AUTHOR'S NOTES: So before I start with the canon stuff, I just wanted to put in an extended reunion scene.

Also, instead of the canon dog, I am replacing him with my own 6-year-old Australian Shepard, Abby. So all of the dog's actions in this story are what my dog does.


11 Months Later

100-Mile-Wilderness, Maine

By some miracle, Dean Winchester found himself standing in the middle of a forest next to Ruby and Castiel who looked around, nervously. "Did it work?" Dean asked, his right hand gripping his gun tightly. "Are we back?"

Ruby nodded, happily. She recognized the stars and constellations as she looked up and felt a wave of relief. She was out of Purgatory!

After getting killed by Sam 5 years ago, Ruby had been sent—not to Hell as was usual with demon deaths—but to Purgatory where she'd spent the bulk of her time hiding from monsters that seemed set on ripping her apart piece by piece.

And then she'd heard rumors spreading like wildfire about an angel opening a gateway to Purgatory. Not just an angel, though, but also Crowley who had taken the title King of Hell. He was looking for a way into Purgatory and had been about to open his own gateway when his angelic counterpart—Castiel—had beaten him to it.

Standing next to the demon and his best—well, only friend, really—Castiel felt both nervous and free. He took a deep breath of cool night air and enjoyed the scent of grass and pine—a serious contrast to the constant stench of blood and death that was pervasive it Purgatory. They were free…

Dean took a bit longer before his muscles eased. Before he could stop and think, he grabbed Ruby, pulling her into a passionate kiss. He laughed for the first time in a long, long time and he spun his girlfriend/lover around before kissing her again.

"We should seek shelter," Castiel said, looking around the woods. "Then we need to find Sam and…" The angel stopped when he heard a dual 'thump' behind him followed by quiet, muffled laughter and passionate moaning. Glancing at his companions, Cas quickly looked away as he saw Ruby and Dean pulling each other's clothes off. "I will go see where we are," he said, even though he was willing to bet that neither Dean nor Ruby heard him.

xxxxxxxxx

As the sun started to rise over the forest, Dean opened his eyes and smiled as he felt Ruby's arms around him. God, he couldn't believe that he thought that was a good thing. But as the demon helped him track down Cas, she'd also helped Dean hold on to his humanity even as Purgatory tried to bleed it out of him.

When all leads to the angel had dried up, Dean had screamed in pain and rage before going out on his own amidst Ruby's protests. He'd gone out looking for whatever fights he could find and when Ruby found him and tried to lead him back to the safety of the cave, he'd started fighting her.

Dean had thrown punches, and tried to kill the demon but Ruby had deflected most of the blows. When the older Winchester had fallen to the ground in exhaustion, Ruby had just knelt down next to him, trying to be comforting.

The pair had started off with the shakiest trust—especially where Dean was concerned—but every day spent together in Purgatory seemed to push hunter and demon closer together.

"You know you and Sam have the same habits?" Ruby said, a smirk on her face as she gathered her clothes. When she caught Dean's puzzled look, she grinned. "Sam always had that same reflective look the morning after we—"

"Yeah, don't…don't finish that sentence," Dean warned as he also gathered his clothes. After a minute or two, he turned to Ruby and said, "Come on. Let's go."


Coatesville, PA

Sam woke to the aromas of sausage frying and after getting up, he also smelled freshly brewed coffee. Hearing a piercing, high-pitched bark, Sam grinned as a blue merle Australian shepard jumped up to give him a doggy kiss on the face. "Down, Abby," Sam said, even though he smiled as he chastised the dog.

The Aussie had been an unexpected addition to the couple of Sam and Jamie. 7 months ago, the dog had shown up on a very cold night, sleet and rain falling hard. The poor animal was half-frozen and very thin and her fur was dirty and matted.

But after a trip to a local pet groomer and only a few weeks of TLC, Abby was happy and bouncy with a soft coat and a great deal of affection for the two humans who had rescued her.

Hearing the front door open, Sam tensed and he watched Abby who trotted out of the room and towards the door before letting out a loud bark alerting her humans to an unexpected arrival. "Abby?" Sam called, hurrying to the door when he heard the dog growling.

"Down, puppy," a familiar voice said to Abby as Sam got to the door. Seeing his brother, Dean smiled and hugged his brother who was dumbfounded to see his older brother alive. "So is this your girlfriend?" After letting go of Sam and bending down, Dean started rubbing the dog's ears. "Hey, girl. I'm Dean."

"Dean… what the Hell are you doing here?" Sam exclaimed, still in absolute shock that his brother was alive. "Where have you been?"

"Purgatory," Dean replied, simply, as he stood. Catching the aromas of coffee, sausage and cinnamon, he grinned and entered the living room saying, "Man, I'm starved. What's for breakfast?"

But Sam turned to stare at his brother's back as he said, "Wait, Dean, I—"

"Hello, Sam," Castiel said as he, too, entered the house. He wore jeans and a faded t-shirt and the old worn tan trenchcoat he always wore, although the coat looked like it had been through a war. Which—if Cas had been in Purgatory with Dean—he probably had.

"Cas?" Sam asked, looking confused. "How did—?"

"Long story," Ruby replied, bringing up the rear. Her blonde hair was back in a ponytail and she wore faded jeans, a long-sleeved shirt, and a leather jacket. Smiling at Sam she said, "Long time, no see."

Sam had moved from confused to completely flabbergasted. This was… His head spun and he looked from his brother to the angel to the demon.

Jamie looked equally confused as she came out of the kitchen and saw Dean and two others sitting at the dining room table. Turning to Sam, she asked, "Sam, what's going on?"

Seeing that Sam and Jamie—Hey, who said that Dean didn't remember his old girlfriends?—wanted answers, Dean replied, "How about this? We all eat, we talk…I'll tell our story if you tell yours. Deal?"

"Sure," Jamie agreed, heading back to the kitchen.

Ruby got up quickly to help Sam's girlfriend, knowing that the Winchesters probably needed a few moments alone.

"Seriously?" Sam hissed, angrily, under his breath as soon as the demon was out of the room. "Ruby? What the fuck are you thinking? I mean, did you just forget everything that we went through because of her? Are you insane?"

"Me?" Dean replied, keeping his voice equally low. "Did you forget that I slept with Jamie, too? And now you're hooking up with her?" He glanced at the kitchen before turning back to his brother. "Look, Sammy… You weren't there, okay? I mean, I… I never meant for any of it to happen. Ruby and I ended up in the same foxhole, and… I depended on her, Sam. I mean she always had my back, she helped me find Cas."

Sam let out a long sigh, knowing what his brother was saying. At the same time, he remembered only too painfully what Ruby had done to him—the demon blood, tricking him into breaking the final seal to free Lucifer… "I'm not going to trust her," he said, flatly.

"Dude, I'm not asking you to!" Dean said quietly, checking to see that the ladies weren't listening to the conversation. "Just… don't kill her, okay? Trust her or don't, I don't care. Just… don't kill her, alright?"

x

In the kitchen, Jamie couldn't help but feel awkward as she kept sneaking glances at Sam and Dean.

"You've never been in the middle of a Winchester argument, have you?" Ruby asked, knowingly. When Jamie gave her a look, Ruby smiled. "Best thing to do is just stay out of it," she advised. After a moment, she added, "Could be worse. At least your history with the boys is way better than mine."

Jamie considered that for a moment but she didn't say anything. After getting the whole story about what had happened since the last time she had seen the Winchesters, she had just looked at Sam for the longest time, noticing that he looked so much older than when she'd met him. And when Sam had started talking about Ruby and the whole mess with the demon blood, Jamie wished she could have killed the bitch herself for causing the Winchesters so much pain.

And now said bitch was in her kitchen.

"Let me be perfectly clear," Jamie said, her tone even as she stared at Ruby. "After everything you've put Sam and Dean through, if you even think of double-crossing them, I promise you're not going to like what happens next."

Ruby didn't back down but she didn't reply either. Instead, she grabbed the pan of cinnamon rolls cooling on the counter and headed back to the dining room and set the pan down in the middle of the table. When she sat down and took a sip from Dean's coffee cup, Ruby hissed in pain. "What the Hell?" she snapped, angrily.

"Oops," Jamie said without a trace of remorse. "Sorry. Forgot to tell you—I blessed the waterlines 4 years ago."

Ruby glared at Jamie who just smiled in return. "Fine. Got any beer?"

"Just from a local brewery that blesses each bottle they sell me," the hunter replied.

Sam and Dean exchanged a look before turning their attention to Jamie. "You have your beer blessed?" Dean asked.

"And every other liquid that I bring in here," Jamie said, nodding. "I may be relatively new on this, but I'm not an idiot."

There was a long awkward silence while the group ate with Jamie and Sam occasionally giving Abby tidbits. The dog tried resting her head on Dean's leg, giving the human the full extent of her blue eyes, but Dean seemed strangely immune. After a few moments, she gave a soft whine. Then another whine. When Dean still ignored her, Abby lifted her head from the human's leg before pawing his leg, hard, and giving a loud, high-pitched—almost ear-piercing—bark.

"Jeez!" Dean exclaimed, glaring at the dog. "I heard ya the first time!"

'Well, you didn't ACT like you heard me,' was the look the dog gave.

Dean glared at Abby why just looked right back at him. The two were locked in a staring contest for nearly two minutes before Abby jumped up to lick Dean on the face. "You're gonna pay for that, puppy," Dean promised as he wiped dog spit off his face with one hand.

Abby just grinned and gave the human a look that just said, 'Bring it on.'