Dean is many things at many times.

Dean is the firstborn son of John and Mary Winchester, his mother's darling and his father's pride.

Dean is a pale and wheezing infant of three months in a hospital nursery, fighting an upper respiratory infection while his mother prays and his father grows haggard from too much cheap coffee and not enough sleep.

Dean is a healthy and active baby of seven months, and now that he's figured out crawling, his mother jokes that he'll never stay still again.

Dean is a joey for Halloween, snuggled happily in the pouch of his mother's costume.

Dean is what his father calls a chatterbox—endless nonsense sentences grace his every waking hour.

Dean is a terror on clothes, ripping or staining every garment he is bought within three days.

Dean is a bleeding toddler who just ran head-first into the edge of a coffee table.

Dean is a boy very proud of the Scooby Doo bandage on his forehead.

Dean is an aspiring chef, even if the peanut butter cookies he thumbprinted look misshapen next to the ones his mother did.

Dean is the best running back since Walter Payton, just ask his daddy.

Dean is a brother-to-be.

Dean is a preschooler.

Dean is now an aspiring artist with a penchant for abstract macaroni art.

Dean is a self-certified expert of the rounded plains of his mother's stomach as he awaits the arrival of his sibling.

Dean is a nervous little boy sitting in his aunt's living room while his mother and father are at the hospital.

Dean is a brother.

Dean is Sammy's biggest fan.

Dean is cast as an Indian in East Lawrence Primary School's Thanksgiving pageant.

Dean is a witness to blood and flame and death.

Dean is the one who carries Sammy to safety.

Dean is now an aspiring firefighter.

Dean is silent.

Dean is a mother and a father in addition to a brother.

Dean is a boy of six with long tangled hair and pants that are three inches too short.

Dean is a boy of six and a half with buzzed hair and pants that are two sizes too big and a rapidly expanding knowledge of firearms.

Dean is a "troubled child" who needs to be placed in a special after-school program.

Dean is a new transfer student at an elementary school three states away from the last one.

Dean is a believer in ghosts and ghouls and demons—angels, not so much.

Dean is an eight-year-old with a mouth like a dam breaking, but his father neglects to mention how good it is to hear his inanities again.

Dean is the terror of the playground, with enough horror in his head to make girls scream and enough muscle on his bones to make boys bleat for mercy.

Dean is the one who tells Sammy fantastic tales under the covers at night, and he is the one who checks out colorful books from the school library so he'll always have a new story for his brother.

Dean is growing steadily more proficient at dressing wounds.

Dean is the subject of a teacher's careful watch, just in case there needs to be an intervention into the boy's homelife.

Dean is a new transfer student at an elementary school in Massachusetts.

Dean is adept at forging his father's signature for the yellow permission slips Sammy comes home clutching in one chubby fist.

Dean is a thief who's really surprised at how easy it is to drop a candy bar into his pocket and not feel bad.

Dean is an eighty-percent accurate shot with a pistol at a hundred yards.

Dean is an angry kid with a black eye and a busted lip, but you should see the kids who were picking on Sammy.

Dean is thirteen and thoroughly objects to being called a kid.

Dean is fiercely proud of Sammy's first-place science fair project on whether liquid or powdered detergent gets (blood)stains out better.

Dean is a virgin, and it's driving him up a wall.

Dean is really pissed the day his home ec class makes peanut butter cookies from scratch; he doesn't know why, though, and that makes him even more angry.

Dean is a man now (if you know what he means) thanks to Allie Cormick.

Dean is sixteen and a diabolical mastermind, if Sammy's patchy hair and Nair-laced shampoo are any indication.

Dean is a high school dropout for all of two days before his father cuffs him on the side of the head and tells him to get his ass back to school.

Dean is, at one hundred yards, ninety-three-percent accurate with any handgun and seventy-five-percent accurate with a sawed-off shotgun.

Dean is the smoothest talker in his family and the only reason Bobby Singer didn't haul off and shoot that asshole daddy of his.

Dean is a poor student with one or more learning disabilities (and they're called werewolves, spirits, and witches, he'd tell that old cunt of a teacher but it's not like she'd believe him anyway).

Dean is by far the loudest shouter at any given soccer match Sammy's playing in.

Dean is eighteen, and celebrates by lighting up a legal pack of Marlboro Reds and downing a not-so-legal sixer of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Dean is barely a member of the graduating class of '97, but if that diploma's in his hand he doesn't give a damn about how it got there.

Dean is J. Tull, platinum card carrier.

Dean is a confidant to Sammy's fears and loathings and plans for the future as they lie sprawled on their extended-stay motel bed in the dark hours of the night.

Dean is a hunter.

Dean is Winchester's boy, tough as nails but got a real mouth on him.

Dean is a decent lay, and getting better all the time.

Dean is responsible for the grocery shopping, and he always remembers to get a can of pineapple for Sammy to go with the pork rinds and Easy Mac.

Dean is pretty handy with an engine block.

Dean is twenty-two and has a part-time job as a greasemonkey in the crap little Midwestern town they've stopped in for the past three months.

Dean is unaccustomed to the sight, but he thinks he knows an acceptance letter to a good university when he sees it.

Dean is a rubber band, trying his best to hold what he calls family together—stretching and pulling and twisting until they finally snap him.

Dean is alone.

Dean is stranded with no car and no family, so he hitchhikes his way to Jim's parish in Minnesota and hangs around doing odd jobs for a few weeks before the normality starts to drive him crazy.

Dean is boisterous and loud and funny when he goes to the bars, and he always has a girl at night to drive away the silence.

Dean is really glad to see his dad again, even if it is only for a couple of days every now and then.

Dean is the way-too-proud owner of a 1967 Chevrolet Impala.

Dean is Peter Gunn, gold plus card carrier.

Dean is taking to telling people all about his kid brother at Stanford, the one who's gonna be a famous attorney in a couple more years.

Dean is a know-it-all pain in Caleb's ass and will get the hell out of Nebraska if he doesn't wanna have a few extra breathing holes for his trouble.

Dean is that damn Winchester kid, didja hear he took out three spirits by hisself?

Dean is getting really worried about his dad.

Dean is twenty-six, dude, and totally capable of going on hunts by himself; doesn't mean it ain't one of the best feelings in the world to look over and see Sammy's bitchy face puckered at him from the passenger seat.

Dean is once again the person who pulls Sammy from the fire.

Dean is part of a team again, and damn it's good to have somebody watching his back.

Dean is a murderer and a fugitive.

Dean is a junk food addict, but that doesn't extend to frothy half-caf mint-infused chick drinks, Francis.

Dean is really fucking scared of whatever the hell's going on inside Sammy's head, really fucking scared that one day something's just gonna blow and then he'll be alone again—this time for good.

Dean is an odd combination of relieved and pissed to find his dad again after what he put them through.

Dean is less pissed and more relieved when he finds his dad tied to a bed but otherwise apparently unharmed.

Dean is hoping he sounds tougher than he feels, what with his innards liquefying and all.

Dean is (mostly) dead.

Dean is (quite unwillingly) alive.

Dean is a twenty-seven-year-old man who has to build a pyre for his father so he won't come back after them.

Dean is so, so angry.

Dean is gonna be the one to kill that yellow-eyed sonuvabitch before it gets Sammy.

Dean is alone, surrounded by bodies and blood and the stink of sulfur.

Dean is racing towards Cold Oak with everything in his being.

Dean is alone.

Dean is more alone than he has ever been or will ever be.

Dean is a desperate man.

Dean is twenty-eight years old, and he just made sure he'd never see thirty.

(Dean is pretty damn sure it was worth it, though.)

Dean is, for a few shining days in Indiana, a father.

Dean is twenty-nine years old, and he never remembered time going this fast before.

Dean is sickeningly aware that he is gonna start becoming a black-eyed bastard sometime in the near future, and it's starting to make him panic.

Dean is many things at many times.

Dean is a child, innocent and happy.

Dean is a boy, quiet and responsible and learning.

Dean is a teenager, restless and horny and dangerous and loyal.

Dean is a young man, slick and proud and desperate and alone and wandering.

Dean is a man, selfish and selfless and angry and scared and boastful and running out of time.

But, for all of these things, there is one that trumps them all.

Dean is Sam's brother.

And Sam? Sam is gonna be damned if he lets his brother go to hell.

So fuck contracts and four months to live, because this is not the end.

Dean is gonna live to see thirty.