BECAUSE

By: KAREN B.

Summary:Short missing scenes for the episode -- Born Under A Bad Sign.

Diclaimer: Written stricktly for fun/hobby/personal expression -- because -- I don't own them.

Rated: Nothing horrible. Angst Sam. Big bro Dean. Little bit of Bobby -- full of piss and beans.

Thank you for your time -- truy!

Sunshine,

Karen

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Sam's pupils returned to normal, but his brain was still sluggish, groggy. Simply put, he was exhausted, disoriented -- body and soul. Seemed like he'd been sleeping for hours, weeks, finally able to wake out of a dark nightmare. Immediately he analyzed where he was -- Bobby's place -- ass end on the floor.

"Gaaa!" His arm burned, and he couldn't make his feet obey his brain --boot heels scuffing against linoleum. Sam's attention split between Dean and Bobby -- eyes tracking between the two.

"Sammy?" Dean -- also ass end on the floor -- leaned forward.

A thousand thoughts ran through Sam's rattled brain. "Did I miss anything?" The only words that made it past his twisted brain and out his mouth.

Bam -- a fist connected with his jaw! What the hell?

Confused, and stunned, Sam rubbed at his chin, waiting for another fist, wondering if he'd woken into yet another nightmare. A very bad -- not so good thing -- twisted painfully deep inside his belly. Wrong. Something was all wrong.

"Brilliant, Dean!" Bobby shot Dean an evil look out of the corner of his eye

"What?" Dean slowly stood, leaning against the wall he winced holding tight to his left shoulder.

"Kids' been through enough. What you go and sucker punch the boy for?" Bobby growled.

"Because, it's what big brothers do," Dean offered up the lame excuse.

"Piss and beans!" Bobby riled.

"Ew, gross." A repulsive look crossed Dean's face.

"Barf is gross, boy. Piss and beans 'ill put hair on your chest," Bobby snappd.

"I'll bet it would." Dean placed a guarded hand to his chest.

"Doofus," Bobby muttered, turning his attention to Sam. "Just take it easy, kid," Bobby said, reaching a hand down toward Sam. "Let me help you up."

"No. No." Sam pushed backward, boots slip-sliding underneath him. Using the steam trunk behind him, he braced himself. "I can do it myself." The overpowering need for control -- outweighing the need for help.

"You Winchesters are a stubborn lot." Hands raised high, Bobby stepped away.

"Sorry, Bobby." Sam flushed, clamoring unsteadily to his feet.

"It's okay, kid -- I get it."

Sam was -- cagey -- shadows of memory invading his mind, like mismatched pieces of a jigsaw. He recalled waking up in their motel room to a strange buzzing noise. Glancing at the nightstand clock -- four am. Dean snoring loudly. Standing in the red glow of a vending machine -- a cold Coke can in his right hand -- an unnatural black smoke pouring out the return coin slot.

"Gahhh!" Sam swayed, spilling the stack of books that were sitting on the trunk behind him.

"Hey, hey, hey!" Dean took a step forward grabbing Sam under an arm. "Didn't hit you that hard, did I, bro?"

"Dean, I thought…how'd I get here?"

"What do you remember?"

"Motel room in Texas. Couldn't sleep, went to get a coke and… shit," Sam shivered, still smelling the stink of sulphur emitting from his pores. The bitch had not only muddied her way through his soul, she'd forced his hand to do things Sam Winchester would rather die than ever do. "I was…gawd it was in me." Sam's eyes rolled -- fully white -- sagging boneless back toward the floor.

"Sammy!" Dean caught Sam in his arms, struggling to hold his dead weight up off the floor. "Bobby, help me with him."

Sam was only half-aware of the strong hands that griped him on either side, dragging him across the room and into a chair.

"I'll go get a couple of icepacks." Sam heard Bobby's muffled voice followed by the heavy shuffle of feet.

"Sam." A hand patted gently at his cheek. "Sammy, come on, man. You been gone long enough, don't you think?" Dean asked in a shaky voice.

Sam roused. Eyes blinking, he fought past the gray sickness inside watching a dribble of blood escape Dean's shoulder wound.

"Dean," Sam groaned, panic gripping him fast -- flashes of memory still assaulting him. What had he done?

"Shh." Dean sat in the chair next to him, his palm brushing slick bangs away from Sam's eyes. "That bitch is out…"

"Meg?" Sam questioned, somehow knowing but needing confirmation.

Dean nodded. "Like I was saying…bitch is out of you now! That's all that matters…all I care about, and she isn't coming back, Sam. I'm going to see to that."

"Here." Bobby returned with the ice shoving one pack against Sam's bright red forearm the other against Dean's bloodied shoulder. "Idgits," he mumbled.

"Dean, your shoulder's bleeding." Sam shook his head angrily. "I...I..."

"It's fine, Sam."

Sam opened his mouth to argue, but before a fight could ensue, Bobby stepped in, handing over a couple charms that would ward off this ever happening again.

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They'd left Bobby's place hours ago. Dean had made light of the demon bitch riding around in Sam for a week. The joke had meant to be forgiving. Meant to erase Sam's obvious distress, but inside Sam was empty-- hollow -- maybe Meg had taken his soul when she vacated?

Neither Sam nor Dean had spoken a word since.

Silence lingered in the air between them, broken only by the rumble of the Impala clipping on down the road. Dean's senses on high alert, he glanced across the way at his brother.

Sam's head leaning back against the seat, face blushing white -- the slightest quiver flowing through his body -- leftover Meg. Dean figured being possessed was a little like being strung out. He could tell his brother was still in demon detox -- had placed himself in an apparent void -- replacing Meg by filling the space up with guilt.

Both hunters handled things in their own way. Dean -- was fire-breathing mad at the bitch, so much so, he'd struck out at Sam -- needing some sort of release for all his pent up emotions. Sam wasn't the only soul lost in the dark. Dean had been, too. Scared and unsure of how he was going to get his brother back -- whole. He hadn't meant to hurt Sam further by decking him. The punch was an unconscious gut reaction. The dark energy had attached to Sam like a shadow, and Dean couldn't protect him from that. He kicked himself for not picking up on the fact Sam was being ridden sooner than he did. Sam being possessed -- huge pet peeve. Ignoring the pain in his shoulder, Dean took in a breath and concentrated on driving, accepting the silence. Trying to think of anything other than the past screwed-up week -- normal much.

What was normal? He recalled when Sam was seven. He'd had his tonsils removed. Dean had stayed all night at the hospital by his brother's bedside, comforting him with ice cream and knock-knock jokes -- pretty normal. Sled riding in the middle of June, down a dirt hill using a thin sheet of plywood they found in the motel dumpster as a sled -- also, normal. Newspaper airplanes, finger painting with dad's shaving crème, shaking up pop cans, cracking them open and drenching each other in carbonation, playing hide and seek in a boneyard. Still normal -- for a Winchester -- until the time came when they each discovered monsters were real. After that -- everything normal -- collapsed. Dean couldn't help but look over at Sam again. The kid had lowered his lashes, eyes squeezed shut. Dean's gaze fell to Sam's long, shaky fingers -- absently stroking the burn mark on his arm. The spot was inflamed and had to be causing him a great deal of agony in more ways than one. Dean shuddered hard, unable to get the image of evil-Sam out of his mind, he could only fathom how his brother must have felt actually having that black thing floating around inside him for so long.

"Your arm okay?" Dean asked, unable to take the silence any longer.

"What?" Sam's eyes shot open, meeting Dean's.

"Your arm?" Dean tipped his chin toward the burn Sam still fuddled with.

"Same as yours." Sam suppressed a shudder, and quickly stopped touching the red spot shoving his hands into his pockets. "It's fine." He scrutinized Dean, his brother wasn't the only one who could whip out a lie. Sam stared a moment more, then turned away pressing his nose up against the passenger window.

"Sam, you don't…"

"I said…I'm fine, Dean, okay?"

"Okay," Dean relinquished, hearing the soft pained moan and noting the crushed and broken way Sam sagged further into his seat -- making his stomach clench tight.

Dean wanted to do a U-turn, somehow find that bitch, bulldog her ass to hell, instead he turned into the next motel, parked the car, and without a word they both got out.

Sam was having a hard time of it, stumbling twice over his own floppy feet that seemed to be made of cement, before finally making it to their room. Seeing his brother like that shook Dean deep, but he held back his temptation to coddle Sam. Letting him make his own way. Knowing the kid needed to break free from the hold being gobbled up by a demon had on a guy.

Friggin' bullshit, was what it must have been like, Dean thought. Sam's mind stuffed into a coat closet -- unable to stop the damn bitch. Her evil creeping through his body, like a syringe full of heroin. She'd taken away his capacity for control. Stealing Sam's sensibilities, sending him on a rampage -- body separated from brain. Meg and Sam were polar opposites. Good merged with evil. Having something like that inside you -- sucked the big wazoo.

Dean imagined Sam struggling, gasping, unable to fight her off. Pretty scary stuff -- even for a seasoned hunter.

Sam still hadn't said a word as Dean unlocked the motel room door, allowing Sam to enter first. His little brother looked like he'd come down with a horrible sickness, face still pale, beaded with sweat. He swayed a little on his feet, shuffling over to the second bed and plopping himself down onto the mattress. Dean dropped their gear, retrieving a couple of beers out of the small cooler he'd lugged in.

Handing Sam one, he waited for his brother to say something, but the kid just nodded his thanks, twisting off the cap and taking a long swig.

There were a million things Dean thought to say. Sorry for hitting you, one of them, but he just sat next to Sam shoulders just touching and nonchalantly sipping on his own beer.

Sam took another swig, glancing up, a weak appreciative smile on his face.

"It wasn't your fault," Dean finally said. "You know that, Sam, it wasn't…"

Sam's smile faded. "It was," he choked.

"Sammy."

"Please," Sam begged. "…Just don't." Sam turned away staring at the wall.

Dean swallowed the rest of whatever it was he was going to say. Sam didn't need to hear any of that right now. Nothing would take away his guilt or pain. No mystical words would make Sam feel right again -- at least not tonight. The wound was still too fresh.

Dean took another swig of beer, staring at a spider's web in the far corner of the room.

They'd both been through a pain-filled nightmare. Pain seemed to follow the Winchesters, an unavoidable and unrelenting creature. Dean sighed. Pain seemd to be placed before them so easily, the way most folks would order food off a menu. Place your order. The pain of heat, like the burn of a matchstick or hot poker. The slice of a paper cut or bullet slicing through flesh lodging in a shoulder. Today's pain special -- being forced to do things against your will.

They both sat for a long while, just drinking and staring off into space. The silence permeated everything and sent every thought dancing around the room, hanging freely, not needing to be said out loud.

The silence contained all, nothing was hidden. Dean's fire-breathing rage. Sam's overpowering guilt -- both as transparent as plastic wrap.

Cocking a critical eye at Sam, Dean could see his mind turning over and over. His brother's thoughts punching holes in his heart as he slugged down a mouthful of beer, swallowing, pushing himself to deal with things the only way he could; head on.

A trickle of beer slipped out the side of Sam's mouth, and Dean couldn't help but notice the shaky hand that raised up to wipe the drops away. With a shivering sigh, Sam sat forward and set his bottle on the nightstand. Suddenly, right before Dean's eyes, the grown man disappeared, replaced by the look of a timid child. Sam leaned heavily back dropping his head to rest against the headboard, and placed both hands flat upon his thighs.

For a split-second, Dean could see his brother's hazel eyes reflecting innocents, the small part of Sam that remained untouched by Meg. Those eyes danced with the light of a single birthday candle, strands of brown hair softly sweeping around the face of inexperience. Sadly, baby-faced Sam had hardly had a chance to show itself when the expression suddenly disappeared behind tightly pressed lips, replaced by the world-weary hazel eyes of the more than experienced hunter.

It broke Dean's heart to know his brother could never get back his innocence.

Being shot in the shoulder by your possessed brother -- sucked. Being possessed, unable to control your thoughts or actions -- sucked more. Dean moved a hand over to cover one of Sam's. Sam flinched away, curling his fingers into a tightly clenched fist, barely able to bring himself to his feet.

Dean tensed, watching Sam impatiently pace around the room. Sam was walking a tightrope without a net. His body near collapse. Dean could feel the tension he threw off reaching inside himself, stirring those raging flames -- hotter still. He quickly doused them. Sam needed him calm, anchored.

Sam stopped pacing a moment, teetered on his feet, racking fingers through his hair. He needed to wash up. Needed to try and get some sleep but rest wasn't going to come to him easy, his conscience torturing him.

"Sam," Dean whispered softly, but Sam cringed anyway, like a startled animal.

"Hey, hey, easy, pal, just me talking. You want to take a shower?" Dean tried to distract.

"I want to feel like myself again." Sam responded with a small shrug of his shoulders, wrapping his arms close around himself.

Sam stepped over to the window, pulling the curtain aside he stared out into the night, the flickering neon sign of the motel splashing red shadows on the walls. Sam paled further, pressing a shoulder against the wall. His knees shook, nearly melting down to nothing like a waxy candle stub.

"Need some air." He barely held back a sob opening the window, a gentle wind plucking at his hair. "I can still hear her voice in my head, Dean," Sam began. "She's gone, but I still hear her."

"I know, buddy."

"The things I did… what…Jesus-shit, Dean! I could have killed you... Joe…hell I did kill…"

"You didn't!" Dean's voice strong and forceful. "Sam…" he paused. "That bitch was crazy. She used you -- kicked your ass. You had no control. You were nothing more than a damn demon pez- dispenser. The tramp pulled your head back, and out popped the candy. It wasn't you who did any of those things," Dean stated loudly, wondering how his kid brother still had enough strength left in him to still be on his feet. Sam looked like a wobbly legged lamb, and Dean -- Dean was the bad shepherd who hadn't kept 'said lamb' safe. "Demons don't play nice, bro. Fetch. Sit. Good dog. Sammy, she manipulated you -- you were trapped."

"I feel like a monster," Sam said, sadly.

"Dude….she turned your head into a cantaloupe, man. She-bitch is the monster, not you, not you, Sam! Meg slammed you into a Good Girl's Gone Bad video and…" Dean gripped Sam's shoulder. "…And I promise you, after tomorrow, kick-ass-crazy will never happen again -- I got five bet on that."

"What's tomorrow?"

"We're both getting a 'do not enter' sign branded…" Dean poked a stiff finger into Sam's chest." Right here -- better than chest hair," Dean gave a small laugh.

"Tattoos?" Sam frowned.

"Do not enter signs," Dean repeated, firmly.

Kid was pining away for his innocence. Dean couldn't blame him. Yet another piece of Sam's soul had been taken by all that was supernatural. All that he feared, all the shit the job flung at them. Dean knew what Sam was feeling. Hell, he often felt the same. Shame. Self doubt. Uncertainty. Loss. Guilt. Fear. Dean wanted to make it all disappear in the wink of an eye. Wanted to say something, anything to make things okay, but couldn't, there was nothing. Their lives, their ragtag family -- would never be Brady Bunch -- spick and span.

He moved over, standing at Sam's back, so close he swore he could feel Sam's heart beating.

Dean stared out into the night with Sam.

Stood there.

Breathing.

At his brother's back.

Let the demons and ghosts come in the night. Threaten to blot out his brother's life. He would shelter Sam, protect him, save him. Take away every curse, every pain.

"How can you stand to be near me after what ….what happened," Sam shivered.

"Because," Dean heaved heavily, draping an arm across Sam's shoulders, pulling him near. "That's what big brother's do," he claimed. "No piss and beans about it." His voice soft in Sam's ear.

"Thanks," Sam quietly sighed, the last of Meg draining away.

The ' blah, blah' end.