"Jess…Jess used to carry pictures of her sister with her, they were on her iPod," Sam uttered; looking out his window while Dea

Okay, here is the usual disclaimer: I do not own supernatural, nor any character created by the show, nor some of the ones in this story 'cause I stole them from almost 'real' life (my friends). Nor am I making any money from this unless my friends try and bribe me not to put it up, but I will anyway, so alas no money.

A/N: So here I am back yet again and attempting to make a go of this…again. Wish me luck and remember reviewing brings good karma. Oh and my pal Rob told me that chronologically this story doesn't make sense because the iPod I'm referring to didn't come out until a year after Jess died. I beg all of your indulges anyway because it was a perfect vehicle for the story.

Beta'd: morning sunlight with a little help from griffin-girl02 who gave me that last little push to post it.

Good writing

Serenity for all

Sincerely Rae Artemis

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Old Photos

"Jess…Jess used to carry pictures of her sister with her, they were on her iPod," Sam uttered; looking out his window while Dean attempted to decide between Black Sabbath or classic Mettallica? He looked over at Sam who was steadfastedly staring at the wide-open fields, his jaw clenching.

"Yeah?" Dean ventured carefully, dropping the tapes back into the box.

"I thought it was weird. She had died three years before I met Jess, drug overdose I think. Jess, never talked about it but she had a picture of them. They looked so happy." Sam swallowed hard. "We don't have any pictures like that do we?"

"I don't know, uh that is I don't know what kind of pictures you mean?" Dean temporized raking his memory over hot coals, straining to remember a photo that would fit the bill, surely there had to be one.

"Here." Still staring out the window Sam handed him an old iPod, the screen ablaze with colour. "Her name was Jennie but she preferred 'J'."

Seeing a gas station, Dean pulled in and looked at the photo burning on the screen of the two girls. It was taken at a party or something, both of them dressed up and smiling with actual joy. Jess and her sister looked like sisters, except while Jess was a sunny California girl, her sister J had dyed her hair nearly black and had heavy dark makeup. It must have been taken before the heavy drug use because her eyes were clear and she didn't have the look of a junkie, yet.

Sam had slipped out of the car at some point and was nowhere to be seen. Sighing Dean pocketed the iPod and wandered into the station to grab something for breakfast.

It was almost an hour down the road before Sam said anything. Dean had been chatting constantly, not sure what to say, he was currently extolling the virtues of classic rock over Sam's 'emo rock'. Sam was stolid, distant and being kinda weird.

Well he'd been acting really odd since the whole thing with the Trickster, in Dean's opinion. He hadn't wanted to talk about it and for the first week after hadn't let Dean go anywhere alone, not even the bathroom. It had driven Dean nuts and yet Sam refused to talk about it, even when Dean had attempted to have a, shudder, heart to heart with him about it. Sam had just given him a haunted look, shaking his head to signal he wasn't going to do this and then lay down on the bed, sighing sadly. Dean knew Sammy was hurting and yet he wouldn't let Dean help him.

"342." Sam breathed, almost reverently, his eyes still haunted and far away.

"What?" Dean spun the volume back down to 'mildly deafening, "What'd you say?"

"342." Sam repeated, staring straight ahead his entire body barely contained frustrated energy. "You died 342 times and every time I was left with nothing. Just this car and old photos of Mom and Dad." Sam appeared to consider punching the dashboard and thought better of it. Instead he shot a look at Dean, Sam's eyes boring into his, the sheer desperation in them catching him off guard. "Do you have any idea how hard that is? To be left with nothing?"

"Yeah Sammy, I do." Dean replied clenching his jaw spasmodically and staring determinedly at the road, rock music playing quietly in the background as the Impala drove on.