Author's Chapter Notes:
Well, here is the final chapter folks.
This has been a strange little story, but I hope that you have enjoyed it. I know that most people think of Ruby as a black hearted as well as black eyed b*tch (she does have her moments – lots of them) but I've gone a little different route here!
Thanks for all the support on this one, I have a few others waiting in the wings to be finished and then I post.
Here' s go…..
It was Dean's turn to chuckle as he pushed out and stopped Alastair in his tracks.
The demon raised his eyebrows almost at the same time Sam did. "How?" It was Alastair that managed the question first.
"Ruby didn't get very far." He never took his eyes off the demon in front of him but he could tell that Sam was standing opened mouthed, staring at him.
"She didn't….you mean she's with you…inside?"
Dean never took his eyes off Alastair. "Can we chat about this later?"
Sam turned back to the demon, his strength buoyed by the knowledge that Ruby was safe and reached out, surrounding Alastair with his power. "This time…you're going down. We're gonna take you down. Together." He pulled and was rewarded with trails of smoke filtering from the mouth of the man in front of him.
"Cheating again boys? That is so not nice." Alastair took a faltering step forward. Dean closed his eyes and put everything he had into keeping him at a distance, helping Ruby push back at the darkness that was trying to break them both. Being the host for Ruby opened Dean up to Alastair's evilness more so than he had ever felt he had in hell, he felt the badness trying to seep into his bones, invade him and then he realised that Alastair was trying to possess him, take him down by taking him over.
"No." He felt Sam react to the single word and knew that his brother understood what was happening here. The choking sensation hit him as Alastair tried to force his way in, but the demon was fighting on two fronts and his efforts were weakened accordingly.
Sam realised that Dean was struggling, even with Ruby's help and he unconsciously reached out for his brother's hand to lend him his support. As their fingers clasped Dean felt the jolt course through him as Sam somehow joined the fight going on inside him. He felt Alastair being pushed back a lot more forcefully that he had been and then he felt the chill of Sam's invasion into his mind and soul and he buckled slightly under it.
Robert stepped forward, gripping Dean, shoring up his defences with his own mind and keeping him on his feet. Sam turned his attention back to Alastair as he felt his brother and Ruby get their own hold on the demon back. "Leave my brother alone."
"Sure it's your brother your worried about or the fact that your girl is in there with him? That must be fun for him, Ruby always was a little bit of a slut." Alastair smiled. "But then again so is your brother. Do you think she's comparing notes?"
"I said….leave..my..brother..alone." Sam anger slowly built inside him and he pushed again, harder this time, unconsciously wiping the blood from his nose as it trickled down his face. He felt Alastair weaken under the onslaught.
"Impressive Sammy, really. No control over it properly yet though, have you? It's destroying you almost as much as it's getting me."
"Really?" Sam changed tact this time and pulled hard, one shot of the most power he could muster. Alastair fell to his knees and the black smoke oozed from his nose and mouth this time. Sam kept pulling even as he felt the power in him ebb slightly. Alastair was almost out although Sam wasn't sure if he had the strength to send him down after getting him free of his host.
He felt it as Dean lost his grip on the demon, felt Ruby struggle to right it, he tightened his grip on Dean's hand and realised that if he tried to help him he'd loose their one shot at halting Alastair. His moment of indecision almost cost them both dearly as Alastair sensed it and fought back. Sam had no option but to focus all his attention on the now advancing demon even as beside him Dean went down, taking Robert with him.
Dean was mumbling and Robert lent in to try and hear what he was saying. "The knife. I can't. Finish it…please."
Robert grabbed the knife from Dean's waistband and then turned, realising that the angel had stepped up behind him. "He wasn't asking you." Castiel took the knife and sliced into his arm again.
Alastair's grin failed as he saw the angel approach. He knew that he couldn't fight it, Ruby and Sam. He tried to latch onto the weakest link in the chain, tried to drag Dean's soul over to him but something was stopping him, this time he was surprised to find that the something was Ruby.
He tried one last time to divide and conquer.
"If you let me have him, you'll have a host." He tried to bargain with Ruby.
"I can get another host….in fact I have to. I ain't staying in this one." She threw a look at Sam. " If I let you have him this time, I lose Sam, I won't do that. You've lost this one Alastair, why don't you just go somewhere and lick your wounds?"
"Sam's really got you licked hasn't he? You know that you want Dean out of the way, I can do that for you. The other one will get over it, he's done it before."
His attention on Ruby made his grip on Dean slip slightly and the elder Winchester took back control. Raising his head Dean grinned at him. "Ruby always picks the winning team Alastair. You know that. This time…that would be Team Winchester. You've lost…get over it."
Castiel stepped over and drove the knife into Alastair as Sam continued to pull, then he touched the head of the demon's host and Sam knew that it was all over. He pulled Alastair free with one final effort and they watched as the black smoke drifted almost lazily away. Sam knew that he hadn't really beaten Alastair, that Alastair had left, but still he felt a small flame of satisfaction in him that for now they had beaten him back….for now he would leave them alone.
"Dean." Sam was down at his brother's side immediately the battle was done. He raised Dean's head up to look at him.
"Sam." He knew it was Ruby that he was talking to. "Dean needs to get somewhere to rest."
Sam pulled his brother up into his arms. "Is he ok? Why is it you and not him that's talking? I want to speak with him."
"Sam. He's ok. Really. He's just completely exhausted." It felt strange talking to his brother, about his brother. Robert helped him get Dean to his feet and into the car and Sam was grateful that Ruby was there, he knew that she was helping Dean rest….taking control for now. They put him into the passenger seat and Sam rounded the car. "Let's go, before he decides to come back." He slid in and waited until his companions had settled in the car and then he headed out.
"Where do you want to go?" He looked at his brother, forgetting for a moment that Ruby was in charge. He watched as she backed off and let Dean through.
"Only one place to go." Dean closed his eyes and slumpt against the window.
Sam smiled and headed to the highway and the route to South Dakota.
Bobby watched as the weary looking, rag tag band wound it's way up his front steps.
"I have beds for the humans but the angel is on God's good grace."
Dean smiled at Bobby's attempt at a joke. "Glad to see you too."
Castiel missed the humour. "I don't need a place to rest, besides I should be going, they will be back at some point and we may need more than just me."
"You're going to fetch other angels….here?" Castiel saw the worried look that Dean cast in Sam's direction.
"I have to, we don't really have a choice." He too looked in Sam's direction. "Although maybe not here….not just yet."
Dean motioned to him and they walked out onto the porch. He placed a hand on the angel's shoulder. "Thank you..." he glanced again at his brother through the open door. "….for everything."
"You're brother's activities will not have gone unnoticed. There maybe trouble ahead for him."
"I know, do you think I could bargain with the others? Their need of me against their fear of my brother?"
Castiel laughed a little light laugh. "If anyone can….it would be you Dean." He grew serious. "Be careful. Lillith and Alastair are bad enemies to have and they seem to want to get Sam to go over as badly as they want to see the seals broken. They also seem to want to use you at the bait to do it….him letting you get taken to hell was a step in the wrong direction."
"I know. I don't aim to let them do that. No matter the cost to me."
"That is what I'm afraid of, remember God had a reason for saving you, even if we don't know what it is yet, getting rid of you may be part of their plan."
Dean smiled. "Let then try and if God wants my help, he'll need to help my brother or leave him alone, we come as a package."
Castiel held Dean's attention, his eyes serious and worried. "Just as long as your brother knows that."
Dean's smile slipped. "He does. Lillith hurt him, he felt he had failed me because of her. It's the reason he wants to destroy her so badly. He gets a little tunnel vision where she's concerned."
"I understand, just watch that he doesn't destroy you at the same time."
"He won't, take more than he can muster to take me down, beside I have my own guardian angel at my beck and call." He chuckled slightly at Castiel's face.
"That you have, but for now I have to go. Take care Dean and next time call me when you need me….don't have a demon do it for you or leave it until it is almost too late."
Dean went to speak but instead flinched as the angel disappeared, only the small disturbance of the air to show that he'd ever been there in the first place. He was aware of a movement behind him.
"Hey kid, you ok?" Bobby walked over and lent on the porch rail as Dean lowered himself down onto the top step and rested his head against were Bobby was leaning.
"Sam filled me in on the highlights of what's been happening since the bitch called me and asked for the summoning ritual. I woulda headed over but I had a job to finish that I couldn't leave. I'm sorry." He reached down and touched Dean shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze.
"Hey, it's fine. It all turned out ok. Don't sweat it."
"I'll finish off the protection now that you boys are all here, I waited so that Ruby could get in. Were is Ruby anyhow?"
Dean forced himself to his feet and grinned. "If I told you….you wouldn't believe me. Just watch what you're saying about her around me though. I may find the unusual urge to leap to her defence."
Bobby looked at him for a moment and then the light dawned. "Sam didn't tell me that. Well that could be awkward. Her being in you and her being Sam's squeeze and all."
"Don't, even go there Bobby. This is a situation that's about to be rectified. Can you leave that door open for her for a little while longer?" He slapped the elder hunter on the back and walked back into the house and then into the bathroom. Pulling the little cord he switched on the light above the mirror and sighed. He seen better looking corpses than the reflection that stared back at him. Splashing some water on his face he spoke.
"Fun's over. Go find someone else to infect."
He heard Ruby's voice in his head. "You're welcome for my help by the way. What if I don't want to leave?"
"Then I'll go out there and get Bobby to evict you. I want to get a shower and then get some sleep and you ain't get a free look or into to bed with me."
"Your brother's really more my type." Ruby laughed at the face he pulled.
"No details please. Get…now."
"Ok, I can take a hint. I'm going. Although where I'm going to find another coma victim…."
"I'm sure that you'll manage." He paused. "You really do care about my brother? I can feel it."
"Yes." Ruby's voice was soft inside him. "I need him to win this but that isn't all that this is about."
"He cares about you too." Dean nodded at himself in the mirror. "You hurt him, I'll kill you. Now beat it."
She laughed just once more and left, almost taking what little strength that he had left with her. He sighed and smiled at his reflection in the mirror. "Alone at last." Grateful that there was finally no one in his head bar him he turned on the shower, stripped and slid under the hot water.
It was the smell of coffee that woke him. Slowly he sat up, groaning as his body complained that it was still tired and didn't want to move from the warmth and the comfort of the bed just yet. Ignoring it he got up and dressed quickly, strolling out to meet the others.
Sam was at the table, nose in a book and coffee in his hand. Robert was working on a concoction in the kitchen and Bobby was cleaning weapons.
All three turned in his direction as he walked in and threw himself down on the chair next to his brother.
"Hey." Sam acknowledged him, running his hands through his hair, his nerves showing. "How you feeling?"
"Like I've been to Hell and back." He grinned to let his brother know that he was joking.
"Look it to." Bobby piped up.
"Still better looking than you, old grizzly chops."
Bobby smiled. "Yeah he's fine. Once the smart mouth's fixed you know that the rest isn't far behind."
Dean flipped him the finger as Robert walked out the kitchen and handed Dean a glass. "No coffee?" Dean eyed the glass' contents suspiciously. "I take it you expect me to drink this?"
Robert pushed Dean's hand with the glass in it closer to his face. He stuck his nose in it and inhaled. "Doesn't smell that bad. What's in it?"
"Just a few herbs and some honey to make it less bitter to taste. It'll help."
"Sure." Dean tilted the glass and downed it in one, immediately starting to choke as the liquid burned its way inside. "Shit."
Robert looked at him with innocence in his eyes. "Oh and there's a little whisky in it too."
"A little." Dean croaked the words. "Sure gives it a kick."
Bobby stood up and stretched and gathered some of the weapons up. "Robert I need to load these in the car, can you give me a hand?"
Robert nodded at the elder hunter. "Sure." He gathered up the rest and followed Bobby outside.
Sam shuffled nervously again in his seat. "Dean…I…about…"
Dean raised his hand to stall his brother's chick flick moment. "We're good, just next time….send the bitch down ok?" He looked round. "Speaking of which, where is she?"
"She's outside, something about guardian sigils for travelling." Sam shut the book and looked at his brother. "What now then?"
"I don't know." Dean looked over at him and then almost screamed as a hand touched his back. "Jesus you guys really need to learn to knock!" He turned on the angel and Sam smothered a laugh as Castiel stepped back at the look on Dean's face. "Stop sneaking up on me!"
Castiel half-smiled. "Use that face on the other angels….and you won't have any problems getting them to leave you and your brother alone."
Dean laughed. "Was that a joke from the angel there?"
Castiel shrugged. "I have a job for you, if you are up to it."
"Does it involve Alastair, Lillith or any side trips to Hell?" Dean tilted his head and raised an eyebrow.
"I know where the next seal will be broken."
"So that's two yes' and a probably then." Dean stood and grabbed his boots. "Where?"
"Head for Blackford and I'll met you there." Dean blinked as the angel disappeared as fast as he'd arrived.
"Wish I could do that, save a lot of time, tyre tread and gas." Sam look wistfully at where the angel had stood.
"One super power at a time…please." Dean finished fastening his boots and straightened putting his arm round his brother's shoulder. "Beside you'd miss travelling with me in the Impala."
Sam knew that the simple action meant that he was forgiven and it made him feel worse, knowing that Dean would forgive him for anything that he did to him, even if he would never forget it. He didn't know how his brother could do that and he wondered briefly if it was love or need but then he realised that it didn't matter which it was. Sam was Dean's brother, his family, and for his brother that was enough of a reason.
He wiped his face briefly. "Yeah, 'cos your choice of music and your singing are just a joy after a few miles."
Dean tightened his grip until it was almost a hug. "Always."
Sam leant into his brother's hug briefly and then pulled away. "Yeah."
They walked out to the car and Dean stopped at the sight in front of him. "I know you're not drawing on my damn car!" He started forward and caught what he knew must be Ruby's arm and surveyed her handiwork. "You really have a death wish were I'm concerned don'tcha?" He rubbed at the small sigils on the car and sighed as they didn't come off.
"Relax, a little touch up job after we've finished with them and she'll be as good as new."
"Touch up?!" Dean's face darkened. "You mean this won't just rub off?"
"That would kinda defeat the purpose." Ruby put her hands on her hips and smiled at Sam.
Even on the new face, sam knew that smile. "She's yanking your chain."
Dean looked between them. "Really?"
Ruby laughed. "Really. A little oil will take them off, don't fret…besides it is only a car."
Sam grabbed her hand at that remark and pulled her away from his brother. "Think you'd better get in before he leaves you behind…." Sam looked at Dean face as he surveyed his car. "….or runs you over."
She pulled away. "I need to stay here awhile. Bobby wants my help with a protection spell. I'll catch you up…super bowl jet pack remember?"
"You sure?" She was giving them time together to talk, Sam was sure of it, he hoped that he could get his brother to use it. He ran his hands down the latest incarnation of the demon, still a petite brunette. He smiled, he had a different type, after Jessica, and Ruby knew it. He gently kissed her lips and knew that beside him, Dean was rolling his eyes. He flipped Dean the finger without pulling away and knew he'd been right as Dean chuckled.
Bobby walked over shielding his eyes from the bright sunshine by adjusting his well worn cap. "So, you boys off to raise a little Hell?"
Dean shook his head. "No actually, we're off to stop someone else raising it for us!"
"God help the world then."
"Funny, true….but funny." Dean shook Robert's hand. "Thanks." Robert nodded. Dean looked to Bobby and almost gave into the urge to hug the elder man to him. "Later."
Bobby took his hand. "Be careful."
"Yeah right!" Bobby tilted the cap back.
"Always with the last word Mr Singer."
"Right back at you, Mr Winchester."
Dean turned to his brother and they stood for a moment talking before they got in the car.
Dean leant forward, started the engine and pushed the cassette tape home into the dash.
Sam groaned as 'Highway to Hell' blasted from the car speakers. "Really?"
"Really! Appropriate don't you think?" Dean laughed at Sam as he closed his eyes and planted his hands over his face. "Still glad you came and got me back?"
"No." Sam lifted his hands and caught the quick glance his brother cast him. "Sorry I sent you there in the first place."
Dean grinned evilly. "Not as sorry as you're gonna be." He cranked the volume and hit the gas, spinning the car in graceful, yet vomit inducing, circles in Bobby's tight yard.
Sam just laughed.
Robert stood beside Bobby watching the two men. "Do you think that they can do it? Stop the apocalypse?"
Bobby shrugged. "We'll find out soon enough, one way or the other. If they can keep it together long enough, I'd put my money on them as a sure bet…but then again if they lose ain't nobody going to be around to collect."
Bobby motioned to the house. "Whisky?"
They watched as the long black car was skilfully manoeuvred round the lot by it owner and then as it pulled away, it's paintwork turning to black fire in the dying sunlight.
Two knights in their shining steel horse ready to take on another day.
Real brothers in arms.
Chapter End Notes:
Well that's all folks!
Hope that you liked this, and thank you as always for reading and to my little band of loyal reviewers *big hug* for keeping me going.
Until next time, take care and cheers! Mary xx