Dean closed his eyes. He felt his body giving out as he tried to remain conscious, but as he slumped back on the ground he felt his muscles spasm on his left side. He hurt; God only knew just how much he hurt, but he was beyond caring anymore.
"You just don't know when to give up, do you Dean?" The voice said as she slowly stepped into the dim light so that he could see her.
Dean jerked awake at the voice, blinking the tears back as he tried to focus on this new visitor. It took him a minute, but when he was finally able to settle on one image, he realized this new voice belonged to Mandy's cousin Brenda.
"You think if you hang in there that your Sammy will be able to find you?" She asked watching the man lying on the floor in front of her.
She wasn't mocking him; she was speaking gently, but Dean wasn't sure if she really cared about what was happening to him. He didn't know if she was working with Eva or if she was just another one of her victims.
"And your point it?" He croaked out. His throat was so dry now.
"It's not gonna happen. She won't let it. She will kill you before Sam can save you and then she will kill Sam. Then she'll kill Amanda."
"And you're telling me all this because?" Dean asked as he tried to wet his dry lips, tasting instead the blood that had dried there from his earlier bout of sickness.
"It's the truth. I've tried fighting, but she's too strong. I'm no match for her." Brenda paused as she moved closer to sit on the floor next to him. "She will have what she wants and it's not me. She only wants revenge."
"What…what do you mean?"
"She doesn't really want me. I'm just a means to an end. She wants Mandy."
"Why? What did she do to Eva?" Dean was confused. He didn't know what all had happened with Eva and Jimmy or Mandy and her mother, but obviously something had gone down.
Brenda sighed. "It all started right after I was born. Mandy's mom, my Aunt Aggie took me from Eva. And now she wants revenge, but she can't get it from my aunt because she's dead. So she's taking her revenge out on my father who raised me and Mandy. But she's lost sight of me in the equation. Her hatred for Mandy and her family has grown too strong for me to compete with."
Dean looked at the woman. What did this have to do with him? Or with Sam? "Why me?"
"You're a Hunter. My father was a Hunter. Mandy's a Hunter. And Mandy cares about you. She will kill you just to get to her."
Dean sighed himself as he looked at this woman. "So you didn't kill any of those men…it's all been your mother?"
"Yes. She used me to lure the men to her. Men that reminded her of my father."
"Why don't you untie me and we can get out of here together. We can get help. We can stop her once and for all."
"I can't. She will know. She knows everything."
"Yes…yes you can. You can't let her kill anymore. You have to help me stop her. You can't let….let this woman take everything from you. You cannot let her win."
Brenda looked at him as she finally saw what Mandy saw when she looked at Dean Winchester. She sighed again. "You really don't give up do you Dean?"
"No." He saw it then, in her eyes. "Not if I can help it. I don't have a good enough reason to give up right now…Eva."
"That's where you're wrong Dean Winchester." Slowly the woman stood up, shimmering in and out of his focus.
Dean watched with a sinking heart as the woman's features changed into Eva in her lavender gown. "Your father doesn't care about you, he never has. He's left you alone at least three times now. He has even chosen Sam over you."
"That's not true." Dean said, but in his heart he knew she was right. His father had chosen Sam. It didn't matter what the reasons were, he had done it.
The woman smiled as she read Dean's heart. "Yes it is. I can read you. I can see your thoughts, your feelings. Your brother, your father, they don't need you. You need them, but they don't care enough about you to see your needs. They just care about finding what killed your mother and Jessica. They don't need you at all Dean."
Dean shook his head. "No!"
"Yes Dean. Sam's the brains; you're father's the leader. You're just your father's obedient little soldier. You were raised to march into battle in front of Sam. You were raised to protect Sam. You were raised to save Sam, not yourself. You are destined to die with a gun in your hand doing that job; protecting Sammy. End of story."
Dean watched in confusion as the woman's words sunk in. He knew his family didn't need him, they never had. He was just a soldier. He was an acceptable loss. As he felt the cold breeze flow into the room, he realized the truth. He was expendable. When he had needed his father, the man hadn't been there. When Dean had reached out for him, he'd found only emptiness. He'd left him, just like Sam had left him to go to school. To chase that apple pie safe normal life he had yearned for. Dean wasn't wanted. He slowly closed his eyes as she laid a hand on his chest over his heart. He felt the beats slow down. He felt the warmth of the beyond beckoning him to come towards it. He saw the light in the deep recesses of his mind and with one last heavy breath, Dean headed for that light.
Amanda appeared in the vestible of the old Church with her mother by her side. Agatha Logan hadn't been too far away when Amanda had called her. She had come as soon as Amanda summoned her. She had known she would have to help end this.
"We don't have much time; the others will be here soon." Aggie replied as she turned to her daughter. "And I cannot stay long."
"I know." Amanda replied as she turned to the altar at the far end of the room. "She's with him in the basement and she's almost finished."
"You know you cannot truly save him until you are able to reach him; get him to hear you. He has to know that what Eva is telling him is all lies. You have to let her think she's succeeded in killing him before you will be able to catch her with her guard down. She's too powerful for you otherwise."
Amanda felt Dean's strength weakening with every passing second and she knew his death was near. "I know. But I can't let him die. I can't. I…mom, I think I love him and I can't let her take him." She said as she felt something in her heart tighten at the thought of Dean dying. "I've already instructed Ryon on what to do if… when I don't make it. She doesn't understand that I have to give myself in order for him to survive, but she understands what she must do if I am to truly be saved later. You have to help her understand why Dean and Sam are more important than I am. You have to help her understand why I have to do this. And you have to keep her safe."
"Always. I will watch over her as you will too. She will always have us at her call." Agatha Logan reached a hand out to gently touch her daughter's cheek. "And I understand your love for this man, but it is just as important for you to try and survive if you can. He will need guidance in the future if he is to understand his and Sam's true destinies."
"I know, but if it's a choice between me and Dean, then there is no real choice. Dean must live. He is too important to this world. And Sam cannot complete his destiny without Dean by his side. They are the true saviors of mankind and they must survive. They are humanity's only chance in the war coming between good and evil."
"Yes, I know. They both have a destiny to follow." Agatha replied. "But just because they have a destiny, does not mean they can't follow their own path by their own chosing. They will end up where they need to be if they follow their hearts."
"That's why Dean must survive. He and Sam need to know that they may have a destiny, but that they can control the way they get to that destiny. They need to know that they will always have free will to travel down any road they want." Amanda paused as she continued to plead with her mother. "Dean does not think he is as important as Sam, but he is. Sam is…very easily swayed and he needs Dean to help guide him, to watch over him and to stand by him." Amanda took her mother's hand in her own. "They both must know just how much this world needs them and that they are here because God wants them to be here."
"I will do my best to help them if you cannot. I promise." Agatha said as she looked at her daughter. She understood how important this was for the Winchesters to survive, but she also understood how important this was to her daughter to make sure she helped them to survive. She also understood just how important her daughter and granddaughter were to this world too. They had destinies that had to be fulfilled as well.
The sound of the heavy oak door creaking open sent Amanda's attention towards the sound. "They're here. And Dean is almost gone. I have to go to him now. Show them what they need to do and I'll do the rest. Please…"
Sam's fingers locked around the shotgun he carried as he followed Ryon through the forest. Pressing his hand against the stitch in his left side he was getting from his struggle against the terrain they were covering at the quick pace Ryon was setting and only having the light of the moon overhead to light their way, it was becoming harder and harder for him to keep up. Sam gritted his teeth together and kept a look out ahead for some sign of the Church.
I'm sorry this is so rough, Sam. No one comes out here much anymore, so the ground isn't very well traveled." Ryon said glancing back to see Sam's tight expression.
"Doesn't really matter." Sam said shaking his hair out of his eyes. "As long as we get there soon."
"We will – it's just up ahead."
"What are we gonna do when we get there? Does Amanda have a plan?" Sam asked as his foot caught on an exposed tree root and he almost fell into Ryon's back.
"Get Dean. That's mom's plan." Ryon replied looking back at Sam. "She'll handle Eva; but we get Dean and Dusty, Rick and Jimmy will get Brenda and Ray. That's the whole plan."
"What exactly is she gonna do with Eva?" Jimmy asked from behind Sam. "I don't like the idea of Mandy going up against her alone."
"She won't be alone. She'll have grandma with her." Ryon answered. "She'll take care of her and I can only speculate as to the meaning of that."
"Eva is gonna be a huge pain in the ass and she is stronger. Aunt Mandy will have to do whatever it takes to stop her and that worries me too." Rick added nervously.
"I know, but it's something grandma should have handled a long time ago. Eva cannot continue."
"Continue what?" Sam asked, even though he had a good idea.
"We're here Sam." Ryon said as she pointed to the Church just ahead of them on the path.
Sam reached out and grabbed Ryon's arm stopping her from moving forward. He needed to hear her say the words to be sure they were on the same page here. "What is it Eva cannot continue doing?"
Ryon turned to look up at Sam. "Breathing."
Agatha Logan waited in the foyer of the Church as the big oak door swung open on it's creaky ill-used hinges. She smiled as she watched her granddaughter enter the Church followed by Dean's brother Sam, her nephew Jimmy and her grandsons Rick and Dusty.
As Ryon looked at her grandmother and smiled. "Gramma!" She yelled as she ran forward to embrace the older woman.
Rick and Dusty quickly followed suit while Sam waited at a distance watching the family reunion. He was amazed at how young the older woman appeared. He thought Ryon had said the woman was dead, and he knew if she truly was, then this was her spirit in it's most flattering form.
After hugging each of her grandchildren, Agatha pulled away from the small group and acknowledged Sam's presence. "Hello Sam Winchester." She reached for his hand and as Sam felt her warm touch he was amazed at how real it felt. Agatha grinned at his reaction. "Right now, I'm as real as you are. Ane we don't have much time. This is what you have to do while Mandy is…
And with that the group gathered close to hear her plan.