A/N: Here's the last chapter. I know what some of you might think... Anti-climactic, but hey, that's where it wanted to go. Thanks for reading, and well...enjoy the end.
Chapter 9: Truth, Lies and In Between
Two days later…
Sam stood on the front porch, waving as Joshua backed up and turned his truck around, leaving the salvage yard in a cloud of dust. Sam leaned against the rail, watching the sun rise above towers of junk. His eyes, still slightly sensitive, we're squinted protectively as Sam focused just left of the brightness of the sunrise, yet still managed to see the colors. He jumped slightly when the floorboard behind him creaked.
"Sorry. Didn't wanna scare ya. Thought if I hit the board…"
"'S okay." Dean stood beside Sam, leaning against the same rail Sam did. He handed him a steaming cup of coffee the way Sam liked it, so light it was white and sweet enough to put anyone into a sugar coma.
"Thanks." Sam said, sipping slowly at the brew.
"Gonna be a nice mornin'." Dean said, looking in the direction of Sam's gaze, watching purples and blues brighten to the yellow and orange of daylight, edged in the blue of a clear sky.
"You didn't come out here to talk weather, Dean." Sam said, a sigh brushing past his lips.
"I just wanted to know if…y'know."
"Walk with me." Sam deadpanned, waiting until Dean was slurping his coffee like he always did. Part of him hoped his brother wouldn't hear and what was about to come could be avoided. Dean, instead, nodded.
Sam swallowed down his trepidation and took a step down off the porch, brushing a suddenly sweaty hand on his jeans. He switched the mug to the other hand and started repeating the motion until Dean took the mug. Sam jammed his freed hands into his pockets and they walked in silence through towers of stacked cars until they reached a spot Sam always gravitated to when he needed to think. Dean had found his brother there more than once as kids, one time even finding him sleeping, draped across the stack of tires he now leaned against.
"When I woke up in that chamber…god, it was so pitch black I thought I was blind. Silent, except the water dripping. I was trying to get out and I…I fell through the floor. Landed in this pit full of water. It… it was full of bodies, rotted, stinking. Someone jerked me back up into the chamber. Left me alone. I started getting sick…they beat me…" Sam broke off, his eyes rolling to the sky as he blinked quickly to staunch the budding moisture.
"I didn't…couldn't fight back and I didn't know where I was. I couldn't find you. Then I started, um…seeing things, hearing things. I guess I was pretty sick, and I was…" Sam swallowed hard. "I fell on something, a bone. Think it was a h-hand actually."
Dean grimaced as he swallowed suddenly tasteless coffee. "It was." His head dropped and he stared at the South Dakota dust beneath his feet. "Josh, uh, dug a piece of a finger out of your stomach." Sam's hand automatically went to his abs, right where the wound would have been. He looked down and swallowed, nodding.
"I've been having dreams about it."
"I've noticed." Dean said, sitting the coffee cups down on the stacked tires.
"I thought I was going crazy."
"It's just…I was so damn scared. Then I heard you. You came for me. I didn't know it was…I was so confused."
"I know, Sammy. I know."
"Dean, can I ask ya somethin?"
"All this happened only a couple days ago?"
"You disappeared twelve days ago, we found ya nine in. It's been three."
"I felt like crap, I know that much. So what happened?"
Dean picked up his coffee cup, tossing away the cold dregs at the bottom of the cup. "Josh did a real good job of patchin' you up."
"I took a shower this morning Dean. There's no stitches, no scar. Tell me the truth."
Dean sighed, looking down at his boots again before he looked at Sam, squinting slightly in the bright sun. "You were pretty out of it. We got attacked by demons. Made our way back to you and one of 'em was in the room."
"How did it get in?"
"I don't know man. Salt didn't stop it. It pinned us both and never even twitched, knocked Josh out with a finger. Bobby was doin' a freakin' exorcism outside and it just stood there and smirked."
"Do you know what it was?"
"No. No idea." Dean said, stepping away from the tires and wandering aimlessly through the junkyard. Sam joined him, falling into step beside him shoulders brushing on occasion as they meandered their way around rusted hulks and stacked car parts, Sam finally beginning to put the last ten days behind him as he talked with his brother. They were quiet as they walked up the stairs and into the house, the warm sun high in the sky. Sam cast a glance at Dean, smiling wanly before walking slowly up the stairs.
What am I supposed to tell you Sammy? Yellow Eyes healed you in the middle of some burned demonic symbol? Said that you're on your path and you're exactly where you're supposed to be? That I'm scared as hell now that what dad said I might have to do…that I won't be able to stop it?
Dean heard the door to the bedroom they shared when they stayed at Bobby's close. The hunter's booted footsteps pulled Dean out of his reverie. "He okay?"
"Hope so." Dean said, those two words having more meaning that Bobby could possibly know.
"You okay?" Bobby asked, eyeing Dean from beneath his cap.
"I wish I knew." Dean said, shaking his head. Bobby went to the cupboard, pulling down a bottle of Whiskey and two shot glasses. He wordlessly poured the amber liquid in two fingered shots. Dean downed his, wincing at the burn.
"You boys need time, ya take it, hear me?"
"Yes, sir." Dean poured himself another shot, firing it back. "So what made you think up that truck?"
"Got bored." Bobby said, shrugging his shoulders.
One last note: While I might post a tag, or a one shot now and then, I'm done with the big stories for a while now. I just can't seem to find my way out of the burlap sack that is writer's block and I just have not been able to find the time to try. Sorry to all those who want more, but (although I am still plugging away at the laptop) I am on hiatus from the long ones for a while. I have a garden to get ready, am probably starting a new job, after 7 plus years at my old one, and am praying to be able to remodel my house. I'm still around, tinkering, probably just enjoying reading and reviewing.
Love ya all.