"Woke up this morning without a face
I've fooled myself again
I've sold myself again
Another wasted day counting shades
Of gray, another fool's attempt to fall from grace"

"A Man Alone" by Finch


Alone. Go figure.

He always ended up alone. All his life it seemed like he was leaving or someone was leaving him. In a world of billions of people, whirling about in droves, with thousands of wires and ways to connect, he felt utterly isolated. Perhaps it was his destiny to be a sole wanderer- a man void of any connects- meant to be cold blooded. All Dean Winchester knew was he didn't like it. Silently, he thought if he had a penny for all the things he didn't like he would give Hugh Hefner a run for his money.

Three weeks, 7 hours, 5 minutes, 33 seconds.

That was how long it had been since he came back. His time in hell wiped clean like chalk on the sidewalk after it rains. When his eyes opened, he found himself in the dark and cold, fighting to survive. Again- alone- abandoned maybe. For the life, or even the death of him, he couldn't think a good reason for Sam and Bobby to leave him.

But, they did

Two weeks, 12 hours, 8 minutes, 56 seconds.

That was how long it had been since he saw his brother or Bobby. Truth be told it was not the reunion he had hoped for. Sam reacted like a skilled hunter, believing Dean was an abomination.

Maybe I am.

For all Dean knew, he could be the most unnatural thing in the world, one second away from turning into a beast so foul that even demons cry "What is that thing." After a lengthy interrogation, that would put the Spanish Inquisition to shame, Dean failed to provide Sam with evidence that it was really him.

What could I really say?

Not even all of heaven and earth could make Sam believe that Dean has miraculously been spared after his ironclad deal. When the opportunity arose, he feigned unconsciousness. It took a few kicks for Bobby or Sam to believe that ruse, but finally they gave up and left. At least the means they used to hold a demon didn't affect him. Only cuffs stood in the way of his escape. If Sam had even the slightest thought of his brother being alive, he would have never secured him that way.

He'll never believe me!

So he ran. Ran from Sam. Ran from Bobby. All forms of refuge perpetually denied to him. Maybe he was still in hell and this was it- to be cut off from everything you know.

A thoughtful observer would have noticed the bruising and wounds on Dean's torso. But there were no observers, thoughtful or otherwise. He was just another slob shuffling along in the masses. No one asked and he didn't offer. At least, the pain reminded him that some life beat inside of him.

Life!

That was about as welcome as boa constrictor in a mouse cage. What was life without any drive? He would have liked to have an emotional response to anything that had happened. All he could do was blankly try to find some way to sort it all out and find something to feel that wasn't just dead. Thinking back to all the times he had told everyone to keep the emo bullshit to themselves must have really given Karma a good excuse to afflict him with a lack of feelings.

Made it too easy for fate to bitch slap me.

Even the fact that Sam took a shot at him at the so called reunion didn't faze him.

Too bad he missed.

His body was here, but all he could figure was his soul was somehow burning in hell without him. Pondering such things was never his strong suit. Who really knows where the soul is or even what it is. It could just be that good part of you that is capable of love. And when Sam attacked at his return, he really couldn't hate, blame, or feel anything but empty.

So he ran and ran again, hustling here and there, hitching when he could, drifting from town to town, killing evil when he could, and hoping the next moment would bring him back to who he use to be.

Or some bastardize piece.

Someone once told him to start at the beginning and at this point it might be the only wisdom afforded him. Finally, he ended up at the one place he once loved, but grew to loathe. But, even in the shadows of the homestead in Lawrence didn't make him feel.

Just like me- alone and unwanted.

As he drew closer, he noticed the for sale sign in the front yard. No one wanted this place. It was an omen for the dark side. If he squinted really hard, he believed he could just make out the burn pattern outside Sam's nursery window. He couldn't, of course, but his mind could still bring them anew as if the fire had just occurred.

"Welcome home, Dean. Knew sooner or later you would show up here." A voice said. A body slipped from behind the shrubs and a few more popped from various hiding places. "Time to settle up some debts."

"I don't have any money and if you want fear…"

"We aren't after money. Blood is what we want. Eye for an eye. Death for a death."