Chapter One.

Sequel to Cracked, but you don't need to read that one.

Not mine 'cos Kripke won't share!

When Dean gets caught in a witch's curse, Sam could pay a hefty price.

Will Dean be able to forgive himself?

"Shake a leg Sam, time to move!" Dean was already up and shrugging into his jacket when Sam groaned and rolled out of bed.

Stumbling into the bathroom he glanced at his watch. Ah jeeze! It was nearly 22:00.

"Dean? Why didn't you wake me sooner?" He was splashing water on to his face in a proper wake up call, when Dean appeared in the doorway, learning against the frame.

"You need more beauty sleep than I do." For all the cockiness, Sam didn't miss the way Dean's concerned gaze swept over him for a second.

Before Sam could comment, Dean plastered on a grin and pushed away from the door.

There wasn't a lot more that could be said. Sam's header into the book case on their last job had resulted in multiple stitches, concussion, and Dean had to pay to replace the motel room trashcan after Sam had expelled an entire days stomach contents into it.

But at least Sam's intimate if brief relationship with DIY furniture had bought his brother enough time to banish the poltergeist, before dragging a semi-conscious Sam back to the motel.

Dean was just grateful Sam hadn't hurled in the Impala.

"You got the book?"

Sam rolled his eyes. "Dude, I know that binding spell backwards!"

Dean shook his head. "You really need to get out more little bro." He grinned again. "It's called having fun Sam, ya know? A few drinks, a few laughs…maybe get laid? Any of this ringing some bells?"

Sam folded his arms, eyes narrowed mockingly. "Please tell me that wasn't you making me an offer."

Dean smirked. "No way. I'm strickly a double X chromosome man."

"Huh. So you finally admit to it. You are a woman!" Sam snorted softly in reply.

"At least that makes me a grown up Sammy, whereas you're still just a little girl!

"Ha-dy-fucking-ha!" Sam launched a pillow at Dean's head with amused annoyance.


As Dean drove, Sam went over the details of their latest gig.

They were investigating the actions of a particularly powerful witch and, as usual, Sam had his reservations.

"I'm not sure about this Dean. This could get ugly; the spells and curses she'd been using didn't exactly come from a kids magic set."

"And that's why we've got Bobby as back up, so quit worrying Sam."

Famous last words, thought Sam anxiously.

The witch in question, known to the natives as Aunt Matty, had once been an experienced, trusted and well respected Wiccan within the small community of Cabbage Grove. That was until an obnoxious new family had arrived in the neighbourhood and buggered things up. They'd been cruel and unkind to the old lady, openly mocking her in the street. She'd managed to ignore them right up to the point when the children had ruined her garden, vandalised her house, and tampered with the brakes on her bicycle, nearing killing her on a routine trip to the stores for a few supplies.

Whilst no one could blame her for being angry, it was felt by all that her expression of vengeance had gone a little too far.

Matty had cast a spell on the family, which caused them to turn on each other in violence. The father had beaten the mother to death then took his own life, and the same happened to the children. The boy had killed his little sister in a fit of anger then committed suicide.

The authorities were called in, but whilst foul play was suspected it was never proved. After the dust had settled the respected leaders of the community (consisting of the sheriff, the local doctor, school principle, and for reasons lost in history the owner of the local 'massage' parlour – Dean had laughed his head off at that one.) had held a secret meeting in the town hall one night, and decided that Aunt Matty had to go.

Her exile had both broken her heart and enraged it; feeling betrayed, she never practiced the healing arts of Wicca in Cabbage Grove again, preferring to stay aloof and alone.

A short time after her death, a series of domestic abuse cases began to emerge and at least three people had lost their lives so far, with a further four being treated for severe injuries in the nearest hospital.

The pattern of violence was still sweeping through the tiny community, and it was only a matter of time before the body count rose.

All targets had been family members, with the victims usually closely related to their attackers. Hence the conclusion between the hunters was that, on Matty's death, the spell had developed into something much more powerful and frightening: a curse. And it would continue to grow with each attack.

And it was this part that was making Sam nervous.

The events of the night in Roosevelt Asylum came back to haunt him. He could've killed Dean, would have in fact if not for Dean's hind sight and quick thinking. Sam definitely didn't want a repeat performance, and had half a mind to demand that they turn around and go back to the motel until they could come up with a safer plan.

But the question that perhaps should have occurred to him to be worried about, one that might have sent an icy shiver along his spine was what if Dean had been the one to get zapped by Ellicott that night?


The boys met up with Bobby at the roadside diner, and after a decent meal – at least, Sam and Bobby's had been half-way decent, whereas Dean's consisted of the usual greasy Crap

Burger with Crap fries, and a side order of Crap that appeared to be trying hard to resemble coleslaw – they went over The Plan.

"There's no reported sightings of her spirit and she was cremated, so we can only assume she's moved on." Sam paused to glance at his brother in disgust as Dean noisily slurped up the manky looking coleslaw "Dean!"

Dean looked up "huh?" He had a huge glob of mayonnaise attached to the contented grin, which Sam knew had been put there on purpose just to annoy and embarrass him.

Sam scowled. "Could ya keep it down a little? Those…noises are making me wanna hurl."

"That's what ya get for eatin' rabbit food Sammy." Dean prodded Sam's left over salad with his fork. "A weak stomach. Dude! What the hell? Something just scuttled around in your lettuce!"

Sam's gaze shot down instinctively before he could stop it. Knowing he'd fallen for it again, he cast his sibling the standard 'bitchy little brother' look. Dean's smug grin made him wrestle to stop himself from reaching across the table with both hands ready in full neck-throttling mode.

Bobby closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. It was a mannerism he'd developed over the years to keep his composure in the face of these two jokers whenever their antics threatened to ruin his gruff countenance. Smothering the rising laughter he cleared his throat.

"Boys! Back to business ok? Now Sam, tell us what's on ya mind."

Pushing his plate aside and shooting Dean another heavy scowl, Sam continued.

"So we think Matty moved on, but something was left behind that's kept the curse going."

Bobby raised an approving eyebrow. "Like what?"

Sam shrugged. "A personal item, something she used to cast her spells with may be. But she was Wiccan and they rarely practice dark magic…"

"Yeah, they're all about running naked through meadows and huggin' trees right?" Dean interrupted. He glanced at the none-too amused expression on his brother's face. "Oops. Sorry." He didn't look in the least bit sorry of course. "Go ahead dude."

Sam huffed in annoyance. "As I said, she was Wiccan, and they're all about living in harmony with the cycles of nature. So she must've been pretty pissed at being banished by the very community she'd served so loyally all her life." Sam fell silent for a moment before adding "I kinda feel sorry for her actually."

Dean's expression turned serious as he watched the sadness cross his little brother's face. "Yeah, I know dude."

It was obvious that Sam was empathising his heart out again, and this time Dean couldn't bring himself to argue. Sam and Dean had been saving people from the things that go bump in the night nearly all their lives, and what thanks did they get?

A mention on the FBI's most wanted list.

And yeah, that sucked.

After having watched the boys mostly in silence, Bobby spoke up "So we go to her house, find whatever it is that's keeping the curse going and destroy it."

"Yeah, but we'll have to recite a binding spell just in case she does show up and tries to attack us before we find it." Sam replied.

"And if we can't find it then we burn the damn place to the ground." Dean finished on a grin.

Sam rolled his eyes in amusement.

"So." Dean put down his fork. "Nice and easy, with possible pyromaniac fun for me, and everyone's happy."

Sam chewed on his bottom lip as they paid for their meals then headed out into the night.

It's a little too damn nice and easy!


"Dude, it's a little old witch's house, it's full of magical crap!" Dean glanced around the kitchen in disgust as he heard Sam quietly chanting the binding spell. "Seriously, it's like searching for a fart in a bubble bath…"

Sam managed to interrupt mid-chant "…like you'd know what a bath is…"

"Do not question my hygiene Sam. I am the god of cleanliness…"

Chant, chant… "in between that and your dirty socks and don't get me started on your boxers…" chant, chant.

Dean glared at him then decided there were more important things to be bitching about. "Come on! Let's just torch the place!"

Sam stopped chanting the spell altogether, thoroughly put off now, and sighed.

"Yeah, you're probably right. We could be here for hours looking for whatever the curse is bound to." He shot a warning glance at Dean. "Just be careful with that damn kerosene ok? And do it quickly. We don't want to risk Matty turning up…"

He was interrupted as Dean was suddenly lifted into the air and slammed against a pine dresser.

"Dean! You ok man? Talk to me!" Sam heard a low groan and Dean poked his head up from behind the kitchen table.

"What would you like me to talk to you about Sammy?" Dean hauled himself rather shakily to his feet. "Seriously. Pick a subject, we got time. Provided it's not the one about where babies come from. 'Cos the last time you got any practice, we could be here all night…"

Bobby entered the room at a run. "You boys ok?" He'd been upstairs searching the bedrooms when he heard the crash.

Dean nodded blearily, his head hurt like a sonofabitch but the concerned look on Sam's face kept him from groaning in pain. "We're fine, but I'm willing to bet ol' Matty's made a comeback…Sam!"

Sam found himself airborne for a second, then hit the cupboards above the sink with a bone jarring crunch. He sank to the floor, face scrunched up with agony.

Before Dean could move, Matty appeared in front of Sam and gave out an ear piercing screech.

Sam, eyes wide, feet scrabbling on the tiled floor, tried to get away as the ghost raised a hand.

Dean launched himself in front of the old witch and froze as her hand changed direction and instead of aiming for Sam, came down on Dean's head.

Sam finally found his voice as he watched Dean sway under the influence of whatever mojo Matty was using on him. "Bobby! Torch the house! Now!"

Bobby darted out the door and grabbed a can of kerosene.

Sam started reciting the binding spell again, and watched in fear as Dean fell to the floor.

Matty appeared to be laughing silently at him, as Sam crawled across the floor to his fallen brother. He soon gave up on the spell; it seemed to amuse more than frighten her.

"Dean, come on, we gotta get out of here…" Trying to shake Dean awake, and concerned at the amount of blood that was trickling from a deep cut on the side of his head, he grabbed his arm and started dragging him towards the kitchen door.

When they were finally outside in the crisp night air, Sam lowered Dean to the ground, checking his pulse, breathing, and anything else he could think of.

Sam heard the sudden roar of flames as something at the back of the house caught light, and breathed a sigh of relief. The old wooden house was infested with wood worm and god knew what else, and would soon be gone, along with the curse.

But as he checked Dean's pupils he realised it might not be soon enough. Opening his brother's eyes Sam was shocked at the awareness in them, but it was the sheer anger that really scared him.


Dean glared at him, green eyes bright and hard, and nodded. "Yeah little bro. It's me alright. Happy now that you almost got me killed saving your sorry ass?" His voice had started out calm, but it was soon rising to loud and outraged. "Again? You think I'm fucking superman or somethin'? Well I got news for ya Sam…"

Sam felt more surprise than pain at the first punch to his jaw. "Dean…"

"I aint superman and neither are you! You selfish bastard I hate you! I hate you and your precious fucking Stanford! I hate you and your precious fucking Jess!"

And then Dean really laid into his little brother.

"Dean..please…" Sam's voice grew weaker with each hit to his face, his body, and yet couldn't bring himself to fight back, because once again that little voice in his head was reminding him of Roosevelt Asylum, reminding him that he deserved this.

"Selfish sonfoabitch!..." Dean continued raging at his little brother. Each punch thrown seemed to get stronger and stronger. Sam couldn't even get his breath back as the air was punched out of him by a blow to the stomach.

"Please…stop…what did I do?...De…" Sam whispered in pain and despair. Dean seemed to read his thoughts.

"You know what you did! You left me, then you tried to kill me!"

Though Dean's control was well and truly lost by now, a small part of him watched in fearful horror as he hurt Sam over and over, watched the blood pouring from Sam's head, mouth and nose, listened as Sam's pleas grew ever weaker…and eventually stopped altogether.

And carried on hitting his baby brother long after he'd lost consciousness.

The house eventually collapsed in on itself under the hot flames, and Dean could hear the ghost of Aunt Matty screaming in anger.

His own rage subsided as suddenly as it had arisen, the white hot embers of rage choking and dying.

Released from the spirit's hold on him, he looked down in horror….and suddenly he was cradling Sam's broken body against his.

"Oh god, what have I done! Oh god, oh god. Sammy!" His voice broke with grief and despair.

As Dean frantically brushed Sam's blood crusted hair back he realised that he couldn't even recognise his brother anymore. Sam's eyes had swollen completely shut, his jaw and nose were a twisted broken mess, and one of his cheek bones was clearly also badly broken.

"Sammy, what have I done to you? I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry…" Dean eyes frantically searched Sam's face and realised that Sam was struggling to breathe through the amount of blood pouring from his mouth and nose. He tried to wipe the blood away without causing anymore damage, but it kept on coming. Sam's jaw was so badly damaged that he wasn't sure he could reach into Sam's mouth to clear his airways.

But he had to try. Sam's breaths were wept and rasping and he didn't have much time.

Forcing his index finger into Sam's mouth he hooked out a few globs of blood, and though Sam's breathing seemed to ease a little, it still clearly wasn't enough. He grasped Sam's jaw in an effort to support the fractured bone.

The sound of running feet signalled Bobby's arrival. He stopped and stared at the mess before him. Sam looked like he'd been hit by a truck.

"What the hell happened?" He shouted, then stopped when he saw Dean's mangled and bloodied knuckles. "She got to you didn't she?" He whispered softly. Dean looked up at him, tears running down his face and nodded.

"Oh God Sam!"

"Bobby call 911. He can't breathe properly…I…" Dean's voice trailed off as he sobbed softly.

Bobby moved over to the wrecked Winchesters and crouched down. Pulling out his cell phone and dialling, he was quickly patched through to emergency services.

Dean could only just about hear Bobby's voice, as his heart throbbed harder with every second he looked at the damage he'd done. "I'm so sorry little bro. You're gonna be ok, just hold on..."

After finishing the call, Bobby spoke softly to the older brother. "Dean, you have to get outta here. They can't find you here like this…" he indicated the state of Dean's hands, "…they'll put two and two together and you won't do Sam any good if you're locked behind bars."

Dean stared at Bobby miserably. "May be that's not such a bad thing after what I've done to him. But... I can't leave him Bobby."

"Dean, he needs you. Sam knows this isn't your fault…" the conversation was becoming desperate now.

"That's not the point…"

"YES Dean it is, now git! I'll look after him until he gets to the hospital, then I'll call you when it's safe to come to him!"

Sirens could be heard wailing not far off, but still Dean couldn't bring himself to leave.

"What'll you tell 'em?" Dean hated this; it felt like another betrayal towards his little brother, leaving him here just to save his own skin.

Bobby smiled grimly. "I'll think a somethin'. Now GO!"

Dean handed his battered brother over to Bobby and stood, then with one last pain filled glance at Sam that tour a hole in Bobby's heart, he practically ran to the Impala, threw himself behind the wheel and roared off into the night.


Author's notes:

Cabbage Grove. Completely made up, as far as I'm aware. Just love making up silly names like that, though in the boys' place I'd never have gone there for very different reasons:

I fucking hate cabbage!

But I just love the stupid name.

This was going to be a one shot but I ended up going into too much detail for that, and it was too late at night to finish off before embarking on another 30 hour shift, so, yes, there will be another chapter.

If you're nice to me and review this one. cherubic grin

Still working on the other stories so don't worry.

Love the reviews you've very kindly given me for my other stories and if there's anyone I've missed replying to then I can't apologise enough.

Kind regards,