Title: I'd Rather Have The Pain…

Disclaimer: Don't own 'em. Only get pleasure, no money. Welcome to the world thru my eyes.

Summary: Dean POV. Lost in the dark nothingness. Angst. Dean's thoughts, my thoughts. Everyone else has done it so, what the hell….

A/N: Contrary to rumor I am not dead. Although when I realized I couldn't get CW I did contemplate suicide. Happily, although I still don't get CW I have managed to overcome the technical difficulties of getting to see it, so better late than never. God bless the genius who invented file conversion. Thanks to all the people offered links and sympathy to help me through that most difficult time.

Anywho. To those who care, I'm baaaaa-aack.

I should have called this aimless wandering cause that's what it reads like.

The drinking didn't help.

Not this time.

He stared out into the darkness, through the dirty, broken glass, out into the nothing that he saw around him as well as inside him. His eyes shadowed, bottle forgotten in his hand after a few swift swallows that burned his empty stomach but brought no release. Maybe it was because his subconscious knew that no matter how much he drank this nightmare would still be waiting for him when he came to, ready to encompass him in a smothering blanket of loss.

The shattering realization that his life was now his alone to command fell into the abyss he had become and was lost in the bottomless blackness. Because it wasn't his life, it had never been. He was a forged weapon, carefully crafted to be used by one man, a knight in black armor, his faithful sword at his side. But the knight had fallen and the sword now hung useless, lost without its creator to wield it.

He was glad Sam had left when he did. He deeply regretted his stupid violence against the car on whose bloodstained front seat he now lay. She had done her best to protect them in her steel cocoon and he had repaid her loyalty by pounding a jagged hole in her trunk lid with a crowbar in a fit of rage. The muscles in his shoulders and chest ached from the furious exertion and the palms of his hands were almost blistered from death grip he'd had on the metal bar. And the worst of it was, he felt no better afterwards, he felt even worse. He still didn't know if the anger he had acted out was directed at the car, his dad, Sam or himself. He suspected the answer lay with all of them.

The hole he had torn in the trunk wasn't even close to the size of the one in his heart, the one he stood teetering on the edge of, the one he was trying so damned hard not to fall into. The hole Sam knew was there but had no idea how to help heal. Dean wasn't sure it could be healed. Afraid it would remain a festering wound that no amount of time would heal.

Dean closed his eyes. Every thought of his father sent him spinning out of control. The loss of control scared him more than anything. He was always supposed to be in control. Able to handle anything that came his way. To suddenly find himself floundering, directionless, unable to handle the look in Sam's eyes one more minute, let alone handle the fact that his father, the invincible John Winchester had proved to be just as human as the rest of them. As vulnerable. To die crumpled on the floor of an empty hospital room. No chance for goodbyes, only aching regret at the things not said and not done and maybe even more for the things that had been said and done. No 'out in a blaze of glory', for John Winchester.Selfish bastard had probably felt the heart attack coming on and couldn't even make himself share his final moments with his sons.

But Dean knew that wasn't true. Hating himself for even thinking it. At least he had been given the priceless gift that, after a lifetime of waiting, John was proud of Dean. Dean had accepted the words reluctantly, remembering the last time he had heard such words. The apology for what their life had done to Dean and the tears rolling from his father's eyes as he'd spoken them told Dean these words were real. But Dean would have willingly gone to his grave never hearing them if had realized they were also goodbye.

All Sam had as a final memory of their father was an exchange of harsh words and a request for coffee.

Dean couldn't even give Sam the solace of the last words his father had spoken, whispered hoarsely in Dean's ear. Dean had shoved them in a desolate corner of his mind where he hoped to God they stayed, denying their existence, even though they burned in his memory.

Sam had literally fallen apart, almost losing Dean and then finding their father dead had been more than he could deal with, consuming him in a pain he had thought he was incapable of feeling twice in his life. He had lain across Dean's hospital bed sobbing into the blankets. Dean had gently stroked his long, silky hair with one hand and rested his other hand lightly on Sam's back as Sam had wept out a lifetime's worth of pent up tears. Dean had held Sam, made the right sounds of comfort, let him grieve but only as an observer, not a participant. He had no grief to expend, only a void that left him hollow and unsupported.

Dean's eyes had remained dry as he listened to Sam. After the initial shock it was as if he had stepped away from himself. The biggest influence in his life was gone without warning and he felt …nothing. No pain, no anger, just…nothing.

He should have been angry. He should have felt guilty. The idea that John Winchester would squander his valuable life for Dean's was incomprehensible, if that was truly what had happened. Dean's mind had skirted the issue, recognizing the probability factor but would approach no closer. He wasn't sure the awful knowledge was a burden he could actually bear so that thought too, was shoved as far from his consciousness as he could put it. But it was done, John was dead and there was no coming back from it. Just more wasted blood for Dean to drown in.

Watching his father's body burning on a pyre he and Sam had built, burning with flames Dean himself had ignited because he knew Sam couldn't commit this final act of…of what? Was it love? Was that what it took to turn the memory of the man he had called Dad, the man who had shaped Dean into whatever the hell he now was into an insignificant pile of ash? To be blown away by the careless wind and forgotten. The heat from the flames had dried the one tear Dean had shed almost the instant it had betrayed him by falling from his eye as Sam rocked next to him trying not to sob. And even then he wasn't sure if that tear was from what he had lost or in the pain of the knowledge he had gained. The knowledge he had denied having when Sam had asked him.

Dad was gone. Even when they had been apart for months, Dean could still find some peace knowing his dad was around somewhere. The random coordinates and rare phone calls meant he was still alive, still fighting the good fight. Now there was nothing, no hope, nowhere to turn but to himself and he had nothing left to give.

His anchor was gone. The strange support system he and John had established, that Sam had never understood, that had kept Dean centered was out of balance. The hope he had always held so close to him, trying to keep the flame nurtured, that they might one day be together as a family was shattered. John was gone, Sam had sworn revenge but time would cool that heat and as much as Dean loved Sam, he didn't expect him to stay. He would go his own way eventually and the greatest threat to Dean would become a reality.

Dean groaned, God he was such a fucking cripple. He took another drink even though he didn't want it, coughing. His head was buzzing already.

The night air was warm and he decided the Impala was as good a place as any to spend the night. Wouldn't be the first time. The thought of encountering Sam wandering around Bobby's was more than he could deal with right now. Those desperate eyes searching Dean's face for something Sam wanted so badly to see there. In their entire life, Dean had always tried to give Sam what he wanted, what he needed. This time, for the first time, what Sam needed, Dean was incapable of giving him.

He knew he was riding for a fall, this was all going to catch up to him eventually, no matter how hard and fast he ran to keep ahead of it, or how many times he shoved people away who wanted to help him confront it. Deal with it.

His legs dangled from the open driver's door, one boot resting in the dust, the other cocked on the twisted doorframe. Eyes moving slowly over the crushed dash, he reached out and trailed his fingertips over the cracked vinyl, tracing here and there, the smears and splotches of dried blood.

His blood was pooled in dried puddles all over the back seat. He steadfastly kept his eyes away from those dark stains but this was Sam's blood. His Dad's blood. He scratched at the red blobs and watched the tiny flakes sprinkle downwards and vanish into the darkness of the floorboards.

Gone so easily. As if they'd never existed.

God, he wanted the pain. He needed it, wanted to feel the agony tear through him, wanted to scream and cry and fall spent to the ground. He need to lament this loss his mind still couldn't get around, to share Sam's grief, find comfort in each other, get past it and figure out a way to keep on.

It was there, waiting. But after a lifetime of skilled wall building, the mighty fortress he had created to protect himself, to keep the pain hidden, wouldn't let it out. It snarled and shrieked, beating itself against the thick doors Dean had so carefully constructed but could not escape, and after so many years of keeping those doors barricaded Dean was incapable of tearing them down.

They had broken down once before, he still bore the scars of that moment of windswept desolation and he was terrified by the concept of allowing it to happen again. So he clung desperately to the nothing left to him. Feeling nothing kept him safe, kept Sam safe, and he would grasp anything it would take to keep the nothing there. That would keep the pain away.

He took another long drink, closing his eyes against the dizziness, not feeling it when the bottle slipped from his hand and fell to the floorboards.

He never saw the long fingers that carefully slipped in and retrieved fallen bottle, felt the gentle brush of those fingers through his hair or heard the soft sigh as the sad, dark eyes of the figure crouched outside the open door kept silent watch.

If you read this, ta. Don't feel compelled to review, this is what happens when you let your fingers roam randomly over the keyboard.