Keep Moving Forward – Missing scene from 7.04 "Defending Your Life"
Author's note: I personally don't think Dean has anything to feel guilty for. I think he's paid his dues over and over. He makes the tough calls. He sucks it up and does what needs to be done. This is how I see Dean. Dean tragically sees himself a whole other way. This is just my idea of what may have happened between Jo disappearing and the scene by the side of the road with Sam and Dean. This is my take on Dean's headspace right now. Personally, I think Dean's awesome and a hero. I just hope one day, he'll think so too.
Dean stood silently looking into the space where only moments earlier, Jo had been. She was gone. Gone back to….who knows where. He hoped it was Heaven. Jo's personal Heaven. He wondered what that would be and sadly realised, he had no clue. He closed his eyes and let out a deep sigh.
With only a small groan, he bent down, picked up his lighter and shoved it in his pocket. Walking over to the stove, he slowly turned off the gas. He opened the refrigerator, reached in, grabbed a beer, cracked it open and took a swig. Closing the door, he rested his head against the cool metal and drew a shaky breath. He stayed like that for what seemed an eternity, lost in his thoughts.
Dean stood up straight, shook his head clear, threw his shoulders back and with a determined stride, walked to the bed. But it was just for show, it was just habit. There was a weight so heavy pressing down upon him, that his feet felt like lead. Every step took effort, every movement hurt. But that's how it'd been for a while now, for so long in fact, that he couldn't remember not feeling this way. Every day it got harder to get up, harder to care. One more blow to his heart, one more gut wrenching decision, one more blood soaked fight. Some days he wished it would just stop, forever, stop. He glanced over at the stove. Would it have been so bad if Jo had simply lit that flame? He ran a hand down his face, too scared to answer his own question.
Dropping on to the bed, he cast his mind back to that strange trial in the barn. That Osiris dude was a douche-bag, he thought. He quietly chuffed to himself, but the laughter died on his lips. He may have been a douche-bag, but he was right. Dean felt guilty. He was wracked with guilt. His life was full of loss and so much of it rested on him. So many people he'd cared for, he'd loved, had lost their lives because of him. If not directly, than indirectly and that, as far as Dean was concerned, was the same thing. He mentally ticked off a list in his head. Layla, Ronald, Ash, Nancy, Henriksen, Pamela. Jo and Ellen gave their lives because they believed in him. His dad sold his soul to save him. His brother Adam died because he was a related to him. He brought chaos and fear into Ben and Lisa's lives. And then there was Cas….. If Cas hadn't been the Angel chosen to guide Dean's path, he'd still be up in Heaven doing what ever he did before he got dragged into Dean's horror show of a life. If he can drag an Angel down…? He sighed again. He tried not to think of Cas. One part of him was angry with his friend for not listening, for being fool hardy, for believing his own press, the other part of him felt guilty that he couldn't get through to Cas, couldn't stop him in time, that he let his friend down. He sometimes found himself lying sleepless at night, wondering, if he'd just given it one more shot, could he have reached him? Who knows. He glanced down at the bottle in his hand. Now there's this great big lie. How did he get himself into this and how the hell is he gonna get himself out? Sam trusts him, believes in him. Sam maybe looney tunes but he's dealing and they're brothers again, for the first time in what feels like forever. What happens when Sam finds out it's all built on a lie? That he killed Sam's friend. He didn't feel guilty about killing Amy; he still believes that was the right decision. Her kid walking in is another story. But it's Sam that's eating him up inside. Sam and the inevitable fallout of that lie. His eyes started to prickle with unshed tears. He threw back a swallow of beer and looked at the bottle in his hand again. He knew he was drinking too much, he knew he had Sam worried. He was pretty sure Sam knew about the pills too. But how else is he supposed to get through. Feeling? Feeling everything? He'd curl up into a ball and he'd never get up again. The only way to get through is to numb it. Just numb it all….he can't face it any other way.
Dean looked blankly at the wall. So much crap. A life full of blood and crap.
He heard the jangle of keys in the lock and sat up straight just as his brother entered the room. Sam glanced around, his eyes finally resting on Dean.
"Nice timing with Osiris Sam", Dean said as he got up and walked to the fridge. He grabbed a beer and handed it to his brother, "Jo was about to fry me extra crispy." His voice cracked just a little, giving him away. He looked up at Sam but quickly glanced down again. He suddenly felt a well of pent up emotions threatening to overcome him. Sam knew it was all an act, Dean saw it in his eyes. Sadness, pity, understanding. Sam always saw right through him. He turned away so he didn't have to meet his brother's gaze. "So what now hotshot?"
Sam was silent. Dean could feel his stare burning into the back of his head. He closed his eyes and waited for the questions. Sam cleared his throat. "I dunno, I guess, check in with Bobby, see where the Leviathan thing is at?"
Dean smiled quietly to himself. Thank you Sammy, he thought. He adjusted his face, turned around and said, "Sounds like a plan. You pack, I'll go get the car."
Sam tossed his brother the keys and watched quietly as Dean downed the last of his beer, put the bottle on the table, grabbed his duffel and headed for the door.
"You know Dean," Sam said as his brother passed. Dean stopped. "I meant what I said, you're not responsible for all of it. Not me, not Jo, not Ellen. We all made our own choices. It's not on you. You have no reason to feel guilty."
Dean turned and looked at his brother. "You don't know that Sam."
"Yeah, I do."
They stared at each other.
Dean took a deep breath and spun on his heel. "I'll meet you at the car. Don't take too long." He kept his stride firm, his shoulders back and he walked out of the room.
He kept moving, along the hall, down the stairs, across the car park towards his baby. He popped her trunk, tossed in his duffle and slammed the boot shut. Unlocking her door, he realised his hand was trembling just a little. He shook it off, climbed inside and slid across her leather into the driver's seat. She gave a familiar, throaty purr as he started her up. With another deep breath he put her into gear and started to move forward.
And that's what he'd do, keep moving forward, he'd just keep….moving….forward. Because that's what he does, that's what he always does. Because he's Dean Winchester.