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Solitary

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There’s nothing that needs to be said; it’s all been said before, with looks and touches and actions, if not with words. So Dean just keeps his eyes on Sam and Sam keeps his eyes on Dean, for as long as they can, until they can’t anymore.

Dean is roughly shoved into a tiny, grey, windowless cell, stumbling hard and only catching himself with a hand on the cold, concrete wall. When he turns back to the door, Mr. Six-Grand-By-Saturday is standing there, watching him with a satisfied little smirk.

“Hope you don’t mind solitude, Winchester.”

Then the door is slammed shut with a loud bang.

Dean doesn’t look around to explore what little his new home has to offer. There will be plenty of time for that later, when Dean starts to get bored: only then will he acquaint himself with every square inch of the cell, measure it in steps and hands and fingers, memorize the patterns in the concrete. No reason to start early and deprive himself of what will be his main source of entertainment and distraction.

Two short steps carry Dean over to the narrow cot. He lies down, folds his hands under his head, crosses his legs at the ankles and stares at the ceiling.

The cell is silent. Maybe it’s soundproof, maybe there’s just nobody outside. Maybe they locked him up, threw away the key and left.

Dean waits.

He doesn’t have to wait long; they’re never far away.

"Dean," they call out. So many voices, so many faces.

Dad, angry and disappointed that Dean couldn’t follow that one simple order. Sam, suffering one blow of fate after another despite Dean's desperate effort to help, sometimes even because of it. Cas, doomed from the moment he first touched Dean to raise him from perdition. Ellen and Jo, blown apart on a mission that Dean failed to complete. Benny, bracing himself for Dean’s machete, resigned to the fact that he will never come first. Charlie, paying the ultimate price for being Dean’s friend. Bobby. Pamela. Kevin. Frank. Countless friends lost, countless innocent people left to die, countless souls tortured.

Dean can feel them drawing closer, overcrowding the already cramped space. He doesn't move because there's no running away from them. He doesn't cover his ears to block out what they're saying to him because there's no denying their accusations.

They're all around him now.

A hand is placed on Dean’s shoulder. Very slowly, it slides up his neck to cup his cheek, gentle and intimate. “Don’t worry, grasshopper,” Alastair croons, smiling in encouragement. “We’ll keep you company.”

Dean leans into the familiar touch, accepting the truth of those words. Alastair is never wrong.

They will never leave him alone.