A/N: This chapter doesn't progress the story. (Argh, annoying, yes? Sorry.), but it's from Ben's pov and I'm tired of looking at it in my wips. The next chapter will definitely progress. This is actually going to eventually lead to a separate, multi-chapter mega AU. *rubs hands together excitedly* (Okay, I guess it's already AU, but it'll be even more AU. *glee*) Thanks for reading!


Rise of the Phoenix: Part Three

Dean…he's about as cool as you can get. His music collection rocks, he can always make my mom smile…even if she's mad at me, and he helped me build Zep for the derby. I won, by the way. Naturally.

Dean, though…he's sad. He tries to act like everything is okay, but I'm not stupid. I'm ten. He looks how I felt when I lost the most important piece to my favorite…action figure, but worse. That ain't right, man.

And that…action figure was never the same—like it didn't know how to work without that one piece. And dude, replacement parts were not sold separately.

Dean, he's always staring off into space. Sometimes he gets this look in his eyes like my best bud Max does when he gets a crazy idea in his head…that'll usually get us into loads of trouble. Most of the time, though, he looks how our neighbor Mr. Robinson did after Mrs. Robinson died.

"Lost," Mr. Robinson had answered when my mother had stopped to ask how he was one afternoon. He wouldn't even look at us, or the pie my mom had made, he just stared across the yard at the flowers his wife had planted probably before I was born.

Mr. Robinson had always gone on and on about how his wife had owned his heart since the day they had met at some fair. I wondered if she had forgotten to give it back before she died.

I wondered about Dean's heart and where it was.

I tried to find out what was wrong with Dean. I asked my mom.

"He misses Sam, baby."

His brother. I remembered him. The giant. "What happened?"

Her own face grew sad and she shook her head. "I don't know."

So I asked the mailman. He'll usually explain things to me when my mom won't. Well…except why Jenny Shaw slapped me when I asked her if I could… never mind.

Leaning on the mailbox, the mailman and I split a cookie.

After filling him in on the Dean situation, he didn't have any idea what happened to Sam either. So, I asked, "Will Dean get better?"

He frowned, "It's not a matter of getting better, Ben."

"Then what?"

"It's a matter of…getting on. With life."

I lowered my cookie. "Well, how long will that take?" I'll admit it. I was worried about the guy.

He shook his head. "Years. Never. Hard to say. He and his brother close?"

I nodded. I didn't tell him I thought Sam was Dean's missing piece.

Months went by and I still never found out what had happened to Sam. Information is hard to come by these days. The swing set used to be a goldmine for information. The adults would just push and talk as if we didn't have ears. Sometimes it sucks getting old.

All summer it was just the three of us. Until that Friday.

Like he does most nights, Dean excused himself from the table. But the next thing mom and I know, the dude is running out of the house like ACDC just pulled up to the curb.

Then the house began to shake. Mom and I bolted. But quick.

We found Dean outside with two other men. One of them I recognized. It was Sam—Dean's missing piece. The other guy wore a long trench coat. He had to be hot in that thing.

Sam…he looked bad, real bad and somehow…small. His face was buried in Dean's neck and they both held onto each other like they were afraid something would tear them apart. It would have to go through me first—because for the first time in like ever, when my mom asked Dean if he was okay, though he sounded kinda choked…I believed him when he said yes.

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The end.. for now;)