Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Dean knew time was running out on their little trip to Earth, and he knew if he wanted to say a real goodbye to his brother, it was now or never.
With that in mind, he stepped outside while Paige was getting packed and ready, not that they had many possessions to pack. The motel Bobby had set them up in was like most of the motels Dean and Sam usually stayed in - small, quiet, nothing fancy. A bed and a shower was all they really needed, after all.
Paige saw him slip out while she was packing and a brow rose up. What was he sneaking off to do? To get pie? And leave her to do all the work most likely. She moved to the door but didn't open it yet.
It took him a while to get up the nerve just to dial Sam's number, but he knew this would be his last chance, maybe forever. The thought of that was troubling, but he had a new life now, one that didn't include Sam or Bobby.
Dean wondered if everyone went through this when they went off on their own away from home. Sam had never seemed to have much of a problem leaving him and Dad behind. Dean was the one who'd always had a problem with it.
He stood there and stared at his phone for a few minutes, as if debating whether or not to call, worrying he'd do more harm than good, but finally, he decided to throw caution to the wind and dialed Sam's last known phone number. Dean held the phone to his ear while it rang a few times and then he heard a familiar voice on the other end: "This is Sam. I can't answer right now. Leave a message."
Peeking through the curtain of the nearby window she saw him standing there staring at his cell. What was he doing? Calling a girlfriend from the past? She watched his expression while he was with the phone.
Dean frowned at what would most likely be the final words he'd ever hear from his brother again. He'd come back here to say goodbye and hadn't even been able to do that.
He hesitated a moment and then spoke. "Sam, this is..." Pause. He licked his lips nervously, unsure what to say now that he had the chance to say it. "Look, this is gonna sound crazy, and I know you're not gonna believe this... I know this is a bad time. I know a lot of bad things have happened..." He paused a moment again before continuing. "I just need you to know that... no matter what happens... No matter how much of a dick you think I'm being, I..."
Sam. He was... Frowning she slid away from the door. She had no right listening in.
Dean sighed, trying to sum up thirty years of brotherhood in just a few minutes. "I've... I've tried to be a good big brother. I've tried to do the right thing. I've tried to take care of you as much as I can. I just... You need to trust me. Trust me and trust Bobby. We'll get through this together, just like we always do. I know it sounds crazy me leaving you this message, but I just need you to do that, Sam. And... Remember that no matter what happens, we'll always be brothers. No matter how far apart we might be, I... I'm always gonna be your big brother." It was the closest Dean could come to telling Sam he loved him. "That's all. I just... wanted to say that. Now, go get me some pie." And with a click, he hung up the phone. With any luck, his older self would get a hug and some pie later. Or maybe just pie.
Things were packed and Paige was sitting on the edge of the bed, her hands clasped in her lap. Looking down she just seemed to be staring at the floor.
Dean stood outside for a moment longer, thinking and trying to regain his composure, full of mixed feelings. Joy at being with Paige, mingled with the sadness of leaving Sam and Bobby behind. Maybe, if he was lucky, he'd see them again someday, but he wasn't going to sacrifice his only chance at happiness to do it. At least, he could take comfort in knowing his counterpart would take good care of Sam.
And for her? For her to know he was leaving what was his family... It crushed her. It was her doing and he was sad for it. Swallowing she clenched her hands tightly.
The truth was that in the end, it was Dean's choice to make and one he was more than ready for. His life back on Earth had always been a difficult one, and one he was more than ready to leave behind. Leaving Sam behind was the only really hard part of it. After a little while, he pulled himself back together and made his way back inside, but she'd probably be able to tell he'd been crying.
"Are you ready?" he asked, his voice a little strained.
It was multiple stabs to her heart. "Dean. You don't have to do this.. You don't have to leave. Stay. I.." Her eyes closed so she didn't have to see his reddened eyes.
He frowned, hearing her say that. After everything they'd said to each other, after almost getting married, he was more than ready to leave. He wanted this; he needed this. He just had to make her understand. Again.
"Paige..." He went over to the bed and knelt down in front of her, reaching for her hands. ?Remember what you said yesterday? About starting a new life together?"
Her hands retreated from his own. "You are miserable!" Her eyes found his. Her gaze was so sorrowful that they looked as if they were on the brink of tears.
His hands pursued hers, looking into her eyes, needing her to understand. "No, I'm not. You make me happy. I made my choice. I want to be with you."
"I know. I do! And I want to be with you but.." Slowly her hands rose up, cupping his cheeks tenderly.
He gave her a smile, albeit a tear-filled one that mirrored hers. "No buts. We are going to get married, have kids, and live happily ever after. We are going to have our happy ending, Paige. You and me, because we deserve it. This is what I came to Rhydin to do. You are why I came to Rhydin. I really believe that, Paige. Everything happens for a reason, and you are my reason."
"You deserve it." She spoke tenderly to him. Leaning down she brushed her lips against his. "As ..as long as you are sure.."
He smiled into her kiss, returning it, the dark cloud passing. It wouldn't be the last time he thought about or missed his brother, but he wasn't alone. Not anymore, and he had never been more sure about anything in his entire life. "I'm sure. I love you."
She giggled ever so quietly. "I'm sure I love you too."
He smiled and reached up to brush the tears from her face. "You know what I mean."
"I do.." She settled into his hands and sighed quietly. "I'm sorry..I am just..worried."
"Worried about what? That I'll regret leaving? I won't. Pai... My life here..." He frowned. How should he explain it? The fact that his life here, except for Sam and Bobby, wasn?t much of a life at all.
"You will regret leaving..that you will blame me. That you will regret me." Her hands slid away and clasped back into her lap.
His fingers brushed her cheek in a gentle caress. "I could never regret you. I love you too much."
"I want you to be happy," she told him softly.
"I am happy, so long as I'm with you." And he leaned in to brush a kiss against her lips to prove he meant what he said. Actions, after all, speak louder than words.
Dean had done everything he'd come back to do. It was time to go home to Rhydin.