TO ANYONE TURNING TO THIS CHAPTER THINKING IT IS NEW BECAUSE IS SHOWED IN YOUR ALERTS ON JULY 13, '13...IT IS NOT A NEW CHAPTER. I MISTAKENLY DELETED THE FINAL CHAPTER TO THIS FIC AND WHEN I REPLACED IT, IT SHOWED IN EVERYONE'S ALERTS AS A NEW CHAPTER. I APOLOGIZE FOR THE ERROR.
I'm so sorry this has taken so long to post. Serious computer problems and full blown soccer season held me back a little bit.
Okay, so here is the last chapter. Now it seems like it ends on a cliffhanger, but I had written this so that it would hopefully be seen as an episode, and we all know how the episodes all seem to end with a cliffhanger. I had written it so it would loop back around and meet up with the episode "Metamorphosis" so if you need to know what happens next, just watch that episode!
Seriously, though. Thanks again for all the kind reviews and pm's. I had a great time writing this and hope to try my hand at it again sometime. Everyone at this fandom has been wonderful.
So here we go!
Sam quickly grabbed his laptop from the back of the couch and buried his head into it, pretending to be reading something as Dean entered the house.
"Lucy! I'm home!" Dean chimed as he came through the door, dropping his keys on the table.
Sam looked up from the laptop as if just noticing him. "Hey." He answered.
"The guy at the auto parts store was grilling his lunch when I got there and he had the biggest steak I'd ever seen cooking right in front of me the whole time while he was getting the transmission. Man, it looked so good, and the smell of it cooking drove me crazy!" Dean joked as he immediately went to the fridge, looking for something to snack on. Not finding anything good to eat, he resorted to grabbing two cans of beer.
"So, how'd it go while I was gone?" Dean asked as he offered one of the cans to Sam.
"Good." Sam answered, reaching his hand up for the beer but opting to set it down on the table beside him, not looking up from the laptop.
"Good? That's it?"
"You want minute by minute details?" Sam asked, forcing a smile as he quickly stole a glance up at Dean, then immediately returned his eyes downward. "Yeah, good. Everything was good."
Dean plopped down on the couch next to Sam and, pretending not to notice the lack of eye contact, opened his beer and took a big gulp from it.
"What did you do on your first big day all by yourself? Did you watch some porn?"
Sam sighed. "Dean, please. So, you got the part for Bobby okay?"
"Yeah, everything went fine. I was in and out of there in no time. Even hit a quick drive thru for a burger on the way home, although it couldn't compare to that beautiful steak that guy had."
"Let it go." Sam replied as he continued typing the keys on the laptop.
Dean was quiet for a moment while he watched Sam.
"What's so interesting on the laptop?"
"Nothing. Just downloading some music."
Dean nodded then looked around the house. Everything looked in order, but something in Dean's gut told him that something was wrong.
"You sure everything went okay here?"
Sam sighed again, growing agitated. "Yes, everything's fine. Stop hovering over me."
"Fine. Don't be so bitchy." Dean stood up and looked out the window. "Has Bobby called?"
"No, not yet."
"Hmmm, I wonder how he's doing with Rufus?"
Sam shrugged as he continued on the laptop.
Dean noticed Sam's sandwich still setting on the coffee table.
"Didja' lose your appetite?"
Sam stopped typing for a minute. "What?"
"The turkey sandwich. You hardly even took a bite of it."
Sam looked toward the coffee table. "Oh, yeah. I guess my eyes were bigger than my stomach."
"So that means you haven't eaten anything all day? You seemed pretty hungry when you were making it. What made you change your mind?"
Sam shrugged again, wishing Dean would just drop the subject. He pretended to be very uninterested in the conversation. "Nothing. Just not hungry."
Dean raised his eyebrows. "You feeling alright?"
Sam was just about to open his mouth with an objection to all the questions, when he thought better of it.
"To be honest with you," Sam lied, "I've got a headache and don't feel all that great. I didn't want to admit it, but maybe it did stress me out a little to be by myself today. It went fine, but I'll have to adjust to it, okay Dean? Enough with the interrogation already."
Dean leaned back against the window pane and folded his arms across his chest. He nodded slowly.
"Sam, look at me."
Sam swallowed hard, but managed to look Dean in the eye, if only for a moment. Sam tried as best he could, but his stare just refused to stay locked on his brother. His eyes darted back and forth from the floor to Dean's jacket to his eyes then back to the floor...Sam could feel his face getting hot as he waited to hear what Dean had to say.
Dean studied Sam. Something had spooked him, but he couldn't tell what it was and by the sounds of things Sam wasn't willing to tell him. Dean contemplated pushing the issue, but at the last minute decided against it.
"You don't look very good, either." Dean observed. "But you are going to eat something, even if it's just some toast. You've gotta keep your strength up."
Sam's eyes narrowed a little. Had he really pulled off the lie or could Dean see right through him? Either way, it seemed he was getting away with it for the time being. The thought of food in his nauseous stomach was almost enough to make him gag, but he decided he'd better choke down some toast to keep Dean's suspicion from getting worse.
Dean watched as Sam got up from the couch and popped a slice of bread into the toaster. Yup, Sam's body language was practically screaming that something was wrong…..running his hand through his hair, wiping his palms together, pacing….all signs of nervousness. Dean wanted to know why, but opted to just observe him for the next few days to see if it truly was just a reaction to Sam's being left alone for the first time in a month.
Sam slept a lot the following day, making Dean wonder if he had, in fact, caught some type of flu bug. When Sam was awake, he seemed distant and distracted, as if his mind was somewhere else.
Bobby had returned from helping Rufus in the wee hours of the morning, and even Bobby had woken up the following day before Sam. Dean had cracked Sam's door open a few times to check on him, each time finding Sam sound asleep. Dean figured it was good that he was getting the rest he needed, if it was indeed a virus he was fighting off. He just hoped that Sam would be back on his feet soon. With everything that Sam had been through, it made Dean all the more nervous seeing him not feeling well.
Sam hated being deceitful. He hated lying to Dean and keeping things from him, but faking an illness was the only way that Sam could be sure he would have some time alone to think about what he was going to do. If Dean thought he was sleeping, he would leave him alone, so each time Sam heard Dean at his door, he would close his eyes and pretend to be asleep.
The most ironic part of the whole thing was what Sam really wanted….needed, was to talk to Dean about what had happened the day before. He wished more than anything that he could ask Dean for his help in figuring out what they could do and work at it together. However, Sam knew that this simply wasn't possible. With the way Dean did not want Sam to use his abilities combined with Dean's hatred for Ruby, there was absolutely no way that Dean would ever allow Sam to go through with what Ruby had suggested. If this truly was the only way they could finally defeat Lilith, Sam couldn't risk Dean denying him the chance to do it.
So, as a last result, Sam saw no other alternate method than to continue to lie to Dean. It broke Sam's heart, as he would rather hurt himself than hurt Dean, but it simply had to be done. Sam consoled himself with the knowledge that he would be doing this so that he and Dean could finally be rid of Lilith, once and for all.
The next evening Sam lay awake in his bed, waiting for Ruby to come to his window.
As promised, once everyone else was asleep, Sam heard a tap on the glass and quickly rose from his bed to raise the window.
"Well aren't you just adorable in your jammie pants?" Ruby teased, a big smile on her face.
"Were you expecting me in a suit and tie at 1 a.m?" Sam answered, obviously not in the mood to play. "How did everything go with Lilith? Did she believe that Dean and I weren't here?"
"Hook, line and sinker." Ruby announced, "I can be very convincing when I set my mind to it. Sometimes I even amaze myself."
Sam breathed a sigh of relief. "Well, I guess that's one little worry I don't need to have for the time being."
A moment passed between them in silence, as if they both were waiting for the other to begin the conversation. Finally, Ruby spoke.
"So? I'm guessing by now you've had enough time to think about my plan. Is it a 'yes' or a 'no'?"
Sam's eyes darkened and he looked to the floor.
"The way I see it, I really don't have much choice."
Ruby shook her head. "Believe me, Sam, I've thought about this for many months now. There really isn't any other way to take her out. There isn't a demon or human out there with the kind of juice it would take to knock Lilith out of the picture. You are a human with psychic abilities who also has demon blood pumping through his veins. If there were anyone else in the world like you, I would be having this conversation with them instead."
Sam bowed his head in shame.
"Yeah, I'm a one of a kind freak, alright."
Ruby touched her hand to Sam's, trying to be consoling.
"No, Sam. What you are is a very special, very important, very powerful human being, you just don't know it yet. Once you realize what you can accomplish with the gifts you've been given, the possibilities for you will be limitless. I promise."
"How?" Sam questioned. "We don't even know if I still have any powers at all. There's been no sign of them for so long, and even when I had them, they controlled me, I didn't control them."
Ruby smiled and took Sam's hand in hers.
"Come with me. We will have a first short lesson tonight. We'll stay very close to the house. In fact, we won't even leave the property. We'll be out behind Bobby's garage where we can be sure we won't be seen or heard." She gave his arm a tug, prompting him to follow. "C'mon, let's get started. No harm will come to you, trust me."
'Trust me,' Sam thought, 'Yeah, since demons have always been so good to me in the past.'
He eyed Ruby for a while as the very last whispers of the voice in his head made one last attempt to prevent him from going through with this. Ultimately, Sam shook his head free of the whispers and followed Ruby out the window and across the yard to the garage.
It had been two months since Dean's trip to the auto parts' store, and Sam still hadn't admitted to him that anything unusual had taken place while he was gone. There were no signs of any foul play anywhere on Bobby's property, and all in all everything seemed fine.
After Sam's initial bout with not feeling well, Dean noticed that he made quite a comeback and was acting like he felt really good. Sam's appetite was almost insatiable now, eating up to five times a day. He was working out a lot, sometimes for hours at a time and was beginning to bulk up in the muscle department. For the first time since his return home, Sam was finally beginning to look healthy.
But the biggest difference Dean noticed about Sam was his self confidence. Sam had never been one to be very sure of himself. He's always been awkward and sometimes shy, but now that all seemed to be going away. Sam carried himself differently. All of a sudden, his shoulders seemed broader. He also stood up straighter, showing the full height of his large body, which he never did before.
This all made Dean very suspicious that something was happening inside Sam's head for him to make all these changes in his habits and behaviors, but again he had no idea what it was. Dean discussed this with Bobby, who was the only other person that had as much contact with Sam as he did.
Bobby leaned up against the picnic table as Dean made his case about Sam, who of course was still in the house.
"I'm telling ya, Bobby, something's going on with him. It's driving me crazy that I can't put my finger on what it is."
Bobby sighed and scratched his head.
"From what you're saying, it sounds like all the changes Sam's making are for the good, not the other way around. Maybe he's finally feeling safer, maybe he's just made up his mind that he's not going to live the rest of his life in fear. Whatever's gotten into him, it's making him a stronger person, and we've got to encourage that and do our best to support him. We want him to be stronger and healthier, don't we?"
Dean made a face at Bobby.
"Of course we do. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm just wondering where all this determination and strength is coming from, that's all. Hell, even before he was captured, he never had the drive and self discipline that he has now."
"My guess would be one of two things. First, maybe he's just tired of being scared and being a victim….figures if he can get his strength back and then some he won't need to be afraid anymore."
Dean rolled his eyes and nodded, indicating that Bobby had a point.
"And the second guess?"
"My second guess is that he's had it up over his head with being held hostage in my house and finally wants to prove to you that he's strong enough to be let out."
Dean stood up straighter and took a step closer to Bobby, pointing his finger at him.
"You know, that's the other thing I was going to mention to you. Have you noticed that in the last two months Sam hasn't argued with me once about leaving the house? Not once! Now, tell me that doesn't sound fishy to you. Why is he suddenly content at being home all the time? He fought me tooth and nail about it before. Hell, he even tried to sneak out a few times."
Bobby took a sip of his beer.
"Yeah, I gotta admit you've got a point there. I've noticed that too."
Just then a voice behind them appeared.
"Maybe he's just tired of being shot down every time he asks."
Dean and Bobby turned around and were shocked to see Sam standing behind them.
Dean blinked in disbelief.
"Sam! What the Hell are you doing out here? Get your ass back in the house!"
Sam blew out a puff of air as a retort.
"See? Why should I keep asking you when all I get is a flat out 'no'?" He held his arms up in question. "What exactly am I hiding from, Dean? There's nothing out here waiting for me."
Dean advanced on Sam, grabbing him by the arm and turning him back toward the house.
"We don't know that for sure, Sam. Now I said get back in the house, and I mean NOW!"
Sam pulled his arm out of Dean's grip.
"No." he answered.
"Sam, I said NOW!" Dean again grabbed Sam's arm, holding tight enough that Sam couldn't easily pull away.
"I'm through with hiding, Dean. If there's something out here that wanted me, it would've attacked by now. It's been three months! Enough is enough!"
Bobby could sense this argument wasn't going to end well and he tried to intervene.
"Okay that's enough, both of you. Now, Sam, let's just go in for a minute and we can discuss this. You've made some good points and I promise we'll listen. Dean, let's not turn this physical. Let your brother go."
Dean opened his hand and released Sam's arm. He did, however, give Sam a push toward the house, prompting him to obey the order Bobby had given him.
Sam, however, had a different idea.
"Bobby, there's nothing we need to discuss inside that we can't out here. I'm not going back in there until I choose to do so."
Bobby sighed and dropped his head to his chest. As usual that one was going to be stubborn.
Dean's face flushed in anger.
"Oh, is that so, tough guy? Well I'm guessing you're going to choose to go inside right now, or so help me I will kick your ass to the house myself. You've got 'til the count of three…..One…."
Sam could feel his initial anger giving away to fear as Dean began to count. He had made a stand against Dean and as usual Dean wasn't having any of it, and Sam knew that ultimately he wouldn't stand a chance against his big brother. Dean would always have the upper hand on him.
Sam's jaw clenched tight and his eyes became tiny slits.
"Fine. I'm going."
Sam led the way to the house with Dean and Bobby close behind him. Sam entered the kitchen and practically threw himself down in a chair at the table, waiting for Dean's lecture to begin. He didn't need to wait long at all.
"Damn it, Sam." Dean began as he paced back and forth in front of him.
Before Dean could say another word, Sam interjected.
"How about you give me a date as to when I can leave the house? I think I've been patient enough, and I've done everything you've asked of me. I want out…..I need out! My sanity is on the line here."
Dean took a few deep breaths and brought his hands up to his face, trying to calm down and think things through before answering Sam.
Bobby, as usual, tried to mediate.
"That sounds fair enough. Dean, I think we should all try to keep cool heads about this and come up with a game plan. You know as well as I do that it's been more than long enough. Sam can't stay here forever, and you just got done saying to me that he's been more than cooperative these past few months. Plus he really has been making some serious strides in his recovery."
Dean's shoulders slumped a little at the realization that Bobby was going to side with Sam. It was inevitable, really, and Dean was half expecting it to go that way. Deep in his heart, he knew they were both right.
"Okay, I'll tell you what. Why don't the three of us go out and get some dinner and a few drinks tonight. I know we could all use a night out, and I personally could use a few drinks." Dean looked back and forth between Sam and Bobby, "Sound fair?"
Sam's face lit up. Eagerly he nodded his head.
"Okay, then it's a plan. But…." He looked at Sam, directing his comment to him. "You have to promise that you will stay with either me or Bobby the whole time, you're not to leave our sight for even a minute, at least not your first time out. Got it?"
Sam's face darkened a little bit at the thought of having to have constant supervision, but it was the first real offer he'd had to be let out and he wasn't about to blow it.
"Fine. Tonight at dinner I'm a two year old. Got it."
This was a big first step for Sam. Although he had been secretly leaving the house every night to do training with Ruby, the thought of leaving the property completely excited him. He couldn't even remember the last time he had gone out to eat.
Also, he knew that by leaving tonight, it would open the door for Sam to be allowed to go out on his own after a while, and that would make it much easier to meet with Ruby, without having to sneak out of the house and risk having one of them notice he was gone.
Sam was getting much stronger, he could feel it. The training with Ruby was going so much better than he had ever expected it to, and tonight she was taking him to an abandoned warehouse to train against a real demon, tied and trapped by Ruby first, of course.
Later that evening at dinner, Sam found he was a little less confident than he expected to be, and was actually content to be in constant vision of either Dean or Bobby. When he had gone out on the property, he knew that the two demons that had been sent to watch for him had been killed, and each time he had left the house he was with Ruby, who could kick some serious ass herself.
Being out in the open like he was now, he suddenly felt vulnerable, and he hated the way that felt. He could tell by the way Dean and Bobby were acting that they felt the same way, so dinner wasn't quite as enjoyable as he'd planned. They all seemed preoccupied with looking over their shoulders the entire time. However, it was still great to get out, and Sam put on a very brave front so that Dean wouldn't have any reason not to let him come out with them again.
It was late when they got back to Bobby's, and Sam decided to turn in for the night. In reality he knew that Ruby would be at his window for him in a short amount of time, so he feigned being tired so he wouldn't miss her. Within the hour, Sam had crept out the window and was gone with Ruby.
Dean sat in the library, clueless to the fact that Sam was miles away. Bobby had just gone to bed, and Dean was just about to call it a night and turn in himself, when he heard a fluttering sound behind him. He turned to find Castiel. Dean instantly knew something was wrong, as Cas never showed up at this hour of the night for a casual visit. The look on Cas' face was also a dead give away.
Dean's gut knotted up as he confronted Cas.
"What is it? Just give it to me straight. I know you're gonna tell me something awful, I can feel it. Did the demons spot us while we were out tonight?"
Cas shook his head.
"I wish it were something that simple." He flatly stated. "No, this is much, much worse than that."
Dean could feel the air leaving his lungs.
"What is it, then?"
Cas looked at Dean sympathetically.
"There's no easy way to put this, so I'll just have to come out with it. Sam's not in his bed."
Dean gave Cas a look of confusion.
"What? No. I just saw him go in there. He didn't come back out."
Dean opened Sam's door, revealing that Sam was, in fact, gone. A look of panic swept over Dean's face.
"Oh my God! He's been taken again! How? The entire house is demon proofed. It's impossible…"
"No, Dean." Cas interrupted, "Sam hasn't been taken. He left out the window." He paused for a moment. "The same as he's done for two months now."
A flood of emotions flooded over Dean's face at this news. Panic, fear, confusion, denial, then finally rage.
"You're telling me that Sam's been sneaking out every night for two months?" Dean shouted. "For two months? Why are you just telling me now?"
Cas pursed his lips and looked downward.
"I know I should've told you sooner. You've every right to be upset. I've been very busy rescuing you from Hell, rescuing Sam from the lair, chasing down the demons who'd escaped Hell when you and your brother unlocked Hell's gate…..You know, it's a full plate, even for an angel, to keep a constant watch on the two of you."
Dean shook his head and then mock nodded in understanding at Cas.
"Yeah, yeah, I get it. We've caused you some grief in the past. So where's Sam and what's he doing?"
Cas handed Dean a piece of paper.
"Here's the address where you'll find Sam. You'll be able to see for yourself what he's been doing."
Cas took a few steps away from Dean, getting ready to make his exit.
"Dean, you need to stop him from continuing with this 'training' any longer. You have to stop Sam….or we will."