;;;;;A;;;;; Final chapter! *cries* But I REALLY hope that you enjoyed reading this as much as I had fun typing it! 8')

It was a real treat for me to go from deaged!Dean to hurt/angsty!Dean with protective/caring!Sammy X3 I enjoy those kinds of fanfics the most!

I'm really glad to also have this done before Halloween XD I do have another deaged!Dean story in mind and another that is a sort of 'What If' type story placed in season 4 :) I might do the deaged! one first, but I'm not sure yet o-o; I think I need a break from writing for now XD

Anyways, THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR AWESOME AND LOVING REVIEWS! ;w; I really loved getting them anytime I opened my email :) They make me smile reading them! X3 And thank you for also pardoning any grammatical or spelling or inconsistencies this story might have XD I should really take notes :P

I already had to change the timeline for my "Alienated" story because I had forgotten key details that wouldn't have made sense if I kept the story in the timeline it had orginally been placed in =_=

Sorry, I'm babbling...I'll let you read the story now O-o;; ENJOY!

This takes place between the season 1 eps "Scarecrow" and "Faith" *PS, I did also check the timeline for this story and it seems like "Faith" may have been during June or July, but it's just speculated, so I think I'm safe for now...if not, well then, I apologize ;w;*

Supernatural: Eric Kripke


Sam Winchester yawned widely as he padded quietly down the hallway from the bathroom, heading back to the room he and his older brother had been staying in since John had gotten them all back to Bobby's house the morning before. Sam had then carried Dean up to their bedroom where he had cleansed and bandaged his wounds more thoroughly, changed him into some sweats, a thin t-shirt, and his charcoal hoodie before finally bundling him up in every blanket he could find, making sure that he was warm enough.

Bobby and John had told him that they'd take care of Clare and not bury her till after Dean woke up, in case the boy asked for her. Sam knew that he will feel distraught once he found out what had happened, and he'd be right there beside him to offer any comfort he knew Dean would need, despite his tough-as-nails exterior that was sure to try and conceal the pain and grief.

Sam had grabbed his own pillows and transferred them to his brother's bed, giving him most of them, only keeping one for himself as he lay beside Dean, grasping his big brother's hand tightly and quietly talking to him, urging him to be alright. It had reminded him back to when they were younger where he would find himself snuggled up to Dean's side after a horrible nightmare or after a brutal hunt that left the older boy severely hurt or sick. It provided Sam comfort to be near his brother in those times of need, not only to offer reassurance that Dean was right there with him, but also so he could feel and hear Dean's heartbeat as he rested his head on his chest, something that always lulled him to sleep. It was a childhood habit that Sam refused to give up.

It was about midnight and Sam expected to see Dean still out of it when he returned, so, needless to say, he was rather stunned upon finding the silhouette of his upright older brother sitting on the edge of the bed, back towards him, facing the window where a broad beam of moonlight shown through, giving the hunter a halo of faint blue light around him.

Sam noticed that Dean's hands, which were gripping the edge of the mattress in a tight grip, were trembling badly. He hurried towards him and grasped Dean by the shoulders just as he started to tilt forwards.

"Whoa! Easy, Dean." Sam whispered soothingly, moving to sit beside his brother so he could lean him against his own body. Sam frowned at the slight heat emanating from Dean. He figured a fever was well on its way from the bullet wound, and mixed with the fact that Dean's body might still be recovering from the torture of the numerous amounts of shockings it had endured, the older hunter's body wouldn't be able to fight it off as great as it normally could. Sam was ready though. There was a bathroom cabinet stock full of antibiotics and pain relievers at ready nearby.

"S'm?" Dean asked tiredly, turning glazed eyes up towards his little brother. "Wh'tr 'ou d'ng here? B'ch get 'ou too?"

Dean's voice sounded like he had swallowed a gallon of gravel, most likely from all the screaming he had done, making Sam's heart clench with guilt that they hadn't found him sooner. Dean was also slurring his words due to a mix of fatigue and the upcoming fever.

Sam smiled and stroked Dean's forehead, brushing back the hair that was sticking to it because of the sweat. "No, Dean. We got you out. We nearly didn't make it, but she's dead now. Her house and spellbooks are gone as well. No one will be able to find her body or any of her magic. So no one else will get hurt."

Dean sighed, whether in exhaustion or relief, Sam didn't know. He relaxed further into Sam's embrace. "Di' good, S'mmy. Pr'd of ya."

Tears sprung up in Sam's eyes and he smiled, tightening his arms around his brother and giving him a quick kiss on the hairline. "Thanks, big-brother. But you taught me everything I needed to know. Now c'mon, let's get you back to bed."

"Kinky SOB," Dean smirked as Sam gently maneuvered him under the sheet and comforter, laying him on his back, mindful of his still sore muscles. "D'n't swing 'at way."

Sam chuckled, shaking his head fondly as he adjusted the blanket so that it rested just under Dean's chin. "Me neither, Jerk. Not my type, anyways."

"Bitch." Dean managed to get out before unconsciousness slipped him into a warm cocoon of comfort and slumber.

Sam smoothed his older brother's hair once more before he climbed in beside him, turning to his side so that he faced Dean and watched him sleep till he, soon, was enveloped in that same cocoon.

SPNSPNSPN

Sam was downstairs in the kitchen, making lunch that consisted of some grilled cheese and ham sandwiches and a bowl of chicken noodle soup, minus the meat, for Dean. He was sure that big brother's stomach wasn't ready for solid foods yet, and he didn't want to upset it even more. Sam had taken the liberty of crushing four pain pills into a cup of orange juice he just poured, knowing that Dean wouldn't take them willingly, as stubborn as his ass was, and that four could do more relief than two with Dean's injuries.

John was sitting at the table, scouring the local paper for anymore hunts and Bobby was outside, working on his Chevelle. Sunshine sprinkled in through the curtains, giving the usually dim room a slight speckled, golden glow. The sky outside was a clear baby-blue, with scattered white puffs here and there. It was a pleasantly cool July day. But the happy feeling that it generated would soon be downtroddened by what the three hunters had in plan later on.

"Have you told Dean about…you know," John asked, looking up from his paper, looking at the back of his youngest boy. He saw Sam halt his actions, his shoulders drooping.

"No." Sam replied with a heavy sigh. He finished making the sandwiches, turning to set them on the table then returning to the counter to stir Dean's soup. "He woke up last night with the signs of an upcoming fever. I couldn't tell him when he was feeling crappy already."

John sighed and set down the paper, ignoring the platter of sandwiches in front of him. "Sam, Clare's corpse will start to decay soon, we need to bury her as soon as possible. We can't…"

"I know, Dad!" Sam yelled, whirling around to glare at him. "But I can't put Dean through anymore pain…at least, not right now. Can't we put Clare in a freezer to delay the decaying till after Dean is better?"

John's lips pressed together in a firm line. He then nodded. "Alright, Sam. Bobby has an old industrial freezer in his garage. It should still be functional, if Bobby can remember where he put the power cord, that is." John added with a slight smile. Sam couldn't help it and smiled as well.

"Thanks, Dad."

They looked up at the ceiling as they heard the floorboards creak. John looked back at Sam.

"Looks like your brother is awake again. You better take him up some of that soup. It's been two days since he last ate."

Sam nodded and placed the bowl of tepid soup and a plate with four crackers along with the glass of orange juice onto a tray and carefully made his way upstairs with it. He set the tray onto a stand in the hallway to open the door to their room. He had arrived just in time to see Dean standing from the bed, only to tilt forward and rushed to catch him. Dean's skin was slick with sweat. Sam made a mental note to check his brother's temperature later.

"Whoa, Dean! What the hell do you think you're doing up, man?" Sam grunted under his brother's weight. Sure, he was a few inches shorter than he was, but he also had more muscles on him. He needed to get Dean onto a better diet than the greasy diner food.

"I'm getting tired of lying down, Sam," Dean breathed, his red face covered in sweat. But it looked like he was also shivering a bit too. "It's hot up here and I'm too sore to just lay still."

"Dean, you have a fever, that's why you feel hot, and rest is something that you desperately need. Your muscles need to heal, and so does that bullet wound." Sam told him, moving so that he could lay Dean back down on the bed, covering him with just the sheet when he noticed that Dean had somehow managed to dress himself from the sweats into his jeans.

He still wore the hoodie, but his black t-shirt was thrown carelessly onto the floor between the beds. Despite what Dean said about being hot, he still felt the cold chills associated with a fever and kept the hoodie on. Sam noticed that it was the one he always seemed to give to his big brother whenever he was sick or injured. It served as a medium of comfort to the older hunter, Sam guessed. He smiled at the thought.

"Fine," Dean grumbled, rolling his red eyes. Sam could see signs of bags starting to appear underneath them. "But you owe me a pie, Bitch."

Sam huffed in mock disbelief. "Jerk! I owe you? Umm, tell me again who saved who, exactly? If anyone owes anybody something, it's you."

"Please," Dean smirked. "I had a plan."

"That's what you told me back in Burkittsville before I came to save your and Emily's asses from the pagan scarecrow, you know." Sam grinned smugly.

Dean frowned, squinting his eyes at him, trying to recall. "Really? Did I?"

Sam nodded. "Yup. So I think that's twice now that you owe me."

"Oh, but what about the Roosevelt Asylum, Samantha?" Dean snapped his fingers. "Who burned Ellicott's bones and saved us both? And let's not forget about the poltergeist who tried to strangle you back in Lawrence when we went back to our old house. So, you owe me twice as well! Actually, maybe even more than that if you also throw in the Lady in White, shape-shifter, and Hookman cases."

Sam laughed. "Alright, alright, fine. You win. I'll get you your pie when you're better. But only then, deal?" He held out his hand to Dean, who grasped it weakly and shook it.

"Deal." Dean then winced as a slight pain shot up his arm, dropping it to his side immediately, rubbing his bicep.

"You alright?" Sam asked worriedly.

"Yeah, I just get these little pricks of pain every now and then. I guess that's good though, right?"

"I suppose, but if they get any worse than 'little pricks' you better let me know." Sam said sternly, pointing a finger at his brother. Along with sweating and shivering, general weakness and muscle aches were two other fever symptoms, but Sam knew that wasn't the only culprit.

"Yes mother." Dean rolled his eyes then looked around. "So, where's the little furball?"

Sam's heart plummeted to his stomach. He was afraid Dean would ask, just didn't expect it so soon.

He gave a feeble smile. "Wh-who?" He mentally slapped himself for stuttering.

Dean looked at him with a raised eyebrow. "Scooby-Doo, Sam. Clare! Where is Clare? Is she sleeping?"

"Eternally," Sam thought with a gulp. He then sighed sadly. "Dean, there's…something you should know."

His older brother fixed him with a stare that would rival his own puppy eyes, and it made it all the harder to tell Dean the truth. But he needed to know.

"Sam?" Dean's voice was soft. It cracked on that one syllable of Sam's name. "What's wrong? What happened? Where's Clare?"

Sam bit his lower lip as tears welled up in his eyes. "Dean, Clare is...she…the witch…I'm really sorry, Dean."

Apparently, that was all Dean needed to know. His eyebrows were scrunched up in worry, but his eyes flashed in anger at the same time. He struggled to get out from under the sheet.

"Dean! What the hell do you think you're doing?" Sam cried, grabbing his brother's shoulders, trying to keep him down.

"Where is she?" Dean grunted, shoving at Sam's hands that were grasping him firmly with his own weak hands. "Where's Clare?"

"Dad's placing her body in a freezer." Sam replied.

"What?! Why?"

"We want to wait to bury her till you were better! The freezer will help delay the decaying process."

"No," Dean growled, finally managing to break away from Sam. He shoved away the sheet and swung his legs over the edge of the bed, standing up. The next thing he knew, he was laying horizontally, warm and strong arms the only things holding him up from the cold bare floor.

"Dean, stop, please." Sam's voice begged him. Dean could hear the tears in his voice.

"Sam," Dean said, glaring heatedly at him.

John suddenly appeared at the door, Bobby right behind him.

"What in blazes are you two idjits doing up here?" Bobby asked. "Dean, you okay?"

"I'm fine; take me to Clare, now!" Dean pushed himself up with shaky arms, nearly collapsing back into Sam's.

John and Bobby inhaled sharply and looked at Sam, who just looked so lost on what to do.

"Please." Dean pleaded, switching from anger to begging, looking at his family with tearful, insistent eyes. "I want to see Clare now. I want to give her a proper burial."

John scratched his head. "Alright, Dean. But you're going straight back into that bed when we're done. Get dressed and Bobby and I will make a funeral pyre."

Dean gasped. "No. I can't salt and burn her body."

"Why not?" Sam asked, helping Dean up to sit on the edge of the bed, sitting beside him and placing a gently, steadying hand on his shoulder.

"Clare isn't going to become an evil cat spirit. The witch is dead, so there should be no reason why she would be forced to be stuck here to exact revenge. She deserves to move on naturally, go to that big kitty box in the sky, or wherever the hell animals go when they…die." Dean choked out the last word, still finding it hard to believe that the little furball he'd grown so attached to was gone.

Sam smirked and rubbed Dean's shoulder comfortingly. "That was so girly, Deanna."

"Please, as if anyone could be as girly as you, Samantha." Dean grinned at his little brother.

"Don't make me separate you two," Bobby said from the doorway. He smiled at his surrogate sons before he and John left to prepare a casket for Clare.

"Dean, maybe you should eat something first before we go out there, get some of your strength back." Sam suggested.

Dean shook his head. "I'm not really hungry."

Sam frowned. "Dean, please. You haven't eaten in two days. You need food. I made you some chicken soup and crackers."

Dean grimaced. "Do I really have to eat that crap?"

Sam rolled his eyes and said, "Your stomach won't be able to handle solid foods right now. I'm going to crunch the crackers and mix them with the soup. It'll be a lot easier on you than a cheeseburger with bacon."

"Fine, Florence Nightingale. At least the soup has chicken in it."

"Sorry, bro, I had to remove the chicken bits."

"What? But those are the best parts," Dean pouted, looking all but 4 years old again, making Sam miss the deaged version of his big brother a bit..

Sam laughed and went outside to retrieve the tray.

SPNSPNSPN

A few hours later, the four hunters stood in front of a 2 foot long and 1 foot wide hole in the backyard of Bobby's house. John held a make-shift wooden coffin with a hinged lid that also had a padlock. Inside the coffin, Clare's tiny body was wrapped in cloth, giving her the appearance of one of those mummified cats Dean once saw when he was his elementary class took a field trip to a museum and they had passed through the Egyptian room.

The weather stayed pleasant, if not a bit chilly as the afternoon turned to evening, considering that it always seemed to be dark and dreary whenever a death occurred. Dean always wondered why that was. It just seemed to make things all the worse and miserable. He vaguely remembered that his mother's funeral had been like that. The cooling air was starting to make Dean's limbs ache, despite the pain killers he knew Sam thought he had sneakily mixed into his juice. He hoped he could make it through this. He had to. He would, for Clare.

"Dean," John said, looking at his oldest. "Would you like to say a few words to her before we place her down?"

Dean looked at him with watery eyes. Sam looked at him nervously. This was a bad idea, he knew it. But it was something big brother wanted to do. Besides, the sooner they got this over with, the sooner Dean would be back in bed, recovering.

"Yeah," Dean whispered brokenly. "Just, set it beside the grave, please."

John obeyed. Dean, with help from Sam, kneeled down beside the tiny coffin. He then took a shaking hand and slowly placed it upon the cold bandages covering Clare's flank.

"Clare, you were one lucky furball. If it weren't for Sam and Mini-Me finding you back then, I'm not sure where you would have wound up or what would have happened to you. But I'm damn glad we were able to save you. You were possibly the best pet we ever had. You had fit right in with our weird little family. I'm just sorry I could have been able to see and hear you after turning back to normal. I can't really remember what you looked like when I was a rugrat, but according to Sasquatch, you were the most adorable bundle of fur he's ever seen."

Sam smiled sadly from his position behind big brother, tears dripping down his face. John remained stoic, but Bobby was heard sniffling.

"But it seems you got struck with the infamous Winchester curse," Dean continued, swallowing a sob as he stroked Clare's back. "I just wish you hadn't. But I guess that's what happens when you get into our quarrel with the fuglies. But, Clare, you were amazing, somehow knowing where I was to lead Dad, Sammy, and Bobby to save my ass. And I'm very grateful that you also managed to protect Sammy. For that, I consider you an honorary Winchester."

Dean then took a handful of dirt and sprinkled it over Clare's body before brushing his hands off and standing back up, nearly toppling over but being righted by Sam.

"That was great, big brother," Sam told him, rubbing Dean's back and looking at him with a watery smile.

"Thanks," Dean whispered, letting out the sob he's been trying to keep in. The next thing he knew, he was embraced in his little brother's arms, his face buried into Sam's shoulders as he cried. Sam's voice spoke to him in a comforting tone, whispering soothing words to him.

"Shh, it's okay, Dean. Let it out. It's okay to cry, big brother. You don't have to pretend in front of us all the time. Shhhh…" Sam kissed the top of Dean's head to provide more reassurance.

"Take him back inside and settle him down," Bobby clasped a hand onto Sam's shoulder. "John and I will take care of the rest."

Sam smiled at him. "Thanks, Bobby." Sam then looked at his father. "Thanks, Dad."

A corner of John's mouth twitched upwards and he nodded. "You two just get some sleep. We'll wake you when it's time for dinner."

Sam returned the nod then looked back down at Dean, whose crying settled down a bit. "You ready to go back inside, Dean?" Sam asked softly. He felt a slight nod against his chest. "Alright, c'mon. Let's go."

Slowly, but surely, the brothers made their way back to Bobby's house, the older hunters watching them till they disappeared inside.

John then sighed and looked down at Clare. "I'm so sorry, girl," he said, crouching down to rest a hand on the spot Dean had his hand on before. "I was foolish to underestimate you. Dean was right. We wouldn't have found him it weren't for you. Thank you." John then closed the lid of the coffin, locking it securely, and grabbed it gently, slowly lowering it into the four foot deep hole.

Bobby watched him, a smirk on his face. "That was touching. Maybe you could earn an Emmy for that performance."

John stood up and grinned back. "Shut up, old man before I make you fill this hole back up yourself."

"Don't you dare threaten me, Jonathan," Bobby said with mock scorn. The two hunters shared a laugh before they began filling the hole back up. They then worked on a cross, on which John carved the words "Clare Winchester: Beloved pet and honorary family member", painting them with black paint to make them more legible.

Finally, Bobby and John erected the cross in front of the grave, making sure it remained stable before heading back into the house to fix dinner.

SPNSPNSPN

Dean lay awake later that night. He was dosed up on more pain pills, staring blankly at the ceiling. He felt somewhat high and tired, but just couldn't fall asleep, unlike the snoring moose that was his brother in the parallel bed. Sam had worn himself out caring for Dean, so he was forced by his older brother to get his ass into bed before he found a boot stuck up it. Dean was stubborn and wanted to maintain his status as the protector, not the protected. Sam had his fill when Dean was a toddler and was blind and deaf, so it was time for him to right things once more. As soon as he was over this damn fever, of course.

A movement out of the corner of his eye made him jerk his head over to the window. The curtains had been drawn and the windows were opened to air out and cool the room down. But other than that, nothing was there. Dean decided that his drugged mind was just playing a cruel joke on him and he sighed, moving his head so that he was facing Sam's bed. Sam's face was buried into the pillow, which acted to muffle some of his incredibly loud snores. The young hunter's arms hung off the sides of the bed as his legs were sprawled all over the place and sticking out of the blankets. Dean chuckled, wishing he had his phone. This was perfect blackmail fuel.

Dean tensed as he suddenly felt a weight at the foot of his bed. He quickly sat up, his mouth dropping open in shock as a pair of almond-shaped green eyes that seemed to illuminate through the darkness stared right back at him.

"Clare?" Dean whispered.

The young kitten that the eyes belonged to just tilted its head. It was then when Dean realized that this runt of a thing was far too small to be the four week old kitten Sam had described Clare as. The kitten also had a little heart-shaped fluff of fur on the bridge of its nose, while Clare had been a pure black cat. Dean's heart broke a little because he was not seeing the ghost of the kitten he had come to adore. But still, this little thing was kinda cute.

Dean smiled and patted the spot beside him. "Come here." The cat stood up and mewed softly, waddling towards him, stumbling a bit on the lumpy, soft mattress and proceeded to make itself comfortable by kneading the spot before curling up, purring contently. Dean smiled and stroked the soft fur gently. He had gotten a good look to see if the cat was male or female so he was able to come up with a name.

"Just wait till Sam finds about you, Clarita." Dean smirked, easing himself back down, rolling to his side so he could pet the kitten. He fell asleep, imagining his baby brother's surprise when he next awoke to check on him, which, judging by the clock on his phone, would be sooner rather than later.

Clarita just remained laying there, purring away as she slept next to her future master, her eyes flashing a vivid green before dimming as she closed them to cherish a deep slumber in a warm, safe home that she was pleased to have once more.


Almost wrote TBC XD;;; Silly me...

:) Thank you for reading and all your reviews! I hope to have you all back whenever I post my next new story! X3 And please check out my "Mothman" and "Alienated" stories, if you don't mind :) I'd love more feedbacks on them!