What originally drew me to Supernatural was the brothers, the father, and the family. In the midst of pain and fear and battle, family is what SPN is all about. They have to hang on to it with their fingernails. In "Wishful Thinking" Dean said, "We are miserable and we have to fight just to hold on to what we've got." If something good came Dean's way, I think he'd fight to hold on.

This story is set four years in the future from Season 4. Life is an endless river of change, and it would be for them also.

Hope you enjoy and please let me know what you think, good or bad. I'm a big girl. I can take it. VBG


Firefly – Chapter 1

By: Suz

Austin, Texas, 2012

The fire screamed through her skin and she screamed back, twisting and struggling. There was no way to get free from the burning grip on her arm. The pain became part of her insides and mingled with her voice, spilling out of her mouth into the burning hot air. Red filled up her mind and body, and the agony was a wall collapsing down over her.


Other screams joined her own. The flames moved in front of her and the pain gave way to blackness as the fireball rolled away across the room and then there was nothing but heat and silence.


"We've been having this same fight for years now and I'm about sick of it, Dean!"

Sam was tired and pissed. He reached one long arm over the backseat to retrieve his iPod where Dean had, once again, tossed it away after becoming offended by Sam's song choices.

"No fight to be had, Shotgun," Dean said, using a one-handed twist on the wheel to catch the exit. "Driver picks the music. Shotgun shuts his—"

"Shut yours!" Sam settled back into his seat, roughly yanking his ear buds from the glove compartment. Dean was smirking at him and after a few too many hours on the road, it was enough to make Sam want to throw a punch his way.

"Dude, you want to wallow in emo slop, plug in so I don't have to suffer." Dean gave the brakes a stomp so that Sam had to slap his hand against the dash.

Red-faced, Sam shoved himself upright again as the Impala turned onto a two-lane. "I know you think you're Lord God King of the Freakin' Road, Dean, but why do you have be such an ass about it?!"

"Oh, is Widdle Sammy getting kwanky?" Dean pouted his lips at his brother. "Need a nap and a blanky?"

"Bite me."

Sam busied himself with detangling the earphone wires from a wicked knotted mess as the road got a little rougher. Truth is, he could use some sleep under a blanket on a bed. They had just finished a rough job in Georgia last night, full of blood and misery and all Sam had wanted was a bed and a few hours of sleep before hitting the road again. This job had left a few scars on both of them. Cases with dead kids were costly on the psyche and vengeful spirits were costly on the body. They'd been able to send the kids on their way, but it didn't change the fact that the kids were still dead. The only bonus had been sending the bastard who'd killed the kids in the first place on his own fiery vacation. The blast from the killer's exit had flattened them both under a pile of rubble. Angry spirits didn't go gently into that good night, especially the evil ones who got their kicks raping and murdering children.

Dean covered his residual unrest by annoying Sam. It had always been his defense mechanism as well as his favorite sport and the years hadn't changed that one bit. Four years past Hell had changed a lot of things for his big brother, but in most ways, Dean was the same as he'd been at ten, at eighteen, and at twenty-six. Introspection and examination after trauma did not fit into his M.O.

The last two days had been traumatic, especially for Dean. Those dead kids had wreaked havoc on everyone who came near them, especially Dean. He'd been locked up in the basement of an abandoned schoolhouse and treated to a play by play of each bloody murder. Kids tortured and murdered. The kids hurt and wanted an avenger and what better way to get one than to drag Dean into their pain? It was almost as if those children had been waiting specifically for him. Dean understood the pain of children and he took it personally. That child inside of Dean never let go of the sight of his mother burning on the ceiling, never let go of the night his safe, happy life disintegrated in front of him. Those dead children had tapped into that pain. Maybe they felt he was the only one who could understand their disintegrated lives and get the revenge they craved, but the way they went about it was brutal. Dean had seen a lot over the years but this was a new level of sickness. Sam knew he needed to either talk about it or, knowing Dean, block it out all together. The first option wasn't likely to happen any time soon.

It had been dumb luck when Sam tripped over Eric Maven's moldy, rotten remains in the tunnel leading to the basement. Maven's private torture chamber had become his tomb. While Dean battled Maven's angry spirit with the ghosts of all those dead children as an audience, Sam had salted and burned the murderer's remains. The kids moved on, Maven imploded into Hell, and it took the brothers three hours to climb out from under the wreckage.

They were still cleaning off dirt and bandaging wounds when Ellen called.

"Tell me again what she said," Sam asked, maneuvering the last kink from the wires.

Dean shifted stiffly behind the wheel. "She said someone left something for me at the bar, I had to get there as soon as possible to get it, it couldn't wait, and she didn't want to talk about it over the phone. Same story as the last time you asked me."

"She wouldn't say who or what?"

"Didn't give me time to ask. Just said her piece and told me to get my ass up there, so that's what I'm doing." Dean rolled down the window and let the air blow through. "She wouldn't put it that way if it wasn't important. Maybe it's a job, I don't know."

"It's been a long time," Sam said, settling the ear buds in his ears before setting the iPod to play. "Wonder what the new place looks like."

"Took her long enough to rebuild so it must really be something special," Dean answered, looking over toward Sam. "At least there will be cold beer and roadhouse girls. Personally, this dude could use some beer and roadhouse girls, if you know what I mean." He waggled his eyebrow, trying to make light of how truly exhausted he was at the moment. "Listen to your girly music and get some sleep. You can drive when I get tired. I don't want to stop until we're halfway."

"Do I pick the music then, since you'll be shotgun?"

"Hell no!"

Sam closed his eyes and faded into his music.