Big My Secret

A/N: This is my take on what happens when Dean returns from Hell at the start of Season 4. The story takes place shortly after Dean and Bobby show up at Sam's motel room.

The title comes from a song from the soundtrack of the movie 'The Piano'. No copyright infringement intended.

I don't own anything related to Supernatural. All I can claim are the errors, grammatical or otherwise.

Thank you to all the reviewers, followers and readers.

This fic is for entertainment purposes only. Enjoy.

He'd been back 24 hours and Dean had already bagged his first lie to Sammy. Told him he didn't remember a thing, said it without flinching, without a drop of remorse or regret, thinking Sam's probably done the same; lied through his teeth about bringing him back and something else Dean couldn't quite put his finger on. He wasn't making this a tit for a tat thing. It was just that he couldn't bring himself to talk about it, couldn't bear to let the words slip past his lips, making everything more real than it already was. Truth was Dean couldn't remember everything but that voice in his head – it - wouldn't let him forget.

He sat on Sam's bed, fingering the bedspread lightly, relishing the feel of the fabric on his skin, rediscovering a long forgotten sensation. Eventually, he pulled himself out of his reverie and looked up at his brother and Bobby. He tried to discern what they were saying but their voices sounded so distant and their words couldn't cut through the humming sound in his ears. Dean didn't know what happened at that gas station but his hearing hadn't been so good since that high pitched screech almost blew out his ear drums. Then that voice started up in his brain; the voice he would recognize anywhere and he tried to figure out how he was going to block it out along with the screams of pain and howls of despair. He wondered if he was ever going to white wash the images of blood and flesh and bone seared into his brain. He wondered if he would ever be able to scrub his flesh clean of the evil and the madness. Tsk, tsk, so many questions, my dear boy.

Dean couldn't really remember how he got out. Not out of the pine box and above ground, but how he got away from there. That wasn't so clear and all he had to show for it was a hand print on his shoulder and a fleeting memory of flashing, bright lights and a jumble of wings. Yeah, wings. Maybe, he flew out like a bird. Maybe, he was plucked out by a Phoenix. Wasn't that the bird that rose from the ashes? The thought triggered the sensation of hot, hell stinking embers filling his mouth and Dean thought it served him right for lying to Sam. You can take the boy outta hell but you can't take hell out of the boy.

Dean coughed and gagged hoarsely and Bobby immediately shot him a worried look causing the young hunter to turn away and hide his discomfort and guilt. The coughing refused to abate and Sam magically materialized at his side with a glass of water. Dean grabbed it and gulped down the cooling liquid, dribbling half of it down his chin like a two year old. The water dissolved the ashes in his mouth and Dean nearly choked with the belief that black liquid was swimming down his throat. Another involuntary gag and Dean's hand flew up, roughly covering his lips, fighting back the return of ash water into his mouth. This earned him a pair of concerned looks as he hurried to the washroom and slammed the door behind him before allowing a gush of evil to splash into the white porcelain sink.

Dean blinked rapidly as he stared at what he was spewing. His breaths came harshly and a string of dirty saliva hung loosely from his mouth. He swiped it away, scrubbing the back of his hand across his sleeve, removing all evidence of the offending goo. He looked up at his image in the grimy mirror. His eyes were horrified at what he saw reflected back - the face of evil. He couldn't stand to look at his image knowing what he had done. Now, now my pretty, don't fret, you'll always be my favourite.

Dean's hand whipped up and smashed the offending likeness. He lowered his gaze in disgust and twirled the tap, allowing the water to rinse the grey sop down the drain. He cupped his hand, filled his palm with the clear liquid and rinsed the vile taste out of his mouth. Dean held onto the side of the sink and tried to quell the feeling of dread rising from the pit of his stomach. He stood motionless for what seemed like an eternity, but he knew that mere seconds could feel like forever.

Sam pounded on the door, shouting out his name and Dean thought bitterly that his brother was calling out to some other Dean, to a brother who no longer existed, one that died somewhere between being torn apart by hell hounds and rising through the earth in that pulverized field.

The bathroom door swung open violently, crashing loudly against the opposing wall. Dean stared at his brother standing on the other side of the threshold, fists clenched and muscles taut, ready to pounce. Sam's eyes were huge and filled with a fear that Dean was no longer inside the bathroom; that his big brother was gone, ripped away from him again.

Everything went quiet. The only sounds Dean could make out were Sam's rough breaths and the cackling laugh in his own head. And then he was struck with an awful realization that he was laughing because this was all a cruel joke and he was toying with him, waiting for the right moment to pull open some door and shove him right back down into the depths of hell.

Dean grabbed the sink and hunched over it to steady himself against the feel of the tremors running through his body. The tremors he had endured for 40 years, the ones that ripped at him relentlessly and never abated no matter which side of the rack you were on. The tremors that served to remind you that you were nothing but a quivering mass of flesh.

Dean's throat closed tight and his breathing became uneven and harsh and he felt stupid for thinking he could have escaped from him. He turned to Bobby and then back to Sam; he couldn't get the words out but he wanted to tell them he was sorry for coming back, wanted to tell them he should have known better, wanted them to know he was doomed and there was nothing they could do to change that and it would just be a matter of time before he ended up back in Hell, back where he belonged.