"Can you see?" Dean asked her.

"What?" Rachel asked. "See what?"

"Is he moving yet?" Dean said.

Rachel streched forwad as far as her restaints would allow. Twisting her neck to see down the dark alley to where the scarecrow would be, she hoped, on his post.

"I can't see." She answered, but the momet the words left her mouth she saw a dark shadow move in the bushes too close to her. Panic struck her hard and she cried out. "Oh my God!"

It moved closer, she was aware of Dean stuggling hard against the ropes that tied him in fear as well. "Oh my God!"

The thing moved into view and she was so happy to see the tall figure of Sam in jeans and a light brown carhart jacket that she almost peed herself.

"Dean?" Sam said looking around and seeing his brother.

"Oh! Oh," Dean said. Clearly overjoyed to see his brother. "I take everything back I said. I'm so happy to see you. Come on."

Sam bent over and began to untie Dean. Rachel watched and was so happy that her life would be extended at least a few minutes with Sam to the rescue.

"How'd you get here?" Dean sked.

"I, uh—I stole a car." Sam said as he finished untieing his brothers bonds and moving over to Rachel.

"Haha! That's my boy!" Dean said pulling the last of the ropes off him.

"Sam, keep an eye on that scarecrow. He could come alive any minute." She warned.

Sam tiled his head to look down the alley. She saw his brow furrow under the flop of his sandy hair.

"What scarecrow?"

Panic struck her again as she saw Dean stand up and look toward the post. His eyes widened and he quickly came over and knelt by Rachel, helping Sam to untie her as fast as it could be done.

"We gotta go. NOW." He said.

Finally free, Dean and Sam helped Rachel to her feet and without another word they all began runnig toward the highway. Their eyes alert and scanning with every step.

"Alright, now, this sacred tree you're talking about— " Sam started.

"It's the source of its power." Dean answered.

"So let's find it and burn it." Sam said.

"Not tonight we're not. That thing is loose looking for me and Dean right now." Rachel said.

"She's right." Dean said."Let's just shag ass before Leather Face catches up. We'll come back in the morning"

They reached a clearning and halted in their tracts. Waiting for them, with shot guns raised, were the elders. Their numbers stronger now with a few other townspeople.

"This way." Scotty said. Motioning back the way thay had come.

Sam, Dan and Rachel turned around. Looking for another way out buut they were faced with people with shot guns. Surrounded.

"Please." Rachel said "Let us go."

"It'll be over quickly, I promise." Harley said.

"God, your lucky your holding that shot gun old man." Dean said. His jaw clenched.

"Again, I'm sorry, but you have to let him take you. You have to—"

Harley's words were cut off. He dropped the shot gun and made a gutteral choking sound. A bloody sickle protruded from his stomach. Stacy's scream was blood curdling as she looked at her husband and then behind her.

Rachel watched as she came face to face with the scarecrow. The thing pulled the sickle from the old man, who collapsed to the floor immediately. The evil incarnation grabbed the still screaming Stacy in a choker hold. Then lifted the sickle high in the air and arched it down ward hard. The wickedly sharp thing impaled Harley right through the calf. Rachel was sure she heard a bone crack in half.

Every one but the 3 of them took off. They watched the scarecrown backed away with Stacy still in imprisoned in his arm and Harley being dragged, still alive and weakly struggling, into the gloom and shadows of the trees.

When they were no longer in sight, it was Sam that pulled Dean and Rachel out of stillness of shock of what just happened and made them run.

Rachel heard Stacy screaming right up until she was pushed into the back seat of Sam's stolen car.

They went back to the hotel that Dean and Rachel had shared the night before. After showering quickly Rachel offered to run out and grab something to eat to give the brothers time to talk. Rachel joked that being that close to death worked up an appitite and headed out the door.

She also told herself that the ride would help clear her head from all that had just happened in the orchard. She was half right, it did. But she couldn't think too long about Harley and Stacy getting what they deserved in Rachel and Dean's place. But to her dismay what did fill her thoughts was Dean's kiss the night before.

Until now she hadn't had much time to think about it and let it really sink in before they were out and trying to kill harvest gods. But now, alone in Sam's stolen car it was all she could do not to think about how amazing his lips felt against hers, how hard his chest had felt while he held her close, how drowned in her own senses she'd been while his mouth had been pressed against hers.

She waited for the guilt to set in. It came, but she wasn't slammed hard with it like she was used to. And that cought her off gaurd more then anything.

Tears stung her eyes as the vision of her beautiful blond sister filled her head. Kelly was smiling. Telling her it was ok, that she didn't have to pretend to be dead anymore. That her death wasn't Rachel' fault.

Rachel went through this regularly now. Even in her dreams, the ones where she relived trying to save Kelly and failing, she saw her sister smile at her and tell her it was ok.

But Rachel couldn't let go. Couldn't live and take part in life with this over her head. She hadn't even gone home to face her mother yet. She'd even gone so far as to swap her cell phone out so that she wouldn't see her mothers number pop up any more or be tempted to listen to the messages she left begging her to come home. That it was ok. That it wasn't her fault...that she loved her and that they were all they had left and please,...just come home.

The tears fell from Rachels eyes and she had to pull over to the curb. She switched the car into park, put both hands over her face and sobbed. She didn't cry because of the overwhelming emotion, she didn't cry because of guilt, she didn't cry because she missed her mother or her sister for that fact.

She cried because she wasn't riddled with guilt while thinking of all these things.

The usually overbearring feeling of all those sensations where enough to crush her when she thought about them. Especially under a scenario of doing something like giving in to kissing someone she'd been wanting for a long time. What got her right now was the fact that those crushing feelings she'd been acustomed to for more then a year now were all so muted.

She was crying because she felt better. Rachel sat in the car and tried to understand it all. How could kissing Dean NOT make her want to jump off a bridge right now?

Because it was amazing and you needed it and you wanted it and it was ok to have it. Her psyche responded with the voice of her sister.

Ok, Rach. Now you've really gona nuts. Rachel said to herself. In that moment she knew that regardless of everything, she needed to finish the hunt tomorrow, and put distance between herself and the Winchesters, again, to figure it all out.

She didn't need the distraction of mind blowing kisses that could lead to more at the moment.

She returned with fast food and ate with Sam and Dean. Dean didn't notice that she kept staring at him while he wasn't looking, trying to figure out in more depth the epiphany she'd had in the car.

Sam noticed her looking at his brother though. She cought him smiling and shaking his head amusadly more then once.

Rachel passed out on the couch from sheer exhaustion soon after. She didn't know it at the time, but the blanket that she woke covered with the next morning, Dean had been the one to drape over her while she dreamt.

The next mornig they drove to the orchard after a quick stop at the gas station to fill 2 gas cans. In the cool morning sunlight they split up and seached the ground for the tree.

It was Sam that found it. A quick cell phone call to her and Dean gathered them before the tall, knobby, ancient looking tree.

"Are we sure this is it?" Dean asked.

"This is it." Rachel said and pointed to a dark marking low on the trunk; Vince's Tattoo.

Without another word the brothers began pouring the gasoline over the tree. Rachel lit the match that sent it up in flames when they were done.

Back at the Motel, they broke down the room (gathered hex bags, cleaned salt from the windowsills) so that they could be on their way.

They had decided that Rachel would be safe taking the car that Sam had swiped back to get her own car a state over. Since he'd come from the west, it wasn't likely anyone was looking for it this far east. Dean was out side checking it for lo-jack or any other device that the car might be tracked with while Sam and Rachel finished packing their things. She made a mental note to ditch the car at least 5 miles from where her baby was waiting for her. Just to be safe.

She gathered the last of her things and said goodbye to Sam.

"You ever need to call me again when you and your wife have an argument" She said, extracting a chuckle from Sam. "Do me a favor? Don't."

"You got it Rach." Said said in his usual soft tone with that sweet crooked smile of his. "I owe you one."

She got up on her tippy toes and gave him a hug. "You don't owe me anything." She said looking up at him when they separated. "You saved my life back there. I owe you."

He just smiled at her and she smiled back. "Be safe." He said.

She shouldered her duffle and headed out to where the ugly, tan colored Gran Prix was parked. Upon looking at it in full daylight she was sure no one would be looking for the dinosaur and it's owner was probably singing Sam's praises for taking it in the first place.

As she neared it she saw Dean under the hood, tinkering with something. She couldn't help but notice the definition of his shoulders under his shirt and he hunched over. And not to mention that ass of his. She smiled and let her self admire the complete male hotness of him for a second before opening the backseat to toss her bag into.

He noticed her just then and stood up.

"Ok, your all set." He said, still looking at the engine, which he had running. "There was no tracking system but I fixed that freaking rattling noise that would have driven you crazy for the next 150 miles." He said. Then looked up her and smiled.

She shut the rear door and walked over to him. "Since when do you care so much about my mental health?" She asked with a smirk.

He stared blankly at her for a second then said "Fine. I can put it right back the way it was before." He said with a slight shrug and bent over again toward the engine.

"No! No, leave it." She said laughing and grabbing his arm to pull him back up.

He closed the hood wiped his hand on a rag he'd had thrown over his shoulder. Rachel hopped up on the hood.

"I didn't know you were so good with cars." She said.

"My dad was a machanic before...this life." He said. "He taught me every thing I know.

"Speaking of your dad." Rachel said. "You gonna head to Cali to try to find him like Sam wants to?"

Dean looked down at the ground. "I think Sam's over that for the moment actually. I think we're just gonna hit the road and work. Dad'll be found when he want's to be found." Dean said. "What about you? Where you headed?"

Rachel took a deep breath and exhaled it. Squinting in the bright sunlight she looked at him and answered honestly. "I think I'm gonna do the same. But to tell you the truth, I think I'm feeling home soon."

Dean raised his eyebrows in surprise. "Home? Really?" He asked. "I thought you were still too much of a basketcase for that."

"I am." She said. "But I think that I'm starting to deal. Which is why I'm gonna hit the road for just a bit longer. Figure it out."

"So seriously, it was me wasn't it?" He asked smiling. Always the joker but not really knowing how on the money he was at the moment. "Kissing me gave you new lease on life and made you forget anything else that could ever trouble you."

She smiled and shook her head while he spoke. Knowing that times like right now, besides her physical attraction to him, was the reason she found him so alluring.

"It was the most amazing thing ever. It's ok, you don't have to thank me." He said with one final little wink at her.

"Your absolutely right. Kissing you could lead to world peace I bet." She said with a smile. "You should find and kiss Sadaam Hussein. You'd be doing the world a favor."

His smile was wiped off his face. "The middle eastern dude with the big mustach and unibrow?" He asked.

"That's him." She informed.

"Yeah, I don't think so." He said with a chuckle.

"Would you settle for me once more then?" She asked before she could stop herself.

"I was hoping that's how we could say goodbye." He said.

The moment hung in the air around them. She grabbed a fist full of the front of his shirt and pulled him close.

She pressed her lips softly to his. He kissed her back gently at first then a bit hungrier when her lips and body language demanded it.

She put her arms around his neck and he moved closer to her, wraping his arms around her slender waist and settling his hips between her thighs where she sat on the hood of the car. Their kiss deepening as they pressed their bodies closer to eachother, belly to belly, chest to chest.

Rachel was completely lost in him for that moment. The way his body felt against hers, his scent, her want for him as he massaged her lips with his own in what she was sure was the hottest kiss she'd ever expirienced.

For the first time in over a year letting herself enjoy something of being alive. If she was going to begin to heal, she was glad that it started here, wrapped tight in Dean's arms with his mouth pressed against hers in a fiery, passionate kiss.

When they pulled away from eachother they were both a bit breathless. She looked up into beautiful hazel eyes and found herself wanting him so bad right at that moment.

Their kiss on the bathroom floor had been amazing. But unlike now, she had been cought off gaurd with it at the time. She was almost sure that if this kiss had been that one, that she would have let him make love to her that night. Thanks God for small favors.

"I'll see you out there." She said, still holding him.

"Count on it." He said, not letting her go either quite yet.

They looked at eachother for a few more seconds before they parted. He backed up slightly and she hopped off the hood.

She walked around to the drivers side and got behind the wheel. She put the car into gear and backed out. Giving him one last smile before pulling away.

On the highway a few moments later, she thought about it all and felt contentment mixed with guilt.

Yeah. It was almost time to go home. But not quite yet.


Hey every one. Another one done and it only took me longer then I would have ever wanted to...lol. I want to say a very heart felt thank you to my fans who stuck with me throught this long process. Thank you for sticking with me even in the loooooong periods between updates and thank you for your periodical kick in the butt via message to get the next chapter up.

Just so you all know, it's not that I keep you waiting for the fun of it, very much the opposite. I love writing about Dean and Rachel and I have about 30 more stories about them in my head right up until present day in season 6. But I'm a wife and a mom and run my own business from home, so getting time to sit and write about my lovers is harder for me then most people. But I promise that for those of you that want to stick with me through the next few that Dean and Rachel will be making some big steps soon. I'm working on the first chapter of the next one right now and it'll be up soon.

Until then, thank you again for all your support and feedback. See you all out there!