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Story notes:

I was riding the bus when a plot bunny jumped out and mauled me. Who knew they used public transit? Anyway, this was the result.

Flailed over Lu. All remaining mistakes are mine. Nothing you recognize is or Dean would not be holding back on letting Sam use his powers. Self preservation is a strong drive. And Shawn would probably be on some srs drugs to combat the PTSD I surely give him.

Chapter notes:
This is part of my crossover 'verse with Psych. The rest of the series can be found through links on my profile.

The worst part was how cliché it all was.

He way alone, lying in the woods of some place he couldn't remember the name of just now. It was cold, the warm spring say having turned to a chill spring night with the setting of the sun.

The blood loss didn't help either.

He was dying, the black dog's defiant death strike having ripped a hole in his leg that was emptying his blood on the ground at far too steady a rate.

And all he could think about was clichés and how grateful he was that Sam wasn't here to witness this.

Shawn had needed some help research help on a particularly tough case and since this hunt was just a single black dog, Dean had sent Sam off to help and stayed to take care of the mutt.

Sam would notice, of course, when Dean didn't check in tonight. He'd call his phone and leave messages, beginning with distracted, moving on to annoyed, then finally transitioning to fear. And he'd come and search every inch of this place until he found Dean's body.

That would go badly. Dean had no illusions about that.

But Sam would be okay. He would.

Shawn and Juliet and Bobby—hell, probably even Gus—would look out for him, take care of him, and make sure he was okay until the grief faded enough for him to move on with his life.

“Sorry, Sammy,” he said aloud, coughing and grimacing at the pain the sharp movements sparked. He gasped out a curse for the pain, then panted as he stared upward, blinking as the little starlight he could see began to dim.

“Sorry,” he repeated. “So sorry...”

He could feel the life seeping out of him and he wanted to fight, to man up and Rambo his way back to town where he could get help...

He wanted it, but people in Hell wanted ice water and, as the adage went, that didn't mean they got it.

He coughed out a laugh.

He had personal experience with that particular phrase and even if Hell wasn't all fire and brimstone it was still true.

Screaming until you were hoarse—and then for an eternity more—could really parch your throat, you know?

Sounds began to fade and Dean let his eyes close, the calm void slowly overtaking him.

It was surprisingly peaceful this time, dying was, and he had only the regret that he couldn't tell Sam that.

Sure, it hurt, but so much of his life had been filled with pain that that wasn't anything really. But for the agony burning up his leg and the assorted bruises and scratches and such, he felt acceptance of his situation.

Sam was going to beat himself up over this and Dean hated that, of course. It wasn't Sam's fault. It was just the job.

Thank God for Shawn though. This moment wouldn't be peaceful if not for him.

He wasn't Dean, but he would be close enough.

Dean was middle in chronological age, oldest in mindset, but Shawn was still an older brother to Sam almost. And despite his c'est la vie attitude, he would step up and take Dean's place for Sam.

Knowing that, Dean could die in peace here and now.

He had a moment to hope that saving the world had bought him some brownie points, that he'd be taking the elevator up instead of down this time, but there was nothing to be done about that no so he just breathed out and surrendered to the dark.

Chapter end notes:
Review, plz&thx.

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