Thread by thread, I pull apart my shelter
Push ahead
But when I find just what I'm looking for
I'm gonna need a friend, an open door
To be naive, to let it pass me by
And to relieve
Myself of everything in front of me
To neglect responsibility

Now we're here, but all we want to do is disappear
And that thread that you were walking on
Has now withered in your years, withdrawn

You're gonna call on somebody
In a cry or plea
Could be something discovered in reality
I couldn't tell you, it hits us in different ways

.

The days they pass me by
I sit still but I don't know why
And in the night, I'll rise
I'll never go, so I'll never know

I know we're young but I feel so old
Get me the doctor, call me the doctor
One by one we become undone
Get me the doctor, call me the doctor

Finish Ticket - Doctor


A heavy fog covered me, filling my lungs. Polluting them. Snapshots of that day flashed in front of me rapidly, their sound echoing off the walls in the neverending room I found myself in. I couldn't get away from any of it, no matter how fast I pushed myself to run, no matter how hard I plugged my ears, they followed. There was no getting away from them.

The look of malice in that demon's eyes, his laugh. The sound, the feeling, of my body cracking as I slammed onto the ground when he threw me. The strong scent of blood as it pooled underneath me. The look on Cas's face when he found me. He was so horrified, so...devastated. The sound of Dean screaming. The tears in his eyes when he scrambled over as Cas laid me down in front of him, the way his hands shook as he held my blood-covered head up. The way his voice raised and broke as he pleaded for Cas to fix all of it.

All of it echoed over and over again, making my head spin. A scream bubbled up in my throat. I tried to push it down, to suppress it, but that didn't work. My mouth opened and-

A yelp passing through my lips forced my eyes to snap open. I shot upright, my breaths coming out ragged and uneven. Panic ran through me until it registered that I had been lying on the couch. I slowly started remembering that Dean and I had fallen asleep here last night. At some point this morning, he must've gotten up but I was too out of it to notice.

Upon realizing all of this, I hurriedly looked around, hoping no one was here to see how panicked I was. Thankfully, I seemed to be alone.

Pulling in a deep breath, I tossed the blanket off of my body and swung my legs off the couch to plant my bare feet on the cold hardwood floor. Upon moving, I noticed my face and neck were covered in sweat and tears that I promptly wiped away.

On unsteady feet, I got up and made my way to the kitchen, pausing in the doorway when I saw Bobby leaning against the counter, a cup of coffee in his hand. He was already looking my way. I felt a wave of heat rush over my body but attempted to play it all off.

"Morning," I muttered, making my way to the fridge for a bottle of water. I unscrewed the cap, but it wasn't until I began drinking that I realized how thirsty I actually was. I nearly downed the entire thing in one gulp.

"Morning," Bobby replied. "You okay?"

I simply nodded, crushing the bottle before throwing it into the trash. "Where's Dean?"

"Checking on Sam."

A moment of silence passed between us before Bobby opened his mouth. I held up a hand. "No. Please."

Bobby sighed. "Vic, I-"

"Please," I repeated, tears forming in my eyes. I quickly blinked them away. "Don't say anything to Dean. Okay?"

Bobby nodded, reluctantly. "Alright."

The sound of the basement door opening echoed into the kitchen, signaling that Dean was coming up. I mouthed a thank you to Bobby. He simply nodded. As Dean got closer, I tried to collect myself, so I would look as normal as possible before he rounded the corner. When he did, he appeared visibly surprised to see me standing there.

"Hey," Dean muttered, looking unsure. "When did you get up?"

"Maybe a minute or two ago," I replied.

Bobby patted Dean on the arm as he walked past him into the living room where he plopped down at his desk. Dean watched him go for a moment before turning back to me. "What's going on?

"Nothing," I smiled back, forcing it to reach my eyes. We continued talking as we headed into the living room. "Is Sam still asleep?"

"Yeah," Dean answered, sitting at the chair in front of the desk.

I leaned against the desk beside Dean, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder as he rubbed his forehead, clearly stressed. Bobby pulled out a bottle of whiskey from behind the desk along with a few glasses, filling them. He pushed two over towards Dean and me. We each took one, probably a little too quickly.

"Like my daddy always said, just 'cause it kills your liver don't mean it ain't medicine," Bobby remarked, pushing the cork back into the bottle before placing it down. He lifted his glass and took a sip.

I didn't even think twice, knocking the glass's contents back in one gulp. Bobby caught it, raising an eyebrow at me. I ignored him, watching Dean as he anxiously cradled his half-empty glass, moving it back and forth between hands.

"He'll wake up," Bobby told him, noticing his worry.

"Yeah," Dean mumbled.

"Dean, he's been through how much? Somehow, he always bounces back. It hasn't even been a day."

"Yeah, well. He's never been through this," Dean sighed. Looking for a change of topic, I scanned the papers on Bobby's desk and pointed at the one with the headline reading; Small Plane Crash Kills Two.

"What's this? A job?" I inquired.

"Might be. I found it this morning when you lovebirds were all snuggled up over there," Bobby nodded to the couch with a small grin. "Couple goes up in a light plane. The wreckage was just found in the woods."

Bobby picked up The Portland Chronicle printout and held it out to Dean, who quickly put his glass down and grabbed the paper, obviously wanting something else to focus on. I peered over his shoulder, reading the small print.

"I gotta tell you, Bobby," I started, looking up at him from the page. "It doesn't seem all that weird. I mean, planes go down all the time."

Bobby raised an eyebrow, shooting me a look. "Pilot was found seventeen miles away, flambéed. Girl's just gone. Nobody, no nothing."

"Oh," I uttered, taken aback.

"Yeah, oh."

"Okay," Dean nodded, intrigued. He put the paper down. "I'm not changing the channel."

"Guys."

An equally familiar and estranged voice spoke behind us. I felt the glass slip from my fingers, hitting the corner of the desk with a clang, ricocheting off onto the floor in pieces. I looked up to see Sam standing there, his hair and clothes disheveled. The look on his face was one of shock, his eyes filling with tears.

Dean turned to face him and immediately stood, his posture guarded. Sam didn't waste any time, taking two quick strides over to his brother. He pulled Dean in for a tight hug. I glanced over at Bobby, who was now standing and already looking at me, a mixture of surprise and fear in his eyes.

Sam let go of Dean, but kept his hands on his brother's shoulders, just looking at him for a moment before breaking out into a smile. It reached his eyes. The spark in them was the complete opposite of what I'd become accustomed to. The emotion there was jarring.

Looking past Dean, Sam's smile widened, even more, when his eyes met mine. He allowed his hands to drop from Dean's shoulders as he took a step over, immediately wrapping his arms around me. I flinched when he pulled me into the hug. He didn't seem to notice though and squeezed me so tightly that I nearly couldn't breathe.

Instantly, my mind bombarded me with questions. How he could act like the past few months hadn't happened? The things he'd done, things he said?

My mind was reeling, but I didn't care. I pushed all of the worries out of my head and hugged him back as tight as I could possibly muster. I wasn't about to allow this moment to pass by without it. I couldn't.

Eventually, Sam pulled back, but still held onto me. The look of happiness on his face instantly changed to one of concern as he took in my teary expression. Sam squeezed my arms gently. "You okay?"

"Yeah," I nodded, swallowing the lump in my throat.

Sam looked skeptical like he was about to say something else when his eyes caught movement behind us. They widened. "Bobby?"

"Good to see you," Bobby muttered, his tone unsure. Sam moved away from me to pull Bobby into an equally tight hug. Bobby wasn't as receptive, however, tentatively placing his arms around Sam.

"I saw you...I- I felt Lucifer snap your neck," Sam muttered, pulling back to look at Bobby in shock.

As soon as the words left his lips, Dean and I locked eyes, the question written clearly on our faces. Could that day at the cemetery be the last thing he remembered?

Bobby hesitated for a moment. "Well, Cas kind of-"

"Cas is alive?" Sam asked in surprise, looking back to Dean and me for confirmation.

"Yeah," I nodded. "Cas is very much alive."

"What was the last thing you remember, Sam?" Dean asked.

"The field," Sam replied, his eyes growing sad as he looked over at me. "You almost took that grace. And then I fell."

"And then?" Dean pressed.

Sam shrugged, his eyes looking clear and sincere as ever. "I woke up in the panic room."

Relief rushed over me at his words. Any doubt in my mind washed away. He didn't remember. That's why he was acting as nothing happened because to him, nothing did.

"That's it?" Bobby inquired. "You really don't remember-"

"Let's be glad," Dean interrupted, shooting Bobby a hard look before returning his eyes to Sam, easing his gaze. "Who wants to remember all that hell?"

"How long was I gone?" Sam asked, flabbergasted.

"About a year and a half."

"What? I was downstairs for-" Sam sputtered in shock. He looked off for a moment, attempting to dig up a thought before giving up. "I don't remember anything."

"Probably for the best," I said.

"Yeah," Sam nodded, looking off into the distance.

Seeing this, Dean patted Sam on the arm. "How about you eat something, huh?"

Sam thought it over for a moment before answering. "Yeah...I'm starving," he said, his stomach growling as if on cue.

"I'll go get you something," I offered.

"No, Tori, you don't have to-"

"It's okay," I insisted. I just needed to do something right now.

Bobby stayed behind in the other room to clean up the broken glass that I dropped, turning down my request to clean it up. I took the hint when he shot me a look, knowing he just needed some time to himself.

The three of us went into the kitchen. I opened the fridge and got everything needed for a cold-cut sandwich for Sam, who was already seated at the table with a beer. Dean had one as well, sitting next to his brother. He looked as though he was trying his hardest to come up with the correct words for this situation.

Once I finished the sandwich, I passed the plate to Sam, who immediately began eating. He was wolfing it down so fast, I thought he was going to choke. I started to gather everything up and put it away, but when I glanced over my shoulder I saw that more than half the sandwich was already gone. Without asking him if he wanted it, I started making him a second one.

"So, how'd I get back?" Sam asked, taking a swig of beer. "Was it Cas?"

The room remained silent and Sam looked around for an answer until Dean spoke up. "Not exactly."

"Dean, what did you do?" Sam asked, his voice hard, but full of worry for his brother. Before Dean could answer, Sam looked at me. "What did he do?"

"Don't look at me," I told Sam, nodding to Dean. "He's the one you gotta talk to."

Dean sighed, beginning to explain. "Listen, Sam. Me and Death-"

"Death?!" Sam exclaimed in fear. "The horseman?"

"I had leverage. It's done."

"You sure?" Sam asked, clearly uneasy with the situation.

"It's over. Slate's wiped," Dean said. I caught his eye and raised an eyebrow.

"Well, isn't this just neat and clean?" Bobby grumbled, making his way into the room with a dustpan full of glass.

Sam looked between us all, sensing the strange vibe in the room. "Is there anything else I should know?"

Dean kept his eyes on me for a beat more before turning back to Sam, holding up his bottle. "No. Another beer?"

"Uh, yeah," Sam nodded, looking as though he wasn't completely ready to take Dean's word for it. But for right now, he let it go.

Swiftly dumping the glass into the trash can, Bobby turned and headed back into the library, sitting at his desk with a loud sigh. Silence fell over us, save for the sound of the fridge opened, and the clang of the beer bottles as Dean pulled a few more out. He held two of them in the crook of his arm and used his ring to pop the top off of one of the bottles before placing it down on the counter beside me. I mumbled thanks before turning my attention back to the second sandwich I was making.

"Is he okay?" Sam wondered quietly, nodding back to the other room where Bobby was.

"He's fine," Dean replied, placing the bottles down on the table before sitting back in his seat. I shook my head, knowing that the both of them - but more importantly, Dean - could see.

After everything that happened, it wasn't fair to write off Bobby's feelings like that.

Thankfully, Sam didn't ask any more questions while he finished his sandwich. Knowing him, I'm sure he could sense the tense air in the room and was probably just waiting for it to pass so he could inquire more about the time he was...gone.

While he was on the last couple of bites of his sandwich, his eyes started getting heavy. It got to the point where he rested his chin in his hand and started to doze off at the table until Dean woke him up and told him to go get some sleep. Sam surprisingly didn't argue, however, he did offer to help clean up the kitchen first.

Even though I told him not to worry about it, he insisted. Thankfully, the clean up didn't take too long and within a half-hour, Sam was upstairs. The sound of a chair scraping across the wooden floor came from the other room, followed by Bobby appearing in the doorway, leaning against the door jam with his hands in his pockets.

"He's good, right?" Dean asked, looking at Bobby and me for confirmation. "Like, better than we could've hoped."

"He seems...like Sam," I replied, chewing my lip in thought. "I'm just- how could he not remember anything from this past year?"

"I guess the wall blocked out more than just hell."

"Uh-huh," Bobby grumbled.

Dean raised an eyebrow at him. "What's with the shitface?"

"Look, I'm glad he's better. I really am. But that kid went straight-up Menendez on me not five days ago. And now it's all just...erased? Sorry. I'm having a bit of a hard time even looking at him."

"Well, what do we do? Tell him everything? If we start throwing that shit at him, we don't know what's gonna happen. It could- it could crack the wall," Dean said, his eyes full of fear and worry at the very thought.

"He's gonna find out, you know," Bobby said. "One way or another, someone tells him, or he'll figure it out on his own. He's not dumb. He should hear it from us."

Bobby's words forced an image in my head, one of Sam's face as he tried to take in all the things he did, things he said when he didn't have a soul. The pain that would inevitably spark in his eyes as he learned everything. I blinked quickly, forcing the picture out of my mind. Even though the image was gone, the fear it created lingered.

If that didn't break the wall and kill him, reality just might. We couldn't let that happen. Not after everything...not after getting him back.

"We aren't going to tell him anything," I said adamantly.

"Then you better prep for the B side, 'cause when Sam realizes we're shining him, it ain't gonna be cute."

"He won't."

"I'm telling you, none of this will end well if we keep pushing it aside," Bobby told me pointedly, glancing over at Dean with the same expression.

"Sometimes that's just what you have to do," I retorted, his words striking a chord in me. One I didn't want to be touched. "There's no other option."

Bobby's expression was one of slight disapproval at my words, but he held up his hands in surrender and turned to head back into the library without another word. At the table, Dean was staring down at the bottle in front of him, his brows furrowed in thought.

I'll admit, the idea that Sam was suddenly Sam again, that he was back without any clue of the things done by that other version of him we'd had to live with for what felt like an eternity was...overwhelming, to say the least. And the fact that we were going to have to readjust to life all over again for what felt like the millionth time was a hard pill to swallow.

But it was exactly what we needed. Nothing to explain. No memories to dig up, nothing to relive. That was the only way we were going to keep Sam alive. It was the only way to keep going. That's what we had to do.

Having made my decision, I pushed off the counter and made my way into the library. "So, you think there's really something to that plane crash?" I asked Bobby.

Bobby looked up from the paper in his hand, an eyebrow raised. "Why?"

"Because if it is, then we should check it out."

"What?" Dean asked from behind me.

I turned to face him. "There could be a job here. You were interested."

"Well, yeah. I just didn't think..." Dean trailed off, looking like he didn't want to finish that sentence.

"Hey, it's clear something is going on here. Our kind of something," I said, turning back to Bobby. "You think so, right?"

Bobby let out a heavy breath, dropping the page. "Yeah."

"Okay, then what's the problem?"

"Shouldn't you take some time-"

"I've taken plenty of time," I cut him off, my expression steely. "If I stay locked up here any longer, I'm gonna lose it." I looked over at Dean, who nodded in agreement with my statement, albeit hesitantly. I continued. "Come on, Oregon is only a day's drive away."

After a moment of deliberation, Bobby relented. "Fine. But what about Sam?"

"You don't hear that chainsaw ripping up there?" Dean asked, pointing above us to the room Sam was currently sleeping in. "He'll be conked out until we get back."

"So it's settled," I said. "I'll go pack."


Outside, I waited by the trunk of the Impala for Dean to bring the last bag of items we'd need for the drive outside with him. Bobby kept watching me, but I ignored him as best as possible. The sound of the door opening caught my attention and I looked back to see Dean walking out with Sam right on his tail, much to my surprise. Last I heard, Sam was snoring up a storm in his room. He was nearly drowning out the TV for a bit there.

Bobby let out a long breath, looking over at the two of them. "Thought you were asleep," he said to Sam.

Sam shrugged. "I feel like I slept for days."

"He wants in," Dean announced, nodding to his brother.

"Sam, you just- you should probably just rest," I said, concerned for him.

"She's right," Dean added. "You just got vertical."

"Exactly," Sam nodded. "I'm up. I'm good."

"A few more days of shitty cable couldn't hurt," Dean said, his eyes full of worry for his brother.

"Right. Because that's what you did when you got back from hell."

Dean glanced over at me, looking for help. Sam was clearly set on coming with us. There was nothing I could say that wouldn't allude to the fact that Sam didn't really just get back from hell. Not technically, anyway.

I shrugged. Dean sighed, relenting. "Alright. The four of us. Sounds good."

"Oh, you three go on ahead. You got this covered," Bobby said, moving away from the open passenger-side door. He pulled off the bag containing all the paperwork for this case that was slung over his shoulder and held it out to me.

"What?" I questioned. Bobby shoved it closer, so I took the bag from him. Really? I mouthed to him when Sam wasn't looking.

"I, uh, forgot I promised that idjit Rufus I'd work the phones for him. So…you three enjoy catching up, okay?" Bobby said with a small smile, making his way up the porch steps.

We all watched as he opened the door, entering without so much as a glance back. Sam looked at Dean and me quizzically, pointing his thumb back to the house. "What was that?"

"One part age, three parts liquor," Dean made up an excuse for Bobby's behavior, tossing the bag he carried in the trunk before shutting it. "Come on, let's go. We got a long drive ahead of us."

Inside the car, for the first time in a long time, there was no discomfort lingering in the air. No feeling of emptiness radiating off of Sam. Instead, there was a feeling of genuine contentment rolling off of him as he settled into the leather seat. He even smiled as Dean started up the engine, letting out a happy sigh. I couldn't help but smile in response as I watched him.

It was hard to remember that, for him, this was the first time in a while he'd been back in this car. But damn, was it good to see him this way.

As we pulled out of the lot and onto the road, Dean filled Sam in on the details of the case. I reached into the bag Bobby had given me and handed him a few of the papers full of information that Bobby had put together. After looking them over, Sam decided to give the police station a call to get some more info on the missing couple and to see if there had been anything else strange going on in the town that might've been missed.

While he was on the call, I couldn't help but watch him, in awe of how himself he was being. He was so sweet to the cop on the other end of the phone that it was almost sickening. But that was Sam.

"Uh, you got it, officer. Thank you. You too," Sam hung up the phone, looking over at Dean and me. "So, get this- besides the crash, there were two other disappearances in town this week."

"Seriously?" I asked.

"Yeah. Last weekend, a college girl vanished from her apartment. On the seventeenth floor. Then, three days ago, another girl didn't make it home from school."

"Did they know each other?" Dean questioned.

"No. No connection. Just young and female, like the plane-crash girl."

"That's strange," I mumbled, pulling a pen out of the bag along with a notepad. I quickly began scribbling down the information he'd just given, attempting to make a timeline of all the incidents.

"So you never ever tried, huh?" Sam asked out of the clear blue.

"Tried?" I repeated in question, my brows furrowed.

"To go live a life...after. You do remember you promised that, right?" Sam inquired, looking between Dean and me. "So, why didn't you try?"

My teeth clamped down, anger flowing through me. His tone was light, there was a smile on his lips, there was obviously no malice behind that question. I couldn't stop myself from reacting the way I did, and I hated myself for it.

I didn't want to make direct eye-contact with him, so I made sure to keep my eyes down on the paper and began writing again, pressing into the page much harder than necessary.

"What makes you think we didn't?" Dean asked his brother quickly to cover up for my silence.

"Well, uh, I mean, just look at you two," Sam said simply, gesturing to us. "Where we are. You're doing the same thing."

"Yeah, you're probably right," Dean replied. A long pause followed before he began again. "We tried. For a year."

"A year?" Sam's eyes widened in surprise. He looked back at me. "So then what?"

"It didn't work out," I said sternly, my tone letting him know I wasn't about to say anymore.

Not only did I know we couldn't explain any further in order to help keep Sam sane, but I also didn't want to talk about it. Dean reached forward and turned up the radio, doubling down on my silent request to end the conversation. Sam gave us both concerned looks, but catching onto our discomfort, didn't say anything else.


PORTLAND, OREGON - DAY

Once we arrived at our location, we stopped to get a motel and get changed into our suits before heading over to the home of the girl that went missing to speak to her family, hoping they could give us some kind of idea of what we were looking for here.

"You're Penny Dessertine's, sister, right? Rhonda?" Dean asked the brunette standing in the open door. She nodded.

"We'd just like to ask you a few questions," I explained.

"Look, the cops already came by," She said, her eyes still red and puffy from crying. "So, if you don't mind-"

"I understand. Really, I do. I know how hard this must be," Sam said, his voice full of sincerity. That tone was one I certainly wasn't used to hearing from him, and it caught me off guard. "We'd just like to figure out what happened. This will be quick. I promise."

Somewhat subconsciously, I began watching him, waiting for the moment his eyes turned lifeless. But even after Rhonda stepped aside, the sympathetic look never left his eyes even after we entered the house.

Rhonda led us through their home until we reached Penny's bedroom. Inside, we sifted through some of her things to see if we could find anything that would lead us in some sort of direction. There was a lot of pink in here. The walls, the bedspread, the sheets. Nearly every shelf had some kind of stuffed animal sitting on it, not to mention the three sitting on her bed in front of her pillows. Penny's sister leaned against the door with her arms wrapped around her body, watching us.

Among all the fluffy things, I spotted the corner of a book sticking out from underneath all of the pillows on the bed. I shuffled my feet around, getting Dean's attention so I could look pointedly at the pillow, letting him know there was something there. As he moved over towards the bed, I made my way back to Rhonda, talking to her as a distraction.

"So, what was Penny like?" I asked. "Any signs that she might've been in a weird place?"

"No. Not at all," Rhonda replied.

"Did she start doing anything...new lately? Hanging out with different people than usual?"

She shook her head. "Penny was very shy. To herself. She didn't like to do new things. Not at all what you'd call adventurous."

"Wait," Dean looked over at her incredulously, but not before shooting me a look that told me he got the book. He continued speaking to Rhonda. "Flying through a lightning storm in a two-seater's not adventurous?"

"She was terrified of that thing. She just did it for Stan."

"Stan?" Sam questioned.

"Who's that?" I asked.

"Her boyfriend. Well, they were just starting to get serious. She didn't want to seem, you know...not interested," She told me, her eyes filling with tears at the thought of her sister. "I just wish I'd told her to stay home. We don't even have a body to bury."

Her words hit me like a ton of bricks, an unexpected blow to the shield I was actively trying to build up. A question broke through the thin crack it created; would that have made things easier?

I jumped at the feeling of a hand grabbing my arm, my head snapping over to see Sam standing next to me, his hand gently touching my bicep. Before I could stop myself, I jerked my arm out of his grasp out of sheer instinct.

The look of sheer confusion on his face called me back to the present. I quickly looked over apologetically at Rhonda, who seemed puzzled with what had just occurred. Looking away from her, I allowed my eyes to skirt past Dean, who had a heart-broken expression on his face that matched what I imagine mine looked like only seconds before. The look in his eyes sent a wave of emotion through me and I knew I had to get out before any tears slipped.

"Thank you for your time. We'll get going now," I told her, leaving the room without so much as a glance behind me.

As I exited I heard Sam telling Rhonda once again how sorry we were for her and her family's loss. I paused in the hallway, thinking about going back in, making up some bullshit excuse about why I had left so abruptly, but couldn't find it in me to re-enter the room, not after what I just did. So instead, I made my way outside to the Impala, leaning against the back door.

With a heavy breath, I ran my hands through my hair, gripping it tightly at the roots in an attempt to stop the tears from flowing. It felt like forever until my eyes stopped filling with tears. The ones that were already there I blinked away as the front door opened and Sam and Dean stepped out.

Dean immediately looked for me, a look of relief crossing his features when he saw I was by the car. I averted my eyes, wiping the tears off my cheeks when I knew he wasn't looking.

I didn't want him to see me cry again. I've already done enough to hurt him.

"You okay?" Sam asked as he reached the Impala.

"Yeah, I'm fine," I reassured him, trying to act as okay as I kept claiming to be. "Let's get some food, I'm starved."

Thankfully nobody said anything more, and we got into the car and drove to the nearest diner. I volunteered to be the one to get the food and once Dean parked the car, made my way into the diner, putting in our order. I wasn't hungry, but I knew I had to get something. I had to eat so Dean, or Sam, wouldn't worry.

But I was fine with that. I'd do anything to make it all easier. To ensure no more questions would be asked. I'd already done too much to jeopardize Sam's well being. This ends now.


DPOV

I didn't take my eyes off Tori even after she entered through the double doors into the diner. She acted like I didn't notice her flying out of that backseat like a bat out of hell. I attempted to subtly crane my neck, trying to spot her through the large windows lining the front of the building. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Sam staring at me.

"Got something to say?" I asked, looking over at him. I tried to hide the look in my eyes.

"Is everything okay? You know, between you guys?" Sam asked, gesturing to the diner where Tori was.

"Everything is fine, Sam," I lied.

Sam pursed his lips, not buying it. "What's going on?"

"Nothing, Sam."

"Dean-"

"I said, it's nothing, Sam," I nearly snapped, my grip tightening on the steering wheel. He looked taken aback by the sudden harshness in the tone of my voice, giving me another questioning look. I sighed, reminding myself not to take it out on him. "There's just been a lot lately."

"Talk to me," Sam pleaded. I just shook my head. "Fine. I wasn't here, I get it. But if you won't talk to me, then talk to her. You two obviously need it."

I scoffed. "How do you know?"

Sam raised an eyebrow, looking at me pointedly. "Dude. Come on, it's written all over your faces, you need-"

"If I say yes, will you shut up?" I asked, glancing over at him. Sam smiled, nodding. I shook my head. "Fine. Yes. Okay?"

"Okay," Sam replied happily. "Good."

Thankfully, Sam didn't say anything more after that. I just watched the doors, waiting for Tori to come back out. Eventually, she did, a couple of bags in hand. I could tell she noticed the strange feeling in the car by the look she gave me. I silently told her everything was alright. She slid into the backseat and we headed back.


TPOV

Back at the motel, we all got out of the car, Sam and Dean going to the trunk to take out our duffle bags. I reached into the backseat to grab our food and when I stood upright, Sam was standing there, a duffle bag hanging over his shoulder. I jumped slightly, startled at his sudden presence.

"Hi," I muttered, looking at him in question.

"Hey," he smiled and took the bags from me, saying he'd carry them in.

It was such a small gesture of kindness. Something that screamed Sam, but also something I wasn't used to. I made sure to pull myself out of that haze and smile back at him.

Sam headed to our room door, and, as subtle as he tried to be, I saw the look he shot Dean. One that said do it now. As he entered the room, I furrowed my brows and turned my gaze back to Dean, just in time to see him let out a huff. I shut the car door and made my way over to him.

"Need help?" I asked as he slung my bag over his shoulder.

"I got it," he replied, shooting me a tight-lipped smile.

"Something Sam wants you to do?"

Dean paused for a second, still not meeting my eyes. "He thinks we need to...talk."

"He always thinks that," I deflected, my nerves making me begin chewing on my bottom lip. "Well, he did. And now, he does, again. I guess."

"Yeah," Dean nodded, shutting the trunk. There was nothing left to say. Nothing left to talk about. It was over. It was done. We didn't need to rehash anything anymore.

"I mean, we already did all the talking we needed," I said, my heart pounding in my ears.

"Yeah," Dean repeated.

"Hey," I called, getting him to look up at me. "What's wrong?"

"I just wanna know that you're okay," Dean said, looking deeply into my eyes. I panicked slightly, afraid of what he would see there.

In an attempt to cover it up, I smiled, forcing it to meet my eyes. "I'm fine."

A moment of silence passed between us before Dean tucked a lock of hair behind my ear, gently cradling my head in his hand as he rubbed his thumb over my cheek. I wanted to look away, but I couldn't seem to force myself to do so. I knew my eyes were giving me away. Just as his were.

There was no hiding the deep hurt in either of our eyes. No matter how much we tried to act like nothing was wrong, our eyes told a different story. One that we couldn't keep from each other.

After giving me a small, sad smile, Dean bent down and placed a loving kiss on my lips. I lost myself in the comfort of his touch, grabbing the front of his jacket, I pulled him closer to me. Moments passed before I got the feeling we were being watched. I opened my right eye, peering over to the window that led to our room, I saw the curtains inside shift and glanced over just in time to catch Sam staring at us before he hurriedly released the fabric.

Sighing internally, I pulled away from Dean. He looked at me in question, hurt flashing in his eyes for a brief moment.

"Someone's watching," I explained, gesturing to the room with my eyes.

"Of course," Dean muttered, letting his hand drop from my face.

I grabbed his hand before it reached his side, squeezing it tightly. "Love you."

Dean smiled, more genuinely this time, and I couldn't help but do the same. "I know," he replied.

With that, the two of us locked up the Impala and made our way inside to find all of our food already unpacked and placed on the table in their respective spots for Dean and I. Sam was already sitting there, reading something from his laptop that was open in front of him while he shoved a forkful of salad into his mouth.

When we entered, he looked over at us with a hesitant smile, swallowing his mouthful of food before he spoke. "Hey, guys."

"What are you, a peeping Sam?" Dean asked sarcastically as he passed by his brother, tossing our bags onto one of the beds.

"I-" Sam stuttered. "I don't know what you're talking about.

"No, 'course you don't," I said pointedly with a chuckle.

I made my way over to the table, pulling my jacket off as I went, folding it over over the back of the chair before grabbing my food and heading to the couch. Sam smiled sheepishly, his eyes darting between Dean and I. Dean rolled his eyes at his brother as he took off his own jacket, throwing it on the other end of the couch, sitting down at the table.

The three of us ate in silence, save for the TV that played quietly in the background. I decided to check out Penny's diary and reached into the pocket inside Dean's jacket, pulling it out. I sat the sparkly black book with colorful polka dots adorning the front on my lap, beginning to flip through the pages, my mind going numb as I read her words.

All her problems were so trivial. So mundane. But still, judging by her words, she felt at times that her entire world was falling apart because of them. I yearned for that ignorance now more than ever.

"Hey, check this out," Sam announced, calling me out of the trance I'd gotten into. I looked down at my watch, realizing that a good forty-five minutes had gone by without me even noticing. Sam continued, not noticing my surprise. "Looks like those other two missing girls both baked cookies for the lord."

"What does that mean?" Dean asked, looking over at me. "Is that code?"

"What are you looking at me for?" I asked, taking a sip of my drink.

"You were a church girl."

"Yeah, well, I never baked cookies for the lord, if that's what you're asking" I answered, rolling my eyes. "Whatever that means."

"No," Sam interjected, shaking his head at us. "It- it's not a euphemism, guys. Jesus. It's literal. Church choir, bake sales, promise-ring clubs, the works. They were good girls. But Penny wasn't even a Christian."

Something a few entries back in the diary sprung to mind and I quickly began sifting through the page returned to the passage, an idea of what all this was about popping into my head. "All these girls disappearing, what if it's not about religion?"

"Huh?"

"What if it's about...purity?" I wondered aloud, stopping on the page I wanted to find.

Dean's eyes widened in realization. He looked over at me. "Holy shit. You're right."

Sam furrowed his brow. "Wait, you mean you think they're all-"

"Virgins, Sam," Dean grinned suggestively at his brother. "Virgins."

"What makes you think that?" Sam asked. "Penny was twenty-two."

"With a pink room. And stuffed teddy bears," Dean added obviously.

"Plus, there's this," I said, holding up the diary.

"What's that?" Sam asked, pointing to the book in my hand.

"Penny's diary," I told him.

"Did you steal that from her room?" Sam questioned disapprovingly.

"I love that you even ask that," Dean mumbled, mostly to himself.

"Why wouldn't I?"

"Here," I interrupted, pushing the book out further. I nudged Dean in the arm with it, hoping he'd just glance over it and then give it to Sam. Instead, he read the entry aloud.

"I've decided I'm going to give Stan my most precious gift," Dean quoted in a soft, feminine voice. I grimaced at both the words he was reading and the way he read them.

"Wow," Sam cringed right along with me. "That sounded really creepy coming out of your mouth."

Dean shrugged, continuing to look through the book. "I think I delivered it."

"Yeah. A little too well," I grumbled, pushing myself up off the couch to grab the diary back.

"Anyways, let's say you're right," Sam started. "Fine. Who would want virgins?"

"You got me. I prefer ladies with experience," Dean smirked, looking over his shoulder at me with a wink. I pursed my lips and lightly smacked him on the back of the head with the now-closed diary.

After cleaning up the paper bags and styrofoam containers from dinner, I went to get a shower. While I got my pajamas out of the duffle bag, I made sure to grab the bottle of sleeping pills I brought. Thankfully, Sam and Dean were both too busy sitting on the couch making fun of some show to notice. In the bathroom, I brushed my teeth before popping a couple of pills in my mouth and grabbed a handful of water from the sink to wash them down with.

Once I finished my shower, I changed and picked my dirty clothes up off the floor before making my way out of the bathroom. The TV was now on the local news station, playing quietly in the background as Sam watched intently. Dean stood by the refrigerator in the kitchenette, a beer in hand. I crossed the room to toss my clothes into our laundry bag.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Dean heading towards the bathroom. It was then that I remembered the bottle of sleeping pills still sitting on the counter. I hurriedly dropped the bag, rushing to cut in front of him, nearly pushing him out of the way as I went.

Dean's eyes widened. "What the-"

I smiled sheepishly, leaning in the doorway. "I forgot to pick up my towels."

"I don't care," he shrugged, looking at me in confusion.

"I wouldn't want you to slip."

Dean smiled, concern lying behind it. "I'll be careful."

"I forgot to brush my teeth," I said, stepping into the bathroom.

Before he had the chance to say anything else, I shut the door. Inside, I leaned against the wood, letting out a deep breath. Pushing my long hair out of my face, I snatched the bottle off of the counter, tucking it underneath my arm on the inside of my shirt.

Once I felt collected enough to face them again, I opened the door to find Dean still standing in the same spot, his arms folded.

"Go ahead," I told him with a smile, stepping out of the way.

Ignoring Sam's questioning looks, I made my way over to the bed. Knowing that Dean was suspicious of something I kept the bottle of pills tucked in my shirt when I laid down. Having taken the pills a while ago at this point, I was, thankfully, out like a light before Dean returned from the bathroom.


The quiet emptiness surrounding me began to crumble, the peaceful darkness encasing my mind fading from around me bit by bit. I fought to keep myself in it, grabbing what little I could of the stillness as it jilted.

"Tori!" Dean's voice shattered through the haze. My eyes snapped open, the bright light shining from the lamp on the nightstand illuminating Dean standing over me as well as Sam close behind, their features drenched in concern and worry.

"Jesus Christ," Sam breathed, throwing a hand over his heart.

I blinked a few times, rubbing my eyes as I leaned up on my elbow. "What's the matter?"

"What's the matter?" Dean repeated in question. I nodded. He huffed, plopping down on the mattress in front of me. "We've been trying to wake you up for ten minutes!"

"Shit," I mumbled. "I was really out of it."

Dean let out a heavy breath. "I thought something happened."

"I'm okay, babe," I told him, placing a hand on his arm. "Really, I am. I just- I was just tired. That's all." I glanced up at Sam, seeing the skepticism in his eyes, but ignored it upon noticing him wearing his suit. "Did something else happen?"

"Another girl," Sam explained.

"Gone?"

"No. Attacked. She's at the hospital. I got the call before."

"Then let's go talk to her," I said. Gently nudging Dean, silently telling him to move, I smiled when he looked at me. He stared for a moment, looking like he wanted to say something. He stopped himself, standing up.

While getting up, I kept the bottle of pills tucked under my arm until I could safely put them in my bag without either of the boys knowing. Speaking of, I somehow needed to figure out what dose I could take without this morning's events never happening again, while also keeping the nightmares at bay. I wasn't totally sure how to do that, and the thought of experimenting, of possibly reliving that day again with such clarity, scared the absolute shit out of me. But I had no choice. Forcing myself to push those thoughts aside, for now, I promptly got ready for the day. Once we were all dressed in our suits, we headed for the local hospital.

Inside the hospital room, Melissa Balfour laid on her right side in bed, looking deary and forlorn. She had bags under her eyes, obviously not having slept much since she arrived here. The left side of her face was bruised and swollen, the right side of her lips was cut and bloody. We introduced ourselves as the FBI wants to speak with her, so of course, she agreed.

"It happened so fast," She muttered, barely making eye contact with us.

"It's alright, Melissa," Sam began comfortingly. "What came at you? You can tell us."

"It looked like a- a giant bat," She scoffed at her own words before finally looking up at Sam. "You think I'm making it up, right? That's what the other man said."

"Well, I'm not the other man."

"It came right at me. It was huge. I swear. That's how I got this," Melissa said. Leaning over, she pulled the back of her hospital gown to the side, revealing three large, deep, and painful-looking gashes on her back that had now been treated by the hospital staff. The boys and I grimaced, sharing a look. It must be painful.

"So, it attacked. And then what happened?"

"I don't know. I passed out, and when I woke up, it was gone."

"Is there anything else you can think of? Anything you can tell us, even if it doesn't seem important?" Sam pressed gently.

"Well, my ring got lost. Or else that thing stole it. If that makes any sense."

"What kind of ring?" Dean asked, something sparkling in his eyes.

"Gold," she replied. "Promise ring."

"Promise ring," Dean nodded, clearing his throat. "So, uh...from, like, a church? Like a purity ring?" I knew where he was going, we all did. Except for Melissa.

"Yeah. Why?" She asked brows furrowed in confusion. Dean glanced over at me, silently telling me to take the floor. I turned my attention fully to Melissa, trying to put this as nicely as possible.

"Melissa, I have to ask - and trust me, I'm not judging. Nobody here is," I started. "But...should you really be wearing that ring?"

"Well, I-I mean, I-I am-" Melissa hesitated, tripping over her words.

I tilted my head to the side, looking at her pointedly. "Really?"

Melissa breathed heavily, her eyes wide until she exploded. "Matt Barne didn't count!"

"That's what he told you, huh?" Dean asked in amusement, chuckling. I shot him a hard look and he quickly shrunk back mumbling a sorry.

"Yeah, but-" Melissa answered Dean's question, thankfully not noticing our exchange. She shook her head. "What does this have to do with anything?"

"It's just a theory we're working on," Sam answered quickly. "But I think you've given us plenty to go on, so we'll be leaving."

"We'll find whoever did this to you, okay?" I told her. She just nodded, still confused. "Feel better."

With that, we left the hospital, waiting until we were out of earshot to talk over what information we just gathered.

"So, what, you think Batman tried to rape her?" Sam asked as we stepped out to the parking lot.

"Well, he does carry a lot of rage," Dean commented. "But he rejected her because she was already de-hymenated, huh?"

"Jesus, don't ever say that again," I said, a tinge of playfulness in my very serious request. "But yeah. Seems like. Still have no clue why though."

"I think it just goes to show that being easy's pretty much all upside."

"You know, I gotta agree. I mean, I don't think I've ever run into a situation where not being a virgin was a disservice."

"Oh, don't I know it," Dean smirked at me. I smiled back just as suggestively.

"So, what kind of thing likes virgins and gold?" Sam asked, quickly trying to get the subject back on track.

"P. Diddy?" Dean quipped.

"You know, it's comforting," Sam began with a small smile as he approached the passenger side of the Impala.

"What's that?"

"I died for a year, came back, you're still not funny, and you two are still gross."

"I'm fucking hilarious," Dean pouted, looking over at me. "Right?"

"Yeah," I nodded, patting him on the arm as we rounded the car to head to our respective doors. "You have your moments."

"See," Dean turned back to Sam before my words fully sunk in. Once they did, he quickly looked at me again. "Wait, what?"

"And we are not gross," I defended us to Sam, ignoring Dean. Sam just stared at me, an eyebrow raised. I relented. "Well, not all the time, anyway. Can we just get the hell on the road?"

"Yeah," Sam laughed, getting into the car.

"I'm funny," Dean mumbled, opening the door.

"Mhm," I murmured through a smile, quickly sliding into the backseat.


MOTEL - DAY

The wall on the east side of the room was covered in magazine clippings, articles, and pictures of the missing girls in town. At this point, we'd been back for hours now. I'd cut out and hung up what felt like thousands of pieces of paper that Sam had printed off. I decided to take a break, plopping on the couch to flip through some police reports while Dean took over pinning up some newspaper clippings, while Sam was typing away on his laptop.

"This can't be possible," Sam announced, looking up at us from the screen in front of him.

"What?" I asked, lowering the folder in my hands.

"I googled, fire, claws, flying, stealing virgins, and gold, and it all takes me to the same place. "World of Warcraft fansites."

"I don't know what that means," Dean mumbled, glancing over at Sam from the wall.

"Dragons, dude."

"Dragons?" I asked, brows furrowed.

"Yup," Sam nodded. "But obviously, not possible."

Dean turned to face us. "Actually, it might be."

"How? In what reality?"

"It's been a strange year. We should get a second opinion," Dean said, looking up at me. "You should call Bobby."

"Why me?" I asked.

"'Cause, you're his favorite."

"I'm busy," I insisted, gesturing to the papers in my lap.

Dean crossed the room to sit down on the couch with a huff, pulling his phone out of his pocket as he did so. After pressing a couple of buttons, he held the phone to his ear.

"Yeah?" I heard Bobby's muffled voice answer on the other end.

"What do you know about dragons?" Dean asked.

"What? Nothing."

"Seriously."

"Well, they're not like the Loch Ness monster, Dean. Dragons aren't real."

"Could you make a few calls?"

"To who? Hogwarts?"

Dean rolled his eyes. "Humor me."

A long pause came before a loud sigh. "Fine."

"You're a gentleman and a scholar," Dean smiled.

"Yeah, yeah. Hey, how's Memento doing over there? He caught you two in any lies yet?" Bobby asked, thankfully Sam couldn't hear him from his spot at the table.

"Everything's fine," Dean answered cryptically enough that Sam only caught on slightly. I quickly averted my eyes away from him, looking back to the papers in my hand. Dean added, "Sam says hey."

Before Bobby could respond, Dean hung up the phone, tossing it down on the couch between him and I. Sam leaned forwards slightly, eyes on Dean. "You okay?"

"Yeah."

"Bobby say anything?"

"Nope," Dean replied with a shrug, quickly changing the subject. "Hey, why don't you give your eyes a rest? I'll take over there," he nodded to the laptop.

"You sure?" Sam asked skeptically.

"Yeah, why?"

"'Cause, you suck with technology, Dean. Unless, of course, you got better while I was gone," Sam said snarkily, a playful gleam in his eyes.

"Fuck off, I'm great with technology," Dean retorted, practically shoving Sam out of the way so he could plop down in the chair.

Resting his elbows on the table, Dean's fingers barely touched the trackpad for a second before Sam leaned over his shoulder with a grin, pointing to the top of the screen where the search bar was. "You gotta click-"

"I know it!" Dean hissed, pushing Sam away with the back of his arm. I shook my head at them, treasuring every fleeting second of this moment of normalcy.

Sam held up his hands in surrender, making his way over to the duffle bag that sat on the dresser. He dug through it for a moment, pulling out John's journal. He brought it with him over to the couch, cracking it open as he sat down on the opposite end from me.

"Dad never wrote anything about dragons, I promise," Dean told Sam. "I'd remember if I read The Neverending Story in there."

"Did we hunt a skinwalker lately?" Sam asked, ignoring Dean's question.

Fear washed through me as the words left Sam's lips. He wasn't supposed to remember anything. Dean and I cast looks of worry at each other, quickly averting our eyes when Sam looked up in our direction, confusion evident in his eyes.

"Doesn't ring a bell, why?" Dean asked, his voice surprisingly steady considering all the thoughts I assumed were running through his head.

"I don't know. Just déjà vu or something," Sam shook his head, looking back down at the book. "Are you sure? I could have sworn-"

I quickly grabbed the book from his hands, clapping it shut it with a loud thud. "We never hunted a skinwalker, Sam."

"Uh," He trailed off, staring down at his lap where the book had been before looking up at me with slightly wide eyes. "What-"

"I just-" I let out a heavy breath. "Sam, you just got back. Your mind's a little...foggy still. But we- we never hunted a skinwalker."

Thankfully, Dean's phone began ringing beside me. Without even looking at the caller ID, I answered the phone, happy for the distraction. "Hey."

"Oh," Bobby muttered, surprised. "Hey, Vic."

"Did you have anything?" I asked, standing to my feet, John's journal tucked under my arm.

"Actually, I do," Bobby replied. I gestured for the pen and paper that sat on the table. Sam quickly grabbed it, handing it over to me. I used the journal as a backing as Bobby continued. "Can't believe she didn't jump right to mind. Dr. Visyak. Medieval Studies, S.F.U."

"Dr. Visyak, S.F.U," I scribbled the words down as I repeated them. "Thanks, Bobby."

"No problem," Bobby trailed off.

"What?" I asked, knowing there was something he wanted to say.

"How- how you holdin' up?" He asked hesitantly. I gritted my teeth. Not so much in anger, more frustration.

"Talk to you later, Bobby," I responded, my voice dull. I snapped the phone shut, standing to my feet. "We need to go to San Francisco."

"What?" Dean asked, looking up at me in question as I handed him his phone.

"A friend of Bobby's lives there. I guess he thinks she can help us. So, pack up. It should only take a couple of days to get there and back."

"Shouldn't someone stay here?" Sam suggested.

"Good point," I nodded. "I'll go."

"No," Dean stood quickly, worry flashing in his eyes. "I will."

"You haven't slept properly in days," I argued.

Dean looked at me pointedly. "Tori."

I folded my arms. "Dean."

"Uhm, guys?" Sam started, calling out attention. "Why don't both of you go?"

"Sam, you just got back," I stated.

"I know. So?"

"So…" I trailed off. I couldn't tell him why we didn't want to leave him alone. I couldn't tell him the truth.

"Exactly," Sam said, thinking I didn't answer because I couldn't come up with a solid reason. Little did he know, I had a very good one. But it wasn't like I could tell him that we were afraid to leave him alone, just in case something...bad happened.

Under Sam's gaze, I shared a knowing look with Dean. We relented, we had to.

"Alright," Dean nodded. "We'll go to San Francisco. You stay put here and try to figure out how to kill these things. Figure out where they are."

"Yeah," Sam nodded.

"Here," Dean took his wallet from his back pocket and pulled out one of his cards, holding it out to Sam. "Since you're gonna be holed up for the next couple days, order all the take out you want."

Sam rolled his eyes. "Dean-"

"Take it," Dean insisted. Sam furrowed his brow, plucking the card from Dean's hands when he shoved it closer.

Sam looked at me, tucking the card in his pocket. "Did Bobby say where they like to park?"

"No," I answered, knowing he was asking about the dragons.

"Great," Sam huffed. "Back to the lore."

"Which says what?" Dean asked, pulling his jacket off the back of the chair. He slipped it on. "They live in Middle-Earth?"

"No. Caves."

Dean snorted. "You're such a nerd."

"Look, if anything comes up, just call, okay?" I asked Sam, trying not to show how worried I was to leave him.

"Yeah," Sam nodded. "Definitely."

"Promise," I pushed.

"I promise, Tori," Sam insisted with a nod. I placed a hand on his shoulder, patting it before picking up my own jacket, throwing it on.

Once in the Impala, I couldn't help but keep looking back at the motel. Worried was an understatement. What if he saw something on TV, read something that jogged his memory, and broke down the wall? We wouldn't even know until we got back that something happened.

We'd gotten about fifteen minutes away from the motel before I shared my fears with Dean. I didn't want to worry him, but the thoughts were too much to keep to myself. I could tell he was just as concerned about leaving Sam alone as I was, but he pointed out that if one of us insisted on staying, Sam would become way too suspicious. More than he already was, anyway. Then he'd start asking questions. One thing would leave to another and who knows what could happen.

As much as I hated it, I knew deep down he was right. I knew both of us weren't happy about leaving Sam alone for so long, but we had no choice. The rest of the drive to Dr. Visyak's was a mostly quiet one, save for Dean mentioning the dragons every now and again. We'd talk about them for a little bit, wondering how we'd never come across them before. Or John. Or any hunter we knew.

About eight hours later, we arrived at Dr. Visyak's house. The sun was low in the sky, casting orange and pink lights over the large property. Dean pulled the Impala up the circular driveway that led up to the old mansion, turning off the engine. We got out and walked up to the front door. An intercom sat on the wall beside it. Dean pressed the buzzer, peering into the camera on the front.

"Yes?" A woman's voice sounded through the speaker.

"Dr. Visyak, my name is Dean Winchester-"

"Office hours are Monday and Friday," She interrupted.

I leaned around Dean, closer to the speaker. "Bobby Singer sent us," I informed her, becoming impatient when I didn't hear a response. "Hello?"

Dean sighed, the two of us sharing an equally exasperated look. The click of a lock called our attention to the door where a blonde woman looking to be around Bobby's age answered.

Without a word, she stepped aside so we could enter. Dean and I followed her through a large foyer and into an equally ostentatious office room. Inside, one whole wall was lined with bookshelves that were completely full. She went to the desk placed in front of the floor to ceiling windows and poured herself a glass of whiskey from a bottle that sat there.

"Bobby Singer," she uttered, taking a sip. "Tell him something for me next time you see him."

Dean looked over at her. "What?"

"Actually, just kick him in the jewels. That's more poetic."

"Excuse me?" I asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Trust me, it's well deserved."

"I think it'd wanna hear more background before making that decision," I snapped.

She raised an eyebrow. "That's his story to tell. He's the idiot."

"Look, we didn't come here to hear you bash Bobby Singer."

"Then why did you come here?" She asked, seemingly unphased by my sour attitude.

"Well," Dean paused, taking a seat. "Dragons."

"Really?" She questioned, her expression serious as she made her way around the front of the desk.

"What, no twelve-sided-dice joke?"

"We can joke about them because they've disappeared. But they aren't funny. At all."

"Well, one just flew in stateside."

"Are you sure?"

"Fits the lore to a T," Dean informed her.

"But how? I mean, why?" She questioned, taking the seat across from Dean. "It's been seven hundred years."

"Banner crop of crazy all the way around these days, doc."

"So you want to know how to kill it."

"Pretty much, yeah," I nodded.

"Well, you need a blade," She explained. "One forged with dragon blood."

"Of course," I huffed, leaning on one of the back of Dean's chair.

"So, let me get this right," Dean started. "You need one to kill one, but you got to kill one to make one. How does that work out?"

"Well, there aren't many dragon swords around anymore. Five or six, tops, worldwide. I mean, there's the sword of St. George, and, of course, there's Excalibur. And there's-"

"You know a lot about this stuff, huh?" I asked.

"Well, I sure as hell better," She smiled behind her glass. "I have one in the basement."

"I'm sorry, you have one?" I questioned, brows furrowed. Dr. Visyak nodded and stood to her feet, bringing her glass over to her desk where she sat it down with a quiet clink.

"Finding it took two decades, countless hours, and some really bad sex with an eastern European ambassador," She informed us as we made our way through her home, passing by three large stained glass windows that illuminated the staircase leading down.

Opening a set of doors, we entered the basement, which had a very dungeon-y feel. The ceilings were low and concrete, the walls were brick, adorned with large paintings of men and women from the middle ages placed in elaborated frames.

Dr. Visyak brought us to another set of double doors, swinging them open to reveal a huge boulder with a sword embedded in it sitting in front of yet another fireplace inside the room. Dean and I shared a look, his of awe, mine of skepticism.

"Is it Excalibur?" Dean asked excitedly as we entered the room.

"No," She chuckled. "This...is the Sword of Brunswick. Love of my life."

"The sword or the Knight?" I inquired.

Dr. Visyak smirked, folding her arms. "Call it even."

"So, what's with the cement shoe?" Dean wondered aloud, running a hand along the stone.

"You know, binding sword to stone used to be all the rage," She shrugged. "To protect them."

I scoffed. "If it's bound with magic, then how the hell do we get it out?"

"Oh, come on. You know this one," Dr. Visyak grinned, bumping her shoulder into mine. "We need a brave knight who's willing to step up and kill the beast."

"Great. Where the hell are we gonna find one of those?" I complained, throwing my arms out to the side. Dean looked over at me, mouth agape, completely and totally offended. I quickly backtracked, an apologetic smile on my face as I gestured to him. "I mean, we have one right here!"

"Thanks for the vote of confidence, babe," Dean rolled his eyes at me, looking at Dr. VIsyak. "You mind if I…?"

"No, go right ahead," She gave permission, trying to hide the smirk on her lips.

"Okay," Dean nodded, making his way around the other side of the boulder to the sword. He put his foot up on the side of the boulder and grabbed onto the hilt with one hand, giving it a quick jerk up. A low grunt escaped his lips when the sword didn't budge.

I bit my lip in worry. "Dean, maybe you should-"

"I got it," he puffed out in response. I nodded, glancing over at Dr. Visyak, who simply gave me a small smile.

Repositioning his hand on the hilt, Dean gave the sword another pull - still to no avail. He cleared his throat and repositioned his feet, grabbing the hilt with two hands, pulling even harder than before. Dean's hands slipped off the sword and he went falling back to the floor.

"Jesus Christ," I quickly rushed over to his side to help him up. "Are you okay?"

"Never better," Dean breathed heavily, helping me lift him to his feet by using the rock to push himself up.

"Let's just figure something else out," I suggested.

Dean completely ignored me, grabbing onto the handle with both hands. Hopping up onto the boulder for leverage, he gritted his teeth and began pulling again. His face began turning red from straining so hard until he slipped back down.

"Oh, son of a bitch!" He exclaimed through a strained smile, stumbling as his feet hit the floor. I grabbed a hold of his arm, steadying him. "That's really on there!"

"Yeah, afraid so," Dr. Visyak said.

I patted Dean on the back. "At least you tried."

Dean wiped the sweat from his upper lip, staring at the stone with pure hatred. "Well, I have another idea."

Dr. Visyak raised an eyebrow. "Oh?"

"Yeah. But you're not gonna like it."

"What does that mean?" She asked, brows furrowed. Dean smirked, glancing back at me, the look in my eyes told me all I needed to know. Explosives would be involved


MOTEL ROOM - DAY
SPOV

After hours upon hours of staring at the same map, I slowly realized I wasn't getting anywhere. I tried to avoid calling Bobby for as long as possible. He seemed uncomfortable, mostly around me. And, though it was killing me not to know why, I didn't want to make it worse.

But after countless hours of dead ends, I was out of options.

Making my way back over to the table, I pulled my phone out of my pocket and sat down, pressing Bobby's speed-dial number. I held the phone to my ear, waiting as it kept ringing. For a second I thought he wasn't even going to pick up until the crackle of someone answering came through the speaker.

"Sam."

"Hey."

"Where's the other two?" He asked.

"They went to see your friend," I explained. "Look, I'm trying to figure out where this thing lairs up. Little help, maybe?"

"What are the parameters?"

"Caves, basically. But there's nothing around for miles."

"So, less literal, then. What else you got local that's cold, dark, and wet?"

"Well, there's no subway lines," I told him, something on the map catching my eye. I stood, going back over to it. "Sewers. That could be it. Thanks."

"Alright," Bobby muttered.

"Wait, Bobby," I called before he hung up, switching the phone from one hand to the other. "You okay?"

"Yeah, of course," he answered a little too quickly. "Why? What's wrong?"

I smiled humorlessly. "Besides the way you've been acting and talking? Nothing. Is there something I should know?"

"No. All you need to know is where Godzilla's holed up."

"Bobby, what happened this past year?" I asked bluntly, getting tired of everyone thinking I wouldn't catch onto something being wrong.

"It had its moments. No more than usual. It's got nothing to do with you, Sam. How could it?"

"Right," I nodded to no one. There's no way he was going to say anything more, I resigned myself to that fact. "'Course."

"Call me if you need anything," Bobby said. I barely got out my response before the line went dead.

With heavy feet, I trudged back over to the table, tossing my phone down onto the hard surface with a sigh. Something was wrong and someone had to give me answers. There's only one person left to do that...hopefully.

"Castiel," I began, speaking into nothing. "I'm back. So, if you've got a minute…"

"Sam," Cas appeared in front of the table, his presence taking me by surprise. "It's so good to see you alive."

"Yeah. You too," I said. To my surprise, Cas took a step forward, arms outstretched. I quickly sat down, avoiding that encounter at all costs. It just didn't feel...right. I cleared my throat, guilt washing over me when his arms dropped back down to his side dejectedly. "Look, I would hug you, but-"

"That would be awkward," he finished, taking a couple of steps away from the table.

"Um, what a crazy year, huh?" I changed the subject. "I- I just talked to Bobby. He told me everything that happened."

"Frankly, I'm surprised that you survived. I was begging Dean and Victoria not to do it."

I hid my confusion and played along. "Yeah. No, I- I can understand that."

"You know, it's a miracle it didn't kill you."

What did they do? I thought, forcing my expression to remain neutral. "Yeah, it's a miracle, alright."

"So, how does it feel?" Cas asked.

"What?"

"Well, to have your soul back, of course," Cas answered obviously. His words hit me like a punch to the gut, all the air leaving my lungs as I processed what he said.

"Right. Y- you mean 'cause I was walking around with no soul," I choked out the words. Tears filled my eyes, but I blinked them away. Thankfully he didn't seem to notice my reaction, so I pushed on. "Really good, Cas. I'm really good. You know what? I'm- I'm just hazy on a few of the details, though. You think maybe you could...walk me through?"

I was trying to make myself believe that whatever happened, it couldn't have been that bad. But, if so, then why would everyone keep it from me? What could I possibly have done that they wouldn't want me to know about? I didn't necessarily want to know the answer to that question, but I felt as though I needed to.

Still though, after all the convincing myself that I'd be able to handle it, nothing could've prepared me for the reality.


DR. VISYAK'S MANSION - DAY
TPOV

Back outside, Dean and I walked to the Impala to get what we needed to execute Dean's plan while Dr. Visyak stayed inside. watching us from the window beside the door. Once at the car, Dean unlocked the door while I made my way to the back, waiting for him to pop the trunk so I could lift it.

"I have a bad feeling about this," I announced, opening the trunk. Dean rounded the back of the car, stopping next to me.

"You don't even know what my plan is!" He argued, grabbing the extra duffle bag we kept folded in the trunk, opening it up.

I scoffed, folding my arms. I leaned against the bumper. "I have an idea."

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah," I answered simply. "You've got that I wanna blow shit up look in your eye."

Dean peered up at me, an eyebrow raised as he tried to come up with a retort. Eventually, he gave up, gesturing back to the mansion. "You got a better idea to get that thing out of there?"

"I don't know," I shrugged. "Maybe try and reverse the spell?"

"That could take forever!"

"I'm sure Dr. Visyak could help."

"This is easier," Dean said, picking up the now full duffle bag.

I pointed to the bag in his hands. "This is dangerous."

"Just trust me, okay? I got this." Dean said, looking at me with soft eyes. I couldn't help but relent.

"Okay," I nodded with a sigh. "Let's go blow shit up." Dean smiled, shutting the trunk.

We made sure not to tell Dr. Visyak the plan until we were already back inside, ensuring she couldn't lock us out of the house. Dean and I walked ahead of her back down to the boulder, the sound of her heels clicking quickly as she rushed behind us echoed through the concrete basement. She kept questioning our, well Dean's, plan.

Once we reached the boulder room, Dr. Visyak seemingly had enough of us telling her not to worry, because she hurried in front of Dean and me, holding a hand out to stop us.

"You know what? I don't like this at all," She said, slightly out of breath. "You do realize that this is the single most valuable artifact you have ever touched."

"He knows what he's doing, okay?" I defended Dean. Usually, I'd be extremely confident in that answer, but...I wasn't totally sure in this instance. She didn't need to know that, though.

"I actually learned it all from Bobby," Dean said. Dr. Visyak made a face, but Dean continued. "Whatever happened there, you know he's at least a genius at this."

"Yes. But-"

"Do you want us to kill that dragon or not?" I pressed. Dr. Visyak pulled in a deep breath, letting it out in one fast huff as she stepped aside, allowing us to step into the room.

Dean knelt down in front of the boulder, pulling a C4 pack from the duffle bag. He narrowed his eyes at the stone. "You rocks think you're so smart."

After about ten minutes, we had the entire boulder rigged up with C4. Dean grabbed the detonator and began backing up towards the open door out into the hall, while I made sure the line stayed tangle-free on the ground, following along as well.

Once we were outside of the room, Dean and I each pulled a door shut and held onto them, bracing for the impact. Dean glanced back at Dr. Visyak, who was still visibly nervous, before looking at me, shooting a wink my way. I smiled since Dr. Visyak was watching, but the moment both she and Dean looked away, I let the smile drop.

This is so stupid.

With the press of a button, a loud bang sounded off in the adjacent room, the doors blowing back against our hands. After a second of quiet, I stepped back and let Dean open the door. Smoke billowed out of the room, rock particles floating around in the air along with it. I waved a hand in front of my face to try and clear the soot, stepping into the room along with Dean.

Inside, the chandelier that illuminated the room was still shaking from the blast, but everything else was untouched, save for the boulder, which was broken into quite a few different pieces. From the looks of it, the sword was absolutely unscathed.

A smile spread across my lips when Dean looked back at us proudly. He stepped over to the boulder, grabbing the swords hilt. This time, when he pulled on it, the sword freed from the rock. My eyes widened when only half of it's blade came out, broken off in jagged pieces at the end, the rest still firmly stuck in the rock. I glanced back at Dr. Visyak over my shoulder, who looked like she was about to faint.

"You've got insurance for this, right?" Dean asked nervously, swallowing with a loud gulp.

Before we left Dr. Visyak's, I must have apologized about a thousand times. She was angry but promised she wouldn't track us down if we successfully killed the dragons. I had no idea if we could or not, but I promised we would do it.

Once in the Impala, I somehow convinced Dean to get some rest. He slept nearly the entire ride back to the motel. By the time we got there, the sun was rising in the sky. I was scared to open the door, afraid we'd find Sam in a pool of drool on the other side.

My relief was immeasurable when we entered to find him sitting at the table, looking over a large map. Sam looked up at us, a flash of emotion hitting his eyes before he blinked it away. I was about to ask him what was going on, but before I could, he greeted us.

"Hey, guys. How'd it go?"

"Alright," I replied, shooting him a questioning look.

He ignored it. "Did you get the sword?"

"Heh," Dean laughed, pulling it out of his bag. He held it out to his brother.

"Kind of," I mumbled, folding my arms.

Sam stood and took the sword from Dean, looking down at it with furrowed brows. "What are we supposed to do with this? Give it a booster shot?"

"It's what we got," Dean said, pulling the sword back from Sam. "We're just gonna have to get a little closer. That's all. Where are we on the caves?"

"Nowhere. Sewers, on the other hand…" Sam trailed off, pointing to the map spread out on the table. Dean and I stood on either side while he pointed to the map, showing us his findings. "Here. Check this out. So, two of the disappearances happened within a mile of here. So I think we start there and work our way around."

"Awesome. Who doesn't love sewers?" Dean uttered sarcastically. Pushing away from the table, he headed towards the door. "Let's go."

I was about to follow until I noticed that Sam hesitated, looking like he wanted to say something. I turned back to face him. "You okay?"

Sam blinked a few times. "Uh, yeah. Yeah. Let's go."

With that, he rolled up the map and tucked it under his arm, grabbing his jacket on the way to the door. I watched him go, dismayed by the way he was acting. There was no way he remembered anything, right? According to Death, he wouldn't be standing if that were the case.

"You coming?" Sam asked, poking his head back through the open door. I quickly shook off my worries and followed him out to the Impala.


Armed with whatever was left of that sword and some flashlights, we began our trek into the sewers. After walking around for what felt like forever, there was no sign of anything supernatural. Other than the smell. It was pretty unreal how horrible it was. I found myself holding my jacket over my nose and mouth in an attempt to keep it away.

"God. Just when I get used to a smell, I hit a new flavor," Dean commented, cringing. He glanced over at me. "We're never washing the rank out of these clothes."

"I wasn't planning on trying. I'm gonna start a fire when we get back to Bobby's, and I'm gonna burn them," I grumbled.

"I'm good with that," Sam replied.

"Can we make s'mores?" Dean wondered aloud.

I balked. "How are you even thinking about food right now?"

Dean shrugged. "You mention fire, I think s'mores. I can't help it."

"Sam, I hate to say, but I think something is off," I said.

"With Dean?" Sam teased, glancing over at me. "I know."

"No," I paused, grinning. "Well, yes-"

"Hey!" Dean exclaimed.

"I mean with the lore," I told Sam, the three of us stopping to speak. "We've been here for hours. There isn't anything."

Sam turned around to face us, sighing. "Where else do we look?"

"Hey, what if dragons like nice hotels?" Dean suggested.

"What is that?" Sam asked, shining his flashlight behind us.

"What?" I asked, turning around to shine my light down the corridor to our right. On the floor, a pile of what appeared to be metallic glimmered in the light.

"Holy shit," Dean breathed, quickly moving over to the bag. When he picked up a watch, I realized it was a pile of gold jewelry and coins. Dean glanced back over his shoulder. "Okay, maybe there are dragons here."

"Whoa, check this out," Sam called. I followed him to the end of the corridor we'd been standing in, finding a makeshift altar situated on the brick wall's ledge brick altar situated at the end, covered in candles and little trinkets. Sam picked up a book from the altar. "A little arts-and-crafty for a giant bat, right?"

"Witch dragons?" I questioned in disbelief.

"Wigons?" Dean thought aloud, stepping up behind us. "Dragowitches? Oh, I got it! Wagons!" At the same time, Sam and I looked back at Dean, waiting for him to realize what he just said. A good few seconds passed before his smile fell. "Ah, shit."

"You tried," Sam grinned.

"Hello?" A girl's voice echoed through the sewer, immediately putting an end to our playful moods. Someone was really down here. "Is anyone there? Can you help us?"

We quickly rushed towards her voice, finding ourselves heading up a steel bridge that covered more sewer water. Across the bridge was a wider corridor, nearly a room, grates positioned on either side of it allowing access to the lower part of the sewer. Following the voices, we found four girls, crouched down and covered in dirt, trapped underneath one of the grates used as a makeshift cage. I dropped to my knees in front of the grating to get closer to them.

"Don't worry. We're gonna get you out," I promised the girls while Sam and Dean attempted to pull up the grate with crowbars. It didn't budge. I began pulling the grate with my bare hands, hoping with that little extra bit it would give. It didn't.

"Quick," One of the girls, who I recognized as Penny Desertine, said. "He's coming back."

"Okay, we-"

My words were cut off when Sam went flying backward, a man dressed in all black standing over him. Dean quickly got up and pulled out the sword, standing in front of me and the girls when the man approached.

"Where do you think you're gonna stick that?" The dragon asked Dean.

"You don't wanna know," Dean smirked. The dragon lunged forward. Dean slashed his arm with the blade, cutting a deep gash in his skin that sizzled and glowed purple.

The dragon held onto his bleeding wound, seething. "Where did you get that?"

"Comic-Con," Dean quipped, raising his arm to slash the dragon.

Before he could stab him, the dragon grabbed Dean's arm and tossed it back, causing the sword to go flying into the other grate. The dragon closed in on Dean, his arm glowing with heat. I glanced back at the terrified girls, seeing their eyes grow even wider second before I felt a pair of arms wrap around my upper torso, lifting me off the ground. I quickly wrapped my shin around the back of his knee, simultaneously grabbing my knife from my belt. Using the leverage I now had, I plunged my knife into his leg. Letting out a yelp in shock and pain, he let me go. Sam got to his feet, and smacked the dragon in the back of the head with a crowbar, allowing Dean to getaway.

Once I was free of the dragon's grasp, I hurriedly kicked him in the stomach, sending him stumbling back into the brick wall. Dean dropped to his stomach, reaching in the grate for the sword. While Sam hit the dragon going after him a good couple of times before attempting to hit him with the crowbar, the dragon grabbed it, both of them held on as his hands glowed red, heating the metal. Sam released it before it could burn him, pushing the dragon back when he was caught off guard.

Meanwhile, the dragon I'd knocked back grabbed me by the collar of my jacket and pushed me up against the wall. Sam glanced between me and where the sword was in the grate, unsure what to do first. I silently told him I was fine and he hurried over to the grate, lying down to reach for the sword. Just as he did, the other dragon grabbed Dean and tossed him aside. In an effort to get free of the dragon's grip, I hit the inside of his elbow, causing his arms to bend, and giving me leverage so I could grab his collar. Across the room, Dean used the railing to lift himself and kick the dragon stalking towards him.

Behind the dragon holding me, I could see that Sam successfully got the sword. I smiled at the dragon, he furrowed his brow in confusion until his face contorted in pain as Sam slashed him across the back. He released me and turned in time to see Sam stab the dragon stalking towards Dean in the back.

A moment passed in which the one dragon left stared at us, contemplating if he could survive this fight. Just as Sam launched forward to stab him, he disappeared through the open door on the opposite side of the room, a heavy breeze blowing through as he left


Eventually, we were able to cut through the grate and free the girls. We led them out of the sewers and back up to the surface. They clung to each other, crying tears of joy. We told them we'd stay while they called the cops, but that we'd have to leave before they came. They asked questions, some we answered, some we didn't. But upon our request, they reassured us they wouldn't say anything. They'd simply tell people they escaped.

None of that really mattered though, it was just the motions we usually went through. I was just glad that these girls could be reunited with their families. People who loved them and missed them. I thought about Penny's sister. How happy she was going to be. Ecstatic, even. It's how all of their families and friends will be.

It reminded me why we did this. Hell, it even made me feel good for a little bit.

The drive back to Bobby's was filled with music blaring through the speakers. Dean tapped his fingers on the steering wheel and sang along to it. Seeing him that way made me happy. Still, though, I found myself constantly checking on Sam. He laughed when Dean told him what happened with the sword. He'd smile occasionally when Dean hit a sour note. But during every lull, he started to look a little zoned out.

Each time, it worried me, but I didn't want to say anything. I was afraid that if I poked at it, everything would come crashing down.

Once we arrived back, we filled Bobby in on everything while unpacking the Impala, giving him the book we'd taken from the dragon's altar to read over. Once everyone was settled in, I was about to lock up the car when I saw a duffle bag tucked underneath the driver seat. I furrowed my brow and picked it up. Whatever was inside clattered around.

"Oh, gimme!" Dean exclaimed excitedly, grabbing the bag away from me.

'What the hell is that?" I asked, following him into the large workshop hanger.

"You'll see," Dean told me, pulling out a chair at the small table inside. He gestured for me to sit across from him, so I did. I hesitantly watched as he dropped the bag down on top of the table. It landed with a clang. Dean cleared his throat before unzipping the bag, dumping it's contents onto the table. My mouth dropped open at the pile of gold coins, rings and watches that tumbled out.

"Where did you get that?"

"From the dragon's stash," Dean grinned excitedly, running his hands over the gold.

"You stole some kidnapped girls' things?"

"Well, when you put it like that…" Dean trailed off for a moment before getting distracted by a large gold watch from the pile. "Ooh."

"Why don't you cut to the chase and just roll in it?" Sam questioned, a smile on his lips as he rounded the corner.

"I rarely have wealth," Dean mumbled, looking up with a smile. "Hey, hey. Ask me what time it is."

I shared a look with Sam, rolling my eyes as I obliged. "What time is it?"

"Time for a trip to the pawnshop," he grinned.

"God, you're such a dork," I laughed, resting my head in my hand on the table.

"Guys," Sam started, the tone of his voice making me look up instantly. There were tears in his eyes, threatening to spill over. He swallowed hard, sitting down on a stool in front of the table. "I didn't- I don't know how to say this, but, I am- I am so sorry. It's not enough, I know. But I- I can't even begin to say-"

"What are you talking about, Sam?" I asked, fear flowing through me, paralyzing me.

Sam clenched his jaw tightly. "You know what."

Dean let out an angry huff. "Did Bobby-"

"Cas."

"Cas?" I shook my head, scoffing."Moron."

"Why didn't you tell me?" Sam asked.

"You weren't supposed to know," Dean said, looking down at the ground.

"What I did? Of course, I should know!" Sam exclaimed, his emotions pouring over. "You got out, you had lives! You were happy!"

Dean sighed. "Sam-"

"You were gonna be parents! And I-"

"Sam, stop!" I snapped, my tone coming out harsher than I intended. I took a breath, attempting to keep my own tears at bay. "You need to stop."

"I ruined everything for you," Sam cried, the tears now streaming down his cheeks. "How can I stop?"

"Because we can't lose you, Sam," I told him through a shaky voice.

Sam furrowed his brows in confusion. "What?"

"Death didn't just shove your soul back in, okay?" Dean explained. "He put up the great wall of Sam between you and the things that you don't remember. And trust me when I say that the things you don't know could kill you. That is not a joke."

"But I have to set things right," Sam replied quietly, not meeting my eyes. "What I can, anyway."

Dean sighed sadly. "It wasn't you."

"I feel like I got slipped the worst mickey of all time...and I woke up to find out that I had burnt the whole city down. And you can say it wasn't me, but...I'm the one with the zippo in my pocket, you know? So I'm not sure it's that cut and dry," Sam said tearfully. "And, look, I appreciate you guys trying to protect me. I really do. But I gotta fix what I gotta fix. So, please, I need to know what I did."

"You don't know what that could do to you, Sam," I told him.

"What would you do?" He asked. When neither of us responded, he nodded. "Right. Same thing. Please."

"Kids," Bobby called from the garage entrance. "Something I think you ought to see." Inside, Bobby led us to his desk, pushing the open book in front of us. "Now, as near as I can figure it, this dates back around the fourteenth century."

"What language is it?" Sam inquired.

"Da Vinci Code. Real obscure Latinate. Gonna take me my golden years to translate it all. Oh, and, uh, FYI—that ain't paper."

"What is it?" Dean asked.

"It's human skin," Bobby replied.

I cringed but continued with the conversation. "What have you gotten from it?"

"I'm fairly clear on this first bit. It basically describes this place. It's like the backside of your worst nightmares. It's all blood and bone and darkness. Filled with the bodies and souls of all things hungry, sharp, and nasty."

"Monsters?" Sam wondered aloud.

"It's monsterland. According to this, it goes by many names, most of which I can't pronounce, but I'm thinking you know Purgatory."

"Awesome," Dean scoffed. "Well, that is good to know. So, you're saying that these, uh, dragon freaks were squatting in the sewers and reading tone poems about purgatory?"

Bobby shook his head. "Oh, no. They're reading an instruction manual."

"To do, what?" I pressed, scared of the answer I knew in my gut he was about to give.

"If you're nuts enough to want access to a place that gnarly, this book will show you how to open a door."

"Just what I always wanted," I mumbled sarcastically.

"I know a demon who would have loved to have known about that," Dean spat angrily. "So, how do you open the door?"

"Ask Cloverfield," Bobby replied. "I'm pretty sure he's got that page. But it gets worse."

"'Course it does," I scoffed, folding my arms.

"This ain't talking about how to take a vacation over there. This is all about opening a door to let something in," Bobby explained.

"To bring something here," Sam added. " What?"

"I'm working on it."

"Could you give us something?" Dean asked.

"I got a name. Mother."

"Mother?" Sam repeated. "Mother of what? Mother of dragons?"

"I wish," Bobby laughed humorlessly. "It says it a few times here. Mother of all."

"What the fuck does that mean?" Dean questioned.

Bobby shrugged. "I don't know."

We shared a look of trepidation, all attempting to hide the fear in our eyes for each other's sake even though we knew how terrifying this was. There was always something new on top of everything else. Shit piled on top of more shit. I thought back to those feeling moments of happiness I felt on the way back here. It was amazing how fast that dissipated. How quickly it was replaced with panic. The cycle was never-ending.


No spoilers, but, uh...that finale was really something wasn't it? Heh...yeah…

If you liked it, that's great! I, however, was not a fan lol. Inherit The Earth would've been a good stopping point, in my opinion. With the addition of a certain angel showing up at the end, of course. And Eileen. Cause come onnnn

Feel free to tell me why you liked the finale, or why you didn't! I'd love to hear!

I'm going to (hopefully) post a few more chapters over the next couple of months, but I'm definitely gonna try to be more consistent with posting in 2021. As lacking as I might have believed the finale to be, (DEAN FUCKING DESERVED BETTER, OKAY) it made me want to write more, so that's good.

Anywhoozle, thanks for reading and stay safe out there, guys :)

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