A/N: I've had an amazing time with this fic! The feedback has been incredible and so surprising! I appreciate everyone who has stuck by it! Thanks again! Also, just wanted to give anyone who does follow my fics a heads up…I plan on switching user names soon. I use moviegeek03 for LJ, youtube, and other sites, so I will be changing this one to that as well. Sorry for any confusion
Despite the hell they had been through, he finally felt as if everything was finally going to be ok.
Two pairs of well-worn boots scuffed along white corridors, leaving occasional marks on the pristine floor. One limped slightly as the pair made their way around the corners. Rooms lay out in every direction. Machines beeped and whirred from some. Concern started to fill the oldest of the pair as he turned towards the younger.
"You sure you should be doing this Sammy?"
"It's Sam," he sighed. "And yes Dean…I need to do this."
"But you're still hurt. You should be using crutches. Don't think I haven't noticed you limpin'.
"I can't use the damn crutches," Sam huffed. "My shoulder is worse than my leg and the crutches make it hurt more." Sam turned and gave Dean his best puppy dog eyes. "And I just got to where my shoulder doesn't throb nonstop."
"Fine," Dean responded. "But I still think you should've waited."
"I've done everything Lori has told me to do. I've stayed in bed or on the couch. I've been taking all my meds. I haven't moved my shoulder. I think I'll be fine to do this Dean…"
Dean gave up arguing. He knew there was no sense in it when Sam was this determined. Instead he fell back into step beside his brother, keeping his hands at the ready should Sam's wounded leg give out on him at any point. He was well aware that Sam was still hurting, a lot more than he would ever admit. But Dean also knew how important this was to him…
"Here it is….room 412," Sam muttered softly.
"Well," Dean sighed, "let's go."
"I can't just barge in Dean!"
"I know that…I meant for you to knock."
Dean sighed again and knocked softly on the heavy door.
"Come in!" called a voice on the other side.
"You ready?" Dean asked Sam.
"I think you should go in first. You know…just to make sure he's ok?"
"If you want me to Sammy."
Sam nodded, not even bothering to correct the nickname.
"Ok," Dean mumbled as he opened the door. The room was strangely welcoming. The walls were painted a light shade of blue and soft, pale yellow curtains adorned the small window.
"Um, hi." The voice came from the bed against the wall. The guy looked fairly fit, all things considering. He was paler than he probably should be, but he seemed to be in decent health. "Have we…um…have we met before? You look familiar…"
"No, don't think so," Dean answered. He moved closer to the bed. "You, uh, you know my little brother…."
"Oh, well," the guy shifted gently in the bed before offering Dean his hand, "I'm Jessie."
"Dean," he took Jessie's hand and shook it. "Dean…Winchester."
Jessie tensed a little at the last name. "Winchester?" He drew his hand away from Dean. "So that makes Sam your little brother…"
"That it does."
"Um, not sure you really want to hear this, but he's outside. He wanted…"
"I heard 'bout what my father did."
Dean nodded in acknowledgement. "Hear anything else?"
Jessie sighed deeply. "Heard a lot of talk 'bout Sam. Gotta say, the Sam I met doesn't match up with the one I always hear 'bout from hunters."
"Let's just say the Sam you met wasn't the one that's standing outside that door."
"What? Was he possessed or something like that?"
"Something like that," Dean smiled sadly.
"Is it true?"
"Is what true? I'm not lying if that's what you are getting at!"
"No…I mean…I remember Dad was talking a lot of crap before that hunt. He kept talking about how the Winchesters were the ones that brought on Lucifer and all his army buddies. Did Sam really do that?"
"It's…complicated. But yeah, Sam had something to do with that. Hell, I did too. We both became manipulated puppets in someone else's play."
"I'm sorry," Jessie said. "So I'm guessing it's also true you guys made it right?"
"That why he was so…different?"
"Look, kid, Sam had to take on the bastard himself. He did it. He died in the process and some asshole of a demon decided he wanted Sam's ass back up here fighting for him. He just neglected to bring Sam back whole…so sorry if he wasn't quite what you were expecting."
"I didn't…I'm sorry," Jessie sagged against the pillows. "I didn't mean to upset you."
Dean scrubbed a hand over his face. "Look, Sam's outside. He feels awful about what happened. The Sam I know, the kid I raised, never would've let you get hurt like you did."
"Ok…send him in?"
"Ok…Just like that?"
"Just like that," Jessie said. "I'm not like my father."
Dean nodded his head and walked towards the door. Jessie watched as he stuck his head out to talk to Sam, but he couldn't hear the words. Seconds later, the tall, familiar form slunk in behind his brother. Sam glanced at Jessie in the bed. From his position on the pillows, Jessie could see tear fill Sam's eyes. He ducked his head away, his long hair falling into his eyes as if to shield him from Jessie.
"Hi Sam," Jessie finally broke the silence.
"Um, not sure if you remember or not, but I'm Jessie."
"I-I remember. A little fuzzy on the details, but I know what I did and I am so sorry."
"From what you're brother is sayin' wasn't you that did anything."
"Look, with this business, bad things happen. Hunts go wrong. It's part of the life."
"It is. But I should've been able…"
"Whatever happened to you, I can tell you're different from the person I met months ago. You're actually saying you're sorry. The asshole I met didn't even apologize when I was bleeding out."
Sam flinched at that.
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have been so blunt about it, Sam. I accept your apology, and I'm ok."
"What," Sam gulped, "what are the doctors telling you?"
"The Succubus tore into me pretty good. But with some therapy and a lot of work, I'll be up and about in a couple months. Could even start hunting again if I want to. But…"
The door opened and in walked a petite brunette. She stopped in the doorway, looking at Sam and Dean in confusion before turning her attention to Jessie.
"Hey Alli," the man called from his bed.
"Hi…am I interrupted something. I can come back later."
"No! Come on in babe."
Dean's eyebrows shot up in surprise. Sam just smiled kindly as the young lady took up a place beside the bed before introducing himself and his brother. "Um…I'm Sam and this is my brother Dean. I used to um…work with Jessie."
"So you guys are hunters too?" Alli smirked.
Both the brothers gaped at the woman as she giggled softly.
"Guys, this is Alli. She's my fiancé. We met when I was hunting with my dad, before all this happened. We both got called in on the same job. Dad never really liked hunting with women…so he got pissed when we kept talking after the hunt. But now, we're both getting out of the business."
"Can't say I blame you," Sam mumbled.
"Look," Jessie said as he sat up straighter in the bed, "what happened happened. It sucked, but I'm gonna be ok. Really."
Sam nodded, trying to keep the tears from flowing. He walked closer to the bed and grasped Jessie's hand. "Thank you," he said as he shook it.
Dean nodded his appreciation to Jessie and gave Alli one last smile before guiding Sam out of the room. At the doorway, Sam suddenly stopped and dug through his jacket. "Here," he walked back over to Jessie. "If you ever need anything, just call."
"Thanks," Jessie said as he turned the card over in his hand. "We will."
With that, Sam finally felt the tension leave his body as he limped out of the rehabilitation hospital and back to the Impala with Dean.
"Bobby, you need to just do it already! Quit being so damn stubborn and just…" Lori stopped half way through her sentence as she saw Sam and Dean enter the house and walk towards her and Bobby. The nurse had been spending a lot of time at the salvage yard, and it wasn't all due to the youngest hunter's now healing injuries. "Hi boys," she said sweetly, the tone the complete opposite of when she was talking to Bobby.
Sam and Dean both said hello to her and Bobby. Dean rummaged through the fridge looking for beers. "Damn it," he mumbled. "Guess we're all of out beer."
Lori took that as her out and promptly stood from her seat at the kitchen table. "Well then," she said as she picked up her bag, "why don't you take me to the store then Dean? We can get some more and get some other groceries. I'll fix us up some dinner tonight."
"Come on sweetie." Lori grabbed Dean's arm and pulled him towards the door.
"I'll take you if you want Lori," Sam called. "Grocery shopping isn't really Dean's thing."
"Well, for today it is. You've been on that leg far too long from what I can tell. Don't think I didn't see you limping in here young man. Your brother and I will be just fine. You stay here with Bobby and get some rest." With that, Lori pushed Dean out the door and towards the Impala; he glared at her the whole way but bit his tongue. "Don't look at me like that Dean Winchester," Lori said once they were outside. "You know Bobby and Sam need to have a real talk. They'll never do it with us in the house. Sam's been going around like a lost puppy, and Bobby's been avoiding the subject again. I know they started patching things up while he was in the hospital, but now that he's not they've been skirting the subject. If we don't go they'll just keep on going like this forever."
Dean knew Lori was right, so he crawled into the Impala and took off towards the grocery store.
Inside the house, both Sam and Bobby sat quietly at the kitchen table. Bobby sat staring at his empty mug of coffee while Sam gazed intensely at the tabletop. Bobby finally cleared his throat loudly. "Want some coffee?"
Sam nodded and Bobby got up to start a new pot. After a few moments, all of which were spent in silence, Bobby returned and handed Sam his mug. "Thanks," he mumbled. His gaze flickered to Bobby then quickly returned to the mug on top of the table.
Bobby also stared intently at his coffee as he worked up the courage to start the much-needed conversation. "Look Sam," Bobby started. Sam's gaze left the coffee and turned towards Bobby. The wide puppy dog eyes weighed heavily on Bobby. "We need to talk, son."
"About…you and me…"
"I thought we did….in the hospital?"
"We did. I don't think it was enough boy."
"I know…I should've apolo-"
"No ya shouldn't have!" Bobby snapped before mentally cursing himself at the look on Sam's face. "Hell boy I ain't any good at this stuff. But I want ya to listen. You got nothing to be sorry for. What happened is in the past. I meant what I said in the hospital. Both you and that brother of yours have been a big part of my life for a long time now. I plan on keepin' it that way."
A small smile graced Sam's face and his eyes looked a lot shinier than they had before Bobby had started talking. "Thank you…really…thank you Bobby." Sam hobbled around the table and threw his arms around Bobby. The older man returned the gesture easily.
"What do you say we go watch the game on TV? I'd say your leg would feel a lot better if you stretched out on the couch." Sam nodded against Bobby's shoulder before moving out of the hug and following Bobby into the other room. They both settled on the couch and turned on the first game they could find. The roar of the crowd echoed through the small room and the announcer's voice detailed the replay. For the first time in a long time, both Bobby and Sam were completely at ease with each other.
"Son of a bitch," Dean mumbled as the grocery bags began to slide in his grasp. "Hurry up already Lori!"
Lori finally got the key in the slot and opened the door. But as soon as she stepped into the doorway, she stopped. Dean barely was able to stop himself from colliding into her.
"Damn it Lori…will you go in already so I don't drop this?"
"SHH!" Lori swatted at Dean's arms and took some of the bags from him. "Keep it down!"
Dean's face was set in confusion, and it was obvious he wanted to say something back. But he bit his tongue and followed Lori's gaze to the couch…
Both Sam and Bobby were snoring softly from the soft, worn cushions. A forgotten game played softly in the background, casting a soft glow on their faces. Their legs were spread out onto the old coffee table; abandoned mugs lay nearby. At some point, Sam's head had found it's way to Bobby's shoulder. His long hair fell around his peaceful face and down onto Bobby's flannel shirt.
Dean smiled warmly at the scene before turning back to Lori. She matched his smile as she handed him back the bag of groceries and pushed him towards the kitchen. She then moved toward the couch, grabbing an old throw along the way. She tossed it over the sleeping hunters. Her hands lingered a moment and reached up to brush Sam's hair away from his eyes. She then leaned in and gave Bobby a small kiss to his hat covered head. After one last look at them, she moved to the kitchen to start dinner.
Dean walked in and took a seat in the old armchair beside the couch. He couldn't stop smiling at the sight of his family finally back together and at peace. He leaned further back into the chair and allowed himself to truly relax as well. Things would get messed up again; Dean knew that. The Great Wall of Sam could tumble down. Eve could unleash a new force of supernatural baddies. Hell, even heaven could fall down upon them at this point…but for now, he decided to just relish in the fact that things were back to normal for them.