Warning: None

Summary: The only canon character who never left Dean

Disclaimer: None of these characters belong to me

A/N: Although not related to my previous fic at all, this weird piece was kind of inspired by it.

-

Paradise by the Dashboard Light

When he was a child he discovered the world was almost too fierce for him to comprehend. And for a while the shock of it stilled his tongue. But she was there, demanding nothing, not word nor expression. Instead, she would hum him to sleep, hold him as he closed his eyes. Kept him warm. Kept him safe.

He grew up within her shadow and gradually she became more than a carer and a guardian, she became a friend.

He entered his teens. Through all the angst and the ups and downs she was a steady presence. Ever reliable. Ever strong. Taking his tempers and his silences with the same stoicism.

Others stole his time, his tenderness, his passion, but his devotion to her only grew, and he returned the cared she'd given him, protected her using every practical and arcane skill he possessed.

Soon it was just the two of them and he clung to the only one who never deserted him.

And the brother returned. She took them both in, held them as they cried and raged, bled and died. And cheated death.

She was with him at the end.

They flew together along the endless, black ribbon of asphalt, hell hounds drawing closer, snarling and snapping with slavering jaws and wicked teeth.

They finally left the road, their life, their journey. Twisted together as the last spark faded and the lights went out on them both.

Darkness and fire and pain.

Voices that whispered in his ear. Told him, 'They never cared. They all leave you. You sacrifice your life, your soul but still they could never love you. You're too broken, too weak, too worthless. You're where you belong. They know it. You know it.'

And he felt that rush of agony and aloneness and screamed for Sammy and screamed for his Dad. Until, through it all, the rich scent of leather and oil permeated his senses, comforting him like a soft hand to the forehead. A feeling of warmth seeped through him, and he heard a noise reminding him of the gentle hum that once soothed a silent, traumatised child to sleep.

And with the scents and sounds came memories.

But not his.

A young boy asleep in the backseat of a car. His father gazing at him with the kind of love that could consume the world.

A tall man seated in the driver's seat, his hand on his forehead, hair falling forward and shadowing his features. He's sobbing and banging his other hand rhythmically against the steering wheel saying, 'It's not gonna happen! I'm gonna save you. Godammit, I'm gonna save you Dean!'

And they never knew. Never realised that she stayed with him. Wrapped tenderly around him, using every bit of practical and arcane strength she'd ever been given, to sustain him and keep him whole.

Those with their fiery eyes and burning touch didn't understand why he never broke. Couldn't comprehend what kept him strong.

And one day, Hell was rendered in half, it fractured and spat sulphur and flames high into the darkness. Demons screamed and tumbled backwards, fighting to escape a sudden blaze of light.

And in the chaos he broke from his chains, straightened his broken body and walked towards the cool radiance.

The brother stood at the centre of the turmoil, a smile as wide as the country they helped protect for so long.

'Told you I'd come for you. Jerk.'

'I always knew you would. Bitch.'

He left.

And she'd followed him to Hell but maybe this was the one place she couldn't go.

They turned back to her.

'You coming, sweetheart?' he asked gently.

THE END