okay, you were warned...

Epilogue

A day after Detroit

"Though an army besieges me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident"

'Dean, I'm sorry. I have done all I can.'

Silent tears were rolling down Elizabeth's cheeks as she removed her surgical gloves and untied her gown which was covered in blood. She stopped in front of Dean who could clearly see the fatigue in her face. When they had arrived a few hours ago Sam had been barely conscious and Elizabeth had worked tirelessly to save his life since.

'Sam is dying.'

The words hit Dean like a ton of bricks.

'No, not after we have come this far' Dean paled shaking his head vehemently.

He glimpsed past Elizabeth to see his brother lying on the operating table in the room next door hooked up to a heart monitor, a respirator and an IV.

'The blood loss from the gun shot wound was significant' Elizabeth tried to explain 'and then the delay in getting him to me here in Lawrence…if he wasn't so strong he would have died on the journey. I have given him several units of blood but now his blood isn't clotting…it's just a matter of time before he bleeds out.'

Dean pushed Elizabeth aside and walked into the operating room. He had known that the odds of both of them surviving the encounter with Lucifer were bad but deep down he had hoped they would die together, not ever have to face being the one left behind again.

Sam had known that Dean would have to shoot to kill or Lucifer would not leave his body. Dean felt like he died too when he raised the Palmer, aiming just above his brother's heart and watching Sam silently sink to the ground. Lucifer had been taken by surprise and his departure from Sam's body shook the ground, blowing out all the windows of the deserted factory while the gathered Demons howled in unison.

He touched Sam's arm and was alarmed how cold it felt. Dean wrapped his fingers around Sam's hand squeezing lightly but there was no response.

He turned to Elizabeth who had followed him into the room. She saw his querying look.

'He is still under the anaesthetic. It's kinder to not wake him up.' Elizabeth explained

'Wake him up, Elizabeth' Dean whispered 'I want to say good bye'

Castiel entered the room just as Sam was rousing, coughing weakly but then opening his eyes. Dean was standing next to Sam, holding onto his hand while Elizabeth was hovering on the other side of the table.

'I'm sorry Sam…' Dean's voice broke when he looked into the dull and lifeless eyes of his brother.

'Lucifer…?'croaked Sam, his throat sore from the breathing tube.

'Gone for now, but for how long, no one knows' Dean continued to hold his brother's gaze while trying to shut out the despair that was rising and threatening to overwhelm him. Sam smiled for his brother, trying to comfort him but a spasm of pain shot through his body making him gasp loudly. Dean looked up at Elizabeth in alarm who already was preparing another dose of morphine for the IV. Sam relaxed and his eyelids fluttered shut.

'Dean, the army of Darkness is gathering outside. They have found us' Castiel's voice broke the quiet of the room. 'St. John sends me to fetch you. The member's of the Circle are waiting and more Hunters have arrived in the last hour to join the fight'

Dean didn't move. He didn't trust that his legs would carry him and was leaning heavily on the table.

'I can't leave Sam now…' he answered Castiel in a flat toneless voice.

Dean watched as his brother's breathing grew laboured.

'This may help for a short while' Elizabeth gave Sam some oxygen via a mask. 'He needs to sit up a bit, too'

Blood was seeping into Sam's lungs slowly suffocating him. Dean slipped his arm under Sam's shoulders and raised him up gently then pulling him close so that his head rested against Dean's chest.

Elizabeth went to switch off the heart monitor. Its irregular beeping was a constant reminder that Sam's heart rate was slowing and death was close.

Dean held on to Sam's hand silently willing him not to die, begging him not to leave him. Memories of their life together flooded his thoughts, drowning him. There was so much he wanted to say but his voice deserted him.

Sam opened his eyes a last time.

'Go Dean…it's alright big brother… I have played my part, now it is your turn.'

Exhausted he closed his eyes.

Dean turned to Castiel

'Is there anything you can do…please Cas I'm begging you!' A lonely tear escaped and Dean hastily wiped it away.

Castiel hesitated to reply knowing that his powers had limitations since he had broken with Heaven. The battles of recent had left him weak but he had never felt such closeness to human beings like he did to Dean and Sam. He would give his life for them.

'Dean,' Elizabeth warned 'even if Castiel revives Sam it will be only a matter of time before Lucifer can claim him back. He has accepted Lucifer and there is no 'take back'

'There is one option…it will probably not work but…' Castiel's voice made Dean look up in hope.

'I can hide him in the past before I try to heal him but I fear the journey alone may kill him.'

He left unsaid that he would share the same fate if he tried to heal Sam.

Dean looked up, grinning with childish hope.

'If he stays here he's dead anyway or worse…I knew you'd come through'

He turned to Sam, shaking him gently awake. Sam moaned and his eyelids fluttered briefly.

'Listen Sam, Cas is going to help you get away….' Dean removed the St. John's medallion from his pocket and slipped it over Sam's head and hugged his brother for the last time speaking softly to him.

'I'll find you if I can when this is all over, you hear, I'll find you'

'I'll be waiting….Jerk' was Sam's weak reply.

Dean smiled faintly at his brother's attitude before answering back with the familiar response 'Bitch'. He eased himself off the table, stepping aside for Castiel to take his place close to Sam.

Dean gave Castiel a quick hug unable to express his gratitude in any other way.

Castiel stood next to Sam and just before he touched Sam's forehead he turned to Dean with a last good bye.

'I never regretted siding with you Dean'

Within a blink of an eye Castiel and Sam were gone. Dean knew deep in his heart that he would not see Sam or Castiel ever again but if it meant his brother was safe then he could live with it.

He stared at the empty operating table lost in thought. Minutes went by before Elizabeth's touch startled him and he looked at her. She had come around the operating table to stand by his side.

'Dean, there was something I have been meaning to give to you for sometime but never found the right moment. I didn't understand till now...' Elizabeth led him to the room next door where rows upon rows of books lined the shelves of the St John Campbell library. After a quick search she held out a leather bound book for Dean.

Dean raised an eyebrow when he read the name "Samuel Colt" embossed on the front.

'Colt's diary…you had it all the time?'

'Since the night my brother joined with Raphael. It was years before I read it and then Nathanial ordered me not to show it to anyone else. Look inside, front page…'

With a frown on his face Dean opened the diary to the front page, only to read:

"To my big Brother…

Where are you, Jerk?"

It took a few seconds until Dean understood the message. He smiled as the pieces fell into place, then handed the book back to Elizabeth who watched him straightened his shoulders, take a deep breath and walk out to meet the Hunters and members of the Circle all waiting for their leader to take them into the final battle.

The end...for now at least...

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