likely_evil: (Jo - Happy Smiling)
Sam Winchester ([personal profile] likely_evil) wrote2010-07-05 03:52 pm

[livejournal.com profile] feeltherainfall: A Walk to Remember

Sam sat on the steps of the apartment building, waiting as he flipped a coin between his fingers. It was his “One Year” sober token, having earned it actually a few weeks ago, but he wasn’t counting anymore. His parole officer and social worker, yes, but not him; it was easier to just put it all in the past and focus on the future.

A future that might include Jo again. The thought made him smile, remembering seeing her again for the first time at Cas and Pam’s wedding. Seeing her happy, smiling, and enjoying herself had made him smile, but afraid to walk over to see her. But of course his “family” had other ideas and now…

“You just going to sit there, or you want to help me?”

He turned to look over his shoulder, then stand as he saw Jo coming out with Ford on a leash. A full grown dog now, he had seen Sam and was straining against his leash to get to him while Jo was trying to lock the door.

“Let him go. I’ll catch him.”

“Alright, but you asked for it.”

Jo let the leash go and Ford jumped right at Sam. He did catch the dog, but lost his balance and they both fell to the ground. Sam started to laugh as the dog licked his face, trying to push him away. “Alright, yeah I missed you too, Ford. Come on, get down.”

Laughing, Jo grabbed the leash as pulled him off Sam, then dug out a tissue from her pocket. “I told you his missed you.”

“Yeah, I get that.” He wiped the drool off, scratching Ford behind the ears. “I missed him too.”

“Ready for that walk now?”

“Yup.” He pushed himself back up to his feet, brushing the dirt off his jacket and pants. “You?”

“I wouldn’t be out here if I wasn’t.” She gave him a small smile, then motioned for Sam to follow her. He realized almost immediately that it was a new path she was taking that led them to the park. “So, it’s been awhile.”

“Over a year.” His hands went into his pockets. “One very interesting year.”

“You can say that again.” She struggled a bit to control Ford as he pulled Jo more towards the trees. “I wasn’t sure I would ever see you again.”

“You basically told me you didn’t want me to. I was just obeying your wishes.”

“I was upset when I wrote that…”

“You meant it Jo. And I don’t blame you. I screwed up, and you suffered for it. I deserved it.” She turned to look at him, and Sam shrugged his shoulders. “I’ve grown up. It took a year, but I think I’ve finally figured out a lot of things that I needed to. Started figuring out who I really am, and what I want to do in my life.”

“And what’s that?”

“Hey, I said I started… I haven’t finished it yet.” He laughed, and then smiled at her soft laugh. “But I’ve got a job I like now; trying to help kids not end up like me. I’ve got firsthand knowledge that a lot of social workers don’t have, so I’m good at getting through to them. I’ve managed to move out of Cas’ place – again - to have my own apartment. And I’m actually finishing college online and when I do, I can actually be a social worker for real. It’s like all this trauma I put myself through can make a difference for others. If I can just save one kid a week, that’s fifty two less of these that may only get handed out.” He held up his sobriety coin for her to see, and she took it to look at.

“I’m really proud of you, Sam,” she said softly. “My biggest fear was that you were going to slip so far that no one would be able to bring you back.”

“I almost did.” He reached into his pocket for his wallet, and pulled out the browning, tattered piece of paper. “But this helped me, more than you’ll ever know.”

Jo handed back the coin and handed Sam the leash as she carefully unfolded the letter. She saw her own shaky handwriting and covered her mouth before looking up at him. “You kept this?”

“When I hit rehab, I read it every day. It reminded me of how much I hurt you and everyone else too. And I swore I was never going to give anyone a reason to write another one of those letters to me.”

“Sam…”

He took the letter back, folding it carefully and then shoving his wallet back into his pocket. “Jo, I’m not asking you to take me back today. I’m going to ask tomorrow. But I just want you to give me a chance to show you a bit of what I’ve discovered about who I am, and see if maybe you’ll like him enough to at least be friends with me again.”

She nodded, wiping a finger under her eye. “I think I can do that.”

“Good. Now, would you mind if I went and played with your dog for awhile in the dog park?”

“Go ahead. Just make sure you wear him out so he will go to sleep when I take him home.”

He grinned, resisting the urge to lean down and kiss her cheek. Instead he just turned and walked Ford over to the fence for the park and went in, then took the leash off Ford’s collar and took off running to let the dog chase after him. They played for almost an hour while Jo just watched from the bench she had claimed until both man and dog walked back to the gate and came out.

“Thanks,” he told her, holding out the leash to Jo, but she shook her head.

“You wanted to play with him, and that means you have to walk him the rest of the way home.” She grinned and started to walk back the way they had come. Sam followed, not surprised as Ford didn’t pull and kept pace next to him until they got back to the apartment door. He stopped at the steps as Jo walked up to open the door, then turned back. “Thanks, Sam. This was nice.”

“Maybe we could do it again?”

She came back down the stairs to get Ford’s lease, and a shy smile came over her face. “I think I’d like that.”

“Just give me a call, then. I’ll see if I can pencil you in.”

She laughed, then started up the stairs and stopped at the door. “Sam?”

He had turned to leave, but turned back. “Yes, Jo?”

“We never stopped being friends. Just so you know.”

A smile came back to his lips. “Thanks.”

“I’ll see you soon.” And with that, she went back inside. Once she was gone, Sam took a deep, strong breath and said a small prayer of thanks to whoever was listening before heading back to his side of the neighborhood.