5.11 Sam, Interrupted tag.

Just a peak inside Dean's head examining what he and his hallucinated Doc might have discussed. Dean, you can run, but you cannot hide from the truths locked up in your own mind. Crazy is as crazy does...

I hope you enjoy my re-imagining of the story.

Thanks for reading. - B.J.

Dean, Interrupted

"So, Dean, tell me about yourself."

Dean tensed, his eyes narrowing as he studied the doctor before him, his senses ratcheted up to high. She waited as he observed her. She didn't appear to be a threat and he wasn't sure why exactly, just something familiar about her, not safe, but not a danger either. Something within this encounter didn't ring true, but he chose to ignore the warning signs, hunker down behind his wall and keep up the pretense. Casually he responded, "Eddie, it's Eddie."

Softly sighing, she continued, "Right… Eddie. So, Eddie, tell me, who are you?"

Shifting into familiar territory, Dean smiled, subdued and restrained, but briefly allowing the quirk of his full lips and the glint in his piercing green eyes to flash as he dared her to engage him further. He was always up for a little interaction with authority figures. "You've got a list there that seems to sum me up pretty good. What more could there be?"

She responded with a slight smile of her own. Her eyes glimmering with her own combativeness and perhaps a touch of insight as she leaned in. "With you? A lot."

Dean cocked his right eyebrow; instincts honed and on high alert, processing the vibes cascading off his lovely, if not a bit too professional, that is until now, doctor. His dimples warmed to the realization as his jaw relaxed and his lips turned up in a cocky smirk. "You flirting with me?" he rasped out, a chuckle of victory laced within the confident tone.

What he thought he'd seen in her eyes seemed to subtly shift, turning more intrusive and clinical, her words only confirming that fact as she chipped away at his defenses. "Is that all it means when someone takes an interest in you? Is that all you think you're good for?"

"Well, there is that…" he quickly shot off.

"So, is that why you've never had a committed relationship? Are you afraid that once the luster wears off, once they see beneath that pretty packaging, they'll realize that you're not worth the effort?"

The words were cold and cutting, closer than further from the truth, and that was unsettling. Dean momentarily faltered, mentally stumbling back but unwilling to waver now. His base reflexes kicked in, always able to rely on his ability to fight back. "Look, Doc, this has been fascinating, really…but I'm kinda working here…don't have time for the head shrink."

Smiling again, she eased back, allowing him his space. Her eyes remained a constant though, never releasing him from her inquisitive gaze. "Fair enough. From the sound of things, you have a hard job. How's that going?" She seemed acutely tuned in to every nuance in his answers, her professional care evident in her deliberate words, words designed to pry hard-held secrets from her reluctant patient.

And that annoyed the hell out of him. He didn't need her concern or care and he certainly didn't need her tunneling into the locked passages of his mind. Still, she didn't present much of a challenge. This was simply a game to help pass the hours, and he had his own questions. Her maneuvers were hardly a threat, not for a man like him. He was an expert at evasion, knew just how much to give up and what to hold close. He licked his lips, his eyes returning the intent gaze, refusing to as much as blink as he sharply replied, "Right now? Or in general?"


"Well, right now, we've got a half-dozen deaths, a loony bin full of potential vics, and no clue what we're hunting." Dean fixed his gaze as his jaw set. "In general, you could say it's been a tough year."

Compassion seemed to lurk behind every word, the tenderness in her eyes offering a pity he wouldn't tolerate. She knowingly commented, "Only a tough year? How about before?" When he hesitated, she gently added, "Just how long have you been doing this?"

Pushing his smirk forward, depending on the chutzpah that had never before failed him, he switched into full-on cocky mode. "Ah, let's see…I'd say twenty-five years, give or take…" He winked as he added, "Just got the diamond cuff-links."

Concern flashed across her face as the words settled, as the weight of what he'd endured fully registered. She tried to deny the words even as she confirmed them. "But you're only what? Thirty? Are you saying you've been doing this your whole life?"

"You're a sharp one, Doc. Grab yourself an extra cookie." He almost turned serious then, wistful for another time as he lamented, "You could say I was born into it…" He paused to ponder that statement, the inherent truth and the enormous loss before he chuckled to himself as he retreated away from the solemn mood, his lips again finding their way to a tenuous smile as his dimples flashed at the absurdity. "Well, maybe not born. Guess that would be my brother, but what the hell, close enough, right?"

"So, you didn't have a choice? How does that make you feel?"

The hairs on the back of his neck bristled, his shoulders automatically rolling upwards to lock down the roiling resentment that question always drew out of him. His demeanor immediately changed; his face solemn and somber, a distant look to his eyes, dark and foreboding. "Look, Doc, I don't 'do' feelings." Dean looked past the doctor, observing the young man behind her…the one making whirring noises and waving his arms through the air like a crazy person. He nodded his head in his direction. "Why don't you go talk with helicopter boy over there, looks like he could use the help."

"And you don't?"

"No." He again tensed, his shoulders pulled back as his chest pushed out. With a controlled tone he forcefully added, "I'm the one who does the helping."

The weight of his words, the burden he seemed so willing to accept, all seemed determined to push her away, his eyes demanding the distance as he withdrew. Denying him his refuge, she again reached out. "Doesn't mean you can't use some help too…on occasion." Her overture was met with silence so she pressed on, directing another question to him. "So, you really feel that you're solely responsible for saving the world?"

He shifted in his chair, the hard scrape as the metal legs dragged over the linoleum filling the silence between them before he finally spoke, resolute amid the turmoil he couldn't hide. "Solely? No." Dean pensively considered his course, Sam's course, their course. Their path was impossibly hard, unimaginable, but necessary. Who the hell else would take on this job? His words came slowly, considered and restrained. "My brother and me, well, we both kinda started this whole thing, so yeah, it's up to us to fix it."

"You mean the apocalypse?"

"Only game in town," he replied, his tone more serious than the words would imply.

She gently nodded, her eyes growing increasingly tender with every response. "That's an incredible responsibility you've taken on. How exactly are you going to do it?"

Quirking his head to the side, Dean offered a slight grimace as the muscle in his jaw twitched. "Good question. Don't know…guess it's up to us to figure it out."

"That's a lot of pressure. I mean, going up against the devil…going toe-to-toe with evil on that grand of a scale. That's got to be terrifying."

That muscle in his jaw was persistent, pulsing again as he struggled to respond, his eyes faltering for a second before they steadied and he spoke. "Understatement."

"How do you do it?"

Somehow that question, while impossible to actually answer, always triggered a conditioned response; his dad's training reinforcing the soldier's duty. "You just do."

"But, how? How do you even get out of bed in the morning?" she questioned, digging, probing, refusing to let the matter die a natural death. "It's got to be overwhelming…the pressure, all those expectations."

Dean's eyes rose to study her, observing her sincerity, her disbelief…her total lack of comprehension. Words couldn't describe the horrors out there, the unrelenting danger…the freaking end of the world, coming unless they stopped it. Someone like her might ask the questions, curious and sympathetic, but she'd never know…not really. Nothing he could say would change the life she was living. She would either live or die, shielded from the truth and living in blissful ignorance, or painfully thrust into the battle and by all odds quickly ended. Sadly, he remembered his kid brother struggling with those same questions years ago, the same wide-eyed innocence when he'd first confronted the truth of what his family did. Unlike his brother; she was lucky, she would soon retreat to her own world, a world that might be safe if the Winchesters managed to do their job. Dean had learned long ago there was only one way to deal with their lives and the demands placed upon them. "Let me clue you in, Doc. You're thinking too much." He offered his standard response, culled from years of experience, the one thing that kept him on task. "Don't think too hard on it. It's a waste of time."

"Is that why you drink? So you won't have to think about it?"

Growing tired of this discussion amid the bitter truth that no amount of talk would change anything, Dean let his face go lax, his features revealing nothing aside from his eyes which were no longer able to deny the weariness draining his soul. His voice was almost a monotone, no inflection to betray his inner turmoil, no indication he was on the brink of total collapse. "No. The drinking's more to forget what's already happened."

"And what would that be?"

He bowed his head, staring at his hands resting on the checkerboard. He flexed his fingers, turning them slightly before drawing his right hand into a fist with his left folding over his knuckles in a loose grip. His eyes slowly rose, glimmered with moisture as he tried to stave off the images of what those hands were capable of. His voice was gruff and broken. "You don't want to know."

"I asked. Maybe it would help to talk about it."

"No, it wouldn't," he barked back, nerves again frayed, unraveling under the constant barrage of her scrutiny. His face now locked in a firm mask, denying all emotion except what escaped through his eyes, unable to control how they misted and longed for release.

Refusing his anger, still pushing for that elusive truth, she continued on. "What's the worst thing that's ever happened to you?"

Teetering on edge, wedged between the big reveal and his brick-wall defense, he snapped, his voice rough and brittle. "Imagine the worst thing possible, then magnify it by a thousand and you wouldn't even be close."

"That bad?"


"So, tell me."


"You can't hold all that pain inside, it will kill you," she tenderly cautioned.

His lips trembled, his voice a whisper, low and resigned. "Already did…and believe me, there are worse things than dying."

"You died?" she gasped out.

"Not just died…went to Hell." A shudder ran through him. No matter how many times he said it, that first spike of pain still hurt like a mother, still tore at his defenses, drawing him back toward the flames.


It took all his concentration, all his will to lock that pain down deep in his gut, back where it belonged. He was well practiced, growing more accomplished even as it became harder and harder. After another moment to compose himself, he was able to breeze off a response. "Yeah, don't believe the press release…whatever you might think Hell is…" Another wave rolled over him, and he couldn't speak, could barely breathe, closing his eyes in denial. It didn't normally affect him like this, but he'd gone too long without a drink, too long without killing something, too long locked within the silence this place fostered. For once he was grateful for her next question, thankful he had something else to focus on, something to draw him back out, something other than… He turned his eyes toward her, watching her mouth as she formed the question, concentrating…listening to each word as it was released.

She shook her head, looking a bit bewildered by his harrowing tale. "You're saying you survived Hell? You do realize that most would assume you're delusional?"

"Yeah, right…that works for the crazies, huh?"

"Look, Eddie, these fantasies you've created, well, it means you want help. And I want to help you…but I can't if you won't talk to me…really talk to me."

His eyes rose, defiance steady within their steely glare. "You can't help me, period."

"Then why are you here?" She continued to press, moving forward into his personal space, insistent eyes demanding answers. "For the monsters? To save people?"

He offered a curt nod. "That's the general idea."

"Why here?"


"Why here? Why a mental hospital?"

Dean closed his eyes for a moment, tired of this exchange and the irrelevance of her questions. He opened his eyes to encounter her still scrutinizing him and he fought back, growing ever weary of her demands. "I'm hunting a monster. Didn't pick the locale."

That answer failed to satisfy her. She leaned in further and pushed. "Or maybe it was an excuse. Maybe you chose to hunt here so you could get the help you so obviously need."

Dean exploded, the pressure finally releasing as he denied her logic. He shoved back from the table, towering over her as he stood before her. "Christ…is this where I show you my owie and you put a band-aid on?" His eyes flashed with scorn, his mouth twisting as the words spewed forth in a caustic tirade. "Then how about you tell me your deep dark secret and I tell you its okay? Then maybe we can hug and feel better." He folded his arms against his chest, his stance quickly becoming the last barrier to her assault.

She barely reacted to his outburst, still so clinical and sterile, like the nastiness he lived and talked of couldn't touch her in her white lab coat, unable to penetrate her sure manner. She slowly rose and moved to his side so they were on equal footing. "You don't think talking about a problem, receiving some compassion and understanding would help?"

"No, I don't," he spat back. "It is what it is….look, there are things…bad things…awful things out there in the world and talking about them ain't gonna do crap." He took a deep breath, forcing himself to calm down, to regain that control that was so critical. As soon as he felt confident in his voice he added, "I have to kill them. That's the only thing that's gonna make things better."

"So, you won't even try and share your feelings? Talk things through?"

He further dismissed her plea as he offered his standard retort. "Nope. Talking about it, well, that just takes time away from killing."

"And what about you? What does that do to you?"

"Nothin'. I kill it and move on."

"And ignore the hole that's growing in your gut? How long can you keep that up?" She reached out to touch his arm. "How long before it destroys you?"

He drew back from her touch, tightening the hold his arms had against his chest, his eyes steely as he observed her. His jaw twitched yet again, his mouth drawn out in a firm line, holding steady, for the time being. "That's not going to be what gets me."

"No? So, tell me, what will?"

Dean leaned slightly forward. "Evil, that's what. All that evil that's out there… The same thing that's gonna end the world, if I don't get it first."

"You can't just keep ignoring what this fight is doing to you."

"Wanna bet?" Dean sneered. "It's worked so far."

"Has it? I think you need to talk about it." She leaned in, confidently whispering, "I think that's why you're here."

His eyes drifted over her, the furrows between his brows deepening as he considered her and her crazy notions. "I think you're the crazy one. I'm here for a hunt."

"Then why are we still talking? Why haven't you walked away?" Her smile was smug and knowing, a look that made him more furious than her words could. "Why did you seek me out?"

"I didn't…you came to me."

"Did I?"

Dean scrubbed at the back of his head, his lips quirking into a sad excuse for a smirk, his eyes faltering under the weight of her questions. In frustration he mounted one more attack. "Look, what's the point? It's not going to change anything. We're in the middle of the friggin' apocalypse. The world is going to end if I don't stop it. No one cares if I've had a bad day. Nobody is there to fix things. No one's gonna take that pain away."

"That's very isolating."

He found that thought funny, damn near hysterical. His lips formed into a comical grin. "No shit!"

His grin soon faltered as she introduced a new topic, something he wasn't prepared to talk about. It was the last thing in the world he wanted to talk about, not with all the other pressures bearing down upon him.

"So…tell me about your relationship with your father."

"My dad?"

"Yeah. A guy like you, obviously you have daddy issues."

Anger breathed through his words, his ire rising. "You leave my dad out of this."

"Wasn't he left out of your life enough when you were a kid? How did that feel? Did you resent him?"


"C'mon, Dean…I know you did…you know you did. All the demands he put on you, take care of Sammy, follow orders, do your duty. Hell, he treated you like a soldier in his command. You were his son! You have every right to be furious with him." Her tone grew more belligerent and loud, forcefully proclaiming what she thought she knew about his family. "He barked orders at you and expected you to follow them like an obedient dog. A drone… a mindless, spineless servant."

His eyes widened and he backed away from her. He turned to look around him, see what other danger might be lurking in the shadows, but all he saw were mindless patients, muttering to themselves or their imaginary friends. No one paid him any mind. In this place he was insignificant, invisible amongst all the crazies. "Who the hell are you? How do you know this stuff?"

She leaned in, her eyes devouring him, sucking the life right out of him. "You can't hide forever, Dean. I can see it in your eyes."

He stood locked in denial, his gut aching from some unseen force, all those unresolved issues twisting within, jockeying for position. "How do you know my name? Who the hell are you?"

"Dean, seriously?" She laughed, her smile claiming this last victory. "You can't deny it, can you? How unfair it all was…how you deserved more. I mean, your own father never gave you the time of day. That's gotta hurt."

"I said, who are you? What are you?"

"I'm no one, Dean." She hesitated, letting the words settle, allowing his thoughts to run rampant as his uncertainty grew, before she finally spoke again. "That's right; you really are going crazy… just like Jack." She stared at him, straight-on. "I'm not real, Dean… I'm in your head, your twisted, pathetic, screwed-up head."

His thoughts circled around, eyes wide in panic as he tried to come up with another explanation, what monster or demon could be behind this, toying with his head…driving him insane. Adamantly he insisted, "No, this isn't happening."

"Yes, Dean, it is…. Now, to get back to your issues." She reached up and stroked the side of his face, his frantic eyes trembling from the intrusion but he didn't deny the touch. He was frozen in disbelief, struggling to piece together an acceptable explanation. "How many times did your dad let you down? How many times did you need him and he wasn't there?"

Muttering softly to himself, Dean stayed locked in place, shaking from the truth she was whispering in his ear. His denial reared up, all the lies he told himself as a child to make it all right. "He had work to do…the job."

"The job, right…the same as your job? And did you neglect Sammy when he needed you? Did you let him flounder on his own, lost and scared?"


"So you're a better man than your dad?"

"No…" Dean's eyes were blinking back fresh tears, his mind whirling from all the conflicting images bombarding him, all the times he needed his dad and he wasn't there. All the need that still plagued him, how he couldn't ask for help, how it terrified him to even admit that he might need help.

"Why can't you just ask for what you need?"

"What?" he squeaked out, his voice somehow not working amid all the turmoil stirred up.

"Why can't you simply ask for help? What is so terrifying about admitting that you're not invincible? That maybe, on occasion, you could use a helping hand?" She smiled, sweet and non-threatening, almost making him believe she was on his side.

He shoved back, away from her and her manipulations. "I don't know what your game is, but it's not gonna work."

"Dean, this isn't a game…not hardly. Your life, all the pressures you bring down on yourself. It's killing you."

"Just leave me alone."

"I think you've been left alone too much. You can't keep burying your pain. It will eat you alive."

"What do you want from me?'

"I want you to admit that you aren't an island. That sometimes you need a tender touch…and by that, I mean something other than a one night stand. Wouldn't it be nice to have a woman who really cared? Someone who saw you and wanted you for who you were?"

He trembled as she again reached out, caressing down his face, soft fingers gentle against his cheek. He closed his eyes, every fiber in his body willing the touch to reach deeper...willing it to leave him alone.

Her voice was soothing, welcoming, a stark contrast to the terror the words wrought. "There's no shame in asking for help…in needing it."

"I can't," he mumbled.

"Why? Why can't you?"

His eyes were still closed, but he leaned back away from the touch, when cool air again ghosted along his cheek he opened his eyes. They were steely, fixed in determination as he responded. "Because no one's there. Nobody can help…no one's going to make it better…nobody's going to fix me."

"You're right…no one's there. You're all alone in this."

He glanced up warily, on edge, waiting… His entire body was shaking, all his rage and fears thrashing about, and he gulped down a lungful of air in a desperate attempt to settle the storm within. He suddenly felt so alone, like a man cut off from everything that had once meant something to him, cast out to sea with nothing to keep him afloat. He watched the shore slip away and he desperately wanted to call out to someone, have someone pull him back before he got lost within the swells.

A distant voice whispered, "What about Sam?"

Then Sam was there, on the shore, yelling, screaming, the sounds swallowed up by the roar of the ocean. Dean struggled against the lump forming in his throat, trying to force the words out, but he couldn't. He could see the panic in his brother's eyes, the same need that he witnessed every morning when he awoke and looked in the mirror, that desperate, debilitating need… He wanted to call out, he did. He wanted to reach out his hand and have his brother grab hold, pulling him safely back to shore.

He wanted to, but he didn't…

He couldn't.

Her voice brought him back to four pale walls, shiny floor beneath his standard issue slippers, his arms wrapped tight around a blue robe. His eyes again casing his surroundings, the only sounds the murmurs of patients lost in their own delusions, oblivious to him and his issues.

"Your brother and you, you're different."

The words sounded distant, cut off from where he was, who he was. It took him a moment to connect them to now, to focus on her beside him awaiting his response. "Oh, really?" he snarked, cautiously finding his footing, trying to recapture the ease with which he faced their lives. He took a deep breath, almost back to himself as he replied, "How's that?"

"He hides all that anger inside, all his rage, by playing the good guy. Trying to be normal and hoping that he can control his nature. You…you adopt that harder edge that he tries so hard to hide so you can keep people out, determined to hide how vulnerable you are…that scared little boy still struggling to please his daddy."

Dean scoffed, "Yeah, right."

"And yet, you're the same. You both deny who you are and what you need." She locked her eyes with his, her tone conveying both her sympathy and disappointment. "You're going to have to face up to it, Dean. You both are."

Dean tried to smirk, tried to offer his standard rebuttal, but something in the words dug in, made his ears perk up even though he didn't want to hear. "Oh, yeah? Face up to what?"

"What most scares you. You can't face Lucifer until you face yourself."

Dean blinked as she disappeared, just poofed out of sight. He staggered back, his chair crashing to the floor as he tripped over it as his back hit the wall. His heart was hammering in his chest, his mind trying to shove this encounter down where it belonged, buried deep with all his other terrors. All his fears and hopes and needs right there, screaming for attention.

They had a job to do, goddammit! He didn't have time for some half-baked psycho-shrink babble. That wasn't him. He didn't need to talk this out, didn't need to share and care…he didn't need anything, anybody…nothing except to be left alone.

He pushed off from the wall, his head down as he wandered down the hall. Her words a constant in his head, alongside that nagging voice that had been pestering him since he was a kid. It was getting increasingly hard to ignore the trembling of his gut and the apprehension pricking his heart, and that voice had a nasty compulsion to pipe up when he least expected it…like now.

They were on a job, and they certainly didn't have time for him to get his head on straight.

His head was on as straight as it had ever been…or was likely to get. There was no point in pondering this further. No point at all. He had almost convinced himself when he heard a familiar voice calling his name and he looked up and turned to find Sam standing before him, worry evident by the tone of his voice and the look in his eyes as he took in the sight of his big brother.

"Dean, hey? You okay?" Sam moved forward to ensure his brother saw him, stopping just short of waving his arms to grab his attention. "Hey! Dean?"

The truth was Dean almost hadn't seen him at first, wrapped up in his own thoughts, aimlessly wandering the halls. His eyes blinked as he took in the humongous form of his brother. Sam looked so big, larger than ever, while Dean had never felt so small. His eyes skirted around his brother to stare back down the empty corridor he'd just come down. When he finally convinced himself that no one was there, no one had followed him, he allowed his eyes to focus on Sam. Having his brother beside him made him feel better, but just barely. This place creeped him out. He hadn't wanted to come here. His mind was even more uncertain now, roaming over strange thoughts, entertaining weird impulses, seeing things…hearing things. He closed his eyes to the conflict and shook off the disturbing thoughts, opening them to anchor himself to his brother, taking comfort from that familiarity. Still, he couldn't deny his unrest. "No, Sam…I am not okay. I just got thraped." That was as much of a confessional as he was willing to give. He hated being hesitant and unsure...hated being weak. He mustered all the courage he'd cultivated through the years and turned back towards the job. "You find anything?"

Always on the prowl for clues, Sam had found a witness and they quickly agreed to meet up in an hour.

As always the job offered Dean a chance at salvation, a means to regain his focus. These people needed saving and he took what comfort he could in that.

"Dean? You sure you're okay?"

Concerned eyes swept over him, somehow aware, in tune like the old days. Sam's insight was actually scary at times, but right now, it helped. It helped just knowing he was there. Knowing he was there beside him, when Dean wasn't at all sure what else was out there…but he'd never admit to that, never confess he wasn't ready to do the job.

So, no, Sammy…obviously, I'm not okay…but that's life as a Winchester, you suck it up and move on…

His tone reflected his irritation, the only acceptable form of release. "Sam, I'm fine. Let's gank this thing and get the hell out of here."

"Okay, then. Meet back here in an hour?"

Sam still seemed on guard, but he only waited long enough for his brother to nod in agreement and he was gone, ambling down the long corridor toward his room.

"You drink too much, you don't eat, don't sleep…all that pressure you put yourself under. How long do you think you can keep up that pace?"

She was back.

After the momentary shock, after he closed his eyes only to open them to find her still standing there before him, Dean took a steadying breath and proceeded to study her. She looked real, felt real…hell, she was as real as half the things they hunted.

And she knew things, deep, dark secrets that he never released, never allowed out to see daylight.

Perhaps more important than anything, she was listening…seemed to know just what he needed even though he refused to ask.

She may have been a figment of his imagination, but what the hell?

He crossed his arms against his chest, his body language rigid, a futile attempt to maintain some control. He forced himself to smile, to remain calm as he engaged her. "Works so far."

"Sooner or later you're going to crash. It's inevitable."

He nodded to himself, his eyes closing for a second as he sucked in another breath, finally opening them to face her. "Maybe…but I don't have a choice. I can't stop now."

She still seemed so damn concerned, her voice soft and warm…not at all threatening. "Why not? Because the apocalypse won't wait?"

"There's that," he acknowledged, "and…"


Dean swallowed, his jaw fixed as he solemnly responded, "I've got to keep moving or…"

Ever more insistent, she leaned in, poised for him to continue. When he didn't she again gently asked, "What?"

Dean took another deep breath, the action allowing him to release one small truth. "If I stop, I might not be able to get up again…" His voice trembled as every fear accosted him and he shuddered through all his doubts. "I might…"

"Take a well-deserved break?"

"I don't deserve a break."

"Why? Because of what you did in Hell?"

Those horrors again attacked him, every scream echoing in his head, all that blood dripping through his mind. His voice trembled under the strain. "You can't know…you can't."

"But I do, Dean. I know everything you refuse to admit to. I'm that little voice in your head. I'm the person you need to confide in. I'm your conscious and your confessor, your priest and the best friend you never had, and never thought you deserved. I'm the only thing giving you hope at this point."

"Hope?" he croaked out.

"Yeah, that desperate little belief that you might make it through this…" She smiled knowingly. "Oh, I know, it's gonna end bloody and sad…but maybe not."

"We've lying to ourselves if we think it's gonna end any other way."

"Is that all you think you deserve?"

Tears welled in strong eyes, vulnerable eyes shattering under the weight of all they'd seen. His voice broke, trembling from the images crowding his thoughts. "The things I've done."

She again tried to comfort him, tried to get him to move past the roadblock that stalled his progress. "When you were pushed to your breaking point. But that's the problem, isn't it? You can't break…can you? You're Dean Winchester and it's not allowed."

"Never was."

"Dean, the things you've seen, the things you've done…any man would break under all that weight."

"But I'm not any man."

"No, you're not." She stood before him, eyes steady upon him. "So, you going to keep shoving everything down? Keep denying that you're falling apart?"

His voice found strength from somewhere, something driving him on. "It's all I have…all I can do."

"We'll see, Dean. We'll see. Sooner or later that wall's gonna crack."

"Yeah? And then what?"

"Then we find out what you're really made of."

With that she was gone and he was once more left all alone. A shudder ran down his spine, his eyes frantic before a steel barrier slammed down. His hand pushed off from the wall he'd been leaning against as he set his sights on the corridor before him. He took one step and then another. His heart beat with anticipation and dread, but he kept walking, one foot in front of the other.

The End


January 2010

All standard disclaimers apply.

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed my journey through Dean's mind. Reviews would be most welcome. Take care, B.J.