Forever's Not Enough

Disclaimer: See Prologue.

Author's Note: So, after my nice, long vacation from writing (and after the writing part of my brain had a small sleep), I finally got back to this chapter.

Thanks to: FastFuriousChick

Review Answers: That sound you hear is me whimpering. So many wonderful reviews. Luckily, I've answered a lot with the review answering system; it's just the ones that are anonymous that I haven't.

jackyll – Lol, that I did. Oh, I don't think she'd got that far. Thanks, will do.

IslandGurl808 - Thanks. Hehe, funny word. I'm glad you liked it. Yes, indeed it must've been. Yes, I figured; she's hurt, she's angry, but Sam is still a human being, and deep down, she still loves him. She wouldn't just leave him out on the porch when he's not-all-there and possibly seriously hurt. I hope this was worth the wait.

Chapter 19: Some Wounds Take Longer to Heal

Sam knew he had to get back to Jess, let her know he hadn't drowned in the toilet or whatever. And he didn't want to sneak around her, not now that she knew about Dean. Not after everything she'd done for him. So, after promising he'd be back, kissing to prove he was still there, and then promising again, Dean finally allowed him to leave.

Jess was, as he'd expected, waiting for him back in his own room.

"Hey, uh, back already?" Jess asked, giving him a smile. Sam frowned.

"Yeah…" He said. "You okay? You look-"

"Fine." Jess cut across him. "I'm fine. I just… I guess I'm a little tired." She didn't look tired. If Sam were to hazard a guess, he'd say she looked like she'd been crying. "Will you be alright if I leave?" she asked him.

"Uh, I guess," Sam said. "Jess, are you sure you're alright? I mean… if something's wrong, I want you to know-"

"I'm fine, Sam." Jess said, perhaps a little too quickly. "I just… I need to get out of here. I'll see you later." Before Sam could get in another word, Jess had pushed past him, quickly leaving the room.

"Jess…" Sam began, but she was already gone.

With a sigh, Sam sat down on the bed he probably should've been resting in, rubbing his forehead with his hand. Had Jess seen him with Dean? It seemed possible; she might've gotten worried. He wasn't exactly sure how long he'd been gone.

A small part of him told him not to care; he hadn't been sneaking around, hadn't been trying to hide anything from her, and it was her own fault for following him. Sam really didn't like that part of him, and he was trying to imagine how he'd feel if he, say, saw Dean kissing Rebecca. He'd be hurt, that was for sure.

Even though they had already broken up, Sam suspected that if Jess had seen him kissing Dean, it probably would've hurt just as much, to have it thrown so fully in her face. That made Sam feel bad, because the last thing he'd ever wanted to do was hurt Jess.

He looked at the white t-shirt and light grey pants left for him; what all the other patients were wearing. Sam had been given them while the doctor was bandaging his hand, but he had refused to remove his shirt to put them on, and no matter how much Jess and the doctor tried to convince him, he was adamant about keeping his shirt on while anyone else was around.

The cuts on his face, he'd been able to explain away, though he couldn't really remember what the story had been. The cuts on his chest would have been far more difficult to explain, and he hadn't felt up to the effort it would require. So he'd decided it was just better to keep them hidden for now.

But now that he was alone, he figured it was safe. He stripped off his trousers first, and pulled the pants up over his boxers.

His shirt was a little harder; he had to be careful not to rub it against the cuts as he pulled it over his head. He was about halfway there when he remembered he could just unbutton the front of his shirt and slip it off his arms. He immediately set to work doing this instead, and then pulled the white t-shirt down over his head with only mild pain and difficulty.

Wincing slightly, he finally finished with the t-shirt, and looked towards the door. All he wanted to do right now was curl up on the bed and go to sleep, so that he could forget about everything that had happened in the last couple of hours. But he'd promised Dean…

He really didn't want to risk the possibility of Dean actually taking him with him when he left, so he set aside his desire for sleep and walked to the door, intent on keeping his promise and returning to the older man. Even if he did fall asleep at Dean's bedside; at least he'd be there.

He knocked on the door to Dean's room before entering, though he didn't expect Dean to get up and answer it. He was just opening the door when a doctor walked out; he'd obviously been alerted to Dean regaining consciousness. He didn't give Sam a second glance, just walked right past him. Frowning after the doctor, Sam nonetheless pushed the door open against and entered Dean's room.

Dean was in much the same position he'd been in when Sam had left, if a little more awake. He still looked tired though. No, not tired; worn out. Fraying at the edges, whatever you want to call it. He looked much like Sam felt.

"You okay?" he asked. Dean's eyebrows rose.

"Am I okay?" he echoed. "Am I-? Sam, come on, I wasn't the one who just narrowly escaped being burned alive." Was that guilt that crossed Dean's face just then? Sam frowned, and he walked over and sat down on the side of the bed beside Dean, looking the older man in the eyes.

"I'm okay," he said. Hesitantly, he reached down and took Dean's hand in his own. With a look of resolve on his face, he brought it up and put it to his cheek. "See…" He said, giving Dean a reassuring smile that was obviously a little forced. "I'm here, with you, and I'm fine."

Dean pulled his hand away from Sam, obviously seeing the touch was making Sam uncomfortable. Sam stared at Dean for a long minute, and then he pushed himself forward, forcing Dean to move over to make room for him.

"Sam, what're you-?"

"I love you." Sam interrupted him. Dean stopped, his mouth hanging open. Sam stared at him, realizing the words sounded foreign, like he was speaking a different language. Swallowing, he laid down next to Dean, resting his head on his shoulder and taking his hand again. Sam then purposely looked anywhere but Dean's face, afraid of what he might see there.

Dean didn't say anything for a long time. Just sat there, blinking on occasion, mouth hanging open. Finally, though, he took a deep breath, and spoke. "Do you, really?" he asked.

Sam looked up at Dean, and a small smile came to his lips. Slowly, he nodded, and then snuggled up against Dean as if to emphasize the point.

"I do," he whispered softly, smiling up at Dean. A hesitant half smile came to Dean's lips, and then he leaned down and kissed Sam on the forehead.

Also smiling, Sam closed his eyes, trying to relax as Dean gently eased his arm around the younger man. He tried to focus more on Dean then on Dean touching him, leaning against him in the bed that really wasn't made for two fully grown men to lie next to each other in.

"Thank you for coming back," he whispered against Dean's chest, his voice already heavy with drowsiness. Dean, lying back against the pillows, let himself smile fully, gently stroking Sam's hair with his hand.

"You're welcome." He whispered back.

-;-

Neither Sam nor Dean had to stay in the hospital any longer then the one night. Sam hadn't been in any hurry to leave Dean's bed, but apparently one of the doctors didn't approve of patients sharing beds overnight, and sent Sam back to his own room, much to the chagrin of both men.

Sam was just getting ready to leave. All that was really required was for him to sign some forms (he hadn't really thought to ask what for) and to get changed into his own clothes. Again, he went through the pain the t-shirt inflicted on his cut up chest, but he ignored it for the most part, and delicately buttoned up his shirt a couple of seconds later.

As he stripped off the pants, his thoughts drifted down the hall to Dean's room, where he was fairly certain Dean was also getting changed. Sitting down on the bed, pants pooled around his ankles, he bit his lips.

Dean? he thought. He waited, but nothing happened. Not that he was really expecting anything to happen. He'd just thought… but he'd probably been imagining things.

Shrugging, he kicked off the pants and stood up, picking his trousers up off the bed and pulled them on.

As he turned to leave the room, he slid his hands into the pockets of his trousers, and froze. He pulled his hands back out, and sure enough, there was the letter. In the confusion and exhaustion following the previous day, he'd totally forgotten about the letter he'd found with the photo album.

Frowning, Sam backed up, sitting back down on the bed, staring at the envelope in his hand. Of course the last thing ever said to him by his father was going to be written in a letter. A small amount of resentment welled up inside of him, but he quickly pushed it to the back of his mind; what good was there in resenting a dead man?

After a long moment, he turned the envelope over and opened it, taking out the letter and unfolding it. He glanced over the sheet of paper, reading the words in his head.

Sam

I'm sorry I couldn't tell you this in person. I received a call from the law firm, and it's unlikely I'll be home before you get back. But I wanted you to see the photo album which you have no doubt already looked through. Your mother put it together not long before she died.

I realize a letter may not be the best thing for our relationship right now, and I regret I allowed both of us to drift so far apart that the only way we did communicate was through letters. The last thing I ever wanted to do was drive you away, though it seems as though I may have done that anyway.

I hope that one day you can forgive, and that I'm given a second chance in being your father. And I also hope that one day, I learn how to be your Dad.

At the bottom of the letter, it looked like his father had started writing 'Your father' and then thought better of it, scribbled it out, and written 'Dad' underneath it. Sam couldn't help but smile at the amateur mistake, something he'd never seen his father do before.

It took him a moment to realize there were tears making slow trails down his cheeks. He quickly wiped them away when he heard someone coming down the hall, and a second later, the door opened and Dean stepped in.

"Hey, you ready to-?" Dean began, but stopped when he saw Sam trying to hide his tears, and then the letter in his hand. "What's that?" he asked, nodding towards the letter.

"It's, uh, nothing." Sam said, folding it up and putting it back into the envelope. Dean fixed him with a disbelieving look, and with a sigh, Sam relented a little. "It's… it was… from my father." Dean immediately looked guilty.

"Oh, jeez, Sam, I'm sorry, I-"

"Dean," Sam interrupted. "It's alright. I just… I guess some wounds take longer to heal then others." He shrugged. Dean still looked unsure. "Dean, what's wrong?" he asked. "You've been treating me like I'm made of porcelain."

Dean swallowed, looking at his feet. Sam furrowed his brow, well and truly confused now. Had he done something without realizing it?

"I… I just…" Dean's voice was barely audible. "Did he… did I…?" He couldn't bring himself to say it, but Sam had a feeling he knew what Dean was so worried about. He reached over and put his hand under Dean's chin, raising the other man's head so that he was looking Sam in the eye.

"He hurt me," Sam said. "He used knives… broken glass… even his fists at one point. But that was all." To emphasize this, he pulled Dean into a tight, reassuring embrace, as much for his own benefit as Dean's. "He never… Dean, how long have you been thinking that?" he asked, pulling back. Dean shrugged. The guilt was still there, but there was also a sense of relief; it was evident in his eyes.

"Sam… I'm sorry." He finally said. Sam couldn't help but smile at the sheer vulnerability and honesty in the other man's voice.

"Dean…" He put a hand on Dean's shoulder. "I forgave you second you pulled me off the… shapeshifter's corpse." It felt strange saying shapeshifter, like saying the word confirmed his existence, and the existence of everything else he had told Sam about Dean. "Now, are you ready to get out of here? Because I am."

-;-

Sam asked Dean to drive him to what remained of the house, and Dean obliged. As it turned out, a small portion of the house (the kitchen and garage) had survived the fire. Despite Dean's warning that the structure probably wasn't stable, Sam walked in through what remained of the front door, and made a beeline for what used to be the living room.

There was nothing left, and Sam couldn't quite hide his sadness at that; he had hoped something of the photo album had perhaps survived. Not that he'd expected it, only hoped…

"I'm sorry." Dean said.

Sam didn't answer for a long minute, just stared at the empty, blackened room. "This wasn't your fault." He finally said, his voice absent, like he wasn't really paying attention to what he was saying.

Dean immediately suspected what Sam meant by that, and stepped up beside him. "It wasn't yours." He said, putting a hand on Sam's shoulder.

"Yeah…" Sam said, still absently. He looked back towards the hall. "Could you… help me with something?" he asked. Dean nodded, and Sam led him down the hall in the direction of the kitchen.

Or, to be more precise, the garage.

"Sam, when I said I'd help you," Dean said about fifteen minutes later. "I didn't mean I'd attach a trailer to the back of my car so we can cart your death-trap halfway across the country."

"And yet you did it anyway," Sam said, smiling at Dean as he pushed his motorbike up onto the trailer that was indeed now attached to the towbar of Dean's beloved Impala. "Besides… it's not a death-trap." He said this like it was all that need to be said.

"Yeah, you go ahead and believe what you want," Dean said. "Me? I'll stick with four walls and a steering wheel." He patted the back of the car. "Oh, by the way," he said suddenly, walking around to the back seat and opening it. Sam looked over from his bike, a curious look on his face. "I found this. I'd appreciate it very much if you wore it next you went for a ride; less chance you getting torn apart when you inevitably crash." He withdrew something from the car and tossed it at Sam, who caught it.

Sam blinked, eyeing the item he had been thrown. It turned out to be his leather jacket. He looked up at Dean. "You found it?" he asked.

"Floor of the car; keep better track of your clothing in the future." Dean said in a mock-berating tone. "At least until you buy some more." Sam frowned; it hadn't occurred to him that he had… well, aside from the bike, helmet, and the clothes he was wearing, he had nothing.

His thoughts were interrupted when his cell phone suddenly started ringing in his pocket. He pulled it out, glancing at the caller ID before answering.

"Jess." He breathed. Dean looked up at the mention of Sam's ex-girlfriend's name.

"Sam…" Jess sounded like she was forcing herself to speak. "I… I wanted to apologize… for leaving so quickly yesterday." Sam's face softened slightly. "I saw… I saw you and your… boyfriend in his room, and I kind of just… well, I guess I just wasn't ready for it."

"Its okay, Jess." Sam said.

"Yeah, well… I just wanted to say goodbye," Jess said. "I had a feeling you wouldn't be sticking around for long now that… nothing's keeping you here."

"Jess, I wouldn't have-"

"Sam." Jess interrupted. "Please don't. I just… called to say goodbye. That's all."

"Okay," Sam said, nodding even though she couldn't see him. He swallowed. "Well… goodbye then." He said.

"Yeah… goodbye, Sam." Jess said, and Sam thought he heard barely contained tears in her voice. Before he could say anything else, Jess had cut the connection. Swallowing again, Sam lowered the phone, his hands falling to his sides.

"Sam?" Dean asked, stepping up onto the trailer. "Something wrong?" Sam looked up, and made an attempt at a smile.

"No…" he said. "Or… maybe… but not for long." He gave Dean a genuine smile this time. "I'm… I'm ready to leave."

Dean stared at him for a long minute, before nodding. "Okay, then." He said, and returned the smile with one of his own. They climbed down off the trailer, and walked around their respective sides of the car, climbing in and closing the doors.

Dean was just beginning to turn the ignition when Sam turned in his seat belt, leaned over and took Dean's head in his hands, turning the older man so that he could kiss him.

Dean immediately took his hands off away from the ignition and steering wheel and put them on Sam's shoulders, returning the kiss.

They pulled apart after a moment, and Sam smiled at Dean. "Just my way of saying I really am ready." He said. Dean grinned, and then turned his attention back to the car, turning the ignition and starting it up. He drove out onto the street, and was surprised when Sam leaned over and rested his head on Dean's shoulder.

"I'm ready, as well." Dean said, flashing a smile down at Sam. And he was happy, as well. With the man he wanted laying against him and his car humming softly as they drove down the street, Dean was the happiest he'd been in a long time.

-;-

With a sigh, Jess lowered the cellphone from her ear, and hit the End button. She slipped the phone back into her pocket, and turned her attention to the mug of coffee in front of her, absently stirring it with a plastic spoon, even though it had long since been stirred to within an inch of its life and was probably cooling off quite rapidly.

She was sitting in a small (some would call it 'cozy') coffee shop. It was actually the one place she could think of that she'd never been to with Sam.

"You look like you could use something stronger then coffee." Said a young woman maybe a couple of years older then Jess. Jess gave a shrug.

"Coffee shop; there is nothing stronger in this place." She said. The woman smiled at Jess, and sat down opposite her in the booth, pulling out a small metal flask. Jess raised an eyebrow.

"What is it?" she asked.

"Tequila." The woman said. Jess nodded, shrugged, and downed her coffee in a few big gulps. She shuddered, cringing at the taste of cold coffee, and then pushed the cup towards the woman.

"Fill me up." She said. Nodding, the woman unscrewed the lid of the flask, tipped it up, and filled the mug about halfway. "I don't think I got your name." She said, raising the mug to her lips and taking a sip of the tequila. The young woman smiled.

"I'm Meg." She said. Finally, Jess returned the smile.

"Jessica." She said.

-;-

A/N: Guess what. That's it. Forever's Not Enough is officially over.

Okays, first thing I'd like to say, because I'm sure at least a few of you are wondering: No, Meg is not possessed. This AU Meg is demon free. One of you asked me not to kill Jess… to give her a happy ending. I'll leave it up to you guys to decide whether or not this can end happy for Jess Insert innocent smile here .

Next, the part I always dread but can never stop myself from doing: thanking each and everyone of you (I hope) who reviewed. So, a thank you to Jen, anon, Miss Meehan, Thru Terry's Eyes, rockchick900, Spuffyshipper, jackyll, Paloma, NaturallySupernatural, fairyntoad14, Deadlove Calling, Taiven, pandora jazz, darkangel36, Winchesters-Shadow, JRAismine, The Emerald Phoenix, THE someone, inu-kaglover45, wcfan, Rose of No Man's Land, Maygin, Wolf-of-Insanity, Pampers Baby Dry, Katrin Van Helsing, Annibal, empath89, tvbatina, Dean's-Goddess, spootycup, roxy071288, SWinchester, Insomniac-Angel, Quino27, Jack, astalder27, Supernatural GilmoreGirls, Epithelial, ObuletShadowStalker, ellynora, Kagome M.K, Mus4u, WeirdInAGoodWay, the crazy ladies, Moon-Memory, LenJade, pulpfish, LittleWing, leoandpiperluva, Dawn Vesper, IslandGurl808, zoned-out, andrewhot, xxsammiexx, djiann, StaryDay, potterluvva.

And… breathe! Okay.

And also, a big thank you to both mysterchic, who beta'd a couple of chapters, and a big thank you to FastFuriousChick, who not only beta'd the multitude of chapters, she also put up with my constant complaining and whining about my unreasonable muse and my inability to come up with ideas.

And now, something I'm sure many of you have been waiting for: An explanation to Sam and Dean's abilities.

Sam: Okays, as I mentioned… somewhere… to someone, both their abilities are mixtures of different abilities. Sam's is a mixture of clairaudience, essentially, the ability to hear things that others can't (ghosts, etc), and telepathy, the ability to read the thoughts of others, and on some occasions, hear the voices of people who are nowhere near you. Sam hearing his father arguing with his stepmother is a good example of this, but there was also something some of you may have noticed; after Sam killed the shapeshifter, and he and Dean are in bed, Dean says "I'm sorry" and Sam says "This isn't your fault", which is something I planned to bring back in this chapter (which I did). Sam said the exact same thing when Dean apologized this time… kind of pointless, but I just thought it'd be interesting to show hints of it happening here and there. There are three main triggers that activate this ability: the other 'chosen ones', the Demon, or if he's in an area of strong paranormal residue.

Dean: Ah, yes. Dean. It took me so long to come up with his. But basically, it's a combination of psychometry, the ability to hold/touch an object and learn information about it's owner, and clairsentience, which is closely related to psychometry in the sense that a person learns information by feeling something… although I just thought that it's possible that means 'sense' and not 'touch'. Oh well. Main points in the story when Dean's abilities were used? Basically, every time he touched Sam and seemed to 'know exactly what he needed', when he was sitting on the bed (thus, touching it) and felt the shapeshifter downloading his memories, and when he touched Sam's jacket (though that was kind of an obvious use of his ability).

So, I hope those two explanations make sense. And I hope you've all enjoyed this story as much as (and at times, more then) I have enjoyed writing it. I'll be writing the sequel, Time and Time Again, some time in the not-too-distant future, though whether it'll be my next story or not is yet to be decided. Thank you all for your reviews and encouragement. Until next time, Cyas.