Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural

Author's Note: I hope you all enjoy this chapter! This chapter continues on the presumption that Meg never uttered that line about the Davae's actually being in the room and only their shadows being visible... since well that just... doesn't work for me since the Winchester's beat them by using light.

So for this chapter just presume that the Davae's are actually shadows. ;-)

Thank you so much for all the reviews :-)


The silence had returned.

Dean stared at his brother from the corner of his eyes, pretending to be wholly absorbed with the bowl of cereal Sam had clunked down in front of him two minutes ago.

Sam, he saw, was pretending to be wholly absorbed in cleaning the guns. The methodical sounds of the job doing nothing to soothe either of them the way it usually did.

He'd awoken to the sound; which meant that Sam had cleaned each piece at least twice by now. His chest throbbed, his face stung, and his muscles were sore—getting out of bed had been a bitch. He'd done it slowly, carefully, and without shooting Sam a glance.

His brother had asked how he'd felt. Dean had said okay. And that had been the sum total of their conversation today.

In the bathroom he'd found that Sam had done a pretty good job of cleaning and bandaging his chest. The warm water had helped eased the throbbing a little and he sighed with relief when he saw the scratches on his face already healing—no permanent damage.

Not that he'd been worried; Fate would never do that to woman-kind.

When he'd re-entered the room Sam had been sitting exactly where and doing exactly what he'd been doing when Dean had gone in. His face expressionless and the tight line of his mouth clearly stating that he was still upset.

Dean had rolled his eyes and maneuvered his way over to the table—he wasn't in the mood to deal with his baby brother's PMS.

He'd sat down carefully, not wanting to move anymore than necessary, placed his arms on the table, and lowered his head onto them—willing his head to stop hurting.

The bowl of cereal plopping down in front of him had been a surprise. He'd stared at it, wondered when and where Sam had gotten it… then started eating.

The silence was stretching. Heavy and uncomfortable and Dean sighed softly, knowing that he had to break it— because he's the big brother and it's his job to try.

Slowly, he drew in a deep breath and set the spoon down on the bowl's rim, shifting a little in the chair so he was facing on the bed, "… about last night…" he began, then cringed a little.

He'd meant to start off by thanking his brother for patching him up, something nice and generic, but the words last night were just… they were too wide, they encompassed so much more…

Last night—had been long.

A very long night, indeed.

Sam's head shot up, his dark eyes fastening on Dean, waiting, angry, "Right, Dean," he hissed, "… last night."

"Sam—"

"What the hell was thatlast night!" his brother snapped, setting down the pistol he'd been cleaning, dark eyes boring into Dean.

… little brother was pissed,Dean thought, ruefully. He'd been pissed last night too. Hell, last night Dean had been a little upset himself…

"Sam," he began again, "You have to understand…"

"Goddammit Dean! What the hell were smoking yesterday! You let Dad GO! You TOLD him to go! And then, you decide it would be fun to pass out from BLOOD LOSS!"

Dean scowled, "I didn't think it would fun."

"You didn't THINK." Sam roared, coming to his feet. He stood between the beds glaring at Dean angrily.

And Dean had to bite his cheek to keep back the retort that rose to his lips— Sam was an ass when he was upset about something, Dean knew that, it was a trait his little brother had inherited from their Dad—neither knew how to just let it go. They hammered away at something until the old saying "beating a dead horse" seemed like an understatement.

It was irritating in Dad; it was damn frustrating in Sam.

But, he was the older brother, he couldn't let Sam get to him—he had to try.

"Dad's in danger when he's with us, Sam." He grit out, forcing himself to unclench his fist; the throbbing sensation in his chest intensifying with the tensing of his muscles.

His brother suddenly looked a lot like a betrayed child, "How could you, Dean?" the younger man accused, angrily, "How could you? All that time looking for him… and now… what the hell were you thinking?"

Dean's eyes flashed and his hands clenched again. He wasn't going to get pissed at Sammy. Sammy had patched him up last night. Sammy had given him cereal this morning. Sammy wasn't used to not getting what he wanted…

"He's vulnerable when he's with us," Dean explained, with exaggerated patience "… more open to the supernatural."

"We can handle it." Sam hissed.

Sammy was also irrational when he was pissed, Dean thought, drawing in another deep breath. "We're liabilities he can't afford right now." The older man enunciated, his gaze warning Sam to back off.

Sam shook his head, "We can watch his back—"

"Against a fuckin SHADOW, Sam!" Dean growled, jumping to his feet, as well.

An instant later he was doubled over, gasping for breath, his body protesting loudly against the sudden movement.

"Dammit," he growled still bent over, trying to draw in a breath as he leaned back against the table, pressing one arm against the gashes that were suddenly burning like hell.

Sam's hand was on his shoulder a moment a later and he knew if he looked up, he would find regretful, brown eyes fastened on him worriedly.

So instead he jerked his shoulder away from Sam's touch, and hissed, "Back off."

The only thing worse than an irrational, pissed off Sam was a broody, guilty Sammy.

Sam scowled at his older brother, opening his mouth to tell the big idiot to sit down before he fell down, when a sudden realization washed over him and had him snapping his mouth shut instead; telling Dean to sit down was the best way to ensure that Dean walk around the room—twice.

So instead he did as Dean asked and dropped his hand, but he didn't move away. He studied his brother's bent figure. Dean was still gasping for air, his eyes closed, his brow furrowed and his body rigid as he waited for the spasms of pain to ebb away.

Sam felt a little bit like a jackass for provoking this, but dammit he was upset.

The seconds ticked by and Dean didn't move, didn't open his eyes, didn't say anything… Sam was just about to break his own resolve and ask Dean to please sit down, when the older man began to straighten—slowly, even though he remained leaning back on the table.

Dean shot Sam a scalding, angry glare, "How the hell do you want to fight something you can't see?"

Why Sam had thought Dean would reference the pain he was in, Sam didn't know. Acknowledging pain wasn't in Dean Winchester's genetic make-up—he didn't think.

He didn't press the issue though. Didn't press, even though he knew he should. Dean was hurt; one half night of sleep didn't make all the blood he'd lost last night a non-issue. And it certainly didn't heal those slashes across his brother's torso—he knew that.

But the truth was— if Dean wanted to jump right back into the argument Sam was angry enough to oblige him without a fuss.

"We fought it last night." He stated, pushing his brother's injuries out his mind.

Dean for his part glared at his baby brother and wondered how many common sense brain cells going to college killed.

He drew in what he hoped would be a calming breath, "We got lucky last night. You know that."

"We could work at it, do the research… be prepared…"

The deep breath didn't work.

"Against a shadow!" He yelled, ignoring the pounding that was going on in his head.

Sam's tenuous hold on calmness slipped, "It's what we do isn't it?" he roared back, "We know light is its weakness, we can use that, find a way to destroy it—"

"And what?" Dean interrupted viciously, "— in the process get Dad killed!"

"That won't happen! We're stronger together!"

"It's not about strength!" Dean hissed, pushing himself away from the table and slashing his hand downward in an angry, frustrated movement, "Damn it Sam! You know this shit! It doesn't matter how strong we are! All they need is one goddamn opening!"

"So we won't give it to them!"

"We are the opening!"

Sam's eyes flashed, "We—"

Dean stood rigidly in front of his brother, his gaze as furious as Sam's, "Or weren't you fuckin paying attention yesterday! It was a trap! We led Dad into a trap! He came because we called him!"

Sam shook his head, ignoring the tiny voice that warned this was not the time to get into this, that Dean was hurt… "But we got out!" he insisted, "It couldn't take the three of us, Dean! We won."

Dean would've rolled his eyes, if he didn't feel like his head were about to explode, instead he settled for a disbelieving snort, "No, Sam, we survived," he corrected, then for good measure and because his chest was a constant, throbbing reminder he added a short, "Barely."

Sam wasn't letting it go though, "We could've gotten better at it, at fighting it!" he yelled, his fists clenched, his mind replaying those events, "All we needed was time! Together we could've done it! We still can… we can figure out how to outsmart it, how to kill it…"

Dean narrowed his eyes; he was fuckin sick of this conversation, "It's too dangerous!" He roared, wanting to end this now.

"We could do it!" Sam hissed back, insistent, determined, belligerent…

"It's too risky!"

"How the hell else are we ever gonna end this!"

The words echoed around the motel room like none of the others had—ringing with the point, the crutch of the issue; slamming into Dean with the same force the Daevas had used to knock him down.

He didn't have a comeback for that one. Couldn't have a comeback for that one; not after the little conversation he and Sam had had in the motel room yesterday. He knew how Sam felt. Sam wanted to end this so he could be a real person again. So he could go back to what was "normal."

Dean couldn't stop it, he flinched, "Don't worry, Sam," he heard himself saying, his voice a little more breathless than he'd like, but still firm. He held his brother's gaze steadily, because he'd be damned if he had another fuckin emotional breakdown in front of Sammy, "Dad will kill it and then you can go."

Sam swallowed hard, paling a little as the memory of the things he'd said rushed up to meet him, "Dean—" he whispered, feeling a bit sick suddenly.

"Of course, he's gotta— you know, be alive for that though— which is why— I told him to leave." Dean clarified unnecessarily, purposefully cutting Sam off before his little brother could start spouting a myriad of platitudes in an attempt to make things better, when really nothing would change.

Nothing had changed since Sam had been fifteen and asked his older brother the two questions that would forever stand between them— don't you sometimes want more than all of this? Don't you ever want a real life?

The two brothers had never been able to agree on the answers to those questions—apparently they still couldn't.

He drew in a ragged breath now, wincing as his chest protested.

Sam blinked, taking a step back, noticing his brother's labored breathing and clenched fists; and feeling like a jackass again.

Dean was hurt.

"You need to sit down," he whispered, the words out before he could stop them. He cringed as soon as he heard them, saw Dean stiffen and knew that he had just started another battle.

"I'm fine." Dean snapped back automatically, even though the world had begun to spin and the distance to the chair seemed farther than he remembered.

Sam watched the very careful way Dean turned back to the chair, one arm wrapped around his middle, the other steadying himself against the table.

Without a word Sam shifted the chair so Dean could just lower himself into it without having to walk to it.

He watched as Dean slowly lowered himself into it. Swallowed hard, when Dean didn't say anything and just shifted himself towards the table, rested his arms on it, and lowered his head onto his arms. Effectively, shielding his face from Sam's view.

Sam sat down across from his brother and fastened his eyes on him; tracking the rhythm of Dean's breathing and leaning his elbows on the table. Was the argument was over? It didn't really feel like it, but… Dean was hurt. Hurt enough to not comment when Sam had moved the chair for him, hurt enough to stop arguing even though the argument wasn't over, hurt enough that Sam could actually see him working at controlling the pain.

The silence stretched. Wrapping them both in uncomfortable arms and whispering words that haunted them both…

Sam cleared his throat, "You uh, you didn't finish your cereal." He stated quietly, wracking his brain for something, anything neutral to say. Which was especially hard, since he wasn't feeling particularly neutral.

Dean remained silent.

Sam drew in a long breath, "It's all… soggy now. You hate when it gets soggy. Do you… do you want me to get you some more? We have more. I didn't even have any. I had a banana. I didn't bring you one, because well… you and fruit don't mix all that well, but maybe you should eat some fruit. I think fruit will help you heal. I'm not sure though, but I could look it up and—"

Dean's groan cut him off and Sam paled a little, inching forward on the chair. His gaze worried and his heart beating a little faster; tentatively he reached out to lay his hand on Dean's arm, but pulled back—hesitating, not wanting to upset his brother, settling instead for laying his palm on the table, "You should lie down," he whispered after a few seconds, "It would ease the strain on your midsection. You're straining the area by leaning over like that, if you're lying down…"

Another low moan caught Sam by surprise and slammed his heart into his rib cage, instinctively he lifted his hand on the table and laid it on top of his brother's head, "Dean?" he whispered, his throat tightening.

His older brother moved his head quickly and swatted at Sam's hand, lifted his head enough to shoot a baleful golden glare at Sam, "I'm not groaning 'cause it hurts. I'm groaning 'cause I've got such a doofus for a little brother," He explained, before promptly lowering his head back to his arm.

Sam stared at him in surprise for a moment, the scowled, "I am not a doofus." He hissed.

"Are too." Dean replied, his voice muffled by his arm.

"At least I'm not a dumb-ass."

Dean lifted his head again, "What?" he asked, his tone low and almost, but not quite a growl.

"Lie down." Sam hissed, "Take a pain killer. Go to sleep… its called taking it easy the day after you collapse from blood loss—which by the way, was a STUPID thing to do."

"It's not like I did it on purpose!" Dean stated, his voice a bit more petulant than he'd intended it to be.

Sam rolled his eyes, "You knew you were bleeding. Why didn't you say anything?"

"I don't know Sam. Could it have had anything to do with the warm and friendly atmosphere your rage created in the car?"

"I'm not going to apologize for being pissed! I have a right to be pissed! We've spent over half the fuckin year looking for Dad! And you told him to go!"

"Yah, 'cause I'd like to keep all the members of this family alive."

"We should have stayed together."

Dean scowled, "Why, Sam? Because you wanted us to? Because it suited what you wanted to do?"

Sam knew immediately where Dean was going with that and balked, "It's not the same thing," he argued, his eyes flashing.

Dean didn't reply. He just met Sam's gaze.

Sam who had always been the one to pull away, the one demanding to be released…

…never the one forced to release, to let go…

—not until last night—the urge to rub his little brother's nose in it was strong. To point out how hard it was to be the one left behind…

… but he wouldn't do that. He didn't have to. Sam was smart. He could figure it out. And anyway, Dean was too tired to have that argument, to make that point…

He sighed softly, dropping his gaze, lowering his head back to his arm. Quelling the irrational anger and grief that was rising up inside of him…

He'd done what was necessary—he always did, why couldn't Sam understand that? Why did he always have to make every thing so hard?

"Dean…?" Sam's voice was soft again and seemed to come from far away. He felt a hand in his hair, smoothing it gently.

A shudder washed over him, surprising them both.

"You need to lie down, now." Sam stated, standing. His mouth suddenly dry and his heart pounding a little faster, "Come on Dean, sit up for a second…" he asked, squatting down next to Dean chair.

Dean lifted his head slowly and turned it to face Sam, "Dude, what's with the Mr.-Roger's-Voice?" He asked, frowning a little when his words slurred together.

Sam smirked a little, reaching out and gently lifting Dean's arm from the table, "I'm trying to be nice to you…" he stated, settling his brother's arm across his shoulders.

"I'm fine." Dean insisted, even as Sam began standing and pulling Dean up with him.

The older hissed, as he straightened, "Fuck," he whispered, pain slicing through him.

"Yeah," Sam snorted, "… you're fine…"

"Shut-up." Dean hissed, "And let go… dude, I can walk…" he added, pulling away and swatting at Sam's hands. Sam reluctantly let go and watched as Dean bent at the waist a little, holding an arm over his ribs and very slowly taking one step after another.

He scowled, why couldn't Dean just accept help? Why did he always have to make everything so hard? "Don't fall," he hissed, anger and worry making his voice sharp, "I'm not in the mood to clean up any more blood."

Dean chuckled softly and even from behind Sam saw him wince, "What happened to nice?"

"Same thing that happened to being fine." Sam spit back, watching as Dean finally made it to the bed.

When his brother had sat down, Sam went to the dresser where he'd put the first-aid kit last night and started rummaging through it.

"I'll lie down, but I'm not taking any of that crap so don't bother finding it." Dean growled from across the room.

Sam found the pill bottle, emptied three small pills into his hand and then headed for the kitchenette.

"I mean it Sam." Dean added.

Sam opened the faucet and filled a glass with water. Then he walked over and sat across from Dean on the other bed.

Dean scowled, "Those better be for you."

"You're in pain." Sam stated.

"I hate that crap, it makes me groggy."

"It won't make you groggy if you go to sleep." Sam stated rationally, extending his hand.

Dean stared at his brother's hand for a long moment, then looked up and met Sam's gaze, "No."

"Dean you need to sleep… to rest."

The older man shook his head, "No."

Sam's eyes flashed angrily, "Could you just do it, Dean."

"I'm fine. I'll lie down—that's resting. You need to chill." Dean said it slowly, haltingly as he lifted his legs onto the bed and rested back against the headboard.

Sam exhaled loudly, "You're such a fuckin dumb-ass!"

"Could you stop calling me that!"

"Can you stop acting like one!"

"Can you stop acting like a jackass!"

"Can you take the fuckin pills before I cram them down your throat!"

"NO."

"Ugh!" Sam roared, slamming the glass down on the nightstand with enough force to slosh water over the rim and bolting off the bed. Without a word he began pacing; rapid, frustrated pacing that made Dean's eyes widen.

From the bed, Dean watched, his breathing labored and his body tense.

The seconds ticked by, once again the silence stretched. Slowly Dean let his body relax against the headboard again. He un-fisted his hands and unclenched and his jaw and focused solely on his baby brother—who was trying to wear a hold in the cheap, motel carpet.

Minutes slipped by and finally Sam's pacing slowed a little. He stopped suddenly and pinned a dark, steady gaze on Dean, "It was a mistake. We shouldn't have let him go."

Dean met the gaze with a steady hazel one of his own, "No, it wasn't."

There's nothing more to say.

The gazes hold for long moments, before Dean remembered that he's the oldest so he has to try.

"Drop it and I'll take the pills," he stated quietly, his gaze still holding Sam's.

Another long moment passed before Sam looked away, and then moved back to the bed. He sat down again and extended his hand to Dean.

With a soft sigh Dean took the pills and reached for the now half full glass on the nightstand.

Sam eyed him as he swallowed them.

Dean frowned, "Dude, I'm not gonna hide them under my tongue or anything… blink."

Sam released a long breath, "Shut-up, Dean."

Dean rolled his eyes, "I'm telling you, you gotta chill…" he murmured, as he slid down on the bed and let his head rest on a pillow.

"Shut-up, Dean."

"You're gonna get some high-blood-pressure disease or something." He added, a small sigh escaping him as his body relaxed completely. He wouldn't admit it—but it felt good to lie down.

Sam smirked a little, turning back to the array of weapons that was still displayed on his bed. Carefully he stated gathering them up. They were all clean, he thought wryly, super clean. He'd only been cleaning since half an hour before dawn…

The room was quiet as he picked everything up and put it away. He collected the bowl of cereal and the glass of water…

He nearly jumped out of his skin when Dean said causally, hey Sam?

Which caused the older man to chuckle delightedly and open one eye. Before letting it slide shut and shifting on the bed a little.

"What?" Sam asked, a little put-out, but still coming closer.

He sat on Dean's bed this time, but the older man didn't open his eyes, just continued to speak, a small smile playing on his lips, "So if I'm a dumb-ass and you're a jack-ass… we're still related right?"

The silence stretched.

"Dean?" Sam's voice was serious.

Dean opened his eyes slowly, blinking a little as he focused, his brother was smiling a little, "What?" he asked sleepily.

Sam reached out and patted him on the cheek affectionatly, "Just shut-up." He whispered.


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