Genre: Gen, angst
Characters: Dean
Spoilers/Warnings: Events in 5.22
Disclaimer: I own nothing and Kripke owns my soul.
Summary: Sam's gone and Dean's not sure how he's supposed to deal with that.

A/N: Shorter than most things I write. LOL I haven't decided if this will get continued or not. Generally, present fic isn't my thing. So, for now, enjoy this as a 1 off.

It was an amazingly clear night; not a single star was hidden behind a cloud. He thinks it should be different. Thinks there should be some physical reminder of what happened, like a storm or a friggin' tornado or something. There isn't and it bothers him. Lives of good people were lost, family lost and not a whole hell of a lot of people knew about it. He could count them on one hand; two fingers. But neither of those two were here. Cas was back behind the pearly gates and Bobby was back in South Dakota where he left him. It wasn't for good. He knew he'd see Bobby again. Wasn't sure he'd ever see Cas again.

He tried not to think of Sam. His record was 4 seconds. If he let his eyes close for too long, he'd see Sam falling into nothing over and over again. He wished he didn't know where that nothing led, that he didn't know what was waiting at the bottom; a cage in the deepest parts of Hell with suffering like one couldn't believe unless they'd been through it. So he kept his eyes open and tried not to think of Sam and tried even harder to swallow past the lump in his throat.

His face still hurt. Cas had healed him but he still felt it. Phantom pains, he guessed. It was the worst beating he'd ever had but he figured it wasn't like the Devil to half ass it. Could've been worse. He could still look like hamburger.

They tried to hustle Lucifer and it almost didn't work. They had won. They did what everyone else believed to be impossible and they stopped the apocalypse. They beat the Devil. Sam beat the Devil.

But he's the one that felt beaten. Feels like he's been beaten his whole life.

He took a large swallow from his half empty beer and wiped the back of his hand across his eyes. He wasn't surprised when it came back wet, even if he hadn't noticed when he'd started crying to begin with.

He wasn't sure he could do this. It's what he wanted but he never wanted it without his brother. He was on his own and he wasn't quite sure what he was supposed to do. Of all the lessons he's learned throughout his life, he just wasn't prepared for this; wasn't prepared for it like he thought he could be. For the first time, he didn't have anyone left to pick him back up when he screwed the pooch and it was sure as hell screwed. But, here he was anyway, practically pissing in the wind.

He had to do this one right.

Even if he hadn't answer Sam, it was what his brother wanted. Apple pie life. Normal. A life without monsters and demons and angels and blood on his hands. You can't just wash that away. His entire soul was stained with it but he hoped it didn't make this place dirty. He couldn't do that to Lisa or Ben. He couldn't screw up the one thing his brother wanted for him.

He was startled out of his thoughts when the front door opened.

"Dean?" Lisa looked at him with concern and he wished he could obliterate that look from her beautiful face. He didn't deserve her and he kind of hoped she never figured that out.

"It's late. You should come inside."

He wanted to say no and continue to wallow in his pain but he didn't want to worry her more than he had so he nodded and stood up. Before he could enter, she reached up, took his face in her hands and placed a soft kiss on his lips.

"It'll get better."

He wanted to believe that. Maybe in time, he would get better. He could try for her and Ben. For Sam.

2 seconds.

And maybe he was just fooling himself.


Thanks for reading! :)