’ Dean said softly.  “I don´t… Sam, I don´t mean to keep it to myself it´s just…’

Sam looked at him.  “Painful.’

“Yeah,’ Dean said with a deep breath, blowing it out in a rush of air.  “It is.’

“It is for me too,’ Sam said, closing his eyes.  “Just.  One day, I´d like to know.’

Dean´s jaw clenched and he nodded.  “Pumpkin pie.’

Sam looked at him.  “What?’

“When she was pregnant with you, she used to eat pumpkin pie,’ he said, laughing lightly and looking at him.  “I mean.  By the truckload.’

Sam smiled.  “I like pumpkin pie.’

Dean smiled and looked back out at the road.  “I´ll look at the pictures with you later Sam.  I just want to get out of Kansas.’

“You don´t have to--’

“Sam.’  Dean looked at him and arched his eyebrow.  “I´ll look at them with you.’

Sam smiled again.  “Thanks.’


/ photo # 19 /

“No, Dean.  Like this.’

“But Dad!’

“But Dean!’

“I don´t wanna!’

Mary laughed, settling back in her rocking chair, holding Sam to her chest and looking down at him.  “Those two,’ she said conspiratorially.  “They just don´t let it rest.’

“Hold the bat like this.’

Mary laughed again as Dean grumbled under his breath.  “Listen to your father, Dean.  He´s been playing baseball a lot longer than you have.’

Dean whirled and looked at her.  “But Momma, I don´t like holding the bat like that!’

“Come on, Deano,’ John said, laughing and crouching to be eye level with him.  “Trust your Pop on this one.  You have to choke it.’

“… choke you…’

John raised amused eyes to meet Mary´s.  “Did you just hear your son threatening me?’

Mary snorted.  “My son now, huh?’

“I hate baseball.  Baseball is stupid.’

John sighed and stood up, resting his hand on Dean´s head.  “You´ll never get anywhere in life if you give up so easily, Dean.’

Dean looked up at him and screwed his lips up in a snarl.  “Fine.  Do it again.’

John just raised an eyebrow.  “Do what?’

“Baseball,’ Dean said, shifting his hand on the bat.  “I´ll do it right this time.’

The flash of the camera caught Dean´s brilliant grin the second after the bat connected with the ball.  


/ photo # 93 /

Sam laughed as he picked up the next photograph, him in his father´s hands, his father´s face contorted in some weird, random, in-the-middle-of-saying-something mask.  “I love this one.’

Dean glanced up from the picture he was looking at and grinned.  “Yeah.’

“I´ve never seen Dad make a goofy face before,’ Sam said, laughing and handing Dean the picture.  “He was always so serious.’

Dean´s smile faded.  “He wasn´t always serious,’ he said.  “He laughed sometimes.’

Sam rolled his eyes.  “Maybe with you.  Not with me.  He was always telling me what I was doing wrong, and how I had to be more careful, and I needed to take this seriously, and--’

“Okay, okay, okay,’ Dean said, holding up his hand.  “We´re not gonna get into this again, are we?’

Sam took the picture back.  “I don´t wanna fight, Dean, but you have to remember how different he was with you then he was with me.’

Dean sighed, lying back on the bed.  “I don´t know, Sammy.  Maybe it´s just cause…’

“Cause why,’ Sam asked, looking at him.  “Cause he blames me for her death?’

Dean jerked up, his eyes widening.  “What?’

Sam cringed back, holding up his hands.  “It´s just something I´ve been thinking about, Dean.’

“What the hell makes you think he blames you,’ Dean yelled, his eyebrows furrowing together.  

“I don´t know,’ Sam said softly, looking back down at the picture.  “I just mean.  He always talked to you.  If he was upset or mad or thought something was funny, it was always you he talked to.  Me, he just told me what to do.  With me, it was like he was my boss.  But with you, I mean…’ He looks at Dean then, and shrugs again.  “Ya´ll were like, father and son.  Friends.’

Dean sighed and laid back down on the bed.  “Sam, it kills me that you feel this way.  You´re so wrong.’

Sam rolled his eyes.  “Then why have I never seen him make a face like this,’ he asked, pointing to the picture.

Dean pulled his foot up on the bed and sighed again, loudly.  “Dad changed, Sammy.  When Mom died, he changed.  Did you ever think that the only reason he talked more to me is that I tried more?  You just sat in the fuckin´ corner with your book, hating him.’

“I never hated Dad!’

Dean looked at him.  “It´s never about what´s real, Sam, don´t you get that?  It´s about perception.  It doesn´t matter how many times I tell you that you´re wrong about Dad, you´ll always think about him like you do.’

Sam frowned.  “And he thought I hated him?’

Dean shook his head.  “I don´t know.  But I did.’  He shrugged, laughing again.  “Still kind of do.’

“I don´t.  I never did.’  Sam looked down at the picture again, drawn by the carefree laugh lines in his father´s face.  “I just wish I´d gotten to know him back then.  Before.  Maybe that´s why he´s different with you.  ‘Cause you remember Mom.  Because you remember him from before.’

“That picture is after, Sammy,’ Dean said softly, kicking his foot out and hitting Sam´s leg.  “Look at the date.’

Sam looked at the date and saw that it was only three months after their mother´s death.  “Huh.’

“See that´s your problem, Sam,’ Dean said, grunting as he sat up, sliding to the edge of the bed.  “You only remember the negative.  You don´t remember that he always fixed your favorite meal on Fridays.  You don´t remember when he stayed up all night fixing your bike for Christmas because he wanted to surprise you.  You don´t remember the fact that he was always at every single soccer game you ever played.’

Sam watched Dean stand and took a deep breath.  “Dean.’

“You remember our Dad as being this judgmental asshole that never thought you were good enough,’ Dean said, his face tight with barely reigned in emotion.  “I remember him as a man that was always there for us.’

Dean walked out the door before Sam could even think of anything else to say.

Instead he stared down at the picture and tried to imagine what made his Dad look so happy.


/ photo # 5 /


John jerked his head up, banging it on the doorframe of the truck.  “Sorry, son, did I wake you?’

“No, you just…’ Dean took a few steps out of the hotel room, grumbling as a rock cut into his bare foot.  “I mean, I was still awake.’

“I´m just…’  John sighed and sat down on the passenger´s side of the truck.  “I was looking for something.’

Dean finally made his way over to the truck, trying not to cringe as the rocks continued to bite into his feet.  “What?  Your gun?  You brought it inside with you.’

“No,’ John said, looking down at Dean´s feet and standing.  “You´re bleeding.’

“I don´t care.  I can take it.’ Dean raised his shoulders and cocked his head.  “What´s up, Dad?’

John sighed, putting his hand on Dean´s shoulder and steering him to the car, forcibly pushing him down on the seat.  “I´m looking for a picture of your mother.’

Dean´s eyebrows rose.  “At one in the morning?’

John laughed, looking away.  “Yeah.  At one in the morning.’

Dean shook his head.  “Why?’

John shrugged, laughing again.  “I don´t know.  With your brother in college it´s just… things are different, and…’  He broke off and finally met his eyes again.  “I had a dream.  More of a memory.’

Dean nodded.  “Okay.’

John scrubbed a hand over his face.  “Remember that swing I made for you and Sam?  Well, mostly for you, but Sam too when he was older.’

Dean nodded again, drawing his legs up and propping them on the step of the truck.  “Sure.’

John rolled his eyes, walking a few feet away to face the road.  “Your mother loved that swing.  More than you did, I think.  Remember how much she used to laugh when she was on that thing?’

Dean swallowed and looked down.  “Uh.  Yeah.  Sure.’

John laughed and looked at him.  “It´s okay if you don´t, Deano.  You were just a kid.’

Dean frowned.  “No.  I don´t.’

“She did,’ he said again, smiling and stuffing his hands in his pockets.  “She was like a kid on that thing.  There´s a picture of her, I know there is, swinging on it.  Long blonde hair flowing behind her, like right out of a magazine.’

Dean smiled.  “I´d like to see that.’

John nodded.  “Me too.  But I´ve never been able to find it.’

Dean stood up, wishing like hell he´d put his damn sneakers on.  “Well where do you think it could be?’

John shrugged.  “I don´t know.  Some rental car.  A random hotel room.  The old house.’  He shrugged again, sighing.  “I´ve made such nomads out of us, there´s no telling where that thing could be.’

Dean stepped forward and put a hand on his arm.  “Come on, Dad.  We´ll find it eventually.  Let´s go to sleep.’

“You´re a good kid, Dean,’ John said, grinning and slinging an arm around him as the made their way back to the hotel room.  “I ever tell you that enough?’

Dean grinned, shrugging.  “Sure, but ya know… always good to hear.’  He shut the door behind them and then turned to face him.  “Except, I´m not a kid.’

John´s laugh was loud and it hurt to hear, because it didn´t happen often enough.  

Usually the only time Dean heard that laugh was when he was dreaming.


/ photo #30 /

“Is that us?’

Dean frowns at him, looking up from his own pile of pictures.  “Dude, you´re looking at pictures of our family.  Isn´t it self explanatory?’

Sam laughed, flipping the picture of the two of them, Sam a newborn and sitting on a three year old Dean´s lap.  “That´s you and me?’

Dean´s mouth quirked and he reached out to take the picture.  “Yeah,’ he said, flipping it over to look at the back.  

Sam smiled, looking down at the pictures spread around his feet.  “I remember that, ya know.’

Dean frowned and tossed him back the picture.  “How could you possibly--’

“Not that,’ Sam said, staring down at the new picture in his hand before looking back up at Dean.  “I remember you always being there.  I used to think it was weird.  Big brothers were supposed to be annoyed by their younger brothers shadowing them.  But with us it was the opposite.’

Dean bit down on his lower lip, flicking his gaze up to Sam.  “Yeah, well--’

“No, I get it, Dean,’ Sam said, his voice softening.  “With Mom, and… everything.  I get it.’

Dean looked away, packing up the pictures and grunting as he stretched.  “That´s me,’ he said, laughing a little.  “Sam´s protector.’

Sam just shrugged, crawling under the blankets and resting his head on the pillow.  “Hey Dean?’

Dean´s sigh was all part of the show, and Sam knew it.  “What Sam?’

“I love you too.’