Here it is—the happy ending. I'd like to thank everyone who's read and reviewed this story, especially all my constant reviewers! You guys are great.
Dean slowly opened the bedroom door. It opened soundlessly, without a single creak or groan of rusted hinges.
That made sense. The house was, after all, relatively new, clean, and comfortable. It was the kind of house that happy couples bought to raise their children.
Well…it had been.
Now it just resembled a bomb site.
The fireworks that Ruby set off had blasted two gaping holes in the house—one in the ceiling, the other in the staircase. It had started raining softly outside, and drops of rain cascaded down through the hole in the roof to ripple in the flooded downstairs area. A few scattered flames still struggled against all the water to consume what was left of the ruined house.
"Damn…" Dean muttered, shining his flashlight around so that he could see the devastation. The beam cut through the darkness, casting an eerie glow over everything.
Ruby shook her head. "I hope they have great insurance."
Dean let out a breath and tiredly ran a hand over his face. "I hope they're still alive."
Sam didn't answer. His gaze was fixed further down the dark hallway.
Dean looked over at his brother. "Sam?" he muttered. "What is it?" When Sam didn't answer Dean pointed his flashlight in the direction of his brother's gaze.
The beam landed on a shape lying on the floor.
Dean's breath caught in his throat.
Bobby was lying motionless on the carpet, a deep red stain spread out around him. His eyes were open, lifeless, and his neck was bent at an odd angle.
"No." Dean whispered, horrified. His feet felt like they were frozen to the floor. He wanted to rush over and try to help him, but deep down he knew that it was too late. Bobby's baseball cap had fallen off his head, and suddenly all Dean could think about was how strange he looked without it.
Ruby stared down at the man she had repeatedly argued with, shouted curses at, and tried to ignore for the past few days. She felt something flare up inside of her. "He died helping us, didn't he?" she muttered. "Trying to singlehandedly keep all the demons at bay and rid the world of evil."
Sam looked over at her and swallowed, suddenly aware of how dry his mouth had become. "Yes." He said simply.
There was nothing else to say.
Ruby pursed her lips and glared. She was angry—furious. How could this have happened? She opened her mouth, ready to rant about how stupid the man had been. There was absolutely no way any reasonably sane person would have stood up against all those demons, it was suicide. Suicide!
"That's so…so…" she trailed off, her unusually shaky voice unable to form any words to express what she was really thinking. She sighed. "Typical." She said tiredly, her voice lacking its usual venom. She eyed the man with even greater respect and smiled softly. "Figures he'd die like that." She paused, and then, because she had no idea what else to say, said the only thing she could think of. "Bastard."
Sam blinked and then glanced at her.
She looked away.
The stood there silently for a few moments, each lost in thought.
Suddenly, without any warning at all, the entire walkway they were standing on lurched sideways away from the wall with a loud grinding sound.
Ruby and Sam managed to stay on their feet, but Dean fell to the floor and slid across the tilted surface toward the banister—
Sam instinctively reached out a hand and grabbed onto his brother's arm, stopping his fall right before he could plunge into the downstairs area.
Dean's hunting instincts kicked in, and he hurriedly moved his feet underneath him and carefully climbed to his feet. "What the hell?" he shouted angrily.
The house creaked and groaned all around them. Thankful that he had kept a grip on his flashlight, Dean quickly lifted his arm and slowly swept the beam from left to right.
The light revealed what he already knew—they were in serious trouble.
"Not good..." Sam muttered. "Not good at all…"
A loud splintering sound drew their attention, and they stared as the wooden staircase collapsed completely with a crash and the walkway began peeling further away from the wall.
"The damn house is falling apart!" Dean said.
"No shit, Sherlock." Ruby spat back at him. "Any other useless observations you'd like to make?"
Dean returned her glare. "Well, at least I'm not the one who had the bright idea of setting off fireworks in the house!" he replied hotly. "Genius, Ruby. Pure genius."
Sam rolled his eyes. "Can you two just give it a rest, already?" He said testily, "We need to get out of here."
Dean rolled his eyes. He glared at Sam and then without saying a word he turned and reached toward the bedroom door, careful not to make any sudden moves. "Follow me. We can jump out the window, that's probably the saf—"
The walkway collapsed.
It pitched sideways, dumping them like ragdolls toward the flooded downstairs.
Sam gasped. He squeezed his eyes shut and flung his arms out, waiting for the impact—
It never came.
"Uh…Sam?" Dean muttered.
Sam opened his eyes. All three of them were hovering in the air a foot away from the floor. Wood and plaster from the ceiling was splashing in the water all around them.
"Oh…" Sam muttered, staring around. "I just—"
"Shit, Sam! Put us down!" Ruby yelled in exasperation as she protectively covered her head with her hands. "The house is collapsing! This isn't the time to be doing a Peter Pan flying impression!"
Dean grinned. "Why not, Ruby? You could be Tinkerbell, small and annoying as hell…"
Ruby gritted her teeth. "You know what? I liked you better dead—"
Her words were cut off as all three of them abruptly completed the fall and landed with a splash on the floor. Dean thanked whoever was listening that the power was still out, because the last thing he needed was another heart attack.
Sam leapt to his feet just as a massive chunk of plaster slammed into the ground right where he had been lying. "Come on!" he yelled, and sprinted forward through the collapsing rooms, avoiding the bodies that were strewn all over the place. He could hear Dean and Ruby's footsteps pounding against the wooden floor behind him as they rounded the corner. They were almost safe—
He yanked open the front door and bolted outside into the cool night air, determined to get as far away from this nightmarish location as possible.
He made it as far as the street.
A crowd had gathered around the house—a crowd of terrified, confused neighbors. Sam skidded to a stop in front of them on the driveway's loose gravel.
They stared at him, and Sam stared right back, unsure of what to do. Behind him, the house groaned and creaked loudly as it continued to collapse.
Dean stopped right beside his brother. He critically studied the group of people with his eyes, trying to decide if they were demons or just…people.
"They're just people, Dean." Sam muttered softly.
Dean glanced at his brother and grinned softly, shaking his head. Sometimes he swore he and Sam were on the same wavelength…
"Oh…my…God!" a shrill voice shrieked. "You're alive! You're alive! Thank God!"
Dean turned slightly and saw Mrs. Fremont hurrying toward them. Her face was covered with soot, her clothes were torn, and there was a bloody gash across her forehead. Her eyes were red and puffy, and she looked as though sheer willpower was keeping her from passing out.
Ruby's mouth dropped open in genuine surprise. "Wait…you got out?"
She stopped in front of them, shaking uncontrollably. "You…Is it…I mean…It's over, right?" she questioned frantically, looking as though their answer would determine how long she could remain standing. "It has to be over…"
Her husband walked up beside her, carrying the little girl. "What happened?" he demanded.
Sam looked at him, and for a moment he considered telling the man everything. After all, He had a right to know that demons were a very real threat in the world—his own daughter had been possessed by one.
Sam realized that everyone was staring at him, waiting for him to speak. The silence pounded in his ears, broken only by the sounds of the collapsing house behind him. His eyes flicked to the little girl, her head resting on her father's shoulder, his arms wrapped protectively around her.
And Sam knew.
He could tell the family—and all their neighbors—everything that had happened. He could explain every gruesome fact with accurate detail and enlighten them with knowledge of the supernatural world.
And then what? What would that really accomplish?
That knowledge would shatter everything they thought they knew and fill their lives with constant fear and uncertainty.
Sam shook his head and looked back at the man. "It's over." He said simply. "That's all you need to know."
Mr. Fremont narrowed his eyes. "But—what was all that?" he demanded, pointing a finger toward the ruined house. "Something happened in there—something I can't even begin to explain—"
"Then don't." Sam interrupted softly. "Don't explain it, don't even try. You don't need to." He paused, and then gave him a sympathetic smile. "I would tell you to forget everything you saw tonight…but I know you can't. All I'm telling you is that it's over and you don't have to worry about anything like this ever again."
The man shook his head. "How can you be so sure?"
Sam shrugged. "You just have to trust me."
The man stared at him, long and hard, as though analyzing whether Sam was telling the truth. "I…I believe you." He finally said, running a hand down his face. Sam nodded.
The faint wail of sirens broke through the silence.
"Finally...the police." Mr. Fremont sighed. "Better late than never, I guess."
Dean took that as their cue to leave and stepped forward slightly. "I'm glad you three made it out alright," he said, "We've got to go."
Mrs. Fremont nodded, wiping a few tears away from her eyes. "Thank you." She said sincerely, and without warning she stepped forward and pulled Dean into a tight hug. "You...you saved our daughter. Thank you…thank you so much!" she exclaimed, and then started sobbing uncontrollably into his jacket.
Dean blinked and then awkwardly accepted her hug. At a loss for what to do, he reached up and patted her on the back. "Yes, well…" he muttered uncomfortably.
Mr. Fremont reached behind him and pulled the Colt from his back pocket. He held it out to Sam. "This belongs to you."
"Thanks." Sam said, taking the gun from his outstretched hand.
The sirens were getting steadily louder. "Let's go." Ruby muttered urgently.
Sam nodded. He knew that it wouldn't be good if they were still there when the police arrived. "Goodbye." He said quietly, his eyes locked on Mr. Fremont. "Take care of your family." He said firmly. "Family's what matters."
He nodded. "I will."
Ruby rolled her eyes. "Thank you for that touching sentiment, Sammy dearest." She said sarcastically. "I'm practically in tears. Quick, let's leave before I start crying." She began walking away, shaking her head.
Sam grinned and then followed her. The crowd of people parted slightly to let them through.
Ruby glanced back over her shoulder. "And for God's sake, Dean…she's married! Have some sense of decency, would you?"
Dean rolled his eyes and finally managed to detangle himself from the delicate and still crying Mrs. Fremont. Her husband instantly wrapped a comforting arm around her. "Will…will we e-ever see you all again?" the woman asked, wiping some tears from her face.
"I hope not." Dean said simply. He turned and followed the others.
The three of them walked away quickly, intent on putting as much distance as possible between themselves and the approaching police. Once they were under the cover of some trees they slowed down a little, the glow of Dean's flashlight the only light that they had to guide their way back to the car.
Sam finally let out a sigh of relief. They had done it—Dean was safe. His brother wasn't going to go to Hell. As that thought finally sunk in, the tension that had built up inside him over the past year trickled out. He glanced over at Dean and saw that his brother was already looking at him with a small smile on his face. "Looks like you did it, Sammy."
Ruby shook her head in exasperation. "Oh fine, give all the credit to Sam."
Dean's grin widened slightly. "Oh, I guess you did help a little—"
"Stop. Right. There." A voice commanded coldly.
Sam blinked in confusion and then turned slightly to his left—right into the barrel of a shotgun.
All three of them froze in place.
Sam felt Dean's hand clench tightly around his arm, but instead of thinking about how to get out of this situation, Sam found himself thinking about the voice—it was familiar. It was too dark for him to clearly make out the man's features, but Sam suddenly knew who it was.
"Uh…Bobby?" he said.
There was a small pause. "Sam?" the voice gasped. The shotgun lowered slightly and then snapped back up into place. "Wait…how do I know this isn't a trick?" he demanded suspiciously.
Sam opened his mouth to reply, but before he could Dean spoke up. "Point the damn gun somewhere else, Bobby. It's us."
There was an even longer pause. "…Dean??" the man stuttered. "But…but…how are you alive? There were demons everywhere, I couldn't get in—" he lowered the shotgun to his side. "And then the house collapsed…" he trailed off. "I thought both you boys were dead."
"Oh, you know us…" Dean said casually, "Takes a lot more than a demon army and some hellhounds to drag us down."
Sam glanced up at Bobby, suddenly realizing the issue that was nagging at the back of his brain. "Bobby…you're alive." He said slowly.
"Well, yeah." Bobby said. "Course I am."
"But…you died." Sam protested. "We found your body—"
"No." Dean said suddenly, piecing everything together. "He didn't die. It was the other Bobby that died…remember?"
"What?" Bobby said, confused.
Sam ran a hand over his face. "There were two…" he trailed off, mentally kicking himself for not remembering earlier. "How did we forget about that?"
Ruby shook her head and put her hands on her hips. "Probably because you're both clueless idiots." She said helpfully.
Bobby jumped at the sound of her voice. "Who the hell is that?" he demanded.
"Ruby." Sam and Dean said together in a monotone voice.
"What, you mean that demon chick? Why is she here?"
"Can't anyone ever be happy to see me?" Ruby questioned, annoyed. "Is that seriously too much to ask?"
Sam sighed. "Bobby…we'd probably all be dead right now if it wasn't for her." He paused for a moment. When he continued, his voice was strained. "So you can lower your gun…"
"Fine." Bobby said gruffly, lowering the shotgun again. "But I still don't like her."
Ruby rolled her eyes. "I've changed my mind." She said, "I liked him better dead too."
"Tough." Dean said. "He's alive and you're not killing anyone."
"Let's just go find the cars and leave." Sam said. "Get as far away from here as possible."
Bobby shook his head. "Now hang on one second, you still haven't told me what happened." He protested. "What did I miss?"
Ruby snorted. "What didn't you miss?"
"It's a long story, Bobby." Sam explained.
"Well, we've got time, right?" Bobby said. "Dean's not going to Hell anymore, is he?"
"Definitely not." Dean replied firmly. "No."
Bobby let out a sigh of relief. "Thank God…" he muttered. He paused for a moment and then pulled Sam and Dean into a tight hug. "Thank God."
Sam grinned and returned the hug, one arm around Bobby and the other around his brother. Dean sighed and hugged them both back tightly, too thankful that they had all survived to pull back.
A few moments of silence passed by.
Ruby let out a sigh and peered through the darkness. "You're all hugging again, aren't you?" She demanded disdainfully. "I swear, you guys hug more than a bunch of girls. It's disgusting."
Sam grinned wickedly and reached out an arm. "Ruby…do you feel left out?"
Ruby snorted, and the corners of her mouth turned slightly upward. "Don't even think about it."
Bobby released his hold on the boys and smiled. "I can't believe it's all over…" he said. "You are...sure…that it's over, right?"
"Yeah." Sam said. "The demons are gone. They'll never bother us again."
"Gone?" Bobby asked, confused. "Where did they go?"
Dean shook his head. "It's a really, really, really long story Bobby. Trust me, I don't even understand half of what happened."
Bobby's eyes narrowed. "But—"
"We'll tell you everything, okay?" Dean assured him, "But…can we go somewhere else? You know, somewhere that isn't a dark forest? Somewhere that's far away from all the police that are looking for some explanation as to why a new house collapsed and lots of people are dead?"
Sam grinned. "Somewhere like a diner, you mean?"
Dean's smile widened. "Exactly!" he exclaimed. "See, Sammy understands me."
Ruby groaned. "You're all insane."
"Why don't you come with us, Ruby?" Sam asked. "Now that we're friends and all."
Ruby's eyebrows shot up. "We're not friends."
Sam laughed. "We're practically friends."
"No, we're not."
"You know you love us." Sam said. "We get along so well."
"No we don't!" she protested. "We argue constantly and you ignore everything I say."
"Look, are you coming or not?" He demanded with a smirk.
"If I do, will you shut up?"
"Fine. I'll go." She said reluctantly. "But absolutely none of that Metallica crap in the car, do you hear me?"
Dean snorted. "Metallica crap? I'm hurt, Ruby. I play nothing but the best. You need to—"
"I know, I know," Ruby interrupted, annoyed, "I need to learn to appreciate the damn classics. I know."
"Besides," Dean said, "Driver picks the music."
Sam rolled his eyes. "Unfortunately…" he muttered with a smile, and then laughed when Dean reached over and smacked him upside the head.
Dean grinned. "So, Bobby, what do you say?"
Bobby chuckled. "We'll go somewhere so you can get some food, Dean…" he said, "But then you're all telling me what happened."
"Mmmm…pie…" Dean said dreamily, walking forward towards the cars. He heard Sam laugh behind him, and his grin widened.
It was so good to hear his brother laugh again.
And there you have it—the happy ending that Sam and Dean deserved. Even though I have no idea what's going to actually happen next season, hopefully I have succeeded in helping some of you feel slightly better about the horrifying end of Season 3. Thanks so much for reading!
PLEASE REVIEW and let me know your final thoughts!