Dean has to face his own memories, a trip home, an estranged father,
and his own mother.
Pairing: Dean, Sam(gen), PG13- language warning.
A/N: It's the end. Thank you all for your support and I hope the epilogue has done it, and you justice. Title from Slaughter's song of the same name.
Disclaimer: Supernatural and them guys are not mine. This is not for profit
They had decided to leave. After another restless night, once their father had left, Sam had informed Missouri that they would be moving on again. Lawrence, Kansas, was a place that neither Sam nor Dean wanted to be and if he was going to be honest, he just wanted to get Dean away from this town and that house – as far away as possible – just hit the gas and keep on going and regain some semblance of normality.
He chuckled to himself, realising how easy it was to slip back in to thinking that endless motels and hours in the Impala were anyway normal. An arsenal of weapons. Lies and cover stories. Living out of duffel bags. Injured or sick. The Winchester way of life, he thought dryly, but Dean had a way of making the shit life he had led seem just that bit more bearable and whether he truly wanted to get back on the road or not didn't even fathom in to the equation. This place just equalled hit the road and don't look back.
Sam hadn't known what to expect from Dean now that their mother, or energy if he was going to be precise – it didn't really matter, Dean had still felt her essence within him – had been extricated from him and he had seen her across the threshold to the other side. Of course, besides the whole emotional side effects of the attachment, and the fact that he had felt his mother's thoughts and had heard her voice running through his head, he'd never been that forthcoming with his emotions or information. Sensitive and reflective, that much was apparent to Sam, but emotional honesty was a rare thing, expressed in situations of desperation or no escape.
This was different though – he had lost his mother again and Dean was the type of person, Sam thought, who couldn't say goodbye, someone who didn't like to be left alone, left behind, abandoned and rejected.
He had expressed the usual abrupt defensiveness, the misplaced humour that didn't completely cover the pain, anger and hostility and a far of fear that real tears could find their way to leave messy tracks down his cheeks.
What he hadn't expected was the calm, complacent and quietly controlled Dean that he had left upstairs gathering the few belongings that they had taken from the car. If anything he had become quiet and withdrawn, and when Sam asked him questions or feeble comments and general words and observation in passing, Dean would just quietly shrug his shoulders. With a heavy heart Sam knew that this new subdued brother had much to do with their father leaving again.
Thanks Dad. Really appreciate it…
Their mother may have gone, the risk to Jennifer and her family may have passed, but Sam had forcibly decided, although he was smart enough to let Dean think it more of a joint decision, to get away from here, away from the past, away from the fresh new reminders of scars and another loss.
Dad pretty much did that last night too…
As he walked down the hall, he realised in all this time of worrying over the house, Jennifer and Dean, nobody had addressed as to why Sam and Dean were here in the first place and most definitely how the situation had escalated to allow Dean to go into their old house.
Him. Visions. Weird fucking vibes.
It was all his fault, Sam thought; this whole goddamn situation should never have been allowed to happen. He should never have brought Dean here.
"You didn't bring him" a voice said, startling him, "He would have come anyway and you know it".
Missouri stood in the open front doorway, paper bags and groceries piled in her arms.
He strode forward taking one of the bags from her.
"I let him go in there" Sam argued as he followed her into the kitchen.
"Come on Sam" Missouri gently chided as she dumped her own bag on the table, "He thought you were in trouble. Wild horses wouldn't have kept him out".
"But-" he began
She came forward, pulling the bag from his grasp, with a roll of her eyes.
"What is it with you Winchester men and your guilt complexes? Let me say it slowly – You. Are. Not. Responsible. For. Everything. In. The. World" she said, pronouncing each word slowly and with emphasis.
Sam found an amused laugh tumble from his gut as he rubbed his face tiredly.
"You sound like Dean" he commented as started to pick up some of the loose groceries and jars that had tumbled from the bag.
"Well, maybe he's right on this one" Missouri smiled as she too dug into her own bag and proceeded to pack some of the fresh food away into her fridge.
They fell into a silence as both concentrated on filling cupboards full of food and basic necessities.
"Where does your pasta go?" Sam asked, voice filling the silent room.
"Second cupboard on the left, top shelf" Missouri replied automatically.
Sam opened the high cupboard, and wondered briefly how Missouri, in her small frame could reach the assortment of packages, each and everyone piled high on each other. As he busied himself with rearranging the items and packets to enable Missouri a better reach and to fit the pasta on to the already overflowing shelf, he felt Missouri come up behind him.
"You felt it, even when I couldn't" he heard her say.
He turned slowly, feeling the edge of the counter dig into his back, until he found Missouri's soft eyes locked and searching his own.
"What's happening to me Missouri?"
"You boys sure you want to go?" Missouri asked, "You can stay here a bit longer if you want".
They were stood in the drive of Missouri's garden, Dean leaning on the hood of the Impala, Sam and Missouri just off to the side.
"Nah" Sam said, shaking his head, throwing a look towards Dean, "Thanks, but this place, it's not for us. Not anymore".
"O.K." she said, smiling, "I understand".
She abruptly pulled Sam into a hug, fierce arms pulling tight around him as he whispered "I'm always here Sam".
"Yeah, I know" Sam said, pulling away from her, "Thanks for everything Missouri".
"Your welcome honey" she said, patting her hand on his arm.
Missouri turned and took a few steps over to Dean, who tilted his head quizzically, a small smile on his face.
"Goodbye Dean" she said, deciding not to take the same action as she did with Sam, keeping it to just words instead.
"See ya around" he said, letting his body slide down the hood and pushing away from the car.
He started moving around Missouri towards the driver's side, but stalled as Sam stuck his hand up in the air, revealing the car keys suspended and dangling from his finger.
"I'm driving" Sam said.
Dean's eyes hardened briefly and then he shrugged his body and muttered a "Whatever" before turning on his heel and walked briskly back towards the passenger side of the car. He opened the door and slid into the awaiting seat, letting the door thump with obvious distaste and a disgruntled manner.
Again Sam felt worried. Dean hadn't even argued or fought for the keys or made a sly comment about the decision being taken from him – the only sign that that he gave to indicate he wasn't happy was the slam of the car door that reverberated through the early morning silence.
He let his own hand fall into place over the handle of the car, looking once more at Missouri, before letting the door open.
Missouri was looking at Dean through the windshield and his hard, yet unfocused, stare off to the right somewhere, before catching Sam's eye again. She smiled reassuringly at him and with a wider grin, shrugged. He grinned back at her, although he didn't feel as relaxed or as amused, or even happy at the thought that they were finally getting to leave, as he lowered himself into the seat.
"Don't you boys be strangers" Missouri called out, her voice slipping through the open door.
"We wont" Sam promised back, as he let the door swing shut, hinges creaking wildly again. The sound didn't appear as reluctant as it hand when they had pulled up outside of their old house, groaning it's displeasure; this time it appeared to be relieved in nature.
Dean slowly turned his head and raised his hand up in a gesture that wasn't quite a wave, instead it was more of non-committal recognition, and gave one small nod of his head.
"Bye Missouri" Sam said as he started the ignition.
They saw Missouri smile and wave at them from the drive as they backed out of the drive and into the road. With one more glance behind him, Sam waved and nodded again, before finally pulling away and letting the impala take them further down the road, Missouri and her house becoming smaller with every breath.
As he drove, he threw several quick glances towards Dean, who either chose to ignore him or still hadn't realised Sam was scrutinising his every movement, facial expression or noise that parted his lips, that he had been doing the very moment since Dean had awoken in his hospital bed. The former was the more probable explanation.
"So, you want to stop by and see Jennifer?" Sam asked, when Dean continued to look out of his own window.
"Do you mind if we don't?" Dean's voice drifted back to him.
Dean leant forward and rummaged through the glove compartment, finally finding a pair of black sunglasses. He leant back onto his seat and slid them into place, masking his eyes completely, "Can we just get the hell outta here?"
"Sure" Sam said, wishing he could read Dean's eyes.
He regretted asking the question. Jennifer and her children were probably the last thing Dean wanted to see after everything that had happened. They served as a reminder to what they didn't have – a family of sorts, complete and whole. There may not have been a husband or a father in the mix, but that family would be more than they would ever have again.
He just hoped he would be enough for Dean. For now at least.
They had been driving for a few hours now and Sam could not help but throw a few concerned glances at Dean. He was way too quiet and Sam just wished that none of this shit had ever happened.
At first Sam thought Dean's tilted head and relaxed face had meant he had fallen asleep. It was hard to tell with the shades that still sat on his face.
After one too many looks and what Sam had thought had become a discreet-Winchester observation, Dean lifted his head, ripping the shades from his head.
"Take a picture" he snapped, "It will last longer".
Not as discreet as he thought.
"I was worried about you" Sam said quietly, tightening his hands around the wheel.
"Well stop already" Dean grumbled, "I know it's difficult to keep you eyes off me, but try keeping them in the direction we are headin'".
There was one more glance between the two and then Dean resettled on the seat, head falling back, shades sliding back into place.
"Tell me what really happened Dean" Sam asked, voice calm and to the point, "With mom".
Sam surprised himself.
Where the hell did that come from? Of all the things weighing on my mind at this moment…
"Tell me what Missouri said about your shining" Dean mumbled back, arms moving around his chest.
"There's nothing to tell" Sam replied. And there wasn't. Missouri hadn't let him in on a deep, dark secret, or provided him with the answer he had wanted… any answer to be precise, to explain things away. She had just been there and given him some much needed reassurance and comfort.
"Nothing to tell here either" Dean murmured with a vague wave of his hand.
Silence filled the car again and after a few minutes Dean's breathing changed, evening out, informing Sam that the conversation was over, and that this time he truly was asleep.
Daylight crept through Dean's closed lids like an intruder with an axe to grind and his half-spooned stiff body told him he wasn't lying in bed.
He rolled his head tiredly until something hard and cold connected sharply against the side of it. He groaned loudly, refusing to open his eyes fully, as pain erupted at the side of his head and he brought his hand up to rub at it.
"Dude!" a laugh, too loud and childish for his liking assaulted him, "That's gotta hurt".
He opened his eyes a crack, realising his head was leaning against the window of the car door. His shades had somehow slid from his face, and hung loosely from one ear.
The window, he thought, being the suspect for the blinding pain now running down the side of his head like the talons of some evil bird of prey had just taken a swipe at him.
He turned his head slightly, looking across his shoulder at his brother, half a burger in his hand, the other half being unceremoniously chomped in his wide grinning mouth. A dollop of mustard sat, undignified, on his chin. It reminded Dean of when Sam was kid.
He still is one by the looks of it.
"That's gross" Dean grumbled, taking in Sam's uncharacteristic eating behaviour.
"Learned from the best" Sam grinned, taking a napkin from a paper bag that was sat on the bench of the seat between them, and wiped at his face.
"Dude, grease!" Dean complained, pushing himself straighter in the seat.
Sam snagged the bag up and dumped it into Dean's lap.
"There's a burger in there for you" Sam commented, "Don't say I don't indulge you once in a while".
Dean pried the bag open, exploring the contents and to Sam's relief pulled the burger out, peeling the paper back.
"How long was I out?" Dean asked through a mouthful of food, taking in the surrounding area. He had no idea where they were, except for the fact that it consisted of a parking lot and one lonesome Burger King joint.
The burger went down well and he momentarily closed his eyes, enjoying the taste and texture. He hadn't even realised how hungry he was.
"A couple of hours" Sam replied, "Thought we'd stop for some food and by the look of it-" Sam grinned as Dean took another big bite of the burger, "- you needed it".
Once Dean had finished the burger, and the fries hidden in the bottom of the bag, which he silently thanked his little brother for, he turned and looked at Sam.
Sam's head shot back to Dean, confused and shocked.
"I've kinda been 'all about me'… and not about you".
"Dean, what are you…?" Sam began, "I'm not a kid".
"I know" Dean said quickly, "But you're dealing with this shin-… this thing" Dean amended, "And nobody really stopped to ask if you were doing o.k. with all of this" he paused, voice dropping, "with mom I mean".
"Dean, I'm o.k." Sam reassured him.
"No Sam" Dean argued back, maintaining his body composure stiffly against the door, "I've been a complete asshole over the last couple of day… and she was your mom too".
Sam sat up straighter, turning his body in his seat so he could face Dean more directly.
"Don't do this Dean…"
"I saw the way you were with Dad just before he left" Dean said abruptly, voice insistent, "I'm sorry".
"Dean!" Sam shouted loudly within the small space between them, causing Dean to physically snap back against the door, "What the fuck are you doing?!"
"I'm o.k." Sam continued, lowering his voice, "And even if I'm not" he paused and jabbed his finger at Dean, "You don't get to act like all this shit is your fault!"
Dean didn't respond, and turned his head away, unsure of how to react to Sam's anger.
"I'm sad that mom's gone, I really am" Sam said, when it was obvious that Dean wasn't going to respond, "But I'm o.k. and Dad… well, that's nothing new, is it. So why don't you cut the bull-shit and tell me how you really feel about all of this?"
Dean, still looking out of the windshield, shrugged his shoulders in response.
"There's nothing to tell" Dean murmured back. There were those words again – like a big black fat lie smothering him whole.
He bit down on the unsaid words, trying to shut them up behind another wall, another gate with a well-hidden key, which he willed to stay erect and closed, strong and unyielding against Sam's penetrative stare.
"They might be gone" Sam said and Dean felt his eyes burning into the side of his face, "Dad might not be around…"
Shit, Dean thought, sometimes Sam was so in-tune with his inner monologues. The kid knew him too well, just like he did with him.
"…So that just leaves us" Sam continued quietly and calmly, "And I'm not going anywhere Dean".
Dean turned then, sharp as he locked eyes with Sam whose face was serious and earnest and ever so slightly pink.
"I think I just threw up in my mouth" Dean said with a roll of his eyes.
"That's disgusting" Sam chuckled at the familiar humour.
"Not as disgusting as the obscene amount of girlyness you have subjected me to" Dean exclaimed with an exaggerated shudder as he slid back into position.
"Me?" Sam asked, bewildered, "You're the one who…"
"Shut up Sammy".
"Right, that's it" Sam suddenly snapped, "Enough of the Sammy. I've been going easy on you because of how… sensitive you were acting" he said, as he turned and looked out of the windshield, hands grasping hold of the wheel, "But it stops right here, you hear me Dean?"
"Sammy…" Dean mock whined, a grin overtaking his features.
"Dean!" Sam yelled, head snapping back, eyes sharp, "I swear I will... I will…"
"Will what?" Dean mocked him, still grinning wildly.
"… I'll" he paused and waved his arms about, "I'll rip your limbs off and beat you over the head with them to the beat of a medley of country songs".
"Dude, you're a freak" Dean exclaimed with a gasped laugh, "Why would you even think that?"
Sam shrugged as a small smile played on his lips, "Two freaks in the same pod, I guess".
Dean leant into the small gap between them and gently pushed Sam's head away with a ruffle.
"Like I said, freak"
"You ready to go?" Sam asked and turned on the ignition even before Dean could answer.
"Where to?" Dean asked.
In their rush to leave – to leave Lawrence and their past behind – they never actually discussed a destination.
"Where ever the road takes us" Sam replied enigmatically, as he slowly peeled out of the parking lot, manoeuvring around a couple of parked cars.
As he pulled back on to the road, his hand reached out and fumbled with the radio controls.
"Shot-gun shuts his cakehole" he said before Dean could complain. He didn't bother searching for any particular station; instead he left it where it was.
As one song slowed and died out a smooth voice floated around them before introducing the next song, filling the confined space with lyrical content.
They're still on my mind
You had the smile
That could light up the world
Now it rains
It seems the sun never shines
And I'll drive down
This lonely lonely road
Ooh I got this feelin'
Girl, I gotta let you go
'Cause now you've got to fly, fly high
Fly to the angels'
"… Sorry" Sam said, startled out of his revelry, searching for the radio controls again, "I'll turn it off-"
"No" Dean said, reaching out and snagging Sam's wrist, "Leave it"
So they left it to play on and the song continued and provided Dean and Sam, together, with one more goodbye to their mother, and maybe if they were honest, their father too.
awaits your heart
And flowers bloom in your name
You've got to fly, fly high
Fly to the angels
All the stars in the night
Shine in your name
You know it hurts me
Way deep inside
When I turn and look
And find that you're not there
I try to convince myself
That the pain, the pain
It's still not gone.'
Fly to the Angels – Slaughter
pats her men It's been a real journey.