**Here we are at the end. It's hard to wrap my mind around the fact that What the Actual Fuck is over, timestamps notwithstanding. I don't have words to tell you how much I love each and every one of you. The support and caring and just straight up love that comes from all of you blows me away every day. You guys are just wonderful.
Six Months Later
You wake up and turn toward what should be a warm body in your bed, but is instead empty sheets. You grumble and crack an eye open to confirm that Dean isn't there with you and scowl. "God dammit."
You groan and roll yourself out of bed, frowning at the lack of soulmate or dog in the bedroom. The thought of Winch sends a pang through your heart, so you quickly dress in one of Dean's t-shirts (payment for making you wake up alone) and a pair of jeans and you head downstairs.
The smell of coffee and toast hits your nose and you smile when you see Dean standing at the back door of the kitchen, mug in his hand, glaring out the window.
You come up behind him and press your front to his back. "Morning, handsome," you murmur into his shoulderblades.
He smiles and runs his hand down your arm. "Hey, princess."
"Kids," Bobby's severe voice is behind you. "No mackin' in the kitchen. I gotta eat in here."
"We ain't mackin' nothin', Bobby," Dean says easily. "Just watching the kids in the yard."
Bobby grumbles as he pours a cup of coffee, then comes to stand next to you. "Think I found a case for you," he says just after taking a sip.
You turn to look at him, cheek still pressed to Dean's back. "Where?"
"What's it look like?" Dean asks, eyes still on the yard.
Bobby shrugs. "Probably a spirit, could be somethin' nastier."
"Who's in the area?"
"That new kid should still be out there," Dean says. "Fuck, why can't I ever remember his name?"
You share an amused look with Bobby. "Do you mean Dennis?"
"Dennis!" he says with relish. "I knew that."
You smile and press a kiss to his back. "Of course you did, dear." Before he can start griping again, you look back at Bobby. "What angels are out there?"
"Well, that's Chamuel's territory, but Pahaliah's been making the rounds, too."
You nod and try to stifle a yawn. "I'll call Dennis, then Pahal."
Things have calmed down since the Siege, which everyone says with so much reverence that it pretty much demands its own capital letter.
Immediately after Raphael's death, Cass and Sarah took you home and tried to tell you that leading heaven was up to you now. Since that sounds like a specific and ferocious version of your own personal hell, you immediately balked. Then you did what any reasonable woman in your position would do: You gave leadership of heaven over to them.
The shocked, almost panicked look on poor Cass' face is something that you'll cherish for the rest of your life.
(Speaking of Cass and Sarah, as soon as things were settled enough after the Siege, they did, in fact, find an abandoned home in the countryside, and no one saw them for at least a week. Sarah won't tell you what happened, even when you offered to trade information fair and square, but you know that they both seem much more relaxed,they're extremely affectionate, and disgustingly in love. It's beautiful.)
After they stopped panicking, Cass and Sarah took to leadership in a way that let you know you made the right call.
(After a mourning period, of course. A multitude of angels were lost, including Imamiah, the angel who spoke with Winch the morning of the Siege. Pahaliah lost half of her left arm, and carries no regrets in her heart, because Pahaliah wouldn't know how to regret anything anyway.
There were humans lost, too. A few of the hunters, and most heartbreakingly, Jo Harvelle, died in the Siege. Ellen remains heartbroken, as do the rest of you.)
The first thing they did was, essentially, kick all of the angels out of heaven to walk among humankind. It went well, because regardless of how awful and dirty and mean humanity can be, it's also amazing and beautiful and loving, and there's no better way to see that than to be knee-deep in it. After the exercise, any angels who remained unconvinced were brought over to your way of thinking.
When they all got back to heaven, Cass and Sarah split the earth up into sections (big sections) and assigned each angel to one. It was considered their domain, the humans there considered that angel's humans, and they were given the relatively vague order of "protect humanity."
(When you asked about the weird wording, Sarah just smiled and said, "They will find their own ways to do it. If we tell them exactly what to do, there will have been very little benefit from the Siege. This way, they will figure it out on their own, and will be better for it." As usual, Sarah has been right about this.)
There are some angels who requested that they not be tied down to one region. Cass and Sarah approved of this show of personality, and set them up being kind of "floaters," roaming the earth, helping where they see a need, hunting big game that's on the more dangerous end of the supernatural.
It's a system that has worked beautifully so far.
Maybe as a natural progression of time, maybe it's in response to the angels being on the ground, but hunters have started to leave behind the "road warrior, nomad, citizen of the earth" lifestyle and settle down in one place. Those places are viciously protected, as hunters lay down roots and start to care about the people around them.
Seeing the way that the hunting community and the angels have adapted, and the way that they're all working together to make it happen, makes your heart so full it aches.
Dean turns around to wrap his arm firmly around your waist and press a kiss to your forehead. "Not until after breakfast, you're not."
You smile and lean into the touch, while simultaneously stealing his cup of coffee and taking a sip. "Of course not," you say soothingly.
After the Siege, you and Dean were so soul-level exhausted that you took a vacation.
You road-tripped across the country, stopping at Dean's favorite places, and sights and tourist attractions that neither of you had seen before (you didn't do a lot of travelling before him, so you didn't have any favorites to go to).
That peace lasted about a week.
Once a week passed, you both started to get the itch to hunt, though Dean got it worse than you. Since full-time hunting wasn't really what either of you wanted, however, you decided to take some simple cases on the way back to Bobby's place. Just salt-and-burns, and one ghoul that still makes you wrinkle your nose in disgust.
When you got back, you sat down together and hashed it out. There were some high emotions, but it was almost… Comforting to fight with Dean like that. To fight like you both knew, no matter how angry you got, you still love each other more.
(Speaking of love, the worry you had that Dean would withdraw and become less affectionate after his passionate declaration of love was so, so, so unneeded. If anything, he has more of a constant desire to touch you, to reassure himself that you're still around. It's amazing, and even though he still only says, "I love you, princess," in that gruff, sweet voice of his when you're alone, and usually can only say it if you're not making direct eye contact, it's still more than you ever thought you would have, and you treasure it.)
Once the dust settled, you came to the conclusion that you both still want to be in the family business, but you're also among the hunters who want to settle down in one place. Bobby gruffly agreed to let you stay while the two of you looked for a house.
Six months later, neither of you have looked very hard, and Bobby hasn't said a word about you leaving.
It's just so peaceful at the salvage yard. Angels still come to see you, so the threat of the supernatural is nil, what with all of the heavenly power that's so often sitting in the living room with you. The angels come all the time, to touch base or to report to you or just to talk. They're becoming kind of high-powered humans, and since that was kind of the end goal, you're happy with it.
A natural consequence of staying with Bobby as that you and Dean have each become a mini-Bobby. You advise new hunters, answer the FBI and CIA phone lines on occasion. It's nice, a way to stay in the hunting world, but not be on the road. Dean will sometimes still go on a hunt, if someone really needs help, or if there's something crazy that he really wants to see. Sometimes you go with him, sometimes you don't.
You did lay down rules, though, for being Grand Central Station for hunters. Like, "no calls before breakfast or after dinner."
You smile up at the love of your life while he glares at you and your pilfered coffee. "You should bring everyone inside."
Dean hmphs and turns to call out the window. "Hey! Breakfast!"
You move around Bobby to start getting stuff ready for eggs and toast. You've stopped cooking for everyone who's here by yourself, and started making them help. You start cracking eggs, and look over at Bobby. "Has Sam called?"
"Yeah," the older hunter snorts. "He's like a kid in a candy store."
You smile. "Good."
One of the first things you did after the Siege was tell Sam how to get into the bunker. Once he had the key and got in, you're certain the only reason he didn't squeal like a little girl was through great force of will. Watching him run around like an excited toddler is also a cherished memory.
Sam immediately reinstated the Men of Letters (with a few significant changes), although you argued against the sexist name. You, Dean, Ellen, and Bobby were the first names on the new list of members, and several others have been added over the last few months.
Sam has set up his own bedroom, and a guest room for you and Dean, but the rest of the rooms are set up for any passing hunters who need a break, or who need medical attention. Situated in the middle of the country like it is, the bunker is a good halfway point so no one drives off the road in exhaustion, or bleeds out in the backseat of a car. Someone just has to know where to knock, or call Sam, to get help.
Sam is also going back to school, part-time, to go ahead and earn his law degree. He doesn't want to do the Men of Letters thing forever, but he figures having a lawyer in the organization might help hunters who get themselves into tight spots.
You're so proud of him you could spit, and you see the same pride shining in Dean's eyes every time the two of you talk about the youngest Winchester.
The clatter of feet rattling the porch swells in the kitchen, the door bangs open, and four kids, ranging from the age of six year old twins to your new resident seventeen year old, come barreling into the kitchen.
"Kids!" you say severely, and to your gratification, everyone stops immediately. "Enhance your calm, guys, it's just eggs."
"Sorry," they all mutter at the same time, and you have to suppress the urge to coo at how fucking cute that was.
An almost unforeseen circumstance has you, Bobby, and Dean running what amounts to a kind of foster care for kids who've been orphaned by the supernatural.
Kaylie, a twelve year old who's still with you, was left homeless and parentless when a werewolf killed her parents and younger brother. Pahaliah, who happened to be the one to dispatch the werewolf, brought the child to you, in the dead of night, because she didn't know what else to do with her.
"The human foster care system is… Flawed, and I do not want her harmed," the angel said, baffled at her own sentimentality.
Bobby was hesitant, but you argued that since Kaylie was affected by the supernatural, there wasn't a foster care system in the world that would be able to take care of her like you're able to. Lucky for you, Dean was a goner as soon as he laid eyes on the blue-eyed little girl.
So it kind of became a custom. Sometimes, you're able to find relatives who can take the kids (but not before they're thoroughly vetted by Dean and Sam, who are ridiculously protective). There are a remarkable amount of hunters who are willing to take them in (also after being vetted), to teach them the life if they want to be taught.
Kaylie wants to stay with you, and after a talk with Dean and Bobby, you've all decided that you're okay with that. She slipped a few days ago and called Dean, "Dad." He wasn't in the room, but you teared up and hugged her fiercely until she complained.
Kaylie starts buttering toast, and the other kids set the table and start on the eggs. You smile at the domesticity.
Aaron, the oldest boy, is probably going to go with Garth. They're of a similar nature, caring to a fault, and a little bit weird. Aaron has a lot of anger in him, though, and Garth is good at smoothing over rough edges. You think it's a good fit.
The twins are going to go with Jody, at least for a while, at least until she figures something else out. You have your suspicions that she'll be keeping them, but mum's the word until she decides that on her own.
You frown, realizing the kitchen looks kind of empty. "Guys, where's the dog?"
Aaron blushes a little, then goes to open the back door.
There's the steady click-clack of dog nails on the boards of the porch, a sound that never fails to relax you.
Aaron holds the for open to let a perfectly healthy, tail-wagging, recently three-legged Winch into the kitchen.
The moments after Raphael stabbed Winch with the archangel blade were by far the worst of your life. Winch was whimpering and crying and bleeding, and you didn't know what to do but hold him and rock him back and forth.
Sarah was able to heal him, to an extent. The archangel's blade did some damage that even she couldn't reverse, resulting in the loss of Winch's front left leg. You've never been more grateful in your entire life, because the hit should have been so, so much worse.
When she healed him, Sarah noticed the difference in Winch. She tried to explain it to you, but you were so relieved to see the wounds closing up on his shoulder that you weren't really listening, and now you're a little too sheepish to ask her to explain it again.
You did absorb some of it, though. It would be hard not to, what with the angels suddenly calling him, "the Blade," and treating him with even more awe and love than they did before. Winch was somehow, by someone, made a weapon to be used against the archangels, and that came with the perk of having some pretty strong resistance to being hurt by their blades.
Whatever happened, as long as he's happy and healthy, you're pretty much all right with damn near anything.
You smile at his approach, and reach a hand down to scratch behind his ears. "Hey, buddy," you murmur. He pants up at you happily. Winch is adjusting well to being a tripod, mostly because he quite literally hasn't noticed a difference whatsoever, except that he gets more table scraps now, so he's starting to get kind of fat.
You don't have the heart to tell them to stop, though.
You look around the kitchen with a smile on your face. Dean is running his hand through Kaylie's hair, because it's a mess, and making her giggle and squirm. Bobby's directing the twins with all of the gruff tenderness he's able to manage as they set forks and spoons on the table. Aaron is drinking his coffee like it has the answer to life, the universe, and everything at the bottom of the cup.
Somewhere else, Sarah and Cass are making out like teenagers.
Somewhere else, Sam is talking a hunter through a hunt, probably while making breakfast for the guests he currently has in the bunker.
Your smile is so wide it almost hurts as you kneel next to Winch and let him lick a long stripe up the side of your face.
"We did good, buddy," you whisper.
Chuck, invisible in the corner, nods with a smile on His face.
"You really, really did."
Hi, beautiful readers! Here are my notes:
I don't own Supernatural or any of the characters. (heartbroken)
Reviews, comments, and kudos give me life and keep me going.
And, as always, thank you for reading, you beautiful, beautiful people.
**Thank you. Always. So much. I can't tell you. There are no words.
**Sorrynotsorry about torturing you about Winch.