“I’m sorry too, Mom.”
The third night is for Jessica.
She was the future, the walking, talking embodiment of everything he’d never had as a Winchester. He’d believed if he stayed with her long enough, every ‘we aren’t like other people, Sam’ would be negated by each ‘I love you’ and ‘you’re such a good man, Sam’ until eventually he’d find himself in the black column of normality.
He loved her because she was unbelievably sharp witted and never cut him any slack, and because she loved Karaoke, and because she could do that thing with her tongue, and because, and… and none of it matters now. There’s just this stop, this end and it would almost be laughable in its absurdity if it weren’t so fundamentally wrong. ‘Nothing gold can stay’ his ass. If that’s the case then nothing like the fucking demon that killed her can stick around for too long either. It seems only fair and they could use a little bit of fair right about now.
The tight thing in his chest that used to be loss stirs and settles. He’s really looking forward to the day he can use the power he feels coiled there. But that’s not what this night is about. Tonight is about honoring and he can’t think of any better way then to share her.
More calaveras and marigolds are accompanied by a collage of printed out pictures his phone is still full of. Lavender-scented candles adorn the altar, always her favorite. Next come some Red Vines and a ticket stub from the weird art house film she suggested for their first date that he still carries in his wallet. A toy diamond ring that he paid a quarter for in one of those twisty machines on his way out of HEB Grocery sits near the top. The CD she made him for his birthday their last spring together is in the tiny portable radio Dean keeps stowed in the trunk of the Impala. He remembers sticking the disc in his laptop the night Dean came to get him…his eyes fall closed.
“How did you meet her?”
Sam takes a deep breath. “March, sophomore year. She was just standing outside the student union one day. I saw her from across the quad and, it was like a magnet or something. I got up in the middle of a study group meeting and walked over to her, introduced myself.”
Dean cocks a skeptical eyebrow as Sam turns away from the altar and sits Indian style on the bed his brother occupies, mirroring him with their knees touching. Dean reaches down off the side of the bed and grabs a beer from the plastic bag on the floor.
“I know, right? I’d never done anything like that before, but I just knew I had to find out who she was. The first 6 months? Man, it was like a dream. She was perfect.”
“What happened after 6 months?”
“We moved in together.”
Dean barks with a laugh louder than Sam’s heard him give in a while. Sam scowls momentarily. “Yuk it up all you want. Have you ever lived with a woman for more than a weekend?”
“Sam, that’s the one thing I’ve never done with a woman.”
“Dude, I felt like I was on Mars.”
“Don’t you mean Venus?”
Sam laughs, reaches for his own beer.
“I wish I’d gotten to know her.”
“Yeah, me too.” Sam pauses, twists the top off his longneck. “It would’ve been you.”
Dean is peeling the label off his bottle, not looking at Sam.
“My best man.”
Dean shrugs his shoulders, doesn’t look up, “I know.” He presses his knee into Sam’s. Sam smiles, presses back as he takes a deep pull.