Disclaimer: I own nothing and no one. Sadness.
Summary: Follow up to AHBL-1.
Spoilers: SPN Ep 221 (All Hell Breaks Loose part 1)
Word count: 710
Author Notes: Written for the new comm spn_standstill, started by the lovely albydarned. I don't usually write codas, but this episode was just... well, if you've seen it you know. Not sure if I'm any good at this, pls let me know what you think? :)
Dean holds his lifeless body in his arms for ever, holds, and rocks and kisses wherever he can reach without letting go. In time, Bobby tires of standing around, guarding them against… apparently nothing, insists they move already. It’s when Bobby offers to help, and extends a hand towards him that Dean snaps to attention.
Dean doesn’t let Bobby touch him.
Carries him over his right shoulder, carries him like he weighs nothing. Arms wrapped securely round slender thighs, eyes glued to the ground, he walks. Oblivious to everything else but him… the sickening silence and stillness of him, dragging wary feet until they reach the Impala.
Dean lets Bobby drive his Impala.
Gets into the backseat and lays him across his lap, folding the long legs in with trouble, limbs beginning to pale and stiffen as it is. Pushes the torpid head under his chin and rocks to a once long-familiar rhythm… lingering memories of journeys overnight, John on the wheel, tired children in the back.
Dean pretends he’s only sleeping.
Lets his thoughts run loose, astray in a minefield of if-onlys and why-didn’ts, a hand grips the back of his hair so taut, Dean almost rips some out. There is no grieving, not yet, no rage or revenge or fuck what now, just ice-cold, mind numbing, heart stopping pain. Pain that seeps through every vein and artery until it pulsates in every limb, every muscle, paralyses his very soul. A pair of blinding headlights prickles till he is forced to look up. And then he cannot look away.
Dean pretends he’s riding shotgun.
They reach Elkins’ cabin in Colorado before sunrise, it’s the closest and safest there is, for now. Dean tucks him into bed with practiced ease, ignores the question and worry in Bobby’s eyes. Brushes soft auburn hair back from a pallid forehead, commands the other to quickly start the fireplace. *Do it!* He barks when Bobby hesitates, then rushes to apologize, but not to the sad old man.
Dean starts to talk to him.
Two days is all Bobby can take, of the systematic descent into madness. When he lashes out, Dean hits back… hard and screaming at last. The dam breaks and in it’s wake, one man is left bruised and bleeding. The other bruised… and utterly broken. Dean falls to his knees and cries, for a brother, a mother and a dad. Dean cries because he failed, again. Dean cries.
Because he’d just started to talk back.
They salt and burn his remains in the backyard, collect his ashes in a rustic urn. Bobby gets Dean to eat at last, then goes out to re-fuel for the long voyage ahead. Leaves Dean sitting in a rickety old chair, staring away at the southwest corner by the fireplace. His grief is limitless, his pain sharper and more unforgiving than ever before. But rage is all he chooses to focus on, it’s all he needs, for now. Rage, and *revenge*. Stares the damn corner right down.
Makes a promise to see him again. Soon.
The car wrangles in, and Dean rises in automated motion. Picks up the jacket with the bloodied hole in the back, caressing it with his big brother hands. Dons it, stone eyes tracing the location of the hidden cabinet in the southwest corner, where now the urn stands. Safe. Protected by the fifth pentacle of Mars. He has everything he’ll need, ever, walks to the door but pauses. Turns, his eyes softening for one last time.
The door slides shut. Dean’s gone.
He pulls his bony knees to his chest, winds gangly long arms around them tight. Rocks to a once long-familiar rhythm, as much as the little corner allows him to, by the fireplace. Silent, as he gazes at the door that now stands between the two brothers, one dead one barely alive – wishes he could follow but he can’t. Curses the day he showed Dean how.
To draw the devil’s trap.
Exhales a cloud of imaginary steam, wonders why his hair keeps falling in his eyes like it used to, back when he was fourteen. Back in a simpler time, but hell… simple’s relative. Like, crazy. Smiles knowingly, his big brother never ever *ever* lets him down. He will be back for him, he promised.
Dean promised. So he waits.