November 5, 2002

Last year was only the beginning of Sam's drive for independence. After a graduation that none of us attended, he announced he'd been accepted at Stanford. He was leaving us.

Sam was always going to be his own man.

Me, I was back with Dad, hunting all the evil sons a bitches we could find. It felt good, helping people. So did all the meaningless sex with nameless women. Filled a void, not that I'd ever admit that out loud. And with Sam gone off to college, I was one big empty.

A hunt brought me within 100 miles of KC, and something made me head for that pretentious community on Running Deer Lane.

Gregg looked just as he did a year ago, his handsome features still flawless, hair glossy and dark, shirt just a little too tight around his muscular frame. And apparently still single.

I didn't even know why I was there. Gregg welcomed me in, definitely surprised to see me on his door step. What was to be a pitstop ended up lasting the weekend, but neither of us held on to any illusion that I'd overcome my guilt and fear and stand up to my father. Monday morning came, and Gregg, being a normal civilian, had to head to work. As he walked me to the door, he stopped me and gave me one last kiss. It was tender, but demanded nothing of me.

"Here, I want you to have this." His eyes were just a little moist as he slid the silver ring he always wore onto my finger.

"To remember you by?"

"No, this is for you. To remind you to be true to yourself. So when you see that ring, you'll think about what it is that Dean Winchester really wants for his life. So you'll put yourself first once in a while. That's what I want you to remember."

Lingering at his doorway any longer was not going to make this any easier.

"Thanks, I love it." I turned quickly and made for the car. As I eased her out of his driveway, I glanced back at the door. He was no longer there.

A/N: I began this story during season 4 and had most of it either done or framed out prior to season 5, but I just didn't post it. So, what I'm trying to say is that I came up with Dean having a GED. When I saw that in the show I cheered! I also found it pretty ironic that Dean stops wearing his ring after "Changing Channels" when we see that he is pretty smitten by a man, Dr. Sexy.

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