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Patrick: Sorry kid. Aces full.
Sam: (to female witch) You’re crying. For a witch, you’re so nice that it’s kind of creepy. It’s okay. (to Patrick) It’s a great hand...Just not as great as…four fours.
Patrick: Well played. You know the whole ‘going out of your head’ bit…very method. There’s more to you than meets the eye.
Sam: Cash these in for Dean, please.
Patrick: With pleasure.
The Curious Case of Dean Winchester

God found them three weeks later, in some diner in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Dean and Sam had decided to do some brotherly road-tripping together. Gabriel had taken Castiel off to show him the finer things of life on Earth (which Sam took to mean helping Castiel lose his virginity without getting any sexually transmitted diseases.) and maybe giving him proper instruction on how to be an archangel.

Sam wasn’t holding his breath though.

Once Azazel was dead and gone; the Winchester clan had hauled ass back to the motel where Sam made his wishes for a break perfectly clear. Monsters or not, he needed to rest and get his head back into some semblance of a working order.

Needless to say, everyone else was in agreement.

Dean was the one who suggested quality time together, just the two of them - that is if Sam didn’t want to go to college. Sam had laughed and said that college really wasn’t part of his plan any more, and that he didn’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon.

Dean’s small smile had lit up his entire face when Sam said that.

Their Dad was taking a vacation as well, getting under Bobby’s skin at his place; working as a mechanic. He told his sons that he planned to get back to hunting soon, but he wanted to celebrate the fact that the demon that killed Mary was dead.

Sam definitely understood that.

So now here they were in a small, relatively nice diner, arguing over whether to travel to New York City to mess around there or head to Baltimore for some crab. It was an easy and light argument that they were both grinning through.

The bell above the door ringing was what caught Sam’s attention.

He stared in obvious and pleasant surprise. Dean turned, wondering what had caught his brother’s eye so quickly.

“Sammy, you dog,” began Dean noticing the tall, handsome, rail-thin young man, who had entered the diner.

“Dude shut up,” muttered Sam, his face flushed in embarrassment, “He’s someone else.”

“Is it another of your angel buddies?”

“Not really…He’s above them.”

Dean’s eyes went wide. His mouth moved in shock, obviously figuring something out.

“No!”

Sam smiled nervously, “Yep.”

“That’s…the Big Guy?” questioned Dean, doing some sort of gesture with his hands.

“Yep.”

“Damn, Sammy.”

God had obviously been listening in. He walked over to their booth with a pleasant smile on His face. His crystal clear, blue eyes were shining brightly.

“May I join you two?” asked God with an amused expression on His face, “Hello again, Sam.”

“Hello again,” said Sam as he moved over, making room for God in the booth.

He slid in easily looking amused at Dean’s open mouth gaping.

“Hello Dean,” greeted God with a wide smile on His face, “It’s a real pleasure to meet you in person.”

“Uh you too,” said Dean, “This is probably the weirdest meeting of my life.”

“Oh I’m fairly certain that you’re right. I just wanted to come and congratulate Sam on a job well done.”

Sam flushed but cracked a small, true smile. Dean felt relieved to see those smiles coming easier lately. Sam may not be a huge grinner, but when he smiled for real, it always reached his eyes. And Dean had missed those smiles. These days, they always seemed to come after they’d made out or traded hand-jobs, when Sam would thread his thin, long fingers through Dean’s (and Dean would call him a girl but squeezed his hand a little tighter.) and smiled like there wasn’t a problem on the planet Earth. And all Dean wanted to do was drink those moments in, because those were their rare peaceful times now.

(Sam knew that it would be awhile before Dean would be comfortable with the idea of the two of them having sex. They were brothers that had crossed a line. Not that they cared, but they did have to acknowledge that societal line. Sam had made his peace with it long ago and knew that once Dean had come to terms with it then it would be fan-freaking-tastic.)

“So, Sam,” said God with a smile, “I think I promised you something as well.”

Hazel eyes went wide as Sam remembered the promise to have the demon blood cleansed from his system. God smiled softly and rested his hand on Sam’s.

“You’re going to clean my blood?”

“What?” asked Dean.

“I promised Sam that I would cleanse the demon blood from his system. No more visions,” said God softly, “They won’t have sway over him anymore. Sam will just be Sam.”

Sam felt Dean’s calloused fingers squeeze his gently. His sandpaper rough voice telling God seriously,

“Sammy was always himself. But if he wants his blood cleansed… Then it’s his decision.”

“It is his decision,” agreed God, softly turning his electric blue eyes onto the youngest Winchester.

Sam licked his lips and thought about it. A few months ago, hell a few weeks ago; he would have done anything to get the demon blood out of his system. Sam hated himself for what he‘d done in the other timeline, hated what he’d become. That kind of self-hatred ran really deep.

However, Sam had changed the timeline. He’d stopped the Apocalypse and was able to get Dean back in the process, (with the added bonus of clear eyes and peaceful dreams.) He had the future laid out before him, unknowable and vast and clear. He was no longer the Boy with the Demon Blood. He was no longer Lucifer’s Vessel. He had a future without Destiny, or Heaven and Hell hanging above him.

Sam was trying this new thing. Well...Dean was getting Sam to do it.

It was called loving himself, accepting himself. (And fuck didn’t that sound so corny?)

Demon blood, however forcibly it was given, was a part of who he was.

“You know?” said Sam, his voice whisper soft as he met God’s gaze, “I think I’m good.”

Dean squeezed his hand tightly, giving some weird form of approval.

Sam needed the demon blood in him as a reminder of what he’d lost the first time around, and what he wasn’t going to toss aside this time. God seemed to understand this and smiled at them.

“Well then,” said God, standing, “I should take my leave. But I would still like to leave you with a gift.”

“What?” asked Sam.

“You’ve both sacrificed a lot to protect people,” began God slowly, “And you have broken My Commandments. Normally that would send you straight to fire and brimstone.”

Sam stiffened and saw Dean do the same out of the corner of his eye.

“However,” continued God, “I feel that the Winchesters, and the majority of the hunting community deserve a free pass. Rest assured that you two are going to Heaven, same as your father. Paradise awaits you for all you have done. Good luck, boys.”

With a wink and wave, God got up from the table and walked out of the diner disappearing into the late afternoon sunshine.

Sam and Dean stared at each other for several moments before Dean broke the silence.

“You know I always pictured God with a white beard and flowing robes. I’m not sure what I think of this boy-band, pretty God.”

And in a diner in the mountains of Nowhere, Pennsylvania, Sam Winchester threw his head back and laughed, deep and full, for the first time in forever.

Dean smiled.

They would kiss later in the Impala as they drove off into some sort of wonderful, strange future. The slate was blank. The ending was unknown.

But it was happily ever after for now.

(And really that’s all they could hope for.)

Dean: (referring to Chuck) Him? Really?
Castiel: You should have seen Luke.
The Monster at the End of the Book

To: cshirley777@zmail.com
From:
erickripke@cwpublishing.org
Subject:
New Story

Chuck-

You’re an insane motherfucker, man.

But you’re MY insane motherfucker.

Have the printed version of this on my desk by Monday morning. And I don’t want to hear any shit about Becky, and her turning off the alarm clock, because you couldn’t drag your lazy ass out of bed.

I’m onto you, man.

My desk. Monday morning. 9 a.m.

Or I hunt you down.

You horribly twisted brilliant man!

I smell movie deals, book signings, crazed fans…maybe a TV series.

I’ll call you with the details of your flight.

                                -Eric


 

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