In a month on the road again with Dean, Sam had seen a change in his older brother that was astounding. Dean hadn't turned a complete one-eighty, he was still a little closed off and didn't like to talk about things much, but he was still better.
Sam had noticed the first time he was on the road with Dean that the face he had shone in public, that smirking, cocky guy was all fake. Sam had seen that for himself. But now Sam was seeing more and more of that guy and this time it wasn't fake. Sam had seen amusement dancing in Dean's eyes more than once that was genuine (most times when he was teasing Sam or flirting with every woman in the immediate vicinity).
Sam was very happy that Dean was getting better. Dean and Sam were actually boding in a way that Sam had at one time thought might not be possible. They still had the demon to worry about and Sam still hadn't told Dean about his visions. He was a little worried about how Dean would react to them.
Dean was actually happy. Happier than he had been since he was kid. He liked traveling with Sam, having someone there to watch his back that actually cared. They still kept in touch with Bobby. Dean was beginning to feel almost normal.
It was one month and a day after Dean and Sam were back on the road that something happened to test that newly forming bond.
Dean woke up in the motel room in Louisiana that they had gotten the night before. He stumbled out of bed, not even looking around. He was halfway to the bathroom when he noticed it. Sam's bed was empty.
Dean looked around the room. Sam's shoes were sitting on top of his bag beside his bed and his cell phone was still on the table in the middle. Dean's heart sped up. The door to the bathroom was open. Sam wasn't in there.
Dean ran outside, not caring that he was only in a pair of boxers and his undershirt. The Impala was still parked, untouched in the driveway. Dean stood there for a few moments, feeling panic rage wildly in his heart. Sam was gone.