Christina's Apartment, South Dakota – September 12, 2008

30-year-old Christina Singer smiled as she watched over her sleeping baby boy. He was a week past his five-month birthday and every bit the replica of his father, who had been taken from them four months previous. Bringing him up alone had been a challenge, and one she hadn't taken to right away. Falling apart wasn't in her nature, but she was barely holding it together. She was an emotional dam waiting to break and she feared a break down was just around the corner. She'd only survived this long because of DJ – a promise she made to Dean. It rang around in her head repeatedly forcing her to get up every morning and go about life as though that day hadn't happened. It was that promise that kept her strong whenever she heard DJ cry or saw his face. But making that promise and seeing it through was proving more and more difficult with each passing day because losing Dean had meant she lost a part of herself.

Officially the two had never been an item, but – in her heart – Dean Winchester had been her man, regardless of whether he'd accepted it or not. They hadn't had what anyone would class a healthy relationship – his fear of commitment had seen to that – but she had a piece of him that he'd kept hidden from the rest of the world and that was enough. At least, she'd thought it was. But she'd realised in her time without him that she'd lived for the feeling she got whenever he smiled at her or brushed up against her in his mad dash out the door for a hunt – and now he was gone, so was her hope of feeling completely whole.

Her son was her little piece of Dean, a constant reminder of what they'd had – no matter how short-lived. He was a living part of him that she would die to protect. Her powers had gone, sure, but DJ still had them in his blood. So even if she couldn't always protect him, he had the ability to do it.

Losing Dean had been made worse when she'd lost Sam just six weeks later – after their grief had made them read more into their relationship than there was – and Christina had forced herself to see it for what it really was. Ultimately it had cost her Sam, which was regrettable, but she'd have rather that than to go to a place with him she couldn't return from and would feel endless guilt for. Regardless, she missed having him on hand to help.

Being careful not to wake her son, she walked out of the nursery and pulled the door closed. Her apartment was so big and empty without all the men of her life. She felt alone – vulnerable – and she was just waiting for an attack on her son's life. It was ritual by now, to walk around the dark apartment checking every room for any signs of life and, then just to be sure, checking again. She always found nothing, but satisfied she retired to her room.

She climbed into bed exhausted. It had been another long day, and it hadn't been made any easier by her father, who'd taken to the bottle since they'd lost Dean. She'd got used to the fact that the hunt didn't matter to him anymore but giving up on family was a new first for her. He'd barely been a father to her since losing one of the sons he never had, much less a grandfather, and she missed his over-protectiveness despite hating it. It would show he still cared about something instead of being cold and detached from life. She feared that he'd drink himself into such a deep depression that she'd have to bury him right alongside Dean after finding him on one of her visits to check on him. Thankfully, he always passed out before that happened. Still, it cut her up to see her father emotionally fall apart because he'd always been so strong – but she told herself he'd snap out of it once he got it out of his system.

It had only been four months and taking care of everyone else made her forget her own pain of losing Dean for a little while, but when she climbed into bed it was there waiting – preventing her from falling asleep without shedding tears.

Getting comfortable in bed her eyes were drawn to the photo of him set on her nightstand and she could feel the instant grief well up in her eyes. Guilt still surrounded her for not being able to do anything to stop his trip down the pit – despite trying. Her intention had been to use the fear Lilith had and use it against her – little did she know the demon that fathered her had a unique ability to render her powerless, literally. So her plan had come crashing down around her ears and almost gotten her killed for her efforts. But her guilt didn't change a thing. Dean was still gone, and she was still forced to live without him. She wondered – amidst her tears – if she'd ever be able to love anyone like she loved him. And the answer was simple – no. Without him her world ceased to exist. She was living but she was barely alive. She pined for him more and more as each day passed. There was no way losing him was going to get easier. It had been four months and it still felt like yesterday when he'd left.