Summary: It's weird, but he doesn't really get it until they're making s'mores in the campfire. Wee-chester! Dean angst.

Disclaimer: I own my brain and the clothes on my back. That's about it. Supernatural, Dean, and all the man pain are owned, sadly, by Eric Kripke.

"Marshmallow"

It's weird, but he doesn't really get it until they're making s'mores in the campfire.

Dean's never had a s'more before. He's never been camping, either, and he's not really sure if he likes it. The trees are so tall. They scare him a little. He knows what could be out there, waiting in the dark.

He's glad his dad's here to protect him. Pete's dad's here too, but he doesn't know about the monsters.

Pete's the one who asked him to come. "You gotta," he had said. "We're gonna go fishing and stuff." Dean didn't want to tell him that he had never fished either, so he just said that he'd ask his dad. He knew his dad would never allow it. Dad didn't like fun stuff like that.

Besides, he had to take care of Sammy. That was the most important thing.

Sure enough, Dad said no, and he got pretty mad about it too. Yelled, and Dean didn't like it when Dad yelled, but he just nodded and went to change Sam. Sam was supposed to be getting potty-trained, but he wasn't catching on all that quick. It was always up to Dean to clean up the mess. That was Dean's responsibility. (Dad's was something else, invisible and far away, but it was more important than them, Dean knew. He knew, and that was okay.)

Later that night, he heard Dad arguing with Pastor Jim—about him, he knew, cause they stopped as soon as he walked into the kitchen. Pastor Jim was saying something about being normal, about letting his son be a boy, about what Mary would have wanted.

Dad left and was real sick and grumpy in the morning. But he told Dean that he'd help chaperone the trip.

Dean figures that he's having a pretty fun time. He doesn't like those trees and he keeps getting bitten by mosquitoes, but the fishing is definitely kind of cool. He plays hide and seek with Pete and his brothers, and he almost always wins.

He misses Sam, but Pastor Jim's taking care of him, and Pastor Jim's real good about stuff like that. (It's sort of nice, too, not to be on diaper duty all the time. Sam's diapers can really stink sometimes.)

So he thinks he's having fun, and then they decide to make s'mores, and Pete's eyes get all big when Dean says he's never had one. Pete carefully instructs Dean to put his marshmallow on a stick and hold it in the fire until it gets all warm and gooey.

So that's what Dean does. He watches the marshmallow burn, get all brown and black on the edges, and crinkle quickly away. And that's when he gets it, when he really, really sees it for the first time, because in his memory the fire was huge and just swallowed the house and Mommy whole.

But that wasn't how it happened. Mommy burned away, just like the marshmallow. Her skin must have crinkled and turned black at the edges. She didn't disappear. She crinkled, she burned

Dean drops his stick and begins to cry.

-Fin