Fire. Death. Resurrection.

The Phoenix couldn't really die. Only taste death. Only suffer, return, and burn out again.

There had always been an unnatural cycle and link between him and fire. He was just a boy: Freckled nose, chubby hands, inquisitive green eyes. Until he was reborn of fire: Blood flecked cheeks, fingers dexterous with the trigger, eyes full of pain.

Through fire he'd walked and was returned a man of only four years old. An aged-forced soul with the face of a child. And fire had become his life, his pain, his never-ending death.

One encounter with flame and his life cycled through the vicious motions. Each burn leaving fresh wounds on an already threadbare soul.

The fire took his life, but gave him purpose. It devoured his childhood, but allowed him to shield the innocence of another. It brought back his brother to him, but not without scars.

Always with a price.

You and me...we're all that's left...If we're going to see this through, we're gonna do it together.

His brother's words. And he believed with those words in an end away from brokenness and death. He believed in life from ashes that didn't couple with the grave.

But fire found him again in the eyes of a demon. Taunted him from the mouth of a devil in his father's skin. His father's voice alone was enough to destroy him. Words like splinters beneath fingernails dripped liquid flame.


And for the first time, his ashes went cold.

Before the last ember muted. Before the blood dried on his father's blade. Fire filled his being, wrapped within the writhing, weakening beats of his heart, and ripped the soul from his father's body in cruel exchange.

Dean was alive...

But only in the most fundamental sense of the word.

Orders passed in hurried whispers, mixed with tears, and prefaced with pride. Burdens no soul should shoulder alone. And he realized, pyre side, true death is something only God's favored seem to be able to obtain.

What's dead should stay dead..

No matter how hollow. No matter how lifeless. No matter how cold. Each breath came as a reminder of how alive he was.

I wish you a long life

If only the seraph-faced devil knew what other borrowed time already ticked away within his chest. Maybe she did. She already knew his thoughts.

You wake up and think I can't do this anymore. You're all lit up with pain.

Lit up…She knew.

And he felt the fire in his veins as a reminder. A reminder that the one he looked to his whole life burned for him. Burned in Hell while he burned here.

I'm tired, Sam. I'm tired of this job...This life...This weight on my shoulders, man, I'm tired of it…

He went cold from one look at his brother's betrayal laced eyes. He returned to dust as truth blistered the one he tried to protect. Realizing it would have been better to suffocate on secrets.

If you're not careful, Dean, you will have to waste me someday.

Hollowed out hope. Grasping at sparks, his own, which begin to burn within the confines of an animated corpse. They ignite a purpose.

Now, if it's the last thing I do, I'm going to save you.

But salvation could lie alongside death. The end of insanity... within a bullet. And the fire all his own waned and faltered in the presence of inconsolable eyes and desperate pleas.

Promise me.

Don't ask that of me…

Reasons to hang on are few. Reasons to believe in oneself and happy endings even rarer.

I'd rather die…

And yet he can't. Not now. Not with so many promises branded into his heart.

Nothing bad's gonna happen to you. Not while I'm around.

But the fire made him choke on his own words. Burned fast and without warning. The same flames that had returned his brother in sadistic fashion, took hold of him again.

His arms, the same ones that had carried his brother from the fire,


Now he carried his brother up from the freezing mud.


And he burned out alone next to his brother's corpse. Took on the same cold that leached the remaining warmth from his pallid face. Purpose lost in ashen lips, bloody hands, stilled breath.

For the first time he experienced true death.

There was no promise of resurrection. No real life behind empty beats within his breast. No purpose to re-ignite a spark.

Dean wasn't alive…

Not even in the most fundamental sense of the word.


How do you think angry spirits are born?


Then let it end!


I had one job…and I screwed it up.

He'd discovered true pain. His ashes cooling like the blood-his brother's blood-cold and slick on his hands.

What am I supposed to do?!

The screaming of his soul burst from dying lungs. Resolve the only pulse in his veins. He knew the motions of his life. The responsibility and cycle of his existence.

Salvation did lie alongside death. And fire, the catalyst.

He embraced the flames. Struck the match as he drank up death from a demon's lips. Cast off his soul, knowing life only ever came from ashes.

Dean was only alive…

When Sam was by his side.

His soul had never burned brighter, even though it was no longer his own. The blaze pushed him forward. Filled him up. Soul or no soul, the fire was his own.

Fire. Death. Resurrection.

It didn't matter that he knew the next flames he'd face, he wouldn't return from. It didn't matter that there would be no light after the dark when Hades opened and swallowed him. It didn't matter because from his life came one that had meaning.

You're my brother. Don't you think I'd do the same for you?

I'll save you.

His brother's words. And even though he's not sure he'll return this time, he believes again in an end away from brokenness and death. He believes in life from ashes that doesn't couple with the grave.

A/N: Wrote this from within some deep turmoil of my own. My thoughts lately have been scattered...hence the style. My friend calls this prosetry. It just is. The grammar quirks are purposeful. As always, thoughts and reviews are deeply appreciated.