Hey all! Okay, so I've been looking over the poll results and here's what I'm thinking about doing. I've had an epic idea for Visions 8 (and maybe several more if people like it – its gonna be a freaking long series!). However, it's going to take me a bit to plan it all out and figure out a couple of details and complications. So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to finish Secrets 2, then I'm going to work on either cursed Stanford!Sam or Daddy!Sam. When I'm done with whichever I end up writing first, I'll work on the second. Or, if by that time I have Visions 8 (and so on) planned out and then that'll be next, followed by the other choices on the poll. Does this work for everyone? ;)

Enjoy the story and thanks for all the reviews! :)


Dean glanced back at his baby brother, lying asleep in the backseat.

Sam was pale and getting him to the car the day before had been disheartening. Dean had ended up carrying his brother, because Sam could barely walk. He couldn't stay awake for more than a few minutes at a time, which frightened Dean.

Dean was so sick of being frightened.

Unable to rest, to sleep, himself, Dean had driven through the night and was headed home to Bobby's.

Home. Nice to have a home.

Bobby was going to meet them there, having no need to sit with John now that every thing was over.

Needing reassurance, Dean reached back over the seat and gently pressed two fingers to Sam's neck, so lightly that Sam didn't even stir, but hard enough that he could feel Sam's pulse.

He's alive. We can work from there.

...

It was with relief that the Impala pulled into Bobby's driveway two hours later.

Dean opened the back door as he stuffed his keys into his pocket.

"Sammy. Hey, kiddo, we're here." he called softly.

Sam's eyes fluttered open and he looked sleepily up at his brother. He lifted his arms, meaning to put them around Dean's neck so he could be lifted and carried into the house.

A flash of a baby Sam lifting his arms whenever Dean came near, wanting, needing, and loving to be held by his older brother, flashed across Dean's eyes, so strong that he had to fight tears for a moment.

So much had changed.

Looking down at his baby brother, Dean had to admit that it wasn't all bad, though.

Pulling his sibling into his arms, Dean fought a smile when Sam rested his head on Dean's shoulder and promptly fell back asleep.

Wow. Some things never change.

...

Sam slept through most of the next day.

He woke long enough to eat with Dean's help, but didn't wake for dinner at all.

Dean sat in front of the couch on the floor, one of Bobby's ancient books in his lap as he read about...well, he wasn't sure what he was reading about. It was mostly just something to give him an excuse to sit near Sam without looking like a guard dog.

Not like Bobby was fooled.

Sam wasn't even awake to appreciate Dean's effort at looking casual.

Dean glanced up as Bobby approached him.

"I'm gonna run some errands. I'll be back. It may take me a while, so don't worry if I'm not back by the time you fall asleep."

Dean nodded, returning to his "reading", but looking back up as Bobby chuckled.

"Dean, you do realize that book is written in Greek, right? I don't recall you knowing how to read greek."

Not waiting for an answer, Bobby left the house, missing the dirty look and middle finger Dean threw him.

In Greek huh? That explains a lot.

...

Bobby had been gone for five hours, picking things up to help another hunter buddy out, when his phone rang.

He flipped it out without looking at the caller ID first, assuming it would be his hunter friend with yet another thing to be picked up.

It wasn't.

...

Dean gently sat Sam down on the porch swing, helping his brother situate and get comfortable.

Sam looked around, but didn't relax until Dean sat beside him and eased an arm around his shoulders, pulling him close.

"You can relax, Sammy. The hunters are dead and no one else can get to you here."

Sam curled into his older brother's warmth, enjoying the fresh air, but feeling a little tense at being outside. What ifs skidded around in his mind just about driving him to tears.

"I know. I just..." Sam didn't even understand why he felt so afraid, much less have the words to explain it to Dean.

"You're still afraid." Dean finished for him, softly.

Sam nodded. "I'm sorry."

"You have nothing to be sorry for."

"I do, Dean. You expected me to stay strong, to resist them, and I...I gave in." Sam forced the words out on a sob. "I gave up. I failed you. I'm so sorry."

Dean pulled his little brother tighter up against him, resting his chin on Sam's head, possible only because Sam was so curled up beside him.

"Sammy. Sammy, you were tortured, kiddo. No one can resist that forever. But you didn't fail me, Sam. You stayed alive. You did what you had to to survive. You didn't fail me. I'm proud of you, Sammy, and nothing can change that."

Sam looked up at Dean, meeting his gaze. "You promise?"

Dean smiled softly. "I promise."

Sam relaxed once more against his older brother, feeling better than he had since before this mess all started.

...

Sam was half asleep when Dean's phone rang.

"Yeah, Bobby."

Dean tensed against him and Sam was looking up at him in concern a second later.

"You sure?"

Dean listened for a second, then sighed.

"Yeah, but don't expect me to be friendly."

Dean hung up.

A car suddenly pulled into a drive, barely visible in the soft evening light.

Dean stood, helping Sam keep his balance, before taking a step towards the railing. He glanced back at his baby brother, his face serious. "Don't you move from there, Sam, okay? Trust me."

Sam nodded, curling up as best he could on the swing, frightened by the clear tension and stress and anger in his brother's voice and form.

Bobby stepped out of his car and Sam froze as his dad stepped out of the other door.

"Dad?" Sam managed. A flashback to the gun, to his father's cold, hateful gaze had tears rolling down Sam's cheeks. He was glad his dad was alive, yet...he couldn't help the fear that built in his chest at the sight of the man who had almost killed him.

"Sammy." John took a step in his direction, but Dean's fierce glare and sharp, "Stop." had him halting in his tracks.

"You don't take one more step towards him." Dean growled.

"Dean, please. Give me a second chance. I'm sorry for what happened. I was just-" John struggled with the word. "I was just afraid, Dean."

Dean was livid.

"So you press a gun to Sam's head? Did that make you feel stronger? Make you feel like a man? You could know for sure that you were a better hunter than your kid? You make me sick, John, you know that?"

"Dean. Dean come on. Give me something here. I'm sorry for what I did."

"You're sorry? That's rich. You want something? Fine, I got something for you. I'm not going to kill you. That's the only thing you're going to get."

Dean was breathing hard, nostrils flared, whole stance quivering like he was trying desperately to restrain himself from simplying shooting their estranged father right there.

"You betrayed us, dad. You tried to hunt Sam and I don't even care what your excuse is. You lost all rights to be around him and me when you pressed a gun to his head. Now get in your truck and get out."

John stood there in frozen silence for a moment, then walked over to the truck his ex-friend had had towed to his yard when they had heard he was in the hospital.

He glanced back only once before he roared away in the truck.

Everything was silent for a second, no one moving.

Until Sam's nearly silent sobs tore through the silence, reaching Dean's ears.

Dean spun around, horrified at the devastation he saw in his baby brother's face. With two quick steps, Dean was sitting on the bench, his brother held tight in his arms, whispering soothingly.

"It'll be okay, Sammy. I promise, it'll be okay."

Bobby stood, watching the two boys, sorrow clear in his expression to anyone who knew him well.

"W-we're never gonna be a family again, are we, Dean?"

Dean stiffened at his brother's softly spoken question. He could easily read the pain behind the words, the guilt that Sam misplaced on his own shoulders.

"We're a family right now, Sammy. You, me, and Bobby. Dad lost out on that chance, but we'll do just fine without him. When has anyone but me taken care of you, Sam?"

Sam looked up at his brother. "But whose gonna take care of you?"

Dean looked temporarily surprised at that question, as if the thought had never occurred to him.

"I will."

Bobby stood before, cap twisted in his hands, face as serious as they'd ever seen it.

"You boys have a home here, you idjits know that."

Sam offered Bobby a shaky smile, nodding, apparently pleased at the comforting assurance, and burying his face back in Dean's chest, Dean rocking them back and forth on the porch swing, offering the comfort that only a parent can give.

After a time, Dean could feel Sam going limp with exhaustion against him and made an executive decision: it was time for bed.

"Come on, Sammy."

Dean gently lifted his nearly unconscious sibling in his arms and walked inside, Bobby following. The older brother headed up the stairs to the room that the two boys shared, laying his sibling down on the bed and covering him up, deciding that Sam could sleep comfortably in the sweats that he had been helped into by Dean earlier.

...

It took hours for Dean to fall asleep. His father's words, his own words in return, floated through his head, broken up by the occasional sharp and painful image of John holding a gun to a trembling Sam's head.

He may not have been there, but he could picture it all too clearly. Heaven knew he'd seen his father hold a gun often enough, seen his brother trembling and in pain often enough, no matter how much he hated it and tried to prevent it.

It just seemed that the world had it out for his younger sibling.

Almost as if in response to Dean's thinking, minutes after he fell asleep, Sam began to toss and turn in his sleep.

...

The gun suddenly pressed to his forehead pushed the pain completely from his mind.

Sam looked up at his father, infinite pain in his eyes.

"I didn't do anything wrong." Sam said softly. "Why are you doing this? W-we can still be a family, dad. Or...or if I disgust you that much, you don't have to hunt with us, but...but you don't have to do this. You don't have to end it like this."

The gun clicked as John cocked it.

Sam could see the cold blankness of his face and felt his heart drop. Dad...

"Dad."

The gun was pressed even more harshly against his skin, painfully. Anger broke the blank mask on his father's face, anger and fear, and Sam felt tears well up in his eyes and spill over onto his cheeks.

In his anguish, Sam said two words that he hadn't said in a long time.

"Daddy, please."

This time the shot rang out and Sam only had seconds before his vision went black, horrfic pain shooting through his head.

He shot me. Oh gosh, he shot me.

Sam's vision cleared and he was suddenly on his knees behind the van they had transported him in.

Sam started to stand, but he was pushed roughly back to the ground with a firm foot to the back.

"I didn't say stand. I said go."

Sam couldn't help the glare up at them. "You want me to crawl?"

He received a sharp kick to the face for that, hitting the ground, covering his bleeding nose with both hands, letting out a small moan of unexpected pain.

"Animals don't talk. Now, move."

I'm not an animal. I'm not! I'm human, I have to still be human.

Sam's vision darkened once more, then cleared again, to show him the warehouse he had been held in for a horrific eternity, his captors standing around him.

"You will not be disrespectful and you will not talk!"

Sparks.

Agony.

Cries.

Gasps.

"You will not be disrespectful and you will not talk!"

Sparks.

Pain.

Sparks.

Agony.

Screams.

Darkness.

Vision clearing once more, Sam was faced with the hours, unending, that he had suffered.

You will obey.

A sharp snap, a yelp.

You will obey.

A howl, blood.

You will obey.

So much blood.

NO! DEAN!

...

Dean shot straight out of bed at the sudden scream from his baby brother.

Sam was writhing, jerking, in his bed, screaming. His cheeks were stained with tears, his eyes still closed.

Dreaming. Oh gosh.

Dean was by his side in a second, scooping Sam into his lap, wrapping his arms around him.

"Sammy. Sam! Sammy! Wake up! It's a dream, kiddo! You're dreaming!"

Sam's eyes flew open, his whole body shaking, his face ghost white. His eyes roved wildly around the room, panicking when he didn't see his brother, but then the strong arms around him, the soft voice above him, registered and Sam relaxed against his brother.

Sobs broke from him, as he buried his face in Dean's chest, fisting his hands in Dean's nightshirt.

"It was just a dream, Sammy. It's over. Shh, you're okay. It's okay. It's all over."

A memory of baby Sam, crying for hours, unable to sleep, their father trying to study and learn about this new art of "hunting", Dean left to try to calm his baby brother...it flashed across Dean's mind, but with it came another memory.

The song their mom used to hum to him and that had worked for years to get Sammy to go to sleep.

Dean cleared his throat and began singing softly.

Who says you can't go home
There's only one place they call me one of their own
Just a hometown boy, born a rolling stone, who says you can't go home
Who says you can't go back, been all around the world and as a matter of fact
There's only one place left I want to go, who says you can't go home
It's alright, it's alright, it's alright, it's alright, its alright

Sam's sobs began to ease, quiet, and Dean knew that his baby brother was listening to him.

I went as far as I could, I tried to find a new face
There isn't one of these lines that I would erase
I lived a million miles of memories on that road
With every step I take I know that I'm not alone
You take the home from the boy, but not the boy from his home
These are my streets, the only life I've ever known,
who says you can't go home

Sam began to go limp against him, sleep overtaking him, a peaceful feeling of safety finally filling him, allowing him to go to sleep.

Dean continued anyway, some part of him wanting to make sure Sam stayed asleep, another part of him so lost in memories that he couldn't stop even if he wanted to.

It doesn't matter where you are, it doesn't matter where you go
If it's a million miles aways or just a mile up the road
Take it in, take it with you when you go,
who says you can't go home

Dean leaned his head back against the headboard, closing his own eyes against the tears that threatened to well up.

We are home.

The knowledge was comforting.

It doesn't matter where we are, because home is and always will be each other.

This was a truth that Dean felt in his very soul, something that thrummed within his veins in time to his heart, something that had nearly torn him apart over the last few days, something that would hold him together over the next few months as he put Sam back together. It was his motivation and purpose.

Sammy is mine and I'm his. Call it irrationally codependent, call it crazy, call it stupid.

I don't care.

Because I love the kid.

He's all I have and all I need.

Content in the knowledge that his whole world was tucked safely at his side, Dean fell asleep.