It had been three weeks since they had left Chuck behind. Three weeks since Dean had convinced Castiel to help him, and three weeks since Dean had saved Sam's life. He had literally pulled him out from under Lilith's clutches. He had to admit, it felt damn good to have gotten something right, damn good to feel so....... good about himself, like, for the first time he could look himself in the mirror and see someone who mattered, someone with a point again. But that didn't stop him shuddering every time he thought about being too late. What if it had taken longer to convince Chuck to come? His mind betrayed him so many times over the last few weeks and scenarios of being too late ran through his head, making it damn hard to close his eyes.

The bitch of it was, if it weren't for the nightmares his mind kept throwing at him about Lilith getting that knife into his brother, he wouldn't have been lying awake in the dark. He wouldn't have seen Sam stir, check to make Dean was sleeping before slipping into the bathroom to make a quick call. He didn't need no Stanford education to guess who he was calling, but even two a.m. was damn dodgy even for a booty call.

Instinct kicked in when Sam emerged and once again checked Dean's sleeping form cautiously, before slipping boots on and grabbing a shirt to cover the T-shirt he was wearing and quietly slipping out the door. He was up and dressed in less than a minute, watching silently as Sam paced outside the motel room door, waiting....waiting for her. He stopped suddenly, wondering what the hell was he doing. What if they were.....hell what if they were going off to find a room somewhere, what if this was all about sex and not as bad as his natural instinct told him it was?

Ok so having sex with a demon was bad, even by his own standards and man he had sunk low on occasion, but something ate at him. Sam was silent, even more so than usual and ever since the incident with Lilith he had become even more withdrawn than Dean had ever seen him. He was tense, and he had a steely look in his eyes and a determination to end Lilith that Dean knew so well. He had seen it before, in his Dad. And his gut told him this was going to end the same way, and Sam was like Dad. He was scared, scared for Sam, and scared for himself, he was losing his brother, and he would lose his brother for good, to the same fate as his Dad and his Mom if he didn't stop it now, didn't step up and do what Dad had asked him to.

Look out for Sammy.

Cause Sammy sure as hell had stopped looking out for anything or anyone except Lilith, and he would bet everything he had, which wasn't much admittedly, that Ruby was no friend. He didn't give a damn what Sam said, or thought. Ruby had turned up when Sam was at his lowest and taken advantage. It had hurt on a level he hadn't even known existed, even from his time in hell, to thank her for saving Sam's life. But he sure as hell didn't trust her.

The sound of a car and lights approaching stopped his thoughts and every hunters instinct kicked in as he watched Sam climb into the passenger seat and the car took off. Adrenaline thrummed through his veins in a rush he had forgotten as he took off in pursuit as silently and as deadly as his Dad had taught him so long ago.

He followed the car for a good half hour, drove pass as it pulled into an old abandoned Motel, and circled around and back when he thought it was safe. Switching off the lights and killing the engine he guided the car into the motel yard and sat there in complete silence and regarded the one room with the light sat there longer than was necessary, he knew that. He also knew there couldn't be much worse going on in there than he already knew about. Sam was getting stronger, he had ripped Alistair apart like he was nothing, he had seen the concern in Castiels face as he had told him.

His mind wandered back to the warehouse he had found Sam and Ruby in all those months ago, the shock at seeing the powers Sam was using to exorcise the Demon out of that man. The fear and rage that had propelled him to attack first Ruby and then later on, Sam. He recalled the pleading in Sam's voice and the look of utter despair on his face when Dean had told him he would hunt him if he hadn't known him. . He remembered the regret he had felt at lashing out like that. He remembered how Sam had shut down and refused to discuss it when Dean had tried to talk later on. So yeah....whatever it was, whatever it was that was taking Sam out so late, and causing him to lie like that, it couldn't be as bad as that.

Could it?

He would go in there and probably walk in on them having sex and that would be the worst of it. Yeah....that was it....Sam had gotten a little horny and called 1800 dial a demon sex line and that's all it was. He would freak out and they would argue, Sam would rant about privacy and big brother following him around and within a few days they would be back to ignoring it and pretending it had ever happened.

So if that was the case....why was he still sitting in the car, watching the light from the motel room. Why hadn't he moved? Why was his whole body screaming at him that this bad, that this was it....he was about to find out exactly what Sam was trying to hide and it wasn't good.

Finally taking a deep breath and berating himself for being such a pansy ass, he moved from the car, the demon killing knife tucked safely in his jeans. He circled the room for a few minutes, judging and assessing. They had chosen the room well, Ruby and Sam sure knew what they were doing, no one wandering by would even get a glimpse of anything, even if they spotted the muted light. But they hadn't reckoned on Dean. They hadn't thought about Dean being back in the game. They hadn't planned for Dean having his every hunting nerve alive and thrumming and Sam certainly hadn't planned on this Dean. Oh he might have thought ahead, and thought he had it all planned out in case Dean followed him. But he had planned for the wrong Dean, he had planned ahead for the Dean who had just gotten out of hell, the Dean who had been struggling to even breathe without wanting to rip his own heart out for what he had done, had caused.

Sam had planned for the wrong Dean.

Dean the brother, Dean the hunter, Dean the man with a new light in his eyes, a new purpose in his stride, saw the crack in the plan. He saw the crack in the window, the little glint of light that shone through, and the gap that gave him enough room to see in without being spotted. The talk between the two inside was low and murmured. But enough that he could hear, enough that he could see.

Ruby stood at the far side of the room, her stance casual enough that Dean could see anyway, she was watching Sam as he paced the room, over and back in an agitated fashion. She looked like she was waiting. He didn't have to wonder long as the words filtered through;

"Ruby, it's been at least a month, a month since last time.....please...I know you said it was too soon, but I need it....Ruby, please....I need....."

Dean felt a sick sense of relief at the words he heard come from Sam. But at the same time he silently wondered what the hell was wrong with his brother that he had to beg a demon like this skank for sex. No one in his book was that good that he begged them for it, least of all her. He watched with a growing sense of unease as Ruby smiled, slow and seductively and moved to sit on a hard backed chair on one side of the room, allowing Dean a full view of Sam's face as he turned to watch her, his eyes alight with.....anticipation?

Ruby spread her jean clad legs wide and crooked her finger in Sam's direction, still smiling that smile and Sam walked to where she sat and sank to his knees facing her, his large hands holding her thighs, his face upturned and eager. He watched as Ruby lowered her head and kissed him long and hard. His hand flew to the knife in his jeans as he spotted a glint on the other side of Ruby and she pulled a knife of her own. He was seconds from bursting into the room when she raised her other arm and with Sam's face alight with eagerness and want, she slit a deep gash in her upheld arm.

Dean stalled, his hand still clutching the knife that lay in his jeans. Time drew to a crawl as his brain fought to deny the image that now insisted on imprinting permanently there. He watched with growing horror as Sam rose up on his knees to grab and Ruby's arm and bring it to his mouth, his actions those of desperation and need, want, must have. He shut his eyes for a desperate second and willed the vision he was sure he was having away, he wasn't as healed as he thought, he was dreaming...having a fucking nightmare, cause this.....what he was wasn't no, It was real, it couldn't be.....

Opening his eyes again he fought back a bout of nausea as he watched his baby brother suckle at Ruby's slit arm like a baby suckles his mother's breast. His movements and sounds those of a starving man. He saw Sam raise his eyes to Ruby's face, never taking his mouth from her arm, he saw the trust, he saw the look of innocence again in that look and he watched as Ruby stroked his cheek as he once again closed his eyes in rapture. But what made him go blind with rage, was the look of pure evil in her face as he suckled with his eyes shut tight.

He was going to kill the bitch!

He had no recollection of getting into the room. He had no memory of how he had Ruby by the throat against the window he had been looking through. He saw the horror on Sam's face as he pushed him aside like he was nothing in his rage. His brain noted the blood that lingered on Sam's bottom lip, and it registered Sam's tongue darting out and licking it clean before he sunk the knife into Ruby's dead heart as far as he could make it go. He barely heard Sam's cry of anguish, his desperate pleas for Dean to let go. He was too busy watching Ruby die, too busy wanting her to hurt so bad that he could feel the hate with every breath he took. He watched her smile once more and softly whisper "It's too late" and he let her go, her body crumpling to the floor in a heap.

He stood there, his whole body heaving with a rage he hadn't felt since he had killed the YED, and tried to get his racing heart and mind to slow down before he faced Sam. It was the silence that eventually got to him. It was the silence and nothing but Sam's heavy breathing that made him finally turn. And what he saw made his blood run cold.

Sam was on the floor where he had cast him aside, one hand covered his mouth, a thumb rubbing over his lips and into his mouth as if he was trying to suck every last drop he had let slip back in. His eyes were wide and frantic

Dear god Sam's eyes.....they were as black as Ruby's as he stared up in fear at his brother. He took a step toward Sam and stopped dead when Sam scrambled backwards.

"Sam? Sam what the hell?"

Sam's eyes cleared then and his beautiful hazel eyes pleaded for understanding as they flashed wild and he retreated further back.

"Dean...Dean shouldn't have killed her.... I need.... I have to have it....Lilith...she has to's the only way Dean...Ruby says so..... I have to have it.....where am I going to get it now? How am I going to be strong enough? Oh god....Dean....please..."

Dean stared wide eyed and horror struck, convinced this was an alternate reality of some sort Cas had thrown him into. He was going to kick his ass this time for sure, but Sam continued to mumble incoherently and his stomach fell as he realised what he was witnessing.....

Sam was an addict and he had just taken away the drug he thought he needed and Sam was scared and rambling. Moving without thought, he dropped to his knees where Sam had backed himself into a corner, flinching when Dean approached, expecting a fist that never came. Sam opened his eyes slowly and tears quickly gathered when he saw Dean on his knees in front of him, his hand outstretched. Feeling all of four years old again and needing his brother so badly he fell into his arms and cried as Dean held on like he had back then.

" me Dean..."

Dean wrapped his arms around his brother as he lay curled in a ball, his head snug in Deans lap, face buried in the warm scent of big brother, relief and fear coursing through Sam's veins.

"It's ok Sammy, I got ya, I got ya Sammy....I'm here now... we're gonna fix this I swear to you....I'm going to fix this."

And Sam held on and for the first time in over a year, Sam prayed.

He prayed that Dean was right.