Title: A little secret
Fandom: Supernatural
Disclaimer: Honestly, if I owned these characters, would I be writing fan fic about them? Supernatural belongs to Eric Kripke.
Rating: G
Word count: 998
Archive: Anywhere, just give credit where credit is due
Feedback: Yes, please! Send all comments to purenightshade@gmail.com
Summary: An answer to why Dean’s eyes bled in the episode ‘Bloody Mary’. It immediately follows the ending. The first couple of lines of dialogue are taken directly from the ending of the episode itself.
Author’s notes: Emily is just someone I made up for the purposes of this plot bunny fic.

“Hey Sam?”

“Yeah?”

“Now that this is all over, I want you to tell me what that secret is,” Dean said to his younger brother as they drove off, leaving Toledo.

“Look…you’re my brother and I’d die for you, but there are some things I need to keep to myself,” he said and then looked out the window. As they drove past a street corner, Sam saw Jessica, wearing a white dress, standing next to a light pole. As they turned the corner, she disappeared behind the pole. Dean saw Sam looking out of the window. “You see something interesting? That Taverna over there, perhaps?”

“No, it’s nothing. Just my mind playing tricks on me.”

“Promise me that you’ll get some sleep tonight.”

Sam smiled. “I’ll see what I can do about that.”

They drove in silence for a few hours before Sam’s curiosity got the better of him. “Dean, I have to ask. After you smashed that mirror and Mary crawled out of the frame, your eyes bled didn’t they?”

“Yeah, so?”

“Why? What dark little secret are you hiding?”

“Let me put it this way Sam. You tell me yours and I’ll tell you mine.”

“You know I’m not going to.”

“There we go.”

“Come on Dean! You almost never talk about yourself and how you feel about things. You’re due for a good gut spilling.”

“What do I look like, a guy in a cheesy chick flick? I don’t think so. Until you tell me your secret, I’m not telling you mine. Got it?”

Sam shrugged and looked out the passenger side window. “Sure. Whatever, Dean.”

They didn’t talk after that, not until they reached the next town where they decided to stop for the night in a cheap motel. They grabbed dinner from a nearby convenience store and ate it in their room. True to his promise to try, Sam was asleep not long after he turned the lights out. Dean, on the other hand, lay wide awake, running a particular event over and over in his mind.

There’s no way I can ever tell Sam about this, he thought, rolling over to face the wall. I can’t tell anyone about this, not ever. I made a mistake and she died because of it, because of my arrogance at thinking that I could do that job on my own.

He sat up and put his head into his hands. I thought I knew how to take that thing down, thought that I could be the big hero and save the girl. I made a mistake and nearly died myself. I was too late to keep her from dying. She’d lost too much blood by the time I got to her. All I could do was to hold her in my arms until the end. I’d never done that before and I hope I never have to again. I couldn’t stand to watch the life drain out of someone else’s eyes like that.

He flopped back down to the mattress. On the plus side, I know how to kill those things now and I learned a few other things that saved other lives, but that doesn’t make Emily’s death hurt any less. It doesn’t ease my guilt at all. Sam wouldn’t understand about any of this. He’s never gone out hunting on his own. He’s only ever been with me or with dad. He’s never had to make the kind of life and death decisions I made that day and continued to make on the few occasions that dad let me take a job on my own. No, dad’s the only person who could possibly understand, but I can’t even tell him, not even now years after the fact.

He rolled over to look at Sam. Sam’s advice to Charlie to forgive herself for her boyfriend’s suicide…I told him it was good advice. It still is, but I don’t want forgiveness. I don’t deserve it for what I did. Emily is dead now, but her memory is a constant reminder to me to not let my pride and arrogance get in the way of doing my job properly.

Feeling a little better about things, he fell asleep. During the night, he relived the minutes before Emily’s death, how he’d kissed her after she confessed that she’d never experienced her first kiss and other things that she’d never get to do. The dream was different from what had really happened, though. In reality, she’d died not long after he’d kissed her. In the dream, she smiled up at him after the kiss and told him that he shouldn’t beat himself up for not being able to save her. She said she was at peace and that he should forgive himself.

The next thing he knew, it was morning and Sam was sitting on his bed, looking at him.

“Interesting dreams?” he asked by way of greeting.

Dean rubbed his face. His eyes felt gritty and his mouth felt fuzzy. “Sort of. Is there any coffee yet?”

“No. I only woke up ten minutes ago. You looked like you were about to wake up yourself, so I waited. I figured that we could catch breakfast on the way out of town, a breakfast that didn’t come from a convenience store.”

“That sounds really good, actually,” Dean said, his stomach rumbling plaintively. He got up, tossed on a set of clean clothes and then the two brothers headed off. Both of them were feeling better than they had in a while. Sam felt more like a human being than he had since Jessica’s death because he’d finally had a night free from nightmares about it. Even though he knew in his head that it had been just a dream, Dean couldn’t help but feel a little better about his little secret. After a hot meal, he was feeling back to his normal self and even let Sam drive for a while on the way to their next job.