Hey guys!! Good Lord, I'm so sorry it took me so long to update this O.o College is trying slowly but surely to kill me, I'm certain of it -.-; Anyway, I must confess something: This chapter blows. I really do apologize for it becuase its not the way I originally planned the ending but the story kind of took on a life of its own and well, the ending changed with it. It seems abrupt to me and rushed (partially becuase I haven't gotten to work on it in three weeks -.-; Thank you Blinn...) so I really do apologize for the hastiness of it. Also, I wanted Saren to appear on last time but couldn't really see her visiting them in the hospital so I left it out O.o. Anyway, thank you all so much for reading my story and I hope you all liked it!!

-Layla :D

A dull, persistent beeping was the first thing that lulled Sam out of the depths of unconsciousness. It was almost irritating, loud enough to make his head throb but soft enough to slip past his senses occasionally. He kept his eyes closed for a minute, trying to piece together everything that had happened over the past few days. It felt like a lifetime had passed and to be honest he wasn't sure how long he'd been away from the world of the living.

"You awake finally?" A voice asked from somewhere above him, concern mixing with mock accusation.

Slowly, Sam managed to pry his eyes open and blink up to the ceiling. It was white, patterned with blue tiles in offset triangles that splattered across the plaster like stencils. The room smelled sterile; the familiar scent of disinfectant and rubbing alcohol. Sam had been in enough hospitals to recognize the smell almost instantly. He turned his head slowly, wincing at the stiffness in his muscles, and let his eyes come to rest on his brother perched in a flimsy plastic hospital chair. "Dean...?" He asked, his voice coming out as a rough croak.

"Yep. The one and only." Dean replied, grabbing a plastic cup from the bedside table and offering it to Sam. "Here, this will help your throat."

Sam took the cup gratefully, the joints in his arm protesting the movement, and gulped down to contents, feeling like he hadn't drank anything in weeks. He reached over to set the cup back down on the table and felt something tug against his skin. It was only then did he notice that he was bandaged pretty much from head to toe.

Dean must have noticed his confusion because he cleared his throat in an opportunity to explain. "Yeah, you were covered in cuts when they brought you in here. I told them it was because you managed to find a convenient cliff to throw yourself down when we were hiking and that's where the injuries came from. The arrow wound was a little more difficult to explain." He laughed humorlessly and folded his hands in his lap. There was a brief silence, Dean chewing on his lip thoughtfully as he struggled with something internally. "Sam, what the hell were you thinking? Those things could have killed you. Hell, they nearly did." Dean faded off and shook his head.

Sam frowned. Guilt was something they ran on in their family and it took very little to push someone over that precarious edge. What he had done was reckless, hell, downright stupid, and he was fully prepared for the tongue-lashing he was about to receive from his brother but he knew in his heart that what he had done was the only way to stop the Schaduwen. He couldn't blame Dean though, he knew he'd be pretty pissed too if his older brother had pulled the same stunt. "I had to do something Dean...you saw what they did to that cabin. If I had stayed then both your and Saren were in danger..." He stopped, suddenly realizing that the old woman was nowhere to be found.

"She's alright." Dean informed him quickly, noting the panic in his little brother's eyes. "They brought her in as well for a few bumps and bruises. One of the historical societies nearby discovered she's been living out in the forest and offered to rebuild her house. They can't make her leave; she has a deed for that section of the park." He smiled softly. "She saved your life, you know?"

Sam nodded. He remembered enough of the events to know that he'd be dead without Saren's skills as a healer. He shifted, wincing again at the stiffness in his muscles. "How long have I been here, Dean?"

"About three days."


Dean just nodded sagely. "Yep, you were borderline hypothermic when they brought you in, not to mention the arrow wound and all the other cuts; most of them weren't deep enough to require stitches though." He shrugged a little. "The arrow missed any major organs or arteries but there was an infection they needed to address so you got to spend a few nights in ICU." He reached over and patted Sam on the shoulder. "Doc says you should be good to go in a day or two though."

Sam nodded again, leaning back against the pillows and taking a deep breath. "Hey Dean?"


"If we never go camping again it will be too soon."

Dean chuckled softly, settling back in the plastic chair and crossing his arms over his chest. "Agreed, little brother."

There you go!! Hopefully my next story will end better than this one O.o Thanks guys!! You all rock my socks!! :D