Pairing: None, Gen.
Summary: A small Sam POV coda to Swan Song
Notes/Acknowledgments: Betad by waterofthemoon.
Sam knows that today is Tuesday (it's not, it's Thursday), and he knows it's May (it's not that, either; it's June, but he's only off by a day and a half).
He doesn't remember how long he's been back (almost three weeks) or exactly where he is (a small patch of road near Lisa Braeden's new house that pretends it's a town when people come through it to get gas).
Sam doesn't remember how he got out (he doesn't remember that he's never known, that no one told him that God Himself, speaking through Joshua, sent Castiel on another Winchester Fishing Expedition) or if he knows how his brothers are doing (Dean is two and a half days sober—Lisa still has a soft spot for broken boys just as big as she's always had—and Adam is seven and a half now and in Georgia, swinging on a playground with his mommy; he's going to win a jumping contest, and then they're going for ice cream).
He knows he's missing bits and pieces (chunks and chunks and time and memories and occasionally basic motor functions), but he isn't sure if he doesn't remember why or doesn't know (he doesn't know, and he doesn't remember; archangels sink in deep and get comfortable, wind through and dig hooks into your personality, and they can't help but pull when they leave).
Sam knows he isn't good with time (he tries to get bagels at midnight and never, ever pays the motel rent before checkout, but the manager's daughter has Down Syndrome, so he doesn't kick Sam out when he continues to pay in the afternoon, and he makes sure graveyard knows about the plate of food for the tall boy who has to look at his key to remember which way to go), and he has minor aphasia (and it feels weird to him to know that it's called aphasia but not be able to name the brown stuff he drinks in the morning).
He has good days where he only gets lost a few times (he can still navigate fine and has an amazing sense of direction; he just doesn't always remember where it is he's supposed to be going until after he's missed it) and mostly passes for a normal (albeit tired and flighty) person.
Sam's bad days are bad (they start small and snowball—shoes on the wrong feet that irritate him and make him angry, which makes him forget to shave or miss spots which leads to him not eating all day because he can't remember what he should be doing and is so frustrated with himself that he can't stop and breathe for a second and let it pass).
He gets lightheaded for no reason sometimes (he has a punctured ear drum, but he doesn't remember the banshee from when he was fifteen, so he doesn't remember what it feels like), and he can't tell if that has to do with the way electronics sometimes explode around him now or how he can get the remote from the dresser without having to get up (it doesn't, but it does have to do with all those pieces Sam got yanked out of him when Lucifer left because one of those pieces was the lock on that box where Sam kept all the things that scared his big brother).
Sam doesn't remember if he's told Dean he's back (he hasn't), but he figures it doesn't matter because Dean probably knows already, the way Dean has always known where Sam was at any given time (he doesn't, and he begs and prays to a God he wants to kill that Lucifer kept Sam for a suit so Sam wouldn't end up on any racks).
He sometimes isn't sure if he's really out of Hell (he is) because he thinks that maybe this is God's final punishment to him for being born and kick-starting the end (he spent so long trying to make his family see that he was an adult and could take care of himself, and now, three days out of four, he can't dress himself correctly on the first try).
Sam cuts the tags out of all of his shirts (so they don't stick out when he puts them on backwards or inside out) and starts wearing his button-downs unbuttoned (he can't line them up straight anymore; it always looks right to him until he starts getting stares).
He wakes up most days wishing for his big brother (he always misses him; it's a constant ache, like an exposed nerve on a tooth) and goes to bed nearly every night thinking Dean is better off without him (he isn't).