I recently re watched an old episode of Supernatural. I was working on a fan fiction piece (not this one) and I needed some inspiration to breakthrough my writer’s block. It took a bit of searching but I found what I was looking for, an episode with Ben and Lisa in it. I had to go all the way back to season 6 (the show’s currently on its 13th season.) but it was worth it. The gist of the episode is that Ben and Lisa get kidnapped by Crowley as leverage so Dean and Sam won’t try to stop his plan with Castiel to find purgatory and release all the souls from there on Earth. At this point Castiel and Dean aren’t speaking because of his association with one of their mortal enemies (i.e. Crowley.)
There’s so much going on this episode so I won’t try to summarize it all. Suffice to say it changes the relationship between Ben, Lisa and Dean forever. Before I go any further I should explain that Lisa is Dean’s ex-lover and Ben is her son who’s about 13. He lived with them for a long time after Sam was presumed dead at the end of one of the seasons. That promptly ended when Sam shows back up, alive and without a soul. Dean tries to keep the relationship going but it’s not meant to be.
When Crowley kidnaps them it still hits Dean pretty hard. At the end of the episode Dean is sure Lisa will die because the demon who was possessing her stabbed her in the stomach before departing. Castiel shows up and heals her to save her life. Dean asks him to do one more thing him. Dean asks Castiel to wipe their memories of him, all of them. It works, Dean and Ben concoct a story about all of them being in a car accident, with Dean being the one who hit Ben and Lisa. I was inspired to write the following conversation after seeing the end of the episode where Dean tells Sam, “If you ever say Ben or Lisa’s name again I will break your nose.” Sam protests vehemently at first but after a brief argument he relents. After this they never bring up the characters again, at least not in my memory.
After re watching the episode I was struck by just how emotion Dean shows towards both Lisa and Ben and even Sam. This is not like his character at all and something about it made it hard to watch. It also really bugged me that we never hear either of the brothers refer to Lisa or Ben. Not even in the scenes where Dean is alone. The following conversation is one I’d like to imagine the brothers would have a few months down the line after the events of said episode.
“Dean why did you do that?”
“You know why, I told you what would happen if you brought this up again, so why did you?”
“I know, but this is low, even for you.”
“I know that, but it’s better this way.” Dean replies staring at the road as he drives. “This way she can live her life, they’re better off not knowing me.”
“Dean you don’t mean that.”
“I do, just drop it already Sam.” Dean says. “If I wasn’t driving I’d deck you right now.”
“Dean, you didn’t have to Cas wipe their memories.” Sam says. “You could’ve-”
“What Sam, would else could I have done?!” Dean exclaims. “You know how this works, anyone we get close to, they either get killed or they live to regret it.”
“I know, but wiping their memories.” Sam says. “Dean that’s like when I was drinking demon blood, it’s wrong and you know it.”
“So what, I should’ve let them be a target the rest of lives? What happens the next time some demon comes calling? What if Ben hadn’t called me? What then?”
“I don’t know, but this isn’t fair Dean, what about what you want?”
“Sam when do we ever get what we want?” Dean asks. “After you were gone I took your advice, I tried to live a normal life. But then you magically show up again, except you have no soul. Was I supposed to just let you run around like that?”
“No I guess not.” Sam replies sighing. “I guess that’s why we always end up hanging out with people like Bobby.”
“What’s wrong with that?”
“Nothing, except what happens when Bobby dies?” Sam asks. “I’d do anything for you Dean, you know that, but this, this is crazy.”
“I didn’t ask you to do it. I asked Cas and he did what I asked.”
“Yeah, he always does.”
“OK fine, you just won’t let this go will you?” Dean asks pulling off onto the shoulder of the road. Sam shakes his head, they’ve been here a hundred times. “I’m so sick of fighting with you.” he says as they get out of the car.
“Then why do you keep bringing this stuff up?!” Dean cries. “I told you, if you ever mentioned them again I’d break your nose, so here we are!”
“Dean, this is ridiculous.” Sam says rubbing his forehead. “I know I’m the smart one, but come on, I didn’t even say their names.”
“Close enough.” Dean growls glaring at Sam as he leans against the car.
“This isn’t healthy.” Sam says after a minute. “I suck at feelings too but you can’t just pretend this didn’t happen.”
“Sure I can. We do it all the time.” Dean says. “Some whiskey, a couple of nice looking girls later, I’m good.”
“Dean, come on. You had a life with them, you were happy, why can’t you admit that?”
“Because I can’t lose them too.” Dean says, he hopes Sam won’t hear him. Sam glances at him, frowning. “It’s okay to feel things you idiot.” he says. Dean rolls his eyes.
“No, it’s not, every time we’ve gotten close to anyone, it’s gotten them killed.”
“Not everyone. Bobby is still around.”
“Sure, but that’s about it Sam. This life, it’s not good to form relationships, don’t you remember what I told you when we first started hunting?”
“I remember, don’t get close to anyone, don’t have any friends.” Sam says with a sigh. “And look where that got us.”
“Exactly, mom and dad both died because of the yellow eyed demon, Jessica died after you went to look for dad with me. Joe and Ellen barely lasted a year before they got killed by hell hounds. Do you want me to keep going?”
“But Ben and Lisa aren’t dead, they’re still alive.”
“Barely, if it weren’t for Cas and his magical healing powers Lisa would have died. What would have happened to Ben then? Whoever his dad is, he’s not going to suddenly take him in.”
“Dean do you ever think about not hunting?” Sam asks. “About just living a normal life?”
“Not anymore. What about you? You can’t seriously think that’s a possibility, now?”
“Well not right now, but after we stop Cas and Crowley, seal off purgatory, I was thinking about it.”
“Look even if I thought that were possible, I can’t ever go back to them, not after Cas wiped their memories. To them I’m just the guy who hit them in a freak car accident.”
“You could just start over again. Do things right this time.”
“Yeah and what happens then?” Dean ask smirking. “I just say hey I’m the guy who you got in a car accident with, I think you’re cute, let’s go out?”
“Well you wouldn’t ask her like that, would you?”
“No, but even if I could. Hunting always finds a way to screw you over.” Dean says quietly. “Think about it, Lisa and Ben got kidnapped because of me. Lisa nearly died, Ben almost became an orphan. What happens if we did get together, and god forbid got married and had a kid? What’s to stop Crowley from coming after that kid?”
“Yeah I guess you’re right. Still you could have just let them move on, let them forget you ever existed.”
“I tried that, it nearly got them killed Sam. I said never to bring them up again and you know why.”
“I know, but-”
“No, we’re done, let’s just go back to Bobby’s place and forget we ever had this conversation.” Dean gets in the car and starts the engine. “Fine, you win.” Sam says as he climbs in the passenger seat. He closes the door and they drive off towards Bobby’s place. Sam glances at his brother, trying to figure out if he meant everything he said. Dean just reaches down and turns on the radio, cranking the knob as classic rock fills the car. Sam shakes his head again and stares out the window. “Guess you were right, we can’t have normal life.” he says.