Dungeons and Chains

Warnings: Some language and toward the end a little mild (very mild compared to the other chapters) descriptions but nothing major.

Chapter Three


It had been a long time since Dean Winchester could say that he'd been this freaked out. The last time that he could recall that his heart had felt this way, like it was going to beat out of his chest, was the night his little brother got stabbed in Cold Oak and had died in Dean's own arms.

Running down through the Men of Letters base, Dean was now pissed off that it seemed to have gotten a lot bigger since he'd been gone, in his urgency to get back to the dungeon and to his brother.

Sick panic was building the closer he got and he couldn't hear anything from the room. The newly discovered dungeon now seemed as dark and hateful to Dean as the old Panic Room had when he'd been forced to lock Sam down in there.


Charlie's panic had been palpable when she literally ran into his upstairs and he had barely understood every other word she'd said until he'd gotten her calm enough to get a partial story and all of the concern the hunter had been feeling since killing the root of Sam's torments this time hiked up several notches.

Knowing the dungeon didn't have any real source of light in it yet so with the door shut that would have engulfed both the room and his already upset sibling into total darkness and despite everything in his life if there was one other thing besides restraints that Sam didn't care for it would be total, pitch black darkness.

Skidding into the storage room, Dean's hands instantly went to the two heavy shelves that served as both door and cover to the dungeon to pull it open while silently impressed that Charlie had even managed to get them closed.

Going to step in, he was hit first with the smell and it took every ounce of his strength not to gag. Dean had been around the smell of a lot of bad crap but the combined odors of sweat, vomit, urine and what else there was made him shift gears as something else hit him. Silence.

There was utter and complete silence coming from the darkness. There were no gasps, no moans or groans, no sounds of breathing whatsoever and by touch only Dean quickly reached for the Coleman lantern he knew should be by the door.

Lighting it, he allowed his eyes to adjust while breathing through his mouth to avoid the pungent smells when his gaze moved to the back of the room where he knew his brother should be and all focus and coherent thought fled his mind to only leave him with…


Less than Ten minutes Earlier:

Panic. Fear. Worry and a dose of straight out terror was shooting through Dean Winchester as he tried to push the legal speed limit as far as he dared right then since the last thing he wanted or needed was to get pulled over for a speeding.

A trunk full of weapons and a plastic bag of bloody clothes in the backseat would not be a good thing to get stopped with, especially not when he needed to get to his brother.

The ringing voice was still echoing in his ears even after five hours of getting the panicked phone call from Charlie.

"'Dean! Get your butt back here! Sam…Sam's seized once but now he's screaming for you and throwing up and…he wants loose then he doesn't and…oh crap!"

The cut off call and the fiery little redhead not answering when he called back for the sixtieth time had Dean's nerves more strung out than they had been when this mess had started only now he was worried for two people.

Dean had thought that there was no way Sam could get out of those damn chains but after seeing what he had earlier and knowing how his brother could be when seriously sick or fevered…or out of his head, now he wasn't so certain and he pushed his speed more.

He'd hated to wait at that factory but felt he needed to until Jefferson had arrived. The older man had been a good friend and a hunter before he stopped hunting actively but still knew how to handle situations like the elder Winchester had found himself in.

After giving an edited version and a carefully screened excuse for what happened in the room, Dean endured a mild lecture before Jefferson sensed his nerves and told him to change clothes then get going and he'd handle getting rid of the evidence.

"Shit!" tossing his phone on the seat, Dean felt relief as he pulled up in front of the old Men of Letters base and was partially relieved to still see Charlie's beat up car parked where it had been but also felt apprehension as he quickly unlocked the door. "Charlie?"

Hearing something from deep within the place, the Colt was out in the time it took Dean to cross from the main entrance and down the steps to go toward the stairs that would take him lower and hopefully find his brother and… 'Charlie!"

Only long ago learned instincts had Dean able to pull his arm back and hit the safety on the weapon as he was suddenly hit full force by an animated whirlwind with bright red hair.

Charlie's arms had both locked around Dean's waist and he found it hard to hear the rush of words since her face was buried against his chest while also trying to tug him forward.

"…you…gotta…damn it…he's…Sam…hurt…tried to…stopped him but…Dean, go!"

Finally able to dislodge the girl's arms from around his waist to ease her back to arm's length the first thing that caught the hunter's eyes were the wide red rimmed tear filled eyes then the dried blood on her hands caught his attention and he was soon trying to look her all over for wounds.

"Damn it! What happened?" he demanded while looking for bruises or wounds as if expecting the worst until a fist lightly hit him in the chest and he pulled his gaze but to her face.

She looked upset, a little scared but mostly angry with him for not paying attention to her. "Quit that and get down there!" she snapped, trying to push the taller man toward the door that led to the basement. "He's stopped making noise and…"

"Stopped making…Charlie, what happened?" Dean feared he knew what had happened but if his brother had broken loose then she should have more bruises. "Sam still in the dungeon or do he get loose?"

Shaking her head, she wrapped a strand of hair around her finger like she did when nervous while casting worried looks back toward the door. "He was mostly quiet in the beginning then he'd look like he was dreaming and he'd start to shout, then puke. He didn't want me in there for that but I stayed cause…hey, he's my responsibility."

Thinking back to the last few hours made her frown more and a frown on Charlie's normally happy face told Dean it must have been bad.

"I got him to drink some water but then…it got weird, Dean," she huffed out a breath when realizing that he wasn't moving until he knew more. "He seemed to calm down so I thought he'd sleep but then it was like someone threw a switch and the next thing I knew Sam was seizing and screaming for you.

"The chains kept him from thrashing too much but then once he came out of that because every time I touched him it got worse he at first wanted me to let him loose which I said absolutely no way to," she rolled her eyes at even the thought before going on, stilling tugging on Dean's arm. "The next thing I knew he was sobbing and begging me to tighten the lengths so he was standing up but held tighter. I…didn't want to but he was freaking out which was freaking me out so after I figured it out…I did and Sam…"

Hating even the description of that and guessing he was getting the glossed over version since she was in a hurry. "Then what did he do?" he asked warily, having a guess as to why Sam would want to be held tighter despite his aversion to restraints. "He pass out or…"

"No, he calmed down a little after he was standing and I'd gotten those damn things as tight as he seemed to want them then…then he told me to get out and close the door. To not come in until you got home and said it was alright. I didn't want to leave him, Dean but he seemed so scared and confused," she sniffled a little because it still bugged her that she hadn't done what Dean had asked her to do. "He started screaming as if he was in agony but it's been quiet for the last hour and a half so…get your butt down there!"

Guessing that the blood binding had come undone with Amelia's death and that was what caused a good chunk of his brother's reaction, it only took him a couple seconds more to figure the rest out and then he was jerking his jacket off to let it fall as he broke into a full run.

"Get him some clean clothes out of his room, take 'em to the shower room then…stay up here cause this won't be pretty," he called over his shoulder to Charlie then was gone with only one thought sprinting through his mind.


Dungeon, Now:


Swallowing hard, Dean ignored the smells and whatever the hell he was slipping in on the floor in his haste to get across the room to where Sam was hanging limping in the chains attached to his wrists.

A swift look told Dean that when his brother had Charlie shorten the length of the chain he'd had her actually go tighter than what it had been before so when Sam had passed out, 'please let him just be passed out' his wrists were literally stretched well above his head and out a bit from his body which put a lot of strain on Sam's shoulders and wrists.

With the way the chains were fastened now and with Sam's height, he was currently hanging limply from his wrists but only the lower part of his bare legs touched the floor which again left him with his full weight on his wrists in this position.

"Sammy! Damn it, answer me!" Dean refused to think about what was on the floor or his brother as he quickly struggled to bring Sam back to a standing position but had to grunt at the dead weight in his arms while feeling how cold Sam seemed to him now. "Sammy, c'mon, man…wake up for me."

Dean got his brother to his feet but had to try to keep him standing when his legs kept wanted to fold back under him so he quickly wrapped an arm around Sam's waist, feeling the sticky residue of vomit and he refused to think what else, while he reached up to fumble with the wrist cuffs.

Since they hadn't fully had a chance to go through all the things in this room yet, he was just hoping the key to the other cuffs, which had been a pain in the ass to find, worked on his set or he was screwed because he sure couldn't hold Sam while trying to cut his brother free.

Feeling Sam's drooping head land on his shoulder as he strained with the extra weight and with the cuffs, Dean felt a strong burst of relief course through him at the soft little breaths he felt against his neck. "Hang on, Sammy. I'm getting you out of these damn things and I swear, dude, once you're over this I am so not letting you in this damn room again," he muttered mostly to himself since he could tell by how Sam was just hanging that his brother wouldn't be conscious for some time yet.

The first restraint came loose, forcing Dean to quickly adjust his stance to avoid tearing Sam's already bleeding wrist or wrenching his shoulder out of place while trying to reach the last one when he heard a small sound that he couldn't recognize if it was a word or just a moan.

A click was finally heard and then the hunter just grabbed a hold of his brother's limp body but instead of easing down to the floor, Dean shifted his grip enough that he was able, with only a little strain, get Sam over his shoulders since he knew he needed better light and even without the smell he knew his brother needed a shower.

Careful not to jostle Sam too much, Dean gritted his teeth. He could remember the days that he could do this without so much as a wince or lost breath and that was even after Sam decided to grow four inches taller than him.

In the time Sam was soulless however his little brother had put on considerable muscle since Dean swore all the kid did was exercise and while Sam had lost some of that, especially in the past year that this event had taken place and he'd been losing some weight due to the effects of the trials, he had to silently admit that his baby brother was still heavy as shit.

"Char…never mind," he'd started to shout for the girl to turn the shower on but he already heard the water running and could feel the air in the hallway change to go with the added heat of the hot water.

Dean made another mental note to himself to thank Charlie when he caught sight of clean clothes for both of them sitting on the counter along with towels and the first aid kit and then he was testing the water before judging that it was just hot enough for what he needed without being too hot that it would scald Sam's skin.

Being careful to keep a tight grip on Sam as he lowered him to the floor, Dean didn't worry about his clothes or Sam's already shot boxers and after blowing out a breath eased his brother under the heavy spray of the shower.

Knowing there was no way to do this without getting soaked himself, Dean just shrugged it off since this wouldn't be the first time he'd gotten soaked while trying to give his little brother a bath or a shower…though it had been awhile and the first thing he remembered was that Sam was hell in the shower. Or he normally was.

As soon as the water hit him, Dean honestly expected to get a fist to the face or any other part of his body his confused sibling could reach but when Sam just stayed limp in his arms the concern began coming up.

Letting the water run over them for a moment, it soon became clear that Dean was not going to be able to hold Sam up with one arm like he used to in order to use his free hand to wash him. So he resorted to Plan B and simply eased to the tile floor under the shower head with Sam leaning up against him.

"You are so gonna owe me for this one, Sammy" he muttered, grabbing the bar of soap and washcloth and quickly set to work trying to get his brother reasonably clean so that the rest could wait until Sam was conscious and could do this himself.

It took several minutes of hard work to get most of Sam clean as he gently moved the cloth, he touched Sam's hip and heard the first sound of life as Sam seemed to whimper.

Remembering that was where the brand of initials had been, Dean carefully eased the soaking wet and ruined boxes down while moving enough so that he could see the damn brand and let out a sharp breath when he seen just the faintest mark on Sam's hip now instead of the deep embedded AR.

Letting out a whispered 'thank you', he continued to clean, being extra careful as he wiped the blood away from Sam's ankles and wrists, a sure sign that his brother had fought the chains either during the time that the blood binding was going away since Dean expected that had to have hurt Sam a lot and probably scared him since he wouldn't have known why it was happening.

Seeing that the wrists were in worse shape, Dean cleaned them as best as he could with soap and water and would dress them once he had his brother dried and in bed but was glad that nothing appeared to be bleeding.

He was also glad that Sam's body seemed to finally be warming up under the hot water as he gently shifted so that Sam's shoulder was touching the wall so he could just give a quick swipe over his back, Dean stuck his tongue in his cheek at the sight over several little scars that littered those wide shoulders and knew they'd been gained during that lost year.

"It's over, little brother," he murmured quietly, running his hand over the scars before glancing down with a sigh. "The next time I want you to wash the Impala you damn well better not give me one ounce of lip after this either, Sam."

A swift pull took the boxers down with a brief thought to burn them later when he felt himself stop, green eyes narrowing at the mixture of scars that litters his brother's upper legs, inner thighs and…Dean's brain turned off after a look at Sam's rear end showed him what the hunter swore was a scar on his right butt cheek of someone's mouth.

Shoving down the feeling of regret that the woman had died much too quickly and from not enough pain, Dean finished the rest of the wash job before giving Sam's hair a good scrubbing then let the water run over them both, while hoping that it would finish washing the pain away for his brother.

Dean waited until the water started to run cool before reaching up to shut it off then grabbed for some towels. Wishing Sam would show some response, Dean towel dried him after getting him out of the shower and into clean dry clothes.

Smirking at the clothes Charlie picked out for Sam but figured the looser sweat pants and T-shirt would work for the moment since when Sam was sick he almost always reverted back to looser stuff and probably after this time, knowing what Sam had gone through by reliving his time in Texas, it would be the same.

Taking enough time to strip, dry off and dress, Dean then got Sam back to his feet while being pleasantly happy and relieved that his brother didn't seem to be dead weight this time even though it was clear that Sam would be weak for awhile as he slowly moved them down the hall.

A brief internal debate was had before Dean decided to just plant his little brother in his own room because if he was going to be sitting up until those puppy dog eyes opened then he'd at least sit up in his room.

Not to mention Sam's room still lacked any of his brother's charm and personality and the older brother figured he knew why that was but chose not to bring it up right then as he laid Sam down on his bed and held his breath for what seemed like hours instead of the three seconds it actually was.

Sam had been put through hell this time on top of the effects that the trials were having on him and a big part of Dean wasn't sure if his brother could pull through it or, depending on what happened while he was gone, if Sam would even try.

Seeing his brother this still, this lifeless reminded Dean of the days after Death had restored Sam's soul and all his brother did was lay perfectly still, which was so not the kid Dean had raised because in all his life Sammy was usually in constant motion in his sleep…especially if he was on edge.

"M'mm" Sam whispered a mumble that could've been anything as he slowly shifted on the Queen size memory foam bed until he was more on his side but as he moved he also seemed to reach out for something and didn't appear satisfied until his stiff and sore fingers latched onto the flannel shirt that had been tossed on the bed days ago.

Pulling the shirt close to him, Sam burrowed his face between the flannel and the pillow before his body went fully limp and he stilled but his breathing was more normal, stronger and as Dean's fingers carded back through still damp hair to rest on the side of Sam's neck he felt his brother's pulse beating strong and steady and smiled a little.

"She's not going to hurt you or anyone else again, Sam," he murmured, letting his hand stay a moment longer and hesitated in leaving Sam even long enough to go check on Charlie when a note and a box sitting on the desk in the room caught his eye and his interest.

"'Hey, I figure you guys are gonna be busy and my good deed here was done so I figured it was cool for me to take off. I picked up some takeout and stuck it in the fridge, got more water and juice stuff for Sam and beer for you. Also, I left something else. Sam'll be laid up a little so this will keep him from getting bored and well…I figured you'd get a…kick out of yours. So, call me if you need me and peace out, bitches.'"

"She makes it really hard to be annoyed over the little things," Dean shook his head while smiling a bit more freely as he took in what Charlie had left for Sam even though he'd make damn sure she got the money back for the tablet like thing that was an exact copy of the one she has that his brother had been drooling over.

Then he laid his hand on the book by Carver Edlund of his and Sam's adventure with that damn black monster truck and he growled low in his throat, glad the fiery little firecracker had left so he couldn't choke her with it.

"I want those books found and burned," he growled, hating Chuck with a passion every time those damn books were brought back to haunt him but Dean put that on the back burner as he went to grab the first aid kit and other stuff so he wouldn't have to leave the room as much until he was more confident that his brother was safe.

"It's going to be alright, Sammy. Sure, I might have to drop the no chick flick rule for the next little while and yeah, I might actually be making you talk to me for a change but it's over and it's time to heal…for both of us," Dean sat on the edge of his bed to dress the abrasions around Sam's wrists and ankles while keeping his voice pitched low.

"Jeff might be calling to lecture me some more since he wasn't really thrilled with the little mess I left him with and I know the rules were always we don't kill humans unless they're a threat well…" he paused to let his mind go back to seeing the fear in Sam to hearing what he had from that bastard he'd killed and he still couldn't bring himself to regret what he's done. "In my opinion they weren't human and were a threat to you so that was all it took to enact 'Dean Winchester's number one rule'.

Dean wasn't sure how his brother would feel if he learned the truth of what happened to Amelia or those with her and there were things that Dean didn't plan on telling Sam if he could keep from it since it would bring back more to his brother.

Not knowing how much Sam would remember now or if his brother would even recall his past few days, Dean decided to wait and play it by ear but he did know that he owed his brother an apology.

Apologies and Dean didn't always go hand and hand but he knew enough to know when he was wrong. He still didn't think he'd lose the guilt of not seeing through Sam's shell to see the lies for what they had been…a silent plea for some kind of help but he knew now and while it was too late to take it back he could heal some of the cracks that had broken between them.

A soft sound from the bed drew his attention back down to see that Sam's face was getting that scrunchy look to it that had always, from the time he was a baby to now, meant something was wrong in his brother's sleep and since Sam was prone to nightmares anyway he could see one coming from a mile away.

"Shhh, it's okay, little brother. I'm here and you're safe," he promised firmly, voice husky as it usually went when deep emotions were on the horizon for them both. "Just sleep now and it'll be better soon."

It was the same promise he'd always offered Sam during the nights when bad dreams or a bad day with their Dad had left Sam raw and on edge.

Dean wasn't certain if he still believed it or not but he'd do whatever it took to make sure it was better for Sam, once he could see how his brother was after waking up.

Fourteen Hours Later:

A rolling stomach, a pounding head along with pounding in every other part of his body, burning along his wrists and a mouth that really tasted like something from the sewer had died in it was how Sam Winchester finally began coming back to life.

Well, that and the hushed but clearly exasperated voice of his older brother. Without moving too much since Sam was fairly certain if he moved more than a half an inch at a time either his head would explode or whatever the hell was left on his stomach would come up and since a simple touch as well as smell told him this was Dean's room and his brother would kill him if he puked on his memory foam bed.

Keeping his eyes closed to avoid any of that, Sam managed to move it enough that he could open one eye to look from under his lashes to see that Dean was pacing back and forth by the bed.

He was close enough to be at the bed in less than two steps but far enough away that whoever he was listening to on the phone and occasionally trying to get a word in with wouldn't disturb him Sam realized, letting his eye close again to just listen and try to get his bearings again.

"No…but…so maybe they were monster alien shapeshifters out to rule the world or something," Dean rushed that out to get the words in before he was cut off again, running his fingers back through his short hair which already showed signs of that. "Well, no they weren't," he admitted grudgingly, adding swiftly. "They could've been!"

Listening to the phone at his ear return to the mildly annoying lecturing tone he hated hearing as a teenager, Dean rolled his eyes while shifting a swift look to the bed to frown slightly as something caught his eye. "Lecture, Jeff. I told you there I don't give a crap about what I did because those two assholes had it coming and she came at me with that damn blade so I'll claim self-defense on that one until there are angels falling from the sky or…no, I am not blaspheming and…what're you? Pastor Jim the second?" he growled.

Restless movement of stiff fingers on the flannel shirt that he hadn't been able to free from his younger brother's grasp took Dean's attention away from the patiently lecturing Jefferson who'd chosen to remind Dean why killing humans took such a great deal of work to cover up.

"Uh, yeah, okay, Jeff," he agreed, eyes locked on the bed and the slight change in Sam's breathing and the way his brother's muscles in his neck had tensed up; both sure signs that Sam was either awake or waking up and the call needed to end. "I'll be sure to write one a blackboard one hundred times 'humans are out friends' even when they're raving sociopathic sex fiends," he replied then quickly disconnected from the older man to step closer to the bed. "You coming back to life now, baby boy?"

Wondering if he could pretend to still be sleeping, Sam debated for all of three seconds before a gentle hand curved around the back of his neck and just applied slight pressure to let him know the gig was up and he sighed. "…Y'know…you…sound like…Dad when you…call me that?" he winced at the sound of his own voice, feeling the bed dip down as his brother sat on the edge of it.

"If this wasn't my bed I'd dump this on your head, Sam," Dean threatened while holding the bottle of water up to Sam's face so he could see it through rapidly blinking eyes. "Drink, swish, then spit," he instructed in a tone perfected from being Sam's big brother as he helped the younger man ease up to an elbow then supported him while Sam did just that.

Taking his time to swish the water around in his mouth, Sam took the time to gaze at his brother closely while trying to lock onto his memories of what the hell had hit him.

Dean looked as ragged as his voice sounded and he could tell that his brother hadn't slept in awhile because there were too many dark circles under those green eyes that were currently locked on his face.

Also, the more than day old stubble gave away that Dean hadn't been too far because his brother always shaved in the morning unless he was sitting with Sam. Finally, the combination of junk food and take out papers scattered in Dean's usually neater than Sam's own room practically screamed that Dean had been right by him.

Spitting the water into the waiting trashcan, Sam let his head fall back onto the pillow with a groan then took a moment to examine the bandages around his wrists as it began to come back to him and he felt himself tense only to have the fingers on his neck squeeze again in a way he knew was Dean's old time way of giving support.

Closing his eyes to stop the room from spinning, Sam remembered the phone calls from Amelia. He recalled his reactions, and knowing he needed to lock himself up in the new dungeon while trying to work out a way around whatever the hell she'd done to him.

Sam hadn't honestly remembered a lot of his time with Amelia and what he did recall he know realized weren't all his memories but the ones she wanted him to have so he'd be more dormant and dependent on her.

Now as he laid here on his brother's bed, it was like waking up for the first time only he wished what he remembered now could just be wished away as nightmares but he knew they couldn't.

"Sam…look at me," Dean sounded serious, his voice was the deep husky one he used only when serious and his emotions were on the surface and that scared Sam more than what he was feeling and seeing because his big brother did not willingly do emotions. "Sammy."

It was the way he said 'Sammy', the stress on it, that had the younger man slowly opening his eyes to hesitantly look back to meet his brother's eyes.

Sam wasn't sure what he was expecting to see reflected there since he wasn't really clear on how much Dean had picked up or…flashes of Charlie sitting with him came and it began to click.

His brother had found him in the dungeon; he'd listened to those damn voicemails. Dean had figured out a good chunk of the eleven months of Sam's life that Sam was only now starting to recall fully and his brother had gone to…

Feeling Sam begin to shake more as his memories came back in a rush, Dean was quick to take his brother's chin in his hand in order to lift it up so their eyes locked. "Listen to me. Whatever it going on in that big brain of yours right now…forget it. You had no control, Sammy. The bitch drugged you and kept you drugged. You fought as best as you could and what happened was not your fault and it's over," he declared firmly, seeing and hating the tears welling.

"I…I didn't…I'd have nightmares but it all seemed so…I let you think I didn't look for you…that I…walked away from…God, Dean…" Sam's voice was barely above a whisper as he tried to push himself upright only to collapse back to the bed and a hand on his chest, over his heart, kept him still while looking up. "I wanted to tell you…every time you brought it up I wanted to say what I thought really happened but…it was like I couldn't," he closed his eyes but snapped them open as swirling images of being chained and raped rushed back.

Expecting Dean to reply or close off like he had been doing whenever the subject of the year apart came up, Sam was mildly surprised when his brother stayed quiet and just kept his touch light enough to let Sam feel comfort but not held down as he slowly scooted back so he was sitting up a little more.

"I hit the dog while on the way to check out a lead in Houston. I was tired and desperate after looking for you. I needed to find you because I knew I couldn't do it again…I couldn't go on like I did when you went to…" Sam stopped; mention of Dean going to Hell still a sore spot for him, before struggling to refocus on what he was trying to say. "When I hit Riot, I remember his name but not being held and treated no better than an animal, I took him to the only clinic I could find and…I…she was always too close to me when she called me back.

"Her hands were touching me and I felt the same way I did when I was sixteen, knowing I needed to get out but…I wasn't quick enough again," he whispered, fingers slowly curling and uncurling without even being aware of it. "I think I made some excuse to leave but then I felt this little pain in my hip and…the next thing I know I'm chained to some wall and…I couldn't move.

"I shouted, I screamed but no one heard or something cause it was only Amelia in the beginning," getting more on edge but seeming to need to talk, Sam was slowly able to sit up on the side of the bed and as he looked at his bare feet on the floor he could see the same kind of bandages wrapped around his ankles and guessed he'd been struggling in the chains in the dungeon.

Sam felt Dean shift so they were sitting side by side but his mind was trying not to go too deep and so he didn't feel the arm that had been wrapped around his shoulders to ease him closer as he began to tell his brother what he reminded.

He wasn't sure why it was so important that he do this but Sam knew that he almost felt lighter with every sordid thing he revealed that he now remembered happening to him.

"I…wanted you but I knew that this was the one time that you wouldn't be crashing through the door to save your stupid little brother and…then either she was getting bored or something but she eased off the drugs and you called out of the blue…and I just heard your voice and grabbed my stuff and ran," Sam kept his head down to avoid looking at his brother, either not feeling or not caring about the tears running down his cheeks from remembering so much pain and misery.

"I just knew it be safe with you but then you asked if I looked for you and…I wanted to break down and tell you what I could remember or what I thought had happened but it was like there was a lock or something and I…I couldn't say one damn thing about…what she…they…and you hated me so much for it…Dean?"

Realizing for the first time about the arm holding him, Sam looked up to see dried tear tracks on his brother's normally stoic face and his breath caught because he couldn't remember the last time he'd seen this much pure emotion in Dean's eyes.

"I should've known something was wrong the first time you gave me that story about hitting a dog and walking away for normal. I should've known something was wrong the first month when all you did at night was whimper and call out for me to help you but I was still so raw and on the edge from Purgatory that I was looking for someone to lash at out and…Sammy, that turned out to be you," Dean sighed, feeling the tension in Sam but not letting go like he would've any other time.

Dean knew his brother better than he knew himself and after nearly thirty four years of taking care of Sam, well thirty three since he seemed to have lost a year while stuck in Hell's backyard, he knew how Sam would react to things.

That's why he made sure to keep his arm around Sam's shoulders as both a way to support him should he go to fall forward and to offer the support that he always should've been giving his little brother.

"Sammy, you got dropped into a situation that was totally alien to you when Cas and I got sucked into Purgatory after ganking Dick Roman," he began, letting his fingers lightly trace familiar sigils on Sam's shoulder like he had when they'd been kids. "When I went to Hell, you had Bobby and Ellen even if you didn't go to them. Hell, even when you were Robo-Sam you worked with Mom's family."

Dean had to grit his teeth on that last word since it still bugged him about the Campbell side of his family and what Samuel clearly knew and let happen to Sam but right then he made himself focus on his still sick and weak little brother.

"You've never been on your own, not fully…not like you found yourself this time. You were scared and confused and the bitch drugged you, little brother. I know you fought it as much as you could but Sammy… there are some drugs you can't fight and we both know that," he reached over to tilt Sam's head back up and saw some of the fear and shame slowly going away.

"I'm sorry I doubted you and I'm sorry for all the crap I said to you because there is no one, not one living or not living soul on this planet that could be a better brother to me than you, Sammy," Dean tried to cover the slight break in his voice as a cough but it was hard when he suddenly had his arms full of a raggedly breathing little brother. "Alright, I'll give you this one," he muttered in a way to let Sam know he was fine and the walls could come down.

In his heart Sam had feared how his brother would react to this because with all the stress between them as of late it was sometimes hard to tell what reaction Dean would have but hearing him say that on top of things that he thought he remembered from earlier caused the younger man to just turn and hold on to the one person that he'd come to depend on since he'd been small.

The first broken sob had Dean tightening his arms and just sitting still until Sam had gotten it all, or most of it, out of his system and then had kept his brother where he was until he began to feel Sam's rigid muscles relax slowly.

"You good now, baby boy?" he asked lightly, trying to break some of the heaviness in the room and feeling himself relax at the muffled laugh since Sam still had his face buried against Dean's neck.

Dean knew Sam would remember their Dad calling Sam that when he was still a chubby baby turned into a chubby toddler who was learning to crawl then walk to his big brother. He also knew the last time had been after that damn party when Sam was sixteen and Dean had let his guard down enough to think their Dad would know enough to watch after Sam a bit better.

While he had no end of useful nicknames for his brother, some that could even be used in polite company, he knew that while it had annoyed Sam to no end when their Dad would use it he just seemed to roll his eyes with that tiny little smile that told his brother it was okay for him to use it and he still did infrequently or when he wanted to see that little grin.

"Yeah, as good as I can be I suppose," Sam admitted, slowly easing back but stilled as soon as he felt the grip on the back of his neck then he suddenly dropped his eyes for a long minute. "Dean…did you kill Amelia?"

All of the teasing chick flick comments that had been on the tip of his tongue fled as he felt his head buzz with all the ways to answer that without really answering when he seen the way Sam was tugging at a frayed spot on the knee of his sweatpants and sighed.

"If I say 'yes' will you go all righteous on me about how it's wrong to kill a human even if it's a psycho bitch of one who got herself out of some cuffs and came at me with a blade?" Dean countered warily, adding with a snort. "Cause I'll tell you right now Jefferson took some lessons from Pastor Jim when he lit into me about having to clean up the bodies."

Sam chewed his bottom lip while considering how he should be feeling. He knew on the one hand they'd both been taught to never kill a human unless there was no way around it but he also didn't miss his brother's use of the word 'bodies' which told him that Amelia hadn't been alone and that Dean had gone in alone against odds that were against him.

He also knew or suspected that if his brother killed Amelia that was what had sent his whole body into overload that one time. Her death had short circuited whatever link she'd forced on him when she'd made him drink her blood while she bit him to suck his.

Feeling the tension that was practically vibrating off of Dean as he waited to see what he said or thought, Sam took a deep breath before slowly meeting Dean's eyes again with a shaky, nearly shy, smile that was one of pure gratitude. "Thank you," he murmured, the relief of knowing she was gone and couldn't come back or hurt him with anything again was huge in Sam's chest.

"That's what awesome big brothers are for, Sammy," Dean smiled fully while carding his fingers back through Sam's hair and laughed as Sam's grumble before lightly nudging his shoulder until Sam got the point and laid back against the pillows. "I may never get Charlie to babysit for you again though," he remarked, feeling Sam's hand latch onto his wrist. "Relax. She was fine when I got back here. Just a little pissed at me for not being faster and she left something for you."

Sam could remember seeing and hearing Charlie but after his body started reacting in ways he didn't like and then when his blood actually felt like it was on fire he knew he'd wanted her to be well away from him. "I think I made her tie the chains tighter before telling her to stay out of the room," he saw Dean's nod and knew he was right. "I hated the dark and just wanted you to come back…then something happened and I…must have passed out…Dean, how'd I get clean?"

Running his tongue over his teeth at that one, Dean reached to grab what Charlie had left for his brother while debating how far he could tease Sam right then. "How did you ever get clean when you were sick or hurt and smelling rank?" he returned lightly, hearing the groan as Sam's head flopped back and he caught the light tint of red creeping up on his brother's still pale cheeks. "Hey, it's not like I haven't stripped you down and got you all nice and clean…though you do owe me big for this one cause…dude, you reeked."

"I'll clean the…" Sam started to say, guessing the dungeon was probably a mess if he'd been even half as bad as what his brother was saying when a firm shake of Dean's head cut him off.

"Uh-huh. Ain't no way in Hell are you going close to that room, Sammy," Dean refused flat out and with all the stubbornness he'd learned from being a big brother. "Unless we're getting nuked and you going in there is the only way to save our lives…then we'll discuss it but until then you are banned from the dungeon. Got it?"

Swallowing because Sam understood that while Dean often teased him and such this wasn't his joking way of putting his foot down. This was his absolute deadly serious 'you do not want to screw with me on this matter' tone of voice and slowly nodded.

"Yeah, De'n, I got it," he murmured, yawning since now that he knew the threat was over and he felt like he and Dean were on a much better level than before he felt it safe to sleep but felt the box nudging into his hands and knew that Dean wanted him to look at whatever their friend had left.

Rubbing his eyes in a way that had Dean smirking, Sam blinked and then blinked again before tearing into the box with the tablet like a kid on Christmas morning before eyeing his brother. "Charlie leave this or did you…?"

"Hey, I was going to buy you one the next trip to a decent mall but I guess she got tired of you drooling over hers and before you ask no she didn't drool over Dad's journal this trip," Dean replied, standing up with a lot more aches and pains than he was willing to let show right then. "Will this keep you busy while I go heat you up some soup cause I don't want you faceplanting on my floor while I'm gone and you need to eat."

Sam only heard half of that as he was totally engrossed with the tablet, no longer feeling tired and just wanting to play but he looked up only to see a mildly indulging smile on Dean's face and smiled back. "Uh, sorry. Yeah, I'll stay right here," he promised, fingers sliding on the touchscreen when another thought came to him. "Dean, why am I in your room?"

"Because that's where I put you and it's where you're staying until you keep two full bowls of soup down and don't look like death warmed over anymore," Dean called over his shoulder as he walked out the door while muttering something that sounded faintly like 'two beds in that damn room' to Sam.

Sam waited until he could no longer hear his brother's steps before leaning back to let his eyes fall closed with the tablet still clutched to his chest.

This time as Sam closed his eyes he didn't see the memories of his time with Amelia and what was done. He didn't feel the pain or shame like he was worried that he would. No, this time he thought of the good times in his life and most of it was times with Dean when they'd been kids or even since he left Stanford since Sam could admit that there had been good times these last eight years.

Feeling safe in both mind and body, Sam wasn't even aware of curling on his side and falling to sleep nor did he hear Dean grumbling about cold soup and pain in the ass little brothers.

Sitting the tray of soup, crackers and Gatorade on the dresser, Dean grabbed another blanket to toss over Sam before he eased his suddenly aching body down on the edge of the other side of his mattress to lean his back against the headboard to reach with one hand over to keep it against the back of Sam's neck while grabbing that damn book with the other.

"I would kill Chuck if I knew where he vanished to," he muttered after reading just one mind blowing chapter and vowing to burn the thing before Sam got his hands on it.

After watching carefully for another hour to be certain that Sam was resting and looked to be sleeping peacefully, Dean bunched a pillow up to shove it behind his head before closing his own eyes.

It had been at least three days since he'd actually done more than take little naps here and there while watching his brother and as the knowledge that Sam was safe and he didn't seem to be suffering any ill effects from whatever that woman had done to his little brother, he slowly let himself fall to sleep.

Years of sleeping in the same room had given Dean a sixth sense if Sam would wake up or need him and with that worry gone, he felt himself begin to fall to sleep while also wondering if he could knock down a wall in this place because if the trials were going to knock his baby brother on his ass then this two room thing just wasn't going to cut it anymore.

Dean might have liked having his own room but he also liked to know where Sam was and that Sam was safe while they slept and if that meant knocking down a wall and also padlocking the dungeon then that's what'd he do because being big brother, no matter how old Sam got, would always be his number one priority.

"G'night, Sammy," he whispered, smirking as a low mumble was heard and he thought of clippers and his little brother's hair as he drifted off into a well-deserved sleep, not caring at the moment what tomorrow might bring since he wasn't letting Sam move until he was sure the kid could handle it and that was also final as far as Dean was concerned.

The End

A/N: Well, here it is. The end of another one. I thank all of you wonderful readers who read this one and reviewed it (those are love to any author). Look for more soon.