Wayward Sons

Chapter 23

Epilogue

Dean stood outside the bar by the Impala as he waited for Sam to finish up inside with Ryon and Mandy's family. He'd said his goodbyes earlier to everyone and he just wanted some alone time. He needed some alone time.

He needed to think and he needed to put all this aside. He had just lost the woman he'd loved, truly loved, and he needed time. He knew now how hard it was for Sam at times. You couldn't always shut your mind to the memories when they hit, and he didn't know if he really wanted to completely. But he knew he couldn't do his job if he didn't face his memories and allow himself some alone time to grieve.

Dean looked out over the parking lot towards the woods behind the bar and slowly he moved away the car and began to walk towards the area where he'd last stood talking to Amanda about her cousin. He needed to walk, to separate himself from the pain. He didn't know if he could do that, but he needed to try, for his own sanity.

He sighed as he looked forward and he didn't see as Sam watched him walk by from a window inside the bar. He didn't see the sad smile cross Sam's face as he passed him either.

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"So explain this to me again. I'm lost here." Rick said as he spoke to Ryon. The others were all over at the bar, but Ryon had taken Rick aside to let him what had happened to Amanda while he and Dusty and Jimmy were rescuing Brenda and Jimmy.

"It's really simple doofus." Ryon joked as she reached out and ruffled her cousin's hair. She would never admit it to anyone, cause she'd spent more time with Dusty growing up than she ever had with Rick, but Rick was her favorite. He didn't treat her just like a kid, he listened to her and he respected her. "This blade has to be hidden. Keep it away from anyone." She handed him the golden Phoenix blade her grandmother had given her with instructions on how to protect it.

"It's the one that could have actually killed Amanda?" He asked taking the blade and slipping it into a hidden pocket inside his denim jacket. "But she's not actually dead is she?"

"She's… she's dead. For now."

"Okay, I understand all about witches and magic and the supernatural, but you're losing me here." He said. "Is Amanda dead or not?" He asked somewhat harshly.

"It's a long story, but cliff notes… Amanda didn't have the same father your father and Dusty's father had." Ryon sighed as she started explaining things. "Her father was a…a Phoenix and that makes my mother half witch half phoenix. If you know the lore, a phoenix cannot technically die. They die, but then they are reborn."

"Like that bird in the Harry Potter stories my kids loved so much?"

Ryon laughed softly as she watched the others in the bar. "Yeah, sort of. That has the basics, but Phoenixes don't have to burn and they aren't reborn from their ashes. Sometimes they just die and then come back and sometimes they die and have to wait for their bodies to become one with the earth before they can be reborn." Ryon reached out and touched Rick on the arm. "Most have to do this at least yearly, but my mother being only half was able to control if and when she did it. She was supposed to do it when I had ran off last year with…with Danny. So she put her life on hold until she found me. Then one thing led to another and she realized she needed to do this sooner than later."

"This is all kind of… well hard to believe. And believe me you two have convinced me of a lot of things, but this is gonna take some time to get used to." Rick stated. "So how has she kept this a secret from you?"

"Gramma helped her there. Whenever she needed her 'dying time' I would spend time with gramma. Momma was always out of town on a job."

Rick thought about this. "So Amanda will come back?"

Ryon nodded her head. "If I follow her directions to the letter, in one year she can come back. But if I screw up in any way, she's gone for good. That's why we need this blade and we need to keep it hidden. It's the only thing that will kill her indefinitely. And I have to perform the ritual correctly to ensure she returns. Otherwise…"

"Otherwise she's lost forever. I got it. Okay so in a year we just do what we have to. You know I'm with you. And I'll help you keep her secret, but I don't understand how come we have to keep it a secret from Sam and Dean. Especially Dean. He's…"

"Yeah. He's having a hard time, but it will be okay. Right now Sam and Dean have things they need to confront themselves before they can be sidetracked with… with myself or my mother. They have destinies that need to be fulfilled and they can't be distracted from that."

"So we move on for the next year with our lives and hope everything works out for the best before we can get Amanda back. Wow… here's praying to ya." He said to the Heaven's as he raised his beer bottle skyward.

Ryon smiled at her cousin and slowly raised her bottle skyward too. "Here's to you mom."

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"So Sam, you and Dean'll be leaving soon… I'm… I'm gonna miss you, you know." Ryon said as she walked over to sit next to Sam at the table he was at.

"Yeah.. we will, but we won't be far. You only have to call and we'll be there for you." Sam looked at the woman sitting beside him. He could see Amanda in her every look, but he could also see something else there. He saw a woman who had just found herself. She had a different confidence in her voice, her demeanor. "I'll be there for you." He quietly added watching her eyes as she slowly brought them to meet his.

She had the most amazing blue-green going on right now. He knew he may not be in love with Ryon, but he was as close as he would probably ever get. No one would ever take Jess' place in his heart, but as he thought about that he realized that was okay with Ryon. She was her own person and she knew she had her own place in his heart somewhere close to Jess' spot.

Ryon smiled at the man. God he really was an adorable eight foot tall beautiful gorgeous adorable huggable teddy bear of a guy. He was kind of goofy with his mop of brown hair and brownish eyes right now, that she almost kissed him without thinking. Almost. Then she though what the heck. She leaned over and planted a big kiss on his soft lips.

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"So Dean, you and Sam'll be leaving soon…" The voice came to Dean from behind him and he quickly spun around. It was her voice, but she wasn't there.

He looked all around, but he didn't see anything. He shook his head as if to clear the cobwebs, and that's when she appeared in front of him.

The woman who was Amanda's mother, Agatha. Dean tried to hide his disappointment, but it was hard. The woman chuckled softly as she moved closer to him.

"I know. I sound a lot like her, don't I? Or maybe she sounds a lot like me?"

"What are you doing here?" He didn't want to sound disappointed, but truth be told he was. He was looking for Amanda in every shadow, in every stir of the breeze, in every call of the birds overhead. He missed her so much right now.

"I'm here to pass along something to you Dean. From Amanda." She looked at the man in front of her and wished things could be different. "She loves you Dean, but you have to move on. You and Sam have to move on with your lives. You both have done remarkable things and there are still more things to be accomplished and you need to move forward. Amanda wants you to remember her, to love her, but she also wants you to know you have work left to do."

Dean wasn't sure how to take that. He really didn't care about killing monsters right now. He just wanted to be with Amanda. "How am I supposed to do that? I mean, I've moved on from my mother's death and that has been painful, but how am I supposed to move on from this?"

Agatha smiled gently at him. "You just do. Your family has to continue what you do. You keep the world safe and you can't just stop doing that. Hunting monsters helping people is what you do. What you are. Besides you will see Amanda again. Someday."

Dean blinked at the woman. How could he just move on? When he opened his eyes to question her again, she was gone. He couldn't help it, but he felt a little more disappointed with everything.

He knew he needed to get back to hunting, but he wasn't sure he wanted to yet. He needed to find something to help him get through this. He turned back towards the bar and he took in a deep breath. "Okay Amanda. You want me to move on, keep hunting? Fine, but when I do die and I hopefully get wherever you are, we are so gonna have words." He said softly.

And he felt a tingle of excitement run up his spine as he heard the real voice now coming from the wind. "Bring it!"

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Sam reached over and popped in the cassette tape that Ryon had given him to give to Dean to add to his collection. He knew there were a lot of Dean's favorites on it, but there was one that Ryon had already queued up and wanted Dean to listen to. She'd said it was written by a friend of theirs from Memphis who was working on getting her music heard. It was an excellent song and she was sure Dean would like it as much as her mother did.

"What are you doing there Sammy?"

"Popping in some tunes." Sam replied as he stopped for a second to answer Dean.

"Hey you know the rules. Driver picks the music." Dean grumbled. He was so not in the mood for some of Sam's silly stuff that had the nerve to label itself as modern rock. No way.

"It's from Ryon. She said it was Amanda's. She wanted you to have it." Sam answered as he continued.

Sam stopped at that. They were still sitting in the parking lot of the motel and bar after loading their stuff and saying their final goodbyes. He was torn. He wanted to hear some of her favorites, but he also didn't want to have his heart twisted right now.

Sam sensed Dean's reluctance. "It's okay Dean. Music helps. It helped me. That and having my big brother by my side as I… I listened."

Dean turned sad eyes to Sam and allowed him to see inside him for just an instant before he quickly turned away and put his wall back up. "Fine, but if there's anything on there like your music, I'm chuckin' you out the door, gigantor." He put the key in the ignition and started the car as the slow sound of a guitar began playing

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Ryon stood alone in the bar as she watched Sam get into the Impala with Dean. She smiled as she saw the tape in Sam's hands. She hoped Dean got some comfort from the music her mother loved so much.

Most of the music had been classic rock bands, but one song was on there that Ryon's friend Kaye Lynn had written with her brother, Shane. It was her mother's favorite.

Ryon turned back to the jukebox in the empty bar. Everyone had left her alone for her private grieving time and she wanted to listen to another of her mother's favorite songs. At least for her and Ryon. It was more country than rock, but it had been her favorite for the first time she'd heard it. She punched in the buttons and listened as the music began.

In my daughter's eyes, I am a hero…I am strong and wise, and I know no fear…But the truth is plain to see...

She was sent to rescue me…I see who I want to be, in my daughter's eyes…

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Dean started the Impala and froze as he heard the slow sound of the guitar coming from his radio. He'd heard this song playing in his memories somewhere… But he couldn't remember.

Well I know they say all good things must come to some kind of an ending…We were so damn good I guess we never stood a chance…Go on and find what you been missing and when the highway's tired of listening…You'll see I'm not that easy to forget…

Dean didn't look at Sam, but he felt Sam watching him. Boy the words were hitting home…

And when a new moon shines through your window… or you hear a sad song on the radio… and you don't know why, but you start to cry… or you're driving round on a sunny day and out of nowhere comes the pouring rain… then a memory hits you right out of the blue… that's just me, thinking of you…

Dean looked out the windshield of the Impala and he saw her then… there sitting on the hitchin' post out in front of the bar. Her eyes were closed and she was holding her head up and the wind was blowing her soft hair from her face…

He blinked as he got out of the car slowly. He could see her turn her head towards him and open her eyes… to see him there…

I'm not goin' to try to stop you… Doesn't mean that I don't want to… If I know you you've already made up your mind… so go on and go if you're really leaving… put a million miles between us… but you'll still feel me like I'm right there at your side…

And when a new moon shines through your window…or you hear a sad song on the radio…and you don't know why, but you start to cry…or you're driving round on a sunny day and out of nowhere comes the pouring rain…then a memory hits you right out of the blue…that's just me, thinking of you…and I'm thinkin' about the roads your on…I'm thinking about you comin' home…I'm wonderin' if you've got your radio on…

Sam smiled from inside the car as he saw what Dean saw. Amanda was watching over them and they may not always succeed in everything they do, but they had each other and they'd make it through this world the best they could with or without the father by their side. But the one thing Sam knew with all his heart is that they'd always have the women they loved by their side.

And when you find your way to another town…and someone tries to lay you down…and a feeling hits you right out of the blue…well it's me, thinking of you…it's just me, thinking of you…

The End

AN: When I was first writing this, I always had a sequel in mind, so that's they way I have written it. I may be posting a sequel soon. Please let me know what you think of this. This is only my second long fan fic so I'm just getting started, but I really love hearing what you all think! Enjoy and peace!

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