When The Past Comes Back To Haunt You.

Summary. . . . . . . . . What if the rabbit's foot wasn't the only thing taken from John's Storage unit? What if something that haunted Sam so long ago was taken also? Something with a lust for revenge, and a need to finish what he started all those years ago. An AU sequel to The Nutcracker.

Disclaimer. . . . . . . . Still only borrowing from the genius that is Kripke.

A.N. . . . . . . . . . . . Huge thanks to everyone who read, and to those who reviewed, the last chapter. I hope you enjoy this one just as much. Peanut x

Previously. . . . . . . . .Bobby didn't want to encourage the older brother, but Dean's happiness was catching and he found he couldn't help himself. "That was good Dean. That was good." He watched as Dean turned back to his Brother, and prayed his response was right. It did look good though, and maybe for once the Winchester luck would hold, they'd just have to wait and see.

The Winchester luck that Bobby had been hoping would hold, for once finally did. Each time Sam woke up, he was just that bit more lucid, and he managed to stay awake just that little bit more. They weren't without their problems though, Sam suffering from aphasia, his frustration evident as he battled to find the right words he wanted to say; words that had before come to him easily, and the more he battled the more frustrated he got, which increased his difficulty and caused him to stutter and become angry, Bobby's fiend though had insisted that this was normal, and that given time it would rectify itself. Infection had also set in; the smallest sliver of metal imbedded within one of the wounds the cause, neither older man even sure how it got there, and no matter what they did, they just couldn't seem to get control over it. Six days Sam battled, the strength he had gained dwindling once more. He'd only just recovered from that when he came down with what they thought was a severe cold, but which quickly turned into influenza, and had Bobby and Dean both praying it wouldn't turn into something else; their prayers being answered when Sam finally turned a corner.

They'd moved out of the cabin, after a month of staying there; Sam sleeping on the backseat of the Impala the whole ride back to Bobby's, not even stirring when Dean accidently drove through a pothole; an accident, he would swear to Bobby later, which had nothing to do with the blonde babe with the big. . . . . . . . . smile. Sam hadn't even protested the mother henning that both men gave him, as they helped him from the car, into the house, and up the stairs; although he drew the line at them undressing him. They'd been back now for two weeks and whilst Sam had steadily improved in surroundings he knew, he still tired way too easily for Dean's liking, and he still at times had trouble finding the right words he wanted to say, but there was also something else. Sam was hiding something; he ate even less than he had before all this, the weight refusing to return to his body; his still carried that unhealthy pallor on skin that had once shone golden; he still tired easy, his eyes testament to that, the once shining orbs now dull and ringed in dark circles. Dean had a feeling Sam was dreaming at nights too, his brother unable to banish the nightmares of the past, yet when he asked, Sam would always insist he was fine and left Dean wondering if Sam had started keeping secrets once again. After being woken up again, in the early hours, to Sam's cry of distress, and once again being told all was fine, Dean had decided he'd had enough.

Sleep had evaded him for the rest of the night, which was why he was wide awake and on his third cup of coffee when he finally heard Sam stir. He'd asked Bobby to make himself scarce for the morning, the older man willingly doing so, he too having seen Sam not improving, his own worries escalating to the point he had silently approached the older Winchester Brother and stated his own concerns.

Getting up he made Sam a cup of the milky crap he insisted was coffee, listening as he did so to the sound of Sam's shuffling feet as he padded along the hall and down the stairs, taking it back to the table with him whilst he waited for his brother to appear, his mind conceiving how he was going to approach this, and getting so caught up in his tactics he failed to realize that the slow shuffle failed to stop at the kitchen, but instead carried on down the downstairs hall and out through the front door.

It was Bobby's new mutt that brought him back to the here and now, the dog barking warningly until he realized who was invading his yard; settling down, once it spotted Sam, upon the relic of an old Ford. Figuring he would have to go to his brother, and not wanting to put it off any longer, Dean grabbed the two cups off the table and followed Sam outside. He paused on the porch and squinted in the early morning sun, allowing his eyes to adjust before joining Sam upon the rickety steps, paint flakes breaking off as his jeans brushed them and floating in the morning's gentle breeze. Once he'd passed Sam his coffee, and wished him "Morning" though, he found himself at a loss of what to say next; Sam eventually breaking the uncomfortable silence for him.

"Did you know?" Sam asked.

"Know what Sam?" Dean inquired back, not knowing where his brother was taking the conversation.

"I remember everything now Dean. Those dreams I've been having, they've been of the Nutcracker." Sam whispered.

"That's not surprising; I'd have been more surprised if you weren't dreaming of him."

"No, you don't get it Dean; they're of the Nutcracker and me, but in them I'm smaller. I tried to tell myself I was just imagining things, but I wasn't was I?" He didn't wait for a reply, instead adding. "I knew I wasn't and the more I thought about it, the more I remembered. So I ask again, and I'm praying for the right answer. Did you know?"

"Did I know about the past? Did I know you'd met that damn puppet before? Did I know he carved those scars into you, created those burns upon you? Yes, I knew." He waited for a backlash from his brother, but all he got in return was an "oh" a resigned sigh, and then silence.

Eventually Sam broke it once again. "I think I hid it all, blocked everything that had happened, but I think I always knew you were all keeping something from me, I remember all of a sudden it was as if the reigns had been tightened; I couldn't go anywhere alone, I was never allowed to stay late at school, and god help if a stranger asked me for directions, you and Dad were on them like a shot; but I could never figure out why, and if I tried too hard to remember I'd get this really strong feeling of terror, so I guess I stopped trying."

"I'm sorry Sam, I wanted to tell you, but they were older, and I thought wiser, so I went along with their plan."

"It's okay. I was still young, I imagine it would have been harder if I'd have known; but Dean, why did you let me go to the locker if you knew it was there?"

"I didn't know Sam, I swear, I didn't know. I didn't even know about the locker remember. I would never have let you get anywhere near that thing if I'd have known. They told me it was destroyed, they told me it was over. Sammy, I didn't know, you have to believe me."

"I do Dean, I do."

Taking a hunch Dean asked. "So, is that what's been bothering you? You thought I knew and didn't tell you?" At seeing Sam's small nod, he reached over and placed an arm around his neck. "You should have just asked me dude, I would have told you and you could have concentrated on getting better." He leaned into Sam's side, enjoying their closeness for once. "Sam, I promise you it's over now, that damn puppet is dead, salt and burned, and buried. It's over."

"Is it? It's not for me." At seeing his brother's shocked expression he quickly added. "Not yet, but it will be, give me some time Dean, that's all I ask, give me some time to work through this."

"All the time in the world little brother, you can have all the time in the world."

The End.

A.N. . . . . . . . . . . . . Well that's it folks! Two years and four months in the making, but I finally finished it. Thank you so very much to everyone who has taken time out, at any point, to read this your support as always is the push I need to keep going. So what's next, hmmmmm, I guess you'll just have to wait and see. Will catch you all soon, and thanks again. Peanut x