Disclaimer: Supernatural doesn't belong to me. I only own my OC Mary Elisabeth 'Emmy' Winchester.
IMPORTANT AUTHOR'S NOTE: THIS IS THE LAST CHAPTER OF TRAGE(DIE)S, NEXT CHAPTER WILL BE CALLED BR(OK)EN, SO MAKE SURE YOU FOLLOW ME TO GET NOTIFIED :)
John smiled from ear to ear, his hazel eyes, so similar to Sam's, glassed over as he watched the little girl standing in front of him. He corrected himself and noted that she wasn't so little anymore. She grew several inches but he didn't doubt she would still fit in his arms, no matter how big she was. Her hair was a little longer, reaching past her shoulders. The blonde color was a bit darker and it reminded him of how Dean's hair color also changed as he got older. She was slowly loosing that childish roundness to her cheeks, her heart-shaped face was more delicate, more sophisticated.
As his eyes caught hers, his heart nearly skipped a beat at the striking resemblance she shared with the love of his life. The lack of light and spark that usually resided in her blue eyes bothered him. He'd seen it happen with his sons, a consequence of the hopeless and dangerous life he dragged them into. It pained him to witness that same look in her eyes, wishing he could bring that innocence back, even though he knew it was useless and too late.
"Well aren't you a sight for sore eyes."
Emmy nearly choked on a sob. Her father looked exactly like she always remembered. Not older, not bigger, not greyer – in fact nothing about him was different from the last time she saw him, only now his arm wasn't in a sling and his face and body were clear from any bruises and scars. He looked good.
John was prepared for the collision and buckled through his knees as he caught her in his arms. The feeling of holding his daughter was indescribable. He didn't bother putting it into words and merely basked in the overwhelming emotions of having her so close to his heart. He closed his eyes as he pressed his lips against her temple, mumbling sweet nothings against her skin as he gently rocked her shaking body.
"Oh Dad, Daddy, …" Emmy chanted through her tears, unable to grasp the fact that he was right here with her. If this was some dream, she never ever wanted to wake up, ever. She was aware of his touch and warmth and she thought of how alive he felt, so real. "I m-missed you s-s-so much," she cried through her sobs and hiccups.
"Shhh, I missed you, too baby girl, you can't even imagine how much," he said into her ear as he let a hand run through her hair.
Leaning back a bit with her arms fixed around his neck, she cupped his face and stared right into his eyes, needing to make sure that this was really him. She trailed a finger over his eyebrow, searching for the hidden scar, before letting her touch lower to his cheek, loving the feel of his stubble. Without a second thought, her nails gently scratched at his scruff, a habit she hadn't lost. With her other hand she smoothed the lines on his forehead. She watched as a single tear rolled down his cheek and caught it with the pad of her thumb before it reached the corner of his lips.
Emmy sighed, and with that single breath it felt as if she blew the weight off her shoulders. Nothing mattered to her anymore at that moment, she was safe and with the one person she thought she'd never get to see again in her life.
The youngest Winchester leaned over until her forehead touched her father's. She closed her eyes, trying to cherish this moment as best as she could. Her freckled nose occasionally brushed his as she focused on stopping the tears and sobs.
"Why did you leave us, why did you leave me?" she whispered.
John sighed with a heavy heart. "I did it for you and your brothers, Emmy. I did it so you three could be together as a family."
Emmy shook her head. "Y-Yellow Eyes said, he said that you-you made a deal and, and – "
The oldest Winchester could see how it troubled her to say the words out loud. "I did it to save Dean. It was the only way."
"You shouldn't have done it," she said quietly, her voice barely audible.
"And let Dean die?" he asked with a raised eyebrow.
"No!" That's not what she meant – in fact Emmy had no idea what she really meant, she wished her father wouldn't have sold his soul for her brother, but she also didn't want to lose Dean either.
Her father tucked her hair behind her ear, his thumb brushing her mother's earring. "Trust me, if there was another way to save your brother, I would've done it. "
Emmy played with his collar as she pursed her lips, and John instantly recognized the familiar expression – she was pondering, searching for the right words to vocalize her thoughts.
"Azazel said some stuff," she eventually started, never meeting his eyes, "stuff about you and Mom."
John dropped his own gaze to her hand fiddling with his shirt, not having the guts to meet her glance either. "Why don't we go somewhere warm and safe, and I'll explain everything."
Dean only had one thing he lived for, his family – or what's left of it. He had witnessed his mother burn on the ceiling of her bedroom. He'd seen the light go out in her eyes and it was a look he couldn't forget, no matter how far he tried to push it in the back of his mind, those eyes of his dying mother would haunt him till the day he'd die. Dean remembered pushing Sam's face against his chest, trying to spare him from the image, it was the only thing he could do. It was also the moment he realized that he was going to have to take responsibilities as the big brother. He had to protect his siblings.
Once upon a time he was just a teenager, charming every girl with his trademark smirk. He had no care in the world, no burden on his shoulder. He enjoyed annoying his younger brother and play with his baby sister. He loved to go fishing or play ball with his father. He lived for the moments he could help his mother with cooking or be her personal handy man, loving the way she'd shower him with pride and gratefulness. Life used to be so simple and Dean wished he hadn't taken it for granted, he had no idea how lucky he was back then.
So yes, he had to say goodbye to his carefree life when he was sixteen. He had to be a man overnight and suddenly take care of his younger siblings. But he never complained, Dean never complained.
The death of his mother had pulled a switch in his mind and he taught himself to go through the motions and be the rock his family needed. He didn't think he had the right to complain, he was the only one who had a taste of 'a normal life'. He enjoyed Mary's presence the longest and was the only one who could say he had a mother till he was sixteen, his brother and sister weren't so lucky. Sam was twelve, no longer a boy but not yet a man either. He was at that time of his life where he needed his mother the most. Dean remembered Sam being the mommy's boy, always running to their mom for every problem or question. It wasn't like he didn't get along with their father, the two were just too much alike and butted heads more than anything. And then there was Emmy, poor thing couldn't even remember how it was like to even have a mother. She never got to taste Mary's soup when she was sick, she couldn't recall their mother's affection, she had no idea how beautiful Mary's voice was when she sang. It wasn't fair, and Dean's heart broke every time he thought of it.
Dean never questioned why he was the one who had to step up the plate, why he suddenly had to grow up so fast, or why he had to carry the burden. He also didn't realize that he'd have to protect his brother and sister from monsters and evil things that wanted to hurt people. He wasn't born to be a hunter or to shoot and kill things. His life took a one eighty and he never really got the chance to recover from the whiplash. Everything changed and he was never lucky enough to adjust to the new lifestyle, responsibilities and hardships.
He could no longer be the fun brother that goofed around. No, he had to be a parent, a substitute for their mother. Sam had a hard time accepting his change of attitude. Dean remembered how his brother didn't find it easy to get used to being ordered around by his own brother. Dean never blamed him, he struggled with it too. it was difficult adjusting to the new routine and being needed so much by his siblings.
"You're not my Dad!", Sam would say.
You think I wanna be your Dad? I just wanna be your brother, Sammy, Dean would think but he'd never say it out loud.
Emmy was much easier, she never questioned why he was more of a parent than a brother, she didn't know any better. Dean never minded raising her, he never asked anyone why he had to wake up two to four times a night when she'd cry, or why he had to change and feed her, or why he had to potty train her. He had to admit that half of the time he had no idea what he was doing, and he lived with the constant fear he'd mess it up. But Emmy turned out just fine, in fact she was this little wonderful and amazing person and Dean felt unbelievably proud knowing that he played a big part in that.
Fresh tears started rolling down his cheek again at the thought of his little girl because at the end of the day, she was his in every way. The bond he had with her was special and unique, a bond he didn't share with anybody else. What he did to deserve her was beyond him – she was the one that kept him up, she'd be the one he'd come home to, reminding him why he hadn't given up already. He couldn't really explain it but there was something about Emmy that just sent a rush of strength through his veins. Just the thought of her already made him want to tear the world apart and put everything back again like it's supposed to. It was a strange thing, but his brother and father also used to agree about the fact that this adorable girl was the glue that made them all stick together. Even though John and Sam had left for long periods of time, they always gravitated back to each other. But Emmy wasn't here now to pick up the pieces and Dean felt on the verge of collapsing.
He missed her – he missed her pretty face, those gorgeous eyes that allowed him to see her beautiful soul, that heartwarming sound of her giggling, the way she'd play with his fingers, or how she'd scrunch up that little freckled nose of hers when she's irritated or trying not to laugh. It had only been two days, yet he felt like he hadn't seen her for ages. He always hated being away from her for too long, it just didn't feel right, like he couldn't function properly if she wasn't there with him. Maybe it was because he spent her entire life with her and he couldn't even imagine a world without her in it. Maybe Azazel was right, maybe he needed her more than she needed him.
Dean sniffed as he stared at Sam.
"I just wanted you to be kids ... just for a little while longer. I always tried to protect you two ... Keep you safe... Dad didn't even have to tell me. It was just always my responsibility, you know? It's like I had one job ... I had one job and I screwed it up," he cried, his chest aching with every sob. "I blew it. And for that, I'm sorry." He took another swig from his drink to numb the pain, and wiped the tears from his face with his free hand. "I guess that's what I do. I let down the people I love. I let Dad down. I let Emmy down. And now I guess I'm just supposed to let you down, too.
How can I? How am I supposed to live with that?"
He wished he could let them know the extent to which he loved them, the extent to which he needed them in his life. But now he lost everything … his reason to live … he was alone and it was no one's fault but his.
With the thought of his baby sister missing and the image of his brother's lifeless body, Dean had made up his mind. "I'm gonna fix this, Sam and Emmy, I promise."
Emmy closed her eyes as she inhaled the scent of the soup, letting it warm up her body and satisfy her hunger. She smiled gratefully when her father wrapped his jacket around her shoulders and for a moment she felt like the happiest girl on earth. She had no idea where they were and didn't ask any questions as she learned never to look a gifted horse in the mouth. Gabriel was also nowhere to be seen and she figured he had some angel stuff to do, or maybe he just wanted her to spend some quality time with her father.
The abandoned house was empty and quiet, at least it was clean and Emmy hadn't spotted any spiders or bugs yet.
John was busy making sure the house was safe by drawing some sigils to ward off any unwanted guests. Emmy stared at the fireplace, watching as the flames danced around the logs. The warmth and smell of it reminded her of Yellow Eyes, how he had intended to sacrifice her, the way he looked at her after cutting her arm, the stuff he'd said …
John clapped his hands together, "I think this will do."
Emmy startled, accidently spilling some warm soup over her sleeve. She hissed but was glad the soup wasn't too hot.
"Oh baby, I'm sorry." John found a rag somewhere and used it wipe at her clothes. He set her bowl aside and pulled her sleeve up a bit to clean her arm. "You're not hurt, are you?"
Emmy was about to answer but was distracted by something else. She frowned as she watched her arm, the skin was unblemished. Huh? Uncovering her other arm, her frown deepened even more when she couldn't detect the cut. Her mind was still a bit hazy and she wasn't sure which arm the demon cut again, but seeing as both her arms were perfectly fine she wondered if she was going crazy. Or maybe Gabriel had healed her, but then why was she still in her cast, and why were the bruises from where Azazel held her still visible?
"Emmy?" John ducked his head to catch her gaze.
Snapping out of her thoughts, she pulled the sleeves back down her arms. "I'm alright."
"Gabriel told me how Yellow Eyes tried to sacrifice you," he started saying as he sat down next to her, pulling her close. "You sure you're alright?"
"Yeah, just a bit shaken," she said softly. "What was that all about?"
She could feel his chest press against her arm as he let out a long sigh. "He believes that by sacrificing you, the power residing inside of you would pass along to him."
"Is that true?" she asked, cradling his large hand in hers.
John pressed his lips against the top of her head, he wished he could protect her from all of this. She didn't need to know everything but so far keeping secrets from her always ended badly.
"Yes and no. The only way to take what's yours is by sacrificing you – " John felt his daughter tense up and his hand instantly ran along her arm in a show of reassurance and comfort. "But, only with your permission. His plan would've failed because you didn't allow him any of your powers."
"I don't know, baby girl, I really don't know."
And Emmy knew he wasn't lying for once, he truly had no idea. "So you're saying that as long as I don't give them my permission, they won't be able to have these so called powers?" John nodded. "What if I wanna use those powers?"
"Well, as long as we don't know what those powers are, there's not much we could do about 'em." He briefly squeezed her hand. "Maybe you should ask Gabriel."
Emmy snorted. "His lips are sealed, he won't say anything." She craned her neck to look up at him. "Did you know about Gabriel?"
"No, but I'm glad he's around to watch out for you, kinda like a guardian angel," his lips curled up in a small smile.
Emmy couldn't help but smile back.
"What about your brothers? Do they know you got an angel at your beck and call?" Something told him that Dean and Sam wouldn't appreciate the fact that their sister was involved with a supernatural being, he also didn't want to imagine the look on their faces when they'd find out all those time the angel saved Emmy. Those boys made it their mission to make sure their little sister was out of harm's ways, knowing that they had failed her numerous times would crush them.
"They don't know."
He nudged her gently when she didn't say anything more. "And are you planning to tell them?"
Emmy thought about it for a minute. "No. After everything they chose to hide from me, I think I'm entitled to keep a secret too."
John swallowed down his sorrow. He knew that he was at fault too, he kept secrets from her too, and he realized his mistake now. It was a little too late, but he wanted to right his wrongs before he'd leave, she deserved that much.
"Emmy, I know I kept you in the dark too," he started, struggling to find the right words, "and I was wrong to do that. I thought the only way to protect you was by keeping you ignorant and unknowing. I was stupid to think you would never ask questions, and it was even more stupid of me to think that I could keep you away from these monsters, forgetting that these monsters could get to you, too."
Emmy wasn't sure how to comment to that, I told you so didn't seem to be the acceptable response now. She wanted to tell him that it wasn't entirely his fault, he only did what he thought was the right thing. Maybe if she hadn't been so forgiven, if she hadn't always turned the other cheek, he wouldn't've gotten away with it. Maybe it was her fault too…
"I'm sure yellow eyes told you all about that first night he visited your mother." He continued when Emmy nodded. "It took her years before she finally got the guts to tell me. I remembered that day like it was yesterday. It was the first time she introduced me to the supernatural world. When she told me about the deal, I was shocked and I guess I was angry too. I didn't understand why she would promise our child to a demon."
"Is that when you had a huge fight?" Emmy remembered her brothers telling her about this time their father left for weeks.
"No, not yet. I promised I'd find a way out, that I would do anything to break the deal. Bobby, Missouri, Pastor Jim, Caleb, they all helped but at the end we had nothing that could work. We only had five years before Azazel would come and collect his end of the bargain, and that's when your mother did something. Something I couldn't forgive her for." John clenched his teeth, his eyes misty as he recalled the pain that had washed over him. "She, she made sure she'd never be able to have more children. And that's when we had the fight. We always wanted more kids, and I just, I couldn't accept the fact that we had to settle with less just because of some demon. I – I had to leave, your brothers were asking questions, your mother was a mess and I just, I just had to get out of there."
"But you came back," Emmy reminded him upon seeing the emotional turmoil clearly in his face.
"I made a mistake, Emmy. A mistake that doesn't deserve any forgiveness, I betrayed your mother."
Emmy was almost too scared to ask. "What did you do?"
John looked down at her, his watery eyes hiding the one secret he swore to harbor forever. He shook his head, as if to clear his head. "Doesn't matter. I realized my family needed me, so yes I came back."
Emmy decided to drop it and focused on the next question that bothered her. "If mom was unable to conceive, then how did she get pregnant with me?"
He cupped her cheek, stroking her cheekbone with so much affection. "You were our little miracle."
"But how?" Emmy was beyond confused. "Azazel told me that you, you weren't my real … please don't make me say it. Is it true?"
Emmy watched her father's face closely, searching for any signs of truth. John avoided her eyes and with a sinking feeling, Emmy realized that her biggest fear came true. She sat up and her chest hitched.
"Emmy," John reached out for her but she pulled away from him. Not bothering to mask the hurt flashing in his eyes, he gave her the space she needed.
"How long did you know?" she asked with a tremble in her voice.
"I guess I've always known, I can't describe it really, it's just this feeling I had since the first time I held you in my arms. You're like a carbon copy of your mother, Emmy. Dean has my eyes but his mother's personality. Sam is the other way around, he has his mother's features but has my traits. But you, baby girl, you and I are nothing alike."
He tried to get her to look at him but she wouldn't budge. The light of the fire reflected on the side of her face, and he could clearly see her chin wobbling and her eyes glistening. She was holding herself up, keeping it together, her knuckles white as she held her hands around the couch by her knees. He wanted to hold her so bad but knew she'd crumble.
"Why did you never tell us?" her voice broke at the question. "Didn't you think I deserved to know?"
"What difference would it make? You already lost your mother, I wasn't going to let you lose the only parent you had left." He took the risk to inch a bit closer to her and was glad she didn't move away. "I never raised you any different from the way I raised your brothers. I vowed that I was gonna be your father from day one. I didn't care if you weren't my own flesh and blood, you were my daughter, Mary-Elisabeth. You were mine and I treated you as such." He lifted his hand up to touch her shaking shoulders but halted mid-air when she recoiled. "Please don't cry baby girl."
Emmy sniffed, pressing the back of her hand against her mouth in an attempt to stifle the sobs.
"I want you to know that I never blamed your mother for anything. I know how this looks like but I trust her and I believe her when she told me she'd never betray me like that. I understand if your angry with us, baby, you have every right to be mad."
Emmy's throat hurt from the big lump she tried to suppress. She couldn't wrap her mind around the fact that this man sitting next to her, the man she called daddy her entire life was nothing to her. She knew it wasn't his fault and deep down she wanted to blame her mother but for some reason she couldn't bring herself to feel any resentment towards any of them. She tried to understand but found herself grasping at nothing that made sense.
"Emmy, say something, sweetie," John pleaded.
Her breath caught in her throat as she tried to speak. "I-If you're not, i-if you're n-n-not my dad … then-n who is?"
John wished he had the answers she deserved but was empty handed. "I don't know."
A sob escaped her lips but this time Emmy didn't try to stop it. She buried her face in her hands and let it all go as she cried her little heart out. She had learned to live without her dad, only to find out that the man she lost wasn't even her biological father. She never thought she'd say this, but losing your father was nowhere near as heartbreaking as finding out that you don't even have one.
John could no longer refrain himself and let himself rub her back, needing the physical contact. He swore he could feel her pain and wanted nothing more than to take it all away. Little by little, he closed the distance between them, careful not to set her off, but was glad she didn't push him away. He held her in his lap, whispering soothing words in her ear as he rocked her back and forth.
Emmy fisted his flannel shirt as she buried her face in his shoulder. "I-I-I don't w-want anyone e-e-else to be m-my daddy," she sobbed.
"Shh," he crooned, running his hand down her back as he kissed her hair. "And I don't want anyone else to be my daughter. You're my baby girl, we don't need to share blood only hearts."
"Dean. It is so, so good to see you."
Dean swallowed hard as he watched the sultry lady standing in front of her. She was beautiful, dressed in a black dress that accentuated every curve, she was the kinda woman he'd seduce but given the circumstances, Dean only wanted to gauge her black eyes out of her skull.
"I mean it. Look at you. Gone and got your family killed. All alone in the world. It's too sweet. Excuse me, you're gonna have to give me a moment." She walks up to him, her face merely inches from his. "Sometimes you gotta stop and smell the roses."
"I should send you straight back to hell," he spat, his nails digging into the palm of his hands.
The demon smiled coyly. "Oh, you should. But you won't. And I know why."
"Yeah. Following in Daddy's footsteps. You wanna make a deal." She trailed a finger up his shoulder, not missing the shiver her touch caused. "Little Sammy back from the dead, and—let me guess— you're offering up your own soul?"
"There are a hundred other demons who'd love to get their hands on it. And it's all yours," he said through clenched teeth. "All you got to do is bring Sam back and tell me where I can find my little sister."
"You drive a hard bargain," she laughed, the sound grating his ears. "And why would I wanna find baby Winchester, especially if I could use her for my own benefit."
Dean was a second away from pummeling this bitch to the ground but he kept himself under control. "Just tell me if she's okay, I need to know."
The demon seemed to relent as she said, "I wouldn't worry about your precious sister, she's in good hands."
Dean let out a breath he didn't even know he was holding. He knew he shouldn't trust a demon but he needed the reassurance, even if it could be a lie. He'd like to believe his sister was safe and sound, he was allowed to be naïve too sometimes.
"Where is she then?"
"If I tell you, will you sell me her pretty little soul? Mhmm, the things I could do when I have my hands on that pure – "
"Hell, no!" he growled. Just the thought only of this demon hurting his sister – he couldn't even finish that thought without losing his control.
She shrugged. "Too bad."
"Don't think I won't send you back to hell," he threatened.
"And then who's going to seal the deal, huh?" she taunted, twirling a strand of hair around her finger.
Dean wasn't going to let her off the hook so easily. "I don't think you'll find a better bargain than this," he said, pointing at himself. "Just give me a clue, a trail, anything."
The demon seemed to be thinking about it but eventually made up her mind. This could be fun. "Well, you don't find her, she finds you."
"What?" Dean had no times for riddles and games. "What kinda bullcrap is that?"
"You heard me, she'll come to you … eventually."
Dean wasn't sure if he should buy it or not. His instincts told him to send this broad back to the pit but his heart for some reason found peace with it.
The demon cleared her throat. "That piece of information comes with a price, and you still want your brother back or what?"
"Give me ten years— ten years, and then you come for me."
She looked amused. "You must be joking."
"That's the same deal you give everybody else," he reasoned.
"You're not everybody else." She put her lips close to his ear and whispered, "Why would I want to give you anything? Keep your gutter soul. It's too tarnished, anyway."
"You keep going, I'll keep saying no," she laughed.
"Okay, five years. Five years, and my bill comes due. That's my last offer— five years or no deal." Dean was desperate and desperate times called for desperate measures.
The demon leaned in, her face so close she could taste his lips. "Then no deal."
"Fine," he spat.
"Fine," she shrugged and made a move to walk away. "Make sure you bury Sam before he starts stinking up the joint."
Dean flinched. "Wait." He ran shaky hands through his hair, his tongue wetting his lips. "What do I have to do?" I'do anything, Dean thought, he was at the end of his wits and was prepared to make any sacrifice if it would bring his brother and sister back.
Emmy closed her eyes as she snuggled into John's chest. She was tired and ached all over but she refused to sleep and waste this precious moment. She'd never have a second chance to do this, so she'd enjoy every minute with him.
"Do Sam and Dean know?" she said after an hour of silence, she wasn't even sure if her father was up or not.
He's not exactly your father, a little voice reminded her but Emmy quickly tuned it out.
"Dean knows," he muttered, sounding tired. "I told him right before I – " he didn't finish his sentence. "I ordered him not to tell either of you."
"Why would you tell him?" Emmy remembered Azazel's words and understood now why Dean was the way he was when their father passed away. He was distant and wouldn't even acknowledge her. She realized once again that John had dumped another burden on his shoulders, and at that time Dean was barely managing to stay upright. It wasn't fair to him. She couldn't imagine how it must've been to keep that secret to himself.
"I don't know, it felt like the right thing to do. If I wasn't going to be there, at least someone had to know."
Emmy didn't say anything else for a while. "So I'm a freak, huh? No one knows how or why I exist, I have this power that everybody wants and I don't even know what it is. To top it all off, I thought my father was dead and now I don't even know who my Dad is."
"You're not a freak, baby," he said as he held her tighter in his arms. "Look at Sam, he's dealing with the same stuff –"
"Sammy!" At the mention of her brother's name, Emmy suddenly sat up with wide eyes. "Yellow Eyes told me, he told me Sammy was dead. Please tell me it's not true."
"I-I, he's uh," John didn't know how to break it to her. His own heart still ached at the thought of his youngest son, wishing he could do the same thing he did for Dean. He knew Emmy already had a lot to take in and he wasn't sure if she'd be able to handle this news. "I'm so sorry, baby … "
"Your brother's fine."
At the new voice, the two suddenly turned to find the angel standing in the middle of the room.
"What?" John didn't understand. "You told me he was dead just a few hours ago."
"Oh, Sammy," Emmy started crying. Just thinking of her brother dead was enough to bring her to her knees.
"He's not dead, Emmy," Gabriel reassured her but something about his tone told her that he wasn't too happy about it.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you," she mumbled, ready to embrace the angel but he held a hand up.
"Don't thank me, thank your brother Dean."
She tilted her head to the side in confusion, not bothering to dry her cheeks. "But how?"
"Oh, Dean what did you do," John muttered under his breath when realization hit him.
"Like father, like son," Gabriel commented, exchanging a knowing look with the man.
"What's happening?" Emmy demanded, looking at the two. They were talking without using words and it reminded her of her brothers so much, she suddenly wanted nothing more than be with Sam and Dean again.
"Emmy, why don't you come here, you need to rest," John started to say.
"No, tell me what going on? First I got told Sammy's dead, and now you're telling me he's not, I'm not following anymore," she rambled on.
"You've had a rough day and a lot to take in, sweetie," Gabriel said, softening his eyes when she looked at him. "Get some sleep and we'll talk in the morning."
Emmy turned to face her father and put her arms up. It was something she'd always do when she was younger and it sent another pang to John's heart. He picked her up and held her close.
"You still gonna be here when I wake up?" she asked timidly.
John sent a quick look at the angel before he looked back at his little girl. "Yes, I am. Now go to sleep, baby girl."
Emmy felt him press a lingering kiss on her forehead while the angel touched the top of her head, and before she knew it, she was suddenly asleep.
Sam winced as he examined his back in the mirror. There was a cut and some dried up blood sticking to his shirt. He felt like he had just woken up from a strange dream and now nothing made sense to him. He lowered his shirt and stretched his back to soothe the aching muscles. If he hadn't known any better, he'd think that he was just sore for being stock-still for too long.
The door behind him opened and Sam barely had the time to turn around when someone grabbed him in a tight hug.
"Oh, Sammy thank god," his brother breathed.
"Uh, Dean? Hey." Sam awkwardly patted his brother's back. Dean responded by holding him even tighter. Sam flinched when his arms made contact with the scar on his back. "Ow, Dean …"
Realizing his mistake, Dean reluctantly released his brother. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry, man. I'm just... I'm just happy to see you up and around, that's all." Sam nodded, looking puzzled. "Come on, sit down."
Sam studied his brother, noticing the bags under his eyes, the bloodshot eyes and the paleness. "Okay. Dean... what happened to me?"
"Well, what do you remember?"
Sam squinted his eyes as if it pained him to try to remember. "I-I saw you and Bobby, and... I felt this pain. This sharp pain, like... white-hot, you know, and then you started running at me, and... that's about it."
Dean's Adam's apple bobbed up and down as he rubbed his sweaty palms on his jeans. "Yeah, that— that kid, stabbed you in the back. You lost a lot of blood, you know... It was pretty touch and go for a while."
"But Dean, you can't, you can't patch up a wound that bad," Sam pointed out, noticing how his brother wouldn't hold his gaze for longer than five seconds. There was only one reason why Dean wouldn't be able to look him in the eye …
"No, Bobby could. Who was that kid, anyway?"
Sam decided not to point out how his brother changed the subject. "His name's Jake. Did you get him?"
A look of anger flashed in Dean's green eyes. "No, he disappeared into the woods."
"We got to find him, Dean. And I swear I'm gonna tear that son of a bitch apart." Sam stood up, ready to hunt that guy down.
Dean followed suit, trying to slow his brother down. "Whoa, whoa, whoa. Easy, Van Damme. You just woke up, all right? Let's get you something to eat. Huh? You want something to eat?"
Emmy woke up in a daze, feeling like crap. She was momentarily confused why she was lying on the couch, her surroundings unfamiliar. She rubbed at her eyes, throwing her feet to the floor, feeling the texture of the rug beneath her bare toes. The movement made something slide from her shoulders and Emmy picked it up to see her father's leather jacket. Everything came back to her and her eyes instantly searched the room.
She stood up, dragging her heavy cast with her as she walked around the house. "Dad? Dad!"
Panic started crawling up her chest, a heavy feeling on her lungs making it hard to breath. "DAD!"
Frantically running through the house, tears started blurring her vision when she suddenly ran into something hard.
"Hey, hey, I'm right here Emmy." John hugged her closely, running a hand through her blonde hair.
"I thought you left," she whimpered, holding onto him tightly.
John bent through his knees and palmed her cheek. "Did you get some sleep?"
"A little," she murmured before throwing her arms around his neck. She didn't care how clingy she was behaving, she had to constantly check if he was really there and touching him was the only way.
"That's good." John picked her up effortlessly, understanding her need to be close to him, and led her back to the living room. "Gabriel and I have been talking."
"About what we should do next. How we could end Azazel once and for all."
Emmy leaned back a little. "I wanna help, you gotta let me help, please Dad!"
"Emmy, baby, I don't think that's a good – "
"No!" she jumped back, almost tumbling over on her casted foot. "You're not allowed to tell me what to do anymore, not now! You tried to keep me out of this and look how that ended, you said you wouldn't make the same mistake again, so learn from it, let me in, Dad. Let me be a part of this, I'm already in too deep, you can't push me away anymore."
Emmy bit back her tears, refusing to let her emotions take over again, she had to show she could be strong when needed. This was her family they were talking about, the same family that would go to hell and back for her, she had to return the favor.
John was never this proud before in his life. His little girl wasn't so little anymore, she was still a child but she has grown so much. He had his sons, and especially Dean, to thank for that. They did a great job at raising their sister, and it warmed his heart to see the devotion in her eyes. She was right though, he could no longer protect her from this – soon he'd be gone again and then she was bound to take that step.
Emmy was ready to get into another discussion when she realized what he had said. "Wait, what?"
John sighed. "I said, alright. You can help, but you do exactly as I tell you, do you understand?"
Letting out a breath of relief, she smiled a little. "Thanks, Dad."
John smiled back at hearing her call him Dad, after everything and she still addressed him like he was the one she looked up to. Truth was that Emmy didn't know what else to call him, he might not be her biological father but he always treated her like his daughter, like his baby girl. It was going to take time to accept the fact that he wasn't really her Dad but she'd always appreciate the fact he'd always been there for her like a real father.
"Good morning," Gabriel greeted, appearing out of nowhere.
Emmy nearly jumped out of her skin but quickly composed herself.
"Change of plans," John started to say.
"Wait," Emmy interrupted, "I need to do something first. Is there a phone I can use?"
It was close to six in the morning when the brothers sat at the table at Bobby's. Dean watched as his brother ate, he never thought he'd be so happy to see Sam sitting in front of him, munching on a sandwich. At the moment Dean couldn't stomach any food, afraid he'd throw up. He may have his brother back but as long as Emmy wasn't here with him, he couldn't sleep or eat or even function normally.
Dean was so lost in his own thoughts, he didn't notice his brother talking to him until Sam snapped his fingers in front of his face.
"Dude, you okay? You're acting strange."
Dean cleared his throat. "You finished?" He didn't want to waste any more seconds, he had his brother back, now they had to find their sister.
"What's the rush?"
Dean looked at him strangely. He didn't entirely blame his brother, coming back to life might have messed with his head a little. "We still have to find Emmy, Sam."
Sam dropped his sandwich on his plate, realization hitting him like a train. "Emmy," he breathed. "I thought she was with you, she didn't follow me to that convenience store did she? Oh god, please don't tell me he got her too."
"We don't know – "
"What do you mean you don't know?" Sam cut him off. "Dean she could be anywhere, do you have any idea what he'd do if he has her?"
"I'm working on it – "
"Doesn't look like it. Why are we even sitting here right now, we need to go now. Why are you so calm about this?"
Dean slammed his fist on the table, rattling the plates and glasses. "You don't think I'm worrying about her, too? You think these past forty eight hours have been easy for me, you have no idea what I've been through, Sammy, you have no idea."
It hurt to think that his brother accused him for not caring enough. Dean did nothing else but care and worry about his siblings constantly. Sam didn't know what he was talking about, if only he knew.
"Looking for her won't help, she'll find us."
Sam scoffed. "That's bullshit. Who told you that?"
Sam was suspicious. "And you trust this someone?"
But I paid a heavy price for it.
"You better be right about this." Sam's eyes watered thinking of his little sister missing. She could be alone somewhere, what if she was trapped, what if Yellow Eyes had hurt her?
"Sam, don't." Dean recognized that look on his brother's face, he was worrying, thinking of every possible what if. "We'll find her."
"What would he want with her? She's just a little girl."
"She's not only special to us, Sam," was all Dean said. "You remember that stuff Dad had written in his journal. Those bastards want her for something, and as soon as we got her back we'll figure it all out."
"She must be so scared and lonely."
"Sam," Dean warned, he didn't want to go there again. "I said don't."
Sam nodded slowly, understanding.
A buzzing sound suddenly broke the tense silence. Dean was momentarily confused, wondering where the sound came from.
"Your phone," Sam pointed at his jacket hanging over the back of a chair.
Dean read the number on his screen, unknown. Every worst case scenario suddenly ran through his mind, what if someone called to tell him they found his sister's body. What if they found her somewhere ditched on the side of the road. What if they tried to save her but where too late. What if –
"Dean," Sam startled him out of his reveries, "pick up."
He hesitated for a second but with an encouraging nod from his brother he picked up. "Hello?"
"Dean? Is that you?"
Dean's knees buckled and he reached for the table to balance himself. "Emmy?"
Sam shot out of his chair, motioning for his brother to put it on speaker. "Emmy, honey?"
"Sammy! Oh, Sammy I thought you died, I thought I'd never see you again. I saw you the other day but you didn't hear me. I was calling for you and Andy and the others but nobody noticed. I was so scared, Azazel said only one of you would become his soldier and I was so afraid for you Sammy. Are you alright? How did you come back to life? They told me Dean brought you back, maybe you should – "
"Emmy, sweetheart, slow down," Dean said as soon as he found his voice back. He ignored his brother's questioning stare. He had no idea how his sister knew about all of this but that wasn't important now. "Emmy, are you alright? Tell me where you are and I'll come get you right now."
"I'm fine, Dean, I promise."
"Who is with you?" he asked, needing to know more.
"Uh, no one," she sounded hesitant. She was lying.
"Tell me where you are, baby," Dean pressed.
"I-I can't tell …"
Sam frowned. "Why? Who is with you, Emmy?"
"I – uhm …" there was a muffled voice on the background before she continued, "They said you shouldn't worry."
"Sweetheart, who is they?" Dean was close to snap, he heard the voice and wanted nothing more than to reach through that phone and strangle whoever was keeping his sister away from him.
They could hear the static of her voice when she sighed and the brothers could practically see her nibble on her bottom lip. "I can't tell, Dean. I'm sorry."
"Honey, you gotta give us more than that. We're worried about you, just tell us where you are, Emmy. Please," Sam pleaded.
"Look I only called to let you know I'm alright. I have to hang up now – "
Dean pressed the phone close to his lips. "Emmy, listen to me. This is important, we got a demon on the loose and he's out to get you and Sam. We have to know where you are, it's the only way we can keep you safe, do you understand sweetheart?"
"I know, it's just … you wouldn't understand."
"Then explain it to us, Emmy."
"I can't," she repeated, "I really wish I could but I can't, it's for your own good."
Judging by Dean's flaring nostrils, Sam knew his brother was barely keeping his cool. He took the phone in his hand and addressed his sister.
"Emmy, are you somewhere safe? Are you hurt? And don't you dare lie to me, young lady."
"I'm fine, Sammy," her smile could be heard through her voice. "I only have some faint bruises and my foot hurts from putting too much pressure on it, but other than that I'm okay, just tired."
Sam nodded, she wasn't lying this time. "Listen, I need you to draw some protective sigils. Is there some chalk or paint around – "
"Already taken care of, Sammy. I had some help with that. I'm telling you guys, I'm fine, please believe me. Stop worrying about me."
Dean rubbed a hand over his mouth. "That's easier said than done."
"We'll see each other soon, I promise."
"We're at Bobby's now – " Sam started to say.
"It's okay, I'll find you," she said with so much conviction, the brothers felt drawn to trust her.
You don't find her, she'll find you, the demon's voice rang in Dean's head. She was right after all.
The brothers heard the deep voice again and their backs straightened up again. "Who was that, Emmy?"
"I gotta go now."
"Emmy, no wait!" the brothers protested.
"Love you, bye."
As soon as she hung up, Dean instantly redialed the number but it went straight to voice mail. "Sonuvabitch!" He slammed the chair to the floor, his hands balled up in fists, he was ready to pull his hair out.
"Dean, it's alright," Sam approached him carefully.
Dean spread his arms out. "You call this alright, Sam?!" Suddenly the tables were turned – he was the one who couldn't keep his composure and Sam was the calm one again. "We have no idea where our little sister is, and who was that guy in the background, what if he's some psycho?"
Sam pulled his hands out as if to calm him down. "We gotta stay positive, Dean. We just heard her, she's alive, she sounded alright. She wasn't scared, she didn't ask us to help her. We gotta consider the fact that she may be in good hands."
Dean snorted. "We're damn Winchesters, Sam. When have things ever gone well for us."
"There's a first time for everything." Sam walked to the window when he heard the rumble of a car. He drew the curtains back and turned to face his brother who sat with his head buried in his hands. "What did Emmy mean when she said you brought me back?"
Dean closed his eyes, wishing this mess would come to an end already. Every time he thought something went good, it ended bad. Every time he took a step forward, he got pushed several steps back.
"Dean." Sam knew something was off, he felt it since he woke up. He wanted answers. "Dean."
Footsteps sounded through the hallway and both brothers looked up to see their surrogate uncle entering the room.
Shock struck Bobby's face when his eyes laid upon the middle Winchester. "Sam?" His bag dropped from his shoulder and Sam swore the rugged man looked like he'd seen a ghost. "It's good to see you up and around."
Emmy nibbled on a granola bar as she watched her father in concentration. He was working on a plan, taking notes and scribbling something down on the map spread out in front of him. Less than a year ago, she thought she lost him forever. Seeing him in his natural habitat, doing what he's good at, it was nostalgic. A pencil tucked behind his ear, his sleeves rolled up to his elbows, his lips twisted to the corner, the wrinkles marring his forehead, the occasional sigh – she'd never get tired of the image.
It was weird watching him now that she knew his deepest secret, it was like seeing him in a new light, a different man. She couldn't imagine how hard it must've been for him to harbor that secret for so long. It amazed her how he never slipped through all these years. Maybe he was telling the truth, maybe he did not care if she was his or not, he treated her like a daughter, his daughter. But despite of what John told her, Emmy still couldn't get over the fact that her mother cheated on him. John said that he wasn't resentful, that he had forgiven Mary. It led her to believe that something more must've been going on.
Either way, the million dollar question still remained the same, if he wasn't the father then who was? Emmy didn't want to think about it, she couldn't fathom the thought of some stranger being her biological dad. But she still let her mind wonder – how would he look like? Did he know about her existence? Is he a hunter, too? Would he want her to be his daughter? What would he think of her?
A hand tapped her on the shoulder, stopping her from her train of thoughts.
Gabriel beckoned her over with his finger. "Come here, I wanna show you something."
Emmy followed the angel while finishing the last piece of her granola bar. The angel led her to an empty room in the house and closed the door behind her. He proceeded to draw all the curtains after turning off the lights.
"Uh? What are you doing?" she asked, squinting her eyes in the darkness. The room wasn't pitch black and she could still make out his body standing in front of her, but she was still wondering if she should flee or not.
"Do you know you're glowing?"
Emmy twitched her nose. "Is this some kinda joke?"
He touched her forehead.
Before she could ask for clarification, the room suddenly illuminated with a bright light. It didn't take long before Emmy found out the source of the light. She looked down at herself and gasped. A soft glow radiated from her skin, making her look lucent and shiny. Her mouth dropped. At first she didn't dare to move but when the angel took her hand, showing her that it was alright, she reluctantly touched her own skin. She felt a tiny tingle as she stroked her own arm up and down. The fluorescent rays hovered around her touch, reminding her of something magnetic.
"Your parents knew you were special from the start, that's why they made you wear that necklace. It concealed your soul shining through. The glow is invisible to the naked eye, except for anything that isn't human."
Emmy was too mesmerized to react. She started twirling around, laughing when it created sparks, lighting up the room. "Look, it's like fireworks!"
Gabriel smiled. There was something incredibly endearing about the pure nature of a child.
"Did the necklace burn sometimes?"
Emmy came to a sudden halt. "Yeah, it actually did. I remember when I was at Sammy's apartment, it stung so bad, I had to put it over my shirt."
The angel nodded. "That was because it sensed a supernatural presence."
"Azazel," she whispered. She knew the necklace used to warn her when she was in the presence of some creature, Missouri had explained it to her. A thought suddenly hit her. "Oh no, if I had known I could've saved Jessica and Sammy wouldn't – "
"Don't even try to blame yourself, Emmy," he interrupted. She might not be a Winchester but she sure acted like one, always feeling the need to take responsibility for everything. "There's nothing you could've done to stop that from happening. You can't change faith."
Emmy didn't say anything, just staring down at her glowing fingers.
Gabriel sighed, deciding to get back to the subject. "Do you recall that case with the mute boy, Lucas, and his mother?"
The young girl had to think for a second. "Oh yeah, he almost drowned in that lake until his grandfather sacrificed himself." Emmy shuddered, remembering how her brothers had jumped into the water where the ghost of the little boy was trying to drown Lucas.
"Do you also remember how in the very beginning, you almost drowned too?"
"Huh?" Emmy was confused.
"You were drawn to the lake. You heard voices, someone calling your name."
Blue eyes widened. "That was the little boy? The ghost?"
"It was him. You had taken off your necklace and he saw your soul," Gabriel explained. "The same thing happened when you met Meg and Maggie."
Emmy didn't forget how they'd looked at her, asking her if they could touch it. Now she knew what they were talking about.
"When Azazel had found you, he tinkered with your necklace, making it loose its purpose. So I did the only thing I could do, I cloaked you with a spell."
Remembering how the yellow eyed demon found her, she asked, "How did he manage to break that spell? He said he found me cause he got through."
"He must've infiltrated your head and messed with it, probably using your dreams as his ticket." Gabriel gritted his teeth, still not over the fact that he missed it. "But I won't let this happen again, you can take my word for it."
Emmy twirled a finger close against her face, watching the wisps of colorful light float about in the air. "We really gonna kill him tonight?"
"Isn't that what you want?"
Emmy dropped her hands from her face. "Of course I want him dead, after everything he put my family through." She casted a look to the closed door. "What about my dad, I mean my – my you know."
"He's still your father Emmy, God chose him to be the one to raise you."
"I know," she swallowed dryly, "It's still hard to accept it, you know."
"You take all the time you need," he reassured her. "And as for John – sweetie you realize that I haven't actually brought him back to stay."
Emmy's eyes suddenly stung with unshed tears. "I know, I know. Just wishful thinking I guess."
Gabriel reached out to her, hugging her tightly. He normally tried to keep his distance but this little girl had been through too much. "At least he'll rest in peace now, avenging his family had always been his dying wish."
With a sniff, she buried her nose in his shoulder, trying to compose herself. Now was not the time to burst into tears again. "At least I get to say goodbye now," she whispered.
Ellen watched as Bobby poured her a shot of liquid from a flask and pushed it towards her.
"Bobby, is this really necessary?" she sighed.
He shrugged. "Just a belt of Holy Water. Shouldn't hurt."
She reluctantly lifted the shot glass to her mouth and swallowed it down. "Whiskey now, if you don't mind." She needed something that would erase the image of the Roadhouse burned down to ashes. Oh, Ash …
Dean noticed how Bobby kept throwing him murderous glances like he wanted to throttle him. He didn't blame the old man, especially after he confessed what he did. Dean wasn't going to apologize for it, he realized that his actions had consequences but consequences could be dealt with later, they would cross that bridge when they came to it. Now he had other things at his head – they needed to find Emmy and Yellow Eyes.
"Ellen, what happened? How'd you get out?" Dean asked in an attempt to take away the attention from him.
"I wasn't supposed to. I was supposed to be in there with everybody else," she said quietly before scoffing. "But we ran out of pretzels, of all things. It was just dumb luck." She drank the whiskey Bobby had poured for her and exhaled sharply. "Anyway, that's when Ash called. Panic in his voice.
He told me to look in the safe. Then the call cut out. By the time I got back, the flames were sky-high. And everybody was dead. I couldn't have been gone more than fifteen minutes."
"Sorry, Ellen," Sam offered solemnly, he of all people knew how it was to lose the ones you loved.
"A lot of good people died in there. And I got to live," her voice broke as she teared up. "Lucky me."
Bobby cleared his throat, uncomfortable with the show of emotions. "Ellen, you mentioned a safe."
"A hidden safe we keep in the basement."
"Demons get what was in it?"
She shook her head. "No." Ellen pulled out a map from her pocket, unfolding it and setting it down on the table. The men in the room approached to study the several black lines and X's on it.
Dean cocked a single eyebrow in question. "Wyoming. What does that mean?"
The group proceeded to do what they always have done in similar situation – research.
Sam skimmed through a random book but he seemed unable to actually process the words he was reading. He sighed as he trailed his eyes up again at the beginning of the page. He couldn't concentrate, not with the constant worrying about his little sister. Just the thought of that little girl hurting in any way sent his heart pounding and not in a good way. Plus there was also the occasional glances between his surrogate uncle and brother. Something was off, he felt off, and his ears were whizzing from the alarm bells ringing in his head.
The sound of a chair scraping against the floor brought his attention to Bobby.
"I can't believe it," the man almost whispered as he adjusted his hat.
Sam put his own book down. "What? You got something?"
"A lot more than that. Each of these X's," he pointed at the marks on the map, "is an abandoned frontier church— all mid-19th century. And all of them built by Samuel Colt."
Dean drew his eyebrows together. "Samuel Colt— the demon-killing, gunmaking Samuel Colt?"
"Yep. And there's more. He built private railway lines," he trailed his finger over the black lines, "connecting church to church. It just happens to lay out like this.
Dean's eyes widened as he watched Bobby connecting the points on the map until the shape of a star was made. "Tell me that's not what I think it is."
"It's a Devil's Trap," Sam said, "A 100-square mile Devil's Trap."
The oldest Winchester threw his hands up, before letting them fall to his sides. "That's brilliant. Iron lines demons can't cross."
Ellen looked deep in thoughts. "I've never heard of anything that massive."
Bobby snorted. "No one has."
"And after all these years none of the lines are broken? I mean, it still works?" Dean couldn't believe it.
"Definitely," his brother confirmed.
Turning to his brother with a challenging posture, he asked. "How do you know?"
"All those omens Bobby found. I mean the demons, they must be circling and they can't get in," Sam reasoned.
"Yeah, well... they're trying."
Ellen frowned at Bobby. "Why? What's inside?"
"That's what I've been looking for," Dean sighed tiredly. "And, uh, there's nothing except an old cowboy cemetery right in the middle."
Sam felt like something wasn't adding up. "Well what's so important about a cemetery or... what's Colt trying to protect?"
A thought struck Dean. "Well, unless ..."
"Unless what?" Bobby pushed.
"What if Colt wasn't trying to keep the demons out? What if he was trying to keep something in?"
"What are we doing in a cemetery?" Emmy shivered a bit, hugging herself to keep warm.
"Patience is a virtue," John told her, keeping her close as they ducked behind some tombstones.
Emmy rolled her eyes, but refrained from scoffing. John Winchester didn't do patience, he probably didn't even know what it meant.
"Ow," she hissed when she felt a hand lightly smack the back of her head.
"I saw that," John chastised, referring to the eye roll.
Emmy couldn't help the smile tugging at her lips. She didn't care what anybody said, he was her father all right.
"So what are we waiting for exactly?" she asked as she looked around. "And where's Gabriel?"
"We're waiting for the right moment."
"Well that's vague." She huffed, sitting down on her knees and absentmindedly tugging at the dead grass beneath her. "So what's the plan?"
"The plan is that you follow my lead, I'll tell you what to do once we get there."
Emmy started chewing on the skin around her nails out of boredom. Though she couldn't deny that her stomach hurt a little from the tension and not knowing what was going to happen. A hand tugged her fingers from her mouth.
"You still bite your nails?"
Emmy shot him a sheepish smile. "Old habits die hard I guess."
"Don't ever change, Emmy. Can you promise me that?"
"I'll try," she smirked. "But I can't promise to stay this short with a baby face."
"I don't doubt you'll get taller eventually. Maybe you'll outgrow Dean, or even Sam," he joked.
Emmy pulled a horrified face. "Uh I sure hope not. Sammy already barely fits in the car and Dean's too big to sleep in any bed. Besides, if I get too tall, then who's gonna give me piggy back rides?"
John chuckled softly. Leave it to Emmy to worry about piggy back rides.
"They're on their way," Gabriel suddenly announced, startling the two and making them stand up.
Emmy was about to ask who 'they' was when her father cut her off.
"Thanks for everything, Gabriel." The angel merely nodded. "Promise me you'll protect my family."
Gabriel wanted to tell him that God had only assigned him to look out for one particular girl, but seeing that this wasn't the right moment, he only nodded again.
The angel cleared his throat. "Well, I helped you this far, my time has come to leave."
Emmy didn't like the sound of that. "Where are your going?"
"Don't worry, this isn't the last time we'll see each other." He gently tugged at her lopsided ponytail. "I wish you two the best of luck." He started to leave when he suddenly turned around, giving John a meaningful look. "You should probably do it now."
"Do what?" Emmy asked but Gabriel vanished into thin air. She faced her dad, "Do what?"
John positioned himself on one knee, so that he was on her eye level. "Say goodbye."
Emmy grabbed his shoulders, wishing he'd stay if she just held on tightly. "Already? Can't you stay a bit longer?"
He took a hold of her hands. "I'll stay until this all over, but then I'll have to go."
The young girl ran her thumb over his knuckles. "I bet there's nothing I can do to make you stay."
John could hear the tears in her voice. "No, baby girl." He had to swallow so his voice wouldn't betray his own emotions. He had to stay strong for her. "You need to promise me you'll never forget how much I love you, you and your brothers. You kids mean everything to me."
"I love you too," she said through trembling lips.
John cupped her cheek, bringing her gaze up to his. "Don't let what I told you stand in the way. I meant it when I said that I consider you mine. You were the best thing that ever happened to me, Emmy. I wouldn't change that for the world."
A sob bubbled up in her throat and Emmy could no longer hold it in. She flung into his arms, pressing her face into his shoulder. "I love you, Daddy."
John engulfed her in his embrace, he took in her scent, her soft hair, her sweet voice – he tried to memorize it all. He knew that he should be grateful he got the chance to see her for the last time, he was lucky he got to say goodbye. But the pain in his chest was still unbearable. The realization of leaving his children, never seeing Emmy grow up, abandoning them in a dangerous world … it was too much.
Emmy never wanted to let go, but the sound of a voice she knew all too well forced her to break up. She looked into the distance and gasped when she recognized her brothers, uncle and Ellen with another guy but she couldn't tell where she saw him before.
"Samm – "
"Shhh," John quickly covered her mouth, pulling her down to hide behind the tombstones again. "Not yet, sweetie, not yet."
Emmy wished she could alert her brothers and tell them where she was, but listened to John. He always knew what he was doing. Seeing her family standing, unharmed, in front of her lifted a huge weight from her shoulders. She couldn't wait to run into their arms, she missed them so much.
She could see them talk but they were too far to actually make out what they were saying. But observing the hostile looks and guarded demeanor, she could guess that it wasn't a friendly conversation.
"What is she doing?" Emmy whispered when Ellen pulled the gun to her head.
"He's manipulating her," John said.
That's when Emmy remembered, the guy was the one she saw with Sam when Azazel had locked her up in that house.
He took a gun and inserted it into what looked like a crypt. Next thing that happened was too fast for Emmy to understand. All she could see was Sam shooting the man. John turned her away to protect her from the sight but the gunshots didn't leave much to the imagination.
"Is he dead?" She was almost too scared to ask, but when her father didn't say anything, it confirmed her thoughts. Her brother murdered someone …
"What the – " John couldn't believe his own eyes. He squinted to see two separate engravings on the crypt spin in different directions. The doors to the crypt burst open and a large black mass erupted from the other side, shooting outwards.
Emmy watched as black smoke poured from the crypt with trails of smoke haring off in different directions. "What is it?"
John gulped. "Demons. They opened the devil's gate."
Emmy felt her heart skip a beat. "You mean they opened the door to hell?" Again, John's silence was the only answer she needed.
Dean grabbed the colt when thunder suddenly crashed. He was about to move when an invisible force flung the weapon out of his hands into another man's hand. He looked up to meet the gaze of a pair of yellow eyes.
"Boys shouldn't play with Daddy's guns," Azazel smirked before throwing Dean into the air where he hit his head on a tombstone.
Meanwhile Bobby, Ellen and Sam were still struggling to close the crypt door. When Sam noticed the presence of the demon he instantly ran to his brother. Only he didn't get far when he got thrown into a nearby tree.
Yellow Eyes tsked. "I'll get to you in a minute, champ. But I'm proud of you— knew you had it in you." He walked over to the oldest Winchester, pinning him against a post. "So, Dean... I gotta thank you. You see, demons can't resurrect people, unless a deal is made. I know, red tape— it'll make you nuts. But thanks to you, Sammy's back in rotation." He laughed, too happy about it. "Now, I wasn't counting on that, but I'm glad. I liked him better than Jake, anyhow. Tell me— have you ever heard the expression, 'If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is?'"
"You call that deal good?" Dean spat, not hiding his disgust and anger towards the demon.
"Well, it's a better shake than your dad ever got. And you never wondered why? I'm surprised at you. I mean..." he approached Dean, leaning in closer, "you saw what your brother just did to Jake, right? That was pretty cold, wasn't it? How certain are you that what you brought back, is 100%, pure, Sam?"
Sam was horrified. Before, some puzzle pieces were missing but now he was sure that his assumptions were true. Dean sold his soul to save him.
Azazel chuckled, still rubbing it in Dean's face. "You of all people should know, that's what's dead, should stay dead. Anyway, thanks a bunch. I knew I kept you alive for some reason. Until now, anyway. I couldn't have done it without your pathetic, self-loathing, self-destructive desire to sacrifice yourself for your family."
As he cocked the Colt, aiming it at Dean, a sudden pull caught his attention. Yellow Eyes was momentarily confused, not understanding where the sensation came from, it reminded him of –
"EMMY!" Bobby shouted, getting everyone's attention. "Girl, get the hell away from here!"
Both Sam and Dean were too shocked to move. All they could do at the moment was scan her from head to toe, making sure she wasn't sporting any bruises or injuries. She looked so out of place, yet at the same time it looked like she belonged right there with them. She reminded her brothers of the light at the end of the tunnel, the spark in the darkness, the star they wish upon. She seemed to be glowing and it was the most beautiful thing they had ever seen, it was mesmerizing.
Emmy wasn't fazed by the clouds of demonic smoke hovering around her, trying to have what was hiding inside of her. She only had eyes for one thing, her target, and it was right where she wanted.
Yellow Eyes smiled wickedly, licking his lips as he could practically taste the power radiating off of her. For a second he though he lost her, and now she was being handed to him on a silver plate. This was only getting better and better.
"Nice to see you again, Mary-Elisabeth," he greeted, even bending at the waist like she was some queen. "Welcome to the family reunion."
"Don't you dare get any closer, you bastard!" Sam threatened. He groaned in pain when the demon sent another blow into his stomach.
"Let them go," she demanded, her fists balled.
"Emmy, please don't," Dean practically begged. Azazel could break her little neck with a snap of his fingers, he could kill her right here and now and there was nothing he could do. This nightmare couldn't get any worse.
"I got this, Dean," she offered him a comforting smile. For once she was going to fix this, she was going to save her family. She addressed the demon again, the fire back in her eyes. "Remember last thing I told you?"
The demon chuckled. "You said you'd end me. I would like to see you try, little girl."
Emmy moved closer until she was toe to toe.
"Emmy, get back!" Both Sam and Dean shouted, what the hell was she doing? The brothers fought against their restraints but it was helpless. This was it, they were going to lose her too. Tears started brimming in their eyes.
"Remember when you asked me if I could feel it, the thing inside of me?" Emmy reached for the demons hand, holding it between her glowing hands. "I do."
Yellow Eyes looked at her with curious eyes, trying not to betray the uneasiness growing inside of him. "What are you doing?"
Emmy didn't say anything, she just kept holding his hand. She held his gaze, waiting for something. The demon opened his mouth to say something when he suddenly dropped to his knees. Emmy smiled.
Yellow Eyes grabbed his chest, panting and wheezing. He tried to tug his hand out of her hold but Emmy held on tighter. He started choking when black smoke started to seep through his mouth. His demon was unwillingly trying to crawl its way out of the vessel, and he was slowly losing the strength to keep it in. It was almost like something made its way inside of the man's body, pushing the demon out.
Emmy suddenly let go.
Yellow Eyes started coughing violently, the black smoke made its way back into the vessel.
Sam and Dean thought they were dreaming. Did their sister just tried to exorcise a demon with just the touch of her hand?
"Now you felt it, too. You still think I'm bluffing?" Emmy asked with her own version of a smirk.
After he caught his breath, Yellow Eyes got back to his feet. His hands were shaking so he quickly balled them up. He looked down at the little girl standing in front of him in disbelief. He never came across any human being that was capable of what she just did now. He was wrong, she was much more powerful than he thought. Blinking several times, he tried to mask the disdain and fear in his eyes.
"So this is it? You're gonna end me now?" he mocked, but anyone could hear the slight tremble in his voice.
"No, I could but I don't wanna," she said, surprising him. "I just wanted to make a point."
"So what's stopping you then?" he practically yelled. He was uncomfortable and nervous, knowing that his strength was no match against the ten year old. The demon wasn't used to that feeling, he was always at the top of the food chain and suddenly he wasn't.
Emmy shrugged. "It just doesn't seem fair to them, you know. They spent almost their entire lives to avenge this family but you had to ruin it all. But there's one person that really deserves to take a shot at you."
Azazel was baffled. "Who the hell are you talking about."
Emmy motioned to someone behind him with a tilt of her head.
The demon turned around just in time to see John frikkin' Winchester.
Sam, Dean, Bobby and Ellen were tempted to pinch their arms. This couldn't be real, this couldn't actually be John.
John grabbed the demon, tackling him to the ground. He soon realized that the demon had escaped the body it was possessing. But John wasn't giving up that easily, he lunched for the black cloud of smoke and wrestled it to the ground. Azazel pushed him off and entered the body once more.
Dean was the first to jump into action. The demon's distraction made the restraints come off, and it gave him enough liberty to grab the Colt, throwing it at his father. John caught the weapon and wasted not a single second at pointing it at the demon's heart.
Who thought that a gunshot would be so satisfying to hear. A single bang was all John ever wanted, all he ever lived for – now that it was done, he could finally let go.
Ellen and Bobby momentarily stopped from trying to close the crypt as they stared at the dead body. The brothers looked like they were still in a shock, but anyone could see the relief washing over their faces.
Sam jumped to his feet and was the first to reach his sister. He picked her up into his arms and hugged her tightly. Emmy wrapped her legs and arms around him and started crying in his neck causing him to spill some tears too. She scared him to death the way she stood up against Yellow Eyes but at the same time he was so proud he couldn't even describe it.
"Oh, honey," he sniffed. "I'm so sorry, so sorry. Are you okay, you alright?" He smoothed down her hair, searching her eyes from something. Emmy could barely speak, still overwhelmed with all kinds of emotions. At the moment she was just happy to have her brother back. Sam understood and hugged her again. "Don't ever do this to me again, baby," he whispered in her ear before repeatedly kissing the side of her face, relishing in having her in his arms.
Meanwhile Dean was nailed to the ground. He couldn't help but stare at his father. He opened his mouth but no sounds came out. He wanted to thank his Dad for saving him, he wanted to say sorry for failing his siblings, he wanted to ask for forgiveness for bringing back Sam. But John merely smiled lightly.
You did the right thing, was what his eyes said.
Dean nodded with tears streaming down his cheeks. A sob broke his trance and Dean searched for the sound. His eyes fell upon the two people he fought for. For a moment he didn't care that he only had a year to live, he did it for them, and he'd do it again if he had to. They were his weakness and strength, his today and tomorrows, his home. So what if he'll go to hell in twelve months, his brother and sister where his heaven on earth. That's all he needed, it's all he ever needed.
Dean embraced his siblings, he pressed their heads together, praying for whoever was listening to keep these two safe and protected. He pressed a long, hard kiss to Emmy's temple, closing his eyes as he did, while grabbing the back of Sam's neck. It was worth it, he reminded himself, it was frikkin' worth it. He just hoped they knew how much he loved them – from the deep down of his soul, the innermost part within the bottom of his heart.
"We love you, too, Dean," Emmy said softly as she kissed his cheek, tears still freely rolling down her cheeks.
Sam squeezed his brother's shoulder, saying the same with his touch.
Dean thought his heart would combust.
A bright light caused the siblings to look up, just in time to catch their father slowly disappear. Emmy leaned her head against Sam's, while wrapping both her arms around her brothers' necks. She willed herself to grant her father with one last smile. She sniffed as she gave him a small wave.
You want to know what tragedy is? Tragedy is the death of a husband and wife, a father and mother. Tragedy is the difference between what is and what could be. Tragedy is what we let die inside of us while we live. Tragedy is where we find our life's purpose.
Life is a tragedy.
A/N: I can't stop crying! I really didn't enjoy writing this chapter, I just didn't wanna go through the rollercoaster of emotions, it absolutely breaks my heart. Also the worse thing ever happened, I had written this chapter and I was almost done when my computer suddenly decided to be a bitch, I had to start allllllll over again and I couldn't stop crying cuz I didn't wanna go through it all again. Anyway, I survived, second season is finished, I still can't believe it…
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to each one of you! Every read, every follow, every favorite, every review meant the world to me, without your support I would've stopped a long time ago.
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