A/N: To continue my obsession with silent Dean, here's a wee Dean fic for the first few months after Mary dies.
Summary: Through a period of many months and tears, Dean comes to understand what's happened to his mother. Wee-chester fic, Dean POV.
Disclaimer: I still don't own Supernatural. I don't expect this to change anytime soon.
"Good Little Boys"
His Daddy cries a lot. He tries not to, but he does. It scares Dean sometimes, and he wants it to stop, and he doesn't know how to make it all better. When Daddy cries, it makes Sammy cry, and then Dean's the only one not crying. And then he usually feels so bad that he starts to cry, and then all of them are crying and bad-feeling and yucky. Dean knows he shouldn't cry because he's a big boy now (and big boys don't cry; big boys are strong) but sometimes he just can't seem to help it. He wants to make everything all better, but he's still just four. He doesn't know how to do that yet.
Dean wishes Mommy would come home. Nobody cried like this, not when she was here. Well, Sammy did because Sammy always cried, but then Mommy would come and make things all better. She'd hold him or sing to him or do other special-Mommy things, and Sammy would just go straight to sleep. Mommy could make Sammy be quiet, but now Mommy isn't here and Sammy's never quiet. He cries and cries and cries and cries, and Daddy's forgotten how to make him feel better.
Dean tries to take care of him, tries holding him and singing, but Sammy's real heavy and sometimes he smells funny. Dean doesn't want to hold Sammy when he smells like that. Sometimes, Sammy smells like that for a really long time. Daddy's supposed to make that bad smell go away, but Daddy's been forgetting a lot of things lately.
Dean misses his old Daddy as much as his Mommy and wishes that this new Daddy wasn't so sad. He knows that Daddy will feel better soon, though, just as soon as Mommy comes back.
One night, Daddy starts crying again, and Dean sits by his feet, watching him. "Don't be sad, Daddy," Dean tells him. "It'll be better, after Mommy comes home."
Daddy stares at him for a long minute and then abruptly starts crying again, even louder than before, like howling. It's a scary noise and Dean doesn't like it, so he crawls away to the bedroom where Sammy is. Sammy's crying too, all alone in his crib, and Dean climbs into it so Sammy won't be alone anymore. Sammy screams and screams and screams, and Dean thinks to himself, Sammy doesn't know, either. He doesn't know that she's coming back.
Dean tries to make his brother feel better. "It's okay," he whispers. "She'll be back. You'll see." But Sammy doesn't believe him and continues to cry, on and on until he falls asleep.
Dean's kind of tired, but he doesn't fall asleep. Instead, he looks at the ceiling and listens to the front door slam. Daddy's going out—he does this a lot now, even though he never used to, and he always comes home smelling funny. Dean knows it's because his Daddy is sad, but he can't think of anything to say that will make him feel better. It seems like every time he tries to talk, everything around him just gets worse.
So Dean decides not to talk anymore, not for awhile, anyway, not till Mommy gets back. When she does get back, Dean will talk and talk and talk, and Daddy will smile and no one will cry or smell funny. When Mommy comes back, everything will be okay again.
Until then, he'll wait quietly, like a good little boy.
Mommy's been gone a long time now. Dean thought she might've been home by Christmas, might've been sitting under the tree with all the presents, but she wasn't there and neither were the presents. Dean knows why, even though it makes him sad.
Their old house is all burnt up now, icky and bad-smelling and no fun at all, so they don't live there anymore—they live at the motel instead—but Dean doesn't think that Santa knows that. Santa probably left the presents back where they used to live, and Dean has now way of ever getting them. He knows better than to ask Daddy about it—talking about the old house or Mommy always makes Daddy cry. Besides, Dean doesn't miss his presents so much—he'd never want them, not ever again, if Mommy would just hurry up and come home.
He and Sammy are at the motel now. Sammy's playing on the floor next to Dean's feet. Dean stands by the window, watching people walk outside. There's a lot of people there, mostly scary people in funny clothes. He watches and watches, waiting for her, but nobody outside looks even a little like his Mommy. He watches anyway, though, watches every day. This is his post, and he's on sentry duty.
When Mommy gets back, she'll be read proud of him, how patiently he waited, how he never acted silly like some little kid. Sammy still plays, whenever he isn't sleeping or crying, but Sammy's just a baby. He doesn't know any better.
But Dean does. Dean's going to be a big boy now, and he isn't going to cry, and he isn't going to play. He's just going to wait, and Mommy's gonna be so happy, and if she brings some presents with her, well, that'd be okay too.
Dean watches Daddy walk home, a bag of groceries balanced in one arm. Daddy wasn't so good about getting food before—he'd cry so much he'd forget to make dinner—but now he's much better about remembering. But Dean doesn't really like eating anymore. The food doesn't taste right—it's not whatever Mommy used to make. So, mostly, he doesn't eat, just a very, very little, and then he pushes the food around and eventually throws it away. Sometimes, Daddy yells at him, but mostly he just shakes his head. He's always talking on the phone to someone, and a lot of times he's talking about Dean.
"He's always watching for her," Dean had heard his Dad say once. "God, Jim, God. I can't make him understand."
Dean isn't sure what he's supposed to understand, but he knows better than to ask about that either. There's a list of things that Dean knows will make his Daddy cry, and he suspects that this is real high on that list. Besides, to ask about anything would mean to start talking again, and Dean doesn't do that, not anymore.
Daddy comes in and sets down the groceries, discarding them so he can pick up Sammy. Sammy makes a gurgling sound of delight and waves his arms around, accidentally hitting Dean's shoulder. Dean doesn't turn around, though, doesn't acknowledge his father's presence. There's a woman outside that he's watching, a woman with hair a lot like his Mommy's.
Dean leans forward a little against the glass, but when she turns, she's not his Mommy. She's wearing a lot of real ugly makeup. His Mommy never wore ugly makeup like that.
"Dean," Daddy says from behind him. He sounds very serious, which is how he always sounds now. "Dean, I want you to look at me, son."
Dean doesn't want to look at him, but he knows he has to. Mommy wants him to be a good boy, and good boys listen when their Daddy's talk to them. He turns around and looks at Daddy, who's looking back at him solemnly. Sammy's looking at Dean too, but he doesn't look nearly so serious.
Sammy says something that sounds like "wuzza" and waves his arms around energetically.
Daddy says, "She's not there, Dean. She's not there. She's not coming back."
Dean turns around to stare out the window, determined to not listen anymore. Daddy's been talking to him a lot lately, saying things like that, like Mommy's not coming home. He keeps saying she'll never come back, that she's gone away to some other place forever, but Dean knows that Daddy's wrong. He knows, because Mommy told him.
It was a long time ago, and he'd been hiding in the closet, because they were playing hide n seek, and the closet was his favorite spot. But then he got scared, bundled up in all the coats, because his Mommy hadn't found him yet, and what if she didn't? Dean knows now that this was very silly, but at the time he'd been really, really, really scared. So he ran out of the closet into his mother's arms and cried that he didn't want to not be found. She held him and told him that she'd always find him; no matter where he was, she would always come.
So Dean knew, he knew that Mommy would come—but Sammy didn't know and Daddy didn't, either. Sammy was too little to play hide n seek, and Daddy worked a lot—he was away when Mommy and Dean played. So Mommy never told Daddy and now Daddy's scared, and he keeps thinking that Dean should be scared to. But Dean doesn't want to be scared—when he think of his Mommy, never coming home, never finding him and leaving him all alone, his chest gets all tight and his throat feels all funny, and he's not sure if he can breathe anymore. So Dean knows not to listen, when Daddy starts to talk, because it makes him feel bad and because Daddy's wrong.
Daddy's real smart—he knows just about everything, but not this. This is something only Dean knows.
And when Mommy comes home, Daddy will be so surprised. Dean had thought it'd be Christmas . . . but his birthday's coming real soon.
She'll be back by then, Dean thinks as he looks out the window. She'll have a cake. Maybe even balloons.
Daddy sighs. He sounds really tired. "Okay, Dean, okay," he says, and Dean turns around because he knows it's safe to face Daddy now. Daddy has a smile on his face that looks as tired as he does. "How about Mac n Cheese tonight? That sound good to you, bud?"
Dean shrugs. He used to love Mac n Cheese, but now it doesn't taste like anything at all. Daddy sighs again and goes to the kitchen, leaving Sammy safe in Dean's arms.
Dean holds Sammy—he does that a lot now, when Daddy's busy crying or Sammy's feeling lonely—and looks out the window, watching the people walk. Soon, he thinks to Sammy, she's gonna come back soon. Everything's going to be okay, Sammy. Everything's gonna be okay.
Dean spends his fifth birthday at Pastor Jim's house. There aren't any balloons here, but there is a lot of cake. Dean doesn't eat any of it, though, even though it's his favorite. Mommy's not here. She's supposed to be here.
Daddy isn't here, either. He's hunting one of the Bad Things from the Dark. So it's just him and Sammy and Pastor Jim and Pastor Jim's dog.
Dean wants to cry.
He's sitting in the corner of Sammy's crib, watching his little brother sleep. He doesn't like to be very far from Sammy—he gets scared, sometimes, that Sammy will disappear the way Mommy did. He knows Mommy's coming back, know that she'll find him no matter where Daddy takes them, but still—she's been gone so very, very long now. The waiting hurts. Dean doesn't want to do it anymore.
He makes sure that Sammy doesn't disappear, because he can't be waiting for him and Mommy both.
Dean's tried to keep Daddy from leaving—Daddy goes away for days now, and Dean worries he won't come back—but Daddy won't stay, no matter how hard Dean holds on to his feet. "I have to go help people," Daddy says. "I have to save other families from what happened to us." And that's a good thing, Dean knows, because there are bad things in the dark and one of them made Mommy go away. But Dean doesn't want his Daddy to do good things, not if it means he might go wherever Mommy went.
Pastor Jim says his Daddy is trying to be a hero. Dean used to care about heroes, but now all he cares about is his family.
Daddy won't stay and it makes Dean scared, but Sammy, at least, is way too little to go anywhere. Dean watches over Sammy while he sleeps and makes sure nothing from the dark tries to take him.
There are footsteps coming from the hallway outside, and Dean's head snaps up to peer over the crib. It could be a Bad Thing or it could be Mommy or it could be a Bad Thing or it could—oh. It's only Pastor Jim. Dean sits back down and watches Sammy sleep. He knows Pastor Jim won't hurt either of them.
Pastor Jim's pretty cool—Dean likes him a lot. He talks all the time, but he never expects Dean to talk back. Sometimes, his Daddy asks questions to try to trick Dean into talking, but Pastor Jim just talks and lets Dean do whatever he's doing. Pastor Jim also made him the birthday cake. It was real nice of him, because he's pretty sure that Daddy forgot.
He hopes Pastor Jim isn't mad about the cake—he knows he's supposed to eat what people give him and not complain—but without Mommy there, it didn't feel like his birthday. He didn't want to eat his cake and have it taste of chocolate-y nothing. Pastor Jim hadn't seemed mad, that he hadn't eaten. Maybe a little sad but not too sad, not crying.
More than anything, Dean likes Pastor Jim because he doesn't cry. Dean doesn't want anyone to cry anymore. He's really tired of tears.
Pastor Jim steps into the bedroom and puts his hands on the side of the crib. "Dean," he says. "You need to get some sleep, son."
Dean turns away from him. He doesn't want to sleep. He's real tired—it's really, really late—but if he sleeps, he can't watch out for Sammy. Watching out for Sammy is the most important thing.
Pastor Jim sighs and sits down on the floor. It's a little funny, seeing a grown-up sitting on the floor like that.
"I know you want to keep Sammy safe," Pastor Jim says. "I know you're scared that you'll lose him the way you lost your Mom—"
Dean shakes his head and crosses his arms. He doesn't lose Mommy. Not forever. Not bad.
"—but you have to let yourself rest, Dean. You can't look after your brother if you don't sleep."
Dean shakes his head again, determined not to listen. This is Daddy's fault. Daddy told Pastor Jim that Mommy was gone. They all want him to sleep, they all want him to act like a kid, but they don't know that Dean's just doing what his Mommy told him to. To wait for her and to be a good brother. To be a big boy. That's what Dean needs to do now.
Big boys don't cry. Big boys take care of their brothers. Big boys don't sleep, not when monsters could come.
He is sleepy, though, so warm and sleepy and comfy, and all he really wants to do is snuggle against Sammy and let himself dream. Sometimes, his dreams are nice because Mommy visits him there, and he can play with her and pretend she never left at all. But big boys don't waste time dreaming about silly things, either, and he wants to be a big boy, he wants to, he does.
But he's just so tired, and his chest is feeling funny again, and soon he's hiccupping because he can't breathe right. He doesn't want to cry, but tears are rolling down his face, and when he can't get them to stop, he just cries harder. He needs to stay awake; he needs to be here, but nobody listens to him; nobody knows like he knows.
Pastor Jim picks him up and rocks him in his arms—like he's Sammy or something; Sammy's the one who needs to be held—but when Dean reaches down desperately for the crib, Pastor Jim holds him back, holds him away. Dean starts to screech, trying to get closer to this brother, but Pastor Jim won't let him go.
"Shhhh," Pastor Jim says. "It's okay, Dean. You're okay."
But it's not okay, and Dean kicks and screams and cries until he falls asleep.
When Dean wakes up, he's in his own bed, and Daddy is sitting in a chair next to him. Daddy's awake but looks real, real tired; he keeps rubbing one hand over his face. Dean blinks sleepily at him and sits up a tiny bit. Daddy smiles sadly. "Hey, bud," he says.
Dean doesn't say anything. He looks at his father's face. There's a white bandage on the left side of his forehead, and dried blood curling around one ear. Dean reaches out one hand to touch the blood. He doesn't like it being there.
Dad catches Dean's hand and holds on to it gently, pressing it against the chin that Daddy hasn't shaved. "Dean," he says, his voice sounding a little hoarse. "Pastor Jim says you haven't been sleeping. He says . . . he says you didn't eat any of your birthday cake. That, that you didn't play."
Dean looks away. He knows now that birthdays are pretty stupid, little kid things that he shouldn't have been worried about. Daddy's hand squeezes Dean's a little, so Dean looks back at him. "Dean," Daddy says. "Your mother—"
Dean looks away again.
"Your mother, she'd want you to be happy. You know that, don't you? You know she wouldn't want you to be so sad?"
Dean closes his eyes and tries to tug his arm out of Daddy's grip. Daddy won't let him, though; he takes Dean's chin in his hand and forces Dean to look at him again. "Your mother," Daddy says, "she just . . . she loved you so much. She loved listening to you laugh more than anything in the world. She always wanted to play with you, just so she could watch you smile. She loved your smile, Dean. She said it was the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen."
Dean swallows and bites his lip against the tears he feels coming. Daddy looks like he's about to cry too, and Dean wishes he'd just stop talking. Daddy doesn't, though. Instead, he says, "Your mother loved you more than anything. And I think . . . I think she'd be very sad, to see how sad you are now, how you don't smile like you used to. I think . . . I think she'd like to see you eating again and playing again and talking again like the little boy she loved so much. I think that'd make her very happy, Dean. I think she'd like that a lot."
Daddy leans closer to him, smiling in that still sad way. "What do you think, Dean? You think maybe your Mom wants you to be happy?"
Dean doesn't answer. His eyes are burning with unshed tears, and he's mad at himself for crying again so soon. He knows that's what's making Daddy cry now, silently, as he looks at Dean. "Come on, bud," Daddy says gruffly with tears leaking out of his eyes. "Don't you think maybe Mommy wants you to be happy?"
Dean blinks tears away and tightens his fingers on his Daddy's wrist. "Wi—" he starts to say and is puzzled by how much it hurts to speak. Daddy leans forward even more, eyes wide at hearing his son's voice for the first time in months.
"It's okay," Daddy says. "Whatever you want to say, you can say it."
Dean swallows again. He knows he shouldn't talk—he told himself he wouldn't and most times, he doesn't want to—it's easier to be silent—but he has to ask this question. He has to know the truth. "Will she come back?" he finally whispers. "If I act happy and play and talk more—will she come back, Daddy? Will Mommy come back?"
Daddy's smile tightens into something like a grimace of pain. He shakes his head slowly, still smiling like it hurts to do it. "No, baby," he says softly. "I'm sorry, Dean. Mommy's never coming back."
Dean does cry, then, not because he believes it, not because he's sure. But he cries because, for the very first time, he has to consider the possibility that maybe it's all true.
Dean has decided one thing, and it's that Valentines Day is stupid. All day in school he had to draw a bunch of stupid hearts and color them a bunch of girly colors and sprinkle glitter all over them. Only the glitter was real messy and got everywhere, so now there's glitter all over his pants and shirt and hair. He looks totally stupid. Even Sammy thinks so, and babies don't even know what stupid means.
Daddy doesn't tease Dean when he gets home, because he's too busy being sad. Daddy hasn't been sad in a long time, not since Dean's birthday, and that was weeks ago. Daddy's been much happier since then, smiling and even laughing sometimes. He acts like he used to before Mommy went away, and Dean likes it—he likes it a whole lot.
And he's not stupid—he knows Daddy's happier because Dean's happier, or acting happier, anyway, talking and stuff. He talks more now—not a lot, but more than he used to. He answers all his Daddy's questions with yes or no, sirs, and he sings to Sammy sometimes because Sammy likes Dean. He doesn't talk to anybody else, not the teacher or the other kids at school, but he does do his class work now, because he knows Daddy cares about that. And he plays with Sammy a lot—Sammy's fun, even though he's too little to play normal games. Dean knows Sammy's smart, though. Sammy makes him feel happy instead of just playing happy.
Sometimes, Dean worries that he shouldn't be happy. He's acting like a little kid, and he told himself he wouldn't do that, not never again. Still, acting happy makes Daddy happy, and it makes Sammy happy, and sometimes it even makes Dean happy, and he kind of misses, like, playing and stuff. Sometimes, Dean's sure he's being a very bad boy, but when he watches his Daddy smile, he doesn't care so much.
But now it's Valentines Day, and Daddy's in his room, pretending he's not crying even though Dean knows he's crying. Dean can hear him, sobbing through the walls, and Dean wants to punch something to make himself feel better. Sometimes, all he wants to do is punch something or someone real, real hard. But the only one around is Sammy, and Dean knows he'll never punch him.
Dean attacks his cut-out hearts with a big black marker, drawing all over them until the pink is all gone. Then he rips them into pieces, over and over again, and more glitter falls out, over him and Sammy and the floor. It's not supposed to be a game or anything—he's mad at the hearts and he wants them to die—but Sammy just loves tearing up paper. He keeps snatching it from Dean's hands and throwing it in the air.
Dean smiles at his brother's silliness—Sammy can be awful silly sometimes—and stands up so he can better shower his brother in glittery, black pieces of confetti. Sammy shrieks with laughter, trying to catch the pieces of paper in the air, and Dean wonders if he can find some more paper in the kitchen to tear up. He starts to turn around and sees his Daddy a few feet away from him. Daddy's watching them play with a little smile on his face.
"Dad," Dean says, a little embarrassed about being caught doing something so childish.
Daddy just smiles at him. "Boys," he starts to say, and then the motel lights flicker twice. Dean doesn't think anything of it, but Daddy's suddenly upset—he grabs the nearest gun and checks the windows, drawing the curtains shut. Dean isn't sure what's wrong, but Daddy's definitely worried. Maybe, Dean thinks, it's one of the Bad Things from the Dark. It's not that dark outside right now, but sometimes there are Daytime Monsters. Daddy said so, so Dean knows it's true.
The lights flicker again, and Dean looks around. He doesn't see any monsters, but some monsters are invisdeeble. He inches closer to Sammy, who isn't giggling anymore. Sammy doesn't know about the monsters, but he knows that something's wrong.
"Dean," Daddy says. "Take your brother into the bathroom and lock the door. Don't look back."
Dean stands, uncertain. "But, Dad—"
"Now, Dean, go!"
Dean pulls Sammy into his arms—Sammy, who has suddenly started to shriek—and carries him into the bathroom. He puts him on the floor and makes sure there is nothing else on the ground that can hurt him—Sammy's always putting things in his mouth, even when they're gross things or sharp things. Once, Sammy found a push-pin in the carpet and almost swallowed it before Daddy found him. Sammy's real smart, but he can't take care of himself yet.
Dean doesn't like leaving him alone, and he really doesn't like disobeying his Daddy's orders, but he also can't leave Daddy alone in the motel room with one of the monsters. He's not sure if Mommy's coming back anymore, and he won't let Daddy leave forever either. He leaves Sammy alone in the bathroom, locking the door behind him. He doesn't want to lock Sammy in, but he can always shoot the door open later. Anyway, he can't let anything get to his little brother.
Dean runs back out to the main room and sees his Daddy standing in front of a dark-haired woman. Only she's not really a woman. She's a Bad Thing. A Dark Thing. A Dead Thing.
Dean's never really seen a Dead Thing before. Even when Mommy left, Dean never saw the monster that took her. He only saw the fire, felt it hot against his cheeks. He's never seen a monster, but now . . . he knows.
The woman's head seems crooked on her neck, as if it's lying almost sideways on her left shoulder. Something or somebody cut her across the throat, leaving a really big, ugly looking gash. There's a lot of deep red blood coming from that gash. It keeps dripping down, ruining her pretty white dress.
Dean swallows. He doesn't think he's ever been so scared, even when the fire took away his Mommy. He didn't know what was happening then, didn't know what the fire could do. But now he knows. He knows this thing used to be a person. This monster . . . this Dead Thing . . . it used to be alive. It used to be just like him or Sammy (or Mommy) or Daddy. But now it's dead and it wants to make them Dead Things too.
He knows what it means now, to not be alive. To be dead. To be dark, like this woman.
Daddy sees him, so startled the shotgun drops a little in his hands. "Dean!" he yells. "I told you to get out of here!"
The woman takes advantage of Daddy's distraction and leaps at him, her blood red nails sinking into his chest. "Daddy!" Dean screams and runs at the monster—there's no thought on what he'll do, just that he has to help his father.
The Dead Thing turns on him, knocks him over. Dean hits his head as he falls to the ground. Everything goes fuzzy and dark for a minute, and he thinks he hears shrieking and the sound of a gunshot. Then he hears his name, over and over, and Dean blinks to see his Daddy kneeling above him.
"Daddy?" he asks, and Daddy picks him up, holds him to his chest and tightens his arms around him. He's holding so hard that it hurts a little, but Dean doesn't mind. Daddy didn't go. Daddy didn't leave.
"Don't you do anything like that again," Daddy's saying. He sounds mad but also sad, like he's yelling and crying all at the same time. "Do you hear me, Dean? You could've—you could've—what would I have—"
Now Daddy is really crying, and Dean's saying, "It's okay," over and over until Daddy wipes his eyes. "We have to go," Daddy says suddenly and puts Dean down on the bed to start packing their stuff. He breaks down the bathroom door and puts Sammy into Dean's arms. Sammy's still screaming, but Dean talks to him until he quiets down.
"Daddy?" Dean asks as Daddy finishes packing. "Is it coming back? Is it going to try to hurt us again?"
"No," Daddy says. "I'm going to take care of it. Come on."
Dean follows his Daddy out to the car, placing Sammy carefully in the car seat. "Daddy?" he asks. "Can't we just leave? Can't we just go to Pastor Jim's and stay there? It can't hurt us there, can it? Can't we just go away?"
Daddy looks at him seriously. "Monsters don't just disappear," he tells Dean. "You have to make them go away. That's what I do. I make the monsters go away."
"But what if it makes you go away?" Dean asks. "What if you go away like Mommy did?"
Daddy finishes putting the bags in the trunk, slams it down, and comes around the car to hug Dean. "It's okay, Dean," Daddy says. "I'm not leaving you. I'm not leaving you, son."
Dean doesn't look at Daddy. "Mommy didn't want to leave, either," he says, and he feels Daddy's arms tighten around him.
"I promise you," Daddy says, holding him close.
"I promise you, Dean. I'll never leave you alone."
Daddy breaks his promise the next night.
Dean's sitting in the backseat of the Impala, Sammy by his side. They're parked right outside of some big cemetery—Dean knows what a cemetery is because of Mommy. Cemeteries are scary places with big holes in the ground and funny shaped rocks near them. A lot of the rocks say things, like people's names and good things about them. Dean knows that all of these people are people who have gone away, left suddenly, the way Mommy left them.
Dean doesn't like it here. He wishes Daddy would come back real soon.
Daddy said that the Dead Thing in their motel was a woman who had died more than a hundred years ago. That was a really, really long time—even Daddy wasn't that old yet. Daddy said he had to go and put her spirit to rest. Dean didn't really know what that meant, but apparently Daddy had to go to the cemetery to do it. Normally, Daddy left Dean and Sammy at the motel when he did stuff like this, but Daddy was wary about leaving the boys alone so far away. Instead, he left them in the car and told Dean to stay put no matter what happened.
They're supposed to drive to Pastor Jim's after Daddy gets back. But Daddy's been gone a long time. A very, very, very long time.
What if he doesn't come back?
Dean fidgets in his seat and tries not to think about that. He looks at the gun that Daddy left him—it's heavy in his hands, and he doesn't like it much. But he knows how to use it—Daddy showed him the right way, and he knows never to play with anything as dangerous as a gun. Guns aren't toys, Daddy said. Dean knows that. He never plays with the guns.
He looks over at Sammy, asleep in his car seat. There's a little bit of baby drool hanging from his mouth. Dean doesn't like the gun in his hands, but he'll use it to protect his brother.
"It's okay," Dean reassures Sammy. "Don't worry. Daddy's okay."
Dean sighs. He fidgets a little more and looks out the window for at least the zillionth time. All he can see is darkness and fog—Daddy is nowhere near. Daddy was very serious about not leaving the car, but he's been gone so long now. Dean doesn't think he can wait any longer.
He has to come back. Daddy has to come back. He can't stay gone, like Mommy . . .
"We gotta go find him," Dean tells Sammy. "We gotta go make sure that he didn't get took by the Dark Thing." He knows he shouldn't disobey his Daddy, and he certainly doesn't want to take Sammy out there with him—but he can't protect Sammy if he can't see him. And he has to go. He has to find Daddy.
Dean gets out of the car and pulls Sammy into his arms without even waking him. It's hard to hold Sammy and the gun at the same time, so he really hopes he doesn't run into any monsters. It'd be real hard to run, too, with it being so dark. Dean keeps tripping over things, although he never falls, not with Sammy.
He and Sammy walk for a really long time, past a lot of those funny rocks with people's names on them. Dean wants to call out for his Daddy, but he doesn't want to give away their position. That's what Daddy calls it, giving away their position. If the monsters hear him, they'll know where they are. Where Sammy is.
Dean feels like's walked for hours and hours before he finally sees light from far away. As he gets closer, he realizes that the light isn't a house, like he first thought. There's smoke coming from the light, and it's real, real bright.
"Daddy!" Dean screams, all other thought abandoned. "Daddy!" He runs forward as fast as he can with Sammy still safely held within his arms. He sees his Daddy standing above a big hole. The fire is coming from inside of the hole.
Daddy turns around, his jaw dropping. In the firelight, he looks somewhere between horrified and exasperated. "Dean!" he yells, his fear and frustration both evident in his voice. "Godammit, Dean! I told you to stay in the car!"
Dean ignores this. By now, he's walked all the way up to the big hole, Sammy muttering and shifting in his arms. Dean makes sure he has a good grasp on his brother and looks down at the fire. He can see a box in the bottom of the hole. A coffin, he remembers. It's called a coffin.
The coffin is open, and there's a body inside. It's really, really old, like a mummy or something. It doesn't really look like a person anymore, but Dean knows that's what it is, or was, a hundred years ago anyway. The Mummy Thing is the same as the Dead Thing that tried to hurt them in their motel room. The Mummy Thing is being destroyed so that the Dead Thing won't hurt anybody.
A cemetery is a place for people who have gone far, far away. Mommy has a place in a cemetery. She has a hole and a rock and a coffin, just like the Mummy burning below them.
Dean watches the fire for a long, long time. Things click in his mind that he never really connected before. Dead things and cemeteries and not coming back . . . fire destroying the dead things . . . living things destroyed by fire . . .
Dean wants to cry, but he doesn't have any tears left in him. What little escape are quickly erased by the warmth of the flame.
After awhile, he's aware of his Daddy standing behind hi. He can tell Daddy's been talking for a couple of minutes now, but Dean hasn't heard anything that Daddy's said. "It's a good thing," Dean hears his Daddy say now. "The fire keeps this woman at rest. It keeps her from hurting anyone. It's a good thing, Dean."
Dean thinks about that. He watches the fire destroy the thing below him, and he knows. He knows. "She's not coming back, is she?" Dean asks.
Daddy puts a hand on Dean's shoulder. "No," he whispers. "She's not."