Disclaimer: Do not own SPN.
One-shot. No pairings.

The Day the World Ended...and then Started Again

It had all happened so fast. One minute Sam was in the diner getting dinner and the next he was gone and everyone else inside was dead. The next time Dean had seen Sam...it hadn't been his brother anymore. He'd gone to the cemetery with Bobby to try and save Sam only to find it was too late as Sam shoved the Colt into the lock and opened the Devil's Gate. Bobby had made him run and that was probably the only reason they'd gotten out of the cemetery alive. He'd turned back once to see Sam staring at him, face expressionless and it had killed him. That was the last time he saw Sam, he hadn't heard anything about him since then, no matter how many demons he interrogated. He'd lost Bobby almost a year ago, by the time Dean had tracked him down the older hunters tattoo had been broken and his body possessed.

Maybe if the Roadhouse hadn't been the first casualty of the war they could have done something more to stop it. Instead there were very few hunters left, in fact Dean half believed he was the only one left. Of course every day people now knew how to hunt, those that were left free anyway. The west coast had pretty much been wiped out straight away, not surprising was the fact that Stanford was now a crater. After all that had been where Jess had died and Dean had to believe that some part of his brother still loved her.

City by city America was slowly falling to the demonic army Sam had released. Dean knew what he had to do when he finally caught up to Sam and he'd slowly come to terms with it. This...this wasn't his brother anymore; Sam would never have done any of this. It broke what was left of his heart but he would kill the thing Sam had become if it was the last thing he did.

New York was still relatively in one piece when he reached it, despite being pretty much over run with demons. There were even stores still open! Dean couldn't believe it but he forced himself to keep to the shadows. He managed to stay out of sight for three days.

"Hello Dean." A familiar voice called and he closed his eyes for a second before turning to face the man he thought of as a second father. At least the demon had kept him in good condition.

"Bobby, or do you have a name of your own?" Dean snarled and the demon laughed.

"I like Bobby for now. We've been looking for you boy, time for you to join the club."

"Never." Dean snapped, anger masking his fear.

"Who said you have a choice?" The demon asked and Dean felt things going black.

"I do!" A familiar voice called and it was the last thing Dean heard.

When he woke again it was to gentle hands checking him over and the feeling of a soft mattress beneath him. Bleary green eyes fluttered open and then went wide as he saw just who was tending him.

"No." Dean moaned and Sam hushed him.

"It's okay Dean, you're safe." Sam murmured but Dean still tried to get away from him.

"Stop it, not him." Dean whispered and Sam closed his eyes briefly.

"Dean it is me, I know you're confused but it's going to be okay. Just rest. We'll talk later, I promise." Sam told him and Dean felt his eyes closing again.

The next time Dean woke his head was clear and he was fully aware as he stared around the motel room that looked like a thousand others he'd stayed in before the world ended. The door opened and Sam walked in, looking almost exactly the same as he had three years ago, just older. He even dressed the same and moved the same as Dean remembered and it broke his heart. Sam looked at him and smiled nervously when he saw Dean staring at him. Why would this Sam be nervous? Dean was unarmed and there was no way he could do anything against a demonic Sam.

"Feeling better?" Sam asked and Dean nodded curtly.
"Good, that's good." Sam sat down on the bed beside him and then stared down at his hands.
"I'm sorry Dean, the demon using Bobby got away. I was too busy making sure you were okay to stop him. I've been tracking him for the last four months, ever since I spotted him and realised what had happened to him." Sam told him and Dean sneered.

"Stop playing! I saw you in that graveyard." Dean spat and Sam swallowed, eyes closed. When he opened them Dean saw that the once hazel was now tainted with yellow. Sam reached out and slowly touched Dean's hand before wrapping his own around it. Dean fought the urge to pull away, if he fought Sam might get violent and Dean couldn't deal with that.

"I know and I know nothing I do can ever make up for that. Dean I...it's me Dean. It wasn't in the graveyard, not till I saw you and then everything snapped back but it was too late. You were gone and the Gate was open. I wanted to run after you but I had to try and fix what I'd done. The demon's dead, pulled the Colt from the lock and shot him. Then I took off, tried to find you but I couldn't. I've missed you so much Dean." Sam told him and Dean wanted to believe him so badly. He wanted, needed, his baby brother back but his eyes...
"Dean please, just give me a chance. I've missed you so much; hunting alone just isn't the same." Sam pleaded and Dean closed his eyes.

"What happened to you?" Dean asked quietly and Sam looked down at the blankets, pulling absently at a loose thread.

"Went into the diner and then I woke up in the ghost town of Cold Oak. Andy was there too and so were Ava and a few others. Turned out the demon had us there for its version of Survivor. It wanted someone to lead the army, a general. Lily died first trying to leave. Andy was next; Ava killed him by calling a demon. She went to attack me but Jake killed her, snapped her neck. I figured we could leave, Ava had been the one controlling the demons but then Jake attacked me and we fought. I killed him, didn't mean to at the time but it happened and...Azazel, that was the demon's name, had come to visit in a dream earlier. He showed me the night Mom died and what he did to me. You know how Dad told you that stuff about having to kill me? I think he suspected at least. That night Azazel fed me his blood, he fed all of us children his blood. And when I killed Jake I ended up with a mouthful of his demon infected blood. It was...delicious. So I drank and then I left. Azazel found me wandering around in a daze, took me with him, gave me more blood. It's like a whacky psychotic dream after that. The next thing I remember clearly is seeing you in the graveyard, the look on your face as you stared at me and then Bobby was dragging you away. I tried to call out to you but it was like something was choking my voice. Azazel was just smiling at me proudly, said it was just the first step to taking control. I saw the Colt in the lock and lunged for it, shot him straight away. Then I took off after you and Bobby but...you were gone and I was starting to feel sick. Found an abandoned cabin and stayed there for a few days. I was so sick, thought I was gonna die for a while. Must have passed out for a while but when I woke up I was better and my head was fully clear again. I left, heading for civilisation only to find what the demons had been doing. So I gathered what supplies I could and started hunting, trying to find you and Bobby. When I made it to South Dakota...Bobby's place was gone. But there were no bodies so I assumed you both got out. Then I heard about the hunter they tortured and possessed so I started tracking him, needing to free Bobby. Followed him to New York and that's where I found you." Sam explained quietly, never looking at Dean.

Dean stared at Sam, not sure what to think or believe. If what Sam was saying was true...he'd spent three years grieving for Sam when he hadn't needed to. If he'd stuck around, hadn't let Bobby drag him off, would he have seen Sam come out of what the demon had done to him? Would they have been together the last three years? Could they have saved Bobby? But could he believe him?

"Your eyes..." Dean started and Sam flinched.

"They've been like that since...they were more yellow at first. As his blood faded from me the hazel came back stronger." Sam explained hesitantly.

"Are you still drinking?" Dean asked and Sam finally looked up at him, pain in his eyes.

"Not willingly. But sometimes in a fight...I wake up later and there'll be dead demons and I know it's because I couldn't fight it. I try Dean, I do but just one taste and I lose it, no matter how hard I try." Sam tried to explain and Dean could see the tears gathering in Sam's eyes.
"Please Dean; I don't want to be a monster." Sam whispered and Dean moved, reacting instinctively to his baby brother's pain.

Dean held Sam to him in a tight hug and Sam tensed briefly before melting into his embrace, clinging to Dean. Dean wasn't surprised to feel warm tears soaking into his shirt. Sam curled tightly into Dean, almost knocking him over, and Dean could barely make out the words Sam seemed to mumbling but it sounded like sorry. This was Sam, his baby brother, the one person Dean would do anything for.

"It's okay Sammy, I'm here." He whispered and Sam sniffed before raising his head to stare in shock.

"Sammy, you called me Sammy." Sam whispered and Dean smiled.

"Yeah. I'm sorry kiddo. If I'd known, I would have looked for you." Dean told him but Sam shook his head.

"You thought...you thought what Dad said was true. I don't blame you."

"Well I do. But we'll be together from now on, I promise." Dean told him and Sam stared at him in shock before smiling hesitantly.

"You don't have to. I understand."

"No Sammy. I want to stay with you. I get that things are different now but that doesn't matter. You're still my kid brother and...well I've missed you, a lot." Dean admitted, starting to get uncomfortable with what he had once termed a 'chick-flick' moment. Sam's smile finally reached his eyes and he moved back into Dean, needing the comfort. Dean let him, shifting so that they were lying down on the bed. He smiled when he realised Sam had fallen asleep.

Dean had thought he'd never get his brother back so having Sam safe at his side was incredible. And it was Sam, changed yes, but still his brother in the ways that mattered the most. To think he'd wanted to kill the kid not two hours ago. If he'd done that he would have joined Sam pretty quickly, he would never have been able to live with himself if he'd killed Sam. He watched Sam sleep, studying him closely and noticing a few new scars on the visible skin. How many more scars was his clothing hiding? They'd both been living in hell the last few years without each other but all that was over now. Sam had been tracking the demon that had taken Bobby; maybe together they could track it down and free their old friend, even if only to death. Dean lay still, holding Sam and thinking until he too fell asleep.

Sam woke up, wrapped in warmth for the first time in years, and didn't want to open his eyes, fearful it had all been a dream. Taking a deep breath he opened his eyes and then smiled as he found it really was Dean that was holding him. Sam took his time, studying his older brother as he slept. Dean hadn't changed much over the last few years, though he had obviously aged. He'd be...thirty now, though he still looked younger thanks to his active lifestyle and good genes. Sam reached out to gently to touch the amulet that still hung around Dean's neck, happy that even after everything Dean still wore it. He froze and then went to pull back when Dean opened his eyes but Dean just wrapped a hand around Sam's where it was resting on the amulet.

"Hey." Dean greeted and Sam managed a small smile.
"Sleep okay?"

"Better than I have in years." Sam admitted and Dean nodded.

"Me too. So...what happens now?" Dean asked and Sam shrugged, sitting up and stretching. Dean sat up as well, watching as Sam moved around the room.

"What do you want to do? Do you want to keep tracking Bobby? Just randomly hunt? Or even find somewhere we can settle down and just protect a town?" Sam offered and Dean thought it over.

"I...I think we should find him. We owe it to him to free him, even if...even if it's too late for Bobby." Dean finally answered and Sam nodded.
"Where are we anyway?"

"Not far from the city. I didn't want to risk moving you too far until I could make sure you weren't actually hurt." Sam answered and Dean nodded.

"So how do we track him?" Dean asked and Sam swallowed.
"Sam? Is it...you track him with your powers." Dean said and Sam nodded, refusing to look at him. Dean sighed and then hit Sam's arm lightly.
"Okay." He answered carelessly and Sam finally looked at him, staring in shock.

"Okay? That's it? Dean..." Sam was staring at him in confusion and Dean sighed.

"Sammy I lost you three years ago because I didn't stay...didn't give you a chance. That is not happening ever again. These...powers are a part of you so I have to accept them, simple as that. You're my brother Sam, I trust you." Dean told him and Sam stared at him for a while longer before slowly smiling at him.

"Thanks." Sam whispered and Dean nodded.
"I'm not...it's a bit hit and miss. I'm not as powerful as I was at the start. The blood gives me a boost but I don't like the side effects."

"You want me to help with the whole blood thing? Try to keep you from drinking any?" Dean offered and Sam smiled.

"If you want to but...Dean of I do manage to drink then get back. What the blood does to me...I don't want to accidentally hurt you." Sam told him seriously and Dean nodded, knowing Sam needed to know that if he got blood in his system that Dean would look after himself.

"So how do we go about tracking down the demon in Bobby?" Dean asked and Sam settled himself on the bed, closing his eyes.

It took them three months to finally corner the demon and by then everything was pretty much normal between them. Dean didn't even blink when Sam used his powers, much to the younger brother's relief and happiness, and Sam had learnt that no matter what Dean was sticking with him. There had been one mess up with a group of demons shortly after they'd started travelling together. They'd gotten separated in an abandoned house and Dena had found Sam pinned under a demon, another one leaning over him with its wrist cut open. Sam had done his best to keep his mouth shut but eventually it had been pried open while Dean was fighting to get to him. As soon as Sam had swallowed the blood all hell had broken loose. Dean had been forced to hide behind an upturned table as his baby brother tore through the demons like they were nothing. And then they were all alone in the building and Sam had turned to him, eyes fully yellow and filled with power. Dean had stood slowly, hands held out to show he wasn't a threat and had called softly to his brother. Sam had just stared at him and Dean had been afraid the kid didn't recognise him. But then Sam had walked towards him slowly, reached out to touch Dean's amulet and then collapsed in Dean's arms. The next two days had been a nightmare for Dean as he watched Sam go through what looked like some sort of withdrawal as he failed to get more demonic blood into his system.

Thankfully there had only been that one slip up but there had been several close calls. And now they were in what was once Michigan but nowadays was a ruin. The large cities were gone and the smaller towns were mostly abandoned though were a few free humans still around. Without Azazel, Sam or one of the other children leading them the demons seemed content to cause chaos and just kill indiscriminately. Sam had said the demon they were looking for was nearby so they'd set up in a rundown house that somehow still at least had running water. It was a nice change and they'd both taken long showers, well as long as they could considering the water was cold. But it was nice feeling fully clean all over for once. After the house was secure and they were clean they began planning.

"Hey Bobby." Dean greeted and the demon whirled around in an almost amusing reversal of the last time he'd seen the demon. It snarled and Dean tensed as he felt the power in the air, he really did not want to be thrown around but they needed it focused on him and therefore ignoring Sam approaching from behind. By the time the demon sensed Sam it was too late, Sam had grabbed it by the back of the neck and was flooding his power into it, commanding it to leave its host. Bobby convulsed and then the familiar black cloud ripped from his mouth and Bobby collapsed, Sam managing to catch him.

"Let's go." Sam urged and Dean nodded, taking one of Bobby's arms and they carried him between them back towards the Impala.

It was three days before Bobby began to stir and they both waited anxiously to see what condition he would be in. They both held their breath as Bobby's eyes slowly opened and then Bobby was moving, scrabbling back on the bed.

"Bobby? Bobby it's okay, it's me Dean." Dean spoke as softly as he could as he slowly approached. Sam was hanging back since the last time Bobby had seen him he was with the demon. Bobby stared at him with wide, frightened eyes and Dean felt like he was going to be sick.
"Bobby? Do you understand me?" He whispered as he finally made it to the hunter's side.

"Christo. Christo. Christo." Bobby began murmuring and Dean smiled.

"Not a demon Bobby. Come on you know me, it's Dean." Dean told him and Bobby began to calm a bit when Dean didn't react like a demon. Dean stayed still as Bobby continued to calm down and then started to really look at him. Dean was silently praying that their old friend would recognise him once calm but he knew it might not happen. He'd seen the place Bobby had been tortured in and the man had been host to a demon for over a year.

"D...Dean?" Bobby finally whispered and Dean nodded.

"I'm here Bobby, you're safe." He told the now shaking hunter and Bobby reached out to grab hold of Dean's arm. Bobby stared at him and then pulled him into a hug which Dean eagerly returned.

"Never thought I'd see you again." Bobby muttered, still not fully believing he was free and safe.

"Me too. But here we are. Are you felling okay?" Dean asked as Bobby looked at him.

"Confused, sore and tired. What happened?" He asked.

"How...how much were you aware of?" Dean asked, dreading the answer and Bobby shut his eyes.

"All of it. Sam! He took you. How did you escape?" Bobby demanded and Dean took a deep breath.

"I didn't. Sam's here Bobby, he's the one that got the demon out of you while I played distraction." Dean gripped Bobby's arm as he tensed.
"It's okay Bobby. He's still Sammy. He's not on the demons side." Dean tried to assure him but he could see the fear and panic in Bobby's eyes and it hurt. It hurt to see such emotions coming from the once gruff and strong man and it hurt that a man they had considered a second father was scared of Sam. Dean glanced over and Sam slowly stepped into sight.

"Hey Bobby." Sam greeted quietly and Bobby's eyes went wide as he began moving away.
"No Bobby, I'd never hurt you." Sam bit his lip and Dean could hear the pain in the kids' voice.
"What happened in the graveyard...it wasn't me. Please Bobby. You're like a second Dad to me, to both of us. As soon as I found out what happened to you I tried to find you, to get the demon out of you. That's why I was in New York when it confronted Dean, I was tracking it. I should have helped you then but Dean collapsed and I was scared he was hurt and when I looked up again you were gone." Sam was practically babbling as he slowly moved closer. Bobby was watching him warily but at least he wasn't trying to run. Sam slowly sat down beside Dean and reached out towards Bobby who sat, frozen in fear. Sam gently grasped his arm and then moved closer, hugging him tightly.
"I'm so sorry Bobby." Sam whispered as he pulled back. Bobby stared into his oddly coloured eyes and was surprised to see tears gathering in them.


"Yeah Bobby, it's me. You're safe now." Sam assured him.

Bobby remained hesitant around Sam for months but slowly the youngest began to earn his trust again. They'd moved again, worried that any demon aware of the demon using Bobby's body presence in town would have come looking for him but after that they'd settled in one of the few small towns that had managed to stay free due to a rather well taught preacher. As soon as the demons had begun attacking he'd gathered the people and had put protections in place all around the town. Sam crossing all of them and passing every test had gone a long way to helping Bobby relax and it had helped the townspeople accept him despite his odd eyes and abilities.

Sam and Dean still went out to hunt at least once a month but were always very careful to make sure nothing could follow them back to their little safe haven. Apparently the Winchester boys being back together and hunting was enough for some demons to cut down on the chaos and hides since they didn't want to go back to hell. It wasn't their 0old life and never would be but slowly things were getting better.

The End