Disclaimer: I still don't own Supernatural or its characters. I and am not making any money on this…I'm just having fun!

End of Innocence

Chapter 17 – Epilogue

Dean stretched his stiff neck muscles as he looked out at the scenery from the rear passenger seat. Sam's head was lying on his lap, his hand still gripped in Dean's as it had been for the last 8 hours. They would be at Missouri's house in another 2 hours. "How are you doing Nick?" Dean asked quietly. It bothered him that someone else other then his family was driving his car, but Sam panicked every time Dean got too far away from him.

"I'm fine Dean…we should be there shortly. Don't worry…I won't get a scratch on her!" Nick smiled; he knew that Dean loved his car almost as much as he loved his father and brother. He was actually honored that Dean had let him drive it.

"Thanks Nick…I'm glad you were able to come with." Dean said as he turned to look back out the window.

Dean thought back on the last 24 hours and sighed. Sam was having a rough time. He put up a brave front for Stan and Nick, he even appeared to be happy that they were leaving the orphanage behind and heading for Missouri's. Nick had agreed to come with to help with Sam, just in case there were problems. Stan had headed back to Chicago, after making sure that Dean understood the medications he was leaving for Sam. He had included an anti-depressant just in case Sam had problems. He told Dean it wasn't unusual for people who had experienced what Sam had gone through to become dangerously depressed, even suicidal.

Dean thanked the doctor and took the medications, sure that he would never have to use the anti-depressant. His family never used drugs to deal with their problems. They had always managed to meet the problem head on. Dean saw no reason for that to change now.

Things had gone fine for the first hour. Sam had fallen asleep in the back seat with Nick riding shot gun. Dean had put the music on low, trying to let his brother get some much needed sleep. Suddenly, Sam had jerked upright, screaming. He almost got the door open before Dean got the car to a stop. It had taken him 20 minutes to get Sam calmed down and assure his brother that it was ok…that was over 7 hours ago. Nick had been driving ever since so that Dean could help keep his brother calm.

As Nick pulled into Missouri's driveway, Dean felt relief. Here was a place that Sam could heal and Dean wouldn't have to do it all alone. He had thought about calling his father, but he wasn't sure how Sam would feel about it. Besides, his father couldn't do anything that he wasn't doing already. Nick climbed out of the car and came around to help Dean with Sam. Sam was still weak from his ordeal. The pain from his wounds made it hard for him to walk and his hands…Dean swore it looked like someone had used a fork on them…but Sam wouldn't talk about what happened. He simply closed down whenever Dean tried. He hoped that Missouri could help him convince Sam to talk.

"Come on Sammy, we're here." Dean gently tapped Sam's face, keeping his voice calm and quiet. Sam reacted badly to sudden motions or loud sounds. He seemed to be frightened of everything, Sam's eyes snapped open, immediately searching for Dean. As soon as he knew his brother was near, Dean could see the fear leave his eyes and his breathing even out.

"Sorry Dean…" Sam started, but never finished.

"It's ok Sam; Nick is here to help get you inside. Just let us do the work ok?"

Sam just nodded, bracing for the pain that seemed to be his constant companion lately. He hated how he felt. He was frozen with fear and yet he was also filled with shame. He had almost let the demon win. If Dean hadn't come when he did, he was willing to do anything to stop the pain.

As Nick and Dean gently got Sam up between the two of them, the door opened and Missouri stepped out. "Well come on…I could get old waiting for you boys to ring the bell!"

Nick looked at Dean, a startled look on his face. "Don't worry Nick, her bark is definitely worse than her bite…inside she's pure marshmallow."

Dean ducked as Missouri aimed a swat at his head. "Dean Winchester I swear, I've got a special spoon with your name on it in my kitchen!"

Dean laughed as he and Nick continued into the house. "Where do you want us Missouri?" Dean asked.

"I thought you and Sam could take the front bedroom on this floor. That way Sam won't need to worry about the stairs. There's a bathroom right outside the door that you both can use…and I'd suggest you both use it as soon as possible...my word, I've smelled hogs with a better scent than you two!"

Nick couldn't believe that Dean was smiling during the whole exchange. "Ah…I think I'll just grab my things and call a cab."

Missouri placed her hand on Nick's arm and winked. "Don't mind me honey. I've known these boys for along time…Dean wouldn't know how to act if I was nice to him."

Nick laughed. "My name is Nick…I've only known them a short time, but they really are a pair aren't they!"

"That they are Nick…how about you come on out to the kitchen. I've made some sandwiches…then you can tell me about these spirits you've been liberating." Nick gasped "How?"

"You and Sam aren't the only ones with abilities." Missouri tapped her head and laughed as Nick followed her into the kitchen.

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Dean sat on the edge of Sam's bed, helping him sit up while he took his medications. "That's it Sam, I know these make you tired. But your body needs rest."

Sam looked up at Dean, letting his brother see for a moment the despair in his eyes before blinking and putting his game face back on. "I'm ok Dean…I just need some time. I'm glad we are here…you can take a break now. You don't need to be tied down."

Dean looked as Sam trying to figure out where this was going. "Sam, I'm not going anywhere. We will stay here as long as you want. I could use a little down time myself. You just need to work on getting better ok?"

Sam smiled. "M'kay…Dean?"

"Yes Sam?"

"Thanks"

"For what?"

"You're always there for me…If you hadn't shown up when you did…well, I don't think I would have made it."

Dean ruffled Sam's hair. "You don't need to worry about it Sam…it's in the big brother code book, page 23 I think…big brothers always arrive in the nick of time to save their bratty little brother's ass."

Sam rolled his eyes. "I'm being serious here Dean."

"So am I Sammy…so am I. Do you need anything?" Dean decided to change the subject; they were getting too close to a chick flick moment for his liking.

"No, I'm fine…I'm just tired." Sam yawned as he slowly closed his eyes. It wasn't long before his brother was fast asleep.

Dean leaned over and whispered. "I'll always be there for you Sammy…you don't have to be afraid. I won't let anything bad happen to you…ever."

The End

Raven524: Or is it? I feel a sequel coming on…so if you want me to continue, you know the routine, just press the little button!