They’ve been walking for an hour, just Dean and this other version of Dean. The terrain is rough — mountainous and scrubby, with ash covering a lot of the trees and ground. Daylight filters through a cloud-covered sky. It’s cold.
Other!Dean already put him through all the tests, seemed to actually believe his crazy story that he’s from another world.
Dean’s impressed: he probably would’ve killed this guy if he’d shown up in Dean’s world. The man is bearded, dirty, gloved and scarfed, more warrior than man. He carries himself with a world-weary sorrow that’s deeper than anything Dean’s ever experienced, and that’s saying something.
Dean wonders what keeps him going.
“Where do you think it is?” Other!Dean asks. They’re climbing now, grabbing onto scrubby bushes to pull themselves up. Grey, greasy ash coats Dean’s hands.
“Purgatory,” Dean says, panting a little to keep up. “We were headed into purgatory to find a Leviathan blossom, whatever the hell that means.”
Other!Dean stops for a moment at the top of a ridge. Dean pulls himself up beside him, stares out at the landscape below. A long, low plain stretches as far as the eye can see, with not a blade of grass or a tree left alive, just dead stalks and stumps.
“What happened here?” Dean asks.
“End of the world,” Other!Dean grunts. “End of the world.”
He turns away, moving quickly along the ridge until he disappears around an outcropping of rock.
Dean struggles to follow. As he rounds the rock he hears water rushing, getting louder as they climb around the next bend, where Dean stops in surprise. A waterfall has created a deep pool just a few feet below the ridge, the water bubbling and foaming, the pool clear and inviting. There’s life here. The trees and shrubs around the waterfall are green. Something’s keeping them alive.
The waterfall is several feet wide and hides whatever’s behind it, but when Other!Dean ducks behind the watery curtain, Dean follows, heart pounding. It occurs to him that he’s being duped, that Other!Dean still plans to kill him.
Dean would. He’s in a foreign world where another version of himself is the only living occupant. Dean’s got every reason to assume he’s being led into a trap.
Sam would agree. Sam would tell him he’s being reckless, that he’s risking his life following this dangerous man into a cave behind a waterfall.
Other!Dean promised to help, to get Dean back where he belongs, and that should be enough to make Dean kill or run for the hills. Why would he ever help himself? Dean would just as soon kill himself. It wouldn’t be the first time.
Behind the waterfall is a deep cavern, almost tall enough for Dean to stand erect. As his eyes adjust to the gloom, he glimpses Other!Dean disappearing around a corner at the back of the cavern, and when Dean rounds the corner, he gasps.
A second cavern appears, larger than the first, with a ceiling so far overhead it’s in shadow. A soft glowing light casts shadows on the cavern walls, its source a flickering fire that warms the space so that it feels almost cozy. A pile of furs and blankets cover the floor of an alcove in one of the cavern walls, and a stone table covered with books and tools occupies the center of the room.
Other!Dean’s voice grabs his attention, but when he looks around, at first he doesn’t see his clone anywhere. Then a movement near the fire catches his eye. A figure sits hunched in front of the flames, a blanket covering his head and body so that only his face and hands are visible.
Dean would know those hands and that face anywhere.
Other!Dean hunches down next to his brother, speaking softly.
“I found him, Sam, just like you said,” Other!Dean murmurs. He looks up, meets Dean’s wide eyes. “He’s here.”
The face Dean loves most in the world looks up at him, and Dean’s heart instantly soars, then sinks just as fast as he realizes this is not his Sam. Scruffy beard notwithstanding, he knows this isn’t Sam, just as surely as he knew he was staring at an alternate version of himself when he first walked into this world. These two brothers belong to each other. Dean’s brother isn’t here.
Other!Sam gazes up at him, clear hazel eyes soft with affection.
“Dean. You’re here.”
“Yeah...” Dean blinks, then glares at Other!Dean. “What’s wrong with him? He looks drugged.”
“It’s the magic,” Other!Dean says. He clears his throat, his ears turn red, and he rubs the back of his neck. Dean knows those tells. Other!Dean’s embarrassed. Feels like he’s failed. “It makes him sick sometimes. Ever since he — he resurrected us. It tires him out, I think.”
“You think?” Dean stares, accusing. “What the hell did you do to him? What’s going on here?”
Other!Dean frowns, rises to his feet and clenches his fists.
“I didn’t do anything to him!” he snaps. “I don’t know how things are in your world, but here we’re the only living creatures left, as far as we can tell, no thanks to Chuck.”
“Chuck left you alive?” Dean clarifies. Alone together in a dead world, his mind adds, grief clenching his gut at the thought of all the lives lost in this world.
Guilt clenches his heart when he adds silently, At least Sammy and me are together.
“Hell, no!” Other!Dean spits angrily. “That wouldn’t be enough entertainment for him. No, he made us kill each other first. That was supposed to be the way this world ended.”
Dean stares, shocked. He thinks back to Sam’s explanations of his visions of Chuck’s endings, how Chuck had made them kill each other in every one. Apparently, those endings happened after all, acted out in other worlds for real.
“So what happened?” Dean can’t hide his own morbid fascination. The thought of killing Sam is so foreign to him, although he vividly remembers almost doing it, back when he had the Mark of Cain.
It makes him shiver even now, all these years later.
“It was Sammy’s plan,” Other!Dean explains. “He armed himself with one of Rowena’s hex bags before we — before we died so he could resurrect. Then he brought me back. He said it was the only way we could get free of Chuck’s power. He used soul magic. Said it was a loophole in Chuck’s plan, making us soulmates. It was something Chuck forgot. Not something he expected.”
Ice water floods Dean’s veins as he imagines holding Sam close, pressing the tip of a blade into his chest, just a little at first, crying the whole time, apologizing and begging for Sam’s forgiveness...
Dean swallows hard, confusion and frustration battling with his instinct to protect Sam, any Sam, even this broken, damaged, magic one.
“So what the hell does this have to do with me?” he demands, gruff and bristling to cover up his confusion. “Can you send me home or not?”
“We can.” Other!Sam nods. “But I need your help first.”
He’s looking up at Dean with those damned puppy-dog eyes, and Dean knows it’s all over. He can’t refuse Sam when he asks for his help, never could. It’s this look that prevented Dean from killing his brother all those years ago in the Cantina in Nebraska, the look that got through to him when nothing else could.
Close your eyes. Sammy, close your eyes!
“Sure, Sammy,” Dean says. “Just tell me what you need.”
“Fuck me,” Sam says, so soft Dean has to lean close to be sure he heard him.
“What?” he looks up at Other!Dean, but the bastard’s looking away, face red with embarrassment. “You want me to what?”
“Both of you,” Sam goes on, as if he hadn’t just said the thing that’s making all of Dean’s hair rise on the back of his neck and his stomach swoop in a bewildering combination of excitement and revulsion. “I need both of you to fuck me.”
“Are you high?” Dean stares, first at Sam, then at Other!Dean. “We don’t — this isn’t — Sam and me never — “
Not that he hadn’t thought about it, fantasized about it, jerked off to it on countless occasions over the years.
He’d never do that to Sam. He always assumed Sam didn’t want it, and Dean would never reveal his sick perversions to his beautiful, brave brother. Sam had suffered enough.
“We’re bringing life back to this world,” Sam says, as if that explains what he just asked Dean to do. “A little at a time. You saw it, outside. The water. Wherever it flows, life returns.”
“You did that?” Dean breathes, impressed despite himself.
Sam smiles, ducking his head. “After all the killing, it’s a gift to have the ability to bring things to life,” he says softly. “I may not be able to bring all those people back, but I can do this one thing. Bring life back to this one world. But at this rate, I won’t live long enough to affect much more than a dozen square miles. I need you.”
“You need me to help you fuck the world back to life,” Dean clarifies, raising his eyes to Other!Dean, who still stands off to the side, rubbing his neck nervously. “And you’re okay with this.”
“Apparently, I’m not enough,” Other!Dean grumbles.
Dean’s mouth drops open at the admission.
“Wait. So you two...” he’s too afraid to say it, so he gestures awkwardly.
Other!Dean nods, glancing up briefly. “Yeah. When we... When Sam brought us back, it was the first thing we did.”
Dean stares, shaking his head in semi-disbelief.
“Grateful-to-be-alive sex,” he breathes in amazement. He’s fairly sure he and his Sam have come close to that a few times, although he’s so far resisted crossing that line out of deference to Sam’s autonomy. Those moments always felt adrenaline-fueled and out-of-control. Giving in to the urge to kiss Sam under duress always felt coercive. “You actually let it happen. You did that to him.”
He glares at Other!Dean, accusing.
Sam shakes his head, smiling softly. “I wanted it too, Dean. Always had. It’d been real to me for years, since we were kids, probably.”
Dean stares, too shocked to speak.
Sam’s eyes fall to his parted lips, and Dean slams his mouth shut.
“Well, my Sam never... “ He shifts awkwardly, rubbing the back of his neck.
“Are you sure?” Sam peers at him, skeptical. “Did you ask him?”
“Of course not!” Dean barks, indignant. “He’s been through a lot, my brother. I’d never make it worse by adding something like that to his burden. Not willingly.”
“You’d rather die first?” Other!Dean suggests, smirking. “Been there, done that.”
“Yeah, and it sounds like you did a bang-up job of it, too!” Dean glares at his other self. He can’t help feeling furious — and a little jealous, if he’s honest — that this guy just took what he wanted. Even if it’s what Sam wanted, too.
“Oh, like you would never kill yourself — and Sam — if you believed it was the only way out of Chuck’s little game!” Other!Dean snaps.
“You’re damn right, I wouldn’t!” Dean bellows. “I’d find another way! Because that’s what we do! We don’t let that son-of-a-bitch tell us what to do, and we especially don’t let him make us kill each other. That’s sick! It’s twisted!”
“Right. Because you’re the saint who would never harm a hair on his little brother’s head.” Other!Dean’s eyes flash. “Even if it meant breaking that sick, twisted cycle! Even if your little brother figured out a way to stop it. Because you wouldn’t be able to trust him, would you? You could never trust Sam to figure things out, not really. You always had to be the one in control. You had to be the boss!”
“That’s enough! Both of you!” Sam pushes between them, grabbing the front of Other!Dean’s shirt, shaking him to get him to break eye-contact with Dean. To back down. The blanket drops, and Dean sees that Sam’s clad only in a thin cotton t-shirt and draw-string pants. He’s barefoot. Vulnerable. Sam’s hands shake where they clutch Other!Dean’s jacket.
Dean backs off, averting his eyes as Sam gets his brother to look at him, to calm down.
“It’s just us, Dean, right?” Sam says to Other!Dean, their faces so close they’re probably breathing each other’s air, soaking up each other’s body heat. “We did what we had to do, remember? The only thing we could do. Don’t doubt that, not even for a second.”
“I don’t, I don’t,” Other!Dean assures him, shaking his head. He shoots a glare at Dean. “He’s just such a judgy bag-o-dicks. I can’t believe I used to be like that!”
“He’s still dealing with Chuck in his world,” Sam coaxes, as if he’s reasoning with an errant child. “Remember what that was like?”
Other!Dean nods, shuddering. “Yeah, yeah, I hear you. Okay, Sam. Okay.”
They stand together another moment, staring into each other’s eyes, and Dean feels like an intruder. Their intimacy is almost too intense to watch, but he can’t look away. This must be what Chuck feels when he watches them, he thinks, and lets out a disgusted huff of breath.
“Let me talk to him,” Sam says finally, tipping his head toward Dean.
Other!Dean bristles. “What? No! Sammy, I can’t let you do that! Don’t ask me that!” Other!Dean’s protective big-brother instincts kick into gear. He glances daggers at Dean, who nods his understanding. His approval.
No way he’d let Other!Dean have a moment alone with his little brother. The bastard’s a brother-killer.
“I’ll be fine, Dean. He won’t hurt me,” Sam assures his brother. “I just need a little time alone with him.”
Other!Dean stares at his brother, the need to protect battling with the desire to trust, and Dean can’t look away. It’s too familiar, too weird to be on the outside watching the brothers’ intense, push-pull relationship.
Dean can see the moment Other!Dean gives in. His need to trust Sam, to show Sam that he does trust him, is too strong. Dean watches, fascinated, as Other!Dean nods, resigned. He takes a deep breath as he backs away from his brother and heads toward the entrance to the cavern, shooting a hard glare at Dean as he passes him.
“Piece of advice,” Other!Dean growls. “Whatever he asks, you do it, you understand me?”
The threat is obvious. Dean ducks his head to hide his smile. He knows Other!Dean will kill him if he harms a hair on Sam’s head. Dean would do the same.
For a moment after Other!Dean’s departure, Dean doesn’t move. He can feel Sam looking at him, assessing. He waits until the staring gets uncomfortable before raising his eyes to Sam’s.
“Like what you see, Sammy?” He teases. “Oh, but of course you do. You and him have been getting down and dirty for a while now.” He runs his hand over his shaven cheek. “Little more hair, little more dirt, maybe. I’m definitely the better looking of the two of us, so I get why you wanna look.”
Sam shakes his head, tiny smile making his dimples appear. Even with all that beard, he’s beautiful.
“I’m not your brother, Dean,” he says. “You can’t provoke me.”
Dean sticks his chin out, considering. “Yeah, you’re some big-shot witch who can make the world come back to life with his dick. I get it.”
“I can send you home,” Sam says, annoyingly calm. Dude must do yoga and meditation. He’s too zen to be Sam. “Back to your brother.”
“Right.” Dean snaps. “You just need a little seed-spilling sacrifice first.”
“It’s a sex ritual.” Sam nods. “And yes, I need your cooperation. I admit I was hoping to get a Dean who wouldn’t mind helping us.”
“Who says I mind?” Dean says. “You know me, Sammy. Always ready for a little roll in the hay. Or on a sacrificial altar...”
“Just not with your brother,” Sam finishes.
“Like you said, Sam, you’re not my brother,” Dean says, surprising himself. His heart speeds up and his hands begin to sweat. His dick is definitely interested. He stares at Sam with his heart pounding and his lips parted, panting a little.
Sam’s face relaxes as he reads Dean’s expression, hears his words of submission, his permission. Dean can’t believe this is happening. He watches Sam close the distance between them, watches him take Dean’s face between his hands, watches his gaze become affectionate and grateful as he leans down.
Dean closes his eyes as Sam’s lips touch his. His body shudders and his dick’s instantly harder than it’s ever been, straining painfully against his clothes. As Sam kisses him, Dean moans. His knees give out and he crumbles. Sam grabs onto him, holds him close as he deepens the kiss, and Dean almost comes in his jeans. He feels drugged, wonders vaguely if Sam’s magic is affecting him, making him more pliable than he might be otherwise. He kisses like a drowning man, hands scrabbling over Sam’s meager clothing, his hair. Sam’s body is unusually thin and wasted, his hair long and soft.
When Sam releases his mouth, Dean gasps. Sam’s lips leave a bruising trail along Dean’s jaw to his ear, his teeth nipping at Dean’s earlobe while Dean keens. The pleasure is exquisite. Overwhelming. He’s dizzy and breathless, afraid he might pass out. Sam’s got an arm around him and another one holding the back of his head, keeping him upright. Dean’s body quivers with sensation, desperate for Sam’s touch, Sam’s mouth.
“It’s the soul bond,” Sam murmurs as he kisses the shell of Dean’s ear. “It’ll be like this with your brother, if you ever.”
“Agah.” Dean cries out articulately as Sam dips his tongue into Dean’s ear, kisses back along his jaw and captures his mouth again, kissing him deep and dirty. Dean holds on for dear life as Sam slips his hand down over Dean’s back to his ass, holds him tight as he grinds his hips against Dean’s.
The friction’s too much, even through two layers of clothing. When Sam slides his hand down between them and grabs Dean’s erection, it’s all over.
Dean throws his head back and shouts as he comes, shivering and gasping, slipping into a half-unconscious state as Sam kisses him through the aftershocks. As he goes under he feels Sam’s hands moving over him possessively, tenderly.
“That’s it, Dean, that’s it, I’ve got you.”
Sam comes into view, the blanket he wrapped himself in earlier draped across his shoulders. He holds out a bowl with something steaming that smells delicious, and Dean takes it as he struggles to sit up, looks around for his clothes.
“Dean’s washing your jeans and underwear,” Sam explains. “We’re a little short on extra clothes around here.”
“Uh — thanks, I guess,” Dean mumbles as he takes a bite of the stew. It’s delicious, so he digs in hungrily for a few moments as Sam tends the fire. When he brings a mug full of fresh water, Dean drinks it down gratefully, then looks up at his not-brother in confusion. “So, that was it? That was the ritual?”
Sam huffs out an amused chuckle.
“Not quite,” he admits. “That was just to take the edge off. Since it’s your first time.” He winces. “Sex between us is a little intense, as you might have figured out. Because of the soul-bond.”
Dean frowns. “But you and me — We’re not soul-bonded,” he says doubtfully. Memories of being held in Sam’s strong arms are making his dick twitch.
“Except we are, technically,” Sam says. “In every world, we share the same soul. In some worlds, it’s stronger than others, but it’s always there. If you and I were the last survivors, or if the only two left were my Dean and your Sam, the magic would still work because the bond is always there.”
“And you know this how?” Dean stares at his not-brother. “Don’t tell me I’m not the first Dean you’ve summoned from another world.”
Sam smiles, shaking his head. “No, you are,” he assures Dean. “I just had a theory, before I met you. Now I’m sure.”
“How’s he doing?” Other!Dean appears beside his brother like a shadow, and Dean wonders if his senses have dulled. He should have heard Other!Dean enter the room.
“He’ll be fine,” Sam assures him. “I just gave him something to help him relax.”
Panic prickles at the back of Dean’s vision; his pulse picks up.
“Did you just roofie me?” he demands, horrified.
Sam shakes his head. “It’s a long ritual, Dean,” he says soothingly. “You’ll need your stamina.” He turns to his brother. “Time for you to wash up.”
Sam was right about one thing, though. It goes on and on. One minute he’s kneeling on the floor between Sam’s long legs, watching his dick disappear into Sam’s body as Sam moans and writhes beneath him. The next minute, Sam’s kneeling between Dean’s legs with his hands — his hands! — on Dean’s hips, holding Dean steady as he swallows Dean’s dick.
He looks up, catches Other!Dean’s eye. Other!Dean’s buried balls deep in his brother, rocking back and forth as Sam’s eyes leak and his throat works. Dean slides his hand through Sam’s hair, watches Other!Dean’s hand rubbing soothing circles over the small of Sam’s back.
Other!Dean’s hand looks exactly like his. It’s disoriented not to feel himself stroking Sam’s flanks as he watches Other!Dean’s hands. It’s like a dream in which you see yourself doing something unimaginable in your waking life.
Or Dean’s greatest fantasy. Fucking Sam, touching him like this, has always been Dean’s deepest, darkest desire. It’s no wonder this feels like a dream.
Dean thinks he hears singing. He sees flames shoot up toward the ceiling, thinks he sees stars there. He didn’t realize they were outside, yet somehow they are. The air smells of pine needles and snow.
Dean comes and comes and comes. He’s never come so many times in one night.
There are lulls in the action, moments when he lies curled up with Sam, Other!Dean spooning his brother as Sam sleeps. They doze for a while, then eat and drink a little before going at it again. Dean should be sore. His dick should be rubbed raw. But when Sam looks at him, turns those soft hazel eyes on him and reaches for him, he’s hard again. Desperate for it.
Sam tries to get Other!Dean to kiss him. “Need you to forgive yourself, Dean.” But neither Dean can do that. They avoid eye contact except when they’re both buried deep in Sam’s body (because that’s just too hot not to share).
The sky is starting to brighten when they finally fall asleep for good. Dean can hear chanting and crackling flames as deep sleep finally overtakes him.
His last conscious thought is of his Sam, in trouble back home and needing him.
I’m coming, Sammy, he promises silently. I’m on my way, I swear. Just hold on.
Dean opens his eyes, sees shadows dancing on the walls. He blinks in confusion, forgetting where he is. He knows he’s not in the bunker. He remembers stepping through the rift, headed for Purgatory with Cas, but nothing afterwards.
“Hey Dean,” a soft, familiar voice says, and Dean jerks fully awake. Sam squats next to him, wearing a thin t-shirt and soft drawstring pants. He’s holding out a cup. “Drink this if you want to remember. It’s up to you.”
Sitting up, he realizes he’s naked. He blinks up at Sam in confusion. “Sammy? What happened?”
“I’m not your brother,” Sam says, still holding out the cup. “Drink this, then you can go home.”
Before he can second-guess himself, Dean takes the cup, drinks deeply. Sam nods, takes the empty cup and gets up to return to the fire.
“Your clothes are dry,” he says as he stirs something in a big pot over the fire. It smells incredible. “Get dressed, eat something. Then Dean will take you back to the rift.”
Memories begin to return to Dean as he pulls his boxers and jeans on. They’re stiff, but clean. Warm from hanging in front of the fire to dry.
He creamed his jeans when Sam kissed him.
Dean blushes ear to ear as the memories flood his mind. Sam’s mouth. Sam’s lips. Sam’s hands. His bare chest gleaming with sweat in the firelight...
Sam’s not his brother. This is another Sam, someone else’s.
“Hey, uh, about last night...” Dean pulls his shirts on, crams his arms into his jacket and shrugs it over his shoulders.
Sam looks up at him from his position crouching in front of the fire, hands him a steaming bowl of something mouthwatering and a spoon.
“Eat,” he commands, and Dean obeys without question, the way he drank the water Sam gave him.
He doesn’t feel drugged anymore, but he seems to be unable to say no to Sam, or to reject his orders. He doesn’t even want to. It feels right to do exactly what Sam suggests. Feels normal.
“You are so different from my Sam,” he notes with a little chuckle as he eats the stew. It’s good. Hot, meaty, with just the right amount of spice.
“You sure about that?” Sam tips his head, eyeing Dean with his forehead wrinkled and his eyebrows knitted thoughtfully.
“Oh yeah,” Dean insists. “My Sam, he has doubts. I mean, don’t we all, right? But he’s more hesitant. He questions everything. You seem so sure of yourself.”
Sam lifts his eyes from the fire, and Dean’s not sure whether it’s a trick of the light, but for a split second Sam’s eyes look dark. Black.
Then he lifts his chin, smiles ruefully. “Your Sam. He’s never killed his brother,” he says. “Doing that, that act... That changed me. I’ll never be the same after that.”
Dean shudders, suddenly wishing he hadn’t brought up this particular subject.
“Now my whole life is an act of penitence,” Sam goes on, ignoring Dean’s response, or maybe too aware of it. “I’ll never atone for that one thing, but I can try. That’s what I can do. I can try to atone for killing my brother. That’s my life.”
“God, Sam, that’s not what I... I mean, I didn’t... I’m sorry, man.” Dean’s at a loss. He can’t think about what Sam’s telling him. It feels impossible. Unspeakable.
“I’ve watched my brother die too many times. But this is different. You can’t imagine holding your brother’s dead body, knowing you did that,” Sam continues. “I hope you never do, Dean. Because it’s worse than an eternity in the Cage with Lucifer. It’s worse than anything.”
Sam takes a deep breath, reaching for Dean’s chin, tipping his face up so he can look deep into Dean’s eyes. His gaze is intense. Fierce.
Dean tries not to flinch away, tries not to show his fear. He’s pretty sure he’s failed when Sam smiles, shaking his head.
“You go home to your brother, Dean,” he murmurs, tender again. “Make sure this doesn’t happen to you.”
Dean spies movement near the cavern entrance. Other!Dean hovers there, waiting for him.
It occurs to Dean that Other!Dean and his Sam have some kind of psychic connection between them. It reminds him of what he observed the night before, when they seemed to talk to each other without speaking.
There’s something deep and abiding about these Winchesters’ relationship, a bond stronger than blood, stronger than mere common experience. These two have a love that’s wild and unhinged, that defies the laws of nature.
They’re not fully human anymore.
Both Deans are silent as they make their way back through the cold, barren landscape to the rift. It’s still there, making Dean sigh with relief; he’d half-feared Other!Dean meant to kill him. He can’t stop thinking about how wrong these two are, like their brains are operating on a different wavelength. Skewed.
Maybe that’s why they could beat Chuck. Maybe even he couldn’t imagine a Sam and Dean who were genuinely insane.
Other!Dean steps aside, and just as Dean considers thanking him — then decides that might not be appropriate (thank him for what? Letting Dean fuck his brother?) — Other!Dean clears his throat, shifts his feet awkwardly. Dean waits.
“Don’t doubt yourselves,” Other!Dean advises. “Chuck likes to mess with your heads. He likes to make you think your instincts are shit, like he just made you that way. Don’t believe it.”
Dean nods. He’s already got some idea what Other!Dean’s talking about.
“Good luck,” Other!Dean says, sticking out his hand.
Dean takes it, shakes it, and for a moment as he looks into Other!Dean’s eyes he sees the wildness there, swirling away in the green depths, and it hits him.
Other!Dean thinks Dean doesn’t have a chance in Hell. He thinks Dean and his world are doomed. He thinks Other!Dean and his Sam are the last living creatures in the universe. He thinks they won, and all the other Deans and Sams have lost.
We’ll see about that, Dean mutters silently.
“Thanks. You, too,” he says out loud.
The last thing he sees, as he turns to walk through the rift and into Purgatory to join Cas on their weird quest for a Leviathan blossom, is Other!Dean’s knowing smirk.
Sammy, he thinks, projecting his thought like a prayer. Hold on, little brother. I’m coming!