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Devastation and Reform 15/15

April 6th, 2008 (09:08 pm)

A/N: And this is it. I feel like this resolved rather fast, probably too much so, but endings are never easy, especially in a fic this long. Hopefully it isn't too disappointing. Any similarities to Jus in Bello are in fact coincidental. I had all of the Henricksen stuff done far before that. Thanks to my betas, Tyranusfan and Rachelly, for all their work. And thanks to sendintheclowns who honestly is the best person ever when it comes to supporting my writing. She's invested as much time in this fic as I have, I'm pretty sure. And lastly thanks to all who have read and reviewed :) If anyone enjoyed this, then it's been worth it.  Previous parts here.


Chapter Fifteen

The first thing he felt was discomfort.

The bed wasn't very comfortable, and the room was cold. Not to mention there was something wrong with his arm, something on it—something itchy.

The second thing he felt was pain.

A single spike jolted through his body, followed quickly by another. Whatever he'd done, he was bruised to hell because of it, and the tightness of his skin suggested he'd probably had some decorative sewing tried out on the canvas of his skin.

The third thing he felt was panic.

Memory came on the heels of pain. Henricksen, the warehouse, the puma. Sam.

With a gasp he came awake, his eyes jerking open only to squint shut again in the garish light. "Sam," Dean demanded, his voice laden with an undeniable fear. He strained his head, trying desperately to look around, to figure out what had happened, where Sam was.

His heart fell when he saw Henricksen camped out in the chair by his bed, watching him expectantly. Not only was he in a hospital, but his tangle with the FBI clearly wasn't resolved yet, much to his chagrin.

Dean gritted his teeth and rolled his head back to look at the ceiling. "Where's Sam?"

Henricksen remained impassive, arching his eyebrows with mild indifference. "He saved your life, you know."

"Yours too," Dean said. He looked at the agent again, trying to hide his fear. "Where is he?"

"He also saved the kid. Michael," Henricksen said. "Told me about Michael's vision quest. Explained everything."

Dean snorted despite himself, and regretted it when the action sent a jolt of pain through his chest. "And you believed him?"

Henricksen shrugged, seeming almost too weary to be offended. "I believe the evidence," Henricksen said. "I believe in what I can see, what I can prove. I've spent my entire life defending what was right. And I was so sure with you. I was just so sure..."

"You were wrong," Dean concluded, stating the obvious. The change of heart from the fed was a relief, but too surprising to really make him feel safe quite yet. The fact that he hadn't seen Sam yet didn't help matters, but he had a feeling this 180 was probably due to the sincerity of his little brother's soul. "What made you change your mind?"

"The things I saw...that boy, the puma. If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes..."

"I know the feeling," Dean said, a tinge of sympathy in his voice even outweighing the overwhelming urge to say I told you so. He didn't need a lawyer to tell him that wouldn't be his brightest move.

Henricksen smiled slightly. "Sam saved my life."

Dean felt his heart skip a beat. "Where is he?"

"After all I did to you, he saved me." The disbelief in his voice was evident.

"He's okay, right?" He was all for Henricksen's remorse and thankfulness, but he'd revel in that as soon as he knew his brother was okay.

"Yeah," Henricksen said, almost surprised that Dean was still asking. "He's going to be fine. He's not awake yet, but they don't think he's going to have any complications. You either. They already released Michael."

Dean felt himself relax. "Can I see him? Can I see Sam?"

Henricksen shook himself, seeming to come to life. He stood, tugging on the curtain dividing the room. "I told you, he's fine. He's just sleeping it off."

There, on the other bed, Sam lay in a standard issue hospital gown, His hair was greasy and shoved to the side and his head was turned slightly toward his brother in sleep. A pair of IVs strung from his hand and monitors flashed silently beside him.

Alive. Dean could even see the even rise and fall of Sam’s chest, bulky with bandages under the hospital gown.

"The doctor said he had to redo some of the stitches that Sam managed to pull out—I imagine your younger brother is going to get quite the talking to from Dr. Leland about how to take care of himself."

Dean was only half listening, too focused on the certainty of his brother’s safety. "And the shrink?"

"There’s no need to push Sam to talk anymore," Henricksen said quietly.

They’d come so close—and seeing Sam laid up in the hospital was hardly the kind of thing to assuage his nerves. But Sam was there, so close to him, so alive. Dean could take comfort in that much. It was what he’d wanted in the first place.

"So," Dean said, letting his eyes flicker to the agent again. "What now?"

Henricksen laughed a little, but it sounded different this time. It was true, untainted. "The circumstantial evidence against you is monumental," he said slowly. "Your DNA is all over crime scenes across the country. Making a case against you, nailing you to the wall—it’d be so easy."

Dean waited, his heart tight in his chest. "And?"

"And I can’t do it," he said simply. He shook his head. "I just can’t do it."

Confused, Dean tilted his head, waiting for the punch line. "What do you mean?"

Leaning forward, Henricksen put his elbows on his knees, his gaze intense on Dean. "I know what I saw. I don’t know quite how to explain it, but nothing has been closer to the truth than everything you and your brother told me. What I saw wasn’t human, and it certainly wasn’t you two."

Dean’s heart fluttered. "So what are you trying to say?"

The agent sighed. "All charges against you have been dropped. We’re letting you go."

"Just like that?"

"Well, just about," the older man said, sitting back in his seat. "I’ve had a hell of a time explaining to my superiors how I spent nearly a year chasing you just to let you go. And he wouldn’t have let it go just on my account."

"Then why did he let it go?"

The agent reached to the bedside table and picked up a file. "These are the accounts of eyewitnesses across the country. You’ve been out of it for awhile, and I’ve been busy. It was stuff I'd seen before, but this time I actually looked at it. Listened to the people."

Dean winced subconsciously. For as many people as they helped, he was certain there were more than a few peculiarities people picked up on regarding him and his brother. "That must have been interesting."

Henricksen looked up from the file and met Dean's eyes. "I still don't get you Winchesters. You go around saving people, risking your lives, living like fugitives and outlaws. I don't even want to know half of what you do to keep yourselves afloat--which, by the way, you really better stop if you want to be walking around like free men again."

Dean smiled half-heartedly. "We'll take that into consideration."

But Henricksen wasn't really listening to him. He was studying him, watching every thing Dean did, as if he were trying to figure something out. "It doesn't seem like I should trust you," he said. "I mean, this kind of stuff really happens all the time?"

"More than you think," Dean muttered tiredly.

"And that's just what you do?" Henricksen said, the disbelief in his voice evident. He laughed and shook his head. "The thing I've been trying to figure out is why. One second, you're this nice little family in Lawrence. The next, your mom's gone and you don't have anything resembling a stable life for the next twenty-two years. Being a hero is one thing. But the way you live isn't just heroic. It's--it doesn't make any sense."

"It's just what we do," Dean said. He glanced over at Sam. "Sometimes it seems like there's nothing else we can do."

Henricksen shook his head. "I don't get it, man."

Looking back at the agent, Dean sighed. "Once you've seen the darkness, once you've really seen it, once you get how it works, how it comes after people--that changes things. It makes it impossible to walk away. And sometimes that means you're stuck fighting a fight because there's no one else to do it, because sometimes the darkness is after you."

Leaning back in his chair, Henricksen tossed the file back onto the bedside table. "You know, I became a cop because my sister was murdered when I was thirteen. I thought I'd never be the same, and from that day on, I couldn't look at the world the same way. I just couldn't do it. I couldn't do anything except think about how there were people out there, bad people, who would hurt people's sisters and brothers and mothers and fathers. So I spent the rest of my life trying to find them, bring them to justice. I can't say I always like it, because I see the worst in people. But I don't really have a choice. It's almost like my destiny."

At that, Dean closed his eyes and let the concept wash over him. Destiny, fate, things that are meant to be. He was trying so hard not to believe in that, not to let it control him, to let it own him or his brother. Because if he was honest with himself, destiny scared him more than anything--more than Sam walking out, more than his father dying, more than all the demons in hell. Because destiny was something he couldn't fight, something he couldn't control, and Dean simply didn't know how to deal with that.

The fact that Sam seemed all too ready to accept it didn't make it easier. There was no future Dean wanted where Sam wasn't in the picture.

But, in the end, all his denial, all his protestations, really missed the point. Destiny wasn't always something that chose him, it was something that he had chosen all along. He could never convince Sam that he wasn't meant for something terrible, because the evidence wasn't looking very good on that front at the moment, not with the demon's promises and psychic kids killing and dying across the country. He just had to convince Sam that he could stand up against it, no matter what. Things might be meant to be, but that didn't mean he had no control over them. Maybe that's what Sam wanted him to understand. Maybe that's the battle Sam had been fighting all along. He'd just been too scared to see it.

He opened his eyes, resolved, weary. "And this is my destiny," Dean said finally. He nodded toward his brother. "Taking care of Sammy, fighting the evil in the world. That's what I do. It's what I'll always do."

There was something like understanding in the agent's eyes as he nodded. "I guess I'd have to say that maybe we're not so different after all," he said. Then he pushed himself up to stand. "The official word on your exoneration will be down sometime today. Just steer clear of the really illegal stuff, and I can say that I hope we never meet again."

Dean couldn't help but smile, and he nodded his assent. "Thanks."

"Thank you," he replied. "Tell your brother the same."

Watching him go, Dean wondered if it was too good to be true. Full pardons, no more warrants, no more living on the run. They could get back to their typical transient lifestyle and stow the fear of the law to the backseat where it belonged.

Feeling tired, he let his head drop back against the pillow, rolling it over to look at his brother. Sam looked no different, still pale and unmoving on the bed next to him. Sam would be happy about being free from the law--it was stress that his little brother didn't need. But somehow he knew that Sam wouldn't breathe easy--not yet. Not until he understood just what it was the demon wanted, and just what Sam could become.

Maybe Sam didn't really want protection. Maybe Sam just wanted someone to believe in him. Someone to help him believe in himself.

Well, if that were the case, Dean figured he could probably oblige. It was his destiny, after all.


Sam was pretty tired of waking up in places he didn't recognize. Not that any of the motels they stayed in were home, but he usually was able to wake up with a sense of stability, with a sense of place.

Lately, all of that had been out the window. His sleep had been disjointed and jarring and uncontrolled--and often it involved waking up in pain, in strange places, wondering what the hell had just happened.

He had to admit, this time there wasn't pain and he felt a little better than he had in what seemed like days, but he still didn't know where he was. As for what had just happened--well, that was still hazy, too. There was something about Dean and the FBI and the puma--

Sam came fully awake with a start.

He'd gone to the warehouse to stop Michael, which was the first step in clearing Dean's name. But Dean had been in the warehouse--Dean and Henricksen. And the puma--it had attacked.

"You're alive, if that's what you're wondering."

Startled, Sam looked over, thoroughly surprised to see his older brother reclining on the other bed in the room. "Dean," he said, and he wanted to say more, but the words were catching in his throat, tight with the questions he couldn't quite phrase.

Dean was looking at him, his face set in annoyance, but Sam could see the relief. "Not that you really helped keep it that way."

"Are you--are you okay?" Sam finally managed to ask, his eyes sweeping over his brother's body. His brother looked a little banged up around the face--some cuts and bruises--but he seemed free from major medical intrusion.

Dean just rolled his eyes. "I'm not the one who's been taking a prolonged nap," he said, clearly exasperated. "And I'm also not the one who broke out of the hospital. You were still recovering from massive blood loss, Sam. You weren't really supposed to be wandering around the city looking for Michael."

Sam's brow furrowed. He remembered the panic, the sense of isolation. The fear. "I didn't know what else to do."

"It was stupid, Sam," he said, unmoved by Sam's vulnerability. "You should have stayed put."

"They wanted to commit me," Sam explained plaintively. "And if I was locked up in a psych ward, then I’d never be able to figure out a way to help you."

"I didn’t need help," Dean replied indignantly.

That was a whopper of a lie, even for Dean. Sam leveled his brother with a stare. "Yeah, so your plan was just to get locked up in prison for the rest of your life—or worse, get a death sentence."

Dean shifted uncomfortably, jutting out his chin in resistance. "I would have figured something out."

Scoffing, Sam rolled his eyes. "Yeah, I'm sure," he said. "And you say I'm the stupid one."

Narrowing his eyes, Dean scowled. "You could have gotten yourself killed."

"It would have been worth it if it meant saving you."

Dean's sigh was heavy. "Why do you think I made the deal with the feds in the first place? To take care of you."

"So I was returning the favor," Sam replied simply, flopping himself back against his bed. His body was aching—another dose of pain reliever might do him good. "What's so wrong with that?"

"Because I'm the big brother--"

Sam threw his head back in exasperation. "You do not get to pull that line with me."

"And why not? Who's been looking out for you since before you could even talk? Come on, Sam, I changed your diapers. This is my job."

Eyes narrowed, Sam just shook his head and looked at his brother. "If you haven't noticed, Dean, I'm not in diapers anymore. Somewhere along the line, I grew up. We do this together. I watch your back, you watch mine. That's the way it works, and I'm tired of feeling like I have no control over any of this."

"Sam, it's not--"

"Not like that?" Sam asked, incredulous. "Then what the hell is it like? The way I see it, everything in my life is outside of my control. There's this demon who's after me, who killed Mom, who killed Jess, who killed Dad, and it seems to be able to do whatever it wants with us. There are all these signs telling us that there's something wrong with me, something maybe evil about me, and I don't know how to stop it. I can't do enough good things to make it better, and then my older brother sits around and tells me to just not worry about it, he's got it under control. Well, great. I'm so glad that everyone else is in control of my life, so I guess I'll just sit back and wait to see who comes out on top--you or the Demon."

The speech was too much, too long with too much emotion, and it left Sam gasping and drained. He sank back against his bed, feeling his heart about to pound out of his chest. The room was hazy around the edges, and he could hear Dean swearing over the resounding beeps of the heart monitor.

Then there were gentle hands on his arm, steady and reassuring. "You don't have to kill yourself just to prove to me that you can, okay?"

Sam blinked, clearing his vision, then looked up at his brother through his hair. "I just want you to understand."

"And I just want you to understand," Dean said back, his face set. "No matter what you tell me, I'm always going to put you first. I'm always going to sacrifice anything I can for you. I don't know how to do anything else. And don't expect any thank yous for nearly getting yourself killed. It doesn't work that way, even if I get why you do it."

His brother was frustrating and difficult. Reasoning with Dean was about as easy as reasoning with a rock. Dean was oblivious and hypocritical.

But Dean loved him.

He only hoped he could love Dean back like he deserved, that Dean's love wouldn't get him tangled up in the darkness that was Sam's and Sam's alone.

Sam sighed. "Yeah," he said finally, his heart rate had eased and the world was coming back in to sharp focus. "I get why you do it, too."

Dean looked at him, confused and perturbed, before crossing his arms and resting back with a huff. "Next time I'm so not making a deal for you," he muttered. "Ungrateful bitch."

"Yeah," Sam said, rolling his eyes. "I love you, too, jerk."


After all the excitement--the puma attack, being arrested, saving Henricksen, being cleared of all charges--laying around in a hospital waiting to get better was pretty much a let down. There was suddenly no overriding tension, no sense of danger lurking for them, no need to even hurry. Insurance fraud would have been pretty futile at this point, and it was irrelevant anyway, since, in a massive attempt to cover itself, the warehouse had offered to pay all medical fees.

More or less, there was nothing to worry about, nothing to plot against. Even Sam was improving rapidly. Not that any of these things were bad. On the contrary, life was going about as well as it could for a Winchester. But the unfortunate side effect was that Dean felt rather impotent and pointless and utterly frustrated about being cooped up in the hospital.

Sam's mood was pretty neutral during the recovery, alternating between extreme relief about being reunited and set free and the depression that had been chasing Sam insistently since the demon had made it clear that all the death, all the mayhem in their lives was all tied to Sam and whatever plans the demon may have had. Sam never said as much, but he didn't have to.

Still, that wasn't a conversation Dean wanted to have--not yet, and especially not here where good intentioned nurses and doctors were loitering. Despite their sudden freedom, Dean was still skeptical and hesitant to reveal too much, as though Henricksen could charge back through those doors at any moment to slap on the cuffs and take them away.

Needless to say, Dean was more than a little relieved when the doctor had both of their walking papers drafted. Dean had stayed a little longer than necessary perhaps, and Sam was leaving a few days early--his wounds were still ugly looking and needed daily tending and his shoulder was still undergoing bouts of routine therapy to make sure the muscles healed properly. That was all old hat to them, things that they could easily handle on the road, and Dean could tell that Sam was just as anxious to leave as he was.

Leaving was a quiet affair. They'd had no visitors, and their nurses checked them out with empty smiles. Collecting their bag of meager and bloodied possessions, Dean took a breath, gave his brother a ready look and pushed open the door.

The sunlight outside was bright and the day was warm and Dean didn't know when he'd seen a better day. Taking a deep breath, he exhaled contentedly, smiling at his brother. "Feels good to be free."

Sam quirked an eyebrow at him. "In more ways than one," he agreed. He looked out at the parking lot in front of the hospital. "What about the car?"

"Henricksen said it would be parked in the front lot for us. I think they even put back most of the weapons, except the ones we need a license for."

"Dad would be pissed if he knew we let the guns get confiscated."

"Dad would be glad as hell we aren't locked up in jail," Dean countered.

Sam smiled. "True enough."

They took another step out into the daylight when someone approached them. At first, Dean figured the kid was just entering the hospital, but he slowed down, hesitantly, and looked up curiously. "You Dean and Sam Winchester?" he asked.

Exchanging a glance with Sam, Dean kept his face neutral. "Why does it matter?"

The kid twitched, smiling slightly, and Dean realized he looked vaguely familiar. The kid was shorter than he was, skinny and mostly unkempt. His clothes hung loosely off his body and he seemed incapable of looking at Dean straight in the eyes. "I just wanted--I just wanted to say thanks," the kid said finally, shuffling a little.

Dean cocked his head, and he saw Sam's stance slacken next to him.

"Thanks for what?" Sam asked.

"You might not recognize me," the kid explained. "My name is Michael. Michael Whitefoot. We haven't met--not really, anyway."

The pieces fell into place. Henricksen had said Michael was in the same hospital, that he was going to be fine. Now, clearly, the kid was having some kind of crisis of conscious, and Dean supposed he could understand why. Being a part of mass murder probably did that to most well-intentioned people.

And the kid did look well-intentioned. Younger than Sam, and scared. Hardly the type anyone would suspect to do harm--the field mouse, not the puma. Dean felt a pang of pity. This Michael, this timid, nervous kid, was the thing Michael had tried to escape; now, it was all that was left of him.

The kid had been stupid, naive, but never evil. He'd been part of the puma, but it'd never been his fault. The recrimination in the kid's eyes--Dean had seen that look in Sam after his possession. He feared that if Sam didn't lose this trail of destiny soon, this would be all that was left of Sam as well. A timid, guilt-ridden victim.

"You guys...saved my life," Michael said finally, shoving his hands farther into his pockets. He looked up at them, almost scared. "You saved my life. After everything I'd done, you saved me."

Sam was painfully silent. Dean swallowed hard and looked at the kid again. Michael's shoulders were stooped, his hair clearly overgrown and in his eyes. And there was a desperation in his face that Dean recognized too well. "It wasn't you," Dean said, his voice steadier and stronger than he felt. It was hard to say, harder still to believe, but this wasn't just about Michael.

Michael's face twisted in pain, his eyes large and wet. "Not totally, but some of it was. I was the one who wanted to go on the vision quest. I was the one who wanted to make myself better, who wanted to try to change my destiny. And I changed it all right. I changed it and became a killer."

"You can't blame yourself for what the puma did."

"Yeah, but I can blame myself for letting it happen."

"It doesn't work that way," Dean insisted softly.

"My best friend is dead," Michael shot back. "I killed my best friend. I ruined people's lives. I don't...I don't deserve..." Michael's voice broke off, and he looked away, tears sneaking out the corners of his eyes.

Sam couldn't look up from the ground. Dean found himself alone in his argument. "Sometimes no matter what we do, no matter how hard we try, things just work against us. That's not your fault. It never will be," Dean said. "You just have to make your peace with that."

Michael took a shaky breath and exhaled a laugh. He looked up, his eyes bright, his chin trembling. "I don't know how to do that."

Dean pursed his lips. "You go on. You go home. Go back to your sisters and your house and just start again."

"How can I go on living knowing that other people won't?"

Dean felt a twinge of regret, a twinge of remembrance. He knew loss, knew it all too well. Both he and Sam had lost enough people for one lifetime. "You just do. You think about what you have and they don't and just live and hope to be worthy of it. It's all any of us can do."

Michael ran a hand through his hair. "I..I wasn't sure if I should thank you or not. I mean, I don't even know what to do with myself. Sometimes I don't even want the second chance. It's like sometimes I think I'm beyond redemption."

"If you believe that, then you already are."

Michael looked at him a moment, cocked his head in question, then managed a small smile. He swallowed, nodded to himself. "Thank you," he said. "For everything."

"Take care of yourself, Michael," Dean said.

Nodding again, Michael's smile faded. With one last look, he turned away, walking off toward the parking lot.

Dean watched him go, shoulders slouched, posture defeated. He had no way of knowing of Michael would make it, if Michael would get past this. Dean wasn't sure he could if the positions were reversed, if he could go on after a thing like that, if he could go on after losing someone like Sam. He'd survived his dad's death, but barely, and right now he was too caught up in keeping Sam afloat to even think about how he was doing. Seeing someone so stripped of everything--of pride, of dreams, of hope--it was a scary thing.

He cast a sideways glance at Sam. His younger brother was also watching Michael disappear into the cars, his face wistful, full of doubt. Sam was about two-steps away from Michael, it seemed. All Sam wanted was to do the right thing, to change his destiny, and Dean worried what Sam would sacrifice to make that happen. A few wrong choices, some circumstances beyond Sam's control, and Sam could be just like Michael--or worse.

Dean couldn't let that happen. He wouldn't. Those two steps were very important steps, and Dean would do everything in his power to keep Sam from falling into that kind of hole--emotionally or physically.

"I wish it were that simple," Sam said suddenly.

Dean’s eyes narrowed as he stared into the sunlight. "It is that simple," he countered, determined now. "If you let it be."

Looking at Sam out of the corner of his eye, he saw his brother sigh. His shoulders sagged and his face looked weary. "There’s something out there," he said. "Something out there for me. The visions, the demon—the way everyone around me dies—it means something."

"It means nothing," Dean insisted shortly. "Just that life sucks sometimes."

It was a bit cruel to say, because he could see the need for acceptance, for understanding on his brother’s face. But this was the one point he could never concede, the one thing he could never negotiate. It wasn’t just to protect Sam, no matter what Sam thought, but to protect himself as well. Because he couldn't open himself up to all the possibilities--he couldn't take all the fear and still keep functioning.

"You could have so much more, Dean," Sam said, his voice soft. "More than hunting, more than just taking care of me. I used to think it was just my destiny, but now I think it’s both of ours. I’m sorry."

Dean rolled his eyes. "You really are worse than Michael, you know that? You’re not evil. You haven’t even come close. You think a few visions and a possession are going to be your downfall? You’re stronger than that, Sam."

The younger brother dropped his head, and Dean swallowed against the defeat he saw there.

"Seriously, man, you need to stop letting it get a hold of you. I told you--we can do this. Together."

With a deep breath, Sam looked up at him. "You never think about it? What I may be?"

"You’re a bitch and a geek and my little brother, which is annoying as hell, but not exactly sinister."

"Which is exactly the problem," Sam told him. "All this—you have to stay because of me. My destiny only brings you down. You—you could be free. Me? I’m the real freak here."

They were hard words, true words, ones Dean had been avoiding since his father had died and Dean’s need to live for him had vanished. Dean had broken the last order, and he resented it all. Sam was all he had left, and sometimes that was hard to swallow. He loved his brother, but he was lonely. Empty.

It hurt too much to think about.

He smiled instead, slapping Sam hard on the shoulder. "That's not exactly something new, Sammy," he said with a jovial smile. There'd been too much pain, too much doubt, too much fear. As long as they were together, it would be okay.

Sam shook his head, slowly letting out a bemused and disbelieving smile. "You really never will change, will you?"

"Life, death, the FBI," Dean said with a shrug. "You're alive, Sammy, and that's all that matters. That's all I need to take care of. You want to look out for me, you just make sure to keep fighting for yourself. Because I need you breathing or I wouldn't know what to do."

San laughed a little. "Alive, huh?" he said. "Well if that's all you expect from me, I think I can probably live up to my end of the bargain."

"That's all I need," Dean said with an emphatic nod. The charade was forced, strained, and Dean could see that Sam was able to look right through it. But the appearance of it, the attempt at some semblance of normalcy, of safety, of peace--that was what Sam needed. It was what they both needed. It was all they had.

Besides, sometimes lying long enough made it true. Or true enough. Dean knew that from experience.

He sighed, gathering himself. "You ready to blow this place?" Dean asked.

Squinting at him, Sam shrugged. "I guess," he said. "Where do you want to go?"

Dean furrowed his brow. It was the recurring question of their lives. Always going--someplace, never home. "I was thinking of having a picnic in front of a police station. Or, you know, chill out on federal property for awhile, wave at the security cameras."

The look Sam gave him was disbelieving. "What? Just because we can now?"

"Why not?" Dean said. "After all, it's not every day we get exonerated from federal charges."

Sam's eyes narrowed. "Yeah, let's just work on staying off that list for awhile."

Dean made a sound of dismissal. "Please, Sammy," he said. "You know who you're talking to?"

"Yeah," Sam countered with a snort. "Which is exactly my point."

Laughing at that, Dean just shook his head, striding out ahead of Sam. Moving out into the day, he could feel his brother's steps behind him, and he knew that everything, for once, was all right.



Posted by: supernaturalmommy (supernatrlmommy)
Posted at: April 9th, 2008 01:35 am (UTC)

I finally found enough time to finish reading this and OH! I loved it - especially how you worked in so many emotional responses for both the brothers in a believable plotline. Great work on an awesome story!

I liked the way you dealt with Hendrickson as well - you did it in a realistic kind of way ... eh ... kind of. :D

Great read!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 3rd, 2008 12:55 pm (UTC)

Ending long fics is always a trial. I like the idea, however, of Henricksen being alive. He'd be a good potential future ally, I think.

Anyway, thanks :)

Posted by: annj_g80 (annj_g80)
Posted at: April 11th, 2008 09:35 pm (UTC)
Buffy - The right words

Nice ending but really kinda... fast! Though I hope, SamnDean WILL meet Henrickson again. :-D It'd be a pity to let go such a cool character *lol*

Have a nice weekend

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 3rd, 2008 12:56 pm (UTC)
bruised sam

Yeah, it was kind of fast. I was so ready for this fic to be done, though :) Thanks for reading!

Posted by: peeps wanna see peeps boink (musesfool)
Posted at: January 12th, 2009 05:26 am (UTC)
in god's country

That was really intense and interesting. I wish they'd let Henriksen live on the show.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: January 14th, 2009 12:26 am (UTC)

I like it when people actually read old fic.

This fic was always a bit of a disappointment for me. I had too much time invested into it to ditch it altogether but by the time I posted it, it seemed superfluous since Hendricksen had already had his exit on the show.


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