This is it, huh? The end. The final chapter. Fin.

I'd like to take the time to, yet again, thank everyone for reading and reviewing (I'm so close to getting 200 reviews for this story that I can almost taste it... and it's soooo sweet!). I really hope that I'm able to finish this story up well, I hope that everything makes sense, and I hope that season 3 of SN doesn't totally steal this idea and not pay me for it :)

BTW, did you guys hear that Jensen got jumped on by a fan at Asylum this weekend LOL

And now... the final chapter...


His shoes clicked noisily down the hall as Sammy finally slowed his pace. He could see the door to Dean's room. Taking a deep breath to steady his nerves, he slipped around the corner and stood in the doorway, staring into the room at his brother.

Dean was asleep, his eyes closed, a sad little smile on his face. He looked peaceful. He also looked pale. The blood loss in the room had been bad, had, in fact, required a transfusion, and the older hunter had yet to regain his color.

Sam leaned up against the doorframe, watching his sleeping brother, the small intake of breath, the whistle of air that came with every exhale. He looked at the smile on the older man's face, so slight and sad. Suddenly, nothing seemed fair.

Why should he be able to go off to school and live a normal life while Dean searched for something he'd probably never find? Why couldn't they both have a home? Why was he suddenly thinking about this?

Sighing angrily, Sam turned on his heel and walked away from the room, expecting the unwelcome torrent of guilty emotions to leave as he did. But it didn't. It got worse, stronger. He shouldn't be walking away, shouldn't turn his back just because Dean was different. After all, Dean had stuck by him when nightmares had turned to visions and visions had turned to death. It was only fair that Sam do the same.

Slowly, he turned back toward the room. His brother had done so much for him, had raised him, had stuck by him, and defended him, had done so many things that Sam couldn't even remember clearly. He couldn't leave. He couldn't let those empty spots in his brother's heart stay empty. And if he didn't fill them, then what would?

His father had had empty spaces. He'd filled them with anger and hatred and vengeance and it had killed him. Dean tried to fill his own spaces with Sam, and Sam had left. He'd created more spaces, and that wasn't fair. Not when he himself was so whole.

He leaned back against the door, smiling to himself. Safety, warmth, love, comfort. A flood of something so strong that he'd fallen backwards to the blood colored floor. Just at the mention of his brother's name. Dean had known help was coming. Dean loved him.

It honestly didn't take Sam much effort to summon up his own warm feelings towards his brother. They'd been there all along, buried under a veil of concern and fear and sorrow. It was high time they got to see the light of day, though.

o0o0o0o0o

Dean could remember hating hospitals as a kid. They were always so cold and professional. No one let their emotions get in the way. No one really cared. They were too busy to care. Therefore, the hunter determined, the person who had just entered his room was not a doctor.

There was a slight scraping sound as one of the uncomfortable plastic chairs was drawn across the floor to rest beside the bed, and a creaking as someone sat down. The room had warmed up instantly, the same safety he'd felt in Lawrence creeping around him, causing once-stiff muscles to relax. Whoever was in the room, they loved him. He was starting to wonder where Sam was.

A careful hand grabbed his, slowly, gently, making sure not to disturb him. Too big to be Missouri's hand, so his first suspicions about his visitor were wrong. But who else could it be?

"I've made up my mind," a soft voice whispered, so low that Dean could barely hear, "I know what I want to do. Don't try to argue with me, because this is what I want." There was a pause, a moment in time for the visitor to let that statement sink in as Dean tried to decipher the quiet words and recognize the inaudible voice.

The silence filled the room, surrounding them, and Dean had a sneaking suspicion that whoever was talking to him was doing this for dramatic effect. When the voice spoke again, it was louder, recognizable, and firm. "I'm not leaving."

Dean's eyes snapped open and he looked up at his little brother. "What?" he asked hoarsely, scanning Sam's face for signs of a sick joke. He glanced around the room, searching for the source of that warmth, and, upon failing to find it, turned back to Sam.

"I'm serious," Sammy said, his voice soft again as he met Dean's eyes, "I want to stay. I'm not going back to school."

Dean blinked, staring his brother down as that feeling of safety and comfort and love grew stronger around him, enveloping him, making him whole again. "I thought-"

"Don't try to think," Sam smiled, "you'll hurt yourself."

Dean sighed and let his eyes slide shut. "Bitch," he muttered, grinning at the way the feeling surrounding him strengthened with the single word.

"Jerk."

"You're sure you want to do this, Psychic Boy?"

"I told you not to argue, and you can't call me that anymore, Emo."

"But life's no fun without nicknames, Haley Joel."

"That's what you think, Phoebe."

Dean opened his eyes. "What did you just call me?"

Sam's face reddened and embarrassment began to creep into the room. "It's that witch from 'Charmed.' She was like you."

"That's it," Dean said, shaking his head, "from now on, I'm keeping the remote. Honestly, the crap you watch…"

"You know," Sammy interrupted, "I meant what I said."

The elder rolled his eyes. "You want a hug really bad, don't you, Sammy?"

"I just want you to know-"

"And I get it. Please, just let me keep what little masculinity I have left. In case you missed it, I've recently been compared to one of Halliwells, and, hot as they were, it's not exactly a compliment. No more chick-flicks."

Sam nodded. "No more chick-flicks. Just promise me one thing."

"What's that?"

"Next time we go to the store, buy Pepsi."

Dean smirked. "Won't matter the brand, Sammy. You can't fight love."

"Bite me."

"Don't tempt me."

"That's called incest."

"Winchester incest. Wincest."

Sam raised an eyebrow. "You've given this thought."

"Don't tell me you haven't thought about it."

"That's disgusting, Dean."

"You brought it up."

"Go to sleep."

"Subject-changer."

The younger hunter hung his head, grinning. "You look tired. That's all I'm saying."

The empath nodded, letting his eyelids droop. It had been a long week, a tiring week. He hated to admit it, but sleep was welcome, especially with that warmth surrounding him.

Sighing, Dean laid back and closed his eyes, letting out a long sigh as Sammy squeezed his hand. The room was warm, comfortable, and safe. He was loved, and he knew it. His brother had seen the light, had finally come around. His brother loved him. He knew that now, knew it for sure. It was, after all, coming straight from the heart.


Thanks again for all the wonderful support,

Mummyluvr