Title: From the Gallows

Rating: R (mature content)

Disclaimer: The show or characters ain't mine, ok?

Characters: Dean (Sam, John, in flashbacks)

Genre: tragedy/angst

Word Count: 1,777

Warning: detailed descriptions of an execution; slight AU/future fic; death!fic

Summary: He always knew they'd catch up with him eventually and he'd pay for the life he led. He just never figured it'd be like this.


He always knew they'd catch up with him eventually. They'd make him pay for the life he led. He just never figured it'd be like this.

*/*/*

Truthfully, he expects a dingy, wooden armchair with straps and shackles. He's a little surprised when he finds some padding on the back. As if they would like him to rest comfortably as they fry his brains out.

He's just glad Sammy's not here to see this. Or worse, get it too.

*/*/*

He didn't try to get the jury's sympathy. He didn't weep in front them; he didn't lie, confessing the sins he had been accused of, pleading mental insanity.

Dean didn't do much of anything, really. He knew he was done for.

He wanted to be done for.

They were all gone.

Ben was on the other side of the world, not wanting anything to do with Dean after … Lisa. Lisa, killed by a knife in her abdomen … that her own hand stuck there. (She had forgotten to put on her anti-possession amulet after her shower one day. And that one day was all the demons needed.)

Bobby died of liver disease at age 68 (Dean's surprised he got through that long what with all the booze he drank).

Castiel had fallen twice; first from paradise and second in the line of battle.

And Sam. After all these years of Sam being stuck in the hole, his brother's absence was the one that hurt Dean the most.

So when the verdict came back as guilty (of course it was. Desecrated graves, the murders of several women at his hands, his DNA all over their bodies – those shapeshifters, detailed to the very last molecular cell…), Dean just picks at his nails.

*/*/*

The physician waits in the corner. Taciturn and grim, he straightens his shoulders against the wall to maintain his authority, but his head is bowed the entire time, never daring to look the others in the eye. Dean feels sorry for the guy; doing a job he obviously doesn't agree with.

Still, he can't feel too sorry. After all, the deputy manhandles him toward the chair and thrusts him down into it.

Hey man, watch the package, Dean says, derisively.

A snicker and the deputy replies: Really think you're gonna need it? Down there?

Dean's smirk falters and dissipates.

He's glad he was able to get Jack Daniels as his last meal.

*/*/*

They catch him in Claremont, Virginia.

There's a tussle between Dean and high-end vampire that tries to pass for human during the day while sucking deep on teenagers' necks at night. Dean loses some blood and misses a spot during clean-up.

The cops investigate the apartment, cross-match the blood to their databases.

It's only 36 hours later when they find him in a gas station. He was in the middle of buying a candy bar when they grabbed him by the wrist and handcuffed him.

It was the stupidest thing.

*/*/*

Not many people know, with the exception of maybe Cassie and Lisa, but Dean likes to be cozy. When he sleeps, his covers are pulled all the way to his chin. (He still remembers how, when he was four, he refused to go sleep without his beloved teddy nuzzled against him.) When he hugs (when was it that he did that last? He doesn't remember anymore), he sinks his mouth and nose into shoulders, inhaling the scent of the person on the receiving end until it intoxicates him.

So, in a way, it's oddly comforting when he's strapped down in the chair. Arms at his sides, feet on the floor and ankles bound inward. Still, he could've done without the absolute frigidity of the metal.

A wet sponge is slapped onto his head and he closes his eyes.

*/*/*

Sam, I'm fine.

Thermometer doesn't seem to think so. A hundred and three degree fever, Dean; 103.

Blame the girl I was talking with. She was smoking hot. She raised my temperature by a few degrees.

Sam chuckles. You weren't talking to her, Dean. I mean, sure you were moving your mouth every once in a while, but you mostly slurred out the words "hi," "purty," and "gurl" with your eyes clamped shut.

Still got her number.

Yeah, I checked that out. It says Joseph Jones, M.D. on it. Pretty sure she gave you her doctor's.

Whatever. Point is, I don't need to be babied. Just go to your stupid dance, Cinderella.

Yeah, and come back to a corpse to clean up after? No thanks. Just … sit back.

Sam dampens the hand towel in cool water. He twists it again and again until he's sure it won't drip.

Just … sit back, get some sleep, and let the Tylenol do their magic, okay?

Sam pushes back Dean's short bangs and gently places the towel on his head. Don't worry, man. I got ya.

Dean's mouth is dry and he can't fight off the tremors that are suddenly overtaking his body, but he still squeezes out the words: Thanks, Sammy.

*/*/*

Dean feels like he's at a hospital. They glue electrodes on his skin, here and there, top and bottom, like they're doctors trying to get an echocardiogram done. (Dean knows: they're not here to save a life.)

The metal of a microphone runs over his calloused lips as they ask if he has any last words.

He pauses, thinks that he's never seen so many people who know what he's done watching him and waiting on him. Only problem is they all think he's a vicious killer who takes the lives of innocent women, not of ashen apparitions and black-eyed demons. He wonders if the family of the real Meg Masters is somewhere out there in the crowd or the relatives of all of those he allegedly killed in St. Louis, their eyes glued to the procedure, their mouths in the curl of a smile for the late arrival of justice.

He wonders if Sarah Blake or Becky Warren or Jerry Panowski, or hell, even those idiots from the Ghostfacers are outside the door right now, advocating his innocence.

He wonders if Cassie's in the crowded room, watching, crying silent tears. Is Lucas? With the hazy memories of a man who liked his drawings and talked to him like he was the only one who understood. Is Ben – with the vivid memories of a year playing baseball and fixing cars and of an angel who wiped them all clean?

Dean supposes it doesn't really matter where anyone is. In the end, actions speak louder than words (for better or worse) and so Dean says nothing.

*/*/*

Hey, Deano. How's it going?

It was the third time that John had picked Dean up from therapy.

Safely strapped into their car seats, John stays in the back seat of the Impala himself for a few moments. He reviews the drawings that his five year old son had created. Once upon a time, John would've said his favorite color was red (that simple red flowing dress that Mary wore the first time they made love; that dress that perfectly accentuated her neck and made her blonde locks glisten against the moonlit night).

But now the color is too overwhelming for John. Dean's drawings are covered in red crayon, tracing the edges of every paper. A rusty orange never strays from the red. And the black of smoke – so intensely depicted in the picture that John thinks he can almost sniff it out of the paper.

John drops the papers onto his lap. He glances toward the boy beside him, playing with the chubby little hands of his almost one-year-old baby brother.

So, kiddo, did you and Dr. Eli talk about anything fun?

No response; and John thinks how ludicrous that question was. After all, Dean goes there to talk about his mother's tragic death. Not much fun in that.

Hesitantly, John places a gentle hand on Dean's hair.

Listen, Dean, just so you know, I get that what happened to your mom is hard to deal with. And, y'know, I miss hearing you talk to me and telling me about all the games you played and the day you had at school. I want you to get better, but I'm willing to wait all the time that you need for that to happen, okay?

He swallows hard. John was never really good at being the sensitive parent. That was always Mary's talent. And hey, who needs a lot of chatter, anyhow? Actions speak louder than words, y'know? John says meekly, chuckling to himself.

John smoothes his son's hair for a bit before turning his head so he could give him a kiss on the cheek. Dean blinks and stares at his father for the first time in a long time (eye contact has also been an issue since Mary's death).

He doesn't make a sound and with a quick shift of his head, Dean's back to tickling Sammy's belly, but John can sense from that one little gaze that Dean's a fighter. He'll get through this.

*/*/*

Dean's in darkness. He thought he'd be used to the dark, after decades of hunting the things that go bump in the night, but Dean never quite adjusted to it. (He remembers the dim glow of the baseball bat electric night-light that he had in Lawrence. He remembers staring into it after a nightmare, thinking that he'd be okay because he'd see and be ready for whatever monster came his way.)

But this electricity is not a comfort.

CLICK.

One motion and 1500 volts of electricity make their way through Dean's body. His body doesn't jiggle and spasm like he anticipated, but rather it shoots right up. Each and every muscle tenses up. That is, with the exception of his bladder and his muscles in his mouth. He finds himself feeling hot, wet saliva on his clean-shaven chin.

Damn it. They promised him the first voltage would knock him unconscious.

But he can feel it all. The excruciating heat of his blood and skin and the smell of burning (he briefly considers if he's at Lisa's, flipping burgers on the barbeque with Sid). He bites on his lip until it bleeds lest he scream out in pain.

For a second, after what seems like an eternity, it stops. The heat is still indescribable. He's pretty sure his hair is on fire. My hair, he mumbles. Fire. Please … someone … check …please …

In the distance, he hears the doctor scratch his pen against a clipboard as he sighs deeply.

Another CLICK.

Dean hopes it's the last.