Don't faint, yes, this is an actual update! I am still living lol xx

I haven't edited this so I apologise for any mistakes and if you see anything weird, please let me know x


Dean was grateful to the thing in the alley for one thing, it had stopped his brother nagging to find out what he'd done to incur the wrath of their father; for now at least anyway.

He eased the speed up on the junker as far as he dared, the engine sounding its distress as the needle went above eighty. Sam was quiet beside him, the way his fingers were drumming on the shotgun the only sign that it was his brother's brain that was in overdrive at the moment. Dean dreaded when that would move to Sam's mouth and he would be stuck with a car load of questions and no answers. At least none he could give his brother.

His respite was to prove brief.

"So how did this thing know who you were? It's been following us hasn't it?"

"I don't know Sam."

"Does dad know what it is?"

"I don't know Sam."

There was a huff.

Dean sighed.

"Does Bobby know how to kill it?"

"I don't know Sam."

"If it's a demon, can you kill it?"

"I don't know Sam.

"You don't know much, do you?"

"So my teachers keep telling me every time they fail me."

That got another huff. "Maybe there's an exorcism that'll work on it."

"Well if there is, Bobby's the man to be with. Just think, you can spend hours pouring through his books looking for it. Geek nirvana."

"Jerk and don't you mean we…."

"We what, bitch?"

"We can spend hours Dean."

Dean shot Sam a look. "Oh no, your Latin's better than mine."

"Oh no yourself, I know that you can read it every bit as well as I can, despite what you tell dad. And anyway, if that's not the case," Sam poked at his brother's arm, "you're the one that needs the practice."

"Not in this lifetime dude, I'm sure there'll be guns to clean or a car to fix up and I'll need to get the Impala checked over when Bobby's tow gets her to the yard. Anyway, research is your bag, not mine. You wanted to be included and be more part of the team didn't you?"

"There's no team in 'I do the research'."

"Now you're getting it," Dean grinned back at him.

Sam stuck the shotgun down the side of the seat and folded his arms. "I hate this," he muttered under his breath.

Dean rolled his eyes knowing that he shouldn't ask but doing it anyway. "Hate what? Research? Thought that was your favourite pastime after homework?"

"Need to actually be going to school to get homework," Sam grumbled.

Dean cast a quick glance over at his brother. "Is that what's biting your ass? Dude, we're running from the demon that killed Mom and you're moaning about missing school? Way to get your priorities straight there."

"I thought you didn't know what it was? I thought we weren't running!," Sam huffed. "Anyway, I don't want to hunt. I want to go to school so that I can get good grades and then…well then I want to go to college and get a real job."

"Hunting is a real job!"

"Yeah? Maybe for you but real jobs have these things called salaries and besides I don't see them lining up to be hunters at guidance."

Dean changed down gear and pulled round the slow moving car in front. "So what would you study at college? Hey, I know, how about pain in my brother's ass 101, because really, you'd ace that one!"

Sam crossed his arms and glared at his brother. "I'm going to study Law."

"Law?" Dean chuckled at that. "You switching sides on us there Sam? Joining the bad guys?"

"Not all lawyers are bad Dean."

"All the ones I've met are. Interfering know it all's that never listen to what you tell them and then just make up their own version of events. You remember the lady that tried to take us away from dad and all the lies she told?"

"It wasn't all lies."

"No, but she tried to screw him over."

"She thought we were abused and neglected, no idea why she could ever have thought that."

Dean punched him for the tone he said it in. "I can show you abused if you like."

"Got a mirror 'cos I can show you abused too you know."

"Drop it Sam. Okay? We do alright and dad does the best he can. As for college, it ain't gonna happen dude," Dean replied, albeit a little wistfully.

Sam bristled. "Why won't it?"

"Come on Sam. People like us don't get to be lawyers bro'. We get the shit jobs, you know, the ones no one else really wants."

"What, like hunting?" Sam stared out of the window. "Well maybe people like you don't, but I'm not gonna get stuck in a crap job, especially this crap job."

"People like me?" Dean had hurt in his voice when he answered. "Glad you think so highly of my efforts to keep us fed here when dad's not around Sam." He looked down briefly and rubbed a mud stain on his knee thinking how it had got there. Maybe, he mused, Sam aiming high and wanting out wasn't such a bad idea after all. "Dad would have a fit," he said eventually. "He'd never allow it."

Sam glared at him. "Allow it? Allow what? I can go to college without his permission you know."

"You'd do that?" Dean shot him a look, eyebrows raised. "You'd just up and leave him to this fight on his own?"

Sam sighed as his brother sided with their father again. "It's his fight, not mine, besides he's got you. What does he need me for?"

"It's us he's doing this for…..and for Mom."

"Mom? Mom? Do you think for one moment that she would want us to be doing this?" Sam gestured at the car they were in. "Travelling and running all the time?"

"She would want us to stay together, to help him, to be a family."

Sam snorted. "Well she isn't here and I can't believe that if she was she would want us to be trailing the country in a car, sleeping in crappy motels and starving to death."

"No she wouldn't but she's not here Sam and we're all he's got. This….," Dean copied his brother's gesture of moments before. "..is all he's got."

"Well it's not all I'm going to have!" With that he hauled a book out of his bag and stuck his nose in it.

"Definitely no I in team," Dean sighed and turned the music up.

They hadn't gone far when the phone rang. "We're stopping," Dean informed his brother.

"Why?"

"Always with the questions, questions, questions Sammy. Dad needs to pee okay?" Dean spun the car hard into the car park of the diner they were stopping at and into a space, throwing his younger brother against the door as he did.

"Why do you always have to be an ass?, "Sam asked, righting himself. He looked down at the shotgun and then at his brother, the question he had clear in his eyes.

"Put in on the backseat and cover it with your jacket," Dean said with a long suffering sigh.

"But it's raining…."

Dean scowled at his brother and then wriggled out of his own jacket. "Fine, put it on the back seat and cover it with my jacket." He threw the garment at his brother's head and got out to be greeted by John.

"Where's your damn jacket Dean?"

"On the back seat." He looked at his father.

"Oh," John answered, getting the meaning. "Well get inside before you get that cold back." He herded his companions towards, and then in, the diner door. "Sam, go sit with your brother and Bobby. I'll be a minute." With that he strode off in the directions of the rest rooms.

"Someone not go before we left and then leave it too long?," Sam asked cheekily earning a good natured cuff from Bobby.

"He was gonna just pee in a bottle but not in my truck with another thousand miles to go." The old hunter watched both boys eye the menu. "You kids hungry? Figure we could all use some food what with skipping breakfast." He picked it up and handed it to Dean.

"Oh god yes, I'm starving." Sam grabbed the menu from his brother.

"Hey! You had breakfast and I was looking at that"

Sam stuck his head inside ignoring his brother's huff of annoyance. "Ooh, this looks good…."

"See," Dean prodded the back of it. "Born research geek."

A shaggy fringe appeared at the top of the menu card. "Bite me. Besides, you need to be able to read it to order from it," he informed his brother sticking his tongue out as he did.

"Oh really, bitch?" Dean leant back and caught the waitress' eye. "No I don't." The woman was on her way over almost immediately, straightening her hair as she did.

"Oh, good grief," Sam muttered into his prized menu.

"Hey…..Amanda." Dean smiled at the woman and Sam knew that his brother was going to get whatever he wanted, even if it wasn't on the menu. "So can you recommend what's good here since my little brother is a menu hog?"

She listed a few dishes and they all chose something, Sam deliberately choosing from his coveted menu. Dean ordered John a house special burger and watched as the waitress walked away. He smiled sweetly at his younger brother. "School is highly over rated when it comes to getting fed."

"Yeah? Well your pretty will fade one day you know, and then you'll starve."

"Yeah? Brains fade too you know, and less of the pretty, geek boy. Ruggedly handsome are the words I think you're looking for."

Sam and Bobby both snorted at that.

Dean ignored them and cast a glance out the window, freezing as he did. Bobby followed his gaze and watched as the car pulled into the space next to the boy's junker and the cop got out.

"Did you cover it?," Dean hissed across the table at his brother.

"Of course I did!," Sam hissed back at him but his face paled as the cop examined their car before finally turning in the direction of the diner.

Cold air spiralled in behind him and all eyes turned to watch as he strode to the counter and questioned their waitress. Bobby caught the briefest glint of silver, Dean's knife sliding free from his shirt and disappearing under the table, and then the man was standing looming over them. Not happy with the situation either the older hunter pulled his flask of holy water out from the folds of his body warmer and dropped it between his legs. He was loosening the cap as the cop smiled at them.

"That car out there? Does it belong to one of you boys?"

"It's mine," Dean answered, tension leaking into his voice. "Is there a problem officer?"

Eyeing him for the tone of the question, the trooper pushed back his hat and let the smile drop. "Not unless you'd like there to be one son. Back tyre's looking a little the worse for wear, just thought I'd mention it."

"There's a spare in the trunk, we'll get it changed. Thanks." Bobby gave the man a nod as he spoke, relaxing a little as he did.

The cop turned, stopped, and then turned back again. "You folks aren't local, are you?"

"No sir," Bobby offered. "From South Dakota. Just came down to fetch my cousin and his boys, they had a spot of car trouble." He nodded at the junker. "Needed a couple of parts replacing."

"I'll bet," the man muttered. "Had a coupla accidents out on the twenty five today, it's gonna be closed most of the day so the other roads are gonna be busier. You drive carefully now."

"We will. Thanks."

They watched as the trooper stopped over at the counter, taking a seat and ordering a coffee. Their waitress arrived with the coffee disappointment in her eyes when Dean didn't flirt with her this time, his own eyes locked on the restroom door instead.

When she left he stood. "Dad's been awhile, gonna just go get him."

John appeared out of the restroom as Dean reached them, a small conversation passing between them, Dean nodding at the trooper, before they headed back together.

"You guys order," John asked as he waited for Dean to slide into the booth.

"Ruggedly handsome here ordered you a burger," Sam informed his father dryly.

"Shut it runt." Dean snatched the menu from his brother's hands and hit him hard with it causing his brother to try to wrestle it back from him.

"Behave."

The tone of that one word had Dean putting the menu back and both boys folding their hands on the table.

John forced Dean over with his hip and sat down, effectively separating his two sons. They sat in silence until the waitress brought their food, each of them lost in their own thoughts and worries.

Bobby cast Dean a look, watched as the boy pushed his food around his plate until he realised that both older men were watching and only then starting to eat. Sam had produced a book from his pocket and had started reading. The book mark was one of the postcards, the Stanford one, that he had acquired from Flagstaff. Bobby hoped John wouldn't catch sight of it, the atmosphere between the man and his son a little strained at the moment to say the least. No need to add fuel to flame the fire.

The meal passed quietly, John and Bobby discussing options to get round the closed road and the traffic, Sam reading his book and Dean slowly and methodically eating his food while staring out the window.

"I need to hit the head," Dean offered to the table, waiting until John stood before easing out of the booth and heading for the restrooms.

John's phone rang as he sat down, a frown creasing his face at the 'withheld' that appeared on his screen. He cast a quick look at Sam and then answered it.

"Hello?"

"Dean?" The voice was young, hesitant.

"This is John Winchester, who is this?"

"It's Max. Is Dean there?"

John stood, went to head for the door and then stopped. "What do you want him for?"

"There's this guy…he….he…..I'm at this motel and I don't know where I am or how I got here….." There was a sniff of air and John knew the boy was crying.

"Is he still there?" John glanced to the restrooms, frowned when he realised that Dean hadn't come back out.

"No….no…..he said that he had something to do…I can't get out, he's broke the lock on the door and the window doesn't open….can you help me? Please?"

"Do you have any idea where you are Max?"

"Motel looks abandoned from what I can see out the window, but it's dirty…"

"Can you break the window?"

"There only the bed, this phone and a light in the room, I don't have anything heavy enough besides….." He paused and John sighed, checked the restroom door again.

"Besides….," he prompted impatiently.

"I don't….I….don't…" The boy let out what sounded like a sob. "He took all my clothes."

"Shit." John watched as Bobby and Sam stopped talking and looked at him. ""What did this guy look like Max? Can you remember?" He was stalling, trying to think what the hell he was going to say to Dean, or to Sam for that matter. That's when he noticed the trooper was missing. He turned and took in the car still parked in the car park and that got him moving.

"Max I got the phone number you're on, I've save it in the phone and I'll call you straight back when I've got Dean okay. Five minutes tops I promise."

"Okay." It didn't sound okay but John had other things on his mind now.


He heard Dean as he pushed the door opened. "I said get the fuck off me."

John raised his gun and stepped inside, locking the door behind him. Dean was pinned to the wall; the trooper had a leg shoved between his son's and a hand on his neck. "Glad you could join the party John. I just knew that you'd head for Singer's, so predictable. Going to hide amongst the rest of the broken down wrecks that society doesn't want?," it chuckled. "But you see, I wasn't finished with your boy here though, although his friend doesn't have merits of his own."

"Max? Are you talking about Max?" Dean started to struggle again. "What did you do to him you son of a bitch?!"

"Mind that mouth Dean or I might have to mind it for you." It ran a finger over Dean's lips and John snapped. He charged towards them only to be brought up short by a flash of power that hit him and knocked him into the sinks. "You on the other hand need to mind your temper. I thought Max might have distracted you a tad longer; let me finish with your boy here." Dean groaned as it pinned him harder, yellow flashing in its eyes as it did. "Do what you're good at Dean," it smiled evilly at John. "Open wide."

John watched as the smoke started to curl slowly from the trooper's mouth towards his son's. Dean's struggles grew as it brushed his lips and trickled inside. He started to cough, choking on the intrusion and then the demon's eyes flared again and it touched its lips to Dean's own and drew back inside the trooper. "Well, well," it muttered. "It seemed that I misjudged your importance in the scheme of things Dean-o. Should have finished you the night I killed your mother, slit your throat in your sleep." It turned to John. "I was going to," it teased cocking its head and smiling at the elder Winchester before turning back to Dean. "You were so sweet lying there, with your thumb in your mouth and that goddamn piece of shit angel watching over you." It cupped Dean's chin, forced his head up and locked eyes with him. "Mary couldn't wait though. Maybe it was some six sense that woke her and so I didn't have time to play with you kiddo. Shame but still, think on what I would have missed out on? Perhaps we can do a repeat show for your daddy here Dean, get you down on your knees and show him just how good a whore his son really is?"

"John!" Bobby's call from the door and the rattle of the handle caused them all to turn in that direction.

"Always interrupted when it's getting to the good part," the demon sighed. It dropped Dean, the younger man passing out cold as he was released and strode over to John. "You can't protect them from me John."

"You stay the fuck away from my sons."

It walked back over to Dean, leant down and brushed a hand over his side before turning its head back to face John. "I could have killed him in that alley John, defiled him in ways you can't even imagine and left him for you to find but I need him for the same thing you do. I need a guard dog for Sam. Someone that will watch over my boy and keep him safe, keep him fed…I mean it's not like I can rely on you to do that can I?"

"I'm going to kill you."

It stood up and kicked Dean in the ribs. "Like father, like son. Empty threats without the Colt though John and you don't know where it is."

"I'll find it!"

"I'm sure you will but not before I claim what's mine. Not before Sam is mine."

"I'll see him dead first!"

It chuckled at that, ignored the pounding on the door and walked over to John, lifting his feet off the floor. "So, why isn't he then? You know about the children John, I know you do. So why is sweet little Sammy not lying in a grave with a bullet in his head?"

John bit his lip and struggled in the thing's grip.

"No answer?" It cast a look at Dean. "He'd never forgive you, would he? No matter what you told him about Sam, Dean would never let you kill his brother. He'd die first. So are you just going to do what you always do John and leave it to Dean to clean up behind you?"

It dropped him to the floor and walked over to the door. "If it comes to that, if he has to kill his brother, if he could actually pull the trigger, how long after it do you think he put the gun in his own mouth?" it laughed at him and let its eyes glow. "Gonna show you how easy it would be to take him out John. Watch this space."

Bobby fell in the door as it was opened and the demon only pushed him out the way.

The elder hunter got to his feet and hurried over to John who was getting to his. "Sam…."

"He's still at the table; I doubt it would try anything in a crowded diner."

"Dean?" John hurried over to his prone son, lifting him off the soiled floor and laying him up against the wall. "Dean?"

Green eyes flickered, shut and then opened with a look of panic that had John checking over his shoulder.

"Sam…" Dean was trying to get his feet under him, pushing John away in the process.

"Easy Dean." John looked over his shoulder. "Can you get Sam? Put him in the truck with you, I'll ride with Dean."

Bobby nodded and left.

John eased Dean back up onto his feet, steadied him against the wall with a gentle hand. "Are you okay? What did it want? Did he hurt you?"

"I'm fine."

John was checking him over, patting him down and Dean gripped his dad's arms to stop him. "I'm okay, really. What did it do to Max?"

Now that he was sure that his brother was okay Dean's concern had switch to his friend.

"Shit, I need to call him back." Pulling his phone from his pocket John called up the last number and hit dial. It was answered on the first ring.

"Dean?"

"Let me talk to him." Dean held out his hand and then snatched the phone when his dad hesitated too long in passing it to him. "Max? How you doing?"

"Dean, can you come get me. I think he's going to come back and I can't get out…"

Dean looked at his dad. "Where are you?" He pushed off the wall, staggered and was rescued from face planting by his dad's hand on his arm. Shrugging him off, Dean squared his shoulders and headed for the door.

"I don't know Dean."

"Hey, stay calm alright, we're gonna find you. It's what we do remember? We help people."

"Yeah, okay. It's a motel Dean but it looks like it's been closed for a while."

"Did he take you there in a car?" Dean opened the door and stepped out into the car park.

"Yeah."

"How long did you drive Max?"

"I don't know, he was talking to me and then I felt kinda weird and then I woke up in this room and he's taken my clothes and….and….." Max started to cry and Dean felt like joining him. He swallowed down the lump in his throat and wiped his nose on his sleeve aware now that Bobby and Sam were both watching him from the truck. "Do you remember anything from the road trip Max?"

"I don't know…wait….we were on the forty…"

"How long?"

"I don't know Dean." And yeah, now Max was really crying and Dean wanted to hunt this thing down and put a bullet through its brain, just for the hell of it. Max sobbed in his ear and Dean felt his own tears trail his face. "He was weird, he had….he had these eyes."

Dean's spine turned to steel and his blood to ice, knowing that Max was going to confirm his worst fear. "What about his eyes Max?"

"I thought it was the street lights," Max sobbed.

"Max, what about his eyes?"

"They…..they were yellow."

Dean dropped the phone to his side and dropped his head back on his shoulder. "Goddamn son of bitch!," he screamed to the skies.

"What it is?," John asked from behind him.

"It wasn't lying. It's got Max. We gotta save him." Dean turned to his dad, raising the phone as he did. "Max," he said into. "We're coming for you, you hear me?"

"How?"

"I'll find you. I found Sam didn't I?"

"Yeah."

"So I'll find you, I promise." He turned to his dad. "I need to hang up now but I'll call you back as soon as I can."

"Dean…." There was a noise in the background.

"Max…." The line went dead and Dean quickly tried to dial it back. It was engaged.

He looked up into his dad' eyes, panic lighting his own. "We need to find him."

John held out his hand and took the phone from his son. "No."

Dean frowned. "What do you mean no?" Anger coloured his tone.

"It's what it wants."

"It's what we do," Dean countered.

"I need you safe, I need Sam safe."

"Yet you put my safety after that of strangers," Dean answered coldly. "Risk me to save them."

John sighed, sought for the right thing to say. "It's not him he wants."

"No, it's me! He took him because he's my friend, because he couldn't get me! Are you going to just let him die without at least trying to save him?"

"It's not that, but it's a trap Dean, it's got to be."

"Well I say spring it then!" He turned for the door of the car and John dragged him back.

"No."

Dean pushed at his dad's chest. "What is it? Is he not worthy of the great John Winchester's time because he's whore because really.." He gestured at himself and John lost it.

It was the sting in his hand that told John he'd slapped his son. Dean's head was turned to the side, the mark of his fingers clear on his son's face. His remorse was instant. "Dean…" He reached out but his son reeled back from him. "God Dean, I'm sorry…..but Dean….he's dead already, you know that."

"No I don't."

"You said it yourself, it doesn't want him it wants us."

"Then let's give it what it wants then!" Dean screamed the words at him. "Let's do what we're supposed to do. Hunt it, save people….save Max. Please dad…."

"Get in the car Dean, we're going to Bobby's."

"No."

"You don't even know where he is!"

John wished he could take back his words at the stricken look on his son's face. "But it's my fault it took him, he was nice to me, looked out for me, I can't just shrug my shoulders and walk the fuck away."

John sighed. "You might have to Dean." His son turned his back on him. "I'll give you a minute; I need to speak to Bobby."

The door of the junker squeaked as Dean opened it and dropped down on the driver's seat. John had intended to drive but maybe letting Dean do it would stop his son mulling on the fate of his friend. John had just reached the truck when the engine was cranked hard on the car and as he turned he knew what was about to happen.

He turned in time to see Dean throw the car out of the space and then stood frozen as his son left a streak of black rubber on the tarmac as he screamed out the car park and onto the main road.

"Get your ass in here!" It was Bobby's voice that broke his stupor as the truck door was flung opened. He scrambled into the back and the other hunter tore out after Dean.

John's phone rang.

"I didn't expect you to hand deliver him to me on a plate John," the demon chortled. "Still at least you'll get to find his friend for him. You want to see how easily I can take your boys away from you? Watch this."

John sat forward as his phone went dead. "Drive faster."

TBC (honest) :)