A/N: We have come to the end of the journey my dear readers and I hope you have enjoyed the ride with its ups and downs, the good times and the bad. It has been nearly a year since I started this story and it just seems like yesterday, time seems to pass faster these days. Thank you to all who came along for the ride and to all who left me reviews. Thank you to the guests who left reviews that I couldn't personally reply to, I appreciate your thoughts. Since there are some unanswered questions, I guess you know that means this story will be a trilogy. Yes, there is more to share from this spn universe. This last chapter was hard to write knowing this was the end, I hope I have done it justice. I have a couple of new stories I will be posting soon; hope you will give them a try. Would like to know your thoughts on the ending, please review. NC


Chapter 120

The shivering continued as Sam quickly stripped out of his dripping wet clothes, dried off and put on sweats, a tee shirt and a warm hoodie. He sat on the side of the bed trying to control the anger he was feeling for his brother while trying to breathe. He knew Dean was hurting and grieving, but he was not going to let him throw the rest of his life away, he couldn't let that happen. He coughed hard and leaned over to spit into the trash can while grabbing tissues to blow his nose. Getting drenched again didn't help him as he wrapped his arms around his body to try and get warm. His head was pounding now, but he knew he needed to put on a strong front before confronting Dean. The bed felt so inviting as he sat on it; Sam figured laying down a few minutes wouldn't hurt while he waited for Dean to finish in the bathroom. He curled up on his side on the twin bed and tried to stop the constant shivering running up and down his body. Wheezing noises drifted from his mouth as it sagged open letting him breathe and a rattling was beginning in his chest. His eyes grew heavy and closed on their own as he fought to keep them open, but was loosing the battle. One more failed attempt at staying awake and he was lost in the sea of darkness, fighting to draw in each breath of air he took.

Dean came out of the bathroom with a towel cinched around his waist and headed to his bedroom for clean clothes. He saw a pile of wet clothes lying outside the other bedroom door and looked in to see Sam lying down on one of the twin beds. It didn't register that something was wrong with him since he was still beating himself up for what he had done. Figuring Sam needed to rest and not knowing how sick he was, Dean went on into the other bedroom, put on his clothes and came back out, pausing to pick up Sam's wet clothes and gathered his from the bathroom. He was going to go ahead and throw them in the washer along with the towels.

spn

The cabin was too quiet to his liking so he switched on the radio sitting on the table in the living room. There was a television, but it only picked up two channels and was really only used to watched movies from the collection lining a couple of shelves nearby. Dean paused for a moment when a haunting melody came out of the speakers and stood there listening to the lyrics as a female vocalist began to sing.

"You're broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry-go-round
And you can't find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains

And I'll rise up
I'll rise like the day
I'll rise up
I'll rise unafraid
I'll rise up
And I'll do it a thousand times again
And I'll rise up
High like the waves
I'll rise up
In spite of the ache
I'll rise up
And I'll do it a thousand times again
For you...For you...For you...For you."

The words seem to call to him to listen, to hear the story it was telling like it was being sung personally for him. He slipped into a chair and sat forward with his elbows on his knees and his head resting on his clasped hands. Could he do that? Could he rise up and continue on? The more he heard the more a little spark of hope began to burn in his soul, chasing away some of the darkness that had invaded it. No, he would never completely get over her, but he would learn to cherish the good memories and find a way to go on, if not for himself but for his little brother who stood by him through it all. He saw the hurt and concern in Sam's eyes when he came for him at the lake and knew had had let him down and felt bad about putting him through that. He needed to find it in himself to do it since no one else could do it for him.

"When the silence isn't quiet
And it feels like it's getting hard to breathe
And I know you feel like dying
But I promise we'll take the world to its feet
And move mountains
Bring it to its feet
And move mountains
And I'll rise up
I'll rise like the day
I'll rise up
I'll rise unafraid
I'll rise up
And I'll do it a thousand times again
For you, For you, For you, For you

All we need, all we need is hope
And for that we have each other
And for that we have each other
We will rise
We will rise
We'll rise, oh oh
We'll rise

I'll rise up
Rise like the day
I'll rise up
In spite of the ache
I will rise a thousand times again
And we'll rise up
High like the waves
We'll rise up
In spite of the ache
We'll rise up
And we'll do it a thousand times again
For you oh oh oh oh oh, For you oh oh oh oh, For you oh oh oh..."

The song faded to an end and Dean looked out the front window at the pouring rain wondering if the drops were the tears of the angels. A voice sounded behind him and he turned thinking it was Sam only to see no one was there.

"You can do it, you can rise up Handsome. I have faith in you, just have faith in yourself. Now go to your brother he needs you." the voice whispered in his ear and a feather like touch caressed his cheek. He closed his eyes and reveled in the moment as a heaviness lifted from his soul and a single tear broke free to track down his cheek.

There was no doubt in his mind that Everlee was speaking to him and he knew she was right. He did have the strength and courage to move past what had happened, but he knew deep down in his heart he would never forget it. Dean knew he needed to make it right with his brother and let him know he would be ok, maybe not today or tomorrow or next week, but given some time it would get better for him. He got up and headed back down the hall to the bedrooms. Now that he was starting to be more aware, he sensed and heard the noises coming from Sam's bedroom. Dean stepped into the room and to the twin bed to look down at his brother. He couldn't see very much with the storm overhead casting the room in shadows so he turned on the bedside lamp.

"Sammy?" Dean questioned reaching out to gently shake his shoulder. Sam didn't answer him as he struggled to breath, sounding worse now that he was closer. He put a hand on his forehead feeling the heat wafting off his sweaty skin and the trembling of his body. "Why didn't you tell me you were sick bro?" Dean asked softly going automatically into big brother mode. "Damn you're burning up." he mumbled heading to the bathroom to see what medicine was in there. Dean rummaged around and found some pills for the flu that were to help with fever, congestion, runny nose and body aches. He was pretty sure Sam had the beginnings of a bad cold, maybe the flu, possibly a sinus infection or even worse. He could kick himself for not realizing it sooner, but his mind had shut down after the funeral and nothing registered to him. After getting some water in a cup, he went back to the bedroom to try and rouse Sam enough to take the medicine.

Sam moaned and coughed hard when Dean rolled him to his back so he could administer the pills.

"Hey, hey bro think ya can sit up for a minute and take some medicine?" Dean asked him as he slipped an arm under his shoulders to raise his upper body. "C'mon open up, we need to get this fever down." Dean pushed the pills between Sam's lips and pressed the glass to them tilting it so water could run into his mouth. "You gotta swallow Sammy. Work with me here dude." he begged as water ran down Sam's chin and his head rolled limply to side as if on a rubber band.

Sam clutched at the water glass in Dean's hand after feeling the wetness in his mouth and tried to guzzle the liquid to sooth his sore, raw throat. He choked on the last swallow before Dean could get it away and started to strangle not able to breathe. Dean quickly sat the glass down and grabbed Sam's hoodie front jerking him to a sitting position and slapping him on the back a couple of times.

"Breath Sammy!" he demanded giving him a little harder slap on the back and sighed with relief when he heard the wheezy intake of air. "That's it bro, slow and easy.

Sam struggled to get a breathe, finally pulling air into his lungs when suddenly he coughed hard and sneezed sending mucus and snot from his mouth and nose down the front of his hoodie. His head hung forward and strings of snot dripped from his nose as he drew in another deeper breath.

"Man that is just nasty dude!" Dean grimaced with disgust. "Hold still this is gotta go." Dean worked the hoodie up Sam's body and pulled it over his head and got his arms free. He held the hoodie out in front of him with two fingers before tossing it in the corner. "Here blow your nose." Dean told him holding out tissues in front of his face.

Sam grunted and accepted the tissues and blew his nose with a loud snort. He coughed hard loosening some mucus and spit it into the tissue before offering it back to Dean.

"Are you serious? I ain't touching that crap." Dean complained picking up the trash can and holding it for Sam to deposit the used tissue. "I'm thinking gloves and mask may be needed bro, just how contagious are you?"

"I need...I need to...get up." Sam gasped out as he started to get up trying to make his limbs obey his brain but was having a hard time with it.

"Like hell you are." Dean told him pressing a hand to his chest to hold him in place.

"I'm...Fine..." Sam wheezed as he weakly struggled with Dean trying to push his hand out of the way.

"You're not going anywhere bro, except to lay here and rest. Seriously dude, you'll face plant into the floor if I let you get up."

"But we need...we need..." Sam tried to get out as he laid back, closing his eyes and breathing hard from the exertion. He could feel his chest tightening up making it hard to get the air into his lungs.

"It can wait, I'm not going anywhere." Dean told him brushing the sweat soaked hair from his brother's face. "My turn to take care of you little brother. This is my fault, I should of noticed sooner that you were sick."

"Dee..." Sam coughed as he eyes opened for a moment and fell back closed. "H'rt...C'ld" he said hoarsely as he winced when he tried to swallow. He knew he couldn't fight his brother and stopped struggling.

"I know bro. I'm gonna get the covers out from under you to cover you up, just hang on for a minute."

Dean worked the covered down past Sam's shoulders, moving him when he needed to so he could get them out from under him. He covered Sam's body and added a quilt tucking everything around him. Sam curled back on his side not acknowledging Dean as he got him bundled up. He went back to the bathroom and wet two wash clothes, one to wipe Sam's face and the other to lay across his forehead. Once he had Sam's face cleaned, he laid the other cold folded cloth across his hot forehead. Dean didn't need a thermometer to know Sam's temperature was way too high. He pulled a chair closer to the bed and settled into it. He looked to the window and watched the rain beat against it, running quickly down the glass. It sounded like the worse of the storm had moved on leaving only the heavy downpour. Sam jerked in his light doze and sneezed sending snot dripping from his nose.

"That's it, you need a hot toddy and more covers." Dean told him as he wiped Sam's face and the quilt top clean. "You don't move, I'll be right back."

spn

Dean headed for the kitchen and looked in the cabinets pulling down honey, a cup and a bottle of whiskey. He looked in the fridge and found some lemon juice. He poured a generous shot of whiskey into the cup, added honey and lemon juice and sat it in the microwave to heat up for a few seconds. Once it was ready, he headed back to the bedroom, blowing on it as he walked back toward the bedroom wanting to cool it so Sam could drink it.

"Ok Sammy, I made ya a hot toddy." Dean said patting Sam's cheeks to wake him.

"Wh..." Sam slurred trying to force his watery eyes open.

"Drink this." Dean ordered holding the cup to his lips and tilting it to let the warm liquid flow into Sam's mouth. He watched as Sam swallowed a couple of times and coughed lightly as the liquid hit his stomach sending a wave of heat throughout his body. "Good boy." Dean praised him sitting the cup down and covering him back up. He went to the other bed and pulled the cover from it to drape over his brother. "Gotta sweat this crap outta you Sammy. Gotta get ya better."

Sam watched through half closed eyes as Dean bundled him up like a mummy. He could barely move under all the covers as the whiskey started working making him woozy and lightheaded. He fought back the need to gag, knowing he needed to keep the toddy down. He could see his big brother in Dean's face again standing over him and tried to smile at him as his eyes closed all the way. That was what he had wanted, the big brother who took care of him and looked out for him back again. Sam sniffed and tried to get his hand out from under the covers to wipe his runny nose, but felt a wet cloth wipe over his face and around his nose. He could feel the coolness of another cloth across his forehead as his mind shut down and darkness claimed him.

spn

The cabin was quiet except for the raspy, wheezy breathing coming from the twin bed as Sam tried to breath with a stopped up head, chest congestion and sore throat. After getting Sam up once to use the bathroom and to get more drugs into him, Dean tucked him back in. He stretched out on the other twin bed since he didn't want to be far from him in case he was needed. He listened to Sam struggling to breathe and wondered if he should pack them up and head back as soon as it was dawn so Sam could see a doctor. From the sounds and looks of the crap coming out of him, he was sure he had a bad sinus infection and he didn't want it to turn into something worse like pneumonia. Since he had unfortunately had those before, Dean knew antibiotics were needed to clear it up. He lightly dozed as he listened for any distress coming from his brother. He would make a decision in the morning once he saw how Sam was doing.

Coughing and choking woke Dean in the early hours of the morning and he hurried to the other bed. He found Sam hanging off the side of the bed so he could spit into the trash can. He coughed again and cleared his throat trying to get up as much mucus as he could out of his chest.

"Easy there bro, don't need ya falling on your head." Dean cautioned him looping an arm under his chest to hold him and rubbing his back with the other. "Get what ya can out." he said as Sam coughed hard again and spit before he could draw in a shaky breath. He let Dean guide him back to the pillow and worked on making his lungs work. "Damn Sammy, you look like crap. How do you feel?"

"B'te me." Sam winced hoarsely as he tried to swallow the salvia building up in his mouth only to cough most of it out to run down his chin.

"That's it; I'm packing us up and we're heading back home." Dean stated straightening back up a look of determination on his face.

"No! No!" Sam barked as loud as he could. "I'm fine."

"You need a doctor Sammy and stronger drugs than what we have."

"Cas."

"What? Cas? You mean that angel dude? What can he do?"

"H'lp." Sam grunted at him before closing his eyes and struggled to get the next lung full of air.

"I don't like this..." Dean mumbled stepping back from the bed and looked toward the ceiling not sure exactly what to do. "Ummm...Hello up there are you listening? Cas I need your help...I'm praying to you...Damn how is this suppose to work?" Dean complained to himself.

"What is it you need Dean Winchester?" Castiel asked as he appeared beside him making Dean jump back in surprise.

"You gotta quit doing that." Dean fussed at him as he got his composure back. "Sammy's sick, think ya can help him?"

Castiel turned to the bed and looked at the sick Winchester struggling to take his next breath. He stepped to the bed and sat down beside him. Dean moved closer so he could watch his every move since he still didn't trust the angel. Sam didn't move as Castiel laid a hand on his hot brow and let his healing grace flow into him. Soft bluish light shone from around his hand for a few seconds and then vanished. The angel stood and looked back down at Sam who was suddenly breathing easier and started to look better.

"He will sleep for a while but he is healed." Cas told Dean who moved around him to lay his own hand on Sam's forehead.

"Thank you." Dean said when he felt coolness instead of feverish skin. He pulled some of the cover off him and tossed them to the other bed. "I need some coffee; wanna join me?" Dean asked Cas giving him a sideway glance to see if he would.

"If you like." Cas replied curious about the invitation. He followed Dean from the room to the kitchen and took a seat at the table while Dean made a fresh pot of coffee. This was the first time Dean had shown friendship toward the angel and wanted to see what he might say.

spn

"Here you go." Dean said sitting a cup of coffee in front of Cas as he took a seat across from him with his own coffee.

"I have no need for sustenance." Cas told him cocking his head and looking at the coffee.

"Will it hurt you?"

"No, I can partake when it pleases me."

"Humor me then." Dean shrugged as he sipped his coffee. "Keep me from drinking alone."

Cas looked at the cup for a moment before picking it up and taking a small sip. He didn't find it appalling and took another one. The strong, slightly bitter taste of the hot liquid was rather pleasant.

"So Sammy'll be ok now?" Dean asked.

"Yes, the sickness is gone; he just needs to rest for a while to let his mind catch up with his body."

"That's good." Dean sighed wiping the tiredness from his face.

"I can sense your loss and I am sorry." Cas said.

"I'm dealing with it." Dean said in a gruff voice looking away.

"I can see it is hard for a human to lose someone they hold dear. The pain can sometimes be overwhelming." Cas continued staring at Dean. "What was she like? This person you have lost."

Dean looked down at his hands cupped around the coffee cup and smiled slightly.

"She was amazing..." Dean started. "I've never met anyone like her. She was so alive and loving and caring...Her smile could light up a room and make you feel like everything was going to be ok. She had a way of seeing around the bad and finding the good. She was an artist and so talented. What she could bring out in a drawing was beyond words. It was like she could capture an essence that no one else saw." he talked, a far away look in his eyes and a small smile on his face as he pictured her smiling face. "She saved my life on a hunt that went wrong."

"I know, Sam prayed to me for help." Cas told him.

"What?" Dean questioned zeroing in on the angel with a stunned look on his face.

"I helped as much as I could. I have to be cautious and not draw attention to myself."

"Right...Your angel buddies might get mad at you." Dean said sarcastically.

"I like this task and wouldn't want to be taken off it." Cas said in a serious tone.

Dean looked at the angel with his head tilted slightly and looked him over. He seemed sincere about what he was saying and this surprised him. He couldn't understand why he would like this task he was given.

"Why do you like watching me?" Dean questioned him.

"You're an interesting human being."

"You're kidding right?" Dean laughed out loud. "Me? I drink too much, swear too much, hustle too much, take too many risks with my life; I'm the last human you should think was interesting especially after the life I've had."

"You may be all that but you're also a survivor Dean and you have a very strong, bright spirit. You hunt the monsters of this world to protect those who can't protect themselves. I've seen you bleeding, broken and almost die for others and you still keep doing it. You don't back down from anything no matter how dangerous it is. Look at how many years you searched for your brother and the hardships you endured, but you never gave up on finding him. You don't give yourself enough credit, there is still much to be done, but it is up to you whether you continue or decide to end it. But think on this, how far will your brother go to bring you back? You know he wouldn't rest until he did..." Cas said trailing off as he watched the facial expressions on Dean's face change while he talked. He was very good at hiding his true feelings, but Cas could see right through him. "Maybe I see the man you will become..."

Dean frowns at his words when he realized he was right. Sam would do whatever he had to bring him back and he couldn't let him do that. That was a conversation for another time, but for now those thoughts disappeared, he couldn't leave his brother now.

"I should go; take care Dean Winchester." Castiel told him before standing up and vanishing.

"I'll never get use to that." Dean mumbled as he blinked a couple of times looking to the place the angel had been a second ago. He got up and filled his cup again before going to stand at the window and watch the steady rain fall. He pulled a chair over and took a seat knowing he had a lot to think about. The radio was still playing in the background but he wasn't listening to it. It was more for the noise since it was so quiet here at the cabin. He usually liked the silence, but right now...It allowed too many of the unwanted memories to invade his mind.

spn

A couple hours later Dean heard movement behind him and turned to see Sam stumble from the hall rubbing his eyes and looking around until he spotted Dean. Dean gave him a strange look as he took in his brother's appearance. His hair was sticking out in every direction and his face still showed signs of heavy sleep as he tried to wake up. Dean started to comment when the last words of a song caught his attention.

"Carry on my wayward sons
For there'll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don't you cry no more

Carry on, you will always remember
Carry on, nothing equals the splendor
Now your life's no longer empty
Surely heaven waits for you

Carry on my wayward sons
For there'll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don't you cry no more"

He looked to his brother as the music died away and saw Sam had been listening to the words too. They looked to each other both feeling the meaning deep down inside their souls.

"You gonna be ok Dee?" Sam asked softly giving his brother a cautious and encouraging look.

"Yeah Sammy, we'll be ok." Dean told him stepping closer to pull him into a strong, brotherly hug. They would be ok because they had each other and the strong bond that connected them at such a deep, spiritual level.

The End