Author's Notes : This is the second story in the Protectorsverse. You'll want to read Protector's of the Innocent to understand what's happened here.

Again, huge thanks and love have to go out to Tara, Hez and Mellie for prompting me to write this. Without you guys to kick my butt? It would never get done! And thanks to everyone who been reading my fic! I appreciate your feedback…it's like chocolate and Dean all rolled into one. Mmmm Chocolate Dean…there could be a market there. LOL

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It was amazing just how easily a human body came apart, really. How fragile they were. Sam Winchester had never really considered it before. Sure, he'd patched Dean up countless times as well as himself. Watched Dean do the same for their father when he was alive. But he'd never thought about it with any great depth until he was up to his elbows in the blood and viscera of the man that had caught his attention.

From the back, he'd looked so much like Dean. The haircut, the leather jacket…and Sam's heart had soared. He'd run to the guy, spun him around and done the most girlish thing he knew Dean would have teased him about. He'd hugged him long and hard, tears in his eyes.

Because Dean was alive and he was whole…..

…And he wasn't here. It was just some dude that had been crossing the road that had a passing resemblance to Sam's older brother. The one that had bled out in his arms, choking on his own blood as he begged Sam to forgive him for being too weak to save him. For failing.

Sam didn't know what had happened after that. One minute he had been hugging this guy, the next? He was covered in his blood, literally. It was as if he had just torn the guy open like some meat filled scarecrow, screaming at Heaven or Hell or whoever was listening anymore, that he wanted his brother back. That it wasn't fair.

But who ever said life was fair? Sure as hell not the dead man Sam left behind as he walked away. Life sucked and Sam knew he had to resume his mission, the one that had been triggered by the loss of the only person Sam had ever loved with all his heart and soul. Even if it meant the loss of his soul in the process.

Sam Winchester was supposed to have led the demon armies against humanity. Now he would hunt down each and every demon and destroy them. For the family he had lost….for Dean.

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Mojo's Diner – Somewhere East of Allen, Oklahoma

"World's going to hell in a hand basket."

Sam looked up slowly at the voice, realizing he had been so ensconced in the paper lying in front of him, that he hadn't heard the waitresses approach. She was in her late fifties, blue rinse hair tucked under her little hat, her lipstick a shade too dark for her age, giving the woman—Ruth according to her nametag—a hard edge that didn't match her pleasant voice.

Sam let out a short amused snort and smiled lazily, the sort of smile that had always been echoed with one of Dean's in the past. "Looks that way."

"What can I get you, sugar?"

"Just some coffee thanks…unless you have a piece of pie or something?" Sam looked at her hopefully and was rewarded as the waitress tapped her pen lightly against her notepad and nodded.

"I've got a nice big piece of peach cobbler that's all yours, honey. Be back in a jiffy."

Sam's attention moved back to the paper once Ruth was gone. The story leaping off the front page came as no surprise to the younger Winchester at all. It had started a month ago, coma patients all over the globe waking up and walking away from the hospitals and hospices they had been in. Then they simply vanished. No one could explain or stop it. More and more were waking every day and anyone that suffered a severe head trauma was soon added to that list.

But Sam knew. It was all part of the Demon's plans for the end of the world. The children like Sam, the special ones the Demon had been triggering one by one….they were the Elite forces. But these coma patients? Each one of them was possessed by a lower demon. They were the grunts, the brute force that would be used for most of the wet work needed to bring humanity to it's knees. All the pieces were falling into place and when that happened, the end would come, swift and unstoppable.

Not that Sam cared about stopping it anymore. There was nothing left to care about except vengeance and he would have that whether the world burned or not.

"Here's your pie, sugar." Ruth had returned with one of the thickest slabs of peach cobbler Sam had ever seen. She smiled at him as she placed the pie and a large cup of coffee in front of Sam, then walked off to wait on another table.

Sam cut off a large slice with his fork and took a bite, closing his eyes in bliss at the taste.

"Dude, what are you doing?"

Sam's eyes snapped open, seeing Dean sitting across from him in the booth. He looked just the way Sam remembered him, smiling, his elbows resting casually on the table as he watched his brother. "You're dead."

"And you're a dick. You think that would stop me watching your back, man?"

"Go away, Dean, you're not real."

"Not real? That's a hell of a thing to say, man. After all we've hunted, all we've seen, you're just gonna shut me out like that? That's cold, Sammy…"

"It's Sam." He dropped his fork back to the plate, suddenly losing his appetite. " And You're. Not. Real." Sam looked pointedly at the figure before him.

"Could be…if you want me to be. Think about it, Sammy. It be just like before. You and me, back together again, hunting, hanging out. Don't you want that?"

"More than you know." Sam said softly. "But Dean's dead…you're only in my mind. Now go away." The figure faded away as Sam watched, feeling a lump forming in his throat, tears stinging his eyes. "I'm sorry, Dean…I miss you, man."

Sam sat there a little while longer, trying to pick at the cobbler and drink his coffee before he decided it was time to get going. He stood up and pulled his wallet from his back pocket, taking out a few bills and trying not to look at the stub that was tucked into one of the sleeves. It had been from some sleazy strip joint. Dean's idea of showing his little brother a good time after they'd had their asses kicked by a Revenant in Duncan, Oklahoma. It had seemed tacky at the time, but Sam had taken it in the spirit his brother had wanted and just sat back, drank some beers and forgot their problems for a couple of hours. It seemed stupid, but that stub now represented good times for Sam and further underlined his loneliness without Dean by his side.

Sam went up to the counter and saw Ruth standing at the register, smiling at him warmly. "Hey, uh, thanks for the pie and that. How much do I owe you?"

"Oh it's on the house, honey." Ruth informed him sweetly.

"On the - ? No…really, how much?" Sam insisted.

"I mean it, Sam Winchester. Your money's no good here."

A cold pit formed in Sam's stomach as he looked at Ruth and softly spoke the word. "Christo."

The effect was instant, Ruth's eyes becoming inky black, her smile growing. "It's the least I could do for one of our kind after all."

"I'm not your kind." Sam ground out, his hands slowly clenching into fists.

"Sure you are, sugar. You're one of the hand picked children. You're going to be at the forefront.."

Something popped in Sam's mind, as if a switched had been flipped.

Ruth's eager demonic fangirling of Sam was suddenly and brutally cut short as the diner exploded violently, glass and debris erupting through the fire and billowing smoke. Ruth and 8 other patrons were wiped out in an instant while Sam stood in the midst of it all, completely unscathed. He calmly walked through the flames and out of the wreckage of the building, hearing sirens in the distance.

Several people on the street watched in stunned amazement as the young man emerged unharmed and walked away as though nothing had happened.

"I'm never going to be one of your kind." Sam said darkly as he turned a corner. A metallic green Chrysler Neon was parked on the other side of the street. Sam wrapped his hand inside his jacket and punched it through the driver's window, unlocked the door and climbed in. It took him no time to hotwire the car, the stereo bursting into life with something irritatingly pop until he hit the search button and was rewarded with Blue Oyster Cult. It reminded him of Dean and the Impala and of better times. Sam was smiling again as he drove away, leaving behind the chaos and destruction he had caused.

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Well, there you go! Sam's gonna get darker as the fic progresses, guys! Hope you like so far…