A Supernatural fanfiction

by Lywinis

Time is fluid for Dean Winchester. His days are filled with research; his nights are filled with hunting. He doesn't mark seasons, or months, or dates – save for five. He marks them on his mental calendar, and like a grudge, he never forgets. Sam's birthday, the dates of his parents' deaths, and the day he last saw Gabriel. The deathwatches in the walls never have to tick for Dean; he knows their dates in his heart. They have burned their presences in his bones, right along the Enochian sigils he no longer needs.

His own birthday passes by with little mention; Sam buys him the traditional six-pack, candy bar and carwash and he accepts the murmured 'Happy Birthday' with a grunt of little grace or gratitude. Sam always remembers, just as Dean always buys Sam something in May. Dean's age is just a number to him. Thirty-three is the same as thirty-two, just as thirty-four will be the same.

Time is one long waiting game for Dean. He waits for jobs, he waits for research, he waits for the whiskey to burn into his gut, waits for it to turn into dreamless sleep. In the darkest hours of the night where none but hunters and monsters remain awake, Dean admits to himself that he waits for death, a permanent death. He would hand himself over to the gaunt form of the former Horseman in a heartbeat. Hell, he'd even bring the junk food.

Sam never comments, but Dean can see the questions, the looks, the worry. He drinks more to ignore it.

They are always silent as the dates of their parents' deaths pass by; these three days are holy, a quiet vigil that neither of them break. Both are lost in their own remembrances; not even a hunt gets more than the curt sharing of information as their search progresses. Each keeps his communion with the spirits of the dead to himself. It's better that they do.

Dean gets surly when the day of Gabriel's disappearance comes up. Sam's tolerant of him on this day more than usual; Dean is the same with him on the date Castiel vanished under the waters of the reservoir. Another unspoken, unbreakable rule.

Time is fluid for Dean, and so when he begins to lose it, he doesn't notice at first – it's little things, bald patches where the tires run thin, things he could always dismiss as him growing forgetful at the ripe old age of thirty-three. He can rationalize it away; he has died more times than he can remember. Maybe those assholes in the outfield put him back together wrong. Maybe he's finally snapped. He doesn't notice until he reaches for his beer and finds it empty – and Sam denies drinking it, holding up his own half-finished beer.


He doesn't sleep. He can't lose any more time. They have to find the meaning of this number, because it was important to Bobby. He can't sleep. He can do this. He has to do this. Think. Think.


Frank is gone. His house is abandoned, and Dean searches it. The cocking of a shotgun behind him is sharp and splintering like wet bone. He turns, and sees Frank.

Negotiations. Surveillance. Waiting.



He wakes – the crick in his neck and the ache in his bones tell time better than he can. He groans, and Frank looks over.

"Good morning, sunshine."

"How long was I asleep?"

Frank checks his watch. "…thirty-six hours."

"Why didn't you wake me?" Dean is angered, but it is annoyance at himself for allowing the weakness to get in the way of kicking Dick Roman in the…well, in the dick.

"Do I look like your nanny?"

"No, you don't." Dean scrubs a hand over his eyes. A day and a half, gone in the space of a breath, a heartbeat. How?

He glances over at the monitors, sees the static but doesn't. Frank leans back, his gimlet eyes missing nothing – at least, he would like the world to think so. He unwraps what looks like his hundredth Hershey bar, judging from the wrappers scattered over his dash in a flurry of untidiness.

Some may call Dean Winchester a stupid man. These people are usually the ones who are surprised by any insight he makes that isn't a pun or pop culture reference. Dean prefers this; they tell him so much more when they think he doesn't understand. He reads body language like Sam devours lore; he picks up cues like John used to pick up the scent of a new job.

Dean Winchester isn't stupid, and he knows he's right when he spins Frank's chair and snatches the chocolate from him. Frank, the real Frank, would have shot him. The man was jumpy enough with Dean around the first time; the second time was no better.

This Frank gives him a smile – no, a shit eating grin, something he hasn't seen since –

"How long?"

"You're still asleep, Dean-o. The only way I could get to you without showing my whole hand." Frank snaps his fingers, and his form shimmers, shrinks into that of Gabriel. Tawny eyes laugh at him just as the grin tugs at his memory.

"I – " He's silenced by Gabriel's punishing kiss, one that slams him up against the tin wall of Frank's RV hard enough to dent. Dean doesn't care. Small, deft hands tug his shirt from his jeans, and then a warm mouth closes over his nipple and the back of his head thumps against the tin wall, a silent cry of more.

Gabriel is ravenous, hungry, and his kisses are rough and demanding. Dean can live with it. He takes, is filled up with the archangel's need, and he gives back with all he can. It's not enough, is never enough, and yet is somehow is as Gabriel sears him from the inside out. Each thrust is met with a growl, a pant, a snarl, until Dean sags against the smaller, stronger man and shudders through a release that feels like the birth of a star.

He supernovas, explodes into a million glittering spheres of light, color, scent and taste and emotion. By the time he comes back to himself, Gabriel has righted his clothing and they have sagged down to a sitting position next to the RV. He realizes his legs wouldn't support him now, even if he tried.

"Why so long?" His voice is raw. He remembers screaming, but not loud enough to damage his voice. This is something different; this is naked pain, and he clears his throat to cover it.

"I wish I could tell you why, kiddo. It's top secret at the moment. But I've been keeping an eye on you."

"Mm." Dean leans his head back against the tire to avoid Gabriel's gaze.

"You're killing yourself."

"Not until Dick Roman dies."

"Not what I wanted to hear." Gabriel pokes him in the chest hard enough to sting, and he winces. "Cut it out. This whole martyr act never looked good on Job, either, although I think Dad got a perverse kick out of it."

"Everyone is dying."

"Dean, you know what waits for everyone after death. You're the only person besides your brother who can say that. No one really dies, not if they're loved." Gabriel's laughing eyes soften for a moment into something that he would call affection if it were anyone but Gabe. "You know what's waiting for you. It's a reward eternal, something you earned time and again. But your purpose here isn't done. There are other threats, other things that need killing."

"What if I don't want to?" Petulant, and he knows it, but dammit, he's earned petulant too.

Gabriel snorts, amusement and exasperation rolled into a single noise. "You could probably tell Fate to kiss your ass, too. You've done it once."

Dean is silent, and Gabriel sighs.

"I can't tell you how this will end, but I can tell you it will be over soon. You can go on, just a little bit longer. You're too stubborn to die."

It's Dean's turn to snort, and it makes Gabriel chuckle. "Yeah, I guess so."

"You can do it, kiddo. The world has always relied on you, and you'll be able to rest soon enough."

"Don't make promises you can't keep." Dean's voice is a growl again, and Gabriel smiles once more before fading from view.

"Stop killing yourself, or else you'll lose more time than you would if you went after this with a clear head. I mean it."


He wakes – the crick in his neck and the ache in his bones tell time better than he can. He groans, and Frank looks over.

"Good morning, sunshine."

"How long was I asleep?" He knows the answer to this, the déjà vu is so strong he can taste chocolate on his breath.

Frank checks his watch. "…thirty-six hours."

"Why didn't you wake me?" Dean is going through the motions now, calm and collected.

"Do I look like your nanny?"

Dean doesn't answer, instead looking at the screen. "What did I miss?"

Time is fluid for Dean Winchester, it always has been, and it always will be. It ebbs and flows around him, washing him down his pathway to the end of his destination.

He can't wait.


The Greek language denotes two distinct principles, Chronos and Kairos. The former refers to numeric, or chronological, time. The latter, literally "the right or opportune moment," relates specifically to metaphysical or Divine time. In theology, Kairos is qualitative, as opposed to quantitative.

Dean loses a lot of time in "Adventures in Babysitting" - I have my own theories as to why.