A/N: First of all, I want to thank each and every one of you who reviewed and/or put my story on their favorite or alert list. You guys are the reason I kept writing this story, so thanks y'all!
Second, I've gotten a few requests for a sequel. I'm sorry to say, there won't be a sequel. As I explained to some of you, Dean doesn't seem to have any powers in the show, so he obviously never got them back.
There was another little twist I've been planning on adding from the start, so here it is.
I know Sam's not really in this one, I tried to write him in, but this story basically revolves around Dean and John, so a brotherly moment just seemed a little off for this chapter. There was a prank being pulled on Sam behind the scenes, if that helps ;)
Enough with this gigentinc note, hope you enjoy the epilogue. Please review.
Warnings: Language. Also, contains SPOILERS from 'Hunted'.
John stood in the doorway, watching his oldest son running sprints in the parking lot behind their house. It was past two in the morning, and Dean was still training. He'd been doing that a lot lately, training from dawn till… well, till John dragged his ass back home.
Two months had passed since California, since Death Valley, since the Leech dissipated. After a week of lying around, Dean had decided to start training again. That's when this all started. John watched his son sprint back and forth across the parking lot. He was fast, but not nearly as fast as he had once been.
John still wasn't sure what had happened in Racetrack Playa, what was taken from his son, but the results were becoming clear to the older hunter. Dean was different. He tried his best to hide it from his family, but it didn't change the fact that he was different.
He worked ten times as hard as he had before just to get the same results he used to get effortlessly. He wasn't as strong, wasn't as fast, and if anything, he had grown twice as stubborn. Dean simply refused to accept that he was different now. Maybe even refused to admit it to himself, John mused.
John worked him hard at first, thinking Dean's poor performance was the result of many weeks of lying in bed and neglecting his training. But surely, with the time and effort Dean had put into his training, he should have gotten better by now.
Unless he wasn't going to get any better.
It took John a long time to accept it.
Dean still refused to accept it.
John had spoken to him earlier that week, told him it was okay, that he had to take it down a notch, work less or he'll just end up in a hospital again. But Dean refused to listen. John tried to tell his son that he understood, that Dean could ease up a little, that they'll just get used to it and adjust. Dean took that the wrong way.
For some reason, the boy got it in his head that he had to get as fast and as strong as he had been, that not getting better meant he was a burden, that he wasn't pulling his own weight. That he wasn't good enough.
John wasn't good with the whole 'touchy-feely' stuff. He didn't do heart-to-heart. He did try to get it through his son's thick skull that he wasn't disappointed, that he didn't think any less of him. He had told Dean to give himself some slack, and that John was proud of him, but Dean refused to listen.
John sighed. He was tired, and he wasn't the one running sprints in the dark parking lot. "Dean," he called out to the younger man. Dean finished his sprint and looked at his father, panting, drenched in sweat. That couldn't be good for him, John thought. The weather was still pretty cold, especially at night. He'll just end up with pneumonia. "Come on, champ. It's late. Lights out in thirty minutes." The older hunter said. Dean wiped sweat off his brow with the back of his hand.
"It's okay," he panted, "go ahead, I'll lock up when I'm done. I won't forget the salt." Dean said, trying to catch his breath.
"Dean, you have to stop." John said wistfully. "You'll work yourself to death, kiddo. Come on, get inside. I want you showered and in bed in half an hour, and that's after you had something to eat. That's an order." John said. Dean rolled his eyes, looking annoyed, and John sighed. "No less then six hours of sleep before you get out of bed." He added, "And I will cuff you to the bed if I have to." The father threatened, getting back in the house.
Other than the physical stuff, and the psychological results of that, Dean was back to his old self. Or at least tried. He annoyed the hell out of his little brother, took care of his car, reluctantly helped researching more jobs and picked up chicks – that part seemed to work just fine, by the way. John could have lived with that part getting a little slower.
Life was back to normal in the Winchester household, which, of course, meant that John and Sam were done with the truce and were fighting each other again. And again, and again… But both did their best to try and convince Dean to just accept what had happened to him, learn to live with that. This was something they never fought over.
It bothered John, seeing Dean like that. It hurt to see his son this way, and it worried him. Dean was pushing himself to the limit and beyond. And that just made John angry. That witch was going to pay for what she's done. John would make sure of that.
He told his boys he was hunting a spirit in Jersey, left Dean in charge as he always had. But he didn't go to Jersey. He went to settle a score. No one hurts his family and gets away with it. Not if John had anything to say about it.
John cursed as he found himself in that same small room, with that familiar headache. That witch did have a way to catching him off guard, no matter how much he'd planned everything. He didn't even remember getting out of his truck. One moment he was sitting in the car, sipping cold coffee and watching the house, and the next minute he was here. Damn witch. He had enough ammunition in his truck for a small army. Unfortunately, it seemed whoever, or whatever, brought him here, wasn't polite enough to bring John's weapons along as well.
John glared at the witch.
He was in the same room, he recognized it, but this time he was given a chair to sit in. And the door was open. Not that he was going anywhere, John figured. His journal was back in the truck, too. He didn't remember the ritual by heart, he needed the journal and the supplies he'd packed in case he needed to get rid of any possessed… things.
"John, John, John…" the witch clicked her tongue, watching him in amusement. "I didn't expect to see you back here." She said, crossing her arms over her chest. "To what do I owe this pleasure?" she asked, raising a thin brow. John glowered at her, scowling.
"I want you to leave my children alone! Whatever it is you're doing to my boy, you need to stop it!" John clipped, shooting daggers at the witch with his glare. The witch seemed surprised, though entertained.
"Stop what?" she asked, "Our deal was concluded. My business with Dean is over, I'm not doing anything to him." she said.
"He's done what you asked of him, stop hurting him!" John demanded, getting to his feet. Wrong idea, John thought as the world started swimming. He held onto the chair, but remained on his feet.
"I'm not, John." The witch said dryly. "I have no use for Dean anymore. Why would I waste any more of my time on him?" she asked. John scowled.
"Just stay away from him! That was the deal, wasn't it? He completes that stupid task and you leave him the hell alone!" he demanded.
"Oh, John, I'm offended. Don't you trust me?" the woman asked with a smirk. John glared at her. "The Leech is gone, is it not?" she asked. John crossed his arms over his chest, stretching to his full height as he glared at the witch, ignoring the other three men, possessed men, in the room. "Well, I assure you, John, I am not hurting your son. He's useless to me now, I wouldn't bother." She said, looking at the hunter with a small smile on her lips. "In fact, last I heard, he was doing rather well." She added, "You have a strong son, John. You should be proud. I've never heard of anyone outlasting a Leech for that long." She said seriously, and John's blood bubbled in anger.
How dare she talk about Dean like that? How dare she?
"Well, are we done here, John?" the witch went on, "Because I do have things to do."
"That scepter. What did it do to him?" John demanded, but got no answer as the witch turned to leave the room. "If you ever harm my boy again, if you even think about it, I swear to God I will hunt you down, demonic protection or not, and I will make you wish you'd never even heard of me or my family. Do I make myself clear?" John threatened. The witch stopped, turned to look at him. She stared at him for a moment, a large smile blossoming on her lips, and then she laughed. If looks could kill, there would be nothing left of the woman to bury.
"Are you threatening me, John?" the woman asked.
"We had a deal!" John gritted out.
"Yes. And our business is over." she said, and the smile left her face, along with any sign of lightness. "But let me be clear, John." She said coolly, "You really, really don't want to piss me off. Do you understand?" she asked, and John did his best not to wince at the sudden pressure in his chest, the sudden fire burning inside him, boiling his blood. "Now, before you say something else, I suggest you remember your children. You wouldn't want them to be orphans, would you?" she asked, the tone of her voice making chills run down the hunter's spine. "I will abide by my end of the deal." The woman went on, "Now, I suggest you leave this place while you still can. Forget you were here, forget I am here, or you will regret it." She promised ominously. "I have no more interest in your son." She added after a pregnant pause.
John hesitated a few seconds more before he started towards the exit. There was nothing more he could do, not unarmed anyway, and certainly not without his journal. He shouldn't have come here alone. He won't next time. That witch's days were numbered, he thought as he stumbled across the street to his truck.
The woman watched John walk out of the house. She held up her hand, holding her men back. They wanted to rip him apart limb from limb, she could tell. She smiled, her eyes flashing yellow.
"I have no more interest in your son, Winchester." The Demon possessed witch repeated, and her smile grew. "At least not that son." She added.
"Should we go grab the Winchester boy?" one of the possessed men asked. She watched as John started his truck and pulled away. Too bad he didn't fight. The demon inside her hated this body. But this host had served It just fine for now. Demons don't really have physical bodies. Still, It usually chose a man's body.
"No." the Demon said, "I have all I need. For now."
"But I thought you needed the boy. You had plans for him." the man said, stopping himself from saying 'Father'. It was just too weird that his 'Father' was now possessing a woman's body. "He's the reason we came here, isn't he? The whole reason we lured the older one here. Because he's one of them, one of those special kids, isn't he?" the Demon smiled, turning to look at the man who spoke.
"Yes. And he will come to me. In time. He will lead my army." It said. The man looked at him quizzically, and the Demon smiled, walking down a hallway towards another room. It stopped, turned, smiling broadly.
"No human can survive a Leech for that long." It said, breathing deeply and exhaling slowly. "No mere human." It added, and its smile grew. "No, Dean Winchester was definitely more than just another human."
"The Guardian?" The man asked, and the Demon beamed.
"Not anymore." It said happily, "Amara always did have the best toys to play with." It smirked and opened the locked door. It was time for a new body. Finally, a male body. And a psychic at that. A horrified scream was heard. And then the door slammed closed and locked.