The Beacon

Summary: Sam finally discovers the demon's plans. In the end, will Dean save him or hunt him?

Disclaimer: If I actually got sued over this story, then something is very wrong with the world. It's Kripke's sandbox; I'm just borrowing some of the toys. I'll put them right back, I promise.

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Rain streaked down the Impala's windshield, blurring the road for a moment before the wipers cleared them. Dean stared out onto the dark road, his jaw set firm. His hand clenched the steering wheel in frustration, but only enough to take some of it his tension out of his body. He couldn't let Sam see how upset he was. He couldn't let Sam know how much this last hunt had gotten to him. The brothers sat in silence, the engine's low growl giving Dean the calming effect he so needed. The hunter glanced to his right, taking in his brother's throbbing throat and shiny eyes.

"Sam, we did the best we could. We just got there too late."

Sam swallowed the lump in his throat, blinking away the tears that threatened to fall. "Dean, don't. Not right now."

The older brother shook his head, clicking his tongue. "No Sam. We are going to talk about this. Cause otherwise you are just going to let it simmer inside you, taking all the blame."

Without warning, Sam slammed his hand into the dashboard with a yell. "It is my fault Dean! I had the vision. I saw the demon by the baby's crib and I saw the mother die. We could have saved her if I hadn't decided it would be a good time to head south again. We could have been one state away instead of five! Somehow, I don't see you anywhere in that equation."

"Oh, so because you made the decision to go left instead of right without any knowledge you would get this vision a whole week later, it's your fault?"

Sam nodded, turning his head to look out his window, signaling what he thought was the end of the conversation.

"Sam, I've been to farms with less bullshit than that." Sam sat, refusing to look at his brother. "Look. Sometimes we don't win. Sometimes, we don't get there in time to save them. I know it sucks. Especially when it has to do with that yellow eyed bastard. But you gotta let it go, man. The father got out. The baby is safe. That has to count for something."

A moment passed before Sam replied. He spoke so softly, Dean had to strain his ears to understand. "The mother died on the ceiling because of that demon. The baby is going to grow up and get some psychic power like all the children do. She shouldn't have to deal with that."

Dean gave a nonchalant shrug. "You turned out okay. Even if you are a freak."

"Yeah." Sam whispered. "But not by much."

Dean stared at his brother. It took him a moment to realize Sam hadn't been acting all moody for the past hour over the mother dying. He was upset the child would grow up with a power. She would grow up like he did.

Dean let out a sigh. Damn you, Dad. Why did you have to leave me with this kind of shit weight on my shoulders? He glanced again at his brother, giving a half frown at how Sam slouched against the door, obviously in pain and just as obviously trying to hide it. Mental pain was one thing; Sam was the king of PMS moody when he got his head wrapped around something. But physical pain was never something Sam hid well, especially when the hunter had years experience watching his brother try.

Dean's mind flashed to earlier that night. He and Sam had raced all day to get to the house Sam had seen in his vision. As they approached the community, they could smell the smoke and Dean knew they were too late. What Dean hadn't expected was for Sam to jump out of the car as soon as it slowed down and race into the burning house. Cursing his brother's long legs, Dean had gotten as far as the front door when Sam came running out again, seemingly free of injury, and pushing a man in front of him. A glance at the man told Dean this was the husband and the baby in his arms was the latest victim of the demon. The young hunters hadn't stayed long after that, knowing there wasn't anything they could do. The demon had already gone, taking the mother with it in a fiery blaze. Other than that knowledge weighing on Sam's consciousness, he had seemed fine for the past hour. Or at least that's what Dean had thought.

Slowly, he reached out a hand and put it on Sam's trembling shoulder. "Dude, are you hurt?"

Sam turned his head and gave a small grin. "Na, just a scratch, man." It was then Dean noticed the thin sheen of sweat on his forehead, a tell-tale sign of Sam not only in pain, but more than just a scratch kind of injury.

At that moment, a 24-hour motel came up on the road side. Dean pulled the car over, marveling over his own sense of good timing. Turning the engine off, he turned in his seat. "Let me see."

"No, dude. I'm fine. I'm not even bleeding."

Frustrated by his brother's childishness, Dean threw his hands up. "Alright. If it's just a scratch, you get the bags and I'll check us in." With a smile, Dean hopped out of the car and strode over to the desk. Glancing back after a moment as the manager got the room key, he saw with a satisfied smile that while Sam had gotten the bags out, he was still standing by the Impala, obviously not able to carry them inside. Thanking the manager quickly, Dean strode out, tilting his head in a mock questioningly way.

Sam rolled his eyes and started walking to the room. Dean grabbed the bags, throwing them onto the beds as soon as they got into the room. Sam laid down on one, ready to collapse, but intent on staying awake until later. Opening his eyes, he found Dean looming over him, his arms crossed. "What?" Sam asked innocently. Dean stared, giving his best scowl. Realizing he wasn't fooling anyone, Sam let out a sigh and held out his right arm.

Dean's breath caught in his chest. With a growl that sounded an awful lot like "Damn it, Sammy", Dean gently grabbed his brother's wrist. Across Sam's forearm was a red, mean looking welt. It looked tight and extremely painful. Dean pulled out their first-aid kit, locating the burn ointment quickly and generously slopped it on. If there was anything Dean Winchester did not fool around with, it was burns. Sam grimaced as the cold contact burned. "It was a falling bit of ceiling, that's all."

Finally finding his voice, Dean began to wrap his brother's arm. "Sam, you get hurt, you tell me damn it. What if this had gotten infected?"

Sam shrugged. "Dean, it's not even a second degree burn. Barely a first. We've both had worse and I didn't want you to worry. I was going to get it cleaned up after you fell asleep."

"Worry?" Dean nearly shouted, pulling the bandage tight enough to make Sam hiss. "It's my job to worry about you. You're my brother. I'm going to worry about you and protect you until the day I die." Dean gave the bandage an extra tug for emphasis. He looked into Sam's eyes, making sure he was listening. "And I'll kick anyone's or anything's ass between then and now that tries to hurt you. So you pull this 'hiding the wound' shit one more time, I'm going to have to kick my own ass, cause I'll kill you myself. It might be an interesting show, but I would still knock some sense into you. You got that?"

A grin broke across Sam's face. "That was mighty close to a chick flick moment there, Dean."

Dean rolled his eyes, taping the last of the bandage down. "Bite me." He stood, gathering the medical items together as Sam pulled his shirt down.

"Hey Dean?" He turned back to his brother, taking in the thoughtful, worried look. Oh great. There should be an Olympic sport for speed of mood changes. Sam would get the gold every time. "Why do you think the demon went after that family?"

Dean shrugged, snapping the first-aid kit closed and shoved it back into his bag. He paused, carefully choosing his words. "I don't know. Why does the demon go after any of the families?"

"Do you… do you think Dad knew why? I mean… before he died. He knew a lot about that demon. Maybe he didn't want us to know something, but meant to tell us later after we killed it. But then he… well, you know."

Dean ran his hands thru his hair, shifting on his feet. "I… I think Dad said everything he knew." Sam nodded, satisfied with that answer. Dean turned with a snap to the bathroom, throwing his head over his shoulder. "I'm gonna take a shower. Get some sleep."

Closing the door before Sam could reply, the young hunter sat heavily on the floor. He pressed his head into his hands, waiting until he saw red dots before letting go. He could practically feel his thoughts running around his mind. I promised, I promised myself I wouldn't lie to Sammy anymore. But that wasn't a lie. I just did a bit of Obi-Waning. With a sigh, Dean pushed himself up and turned on the shower, knowing Sam would be waiting for that sound and would know something was wrong if it didn't come soon. Stepping under the hot water, Dean gave a loud sigh. He pressed his hands against the wall, feeling the water fall down his muscled back. I gotta tell him. I have to tell Sam the truth. It's getting too dangerous. I can't… I can't deal with this alone anymore. Dean let out another sigh. Tonight. I'll tell him tonight. And he'll hate me. Dean scrubbed his face, convincing himself the only water running down his cheeks was from the showerhead.

10 minutes later found Dean walking out of the bathroom, towel pulled around his waist. He walked quickly across the room, staring straight ahead. He sat on his bed and took a deep breath before turning to his brother.

"Look, Sam. Dad –" Quickly Dean cut himself off. The peaceful face of Sam looked up at him, dead to the world, having fallen asleep in the exact same position Dean had left him in. The brother smiled, privately grateful for the obstacle. He let out a breath and felt his muscles relax. One more night without tackling that issue.

Slipping on a clean pair of boxers, Dean lowered himself into the other bed and pulled the covers over himself. As his eyes drifted closed, he gave a small smile. I'll tell him in the morning. First thing.

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Sunlight pierced Dean's eyes, forcing the young hunter out of his deep sleep. With a groan, he opened his eyes, rubbing the sandman's dust from the corners. With a sharp intake of breath, he quickly shut them and opened them again, certain he was still dreaming. He sat straight up, taking in the sight. The motel room was completely trashed. The table was broken against the floor, the wallpaper was shredded. The bathroom door hung by one hinge, swinging gently in the breeze let in by the broken window. Both of the bags were ripped open, their clothes flung everywhere. Dean's eyes flew across the room, gasping as he realized what was the most important problem with the room was.

Sam was gone.

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Slowly, Sam Winchester opened his eyes. His head was hung down, giving him the view of his lap and arms. He knew he was no longer in the motel room and that instead of lying down, he was now sitting in a chair. Despite there being nothing holding Sam to the chair, he still felt an odd obligation to stay seated. That's…weird.

"Hello Sammy."

With a jerk, Sam lifted his head. Two yellow eyes stared back.

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So you like? Does this seem interesting? Major cliffhanger, I know. This might sound like the same story a lot of writers have done, but I promise it's not. The next chapter is going to dive right into the story and this will be a very short one. Maybe only 4 or 5 chapters unless the plot bunny grabs my laptop and decides to run with the story. Please R&R if you want to read the rest. Salt and Burn, Baby!