Not mine. No money being made. Just trying to amuse myself a bit. And survive until September.

Anything else I missed applies here too.


When All Is Said and Done

Dean was riding shotgun. Something he didn't do very often. But he was today. In fact, he'd been doing it all week. Come to think of it, he really couldn't remember the last time he'd actually driven.

And that was odd. Because he loved to drive. Especially his Impala, his baby as he called her. Driving that car always made him feel alive.

Which just might explain why he hadn't felt like driving lately.

Because living wasn't something he really wanted to think about. Not for himself anyway. Maybe for Sammy, but not himself.

It had been a long time since he'd given any actual thought to a life for himself. It had always been about Sammy. Ever since he was little. Ensuring that Sammy didn't get hurt, that Sammy was protected, loved and turned into a normal kid. One who could function in society. Not one who lived on the fringes like he and Dad had always done.

And that had never seemed odd.

It just was.

But now that he was thinking about it, his entire live could probably be classified as odd. Filled with odd people. Odd places. Odd beliefs. And odd events. And this one certainly wasn't any different.

It was just a little closer to home than normal.

Because, besides the terminally ill, who else really knew when they were going to die?

Condemned murderers maybe. But they usually got years and years of appeals to contest their court-appointed fates. And those were generally followed by years and years of reprieves.

But not for him.

Because there was no one for him to appeal to. And no one to grant him a reprieve.

There was just him and Sam.

And Sam had tried. He had tried really hard. Dean had to give him that. But, despite his brother's best efforts, there'd been nothing he could do.

There was just no way out.

It was that simple.

He was going to die.

And go straight to Hell.

Tonight.

Those were the facts.

Plain and simple.

It wasn't that he was afraid of dying. Because eventually everybody dies. And he was no exception. He just knew how it was going to happen. When and where too. He'd had the inside scoop for the past year. And he'd always known he was going to end up in Hell. Even before he'd made this deal. And ever since he'd done business with that demon he'd known it was going to be today. Exactly one year, 365 days, 8,760 hours or 525,600 minutes after he'd sealed the deal.

And the minutes had quickly turned into hours, the hours to days until weeks and then months had flown by, reverting back to first weeks and then days and just hours left for him to live.

Until it had come back down to minutes.

But he was okay with that.

There was only one thing that bothered him.

Sammy.

Or, more precisely, leaving Sammy alone.

Because, for the very first time in his brother's life, he was going to be all alone. Without anybody watching over him. Keeping him safe. Because he and Dad had always been there to do that.

But Dad was gone.

And soon Dean would be gone too.

That was his reality.

There was no way to change it. He just wouldn't be around to watch over Sammy anymore. But he was satisfied that he'd done everything he possibly could to safeguard his brother before he left. He'd given Sammy back his life. He'd killed the demon to keep Sammy safe. He'd even set the stage for Sammy to have a future but it was ultimately up to Sam if he took it. But at least Dean would be giving him the option.

Just as soon as Dean told him about it.

And he planned to. In just a few minutes. As soon as they got just a little bit closer.

Closer to his fate. Both of their fates in fact. Even though Sammy's remained a bit brighter. But that was the way it had to be; the way it was supposed to be. Dean had made a promise to take care of his little brother. He'd promised Dad. But more important than that, he had promised himself. Years ago. When they were still growing up. And in the process Dean had made his bed. And he was willing to lie in it.

No matter the consequences.

Even though Sammy vehemently disagreed with him. Disagreed with the deal. Disagreed with his decision. With his reasons for doing it. But most of all he disagreed with the outcome. The truth was that he just didn't want to accept it. Because he still thought they could change it. All they had to do was keep looking and they'd eventually find a more agreeable solution.

But Dean knew better.

He just never bothered to tell Sam. At least, not until last month. When Sam wouldn't stop blabbering about it as he stayed up night after night, trying desperately to find a way to break the deal and change the result. He kept at it until one night when Dean had finally had enough and flat-out told Sam to stifle it. That exhausting himself to find an answer that simply wasn't there was pointless and they had better ways to spend their remaining time together. But Sam had gone hysterical. Started screaming that he wasn't about to just give up and let Dean die. And that he wasn't going to stop searching. No matter what Dean said.

And that's when Dean had decked him. Punched him so hard that Sam fell flat to his back on the floor. And he didn't even try to get up. He just lay there like a deaf mute staring up at his older brother with a sorrowful mixture of bewilderment, anger and pain on his face.

And made Dean feel like the biggest heel on the planet.

But Dean didn't tell him he was sorry. Because he wasn't. He wasn't sorry for making the deal. He wasn't sorry that he was going to die. And he wasn't sorry for clocking his brother. He had accepted his fate. It was time that Sammy did too.

Because dying was easy.

Especially if it meant Sammy was going to live.

So Dean had looked down at his brother and told him to quit acting like a baby and learn how to deal. Because, whether he liked it or not, Dean was done. Done fighting. Done pretending. Done looking.

And done living.

It was over.

The only thing left to do was show up.

Because, if he didn't they'd find him anyway. The hell-hounds would come and track him down. They'd drag him straight back to hell. And that could get messy. And didn't sound like much fun. And Dean really didn't want to go out like that. Not when he already knew the outcome. It was better to just go back to the crossroads and get it over with. Face it head-on.

Like a man.

Besides, it wasn't going to be all bad. There'd be a pretty girl to kiss. Once more before he died. He'd just have to ignore the fact that she was, in reality, a demon. But he was sure he wouldn't have a problem doing that. All he had to do was concentrate on the kiss. Just like when he had signed the deal. With a kiss that had sealed his fate. And a final one would deliver it.

All in all, not a bad way to go. He could think of worse. Lots worse.

Like having Sammy there to witness it.

And now was as good a time as any to call it quits.

Dean looked over at his brother and cleared his throat. But Sam didn't give any indication that he'd heard anything.

"Sammy?"

No answer.

"Sammy. Pull over. Now."

Still no response.

"Sam! I said Pull Over!"

"I heard ya the first time," commented Sam wryly without bothering to look at Dean.

"Then pull over. Now!" ordered Dean angrily.

Sam glanced at his brother. "You really want to fight about this?"

"I just want you to stop the damn car."

"And what are you going do if I don't? If I just keep driving?"

"You drive past the crossroads Sammy and you'll unleash the hell-hounds. You know that."

Sam looked over at his brother again. " We don't know that for sure."

"Dammit, Sam! We do. You've done nothing else but research getting outta this deal every chance you've had for the past year. You know how it's gonna go down. And you know there's no way out. I made a deal and I have to honor it."

"There has to be something else we can do, Dean. There must be something I've missed."

"Get over it, Sammy. You didn't miss anything. You did everything you possibly could. And there's nothing more you can do. My time's up. All you can do now is pull over and let me out. Then I want you get the hell outta here."

Sam eased off the gas but made no attempt to pull over. "I can't just leave you here Dean."

"Like hell you can't. Besides, that's the way I want it. I don't want you here when it goes down."

"But, Dean, it's not too late to turn back. We could outrun the hounds. Find some gofer dust. Keep them away long enough for me to find some way to help you."

Sam, you know that won't work. Gofer dust won't stop the hell-hounds. It just delays them a bit. I mean, think about it. It took them less than an hour and a half to break through that circle you made around Evan Hudson. And it won't take them any longer to get to me. They only got one purpose, Sammy. And that's to hunt down people who have a debt to pay. And make sure they come good for it."

"But we can't just give up, Dean. There's got to be another deal we can make."

"Forget it Sammy. No more deals. I made this deal to put a stop to any other deals. And I'm not about to renege on it."

"But Dean…"

"Just stop the car Sammy. The crossroads are just up ahead. And I'm officially outta time."

"I can't let you do this, Dean" stated Sam sadly, tears brimming in his eyes. "I can't."

"It's already done, Sammy."

Sam reluctantly slowed the Impala and edged onto the shoulder of the road. The two brothers sat in complete silence until the car drifted to a halt. Neither one looked at the other as they continued to stare out the windshield, both of them listening to the familiar hum of the motor, Dean swung the door open and, without so much as a glance at his brother, stepped out of the car.

He gently closed the door before he placed his hands on the open window frame and leaned down to look back inside.

Meeting his brother's inconsolable gaze, Dean spoke very calmly, "Sammy…it's been a slice. We had some great times. But I gotta go now. You take care of yourself. Ya hear me?"

With tears stemming down his cheeks, Sam turned back to stare out the front window, not acknowledging his brother statement.

"Sammy, let's not end it like this. Please."

"How do you want to end it, Dean?" demanded Sam distraughtly, finally turned his tear-soaked eyes to look at his brother. "You just wanna pretend that this isn't happening? That you're not just walking off to your death. That you're walking off into the sunset and the pretty soon the credits are gonna start to roll? And that everybody is gonna get to live happily ever after? Like a movie? Or a fairytale? Is that how you want it to end?"

Dean closed his eyes and sighed. "I just want you to be happy, Sammy."

"You want me to be happy? Now that's a good joke. Well, the joke's on you, Dean, because I'm never gonna be happy. Not after today. Knowing what you did. And why you died. How can you ever expect me to be happy living with the knowledge that you traded your life for mine? That you died because of me? You think I can just forget that and carry on?"

"No Sammy, I don't. But it's the way it had to be. You know I couldn't live without you. You were my only reason for living Sammy. What did you expect me to do? Let you die? Because if you were dead, so was I. And nothing was ever gonna change that. But you…you can have a normal life, Sam. You can be somebody. You can do something with your life. You can be anything you want to be. You used to believe that. All you have to do is believe it again. Go back to school. Become a lawyer. Get married. Start a family. It's all out there for you, Sammy. You just have to find it."

"Find what, Dean? A life without you or Dad? A life by myself? With no family? And no friends?"

"Come on, Sammy. You have friends from college. You can meet up with them. Pick up where you left off."

"That was three years ago, Dean. They're all done school. They've graduated, got jobs, moved away. And most of them are married now. They don't have time for me. Time doesn't stand still, Dean. Things have changed. I've changed. And you're leaving me with nothing!"

"Not nothing Sam. You got your life."

"My life? Maybe I don't want my life, Dean. Not like this. It's not worth it! Did you ever think about that before you just went ahead and brought me back? Did you stop to think about what you were doing to me?"

Dean stared mutely at his younger brother, the overwhelming hurt brimming in both their eyes until he finally whispered, "I was saving you Sammy."

"Saving me? You weren't saving me! You were saving yourself! It was never about me! It was about you! And how you couldn't live without me! But what about me having to live without you. How am I supposed to do that? Or do you even care?"

"Don't talk like that, Sammy. You know I care. I've always cared about you. But you're stronger than me. You'll get over it. You're strong enough to do that. You can leave all this behind you and start a new life. You did it before. And, there's nothing to stop you from doing it again."

"Maybe I just don't want to do it again, Dean! It didn't exactly work out the last time, did it?"

"But things are different now, Sammy. Dad's gone and the demon's dead. He's not gonna hurt anyone else. So you don't have to be scared to get involved with someone anymore. And you told me before that as soon as we killed the demon, it was over. That you'd be done hunting and you wanted to go back to school. So now you can do that. And you don't have to worry about me trying to stop you."

"What if don't want that anymore? What if I'd rather be with you? But you didn't give me that choice, did you?"

"Come on, Sammy. You don't want this life anymore. Hell, I don't want it anymore. But there's nothin' else for me to do. No reason for me to hang around. I'm just stopping you from having a normal life. I'm givin' you the chance to do that."

"And how am I supposed to have a normal life, Dean?" questioned Sam in defeat, tears steaming unabashedly down his face.

"Here," said Dean as he passed a folded piece of paper through the window to Sam. "I think this might help. It's Sarah's cell number. She'll be expecting your call."

"Sarah?" asked Sam, unfolding it to find a phone number in his brother's handwriting scrawled on the paper. "Sarah Blake? How'd you get this? It's been over two years."

"Hey, I'm not be as good as you, but I know how to track things down too. And I talked to her. She said she was wondering what you've been up to and says she can't wait to see you again."

Sam cleared his throat and took a deep breath. Trying to control his emotions, he asked, "What else, what else did she say?"

"To tell you that, ahh, she hasn't been on a date in a while and, that, yeah, she still thinks you're a catch."

Despite himself, the last comment made Sam smirk. But the lopsided grin disappeared almost as quickly as it had come and Sam turned to once again look at his brother.

"Dean…"

"Promise me you'll call her, Sammy."

"I will."

"Promise?"

"Yeah, I promise. I'll call her, Dean. I will."

"Pinky swear?" asked Dean, putting his hand through the open window with his little finger slightly extended.

Sam snorted and shook his head. But he resisted the urge to tell Dean that they weren't kids any longer and didn't need to engage in such childish behavior. Instead he reached out and tentatively intertwined his baby finger with his brother's.

"Pinky swear," he confirmed.

But as Dean tried to pull his finger free, he discovered that Sam was holding on for dear life.

"Come on, Sammy. Don't turn this into a chick flick moment. You know how I hate those."

"Yeah, I do," admitted Sam, reluctantly letting go of his brother's finger. As Dean withdrew his hand from the car, he added, "You don't know how much I'm gonna miss you, Man."

Dean didn't answer right away. He backed up, clenching the doorframe with both hands before he let go and rapped his knuckles against the car. Then he bent down and looked back in the window.

"Go on, Sammy. Git outta here. I got a date. And I don't wanna be stood up."

"But Dean…"

"Sammy, you're just making this worse. Besides, if you leave now, you can still catch Sarah. Talk to her, Man. She knows what's happening. I told her. And I told you before that I think you should marry that girl and I'm saying it again. Now go. Give her a call. She's waiting."

With that Dean slowly moved away from the car. He walked backwards until he knew for sure that Sam wasn't going to follow him. Then he stopped. And waited. Until he saw Sam put the Impala into gear and turn the car around on the highway to head back in the direction they had come. He continued watching the retreating brake lights as they flicked off and on, concrete evidence of Sam's uncertainty about this and his overwhelming desire not to leave Dean behind. But thankfully the tail lights finally disappeared into the blackness of the night.

Then, and only then, did Dean turn around to begin the final phase of his journey back to the crossroads. But before he'd moved more than a few steps, he stopped dead in his tracks.

Because, there in the dark, dead ahead, were two red glowing orbs.

And as the demon stepped out of the shadows and walked toward him, she raised both arms and encircled them around Dean's neck. Dean immediately leaned in toward her, lowering his mouth to hers.

Because there was nothing left for him to do.

It had all been said and done.

The End.