Summary – Six months after Full Moon, Fast Cars, Sam and Dean are hunting together when the yellow-eyed demon makes a reappearance, and Dean is brought face to face with his old life and the reasons he quit hunting in the first place. AU SamDean slash, mentions of child abuse and violence

Disclaimer – Not my characters, I just use them improperly.

You like? You don't like? Review and tell me why! (Constructive criticism only please, if you don't like the subject, don't read the story.) If you haven't read Full Moon, Fast Cars yet, you'll probably want to read that first :)

Chapter 1

The baby let out a long wailing cry as his mother screamed. The figure in black didn't turn, standing calmly in the shadows of the dark nursery and watching the plush farmyard animals turn on the mobile suspended above the crib. David Hoyland was six months old, wriggling and waving chubby arms, his tiny face creased and red.

The figure finally turned its head as a crash sounded from within the house somewhere. Michelle Hoyland stood in the doorway, Davie's bottle falling from her suddenly numb fingers and clattering to the floor. Her own face was pale and stretched tense in fear. Before she could see the face of the man? person? standing between her and her child, her body froze against her command and she felt herself being drawn backward to the wall. An unseen force pinned her like an insect on a board and she let loose another inarticulate scream. Her husband Chris was downstairs, dozing in an armchair. She'd seen him on her way back from the kitchen, bottle of warm milk in hand.

The thunder of feet on the stairs gave her momentary hope. Chris was here, he would protect her. And then her own feet left the ground and she felt her body sliding, slipping up the wall as if gravity had reversed itself in her house. Chris couldn't save her, not from this. She struggled against the invisible binds that held her fast, praying her husband would at least get here in time to save Davie, that her son wouldn't be taken by this thing that held a human form.

A gunshot rang out, loud in the enclosed space, and two men appeared in the doorway. Michelle heard her husband's shouts, indistinct and far away. A second gunshot like a cannon exploded in her ears and she tried to tell the men that her baby was in the room, that this evil thing was going to hurt him. The black figure seemed to waver in her vision, flickering and spinning crazily. A chunk of the wall opposite was blown away. The bullets were passing through this strange person as if he wasn't really there, as if this was all some kind of bizarre nightmare.

The invisible hands holding her lost their grip as the thing stuttered in her vision and she fell to the floor, stumbling and tripping over her own feet. Davie. Scrambling forward on her hands and knees, she crawled to her baby, mindless of her own safety. She had to get to Davie. As long as Davie was okay, as long as she could keep him safe, nothing else mattered.

Davie screamed, loud and piercing. The cry powered her muscles and she propelled herself to her feet. The black man was facing off against the two strangers in the doorway, and she ducked past him, snatching up her son and feeling his weight in her arms like a miracle.

"C'mon!" Michelle turned at the gruff voice, seeing one of the strangers beckoning her with an outstretched hand. The other held a shotgun, aimed at the black figure. She ran to him, almost tripping on one of the scatter rugs shaped like a cloud that she'd bought so lovingly in the weeks before Davie was born. The man caught her arm, tugging her brutally forward and out of the room. A flicker of gold caught her eye and she tried to turn, but the man still had her arm in an iron grasp, pulling her away. The second man was behind her and she could hear words being shouted, shots being fired.

She held Davie close, as tightly as she could. He was still crying and she thanked god to hear it. Her son was alive, nothing else mattered.

She almost tripped on the stairs, her legs feeling weak and shaky. The man kept a firm hold on her, guiding her through the dark house. Chris met them at the bottom of the staircase and the man surrendered her to Chris's desperate hold. Her husband was crying and distantly she thought to herself he's never cried in front of me before.

And then the two strangers were dragging them both from the house, their house, the beautiful three bedroom semi they'd bought nine months ago with Davie on the way and their marriage vows fresh in their ears. Michelle felt cold tarmac beneath her bare feet, noted that she was still in her nightgown and the neighbours were probably watching in shock, wondering at the screams and the gunshots. They stopped running in the middle of the street, the five of them; her husband, her baby, herself, and the two men that had saved their lives. A loud boom behind her dragged her attention away from Davie and she turned in time to see the house she'd hoped to raise her family in go up with a burst of furious flames. A black shape caught her eye in the room that had been Davie's nursery and she viciously hoped it was that figure, that terrible black man. She hoped he burned.

Wailing sirens reached her ears. Chris was holding her close, both arms wrapped around her and Davie like he could take the both of them into himself and keep them safe forever. She heard him question the men that had saved them, ask them what happened, what was that, who were they? She ignored their voices, focused only on her beautiful baby, crying in her arms.

When the police and the fire department arrived, asking their own questions, the men were long gone. Chris could only tell them the names the men had given him; Caleb and John.

"Sammy!" Sam ducked, the spirit's chokehold loosened by the broken iron rung he held, snatched up from the cemetery gates. The boom of the shotgun sounded above his head and he gasped at the air, feeling it cooling the burn in his throat.

Dean was at his side a moment later, pulling him to his feet as he reloaded the shotgun with rock salt. "You okay?"

Sam wheezed a little, coughing out the bad air in his lungs. "Yeah, I'm okay. Where is it?"

"I dunno, bitch got away from me." Dean looked wildly in all directions. His face and hands were dark with dirt and there was a red scrape of blood at his temple. The cemetery was dark and deserted, rows of gravestones like broken yellowed teeth jutting up from the earth. His face was hard and Sam felt a smile twitch at his lips despite the situation. They'd been after this spirit for over a week now, and Dean's pissy mood had been steadily growing with each failed attempt. Privately he thought Dean would make a better teenager than Sam could ever be.

A strange whushing sound came from behind them and they turned as one to face the spirit as it rematerialized. Dean brought the shotgun up, firing straight into the things face before it could try to attack them again.

"Get to the grave. I'll keep it occupied while you salt and burn." Sam nodded and made a break for it, his feet slipping slightly in the churned-up grass and mud. Another boom of the shotgun sounded behind him and he kept running, sliding down into the half-dug grave and landing with a thump on the wooden coffin lid. The shovel was still lying by the edge of the mound of earth and Sam reached up and caught it, using it to break through the rotting wood.

The flesh had long since dissolved from the bones in the coffin, leaving them brittle and grey-looking in the dull light. Sam suppressed a shudder and fell to his knees in the dirt and broken wood, hastily shoving them into a pile in the centre of the wrecked coffin.

He scrambled out on his hands and knees, feeling the moist mud seep into his jeans. The salt and lighter fluid waited for him on the undisturbed grass and he liberally doused the bones in both, using Dean's matches to set them alight.

A high pitched scream reached his ears and he turned in Dean's direction, watching the ectoplasmic form of the spirit contort and twist before evaporating with a final wail.

The graveyard was left silent and Sam let out a heavy breath he hadn't realised he'd been holding in. Dean sagged forward, exhausted by his own fight with the spirit. The older man looked over at him, his face twitching in a weary grin before he lowered himself to the ground, using a gravestone as a headrest.

"Call me when you're done filling in that thing, Sammy. I'mna take a nap."

Sam snorted a laugh. "Yeah, right. Get your lazy ass over here, or I'll stamp mud all over the Impala's upholstery.

Dean cracked an eye. "You wouldn't dare."

"Just watch me."

With an exaggerated groan, Dean heaved himself from the floor, dragging his feet as he made his way through the maze of grave markers toward Sam.

Reaching Sam's side, Dean clapped a hand on Sam's back before turning to face him, his gaze serious for once. "You sure you're okay, Sammy?"

Sam smiled, rubbing at his neck with his hand. "Yeah, I'm good." Dean grinned back, one hand reaching out to squeeze Sam's before he turned to the burning grave in front of them.

"Okay, let's do this shit so I can get to a shower."

Sam was scrunched up in the passenger seat of the Impala, his long body twisted around itself in the small space. His clothes were filthy and flaking dried mud everywhere. Normally Dean would have made the kid strip to avoid getting his car dirty, but right now he couldn't bring himself to think past shower and bed.

The damn spirit had taken longer than Dean had expected. He'd hoped to be out of Louisiana before the summer heat became unbearable, but a week later and they were still here, sweating and thanking god for cheap motels with dodgy air conditioning. The heat didn't seem to bother Sam as much as it did Dean, which just pissed him off even more.

Sam shifted in the seat and Dean glanced over. The kid had fallen asleep, despite all his complaints that the car was the most uncomfortable place to sleep in ever. Dean grinned to himself, reaching over and dialling down the music a few notches. He took another sideways look as he did it. Sam was adorable when he slept, not that Dean would ever admit that to him. The windows were open, the breeze of air floating in and stroking through Sam's shaggy mud-splattered hair. For a second Dean was tempted to reach out and follow its path with his fingers. But they were approaching the motel, the building lit up like a haven and welcoming Dean in.

He parked the Impala as near to their room as possible. Sam murmured to himself as they stopped, tossing his head so his hair fell in his eyes. Dean poked him in the side and he sat up with a yelp.

"We're here, bitch. Gimme the key, I get first dibs on the shower." Sam snorted air though his nose and slapped the room key in Dean's outstretched palm.

Showing affection wasn't Dean's strong point. Sam had learned that lesson many times over in the six months they'd been travelling together. At first he'd been hurt and offended by Dean's casual remarks, his offhand comments and the many slaps, pokes, kicks and hits he'd received. But Sam had seen the other man, in the quiet moments when he'd thought Sam was sleeping or engrossed in something else. Dean watched him, a soft smile playing at the corners of his lips, and Sam thought maybe it was the only way Dean knew of to express his feelings. It was almost like having his pigtails pulled in the playground, Sam thought with a half-grin.

It wasn't what he'd expected, being with Dean. In his mind he'd constructed a fairytale, the two demon hunters kicking ass wherever they went and being together forever. The reality was completely different. Being in Dean's space twenty-four hours a day, constantly on top of each other and not always in the good way, it grated on even Sam's nerves. Sometimes Dean would drop him off at a local library and Sam would spend hours just breathing his own air, and he knew Dean felt the same. But Dean always came back for him, a sharp grin at the ready whenever they were in public, a kiss when they were away from prying eyes.

It bothered Sam sometimes. They'd never actually discussed it, the thing that happened between them at night when Sam would curl up in the space under Dean's arm and Dean would press kisses to his face and lips and hands. On Sam's seventeenth birthday Dean woke him up with mouths pressed together, his body lined up with the other man's. They'd kissed for hours, rubbing together until everything felt dizzy and slow and electrified. Hands had never strayed below the waist, but the matching damp patches on their boxers were evidence enough. Later Dean had taken Sam to a proper restaurant, one with wine lists and menus with tassels in the fold and waiters that called them both sir. They'd spent the night smiling shyly at each other across the table and Sam couldn't remember the last time he'd felt so good.

The bathroom door was thrown open with a bang, dragging Sam from his thoughts. Dean strode into the room, towel wrapped loosely around his waist. He flashed Sam a grin and started pulling clothes from his duffle. "Bathroom's all yours, Sammy."

"You better have left me some hot water." Sam said, pushing his tired body up from the bed. He stumbled into the shower, tossing his clothes in a dirty pile and practically falling into the warm spray.

So maybe being with Dean wasn't everything he'd hoped. Maybe they weren't confessing their undying love to each other every day. It was still pretty damn good, and more than Sam had ever dared to want before. Dean was with him for now, and there wasn't any talk of him leaving.

Sam closed his eyes and tilted his head under the water, feeling the heat wash away the dirt and aches.

Dean was in bed by the time Sam stepped out of the bathroom accompanied by a burst of steam and hot air. His hair was damp and curling around his temples and he wore an old pair of Dean's boxers low on his hips. Sam's stomach was toned and caramel-coloured, faint white scars now barely visible. Dean remembered the bruises that painted that skin only a few months ago and blinked the thoughts away.

"God, I'm gonna pass out." Sam groaned, flopping forward onto the bed beside Dean. He stretched, joints popping, and Dean watched the roll of muscle under skin.

It didn't feel weird or wrong, Dean thought as Sam crawled up to fit his head in the dip of Dean's neck. He'd thought it would, thought it should, even if they weren't teacher and student anymore. After all, Sam was still a kid and he was a grown man of twenty-six. But it felt natural to have Sam snug against him, breathing the same air.

They still ordered motel rooms with two beds. Dean wasn't too sure why, except it spared them that look, the superior I know what you're going to be doing look that assumed so much and made him feel a bizarre mix of guilt and shame and righteous anger. The second bed was used to throw their crap on at the end of the day.

Dean snaked an arm around Sam's waist, pulling the rangy body closer. Sam sighed and pressed into him and Dean couldn't help dropping a kiss on the drying hair. The warmth of Sam's body felt good, a different kind of warmth to the humid air that suffocated outside. For the first few months, just having Sam near him got Dean hard enough to cut glass. He hid it from Sam, not wanting to freak the kid out. For all Sam's other life experiences he was still only seventeen. He didn't need some guy groping him before he was ready for that, the next step. It led to a lot of frustration and inappropriate hard-ons on Dean's part before he started waking up early and taking long showers before Sam got up. Now, at least the urge was controllable.

Sam snuffled into his neck and Dean let his hand drift up to stroke through his hair as he succumbed to the exhaustion of the finally completed hunt.

Sam was dragged out of sleep by the persistent trill of Dean's cell phone playing a high-pitched version of 'Welcome To The Jungle'. He groaned and rolled over, Dean still dead to the world beside him. The early morning light shone through the thin curtains, casting a soft glow over the room.

"Dean?" Dean murmured into the pillow, his arm wrapping tighter around Sam's waist. "Dean, your phone." When he didn't get a response Sam decided to follow Dean's example and elbowed him in the stomach.

"What?" Dean twisted to look at him, pissed off and sleepy.

"Your phone's ringing." He grunted and reached over Sam, hand flapping about on the table before locating the phone by touch.

"'Lo?" The voice on the other line was loud enough for Sam to hear from his position beside Dean.

"Dean?" Sam watched as Dean froze, his eyes opening wide in shock.