Chapter Twelve

Covington, Kentucky, February 21st, 2007

The doctors took Athena straight in before they had time to register her. She was swept into surgery on her leg, and then to a bed in post-op until she woke up. Sage was treated, and released barely 24 hours later. But even after being released she didn't leave, she'd demanded to share a room with Athena, and hadn't left it for anything but a trip to the cafeteria. Sam hovered around his friend not letting her move at all. The doctor had said Athena had minor internal bleeding. They'd gone in and repaired everything damaged. None of the doctors seemed too concerned with the coughing blood thing, not that that meant Autumn and Sam didn't question them to death on the matter.

"Spill." John ordered. Sam and Sage were at the hospital with Athena, he had Dean and Autumn back at the motel.

"Dad, what do you want us to tell you?" Autumn asked.

"What the hell happened? I told you NOT to get involved with him. That it wouldn't lead to anything good, and you disobeyed me. Athena had to pay for it!" Autumn flinched at his words sending Dean into protective mode.

"Sir, Athena getting kidnapped wasn't our fault."

"You traded yourself, Dean. You and Sam could have handled this better than Autumn." John reasoned.

"No, sir." Dean said looking his dad in the eye.

"Excuse me?" John demanded.

"Dean," Autumn had a hand on his arm now trying to call him off.

"How did you get here?" John asked.

"Werewolves." Autumn answered. John was boring a hole in her head now. "That first hunt Athena and I did, the pack was in danger again so we went out to clean up." Autumn shrugged, and Dean fell silent, Sam had told him about her patching their dad up. If he was going to listen to one of them it would be her. "The females got a little frisky, and with the pack having control issues I didn't think it wise to… Werewolves have this control over humans. It's… At first it's just this physical attraction thing we feel toward them, then something else takes over. Dean's not very disciplined in that area to begin with, if any one of those females wanted they could have had him in a split second. With the way their pack was going through humans, Dean would have been killed. So I spoke the only language they understand, and marked my territory." Autumn stopped, in hopes John would fill in the rest of the details.

"Continue." he prodded. Autumn closed her eyes and drew a deep breath.

"I kissed him. It was just supposed to make them back off but, I don't know. We fought it at first, I didn't want to piss you off, and you know how long I waited, sir. Dad, it wasn't planned. After that things just sort of happened. Then came Vegas." Dean looked at her shocked she'd bring Vegas into this.

"What happened in Vegas?"

"You know what we were hunting right?" John nodded. "Okay so to get the spirit to come out Dean and I pretended to be married. I had to break the traditional wedding vows to get it to make an appearance, but that's just detail. Right after we got back from that Sage or Zack or whoever called and we came out here." she finished. John was staring at her, Dean knew there was something he wanted to say, but wasn't going to.

"Red," John started, but that's all he needed to say, Autumn understood everything that came after that, even if Dean didn't.

"I know, Dad. Did you really expect something else?" John laughed.

"From you? I've learned to expect everything but the expected with you."

"I'll be back in a few kids. You want anything?" Sage asked.

"Nah, we're good." Sam answered for both of them. "How you holdin' up?" he asked when Sage was gone.

"Sammy, I'm fine." Athena coaxed. "I'm going out of my mind being trapped in another room, but I think I'll live."

"Did Autumn never tell you not to take rides from strangers?" he half joked.

"She might have mentioned it." Athena grinned. Sam reached for her hand and she gripped it. "Of course if I did everything she told me, I would have run long before meeting you."

Sage headed back home after a couple of days, not before having Autumn take her out to buy a cell phone. So Sage returned to her two room shack with a way to contact the outside world for the first time since she'd disappeared into the shadows of society. Athena had to stay in the hospital a week before they would release her. She asked about going to see the Morton girls and her parents graves since they'd just missed their anniversary but Autumn talked her out of it, saying there was no need to scare the girls seeing them the way she was. Dean and Sam were helping Athena into the backseat of the Impala, which had a larger seat than the Mustang, John called her off to the side.

"You know for that stunt to work he had to be holding you to those vows?" Autumn nodded.

"Yes, sir."

"You realize that, that isn't the only thing that has to be there for that stunt of yours to work?" John pushed.

"Yes, sir." Autumn fidgeted not sure where he was going with this line.

"Autumn, you take care of him and watch your back. Women in our family"

"Dad, I'll leave. Just say the word and when Athena's back on her feet, I'll walk out, if that's what you want." John shook his head savagely.

"I've spent his whole life thinking if I kept him safe taught him to protect himself that was all that mattered." he paused a beat. "Autumn you make him happy, and that's just as important as being safe."

"Then I'll take care of him." she promised. John tucked a finger under her chin lifting her head.

"I'm out again, kiddo, you need me just call." she smiled.

"Like I've ever hesitated to call you."

The pair rejoined the others by the Impala. John and his boys said their good-byes, before parting ways again. Autumn was going to drive alone of a day, her dog in the seat next to her, while Dean drove the Impala, Athena tucked into the backseat, and Sam riding shot gun. It was going to be a long trip back to the resort. Autumn and Dean had shared her motel room, Dean giving his bed up to John, while they waited for Athena's release. The couple had barely left each other's sides, so with the prospect of being separated for a weak Dean trapped her for a quick good-bye.

"You going to be okay?" Dean asked pinning her to the Mustang.

"Sure." she shrugged. "I think I can swing being all alone, on a cold empty road." Autumn pouted. He sandwiched her into the car, pressing his lips to hers. He allowed her to take lead, deepening the kiss, exploring his mouth and pulling him closer.

"HEY!" Sam threw a rock at them, pelting Autumn in the back of the head. "You comin' or what?" he asked when they'd separated. Dean glared at his little brother, Autumn leaned her head into his chest.

"Damn little prude." Dean grumbled.

"I'll see you when we stop." she patted his chest and opened the car door.

"Call when you need a break, Sammy can drive a while." Autumn nodded.

"Noted." Dean returned to his car, and was assaulted by Athena singing again.

"On the road again" she belted out the lyrics off tune.

A/N: I know it was a short chapter, but we're done here. Life goes on, ja? I think vampires are up next, I mean you cann't put a price on the head of a Winchester without expecting them to pay a visit. Hope you enjoyed and I'll see you again in a few days. Always thanks and best wishes Sarah