DISCLAIMER: If I owned Supernatural, I'd actually have some idea about what's happened this last season... but I don't... so therefore, I must not own Supernatural. Oh, well. If I did, the gore would go back to season one goriness... So yep. Me no own.
A/N: Well, guys, this has been such a great ride, and I have enjoyed writing this story immensely! What's that, you say? Why does it sound like I'm getting ready to say good-bye? Well... this is the last chapter! Good-bye!
Sorry, sorry, I'm really not going to end this author's note without a fluffy note to tell all of you guys just how much I appreciate everything you've done to support me during this story that really shouldn't have taken this long to write (sorry for all the delays, guys). Thank you so much to everyone who has REVIEWED, FAVORITED, FOLLOWED, and even just READ this story! It means so much to know that you guys have been enjoying it. It's been quite an adventure.
And yes, I am rambling on a bit, but this is the first time that I've finished a multi-fic story more than three chapters long in a LONG, LONG time, so I'd almost forgotten how it feels. But I'll stop being mushy, and I'll get on to what you clicked that link for - the final chapter of I'd Follow You Anywhere. Enjoy.
EDIT: You know, I just realized that all that dramatic buildup to the fact that this is the last chapter was probably for nothing, because when you see the story link, it'll say "complete" because I'll have completed it. So all that was for naught. Ah, well. I don't care. It was amusing, if nothing else. Now (and I really mean it this time), enjoy, and don't forget to review! :)
I'd Follow You Anywhere
When Dean opened his eyes and saw a face hovering above him, it most definitely wasn't one of an angel, so he knew that he hadn't died and gone to Heaven. And he didn't think he'd gone the other direction, because as far as he knew, the person that was looking at him was alive.
"Bobby?" he rasped. His chest hurt, his whole body ached, his... everything hurt.
He tried to remember what happened, and it was apparent that Bobby knew that he was trying to figure it out, because the older hunter snorted and said, "Think about it. It'll come to ya."
And it did.
Dean shot up in bed so fast that it made his head spin, and he tottered where he sat, very lightheaded. "Sam!" he gasped. "What happened to Sam?"
"He'll live," said Bobby, and moved aside. Dean realized with a start that they were back in their motel room, and that he was sitting on one of the beds, and his brother was lying in the other, asleep.
"Thank God," Dean said, wondering why it hurt so much to breathe. He wanted to bolt off of the bed and to Sam's bedside, but he honestly didn't think that his legs could carry him that far right now, even if it was less than twenty feet, and since he knew that Sam was okay, he wasn't going to risk falling flat on his face in front of Bobby. The seasoned hunter already had enough ammo against him as it was, if only from stories that John had told him.
At the thought of John Winchester, it was like every part of his battered body froze, and he remembered everything that he had said - good and bad - about his dad in the bog. The words chased each other around in his head, making it spin. Coward. Hero. Coward. Hero.
He cleared his throat, not wanting to think about the whole horrific ordeal with the specter becoming his father, and asked, "How the heck did I end up here, alive? How is Sam alive? And why are you here?"
"Calm the questions, y'idgit. Neither one of ya are going anywhere for a while, so we've got plenty of time," Bobby said, leaning back in the chair that Dean had just now realized he'd been sitting in.
"Bobby. I need to know."
Bobby nodded, seeming to understand how important this was to Dean. "As soon as I got off the phone with you," he said, "I got on a plane and came to New Orleans."
"I thought you hated flying."
"I do. But I did what I had to to make sure you boys were safe. I know how tricky specters can be. As much as I told you about their ways, I was afraid that it'd still manage to trick you, the idgit that you are." Dean saw right through the insult that was meant to mask the emotions behind it.
"How'd you find us? In all of New Orleans, in all of the bogs, how did you find us?"
"Tracked your phone."
Dean blinked. "You can do that?"
"It isn't the Dark Ages, Dean. Cell phones have GPS trackers, too. I don't know how in the world your phone wasn't destroyed in all that rain, but let's just be glad it wasn't."
"I put it in an inside pocket," Dean remembered. "It was raining when I talked to you, remember? I knew to put it somewhere safe. Bet it was destroyed in the bog water, though."
"Oh, yeah," Bobby confirmed. "You won't get that phone working again. You'll need to get a new one. Sam's is gone, too. It's a good thing that I went ahead and tracked your phone right off, so I had an idea of where to go to. Otherwise, I might not have ever found you."
"But you wouldn't have been able to get there in time to pull me out of the bog."
"No. When I found you and Sam, you were right on the fringe of the trees, next to the road, lookin' like a pair of drowned rats. Ugly as hell, if you ask me."
"Thanks, Bobby," Dean said dryly.
"Anytime." Dean could tell he meant it.
Dean shook his head, partially in amusement, but mostly in confusion. "So how'd we get out?"
Bobby frowned. "As far as I can figure, it was your brother's doin'."
Dean shook his head again, this time in disbelief. "No," he said. "No way. He was a mess. He was weak, and injured, standing in several feet of water. He wouldn't have been able to..."
"But he did," Bobby said.
Sam didn't wake up until midday the next day. Dean had refused to stay in bed any longer than he absolutely had to, so by the time that Sam woke up, Dean had paced the motel room about forty times - and that was just in the past hour (to be fair, it was a very small room).
And when he opened his eyes, Dean made sure that the first thing his little brother saw was his big brother, looming right in his line of sight.
"Oh," said Sam, once he had blinked several times and grimaced in discomfort. "Um, hi, Dean."
"How ya feelin', Sammy?" Dean asked. He saw Bobby leave through the front door through the corner of his eye, and knew that the hunter was giving them some time to talk alone. He'd find out the rest of the story when he talked to Dean again later.
"Like I got a concussion and nearly drowned," Sam responded.
"And he's back... along with that dreaded sense of humor." It didn't slip Dean's notice that his brother hadn't sniped, It's Sam when Dean had called him Sammy. He knew that it could just be because he was tired and injured... but he wondered if there was something more significant to it than that.
Sam made a face. "Like yours is any better."
"Sam, I'm hilarious."
"Looking," Sam tagged on, a small grin on his face.
It was Dean's turn to make a face. "And here we are again with the bad humor," he announced. He nudged Sam's shoulder. "Bitch."
The atmosphere was clearer and more pleasant than it had been in days - weeks, really, since before their father had died, but Dean knew that he had to break it. He had to find out what had happened.
"Yeah?" Sam was looking at the scratchy, gaudy-pattered motel room comforter now, seemingly engrossed in the ugly floral designs.
"What the heck happened back in the bog? How are either of us still alive?"
Sam didn't look up when he answered. "I don't remember everything very clearly. But I do remember waking up, and seeing you plunge into the bog with the specter," he said slowly. It was like... like everything just stopped. I couldn't... I couldn't lose someone else. Because not only had I lost Dad, Jess, and Mom, but I'd gotten them back and then lost them again... or at least, I thought I'd gotten them back."
Dean's stomach churned. "I know the feeling," he said.
"Yeah, but at least you were able to fight it," Sam said, glaring daggers at the comforter. "I was such a gullible idiot, going off and chasing Je - the specter off into the middle of a bog. I should have known -"
"No, Sam," Dean said, his voice dead serious. "You knew something was off all along, but I wouldn't listen. And I... I kicked you out of the car because of it, and because of me, you almost got killed. Neither one of us were in our right minds. That thing, it's what it does, it..." He trailed off, not really wanting to talk about what it was that the specter did.
"But we're hunters," Sam said, finally meeting Dean's eyes with his own conflicted gaze. "We should have known."
"No. We'd never encountered it before, it it was a strong SOB. It wasn't your fault, Sam."
Sam stared at his brother resolutely. "So it wasn't yours, either."
Dean was silent for a moment, finding it much harder to forgive himself than it was to forgive Sam for any wrongdoings. "Yeah, well," he said, and thankfully, Sam didn't turn into a complete girl and start trying to help Dean through his feelings.
Instead, Sam said, "Anyway," and Dean knew that he was getting back to what had happened. "I didn't know what to do, but I did know that I couldn't let you die. I couldn't lose you. So I kind of waded through the shallower parts of the bog - and I knew they were shallow because I'd used them before when I was following the thing, and somehow I actually managed to remember what ground was solid -"
"It's because your a nerdy college boy," Dean supplied helpfully. "Always thinking, always remembering things that normal people wouldn't think twice about."
"Normal people wouldn't find themselves with a facing off with a specter in the middle of a bog," Sam reminded him. "Can I just tell the story now?"
Dean nodded curtly, deciding for Sam's sake - and his own - that he wouldn't let this drag out any longer than it had to. It was a traumatic experience for them both, and neither of them wanted to relive it any longer than they absolutely had to. "Go ahead."
"As far as I can remember, I latched my foot around a big root that rose up out of the swamp, and I got on my stomach, and was able to submerge the whole upper half of my body into the muck. I groped around, and was about to give up, when I brushed against your hand. So I grabbed on and pulled, using my foot as an anchor. It hurt," he admitted, "and I probably sprained it - it's wrapped, I think - but I got you out. And then somehow... somehow we got back to the road. I don't really remember how. I just remember saying over and over, 'Tell me where to go... tell me where to go.' Somehow, amazingly, I found my way out of the woods, and it was pretty quickly, too, and when we got to the side of the road, I saw that you'd stopped breathing somewhere along the way. So I did CPR and brought you back. That's all I remember. I think I passed out. And I'm assuming, since Bobby was in here earlier, that he somehow managed to find us and take us here, or to a hospital or something."
"I'm sure he patched us up himself," Dean said. "He's had a lot of experience with this kind of thing before." He snorted. "And at least now I know why it feels like a moose has danced all over my chest."
Sam chuckled weakly at the joke. "Yeah..."
"Sam, you said that you did CPR. How the heck did you manage it in your condition? I don't know how you managed to lug me all the way through the bog without passing out or drowning yourself, but after all that - with the concussion, and standing in the rain, and everything - how did you manage to bring me back?"
Sam looked at him, eyes wide, and said as if it were the simplest, most obvious answer in the world, "I told you, I was not going to lose you."
Dean was astounded as he considered the profoundness of the simple statement. Sam had been half-dead himself, yet he had managed to do CPR and bring Dean back to the land of the living anyway, because he wasn't going to lose his brother. There was suddenly a lump in his throat, and it wasn't his Adam's apple. "Thank you, Sam," he said, and he really meant it. Sam nodded, looking Dean straight in the eye, and suddenly the huggy-feely moment got to be a bit to much for them both, and Dean cleared his throat. "So, I think I have an idea about how you managed to find your way out of the bog."
Sam raised his eyebrows, and then winced.
"You've got a concussion, smart one," Dean said.
"Yeah... thanks. So what's your explanation to my sudden ability to chart the bog waters?"
Dean snorted. "When I talked to Bobby earlier, he said something about specters that I just kind of brushed off at the time, but now... He said that some of the lore about them says that if you manage to trap one, it is forced to either grant you one wish or answer one question. Obviously, I was the one who trapped it, but maybe it helped you because you were muttering about needing a way out right after it got trapped. I don't know. I thought that it was kind of silly, the whole 'one wish, one question' thing, but it's the only explanation."
"Wow," said Sam. "That's... weird."
"What do you expect? We're hunters, Sammy. And Winchesters."
"I know." Sam smiled, and there was a gleam in his eyes. "And it's Sam." He said it with a big grin, though, and Dean knew that through all of the horror, all of the trauma, that something had changed between them - and it was for the better.
"You know what the craziest part is, though?" Dean said. "That we were able to make it through all that freezing water without getting sick."
"Yeah," said Sam. His nose twitched.
"Oh, no," said Dean. "No, no." His own throat started to itch. He forced himself not to cough.
"Dean, I can't hold it - achoo!"
Dean couldn't stop it anymore. He coughed loudly, and grimaced.
A/N: *stares at the screen in total shock* OMGosh, it's over! Oh wow... this is crazy! I'm super happy to be done, but also super sad that it's over. I've had so much fun, and I've got a lot of thank yous to give out!
Thanks to everyone who took the time to read this story from start to finish, and even to those who might have only read a couple chapters. Anyone who gave their time and attention to this story is much appreciated!
Thank you to everyone who favorited and followed! It means a lot to know that you were interested enough to do so.
And thank you so much to everyone who took the time to review during the course of this story: twomoms, DearHart, mamaprayanama, Unformal Sorrelle, rozzy07, TheNamesBob, Nutella0Mutt, reannablue, twohisglory2002, Cecile, missingmikey, iNatix, BlackKeys96, agent iz hyper, Adrian Nox, TheNewWinterSoldier, Random Frequent Flier Dent, Mistress of the Knight, Sapphiq, FatalFramer, Jelly, Bundibird, Dragon Mistress Syal, Adolescencey, and Guest. Thank you all very much for your reviews and your support!
One more big round of thank yous to everyone who read, reviewed, followed, and favorited! You guys are the best! I had a great, great time writing this story, and I hope you enjoyed reading it! Until next time, then!
Love you all!