Well, this is it. The final chapter. I want to thank each and everyone of you for your support on this story. I know how hard some of the chapters were to read because they were torture to write (no pun intended). I want to thank mguto75 for giving me the idea for part of this chapter. I really was having a hard time coming up with a way to help Sam, and the idea given to me was just what the doctor ordered. Anyway, I'll let you get to the story. I hope you enjoy.
Dean turned his head as Bobby stepped up beside him, the older man handing the younger a cold beer, both turning their gazes out over the forest that bordered Bobby's back lot.
"He out there again?" Bobby asked, his eyes moving over the expanse of trees with concern.
"Yeah. Took a walk 'bout two hours ago. Wish I knew where he went," Dean answered softly.
"He's gonna be fine, Dean. He just needs time," Bobby said, knowing how hollow those words would sound to the older Winchester brother.
"I don't know, Bobby. I'm not so sure of that anymore. He's drifting further away. He just seems so depressed. I know it's about what Alastair said to him. I know he still believes it was Dad, Mom…Jess. He really thinks Dad didn't want him…and with how Dad acted sometimes…I can't really blame him," Dean said, his voice sounding so sad and lost to Bobby's ears.
"He'll come around, Dean. You just keep doin' what you're doin' and he'll come around."
"I…I found him with his gun the other day…" Dean started, his words tapering off into almost a sob.
"What? That could be anything, Dean."
"He was just sitting on his bed, holding the gun in his lap…just staring at it. He looked so sad...so lost. When I asked what he was doing, he just kinda looked at me with this weird look on his face before he came up with some lame excuse for why he had it."
"Shit! That damn little idjit!" Bobby said under his breath.
"When he went out today, I went through all of our stuff…yours too, just to make sure he didn't take any weapons with him. He's really scaring me, but I know I need to give him his space. I just…I don't know what to do," Dean cried softly, his eyes never leaving the trees.
"I don't think he'll do anything that drastic, Dean. He knows what it'd do to you and he's not gonna hurt you like that. You mean more to him than anything…he won't do that to you."
"God…I hope you're right, Bobby. I honest to God hope you are."
Sam sat beneath the large oak tree, his back leant up against the trunk, knees drawn up toward his chest, his arms resting on his knees. His eyes gazed out before him, though he was looking at nothing in particular. Tears slowly trailed down his cheeks as he dropped his head down, both hands coming up to cup the nape of his neck. Soft sobs started from the distraught young man as he began to rock slowly back and forth.
"Why, why, why…I'm sorry…so sorry…" he whispered over and over, his body continuing to rock.
After several minutes, Sam's sobs subsided and he leaned back against the trunk once more, his eyes closing as exhaustion spread over him. Within minutes, he was deep in sleep, his hands falling limply to the grassy ground beneath him. Suddenly, a shadow fell across the sleeping hunter as a figure approached, the figure crouching down next to Sam. A hand reached out and rested softly on Sam's forehead as a soft prayer was whispered.
"See the truth Sam…it's time for you to see the truth," Castiel's low voice sounded before he pulled his hand away from the young hunters head.
Castiel stood and gazed down upon the man then he turned and walked away, pausing once to glance over his shoulder as Sam began to softly murmur in his sleep.
Sam's eyes snapped open as a rustling in the nearby bushes woke him from his slumber. He pushed up against the trunk of the tree as the rustling continued, his eyes scanning the growth around him. Sam gasped as someone stepped from the bushes and tears immediately sprang to his eyes, spilling over his cheeks as he shook his head slowly.
"Jess?" he whispered, his eyes never leaving the beautiful blonde woman as she approached, a warm smile on her soft lips.
"Sam," she replied, her voice bringing more tears to Sam's eyes.
Sam pushed to his feet, his hands reaching behind him to grasp the tree. "Jess…I'm sorry…I…" he stammered, his eyes wide as Jess stepped up to him, raising her small hand to lovingly cup his cheek.
"Why are you sorry, Sam?" Jess questioned, her blue eyes staring up curiously into Sam's shocked face.
"Why? I…I let you die, Jess. I didn't warn you. You told me, Jess…down there. You told me it was my fault. You s-said…you said you never l-loved me," Sam sobbed as he reached for Jess, his fingers ghosting over her cheek.
"No, Sam. That wasn't me, baby. I could never blame you. It wasn't your fault," Jess answered, her brow furrowing in worry.
"I love you, Sam. I loved you the minute I saw you."
"Oh God, Jess. I miss you so much. If you had never met me, you'd still be alive…"
"But I wouldn't be happy. You brought me my happiness, Sam."
"I have to go, Sam. We are only allowed so much time," Jess said sadly.
Jess turned to look over her shoulder, smiling as two more figures emerged from the trees. Sam followed her gaze and let out a startled cry as his mother and father stepped forward, smiles spread wide on their faces. He turned back to Jess as the girl smiled up at him. She lifted up on her toes as Sam leaned over, their lips meeting in a soft, sweet kiss.
"Goodbye, Sam. Remember, I love you. I'll always love you."
Sam watched as Jessica walked away, the girl disappearing as she reached the trees. Sam swallowed then turned his attention to his waiting parents. He stepped forward as they did the same, all three stopping when they were just a few feet apart. Mary stepped forward one more step and smiled up at her youngest son.
"Sammy…I know what you think. I know that you think I…we…didn't want you. You think that what you were told in hell is true, but it isn't sweetie. We could never wish for you to not be born. We could never even consider abortion, Sammy. You are my precious baby. What happened to me was not your fault, it was mine…"
"No, Mom…it wasn't…"
"Yes…it was. I made the deal that brought that demon to your nursery, Sam. I brought this curse upon you. I brought my death upon myself. You were worth it, Sam. You were worth saving."
"Mom," Sam whispered, tears once more trailing down his flushed cheeks.
"It's okay, Sammy. I'll always be with you my sweet baby. I'll always be there, watching over both my boys."
"I love you, Mom…"
"I know honey and I love you too…so much," Mary whispered as she took Sam's hand and squeezed it reassuringly.
Mary stepped back as John moved forward, his hand coming up to rest on Sam's shoulder. John smiled, his dark eyes shining. Sam swallowed the lump that had formed in his throat, his hazel eyes searching his fathers face for any signs of the man he saw in hell. What he saw was pure, unadulterated love. The enormity of it made him sway on his feet and John grasped his shoulder more tightly to keep the young man from falling over.
"It…it wasn't you, was it? You…you didn't do those things…" Sam started, his voice breaking with emotion.
"Oh God, Sammy…no…that was not me. I know I wasn't the best father, but…"
"You did the best you could, Dad. I'm sorry I didn't see that before."
John nodded as he pulled Sam into his arms, his voice hitching as he spoke. "I'm sorry too, Sam. I never let you know how proud I was of you. I was so hard on you…never gave you a chance. I was proud of you, Sammy…I still am. You're so strong…you have to believe that."
"I don't feel strong, Dad. I can't forget what happened. I've tried so hard, but every time I close my eyes…"
"You are strong, Sammy. I need you to stop torturing yourself. Dean needs you…he's hurting so badly right now. He doesn't know how to help you, so I need you to help him. Stop blaming yourself for things you had no control over. I know you can't forget what happened to you in hell, but the demon who did those things is dead. Please Sammy…I know what you've been thinking about doing, but you have to know that would kill your brother…"
"I've thought about it, Dad…but, I could never go through with it. I could never do that to Dean…"
John pulled away from his son, his hand cupping Sam's cheek. "Good…that's good, Sammy. We have to go now, son."
"Dad…I…I love you."
"I know, Sammy. I love you too."
John patted Sam's cheek affectionately and moved aside as Mary stepped up to her son. She reached up and kissed him lovingly on the cheek before pulling away. Sam watched as his parents walked away, hand in hand and cried out softly as they disappeared. He backed up to the tree and slumped against it, a soft smile curling his lips. He slid down the trunk and rested his head against the rough bark, closing his eyes as the words of his loved ones played through his mind.
"Sammy? Wake up, kiddo," a concerned voice called and Sam slowly opened his eyes to the worried face of his brother.
"Dean? What…" Sam stammered with confusion.
"You were dreaming, Sammy. You okay?" Dean queried.
"Dreaming? No…they were here…" Sam said, his eyes moving over the trees around him.
"Who were here?" Dean asked worriedly.
"Uh…I…nevermind…" Sam said softly as he allowed Dean to help him up from the ground.
"You sure you're okay?" Dean queried.
"I'm sure, Dean. I'm sorry I worried you, but I'm…I'm going to be fine," Sam replied, smiling warmly at his older brother.
Sam looked at his brother and he knew he would be. In time, he would be fine. "Yeah."
"Well, okay then. What do you say we head back to the house. You know how cranky Bobby gets if dinner gets cold."
Sam let out a little chuckle, his eyes once more moving over the trees before he stepped beside his brother as the older man headed for Bobby's house. He didn't see the relieved smile that graced Dean's face.
Two Weeks Later
Dean tossed the last of he and Sam's things into the trunk of the Impala, slamming the lid shut then turning toward the house. Bobby walked out the front door, a paper bag held in his left hand. He walked down the steps and approached the car, handing the bag to Dean.
"I fixed you boys some sandwiches for the road. Uh…are you sure you should be leaving? You know you're welcome to stay, Dean," the older hunter said.
"Thanks, Bobby…you've been great, but…it's time to get back on the road. I'm going stir crazy and I really think Sam's ready too. He's really turned around these past few weeks. I'm not sure what happened out there in the woods that day, but whatever it was, it helped him."
"Hmmm…do you think it was Cas?"
"I don't know, Bobby…Sam won't say anything."
"It…it was Mom and Dad…a-and Jess…" a soft voice said, startling the men.
Dean turned to see that Sam had come out of the house, neither Bobby or he hearing him as they talked together. "What Sammy?" he asked.
"In the woods. I was sleeping, but I woke up and…and I saw Jess. She talked to me, said that she loved me. Then…then Mom and Dad. It wasn't them, Dean. In hell, it wasn't any of them," Sam whispered.
"That's what I've been telling you. Why didn't you tell me, Sammy?"
"I…I didn't want you to think I had completely lost my mind. I wasn't sure myself, but…"
"But what, Sam?"
"After that day, the nightmares ended…mostly…so I knew…I knew it really was them. They loved me, Dean. They wanted me…"
"Sammy…of course they did."
"Yeah…I never should have believed…I can't believe I listened…"
"Hey…don't do that Sammy."
"I know…I'm sorry. Are we just about ready to head out?"
"Yep. Everything's packed up. Bobby even made us some sandwiches."
Sam turned to Bobby and smiled warmly. "Bobby…thank you…for everything. I don't know what we would have done without you."
"No need for thanks, Sam…you know that. You boys are my family…this is your home…well, aside from the car, but you know what I mean," Bobby said as he pulled Sam into a tight hug, patting the younger man on the back affectionately.
Sam pulled away and smiled again. "Bobby…I'm really gonna miss you."
"Hey…it's not like you're never going to see me again. You boys will be back here in no time. You better be."
"We'll be back before you know it, Bobby. We're planning on keeping within three states unless absolutely necessary," Dean said, his hand reaching out to shake the older man's hand.
"I want you boys checking in with me every day, you here?"
"We will Bobby, don't worry," Sam said.
"Let's get going, Sam…we got a long drive before we hit Montana," Dean called as he went around to the drivers side of the Impala.
"See you Bobby…" Sam said before he turned and went to the passenger door. He pulled the door open and slid into the seat, slamming the door behind him.
"Bobby…we'll keep in touch. You take care of yourself," Dean said, smiling when Bobby nodded and tipped his hat.
Dean crawled behind the steering wheel and started the car. With a wave of his hand out the window, he pulled away, leaving Bobby to watch after the brothers until they disappeared out of sight. The hunter turned and walked back to his house, already missing his boys and beginning to mentally count the days until he would see them again.
Stick a fork in it because it's done!!! Well, I hope that didn't disappoint or let anyone down. I really had a blast bringing you this story and promise that I am already thinking about the next one. Now, just so you all know...I won't be posting daily chapters now that I have run out of completed stories. It will be awhile before I start to post my next multi-chapter story. I always try to have at least six chapters written before I start to post so I know pretty much where the story is headed. Just keep watching, because a new one will be coming. Not sure if it will be another Three Brothers story, or a stand alone. Some good news though...I have a one-shot completed that I was waiting to post here after I finished With One Kiss. I'll probably post it tomorrow. It's a short one-shot but was pretty well received on . I know it's not much, but I usually don't take too long to write chapters, so you should be seeing a new story in a few weeks or so. Thanks again for all of your wonderful comments, and to those who read but were too shy to comment, or just don't like to, that's perfectly fine...I appreciate every person who reads my stuff. So...take care all and I hope to see you back when I post my one-shot 'I Told You So'.