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From The Ashes

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"The First Cut" (1/1, PG) [TMF] [Apr. 19th, 2008|03:51 pm]
From The Ashes

deananna_fic

[jainadurron]
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Title: The Minor Fall: The First Cut
Author: jainadurron and jediprincessdsv
Rating: PG for minor sexual references
Timeframe: Future AU
Characters: Anna Ellsworth Winchester (OFC), Sam Winchester
Genre: angst
Summary: Anna thinks about recent developments.
Author's Notes: Lyrics and title are from "The First Cut Is The Deepest" as performed by Sheryl Crow. (This 'fic is part of an AU spin-off from "From The Ashes". This and all other stories marked "[TMF]" are part of that series, not the main "From The Ashes" one.)

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I would have given you all of my heart
But there's someone who's torn it apart
And he's taken just all that I have
But if you want I'll try to love again
Baby, I'll try to love again, but I know

The first cut is the deepest
Baby, I know
The first cut is the deepest
But when it comes to bein' lucky, he's cursed
When it comes to lovin' me, he's worst

-- Sheryl Crow, "The First Cut Is The Deepest"



They'd cancelled his cell phone, because they couldn't afford the expense. Sam had figured out how to record Dean's voicemail before it went inactive, and he'd done the same with all of the messages his brother had left on Anna's phone. He'd just handed her a memory card that fit in her MP3 player, hadn't said anything. She knew it had probably gutted him to listen to Dean's words, not just for missing his brother, but for that jealous side of him that held onto her nearly to the exclusion of all others.

"This is Dean Winchester. If this is an emergency, leave a message. If you are calling about 11-2-83, please page me with your coordinates."

She'd used at least two hundred of her minutes each month, before they'd shut off Dean's phone, to call and just listen to his voicemail pick up, so she could hear his voice again. And she cried in the car, reading "P.S. I Love You" on the road between Nevada and Oregon, when the main character, Holly, had confessed to doing the same. Anna felt so weak for turning to Sam, sometimes, weak and guilty and shameful because Dean had been gone not yet six months, and the place beside her at night wasn't empty.

"This is Dean Winchester. If this is an emergency, leave a message. If you are calling about 11-2-83, please page me with your coordinates."

Anna had never asked Sam about Jess, not really. She knew a few things, but she didn't want to know if he'd lain awake in the dark, as she did, and replayed that day over and over, searching desperately for a way to redo things.

Of course, Sam had the unique experience of actually having relived that day over and over, before the trickster had stopped the loop . . . after Dean lay bleeding on the asphalt.

"This is Dean Winchester. If this is an emergency, leave a message. If you are calling about 11-2-83, please page me with your coordinates."

Part of her resented Sam for that. Sam had been quicker. He'd been out the door first, his legs were longer, he hadn't had the baby to deal with. It had been his arms her husband had died in. Dean was Sam's brother, but he'd been Anna's other half, to have and to hold, and in the end, she hadn't been holding him.

It wasn't Sam's fault. It wasn't her fault. But she missed him, and even now there were times when she felt she couldn't make it through the next hour, let alone the rest of her life.

"This is Dean Winchester. If this is an emergency, leave a message. If you are calling about 11-2-83, please page me with your coordinates."

She couldn't lie and say she wasn't enjoying her time with Sam. It felt stolen and illicit, even if there was technically nothing wrong with what they were doing. She'd been raised to see it as a sin; before him, there'd only been Dean, and that had been firmly within the bonds of marriage.

What she had with Sam, what they'd begun, didn't feel quite . . . real. With the disconnect from reality they'd both suffered after Dean's death, she hadn't dwelt much on what they were doing. But three months down the road from that night when Sam had dug a bullet out of his own stomach, it was beginning to sink in that she couldn't disconnect herself from Sam now. In that desperate bid to hold the pieces together, she'd tangled up the threads too tightly.

"This is Dean Winchester. If this is an emergency, leave a message. If you are calling about 11-2-83, please page me with your coordinates."

There were chunks missing, little pieces that had scattered and left neither of them complete. At times, the picture in her head resembled two mugs dropped and shattered, that someone had attempted to put together and only had enough for one, with the remains ill-fitting and misshapen, lopsided and unsteady.

The night she'd first gone to bed with Sam, she'd equated Dean to the glue that had held the family together. There were moments, on long stretches down empty highways in the middle of the night, where Anna felt that instead of sturdy mortar, she'd used flour and water to make a paste that kept melting like the Wicked Witch of the West. A shard would fall off here, and one there, and she'd stubbornly stick them back on, maybe wrap masking tape around the mess.

It wasn't going to last that way, and she was afraid of the day when it all came apart again.

"This is Dean Winchester. If this is an emergency, leave a message. If you are calling about 11-2-83, please page me with your coordinates."

She didn't know if what she felt for Sam was love. What she'd felt for Dean had been like the burning heat of the sun, giving her whole world colour and warmth and happiness. Sam was the moon, a light in the darkness that illuminated and occasionally gave her world a glimpse of what had been in the light of day.

Anna didn't know if she could ever give him the words she knew he was already thinking. The last time she'd said them, the last time she'd handed her heart over, the recipient had taken it and left her, and so far, she'd only retrieved tiny slivers. How could she give him that when she wasn't sure she'd ever be whole again?

"This is Dean Winchester. If this is an emergency, leave a message. If you are calling about 11-2-83, please page me with your coordinates."

Dean's passing had hit her harder than she'd expected it ever would. She'd thought, "I have months yet, I can prepare."

They didn't speak of it. She knew Sam was still keeping an eye out for the trickster. Sometimes she wanted to scream that he was becoming his father, but at others, she didn't know if she wanted that intensity aimed at her. She was afraid it would break her and there would be nothing left to put back together, just dust and ashes.

"This is Dean Winchester. If this is an emergency, leave a messa-"

Anna clicked off the player as Sam slowed the car at a diner just off the highway. She didn't even know where they were, how long they'd driven.

"I'm starving," he said, from the driver's seat beside her. "You want anything?"

Shoving the player in her purse, she reached for the door's handle. "Let's see what's on the menu."
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: muses_circle
2008-04-20 01:07 am (UTC)
What she'd felt for Dean had been like the burning heat of the sun, giving her whole world colour and warmth and happiness. Sam was the moon, a light in the darkness that illuminated and occasionally gave her world a glimpse of what had been in the light of day.

Absolutely beautiful imagery here. I really need to go back and read this series from the beginning, but I am enjoying what you're writing here.
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[User Picture]From: jainadurron
2008-04-20 01:47 am (UTC)
Thank you! You picked out one of my favourite bits in the whole 'fic. :D
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[User Picture]From: hhhellcat
2008-04-20 02:15 pm (UTC)
I thought it an interesting twist to call Dean the sun and Sam the moon because I've always sorta thought of them in opposite terms, but in this 'verse, they really do fit those roles.

I like the way you kept returning to the message she was listening to during her whole thinking process here. It brings it back into sharp relief that she's still grieving, and the fact that she's clinging so tightly to that one message speaks volumes.
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[User Picture]From: jainadurron
2008-04-21 12:34 am (UTC)
Thanks!

I don't really know when or why the repeat thing came into the 'fic while I was writing it; the whole thing poured out at 3 in the morning over about an hour and a half, and I don't recall making any stylistic decisions. Heh.
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