A/N: Ok, so this started out with the intention of being a super short one-shot mostly to help me wrap my head around the finale. Once I started writing, it took on a life of its own entirely, and morphed into a much longer one-shot than I had originally intended. It did fulfill its purpose, because I feel loads better. I have NO idea how the writers are going to make things play out, and I'm not saying this is how I think it will work out. It was just something that popped into my head, a possible way it could go, and I just wrote.
I WANT TO MAKE IT CLEAR that all the thoughts going on in Dean's head, are not my thoughts. I don't think this was his fault or that he is a failure, the beginning is Dean's pov, so they are the thoughts of himself, because we all know how much he can beat himself up.
Disclaimer: If I owned, the season finale would have gone a lot differently, so don't sue.
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Castiel was right about one thing. He was scared... no he was terrified. Just not for all the reasons Castiel thought he was. As he stared at Castiel (he refused to call him Cas, even in his thoughts) he didn't even try to hide the horror, what was the point? Yeah, he was scared all right, he was scared because he had failed, again, and this time, he had no idea in the world how to fix his failure.
Dean wasn't a stranger to failure. He had failed more times than he could count. He had failed his little brother, let him die in his arms. He had failed his father, had let his little brother turn evil. He had failed the world and his little brother had to pay the price for that mistake. He had failed as husband and father figures, but at least Lisa and Ben would never remember that. The thing was, those failures had been fixable. Even in the very moment of failure, even is Sam was drawing his last breath in his arms, even as he stood over Dean with hate in his eyes and followed Ruby out the door, as each horrible thing had happened, there had still been the tiniest glimmer of hope within Dean, pushing him on, telling him that he could still fix things, that it wasn't too late. It was that glimmer that had driven him to the crossroads, that had pushed him to fight to get to his brother in time to see Lucifer rise, that had pushed him to follow through with his promise to Sam and find Lisa and Ben, and it was that glimmer that caused him to ask for himself to be removed from their memories. In each of those moments, he had known he could do something to fix his failures. This though, this was too big. He had failed again, but this time, there was no fixing it. So yes, he was scared out of his freaking mind, but he wasn't scared of Castiel, he wasn't scared of dying.
He was scared because he had failed as a friend. He had failed Cas, he had failed to save him and now everyone, all the people he loved, the entire world was going to pay for his failure, again. So as he stared brokenly at Castiel declaring that he was now their God, he was terrified because he had failed the only other person that came even close to Sam. Cas was gone, dead, because he hadn't listened to him. If only he had just listened, if only he had just had a little more faith in Cas, this wouldn't have happened. Hadn't he already gone through this with Sam. Hadn't he learned his lesson then? The threats and angry words didn't do anything except draw battle lines and push people away further. At least with Sam there had still been salvation, still been redemption. There wouldn't be this time he realized.
As Castiel gave his ultimatum, he stood defiantly and prepared himself to die. Next to him he sensed his brother and surrogate father doing the same. He sent silent apologies to them, and did something that he hadn't done in nearly two years, since before his little brother had saved the world, he prayed to a God he had long ago given up on. He wasn't sure why he even tried, he'd long ago accepted, and even to a certain extent embraced the fact that no divine help would ever come and rescue them at the last minute, but something made him try one last time. Maybe it was desperation, maybe it was love, he couldn't say.
Dean didn't pray for salvation though, that wasn't his style. No, he prayed for forgiveness. He prayed for forgiveness for his failures. He wasn't sure if he was directing his prayer to God or not, but what he did know was that he hoped that Cas was out there somewhere, and could hear him, because he prayed for Cas's forgiveness most, for not being able to save him. The second part of his prayer though, he directed toward God, and it was a prayer of salvation, though not for himself. He prayed to God with every ounce of himself that was left, with every fiber that wasn't broken that God have mercy on Cas. Somewhere, in the back of his mind he was screaming at the indignity of it all, that if only God had stepped in, that this was all God's fault anyhow, but he was too tired to bring that up, besides, he didn't think that would win him any favors anyway. So he prayed with all of his might that no matter what happened to him, that God might one more time save Cas.
Finally, he prayed for Sammy. His baby brother who had never had a choice, who had given, and given, and given until he had no more to give, and then still managed to give some more. He wasn't delusional. He knew that there was no way Castiel would fix Sammy, not after Sammy had tried to kill him. He could tell his brother was suffering, that he was barely holding it together. He honestly had no idea how Sammy had managed to hold it together this long. He had truly believed that Sammy was lost to him when he had pleaded with Castiel (hoping against hope that Cas was still somewhere inside before he had realized he wasn't) begging him to not make him lose Cas as well. He had been beyond shocked when Sam had appeared out of no where and plunged that sword into Castiel's back. But it had all been for nothing, and so now prayed that Sam would find peace when this was all over. That hell and all the other crap that had plagued him his entire life would stop. He prayed for Sam's happiness, hoping against hope that the God that Sammy had prayed to for so long, and had once had so much faith in would have mercy on him, would recognize all that he had sacrificed, would recognize all the pain he had suffered and grant him rest and peace at last.
But for himself, Dean did not pray a single word, beyond his prayers for forgiveness from Cas. But from God he did not ask for salvation or mercy, he figured where ever he ended up, whatever happened to him, he would accept, because it was what he had deserved. He had finally failed so profoundly that there was no fixing it, so he would accept whatever came his way and take it without complaint.
He knew that Castiel knew his answer the moment he stared defiantly at him and braced himself for the end. Only, it never came. Instead, Castiel vanished, and for a split second Dean thought of Cas, and how he always did that. For a moment he was confused, but then, as he looked at Sam, he suddenly felt a calm and peace wash over him that he hadn't felt in a decade. And when Sam turned to look at him, he knew that he felt it too. It was gone after a few moments, but its affects still lingered and it caused Dean to wonder, if maybe, just maybe God had heard his prayers. He was answered a second later.
"Sammy!" Dean, shouted horrified as his little brother suddenly slumped over, as if everything caught up at once. "No, no, no, please, no," Dean whispered brokenly, cradling his brother's head in his lap. Vaguely he was aware of Bobby kneeling beside him, clearly unsure of what to do. Dean didn't know how long they sat like that, Sam's head and shoulders cradled in his lap, Bobby next to them with one hand on Dean's shoulder, and the other on Sam's. Suddenly Sam took a deep breath and stared up at them.
"Dean," Sam whispered in awe. "I'm ok," he said looking at his big brother with wide-eyed wonder. It reminded Dean so much of the little boy that used to follow him around convinced his older brother was a superhero that could do and fix anything. Dean shared a confused look with Bobby before Sam continued. "Thank you," he whispered, his eyes filling with tears as he went quiet again. Now, Dean was really confused, and a little concerned.
"Sam?" Bobby asked cautiously, his his hand squeezing Sam's shoulder gently. Although it had never been brought up again, or said out loud, Bobby had long ago forgiven the kid, even before Rufus's death, which had only cemented his resolve. Looking back now he wasn't sure how he had ever held this Sammy responsible for what the other Sam had done, but it was all in the past, and right now, he was scared for his surrogate child. "Son?"
"Dean fixed me," Sam responded in a voice that was still filled with awe. "He told me so." Bobby and Dean shared another confused look.
"Sammy," Bobby said realizing it had been far too long since the last time he had used that version of Sam's name because it felt foreign on his lips. "Who told you that."
"God" Sam replied, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. Bobby, shot a look at Dean, only to do a double take so fast it nearly gave him whiplash. Instead of seeing his own expression mirrored on Dean's face like he expected, Dean's face had paled considerably and the expression on his face was completely unreadable. Bobby was a second away from demanding to know what the heck was going on, when Sam spoke again, interrupting him. "He heard you Dean, and it wasn't your fault." Suddenly all of Sam's energy seemed to rush back to him at once and sat up suddenly, bringing himself face to face with his older brother. "How could you think that Dean, how could you think so little of yourself, that you are such a failure. We've both had so much crap thrown at us, and all those times that you thought you failed me, or dad, or anyone else, Dean you couldn't be more wrong." Sam took a deep breath, suddenly looking as if he was fighting to maintain his composure, but he plowed on ahead reaching forward and grasping his big brother's shoulders, desperate for him to understand. "Dean, when will you realize that its always you that saves me? When will you realize that every single time I have gotten myself in over my head, gotten myself in trouble, and gotten myself to the point where no one else was there, you always were. Dean, when that wall came down, I was trapped in my head with two different versions of myself and I had no idea who I even was. But it was you, it was you that gave me the strength I needed. I came face to face with the me that remembered hell and it would have been so easy for me to walk away, to be trapped in my head forever, blissfully unaware and vulnerable to every bad thing out there, but it was the thought of you, it was the thought of leaving you alone that gave me the courage to take on those memories, to wake up and stumble out of Bobby's panic room and find you here. And it was because of your love for me and your selflessness that God stepped in. He fixed me because of you Dean. I'm ok again, because of you. No more worrying about the wall or memories." Just as suddenly as it started, Sam's steam ran out, but he still gripped Dean's shoulders and searched his eyes desperately and frantically for any sign that he'd gotten through.
Dean just sat there for a minute, absorbing everything that he'd just been told, still trying to grasp the fact that God, the very same God that he dissed over and over again, had finally done something, had finally listened to him. He suddenly remembered something Pastor Jim had told him as a child. "God never gives us more than we can handle Dean, just remember that when it seems hopeless." Thirteen year old Dean, had snorted, rolled his eyes and walked away with a mumbled whatever, but now he wondered if maybe Pastor Jim hadn't been on to something. As awful as all the things that had happened in the past had been, he'd handled them, he wasn't sure how, but he had. It was only now he realized, that he was facing a situation he could never handle on his own.
Sam saw the moment Dean accepted what he had told him, and before he could stop himself, he collapsed against his brother, resting his forehead against Dean's shoulder, and bringing his arms loosely around him. He knew Dean would probably harass him for being a girl later, but right now he just didn't care. Besides he could always claim he was just too tired to sit up on his own anymore (hey it was partly true). But to his surprise (or maybe not) Dean's arms suddenly came around him, much more tightly than his.
If Bobby Singer were a more patient man, he might have given them a moment. But one of the first things you learned as a hunter was that moments can easily mean the difference between life and death. Hating himself for breaking it up, but needing to know what was going on along with the desire to get out of there before their former friend returned won out over everything else, "Anytime you idgits are done and want to fill me in..." Sam and Dean broke apart, but both had looks that dared him to try to make them feel embarrassed for what had just transpired. "Well?" he pushed, ignoring the looks. He swore he loved those boys more than anything else, but nothing had the ability to try is patience like them. They were at least 90% of the reason he was convinced he would drink himself into an early grave.
"Dean, prayed and God answered." Sam said simply, as if that explained everything. Bobby took a deep breath and started to silently counted back from ten wondering if he strangled Sam, if he'd be able to outrun Dean. Fortunately he had only made it to eight before Sam spoke again. "He also said that Cas is not lost," Sam said, seemingly only able to look at Bobby, afraid to see the look on Dean's face.
"What!" the unrestrained hope in Dean's snapped question however had Sam looking back at him instantly.
"God said that we can save him Dean," Sam said, suddenly just as desperate to save their friend. He knew better than anyway what it was like to go down that tainted road convinced you were doing it for the greater good, so full of good intentions that you can't see what you are becoming, even when its right in your face. Suddenly Sam needed save Cas, needed Dean's help because maybe if they could save Cas, he wouldn't have to suffer the way Sam had suffered to earn redemption. "We have to save him Dean, we owe him. I know he's done awful things, but he really did think he was trying help" Sam pleaded, even though he knew he didn't need to. "God said its going to be hard, harder than anything we've ever done before, but he said that we can do it." Dean and Sam stared at each for several moments trying to grasp this revelation, trying to search each other to make sure that this was really what the other wanted, to make sure that they both understood what this would mean for them, that rest wouldn't come anytime soon.
Bobby sighed in frustration, sending up a prayer of his own asking for the strength not to kill the boys in front of him. He also threw in a complaint just for the record, stating that he sure as heck hadn't prayed asking for patience at any point, so this was completely unfair. Finally, Bobby couldn't bite his tongue any longer. "Well," he growled at the two of them causing him to face them. "What are we waiting for?" Bobby would deny to his dying breath that the twin looks of adoration and gratitude that he received melted his heart just a little.
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A/N: Please review and let me know how I did. This was my first SPN fanfic, and I tried to keep the characters as in character as possible, but I think I may have overdone the emotions a bit. On a side note, I think the writers did a fantastic job with the finale, and although I wont say I'm not scared or disappointed with where they seem to be headed, I am going to have faith in them, and stay loyal and see where they go because there was a point in time that I thought they would never EVER be able to repair the damage done to Sam and Dean's relationship, and yet the brothers are closer than ever, so I have faith that this can be fixed and repaired. I honestly think its going to be a question more or less of whether they want to.