His screams woke her up around 3:30 in the afternoon, she bolted off the couch and again held his arms, "Sammy!" His voice was ragged, "No! Sam!" His arms moved harder and one slipped from her grasp and flew up hitting her in the face. She saw stars as she fell to the ground. "Shit!" she grabbed her face and took a deep breath. Up again she held him down until his nightmare subsided. She felt his forehead and his fever was up again. She noticed blood on her hand and growled as she looked in her reflection in a picture on the wall. Sure enough there was a cut near her right eye. She applied a couple of band aids in the bathroom mirror when she heard him call, "Katy?"
"Yeah." she walked over to the bed, "You ok? You were having another nightmare."
"No, not alright." he whispered, "Never will be..."
For the first time she her heart ached for him, she knew that feeling so well.
"I don't know what happened Dean, but I'm sorry." She tentatively touched his hand.
"I wish you didn't have to feel that way." she bit her bottom lip. "Do you want to talk about it?"
The last thing she wanted was to hear about what upset him, she had enough issues of her own, but seeing someone else experiencing similar pain, was in itself painful.
Dean's eyes were glassy and his cheeks flushed with fever. "My brother... Sam. He's... He's dead." he choked and tried to stop the flood of tears. "And this time...I can't get him back." His body wracked with emotion and he sobbed out loud.
She slowly sat down next to him and for the first time in a very long time, she hugged someone. She held him tight and let him cry till he could cry no more. She shed a few tears of her own, but she didn't share them. She held and gently rocked him till he cried himself to sleep.
She managed to get up without waking him and quickly dressed, built up the fire and quietly went downstairs.
"Bobby!" she called to the dusty, empty room. "Bobby get your ass down here!"
She heard him snort and turned around, "I'm not at your beckon call Katy."
"But apparently I'm at yours? Why can't Dean bring Sam back? I know it's happened before, I've heard the stories. Why is this time different?"
Bobby frowned, "Just can't, now stop asking questions."
"He doesn't want to live without his brother, why did you have me get him? Doesn't he have a right to die if he wants to?"
"NO!" Bobby's spirit flickered, "He can't die, not now! You can help him Katy, help him get over this. Show him he can live without Sammy."
"I don't know that I'm the one to show him that Bobby. Lately I haven't much felt like living either." she crossed her arms and glared.
"Katy! Don't say that! It's not your time either. You have so much more to do in your life and so does Dean. Maybe helping him will help you too..."
"Oh so that's why you were sending him here huh?" She started pacing in front of the picture window, "Two birds one stone kinda thing? You and Death work this out? Part of your big master plan? Put the two damaged people together and see what shakes out?"
Bobby sighed, "Just help him please, help him see that he can go on with his life. I have to go now. I'll check in with you again."
His lopsided smile made her smile even though she was angry. "Just go..." She murmured as his spirit dissipated.
She flopped down in one of the overstuffed chairs in front of the window and just thought for a while. She didn't know if she could convince him that life was worth living again. Did she even believe that herself? Everyone and everything died and wasn't that the most painful part of life? Or was it watching her Mother suffer and die so slowly as the cancer took her? Was it fair to convince Dean that life would be ok without his brother?
Eventually she took a deep breath, stood up and walked to the phone, dialing a number she knew by heart.
"Hey Bud, it's Katy. Yeah, it has been a while. You're right too long. We will be opening again in a week. It's time. I know, I know. I'm ready. Thanks, I miss them both. Everyday. You'll get the word out right? Thanks. Next Monday, we will be ready for hunters next Monday. I promise I'll keep in touch. Bye"
She actually felt good when she hung up the phone. That feeling had been gone for so long.
She made a few more calls and supplies would be coming in over the next few days. The only thing she didn't order was liquor. She usually kept whiskey on hand for hunters to drink, but she wanted to wait and see how Dean handled all this. If he did at all.
She glanced at the clock and realized it was after 8:00 PM, time to go back up and check on the patient.
As she walked up the stairs the aches and pains of the past few days came back, hurt back, legs sore, face hurt. "It's hell getting older."
As she walked through the upstairs door, she saw Dean just sitting down on the bed. "You ok?"
He nodded slowly. "I'm sorry..." he started.
"Nothing to be sorry for Dean. We should mourn those that have gone on. The question is, can you get up and move forward? Can you, will you, continue living? Even without Sam?"
He stared at the lamp for a few moments, "I don't know that I can. I have been responsible for Sam since he was 6 months old. I have done everything to make sure he is ok and now he's gone. Gone for good. I failed him."
"I know that feeling, but sometimes as hard as it is, it's just time for them to move on without us. Until recently I didn't know if I could survive. I got up every day and just existed. Went through the motions because that's what I'm supposed to do. I think I'm ready to try living again. I think. I have a week to get the shop ready and I hope you can help me. We will be open for hunters next Monday. I think there are a lot of them that could use your advice and knowledge."
He turned to look at her, "Did you tell me that Bobby told you to save me? Or did I dream that?"
She sat down on the couch facing him, "No dream, Bobby sent me. Well, he was trying to send you here, but you didn't make it. I think you threw up and passed out. So he told me where to find you."
"I threw up? In the CAR?" he groaned.
"Oh I think you did lots of stuff in he car." she wrinkled her nose. "It smells pretty bad."
"Son of a bitch."
"Well at least I could get the car back here after you hit that tree..."
"I WRECKED the car?!" he laid back in the bed. "Shit."
"The car is safely locked up in the garage, don't think the frame is bent but it will take a lot of work to get back in driving shape."
"How does Bobby know you?" he was focused on the ceiling trying to make his head stop throbbing.
"I've known him my whole life. He used to come around a lot, well when he was alive. He doesn't visit as much now that he's, you know, dead."
"But if this place is warded so well, how can he get in?"
"I have no idea, but he does." She still didn't think mentioning Death was a great idea just yet.
The conversation continued about Bobby as she fixed him some broth and got him to drink more water. He still had a fever but at least he was communicating. She actually got him to eat a couple pieces of vegetables from the stew and keep them down.
By the time midnight came around they were both tired. Since he was able to eat and drink Katy removed the IV and bandaged up his hand.
She gave him a couple more aspirin and some carbonated soda.
"What happened to your face?" he reached up and gently touched one of the band aids.
"Your nightmares are very... interactive apparently."
Dean frowned, "I'm sorry, I didn't..."
She cut him off, "Don't worry, you were sound asleep and pretty damn strong even when you're sick." She gave him a smile and patted his shoulder.
She tucked him in with the heated blanket and turned the lights off. She again, curled up on the couch.
"Aren't you tired of sleeping on the couch?" he asked.
"No. I have spent more nights than I can count on this couch. We have a long history and we get along just fine." She affectionately patted the blue cushion behind her head.
"Why is that?"
"My Mom, she was sick. So I was always near and she loved the fireplace, so we just lived in this room. The two bedrooms are pretty much empty. She had cancer...for a really long time." Katy sighed.
"Thanks. You know, if you ever want to talk about Sam..." She let the sentence trail off and he didn't reply.
For a long while the room was quiet other than the popping of the wood in the fireplace. The glow shaded the room in a low amber color. She glanced at him and his green eyes were intently fixed on the fire.
As she fell asleep she did something she hadn't done in a very long time. She prayed. She wasn't sure who she was praying to exactly, maybe just to the universe. Katy prayed for those that had passed to be at peace. She prayed that Dean would feel better and that he wouldn't have anymore nightmares. Much to her own surprise she prayed that he would stay and be able to find his own peace. She fell into a deep sleep in the middle of her prayer and shortly thereafter Dean fell into a sound sleep as well.
Bobby and Cas stood outside in the snow staring up at the window to the living room.
"I don't like this Cas. Not one bit. It's wrong."
"Bobby, it's necessary. Sometimes lessons have to be learned the hard way. If you don't like it, take it up with Chuck."
They both disappeared and the full moon above shown on the undisturbed white snow and it sparkled so many stars.