Disclaimer

Nothing Supernatural is mine, I have borrowed Sam and Dean for a while. I'll give them back now – apart from passing a little time with them, I have made no profit from this endeavour – so please don't come looking for me.

Summary: It all goes wrong in the most unsupernatural of ways for one of the Winchesters.

Warning: Character Death (I'm sorry – I couldn't believe it when this story wrote itself – I didn't want to kill any Winchesters honest)

Rating: M (some bad language and violence/death.)

Author's Note: I don't know what drove me to write this one but something did, something that wasn't going to let up until it was done. It's not my normal thing - I might hurt the boys a bit but I'm not one for killing them off. I'd appreciate comments as I'm really not sure I've got it right. So apologies now if you thinks its terrible.


A Hero's End

Sam sat desolate. Black and white, undeniable, the truth lay in the paper on the table in front of him. It didn't stop him looking up half expecting Dean to be sat opposite him grinning. He knew but he hadn't accepted it yet. Taken out by stupidity, Dean was gone. Not some supernatural monstrosity but a mixture of human greed and miscalculation. The one thing was he had died a hero; he would get a funeral, mourners… a gravestone if Sam agreed. All the good Dean had done, all the evil he had vanquished stood for nothing but dying in a pharmacy restocking the first aid kit earned him a hero's acknowledgement.


The day before

Sam and Dean sat in the diner celebrating: good food topped off with the goodwill the boys were feeling. They'd completed a paying job called in by a friend of their Dad's; they'd got rid of a poltergeist. Being paid for their trouble was a pleasant change. 'If only we could get more jobs like this,' Dean had said, 'Maybe then you wouldn't gripe so much.' The grin had soothed any possible hurt.

The boys chatted unhurriedly for a while before making plans for the rest of the day. They had then separated, Sam going off to restock the Impala's food supply – if you could call it that, and Dean going to get some of the more traditional weapon supplies (you didn't walk into your average hunting supplies store and get silver bullets or rock salt pellets). The plan was to meet back at the pharmacy; whoever got there first would start to restock the car's first aid kit.

Dean made it back first, he had wandered round getting Tylenol, bandages, antiseptic, all the stuff they went through on the average gig. He nodded and smiled at a harassed young mum pushing a baby round the store trying to balance diapers and other baby stuff while not crashing into the racks. It was a small shop and the aisles were narrow. As she'd rounded the corner to the checkout she'd dropped the diapers, Dean bent to pick them up. 'Thanks. I'm sorry,' she said.

He smiled again, 'No problem.' She put her stuff on the checkout and Dean turned back to his search of the shelves. Moments later the shop door had banged open and a young man had stormed in. The quiet destroyed instantly with the door crashing, turned all eyes to the new arrival who shouted, 'Give me the money, all of it and be quick or… or…' he'd been looking round wildly since entering and he grabbed the mum, 'she gets it!'

The woman was quiet but Dean could see the terror in her eyes. He weighed his options. The gunman didn't appear to have noticed him yet. Could he safely get round to disarm him from behind? The gunman was watching the pharmacist who was lifting money from the till. The pharmacist's gaze went to Dean. The gunman followed his gaze to Dean, 'You! Round here where I can see you.' He said with a flick of his wrist.

Dean walked round the end of the shelves and stood in front of the pushchair. He put the stuff he'd been collecting on the counter and stood between the gunman and the baby, arms empty and unthreatening. The gunman's attention went back to the pharmacist, 'What are you doing? I want that money now!'

The sound of metal clattering to the floor behind the counter made Dean's hackles rise. Trouble! The pharmacist had given him away deliberately to the gunman to give himself time to get a gun. Idiot. Dean eased the pushchair across behind him. 'What are you doing?' the gunman's attention flicked back to Dean.

'Just moving the pushchair out of the way, man. The little one is no part of this. Just in your way.'

'Okay,' the gunman nodded. Dean pushed the pram round the other side of the shelves, hoping it would be enough to keep the baby safe.

He came back round, 'Thanks man.' Try and keep the situation calm and see if he could get the woman away too, that was what he needed to do now. He looked at her, still held by the gunman, frightened but calm. His eyes caught hers and he saw relief and gratitude there. Resolution reached, he had to get her away from the gunman that baby needed its mother. That baby didn't need to be like him and Sam; mothers made the difference.

'Now the drugs and be quick!'

'Let the girl go, dude. I'll stay here, nice and quiet. Let the girl take the baby and go.'

'Do you think I'm stupid? She'll call the cops.'

'Sorry, I meant not like go,' Dean made his voice sound as relaxed as he could, and kept his body posture non-threatening. 'Just let her go round there to look after the baby. You've still got us.'

The gunman almost looked like he was considering it when the pharmacist dropped a box behind the counter drawing all eyes his way. 'Come on! I'm in a hurry here.'

Dean tried again, 'Just let her go round there dude. You don't really need her here.'

'Quit, going on,' he said but it had at least a partial success as he pushed her to stand next to Dean, the gun to her head now pointing to her chest. 'What's taking you so fucking long?' the gunman shouted at the pharmacist who was ostensibly still retrieving the boxes he had dropped. The gunman tried to look over the counter to where the pharmacist was bent down.

Dean heard the noise he had dreaded; gun metal sliding on the floor. That pharmacist really was an idiot: insurance would cover the financial loss; he should just give the stuff over. You don't risk lives to Dean's mind.

'Leave it or I'll shoot,' the gunman had heard it too. Dean tensed. What was that guy doing? Just pass the stuff over already. He heard the pharmacist scrabble as he got up from the floor but his eyes never left the gunman.

'P-put it down.' Dean knew their luck had run out as soon as the pharmacist had stood up holding the gun. He tensed ready.

'Your fault man,' the gunman sounded resigned. He pointed his gun at the girl. As Dean pushed her to the floor the shot echoed round the store. He hit the floor on top of the girl and didn't move. Stunned she lay still. The gunman looked down at them lying in a growing red pool. 'Aw! Shit man! I didn't want to do that. Put your fucking gun down now!' his voice rose to a shout as he spoke and the pharmacist's gun clattered back to the floor.

The gunman stepped forward and lifted the bag of money before heading out of the store.


The Present

Sam looked back to the paper on the table and the picture of the gunman. Caught! Somehow it wasn't enough. Dean had saved the girl and died in the process. They'd caught the gunman because as he'd stepped forward to pick up the money, he'd stepped into the spreading pool of Dean's blood. Proof of guilt; no argument. Caught and saved!

Dean died a hero. It was all Sam could take solace from. If Dean had died on one of their 'normal' jobs, Sam would have struggled to come up with the money to get an obituary in the paper, let alone the heroic acknowledgement. Maybe that's why Dean had died this way, the only way Destiny could let him have the hero's death he deserved.