Disclaimer: I do not own anything Supernaturally related.
A/N: Here's the epilogue for all of you who requested it! Thanks again for your support and reviews.
When Sam pulled into the familiar junkyard, he felt all the tension in his chest ebb away. They were home.
He was exhausted from the long drive, not allowing Dean to take over at all. He glanced over at his big brother, pleased to find him sleeping against the window once again.
Dean had woken up occasionally along the way, checking on Sam's progress and making fun of how his little brother drove like a grandma, but after the wise-cracks, he'd slump down in the seat and fall back asleep. This time, he had been out for over an hour.
Sam really didn't want to wake Dean, but he figured he'd be more comfortable inside and Bobby was waiting for them. He reached out tentatively and shook Dean's shoulder.
"Hey, man. We're here."
Dean came back to consciousness with a start, jerking out of his brother's reach. "Huh? What?"
"We've made it," Sam reassured, keeping his distance while Dean oriented himself.
"Oh, right…" He glanced up at Bobby's cozy place and felt a sense of trepidation. He loved the man like a father, but when it came to mothering, he was worse than Sam. "Dude, maybe we should just find a motel nearby. It's really late and I don't want to risk gettin' Bobby sick too."
Sam chuckled and shook his head. He had expected this. "Get out of the car, Dean."
Grumbling under his breath, Dean levered himself out of the Impala and stretched his kinked muscles with a groan before making his way to the trunk.
"I've got the bags, man. Head inside," Sam stated, earning a death glare from Dean.
"I'm not useless, Sam. I can carry my own shit, okay?"
"Fine. Just tryin' to help."
Dean rolled his eyes and swung his duffle onto his shoulder with a bit more enthusiasm than expected. He ended up throwing himself off balance and had to grab Sam's arm to steady himself. Sam immediately responded, swinging his arm out behind his brother's back to prevent him from falling.
"Whoa, easy, Dean! You alright?"
"Yeah, sorry. Bag was heavier than I thought it was, that's all. Come on. Let's go wake up the sleepin' crocodile."
"That's Mr. Crocodile to you, boy," Bobby responded from a few feet away. He had watched the Winchesters pull up the driveway and went outside to greet them. "And he's already awake."
Dean had the decency to blush slightly, but blamed it on the fever. "Hey, Bobby. Thanks for puttin' us up for a few days."
"My house is your house, kid. Speakin' of, let's get you boys in there before you get any sicker."
As they started to pass him, Bobby drew Dean in for a hug and surprised him enough to be able to take the duffle from his shoulder without him realizing it until it was too late. "Good to see ya, Dean."
"Yeah, you too, Bobby, but I can carry my own bag, man."
"And risk you fallin' down the stairs and suin' my ass? I don't think so. Now get in the house."
Sam bit the side of his lip to keep from laughing as his brother was bested by an old man. He gave Bobby a more compassionate hug, thanking him for everything he'd done for them, and then followed his brother up the steps.
Bobby watched the guys make their way inside and he smiled warmly. "Welcome home, boys."
Sam and Dean crashed the second they made it to their bedroom. Bobby snuck in when he was sure they were out and started assessing the damage so he knew what he was going to be dealing with come morning.
Dean had passed out face-down, fully clothed on top of the sheets. Sam had at least stripped down to boxer shorts and a t-shirt and managed to climb under the covers.
Bobby searched the closet for another heavy blanket and carefully draped it over Dean's slightly shivering form. He rested the back of his knuckles against the boy's cheek and sighed. He was sick alright. And in the morning, he was going to lay down the law.
He took up his post in a ragged armchair by Dean's bed to monitor the boys while they slept. He wanted to be there if they woke up and needed anything.
As the sun rose just above the horizon, Bobby quietly made his way downstairs to throw on a pot of coffee. By some miracle, the boys were so exhausted that they slept through the night, undisturbed.
He was in the process of cooking breakfast when he heard the shuffling of socked feet coming down the hallway. He already knew which boy it would be, even before he heard the muffled coughs and sniffs.
"Bed and bathroom, kid. That's it. You need anythin' else, just ask."
Dean, who had just reached the kitchen, gave the man his best bitch face; one he had actually stolen from his brother. He had his arms crossed over his chest, but it was more to stay warm than to give off a defiant persona. "Oh come on, Bobby. It's a cold, for cryin' out loud. I'm not dyin' or anythin'!"
"My house, my rules, boy. Bed. Now."
Dean quirked an eyebrow at the order, debating on whether he should push Bobby or just concede. Bobby answered that for him pretty quickly.
"You want to make this complicated, I'll take away your bathroom privileges too. What's it gonna be?"
"Alright! I'm goin', I'm goin'… Sheesh." Dean turned with a backwards wave and slowly stumbled his way back towards the bedroom. If he were honest with himself, the warmth of the blankets sounded pretty damn good right now.
He clambered back into bed and was hard pressed to stay awake when the warmth enveloped him. Glancing over, he saw that his brother was just starting to wake up as well. Good timing too, cause Bobby was on his way with steaming plates of breakfast.
He handed the bleary-eyed Sam a plate with bacon, hash browns, and eggs on it, then handed Dean a bowl.
"Ugh, Bobby… What the hell is this?"
"Oatmeal." At Dean's look, he quickly added, "Just shut up and eat it, ya idjit."
Sam smirked, taking care to thoroughly enjoy his first piece of bacon. Dean scowled at him from across the room.
"That just ain't fair," Dean grumbled.
"Tell you what, eat that whole bowl and keep it down, and I'll get you somethin' a bit heavier later," Bobby bargained.
Halfway through the bowl, Dean was racing for the bathroom. He had to admit, the oatmeal was much easier to deal with the second time around than a plate of bacon and eggs would've been. He never second guessed Bobby's orders again.
Bobby kept Dean on a rigid schedule for medication and meals. When he wasn't eating, he was forced to rest. Once his fever was gone, he was allowed to roam the rest of the house at will, and when he could keep down three meals a day, he was granted access to the yard where he spent most of his time tinkering with the junk cars and tuning up the Impala.
He found a certain peace out there that he couldn't find anywhere else. He could blare his classic rock and just get lost in the familiar motions, not having to think about all the crap that's been haunting him for years. Out here, he was free.
Sam and Bobby took turns coming out to check on him, making sure he was still taking his meds and drinking plenty of water. Occasionally, Bobby would help him out with the repairs, giving them a chance to chat about things Dean didn't feel comfortable talking to Sam about. The man never pushed him, just prodded here and there, and Dean was grateful for it.
He was sleeping more regularly now and was regaining his strength more each day. Once he had repaired a handful of Bobby's clunkers and the Impala was good to go, he felt restless and ready to jump back into the hunt.
It took a bit of convincing, but eventually Sam caved. They packed up their bags and chose a direction in which to head.
"Thanks for everything, Bobby," Dean stated as he initiated the goodbye hug process.
"You call next time things get rough, ya hear?"
"You let it get that bad again, and I'll take it out on your hide."
Sam's hug came next and he patted the kid on the back before releasing him. "You boys take care of yourselves, and don't be strangers."
"We'll be back before you know it, Bobby," Sam smiled.
"I'll hold ya to it. Drive safely."
The boys headed towards the Impala and Dean paused at the driver's side door. "Sam…"
Sam hesitated for a second, then tossed the keys to his brother. Yep, things were finally back to normal.
THE ACTUAL END!
Thank you all once again, and hope to catch you next time around! And for those of you reading Sacrificial Son, I promise I will update again soon. My muse has been taking a beating lately! I'd appreciate any final reviews, and Happy St. Patty's Day to all!