Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural. Thanks!

Summary: AU: Dean and Lisa have a son together: Ben. Dean and Lisa get a divorce. Dean loves his son more than anything. Ben is his pride and joy. Dean stays with him until the very end. Not once do they leave each other's side.

Notes: Be warned: This story has a very powerful ending. I cried while writing it and I never cry because of my stories. It has a strong message and a very powerful ending.

Good luck

He had a good life. A life that was sometimes frustrating and painful, but it was a good life. Dean Winchester had married his high school sweetheart and they'd been very happy. For a while. They had a son together. His name was Ben. Ben was Dean's pride and joy. He loved that kid more than anything. One day Dean started to realize some things about himself when a certain blue-eyed man stepped into his life. His name was Castiel Novak and they quickly became best friends.

It wasn't long after Cas stepped into Dean's life that problems began to crop up between Dean and Lisa. The problems had already been there, but both of them had just shoved them down, tossed them away for later. They never dealt with the problems, it was much easier to push them aside, bury them. And then one day it all exploded. There was no more pushing down their feelings, stepping around things that happened. It was like an all-out war between the two that ended in tears and heartache on both sides. They decided it would be easier and less painful on both sides for them to just get a divorce and be done with it. It wasn't easy, but it was the right thing to do. They couldn't live the way they were living. It was far too painful.

So, Dean moved out. Cas let him move in with him, gave him a place to stay, somewhere to call home. Cas helped Dean recover from the heartache of losing his wife and soon Dean realized he was starting to fall for his best friend. Of course, he didn't blame Cas for anything that had happened between himself and Lisa. The problems had been there way before Cas had come into their lives. He kept quiet about his feelings though, afraid that he'd make the wrong move, say the wrong thing and their friendship would be over. He would lose his best friend.

It took months, but finally Cas made the first move. He couldn't take it anymore and needed to know if the feelings were reciprocated, which they were. The two dove into a passionate relationship, at first hiding it from everyone. They soon found out and the relationship was accepted from everyone, including Lisa and Ben.

Ben would stay with Dean on weekends and occasionally stop by during the week after school or stop by at the mechanic shop that Dean owned. Cas loved having him around. Even though Ben wasn't his son, he treated him as if he were. Ben and Dean were so much alike, it was hard not to love him. They were attached at the hip whenever possible and that was one of the reasons Cas loved Dean so much. He was an outstanding father to Ben, even after the divorce.

Ben had tried to reason that it would be better if he could live with his dad and visit his mom instead, but Lisa wasn't having any of that. Dean wanted it, but Lisa had put her foot down about it.

Dean's parents Mary and John lived close by in the next town over. John was an alcoholic and Mary owned a bakery. Dean's little brother, Sam, lived in California with his fiancée, Jess. Dean missed his little brother like crazy, but he was happy for him. He had recently graduated from Stanford and was well on his way to becoming a lawyer. Jess was doing the same thing and Dean was just as proud of her as he was his little brother. They'd come back to Kansas on occasion to see the family. Once Sam and Jess had found out about the relationship between Dean and Cas, they'd been ecstatic and claimed to have known all along.

Dean couldn't be more happier than he was with Cas. When he had his son and his boyfriend together, he was the happiest man on the planet. Sure, he still loved Lisa, he always would. She had been the love of his life, his high school sweetheart, but that had all changed. He'd found the real love of his life, his soul mate. Ben had accepted Cas into the family immediately saying it'd be cool to have two dads. It had melted Cas's heart into a puddle of goo when he'd heard Ben say that.

There were times when Lisa and Dean would argue over who would get Ben when. It was very frustrating for all involved. There would be times when Dean was supposed to get him, but Lisa would change it at the last minute, crushing Dean. He cherished every minute he got to be with his son. Everyone who knew him knew that. Not getting to spend time with his son devastated Dean and ripped him to pieces. Ben knew that and would fight his mom to get to see his dad more. In the end, Dean got more custody rights and got his son more often. Lisa started dating someone and cooled off on the custody issue, sometimes sending Ben to his Dad's randomly so she could have the house to herself.

Dean and Cas had talked about getting a bigger house, fighting for more custody rights because of it. They'd agreed that Dean would talk to Ben about it, get his view of things. And that's where we are now.

Dean and Ben walked down the sidewalk after having left the theater. They'd just seen the newest Star Trek movie and were pumped from it. They decided to grab a bite to eat before heading back home. They sat down in their favorite pizza parlor and ordered their usual: meat lovers with extra bacon. Sam had always told them they would both die of a heart attack before they were forty from all the meat and junk food the two of them ate. They were one in the same.

When the waiter walked away with their order, he turned to Ben seriously. "So, uh, Ben. There's something I need to talk to you about."

Ben looked up from his coke. "Please tell me you're going to fight for more custody rights."

Dean rose an eyebrow. "How the hell did you know that?"

A smile lit Ben's face, bringing one to Dean's as well. "I'm just that good."

Dean snorted. "Yeah. Right. Spill."

Ben shrugged. "Mom's been sending me over to your house, like, four times a week anymore so she can spend time with her boyfriend. It's kind of a no-brainer that you would use that and fight for more custody. And I know that Cas likes having me over all the time. Sometimes it's just the two of us for a while when you're stuck at work or something. It's a lot of fun. I can see you two getting a bigger house for the three of us."

Dean chuckled, shaking his head. "You are one smart kid, you know that? You must get it from your old man."

Ben rolled his eyes. "I think it's more like Cas is rubbing off on me."

Dean snorted. "There's that too. So. Would you be okay with that? If everything works out, you moving in with Cas and me?"

Ben nodded, looking away as the conversation turned serious again. "Yeah. It's a lot better than living with Mom. I hate it there."

Dean nodded, looking off towards the rest of the parlor. "I know you do. She does love you though."

"I know, but…she kicks me out all the time, ships me off. Don't get me wrong, I love coming over to your house all the time, but…I can never do anything at home or have someone over because I'll probably get shipped out. It's boring and frustrating."

Dean nodded again. He hated the situation they were in. He just wanted his son living with him again. He wanted Ben to be happy. "I tried talking to her about it, but she told me it was none of my business anymore. I'll talk to my lawyer tomorrow, see if there's anything we can do."

Ben looked up at his dad, hope shining in his eyes. "Really?"

Dean smiled softly. "Yeah, of course. You can even go with if you want, tell him what's been going on at home."

Ben nodded, "Yeah, it might help. I mean, I don't want to hurt Mom or anything, but…I hate it there and I don't want to be there anymore. I should get to choose. I'm fourteen."

"Almost fourteen."

"Whatever. Fourteen in three months."

Dean chuckled and looked up as their pizza arrived. "Ah! Just in time."

They both dug in with smiles on their faces. Dean was halfway through his first piece when his phone rang. He pulled it out and looked at it. It was Lisa. He sighed heavily before setting his piece down and answering the phone. "Hello?"

"Dean. I thought I told you I wanted Ben home by nine tonight. It's nine-thirty and he's still not home."

Dean looked down at his watch. "Sorry about that, Lis. We went to a movie and it got out later than I expected. I'm just getting him some-."

"I don't care about your excuses, Dean. He has homework he needs to get done before he goes to bed. It's a school night, remember?"

"Yeah, I know that."

"Obviously not considering he's not here."

Dean fought the urge to snap on her. They were in a public place and Ben was watching him, trying to figure out what was going on. "I'll have him home soon."

Before Lisa could say anything else, he ended the call and set it down on the table. He rubbed a hand down his face in frustration.

"What'd Mom say?"

Dean looked up at Ben, a piece of pizza stuck in the air halfway to his mouth, forgotten for the moment. "She's a little upset that you're half an hour late. She says you have still have homework to do."

Ben's brow scrunched together. "No, I don't. I didn't get any homework today. That was yesterday."

Dean huffed. Just another reason why he should come live with me. Lisa obviously isn't paying enough attention.

Dean lightened the mood, changed topics. They ate the entire pizza with barely any room to spare. The mood was light at the table, both of them laughing at different stories. Right as they were about to finish, Dean remembered he'd forgotten to call Cas.

"Crap, I forgot to call Cas and let him know I'd be home soon."

He picked up his phone and hit Cas's name in his call list. It rang a couple of times before Cas's deep voice came over the phone. "Hello, Dean."

"Hey, Cas. Ben and I just got done eating after the movie and I'm going to take him home. Lisa's already a bit peeved at the time. I thought I'd call and let you know I'd be home soon."

He could hear some shuffling in the background and smiled, knowing Cas was reading a book. "Thank you for calling, Dean. I hope the two of you liked the movie."

Dean nodded, glancing over at Ben. "Yeah, it was great! You should watch it sometime. I think you'd like it."

Cas chuckled over the line. "Maybe. I will let you get Ben home. Drive safely. Say hi to Ben for me."

Dean looked back over at Ben. "Cas says hi."

Ben smiled. "Hey, Cas!"

"Did ya hear that?"

"Yes, I heard him. I will see you when you get home."

Dean smiled softly, the way he does when he talks to Cas. "Yeah, I'll be there soon. Love you."

He hung up the phone, knowing Cas wasn't going to say it back. That was kind of a routine for them. When one of them would say it over the phone, the other would smile and hang up. They never both said it for some reason. In person, it was a different story.

Dean tucked his phone back into his pocket and stood up, pulling out his wallet. He laid a twenty on the table for the bill and tip before heading out, Ben right behind him.

The impala was parked two blocks away from the pizza parlor, so they had a walk ahead of them. Dean looked over at Ben. "So, how is school going? You keeping your grades up?"

Ben nodded, sticking his hands into his jacket pockets. "Yeah. I have all B's and a C, but it's a high C. Mom freaked when she found out about it."

Dean chuckled. "That sounds like your mom. I'm just happy there are no D's or F's in that list."

Ben looked up at his dad and was about to say something when a man stepped out of the shadows from an alleyway they were walking by. They immediately noticed the gun he was holding and he was pointing it right at them.

"Get in the alley if you know what's good for you."

Dean grabbed Ben and pulled him into his side. He pulled the two of them into the alley, never looking away from the man with the gun. "Take it easy there, fella. We don't want any trouble."

The man looked from Ben to Dean. "Give me your wallet."

Dean held the hand that wasn't holding onto Ben into the air. "Okay, I'll give you my wallet and then you let us walk away. We won't go to the cops. We'll let it go."

The man stared at Dean. "You think I'm stupid? You think I'm going to believe you when you say you won't call the cops as soon as you get into your car and pull away? No, I'm not that dumb. I've been around the block a time or two. I know how people think they can win."

Dean shook his head. "We're not like that. Like I said, we don't want any trouble."

The man was getting antsy Dean could see it. His heart was racing, his paternal instincts in overdrive. He needed to get Ben out of that alley. No matter the cost, he needed to get Ben out of there. He didn't care if he left in a body bag as long as Ben got out alive.

"I'm going to reach for my wallet. It's in my back pocket."

He slowly reached his hand around and pulled his wallet out of his pocket. He held it up in the air for the guy to see it. "Toss it over."

Dean tossed it to him, making it hand at his feet. He picked it up and flicked it open. "There's no money in here!"

"That's because I just spent it on supper."

The man looked up at him angrily. "This wallet is empty! It's useless!"

He cried out in rage and aimed the gun back at them. Dean's heart about stopped when he heard the gun go off. For a moment, he thought he was dying. He thought it was over, but the pain never came. Instead, he felt Ben falling next to him. That was even worse.

He looked down and saw Ben falling as if it were all in slow motion. His instincts kicked in and he caught him before he hit the ground. Dean knelt on the ground, holding his son to his chest, staring into his eyes.

"Ben! Hang in there, Ben. I'm going to get you some help. You just have to fight, okay? You have to hang in there for me."

He looked over at the guy, he was staring at them in shock. "Call 911!"

The man shook his head, there was no way he was getting the cops involved. Dean looked back down at his son and saw he was fading. "Dad…"

"Come on, Ben. Fight, damn it. Don't you die on me, you hear me? Don't you dare die on me."

Ben swallowed and forced a small smile to his lips. "It'll be okay, Dad. I promise. You'll see."

Dean shook his head. "No. No, Ben. Don't give up. You have to keep fighting, okay? Just keep fighting."

Dean watched as the light slowly faded from Ben's eyes and his body went limp. Dean shook his head furiously, tears springing to his eyes. "No. No, no, no! Ben! Come back to me. You can't die on me."

He held Ben tighter to him, letting the tears slide down his cheeks, not even realizing he was crying. He stared down at his son, lifeless in his arms. Finally, he looked back up at the man who'd just shot his son. "You just killed my son. You killed him! You better shoot me, you son of a bitch! If you don't kill me right now, I will hunt you down and kill you myself. I'll make sure I do it slowly, make you suffer. You'll never get away with this, I promise you that."

The man looked into Dean's eyes. A smile found its way onto his face and he shook his head. "Oh, mister, there's no way that's happening. There are no cameras and no witnesses. I'll be walking out of here and never have to look back. I hope you were good boy while you were here. Maybe that way you can see your son again."

"You sick son of a bitch."

The man nodded, "Yes, I agree."

He aimed the gun directly at Dean's chest and fired. The bullet his centimeters away from his heart and he fell sideways. He kept a firm grip on his side, never letting go. He turned his head to the side and watched Ben's face as the darkness caved in around him. The last thing he saw was his son.

Nothing was the same after that night. There wasn't a single dry eye to be found in that family. Someone heard the gun shots and had called the police. The arrived minutes later to find both Dean and his son dead in the alleyway. It was too late. They found Dean with his lifeless arms wrapped around his dead son. One of the officers found his wallet laying nearby and assumed they'd been mugged. They pulled fingerprints off of it, but they weren't in the system, it was a dead end.

Lisa and Cas were both called. Cas had been listed as Dean's emergency contact, so they knew to get ahold of him. Cas was asked to identify the bodies for the record. It was the hardest thing he'd ever had to do. The image of his soul mate lying dead on a cold, hard sheet of metal would haunt him until the day he died. The image of Ben the same way wasn't much better, if not worse. He was just a kid.

Lisa hated herself for the last words she had spoken to Dean to be out of anger. She'd still loved him, but she'd been blinded by the anger of the divorce. Now that he was gone, she saw how much she really did love him still. That night she lost both her son and her ex-husband, her high school sweetheart. She took up drinking as a hobby and her life plummeted for good.

Sam and Jess took the first flight available to be with their family. Sam had always looked up to Dean. He was the big brother, the role model. Dean had taught him how to throw a proper punch, how to flirt with girls, how to fish. Sam had been the little brother always chasing after him, wanting to be just like him. They hadn't spoken in days, both too busy to talk.

Mary and John were never the same. John drank more than before and Mary stayed silent. She hardly ever talked, never smiled or laughed. She lost her oldest boy, her son. A mother should never out-live her children. If it wasn't bad enough, she also lost her only grandchild. Things were never the same in that family ever again. Dean had been the rock holding everything together. He kept Mary safe and strong when John had had too much. He kept Sam in line, taught him how to be a man. He was the love of Cas's life, keeping him standing tall when the world threatened to crush him.

Dean was an amazing father, a role model, a fighter, and a good man. Ben was just like his father, the best kid a father could have ever asked for. The two were nearly inseparable and now they would never be apart.

Cas quit his job and took over Dean's business. He kept his shop alive and on its feet the way Dean had. He didn't change a thing. He didn't want to let Dean down. He told himself that he would see Dean again one day and when he did he would be able to tell him about how he took care of his shop, he took care of his baby, and he never stopped loving him.

Lisa stayed away from the Winchester family. She no longer had any ties to them and she didn't want the reminder of what she'd lost. She'd lost the two most important men in her life in the blink of an eye.

Cas remained in the family. He was a Winchester whether the two had been married or not. Cas confessed that Dean had asked him to marry him a few days before his passing. They'd been waiting for the right time to tell everyone, wanting everyone together. Cas was a part of the family and they kept him close, not wanting him to be alone to go through the pain of losing both Dean and Ben.

The cops had told them how they found them. They told them they had been mugged at gun point and that Dean had died with his son in his arms. They he'd been laying, the last thing he'd seen was his son. They'd figured Ben had already been dead, but told them that Dean had never left his side. He clung to him even after he had passed.

Cas supposed it was in a way poetic. The two were attached at the hip while they were alive, so alike in so many ways. For Dean to die with his son in his arms, clutching onto him seemed fitting. Neither deserved to die the way they did or while both so young, but to die together and almost the same time seemed best. Everyone knew that if either had survived and had lost the other, they would be devastated. There would be no recovering from that loss. There would be no moving on or getting past it. As sad as it was to say, it was better that they both lost their lives than for one to be forced to go on without the other.

Sam had flipped through Dean's contact book and found a number for his ex-girlfriend from when he was a kid: Robin. He remembered that she sang and played guitar. He asked her to sing at his funeral and she had accepted, honored.

Sam had held strong like he knew Dean would have. He knew Dean would be counting on him to become the rock in the family now that he was gone. Dean had told him he was proud of him when he'd graduated from Stanford and he wasn't about to let him down now, not when his entire family needed him.

Sam planned the funeral, Jess by his side the entire time helping him through it. He planned everything right down to the memorial service in the cemetery. Dean and Ben would be buried right next to each other. The spaces on either side of them were saved for when Lisa and Cas passed on, Lisa getting the other side next to Ben and Cas getting the plot next to Dean.

The funeral was beautiful. It had a rather nice turnout. There were a lot of people who'd had the opportunity to be in either Ben or Dean's life. Bobby gave a eulogy, something he struggled through. Dean had been like a son to him. He'd helped Mary raise the boys while John was out at the bars getting drunk. Dean's passing took a hard toll on the old man and whiskey became his new best friend.

Standing in the cemetery, staring at the two brown caskets was probably the hardest for all of them. They were saying goodbye to a friend, lover, brother, son, grandchild, nephew, and so much more. The memories the two left behind would never be forgotten for as long as their family survived. Their memories lived on. The last thing they had to remember Dean by was the knowledge that he'd stayed with his son until the very end, holding him close to him, never letting go.

One by one they laid a red rose on each casket, saying their final goodbyes. Cas laid the final rose on top of Dean's casket and let a tear fall. It landed on one of the rose petals and he found it fitting. It felt as if that tear symbolized a part of him that was being buried along with Dean's body.

As Cas stepped away from the casket, a melody filled the air, the lyrics echoing through the cemetery off the tombstones and the vast emptiness surrounding them. No one looked away from either casket, tears slipped down their cheeks. Not a single person out there had a dry eye. Even John was shedding a few tears for his lost son and grandson. He'd surprisingly stayed sober.

Spend all your time waiting
for that second chance
for a break that would make it okay
there's always some reason
to feel not good enough
and it's hard at the end of the day
I need some distraction
oh beautiful release
memories seep from my veins
let me be empty
and weightless and maybe
I'll find some peace tonight

The song fit perfectly. They knew that both Dean and Ben were in a better place, with the angels. They were both too good to be anywhere else. They had filled so many lives with love and laughter. They had tried their hardest to make other happy and feel loved when they could. They'd both strived to be the best they could be. They'd both been good people.

In the arms of the angel
fly away from here
from this dark cold hotel room
and the endlessness that you fear
you are pulled from the wreckage
of your silent reverie
you're in the arms of the angel
may you find some comfort here

The favorite part of Dean's life had been being a father. His whole life he never pictured himself as one. He'd been scared that he'd end up like his father. He didn't want that for a child. But when Lisa had told him she was pregnant, it'd been the happiest day of his life. Until he met his little boy and got to hold him. When he held that little bundle of blue in his arms, his life had been complete. He was a father and that was the best thing he could ever do. He'd promised himself he'd be the best dad he could ever be. And he kept that promise. Not once did he break that.

So tired of the straight line
and everywhere you turn
there's vultures and thieves at your back
and the storm keeps on twisting
you keep on building the lies
that you make up for all that you lack
it don't make no difference
escaping one last time
it's easier to believe in this sweet madness oh
this glorious sadness that brings me to my knees

Ben was thirteen-years-old. He was just beginning his teenage years. He'd had a girlfriend named Alexis and he thought he'd been in love. He excelled in school, taking after his father in his intelligence. He was the brightest kid in his class, but he never bragged, never boasted. He downplayed it, tried to act cool. He was always modest. He loved his family more than anything, especially his dad. His dad was his hero. He told himself that he was going to be just like his dad when he grew up. He already was so much like him. He strived to make his dad proud. He did everything he was told, kept his grades up, behaved. He was the best son, the best little boy anyone could ever ask for.

In the arms of the angel
fly away from here
from this dark cold hotel room
and the endlessness that you fear
you are pulled from the wreckage
of your silent reverie
you're in the arms of the angel
may you find some comfort here
you're in the arms of the angel
may you find some comfort here

The music faded into the background and silence surrounded them once more. It was time to say their final goodbye. They slowly walked away, tears sliding down their cheeks harder than before. They had to walk away from two amazing people, two people who had changed all of their lives for the better. Two people who would be missed more than anything.

Off to the side, a little way away from the caskets, stood Dean and Ben. They watched as their family, the ones they loved walked away heartbroken and mourning. They watched as tears fell and sobs bounced off the tombstones they passed. It was hard to watch.

Ben looked up at his father. "Do you think they're going to be okay, Dad?"

Dean looked down at his son with a small smile on his face. "Yeah. I think they're going to be just fine. Come on, it's time for us to go now."

Dean took Ben's hand in his own and they walked through the cemetery together. They walked side by side, never letting go of the other's hand. As they passed what would soon be their headstones, they faded into the background, off to join the loved ones that had passed before them. They were free. They were happy. And they were together.

The song was Arms Of The Angel by Sarah McLaughlin. I am truly sorry for any tears shed because of this story. It was very painful to write it, but...I had to. Let me know what you thought of it, please and thank you.