Authors note: Hunter of the Shadows missing scene. This takes place between chapter two and chapter three, when Sam is left alone with John to suffer at his hands.

I love the verse that Skag Trendy has created and the chance to dabble in it was too tempting not to. This is unbeta'd and not quite what I usually write, so I hope it does her verse justice.

It was painstakingly familiar now.

Sam watched from behind eyes that he wished weren't his own as John lunged at him.

"Get in your room, you l'il sh…" With the slurred words barely off John's tongue, something heavy and solid collided with Sam's jaw, knocking him back into his room. He could feel his bones crunching under the impact.

That was the last thing that Sam remembered.

When he woke, he was lying on the floor, temples pounding, jaw aching.

It wasn't the first time, he was almost used to it now, knew better than to try and fight back, knew better than to plead or beg. That only made things worse. No, it was better to just take it, get it over with. Better to just lie still and hope his Dad thought he'd passed out or that he was dead, maybe he'd stop then, maybe he'd pause, maybe he'd be sorry, but he never was, not once.

Sometimes Sam thinks Dad's right, maybe Sam does deserve it, he makes Sam say it was all his fault, that he was to blame, that he killed his own brother, that he damned them all.

Sam's said it often enough he's almost starting to believe it. It's as good as true anyway.

It's cold on the floor, but when Sam tries to get up, tears well in his eyes and he falls back down. He curls in on himself, sobs wracking his too thin frame. He wants his big brother so bad it hurts, hurts more than the cuts and bruises and broken bones ever will.

He's too weak and dizzy to lift himself. He hasn't eaten for days, but the hunger pangs stopped long ago. Yeah, he's starving, but on so many levels that have nothing to do with food. His starvation runs deep into his bones. It's a desperate hunger for a pair of green eyes to look warmly at him, for a hand to ruffle his hair, an elbow to teasingly dig into his side.

He misses his brother so damn much.

He started wearing Dean's clothes the day after he left, they smelt like him, a comforting mix of musky, warm gun oil and home and safe and love, but that was months ago. They don't smell like anything anymore, but Sam can't stop wearing them. It's all he has left.

He can't quite believe it's been months since Dean walked out of his life. It feels like yesterday. He can't bring himself to move on. Moving on means drifting further away from Dean, so he keeps replaying everything over and over, rewinding the day and reassembling it a hundred different ways, each version never ending in a hug, a goodbye and an empty promise.

He plays Dean's last words on a constant loop in his head; they're burnt into his memory.

"It'll be ok Sam. I promise."

Lies.

"It'll be ok Sam. I promise."

They both knew it wasn't true the moment Dean said it. Oh, the sun keeps on rising and setting, the world carries on around them, but no, it hasn't been okay since that awful day, not even close. Nothing will be okay ever again.

He's lost his brother, he's lost his father and he's lost himself too. How is that okay?

He can hardly remember the boy he'd been before, a boy that laughed, that felt loved, that had a future. A boy that wasn't broken and bruised inside, that didn't have fractured bones, a fractured soul.

Sometimes he dreams at night. He dreams he's alone in a forest, shadows looming amidst the trees. Something's watching him, he's sure, and then a twig snaps, then another and he knows he's not alone. Panic takes hold and he begins to run, the rustling of leaves and cracking of branches behind him, spurring him on. A pair of familiar green eyes float in the darkness, a growl issues from the trees and Sam is slammed into the ground as a frenzy of fur and teeth descend upon him.

It's not a nightmare.

The nightmare starts when he opens his eyes, when he wakes and knows that nothing he does today will be right. When he knows as soon as he leaves his room he will be hit, that if today is a good day he'll be slapped around a little, but if it's a bad day he could have a hand around his throat, a fist in his face, a kick to his ribs.

When it gets really bad, when John's at his very worst, Sam hates his brother. Hates Dean so much for leaving, for letting himself get hurt, but then the guilt and blame kicks in and he hates himself for even thinking such a thing, it's just that he wants Dean to come back so bad, wants him to come back and fix all the pieces of Sam's broken life, just like he always did.

He used to pray every night that Dean would walk through the door, that Dad would stop drinking, stop hurting him, would love him again, but if there is a God, he's not listening.

It seems like everyone's turned their back on him.

Sam doesn't pray anymore.

He almost wishes his Dad would lose it completely and end it.

He just wants it all to stop.

He knows how easy it is to kill someone, he's learnt the hard way.

You don't need a knife, a gun, or even a bottle of Jack and an angry fist.

You just need to take away their brother.

Thank you for reading.