Road Less Travelled

Follow up to my story Two Hunters and a Baby, so if you haven't read that one it might pay to and then come back and revisit this one, coz it might get a little confusing.

Disclaimer: Sigh nope still nothing ... hmm what to do??? Okkies I promise I will send em home after I finish playing with my boys!!

Author's Note: Just wanted to say YAY to Channel 10 here in Australia, they are actually going to have Supernatural back before next year. Yep they are going to stream the eps and are only going to be 2 weeks behind, WOOHOO! Finally, they have seen the light, and we're spreading the love.

CHAPTER ONE

Dean closed his cell phone and turned to face a sleeping Sam, for the first time in over a week he was actually sleeping throughout the night without a nightmare. Chewing his lip he pulled out the tiny photo hidden in his wallet and couldn't help but smile, the two most important people in his life stared back at him. Sam laughing and smiling as Mickie rode on his shoulders her tiny hands twisted in his hair, the photo taken at Mickie's first birthday party, the last time they had seen her.

Suddenly he had to get out of the stuffy motel room; glancing over at Sam again, he quickly wrote a scrawled note for Sam, grabbed his jacket and keys and hurried out before he changed his mind. He had to get out and think.

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'Dean?' Sam yawned and stared around blearily at the messy motel room, 'Dean?' blinking rapidly he untangled himself from the sheets and got up slowly, a piece of paper drifted to the floor. Bending down to pick it up Sam frowned as he saw a shadow pass behind him; knowing that it wasn't his brother he felt under Dean's pillow as he slowly started to stand. His fingers grazed the hilt of Dean's knife when he felt a stinging on the back of his neck; automatically he reached up to touch the offending area when his vision blurred and he swayed drunkenly, the room suddenly seemed to shrink and expand in one smooth motion. 'Dean?' He croaked, the knife slipped from his lifeless fingers and his knees buckled, he collapsed facedown onto the faded and worn carpet.

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'Sammy? Yo Sammy you up yet?' Dean called as he let himself into the motel room balancing two cups of coffee and a bag of sticky sweet donuts. 'Sam?' He dropped the bag and put the coffee down on the table as he took in Sam's unmade bed, 'hey Sam you in the bathroom?' Dean pushed at the bathroom door and stared in at the empty room, no signs of steam or dampness. Frowning Dean turned back into the main room and stared around looking for any clues to where his brother might be.

All colour drained from his face as he picked up his knife off the floor and stared down at the crumpled note.

'Back to Black' screeched from Dean's pocket and he absently pulled his cell phone out of his pocket, 'What?'

'Dean? Dean it's Rachel.'

'Rachel? What's wrong?'

'Dean ... it's Mickie ... she's missing.'

'What? Rachel did you say Mick-Mickie's missing?'

'I am so sorry Dean, I put her down for her nap and when I went to check on her ... oh God Dean I am so, so sorry.'

'Rachel ... Sam – Sam's missing too, I went out for coffee and he was still asleep I got back and ... He was gone.'

'Oh God Dean what's going on?'

'Dunno but we're going to find out Rachel. Listen umm I'll call you soon I just have to...'

'I-I know oh and Dean I am really sorry.'

'Yeah I know same here Rachel; I'll talk to you soon.' As Dean closed his phone, it beeped with a txt message alert. Frowning he clicked on it and stared down at the picture slowly morphing into a solid image on the small screen. 'What the fuck?'

An unconscious Sam with little Mickie lying next to him appeared, the only good thing was that neither showed any injuries.

The ring tone made him jump and he answered with a terse 'What?'

'Ah Dean Winchester, long time and all of that.'

'Who is this?'

'All in good time, I take it you got your little family portrait.'

'If you hurt them I swear I will ...'

'Yeah, yeah I know heard it all before ... we're going to play a little game.'

'No games just tell me what you want.'

'Oh and ruin all of my fun? For shame Dean for shame.'

'Listen you ...'

'Oh alright I will give you a teaser.' The voice became muffled for a few seconds and then, 'D-Dean?'

'Sammy? Oh God Sammy are you alright?'

'I – I'm not sure.' Sam stammered out, confusion clear in his voice.

'Sam what is it?'

'F-feel st-strange.'

'Mickie?'

'She's ... kay.'

Sam's words started to slur making Dean's panic meter explode, 'Sam?'

'D-Dean we're o-okay.' Sam forced his words out, 'M-Mickie's ... with ... m-me.'

'I'm coming to get you Sammy.'

'Oh such a touching moment.' The voice returned, effectively silencing Sam.

'What's wrong with my brother?' Dean snarled.

'Oh that, nothing it'll wear off, it seems that it took more sedative than we thought to lay your brother out.'

'I am so going to kill you slowly.'

'Listen to me carefully Dean, your daughter's and brother's lives depend on how well you perform.' The voice sniggered making Dean's panic change to a quiet rage. He felt his body still, everything go quiet around him and his breathing slow and even. A quiet rage. In the background, he heard Sam's distinctive scream. 'What do you want?'

'In the morning a package will arrive giving you directions and instructions, you are allowed to receive help from one person and one person only. You will be watched and if you stray from your objective then I am afraid that more of this will happen.' Dean heard Sam scream again, and his blood ran cold. 'Fine you bastard, now you do one thing for me and tell me who you are.'

'Fine, fine take all of my fun will you ... I am sure that you will remember me, I mean how could you forget the sweet mother of your daughter? Merci? Ah she was such a beauty.'

'Cornase ...'

'Ah bravo Dean, see you are smarter than people say.' Cornase taunted Dean.

'I thought we dusted you.'

'Ah sorry ... not enough dear boy, I'm baaaack.'

Dean snapped the phone shut and threw it against the wall; it bounced down onto the bed and lay there thankfully undamaged. Picking it up Dean ran a shaking hand through his hair and then pressed speed dial, knowing the only person he could trust with this.

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Sam groaned and pulled himself up a little higher on the bed, with his right wrist cuffed to the bedhead, it was hard to manoeuvre himself into a comfortable position but it was better than before. He stared down at the little blond head lying on the pillow next to him and tears threatened to fall. He could put up with a lot of punishment physically but hurting an innocent child that was too much.

'Hey little princess, wow you've grown.' He whispered stroking the downy soft hair with his free hand, 'you look so much like your Dad.'

'Nice to see you awake Sam long time and all that ... so how's the ribs?'

'Fine thanks how bout yours?' Sam quipped back slipping his arm protectively around his niece.

'Oh fine, fine, so how's things?'

'What do you want Cornase?'

'Ah you do remember me then?'

'How could I forget?' Sam asked, 'you're pretty unforgettable ... and not in such a good way.'

'Not nice to talk like that ... after all I would hate anything to happen to that sweet little child.'

'Leave Mickie alone.'

'Mickie? I thought that her name was Issy ... tsk, tsk.' Cornase mocked Sam, 'now aint she an angel sleeping so soundly.'

'What did you do to her?' Sam snarled looking down at his niece next to him. 'What did you give her?'

'Oh nothing that will hurt I assure you, just will keep her nice and quiet while we have a chat Sammy.'

'The name is Sam.'

'So Sammy it's like this, you are going to sit on the edge of the bed and let me handcuff you properly and we're going to take a walk so we don't disturb the little angel.'

'I'm not leaving her alone.'

'Got no choice in the matter Sammy.'

'Don't call me that, no one except Dean gets to call me that.' Sam snapped sliding his long legs over the side of the bed he sat up awkwardly, holding his aching side.

'So Sam I see that we are going to co-operate, good for you.'

'Shit I forgot just how much you love to talk.' Sam sniped earning himself a sharp slap across the face, snapping his head sideways. A new bruise to add to his growing collection.

Cornase squeezed the cuffs closed around Sam's wrists making sure that they were too tight and cut into his skin. 'Can't have you too comfortable can we?'

'What do you want?'

'You see we're going to make a short phone call.' Cornase grabbed Sam's upper arm and dragged him out of the room, leaving the sleeping baby unmoving on the bed.

'Sit there and shut up until I tell you to speak.' Cornase ordered shoving Sam onto a wooden long-backed chair, swiftly he bound his prisoner with a length of rope effectively immobilising him and then he pulled out a syringe from his pocket and waved it threateningly in front of Sam's eyes. 'Ah such pure fear Sam, I can see it in your eyes. This, this is just a little thing that will ensure your co-operation during the phone call.'

'Keep that away from me.'

'Aw so I miss all of the fun?' Cornase smirked as he injected the contents into Sam's corded neck. As the icy cold drug surged through his blood stream Sam's back arched and he let out a long primal roar, as the pain became excruciating within seconds. Suddenly as fast as the drug hit, the effects took completely, Sam's head slumped to his chest as the world started to concertina in front of him, undulating and swirling the colours filling his senses pricking a nauseous reaction in his stomach.

'Wh-what d-did you?' Sam stammered trying to formulate the question and getting the words out.

'Oh just a little goody I developed, trippy aint it.' Cornase giggled as he pulled a cell phone out of his pocket, 'recognise this Sammy? Coz it's yours.' He wangled the phone in front of glassy unfocused eyes and laughed even louder. Taking a deep breath, he forced himself to calm down enough to make the important phone call.

Sam tried to concentrate on the phone call Cornase was on but all he could hear was a buzzing sound that started to get louder by the second. Suddenly the phone was held up at his ear and he could hear his brother's voice.

'D-Dean?'Sam pushed his brother's name out, unsure of anything as the drugs kept pushing their way through his body.

'Sammy? Oh God Sammy are you alright?'

'I – I'm not sure.' Sam stammered out, confusion clear in his voice now, was it just a trick of the drugs?

'Sam what is it?'

'F-feel st-strange.' Sam mumbled shaking his head but that just made the buzzing worse.

'Mickie?'

'She's ... kay.' Sam slurred his energy almost spent, oh God it is Dean but he can't tell him what he needs to. The words just won't come.

'Sam?'

'D-Dean we're o-okay.' Sam forced his words out, 'M-Mickie's ... with ... m-me.'

'I'm coming to get you Sammy.'

Oh such a touching moment.' Cornase snatched the cell away from Sam's ear and kept taunting Dean, Sam frowned he had to ... Sam screamed as he felt a white-hot pain flare in his knee. He could hear the bones snapping and crunching, the agony made him start to retch violently, another blow came to the same knee and then he screamed until he passed out.

Opening his eyes slowly Sam felt little hands squeezing his nose and patting his face, 'Mmm Mickie?' With his awareness, slowly returning Sam looked up at the chubby face hovering over him. 'Uncsammee?' She squealed hitting his eyes, 'wakey.'

'Yeah sweety Uncle Sam's awake.' He muttered, gritting his teeth against the pain flaring throughout his body and the heavy fog filling his mind. 'Damn it must've been some strong shit.'

'Sh...i...it.' Mickie grinned widely at her uncle her green eyes sparkling, 'up?'

'Ah hang on sweety.' Sam grimaced as he tried to pull himself up a little more and then pushing down on the pain, he scooped Mickie up into his arms and hugged her tight. 'Uncle Sam's missed you baby.'

'Kiss.' She smooched his cheeks sloppily, 'hugs.'

'Ah Mickie now we just need your daddy here.'

'Daddad?' Mickie blinked and looked around, 'Daddad?'

'Ah I'm sorry baby I am so sorry.' Sam hugged the baby tightly, noticing the shake in his hands; he put her down on the bed next to him, his arm wrapped around her protectively. 'Uncsammee booboos?' She cooed her lower lip trembling.

'How do you do that Princess?' He mused, 'hey shh it's okay Mickie, Uncsammee's fine.'

'Hungy.' Mickie declared dropping on her bottom, her lower lip trembling even harder as she built up her wail, 'hungy.'

'Ah sweety I know.' Sam picked her up and cradled her against his chest, immediately calming her down.

'Aw aint that just so sickly sweet!' Cornase snarled as he came into the room followed by a woman carrying a tray and Mickie's nappy bag. 'Put it on the foot of the bed and leave.'

'What do you want Cornase?'

'Well if your brother does as he is told then, I will tell you.' Cornase teased Sam, 'how's the knee?'

Sam opened his mouth to retort but then remembered he had a little girl to look after and instead completely ignored Cornase; and focused on changing her bottom and then he gave her the bowl of soft vegetables and the bottle of warm milk.

'Atta girl.' He chuckled as he heard a loud burp and a happy sigh, 'sh Mickie that's my girl.'

'Aw you'll make a wonderful wife and mother one day soon Sammy.' Cornase mocked his prisoner, 'Betty take the baby to her nursery, Sam and I need to talk.' Cornase ordered the woman noticing the baby finally went to sleep.

'No way she stays with me.' Sam tightened his grip on the sleeping child, but trapped with the weight of the baby and his own injuries Sam couldn't do anything when he saw Cornase cruelly squeeze his smashed knee trying to stifle his painfilled cry Sam felt the blackness rising.

'Take the child.' Cornase ordered the woman again as Sam collapsed back onto the pillows. The woman with greying hair and soft grey eyes gently lifted Mickie from Sam's now slack arms and cradling her against her breast hurried from the room.

'Oh Sammy you don't get to fall asleep yet.' Cornase smirked, slapping his prisoner's face repeatedly, 'wakey, wakey Sammy we got some playing to do.'

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Dean sat staring at the large envelope in his hands, dark circles ringing his dull eyes proof of his sleepless night, he could still hear Sam's screams even hours later. Sharp knocking pulled him out of his reverie and Dean dragged himself to answer the door.

'Dean? Lad ah look at you.'

'Hey Bobby.' Dean said stepping back, he let his friend and mentor into the room, 'sorry it ...'

'What happened Dean?'

'Cornase is still kicking.'

'I – I thought that you had sent that shit-eater back to hell.' Bobby grumbled.

'Yeah so did I, so yesterday I shot out for coffee and let Sam sleep, he's had so many nightmares lately.'

'Dean?' Bobby looked across at the young man perched on the opposite bed, surrounded by crumpled sheets.

'Huh?' Dean blinked at Bobby and then visibly shook himself. 'Ah yeah, when I got back Sam was gone, I – I knew that someone or thing had taken him coz I found my knife on the floor but then got a call on the cell.'

'Cornase?'

'Yeah he texted me this picture.' Dean showed Bobby the photo of Sam and Mickie still saved on his cell, 'then he rang and started to ... he let Sam talk ... he drugged him or something but when he took the cell back he ... he hurt Sammy I could hear him screaming.'

'Ah hell Dean, what does the freak want?'

'It's all in there, I just got it, haven't even ... he has the only two people I live for Bobby what if?'

'No what ifs Dean, now suck it up and let's open that envelope.' Bobby said gruffly, his own emotions sounding in his voice.

Dean opened the package with trembling hands; three photos tumbled out first, and then a letter and a smaller package. The colour drained from Dean's face when he stared down at the photos silently passing them to Bobby.

The first one was Sam tied to the chair, blood dribbling down his face and his chest where the ropes cut him. but it was Sam's knee that drew Dean's gaze. The jeans leg shredded and bloodstained and the joint so swollen it protruded through the material. The second was of Sam cradling a sleeping Mickie and the third was Sam tied spreadeagled on a bed, his upper body littered with bruises and cuts, his face distorted with so many injuries and what appears to be a broken cheekbone.

Retching violently Dean lunged towards the bathroom, only just managing to get to the toilet before he dispelled the small amount of food still in his stomach.

'Ah fuck!' Dean wiped his face and staggered back to the main room, 'where's Mickie? She was only in one of the new photos.'

'He's probably got her separate from Sam to make sure that ...'

'that he doesn't fight back.' Dean finished for him.