She's taking her. No! Don't! Take me instead!

Too late to hear his frightened cries Holly is taken into The Room. He desperately bangs against cold concrete floor. Wishing, praying, that he will see his sister again. That this time their mother will pass out before inflicting a lethal blow. It's always been this way. One of them paying the price for her drunken aggression. Sometimes it was him and he could always hear Holly crying from beyond that cursed wooden door.

A strangled plea makes it's way out of his throat. A plea that goes unheeded by their supposed mother.

The door clicks shut as she drags the struggling Holly into that dark room. He can just barely hear the sound of mother cackling soon followed by the sharp sound of leather hitting flesh. Seconds later holly cries out as blow after blow hits her already battered form.

"... Holly..." he barely dares to breathe.

The whip means she'll live, but he knows she'll need care afterward. At least, that's what his young mind is telling him. To hope that mother has drunk enough that she cannot inflict anymore than that.

From outside The Room he tries to discern the amount of aggression mother still has in her when suddenly the heavy door swings open. Mother staggers out and reaches for his neck. He can still hear Holly whimpering from inside.

"S'okay Jake. Mommy loves you 'nd Holly more than she can bare. Clean your sis up 'nd bring me 'nother drink."

She doesn't release him though. She pulls him into The Room and tosses him inside, throwing Holly out. She moans as a large gash hits the floor, " ... R-run, little brother... She mea-"

The door closes in her face before she can finish.

"Don't know what she's goin' on about. I love you both so much." mother tries to mutter under her breath, only it comes out at normal conversation volume.

Jake crawls into the nearest corner and waits for the inevitable.

~. ' - ' .~

"Jake! Jake! Please... Wake up! Wake up!" Cougar is shaking him to his senses.

Jensen can feel cold sweat soaking through his clothes and into his mattress. That's the first thing he knows. Slowly, what Cougar is doing registers in his mind; the sniper is crying.

As much as he knows he should assure Cougar that everything is fine, even though it isn't, all he really wants is a shower to get the sweat and salt off his skin. In his mind there is laughter.

"Your friend is worried about you and all you can think of is some sweat. You truly are my son."

After taking another look, Jensen reconsiders. Even though he's the one who had the dream, Cougar looks more than a little distraught. The still slurred voice of his mothers goading, laughing, and judging comments echo through his head, a sick commentary on what he was becoming.

No! His mind screams, the part that is still well and truly his.

"Hey" Jakes spoke softly despite the urge to scream, he makes an attempt to untangle the hold Cougar has on his arm with the same self control. Something he knows in satisfaction is not something she could do. "Cougs, don't worry about it man. We all get nightmares right?"

The sniper can't seem to hear him. He just asks if Jensen is going to be alright over and over again.

"Jake, she... She tried... You. You're alright. ... You're alive. How are you alive? She..."

Jensen froze. How did Cougar know? He knew he didn't talk in his sleep, shocking as it seemed. The sniper was acting like he had just seen one of the many nightmares that was residence inside one Jake Jensen's head. The sniper should not have known anything about it.

Ignoring the cackling comments in his mind Jensen looks into his team-mates red rimmed eyes. There is something wrong with this.