» SuperWho: End!Verse
The Doctor miscalculates while trying to fly the malfunctioning TARDIS, and he finds himself in a universe where Sam has said yes to the Devil and Dean has given up all hope, having long since decided that the Doctor must have chosen to abandon them.
The words are so ordinary, really, and Dean says them so calmly that for a moment, nothing about the response seems odd. But when the Doctor looks closer, he can clearly see the fire of accusation burning within the man’s gaze, a bottomless wealth of hatred and blame that makes Dean’s face dangerous and terrifying.
He’s seen that look before, of course he has, but he’s never seen it directed at himself. Dean’s looking at him like he looked at Azazel, at Lilith, at Ruby, at all of the other creatures that have been responsible for his little brother’s suffering. And the Doctor knows that within his absence, he’s become one of them, one of those monsters that Dean so vehemently despises, and that realization temporarily steals the breath from his body and makes his two hearts ache in a way that’s so despairingly human that he’s rendered speechless.
Dean’s eyes darken, and he shoulders the dufflebag, turning towards the door. He’s already halfway across the room before the Doctor manages to find his voice again. “Wait. Where are you going?”
It’s a tremendously pointless question, because that vengeful look is only ever followed by one thing when it comes to Dean Winchester. The Doctor knows that if Dean walks out that door right now, he will die. He will die because he is a desperate man who’s run out of options, one who’s tired of running and fighting and pretending that he’s strong enough without Sam beside him.
Sure enough, the dark expression on Dean’s face has melted into a bone-deep weariness that echoes the exhaustion the Doctor himself feels: that he’s been doing this for far too long, and that he’s ready for it to be over.
“See you in five years, Doc,” Dean says, and the smile that he sends towards the Doctor is wry and sad. The door closes behind him. He does not come back.
The Doctor never returns to 2014, but the ache in his hearts never quite goes away. Looking at Dean isn’t the same after that, even though the man is still oblivious to the things that the Doctor has seen and the future that awaits him. If anything, it’s harder to look at the Winchesters at all, especially as they fight to retain their freedom, to rebel against the roles that Heaven and Hell have given them.
Because the Doctor knows that no matter what he does, no matter how he interferes, no matter when he alters the courses of their timeline, they will always end up… there.
He never stops trying, though.