Sam couldn't make sense of much that happened during those first days back at Bobby's. Everything came in short flashes or snippets of memory. Part of it was because he was out cold for a while. Part of it was post stress. Part of it was his screwed up head, and the massive headache, and part of it was all the friggin other stuff that had happened with the Vamps. So now he had a cup of hot chocolate with him and he was sitting on the front steps at Bobby's trying to sort it all out.
They had arrived at Bobby's place at five a.m. in the morning. He remembered Bobby came out wearing a dressing gown and carrying his shotgun, with the dog barking the place down. He remembered being bothered by the dog for some reason, but he'd been too out of it to do anything.
"You boys, had better have a good reason for not calling me and letting me know where the hell you've been!" yelled Bobby going red in the face with rage.
Dean only glanced at him as he went around to open the passenger door.
"I've had every hunter in the country looking for your asses since you called from Rose … ." Bobby went from red in the face to pale in a second or two and Sammy remembered lifting a shaking hand in case Bobby passed out on them.
"Jeez," said Bobby gruffly. "That's not … Sam?"
Sam remembered being confused, thinking that was weird – Bobby not remembering him. It had only been a few months. He even wondered if Bobby had Alzheimer's or something coming along. He hadn't put together that it was just because he looked so different.
Dean put his arm under Sammy's shoulder and got him shuffling towards the door. Bobby was helping at the other shoulder in a second and together they got him into the house.
"The guest room ..."
"The sofa's better right now, Bobby. Trust me on this one."
Bobby helped put him on the sofa and took a closer look - like right in his face. "What the hell happened to you two? How'd he get into this state?"
Sam remembered frowning, wondering why Bobby was talking about him instead of to him.
Dean shook his head. "The Vamps got us. Sammy's arm is broken again. He needs a doctor. You know, the one that knows about the kind of crap we deal with." Dean lifted away the blanket he'd wrapped Sam in and checked the bite wounds, and Sammy remembered Bobby cursing about the bandages and then freaking about the amount of blood on his shirt.
"Ask your doctor friend to bring along some stuff for a blood transfusion. Sammy's got some meds here that he's been taking and I really need to talk to her about them." Dean tucked a pile of blankets around Sam and ruffled his hair like he was five or something. "Then I need my ribs taped up, Bobby. And a beer. I really could use a beer. It's been bad, Bobby. I'll tell you everything in the kitchen, while you're calling the doctor. I want to make Sam some hot soup up."
Sam remembered going to sleep on the sofa. Remembered feeling safe for the first time in too long. Remembered thinking that Dean had lied about not being hurt, and feeling agitated about it, but he hadn't been able to keep from slipping into sleep.
After that things got hazy for a while. There had been a doctor and a blood transfusion, a new cast, and a fever and a bit of delirium. One or two right royal nightmares too.
Things cleared up for a bit then. At least once he started getting passed the headaches. But he'd had a lot of trouble going to sleep and started jumping at everything, seeing shadows move and losing his temper about the stupidest stuff. He wouldn't go to the bed upstairs at all and Dean had set up a sleeping bag on the floor beside the sofa.
A couple of days later, Dean figured out that half Sam's nightmares were being triggered by the chain rattling on the dog outside and Bobby had promptly set the dog free and even went so far as to put the chain away somewhere.
Then he'd had trouble with eating again, even threw a plate of toast out the window one morning. He'd gone to sit on the steps where he was sitting right now and Dean had brought him some coffee and sat with him. Just sat with him until he'd finished the coffee.
"Do you want a refill?" asked Dean.
Sam shook his head, watching the dog come and eat the toast. "I ..." Sam tossed a pebble down the steps. "I need to remember it all, Dean. I need to be able to trust what's in my head. I can't go avoiding my own memories. I can't be second guessing every thought I think. I need to know if I was … I need to know how far Raf went into my head and if he r …," Sam shuddered and rubbed at his scrunched up eyes. "Jeez, this is hard."
"You need to know if he did rape you," said Dean wrapping his hands around his own coffee.
Sam was quiet for a few minutes looking out at the yard blindly. "Thing is … my brain's fried, everything 's messed up in there now and I can't ..."
Dean nodded and scooped up a small pebble from the stair. "I can understand that. I know it's hard to face up to, but you've got to eat, Sam. You're falling apart. If it's hurting you this bad, then you've got to remember. If he did … rape you, then we deal with it. I personally don't think he had the time. I know he did other bad things, messed with your head. I know it's hard, but … Sammy, I'm scared for you."
Sam looked over at his brother, momentarily thrown by the frank admission.
Dean shrugged. "You won't eat anything, Sam. You're living on coffee and hot chocolate. You're scaring me, and Bobby's worried half to death. You won't sleep, and when you do, the nightmares are --- ." Dean ran a hand through his hair and over his face. "I'm not saying you haven't any right to be upset or have nightmares – hell, I'm having nightmares, but – you're …" Dean threw the pebble away violently, and winced as he jarred his sore shoulder. "You have no idea how hard it was being in that damned house, watching Raf attack you over and over again. I nearly went nuts not being able to protect you Sam. That's my job – protecting you, has been since you were born and I couldn't stop them, I couldn't get you out even when I had that damned paperclip. I've never felt more helpless in my entire life and all I hear when I go to sleep is you screaming. I ... ." Dean sighed and dropped down another step to sit beside his brother. "I need you to get through this Sammy, 'cause I'm not getting through this without you. It's you and me, remember? Come what may, no matter what?"
Sam didn't know what to say for a minute. He'd been so focussed on himself and his own pain that he hadn't been thinking of what it had been like for Dean. He'd been a complete selfish idiot. "You did the best that you could Dean and you did get us out. You did just fine." said Sam.
"So how come I'm feeling like I failed you, Sammy?" said Dean softly.
They watched the sun go down together then and Sam thought hard. Tried to sort his scrambled memories into order.
"Use your other senses. Remember the feel of the stairs, the smells around you. They might help you remember," he rubbed absently at his ankle. "One of my worst nightmares is when he dragged you away from me down to his bedroom. I can still hear you screaming for me," Dean prompted softly.
Sam nodded looking down at his feet on the step without seeing them. "He had a sofa and a coffee table. Spicy smells. I could smell furniture polish. I tried to keep away from him. I … He wanted to convince me that I'd be better off as a Vamp."
Dean nodded and waited a bit before prompting Sam again. "He said he knew Da Vinci."
Sam's breathing picked up speed as he started remembering, and he started speaking faster "He cornered me … he was too fast. I ..."
"You told him that you didn't like him."
Sam shook his head, his eyes focused inward, speaking fast to get the words said. "He said there were only two days to go and he wanted to blend with me again and he broke my arm when I hit him. He said he was gonna turn me one way or another and didn't need my compliance and he was gonna make me his mate. And he … and he dragged me to the bed and he started ripping my clothes off and he got on top of me, and he … he was touching me and I was fighting and he started kissing me and touching ..." Sam shuddered. "I couldn't get him off me. He started mind blending and he got into my memory ..." Sam frowned in concentration. "Oh God, it was my memory of Jess and the first time we … the first time … ." Tears were pouring down Sam's cheeks, dripping onto his shoes. "He was touching me the same way like - like Jess did, and I couldn't … I couldn't let him take Jess. He put his hands down my … he was making me … I couldn't get him off. I couldn't … I was desperate and somehow, I pushed with my head, like I did before. Oh God. I pushed him off and then when he started coming back I pushed him as hard as I could through the door. He didn't ... ," Sammy's voice was suddenly full of realization, relief and exhaustion. "He didn't!"
Dean pulled Sammy in for a tight hug. He held on and stroked his brother's back while the kid held on for dear life with his shoulders shuddering. Stroked his hair. "It's okay, Sammy. It's okay. You beat Raf. He didn't rape you, Sammy. You beat him."
After that things got a little better. Sam started eating again, discovered an appetite - especially for Bobby's pancakes with blueberries. Suddenly Bobby was serving up mega sized stacks of the things and there were more blueberries than Sam had ever seen. He sat out on the steps with Dean each evening and went over each memory that Raf had gone into and they both found much to their relief that Raf's presence in the memories was fading and they were reverting back to what they had been before Raf had blended. Dean had gone over his blending memory too along with all the other stuff that had gone on in the house and Sam realized how hard it was for Dean to talk about it. How hard feeling helpless had been for Dean. Especially how hard it had been for Dean to watch his brother getting hurt over and over. Sometimes Dean was so furious, after their talks, that his hands would cramp up from being held in fists for so long. Sam could see that Dean needed this time at Bobby's just as much as he did.
Bobby had gotten all excited once he learned about elder Vamps and the Feya scroll copy that Raf had had.
"Here," he said one morning, giving Sam an empty journal book. "I want both of you to write down everything about that ceremony before you start forgettin' things."
Dean had looked at Sammy and frowned. "Bobby, I don't think ..."
"It's okay," said Sam picking up the pen and the journal. "It might help other hunters one day."
Dean shrugged. "I didn't get a good look at the goop that they were drinking or ..."
Bobby shook his head. "I've got that covered. Had Connor Liffers and Ed Wallace stop by at Rugby. They found the place easy enough. It's been abandoned, most of the cars are gone and any personal items have been taken. Connor got a good sample of the green goop and Ed has been looking for any other copies of the Feya scroll that might have been made. He says there are some ashes and scorch marks on the floor. Connor is gonna have those analyzed along with the goop, just to make sure."
Sam looked from Bobby to Dean with a frown. "Make sure of what?"
Dean sighed. "I was trying to figure out why Raf burned up like that. As far as I could see he followed through with the ceremony same as the others."
Bobby dumped a pile of pancakes onto Sam's plate. "From what you told me, I'm not so sure," said Bobby.
Sam frowned, trying to remember. "He carved the symbol on his chest, same as the others. He drank the goop and said the same words."
"Yeah," Bobby pushed the maple syrup into Sam's hands. "But he wasn't in control, and he bit you more than the one time. This Need thing that you told me about explains a lot. I think he burned up 'cause of it too. It might be worth looking up that Vamp Lenore, and her clan. It'd be worth it if the Vamps knew some of the stuff about the Need and how it makes them less human and less in control of their Vamp instincts."
Sam's voice was suddenly tight again. "Raf is dead isn't he? I mean, you watched him burn up."
Dean hesitated for the barest moment before he nodded, "He burned up all right, I don't see any reason for him to fake it."
"How could he have faked that?" asked Bobby incredulously.
"You had to have seen him move," said Dean. "He was that fast you couldn't see him. I half expected him to take me down even after he burned up."
Sammy frowned at him again. "There was no reason for him to fake anything. I mean he had total control. We we're tied up and the other Vamps were busy turning human. He could have beat us both by himself even if we'd had our weapons."
Bobby did a double take on them both. "Really?"
Dean nodded. "Next time there's an elder Vamp around we need to call in reinforcements. Like, half the Hunters in the whole country."
Sam's hot chocolate had gone cold in his hand and he put the cup aside. Overall, the last month or two had been hell. But there had been good points about it. He and Dean had been talking a lot more. They hadn't been this in tune with each other since Sam had left for school. And some of what they had talked about meant more to him than anything. He'd learned a lot about Dean. Being chained up together for a whole month had made them closer. A lot closer, more comfortable with each other too and he thought they were both a lot happier for it. He had come out of this all with more confidence in himself and in his brother and in their relationship. Yeah, a whole lot of good had come out of a bad situation.
Sam looked up as Dean came to sit beside him, carrying two cups. He pushed a fresh hot chocolate into Sam's hands.
"I'm fine thanks," said Sam. "Just … trying to get it all straight in my head now that the headaches are finally gone."
Dean sipped at his hot chocolate and pulled a crumpled letter out of his pocket.
"You going to read it? Nathanial said you could."
Dean shook his head. "I glanced at it, but it's … family stuff. I respect him too much to read it, I'm gonna feed it to the shredder when I go back in, I just wanted to know if you wanted to read it."
Sam shook his head and sipped at his hot chocolate.
Dean tucked the letter back into his pocket and leaned back against the railing. He wrapped his hands around his cup and sipped contentedly.
Sam took a sip from his cup too. "Bobby says there might be a hunting job over in Bardstown in Kentucky. Poltergeist he thinks."
Dean eyed his brother carefully, trying to hide the eagerness he felt about getting back into the game. "You sure you're up to it, Sammy?"
Sam nodded back at his brother. "It's 'Sam', Dean, just 'Sam.'"
Dean grinned impishly and sipped at his hot chocolate.
"Don't lose the address though; Nate's family address."
Dean tilted his head a little and looked at Sam questioningly.
"It's – I don't know. It's kind of good to know that the taint in my blood was good for something besides getting people killed. And Nate … I'd like to know if he made it okay. He was a great guy – for a Vamp. He tried his best for us."
Dean shrugged stiff shoulders.
Sam shook his head. "He took good care of us Dean, you know that. And he packed everything for us, took care of the car, even waxed her. He couldn't cross Raf, but he tried his best to help us. I found our wallets in the glove box along with some money."
Sam dug the wad out of his pocket and handed it over. "About sixteen grand."
Dean's eyes widened and he glanced back at Sammy's hopeful expression. "Yeah, okay. Nate was a great guy," said Dean, grudgingly. He sipped at his cup and frowned thoughtfully. "He's from Kentucky too. Maybe after the hunt we can drop by and ask after him."
Sammy smiled and sipped at his drink.
Well, that's it. I hope you all enjoyed this story. Let me know if I've forgotten to clarify anything.
I'm pleased to say I've achieved my goals with this fic. I wrote a small book in four months - just to prove that I could! AND kept a loyal readership and interest for this story. I've got a decision to make as to whether or not to try this professionally one day - I'd definitely like to have writing as a career or at least as a lucrative second job. So any constructive comments about style etc are most welcome. But wow, what a ride! Can't wait to do it all again! - After the holiday that we're leaving for tomorrow!
I have to say this has been the best fun. I've loved reading all the lovely reviews all 600 of 'em! A BIG thankyou to all who did take the time to review. As I've said time and again - it's the awesome reviews that keep people writing for fanfiction.
***** Possible SEQUEL in the works- given enough interest that is.****