Disclaimer - Usual. I don't own anything related to SN.
A/N Well, here we are at the final chapter. Thanks to all who have read and enjoyed.
Kaitlyn woke with a start. She felt tired and disoriented. Her confusion only grew when she looked around and discovered she was in a hospital room.
"Oh good. You're awake." Dean said with a smile, as he and Sam entered the room and settled themselves into the chairs near her bed.
"Mmm… What happened?" Try as she might, Kaitlyn was having trouble putting the pieces together of what had taken place.
"We were hoping you could tell us that." Dean took a sip from his coffee and watched Kaitlyn. She still looked drained.
"What's the last thing you remember?" Sam asked in the quiet, sympathetic voice he used when trying to get information from witnesses without spooking them.
"Um…" Kaitlyn closed her eyes for a moment. "Feeling like I'm coming home." She said as she looked up at Sam. Knowing this was not as concrete an answer as they had hoped for, she continued, "I remember pretty much everything up to… the, uh… I remember coming to, feeling a bit like Jade, and then the alarms going off in Thomas' room. After that, it's kind of blurry."
"Jade?" Dean asked.
Kaitlyn gave a small smile. "She's a character from a book I read. She died while getting a reading from someone. Anyway," she waved dismissively at the comment, "that's it."
"Well then, you remember pretty much everything. You were having trouble staying conscious. The doctors said it was just an extreme case of exhaustion. So they checked you in for some R & R. But you're fine, otherwise." Sam was getting the distinct impression that Kaitlyn was not telling them everything. And, if she remembered as much as she said, he had a few questions for her, like - why had she kicked him out of Thomas' mind and prevented him from helping her. She had to have known it could kill her.
Just then the doctor came in and, seeing Kaitlyn awake, did a quick exam and declared her fit to leave, with the usual warnings about taking care of her health and if she has any further problems to call his office. He wrote a prescription for sleeping pills and went on his way.
Dean offered to pick up the paperwork and get the car. He mumbled something to himself and glanced at Sam who nodded before Dean disappeared. Obviously, Sam wanted to talk with Kaitlyn and thought it best to do it alone.
Kaitlyn grabbed her clothes and went into the bathroom to change. When she came back into the room, Sam was watching her.
"So… What happened?" Sam asked.
"You were pretty much there for all of it."
"No, not all of it. Why did you kick me out? Why did you close the door behind me?"
Kaitlyn glanced up at Sam a little surprised. But, then again, he hadn't seen what she did, so of course he wouldn't know. She sighed heavily and walked over to the window. After a few seconds, Sam wasn't sure she was going to tell him. "Kaitlyn…"
She continued to stare out the window. "I'm not… sure… exactly. I mean, I know what happened, for the most part, I'm just not sure why."
Sam stood, watching and waiting. He gave her time to sort out her thoughts. She'd been through a lot and he didn't want to push her.
"After you went through the door, it slammed shut. I was confused at first. I hadn't closed it, and Thomas was dead. When I turned around… I saw 'It.' I saw the yellow-eyed demon."
Sam's mind started racing with questions and it took great restraint for him to keep quiet. He was afraid, though, that if he interrupted, Kaitlyn would not finish what she was saying and he didn't want to start speculating until he had all of the information.
"He slammed the door. I don't know if he was expecting you to come back or not, but I wasn't going to give him the opportunity to get to you if I could help it. So I pushed you away to prevent you from getting back in. It drained me, though… of anything I had left."
Kaitlyn slid to the ground after expending the remains of her energy to keep Sam away. "You can't touch me." She said between pants. She didn't know how she was still sitting, let alone talking.
"Maybe. Not yet," the Demon said with his usual air of cockiness. He approached Kaitlyn as she sat trembling with the effort of staying upright, her strength gone. "You robbed me of a valuable asset, today."
Kaitlyn just glared. As the walls shook around her, she felt herself fall the rest of the way to the ground. She would not be making it out of this, but that was okay. They had won the day and, as an added bonus, they'd hurt the Demon and his infamous plans.
He knelt down and smiled at her. "Oh, you really don't think you could do anything to hinder me, do you?" He chuckled.
Kaitlyn smiled in defiance. "And yet…," she trailed off. If he could read her mind, he knew what she was thinking. He'd admitted that they robbed him. You can't rob someone of something that's not valuable to them. He probably had a contingency plan, but they'd still thwarted him. If not, it didn't really matter. But she was done fighting, and closed her eyes.
"No, not yet. Listen to me… Come on, wakey-wakey." He nudged Kaitlyn until she opened her eyes to look at him. "Know this: I'm saving your life."
Kaitlyn's brow furrowed. "He…" She looked at Sam and then back out the window.
"What? What'd he do?" Sam grew concerned.
"He kept me alive. I'm not sure how, or why. I passed out and the next thing I remember was seeing you - your light – guiding me home. After that it's just disconnected images and then nothing until waking up."
Sam frowned. "But why? Why would he want you alive?" He believed that she told him what she remembered, but it didn't make sense.
Kaitlyn just shrugged. She took a breath and looked up at Sam, trying to gauge his reaction. She could feel his confusion and frustration, even concern. Something unspoken passed between them - mutual fear of what the future held and a promise to keep fighting.
Dean took this moment to re-enter the room. He glanced at his brother. He could feel the tension in the room, but, out of respect for their privacy, he didn't push for answers. There would be plenty of time to talk to his brother later. "So… All set when you are."
The men dropped Kaitlyn off at her studio.
"How are you going to get your car?" Sam asked.
"Oh, I've got connections," Kaitlyn said with a wink. "I'll just get it towed back. Where are you guys off to?"
"Well, while you were sleeping, Sammy here found a town that seems to be plagued with sleep psychosis. We're going to go check it out."
"Huh. That's different. Hey," Kaitlyn paused to make sure she had their attention. "Thanks. A lot. I was hoping to help you, but you ended up helping me - more than I can say. I was so ready to jump into this fight. I didn't realize how totally unprepared I was." And what it could do to those around me. "I'm sorry. For getting you involved."
"Meh. It's what we do." Dean smiled proudly.
"Yeah, well… Thanks." Kaitlyn took Dean's hand in hers. "You take care of your brother. And yourself."
"It was nice to meet you, Kait," Dean stated sincerely. She had not turned evil. She hadn't killed anyone. She offered hope for the journey ahead.
"You too," she reached up and gave him a peck on his cheek. Dean ducked his head sheepishly and rounded the car to the driver's side.
Taking Sam's hand, Kaitlyn said, "Practice, practice." She smiled. "Listen, I'll be here if you need… anything - even if it's just to talk. And, when you're ready to learn more... " Sam nodded. Kaitlyn stood on her tippy-toes to give Sam a peck on the cheek, too. "Let me know what you find out."
Kaitlyn stepped away from the car and watched as the men got into the car and drove away. She waved once. She was connected to them now; her fate bound with theirs, so she knew she'd see them again. In the meantime, she had work to do, and a war to prepare for.
A/N For those who are interested, and have not already done so, you can read the story of the sleep psychosis incident in J.A. Carlton's "Fragment" (Rated M for Mature :-) ). Fasten your seatbelt for a wild ride. And don't be surprised when you find yourself screaming and hiding your eyes at times, but man, the ride's worth it. Thrills and chills.
Thank you to all who have journeyed with me. This is my first completed fic ever. Thanks for the reviews and encouragement. Thanks also to my editors extraordinaire - Mom and mei mei. And, of course, thanks to my brilliant beta and friend, J.A. Carlton.