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Title: The Fire Now or the Fire Later
Fandom: Supernatural
Genre: Gen
Rating: PG
Summary: He was here to protect Sammy and for no other reason
Spoilers: All Hell Breaks Loose, Part 1 (spec only for Part 2)
Note: Just an idea I had kicking around, pre AHBL and I thought I'd try to fit to canon. Many thanks to my kickass beta, themoononastick, who has written an infinitely better, heartbreakingly good fic inspired by the finale. That you should go read right now. *nods*

From the moment his father had thrust his baby brother into his arms and he'd carried him out of the burning house to safety, Dean knew he'd die protecting his brother. He would die for Sammy, over and over, if he could and the knowledge fueled him. It was his one constant. He was here to protect Sammy and for no other reason.

But somehow it was Dean who kept dying. He'd already cheated death twice, had other people make deals for his soul, had other people die in his place. Each day was numbered, marked. Borrowed time. When it happened again, he'd be ready. There would be no more deals.

He made Sammy swear, when the day came, not to bury him. He didn't want to come back again as some thing. Didn't want to ever have Sammy dig him up, to douse his rotting remains with salt and gasoline and watch the fire consume his bones so he could finally be at peace. He'd heeded the Reaper's words well. He couldn't become what he'd hunted.

He'd been the one to wrap Dad in stolen sheets, to build the pyre. It was the fire now or the fire later and Dean only had the heart for now.

Sammy hadn't protested, hadn't argued for a real burial. But if it had been up to Sammy, Dad would be lying right next to Mom’s empty grave with a headstone that read "Loving Father" or some other meaningless, dime-a-dozen sentiment.

He'd gone to Dad's grave, the fake one in the world the Djinn had dreamed up for him. He'd shed tears, the way you're supposed to, and he'd talked to the dead, but he was only talking to himself.

He'd wanted to take the crossroads demon's trade, wanted to have Dad back more than he wanted to go on breathing air but life wasn't life if it was a cheat. And yet, the demon said, Dad could come back, even now. Fire wasn't enough. Death wasn't death.

He hated Dad for taking the damn deal, for giving in, for bargaining. He didn't know if it was devotion or contempt that prevented him from making the same deal Dad made. But deep down, he knew. It was weakness that stopped him; he’d never be as strong as his father.

He'd stayed behind in Oregon, ready with a bullet for Sam, and one for himself, if it came to that. He'd left a note for Bobby on what to do with their bodies. But Sammy had been fine and Dean had pocketed the note. He knew, no matter what Sammy was or what he became, he couldn't ever kill his own brother. All his life, he'd been carrying Sammy and nothing on earth would stop that.

Sam was heavier now, in death. Too heavy for Dean to carry on his own, but he managed, somehow, to drag him out of the Impala and onto the pile of kindling he'd spent the last two hours building.

He left Bobby sleeping back at the motel with the same note, adding only where to find them both. The instructions were the same, except Dean would take care of Sammy first.

He sat with Sam and winding sheet, the gasoline and the match, but he couldn't bring himself to do it.

Even in death, he was failing Sammy. He was failing Dad.

Fire wasn't fire, he told himself. Death wasn't death. Sammy wasn't Sammy but if that was so than Dean wasn't Dean.

His time, this dishonestly purchased time, was nearly done.The sun was coming up and Bobby would have read that note by now.

Dean watched the sun rise and then he carried Sam back to the car. He knew now he couldn't bargain for Dad's life but he would for Sam's.

"You understand, Dad," he said out loud, because talking to Dad made as much sense as talking to Sam. "It's Sammy."

If this was weakness, then he was a weak man. Dean didn't really give a fuck about that anymore.



( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 17th, 2007 08:13 pm (UTC)
Oh, Dean!

I love the title and how it worked in the fic and how Dean's life is protecting Sam and then the entire ending with the note to Bobby and everything coming into full circle.

I love it!
May. 18th, 2007 01:04 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm so pleased you liked it, especially the title and the circularity of it. I started with the idea of Dean wanting a funeral pyre for himself and went from there. And oh Dean is right. *sniffles*
May. 17th, 2007 09:21 pm (UTC)
Oh, my heart. If it's already breaking now, how much worse is it gonna be tomorrow?

"You understand, Dad," he said out loud, because talking to Dad made as much sense as talking to Sam. "It's Sammy."


Damn all these talented people on my flist who can make me cry and hurt with just a few well-chosen words.
That was all kinds of fabulous, hon. You know I'm expecting you to keep me hurting and angsting like this about these boys (or the other ones) all summer, right? :)

May. 18th, 2007 01:07 am (UTC)
Aww, I can't break them as good as Kripke or teh Moon but I tried! (And it's my first non-crossover SPN fic!)

I would love to write them more, so thank you for the encouragement, hon! ♥
May. 17th, 2007 11:22 pm (UTC)
Sam was heavier now, in death. Too heavy for Dean to carry on his own,

That line just gets to me. As does this one:

His time, this dishonestly purchased time, was nearly done.

So simple but SO effective. *wells up* I really like this, hon, sad and tragic though it is, it has an amazing atmosphere to it. Excellent stuff.

(Also? *mwah* Thanks for the rec, you are too kind.)
May. 18th, 2007 02:55 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much hon, for the encouragement and for betaing on the fly! :)

(And yours killed me so I am more than happy to rec it. If "happy" can come into proximity when discussing such a heartrending fic!)
May. 18th, 2007 03:43 pm (UTC)

May. 18th, 2007 09:42 pm (UTC)
Aww. *snuggles* Thank you for reading, hon!
May. 18th, 2007 04:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is perfectly Dean and damn beautiful, in that heart-tugging way that fits the mood of the finale so well.

Wonderfully written. :)
May. 18th, 2007 09:43 pm (UTC)
Oh thank you! I wasn't at all sure about this one but I just wanted to get it out there. ♥
May. 18th, 2007 05:49 pm (UTC)
OK, tell me you hadn't read any spoilers....

I'd just stopped meeping and flailing from the episode, you've set me off again now... *sobs*
May. 18th, 2007 09:44 pm (UTC)
Just a few hints! ;) This really started with the idea of the funeral pyre, even before AHBL1 and then it seemed like the perfect way to write it, finally.

And aww, sorry to get you going again! Thanks for reading!
May. 21st, 2007 11:53 pm (UTC)
finally, it pretty much went this way! of course Dean could not leave his Sam dead. the note to Bobby breaks my heart, and seeing how Bobby loves them, it would have broke his heart. greatly done!
May. 22nd, 2007 04:55 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank you, hon! Bobby is such an integral part of their lives now and I love that. Thanks for reading this one and I'm so pleased you liked it! :)
May. 24th, 2007 12:30 am (UTC)
Jun. 2nd, 2007 05:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :) (LJ has been awful about notifications, so sorry for the late reply!)
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:43 am (UTC)
Ohhh, darling...

Poor Dean...

*Shuddering sigh*

*Wipes away a tear...*

*hugs you*
Oct. 13th, 2007 04:57 am (UTC)
Oh wow, I didn't see this comment until now! Thanks so much!

*hugs back*
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )


Josh Maggie hug by _jeudi

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    I know you wrote this like a billion years ago in internet time, but I just stumbled upon this and OMG, best thing ever! Hilarious!! He is such a young bb here. The hair is truly horrendus! I…
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    Eeeeks, this was so cute!!! :DDD I love them together and though I would've preferred more cuddling, I still am pleased with the ending!!
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