A/N: Hey guys! Yes it's me again and I have a new story! I can't get tired of it apparently! When I first thought of this plot, it was meant to be a short story – two-parts tops. But it seems like I have gotten carried away! I am almost done with the story (I wanted to write it all before I posted) but then I decided that, since there's a chance it'll be three or four chapters long, I'd give you at least the first chappie while I complete the story. I hope you'll like this one!

Summary: Set season 4 after 'Sex and Violence'. As Sam's strength builds up with his developing abilities, he realizes one day that he can read minds. What seems like a gift at first quickly turns into a nightmare as he has to face his brother's thoughts and what Dean really thinks about him. A dangerous hunt might show them some clarity or tear them apart for good.

Warnings: Angst of course! The inside of Dean's head is no place for children to wander. Also hurt!Dean and limp!Sam. It's my first time doing hurt!Dean I hope you guys will like it!

Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural or any of its characters. I'm just borrowing them for fun! Now let's get started with the story. Enjoy!

+.+.+.+.+

Things had been tensed between the brothers over the past days. Even though they had spoken about it and made things right between them, an atmosphere of guilt still pressed upon them. Words had been spoken; thrown at the other like daggers. Anger was still floating around like a thick stormy cloud and it was just a matter of time before the rain crashed down on them. Remorse just wasn't something the Winchesters dealt with. Not when it regarded Dean's wrath towards Sam's choice of extracurricular activities. And Sam wasn't about to give in to Dean's demands and go as far as to stop his own train of action in the midst of catching the Demon's ass he so desperately sought for.

In his opinion, Sam was utterly convinced that he was only doing the right thing. Training with Ruby and using his powers would only bring justice and eventually, peace. But he thought that as a man having such a responsibility, he ought to deal with a certain amount of dire consequences. It also required of him to make a number of sacrifices. That was what he knew and accepted as it would lead to his and his brother's salvation. The death of Lilith would atone for Sam's mistakes as he also believed it was the only way of making it up to his brother for the deal.

Dean wasn't relishing Sam's mechanism of coping. He was all aware of the risks that surrounded his brother's use of his so-called gifts. At first, his brother had called it a curse. Sam had tried to make him understand that he wanted to use the 'evil' inside of him for the greater good. After all – and to Dean's dismay – Sam really thought he was doing it out of the goodness of his heart. But Dean knew better. He'd seen the way his brother looked when he took on a demon. Sam was enjoying the pain that he was inflicting.

But then again, if his brother wanted to fight that fight, Dean would let him be. That wasn't even his biggest concern. What he minded the most were the lies and the careful games played behind his back, thus increasing his feeling of being left on the bench to watch as things unfolded. Sam had found his new teammate and it wasn't Dean. His brother had teamed with the enemy. He'd teamed with a demon. That was the part that he just couldn't live with. That's what he blamed Sam for and that's what the siren spell had pulled out of him.

Sam too had said some things. Dean couldn't shake off the way his brother had looked at him, calling him 'weak' and blaming him for 'holding him back'. Did Sam really deem him too weak to help him take on Lilith? Did his brother have such a low opinion of him even after everything they'd been through? Even if they'd apologized for the things they had said, even if they had assured each other that they hadn't meant any of those hurtful words, Dean still wondered if maybe – just maybe – some of it could have been true.

That's how they ended up trapped together in yet another motel, searching the net for any trace of a new hunt. The tension was almost palpable between the two. While Sam operated on his computer, Dean was searching the television news in case anything strange showed up. But his mind wasn't really into it. What would they find, anyway? That Lilith had broken yet another seal? He thought that maybe for once, he'd be better off not knowing.

He heard Sam lean back against his chair and clear his throat. He also saw the shifting in his peripheral vision. Dean turned only slightly enough to watch as Sam tried to rub the fatigue from his face. His brother looked shakier than usual and he'd been quite irritable in the morning. The eldest rolled his eyes at the memory.

"Think I found something" Sam finally said, stretching his arms to try to alleviate the kinks in his shoulders. Dean finally turned to him and muted the television.

"Couple of towns away, five kids have gone missing. The strangest thing is that they were all last seen in the same park before they disappeared. Parents reported to have let them play with the other kids before realizing that their children were suddenly gone" he explained. Dean was mindfully taking it all in.

"Same park uh?"

"Yep. And there are no signs of the vics. I don't know about you but it sounds like our kind of thing"

"I thought pulling demons with your mind and hunting down Lilith was your thing" Dean replied snarkily.

Sam's brow furrowed and Dean watched his eyebrows knit. He'd hit a nerve and he knew it. If looks could kill, he'd be six feet under after that last glare from his brother. Sam didn't care to reply. He swallowed back his anger and turned away from his brother before saying something he could regret later.

"I know we still have to go after the seals but we're talking about missing kids here. There's even the possibility that they may have been killed"

"Yeah I hear you Sam. You got any leads on what it could be?"

"Not yet. The reports didn't bring up anything relevant"

"Then let's go check it out" Dean announced.

He turned off the TV and managed to keep his back turned so he wouldn't face his brother. He just wasn't in the mood to deal with anything at the moment. Sam was visibly bothered. His movements were sharp and he threw furtive glares towards his brother. Dean didn't pay them any attention and just moved out of the room. Miles separated them from this next hunt and he wasn't thrilled at the idea of spending that time trapped in a car with his brother.

+.+.+.+.+

The drive was quieter than he'd expected. Sam had mostly stared out of the window and they had hardly spoken. Dean was honestly okay with that. Sam hadn't exactly let him into his 'personal garden of Sam' lately. He had kind of gotten used to the feeling of not sharing anything anymore. It didn't make it easier but it wasn't unexpected either.

Dean let Sam with the car and the material while he went inside for the check in. Sam peeked at his surroundings and after making sure that no one was around, he pulled his cell phone out. He hit the second number on his speed dial and waited as he heard the dull ringing from the line. His heart pounded in his chest and his palms started to warm up and sweat profusely. When he heard the click on the line, his heart finally calmed.

"Hey Sam"

"Ruby. I need it. Can we meet?"

"I'm fine, thanks for asking" she teased. Sam didn't reply. His breathing only deepened.

"I'll meet you as soon as I can" she finally said.

Sam swallowed. He felt jerkier than usual and he didn't like it. He didn't like waiting either.

"And when is that?"

"I don't know, okay! I'm busy here trying to find Lilith, remember?"

She sounded annoyed and Sam clenched his fist before unclenching it and taking deep breaths.

"I need to train if I want to be able to stop her"

"I know. Look, I'll try to stop by tonight. Call in a babysitter for your brother while you're at it. He's not exactly part of my fan club"

Sam sniffed and rubbed his nose with the back of his hand. It was a nervous move.

"Don't worry about that. Dean won't bother us" he assured.

Ruby smiled. She liked the man she had turned Sam into. He trusted her without questioning. The Sam she had first met would always take sides behind his brother but this Sam had overgrown the older one. She could have him anywhere doing anything if she promised that it would help take Lilith down.

"Bye Sam" she ended the conversation with a proud smile. She had him exactly where she wanted him to be.

Sam snapped the phone shut just as Dean was coming back to the car.

"Who were you talking to?" he asked, his brow frowning.

Sam shrugged.

"Wrong number" he replied simply. He didn't miss the look of distrust in his brother's eyes.

"Right" Dean mumbled as he pulled the duffels out.

They settled inside the room for the night and Dean decided it was a good time for a weapon check. He pulled out his collection of knives and processed to sharpen them. He wouldn't be fighting the good fight with lousy weapons. When their lives were at stake, he could never afford to mess around. When he was done with the knives, he moved to the guns. That's something else their father taught them. To avoid the weaponry backfiring on them, care was something that couldn't afford to be neglected.

Sam was shifty and fidgety until he felt his pocket vibrate. He pulled out his phone only to see that it was just what he was waiting for. Ruby had texted him her location and she was waiting for him. He couldn't wait any longer as the craving for his 'training' methods only pulsated through his veins.

"Be back later" he announced, pulling his jacket to his shoulders and reaching for the door.

Dean's head snapped up from the weapons. He hadn't been expecting the sudden movement.

"Where are you going?" he asked quickly, wishing Sam wasn't meeting whom he thought his brother was meeting. Dean knew that despite his disapproval, Ruby was exactly where Sam was going. He found himself wishing that his brother could at least have the balls to tell him the truth instead of another one of Sam Winchester's greatest lies.

"Out" Sam replied before barging out the door. Dean didn't have time to react and he was left staring at the empty room. Anger boiled inside of him. Even though he'd do anything for his brother, at this point, he just felt like punching the guy. That wasn't the Sam he knew. Sam hadn't been Sam in a long time. He sighed sadly. If only there was something he could do.

+.+.+.+.+

Sam was feeling much better than he had been all day both physically and emotionally. He was back into his 'business' with Ruby and felt a powerful rush of adrenaline burst from inside of him. He could feel himself becoming stronger and this new force made him feel almost indestructible. He was gaining more confidence that Lilith's end was near and that he'd be the one holding the smoking gun when it happened.

Ruby studied him and smiled. She saw the change too. She even felt it. Sam was becoming stronger with every single one of their sessions and soon, he'd be unstoppable. He could learn anything if he wanted to at this point. She guided him to the old and empty storage room she had found for their little meeting. Sam followed and discovered what was behind the walls.

A man was tied to a chair in the middle of the empty room. Beneath the chair was a painted devil's trap that restrained the demon and its power. The man was helpless and Sam felt cocky and strangely stronger than usual. As he reached the man's side, he started hearing softly murmured words. He couldn't make out what they were saying but they were getting stronger. At the same time, he felt a dull and familiar ache beneath his skull.

Training helped with the headaches and he didn't get so many of them anymore but there were still moments when they invaded his senses. The words were clearer now. They sounded like threats. Kill you… gonna beat you… make you hurt…

"You're not exactly in a good position to scare me" he told the demon. It was sitting inside a stolen body, bowing his head down so his bangs covered his eyes. Sam could tell just by the atmosphere that he wasn't taking on just any low-level demon anymore.

"You don't scare me either" the demon growled, finally looking up. Its eyes were frantic. When I get out of here, I'll kill you!

Sam frowned. He had heard that but the demon's lips hadn't moved. He cocked his head to the side and listened.

Those damn Winchesters think they're so strong. Wait until they see what's coming for them.

The demon's lips still hadn't moved but Sam heard its voice clearly.

"What…" he stuttered, still too shocked to understand what was happening.

"I said you don't scare me boy. What are you gonna do? Douse me in holy water and then send me back. Please, don't waste both our time" Lilith has other plans for you. You shouldn't care about me. You should prepare for her. She's the one you need to fear.

Sam's eyes widened. He had a theory to explain what was happening and he was just starting to understand that he'd guessed right. For a moment, he had a flash of Cold Oak. He could almost smell the mud as the words came back to him. Once you give into it, there're all sorts of things you can do. Shaken up, he turned to face Ruby with a puzzled expression.

"What do you want me to do with him?" he asked. She raised her eyebrows. Are you kidding me?

That was Ruby's voice. He was hearing her thoughts too. He reached a hand to his head and pressed. That only served to remind him that the headache was alive and kicking at this point.

"This is training Sam!" Come on, pull the nut job so I can get this over with!

Sam's brow knit. He was debating whether he should tell Ruby or not. Whatever he chose to do, he knew that he couldn't do it in front of the demon. He turned back to face the demon's vessel. It wore an evil smile.

"Come on Sam. I wouldn't want you to miss on your training" he teased. Either way, I'd rather be down there when Lilith comes up. Nasty bitch she is.

Sam almost choked and quickly worked to regain his composure. He closed his eyes and concentrated all his energy with the thought of sending the demon back to Hell. Black smoke started to pour out of him and Sam had to pull harder to not let it get away. With a loud pained cry, the demon was extracted from the human vessel and put back into the ground. The body slumped on the chair.

"It almost looked too easy" Ruby cheered. He's almost ready. All my patience and here is my prize.

Sam didn't look up right away. He was trying to process what he was hearing. With the information he got from the other demon, Lilith definitely seemed to be up to something. Ruby didn't sound innocent either. What was all of this about?

"Why did you make me do this? You knew I'd do it easily, didn't you?" he asked almost accusingly.

Ruby smiled and walked towards him, extending her arms to reach his. Sam flinched away. Ruby turned her eyes down to avoid the awkward movement between them.

"It's a good thing you found it easy. It means you're getting stronger" He was in my way. He needed to disappear.

Sam's eyes widened. Was Ruby lying to him? And was he hearing the truth simultaneously? He definitely had to keep quiet about this. She couldn't know that he read her thoughts. Not yet. He had things to find out first.

"Am I going to be strong enough to destroy Lilith?" he tried. If he could hear her thoughts, now was the time to find out the truth.

"Not yet. But you should be soon" Just a little longer and you'll be even stronger than her. I can't wait!

That latest revelation shocked Sam. Could he really be stronger than Lilith? Could he be that strong? But then what would Dean think? His brother already hated the visions back when they were just dreams. The idea of having a brother that is stronger than the worst demon in Hell would definitely be a shocker for his brother. And Dean wouldn't like it. Now that he thought about Dean, he realized that he would probably be able to hear his brother's thoughts as well. Would that turn out to be a good thing?

Ruby was looking at him intensely now. He flinched again when she reached a hand to cup his cheek.

"Are you okay? You didn't listen to me just then, did you?"

He shook his head. He'd been caught up in his thoughts for a few seconds too long.

"I'm fine. Let's keep this training up then. I gotta go now but call me when you're available" Sam said.

She nodded but she still looked suspicious. You're strange and you totally spaced out on me? What's going on in that head of yours?

"Okay" she simply replied. Sam waited but she just stood there. He finally nodded and left. He had to go back to Dean but he didn't know how it would turn out between them.

+.+.+.+.+

Dean was lying on his bed with a beer in his hand and his other hand behind the back of his head, holding it up. There was movie on television and he looked at it without actually watching it. His mind was somewhere else. He was thinking about his brother and their argument with the siren. Sam's behavior was freaking him out and pissing him off at the same time. He wanted to worry about the youngest but every time he started to care, Sam lied and hid things from him. His care had turned into anger. After everything he'd done, that's how Sam repaid him? By lying to him about using his powers and by sneaking around with Ruby? Well that's some brother he had.

Dean was distracted from his thoughts when the motel door was yanked open and said little brother stumbled into the room. At first he wondered if Sam was drunk but the way he quickly straightened up and pulled his serious face on had him change his hypothesis. Sam was just being himself… a liar when it came to facing Dean.

"How's Ruby?" he asked, staring at how Sam's face remained unchanged.

"Why does it matter to you?" Sam retorted bitterly.

Great he just came back and he's already an ass.

Sam sighed deeply and closed his eyes. He had expected that he wouldn't be able to shut off the mind-reading thing but he hadn't been able to predict just how much it would annoy him. On top of that, his head was killing him. He just wanted to curl up on his bed and into the darkness. He could feel that Dean was working himself up next to him.

"I'm sorry if I care that you've been brooding all day and that you just went out with that bitch all night and lied to my face about it!" Dean exclaimed, his voice elevating dangerously.

"I didn't lie to you I just didn't tell you where I was going so I could finally do something without needing your say-so!" Sam snapped back.

"Hell even if I said anything to change your mind, you don't ever listen to a word I say!"

"Why would I? You're not dad, Dean!"

Their voices were reaching dangerously loud levels and Dean was up off the bed, reaching his brother to face him. Sam had his fists clenched at his sides. His headache was worsening. Dean held an angry grimace.

"It wouldn't even make a difference because you didn't listen to dad either! You always did your thing without caring about what other people thought! You haven't changed!" Dean snapped.

A wave of pain made Sam's lids tremble with spasms. If it didn't end now, his head would probably split open.

You never listen to anybody but yourself. You're just selfish.

Sam started trembling. He couldn't tell if it was from the pain in his head or from Dean's words but he felt overwhelmed altogether.

"I'm doing this so we can finally be free. Once Lilith is gone, we'll have peace!" Sam tried to justify himself, his voice suddenly lower and weaker too.

"This isn't peace or justice or whatever the hell you call it to justify yourself! This is revenge Sam!" You're just like dad.

"Whatever it is, Lilith is still killing people and she wants to bring forth the damn apocalypse! I'll be damned if I have to sit back and watch it happen!"

"We will stop her but not with your psychic crap" It scares the shit out of me.

Sam swallowed but his throat was dry. Hearing thoughts was definitely in his definition of a curse.

"There's no other way" Sam breathed out. He was exhausted and sick of having to justify himself.

"There will be. I'm not letting you do this to yourself" I'm not letting you turn into a monster.

Sam's eyes widened despite the pain.

"Not letting me do what?" he dared, wanting to ear just how much his brother was willing to verbalize.

"This… the hanging out with demons… this… this thing you do" You're turning into one of them.

"What are you thinking Dean?" he asked even though he knew because he could very well hear it.

Dean was fidgeting nervously. He couldn't bring himself to say it. It would make it all real. Don't do this. I can't say it. But with what dad said before he died…

After the silence settled, Sam couldn't take it and Dean wouldn't say it.

"You're afraid I'm gonna go dark side, aren't you?"

Dean's lips were trembling. He looked at his brother with sad and misty eyes.

I just hope you haven't already.

His silence spoke volume but Sam had heard everything he needed to hear. His brother was afraid of him; afraid of his powers and afraid of the threat that surrounded him. He was afraid Sam would decide to turn evil – or even worse – that he would because he didn't have any other choice. Of all the times he had tried to convince himself that he was doing the right thing, Dean was here and making it all feel so wrong.

He couldn't hold the tears that pooled into his eyes. He bit hard on his bottom lip and brushed his hair back with his hand, massaging his aching head on the way. He sat down on the edge of his bed and looked down at the stained carpet on the floor.

Dean nervously danced from one foot to the other. He was uncomfortable but he didn't know what to do to make it better. He put his hands on his hips and tried to speak with his head still bowed down.

"I can't begin to imagine how hard it must have been for you during those four months… I know you did what you thought was right at the time but I'm back now" I died for you, didn't I? You should at least do that for me if not anything else.

Sam closed farther in onto himself. Did his brother now regret the deal because he felt like he wasn't worth it anymore?

"We can figure something else out together. But it's you and me, man. No demon, no psychic powers, just you and me" Dean continued. Maybe if I say it enough, I'll believe it myself.

Sam shook his head while rocking on himself.

"I don't know Dean" he finally breathed out.

Dean tensed up. "Right. Because I'm weak and I'm holding you back" he snapped, remembering Sam's words even if they were spoken under the siren's spell.

Sam's head snapped up. He stared at Dean in disbelief.

"How many times do I have to say that I didn't mean that? It was the siren's spell" he tried.

"Say it until you mean it" Please, I know you meant it because I know that I meant what I said too.

Sam was gaping until he realized he was and shut his mouth. Yeah you meant it alright.

"Look, get some sleep now. We have a job to do tomorrow. Whatever you do, if you work with her, I don't want to be a part of it" If you choose her… man I swear you better not count on me to clean up your mess.

"Good idea. I'm tired. Good night Dean" Sam pressed. He didn't want to hear anymore of Dean's thoughts. He had enough to torture himself for the rest of his life.

"Right. Good night" he replied. Sam slipped his shoes off and settled himself into bed with his clothes on. Dean looked at him for a few more seconds before sighing and turning the light off. The issue wasn't resolved but they could deal with it tomorrow. He felt his own fatigue get the best of him and he let it. As he closed his eyes, images from the pit flashed inside his mind. He snapped awake, panting. He looked over at Sam who lay unmoving in his own bed.

With all I've seen in the pit… please Sam don't let it be for naught. If you ruin what I gave my life away to save… I don't know what that'll do to me.

And then Dean closed his eyes. He didn't want to wake his brother up. Little did he know that Sam was awake at that moment. And he had heard everything.

+.+.+.+.+

On the next day, the boys got up to investigate on the disappearances that had occurred recently. Dean was unusually quiet but not as much as Sam was. This resulted in a very silent car ride to the park and between the houses where the parents lived. Sam was still hearing what people were thinking. He couldn't shut it off and he hated it. Knowing everybody's thoughts was definitely a curse. He didn't miss the people that were judging them even if they were just thinking about it. He didn't miss the girls either, especially when they thought about Dean or himself. Oh the things he heard… they would make even Dean blush.

After visiting three of the families while pretending to be FBI agents, they discovered the truth. The first kid to disappear had made a new friend in the park. It was another kid that had come up to him and asked permission to play. They had both disappeared as soon as the babysitter wasn't looking. The second kid had made a new friend too. Only this kid was with his parents and said parents recognized the new friend when Sam showed them a picture of all the missing kids. He looked just like the first kid whom had disappeared.

It followed the same pattern for the three others; always making new friends with a kid that looked just like the one whom had previously disappeared. There was a forest behind the park and the boys decided to venture into it. It was Dean who found the clues. There was a whole in the ground that had barely been covered and it was used to burry clothes. Kid clothes. Bloodstained clothes.

Dean had to put a hand up to cover his mouth and nose before the sight and smell made his stomach roll. Sam caught up soon enough and turned away nauseously when he spotted the blood.

"I guess this means we can't tell the parents to keep the faith" he concluded.

"Their kids are dead. There's no faith. There's no bounce back. There's just death" Dean pointed out. Once you die, there's no coming back. I should have known.

And Sam's stomach flipped so quickly that he had to bend into the bushes to evacuate the onslaught of nausea that assaulted him.

"So what can take different forms and feed on children?" Dean continued as if nothing had happened.

Sam wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and swallowed the remaining sickness. The taste still hovered and threatened to make him sick again.

"For the form changing, it can be many things… shifter, changeling" Sam enumerated.

"Wait" If I can just remember. Something tells me that…

"I am waiting" Sam pointed out but Dean caught him off again.

"The parents said something that I think was important. They said that the other kid always asked permission to play with their child" Makes sense now.

"Yeah so?"

"You remember that hunt we took on right after dad died? Of course you do, we were hunting clowns! Well that time we hunted a Rakshasa"

"Yes I remember Dean and thanks for the memory!"

Dean rolled his eyes but he couldn't help but smile slightly at the thought of hunting clowns when Sam absolutely hated them.

"Rakshasas can take on a human form. They need to be invited to get into a house. Maybe in this case it still sticks to old habits. They can make themselves invisible too. That can be useful when you want to disappear. Oh and they eat human flesh" Dean finished with a grimace towards the bloody hole in the ground.

"Makes sense. They are vulnerable to brass, right?"

"Yep. That's how we'll know if we're really hunting one" Dean replied. Sam nodded.

"Okay well we know where its lair is and we know how to kill it. Let's go get what we need and make a plan to catch it" he said. It was Dean's turn to nod.

He does use 'we' a lot. I hope I can count on you this time, Sam.

Sam heard that and he too really hoped that his brother could count on him. He was tired of disappointing him. He noticed that Dean was studying him a lot when he thought he didn't notice. His brother was probably trying to determine if he could trust Sam. That hurt him more than any words thrown in a dispute ever could.

They got to the Impala and rummaged through the trunk to find anything made of brass that could help them kill the Rakshasa. They also brought silver in case they'd made a mistake in finding out what they were hunting. When they were mostly ready, they concluded that they would have to wait for the thing to show up so they could follow it and kill it. It could take on any form so it could be anybody.

"What if I try to attract it" Sam proposed suddenly. Dean looked at him incredulously.

"You mean like bait?" What the hell are you doing?

"Yeah well, better me than a kid"

"Are you sure?" This is stupid and you're only going to get hurt. What do I look like to you? Your own personal nurse?

Sam breathed deeply. He hated this as much as Dean did but he wouldn't send a kid out to be bait and he wanted to do this so he could show Dean he was still working with him. The previous night had brought on new clarity and it was the least he could do. After all, Dean had gone to Hell for him. It's the least he could do.

"Yeah. Let me do this" he finally replied.

Dean didn't look convinced but he nodded. What other choice did he have? Don't screw this one up. I'm giving you one last chance. Don't screw this up.

"I won't" Sam breathed out softly before walking towards the park. Dean looked at him with a puzzled look before finding a spot where he could watch everything that unfolded in front of him without being in the way and hindering the operation.

+.+.+.+.+

TBC

First part is up! How is it so far? Is it worth continuing? Do you want to know what happens next? And what about this chapter? If you have a minute, I would love to have feedback! It really helps me write and sometimes it even gives me ideas! Yes you guys are a great source of inspiration!

Thank you for reading and see you soon!