A/N: Invictus by William Ernst Henley is my favorite poem. It speaks volumes to me personally. As I was reading it the other night, this drabble came to be. On mobile, so the formatting isnt as I’d like. Parts of the poem are encased in (*). Feedback is appreciated.
*Out of the night that covers me
Black as the pit from pole to pole
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul*
Dean often lie awake at night, memories of the trials and tribulations of his life flashing through his mind. He often relived the horrors of hunting, of saving the world, and all that it cost him. His forty years in Hell plagued him constantly; the torment of both what he endured and what he’d inflicted weighed on his conscience.
He sighed as he lay awake in bed rubbing his eyes. He knew sleep was far from his reach. Every time he closed his eyes, the darkness of his mind enveloped him, causing his eyes to fly open once more in a vain attempt to avoid the memories. But he found both pain and comfort and knowing that every decision and action was of his own accord.
*In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody but unbowed*
Dean himself could barely fathom the number of injuries, and deaths, he had endured throughout his life, having lost count long ago. He had endured beatings from creatures of all shapes and sizes. He had endured tortures beyond imaginings in Hell. He had been a chew toy for hellhounds. A plaything of Angels and Demons. He had survived the onslaught of Lucifer himself inhabiting the body of his younger brother, his Ward.
His mind reeled in remembering The Mark of Cain and his time as a knight of Hell. He allowed himself a small moment of self-pity in the form of “Why me? Why must it always be me?” Life, chance, fate…somehow everything wove itself intricately into his life. Somehow, he always had to oppose it; to be the one who saves them all.
Yet somehow, through every wound and scar, through every death, through every seemingly impossible situation, he was still here. His head was heavy with burden, but still held tall.
*Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid*
He often found himself fighting off the nightmares; reliving the horrors of his life and this world. At times, when sleep avoided him, he would find himself silently sobbing. Just enough to relieve some of the pressure that built within him, within his heart and his head.
Then he would grow angry, furious. Enraged at the universe for what it had done to him, for what it put him through. Mad at himself for his failures and misfortunes and for letting himself cry and get angry.
He worried and fretted…over situations, over his friends, over his family. Can I do this? Can I get everyone out of this safely? But he didn’t shy away. He didn’t turn down a foe or challenge because of fear. No…Dean Winchester would never let fear control him. Fear would never win.
*It matters not how strait the gate
How charged with punishments the scroll*
He knew in the end that the only thing to matter, to truly matter, was did he do the right thing? Did he save people? Did he help people? Did his life and existence mean something? Was everything he did with purpose? Did he do the right thing, as much as he ever thought it was right at that time, for that purpose, for that situation? If he could say yes to all of that, he would have some semblance of comfort and peace in the end.
Dean lay his head back on his pillow, staring at the blank ceiling above him. Through it all, he made his own decisions, regardless of the outcome. He chose his path. He controlled his actions and by extension his Destiny. He let his eyes close as his mind grew quiet. His solace, his peace, was the simple yet powerful thought…*I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.*
Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds and shall find me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.