Title: In The Details 1/4 - Employment Opportunity

Pairings: Dean/Satan, eventual Dean/Sam

Rating: PG-13 (this part) / R (overall)

Category: Crossover: Brimstone

Spoilers: through end of S2

Summary: Someone makes Dean a job offer. aka. Dean and the Devil walk into a bar…

Warnings: Wincest. Slash.

Disclaimer: Dean and co. do not belong to me. Neither does Satan, strangely enough.

Notes: Beta'd by the amazing constantbedhead aka. Made of Awesome. This is totally a response to the S2 finale, even if it doesn't seem like it yet. Just wait for it. And for Brimstone fans wondering where Zeke is, again, wait for it. And for non-Brimstone fans, don't worry. Satan is really universal, isn't he?

Since this ffnet is I won't be posing the NC17 version here. That will be available on my livejournal. Instead, they'll be a toned down R rated version. So, if you want the really good stuff, go to my profile and click on my homepage ;)

888

Employment Opportunity

888

Hunching over his drink, the mirror behind the bar gave Dean the perfect view; it was easy to see both the door, opening and shutting with each new entrance, and the pool table, something he was sure would come in handy tonight.

The young man took another swig of his beer, neck stretching backwards with a slight wince of pain, he had forgotten that nasty gut on his left shoulder momentarily. He'd cleaned and bandaged it, but it was going to keep stinging like a bitch for at least a few days, tearing every time he moved. Not to mention his favorite denim jacket, which was also a bit worse for wear. Damn little fuckers had put holes in it too. His body would heal on its own. His coat wouldn't. At least he'd been smart enough to leave the leather in the car. There was no way anything was going to get its claws and teeth into that.

He set the half empty bottle back on the counter, eyes not following the drips of condensation as he again looked around in the dimly light, smoke obscured room. Bumfuck nowhere, just like every place seemed to be these days. Dean hoped that Dad got back tomorrow. He couldn't wait to get out of this crappy little burg. Because really, who had gremlin problems these days?

Teeth were the worst fucking part. The nasty little pointy things that tore through cables, wires… and skin, blood and bone. They came in swarms too. You never just had to deal with one gremlin. It was always a horde of the nasty little bastards.

After more than two farms had started with people losing limbs and lives to machinery mysteriously exploding, or attempting to eat its masters, both Dean and his father had thought something was up. And sure enough, there was a nest infecting half a dozen of these barns. And Dad had hared off somewhere on another one of his mysterious "leads" "Sorry, Son. I'm not going to tell you jack shit about what I'm doing" business.

Fuck. Dean was twenty-six. He'd been hunting since he was four. Surely he could handle whatever the hell had his dad so nervous. But, looks like the old man wasn't trusting him nearly as much as he used to. Even after all this time, Sammy leaving had still made his Dad a bit fucking paranoid.

So, gremlins. And at least Dean hadn't gotten himself shot by any of the locals as he traipsed through half a dozen fields, chased by angry dogs, almost run over by some damn stupid cows and, well, pigs were never going to be on his friendly list again. Thank whoever the hell was listening that no one had figured out he was the one who'd burned down old Tom's barn. Otherwise, he had no doubt he would have been lynched rather than thanked.

Plaid covered, like some fucking Paul Bunyon convention, the locals didn't seem any more friendly most of the time than the damn little monsters he had come here to get rid of. Even tipsy, half the guys in here looked mean as piss and there was no way Dean could be anything but an outsider. Still, he'd needed a drink and a little cash wouldn't be a curse either. Which was why Dean was eying the group around the pool table as closely as he could without seeming too. Thank god for the bar mirror.

They didn't seem quite as nasty as the rest of these inbred yokels. Sucker One had a big grin plastered on his face, though that might have been due to all the shit he'd been packing away ever since Dean had walked in, and most likely several before. His buddy, Sucker Two, tall, built like an ox, but his eyes were blue and laughing. He was also a little bit on the wrong side of plastered. Friendly drunks, he hoped. And maybe they'd be willing to have a few games with a kid passing through town. Not like their other buddy, Scowly, who Dean had already decided that while, he'd love to beat the piss out of, didn't seem like it would be too healthy to take on.

Well, one had to make a move sometime. Better to do this now than try to draw things out with another drink. Being piss-eyed himself wouldn't help his reflexes any.

Perfect features stared back at him in the mirror as he made one last pass and, what the hell? How had he not seen that guy to Scowly's right staring at him, eyes burning into the back of his neck, smile an upturn of lips. Tall and lean, pale skin and dark hair, he leaned against the faux-wood paneling like he hadn't a care in the world.

The guy was just Dean's type, if he had been looking for that sort of action. And, he could swear that the guy knew he was watching, staring right back at him. Dean resisted the urge to turn in his chair and look at him through something other than the reflection in the mirror, 'cause sure as hell that would be an invitation to trouble if he ever saw one. Places like this generally frowned on that sort of thing. Though it didn't look as if Tall and Pretty cared too much, the way he levered himself off of the wall with a decisive turn of his head.

Yep, the guy was coming right over to him, iron and lodestone. Dean wasn't nervous, exactly, but the intensity in those eyes was definitely getting to him in another way. Perhaps anticipation. Wasn't quite the right word, but it would do.

He moved passed Scowly, behind One and Two, utterly confident that no one would dare move into his way. And he was right - it was like every move the men made allowed him to pass unhindered, each foot placed in front of the other catlike. Not a housecat, either, but something bigger and meaner and a hell of lot scarier than the sheep around it.

Dean didn't turn now, either. Instead he watched in the mirror as the man twisted for a moment and said something to the buddies at the pool table before moving forward in his direction.

Which was when everything started to go to hell. Or perhaps Sucker Two just lost his mind, pushing his buddy. The surprised yelp from Sucker One and his confused face distracted Dean momentarily. He tensed instinctively as Sucker Two gripped the cue in his hands like a weapon rather than a game piece.

And hell, he'd been planning to have a game with these guys? This looked like things could get ugly.

"What the hell did you say?" Sucker Two, now renamed to Crazy Fucker, yelled loud enough to be heard across the entire bar.

"Tucker, I didn't say shit. What the hell are you talking about?"

"Mary. Is it true?"

Sucker One shook his head, not so much in denial as a "WTF is going on", glancing around. And Dean realized that he wasn't the only one who had tensed, ready to jump down and move.. Hazel Eyes coming towards him didn't so much as flinch, didn't seem surprised at all. Come to that, why the hell wasn't Crazy Fucker turning on him while he was at it? Dean didn't get more than a second to ponder it.

Buckets of Crazy brought the cue down with a resounding crash onto the table. Everything went still. "Are you fucking my wife?"

And that was the snap, the fucking straw. Scuffle and bang of wood on wood. Scowly practically lifted Tucker off his feet with one hand and Sucker One, shaking like a leaf, moved back. Probably still stunned and in the grip of adrenaline.

"Tuck, looks like you have had enough for the night." Scowly sounded a hell of a lot more concerned than angry, even if Crazy for Fucktardpuffs wasn't acting all that friendly, elbows jamming this way and that, one of them landing in a hard blow on the big man's side that Dean was sure would leave a bruise come morning. "I don't think you're fit company for anyone. Hey Mike," he called, while pushing his reluctant friend outside. "Could you call a cab? I don't think Tuck's in any shape to be drivin' or walkin' himself home."

The bartender gave a nod. "Yeah, like you boys don't cause me enough trouble already," he said, but he moved for the telephone.

There was a brush of air against the open skin of his right arm and Dean just about jumped out of his seat. Handsome had settled himself in the chair next to him. Even distracted, how the hell had the man managed to get so close without him noticing? Like he had fucking teleported right next to him while everyone else watched as Tucker was shown the door, his friends making sure to stand between him and his former buddy. The gesture Good-Looking made was perfectly timed to attract the bartenders attention as he lowered the phone and the door closed on the other men.

"I'll have a beer." Smile. "And get my friend another."

He waved in Dean's direction.

The bartender grunted and handed them both the drinks.

Dean turned in his chair. Pretty took a long swig and Dean could see the bobbing of his Adam's apple as he swallowed.

Hands, large and elegant, gripped across the glass. The hazel eyes that turned to return his regard were familiar. Somehow. Though for the life of him Dean couldn't place them. He would have remembered meeting this guy. He knew that for certain. Dean wouldn't have forgotten someone like this.

The dark curls twisted behind his ears and were flicked out of the way with one finger. The gesture suddenly reminded Dean of a kid he'd beat up in Grade 4, who'd been picking on the littler kids and made the mistake of choosing Sam. Dad hadn't been pleased, one of many times. He'd understood, though, when Dean had told him why.

And that kid never touched any of the younger boys again. At least not while they had been in Patience.

But, that wasn't who he was. Because Dean suddenly knew those eyes. He'd seen them every day for 18 years. Sam's gaze met him in another man's face.

They traveled over Dean, flickering over his face and tracing down the scope of his body and he could swear he could feel that movement like a touch. He straightened, returning the regard, unable, not wanting to stop himself. For all the eyes were the same, this wasn't Sam, wasn't forbidden.

The limbs were lean, but he knew there was muscle hidden beneath those clothes, had seen the danger in the movements. Which made him smile at the man in return, eyebrows raised. Like what you see? 'Cause, even if he wasn't going to get any money, he had a feeling he wasn't going to be going home empty handed tonight.

Tongue over teeth. And, he knew that this was practically a done deal. Any words would be just a formality, a familiar ritual. And suddenly Dean was very glad that Dad had hauled ass to God knows where. This meant that he could drag Gorgeous back to his motel room and have to answer no awkward questions. Like "So son, how long have you been fucking other men?"

He smiled back at Tall and Dark, meeting his eyes. But that was when the hair started to stand up on the back of his neck

Fire bright and smirking, smiling. It wasn't so much that they weren't like Sam's as that they were. It was wrong. It hit Dean in the gut, like the guy had been playing him, like he'd been whammied 'cause sure as hell he should have noticed sooner. There was nothing human about this man, nothing at all. The way everyone else had just seemed to look right through him unless he wanted something, the dangerous predator coiled beneath the skin.

Dean swallowed, remembering not to give any outward sign. If this was some sort of monster, there were too many civilian's around for him to call him on it. He wasn't prepared beyond the usual emergency weapons, the knife strapped to his one side with the silver inlay, enough holy water to get him in trouble rather than let him skip out the door in the free and clear. The only option was to play along, try to get it outside slowly and hope he could figure out what the hell this thing was so he could do something about it.

Think and stall, keep it away from the collateral damage just like he'd been taught. Look for a way out. And this one was bold as all fuck, waltzing right up to him knowing he couldn't do anything. Or didn't care if he tried.

Tended to make him think demon, really. Demons were arrogant enough to laugh in your face and give you a weapon that could really hurt them, counting that you wouldn't be able to. Didn't help that the sonsabitches were usually right.

"Cool and collected, planning the odds, already thinking for a way out." The flirting tone was still there, but there was an edge to it now and Dean knew that he'd given himself away already. Or the damn shit was reading his mind.

It smiled.

Okay, so it was reading his mind. Great. That certainly lowered the odds in his favor.

"Now, don't be like that Dean. You're doing so well. Most hunters would have been yelling 'Christo's all over the place by now." There was no flinch at the word, so maybe it wasn't a demon after all. "Of course, that wouldn't do them much good." It looked around the room and Dean couldn't help but follow the eyes lingering on the woman whose makeup didn't quite cover her age talking with one of her girlfriends, or the two young bucks, maybe 25, maybe a bit older. "And it could do a great deal of harm, couldn't it?" Smile. "There's a lot to be said for starting young. I have to admire your father about that."

"What do you want?" It was voiced low, carrying no farther then the creature sitting beside him. There was no need to drag anyone else into it.

"And now you're stealing my lines, but fair enough. I just wanted to have a little chat with you."

It sighed. "You see, I have a job opening that I need filled and you just happen to fit the bill."

What, come again? Dean responded with the first thing that came to mind. "I'm afraid I already have a job. The pay sucks, but I like the flexible hours. But thanks for the offer. It's good to feel wanted."

"Yes, isn't it? Too bad you don't, do you?"

And what the hell? Yeah, well, mind reading demon. He kind of had to expect it would bring up issues that he really didn't want to think about. Especially now.

"I mean, your father's left you here on your own. It would be nice to fool yourself into thinking it's because he trusts you. But it's really because he doesn't."

Yep, digging up all his suspicions and throwing them right into his face. "And why would I believe you? Your kind lie all the time, mess with people's heads."

"My kind. Well, I suppose you could call them that. And I don't lie when the truth suits me." It leaned in. Dean swore he could smell sulfur, but that may have just been paranoia on his part. "And the truth hurts, doesn't it? You know I'm not lying. You're too smart for that. If you were half as stupid and oblivious as you pretend to be I wouldn't be talking to you at all."

"Well, my dad may not trust me as much as I'd like, but that doesn't exactly make you Mr. Reliable."

Dark curls fell in front of those hazel eyes and it's like the guy is human for a moment, before he looks up again. "And if I tell you it's because of Sam."

Dean could feel himself tense, could feel the rage curdling in his veins. And the guy was fucking laughing at him, not out loud, but he could see it. Because Dean might have been able to play cool and calm for just about anything. Except, of course, his little brother. "What about Sam?" Dean was startled at how close that sound was to a growl, a threat, though he didn't move, didn't lunge and start making demands, as much as he wanted to.

"Now, Dean. Don't shoot the messenger. It seems that young Samuel has managed to attract quite a lot of, shall we say, unhealthy attention. He's out in the big bad world without you and your father certainly isn't telling you everything he knows."

Fuck. He had fucking known it. Deep breath, in and out through the nostrils. This was no time to lose his head. It was just playing with him, just using his insecurities for kicks.

"What if I could make sure that wasn't the case?"

He opened his mouth to tell it to shut up, to leave him alone, but what came out was "How?"

"Now, making deals with //other// people's lives can get messy. Generally creates a lot of extra paper work for me. But, I can come to an agreement with //you//, make it so that //you// are the one at his side, backing him up, protecting him, making sure that he makes it through what's going to happen in one piece."

Dean had to know, had to ask. "And what is exactly is going to happen?"

Its smile brightened a bit at the question. "Oh no, I can't give away the game just yet. Besides, I'm sure that the internal politics behind it would just bore you."

"If you won't tell me, how do I know that you aren't just making this up? Not just trying to get me, to, whatever the hell it is that you want me to do?"

"Because, if you can't protect Sam, then you owe me nothing."

"Nothing." Disbelief. There had to be one hell of a catch to this. Nothing came free and this thing had to know exactly what he'd be willing to trade. "What, you're not asking for my soul?"

The low chuckle in return wrapped around his spine. "Not nearly so dramatic. I don't do those sorts of deals these days. It's pretty much a waste of time. The people who take them are destined for Hell anyway. I'd rather get something more concrete out of the bargain.

"As I said, I have a job opening that I'm going to need to fill at some point in the next few years and I'd like to place you on retainer. You have all the qualifications I'm looking for." And was that the same little long-suffering huff that Sam gave when he'd had more than enough of Dean's antics, though Dean was sure that it wasn't directed at him so much as the universe in general. "Good help is getting so hard to find these days, especially where I'm from. I'm having to plan in advance.

"I need a hunter. It isn't really different from what you're doing now. Just, when I ask, you place a priority on what you hunt."

"Hunting what?" 'Cause there was no way he was getting into something where the fucker could just start ordering him to take out little kids, or anything that took his fancy.

"Oh, I wouldn't do that. That would be such as waste. They have their whole lives ahead of them, so many choices and opportunities missed. It's always a shame when an innocent life is taken before its time."

And Dean was getting seriously tired of not being able to distinguish if he was saying something out loud or just thinking it.

"You'll be working directly for me, but you won't need to feel guilty about it. No people, no living ones anyway. I'm sure you have no problem with those that are already dead. Just those destined for Hell. It isn't really that different than what you're doing now."

"That's it?" So basically, he'd be doing the same thing that he'd done all his life. Where was the catch he knew was hiding in here, and why the hell did most of him not care?

"That's it. And in exchange, I'll make sure that you're there for Sam when he needs you."

Shock, mostly, was what made him hesitate. Shock and training. You don't deal with demons. You just don't.

They always find a way to fuck you over, no matter how good a deal it seemed. And Dean had too many suspicions about WHO exactly this was to feel like he could say yes. No matter how much he wanted to.

"Well, I can see that you're still hesitating."

The words were dead on Dean's tongue. No smart ass remarks this time. When he tried to open his mouth, nothing came out so it filled in the gap for him.

"I'm generous. I'll give you a month to think about it."

Standing up, the Demon grabbed the front of Dean's jacket and pulled him close, pulled him near enough that he could not only smell but practically taste the faint hit of brimstone and sulfur in the back of his throat as strong arms forced him off his seat. And it kissed him. Though it wasn't a kiss, more like devoured his mouth and Dean couldn't help but kiss back as fire burned down his throat and his toes curled in his boots. And Holy Hell, where the hell had the guy just put his other hand.

And that was that. Over and Dean was breathing to catch his breath that had been burned out of his lungs, like he'd inhaled smoke, and he almost fell over when the Demon pulled away, forced to lean on the counter for support. He could feel the hand, that one part still close, separated from skin by flimsy cloth burning on his chest.

But that wasn't his imagination, it really was burning and those hazel eyes were flashing fire red as he took a stumbling step forward when it released him. It tapped him on the chest and there was something there, hard and sharp beating into his flesh. Dean glanced down, feeling an unfamiliar tug at his neck.

Now, he wasn't thinking too straight, but he was pretty sure that that hadn't been there before.

"One month, Dean Winchester."

Quirk on its lips, it, he, 'cause there was no mistaking him for an it, turned, giving Dean one last wink. Dean didn't move, couldn't, and it seemed like everyone else in the place was caught some half-step out of reality, not even giving what just happened a second glance, not noticing what was walking by in their midst.

He let out a breath he hadn't known he was holding and blinked. That was all it took. Night seemed to fucking spill in the doorway, swallowing up that lean form into nothing.

"Be seeing you, Dean. Let's just keep this between us. And next time, maybe we can do a bit more than discuss business."

Right in his ear. He didn't even bother turning, jerking in that direction 'cause everything else seemed to stutter for him, coming back into focus.

"You okay, there, buddy?"

He turned to the bartender, who was looking at him, probably not concerned so much about Dean as having another scuffle causing property damage.

"Yeah. Fine."

He adjusted his pants, surreptitiously.

Aroused and stunned, with a stone in his gut that felt part like guilt, but mostly like worry, he turned back to the bar. There was no way he was going to be winning any cash tonight. Hell, there was no way he was sticking around here either.

"Yeah, just tally everything up, will you?"

"Sure, no problem."

And he shook his head, trying to clear it.

"Here you go." Dean took a look at the numbers for a second, before giving a half hearted chuckle. Little son of a bitch. It looked like he was going to be paying for his invisible friend too. He pulled a few bills out of his wallet and slapped them down, then shrugged his shoulders under his jacket. He winced, the sharp pain of recently torn flesh making itself known.

Well, that was one way to forget about the shitty day he'd had.

He walked straight to the exit, pausing long enough not to get wood and glass slammed into him as it came open with a jerk from the other side.

Mask of anger, more like cold stone locked in hatred than the red and flushed, Dean quickly moved to the side of the door to avoid the man entering, his thoughts distracted though the man did seem kind of familiar. He paused for a moment in the cool night air before turning left towards the motel. He'd walked here earlier, intending to drink more than he had and left the Impala the few blocks away that spanned the sum of this crappy little hole in nowhere.

His hands crept of their own violation upwards to the cord now chaffing his neck. It was rough, like a leather band. He followed it down to the amulet at the end, pulling it up to get a look at it as he walked down the sidewalk. Bronze eyes, horned head, looked back at him. Well, that wasn't obvious at all, was it?

His fingers wrapped around it. Dean paused, ready to pull it off and over his head, but his fingers seemed to move of their own violation and he tucked it under his shirt, to where he could still feel the phantom heat of its earlier encounter. He shrugged. There was time to think about it later, give himself some distance from this.

It had been a pretty weird fucking night and his nerves were bouncing all over the place. What he really wanted was to find something to fuck... or shoot.

He heard barking in the distance. He smiled to himself. No, that was not a sign. However tempting it might be to kill that blasted little mutt.

Well, it looked like he'd have to settle for some solo action tonight.

888

Mushy and cold in the center. Quite frankly, the pancakes at Joe's Diner sucked. Dean poked at them unenthusiastically with his fork, toying with the knife in his other hand. But, Dean hadn't come here just for the food. What he had come here for was to see if anyone had noticed anything strange this morning.

Something, perhaps, that would tell him if he still had work to do or if he could say that all those little green freaks where well and truly gone. So far it wasn't sounding too promising.

One farmer said that three of his cows had started giving sour milk this morning and apparently Old Widow Parker's dog Tiger, that damn little mutt who had kept barking and chasing him down the road every time he had come within thirty feet of the run down house, had dropped stone dead last night. Just keeled over in front of his mistress like a cut tree.

But, that didn't sound like the work of gremlins. More like a spirit.

Or a demon.

"Shot!"

Dean came out of his reverie at the word, glancing around. He wasn't the only one. The other patrons turned in the direction of the hysterical woman. He could make out the words "wife" and "gun" but not much else.

"What happened?" The question came from more than one corner of the room. The older man, graying hair combed over his head turned to the table next to him, the closest to pose it, but his voice was pitched to carry.

"Didn't you hear? Simon Tucker got thrown out of Levee's last night, came home, grabbed his gun and shot Susan in the head then headed back and put three in Billy Thomson." The knife dropped from Dean's startled fingers and came clattering to the floor. Every eye in the place seemed to turn on him. He gingerly picked up the utensil as everyone's attention turned once again on the speaker.

"Yeah. He said something about Mary and Bill. But the pair of them would never. Everyone knows that Bill was as loyal to Tina as anything."

Dean inhaled slowly over the disbelieving babble. This was a hell of a lot bigger than gremlins. He walked up to cash, intent on getting back to the motel.

The motel where, it appeared, Dad was waiting for him.

Swallowing nervously, Dean eyed his Dad's truck, a great hulking beast parked beside the Impala, not the sleek danger of the smaller car, but Godzilla stomping through Tokyo. He could feel the pull around his neck and could swear that he was starting to hunch over under the weight of it. Dean stood up, shook his head and crossed the parking lot.

He gave three concise taps at the door, then a pause before repeating another two in quick succession, not wanting there to be any surprises, before unlocking it and swinging it open. His dad eyed him, gun in hand and ready. "Rock of Ages", he said. Last song that had played on his speakers when they'd pulled into town.

At the password, Dad relaxed as much as he ever did and let Dean cross the threshold.

"Did you take care of that nest?"

"Yes, sir." He gave a nod, a quick jerk of reflex.

He could feel the weight on his neck again as he closed the door behind him.

"We've got another job up in New Jersey. Sounds like it might be a pair of werewolves."

"Dad..." He trailed off and John looked surprised at the interruption. He opened his mouth to mention what he'd heard this morning, to mention what had happened last night. Somehow, the words just wouldn't come. They hovered at the tip of his tongue but the air froze in his lungs.

//Let's just keep this between us.//

"Son?"

"Never mind, sir. So, werewolves."

888

A month had never seemed to go by so quickly. He'd done more solo jobs, quick things, in the past four weeks than in the past four months. And now Dean was sitting, creating a dint in the edge of his stiff motel bed wondering what the hell had happened to the time.

Winking, or so it seemed in the light, the bronze head glinted at him mockingly as Dean stared at it. There wasn't any more time to put this off. He'd avoided thinking about it for the past month. Or at least, told himself that he was avoiding it. In reality, it hadn't really left his mind since that night.

Dad was gone already, heading off after something in Jericho and sending Dean off to deal with some mess down in New Orleans. Just like he'd done what seemed a few hundred times this month. Cagier than usual even. Not that Dean minded the solo jobs, but he knew that something wasn't right. And he had a bad feeling that it had to do with his brother.

Didn't seem like too bad a job this time. At least there were no zombies involved this time. That voodoo shit was creepy as hell already.

The red glare of the electric clock declared to the peeling wallpaper that it was 10:47 pm. He twirled the rough cord in his fingers, back and forth, back and forth, before shaking his head.

Who the hell did he think he was kidding? If he was going to say no, he would have taken this off weeks ago, tossed it in the trash and forgotten about it, not pretended that it wasn't important.

He slipped the amulet back under his shirt before standing up and heading to the bathroom, grabbing his toothbrush from his bag as he did so.

He'd head for New Orleans in the morning. Sam, well, he wouldn't worry about Sam right now. Right now, he needed some sleep.

888

Fire and blood. Sam sat up in bed, shaking and covered in sweat. He reached one hand over his face, to wipe the dampness from his eyes and the tears that were streaming down his cheeks before glancing over at the woman beside him.

"Sam," she murmured sleepily, woken by his sudden movement. "Is everything okay?"

He laid down beside her once more, reassured. It had just been a dream, a nightmare, that his past had caught up with the pair of them.

"No, Jess. Just had a dream, that's all."

She rolled over, cuddling into his side and he couldn't resist placing an arm around her, feeling the warmth that seeped into his skin. He would never let something like that happen.

Sam stared at the ceiling, before closing his eyes and feeling his heart slow to its normal rhythm.

//Dude, it wouldn't hurt to put a few extra wards up, would it?//

He snorted. Trust him to think of his brother at a time like this.

END PART ONE

TBC in Contractual Obligations