Chapter 13: Goodbye To You

Sam's eyes shot open.

He sat up gasping for air, sweat glistening on his skin. He stared out the window to see that the sun was just rising into the sky. He jumped out of bed and raced downstairs with one thought on his mind: Save Dean.

--

Sam raced down the hall, coming to a stop in front of Jodi's bedroom door. He pounded on the smooth wood surface while trying to calm his breathing; the vision of Dean's death had left him shaken. He waited for Jodi to open it; he grew more anxious as the seconds ticked by. Finally the door opened and Jodi stood there, still half asleep.

"What's wrong Sammy?" Jodi asked with a yawn.

"I had a vision," Sam panted "Of Dean being killed."

The tired look on Jodi's face vanished at Sam's words "When?"

"Just before" he said, worry lacing his voice "He went into the woods and the Wendigo killed him" tears started to glisten in Sam's eyes.

"Ok, just breathe" she said softly "We'll stop him" she ran her fingers through her hair "Go ring his phone."

"Right" Sam dashed off still in a fit of panic. He grabbed his cell and punched in Dean's number. He waited anxiously but there was no answer. He shut his phone and raced back to Jodi's room. She emerged dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt, Chris behind her "No answer!"

"Ok" Jodi took a deep breath trying to calm herself and her brother down "lets go!"

They soon found themselves at the edge of the forest; the trees stood tall blocking out the sun. The car came to a stop and they all jumped out, Jodi and Chris went around to the trunk and pulled out three flare guns. She tossed one to Sam who managed to catch it in his shaky fingers. Jodi looked into the woods, hoping to see Dean, but he was not there. Perhaps he wasn't here yet, but that quickly vanished when she saw the shiny black Impala.

Jodi turned to face Sam, his eyes searching the forest, looking for any sign of Dean. She saw the frustration and the fear in his eyes. With one swift move Sam ran into the woods before Jodi could protest. She quickly followed, disappearing into the dense woods. She could see Sam up ahead and she quickened her pace so she could match his.

She reached his side and pulled him to a stop, he stared at her with teary eyes "We'll find him Kiddo" she assured "but we can't afford to be looking for you too."

Sam sighed, he hated how they put his life ahead of their own, no matter what the situation. He scanned Jodi's eyes; he could see she had no doubt that they would save Dean. "We can't lose him Jodi."

"We won't" She said accompanied by a half-hearted smile.

"Guys come on," Chris said walking to their sides "We have a lot of ground to cover."

"Wait" Sam exclaimed, "the attacks are on the north side of the forest, most take place around the stream."

"Ok" Jodi turned to Chris "how far?"

"Not to far" he said "C'mon!"

Sam gave his sister one last glance then took off, he wouldn't, couldn't lose Dean. He ran through the woods. The forest seemed to become a blur as he ran, the outside world didn't matter to him right now, all that mattered was that he saved Dean. He could feel his heart racing, sounding like drums in his ears. He jumped over some roots and landed in the mud but he kept running, to afraid to stop.

He felt his lungs burn and breathing became harder. He could hear the sound of the stream in the distance or maybe it was just the ringing in his ears. Everything around him seemed to disappear; the only thing visible was the fear that was slowly consuming him. His legs already ached from the stress he put on them, his lungs felt like they were on fire.

The horrible images of his brother's death flashed before his eyes. The sound of his cries echoed in Sam's mind, the snarls from the beast taunted him, forcing him to push on. He felt like he had been running for hours but it must have only been a few minutes. The ground was uneven making it hard to keep his balance, he had to keep jumping over roots and ducking under branches.

Finally the trees vanished and in their place was a flowing stream. The sun reflected on the water casting diamond shaped lights onto the ground that surrounded it. Sam raced down the embankment, sliding most of the way. He reached the bottom; he scanned the ground and saw Dean's shoe prints in the mud. He was back in the woods. Where his final moments would be.

"We don't have much time" Sam shouted then raced into the woods. His heart hammering away, he could almost feel his throat closing up. No we're gonna make it he assured himself we're nearly there. He felt confidence build up but it was all ripped away when he heard Dean cry out. The sound made him trip and fall. When his vision cleared he could see Dean lying face down with the Wendigo clawing away at his back.

Sam jumped back to his feet so fast that the world spun "Hey!" Sam pulled out his flare gun and fired at the beast but it disappeared before he got a chance. Sam ran to Dean, dropping to his knees beside him, he placed his hand on Dean's shoulder and sighed with relief "Dean, thank god" Sam sobbed "I thought we were gonna lose you."

Dean slowly rolled over, with Sam's help "How'd-?"

"-Had a vision" he said with a soft smile "come on let's get you outta here."

"DEAN!" Jodi appeared beside Sam, collapsing beside him "Oh thank god!"

"Argh" Dean groaned "Where's that son-of-a-bitch?"

Jodi looked around to see Chris come through the bushes but the Wendigo was nowhere to be seen. She quickly jumped to her feet; she surveyed the area feeling like she was being watched. "Back on your feet Dean" she said taking her gun out "it's watching us."

Sam helped Dean to stand, he swayed slightly so Sam tightened his grip "You ok?"

"I just had my back ripped open, so do you think I'm ok?" he winced, anger leaking into his voice.

"Dean!" Jodi hissed.

Dean bit his tongue and turned to look at Sam, he could see the worry in his baby brothers eyes "I'm sorry" he sighed "And I'm ok, just hurts like a bitch."

"You need to get him out of here" Chris said walking over to them "I'll finish off the Wendigo."

"No way!" Dean hissed, "I'm fine, ok."

"Dean you're not fine" Jodi said firmly, her eyes scanning the forest "But it's to dangerous for you Chris" she turned to face him "Sam can take Dean back and I'll stay."

"No!" Dean protested.

"Dean I can take care of myself."

"Its to dangerous" he said bitterly.

"It wasn't for you," she said glaring at him "Now go, Chris and I can handle this."

Sam nodded then tried to lead Dean away but he wasn't having any of that "I stay or we all go" he said stepping away from Sam.

Jodi heaved a sigh "Look Dean I get it, you're worried but I can handle myself, so please go, you need to get to a hospital."

"No" he seemed to be straining now, the words were harder to say, and he was losing blood, fast.

Jodi went to protest but before she could speak Dean was hurled to the ground, the Wendigo hovering over him. Jodi pulled out her flare gun the Wendigo stood up, snarling at her "Say goodbye bitch" she pulled the trigger and the bullet hit the Wendigo right between the eyes. It staggered backwards then burst into flames before turning to ash. Jodi lowered the gun and turned to look at Dean, he lay sideways on the ground, his head laying on a rock.

Jodi's stomach churned and her heart turned to ice. Crimson liquid pooled around Dean's head, where he had made vicious contact with the earth. Jodi's knees buckled and she fell to the ground, sobs wracking her body. "Oh god!" she placed her hand on his neck, feeling for a pulse.

"Dean" Sam's broken voice came from behind Jodi, followed by a thud. "No."

"He has a pulse," she said looking up "we have to get him to a hospital, now!"

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Jodi stared blankly at the white walls that made up the hospital. She could vaguely hear Chris talking to her, telling her it would be ok that Dean would be fine. But she didn't hear them; all she heard was her heart pounding away. She shut her eyes, trying to block out the world around her; she wanted to just fade away. To go to a place where everything was fine. She wanted to go to a place where Dean wasn't hurt, where they were all happy and there were no demons. But that world would never exist; no matter how hard she tried to find it.

She felt tears threaten to fall but she forced them back, she had to stay strong for Sam. He was blaming himself for this, but it was not his fault. Its mine she thought bitterly to herself if I just stayed this would have never happened. It's my fault. The guilt built up in Jodi, she felt her heart ache. It felt like someone was trying to rip it from her chest.

The image of Dean lying on the ground flashed before her eyes. She snapped them open, she could see Chris staring at her with concern. "Where's Sammy?" she asked, her voice hoarse.

"Went for a walk" he replied stroking her cheek.

"I'd better find him" she jumped to her feet and walked down the corridor. She felt trapped by the small space; she wanted to run, to go somewhere where this nightmare was not real. She found Sam staring out at the bright sunny day, tears cascading down his cheeks. She walked up to him and embraced him in a hug, whispering words of comfort in his ear. "Everything's gonna be ok kiddo."

Sam only sobbed louder and Jodi felt her heart break farther. She pulled him closer to her, running her fingers through his messy brown hair. Jodi let her tears fall, soaking Sam's shirt. She pulled back and stared at him through teary eyes "Don't worry, he'll be fine."

"I hope so" he choked out "he can't die Jodi, he can't."

"He won't" she tried to assure him but the words came out in a sob. Would Dean not be ok? Would he not make it through this? No he would. How could something like this take Dean's life? This wasn't the end, it couldn't be.

"Jodi."

Jodi turned to see Chris, a halfhearted smile on his face. "This is Doctor O'Neil" he gestured to a short man with dark brown hair that was receding; his bright blue eyes were hidden behind glasses. His thin lips were set in a thin smile, it didn't quiet reach his eyes. For some reason the look on his face gave Jodi the feeling that he was the bearer of bad news.

"Is Dean ok?" she asked walking briskly to him.

The Doctors shoulders seemed to drop, his lips curved into a thin line "Your brother suffered severe head trauma" he paused to let Jodi and Sam mull it over "He has suffered a severe aneurism to his left temporal region causing acute swelling and loss of cognitive capabilities, in layman's terms-"

"-He's not gonna make it is he?" Jodi interrupted.

The Doctor sighed, "I'm sorry."

Jodi closed her eyes then spun around to hide her face in Sam's chest. Sam wrapped his arms around her and stroked her hair, he felt tears sting his eyes "Is there nothing you can do?" his voice cracked as he spoke.

"No, I'm sorry" the Dr replied, "I wish there-" a low beeping noise cut him off; he excused himself and pulled out his pager. He read the message then looked up at Sam and Jodi.

"What?" Sam croaked.

"It's your brother" he said slowly "he just passed away, I'm so sorry."

"No" Sam sobbed "He can't… he can't…" Sam stepped back and Jodi watched him with heartfelt eyes. She reached out for him but he pulled away. He took another two steps back then collapsed to the floor. He pulled his legs up to his chest and wrapped his arms around his legs. He lowered his head, letting it rest on his knees. His shoulders shook with each sob. Sam felt his heart turn to ice, his throat closed up and breathing became difficult. He felt Jodi's hands run over his arms and hair; he could hear her talking but the words made no sense. Her voice was drowned out by a ringing in his ears, his breathing hitched and he sobbed harder. He felt like he was trapped in a nightmare. How could this be real? How could Dean be gone?

He couldn't breathe.

There was no air.

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Jodi stared up at the darkening sky, the pink, purple, orange and blue all blurred together. She blinked away the tears and the sky became clear. She looked back down, staring at her hands. She held Dean's amulet in her open palm. She closed her hand around the necklace and pulled it to her chest, tears once again flowed down her cheeks. A muffled sob echoed from her mouth, she tried to stop the tears but they kept coming. She held the amulet closer to her chest, hoping that somehow she would wake up from this nightmare.

But every time she opened her eyes she found herself clutching the amulet and sobbing, this was not a dream. She couldn't wake up. This was a nightmare that she couldn't wake up from. Dean was gone. Herself and Sam were the only Winchester's left. They had lost their Mum their Dad and now Dean how could it be? It just wasn't fair.

She felt her heart ache; it felt like she had a gaping hole. Like someone had ripped a hole in her and it was bleeding but she wasn't dying. She was alive and she suffering. She was suffering the worst kind of pain. The pain of loss. Knowing she would never see Dean again was destroying her, taking her bit-by-bit. She hugged herself tightly, afraid to let go, afraid that if she did she would fall apart.

She felt a hand on her shoulder and she looked up to see Chris, his angelic face was etched with concern. He sat down beside her and pulled her onto his lap. She snuggled into his chest, seeking the warmth and comfort. He stroked her hair and whispered soft words and for a split second she forgot all her grief but it didn't stay away long. Her brother lying motionless on the ground, with blood pooling around his head flashed before her eyes. She snapped them open, to afraid to close them.

A loud sob escaped her mouth and she cried louder, her whole body was shaking. Chris wrapped his arms tighter around her, planting several kisses onto her hair. She held her hand close to her chest, right over her heart. She made a fist with her other hand, as the anger took over. The sobs of sorrow turned into sobs of rage. She pulled back so she could look at Chris, his green eyes locked with hers and she calmed down. But the anger was still there; the burning questions were building up.

"Why did this have to happen?" she asked, her voice hoarse "haven't we suffered enough? Is there someone up there" she gestured at the sky "who thinks its funny to watch us lose the people we love? Why did this have to happen? Its not fair" she broke off into sobs, more tears flowing down her cheeks, making her eyes go redder.

"I don't know love," he said softly, caressing her cheek "And I'm sorry it has but its not the end Jodi" he cupped her chin in the crock of his fingers "You have Sam, you have me."

Jodi pulled her face free and shook her head "Chris I can't live without Dean" she wailed "He has always been there for me, he is my big brother, he was always there, always. Not just for me but for Sammy too, we can't live without him. I can't" her voice cracked "How am I meant to make it right? How can I protect Sam? We need him… we need him more then anything in this world."

Chris swallowed the lump that was forming in his throat "You'll find a way."

"I don't want to find a way!" she shouted, "I don't want to find a way to live without my brother? I just want him back" she once again broke off into tears, she buried her head in Chris's chest once more "I just want him back Chris."

"I know, I know."

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Sam lay on the bed staring at the ceiling, tracing each crack in the paint. He tried to focus on the paint, tried not to let his mind wander. He didn't want to think about it. He didn't want to close his eyes and see Dean's lifeless body. He rolled onto his side and pulled his legs up to his chest, he wrapped his arms around them and started to sob. He'd tried not to think about Dean's sudden death but it all came creeping back.

He sobbed louder, his heart breaking.

Tears streamed down Sam's cheeks. His body shook with repressed sobs, he recoiled into himself, trying to fade away. He didn't want to feel any of these emotions. He didn't want this to be true. It wasn't fair. Why did this have to happen? Why, why, why, why? It just wasn't fair. But was anything fair? After all they had done, after all the people they saved, is this how they are rewarded. How could they go through so much for it to end like this? Was this someone's sick twisted joke? Did someone enjoy tearing this family apart?

How could it be?

Dean did nothing wrong. He spent his life being the perfect son, the perfect brother, the perfect hunter and it ended like this. How could it happen like this? In one second everything was ruined, their life torn apart. Sam only hoped that Dean went to a better place, a safer place. Where there was no pain and no loss. But how could there be such a place? If in this world there was such misery, surely if there were, this world would not be so bad. Was there no higher power that watched over them, was Dean right? Were Angels and God just a lie? A myth?

If there were such things how could they let this happen? How could they take Dean from them? Leave them to defend for themselves and leave them in agony. Sam felt anger well up within him; he balled his hands into fists. He wanted to scream, he wanted to throw punches; he wanted Dean back. He wanted this to be a nightmare, a vision, something he could change. He wanted to fix it. Make everything ok, but he couldn't. He couldn't fix this. No one could.

"Sammy?" Jodi appeared in the doorway, her eyes red from tears "You ok kiddo?"

Sam sat up and looked at Jodi through bloodshot eyes "Dean is dead Jodi!" his anger was coming out but on the wrong person "How am I supposed to be ok with that?"

Jodi seemed taken aback but only for a second, she knew where Sam's anger was coming from "I'm sorry Kiddo" she said walking into the room "I wish we could change this but there is no way."

"What about a Crossroad Demon?"

Jodi froze, her own anger built up within her "No one is selling their soul" she hissed "It tore Dean apart to know that Dad did it so we are not going to, besides what Demon is going to give us the deal?"

Sam looked down, what Demon would do that? They'd rather throw a party and celebrate Dean's death rather then bring him back. "I'm sorry." He said just above a whisper, tears streamed down his face "This is my fault."

Jodi crossed the short distance and sat down next to Sam. She pulled him into her arms and caressed his hair "Its not your fault." she planted a soft kiss to his hair "Don't blame yourself Sammy, please don't. Its not your fault." Her voice cracked as she spoke, her own tears falling.

"Why Jodi?"

"I don't know" she whispered, "I just don't know."

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Chris stirred the soup that was boiling a way on the stove. He exhaled deeply. He walked towards the cupboard and pulled out three bowls and placed them on the table. When he turned back around he saw Jodi in the doorway, her long hair was strewn over her shoulders and her eyes red from crying. Chris embraced her in a tight hug, he pressed a kiss to her forehead then held her at arms length. "Everything is going to be ok" he went to pull her towards him but she stepped back.

"How will everything be ok Chris?" she demanded, her eyes fierce.

"It will be" he tried to assure but she pulled back again.

"No Chris it won't be" she shouted, "Dean is dead! My big brother, the one person who could make everything ok! He is gone! How is it ever going to be ok? I… we need him" she shrilled, rage washing over her. "We've lost too much already, Sammy and I can't make it with out him." Tears formed in her eyes once more, her chest rose and fell with each heavy breath she took "How could they, or whoever is up there take him from us! How are we supposed to go on? How are we meant to keep saving people, hunting things, with out Dean" she wracked her fingers through her hair, tears streaming down her face "Dean is dead… and everything's gone to hell!" she shouted the last part, her anger taking over her. She stormed out of the room.

Chris watched Jodi leave, his heart breaking. She and Sam were lost without Dean, they had already lost too much, as Jodi pointed out, and Chris was going to fix it. He went to exit the room when Jodi walked back; she wrapped her arms around him in a tight embrace. "I'm sorry," she mumbled.

"Its ok" he whispered "I'm gonna make everything ok" he held Jodi at arms length, locking his eyes with hers "You are my love and my world but I know what you need more."

She smiled half-heartedly "Chris I…"

"Shhh" Chris silenced her by placing his fingers over lips "I'm doing this for you and Sam" he pressed his lips to hers in a firm but passionate kiss. "You need some sleep" he scooped her up into his arms and she snuggled into his warmth "Is Sam asleep?"

"Yeah" she murmured.

"Ok" Chris walked up the stairs and into their room. He laid her down on the bed and covered her with the thin blanket; she'd already fallen asleep. He sat down beside her and stroked her cheeks while smiling down at her. "I love you" he pressed a soft kiss to her forehead then rose to his feet.

He departed the room and made his way downstairs, he walked into the study and pulled up a chair. He opened a box that was filled with old books, drawings of supernatural beings and loose pieces of paper. He searched through it until he found what he was looking for. He shut the box and put it away. He made his way into the dinning room and grabbed a few candles then headed outside.

In no time he had drawn a circle, which represented life. There were four candles in the centre that were resting on gold holders. He knelt down in front of the candles and started to chant in a low voice. The wind picked up speed, roaring through the trees. Suddenly it all died down and a chill swept through the air. He lifted his head to see a dark cloaked figure. He jumped to his feet quickly "Who are you?"

"I am Death," he said pulling down his hood to reveal a man with pale skin that was marred with scars. His thin lips sat in a grim line, his grey eyebrows knitted together in a frown "And I can't allow you to do that."

"Why?" he demanded.

"You are trying to go back in time to save a life and I can not let that happen" he said firmly, "Dean Winchester was meant to die today and you can not change it. It will upset the balance."

Chris looked away "What if I offer my own life for his, then can I go back and fix this whole mess?"

Death locked his ice blue eyes with Chris's warm green ones "Its not your time."

"Then make it my time," he shouted "please."

Death mulled over what he said "Very well" he pulled his hood back up "But beware" he said ominously "this could change everything" he then waved his wrist and Chris slumped down onto the ground and darkness enveloped him.

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Chris's eyes snapped open, he heard a loud bang on the door and he saw Jodi go to answer it. She pulled it open and started to talk to Sam about something. Chris shook his head to clear it and it all came back, Dean had died and Chris had gone back to save him. He heard Jodi say something to him then she started to get changed. Chris jumped out of bed and quickly threw on a sweatshirt and a pair of jeans. He watched Jodi race back to the door then she said 'ok' and 'lets go'.

In no time they were once again running through the forest in search of Dean, only this time Chris new where he was. Sam in the lead with Jodi behind him. Chris picked up speed and raced past them both, he new where Dean would be. He took a short cut and he spotted Dean, standing in the clearing waiting for the Wendigo to attack.

Chris rushed out into the clearing but he was just a split second to late, the Wendigo was clawing away at his back. He shouted out and the beast looked up at him then disappeared into the woods. He sighed then walked over to Dean but somehow Sam beat him.

"Dean, thank god" Sam sobbed "I thought we were gonna lose you."

Dean slowly rolled over, with Sam's help "How'd-?"

"-Had a vision" he said with a soft smile "come on let's get you outta here."

"DEAN!" Jodi appeared beside Sam, collapsing beside him "Oh thank god!"

"Argh" Dean groaned "Where's that son-of-a-bitch?"

Jodi looked around for the Wendigo but the Wendigo was nowhere to be seen. She quickly jumped to her feet; she surveyed the area feeling like she was being watched. "Back on your feet Dean" she said taking her gun out "it's watching us."

Sam helped Dean to stand, he swayed slightly so Sam tightened his grip "You ok?"

"I just had my back ripped open, so do you think I'm ok?" he winced, anger leaking into his voice.

"Dean!" Jodi hissed.

Dean bit his tongue and turned to look at Sam, he could see the worry in his baby brothers eyes "I'm sorry" he sighed "And I'm ok, just hurts like a bitch."

"You need to get him out of here" Chris said walking over to them "I'll finish off the Wendigo."

"No way!" Dean hissed, "I'm fine, ok."

"Dean you're not fine" Jodi said firmly, her eyes scanning the forest "But it's to dangerous for you Chris" she turned to face him "Sam can take Dean back and I'll stay."

"No!" Dean protested.

"Dean I can take care of myself."

"Its to dangerous" he said bitterly.

"It wasn't for you," she said glaring at him "Now go, Chris and I can handle this."

Sam nodded then tried to lead Dean away but he wasn't having any of that "I stay or we all go" he said stepping away from Sam.

Chris remembered that was what happened before Dean was killed, he rushed to Dean and pushed him backwards "Get yourself to a damn hospital!" he spat "I will take care of this."

"Fine" Dean spat.

"Chris you can't-"

"-I'll be fine Jodi" he walked over to her and cupped her face in his hands "I love you" he pressed a soft but firm kiss to her lips "Now go, hurry."

Jodi nodded and Sam lead Dean away, she smiled up at Chris "I love you too" she then followed her brothers out of the woods.

Chris let a single tear run down his cheek as he watched Jodi disappear into the woods. He knew he would never see her again but she would be happy, she would have her brothers and he would always be with her in spirit.

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Jodi walked down the corridor of the hospital, two steaming coffees in hand. She and Sam had been waiting around for Dean for four hours and to make things worse Chris wasn't back yet. She hoped he was ok, horrible images of his lifeless body kept going through her mind. But he would be fine, she assured herself and so would Dean. The last time she saw Dean was before his Doctor took him away then he came back and told her that he needed a few stitches and at least four days in hospital. Some of the cuts were deep and needed to be stitched and cleand out and Dean was not yet back from surgery.

She rounded a corner and found Sam sitting down on the hard plastic chair looking up at Chris. Jodi sighed with relief and rushed to him, embracing him in a hug. She handed Sam the coffee then smiled up at Chris, he looked tired but otherwise he was fine. "Did you get it?"

"Yeah" he replied, "went out screaming" he gave her a cocky grin "Hows Dean?"

"He just got out of surgery," Sam said "The Doc said we could see him."

"Ok" Jodi handed Chris her coffee "You need this more then I do" she pressed a soft kiss to his lips "Sammy and I will be just down the hall."

Chris nodded his head.

Jodi offered him one last smile then she and Sam headed to Dean's room. They entered the small white room and found Dean lying half asleep in bed. The room was dimly light, the curtains only half open. Dean was hooked up to a drip; a heart monitor and an oxygen mask covered his nose. Jodi sat down next to him and took his hand into hers.

"Hey" he said groggily also pulling the mask up.

"Hey you" she said with a smile "You doin ok?"

"I'll be fine until the meds wear off" he quipped.

Jodi chuckled softly "Well that's good."

"Did Chris get the Son-of-a-bitch?"

"He sure did" she smirked "he is an excellent hunter."

"Yeah, yeah" Dean looked over to Sam, who was staring down at his hands "Thank you."

Sam looked up "For what?"

"Savin my ass" he smiled softly at him "and I'm sorry I kicked you out of the car."

"Its ok" he sighed "I still love ya."

"Hey dude no chick flick moments" Dean added.

"Jerk" Sam grinned.

"Bitch."

"Oh shut it you two" Jodi snapped playfully.

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Chris sat in the waiting room, his hands resting on his lap. He leant back in the chair; the cool wall sent a chill through him. He pulled away from the wall and tightened his jacket around him, it seemed so cold. He took a sip from the coffee then let out a long sigh. He looked up and saw Jodi round the corner, a soft smile on her face. She sat down next to him and kissed him softly. He kissed her back, putting all the love he had into the kiss. This may be the last time he ever kissed her.

"Chris are you ok?" she asked, concern etched into her face.

"I'm fine" he lied then took her hands "I love you Jodi."

"And I love you."

"Promise me you will always look after yourself."

"Chris-"

"Promise me" he interrupted.

"Ok" she sighed, "I promise."

"Thank you" he pressed a soft kiss to her forehead "I will always be with you."

"Chris" she placed her hand over his forehead "you're burning up."

"I'm fine" he tried to convince her but she saw through the lie "really."

Jodi glared at him "You're not fine… Chris what's wrong."

Chris took Jodi's hands and pressed a kiss to them then his eyes slid shut. He could hear Jodi shout out his name then she called for help but it was a distant echo. He felt himself fall deeper in the darkness until he no longer heard the voices then everything stopped.

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Jodi made her way through the crowd and towards a woman with brown hair that was tied up in a bun. She squeezed through the men and women who gathered around each other. She moved away from the groups of men and women and continued on her way to the woman. She stopped beside her; her eyes were lowered to the ground, looking at a black coffin.

Tears ran down her pale cheeks and fell onto the shiny black box. She wiped them away with the back of her hand then turned to face Jodi, who stared at her through her own tears. She embraced the women in a tight hug, hiding her face in her neck. The woman stroked Jodi's long blonde hair wither thin fingers. Jodi sobbed softly on her shoulder, her tears soaking her shirt.

She pulled out of the embrace, staring at the woman with a halfhearted smile. The woman brushed away her tears then pressed a soft kiss to her forehead, she too offered a halfhearted smile. "You made my son so happy" she said in tear-choked voice "I am grateful for that."

"Thank you" she said, her voice cracking slightly "I loved him so much."

"And he loved you" she smiled "he always did and always will."

Jodi sniffled and fought back a sob "the service was beautiful Jane" she wiped away the tears "He would have liked it."

Jane, Chris's mum, nodded then reached into her pocket "I found this in amongst his things" she took Jodi's hand "he would have wanted you to have this" she pressed a small box into her palm "I'm sorry love" she then walked past Jodi.

She stared down at the blue box; her fingers shook as she opened it. The lid came open and inside was a piece of paper that had been folded many times. She took it out and read the fine print. Too my love, I ask for your hand in marriage, and right now you're probably going to look at me and tell me that you don't do chick flick moments, but this is for real Jodi… so will you marry me?

Jodi let out a broken sob then peered into the box. It held a silver ring; a large diamond glistened in the afternoon sun. She slipped it onto her finger and stared down at it. She glanced down at the note again, reading it over and over. She looked up, her eyes locking on the coffin. The black box held Jodi's life inside of it, her true love. She smiled softly as tears ran down her cheeks "I am forever yours Chris."

TBC

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