A/N: Same stuff applies as in the first chapter. Oh, and unfortunately I neither own Supernatural nor Dark Angel. Just this.
A/N part two: Specific episodes of Supernatural mentioned are: a line from "Pilot"/"All Hell Breaks Loose, Part II." Specific episodes of Dark Angel mentioned are: none. Also, I've done a small alteration to the end reference; you'll know it when you see it.
Of Desire and the Status Quo
Epilogue – Stairway to Heaven
Alec stares down at Dean's calm face, the lines accentuating his features softer than they had been just two hours ago. As if only in death is he able to be at peace. If only Alec had the same luxury.
Swallowing, Alec's mouth twitches as he pulls the sheet Rade had sacrificed from her medical supplies up over Dean's head. He stands back, holding his lighter in his hand like a lifeline. His nose burns at the tangy smell of gasoline in the air, and the grains of salt decorating the wood that used to be chairs seem out of place.
He looks across the pyre, meeting Mole, Rade, Dix, and Dalton's eyes, the former two the only ones who haven't some debilitating injury. Dix is in a makeshift wheelchair, and Dalton's leg is in a splint of sorts, his face in a constant wince despite the painkillers Rade had given him. He looks years and years older than his sixteen, and Alec wishes he hadn't had to go through all this. He wishes none of them had.
Gazing at Dean's covered body, he closes his eyes for a minute, futilely hoping that when he opens them again, the pyre will be gone, Dean will be standing with a long-suffering smile on his face, Sam next to him, both alive, both content, more or less. But when he does, none of it is there. Just the harsh reality of Seattle's oppressing gray clouds swollen with unshed rain, the smell of muck and pain in the air overpowering.
His chest in a permanent state of sharp throbbing, Alec flicks open the lighter, slides his thumb down rapidly on the starter, the spark igniting a flame. He looks at it for a second, and then tosses it onto the pyre, the fuel alighting immediately with a thick whoosh. The air above Dean ripples, heat caressing Alec's skin as it consumes Dean's body.
The sight in front of him starts to blur, but he blames it on the smoke and the fire. He feels a hand slip into his, small but steady, and he doesn't have to look at it to know it's Max's. He feels himself tightening his fingers around hers, and then a warm heat presses against his side. This time he does look down, and sees her face stoic but eyes glassy with silent tears. He feels an unexpected surge of anger at Dean, at the fact that he'd been the only thing to cause Max, Terminal City's unshakable leader, to outwardly show weakness.
He takes a deep breath and pulls his gaze back up, the inferno completely surrounding Dean's shape. Alec knows it's what Dean wanted, a hunter's funeral, but still he hates that he has to. The keys of the Impala feel heavy in his jacket pocket, they, their vehicle, and the memories branded in his head the only reminders that Dean had ever existed, had ever come into their lives.
Alec doesn't know how long it takes for the flames to die down, for nothing but the scent of burnt flesh in the air to be left of Dean, but he does peripherally notice that the sky had turned from sunset to a blue-black, stars halfheartedly winking from above. He sees that most of the transgenics have left, Dalton and Dix having gone inside to rest their respective injuries. Everyone else hadn't known Dean all that much, some didn't even know his name, and had only been there out of respect for Alec. Trinity, he knows, is still battling catatonia in the medical bay, and last he'd heard of Kalinda, she was being checked over by Dr. Carr. He still doesn't know the prognosis.
Only Mole and Rade remain, still standing on the other side of the pyre; Rade had dropped a tear or two of her own, and while Mole looks unaffected, he'd forgone his cigar and shotgun in his kind of reverence.
Max takes a step away from Alec and glances up at him, face showing more vulnerability than Alec's ever seen. "What now?" she asks softly, her voice coarse and strained.
Alec studies her briefly, and then pulls out Dean's ivory-gripped pistol from his jacket. He stares at the engravings, and then at the fence, beyond the fence, to where he knows the military is waiting. Where White, despite Dean's threat, is undoubtedly scheming.
He looks at Max again, and hands her the firearm, grip first. She doesn't take it, stares at him like he's nuts—he knows she hates guns, she knows he knows she hates guns. Just the same, he slowly releases her hand from his, wraps it around the butt of the pistol. It hangs loosely in her fingers, unwanted.
His eyes stony jade, Max can't help but think he looks too much like Dean the hardened, revenge-driven hunter than he should. Voice matching his stare, he says coldly, "We got work to do."
If you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last
When all are one and one is all
To be a rock and not to roll
And he's earned his stairway to Heaven…