Thanks for the awesome reviews! For those who've kept reading, I hope you will enjoy this. And for those who missed the warning last chapter, let me say it again. This has mentionsof character death!

3/3 Future

Skillet – Say Goodbye.

She took the empty glass in one hand and wiped the bench down with the other. It was late Thursday night- or should she say early Friday morning? No matter, it was the same thing. Just when she thought the last customer was finished for the night, the doors swung inwards and a man walked in, his eyes downcast with melancholy. She seemed drawn to him, not in that way but in a way that made her stop time just to listen to his story. He sauntered up to the bench like a lifeless zombie, his arms swinging uselessly by his side as he strode up to her and sat down heavily on the stool, his shoulders slumping.

If it wasn't for the grunt that resembled his desired tequila shots for the night, she'd have doubted he even realized that she was there at all.

The first shot was downed and soon she had to provide them quicker than she could collect them. After the sixth, he laughed all of a sudden. She stopped dead in her tracks and dared to lift her eyes.

"Sweetie, are you alright?" She asked nervously.

Again, he chuckled and for the first time he looked at her with those piercing blue eyes of his.

"Me? Yeah, I'm perfect."

She could tell that he was anything but perfect. He leaned in closer, and for a fraction of a second she felt afraid but was soon replaced by sorrow.

"You know," He started. "I'm turning 25 today."He threw his head back and downed another shot.

"Happy birthday sweetie. Shouldn't you be celebrating your 25th with someone?" She regretted the words as soon as they left her mouth. The stranger before her shook his hand and bit his lip.

There was a heavy silence that hung in the air as he tilted his head inwardly to the side, as if secretly in deep thought. She could almost seem to hear his thoughts- as if contemplating whether or not he should tell her.

She felt like an intruder in his world, even though she worked here, as she stood opposite of him, waiting and watching.

"I lost my brother." He finally whispered. His voice cracked as he slammed his fist down forcefully on the bench.

She didn;t flinch, didn;t withdraw with fear or surprise as she placed a hand on his shoulder. Clear, blue orbs gazed into hers once again, so helpless and so lost, so exhausted but yet never resting.

She didn;t know why the words just came out of her mouth as if they would help the man before him. It just felt right to say it.

"Darling, you just gotta keep searching. You;ll find him sooner or later."

His nostrils flared as he tensed and she momentarily wondered if she had broken him to the limits by saying that.

Things are changing
It seems strange and
I need to figure this out
You've got your life
I got mine
But you're all I cared about
Yesterday we were laughing
Today I'm left here asking
Where has all the time gone now
I'm left alone somehow
Growing up and getting older
I don't want to believe it's over

Dean had died. Dean did die and Dean was dead. That was all Sam could think about as he sat by himself in the Impala- in the passenger seat. People walked by and didn;t think it odd that Sam didn;t have a driver in the vehicle. And neither did Sam. He felt like he didn;t deserve to own the Impala since it hadn;t been officially given to him.

It was Dean who had fixed the car after the run-in with the Yellow-Eyed Demon and his semi-trailer. Sam didn't deserve to drive the car. Sam didn't deserve to have a brother who was now in Hell because of him, and Sam didn't deserve to live this life that had caused his family so much pain and suffering.

Sam's eyes were red-rimmed but he no longer cried. He didn't have the strength to deal with the aftermath of his breakdown, nor did he have the strength to piece the broken pieces of his shattered and torn heart back together.

Sam sat there, staring off into the distance as he wondered what the strange girl was talking about back at the bar. Dean was lost to him, so why did she tell him to keep searching? Didn't she know how stupid and childish that sounded? He snaked his hand to the rearview mirror and readjusted it so that his eyes bore deep into the ones of his very own.

Tired and broken, alone and frustrated was what gazed back at him.

Sam swallowed hard.

Something about his eyes was different- like they were haunted. The dark shadows lingered in the depths of his soul that emanated from his eyes. Sam had interviewed so many grieving people in their line of work before that he knew why they held that look. It was the look that told everyone who dared lay eyes on them that they had lost someone. He had never understood that look in the eyes, the dead and unstaring look.

And now Sam understood.

000

Sam sat on the bed in the motel room. He didn't know what to do- there was nothing he could do. He felt so helpless, like he wasn't important in this world anymore. There had been a time when he felt like he was someone, someone called Sam Winchester who he proudly announced to be John Winchester's son and Dean Winchester's brother. But now, who were John and Dean Winchester?

Sam felt like being stranded on an island, the stormy sea threatened to imprison him and drown him.

The pillows up against his chin once felt soft but now, they felt hard like they had no reason to be soft anymore. The mattress seemed like a plank of wood beneath him, hard and unforgiving. Sam didn't feel anymore, he didn't know how to.

Dean had been Sam's everything. Dean is still Sam's everything.

Sam knew. Sam had always known that Dean was a born hunter but Sam was a boy that liked school and looked forward to red A's on his test papers. If Sam wasn't a Winchester, the two of them would never cross paths, never even come close to being friends because they both looked at life in a different light. They both had different goals but Sam disregarded the differences and his brother was all he cared about, especially when John had sold his soul.

The reality of it came crashing down on him as he dwelled in his sadness. The word alone had never taken such a deep effect on him. Being alone filled his being with dread as he realized no one would be watching his back, and no one to return the favor to. One wrong move and he would be gone- no one to double check, no one he could talk with to help him ease the stress off his shoulders.

Sam had thought about it- he could hunt with Bobby but he didn't want to feel like he was a burden or someone who couldn't pick themselves up like a toddler. Sam didn't want to believe it was over, not now, not ever. But it is, and time will never rewind itself back to the way when everything was just perfect.

Don't say goodbye
Cause I don't wanna hear those words tonight
Cause maybe it's not the end for you and I
And although we knew
This time would come for me and you
Don't say anything tonight
If you're gonna say goodbye

Dean had never sad goodbye to Sam. He had never meant it permanently. Sure, Sam's heard him say it to poltergeists, shapeshifters, vampires and demons when he was sending them back to hell, but all those times it hadn't bothered Sam since it wasn't directed at him. Images assaulted him- images of Dean doing normal things on normal days- the cocking of the shotgun, the slamming of the trunk or how Dean's actions meant so much more than spoken words.

Sam dwelled on the fact that he'd never see the way Dean live his life as a brother and best friend to Sam. The thought of it made his stomach churn as he tried to control his breathing. He laid down on the bed and focused on the motel wall- anything but the ceiling. The beat of his heart pounded in his ears. He didn't dare move a muscle, afraid that such a small movement would make him lose it completely and throw up over his bed.

Sam strongly protested against throwing up, especially when Dean wasn't around to place a comforting hand on his back and whisper soothing words of reassurance. Sam felt like he was in an ocean without a life-jacket, drowning as waves of water splashed over him. There was nothing to keep him afloat, nothing for him to hold on to and put his trust in to take him back to shore, back to safety. Back home.

Do you remember
In December?
How we swore we'd never change
Even though you're leaving
That our feelings
Would always stay the same
I wish we could be laughing
Instead I'm standing here asking
Do we have to end this now
Can we make it last somehow
We both know what we've gotta say, not today
Cause I don't wanna leave this way

The rain belted down on Sam as if the heavens were angry at him for not saving Dean. Heavy droplets of water splashed onto his face, soaking his clothes. His skin became clammy and cold but he didn't care- he didn't feel it. Sam sprinted down the deserted streets, pass normal families in hours that spend stormy nights drinking hot chocolate in front of their TV.

Sam has no family to go to now, so he ran with no set destination like a blind man groping for sight. Sam was desperate for this to be one terrible nightmare, but the only answer to his prayer was a flash of light that lit up the sky followed by claps of thunder that echoed around him, and if it was even possible, the rain fell harder.

Tears of frustration made their way down Sam's face but as quickly as they sprung, they were washed away. Sam's chest heaved as his lungs fought to pull oxygen in as his legs threatened to break under his weight. Water continued to whip at him, the torture seemed to never end. "Why?" Sam screamed. He didn't care if people thought he was insane- the streets were deserted anyway.

"Why did you have to take my brother?" He shouted loud enough for the next state to hear until his throat burned and his voice became raspy. Sam collapsed on all fours, his clothes not able to soak any more water as the rain just slid off him. He pounded his fists on the ground as if knocking on Hell's doors, and hey isn't that funny? Dean's in hell and Sam's not getting him back.

"Dean..." He whispered. Sam clenched his teeth together and squeezed his eyes shut when suddenly the rain seemed to have stopped.

"Son, are you alright? Do you need a hand?" A man asked, holding an umbrella over their heads as he peered down at him. Sam felt stupid and small. No one ever peered down at him. "Leave me alone!" He cried, but it came out as a child's plea. Sam pushed the man's knees weakly, beckoning him to let him be. The man stumbled backwards, and the rain was back again, as if telling him that he had done something wrong.

"Son I can help." He started, his voice gentle but loud above the roaring rain. "No, no you can't. You can't bring back the dead!" Sam bellowed, annoyed at the look of understanding in the man's eyes.

"C'mon let's get you up." The umbrella was over him once again, strong arms grasped his own and he was too weak to protest. How this man could help Sam was beyond him.

000

Sam's legs wobbled underneath him and he was barely holding up his own. The man had an arm wrapped around his shoulders with a strong grip. Sam wanted to feel safe, wanted to feel the comfort that he longed for but he couldn't. He felt like this would be betraying his brother, to feel and compare this man to him. His grip around his arm was so much like Dean and Sam wanted to hate himself. He felt sick at his thoughts.

Dean was unique, Dean was his brother. And now he was comparing a stranger to him. The desire to have someone beside him filling in that role was so strong he couldn't hide it under the surface anymore.

The doors were pushed open and there was a roof above their heads. Their footsteps echoed as Sam sat on a bench while the man lit some candles on the table. The church made itself known as more and more candles were lit, the dark corners still shadowed but the aisle was dim.

"Young man, what's your name?" He asked.

"Sam." He croaked. "Sam Winchester."

The man nodded. "I'm Father Wilson Reece." Sam didn't care. "Sam? What happened? What drove you out there to face the rain by yourself?"

Sam didn't answer. He was tired of all this.

"You lost someone, I know."

Sam's eyes rose to meet Father Reece's. "How'd you know?"

"When you accused me that I couldn't bring back the dead, I saw it in your eyes."

"But you can't." He whispered. "You can't right?"

Father Reece's heart ached for the man as he heard the glimmer of desperate hope in his voice.

Shaking his head sadly, he answered. "No, Sam. No one can do that, but I know how you feel. I lost my daughter a little over four months ago. It was just me and her; a family."

And just like that, the roles were switched.

"Yeah, but she wouldn't want you to dwell over her death." Sam replied straight away. He didn't even think about it, it was in his nature to understand people's feelings and try to make them feel better.

"Sam, listen to yourself! What makes you think your relative or friend you lost would want you suffering like this?"

"Brother." Sam whispered. "He was my brother. He taught me how to do everything. He was there for me right from the start. He was there for me, but in the end I wasn't there for him. I'm the last man standing, he died for me!"

"I'm sure your brother wouldn't regret anything, Sam."

Sam's eyes shot straight up. "How do you know?" He rasped. "You didn't know him, how could you be so sure?"

"It's simple. A man can tell so much just by looking at one person. Sam, if he didn't love and if you didn't love him, would you be mentally punishing yourself? It's not your fault. He knows, Sam."

Sam stood up and walked to the table glowing from the candles. His hands trailed pass everything as he closed his eyes.

House rules, Sammy. Driver picks the music. Shotgun shuts his cakehole.

As long as I'm around, nothing bad is gonna happen to you.

Sam, I want to be a family again, you know?

Dean's voice rang in his ears. He felt like he was standing right next to him.

"te amo, Dean. gratias ago vos." Sam whispered as a candle blew out, but surprisingly he felt warm. He felt Dean's presence in his heart, his voice guiding him and urging him on.

Father Reece smiled, understanding the language of Latin. He was surprised Sam had used it, and he pretended that he didn't hear what was said.

Don't say goodbye
Cause I don't wanna hear those words tonight
Cause maybe it's not the end for you and I
And although we knew
This time would come for me and you
Don't say anything tonight
If you're gonna say goodbye

Sam turned to face him, a smile lighting on his face. He shook the Father's hand and thanked him, hoping that they would cross paths one day.

"You're welcome, Sam. You're a good man."

"I'm sorry about your daughter."

He shook his head, smiling. "I know she knows I love her. And I know she returns the favor unconditionally. And I know it's the same with your brother too."

Sam smiled, tears shining in his eyes.

000

Sam finally understood. Goodbye meant final. Dean wasn't never going to see him again. John was sent to Hell, but he had saved their lives that night. Who knows, maybe he'll open the Devil's Gate again. Sam snorted at that one. Even if he doesn't go ahead with that plan, Sam knew that Dean will live forever in his memory. Sam was certain. And he had never been so certain in his life.

Saying goodbye to Father Reece had been painful, though. He was a stranger, he had pulled him from the rain and accepted him into his church, willingly helped him out. Such kindness of strangers out there, but that's nothing compared to the amount of evil. Sam promised himself that he would keep hunting, protect all the people he could.

There were good people out there, ones that really shone in crowds, and Sam wasn't just going to let them die.

The walk out the church's door was awkward, but comforting. Father Reece had put a familiar warmth back in his being that he could never forget and at the same time he could never thank with simply words of appreciation.

And if it's over
It hurts but I'm giving you my word
I hope that you're always
Happy like we were
Happy like we were

After he had left the church, Sam was going to drive the Impala to the closest diner but he forgot about that idea long ago. It was still raining when he stepped outside, so in haste of getting into the Impala, his keys dropped on the floor of the car.

Bending over to pick them up, Sam suspiciously eyed the crumbled piece of paper under the driver's seat. Putting the keys in the ignition and turning the heater on, he unfolded the paper as his heart clenched to see Dean's writing.

Dear Sammy.

I guess this is it. I hope you're not pouring your heart out as you're reading this, because hey remember, even though the car's yours, don't ruin it with your tears. The driver's seat is special, remember. Don't let anyone drive the car, don't let anyone touch it and if you need company, take it around for a drive to soothe your feelings.

Sam, I know how hard this is for you. For that I'm terribly, truly sorry. I couldn't survive a day without you, and knowing that you're forced to live years without me hurts so much. (And you better live years, Sam!)

The Impala is all yours now. Remember after you killed Gordon? That was the day I officially handed my baby to you. She's been in every hunt with us and has saved our lives countless times. Hell, she even survived a crash of her own.

Don't dwell on the past, Sam. Look into the future. Continue hunting, or have kids! Don't think what I would want you to do, think what you'd want to do. I'm here supporting you all the way Sam, whatever you choose. Don't follow Dad's footsteps and forget about what your kids need. If you keep hunting Sam, seek Bobby's help. Be careful if you hunt solo, and always check things over.

I know you as one of the most skilful hunters out there Sam. Keep up the Winchester name. Kick some demon ass, brother. Go to the bar every so often, get laid Sam!

Don't forget the awesome moves I taught you, especially on how to get a girl drooling all over you. I know you're stronger than me, stronger than Dad. You can overcome this. Don't be obsessed with evil so that it takes over everything. And don't let your emotions win the fight, and don't ever take it out on the Impala.

You are not to remember me as a major chick flick all because of this letter- no, that's all you. I'm your handsome big brother that gets all the chicks, but I guess one chick flick can pass.

Sam, I hope you can be happy like we were, happy like you always were as a little toddler asking questions to an adult Sasquatch. I can honestly say that I have no regret in me for doing what I did, and I have never been so honest in my life.

If you ever need to talk to someone, and Bobby's busy with work, talk to the car. You can think that I'm there listening in the passenger seat. Don't ever feel alone because you never were and you never will be. You know who's standing behind your back. You've got crowds of people supporting you, cheering you on. Don't give up. You never were that type of person.

You know I adore your handsome ass, but I won't spendlines andlines explaining that four letter L word. Chick flicks can only go so far until it becomes corny. You know what I mean, Sam. I know you adore my face too, dream of having it at night. Some things haven't been said between us but I know, Sam. You might think I don't, but I understand. Unconditional love doesn't come easy for most people, but it does to me. Especially when you have a geek-boy brother called Sammy Winchester.

And if you're thinking how I know the word unconditional, I'm so gonna kick your ass. I know I'll see you soon, Sam. We saw Dad and he was in the same position as me. I'm positive. Just you wait.

And did you think I'd forget your 25th, Sam? Happy Birthday, you giant little brother of mine. I'll tell you what you can do, set yourself a record and see how many women you get to sleep with. If you beat mine, then you got it goin'.

Don't think I won't be there to celebrate these dates with you. You know where I am, and I don't mean downstairs. Knowing you for my entire life, you'll never forget me and just know it's a two way street.

Until then, Sammy, you bitch. I can almost hear you say Jerk. And now I can almost see you laughing.

Dean.

Yesterday we were laughing (if you're gonna say goodbye)
Today I'm left here asking (if you're gonna say goodbye)
And although we knew this time would come for me and you
Don't say anything tonight
If you're gonna say goodbye

The letter shook in Sam's sweaty hands as he read it over and over again.

Was it pure coincidence that Dean had written this letter for him and thought about his 25th birthday, when today was Sam's 25th?Sam lifted his gaze towards the sky and saida quick prayer of thanks.

He had finally found what he was looking for. He had finally found Dean. Wasting no time, he stepped on the pedal and headed off to the place he had to be.

000

The doors swung inward and there was something off about the man that strode in. He seemed oddly familiar but- with a gasp of realization she realized he was the man that he had spoken to last week! She felt relieved and happy just looking at him, like an unknown burden had lifted from her shoulders. He had his chin up high, his clear crystal eyes scanning the place as if he had done it his entire life.

It was obvious he hadn't come here for a drink. He sat down in front of her with a lop-sided grin, so small that she'd miss it if she wasn't looking hard enough.

But she was.

"What can I get for you, sweetie?" She asked, a strong hint of curiosity in her voice.

"I came here to say thank you." His voice was clear and gentle. "What you said to me the other day…you have no idea how much you helped me snap my eyes back to reality."

She smiled kindly as there was an awkward but understanding silence between them.

"You're a nice person." He said finally. "A nice girl." He said this with thankful affection, not the flirting she got everyday, Hell, something told her that it'd be the last thing he'd do if it came to dating. Smiling, she nodded as he mirrored her action and turned to leave.

Something told her that she won't be seeing him for quite a long time. As he left, she was left with wonder and amazement at how this stranger could be so thankful to something she had said that day.

000

As Sam exited the bar, the sadness and grief in his life seemed to leave him with each step that was taken towards Dean's Impala- Sam's Impala. A part of it would always remain Dean's, but it was now Sam's turn to drive it.

The letter sat in the passenger seat as the Impala sped through the highway.

The stars twinkled and shone with happiness in the night as they watched the black vehicle along the stretch of road.

"Just you wait, Dean. I'll be seeing you again some time soon. Just you wait." He said to the empty car. From the corner of his eye, he could picture his brother sitting beside Sam, smiling and humming to the music.

He knew it was just all his imagination, but Sam could've sworn he saw an outline of him. He made a promise to himself, a promise to Dean and was confident that he would fulfill his wish.

The first thing Sam had to do was to take revenge, and the other was to finally see Dean again. And Sam thinks he knows just how to do that. Time just needed to be on his side.

He breathed in and filled his lungs with the scent that screamed Dean. Sam Winchester was by himself in the world, but in his heart, mind and spirit he knew alone was far from it.

Sam has his friends, his father, pictures of his mother, Jessica and the person who's been there with him all his life, Dean. Warmth spread through him and Sam felt reborn again.

And that was all he needed to survive in this crap-hole of a world.

Fin.

First and foremost I must thank my two wonderful friends, Jess and Louise for being there for me while I wrote this. -hugs- Thanks a mega bunch!

Latin Translations: "te amo Dean. gratias ago vos" means "I love you, Dean. Thank you."

And lastly, don't forget to tell me if you enjoyed it or not!