I own nothing, and this was written at about 2 in the morning, so be kind. But please review!!

This has spoilers through the end of Season 3.

"Your humanity will shred away, bit by bit, until, after centuries, you'll be like us." The demon cackled at her. "You'll forget everything you ever were."

Bela had learned that struggling against her bindings only caused more pain. Still, she was at least able to roll her eyes.

Flame seared against her thighs and midsection, and she screamed until her throat was raw, and then screamed some more, and the demon only laughed and laughed.

There was a procession of them, of who knew how many demons. Every so often, they'd leave her alone, but just when she's start to relax, they'd be back, and they loved her screams.

Once, one of the demons stopped in front of her, and took the form of a woman. Red tank top, black pants, ebony hair and matching eyes. "You smell of him," she hissed, and stroked Bela's cheek. "You knew them."

"Knew who?" Bela gasped.

"The Winchester's."

It took Bela a moment. "Yes, I knew them." I betrayed them, and myself.

"You caused them pain, even when you knew it was wrong, even when you didn't want to." The demon stroked her cheek again, and her touch burned. "Why?"

A thousand responses came to her tortured mind, but the only thing that came out was simply, "We can't change what we are."

The demon pulled her hand back as though Bela had burned her. "We can try. We can pick sides!" She leaned closer, hissing in Bela's face. "I would have followed Sam, and he sent me back here! Even Dean would have spared me, bigot though he is."

Bela felt a flash of defensiveness flash though her, but couldn't think through the pain to answer.

When Bela didn't answer, the demon gave an almost sigh. "He liked you, some of the time. He would have spared you. So, I will spare you."

"Who liked me?"

"Dean." The demon smirked. "But only some of the time." Then she drifted away, and the next demon had no mercy, or the one after that, or after that.

Bela found herself drifting along Hell's Highway as she called it. A mixture of chains and flame that seemed to move of its own accord, shuffling souls from one torture to another. Her head lolled to the side, and another soul came into view. The Highway was taking her right to him.

Her heart recognized the soul, and broke into a million pieces before her mind caught up. "No," she whispered. "Oh, no."

He was chained, alone, and screaming. Of course, everyone screamed, but his words still had meaning. "Sammy!"

"Dean!" She called out, and for the first time since God knew when, she strained against her chains, and ignored the pain. "Dean!"

He didn't even look at her, but he continued to fight, continued to call for his brother.

After what felt like an eternity of yelling at him, Bela sighed. "Why can't you hear me?"

"You're not a part of his Hell," a voice hissed, and Bela turned to see a male-form demon with yellow eyes, looking her up and down. "Weren't you attractive meat?"

"Who are you?"

"Azazel," the demon said with a cruel smile.

"Why can I see him if he can't see me?"

"He's part of your Hell." He put his hand to her forehead. Where all the touches had hurt, this was atomic. Bela couldn't even scream at the amount of pain. Still, she heard the demon's words. "You cared and you were already so deep into Hell, that you twisted what feeling you had to greed."

Then, as though she was reliving each moment, she began to experience each moment she'd spent with the Winchester brothers.

But this time, she did everything right.

She still stole the rabbit's foot, but she didn't shoot Sam, just in his vague direction. It missed. Dean still made her catch the damn thing, and when it was destroyed she still stole Dean's tickets and laughed.

When they got to Gert she saw them, watched them. She hired a tow truck to show up just as they were arriving. She'd never thought Dean could get so pissed. Still, it only made her laugh harder as she dismissed the very confused tow truck driver, and even Sam was trying not to laugh. She still got to see Dean in a tux (and flush at the sight), and watch him get too flustered to respond when she made her offer of angry sex. She still stole the hand (too easy) and was waiting on her buyer (hesitating from a shocking feeling of guilt) when she saw the ship. She didn't want to go to them for help, and she almost didn't. At the last minute she ran for it, and defended herself from their questions about her past the only way she knew how. "Are we going to chat all day, or destroy this thing before it kills me?"

They killed the bastard just as it started to drown her. The next thing she knew, Dean's arms were the only thing holding her upright. It was amazing how he could look worried and annoyed at the same time. She gave them 50,000 dollars, and when Dean accused her of being damaged, she smiled and nodded. Then, just to have the last word, as she was walking out, she turned and told them, truly serious, "Thank you. Both of you." They probably kept staring at the doorway in shock long after she made it out of town.

She would have killed Gordon if she could have. At least she got a mojo bag out of the deal. When she was safely on the road, she called Dean and told him the real reason for her first call. And he was shocked, but grateful. Bela used her spirit contacts to find Gordon, and helped the brothers track him down. She arrived just as Sam killed him, and paid for a hotel for them to recover in. She got to have her angry sex with Dean, and it was better than she'd imagined. Surprisingly, he didn't run away, but stayed to talk, just talk, and even though she knew he was trying to figure her out, she didn't mind. She found she liked him, only a little, and the same was probably true of him. No promises, no declarations, just the way she liked it.

Still, when she found where Lilith was, she called Sam, not Dean. She explained that Lilith held all the contracts, and then she told Sam to keep quiet, because if she died, at least she died trying.

Naturally (thankfully), Sam didn't know how to keep his word, and the boys barged in just in time to save her ass, and kill Lilith. Only then, seeing that beautiful worried/annoyed look, did Bela admit to herself that she might be a little in love with Dean Winchester, of all people. He pulled her to her feet, wiped the blood from a cut on her cheek, and bluntly asked, "Why?"

"You sold your soul to save your brother," she said softly, tiredly, "I sold mine for something...less noble."

It was only half of the answer, and later, when Sam had left them alone for a few moments, Bela told him the rest. "You should get the life you want."

"I like my life," he said in his arrogant tone.

Bela looked at him for a moment, and then said simply, "Ben."

The name brought Dean up short, and if she hadn't just saved his life, he might have pulled a gun on her. "What do you know about Ben?"

Bela knew when to shut up, and regardless of what she really knew, she only shrugged. "You wish you were his dad, and you might make a good dad, someday. You should get to."

An awkward silence existed for a moment, and then Dean grinned. "You want to have my baby," he accused.

And they were back to the half-sarcastic banter that Bela loved.

More and more often, she'd join them on a hunt, until finally it was common for hunters to refer to them as the Winchester brothers and their tag-along treasure hunter. After a few people ran into a moody Dean, they became the Winchesters and trhe Btich. Then the Winchesters and Talbot, and after a particularly nasty hunt, the Winchesters and Bela, Dean's weak spot.

Still, no promises made, no declarations. There were looks (she put some effort into wearing that dress), comments (jealousy on Dean looked kinda nice), jokes (Sam loved it when they fought, he liked seeing that Dean could be miserable). Still, they liked each other more than a little.

The change came when they ran into a sort of memory demon. It took your worst, most hurtful memory, and forced it onto you. Then it ate you while you relived your memory.

It turned to Bela after leaving Dean standing with the Colt outstretched but unfired. "You," it hissed, "You killed your parents, and have you ever felt a bit of regret?"

Rather than break Bela, it strengthened her, and when it turned to Sam, she reached out and took the Colt, shooting the bastard dead center in the back. "Yes," she hissed back, "I regretted not doing it myself."

She avoided the brothers questions, and when they got back to their hotel, she locked herself in her room, and quickly packed her bags. She made a silent exit and headed for her silver car.

And found Dean already there, watching her, eyebrows raised. "So," he drawled, "What's the story?"

Bela could have avoided him, but this was Dean, and he was hard to avoid. "I sold my soul to kill my parents. I was young, and I didn't realize the demon bitch was for real."

Months ago, he would have cracked a joke about inheritance. Now, he just watched her and waited.

Finally, she shrugged. "He gave me too many hugs." She watched him remember the 'hugs' comment he'd made months ago, and then connect it to what she was saying. "So I changed my name, and changed...everything else too."

At first, he didn't say anything, and then he leaned back against her car. "So, you thought you had to run? You're dumb, sweetheart."

"And you're a Neanderthal, but I usually overlook that fact." Bela huffed, "I didn't think you would want me to stay."

"I don't want you to go," Dean pointed out in his best 'you're retarded' voice.

They just stared at each other, and Bela realized this was it. This was the moment when she decided whether or not to have the life she'd always wanted.

Maybe there was no need for promises, or declarations. They liked each other, some days more than others. It wouldn't be a white picket fence life, but if necessary, Bela had her apartment, and it had lots of room. Even for a nursery.

Bela smiled and stepped forward to kiss him. Her Dean Winchester.

Then his eyes turned yellow, and Bela felt the burn, beginning on her forehead and spreading through her.

Bela blinked, and was back in Hell. She'd never left.

Azazel cackled, and Bela sighed, tears in her eyes, in her soul.

"Your life, as it could have been," Azazel taunted.

"My humanity will shred away, right? Until I remember nothing of what I was?"

Azazel nodded.

Bela glanced at Dean's tortured form. Remembering sucked anyway.

"Good." She looked Azazel in the eye.

"Go on, then, shred away."

"For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these, 'It might have been'."

-John Whittier