-I honestly don't know what to say right now. I had no idea this story would become so popular so fast or that it would go on THIS long. But, I've loved every single second of it and it's been an incredible ride.
I'm almost in tears at the thought of this being over and the reason for that is all of you. I kept it going simply because you asked me to, and I can't thank you enough for all your support, and for loving this story as much as you have. Enjoy the last chapter, let me know what you think, and last but not least: THANK YOU for everything.
All my love, Leigh
Warm, morning sunlight peeked in through McKenna's bedroom curtains, as she lay awake in bed. She rolled to her side, pulled up the bed sheet to cover her bare chest and supported her sleepy head in her hand. A slow smile spread across her face as she watched Dean sleep. His face was relaxed, peaceful, and the corners of his lips curled up in an almost smile.
He was Dean. Full, one hundred percent, no-doubt-about-it Dean Winchester.
Kenna closed her eyes and offered up her silent thanks to God as she reached up and lovingly ran her fingers through his hair. She chuckled softly, knowing it had to have been God. No other angel, demon, or spirit, and no one else on earth, heaven, or hell had the power to bring him back to her.
No one else but the Big Man, Himself, as Dean had once called Him.
When Kenna had brought him home the night before, Sam and Bobby almost didn't believe it was really Dean. And just to humor them, he had even offered to cut himself with a silver knife and douse his face with holy water. But Sam and Bobby refused to take him up on his offer and decided to let it be exactly what it was.
After that, Kenna had slowly led a still weakened Dean up the stairs, allowing him to lean on her as she helped him into the bathroom. She'd planned to only start the shower for him and possibly help him get undressed, but when Dean gently pulled her into his arms, kissed her, and tugged her into the shower with him, Kenna hadn't even thought of refusing. Despite their previous intimacy, she hadn't dreamed it possibe for there to be such deep levels to a simple kiss, but Dean quickly proved her wrong.
And she'd been so happy to have him back that Kenna had almost forgotten it'd been nearly two months since she'd last seen him, held him, and kissed him.
The couple had lingered beneath the hot water for a long time, taking turns washing one another clean of the remaining dust on their skin. When the water had begun to turn cold, Kenna and Dean finally climbed out.
It was the first time either one of them had ever gotten out of a shower feeling truly clean.
After wrapping both of them up in one huge towel, Dean had led Kenna across the hall and into her room, fully intending to keep his promise about one day making love to her in a nice, soft bed.
He made her head spin. She made him invincible.
Dean had found new things to do, things that made her cry out and shudder. Kenna had touched him in ways she'd been too reluctant to touch him before. She gained strength and confidence in herself as he kissed her, held her and moved deep within her. And all the while, Kenna had watched him.
Memories from the past, no matter how horrible they were, stayed in the past. And Kenna heard, saw, and felt nothing but Dean.
Their eyes had stayed on one another, watching and gaining new knowledge and pleasure. It was better than anything either of them had ever experienced before. There was mind-blowing passion, but it was so slow…so tender. Every movement careful, loving, and their rhythm like no one else's.
They couldn't have gotten closer even if they tried.
Kenna felt a sudden warmth rise to the surface of her skin as she thought back on everything. It had been a wildly beautiful night, and as far as she was concerned, there were going to be thousands more. Her intense desire for him was almost unthinkable, given her past, but perhaps that made it all the more miraculous.
Kenna smiled softly as she smoothed her fingers through Dean's hair, loving the feel of his skin beneath her own.
An unseasonably warm breeze passed through the open window and the curtains fluttered, sending a bright beam of sunlight straight into Dean's face. His once peaceful features clenched into a hard grimace. He groaned and shifted, wanting nothing more than to move away from the light and go back to sleep. But when he heard Kenna's soft chuckle, he knew there was just no way.
Dean slowly opened his eyes and looked up at her. With the sunlight bathing her skin and surrounding her blonde hair like a halo, she had never looked more beautiful.
Please, don't let this be another dream…
Dean looked at her and frowned. He slowly reached up and touched her butterfly necklace, running his calloused fingers over the soft skin of her collarbone. His chin trembled and his green eyes suddenly grew misty. They caught hers and held.
"Is this real?"
Kenna smiled sadly at his tone. He sounded so much like a scared little boy it almost broke her heart.
"Yes," she whispered. "It's real."
Kenna leaned up, pressed a kiss to Dean's forehead and curled her body around his, hoping her closeness would prove it to him.
She found him, hours later, sitting in front of the TV in Bobby's living room, eyes glued to the screen.
Dean winced as he watched the news footage of the destruction that had taken place while Michael had been with him. He'd seen flashes of it, heard the muffled screams begging for mercy, but nothing could have prepared him for what the archangel had actually done.
Tsunamis, volcanoes, earthquakes, war.
It was death and destruction in its basest form.
Dean jumped when he felt a small hand on his shoulder as Kenna leaned over the back of the couch to turn off the news. He had lived without any real human touch for almost two months, and after the magic he'd shared with Kenna last night, his unused senses were still on overload.
Kenna looked down, smiled sadly, and pressed a comforting kiss to his temple, slowly running her fingers through his hair.
Like always, Dean blamed himself for everything, and Kenna knew it.
"No more TV," she scolded gently and reached forward to place something heavy in his lap. She smiled at him, pressed a lingering kiss to his lips, and walked away.
Dean looked down and found Kenna's Bible staring back at him. It was heavy against his sore legs, but the leather was soft and the gold letters of her name engraved on the cover felt good against his calloused fingertips.
And best of all, it smells just like her…
Kenna stood just outside the doorway and watched Dean for a long time. He never opened the Bible, but he seemed to find comfort just by having it in his hands and running his fingertips over the cover.
A slow smile spread over Kenna's face.
At least it was a start.
Sam walked through the dense woods behind Bobby's house, shoving logs with his foot and pushing branches out of his way as he went. When he finally reached the clearing, he almost had trouble finding what he was looking for. Finally, he spotted the hidden wood garage behind the thick barrage of vines. He pulled on the rusty handle until the door flipped up and the room inside was flooded with sunlight.
The garage that had once held McKenna's car now held her Harley, where it had been kept safe for the past few months. Sam smiled, remembering that their introduction to Kenna's car was technically their first real introduction to her. The Shelby was the first thing she'd really ever opened up to them about.
He could remember it like it was yesterday.
"So, you rebuilt this little girl?" Dean asked.
"From the tires, up," McKenna answered.
Sam chuckled and shook his head. "I think Dean's in love."
"With my car?" McKenna asked.
"No, probably with you…"
Sam never needed one of his long lost visions to see that Dean would someday realize just how special Kenna was. Even then, long before they knew about the horrors she'd faced at The Compound, or the fact that she'd known Castiel long before they did, somehow they'd both known Kenna was different.
But they never thought she would change their lives, not only individually, but as brothers, as well.
Sam tenderly slid his fingers along the bright silver fender of the black motorcycle, forming a line in the thin dust resting on the surface.
Ever since she first rode up on this baby…
"Kinda sad to see her out here all by herself, isn't it?"
Sam lifted his head at the comment and found Kenna standing just outside the garage, leaning her weight against the wooden beams. He smiled as she slowly made her way inside to stand next to him. She reached up, draped an arm over the back of his shoulders and stood up on her toes to rest her chin against his collarbone.
"How's Dean?" Sam asked.
"He was asleep on the couch when I left him," Kenna answered. "He's exhausted."
Sam smiled. "I'm not surprised. He's been an angel condom for almost two months."
Kenna chuckled at Sam's reference to Dean's words, though both of them knew it really wasn't very funny.
"So, tell me," Sam began, pulling away from Kenna just enough to look at her. "How'd you do it? How'd you get Dean outta there?"
Kenna looked at the dirt floor below and shrugged. "I don't know, Sam," she whispered. "I honestly do not know. I didn't do anything…really, I didn't. And if you ask Dean, he'll tell you the same thing."
Sam frowned and crossed her arms over her chest. Apparently, that answer wasn't good enough.
"Neither one of us did anything, Sam," Kenna promised. "I swear. There were no rituals, no incantations, no spells…it was like…something or Someone came into that room and just… set Dean free."
Sam uncrossed his arms, and slowly pressed his hands into his pockets. He kicked at a pebble on the ground and chuckled. "Cas said the same thing."
Kenna frowned and shook her head in silent question.
"I called him," Sam explained. "Last night after you and Dean got home. I had to know what happened, Kenna. So, I called Cas and he said the same thing."
"He didn't have an answer either?"
"Oh, no, he did," Sam argued, nodding.
Sam smiled. "A miracle."
Kenna joined him with a grin of her own. "That's good enough for me."
She glanced back over her shoulder and grabbed two rags from a nearby shelf. She handed one to Sam and the two proceeded to polish the motorcycle together.
"I was in really bad shape while we were at the motel, Sam," Kenna whispered, suddenly. "But you kept your head. You had faith that Dean would come back to us. But more than that…you took care of me. And I don't know what I would've done without you. But it should have been the other way around."
Sam frowned. "What do you mean?"
Kenna looked away from him as her chin began to tremble. "Sam, you and Dean were all each other had," she began. "For so long. And then I showed up and changed everything—"
"For the better," Sam said, interrupting her.
Kenna's rag came to a stop, mid stroke and she looked up at Sam in complete surprise.
"Kenna, Dean and I weren't in the best shape when you showed up, you know," he explained. "We were fighting all the time, we couldn't agree on anything…but then, once we met you…" Sam paused, unable to finish his sentence with the right words. There simply weren't enough to explain exactly how he felt.
"And I'm happy," he added, quickly. "Because I couldn't dream up anybody better for my brother than you."
Kenna smiled through her tears, acknowledging how he'd chosen to look past her history, and only see her for who she was now. She owed him so much more, but could only offer him one thing. She reached up, cupped Sam's cheek in her palm, and leaned forward to press a kiss to it.
More than anything, Kenna prayed he would find the same happiness with someone that she'd found with Dean. Because if there was one person in the whole wide world who truly deserved it, it was Sam Winchester.
"Thank you, Sammy," she whispered, caressing his jaw with her thumb.
Eventually, the two parted, stood to their feet, and stepped back to admire their work. The Harley glimmered in the sunlight, beautiful, shiny, and good as new.
"Perfect," Sam said, smiling proudly.
"Hmm, I don't know," Kenna said, cocking her head to the side with a frown. "I think she's missing something."
She reached up, slipped her arms beneath Sam's, and wrapped them around his waist. "You know what I think she needs?"
Sam shrugged and placed his hands around Kenna's back, giving her a quick squeeze.
"I think she needs a really good, really long ride," Kenna whispered close to Sam's ear, gently pushed him toward the bike, and turned to leave. Just before she reached the edge of the garage, Kenna turned back and tossed him the keys.
Then, she walked away in silence, leaving Sam alone to think.
McKenna found Bobby and Dean sitting on the porch as she made her way back to the house. The two men seemed to be ending what appeared to be a very serious conversation. Bobby looked up and smiled at her as she joined them, his expression a mixture of warmth and bittersweet sadness. He reached up, took her hand and pressed a kiss to the back of it. Kenna didn't even get the chance to question him before he wheeled himself inside, leaving her and Dean alone.
"Sam's out in the garage," Dean said, his voice lower and even thicker than usual. He lifted his hand, showing Kenna his cell phone. "He just called me."
"Yeah, I know. I just came from there," she said, nodding.
Kenna slid onto the porch swing next to him and Dean reached down to pull her legs up onto his lap. She was wearing a white flowing skirt that hit just below her knees and for a moment, she seemed almost out of place in the outfit. Given their job, Dean wasn't used to seeing her wear something so feminine, but she looked so pretty, he certainly wasn't going to complain.
Dean smiled, suddenly realizing he'd never even seen her wear a skirt before. He began to wonder why, but when he slid his fingers a few inches north to skim along her knees, he quickly understood. There were tiny scars there, probably not very noticeable, but that never seemed to matter.
Kenna was extremely subconscious of all her scars, no matter how big or small they were. But, Dean hoped that over time he'd be able to change that. He couldn't help but smile when she shifted and his eyes caught a glimpse of the infamous brand on her hip.
"Sam says he's gonna go away for a little while," Dean said sadly, as he drew circles over Kenna's tiny scars with his fingertips.
"Really?" she asked, trying to cover up the fact that she wasn't really surprised. "For how long?"
"Couple weeks," Dean shrugged. "He's leavin' tomorrow. Says he's got a couple jobs lined up and he invited us to catch up with him later."
Dean lifted his head and smiled at Kenna, wondering how on earth he got so lucky. "He says there's some spirit activity goin' on in a plantation down in South Carolina if you're interested," he added.
"Yeah." Kenna smiled, reached up, and ran her fingers through Dean's hair. "I think that sounds like fun."
Well, life goes on. With or without Lucifer and Michael…
She was proud of Dean. And Sam, too.
Sam for deciding to spread his wings and take off for a little while on his own, and Dean for actually letting him. Kenna watched Dean's hard expression as he stared down at the wood floor below.
"You're not mad, are you?" she asked.
"No," Dean grunted and shook his head with a shrug. "I'm not mad. I'm just a little…worried."
Kenna smiled, unable to find his pout anything but absolutely adorable. She squeezed his shoulder, hoping the gesture would bring him the comfort he needed.
"You're his big brother, Dean," she said. "You always have been and always will be. But, Sam's a big boy, too. And you taught him everything you possibly could, so I'm sure he knows what he's doing."
Dean finally cracked a small smile. If anyone else had tried to give him the same 'Let Sam Go' speech, he'd probably kick their ass into next week. But this one was coming from Kenna. Someone who loved Sam just as much as he did.
So, of course, he was a bit more inclined to trust her judgment.
"I told him to call everyday," Dean said, clearly trying to console himself.
"Well, he better," Kenna snorted. "Because he's taking my bike."
Dean looked up and balked at her. "You're letting him take the Hog?"
"Well, would you look at us," Dean said. "I'm lettin' him go off on his own and you're lettin' him take your Harley…"
He patted her leg with his hand and smiled. "I think we're growin' up."
Kenna grinned and leaned in to rest her forehead against Dean's temple, noticing the pale, pink wounds on his face, left behind by Michael, were fading quickly.
She was almost sorry. Scars were their thing, and it was something of a shame to see any of them go.
"So," Dean sighed and tickled the back of her knees. "What do we do now?"
Kenna shrugged her shoulders and shivered against his playful touch.
"Well, Bobby said we're welcome to stay here as long as we want," Dean continued. "But he also said that if it's any longer than a year, he's gonna start charging us rent."
Kenna chuckled. "Sounds like Bobby."
Dean reached up and pulled Kenna's left hand into his own, noting the empty space on her ring finger. He couldn't help but smile at his plans of putting something there within the next few days. With Kenna's father gone, Bobby was the only man he could ask about having her, and he'd given Dean his permission only moments before Kenna came back from the garage.
Though, of course, he'd added a few choice words of what would happen to Dean if he ever thought of hurting her. But for the rest of his life, Dean would make sure that nothing, not him, or anything else on the whole planet would ever hurt Kenna again.
"I'd like to keep hunting for a while," Kenna said, suddenly. "Even though Michael and Lucifer are gone, there's still some evil stuff out there."
"And Cas is still searching for God," Dean offered. "We can always help him, too."
Kenna nodded and snuggled closer to Dean. He smiled and reached down to thread his fingers through hers.
"I like bein' a hunter," he said, nodding his approval.
"Yeah, me too," Kenna agreed. "Although eventually, I think I'd like to change my title someday."
Dean turned his head and frowned at her. "To what, babe?"
Kenna leaned forward and watched him, ready to gauge his reaction.
"Soccer mom," she answered, softly.
Dean's eyes grew wide with momentary shock, but his expression quickly calmed, and the corners of his lips curled up in a soft, easy smile.
He lifted his gaze and watched as the sun began to sink down behind the trees.
"Huh," he grunted. "I kinda like the sound of that."