Title: The worst way to die
Summary: Dean at age fourteen ponders mortality. Spoilers for 2x21. Angst.
Disclaimer: The boys, the car, even my broken heart. It all belongs to Kripke.
A/N: This got stuck in my head midnight last night and finally decided it was going to be written so it was.
Feedback is adored.
At age fourteen Dean Winchester had already decided how he was going to die. Admittedly most children his age only had a loose sense of their own mortality which is why they could climb trees and swim in lakes and do all sorts of crazy stunts. Most children Dean's age weren't aware of exactly how many ways to die there were out there and how quickly a life can be snuffed out.
The method of disposal for his body was no issue. Salt 'n' Burn, make sure that he doesn't loiter around to be a nuisance for future generations. Dean, even at that age, wasn't stupid enough to believe all that Casper bullshit. Young boy, dies in a tragic accident, parent obsessed with bringing him back? Yeah, that's a recipe for a full on fucking disaster right there.
The method of death was slightly more tricky, there were so many options to chose from. Probably the most gentle way to go that Dean could think of would be a single gunshot to the head after he got badly hurt on a hunt. The biggest issue was that would be who'd be on the end of the trigger. There were only two people Dean truly trusted, three if you count Bobby but he might not be around, even if the older man had a tendency to show up whenever the Winchesters were in need of help. It wasn't worth risking something so important on.
His Dad could shoot him. Dean was sure he'd be capable of it if Dean was in too much pain. He trusted his Dad. The snag was that he knew Sam would never forgive their father for it and Dean really didn't want to give any more ammunition to the Winchester v Winchester battleground.
Sam might be able to shoot him if Dean was in a lot of pain and he begged Sam to. Sam, however, would never forgive himself and Sam wanted a normal life. You can't have a normal life after that. It's not exactly cocktail party conversation. Dean imagined 'And then I shot my brother in the head' wouldn't be on the approved list of ice-breakers. Dean pondered that that would mean Sam would have to stick around them except that he wouldn't be around and Sam and their Dad stuck together is just a cluster-fuck waiting to happen.
So getting shot in the head after being injured was out unless he was hunting with someone else.
The next best option was just to be killed outright by the monster. Dean had given consideration to whether that was better or worse than the gunshot to the head and decided on worse just for the simple fact that dying in the pause between one moment and the next scared the living crap out of him. At least with the other scenario, he got a chance to impart some words of wisdom to whoever was close.
Words like 'Take care of Sammy' or 'Look after Sammy' or 'Bye, Sammy.' If he just died in the click of fingers, he'd be leaving Sam alone without any chance to let people know the important rules for 'Care and Feeding of Sasquatches.'
The worst way Dean could think of was to die slowly. Because if he was dying slowly then no-one had put him out of his misery and if no-one had done that then he was alone.
It wasn't until Sam was lolling in his arms, breath stilling in his throat, that Dean realised he'd been wrong all along. That the feeling that surged through him in that moment: That was the worst way to die, even if his body ignored it and kept on breathing.