paleogymnast (paleogymnast) wrote,
paleogymnast
paleogymnast

Forget Everything You Know about Dean Winchester (fanfic)

Title: Forget Everything You Know about Dean Winchester
Fandom: Supernatural
Characters: Dean Winchester
Pairings: none
Rating: PG-13 for dark themes and excessive angst
Word Count: ~ 1400
Warnings: AU, character death, lots of angst
A/N:
 A "what if" character study set post "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part 1" (so, spoilers up through, and especially for "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part 1"); outside character 2nd person POV
Disclaimer: I own nothing and no money is being made, no copyright infringement intended!  "Supernatural" and its characters are owned by Eric Kripke, Warner Brothers, the CW network, et al.  This is fiction written entirely for entertainment purposes only.  Not mine; don't sue, please. I repeat: not mine.
Summary: If Dean hadn't made the deal, who would he have become?


You see the figure in the distance—tall; strong; lovingly worn leather jacket; short-cropped, dirty-blonde hair; worn and torn jeans—as he draws closer, you can make out the shape of the gold amulet on its black leather chord resting against his chest. You see him approach the bar and seat himself on the stool, outline of a handgun briefly visible at the small of his back as the jacket pulls against his body. It’s definitely him; has to be. 

 
The bartender approaches, she’s young and hot and blond, with big eyes and a shapely figure, low cut blouse exposing her ample cleavage. You anticipate his reaction, expecting to see some of the trademark charm, shameless flirting, boyish sparkle in his eyes, smile that weakened a thousand knees… But there’s something wrong. He doesn’t even lift his eyes, just fixedly at his hands on the counter, mumbles something barely even opening his mouth. The bartender turns away, returning moments later with a glass and a bottle of Jack Daniels. The man pulls some crumpled bills out of his pocket and tosses them on the counter, never really seeing the women in front of him. He pours a glass and starts to drink. That’s when he raises his head and turns towards you. And you see it. His eyes are old, empty. No boyish sparkle; no hint of levity; just cold, barely contained sorrow. He doesn’t smile, and there’s no cocky charm. Just hunched shoulders bearing the weight of the world and eyes that show a soul that has lost all hope. No game face; just naked, exposed, raw grief. What’s going on?
 
***
 
Forget everything you think you know about Dean Winchester. That man you know is dead, long gone; faded away ages ago; he exists only as the legend he would have liked to meet and was always destined to become.
 
This Dean Winchester is a shadow, a living ghost, a hollow shell left behind to wait out the end of the world. Say his name, and he might respond or he might not, his thoughts far off and lost in the pain—pain no longer hiding below the surface, but emanating from him like an aura, preceding him like a harbinger of doom.
 
***
 
Then, he was Dean Winchester, the one and only. Now, he is the one and only Winchester. A subtle distinction, but it makes all the difference in the world. He always knew it would be this way, but he always hoped it wouldn’t. 
 
***
 
Ordinary people fill their wallets with pictures of loved ones, family and friends whose photos they gladly share—a conversation piece for strangers, acquaintances, and kin. Look how much they’ve grown, how much they’ve changed; celebrate their achievements and herald their triumphs.
 
Dean Winchester fills his wallet with pictures of family long gone. Forgotten faces; true stories that only he knows; memories that no one else shares. His pictures are only for private moments of reflection and remembrance. Cherished. Irreplaceable. Intimate. To touch. To see. To smile. To cry. Tucked away again for protection. Shared with no one. The figures, memories, burdens, and regret Dean’s and Dean’s alone.
 
***
 
The Dean Winchester you knew liked pranks and fast food; goofing around and practical jokes.
 
This Dean hates hamburgers with extra onions. Goes silent at the mention of pie. His memories of rock-paper-scissors are haunted by the echo of a single gun shot. And he’ll flinch if he hears you say “jerk.”
 
***
 
Living people celebrate birthdays with family and friends. Spreading and sharing the joy of another year lived and the memories created and experienced.
 
It’s May 2nd and a classic black Impala is parked on a mountain road. Dean sits on the hood, bottle of Jack Daniels in hand, making a silent toast to the setting sun. A long sigh escapes his lips, a single tear rolls down his cheek, and he is reminded of another time when he wasn’t alone, when he had another purpose, when there was another living soul who knew the stories of his life. Dean Winchester’s birthday passes unnoticed, but he always remembers how old Sammy would have been today.
 
***
 
The Dean Winchester of legend took care of Sammy. Every moment, every breath was dedicated to saving, protecting, keeping Sammy safe. Nothing else mattered and nothing ever could. 
 
The shadow that walks the earth today has no one left to take care of, but a memory and a legacy to protect. An unfinished mission—a burden passed on from father to son to brother—it’s not the same, he still failed, in the end he was too late, but maybe he can finish the one thing that brought them so much pain. The Demon took everything from Dean. By taking the Demon’s life, maybe, just maybe, he can atone for his sin; a silent penance to his absent charge; the closest thing to closure this Dean Winchester will ever get.
 
***
 
The Dean Winchester you knew loved kids, he really did. He could always relate to them, understood their fears, knew how to get them to cooperate with minimal pain and fuss, bring them out of the deepest depression, help them to cope with the harsh realities of the cruel world. If he’d ever allowed himself to admit his own dreams, he would have loved to have kids of his own. Every child reminded Dean of himself, of the happy child he had once been; every child reminded Dean of Sammy and the innocence Dean had always wanted to protect.
 
Every child reminds Dean of Sammy; of the light that will never shine in his eyes again, of the promises Dean couldn’t keep, of the baby in his arms as he ran from the fire. You see Dean pass by a playground, his step quickens, shoulders hunch, eyes cast down at the sidewalk, a shudder wracking his body, eyes unable to hide something—fear, you realize. This Dean can’t see hope or futures or promise in the playing children. He sees only pain, regret, loss, and failure; memories of a happy child with curly brown hair, a smile that could light up the darkest corners of your soul, and big round puppy dog eyes that could never be refused; a life long gone, and Dean remembers the beginning and the end and the far too few years in between.
 
***
 
Once upon a time, Dean Winchester and his famous game face could fool anyone, except Sammy of course. You’d see him joking and flirting and insisting he was fine carrying on without a care in the world, and he could be ten seconds from passing out, five seconds from a broken heart, and you’d never know. Dean never let anyone see his pain. No one but Sammy would have known. Ironic really, since it was all to protect Sammy anyway. 
 
You see Dean Winchester walk into a convenience store. He’s inside for about five seconds, and then it’s like a switch is flipped and his walls drop. Faster than you can blink he’s turning, running, fleeing the store, barely shoving the door out of the way. He stumbles blindly around the corner before bending and heaving onto the ground, the shock of it shaking his body. Then he collapses against the wall, sinking to the cold dirty concrete of the alley, sobs wracking his body, pain and tears streaming from haunted eyes. You realize what he saw, the mug shot of Sam Winchester on the wanted poster pinned haphazardly next to the counter, round puppy dog eyes full of annoyance, defiance, and life staring back. Dean shows it all now. He’s having a full-blown flashback in the alley, wakes up drenched in sweat shaking and screaming as he relives the worst minutes of his life every night in his dreams. There’s no point in hiding your pain if there’s no one to hide it from, and Dean has no one left to protect.
 
***
 
Forget everything you know about Dean Winchester because that man is long gone, only his legend and legacy remain. The shadow that walks the earth today will soon fade away; life without a purpose, life without hope is no life at all. But maybe, after he is finished here, he will find rest, peace, and the sense of home he never knew in life.
Tags: angst, au, characterstudy, fic, outsidepov, pg-13, supernatural, tragedy
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 55 comments
Previous
← Ctrl ← Alt
Next
Ctrl → Alt →
Previous
← Ctrl ← Alt
Next
Ctrl → Alt →