Alright everyone, I should probably start out by saying that I am SOOOOOOO sorry about taking like a month or more to post this. I'm not going into detail, but let's just say that I've been having some health problems lately. And honestly, I was just not motivated to write for a while. But I'm back in the game now, so don't worry.
And no, I wasn't lying when I said I was finishing this story. I have other stories I would like to work on, and I think that "Dreams, Planes, and Vampires, Eh?" has finally wound its coarse.
There are a lot of unanswered questions in this story, but I am planning on writing a sequel someday. Hopefully in the near future too. I have a lot planned for the sequel, although it wont be an instant thing.
This was my first fanfic, and I have a special place in my heart for it. It is dear to me in a way that none of my other work is, and so are my very first bunch of fans: YOU GUYS!
I will never forget the support I have gotten on this story, and I would be so flattered to see you guys reading and reviewing on the sequel and some of my other stories.
Now without further ado, I would like to introduce one of the final chapters! ENJOY!
Sam sighed, throwing a broken and charred picture frame on top of the overflowing box of things that they were getting rid of. "You know, out of all the things that they saved from the wreckage, they really could have used a little better judgment."
They were in their apartment – now that the police said it was fine to enter again – and had stopped by straight from the hospital to pick up anything that could be saved. To be honest, Sam had been scared to be going back. But Jess's confidence in the matter reassured him.
Jess nodded in reply before tossing something that looked like a vase in the box along with it. "Well maybe they would have thought that we would find something sentimental in here."
He laughed dryly. Sentimental? He didn't really know what the word sentimental meant to most people, to be honest. The few photographs in his wallet, the Impala, his watch; those were sentimental. The very few things that he had owned throughout his lifetime for years at a time, they were sentimental. But the apartment full of college-budget furniture and items weren't sentimental to him. In a way, Sam found it kind of funny. He had spent so many years wishing that he could get away from the hunting lifestyle, and now that he had lost his precious Stanford life he wasn't as sad as he would expect to be. No, none of this stuff really mattered to him. They would find a few pictures of them and their friends to keep, maybe a small trinket or two that hadn't burned or melted or gotten crushed in the wreckage. That would be enough to remind them of their home. Jess would probably take it harder than he would, because she had grown up used to having more than a duffel bag of objects that she cherished. Of course that was normal. But now after everything had burned up, she would be lucky to fill a single bag of the things she had left.
"Hey," Jess held up a white piece of cloth – from her wedding dress, Sam assumed – and grinned sheepishly at him. "Now we match."
Sam smirked down at himself, looking at the black dress pants and white tux shirt that he wore un-tucked. When the fire broke out, they had been straight home from the wedding. He had ended up in the hospital in his tux pants and shirt. Jess had ended up even worse, pulled from the ceiling in a bloody slip. So right now, straight from the hospital, they were wearing whatever they could find. Jess was wearing a pair of Dean's sweatpants with the waist clinched as tight as it would go, and the undershirt and jacket from Sam's tux outfit. And Sam was wearing the same thing that he had worn to the hospital, very grateful to see that they had cleaned it for him.
"You know," Sam offered, noticing that Jess stopped to pull the baggy sweatpants up again. "We could have done this later. Maybe we should have gotten some decent clothes for us first."
"Dean and John can handle it," Jess didn't even look up as she threw another pile of garbage on top of garbage. "They said they would pick something up on the way here. I trust them."
"Do you?" Sam raised his eyebrows in surprise. "Cause honestly, we don't really have much experience with… you know…living with girls and all. You might end up with like," he winced. "A Hannah Montana shirt or something. I don't even think they know how to figure out the sizes."
Jess laughed at the thought. "Well then I can always go back and get something else."
"In a Hannah Montana shirt?"
"If that's how it turns out."
"Well than maybe I should get some Jonas Brothers merchandise so we can match…"Sam tried to keep a straight face as he pictured the looks he would get from Dean if he even stood beside something that said Hannah Montana or the Jonas Brothers."
"Yeah, Dean would love that." Jess was smirking, and Sam smiled in reply. Wow, she really could read his thoughts now, couldn't she? This must be the first steps of marriage, he thought jokingly. She's already got me captive. Somehow he didn't mind.
Jess pulled out a singed shoe box, and smiled as she opened the lid. "Bingo."
"What?" Sam hurried over, happy to hear that she had found something actually worth finding.
"Look," Jess pulled out a handful of photos, which were a little dusty but otherwise unharmed. She blew some of the dust off, shaking them back and forth a little bit. "I wondered what happened to these."
Sam sidestepped a pile of charred wood – or something – on the floor to look over her shoulder. The picture on top was one of them and a few close friends. Sam had his arm around Jessica's shoulder on one side, and on the other was Greg, a redheaded goofy looking guy with a smirk on his face. Tessa was squished in the middle, laughing at the awkwardness of the pose as they all tried to get into range of the camera that was but a foot away from their faces. Everyone looked so happy. Sam smiled.
"I'm going to miss them," Jess spoke the words before he could even think them, and he nodded. "It's too bad we couldn't see them one more time before… we you know."
Sam frowned, putting a hand on her shoulder so he could turn her to face him. "What do you mean?"
"Sam…"Jess's face was pensive, as if she had thought about this for a long time. "We already talked about this. I'm going with you on this hunt."
Wanting to argue, Sam opened his mouth to speak. But the truth was that he had agreed to take her with him. It was the only way that they could be together.
"We haven't had a chance to talk since… since it happened," Jess's frown deepened and her eyes darted downward, obviously reliving the experience with the fire. Protectively, Sam wrapped his arms around her shoulders, and she laid her head against his chest. "I know things are going to change now. Lots. We obviously aren't going to live here anymore. I kind of figured that we were dropping out of Stanford too, and if that's what you want I think I'm okay with that."
"No Jess," Sam sighed, looking at the wreckage around them. "I don't want that, but I can't have what I want. I wanted what we used to have, and I wanted you to be able to have that perfect life. You know that."
Jess nodded against him.
"But you also know that I can't stay here while that thing is still alive. I need to be with my family, doing what I do best." He frowned at that thought; wondering when hunting became what he did best. The thought used to irritate him. Law could have been what he did best, but now he realized that that life wasn't his to live. "And I'm a selfish prick for this, but I want you to come with me."
"You're not a selfish prick," Jess defended softly. "That's what I'm trying to say. You offered me this choice, and it's what I want. I had chances to leave. Now I'm a part of this too. I… I want to hunt this thing."
Subconsciously, Sam's arms tightened around her. That thought wasn't a pleasant one. Even worse than the weapons training and the lies and the hunting itself, was the hate for the things that they hunted. All three Winchester men took that for granted, they almost cherished it because it united them. They hated those things, and they hated them together because nobody else could understand. Sam had wanted to spare that hate from Jess, to keep her his innocent little wife forever. He knew that it wasn't really possible to keep Jess away from the emotional side of hunting, but it was too soon. Too soon for him to accept it.
"Jess…" Sam's voice wasn't as firm and assured as he would have liked. "You would be safer if I left you here and never came back, but I know neither of us are going to be happy with that. I'm glad that you've… decided to come with me, as hard as it is to accept. But you are not hunting this thing. I won't let you."
"No," Sam shook his head slowly, her hair tickling the bottom of his chin. "No. I've put you in enough danger. And just by taking you with me, it's going to get worse. I'm going to teach you how to protect yourself, how to help out and do research. If your lucky, maybe we can even promote you to do first aid and help out when someone comes home bloody."
Jessica was quiet in his arms. "Don't joke about that."
"I'm not. Jess, this is the life. And you're going to be a part of it, but I'm only letting you on the sidelines."
"Don't I get a choice?"
Sam hesitated, drawing in a deep breath. "No. You have the choice to come with me or not. That's it. You can still change your mind if this isn't what you want."
"Sam, stop it." Jess put her hands into his chest, shoving him away, and his arms dropped immediately.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hurt you or" –
"No, stop making excuses. If you want me to leave, just say it."
For a moment, Sam was dumbstruck. How could he want her to leave? Jess was everything to him. "No, I don't want you to do that."
"Than this conversation is pointless. I'm not abandoning you, and you can't make me unless you chain me back up to that ceiling. I am coming with you, and that's that."
"I… If your sure…"
Jess gave him a slight sad grin. "Of course I'm sure, Sam. Why would anyone want to leave you?"
"Not even after… you know…?"
"It will take a lot more than a man with yellow eyes to separate us, Sam."
He bit his bottom lip between his teeth for a second, nodding. He hadn't had a chance to talk to Jess alone since the accident, and truthfully he wasn't sure if she remembered who had attacked her. Sam wasn't sure if he should be grateful that he didn't have to explain or sorry that she remembered. Maybe both. "Than I think I owe you an explanation," he started slowly, scratching the back of his neck. "An apology, actually. There is still something I haven't told you."
Jess's eyes glimmered with curiosity, interest, but not a hint of doubt. Of course not. Jess never accused him of anything. Sam hated it really. He would rather have liked to know that someone would call him out when he crossed the line. It was hard to know if he was doing the right thing letting her come, or if he was just being selfish. But now, looking at her concerned expression, he could tell that it was still the same. She still trusted him with all her heart, and that made it so hard to speak. He knew that what he was about to say could jeopardize that, but the only way to know if her love was real was for her to love him no matter what. And he wanted her to know the real him, and all the truth. So he had to tell her.
Jess must have caught his hesitancy. "Sam, what is it?"
"What…"Sam took a deep breath, trying to steady himself. " What happened to you, with yellow-eyes… I could have stopped it."
As if tired, Jess sighed. "You cant protect me all the time Sam, it's not your fault. You didn't know it was going to happen."
"But that's the thing…"Sam looked to the ground, unsuccessful in his attempt to keep her eyes for long. "I-I could have stopped it."
"What do you mean?"
"Well I had this dream – dreams, actually – and it happened but I didn't want to believe it. I never thought something in a dream could actually come true. But it kept happening and I was freaking out, but dad said that it must just be the side-affects of the run-in with the demon and that it was okay, and I forgot about it when I got out and then it just happened and…." Sam cut himself short, knowing he was rambling. Damnit Sam, is that the best you can come up with? After all the times he wanted to tell Jess about his nightmares, he thought he would have had something better to say. Clearly he was wrong.
For a minute, Jess just looked at him. "You mean you… you had a dream that I was set on fire on the ceiling?" Jess's voice was unreadable, and Sam's brain did a mental alert.
"I, I didn't know, but…"Sam shut himself up again, hanging his head. " Yeah."
Oh? OH? Sam bit his lip, waiting for something, anything. She could yell at him, slap him, do anything, as long as she just did something. "Jess?"
"Are these the same dreams you've been having for months?" Jess sounded angry now, and Sam wasn't sure if he was relieved or disappointed. Maybe both.
"You… you should have told me." Jess's jaw was tight, and she looked away with a frown. "Damnit Sam, you should have said something."
Sam flinched at her words, nodding. He was going to take this, because he knew he deserved it. "I… I know. I know I should have. I'm sorry. I just didn't want to consider the possibility. I've never heard of dreams coming true, I swear. If I had known that it could come true I would have done something about it."
"I know. But… still. This time we have to do it right. Seriously Sam… no more lies between us," Jess raised her eyes to him, her face serious. "You have to promise."
Sam thought of his deal with the yellow-eyed man, and his promise not to tell anyone about it. He couldn't tell Jess… even though he wanted too. He wasn't allowed, or who knows what would happen. It was a necessary lie, but not one he felt right keeping. "Of course…"He felt himself hesitate, although Jess didn't seem to catch it. " No more lies. We are going to do this together."
Jess's eyes softened, and Sam noticed that there were tears in them. She looked tired, at about her breaking point. To be honest, he had been expecting this. After what she went through it was understandable.
"Come here." Sam pulled her back against his chest and she wrapped her arms around him tightly, burying her face in his shirt. "It's going to be alright Jess, I promise you that."
This time he hoped that he could keep his promise.
Two hours later, they were dressed in some decent fitting clothes. Sam had his jeans and button-up, and Jess was wearing a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt with snoopy on it. Of course, Dean picked it out. Why am I not surprised?
They had left Palo Alto an hour ago, after making half a dozen laborous phone calls each to their friends, the University, and Jess's parents saying that they had to leave urgently and weren't coming back for quite a while, at least. There had been tears from their friends – particularly Tessa, who was all ready to throw them a "welcome back" party because she had missed them so much – and the University had been confused. Jess's parent's advised them against leaving so soon after the accident, but they seemed to support her decision. Sam felt horrible ripping her away from such a wonderful family.
Already, they had done a complete search of the possible signs that anything supernatural could have been in Palo Alto, and there was nothing. Sam had expected as much. The yellow-eyed man, whatever he was, seemed pretty powerful. He could cover his tracks easily. Sam would follow through with the deal and let him get away this time. He could hunt and kill this thing later.
At the moment, Sam was slouched back against the backseat of the Impala, his head against the glass of the rearview window. His arm was lying against the back of the headrests, and Jess was leaned up against the crook of his arm, her head against his shoulder and her eyes closed. Her hair was quite a bit shorter now because she had gotten the damage from the fire cut off, and now it was just below shoulder length. Still, it somehow managed to stick out in just the right places to be right in his face, and he planted a kiss in the mass of curls hoping that he might come in contact with her head somewhere under there.
A bit of a smile gracing her features, Jess tightened her one-armed grip around Sam's waist, sighed, and made a tiny little moaning sound under her breath.
"Sorry…"Sam whispered, giving her a little squeeze of reply. "I didn't mean to wake you up."
A little laugh met his apology. "I was never asleep," Jess whispered softly back, keeping her eyes closed. "I was just resting my eyes."
"Okay…"Sam huffed a little bit under his breath, grinning. "Whatever you say."
John tossed them a glance over his shoulder in the passenger's seat, and Sam met his father's slightly skeptical eyes with humor and a bit of a smirk. John had been giving him "the look" every ten seconds or so, and Sam just stared back. He could understand why seeing him and Jessica together was so weird for John, because he had barely even known about the girl until just recently. But now that things were out in the open, there was no point in hiding the truth about him and Jessica. Sam was in love with the girl. If he wanted to put an arm around his wife in front of his father, he was going to damn well do it!
My wife… The corner of Sam's mouth raised in a grin. Jessica Lee Winchester. It has a nice ring to it. Sam still couldn't wrap his head around the fact that he and Jess had finally tightened the knot. The service hadn't exactly been fancy, and the wedding night had been interrupted, but they were still married. And what's more, Jess knew all about him being a hunter, about what his family did, and she still loved him for the way that he was. For so long, Sam had been afraid that if Jess knew the truth about Sam's family and his past that she would start running. In fact, he had almost relished it as an excuse not to tell her, just so he could stay normal.
But the truth was, things were never going to be normal. Normal was easy to come by, but not for the Winchesters. Jessica had willingly become a part of this family, and that meant putting up with all the crap that Sam had run away from in the first place. He would have to start showing her the good in his family too, Sam decided. He needed Jess to witness for herself the way that Dean managed to share everything and anything while still acting like he was tough, or the protective stance John semiconsciously took in front of his sons if he thought they were in danger. Sam had and his family had their differences; that much was certain. But now that he was back together with them again did he realize how much he had missed them. And he was determined to make Jessica a part of this family, just as she was already a part of his.
The cards were on the table, and now it was his turn to play them. John was already softening up to his knew daughter-in-law, and Dean acted like a gentleman and refrained from flirting with her at every available moment. And that was saying something, considering that it was Dean. If Sam's family put all this effort into making a good impression, that only meant one thing… They liked her.
Jess was a symbol of Sam's "new" life, the one he had left John and Dean for in the first place. He had broken up his family for a life like this, and for Jess. And if they liked her, they liked him again too. He was forgiven.
Forgiven. For the first time in a long time, there was no tension between his two lives. The Sam that loved Jessica and the Sam that loved his family could finally be the same person again. And now he could finally forgive himself.
Jess shifted her weight against him, and lifted her head off his shoulder for a minute to look up towards his face. "Sam?" Her words were soft and mumbled from sleep. "Are we there yet?"
Sam chuckled under his breath, smirking silently at her. "I thought I was the immature one in this relationship."
"I'm not being immature," Jess sighed softly into his ear, still waking up. "I just want to know."
"We'll get there when we get there," Sam replied with a smirk, and Jess grumbled in reply. "Go back to sleep."
"I guess I'm going to have to get used to this," Jess's voice was more serious than Sam had expected, and he hesitated. "I know we talked about this, and I'm still sticking to my decision. You know that."
Sam swallowed deeply, his Adam's apple moving with the effort. He had to stick with his decision too, involving the deal. The bed had been made, and now he had to lie in it. But he was going to fight until this thing was dead. He was going to do it for Jess. "Yeah…"He sighed, pulling her closer against him. "Me too."
That's all folks! Yes, you can hate me all you want, but I'm done this story. I REALLY REALLY hope you guys liked the ending, and come back to read the sequel when it comes out. Again, I'm sorry it took so long to post this. I would have continued, but I have a majorly busy summer ahead of me.
YOU GUYS ARE ALL AMAZING! I am going to miss the fan devotion that this story got… I am so happy I could continue it for so long! :D
Please, please, please, please, tell me what you thought! I want to read a review from all of you! It will be your final goodbye!
Until then, dear reader, farewell. Until we meet again, don't forget to eat your wheeties and say "Christo" to strangers. Bye!