Author's Note: And here it is, the end of a long and hopefully enjoyable ride. This has been my longest story yet and your support has been amazing. Now I'd like to thank PychoPicasso, NewbieOnTheBlock, new21writer, Impala67-Ilana, kewlgal18, emebalia, SuperPenguinLovesHerEdog, guest, sara1988, snseriesfan, keacdragon, Heartless BytchhakaHelenBach1, mic19671967, No pen names left, laurie31, jokergirl94, MelpomeneThaliaClio, Eliza Ghost, BranchSuper, babyreaper, healingwater, Daniella Jones, TheBigChillQueen, 7kstar, Nerdette92, and Meggin Lane for their wonderful reviews. Also I'd like to thank everyone who has reviewed thus far. And now... on with the show...
Chapter Eighteen: Dean's Screwed Up Definition of Normal
Dean held his breath as Sam turned back around to face him. The much taller brother held the metal thermos in his hand. The boy stared at the object.
"So what? Do I gotta drink that crap?"
"No. I give it to you the same way you got poisoned."
"Okay then. Let's rock and roll."
Sam nodded. "And Dean, if this doesn't work, I promise I'll find another way to fix this."
"I know. But this will work. Now let's stop the whole girly moment and get the show on the road. I want to be back to my usual handsome self."
"You were handsome?" Sam teased.
Sam unscrewed the cap from the thermos. Dean felt himself begin to shake from a combination of stress, fear, and anticipation. Sam hesitated for a moment and Dean was about to snap at him to get on with it when the liquid hit him right in the face.
Dean sputtered, spitting the foul liquid onto the oil stained garage floor. At first, nothing happened. But then he felt a burning sensation in his eyes. He rubbed at them, letting go of the Impala and ended up on the ground when his injured leg refused to support him. He let out a cry of pain that grew into a wail of pure agony as the burning spread throughout his body. Dean felt his bones shifting, ligaments popping, muscles pulling and skin stretching. In the back of his mind he acknowledged that this was a good thing and meant that the antidote was doing its job but that didn't stop the rest of his brain from being filled with white hot pain. It was a relief when he lost consciousness.
At first there was only darkness. But then a voice interrupted the complete nothingness that Dean Winchester had been drifting in.
"I don't know. He was out for quite a while last time. Maybe we should try to move him so he'll be more comfortable when he wakes up."
Sam. That was definitely Sam's voice.
"I can transport you both to a motel but I cannot bring your car."
And that was Cas.
"Dean would kill me if I left his car behind again. Especially if something happens to it."
"I can take him and you can drive."
"No way. I'm not letting him out of my sight for a long time after all of this."
"Dude, I didn't know you cared so much." Dean mumbled as he opened his eyes.
Sam's worried expression greeted him. His brother's face hovered closely over Dean.
"Dean! You're awake."
"Yeah Captain Obvious, I'm awake. And you're not respecting the whole personal space rule." Dean commented as he struggled into a sitting position.
"Screw personal space." Sam replied as he threw his arms around Dean and hugged him tightly. And that's when Dean realized that he was definitely back to his correct age because his little brother, while still taller than him, no longer dwarfed him in size.
"I'm back to normal." Dean exclaimed, looking down at himself as Sam released him.
"Well, your screwed up definition of normal anyways." Sam responded.
Dean tried to get up, only to groan in pain when his leg protested. Shifting the trench coat so that he could look at the offending limb, the hunter saw the deep puncture mark that Eddy's tooth had made right below his knee and the deep bruising that covered his skin. Come to think of it, his whole body felt like one big bruise.
"Oh man! I grow twenty-six years older and my body still hasn't healed?"
"That much time has not actually passed." Cas offered.
"Dude, this sucks."
"Hey, don't expect Cas or me to carry you around anymore either." Sam advised with a smirk.
"Trust me, I wouldn't ask." Dean shot back. Then he grabbed onto the back of the Impala and pulled himself to his feet. He then tightened the belt on the trench coat to make sure it stayed closed. Leaning against his car, the now thirty-year old man smiled at his friends. "But thanks for everything."
For a moment it looked as though Sam would tease him but then his once again little brother just returned the smile. "Anytime."
Cas spoke at the same time. "You're welcome Dean."
Embarrassed by the emotions running through him, Dean changed the subject quickly. "Dude, I'm starving. You guys feel like grabbing a burger."
"I don't need anything." Cas informed him. "If you will be alright Dean, I must be on my way."
"Sure, Cas. Go have fun."
Cas cocked his head to the side. "I am continuing my mission, not searching for entertainment."
Dean laughed. "Whatever, dude. Look, thanks again. And could you pop in on Bobby and let him know that everything worked out okay and that we'll give him a call in a bit?"
"That will not be a problem." And with that, Cas was gone.
Dean turned to his brother. "So Sammy, what about you? You up for some greasy diner food?"
"Sounds good." Sam replied. "But first, let's get you fixed up a bit. You look like crap." Dean opened his mouth to respond but Sam raised a hand to cut him off. "Yeah, I know. You still look better than I do."
"So you're finally admitting it then." Dean grinned.
"You're such a jerk."
"Well, at least your profanities aren't coming from a four-year old's mouth anymore. That was just wrong, man."
"You're just jealous because I had a cooler vocabulary than you did at that age." Dean went to walk to the front of the car, but his left leg gave out and he ended up face down on the cement. "Son of a bitch!"
"Dean! You okay?"
Sam rushed over and helped him to his feet. Dean slung an arm over Sam's shoulders and Sam wrapped his arm around Dean's waist.
"You sure you can't pick me up?" Dean joked.
"Sorry but those days are over."
"And not a moment too soon."
Sam began to lead him over to the front passenger door.
"Dude, wrong side. I'm driving."
"No you're not, Dean."
"I can reach the pedals again, so yeah, I am."
"Dean, your leg is a mess."
"So what? I use my other leg."
"Keep arguing and I'll put you back in your booster seat." Sam threatened.
"Try me. Look, you can drive as soon as we get you somewhere where I can patch up that leg and get you some painkillers, okay?"
"Fine." Dean reluctantly agreed.
Sam leaned him against the back door as he went to open the front one. Dean turned his head and almost jumped when he saw a spider crawling across the roof of the Impala. Dean stared at it for a moment and then tore his gaze away to scan the rest of the garage. There didn't appear to be any more of the disgusting eight-legged pests. Sam touched his arm.
"Dean? What's up?"
"Spider." Dean resumed staring at the tiny terror.
"It's just a regular spider, Dean. Nothing to worry about. Leave it alone and get in the car before you fall over again"
"Yeah." Dean replied. He was going to follow Sam's suggestion, but just then the spider turned and began to crawl right at him. Without hesitation, Dean brought his fist down on the arachnid, grinning at the feel of its tiny body crunching under his hand.
Author's Note Part Two: Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. And I hope you all enjoyed the ending... I for one will miss little Dean, but it was time for him to grow up (as much as Dean is ever grown up that is). If anyone is interested, I will be starting a new story next week called 'Season of the Soul Harvester' which will be a creepy Halloween story. A bit different than this but I'd love it if some of you joined me there. Now, let me beg for reviews for one final time for this story: please, please, please review and let me know what you thought, even if you haven't reviewed before or if you've reviewed every chapter... please...