What doesn't kill you…

sometimes makes you wish it had.

Disclaimer: I still own nothing "Supernatural".

a/n: (Oct 08) This is way darker than anything I've done before – must be spending too much time under my rock.

There's hurt, angst, blood and violence but I don't think its M…let me know if you think otherwise and I'll change the rating.

It's set sometime in Season 2.

I would like at this point to remind you that I am Australian and hereby invoke my poetic licence to accidently screw up directions, distances and descriptions of the places I mention. (Just don't laugh too loudly, you may strain something).

It's for the Dean girls out there (you know who you are – and I know as well!) but I would never leave Sammy out…it just wouldn't be right. I'm all for EAO (Equal Angst Opportunity).

lb.

Chapter 1

Now

It started just outside Spokane. Two bodies, mutilated and fed upon then left to rot in the damp compost of the forest. They were probably the first victims who had just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Deadly on this occasion.

The unfortunate couple had been married and were on holidays, enjoying a hike in the clean, crisp winter air. They had ended up running for their lives, and died with their faces twisted in fear. They were found with their mouths still open in silent screams and their bodies cut and bitten.

They walk through the forest with little conversation, following the trail back as it wound between the larger trees. Their boots crunch the mulch of the fallen leaves which lay thick and damp smelling underfoot. Dean glances at his brother who is lost in thought and wonders if he's worried about what this looks like cause he should be.

Dean sure as hell is.

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They flash their smiles and show their badges at the local Sheriff. He says it looks like one of the big cats had escaped from nearby Colbert and run amok. It's happened before, only killed one tourist last time though.

Sam and Dean know better but don't say anything.

Ellen Harvelle had called with a job and a starting point and what the hell they were nearby so they took it on. It wasn't often they were handed the first victims, a licence plate and the name of the demon. Dean knew it was too good to be true when he found out what they were tracking.

Dean thinks Ellen is joking and tells her so, doesn't trust her information. Sam asks how she can be so sure and she tells them a friend of hers has been waiting for them to kill again since last autumn. He'd go after them himself Ellen adds but he says he's getting too old.

The boys look at each other and wonder if he's just too scared.

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The kills in Spokane are fresh, maybe only two or three hours old but it takes a call from Ash to point them in the right direction. He's traced a navy blue Ford Bronco on enough road camera's from Spokane to tell them to get their asses over to Albany.

Sam looks at Dean from the passenger seat of the Impala. Sam's body is twisted, long legs stretched forward and body curled sideways as he leans his back against the door. Dean looks back at him and thinks his brother never looks comfortable, even when he is.

Sam traces a calloused finger almost reverently across the page as he reads aloud from the journal. For once he almost wishes their Dad hadn't put as much detail into his writing but figures they'd probably just end up dead quicker.

"Sam?" Dean's voice prods him to continue when he hadn't realised that he'd stopped. "That bad?"

Sam's raised eyebrows say yes but instead he asks Dean what he remembers from the hunt with Dad.

Before

"I want you to stay inside Dean, no matter what happens. Clear?"

"Yessir."

"Caleb will set himself up inside at the bar and he'll follow her out. Mackie and I will be in the alley waiting. We have to wait 'till she starts feeding to make sure but we'll stop her in time."

"Dad, I can help."

"You are son, I need you to watch Caleb's back. Besides you're only sixteen and its risky having you here at all being underage but like I said I need you to watch Caleb's back and call me if anything goes wrong."

Dean sits in a dark booth fidgeting with a coaster and sipping a beer to keep up appearances. He doesn't take his eyes off Caleb until about an hour later when he follows a couple out the back door and Dean knows his Dad and the other hunter will have his back now. Knows he has to stay here if he wants to earn their trust. Doesn't mean he has to like it.

He stretches his neck muscles and sits back, surprised when a shadow falls across him and a man sits down opposite. He knows he needs to speak and tell this guy to piss off especially when the guy reaches out and wraps a cool hand around his wrist. His skin has a strange blue tinge but it must be the bad lighting.

He knows this is wrong, something's very wrong and he briefly thinks maybe this guy is what they're hunting and he really needs to tell Dad right now. Trying to breath is taking a lot of effort though and he doesn't think he'd be able to move enough to get his phone.

He's not quite sure he could speak right now anyway.

Look at me.

All he wants to do is look at the green eyes in front of him. Dean hasn't seen that shade of smooth aqua green before, a tropical ocean that draws you into its depths. His eyes travel to the lips curled in a shy smile and he wonders what they would feel like crushed against his mouth. A wave of heat flows through him and he wants to find out.

Want you.

He knows he should be fighting this cause there's a faint alarm bell ringing relentlessly in the back of his skull somewhere and he grimaces slightly as he tries to access this seemingly important information. His thoughts are shattered into a million pieces as he feels a finger trace down his face and across his lips making his body react thoughtlessly as his mouth opens. Willingly.

Come with me.

He stands up only to be pushed roughly back down by strong hands on his shoulders. There are suddenly lots of people yelling and then he sees his Dad and Mackie run out chasing the guy that sat with him. He hears a girl scream outside and people start going out the back door. It's all too much to take in right now and he just sits while it happens around him.

Caleb is suddenly in his face, hand on his arm telling him they have to get out before the cops come and he has to hurry. Dean follows him outside and catches a glimpse of bare skin and blood on the pavement and they start running once they get around the corner and head for the car a few blocks away. He notices a lot of blood on Caleb's shirt but apart from a scratch down his face he doesn't seem badly hurt.

They've still got a block to go when Dean stops and vomits in the gutter, his skin crawling with shame and repulsion as the creature's thoughts echo in his head. As the desire that wasn't his still resounds through his body like an aftershock.

Mackie's lying in a pool of blood when they get there and Dean realises he's the only one not bleeding. His Dad is holding an arm to his chest and tells him to go with Caleb.

He clamps his jaw shut and breathes through his nose, willing them not to look at him cause he's sure that his face will betray him and his dirty little secret. He never tells them what happened, not even his Dad. Especially not his Dad.

And they don't ask.

Now

"Don't remember much at all Sammy, Dad wouldn't let me hunt. I was just the backup. I know there were a pair of them not just one like we'd thought – that's why the whole deal went pear shaped I guess. They each went after a…after someone. They were close range telepaths and vicious as hell when they were cornered. Dad got cut up pretty bad and Mackie ended up in hospital. Don't remember Dad going after them again but I guess someone else finished the job."

"You see em?"

"Looked pretty normal to me, 'cept for the eyes. They've all got green eyes like, like nothing I've seen before." He lifted his head and met his brother's eyes. "Don't let'em touch you."

Cool skin. Red lips.

Sam thinks there's more, there always is but there's no point pushing. He nods and reads aloud the handwriting scrawled across the page. He's surprised that Ellen didn't mention they've been known to keep some humans alive for their feeding season, probably for bait. Maybe she didn't know.

Dean snorts at this. She knows he says, just like she knows Skrabens are carnivores that like cutting things up with claws and knives.

Dean's face remains neutral as Sam describes the way they lure and control humans with a mixture of pheromones and touch telepathy. The way they look human except when feeding and have some traits similar to succubi as well as vampiric tendencies.

Green eyes. Wanting.

"…feed off blood and sometimes flesh and get high from adrenaline and lust. Gross. Will also draw energy during sex. Again gross. Mate for life and hunt at night before winter hibernation."

Sam squinted at the journal and turned it sideways to read the added points written in the margin. "Only active a couple of months each year. Use humans as bait? Nest in remote areas. Consecrated iron to heart."

"They're smart killers Sam and they…they enjoy it."

Sam glances across at his brother's face but the shadows hide his eyes and whatever is behind them. He's pretty sure that Dean's a little worried about this hunt and now he thinks that maybe he is too.

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He has a clear memory of how it started last time. Two bodies became many by the time his Dad had tracked the Skrabens to California. All the victims he'd seen had been bloodied and torn open. Some of them, male and female had been raped as well. He knows two of the bodies he saw were no more than sixteen. The same age as him.

He wishes his memory wasn't so good sometimes.

Dean pushes his foot on the accelerator and just enjoys the feeling of speed for a minute. The rush of leaving things behind and pretending they were just road tripping, no agenda. Just him and his brother living in the sun, safe and normal.

Not always hunting in the darkness. Just outside everyone's peripheral vision.

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Dean made it to Albany in six hours. Sam made him stop for coffee once, said he needed to have a break if he wanted to drive the whole way. Sam was a little pissed when he held the coffee in one hand and drove anyway.

They sit separately trying to look like victims, vulnerable. Dean knows he'll be safe. He knows his body language screams don't mess with me but he doesn't know how to change that. Doesn't really know if he wants to.

Sam looks too young and Dean's too nervous to sit far from him. Just in case.

The all-nighters were open until four am in Albany and there were too many to pick the right one. They tried anyway.

And failed.

Sam turns the radio on as they slump into the Impala at four in the morning. He turns it off when he hears the headline of a gruesome double murder, female 22 and male 26 across town. Police are shocked by the viciousness of the attacks.

The boys are shocked by how defeated they feel this early on in the hunt.

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They get an early call and Dean snags his cell off the bedside table. He doesn't talk for long and shakes his brother's shoulder as soon as he ends the call.

"Sammy, c'mon we gotta go."

"What?' Sam's brain tries to clutch start but it's rough, not quite enough.

"Ash is running a program that's tracking the vehicle by road camera."

Sam opens his mouth and closes it again when he sees Dean's don't ask face. He cleans his teeth and grabs his bag. He never bothers to unpack anymore.

They head down the coast to Redding, Dean finds a local station that plays rock and Sam is glad the music's loud. He doesn't know why but this hunt seems different. Even Dean seems different. Edgy.

He tells Dean he's worried about him and he doesn't really know what he was expecting back but Dean just grins, shakes his head and rolls his eyes. Somehow that makes Sam feel better.

Standard operating procedure.

They roll into Redding just before two in the afternoon. It's raining and it doesn't look like it's gonna stop. They check into the first motel they find with wireless internet and cable, there're still a few hours to kill before they hunt.

Sam checks the net for possibilities and wonders aloud if they should split up, cover more ground.

Dean shoots that idea down in seconds. Sam doesn't appreciate the implication that he can't look after himself.

Dean doesn't give a damn.

"Dean we're never gonna find the right place, there's too many options here."

"Just find a nightclub Sam, plenty of dark, plenty of booze."

"I don't think that's gonna help, there's still too many."

It didn't.

Dean smashes his fist into the steering wheel when they hear the news at one in the morning on their way to another bar. They were only about a mile and a half away.

They cruise around town for another two hours looking for a navy blue Ford Bronco.

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The call came just after five this time and Sam was still staring at the ceiling. He answered Dean's phone and looked at his brother strewn across the bed opposite. He hadn't even taken his boots off.

"Ash what else do you know about these things?" Sam feels like he's missing something important.

"Dude apart from the fact that they're demons, what's to know? Ellen says your brother's one of the few that's survived hunting'em and not gotten mangled or dead…well y'know that's still alive as we speak. You're picking the wrong brain here man."

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It took half a day to drive to Salt Lake City and Dean had finally given up the wheel after he had nearly driven off the road.

Twice.

Dean rang Ash as they drove past the patrol cars and crime scene tape fluttering in the wind just inside the city limits about an hour after dusk. They drove on and reached Santa Fe in the early hours of the morning.

"Dean we gotta stop here. We'll end up wrapped around a tree." Sam's head was pounding and his vision was blurred.

Dean knew Sam was right and didn't argue when his brother pulled into a motel on the main street. Sam looked like crap and he felt pretty much the same.

He lets the water run over his face and body and wishes he could just stay there, in limbo. He knows Sam is waiting, impatient to get going. To hunt things, save people. Dean turns the shower off and gets dressed in minutes, his clean shirt soaking up the water droplets on his skin that he hasn't even bothered to dry.

Just another hunt.

Yeah and maybe if he keeps telling himself that, he might even start to believe it.

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They walk into the barely lit room, steady bass beat vibrating through their bones so they can feel the music surrounding them as much as hear the sound. They hesitate just inside the doorway, both visibly at ease yet both so strung out alert.

Sam heads for a dark corner of the bar with an easy roll of his hips and a shy smile for those he passes that try to catch his eye. Dean buys a beer and then leans back against the side wall, the coolness of the faux tiles seeping through his shirt onto his back. He scans the crowd of bodies pulsing with the seductive beat, never losing focus of Sam.

Sam notices a girl sidle up and lean next to him at the bar, an elbow brushing his arm as she orders a drink. She's attractive, with dark hair hanging loose against the tan skin of her shoulders. She's slim and tall and says her name is Corinne and any other time he might even enjoy the small talk but not now, not tonight.

He smiles politely and declines when she wants to go somewhere quieter to talk. Her eyes are brown.

Dean tenses a little when he sees the girl approach Sam but he knows his brother's body language and she's not who they're after. He barely has time to be relieved when his eyes are drawn to the dance floor.

She's beautiful. Her little black dress covers her shapely body like a second skin writhing and turning with the music. Her hair is below waist length and glints in the pulsing lights as it surrounds her like a veil, half covering her face. She presses her body close to her partner, a twenty something boy who can't seem to look away from her face, her eyes. She turns on the floor and her hair sweeps to the side as she smiles and looks up at him.

Green eyes.

A shiver runs through his body, contradicting the heat he feels from the room. He knows those eyes, he's seen them on someone else.

Want you. The words echo around in his head as though he heard them seconds not years ago.

The song ends and another begins and he nods at Sam. His brother is halfway across the dance floor when the lights go out.

The crowd protest when the music ceases momentarily before it once again bursts to life along with the lights. His eyes seek Sam who had continued to move in the darkness and now comes alongside. The girl is gone along with her partner.

"Dammit. Head out the front and I'll meet you 'round back. She's got hair down to her ass, light brown and a short black dress. Guys my height, black hair and jeans. Be careful Sammy I don't know what her mate looks like but I'll bet he caused the power out."

Sam nods and moves towards the main entrance, all hunter and fluid movement. He glances back once as Dean disappears towards the small corridor leading to the back exit. He freezes as another figure follows the same path as his brother. His eyes harden and his mouth becomes a thin line as he retraces his steps.

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Dean edges soundlessly out the door, a few couples are scattered against the wall outside wrapped around each other. Three guys puff on cigarettes and eye him warily, a distinct sharp smell wafting around him as he passes them. He sees the couple heading down the street then loses them as they turn a corner.

He starts running and rounds the corner, the road dead ends to the left and he sees them pressed up against a wall in the furthest, darkest corner. He reaches down for the consecrated iron blade strapped against his ankle. He wishes they had risked the guns right about now. The knife would still work but it meant getting up close and personal to pierce the heart.

Something was off and he froze.

"Dean drop!"

He hits the pavement and rolls so he's facing the threat and sees a guy drop to his knees, then fall forward to the ground. A knife protruding from his back. A faint blue glow enveloping his body.

He jumps up and pulls the bloodied knife out as Sam sprints up and they hear a scream of violent anger behind them. She knows what they've done.

In one movement he throws Sam his clean knife and his brother catches it on the run.

Dean watches the thing in front of him that looks almost like a regular guy, groaning from being stabbed in the back with a knife. Sam must've only just missed the heart. He wishes he could turn and see his brother, make sure he was okay but instead he sees green eyes.

The same red mouth.

The Skraben before him has a deeper blue glow now as it elongates its form, flexing lethal claws. Dean hasn't seen them change before but knows it wants to feed. Can almost feel its hunger.

"I will have you this time." It whispers aloud.

Dean takes a shuddering breath, his head shaking in disbelief. It couldn't be the same one. "No."

It lunges at him and he's more then ready, stabbing its neck, making sure it doesn't touch him. He knows better this time. It goes down again, snarling and writhing in pain.

The next blow is powerful but it twists at the last minute and he thinks he missed the heart. He hears a terrible noise, wailing anger and sorrow and hate as the other one senses what he's doing. He raises his hand for another strike, blood dripping off the end of the knife.

Then time stops as he hears a yell of pain from his brother cut short. Then silence. Nothing.

Panic.

He's running down the alley into the darkness. She's already changed her shape and glows blue as well, looks almost like some kind of living neon sign. There are two bodies lying on the ground at her feet. Only one of them is moving.

"Sam? Sammy?"

One of the bodies struggles to sit up, covered in blood.

Not Sam.

She half crouches as Dean approaches. He can see she is hurt as well and she circles him looking between him and her injured mate, still prone. The only warning is a snarl as she reaches up and draws a claw across her lips. The bright red fluid trickles down her mouth, looking almost black in the dimness.

He glances at the still form of his brother behind her.

She charges at him then and they hit the ground, his arm is pushed out so the knife only glances across her shoulder as she pins his arms to the side. Her face is inches from his and he breathes in her scent, fights the feeling of dread that is starting to envelope him as he struggles.

She pauses, her eyes seething hate and he still can't look away. He can feel the heat from her body seeping into him and all he wants to know before he dies is if Sam is okay. He doesn't think that's too much to ask for after everything they've been through.

You will suffer greatly for what you've done hunter. You will wish you had died.

He gasps as the words are ground out inside his head and then can't breathe as his mouth is covered by her lips. The tangy, coppery taste of blood assaults him and he struggles violently, desperately as he feels the warmth slide down his throat making him gag. The pressure is relentless and he involuntarily swallows, eyes wide and drowning in the depth of her gaze.

You are mine.

She finally breaks the kiss and he still can't move as she licks her tongue slowly across his lips. All he can do is groan and he breaks out in a sweat as he feels her teeth graze down his neck and sink into his shoulder.

His mind is hazy and unfocused now and he clings to feelings of something wrong and danger and Sam as he sinks deeper.

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He feels something on his arm and he moves fast. Too fast apparently as his head spins and lurches and pain erupts down his arm.

"Whoa man. Take it easy, the crazy bitch and her boyfriend are gone. I think you mighta killed him."

Dean squints at the face in front of him and all that registers is Not Sam. He realises he's sprawled on the ground in the semi darkness and his brain is scrambling for some memory of what went down.

His brain kick starts when he sees the long body stretched out on the pavement, head turned away from him and he crawls four feet without breathing.

The other guy is speaking but he doesn't hear, doesn't really care what he's saying. Right now the world could be ending but it would still come a far second to what lies in his arms.

"Sammy, hey wake up."

Dean places his hand on his brother's neck, cradling Sam's head with his arm and brushing hair away. He feels a pulse at the same time he sees the head gash that runs down from above one eyebrow, seeping blood across Sam's eye and down his cheek.

There's a knife, his knife, sticking out of Sam thigh and buried deep.

He shifts a little to check for more injuries and he's rewarded with a low moan. Sam's hand feebly seeks the knife in his leg and Dean gently restrains his wrist.

'Hey it's okay Sam. I've gotcha okay, just lie still."

"I've called an ambulance, they said not to move either of you but then my phone cut out. I didn't know what else to do. That bitch went crazy and your friend saved my life man."

"My brother." Dean managed to nod at the blood covered man standing next to him before his focus returns to his brother. He sees the ragged tear across the lower part of Sam's shirt and his hand comes away wet and slick when he checks. His brother tries to move away, still not conscious but aware enough of the pain. He pulls the shirt up and he sees the slash, knife or claw but it doesn't matter 'cause the skin is ripped and maybe that's the white of a rib but he doesn't really need to know for sure.

Another moan and a sound he knows. "Dn, De…"

"Yeah I'm here Sammy." He hears the sirens and holds on a little tighter to dispel the fear in his gut. He's not sure how this got so fucked up so quickly and he knows it's somehow worse than the injured little brother he is clutching. Knows there's more to this as the copper aftertaste makes the bile rise in his stomach.

But it will just have to wait.

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"Lightsoff." He whispers as he tries to turn over and get away from the harsh brightness that is seeping through his closed eyelids. His stomach lurches with the movement, the pain that rockets through various body parts makes him twist and turn to escape.

He can hear himself groan and then there's a steady pressure on his arm keeping him still.

"Sam?"

"Hppend?"

"Sammy can you open your eyes? You with me?"

"Mmmm." He opens his eyes a little cause Dean asked him to and his brother's voice wasn't quite right. He sees a blurry shape in the white glow and tries to focus in on it but the light is too much. "Hurts."

Dean sees a flash of dark green before his brother's eyes slip closed again and his head sinks gently to the side.

He rubs his thumb absently across his brother's arm and closes his own eyes fighting the drowsiness and worry that is starting to win the battle.

His brother had woken twice before with similar results and Dean had hoped this time he would be more alert but the concussion was taking its damn time. At least it had allowed the doctor to stitch the muscle and skin back together on Sam's leg and stomach without causing too much pain so far. That would be waiting for him when he woke up properly.

He finds himself staring at Sam's face, his mind seeing a younger version of his brother. He wonders how many times he's sat like this waiting for him to wake up, praying to whatever God would listen as long as those eyes opened and everything was okay again. He knows the number would be high, too high to count.

Watching your little brother like this didn't get any easier with practice. It stripped him to the core every time.

This waiting, not knowing, was not okay. They said it was normal, this slipping in and out of consciousness and he knew from a hell of a lot of experience it was but it was still disconcerting. He wanted Sam back. Now.

Then there was the other thing that was eating away at the back of his mind. The minor detail that she had made him drink her blood. His gut clenched at the thought of it.

He moved his shirt aside and peeled back the gauze, looking at the bite mark on his collarbone. It was deep and red but his tetanus shots were up to date and the antibiotics should prevent any minor infection the Doctor had assured him.

He was thinking it probably didn't cover Skraben bites and he really wasn't sure what to expect. He guessed from past experience he should probably just expect the worst.

That usually worked.

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There was a pounding headache and a wave of nausea waiting for him when he woke, still sitting in the bedside chair. Dean felt like he was sitting near a furnace and realised he was covered in a layer of sweat.

Not good.

He checked his watch and saw Sam's arm move to his head, coming into contact with the bandage covering his head wound.

"Ow."

Dean grinned as he saw the dark eyes finally open and stay that way, searching slowly until they found his own.

"Hey. Kept me waiting long enough." Dean kept his voice low.

"How long?" Sam swallowed roughly and squinted around the room, grateful when a cup of water was offered to him. "Thanks."

"I guess about eight hours give or take."

"You okay? I'm a little hazy on the details after psychobitch demon came at me. Man she was feral."

Dean laughed a little. "That's what the other guy said 'cept for the demon bit." The smile drained away. "They got away Sam."

He nodded wearily, not distracted by the fact that Dean hadn't answered him but a little unsure whether it was a planned diversion. He sighed, of course it was and Dean must think he's too out of it to notice.

"We'll catch up with them again. We know what they look like at least, it's not like they can change their human look…" He frowned. "They can't do that can they?"

"Not that I know of Sam."

Sam winced as he tried to move, forgetting exactly what he had hurt. "Help me sit up." He thought he had more chance of assessing Dean's condition if he wasn't flat on his back.

"Take it easy." Dean pressed the buzzer and stood to make sure Sam stayed put for the moment. "I think the Doc should check you out before you…" Everything swayed and lurched. He turned and made the bathroom just in time, closing the door as he heard his brother call out.

Sam braced his hands on the bed and swung his legs to the side but the pain that flared in his side made him list back into the pillow. He struggled to sit up, knowing something was wrong with his brother and berating himself for not pushing for more information when he had the chance. He reached for the IV line.

Another voice made itself known and hands were suddenly preventing him from doing what he wanted. "I wouldn't be pulling that line out just yet, you need the pain medication and you need to stay in bed Mr Wenham. You're not strong enough to be getting up yet."

He squinted at the Doctor blocking his progress. "Dean, my brother, he's sick in there."

Sam watched as the Doctor knocked and spoke through the closed door. He heard the familiar I'm fine and closed his eyes in frustration. Well at least he's conscious, crossed his mind but knowing Dean, that state of being covered everything between actually fine and close to death.

The words gave no comfort to the youngest Winchester.

Sam succumbed to the Doctors check impatiently until finally Dean emerged from the bathroom, shaking his head and giving him that not now look. Sam relented with his own not now but soon stare and looked back up at the ceiling.

"So Doc what's the verdict?" Dean voice gave little away but Sam could see the sheen of sweat and pale skin as his brother just about collapsed back in the chair.

"He'll be fine with some rest, nothing too strenuous for a few weeks to let the abdominal and leg muscles heal. Luckily no organs were damaged and all the vitals seem normal for now. I would like to monitor the concussion for the moment, run a scan just to be sure." The Doctor hooked Sam's clipboard on the end of the bed and turned. "Now what about you, has someone seen you?"

"Yeah, got my prescription and I'm good to go." Dean managed a smirk.

"When can I check out?"

Sam looked at the raised eyebrows of both the men in front of him.

"Well seeing as how you've just woken up, let's give it another day shall we? Get some rest for now." The Doctor smiled as he left the room.

Sam waits a good three seconds before he demands a full recount of what had gone down and exactly why his brother needs a prescription.

Dean sighs and gives in but hesitates when he gets to the final showdown. His hands become the most interesting things in the room as he seeks the words to tell his brother he doesn't know what's going on with him. He decides to skip that part.

"Dean please, what is it? I need to know." Sam was starting to really freak out on the inside cause Dean doesn't get flustered. He doesn't do scared unless it's big.

Dean pulls his shirt collar down and shows Sam the mark. "She bit me and…and she made me swallow her blood." Just the facts nothing more, nothing that will give away that the freak was in his head. He'll just give it some time and see what happens maybe. Definitely not the time to freak his little brother out.

Sam absorbs the statement for a few seconds before he gives in to the glaring reality he doesn't know what that means. His brain is coming up with a big fat no search results on that piece of information and he finds that totally unacceptable.

He almost thinks that Dean doesn't know either but that would mean they were too far out of their depth and he doesn't want to go there. "What…what does that mean? There was nothing in Dad's journal about their blood."

Dean doesn't flinch, he really could have done improv on stage he thinks. In another lifetime.

"It means Sammy, that I've got freakin demon teeth prints in my delicate skin and I'm totally grossed out by the whole bodily fluid thing. Hence the antibiotics."

Sam closes his eyes and thinks oh fuck he doesn't know either. "Get me the papers to sign out, then help me up."

Dean stands his ground. "No Sam you need to stay here, at least until tomorrow."

"Either help me up Dean or get out of my way." Sam makes his point by pulling the IV out of his arm.

"Sammy don't do this…"

"We need to find out what their blood can do and I'm not gonna sit here and just wait for something to happen. Besides we can't protect ourselves in here. Please don't ask me to stay Dean."

Dean stands there and tries to work out when his little brother got so bossy. Tries to remember when Sam started looking after his big brother.

Dean lets out a shaky breath and wonders when he started feeling so shit scared.

He nods and knows Sam understands. He always does.

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Sam sits down slowly on the motel bed and puts his game face on, except he can't help the way his breath is coming out in quick pants to try and combat the pain. He knows Dean has noticed and waits for the lecture.

Dean puts a hand on his shoulder and gives him silence instead. It almost seems worse than I told you so but Sam doesn't complain. Knows his brother is probably running on empty too.

"Here take these."

Sam takes the offered water bottle and swallows the pills. He thinks maybe he should try and stop his hand shaking so much but he's suddenly too tired to bother. He knows he should start researching but his eyes are growing heavy and he punches his fist into the bed which vents some frustration but sure as hell hurts more than he thought it would.

"Sam? What are doing man? What's wrong?"

"Can you get the laptop, I wanna start checking a few things and I can't…I don't think I can get back up." He figures he may as well state the obvious.

"You should rest up a bit first okay. I'm not going anywhere and we could both probably use a few hours shuteye. Start fresh." Dean knows he sounds convincing cause for once he really means it. His fear edging towards this side of panic is fast being overtaken by exhaustion.

He's pretty sure he could sleep. They're safe for the moment and Sam's a little broken but he'll be okay.

Sam knows his brother needs this too. He also knows Dean won't rest unless he does and he's not really in any shape to argue with logic.

"Yeah 'kay. A few hours."

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

It's dark when he wakes and he waits a few seconds for his eyes to adjust. There's an ache in his body that he's sure wasn't there before, feels like he's run a marathon. Except he can't remember and he's brain is only working at half speed.

It's wrong. Everything's all wrong.

He sits up then and knows he's in trouble so fucking deep he can't even begin to comprehend.

He looks around a room he hasn't seen before, sparse details illuminated by the streetlights and some green flashing sign that flickers on and off through the one small window. He sees his duffel on the floor against the wall.

The bed he is on is the only one in the room and the sheets are a tangled mess around him, just like his clothes. He stares at his unbuttoned shirt and opened jeans.

He wants to spit the acrid copper taste from his mouth but that's before he sees the blood covering his hands, splattered up his forearms. Now he just wants to throw up cause he's pretty damn sure it's not his blood.

He knows Sam isn't here and knows he should probably be glad about that but his eyes wander back to the blood and his mind starts to go places he doesn't want it to cause he would never do that.

Never hurt Sammy. He wouldn't.

A soft laugh from behind him makes his body tense as he tries to determine fight or flight but the response is taken out of his control when his limbs don't respond how they should and he stumbles to the floor. It dawns on him that he's been drugged.

"What did you do to me? Where's my brother?"

"You belong to me now Dean, you don't have a brother anymore."

Remember you are mine.

He pushes his forehead into the carpet as the voice forces itself into his head and he closes his eyes so he doesn't have to see the green eyes he knows are watching him.

tbc…