The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors (halfshellvenus) wrote,
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors

Supernatural Gen Fiction: On The Strength Of False Promises

Title: On The Strength Of False Promises
Author: HalfshellVenus
Character: Dean (Gen)
Rating: PG
Summary: Dean struggles to accept what he can't change, even as reality shifts out from under his expectations.
Spoilers: Up through mid-Season 3.
Author's Notes: This combines the 60_minute_fics prompt of "Internal Monologue" (which I used in the form of a refrain) and my switch25 prompt of "Wrong."


This is how it's going to be…

His father's voice is so certain when he lays it out for them. There's how other people live and how the Winchesters live. They aren't meant to be the same— won't ever be the same— and there's no use crying about it or trying to change it. There are places to go, things to be done, all of them important but not in the way other people understand.

Dean and Sam need be careful, their father tells them, and they have to watch out for each other. But families don't really need much outside of themselves— so they'd better not get too attached to other people or places. Those things don't last.

Dad never says it can be lonely, always living with secrets. He never mentions that the future includes him leaving the boys alone for days at a time, always wondering if this is finally it, if this is the time he might not ever come back.

This is how it's going to be…

When Sam's sixteen, Dean still has hope that the fighting will stop. He's heard about phases, about teenage rebellion, and he knows he's watching it in action. Surely it'll pass.

But by the time Sam's eighteen, Dean's resigned himself to living in the middle of an unending war. It's clearly more than rebellion by now— it’s stubbornness and clashing personalities, and it goes both ways. Dean's job is to defuse it as much as he can, keep the peace and try to spin that balance out forever.

He never thinks about what'll happen if he fails.

This is how it's going to be…

The car's always too quiet. Even when the music's playing— louder than ever— there's silence underneath.

The rift between Dad and Sam continues, though Sam already left them weeks ago. It's here filling the car, so large now that there's hardly room any more for Dean to breathe. Every thing he says is wrong, and he realizes now that it was only Sam who ever really listened, even if he didn't agree.

Dean's never been so lonely as he is right now, staring at a future with just him and his father and this terrible, gaping hole where Sam should be.

Never has so much space felt so suffocating. Never has making the right choice felt so wrong.

This is how it's going to be…

Sam's back now, and although Dad's not here and Sam's still settling into the groove of things, it'll be good. They'll find their way back to being a family.

Months later, they haven't gotten there yet. Dad's still missing— avoiding them, Dean thinks, and maybe he did something to cause that and Dad's still angry. It's the overriding direction of Dean's life: Sam's already tried to leave a couple of times, acting like Dean's become Dad now and all those same arguments are still going on.

They reach the half-year mark, and Dean's running out of hope that the three of them will ever return to being the family they once were. Sam doesn't want that life anymore— he's even said so— and Dad won't stay. If it comes to choosing, Dean's been happier with Sam than he was with his father. He focuses on trying to get used to this different version of what he can have.

This is how it's going to be…

Dean's heart is frozen.

His father's gone— his life traded for Dean's, and he didn't even ask whether Dean approved of that choice. The answer would have been No.

Dad's gone, and though he said his goodbyes, Dean didn't. Only Dad knew what that conversation was really about.

All those things Dad taught him aren't enough now. Who to be and what to do was different with Dad there looking over his shoulder and keeping Dean firmly within the lines.

Dean knows Sam's hurting over this too, losing Dad. It makes him angry. All those years of fighting and then running away don't add up to the hand-wringing Sam's doing now. Dean can't carry Sam through this, not when he's barely making it on his own.

Not when the secret of Sam's future festers inside him, with the weight of knowing his own responsibilities enough to kill him.

This is how it's going to be…

The clock is ticking.

The days go by faster than ever now, only so much time to enjoy those things that remind him of happiness. It's as close as he'll ever get.

By the time Dean went to the crossroads, he only cared about restoring Sam's life. A year was more than he expected— more than his father got. Sometimes Dean thinks his father's deal would have been easier than his own.

A year is a long time to think about what's coming. It's too short to settle down and live in, those three-hundred-sixty-five days too easily counted off, each date one that Dean will never see again.

Distracting himself with hunting and food and women helps the days and weeks be something more than how long it will take for him to die. That's all Dean can do.

He tries not to notice Sam slipping into the shadows of grief, even months after Dean laid out for him all the reasons there were no options left. Sam will have a future, and that's all that matters. Dean would choose that all again right now.

He's forgotten what it felt like having someone make that choice for him, only a year ago.

He's forgotten that Sam's never believed in doing anything on the strength of Because, especially when there's so much he stands to lose.

-------- fin --------

Tags: 60_min_fics, dean, my_fic, sn_gen, switch_25
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