Summary

Tables are turned and the bonds of blood may turn out to be the most dangerous weapon of all.

Disclaimer

Nothing Supernatural belongs to me. Well, except a bank balance distinctly in the red since Asylum! So no suing please, I have nothing but hopes and dreams!

Authors Note

Apologies to anyone waiting on updates on my WIP's. I have had a long dry spell which is hopefully now over! I am nearly finished a chapter for Aftershock and my Hell fic too, but this bunny would not leave me alone and I wanted to try to complete it before the Finale airs and it becomes totally AU! Hope you can forgive me!

Thanks again to Gem, who I really would be lost without! Thanks sweetie! Any remaining mistakes are mine, all mine!

Warnings

Occasional potty mouth only.

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Chapter 1

Bobby's phone rings. It's a call he's been both dreading and waiting for.

"Bobby? Bobby, dammit, answer the phone."

The sound of an enraged Winchester.

"Please, Bobby."

That strength gives way to desperation so quickly is evidence of the strain the voice tries and fails to hide. And Bobby is only going to add to it.

He watches the phone in the same way he would a rattlesnake. Wary. Watchful. Terrified.

"He's gone." The voice on the other end falters, as if only finally understanding the magnitude of his admission.

"I know, boy." His own voice barely recognisable, strained, strangled in a noose of regret.

"I need to know, Bobby." The hunter's pleading voice continues talking to the answering machine. Bobby's head sinks into his hands, calloused fingers digging into his scalp as if he can push the knowledge out he wishes he didn't have.

"I can't." He whispers, his voice lowering, becoming rough and jagged. A voice too used to loss, preparing to give up once more.

"He talks to you all the time! You have to tell me!" The voice on the machine takes on a new element of rage, as if the brother knows he is there and refusing to answer.

"Where is he? You have to know where he is! You have to…" The young voice fades, then rallies. "Please, please Bobby, you can't let him go like this, you can't!"

Each pleading word tears at the older hunter. His shoulders hunched, hiding from the responsibility he has no wish and no choice but to accept. His deeply lined face hardening with the realisation that he is a coward. But goddammit, he would not be the one to destroy the young man whose defences lay shattered on the other end of the line. My boy, both my boys.

Bobby stands abruptly and kicks the chair away from him before standing, hands on either side of the phone, spine bowed - a warrior weary and beaten and with no will to go on.

"He drugged and tied me to a freaking chair, old man." The voice now laden with confusion and betrayal. At his brother for leaving or Bobby for not answering, Bobby doesn't know. A bewildered young man, desperately trying to understand the treachery of those around him.

Bobby bit into his knuckles in an attempt to stop the hand was reaching of its own volition, to offer aid the voice eviscerating his soul.

"I'm sorry, boy."

"Where's my brother, Bobby? Where's Sam?"

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Something stirred within the young hunter, tied to the chair in a brightly lit room. A nagging pain burrowing its way through sinew and bone, a nameless fear trying to claw its way out.

It reminded him of transferred pain, the type you get when you are bleeding deep inside. Too deep to get at easily, always painful to probe but too dangerous to ignore.

Honed and trained by a lifetime of hunting and defending, his instincts were not the fuzzy pit-in-the-stomach feeling that most people refer to, the general sinking sensation when you know that something is wrong.

No, his instincts were screaming, a battle-cry of terror and wrath, crying out into a solitary night.

He felt the burn of failure coursing through his veins, as though his very blood was grieving.

The handsome man grimaced as awareness overtook confusion, and raised a face aged by dawning realisation, wincing as he tugged uselessly at his bonds.

Dean flinched again as his muscles burned when he pulled limbs taut in an effort to free them. His shoulders were uncomfortably pulled back with wrists bound tightly behind the back of the chair, rope tying them firmly to his ankles.

Whoever had tied him to the chair had obviously known what they were doing. But he knew that already, seeing as he had taught that person everything he knew.

Being that the man who had tied him to the chair was his kid brother.

"Dammit Sam, why?"

Only, Dean knew why. It didn't take a genius to figure out that, with only four days left of Dean's contract, that anything as stupid as this, had to do with his deal.

He pulled in vain once more at the ropes and cursed his brother's attention to detail. Sam had carefully wound bandages around his wrists to prevent him not only burning his arms with the rope fibres, but also to stop him using the slickness of his blood to lubricate the ropes to try to manoeuvre them free. A careful blend of gentleness and determination, like silk wrapping steel. So Sam, it made his chest tighten.

Dean allowed his eyes to carefully examine the room he was in.

Just where the fuck am I?

The room was completely, totally empty, aside from the regrettably all-too-sturdy chair he was tied to, and a canteen of water which had been slung around his neck, the cord just long enough so that Dean could comfortably reach it.

The room was brightly lit, in fact so bright that, if he closed his eyes, he could see veins and light bursts, as if he had been staring too long at the sun.

Or fire.

The chair was placed dead centre of the most intricate circle Dean had ever seen, in a design he did not recognise. It seemed to undulate and twist when he tried to focus on the pattern. It wasn't a painted symbol; it was literally carved into the wood with what looked like ruby crystals engrained into the carving.

Salt crystals mixed with blood, Dean realised and his stomach twisted.

It must have taken Sam hours, which would have explained Sam's need to spike Dean's beer. Bastard. Dean's expressive face twisted bitterly.

He should have known. The silences, the enigmatic phone conversations. The hours his brother would disappear, only to reappear tired, tight-lipped and skittish.

He knew the signs. His brother was planning something, something that he knew Dean would not approve of. Something undoubtedly brilliant and unorthodox and damnit-he's-going-to-get-himself killed stupid!

Dean started a catalogue in his mind.

Overly bright room, protection against daevas – check.

Salt and iron, protection against ghosts and spirits – check

Devil's trap below him and one at the door and every window; a key of Solomon above each one, all carved; protection against demons - check.

He had a sneaky suspicion the water in the flask was Holy Water, especially given it was hung around his neck with a rosary.

Silver, herbs, sigils, salt lines, talismans, dream catchers, rowan and elder…the list went on and on.

The room was a fortress, a classic example of protection taken to OCD levels of extreme.

Each defense was telling Dean this was a plan long in the making; each protective charm telling him that Sam did not think he was coming back. Sign upon sign telling him that Sam had had help from someone as paranoid and determined to save him as Sam was.

Son of a bitch. Bobby, if you get Sam hurt, you will wished your wife had killed you after all!

Sam had been thorough. He'd obviously wanted to make sure that his brother could be traced by those close to him and had left Dean's mobile phone. Admittedly, he had left it in Dean's jeans pocket so he couldn't reach, but the kid was considerate, he'd give him that.

The cunning little shit had probably left instructions with Bobby anyway. I am so gonna kick his ass when I catch up with him…

What Sam had not counted on was Dean's full-blown panic and well-beyond-pissed frame of mind that had allowed him to break the chair by bodily throwing himself at the wall, dislocating his shoulder in the process.

Damn it all to hell…

Dean's lips thinned, hell being the start and end of this little tableau.

He quickly pulled the phone from his pocket and speed-dialled without thinking.

Sam's voicemail….

Damn, damn, DAMN!!

"Sam, Sammy listen to me, whatever you are planning, don't do it! Come back and we'll talk it through, I swear. Look if it works and doesn't kill your scrawny ass, I'll help. Please, Sam, don't try anything on your own. Call me."

He paused when he suddenly realised the buzzing he had heard throughout leaving the message was a sound he recognized, finally caught his attention. Walking over to the window, he could see Sam's phone lying in the last rays of a dying sun.

He knew how it felt. The fear he had been battling since he'd awakened was getting way too much confirmation for his liking and was rapidly descending into terror.

Sam wasn't going to make the same mistake twice. And it seemed maybe Meg's possession had taught him a thing or two about hiding. Yet another thing Dean was going to make her pay for.

He hung up and dialled the next number.

"This is Bobby Singer, you know the drill…" Beeeep….

"Bobby? Bobby, dammit answer the phone."

No answer. Christ, what if he's not there? No, he had to be.

"Please, Bobby."

What if Bobby didn't know after all? Where would he turn then? Ellen was unreachable, had been for months. His Dad was long-gone, the Roadhouse burned. Hunters were going to ground; too many had died these last few months, and most of the rest had been scared into hiding, or at least regrouping. And the majority of those remaining blamed Sam and Dean for what had happened. He would get no help there.

Even Henrikson and Gordon, anyone he knew with contacts to track Sam were gone.

"He's gone." He was finding it hard to breathe now, as the realisation that his brother has vanished and he didn't even know where to start to try to find him, hits hard.

"I need to know, Bobby" Where is he, what is he planning, will he survive, why did he leave me? Thoughts jumbling, all trying to force themselves out in words that found it hard to navigate their way out of a rapidly closing throat.

Why wasn't Bobby answering? Somehow, Dean knew he was there and the anger bubbling up at the thought that Bobby could be listening and refusing to help him find Sam, bolstered his voice.

"He talks to you all the time! You have to tell me!" Fingers whitened as his fingers gripped the phone more firmly, tightening their grasp on the one lifeline Sam had left him.

"Where is he? You have to know where he is! You have to…" Dean's voice took on an edge of desperation, worried now that the answering machine could switch off any moment, leaving him no closer to finding Sam. What if Bobby didn't answer? "Please, please, Bobby, you can't let him go like this, you can't!" For the love of god, Bobby, PICK UP!

"He drugged and tied me to a freaking chair, old man."

Maybe if Bobby realised the lengths Sam had gone to, that Sam was obviously planning on something so extreme that he'd done everything bar killing Dean to stop him. As if even that would.

"Where's my brother, Bobby. Where's Sam?"

He stayed silent for a moment, before continuing. "I know you're there. You can't avoid me forever, old man. If you won't tell me where my brother is, just tell me he plans to come back home." To me.

There was a click and for one heart-freezing moment, Dean thought that he had finally been disconnected.

"Dean."

He almost thought his father was on the end of the line, the gravelled voice so sorrowful and pain-filled.

"I'm sorry, boy. It's too late."

"Bobby, what has he done?" What had Sammy done to destroy the man so completely? Bobby sounded so broken, defeated.

And guilty.

A cold certainty enveloped the older brother. "Bobby, what did you do?"

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A/N

Hope this is an ok start; please let me know what you think! Second part is nearly done and it's only going to be a short one so no long waits. Again, apologies for the huge delay with my other fics!

Hugs to all!

Dream

xx