so, last chappy!! Hope this story didn't disappoint as i have never written a romance type story before. So this chappy broke my heart, and i have to admit i was tearing up again as i proofed it to post...so I guess there should be another kleenex warning...thanks for reading, and please let me know what you think!! Should i ever attempt another romance tpye story or steer far clear from it?? bambers;)

Chapter Sixteen

Understanding that Dean wasn't ready to leave Beth behind yet, Sam checked them back into the same motel they'd just checked out of. And over the next few days, he waited and watched for his brother to break down. Dean had went off on his own on several occasions, and Sam knew where he'd gone to, and gave him the space and time he needed to try and make sense of things.

On their third night there, Sam silently stood by as his brother headed out the door with a twelve pack of beer in hand, and after a short time decided to follow. By the time he'd reached the waterfalls, Dean already had two empty beer bottles lined up on the boulder, and was quickly downing his third.

Dean silently handed him a beer, and Sam cracked it open, took a quick gulp, and set it aside. Turning to look at his brother, Sam saw Dean's eyes were glistening with unshed tears, and that he was so lost in his own grief that he could see nothing else.

"Dean, Beth wouldn't want you to give up like this. She would want you to be happy."

Setting aside his empty bottle, Dean grabbed another beer and twisted off the cap, and hastily downed it. Sam glanced down at the roses in Dean's lap that were starting to wilt and lose their petals, and his heart broke all the more for his brother. He didn't know the right words to make everything okay again, and truthfully thought that even if he did, he doubted Dean would listen to him.

So he began with the only thing he did know, "When I lost Jess, I didn't want to go on . . . it hurt so much to even breathe knowing she wasn't doing the same. And I hated everyone and everything, until there was nothing left inside me but the need for revenge. But it didn't make her come back . . . and I know it doesn't mean much for me to say this, but it does get easier."

"Don't want it to get easier, Sammy . . . easier would mean she's beginning to fade to just a memory, an' I don't want her to just be a memory." he took another swig of his beer, and then angrily threw it at a tree. The bottle smashed, pieces of glass flying everywhere as a stain of beer spread down over the rough bark.

"I know, I felt the same way about Jess . . . God, I still feel the same way about her, but you can't let it take your life away from you, Beth wouldn't want that. She loved you, Dean, and I know you loved her too, so don't do that to her memory."

Dean lowered his head as he ran his fingers over the roses, petals scattering in the wind. "When we were in the graveyard that first night, Edgar said something to me. I only just recalled it as I was sitting here, and you were right, Sam, he wasn't trying to hurt me. He was tryin' to give me a gift . . . I think he knew I needed Beth as much as she needed me."

Sam's eyes narrowed as he peered at his brother, confused by his brother's words. "What did he say?"

"He said, 'a life no less important. It's my gift to you. Don't waste what has been given to you. You'll regret it if you do'. And it's really kinda hard to believe that a spirit knew what I needed when even I didn't."

"That's really not all that hard to believe, Dean. You spend so much of your life looking out for everyone else that you never take the time to consider yourself."

Glancing heavenward, Dean asked, "Do you think she knows, Sammy . . . really knows. . . ." his voice trailed off as he glanced back at Sam.

"Knows what?"

"How — how much I loved her . . . would've given anything to spend the rest of my life with her. Would've died for her."

"Yeah, Dean. I think she knows," Sam smiled, "anyone who knows you, knows that if you decide to give your heart away, there's no halfway with you . . . you love them completely and totally, and I'm sure Beth knew that."

Dean nodded, seemingly accepting his answer. "Think she'll wait for me?"

"Think she'd be crazy not to."

Dean smiled, but it didn't reach the depths of his eyes, and Sam knew it would be a long time before it did, but it was a start, and he was happy for it.

"Okay, Sammy, I'm ready to leave, but I wanna stop by the cemetery first."

XxXxXxXxXxXxX

Sam waited in the Impala as Dean stopped by Edgar's grave on his way to Beth's. Dean clutched firmly onto the roses he'd brought for her as he knelt beside Edgar's broken headstone. He was quiet for a long time, figuring out what he wanted to say, and then finally began.

"Not real good at this, especially with your being a dead guy an' all, but I wanted to thank you." A light breeze swept past him, and he felt a lightness in his heart that he hadn't felt since Beth had gone, and knew it was Edgar's way of thanking him for setting her free. "Just wanted to let you . . . well, wanted you to know I didn't waste the gift you gave me. And for what it's worth, I think Beth forgives you for what happened to her."

The wind suddenly stilled, and Dean heard a loud crack as Edgar's headstone broke into even more pieces. A swirl of gray mist floated upward from it, hovered above Dean for a moment and then drifted away to mingle with the clouds.

"Yeah," he nodded, "she definitely forgave you."

He stood, and walked through the trees to where he knew Beth's grave was, and dropped to his knees beside it. Placing the flowers down on the grass, he turned and rested his back against the cold gray marble.

"Beth," he began in a slightly strained voice, "just wanted you to know that you made me happier in the short amount of time that I'd known you, than anyone else ever possibly could. You touched my heart in places I didn't even know existed, an' I don't know how move on without you." He brushed away the single tear that slipped down his cheek. "An' I don't want to say goodbye . . . and I don't want to leave, knowing that I won't see you again, an' I need you to wait for me."

"Dean," came a softly whispered voice on the wind, and Dean glanced up and saw Beth's shimmery transparent image hovering beside him. She reached out and touched his face, and he leaned into her hand. "I'll wait for you, Dean . . . Always."

"I love you, Beth, from now until forever," he said, and watched as she faded away.