Title: The Misery of Love

Author: Disasteriffic Kaz

Info: An unstable friend from Stanford tracks Sam down with anything but good intentions. Can Dean find him in time? Post 1x02 "Wendigo" hurt/captive!Sam hero!Dean

Author's Note: This one is written for Jenjoremy's prompt and man did I have fun. Lol Here is her prompt: I have a prompt for you. Involves hurt Sam/captive Sam. Remember the episode where the girl put a spell on Sam and made him think he loved her? That episode always made me think of the movie "Misery" where the obsessed fan holds the writer captive. What about Sam captured by someone who is obsessed with him? When Dean finally tracks him down, it's basically if I can't have him, no one can!

Beta'd by the always awesome JaniceC678 :D– Friend and Muse's co-conspirator.

**Follow me on Facebook as "Disasteriffic Kaz" for frequent fic updates or just to chat!
~Reviews are Love~


Dean thumped into the wall of the house and slid down with a groan. "Ok…that hurt."

"Dean?" Sam ducked a swing from the skinwalker and turned wide, worried eyes to him.

"I'm fine, dammit! Don't let him get away!" Dean shouted and waved an arm. He struggled back to his feet while Sam took off running into the woods behind the house. "Son of a bitch."

Sam sprinted through the trees, easily closing the distance between himself and the creature. He smirked; he wasn't as out of shape as Dean seemed to think. He tightened his grip on his knife and prepared to tackle the lithe, emaciated creature to the ground and gasped when it spun suddenly. He tried to block the kick it threw at him, but he was too slow. The skinwalker's foot slammed into his chest and knocked him back.

"Shit." Sam gasped and rolled back to his feet as the creature reached for him. Wrestling the skinwalker wasn't like wrestling his brother. He knew Dean's moves, even now after four years apart. He could anticipate and he was fast, but this thing was faster still, and Sam felt as though he was lagging a step behind. He grappled with it, trying to free his right arm and the knife and took a hard blow to the side of his head that he knew he should have ducked even as his head spun and he went to his knees. He punched a hand out into the skinwalker's knee, making it howl with pain as it staggered away from him.

"Sammy?" Dean shouted when he caught up with them and saw his brother on the ground. Desperation gave him an extra burst of speed and he reached the skinwalker before it could get at Sam again. Dean planted a foot and spun, throwing a kick up into the creature's face and knocked it back. He bent, scooping Sam's knife from the ground and drove it up and into the skinwalker's chest as he used his weight to ride the creature to the ground. He kept his hold on it until the twitching stopped and leaned back finally with a grin. It was short-lived as he turned to find Sam still on his knees and holding his head. "Dude, you alright?"

Sam nodded and regretted it, stilling his head in his hands. "Yeah. I'm ok." He sat back on his heels. "Got a shot in at my head."

"Damn, Sam." Dean pulled his brother's knife out of the skinwalker's chest and got to his feet. He held out a hand that Sam ignored, making him roll his eyes while he watched his little brother stagger to his feet. He grabbed Sam's head, ignoring the angry growl and got a look at the swelling lump. "That's gonna be pretty later."

"Thanks." Sam took is knife back and grimaced, holding a hand to his head.

Dean gave him a push back toward the house. "Go sit down in the car. I'll finish this." He swung the bag off his shoulder and took out the can of salt while Sam just stood. "Dude! Go sit down before you fall down!"

Sam groaned and left his brother to salt and burn the skinwalker. He felt a little useless and silently berated himself for letting the creature get the drop on him. Dean had jokingly told him only that morning that he must be going soft after four years out of the game and it stung now. Judging by his performance just then, he ruefully considered that maybe it was at least a little bit true after all. He HAD been out of the game for a while, and staying physically fit was not quite the same as actually taking on supernatural baddies. He took a last look at Dean before he left the woods and sighed. He knew Dean didn't truly mean anything by it, other than a way to needle his little brother, but Sam felt it acutely especially as his head pounded and he walked a weaving path back to the car. "Good job, Sam," He whispered to himself irritably as he reached the car and then leaned over to let his head rest on the cool metal for a moment. He heard the 'whoosh' of fire from the forest behind him and sighed. He was just so damn tired.

"In the car, Sam," Dean called as he jogged out of the trees and saw him leaning there. "You're supposed to get in it, not on it."

Sam straightened and turned a bitch-face to him before opening the door and climbing in. He watched Dean round the car and get behind the wheel and shook his head. "I'm sorry, Dean. I should have had your back better than that out there."

Dean rolled his eyes with a silent promise to himself not to get drawn into one of Sam's damn chick-flicks. "You had my back, dude. You got big ugly off me." He looked over and rolled his eyes again at the miserable, tired look on his little brother's face. "Ok, fine. You're a little off your game. We just need to train more; get you back in the swing of it. Alright? You want, I can go boot camp on ya'." He smirked and shrugged. "Laps around the motel at dawn?"

"Bite me, Dean." Sam groaned but couldn't stop the smirk at how often they had done just that, laps around the motel of the week, as kids traveling with their Dad. "So, where to now?"

Dean's mouth thinned into a tight line. "Got new coordinates from Dad."

"What? When?" Sam turned to stare at him. "Did he say where he is?"

Dean shook his head and heard the heavy breath Sam let out. "He's alright, Sam. He'll find us when he's ready. We just…we gotta believe that."

Sam pushed himself back in the seat and worked to keep his anger to himself. He needed to see Dad, to tell him…he didn't even know what exactly he wanted to tell him, but for the first time in his life, he understood what drove his father. Oh, he was still mad as hell at the man for the way he raised him, but he got it now, and he thought maybe he just wanted to talk to someone who knew the pain that tore through him every time he looked at the picture of Jess in his wallet.

"It's a couple days' drive west," Dean said and didn't miss the expression on Sam's face, somewhere between misery and anger. "You can look it up when we get back to the motel. See if you can figure out what we're after."

Sam nodded and didn't say anything. He slid down in the seat instead and rolled his aching head into the window while they drove.


Sam jerked awake out of yet another nightmare and stared at the ceiling. In his mind was the after-image of Jess, suspended up there. He closed his eyes and rolled to his side to avoid seeing it again. He shuddered under the thin blanket, and, for a moment, he missed being a kid, when Dean would have been sitting on the side of his bed already with a hand behind his neck to wake him up and offer comfort. He grimaced. He missed when things were simpler and he could turn to his big brother for comfort without feeling weak. He worked to quiet his frantic breaths and then realized he couldn't hear Dean's soft snores.

"Alright, Sammy?" Dean's sleepy voice came from the other bed.

Sam swallowed hard because, he may not be sitting on the side of his bed anymore but he was still there, still offering comfort in his own way, and each time he woke from a nightmare to Dean's soft question, it reminded him of just how much he had missed hearing his voice each night those four years at college. He cleared his throat and wiped a hand over his damp face.

"Yeah, Dean. Go back to sleep."

Dean frowned, hearing the tears in Sam's soft, rough voice. Part of him wanted to go over there and just hug the kid. After four years apart, old habits were hard to let go of, but Sam was determined that he could take care of himself, as he so often reminded him. He turned into his pillow again instead, satisfied that, for the moment at least, Sam wasn't going to be crying out again. That was the part that made it the hardest. Hearing his little brother damn near screaming before he woke up and knowing there wasn't a thing he could do about it. It hurt. Dean took a few deep breaths and tried to let sleep claim him again.

Sam's mood hadn't improved much in the morning, and he did his best to hide it from Dean. He couldn't shake the feeling that he'd failed Dean the day before and worried that it would happen again. Sparring and working out at college was not the same thing as the training he and Dean had used to do together and Sam sighed, sure that somehow Dean was going to find a way to humiliate him with this. He watched Dean come out of the shower and put a smile on his face.

"What?" Dean caught the strange smile on Sam's face and didn't think he liked it. "What? The motel on fire or something?" He scowled. "What do you want?"

Sam snorted with amusement in spite of his mood and gave his brother a bitch face. "No, the motel's not on fire. I wanted to train. We haven't been really and we should, you know?"

"Uh huh." Dean raised his brows. "Ok, sure. I can kick your ass around the back lot, you want me too." He grinned and shrugged. He wanted to reassure Sam that he hadn't screwed up yesterday, not really, but he also knew that once his little brother got an idea in his head, there was little point in trying to argue it with him. "Now, or do you need a few minutes to check your make-up, princess?"

"Shut up, Dean." Sam groaned and opened the door. "I'm gonna get a couple laps in while you play with your hair." He grinned and ducked the boot Dean threw at him, closing the door behind him. He took a breath of the early morning air and started off from the motel at a jog. The last week since the wendigo had been hard. Not finding Dad and realizing that their father had just pointed them to a hunt like he'd used to had stung. Then the day they'd arrived in this town, Sam had received an email from one of Jess' friends. He supposed that was what had really blown his focus to hell yesterday. Sam shook his head and picked up his pace.

Dean shoved his short hair forward on his head in the mirror, smirked, and then rolled his eyes at himself. "I do not play with my damn hair," he grumbled and grabbed his dad's old USMC sweatshirt from his bag. If he was going to be wrestling Sam, he damn well wasn't going to ruin one of his own shirts getting his ass kicked in the grass. He chuckled. He talked a big game because he was the big brother and that was his job, but the truth was, Sam had more than enough speed and strength to pin him if he really wanted to, not to mention the advantage those extra inches gave him. He was still a bit miffed about his LITTLE brother having the nerve to grow taller than he was. Dean opened the door and rolled out his shoulders. He liked a challenge.

"Sam?" Dean called and jogged down the motel and around the side. He'd given him the twenty minutes Sam usually took to jog off his bad mood and frowned when he didn't find him behind the motel. "Sam!" He shouted but didn't hear a response or see him anywhere. Dean went back around the front and checked up and down the street but could see no sign of his brother.

"What the hell, Sam?" Dean pulled his phone out of his pocket and hit the speed dial for his brother. "Haven't even had my damn coffee yet." He listened to it ring and Dean turned with a cold feeling sinking into his stomach as he heard his brother's ringtone nearby. He lowered his phone and walked toward it on the far side of the parking lot and a collection of cars. "Sammy?"

Dean ran around the back of a blue pick-up truck as the music from Sam's phone stopped and dropped to a knee with his heart in his throat. His brother's cell phone lay in the grass with no sign of him anywhere. Dean grabbed it and stood. "SAM!"


Sam woke in a fog, unsure of where he was or what had happened. His head hurt was the first thought that came to him, and he tried to open his eyes, frowning when he felt something heavy wrapped around his head and blinding him. He opened his mouth and coughed around a gag crudely blocking his mouth. Panic choked him when he felt his hands tied behind him and his ankles restrained as well. He struggled with the bonds, trying to pull a hand free and grunted as he was jostled, realizing he was in the trunk of a car and they'd gone over a bump. He could feel it moving, speeding along and hear the engine. The trunk smelled of mildew and disuse and made him want to sneeze. He began to struggle in earnest and tried to remember what had happened.

He had been jogging back to the motel. Sam remembered thinking Dean would be out any minute, and he was looking forward to proving himself and pinning Dean. He'd just reached the edge of the parking lot, had heard the squeal of tires behind him, and then…Sam frowned because he couldn't remember anything after that. The car bumped over another pothole and the pain that ratcheted through his skull told him why he likely didn't remember - he must have hit his head hard…or someone or something hit it for him.

Sam snarled angrily and felt a little humiliated to have been taken completely unaware. He was helpless, and it drove home for him the sure belief that he wasn't capable of watching his big brother's back anymore. He obviously couldn't even watch his own. He hoped Dean hadn't been hurt when he'd been taken and tried not to think too hard that his brother might be lying dead somewhere because of him.

The car slowed and lurched to a stop, banging Sam's already sore head against the inside of the trunk. He fought the ropes binding him with renewed fervor as he heard a door slam shut and then the turn of a key in the trunk's lock. Sam felt the brush of fresh air over his face as the trunk opened and jerked when hands took hold of him. He shouted into the gag as he was pulled up roughly and groaned when the edge of the trunk pressed painfully into his side. Sam dropped the short distance to the ground with a grunt and felt hands under his shoulders dragging him across the hard ground. He was pulled up a short flight of stairs and then inside a building. Sam could hear the change in sound as he was pulled inside and left to lie on the floor.

Sam tried to jerk away when he was pushed to his side and his sleeve was shoved up his arm. He yelled around the gag again and thrashed in his bonds when he felt something sharp slide into his arm; a needle.

"Shh. Shh."

Sam tried to focus on the soft voice suddenly in his ear and couldn't pull his head away from the fingers that began to card through his hair. Dizziness swept through him as whatever he'd been given began to work and he slipped slowly back into unconsciousness with that voice shushing him gently.

When he woke again, Sam opened his eyes and realized with a start that the blindfold was gone and he was laid on a bed, staring at the ceiling. He had a hard moment when he felt his arms tied above him to a sturdy, iron headboard. He raised his head enough to look down at himself and was relieved to find he was still wearing his clothes though his feet were tied to the footboard. The gag was still in his mouth and he rubbed the side of his face on his arm, trying to dislodge it. His head still felt fuzzy and thick from whatever drug he'd been given, and he didn't register at first that the door had opened.

"Hello, Sam."

Sam's head jerked up and he looked over at the door. His eyes blew wide in shock as he watched the woman step into the room. She was short, barely five-foot-six, thin, with the sort of mousy brown hair that never seemed to cooperate as it hung around her shoulders. Sam hadn't seen her since he'd left Stanford. He'd heard from her, though…just days before. Carrie Wakefield had been the friend of Jess' who had emailed him out of nowhere.

"You look surprised to see me." Carrie smiled and came over to sit on the side of the bed and look down at him. She pushed a lock of hair behind her ear and watched his eyes. "It's been a while, Sam."

Sam tried to yell through the gag and instinctively flinched away from the hand she rested on his chest over his heart. Carrie had been Jess' friend when he'd met her and it had quickly become obvious that she had an unhealthy attraction for him. She'd always been a little too close, touching him when she shouldn't and her eyes were always on him. Sometimes, he and Jess would be at parties, in crowded rooms and Sam would feel an itch between his shoulders. Each time he turned to look behind him, he'd find Carrie watching him intently and it had always made his skin crawl a little. When he and Jess had moved in together, they had more or less stopped talking to Carrie by mutual agreement, and Sam hadn't spoken to her until her email a few days before. Time and distance had obviously not mellowed the unhealthy attraction she had for him.

"You're safe, Sam. I promise." Carrie rubbed her hand over his chest gently and frowned when he kept making garbled noises behind the gag. "I'm going to take this out now, but you should know, there's no one to hear anything here."

The fervent smile she gave him as she curled her fingers in the straps of the gag chilled him. Whatever sanity she'd once had looked to have fled. He coughed hoarsely when the fabric was tugged from his mouth and licked his lips, trying to get some moisture back. "Carrie…"

"I know this is a bit strange, Sam but I love you." Carried leaned down and captured his face in her hands to keep him still while she placed a feather-light kiss on his forehead. "Jess is gone now and I'm sorry about that. I really am." She kissed him again. "Now there's only you and me."

"My brother…"

"Won't come between us like Jess did. I promise." Carrie leaned back and picked up a glass of water from the nightstand. "You must be thirsty." Sam shook his head and she smiled. "Of course you are. I was pre-med, sweetie, remember? I know the drug made you parched. Here now."

Sam couldn't stop her raising his head and when the first touch of cool water pressed against his lips, he sipped in spite of himself until half the glass was empty and she took it away. "Carrie, you have to let me go. This isn't right."

"It will be." Carried said surely. "You just need to remember how much you love me, Sam. That's all. I'm going to help you remember." She chuckled. "I knew when you answered my mail you still loved me."

"No. Carrie, god…please. Listen to me." Sam let his head drop back to the pillow as she ignored him and left the room quietly. He was overcome in that moment with his own uselessness. He'd let himself be captured by a girl, a crazed girl and he'd apparently gone down so fast and hard, he couldn't even remember it happening. Sam groaned when a wave of dizziness washed through him. He rolled his head to look at the glass of water, realizing she'd drugged it and felt a hot, shameful tear for his own weakness roll down his face as his vision swam. "Sorry, Dean."


Dean didn't even know where to start. He'd spent a frantic half an hour just going up and down the streets, hoping for some sign of him; stopping every person he passed to ask if they'd seen his brother. He'd gone to the motel rental office but the desk clerk there hadn't seen anything either. He stood in the motel room running his hands through his hair trying to decide of going to the police was a good idea or not. He couldn't tell them anything and he knew police procedure meant Sam wouldn't even be considered missing for forty-eight hours.

"Son of a bitch," Dean growled helplessly and dropped into one of the chairs at the table. How useless was he that he'd let his own brother be snatched right from under his nose? What the hell good was he if he couldn't keep Sam safe? He looked around the room and out the window. His eyes caught on a lamppost across the street at the corner and a small sliver of hope found its way into his heart; a traffic camera sat on top of it.

Dean pulled Sam's laptop over and opened it. He needed to find where the nearest police station was and make them give him the camera footage. The screen glowed to life and Dean frowned, seeing a webpage open in the task bar. He brought it up and found it open to Sam's email. He almost closed it, rather than pry but the message on the screen; a reply Sam had sent to someone, caught his attention:


I know you mean well sending me all those messages but you have to stop contacting me. I won't be coming back to Stanford. After the fire, I just can't. I love Jess. Moving on isn't something I'm going to be doing for a long time and I would hope that, as her friend, you could appreciate that. You've always been a little too attached to us…to me. I don't want to hurt you but this has to stop. My life is on the road now with my brother. I can't explain it to you. Just know that I'm where I want to be now. No, I'm not alone. Dean's taking care of me just like he always has. He probably doesn't think I notice when he kicks the side of my bed to wake me out of a nightmare or that he somehow manages to find my favorite coffee almost every day. I promise you, I'm well taken care of. I hope you can learn to let go of me, Carrie. There's someone out there for you somewhere. It's not me. It never was. I'm sorry. Please take care of yourself.


Dean sat back in the chair with a thump and wiped a hand over is damp cheeks and smiled sadly. He thought he'd been so subtle 'managing' Sam's grief however he could. He looked back at the screen and clicked on the inbox. There was one unopened message from this Carrie chick and it had come that morning. Sam had never seen it. Dean opened it and felt the curl of protective rage start to build in his gut as he read the short response:

Oh, my sweet Sam,

I understand everything. I can read what you're too afraid to say. It's alright. I'm coming for you. I'll help you remember how good things used to be. Wait for me, Sam. I love you.

Dean went cold when he checked the location of the message. It had been sent from the next town over. "Son of a bitch. You took him, didn't you? You psycho little bitch." He quickly looked up the nearest police station, changed into street clothes and dashed for the car. "Gonna find you, Sammy. You hold on."


"No." Sam turned his head away forcibly when Carrie tried to get him to drink from a glass of water.

"It's only water, Sam." Carrie promised.

Sam shook his still fuzzy head. "Lying." Even his tongue felt too big for his mouth and he was having trouble holding on to his thoughts. "Drugged me again."

"No, Sam. No." Carrie set the glass aside and took his face gently in her hands, turning him to look at her though he fought it. "I'm taking care of you, remember?" She smiled when he frowned up at her. "You're not feeling well."

Sam scowled, knowing that was wrong but he suddenly couldn't think how. He shook his head again. "Dean."

"Dean left you with me." Carrie told him and brushed her thumbs over his cheeks. She gave him a soft kiss and leaned back. "I'm going to make you feel so much better, Sam."

"Dean…Dean wouldn't. No." Sam turned his head away from her and pulled on the ropes.

Carrie frowned. Sam had been muttering in his drugged haze and she decided she had to hurt him to help him, use the things he'd been saying against him. "Sam, you couldn't protect him anymore, remember? He got hurt and it was your fault." She leaned back down and kissed him softly again while he stared up at her, wide-eyed. "You're not strong anymore, sweetie. You need help. That's why he left you with me."

Sam's breath clogged in his throat while confusion pounded through him. Dean had been hurt. He remembered that. He remembered being afraid that he was going to get his brother killed, "How…how did I get here?"

"You came to me, sweetie." Carrie picked up the glass again and lifted his head, putting it to his lips. She smiled when he let her dribble some of the water into his mouth in his uncertainty. "You came outside for me and I brought you here to help you." She took the glass when she decided she'd gotten enough into him. She didn't want to risk overdosing him with the cocktail of drugs she was giving him, drugs that would make him more…pliable…to her will.

"S'wrong," Sam mumbled and tugged on his arms again with a groan when they wouldn't come loose from the headboard. His hands were beginning to tingle with a loss of sensation, but even that fell to the background as a fresh wave of dizziness swamped him and made him moan. "L…lemme go."

"You don't want to leave me, Sam." Carried rubbed a hand back and forth over his chest, wishing she'd taken his t-shirt off along with the flannel and coat. "You love me like I love you. It's alright. You'll remember soon."

Sam shook his head with his eyes closed. "No…no. Love…love Jess."

Carrie sighed and pulled open the drawer of the bedside table. "No, Sam." She took out the taser she'd bought, hoping she wouldn't need it, and flicked it on. "You can't say that name ever again. She's gone. It's just you and me now."

"Jess. Love her." Sam cracked his eyes open and saw anger on Carrie's face though her voice remained calm.

"It hurts me to have to do this, sweetie, but you need to learn." Carrie pressed the two prongs to the side of his ribs and pressed the button. Sam cried out as his whole body jolted and she pulled the taser away after a few seconds. She watched him collapse back onto the bed and gasp. "Every time you say a wrong thing, Sam, I have to do that. It's the only way to help you."

The pain drove away some of the fog in his mind as it burned through him. "Dean…s'gonna…hurt you." He shouted in renewed pain when the taser dug into his ribs again.

Carrie pulled the taser back and took a deep breath to control her sudden anger. "You really shouldn't say things like that, Sam." She set the taser on the nightstand and patted his heaving chest. "I think we need to up your dosage just a little now, sit tight. I'll be right back." She frowned, feeling how his heart was hammering under her hand. "You should calm down, sweetie. Just take a few deep breaths while I'm gone."

Sam was too dazed to be embarrassed when tears started falling down his cheeks again and spent the time alone trying to work his hands free. The drugs kept him from really feeling the pain in his wrists, though he could see thin rivulets of blood beginning to stream down his arms as he twisted and turned them. He pushed and pulled with his legs, trying to free his feet or loosen the footboard they were tied to, but, though it shifted back and forth, it was solid.

Carrie came back into the bedroom carrying a large, black bag that she set on the nightstand and put her hand back to his chest. She made a 'tsking' sound when she saw what he was doing to his wrists. "Sweetie, stop hurting yourself, please."

"Need to lemme go." Sam pleaded again. "Carrie…please." She only smiled and opened the bag. Sam's eyes widened when she came out with a pair of scissors and bent over him. "Don't…Carrie stop!"

"Shhh now. It's alright." Carrie took the hem of his shirt and starting cutting up his chest with the scissors.

Sam arched his head back when she reached his neck and shivered in the cool draft of air as she laid the halves of his shirt open, baring his chest. "Whatever you're doing just don't…please."

"You'll be fine, sweetie." Carrie set the scissors aside and pulled out a portable EKG machine, setting that on the table and went about efficiently plugging the leads into it. "I need to be sure we don't go too far." She took the other ends of the leads and pressed the pad of one over his heart and the other to the side of his chest, low on the left beside a set of small twin burns left from the taser. She steeled herself against pity. Now wasn't the time for it. She flicked on the little machine, listening to the too-fast rhythm of Sam's heart and reached back into the bag.

"Carrie, this isn't right. You have to know this isn't right." Sam tried to catch her eyes, to find anything sane to talk to. "We can talk about this, find you help, but you have to let me go." He shrank away from her as far as his bonds would allow when she took out a needle and set three syringes on the stand. "Don't. God, Carrie…don't do this. You have to stop!"

"Do you love me, Sam?" Carried looked at him earnestly.

Sam shook his head slowly in disbelief. "Carrie, I…please, just let me go."

"I'm sorry, sweetie." Carried said sadly and took one of the vials, filling a syringe carefully. "There was a man in the ER, oh…must be six months ago now. He'd been kidnapped by one of those crazy cults." She chuckled and shook her head. "Really, he was saying the most ridiculous things, but we learned a lot from him. Like the combination of drugs the cult leader used to break him." She smiled secretly down at Sam. "But I don't have to break you, Sam. You love me. You just have to remember."

"No, no, no!" Sam jerked his arm away and then cried out again when she pressed the taser into his stomach. The continuous jolt of electricity arched his back until he couldn't breathe and finally it stopped. He was too dazed to realize what was happening until he felt the pinch of a needle in his arm.

"That's it, sweetie." Carrie pulled the needle out and picked up the next vial. She took a moment to rub a hand over his stomach and the new set of burns there. "I know it's unpleasant, but you have to learn. This will help." She filled the syringe again while he was still too dazed to fight and injected the new drug into his arm.

"Wha'…" Sam couldn't seem to get his tongue to cooperate and he felt like he was floating even as a burning sensation began to flow out from his arm into his body.

"It's going to feel a little uncomfortable, I know." She ran her fingers through his hair for a moment before injecting the third drug into him. "It might feel a little hard to breathe, but you just have to work harder for it. You'll be fine." Carrie stood and climbed on the bed. She threw a leg over him and sat low on his stomach. "You'll be fine as long you fight to breathe, Sam." Carrie bent over his face. "If I let you breathe. And all you have to do is remember you love me. You can do that, can't you, sweetie?"

Sam frowned. Her voice sounded like it was coming from miles away through water. He wanted to throw her off of him. The feel of her weight pressing into his stomach made him sick, and then she moved up higher so she was pressing down on his ribs. Every breath felt like a monumental effort as he struggled to breathe with her pushing down harder.

Carrie watched him open his mouth and gasp and strain for each breath. The steady beep-beep from the heart monitor rose steadily in tempo with his panic until it was almost steady and his eyes flew open with desperation. She leaned down and kissed him. "Remember you love me, Sam. You love me. Say it and you can breathe. You love me. Always me. Only me." She settled more of her weight into his chest while she studied his blown pupils and bluing lips. "Say you love me, sweetie. You can do that for me."

Sam shook his head. It was all he could do. The drugs were making his whole body feel like it was burning from the inside out. His head swam and his thoughts fragmented, and all he could see was her smiling face while he suffocated. The world took on a surreal quality as spots began to dance across his vision. Sam watched Carrie's head fly up and heard the door slam open into the room, and his eyes fell closed trying to make out the dark figure standing there.

There weren't many times in Dean Winchester's life when he'd actually considered taking a human's life, but each and every one of them had been the fault of some stupid son of a bitch threatening Sam, and now he had a new one to add to the list as he kicked the bedroom door open and got a look inside. He'd followed the whine of some electronic, frantic beeping, and what he saw made his blood boil even as his eyes went flinty and cold. The walking dead woman, as Dean thought of her now, straddled his brother's chest…his little brother whose lips were turning blue while the monitor attached to him became erratic.

"Get off him. Now." Dean drew his gun and leveled it at her head, but she was fast.

Carrie lunged to the table, grabbed up the scissors, and pressed them into Sam's chest as she leaned so closely over him that Dean couldn't guarantee a clean shot. "You can't have him. He's mine," she said fiercely and glared at Dean.

"No, bitch. He's mine. Now GET OFF HIM!"

Dean's bellow made her jump in fear, but she kept her place and pushed a little harder on the scissors so they pushed into the tender flesh of Sam's chest. "If you come any closer, I'll kill him. He's mine. He lives or he dies for me. Only me!"

Dean's eyes narrowed. His lifetime of training and experience told him that she knew what she was doing. She had the point of the scissors angled just so; a shove would send the blades directly up into Sam's chest and into his heart to kill him. Dean, however, knew something she didn't. He knew from experience just how much strength it took to actually shove anything up into someone's chest cavity far enough to find the heart, and one look at the tiny woman was enough to tell him, she didn't have it. Dean knew he could get to her before she had the chance to find the leverage she'd need.

The frantic tone from the heart monitor began to fall apart along with Sam's pulse, and Dean knew he was out of time. He dropped the gun, not willing to risk hitting Sam, and leaped the short distance to the bed. Dean tackled her bodily even as she tried to thrust forward with the scissors to carry through on her threat to kill Sam and rolled with her off the side of the bed as she screamed insanely. He rolled her over and slammed his fist mercilessly into the side of her head. Carrie went limp under him. Dean peeled one of her eyes back, satisfied she was deeply unconscious and scrambled back up to the bed.

"Sammy?" Dean grimaced and took hold of the scissors. She had managed to push them in only a bare half-inch before he'd hit her. Blood trailed down the side of Sam's chest to pool and stain the covers under him as Dean pulled them out. It was a superficial wound, he knew, and not what really worried him. The monitor told him Sam's heart was still pounding erratically, and he took Sam's face in his hands. "Sam! Come on, man." He saw drug vials and a used syringe beside the monitor along with a taser and had to swallow the instant desire to kill the woman on the floor. He saw the burns on Sam's stomach from the taser, the blood covering his arms from where he'd struggled against the ropes, and felt the weight of his failure to protect hang around his neck.

"Come on, little brother. Wake up." Dean picked up the hated scissors again and used them to cut Sam's arms free. He eased them down to the bed and turned to free his feet before leaning back up and taking his brother's face again. The blue tint on Sam's lips was fading and he was gasping softly for air as Dean watched. Sam's eyes crinkled. A soft moan worked its way out of him and Dean nodded. "That's it. Come on, buddy. Come back."

Sam cracked his eyes open and for a moment, didn't believe what he was seeing as his big brother's face wavered in his vision. "Dean?"

Dean nodded, too choked up to speak for a second. He pushed Sam's sweat damp hair out of his eyes and smiled. "You ready to blow this pop stand?"

Sam frowned and then his eyes went wide. "Carrie!"

"Whoa! Take it easy." Dean stopped him when Sam tried to lurch up drunkenly from the bed. "Taken care of. And no, I didn't kill the bitch."

Sam sucked in a breath and fell back with a weary nod. "Kay…ok. Wan'go now."

"Yeah, buddy. We're gonna. Come on." Dean wanted to patch up the wounds, but he knew they didn't have the luxury of time just then. He took Sam's shoulders and pulled him gently up so he was sitting and let his brother's head drop to his shoulder. Dean felt the warmth of tears through his shirt with Sam's hitched breaths and fought his own back. "Ok, Sammy. You're good. I've got you."

Sam nodded into Dean's shoulder and let the smells that had comforted him all of his life do so again - leather and gun oil and his brother's stupid hair gel. The next several minutes were a blur for Sam. He walked…or he thought he did. He heard Dean's voice coaching him along to keep moving, that's it, buddy, keep walking, and then there was the smell of night air and then, finally, the smell of the Impala's leather seats. He rolled his head to his left and saw Dean's face in profile as he drove them away, and Sam let exhaustion, relief, and the drugs pull him under to sleep.


Dean was at Sam's side the moment he heard the first whimper and had Sam by the shoulders as he started to struggle in the grip of a nightmare. Dean was ready the moment his brother jerked himself awake with a shout and held him down.

"Hey! Hey! Sam!" Dean waited until Sam's frantic eyes met his and smiled. "You're ok, buddy. You're safe now. Remember?"

Sam tried to calm his frantic gasps for air. He'd been dreaming Carrie was sitting on his chest and that he couldn't get enough oxygen. He nodded and looked around with a frown. "Motel?"

Dean smiled again. "Yeah. You know we only go to the hospital for the important stuff." Dean said it facetiously, trying to lighten the fear on Sam's face. "I called one, though. They said the cocktail she was giving you would be out of your system in twelve hours or so." He shrugged. "Been about ten since I brought you back here."

Sam looked down at his arms and saw that his wrists had been carefully bandaged. He could feel matching bandages around each of his ankles and raised a hand to press over a tender spot on the left side of his chest. "Dean?"

"Just a scratch, dude," Dean told him. The cut from the scissors really was only a flesh wound and would likely hurt for just a week or so. "How you feelin'?"

"Out of it." Sam leaned back against the wall and closed his eyes then opened them again. "What happened to Carrie?"

"On her way to California, probably." Dean got up and grabbed a bottle of water before sitting down next to his brother again. "She was eight-ball crazy, dude. You know her family had her committed about three months before…before I came to Stanford." He shied away from saying Jess' name but saw the tightening around Sam's eyes as if he had. "Anyway, right after the uh…the fire, she flipped her shit but good, murdered her psychiatrist, and escaped to come looking for you. They've got whole journals she wrote in the loony bin filled with stuff about…well…about you and how she was just waiting for the right time."

Sam shivered and hugged his arms around himself. "She always made me nervous. Jess…" he swallowed and made himself keep going over the now familiar stab of pain. "…Jess said she was never quite right in the head but she'd always been harmless." He shook his head sadly and looked up at his big brother. "How did you even find me?"

Dean grinned and shrugged. "Tried the traffic cam outside the motel first, but the cops said the damn thing was broken, so I, uh…I called Bobby." He chuckled. "He's still pissed at Dad." Dean paused when Sam smiled at that, pleased. "I sent him the last email buckets-of-crazy chick sent you, and Bobby had some friend of his hunt down the address. That's how we found out about her killin' that poor sucker in California before she headed out here."

"Wow." Sam breathed and rubbed a hand over her face. "Dean, I…"

"I'm sorry, Sam." Dean said abruptly and cut off what he knew was going to be an apology from his brother. "I should have been paying attention, should have been with your ass out there. If I'd just had the damn curtains open…" he gestured angrily at the window between the beds. "…I would have seen her come after you. I screwed up, dude. I'm sorry. I let you down."

Sam stared slack-jawed at Dean and slowly shook his head. "Dean…it's my fault. I let my guard down, and…I don't know if I can have your back out there." He wasn't about to let Dean ride the guilt train all by himself. "I'm out of practice. I know it. I almost let the skinwalker kill you the other day and then this?" Sam waved a hand at himself and didn't see the growing anger on Dean's face. "You were right. I am slow and it's gonna get you killed."

"Shut up." Dean said softly and took Sam's shoulders in a firm grip. He remembered teasing Sam about being slow and out of practice and wanted to kick himself for it now. "I was way off, man. WAY off. You're one of the best damn Hunters I've ever known, Sam, since you were, like, sixteen, dude." He gave Sam a lop-sided smile. "Remember? That time Dad dumped us on the damn Appalachian trail and told us to find our way back?" Sam nodded and Dean went on while his little brother began to smirk. "You decided we were gonna show Dad we were too old for that shit. You knew he was trailing us and we snapped a circle on him, got right up behind him…"

"Man, Dad was pissed." Sam chuckled softly.

Dean snorted. "He was proud, dude. We scared the crap out of him and that was all you, studying the friggin trails and topographical maps as soon as you figured out where we were heading. You knew those trails before we ever set foot on them." The smile fell from Dean's face and he met Sam's eyes seriously. "Hunting ain't just about killing things, Sam. You gotta know how first and that's you, man. You're the brains of this outfit."

Sam scowled. "Would you stop talking about yourself like you're stupid?"

Dean grinned and slapped his shoulders. "Sure; when you stop talking about yourself like you're useless."

"I…that's diff…" Sam trailed off while Dean continued to grin at him. "I hate you."

"No, you don't." Dean said cheerfully and stood. "Pizza or Chinese?"

"Chinese." Sam leaned back again, sore, tired and for the moment at ease. "You always put too much meat on pizza."

"Slappin' a vegetable garden on a crust is not pizza, Sammy. I don't care what they tell you."

"It's Sam, and veggie pizzas are awesome." Sam rolled his eyes with a laugh. "Jerk."

"Bitch." Dean grabbed the menu and his phone and sat back to put his feet up while he ordered and keep an eye on his brother. It'd be a while before he let Sam out of his sight again and Sam would just have to deal with it.


The End.