Cope

Suppose that Sam had stayed in Hell and that Swan Song was the end of the show. What would’ve happened to Dean? (Or) Dean learns to cope with the loss of his brother with the help of Lisa and Ben. *Alternate Universe Competition Honorable Mention*

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1. Cope

It’d been three months since Dean showed up at Lisa’s place and she got him a beer.

Three months since the cemetery.

Three months since Sammy di-. Dean couldn’t even think the words. He huddled into the couch where he slept and held back tears at the thought of his brother dy-. He just shook his head. Unable to actually accept what had happened.

~

Lisa walked up to Dean, sitting at the kitchen table across from him. “Sam died, didn’t he?” she asked and Dean set down his beer, looking away.

“Lisa, please, don’t,” he said, his voice shaking.

Her eyebrows ferried together. “Just tell me, please.”

“He died the night I came here,” Dean told her after a moment of hesitation. She could see the tears in his eyes. “That’s all you need to know.”

~

Lisa went out to a bar with her friends like she does every Friday. They were aware that she was in a relationship with a man named ‘Dean’, but she hadn’t introduced him to anyone yet. She had made sure that her Wednesday book club with the same group of friends was always somewhere other than her place because she didn’t want to make Dean uncomfortable.

He hadn’t left the house since he showed up. Hell, he’d barely left the couch other than to get more beer so he could drink his sorrows away.

“So, when are you going to bring Dean out to meet us,” Polly, one of her friends, asked.

Lisa shook her head. “I’m not sure if now is a good time for you to meet him.”

Her friends made a face. “You’ve been saying that for the past three months,” Jen stated and Lisa just shrugged.

“What’s wrong with him?” Lace asked.

Before Lisa could say anything, Jen added, “Yeah, is he ugly? Or it some sort of deformity? We won’t stare, promise.”

“No,” Lisa said, shaking her head again. “It’s nothing like that. He’s just not in a good place right now.” Lisa thought of the lie she had planned to tell her friends. “He’s a war vet, and just got back right before he came to stay at my place. He’s still really shaken up about it.”

That shocked all her friends. They hadn’t expected that.

~

Lisa walked into the kitchen four months after Dean showed up and saw a sight that shocked her. Dean was standing in front of the stove with a thing of eggs cooking in a pan.

He turned when he noticed her out of the corner of his eye. “Good morning,” he said with a small grin. Lisa opened her mouth to respond but nothing came out. After another moment, he said, “You hungry?” She nodded and sat down at the fully set table, still not sure what to say. “Ben said he’d be down after he gets dressed for school. Then we can all eat together.”

Dean scooped some eggs onto each of the plates on the table and then rinsed the pan and put it into the sink. He grabbed some oven mitts from the drawer by the sink and went and took the bacon out of the oven, setting it onto the stove.

“This smells awesome!” Ben called as he ran down the stairs, ready for school.

As her son sat down, she got over her shock. “This looks amazing, Dean, thank you.”

He smiled at her for the first time in a while. “No problem, it’s the least I could do for you guys since you took me in and all.”

~

Dean’s alarm to make everyone breakfast went off at seven A.M. and he got up, seeing Lisa already in their bathroom getting ready. He walked up behind her and kissed her neck softly as he was putting on her makeup. They both smiled and then Dean headed to the kitchen to make breakfast.

As everyone was sitting, Dean made an announcement.

“I’m thinking of getting a job,” he said and the others looked at him in worry. “Not that type of job,” he added quickly. “I was thinking something more in the lines of  construction since, you know, I’m legally dead and all and they don’t do as extensive of background checks.”
“That’s be cool,” Ben said and Dean reached over and ruffled his hair, causing everyone to chuckle.

“Yeah, I hope it will be.”

~

The first time Dean had a nightmare with Lisa and Ben in it, he tried to leave in the middle of the night, but Lisa had stopped him. It had taken weeks to get the thought of Yellow-Eye’s feeding Ben his blood and Lisa burning on the ceiling out of him mind, and had taken many drives to clear him head and they barely worked.

~

“My friends want to meet you,” Lisa said after she got back from dropping Ben off at school. “They’ve wanted to meet you for months now and-.”

“We can do that,” Dean said, cutting her off. “I’ll meet them, if you want me to,” he said, giving her a pointed look.

Lisa smiled and nodded. “That’d be fantastic. It’d get them off my back for a while.”

Dean’s work alarm went off and Lisa gave him a kiss goodbye, telling him that this weekend there was a neighborhood BBQ and her friends would be there.

He told her that he wouldn’t miss it for the world and then hopped into his truck and headed to work.

~

“I’m Sid,” a man said, walking up to Dean and passing him a beer.

“Dean,” he replied, sizing the stranger up, before assessing him not a treat. At least, no one that he couldn’t handle.

“So, I haven’t seen you here before. Where do you live?” Sid asked and Dean pointed at his house down the street.

“I live with Lisa and Ben Braedan,” he stated.

Sid gave him a look. “Brother, cousin, boyfriend, fiancé…”

“Boyfriend,” Dean said, clarifying.

“Ah, so how long have you been together?” the neighbor asked and Dean thought back.

“Hmmm, I’d say it’s been about seven months since I started living there, and we weren’t really a couple before I moved in,” Dean explained. “I just needed a place to stay and I thought of Lisa and she let me in.” He smiled at the memory of how kinda and gentle Lisa had been when he first got there. She hadn’t pushed him for any information, and when she did, it was very little she wanted to know.

“Where did you live before that?” Sid asked and Dean thought back to the lie he and Lisa agreed on.

“I was in the army.”

Sid looked like he didn’t expect that answer. “For how long.”

Dean chuckled. “Hell, it feels like I’ve been in it my whole life. When I got done with my last tour, I, uh, didn’t think I was capable of living on my own since I never have.”

“Who’d you live with before? Sorry if I’m pushing, I’m just curious,” Sid apologized.

“No, its fine. I’ve always lived with my brother or my dad, but my father died a few years back and then my brother not that long ago and the only person I had left, my step father, well, he had a completely different life than what I wanted so I found a new place.” Dean said more than he thought he would, but everything he said was honest. Even the next part.

“What happened to your brother?” Sid asked gently.

“He died in the line of duty.”

~

Dean spent his time fixing up his new/old truck with the help of Ben; Baby laid under a sheet in the garage, nearly forgotten and holding his leather jacket, his father’s journal, and all Dean’s things for keeping the world safe.

They’re all a family, he supposes. Him and Lisa might not be married, and Ben might not be his, but they do family things together. Play board games, go to the movies, celebrate holidays, and even go on walks together. He loves it, having a family again.

He would spend time with Sid at Jonesy’s Bar and Grill, ranting to him about his work day and coworkers, and sometimes, Lisa and Ben.

Sid would take him turn and rant about his own job, and his wife, and the Glickman’s annoying Yorkie that never shuts up and night. Dean offered to shoot the Yorkie, and then the two off them laughed.

~

Lisa spent her time either working, socializing with her friends, or hanging out with her family.
Yes, Dean was part of her family now, and she knows that Dean feels the same way about her and Ben.

She loved Dean and all the things wrong with him. She loved how he kept them safe with the rugs with devil traps under than, or the shot gun and holy oil he kept under their bed. Every night since he got to her house, no matter how big of a wreak he’d been, she would watch him lock all the doors at night and looks out the window for threats. He would even check in on Ben before falling asleep.

He helped her take care of the house, doing things like mowing the yard and keeping it green, making breakfast and grilling out, sometimes even helping with the grocery shopping.

For all of Dean’s good qualities, there were some things about him that bothered her; but she still loved him.

She bet that Dean still doesn’t know that he talks about Sam in him sleep; or that he cries out during his nightmares.

At first, she thought the nightmares were about the things that he’d hunted and fought. Things like ghosts, ghouls, demons, and other monster’s that he’d told her about.

Then the screaming started.

He started shouting for Sam. For Cas.

~

When Lisa approached him on who Cas was, Dean had smiled bigger than she had wished.

“Cas,” he said, the smile plastered on his face. “Cas is fantastic. A little…old fashioned…but…amazing,” he said with awe.

Lisa hesitated before she spoke. “And you know her from...”
“Him,” Dean corrected. “It’s short for Castiel, but I haven’t called him that in years. He’s just ‘Cas’. And he’s someone that I worked with, you know, fighting monsters and such. He was probably the most badass person I ever met.”

“How so?” Lisa asked, hoping that she wasn’t pushing the limit.

Dean chuckled. “He fought with this dagger that his father created, and he had powers. He could touch you like this,” Dean touched his pointer and middle finger to Lisa’s forehead for a second before continuing, “And would would be healed. It’s why I look the way I do. Before he healed me, I had so may scars I barely had any skin left to show.” Lisa didn’t know if he was over exaggerating or not.

“Then how do you still have this?” She asked, touching his shoulder where the hand print was.

“That’s…not the type of mark that you can get rid of,” he said, trying to explain. “That was caused by…well…it’s really hard to explain…”

“How did it happen?” Lisa asked. Ever since she first saw it, she’d been more than curious. “Whose hand is it? Some monster or whatever it is that you used to be fighting?”

Dean took a deep breath. Apparently this hadn’t been the right subject to touch. She should’ve guess, since she wasn’t allowed to touch it full on either. He had recoiled and almost fallen off the bed when she had pressed her hand to the print for the first time.

“You know what, never mind,” she said and Dean grabbed her wrist before she could get off the couch.

“I was in Hell,” he explained. “I won’t tell you what happened there other than it was horrible, but Cas came down, and he saved me. He brought me back to life, and he left this mark on me. I couldn’t get rid of it even it I wanted to. It’s apart of me now, and I want it to be.”

~

Dean was home on his day off, Lisa was at work and Ben was at school. As he was doing the dishes from breakfast, there was a slight breeze that he felt on the back of his neck. “Hi, Cas,” he said without turning around. It was the first time the angel, or any being of the supernatural, had visited, and it had been over a year since the graveyard, but the feeling when Castiel would appear was unforgettable.

“Hello, Dean,” the familiar, deep voice responded.

Dean turned around and saw the trench-coated man who looked the same as ever. “What brings you to Cicero, Indiana?” he asks, keeping it casual.

“Just checking in on you. Making sure you’re okay,” Cas said and Dean smiled.

“Cas, I’m fine. Hell, I’m better than fine. I’m happy.”

“That’s all I needed to hear. Goodbye, Dean.” With that, the angel disappeared in a gust of wind.

Dean smile once again, and turned back around to finish doing the dishes.


Fin

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