Epilogue: Eight Days Later
Sam came into the kitchen where Bobby was making coffee. His wound was healing and although it would scar it wouldn't be too noticeable. Bruises had faded to a yellow cast and his strength had returned.
"Mornin' Bobby." Sam took the offered cup of coffee with an exchanged smile and looked at his old friend. Joshua had left for home yesterday to allow his arm to heal. The house was quiet and no one had seen Ruby since she had helped Dean settle Sam on a bed. "Dean wasn't in our room. Where is he Bobby?" Sam asked as he put three sugars and two shots of creamer into the near boiling liquid.
"Back porch. Nightmare woke him up. Said he wanted some air." Bobby handed him a cup of black coffee. He turned and walked through the house with the two steaming mugs in his hands. He found Dean leaning on the railing, staring sightlessly at the horizon. He bumped shoulders with his older brother and handed him the cup of black tar Bobby was famous for.
"Hey." Sam said.
"Hey." Dean echoed. He held the coffee but didn't drink the steaming brew.
"Not really." Dean took a gulp to cut himself off from talking too much. He hoped to burn his tongue to keep from spilling his guts in one huge rush. He dropped his eyes to his right wrist where his stitches had been removed a couple days ago. A long red scar was visible. He had a hard time looking at it. He swallowed and looked away. From Sam, from the scar, from everything but the guilt he felt.
"Dean, look at me." Dean blinked harshly and kept his eyes averted. "Dean. Look. At. Me." He turned his green eyes to Sam's hazel ones and willed the moisture away. Sam spoke. "I don't blame you for any of this. You know that, don't you? I never could blame you for this. It wasn't you pulling the strings."
"I tried to kill you Sammy!" Dean choked out.
"And I'm glad." Dean turned at that with a horrified look on his face.
"What?" He whispered.
"I'm glad." Sam repeated. "It proves that you are strong enough to do it if it ever came down to that. I can feel evil all around me Dean. You are the only thing that keeps it at bay. Your strength. That's it. Proving you're strong enough to keep that promise you made. To Dad. To me. That keeps me hoping that I am strong enough to beat this. You give me hope."
"Did Bobby tell you how I got this?" Dean growled as he gestured to the raw scar that graced the top of his wrist.
"I tried to cut off my hand, Sam. I saw powder residue from that gun I used on you and I freaked. I burned myself with hot water, trying to wash it off and when I still saw it there, even though it wasn't, I tried to cut my damn hand off! I'm not your strength. I'm too weak to be anyone's strength." Dean averted his eyes and Sam missed the lone tear the coursed down Dean's bruise shadowed cheek.
Sam swallowed hard and turned away. Dean stifled a sob as Sam walked wordlessly back into the house. I've lost him in so many ways. Dean's mind shouted at him and he berated himself. My brother may be alive but he's still gone. He's gone. Sammy.
Sam returned and held out a small brown paper wrapped bundle. He didn't say anything. Dean looked at him wordlessly and dropped his gaze to the rumpled paper. He took it from Sam's outstretched hand and opened it. Inside was a dark brown leather band. It was about two inches wide and had two silver snaps on it. The leather was textured beautifully and each of the snap faces had a Devil's Trap engraved into the sterling surface.
"What's this for?" Dean caressed the leather and ran a finger over the snaps. Sam pulled it from his hand and opened it. He placed it over Dean's scarred wrist and snapped it together.
Sam turned Dean's now leather clad wrist over and raised it to Dean's face so that he was looking at the tiny twin Devil's traps. "And protected."
Dean pulled Sam into the tightest hug in his life. Sam returned it just as tightly. "I…"
Sam cut him off. "Me too, Dean."
A/N: I like Ruby's character and am thinking about delving into my version of her past. Why Bhairavi called her by a different name and mentioned a brother, an Indestructible Twin. Let me know if you think it would make a worthy story. The more comments I get the more likely I'd be to sit down and write it. Some of you out there have to like Ruby and are dying to know more about her. Although I don't know any more than the rest of you I think I could make my take on things an interesting read even though it will turn out to be off base.
Hit the little button, people, and let me know what you think of this fic and the idea of me going into bizarre new territory. Thanks so much for reading and giving your opinions. Cookies for all who read, extra chocolaty Sam and Dean for all that Review!