Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural.

A/N: Takes place when Dean is still in Hell. WHAT an original timeline for a SPN fanfic, no? XD

He'd been dead for two whole months, to the day, plus four hours and twenty-six... twenty-seven minutes. I wasn't counting, that's just how slow every waking second of my life was going by.

I never stopped expecting to see him coming around the corner. I never stopped buying a cheeseburger with every meal and setting it out for him. I never threw away his horrible tapes; even if I didn't play them, they were enshrined in a box on the floor of the back seat of the Impala. I never stopped accidentally getting two-bed motel rooms.

But the worst thing: I never stopped getting into the wrong side of the car.

Every morning, bleary-eyed and hung over, I'd stumble to the car, open the passenger door, and get in. Sometimes I sat there for a full five minutes before it occurred to me that I wasn't moving. Once, after a particularly rough night involving a girl named Candy, a guy named Ross, and more alcohol than should ever be legally sold in one purchase for any reason, I sat in the car for half an hour before I remembered that my brother wasn't coming. Not now, not ever.

That damn Impala. I had so many good memories of Dean involving that car. He taught me how to drive, using that car. The night with the fireworks. The night he sang one Metallica song over and over again on a loop until he had made sure I had memorized it ('for whom the bell tolls... time marches on...'), then made me sing it all the way though without the tape (and I still remember it).

And the hundreds of hours we spent in it. Pranking each other (I was never able to top the spoon in the mouth thing, sadly), laughing, talking, driving off into the sunset, often literally. I slept in that car, ate in that car, all with the one person who was more important to me than anything, accompanied always by a leather jacket that's smell reminded him of Dad but me of him.

And now when I see the car I'm forced to spend so much time in, every damn moment hurts. For a long time, his seat still smelled like him. I'd like to pretend that I absolutely never reclined the driver's seat, curled up on it with my nose on the headrest where it smelled most like him, and spent the night there, but I did. I'd like to pretend that I didn't do that often, when in fact I did it until the scent started to fade away and instead of Dean became Sam. I'll especially pretend that I didn't put a plastic bag over the headrest to try (in vain) to preserve the scent. While I'm at it, I'll pretend that I never put his jackets on or carried his gun or used his left-behind shampoo.

How are you supposed to survive when you lose the person who means more to you than, well, anything? The one person you've still got left? Sure, I had Bobby, Jo, and Ellen, but I've never felt about them as strongly as Dean did. I mean, I love them, absolutely. It's just... Dean has (dammit, had) room in his heart to care about me and all of them. I guess I'm cold or something, but I'm not capable of that.I'd rather devote myself completely to one person than try to love multiple people that much. Dean was enough for me, even though I knew we'd be ripped apart sooner or later, and I latched onto him harder than I ever latched onto Jess.

Most people's soul mates are a lover, sometimes a best friend. By some asshole twist of fate, I got my brother. He was the one person I would always come crawling back to. He was the one person I'd always take back, no matter what. He was the one person I would trade places in Hell with.

And, naturally, he was the one I lost.

Apparently, everyone around me dies except for me- the one who doesn't want to be alive.

I know I should be honoring Dean's sacrifice by living my life to the fullest. He would want me to be happy. Get a girl, get a house, have 1.5 kids. All the stuff I wanted before he broke into my home in the middle of the night and whisked me away to find Dad. I guess I can't expect him to ever have fully computed that I didn't want that anymore, since it meant I couldn't have him. He could never live that life. We could never be next door neighbors with sons who grow up best friends. He could never stay in one place like that, be with one woman like that. He wouldn't be Dean.

And I was becoming increasingly dependent on this 'Dean' fellow.

Now he was dead. I had to put his body in the back of the (damn Impala) car and drive him to someplace where I would be able to bury him. It was the longest drive of my life.

A few people (I don't even remember who, anymore) offered to help me dig his grave. I wouldn't let them. They also tried to have his body burned, but I told them he'd need it for when I brought him back. You should have seen their faces when I said it. I never really believed I'd be able to; I just wanted it unburned in case there was a chance I'd see him as a ghost someday.

It poured rain the night I dug his grave. I was digging in the slop. I slipped four times, going completely under twice, all the while Dean's corpse was laid out in the Impala. There's still blood on the backseat. The Hell Hounds tore him up bad. Bobby tried to get the stains steam-cleaned out of the seat, but I literally punched out the guy he hired to do it, climbed into the car, and drove away. Anyway, the dig took forever and I was filthy when I was done, but eventually I had a water-filled hole.

I lowered Dean's body into the pool and bailed out as much of the water as I could. Then I buried him.

I lashed together some sticks to make a cross, sobs drowned out by the thunder, tears disguised by my hair, plastered over my eyes. I was shaking so hard that it took me an hour to make a simple cross and another twenty minutes to get it to stand at the head of his grave.

It was pathetic, it was horribly inadequate, but it was all I could do and I had to do something to acknowledge that there was a person under all that dirt. That my brother was there, the most incredible person I'd ever met. Dead. Under the dirt.


He had existed.

He was real, he just happened to be dead.

I'm very intelligent. By now, I know that he's not coming back. I've tried everything including making a deal and it's over. Death has finally won.

Dean's gone.

Now that I have nothing to lose, what I'm afraid of is forgetting him. Oh, I know I won't forget that he existed, or that he was my brother or that he loved his car. I'm worried about losing the little things. The "Heeey Sammeh!" smile. The way he danced with the jerky head movements and drum solos ("heeeeat of the moment..."). How he'd stuff his mouth past full and then try to talk. The eyebrow thing. How he'd interlace his fingers when he sat lazily, and lean forward. How he gargled obnoxiously. How he'd get me drunk and torture me using my hangover the next day ("You know what I could go for right now? A greasy cheeseburger served in an ashtray..."). How he would chew on his pen and then look up at you with a grin as if he wasn't doing anything disgusting. How he could get any girl, anytime, anywhere.

I could already tell that my memories of him were fading. When I closed my eyes to conjure up a picture of his face, the image was fuzzy around the edges- softened, an ideal, an amalgamation of all his ages instead of an accurate depiction. I wanted to be able to remember him in excruciatingdetail. I wanted to be haunted by him, because at least then I would never lose him.

It's funny, watching myself try to function as a human being while tearing myself apart inside because I can't remember which aftershave brand he preferred. It's funny in an incredibly sad way when I randomly burst into tears at the sight of something that, to a passerby, isn't remotely sad, but reminds me of him. I can't even look at little green army men or dead rabbits ("Why does the rabbit always get screwed in the deal?") or motor oil ("Fuel for my baby"). Putting gas in one's car isn't supposed to be a tearful experience.

I don't want to forget him, but as time passes... as I age and change and he stays the same forever...

Even now, I've never stopped getting in the wrong side of the Impala. I don't want to stop.

Because that would mean I was over it, and that would mean I'd forgotten him.