Sam and Dean entered the motel room in a state of shock, they dropped their stuff with a thunk on either side of the door and walked zombie like into the room and starred at the room, side by side, shoulders touching, not daring to move, not wanting to shake the moment.
Dean licked his lips and moved forward, forcing himself to be brave and break the connection, and he sat down on the bed closest to the door. Sam, followed suit and sat on the other bed and mirrored his brother, both in similar postures, elbows resting on their knees and shoulders hunched. It was a posture that they had assumed time and time again, as kids, as teenagers, and as adults. When Sam had been young, he had been so busy trying to be just like Dean, he mimicked his movements, his postures, and even his walk, and as Sam grew older, he abandoned his brother's ways but this one, and this mirroring each other wasn't something that had ever been lost.
Dean looked up at his brother, after a few minutes of quiet personal reflection and for the first time in his whole life he didn't know what to say to Sam. Even after he discovered that Sam was drinking demon blood he still knew what to say, how to say it to him, but this…this he wasn't sure what to say. He didn't know how to broach this subject. Out of all of the possible outcomes for the apocalypse, this was most certainly not one he had even considered.
"This is crazy." Sam finally said softly. "They can't be serious."
"I think they are Sammy." Dean said with a shake of his head
"Are you considering it?"
"Are you?" And that is where they were both silenced. They starred at each other.
"I guess I am." Sam finally said slowly, figuring that he had been the one to damage their relationship to the point of breaking already, so for him to admit it, well, it couldn't do any more damage than he already had.
Dean gave a small chuff, "Yeah, well, same goes here."
"Is the price too high?"
Dean shrugged. "I don't know. I mean, we'll know the other is alive. It'll be like when you were at Stanford I guess."
Sam nodded, long brown hair falling into his eyes, he started to push his hair back and stopped. "But we'll give up who we are."
"And what exactly has that been getting us here lately other than blood shed and pain?"
"True." Sam acquiesced. The last two years, well hell five years if you got down to it, had been nothing but a continual pool of crap that kept being heaped up onto their shoulders. So, really and truly what would they lose? Except maybe each other. And was that a price too high to pay?
"I don't know Sam. On one hand it is a super sweet deal. But…"
"But we're giving up our identity and our lives. We have to give up each other." And that's what it came back to every single time. They would have to give up each other for this to work, for this to even be acceptable.
"I don't know man, I don't know."
Sam licked his lips, put a hand on his knee, elbow bent out to his side, other hand flopped loosely in between in his legs, and he looked at his brother. "But isn't that what they've been saying all along? That the reason we are weak is because of each other?"
Dean shrugged. "But didn't we prove that together we are stronger?"
Sam nodded. "We did. But that is if we are going to hunt supernatural baddies for the rest of our lives."
"So, I guess what it boils down to is, do we want to do this for the rest of our lives?" Dean asked and the answer hung unsaid above the two of them.
"I don't." Sam admitted. "I don't have round two of manipulation, death, and pain in me."
"I don't either."
"So is that a yes? Are we doing this?"
"Only if we both agree."
Sam gave a short laugh and then ran a hand through his hair. "You know, these last couple of years all I've said is that I want to be your equal, that I don't want you to see me as your baby brother anymore, that I wanted to make my own decisions. But here I am waiting for you to tell me what to do, just like when we were kids."
Dean smiled. "And I'm wishing that Dad would have given me orders that I have to follow."
"You aren't very good at following dad's orders. I mean, I'm glad you aren't, because if you were, I'd be dead."
"Couldn't do that Sammy. You're my brother."
Silence hung between them and the invisible link that had been between the two brothers since that day John Winchester put Sam in Dean's arms, the one that had been almost like a psychic connection, a way for the two brothers to know each other better than any family, any lover, any spouse, any father or mother, would or could. It was activated and they both said simultaneously "We should do it."
Both nodded and looked down at the floor, at the ceiling, at the door, at the window, at the bathroom, they looked anywhere but at each other.
It took a couple of days for them to get their affairs in order, to get Chuck set up at Bobby's house, to get the car settled in with Chuck, and to just spend a couple of days with each other, being brothers, just happy to be with each other, spending their last moments together, and storing up the good times to carry them until the next time they are allowed to meet again.
And when that time was over, when they had shared their last beer together, and the sun was setting over the horizon, Joshua, as if he knew, appeared before the both of them
"The time is now, as I understand. You have made your decisions."
Sam nodded. Dean looked at his brother and then back to the gentle angel. "So, I have one request."
"Boy, you are getting a clean slate, a new body, a new life, a life free from demons, being vessels, and demon blood. What possible request could you possibly have?"
"I want." Dean looked back at his brother and then down at the ground, then to the angel. "I want to be able to see my brother, know he is my brother, once every couple of years. Just for a few hours. I just want to know he's okay. I mean, my whole life has been about him, protecting him, loving him, trusting him, and saving him….and it's not going to be that easy for me to just drop it, and hope that everything is okay with him. I just want to be able to spend a couple of hours with him every couple of years, just to…"
"Be his brother." Joshua asked with patient and kind eyes. Dean nodded. Joshua closed his eyes and smiled. "I think that request can be granted, if it a request from both sides."
Sam stood straighter and nodded furiously. "Yes, definitely, please." Joshua smiled.
"Then the time has come. Any physical requests."
"I would like for you to leave my eyes alone." Dean said. "They kinda look like my mom's."
Sam nodded. "I'd like the same."
Joshua smiled, and in a pool of light, everything changed.
5 years later.
Today was the day. Dean didn't know how, didn't know why he knew, but he simply knew. Today he would be able to see his brother, today was the day he got to make sure he was okay. His feet guided him, he knew not where they were taking him, but he didn't care, he simply let them take him to the diner, a diner of the likes he hadn't eaten at since he'd been given his new face and new life. But the moment he stepped inside it felt like coming home. The smells, the sounds, the people just passing through and there at a table in the corner, sat a black haired man, obviously Native American in nature, but when he turned and met Dean's eyes they were unmistakable, they were his Sammy. Dean smiled and Sam stood and the two came together and clapped each other on the back and sat down.
"You look good Sammy." Dean said. Sam laughed.
"Sometimes, my face still shocks me." Sam marveled at the blonde robust man in front of him, he was built like a surfer, had the looks, the hair, the identity, but the eyes were unmistakably Dean.
"What are you doin' with yourself Sammy?"
"I'm in Med school. I'm doing my residency." Dean shook his head and ordered a cup of coffee from the waitress who showed up unannounced.
"You like it?"
"I do." He said and slouched in the seat a little. "I didn't know if I'd be good at it, but I guess I am. It's really…I like it."
"Good. Got a girl?"
"Yeah. I do. She's beautiful. Native American." Sam chuckled. "Just like me." Dean laughed.
"What's her name?"
"Sky. What about you Dean? What are you doing?"
"I'm a detective. I went straight to the police academy, and just made detective last year."
"Wow." Sam smiled. "I'm going to assume that you are a detective in LA or somewhere close to that." Dean laughed.
"What gave it away, the surfer good looks I was given?" Sam smiled.
"Yeah something like that. Girl?"
"Yeah. She's a little thing, sweet, and a teacher. She's amazing. Married actually." Dean said softly. Sam pressed is lips together and nodded. "It about killed me that you weren't standing beside me."
"No one. I told her that my family was killed when I was a teenager, and that my brother Sam would be the one to stand beside me at my wedding, and since you weren't there, that no one was going to stand next to me."
Sam gave a small smile. "Thanks."
"No matter what, you are still my brother." Dean took a sip of coffee. They talked for hours, catching up, reminiscing, just enjoying being with the other. And then, they saw him, Joshua. He pointed to his watch and both nodded, their time was up for now. In another five years they would be able to meet again, get to know more about the other, but for right now the hours they had spent would have to tide them over. Each stood, both of equal height now, both impressively large and muscular men, Sam put on his coat, pulled out his black pony tail, and Dean put on his coat, then they looked at each other for a second, and they hugged, nodded, and went out the door, and went their separate ways, to the new jobs, their new friends, their new women, and their supernatural free existence.
It seemed like it was perfect, but as each of them walked away, away from each other, their hearts were heavy, there were moments that their decision seemed wrong. And each wondered when it was going to be too hard to walk away, and would decide that seeing the other wasn't worth the pain of leaving them behind yet another time.