Thank you to Ninjakittee for her excellent Beta work.

This is what it feels like to be Dean Winchester.

The faint grass of the field lies surprisingly soft beneath your knees. The bright and pale sunlight seems all but robbed of its usual cheerfulness. It does nothing to heal your bruised soul, serving only as a taunting reminder of far happier days. The deadly silence around you is almost painful to your ears. You suddenly wish the graveyard crows would assume their distant screeching, providing the hope that there was at least some form of life left within the world. But no matter how hard you listen, how intensely you strain for some sort of sign… You are only met with stillness.

This is what it feels like to be Dean Winchester.

The numerous aches across your body are all but forgotten next to the insistent, dull throbbing that keeps pulsing through your skull, like a frickin' metronome. Half of the world seems increasingly dark as your eye continues its painful swelling alongside your mangled lips. Most of the blood on your face has already dried, and yet you can still feel some of the hot, scarlet liquid seeping quietly from the various wounds, leaving you a marred, bloody mess. The pain is excruciating, but you welcome it. You welcome anything persistent enough to distract you from the burning agony that rages in the depths of your soul.

I told you... this would always happen in Detroit.

Destiny can't be changed. That was the lesson the dickheads tried to teach you from the start. That you and your brother were always meant to be the swords used for the battle of Armageddon. That there was no escaping it. And you fought it. Fought it with all your strength, with all you had left, because you believed in doing the right thing. Believed again, because your little brother believed in you. And when it was your turn, you believed in him. Forgave him for all the mistakes he made in the past, because you knew that he was stronger than that. You knew that he could fight it.

Now that the two of you have finally proven them wrong, proven them all wrong… You want nothing more than to die.

It was your job to protect him. No, it was more than that, more than a job. It was who you were. Most important: watch out for Sammy. All your life, you never wanted anything more than for him to be safe, happy. You tried as hard as you could to give him a normal childhood, to succeed at what your father had failed. No matter how old he got, he was always your little brother. It would always be your responsibility to keep him safe. And it is now, on this godforsaken field, in this very moment that you realize you have failed. Failed him like you failed every other person you ever cared about. You let down the people you love. It's just what you do.

This is what it feels like to be Dean Winchester.

Astonishing how one simple gesture can destroy an entire world. A chaste kiss can condemn the soul. The pressing of a button can send two loved ones blown into fiery oblivion. One simple word can bring about the apocalypse. The squeeze of a trigger, a flick of the wrist, a snap of the fingers.

One meaningless snap. And you're forced to watch your best friend be literally blown to bits. The first and only friend you have ever had. Once a powerful angel of heaven, then cast down into mortality. Now nothing more than scarlet slush, decorating the bland, sallow field with its sickly bright color. He gave everything for you. He rebelled against his own, killed his own brethren, turned against the kingdom which he had served for millennia. Even when you yourself weren't seeing things clearly, he was right there with you to knock some sense back into your twisted head. He followed you into battle with a trust and loyalty that no friend has ever been willing to show you. This is what he got for it. He stood by your side in the fight against destiny…

And you failed him.

Shooting bullets at the devil proves to achieve nothing more than to piss him off even further. That air of desperation, as the man you count closest to family next to your brother looks at you helplessly, a vague flick of the wrist… And he's gone. You can still feel the agonizing pain wrenching at your gut as you recall the image of his neck twisting on his shoulders with that final, heinous crack. All the things he did for you. Memories flash through your mind from distant childhood days, a football being tossed at you by the laughing, cheerful man. His pained, desperate face at the prospect of losing you in no more than a year. He was as much your father as Dad was.

The distant sound of a defibrillator suddenly echoes through your head. The last remnants of the attempt at reviving the heart of a man whose soul was long gone. Bargained away to hell in order to bring you back from your rightful place in the beyond. You feel your brother beside you, neither of you wanting to believe the inevitable truth. You were dead. You were supposed to be dead, not him. You should've stayed dead.

Somehow you can't bring yourself to see the difference now. It was you that the feathery sons of bitches wanted. It was always about you. Some part of you knows that it's stupid, but you still find yourself wishing you had never brought any of them into this. You should have protected them. The guy did so freaking much for you, he basically adopted you for everything your father could never give you and this is how you repay him. You failed your father…

And now you failed him too.

Why is this field being so fucking quiet? It makes no sense! It's all too perfect, too normal. So perfectly peaceful. So absurd compared to the horror of all the events that have just taken place here. The same painful image keeps flashing before your inner eye. You can't seem to shake it and deep down you know that you never will, for it has been branded into your brain for all eternity. His eyes. The look in his eyes when he had pinned you against your baby. That moment when everything had seemed to change for no apparent reason. One minute you were looking at the cold steel gaze of the devil himself, feeling certain that this was the end of you. And the next… everything changed. You don't know why it happened. You don't know what he saw as he gazed down upon your bloodied face and the roof of the Impala. But in one single moment the curtains were drawn back, the walls fell. And there he was.

Your little brother. Looking down at you with all the love and the strength that has always made out his being. Promising that it would all be ok. Scared to the death, but determined. His eyes full of pain, but strangely peaceful. As if he had always known that it would end this way. As if he knew he was finally doing the right thing. You wish you could feel that way too. Cause right now, all you see is pain and death and loss. All things that have ruled your life until now. All things you always wanted to keep him safe from. It's all you have ever known. Watch out for him, protect him, keep him safe. It should be you down in that hole and not him. You were supposed to be dead, not your little brother. The one thing, the only thing that has ever meant anything to you in this godforsaken world…

And you failed him.

You reach out to the ground and dig your fingers into the soft grass. So pretty, so unspoiled. The entire field looks perfectly undisturbed as if it had never been marred in any way. As if it hadn't had a gaping hole ripped into its middle only moments ago. As if it hadn't just literally swallowed your entire existence and everything you lived for. The one thing that meant everything to you.

Your fingers curl painfully around the bland blades of grass.


You let him down. You let them all down. It's what you do. And for that you're sorry. You're so unbelievably sorry, that one simple word could never, ever cover it. Every inch of you wants to die, wants to somehow escape from this dreadful and horrifying truth of having lost everything you ever cared about.

There is nothing left you care about. Each and every one of them is gone. You saw to that.

This is what it feels like to be Dean Winchester.

Hollow. Alone.