*Holy shit, this is hard, I'm so scared of disappointing you guys because you've been so rad throughout this story, but here it is, the next chapter, here's to hoping it's not complete shit. Read and review.

Both Sams ran at him. Both yelled, "DEAN!" But only Sam who'd been tied up had tears in his eyes and genuine pain in his voice, and Dean knew.

Shifters were good but it's difficult for anyone to perfectly imitate the reaction to your brother stabbing himself.

When standing Sam reached him, Dean ripped the blade out of himself and stabbed it through the Shifter's heart. And goddamn, did it feel good. He ignored the wound in his stomach, ignored the real Sam's concern, and half crawled over to the Shifter's sprawled out body.

He yanked the knife out of its chest and in a sudden surge of rage he raised his arm and stabbed again. And again and again and blood was splattering all over his face and his arms and he didn't care and he didn't stop until the real Sam pulled him away.

"Dean, please..." Sam begged, holding Dean's arms to his sides.

Dean stared at him through a scarlet fog and found himself lost in his bloodlust. He was looking at Sam but the fact wasn't registering. He just saw a fragile meat suit full of blood and bones.


He heard the voice but still it made no difference. He felt powerful. It didn't matter that the fever would leave him weak and helpless because each time he killed he got stronger, and soon the fevers would be nothing to him.


The urgency and the fear in Sam's voice were what finally shook him. The fear. Fear for Dean? Or fear of Dean?

He looked up at Sam, almost feeling the red draining from his eyes (not unlike it was draining from his stab wound) and he tried to pull off the mask. Be human. Barely. SHUT UP.

"Sammy?" He said, finding a comforting humanity in the nickname and clinging to it, "It's okay. Everything's okay."

Sam watched his brother return to himself and sighed deeply, pulling him into his chest, hugging him. Neither cared about the dead Shifter and for those few seconds, neither cared about the profusely bleeding gash in Dean's abdomen. All that mattered was that Dean knew his brother, and he wasn't going to kill him.

Sam took Dean's shoulders and examined him at arm's length, trying to ascertain the damage. But he was distracted by the quick loss of focus in Dean's eyes as the blood loss hit him. He was falling limp in Sam's arms.

"DEAN!" Sam yelled, shaking him gruffly, "Dean, c'mon, stay with me here, man, I'm gonna stitch this up, it's gonna be fine..."

Dean blinked, looking woozy initially and then his eyes found purpose and they dug razors into Sam's heart as he looked up at him. The red glint was back and encircling his entire iris.

"Either." Dean said, his voice low and gravelly, but very intentional.

"What?" Sam asked, that fear starting to creep back into him.

"I needed it, Sam." He said, a twisted smile cracking across his face, "I needed to stab that fucking thing. But it didn't have to be the monster."

He laughed. And Sam didn't know what to do. He was afraid to do anything. He spoke with caution.


Dean laughed again, manic and dark.


The laughter eventually died out, and slowly the red in Dean's eyes ebbed away until they were green and vulnerable. His eyes traveled down to the cut on Sam's arm, and through blurring vision he saw it fizzle and burn.

"No, no, no, NO! GODDAMMIT!" He shouted, sinking from Sam's grasp.

He collapsed in on himself, one hand held firmly on his own wound, the other gripping his hair as he shut his eyes in pain.

"Fuck, fuck, fuck, no... God, no..." Dean whispered, anguished but slowly losing the ability to feel at all, the idea of him killing Sam sent a cold numbness through his body.

"What?!" Sam asked, terrified he pulled Dean up to look at him again, "What are you seeing?!"

"I killed Abel." Dean said in response, obviously less coherent than he'd been just moments ago, "No, Sam. I killed Sam."

Sam looked down at the cut on his arm and saw it for what it was, a thin slit and nothing more. Nothing burned, nothing but a bloody line.

He looked down at Dean and saw he was pretty much out at this point. He might've passed out from blood loss, maybe over exertion, maybe a hundred things, but it didn't matter. Sam couldn't bare to watch him struggle with delusions that seemed to injure him so severely, whatever they might be exactly.

He stood up, picking up his older brother. And carried him out of the sewer, and back to the Impala.

Dean woke up, for the second time that night, back in the motel. The kill seemed to have caused the Mark to ease up a bit; it wasn't burning any more and though still a little dazed, Dean was sure his fever had gone down somewhat. He pulled through the dark, feeling a sharp pain in his abdomen as he did so. He reached down to feel it and found a great deal of gauze he didn't dare venture beneath. He sat up slowly as he blinked his eyes open, regaining awareness gradually. The first thing he saw that registered was Sam.

He was sitting at the table on his laptop. Dean felt a pang of guilt for putting Sam through all this but also took it as a good thing that he could feel anything at all at the moment. His movement seemed to stir Sam who looked over and immediately got up and made his way across the small space.

Sam opened his mouth to say something but Dean cut in. He'd prefer to skip over all that 'how're you feeling' crap any how because it would only make him feel like more of a bitch.

"Sam, listen," he said, and his voice sounded strangely low and scratchy to his own ears, "I'm really sorry. Okay, I know... I should've maybe read the fine print before I signed off on this whole thing but, hey, I'm in it now. So, I mean I guess we can't really do anything about it but... I just want you to know I'm sorry."

Sam nodded, accepting it, and then he said,

"I get it. I can't exactly preach, I mean, I've jumped into some pretty stupid situations myself and I guess..." He looked at Dean with those puppy eyes that he used so often, "I'll have try and help you. Even if you won't let me."

Dean sighed, "Sam, you saw how I was, I could kill you. Hell, I'm supposed to kill you, if we're going by the original book, I mean, you said it yourself, you can't trust me if I don't trust me, and I don't. At all."

"Well, I believe in you."

Dean laughed, pushing his sweaty hair off his forehead as he swung his legs over the side of the bed, "I'm saying I might kill you and you believe in me?"

Sam shrugged, "Hey, what else can I do? You're my brother and I personally don't think you'd do it. Sure you could, but I don't believe you will."

Dean rolled his eyes, getting up and crossing the room to the counter the whiskey was sitting on, "Yeah, well keep talking like a pansy and maybe I'll change my mind."