My very first fanfic. :)

"Come on, Bobby, pick up the phone," Sam muttered into the cell phone he held in his left hand while his right hand tightened on the object that he held there.

Bobby's voice mail picked up and Sam wanted to fling the phone against the wall. He was very aware of Ruby standing behind him in the open door of the motel room. He closed his eyes and forced himself to leave a message that sounded much calmer than he felt. He opened his right hand and stared at the familiar object lying there.

Dean's amulet. The only time Sam could ever remember it not being around Dean's neck since they were kids were the four months it was around his own. The four months that Dean spent in Hell. He swallowed hard and tried not to think about where Dean could possibly be now.

"Sam, are you okay?" Sometimes it was hard for Sam to remember that Ruby was a demon. She had the concerned voice down to an art. But if it hadn't been for her he would have been here with his brother tonight. He would have known what had happened. He would have known why they found his brother's necklace lying in the parking lot next to the Impala. If he had been here nothing would have happened to Dean.

"Ruby, you should just go." Much calmer than he felt.

"I can't just leave you here like this." Ruby moved closer to him but Sam backed away.

"I don't want you here." Sam was trying hard to control the anger coursing through him. Right now he'd like nothing better than to send her straight back to Hell but he knew that wouldn't help him in his fight against Lilith.

"But what about…."


"Sam, I wasn't ….."

Sam moved toward her this time and shoved her out the door. His phone began to ring and he grabbed it up as he slammed the door in Ruby's face.


"Sam, what's wrong? You said something's happened to Dean?"

At the sound of the older hunter's voice Sam could feel his composure starting to slip. "I don't know what's happened to him, Bobby. I should have been here but I wasn't. When I came back he was gone and I found his amulet out by the Impala. He wouldn't go anywhere without either of them."

"Did you find any kind of clue that would let you know what we're dealing with here?" Bobby sounded like he was all business but Sam knew that he was worried about Dean as well.

"Um…yeah, there was some sulfur in the hotel room but it doesn't really look like there was a fight so I don't understand that." Sam looked wildly around the room wondering if there was something he could have missed in his panic.

"Okay, look, tell me where you are and I'll get there as soon as I can."

After telling Bobby the name of the town and the motel they were staying in, Sam voiced his worst concern. "What if we can't find him, Bobby?" He bit his lip to keep the sob from escaping his throat.

"Son, we'll find him. Just give me a couple of hours to get there. Try to find out if anyone in the motel might have seen anything that could help us."

Sam nodded and then realized Bobby couldn't see him doing that. "I can't lose him again, Bobby. I can't."

"I know. I'll be there soon."

Sam collapsed into a chair and stared again at the necklace in his hand. It had only been a couple of days since the Siren had made him and Dean say those awful things to each other. No matter what Dean said, Sam knew they weren't okay but he could never get Dean to talk about it. Dean's words had more truth to them than Sam had wanted to admit. He knew that now. Look at what he'd been doing with Ruby tonight. Still keeping secrets from his older brother.

"Not anymore, Dean." Sam clenched the amulet tight in his hand. "When I find you, I'm coming clean. I can't keep these secrets anymore."

Sam closed his eyes and remembered the horrible words he'd said to his brother. He'd called him weak. Dean had sacrificed everything for him. Dean had given up his soul for him and he'd told him to quit feeling sorry for himself. What if those were some of the last words he ever got to say to his brother?

This time he couldn't stop the sob escaping his throat and why should he bother? No one was here to see him. No Dean to make fun of his chick flick moments. The tears flowed freely down his face as he began to weep.

Bobby didn't know how much longer Sam could go without sleeping. In fact, he wasn't sure how much longer he could make it. It had been 36 hours since Sam had called him. Bobby had been asleep when Sam had called. After all, it had been 2 a.m. Considering that he hadn't had any sleep since then he was pretty sure that Sam was going on three days without sleep.

"Just let me grab a quick shower," said Sam. "It will wake me up and I'll be ready to go again." They were finishing up a quick lunch they had brought back to the motel after being out all night searching for Dean.

"Sam, you have to get some sleep," said Bobby. He cleaned the empty sandwich wrappers from the small table and glanced at Sam from the corner of his eye.

"I can't sleep, Bobby. Not until we find Dean." Sam searched Bobby's face for some sort of understanding.

"I want to find Dean just as much as you do, Sam, but we're not going to be able to help him if we're dead on our feet." Even before he had the words out of his mouth he saw the tears forming in Sam's eyes.

Sam turned away from him. "I can't stop looking. Don't you understand that every minute I spend not looking for him is a minute closer to…to Dean being gone forever? Whoever took him probably isn't sleeping either. Who knows what they are doing to him? He wouldn't stop looking for me. He wouldn't give up. He wouldn't…."

Bobby grabbed Sam by the shoulders and gave him a brisk shake. "This is exactly why you need sleep. You're not even talking coherently anymore. A couple of hours is all I'm asking, okay?"

Sam nodded and flopped down on the nearest bed. He was asleep within two minutes. Bobby covered him with a blanket and then collapsed on the other bed in the room. He set his cell phone alarm to wake him in two hours.

Bobby was jerked awake in what seemed only moments later by a loud pounding at the door. He glanced at Sam and saw that he was still asleep. Poor kid really was exhausted. Bobby grabbed his gun and glanced out the motel window. He could see the demon, Ruby, standing at the door.

Bobby sighed and opened the door. "What do you want? We're kinda busy."

Ruby glanced at Sam and raised an eyebrow. "Yeah, really looks like it." She entered the room without an invitation and sat on the edge of the bed that Bobby had just vacated. "I know where Dean is and I know who has him."

"How do you know that?"

"I have my ways. I can't rescue him by myself though. There are too many demons helping guard him."

Bobby shook Sam awake. "Sam, get up."

Sam sat up on the edge of the bed and rubbed his face with both his hands. It took a minute before he realized Ruby was sitting on the other bed. He jumped up and looked suddenly wide awake. "What the hell is she doing here?"

"Hello, to you too, Sam," said Ruby.

"I told you I didn't want you here." From the look on Sam's face, Bobby was pretty sure Sam was within a few seconds of punching Ruby in the nose. He didn't think Sam was quite up to fighting with a demon right at this moment.

"Sam, she said she knows where Dean is." Bobby started loading their weapons into a duffel bag.

"What? Where? Who has him?"


Dean opened his eyes and tried to lift his head. It felt as if it weighed a ton. He tried to remember where he was and a shiver ran through his body. He was in Hell. He remembered Alastair standing over him with Ruby's knife in his hand and telling him how glad he was to have him back. Then Alastair had proceeded to cut him with that knife until he was screaming in agony.

He wasn't sure how long he'd been in Hell this time but he knew time was weird here. A day? A week? What was the point in trying to determine the length of his stay? He was sure that this time it would be eternally.

Dean tried to push himself into a sitting position but he was too weak. He had lost a lot of blood and unlike his last stint in Hell, he wasn't miraculously healing so Alastair could start over again. He was also shackled to what looked like a block wall. Dean wasn't sure what part of Hell he was in but it was somewhat different from the last time. It was colder too. Another shiver passed through him. He didn't remember Hell being cold at all. He wondered if Sam was looking for him.

"Sammy….." Dean's throat was parched. He swallowed hard and remembered the last time he had seen Sam. They hadn't parted on the best of terms. The things they had said to each other under the Siren's influence had still been too fresh. They had hardly spoken since that night.

I let you down, Sammy. Ever since Dad told me I needed to save you or I'd have to kill you, I've been trying so hard to save you. Now I'm not even going to be able to do that.

Dean knew that he hadn't handled things right with Sam. He knew that Sam was sneaking around with Ruby, doing God only knows what. He should have tried talking to Sam. He remembered the days when Sam wanted to talk about everything and Dean always brushed him off. Now he'd give anything to have one more day just to talk to his brother.

Why had he been so arrogant? Had he really thought that just because an angel had pulled him from Hell he would never have to go back? Where was Castiel when Alastair and his demon friends had shown up and dragged him from his bed? He still didn't know how they had gotten in without waking him. Sam hadn't been there. That was the one thing Dean had time to notice before they blindfolded him and knocked him unconscious.

"Sammy, where are you?" Dean thought of how innocent his brother had been when this whole thing had started. Now he was brazenly using the power the yellow eyed demon had given him. He had turned into someone Dean barely recognized at times but he was still his little brother. Dean knew that for once his dad had given an order he couldn't follow. He would never have been able to kill his own brother.

Dean heard movement to his right and tried to raise his head off the floor to see if it was Alastair returning. Fingers of darkness stretched into the edges of his vision and he dropped his head back to the floor. He didn't know what happened when you reached the end of your strength in Hell, but he knew he was almost there.

"Dean?" It was Sam's voice. Alastair must have decided to have some different form of fun.

"Not buying it, Alastair," he managed to choke out.

Dean felt hands on his arms and then they moved to his face. A small beam of light came from somewhere and Dean suddenly saw his brother's grim face.

"Sammy?" He didn't dare hope that Sam was here with him. He couldn't stop the tears that formed in his eyes. "Are you real?"

"Yeah, I'm real." Sam's dark eyes were filled with guilt as he helped Dean into a sitting position.

Dean grasped his brother by the collar of his shirt. "Don't leave me, Sammy." He searched his brother's face for some kind of sign that it was really him. "Please, don't leave me."

The fingers of darkness won and he slipped into unconsciousness.

Somehow Sam and Bobby managed to get a semi-conscious Dean to the Impala without any major incidents. Ruby was keeping an eye out for demons but they all seemed to have disappeared once Sam showed up. News travels fast on the demon grapevine.

There had been two demons guarding the entrance to the building Dean was being held in. Because Ruby didn't have her knife and they didn't have a chance of trapping the demons and exorcising them, Sam didn't have much choice. He had to use his powers. Evidently this was enough to set the other demons running. Nobody wanted to go back to Hell.

Sam couldn't look Bobby in the eyes. He could see Bobby giving him strange looks when he thought Sam wasn't paying attention. He'd never seen Sam use his powers.

I never asked for this. All I ever wanted in life was to be normal. Have a normal life, with a family, with Jessica. Now everyone I know thinks I'm a freak. And I guess they're right after the things I've done.

He knew Dean wouldn't be happy he had used his powers to save him but this was one time that he really didn't care what Dean had to say about it. He had been willing to do whatever it took to save Dean. He'd failed him once when Dean had to go to Hell for him. He wasn't going to do it again.

At the Impala, Sam and Bobby carefully helped Dean into the back seat. As Sam started to shut the door Dean grabbed him by the wrist.

"I thought I was in Hell, Sammy." Dean's voice was a hoarse whisper.

Sam glanced at Bobby without looking directly at his face. "Can you drive?"

"Sure," said Bobby. "You boys have any blankets or something in the trunk? He's shivering worse now than he was when we found him."

"Yeah, I think there may be one back there." Sam slid into the back seat with Dean.

When Bobby got behind the wheel, he tossed a blanket into the back seat. Sam wrapped it around his brother and held on to him tightly. Dean was shivering uncontrollably and Sam wasn't sure if it was from the cold or from all the blood loss.

"Where's the closest hospital, Bobby?"

"We'll take him back to my place. I know someone who can help us and it will save us from answering questions." Bobby turned the key in the ignition and nodded his head toward Ruby, who was still standing next to the car. "She coming with us?"

"No." Sam turned his attention upon his brother as Bobby gunned the gas and the Impala roared down the road leaving Ruby standing in the dust.

When Dean opened his eyes the next time it took him a minute to realize he was lying on the bed in Bobby's panic room. His wounds had been bandaged and he felt as if he'd been pumped full of pain killers. He didn't think the pounding in his head was ever going to go away.

"Hey, kiddo." Bobby was sitting across the room cleaning one of his guns. "Glad you're still around."

"Yeah, me too." Dean tried to raise his head and look for Sam but it was still too much of an effort. "Where's Sam?"

"I think he's outside." Bobby moved to the side of Dean's bed. "He's pretty messed up about this. Blames himself for not being there. And then you'd lost so much blood and he couldn't even give you his because of the whole demon thing . I think that finally set him over the edge. He stormed from the room and hasn't been back."

"Bobby, he can't be alone."

"I saw him, Dean." Bobby leaned in closer and Dean knew what he was going to say before the words came out. "I saw what he can do. He sent two demons back to Hell without blinking an eye. I don't know if you can save him, son."

"Get him in here, Bobby." Dean didn't need to hear how he couldn't save his brother. If it was the last thing he ever did, he was going to save Sam. The alternative was unthinkable.

"Dean, you have to consider the possibility…."

"I don't have to consider anything!" Dean tried to rise up on the bed but it just wasn't happening. Not today. And neither was what Bobby was trying to suggest. "I'm not killing my brother, Bobby. I don't care if the freaking apocalypse comes. I'm not killing Sammy. Now, could you please tell him to get in here?"

Dean's eyes felt heavy and he knew he wouldn't be able to stay awake long. He had to make sure that Sam was okay before the meds knocked him back out. He had to know that Sam was going to be there when he woke up again. He couldn't let Sam leave his sight ever again. And they were going to talk. Once and for all, everything out in the open.

Dean's eyes had already closed by the time Sam sat down next to him. Dean struggled to open them again. "Hey, Sammy. You look like crap."

"Right back at you." Sam gave him one of his sad smiles that didn't reach his eyes. The eyes that were full of guilt and tears. "I have something that belongs to you."

He held out the amulet that he had given Dean so many years before and Dean managed to smile. "I thought I had lost that forever."

Dean was able to raise his head long enough for Sam to fasten the amulet around his neck where it belonged. Dean had never told his brother how much that necklace meant to him. So many things they needed to discuss.

"Someone has laid some serious meds on me, Sammy and I'm not sure how much longer I can stay awake. You have to promise me that you will be here when I wake up."

"I'm not planning on going anywhere." Sam looked away as he said it.

Dean grabbed at his brother's arm. "That's not good enough! You have to promise me that you won't leave me. Promise me that you will be here when I wake up!"

"Dean, I'm sorry. This is all my fault. I should have been there." Sam lowered his head into his hands as if he didn't want to look at Dean.

Dean reached out and put his hand on Sam's head. Sam was misunderstanding what he was saying. He wasn't afraid of Sam leaving him because he was scared for himself. He didn't want Sam to leave him because he was afraid of what would happen to Sam if he was out of his sight. But it didn't matter to Dean how Sam took it as long as he promised not to leave.

"Please, Sam. Promise me."

Sam grasped Dean's hand and nodded his head. "I promise. Dean, I'm sorry for the things I said to you. I'm sorry for letting you down. I'm sorry….."

Dean held tightly to his brother's hand as Sam began to cry. "We'll talk. I promise as soon as I can stay awake we're going to talk about everything. Just hold on a little longer, okay?" Dean was fighting to stay awake. "Just a little longer."

Sam nodded and Dean gave up the fight.

Sam continued to hold tightly to Dean's hand even after Dean had fallen asleep. They were finally going to talk. Get everything out in the open. Suddenly he was scared. Would Dean still want him around when he found out what he had been doing with Ruby?

Don't be stupid. We're brothers. There's nothing Dean wouldn't do for me and he knows the same goes for me. We'll get through this.

But what would happen when Ruby came calling again? Would he be strong enough to tell her no? Lilith was still out there. Lucifer was a real threat. How was he supposed to ignore that?

Sam felt a wind rush past him and when he looked up Castiel was standing at the door of the panic room. "What are you doing here?"

"I heard Dean was injured and I wanted to make sure he was alright." Castiel moved closer to the bed and Sam was sure it was concern on the angel's face when he looked at Dean.

"Can you heal him?" Sam wasn't sure how much he liked the angels anymore but he knew they had powers unlike anything he'd ever seen. Surely Castiel could help Dean.

"I can't heal him but I can help him. I can give him a less troubled sleep and that will help him heal." Castiel placed his hand on Dean's head and the furrows in his forehead smoothed almost instantly. "I don't think he's had a good sleep in a long time."

"Neither do I," said Sam. "Thank you."

Castiel turned his blue gaze on Sam. Sam couldn't meet his eyes. It was like the angel knew his every thought. As if to confirm it he said, "You are going to have some decisions to make very soon, Sam. I hope for your brother's sake you make the right choices."

"What are you talking about? What choices?" He couldn't help the tremor in his voice.

"You know what I mean, Sam. You should also know that if you make the wrong choices you will lose your brother forever."

Sam looked at Dean's haggard face. They had been through so much. He couldn't lose him. "But how will I know the right choice?"

But when Sam looked up the angel was gone.