Author's Note: This story takes place during the third season a few weeks after the episode 'Fresh Blood'. This was written for the prompt 'Unprepared' from the 50 prompt page. Written November 2007.

Unprepared

Pulling into the gas station, Sam nudged Dean awake. Dean sat up and looked around. "Billings?" he asked.

"Yep." Sam answered before getting out and filling up the Impala.

Dean got out to stretch his legs, and said, "Montana's freakin' cold in the fall."

"Colder in the winter."

Grabbing his jacket from the back, Dean put it on and went into the convenience store to get a snack, a local map, and pay for the gas. When he came back to the car Sam was standing near the front of the car and pretending to look at some of his notes. Dean smiled softly and shook his head, wondering how long it would take for Sam to get comfortable being the main driver.

Purposely walking past Sam and getting into the passenger side, Dean said, "Let's go."

Sam got in the driver's seat and handed his notes to Dean. As he pulled away from the gas station, he kept an eye out for local motels. Dean looked over Sam's notes and said, "Tell me again why we're taking reports of a Bigfoot seriously? Every time we've looked into sightings we find a grizzly bear or some whack job trying to pull off a hoax."

"Dude, I already explained this."

"Must have been what put me to sleep."

Sam huffed and repeated himself. "It's not the reports of the Bigfoot that worry me. It's the reports of missing teenagers two days before each sighting that we're looking into."

"And you think they're related because…..?"

"Usually there are between four and six Bigfoot sightings per year in Billings and the surrounding area. This month alone there have been twenty-six. The increased number of sightings made me curious enough to do some research, but once I looked into it, I'm more concerned with the fact that the number of missing teens in the area has tripled in the past month."

"One of the escaped souls preying on teens?"

"I don't know. That's what we're here to find out."

Sam saw a hotel that had a vacancy sign and pulled into the lot. After they got their hotel room they headed for the local library.

Three hours later they had a list of 15 names and addresses. Dean got out the map and put dots on it for each of the names. Showing it to Sam he said, "No pattern."

Sam leaned against the car and sighed. "No common denominator so far, they went to different schools, they're different ages, and have different interests. We must be missing something."

"We'll need to interview the parents and friends. See if they know anything the papers didn't tell us."

"FBI?"

Dean nodded. "We usually get the best results with that cover." He looked at his watch and added, "Only four more hours of daylight left. Wanna split the list and meet back at the hotel?"

Looking over the map Sam said, "These six are pretty close together. I can do these, and you can take the car to do the others. I'll take a cab back to the hotel."

"You're better at getting information out of people. I'll do these six. You take the car and do the others."

"I'm better at getting information out of people? More like you'd rather hang out at a bar with some random girl while I do more of the leg work."

Smirking unrepentantly Dean said, "Stop being a little bitch about it and drive us back to the hotel so we can get our suits."

Sam had been to two houses so far, and was on his way to the third. He stopped at a red light and looked down at his map. As he was looking at the street names, he got a strange feeling that someone was watching him. Frowning he put his head up to look around. There on the corner of the sidewalk was Ruby staring at him. There wasn't much traffic, so as soon as the light turned green Sam was able to pull over to the curb and park. He got out and walked to Ruby who stood waiting for him.

"What are you doing here?"

"Looking for you."

Sam looked around to assess any other threats but found none. "Well you found me, what do you want?"

"I have information for you. Wanna go grab a cup of coffee and talk?"

Ruby nodded her head towards a small café that was next to them. Sam crossed his arms and said with irritation, "Stop acting like this is a social visit and start talking."

Ruby gave him an exaggerated pout and said, "If you don't play nice I won't tell you what I found out about Dean's little problem."

"Dean? Do you have a way to break the deal?"

Ruby smiled at the urgency she heard in Sam's voice. "Come have a coffee with me and maybe I'll share."

Glaring Sam said in a deadly calm voice, "I'll have a coffee with you, but if you're wasting my time…."

Ruby turned and walked towards the café while Sam was talking. Sam looked around one more time, checked the gun at his waist and the vile of holy water in his suit jacket pocket, and then followed her to the café.

Ruby found a booth that was away from the other patrons and took a seat. Sam was quick to join her. Ruby said, "It took me a long time to figure out who holds the contract for Dean's soul."

"Who is it?"

"Your father."

"What? Don't waste my time with your games. I have a case to solve."

Sam started to stand, but Ruby put a hand on his wrist to keep him at the booth. "I'm not wasting your time. I'm telling the truth. Just give me some time to explain."

Sam sat back down, but before he could say anything the waitress arrived and said, "What can I get for you folks?"

Not in the mood for interruptions Sam held out his fake FBI badge and said, "Two cups of coffee, a check, and some privacy."

The waitress gave him a wide-eyed nod and went to get the coffee. Sam and Ruby glared at each other until the coffees and a check arrived. With gritted teeth Sam said, "Explain."

Ruby took a sip of her coffee and said, "I guess to tell the story I'll have to start at the beginning, and that means starting with Mary."

Sam lost his glare and Ruby continued. "Do you know why your father decided on a civilian life instead of a carrier in the Marines?"

"Mom got pregnant with me when his last tour ended, and he didn't want to be away from home so much."

"Well I suppose they couldn't tell you the truth."

"The truth?"

Ruby put a hand over Sam's and said, "Your mom was pregnant before the tour was over."

Sam yanked his hand away and whispered. "What?"

"Your father was on tour. He wasn't home to get your mom pregnant."

Sam started shaking his head no. Ruby said, "John's not your father."

Sam kept shaking his head no as his thoughts ran rampant. He flashed on all the times in his life when he had fought with his father. He thought about the vast differences between himself and Dean, and then about all the similarities between Dean and his father. Sam's head stopped shaking and he focused on Ruby.

"You're lying." He said without much conviction.

Ruby shrugged. "You say that, but deep down in your soul you already know it's true."

Sam scoffed, "And in this little fantasy you've created, who is my father supposed to be?"

Ruby gave him a look and said, "Mary was always faithful to your father, but found herself pregnant anyway."

"That's just….." He thought about his mom and the stories he had heard about her. Then he remembered seeing the night of the fire. His mom had recognized the demon before he had attacked her. He whispered, "The yellow eyed demon?"

Ruby smiled while shaking her head. "Azaza? He was just a follower like me."

"Then who?"

"Think bigger. Have you ever thought about the significance of your parents names?"

"John and Mary?"

Ruby rolled her eyes and muttered, "And you're supposed to be the smart one." She looked at him directly and said, "Yes John and Mary. Mary being pregnant without having slept with anyone…."

"You're making bible references?"

"Bingo."

"You're implying that I'm the antichrist?"

"I'm not implying it. I'm giving you a fact."

"That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard."

"You've already risen from the grave."

Sam clenched his jaw and said, "You know for a fact that was my brother's doing, and not some kind of miracle."

Ruby leaned towards him and said with intensity. "A crossroads demon can't bring people back to life Sam. They can heal someone who isn't dead yet, and they can reanimate someone who is dead which makes them a zombie. They CAN'T bring back the dead. There are only two beings out there that have that kind of power, and the one who brought you back is known by his followers as Lucifer."

Snorting with disbelief Sam said, "So let me get this straight. You're telling me that my father is the devil, you know I'm the antichrist because he brought me back to life, and he holds the contract for my brother's soul."

"That's right."

Shaking his head Sam looked down into his coffee and tried to decide what he thought of that story. After a few minutes he said, "What about the others with powers, Andy, Ava, and Jake? How do they fit into your theory?"

"Azaza was Lucifer's right hand man. He kept track of all of Lucifer's children until they were of age to fight for the honor of leading the army of damned souls back to earth."

"All of Lucifer's children?"

"Don't let that make you feel less special Sam. You're the only one He brought back to life."

"But Jake won the fight."

"Jake wasn't meant to win. That's why He brought you back. You're His favorite."

Sam shook his head thinking that Dean had always had that privilege while they were growing up. He tried shaking that thought out of his head, telling himself he shouldn't be thinking that way, because that meant he was starting to buy her story. He sighed and said, "So what do you think I should do with this information?"

Smiling Ruby said, "Save Dean."

"How?"

"You give Lucifer the son he wants, and in return he'll let Dean go."

"Make a pack with Satan? My soul in exchange for Dean's?"

"No. He doesn't want your soul. He wants your allegiance. He wants you to accept who and what you are, and lead the army of the damned over the earth to make it a better place then it is now."

"Demons are basically evil! Bringing them onto the earth won't make it better, it's already made it worse!"

"People are basically evil too. But when they have a leader like Jesus to follow, they try to overcome their evil nature. Demons are the same. They will see the miracles you are able to perform, and they will believe and follow you."

"I can't perform miracles! I don't even have the stupid visions anymore."

Ruby glared at him and said, "That's because you died which severed your link with Azaza. Now that he's gone you'll have to link up with a different demon to get your powers back. And believe me when I say the visions are just the beginning. You will be able to perform miracles very soon. And no demon will be able to stop you after that."

Sam stood abruptly and said, "I have work to do."

He turned to walk away and Ruby called after him, "I'll be here all day tomorrow. Let me know when you're ready to take action."

Sam walked out without acknowledging her. His angry strides took him quickly to the Impala. He got in and slammed the door behind him. He sat staring at the steering wheel for the next fifteen minutes, trying to force himself not to believe the things Ruby had told him. His cell phone's ring brought him out of his reverie. He looked at the caller and saw it was Dean. He answered, "Yeah?"

"I'm half way done. How's it going on your end?"

"Two down and seven to go."

"Well get a move on. You don't need to get their whole life story, just get the basics and go to the next house."

"I just pulled up to the next house. Gotta go."

Sam hung up before he could hear what Dean would say. He looked down at the map of houses for a few seconds, turned the ignition, and headed for the library to do some research on antichrist folklore.

Dean looked at his watch for the fifth time and muttered, "Damn it Sam, where are you."

He'd left the bar late enough that he thought for sure Sam would be waiting for him when he got back to the hotel room. When he'd found an empty room he called Sam's cell phone only to get voicemail. That had been half an hour ago, and it was getting close to eleven.

Dean was about to call Bobby and tell him something was wrong when Sam walked through the door. Dean said, "What happened?"

Sam gave Dean a confused look. "What do you mean?"

Trying to keep his voice level Dean said, "I mean where have you been?"

Sam gave him an annoyed; "You know where I've been. Interviewing families. Don't blame me if you got bored waiting for me to get done. You're the one who wanted less work."

Dean's voice went up a notch and said, "I've been trying to call you for the past half hour. I've left you three voicemails."

Sam got his phone out of his pocket. "It's off. I must have accidentally bumped it."

Frustrated Dean said, "You know better then to let that happen. What's the rule about phones?"

Sam's emotions were running high with the things he'd found out at the library. The more he found out, the more he believed what Ruby had told him. He tossed his phone in Dean's general direction and yelled, "You know what Dean. You can shove the phone up your ass. Don't spout Dad's rules to me about safe work practices. I know them all by heart just like you. I'm sorry if I'm not the perfect son that you are."

Sam shoved past Dean into the bathroom and slammed the door behind him. Dean stood there stunned looking at the phone he had caught, and wondered what the hell had happened to set Sam off like that. A few seconds later he heard the shower go on. He set Sam's phone down on Sam's bed, took a deep breath, and sat down to think about things.

In the shower Sam broke down in tears thinking about the things he had learned, and how the pieces all fit into a nice little puzzle. He didn't want it to be true. But what he wanted and the reality he lived in were usually in conflict with each other. As soon as he could get himself under control he washed his hair and got out of the shower.

Dean was sitting at the table looking over his notes from the day when Sam came out. Dean said, "What did you find?"

Giving him a somewhat wide eyed look Sam said, "Find…..?"

"Yeah find. You know the case we're working on."

Sam blushed and said, "I'm tired. Can we talk about it in the morning?"

Standing and walking towards Sam, Dean said with concern, "What happened?"

Sam was not ready to share. He had more questions for Ruby first, and he knew there was no way Dean would go for him making any kind of deal with Satan. He thought up a quick and believable lie. "Nothing okay? It's just… talking to all those people about their missing kids… and half of them had siblings that I had to talk to…. it made me think about what's gonna happen when… I just want to get some sleep."

When Dean got close enough he could tell Sam had been crying and felt his stomach twist with guilt. He sighed and put a hand on Sam's shoulder. "Okay, get some sleep. We'll talk in the morning."

Sam found himself close to tears again and rushed into bed pulling the covers up around his shoulders and turning his back to his brother. With a tight-lipped expression Dean walked back to the table determined to find a commonality between the missing teens. He wanted to solve this case and move on.

Sam looked around at the things he had accomplished in the week since he had taken over the army of the damned. With the help of his demon followers he had begun the process of bringing peace to the world. His followers had helped him disable all the nuclear weapons on earth in one hour. And because his followers could possess the people protecting the weapons, there wasn't even one casualty.

Sam woke up with a start and knew he had to get more information out of Ruby. After writing a quick note telling Dean he had gone to get coffee, Sam got dressed and took the Impala to the café.

She was waiting for him in the same booth, and they were the only two customers in the café. Sam sat down and said, "Tell me what I'd have to do."

Ruby smiled and said, "Let's take a ride. I'll explain on the way."

Sam didn't want anyone overhearing their conversation and gave her a nod. Soon they were headed out of town, following Ruby's directions. Ruby said, "I need to help you perform a ritual, and you'll need to drink a small amount of my blood."

"What?"

"Azaza fed you his blood when you were a baby. That's what allowed you to have a link with him, which in turn allowed your abilities to appear. Now you'll have a link with me."

Sam didn't think that sounded like something he should be doing. He said, "What does the ritual entail?"

"The usual. Some Latin, some candles, some ancient symbols, and some of my blood. Well any demon's blood would work, but I'm the one offering."

"And what will the ritual do?"

"The only thing this ritual will do is get you your powers back. Then you and I will have to work for a month or so on advancing your powers and using new ones. By the time a month is up, you'll be able to control any demon with just a thought. And once your powers are at their peak, you'll be able to use them to communicate directly with Lucifer. You convince him you'll lead his army, and he'll rip up Dean's contract."

Sam thought about all of that for a few minutes. Ruby said, "Turn here."

Sam turned off the main highway and asked, "Will the ritual change me? I mean I'm going to still be me, and I'm still going to have my free will right? I can lead the army however I see fit?"

"Of course."

Sam shook his head. "I don't get it. Why would Lucifer want me of all people to lead his army? He has to know that I won't let them hurt humans."

"Turn right here."

Sam turned and found he was pulling into the driveway of a rundown looking old house. Ruby turned to Sam and said, "Think about it Sam. The fact that you won't let the demons hurt humans is the biggest reason you're the best choice. All the demons in hell want out. It's a dismal place. We want to live on earth, and that means we have to learn to coexist with you. Other leaders will want to wipe out the humans, but a small portion of us demons believe that doing that will bring down God's wrath. And I personally would like to avoid that. But having you as the leader will ensure you make earth a place we can all share."

Sam wasn't sure if he really believed her or not, but he found himself nodding. He said, "So what do we do now?"

Ruby said, "Come on in. I have the stuff set up inside for the ritual."

Sam got out and followed her into the house. As soon as he stepped through the door he felt a sharp pain on the back of his head, and passed out.

Dean woke up with his hand gripping the knife under his pillow. He's trusted his instincts long enough to know that meant something was wrong. He jerked himself into a sitting position and held the knife in a defensive position while looking around the room. He immediately noticed what was wrong. Sam wasn't there.

He called out, "Sam?"

He stood and looked around, and found the note Sam had left. It was standard enough, Sam went to get coffee all the time, but for some reason the hair stood up on the back of Dean's neck. He grabbed his watch off the nightstand. It read five-thirty in the morning. Dean muttered, "Damn it."

He rushed around throwing some clothes on while thoughts ran through his head. 'No way is Sam going for coffee at five-thirty unless he had a nightmare. Something was wrong last night. Something he didn't tell me about. Something is wrong with him now.'

As he was putting his wallet in his back pocket he muttered, "You better not have run off again Sammy."

He reached for the keys to the Impala only to see they were missing. He looked out the hotel window and saw that it was gone. Dean clenched his jaw and thought about what his next move should be. He wasn't sure why, but he was sure that he needed to find Sam, and find him quickly. He got out his cell phone and flipped it open to call, but then stared at it for a few seconds instead. He smiled and picked up the hotel's landline to make a call. "Hello, my cell phone is missing and I'd like to track it. Sure I have the code."

Ten minutes later Dean was in a cab on his way out of town.

As he became conscious again, Sam let out a low moan of pain. He tried to put a hand up to feel the back of his head, but found he couldn't move his arm. In fact, he found he couldn't move his arms or legs. He opened his eyes and looked around. He was tied at the wrists and the ankles to a wooden crucifix, but his feet still touched the floor. He looked around the room and saw thirteen other people also tied to crucifixes in a circle around a large fire built in the center of the floor with rocks around it.

Seeing movement out of the corner of his eye, Sam turned his head saw Ruby gathering some items on a small table with candles on it. She saw he was awake and said, "Hey Sam, how's the head?"

"What's going on?"

She walked up to him and brushed the hair away from his forehead. She said, "I'm getting you ready for the ritual."

Starting to panic Sam said, "Why did you knock me out and tie me up?"

"I didn't knock you out. That was my partner."

Ruby turned her head to the side, and Sam followed her line of sight. He saw a very tall older man with a long brown beard and unkempt hair staring back at him with black eyes. Sam looked back at Ruby and accused, "You lured us here."

"It took you longer then I thought it would to get here."

Sam wanted to kick himself. He muttered, "And I played right into your hands."

Ruby went to the teenager on Sam's left and sliced her wrist. The girl let out a whimper through the gag on her mouth. Ruby picked up a small wooden bowl that was by the girl's feet, and let some of the girl's blood pour into it. Once there was enough, Ruby dipped her index finger in the blood and walked over to Sam. Sam leaned his head back away from her, but the large bearded man held Sam's head in place. Ruby started chanting in Latin and painted a symbol on Sam's forehead with the blood.

Once the symbol was done Ruby stepped back and walked to the table to clean her hands. Walking to the next teenager in line, she sliced his wrist as well and waited for enough of his blood to pool in a separate bowl. Sounding nervous Sam asked, "What's your real plan? What are you doing to me?"

Ruby walked up to him with the bowl of blood and said, "I'm getting your body ready."

She started chanting and painted another symbol on Sam's left cheek while her partner held Sam's head tightly. Sam's voice was strained when he asked, "Ready for what? What do these kids have to do with it? What are you doing to me?"

Once she was done chanting she went to wash again and said, "Ready for Lucifer to take it over. You are going to lead the army of the dead, but you won't be you anymore when you do it."

Feeling like he was going to puke, Sam asked, "Why? Why me?"

Ruby slit the wrist of another teen and said, "Because we know your body can take it. There are very few children born each generation who can take in demon blood and not die from it. You're one of them, and the only one of your generation left."

"So all of it was a lie?"

Before starting to chant and paint another symbol on Sam's right cheek she said, "Not all if it. Once Lucifer has your body Dean will be free from his contract."

Sam waited until she was done chanting and said, "Dean will be free?"

"That's right. Lucifer can't just take your body without giving you something in return. You came here of your own free will, and entered this house with the thought of freeing your brother. That's the exchange."

Sam yelled, "But you lied about it! If I'd known what was really going on, I never would have agreed and you know it!"

Ruby slashed the next teen's wrist and looked at Sam with irritation. "Dean's right, you are a whiny little bitch. Do you know how long and hard I've worked to get to this point? I had to kill my own kind to gain your trust. I had to coddle you and lead you along so that you thought you were making your own conclusions. I was kind of surprised at how easy it was to get you to believe you were Lucifer's son though. Poor unappreciated John."

Sam fought against his restraints and said, "I'm gonna kill you! You hear me Ruby?! I'm gonna kill you!"

Smiling Ruby pretended she hadn't heard. "I had to find thirteen teenage virgins in less then a month – not an easy task these days let me tell you. You should be damn grateful to me. You get the honor of being His vessel. Your name will go down in history for both humans and demons as the one who brought hell up to earth."

Ruby painted another symbol on Sam's left forearm and chanted while Sam tried to break out of his ropes.

The cab pulled onto a dirt road, and Dean saw the Impala a short distance up the road parked in front of a dilapidated old house. He asked the driver to stop, and paid him. He gave him a large tip and waited for him to leave the area before he stealthily walked towards his car. He opened the trunk and found the special colt sitting in it's usual spot unharmed and still loaded.

Breathing a sigh of relief he took the gun, and closed the lid of the Impala as quietly as he could. He cautiously walked around the house looking for danger. Not finding any he took a quick peek into one of the windows. His adrenaline kicked in when he saw an unconscious Sam tied up along with a bunch of other kids. Shoving down the urge to rush in and start shooting, Dean remained where he was and watched for a few minutes trying to assess all the dangers first.

He saw a blond girl working at a small table getting things set up for a ritual. Dean figured she was a demon, and he noticed that she fit Sam's description of Ruby, but Dean quickly disregarded that idea, because he was sure Sam would have told him if he had seen Ruby again. Dean felt a rush of relief when he saw Sam wake up, and was about to rush in when he saw a male demon step out from the shadows to stand behind Sam. He muttered to himself, "That's one fugly Bigfoot."

He hadn't seen any other demons, but he knew that didn't mean they weren't around. Seeing the blond girl slash the first teenager's wrist, Dean decided he had seen enough, and looked for a way in that wouldn't signal either of the demons to his presence. After finding a window to crawl through, Dean silently walked through the unused room towards the main room. He held the colt and aimed at the blond demon's head, but froze in place when he heard Sam ask what the real plan was. Dean stood still and listened to the conversation Sam and Ruby had, and felt his blood boiling at what he heard.

Before Ruby could slash the wrist of the fifth teenager, Dean took aim again, and shot her in the back of the head. The male demon turned and ran towards Dean to attack, but Dean was ready for it, and shot him before he even got three steps away from Sam.

Turning his head as far as he could Sam called out hopefully, "Dean?!"

Dean kept his gun ready in front of him and made his way towards Sam while still looking for other threats. "Sammy, you okay?"

"Yeah. Cut me down."

Dean made it to the back of the cross, and used one hand to reach in his pocket and grab a knife. He cut through the rope on Sam's right hand, and then handed him the knife. Once Sam was cutting his other arm free, Dean did a sweep of the house looking for other demons. Sam was free and cutting down one of the teenagers when Dean got back to the living room. He knocked down the table Ruby had been using with a crash, and made sure all the candles were out before putting the gun back in his pants and helping to cut down the other teens.

Ten minutes later all the teens were down. Dean looked over at Sam and said, "Get the gas and one of the disposable cell phones from the trunk."

Sam went and got it while Dean talked to the most coherent looking boy there. Sam came back and heard Dean saying, "Then you call 911 and give them your location."

The kid nodded and said, "Okay."

Sam handed the phone to the kid and Dean called out, "Everyone out in the front yard."

Dean held out his hand, and Sam handed him the gas can. Dean said, "Make sure everyone is standing far enough away."

Sam picked up one of the girls who had most likely been tied up for a while and was having trouble walking, and the boy with the cell phone helped another boy limp out. Once the house was clear Dean poured the entire gas can all over the floor of the house with generous amounts on both Ruby and the man who had been possessed. He got his lighter out of his pocket, backed up to the door, and looked out to make sure everyone was far enough back before squatting down and lighting the floor.

Dean backed away watching the flames grow. A few short minutes later, he was sure the house was going to stay burning. He turned to the boy and said, "You have a watch?"

The boy held up his wrist. Dean took a look at it and said, "Half an hour right?"

"Yes. And thanks again."

Dean nodded and then looked over at Sam. He gave Sam an angry glare and held out his hand palm up. Sam felt his face turn bright red under his brother's scrutiny, and could tell from the look that Dean had overheard at least some of his conversation with Ruby. Sam reached into his pocket and handed Dean the keys to the Impala.

Dean took the keys and headed to the driver's side without a word. The relief that Sam had felt at having Dean save him was gone, and in it's place was nervous anticipation of the confrontation to come. He walked over to the passenger side and slid into the car as quietly as he could. Dean started the car and drove them towards the hotel as quickly as possible.

As soon as they got on the freeway Dean reached across the seat and opened the glove box. He got out a napkin, set it on his lap, got out his flask of holy water, and doused the napkin with it. He handed it to Sam and said, "Wipe the blood off your face."

Taking the napkin and wiping at his face Sam said quietly, "I'm not possessed."

Gripping the steering wheel harder Dean said, "Yeah, but you almost were."

Sam looked down at the bloody napkin and couldn't help but whisper "Yeah." in agreement.

The rest of the ride to the hotel was uncomfortably silent. Used to packing in a rush, they were both packed in less then five minutes with Dean finishing first. Dean put his bag on the floor next to the door and waited for Sam. Once Sam had his bag he headed for the door as well, but Dean didn't open the door like Sam was expecting. Dean said, "Put the bag down. We're talking before we go."

Sam backed up a step and said, "But what about the police?"

Dean took the bag from Sam's hand and put it next to his. He advanced on Sam, who quickly backed up to avoid him. Sam's knees hit the end of his bed, and he fell to a sitting position on the edge. Dean stood less then a foot away from Sam and crossed his arms. He said, "The cops won't be looking for us right away. We have at least an hour, and probably more like four or five hours before we have to worry. That means we have plenty of time to talk. So talk."

Breaking eye contact, Sam looked at his knees and said, "Well what did you overhear?"

Giving Sam an angry chuckle Dean shook his head, "Oh no Sam. That's not the way it's going down. You tell me the whole story from beginning to end. And I swear to God if you lie to me…."

Dean let the unfinished threat hang in the air. Sam nervously wiped the palms of his hands on his thighs and tried to decide where to start. As if reading his mind Dean said, "I suggest you start with what happened yesterday when you were supposed to be interviewing families."

"Right. Um… Well I did interview a couple of families, and then…. I saw Ruby standing on the sidewalk."

Dean's jaw muscles twitched as he listened. "Was this before or after I called you?"

"Before." Sam's voice was barely above a whisper, but Dean was expecting that answer and had no trouble understanding.

"Did you confront her?"

"Kind of."

After a few seconds of silence Dean leaned down so that his face was close to Sam's and said, "Sammy, if you don't start talking to me, you're going to be talking to the carpet."

Dean saw a flash of confusion cross Sam's face, quickly followed by a wide-eyed look of horror. Sam shook his head no and scooted farther back on the bed while his face turned a bright shade of pink. Dean stood back up, looked down at Sam and said, "Talk."

Sam stammered out a fairly accurate description of the conversation he had had with Ruby, and then ended it with, "That was when you called."

Sounding kind of hurt Dean asked, "Why didn't you tell me about it when I called?"

"I wanted to do some research first."

Dean thought about that for a few seconds. "You didn't interview the rest of the families at all did you?"

Sam shook his head but didn't make eye contact. Dean paced around the room and said, "And then you lied to my face when you got back here last night. Unbelievable. What happened this morning?"

Sam gave a short description of what had gone on before Dean had shot Ruby. Silence filled the room for a few long minutes while Dean thought about it. Sam kept darting glances up at Dean wondering what was going through his brother's mind. He couldn't stop himself from thinking about the spanking threat. Dean had spanked him in the past, but the last time was when Sam was sixteen. Sam darted another glance up at Dean and saw Dean nodding to himself. Sam had no doubt that Dean would still spank him if he thought it was the right thing to do. And after what had happened with Ruby, Sam couldn't in good conscience fight him about it.

Dean looked over at Sam and they locked eyes for a second. Dean could see the guilt and regret in Sam's eyes. Dean nodded to himself again and walked over to the other bed. He sat down on the corner and said, "Come here."

Sam felt his eyes filling already and shook his head no. Dean understood that Sam wasn't actually fighting him, but was instead fighting with himself to do the right thing even though it wasn't something he wanted to do.

Dean kept his voice calm and said, "You lied to me, you went into a deadly situation totally unprepared and almost got yourself possessed, and you disrespected the memory of our father by buying into that bitch's crap. Can you honestly tell me you don't deserve it?"

The tears slipped down Sam's cheeks as he shook his head no in answer. Dean gave Sam an expectant look and waited. Angrily wiping the tears away, Sam stood and walked over to where Dean was sitting. Dean said, "Pants down."

Sam undid the jeans and they fell to the floor. He looked into Dean's face and said, "Dean, I…."

Dean took a hold of Sam's wrist gently and said, "I know. Come on, let's get it over."

Sam forced himself to get into the awkward position. He balanced with his hands on the floor on one side, and the toes of his shoes on the floor on the other. Dean wrapped an arm around Sam's waist, used the other hand to pull the boxers down, and started spanking hard and fast. Sam bit the inside of his cheek and tried to be stoic, but it was a losing battle.

After a couple of minutes Dean could feel the building tension in Sam's body as he tried to take the spanking without giving any indication that it was hurting. This was a vastly different reaction than Dean had gotten from Sam when Sam was younger. Dean couldn't help but feel a little proud of the man Sam was turning into, until he thought about the reasons behind the spanking. Dean was grimly determined to make Sam see what he had done from his point of view. He slowed the swats down and increased the force behind them.

An involuntary noise escaped Sam and his body jerked in response to the harder swats. Dean kept swatting and said, "Tell me what you did wrong over the past two days."

Sam's voice was strained as he begged Dean not to make him, "Dean please…."

Shaking his head no Dean said, "I'm sorry Sam, but I want to hear you say it, and I want to hear you mean it when you tell me you're sorry for what you've done."

Sam's shoulders started shaking, and Dean knew he was crying. Dean stopped spanking but held him in place and said, "Go on."

Sam's voice was thick with tears as he said, "I'm sorry I lied to you."

Dean nodded and gave Sam six hard swats. "What else?"

"I'm sorry I followed Ruby into that house."

Dean believed him but still started spanking again as he lectured, "Going into that house unprepared was an amateur's mistake. You always take some kind of backup, some kind of weapon, and you never put your trust in a demon."

Sam was struggling to stay in place and yelled out, "I know! Dean I know, and I'm sorry. Really!"

Dean stopped spanking and gave Sam a minute to catch his breath. Suddenly feeling old and tired while looking down at his not so little brother, Dean said quietly, "Why did you believe her Sammy? Why would you think Dad wasn't your dad?"

Sam took a shuddering deep breath and whispered, "Because he was always mad at me, but not at you."

After that admission Sam started crying with loud sobs. Letting go of Sam's waist and pulling at Sam's arm, Dean got Sam into a kneeling position next to the bed. Dean grabbed both of Sam's upper arms and leaned down a little to look into his eyes. "Dad loved you Sam. I don't know how to convince you, but I know he did."

Sam was a mess of tears, but he gave Dean a small nod to let him know that he had heard him. Dean let go of Sam's arms, and Sam lay his head down in Dean's lap and wrapped his arms around Dean's middle while he cried. Sighing, Dean put a hand on the back of Sam's head in comfort.

Once Sam's crying was slowing down Dean said, "I only saw Dad cry a couple of times in my life, and the night you left for college was one of them. He wasn't always mad at you because he didn't love you Sammy. He was always mad at you because he was terrified you'd either get killed because you weren't paying attention to the things he was trying to teach you about hunting, or that you'd reach out for that normal life you always wanted and leave him. But even after you left, he kept track of you, and he was proud of you. He never stopped loving you."

Sam cried harder for a few minutes after hearing that, and Dean waited him out. Eventually the tears tapered off and Dean patted Sam's back as he said, "Come on kiddo, we need to head out."

Sam let go of him and wiped at his face. Dean said, "Go get cleaned up so we can get out of here."

Wincing as he stood and pulling up both the boxers and pants, Sam nodded and headed for the bathroom. Once Sam was out of the room Dean looked down at the wet tear spots on his jeans with irritation and muttered, "Great. Looks like I either came in my pants or started to wet myself."

Dean wiped at his jeans with the edge of the bed's quilt with no luck. He sighed and went to get both of their bags. While he was waiting for Sam he had an idea. He smiled and got out his cell phone. "Bobby? It's Dean…. Hey you still have Dad's truck in the lot right? I'm going to need to go through it to find some hair samples…. It's a long story. I'll tell you once we get there…. Two or three days tops, we need a place to rest up anyway. See you soon."

Sam came out of the bathroom looking slightly more like his usual self. Dean held out Sam's bag for him to take, gave him a smile and asked, "Ready?"

Sam nodded and felt Dean put a comforting hand on his shoulder as they walked towards the car. After putting their bags in the trunk Dean held the keys out to Sam and said, "You wanna drive?"

Sam gave him a small smile and said, "No. You drive for a while. I'm gonna rest."

Once they were on their way out of town Dean said, "We're going to go to Bobby's for a few days."

"Okay."

"And you're going to take a DNA test."

"What?"

"I'm not gonna have you believing anyone else who tries to tell you John wasn't your father. You're taking a DNA test."

Sighing Sam said, "That's really not necessary Dean. I believe you."

"I say it is necessary, and if you're lucky I won't beat your ass again once you get the results."

Slouching down in his seat Sam muttered, "Jerk."

After a few minutes of silence Dean said with excitement, "Hey you know what I just realized?"

Sam gave him a wary, "What?"

Dean grinned big and said, "I'm driving. That means I pick the music."

Sam groaned, but then couldn't help but smile at his brother's obvious excitement. He leaned back against the seat as Metallica blared in the background, and found himself being truly grateful to have his big brother back in full force and there with him.