A.N. The last bit, finally, although I have really had fun writing this fic!
This final part is dedicated to the following who have kept me going, kept me laughing and certainly kept me busy with their regular reviews and comments. They also made sure I hit my first 100 (Yay).
Thanks guys...Truthfully? I'm going to miss you lot even more than I'll miss writing the story!
SPNxBookworm, gr8read, babyreaper, DearHart, flygirl33, ccase13, Karebear119, SPN Mum, Newt-s3, Delena4Nian50,
lilliannaelizabeth and especially mb64 who has taken the time to advise on cock ups and spelling mistakes. You've ALL been awesome!
With Becky's help Sam and Dean carefully searched the whole of the house, but aside from the three bodies in the cellar, and the body of Sandra, there was no sign of Ruth. When Sam opened the door to the cavern, that too was gone, leaving behind an empty, dusty attic room. The two hunters took the time to wipe down what they could of the rooms they themselves had been, in the hopes that nothing would be left that could be traced back to them. By the time they had finished, all three were exhausted, and dawn was sneaking over the horizon. Dean felt he'd had enough.
"Come on. Lets get out of here."
"No arguments from me on that one. Becky? You feel ready to go home?"
Becky looked sadly at the two hunters.
"Honestly? No...I don't really feel like being alone."
Sam put his arm around her.
"I get that...What about Barbara? Why not stay with her? At least you can talk to her about what you've been through without sounding like a crazy woman! Look, I've got to call to a friend of ours, let him know we're ok, and Barbara made me promise to ring her, pretty much for the same reason. You could talk to her then? Don't forget, you're the reason she got me an' Dean to come here anyway...Ok?"
Becky gave a weak smile,
"You two done yet? I'd like to be gone so I can put a call in to the local cops...Let them come an' look after Sandra."
It was Becky who stepped out of the house first, instantly she ground to a halt so suddenly that Dean couldn't avoid colliding into her.
All three stood on the edge of the front lawn, it was a perfectly manicured front lawn, where there had obviously never been a willow tree growing, nor had there ever been a tree on fire. Standing shoulder to shoulder, Sam bumped Dean.
"Guess this means she's really gone?"
"I guess so, baby brother."
Crowley sat behind his desk, his feet up, resting on it's polished surface, a fresh cup of tea within reach. He was smiling to himself, as he flicked through a fairly small, but clearly old, book which was very simply covered, in plain black leather. Occasionally he would read something that made him Tsk, or that broadened his smile further.
"Oh, now, that is a good one!,.,.,.,,.,..My, my...You naughty old girl, where did you find that one?,.,.,.,..,...,Ahh...I can see this one very quickly becoming a favourite..."
Whilst saddened and upset by the news of Sandra's death and Ruth's disappearance, Barbara couldn't contain her joy at knowing that her best friend had been returned to her and, very quickly, Barbara set off on her way home. Dean was left to hang around and wait for her, whilst Sam drove Becky to her own house to pick up some belongings, before returning to stay with Barbara. Sam parked on the driveway, then looked at the woman by his side.
"Are you ok?...Or do you want me to come inside with you?
Becky hesitated, then shook her head.
"No...Thank you. I think I should do this alone but, I'll leave the front door open, just in case..."
Sam watched briefly as Becky began to walk up to the house then, with a sigh, he rested his head against the back of the driver's seat. Exhausted and weary, he let his eyes close whilst he waited.
Following the edge of the lawn as she headed to her front door, Becky eyes were drawn to the graceful weeping willow sited in the centre of the neat grassed area. Turning away again, she stopped in front of her door, and gazed at the lock.
"No keys?...No problem."
In response to a small wave of one hand, the lock clicked open. Stepping inside, she glanced around. Uncaring about the pervasive smell of rotten meat, she smiled.
"This will do very nicely."
Turning, she propped the front door open wide, and glanced again at the solitary willow tree. Had Sam been watching, he might have had the very good fortune to notice the sudden flare of red in Becky's eyes, but Sam's own eyes were still closed. Becky turned her attention back into the house.
"Yesssss...This sssshall do very nicsssssely indeed!"
Having spent most of the day with Barbara and Becky, during which time Sam and Dean had been able to link up what had happened to each of them, the brothers were both relieved to be finally sat in the Impala and back on the road. Dean glanced over at Sam who was pouring over a road map.
"You still not figured how long it's gonna take to get to Bobby's yet? You do know you're supposed to be the brainy one, don't you?"
Sam casually gave his brother the finger without looking up.
"Depends how many times you decide you need to stop an' eat! If we're lookin' at a couple of stops, we should be there in around six hours."
Dean nodded and, for a while, the pair sat in silence. Clearing his throat, Dean was the first to break the silence.
"Look, er...You went through a lot back there dude, you know, when you came to get me and...Well...Thanks. Ok?
Dean carried on, studiously ignoring Sam's grin.
"I mean it. You were there an'...Thanks...Really."
Sam put his hand to his ear and leaned a little closer to Dean.
"Sorry? Didn't hear any of that. Can you say it all again?"
Smiling, Dean cuffed Sam across the back of his head.
Sam turned in his seat, looking at Dean with a serious expression on his face.
"You're my brother...You tell me, where else was I goin' to be Dean?"
Dean glanced at Sam again, before turning his eyes back to the road with a nod. Smiling again, Sam settled back down in his seat and stared out of the car window, watching fields flash by. Eventually Dean broke the silence again.
"So, er. When you called Bobby...You told him we didn't get the book?"
"Hell no! I've left that for you."
"Well, it's not like I'm the one who had the opportunity to get my mits on it is it? You know, being stuck on top of a bonfire an' everything!"
"Oh...I see. 'Cos I was goin' to have a much better chance of finding it down in that damn cellar!"
"Put it this way, one of us gotta tell the old man, an' it ain't gonna be me!"
Gleaming in the sunlight, the Impala swept along the highway talking it's occupants closer to the man who was their second father; and still the debate went on about just who was going to be the poor sap who told Bobby Singer that they hadn't got Hecate's little black book for him...