Title: Walking Away, And Coming Back Again.

Summary: When Sam left for Stanford, their family shattered. Will Sam be there when his brother and father need him? Or are they just too broken? Pre-Series and leading up to Pilot.


Chapter three; You Take My Heart Just To Break It

Two years later:

Sam woke up and looked at the pile of blonde curls in his face. He smiled and blew them away.

"Mmh, Sammy, let me sleep." Jessica whispered and rolled over, her face centimeters from his. Sam smiled at her.

"Morning." He whispered and kissed the tip of her nose. She smiled and closed her eyes again. Sam rolled over and climbed out of bed slowly, trying not to shake the bed too much. He scratched the top of his head, shaking his bed hair back to life and hurried across the cold floor into the bathroom.

It'd been two years since he's started his somewhat normal life all over again. He hadn't heard from Dean or his father since the incident at the mansion… well except for graduation, but that hadn't gone too smoothly. Dean and their father had shown up half way through the ceremony. Dean looked like he had showered and tried to look decent, but John just wore whatever he had worn during that day… which happened to be old jeans and a leather jacket. It was the blood stain on his coat that made the uproar.

Afterwards Dean came up to Sam while he was taking pictures with his friends. Sam couldn't exactly shake the moment out of his head. He'd been standing there with his arm around his friend Zack and his little sister Becky ducked in between them for a total Kodak moment. Dean came waltzing up, that familiar swagger and handsome grin. Sam felt a twinge of jealousy when he noticed some of his girl friends turning to watch his mysterious older brother. After the flash of the camera Sam pulled away from his friends and walked over to Dean.

"What are you doing here?" Sam had asked, his voice unintentionally laden with bitterness. Dean had taken a step back and held out his hands questioningly.

"Well, I was here to congratulate you…" Dean explained and turned to leave. Sam had sighed heavily, feeling like a total prick.

"Dean, wait." Sam just knew, he just knew, that Dean was smiling. He was certain Dean had been counting down from three, just knowing Sam was going to call out his name. Dean stopped and partially turned around to him. "Um, you and Dad want to stay for a drink or something?" Dean shrugged.

"Actually, Dad left all ready, but if you wouldn't mind just me, I could totally go for a beer." Dean said with a smile. Sam nodded. "Nice dress, by the way." He said, pointing to Sam's graduation attire.

"It's a gown…" Sam corrected. Dean raised his eyebrows and smiled, because a dress and a gown were so much different. Sam rolled his eyes. "But you wouldn't know that because you never got to wear one."

"Hallelujah." Dean said enthusiastically. He swung his arm around Sam's neck. "Now, let's get me that drink."

&&&

"So, you and Dad… still hunting?" Sam asked and took a long sip from his bottle. Dean nodded.

"Yep, I doubt Dad will ever stop. You know, unless he finds the thing that killed Mom." Dean explained. Sam set the bottle down harder than he had intended and attracted the attention of a few drunks who were still bumming around the old tavern.

"He any closer?" Sam asked. It was amazing, he wrote A+ papers on cases currently behind upheld in supreme court, but he couldn't even use complete sentences with his own brother. Someone's priorities were slightly unorganized. Dean shrugged. "I thought you two were partners." Sam said with a little sarcasm. Dean set his drink down.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Dean asked angrily. Sam leaned over the table so he could whisper.

"You follow Dad without any question. If he told you to shoot yourself in the foot I'm pretty sure you'd do it." Sam said with a clenched jaw. Dean nodded.

"You're right. I would, because I trust him. Excuse me for trusting the man that gave me life. You know Sam, I kinda love him. You trust the people that you love." Dean whispered, his teeth bared. Sam rolled his eyes.

"Does he trust you Dean? Is that why he made you wait outside to call for help that night at the Montreal place? Or why he doesn't tell about your jobs until you're smack in the middle of it?"

"He's protecting me."

"By lying to you?" Sam asked incredulously. Sam shook his head. "Open your eyes Dean. What you two have, you're not partners. You're his solider."

"I'm his son!" Dean yelled, getting to his feet. "I'm sorry that you two never got along and that our life isn't enough for you, but don't judge me, Sam! And certainly don't judge Dad because I swear to God Sam, as much as I love you, I will kick your ass if you ever insult him." Dean stared at his little brother, his teeth clenched so tightly he was sure they were going to break. Sam said nothing, only started to get up from his chair. "Way to be Sam. Way to avoid anything that's hard. Run away like a little girl, just like you always have." Dean stood up, shoved Sam back into his chair and turned to walk away. Sam shot to his feet for the second time.

"Look whose running now, Dean!" Sam yelled. Dean paused before walking out the door. He turned to his brother, his eyes that familiar shade of autopilot Sam had seen in their father so many times. Dean shook his head.

"I'm not running from my problems Sam… just from you."

Those were the words Sam remembered the most now, standing in front of the mirror, hating his reflection.

"Sam, you'd better not be jacking off in there." Jess yelled, a giggle trying to be stifled. Sam smiled.

"You know I only do that in the shower." Sam yelled back sarcastically. He opened the door and stuck his head out. "Speaking of which." He smiled. "This shower is actually quite large…" Jess pouted at him.

"Do I need to hold your hand, Samantha?" She asked, getting out of bed. Sam wiggled his eyebrows.

"My hand wasn't exactly what I had in mind…"

&&&

John Winchester stared at the note he had just set on Dean's pillow. He was twenty six. He could take care of himself. Besides, with this voodoo job to occupy his time, he would hardly know his father was gone.

Still, there was the impending sense of failure brewing in John's gut. He wasn't quite sure who it was for either.

&&&

"Dad, hey I got us some breakfast." Dean yelled as he opened the door with his foot, the hotel key card between his teeth. He looked inside the empty hotel room. "Dad?" He set the two bags of groceries on the nearest bed. "Dad, you here?" Dean called. He walked to the bathroom and opened the door. Nothing. Dean scratched the top of his head in confusion. "Well, where the f-…" He saw the note on the pillow. He kept himself from diving on it like a lion on an antelope. Instead he calmly walked over to it and snatched it from the pillow, yeah Dean, because the pillow was really going to steal it.

Dean gave the pillow a triumphant smirk, and then shook his head. Man, he was becoming quite Sam-ish lately. John had written "Dean" on the front. God that man had horrible hand writing. He opened the little note and read the message. When he was done Dean dropped his hands and sighed heavily. He'd never done a job on his own before, he wasn't sure if he could do it or not.

&&&

Three months later: New Orleans

"You've got to talk to your Mother, Eve. If you don't she's going to kill anyone who's ever hurt you." Dean explained. He looked at the teenage boy standing next to him. "Including Josh and I don't think you want that." Dean whispered, staring at her harshly. Eve covered her face.

"Eve, please! You've got to stop her!" Josh yelled. He reached forward and grabbed her thin, tan arms. "Evie, please? I don't want to die." He admitted. Dean looked down at his watch.

"She's leaving in five minutes, Eve. If she makes it to that bridge before we catch her, your boyfriend is dead."

&&&

Dean drove the Impala as fast as he could, Eve in the passenger seat, and Josh in the back. He gasped.

"What?" Eve asked, whirling around to look at him. He had his eyes closed and was holding onto the seatbelt tightly.

"I'm on the bridge." He whispered, his whole body was shaking. Eve looked at Dean and he went from sixty to ninety.

&&&

The car screeched to a halt and the black woman standing on the bridge turned to look. Her long hair was in dreadlocks and they were pulled back from her face with a shoelace. She was wearing a long floor sweeping purple skirt with a white tank top and a large wool sweater on the top. But what they were all looking at was the doll in her hands.

It looked a lot like a rag doll, except for the single lock of blonde hair sewn onto the head. It was Josh's hair.

"Mom! No! Don't!" Eve screamed as she got out of the car.

"Kera, you don't want to do this! You don't want to become a murderer!" Dean yelled as he too got out of the car. Kera looked at them, a dazed look in her eyes.

"I won't let him hurt my baby again." She whispered. Eve ran towards her, tears streaming down her face.

"Mom, please. I love Josh. Please Mom, give me the doll." Eve sobbed, reaching her hands out. Dean started walking closer. Kera looked at Dean.

"Don't you come any closer to me!" She yelled. She pulled something out of her pocket and slipped it around the waist of the doll. Right before she whispered a chant under her breath Dean saw that it was his watch. She must have stolen it from his room last night.

Suddenly Dean felt as if he was on a cliff, looking down into a river, hundreds of feet below. Dean closed his eyes.

"It's not real… I'm on solid ground." He whispered to himself. He could faintly hear Eve's voice, calling to him and begging with her mother to hand over the doll. It was times like these that Dean really missed his father. He hadn't heard from him since he'd started this job, about five weeks ago. It shouldn't have taken this long, except for the little crush he'd developed on Eve's older sister, Janie.

Apparently, Kera's ancestors were old village Shamans. Well, back in the "day" these mystical Shamans punished wrong doers by making them live their worst fears. Say perhaps the man next door stole someone's goat. The goat-less villager would go to the Shaman with a personal item of the thief's and using a doll made from dirt and animal hide, the Shamans would make them think they were being burned alive, or drowning for example. Of course, in the good old "days" the Shaman would never kill anyone; apparently Kera had missed that lesson.

Dean opened his eyes and stared down over the edge of the cliff. He had repeatedly told Josh that if Kera started her Voodoo, all he needed to do was face down his fear. That meant stepping off the edge. Dean took a deep breath and put one foot off the edge of the cliff. He took another deep breath and stepped down.

"Mom, Josh loves me. He'd never hurt me." Eve assured her mother. Kera pulled the doll a little from the edge.

"But you said he broke your heart…" She remembered. Eve smiled.

"Mom, I'm a teenager. If he doesn't call me I say he broke my heart." She laughed and shook her head. "He didn't do anything except make me the happiest I've ever been in my life." She smiled. "Mommy put the doll down and come meet him, you'll love him." Kera looked at the car.

"Well… as long as he's a smart boy, I supposed I could tolerate you seeing him every once in a while." Kera handed the doll to Eve and she pulled Josh's hair from it and took off Dean's watch.

Dean sighed when the world around him went back to normal. Eve smiled at him and he smiled back. He watched as Josh got out of the car and ran to Eve. She jumped into his arms and he kissed her sweetly. Dean had been rooting for them, but he couldn't help but feel jealous.

&&&

"So, Sam, now that we're done with school, what do you want to do?" Jess asked, holding out her cereal spoon as if it were a microphone. Sam smiled and leaned in so he could talk into it. He tapped it to make sure it was on.

"I want to be with you." He explained. Jess smiled and put her hand on her heart.

"Oh, Sammy." She cooed and leaned in and kissed him. "You're sweet." She whispered. He nodded.

"I know." He said simply. Jess reached over and messed up his hair. He closed his eyes and groaned. "Do you know how long it takes me to get it like this?" He asked. Jess raised her eyebrows. "Okay, five seconds, but still." Jess was laughing at him. "You really deflate my ego."

"Cry me a river, Samantha." She said sarcastically. Sam wrinkled his nose as Jess got up to do the dishes.

"We really need to stop with the Samantha; it's almost as bad as Sammy." Sam said and leaned back in his chair, so only two chair legs were on the ground.

"Oh, but Sammy is cute." Jess insisted as she dropped a bowl in the full sink and dodged some soapy water as it splash attacked her.

"Yeah, cute." He agreed and rocked the chair back and forth. "Sure fine. But I want to be rugged or debonair… not cute, anything but cute." He said, shaking his head.

"How about adorable?" Jess asked and shrugged her shoulders. Sam didn't answer and she looked back at him with a huge smile.

"I'll stick with cute."

&&&

"You don't have to leave." Janie whispered as she sat on the hood of Dean's car. He sighed and looked at her. He was standing in front of her, his body positioned in between her legs and up against the grill of the car. He had his hands on the outside of her thighs. He nodded.

"Actually, I do." He said regretfully. "I haven't heard from my Dad in a long time, way too long. Something is wrong." Dean explained. Janie looked down and Dean lifted her chin with his hand. "I'll miss you though." He whispered.

"Will I ever see you again?" She asked, as clichéd as it sounded. She had fallen in love with Dean Winchester and now he was leaving as suddenly and as strangely as he had arrived. Dean shrugged.

"I honestly don't know. I hope so." He admitted. He smiled. "Hey, you're not as drop dead gorgeous when you frown." A little smile grew on her face. "There." He kissed her softly and when he went to pull away she leaned forward and wrapped her arms around his neck.

"Dean Winchester." She whispered and kissed him again. "I don't know," she kissed him again. "who you are," and again. "but I love you." She pulled away. "Please, be careful." She looked at her hand. "Take this." She took the ring off her thumb. "It's always been way too big for me, so it should fit you." She said with a smile.

"Well, me and my fat fingers thank you." Dean said gently. They looked at each other again and kissed some more. "I don't want to leave you." Dean whispered. Janie looked at him and grabbed his hand.

"Then don't." She said solemnly. Dean felt his heart breaking. God, he loved this girl, but he just knew something wasn't right.

"But I have to." Dean explained. "I have to find my Dad."

"Then I'll come with you." Janie said simply. Dean shook his head.

"You can't. My life is too dangerous and I could never live with myself if you got hurt." He sighed. "Look, when I find him. I'll come back here, for you." He promised. He lifted up his hand to show her the ring he had just slid on his finger. "And I'll give this back."

"I'll wait for you." She promised. Dean smiled and ran his hand down her cheek, she turned her face and grabbed his hand to kiss his wrist. He yanked his hand away.

"Now, get the hell off my car so I can leave. Or else I'll change my mind and end up staying here." Dean said with a grin. Janie slowly slid off his car and walked with him to the driver's side. He got in and rolled down the window. She stuck her face in and kissed him.

"Promise me that you'll be safe?" Janie asked. Dean nodded.

"I will." He assured her. He started the car. "See you soon." She waved and took a step back. Dean drove off and forced himself to not glance in the mirror, because he knew he'd see the first girl he'd ever loved standing in the dirt road alone, waving, her long hair behind one ear, her brown eyes full of tears. He knew he'd turn around if he saw it.

&&&

Dean cut the engine and stared at Sam's door. He sighed heavily and got out of the car.

Hey, if Sam didn't kill him, maybe they could go get a beer.