Author: Mel aka mad_about_dan
Word count: ~1730
Characters: Dean, Lisa, Ben
Spoilers: Up to 5.22
Summary:SPOILERS! This is a view of Dean's life after Swan Song and how everything has changed for him. Dean is keeping the promise he made Sam and living the white picket fence life Sam wanted for him but is having to face the fact that he's now divided in two... a stranger far from the hunter he had once being and the brother wounded by the loss of the person he loved the most.
Dean kept his eyes locked on the ceiling above him, not making the lowest sound… simply waiting and listening, trying to keep himself together and hold on. ‘One more minute’ he thought to himself even though he felt how something inside him crumbled as he closed his eyes for several seconds. He could now tell, even without looking, every single spot on the white ceiling, the dark stain leaving trace of an old repaired leak, the piece of red clay that Ben had thrown there… probably too long ago. He just sighed deeply.
Every second seemed like a lifetime to him, as every heartbeat echoed on his eardrums and made his chest hurt. Just then, he heard what he’d been waiting for, his cue, Lisa’s breathing turned slower and deeper as she rolled over to the opposite side of the bed, she was fast asleep.
With a deep breath Dean rolled out of bed, carefully shifting his weight so he didn’t wake her up. He jumped up as soon as his bare feet touched the carpet and he felt as if a whole had just formed on his chest, Dean bit his bottom lip and walked outside the room, not even turning to look behind. He made his way down the long isle, the tip of his fingers tracing the walls slightly and as he painted a picture with his hands in the middle o the darkness, he could feel the anxiety pumping through his veins with every aching heartbeat.
As he passed by the living room and stepped into the small lobby the light coming through the windows made him stop, his eyes had just met others, the eyes of a man. His skin was pale, yet flawless with a clean shave while his hair was a bit longer than usual and had a spiky looking appearance. Dean simply stared at this stranger with calculating eyes, his bare chest was scratch less and so was his abdomen, the skin gripped tightly around some well defined muscles… he was healthy. There was just one thing that didn’t match the perfect appearance of the man before him: his eyes, they shone green but seemed older, as if the things they’d seen and the tears they’d cried had somehow made them seem timeless.
Dean felt his chest tightened, it hurt, just as the man placed a hand against his own chest. He took a step forward, and so did the man, touching the long mirror in front of him. So this was what he had become… but could this be what ‘he’ wanted? Dean felt tears flooding his eyes as he looked at himself, he looked healthy, even younger and no matter how hard he tried he just couldn’t find a single scratch or wound, other than the hand imprinted on his shoulder and the tattoo marking his chest, that could at least bring back a glimpse of the person he used to be… of everything he had lost.
For years Dean wanted a normal “apple pie” life hoping… more like being sure that this was his goal, to build up and repair his torn family and perhaps have an almost normal life. Sam had always being so open about it, about going to college and getting married… “I wanna be normal” he could clearly hear Sam’s voice inside his head opening a new would across his beaten heart, cause even when he never admitted it, so did he.
He damned himself for being a coward, for always pretending that was the way things were meant to be and how boring it would be to have a life just like everyone else did, but right now he would have given everything he had… he would have taken hell if he could give Sam the life he always wanted. The truth was he had never been able to stand Sam’s sadness, not to mention his tears, so whenever things got rough Dean did what he did best… he pretended, he smiled and put aside his own pain and thoughts just so he could give Sam the only thing he had to offer… a story, a joke or sometimes even a lie that burned his lips but was washed away as soon as his brother smiled at him.
Sam was wrong when he made him promise to come here… This just wasn’t the life he wanted, not like this. Cause his perfect life would have included Sam, no matter where he lived or what car he drove his happy life would have included Sam… living in his bigger house, with his shinny new car and dreamed job, waving his hand at him in the morning as he left for an important meeting, watching football games on Sundays or watching their children play together in the backyard… without him no life would be perfect, not even close.
Dean sighed as he looked down at his brand new striped pj pants. Lisa had insisted on him getting some as she couldn’t believe he had never owned a pair and was used to sleeping fully dressed, she really looked out for him and so did Ben. This was more than enough to make any man happy… then why was he so miserable? Dean would have given anything to have his old scars back, to be sore and tired, to have three hours of sleep and two cups of coffee, to sleep on those cheap motels if only he knew his brother would be sleeping in the bed next to his.
He opened the closet next to the mirror and took out his leather jacket right before walking out the door and into the pouring rain.
The wet grass of the front yard crushed underneath his feet as he rushed towards the Impala. Drops of water dripped down his hair and face; he slid his hand into his pocket and closed his fingers around the cold pieces of metal. His heartbeats kept increasing with anxiety and his chest tightened impatiently, he could no longer contain himself, he needed to let go.
A loud thunder echoed down the dark street bouncing off the metallic trashcans and setting off the alarms of several cars as Dean got inside the Impala. The feeling he got right after closing the door was something he would never be able to describe… the warmth inside it went beyond just a temperature thing, the scent was a weird combination of leather and pine deodorant with a trace of liquor and pie… as it filled his lungs Dean felt his chest get on fire, this was more than a car, this was his home… their home.
He felt flames crawl all the way up his face and into his eyes as he stared at the empty passenger’s seat… no matter how many days or weeks went by he’d never get used to that. His eyes drowned in tears and the hole of his chest grew, causing him to produce a low pant. Dean wrapped his arms around the steering wheel and let his head hang down as tears ran down his cheeks.
“Sam” he breathed softly as he shook his head “my Sammy”
For these weeks he had being forced to pretend in front of Ben and Lisa that everything was ok but he just couldn’t take it anymore, especially when the truth was the whole opposite. He just wished it would have been him and not Sam who died… the only thought of his brother in hell made Dean’s sobs turn into loud moans. He wished he could die… he wished he could go to hell and somehow take the pain away from his brother but how could he do anything when Sam’s last wish was for him to live the life he had always wanted… how could he risk everything Sam had given his life up for, how could he dare going to hell and not being able to save him, how would he explain Sam he had given up the last present he had offered him… life.
“Sam!” Dean called out loudly as he hit the steering wheel with his palm and tears streamed down his face. Finally he let himself fall sideways with his head resting on the passenger’s seat as tears kept pouring. This was a slow torture, like dying every single day just to wake up the next one and having to face the same miserable existence.
Lisa leaned against the window of the living room with arms crossed in front of her chest. Dean was in the car… again. He had been doing this for weeks now, sneaking out in the middle of the night and locking himself inside the Impala. It didn’t matter how much she tried, his grief went beyond any word she could possibly say.
Some nights were quiet and he would just sit there silently until he fell sleep, other’s he’d cry for hours not saying a single word… but the roughest ones, like this one, he’d cry himself to sleep while screaming his brother’s name or calling out for him in a tone strong enough for a whisper to get to Lisa’s room… luckily none of the neighbors had seemed to notice. But it didn’t matter what happened through the night every morning he’d wake up as a new man, smiling at her, playing with Ben and even fixing things around the house… he was two persons trapped in one, or perhaps one broken person who hid himself from the world.
Just then she saw a shadow cross the street and walk towards their side of the sidewalk. The street lights flickered momentarily but she kept her eyes on the man, who apparently wasn’t surprised by this and simply stood in front of their house. Lisa tried to distinguish the man’s face in the middle of the darkness, but shadows covered it.
She turned around immediately as her heart skipped a heartbeat just to find Ben standing by the couch.
“Oh” she breathed deeply “hey, hun, you scared me” she half smiled “What are you doing up?”
“The storm woke me up so I was going for a snack” he pointed at the kitchen “What about you?”.
“Are you ok, mom?”
Lisa turned around to look back outside, Dean was still inside the Impala, but there was no trace of the other man.
“Yeah, it’s nothing” she whispered.