It's over. Once and for all. No end of the world, no Lucifer. It has all gone down. The world is still whole, still there. The billions of humans on this planet will go on with their live, oblivious to what has happened tonight.
I should feel proud. I've disobeyed my superiors, by finally I've fought for what I believe in. This felt better than anything I've ever felt. I should feel satisfied, relieved, happy. But as I'm kneeling down beside my dying charge, all I feel is helplessness and sorrow.
After stopping the apocalypse and Lucifer, Dean Winchester, one of the best hunters in the world, has been stabbed in the back by some teenager possessed by a demon. One minute of inattentiveness was all it had taken.
"Cass" he gasps, blood pouring out of his mouth, "Issit done?"
I nod, "Yes Dean. It is."
Somehow he manages to smile. I don't. How could I? The man I've rescued from Hell, the man I'd just begun to think of as a friend is dying in front of me and there's nothing I can do to help him. Without thinking I tentatively let my hand wander just above his wound, waiting for something to happen. But there's no reaction, the blood is still there, and Dean is still dying. I let my hand drop on my lap, cursing myself for being so worthless.
My thoughts are broken when he starts to cough hard, spitting out more blood in the process. I feel something tighten in my chest but I refuse to pay it attention.
"Hey Cass," he rasps out after he's done, "'m I goin' back?"
His eyes are full of hopes and fear. I know what he means, and I really wish I had an answer to that. If I was completely honest I'd tell him I don't know. But right now he doesn't need honesty. He needs comfort.
"No, Dean." I tell him, "You're not. Lilith held the contract, remember?" A faint nod. "Well she's dead. You're free of your deal now." I tell him, and I pray with all I'm worth that it's the truth.
It seems to work on him as he visibly relax. He closes his eyes for a second and I think he's gone, but his eyelids flutter open again, like a child trying to stay awake to hear the end of the story their parents are telling. He's not ready to fall asleep just yet. He mumbles something that I can't quite make out, so I lean in closer to him.
"Find Sam." He whispers, "Save him."
When I straighten up, his glassy eyes are staring at the sky. Although I ache on the inside, I can't help but smile. His very last thought was for his little brother. I briefly run a hand across his face, closing eyes that would never open again.
Just like that he was gone. I feel my eyes water and I have to frown a little at that. So this is crying? I never understood that act, but now I know this is not something you control.
I get up, quickly wiping away my tears with my sleeve. "Goodbye, Dean." I tell the body on the floor. Then I take a deep breath and start to walk. He's asked me one last thing, and I intend to do it. I look around the mess of corpses, burnt houses and blood.
I call out Sam's name, ignoring the way my voice shakes. Only the echo answers. As time goes by, I find myself wondering what I will tell him once I find him. How am I supposed to announce him that his brother has died? Surely it will not be easy for him. I'm sure he'll even feel guilty. What am I supposed to tell a broken-hearted human?
And all at once, all of my questions are answered.
There, among burnt remains and bloodied corpses lies Sam Winchester. I don't need to get any closer to see the unnatural angle his neck has assumed. The tightness in my chest gets worse and I draw in a breath, but it sounds more like a choked sob.
Despite my sorrow, I can't help but feel relieved. As much as Dean couldn't live without Sam, Sam couldn't live without Dean either. No matter which one died, the other would never have gotten over it. They've spent all their lives with each other. Dying together felt like the best way to go for them.
"Why are you crying?" a voice mocks behind me. I don't need to turn around to know who it is. I don't even try to wipe my tears away. Zachariah comes closer and puts his hand on my shoulder. "Don't you know you're not supposed to feel?"
I know why he's here. I know what he's about to do. And despite my best efforts, I can't bring myself to care. I disobeyed, I'm getting punished and that's that. I feel the tip of Zachariah's knife pressing against my upper back. I know I'm speaking my last words, so I want them to be deep, sharp and well placed. So I smirk through my tears in my best Dean Winchester impression.
Love it? Hate it? Either way, don't hesitate to tell.