The Third Witness
Disclaimer: This is a transformative work of fiction based on the original by E. Kripke. Just for fun – not for profit. All hail our glorious leader...
A/N: Spoilers for everything up until 7.04. Which should be obvious as this is a missing scene for "Defending Your Life." Osiris musing about the trial...
Osiris smiled as the two brothers left the barn. Sam was furious. Dean was resigned. He'd been the easiest and most heavily guilt-laden human Osiris had tried in centuries.
The younger brother had been a bit of a surprise. He'd made the entire trial more interesting and entertaining – it was better than watching a procedural on television. In the end, of course, he'd only made things move along more quickly. Though Sam would never know it; never know that he'd practically forced his brother's hand. Of course, in the guilt department, Dean really didn't need any help.
Dean's fresh guilt combined with the heavy burden already attached to his brother had blinded him to who the third witness really was. He was so busy trying to protect his brother. But then that was the whole point. He kept trying to sacrifice himself and it was just never enough. Never enough to balance the harm that Dean blamed himself for. Dean could never be enough for others – at least in his own eyes.
Nope. This trial just ran itself. Guilt, upon guilt, upon guilt. Osiris was actually a little impressed that Dean was still functional at all with the weight he carried around.
Sometimes the witnesses were able to absolve the guilty. Sometimes the dead revealed that the weight being carried by the living wasn't deserved. There was always a chance for the defendant to be found innocent. If it was simply a foregone conclusion, the trials would have lost their appeal for Osiris centuries ago.
But even with his brother trying to force him to see that he was blameless, Dean remained blind. Osiris smiled again at that thought. Dean was a terrible actor, but his brother was a very undemanding audience. Osiris never believed Dean sincerely thought he wasn't to blame for everything that had happened to his brother and Jo Harvelle. No. Nothing would convince Dean that he wasn't 100% responsible for those in his charge – for those he felt responsible for, for those almost like his own children. Even if Osiris had been willing to believe Dean's weak performance, the scales never lied.
So Dean had thought that Amy Pond would be the third witness. He couldn't let her take the stand. He'd rather die than let his brother see he'd lied to him, betrayed his trust. But he didn't feel guilty for her death. Osiris could tell that. Dean had done what needed to be done. There was a taint over that – Dean's guilt over his self-assessment as a killer, but that was more of a sadness, a heaviness to his heart that wasn't quite guilt. No. Dean didn't feel guilty for being a killer because he simply saw it as another of his flaws. Another way that he fell short at being a decent human being. Someone had to keep the world safe, so Dean had accepted that role. He didn't have to embrace it or like it. Osiris also detected remorse over Pond's child – but again, no guilt.
It had been expeditious to let Dean think Pond was the third witness. But she wasn't the one weighing most heavily on his conscience. There was another who was never far from Dean's thoughts. Someone else who Dean felt he'd let down when he was meant to protect him. Someone else who stood beside Sam and Jo in Dean's heart. Someone else who was like a child to Dean.
Osiris was quite relieved that it hadn't come to summoning that witness because he wasn't quite sure how or if he would have been able to summon the ghost of an angel.
A/N: So I should have been writing a mid-term... this really came out of some discussions over 7.04 and 7.03... and at the risk of being overly needy, tomorrow's my b-day and as I'm not likely to get any other presents, the odd review would be nice...