This chapter would have been up three days ago if FanFiction hadn't crapped out... so, I'm sorry about the increased delay!!!
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural or any of its characters.
Author's Note: I am so sorry that it has taken me close to three months to update this thing again. I have been so busy and I've been working on another project that I just let this one go. I hope this final chapter makes up for it.
Author's Note 2: This chapter end is really cheesy, just so you know. But I liked it, so it's staying.
Read and review!! It's the last chapter, so you better!! :-)
The War to End All Wars
Sam tossed another shirt into the already stuffed duffel bag and sighed. There was no way all of these things were his. When he had gotten here, his bag had consisted of three shirts, two pairs of pants, a few changes of underwear, and a lot of clean socks along with the photo of Jess and the two books he had lost during his stay here. He might have had a toothbrush and a comb at one point, but those minor details didn't matter.
"Dude, how the hell did you end up with so much crap?"
Sam blinked and looked up, surprised to see Dean standing next to his cot and looking at him in surprised amusement.
"I was just wondering the same thing," he admitted, pulling out the shirt he had just thrown into the duffel bag. It definitely was his. He remembered wearing it the day before he and Dean had been assigned to that crappy patrol in the center of the city and ended up being blown to hell. He remembered chucking it at Dean's head after the run through the thunderstorm because he was so sick of the way Dean could fall asleep at the drop of the hat while it took Sam hours to get to sleep. And he remembered picking it up and shoving it back with the rest of his things the morning after, thinking about how it was his lucky shirt and the fact that he needed to wash it.
"I don't think this happens to be yours," Dean said, smirking as he reached across Sam's shoulder and pulled a skimpy piece of lingerie.
Sam rolled his eyes and stood up, turning over his duffel bag in the process. He laughed when he saw that his bag was full of the bits and pieces of women's clothing.
"Dude, seriously, are you like gender confused?" Bobby asked, walking into the tent. His dark green t-shirt was even darker with sweat from the calisthenics he had just completed in the ninety plus degree heat.
"I think I must have grabbed the wrong duffel after all, Dean," Sam said, a smile playing on his lips. "This is definitely Bobby's. Thanks for pointing that out."
"Anytime," Dean said, smirking in reply. Bobby rolled his eyes and flopped down on his cot.
"Ha, ha, very funny," he said, rolling his eyes. "You think you're so clever."
"You're just jealous," Dean informed him, throwing a random piece of women's undergarment at Bobby. It landed squarely on his forehead.
Bobby merely rolled his eyes and tossed it off as Sam began repacking his duffel bag, minus the lingerie. He stopped for a moment when he picked up his blood-stained bandana, remembering the first time this had come in handy and who had given it to him.
It was Sam's second day out in the field. He was paired up with an older, balding guy that he hadn't met before, but had introduced himself as Robert Singer. He seemed nice enough, though he tended to be a little grouchy at times.
They had been walking for the past two hours and there had been no sign of any approaching enemy attack. All was quiet. It was too quiet for Sam's liking. He didn't know what had him so on edge, but there was something not quite right about the building they were about to enter.
"Singer, wait a sec," he said, putting a hand on Singer's shoulder.
"What is it, Winchester?" Singer asked, shifting his gun from his shoulder to a more ready position. "You see something?"
"No, but I just don't like—" Sam was cut off by the sound of a bomb exploding. Sam was thrown away from Singer and was knocked out. He came to a little while later with a red bandana tied around his forehead.
"You have a concussion," Singer said. The older man was bleeding from a small gash in his arm, but it didn't look too serious. Or at least, not from Sam's point of view. "Whitely is coming. He'll stitch up that gash in your head. For now, just keep the bandana on."
Sam had ended up keeping the bandana and had made a lifelong friend in the process. Joshua had given him endless grief about that one.
"…and then Joshua was like 'Bill, he's going, so just back off'," Dean said, shaking his head as he zipped up his duffel bag and threw it over his shoulder. "It was pretty awesome, watching that little twerp go against Bill of all people and get his way."
"Sure you have enough crap there, Winchester?" Bobby asked from across the tent. He got up when he saw what Sam was holding. "You found it!"
He snatched the bandana out Sam's hands.
"Yeah, it somehow ended up with my things," Sam replied, picking up another shirt. It was full of holes, had unidentifiable stains on it, and the writing on it had long since faded, but he recognized it instantly.
"Dude, you've had that thing all this time and you didn't tell me?" Dean demanded, taking the shirt from Sam's hands.
The shirt was Dean's favorite and the attachment he had to the thing was scary. Six months ago, Bobby had dared Sam to take the shirt because Dean had pissed him off on the patrol that day. Sam had also been ticked at Dean that day and had had no qualms about taking the shirt. He had meant to give it back, but so many things had happened since then and Dean had never asked for it, that Sam had just forgotten about it.
"Sorry, man," Sam said, laughing as Dean proceeded to pull the shirt on over top of his standard military shirt. "I forgot I had it."
Dean shrugged, before pulling the shirt off and throwing it into his duffel bag.
Clayton chose that moment to walk in. He looked in surprise from Dean to Sam to Bobby, before merely shrugging.
"Harvelle mentioned something about you two boneheads coming for a visit," he said. "Just as well that you're done; Singer's needed for a patrol."
"But Clayton, I just got off a damned night patrol an hour ago!" Bobby complained, throwing his magazine to the ground. "Make Reeves or Smith do it. I'm not going on another one."
"I wasn't asking if you wanted to," Clayton said. "It's an order. And both Reeves and Smith are going too, as well as Ryan, Harvelle, Sheppard, and Ford."
"Sheppard and Ford?" Dean asked.
"Sounds like it's pretty important," Sam commented at the same time. "What's up?"
He couldn't help but feel the familiar rush of adrenaline that shot through him every time he went on an assignment, even though Sam knew that he wouldn't be going on this one.
"There's been an attack nearby," Clayton said, looking grim as he took off his standard army cap and rubbed his balding head. "The enemy is pushing on this way pretty hard. You boys are lucky to be getting out of here. It's going to be brutal."
Sam and Dean exchanged looks, both knowing what the other was thinking. They wanted to be out there in the thick of things, doing what it was they had done best. It was agitating hearing the talk of what was going to be a bloody battle and not being able to be apart of it.
"Sheppard and Ford are your replacements," Bobby said more quietly. "They're pretty decent, but not as good as you two."
"We need to be out there," Sam muttered. "If it's bad, then you need us."
Dean and Bobby both looked as though they agreed with him, but Clayton shook his head.
"Kid, you're barely walking as it is," he said. "You need to go home. As does Richardson. You two boys have more than earned it. Go. That's my final order to the two of you. I don't ever want to see your faces around here again."
"Clayton, Richardson can help us," Bobby protested, not looking at Sam, who was trying to control his anger. "He'd be better at this then Sheppard and Ford. They just got here."
"They have to learn sometime," Clayton said. "Richardson has a plane to catch soon, within an hour if I'm not mistaken. Whitely is waiting for the two of you by your jeep, ready to go. I've come to say good-bye and get Singer on his way to the patrol."
"Forget it," Bobby said. "I'm not going. Get someone else to go on your suicide mission."
"That was a direct order, Singer," Clayton said in a dangerously low voice. "Now get your ass to the mess tent or I will have you court marshaled a second time."
"Then do it," Bobby said hotly. "I'm not going out there to get myself killed. No way in hell."
"Singer, just do it," Dean said quietly. "You will be fine. You're better at staying out of trouble then the rest of us are."
"Someone has to train the new guys," Sam said lightly, his hands shaking as he tossed another shirt into his bag. He pointed to the bandana that was still in Bobby's hands. "Try not to use that, okay?"
Bobby nodded once, looking away from the two of them.
"Get your ass to the mess tent in ten minutes, Singer," Clayton said. "That's an order. I expect you to obey it. As for you two, stay safe. Understand? No trying to be the hero back in the States."
"Yes sir," Sam and Dean said in unison. They both saluted the captain as he made his way out of the tent. He was quick to return it.
"Tell Reeves and Harvelle we said 'bye', 'kay?" Dean asked. Bobby nodded again. Sam could tell they were moments away from a huge chick flick moment, and mentally promised himself to mock the both of them for the rest of their life.
"Invite me to the wedding, man," Bobby said, glancing at Sam for the first time. "I'll go AWOL if I have to."
"Definitely," Sam promised, blinking back the sudden sting of tears. This could be the last time he ever saw his friend. Bobby could easily get himself blown up, if not today, then some other day, trying to do something reckless and stupid.
"Stay safe, man," Dean said. He smiled slightly. "And that's an order."
Bobby nodded again. Sam bit back a joke that was at the tip of his tongue, feeling that now was an inappropriate time to start joking around. Then again, he thought. When else are you supposed to joke around?
"You trying to become the next bobble head figurine?" he asked. "Cause I have to tell you, you're too bald."
Bobby smirked and Dean let out a loud laugh.
"That was pretty good, there, Sammy," he said, grinning.
"Shut up, you idjits," Bobby said, rolling his eyes. "And Dean, it's Sam. Sammy is a chubby twelve year-old."
"Thank god we're going home, Sammy," Dean said. "Any more of his crazy notion that your name is Sam and I'd think we'd all belong in a mental hospital."
"Haha, very funny," Bobby said as Sam rolled his eyes.
"You already belong in a mental hospital," he informed Dean as he tossed another shirt into his duffel bag. "Remind me to find you a padded cell when we get back to the States."
"You know you love it, Sammy," he said.
"Seriously, it's Sam," Sam said, zipping up his bag. "And thanks, man."
Dean was puzzled by the sudden change of subjects.
"For saving my life more time than I can count," he said with a shrug.
"You're the one who saved my sorry ass out there," Dean said. Sam knew his friend would have denied the fact that there were tears in his eyes, but they were there. "I didn't deserve it, but thanks."
"What the hell happened to no chick flick moments?" Bobby demanded, his eyes widening. "I mean seriously, you two are like moments away from hugging."
"I just can't help it," Dean said, blinking and looking away from Sam. "I'm in love with Sammy. He's so handsome!"
"God, it's no wonder why no one else can stand you guys," Joshua said, walking into the tent. The door fell shut with a small thud. "You're so gay."
"You know you love it, Whitely," Dean said, smirking as Joshua rolled his eyes.
"Jeep's leaving in five minutes," he said, glancing around the tent. "You want some help."
Sam tossed him his bag as he struggled to his feet and grabbed his crutches.
"You can carry that," he said, wincing as he resettled himself on his crutches. His arm still ached from time to time, but it was getting better the more he used it.
"I think we're ready to go," Dean said. He turned to Singer. "I guess this is it."
"Send me a postcard," Bobby said, looking wistfully at the door. "I should probably go before Clayton makes good on his threat to court marshal me. Hell, he might just skip the court marshalling and shoot me. I'll be seeing you two."
"Later, Singer," Sam said, smiling sadly as the older man walked out of the tent. He was going to miss him.
"We should go. Clayton said that they're going to be closing off all traffic soon," Joshua said. "I don't want to be stuck here in the middle of the fighting."
Dean and Sam exchanged another glance and shrugged.
"Let's go then," Dean said.
Sam let out a sigh, taking one last glance around the tent he had spent most of the last three years in and followed Dean and Joshua out of the tent.
The sounds of the jet engine grew louder as the plane made its descent onto the LAX Airport runway. The thunder rumbling across the sky could barely be heard as the pilot's voice came over the loudspeaker and told them to buckle their seatbelts and it was going to be a rough landing.
"Joy," Sam muttered as he fumbled with his seatbelt. His leg was throbbing and his head ached from where he had slammed it into the cargo hold trying to fold his long body into the tiny airplane seat. Dean had done him a service by not laughing at him as the elder did the same thing.
"Damn airplanes," Dean had muttered.
Sam would have been more amused by the fact that Dean had a deathly fear of planes if he hadn't fallen asleep due to the pain meds Joshua had given him ten minutes after they took off. Sam was more than thankful for them now when he realized how bad the turbulence had been due to the thunderstorm brewing right outside of Los Angeles.
"I fucking hate flying," Dean muttered from beside Sam. The elder man clutched at the arm rest as the plane skidded to a stop on the slick runway.
"We're home," Sam murmured, looking out into the stormy afternoon. "I can't believe it."
"You can have your epiphany later, after I get off this damn plane," Dean growled, sighing loudly with relief as the fasten seatbelts sign went off and the pilot announced that they could begin departing the plane.
"Sam, you want a wheelchair? One of the attendants said that she could find you one," Joshua offered, helping Sam into a standing position.
"I'll walk," Sam said, a little more sharply than he meant to. He instantly felt guilty, but refused the help offered to him from both Dean and Joshua as he made his way to the front of the plane.
Curse those idjits who put us in the back of this damned plane, he thought grouchily as he made his way down the steps slowly. He was grateful when Dean placed a steadying hand on his shoulder when he nearly slipped on the slick stairwell.
"Just let Whitely get you a damned wheelchair," he said.
Sam stubbornly shook his head as he shifted his weight.
"No," he said. "I'll walk."
He made it about two steps before he nearly fell. If it hadn't been for Dean standing right there, he would have done a face plant.
"You're a wimp, you know that?" Dean asked a teasing glint in his eyes as he pulls one of Sam's arms around his shoulders. "And a stubborn jackass."
"You're a jerk, you know that?" Sam asked, relieved that Dean was helping him. He would never have admitted it, but he knew he wouldn't have made it to the terminal by himself.
"Whatever bitch," Dean said, grinning now. "You ready to go home?"
"Take it slow," Joshua warned. "Just because you're home doesn't mean you need to be in any speed races. Jess will still be there when you get inside, I promise."
Jessica. Sam's heartbeat sped up as he thought of her. He needed to find her, hold her in her arms, to be certain that this whole thing wasn't a dream. That he wasn't back in that hellhole he used to call home.
The doors to the terminal swung open and Sam limped inside, leaning heavily on Dean as he did so. His leg ached with the effort of putting his weight on it, but he refused to sit in that damned wheelchair. Jess deserved better. She didn't need a broken man coming home to her. She needed him whole, and that meant sucking up the pain and dealing with it.
"Dude, you're heavy," Dean complained. Beside him, Joshua chuckled and Dean threw him a dirty look. Sam would never know how those two went from barely talking to each other to being the best of friends with the way they constantly bickered. They had done it the entire ride to the airport and on the plane, before Sam had zonked out.
Sam was past caring, however. Everything seemed to fade away the second he spotted her blonde hair in the terminal. He instinctively stopped.
Dean's concerned voice barely registered. He only had eyes for her.
She was standing by herself, looking anxiously around the terminal. Her wavy blonde hair was brushed back into a ponytail. She was wearing a simple sweatshirt and jeans, but to Sam, she had never looked more beautiful as she did right now.
"Dean, I think I can take it from here," he said, shrugging off Dean's arm. He ignored the anxious look from his friend and heard Joshua mutter something to Dean, before he was limping as best he could towards her.
Dean felt someone tap him on the shoulder and turned around. He noticed that Joshua had disappeared, probably to find his wife and son, but suddenly he didn't care. There was woman standing behind him, her warm brown eyes lighting up when they met his. Her dark face broke into a perfect smile.
"Cassie?" he whispered as the woman threw her arms around him.
"I've missed you so much," she whispered in his ear. "I love you."
"I love you too," he whispered back, wrapping his arms around her and kissing her forehead. "I love you so much."
Joshua rested his head on a small frizzy haired woman's head. She had been standing next to the windows, looking anxiously for him, just as he knew she would be. He couldn't believe that he was finally here, holding her in his arms.
"I love you, Marianne," he whispered. "I never want to leave you or Jason ever again."
"You better not," Marianne said, tears sliding out of her beautiful brown eyes as she looked up at him. "Or I'm running off with the milkman for good this time."
Joshua laughed as he leaned down and kissed her.
"I love you," he murmured.
"I love you too," she whispered back.
Her back was turned to him as he approached. Sam couldn't help the smile that graced his features as he tapped her on her shoulder.
"You looking for someone, there, miss?" Sam asked, his smile turning into a full blown grin as she spun around to face him, her eyes widening.
"Sam!" she shrieked, throwing her arms around him. Sam didn't care about the pain that the hug was causing him, he didn't care about the fact that he was about to fall over, and he didn't care about the fact that his father was standing a few feet away, an emotionless expression on his face. He was in Jess's arms, and he was home at last.