Authors Note: So, this is it: the end; the culmination of almost a year of writing. This is officially the longest work I've written and actually completed in ten years. Thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed at any point and time in this story.
I want to especially thank Jenilee. You have been my most constant supporter & reviewer. Your reviews are always wonderful and detailed, and I can honestly say that this story would never have been finished if it weren't for you. Thank you!
I hope everyone enjoys this final part, and has enjoyed the journey.
Remember: Reviews = love
Any and all mistakes/ typos are mine.
Disclaimer: I own none of the rights to Supernatural or its characters. I'm just playing in someone else's sandbox.
Redemption: Part Ten: The Road Goes Ever On
Sam's hospital room was the white of all hospital rooms, and smelled like the rest of the building: disinfectant and decay. Dean took comfort in the constant beeps from the heart monitor. Sam was so still in the bed that the sound was the only thing keeping him from checking his brother's pulse every other minute.
Everything about the room felt uncomfortable; the chair Dean sat in was just a little too hard, the starched sheets too unwrinkled, and the tile floors without a scratch. Sam would approve, Dean thought, but it was driving him mad. He wanted to muss the sheets and leave black marks on the floor. Maybe spill coffee over all the pristine whiteness: some dark stain to hint at the true nature of the world.
Dean's eyes rested on Sam. His brother was too pale, too still, hooked into too many machines. Dean wanted to shake him awake, make Sam prove he was okay, that he hadn't slipped further away into his own mind like the words "possible brain damage" suggested.
"Dean, don't even think about it," Bobby said from the doorway.
Snapping out of his thoughts, Dean looked at his hand placed on Sam's shoulder and blinked. He didn't remember moving. "I wasn't going to," he lied.
Bobby rolled his eyes and handed him a paper cup filled with something that looked more like tar than coffee. Dean sipped it cautiously.
"I can't believe you put us on the salvage yard's payroll, got us legal insurance, and never told us," Dean said as Bobby pulled up a chair and sat beside him.
Bobby shrugged. "Dean, I've been having you out in the yard working on cars every time I've seen you for the last fifteen years. That's a lot of free manual labor, if you think about it," he said. "Especially this past year."
"And what did you put for the job title?" Dean asked, wrapping his hands around the warm cup.
Bobby rolled his eyes. "Tooth fairy," he said. "What the hell do you think I put?"
It was Dean's turn to shrug. He didn't know many official job titles outside of government agencies. "Since when?"
Bobby took a sip of his own coffee-sludge, and Dean watched him suppress a wince. "Oh, I don't know," Bobby said. He leaned back in his chair, his mouth moving as if silently counting the years. "Maybe since Sam was fifteen, or there about."
Dean nearly dropped his coffee. "What?"
Bobby met his gaze, his eyes fierce. "I would have had you boys insured much sooner, but your daddy was a paranoid bastard. He didn't want your real names on anything. He thought that even your birth certificates were too much, and that was the only proof that you existed at all."
Dean nodded. He knew his father had been paranoid. He had been present for the drunken rampages, and the rants about his and Sam's birth certificates. "So, he never knew, did he?" Dean asked.
Bobby gave him an incredulous look. "Are you kidding me? Your Daddy would have shit a brick if he'd known I'd put your legitimate names down somewhere."
"Did anyone else know?"
"Pastor Jim knew. Caleb. Joshua."
Basically all the people Dean would have turned to for help if couldn't reach his father when he was younger. And not reaching his father when he needed help, Dean hated to admit, had happened a lot. Dean always went looking for trouble; Sam, who wanted nothing more than to be normal, to be invisible, was a magnet for it. Between the two of them, they were never really completely safe.
"Thanks, Bobby," Dean said.
"Don't mention it." He took another sip of his coffee and this time he did grimace. "This coffee is terrible."
Dean grinned. "Yup."
Dean didn't remember what he had been doing when Sam woke up. He wasn't sure if he had been sleeping, resting his eyes, or just passed out from lack of sleep. All he really remembered was the light, warm squeeze from the hand he was holding—and when he had started holding his brother's hand was something even he couldn't guess at. But the response from Sam had him jolting upright from his slouched position on the edge of the hospital bed.
Sam was staring at him, glassy-eyed.
"Hey Sammy," he said with a quick swipe to his face to rid it of collected drool. "How you feeling?" Dean asked as he stood up and pressed the call button for the nurses' station. Sam's heart beat on the monitor was solid and steady, the same since he had been hooked up to it the night before, but Dean felt his nerves jitter more every second his brother didn't respond. No response meant no recognition, and Dean couldn't allow that.
Finally, Sam's brows crinkled and a small frown pulled at his lips. "Dean?" he asked in a voice hoarse and confusion filled. And there was something desperate in it, more than the casual 'what's going on?'
"Yeah. Welcome back, Sleeping Beauty," Dean said, the incredible dread breaking away, and a grin spreading across his face. He nudged his brother with his free hand, hoping for more: a whine, a grunt, a bitchface—anything. He wanted his brother talking, needed Sam to confirm that his freaky-smart mind was still there somewhere.
Sam's eyes slid away from him, but his hold on Dean's hand held strong. Dean jabbed his thumb onto the call button four more times, as if pushing the button harder would make the bell at the front desk ring any louder, or make the nurses and doctors arrive sooner.
"You with me, Sam?" Dean asked, leaning forward and gently turning Sam's head back to meet his gaze.
Sam's eyes were glassy, his lids already drooping. Dean wondered if he should be shooting off questions for his brother to try and correctly answer like they did on TV. Except his brother hadn't been able to answer the questions before Tucker had killed him. So Dean didn't try it.
Dean glanced at the door behind him, and the empty hallway. Where were the damn doctors?
Sam met his gaze as he turned away from the hallway, and Dean was more than relieved to see some awareness lurking behind his brother's tired hazel eyes. "Are you really here?" Sam asked in a smaller voice, and his grip tightened.
Dean ran a hand through his brother's always too-long hair and smiled. "Yeah, I'm really here. " Sam was looking at him like a drowning man looks at a life preserver.
Sam licked his lips, but whatever he was about to say died on his tongue as a nurse entered the room.
"It's okay," Dean said as he dislodged his hand from his brother's hold, and took a step away from the bed. He held his hand behind his back and shook the feeling back into it with a few quick flicks of his wrist. Sam's face almost crumbled into panic as the nurse stepped forward, but Dean moved to stand in Sam's line of sight. "It's okay," he repeated, softly, in the tone he only used for hurt animals and his scared, half-out-of-his-mind brother.
The nurse was blonde, cheerful, and well endowed, Dean noticed. In between her checking Sam's vitals and asking him questions, Dean fired his own questions at her. Her name was Andy; she loved nursing, kittens, and her fiancé, who had placed a rock the size of the Emerald Diamond on her left hand.
Sam, meanwhile, had no idea what date it was, didn't know his age, but he knew Dean, Dean's birthday, and his own. There was something in the way Sam was staring at Dean that made him pretty sure that Sam, at the moment, believed Dean dead and gone. Sam's focus during the questioning was slight, at best. But it was no worse than it had been before the warehouse. The nurse didn't understand that, though, and told Dean with a pitying look that the Doctor would talk to him shortly.
Then Nurse Andy shot Sam's IV full of 'good things to help build strength', and Sam was soon asleep again.
It was Sam's second night in the hospital and Dean's face was itchy with the need to shave. He was sure Bobby would harass him to shower soon, but until then he was sticking close by his brother. Dean had spent the day hitting on the nurses while eavesdropping on anything the doctors may be saying about Sam past they were 'taking it a day at a time'.
As far as Dean could tell, the doctors were baffled. Sam should have been a vegetable; they said to each other, and his heart should've been damaged by so many volts going through it. The nurses whispered about miracles and God's mercy. No one said those things to Dean and Bobby, though. To them they said that Sam was very lucky. Dean didn't believe that, couldn't believe it; Winchesters didn't have that type of luck.
Even while he was watching TV—some sitcom rerun from twenty years ago—Dean found himself subconsciously counting the seconds between his brother's heart beats on the monitor next to him. The night before, he had held his breath between each pause of his brother's heart, waiting for the one long beep that would signal the end. Having seen Sam awake eased his fears, but it was hard to stop listening. He was waiting for the other shoe to drop. Because Winchesters really didn't have the luck the whole hospital was whispering about.
Dean looked away from the TV towards his sleeping brother. He thought about Sam asking about God and faith, and believing just because he needed to believe that everything would be alright, that something would make it alright. Dean had never believed in God; God never made anything okay. Dean had believed in John, his father; because his father had always been able to make things better. Until that one day three years ago when his father made everything so much worse by sacrificing himself and laying Sam's life at Dean's feet all in five horrible minutes.
Dean found it difficult to believe in anything after that.
But now, here he was, not a demon and yet free from Hell; and Sam not evil and yet free from Demons and, even, returning to sanity. Dean could almost chalk it up to not sleeping for forty-eight hours, but when he thought about the fates they had escaped, his chest tightened and he thought that maybe, just maybe, he wanted to believe it would all be okay. Just for a little while.
"Do you believe in redemption, Bobby?" Dean asked, putting the hospital room TV on mute. He stared at the remote in his hands. Half the rubber power button was gone, and there were bite marks like someone had snuck a dog in as a visitor.
"What? Like God and the biblical sense of atoning for your sins?" Bobby asked in a tone conversational and not incredulous. Dean was thankful for that. It gave him the courage to look the older man in the eye.
He shrugged as he met Bobby's gaze. "Yeah. That and—you know, being saved from evil, given a second chance?" He knew, out of anyone, Bobby would hear the question beneath the question: the echo of Sam's 'Do you believe in God?'
Across the hospital bed, Bobby shrugged. "I don't know," he said, slowly, considering. "But I believe in second chances, and I believe that everyone deserves one."
Sometimes Dean felt sorry for the older man being so entwined with his twisted little family. Mostly, Dean thought as he nodded and unmuted the TV, he was just grateful.
A week after Sam died in the warehouse, Dean stepped outside the grocery store with a bag full of food to find Tucker leaning against the Impala smoking a cigarette. He was still dressed like a country-star knock-off: too big cowboy hat, matching boots, plaid shirt hidden under a tasseled leather jacket. His left arm was broken, and his face was various shades of black and blue. He had two black eyes: the telltale sign of a broken nose. The long blond hair was gone, either hidden under the hint of bandages under the hat, or sacrificed to treat a nasty head wound.
Dean gritted his teeth as he placed the bag of groceries on the floor of the backseat of the Impala, unsure whether to shoot the other Hunter or thank him. Not a word or glance was exchanged while Dean arranged the groceries until he was content the bag wouldn't spill. Hunter just continued to lean against the hood of the car, blowing smoke rings into the chill of the midday air. After a moment, Dean joined him.
"Those things will kill you, you know," Dean said casually.
Tucker grinned. "I'm gonna die young anyway," he said in his Texan drawl. "Like all the great cowboys."
Dean smirked. It was part of the old banter. "If cowboys were killed by demons."
Tucker shrugged. "Details." He blew a smoke ring in Dean's face, and Dean waved it away. Smoke didn't really bother him, but Sam would nag if he smelled like it. Dean couldn't stop the smirk. The idea of Sam being sane enough to nag at him was still a novelty. In another month or two he would be rolling his eyes about it. But right now it just made him feel like a little boy on Christmas.
"How's your brother?" Tucker asked seriously, as if reading Dean's mind.
Dean's smile faded to a grimace. "You mean the one you tried to kill?" He didn't bother to keep the hostility out of his voice.
"Hey," Tucker said, holding his hands up as if surrendering. "That bit hadn't been my idea." Dean only glared harder and Tucker sighed. "I guess Sam didn't tell you that part, huh?"
"No, he must have left that it out," Dean said, leaning away from the Impala, squaring his shoulders. He didn't mention that his brother said he couldn't remember that part. But that was something Tucker could learn the hard way—preferably after Dean got to deck him again.
Tucker huffed a laugh and shook his head. "I know I'm going to die young, but do you think I have an immediate death wish?" he said with a flick of the cigarette. A pile of grey ashes fluttered to the ground.
Dean didn't answer so Tucker continued: "You're a natural born Hunter. If you hadn't been raised into this life I fully expect you would have been a homicidal sociopath." Tucker grinned. "I had no wish to be Hunted and killed by you, Dean. I was under no illusions that my life would last longer than a year if that happened."
Somewhere in his mind, Dean acknowledged that he was right. He also acknowledged that Tucker would have been his last Hunt, and not because he had given up Hunting, but because he would give up on life. In all likelihood, Tucker and Dean would have killed each other, anyway. They were both disturbingly good at their jobs.
Dean crossed his arms in front of his chest, eyebrows drawing down in confusion. "So you kill him, and then bring him back to life? Why kill him to begin with?" he asked. A few feet from them a mix of pigeons and gulls were beginning to gather around an open bag of potato chips. The gulls shrieked and the pigeons cooed, flapping their wings when another got too close.
"Because Sam asked me to," Tucker said. The grin fell from his face as he flung the cigarette butt to the ground. Smoke swirled lazily between them, the embers in the cigarette growing dark red as they fought for life. When he looked up again, Dean met the gaze of the scarily intelligent Hunter that lurked under the joyful façade. "That afternoon, in five lone minutes of lucidity after hours of shrieking madness, Sam begged me to do what you wouldn't."
I have to die.
Tucker stepped on the dropped cigarette. His boots scrapped against the pavement, setting a quick rhythm to the bird cries. "I promised him I'd kill him, and that I'd kill the demons leashed to him so he wouldn't have to worry about innocent lives."
Dean ground his teeth and counted to ten. Damn it, Sam. "And the defibrillator?" he asked, watching the birds fight over the chips.
Tucker shoved his now free hands into the pockets of his jacket. One of the birds picked up the bag of chip crumbs and flew away, the rest quickly taking off after it, squawking in anger.
Tucker turned to Dean with his cockiest grin. "I never promised his death would be permanent."
Dean could hear the screams of the souls and the sick wet sound that occurs when skin is slowly peeled off muscle. He could see the hell hounds lapping at his brother's finger tips, and he could feel the press of a female body against his own, a signal of pain to come. His arms ached, his back was shredded to pieces, and his father was nothing more than a mass of red meat and bones next to him. All while Sam smiled from the dark and someone laughed from far beyond that.
Dean woke screaming and soaked with sweat.
For a moment his mind didn't register where he was: the lumpy mattress, the scratched and magazine-stuffed desk, the books of history and math and physics perfectly lined up. It took him a moment to erase the nightmare from his vision, to recognize it as not a memory of Hell, but something twisted that had come from his own mind. He'd never been one for nightmares. A sharp knife under his pillow had been a cure to fear when he was younger. His mind didn't believe such a comfort any more.
Dean's eyes wandered the dark of the room as he caught his breath. Moonlight soaked in from the window, a small rectangle of wall glowing blue in the night. His blankets were jumbled on the floor, his pillow across the room as if he had thrown it. He could hear Bobby snoring down the hall, oblivious to the world. His eyes finally wandered over to his brother's bed, expecting to find Sam sleeping like the dead. Except Sam wasn't there; the bed was made without even a wrinkle in the blankets.
Rubbing his eyes, he groaned. Dean was new to nightmares. Sam had always been the King. And if Sam wasn't in bed it was because he had already had his wake-up-screaming moment. Except Sam didn't scream; he shook the house, and sometimes shattered the windows. Although, Sam was almost fully sane now, and Dean had noticed he'd been cleaning up considerably less glass. The shaking was still unnerving though.
Splashing water on his face in the bathroom, Dean listened for the sound of the TV on downstairs. He wanted to find his brother glued to some late-night History channel documentary that would have bored Dean back to sleep. He didn't hear anything, though, so he slowly padded down the stairs.
Sam sat on the bottom step, arms curled around his knees, face buried in his arms. He rocked slowly in the familiar pattern Dean dreamed of never seeing again. But with each passing day, he was coming to accept it as another part of his brother who had come out of Hell just a little bit changed. Dean was beginning to get the feeling that Sam would never regain all of himself he had lost. Just like Dean would forever have nightmares and too many memories he didn't want. They had survived, but it was a bittersweet victory.
Dean sat down beside his brother, close enough for their shoulders to brush, but far enough to give a sense of personal space. "What's wrong?" he asked, wrapping his own arms around his knees. The floor was cold, and he wished he had thought to put on socks.
Sam looked up at him, eyes wide. It wasn't the puppy-dog look exactly, but it pulled at Dean's heart anyway. Sam shouldn't be able to look like a lost, desperate five year old when he was a grown man who towered over his brother. But he did. "It's so quiet," Sam said in a whisper, "it used to be so loud and busy." He continued to rock; forwards, backwards, forwards pause; backwards, forwards, backwards, pause. "I don't know what to do."
Dean was afraid to ask, but: "What do you mean it was 'loud'?"
I have their memories crawling around in my head at night.
Sam looked at him. "I don't hear them anymore," he said. "I'm alone now." It was a lonely and broken admission that would never be whispered in the light of day.
I can feel them.
Dean shuddered. There were no more demons in Sam's head, but Sam didn't know what to do with the silence, the sanity. He didn't remember the feel of being alone in his own mind.
Dean wrapped an arm around his brother, pulling him close and stopping the rocking. "You're not alone," Dean said into Sam's ear, voice rough and ready to break. He cupped the nape of his brother's neck in his other hand and said again, fiercely: "You're not alone, okay?"
Dean felt his brother nod, and released him. Sam didn't continue rocking, but his hand followed the pattern across the step. "I can't sleep," Sam said.
Dean nodded. "Me neither." He stood and held out a hand to pull his brother to his feet. He nodded to the living room. "Let's see if we can't find one of those boring documentaries you like so much."
May came quickly.
Bobby's house didn't smell like sulfur anymore; there were no more demons at the window or Hell Hounds on the roof. Bobby's phone didn't ring off the hook with Hunters looking for Sam. All was quiet on the demon front except for a few rumors of Lilith's movement.
It was the perfect time for a barbeque.
The air was still chilly, but the sun was warm on Dean's back as he stood at Bobby's grill cooking the steaks. Bobby had the Impala of grills. It could accommodate enough meat for a pro-football team. It was a shiny chrome deal with five levels of racks and every cooking gizmo you could think to have attached. It was one of the grills that they showed in movies or on TV, where the father is the manly-man that must fulfill the stereotype. Dean didn't care much for grills, not like he did about cars. But he cared about food, and the grill cooked a damn fine steak.
The screen door opened behind him and Dean knew it was Sam from the faint cacophonous drone drifting from his now ever-present headphones. Before, Sam had reveled in the silent study-type atmosphere that made Dean fidget and want to crinkle plastic bags. Now, his brother had to be surrounded by noise: TV, music, people, running water; anything. In silence, Sam curled up and rocked back and forth; a catatonic, non-functioning doll. The first week out of the hospital, Dean had watched Sam go from room to room turning on every single thing that would make noise. At night, his brother turned the TV onto a static-filled channel, turned it up full volume, and curled up on the floor in front of it to sleep.
Dean hadn't cared about the noise. He never liked silence; give him blaring music and rambling TV any day. He liked it even more now that it kept Sam attached to sanity. Dean would do anything if it meant keeping his brother functional. But Bobby had muttered something about high electric bills, water bills and flashbacks of Poltergeist before going and buying his brother a band new IPOD because he hadn't been able to locate Sam's old one.
So now Sam always had his headphones in, or the TV on, or the radio turned up. Dean thought that one day he'd have to get his brother used to silence again. They were eventually going back out Hunting, if only to track down and defeat Lilith. There was still revenge and the family business. But he was tired and Sam needed more time to recover. So Dean would wait.
The screen door banged shut with a metallic clang. An unopened beer bottle was set on the grill's side tray, and Dean glanced at his brother as he flipped a steak. "Thanks," he said when he saw that one ear bud hung out of his brother's ear, allowing him to be heard.
"No problem," Sam said as he opened his own. Dean listened to the thudding hollow footsteps of Sam's boots on the wooden deck as he took three strides and sat on the porch steps, looking out over the salvage yard.
Sam did this a lot now: searched Dean out just to be near him; most of the time Sam didn't say anything; just sat and listened to music. Dean would never say so, but he enjoyed having his brother nearby, within his line of sight. If it were all a flawed dream, Dean didn't really mind if he never woke up.
"Do you remember it at all?" Dean asked a few minutes later as he shut the grill. Smoke crept out from beneath the lid and floated up to the sky as he placed the tongs on the plate for the finished steaks. "Hell, and everything after?"
Sam looked over at him with a careless shrug that was more practiced than true. "In dreams," Sam said.
Dean picked up the beer bottle. The glass was cold and wet against his skin. With one solid movement he placed the cap against the porch railing and knocked it off. Then he sat down next to his brother on the steps. "Only in dreams?" he asked.
Sam shrugged again, and took a sip of his beer. This was Sam filtering himself, Dean thought while taking a sip out of his own bottle. He probably wasn't going to like whatever came next.
"Every now and then I get snapshots: you cooking breakfast or Bobby fixing a car. I remember talking to Tucker in the parking lot of the grocery store. And I remember," Sam paused as if he couldn't find the words, "…other things." Sam glanced at Dean, waiting for condemnation. Dean was silent, giving his brother the time to say what he needed to. "I remember blood, and claws; the feel of bones snapping."
Dean nodded and leaned forward on his elbows. It could be worse, he thought to himself as silence fell between them. A year ago, he hadn't even known if Sam was still alive. Six months before, he had almost given up hoping ever talking to him lucid again. It could be so much worse than Sam having some bad memories.
"You're not evil," Dean said, because that seemed to be his brother's default fear since Dean told him the promise their father had forced on him.
"But the things I did—"
Dean cut him off. "You did to demons, Sam."
"They were still wrong, Dean!" Sam said, voice rising in a plea.
Dean sighed. This wasn't going the way he had wanted. "Your actions were evil, yes," he said slowly, 'but you're not."
"How do you know that?" Sam asked. It was barely more than a whisper.
Dean was silent. Sam wouldn't accept 'I just do' as an answer. Dean knew that Sam thought Dean was too easy on him, would absolve him of anything. Maybe that was true, but Dean could usually admit to himself, at least, when his brother didn't really deserve absolution. But he didn't think there was anything to forgive this time. So he had to try and put that into words. This was worrisome because Dean was never good with words.
"I know because you willingly walked into Hell to save me," Dean said slowly. A shiver raced down his spine as an image of Hell flashed in his mind. "You were scary as hell, yes. When I saw you, and saw what you could do, and saw that you had an army of demons at your beck and call, I didn't think it was you, honestly. I prayed it wasn't you," Dean said and stopped. Sam's expression was pained as he looked out over the yard.
Dean put his hand on Sam's shoulder, noticing for the first time that he could only faintly hear the music coming from the IPOD. Sam was definitely listening. "Sam, look at me," he said, and his brother complied. "You threw me out of Hell, and then threw yourself to the demons." Dean shook his head and scoffed, holding his brother's gaze. "I'm pretty sure if you were evil, you would have left me there, and gone and taken over the world. It's not like you couldn't have done it." Dean let his hand fall from his brother's shoulder, and took a sip of his beer. "That's how I know you're not evil. Okay?"
Sam looked away, gaze moving over the land in front of them. Dean looked out at the yard too, wondering if he could see what his brother did. He didn't, of course. The salvage yard never changed. The grass was only green on the front lawn. The side yard was dirt and piled rusted cars. It really wasn't that fascinating. Dean didn't know what Sam saw, but it couldn't have been the same thing by the crease of worry on his brother's forehead.
Sam took a deep breath and nodded. "Okay," he said, still nodding. "Okay."
Dean patted him on the back as he stood and went back to the grill. Sam didn't really believe him, and was processing future arguments against his words. But that was okay. Because Dean would give his argument over and over again, however many times Sam needed to hear it to believe it. Now, unlike before, they had time. His chest felt warm and light with the thought. Dean tentatively labeled it happiness.
"Do you still believe in God, Sam?" Dean asked as he opened up the lid to the grill. A wave of heat rolled up and over him, and Dean squinted against it. Most of the steaks were a medium brown, needing only a little longer to grill.
Sam's answer was preceded by a long pause. His voice was hesitant: "I guess so, yeah."
Dean nodded to himself, having already suspected the answer. If Sam didn't believe in God, then he wouldn't fear being evil, and wouldn't so desperately believe that everything had a reason, that somehow the world would be okay. He wouldn't suspect that his destruction would be for the greater good.
Sam had always had faith—in teachers, in books, in God, in Dean. Dean's faith didn't spread that far. He didn't believe in God; wouldn't, couldn't, and didn't want to believe. Partially because, if God's destiny for him was to save the world by killing his brother, he'd rather not be good; he'd rather let his brother be the Boy-King. But his disbelief was also because he was fairly certain that things would never be 'alright', even if he wanted them to be. Sam's mental state was most likely forever cracked, and Dean knew his own stability really only hung on a string. Plus, there was too much true evil in the world: demons, ghosts, rampant Pagan gods. Lilith was still out there, probably starting to hunt Sam again. No, everything would never be 'alright'.
"Keep believing in God, Sam," Dean said as he piled the steaks from the grill onto the plate. He glanced back at Sam to see him nod, confused. He wanted his brother to believe because Dean couldn't when he knew too much truth. But sometimes, Dean wanted to believe.
After all, they had been to Hell and back. They were both alive, on Earth, breathing and more or less whole. Luck just didn't seem to cover it, and Winchester luck couldn't even touch it. 'Miracle' just about summed it up though.
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