AN: Ok, so it looks like we're at the end of another one. Thank you for taking the time to read it... and I hope you've all enjoyed it. I'm honestly not sure how this last chapter turned out... but hope you're not disappointed. Take care... and I hope to see you all around my other stories!
Dean stared at the woman who was currently stumbling through the tangle brush at the edge of the tree line that butted up against the junk yard. Normally not his particular taste, he could admit the fine features of the young woman would have turned a lot of heads if it weren't for the fact her eyes were completely black.
"How about you turn your skanky ass around and I don't fill that pretty little ass of yours up with lead?" Dean smirked, holding up his Glock with his normal confidence, secretly hoping the bumbling demon made a false move just so he could have the satisfaction of sending it back to hell.
"Right… go ahead, take your best shot sweetie… see what happens," the demon said as she calmly picked the twigs out of her hosts hair and bent down to deal with the wayward shoe that was becoming more of an annoyance than anything. She quickly vowed to find the cretin who invented the damn things and make his afterlife even more of a hell than it had been. Tired of hearing the grumbling of the man in front of her, she sighed and tuned back into his cursing.
"Damnit… can't believe it actually… what the…" Dean sat puzzled at his malfunctioning weapon before looking at the newcomer, "You! You did this… what the hell?"
Smirking, the demon sat next to the wheelchair and held out her arms. "It's a teeny tiny little spell… I can't be harmed and you can't leave until we have our little chat."
"Oh yeah… and what do you think we would have to talk about?" Dean demanded fiercely, looking for a way to get rid of the bitch. However, what she said next stopped him in mid thought.
"How to protect little Sammy."
Bobby sat and watched over the youngest Winchester, trying hard not to get concerned about Dean. Ok, so it was his fault that the eldest brother wasn't haunting the kid's bedside at the moment, but that didn't mean he couldn't worry about his suggestion of taking a couple laps around the yard was actually taking longer than he thought it should.
"Sam, boy, I have no idea what's going on in that thick head of yours, but I really hope you pull yourself together before that dang fool brother of yours does something stupid." Bobby said quietly as he checked once again the progress of his young charge's temperature, relieved to see that it was finally on the way back towards normal. "Well, that's good kiddo. You just get better now; I have a feeling I'm going to need all the help I can get with that brother of yours."
Sam continued his exhausted sleep, oblivious to all that was going on around him, oblivious of what was going on outside in the belief of what was best for him.
"Leave my brother out of this, bitch!" Dean sneered, itching to get his hands on the being in front of him, determined to rip the host apart if he had to get to the passenger inside.
The demon laughed before leaning back. "Right, like you're really not interested about being a whole man again or better yet… the big brother again. Give me a break, Dean! You and I both know that right now little Sammy Winchester is falling apart at the seams because he feels like the failure you and you're daddy have helped him feel like for how long? Oh, you don't have to answer… I already know… or have been told. I have to admit… I don't get out much, but when I was asked to do this, I couldn't really say no, now could I? I mean really… the last time I was topside, covered wagons were considered a neat invention."
Dean sat and stared at the demon in front of him, "Do you ever shut up?" he asked, hoping that the answer was yes because if it wasn't, he was actually considering turning his weapon on himself just to escape the damn monologue.
"Look Dean, you let me give you my sales pitch, you give me your answer, I leave and if you're smart… you walk out of here."
Ok, so that caught his attention. "Walk? In case you haven't noticed sweetheart… no working legs here." Dean fumed, once again trying to shoot the damn demon that was determined to talk him to death. God, if he ever complained about Sammy's need for talking things out again, he'd be sure to remember this moment and chill out.
Clearing her throat, the demon stood and stretched. "Ok, this is what I was told. You agree to protect little Sammy boy like you have his whole life and you get your legs back. No strings attached. All you have to do is in ten years give my boss permission."
"Hell with that… it's a no go sister. You go back to whatever level of hell you came from and tell your boss that I'm not selling my soul for a lousy pair of legs!" Dean yelled, trying once again to move his chair, while getting more frustrated at the inability of not being able to wring the creature's neck.
"Obviously I didn't make myself clear. You aren't selling your soul Dean. You're just giving him permission."
"Permission for what?" Dean demanded. This woman had to be insane if she really thought he'd agree to something like that. Talk about a big string!
The demon shrugged her shoulders. "I have no idea. That's what I was told. In ten years you give my boss permission. In the meantime, you get full access to your preferred mode of transportation, and Sammy can get back to being… well… Sammy!"
Dean stared at the figure before him and wondered what the hell was going on. He couldn't believe what he was hearing and definitely couldn't believe that the demon actually thought he'd fall for it.
John pulled into the driveway and wasn't sure if he was thankful or not that the area was quiet. He didn't know what he expected, but the feeling deep in the pit of his stomach was getting stronger and he'd be damned if he'd feel better before finding his boys and making sure they both were ok.
He'd just pulled his duffle out of the trunk when he saw the door open at the side of the house, taking him momentarily by surprise.
"Bobby? I thought you were in…"
"Yeah, well, I got a call before I headed back and had to make a detour. Better get your ass in here, your boys need you, though I don't have a damn clue why," Bobby groused, opening the door wider to let the other man in.
It had taken a few minutes to get John up to speed and settled next to Sam's side, but once the whole story came out, neither man knew what the next step should be. They both knew that without Sammy, then Dean was lost to them and vice versa. However, no one had ever anticipated this scenario and it worried both hunters.
"I'll go look for the idjit, you stay here and look after Sam. I have a feeling you two need to clear the air a bit." Bobby said before turning towards the door.
John nodded but didn't look away from his youngest son, only now truly understanding what he'd inadvertently caused. "I'm so sorry Sammy. This isn't what I meant to happen. I honestly thought you'd give up and let me deal with Dean my own way. Guess I should have realized that wouldn't happen, huh?" he laughed with a self depreciation that came from true understanding. "I get it kiddo; you'd give up everything for your big brother. So how about you wake up and we go find him before he gets himself into trouble." He said quietly, noticing the slight stirring in his youngest and smiled when he saw those expressive eyes beginning to look back at him. "Hey Sammy, how are you feeling?"
"D'd?" Sammy asked, confused about what was going on, but having no idea where to start. "D'n?"
"Right here kiddo. I have to tell you Sammy, those damn nightmares of yours are enough to give Stephen King a run for his money," Dean said as he strode across the room, his boots heavy against the wooden floor. "How about you get some more rest, then you and me can figure out what's going on inside that oversized brain of yours, ok?"
Not sure what was really going on, Sam looked at the shocked look on his dad's face, and then back to Dean. "Nightmare?"
"Yep. Just one of your basic, everyday, ordinary after the hunt, post concussion nightmares. Complete with fever, tears and delirium. Now, go back to sleep… we'll talk later," Dean soothed as he brushed his brother's bangs out of his eyes, completely ignoring the outraged looks he was getting from his father.
Nodding, Sam drifted back to sleep, unaware of the concerned look his older brother was giving him.
Dean knew he had a lot of questions to answer, but right now he just wanted to enjoy the moment of knowing that his little brother was going to be ok… he'd see to that, even if it meant spinning the biggest damn lie he'd ever told to Sammy. Ignoring his dad's look, he thought about what the demon had him agree to. He had no idea what would happen in ten years, but that was a long time off and who knew what would happen anyway. This way, he was fighting fit to keep the damn demons at bay and off his little brother's back – that's all that mattered now, that's all that would ever matter.
The hiker screamed as two black clouds burst from her mouth forcefully, until she collapsed dead at the side of the pond.
"Well, that was interesting. Mind telling me what that was about?"
Azazel smiled and flashed his yellow eyes towards the crossroads demon. "Nothing really. Just a little bit of insurance to make sure certain plans of mine go exactly as I want them to."
"You do know that it's my neck on the line. I don't get a soul, but I've made a deal."
"Take hers then, I'm sure she won't be missed. Oh, and tell your boss 'thanks' for the help." Azazel said with a feral grin as he walked away from the lower demon and her prize. Now he could concentrate on the bigger plan, the one that only he and one other knew about, the one that they all had waited millennia's for, the one that would bring the true ruler of the God forsaken planet back to his rightful place!