Thank you so much for the kind reviews and messages! Your support has been amazing. I have really enjoyed writing this little story. It was fun to mix it up. Here goes the final chapter! A big thank you to SPNxBookworm for all of her help!
I know some of you have speculated about how you think it will end...so hopefully this doesn't disappoint. Let me know what you think :)
Read, Review, and ENJOY!
School went by in a blur and Allison wasn't able to focus on anything because she was so anxious for her uncle to arrive. Every possible scenario went through her mind of what could happen now that Sam would be there. Finally the bell rang, and she all but ran home, eagerly turning onto her street and instantly spotting Sam's car parked in the driveway. She felt herself start to smile for the first time in weeks. It was exciting just thinking that no matter what went down during his visit, it was bound to be for the better, because it was pretty much next to impossible for things to get any worse.
As she approached the house, she glanced into the living room window and saw her dad and uncle sitting on the couch, obviously caught up in some conversation. She crept up to the window, careful to stay out of sight, but wanting to get a closer look. Judging by the wrinkles on Dean's forehead, she knew he was annoyed by whatever they were talking about. She could just imagine the heavy sarcasm effortlessly falling out of his mouth. She had two choices: go in and interrupt any sort of progress Sam had made to get him to come clean or leave and give them more time to talk alone. Obviously the latter was the only logical option, and so she did just that. Without a second thought, she sprinted back down her road and made her way across town to her favorite spot—the woods. The one place that had brought her some sort of comfort throughout this entire disaster. The branches and green leaves seemed to surround her in some sort of embrace, cutting her off from whatever was going on outside of their reach. It always gave her the smallest sense of security, but it was enough.
Taking a deep breath, Allison took in the nature around her. There was just something about breathing in such fresh air. Spotting her ever faithful oak tree, she went over to it, tossing her backpack on the ground as a pillow before lying down. Looking up at all the branches above her, she closed her eyes, letting the swaying sounds of leaves and chirping birds drown out her thoughts. She had mountain of faith in her uncle—that he would somehow be able to make this all better, and she slowly felt her body overcome with a feeling of relaxation, something she hadn't felt in months. Things were going to get better—they just had to. Before she knew it, the birds' musical chorus had helped her drift off into dreamland.
Even though Sam had put his best loving, brotherly foot forward, Dean was still brushing off all attempts at "feeling" with his crude and harsh sarcasm that Sam had learned to just roll off his shoulder. It wasn't hard for Sam to pinpoint what he was feeling though—emptiness, guilt, anger, regret: the lethal Winchester combination. Wanting to take a break for pressuring him, Sam tried to lighten the subject for a few moments. "So did Ally have some after school activity or what?" he asked, casually glancing out the window and noticing that dusk was nearing.
Dean hesitated for a moment as he realized he should know the answer to the question. It was a simple question—where was your daughter?—but he had no idea what the answer truly was. It wasn't like they had been chit chatting much lately, let alone sharing their daily schedules. "I, uh, I don't think so," he replied, as a pang of worry filled the pit of his stomach.
As if on cue, Dean's cell phone chimed, signaling a text message had just come in. Feeling a sense of urgency, he roughly snatched it off of the table. "It's from Ally," he announced, but his relief was short lived. Small wrinkles appeared on his forehead as he furrowed his eye brows in confusion, trying to decipher the message.
Noticing a change in his expression, Sam sat up a little straighter. "What does it say?"
"Sg," Dean replied, turning the phone around for him to see.
"Sg?" he repeated. "You guys talking in code now?" he joked.
"No, Sam," Dean snapped. "I don't know what it means."
"Maybe you should call her," Sam suggested, but Dean already had the phone up to his ear, signaling for Sam to be quiet.
A few seconds of anxious silence passed as it continued to ring and ring. "She's not picking up." Underlying fear was creeping up in his tone.
"Well she has the phone because she just sent that text," Sam offered, trying to be the calm one.
"Why would she send a text and then not pick up?" Dean asked out loud. He stood up and started pacing back and forth across the living room, all kinds of wild ideas surging through his mind. He tried calling her 3 more times, but to no avail.
"It could have just been a mistake, Dean, there's nothing to freak out about yet," Sam reasoned.
Completely ignoring his brother, Dean raised his voice into the phone, "Allison Marie, I swear if you don't call me back right now, I'm going to…going to…." He slammed the phone shut angrily, unable to think of any sort of actual threat.
"Dean, let's just take a minute to-."
"Shut it, Sam! I don't need a fucking minute. I need to know where my daughter is!" Dean yelled, running a hand through his hair in frustration. His heart began to pound as it slowly crept up into his throat. All the imagines of the lore books and research websites flashed across his mind and he started to panic.
Sam stood up and yanked the cell phone from his hand. "Why don't you just use the GPS tracker we both know you installed on her phone." Once the app had loaded her location, he tossed the phone back to his brother.
"Baker's Woods? What the hell would she be doing there?" Dean asked, as if Sam would somehow know all of the answers.
"She's probably hanging out with some friends, Dean. It's what teenagers do these days. Let's just go over there calmly and pick her up, okay?" He urged.
"No," he said in a low tone that didn't leave any room for discussion. His mind was clouded by every supernatural being that he had ever encountered. He couldn't get the thought out of his heard now-that was what had happened. Brushing past Sam, he took off down the hall to the nearest closet. Opening it and crouching down, he entered a code into the large, grey safe box they had.
"What are you doing?" Sam demanded.
"Something has her," Dean explained as if it were the most logical answer. He reached in and pulled out his .45 loading the clip into it in one swift motion.
"Woah, woah, Dean, you have a gun in your house?" Sam was taken off guard.
"Hell yes, Sam. You're telling me you don't?" Genuine shock in his voice.
Sam just shook his head, still in disbelief at what was happening, but knowing this wasn't the time to discuss kids and gun safety. Dean didn't want another second before standing up. "Hold on now, Dean!" Sam held up his hand, trying to block his brother's path to the door.
"Move, Sam," he commanded. When Sam didn't budge, he continued, "Something has my daughter and I intend to kill it. You can either come with me or get the hell out of my way."
Fire flickered behind Dean's eyes and Sam took a step aside as he shoved by him. Sam was quick to trail behind him, not trusting him to go anywhere alone. in his current mental state. "But, Dean, I mean, last time I checked, monsters weren't exactly tech savvy, sending out texts to their captive's fathers," Sam reasoned, but there was no point. Ignoring Sam's repeated attempts to convince him to calm down, he into the car and was about to peel out of the driveway as Sam jumped into the passenger's seat. "Dean, you're just going to show up and freak out a group of high school teenagers. Just let me go get her," Sam pleaded, but he wasn't listening to a single word. His mind was focused on only one thing: not letting another monster take his family from him.
Dean parked the car off into the ditch and got out, running to where the thick line of trees began. Once Sam had caught up, he turned to him and in a hushed voice said, "Make yourself useful." He handed the phone over to Sam, raised his gun, clicking off the safety and cocking it, and impatiently waited for Sam to point them in the right direction.
Sam sighed as he reluctantly obliged, pointing over to their left. The leaves crumbled and twigs snapped beneath their steps as they went deeper into the woods, even though they were trying to walk as lightly as possible. The sun was on the verge of disappearing below the horizon, but there was still enough light to make out their surroundings from the glimpses that were let in through the trees.
Finally Sam nudged his brother and pointed to a tree 10 feet off to their right. Dean's heart pounded against his chest as he saw his daughter's motionless body lying there beneath the tree. Without a second thought, he sprinted the final steps and knelt down beside her, shaking her shoulder with his free hand. "Ally! Allison!" he pleaded her to open her eyes.
At the sudden harsh shaking, Allison woke and jolted up. "What?!" she panicked, her eyes jumping back and forth between the sudden appearance of her uncle and father.
"Are you okay? Are you hurt?" Sam asked as he helped her stand up.
"I'm fine. I just feel asl-," she began.
"Where is it?" Dean interrupted, splitting his glance between his daughter and open spaces around them. He held up the gun, pointing it off into the distance, prepared for whatever was about to come out at them.
At the sight of a raised gun, she instinctively took a step closer to Sam. "Where's what?" She tried to keep calm, but her breathing had increased and fear had taken over. She knew her father was mentally in a weird place, but she had never expected to see him with a gun.
"The thing that took you!" he demanded.
"What? Dad, I don't know how much you've had to drink, but no—."
Before this got even further out of hand, Sam took a few steps over to his brother, so he was facing him. He put his hand against Dean's chest, motioning to the backpack that was left lying on the ground. "She just fell asleep here, Dean. There's nothing supernatural going after her," he explained calmly, hoping the logic would finally sink in.
"Fell asleep?" Dean repeated, unsure if it were true, if something that simple could explain all of this. "Then who sent the text message?" he yelled, gun still raised.
Allison had no idea what he was talking about, but his widening eyes demanded an answer. She reached into her jacket and pulled out her phone, quickly searching for the text she had supposedly sent her dad. Seeing a random text had been sent with "sg" in it, she explained, "I didn't mean to send that text. It must have been an accident. I bet it happened when I was lying on my side or something." When nobody said anything or even changed positions, she added, "I'm sorry." The silence continued as everyone tried to digest what was going on.
Dean reached up to scratch his head and the silver of the gun stood out against the dark background. At the sudden movement of the gun, Allison let out an audible gasp and flinched, as she took another step backwards. She had never been in the direct presence of a weapon and she was terrified at what might happen. "Dean, c-c-c-an you just put the gun away? You're scaring me," she stuttered, paralyzed with fear.
There is was. She hadn't said Dad, but instead it was now Dean. It was so unfamiliar to him that just hearing her use that name made him do a double take. And then he saw her face, truly saw what she was feeling. She had moved away from him, all but cowered at the sight of his gun moving, and he suddenly realized what was going on: Scared at being in the presence of a gun. Scared from all the supernatural talk. She was scared of him.
Laura and he had made sure that she was never involved in that life, that she would never grow up knowing the stuff he knew, doing the awful things he had done...No, she was going to have a completely different life. But for a moment, he had gotten way off track. He had let his grief lead him back into the life he had once known-the life that had been a comfort, a shelter for him for so many years. The drinking, the revenge, the hunting...he had reacted the same way his father had all those years ago and he was ashamed that he had let it happen.
"I only…I just…thought something had you," he tried to explain, holding the gun out in front of him at proof. Wanting to ease her fears, he slowly ejected the clip and handed it to Sam before putting the gun into the back waistline of his jeans. "I shouldn't of...I mean...it's not...," he tried to form some sort of coherent thought.
Noticing how his face softened and his demeanor started to change, Allison reassured, "Nothing has me, okay? I'm safe."
Dean paused as he looked at his daughter, meeting her eyes. And that's when he saw her-Laura's deep blue eyes staring back at him, searching for answers. The one distinctive trait that was passed on to their daughter from her, and for a moment, Dean was lost in them. Every memory of his wife that he had tried to push deep down now came flooding to the surface, and then the words came rolling off of his tongue before he had a chance to realize it. "Because you'll always be safe when I'm around." It was the phrase that Laura had repeated countless times to Allison her entire life, starting with the day they brought her home from the hospital. Laura had always reassured her that no boogeyman, playground bully, monster under her bed, or cootie could ever get her because for as long as her dad was around, he wasn't going to let it happen.
It was like the fog had finally cleared out of his mind and he was seeing what was in front of him for the first time in months. He couldn't believe he had actually threatened to take his daughter hunting again, to go back to that life, to force her to live every nightmare he already had. He was so caught up in his own grief that he was letting Laura and Allison down even more. He wasn't going to let himself be like his father before him. Without hesitating a second longer, he reached out and did what he should have done since the day of Laura's funeral: he pulled Allison into a hug. At first she was taken off guard, not expecting the sudden burst of affection from the man who had been so cold with her during recent months. But after a few moments, she warmed up to the embrace and wrapped her arms around him, needing it as much as he did.
"Mom was right," she added, finally feeling like she could speak openly. It felt so good just to be able to say her name around him again: Mom.
"Yeah, we're going to be just fine," Dean began, as he lovingly rested a hand on her head, pulling her in closer. Then, he added as an afterthought, "Right here." Allison knew exactly what he meant. They weren't going anywhere, there would be no hunting. Just the two of them trying to be the family they once were.
Allison squeezed him tighter, silently thanking him that her father was really back now. Suddenly, she felt a drop of water fall onto the top of her head. Thinking it was rain, she pulled back slightly to look up at the sky, but was shocked to realize that it wasn't rain at all, but a tear that had escaped her dad's softened, regret-filled eyes. She fell back into his chest and her own tears came freely now, unable to hold them back any longer. Her dad, the man she had looked up to for years, was back. Even though the healing process after the loss of a loved one would never be easy, at least now they could both finally begin to move forward—together.