A/N: Well, here we are at the last chapter of a great experience for me. Not so much for the Winchesters, or some of you. 100 reviews on the nose, I'm so thrilled! Please let me know what you all think about this last chapter and if I somehow missed replying, I am so the last chapter of this one and please Let me know what you think! This has been one of my favorites to write and I hope it hasn't been disappointing. Last warning here for language. Julie and Dean get a little...upset.

Chapter 8

"Nnnh." I groan, feeling my head split open with pain first, then the sensation of a bad sunburn settles over my skin. "Oh God." I moan, rolling onto my back and mentally checking for broken bones, forcing my foggy mind to work. Feeling no sharp, stabbing pain or numbness, I push myself up onto my elbows, seeing the still settling dust and smoke moving on the breeze. Memories slam themselves home and I'm instantly standing on shaky legs, looking around at the apocalypse. The town is trashed, cars demolished, some still burning. The pavement is littered with cracks, starting small and getting bigger as they near a crater several yards off to my left.

"Dean?" I hear her now through the loud buzzing. Julie.

"Jules, ya alright?" I see her, her soot smudged face and the torn, bloody shoulder of her fatigues. I run to her feeling the deep ache within me. "Ya okay girl?"

"Think so. My god, what happened?" She sits up, favoring her right arm and looks around. "Biggs and Nate." She says looking off to our right. The two men are lying face down, close together. I can see the blood from here. It's on Nate's back, running down his sides to pool on the pavement, seeping into the cracks. A sliver of what looks to be a utility pole is sticking out of his back. I know he's dead. I see Biggs stir and Julie is soon at his side.

"Dean?" Bobby. I turn to face my old friend and my heart breaks. He's a little worse for wear, his previously pinned sleeve loose and flapping gently in the breeze. He has a trail of blood edging from beneath his dusty, burned ball cap. But it's still seated firmly on his head. "Ya hurt, son?" Bobby says to me as I just stare past him. He shakes me gently, he's talking. I don't really hear him; he's talking about survivors…

"Whoa, wait. Survivors?" I finally say, looking at his dirty, blood smeared face, just working on autopilot, not registering what I'm saying, what I'm thinking.

"A couple of the possessed people survived. Jules, Biggs, us. Lilith is a pile of half scattered ashes by the looks of it."

"Sammy did it." I whisper, everything finally hitting me. I barely feel my knees hit the cracked pavement. I don't hear Bobby calling my name. Moisture burns my gritty eyes and scalds its way down my cheeks, sending the dirt packing to reveal twin clean paths over my stubble. Bobby is on his knees now, with me, beside me. He's tucking me in against his chest, his arm curling around my shoulders, hand in my short hair. He's crying too. I can feel the change in his breath as it hitches. I don't sob, don't even breathe hard. It's all been taken from me. There's nothing left for me to cry for. We might have won this, but the losses…

"It wasn't worth it. None of this." I say, voice soft, just staring over Bobby's shoulder. I see that damn crater. A hole in the earth, in the middle of the two lane road, in the center of Lawrence, Kansas. Home. It's where everything started, where everything was taken from me… twice. Tears finally force my breath to hitch, to match Bobby's and I'm turning my head into the side of his neck. I smell the herbal/gunpowder/grease/sweat scent that has been Bobby for as long as I've known him. He's like a father to me, and now, the old man is my only family. He's all I've got left. I feel my heart disappear with my soul.

"Oh my god!" Julie says, loudly over the ruckus of weeping, screaming survivors. Six out of eleven people, who Lilith's goons possessed, have survived. Three of them are critical, put through too much for their bodies to handle at the hands of the demons. Two will probably need a lifetime therapy and one, one of them is completely, eerily silent and looking vaguely suicidal. Demons. I give them a week and they'll all be dead. That's war. It has casualties, collateral damage. Bobby turns, pulling me with him on the pavement, the cracks scraping harshly over my shredded fatigues, biting into my knees. I look up through bleary eyes to see her standing at the edge of the crater. She's looking down. It's probably fifteen feet deep and twice as wide, but I don't care anymore, haven't looked closely enough. It's just a pile of dust and rubble at the bottom, some sparking wires and broken water pipes still trickling water into the bottom, turning the dust-or ash- my mind screams at me, Fuck, to mud.

"Dean! Oh my freakin' god! Dean!" Julie is screaming now, freaking out. She's crying. What the hell? I stand up, pulling the old man with me as I walk closer to her; sure she's lost her mind. War does that to people. I feel like begging for the white jacket and good stuff myself. I can hear her better now. "Fuck, oh god, oh god." She keeps saying.

"Jules? Ya okay?" I walk up to her and take her by the shoulder, careful of her wound. I look down into the rubble filled hole. Something catches my eye. "Fuck!" Before I realize what I'm doin' I'm scrambling down the hole, not caring as it rips at my hands, my legs. The chunks of broken pavement that my feet disturb fall to the bottom and I'm willing them to stop. Don't you hit him! Don't you fucking hit him! I'm on my knees now, sliding the rest of the way. Asphalt bites into my skin and I can't make myself care. It's him. God, please let it be him. I brush mud and ash off of –"Sammy"- long brown hair. I ghost him for injuries, finding too many to focus on. Please, I'm begging you … be alive, be alive! "Ah God." I'm half giggling, half sobbing as I reach a muddy hand out to his face. I slide my finger, just one finger, over his cheek, clearing the mud, finally finding what I seek, while I pray that I don't hurt him. I feel my finger hit that tiny mark that makes Sam, Sam. My finger rises up over the mole that rests just to the side of his nose. His face is half buried in mud, bloody, ash covered and still the most beautiful thing I've ever laid eyes on. I feel it then, the tiny puff stirring the short golden hairs on the back of my hand.

"OH GOD! IT'S HIM! HE'S ALIVE!" Tears slide down my smiling face, landing on his muddy cheek and cleaning it. "Sammy. I'm here. Just hang on kiddo."

I hear a commotion over us and then Bobby is leaning over the hole. "I sent Biggs after the rig. We'll see how close we can get an' pull him out. Dean, how bad is he?" I look at my brother again, starting with his face. I rattle off his injuries loud enough for Julie to hear.

"He's got a contusion on his left temple, burns, mostly superficial, on his face. Bobby, toss me a flask!"

"Water or whiskey?"

"Both!" Bobby leans as far over the hole as he can and tosses me the first of two flasks. It is silver, with a devil's trap etched into the side.

"That's the water." Bobby hollers as he tosses me the whiskey flask he pulls from his hip pocket. I pull the cap on the water and tip a bit into my palm, careful not to waste the precious liquid. I carefully wipe mud from Sammy's face, starting with his eyes. They're matted shut with grime and blood. I work on the one not nearly buried in mud until it's reasonably clean. I can see it looks like he's got bad sunburn, maybe a little worse than the reddened skin the rest of us have. I take a deep pull from the whiskey flask.

"He's hot! He's spiking a fever!" I say to those above me, before turning a softer voice back to my brother's ears. "Hang on Sammy."

"What else Dean?" Julie yells down to me.

"He's face down. I'm tryin' to see what I can." I open his eyelid and thank god a blue green ring of iris shows around his blown pupil. It's barely there but still…please just let it be concussion. I use a little more water and clear his mouth and face, finding him fevered, his pulse too fast and thready. "I gotta get you the hell outta here."

"Dean? Dean, Biggs is back!" Biggs. Good man. He probably sprinted to the parking garage three blocks over to get the rig. Our "ambulance" is a one ton cargo van that Julie had stolen and outfitted with "commandeered" medical equipment. Julie rushes to the back of the van, tapping on the double doors to signal Biggs that he'd backed as close to the crater as he is able to. I hear the doors open, banging into the sides of the van and I hear her voice speaking to Biggs. Her words aren't loud enough to make any sense to me. Seconds later she's leaning over the hole and as I look up I can see the large med kit she has in her arms. "Dean, Biggs and Bobby are gonna lower the stretcher with the winch. You and I are gonna stabilize Sam and get him the hell outta the hole. Gimme just a second to set things up and I'm coming down."

"Bring a blanket!" I yell up to her.


"He's burned. His clothing is mostly burned off." I touch Sammy and his clothes turn to bits of tattered, ashy fabric, nearly unrecognizable as the muscle shirt and fatigue pants he was wearing. I see so many injuries disguised by dirt and blood. Cuts, contusions, burns… Please, Sammy. Just hang on… for me. "God, kid, ya look like you've been through the hard side of hell." I reach up and tuck a finger under his nose, not breathing myself until I feel the warm puff once more. It's barely there this time.

"Jules, get the hell down here!" I touch Sammy as I see him start to tremble. He's moving beneath the hand I'm fighting to keep gentle. I just wanna scoop him up in my arms and hug the hell outta that kid. He's moving now, his eyes shifting under the closed lids.

"Sammy, shhh. You're hurt pretty bad kid. Just lay still." I feel tremors work through him. Out of the corner of my eye I see more chunks of pavement and debris fall into the hole near us and Julie slides to a stop beside me. "Jules, something's wrong." I say, hearing Sam now. His breathing is off. It's faster, still shallow and rasping now, grinding through his lungs and throat as if he has rocks in his chest. Julie opens the kit that came down with her and yanks a stethoscope out, sticking it in her ears. She puts it to his back and her head whips up.

"Dean, there's fluid in his lungs. You have to get his head outta the mud. He must've aspirated some of it." I tuck my hand under his cheek and use my other to steady his head as I gently lift it just an inch or so off the ground. His breathing becomes worse and now he's choking, bringing something out of his lungs with the deep, rasping cough that shakes his battered body. Black ooze dribbles from his lips and coats my hand where it's on his cheek.

"Damnit! We gotta roll him, he's chokin'." We grab him anywhere we can steady his spine, that we don't see burns or blood. His clothing falls to nothing in our hands as we get him onto his side. Julie grabs the blanket and covers him, as I brace his head and neck. More of the viscous black fluid bubbles from his lips as he continues to choke, unable to draw a breath as the stuff forces itself out of my brother. Julie thumps his back to try and clear his lungs as more of the stuff coats my hand like tar. I feel it on my skin. It burns like acid, freezing cold like melting ice. I hiss as it burns me like frost bite, wiping my hand on my muddy pants.

Seeing him like this, it wrecks me. I've seen him too silent like this before; I'm beginning to think one too many times. Julie has him strapped to the stretcher now. His covered to his chin with the scratchy blanket. He's pale. Still. He looks lifeless as Julie hooks the winch cable to the harness system rigged to the stretcher. We signal Bobby and he turns on the electric winch, pulling my brother out of the crater. I see the stretcher move up slowly, tipping my head back to follow it up. I see the rising sun catching on the dust in Sam's hair. And I scramble up then, up the side of the crater, slipping as the debris rolls under my boots. The med kit bangs off the side of the hole, but I don't give a shit. I need my brother.


We get into the rig beside the stretcher, not surprised to hear the others talking already of survivors, of the destruction. Biggs volunteers to stay behind and deal with the dead, the survivors and Nate. Bobby looks up and down the ruined street, seeing the smoking hulls of cars, some flipped over, some crushed by the power that nearly leveled the town, before he gets behind the wheel without a word. Even as far as the eye can see it looks like ground zero. I sit on the bench as we pull out, wedging myself in beside Sam. I don't see any of it. I only see my brother, struggling to breathe. I don't feel the debris we run over. I don't feel how the rig shudders as it rides over cracks in the asphalt. All I feel is my little brother's hand in mine. His pulse is hammering, beating three times for every circle my thumb makes over his wrist.

Julie's full attention is focused on Sam, keeping him stable, keeping him alive. My full attention is on Sam, holding his hand as if I can hold him here, in this life, beside me. Bobby slows the rig and looks back at me. "We're here."

"Let's get him inside and to the infirmary. I'll do what I can."

"You'll save him Jules."

"Dean, I'm just a cop with a little bit of glorified training in how to fix booboos. I don't know if I can help him."

"You'll save him." I say, looking up at her with dull green eyes. I can feel my life slipping away with Sammy.

"I'll try." I nod at her, just a small movement of my head, and we're opening the back door of the van. We lower the stretcher to the drive and unfold the legs, wheeling him up to the porch where we drop the legs once more. Bobby helps Julie lift the end near Sam's feet. I take his head, forcing myself to untangle my hand from his. We carry him onto the porch and unfold the legs of the stretcher, wheeling him inside.

Julie stops the stretcher outside the room. I'm staring at Sam, my lungs constricting with every wheezing breath he draws in. She touches my arm. "Dean?"

I jump, looking from my brother's burned, pale face to her worried one. "Huh?"

"I need room to work on him."

"No. Nuh-uh. Not leavin'."

"Dean, I need room. I can't save him if you won't let me work. You can wait right outside. If the slightest thing changes I'll get you. I'll give Sam the best care I can. You just have to trust me."


"Dean." Bobby says, his hand coming up to squeeze my shoulder. "Let's get 'im in the room and go get a drink." Bobby's tone leaves no room for argument and I find myself nodding, my eyes shifting back to my brother's face. We wheel him into the room and remove the straps across his body, moving him gently onto the bed he's so recently occupied. Julie goes to work, cleaning wounds, setting up IVs and machinery as she settles an oxygen mask over Sam's nose and mouth. I watch for a minute from just inside the doorway, as the mask fogs with his breath. Bobby grips my arm and pulls me from the room. You just keep breathin' Sammy. I'm close. Keep breathin' for me.

Bobby leads me into the canteen, my leaden feet barely wanting to move. He circles in front of me and wraps his arm around me, pulling me into a hug. It's still an odd feeling, only one of his arms going around me. He's still Bobby though, the closest thing I've had to a father in years. I'm hugging him back, tears finding their way free from eyes I've clenched so tight, they hurt.

"He'll be alright son." Bobby says, rocking me gently. "I swear, he'll be alright."

Bobby eases me down into the chair nearest the door. I know he does it so I'm close when Julie comes to the door. My fingers fleetingly probe the sore bump at the back of my head, my own pains and aches starting to make themselves known. But I'll survive, always do, unlike so many who didn't, unlike Sammy who … I shake my head, brushing the thought away. Bobby moves slowly to the cupboard, pulling down a bottle of whiskey. He turns and puts it on the table in front of me, returning to the cupboard for two shot glasses, which he still struggles to get securely in his fingers. He brings them to the table and sits them down, capping the bottle with a shaking hand.

I down the freshly poured shot and he pours me another, which slides down before the burn from the first dies to a simmer within me. He downs his own as he sits opposite me. We drink and keep silent company. I hear the old clock ticking on the wall and I'm counting the beats.


Four hours later Julie comes to the door of the canteen. My head is down on the table, my heart somewhere in the vicinity of my boots. The table under my face is wet, my eyes still burning with a sting that has nothing to do with alcohol. "Dean." She says. Bobby puts his hand on the back of my head and I suck in a breath, sitting up quickly. My empty glass tips over on the table and I'm on my feet, swaying slightly, turning to see her standing there, leaning against the door frame.

"He's finally stable." She says, her hair sticking to her damp face.

I pull her to me, kissing her on the forehead, whiskey fumes mingling with the smell of the coffee flavored candy she is fond of when she's upset. "Thanks Jules." I say as I'm rushing through the door and down the hall.

I walk into the infirmary and see my brother. She's cleaned and bandaged his wounds. He's still on the mask, several IVs in his arm at the crook of his elbow and the back of his hand. His chest is bare, except for the bandages here and there and the cover is pulled loosely to his waist. I move to his side and run a hand through his hair, its softness brings tears to my eyes and I find myself dropping into the chair weakly and taking his hand.

"I cleaned him up. He's responding to the fever reducer. The oxygen is helping. I think the fire affected his lungs a bit but I have no idea how bad. I don't have the equipment here to find that out." She says as she comes up beside me, dropping a soft hand on my shoulder. "I've done what I can. He's holding his own. Needs time to heal."

I nod and look up at her. "Thanks Jules." I say, dropping my eyes, my head falling to rest gently on my little brother's arm. I hear soft footsteps as she walks away. They hesitate at the door. I know she's exchanging a teary eyed look with Bobby. I know he's standing in the doorway. I hear her walk off and his heavy steps follow hers. I hear quiet voices in the hall and I know Biggs has returned from the clean-up. My attention goes back to my brother. I can't cry anymore. I can't feel, won't feel, until his eyes open. Until those blue-green puppy eyes look at me and beg me to be his brother again. Then the answer is damn straight Sammy. I'm here no matter what. No matter what.


Julie runs into the infirmary, where I've been at Sammy's side non stop now for four days, except for the occasional coffee and change of clothes. The fatigues have finally been packed away, waiting to probably be burned. He hasn't moved, his breathing hasn't even changed. "Jules?"

"There's a hospital functioning in Wichita. I just got off the radio with the doctors there. I told them about him. They're taking survivors. We can get him there and…"

"No Julie."

"What?!" She asks me, looking at me like I have three heads. "Why the hell not?!"

"I'm not putting him in some hospital. I've got him. He'll wake up and we'll work through whatever he needs."

"Are you delusional?! I don't have the means to give him the care he needs! Do you have any idea what it was that he nearly choked to death on Dean? It was a mix of sulfur, ash and blood! I have no idea how badly he's even injured internally! There's a working hospital not even three hours from here and they do! Now you're saying you'll stay here and take your chances?!"

"NO! I'll stay here and get my brother back!"

She shakes her head.

"I can't do this. Dean, I can't watch you kill yourself because you're too stubborn to take him somewhere he can get help! You're stupid! I told you once that you can't keep doing this, running yourself on empty because you have to be everything for everyone. You won't listen to reason. I can't keep talking to you. You're crazy and you're slowly killing yourself. What is Sam gonna do when he wakes up and you're sick because you won't back down?"

"I'll take care of Sammy. There's nothing keeping you here now, Julie."

Julie pulls back her hand and slaps me, her brown eyes blazing. "You really are a sonofabitch! There's nothing keeping me here? You. Are. Insane! I'm still here because I love you! I don't want to lose you. You and Sam are like brothers to me. I'm watching you die, slowly. I can't fuckin' walk away because I'm attached, okay!!" Julie fumes, turning away from me and stalking up to the window in the back wall of the room. "Bobby warned me not to get attached. I didn't listen." She sobs once, tucking the back of her hand against her mouth. "I'm so stupid, I should've listened." She says more to herself than to me.

I push myself up from the chair that I've grown roots in and feel the weakness hit me, my hand going out to steady myself. I guess I've been stupid about not taking better care of myself. She's right, Sammy's gonna need me and I'll be too sick to be the brother he deserves. The one he needs. I steady my shaking body and walk up to her. "Jules." I say, reaching a hand out to her. She flinches away without even looking at me. "Julie." I grip her arm, turning her to face me. I see the tears that have tracked from her dark eyes. I wipe them away with my thumbs and wrap her in my arms. "I'm glad you don't wanna go. I don't think I can help him alone."

She wraps her arms around my middle and lays her head against my chest, tucking her forehead under my chin. "I was never gonna leave. Just take care of yourself. Please, Dean. Sam and I need you." I nod against the top of her head and she squeezes me tighter. She pulls away from me and looks into my tired, gritty eyes. "I'll be right back."

"Okay." I say letting her go and turning back to Sammy. I sit in the chair, feeling my aches flare once more at the uncomfortable pressure of the hard back. It really doesn't matter. I'll sit here forever and wait for him to come back. Julie returns several minutes later, Biggs behind her with a large comfortable upholstered love seat. "Found this in the basement. If we're going to settle in and wait for Sam we're going to be comfortable."

Biggs drags the small couch into the room and places it against the wall nearest Sam's bed. I'm tempted to pull it closer. Five feet away is too far. Julie looks at me, knowing the expression on my face. "No closer Dean. You need rest. You can't stretch out on it if it's tucked up against the bed." I get up from the chair.

"Thanks man."

"Sure thing Dean. Hey, there are a couple positions available on the front of the Lawrence cleanup team. I might head out. See if I can help."

I smile at him in understanding. "Take care of yourself Biggs. You need a hand on anything in the future, just let us know. We're there." I shake his hand and snort when he pulls me in for a bear hug, thumping me on the back.

"Same goes for you and Sam, Dean. Give him my best." The older man turns and hugs Julie before leaving the room.

"Lay down Dean. Get some sleep. You'll hear if Sam needs you, you always do."

I sit down on the couch, sinking into the comfortable cushions. Leaning back, I rest my head on my right hand on the overstuffed arm and prop my feet up on the other end. It's a little short, but it works. I feel my back pop and the aches start to ebb away, leaving me tired. "Come here Jules." I say as I reach out an arm, catching her around the wrist with my hand. I pull her down and fold her into my arms as she tucks her head against my chest. I'm drawing in her comfort as fast as she offers it and soon find my eyes closing. My last sight is my brother, still silent, his eyes still closed.


Sunset sends rays through the slats in the blinds, casting the room in a red orange glow. Deep, regular breaths remain undisturbed by the light, as they have for the past twenty four hours. The door to the room opens silently and Bobby looks in on the three occupants. Dean is asleep on the couch, his feet propped up, hand under his head, the fingers slightly pinked from the weight of his head. Julie's head is tucked under his chin, her hair in his stubble, being moved by his breath.

Bobby turns his head and looks at the third occupant, movement catching his eye. "Oh." Bobby whispers, his eyes growing big as blue-green eyes meet his. Tears brim in both sets of eyes, as the two face each other silently. Bobby steps into the room, up to the bed. He runs his hand through the younger man's long hair and smiles down at him silently, welcoming him back. Sam's lips turn up beneath the oxygen mask, a dimple appearing in one cheek. His eyes shift, showing Bobby what he wants without words. The older hunter turns and walks the three steps to the couch, putting a hand on Dean's jaw. Green eyes instantly open, looking clearer and more rested than they have in six months.

"Bobby? What?" Dean says, his voice hoarse with sleep, his hand coming up to grip Julie's shoulder as she stirs too. Dean pushes himself up after Julie sits up. Bobby smiles.

"Sammy's awake. He wants ya Dean."

Dean's on his feet and beside the bed. "Sammy!" Dean leans down and touches his forehead to Sam's, running a hand through his hair. "Oh God Sammy. Thank god you're awake."

"De…" Sam says, his voice muffled by the oxygen mask as the transparent plastic fogs with his breath. Julie steps up to the bed and watches the brothers.

"Let's see if we can't do something about that." She leans in as Dean moves back a single step. She removes the mask gently, watching Sam breathing on his own. "Do you hurt at all Sam?"

"Little." He says, his eyes hazy.

"Okay." She settles a nasal cannula over Sam's upper lip. "Better?"

"Yeah." He croaks. Julie pours some water into a glass and puts a straw into it. She eases the straw between Sam's lips and lets him drink. Sam finally pulls away and Julie steps back, a small smile on her face. "Dean?" Sam says in a tired voice. Dean's on the chair now, pulling it so close, his feet are tucked under the edge of the bed.

"Shh, 'm right here Sammy."

"Can't feel…anymore."

"What? What can't you feel?" Dean asks, his eyes searching his brother again for injury. They flick to Julie worriedly when she tenses beside him. Their minds go back to days before, moving him in that pit to keep him from choking on the black demon residue. Could they have somehow damaged something, hurt Sam more than either of them suspected?

"Fire." Sam swallows, pulling in a breath through his nose. "The fire inside me. 's gone." Tears build in his blue-green eyes and Dean watches as they drip from his eyes, coursing down his cheeks to hit the transparent tube and follow its lines to his ears before finally dripping free to be stopped by a thumb on his jaw.

"Hey. Sammy, talk to me."

"'S finally jus' me down deep inside. Finally jus' me." Sam's head falls back against the pillow once more.

"Why you cryin'?" Dean asks softly, the burst of fear subsiding. "Is it because you feel like you can't protect us anymore. Coz, Sammy you don't have to. It was never something you had to do."

Sam remains silent, shifting his watery eyes to the ceiling. Bobby steps up, his gaze on Sam as his eyes narrow knowingly.

"No, it's not." He says, speaking for the first time in several minutes. "It's cos he doesn't have to fight for control. To remember who he is. Sometimes the hardest fight we have is rememberin' who we are." Bobby says, glancing at his left arm, before shifting bright eyes to Sam's face once more. "He's fightin' right now, to remember who he is."

Dean sits on the edge of the bed and shifts to tuck his arms under Sam's shoulders and neck, lifting him gently into a sitting position and pulling him into a hug. "Don't ever have to fight alone Sammy. We're here for ya. Always here for ya."

"Thanks." Sam says, leaning into Dean's embrace and reaching a shaking hand up to grip the back of Dean's soft flannel shirt, catching the belt loops of his black jeans and holding on tight. Julie leans in and kisses Sam on the forehead where it rests near Dean's shoulder. Bobby sits down on the bed, turning so he can reach across his lap and put a firm hand on Sam's leg just below his knee.

Dean just holds his brother in strong arms, a brother who sacrificed everything, nearly sacrificed his life. He just relishes the feeling of having Sammy back, alive and on the road to recovery. He wants to whoop with joy, he wants to cry with relief, instead he just rocks his little brother gently in his embrace. He allows himself the luxury of brushing a soft kiss to the top of Sammy's head, smiling. He feels Sam hug him tighter, knowing that he needs this, needs it to help him heal. The battle was long and hard, but they won, and Dean got the only thing he wanted out of this war. He got his brother back.

"Dean's right Sam. You got family. Always will."

"Thanks old man." Sam whispers affectionately, beginning to shake from exertion and his upset.

"Hey! Don't think I'm too old to take an' turn ya over my knee!" Bobby grins.

"hffft." Dean snorts a laugh, sounding slightly choked, as he ruffles Sam's hair and lays his shaking brother back against the pillows. "Get some rest kid. Then I'll help ya take on the old man." Bobby gently smacks Dean on the back of the head affectionately as Sam smiles wanly. Julie and Dean laugh, the sound precious to Sam, as his eyes drift closed. He feels Dean's hand close around his, Dean's fingers in the curve of his fingers. Sam squeezes and holds on.

"You and me Sammy." Dean says softly, running a hand gently though Sam's hair. "We're gonna hit the road, go see the Grand Canyon. My car, my tunes, and my brother. My life. We're gonna be okay. You'll see."

A/N: There it is guys, the ending to another story. I'm a little sad to see this one end but they all do. I hope you enjoyed and will let me know. For now though, I have a few promised bits from my other project to extend. So to a few girls out there, look for the ones you wanted to come your way soon. And speaking of Soncnica and our project, she's working on a story in the very near future and then taking on another one with me. I am over the moon! Hit that beautiful little button and let me know you found your happy ending here! Thanks to everyone of you,