A/N: Why? Because I've been in a mood since last week's episode and I need to vent. I want Dean to be okay again. Because internal monologue can be fun, just look at Sin City. Because gaelicspirit's Buried Secrets tag broke me all over again. Because my friend and I were playing around with POV and a potential story. Just…because. Unedited. Post 4.16 On the Head of a Pin. Don't own them.

(Thanatos--psychoanalytic term for death drive)


"I can't face myself when I wake up

And look inside a mirror

I'm so ashamed of that thing."—The Gift, by Seether

Angel's Thanatos

"Dean," I hear him groan. "Time to get up. Dean. Up. Now."

I hear the door close to the bathroom and try not to remember the days when he'd stand there until I was awake. When he would poke and whine and talk me to death until I roused, sometimes launching my pillow at his face. When my brother cared if I got up or not. When Sam gave a damn.

I hear the underlying message in his voice. It's a command. It's not a request. Something in me lately wonders who died and put him in charge. Then I remember it was me. I died. I left him alone.

You're too weak to go after her, Dean. You're holding me back.

He tells me it was some siren's spell that caused him to say these things. He gets annoyed when I ask if he really wants me with him. He asks me why I can't just get past this…

Because I meant everything I said under the siren's spell.

And I know he did too.

We used to be in this together. We used to have each other's backs.

He doesn't think I've noticed all the texts, the phone calls. That was Ruby on the phone this morning, wasn't it Sam? You keep asking me if I care if she helps. I say you can keep your secrets, just don't treat me like an idiot. What I should say…what I want to say…is that I can't stand the demon whore. But she saved your life…she was here when I wasn't…

It's not the only thing weighting my limbs to this bed, making it harder and harder to find any reason at all to get up, to start yet another day of denial and lies and secrets. I know I left a part of myself behind in the pit. I know I'm not all here.

I'm a better hunter than you.

I miss my brother. I see the way he looks at me and know he misses me too. I can't give him what he wants. Not like this. Not when I can't figure out how to stop the screaming in my head. My own. Theirs.

He's right. I am scared. I am weak. He's trying to show me how strong he is now, that he's going to be the one to take care of me. He doesn't need me here. I taught him how to use a weapon. Now he is one.

I've made it onto my back now, staring up at the water stains spreading across the ceiling. I can see their faces in everything. The ones I broke. The ones I tore apart. All so I could feel release. All because I shattered.

I roll onto my side to escape them, but they follow me everywhere when I am awake. Especially now. Especially now that I know the truth. My weakness broke a seal. Their pain was my fall. It's been weeks since I learned the truth, and I can't look at myself, my reflection, not at that thing.

I carved you into a new animal, Dean.

I'm not the man I was. I'm not the man my brother is looking to stand beside him. I'm not the man Dad wanted me to be.

Hero.

The demons would mockingly call me 'hero.'

Now I'm supposed to be the one who stops the end of the world? I feel like there should be a joke here, some humor to the universes' twisted sense of comedy. But I haven't laughed in a long, long time. Not without some bitter taste in my mouth.

I find the ground, amazed that my legs still can be willed to work, that my lungs and heart refuse to quit working. They have more purpose than I fear I will ever feel again.

The water from Sam's shower has stopped running and I realize it's taken me too long to get to my feet. No wonder Sam is frustrated with me. I see the laptop is open and I look over the next hunt Sam has found. I'm leaning over the desk, reading about death like I would a sports page as my brother comes back into the room, toweling off his hair.

"What's this?" I ask, hoping for some distraction.

He'll tell me now what he's found. I can already see the lines of frustration drawn tight along his brow. He wants to know what I'm doing just standing here, why I'm not getting ready to hit yet another hunt, another motel. I see him asking me, the disappointment, the longing, etched into his eyes.

I won't question his direction. I'll wait for him to see what I can't see in myself. I'll be here if he needs me and we'll continue this dance—denialliessecrets—because I can't do this without him.

I never could.