Standalone thing. Sort of an alternate to Brothers Together I guess.
Oscar was happy. Happier than he’d been in a long time, recalling all the way back to that month of his childhood when they’d first stayed in the motel. He smiled, and warmth bloomed inside him that he didn’t know could exist anymore.
They were back. Sam and Dean were back with him.
“I-I never thought … it’s been so long,” he stammered, taking a step forward. Suddenly it wasn’t so scary, getting caught out on the dresser, hiding behind the TV and fervently hoping not to be seen. They had spotted him, and Sam had hardly needed to tell Dean anything before he had a path to the surface of the dresser. He climbed Dean’s arm like it was the most normal thing in the world.
They’d changed a lot, but Oscar had, too. He smiled anyway, and there were tears in his eyes as he stood there and stared at them.
Sam had tears in his eyes, too, and he brushed them away with a sleeve. “Oscar,” he muttered, his tone carrying a heavy weight like he hadn’t said the name in ages. Like he’d avoided saying it. “W-we never knew which motel to come back to. There were so many. We wanted to come back.”
“We’re here now, Oz,” Dean rumbled from high above. His voice had gotten so deep, so gruff. His hands were much larger than the last time Oscar had seen them. Looking up at the towering man, he knew it was the same human. The only one he’d ever trusted in his life.
Oscar clutched at the strap of his bag, hanging over his shoulder and never feeling as heavy as it should. It was hard to find food, day after day, but he’d been on the same routine for years. Ever since he’d lost his chance to go with the brothers that stood before him now.
Now, a part of him longed to go with them, while another wondered if they’d even want him to.
He took another step forward, further out of the shadow of the old TV. The light hurt his eyes, and it brought his gaunt appearance into sharper relief. He saw Sam’s dismayed glances over his thin frame, and appraised his friend in kind. Sam had become tall, and strong. Oscar had grown taller since last they met, but he’d never quite made his three-and-a-half-inch goal. By contrast, Sam had to be four inches tall.
After a few more seconds of a long, shocked staring contest, Sam let out a weak chuckle. His dimpled smile finally let some of his tears escape, and he stepped forward to close the distance.
Oscar barely had time to lift his arms before he was surrounded in a hug from his best friend, back after so long. He closed his eyes and allowed himself to be embraced, and his own tears raced down his cheeks.
“Oscar, I’m so sorry,” Sam mumbled. Oscar shook his head, or he tried to, but he was stuck in a hug much stronger than he was.
“Don’t be sorry,” he mumbled back. “You’re here now.”
Sam pulled back enough to meet his gaze with a wan smile. “Yeah. I’m here.”
One hand went to a pocket on his jacket to fish for something within. Oscar didn’t notice the grains of salt in Sam’s hand once it emerged again to pat him on the shoulder.
He didn’t notice anything at all after that.
Dean’s jaw clenched and he could barely find words as Sam stepped back from where the apparition had stood moments ago. “Sammy …”
“I remember where he lives. Lived,” Sam said abruptly. “We can … we can talk about this later. After.”
Dean huffed quietly but didn’t argue. A headline flashed across his mind, one detailing three deaths in the last two months, all unrelated, all the same cause. That newspaper had drawn them there, but they’d never imagined the depth of the wounds it would cause. Old scars were ripped open the moment they saw what–who had triggered Dean’s homemade EMF meter.
Dean held out a hand for his little brother, who was staring at his own much smaller hands. Lost in thought. Probably the same thoughts that Dean couldn’t keep at bay himself, now that he’d seen what had become of their old friend.
He wanted to tell Sammy it wasn’t his fault. Wasn’t their fault. They were kids. Their dad had dragged them out of the motel those many years ago to keep them safe.
It was hard to believe it himself, so Dean said nothing. He simply cleared his throat around a lump that had formed there. “You know what we gotta do, then,” he muttered.
There was one last thing they could do for their friend.