This came to me, while I was listening to a tape. I tried to get it out of my mind but just couldn't, so after a few month, I finally to write it down. I have never written anything like it and actually had sworn to myself, I wouldn't do anything with 'Dean's deal'. So I lied to myself. Please let me know what you think. And don't worry, I am not abandoning my other story.

Standard Disclaimer applies! Credit for the song 'The Ones Left Standing' goes to Wayne Watson alone.

The Ones Left Standing

They say the eyes are the window to the soul and whoever they are, they are right, at least in the case of my brother. His brilliantly green eyes have never been able to hide anything from me. Even when dad would be fooled by them, I always could tell, if something was wrong with him. His eyes they spoke to me, when he wouldn't. Told me about his sadness, his struggles, his demons. The haunted look in them, that had become so common over the last few weeks, would always be with me. The laughter, the mischief and the joy, the pride, when he looked at me after bringing home good grades or during and after my first hunt will forever guide me.

Who on earth could ever explain the great mysteries of life

or the mournful and untimely face of death

But as long as we remain

We grow better, even stronger

Though we'll never be the same

I hold on to him, loosing myself in those eyes, searching for something, which is long gone. The body too broken to retain it any longer. His soul, the one thing, which made Dean, who he was, is lost now. Adrift in a place of ever burning fires, of torture and pain, a place of punishment for evil deeds and bad choices. Yet, he didn't have to go there because of the things he has done. He didn't have to go there at all. It was his choice. A choice he made out of love. Not for some girl or for a deserving stranger, not even for the father, who made the same choice for him. He did it for me! For me?

Who am I? A wonderful, loving, self sacrificing younger brother? I wish with all my heart, I could say this is who I am. In reality, I'm the selfish one, the one who ran away to get a normal life, who abandoned this family. The one, that was tainted with demon blood, who caused the destruction of his family in the first place. This is my fault. My brother is dead, because I didn't kill Jake, when I had the change. Instead I let him kill me. And as I died in my Dean's arms, a piece of him died with me. So he did the only thing he could, he took what was left of his life and traded it in a deal to bring me back.

The crossroads demon, she gave him one year, but in reality, it wasn't a whole year, because in the time he had left, I watched Dean disappear, a little bit at a time. Turn from a seemingly carefree, life loving young man, into a haunted, desperate shadow. And yet one thing never changed, even in his dying moment, he was still the protective big brother he had always been.

I hug the limp body tightly and a guttural scream explodes from my throat. My vision blurs as streams of tears run down my face, yet there is no relief for me. There never will be, because I'm guilty, guilty of condemning my brother to hell. As he suffers there, so I will suffer here. It is my punishment.

How can I go on without him? He was the only one, who understood me, who believed in me and who fought for me, when everyone else judged me without trial. Life means nothing without Dean.

The peace of God will abide in the season of our sorrow.

In the valley of a pain we can't describe

In the palm of His hand is a shelter from the madness

We can never really understand.

There will never be any peace for me. The guilt I carry is to great, the pain to deep and the loss to all engulfing to ever let me feel free again. But suddenly I remember Dean's words, the order he gave me. 'You need to continue the family business. Hunting things, killing evil, saving people.' This is what he stood for, who he was. To give up, would be to dishonor him, to make his sacrifice in vain. It doesn't matter, if I deserve it or not. It is done. There is no way to go back, ever! I will be strong for him and do as he has ask me to.

And in eternity, when all the mysteries are gone

It will be clear, that it was our God keeping us strong

And so I dry my tears and I gently let his body glide to the floor. I stand up, straighten my tall frame and hold my head up high. Because I am a Winchester and Winchesters never give up. I will shoulder the weight of the work left to be done and I will carry on. Every time I am ready to give up, I will remember, I'm not doing it for myself or because I want to, but because with every person I will save, I will save my brother also. And maybe one day I will be worthy of the sacrifice he made for me. Until then, there will be no shelter from the madness lives in this world. When my time comes, I will go with a smile on my face, because then our paths will cross again, if only for a moment. I will finally take his place and free him, to go to a better one, that is filled with joy and freedom and where he can drive his '67 Impala off into the sunset, while he listens to Led Zepplin's 'Stairway to Heaven'.

'Cause the ones left Standing have to cry all the tears

And replay all the memories, the good and bad from the years

And we shoulder the weight of the work left to be done

And the ones left standing carry on.

I hope you liked my little musing, I know it's kinda sad, yet I needed to get this off my chest. Let me know, what you think, because I never really written anything like this. Hugs, Vonnie