Here is the conclusion I promised so long ago. Enjoy, and thank you all again for reading and reviewing.
Dean felt a smile creep across his face as he gazed upon the dissipating figure in front of him. "you were wrong" Dean cried to him soundlessly in the void. "i saved you saved you i saved you i"
Sam snarled, eyes flashing red and black as he tightened his grip on Dean, drawing blood—and hurled him away. Dean felt his body arch above the sea of dissolving demons. Already the screams were inaudible, and silence pounded in his ears. He stared up at the sky which was distorted and blurred beyond recognition and braced himself for impact with the ground—
He slipped down through the dripping matter, dissolving, numb, a figment of imagination, and then…
The fires of Hell raged once more, stretching with gnarled fingers from the craters of the Earth to strangle the souls left behind and pull them below. It reached until the ground was raked raw with oceans of blood, boiling. Screaming in the throes of death because it was too late, shrieking in piercing pitch because it had finally reached an unconquerable bent.
Silence descended from the Heavens and hovered above the world. Darkness and death lay still below, unburdened by happiness or sorrow or pain. Millions of eyes stared blankly upwards, pleading through all stages of decay.
It started to snow. Individual snowflakes drifted down the scorched air, silently covering the dead like a blanket. The snow fell lightly at first and then poured down, as though the storm clouds had been ripped right down the middle. Grace fell.
If anything had been alive to listen, they would have heard the soft clip clop clip of a white stallion's hooves in the snow. It walked slowly until it reached the middle of the field. The man on its back rested a hand on its mane, running his fingers through its silky hair until it stopped, snorting, and pounded a hoof into the snow with finality. He whispered something into its ear, and the sound of his voice drifted softly on the absence of wind.
The man slid off the stallion and into the knee-deep snow. He breathed in the cool air and knelt down, reaching. When he withdrew his hand, his fingers were clutched around a tiny golden amulet on a broken black cord.
He stood back up and stared down at the shattered, twisted body of a man beneath the snow. Hazel eyes stared up emptily, frozen wide.
The man smiled down. "I don't know about you, Dean." He said softly, "But I think it's far too early for this story to end."
His horse snorted again, its breath visible in the air.
He opened his fist and let the blood stained amulet fall. It arched down and struck Dean's chest, bouncing once before coming to rest over his silent heart.
Light erupted from the sky, reflecting off the snow as though it was made of diamonds instead of water. The world gleamed, brightened—
And the light faded.
Darkness fell again, but this time the darkness was saturated with laughter, music blaring from car speakers, clicks of silverware on ceramic plates, and the soft squeaks of rusty swings at a playground.
The darkness curled lovingly around a small home nestled in the nook of a suburban street. Pinpricks of stars shone down from where they nestled around the full moon. After a moment, a streetlight blinked on outside. Cars drove past with music turned up loud enough to hear the base. A grey stray cat streaked across the yard after an unfortunate mouse.
Dean bolted up in bed with a scream. His mind spun wildly as his hands grasped at the darkness for something certain and solid—something that could save him. His fingers caught the warm fabric of his sheets and twisted inside the folds. He stopped.
Footsteps echoed on the wood outside the door and then the light was on, shining down on him and illuminating a familiar face.
"Dean? Oh, sweetheart." she crooned, sitting down on his bed and running a hand through his sweaty hair. "Did you have a nightmare?"
Dean gasped for air as he stared at his mother. She couldn't be real. This couldn't be real. He was still in the field. He was still dying, and Sam was dead. Sammy—
He looked away, down at his hand that was clenched in the sheet. He froze.
His hand was small, smooth, unscarred. A child's hand.
"Is he alright?" A voice asked from the doorway.
Dean looked up, certain of what he would see but terrified at the same time. "…Dad." He choked out.
"Hey there kiddo." John said, smiling warmly at him.
"I think he had a bad dream." Mary said, rubbing circles on Dean's back as he tried to remember how to breathe.
"I would say that's a bit of an understatement." John said, stepping into the room and sitting on the bed beside her. "Kid looks like he's seen a ghost."
Dean let out a sound that was meant to be halfway between a sob and a laugh. It came out of his child vocal cords as a squeak. Mary placed a hand on his head, rubbing his forehead softly with her thumb. "It's alright, Dean. It was just a nightmare. You're safe now, alright?"
Dean shook his head, trying to clear the cobwebs from his mind.
"Ssshhhh." His mother whispered, smiling at him. "I've got you, Dean. I've got you."
Dean's heart pounded. "Sam." He gasped, "Sammy?"
John's brow furrowed. "Sam's fast asleep, son. Mommy and I just put him to bed—"
Dean's throat finally opened enough to allow him to let out a sob. He pushed his mother's hands away and jumped out of bed. He managed to control his small, uncoordinated legs enough to duck under his father's arm and run past his parents, out of his bedroom and into the room that had been for one brief moment—
He stopped. The cradle stood in the middle of the room, illuminated by the glow of the nightlight on the stand. He darted forward, grasped the wooden bars, and stood on his tiptoes so that he could see.
His baby brother was lying on his back, head turned toward the wall.
"Sammy?" He breathed.
Sam's face turned toward him. His green eyes met Dean's and latched on, matching the intensity of his gaze. And with that look Dean knew that his Sam was in there, just as confused and overwhelmed as he was.
Dean leaned closer and thrust a hand through the bars, stretching as far as his little arm could reach. His brother's little fingers curled around his pinky and latched on. Dean swallowed hard. "How?" he whispered. "How are we…"
"See, kiddo? Sammy's fine." John said, stepping up behind him and tousling his hair.
Dean didn't move, and his eyes didn't stray from Sam's face. Sam's grip tightened on his finger.
Mary knelt down beside him and brushed her hand down his cheek. Her hand came away wet with tears that Dean hadn't noticed were there. "Want to say goodnight to your brother, Dean?"
Dean nodded desperately. Mary's arms encircled his waist, pulling him upwards. He opened his mouth to protest as Sam's hand slipped from his, but before he could say anything he found himself being set down inside the crib. Mary kissed him on the forehead and stepped back. She whispered something to John, but Dean wasn't listening anymore.
He pulled his brother's tiny body to his chest and held him close, nestling his fuzz covered head underneath his chin. Sam muttered something that sounded suspiciously like his name and clenched his tiny fingers in the folds of Dean's pajama top. "I've got you." Dean breathed. "I've got you, Sammy. Nothing is ever going to hurt you again. Okay? I fixed it. I promised I would, and…and you're gonna be just you this time. Just my little brother, and nothing else. And there's no damn destiny to mess us up or take you away." He squeezed his eyes shut, tightening his grip on his brother. "Not ever."
The world flashed white one final time, wiping the slate clean.
John hesitated mid-sentence. "Did you feel that?"
His wife shook her head, leaning against the doorframe. "Feel what?"
He chuckled and rubbed a hand on the back of his neck. "I thought I just…never mind. Must be getting tired."
"Mommy?" a voice called, "I'm ready for sleep now."
Mary smiled and walked back into the nursery. "Are you, baby?"
"Yeah." Dean said. "So's Sammy. Sammy's really tired."
"Alright." Mary said, running her fingers through his hair. "John, why don't you put Dean to bed and read him a story?"
"Of course." He said, "I was just about to…" he trailed off and paused. "Wait…"
"What?" Mary asked, eyes narrowing suspiciously.
"Shhhh…." He put his hand over her mouth. "Mary, don't talk. I think…something's coming…"
Dean stared up at him, eyes wide. "What Daddy?"
"It's…the tickle monster!" John lunged forward, fingers extended. Dean shrieked and pulled back, laughing before his father's fingers even touched him. "No! Daddy!"
Mary laughed, scooping Sam up from the cradle to get him out of harm's way. She held him close, rocking him gently. "Oh for goodness sake, John, they were finally tired!"
"Nah, he wasn't tired. He'll be exhausted after the tickle monster is through with him!" He grabbed the squealing boy around the middle and pulled him from the crib.
"Mommy!" Dean yelled, smiling widely as he reached for her.
"Bed, John." She said, laughing as she continued rocking her youngest to keep him from waking up. "Now."
"To bed we fly!" John said, dropping his voice but keeping the tone playful as he slung the boy over his shoulder. Dean shrieked in delight.
Mary groaned in exasperation as John ran out of the room with Dean clinging to his back. Sam had stirred awake, but he wasn't crying and his eyes were already drooping shut. She laid him down gently in the crib and ran her finger lovingly across the tip of his nose. "Goodnight Sammy." She said, planting a kiss on his cheek. She touched the mobile above the crib, causing it to spin gently. The little crystal figurines glinted in the moonlight that slanted through the window. "Angels are watching over you."