Well, here it is--the last chapter. I truly hope everyone enjoys the wrap up. Would love to hear what everyone thinks!
"Okay, we're here. Explain to me what it is I have to do, Bobby?"
Sam gazed down at his still-sleeping brother who was stretched straight out on autumn-parched, yellowed grass. A few dry, crispy leaves scampered and danced up and over his prone body, pausing briefly before continuing on their solitary journeys, as a cold, bitter breeze kicked up to remind them it was November.
The tall young man pulled his jacket tighter around his torso, shivers climbing up and then sliding down his spine. His were nothing though when compared with the shaking currently rattling through Dean.
"You're sure this is the right place?" rumbled the older man.
Sam looked around the secluded section of Rose Ridge Cemetery where they currently stood. Things looked slightly different now in the early fading light of day than they had in the pitch black of the night before.
"Yeah, I'm pretty sure this is close to where he was standing last night. Benjamin Booker's grave is right over there," Sam cocked his head to the left, "and that headstone right there has a little streak of blood on it where he scraped his cheek when Booker's spirit threw him into it." He pointed at the headstone of one 'Calvin Puck'.
"All right. We best get started then. Take the secespita." Bobby handed Sam the sacrificial knife before pulling out an empty glass he'd grabbed from the motel room and filling it about halfway with a generous amount of holy water. "Now you need to cut each of your thumbs with the knife, one at a time, and put 13 drops of blood from each thumb into the water. For each drop, you say one of the words from that list we went over."
With fierce concentration, the young man immediately set about following the Bobby's instructions. He sliced deeply, without flinching, into his left thumb first and held it over the glass the older man was holding.
For each drop of ruby liquid that hit the water, creating tiny little ripples across the surface, Sam repeated the ordered list of words. "Meus cruor purgo. Frater. Comitis. Pneum. Vires. Fortitudo. Libertas. Spero. Vita. Delectio. Semper."
Switching hands, Sam used the secespita a second time and cut his right thumb. A few beads of blood flowed and plopped into the water. "Meus cruor purgo. Frater—" The thick liquid slowed and stopped, forcing him to reach out and squeeze his right thumb hard to get the flow started again. As the dripping picked up once more, Sam recited the rest of the words. When he was done, he wiped both thumbs on his jeans, leaving behind two bloody streaks.
Bobby instructed, "Stir the water with the secespita."
The youngest Winchester did as he was told and then looked questioningly at Bobby. "Now what?"
"We have to wake him up and get him to drink it."
For the first time, hesitation and doubt crossed Sam's face. He stared at the glass uneasily.
Dean has to drink my blood? But . . . if it's tainted like the yellow-eyed demon implied . . . I . . . I can't risk it.
Mistaking Sam's slight waver for disgust, Bobby muttered, "It isn't that much. Thirteen drops from each thumb."
When Sam still hesitated, the bearded man continued, "It's gotta be done, son. My contact said it's the only chance we've got. Blood of a loved one, wrought by the carrier of the curse, must be ingested by the person affected. It weakens the curse's bond. The blessing said as the blood is drawn will hopefully break it."
At Bobby's words, Sam's mind flashed back to one of his earlier fights with Dean. Blood from his nose had dribbled down on Dean's face and one or two drops had fallen in his mouth. He had snapped out of the Avin-controlled trance immediately. Armed with this memory, Sam decided it wouldn't matter now if Dean ingested 26 more drops of his lifeblood.
Sinking to his knees next to his older brother, Sam pulled him to a sitting position, calling his name, "Dean? Dean, c'mon, I need you to wake up." Sam lightly tapped his brother's cheeks. Receiving no response, he finally resorted to applying a knuckle to Dean's sternum.
His sibling responded with a groan.
"That's it. C'mon, bro." A few more moments of cajoling brought Dean around, hopefully enough for him to drink the concoction Bobby held at the ready.
"Sam . . . before you start . . ." Bobby paused.
"He . . . he might . . . find this painful. My contact said this can be painful."
Sam's heart sank at hearing he was about to cause his brother more pain. Yet he knew he had no choice. He accepted the glass Bobby held out to him.
"Dean, I need you to drink this." He held the glass to his sibling's lips and tilted. When his brother resisted, Sam's anxiety boiled over and he growled deeply, "Damn it. C'mon. You have to drink this shit! I mean it, Dean. Drink—NOW!"
Whether it was his words or the commanding, demanding tone of his voice, Sam didn't know, but he watched Dean take large swallows of the pink-tinged holy water until the glass was empty.
When it was gone, the younger man handed the glass back to Bobby and eased Dean back down to the ground. A minute passed where nothing happened, and then suddenly his brother's body started to convulse, muscles spasming with great intensity.
Sam watched in horror as Dean's back arched off the ground in response to the pain tearing through his body. Loud grunts of suffering filled the air around them and tears leaked copiously from under the older Winchester's closed eyelids, running down his temples before splashing on the dry grass. Sam felt his own eyes grow moist at this torture he'd inflicted. Tears trembled briefly on his lashes and then lost the fight with gravity and trekked their way down his cheeks.
"God, Bobby, what have I done?"
Singer, himself quite choked up at the sight before him, cleared his throat before speaking. "You might be saving his life, Sam."
"Yeah, might be. Sure as hell doesn't look like it right now!"
After another minute or so, Dean's convulsions stopped. He went deathly still and so, for a moment, did Sam. Filled with trepidation, he leaned over and felt for a pulse in Dean's neck, breathing a sigh of relief upon finding one, even if it was slow and erratic.
Sam stood on shaky legs. "He's freezing. We need to get him back to the motel."
"Wait. There's one more thing we have to do."
Driven with worry, Sam uttered an impatient, "What now?"
Bobby motioned to the secespita resting on the ground near Sam's feet. "Burn it."
The two hunters quickly built a small fire. Once it was glowing bright and hot, Sam dropped the sacrificial dagger right in the center of the flames. After watching the glittering silver dull and blacken, Sam asked, "Can we go now?"
"Yeah. You take Dean to the car. I'll put this out and throw some dirt on it."
The Impala was racing its way back to the Best Rest Motel within 15 minutes, devouring the road like the growling hungry beast it was.
(SN) (SN) (SN)
Where the hell am I?
Dean looked around and saw nothing but an echoing empty landscape painted in hues of icy blue-white. It was neither dark nor light. There was no up or down, no side-to-side, just an abject vacuity—an unending nothingness. No wind, rain, or any other element touched this place; it knew nothing but cold.
The almost sentient iciness embraced Dean. Kissed seductively across his skin and caressed lightly like a lover. At first, it whispered bewitchingly in his ear. It tempted him to just lie down, to simply close his eyes.
It tempted him to surrender.
(SN) (SN) (SN)
Outside the motel room, night had tripped over twilight hours ago and had fallen hard, landing with a thud as it was wont to do in late autumn. Sam Winchester sat in the uncomfortably hard wooden chair next to the bed where Dean lay prone and unmoving—three blankets smothering his trembling frame. He stared at his brother's ashen countenance in anguish. Dean hadn't moved at all since the ordeal at Rose Ridge Cemetery. He was breathing albeit shallowly, and his heart was beating—slowly—too slowly for Sam's liking.
Bobby dropped a hand on Sam's shoulder. "Why don't you get some sleep?"
The younger man wearily shook off the hand. Despite his exhaustion, he was determined to keep vigil over his ailing brother. "I can't. I need to be here for him."
"Ya ain't gonna do him any good if you're down for the count."
Sam shook his head, refusing to acknowledge the words.
Bobby sighed at the kid's stubbornness and considered taking the easier route and just knocking him out. After several moments of serious contemplation, he finally decided to try a little negotiation instead.
"One hour. Just sleep for one hour. A power nap."
"You can. Listen, son, you won't eat," the hunter jutted his chin toward the congealed food abandoned on the table, "and you won't sleep. After everything that's happened, you're heading for a crash. And if you really want to be there for Dean, you'll realize that."
With every fiber of his being, Sam wanted to continue to deny the truth, but he couldn't. His body was calling out for rest.
Seeing Sam warring with himself, Singer used his last ace in the hole. "I ain't chopped liver, you know. I can sit in that damn chair and watch over him just as easily as you can." He knew he'd won when the kid closed his eyes and dropped his chin to his chest.
"Fine. One hour. You'll wake me up if something happens though, right?"
"Of course, you idjit."
Sam moved from the chair and dropped down on his bed, fully clothed. Not bothering with the light sheet, the only covering remaining on the bed, he closed his eyes. It wasn't long before sleep claimed him.
(SN) (SN) (SN)
The solitary man shivered and shuddered; a sense of loneliness engulfing him. An eerie keening suddenly echoed in this forlorn and alien place. The sorrowful elegy grew louder and louder, overwhelming him. Overpowering him.
He sank to his knees, hands covering his ears. Tears, one or two at first—then many, meandered down his milk white cheeks. His own lament escaped past his unwilling lips, joining and blending with the rest. It became a mournful, gasping cacophony.
(SN) (SN) (SN)
Looking at his watch, Bobby decided it was time to wake the youngest Winchester. He'd promised to do so in an hour and he'd already stretched that to two. Any longer and the kid would have his head. "Hey, Sam. Time to wake up." When Sam didn't move, Bobby reached out and grabbed his shoulder, shaking lightly. "Sam, c'mon, wake up."
Young Winchester came awake with a grunt and sat straight up. Having no sense of how long he'd been out, Sam muttered, "Bobby? What it is it? What's wrong?"
"Nothing's wrong. He's exactly the same as when you went to sleep two hours ago."
"TWO hou— Damn it, you promised you'd wake me up after one!"
Bobby growled. "And I would have too if you hadn't needed it so bad. It didn't matter. Dean hasn't so much as twitched."
Sam flew to his feet, his agitation coming back full force as he began to pace. "Why isn't he waking up? Shouldn't he be getting better?" He paused by the bed and reached down to touch his brother's cheek. "Look at him! He's barely breathing. He's cold—as ice cold as a damn corpse." Swinging away, the tall man pounded a fist into the wall. "God, did we do something wrong, Bobby? He should be awake by now!"
Having no words, no explanation in the face of the boy's distress, Bobby remained silent.
The young hunter threw himself into the chair that was pulled up as close to Dean's bed as it could get. Desperate, he grabbed a hold of Dean's wrist. "C'mon, bro, where are you? You need to get your ass back here!" Sam dropped his head down, resting his forehead against Dean's unnaturally chilled arm. "Sonuvabitch. I'm not gonna let you do this."
(SN) (SN) (SN)
He closed his eyes, on the edge allowing himself to sink into the pool of surrender when the wailing stopped. Dean raised his head in confusion. The sudden silence was more deafening than the doleful piercing racket had been. Something felt different, but he couldn't quite place at first exactly what it was.
Then it dawned on him. He felt warmth. For the first time in a long time, he felt warmth touch him. It started in his hand, on his arm, and it quickly spread. Before long, the sensation completely surrounded him and his shuddering came to an abrupt and welcome halt.
(SN) (SN) (SN)
"Dude, why the hell are you holding my hand?" The whisper was so soft it was barely audible, but Sam heard it. He heard it and his head snapped up so fast he risked whiplash. He met the somewhat glassy green eyes of his brother.
"Dean! You're awake! Thank God—I'd thought we'd lost you."
Voice still pitched in a low whisper, Dean teased, "Ahh, giraffe-boy, you should know you can't get rid of me that easily."
"Yeah, well, it was a close thing this time!"
"Is that why you're still holding my hand?"
"I am NOT holding your hand, dude. Wrist—it's your wrist." Sam grumbled around the giant, sunshine smile lighting up his face. He let go of his brother's arm. "How're you feeling?"
"Better. Warm. It's been a long time since I could say that. Hey, what happened to your thumbs? Why are they all bandaged up?"
"Ahh, it's nothing. Bobby and I will explain later."
Having forgotten the older man's presence, Dean glanced around until his eyes found their friend and fellow hunter. He then turned his attention to Sam and studied his younger brother's face intently before nodding and closing his eyes for a second to regain is equilibrium.
"You're sure your feeling all right?" A ghost of worry still weaved its way through Sam's tone.
Dean thought about his lost time in that icy blue nothingness. He suppressed a lingering shiver and concentrated on the warmth. "Yeah. I'm sure. Except . . ."
Sam felt his breath hitch. "Except what?"
A gravelly chuckle resounded throughout the motel room. Before either of the Winchesters could say anything else or even move, Bobby pulled his truck keys out of his front jean pocket.
"I'm on it."
Sam helped Dean sit up, noticing some color creeping back into his face. "You look like shit, you know that?"
Dean studied his younger sibling's face, seeing the dark circles and worry lines etched there. "Hey, pretty boy, look in the mirror—you don't exactly look like Miss America yourself right now."
Sam scowled and growled but couldn't keep his grin from coming back full force. "Yeah, well, whatever . . . welcome back, bro."
A few more Latin translations:
Meus cruor purgo -- my blood cleanses
frater -- brother
comitis -- friend
pneum -- breath
vires -- strength
fortitudo -- courage
libertas -- freedom
spero -- hope
vita -- life
delectio -- love
semper -- always