Author's Note: Okay, the ending nagged at me, so I had to add this little piece. I suffer from a sickness- thinking too damn much. So, I had to write this just to get out 2 lines of dialogue! I may need help.
3 weeks later…
"Did you settle everything?"
Gladys gave Wanda a gouge in the side to indicate she was talking too loudly. "Ernest set it all up. When the trumpet rolls, this place will be all theirs- lock, stock, and ancient barrel. Maybe one day those boys can rest and they'll need somewhere to hang a hat."
"I'll miss them." She sniffed.
"Now, now. You know things don't last forever and God gave us them when we needed them most."
"Felt good to be needed again." She openly sobbed, pausing at the kitchen door.
Wanda squeezed hard on her sister's shoulder. "Hmmm... At least they'll have somewhere to come should they ever need us. Do you think they'll want this old place?"
"It's theirs regardless. Who else can we leave it to?"
"Good point. Now get the game face on, we can't let them see us all flustered and bothered."
After a few brief seconds, Gladys pushed the kitchen door open, finding only Bobby and Sam waiting. "Hope you aren't in a hurry?"
"We got some time."
"Good. I'm making you some beef pot roast for the road. Growing boys and all that. Do you think that is enough?" She stirred the large pot, which might hold 10 gallons.
"That'll be plenty. You really shouldn't go to the trouble." Sam stood helping Gladys remove the pot from the hot stove.
"Nonsense. We have to feed our boys." She sniffled.
"You've done more than enough. I owe you in ways I can't ever-"
"Just be safe. Now where did that Tupperware get off to?" Digging in a ramshackle cabinet as several lids and bowls clattered on the floor, Gladys finally pulled out the biggest plastic bowl Sam had ever seen.
"That storage container will never work. It's warped." Grabbing at the bowl, Wanda yanked it from her sister's fingers.
"Shut up, you old bat. Give that back." Gladys warned waving a large wooden spoon at her sister. "Who's the cook in this family?"
"I call bullshit."
"Now, ladies all this is totally unnecessary." Bobby stepped between them, blocking the sisters from arguing.
Sam merely chuckled and glanced out the window at Dean. Yet, he couldn't begrudge his brother some solitude from time to time.
"Dean's a healing boy; he'll need cloves of garlic to make the blood thicker and..."
"And a cast iron stomach!" Wanda moved passed Bobby and Gladys as she tossed in some unknown herb.
"You're going to ruin it!"
The sisters continued to argue about the best recipe and ingredients when Bobby tossed up his hands. "I officially surrender. Stick a fork in me."
"Better not say that too loud or they might fork you."
"Might risk it if we weren't heading out." Bobby peered out the window bearing a stare on Dean's back. "Looks like he healing up fairly well."
"Yeah, good enough for him to be stir crazy at being cooped up."
"Doubt that's all it is. Why don't you go on out there? I can handle these two and packing up."
Dean hovered on his calf muscles, scooting down to sit on a rock near the frozen pond. Just beyond, the old barn lay to scorched waste and he could help but sense a pang in his gut. "I'm sorry Holley. I wish I could have save you- saved your Dad. If there is a God, I hope he found you."
His dirty fingers dug down into the frozen ground, freeing a jagged stone from its earthly grave, flicking and skidding it hard down the thick water mirror surface. When it joined the mass of other pebbles on the far end of the water, he closed his eyes finding only a flash of hell there.
From a distance, Sam watched over his brother, always mindful to give Dean space. He was halfway to the pond when he saw Dean bow down in a horrid flashback. When a groan echoed oddly, he couldn't resist the temptation of joining his big brother. Space was one thing, watching Dean in pain quite another.
"I'm going to rip you apart." The voice hissed into Dean's ear as fresh from memory as it had been the day it was said. "You're going to be our favorite."
He shook his head, forcing the creeping pain back. His eyes closed briefly and when he opened his eyes, spheres of sunlight splattered out golden streaks, playing on crystals in the ice in a spectacular light show.
"Got one of those for me?" Sam coughed, sitting down next to Dean on the frozen ground, holding out a hand for one of the stones Dean had collected, but none was offered. "Vision?"
Confused as to how Sam approached so silently, Dean realized he must have drifted. He hated being helpless. "It's okay now, I got it under control. Sometimes, they just happen." He shifted his foot for no other reason than to keep his mind in the here now. The throb in his leg relayed he had been here for too long and his last painkiller had long since worn away. He shuffled and fumbled inside his jacket pocket, retrieved a bottle of pills, ripped off the lid, tossed two in his mouth like he chugged beer, and swallowed dry and hard.
"I don't know who I am any more, Sammy." Staring with an unfathomable expression, Dean shrugged his shoulder and threw the next stone like a baseball, watching it plunk through the ice. The ripples in the wake continued for a minute while Dean concentrated on the intricate rings and splashes.
Sam waited for the splashing and ice cracking to subside before he spoke, meeting his brother's challenge head on. "You're Dean."
"Learned to be a smartass from my brother. It's one of his more annoying, but useful habits." Sam brushed the back of a scarred hand across his nose and sniffed. "You ready to get going?" His wound already fading so light it was unseen.
"We aren't going to push you to this. But, Bobby may not last another week with Wanda and Gladys. I think they're loading the Impala with enough provisions to feed a 3rd world nation."
"They mean well."
"Yeah, I kinda like them--- which is why I would understand if you… You have to carry on with your life. I know how that is."
"I'm ready. Just thinking." His voice crusted over with unspoken pain like an old scar you have the urge to scratch but you shouldn't. Instead, Dean skidded a slick pebble into the fissure he made just before, following it as it plunked in the icy depths.
"Yeah, still have my aim."
"You know you can talk to me." Sam waited, breathing deeply, trying to control the various questions in his mind.
"It's like I walked into this dream that can't be right. Even more surreal than before with Angels and Demons."
"I did some research on Castiel, if that is the truth of who that was."
"Mom seemed to know him. Called him by name."
"Don't know. Heaven kissing your butt kinda makes me feel better. You know he's the angel of Thursday in some lore."
"Yeah, and that makes me feel better?"
"You died on a Thursday at 9:58 p.m."
"You timed it out?"
"I'll never forget it. You didn't even get the last 2 hours before midnight."
"Like that time would have made a difference."
"It did to me." Sam mouthed. "So I guess the angel owed you a bit of time for slacking off on his job."
"You're here now and things well be better-"
"You have no idea what they did to me," Dean started. "They torture you into believing whatever they want." He inhaled heavily.
"Dean, I-". Frustration balled inside his stomach, a sickness for the price Dean paid for him. He couldn't feel sorry for himself for no how dreadful he felt, Dean had the right to feel worse. Squinting, Sam slated a glance the panged, haggard breaths that ensnared Dean's voice.
"Don't. I don't blame you. Don't look at me like that. I didn't mean that."
"Sure you did." Sam elbowed Dean lightly, "But, it's fine. I can't share what happened to you. For as damn sure, I would if I could. I would take it all away."
"I know that. I don't want you to. Cause I can live with the pain."
"I prayed so hard that there's somebody listening that would help me find you- save you. No matter how you feel right now, this is where you belong."
"Yeah. I have to save who I can."
"You know, it's kind of funny," Sam kicked hard, digging his heel into a groove on the ice.
"Countless demons and pure evil must have killed thousands of hunters and good people over the years. Then they killed our Mom and pretty much assured their own end. Talk about a colossal screw up on their parts. If they knew that my brother was going to be such a badass-"
"I'm not doing this for revenge." His desire to save humanity outweighed any need for retribution. He'd saw John walk that road and witnessed how it tore what was left of his family apart.
"Did you think I didn't know that? I mean, at first, that was why I stuck around. With Dad missing, I got scared that something had taken him too. And I thought if I looked away, they would get you too."
"You needed to get over Jess."
"That was part of it, but not all. I finally understood where you were when Mom died. How it must have twisted you all around. And I couldn't even function when Jess died! You marched on, helped raise me, and kept Dad from the edge. But, you killed the yellow-eyed demon and made that right. You could have stopped right then and no one would blame you. Not you, though. You picked up- kicking ass as soon as we could."
"Actually, I always wanted to die in some blaze of glory heroic sacrifice, mainly which dealt with me driving my car as fast as possible in this James Bond like special effect that defied the laws of the universe. Now dying doesn't seem to be so appealing- cause it kinda hurts."
"Got to say, I haven't enjoyed it myself. Guess that means you have to go of old age in your sleep. See you had to come back to push me around and race me in my scooter thing."
"You're a sick bastard, Sam."
"Oh, yeah. That's it." Sam reached out, punching Dean's good arm slightly, but shock flooded through him when he felt coldness. "I got something for you. Might make you feel better."
"I'm okay, really."
"Fine. I can just keep it." Dangling from a cord, Dean's gold charm swayed in front his hands, moving like Sam was trying to hypnotize him. "I hear it wards of warts, sheep, Billy Bob Thornton, and the occasional Bigfoot."
"Nah, just a myth." Dean chuckled, wiping a bit of water from his eyes. "I mean you're here and you're the original Sasquatch. That was just a story I used to tell my little brother to make him think I was in control and could protect him."
"Poor sucker! Fell for it every time."
"Yeah, kinda a dumbass that way. He couldn't organize a pissing contest in a brewery."
"Cause the bigger one kept drinking all the beer, leaving said little bro unarmed."
"Snooze you lose. See total dumbass."
"Guess you better keep an eye on him." Sam's voice cracked.
"I don't know." Dean scrunched up his face. "He's a lot of trouble."
"Oh, he is. But, I hear he has this whole weird respect for his big brother and missed the hell out of him."
"You really think?"
"Yep. He kinda was lost without him and if said big brother isn't doing anything?" Sam sniffled.
Taking a breath, Dean smiled. "I hear his calendar is open actually."
"Good." Sam hands the amulet over. "Causes he's got first drive"
"Should have known the little brother would turn to demanding bitch." Dean baited waiting for Sam to continue skirting the issues. He pitched the amulet over his heart and swore he felt a warming sensation.
"That's cause big brother's is where he belongs and little brother really missed him." There was no playfulness in his voice, not even an indication the word Jerk existed.
"I'm not going anywhere, Sam."
"Good. " He straightened and evened his speech. "Neither am I."
"But someone better tell little bro he's stuck with 10 hours of Metallica when we get to the car."
"I think he already knew that, but I'll warn him when I see him."
Dean stood uneasily, pressing down with his right to compensate for the agony in his left side. "Better move your ass then, we got a lot of miles ahead of us."