Disclaimer: I own nothing…

Summary: When all of Hell's fury is focused on one soul, very few could resist for more than moments, maybe days… But Dean holds on. For six years… Only to be unleashed on earth, with no memory of his life, and just one mission: destroy Mercy and Justice.

Rating: R

Author's Note: Does it suck? Yes, I'm sure it does. Do I care? Shockingly, no… because for some reason I'm happy with it. Not thrilled, but happy enough to move on to the next one… So, yeah, hopefully it's not too bad and I'm just being hard on myself like always. It's what I do. But then, everyone's their own worst critic, are they not? And I apologize for the rant… I think I need to sleep more…

Anyway, thank you all so much for the reviews on the last two chapters. I really appreciate your feedback, and I hope you continue to enjoy the story.

Lyrics and title from "Still Frame" by Trapt

Chapter 2: Still Frame (Falling Farther Away)

I see the clock and it's ticking away
And the hourglass empty
What the fuck do I have to say?

They were at Bobby's, Bela curled into Sam, as she slept against his shoulder, his shirt still wet from her tears. He felt cold, guilty. Their whole lives he had sworn to protect those girls, and yet here they were, lost and broken, their children at the hands of god only knew what. And he was terrified. Because all he wanted was to have his girls back, and if they had been taken--if they had been taken, he couldn't imagine any demon who would leave them unharmed…

Bobby handed off a cup of coffee then, silently, waiting for Sam to speak, as he settled himself in the chair across from the young couple, eyeing them carefully. There was something he wanted to say. Sam could see it in the way he watched them. And really, wasn't that what they had come for anyway? If no answers could be offered here, he was gone, because he needed to find them; dead or alive (and he prayed to god that it would be alive), he needed to find them. Needed to know. His girls were in trouble. Dean's girls were in trouble. And he couldn't lose the final link he had to his big brother. Not like this.

"What is it Bobby?" His voice was quiet; he was trying desperately to keep from waking Bela until he absolutely had to… Because she didn't deserve this, and, he imagined, she could use this one little solace in the struggle he was sure they were about to face.

"Look, Sam, I don't have any answers for you. I don't know how to help you… But I do know someone who can."

He was intrigued, but wary. It seemed there was little confidence in Bobby's reassurance, and that worried him significantly. "Who?"

"It's gonna sound crazy," his eyes were in his coffee cup, and he sighed before lifting them to Sam's, "but I think you need to talk to Ruby."

"You're right," Sam began slowly, his voice calm as he watched Bobby closely, "I think you're crazy. Bobby, Ruby's been in a coma since the girls were born. How the hell are we supposed to talk to her?"

"I don't know, kid. I really don't," his eyes were full of sympathy as he took in the sight of Sam, fighting so hard to keep it all together when he knew the boy was just shy of losing it, "but if anyone can give you answers about the whereabouts of those two girls, it's their demon mother. She's connected to them, Sam, we both know that, and there's no one else on earth who would be able to help like she could."

"Yeah, Bobby, I get that--but it doesn't change the fact that she's been comatose for six years. We have tried everything to bring her out of it and nothing has ever worked. So even if she could help us, Bobby, there's no way to get an answer out of her."

"That might not be entirely true."

Her voice caught them both off guard, and Sam was instantly both intrigued and more confused than ever. "Excuse me?"

"There are ways, Sam." She pushed herself up slightly, her eyes locking with Sam's. "And Ruby, she's powerful. Especially since she gave birth to those girls. Awake or no, something in her changed when the girls were born, and it's not something either of us have ever been able to ignore. She's there, Sam. Somehow, she's there, and I don't know how exactly we can get a message from her, but I know damn well that it shouldn't be hard to get one to her. And if she's as powerful as I believe she is, she'll find a way."

Sam's eyes lifted to Bobby's then, his face set and all but indifferent.

She was right.

Please help me 'cause I'm breaking down
This picture's frozen and I can't get out

A small confession, I think I'm starting to lose it
I think I'm drifting away
From the people I really need

He stood outside the room, no idea what Bela was doing in with Ruby. It looked like she was talking to her. Just talking. To a comatose woman. It was useless, and he was itching to leave -- to find someone he could hold responsible for the disappearance of his girls… But Bela had made him promise to stay with her. She'd claimed it was because she needed him there. He knew it was because she feared he would do something stupid.

So with crossed arms, he paced, trying his best to hold it all together. There was a child sitting across the room with her mother, and he knew he scared her. It didn't surprise him… He wasn't exactly a small man, and he knew better than anyone that anger was radiating from him in waves. And yet it seemed there was little he could do to calm himself, no matter how hard he tried.

When Bela stepped out, he nearly lost it, pulling her aside, and whispering frantically as he tried to decipher exactly what she had accomplished.

After a moment, she cut him off, her voice calm, "Sam, I don't know…" The words came with a little shake of her head, her eyes locking on his as her voice just dripped sympathy.

"What the hell do you mean, you don't know, Bela?! Our children are missing, and we just wasted an hour for you to tell me you don't know!" He was gesticulating erratically, and no matter how desperately he tried to keep his voice a whisper, he knew he was far from succeeding.

"Sam!" she scolded quickly, as she took in the intense anger in his demeanor, and caught a glimpse of the cowering child and the mother's angry glare from the corner of her eye. "There's a little girl over there, who's scared to death because of you. Now honestly, Sam, how the hell would you feel if some stranger were acting this way around Mercy and Justice?"

He glanced up, his face falling with a bit of sympathy and regret at his actions. "Look, Bel, I know I'm being an ass, okay? I know. But my children are missing right now, and I don't know what the hell to do!"

"Sam, I know you're scared, but so am I, okay?" She told him gently, tears prickling at her eyes as she looked at him. It broke her heart to see him this way, but worse than that, it broke her heart that he seemed to think she just didn't care. "I love those little girls just as much as you do."

His eyes softened then as he let out a sigh. "I know that, Bela, but it's different. You love them, I know, but they're Dean's children. I already let him go, Bel, I can't let that happen to those little girls. I can't let my brother down like that. Not again. I just can't."

"Alright, Sam, I understand that." She took his hands in hers, her voice gentle, as she urged him to remain calm. "Decker is going to watch her for us; make sure nothing happens that he doesn't know about. We've got a handful of allies on the staff here, Sam, and they're the ones taking care of her. They know what to look for, and they know how to help us, so just trust them, and trust me. Even if this works, Sam, it's gonna take time. Did you really expect her to wake up and tell me everything the second the words were out of my mouth?"

"No," he admitted quietly, shaking his head, "I guess not."

"So until we hear something about Ruby, let's get to work on a couple of other angles, okay? This isn't our only option, Sam, it's just the most reliable." She saw his eyes drop as he tried to hold back the emotion she knew he was feeling. He was terrified, worse than she had ever seen him… and he was angry. It was all tearing him up inside, and she desperately wanted to make all that hurting stop. So she pulled him into her arms, whispering against his ear, "We're going to find them, Sam. We're going to bring them home."

Believe me, I'm just as lost as you
Believe me, I'm just as lost as you
I'm breaking down
I'm just as lost as you
I'm breaking down

They're strange, the girls. They have these eyes. So blue they're almost translucent. And big. Big, wide eyes that he thinks might just be looking right into him. Eyes that track the knife he holds and drill into his features as they gaze, knowingly.

They know him. They recognize this face. The one that belongs to the skin they have dressed him in. It is not his. It could never be his, and one day, when they are gone, he will be free of its prison.

But that recognition does not only exist in their eyes. No, he can feel it, floating, dancing in his own, as his mind tries to pull up something long forgotten and oh so deeply buried.

He imagines it must be some long forgotten image that pulls at the mind that belongs to the skin he wears.

But it's dead. He knows it's dead.

Because if it weren't, he would feel the warmth of blood flooding through it, the whir of every stupid human process, and, most importantly, the thoughts and memories of the one who shares the skin.

But there is none of that. None but this perturbing feeling that nibbles endlessly at the back of his mind, trying to remind him of something he must have once known, and should still, as he stands, watching these two little girls, nothing but purity and sadness echoing in those bright, sad eyes.

And somehow, the knife never quite makes it to their throats.

Instead, he decides on torture.

Slow. Pain. Burning.

And he seems to remember suffering the same, in some long forgotten hell…

I'm afraid I'm falling farther away
I'm falling farther away
I'm falling far from where I want to be