-1And A Child To Lead Him

Epilogue: The Days That Followed

Sam slept restfully for over 76 hours his body and his soul repairing themselves from the events that had passed. Every now and again his lashes would flutter open and he'd take in a deep breath tilting his head to the side, his brother… his protector coming into view, offering him a sight that immediately would lull him back to sleep.

Although more relaxed and more at easy Dean continued to sit beside Sam, watching over him and making sure that he got the rest he not only needed, but that was well deserved. Thankful and relieved that they had managed to pull his baby brother back from the darkness that was so quickly devouring him.

As far as the doctors could tell there was no lasting physical damage done by the youngest Winchesters now non-existent condition. Amazingly, he'd pulled through without so much as a scratch…

Well not on the surface anyway.

Dean on the other had knew that emotionally they would not be so lucky, that the experiences of the past weeks would leave scars inside his brother that would take a long time to heal… if they ever healed at all….

Bobby had managed with the a little help from Ellen to convince the wide eyed doctor's who'd seen the exorcism at it's tale end, that they'd actually been witnessing a "religious healing ritual" passed down through the Foster family for years… And that Sam's sudden arousal and recovery was the product of such strong faith and belief.

What exactly was he supposed to tell them?

That a demon from hell had taken up residence in the boys subconscious torturing him endlessly until he was literally on the brink of death… and they had actually walked in right as the damn thing had been expelled from it's hiding place and was on it's way back to a fiery vacation?

Like anyone was going to believe that….

March 26th 2008:

With his sly tongue Dean was currently working Dr. Teague over convincing him that with Sam's current recovery, requiring no more than rest and nourishment, there was no reason for him to be cooped up inside stale walls any longer. Delivering him some shpiel about home life and how getting Sam back to regular living was the best thing for him. As if either of the remaining Winchesters even knew what a regular home was, or how to live in one….

Sam opened his eyes slowly and looked around the room, finding that he was still tucked safely between what had become familiar smelling white sheets he let a sigh of relief escape him.

Taking notice that Dean had moved from the chair that now permanently bore his butt print in it's cushion, the rested man sat up a little and looked around slowly and sorting out the images still invading his head.

He could still remember everything as though they were real memories the events of his "nightmare" playing themselves out again and again. They were filled with as much realism and clarity as any other memory he possessed inside himself, this was because, even if the world he'd been living in hadn't been real to anyone else…

It had been to him….

Leaning over wearily still weak and recovering his limbs slow moving, he reached into the drawer of the small stand next to his bed and pulled out his old brown leather wallet.

Opening the small dilapidated billfold he thought to himself how he really needed to replace it.

But he couldn't replace it, he wouldn't. It had been a gift… And it was the only gift he still had… The only thing he hadn't lost in the fire… His final connection to… Jess….

Fishing through the photos it held inside he stopped on the one he'd been searching for and studied it hard.

So beautiful, so lively, she'd truly been the most amazing person he'd ever known, his one and only true love…

And for a few days he'd had her back again….

She'd been with him.

Her sky blue eyes had looking into his, her sweet lips saying those three little words to him once again, such a small phrase that so many had taken for granted… Including himself a long time ago.

They'd had a second chance, neither one of them even aware their first had ever expired

He'd held her in his arms, loved her all over again…

Sam felt a single solitary tear slipping from his eye and reached up silently wiping it away.

He'd had her again… But he'd lost her again too.

Running his hand over the two dimensional figure before him his fingers shook .

He missed her so much… And now he knew he always would, He'd been given a taste of what should have been. A taste that against his tongue had seemed sweet and satisfying… But left behind a bitter long lasting flavor inside his throat.

The flavor of reality.

A deep breath escaping him after a moment of silence, he tucked the photo back into his wallet and slid it into the drawer once again. "Good-bye" He whispered to himself closing it.

Rubbing a hand over his face he rolled his neck from side to side and exhaled loudly once again, almost as though releasing these long held breaths were going to right the situation he seemed to be battling inwardly. Leaning back against the pillow once again and casting his eyes side ways Sam spotted a pale yellow piece of paper he hadn't noticed before placed on top of the before mentioned nightstand.

"What the…." He questioned softly reaching for it his brows furrowing together in question, the bold black letter head immediately alerting him as to what it was.

D N R: Do Not Resuscitate Form of consent

He felt his stomach drop down into his toes a chill of a different kind running through his spine and down every inch of his body.

Had it really come that far? Had he really been that close to dying? Had everyone… Had the doctors given up hope and written him off?

The thought as simple as it seemed, was a sobering and scary one…

Sam quickly closed his eyes unable to bare the sight of the thing any longer his own mortality never having been so real as it seemed at that very moment. Staring him down almost tauntingly, even though to the outside eye it seemed to be no more than meaningless words on a piece of meaningless paper.

He'd faced so much, faced so many unexplainable and demonic things and defeated every one of them no matter how big or how bad they seemed. Sure, he'd been close to defeat a few times, but never… never had death been so close that he could feel it's icy breath against his skin and hear it's hallowing whisper in his ears.

And then…. Only then had it truly hit him…

This time he's almost lost.

Opening his eyes again, forcing the thought to pass, pushing it down inside himself, he scanned the blur of computer printed words and brought his vision directly to the line at the bottom…

The line with the word Signature next to it…

The line that still remained blank.

Maybe not everyone had given up on him.

An unsure hint of a smile tugged at his lips as he heard the door open on the other side of the room, causing him out of instinct to tighten his grip on the small sheet of paper. Still shaken he forced his now slightly watering orbs to look in the direction of the man entering.. Managing a soft and hoarse, "Hey." before clearing his throat.

"You're up." The smile on Dean's face grew as he took in the sight of his brother's finally coherent and lively eyes looking at him.

"Yeah, well you know.. A person can only sleep for so long…"

"I was beginning to think you were going for some sort of new record…" The older of the two joked sliding back down into the seat that had wordlessly been declared his.

"What's that?" Sam asked seeing the paper work tucked beneath his brothers arm.

"Ah nothin'… Just your release papers."

"My what?" The surprised man asked puzzled as he sat up a little more and reached for them, "How the hell did you manage that so quickly?"

"Oh come on man you know I'm Matlock when it comes to these sort of things, I just used my impenetrable powers of persuasion to convince the doctor you'd be better off recovering at home."

Sam rolled his eyes dramatically, "Dean… We don't even have a home…"

"Yeah well, it might not be a home to some, but I saw a motel not to far and I figure it's got to be better than this place… I mean Ellen had said that we could you know… but I just didn't think you'd want to go back there…."

"Why not? What happened to me had nothing to do with The Roadhouse Dean… You said it yourself, it was a demon… A demon Meg sent after me."

Dean couldn't help the shocked expression that spread across his face.


"Well… It's just your handling this better than I thought you would that's all…"

The end of Dean's statement died off as he noticed the moisture in his brothers puppy dog brown orbs, his fingers still holding tight to the DNR form. "Sam…" He whispered reaching for it. "What are you doing with that?"

The younger man cleared his throat again this time more as an uncomfortable gesture, than an attempt at clarity. "You- you didn't sign it."

"Of course I didn't sign it, come on man…" Sam could hear the uneasiness in his brother's tone as he crumpled the yellow paper almost angrily.

"Did you consider it?"

"What?!? Of course not, you know I'd never give up on you like that."

"But what if-"

"I don't want to talk about this anymore." Dean's tone was stern immediately halting the question and answer session before it really had a chance to begin. The truth of the matter being, that the thought and the reality of loosing Sam was still far to fresh in his mind to even think about. Desperate to change the subject he began again, "The doctor gave you a prescription that should restore you're appetite and help give you your strength back… So ummm, what do you say we blow this joint, get it filled and head on to the Roadhouse… If you're sure that's where you want to go…"

"I'm sure…"

"Good, I think Ellen would rather you be there anyway then she wouldn't have to actually drive anywhere to smother you with her mothering skills…"

"Ellen has mothering skills?"

"You'd be surprised."

Dean lowered his brother into one of the pharmacy waiting chairs of the local drug store and gave him the once over as Sam rested his head back tiredly against the wall and pulled his dark green Abercrombie hoodie tighter around himself. He was tired, he didn't quite understand how he could still be tired, but he was none the less as an exasperated sigh fell from his lips followed closely by a yawn.

"I'll be right back." Dean kept his voice low as not to disturb him before making his way up to the counter and handing the petite red head placed behind it the prescription with a charming Dean-like smile.

"This should be ready in about twenty minutes." She informed him returning his smile before continuing, "Does your brother have insurance?"

"Oh yeah, of course." Dean reached into his pocket and retrieved one of his many falsified insurance cards, the name on it matching that on the prescription paper. Samuel Foster. A name that after today Dean never wanted to think about or hear ever again.

"Okay, have a seat and we'll call you when it-"

"Ring around the rosy

Pocket full of posies…"

Dean froze his head snapping toward his brother who was now sitting up straight and ridged both of them sharing a horrified expression as the haunting nursery rhyme once again filled their ears.

Sam even in his weakened state was on his feet in a matter of a single second the two of them racing in the direction where it appeared to be coming from Dean's hand coming to grasp the gun he kept pressed against his stomach inside the waist of his pants as they ran.

Entering into the aisle both men froze as Dean dropped his hand, Sam nearly toppling over against his brother in exhaustion as they saw before them a child who could have been no more than three holding up a bright green stuffed frog in her mothers face, the object continuing to sing annoyingly loud throughout the isle.

"Ashes… Ashes….

We all fall down…"

"Poseee posseeee" They heard her imitate wide eyed and in unison they let out a sigh of relief shaking their heads and swallowing.

"Man…" Sam grunted feeling his brother's hand now come to his arm his heart finally beginning to regulate inside his chest,. "I hate nursery rhymes."

"Tell me about it…" Dean smirked before the two of them headed back to the pharmacy section ignoring the weird stares they were receiving from any and everyone surrounding them.

Pulling up to the road house, Dean helped his brother out of the car, not the least bit surprised when both Ellen and Bobby came to greet them with genuine smiles on their faces… Well for Bobby as much of a smile as he could ever seem to muster up.

"Well…look at you… you'll be back to kickin ass in no time kid." The eldest of the men chimed jokingly taking over Dean's position and helping Sam toward the small saloon. Unwilling to admit it felt good to drape his arm around the boy… To see for himself that he was warm and alive…

"Yeah…. Thanks to you… Thanks to all of you…"

"It was nothing. We'd do it again in a heartbeat sweetie." Ellen offered as she opened the door for all of them to enter.

"Yeah, well lets just hope you don't have to I prefer to keep-" As Sam stepped into the house his feet halted, his breath hitching his throat and steeling his voice as his eyes scanned the room a flood of emotion smacking into him like a blow to the gut, he inhaled sharply.

The window.

The jukebox.

The bird.

The demonic eyes of a child tearing into him as he hovered in the corner he now stood only a few feet from…

The terror of it all…

"Sam….You alright?" Dean's hand came to rest on his back worry filling his eyes.

Seconds of silence passed before as if being called back from some far off land Sam's eyes blinked a few times his head bobbing up and down. "Yeah…" He closed his eyes and rubbed them before opening them again. Rubbing away the fear and the imagery so that all that remained was a distant memory. " yeah I am now." He whispered able to feel the presence of every person surrounding him, a reminder and a comfort…

He was safe, and they would make sure he stayed that way.


So there you have it, complete and finished. I hope it was all you'd hoped it would be and I thank all of you for following it and seeing it through, a whole new dramatic terror is on it's way so keep a look out for it!!!!