Season/spoilers: follows and therefore spoils AHBL, Pt. 1

Summary: Dean, in various stages of grief.

Disclaimer: Supernatural, Dean and Sam Winchester and Bobby (Singer?) do not belong to me. They belong to Kripke Enterprises and The CW. No money is being made from this endeavour.

The Night Descending

He heard rolling thunder and the echoes of his own voice screaming and an ocean of static and sobbing and keening and nothing, nothing, nothing was right and never would be again. Sam, Sam. He knew mud was seeping through his jeans, knew the cold rain mimicked harsh tears as it fell upon his head, but the only thing Dean Winchester really felt was a vast hole where his insides used to be. He was a hulled out shell of a man who could do nothing but hold onto his everything that was not there anymore and cling with just as much desperation to the hope that if maybe he wanted it badly enough and held on tight, then Sam would not really be dead. If maybe he waited long enough he'd feel Sam's breath against his neck instead of a body cooling in his arms. If maybe he concentrated hard he could make things change, gain the ability to go back in time to make those seven seconds of reassurance he had at seeing Sam alive and safe never, ever end with him watching Sam die so silently in his arms.

If.

There were no ifs.

Dean was aware, too, that he was crying and making tortured sounds he'd only ever heard mortally wounded creatures make. He could not stop the tears from falling or from making those horrible noises. Sam was gone and nothing else mattered. Gone, dead. Oh god he didn't know what to do and there was no one to help him. Sam, Sam and nonono it couldn't be happening.

He tried to pull his brother closer. Sam's arms swung like broken pendulums instead of reaching up to return the embrace the way he needed them to. Dean's senses started breaking cruelly through his numb agony, and so he felt the rain now sharp splinters on his skin and Sam's weight solid and heavy and dead against him, tasted his own tears and Sam's dirty hair and smelled mud and blood and sweat and death. He shook all over, like he was moments away from flying apart. He thought maybe he was.

"Sam," he choked out again, through tears and clenched teeth. "Sammy, please."

But Sam only said "Dean" in a small, relieved, happy voice inside his own head, a remnant of memory now and for always. So Dean trembled and cried until his body could no longer produce tears, and after that time came he continued weeping internally, filling his empty insides with darkness and cold as he held onto Sam the best he could.

His brother's body kept slipping, and he tried again to bundle his dead Sam closer to him, to offer some last kind of pathetic protection to what was only a shell, much as he himself was. More. He gurgled, throat constricted and sore. He couldn't, he couldn't do this, couldn't do life alone. Sam…his body, not Sam, dead…listed to the side and took Dean most of the way down as well. Dean fell back onto his butt, ignored the squelching stickiness of mud as he grappled with heavy limbs. Sam, Sam. It was better, easier to move Sam from that position but it was so much worse, harder to see Sam's slack face and Sam's eyes not opening.

He thought suddenly of fire, smoke, Sam an emotionally broken mess as they watched their father's body burning to ashes.

He thought of fire, smoke, sirens, Sam an emotionally broken mess on a dark street as he watched his normal life succumb to fire.

He thought of fire, smoke, sirens, baby Sammy mewling as though he understood what was happening around him. Dean squeezed his eyes shut, curled over and tucked his face against Sam's shoulder. Nonono. This was all wrong. He was not supposed to be the one who survived. He held Sam close and tight, not ready for Sam to be cold and maybe some crazy part of him thought his own body heat would help keep the merciless reality of death away. He wasn't ready for Sam to not be that baby he'd once carried from a burning building and saved.

Dean wasn't ready to face that he'd failed horribly to do the only thing in his life that had real meaning and purpose.

"Oh, Jesus," he heard the utterance, barely a soft moan. "Sam."

In his spiral into black despair, Dean had forgotten about Bobby and all about the kid who had killed his brother. And honestly, he didn't care about either of them. He cared about nothing. The darkness within him didn't allow for it. He didn't look up, wouldn't move, couldn't share his sorrow with anyone else. Not even Bobby. It was the only thing he had left now, and though it was awful and wrong, it was his. He started rocking back and forth slightly, or maybe he'd been rocking for some time, holding Sam like the baby he no longer was. Neither the motion nor the embrace gave him comfort. Nothing could. Nothing. Everything was nothing. Sam was dead.

"Dean," Bobby said, and put a hand on his shoulder. Dean tried to flinch away from the unwelcome touch, but he couldn't do that either. "Son, let me help you."

"No," he meant to say but what came out was another distressed and pathetic, "Sammy."

"Dean."

No. No. No. No. He didn't want to talk to Bobby. He only wanted to talk to Sammy. Oh, god, Sam, Sam. Bobby didn't try again, though his hand remained on Dean's shoulder and Dean was tangentially aware that he stayed crouched next to them. Dean's eyes started burning again, hot with fresh tears he'd thought an impossibility. Sam being dead was an impossibility. This couldn't be happening. It was the djinn, he thought frantically, and he was still dreaming, only it wanted him to suffer now, so it must be toward the end. Bobby's touch on his shoulder became more insistent, switched to his upper arm where it tugged. Trying to take Sam from him.

"No," Dean said, and this time succeeded with the right word, but inside still cried Sam. "This can't be real."

"Aw, shit, Dean."

There was more pulling, gentle but firm. Dean clung to Sam even more forcefully, rocking away from Bobby's hands, trying to wake himself up. Because he was dreaming and this was not real. Even if it meant the djinn was almost done with him and he was dying, that was so much better than Sam being dead. Sam's head lolled and god, it felt so real. He pulled away slightly, shifted and reached for Sam's face. It was cold and smooth and white like marble in the pale moonlight. Blood drying on bluish lips. Dead. No. No. Yes. Help. Sam, Sammy. Dean had to wake up now. This had to not be real.

"We shouldn't stay out here," Bobby said, still just whispering. His hand remained strong and solid and not a dream, not a dream. How could this not be a nightmare? "I'm sorry, but the kid got away. We can't stay out in the open like this."

"No," he said again. "No, no."

He traced his fingers lightly across Sam's cheekbone, shook him a little. Sam didn't wake up. Dean didn't wake up. He didn't know why. He didn't know why this had happened. It made no sense. He didn't know why he hadn't gone in that diner with Sam. He didn't know why he'd had to have pie at that very minute, why they couldn't have kept driving for a while longer. Why some messed up kid had knifed Sam in the back so brutally. Why the last words he'd said to his brother had been lies and make-believe.

Or why, just why.

But he did know. He would know forever that Sam had turned his back on the enemy only because Dean had called his name and distracted him with false assurance and now Sam was gone, gone and it was his fault. All his fault. He shakily turned Sam's head back toward him, winced because his brother's eyes were closed, his face still held the non-expression of death that some would call peace but Dean only knew as wrong and nothing. He hugged Sam close.

"C'mon, Dean," Bobby said, pleading. Dean looked up, finally. Bobby's face was wet with rain and tears. He looked different. Like everything, like nothing. "Please let me help you."

"Bobby, I think Sam's dead," Dean said bleakly, and his voice cracked. He didn't know why he'd said that. He couldn't take it back, and everything was nothing and pain and hollow. "And I can't, I can't, don't make me."

Bobby's expression crumpled even more, terrible to see. Dean strangled down a sob and looked back at Sam, and everything was the night descending, swallowing all the light. Everything was nothing.