Author's Note: Thanks to everyone who has been following the story. I felt it was time to close this chapter of Dean and Leah's relationship, but there is a sequel called Second Chance. I'll post the first chapter soon.


Chapter 54

Sam and Amy heard the door slam and knew their sibling's conversation hadn't gone well. Jumping up from her chair, Amy rushed into the living room and found Leah scrambling around in search of something.

"Leah? What are you looking for? What happened with Dean?" She walked toward her sister as she asked the questions and noticed the wet streaks on Leah's face. "Oh God! Leah, honey, what's wrong?"

Leah continued to look for her car keys, wishing she hadn't been weak and unable to keep the tears at bay until she could be alone. "Can you help me find my keys?"

Grabbing her sister's arms, Amy forced Leah to stop and look at her. She brushed at the slow stream of tears, absorbing all of the pain and sadness her sister was feeling as she did.

"What did Dean say?" She wanted to help Leah, but knew there was little she could do. Dean caused this and he would have to fix it.

Shaking her head, Leah tried to pull away. "Just help me find my keys, Amy. Please! I need to get out of here."

Sam had been standing in the doorway quietly watching the two women. Damn Dean! Things were just getting worse and it was time to find out once and for all what his brother's problem was. He slipped past Leah and Amy and went out onto the front porch.

Dean was standing near the steps, his back to the door as he leaned against the house. Sam spun him around, ready to lay into him, but he could clearly see the pained expression on his brother's face. Letting go of Dean's arm, Sam took a step back and sighed.

"Leah's pretty upset, Dean. I don't suppose you want to tell me what you said to her?"

Dropping down onto the top step, Dean rubbed at his forehead, trying to ease the hammering pain behind his eyes. "It's over, Sammy. We need to pack up and take off."

Sam was speechless. He stared at his brother's rigid back, trying to figure out how the hell that could have happened. It was obvious Dean had ended it, and though it shouldn't surprise Sam, it did. The few times Dean had been away from Leah during the past several weeks, the guy had been miserable. Hell, he'd even declared that one hunt a bust just so he could rush home to her. Why would he want to walk away now?

Taking a seat on the steps, Sam longed to offer comfort, but wasn't sure how. All he could really do was see if Dean was willing to talk and there, in itself, was the irony. Lack of communication always seemed to be the reason why things came crashing down on his brother in the first place.

Still, it was worth the try. "Why Dean? I thought you two were working through that crap with David. So if not that, what? It's me and Amy, isn't it? You've been crazy about the two us being together."

"No. It's not you two. Hell, you and Amy, it doesn't matter anymore. You do what you have to do. And I have to do the same. This thing with Leah, it's just not right, Sammy. Come on, man, you know me. This isn't my kind of life. It's time to get out of here and let Leah get another job. Let her find a..." His voice faded, leaving the sentence hanging. It wasn't one he cared to finish.

"Find what?" Sam wasn't willing to let it go. "Another guy?" He could see Dean flinch. "That's what you want, Leah with another guy?"

"Damn it Sam, shut the hell up, will you?" he snapped. "I want..." What could he say? There was no way to tell his brother what he really wanted.

"What? What do you want, Dean?"

It didn't matter anymore. It was what was best for Leah and that didn't include him. "I want to get on the road."

He stood up and looked at the door, his feet suddenly unwilling to carry him any closer. Could he face her again and stand by this decision? It wasn't likely Leah would be anywhere in sight, but he had to be prepared, in case she was.

"Here are my keys." Amy dangled her car keys in the air, but refused to release them when Leah made a grab for them. "One condition, kiddo, I'm driving."

Leah started to argue, but Amy wouldn't hear it. "You're in no shape to drive. We can go wherever you want to go and I promise I won't say a word unless you decide you want to talk, but I am going with you. Deal?"

Left with no choice, Leah agreed. "Let's just get out of here." She opened the front door just as Dean was reaching for the doorknob. He was close. Too close. She could smell his aftershave and see the 5 o'clock shadow that covered his strong jaw line. Instinctively she took a step forward, wanting to pull him to her and tell him this was all so crazy. They belonged together, couldn't he see that?

What was she thinking? Of course he couldn't see it. He was the one who wanted out. She froze and Amy eased by her. Before Dean could move out of the way, Amy laid her hand on his forearm. Her expression changed. Her brows drew together and a deep frown touched her lips before she flashed a brief glance toward Leah.

Dean knew she could tell exactly what he was feeling. Christ! Well, she might know, but he wasn't going to explain his actions to her. Yanking his arm away, he stepped aside and waited for the girls to walk past. His eyes had locked with Leah's for just a few seconds, but it was enough to see all the hurt and confusion that was there.

He hated knowing he'd put all that pain in those gorgeous brown eyes, but she'd be grateful one day. When she was sitting there on that porch, surrounded by her husband and kids, she'd understand why he'd left and she'd forgive him. He would just keep telling himself that, too. Maybe one day he'd actually believe it.

Amy watched Leah walk to the car and slip into the passenger seat. She stopped in front of Sam and hugged him tightly, enjoying the feel of his arms around her as he returned the embrace. She pressed her ear to his chest and listened to the comforting sound of the steady beat of his heart.

"I don't know what's going on, Amy. Not really sure Dean does, either. Maybe he'll pull his head out of his ass and realize he's being an idiot. Then we'll come back so he and Leah can work things out."

"I hope so, Sam. They belong together. Take care of yourself, okay? I'll be back at the university in a few weeks. Maybe you can trick your brother into coming by for a visit. I want to show you off to my girlfriends. Make them all jealous because I have the hottest guy around!"

Sam grinned down at her and gave her a long gentle kiss. "I think I can manage that. I'll walk you to the car. I want to say goodbye to Leah. How is she?"

As they walked toward the car, Amy told him her sister was trying hard to hold it together. "I think she's gonna lose it as soon as we take off. She really loves him, you know?"

"Yeah, I know. He loves her, too. That's why I just don't get this. I'll work on him."

"You do that." Amy kissed him again, then got in behind the wheel and started the car.

Sam walked around to the passenger side and tapped on the window. He smiled gently at Leah before opening the door so he could squat down beside her. Taking her hands into his, he said, "Dean's an ass. But you know that."

Leah gave a shaky laugh. "Yeah. I know that. Take care of him, okay? He needs someone to look out for him, even though he thinks he has to do it all alone."

Sam nodded. "I will. We'll be back. He'll come around. He loves you, Leah."

It was extremely difficult for Leah to hear those words. She knew Sam meant well, but those were the types of thoughts she had to let go of. It was time to deal with reality. It was over. Dean wasn't coming back.

"I love him, too, Sam. But sometimes it's not enough. Take care of yourself, okay? I love you." She gave him a hug and pressed a kiss to his cheek.

"Love you, Leah." He leaned over and smiled at Amy. "I'll call you."

She smiled back. "Okay, I'll be waiting."

Sam stood up and closed the car door. He watched the car pull out of the drive and disappear down the street before going inside to help his brother pack.

The brothers worked quickly and in silence. It didn't take long for them to get everything together and into the car. Dean left the house key on the table and took one last look around Leah's home. Closing the door, he tossed his car keys to Sam and got into the passenger side of the Impala.

Dean stared at the house as they pulled out of the driveway, then he leaned back and closed his eyes. Leah would be happier now. And him? He could concentrate on hunting and tracking down the demon. It was all he needed in life. He'd done what was best for Leah. Yeah, he was going to miss her like hell, but it would get easier with time.

It had to.

The End