BY: Karen B.

Warning: Season five (5-10) spoiler!

Summary: Short Tag -- 5-10. Spoiler warning for season five. Dean's thoughts in front of the fire, while burning the photograph.

Disclaim: Kripke owns it all! Including our hearts. Hope -- in the end -- he handles our hearts with care.

Rated: Ahhh….crap! I wasn't going to do this -- very painful episode. Here comes the rain…gray…sad…pain.

Thank you for your time in reading,

Sunshine even in rain,


Jo and Ellen had given all and what had they given back? A friggin' big, fat, meaningless nothing. The bullet lodged between the devil's eyes -- little more than a tickle.

Dean's heart was pounding. A scream burning in the back of his throat. He cringed, something sick moving around in his gut -- not unlike a thousand hairy spiders crawling around inside a lidded jar. There were no words to express what Dean was feeling, what any of them were feeling. All three men 'not' so bravely staring into the flames -- attention focused on the burning photograph.

Sam and Dean, stiff and unblinking.

Bobby sitting in his chair, shoulders back, head held high, neck muscles standing out like corded ropes.

The heat of the fire was doing nothing to warm the sense of numbness that took over the room. Nor, could the snap and crackle of the flaming logs break the 'dead of winter' silence.

Each man, obviously deep in his own thoughts. Bombarded with his own sense of grief, guilt, sadness -- regrets.

Dean glanced over at Sam, reading the wordless 'you okay?' in his brother's tear-filled eyes.

'No.' Dean shook his head. 'Not okay -- ever again.' A hangman's noose tightening around his neck.

'Me either.' Sam nodded his understanding, trying to give an encouraging smile, but the smile never came.

Two hot tears threatened to roll down Dean's cheeks, but did not. The tears of his heart, however, were another story -- overflowing to drowning. Dean's gaze fell back onto the burning picture. As the fire ate away the edges, shriveling up the faces of those they had come to call family, a cold terror ate away at Dean's soul. An empty, black hole he could only fill with sadness. The sound of the explosion was still fresh in his mind. A sound he would never forget. Like a plane slamming into a mountainside. The puff of hot air that followed, like an Atumn breeze sending the last dying leaf racing toward the snow covered ground. In a flash -- everything gone. The blast was a sound that would haunt Dean well past his dying day.

A chill ran through Dean. No, was more like he'd run straight into an electrical fence, the shock threatening to bring him to his knees, threatening to take away his breath. The only reason he hadn't fallen, Dean realized, was because his baby brother had taken a single step closer. Big, hazel eyes, alone -- holding Dean up -- making the pain breathable. Sam always was the bubble wrap that kept Dean from shattering.

What was all the blood and hurt for, anyway?

Where could they turn now?

All Bobby's books crammed onto his shelves -- held no answers.

Demons and angels had their own dirt roads to follow.

And God?

God was a child's lost toy.

Human souls -- fatherless -- forgotten.

Dean sniffed back his tears, the smell in the air was monstrous, and he swallowed down hard on hopelessness. These were the dreams hell was made of. A place he never wanted to go to again. Hell had followed him. Freely roaming the earth. An earth now ending -- because of two brothers, be them angel or human.

Dean wanted to trade his grief for anger, but he didn't have the will. Right now, stopping the spread of evil would have to wait. Right now, all that mattered was the mangled pain of loss. It wasn't fair, but that was the way it always had been, from the day he'd lost his mother, his father.

Now, Jo and Ellen were gone, but their lives would never be forgotten. They lived and died with honor. A swell of pride filled Dean's aching belly; at the same time tears of grief and heartache finally leaked out his heart, running down his cheeks.

Sometimes, there was nothing to do.

Sometimes, there were no words.

Sometimes, the only thing to be -- was broken. Even after Sam had wheeld Bobby away from th fire, Dean continued to stand in silence. Stare into the flames, like he was watching the sunset for the last time. Red-hot, turning orange, pale yellow, pink. Embers fading away to gray ash, the room growing gloomy and dark. He only hoped the world would not do the same.

The end.