I know! It's been like...forever! I have been working on this, I really have! I've just been so busy I've only found a little time here and there, but I finally was determined that I was going to finish this today! I put off most of my work, but I finally got it done. Phew! Thank you so much for the reviews and also for your patience! I hate that you've had to wait so long :( Anyway, I'm just gonna stop and let you read. Hope you like it.
"This man…he…he has yellow eyes, Sammy. He's a yellow eyed demon."
Sam's breath stuttered in his throat. His dream came slamming back at him…the burned and screaming bodies, the fire destroyed landscape…the man with the yellow eyes. In that moment he knew…it was not a dream he'd had, but more like a vision. What he saw was going to somehow come true. His vision began to swim as he started to hyperventilate and within moments he felt himself slip sideways as darkness encompassed him. He was nearly out when John's hands grabbed him, his strong arms keeping his son from crashing to the floor as consciousness left him. He didn't hear John cry out his name or scream for his brothers. He didn't hear or feel anything because he was once again standing in the field, his tear filled eyes taking in the horror of the people he had undoubtedly killed, his hands covering his ears in a vain attempt to block out the pitiful cries and screams of his victims. He prayed in his mind to take him from this scene, to erase the memory from his brain, but mostly he prayed for God to end it all so that what he had witnessed…what he had done would never, ever become a reality.
"I told you we should have been here when you told him! He wouldn't have gotten so upset if we'd have been here!" Dean hissed as he paced outside of Sam's room, brushing past John without one glance toward his father.
"Dean, it wouldn't have made a difference. I thought it best to have fewer people in the room when I told him so he wouldn't be overwhelmed…"
"Oh, yeah! That worked out real great, Dad! He freaking passed out!" Dean interrupted, his green eyes flashing in anger as he turned on the older man.
"You watch your tone with me, Dean! He's awake now and much calmer. He didn't need you and Danny in there to see him so upset!"
"He needed us in there so he wouldn't get so upset! Don't you get that, Dad? Danny and me keep him calm. We should have been there…he should have been able to see that we were there for him!"
John heaved a heavy sigh and brushed his hand through his unkempt hair. "Dean, I do get that, okay? I do, but I needed to tell Sam on my own. I needed him to know that I'm there for him too…that I'm the dad and that I am there for all of you. I truly don't believe that you and Danny being there would have made things turn out any different. He knows that you and Danny are there for him…always, but…I think that sometimes he doesn't feel as strongly about it with me," he said as his gaze moved to his two sons in the bedroom, a small smile curling his lips as he watched Sam sitting on the side of the bed, his eldest brother seated next to him, their shoulders touching as they spoke in hushed tones to each other.
Dean followed John's gaze and blew out a shaky breath. He'd been scared to death when he had rushed into the room to find John holding Sam in his arms. Sam was out, but his soft cries let them all know that he wasn't peacefully sleeping. A gentle touch to his face by his brother had brought the young man around and it had taken several minutes to calm him down enough so that they didn't fear he would pass out again. "Dad," he started, then proceeded when John turned his dark, tired eyes to him. "Sammy knows you're always there for him. Danny and I know it too. You'd die for us and we know that. You just have to understand…something this big? We have to stick together, for all of it…as a family."
John studied his son for a moment. The wide green eyes, the stubborn set of his jaw and then he solemnly smiled. "Yeah, you're right…we stick together," he finally said. Dean nodded his reply then both men returned to Daniel and Sam.
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Daniel cast a nervous glance to the two men pacing in the hallway outside of the bedroom door and sighed. Beside him Sam sat quietly, his body softly trembling as he picked at the edge of his sleep shirt. Daniel turned his attention to the younger man and nudged him lightly with his elbow. Sad hazel eyes turned his way and the older brother's heart broke at the anguish he saw there. Sam leaned a little into his brother until their shoulders touched then he dropped his gaze back to his lap.
"Sammy, it's going to be okay. We aren't going to let anything happen to you," Daniel said softly as he watched his younger brother trying to keep it together.
"This is too much…it's too much, Danny," Sam said in a barely audible whisper.
"I know it seems that way, kiddo, but you have Dad and Dean and me here. You don't have to shoulder this on your own. We're going to figure this whole mess out."
Sam turned his head and stared over at his brother. "Danny?" he queried in a hushed voice.
"Yeah?" Daniel answered.
"Do you think…um…do you think the yellow eyed demon is…is the one who killed Mom?"
Daniel sucked in a quick breath, but kept his gaze on Sam. "I don't know, Sam…maybe," he finally replied. The thought hadn't crossed his mind, but once Sam said it, it made some sort of sense. But, if that were the case, then that meant the demon had been following and watching Sam since he was a baby and that thought made Daniel's stomach turn over and bile creep up his throat. He took a deep breath as he watched his brother's reaction.
Sam eyes turned even sadder, if that was at all possible and his entire body seemed to deflate. He sagged against Daniel's side and tugged his arms around his torso. "Then…if it's true…if he killed Mom, that means it's my fault. I'm the reason she's dead," he said as he turned his head away from his brother.
Daniel reached for Sam, his strong arm pulling him closer. He gently touched his fingers to Sam's chin and moved the young man's head around until he could see his face. The tortured look in his hazel eyes nearly brought the older brother to tears. He reigned in his emotions even as his heart broke even more. "No, Sammy…that's not true. It's not your fault…please don't say that," he said when he finally found his voice.
"She died in my nursery, Danny. What if the demon was in there and she came in? What if she was trying to protect me and he killed her for it? That makes it my fault…"
"No…that makes it the demon's fault. Whatever he wants with you…it's not through your choice, okay? It's all on that yellow eyed bastard!" Daniel said, his voice rising slightly at the thought that the demon who was stalking his brother could possibly be the one who murdered his mother.
"You were a little baby, Sam. How could it possibly be your fault? You were completely innocent then and you still are right now. If this demon is the one who killed Mom…and I say if because we don't know if he is…then he is to blame, not you."
Sam sighed as he looked up at his brother. "Even if it wasn't the demon, it still happened in my nursery. Why there? Any way you look at it, Mom must have been trying to protect me from something and she died for it," he said.
Daniel dragged a shaky hand through his hair and took a quick breath then slowly blew it out. He met Sam's expectant eyes and shook his head. "Look, Sam…that's what mother's do, okay? They protect their children. If that is what happened…and we don't know for sure that it is…then she was just doing what she had to do. It still doesn't make it your fault and you have to stop thinking it does. You've done this before and I hate it, Sammy. You are not to blame for Mom's death anymore than I am…or Dean…or Dad. If it would have happened in my room, or Dean's room would you blame either of us for Mom?"
"No, of course not, but…"
"But nothing, Sammy. If you wouldn't blame us, then don't blame yourself."
Sam began to speak again, but stopped when his father and brother stepped into the room. Their sometimes heated discussion was apparently over and now they were there gazing worriedly down at him. He took a deep breath and straightened his back as he moved slightly away from his eldest brother's side.
"Hey, Sam…how are you feeling?" John asked as he knelt on the floor before his youngest son.
"Better. I'm fine now…it was just the shock of it all I guess. I'm sorry for passing out like a little girl," Sam answered softly.
"Hey…that was a lot to take in, kiddo. Don't be so hard on yourself," Dean said. The young man stood behind his father, his green eyes taking in his youngest brother's face. He noted the pale skin and the dark circles around Sam's eyes and swore under his breath, threatening every atrocity he could think of upon the ones who had put his baby brother in such a state.
Sam nodded as he glanced up at his brother then at his father. "Dad…Mom's death…it was because of me wasn't it?" he asked, his voice thick with sadness.
John cocked his head in surprise as he reached out and placed his hand on Sam's knee. "What? No…why would you think that?"
"Sammy, we already talked about this. What happened to Mom wasn't your fault," Daniel interjected.
Sam glanced over at Daniel and pursed his lips. "It may not have been my fault, but it was because of me…wasn't it?" he finally said.
John squeezed Sam's knee until he had his son's attention then smiled warmly when large hazel eyes met his. "Why do you think it's because of you, Sam? We don't know what killed your mother," he asked.
"It happened in my nursery, above my crib…and now we find out that a demon has been watching me all of these years…saving me? We don't know what he wants with me…maybe he's been watching me since I was a baby. What if he's the one who killed Mom? " he said in a voice barely above a whisper.
For a moment, John was left speechless. He would never admit it, but he had thought the same thing, and not just recently. The first time the yellow eyed man had appeared, he had wondered if maybe he had been the one to take his Mary from him. He hadn't been able to figure out why he'd thought that, but he had and now that the yellow eyed man had returned and once again saved his youngest he was leaning even more in that direction. Had the demon been in Sam's nursery that night? Had Mary somehow stumbled upon him and been killed because she'd gotten in the way? And if she had gotten in the way, what had she gotten in the way of? There were so many questions John wanted answers to, but at the moment he had a son who was hurting and scared so those questions would have to wait. The one question he didn't need an answer to was whether Sam was in some way responsible for his mother's death. He looked his son square in the eyes and smiled again.
"You listen to me…it doesn't matter, okay? We don't know who took your mother away from us and we don't know why, but if it was the yellow eyed demon, in no way are you responsible for that. No way, Sammy. It isn't because of you and it isn't your fault…do you understand?"
"But how couldn't it be? If he was there because of me, then her death was because of me too!" Sam cried.
"Sammy," Dean whispered, his eyes meeting Daniel's as both brothers shared the same overwhelming feeling of protectiveness for their younger sibling. It killed him to think that Sam could possibly think he was responsible in some way for their mother's death. He wanted to hit something, anything to try and ease the level of anger he felt at that moment, but all he could do was stand back as his father tried to convince his stubborn little brother that he wasn't responsible for that horrible night. He focused on his father's voice as the man spoke again.
"No, Sam…you're wrong. You were a baby. If by some chance it was the demon and he was there for you, that is all on him, not you. You didn't ask for this…not for any of this. You can't continue to think like this…it won't change the past and all it will do now is eat you up inside. You need to promise me that you will stop this, Sam."
Sam swallowed the lump that had formed in his throat as he stared into his father's dark, intense eyes. Some part of him expected to see doubt in John's eyes…doubt that what he was saying wasn't all true…but Sam didn't see doubt. His father truly believed that he was completely blameless for their mother's death and it made the weight that had settled on Sam's shoulders when he'd first been told of the demon lift ever so slightly. He smiled softly and nodded his head as he replied in a voice no longer filled with fear and sadness.
"I promise, Dad," he said.
"That's my boy, " John said as he clapped Sam on the knee and rose to his feet. "Do you think you could come down and eat a bit or would you rather try to get some sleep?"
Sam pushed to his feet and shifted his gaze to each of his family members before stopping at his father. "I think I could come down and eat. I think I may have lost a few pounds," he answered with a grin.
"You think? Olive Oyl has more meat on her bones than you do!" Dean exclaimed as he swung his arm over Sam's shoulder and turned him toward the door.
"Really? You're comparing me to a cartoon character?" Sam asked indignantly even as his grin widened.
"Yep…and a girl cartoon character at that, Samantha!"
"Dean," Daniel admonished as he fell in behind his brothers.
"What? He's skinny…not my fault!"
Daniel shook his head and chuckled. He knew what Dean was doing, and he was thankful for it. Sam was looking better and seemed to have let go of some of the burden he had placed upon himself, but the tension was still there, just below the surface and if a little bit of teasing could ease that tension a bit, then he was all for it. They continued the banter until they were all seated at Bobby's kitchen table enjoying the meal that had been prepared earlier in the evening then all but abandoned when Sam had started screaming. The older men secretly watched Sam and each were pleased to see him actually eating instead of pushing the food around on his plate. John's phone suddenly rang and the eldest Winchester excused himself to take the call in the livingroom where he could have some privacy, but still see his family.
"Hey, Caleb. What's up?" John said as he flipped his phone open.
"First of all, how's it going there? How's Sam doing?"
"Well, we've had a bit of drama…a new nightmare he's having that I'll tell you about next time I see you. Other than that, things are pretty quiet. Why are you calling, Caleb?" John answered, a sudden feeling of unease creeping over him.
"Johnny…I'm just gonna come out with it. I've been doing some more research on Samuel Worthington and I found something out…something I don't think you're gonna like at all."
John sighed and brushed his hand through his hair. Soft laughter drifted to him from the kitchen, but it didn't do anything to loosen the knot that had formed in his stomach. "Just tell me," he said.
"Okay…here it is. Samuel Worthington's mother wasn't his real mother."
"What? What are you saying?"
"She was his step mother. His real mother died when he was a baby."
"It was a short little article in the paper announcement. The way she died…Johnny, I don't know what it has to do with Sammy, but…"
"Spit it out, Caleb. How did she die?"
A nervous exhale sounded over the phone before Caleb finally answered and the words left John reeling.
"She died in a fire, Johnny. In Samuel's nursery…on his sixth month birthday."
John didn't say another word. He flipped his phone shut as his dark eyes found his youngest son. "What the hell is going on? What do you want with my son?" he asked as the phone slipped from his fingers and dropped to floor.
THE END (for now)
Yep...that's it for this story. We all know where this is going...with the added dimension of Daniel in the mix. Poor Sammy. I really hope you liked it and I am so appreciative of you all! You have no idea how much! Thanks for your patience and for sticking with me on this. I do have another story I'm just starting to lay out. Not sure exactly where I'm going with it and it will be some time before I'm ready to post anything. I wish all of you a Happy Holiday season and a wonderful New Year!