Two or more people who share goals and values, have long-term commitments to one another, and reside usually in the same dwelling place (or heart).

May 17th, 2008 (Twenty-four hours to go)

"Please tell me you have something," Lizzy pleads when she answers her phone ring at midnight. With so little time left before Dean's deal is up she's holding out for nothing short of a miracle. It's been a very long three months of doing research and waiting patiently by the phone all to end up with jack squat and some fading hope.

"We have a plan," Dean says. He's been on the road constantly since they parted ways and hearing each other's voices over the phone has been the only option for contact they've been given. To say it's been difficult would be putting it lightly. It plain sucked.

"Ok, and it is…!" Lizzy asks with impatient promise.

"We got the knife from Ruby," Dean starts. "We have a way to kill Lilith now and a location of where she's haning out. We're gonna go at her, head on."

"Alright…" Lizzy trails off, waiting to hear the rest.

"And that's it. Go kill her."

"That's the whole plan!" Lizzy panics. "Get her? What the fuck, Dean! That's insane!"

"I'm well aware," he tells her. "This wasn't my idea. It's Sam and Bobby's. They insist on going after her and this is all we've come up with so that's what we're gonna do."

"So they wanna die too!" Lizzy is floored by how stupid this is. Running straight at the enemy who is a million times stronger than all of them combined just didn't add up to her coming out the other end with any family at all. "Dean, you can't do this!"

"What choice do I have here, L?" Dean asks her. "They want to do this and aren't taking no for an answer. I'm pretty sure they will go even if I don't which means I have to go."

"Shit," Lizzy sighs. This makes her scared to death but if that's all they have then she's in all the way. All for one, right? "Alright, where is this bitch? If it's too far a drive I can try to fly out. You could pick me up on the way."

"No," Dean seriously responds. No way is she joining them for this.

"No, what? There's no airport there? What is with demons and picking the most hick places?"

"No I mean I'm not telling you were we're going," Dean lets her know. "You aren't coming on this one." Dean waits for the ensuing fight that's sure to happen.

"Dean, you have to stop trying to protect me from everything," Lizzy warns. "You can use all hands on deck right now, you know that's the truth."

"You're absolutely right, but if you come and something happens to you, who's gonna pick up the pieces when this shit is all over?" Dean asks. "Who's gonna look after Sammy and make sure Bobby doesn't drink himself into an early grave if this doesn't work out, huh? I need you to be there for them if I… if I can't be."

God damn does she hate him right now for saying that. His logic is perfect and she can't fight how right he is. But not joining the battle for Dean's soul seems all kinds of wrong.

"I need to be there," she tells him in all honestly.

"I know, oh I know, but you can't," Dean stands his ground. "No fucking way."

"Fuck, I can't just sit here helpless."

"Yes you can. You can because you love them and because I asked you to." His tone reminds him of his demanding and order-doling father. Whatever works, he thinks.

Neither speak for a few moments as Lizzy tries to wrap her head around this 'plan' and her lack of involvement in it. At the same time Dean battles to find the right words.

"Hey, um, you remember what we talked about last time I saw you?" Dean asks, knowing full well she does.

"No I forgot," Lizzy responds with sarcasm, still disturbed and angered by her denied access to the showdown she so badly wants in on. "How could I? Seriously?"

"Could you be nice here? Please? I don't know if… if this is…" Dean trails off, sighing as he's unable to finish his thought. It was too hard to contemplate if this would actually be the last time they'd talk to one another.

"I'm sorry. I'm just really, really scared here. Dean, you have to promise me at least one of you will walk away from this alive. If all three of you…"

"I promise. Trust me. I'll do everything I can," Dean tells her. "I promise as long as you keep your promise."


"You told me before I left that if I didn't get out of this contract you'd have a life, you'd stop hunting."

"Right now is not the time…"

"It's now or never, L," Dean interrupts her. "This is it. You tell me you're gonna move on, not hunt."

"I already did before." Lizzy doesn't want this conversation again. Not at all.

"Well, then do it again," Dean asks sternly of her, needing the reassurance.

"I promise," she defiantly grits out. "But you better do your damnedest to come back to me."

"You know I will." Dean breathes deeply. "L, I love you. I don't want you to have to go through that, not at all."

"I love you too," she tells him, trying to bury the lump in her throat deep down.

"And… I wanted to, uh, thank you," Dean nearly trips overs his own words.

"For what?"

"For being who you've been to me," Dean explains. "You have been so insanely understanding and patient and just… good to me. And most of the time I didn't deserve it."

"Dean, c'mon…"

"It's true. You know that it is. You've made my life so much better and easier to deal with. You made me feel happy and with my life that should be impossible."

"I hear that," Lizzy says, understanding him fully as he was one of her only bright spots also. "You've kinda done the same for me… minus that whole year of not speaking thing."

"God damn it," Dean complains. "I wasted so much time that coulda been used…"

"Stop," Lizzy cuts in. "I shouldn't have said that. You did what you thought was right. We already talked about this. I'm not mad, and you need to forgive yourself for that. I already have."

"I know," Dean says to her, though he still feels lower then low over the whole thing.

"Alright, I'm gonna push it a little and ask for one more promise for me then," Lizzy says.


"If this half-assed, half-cocked, horrible plan doesn't work out and you don't make it back… promise me you won't give in. You won't ever break. Those evil sons of bitches are gonna do whatever it takes to turn you into the monster they want you to be. Don't you give them an inch. Not a fucking inch." Lizzy can't keep her fear in check as she feels the tears collecting.

"Don't plan on it," Dean tells her confidently, though his confidence is actually quite fake.

"I mean it. You can't turn into one of them. Never."

"Trust me, I don't want to become that," Dean says, remembering his dreamroot trip. That's not at all what he wants and he could never do that to Sam. No matter where he is, he'll always have that need to be strong for his little brother.

"I won't hesitate, won't even blink if you do and I run across you," Lizzy warns while beginning to cry, claiming she'll do what she must if Dean gets himself turned into one of the demons they fight.

"Because I know for a fact that you will hesitate, I won't give in. Trust that," Dean tells her. He knows for sure that she'd never have what it takes to end him. She froze when it came to Lou, she'd be a mess if it ever came to him. He never wants to put her in that position if he could help it.

Lizzy then hears Sam's voice in the background, asking if he's ready to go. The lump in her throat comes back instantly with the sound. This is it. Last chance to get anything out.

"Ah, L, I…"

"Gotta go," Lizzy finishes for him.

"Yeah," Dean sadly says.

"You do whatever you can to get your ass back here, ok? I expect to see you on my doorstep in a few days, in one piece, with my brother and father in fucking tow." If that doesn't get him doing his best, nothing will. "Understand?"

Dean just sighs with her words. She's holding out more hope than he has left in him.

"I love you," she tells him, tears falling.

"You know I love you too," he responds. "More than anything."

"Then I will see you in a few days," her voice cracks out. The tears flow freely as she pretends to say her temporary goodbye until she sees him soon.

"Yeah, a few days," Dean tells her. "Bye Lizzy."

"Bye Dean."

They both hang up and go their separate ways for the next few days. Dean goes off the kill Lilith while Lizzy goes off to live in complete and all-consuming fear and anxiety.

May 18th, 2008

Sam drops the last shovel-full of dirt in place and tosses the heavy metal tool off to the side with fury.

"Fuck!" he screams out into the several tall trees surrounding them with balled up fists. It took hours to get the job done, but it's over now. Dean is six feet under in the middle of a random clearing, only a makeshift cross made of rotted logs making the sacred spot that holds his brother's meat suit for when the time comes that he'll need it again.

Sam's alone. It's over, he couldn't save Dean, and now he's by himself in an increasingly scary and dangerous world riddled with evil. He knows he isn't able to do this on his own, he isn't strong enough to. The entire Winchester clan, save for one, is dead and Sam takes on the task of upholding the legendary name all on his own. He looks over at Bobby, the old man looking older than he ever has before, and recognizes just how much the loss is already taking its massive toll on him. Dean was his son for all intents and purposes, and no father should ever have to experience burying their kids.

Sam stands tall, the corpse of his kin under his feet, and knows the torment has already undoubtedly begun. With all the demons they've sent packing back into the fire and brimstone, there's plenty of payback to be dealt out. Demons were vengeful beings as it was, no provocation needed. After so many have come across the Winchesters, they must be chomping at the bit with Dean's arrival. The idea of it makes his blood boil. He feels the fury growing deep within him. Lilith needs to die, needs to suffer for this. And more importantly, Dean needs to come back.

"Sam?" Bobby calls to the man who has been staring down at the freshly disturbed dirt for far too long. He doesn't answer as he didn't hear Bobby's voice while lost within his own head.

Maybe he can make another deal, his soul for Dean's. It's a solid trade really, the demons getting much more out of it. Any evil son of a bitch would be crazy not to make that trade. They'd be getting the supposed head of the demon army. He'd need to get some things together to summon a crossroads demon first…

"Son, you with me still?" Bobby asks as he places a comforting hand on the back of Sam's neck and pulls him out of his current train of thought.

"Yeah," Sam tells him, though he isn't really sure where he is at the moment. He does know where his heart is though. It's roasting in the pit with his brother.

"You want me to call her?" Bobby questions, knowing how absolutely awful that conversation is going to be. It'd be much easier on Sam if Bobby let him do it. He wants to do it for Sam's sake.

"No," Sam answers while picking up his jacket from the ground and walking quickly with determination to the Impala once he's reminded of her. He says nothing has he takes the keys out of his pocket and opens the driver's side door.

"Where you goin'?" Bobby yells over to Sam when he hears the engine start up.

"Massachusetts," Sam shouts back and begins driving, turning up the Metallica tape to full blast. He stops only to gas up and use the restroom, needing to get to her as soon as possible. He owes that much to her and, more importantly, he owes it to his brother.

May 20th, 2008

Three days. That's how long it's been since she's heard from anyone. Three days of silent torture. Seventy-two hours of lame TV that she doesn't even really register. Four-thousand, three-hundred and twenty minutes of continual whiskey drinking and floor pacing. The anxiety is tearing her apart.

She'd heard from Dean nearly every day since he left. Sometimes she'd have tidbits of information for him, things she picked up on her three month research spree that might, maybe be of help in finding a way out of his contract. Other times they spoke of what his latest run in with evil consisted of. Most of the time, however, they talked about nothing in particular. They just needed to connect in whatever way they could, letting one's voice calm and alleviate the other's fears.

She's nervous. Dean would never keep her waiting this long unless he, for whatever reason, couldn't call. The longest he'd gone was three days without contacting her and he'd only done that twice. It was during run-ins with some serious demons usually. This time however, three days was two too many. It's May 20th. His contract was up on the 18th. Dread is all she feels now, all day, all night. Maybe she was the one in hell.

Fed up with not hearing anything, Lizzy picks up her cell one more time and speed dials Bobby, praying for answers. Before the line rings, however, there is a heavy knock on the door. Her heart jumps into her throat with the sound. She tosses her phone aside onto the couch and runs to the front door, quickly unlocking it and throwing it open, hoping with all her might that Dean would be there waiting for her.

"Sam!" she shouts out with joyful surprise and hugs him. It'd been so long since she'd seen him that instinct takes over. "So good to see you in one piece, Sam-I-Am!" She's been scared to death for both brothers and Bobby after Dean had explained their plan three days ago. Running head first right at Lilith seemed crazy, but if anyone could do it, it was them. Now she knows at least one is still up and running and she can't hide her happiness for that.

"Where's Dean?" she questions quickly as she moves back from Sam. Her eyes frantically search the front yard, peeking inside the Impala, scanning the sidewalk, and they come up empty. "Are you alone?" she asks with sudden panicked dread.

Sam stays silent, his expression stern and unwavering, as Lizzy looks up at him, her own expression shifting from hopeful to destroyed.

"Sam…" Lizzy starts, her sadness taking hold quickly. "Why are you alone?"

The tears start falling down her abruptly pale face and Sam just shakes his head no, unable to speak.

"Why are you alone?" Lizzy sobs out again, even though she already knows in her heart, and grabs onto Sam's jacket. She knows the answer. Dean's in hell. They couldn't stop it. "No," she whispers while pressing her face into his chest as she weeps heavily. "Please, no. Sam!" He's gone. She'll never see him again. He'll never call her with rock songs softly playing and the roaring sound of the Impala in the background. He'll never make indecent comments about her body and what he so badly wants to do to it at the most inappropriate times. He'll never complain about his whiney, pain in the ass little brother to her. Worst of all, he'll never tell her he loves her ever again. The pain is far too much to bear.

"Oh my God, he's fucking gone," she chokes out and steps away from Sam, looking up to him momentarily with a crushing mix of emotions painted across her face. She collapses to the floor of the foyer, hugging her knees to her chest and continues crying with her head hung low. The strength it took to stand suddenly felt like too much. Hell, the strength to live suddenly felt like too much. "They're destroying him… right now... Sam! Oh my God!"

Sam takes a seat on the hard wood next to Lizzy. He pulls her into him, letting her head fall into his shoulder and he runs his hand through her hair, trying his best to calm her though he knows it's completely impossible to do so.

"What do I do now?" she sobs out and Sam again stays silent. "What the fuck do we do?" They ask themselves the same daunting question. With Dean gone, with knowing every day he's suffering in ways neither can possibly imagine, what do they do now?

"I'm going to get him back," Sam says sternly as the first tears he's shed since he found his brother dead begin to fall. He will get Dean back or he will die trying.

Lizzy stays pressed against Sam while sobbing, the deep pit in her chest growing by the minute. The one person she loved more than anything, maybe even her own self, is gone. She can't even begin to fathom the horrendous things happening to him right that moment. The life he lived doesn't merit the punishment he experiences now. Pain isn't a strong enough word to explain what she feels as her other half, her better half as far as she's concerned, is being ruined, completely dismantled and there's not a damn thing she can do about it.

Helplessness and complete despair take over as Sam and Lizzy attempt to come to terms with the situation. Lizzy clutches tightly to Sam's jacket once more and he pries one of her hands free to link it into his own.

It hurts like hell, but at least now, right in this moment, they weren't alone.