A/N: PLEASE READ! This story is a little different than the other works in this series! It follows and describes themes mentioned in the show, like Max Miller's physical abuse from his dad and uncle, and Scott Carey's murder of a cat under the insistence of Azazel. If you still want to read the story but these topics make you uneasy, the descriptive scenes are in italics that you can skip over. If it is still too much, I do not blame you for leaving. Please don't push yourself to read something that might be triggering.

His eyes scanned the dark yard, eyes stopping on the neighbor's cat sleeping on the fence. Tom Tom was a good cat, a rescue that loved chin scratches. The neighbors would pay him to feed Tom Tom whenever they went on vacation; he'd brush against his leg and cry when he rattled the food container.

"I don't want to do this..."

"Do it!" The voice in his head commanded, a pressure building behind his eyes. "Touch the cat...!"

Tears built in his eyes as he walked closer, his hand reaching in front of him. Tom Tom lifted his head, yawning and stretching as he approached, then mewed happily as he saw him. He stopped, breathing rapidly and hands shaking.

"I can't, I can't-"

He was too slow. Tom Tom, under the idea of getting petted, brushed his head against his palm before going stiff. The cat didn't even have time to scream as smoke started wafting from its small, shaking body.

In the end, he was the one who screamed, drowning out the Yellow-Eyed Man's deep laugh in his mind. What had he done? What had he done? It was wrong and dirty and evil and God, the smell! He didn't want this! Someone, anyone, please save him from this! He didn't want to be a monster!

Sam jerked up in bed, screaming. He could still hear the laughter echoing in his mind, smell the burning flesh of the cat, the pressure in his head was still building and building and-

Hands gripped his shoulders and started to turn him, but Sam screamed louder and pulled away, kicking and punching his way to freedom and over the edge of the bed.

"Sam!" A voice called, but it was muffled behind the migraine.

He scooted backwards on the floor until his back hit the wall, curling in on himself in the small space of the corner. His hands slowly went up to his ears, and for a moment, he was worried that he'd electrocute himself as well. But no pain was felt when he curled them around his ears, so he buried his face into his knees.

Sam felt... almost a disconnection from his body; like his skin didn't sit right, it was simultaneously too tight and too loose. There was also a delay in his movements, taking seconds to move his limbs after initially thinking to do it, though maybe that had something to do with the migraine. And he experienced it all from a distance, like he wasn't completely at the forefront of his mind. Even the pain was dulled...

Someone -his dad he now realized- knelt in front of him, eyes uncharacteristically wide. His hands stayed firmly on his own knees, presumably having learned his lesson. "Sammy, what's going on? What happened? Did you see something?"

John's voice was far away, too far for it to be grounding. He sounded as if he was standing at the end of a tunnel with Sam in the middle, voice faded and echoing dully down the walls. How did he get back to his dad? He didn't like this feeling, this... this unfamiliarity of his own body. He needed normal, he needed his dad. But he couldn't reach him... He was stuck in his own head with no way to get out...!

Something cool and wet made itself known to his senses, his brain hyperfocusing on it. The feeling was over the palm of his hand, something warm and rough wrapped around his wrist to hold his hand in place. Slowly, ever so painfully slow, his mind started coming back under his control the longer he focused on what he now identified as water being poured over his hand. He blinked, staring as his dad poured a water bottle on him, uncaring about the mess he was making. John was watching him closely, an eyebrow raising as he noticed Sam's comprehension returning.

"You back with me, son?"

Sam nodded, then groaned as he brought his hand back to rub at his head. Without the dullness of disassociation, his migraine was destroying the inside of his head. He felt as John wiped a napkin under his nose and chin, his eyes peeking open long enough to see the bright red staining it.

"You have a vision?" It wasn't a question. But Sam hesitated. Was it a vision? It seemed so vivid, so real, like he was the one standing there with the Demon. But at the same time... he wasn't. He had never seen that yard before, or that cat... He was never close enough to any neighbors he had for them to pay him for anything. And he certainly couldn't electrify things with his hands.

"I... I don't know... Everything hurts, I can't- Dad, I can't..."

"Okay, calm down," John's strong hand was on his shoulder, squeezing it gently and this time keeping him grounded. "I'll get you something for your head."

The hand was gone and Sam was alone. He spotted his blanket on the floor, it must have fallen off the bed with him. He grabbed it and wrapped it around himself, huddling closer into the corner and wrapping his arms tightly around his knees. It had been so long since he had a vision... Since the Roadhouse, nearly a year ago. He had forgotten how much it hurt, how his brain felt like it was melting and his eyes burned like acid. A part of him wondered if his brain had melted and was escaping his head from his nose. Like a mummy... God, he didn't want to be a mummy...

Something cold was placed over the back of his neck, making Sam jerk and his eyes snap open to see his dad kneeling before him again. John held two pills in one hand, a water bottle on the floor by his knee, and used his other hand to press the wet towel against the back of his neck.

Sam took the pills dry, not waiting as his dad started to open the water bottle for him. He needed relief and he didn't want to wait a second more than what was necessary. Then, as soon as the water bottle was in his hand, he drank more than half of it in one breath. When he pulled it away, it took him a moment to catch his breath and he saw how his dad was staring at him. The moment he calmed down he'd be demanding answers, whether the pain meds were working yet or not.

He braced himself, taking a deep breath and setting the water bottle on the ground.

Predictably, John immediately jumped into interrogation mode. "Did you have a vision?"

"I... I don't know..." Sam rubbed at his still throbbing head, "I think so? Maybe? It... The Demon was there, and he was making me do things... But- but I don't think... I don't think it was me, Dad."

"What do you mean it wasn't you?"

"I didn't recognize anything... It was at a home, with a cat and neighbors. I remember thinking that the neighbors had paid me to watch their cat when they went on vacation, but I've never watched anyone's cat before."

"Alright, calm down." John's hands went to Sam's shoulders, and it was then that he realized that he was starting to hyperventilate. "What else? You said the Demon made you do things? What kind of things?"

"I..." The memory of the smell surged through Sam and made him nauseous. "I killed Tom Tom."

"You killed someone?" There was an alertness to his voice that wasn't helping Sam's nerves or the idea that the boy he dreamed about wasn't him.

"The neighbor's cat. The Demon told me to, I just touched him and he... I electrocuted him." Images of the cat started flashing through his mind; how he would brush up against his leg when he wanted food, or would reach out to grab him if he tried passing by without petting him, or how - despite being at the end of adulthood - frisky he would get when the first cool breeze of autumn came and blew the dead leaves across the yard... "He was a good cat... He didn't deserve that."

A rough hand was patting his cheek, Sam's eyes snapping back to focus on his father. "Stay with me, Sam. Don't go back there, stay here."

Sam felt himself nod, relief passing over John's face. Had he gone somewhere to make his dad worry so much?

"Okay," His dad stood up, quickly glancing around the room as if to check that the Demon wasn't hiding in the corners. "Get your things, we're leaving here in ten." John offered his hand to him to help him up, but Sam couldn't bring himself to grab it. Images of Tom Tom still flashed through his mind, the power of just a single touch...

John seemed to notice his hesitation and realized what it was for, his hand withdrawing as an unreadable look crossed his face. After a few seconds of staring at him, his dad turned away with a sigh and started packing up their room.

Logically, Sam knew that it wasn't him who killed the cat, but for some reason it was hard for him to distinguish between where he ended and the dream began. He couldn't figure out why though. He's had nightmares before as a different person but the fear always went away after a few minutes of waking up. Was it because this time it was a vision with the Yellow-Eyed Demon? But he'd had nightmares of the Demon before as well...

Sam sat there, pondering the reason as he watched his dad pack their things.


Sam managed to recount the vision twice more in Pastor Jim's home, first to Jim and then to Bobby when he arrived. John called Dean and Mary as well, knowing they'd want to be a part of whatever was happening, but the three men decided that it would be in everyone's best interest to let them explain while Sam still had difficulties differentiating between reality and his vision.

Both Bobby and Jim expressed their worry for Sam's reaction to the vision, and after making sure he knew who he was, they sent him to rest in a spare room. It wasn't that John wasn't worried about his son, he was, but his mind was more focused on eliminating the threat than the immediate here and now.

"That Yellow-Eyed bastard is planning something," John's hand clenched around his coffee mug. "I didn't even think about the possibility of there being other kids like Sam that he would try to get."

"Does this mean he's given up on Sam?" Jim asked, setting a refilled mug in front of Bobby. "We've kept him well warded since the Roadhouse, maybe he can't get to him anymore and moved on."

"Demon's too smart for that." Bobby grunted while nodding his thanks to Jim. "He could be buying time, getting us to think he's given up and striking again when our guard is down."

A thought came to John that had his fists clenching, eyes glaring at the table. "Or... he's creating a group of special kids like Sam. He said Sam was his favorite... that means there's more than just him, always has been. And teaching that one boy to use his powers? That can't mean anything good."

The idea caused a tense silence to pass over the table, the others mirroring him as they glared at the table.

"But what could a demon want with a bunch of human, psychic kids?" Jim asked, "It's not as if they couldn't do whatever they need themselves."

"That's what worries me..." John sighed, his hands loosening around his mug of coffee. "What would a demon want with a bunch of human kids at all? And why is my son of all people his favorite?"

Bobby opened his mouth to comment, but a frantic knock at the door cut him off. Jim stood, glancing at the clock on the wall. "That should be Mary and Dean, they made good timing."

John's hands tightened once more around his mug, trying not to watch the doorway for Mary to enter. He looked up as he heard Jim greet them and snuck glances in that direction, Bobby noticing with a smirk. John sent him a mild glare before looking back down at his coffee.

And then she entered the room, hair a mess and eyes wide. Relief passed over her features though when she saw him, quickly taking the seat next to him. Dean appeared not too far after, glancing over him and Bobby and frowning more when he didn't see his brother.

"John, what happened? Is Sam okay?"

"Where's Sam?" They asked in unison, both looking to him. John lifted a hand placatingly, gesturing for them to calm down.

"Sam's resting now, we thought it was best... He's having a hard time adjusting back to reality."

Alarm flashed through both their faces, Dean taking a step towards the door where he must suspect Sam was. "What do you mean 'adjusting back to reality'?"

John took a breath, looking back to the table. "Last night, Sam somehow connected with another boy who had somehow captured the Demon's attention. The boy had powers as well, different from Sam's, but the Demon was forcing him to use them. Sam saw it all in first person... His mind is having a difficult time figuring out if it really was him or not."

"Oh, my God..." Mary covered her mouth, inhaling sharply. "What was the other boy's power? Did the Demon hurt him?"

"He electrocuted a cat with his bare hand..." John swallowed thickly, "Sam now refuses to touch anyone. From what he told us, it didn't sound like that bastard hurt the kid, just forced him to kill the cat."

"Who suggested that Sam go to the room to rest?" Dean asked, still facing the doorway. "Did you tell him to go or did he go himself?"

John's eyebrow raised, "I did. He wasn't responding well to us."

Dean nodded slowly, starting towards the guest room. "You didn't think that maybe that would make him feel like he was being punished? That being sent away was telling him that it was somehow his fault this happened?"

"Dean-" Mary started to scold, but he was already gone. John waved her off though.

"Let him go, he's probably got a point. He's known Sam for barely a year but I feel like he already knows him better than me." He glanced after Dean, sighing. "If anyone can break through to him, it's Dean."


"Demon child," His dad growled, belt coming down on him again. He flinched, wanting desperately to put his hand up and defend himself but knowing he'd only get into more trouble. "It's your fault my wife is dead!"

"I'm sorry, dad...!" He cried, risking a glance up at him

"Sorry doesn't bring her back! You killed her!" The belt was tossed to the side in favor of his hands. He always did love using his hands more... He could feel how much he hurt him that way.

He spotted another pair of shoes step behind his father, not needing to look up to know it was the yellow-eyed man again.

"Max, Max, Max..." The man almost cooed, "You can make this all go away. You have the power to stop this, just say the word. Let me show you what you can do, and you'll never be hurt like this again."

He shook his head. He knew what this man wanted him to do, and he couldn't... He wasn't strong enough, his dad would stop him and hurt him even more. And then he really would be a demon child...

Another hit, his head turning sharply as the taste of iron filled his mouth.

"Do it, Max." The man whispered, crouching down on the floor next to him.

"No..." He whispered back, but his father still heard, grabbing the front of his shirt and hauling him up.

"What did you just say to me, boy?"

"N-Nothing...! I swear I said nothing!"

"Lying now, huh? I should have put you down the moment you were born..." He was dropped to the floor, the belt back in his dad's hand.

He cried, sobbed, and screamed, unable to hold in the noises that his dad hated. He was going to die this time, this was the day that his dad took it too far and he finally died. No amount of begging and pleading would help him now.

Yellow eyes watched him from behind his dad's frame, eyes that promised to help him... Maybe... Just maybe-

"Sam!" A voice called, hands grabbing at him all over.

He screamed, jerking away from the hands and the people and falling to the floor. "Don't touch me! Don't touch me, don't touch me, don't touch me!" He backed himself into a corner, body curling in on himself as he blindly swatted hands away from him.

"Sammy, man, listen! It's just us! You're safe now!" A figure crouched in front of him, hands held up. He flinched away from them, eyes closing tightly and bracing for the hit. But it never came.

Slowly, he opened his eyes to see the people around him, see why he was being spared. He didn't say yes to the Yellow-Eyed Man, he knows he didn't. So why did the beating stop? The man kneeling in front of him now was younger than his dad, but he looked hurt. Why was he hurt? Shouldn't Max be the one hurt? But... No, that wasn't right... He wasn't Max, he was Sam... and the man kneeling in front of him was Dean.

Tears welled up in his eyes, a choked sob leaving him. "Dean..."

"I'm here," Dean was across the space in a second, pulling Sam against his chest. Sam felt panic for a split second before forcing it away. Dean would never hurt him... Dean was safe. "I'm here, Sammy. I promise you're okay. I'm sorry, I'm so sorry..."

Sam cried against his chest, letting himself be comforted by his older brother. He was Sam Winchester, not Max. His family wouldn't hurt him like that... They wouldn't...

Someone shifted behind Dean, Sam jerking at the movement and his heartrate increasing. It was his parents, Mary and John. It wasn't the Yellow-Eyed Man- Demon. Yellow-Eyed Demon. Because that's what it was. That's what was ruining his life. A demon was the reason his body and mind were screaming at him to get away, that he wasn't safe with his family. A demon was the reason his father no longer trusted him with Bobby and Jim while they made plans, because looking through a window means that something can look back. What if the Demon was watching through his eyes now? What if he could see all this and decided to come for him now? What if-

Dean's arms tightened around him, blocking out his thoughts. Dean still loved him, he knew that much at least. And while his dad might not trust him, he hoped that his parents still loved him too.

After some minutes, Sam finally stopped crying enough for Dean to move him back to the bed. Uncle Bobby brought him a mug of hot tea and a box of tissues and suddenly Sam felt shame and embarrassment burn in him at crying so loudly in front of everyone. But no one brought it up. They just stood around the bed (or on it in Dean and Mary's case) and waited for him to talk in his own time.

He had three false starts, his voice catching in his throat and choking him as the memories flooded his mind. It wasn't him... It wasn't him. He had faced worse things than a beating by a human, it was stupid to be so worked up over it. The pain wasn't even so bad compared to other injuries he's had! But it still felt so real... so terrifying.

"His name is Max," He finally started, eyes glued to the warm mug in his hands. "He... His dad... His dad was angry with him... Beat him in their basement. Kept calling him a demon child, said he was the reason his mom was dead... He- He wouldn't stop. It hurt so bad but if I begged for him to stop it would only be worse so I tried, I really tried. I promise I tried to be good...!"

"Hey," Dean's hand was on his shoulder, squeezing, grounding. "You're not Max, you're Sam. You don't have to try to be good, you don't have to try to be anything."

Sam stared at him, his eyes burning again but he stubbornly held them back. He'd already cried enough. He was thankful for his brother though, Dean was amazing at keeping him grounded. "Right... Right. Max, he, he tried to be good but it didn't work. And then... they weren't alone. The Demon was standing behind his dad. He... he promised he could help. He said that Max had the power to make his pain stop, that he just had to let the Demon show him how to use it. Max... He didn't want to, but... But it just hurt so much... His dad was going to kill him..."

He hadn't realized the tears escaped once again until his mom moved closer and brushed her hand against his cheek, wiping them away. He jerked away from her like he had been burned, eyes wide at the contact. A part of his mind told him he was still expecting to be hurt by them, that's why he reacted the way he did. He told that part of his mind to shut up.

"Did he say yes to the Demon?" His dad asked, emotions hidden behind his hunting mask. Sam couldn't meet his eyes for some reason. His dad wouldn't hurt him, his dad wouldn't hunt him.

"No... Not at first, anyway. Near the end, before I woke up, he was thinking about it. My last thought was 'just maybe'."

A solemn silence fell over them once more, everyone sharing secret looks and glances with one another. Except for Dean. Dean kept his attention on Sam, making sure he was comfortable and still staying in his right mind. What would Sam have done without his brother?

Probably suffer an identity crisis from Hell.

"Okay," Pastor Jim started, rubbing his hands together as he tried to collect himself. "Okay, I think we should let Sam rest now while we figure out what to do." He looked at Sam, his smile gentle but worried. "I know you don't feel like sleeping now, but you should at least try. You need to stay healthy and well-rested."

Sam looked downward, picking at the bedspread. He didn't want to sleep, he didn't want to be alone. Why would they think it would be good to leave him alone to sleep when it was proven that sleeping was a bad idea for him? He didn't want to be alone either, he didn't want to slip back into the mindset of Max or that other boy. Why were they going to leave him alone? Why couldn't he go sit with them in the kitchen? Why did he have to stay in this dark room? Did they not trust him? No... No, they couldn't trust him. The Demon might be watching their every move through him. He would betray them...

"I'll stay with Sam," Dean said, the hand still on his shoulder squeezing slightly. Sam looked up at him, eyes wide and breath still. He didn't have to be alone-

"Dean..." Pastor Jim's expression turned sympathetic. "You don't have to-"

"I'm staying with Sam." Dean's chin lifted defiantly, his eyes narrowing, daring them to challenge him again. "Any decisions you make I'll find out when you tell Sam."

There was a tense silence between the adults, all of them staring at Dean with expressions Sam didn't even want to try to figure out. But he knew, in that moment, Dean thought the same as him. That the adults were leaving him behind because they also thought the Demon was watching them through Sam's eyes. And Dean was forcing the adults to keep him included on their plans.

"Okay," His dad finally said, nodding to Dean with something that almost looked like pride in his eyes before leaving with the others. Just like that, his dad agreed to keep him in the loop at the risk of the Demon knowing their plans.

Sam and Dean sat on the bed in silence for a moment after the adults left, then Dean threw himself back on the pillows with a sigh.

"Man, we did an eight hour drive in five to get here. I'm beat..."

Sam glanced at him before looking back at the bedspread, shame flushing his face. "Sorry... You didn't have to hurry, I doubt we're going to be leaving here for a while."

His shoulder was shoved, almost causing him to faceplant into the bed. "Leaving soon or not, I'll always get to you as fast as I can when you need me, idiot. You're my little brother, that's what I'm supposed to do."

A smile unwillingly spread across Sam's face as he kept his back to Dean, attempting to hide how happy that statement made him feel. He'd had the thought throughout the night, but he was just so grateful that Dean was there to keep him grounded, to make sure that he was still loved even if he had a demon looking through his eyes.

After a minute or so, he glanced back to see Dean sound asleep against his pillow, one hand behind his head and lips parted with a light snore. He looked peaceful. He must have been really tired, going to sleep so fast with Sam right there. Dean wasn't even the slightest bit worried about Sam hurting him...

He sucked in a breath at that thought. Should Dean be worried about Sam hurting him? The Demon was appearing to other kids like him, forcing them to do things... What if he appears to Sam as well? What if he makes Sam hurt Dean or his parents or Uncle Bobby? What if Sam turns darkside?

Sam looked back down at Dean, his heart clenching in his chest. He didn't want to hurt Dean, he would never forgive himself if he hurt Dean.

He quietly slid off the bed, careful not to wake his brother. One look and Dean would immediately know what he was thinking. So slowly, quietly, using all of his training as a hunter, Sam slipped out of the room without a sound.

A/N: Whoo! Things have finally calmed down enough for me to start writing again! I believe I mentioned in the last story that I was going to my first SPN con in February and it was amazing! I have never felt so welcomed anywhere before. I don't think I've ever held so many conversations for so long before! As an introvert with severe social anxiety, I was completely comfortable around the people of the convention. And meeting the actors... Omg I still cry thinking about it. I got to meet J2M, Richard Speight Jr, Jake Abel, and Drake Rogers. I haven't seen The Winchesters yet, but I sat through their panel and fell in love with Drake Rodger's personality. I had his autograph for free with the silver package and decided to go meet him, and I told him how I liked his personality even though I haven't seen his show. This man stopped in the middle of writing my name and looked up at me with tears in his eyes, a hand over his heart, and a smile that could put the sun to shame! He told me that that meant so much to him, then he asked if I was going to any other cons for the tour because he wanted me to tell him what I thought of TW after I saw it. I told him no but I would probably go to the Austin con next year, and he said he'd make sure to go to that one too then! I'm in love. How is it possible not to fall in love after that? Omg.

Meeting Richard was so warming too. I got a photo op with him and so he signed that, and I told him how much I loved Gabriel, and how I screamed when I saw he was back. His smile... His sunshine through whiskey eyes... It was amazing.

I didn't get to talk with Misha and Jensen because they were both talking with their staff during autographs, but when I was leaving Jensen's table he winked at me. I think I died and went to heaven because wow... Guys... His eyes really are fanfiction green.

And then there was Jared... Just when I thought it wasn't possible to love him any more... If anyone read my other SPN story, On The Edge, you'll know that last year was very hard for me. The only thing that got me through it was the idea of meeting Jared at this con. I made my goal. And I told him that. He gave me his full attention, and it even looked like he started tearing up when he saw I was starting to cry. He reached over the table and held and patted my hand and he told me he was proud of me. That he was honored to be my goal and he was glad to have helped me. And as I was leaving, he smiled and told me that he loved my crocheted slouchy hat. That's my motivation now. When things get hard, I just have to remember that I made Jared proud and that's all it takes. My new goal is getting a picture with Jared at the Austin con next year, and then I'll work from there.

This convention, this fandom, has given me so much. I don't think I'll ever be able to express how grateful I am to the actors and fans. Even the one lady I was arguing with on facebook for hating on Sam. I'm grateful for everyone. These stories aren't enough to repay for everything I was given by the SPN Family but it's what I'm good at so I'll keep writing them. Thank you all.