Contains dialogue from the episode 'Bloody Mary', it belongs to Eric Kripke and Ron Milbauer

Part of my Deleted Scenes series. Full list of fics in reading order available on my profile page :)

Sam's not sure whether to be relieved or not that it isn't the real Bloody Mary; that it's just a pissed off spirit who happened to get sucked into a mirror and not the actual hundred year old legend every kid who's ever been to a sleep-over or Halloween party's heard of and probably tried. In his experience, the older and more famous a spirit is the harder it is to kill, so he supposes it's a good thing that this Mary's only been dead for fifteen years. But, on the other hand, the fact that she's murdering people with deadly secrets is all kinds of disturbing. And it doesn't really bode well for him. He has a theory; a pretty good idea of what they can do to stop her and save Charlie, but he knows Dean won't like it. Honestly, Sam doesn't really like it either, but he's not sure they have another choice. They have to stop the spirit and Sam, much as he hates himself for it, is the perfect bait.

There's a reason Sam's been having nightmares; he suspected it all along but now he knows for sure. It's something beyond just the overwhelming, crippling grief that eats away at his body like a cancer and knocks his feet out from under him – it's something he's barely even admitted to himself and certainly hasn't told Dean about. He doesn't plan to either, because he knows what Dean would say, and it wouldn't make him feel any better. It wouldn't do anything to numb the white hot guilt that twists his gut into knots as easy as if his intestines were ropes of licorice. In a lot of ways Dean's the best brother Sam could possibly imagine but sometimes he doesn't really get things. He'd just shrug it off and tell Sam he's being dumb. Sometimes Dean has a tendency to dismiss Sam's opinions like Sam's still the clueless twelve-year-old kid he once was, and even though Dean means well it isn't always entirely helpful.

"You still with me over there?" Dean asks, glancing warily over at Sam.

Sam has to clench his fists to keep from rolling his eyes. Since they got back on the road together, Dean's been treating him like he's made of porcelain and might break at any second. He knows why – he knows Dean's just worried about him – but it's undeniably frustrating.

"Yeah, I'm good," he confirms, taking a deep breath and shaking himself a little. "Just thinking."

"Why'm I not surprised?" Dean asks, smiling wryly.

Sam manages a small laugh. "Just about Charlie, it's … must've been awful, what she went through."

"Y'know, her boyfriend killing himself, that's not really Charlie's fault," Dean points out.

"You know as well as I do that spirits don't exactly see shades of grey, Dean," Sam answers heavily. "Charlie had a secret, someone died. That's good enough for Mary."

Dean shrugs. "I guess."

"You know, I've been thinking, it might not be enough to just smash that mirror," Sam begins cautiously. No matter how delicately he treads, Dean's still not going to be happy about this.

"Why? What do you mean?"

"Well, Mary's hard to pin down, right? I mean, she moves around from mirror to mirror, so who's to say that she's not gonna just keep hiding in 'em forever?" Sam reasons. "So maybe … we should try to pin her down, you know, summon her to her mirror, and then smash it."

"Well how do you know that's gonna work?"

The skepticism is clear in Dean's voice even though Sam's determinedly avoiding his gaze. "I don't. Not for sure."

"Well who's gonna summon her?" Dean asks, slowly and suspiciously like he thinks he already knows the answer but is hoping he's wrong.

Sam's pretty sure he doesn't actually have to say it, but he does anyway. When the words bubble up out of him, it's almost like repentance – like actually saying it out loud, admitting what he's been trying so hard to hide, is some kind of step on the road to the recovery Sam knows he doesn't deserve.

"I will. She'll come after me."

Dean considers him for half a second and then shakes his head in annoyance. "Alright, you know what? That's it," he mutters, wrenching the steering wheel to the right and pulling the Impala over to the shoulder.

The tires squeak on the wet pavement and Sam's pretty sure it would only piss Dean off even more to point out that this is becoming a pattern with them – Dean forcing them into heart-to-hearts about Sam's problems on the side of the road – so he keeps his mouth shut and waits for what he knows is coming.

"This is about Jessica, isn't it? You think that's your dirty little secret? That you killed her somehow?" Dean says animatedly. He sounds angry, but there's also the unmistakable undercurrents of that fierce big brother protectiveness Sam could spot from a mile away. "Sam, this has gotta stop, man! I mean, the nightmares, and - and calling her name out in the middle of the night, it's gonna kill you!"

Sam hadn't realized he'd been calling Jess's name out in his sleep. He doesn't know what to say.

"Now listen to me, it wasn't your fault!" Dean continues firmly. "If you wanna blame something, then blame the thing that killed her! Or hell, why don't you take a swing at me? I mean, I'm the one that dragged you away from her in the first place!"

Sam looks over and shakes his head a little. That's just like Dean, to try to put all the fault on himself so it doesn't have to be on Sam. "I don't blame you," he says sincerely.

"Well you shouldn't blame yourself! Cause there's nothing you could've done."

"I could've warned her," Sam insists. He knows Dean's just trying to help, but Sam really doesn't want to talk about this. His blood is practically boiling – he doesn't understand what's happening to him lately. He's always been a bit of a hot-head but he never used to get angry like this.

"About what!" Dean cries. "You didn't know it was gonna happen! And besides, all of this isn't a secret! I mean, I know all about it, so it's not gonna work with Mary anyway!"

"No you don't."

Damn it. Sam really didn't mean to say that. Dean knows just how to worm right down to his core and split him open – it slipped out and now he can't take it back. He can't tell Dean, he just can't. It's too horrible, Sam's never felt so awful about anything in his life. Best case scenario, Dean would roll his eyes and tell him he's being an idiot. And worst case? Dean would be furious with him for being so stupidly naive; for being given a chance to save somebody from the same horrible fate their mother met and not doing anything about it.

"I don't what?"

Sam sighs. "You don't know all about it. I haven't told you everything."

"What are you talking about?" Dean actually looks a little like he might cry. Sam knows the feeling.

"Well it wouldn't really be a secret if I told you, would it?" Sam drawls cockily, and Dean huffs and recoils a little like he's offended. It's an asshole move and Sam knows it, but he's never been a very good liar and it's the best he can come up with in the heat of the moment. For a long minute, the pattering of the rain on the rooftop is all Sam can hear over the beating of his own heart in his ears. He hates this; he hates feeling like he actually might've hurt Dean's feelings. He knows how much Dean loathes it when Sam keeps things from him.

"No," Dean grinds out eventually. "I don't like it, it's not gonna happen. Forget it."

"Dean, that girl back there is going to die unless we do something about it. And you know what, who knows how many people are gonna die after that? Now we're doing this."

Dean glares daggers at him, but Sam has no intention of letting it go.

"You have got to let me do this," he says adamantly. If there's one thing Sam's good at, it's not taking no for an answer.

By the time Dean finds them a decent looking motel the sun's already set, and thick, fat raindrops have started falling from the dark blue sky again; landing on the windshield with pronounced splats. Sam is completely exhausted, physically and emotionally, and he wants nothing more than to just collapse into bed and sleep for about a week. There's nothing like a spirit putting on Sam's own face and hissing at him all the reasons why Jessica's death was, in fact, his fault (regardless of what Dean says) all while simultaneously trying to slice out his eyeballs from the inside, to drain Sam of every wisp of energy he had left. And maybe a little of his will to live too. He knows it was just a spirit messing with him, but Sam can't deny that it hurt to hear the words "you killed her" coming out of his own mouth. He knows it isn't true in a literal sense but it might as well be. If he'd taken the dreams seriously instead of just brushing them off as a fluke, he could've gotten Jess out of harms way, he could've told her to put down salt lines when he was gone, something. There are a hundred things Sam could've taught her that might've ended up saving her life. At the very least, he should've been there with her. She shouldn't have had to die alone.

Dean's been eyeing him with that worried look all over his face, eyebrows stitched together and lips pursed, for almost the whole day now but Sam's been outright ignoring him. He's got enough to deal with swirling around in his own head; he can't handle Dean right now. It's too much. He's just glad this particular hunt is over – he really hates it when they manage to hit home like that – and if the universe doesn't completely hate him, it'll keep Dean quiet and just let Sam fall into one of those beds and have a night that, for once, isn't plagued with the heat of flames and the acrid smell of burning hair and that feeling in the pit of his stomach that makes him wish he could close his eyes and fall asleep and never wake up.

The walls are covered in a sickly yellowish wallpaper that, combined with the stained brown shag carpet and the pale green bedspreads, sort of makes it look like somebody threw up all over their room; but it's clean and dry and the mattresses look at least halfway decent so Sam can't really bring himself to care. He doesn't even know where they are, actually, he fell asleep in the car and he's not sure which direction Dean was driving in or even how long he was driving for. But he doesn't care about that either; he feels too bled dry to care about anything right now other than putting this whole shitty hunt behind them and never thinking about it again. Logically, he knows it doesn't work like that, but he's become nothing if not the master of denial in the last few weeks. He drops his duffle bag onto the floor beside the door, not even bothering to get out his toothbrush or soap to wash his face, and shrugs out of his jacket. That, he leaves in a heap on top of his bag; boots and jeans following it quickly while Dean watches him warily and Sam pretends not to notice.

He's down to just his boxers and a t-shirt and is so close to getting in that bed, to this horrible day finally being over, when Dean stops him with a hand on his arm.

"Dean, what?" Sam grumbles, still not looking at him. He silently wills Dean to pick up on the irritation in his voice and get the message to let this go. Dean, evidently, has other ideas.

"Can we just take a second to talk about this?" Dean asks, his voice soft and pleading.

Sam wants to give in to Dean's request, more than anything he wants to collapse into Dean's arms and tell him everything and let his big brother hold him and make everything okay again, but he can't. They aren't kids anymore, and they're not like that anymore. Things are different now. Sam has to stay strong – he can't afford to let himself get vulnerable again like he did with Jess. If loosing her has taught him anything, it's that it isn't safe to rely too heavily on anyone but himself. Even if he loves someone with every inch of his being, it's not always enough. They can still be taken away from him in a heartbeat, and then he's all alone again.

"No," he answers, shrugging Dean's hand off and climbing under the sheets while Dean stands there looking almost pathetically sad.

"Sammy," he starts tentatively.

"Please," Sam whispers, chest tightening as he pushes his face into the pillow to hide the tears welling up in his eyes. "I can't. Please go away."

Dean doesn't move for a long moment and Sam holds his breath, waiting for Dean to grab him and drag him back out of bed and make him talk. But then miraculously, Dean does what Sam asked. Sam hears the dull sound of his footsteps padding away, listens to him shuffling around the room for a few more minutes and then the lights go out, bathing the room in velvety blackness, and the rustling of sheets and the squeak of a mattress tells him Dean's gotten into his own bed. Sam uses the pillow case to wipe the wetness off his face, and then he drags the quilt up over his head and lets his eyes fall closed. God, he hopes he can sleep.

"Why, Sam?" she whispers.

Sam opens his eyes and draws in an exaggerated breath so fast it burns his lungs. She's on the ceiling, limbs twisted out at horrible angles and blond curls splayed around her head like a halo. The oval shaped red stain over her stomach gets steadily bigger as the blood soaks through her white shirt, and another drop falls onto Sam's cheek, like the very life seeping out of her drip by agonizing drip – taunting Sam with how easy it would have been to stop all this from happening, with how much better her live would've been if she'd never even met him.

"No!" Sam shouts.

"Why didn't you keep me safe? Didn't you love me?" she asks, breathing raggedly like it's causing her pain to do so, just before the flames explode around her and consume her small frame.

"No! Jess!" Sam yells desperately.

He reaches up, he tries to get to her, but he can't. Something invisible is tethering him to the bed, holding his arms down, and he can't do anything but lay there and watch her burn. And she doesn't scream, she doesn't even blink. She just looks at him; looks through him, with big blue eyes that see nothing and everything at the same time, until her face is obscured by the billowing smoke and he can't see her anymore.



"No!" Sam shrieks hysterically, struggling against his bonds. "Let me go! Jess!"

"Sam! Sammy, stop! It's me!"

Something vague but familiar cuts through the fog, something that sounds like fear and love and Kansas-twang all rolled into one and smells like home even over the almost overwhelming smell of cinders and melting flesh. There's something touching Sam's forehead and he tries to shake it off, but it isn't the dripping blood anymore, it's … it feels like a hand. And then, slowly but surely, the smoke clears and the flames die out and then Sam blinks and it's not Jessica above him, holding him down, it's green eyes, not blue, it's …

"Dean?" he croaks, in a voice that's gravel-rough and doesn't sound like his own.

"Yeah." Dean exhales shakily, but he looks relieved. "Shit, you scared me. Are you okay?"

Sam tries to nod but it turns almost instantly into him shaking his head no, vigorously back and forth on the sweat-soaked pillow. No, no, no. His heart pounds out a frantic, unsteady beat against his ribcage and hot, terrified tears stream down his cheeks.

"Dean," he breathes brokenly.

"Damn it," Dean mutters, climbing off Sam and then shoving him roughly over to one side of the mattress so he can climb into bed beside him. Sam wishes he had the strength to push Dean away, to promise that he's okay and that he doesn't need this and Dean can go back to his own bed, but the horror and desperation and devastation left over from the dream makes his head spin and he feels a bit like he's going to be sick so he grabs on to his brother, the only solid thing he can find, and doesn't let go.

Dean settles down next to Sam and gets them both under the blankets, murmuring "Okay, okay," over and over again like a prayer, and then he slides one arm under Sam's trembling body so he can pull Sam into his chest and wrap his arms around Sam's back. Sam lets out a pitiful moan and buries his face into Dean's neck. There's that smell again, Old Spice and leather and Dean, and the heat from Dean's body and his strong arms locked around Sam – it all but shatters Sam to pieces. His fingers grab handfuls of Dean's shirt and he clings to him, weeping uncontrollably into his shoulder while his whole body shakes and his heart beats into his throat.

"Shh," Dean soothes, resting his forehead on the top of Sam's head and smoothing his palm in calming circles on Sam's back. "Hey, it's alright, you're okay now. Just a dream, right? Can't hurt you."

Sam nods a little as another ragged sob rips out of his chest. "It was a really bad one, Dean," he whimpers, his words coming out weak and punctured as his body's overtaken by tremors.

"I know. Shh." With one hand he keeps rubbing up and down Sam's spine and the other he brings up to pet through Sam's hair. "I'm right here, you're safe now."

Sam wants to tell him he doesn't have to do this; Dean hasn't held him after a nightmare like this since Sam was ten, but he's nowhere near strong enough to send Dean away again. Not while the fire and the blood and Jessica's terrified face is still so fresh in his mind. So he slides an arm around the middle of Dean's back and holds on, and Dean just hugs him tighter.

"S'gonna be okay," Dean whispers, rocking Sam a little while he cries. "Everything's gonna be okay, Sammy. I got you, always got you."