A big thank you to kaz2y567i for her fantastic beta'ing. And also thanks again to HardyGurl94. You were the first to offer to help me with this story and I really appreciate that. Thanks guys, you're the best :o)
Also, thanks to everyone for sticking with this story and for taking the time to leave a review. It means so much to me :o)
Sam and Dean ended up staying with Elizabeth a week longer than planned. Two days after Jade got released from hospital, Dean succumbed to a cold that, according to Elizabeth, he was bound to have. Dean blamed Sam, at first, but when his brother didn't show much of remorse, he turned his anger on his favorite victim these days – Tom. He either ignored the other man or used every opportunity to accuse him of conspiring against his family. Sam only laughed at Dean's treatments of Tom. Even though he did feel sorry for Jade's fiancé, it was too much fun to watch him squirm in front of his brother. And as long as Dean had Tom to torture, he wouldn't start blaming Sam again for this cold.
They stayed at Elizabeth's house for two weeks, when Dean declared that they were both fit enough to leave again. Tom had already traveled back to Palo Alto, his studies not allowing him to stay away much longer. Jade had decided to stay a bit longer in order to spend some more time with her grandmother, and with Sam, Dean noticed. Jade definitely talked a lot more with him than with her grandmother. But that was okay in Dean's mind. It made Sam happy and that was something he hadn't been in a long while. They were talking a lot about their time in Stanford and Dean enjoyed learning some more about his brother's time away from him. He had hoped their conversations would lead to Sam's accident – the one Dean officially didn't even know about – but neither Jade nor Sam ever brought it up. And Dean could hardly ask about it. He would just have to be patient and wait for the right time. He wasn't sure exactly why he wasn't giving the letters to his brother right away, but a feeling in his gut told him that he should wait. And his gut was usually right.
Dean had enjoyed staying with Elizabeth. Even if he wouldn't admit it, the old woman had made him and Sam feel at home at her house. And that was a feeling neither of them had very often. But after two weeks he felt the urge to get back on the road again. So on a warm Sunday morning – spring finally decided to scare the winter away – Sam and Dean found themselves packing their bags back in the Impala.
"I think that's all."
"You sure?" Sam asked. The fact that they had started to feel at home here had lead them to spreading their things throughout the whole house. Magazines, books, notes, music cassettes – Dean had been excited when he had found Elizabeth's old tape recorder – and other things were found everywhere in the house. It had taken them awhile to collect everything.
"Yeah, I'm sure. And if we have forgotten anything, we can always come back and collect it later." Dean shrugged.
Sam grinned inwardly. The whole morning his brother came up with reasons why they might have to return one day. Though he couldn't blame him. He felt the same way.
"You sure you have everything?" Jade asked when she stepped out of the house.
"We're sure." The brothers replied in unison.
The three of them stood silently in front of the Impala, neither of them quite sure what to say.
"Um, Grandma is still on the phone with Dad, but she should be coming out any minute." Jade eventually said.
"I guess we can wait that long." Dean replied. "It's not like we have anywhere specific to go."
"What about the forest demon?" Sam asked.
"What?" Jade and Dean called out at the same time. While the older Winchester looked at his brother in surprise, Jade's eyes were filled with horror and confusion.
Sam shrugged. "Well, it's still out there killing people, right? Sounds like a job for us."
Dean looked at his brother thoughtfully for a moment. "What about Dad?"
"You were right." Sam sighed. "We have no idea where to look for Dad. And just driving around looking for him without even knowing where to start won't help anyone. So we can as well hunt down a few things."
"Finally you're coming to your senses." Dean grinned. "You know, if you had listened to me from the start, none of this would have happened. We could have already finished the job in the Reddick Forest long ago."
"And Lilly would still push people of the street." Sam pointed out.
"Yeah, but I wouldn't have had to save your sorry ass again. You think it was fun dragging you through that forest in the middle of the night? I even gave you my coat. And what thanks do I get? A stupid, friggin' cold. I really could have ... hey!"
A snowball landing on Dean's left shoulder stopped his tirade. Startled he glanced at Sam who looked as surprised as Dean. Then their eyes slowly wandered to Jade who gave them an innocent smile.
"You didn't ..." Dean glared at her.
"What?" Jade asked innocently, a mischievous grin appearing on her lips.
The dumbfounded expression on his brother's face made Sam laugh out loud which earned him an angry glare from the older Winchester.
"You think this is funny?" Dean growled threateningly.
"Well, you sure look funny, so ..."
Before Sam had the chance to finish his sentence, another snowball hit him straight in the face. Puffing he shook his head to free himself from the snow. "You just wait." He glared at his brother and grabbed some snow that had gathered on the Impala. He quickly formed a snowball and ran after his brother who tried to find some cover. When he was sure to have a clear shot, Sam threw the snowball with all his might. Too late he noticed that Dean had grabbed Jade and pulled her in front of him as a shield. The snowball hit her right on the chest.
"Dean!" Jade called out indignantly. Then she bent down to form her own snowball and threw it after Dean's retreating form. She hit him right on the back. While Sam still laughed at the two, he found another snowball hitting him. Jade had gotten her full revenge on the Winchester brothers. But Winchesters never gave up that easily and a moment later a lively snowball fight was going on.
When Elizabeth stepped out of the house, she found the three laughing and covered in snow running around the drive way and throwing snowballs at each other. Their laughter reminded her of the good old times when this house had been filled with children and happiness. She smiled and without giving it a second thought, she stepped down, formed a snowball and threw it at the one closest to her. Which happened to be Dean. He had been concentrating so much on Jade and his brother, that the attack from behind took him completely by surprise. Slowly he turned around and stared at Elizabeth.
"No way." He shook his head.
Elizabeth looked at him with a raised eyebrow, the same innocent smile on her lips as Jade before. Dean opened his mouth to say something. He couldn't really come up with anything. What was there to say? He had just been hit with a snowball from a 70 year old woman. He narrowed his eyes and tried to decide whether it would be appropriate to get his revenge on her.
A scream from behind made him turn around and he found Sam and Jade rolling around in the snow, both trying to snowball the other. They were obviously too busy to notice anything else at the moment. With a mischievous grin Dean formed a snowball and threw it at Elizabeth. It was a full hit.
"I thought you'd never find the courage, Dean Winchester." Elizabeth laughed and began forming her next snowball.
By now Jade and Sam had noticed the newest member to their snowball fight. Laughing they got up from the ground and together attacked Dean and Elizabeth.
Laughing they continued this fight until all of them were soaked to the skin from the snow.
"Great. Now we have to get the bags out and change into new clothes." Dean growled. He was standing with his hands resting on his knees, panting slightly. Who would have thought that a snowball fight with two still recuperating ex-hospital patients and a 70 year old woman could be this exhausting. Though the happy grin on his face betrayed his growling words.
"You better hurry before you all end up with a cold this time." Elizabeth smiled. She looked as happy as the rest of them.
After they had all changed into dry clothes, they stood in front of the Impala again.
"Take care of yourself, boys. And remember that you always have a place here to come when you need one." Elizabeth told them with a warm smile.
"We will. Thank you for everything, Elizabeth." Dean said gratefully. "And I haven't forgotten the roof. We will definitely come back in summer to fix it."
"And call." Jade cut in, looking intently at Sam. "I don't want to wait until the next spirit haunts me to hear from you again."
"I'll call." Sam promised.
"You better. And I want weekly updates about your whereabouts. You still have my email address."
"Weekly?" Sam asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Someone has to make sure you're all right." Jade pointed out.
Sighing Sam gave in. "Fine. Weekly." It wasn't really that bad to stay in touch with her.
"Well, we better go now." Dean cut in, regret sounding in his voice.
They all said their good byes and Sam and Dean got into the Impala. They made one last promise to stay in contact and then drove down the driveway. Both of them felt sad at seeing Elizabeth and Jade waving at them in the rearview mirror. They usually didn't have people waving at them when they left anywhere. It was unfamiliar, but it made them both feel warm inside.
"So, you sure about the Reddick Forest?" Dean asked.
"Okay, then Reddick Forest it is. Forest Demon watch out, the Winchesters are on their way to kick your ass!"
Sam shook his head grinning while Dean turned up the music. AC/DC's 'Big Gun' was blaring out of the speakers as the Impala roared down the road towards their next destination.
A man in a dark coat got into his car, a black Mustang, that was parked behind some big bushes, effectively hiding it from the eyes of the Beauchamp house. He grabbed a notebook from the backseat and scribbled something inside. It had been a close call for the Winchester boy this time and he had found another piece of the puzzle. He was getting closer to finding the answer he had been looking for for so long. With a satisfied smile, he drove the car back onto the street, on the road the Winchesters had taken. He was pretty sure he knew where they were going next.