A Crash Course in Road Safety Chapter 2.

"Dean..."

Sam kept whispering his brother's name, hoping he would suddenly materialise out of thin air.

"Dean..."

The pain was getting worse and Sam's despair grew, tears trickling down his face to mingle with the blood and rain. He couldn't think, couldn't see, couldn't move, and breathing was becoming a real task. The road beneath him became harder, colder somehow. He would've panicked but he didn't have the energy.

Sam knew he was dying, but that wasn't what scared him. He just kept thinking of that damn hunting knife and hoped Joey would still give it to Dean when Sam was gone.

"Dean..."

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Dean drove as fast as he dared, the nasty feeling in the pit of his stomach doubling, tripling in size...what the hell? Just growing with each damn mile that passed. The rain hadn't let up, and was in fact coming down even harder.

Shit Sammy, where the hell are you?



He'd tried his cell phone but it just went straight to voice mail. He'd called his father and explained where he was and why he was still out. John had told Dean to calm down, and that he was heading out to join him.

He might have missed it.

In fact, it was amazing that he saw anything at all given how bad the weather was, but a dull gleam reflected in the Impala's head lamps just caught his eye, and as he got closer he realised it was a motorbike, a mass of twisted metal and shattered fibreglass on the side of the road.

Dean's heart nearly jumped up his windpipe and out his mouth when he recognised it as Sam's motorbike. He slammed on the brakes and as the car came to a jarring halt, Dean was out the driver's door, frantically searching for his brother.

"Sammy!" Dean scanned the road; gaze almost panicked as rain poured in rivulets down his face and dripped off his nose. "Sammy!" Though he'd be surprised anyone could hear him above the thundering rain. "Sam, you out here somewhere buddy? Talk to me!"

He dived back into the Impala and grabbed the flashlight out of the glove compartment, wondering why he hadn't thought of it before, and as he lit up the immediate area, a yellow iridescence flashed across his view. It looked like a reflective jacket, like the ones used by cops in bad weather.

He started running.

"Sam!" Dean yelled, he could now just make out the shape of someone lying on their back just off to the side of the road, the Perspex visor of a crash lid reflecting the dull light



As he drew nearer Dean's pace gradually slowed as he took the in damage, and he also prayed that it wasn't Sam.

"Oh my god!" He crashed to his knees besides his injured little brother uncaring of the pouring rain. Dean didn't know where to begin; his eyes, sweeping up and down Sam's body seemed to encounter blood and yet more blood. But he couldn't see his face; the visor had a huge crack running across it, starting at Sam's left temple and ending down near the right side of the jaw guard.

Dean felt lost, and for once just didn't have an answer, let alone a smart assed one. So he reached out, offering comfort instead and gently held his brother's right hand for a moment, which to his surprise elicited a small whimper, and Sam's hand weakly curled around his. Dean leaned over Sam, protecting him from the rain, and raised the visor carefully.

"You with me Sammy?" he called out. Sam's eyes remained closed but Dean could just about see round the jaw guard as his lips moved slightly, and Dean leaned in closer, horrified at the fresh blood that leaked out the corner of Sam's mouth. In fact Sam's face seemed to be awash with blood.

"De..an..." It was weak and breathless, but it was there. It didn't seem like Sam was about to regain full consciousness however, so Dean gently pried his hand free.

"Sammy, you're gonna be ok. I'm just goin' to the trunk and getting a blanket for ya. I'll be right back, I promise." He hated leaving him, even for the short run to the car, but Dean needed to call 911 and he had a small two-man dome tent in the trunk which he could rig up as a shelter for Sam.



Dean didn't even want to think about Sam's injuries right now because he was worried about his ability to focus as it was, but he just couldn't stop the images flooding his mind. Sam seemed to be covered in blood, and the entire left side of his body...oh god!

He placed the call to the emergency services, then called his Dad again.

Dean suddenly stopped, bent down and angled his head towards the tree line in order to throw up.

The entire left side of Sam's body looked like burnt flesh,

His jeans had melted on to his legs...

Oh God Sammy!

This wasn't helping, and Sam wasn't getting any better.

Sam's dying!

As soon as that realisation hit, Dean went into denial. And that's what kicked him into gear. He grabbed the tent, the blanket, the first aid kit – for what little use it might be – and a bottle of water, then raced back to his brother, unwilling to leave him alone for any longer than necessary.

"Ok kiddo, I'm back. Let's get you outta this rain huh?" Dean threw Sam a shaky smile as he grabbed the tent canvas and fly-sheet, ripping it free of the outer casing, and started setting up a makeshift shelter. It wasn't ideal – nothing about this situation was ideal – but it kept the rain off, and Dean could now attempt to keep his brother warm. "The ambulance is on its way and it won't be long before you're tucked up in a nice warm bed." Dean, voice as shaky as his smile, tried to sound cheerful, though he was as far removed from cheerful as it was possible to get under the circumstances.



He covered Sam with the blanket, trying not to aggravate his injuries any further.

"Dean..."

Dean leaned over him and smiled when he saw Sam's eyes open slightly to reveal dull blue-green orbs staring at him sluggishly. "Hey Sammy," he called softly, "you're awake at last huh? Thought you were gonna sleep out here all night."

"Dean..."

Sam weakly nudged his hand against his brother's and Dean once again grasped it tightly. He wanted to sweep Sam up in a tight hug and never let go, but judging by the blood still leaking from his brother's mouth and nose it wasn't an option.

"Dean..."

Please help me...

I can't hold on much longer...

His brother heard his silent pleas and leaned closer, tightening his hold on Sam's hand. Sam could feel the warmth of Dean's breath on his face and managed a weak smile.

"Dean..."

You're really here...

I'm not dreaming...

"I'm here Sammy. I'll always be here." Dean felt his eyes stinging with tears. "I can't give you anything for the pain right now, but when help gets here..." His words abruptly broke off when Sam choked and more blood oozed down his jaw line. Sam struggled weakly, his right hand wrenched away from Dean's as he reached up and fumbled with the chin strap.



"No! Sam, don't do that!" Dean grabbed his hand. "You have to keep the helmet on..." Dean didn't want to say it, but the crash lid might be the only thing keeping Sam's head from falling apart. He'd heard some pretty gruesome stories about motorbike accidents, his own aside, when well-intentioned bystanders had removed the biker's helmet, and the additional injury caused to the victim's neck and skull...

Dean refused to go there. He had enough to think about right now.

Because right now Sam was still choking...

Sam's still choking! Shit!

The monsoon that threatened to drown both brothers just couldn't drown out that terrible noise. And Dean had no idea what he could do to alleviate it, had no clue how to ease Sam's pain, couldn't figure it out...

Because he daren't move him, daren't roll Sam onto his side in case it killed him, daren't touch him, daren't...

Ok. 'Cos now's the time to panic!

The rain seemed to get louder...then Dean realised that it was the sound of a vehicle pulling up. He glanced over and spotted his Dad's truck, wedged across the road so no one else could pass through and cause another accident.

He felt utter relief at seeing his father jump out of the cab, leaving the headlights still blaring, and stride towards him. Now maybe Sam stood a chance.

John stooped under the shelter and stared at Sam in shock. Then he was moving, shoving his fingers into Sam's mouth...and they emerged with a large globule of clotted blood. Sam immediately relaxed, growing quiet.



"Hey Sammy." John whispered, and smiled when Sam's eyes, bleary and unfocused, met his. Sam blinked slowly up at him, confusion rippling across his face.

Sirens screamed out into the night, even the rain not able to silence them. Lights flashed obscenely in the darkness, and what little John and Dean could see of Sam's face glowed eerily, the blood showing up as black rivers.

"Help's here son. Just hold on now." John desperately wanted to believe it when he said "You're gonna be ok Sam."

Sam started trembling, the cold really biting him now in sharp contrast to the hot burn assaulting the left side of his body. Fresh tears fell and his breath came in short sharp gasps.

"H...help me...hurts..."

"Sammy don't cry, it's gonna be ok..." Dean couldn't hold back his own tears on hearing his little brother's broken words and watched helplessly as Sam's eyes began to close. "No! Sammy, stay with me please! Don't go, please don't go!"

Sam was losing his grip and weariness soon took him. A release from pain suddenly seemed inviting, and though he was sad at having to leave his family, he just couldn't find the strength to hold on any longer. Feeling his brother's hand in his, Sam smiled softly. Dean was here. He'd take care of him. It was ok to let go...

"SAM!"

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"Ok, what do we have here?"

"Male, Caucasian, sixteen years old, name of Sam Winchester. Motorcycle RTC."

"Sam? Sweetheart can you hear me?"

"BP is way too low..."

"Multiple trauma, probable internal bleeding...

"His family says he lost consciousness a few minutes ago..."

"Sam, if you can hear me, squeeze my hand."

"Severe abrasions to the left side of his body."

"He's in respiratory arrest. We're losing him!"

"Get that line in NOW!"

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Dean stared ahead, unwilling to take his eyes off the ambulance. He needed this. He needed to drive. Needed to keep his mind off the ever present slide show playing behind his eyes. If he didn't, if he succumbed to it, he'd be lost.

He ignored the headlights in his rear-view mirror that signalled his dad was following on behind. Dean kept his grip tight on the steering wheel, his control rigid, and tried not to think about the last time he saw Sam.



When the emergency services had finally arrived, John had to restrain Dean, dragging him away so that the EMTs could help Sam. He'd fought and struggled but his father was too strong.

"Get off me!"

"Dean calm down...Dean! Calm down son..."

"Dad...Sam's dying."

"No he's NOT! Don't you ever say that, don't you ever give up on him!"

He'd collapsed against his father, sinking to his knees again on the wet road. John had held him close as they both watched the paramedics trying to stabilise Sam.

Dean's grip on the steering wheel tightened, his shoulders tensed up.

His dad was right. He couldn't give up on Sam, couldn't give up hope.

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"Dean...Dean"

Dean tried to roll over, made some kind of weird snuffling, snorting noise and woke up on the floor.



"Wha?...Dad?" He mumbled sleepily. Rubbing his eyes and picking himself up, Dean glanced over at Sam. "Sam ok?"

John held out a Styrofoam container. It smelled of coffee. "He still hasn't woken up but the doctors did say..." He shrugged helplessly, suddenly feeling as though he'd aged about fifty years in the last twenty four hours.

Yeah, Dean remembered what the doctors said, how could he forget? His brother had been in surgery for ever whilst the surgeons fought to repair the damage. Sam had an internal bleed from a perforation in his gut, a cracked sternum, and the entire left side of his body was a mass of bandages and gauze.

In all, Sam was walking a fine line and no one could say for certain if he'd pull through.

Dean didn't touch his coffee, just set it down on the night stand and leaned over his brother, studying his face. Ignoring the ugly respirator, Dean settled in, scooted his seat forward and gently laced one arm across his brother, the other stretched up and round Sam's head so his hand could idly stroke his hair. With his mouth close to Sam's ear he whispered over and over to him, encouraging and imploring, gently teasing and cajoling, hoping like hell that Sam could hear him.

"You can do it Sammy. Do it for me. Keep trying."

John stood by and watched his sons sadly. Hours ago he'd given up trying to persuade Dean to go home, clean up and get some rest. He smirked humourlessly. The only person more stubborn than himself was Dean, especially when it came to Sam. John didn't think his oldest son was going anywhere ever again without his baby brother.

"'S'cuse me? Are you Sam's dad?" A soft feminine voice caught John's attention. He turned to face a small dark haired woman in her thirties, a sad smile on her face and carrying 

a box. She stepped forward tentatively and held out a hand. "I'm Joey. I own the gunsmiths in town."

John stared at her, his gaze shifting to her hand. She lowered it a little worriedly, wondering if spontaneous human combustion was at all possible. It certainly felt like it. If the bloke had glared at her any harder she was pretty sure she's be hanging in a smoke house about now.

"Um...sorry to intrude mate, but I heard about the accident...if it's any consolation I won't be ordering pizzas from that fat bastard ever again! Fancy sending the poor kid out in the rain like that!"

John's mouth twitched.

"I mean, what sort of sick sod could do that to someone? Send 'im out without even proper protective clothes? The twat needs a good thump alongside the ear if you ask me..."

She carried on prattling away, her cockney accent putting him in mind of some Monty Python sketches he stayed up and watched with Dean late one night, and before long John found himself fighting a smile.

"Sam's a great kid and that wanker had better watch his step next time he comes into my shop or he might find himself on the groin-end of a harpoon gun, speaking of which those things are sellin' like hot cakes, you might wanna get in quick before I run out, I can do ya a special deal, BOGOF!

John blinked. She'd be running away at the mouth for so long that the last word took him by surprise.

Joey stared up at him expectantly.

"Excuse me?" He asked as politely as he dared.



His response was met with a sudden broad grin, her dark brown eyes twinkling at him.

"BOGOF! Means Buy One Get One Free." She peered round his large frame and her smile faded. "Oh Sam. My poor little baby. What did that bastard do to you eh?" The words were spoken softly but with genuine affection, and John wondered who in hell this woman was and how she knew Sam.

Sensing his predicament, Joey decided to let him off the hook.

"Sam comes into my shop a couple of times a week. He likes the sword displays." Then she moved round him and before he could stop her, she touched a hand to Dean's shoulder.

"It's alright to get some sleep ya know. Sam will understand." She whispered to him as he turned in surprise. He'd been so intent on his brother that he hadn't even heard the exchange behind him. With a jolt he suddenly realised that he hadn't even sensed her presence in the room.

"Who are you?" Dean asked softly, his eyes narrowed with suspicion.

"A friend of Sam's. And he wants you to have this." Joey's wide friendly smile stunned both John and Dean as she handed over the box. "It was for your birthday, but now..." she inclined her head to one side and stared at Sam. "...now I think it's more a gift of hope."

Dean took the box and stared at it. It was wrapped with pink paper and sported the biggest bow he'd ever seen.

Joey playfully bumped shoulders with him. "The pink wrapping paper and bow was a special request from Sam. Just to take the piss. Now go on," she nodded towards the box, excitedly. "Open it!"



Dean glanced at Sam's impassive face, the respirator still breathing for him, the heart monitor calling out the beat. "Sammy...what did you do huh?"

John stood by transfixed. He couldn't bring himself to move as Dean opened the box and his breath caught in his throat.

The room was silent and still for quite some time. Dean stared down at the blade and the inscription in tiny lettering, etched into the hilt.

DW

Forever proud to say: My brother, my best friend.

With love, Sam.

Tears flooded his eyes but stubbornly refused to fall, as he rested the box on the bed and picked up the ornate hunting knife. "It's beautiful!" He handed the blade over to his father, who examined it closely. He twirled it a few times, admiring the workmanship and the fine balance.

"That," Joey perched beside him on the bed, "Is originally from Scotland. It's said to be a fine exact replica of the one carried by James Douglas as he escorted Robert Bruce's heart to the holy land. It has quite a history, and as soon as your brother saw it he knew it had your name on it." She tilted her head again, this time to stare into Dean's eyes. "Now I can see why." She lowered her mouth to his ear "A good hunter should never be without his blade," Joey whispered.

Dean drew back in shock. "How..."



"...did I guess?" Joey smiled again and wrinkled her nose. "Sam didn't tell me. I just knew." She touched a finger to her nose and winked. "Don't ask. Some things you're better off not knowin'!"

She stood up, placed a small kiss on Sam's forehead, brushed his hair back, and as abruptly as she'd arrived, Joey was gone, waving a hand as she went.

The Winchesters stared at the open door, wondering about the whirlwind that was Joey.

"Who the hell is that woman?" Dean turned to his father. "Dad?"

John frowned. "I have no idea. But I'm betting she aint your average, ordinary, gunsmith!"

"No shit!"

"Watch your language son!"

"Sorry Dad!"

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Sam's doctor couldn't believe it.

Just a few hours ago this kid was at death's door, but now he was sitting up in bed alternately laughing and wincing at his big brother's antics.

Dean turned up the music and pranced around the room, miming to Bon Jovi's Sleep When I'm Dead.

...So you're looking for some action, I got everything you need,



Keep your motor runnin' baby I was built for speed.

Sam snorted loudly; nearly dislodging the nasal cannular as Dean gyrated and twirled, then pumped his hips obscenely.

This aint no slumber party, got no time for catchin' Zs,

If they say that that aint healthy well then livin's a disease, 'cos...

Never gonna die baby, come on let me drive you crazy,

We'll make every night another New Years Eve...

Dean struck out an arm to point at Sam, who was laughing helplessly by now, bobbed his head in time to the music, then leapt up on to a draw unit by the window.

'til I'm six feet under baby I don't need no bed,

Gonna live while I'm alive,

I'll sleep when I'm dead.

'til they roll me over and lay my bones to rest,

Gonna live while I'm alive,

I'll sleep when I'm dead!

"Problem doc?" The doctor jumped about a foot in the air then whirled round to face John Winchester.

"Uh...it's just that the music's a little loud. Don't want the other patients disturbed."

John smothered a grin when he saw Dean air-guitarring away, his hand sweeping in wide circles. "I'll get him to turn it down."



"And...er...he really shouldn't be standing on the furniture like that..."

At John's enquiring glance the doctor muttered his thanks and disappeared down the hallway.

"Alright you two, quit the clownin'. Dean turn the music down a little!" John turned to close the door and tried to school his features. It took one hell of an effort not to smirk when he heard Dean try to scramble down from the unit but caught his foot on something and fell to the floor with a loud thud.

"sonofabi..."

"Dean!"

"Sorry Dad!"

John sat down and closed a hand gently round the back of Sam's head. "How ya feelin' son?"

Sam smiled brightly, though John was sure he was in some considerable pain. "I'm ok. Bit sore."

John nodded thoughtfully as Dean came to perch on the other side of the bed. "What happened out there?"

Sam swallowed hard. He didn't remember much but what he did recall wasn't pleasant.

"I got blinded by headlights and couldn't see where I was going." When Sam glanced down at his bandaged body Dean's heart went out to him. But it was nothing compared to what he said next. "They stopped. I tried to call out to them, tell them I needed help..." Sam started trembling with effort of holding back the tears. "But they just drove off and left me." Dark, sad eyes met his father's. "They left me! Why? How could anyone do that? I was cold and in pain and they just left me!"



Sam found himself enfolded in his father's arms. John had moved from his chair and slid onto the bed when the tears finally gave up fighting gravity.

"Easy there kiddo. I can't tell you why people do half the things they do." John whispered, but the message was meant for both his sons. "But not everyone's like that, just as not every supernatural being is evil."

Sam snorted softly. "So you have met Joey? She's pretty cool huh?"

Dean stared hard at him. "Sammy, what're ya sayin'?"

Sam smiled at him. "Surely you figured it out? Joey isn't just a gunsmith." He glanced between his father and brother, more than a little amused. "She forges weapons for hunters!"

There was a stunned silence.

"And she's a healer." Sam's eyes continued swivelling from father to brother, father to brother. "I mean, she can't bring people back from the dead or anything, but she can boost the healing process when needed."

More silence.

"Uh...Dad?" Sam wondered if he'd pissed his family off somehow.

Dean blew out a long breath. "Well that sure explains a lot. Like how you got better so quickly." Got better at all!

"Witch?" John asked sharply, wondering if someone like Joey could become a threat. Even Wiccans had been known to go bad.

"No dad." Sam gave a slow headshake. "Joey's just...Joey."



They talked for a while longer but Sam grew sleepy, his head drooping a little. But he was burning to ask one more question.

"What about my bike?" Sam blinked slowly. "Will it be ok? I mean, I need it for work."

"You're not working for that bastard again Sam." Dean announced firmly. "And in any case, the restaurant closed down and no one's seen him since." He neglected to mention that he'd stopped by to pay the guy a visit only to find the building locked up tight, the signs removed, and a rather smug-looking Joey sitting outside smoking a cigarette. When she'd looked up and waved to him, he'd returned the gesture but steadfastly ignored the harpoon leaning against the wall. A part of him was relieved there was no blood, but there was that other part that was a little disappointed...

"As for the bike." John picked up where Dean left off. "Beyond repair. Sorry kid."

Sam was silent for a while before answering in a small voice. "It's ok Dad. Not sure I could get back on it again anyway."

Dean broke the awkward silence that followed with the obvious question.

"So Joey's pretty hot. She single?" Which earned him a pillow in the face and he once again found himself on floor.

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The couple were engaged in a pretty heated argument on the side of the road, the hood of the car raised as steam poured out.



"I told you to check it out before we left!" She screamed.

"I already filled it last week." He yelled back.

"You knew the radiator was faulty a month ago! And now we stranded..."

They were so intent on their row that they didn't notice the dark blue pickup truck as it slid to a stop beside them.

"Need any help? You look like you could use a lift." A London accent called out from the driver's window. A small dark haired woman was grinning at them South London Style.

Once they piled into the cab, they started introducing themselves, thanking their rescuer profusely.

"I'm Glenda, this is my boyfriend Rick. Thank you so much for this."

The driver glanced over, her smile turning mischievous. "I'm Joey. And I'll be taking you to the nearest police station to be charged with Hit and Run." Her grin turned feral.

Their mouths gaped open, but before they could protest Joey snapped her fingers. Glenda and Rick were sound asleep instantly, and stayed that way until Joey turned them in.

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John pulled up outside the gunsmiths and just sat there staring at the building. He had no idea what he was going to say, all he knew was that something had to be said. He hadn't asked nearly enough about her, had been afraid to get too close. And now he was regretting it, because he somehow he got the feeling she was leaving.

During the months that followed, Dean hadn't talked much about the accident. He didn't need to. He had every right to blame John; he'd given Sam the bike after all in spite of Dean's warnings, and Sam had nearly been killed. But Dean had surprised his father with the one thing he did have to say.

"You heard him Dad, they left him to die. But you came for him, because of him." Dean had looked away, almost embarrassed. "The accident was their fault. Not yours."

No more was said. Sam had mostly recovered from his injuries though he still wasn't allowed to take part in full training sessions. John preferred to ease him back in to it gradually.

Sighing, John switched off the engine then heaved himself out of the truck. Stretching a little, he eyed the store front. There was the distinct smell of fresh paint and detergent, and when he lowered his gaze he found the remains of salt lines.

Hmm.

He'd grown to more than like Joey and wondered a little about that. If it weren't for Mary...

The bell on top of the door jangled loudly as John entered the store and a guy jumped up from behind the counter. He was in his late thirties and wore a pair of marigolds.

"Joey around?" John asked without preamble.

"Uh...no." He seemed surprised. "She sold this place to me and left town a few days ago. Can I help you with something?" He wasn't unfriendly but John got the impression that 

visitors weren't welcome at this stage. The place was being refurbished, and the guy was obviously on a cleaning spree.

"Nah." John shook his head wearily, surprised at just how sad he felt. "Thanks anyway." And turned to leave.

"Wait! Are you John? Sam's father?" At John's quick nod he produced an envelope from behind the counter. "She left this for you, in case you should drop by."

Thanking him and leaving as quickly as he could, John drove back to the apartment. Instead of getting out he sat there and fingered the envelope. It had his name neatly written across the front in delicate, ornate handwriting.

Before he knew what he was doing the envelope was ripped open and its contents spilled across his lap. Eyes widening, he glanced through, scanning the documents.

"What?" John couldn't believe his eyes. "But that's just supposed to be a legend!"

But the evidence was overwhelming. Letters dating back over a hundred years, drawings, and in once case an actual photograph.

John held the photo up to the light and studied it carefully.

"Well I'll be..."

So the Colt does exist!

He started reading through every scrap of paper, eagerly taking in all the information. Then he came to the last letter.

Dear John,



Sorry to be leaving in such a hurry. I trust that Sam is recovering nicely and that Dean is keeping a close eye on him.

The information enclosed may be of some service to you. I know what you hunt and what you seek. Think carefully before embarking on a quest for vengeance; it could easily cost you more than you can afford. Just remember to choose your battles carefully.

As for the Colt itself. I strongly suggest you start looking for it.

Yes, it can kill anything but there are only a few bullets left, so use them wisely. Your sons need it!

And yes. It is a legend. But all legends have to start somewhere!

I bid you and your sons' farewell, wish you all the best,

And may your God go with you.

Joey.

P.S. No matter how loud you shout, or how hard you beg him, Sam could never shoot you in the heart.

John's eyes widened even further. What the hell does that mean?

Sam was lying on the sofa fast asleep, and drooling. John smiled and stooped to brush Sam's unruly hair away from his eyes but his youngest son woke up at the gesture, blinking sleepily.



"Dad? Did you see her? Is Joey coming by later?" Sam yawned on the last word and John laughed softly. Joey had been round a few times since the accident, keeping Sam company on the odd occasion that he and Dean had to go on a hunt, though John had tried to keep that to a minimum during Sam's recovery.

"No Sam, I don't think she'll be coming by here again." John explained, watching the puzzlement on Sam's face turn to sadness.

"Why not? I mean, did you two get in a fight?" Sam knew all too well how his dad could be, and wouldn't have put it passed him to have scared her off. Though that seemed unlikely, knowing Joey. Not much scared her.

John shook his head. "No. She wasn't even there when I arrived. She sold the store, upped and left." He smiled sadly. "I guess it was just time to move on."

Sam stared at him, eyes wide and filled with hurt. "But surely she left a note or something Dad. She wouldn't have left without saying goodbye."

"Who wouldn't?" Dean appeared in the doorway, towel wrapped haphazardly round his waist, munching on a cookie. He'd just had a long hot post-training shower and felt a little hungry. Dinner wasn't for another hour at least so a chocolate chip treat was gonna have to fill the gap until then.

Sam turned to his brother. "Joey. She's gone, left town. Didn't even say goodbye."

Dean frowned "that's a little strange."

"Ya think?" Sam rolled his eyes in exasperation.

"I'm sorry Sam. She must've had her reasons." John patted Sam's knee then stood up, "I'm gonna get dinner started. And Dean? No more cookies!"



"Aw Daaaddd!" Dean sounded more like a ten year old than the twenty year old he'd turned into a few months ago.

"I mean it!"

Sighing a little, Dean glanced over at his brother. Sam was staring morosely at the carpet, his big left toe idly tracing the psychedelic pattern.

"Hey Sammy?"

"Yeah." Sam didn't even look up.

"About that hunting knife?"

Sam did look up then. "You already thanked me for it."

"Yeah, but about that inscription..."

He had Sam's full attention now. It was the first time Dean had mentioned it.

"Yeah?" Sam shifted forward a little, leaning against the arm of the sofa.

Dean paused and stared at him. Nah, he thought. I'm not gonna give the little shit the satisfaction. "Have your balls even dropped yet? Dude, just how much of a girl are you?"

"Aw shucks Dean, you're welcome!"

"Pleasure's all mine, Samantha!"

They grinned at each other before Dean slid down a little further into the sofa, tightening his towel as he went. Sam's smile faded as his thoughts turned back to Joey.

"Ya know Sam, we meet people all the time and then we move on," said Dean quietly. "I'm just thankful that she was there when you needed her. And I know what you're thinking." 

His gaze held Sam's for a long drawn out moment. "She was someone who understood us, and now she's gone. For the record, we understood her too. Just like us, she did her job and moved on."

"Maybe," replied Sam.

"And in our line of work, who knows?" Dean raised a hand in a dramatic gesture. "Maybe we'll run into her again someday."

Sam nodded thoughtfully. Yeah. Someday.

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Epilogue.

When Sam's birthday rolled around, Dean gave him a set of spare keys to the Impala.

Dean had polished each key to perfection and presented them in a small box on a black velvet background. The key fob was made of solid bronze with a raised picture of the Impala engraved on one side, but on the other...

SW

Forever proud to say: my brother, my best friend, my bitch.

Dean.



SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Author's notes:

Well that's it. Story over.

Left you with a bit of a mystery there. Maybe my next Teenchester fic will have the boys meeting up with Joey again.

I hadn't intended there to be any chemistry at all between Joey and John, but it just sort of happened. Slightly. But then that happens in life all the time; you meet someone, feel a brief connection, then move on.

Just to feed my ego a little, you might be interested to know that I'm apparently descended from Lord James Douglas on my father's side.

And that's actually quite funny because my great, great grandfather (or something) on my mother's side was supposed to have been the King of Spain at some point.

And if you ever had the misfortune to meet me, you'd pretty soon realise that I'm about as far from blue blood as it gets!

I just thought it would make things interesting for you, and my profile does suggest that there are things you will find out about me...



Many thanks for your reviews. Have been seriously lax on replying to people lately. I must play catch up with that!

Love you all.

Kind regards,

ST.xxx.