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11 August 2008 @ 09:52 pm
Last Rites, a Supernatural fic (and Sweet Charity debt!)  

News Flash:  This story is now also available in French, courtesy of the wonderful Chiiyo86, at her fanfiction.net account here. Thank you very much for helping me make people cry in a whole different language!

  Last Rites
Rating:  PG-13 (mature themes)
Characters/Pairing:  Sam, Bobby; memories of Dean, John
Words:  ~6,270
Disclaimers:  These characters belong to Eric Kripke, Wonderland Sound and Vision, and Warner Brothers Telvision. No infringement is intended.
Warnings/Summary:   This is a coda to 3.16, No Rest For The Wicked:  Sam and Bobby bury Dean.  This is also my incredibly overdue Sweet Charity fic for the wonderfully patient 


  -- I'm sorry this took so long and wasn't what I originally intended, but I hope I fulfilled your request that I make you cry!

The exquisite art banner was created by the brilliant  


  -- thank you, my very dear, you nailed it!

Current Mood: melancholymelancholy
Current Music: "Say It To Me Now" by Glen Hansard
Sue: Dean Criescandygramme on August 12th, 2008 08:07 pm (UTC)
Jeez, that hurt so much, and my face is all swollen and puffy, and it's YOUR FAULT.

And you nailed it... especially Bobby's voice. Perfect.
bardicvoicebardicvoice on August 13th, 2008 02:49 am (UTC)
Ummm ... sorry? (Well, not really ...)

Thank you! I'm glad it worked. And I think Bobby just wrote himself; he's stubborn that way.
immie_8immie_8 on August 13th, 2008 02:43 am (UTC)
*sniffles* Oh, I don't think my heart could be in any smaller pieces than they are now!!! Hauntingly beautiful and so many other things that I don't think I could put into words. Just...*cries*
bardicvoicebardicvoice on August 13th, 2008 02:51 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'd offer a tissue or a hanky, but there seems to have been a serious run on those around here ... I guess it worked, huh?

Now if only it would be mid-September ...
almightyspaz on August 13th, 2008 01:02 pm (UTC)
Oh God, so sad and heart wrenching and lovely and.... there are not enough good words in the English language to describe. You rock.
bardicvoicebardicvoice on August 14th, 2008 12:56 am (UTC)
I also roll ... Thank you very much for coming by and letting me know it worked!
spikestress: winchesterspikestress on August 13th, 2008 04:07 pm (UTC)
You made me cry... at work... you evil person you!

This was raw and gut wrenching so real feeling. I wouldn't be one bit surprized if it really DID go exactly like this!

Sam and Bobby's voices are right on. Circumstances are so organic feeling and the discriptions are amazing.

This was brilliant!

bardicvoicebardicvoice on August 14th, 2008 12:58 am (UTC)
Thank you! Apologies for making you cry at work, but, well, the art should kinda have warned you ... *wry grin*

And my evil plot to take over the world by incapacitating everyone at work is succeeding!

This was wrenchingly hard to write, and I couldn't have done it any sooner than I did. But now I'm ready for season four ...
(no subject) - spikestress on August 14th, 2008 01:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bardicvoice on August 14th, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
iamstealthyoneiamstealthyone on August 13th, 2008 04:47 pm (UTC)
Very nicely done. You did a great job showing the harsh, painful logistics that Sam (and Bobby) had to face after Dean died. I also like how you referred back to the boys taking care of John’s body after John died. Good depiction all the way around of the way grief takes hold of and affects people.

I definitely ached for Sam throughout this, for how much he doesn’t want to say goodbye but has to, and the way he shuts down for a while, then has that breakdown outside the car, then pulls himself back together because he’s got a job to do, a soul to save.

*hugs him*

Favorite lines:

and the blood, piss, and shit-stained boxers and ripped jeans

Brutal, painful details, and very effective in terms of showing what Dean went through.

terse with his own locked-up grief.

Nicely phrased.

like the time they’d gone fishing when all Dad could pull in were little fingerlings, while Dean landed the trout that became their dinner; or the winter training session that had devolved into a snowball fight with both of them pelting Dad until he’d finally caught them in a massive bear hug and they’d all fallen together into a snowdrift.

Great details, and I love that second image of the family in a happy, sweet moment.

Washing once strong, capable fingers that had pulled in to unnatural claws, Sam felt his gorge rise, and he had to stop, sit down, and put his head down to keep from throwing up.

Oh, Sam. Oh, boys.

and if he closed his eyes and rested his own head once on Dean’s shoulder,

This makes me ache for him. He’s so not ready to let Dean go.

And then there wouldn’t be any excuse not to put him in that box down in the earth, and he’d never see him again.

And until then, he was damned if he’d sleep and miss a minute of being able to still see his brother’s face.

*hugs poor, grieving Sam*

Bobby pulled out a machete and laid out the dimensions of the grave, cutting and peeling back the turf in wide strips so the mingled grass and weeds could be laid back down to hide the fresh-turned earth when they were done.

Good detail.

while it seemed that a grave, no matter how old, somehow always remembered having been opened once.

Nicely phrased.

And don’t you throw away what he gave you, neither, ‘cause it cost more’n anyone could afford. Especially him.”

Well said. And that’s the thing, too. If Sam throws his life away, goes darkside or gets himself killed, then it’s like Dean’s sacrifice was for nothing.

It was too dark for him to see any expression on Bobby’s face, but his bowed stillness was redolent of grief.

And it didn’t touch him at all.

It hurts to see Sam shutting down like this, especially with Bobby, but I can see how he’d need to, in order to stay sane.

He went to find Lilith, and he went in silence and alone.

The music stayed as dead as Dean, wrapped in the trunk in his leather jacket.

Ow. Great ending, with a wonderful spareness that hurts.

P.S. I just noticed your current music mentioning Glen Hansard, and I was listening to "Once" right before I started reading this fic. :)
bardicvoicebardicvoice on August 14th, 2008 01:02 am (UTC)
Thank you! The time and detail you put into your comment both humble and amaze me; I'm grateful that it all worked so well for you!

I'd never heard the Hansard piece until Cat shared it with me while doing the art banner. Now it's a permanent part of my Supernatural mood playlist!
(no subject) - iamstealthyone on August 14th, 2008 01:46 am (UTC) (Expand)
custerpie1 on August 13th, 2008 05:10 pm (UTC)
bardicvoicebardicvoice on August 14th, 2008 01:02 am (UTC)
Amen! (Thanks!)
tabaqui: s&dwaterbylt-sptabaqui on August 13th, 2008 06:21 pm (UTC)
Oh, yes, excellent. I love it when people take the time to actually *think* about what it's like to deal with a corpse. Ugly and heartbreaking and perfectly *right*.

Lovely stuff.
bardicvoicebardicvoice on August 14th, 2008 01:05 am (UTC)
Thank you! This was rough to write, and I was afraid of going over the top with it. I'm glad and very relieved that it actually worked!

It wasn't all that long ago that funerals were conducted from home; in the U.S, at least, we've largely lost touch with death as a part of life because we don't handle it. Taking it head-on was the only way I found to deal with Dean's sacrifice, and this just felt ... right, to me.
(no subject) - tabaqui on August 14th, 2008 01:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
Nora Norwich: Sam puppyfacenorwich36 on August 13th, 2008 06:32 pm (UTC)
That was completely heartbreaking, and felt very real. I loved all your attention to the little details, and the story about John burying the vet from his unit, and the contrast between Bobby's grief and Sam's denial.
bardicvoicebardicvoice on August 14th, 2008 01:07 am (UTC)
Thank you! All I'd planned was washing and laying out Dean; John and the vet were suddenly just organically there, as well as Sam's questions about what happened after his own death. It all fit together as if fated, and the words flowed. I couldn't have written this even two weeks ago; I guess it was just time.
Bogwitch: SPN - Dean Skullbogwitch on August 13th, 2008 08:26 pm (UTC)
Wonderful. My cheeks are wet.
bardicvoicebardicvoice on August 14th, 2008 01:08 am (UTC)
Thank you! Uh, hanky? I think all the Kleenex got used up, already ...

(Love your icon, BTW!)
(no subject) - bogwitch on August 14th, 2008 07:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bardicvoice on August 15th, 2008 12:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
I do not think it means what you think it means.tcs1121 on August 13th, 2008 11:26 pm (UTC)
You brought to the light the things we don't want to think about. The rigor, the herbs masking the smell, the rope lowering down the simple pine box with the lid nailed shut. Nitty gritty, down and dirty, grief beyond belief. In the hands of a lesser writer this could have been over-the-top campiness. But you, Bardicvoice, full on nailed it. Bravo!
bardicvoicebardicvoice on August 14th, 2008 01:16 am (UTC)
Thank you! I was afraid I had indeed taken it over the top; I was way too close to it to be able to judge. I'm relieved and pleased beyond words to find that it worked for people, and didn't take the brutal reality too far.

Such praise makes my ears turn pink ... *happydance* (in an "Irish wake" kind of way ...)
kamelionleenys on August 14th, 2008 02:16 am (UTC)
Okay, I ended up having to skim after the description of Dean's stiff hands, and how unnatural that is. . .just reminds me of trying to put rings on my mom's hands before her viewing. Just, wrong, being so still, so cold. So yeah. You nailed it.
bardicvoice: LastRites <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>bardicvoice on August 15th, 2008 12:54 am (UTC)
My condolences on the loss of your mother, and my apologies for triggering such a resonance. Thank you very much for commenting in despite of that!
mteemtee on August 14th, 2008 08:24 pm (UTC)
Very very good. It was just right -- tearful, but strong. Thank you.
bardicvoice: LastRites <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>bardicvoice on August 15th, 2008 12:55 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm very glad it worked for you!
Becky: SPN HUGewanspotter on August 15th, 2008 04:21 am (UTC)
Painful but honest. Nice work.
bardicvoicebardicvoice on August 16th, 2008 12:54 am (UTC)
Thank you! I kinda had to write this, just to get through what I was feeling ... Now I'm ready for season four. I think.
(Deleted comment)
bardicvoicebardicvoice on August 16th, 2008 12:55 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'd offer Kleenex, but I don't think I laid in a large enough supply ...
(Deleted comment)
bardicvoicebardicvoice on August 16th, 2008 12:59 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you came by.

Parts of this just seemed to write themselves, and I knew from the outset that the parallel with John just had to be there; I'd never really had the chance to deal with his loss, and what the boys must have done before putting him on that pyre. And then Sam asking what had happened when he had died - I hadn't expected that. It just came out of Sam's mouth and I watched my fingers type.

I love it when a story comes together that way.