Completing the trial did more damage to her body than she realized. She didn't think it would take its toll until maybe after the second trial like it did to Sam. She wasn't going to say anything until she had no choice, and that wasn't now. Ryder didn't want to give Dean anymore reason to think she couldn't do it. It's not like she would stop now, even if he gave her a million reasons to stop. She had one reason to keep going: her family. The brothers, Jenna and Lilith were her family. That was good enough.
Now that she got over the sentimentality, she could be sick in bed. When no one was looking she covered up the blood that she coughed up. What she didn't know was someone did notice. Ryder wasn't as sneaky as she was when she was sick.
A few weeks later, Ryder was getting somewhat better, but not completely. She knew from watching the show, that she wouldn't be getting any better. Come the third trial, she would look like shit.
"Alright, Sam and I are going to the bar down the street. Jenna, would you like to go?" Dean asked. Ever since he admitted to be in love with Jenna, he's been wanting to be with her as much as he could. Jenna didn't have a problem with it, in fact she loved it.
Jenna shook her head, "No. Someone's got to watch Lily since Ryder still looks like shit."
Dean chuckled and nodded his understanding.
Sam walked up to his girlfriend, and held her from behind. "How are you feeling?"
Ryder smiled, "A little better. Go ahead, and have fun." He kissed her on her cheek, and grabbed his jacket.
As the boys were just about to close the door, Jenna spoke, "But not too much fun. Remember we're still here. So keep the flirting to a minimum, Dean."
"Me? I would never do that since I have a wonderful woman to come home to." He walked up to her and kissed her. Dean tried to look innocent, but was failing bad.
"Uh huh, of course. Go and be careful."
The boys walked out the door, and drove to the bar. Jenna closed the door and looked at Ryder. She looked very serious.
"Okay, how do you really feel." She crossed her arms.
Ryder sighed. She hated being sick. She could hardly get away with anything. "I feel like shit. I thought this wasn't supposed to be affecting me until sometime after the second trial?"
Jenna sat next to Ryder, and put her head on her shoulder. "I assume it's because since we came here, things haven't exactly gone like it should be going. We're changing things, maybe not drastically, but still changing things."
"I'm going to go take a shower. Watch Lily for me?" Jenna nodded. Ryder got her things and went to the bathroom.
When Sam spotted Ruby sitting at the bar looking at them, Sam just wanted her to go away. He didn't want anything to do with her anymore. Because if she was still hanging around, then there was a chance he would go back to drinking blood. He didn't want to admit to anyone, but he was hooked. He craved it, but he fought against it thinking about his new family. He didn't want to hurt them by giving in.
Dean spotted Ruby and all he wanted to do was kill her. Sending her back to Hell would only be too easy. As he saw Sam move quickly to her, his thoughts went immediately to Ryder. What would she do if she had come here with them?
"What are you doing here, Ruby?" asked Sam coldly.
Ruby was taken aback at the tone in his voice. She didn't like the way he sounded. She really hoped that bitch was getting to him. She needed him, and she was going to do anything she could to keep him. Anything.
"I've got news for you. I've been hearing around that some girl, Anna Milton, escaped from a locked ward. Demons are pretty keen on finding her. Order is to capture her alive, so she's obviously important. I say find her before the demons do."
The brothers came back looking grumpy. Neither knew where Anna would be.
"Do either of you know an Anna Milton?" Dean asked.
Jenna nodded. "Yeah, she escaped from a some mental ward. Demons, and angels are after her."
"See? I told you she was real." Sam said to Dean. He looked back at Jenna. "Wait. Angels too?''
Jenna nodded. The way she looked, they figured that was all they were going to get out of her. Dean was fine with that.
The next day they all packed and drove off to the hospital. Sam wanted to sit with Ryder, so Jenna sat up front with Dean. He wanted to tell her about the night on Halloween. It was bothering him ever since, and he really needed to get it off his chest. "Ryder?" He tapped her leg.
"I need to tell you something." Ryder didn't like the way he said that. She looked up at him, and she could see he was very sad.
He looked up and saw that Dean and Jenna were listening to the radio, but he could tell they were listening to him too. At least they had the respect to make it seem like they weren't.
"I used my powers the night Dean and I went after Samhain." He was bracing himself in case she yelled at him. He had been going through this conversation ever since it happened. None of the scenarios ended well, and the worst of them was her leaving him. He didn't want her to leave.
Ryder sighed. She had been wondering when he was going to tell her. As much as she wanted to yell at him, she didn't. Sam was blaming himself enough, he didn't need to think she blamed him either.
"I know. Sam, you can't keep using your powers. Believe me, it won't end well if you do. I won't let you do this to yourself. I love you too much." She leaned up and kissed him to make sure he knew she meant it.
Sam sighed in relief. He was so convinced she would have left him, because he broke his promise.
Sam looked at her confused. What the hell did that mean?
"When the day comes you'll know what I mean. Just remember when you're given a choice, choose Dean." And that ended the conversation.
Dean and Jenna went out to get lunch while the others were at the motel. Sam was getting ready to go to the hospital, but wanted to eat first.
Dean loved Jenna so much, and he never wanted to let her go. He still felt like he didn't deserve her, and that she deserved better than him. But every time he was with her, he slowly pushed that side away.
"Dean, I hope you know that I love you." Jenna announced while they got into the car.
"Of course. I love you too." He never did like saying how he felt to anyone unless it was Sam, but since he came back he felt like he couldn't be like the way they used to. He couldn't let his brother know just how damaged he was, but it was different with Jenna. Maybe it was because she knew how he felt since they've seen all this in their world, or maybe because it was something else.
"Good." She looked out the window. She knew this episode, and she didn't want to see him do at the end. He would hate himself for it. Hopefully after she told him, he'll remember. ''Whatever you're told, no matter what, don't trust her."
Dean didn't know what she was talking about, and had a feeling that she wouldn't tell him whether he asked or not, so he simply nodded.
As they were relaxing, the boys came back. The episodes may be going about differently ever since the girls showed up, but they still happened one way or another.
"Where the hell are we going to find her?" asked Dean walking in.
"I don't know. Maybe we can find something in the drawings." Sam suggested. He laid out the pictures.
Ryder and Jenna had already packed up their things, which Dean noticed but didn't say anything. He kissed Jenna and then turned his attention to the drawings. They were so tired from running around trying to find some clue to where Anna would be. Jenna was getting impatient with them. They were taking too long, so she got up and rifled through the pictures until she found a picture of windows. She showed it to them receiving confused stares. She sighed.
"If you were religious, scared, and had demons on your ass, where would you go to feel safe?"
"Her church. I remember seeing them at her house." Dean answered.
They drove up to the church. Sam told the girls to stay in the car, which was seriously annoying Ryder. Jenna didn't have a problem with it. She was scared, but she remembered this; she remembered Alastair. Him she was scared of. They saw the boys go into the church. Ryder was getting restless, and opened the car door.
"Where are you going?"
"I'm tired of staying in the car, or the motel all the damn time. Alastair will be coming, and they're going to need all the help they can get. Stay here and protect Lily." She ordered.
Ryder picked the trunk lock and grabbed a pistol. She hadn't used a gun in years, and she was hoping she wouldn't have to ever again.
Ryder walked in the church and up the stairs. She had her gun out, and was hoping that a certain black eyed bitch wasn't there. She shook her head, Sam was important to Ruby's plan, so of course she would be there. She had to fight down the anger that was clawing its way out to be released. She took a deep breath calming herself down. Now wasn't the time. She had a plan and she couldn't let her anger ruin it.
She opened the door to see Sam Dean and Ruby looking at her. They were expecting Alastair. He wouldn't be coming yet. If she remembered the episode correctly, he would be there in a matter of minutes.
"Ryder? What are you doing here?" asked Sam. He was panicking. Why was she there? She should be in the car waiting for them?
Dean could see her looking at Sam sad. He saw her turn her attention to Ruby, and all the sadness went away leaving anger. He had a feeling that she knew what Ruby told Sam, because he was feeling it too.
"I got tired of waiting in the car." She said still pointing the gun at Ruby.
Sam didn't like this. He didn't want her to see him use his powers. He was so disappointed in himself. He had promised not to use them, and here he is about to use them.
"You have to go."
Ryder shook her head. "I'm not leaving you. The demon that's coming is too strong for your powers, Sam. Remember your promise!" She yelled. They didn't have that much time left. He was going to come any moment.
Ruby was hating that she was losing Sam slowly. She had to get him back. "Sam, you're the only one that take the demon out."
Sam looked at her and believed her. He looked at Ryder and shook his head.
Ryder pointed the gun at Ruby's chest, and pulled the trigger. It wouldn't do anything, but her anger was growing. "Shut up you bitch!" She looked at Sam. "Please believe me. Your powers won't do anything. Dean," she looked at Dean, "it's Alastair. He's the one that's coming."
Dean's eyes went wide. Alastair?! He was the one that tortured him! He was a sick bastard. They had to get out of there. Now! "She's right, Sam. We need to leave." He pulled at Sam's arm, but he wouldn't budge.
Ryder was losing her patience. "Ruby, put yourself to use and get Anna out of here."
Ruby wasn't going to listen to her, but when she saw Sam nod for her to do it she scowled. Stupid bitch! Ruby grabbed Anna and left. Dean went to grab Sam to leave, but the door flew open again revealing a man they all knew to be Alastair. Dammit!
Sam wanted to believe Ryder but he had to try. He put his hand up and tried to stop Alastair, but it didn't do more than tickle him. Sam frowned and then panicked. Sam was knocked out, and goes for Dean. He hadn't seen Ryder yet, and she had a feeling that he didn't care for her too much.
Alastair beats on Dean, which was pissing her off. She hoped Jenna was in position. She goes to help Sam, and when he gets to his feet, she goes to check the window. Perfect!
Sam stabs Alastair with the knife, but it didn't do anything but stall him. Sam grabs Dean and they look to the window. They nod and run, and Dean grabs Ryder's hand and they all jump out. They all land hard on the ground and some glass pierces Ryder's skin.
All three sees the Impala with Jenna in the driver's seat. They run and got in. As they drove off, Alastair watches them go. He didn't know the Winchester's had women with them. He heard they prefer to be alone. He was suddenly intrigued to know more about the women that caught the Winchester's eyes.
Back at the motel room, Dean sits on the bed taking a drink of whiskey to block out the pain from his shoulder. He hated it when his shoulder was dislocated. It hurt like a bitch when it had to be set. Sam was busy in the bathroom fixing himself up. Ryder wasn't as bad as the boys, just a few cuts and bruises, but let Dean help her with his one arm. The glass that pierced her skin wasn't as bad as it had felt. Jenna was on the bed, holding Lilith, and watched as everyone tended to their wounds.
Ryder was very angry at Sam, and hadn't said a word since they got back. She had told him his powers wouldn't work. Why didn't he believe her? Why did he use them? Ugh! She wanted to pull out her hair, and knock some sense into him.
Sam reset Dean's shoulder, and went back to his own injuries. Dean forgetting that the girls were in the room gets off the bed and walks up to his brother. He had a feeling that they were set up, and by no one other than the demon bitch Ruby.
"Why do you trust her? She obviously set us up!" Dean raised his voice glaring at Sam through the mirror.
Sam didn't want to get into this with his brother. He looked at Ryder through the mirror. He was sad that she hadn't said a word to him since they got back. She even refused to let him patch her up, but instead asked Dean to do it. He felt oddly jealous, which was ridiculous because he knew that Dean loved Jenna. He just hated that she chose his brother over him. But could he really fault her for that? He did go against what she advised. He didn't want to tell Dean why he did trust Ruby, since his girlfriend was in the same room, and could hear every word he said.
"I trust her, because she helped me after you left." Sam sighed and told Dean everything that happened after he died. He tried not to look at the anger that was clearly written all over Ryder's face.
Jenna listened to Sam telling Dean about the events after Dean's death, and she felt so sorry for Ryder. She hated that he was giving her all the more reason to go through with the trials. Ryder wouldn't want to keep going if Sam chose Ruby. It was clear that Sam loved Ryder, but the road he's going down will not only cost him his relationship with Dean, but also his relationship with Ryder. If she knew Ryder well, she knew Ryder would fight for him even if hurt her in the process.
Ryder was gritting her teeth the more she listened to Sam talk about Ruby. She wanted so very much to tell the truth, but she couldn't. Someone knocked on the door, and Dean went to answer it, and speak of the devil. Ruby.
"I only came to tell you where Anna is. That's all." She put her hands up in an act of surrender. She spotted the whore that wanted her property glaring at her. If looks could kill, Ruby would be dead. She would never admit to anyone, but the look scared her.
Dean was about to thank her for what she did for his brother, but out of nowhere Jenna's words came to mind. 'Whatever you're told, no matter what, don't trust her. He didn't know if she was talking about Ruby, but he had a feeling that she was. He just nodded his head, and closed the door.
That night, Dean and Sam was visited by Castiel and Uriel to be taken to Anna to kill her, and when they refused they disappeared. Both brothers were a little worried and confused. Why would they want to kill her?
Dean watched as all three females slept. His brother couldn't sleep and just sat at the table on his computer. Now that he hadn't done it, he couldn't grasp at the idea of thanking a demon. Sure she had helped him when he couldn't, but she had to have done for some unknown reason. Demons only care about themselves, no matter how helpful they are. They're fantastic liars, but once you know what they are, the lies are easy to spot.
The next morning, there was still tension in the room. Mostly between Sam and Ryder. Dean wasn't up to being in the room any longer, and by the looks of it Jenna wasn't either. They both knew that Sam and Ryder needed to fix whatever it was or their relationship wasn't going to last. Dean asked if Jenna wanted to go get breakfast, and she said yes taking Lilith with them. If they were going to fix whatever was going on, Ryder wouldn't be paying much attention to Lilith.
Arriving at the diner, they ordered their food. Dean liked it when it was just them, even if Lilith tagged along. He felt like they were a family. He wasn't the child type but Lilith was growing on him. He liked her, like a niece.
It had been several months since the girls came to their world, but it felt like forever. Like they were always with them.
"Why don't you ever ask to go on hunts with us?" Dean asked sipping his coffee.
Jenna shrugged her shoulders feeding Lilith. "I get the feeling that you wouldn't want newbies to hunt with you." Dean frowned. "Besides someone's got to watch Lily now that Ryder's doing the trials."
"Speaking of which, you said there were three." Jenna nodded. "What's the second trial?"
Jenna tensed. "I'd tell you, but I think it would be better for her tell you herself."
Jenna sighed. "She's the one that has to do them, so it should be her to tell you. She probably won't tell you or Sam until she figures out how she's going to do it." She looks at him, "Look, you and Sam have the seals to worry about, let us worry about the trials."
Dean shook his head. "But if we were to help you guys, we wouldn't have to worry about the seals. Hell would be closed off, and Lucifer wouldn't be able to escape."
"True, but if you forget about the seals, then they'll just keep breaking. With no one stopping the seals, the faster they'll break and the sooner Lucifer will be set free. We don't know how long it would take to get all the information we need to complete the trials."
Dean groaned. She was right. They needed to stop the seals from breaking long enough for Ryder to complete the trials. After that it wouldn't matter how many seals they break.
Once Dean, Jenna and Lilith left, Sam realized that it was just him and Ryder.
She cut him off, "Don't Sam. I don't want to hear any apologies. I know you're sorry, and it's okay."
Sam looked at her skeptically.
"I just need you to believe me. I know you've known her a long time, and me only for a few months, but I know what I'm talking about. If it wasn't such a big deal, I wouldn't be telling you this. But it is, and I don't want what I saw all those years ago to happen again. She's only using you for her own purposes." She started to tear up, and when Sam saw that he pulled her into an embrace.
"I'm sorry." He whispered.
"I don't want to see you or Dean get hurt, and that's what she's going to do. Don't use your powers anymore. It will only do more harm. Please, believe me." She let her tears fall at this point holding on to Sam for dear life.
Sam didn't know what to do. He felt torn between what he wanted and what he needed. He wanted to kill Lilith for what she did to his brother. He wanted revenge. He wanted Ruby to help him. He wanted to use his powers. He wanted to feel strong. But he needed Ryder. He needed to love her. He needed her to love him. He needed her at his side, and to be at hers. He needed to make her his. He needed her to save him...from himself.
"I believe you." He cupped her face, and wiped her tears away. He kissed her to make sure she knew he was being truthful. "I love you."
"I love you too."
They laid on the bed cuddling with the other. It was what they needed. He whispered into her ear, "Marry me?"
Ryder gasped. She thought she would never hear those words, especially from someone she loved as much as she loved Sam. She wanted to scream yes, but felt conflicted. If she agreed to marry him, then could she go through with the trials? If she married him, would it be worth damning the world? Would it be worth allowing the rest of the seasons to play out? Was it worth allowing Sam to go to Hell, or Bobby to be paralyzed, or Dean to get the Mark, or become a demon? Was it worth it?
Ryder was going to die after the third trial no matter what she said. She would still go through the trials, but was it wrong to want herself to be happy until then?
"Yes." Whether it was wrong or not, she didn't care. If she was going to sacrifice herself for the world, she wanted to be happy until then. And until then, she would make Sam happy.
Dean and Jenna came back into the room, and sighed in relief when they saw Sam and Ryder laying together watching TV. Lilith held out her hands, "Momma."
Ryder looked up and smiled big when she saw Lilith wanting her. She got up and took her from Jenna. "My baby! I missed you." Ryder kissed her, and put her between herself and Sam.
"You seem happy." Jenna said sitting on the other bed.
Ryder smiled. "Yeah. We have some news." Sam was happy that he asked her. He had been asking her for awhile, but either the timing wasn't right, or something got in the way.
"We do too." Dean said sitting next to Jenna.
"Okay, you first."
"We're getting married." Jenna squealed in delight.
Sam and Ryder's jaw dropped. "Oh my god! Congratulations!" Ryder stood up and hugged her best friend. Sam got off the bed, and shook his brother's hand in congrats as well.
After hearing their news, neither Sam nor Ryder wanted to take it away from them. So they looked at each other, and decided not tell them.
Dean pulled up to the motel and as they were getting out, he plucked up the courage and walked up to Jenna. Before she went to the back seat to get Lilith, he turned her around and kissed her putting all his love into it. They were like that for a few moments, until they broke apart.
'What was that for?" Jenna giggled.
"I love you Jenna so much." Despite his lack of wanting to dirty his jeans, he got to one knee. Jenna gasped, but smiled. Is this what she thought it was? Please, let this be what she thought it was!
"Will you marry me?"
Jenna wanted to jump up in joy. She had fantasized those words from the first day the pilot aired. Now she was hearing it. She was almost tempted to pinch herself to see if she was dreaming. She looked around and spotted a few people looking at them waiting for her to answer. She nodded.
"Yes, I'll marry you."
Dean pulled her into a hug. He was so relieved she didn't say no. He felt that she wouldn't want to marry him. He was never the type to settle down with one woman, but that all changed when Jenna came into his life. He didn't want it any other way. What would Sam think about him settling down with one woman?
As they kissed, they could hear a people clapping.
"So, what was your news?" asked Dean.
Sam looked at Ryder not knowing what to say.
Ryder shook her head, "It can wait."
Jenna narrowed her eyes at her, "Oh no, tell me. Now." She crossed her arms.
"We're getting married too."
Jenna laughed, and hugged her friend. They were all getting married!
"We didn't want to take away your moment."
Dean snorted. He congratulated his brother, and hugged Ryder. "Looks like we're having a double wedding." They all laughed, not thinking about demons, angels, the seals, Lucifer, or the trials. The brothers were just happy that their women said yes. Anything else could wait.