The withdrawal from the demon blood was happening much faster than Sam thought it would as he curled up on the bed. He was in utter misery one moment and piercing agony the next as his body began to shiver and shake more and more violently. Through sheer force of will he had been with it enough to place the protective salt lines on the door and window sills; already exhausted beyond anything he’d ever experienced before, it had taken him far longer – dangerously longer – than it should have to draw his last line of defence, a devil's trap.
Sam was weak and on the edge of complete collapse by the time he managed to fall on to the bed. Whimpering with relief that he was off his feet again, he tugged weakly at the blanket and wrapped himself up like a baby; he wasn't a fool, he knew he was in for a rough time. Tears pooled in Sam's eyes as he prayed that the one person he needed above all else would miraculously appear before him. When nothing happened, the most broken-sounding "Dean," fell from Sam's lips and he didn't bother to hide his tears as he sobbed into his pillow.
Staring down from his throne at the groveling demon before him, Dean could hardly believe what he was hearing. After weeks of fruitless searching and hundreds of false sightings, his Sammy had finally been found! However, the rest of the news the demon had delivered had that happiness; in fact it had pissed him off royally.
As if she hadn’t already done enough to ruin the lives of the Winchester boys, Ruby had gotten his brother addicted to demon blood and then, just to save her own skin she’d vanished, leaving Sam high and dry from the demon’s description, clearly suffering. While Dean’s blood boiled with the need for revenge on her for doing that to his little brother he also knew that the situation could actually work in his favour. The effects of demon blood were very short-lived and it sounded as if Sam must be seriously hurting and in dire need of a fix.
Dean sat back in quiet contemplation for a few minutes and then his eyes lit up with a wicked gleam and a slow smirk appeared on his face. "Don't worry, baby boy, big brother's coming to the rescue and he’s going to make everything all better."
Every cell of his body ached from the inside out and the outside in and as he lay in a puddle of his own fever sweat, Sam wondered if this was what hell felt like, if this was even a small part of what Dean was enduring. He whimpered at the knowledge and guilt that his brother was most certainly suffering torture far worse than anything he could go through on earth. "Dean, I'm so sorry, forgive me for failing you," he sobbed hopelessly.
Sam started violently as he felt a calloused hand running gently through his hair; ‘Oh great! So now the hallucinations begin,’ he thought mirthlessly. ‘That’s all I need now,” but when the voice came, the wonderful, beautiful, voice he’d longed to hear for four months drifted to his ears, he whimpered like a lost child. "There's nothing to forgive, baby boy, I know you did your best to find me."
The loving touch felt so real, the soft words sounded so real and Sam wanted so very desperately to believe that his mind wasn’t playing tricks on him. Although he knew that when he opened his eyes he would still be horribly alone in a roach-infested shithole of a motel room, he wearily forced himself to face the reality of his situation and what he saw filled his eyes to overflowing with more scalding hot tears. “It’s not possible,” he whispered in disbelief, reaching out to the man sitting next to him. “You can’t be here!”
A small, slightly amused smile appeared on Dean's face even though his eyes held nothing but worry. "Hi ya, Sammy, did you miss me?"
Ignoring the stinging sweat that trickled into his eyes, Sam could only gape in utter amazement at the man before him; it simply wasn't possible, there was no way that Dean could be here. No, this was clearly another trick of his imagination caused Ruby’s blood.
“What’s wrong, can’t believe your own eyes?” With an indulgent chuckle, Dean brushed the tears from his brother’s cheeks. “I have to say, this isn’t how I figured we’d meet up again.”
"Dean? Is that really you?" Sam’s throat was painfully dry and his voice cracked as he asked not daring to really hope, he was sure that his mind was playing tricks on him, again. He wouldn't be surprised if this was nothing more than a cruel hallucination, yet one more element of withdrawal. It would be just like Ruby to make his own mind torture him with the image of the one person he longed to see the most. His shoulders were shaking with a new round of sobs as Sam shook his head and like a weak newborn kitten he shuffled away from the hand that was so tenderly running through his hair. It broke his heart because the hallucination was comforting him just like Dean used to do when he was sick or hurt and he so desperately wanted to believe but… "No, you're not real."
It pained Dean very deeply to see his baby brother so lost and broken; he’d been looking after his sibling since the day he was born and he vowed that once he had Sam safe and sound he would make sure that Ruby was ripped apart by his hellhounds, then he would put her back together and rip her apart piece by piece with his own bare hands. But right now however, she didn't matter; what did was Sam. "It's me, Sammy, I promise you, I'm really here and I'm going to help you, baby boy, I promise."
Looking around the dismal room Dean realised that Sam was clearly worse off than he’d first thought; his sharp eyes didn’t miss the fact that Sam hadn't made a solid salt line on the door or the window sill, and the vitally important devil’s trap hadn't been properly completed either. Even the tiniest gap in design would allow anyone or anything to just walk in and with Sam in such a weakened state he’d be unable to defend himself in any way.
Dean knew that for both their sakes, he needed to get Sam somewhere safe as fast as possible and he thanked anything that might be listening that his other baby was sitting right outside the door, waiting to take them away from Sam’s version of hell.
Feeling strong arms grasp him and pull him against a firm chest, Sam look up at Dean with a tiny glimmer of hope in his eyes. "Dean, is it really you? Have you really come back to me?" he asked in a soft voice as he reached up to claw at Dean’s shirt. "Or am I finally dead and joining you in hell?"
Encouraged by the look in Sam’s eyes and unable to stop himself from breaking his ‘no-chick-flick-moments’, coupled with the simple fact that he’d waited so long for this moment, Dean lowered his head and pressed a loving kiss onto Sam's forehead. He breathed in the scent of his brother – oh, how he’d missed that smell! – and then he fought back a vicious growl as he caught the faint but still lingering scent of Ruby; that had to change and soon.
"Yeah, Sammy, it's really me. I know you're feeling like hell right now but I have something that can help you out, okay?” It took some effort but Dean managed to pull Sam’s hands off of his shirt so that he could slip his hand under Sam's pillow. It took a moment but he was inordinately pleased to feel the familiar cold steel beneath it; Sam might have been out of it but at least he remembered to place his hunting knife under his pillow.
Pulling the knife out Dean brought it to his other arm and slowly cut into the flesh of his wrist, he didn't even flinch at the feel of the blade slicing his skin; he had experienced worse things at the hands of Alistair. Once the cut was deep enough and his blood was flowing freely he brought his bleeding wrist to Sam's mouth. "Drink, Sammy," he ordered in a tone that he knew Sam would not ignore.
Still reeling from the fact that his brother had come back to him, Sam was at first startled when he felt something warm dripping into his mouth but then a familiar hunger surged within him and not needing to be told twice Sam latched on to the warm skin of Dean's wrist and greedily licked the flowing blood. As it slid down his throat Sam felt it start easing the horrible cramps in his gut and calming the racing beat of his heart. It just felt so right to be sharing his brother’s life force, unlike when he fed from Ruby, which made him feel cheap, dirty and unbearably guilty.
Dean moaned at the erotic feeling of Sam's lips warm and soft on his skin and he watched with glazed eyes as Sam licked at his flesh and drank his blood. Oh yeah, he could see why Ruby had fallen into bed with his baby brother; this was hot and oh so seductive and it made his groin tighten with anticipation. However, those days with Ruby were long over, ‘the only one that Sam will be getting his fix from is me!’ "That's it, baby boy, drink as much as you need," Dean purred out in a huskily low growl, struggling to control his almost overwhelming urge to claim his mate here and now; it was plain to see that Sam was far too gone to enjoy anything like that tonight.
As the salty nectar flowed down his parched throat, Sam moaned in pure bliss. If this was a hallucination he didn't want it to ever, ever end; he’d finally found heaven on earth. His fingers curled tighter around Dean's arm, digging into his flesh, holding it firmly to his lips as he drank every drop of the thick, rich blood; he could feel it coursing through his veins, nourishing him, strengthening him, replenishing his soul. Ruby's demon blood was nothing compared to Dean's; Sam could feel the Dean’s love for him pulsing in every drop, saturating his body and could feel himself getting hard.
Sensing his brother’s returning strength and growing lust Dean watched with hungry, eager eyes the effect he was having on Sam. "Soon, baby boy, once we get you better I'll give you whatever you need," Dean promised and as an erotic shudder went through his body he knew that part he was looking forward to above all else.
Time had taken on strange dimensions thanks to his withdrawal so Sam didn't know how long he laid there in Dean’s arms drinking, allowing the warm blood to flow like a delicious live-giving river down his throat but eventually his shakes began to slow and his shivering stopped. He felt sleep slowly overtaking him; his body was heavy and languid and his vision was growing fuzzy as he looked at his brother. He blinked, trying to remain awake; what if he woke up and discovered that seeing Dean again had all been a dream?
‘He looks like he’s six years old again and resisting nap time,’ Dean looked on indulgently as his little brother struggled against the pull of the sandman. "Don't fight it, Sammy, just let sleep claim you and when you awake you’ll be somewhere safe." Dean wasn't surprised to see Sam getting so drowsy; he’d had a tough couple of days, ‘At least,’ he thought ruefully, and it had the added benefit of making it so much easier to move Sam.
Struggling mightily to keep his sleep-filled eyes open and focussed, Sam looked up at Dean. "You'll still be here when I wake up?" There was a very noticeable element of fear in Sam's voice, fear that this was nothing more than a new form of torture his blood-starved mind had thought up.
Dean immediately grasped what was going through Sam’s head and his eyes softened with understanding. "Yeah, I'll still be here when you wake up, I promise; I'm not going anywhere," Dean’s tone was gentle as he vowed stroking his brother’s forehead.
That was enough for Sam and he let his eyes flutter shut. "Okay, love you, Dean."
Strong emotions filled Dean as he watched his brother’s face relax and he fought back the urge to make Sam his then and there. "I love you too, Sammy."
Dean waited until Sam was sound asleep before daring to remove his arms from around him; grimacing at their surroundings, it didn't take him long to pack up the meagre belongings that Sam had brought in with him. When he opened Sam's bag he found the keys to the Impala, and next to them, carefully wrapped in an old, worn-out T-shirt, Dean discovered his amulet and silver ring tucked safely away. The sight of them caused Dean’s breathe to catch in his throat and he choked on a sudden rush of tears. Knowing that his brother had not only kept them but had kept them safe meant more to him than Sam keeping his other baby in perfect shape. Swiping a hand across his damp cheeks Dean turned his gaze back to the sleeping Sam. "Don't worry, Sammy, I promise no one and nothing will ever separate us again," and for a moment the King of Hell’s eyes turned into black orbs.
It was a testament to how truly exhausted Sam really was that he didn't wake up, didn’t even stir a muscle, as Dean bundled him into his jacket and carried him out to beloved Impala. Dean was thankful that his new demon side gave him the strength to carry his Sasquatch of a little brother – a giggle burst from his lips as he remembered the day he gave Sam that nickname –without dropping him. Moments later Sam was safely tucked in the passenger seat of the Impala with his seatbelt snug and his bag in the backseat.
His heart was beating a mile a minute and there was a noticeable tremble in his hand as Dean opened the car door and slipped into the driver’s seat and as he settled into the worn leather he sighed happily; it felt like he had never left. Looking around at the familiar interior, he reached out and caressed the dashboard, “I’m back, baby,” he murmured as he adjusted the rear view mirror. As he put the key into the ignition a horrible sacrilege caught his eye: Sam‘s IPod was hooked up to his radio.
Dean shot a fiery glare at his brother. "We are so going to have words, baby boy! Nobody defiles my other baby and gets away with it." Suddenly highly aroused, Dean couldn't help but lick his lips as he pictured just what kind of punishment he was had in store for his naughty brother.
Dean turned the key and then closed his eyes as the engine began to purr, the vibration going straight to his groin, increasing his desire. Shaking his head, Dean put the car in gear and pulled the Impala out of the motel parking lot, silently vowing that this would be the last time that Sam ever had to sleep in such a disgusting place; idly he wondered what kind of vermin might be lurking in Sam’s suitcase or on Sam, for that matter. ‘Those places are riddled with bedbugs,’ he shuddered violently at the thought. So caught up in the idea of giving Sam a bath as soon as they got home, Dean failed to noticed the glowing eyes following his departure, eyes filled with stunned disbelief.
As he watched the red tail lights fading into the distance, Rufus Turner cursed long and loud under his breath as he struggled to get out his phone and for a moment he wondered if his eyes were going but dismissed the notion. There was no mistaking that car or its notorious driver. Finding his phone he fumbled it from his pocket before collecting himself and taking a deep calming breath then he quickly flipped through the list and pressed the right contact. "Come on, come on!" Rufus murmured anxiously under his breath as he trailed the Impala as far as he could with his eyes.
"What do you want now?" Bobby's put-out voice came over the line, a sound which normally that would have had Rufus grinning from ear to ear while he while he gave his old friend a hard time but this was not the time for frivolity, not today.
"Bobby, I found Sam and he’s with Dean." Unable to stop himself, Rufus blurted out the news; he knew how much the Winchester boys meant to Bobby just as he knew that there was no delicate way to break this news to Bobby.
After a heartbeat of heavy, pregnant silence Bobby demanded in a rough voice, "Where are you?"
Rufus didn't waste time by telling Bobby his current location. "Bobby, they’ll be long gone by the time you get here," he warned. “We need to…”
Bobby interrupted his old friend. "I know that but there are other hunters in the area and trust me, news of Dean's return won't be kept a secret for long; if you've already seen him then that boy isn't even trying to hide. Besides, we don't even know that that’s the real Dean and if he’s not, then that means that Sam is in more danger than we realise." Bobby voice went hard with unspoken implications; there was no way that he was going to lose Sam.
After a few more minutes of discussion, Rufus finished his call and let out a low whistle. "For your sake you better be the real Dean, otherwise your life ain’t gonna be worth shit. I don't even want to image what Bobby would do to you if you've hurt Sam in any way."
While Rufus was muttering to himself he completely failed to notice that like Dean before him, he too was being watched from the shadows."Well this isn't good,” the figure muttered as he sucked on his lollypop. “You boys never can do anything the easy way, can you?" He felt a thrill of excitement; things were about to get real interesting real fast and as usual Sam and Dean Winchester were going to be smack dab in the middle of it all. "Old Zachariah isn't going to like this,” and he chuckled as a sudden through struck. “I wonder if an angel’s head can explode from high blood pressure? It would be worth the price of admission to watch that. I wonder though, will there be less death with Dean running the show?"