Glass Half Full

Disclaimer: Not mine. All Kripke's.

Summary: Sometimes monsters just die way too fast... Tag to Jump the Shark.

Most of these tags have been Dean patching up Sam, but I don't feel like patching Sam up right now, I kinda wanna smack him. In any case, watching Dean beat the ghoul to death. Now that was some serious anger...

Sometimes... monsters are just way too easy to kill. Sometimes they deserve to hurt, to know that their time is up. They deserve to see it coming.

Dean grabbed the knickknack off the counter. He didn't even have time to care what it was, just that it was solid and had enough weight on it for his purposes.

Dean lifted it high and brought it down savagely. His shoulders were still aching from hauling the coffin into position and hoisting himself out of the crypt, but he ignored the burn and brought the weapon down again. And again.

This thing had pretended to know their dad.

Using Dad as bait? That's the last mistake of its short pitiful life.

It wasn't just their dad though, and it wasn't the ghoul's last mistake. The thing had pretended to be their brother after it'd already killed Adam. Using the kid against him? That just pissed Dean off.

Dean's rule number one... Protect his brother. Dad had made sure Dean protected Sam since before the kid could talk. Dad hadn't given the same order for Adam, but as soon as Dean accepted that the kid was blood, freaked about it or not, the same orders came into play. Adam was his brother. Well, Adam had been his brother. And this bastard had killed him. Eaten him.

Dean brought the makeshift bat down again, feeling the skull begin to cave in.

When Sam died, Dean hadn't been able to do anything about Jake. Sam had taken care of it. But this? Dean brought the club down again. Yeah, this he could do something about.

Sam thought Dean didn't understand his need for revenge. Maybe he didn't. Maybe it was like Doc Holliday said. It wasn't revenge he was after. It was a reckoning.

And that's what this was. A reckoning. This ghoul had murdered a Winchester. Dean's brother. Even if he'd never even known the kid.

Dean couldn't save his brother, not this brother, not this time. It was too late.

The ghoul had stolen Adam's life and the second it picked up the phone to make the call, it'd been living on borrowed time.

This was a reckoning. And the bill had come due.

Dean stood silently watching as his brother's body turned to ash.

Another Winchester burning. This time it was different, he hoped. Dean had to believe what he'd said was the truth, that Adam was in a better place.

He died like a hunter.

It wasn't exactly true. The kid had died ignorant of what was out in the dark, had no idea what the thing was that was eating him alive. No. He hadn't died like a hunter, but he'd died like a Winchester. He died messy, killed by a monster, no one to clean up the mess or even find the body except the only bit of family he had left.

Dean wasn't sure who he was more pissed at right now. Sam for turning into a world-class a-hole of a hunter, their dad for keeping the kid away from them, their dad for going to a baseball game with the kid and being happy about it, himself for letting the ghoul put one over on him, or himself for letting the kid die in the first place.

Luckily, Dean had enough anger to go around. He was just fine being pissed at everybody, himself included.

If his dad had just told him about the kid. Dean would've left him alone, he would, but he'd have looked in on him. He'd had years of practice doing the exact same thing with Sam at Stanford.

Dean vaguely remembered what his dad had been like before, and yeah, he was jealous that the kid had gotten the chance to see that side of him, cause Dean sure hadn't seen it since the day his mom died, but he'd still have respected his dad's wishes. Dean had tried to keep Sam in the dark for as long as he possibly could, after all. This wasn't much different. They protected innocence. It was what they did.

So, their dad had wanted the kid to have a normal life. Sam and Dean had been too close to the battle lines to be left in the dark, but he'd protected Adam, kept him away from hunting, from their lives. He'd protected the kid from his own brothers.

Dean would have abided by that decision, but Sam... as much as he hated to admit it, Sam might have been right. If the kid had known about hunting, he might not have died. How was that for a kick in the family jewels?

Sam had insisted on telling the kid about hunting. He'd been ruthless, pulled no punches about their lives. He'd been as hard and unbending as their father had ever been.

Dean could only hope that Sam really was like their dad. John had taken Adam fishing. He'd taken him to a ball game. There had still been a part of him that was a kind, giving, generous man who could put hunting aside for a little while and just spend time with his family. Dean had never seen it, but Adam was proof that it had been there. It had still been lurking inside his father, the ability to set the hardship of their lives aside temporarily, to let the barriers down.

Right now Sam was a hunter, plain and simple. He was a predator, willing to do almost anything to win. Dean could only hope that one day he would see his brother again. He prayed that somewhere in there his Sammy was still alive, just waiting for a time and place where he could safely make an appearance. Just for a little while.

Dad had never let Dean see that side of him and Dean had been forced to give up hoping for it. But Sam... Sammy... Dean hadn't given up on seeing him again. He couldn't. Not yet.

So... the writer's block has been a bit fierce lately, but Dean to the rescue (He's good about that sort of thing, huh?). Thanks for reading!

Oh, and that was Doc Holliday from Tombstone, cause there's no way Dean doesn't love Doc.