I posted this story on another fan fic site awhile ago under the title "Matters of the Heart", so if you've read that, this is the same fic.

"Sammy, we don't haveta do this dude."

"Yea we do Dean, you know we do."

"We can skip this one Sammy."

"Dean, the visions aren't gonna stop 'til we go back there."

"Are you ready to go back there?" Dean asked with his full attention on his little brother.

"…no," Sam replied as a million things started running through his head. "But it doesn't seem like I have much of a choice."

"Sure you do, I can go while you stay here."

"What I saw…you're not going alone…no way in hell."

"Sammy, I'm a big boy, I can cope without you you know."

"Yeah cuz the last time you said that, you meant to get tied up to a tree and sacrificed to a scarecrow right," Sam replied with a cocked eyebrown.

"Whatever smartass, I was just giving the scarecrow some satisfaction before I popped a clip right through its fugly face," Dean shot back not wanting to admit defeat. Sam knew they could spit words back and forth about that situation for hours but instead he just decided to roll his eyes.

"Keep telling yourself that Dean."

Both boys sat on their motel beds starring at the ground, contemplating what to do next.

"So we're going?" asked Dean breaking the silence.

"I guess so…"

"You sure bout this Sammy?"

"…yeah," Sam replied hesitantly.

"Well then, Palo Alto, here we come."

Driving in the Impala

Dean looked over at Sam who was finally asleep. For the past few days Sam hadn't had much sleep and it didn't go unnoticed to the elder hunter. Although Sam wouldn't admit it, aside from the visions, he had been having nightmares about Jessica again. They had stopped for awhile and just when Dean started to think that Sam was coping with it, the nightmares started up again. Dean knew this wasn't good, all of Sam's freaky visions are tied to the yellow eyed demon and every instinct in him told him to turn right back around and head as far away from Palo Alto as possible, but Sam was right, the visions never went away until they were dealt with.

Dean took in the sight before him of his younger brother who looked so innocent and young in his sleep. He hated the fact that Sam had to go through the pain of losing Jess, and now to be dragged back to the same place, the same dorms where it happened, it was unfair…no…actually, it was downright cruel.

If Dean could take the pain away from his brother, he would do it in a heartbeat, no matter what the cost. But as much as he wanted to, he knew it wasn't possible. He loved his brother more than life itself, hell Sam was his reason for breathing, his reason for waking up each morning, and Dean has dedicated his life to protecting Sammy, but Sam's mind and the demon's mind tricks were things that Dean couldn't control.

And if that wasn't bad enough Dean still blamed himself a little for what happened that night. If he had never came to get Sam from Palo Alto to help look for their father, Sam may have been able to help Jess. On the other hand he may have died along side Jess. If the latter is true then Dean would feel no guilt what so ever, but if Sam would have been able to save Jessica…Dean wasn't one to feel guilty about much but this one came back to haunt him every once in awhile. The worst part was, he felt that maybe deep inside Sam blamed him a little too, even if he would never admit to it.

The rest of the drive was pretty much the same as the past week had been, Sam having visions about a girl being burned alive, followed by nightmares of Jessica being burned alive, and Dean watching his brother's painful expressions while feeling completely and utterly useless.

When Sam began to call out Jessica's name, Dean decided that it was time to free Sam from the hell his mind was putting him through.

"Sammy," Dean said as he lightly shook Sam. "Sammy, wake up."

Sam's eyes flew wide open at the slight shake from his brother.

"Huh…what…are we there yet."

"No, not yet."

"Was I…."



Sam turned his head to face the window and watched as the forest outside seemed to wizz by the car. To be honest Sam was embarrassed by his outbursts during his nightmares and although he knew that Dean knew, he didn't want to admit to Dean that the nightmares of Jessica had resurfaced. Whether he wanted to talk about it or not though, after this last outburst, he knew that Dean would bring it up.

"Sammy, we gotta talk dude."

"Dean…not now."

"Then when Sam, this has been going on for over a week now, u always loved caring and sharing, so share away little brother."

Sam said nothing and turned his head to the window again.

"Sammy c'mon dude, I wanna help you out but you gotta throw me a bone here."

It's not that Sam didn't want to talk about it, god knows he did, but Dean had enough to deal with, he didn't need to add this to the heavy burden already present on his big brother's shoulders. Dean was still dealing with the devastation of their father's death and with the fact that Sam might turn into a monster, the last thing he needed was to worry about stupid nightmares.

"Dean…I'm okay," Sam replied unconvincingly.

"Yeah, and I wish I were driving a corolla right now," Dean snapped back.

"Dean…I dun wanna add to your burden, you worry about me as it is, and you have enough to deal with…you don't need me bringing you down too."

"Sam first of all, I'll always worry bout you no matter what, and secondly you won't be bringing me down…if anything you'll be helping me cuz I'll actually know what's going on in that freaky head of yours instead of trying the impossible and guessing."

Sam let out a little smile as he looked down onto his lap where he was twiddling his fingers.

"I miss her Dean…I thought that with time it would heal, but it's been over a year and I miss her more everyday. I dunno why these nightmares are back, but they are, and they're stronger and more painful than before. Everytime I see her…burn…it's like my heart breaks all over again. And having to go back to Stanford, back to the dorms where we lived, where she…died…I don't know if I'm strong enough to handle that," Sam finished as he looked up at his brother with tear filled eyes.

Dean would be lieing if he said that seeing his brother like that didn't break his heart. It was bad enough that the demon took their mother and father, but he'd be damned if he let the demon break Sammy.

"I'll be right beside you Sammy, if you don't wanna go in we won't, we'll wait till you're ready okay."

"Okay," Sam replied with a smile of gratitude. "I'm glad you're here Dean, and I don't mean for the hunt. I'm glad you're the one who's here with me when I have to go back to the place I swore I'd never come back to. I wouldn't want anyone else here."

"Me too Sammy."

Before both of them knew it they were parked in front of the dorm rooms that Sam once used to call his place.

"Well…here we are…you ready to go in?"

"…in a minute," Sam replied as he starred at the building where he lost his only sense of a normal life. His heart was pounding faster than he knew was healthy and his hands began to tremble.

"Sammy…" Dean was standing at the front of the impala, wanting to see if Sam was okay, without crowding him.

"Yeah…let's go, I'm ready."


"Right on time! Welcome to the beginning of the worst nightmare of your life Sammy boy. This ought to be fun, they won't even know what hit them. HAHAHAHA"