I discovered you on Christmas Day 2009, and you have no idea how much you have changed my life since then. I've made the wonderful transition from regular human being to rabid fangirl in the years since then, and it’s all down to you.
In all my days of reading and watching fiction, I've never come across a character so complex and multi-dimensional as you. You are a combination of a brilliant idea, great writing, and great acting and that combination has turned you into a character that I truly, genuinely care very deeply about, to the degree that I have, on more than one occasion, lain awake worrying about you!
Shrek once said that ogres have layers, but the average ogre is nothing compared to you.
You are a brilliantly conceived character with a great backstory. You’re traumatised by tragedy, blindly idolising an overbearing parent, and devoted to your brother to a completely obsessive and probably quite unhealthy degree. (Your co-dependence with Sam is for another discussion, but deserves an honorable mention here). On top of all that, you harbour a crippling (and totally undeserved) inferiority complex, all tied up with a reckless desire to do the right thing. And what's more, all this is wrapped up in a package so beautiful that it positively takes a girls’s breath away.
So, just tell me, you gorgeous sod, how is anyone supposed to resist that?
I once wrote a drabble in which I said that a suit of armour isn't always made of metal, In it, I wrote that your armour is composed of:
Your aggressively spiked hair;
A massive jacket that broadens your silhouette and hides you from hostile eyes;
Great heavy boots that make you look an inch taller and sound ten pounds heavier;
Your strutting cowboy swagger and badass smirk;
Your 'couldn't give a crap' attitude;
And finally, your smart mouth with its talent for causing maximum offence in minimum time.
But inside that armour is a vulnerability and deep, deep insecurity. (I've said it before, for a badass tough guy, you don’t half cry a lot!) You bullshit with the best of them, but we all know that you’re unbearably lonely and afraid - not for yourself, but for Sammy; maybe even for Castiel. It just makes me want to hug you and never let go.
And if all this isn’t enough, you then give us glimpses of your subtly underplayed intelligence, your resourcefulness and quick wit, your roguish charm, your unswerving loyalty, and your undeniable courage.
But you’re not Mister Perfect, and that's another reason why you’re such a believable and endearing character to me and to lots of people like me. You’re deeply flawed and with the life you’ve been forced into, it's hardly surprising. You’re impetuous and impulsive, very often bull-headedly stubborn, crippled with self-doubt and self-loathing and you seem to be the only person that can't see or appreciate your many qualities (and trust me, even Crowley can recognise those).
I think you’ve tried for so long to be your father, I really don't think you actually know who Dean Winchester is any more, and the thought of that just breaks my heart.
Dean, I know you struggle to love yourself, but please know that I and thousands like me, have more than enough love for you to make up for it a dozen times over.
Yours, with deep affection