Chapter 6 - GOOD BYE'S and EPILOGUE

Sam and Dean came to a understanding after Dean made his point with his brother. They talked about expectations and consequences and rewards for his behavior. Each day they spent some time together, Sam now back on track as well as his roommate Ethan who had also had a similar discussion with his own older brother.

The rest of the week went by quickly for the Winchester brother's and soon the two were saying good bye. Sam walked Dean out to his car.

"Remember what I said Sammy. Behave yourself, do your homework, and call me every Friday. Got it?" Dean asked.

"Yes, sir," Sam replied.

Dean gave his kid brother a quick hug before he pulled away and gently slapping the back of Sam's head. "Alright Samantha, you've had your chick flick moment. I've got to go."

Sam laughed as he stuck his tongue out at his big brother and then side stepped the swat Dean directed at his backside. With a shake of his head Dean got in the impala and reversed. With a final wave Dean pulled away, looking back only once to see his baby brother waving good bye.

As Dean pulled up into the driveway at Bobby's he saw his dad looking so much better sitting on the porch with the older hunter. Dean felt a strange mixture of feelings. Excitement at the next hunt and that his dad looked ready and raring to go where ever they needed to and worries and concern regarding his little brother. He leaned back and sighed. Then opened the car door and stepped out.

"How's the kid?" John called, with Bobby giving Dean a knowing look.

"Okay Dad. He's on track and I think he's going to do just fine. He's got a real nice roommate. He has an older brother who looks out for him and promised to let me know how Sam's doing." Dean grinned.

John shook his head. "I'm glad you're back son. I'm mended now and we have a place to go and investigate. If you hadn't come back today Bobby and I would have gone together."

"I'm glad I'm back then too. It's good to see you up and around again Dad." Dean gave his father a grin, then turned and picked up his gear out of the Impala.

The next day had Dean and John Winchester on their way to seek out more baddies, carrying on the work of their hearts.

Dean kept his word to Professor Ross and visited Sam when ever his schedule permitted. Sometimes he could only stay for a few hours but Sam was always just happy to see his big brother.


Four years later…

Dean sat proudly and watched his brother graduate not knowing that a short time later the normalcy of Sam's life would be shattered. For that moment though, Dean stood tall and proud, next to Ian, along with Jessica as their brother's and her love tossed their caps in the air. When the ceremony had officially ended Dean, Jessica and Ian found Sam and Ethan. "Sammy!" Dean yelled. Sam looked over at his brother and waved, making his way over to the two older brothers and his very proud fiancée, his roommate Ethan in tow.

As the noise and hubbub of the celebrators surrounded him, Sam reflected, remembering, always, the lesson of respect his brother had taught him. His professors had been pleasantly surprised at the change in both Sam and Ethan. The two disrespectful boys were no longer…in their place were the young men their big brothers knew they could be.

His doing well in college was due in part to feeling secure in the knowledge that his big brother would always be there for him no matter what. Sam had had fun, going out and socializing, but always being certain to have completed his assignments and taking study time first. Every Friday he had called his big brother with news of the week. His school and family ethic helped him win not only a full scholarship to law school, but his first true love…Jessica.

Dean met Jess during one of his visits and like Sam, fell in love with her instantly. It was with Dean's blessing that the two moved in together. It was with Dean's guidance that Sam bought an engagement ring.

Dean had been there the day Sam got his acceptance letter to law school. The two, along with Jessica, celebrated Sam's getting a full ride and not having to worry about how his education would be paid for.

As the celebration around Sam came back into focus he grinned up at his big brother and shouted proudly, "I did it Dean!"

Dean smiled and nodded his head. For the Winchesters life was great... nothing could ruin that...or so they thought.

Four months later…

Dean, with a reluctant Sam, went in search for their father who had gone missing.

The results were futile and Dean took Sam back home...back to the world of normal. The normalcy was shatter minutes later when Sam lie on his bed, staring at the ceiling and saw the love of his life pinned there, flames all around. Sam couldn't force himself to move... he wouldn't have either if it hadn't been for Dean.

Dean had come back, knowing something was wrong... knowing that his baby brother needed him. When Dean was almost five years old he ran out of a burning house with his brother in his arms... now 23 years later he did it again. The difference? When he was six months old Sam didn't have a choice but to follow his brother this time he did... this time he had a choice... he chose... he would do what he did every other time in his life... he followed his big brother.