What We Have To

"Who's that?"

Dean followed the man's gaze to where Sammy stood next to the car, his hands shoved in his pockets, looking for all the world like he'd rather be down a hole with a Skinwalker than staring at Dean's newest trick.

"That's my little brother."

"You want him to watch?"

Turning back to the man, Dean glared at the note of interest in his voice. Sick fuck, but then what else could he expect from a guy paying to fuck a sixteen-year-old. "Sammy, take a walk."

He heard his brother muttering something under his breath as he turned and trudged off into the trees. The man chuckled, not bothered by Dean's apparent anger. "Cute kid. How old is he?"

"Conversation costs extra."

Dean turned around and bent over the hood of the car, his hands pressed against the still warm metal and tried to ignore the biting cold against his arse as the man abruptly pulled his pants down. Damnit, this was Southern Texas, it was supposed to be warm year round. Of course, it wasn't snowing and that was at least one thing Dean could be grateful for.

There was the crinkling of the condom wrapper being torn and rolled on, the sound of the man spitting on his hand, then Dean grit his teeth as a cock was shoved roughly up his arse. He hated this part. It didn't seem to matter how many times he did it, the first few seconds always hurt like a bitch. As much as he hated the pain, though, there was one thing he hated more.

"Oh, fuck, kid, you're so fucking tight."

The talking. Stupid fucking perverts that liked to hear themselves talk.

"Yeah, take it."

He bit back the response that of course he was going to take it, for a hundred fifty bucks, he'd have taken a fist up his ass. It was that way in small towns, though, which was why they'd stopped here. In big cities there were too many other boys and girls willing to sell it for far cheaper. Not that this guy needed to know that.

"Ung, yeah, you look so fucking good with my cock up your ass. Fucking slut. I'm gonna cum in your ass."

Then do it already. Dean closed his eyes and leaned onto his elbows, biting back anything more than the occasional grunt, because he knew Sammy wasn't far away. He never was. When he'd first found out that Sammy only stayed just out of sight, instead of actually taking the walk he was supposed to, Dean had nearly hit him. It was bad enough doing this without knowing that Sammy was listening, but Sammy had cried and pouted and Dean had relented like he always did. So, Sammy stayed out of sight, but within earshot and Dean tried not to make any noises that he didn't have to, especially ones that would indicate exactly how much discomfort he was in.

The only problem with drunks was that sometimes it took longer for them to finish up. In this case, nearly ten minutes of having his ass fucked raw before the guy finally fucking came with a string of obscenities that Dean would have to wash Sammy's mouth out with soap for if he ever caught him repeating them.

Standing up, Dean pulled his pants back on, wincing as he wriggled his ass into the tight denim. He needed new ones. Come to that, Sammy was going to need new clothes soon, too. Apparently, ten-year-olds grew like weeds.

He'd managed to collect cash up front this time, so there was no reason for the guy to stick around and he didn't. As soon as he was good and gone, Dean shook himself off and stretched a little. This was good, they had money for a hotel and food now and if they could find a thrift shop, maybe even some new clothes.

"Sammy, come on, let's get going." Nothing. Shit, he was probably pouting again. He knew Sammy hated that he did this, but there wasn't much else he could do when the local bars refused to let him in. "Sammy, I'm not playing, it's cold and I want a fucking shower."

Not so much as a rustle in the trees.


He followed the little foot-worn path his brother had taken into the forest, but Sammy wasn't hiding just behind the trees this time. "Sammy!"

He raced back to the Impala and opened the trunk, rummaging for the high power flashlight. He went back into the woods, letting the beam cut the darkness in front of him. It had to be some kind of joke.

"This isn't funny, Sammy!"

This wasn't funny...

The day before Dean's fifteenth birthday, his dad went missing. Or rather, that was the day Sammy came up to him and asked "When is Dad coming back?" They were out of Lucky Charms and he realized that they had no money to buy any more. It suddenly occurred to him that their dad had been gone for over a week. There had been no call, no one had come by to check on them. Dad was just... missing.

In a normal family, they would have gone to the cops, but they weren't a normal family and Dean knew that if Dad was missing then either he'd been killed or captured. He'd called his dad's cell, but it dumped him in voice mail. He tried some of his dad's contacts, but they hadn't heard from him either. They started asking questions about whether the two of them were okay and Dean had to act like it wasn't that big of a deal, just a hunt taking longer than expected, but the truth was he was afraid. Not that Dean would ever admit to being afraid.

Despite the fact that he smiled at Sammy and said it was going to be alright, he couldn't go to sleep that night because he was terrified that it wouldn't be. Neither of them were legal age, the rent on the place was only paid up through another two weeks, and then... then they'd have to figure something out.

It was easy enough to take care of the food problem. They'd been in this town for almost a month and the local bar and pool hall knew Dean from seeing him come in with his father. They didn't ask questions when he came in alone, mostly because he wasn't ordering alcohol. Scamming was a Winchester family specialty and in one night he'd made a hundred - would have made more if the bartender hadn't told him to get out.

That kept them in food for the week, but then it was gone again and Dean had to go back and scam some more. Dad had always said not to do that kind of thing in the same place more than once, but in a town this size, there wasn't anywhere else. He got lucky, when the truck driver he was playing against became suspicious and then angry, the bartender stepped in and told him to get out before he got his ass kicked. Still, it was fifty dollars and if they ate mostly canned soup and Ramen that would hold them over for another week.

He spent a lot of time that week calling people on his cell and trying to figure out what to do. There weren't a lot of things Dean was scared of, but losing his brother was the big one. If they found out Dad was missing, they'd put Dean and Sammy in foster care and that might mean splitting them up. What they needed to do was get back to the cabin they'd been staying in when this job cropped up. There were a few weeks worth of rations there and no one would bother them, but that was halfway across the US and they'd need gas and food along the way.

When the money ran out this time, he packed their things and loaded them and Sammy into the Impala his dad had been letting him drive since the beginning of summer. Five hours later, Dean was looking at an almost empty gas tank and Sammy was complaining that he was starving, so he pulled into the first road side town he saw. The bars wouldn't let Dean in, though, because his fake ID only put him at sixteen.

He'd punched walls and kicked curbs, cursing his father for not getting him one that made him older. He knew it wouldn't have done any good, he may have been small, per say, but he had one of those stupid baby faces that got him looked at twice by police officers when they pulled into gas stations. Sixteen was pushing it, eighteen would have been an obvious lie. The only reason his father had gotten it for him at all was because they'd finally gotten to an age where fitting three people in the car on nights they had to was getting comfortable.

Dean bit back tears, literally dug his teeth into the side of his cheek and took deep breaths until they weren't there anymore. He had to be strong for Sammy. He'd gone behind the bar and leaned against the building to trying to think of something he could do, anything. It came to him in the form of a man with mangy hair, crooked teeth and tattered overalls.

"Hey, boy, how about I give you sixty bucks and you put that perty mouth of yours to good use?"

At first, he hadn't known what to say. He knew what the man was talking about, he'd managed to steal a few porn magazines from convenience stores and not all of them straight. So, he got what the guy was offering, but it didn't seem real. In fact, it didn't seem real at all until the guy was walking off and Dean could taste the bitterness of cum in the back of his throat.

He didn't even remember deciding to do it, or getting on his knees, or even the act itself, really. Just one minute he was staring in the face of a decision - he needed money and there were only so many ways he was going to be able to get it. A Winchester never steals (not unless it's to save lives, that's what Dad had said after he'd found out about the porn) so he didn't steal, he got on his knees and the guy gave him sixty five because he'd said, "You look real perty when you cry, boy." Dean hadn't even known he was crying.

When he couldn't hear the footsteps anymore, he'd hunched over and thrown up behind the trash cans before getting up and wiping his mouth on the sleeve of his coat. It was done, he had enough money to get him and Sammy out of town and maybe the next time they pulled over the bar would let him in.

Dean walked through the woods calling for Sammy until almost sunrise, not knowing what else to do. He hoped that Sammy had just wandered off and gotten lost, but as much as he may have hoped, he knew that wasn't true. Sammy didn't wander off.

Finally, he ended up back in the Impala, sitting in the front seat, staring numbly out at the first signs of light. He didn't even know where to begin looking. For a year and a half there hadn't been a time when Sammy wasn't within shouting distance. With a resolute set of his jaw, he put the car in drive and headed for town.

He stood outside the police station as minutes slowly became an hour. He wasn't sure what exactly would happen if he went in there, but he was damned sure it wasn't going to be good. Would there be a missing person's report on them? Would they send him to jail if he suddenly appeared without Sammy? Would they try to ship him off somewhere while they looked for his brother? In the end, he punched a wall until his knuckles were bloody and walked into the police station. He wasn't sure that he was doing the right thing, but he couldn't think of any other options.

It was a small town and it was six in the morning, there were only two officers in there. That was good, gave him a better chance of getting away if he had to make a run for it. "I need to report a missing person."

The officer at the front desk looked up, caught off guard. "I'm sorry?"

Dean took another deep breath. "My little brother's missing."

The officers exchanged looks. "How long has he been gone?"

"Since maybe two this morning."

"How old is he?"


The officer tapped his pen on his desk patiently. "Are you sure he didn't go somewhere and not tell you?"

Dean gulped down the lump in his throat. He hadn't counted on them not believing him. "Sammy wouldn't do that, we're not... we don't live here. We were just passing through and we stopped in the woods for a while and he disappeared while I wasn't looking."

The tapping stopped. "What were you doing in the woods?"

Oh, he knew he shouldn't have taken the trick back there, the way the man had smiled should have told him that was a bad place to go. "Stuff."

It wasn't the best answer he could have come up with, sure, but he was nervous now that all eyes were on him.


"Yeah. Look, we... stopped for a pee, okay, and he went into the woods and didn't come out."

There was a long pause, one that said they weren't sure if they believed him, especially since there were about five gas stations along the roadway with open bathrooms. "Give me his name."

"Samuel... Warren."

A clipboard was passed to him and he looked at it incredulously: Full name, birth date, social, home address, parents names, a lot of information he couldn't give. "What's this?"

"Fill that out so we can get started."

"Can't we just go? I'm afraid he might be lost out there and you know the area, so...?"

The cop in the back stood, interrupting Dean, who looked at him with pent up anger. He couldn't just sit there and fill out forms when Sammy was missing.

"Stan, go easy on the kid. What's your name, son?"

Dean managed to bite back the urge to say he wasn't anyone's son. "Dean."

"Where are your folks, Dean?"

One minute he was angry and pissed and the next he was just... blank. "Um, I... uh, my dad is waiting for me and my brother at our cabin. We're supposed to meet him there. It's by the lake."

Oh, yeah, that sounded convincing. Was there even a lake around here?

"Maybe we should give him a call, let him know what's going on?"

Dean shook his head before he could stop himself. "No, it's, uh, really far out and there's no phone in the cabin and the reception is... well, there isn't any."

Why was it, Dean wondered, that he could spend years listening to Dad seamlessly spin tales on a moments notice, but the one time he needed to, he couldn't get out a single word that didn't have lie stamped on it in big red letters.

"Uh huh, son, if you don't start telling me the truth, I'm not going to be able to help you."

He should have kept his cool, he should have stayed calm, but he was just so fucking worried. Sammy was gone. Sammy was missing. Everything he'd been calm about the last fucking year and a half he'd been calm about because he didn't want Sammy to worry, but Sammy wasn't there now. "Fuck you and fuck this, I'll find him myself!"

He turned around to storm out, but Stan was around the desk in the next instant, grabbing his arm. "Hey, hey, slow down. Now, I know you're worried about your brother, but it isn't going to do any good rushing off on your own. How long did you say it's been since he went missing?"

Dean fought not to fidget as he did the math in his head. He hated math. "Since two, so that's... maybe four hours?"

The other man - Dean noticed that he had a name tag that said Carl on it - nodded patiently, "Okay, now what you've got to understand is that people have been going missing in those woods for the last couple of months and if he's been gone four hours, he probably isn't there anymore. So, what we need to do is get ahold of your folks."

A small town with a dark forest that people were going missing in? Dad always said this sort of thing was never a coincidence, but that wasn't enough information to start looking. There were a lot of things that liked to hide in dark places in small towns. "People are missing?"

Carl nodded, more of that condescending patience, but Dean took it, because he had to know more. "Mostly grown ups, no kids till now and only one of them has shown up..." the way he trailed off didn't leave much to Dean's imagination. Whoever they had found was dead. Dad said that bodies told stories. Dean needed to see the body.

He turned to leave, but Stan gripped his arm harder and he looked at the hand clenched around his jacket and scowled. "Let me go."

"To where?"

The morgue. "I'm going to go look for my brother."

"Can't let you do that. Bad enough we got one kid missing, we don't need another."

Dean considered kicking the man in the shins and making a run for it, but Carl was watching him closely and he hadn't really tested his skills in a long time. "I'm not leaving without him and I don't have anywhere to stay."

That wasn't strictly true. He had hundred fifty dollars in twenties and tens, rolled up in the pocket of his coat, but that money was for Sammy.

Carl looked over at Stan, who motioned towards the back with his head. "Look, why don't you come sit in my office while I have a word with Stan here and then we'll talk about why you don't tell us where your parents are."

They thought he was a runaway. If the tone was anything to go by, they were thinking 'abusive home' or something. Dean looked at the ground to hide his smile as he was led into a small office and the door was shut behind him. Quickly, he surveyed his surroundings. The blinds were pulled down over the little window that looked into the station. Good, that meant Carl and Stan wouldn't be able to see what he was doing.

Going to the window, he unlatched it and pushed it up. There were bars, held in place by a padlock. Picking locks was the first thing Dad had taught him; well, right after how to shoot a gun. There was a coat rack with a wire hanger on it and he pulled it down, bending it into the proper shape. Less than five minutes later, while the officers were still softly bickering over what to do with him, Dean dropped onto the ground outside the station and looked at the open window in satisfaction.

The cold bit at him a little and he sniffed, wondering where Sammy was and if he was warm enough there.

If he was alive.

He shook off the thought and blew on his hands, heading back to where his Impala was parked in front of the station. He had a body to examine.

A month after their father disappeared, Sammy started having nightmares. Three hand jobs and seven blow jobs later, they'd made it back to the cabin and there was food and water to last them a few weeks. Dean wasn't really sure how long they'd be staying, though, because Dad's contacts were getting suspicious. Apparently, "you just missed him," only worked the first thirty or forty times.

Dean had been awake since sunrise, looking through the cabin to see what they could sell, if anything, to add to the three hundred in cash his dad had had stashed for emergencies. The eerie, early morning quiet of the small cabin was pierced as Sammy started screaming. Dean rushed into their room, terrified at what he'd find. The cabin was in the middle of nowhere and even if there were salt lines at every opening and symbols and herbal wards all over the damned thing to keep the monsters out, that didn't make it safe. Dad had said never take anything for granted.

There weren't any monsters, though, just Sammy sitting up in his bed, his eyes wide, screaming for Dean.

"Hey, sh, sh, Sammy. Sammy, what's wrong?"

Sammy's screaming hitched to silence and he buried his head in the crook of Dean's neck, crying. It made Dean feel uncomfortable, he'd never been one for physical affection, but he reminded himself that Sammy was only nine. "I... had a dream."

Dean rubbed his brother's back. "What kind of dream."

"The bad kind."

"What happened?"

"I dreamed..." he gave a big sniff and pulled back to rub his nose on his long nightshirt, "I dreamed that something killed dad."

Something, not someone. Dad had never hidden anything from his boys, especially not the ugly truth about what was out there. Dean remembered when Sammy had been four and he'd asked Dad for a bedtime story; he'd been told about the happy family and the evil thing that had pinned the mother to the ceiling, setting her on fire, and how the brave older brother had saved the baby and how the father had vowed vengeance. It was the last time Sammy asked for a story.

"Dean, is Dad okay?"

He started to say no - Dad had always been adamant about the truth - but Sammy's eyes were puffy and pleading for reassurance and he couldn't deny Sammy anything, not even if it meant lying. "Yeah, Sammy, it was just a dream."

It was Sammy's first nightmare about their father's death and it wasn't the last one. It was also the first time Dean lied to Sammy, but it wasn't the last of that, either.

The morgue was in the hospital, thirty minutes away and two towns over. Dean hated himself for leaving when Sammy was still back there, but he had to know if that dead person had been killed by anything supernatural and the only way he was going to find that out was by seeing the body.

There was one problem with going to see the body. He didn't know what kind of body he was looking for. So, he'd had to wait till night and then stand outside the bar, propositioning people until he got someone who was willing to chalk up forty bucks for a hand job and was drunk enough to talk, without being too drunk to be incoherent.

Leaning against the wall, Dean pulled the guy against him and breathed into his neck, "It's safe back here?"

The guy chuckled, opening his pants to give Dean access. "Safe enough. Don't worry, no one's gonna see us."

"Not that." Dean worked his hand into the man's underpants and wrapped his fingers around the sizable erection. Good thing he'd said no to getting fucked, because that would have had him limping for hours. "I heard some people have been disappearing."

The man grunted, bracing his hands against the wall while Dean went to work. "Fuck, yeah, you're good at that." Dean smiled cynically, after this long he'd better be good at it. "Just stay out of the woods and you'll be fine."

"I heard one of them turned up dead."

"You're pretty chatty for a whore."

Dean twisted his wrist and pumped a little faster. He could feel the large vein pulsing against his palm. It wouldn't be long now. "Just making idle conversation."

"Hm, sure you are." He grunted again and Dean held in a wince as his wrist was covered with warm cum. As he pulled back, Dean felt disappointment bubbling in his stomach. If this guy didn't talk, he'd have to find someone else and he usually only did this shit for the money. Doing it for information seemed... dirty.

"You be careful out there, kid."

"So, someone is dead?"

The man paused and put a hand on Dean's head, leaning in, no hint of humor on his face. "Yeah, they pulled some young girl out of the woods just yesterday, maybe twenty-two."

"How'd she die?" He tried not to sound interested, failed.

"This turning you on?"

Dean grimaced, "No, just morbid curiosity."

"I heard someone bled her dry, probably slit her throat or something."

Bled her dry? That sounded like... but vampires didn't exist. Then again, a lot of things weren't supposed to exist. Shaking his head, Dean pulled back and walked to his car. The man didn't say anything else, but he didn't take his eyes off Dean as he walked away.

Thirty minutes later, as he slid through the basement window into the hospital, he shuddered at the memory of the guy's eyes lingering on him like that. Not that many people took special interest in the whores they fucked, but when they did, it was never a good thing - especially when they'd wanted something they hadn't gotten.

It was just past midnight and the lights were off. He palmed his flashlight and flicked it on, aiming the beam at the floor so that it wasn't too bright. Being that it was a small town, it wasn't a very big hospital. The doors to the morgue had two windows looking out into an equally dark hallway. Hopefully there wasn't anything else of interest in the basement.

The drawers holding the bodies were stacked three high and marked with names, places and dates. Fourth one over, he found what he was looking for. Mary Carthwright, Vallera, Texas, DOD November 5, 1994.

It took him several deep breaths to get up the courage to open the drawer. He'd seen dead bodies before on the few jobs that his dad had let him go on, but always from a distance and most of them monsters. Gingerly, he pulled back the sheet from her head... and promptly threw up on the floor.

It was mostly the smell, but the gaping wound on her neck hadn't helped. He could see the white of her vertebrae. Resting his hands on his knees, he breathed deeply and pushed himself back up for a second look. At least his vomit masked some of the odor permeating from the corpse. The side of her neck had been literally ripped open. Pulling back the sheet, he noted the bite marks down her arms, over her chest.

Whatever had done this to her had some wicked teeth. He covered her up and pushed her back into the recess of the wall. It was vampires, it had to be. He'd never heard of anything else that could drain a person like that, but what was he supposed to do about it now that he knew?

The answer came to him in a flash, right about the same time he heard someone coming down the hall. Scrambling through the window, he darted across the parking lot and jumped into his car, pealing out, his mind racing.

When he was a few miles away, he pulled over onto a back road and fought the urge to scream. Whatever had Sammy had done that to that girl. His mind replaced the girl's face with Sammy's, her heart shaped face with his rounded one, her blankly staring blue eyes with his green, her full breasts with his undeveloped chest. He nearly threw up again, but managed to swallow it down.

Turning on the car lights, Dean slid into the backseat, eyeing the mess strewn over the floor with misgivings. It had been four months since one of them had even been back there for anything more than sleeping and he was about to dig through it. Next time they stopped for gas, he was making Sammy clean it up.

He rummaged though the trash, tossing aside food wrappers, tissues, dirty rags they'd made out of clothes that didn't fit, and that was where that stupid map of South Dakota had gone, and when had they last bought ice cream, and that was where that smell had been coming from - until he was sure what he was looking for wasn't there. Getting out, he opened the trunk. It wasn't as bad as the contents of his back seat. They opened the trunk often enough, mostly to store their dirty clothes, but it had been weeks since the last time they did laundry.

Pushing the clothes aside, he opened the latch and stared at the dusty weapons. Since Dad had gone missing, he'd only opened it twice, once to get a small knife he could keep in his boot and before that... he didn't like thinking about that time. Under the holy water and crosses and hand guns, he finally found what he was looking for. Dad's journal.

It was dark. Sammy tried to force his eyes open and groaned at the effort it took. He ached all over - his head, his neck, his shoulder, his hip.

"Hey, I think the kid's waking up."

Someone touched his head and he jerked away instinctively. He knew it wasn't Dean. Dean always said his name before touching him, like he was reassuring him that everything was okay.

Opening his eyes, he looked at the strangers sitting around him. There was an older man leaning against one wall staring at the floor with a glazed over expression, a couple of teenagers who looked like they were dressed for prom, and then, sitting directly in front of him was a pale man, a large darker man and a rather emaciated looking woman... who were staring at him. He gulped and pushed himself up into a sitting position, refusing to take his eyes away from these people. The woman scooted forward first and he backed away from her. She looked nice enough, but Sammy had never been around women very much and he wasn't really all that sure what they looked like when they weren't nice.

"Hey, come on, kid, it's okay. I'm Sarah, what's your name?"

He scanned the room, noting that they were in some kind of cage. Gulped back the knot in his throat, he looked back at her. "Sammy. Where's my brother?"

She shook her head. "You were the only one they brought in."

"They?" He dug into his memory, searching for anything that would explain where he was and what was going on. Dean had been doing it, he remembered that and he remembered the way the man had looked at him, asking if Dean wanted Sammy to watch. Then Dean had told him to go 'take a walk,' which was code for 'stay out of sight' and he'd been doing that... and then nothing.

Sarah reached out to touch his head and he dodged her hand, pressing against the wall now. "Calm down, Sammy, we're not going to hurt you. That's a nasty bump you've got there."

"I want my brother."

They all looked at each other helplessly. That, more that seeing it, told Sammy Dean wasn't there and he felt his lower lip trembling. Had something gone wrong with the trick? What if it was like last time and Dean was hurt? One of the men, the pale one, came forward, pushing Sarah aside and Sammy sniffed as the man knelt in front of him.

"Hey, Sammy, My name is Joe. Now, I want you to listen to me and listen careful. They're going to be coming soon and I want you to stay put and don't make a sound. You got me?"

"Who're 'they'?"

The scraping of a door dragging open made them all turn and Sammy curled in on himself. Sarah and Joe dragged the others back with them so that Sammy couldn't see what was going on... or so what was going on couldn't see him.

A new voice, one that sounded female and cocky came from somewhere else in the room. "Feeding time, kiddies. Who shall it be today?"

Sammy could feel the collective shudder in the bodies around him and clamped his hands over his mouth to keep from making noise. What did they mean by feeding time? The door to the large cage they were in opened and there were footsteps, maybe two, three people. It had been too long since he'd last used that particular skill to tell.

"Didn't Mikey say there was a kid?"

"Yeah, a small one."

He bristled at being called small, but Sarah put a hand on his shoulder.

"Don't know why he bothered, kids don't taste right." Taste?! "Their blood's too sweet. I like mine older." The cage door opened and there was a scuffle, the sound of someone grunting, as if in pain. "Like this one. He looks ripe."

"Whatever you say, sweetheart."

There was cursing as the man was dragged off. The door closed again and Sarah sighed, relaxing against the wall beside Sammy. For a moment, everything was quiet, then Sarah put an arm around him and Sammy didn't pull back because he knew now that she wasn't the enemy.

"It's going to be okay, kid."

He knew that wasn't true, like he'd known it wasn't true when Dean told him Dad was alright, but just like then, he didn't tell her he knew. It was comforting to hear it and he was afraid she'd stop lying if she knew he didn't believe her.

They'd stayed at the cabin for another week after Sam's nightmare, but Dad's contacts had become too suspicious and a mechanic named Bobby said he was coming to check on them. Part of Dean thought maybe it would be better to just let the adults take care of things, but the other part was still too afraid. The other part kept repeating the same mantra. "I have to take care of Sammy, Sammy is my family, my responsibility."

He'd gotten the call around midnight. Bobby only lived an hour away and he wanted to get as far away from there as possible. He went into the bedroom and woke his brother. "Sammy! Sammy, get up!"

Sammy rubbed his eyes open and blinked his sleep away, "Wha's it?"

"Get up, Sammy, we've got to get out of here."


"Bobby's coming to check on us. He'll find out Dad's gone."

"I don't understand."

Dean knelt in front of Sammy, looking at him sternly. "Sammy, do you want to leave me?" Sammy shook his head, his green eyes wide and still a little bleary. "Then we have to go before Bobby gets here. Now, get dressed."

While Sammy fished around for clean clothes, Dean pulled out their duffel bags and shoved clothes in them. He threw the duffle bags in the trunk as Sammy came out. "Dean, I don't want to leave. How will Dad find us if we leave?"

Dean cursed silently, but picked Sammy up and carried him to the car, thrusting him in the front seat. "Dad'll find us, Sammy, he always does."


"Remember two years ago when Dad called me and told me to take you and run." Sammy nodded. "Right, well, I did, remember? And he found us the next day." He left out the part about there being a prearranged hiding place. "He'll find us again, just like last time."

Reluctantly, Sammy nodded and Dean started to close the door, only to find Sammy blocking it. "Wait! I left Pickles."

"Sammy..." He was going to say that Sammy was too old to be clinging to a stuffed turtle, but Sammy was pouting again and when he pouted, there wasn't anything Dean could deny him. "Hold on."

He ran back inside and grabbed the turtle off the bed, then stopped and grabbed a picture of their parents, as well. Dean drove until he couldn't keep his eyes open anymore and then he pulled over to the side of the road and turned off the car, looking down at Sammy, who'd fallen asleep across the front seat, holding his turtle.

God, what was he going to do? They had three hundred dollars and half a tank of gas. He ran his hands through his hair and realized he was shaking. They didn't have anywhere to go. There was no 'home' anymore and three hundred wasn't going to go very far, no matter how frugal he was with it.

Sammy stirred and looked up at him. "Dean?"

Dean smiled at him, "Hey, I thought we'd stop for the night, okay?"

Sammy nodded and scooted forward until his head was resting in Dean's lap. "Night."

"Night." He stroked Sammy's soft hair and fought tears that were threatening to break free. What was he going to do?

Vampires were real. Dad's journal said that they were extinct, but it also had pictures of what victims looked like and there was no question, that girl in the morgue had been killed by a vampire. It also said that they couldn't be killed by sunlight or a stake through the heart, and crosses didn't do shit. A dead man's blood could be used as a poison and would weaken them for a brief period, but the only way to kill them was by beheading.

Dean opened the trunk again and looked around until he'd found the large machete. Weapon, check. He took one of the handguns and opened the chamber, loading it with remembered ease. Back when he'd gone to school, he remembered people using the expression 'like riding a bike.' He'd never really understood that, because Dad never got around to teaching him how to ride a bike, but he had taught him how to handle a gun with his eyes closed and he hadn't forgotten.

He looked around for a target and saw a twisted beer can laying in the grass. Leveling the gun, he aimed and fired. The pang of the bullet hitting the can echoed around him and he smiled grimly. Like handling a gun.

Ten minutes later, he was back in the car with his gun, a small cross bow, two machetes, and a change of clothes that didn't reek of sex. Bad enough to face a den of vampires smelling of week old body odor, but he'd be damned if he was going in smelling like cum, as well.

Of course, that having been said, he had no idea where the vampires were, except in the woods. Opening the book again, he checked some more of the notes, dread leveling in his stomach as he did. Nesting in groups of eight to ten, they sent smaller parties out to search for prey. That's was a whole hell of a lot of vampires.

The only thing that comforted him about the whole fucking thing was that they apparently kept their victims alive for days, sometimes weeks. Then again, it also said they bled them slowly and if anything touched his Sammy, he wouldn't just kill it, he'd fucking make it hurt first.

Putting the car in gear, he headed back to the forest where he'd lost Sammy, figuring he'd start there.

Just before dawn, they threw the man back in the cage. Sarah and the others had huddled around him again, apparently intent on protecting him, for what it was worth, but once the creatures were gone, they turned their attention to the hurt man. Sammy saw the bit marks through the torn clothes and he knew what these things were. Vampires. Blood suckers. Demons. He'd thought all that was over, it almost felt like a bad dream now, but he knew it wasn't and this was the proof.

"Sarah?" She looked at him sharply, but didn't say anything. He huddled back against the wall, picking at the toes of his shoes.

He'd needed new ones for a while now, but he hadn't told Dean, because whenever he said he needed something, Dean ended up doing those things and Sammy didn't like that. In fact, it was his fault that this had happened in the first place. He'd been hungry and he'd whined about it, complaining when Dean asked if he could hold out till the next town. It had been almost twenty four hours since he'd eaten last and it had hurt. Less than a minute of pouting and Dean had caved. He'd parked the car in the trees, a block from the bar, and half an hour later he'd come back with that trick. If Sammy had just kept his stupid mouth shut, none of this would have happened. They'd have found a better town, maybe one they could stay in for a while.

"Hey, kid." He looked up at Joe, who had sat down next to him. "You hungry?"

He started to say no, but his stomach made a loud protest. How long had he been unconscious? Joe chuckled, "Roy, pass me the bread."

The large, dark man handed over a loaf of bread and Joe broke some off. "It's not much, but it's something. They gave us rations so we wouldn't die on them."

"Thank you." Sammy took the bread and ate quickly, but he instantly regretted it, because now that it had something to work with, his stomach got louder.

"Kid, when's the last time you ate?" Sammy flushed bright pink and ducked his head, shrugging. Joe reached over and lifted his chin with one finger. "Sammy?"

"I don't know, I had Breakfast Jacks on..." he thought back, "Wednesday, I think?"

Joe stared at him for a moment, before breaking off another, larger chunk of bread and handing it over. "Roy, open one of them cans of beans and hand it this way."

Sammy shook his head, but Joe gave him a stern look that reminded Sammy of Dad, or what he remembered of him, anyway. "It's Friday, that makes it at least two days since you ate last. Go on."

He couldn't argue with that, especially when his stomach growled again and this time it was loud enough that Sarah looked back in concern. Taking the offered can of food, he quickly dug in. Joe smiled down at him and for a moment, Sammy felt safe, like back when Dad was with them, protecting them from the evil things.

Before he could stop himself, he blurted out, "You remind me of my dad."

Joe raised a surprised eyebrow, "That's a first. Who was your dad then?"

Sammy put another spoonful of cold beans in his mouth. Dean had told him never to talk about Dad to anyone, it was one of the only rules that his brother imposed, right along side with Sammy staying out of sight when Dean was making money. If anyone knew who their dad was, they'd know who they were and then they might be separated.

Joe studied him carefully while he ate. When it seemed like Sammy had finished eating, Joe leaned towards him and asked, "What did you say your brother's name was?"

He looked into the can rather than at Joe. "I didn't."

After a few minutes of silence, Joe shrugged, "You should get some sleep."

With food in his stomach, Sammy realized how exhausted he was. Besides, if he was asleep, Joe couldn't ask him questions that he didn't want to answer. He laid down and pillowed his head on his arms, looking at the older man they had brought back, who was now overly pale as well, just like Joe. He couldn't help staring at the wounds on his arms, vicious bite marks where the vampires must have fed on him. Sam buried his head in his arms to muffle his voice. "Please hurry, Dean."

They'd been on the road for six months. Going from one town to the next, stopping when they'd found somewhere Dean could make money. Sammy wasn't so ignorant as to not understand what was going on. He may have been ten, but he wasn't stupid. Curling up tighter in the back of the Impala, he shivered. It was snowing out and he was freezing, but there wasn't enough money for a room yet and turning on the heater would waste gas they didn't have. It was still warmer in here, though, huddled up in the worn blankets, than outside, which was the only reason Dean was letting him stay in the car at all.

"What are you selling?"

"Whatever. Hand, mouth, you decide."

Sammy scowled. Anyone who didn't know Dean might have called it casual, but Sammy knew better.

"What if I want something else?"

Something else?

"That's not for sale."

"Everything's for sale. Two hundred bucks and all you have to do is bend over."

"I said no. Hand job's forty, blow job's sixty, you want anything else, you can keep walking."

Sammy grit his teeth as he did the math. He'd never stayed this close to Dean while he worked and his brother certainly wasn't answering questions about what he did. Usually, he liked to pretend it hadn't happened at all. Sammy's mouth went dry at the implications of those numbers. Forty for a hand job, sixty for a blow job. Dean usually came back with over a hundred, sometimes two.

There was a long pause and Sammy hoped the man would leave, because then he could get out of the car and tell Dean to forget it, it was getting late and they'd just keep each other warm, but the pause ended with, "I've got sixty."


Sammy closed his eyes and bit his lip, pressing his face into the seat cushion as he heard a zipper being opened and gravel shifting. He waited for the wet noises that always came with Dean sucking cock, but instead, he heard, "Hey, what are you doing?!"

That was Dean, who apparently didn't have his mouth full of the guy's penis. The car lurched violently and there were muffled sounds of struggling. Sammy half sat up, looking over the top of the seat and his breath caught in his throat. Dean was bent over the trunk, his arms twisted back, a hand over his mouth. The man standing behind him, a wide grin spread across his face.

Sammy sat up a little more and Dean's eyes lock on his, wide and terrified and that scared Sammy. He'd never seen Dean afraid of anything, Dean was always the brave one. The hand over Dean's mouth moved away, clenching into the hair that Dean kept complaining he needed to cut. He leaned closer, putting his lips next to Dean's ears. "Scream, pretty boy, I dare you."

Silently, Sammy begged Dean to scream, because it was late and, yeah, the bar was closed, but the employees were still in there and maybe a few drunk stragglers if they were lucky. Dean didn't scream, though, he just stared at Sammy, mouthing 'look away' as the man laughed, a deep, deadly chuckle.

Dean's hands were let go of. He hit back, but his position, bent over the truck with his head held down in a tight grip, didn't give him enough leverage and the man was stronger, holding Dean down while he unbuckled his pants. Sammy finally did look away, ducked back under the seat and stared ahead at the door, trying to ignore the sounds of his brother being raped. He clamped his hands over his ears when Dean's noises became too close to crying.

Dean didn't cry. Dean didn't cry.

It felt like Sammy had been listening to that muffled sound for hours, even though he knew it hadn't actually taken very long, but finally the car stopped jerking. Sammy moved his hands from his ears slowly and heard the disgustingly satisfied grunts from the man and Dean's hitched breathing, but that was all.

Let him leave. Please, let him leave.

"Come on, boy, you and me are going to take a ride. Where are your keys?" Sammy heared the sound of flesh hitting flesh and Dean cried out. "Where are your fucking keys?"

"Go to hell." It sounded pained, but Sammy recognized Dean in the defiance and it made him feel better.

Another fleshy smack and a body hit the ground. Sammy flinched and huddled further into the seat. A moment later the driver's side front door was yanked open and the man climbed half in. He was probably looking for the keys, but his eyes settled immediately on Sammy's shadowed figure. "Who the fuck are you?"

Sammy tried to dodge, but a hand latched onto his arm and he struggled, getting out half a scream before a fist collided with his face, jerking his head back violently and jarring his senses.

A moment later, a muffled shot rang out. The man screamed and dropped Sammy's arm and Sammy scrambled frantically, crawling out the back door and looking through it at the man who was now laying on the ground beside the car, clutching his bleeding leg.

Dean was standing beside the open trunk, a gun in his hands, a deadly serious look on his tear stained face. The only thing Sammy could think was 'Dean doesn't cry,' hoping that if he thought it enough, then maybe it would be true.

"Sammy, get over here. You back away from the car."

The gun was shaking, but that didn't scare Sammy, because Dean had been handling guns for longer than he could remember. He ran to Dean, but didn't touch him - you don't touch a nervous man with a gun, no matter how much you trusted him.

With a scowl, the man clutched his leg tighter, blooding seeping out from between his fingers. "You shot my leg, you little fuck, I can't back away from anything."

"Then crawl."

Dean cocked the gun and Sammy watched as the man forced himself to crawl back until Dean started walked forward, still holding the gun on the guy. "Toss your wallet over."

He did and Dean motioned Sammy to pick it up. "Sammy, get in, you're driving." Sammy did as he was told and Dean flashed him a pained, reassuring smile. "Lock the door." Dean got in the back seat, gingerly sitting down, and shut the door, "Drive for half an hour and then pull over."

Dean wouldn't let Sammy take him to a hospital, but the man had had over five hundred dollars in his wallet. Sammy asked Dean why someone would carry that much cash around, but Dean didn't want to talk about it, he was just glad that they had enough to rent a motel room for a full week and get medical supplies. They threw the empty wallet in a dumpster.

Later that night, Sammy pretended to be asleep while Dean stroked the side of his face where a bruise had started forming. He wanted to ask Dean if he was okay, but he was afraid Dean would stop and it had been a long time since they'd been together like this and he missed it. So, he didn't say anything and eventually he fell asleep.

Dean wasn't sure whether to consider himself lucky or in deep shit, though he was pretty sure it was a bit of both. He'd combed the woods all night with no luck. Eventually he'd had to concede defeat and go back to his car, only to find a pretty woman leaning against it, looking at him with a lazy smile. She looked... he couldn't even describe it, but he just knew that she wasn't human. Maybe it was all that training Dad had drilled into him and maybe it was instinct, but he knew without a doubt that this was one of the things that had taken his brother.

"Hey, little boy."

"I'm not little."

He clutched the handle of the machete sheathed at his hip and she eyed it for a moment, her smile widening. "Now, what exactly are you planning to do with that toy?"

"Behead your sorry ass."

She laughed and pushed herself up onto the hood of his Impala. "And why would you want to do that?"

His hand flexed around the handle, itching to pull it out. "Because you took my brother, bitch."

"Strong words for such a little man." The she-bitch stood up and stalked towards him and Dean backed up, giving himself enough ground to maneuver. "I'd put the toy away if I were you."

"Why's that?"

"Because you'll be no good to him dead."

He pulled the weapon out, "Give back Sammy, or I swear..."

"Swear what, little hunter? You'll give me a scratch?"

Without thinking he charged her and she dodged, laughing. They moved around each other, Dean occasionally lunging and her moving out of his way with ease. "Surely you can do better than that, little hunter."

"I told you, I'm not little!"

She held her hands out to her sides, "Not little, eh? Do your worst, I dare you."

So, he did. She wasn't really watching him now, she was just laughing at him, mocking him. Putting his hand behind him, he drew the small crossbow, letting instinct take over as he aimed and fired.

She looked at the small bow lodged in her chest and continued to laugh. "Stake through the heart doesn't work."

"Dead man's blood, bitch."

Her smiled dropped and she growled, but he could see that it was already affecting her. She dropped onto her knees and he came forward, wielding the machete.

"Kill me and they'll come for you."

He raised the machete, his mouth set in a grim line. "Let them."

Sammy woke to the feeling of someone trying to rip his arm off and the sound of yelling. He opened his eyes to see an unfamiliar man in a leather jacket dragging him out of the cage. Looking back, he saw Joe and Roy fighting with three of the other vampires, trying to get to Sammy, and Sarah was outside the cage as well, being held by two of the creatures.

The monster holding him smiled and he tried to pull away, tried to pry the fingers off his arm, but it just gripped tighter, cutting off the circulation. He whimpered before he could stop himself. The door to the cage clanged shut, leaving Sammy outside of it with them.

Without a word, Sarah and he were dragged out of the room. "Mikey, you'll break the kid's arm."

Mikey relaxed his grip, but it didn't make Sammy feel any better as he was hauled up the stairs. More vampires sat around the living room they entered into, lounging on chairs and a sofa - one sat in another's lap, grinding herself against him lewdly and Sammy found himself blushing at the display. It was one thing to know what grown ups did behind closed doors, it was another to see it.

"Brought the kid like you asked, and a snack." He motioned to Sarah, who was already being eyed hungrily by the room's occupants.

Mikey was speaking to a man leaning in the corner. He stepped forward, into the light of the room and Sammy stiffened. The others almost seemed human, but this one moved strangely, with an other-worldly grace and confidence. He approached and crouched down, giving Sammy a long look.

"Your brother killed one of my children."

"Good." Sammy instantly regretted it as the vampire's hand moved forward quickly, as if to hit him, but it stopped short and touched his face instead, running a finger down his jaw.

"Your brother killed one of my children." He paused, Sammy didn't say anything this time. "I'm thinking that perhaps I should return the favor."

"No!" Sarah struggled against the vampires holding her. "Leave him alone, he's only a boy!"

The leader, because Sammy realized that was what the man who'd been talking to him was, didn't even turn his head to look at her. "Kill her."

Sammy watched in horror as four of the creatures descended on her and she screamed and screamed and then the noises choked into silence and he realized the screaming wasn't coming from her anymore, it was coming from him. The leader put a hand gently over his mouth and he instantly went silent, fear closing his throat.

"You're going to stay up here and play with us for a while and then we're going to go play with your brother." Sammy tried to shake his head, but the hand tightened. "Sh."

Mikey knelt behind him and took his upper arms, holding them against his sides, "Taste him, Randall."

Sammy tried to twist away, but it was like he was being held in a vice. Not taking his eyes from Sammy's, Randall took one of the boy's wrists and lifted it. The teeth came out and Sammy really struggled then, not sure whether he should back away from the thing in front of him that was salivating over his wrist, or the thing behind him that was panting in his ear. Teeth punctured his wrist and he cried out. His veins felt like they were on fire and he could have sworn it lasted an eternity, but he knew it didn't, because he was still alive and Randall's extra teeth were missing again.

"Not nearly so innocent."

Dean had two options and neither of them were all that appealing. He could try to catch them unaware by waiting till morning and sneaking into the house, but he was only one, out of practice kid and if his count was right there were eleven of them in there. On the other hand, he could wait until night, when some of them would be sent out to look for food, or him, and then he could storm the place and it would be one, out of practice kid against six or seven of them, but they'd be six or seven very awake, very alert vampires.

In the end, he decided that while killing the bloodsuckers was tempting, it wasn't what was important; getting Sammy out was. So, he sat in the woods and plotted, while he waited for the sun to come up.

It had taken him three hand jobs and five hours to get enough information to find this place. First there was the rundown house that was presumed to be haunted; then no, it wasn't haunted, but there was a gang that was holed up in there, bad business, don't go near it and no, won't telling you where it is; and finally, yeah, it's about four or five miles that way and down a dirt road, Old Oakspring's neighborhood, no one lives there anymore, you can't miss it. The house was two stories tall and sitting with its back end to the woods. Just like the trick had said, it was in a run down neighborhood a few miles from town and he would have doubted any of the other dilapidated houses were occupied, even if the guy hadn't said so.

There was some movement just after sunup, but then it stopped. Patience had never been one of Dean's virtues, especially when Sammy and danger were involved, but he sat it out for an hour, two hours, watching and waiting and making sure that they really had gone to sleep. By eleven, the sun was high and he decided to make his move.

He crept up to the house, eyeing the doors and boarded up windows, but didn't see anything suspicious. If Dad's journal was right, they'd be keeping prisoners somewhere. He walked around the exterior and a basement window caught his attention. Leaning down, he peered inside. Bingo, a cage with people in it. It was too dark to see if Sammy was in there, though.

To be honest, he'd expected the window to be locked, but it slid in without resistance and he almost laughed. Of course, they were vampires - if someone decided to break in it would be like delivery. Wiggling through the narrow gap, he cursed his growing body. A year ago this would have been a piece of cake.

"Who's there?"

He looked back sharply and fell to the ground in a crouch, his hand already on the handle of the machete attached to his hip. One of the men in the cage was looking at him and he realized it must have been him that spoke. Slowly, he stood and came over to the cage. Five men, but no Sammy. Was it even possible that he had the wrong den of vampires? "Hey, have any of you seen my brother, ten-years-old, skinny, about this tall?"

"He was ten?"

"That's just sick."

"Hey, get us out of here."

The man in front ignored the others and looked down at Dean with piercing, evaluating eyes until his gaze finally settled on the machete. "Who are you?"


"Sam and Dean." There was something in his voice, something that said it was familiar and Dean looked at him now, really looked at him. The men were all haggard, dirty, and worn; this one wasn't in any better shape, but where the others were scared, he stood his ground, firm and ready to fight. "Winchester?"

Dean's faced blanched, but after a moment, he nodded. If he'd known Dean's father, then maybe he was a Hunter, maybe he could help.

"Where's your father?"

"Not here."

There was an impossibly long pause and then, "Name's Joe. You got an extra one of those knives?" Dean reached behind him and pulled out the one he'd had strapped to his back, passing it through the bars. "You got anything to pick a lock with?" He reached into his pocket and held up his lock picking kit.

"Good boy, now get this door open." Dean was moving before he even realized he was complying. Not that it was a bad thing, it was comforting, really, to be taking orders from someone who knew what they were doing instead of fumbling around it himself.

"Where's Sammy?"

"They took him upstairs." The door opened and Joe put a hand on Dean's shoulder. The other men were watching Joe closely, waiting for instructions. "We're going up. Me first, then Dean, then the rest of you. Be quiet, head for the front door, then keep running and don't look back. Dean, you get your brother and you get the hell out, do you understand me?"

Dean nodded. That had been his plan to begin with, anyway. The house was eerily quiet as they stepped through the door and into an empty living room. Well, almost empty - the corpse of a dead woman was laying in the corner. Dean bit back a yelp when he noticed her empty eyes staring at him. Joe put a hand on his shoulder again and Dean watched him motion to the others, nodding his head towards the front door and they nodded back at him, giving him various good luck signs as they hurried out.

The rest of the downstairs was just as empty and Dean had to hold his breath as they crept up the stairs, cringing at every creak in the wood. He really, really hoped that vampires weren't light sleepers. The second floor was dark and Dean remembered seeing thick blackout curtains from the outside. The doors weren't shut, but Joe didn't seem concerned by that. He peered in one room after the other and Dean mimicked his movements, like he'd done with Dad.

At the third room, Joe stopped and motioned for Dean to come forward. If it hadn't been for Joe's hand staying him, he would have rushed in. Sammy was laying in a large bed, one of those monsters curled around him.

No, no no no, not Sammy. He'd done everything to protect Sammy and if that thing had so much as touched his brother...

Joe took Dean's face in his hand and shook his head slightly. He made a series of motions with his hands and Dean found that this was also like handling a gun, or riding a bike, or whatever your preference in analogy was, because he could interpret them without having to think about it. Be quiet, go to the left side of the bed, the side Sammy was on and don't move until he was told to.

He nodded and went forward. Closer up, he could see the dried tears that stained Sammy's face. His little brother's eyes were puffy, the skin underneath swollen and pink. His hands were balled up in fists, clutched tightly next to his body which was, thankfully, still clothed. Come to think of it, Dean didn't know if vampires could even have sex.

Joe motioned to him again and he watched carefully. Grab Sammy and get back. Then he held up three fingers. Two fingers. One finger. Dean grabbed Sammy's arms and dragged him off the bed, flinching at the terrified yelps as he pulled him across the room. Joe yanked the startled vampire around so that he was flat on his back and brought the machete down on his neck, severing the head.

Dean wanted to check on Sammy, he wanted to examine every inch of his brother for injuries and then just hold him to reassure himself that Sammy was still there, that Sammy was alive, but the house had erupted into action. Joe had said to get Sammy and get out and that was exactly what he was going to do.

The door was blocked and the only way out was the window that led onto a small balcony. Well, it was more of a ledge than a balcony, but it was safer than in this room. Opening it, he lifted Sammy up over the window. It scared him that Sammy was so silent and pliant, but he wasn't acting like he was in pain or like he'd been... changed. Outside on the ledge, Dean knelt down and looked up at Sammy, catching his eyes. They were dilated and unfocused.


Sammy swayed where he stood and there was a loud crash and scream from the room. Dean looked back to see a headless corpse fall at Joe's feet. They had to get to the Impala and get the fuck out of here.

"Sammy, come on! It's Dean, Sammy! I need to know you can hear me."

Suddenly, Dean found himself on his ass, his arms full of his little brother, who still wasn't making any sound. "Okay, okay, Sammy, I need you to let go."

The arms around his neck tightened, threatening to cut off his air. Another crash, but this time, it was Joe who'd been sent flying across the room and Dean knew he didn't have much time. Save Sammy, save himself, that was all he could do. He didn't bother to tell Sammy what he was going to do. Lifting his brother up with one arm, he precariously climbed over the railing and look down, closing his eyes and taking a deep breath before jumping off.

Pain shut up his leg when he hit the ground and he buckled, still clutching Sammy. He panted, looking up at the balcony, where he could still hear the sounds of fighting coming from the open window. The fall had knocked the wind out of him and he had to force a deep, painful breath to get his chest to expand.

Somehow he managed to get to his feet, despite the shooting pain in his leg and carry Sammy to the car. Every bone in his body hurt, but he concentrated on getting as far away from that house as he could. There was no way Joe could beat all of those things and if they were still there when the battle was over, it would be bad. Really, really bad.

When he came back to himself, they were parked behind a motel in... somewhere. He didn't remember how long he'd been driving, or Sammy falling asleep with his head in Dean's lap. Reaching down, he stroked his brother's hair and closed his eyes, taking deep breaths. After several minutes, he gently slid out from under Sammy, who whined a little and clutched around until Dean took off his jacket and Sammy buried his hands in, holding it against him like a lifeline.

How had he fucked this up so badly? How could he have been so stupid? He was sixteen fucking years old, his brother was ten, they weren't fully trained to fight the kinds of things they knew were out there, so what the hell had he been thinking? Grabbing Dad's journal out of the backseat, he flipped through the pages until he came to a name he recognized, one he could put a face to.

There was change in the ash tray and Dean pulled out a handful of quarters, limping to a pay phone by the street. His hands were shaking so badly he kept dropping coins. He stopped and leaned against the booth, breathing deeply in and out until he'd gotten a hold of himself.

Finally, he stopped shaking and slipped the change into the phone. It rang twice before someone picked up and the relief that washed through Dean's body made his legs weak. "Bobby's Auto."

Sitting down on the ground, he held the phone to his ears with both hands and did what he should have done a year and a half ago. "Bobby, this is Dean. Dad's missing and Sammy's hurt and... and I need help."