Title: The Boys Went Down to Georgia
Rating: PG-13--A little language, but that's all
Disclaimer: Everything you recognize belongs to Warner Bros, the CW, Eric Kripke and people who aren't me. Anything you don't recognize is mine.
Author's Note: Well, this is it. The last chapter. I would like to thank everyone who stuck with the story and gave me such nice reviews. I would also like to thank my friends who didn't laugh at me when I told them what I was doing. As for a sequel, there's an idea brewing that would bring Katie and Lilly back in the Winchester's life, but I can't decide if I want to continue or not. Let me know what you think. Thanks again for reading and please review!
Katie drug herself into the living room and plopped down in a chair. She heard Sam and Dean talking in the kitchen, so she figured she had a few minutes of solitude before Dean would come to claim his bed. She had thought she was exhausted when they had returned to her house, but she had been wrong. Amanda and Alex had cut their trip to London short and had been waiting for her at her house. Upon hearing the events of the day, Amanda had gone into full-blown big sister mode, fussing over Katie like a mother hen. This had not helped Katie's already frazzled nerves. Luckily, Alex had sensed how she was feeling and had convinced Amanda that all Katie needed was rest, peace and quiet. He had ushered Amanda out of the house.
Lilly had been harder to persuade to leave. Between what had happened to her Aunt Katie and wanting to stay with Mr. Sam and Mr. Dean, she had been extremely hesitant to go home. Her dad had finally bribed her with her present from London. Lilly had left, leaning sleepily on Alex's shoulder, only after Mr. Dean had promised he would watch over Katie. This had led to the second most awkward moment of the evening, trailing behind Amanda's impulsive embrace of Dean after Katie's explanation of her rescue.
Unfortunately for Katie, the relative quiet in the house didn't bring rest. Every time she closed her eyes, she saw Myers standing in front of her, holding his gun and telling her he had to kill her. Every sound made her jump. Every movement she caught out of the corner of her eye had the possibility of being Jacob. She knew Myers was in custody and Jacob was for all intents and purposes, gone, but she couldn't stop reacting as if those things weren't true. And if she dwelt on what had happened to her for very long, her panic resurfaced. She did not want to cry, especially as she was still acting as hostess.
Sitting in her own chair, in her own living room, it finally hit her. She could have been killed by a crazy man, hell-bent on keeping his secret. This time, she couldn't stop the tears from coming. She bent over, placed her face in her hands and sobbed. Which is how Dean found her.
He had walked into the living room to ask Katie for extra towels when he saw her crying. She had handled all the events of the past few days so well that Dean had forgotten she was new to all this. Having a gun pointed at him or exchanging blows with someone was pretty much a weekly occurrence. But Katie was a normal girl who made flower arrangements for a living, not a freak who fought demons like he did. He started to turn around and leave when she looked up.
Katie was thoroughly embarrassed by her emotional outburst. She wiped her eyes with the back of her hands and tried to regain control. "Sorry about that. Did you need something?" she asked, her voice wavering a little.
"Oh, it's nothing. I didn't mean to bother you," he answered, again beginning to back out of the room. "I'll get Sammy to show me the towels." She nodded quickly before lowering her gaze again. Dean knew she was about to start crying again, because he had seen her bottom lip quiver a little, just as Lilly's did before she cried. Not knowing how to handle sad females, he walked out of the room. He only made it two steps when he heard the muffled sob. The big brother and protective male in him forced him to go back to her.
She had covered her face with her hands again and her shoulders were shaking from crying. Dean stood in front of her for a moment before speaking. "Hey," he said softly. She looked up at him, tears streaming down her cheeks. Dean's jaw clenched at the fear he saw in her eyes. This was exactly the sort of thing he tried to avoid. If he kept his distance from people, he would never have to feel this way. He wouldn't have the overwhelming urge to get Myers alone in a room for a few minutes to show him how it felt to be terrified of someone. He wouldn't be sad over the thought of saying good-bye to Lilly tomorrow. And he wouldn't feel the need to do what he did. He took hold of Katie by the arms, causing her to stand. "C'mere," he ordered gently.
Surprised by his action, Katie stiffened for a moment, unsure of what was expected of her. Then she literally collapsed into his arms. Dean felt his t-shirt grow wet from her tears, but at that moment he didn't care. He simply held her, offering her comfort. She continued to cry, letting all the stress and fear of the last three days wash away. They stayed that way for several minutes, even when Sam strolled into the room. Dean motioned for him to come back later and Sam nodded his understanding.
After a little while, Katie's breathing became more even and Dean could tell she had stopped crying. She finally leaned away from him, eyes downcast. "I'm sorry. I couldn't…"
"Hey," Dean interrupted her. He lifted her chin with his hand, forcing her met his gaze. "It's alright. What's a little water between friends?" She laughed at his comment.
"I'm sure that's what you say to all the girls," she answered, trying to laugh off her reaction.
"Only the ones who know how to swing a mean stick," he joked, hoping to get another laugh out of her. He succeeded. "Are you okay?" he asked, serious again.
"No," she responded truthfully, "but I think I will be. Thank you," she smiled at him, a little shyly. Then the atmosphere between them changed. Before it had been comforter and comfortee. Now they both remembered they were a man and a woman, each fairly attractive and attracted to the other. The worried look in Dean's eyes changed to something else. Katie wouldn't have called it lust, but she wouldn't have called it indifferent either.
If Katie's life had been like any of her favorite movies, this is when Dean would have eliminated the step that separated them. He would have pulled her back in his arms and kissed the breath out of her, as romantic music played from the potted palm sitting in the corner. But sadly, she lived in the real world. A world where a guy with incredibly beautiful eyes and a mouth that should be illegal came with a brother, who chose that exact moment to make his reentrance.
"Hey Katie," Sam said, immediately feeling unwelcome in the room, "Amanda's on the phone for you." She was taken aback by the fact that she hadn't heard the phone ring. She must have really been crying. "She said she wanted to make sure you were alright before she went to bed."
Katie gave herself a mental and physical shake. "Thanks Sam, I'm sorry you had to answer the phone." She left the room and went to the kitchen.
"Sorry," Sam apologized to his brother. "I didn't mean to interrupt."
Dean shrugged, trying to pass the moment off as nothing. "You didn't."
Sam raised his eyebrows in disbelief. "Right. Cause most of the time I come into a room and can cut the tension with a knife."
Dean clapped Sam on the shoulder as he headed out of the room. "What can I say Sammy, you just have that effect on people."
Sam shook his head at his brother's response to the situation. It was obvious that he had interrupted something. He didn't know what exactly, but it had been something. Knowing Dean as he did, it had probably involved emotion or feeling, hence the immediate departure from the scene. Sam worried sometimes that Dean had separated himself too much from other people, but then he saw how he was with children like Lilly and he was reassured. His brother had a definite hero-complex, even if he didn't want to admit it.
The rest of the night passed uneventfully. Katie had been so tired when she finally got in bed that she was asleep before her head hit the pillow. She was half-surprised when she woke up, sunlight streaming into her bedroom. She quickly dressed and wandered downstairs. She was greeted by Sam eating cereal. He smiled and waved his spoon at her.
"Morning," she said, yawning as she did. "Sorry," she laughed, "I'm still not quite awake yet."
"No problem," Sam answered between mouthfuls. "I completely understand."
Katie moved to the refrigerator, pulling out the orange juice. She noticed some movement out the window and saw Lilly was in the backyard, feeding Belle. Katie stood watching her niece take care of her bunny for a few minutes, slowly feeling normality return to her life. Lilly put Belle back in her cage and scampered into the house. Katie was waiting for her with a hug.
"Morning sweetheart," Katie said.
"Morning Aunt Katie," she answered. Then, Lilly skipped over to Sam. "Good morning Mr. Sam," she threw her arms around his waist.
"Morning Lill," Sam responded, dropping a kiss on the top of her head. Lilly beamed at him.
"Where's Mr. Dean?" she asked, hopping up on a stool next to him.
Sam lifted his eyes towards the ceiling, "He's in the bathroom. He should be down in a minute." He paused for a minute, not wanting to share the next bit of information. "And then I think we'll be heading out soon," he added softly.
Lilly went completely still. She slowly turned her head to face Sam, her eyes wide with confusion. "You're leaving?" she whispered. Katie heard the hurt and sorrow in her voice and immediately moved to her side. She placed a protective arm around her niece.
"Well, Lilly," Sam began, "you know how we figured out why that ghost was following kids around and made him stop?" When Lilly nodded he continued, "That's sort of what we do for a living. So we need to go find someone else to help now."
The little girl was quiet for a second. Katie stroked her back, hoping to alleviate some of the sadness she knew Lilly was feeling. Finally, Lilly spoke. "I guess you have to help other little kids too, don't you?"
Sam smiled down at her. "That's right. We want to make sure that kids and grown-ups are safe and don't have ghost boys chasing after them." He finished eating his cereal and got up from his seat. "As a matter of fact, I need to go finish packing." He jogged up the stairs, leaving Katie and Lilly alone.
"You okay, sis?" Katie asked.
Lilly nodded very slowly and then looked up at her aunt. Her brown eyes were filled with tears and Katie's heart went out to her. She sniffled softly then said, "Yes ma'am. I just wish they could stay a little longer."
Katie ruffled her hair and kissed her on the forehead. "I know Lill, but like Mr. Sam said, they have to go do more good work other places."
"Do you think they'll come back and see us?" Lilly questioned. Before Katie could answer, a voice from the stairs interrupted.
"I can't promise we'll be back soon, but you'll hear from us again," Dean had climbed down the stairs while the girls were having their discussion. Lilly jumped off her stool and rushed over to him. He was prepared and caught her in mid-hug, throwing her up in the air. She laughed a little, but was sad again when she settled in his arms. She wrapped her arms around his neck, much like when she and Katie had invaded the boys' motel room.
"I know you have to leave, Mr. Dean, but I don't want you to," she whined a little. Dean smoothed her hair for a moment and then held her away enough to meet her eyes.
"I know munchkin. I tell you what," he started, placing her on the floor. He took his cell phone from his pocket, flipped it open and held it in front of Lilly. "Smile," he ordered. Lilly did, recognizing what he was doing. Using his camera phone, he snapped a picture of the smiling brown-haired girl. "Now I can see you any time I want," he announced, closing his phone. "And I have your Aunt Katie's number, so I can call you to say hi every once and awhile. How does that sound?"
Lilly regained some of her bounce and grinned at the idea of Dean calling her. "You'll call me?" she asked excitedly.
Dean grinned at her. "I promise." He pulled her hair, making her laugh. "Now, why don't you go pick out a tape out of my bag as a present." Lilly ran into the living room where Dean's bag was still setting. Katie watched the scene with a sad smile on her face.
"She's really going to miss you," she said. Katie finally poured herself a glass of juice and placed the carton back in the refrigerator. "Ya'll have made quite an impression on her in the last few days."
He shrugged. "She's a good kid." Katie nodded in agreement. "I suppose you'll be glad to have us out of your hair," he commented. She rolled her eyes in response.
"Yeah, you were just terrible to have around. Especially the part where you and Sam saved me from Myers." She took a drink. "It will definitely be a lot quieter around here without ya'll," she admitted.
Dean's smirk returned for the first time since Katie's abduction. "I'm sure you'll miss having a big strong man around too," he said.
Katie bit her lip to keep from laughing out loud. "That's exactly it," she answered, sarcasm in her voice. "That's the only thing I'll remember about you is how big and strong you are."
"At least you'll remember me," this statement was quieter, and a little wistful. Katie met Dean's gaze. She started to respond to this comment, but she stopped when Sam came loudly back down stairs. She saw he carried his duffle bag on his shoulder, signaling the boys were about to leave.
"You ready?" Sam asked his brother.
"Yep, let me grab my stuff," Dean answered, heading into the living room. Katie and Sam followed. They found Lilly clutching a tape, waiting on them to enter.
"This is the one I picked, Mr. Dean," Lilly said, holding up the cassette tape she had taken from Dean's collection. He read the label and shot Lilly a huge grin.
"Excellent choice, munchkin." He zipped his bag closed and slung it over his shoulder. "Now, when I call, I expect you to know all those songs, all right?" Lilly nodded enthusiastically. "Cause I might quiz you, so you'd better be practicing." The little girl bounced up and down, holding the tape to her heart.
"Lill, what do you say?" Katie reminded her.
"Thank you Mr. Dean for the tape. And thank you for saving Aunt Katie. And thank you too, Mr. Sam," she said sweetly.
Sam bent down, sweeping Lilly into a bear hug. "No problem, Lilly. You behave yourself and stay sweet, alright?" he gave her a kiss on the cheek before handing her to Dean.
"Bye Mr. Sam," Lilly answered him, then turned to Dean. "Bye Mr. Dean," this was said much softer and with more sadness.
Dean carried her to the door, with Sam and Katie trailing behind them. "Bye Lilly. Take care of your Aunt Katie, alright?" He embraced her once more time before sitting her down. He opened the front door and stepped out on the porch.
"Bye Katie," Sam put his free arm around the girl. "Thanks for the hospitality."
Katie laughed. "Thanks for saving my butt," she responded. "Take care of yourself. If ya'll ever need a place to stay, you'll always be welcome here." Sam smiled at her and walked towards the Impala.
Lilly stood watching Aunt Katie and Mr. Dean. Both adults were strangely quiet and didn't seem to know what to say to each other. Finally, Katie spoke. "I mean it, you can come back any time. The door's always open."
"Thanks, Katie, we appreciate that," Dean moved his duffle to his other shoulder and shifted his weight. Lilly wasn't the only one watching the two; Sam had climbed into the passenger side of the car and was spying on them through the windshield. Sam could tell that his brother was uncomfortable and grinned to himself. He filed this away for later use, when Dean threatened him with Nair or itching powder.
"We'd better get going," Dean gestured towards the car. "Gotta go save more damsels in distress."
The corner of Katie's mouth kicked up and she shook her head. Even though she had only known Dean for a handful of days, she knew he wouldn't be hugging her goodbye. She took a timid step toward him, stood on her toes and placed a fleeting kiss on his cheek. "Thanks for everything, Dean."
If Sam had been closer, he would have burst out laughing at the slight blush that spread over Dean's face. He smiled once more at Katie, waved at Lilly and walked to the car. He threw his bag in the backseat of the Impala and got in the driver's seat.
"Shut up," he ordered Sam, before his younger brother could even open his mouth. Sam grinned, but didn't say a word. Dean started the car and backed out of the driveway. Both men waved at the girls standing on the porch one more time before driving off down the street.
Lilly leaned against her aunt, her eyes watering, watching the taillights of the Impala disappear. She looked up at Katie and saw the she was crying as well. The little girl wiped her eyes with her hand and asked, "Do you really think he'll call me?"
Katie continued staring down the road, but answered, "He promised, didn't he?" She smiled down at her niece and patted her on the back. "How about you call your mom and dad and see if they want some waffles?" She held the door open for Lilly to scamper inside to the phone. She threw one last glance over her shoulder in the direction of the Winchesters then followed Lilly inside.
Five miles down the road Sam broke the silence. "You gave her your Led Zeppelin tape?" he asked disbelievingly.
Dean shrugged. "What can I say, I taught her well."
"You liked her."
Both Winchesters were smiling as they passed the sign: You are now leaving Commerce, GA. Ya'll come back.