Disclaimer: See Part One

A/N: Last ditch effort. See if the boys can rise above the impossible and get out alive!

Part Seven

BAM!

The slap hit his ears first, his hearing returning like a blaring fire alarm, although the first thing he heard was the echoing silence. He fell backwards onto the hard wood planks, his back smacking flat against it. He gasped for a breath and then another as his body rolled on the dirty floor. It hurt. Everywhere. There had been a bolt of pain to his chest that had sent him flying and brought him back to his senses. Dean fanned his hand over his middle and he felt the burn. Hot, stingy, memorable. He'd been there before. Shrapnel. He could smell the sizzle of salt burning his chest and Dean's orbs broke away from his body, catching a glimpse of something… not natural.

Amanda's spirit seemed to be fractured, recovering from her premature exit from her host. She faded in and out, clinging to her atmosphere, grasping invisible holds on her surroundings. Her dark sockets gazed across the room and Dean followed, seeing the smoking barrel of his shotgun pointed directly at him.

Emily stood jumpy and distraught, the sawed-off dropping from her hands in a clunk to the floor. Her right hand reached down and scooped up Sam's glock and pointed it towards Amanda. Two shots of consecrated iron into her old friend's form. The young spirit rocketed backwards, loosing her fragile balance and fell towards Dean. He pulled the silver from behind his waistband and aimed up. The ghost tumbled back as the hunter sat up and plummeted the blade into the cold, feeling the shiv hit resistance. Amanda's head pulled back and she released an unholy scream. A cloud of fog started to emit from her side as Dean pulled the silver out and plunged in again, white mist exploding in pressure points along her damaged form. Pieces and particles of the apparition broke away, melting on contact as Amanda disappeared into the dense air.

Emily held the shaky gun in her frail hands. She looked from left to right. And her eyes stopped on Dean. "Is she gone?"

"Not really." He pushed off with the palm of his hand. His skin tore and ripped from the tiny pieces of metal embedded in his torso. He got to his knees and crawled to Sam, his own bloody hands grabbing at his brother's jacket. He heaved the dead weight with him as he stood. He didn't let himself think, didn't put two and two together, catching the massacre that was his brother's face and throat. His thought process was on one thing only – get the Hell out of there.

He motioned with his head as he hoisted Sam awkwardly up. "Try the door."

Emily turned the knob and the old oak cracked open. She shot a glance to Dean behind her shoulder as he pulled an immobile Sam out into the hallway. The young mother tried to grab the gangly legs that Dean was dragging backwards down the staircase. Dean reached the front door and said a quick prayer as he rolled the handle and then wasted no time when it flew open rushing he and Emily out of the house, carrying Sam with them.

The three headed down the walkway, still scattered with fallen snow. The morning sun was shining down on them as they kept the brisk pace, not looking back. Dean noted it was much warmer on the outside than it had been inside the walls of the notorious haunt.

"To the street! To the street!" Dean pulled Sam and Emily along. He didn't intend on stopping anywhere on the grounds of the murder house. The street would actually be the safest place to examine his brother's body.

They stopped not far from the Impala and eased Sam down onto the asphalt. Dean crouched over him and placed his fingers over his jugular. No pulse. His ear pressed down next to his chest. No air exchange. No movement at all.

"Oh, God," Dean breathed. He tilted Sam's neck back and gave him two breaths, watching his chest rise and fall. He went to his knees and started chest compressions, counting to fifteen. He glanced around for Emily's assistance but the young woman had wandered aimlessly away, up to the corner of the street, staring ruefully at the STOP sign.

"Emily!" Dean hollered to her. "I need your help!" Two more breaths. Chest up. Chest down. Compressions.

She ignored him or didn't hear, he wasn't quite sure which one. "Emily!" he tried again. Two more breaths.

"I've called 911. But it'll take a few minutes. They're coming in from Clarinda." It was the voice of an angel, creeping up behind Dean. He stole a quick look behind him as an elderly hand rested on his shoulder and crepitus knees gave way as an old woman with white kinky hair knelt down beside the hunter. She was at least seventy-years-old as she assessed the unconscious man in front of her. Gingerly she laid her aged-spot hands down aside his neck and felt for a pulse.

"Oh, my," she exclaimed as she rapidly examined Sam with near-sighted vision. She cradled his head between her hands and raised her small marbled eyes with droopy lids to Dean. "I'm a retired RN, dear. We need to get him breathing. I'll do the puffing if you can do the hitting."

Dean was already counting his compressions aloud and he nodded through whispered numbers.

She took the two breaths and they cycled through two more times before the arthritic hands felt Sam's neck. She breathed again into Sam's mouth and let Dean pump on his chest. Two more breaths and as the big brother tired, the old woman took up the counts, letting him save his energy for later. Something inside her nagged and pulled, telling her he was going to need it.

She rested a Grandmotherly pat on Dean's clasped hands and talked him through his nerves and adrenaline.

"Slow it up. You're going too fast." And when the man slowed his pace she flashed him a large denture-filled smile. "You got it. Good. That's it."

Another cycle of breaths and compressions and Dean pulled back, watching as she felt with her pruned fingers. Her small eyes dilated and she gave a quick nod to the stranger next to her. She reached over again and patted Dean's fisted hands, positioned over Sam's chest and then she cupped them warmly.

"You got a second chance, honey."

The old lady had no idea how many second chances the Winchester men had tucked under their belts.

Shiny green eyes darted from the old to the young, emotion thick, not certain if things were fitting right, but it felt warm. It was a silent victory. Sam didn't cough or sputter or vomit or cry. He just laid still, his right arm crossed over his lower abdomen, his eyes squeezed shut. But the bluish hue around his lips was dissipating, giving way to a much more welcomed pale pink dressing his dry lips.

Dean finally felt like he could breathe again, his own chest still on fire from the pelting of sharp metal. He rocked back on his heels and stared wearily at the old woman.

"Thank-you," he ground out.

A smile started to turn on her face when it was suddenly lost. "Oh, my!" she exclaimed for the second time and she attempted to feebly push herself up to her feet.

There was a perfect bang that cracked through the air, making Dean's shoulders jitter and his head turn in a 180-degree turn.

Like Sam, Emily was laying on the street with her left hand draped across her abdomen. Red ran quickly and freely from her temple and in her right hand, she loosely held Sam's glock.

Dean and the old lady reached her within seconds but it was too late. They were always too late.

"Oh, Emily," the old woman sighed. "Couldn't leave your baby alone in the dark, could you?"

A lump wedged in Dean's throat that wouldn't push down. For a fleeting beat his thoughts flew to his brother. He was so happy Sam wasn't awake for this. It would've killed him.

Dean was racked. Too much too soon. Too human. Too Supernatural. He could feel his vision dimming and the air around him becoming opaque. It was so hard to breathe. Which struck him funny because he was looking at the sweet mother laying lifelessly, the blood running away from her and she was having a hard time breathing, too.

Dean was getting smaller standing on the streets of Villisca, Iowa. He was shrinking, his body bent forward and the red spilling towards him started to swirl.

"Honey," the old woman pulled Dean back and he almost fell into her small arms. "You couldn't have done anything. She had to go."

Dean lifted his eyes to the white-haired woman, her words spliced through to his soul, a reminder of the responsibility behind him. Dean glanced back at Sam's body, still unmoving. "Ma'am," he swallowed hard, "I have to get my brother and go."

She took a long look back over to the younger boy and then back to the older one, her eyes searching. "You don't have any matches, do you?"

Dean narrowed his eyes. "Yeah. In my trunk."

She looked at the old murder house and then back. "Can I have all of them?"

A slow, understanding nod. "Yes, ma'am."

With Sam folded in the safety of leather seats, Dean handed over the box of matches he had stashed, under the machete. He threw in some lighter fluid and one of his best lighters. Dean offered to stay and take care of it, but the lady refused. He had other things to take care of and she figured no one would ever suspect a seventy-year-old woman as an arsonist. In return, the old nurse gave Dean a roll of gauze and tape and some painkillers. "Give him Tylenol in between. Don't give him aspirin or Advil. It will only make the bleeding worse."

Dean nodded as the sirens sounded. He reminded her of the other body still stuck in the house and to be sure the EMT's retrieved it with the front door propped open. She didn't question, she only nodded in agreement. The kick-ass demon hunter then bent down and gave the woman a peck on her cheek, breathing another thank-you to her. She blushed and smeared her cheek. When Dean's eyes constricted towards her, her face lit up. "Oh, I'm not rubbing it off, dear, I'm rubbing it in."

The Impala turned over with a soft grumble under her belly. His baby had missed them, too. Dean glanced up one more time at the old house and narrowed his eyes at a hollow figure standing in one of the upstairs windows. A man dressed in nighttime clothes looked out to him. His hand raised up and waved as though he were saying good-bye. Dean gulped and considered going up to check but then a moan released from the backseat. Some things were more important than investigating shadows. He pulled the wheel to the left with ease, turning to do a U-turn, pausing at the woman as he rolled the window part way down. She was waiting close to Emily's body for the ambulance, gun replaced where it had landed after being wiped off and re-smeared with only Emily's fingerprints.

"I'm sorry - what's your name?" Dean called out to her, trying his best not to make it sound like an afterthought.

She looked back, the sun hitting a lamp pole behind her, causing a halo effect around her head. Dean could see she was smiling. "Mary. Mary Stinson."

Hell, maybe she was an angel after all.

WWW

Sam saw Dean before he even knew he was seeing him. In the in between stages of awake and asleep and alert and unconscious, Sam would arouse. Where he was seemed to be a big part of his thought process. Dark colors. Musty smell. Dull lights. He was aware of water at his mouth. Pills on his tongue. The strange comfort of Motel 6 hospitality. In an odd way it was very soothing and reassuring for him. But maybe that was just the familiar hands.

He knew Dean was there. Although he didn't see or hear him. He could smell him, though and he could feel the calloused fingers at his lips, on the back of his neck when he swallowed. He was there.

When Sam did finally wake up he was talking mid-sentence, babbling to himself about a hunt he was on. He woke abruptly from it. He'd been hunting alone in his dream. Then he realized it was a memory from a couple of months before when the trickster had put a whammy on him and made reality a deception.

He looked to the left, the bed reserved for his older brother and found it made-up and empty. For a heart pounding moment he thought the memory was real. He was alone. Dean had died already and…

…And there he was. Pressed up against the far wall, hands jammed in his jean pockets, watching Sam in moody silence. His weight shifted under his feet as his back stayed glued to the wall. Sam sat up a bit, pushing up from the mattress on elbows not quite ready to take the assault his body had waiting for him.

"Dean." Oh, God, that was painful. Sam's hand reached up and circled his neck feeling the open sores, the new crusts of blood on scabs, the braided and bruised skin. He blinked and became acutely aware of his left eye. His fingertips grazed it. Twice, probably three times the size of what it normally should have been. Hard to see out of and his cheek underneath was bandaged. He could feel the wetness seep through the white, fresh blood still seeping through torn flesh.

Then he remembered Dean and his dark hazels trying to suffocate him. Sam trying to talk him out of the chokehold. Willing him to see through the madness and come back to him.

It must have worked because Sam was alive and Dean was here. Well, way over there, keeping his distance, but he was there. Mind over possession had conquered.

"Dean." Sam grated again. He patted the bed beside him. Plenty of room. The older hunter just stared, holding up the support beams for the hotel. His eyes were no longer dark hazel and possessed to kill. They had now regained their owner and they were shimmering and full. Sam wanted to pry, wanted to see what secrets Dean would tell by looking in. He patted the mattress again, harder and his brother grudgingly rolled off the wall and shuffled towards the bed. He took the edge seat, sitting evasively with his back to Sam.

Sam yanked on his brother's shirt like a four-year-old and watched with his one good eye as Dean turned. His skin was pale, freckles popping out in odd patterns across his face. Dark purple colored the circles above his cheeks and encased his eyes with exhaustion. The hazels flooded with an abyss that shined of Dean and when Sam looked to see, the abyss reflected back the one thing that meant the most to his soul. Sam. Even Dean's windows curtained Sam from what was really inside his brother.

Sam's throat worked, bobbing up and down, feeling the dry pinches and clamps from the force. "Aw, Dean…" his older brother looked away, taking with him all the light that mattered to Sam.

Then Sam really started to hurt. Dean always made it hard.

"It's… not your fault."

There was a quick nod, but his brother kept his back to him. He was at war, beating himself up, knocking himself down, tearing away his esteem. Losing without surrendering.

"You have to…" Sam hesitated, "talk to me, man." His voice wasn't his. It was a battered version caused by the weakness of his protector. Strangled and corroded just like his neck. Sam's voice was a reminder to the older hunter of what was and what happened and what he was incapable of without even having to take a peek.

Dean cleared his throat. Maybe it was in empathy, maybe it was because his voice was afflicted with its own atrophy.

"Almost killed you, Sam." It came out fast, he was rushing through his words, belittling his own feelings. Making himself unimportant, invisible.

Sam pulled on his shirt again. This time he didn't let go. "Wasn't you."

A snort. Half-hearted, half-artificial. "Looked like me."

Sam gave him a small smile even if he didn't see it, he'd be sure he could hear it. "Nah. Just a wax look-alike. But I could tell the imitation from the real thing." He tugged on the shirt and waited. There was no response from Dean except the fact that his head hung a bit lower and he seemed to grow even quieter. "Dean," Sam begged. He pulled himself up further in the bed as his older brother swung his knee up and bent it, pulling half his body towards the younger.

It was better than nothing.

Dean stared. He didn't look at the damage. He'd already mapped it out when Sam was asleep anyways. No, this time he stared at Sam. Brooding in silence.

Sam tried again. "What is it?"

The older man turned his head, tiny sweat beads splattered Dean's brow, his eyes downcast, focused on something not so important anymore. He shook his head in defeat. "Thought I lost you… again."

Sam nodded. It was Dean's silent fear. Being back at Cold Oak. Being alone. Face to face with all his failures and all his accomplishments. And all his pain. No big deal.

Regardless of his own anger over the selfish act his brother committed ten months ago, Sam had to let go. He had to be bigger than himself. He had to be like Dean and forgive. Sam released Dean's shirttail and pulled himself up doggedly into a more comfortable sitting position. Nothing stayed comfortable for long.

"I'm glad I'm here, Dean." His brother looked up. "Thanks." And when his brother steadied on him, Sam went on, "You can let yourself off the hook." Dean looked away yet again, not able to accept, only able to give.

Sam sighed. It was a tight rope and balancing act when they used words. More terrified to fall into the lion's mouth expressing their hidden feelings than in fighting vengeful spirits. Sam lightened the room. "Used my Jedi mind trick, huh? Or did you figure out how to break on through to the other side?"

It took Dean a few beats to figure out where Sam was coming from. "Oh. No. It was… Emily."

Sam's face frowned, expressing back his confusion.

"Dude, she snapped out of it and hit me with the sawed-off." Dean lifted his shirt slightly, showing off his own battle scars. "We got you out and," he smiled, "some old lady ran across the street. Helped me revive you."

"Revive me?"

"Yeah, I told you, I thought I'd lost you."

Sam didn't realize his brother was being so literal. "Oh." A familiar tune rang inside of Sam.

Don't let the past remind us of what we are not now.

I am not dreaming…

"After I got you here, I went up to the bluff and dug up the bodies. Salt and burned them both. Should be over."

Sam looked over to the windows then and noticed it was dark outside. He caught a quick glance at the clock. 1:33 a.m.

"It's night."

"Yeah."

"How long've I been out?"

"Over eighteen hours."

The look on Sam's face made Dean chuckle. "You needed your beauty rest, Cinderella."

"You sleep?"

Dean winked his answer.

Sam tried an attempt at a smile, but his cheek pulled and twitched at the pressure. "I thought it was the… I thought I…" he breathed heavily, but his brother waited. "I thought it was me." It sounded stupid and childish and he turned red after saying it. "Emily… she did good."

The older brother didn't want to talk about Emily. He wanted to just smooth it all out in the blankets of security and leave it alone. Chock it up under the column Things That Dean Should Only Know. He could easily create a façade for Sam, give him a happy ending to the fairy tale. Emily was alive and putting her life back together and dreaming of another baby and… secrets and lies. He had to choose what secrets he kept and what lies he told and sometimes he had to let things go, too. Even if that meant telling the truth once in a while.

"Emily did great. She was amazing. I didn't think she had all that strength in her. She saved you. Saved me." He cut off, chewing on his lip.

But she wasn't strong enough to save herself.

"What, Dean?"

"She, uh," he sucked it up, "she shot herself."

The silence laid over them both. Smothering, not warming. "She died?" he knew the answer but asked in spite of himself. Dean never spoke, just hung his head low, gave a sad nod.

Sam wiped away the wetness running down his good cheek. They hadn't saved anybody. They'd all died. He'd wished Dean had just let him be. Let him die. It would be so much simpler. He shook his head. It didn't make sense. Someone had to have been saved.

"More people would've died, Sam." Dean cut into his thoughts. "We did everything we could."

"Doesn't feel like it."

"Never does."

It was hard being a Winchester. Dean glanced over to his little brother, his gaze towards him, but not at him, clouded someplace where the older wasn't allowed to go.

"Sammy." Dean's voice scrubbed out, he saw Sam startle for a second like he'd forgotten Dean was there. He reached his right hand towards the younger man to give comfort, rub his shoulder, to do something.

But it was too fast, too high and too soon.

With cat like reflexes that surprised both hunters, Sam's legs retracted in and flailed out, kicking his older brother in his side. Dean toppled over the mattress and fell on his upper back and neck onto the short napped carpet. Sam pushed with such force that he sent his own body barreling the opposite way, crashing himself into the side table between the beds of the motel room and finally coming to rest on the carpeting below.

Sam pulled himself up quickly and sat with his knees drawn in, embarrassed at his sudden actions. He listened as the body on the other side of the bed scrambled up and then remained silent. Sam could see wisps of Dean's dark blonde spikes peaking out from over the covers. He saw his brother rub the back of his head and then shake it roughly. His mouth opened to speak and then his jaw clicked shut when he found that he really didn't know what he should say.

"Sam?" Dean called over, sounding a bit irritated.

His eyes shifted down, staring at his hands. "Yeah?" It was a muted sound, barely audible.

"You know I'm not possessed anymore, right?" There was no heat held in his brother's voice.

His hands started chasing thumbs. "Yeah."

"Okay, then," Dean shifted on the carpet. "I'm coming over."

Sam watched as the dark blonde disappeared from the other side of the mattress and then reappeared as Dean crawled from around the bottom of the bed. He climbed over the mound of blankets that had fallen when Sam went over and finally rest next to the younger Winchester, both their backs against Dean's bed.

Dean took the first shot over, surveying the messy hair, the loosened bandage, the broken face, the strayed little brother. He looked back down at his own calloused hands, blood stuck under his fingernails. Sam's blood.

One mouth would open silently and then the other. Neither knowing where to start because they were always at the beginning. Never able to get past the night that changed it all for everyone. The fire that snuffed out the heartbeat of the Winchester family. From that moment on, things were always difficult to muddle through. Especially words. They were often lost in translation.

"I'm sorry." Dean stammered out.

Wet eyes met him. Sam gave a one-shouldered shrug. "No, It's not you."

"You kicked me off the bed."

"I know. Sorry 'bout that. I didn't mean to… it just sorta happened."

"Yeah, well, I sorta happened to get possessed."

"I know." Sam looked away. "I know it wasn't you."

It didn't make Dean feel any better. Their lives were weird. Hard to breathe sometimes. Hard to talk. Hard to trust.

"What were you hunting in your dream?" Dean tried.

Sam stared back again. "What?"

He gestured towards the bed. "You've been dreaming all day. Hunting. I listened but I couldn't figure out what hunt we were on."

Sam thought about waking up, not seeing Dean. He wasn't alone, but for a few seconds… "A wraith."

"Where?"

"Seattle."

"I don't remember us hunting a wraith…"

"Cuz I haven't hunted it yet and you weren't with me."

That got the older man's attention. His heart skipped a beat and then found a much more rapid rhythm then it had held before. He tried to respond to that but all that returned was a shaky breath.

"Don't worry," Sam continued, "It wasn't a vision. It was the trickster."

"Come again?"

Sam's eyes slid around. "The trickster when you died. He made me, you know, live without you for a while. Wanted to teach me a lesson."

Dean shut his eyes, feeling a heat wash over his body. He released a curse word and then another. Sam was quiet, letting his brother process.

"So you kept hunting?" Dean thumped his head back on the side of the mattress.

"I guess. More like… killing."

Dean huffed. "Yeah? What does that mean?" Sam didn't respond to him and a horror paled the older man's face. His mouth jerked into a strange chagrin as he pressed warily on. "You… turned into something?"

Sam leaned forward and nodded, a lump lodging in his throat. "Yeah," he answered honestly, "Dad."

Dean blinked a few time times. Wasn't exactly the answer he was expecting, could have been a lot worse. But this was Sam. He hadn't stayed true to himself without Dean watching his back. He wasn't able to hold on to his own light, he had let it go to survive the life Dean chose for him.

Dean placed a warm palm on his brother's back, rubbing his t-shirt in small bunches. "How long?"

Sam wasn't sure exactly what the question meant but he ventured a response. "Six months."

More cursing and the hand stilled and squeezed his brother's shoulder. It was calming for Sam. It brought him back to when he was eight and had fallen off his bike in front of the entire neighborhood. Dean had rushed to help. And the time when he was fourteen and he had been dragged out of a haunted house… Dean had been there for him, too. He was as close to home as he could get.

"If you don't talk about it, Sam, then it's like it never happened." Dean prompted his brother. "And I think you matter enough to, you know, tell me." He felt the shiver from Sam's arm reflect on his own. "I can't make it go away, but I can listen."

Sam gave in, then, words falling out faster than he gave himself credit for. He told Dean about his journey. About the motels and the hunting. About Bobby and the Not Bobby. And finding the damned trickster and begging for more time. The humility in the pleading. He told him about the loneliness and missing his brother and about how he had turned into a monster. A human kind And there was no one there to save him from it.

Dean's heart cracked and bled listening to the memory, knowing it was Sam's future.

The older brother couldn't offer any words. Couldn't say he was sorry for putting the younger man in this position. Certainly couldn't stop the future from coming.

He turned his body, crossing his legs Indian style to direct his attention to what he could do. Help the survivor now. He surveyed the damage falling off of Sam's face. Tattered bandages, blood stained and dangling held up by loosened tape. Dean grappled at the fallen 2X2's and medical tape that had rolled along the carpet off the side table Sam had knocked off on his way down from the mattress.

"I'm gonna take care of that," his voice warned Sam, pointing at his cheek. "No need to Tyson me. Okay?"

Sam nodded.

Dean reached up and pulled off the white from the younger man's face and used his dry, rough hands to press the bandage back into place.

Sam winced at the pressure, watching his brother's arm under his white t-shirt flex with the force.

"You look like shit," he heard Dean mumble over his head. It was toneless but Sam could feel the hurt the older Winchester carried with him. Dean finished and his body pulled back, admiring his first rate handy-work. "Well, you're prettier than you were before, Sally." Then he really noticed Sam. Extra wrinkles covered his forehead, worry lines crow-footed out from his young eyes. His mouth turned down into a permanent frown, his cheek twitching unconsciously. The death sentence was eating his brother alive. Making him an old man.

Dean's arms suddenly reached across Sam's personal space and grabbed at him fiercely. Sam let his body pull forward and he laid his forehead onto his brother's shoulder and stilled.

The monster was gone for now and his brother had returned for a couple more months. And he was there to nurse and to heal and to save. Because that's what Hans Solo would do.

"I believe in you, Dean," Sam squeaked out, his voice giving him away.

A loose arm fit comfortably around his broad shoulders and rubbed. Dean's hold wasn't strangling like his possessed self had faked him out to be. No, the real deal was exactly what the younger brother needed. It was warm and easy.

"I know," Dean replied. "I heard you say it to me before."

Which struck them both as funny because Sam hadn't ever spoken the words and Dean wasn't technically present and accounted for to hear them.

Sam pulled out of the huddle and let out a laugh, followed closely by his brother. Then more laughter occurred. It started with a childhood memory Dean shared and then avalanched into a few more. They laughed with their whole bodies. Dean watched as Sam's face broke into huge grins as he grimaced and griped about his cheeks hurting. He dimpled up, his one good eye beamed and it reminded his brother of a long ago Sammy. He didn't smile like that anymore. But when he did, he looked so different, handsome and carefree.

And Dean laughed, too. His eyes smiling just as big as his mouth. Losing himself in sidesplitting giggles that had them both rolling to and from each other on the worn carpet. Not acting at all like a man who was going to run for his life in two months. No, this man, on this night looked happy.

They talked about the car and music. A few concerts each had caught. Talked about movies and some of the greatest lines they could remember. They talked about Mom. Sam asked the same questions and Dean gave him the same answers. It was the same old song and dance, but it made them both feel good.

They talked about Dad. There was joy and pain in the memories of the mysteries and enigmas that was their father. Smiles broke through and tears fell barefaced from each brother. They revealed a couple of secrets, but kept the bigger ones to themselves. They left the past and talked about the present and what a gift it really was because the future was truly unknown. And it scared them both. But they didn't discuss that. That they would leave for another day. They embraced the night and each other and held the moment for what it was. Fleeting.

The sun came up, shining bright light into the windows and Sam retreated to his bed, Dean to his and they laid their heads down exhausted from another hunt gone bad.

"Oh, yeah, I found our next job," Dean announced as Sam started to drift to sleep.

He raised his head an inch. "What is it?" Sleep was claiming him fast.

"Morton House."

"Wuzzat?"

Dean smiled, let out a small chuckle. "Haunted house."

A groan rumbled on the other side of the room.

"But tonight we'll go to the movies."

There was a long pause and then a dreamily voice chirped out, "I get to chose."

"Yeah," Dean answered with a paternal grin. "You can chose."

With the distant sound of fire trucks lulling them, sleep finally came and took them away at 8:35 that morning. They needed it. The next couple of months was going to take everything out of them, put all they had on the line, tempt them to the point where they didn't know if they could hang on any harder. But they were Winchesters and they were all they had left. They would search together for their miracle, even though it had already came and they had missed it, blinded by the Good of this World. For this hunt, they had been the ones in need of saving. And by the grace of three residents of Villisca, Iowa they pulled together and gave the brothers another chance at finding the ultimate way to save themselves. It would take Heaven and Hell to get them out of this mess.

So they would find a way again. A way to hang on and a way to survive another day. A way to talk. Even if they had to use more than guns and knives and words and arms.

They would have to use their hearts.

Playlist: Excerpts from the song Suite: Judy Blue Eyes from Crosby, Stills, and Nash

A/N: I am done! Okay, so I've only known about fanfiction land since March of this year and I want to thank everyone who has read my stuff and a huge thanks for those who reviewed. I know it's time consuming and I really appreciate it. I'm taking a break for a while and will be enjoying some fanfiction reading so if anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them! I'm going to the SN Convention in Chicago in November, anyone else going? Let me know if you are! Take it easy and this was so much fun. Hope you were sometimes entertained…