Of All the Western Stars
He stays at Bobby's for exactly one day after Dean dies.
Bobby tries to make him stay longer, says he's family and the guest room is his as long as he likes, but Sam wouldn't dare. He leaves the next morning, long before the sun comes up.
He leaves because he loves Bobby, and the people he loves always die.
He doesn't say goodbye. He doesn't expect to ever see Bobby again.
Dean's been dead for six days, and he's been too drunk to function for five.
He hasn't bothered to get any new credit cards, and he spends the last of his cash in a bar somewhere in Oregon. They kick him out an hour before last call, but the guys who drag him out into the parking lot aren't bad men. They try to ask if there's anyone they can call, but there's no one. He could die in the right there in the parking lot and no one would know, or care.
They give him pitying glances and leave him to stumble away. He sits in the front seat of the Impala and sobs until he's sick, because Dean's gone and he's here and he doesn't want to be.
An hour later he goes to the crossroads at the edge of the town and tries to trade his soul for Dean's, but no one wants it, not even demons.
All he can think is that Dean is dead, and it shouldn't be that way. It should be him.
His soul is worthless.
It's the twelfth day and there's nowhere for him to go.
He's managed to get together enough cash to get a hotel room and two bottles of whiskey, and sits on the floor at the foot of the second empty bed, drinking it as fast as he can. His empty stomach aches and burns, but he drinks until the bottle is empty.
The television is blaring loudly, but all he can hear is silence, and he drinks the second bottle faster than the first. In the back of his mind he knows that he's making a mistake, wasting the second chance that Dean gave him, but it's like he can't control himself.
He curls up on the floor, feels his heart thudding loud and painfully in his chest.
All he wants is Dean. He knows it's selfish, but he can't do this alone. He can't live his life alone.
Well, he can, but he doesn't want to.
He hasn't slept or eaten properly in almost a month, or shaved, or talked to another human being. He's running on empty, and Ruby's there.
He knows it's wrong, and he should tell her to go, but he's so fucking lonely and he's got no hope left. He has no life left, nothing to hold on to. All that is keeping him alive right now is his need to avenge Dean.
Ruby's a demon, but she knows his name and cares enough about his life to teach him what he needs to know, and he doesn't have to worry about whether or not he'll be the cause of her death because she can take care of herself. And if she can't, well, he doesn't care if she lives or dies.
He just needs her to help him end this.
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,--
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
- "Ulysses," Alfred Tennyson