It’s Been a Lonely Year
-Late night drives just aren’t what they used to be-
Warnings: Angst, I guess? Is that a warning?
A/N: This is for Brook and Taylor’s Angst Challenge! (AKA @wayward-oneshots and @impalaimagining ) I had the idea for late-night drives when I was on my own late night drive and then I thought, “Hey, might as well break some hearts while I’m at it.” My prompt was the song I’ve Given Up On You by Real Friends, which is one of my favorite bands and one of my favorite songs so I was super excited to write this. As always, feedback is definitely appreciated!
*I do not own any Supernatural character and/or gifs!
It’s 4am and you’re keeping me from closing these sleepy eyes
Does the thought of me keep you up at night?
Sam gripped the steering wheel tighter, watching the lights whir by as he drove deeper into the backwoods of New York. The clock on the dash claimed it was 4am, but the youngest Winchester didn’t feel tired. If anything, he felt jittery and on edge.
If this was five years ago, Sam would be out for a jog; not pushing the gas pedal down as if he could push all of his frustration and anger out along with it.
He wasn’t like Dean. He figured he was in the car enough as it is traveling across the country for different cases. Why would he want to spend any more of his time cramped in the vehicle?
But that was before Y/N.
He still remembered the first night she had silently peeked her head into his room, whispering his name to see if he was awake.
“I can’t sleep.” She had said after he sat up, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes, “Want to go for a drive with me?”
He could never say no to her; especially on the nights she needed him most.
And so their late-night tradition started.
Sometimes they would take turns randomly calling out directions, other times Y/N would bring along a quarter and flip it every time they came to a T in the road: heads they’d go right, tails they’d go left.
The goal, however, was always the same: drive until you have no clue where you are.
He had never told her, but Sam loved those nights when she would creep into his room and shake him awake.
He loved the way she would stick her hand out the window and lean her head back, singing along to whatever was on the radio at the time. Her fingers would dance in the wind as if performing a routine for the night air, and her lips would always be turned up in that soft, smile he loved so much.
You used to make me feel like I could walk on water
Now most nights I’m just sinking down and down
It was on one of these night drives when he first kissed her.
It was 2am and they had taken the car from the bar Dean was currently occupying, looking for a late-night fling. Y/N was always much more animated on their drives when they were in different states; she loved seeing the new landscapes and finding hidden treasures underneath the moonlight.
They had been driving for about twenty minutes when she had pointed at a sign directing them to a lookout.
“Ooh! Sam!” She looked over at him with excited eyes and a wide smile, “Let’s go to the lookout!”
He had rolled his eyes as if he was annoyed, but the smile adorning his face betrayed him.
He pulled onto the dusty road and wove his way through the trees before emerging into a clearing.
He had barely put the car in park before Y/N jumped out and ran to the edge where a wooden fence protected people from falling off the ledge.
He remembered the look of awe on her face as she gazed upon all the tiny lights in the distance, remarking on how it was as if the stars had fallen to the earth.
He wasn’t focused on the view, though; he was mesmerized by the woman standing next to him.
Without thinking, he had wrapped his hand around hers, causing a curious look to flash in her eyes.
“Sam?” She had asked, “Is everything alright?”
He couldn’t speak, not if he was going to go through with what he was planning. He couldn’t lose the nerve that he had somehow built up on the walk from the car to here.
Understanding seemed to dawn on her as he leaned forward, cupping her cheek in his palm. She lifted herself up on her toes and met him the rest of the way, her lips softly covering his own.
Later on, after they were back in the car and driving back to the bar, she had asked him what had taken him so long.
“I’ve been waiting for that kiss for the past year, Samuel.” She had joked, but Sam could only focus on how happy she looked hugging his arm with her head on his shoulder.
Right then, he thought he would have been able to walk on water and take on the world as long as she was by his side.
But that was then. This is now.
If Sam concentrated hard enough, he could still see her lounging next to him with her bare feet resting on the dash-smell the floral scent of her shampoo that her hair seemed to hold on to even after the most grueling of fights …feel her fingers softly caressing his arm.
But it never lasted long; reality would seep in and he would feel her loss deep in his bones: a cold, darkness that never seemed to disappear.
“What do you mean, I should go?” Tears were falling down her face, and he had to physically stop himself from reaching out and wiping them away.
This was his fault. He put them there.
The last hunt ended badly. Y/N had to be in the hospital for two weeks, Sam and Dean weren’t sure she was going to make it. Her heart had stopped twice and the doctors had given both boys pamphlets on loss and grieving.
Miraculously she pulled through; surprising everyone in the ICU. They had just talked to the boys about making plans for when it all went south.
Even though she survived, Sam couldn’t stop thinking about what could have happened. How would he have been able to live with himself if the woman he loved was no longer on this earth?
And so he decided.
He decided that he couldn’t let her put herself in harm’s way anymore. He decided to let her go-to let her live that apple pie life she was always dreaming of.
He could lose her to a normal life as long as he knew she was still alive.
But he couldn’t tell her that. No, she would never let him give her up like that.
Sam worked his jaw, bracing himself for what he’d have to say next: the only thing that would push her away.
“I never loved you, Y/N.” He said coolly and without any emotion.
“Bullshit!” She sobbed, taking a step closer, reaching out for him.
He took a step back, knowing that if he let her touch him, he wouldn’t be able to go through with it, and he needed to go through with it.
Her eyes pleaded, begging him not to do this, “You’re telling me that the past three years meant nothing to you?”
“I liked you well enough, sure,” Sam forced the words out of his mouth, but they left a bitter aftertaste, “but I just don’t feel anything special.”
She set her jaw, anger flashing behind her eyes, “I don’t believe you.”
But her voice wavered and Sam knew this would be his only chance to successfully push her away.
“You can believe what you want,” He said, “but I don’t want you here anymore.”
Y/N quickly wiped at her eyes and shook her head. “Fuck you, Sam Winchester,” she spat before shoving past him.
He waited until he heard the bunker door clang shut before falling to his knees, letting himself fall apart at the reality of what he’d just done.
He never offered an explanation to Dean, and Dean never asked. In fact, there seemed to be an unspoken rule after that night to never mention Y/N’s name again.
It’s been a lonely year …
Sam pressed the pedal down harder, trying to outrun the memories that haunt him every night and keep him from falling asleep.
Most nights he’d just toss and turn in bed, but tonight was different. Tonight was harder than most nights.
Dean had broken that unspoken rule.
Sitting in a bar in Rochester, New York, Sam saw Y/N’s name cross his brother’s lips accompanied by wide eyes.
Turning around, he had seen her wrapped in the arms of another man.
Her hair was different; cut shorter and dyed a lighter color, but her eyes were still the same shade of Y/E/C, reminding him of the nights they would spend nose-to-nose, lying in bed, sharing their deepest fears.
She laughed, a sound Sam had almost forgotten, and stood on her toes to kiss the man the same way she used to kiss Sam.
Sam watched the exchange, feeling every range of emotion from happiness at seeing her alive, to anger she was with someone else, to sadness because she was no longer his to hold.
“Hey, man, let’s go.” Dean nodded toward the exit furthest from the happy couple.
Sam numbly nodded, following his brother across the dive-bar and to the door where he could escape his past.
He stopped, just before entering the cool, night air, and looked back in her direction.
He wanted to savor this last sight of her, even if she was with someone else, because at least she was smiling.
She turned suddenly, as if feeling his eyes on her, and let out a small gasp.
She tried calling out his name, but he was already gone, disappearing into the night and leaving just as she had done a year ago.
I’ve given up on you, but it still hurts to know you’re not alone
Don’t worry, I’ll keep out of your life and stay awake at night
With just my skin and bones
It hurts to know you’re not alone
I’ve given up on you, and my skin, and my bones
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