Author's note: Just so you all know, there were never plans for a sequel. But you guys are all just so encouraging; I couldn't help but force my brain back into overdrive! Hope it lives up to your expectations…

PS props to liketheriflewinchester 's tumblr for the cover pic... I may have lovingly commandeered it from their blog...


Sam struggled against the demon, fighting uselessly as the knife scythed down, towards Bobby.

"Stop it, please!" He cried, but it was no use. A final spurt of warm blood washed over his fingers as he lifted the bloody organ from the old man's chest.

"Oh Sammy, I did stop. That was all you." Sam looked up in horror to see his brother standing across the room from him, grinning, his eyes deep black pools of hate.

"No," Sam whispered, looking down. Bobby's open eyes stared accusingly at him. Suddenly the hunter sucked in a breath, sitting up in the table and raising a finger to point accusingly at Sam.

"You did this, boy. I begged you to stop but you just kept going. Why did you do this to me Sam?" Bobby's chest hung open and empty, like a grisly piñata that had served its purpose. Sam backed away, knife and heart dropping from nerveless fingers.

"Bobby, it wasn't me, I swear, he made me-"

"Whose hands are covered in blood, little brother?" Dean asked, holding out his spotless fingers for inspection. "Not mine." Sam could feel the sticky warmth between his fingers, caked under his nails, smeared across his skin. The smell was suffocating, and he vomited. Dean just stood and laughed. It was not the rich, warm chuckle he had possessed in life, but something far worse, twisted and evil.

Suddenly Sam's feet slid out from under him, and he splashed down into a pool of blood. He called for help, but there was no one to help him. As Sam slipped under the red liquid, he saw the demon across the room wink at him before taking an enormous bite out of Bobby's heart.

Sam sat up with a shout, Dean's laughter still echoing in his head. A light flicked on in the hallway, and a moment later Ellen walked into the room. Sam drew his knees up to his chest and rested his forehead on his knees, trying to get his breathing under control. He had been staying with the two hunters for a little more than a week, after cleaning up Bobby's as well as he could and fleeing. There had not been a single night since when he didn't wake up screaming on his cot in the living room.

He kept his head down, feeling the bed shift as Ellen lowered herself to sit beside him. Without asking, she put an arm around his shoulders and Sam leaned into her, seeking comfort. A single tear dripped from his eye, splashing onto Ellen's chest and soaking into her cotton nightdress. More followed quickly, and Sam cried silently as Ellen held him and rocked him, whispering nonsense to comfort him like a mother would her child. Jo peeked into the room, but Ellen shook her head and the girl snuck out again, closing the door behind her.

"Shhh, now, it'll be alright," she whispered, stroking his hair soothingly. "Calm down Sam, it was just a dream." Eventually, he stopped crying, and Ellen held him for another few moments before letting go. When he looked up at her, his mask was back, clamping down on all of his emotions. He inched away from her, rubbing his face to dispel any lingering tear tracks.

"Sorry," Sam muttered. "I'm fine, really, go back to sleep. I didn't mean to wake you."

Ellen hesitated, watching him with concern. "Sam, I don't… maybe you should talk about what happened? It might help you cope." When he had arrived, all Sam had told Ellen was that there had been a hunt that went wrong and a demon had escaped, possessed Sam, killed Bobby and then vanished.

Ellen wasn't stupid- she knew there must be more to the story- but at the time, when he had appeared on her doorstep bloody and frantic, she hadn't questioned him. Nor had she argued when he begged her to replace his tattoo immediately. She had immediately gotten her tattoo gun and inked the symbol over his right collarbone while the left was still oozing blood sluggishly. Only after the tattoo was in place had Sam even marginally relaxed. Eventually, she had gotten him cleaned up and into the makeshift bed that she and Jo sometimes used for visiting hunters.

That had been a week ago, and his nightmares weren't getting any better. Ellen knew Sam, and she knew that whatever had happened went a lot deeper than some random demon attack, even if it had killed Bobby. It made Ellen's heart ache to admit it, but the death of someone he loved had never been enough to break him down in the past, and she couldn't understand why it was now.

A thought occurred to her, and she asked quietly, "Sam, does this have something to do with your brother?" She hadn't spoken of Dean since Sam had called three years ago to tell her he was dead. Now she watched as Sam's head snapped up, eyes wide and full of pain.

"Wh- how did you know?" Sam stuttered.

Ellen sighed. Because he's the only person in the whole world who's ever gotten to you like this, she thought. All she said was "Lucky guess. You mind telling me what happened? The whole story?"

Sam took a few deep breaths, glancing around. "Is Jo here?" When Ellen shook her head, he nodded, as if coming to a decision. "Good. She doesn't need to hear this. Neither do you, are you sure-"

Ellen covered his hand with her own. "Sam, you just cried yourself out on my shoulder for the fourth night this week. I'm worried about you, and I want you to tell me what happened." Sam held her eyes for a moment, then looked away, speaking quickly as if the words were too painful.

"It started when Bobby and I went to investigate a string of disappearances in this town in Iowa…"

Ellen listened without comment, afraid that if she interrupted Sam would lose the little bit of courage he's found and never tell her the truth about what had happened. However, when he got to the part about Dean escaping and possessing him, she couldn't help but break in.

"Sam, are you sure it was him? Maybe it was one of them just pretending-"

Sam shook his head slowly, a dead look creeping into his gaze as he remembered. "I'm sure Ellen. Being possessed… it's the worst and most intimate connection between a human soul and whatever substitute for one that demons have. I could feel it- him- inside my head, and he wasn't pretending. It really was Dean."

A very long silence stretched between them, neither willing to break it. Finally, Sam muttered, "and the rest of what I told you is true. He tore off my tattoo, possessed me, and-" Sam's throat closed up, and he struggled to speak around the sob rising in his throat. "Tortured and killed Bobby. And I couldn't do a damn thing. Bobby was more a father to me than my dad ever was, and all I could do was watch as that thing used me, used my hands, to-" Sam broke down in tears again, and once more Ellen pulled him to her, rocking him softly and humming soothingly.

Tears streaked down her own face, tears for Bobby who was dead, and Sam who had been forced to do something so awful, and tears for Dean and whatever had happened to him since his deal. Neither of them heard the quiet sounds of a third person crying, as Jo backed away from the door where she'd been listening and ran to her room.


PS: short-ish chapter, I know, just getting the feel for this. I've already got a few plot ideas that I've written pieces of, but any suggestions, let me know and I will see if they can be wrestled into the story somehow. Thanks for all your support, I don't have words for how touched I am that you like my crap! :)