"Sam! Haul your ass. If you aren't out here in five minutes, I'm going without you!"
There was a laugh from inside the bathroom, and Dean and Bobby exchanged a smile.
"Sure you are," Sam yelled back. "You're going to take on a rugaru alone."
"I can hunt alone, you know," Dean said bad temperedly.
Sam bounded out of the bathroom and grinned as he saw his brother's scowl.
"Of course you can. You don't need anyone. Tell you what, you go after the rugaru, and me and Bobby can kick back here and watch the game." He sat down on the couch and put his feet up on the coffee table.
Bobby huffed a laugh and pulled a beer out of the fridge for Sam. "Here you go, boy."
Sam took it and grinned at his brother. "Thanks, Bobby."
"Hell, no." Dean snatched the beer out of Sam's hand. "You're coming with me. Who knows what kind of trouble you would get into if I left you here."
Sam grinned. "No, I think I'd do better here. You're the mighty hunter after all. You can protect us all from the evil rugaru while Bobby and I sit here like good little boys."
Dean sighed and raked a hand through his hair. "Fine. I wantyou to come. Does that make you feel better?"
"Miles better," Sam said, jumping to his feet and reaching for his duffel.
"You boys got everything you need?" Bobby asked. "Flare guns?"
"And a flame thrower for good measure," Dean said, patting his bag. "We're all set for rugaru central."
"Then you best get going."
Sam pulled on his coat and zipped it. It was getting cold in Montana. Winter was definitely on the way. He wondered if they would stay in the cabin for the year or if they would be on the road properly by then. He didn't mind either way. He was happy as long as he was hunting.
Bobby watched the boys as they checked their bags one last time and then headed out of the door. Sam jogged down the steps and popped open the trunk to throw their bags in. Dean shoved his shoulder and Sam laughed. Bobby didn't hear what he was saying, but he guessed Dean was teasing his younger brother.
Bobby's thoughts travelled over the weeks to the moment Castiel had entered their motel room. Bobby had seen a lot of things before, he had experienced the healing power of Castiel, but nothing could have prepared him for the sight of Sam's healing. One moment he was bent and ailing and next he was staring dazedly at his brother. There was no sign of the paralysis that had stricken him down. He was made whole again.
That was a month ago, and Sam was well again. This rugaru hunt was their first since the healing. They had been taking a well-earned break when the news came in of the hunt from Garth. The boys were back on the hunt and soon Bobby would have to return to Chicago to finally bring down Dick Roman.
But, as he watched the Impala pull away from the cabin and down the track, he wasn't thinking of leviathans or rugarus; he was thinking of how much they had been through and how far they had come. He was thinking how good it was to see both the boys back to normal. Sam was no longer ailing, and Dean was no longer tormented by his brother's ill health.
Life was good again.
Emmanuel closed his eyes and raised his head to face the bright morning sunlight. He basked in the warmth against his face. He stepped down the porch and walked to the mailbox and pulled out the day's mail. Bill, his neighbor, was doing the same in front of his house, and he looked up and smiled when he saw Emmanuel. Emmanuel raised his hand in greeting and tuned back to the house.
When he got inside, he found Daphne at the stove, heating water for their tea. "Anything good in the mail?" she asked.
Emmanuel sifted through the envelopes. "It looks as if you have a letter from your sister, and we have more correspondence from the bank."
Daphne smiled. She was used to Emmanuel's awkward phrasing. "I'll take care of them."
Daphne was happy to manage the day-to-day parts of life, leaving Emmanuel free to concentrate on his vocation of healing. She earned enough at her job as a secretary to run the home, and there was no need for Emmanuel to concern himself with financial matters, even if he was able. The man God had sent her to save was an unusual one, and she loved him with all her heart.
The water came to the boil, and she made their tea and set a cup in front of Emmanuel. He smiled his gratitude and sipped it slowly, thinking of his day ahead. He had an appointment in Lamar that afternoon to help a woman struck down by cancer. He looked forward to the meeting in the same way you would a long awaited party. He found great fulfillment in healing. It was as if he was atoning for something. Perhaps he was. He wouldn't know.
What he did know was that he had been given a gift, and it was God's will that he helped others.
It was a simple life, but it was a good one.
So here it is, the end of Clean Slate. Thank you to everyone that joined me on the amazing journey. I hope you enjoyed the story. I am currently working on a new story and will be posting soon, so keep an eye on my profile.
I am also working on the sequel to my and Snarkymuch2's story – Stairway To Heaven. If you haven't already, go to Snark's profile and check it out. It's a Samifer story, and I know that's not everyone's taste, but give it a go. We might surprise you.