Loving Dean Winchester is difficult at the best of times. Like trying to help a wounded wild animal, and no matter how much you coo and coddle, no matter how gentle you are, you can’t convince the thing that you’re not, in fact, there to kill it.
Loving Dean Winchester after his brother says yes and the world ends is like learning to live with a painful terminal illness. He’s not in the business of being good to people, he doesn’t believe he knows how to be.
And one day, your last day, you get to see a glimpse of him from before he turned into this, when he still made all those stupid jokes you never got, like a snapshot, like a polaroid that walks and talks and smiles at you. The drugs help you to keep from wondering how you let this happen to him. They keep you from realizing that you’ve forgotten all about the days when he slung an arm around your shoulders and grinned, and you’ve moved on to missing the days when he at least cared enough to scream at you.
The drugs help you focus on the fucked up pot of gold that is the jealousy that twists Present Dean’s face when you smile back at Past Dean. You’re going to die for him, die with him, there’s never the slightest question in your mind of letting him go alone, of living on in this shithole if he’s not living on in it with you. But his jealousy hits you like wave of yes, yes, he still cares about something and that something is me, like the relief the drugs could never give you for this pain you’ve learned to live with. So later, when Chuck’s organizing a seating arrangement for your little kamikaze caravan, you tell him that Past Dean is riding with you, and you make sure Present Dean can hear you.
It’s a low blow, but you forgot how to be nice to each other a long time ago, and you’ve only got a few hours left to live. He won’t say the things you want him to say, so this is how you get the confirmation you need. Confirmation that he loves you, even if it isn’t the way you wanted him to, even if it isn’t in a way that you really understand.