Well, here it is. The final chapter. It's been a long road, but you all have stuck with me through it all. I truly appreciate all of the readers and reviewers. You've made this a wonderful experience. I hope you enjoy this final chapter. Don't forget to read the brief description of the sequel at the end of the chapter. Thanks!

Cindy.

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Epilogue

Santa Cruz-Winter

"Get a move on Sam! You're gonna be late!" Dean hollered down the hall. He shuffled nervously from foot to foot, waiting for his little brother to appear.

"Dean, get in here and give your brother some space," John said gruffly, amusement adding a twinkle to his eyes.

"I swear Dean, you're more nervous than Sammy," Daniel quipped. He chuckled lightly as he watched his spike haired brother pace at the hall entrance.

"What's taking him so long?" Dean asked as he glanced at the clock on the wall.

"He's got time Dean, calm down," John said from his seat on the sofa. He shook his head, but couldn't deny his own nervousness.

The three older Winchesters perked up when they heard Sam's door finally open. They waited for the boy to emerge, and all broke out in chuckles when an exasperated looking Sam huffed into the livingroom.

"I can't get this damn tie right!" Sam cried with annoyance.

John rose from the sofa and strolled to his son, a grin curling his lips.

"Here Sammy, let me do it," John said as he began to fix the off kilter job that Sam had done.

"Thanks Dad," Sam said softly, raising his chin slightly to allow his father room to work.

"All done," John quipped as he patted Sam on his shoulder.

Dean and Daniel descended on Sam, straightening this and smoothing that. They turned him around, inspecting every aspect of his attire to make sure everything was in place.

"Will you guys knock it off! Geez, next thing you know you'll be spitting in my hair!" Sam cried indignantly as he softly pushed the hands of his brothers away.

"Well, now that you mention it, there is a spot that needs some fixing," Dean said, licking his fingers then reaching for Sam's head.

Sam slapped his hand away, grinning brightly. "Deeeean! Quit!"

"Okay, okay. Take a chill pill dude!" Dean quipped, his grin widening.

"I wish Caleb could have been here to see this. Too bad he had a hunt to take off to," Daniel said absently as he eyed his baby brother with pride.

"Alright, stand back Sam and let us get a look at you," John said as he pulled Dean back.

Sam stepped back, his face flushing with embarrassment at the close scrutiny of his family. He shifted on his feet as the three older hunters looked him over. He was dressed in a black tuxedo, his sapphire colored tie standing out over his charcoal gray dress shirt. His unruly hair was somewhat tamed, but the wavy mass could never really be fully controlled. Daniel picked a camera up from the coffee table and took aim at his little brother.

"No! No pictures! Come on..." Sam whined, to no avail.

"We gotta get pictures Sam. Caleb is gonna be pissed if there aren't any pictures for him to see. Besides, we won't have anything to blackmail you with in the future," Dean quipped.

"Screw off Dean!" Sam cried.

"Okay boys, that's enough. Just a few pictures Sam and then we'll go pick up that girl of yours," John said.

"Fine, but you guys better not embarrass me when we get to Alisa's house," Sam chastized, the grin on his face belying his true feelings. He couldn't remember ever being this happy. He had the best girl in the world, and the best family one could ever hope for. Life was finally good for Sam Winchester, and he was going to savor every last second of it.

Once pictures were taken, the Winchesters loaded into the Impala and headed off to pick up Sam's date for his schools Winter Formal. They pulled up outside the modest house and they exited the car then headed up the walk to the front door. Sam knocked and a few moments later the door was answered by a tall, smiling man with the same blue eyes as Alisa.

"Sam! Good to see you," the man said as he clapped Sam on the shoulder.

"Nice to see you too Mr. Chambers," Sam replied politely.

"Come in, come in," Mr. Chambers remarked, standing aside to let Sam and his family pass.

A striking woman with jet black hair entered the foyer, a broad smile adorning her face. She approached the group and stuck out her hand.

"You must be John," she said as she lightly took John's hand. "I'm Elaine, Alisa's mother."

"It's nice to meet you Elaine. These are Sam's older brothers, Dean and Daniel."

Elaine Chambers shook the brother's hands, who each nodded in return.

"Well, now I know where Sam gets his good looks from. My, my what a handsome bunch you are," she said with a widening smile. "Did you meet my husband?"

"We haven't been formally introduced, no," John said.

"Oh, sorry," Sam said sheepishly. "Dad, Dean, Daniel this is Phillip Chambers, Alisa's dad."

The men shook hands then the Chambers led them to the livingroom.

"Alisa should be down in a minute Sam. And I must say, you look very handsome tonight," Elaine remarked.

"Thank you Mrs. Chambers," Sam replied, his face reddening.

"Now Sam, we've already discussed this," Elaine chastized.

"Oh...sorry. Elaine." Sam said sheepishly.

"That's better. Now, I'm going to check on Alisa," Elaine said as she left the room.

"John," Phillip started. "I just want to compliment you on your wonderful son. He is the most polite and respectful boy Alisa has dated. My wife adores him, and I know I never have to worry when he is with my daughter."

"Thank you Phillip," John replied proudly, glancing at his red faced son.

Dean and Daniel beamed as they looked upon their baby brother. Suddenly Sam's face brightened, his mouth falling open and all eyes turned in the direction he was staring. Sam smiled brightly, his dimples deepening as he approached the girl who entered the room. Alisa sparkled as she looked at Sam, her sapphire dress matching her large eyes.

"Alisa, y-you look b-beautiful," Sam stammered as he took the girl's hands in his.

"So do you Sam," Alisa replied, her smile brightening further.

"Okay kids, let's get some pictures so you can get to the dance," Elaine said.

The teenagers pinned the corsage and boutinierre on each other then posed for countless pictures before they finally were ready to leave for the dance. The group walked to the Impala, the three older Winchesters saying goodbye to Alisa's parents then crowding into the front seat. Sam opened the backseat door and helped Alisa in before climbing in after her.

"Have fun kids," Phillip said as he leant his head into the back of the car.

"We will Daddy," Alisa replied happily, grabbing Sam's arm and holding on tight.

Phillip closed the door and he and his wife waved as the Impala pulled away and headed down the street.

The group pulled up to the school gym doors, John behind the wheel of the Impala. Sam opened the back door and climbed out then reached his hand in and helped Alisa out. The three older men exited the car, beaming proudly at the young couple.

"You two have fun tonight, and take care of each other," John said as he gave Sam a gentle hug.

"We will Dad. Thanks," Sam said softly.

Dean sidled up to Sam's side and whispered in his ear. "I have my phone on me Sam. Call me if you need anything little brother."

"Thanks Dean. I'll be fine," Sam answered back, knowing his brother was nervous about leaving him.

"I know that Sam...I-I just thought you might be nervous or something," Dean said, coughing to cover the hitch in his voice.

Sam smiled knowingly and gave his brother a quick hug. "I'll be fine Dean, I promise."

Daniel stepped in and patted Sam's shoulder. "Have fun kiddo! And no disappearing under the bleachers young man," he said, smiling broadly.

"Daniel!" Sam whined, his face flushing.

The three men sat back against the hood of the car and watched as Sam and Alisa walked to the gym, their arms wrapped loosely around each other's waists. John smiled, content with his decision to make Santa Cruz his home base in order to allow Sam the time he needed to heal, both physically and emotionally. He didn't know how long they would remain here, but he knew Sam still had a ways to go and he would give his son everything he needed to get there. Sam deserved that and so much more and John was determined that he would not fail him again. He vowed that Sammy would always come first.

THE END

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So, that's it. Once again, thanks to each and every one of you. I know that this story was hard to read at times, but you stuck through it. I hope you'll come back and read the sequel, which I will begin posting soon. Maybe even the first chapter tonight. Following is a description of The Apple Doesn't Fall Far:

The Winchesters thought that Michael Wilcox was the worst possible human threat to their family that could exist. They were wrong. When a new evil threatens their youngest member, will John, Dean and Daniel be able to keep Sam safe? Or will they finally lose him forever? This story contains scenes of extreme violence against a minor.

I hope you all will join me for the sequel. It is a complete story and I will be posting at least one chapter per day.

Cindy.