Authors Note: Okay guys well I'm finally back ... this is definately the longest chapter i have written yet and i have been working on it for days which is why it has taken me so long to post it and YESSS it is the finale chapter after OMG 5 to 6 months of writing its finally come to an end. I hope you enjoy this last chapter and that it does justice to the rest of the story ... i'll let you get onto reading it now and i'll meet up with you at the end to give you my final thoughts :) hope you enjoy ... God i'm nervous posting this lol ...

Chapter 28. A Promise He Intended To Keep

A week. It had been just about a week now since he had been stuck inside a hospital room with his oldest son for a roommate.

Dean had gotten steadily better over the last week. His speech was no longer impaired and he was awake for much longer periods. His appetite which had been minimal to begin with had just about gotten back to normal. He had eaten the burger and fries Caleb had snuck in the day before with enthusiasm. He had admitted to still having a low grade headache but it must not have been too bad because Mac had seemed happy with his progress and Dean had been chattering away about nothing in particular since his speech co-ordination had improved. Not to mention the bitching about his impromptu hair cut. The teen was not happy with the loss of hair on the lower side of his head.

Despite the constant chatter John and Dean hadn't really spoken about anything in regards to what had happened. Mackland had urged him to while Dean had been out of the room and John had wanted to because he could see the look in Dean's eyes when he seemed to be lost in his own thoughts. But every time he tried to start the much needed conversation he stopped not really knowing what to say. Dean had his own way of dealing with things and John was ashamed to admit that most of the time if Dean had a problem he wouldn't know about it. Even if Dean did want to talk about a problem the kid would most likely call upon Caleb or talk to his brother. John felt like a fish out of water when trying to discuss feelings with his sons or anyone else for that matter.

Mackland hadn't been the only one to talk to him about Dean. A few days prior while Dean had ventured out for a walk with Sam Caleb had sat down and explained what had happened when they had visited the real Carlson at his home. He stressed to John that Dean had been shaken by Carlson's words about his mother. Caleb hated talking about feelings as much as the next guy, a trait Mac often accused he had gotten from John, but he had told John in no uncertain terms that he thought he needed to get Dean to talk about it. Caleb had thought that John was definitely the best person for the job and the most likely person that would be able to get through to Dean since he was his father after all.

The fact was Dean could pretend all he wanted that he was alright but Caleb could feel deep down the turmoil that was festering. Not to mention the few nightmares he'd had did not help Dean's case.

Caleb and Mackland were both right he did need to speak to his son but getting the words out was harder than it sounded, not to mention he was still dealing with his own issues with current events and maybe that was hindering his efforts. He didn't know. But he did know one thing. He was finally getting released. Mackland and Doctor Hutchinson had agreed to let both of them go if they promised to follow doctors orders and rest. Mac had reminded both John and Dean that he would be sticking around for a bit and that he would enforce it.

Caleb was meant to be picking them up but was currently late. John's patience was running thin and Dean's vocal impatience wasn't helping.

"Where the hell is he?" Dean complained for what seemed like the hundredth time. Dean had never liked being cooped up in one place for too long and John was surprised that he had lasted as long as he had without trying to make a break for it, brain surgery be damned.

"Dean …"John looked up at the clock on the wall. "He's only ten minutes late."

Dean was about to reply when the door to their room burst open and Caleb strolled in, twirling the Impala's keys around in one hand. "You guys ready?"

"About time," John grumbled under his breath.

"We've been ready for ten minutes Damien." Dean stood up and glared at the older hunter.

Caleb smirked. Dean's fierce look only looked comical with his head still sporting a white bandage. They were starting to find their rhythm again and now that Dean was getting better the insults were flying. Just the way Caleb liked it.

"What did you do … faint again like a girl?" Dean sniped

Caleb's smirk faded into his own glare. Okay so he didn't enjoy the insults all the time. God damn Sammy and his big God damn mouth. Dean hadn't mentioned anything to him about his passing out all week and Caleb had thought that it meant that Sam had kept his mouth shut. Yeah right. Wishful thinking. "For your information I didn't faint."

Dean walked up to his friend with an eyebrow raised. "Oh no?" he asked "And just what do you call you landing on your ass out cold?" he snickered.

"It's called passing out, asshole."

Dean reached out to the psychic and patted him on the arm. "Fainting suits you more bitch."

"Just move your ass or I'll shave the rest of your hair off." Caleb threatened. "How you liking your new hairstyle by the way?"

By the look on Dean's face Caleb knew that he was still not happy about the state of his hair but in typical Dean Winchester fashion he wasn't going to let Caleb get the better of him. "Dude, hair or no hair I could still get more action than you."

Caleb rolled his eyes. "In your dreams, patch head."

"Ohh that's a good one, did you come up with that all by yourself?"

John looked at the two younger hunters as they combated back and forth with words and gave a long suffering sigh. "Are you two quite finished?"

Dean and Caleb both looked back at John who was still perched on his bed. "We're waiting for you Johnny."

"Right." John grumbled, not in the mood for putting up with a smart mouth Reaves.

The older hunter gingerly lifted himself off the bed and placed the foot of his good leg on the floor. He winced as the movement pulled at some of his still healing injuries.

"Are you okay Dad?" Dean's concern was back as soon as he saw his father tense up but John waved him off stating that he was fine.

There was a knock at the door and all three men looked towards it to see Leda and John's doctor, Doctor Hutchinson standing there with wheelchairs. Caleb flashed a smile in Leda's direction taking notice of her figure in the nurse's dress that donned her body instead of her usual scrubs. He turned back to John. "Now you're ready to go." He smirked at Dean.

"What's with the wheelchairs, Damien?" Dean asked suspiciously.

"Hospital policy I'm afraid." Doctor Hutchinson answered for the psychic, wheeling further into the room followed by Leda who was quite obviously trying to hide the fact that she was checking Caleb out. Dean rolled his eyes. Sam was right she was definitely interested, god only knew why.

"You've got to be kidding me." Dean complained referring to the wheelchairs. "Dude, I can walk."

"I'm sorry Mr. Young."

"Ha ha." Caleb rubbed his hands together. "Your life is in my hands Deuce."

"Oh Joy."

"It's okay Dean I promised your brother I'd look out for you. I'll push you if you want." Leda decided to save the boy. She smiled sweetly at Caleb when he frowned at her.

"Well … in that case …" Dean smirked at the psychic. It seemed this nurse although having the hots for Caleb wasn't above playing against him. He liked the girl already.

"Wonderful. I get to lug John's heavy ass."

"Watch it Junior." John warned.

"Watch what John?" Caleb asked innocently.

Doctor Hutchinson cleared his throat, catching everyone's attention. "I would love to witness more of this interesting conversation, but I have work to do … Mr. Young …" he looked at John. "Doctor Ames did happen to warn me that you are not always the best of patients so I would like to make myself clear. Rest, do not over do it and take the meds prescribed."

"Mac's over exaggerating and I promise I'll be a good boy." John silenced the smart ass remark about to spill from Caleb's mouth with a single look.

"Good." Doctor Hutchinson smiled and nodded. "I'm sure you'll be fine. I want you back here in a couple of days though for a check up." John just nodded at the doctor. He had no intention of returning to the hospital. "Here's yours and Dean's prescriptions. You can pick them up on the way out." The doctor continued holding the prescription out for John, Caleb snatching it away before John could get a hold of it.

Doctor Hutchinson shrugged at the action and bid them all a good evening, leaving the room satisfied that his job was done for now.

"Are you ready Dad?" Dean asked. John nodded so Dean turned back to Leda and she patted the seat of the wheelchair indicating he should sit. "You can push my wheelchair anytime." He quipped.

Caleb snorted at Dean's attempts. "Dude, she so has a better taste in guys." He winked at Leda who smiled back.

She couldn't believe she was actually blushing. All the guy did was wink at her. She knew one thing for sure; it definitely wouldn't be boring having these two boys around. It most certainly wasn't a chore spending time with any of these guys. Caleb was drop dead gorgeous. Dean, although a bit young for her was still a great looking and charming kid and looking at John it was easy to see where he had gotten his good looks from. It was obviously that behind the bruises and the gruff beard was a extremely good looking man and she was willing to bet that in another circumstance he would be a charmer as well. Sam was a terrific kid, such a cutie and so considerate for someone his age. That was rare. Doctor Mackland Ames was even better looking in person than she could have imagined. The picture she had once seen of him in a medical journal once really didn't do the man justice ... he kind of had that Tom Selleck vibe going on … maybe it was the moustache. She sighed. She would be sad to see them go.

"Your chariot awaits Johnny." Caleb quipped, making a sweeping motion with his hands at the chair before taking it by the handles.

"I can't wait." John responded sarcastically as he slowly maneuvered into the chair. He felt like an old man and that only irritated him further.

Dean and John were pushed out of their room and into the corridor. Leda was making small talk with Dean, leaning over his shoulder slightly so he could hear her better as she pushed him along.

Caleb was brought back to the thought of how nice she looked in that white nurses outfit … So much better than the green scrubs. It shaped her body perfectly and her legs looked great.

"Reaves!" John barked, breaking Caleb's train of thought. He looked up and saw the irritated eyes of some passerby and realized that he had nearly rammed John into some unsuspecting person. "Watch where you're going!"

Caleb shook his head in amusement. "Sorry John."

"And he's been driving my car." Dean murmured from his wheelchair.

"You and that car wanna find a room when we get back, you've obviously missed each other."

"Just watch where you're going Caleb! I would like to make it back to Missouri's without any added injuries." John ordered.

"No worries John."

"Just don't strain yourself Damien. I wouldn't want you to faint again." Dean teased. Leda couldn't contain the burst of laughter that came bubbling up.

"Shut up, Baldy."

The rest of their journey to the car was made without any accidents along with a side trip to the hospital's chemist to pick up the meds that were needed and his fathers crutch. Dean had protested about having to sit in the backseat of his own car. It wasn't like he hadn't used the backseat of his car before … but that was a whole other story. Caleb was driving and John refused to sit in the back so that left Dean pouting in the back while Caleb said goodbye to his girlfriend as Sam was calling her.

John was quiet in the front, leaving Dean frustrated. He hated the quiet. It gave him too much time for his mind to wander which was not a good thing, especially with recent events. He hadn't really spoken to anyone about what had happened, not even Caleb who knew most of it anyway and he didn't want to burden his brother especially considering what Carlson had been saying about their parents. He wasn't sure what to think about his father at the moment. He'd had that terrible nightmare a couple of the nights while at the hospital. At one point his father had even had to get out of his bed to wake him up. He'd asked him what it was about but Dean hadn't been able to tell him. He'd wanted to so badly. He'd wanted his father to assure him that none of it was true. His family was the most important thing to Dean and he really needed to hear his father assure him that the doppelgangers taunts weren't true, even if deep down he knew they couldn't be. There was obviously a small part of him subconsciously that was willing to believe it. Willing to believe that he wasn't worth the love and approval he had always so desperately sought but would never ask for.

Dean blinked and shook himself out of his dark and pathetic thoughts in time to see Leda stand on the tips of her toes in order to peck Caleb on the lips goodbye.

"Are you alright there son?" John asked having seen Dean's pained yet pensive expression through the rear-vision mirror.

Dean looked up at his father's reflection in the mirror. He wanted to say no, he was not alright. "I'm fine." He just couldn't seem to get it passed his lips.

The creak of the driver's door opening halted any more questions and Caleb slumped down onto the seat, shutting the door and gripping the steering wheel with one hand as he turned to smirk at Dean. "Dude, I so have it going on."

Dean rolled his eyes. "Another one bites the dust huh."

"Not just yet. I'm seeing her in a couple of nights." Caleb's smirk got bigger.

"It's charity case." John's gruff voice added to the conversation.

"And how is this a charity case?"

"She's giving us a night away from your big ego." John explained as he settled more into the seat. "We should thank her for that."

"Your hysterical you know that." Caleb gunned the impala's engine and Dean grinned at the sound of his baby starting up. The way she purred always made him feel safe. The Impala was for intents and purposes his home.

xXx

Sam placed the last plate on the table as Missouri finished up with dinner in the kitchen. He had apologized profusely the first night at Missouri's for running off. Missouri had forgiven him and sent him and Caleb straight to bed with no complaints from either boy. Despite his twelve long hours of sleep Caleb didn't have any trouble getting back to sleep. Missouri had assigned them all rooms. Sam would naturally be sharing a room with his brother. Mackland and Caleb would be sleeping in the other spare room while John had that fold out sofa bed in the study on the first floor since it would be harder for him to make it upstairs with his inuries.

Sam had accompanied Mac to the hospital everyday when the doctor checked on his patient. Dean had gotten better each day but Sam could tell that behind the usual mask that was now back in place that Dean was disturbed about something. He had asked him about it a few times but Dean always brushed his concern off or said he had a headache.

John had been inquisitive as to the details of what had gone on after he had left for the hunt. Caleb had come in quite a bit as well and was able to fill John in on the events in between from their point of view. Once Caleb was sure that both his mentor and his friend were on the mend he became more like his old self and managed to keep the two injured hunters entertained to some degree. That is when he wasn't off working his charm on a certain nurse.

Caleb was due back any minute with his family in tow. Sam couldn't wait until everyone was under the same roof again. Missouri came out of the kitchen carrying a couple of bowls of vegetables. "Sam, honey can you bring in the plate of chicken pieces for me please."

"Sure." Sam complied. He picked up the bowl of mash potatoes while he was at it and walked back into the dining room and Missouri pointed to a vacant spot on the table to place the chicken. "I don't see why we couldn't hold the birthday tonight." Sam grumbled.

"I told you Sam. Your Daddy and brother might be released from the hospital but they'll be mighty tired when they get here. We'll let them rest tonight and tomorrow I promise you Sam we'll give Dean a wonderful birthday. I'll even make a cake tonight."

"Okay … its just I really wanted it be special and now everything's ruined it."

"Oh honey, as long as we are all together and safe your brother will be happy. We'll make it special for him don't worry."

"Thanks Missouri."

"You're very welcome Sam." Missouri came to stand next to him and ran her fingers through his shaggy brown hair affectionately. "Now could you please go and get the drinking glasses for me? They are in the second cupboard to the right."

"Yes Ma'am." Sam walked off towards the kitchen leaving Missouri looking after him. The sound of the Impala's rumbling could be heard as it pulled up to the house. She made her way through her lounge room and to the front door. Opening the front door Missouri hugged herself against the chilly air, leaning against the doorway as she watched the men getting out of the car.

Caleb ran around the front of the car and helped John to a standing position despite his protest that he was fine because he clearly wasn't. The man looked like crap. He took the crutch Dean handed him and shrugged out of Caleb's grasp. Missouri grinned as she watched Caleb and Dean exchange a knowing look. John was tired and sore which equaled grumpy as hell.

"John." Missouri greeted as the hunter finally made it up the front steps.

"Missouri."

"Sam and I are just dishing up dinner if you're hungry." She moved aside so that John could get past her.

"Great I'm starved." Caleb patted his stomach as he walked up to the house.

John rolled his eyes but paused just short of walking through the doorway. "Listen … Missouri thanks … for all of this."

"It's the least I could do John …" After getting you into this mess was left unsaid but John could hear it in her voice anyway.

"Not to interrupt this moment but could we move this inside where my ass wont freeze off." Caleb interrupted coming to stand behind John who was blocking the doorway. "Not to mention that you two are the walking wounded."

"Don't make me wash your mouth out with soap boy for that language. You know I will." she couldn't understand why she was always setting these boys straight.

"Sorry." he answered crossing his hands over his chest as particularly chilling breeze past threw him.

Missouri turned back to John. "Let's get you inside." she gestured for three hunters to enter.

"Where's Mac?" Caleb asked noticing his father's absence when he reached out with his abilities.

"He took John's truck to get some last minute groceries for me." The older psychic explained as she led them into the house.

Caleb leaned over closer to Dean "How sweet." he whispered, making Dean smirk.

They all headed through to the dining room where Sam was setting glasses on the table. Sam had heard the Impala pull up to the house but he refrained from running out to greet them. He was almost fourteen not five years old for crying out loud. His happiness at his family finally being out of the hospital turned to anxiety when he saw his brother. Dean looked a little green like he was going to be sick.

"Dean, are you okay?"

All eyes went to the oldest Winchester brother as he swallowed thickly. He felt sick in the stomach. He had felt fine in the hospital when Caleb had come and picked them up but towards the end of the car ride he had started to feel sick. He had thought he had gotten over it. That was until he had gone from the warmth of the car to the cold chill of the evening air and then back into the warmth of the house. It had come back with a vengeance as soon as the smell of the food had hit him. Missouri's cooking usually had his mouth watering but instead it was making the nausea Mac had warned him about butt its ugly head. Headaches, nausea and fluctuations in appetite were apparently what he could look forward to.

"Deuce?" Caleb asked placing a concerned hand on Dean's shoulder.

Dean's eyes widened and he brought a hand to his stomach while the other one went straight his mouth as he bolted from the room in what he hoped was the direction of the downstairs bathroom. He heard footsteps following him but paid no attention to them as he launched himself at the toilet just before the contents of his stomach came burning up his throat. The heaving was causing the small headache he'd had to intensify. He felt a hand on his back rubbing in comforting circles as he continued to painfully heave his guts out. He groaned deeply in between a bout of heaving.

"Just get it out Deuce." So it was Caleb with him. What did the guy think he was doing, trying to hold it in?

Suddenly he had nothing left in his stomach to bring up. This a bit of information didn't stop his body from trying to dispel more. Sometimes he thought that dry heaves were worse than actually throwing up.

"Sammy, get me a wet washcloth will ya?"

Caleb's voice was still in the background and he wasn't surprised to hear that Sam was hanging around. Probably fidgeting nervously and looking all worried. He did that well.

"Here Caleb." He could feel Sam hovering near him now and he suddenly wished that his brother wasn't there. He hated Sam seeing him like this.

He jumped when a warm wet washcloth was placed on the back of his neck. "Hang in there Deuce."

Dean moaned in response as his body finally settled. The trauma his body had just gone through had caused him to break out in a cold sweat. He shivered. The warm washcloth was removed from the back of his neck and Dean leaned into it when it was wiped over his face. God … his head was pounding.

"You with us kiddo?" Caleb asked putting his hand under Dean's chin forcing his head up so that Caleb could look at him.

Dean opened his eyes and saw that Caleb was perched on the edge of the tub. "Dude …" he swallowed, grimacing at the foul taste in his mouth. "… that sucked."

"Not a lot of fun for us either, trust me."

"Dean, are you okay?" Dean winced. How many times had Sam asked him that over the last couple of days? "I'm super, Sammy."

Caleb stood up and looked down at Dean. "Come on Chucky, what's say we get you up to bed?" he held out a hand for Dean to help pull himself up. Once up, Sam attached himself to Dean's side determined to help his brother.

Missouri and John were hovering in the doorway and both moved away as the boys moved forward. Missouri, do you mind if I take a rain check on dinner?" Dean paused for a moment; the vomiting had made his throat sore. "I really don't think I could stomach anything right now." The thought of food was almost enough to send him heaving again.

"Not at all honey." The poor boy looked wrecked. "You just get some rest."

"Thanks … sorry Dad."

John frowned in confusion as Dean passed him. What on earth could Dean be apologising for? "What for?"

The truth was Dean wasn't even sure where that had come from. "I don't know." he mumbled as Caleb and Sam helped him to the stairs.

Dean awoke with a start, gasping. He was in his and Sam's room at Missouri's. Considering how dark it was and the deep breathing of Sam in the bed next to his it was obviously late. Looking at the red digits coming from the alarm clock on the nightstand it was two in the morning.

He remembered Sam and Caleb helping him upstairs. He had taken some aspirin and slipped under the covers and waited for sleep to take him.

Mac had woken him up at some point in the night to check on him. According to the doctor he had been restless and Dean was thankful that Mac had woken him before he had gotten caught in the dream that had been plaguing him. He hadn't been so lucky this time around. He was at least thankful that he hadn't woken Sam. He must have woken up before he had gotten too bad.

Dean ran a shaky hand down his face and slumped back against the pillows. It was comforting hearing his brothers breathing next to him. He had the sudden thought that maybe that was the reason the nightmare hadn't gotten too bad this time. Dean had shared a bedroom with his brother ever since their mother had died and he had become accustomed to hearing Sam's breathing patterns during the night. He had missed it during his hospital stay. Great, he thought, now I cant sleep without my little brother.

Dean rolled his head towards Sam's bed and watched his brother sleeping the little bit of moonlight sneaking through the curtains silhouetting his face. Dean would never admit it to anyone but he liked watching his brother sleep. Sam was growing up there was no doubt about that and he was forever asking questions but when he was asleep Dean could see the trusting, innocent baby brother he was before adolescence hit. Seeing Sam like this always gave Dean and overpowering need to protect the kid. He'd been so scared he'd failed in his one job of protecting Sam when Caleb had told him that Sam had ran from Missouri's. As much as his Dad drilled it into him that protecting Sam is important, it was the one job that Dean didn't need reminding of. It was always on the forefront of his mind since as long as he could remember.

Dean's stomach growled and Dean brought an hand down and rubbed it. Now that he thought about it he was kind of hungry. He wondered if there had been any left overs from dinner. He hoped that Missouri had kept some aside for him. He sat up and pulled the covers back and rested his bare feet on the carpet. Rubbing the sleep out of his eyes Dean stood up. The floorboards creaked. He shot a look to Sam to make sure he was still asleep and then slipped out the door.

xXx

"Son, do you ever sleep?" Mackland Ames sighed as he entered Missouri's dining room to find his son awake at two am.

"Occasionally." Caleb smirked over his coffee cup.

Mackland shook his head and walked past Caleb and into the kitchen to get his own drink. He re-entered a few minutes later a steaming cup of coffee in his hands. "So what are you doing up?" he patted Caleb's shoulder as he sat.

"What are you doing up?" Caleb countered before taking a sip of his coffee.

"Caleb …"

"We're not gonna have one of those father-son hallmark moments are we?"

"Does everything have to be a fight?"

"Does everything have to lead to a chick-flick moment?"

"Do you have to answer a question with a question?"

"Do you really have to ask?

"Can you just listen to me please?" It was too early for his son to be this difficult with him.

Caleb put his coffee down on the table and rubbed his forehead. "Go on."

"Thank you …I just wanted to make sure you were alright."

Caleb laughed a little. "Dad …"

"Caleb … look … we don't see each other that much at the moment. I know what happened with John … and Dean shook you a little I just want to make sure you're okay. This job … it's not always the easiest especially when your family and friends are the victims …"

"Dad, Dad, Dad … I'm sorry I haven't been around in a while." Mac was right. Between handling his construction business and hunting Caleb hadn't had the chance to regularly see the man. Up until just recently he hadn't seen his father in months.

"I know." Mac smiled. "That's not what this is about."

Caleb looked into his coffee. "If you really must know … yes I was worried about John and yes Dean's headaches scared the crap out of me and yes I was scared as hell waiting in the hospital but I'm okay now."

"You sure?" Mackland knew how close Caleb was to the Winchesters and he knew how personally he took it when someone close to his son got hurt.

"Yeah, you don't need to worry about me Dad."

Mackland chuckled. "Worrying is part of being a father."

Caleb bit his lip and nodded. Both sat in a comfortable silence for a few moments. Mac knew that Caleb wasn't one to talk openly about his feelings so even though not a lot had been said between them Mac was glad they'd had the talk.

"Dad." Mackland looked at his son. "Thanks for getting out here so quick and for you know … tying up the lose ends."

"There's no reason to thank me for that son."

"I know but I wanted to anyway. The things you do … it's really amazing!"

"Thanks."

"You're handy to have around in a crisis although I guess we'll really have to admit that Deuce has a brain now."

The comedian was back in the house. Mac wouldn't expect anything less. He would be worried if Caleb didn't bounce back to that. Footsteps could be heard on the stairs.

"Speak of the devil …" Caleb quipped and no sooner had the words come out of his mouth Dean walked through the doorway wearing only his boxer shorts and t-shirt. His short hair was sticking up all over the place and the bandage had been removed. Looking at him from the front the shaved part of his hair wasn't really all that noticeable.

Dean blinked as his eyes adjusted to the light. He looked surprised to see the two psychics sitting at the table. "Doesn't anyone sleep around here?" he mumbled.

"You okay Deuce?"

God he was so tired of hearing that question. "Yeah, what are you guys doing up?"

Mac and Caleb exchanged a look. Hadn't they just had this conversation? "Are you hungry Dean?"

"Midnight snack?" Caleb piped up

"Yeah actually I am kind of hungry." Dean answered sitting down across from them ignoring Caleb's comment.

"Missouri left a plate of left overs in the fridge. Caleb, why don't you go heat some up for us." Mac suggested.

Caleb frowned. "Why me?"

"Because I asked you to."

Dean smiled at Caleb and watched as resignation sank in. Caleb pulled a face at his friend and then drained his coffee cup. "Fine." He stood up and took his and Mac's coffee cups into the kitchen with him.

"So …" Dean began. "When are you headed back to New York?"

Mackland rubbed at his tired eyes. "I'll be here for a bit. Someone has to make your that your Dad does as he's told. I'm sure you and Missouri could appreciate the backup."

Dean laughed. "Yeah, he's stubborn that's for sure."

Dean was sure that his Dad was going to stay put for a little bit. His injuries would make sure of that but he would only stay put for so long not to mention that there was his remaining time at school to think about … should he even bother with it?

"You have to be careful too Dean, another hit to the head so soon could be dangerous." Mac leant his elbows on the table. Noises could be heard coming from the kitchen along with a curse here and there. What was so difficult about heating a plate of leftovers he didn't know.

"I will don't worry."

Mac sighed. "As I told Caleb, I'll never stop worrying."

Caleb came through the door holding the plate of leftovers plus a few extra empty plates for them to use. "Hope you're hungry Deuce."

Dean took the plate Caleb handed him and was pleased to discover that the food didn't bring the nausea back. The food smelt great and he realised just then how hungry he was. "This looks great!"

"It is. You're lucky there was any left overs in the first place."

"You're all heart Damien."

The food was eaten eagerly and light hearted conversation ensued and it was almost enough to make them all forget for a little while what had happened in the recent disaster of their lives. Mackland bid his goodnight first heading to bed leaving the two younger men sitting up. The two decided that it would be best to wash the dishes they had created before heading to bed themselves. They were pretty sure the Missouri would not appreciate waking up to dishes.

Caleb watched as Dean made his way to the room he was sharing with his brother. The boy was far from good. There were still too many troubling thoughts running around in his head but with time things would get better. When they woke up it would be Dean's day, the birthday that Sam had been hoping to give his brother. It was bound to be good because he was almost certain that Dean had forgotten that his birthday had even past.

xXx

John shifted uncomfortably in his seat. His ribs were sore and so was his leg. He had tried a couple of times to conveniently leave his crutch in the study that had been his room but the black psychic had threatened not so nicely that if he didn't use it then she would shove it somewhere which would be very uncomfortable. Mac had just raised an eyebrow when he had looked to the doctor for help.

The morning had been spent quietly. The boys had spent it watching a movie in the lounge room. John had settled in an arm chair and studied the boys just as much as he had the movie. Sam kept fingering something in his pocket, like he was itching to bring it out and show them.

Mackland had offered to help Missouri since the woman had hinted that she always seemed to be cooking when the hunters were around. Steak sandwiches had been served and eaten with everyone present for the meal this time. Conversation ranged from the movie that the boys had just finished then a debate comparing other movies followed by a debate on who was the better superhero to past hunts to possible future hunts. By the end of the meal everyone was relaxed and enjoying themselves.

Sam had just excused himself from the table and left for the kitchen. Dean and Caleb continued on their new debate on super powers and were coming to an agreement on invisibility when Sam re-entered the dining room holding a big homemade chocolate cake.

"Happy Birthday Dean!" He called out garnering all of their attention.

Dean looked shocked at the thirteen year old. Sam came over and placed the birthday cake in front of his brother. Eighteen candles were sitting on top of the chocolate icing, waiting to be blown out. Dean looked at the cake like it was something he'd never seen before.

"Happy birthday to you …" Mackland began singing. He was joined in by Missouri and Sam. The doctor elbowed Caleb in the side and gave John a look telling them to join in … singing happy birthday was not going to kill their image.

Dean looked horrified as the whole group began singing to him. He couldn't believe they were singing to him. With everything that had happened he had forgotten all about his birthday. The horrified look soon turned into an amused look as he dropped his head into his hands. He looked back up again with an embarrassed smile. He wasn't comfortable being the centre of attention of so many people. Caleb was now singing with enthusiasm which made everything even more comical. John was smiling and Dean wasn't sure but he looked proud.

As the singing finished Dean locked eyes with his father. "Happy birthday son."

"Sorry it's so late Dean."

"Guys … this … this is … wow thanks."

"Ha," Caleb crowed. "He's speechless quick get the camera out."

"Aren't you gonna blow out your candles?" Sam asked still standing by his seated brother.

Dean looked up at Sam and then down at his birthday cake. Eighteen candles. "Okay." He leant forward.

"Don't forget to make a wish." Sam reminded him. Caleb chuckled.

Dean rolled his eyes and went back to the job at hand. He leant forward, drew back a breath and then blew. All the candles flicked out in one breath and everyone clapped. It all seemed so surreal.

"What did you wish for Deuce?"

Sam rolled his eyes at the psychic. "If he told you that then it wouldn't come true stupid."

Dean wasn't going to say that he didn't believe that wishes came true anyway. He had spent a lot of time wishing things in the past and none of them came true. Not the important ones. But if his brother believed in them then he was willing to play along.

He looked around at everyone in the room. He still felt weird that they had gone to all this effort for him. "Thanks guys … really."

"You're welcome Dean." Missouri handed Dean a knife to cut the cake and he began to slice through the sponge.

"You know you have to kiss the closest girl if you touch the bottom." Caleb quipped and then looked at Missouri. Dean frowned. "What are you five?" he laughed and cut through the rest of the cake.

Missouri took the knife from Dean and began to cut the rest of the cake into pieces for everyone.

"We have more Dean." Sam stated excitedly. He had been waiting to give his brother his present for what seemed like ages. He knew that if Dean hadn't gone straight to bed the night before he very well might have cracked and given Dean the key ring before today. Sam reached into his pocket and pulled out the small black velvet bag and hesitated slightly before thrusting it into Dean's hand. Sam looked across at Caleb and smiled when the psychic gave him a wink.

"What's this?" Dean asked intrigued.

"Open it." Sam insisted.

Dean looked around at everyone and then looked down at the small black bag. He undid the strings and then turned the bag upside down and shook out the contents. A small silver key ring fell into his hand. Now he could see it was obviously the shape of an Impala, a black one. It looked exactly the same as his car.

"Turn it over." Sam directed still hovering.

Dean did as he was told and turned the Impala around. On the flat silver back was the year 1967 inscribed. It was perfect.

"It's a real piece of Chevrolet memorabilia. "Sam explained looking at his brother's face intently. "Do you like it?"

Dean looked up into his brother's face with a huge smile on his face. He loved it. Not just the key ring itself but the thought that had gone into the present. Sam knew how much he loved the Impala and he had gone out and found this key ring for him. He was always amazed by how caring and thoughtful his brother still was despite their lifestyle.

"Sammy, man I love it. It's the best." Dean reached an arm around his little brother and pulled him in for a hug. This show of affection was rarer now days but it only took Sam a second to wrap his arms around Dean's neck. "Thanks Sammy."

"I'm glad you're okay Dean." He whispered into his brother's ear.

Dean gave Sam an extra squeeze before releasing him. "Thanks." He looked back down at the key ring with a huge smile on his face.

John watched his son's interacting and he swallowed the lump in his throat. He was proud beyond belief of his sons and even more so right at this very moment. He was also feeling so very ashamed. With everything that had happened he hadn't had a chance to pick anything up for his son's birthday. It was his own fault. He had been so preoccupied with his own thoughts. It was typical he thought that he would let something as simple but as important as a birthday present slip his mind. Why Dean looked up to him so much he would never know. He glanced quickly across at Caleb. The younger hunter had met his eyes. He had a thoughtful look on his face and John knew that Caleb knew that he didn't have anything to give Dean.

"That's really nice Sammy." Mac's voice interrupted John's thoughts as he admired the key ring.

"Don't think that's all Dean." Caleb spoke, standing up and pulling a rectangular wrapped parcel out from under the table. "Here Johnny, I picked up that thing for you." He passed the parcel to John and gave him a pointed look to just play along with him.

John closed his eyes and sighed. "Caleb …"

"No need to thank me, just give the boy his present already." John opened his eyes and looked at Caleb who was still looking at him. He turned his attention to Dean before looking down at the parcel. Caleb didn't want to chance anything to spoil Dean's day and John hated taking any type of charity even from his closest friends. He felt terrible as he held out the present to his son.

"Thanks Dad." Dean's voice sounded so grateful and it made John feel even worse.

John watched as Dean carefully unwrapped the present. Dean wasn't the only one wondering what was underneath the wrappings. The last of the dark wrapping paper fell away to reveal a black leather journal, there was small silver rectangular plate attached to the bottom right hand corner of the leather cover. There was an engraving on the plate but John couldn't see what it was.

"You're a real fine hunter Dean." Caleb spoke up since John was still lost for words. "It's about time you started a journal of your own. Nice one Johnny." Caleb smiled at John when the older man looked at him letting him know that all was good. He was okay with handing this over. The problem was that Caleb might have been okay with this but John still wasn't comfortable with it.

"Thanks Dad." Dean thanked him sincerely running his hands over the leather. "I love it."

"Your welcome kiddo," John replied with a sad smile.

Mac looked from his friend to his son noticing the strange looks they were giving each other. Something was up but he wasn't going to press the matter right now

Caleb felt like he had done the right thing although he knew John was going to want to talk to him when Dean was out of earshot. He had bought that journal for Dean months before Dean's birthday thinking it was be a great idea for this birthday. Dean was turning eighteen. It wasn't twenty-one but it wouldn't be long before Dean finished school and was a full time hunter. It was the perfect present. He had really wanted to give this present to his friend but when it had hit him that John hadn't picked up anything to give him it seemed the natural solution to hand over the journal. It was something that Dean's father should get him anyway. Which is why, in hindsight, he was thankful that he had picked up the extra gift. That way he didn't look like the jerk that didn't get him a birthday present.

"Okay now it's my turn." Caleb announced and reached into his jacket which was hanging off the back of his chair and pulled out an envelope. He reached across his father to pass the envelope to Dean. He didn't miss the surprise look John shot him at the unexpected second gift.

Dean took the envelope quickly looking up at Caleb before looking down and opening the envelope. He pulled out two concert tickets. Metallica concert tickets for a concert in New York in a few months. "Metallica is your original, unique fantastic gift?" he asked raising an eyebrow.

"What, a Metallica concert isn't fantastic?" he asked reaching to take the tickets. "I'll take em' back if you don't want them." He teased.

Dean pulled the tickets back towards himself and out of Caleb's reach. "Now I didn't say that."

"That's what I thought." Caleb chuckled.

"Thanks dude."

"Don't mention it."

Dean felt overwhelmed by everything and even more so when more gifts were bestowed upon him, a silver flask along with five hundred dollars from Mackland being extremely generous. He had tried to hand the money back as much as he would have liked to keep it but Mac would have none of that. That money was going to come in handy.

Everyone was talking and eating cake when Caleb noticed John hobble out into the kitchen. He wanted to get a chance to talk to John alone about his actions with the present. He didn't want Dean to know what he had done. He much preferred Dean to just think that his father had given him the journal.

He found John leaning against the kitchen bench staring out the window. He had his crutch with him which made Caleb smirk. Even big bad John Winchester wasn't willing to take a chance on Missouri's threats.

"Well I think Dean's had a good day so far," Caleb spoke as he came to lean on the bench across from John.

John looked at the younger hunter. "Caleb about the journal …"

"Look John about that … I know how you feel about handouts and that's not what that was. Just please keep it between us."

"Why?"

"Why what?"

"Why'd you give up your original present?"

"Because I'm a great person … I'm asking you to accept this for Dean." Caleb wasn't about to plead with the stubborn mule headed man.

John sighed. "Okay … but that doesn't mean I like it and I am going to get him something later."

"You do that Johnny." He gave John's shoulder a squeeze and then ran a hand through his hair. "Now let's get back inside and get some more cake before it's gone. You sure you can make it back by yourself." He snickered.

"Smartass." John swiped out at the back of Caleb's head just missing him.

xXx

Dean sat on the end of his bed later that night, just thinking about everything. The day had been great. Better than what he had thought and he realised that even with all the crap that had gone on in his eighteen years he was still a pretty lucky guy.

He realised today that he had a lot of people that really did care about him. Sammy, as little brothers went, was pretty damn special. He had tried his hardest to make sure that Dean's birthday had been enjoyable and the fact that Sam had been more worried about it than Dean himself made him really love his little brother. Then there was Mackland and Missouri. Mackland had always been like an uncle to both him and Sam ever since he had met their family and Missouri despite being hard on him sometimes, he knew it was her way of caring about him. Caleb copped it just as much as he did so it wasn't so bad.

Speaking of Caleb … the guy could be infuriating but Dean always felt better when he was around. Despite the age difference Caleb was probably the best most true and loyal friend he'd had and he appreciated having the guy around probably more than Caleb realised.

Then there was his Dad. He had seemed better towards the later part of the day but Dean couldn't help but notice how he'd been weird during the giving of presents. In fact his father hadn't been the only one acting weird. Caleb and his father had both been giving each other strange looks.

He suddenly realised that he was sitting in the dark. He reached over and turned on the lamp and spotted the empty journal sitting on the bedside table. He picked it up and flicked through the empty pages. He'd never even thought of starting his own journal. He saw something slip from the back page and fall to the floor. Closing the book Dean leant forward and picked up the fallen paper. He was surprised to see that it wasn't a piece of paper at all but a playing card. The deuce of spades to be exact. The deuce of spades, but that was …it all made sense now, the strange looks that Caleb and his father were giving each other when John had given him the journal. Only Caleb would have put the symbolic card in the journal. It all lead to one conclusion. The journal wasn't really a present from his father. It had been from Caleb.

Before he could think about it anymore there was a knock at the door followed by his fathers voice. Dean frowned in confusion at the unexpected visit but told his father to come in while he put the deuce card back in its place in the back of the journal.

"Dad, what are you doing up here?" Dean asked referring to his fathers injured leg.

"I am quite capable of climbing the stairs son. I'm not an invalid." John's gruff voice filled the room but the warm smile on his ruggedly handsome face showed his light heartedness.

"Where's Sammy?"

John chuckled as he eased himself onto Sam's bed across from Dean. "He conned Caleb into a game of chess."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah Mac's down there watching."

Dean snickered. "You left Caleb down there with the two brains."

"Sometimes you have to know when to get out." John smiled. He was working himself up to have a proper talk with his son.

There was an awkward moment of silence as both Winchesters ran out of things to say. John looked across and saw that Dean had the black leather journal in his hands. He still felt wrong about using Caleb's present as his own.

"Look Dean, about the journal …"

"I know Dad." Dean interrupted.

"No let me finish." John took a breath. "I didn't buy it. Caleb did. I didn't want to lie to you …"

"Dad." Dean interrupted again.

"What?"

"I know."

"You know?"

Dean looked down and shrugged. "Yeah."

"How?"

Dean grinned and shook his head. "If the little show you two put on downstairs wasn't enough to clue me in that something was going on, then this definitely was." he pulled put the deuce card that had been hiding in the back of the book. "I think Damien forgot he had put this in there."

John reached out and took the card from Dean's hand and looked down at it. After a moment of silence he looked back up at Dean, trying hard to meet his son's eyes. "Dean … I know I don't always make a big effort with these things but I will make this up to you I promise."

"Dad, you don't have to."

John reached out and handed Dean back the card. "I want to."

Both Winchesters were reduced to sitting in silence again. John took the moment to study his son. He had been terrified when he had first woken up and realised that Dean wasn't with them and even more terrified when he had asked where his son was and they had hesitated. He was so thankful to have Dean sitting across from him right now looking back to normal.

"Dean, are you doing okay?" John decided to try again.

"I'm fine Dad, not even a headache at the moment."

"I mean with coming back here to Lawrence, going back to the old house, your mom and all that."

Dean looked stricken for a moment but then smiled. "I'm fine."

"It's okay if your not."

"Really … I'm fine."

John sighed. The boy was stubborn. "Okay." John picked his crutch up from the side of the bed and pulled himself up onto his good leg. He turned to leave but had second thoughts and turned back to look down on his son. "Dean … I may not always seem like I'm here for you boys but if you need to … you know … talk or anything I'll listen."

John waited a moment as Dean silently nodded at him. When it looked like Dean wasn't going to say anything further John turned towards the door.

"Dad."

John paused just before opening the door and was relieved as much as he felt anxious at hearing what was on his sons mind. Dean's nightmares while in the hospital had worried and pained him. It was obvious that he was being haunted by what happened. It had pulled at John's heart when he had heard his son call out for his mother and worried him when he had also called out for him. John had never been good at the talking thing but he was willing to sit down now and talk if Dean needed him to.

John turned around with a patient look on his face. Dean had an uncomfortable look on his face. The boy looked like he was trying to work himself up to something. "Carlson … he said I look like mom."

John put his crutch against the wall and limped over to Dean's bed and sat down next to him. He swallowed the lump in his throat. "He was right, you do." John agreed not taking his eyes off of Dean's face. Apparently Dean was finding his hands very interesting at the moment.

"I'm sorry."

"You said that before. Dean what on earth do you have to be sorry for?" John asked incredulously.

"It's just … well it must be hard sometimes having that reminder in your face all the time." Dean explained looking nervously at his father and then looking back down at his hands.

John frowned. He was almost at a loss for words. What the hell did that thing say to his son?

"You know for a while there I was almost forgetting what she looked like. I was starting to fear that I was forgetting her but…but being back at the house and everything. I've been seeing her in my dreams."

"The nightmares you've been having?"

Dean nodded, still not looking at his father. "Yeah. I guess what Carlson said keeps playing on my mind and it's stupid because I know deep down that she loved us and would never have left us … if she could have helped it."

"She did you know. She loved you boys so much. I want you remember that Dean. She'd be so proud of the man you have become."

"You think so?"

A sad smile appeared on John's face and he reached up and he brought his hand to Dean's shoulder. "I know so. Me on the other hand … I think she would have kicked my ass numerous times by now."

"Dad you do the best you can." Dean argued, the statement having brought his gaze to meet his father's.

John knew damn well that there were times when he hadn't been the best father but he knew Dean would have none of that. "Dean I want you to listen to me, can you do that?"

"Yes sir."

"Your mother's death it almost killed me but when I look at you I'm not reminded of her death I am reminded of everything that was good about her. You and Sam are what have kept me sane all these years kiddo. I would have lost it years ago had it not been for you boys." John wrapped his good arm around Dean's shoulders and gave him a sort of half hug.

Dean tensed in his fathers embrace at first. He hadn't hugged or been hugged by his father in years. He was eighteen years old now but he had to admit to himself how good it felt to be this close to John. He missed it. His eyes watered up at his father's words but the tears wouldn't fall. He felt stupid for admitting the truth his father now. He had known before confessing his fears that they hadn't been warranted. Dean had never been given any reason to believe that his father was pained by his presence or that his mother hadn't loved him but his mind had been so scattered and the dreams had been so vivid. He hadn't realised up until this moment how much he needed this talk.

John sat still and held his first born in silence to allow his words to sink in. When he could see no sign of Dean moving his pressed a rough kiss to the top of his sons head. "Do you understand Dean?"

Dean nodded and pulled away from John. "Yeah, thanks Dad."

"Don't mention it kiddo."

Dean laughed and rubbed a hand over his face in embarrassment. "Don't worry, I won't. Are you okay? This whole job must have been hell for you."

"Like I said Dean, as long as I have you boys alive and safe I'll get though anything. In fact if Missouri lets me out of the house tomorrow I was going to take Sammy back to the house and maybe to a few places around town."

"But I thought …"

"We're here and I can't hide from this forever. Sam deserves to have something. Did you want to come along?"

"Can I think about it?" he wasn't sure whether he wanted to revisit old places. Not after everything that happened and he was more than surprised that their Dad was doing it since he had been so against for years whenever Sam asked about it.

"Sure Ace." John made a move to stand up but struggled a little with the combination of his injured leg and arm. Dean helped him to stand and then took the couple of steps to John's crutch and handed it to him. "Thanks. I'm gonna turn in. I know it was late but I hope you had a good day today."

"I did, thanks Dad."

John smiled and shook his head. "Oh no that was all Sammy. He and Missouri deserve all the thanks for that."

Dean laughed. "Yeah, he's a determined little shit."

"That he is." John agreed leaning on his crutch. "Happy Birthday son." He said and then left the room leaving Dean standing there with a smile on his face.

Dean turned around and went back to his bed and picked the journal back up and placed the Deuce card back in the back page for the second time that night. He didn't think about it much but it always amazed him how hard Caleb tried to make sure that he was happy. Of course the older hunter would only admit how important it was too him if he was forced into an emotional moment but Dean felt lucky to have the psychic on his side.

He placed the journal on the bedside table and then stripped out of his jeans, pulled back the bed covers and got comfortable on the mattress. He reached out and turned the lamp off causing the room to fall into darkness. If he listened really carefully, lying there with his eyes closed he could just hear Sam laughing at something downstairs. Most probably laughing at something Caleb had done or said. Usually Dean would be down there with them, never one to go to bed early but he had needed some time to himself which had led to the much needed moment with his father.

With Sam's laughter in the background and his fathers words killing all his fears Dean slipped into a peaceful sleep. Free of nightmares for a change, knowing that for the moment all was right with his world.

xXx

Their stay at Missouri's had lasted all of three days before John wanted to get a move on. Missouri and Mackland hadn't been happy but had given him their blessing if he promised to spend the rest of his recovery at Jim's farm. John had agreed. Jim's was always somewhere stable to fall back on and he really needed to stay somewhere long enough for dean to finish his schooling without anymore interruptions. Dean was going to finish high school. John had screwed up on so many other parental things and he was determined not to screw up with this. Dean would get his diploma.

Just like he had promised John had taken Sam about town. In fact they had spent two days sightseeing even though they had to take it slow due to John's still healing injuries. Dean had decided that he would join them after all but made sure he shoved his Red Sox hat on his head before leaving the house. He wasn't going out with a patch of his hair shaved off. He had given Caleb a familiar middle finger hand gesture as he walked out the door when he heard the psychic snicker at the addition of the hat.

Caleb had his own business in town with a certain nurse. With Leda back on nightshift at the hospital that left daytime for them to catch up.

Dean was designated driver since although John was capable of driving Mac wanted him to drive as less as possible. Their first stop had been the old house. They had all agreed that they wanted to get that visit out of the way. Dean felt his stomach tighten in knots as he pulled up to the house. Over a week ago when he and Caleb had arrived to save his father he hadn't had time to think about the house all too much. He'd been too worried about his Dad and brother but now it brought back all kinds of memories, the first and foremost being the terrible knight thirteen years ago when he had lost his mother and part of his father. Dean had never told anyone but he had caught site of his mother burning through the window just before it exploded. It was only for a few seconds but it was enough to be imprinted in his mind forever. It was something that he had never discussed and was never going to discuss to anyone.

Thanks to Mackland and his hunter friend Carlson's body and all other evidence that they had been there was cleaned up. Walking up to the front door Dean was hesitant and he had noticed that his father wasn't that eager to revisit that place either but Sam was up on the porch before they knew it. Dean had looked back at his father and saw as a steely resolve came over him. John was doing this for Sammy.

John had limped past Dean, patting him on the shoulder as he did, and up next to Sam on the porch. The oldest Winchester leant heavily on the crutch and got out his lock picking set and opened up the front door and gestured for Sam to come inside. "It's okay if you wanna wait out here Dean." His father had given him an out but Dean shook his head and jogged up to the front door and walked inside.

Dean was surprised to find that inside the house held his own memories of a time before hunting monsters and ghosts. He remembered baking cookies with his mother and waiting for his dad to come home from work. He remembered when his mother and father sat him down and told him about the soon to be new family member. Dean had laughed to himself as he remembered he had been hoping they were talking about a puppy not a baby brother or sister.

He remembered when his parents had first brought Sam home from the hospital. He had been determined that he was going to be the best big brother there was and he remembered helping his mom quite a lot learning all he could on how to take care of his little brother. That came in handy after …

He was surprised but enjoyed the fact that John also shared some of his own memories. Dean had watched his little brother take everything in from the house and his father's dialogue. This was good for him and Dean thought that just maybe he needed this too.

After the visit to the house John directed them to the Vermont Street BBQ for lunch. John had assured the boys that they would love it and he wasn't wrong. Both boys had agreed that it was some of the best BBQ they had eaten ever. Sam had caught sight of the Library which was also on Vermont Street and Dean had rolled his eyes when Sam suggested they stop by there. His little brother was such a little book worm.

Dean raised his eyebrows when John was greeted warmly by the cute blonde young librarian. Suddenly Sam's idea to visit the library wasn't so stupid. They left the library Rowen's phone number on a piece of paper in Dean's back pocket.

Dean found it interesting how big basketball was in Lawrence and he wondered whether he would have been a basketball fanatic as well had he grown up in Lawrence like he was supposed to. He was a bigger baseball fan but he did love a game of basketball every once and a while.

The next day Caleb and Mac had joined them, first stopping off at Milton's Coffee Shop. Sam, who had done a bit of research on Lawrence, wanted to visit the Eldridge Hotel. Sam had explained that early in the Civil War a General from state of Missouri had road through the town and burnt most of it to the ground. The Eldridge Hotel was the only building left standing.

Lunch was at the Free State Brewery at the suggestion of John once again. Mac had argued that it wouldn't be the best idea for Dean to have any beer considering his head injury. He wasn't all that happy with the idea of John having a drink either but Caleb had argued for Dean saying that Dean hadn't had a drink for his birthday and that he should at least get to try the beer there since it was raved about so much. He also added that although Dean was only 18 the ID in his wallet put him at 21. The brewery didn't have to know the truth. One beer for John and Dean had been finally agreed upon while Sam naturally stuck to root beer.

Potters Pond, a place where Mary and him had taken Dean on many a picnic, was the last stop of the day and John was glad to relax. His injuries had made themselves known after a full day of being on the move. Mac and John had sat back under a tree while Caleb and Dean had gotten Dean's baseball out of the car and played catch with Sam. John had watched as the boys had laughed and threw the ball to each other occasionally laughing at one another's antics. John had sat wondering how life would have turned out had life not kicked them in the ass.

Although John hadn't wanted to go near Lawrence and had ignored all of Sam's requests to visit the place John was glad that he had gotten the chance to give this to his sons. As good as the day had been the hunter had been beat when they had returned to Missouri's and had eaten dinner and gone straight to bed. Missouri had treated the boys to some hot chocolate since they had been out in the cold all day while Mackland had called the airline and organized his and Caleb's flight back for the next day. Caleb's day on the other hand hadn't ended. His last night in Lawrence was going to be spent in the company of a hot nurse known as Leda.

Dean stood on Missouri's porch, Red Sox hat still on his head, drinking a hot steaming cup of coffee. The weather wasn't so cold today but it was still cold enough to be rugged up. A strange car pulled up to the house and Dean leaned forward on the railing, cup warming his hands. He could now see who the occupants of the car were. It was Caleb and Leda. He wasn't sure but it looked like they were kissing. Dean rolled his eyes. Finally after a couple of minutes the car doors opened on both sides and Caleb stepped out of the car and big smirk on his face as he saw Dean on the porch. Leda stepped out and leaned her arms on the top of her car.

"Hey Dean!" Leda called out with a little wave.

"Hey!" he called back.

Dean watched as the two exchanged a few more words with each other before Leda waved goodbye again and got back in her car. Caleb leaned down and waved while she tooted her car horn and drove off down the street.

The psychic turned around and ambled up the steps with a confident swagger and came to stand next to his younger friend.

"Good night?" Dean asked upon greeting.

Caleb whistled. "Deuce you have no idea."

"No fainting spells?" Dean teased. He couldn't help himself.

"You know you're a real comedian."

"I do try."

"Don't give up you day job."

"So Leda was nice." Dean changed the subject as he opened the front door and walked inside followed by Caleb.

"Smokin' and wild and well lets just say we had a good time." Caleb explained drifting off as he stripped off his black jacket.

"I get it … I don't need to hear any fairytales thanks." Dean joked as he walked into the lounge where John, Sam and Mac were getting there things together.

"Is Caleb trying to give details about one of his dates again?" Sam asked hearing the butt end of the conversation.

"Hey!" Caleb swiped at Sam's head causing the kid to jump out of the way laughing.

"You don't fool the kid anymore Damien." Dean laughed.

"I swear I get no respect." Caleb threw his hands up in mock distain.

"It's about time you got back. Our flight leaves in an hour. Are you ready?" Mackland asked looking up from his bag.

"Yes Dad."

Dean snickered.

Missouri walked into the room and smiled at the men congregating in her lounge room. "Are you boys all set?"

"Thanks Missouri. I appreciate you taking such good care of the boys." John stood up to face the black psychic.

"Thank you John for coming out here. I'm just glad everyone is okay."

"Yeah, me too," John replied sincerely and then turned to Mackland. "Mac."

"John." Mac responded walking forward to shake John's hand. John let his crutch lean against the couch so that he could shake his friend's hands.

"What can I say man, you saved the day … again."

"My friend saving your butt is a lifetime job." Mackland joked. "I'm glad I could help."

"You two have a safe trip back."

"Yeah, no more fainting." Dean quipped to Caleb.

Caleb growled shooting an annoyed look at Dean. "I swear if you hadn't just had brain surgery I would so smack you in the head right now."

"You love me princess." Dean quipped.

"Yeah like a hole in the head … oh no wait you're the one who had a whole in the head."

"Okay Sammy what do ya say we get out of here before the two stooges here get started." John said smirking down at his youngest.

"Yes please."

"Sam honey, take your daddy's bag out to his truck." Missouri suggested seeing as John only had one good arm and one good leg.

"Sure." Everyone else picked up their belongings and headed towards the door. "Mac, your cab's here!" Sam called from outside.

Once outside and the cars packed Mac turned to Dean and Sam. "Well boys it was good seeing you but next time can we not do it in a hospital." He joked smiling down at the Winchesters.

"We'll do our bests." Dean replied. "Thanks Mac."

"You're welcome." The doctor looked up at his friend and then the black woman standing next to him. "John, Missouri." He nodded at them and then climbed into the back of the cab.

"Well Runt, look after your big brother he needs all the help he can get." Caleb ruffled Sam's hair and then patted his shoulder. He then looked at his friend. "Deuce, no more head injuries for a while okay." He pulled him in for a brief hug and patted him on the back and then pulled back.

Dean held his gaze and then smirked. "No more fainting for a while Damien, it ruins that bad ass image that you think you have."

"Isn't that getting old?" Caleb rolled his eyes.

Dean shrugged. "No, not really."

"Take care of yourself Dude."

"You too."

Caleb patted him roughly on the arm and then looked over the kids shoulder at John. "Til next time Johnny."

"I can hardly wait Junior." John replied dryly.

"Thanks for having me Missouri." The woman had really looked after them all.

"Take care of yourself honey."

Caleb finally finished saying his goodbyes and climbed into the back of the cab next to his father. He was going to spend a few days at Mac's and then make an appearance at Tri-Corp. He was the boss he should show his head occasionally.

Dean watched as the cab got further away and then turned around and looked at his father. "Are you gonna be alright to drive Dad?"

John nodded. It wasn't his driving leg that was injured and he often drove with one hand so he knew he'd be fine.

"Maybe Sammy should go with you in the truck just in case … do you mind Sammy?"

Sam sighed. "No."

"Don't sound so enthusiastic Sammy." John quipped.

"Right, well let's hit the road then shall we?" Dean asked taking his keys out of his pocket, the Impala key ring clearly attached to them.

They all bid there goodbyes and gave their thanks to Missouri once again before getting into their vehicles. Dean waited for his Dad to take off before pulling away from the curb himself. It felt weird not having his brother beside him but he felt better knowing that he was in his Dad's truck in case the hunter had trouble.

As they headed out of Lawrence Dean felt thankful that he had gotten to get a new sense of the place over the last couple of days because it had not only given him a view into his past but also awoken some of his own memories of his own time here that he thought he had lost. Dean thought that the hilly landscape and quiet neighbourhood of Lawrence would have looked even nicer in warmer weather and would have probably been a great place to grow up but he was glad they were moving out.

As thankful as he was that he had a chance to get to know the town of Lawrence and hear the stories his father had told back at there old house, he knew one thing. If he had anything to say about it he never wanted to return to Lawrence again. Something's were meant to stay in the past and it was one promise he intended to keep.

The End


Okay now its finally over. I almost cant believe it myself lol so what did you think? I hope you liked it.

First of all i wanna say a big thank you to every single one of you that have read and reviewed this story!!!! Your reviews always spur me to keep writing and i really couldnt do it without you.

Special thanks to Ridley who lets me borrow and play with her characters ... i hope i was doing a good job with them :)

I would also like to give special thanks to GaelicSpirit, Alwaysateen, Saynt Jimmy, Tidia, Larkless who have been great friends along the way, its been fun getting to know you all outside of my stories :)

Also i need to give thanks to my dear friend Lisa for keeping me sane through writing this story and my occasional problems with writers block lol

Oh and to my mum for helping with ideas and pointing out mistakes after a session of all night writing lol if only all you guys saw the original versions of these chapters lol funny as hehe

I would like to thank you all personally but it might take forever and its just about 3 am and im almost about to fall asleep at the computer lol so just know that i have cherished every review and thank you all for supporting my videos, Brotherhood and Cannon and i hope you will follow onto my next writing project ... i am planning a new one if you guys are interested :)

Okay well i guess this is goodbye for now ... i really really hope you enjoyed reading as much as i enjoyed writing it!!! Thanks again ... i can never say that enough coz you are all so awesome!!!!

Hope everyone had a great weekend ... i really dont wanna go to work tomoro ... i mean today ... whatever lol catcha's around ...

Luv Tara x0x ... THANK YOU:D