Genre: gen, character work, 11x02 "Form and Void" tag
Characters: Dean (POV), Sam, Jenna
Word Count: ~770
Summary: Dean likes Jenna. She's funny and un-demure and she must be tough as nails, because she's rocking that baby like the casbah, even though it's gotta pull her stitches every time.
Then she's gone.
Game plan for the day? Private chauffeur, mostly. Jenna makes a joke about serial killers on Uber.
Jenna's funny, he'll give her that. She's funny and un-demure and she must be tough as nails, because she's rocking that baby like the casbah, even though it's gotta pull her stitches every time. They're not exactly Dean's best work.
Dean lets her do most of the crowd-working. He's with it enough to kill some evil sons of bitches (except Sam said don't), but not to hold a conversation. Fuck, he already misses Sam.
And he feels really, really demented, because loathe though he is to admit it, this is all happening a little too fast for him. It feels like he's perpetually eating shit, tripping over basic life functions like a rogue bowling ball.
Because okay, 'ferry baby away from zombie apocalypse' is pretty basic, and he can still feel it getting away.
Even Crowley's pretty basic. Dean feels like the guy abandoned slippery mind games years ago; he's being disturbingly honest about the exact what-and-wherefore of Hell's inroads with the shittier nuns. Dean should be able to fucking handle this. As long as he doesn't slaughter anything this is Day 1 of working himself out of the red. Just net zero and call it a win.
Then somehow Grandma ends up dead, and Little Red Riding Hood killed her, and somehow Dean's walk of shaming it back to Sam without a baby. Oh, and he got a girl's soul eaten. He didn't even have the decency to let her get killed like a normal victim; he got her soul eaten by Darkness. Literally.
It wasn't his knife, sure. But netting zero isn't good enough.
Dean rests his head against the lid of the trunk as it sails open and counts to three.
He has the decency to burn the bodies.
By the time he arcs back to Superior, Dean's pretty sure he wants to climb back into that pothole. But Sam looks like a hole, like complete shit, so Dean forbids himself from wallowing. At some point, he figures, he needs to stop fucking up.
He starts by handing Sam a packaged sub--approved organic. No sense risking the rabies by eating whatever Soylent Superior's got on the menu.
Step two, that conversation thing.
(Jenna had deserved better from him.)
After he demolishes the sub, and shorthands how his day went, Sam says, So... Before the Darkness.
It's not a secret, Dean says immediately. They don't keep those anymore.
What do you mean? Sam asks.
What I did, Dean non-explains. What I did--none of that's secret. I know it, Cas knows it, you definitely know it. It's not a secret, and there's nothing to tell. So just--
But you can't 'just'-- Sam starts.
Oh, I'm sure justice will figure something out eventually. I have complete faith in her creativity.
Dean glides the Impala down the offramp, and Sam's face twists. Dean snatches a glance at the way the skin stretches taut over Sam's knuckles, and he sighs.
What I mean is, this is not a burial. You don't bury stuff--like that. You can't. But I also can't--look, I know me. And I can't-- I can't--
Dean grimaces. I'm just asking for some time, he says.
Sam doesn't argue the point, and Dean knows it's not his scintillating powers of persuasion.
Deep down, Sam can't do this, either. They go in raring for that kind of... emotional archaeology or whatever, it will bury them both. What Dean's done will bury them if they give it half a chance.
Just stay above the waterline, Dean thinks. Be the guy who can joke about serial killers ten minutes after doomsday.
That much is on you, Dean thinks. At least that much. And for once it's a responsibility he feels privileged to hold. (I'm sorry, Jenna.)
It's like this, Dean says, and Sam's eyebrows perk--like he'd figured their conversation was dead in the water, at least 'til state lines.
Dean continues: When you brace yourself for rock bottom and that hit don't come, what's the one thing you don't do?
Look down, says Sam.
Sam rolls his neck, like it's got a kink in it. And he says, I hear you.
All right. So let's find a pen and dust off that win column, huh?
Sam chuffs. Way ahead of you, buddy. Fire cure, remember? Hit me with your best shot.
Don't fuck up, Dean thinks. That quota's long filled.
I dunno, Dean says. I'm pretty sure sandwich trumps fire cure. That was a foot-long Italian, man.
Then he says, Hey, we still got that Clash tape in here somewhere?