Summary: Dean and Sam stand at the edge of the lake, just beyond the little cottage where they lost everything and everyone. Missing scene from Episode 1 of Season 13. Vignette COMPLETE

Dean and Sam stood at the edge of the lake, just beyond the little cottage where they had lost everything and everyone.

The convulsing horrors of the night had been replaced with numbing grief in the hazy morning light. The long hours of mechanical activity, in which the two men had wrapped the bodies and prepared the pyres, was behind them. Dean had gathered the ashes in a tin, and wrapped them in the trench coat he had been unable to burn. The bundle now lay in the backseat of the Impala, waiting to go home.

Sam had returned briefly to the brightly painted nursery, to gently close the door on its still-born hopes and persistent, futile love.

All the work of the moment was done. Now came the hard part.

Now came everything else.

The two brothers stood at the edge of the lake, watching the sun rise over the mountains. Waiting for reality to take hold. For calculation to replace heartache. For the Nephilim, who had disappeared in a flutter of dark wings moments after birth, to return. For the rift to reopen. Knowing it never would.

"What now?" Sam finally forced out, seeking comfort more than direction.

Beside him, Dean swallowed hard, broke his gaze from the washed-out dystopia, the dark imprint of wings, and bodies crumpling to the ground. He swayed slightly, then grunted into the dirt, "Now? Now, we're going to get into the car, and drive home. And when we get there, first thing I'm gonna do is pour out all the damn booze in the place."

Sam was too drained, too broken to do more than shift enough to look at his brother. Too numb to even convey a question in his glance.

Dean didn't bother to look up. "If I pour myself a drink and sit down, I am never getting back up again. And I mean never. I will come apart. And that will be the end of it."

"So that's not what I'm going to do." The older Winchester lifted his weary head and glared out at the sun brushing the tops of the peaks as it rose. Damning the day for its brilliance. "I'm going to get a bite to eat. I'm gonna shower, catch a few hours of shut-eye, if I can. And then, we're figure out just how the hell to catch a Nephilim."

His gaze shifted to his brother, resolute. "And we're going to make him open that rift back up. We're going to go in, guns blazing, and we're going to pull Mom out of that hell."

"And then, I don't care what it takes, even if it means getting down on my knees and begging Chuck for an encore, I'm not going to stop until Cas – " The hunter choked, turned away.

In the absence of words, Sam just breathed, trying to force the grief and the pain out of his body with every exhalation. He didn't need to say anything. There wasn't really anything to say. All he needed to do – to be – was solid, unerring, a single small comfort in the vastness of their loss.

When his brother turned back, Sam nodded.

Dean wasn't finished.

"And then," the other promised, inescapable wrath and misery raging within his words, "we're going to storm into whatever nightmare demons end up in, and we're going to drag Crowley's noble ass out of there."

Shaking, the night before and all the days that proceeded it, all the years, flaying nerves, Dean attempted to steady himself. He wasn't really there. He was at the rift, his mom tumbling just beyond his reach. He was with Cas, blinded by an angel's grace as it burned out. Dean stood in that other reality, the soft rasp of farewell both fleeting and eternal.

Apart and firmly together, the brothers stood silhouetted against the sun as it crested the mountains. One mired in grief which ran deep in his veins, heavy and dark. The other balanced on the knife's edge, sorrow taut and laced with bright fury.

Sam took a deep breath, looked out over the water.

"It's gonna be a long day," he unmoored his feet. Prepared for the first step in a long journey. "We'd better get to work."

"Right," Dean replied, caustic energy born of flight already propelling him toward the Impala, and the bunter, and whatever fight came next.

"Let's go get our family back."

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