Title: The World Has Lost It’s Sway
Rating: FR-15 for Dean’s dirty mouth, mind, and behaviors. And dark material.
Disclaimer: I’m just borrowing them. And to please the lawyers: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Spoilers: Nothing for Buffy. Everything for Supernatural up until 2.15… aired on 2/15. Weird. Specific mentions for Route 666, Provenance, Season 1 Finale/Season 2 premiere, and Croatoan/Hunted/Born Under a Bad Sign, just to be safe.
Summary: Dean Winchester wasn’t that kind of guy. Inspired by Ava’s If You’re Sleeping fanart. Go see the pretties, then read.
AN: This is a crossover, I swear. It’s just not much of one. If you’re so inclined, please leave a review. This is my first foray in this universe, this character, and this type of fic, so let me know if it seems totally OOC.
Dean Winchester wasn’t a picnic-in-the-park, long-walks-on-the-beach, holding-hands-as-we-skip-merryeffingly-along, kind of guy. He wasn’t the kind of guy that wanted to have 2.5 kids, a white-picket fence, a white-collar job, and a mortgage. As he’d told Sam on more than one occasion, he’d kill himself if he had to live a life like that.
So he never formed attachments beyond his immediate family, fellow hunters he could share a drink with, and business arrangements with the occasional ammo supplier. No real emotional ties to anyone beyond his brother and his dad. He learned his lesson after the one time he had “fallen in love”, and even now, thinking about the mess he’d made with Cassie, the mess he’d made of himself, he felt like shooting himself for being such an idiot. But even that could be excused as a combination of youthful folly, curiosity, and Cassie’s smile making him wonder, if only for the briefest period, what the road not taken was like.
That road sucked.
So while Dean had enough experience to know what love was like, and that it turned people into insane idiots, he also knew enough that it wasn’t for him. Sure sex was great, sometimes even fantastic, but there were plenty of hot chicks out there that weren’t looking to settle down, and appreciated a good lay as much as he did. As long as he still had gorgeous good looks (and Dean wasn’t being cocky, simply realistic), and women found themselves unable to keep from throwing themselves at him, he was quite satisfied with the relationship part of his life, thank you, and he wasn’t looking to change that.
But sometimes… sometimes something would happen with Sam or Dad, usually those two bitching at each other, and Dean would remember what it had been like before.
Before the demon, before Mom had burned to death on a ceiling, before their normal lives had been screwed over by the supernatural. Dean would remember family meals, and game night, and Mom reading to him before bed. He’d remember piggy back rides, and learning to read sitting on Dad’s lap, and the way Mom’s laughter sounded like when Dad would tell her about the funny thing that happened at the garage that day.
Over the years, despite trying to hang onto them as tightly as possible, the memories had faded and blurred so much that Dean couldn’t even really be sure what was real memory, and what was made up late at night when he was a kid on the road, wishing his life was just a bad nightmare.
He couldn’t ask Dad, ‘cause Dad never, ever, talked about before. And Sammy… Sammy had to learn what little he did know about their mom from Dean, and Dean had to have information pried out of him by little Sammy before he’d give anything up. Partly because it always hurt so freaking much to talk about Mom, but mainly because he wanted to keep her to himself, somehow feeling that every part of her he gave to Sammy was a part he’d lose. So he only told Sammy stories when the kid was being particularly obnoxious and only when Dad wasn’t around. Dean knew better than to ask his dad, and in that regard knew better than Sammy, though by the time Dean hit high school, Sammy knew better too.
In the end, maybe that was really why Sam left. He never knew mom, knew before, and when he got so sick of Dean and Dad understanding each other and him not understanding either of them, he left to find his own before, except this before would be Sam’s after. After the hunt, and growing up on the road, and evil things, and a dad and brother who were insanely bent on revenge at the cost of their own lives.
Dean doesn’t understand how Sam can leave, why Sam doesn’t understand that there is no after for them, that normal went up in flames the night Mom died and they can never get it back.
After he picks Sam up from Stanford, Dean pretends to not understand why Sam would want normal. He makes jokes, and mocks, and points out all the crazy messed up things about normal, and makes it plainly clear what an effed-up life it is.
But Dean never makes fun of Sam’s relationship with Jessica, never mentions Jess’s name, and cuts the crap whenever she’s brought up in conversation. Jess is holy ground to Sam, like Mom is to Dad and him, and Dean knows better than to talk about her.
Because maybe he can’t really remember details anymore, and maybe most of it’s made-up anyway, but the one thing Dean knows for absolute certainty is what it felt like to have normal, what it felt like to have family, and home, and love, and joy.
And Dean knows what it feels like to have had that, and know you can never have it again.
Sam knows it now too, and part of Dean wants to tell him ‘I told you so,’ to yell at him that this is what he and Dad had known all along, that this is what they tried to protect him from, and if only the stubborn idiot would have just listened…
But Dean remembers the sound of mom singing him his favorite lullaby, and the feel of dad swinging him through the air, and he knows that he could never give those memories up, no matter how much they hurt him now. And he knows Sam wouldn’t give memories of Jess up either, even though they’ll probably torment him for the rest of his life.
So Dean shuts his cake-hole about Jessica, and while he’ll mock normal day in and out, and flirt with every cute girl he meets, if only to get a rise outta Sammy, the day Sam meets a girl that doesn’t run screaming at the harsh reality of the weird, and can make Sam pull himself out of his depression, Dean tells Sam to marry her and he’s only half joking.
But Sam’s not over Jess, and Dean understands that even though he’ll never admit it, so they move on after the haunted painting is taken care of, and after a while Dean doesn’t mention Sarah anymore either.
Then they find Dad.
They find out what killed mom, what killed Jess, and they find out a way to kill it. And for one brief moment, even though he ruthlessly shoved that tendril of hope down every time it wormed its way up, Dean wonders what will happen after. After the demon’s dead, and Dean can finally face Mom’s grave and tell her he kept his promise, and the thought scares the shit out of him, because Dean never planned on another after, and he doesn’t know if he could survive after.
But Dean remembers home and love and family and normal, and the want is so strong it almost makes him double over.
Then Dad dies.
And that hope that he tried to squash, but still managed to find root anyway, gets ripped away from him, and Dean wonders how much more he can take before he does off himself. Dad telling him that he might have to kill Sam, little Sammy who’s all he has left now, and the knowledge that dad is probably burning in hell to save him adds levels of pain he can’t even express, and he actually catches himself looking at his arsenal and considering…
No. NO. Sam needs him. Really, really needs him if what dad said was true, and Dean’s not going to leave his little brother all alone, and just hand him over to that son-of-a-bitch. Not after what that thing’s done to him. Not after what dad did to make sure he stayed here.
So Dean buries the pain, and the memories, and the wants, like he always does, and he jokes and kids and smiles to make Sammy laugh, or at least unwind a bit, and he tries to do a job he knows he’s not good enough to do, and wonders what the hell whatever god, fate, or destiny, was smoking when they decided that he, Dean Winchester, was the person for this job.
Because, even though Dean’s not the kind of guy to take a girl on the picnic, or wear a suit and tie to a job he hates, just so he can pay the mortgage on the house his 2.5 kids live in…
Deep down, Dean thinks he was supposed to be. That some cosmic screw-up happened and his destiny got crossed with the real guy who was suppose to save Sam and dad’s souls, kill the Demon, and stop Armageddon. And Dean watches as everything he cares about is taken away, one piece at a time. He watches as the world gets darker and evil gets stronger and the weight he carries gets heavier, and all he wants is to not be here, not be this person, not live in a world like this.
And everyday, there’s a nagging, hounding, terror that he can’t shake loose, this fear that he’s going to live to see the world end and evil win, and it will all be his fault.
Maybe, he thinks, that’s why he invented her.
Maybe, all the pressure has finally made him crack, and he’s lost just enough marbles to deal with all the shit that’s happened to him, but still function in the real world.
Because Dean’s not the long walks on the beach kind of guy, so why he’d keep dreaming of walking along a beach with some girl he’s probably never met and doesn’t exist, makes no sense unless he’s a few fries short of a Happy Meal.
At least, that’s how they’d started, the night he and Sam burned dad, and Dean got so drunk he could have killed himself. Somewhere between passing out in their hotel and waking up with Sam handing him a glass of water, Dean had gone somewhere else.
It was quiet in that place; the ocean murmuring as the waves gently lapped the shore. He had been barefoot, could remember the feel of the sand between his toes, a cool wind in his face, and the sight of the sun obscured by clouds setting over the ocean. He had walked without any thought or purpose, a peace and calm, that in the morning he’d attribute to the vodka, settling over him as he ambled aimlessly along.
Then he saw her.
She was standing far away from, wearing a loose white sundress, blonde hair gently swaying behind her as she stared over the ocean, not moving. It had seemed to take forever to reach her, and no time at all, and then he was standing next to her and she was turning to look at him.
The dream had that same hazy, unreal quality that all dreams had, but Dean could swear he could remember every detail of her face, from the slope of her cheek, to the green of her eyes and the tears that had been streaming down them. He had brushed her tears away, and she had wiped his before he had even realized they were there. Then she had folded into him, and he had held her as they both cried, falling to their knees in the sand.
Then when another eternity that didn’t take any time at all had passed, she had pulled back, given him a smile that took his breath away, and intertwined her hand in his. They had gotten up and continued his trek down the shore until the alarm yanked Dean out of his sleep and into the land of killer hangovers.
He didn’t dream of her every night, or even every week after that, but every time he did it felt like someone had taken away all his burdens and all the shit that had been laid on him, and let him be someone else for just a little bit. Every time he saw her, it felt like being released out of hell and sent to heaven on a day pass. Somehow, he knew her, had always known her, and seeing her felt like all the missing pieces of his worn, battered soul being restored. It felt like coming home.
She never talked and neither did he. They would just walk along a shore leaning into one another, or sit on a swing in the middle of a cool oasis surrounded by desert, or fall asleep on a clovered hill. Dean’s favorite dreams were the ones where they’d just lay on the hill, underneath the shade of trees and watch the clouds go by; her head next to his, and Dean would dream that he’d sleep with the sound of leaves murmuring in the wind, the smell of her hair around him, and the feel of her warmth next to him.
Those were the ones that not even his alarm could break him out of, and Sammy would have to shove him with his foot to bring Dean out of it, jerking himself back into the harsh light of day, the smell of vanilla and the feel of warmth fleeing away, leaving him to snarl at Sam who would just offer to go get the coffee.
So no, Dean Winchester wasn’t the kind of guy who’d take long walks on the beach, or have picnics in the park, or ever settle down and have normal, whatever that was. He was the guy that flirted and made a pass, and never stayed past early morning. He was the guy who rolled his eyes and got sick whenever any mushy-touchy-feely-crap got shoved in his face, and would have laughed his ass off if anyone suggested actually doing what he did in his dreams.
He was a hunter, and a damn good one. He killed evil things, he saved people, and he was gonna stop that evil sonofabitch that had burned his mom. He would save Sammy. He would. And when that yellow-eyed bastard was nothing more than a smoking pile of ash, Dean Winchester would still be around, would still be hunting evil things, saving people, and generally carrying on the family business.
And if Sam noticed Dean sleeping more, or if he realized that as much as Dean still flirted, he never brought any girls back with him anymore; Sam just chalked it up to their dad’s death, and the stress of the job taking its toll. If he noticed Dean watching couples holding hands as they walked, or children playing on the playground, well, whatever Dean was thinking, he certainly wasn’t wishing for a normal life, or a girlfriend, or a family.
Because Dean Winchester wasn’t that kind of guy.