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SPN Fic: "Rope" (R, gen)
dean has bottomless eyes
Hi, everybody!

I've got a new little fic, with the completely unique summary Dean's year is up. It's gen, rated R, and has no season 3 spoilers. My thanks to the lovely and perspicacious janissa11 for reading something she normally wouldn't.


Turns out the dogs only come when you're running. When you choose to honor the deal you made, apparently, when you don't try to get something for nothing - then your flesh stays intact, isn't ripped to ribbons by slavering jaws, and your throat stays in one piece.


He doesn't think he's early - took the gift of the leap year's extra day and figured it in - and he'll never forget the date and time it finally clicked, when he realized how simple it would be to bring Sam back.

Be pretty funny if the reason he's at a crossroads all by his lonesome is that she's out with the pack, searching for him, ready to tear him down and snap up his soul. Maybe not funny, exactly. Sam sure wouldn't laugh, even if he threw in a line about delusions of classical grandeur.

But that's the point, isn't it? That Sam's alive, free to be as unamused as he likes, able to live and make the world a place worth saving just by being in it. Sam calls him a hero sometimes, sometimes even without a smile behind it, but it's Sam who's been brave, put his big brain to use, and figured out a way to keep all the other hunters and stragglers under his command, showed them how to win against crazy odds.

Sammy'll be alright.


Dean’s never liked waiting, and every moment the demon delays is another moment Sam can use to track him down. Bitch needs to hurry up, before Sam comes running up with something that will invalidate the whole thing. And Dean's had a year to get used to the idea, a year of living hard and bright, knowing he's doing the right thing, and counting on that one sweet moment of rest before his soul heads for hell.

Maybe the demons won't start with the torment right away. Not that he expects them to be merciful - he's not an idiot, despite the way he comes across, but then who would look good standing next to genius Sammy? This year could certainly have been a lot worse. Sam could have gotten sick, he could have gotten sick, something. A year is just enough time - long enough for him to do what needs to be done, long enough to make Sam feel like he did his best, too short to trap Sam into staying with him instead of going back to the wonderful life he knew without Dean. Ten years is a lifetime, and it wouldn't have been fair to bind Sam to him for so long. A year is just right.

And Sam likes deadlines, likes knowing that things have boundaries, reasonable edges. He's told Sam in no uncertain terms not to keep looking for answers after the year is up, and though Sam's always had issues with following orders, in this case it matches his natural inclination. Little straight-A Sammy will wipe his brain clean like he did once before and go back to a place where he felt safe and secure. And Dean knows he helped make it that way, putting a bullet in that yellow-eyed sonovabitch, stopping that mouth that kept insisting on how special Sam was, when all Sam wanted was to blend, be one of the crowd.

Sam can do that now; no one's holding him back anymore.


When he sees her in front of him, he remembers everything from the last time they'd met and the time before that, when her brother came for him. "Dean," she says, sweet voice low in the darkness, and he meets her big dark eyes and smiles. "I knew you'd like me like this," she says, grinning back at him. "It's no secret that you click with kids."

He's touched, actually, that she tried for a shape he'd like and not just respond to physically. "You're the cutest Reaper I've ever seen," he says.

She beams up at him and shakes back her tangled black curls. "You're my favorite," she says confidingly, winding small, warm arms around his neck when he crouches to hear her better. She locks her legs around his waist as he stands back up, leans her head against his chest and plays with his amulet.

He can hear the hellhounds' bloodthirsty growls and their bitch-mistress's demented cries getting closer, but she pays them no heed, just snuggles into him more securely. He can feel his heartbeat pounding against the softness of her cheek. "Can we go now, Dean?" she asks, like he's promised her a wonderful treat. She looks up at him with complete trust.

"Sure thing, darlin'," he says, and feels her hand come up to cup his face, loving as a mother's gaze, steady as his girl's ride. He closes his eyes and lets go.

As always, I'd love to hear what you think.

Ooh, I think I'm first!

And...GUH. Wow. Heartbreaking and just beautiful. Tessa coming as a little girl, giving him that sweet moment before it all goes south. Ohhhhh, Dean.

Thank you so much! I really wanted the Reaper to show Dean that she's thought well of him.

Oh honey, that was lovely. And I love this phrase beyond belief:

a year of living hard and bright

Well done.

Thank you, sugar. I'm particularly fond of that phrase myself. Thank you for the kind words!

Beautiful... just... beautiful...

A year is just enough time - long enough for him to do what needs to be done, long enough to make Sam feel like he did his best, too short to trap Sam into staying with him instead of going back to the wonderful life he knew without Dean. Ten years is a lifetime, and it wouldn't have been fair to bind Sam to him for so long. A year is just right.

Yeah. Damnit.
Good stuff.

Oh, honey. Sorry for making you sad, but very glad you liked.

Oh. Dean + Reapers is possibly my favorite thing ever. *snuggles little!Tessa* And I love his thoughts on Sam... how Sam likes boundaries and will be able to forget about him and move on. It may not be exactly true ;), but Dean had years to get used to the idea that Sam was okay without him. Of course he'd think this wasn't significantly different.

This is just perfect, perfect Dean. You write him so accurately that I can see canon!Dean thinking and behaving this way with no problem at all. Beautifully done. :)

Dean + Reapers is indeed awesome. I don't agree with Dean's assessment of Sam's future behavior, but it is possible that that's how Sam would deal.

Thanks so very much for the lovely words!

I enjoyed this. Can I pretend Tessa is there to rescue him though? *g*

Oh, but she is! It's either a quiet death with her or a messy, violent one with the crossroads demon and her hellhounds. She sees that Dean gets his moment, even if she can't do anything to get him out of his bargain.

Thank you!

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Oh, sugar, I'm sorry! But thank you so much!

I really like this, and Tessa's appearance is wonderful. I like how Dean's come to terms with things, his musings on the appropriateness of a year's time, and how easily he leaves because he's already committed, which is very Dean.

Thank you very much! I have absolutely no doubt that Dean would think things through, even if the initial bargaining was caused by a desperate impulse. Oh, Dean!

Beautiful fic in so many ways. The mental image of Dean carrying the little girl is absolutely lovely. Thank you for sharing this with us. :)

The mental image of Dean carrying the little girl is absolutely lovely. I really wanted that moment - the way he's cradling Death, the way she's put on this shape not to trick or hurt, but to comfort and express what she feels for him. I'm so very pleased you enjoyed this!

Nicely done. I really like the idea that Tessa came for Dean to give him a little bit of peace before his soul got sent to Hell.

Favorite lines:

A year is just enough time - long enough for him to do what needs to be done, long enough to make Sam feel like he did his best, too short to trap Sam into staying with him instead of going back to the wonderful life he knew without Dean. Ten years is a lifetime, and it wouldn't have been fair to bind Sam to him for so long. A year is just right.

I really, really like this. I hadn’t thought of the year in those terms before, but yeah, ten years might have wound up being harder for both of them.

Oh, Dean.

I do think Tessa was impressed by Dean from their time together in "In My Time of Dying," knew he'd heard her when she spoke of angry spirits, and saw that he was ready to go with her before all of his choices were taken away. So she wants to do right by him, insofar as she can.

Thank you very much!

I liked this so much I almost couldn't comment, so I went and did the dishes and thought it through and I still don't think I'm very coherent.
I think I spent the middle third of this going "no, no, no"... I hate the idea of Dean dying so damn much. I know he's fictional, but there you go.
The end was so beautifully crafted, and the Reaper as a little girl was just lovely. It's almost like Dean finally has his moment of being someone's most precious thing, right at the end. I don't know if that made me more happy or more sad.

Anyway, very moving, very lovely, very sad. And bang-on-the-nail with Dean. Thank you.

Thank you so much for writing such lovely feedback!

I know EXACTLY what you mean about it not mattering that Dean is fictional. I actually made a pact with a friend that I'd write a non-SPN (and non-crossover) fic because every single story I read or wrote just made me ache for Dean, even if it was a funny fic. Just - I want so badly for him to be happy, for, as you put it, him to be someone's most precious thing. I could really only see that happening at the very end of his life, so that's how this got written.

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*grabs tissues* This fic was beautifully written and very emotional... Very great piece. It was really perfect. Thanks for sharing!

Thank you so much for saying so! I'm pleased you liked this!

Oh...sad, but lovely, and so very much in character. thanks for sharing.

Thank you for the kind words! I'm so glad you liked this story.

Awww! This is beautiful. I love the image of Dean with the child Reaper. It brings a sense of peacefulness to the sadness. Well done!

I wanted Dean to have someone to connect with right at the end, and we know how purely he bonds with children, so. Thank you so much!

That was very nice.
Sad, yes, but nice.
It's so Dean that he thinks that Sammy will forget and move on, he's always thinking he's next to worthless, isn't he? :(
And Tessa coming as a little girl? Awesome. I was afraid for a moment that he'd be eaten by those awful hellhounds. This way was much better. :)

I wouldn't do that to our boy! He has to die, yes, but Tessa knows he deserves the best death possible, and she does what she can to help him.

Thank you very much!

This is truly perfection.

Dean's assessment of a year being just right is painful, but so very him.

Death/Tessa sincerely caring for Dean, wanting to calm him and ease him, is lovely.

Most poignant, I think, is Dean, hoping for just a moment to lay down his burdens and be at peace before he gets to hell. My god, that ripped me apart.

Wonderfully done!

Oh, this comment is making me so happy! That Dean is satisfied with one year, that he made the bargain in the first place, is all part of what Tessa saw in him. She recognizes that he won't ask for better, so she wants to give it to him freely.

I very much appreciate your words - thank you so much!

thoughtful and wonderful as always. i especially loved tessa coming to take dean as a little girl, that was heartbreaking.

Aww, sugar, thank you so much! Dean + Child = a kind of joyous heartbreak, no?

Hey, just wanted to let you know, this fic was recced at crack_impala, here. THanks for a wonderful fic!

Thanks so much for letting me know! And, wow, but that's a lovely rec!

You made me smile. Dude. Dean just got his soul collected by a demon and I SMILED. Wow. The sense of peace and acceptance in this is so wonderful. I must confess that I hope the boys fight like hell (hee) when the time comes, but the peace and quiet acceptance Dean has with his life and how he's lived it are beautiful. Thank you for sharing it! :D

That's kind of how my lovely beta put it too. She doesn't read deathfic, but she claimed this one was peaceful enough to get by her. I'm so pleased this worked for you! Thank you so much for letting me know!

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Oh, sugar, thank you for saying so!

Oh, ow. But so, so lovely.

Really well done - Dean deciding that a year is just right fits incredibly well. Moreover, I love the idea of Tessa, the physical is an illusion. Well done.

The thing is, is Dean really satisfied with one year or is he so used to suppressing his own desires that he's talked himself into believing that one year is enough? Either way, incredibly heartbreaking.

And I really wanted Dean with a child reaper - the image of him holding her would not leave my head.

Thanks so much, honey!

Oh, this just broke my heart. Absolutely perfect, from Dean's complaints that she had better not be late, to his thoughts of Sam, to Tessa appearing as a little girl. *sniffs*

I'm sorry to hear that! Thank you very much for the kind words!


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