WISH YOU WERE HERE
As someone far more famous than me once said; "this is it". Thank you all for taking the journey with me.
I have two tissues left out of a whole box …
Leylaani stood in the doorway to the reception and waved as the Winchester brothers walked toward her; forced smiles playing on their glum faces.
She reached up into a deep hug with Sam, as Dean deliberately held back, standing quietly against the wall looking at his feet.
"Have a safe trip, Sam," she murmured into his chest, as he stroked the top of her head, "take care of yourself."
"It's been great to know you," Sam whispered, bending deeply to kiss the beautiful young woman who was barely holding it together.
He stepped back, releasing her from his hug and looked at the marble space all around him, "heck, I'm gonna miss this place." He smiled shakily.
Turning to Dean, he gently squeezed Leylaani's arm as he stepped away. "I'm gonna go and help Bobby bring the bags down; see you out by the bus when you're ready, dude."
He patted Dean's shoulder as he walked away, directing a last warm smile at Leylaani.
Dean and Leylaani stood in silence, looking at each other for the longest time.
"Well, this is it," she sighed with a soft shrug.
"Yep, this is it," Dean replied hesitantly.
They both smiled weakly at each other.
"Are you all packed up ready?"
"Yeah," Dean replied, "all packed up, ready to go an' get on that damn friggin' plane - as if this day wasn't crap enough already."
He sighed, looking through the reception doors out into the parking lot, its gaily coloured floral displays and palm fringed entrance offering no comfort to him today.
"Bus leaves for the airport in ten minutes," he muttered quietly to no-one in particular.
There was another awkward silence as the two gazed at each other once again.
"Oh God," Dean was the first to break, reaching out to take Leylaani in his arms, and pulling her close into his chest. "Shit; I always thought a holiday romance would be fun!"
He could feel a warm dampness seeping into his shirt
"I can't believe we're going, I've been tryin' so hard not to think about this moment;" he muttered between clenched teeth.
The head buried into his chest nodded silently.
"I'm gonna miss this place so much;" Dean sighed, "I'll miss the sea and the beach, and the cocktails and, hell, I'll miss that friggin' balcony."
He pressed his face against the top of her head, inhaling the fragrance of the pink rose tucked behind her ear.
"An' I'll miss you more than everything else put together," he whispered.
The two stood for as long as they could melded into one being, holding each other without saying a word.
Eventually they reluctantly pulled apart. Leylaani wiped her eyes, reaching up as she did to pluck the rosebud from behind her ear.
She handed it to Dean between shaking fingertips; "something to remember me by," she whispered.
Dean took the bud with a smile, and inhaled deeply of it's sweet, intoxicating perfume; the fragrant scent of Hawaii, the scent of Leylaani.
He tucked it into his shirt pocket close to his heart and pulled her into a long kiss.
"I'll keep in touch," promised Leylaani; "so will I," Dean replied.
And this time he meant it.
She stood in the doorway, her arms wrapped around herself in a futile attempt to console herself as the family of three stepped slowly onto the bus to the airport and back to their everyday lives.
Dean managed an unconvincing smile in her direction.
She flinched. His pain was palpable; almost physical.
As the bus disappeared from view, she let out a long sigh and stood feeling utterly empty, composing herself for a few moments before walking slowly back to the bar and her work.
Not for much longer, she told herself, wiping her eyes; the hunt was beckoning once again. One day Dean would know she was a hunter. One day they might even be able to hunt together.
She would cling to that hope until it came true or until the day came that she couldn't hope any more.
Lost in her thoughts, she rounded the end of the bar, and stopped in her tracks, choking out a sudden squeak of tearful laughter.
There in all his bug-eyed glory, sitting on the top of the counter, was Danno.
She was briefly interrupted as her mobile phone beeped a text.
Something to remember me by x
Eagle Air flight number EA14 had been in the air around two hours when Bobby put his book down with a sigh. He had been scanning the words across the pages, but they just weren't sinking in.
Rubbing his eyes, he glanced across the seats beside him, seeing that both brothers were asleep.
Surrounded by a comforting cocoon made up of his brother and his 'stepfather', Dean sat slumped in his seat, head lolling limply against the headrest, anaesthetised by a potent combination of Sominex, Dramamine and heartbreak.
Bobby reflected that at least Dean had been much calmer on the flight this time, the sick bag he cradled in the crook of his arm since boarding the plane remaining thankfully unused. He guessed that crushing sorrow must be good for something; even if it's just for distracting someone from a gut-wrenching fear of flying.
He noticed Sam, leaning unconsciously into his brother's shoulder, snoring softly against the rumpled sleeve of Dean's jacket.
Soft smiles played over both brothers' sleeping faces.
Bobby picked his book up again, happy to spend the remainder of the flight alone. He wasn't going to wake them; let them sleep and dream their dreams of Mau Loa.
Let them spend a last few hours in paradise.