a/n: Here it is, final chapter. Happy reading!

--

He knew what was lurking in the dark. Every bit of him felt the threat, the evil nearby. He opened the creaky door, holding the flashlight up near his shoulder, the beam of light revealing scattered belongings, ones that were buried underneath the layers of dust and cobwebs. It was clear no one had given this place a thought for years.

If Sam had learned to trust one thing, it was his instincts. What he sought was hiding in the shadows, and it wanted a piece of him. He was more than ready for it. Demons had been gunning for him at a record pace the last several weeks, all with chips on their shoulders after what happened with Lilith. Once word had gotten around that even the Ekimmu couldn't take him, everyone especially embraced this new challenge.

They weren't getting very far though. Once the full power of his abilities were unleashed, even telekinesis didn't work against him anymore. He didn't want to use his power unless he had to, but often times he did. The offensive was too great. He imagined that Dean would be disappointed, but Dean would also want him to survive.

Still, something didn't feel right about this one. There was another presence, another disturbance that he couldn't explain. There was no time for speculating though. In the distance he saw a silhouette swipe through the small stream of light coming from the doorway. He took in a deep breath, still feeling weird over the fact that he didn't have a weapon to clutch onto, or that he needed one, and crept slowly forward.

He reached the doorway, leaning forward, looking from side to side. He didn't see anything, but he felt the presence stronger than he ever had before. Without warning legs swung down from the ceiling, making an immediate impact on his chest and knocking him backward. He fell on his back and gasped for air, fighting hard to get back the wind that was knocked out of him.

He only had a split second to react when something zipped toward him in a blur. Enough light came through the window where he saw it coming and he threw his arm out, stopping the demon in its tracks a few inches in front of him. Sam stood up while containing her, then in a fit of anger threw her against the wall, bouncing her off straight into the center of a Devil's Trap.

The woman smiled, not at all worried about her predicament. "Fine, send me back. Hell's actually gotten fun now. Dean's in a new chamber now. This one involves acid being poured into open wounds. Demons are lining up."

Sam choked back his disgust, for he knew that she wanted to rile him. "Then I'll be doing you a favor." Sam started the exorcism without hesitation. He didn't want to waste any time.

"I'm not here to come after you Sam," she said, grunting and gritting her teeth in pain. "I'm here to deliver a message."

Sam trailed off his Latin. "Start talking."

"A deal can be made Sam. There's someone interested in your new found power."

"What sort of deal?"

"Your service, in exchange for Dean."

"My service?"

"You know, henchman, someone's bitch. Such a pretty one too. As long as you do what you're told, Dean can go on, in his futile attempt to fight all things evil. Of course, that will mean he'll probably have to fight you, but we know he'll never have the cajones to hurt you."

Sam pondered the offer, but within a few seconds toughened his stance, tuning out her taunts. "No way. There's always a catch to these deals."

"You know what happens after the acid? You think boiling in oil was just a Middle Ages thing?"

"You're lying."

"Fine. Believe what you want. Don't think moving Dean's body from Bobby's is helping either. Clever though, knowing that we'd use it as leverage against you. We'll find it eventually."

Sam dropped his chin and squinted, visions of a petrified Dean screaming in gut wrenching pain swimming through his mind. It wasn't long before he realized she put them there. He closed his eyes, cleared his mind, and with one deep breath channeled the anger welling inside. He was sending her back to Hell in a fury. "Vade, Satana, inventor et magister omnis fallaciae, hostis humanae salutis. Humiliare sub potenti manu dei…"

"The offer doesn't end here Sam. Take time to think about it. Dean's got eternity. He'll get used to the suffering."

That only made Sam angrier, forcing him to raise his voice for the rest. "Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus omnis satanica potestas, omnis incursio infernalis adversarii, omnis legio, omnis congregatio et secta diabolica."

The woman reared her head back, and the black smoke poured into the ceiling before exploding.

Sam leaned over, letting his outer defenses crumble, fighting a wave of nausea when his anxiety emerged to the surface. It happened again. He let another chance go. "Dean wouldn't want this," he reminded himself, but that didn't stop him from grabbing his head in remorse, fighting back the tears.

Suddenly, he heard a noise, and all instincts snapped back into place. He reached over, fumbling to find his flashlight, grasping onto it tight with both hands. He backed toward the wall, into a dark area, controlling his breath, waiting for whoever was coming to get closer.

The dark figure walked slowly into the center of the room, stopping to take a long look around. Sam couldn't make out the face in the dim light, but he could tell it was a man who didn't appear to have a weapon. Sam found his opportunity, and lunged at the figure's feet, toppling his frame to the ground.

"Don't hurt me!" The other person said, bracing his arms in front in protection.

Sam knew that voice. "Matthew?"

"Sam? Is that you?"

Sam frowned, turned on his flashlight and offered his hand to help up Matthew. "You shouldn't be here, especially without a weapon. How'd you find me?"

"Long story," Matthew said, grunting as he rose to his feet. "I don't have a weapon because I didn't want to hurt you."

Sam wasn't convinced. After all, he hadn't seen Matthew in a couple of months, not since they closed the portal, and wasn't sure how he was able to find him. He reached in his pocket, and splashed the contents of the flask.

Matthew was startled, but only because he wasn't expecting something wet. "Oh yeah, the standard "how are you doing?" hunter greeting. No Sam, I'm not possessed."

"Why are you here Matthew?" Sam twisted the cap back onto the flask and put it away, still not sure if he was pleased or annoyed.

"I had some stupid dream, okay. Twice. I swear I thought I was going crazy."

"You had a dream," Sam replied skeptically.

"I've had several actually, visions sometimes too. It seems our encounter has triggered some hidden switch inside me that I can't turn off. Luckily no more shifting, but still, it freaks me out."

Sam let a little of his empathy slide through. "I know, I've been getting those things too."

"You've also been wreaking havoc all throughout the supernatural world. Domino picked up that much. Your new found magic is setting off a nice trail of cosmic bread crumbs and disturbances, triggering all sorts of crap. Bobby thinks you should be careful, or demons will pick up on that."

Sam scoffed. "He's right about that."

"Sam, Bobby's worried sick about you, and so am I. We were afraid you're going to go off and do something desperate, and so far from what we're witnessing, nothing is proving us wrong."

"Thanks for your concern, but I can handle this on my own."

Matthew jumped in front of Sam, moving closer. "Oh, that's it? You leave my apartment a while ago and disappear without a trace, and you expect us to just pretend you don't exist?"

Sam pushed Matthew away. "This doesn't concern you."

"Oh, this so does concern me. Thanks to you, I'm officially dead now. There's a certificate on file and everything. My life is so screwed up now I can't go back. My destiny is pretty clear, I'm a hunter whether I like it or not. As long as these dreams lead me somewhere, which they have, I'm following them. This one led me to you. I think that means something."

"Matthew, things have gotten pretty dangerous. I'm a target."

"Yeah, but the demons can't touch you, can they?"

Sam shook his head. "It doesn't matter, I'm seeing more of them than ever. They'll find a way to get to me."

"Right, dangling Dean's soul like a carrot in front of a rabbit. I heard everything. You can't give into that Sam."

Sam pursued his lips together and nodded grimly. "I know."

"Sam, come with me. I've been working with Domino and Bobby the last month, trying to put my skills to good use, preparing me for my new life. They've got info on Dean, but need to see you personally."

Sam shook his head. "No, my place is out here, getting as many of them as I can."

Matthew rubbed his palms together, trying to come up with a way to get him to listen. "Sam, do you remember how I believed that all of this happened for a reason, and there was no coincidence? The more I work with Domino, the more I see that's the truth. I don't think it's over. It's all clicking into place."

"What are you talking about?"

"Okay, I'll just tell you. Dean isn't supposed to stay in Hell. There's that whole timing thing though, and it's not his time to leave yet. We need to wait it out longer. The demons sense your desperation, and know they don't have much time."

Sam wasn't impressed. "You sure a beautiful white angel didn't tell you that in a dream?"

"I'm serious Sam. Domino feels it, and so do I. You don't see it because you're so immersed in anger and hate. That's why you're so powerful right now. That's why you need to come with me."

"No way." Sam turned away, taking a few steps toward the door.

"Yeah, I figured as much." Matthew reached into his jacket, pulling out an iron bar, hitting Sam on the back of the head with it. Sam fell to the ground with a loud thud.

Matthew stepped over the motionless body, wondering how much it'll kill him physically to pick up Sam and carry him to the car. "I'll have to thank Bobby for giving me his Plan B."

--

"You're getting to be a pain," Sam said to Matthew, spotting him standing nearby once he awoke. He had a long list of things in his mind of what he could do to him right now.

"Don't get all wet," Bobby said from behind him. "He was only following orders."

Sam tried to raise himself up, but didn't get farther than a head lift. In his alarm he looked at the round table he was on, and found he was in the middle of a seal, one that didn't look familiar. "What symbol is this?"

"It's the seal of the Archangel Michael," Bobby answered. "Trust me, that wasn't an easy one to put together."

Sam wasn't pleased, but understood the symbolism. "The warrior of God, fighter of demons."

"You think that Dean was the only one that was supposed to watch out for you?"

"Is this about the having to kill me if I go evil thing?"

"Well that's one way of putting it. Some bad stuff has been going on, and you're the source."

"Bobby, please." Sam's head fell backwards, resting on the table. "I haven't gone darkside."

"No, just unleashing that monster inside from time to time to deal with your pent up revenge. The fact that this seal is keeping you contained isn't adding to my comfort."

"I'm not dangerous Bobby, at least to humans. If Dean was here, he'd believe me."

"Damn straight he would. That's why it's me doing this. We need to make sure you don't end up losing control and fighting for the wrong team."

"I only use my abilities to protect myself."

"Which has brought tons more demons out of the woodwork. You're making our jobs harder."

"That's not what I wanted to happen."

"Yeah, well you know what good intentions are made of. We found a way to fix this." Bobby looked up at Domino. "Go ahead."

Domino moved closer to Sam, picking up his nervousness. He opened the book, and raised his flattened palm into the air. "Nos coegi vos nobis, quisquis vos may exsisto, immunda phasmatis, diabolus vox, coniecto pervasor, scelestus legio, contraho, quod sects…"

Domino paused, while he and Bobby checked on Sam, watching his increased breath and uncomfortable look.

"Keep going!" Sam said, understanding what was happening.

"Subsisto per vestri praesumptio, dolosus serpent, frustro genus hominum, ut persecute templum, excrucio God's desumo, quod cribro lemma ut siligoinis."

Sam closed his eyes, and felt something rise up inside, something different. Black smoke wasn't going to expel from him this time, but the discomfort was enough for him to feel his heart sink into his stomach, and every part ache. He felt like he was going to explode. "Finish it."

"Is est to order no vobis per plurrimi Altus Deus, quicum in vestri superbus insolence vos etiam simulatio futurus par!"

Sam gritted his teeth and groaned, rearing his head back and arching his body in tight form just before he went limp. Bobby, Sam and Matthew watched the unconscious man with baited breath, hoping nothing else would happen. After a long minute, Domino spoke. "I think we're good."

"What exactly did we just do?" Matthew asked.

"It was essentially putting the cork back on the bottle," Bobby replied. "His abilities are still there, but back to where they were. That should fend off the uprising of demons for a while. At least until, you know."

Sam began to stir, and Bobby gave Matthew the nod. He put his fingernail to the line, ready to break the seal. "Promise not to kill me?"

Sam gave him the evil eye. "Oh, you can count on it."

Matthew stepped back in fear. "Are you sure it worked?"

Bobby rolled his eyes. "Fine, I'll do it myself." He pulled the knife from his pocket and scratched a line in the seal. He offered his hand and helped Sam up.

"Thanks Bobby," Sam said, referring the help and with the ritual. "Since that's settled, what can we do about Dean?"

Bobby had an answer, but knew Sam wasn't going to like it. "Nothing."

Before Sam could protest, Bobby jumped in with a further explanation. "Something big's coming, and we need to wait for the fallout."

"He's burning in Hell Bobby!"

"Don't you think I know that! The mere thought just-" Bobby held back his upset, for he knew letting his fears surface over Dean wouldn't do any good. "We just need more time."

Sam moved closer to Bobby, towering over him, catching his eye. "No."

"Think about this Sam!" Matthew shouted. Sam turned around, surprised to hear him speak.

"Everything that's happened is too calculated to be coincidental. I thought this would be over for me as soon as the portal closed but its clear there's far more to this than we initially believed. We all have our parts. Until then, its unfinished business."

Sam stood still, unable to argue, but grumbled, still not convinced.

"Sam, I read a theory, and it makes perfect sense. We're entangled, our lives at first twisted together by seemingly random events, but now what happens to one profoundly affects the other. We can't escape what's coming. Every event in our lives, whether large or small, has led us to this point, and it'll eventually lead us somewhere else, together or apart."

Sam accepted that Matthew was correct, but his raw emotions took away his ability for logic. He just needed his brother back. "Dean needs me."

"Sam, entanglement has a double meaning. It doesn't just mean being intertwined. It also means we're hampered, not able to act at will. We have to wait this out. As soon as it's over, we'll know what to do next."

Sam's lost gaze moved over to Bobby and Domino. "So you think something's coming soon?"

Bobby nodded. "I'd bet my life on it."

Sam sighed in acceptance. "I can't let the demons get to me then." He took a few steps toward the exit.

"Sam," Bobby said, "Dean's only been gone over three months. Don't do anything stupid."

Sam nodded and put his hand on the doorknob. Matthew ran up to him. "So that's it, you're just gonna leave?"

"Preparing you for what's out there isn't my job Matthew. I've got too many battles you don't need to see. Learn from Bobby, trust your instincts, and if you're right about this destiny thing, our paths will cross again."

"You at least gonna tell us where Dean's body is?"

"Somewhere safe." He opened the door and closed it behind him.

"You're just gonna let him leave?" Matthew asked Bobby.

"If I've learned anything in my life, it's never get stubborn with a Winchester. That and from time to time, we need to let go."

Bobby and Domino stepped away, leaving Matthew to continue his gaze at the door, watching Sam walk past the windows before disappearing out of view. Somehow, he knew Sam would make it out of this alive, but not unscathed. Sam was hurt long ago, and despite all their efforts, his lingering wounds would never heal. Even with a strong purpose long in place, it was still a tragic story. There was nothing else he could do but let him go. "Good luck Sam."

"Hey, wait for me!" Matthew shouted, running to catch up to Bobby and Domino. He had work to do, for his purpose had just begun.

--

a/n: Call it a cop out if you wish, but I decided to leave the saving Dean part to Kripke. As you can tell, the time frame is a couple weeks before the premiere. :)

This was a blast to write, even though I had absolutely no time for it, I'm thrilled I finally got to do it. I've been hanging onto this premise for so long! I'm rather pleased this time with the outcome, more so than my last attempt at a Supernatural fic. Anyway, even a simple comment of "loved it", "hated it", or "it's okay" will be embraced with much appreciation.

Thanks everyone for all your comments and taking the time to follow this complex story!