Thanks to reviewers for your helpful insights and praise. By the way 7/27 is my birthday (the day I'm publishing this chapter) and I'll be 27 today. :)

Disclaimer: see Chp 1.


Bobby came bustling through the hotel door less than an hour later, as promised, carrying three bags from the chain discount superstore located just down the highway, the kind of store that sells everything from guns to groceries.

As he laid the bags on the small table adjoining the shaded window, Bobby pulled a 9 mm pistol from one of the bags and handed it to Sam.

"Did you buy that??" Sam asked, slightly shocked that the older hunter would do something so likely to put them on the federal radar.

Bobby stood straight and focused Sam with an "are you stupid" look. "Does it look like it's in a damn box? Hell no. I grabbed it frum the truck. It ain't his fancy engraved .45, but I figgured if Dean comes 'round anytime soon, he'd wanna have somethin'."

The corner of Sam's mouth pulled up in a partial smile and he let out the tiniest of guffaws. Turning the gun over and over in his hands he didn't look up. "Bobby... I wanna thank you. For everything."

"Eh," Bobby began, also not looking up from diligently emptying one of the plastic bags. "Well, I know you boys'd do the same fer me," he said, grabbing another of the bags and pulling the various groceries out onto the table, while Sam took the last of the three, unloading a three-pack of men's tee-shirts, boxer briefs, socks, and a pair of jeans.

As he drapedthe jeans over the back of a chair, Bobby commented. "I didn't know what size he would be now, or what he was before, for that matter, so I guessed. And just in case..." At the last, with cocked grin and a twinkle in his eye, he pulled a belt from the bag he had been attending. Sam chuckled and took the belt.

"And," Bobby teased, and pulled something from the bag with a small flourish. "Dean's music."

Sam took the item from Bobby. Upon examination, he saw that it was a two-disc compilation CD of 70's music, including songs from AC/DC, STYX, Boston, The Who, Kansas, Led Zeppelin, Steve Miller Band, Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Sabbath and several others. "This is awesome, Bobby. You know, this may just be the very first CD Dean's ever owned."

"Now, it dudn't have any Metallica on it, so I hope he's not too upset. I got more food in the car. I didn't know how long ya'll are gonna be holed up here, so I got plenty."

Sam clapped his big hand down on Bobby's shoulder, squeazing it gratefully. "I'll go get the rest." He placed the CD on the table and left, Ellen slipping in the door as he exited. She quickly snapped up the CD and unwrapped it, then placed one of the disks into the cheap DVD player that the motel had provided.

"Maybe this will help. Who knows?" She said, turning on the TV so the music could play through it's speakers. "You, my friend, need to go get some sleep."

Bobby nodded. "How's he doin'?"

"Dean? He's the same. At least he's not screaming anymore. I think it will be a while before he comes to." She walked back to Dean's bedside and placed a loving hand on his forehead as though to check his temperature. "Sam, on the other hand... Did you see him?"

He pulled the curtain back only slightly to watch Sam's lanky form, clumsily unloading the grocery bags from the truck, a jar of peanut butter rolling away from him on the ground. "He does kinda seem like that boy we once knew, dudn't he?" Closing the curtain he looked at Ellen squarely. "I hope he's not getting his hopes up. Dean's prolly not gonna be the same person who got dragged off a table by Hell Hounds five years ago. Who knows if he's even gonna be sane."

Sam burst through the door, stumbling over the items still falling from a ripped bag, his arms overflowing with the rest of the bags. Bobby and Ellen scrambled to help him, Bobby practically preventing Sam from falling on his face. "Well, nobody can ever accuse ya of tryin'a do more than any one man should."

"Nope." Sam smiled, dumping the remaining contents of his big arms onto his empty bed. "Are you kidding me? We walked into Hell, and then walked back out. We're invincible." He gave them both a cheesy grin.

"Yeah, yeah. Don't get too cocky, there, Tonto." Ellen reached past him to start emptying one of the bags. "We only got out of there by the grace of... well, you know. Not God."

"Anyway..." Sam grabbed one of the bags. "Look, I can unload all this stuff. You two go get some rest. I'm serious."

He threw an empty bag at Ellen, which she dodged playfully. "Yes, sir."

"You holler if ya need anything," Bobby commanded as he grabbed the door handle and stepped out onto the sidewalk.

"I will."

As soon as the room was empty, Sam's energy hit the floor barely before he did. His large frame crumbled to the floor, exhausted, his entire adrenaline supply depleted.

((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((Dean's Dreams))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

He had been struggling relentlessly for longer than he could remember. Things had changed. He couldn't recall exactly what was going on, only that he was stuck and needed to get out of this quicksand as soon as possible. No, wait, not quicksand. He was sure that in quicksand you would at least be able to move your extremities; here he couldn't budge an inch. Well, his crass mind thought, maybe five or six inches worth, but that's another matter. He chuckled to himself.

Sex. Dean missed sex. At least, he thought he did; he couldn't remember. There was this one girl, about 9 years before he died...Gumby Girl...Lisa. He saw her again a few months before the end; she was doing good, but was no longer the carefree, bendy yoga teacher he spent that long weekend with. Now she had a kid who was just the right age to have been Dean's; he even liked the same things Dean liked. Gumby Girl had said the kid wasn't Dean's, though. God, what was his name?? He couldn't remember, but he was sad, because in some closed off part of his existence, Dean had really wanted the kid to be his, even though he didn't remember that part. Only the sadness, and fleeting thoughts that never stayed with him longer than the time it took for them to surge through his neurons. It was a little annoying, but only long enough for him to forget that it was annoying.

Damn it! He was still struggling, but again couldn't remember why. Something. Something very important. He had to get out.

He had to remember. He had to remember.

Think, Dean! Damn it, think!! He stopped struggling against his restraints, focusing all his energy on the mental Olympics that he was putting himself through.

He tried to run through all the logical questions he was sure any good amnesiac would ask themselves to piece together their world.

Who am I? Dean. Dean Winchester. That much I know.

Where am I? He looked around, only seeing darkness. Uh, we'll come back to that one.

Can I remember anyone? Well, there's Gumby Girl -- I mean Lisa. He only remembered her because she had been the last flickering thought to pass through his mind. Frustrated, he tried to think of others.

Her kid, of course. Can't remember his name. But I had family. Real family, not one begged from a one-time mistress. Parents...and a...sister? No, a brother; I just teased him about being girly. S...something. Sean? Scott? Sonny? Sam? Sam. That was it. Sammy. Jubilant, he remembered his Sammy, big and gangly, with shaggy hair, who was also his best friend.

Let's review, he said to himself, trying to repeat his progress over and over so that he didn't forget it again. I'm Dean Winchester. I slept with Lisa, who has a son, not mine. My brother is Sam. Okay. Next.

Job, he thought. That would most likely be on the list of the amnesiac. What do I do? I like I a mechanic? Cars...I have a car. A kick-ass car. My baby... black, leather interior, four door, sooped up engine, and a damn nice stereo. It's a 19...67...Chev...rolett Impala? Yes. A '67 Chevy Impala.

Okay. Dean Winchester, Sammy, Lisa, kid, and the Impala. Wait, but what was my job? The knowledge of his hunting past still eluded him, but it made him fight all the harder to find it.

Sam wasn't alone. Parents. Mom and Dad, of course, but their names... Winchester, like mine. Dean stopped repeating the information. He couldn't remember. Damn it!

As soon as he said it, another memory flickered into his consciousness. "What am I supposed to do?" It was Sammy, he was crying.

"Keep fighting. And take care of my wheels." Dean remembered tossing a half smile in. "Sam, remember what Dad taught you, okay? And remember what I taught you." The thought, running like a high definition movie on his eyelids, showed a tear stream down his younger brother's face.

As soon as the tear fell, Dean's life came flooding back to him with a loud, white-hot flash. His mother's death during his tender youth...raising the baby Sam into a full grown man...trying to protect Sam from every evil that Dean knew was lurking in the dark...his father's obsession to find their mother's killer...the Yellow Eyed Demon...hunting...their family, making deal after deal to stay alive...Sam's murder and Dean's deal to resurrect him...his final year...and trying to save his Sammy from self-destruction. And then his own death.

Dean knew where he was now. Hell. He didn't know how long he had been there, and he was sure he was thankful that he didn't remember anything up to this point, but though he wasn't currently in pain and anguish, he knew he had to get out. 'Helpless' was not one of the life circumstances that had ever sat well with Dean, and he wasn't about to let it rule him now.

Struggling hadn't seemed to do him a whole hell of a lot of good.

Okay, we'll take a different tack, Dean thought. Most of all, he knew he had to remember who and what he was, and could not let it slip away again.

Well, it would only make sense that I would try to forget everything. If you're in Hell long enough...what's it called? Post traumatic stress amnesia? No, that's not it, but whatever it is, it's probably how everybody in Hell ends up as a demon, anyway-- DAMN IT! Remember what's important! Not this shit!

Dean immediately started repeating what he could remember of his life. As he wracked his brain and repeated the gleaned information over and over, he failed to notice the small pinpoint of light that had appeared in the darkness, or how it grew steadily larger with every new piece of memory he retreived.


Author's Note: