Bobby says the moon comes up black these days.
Dean wouldn’t know; he can’t remember the last time he saw sunlight. The last time he stood under open skies or smelt fresh air or felt a cool breeze dance across his skin. Down here, down in the mines, there isn’t really any such thing as time; the days and nights all merge into one long, unending cycle of too much work and not enough haunted sleep, too much pain and not enough food, too much bad and just no good at all but Dean thinks it’s been months. It feels like it’s been years.
It’s really, really not how Dean used to imagine it was going to end for him. It is now.
He doesn’t see Bobby all that much anymore. Sam found him; wrong place, wrong time, unlucky for some, all that bullshit. Sam found him, by chance, and his eyes, those goddamn, mother-fucking eyes that burn in the darkness with the flayed remnants of Sam’s soul, had just lit up. Because Sam had known, like Dean knows, that he’d taken one enormous step forward in his hunt. Find Bobby, find Dean. Just like clockwork.
Except it’s not. Not quite, because Sam can’t crawl his way into the recesses of Bobby’s head the way he can with Dean. He has to rely on what Bobby tells him and, so far, Bobby’s told him jack-shit; Dean knows he has, because if Sam suspected, even for a heartbeat, how narrowly Dean had dodged the bullet, how close he’d been to finding Dean as well that day, he’d have turned these hell-pits upside down and shaken them until Dean fell out. To hell with the consequences.
Except hell is the consequence, so Dean’s not really sure how that all works anymore.
Anyway, Sam can’t find him. Dean’s memory on what happened before gets a little hazy sometimes these days, but that’s the one thing he remembers with absolute clarity. Cas must have said it a thousand times if he said it once; back in the early days, when things had only just started to go haywire and he still used to show up and bail them out every now and again. Sam can’t find him or all hope is lost. Dean isn’t too sure anymore just how much of a hope he’s really representing, especially on those days when it hurts to move and it hurts to breathe and it hurts to think but he’s not quite ready to give up. Not yet anyway, because he never was any good at knowing when to give it up and go home, so he dirties his face and he keeps his head down and he dodges searching, grasping, familiar hands that hunt him in his dreams and he waits. He doesn’t even know what he’s waiting for, exactly, but he figures he’ll know it when he sees it. It’s not like he really has a choice; the world teeters on a precipice these days, held at the whim of a madman, and it’s all Dean’s fault. It’s all because Dean had needed to see his brother give a crap about puppies again so badly he’d ignored every piece of good advice that was thrown at him on his path to making that happen. He did this so now he has to wait and he has to hope.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions, blah-bullshit-blah. This is his fault and that makes it his responsibility. Enough said.
So, he waits, hidden right underneath Sam’s nose, and he looks for that one golden opportunity to make a difference. It’s stupid and dangerous but it’s all he’s got and that alone should make it enough for now. Except it’s not. Dean knows it’s not enough because Bobby says the moon comes up black these days and Dean remembers his lore well enough for that to send a shiver down his spine that’s got nothing to do with the icy cold rock all around him. The clock’s ticking down to the point of no return and Dean knows what that means better than most. Better than he should, really.
And he can only dodge so many bullets before his luck runs out.