Author: Sebastian

Prompt: Pride

Rating: M (Mature)

Type of Story: General - Hetero

Author’s Website: Sebastian’s Page

Author’s Note: Set during season 1. There's a Lamia in this story, which is vastly different from the one actually featured in the show. I just played around with the various tales I've read about Lamias and came up with this one. The word 'daemon' isn't misspelled, by the way. I apologize beforehand for any eventual grammatical errors or spelling mistakes you may find. English isn't my first language!
Disclaimer: I don't own Sam and Dean, they belong to Eric Kripke and the CW, not me. I don't make any sort of money from this.
Warnings: Sexual context (not wincest), spanking and swearing.


Dean Winchester jumped as the door closed behind him loudly, then he heard the ominous click of the lock and the immediate protests of his brother on the other side. Sam hadn't been quick enough to get in with him. Well, he didn't really get the chance - it had happened all too fast for either of the brothers to react before it was too late.

Dean spun around to stare right at the daemon frowning at him, shaking her head. Oh, fuck.

The Lamia sighed, "What are you trying to do, human?"

"Kill you," Dean gritted out, clenching his jaw angrily.

"How is it going?"

"Shut up!" with that said, he attacked her.

About five minutes later, Dean was flying through the air like a rag doll for the third time that evening - grunting when he hit the wall forcefully, going out like a light as his head cracked against the hard surface. Finally, the Lamia thought as she looked at him, pleased that her plan had worked.

"You are quite rude," she told him, smacking her tongue in disapproval, "I didn't even invite you, yet you and your friend came bursting through my door like hooligans. With knifes drawn! Didn't your parents warn you about running around with sharp objects?"

The daemon ignored the yelling man on the other side of the locked door while she went to retrieve ropes in the cabinet of the room, talking to Dean - like he actually could hear her - the whole time.

"You even tried to aim those dangerous knives at me - that's not how you treat a lady! Didn't your father teach you any manners? I'm sure we would have gotten along much better if you hadn't tried to kill me, you brute."

Again, the daemon shook her head and frowned. This whole experience had been a waste of her precious time, and these men were at fault for it.

"I'm sorry that I had to split you and your friend up, but I believe you worked each other up a bit," she explained softly, walking up to him again.

The Lamia grabbed Dean none too gently and hauled him to a chair with ease, sitting the slack body down to tie him up carefully. "Despite your lack of courtesy, you're kinda cute in a way."

Taking a step back to scrutinize him thoroughly and nodding to herself, she smirked a little. "You're a bit too rough for my taste, but I'm not that picky - I take what I can get."

Outside, Sam kicked the door one more time for good measure before he remembered the lock-picking set. He groaned as he almost slapped himself for not thinking of that from the start, quickly digging it up from his pocket to get the job done and save his brother. Meanwhile, the Lamia heard what he was doing, standing with her arms crossed as she stared at the door, patiently waiting for the young man to finish and join the party.

When he finally heard the sweet sound of the lock open for him, Sam barreled in with the silver blade knife, but came to a sudden halt when he realized he'd been expected. And that his brother was completely out of the game, tied up to a chair. That's just great.

How would he fix this one single-handed? Every hunter knows you can't go after a Lamia on your own, you should always have someone with you. Preferably two. Or three. Maybe four.

Sam sure would love to have four other people with him right now.

The Lamia looked at him, her head tilted and her eyes sparkled, clearly interested in what she saw. She began to approach him with a tender smile and kind look upon her face, but Sam was having none of that, he just wanted her as far away from him as possible.

He stumbled backwards until he hit the wall, his breath caught in his throat fearfully. This wasn't good. He trembled somewhat when the daemon got closer to him, sneering at his panicked face; making his heart beat faster and faster, as if it was trying to break free from his chest.

Suddenly, she stopped, maybe a foot or so from Sam. She watched him as her eyes changed color and he found himself unable to move now, to escape, to fucking breathe at all - the knife slipped through his grip as he gasped in surprise and pain, because those eyes, it was the exact same eyes-

He recognized them well, remembered them so clearly. It's been so long. Too long.. Sam felt tears spring forth as he got lost into them, soaking up every little detail he could find.
At the very same moment, Dean was starting to come around, groaning at the throbbing ache in the back of his head when he realized his arms were restricted. He instantly sobered up and his mind began to process what was happening automatically, his gaze spinning around the room to gather some information about the current situation.

To his horror, he saw Sam pressed up against the wall, the Lamia hovering close to him. Too close.

"Sam!" Dean shouted from the other side of the room, where he was struggling to get loose from the ropes around him. "Fight her off! Don't look into her eyes, for God's sake, what are you… Do something, goddammit!"

Sam flinched at the unexpected bark of orders and his focus temporarily darted towards Dean and they stared at each other for a while, his big brother giving him a warning look and he knew what it meant - do as I say right now, Sam - but he just couldn't.

Dean glared at the other man, understanding that his little brother wasn't going to move at all to obey him, and he growled in anger. Sam wasn't trapped yet or he wouldn't have reacted to his voice, but he would be soon if he didn't do as told!

Sam could only watch with huge, wide eyes, like a deer in headlights, as the Lamia advanced on him. She was utterly gorgeous, disguised as a beautiful woman with fair skin and soft, dark hair swirling down, and he thought she was very attractive. Sam knew her beauty was false, pure trickery - it was how Lamias lurked men to follow them home to feed on their youth - but nevertheless, the daemon was stunning.

Sam licked his lips nervously and silently prayed for any kind of mercy, trying to force oxygen into his aching lungs, but the panic was crushing his chest with an iron fist and he simply couldn't get air; Oh God, I'm going to die, gonna be killed, this is it.

Desperate, the young man fought to make his limbs to move, but they felt like cement of the lingering shock and it seemed impossible to even lift a finger in defense. He felt like a caged animal; his feet glued to the floor, his arms pressed against the cracked wall behind him, mind racing like crazy - why the hell did he just stand there? Why wasn't he fighting it like he had been taught?

But Sam couldn't bring himself to raise a hand against her after what he'd seen when he stared into the face of the Lamia, leaving him paralyzed from head to toe. The glimpse of his dead girlfriend's familiar blue, kind eyes looking back at him. Sam knew it was only an illusion, a mere manipulation to make him weaker, but a part of him didn't want to acknowledge that fact - he wanted it to somehow actually be her.

Oh, how Sam wished it was her.

The deamon reached out a warm hand and touched his face gently, smiling a little as a couple of tears started to fall down Sam's cheeks. He continued staring at her with a look of sheer terror, his chest heaving up and down and he shook his head to make her stop and let him be.

"Sammy! Don't let her touch you!" Dean almost jumped around the room with the chair trying so hard to get free.

He was blatantly ignored by both of them.

"Hush, baby," she whispered soothingly, trailing Sam's tense jaw with a finger, "I'm not going to hurt you. You won't feel a thing, I promise. I will take care of you."

No. No! Sam swallowed painfully, sweat began to run down his back and mouth going dry as he tried to remember what he was supposed to do. He remained motionless, frantically struggling to gather his scattered thoughts through the fearful ringing in his ears and the sound of his pulse beating. The youngest Winchester was certain it would burst any second.

"Keep still now, darling," the Lamia mumbled softly, as if Sam actually could do anything else.

Dean snarled from his seat, watching as that evil bitch leaned over his little brother. "No! Get away from him, you hear?!"

A daemon wasn't anything to mess around with, especially at their age, and Sam was aware of that, so why the hell did his little brother just let it happen? He knew perfectly well you shouldn't let a Lamia touch you - it was mere seconds from drinking the youth right out of him, for Christ sake!

"Hey!" Dean yelled, trying to snap the kid back to reality, because he wasn't even blinking at this point. What the fuck is he doing?

Sam didn't hear him; well, okay, maybe he did, but he dismissed it. The attention was turned to the beautiful woman - no wait, the daemon - in front of him, wanting her to show the eyes of Jess again. But instead, her lips were on his throat, kissing and biting softly, her breath warm against the skin.

The 22-year-old couldn't help but shiver; nearly gasping when the Lamia teasingly nibbled at his neck and he reacted automatically, yearning for her to continue. Giving in to the strong urge, Sam tilted his head to the side to offer better access, his body arching upwards to meet hers. He simply needed a woman's touch upon him again.

The struggle to think rational, along with the wish to get away from the daemon, started to fade away after they shared an eager kiss, leaving him panting loudly. His older brother frowned in worry, becoming nervous when Sam didn't try to push her away rather than tugging her closer.

"Sammy, step away from her," Dean ordered angrily, his voice turning into a dark growl. But Sam didn't even notice, wasn't aware of anything else than his own burning lust pulsating in him - rapidly growing into something uncontrollable, wild and greedy, so much more than he could handle, and when his head started to yell want, want, want, he couldn't turn away. No, impossible.

He'd fallen head first into her trap, but he didn't mind; too caught up in the moment as he pressed his mouth hard against hers again, demanding more - want more, need it, come on, must have more, please - and she parted her lips, welcoming his tongue in to play, and Sam moaned in response.

A mist clouded his head, dulling his mind, but Sam didn't pay it any attention. The odd, but utterly amazing sensations the daemon caused with her body, her perfect hands and fingers running all over him, made him dizzy - it was too sweet, too damn good, never had he felt anything like it before; how was he supposed to deny this?

The Lamia hummed with satisfied joy, feeling the desire rise quickly in the human - they always tasted better with arousal rushing through their veins. She traced her fingers down the young man's spine, smirking when he instantly thrust his hips against her, desperate for friction, for something.

Sam was nearly begging by now, his whole existence revolving around the daemon and her touch, every cell screaming for it. He wanted to cry out in protest when her hands disappeared for a second. The look upon his face, a silent plea, and frustrated tears threatened to spill until she wrapped herself around him again. Soon, a thigh sneaked between Sam's legs, causing him to squirm helplessly, almost sobbing because it wasn't close enough and God-fucking-dammit!

The older Winchester witnessed the whole ordeal with his chin slightly dropped, his head trying to comprehend what was happening. His little brother was practically vibrating now, his breath shallow as the Lamia slid a hand under his shirt. Closing his eyes in pleasure, Sam bit his bottom-lip 'till it almost bled before kissing her hair gratefully. It was just as soft as he imagined.

"What the hell, Sam- stop!" Dean finally exclaimed, twisting furiously. "Abort the mission, you fucking idiot!"

He would never interrupt Sam's sexual encounters normally. Quite the opposite, he would gladly try to make it happen, chat a girl up for him and everything - but this, this was just wrong for multiple reasons.

Dean had never wished to watch Sam get laid right in front of him. Ever. Especially not with a daemon that would eat him for dinner afterwards. This was a freakin' Lamia, the kid knew more than enough to realize how dangerous they were, how easily you got trapped if you let them touch you, but he hadn't even tried to fight it off.

"STOP IT!" Dean's raised voice bounced around the room, "Are you even thinking anymore?!"

Well, no. The brain upstairs wasn't really handling the situation right now. It'd already handed the responsibility for Sam's actions to something further south.

Luckily for the tall man, he wasn't completely gone yet. A tiny fragment of his rationality snapped up his brother's yell and relentlessly hauled Sam out from the mist and he blinked, realizing his mistake and recoiled, disgusted;

This isn't the right girl, he thought as his stomach churned in sudden nausea, it isn't even a real girl. A part of Sam didn't want to care about this little detail, but with a shaky breath, he pushed away the daemon with determination. Across the room, Dean let out a small cheer of honest relief and slumped back in his seat. The Lamia hissed in fury, her serpentine teeth visible as she launched at Sam to bite him before he got away.

He dodged to avoid her - including the sharp teeth - and she crashed into the wall behind him with a satisfying bang, and Sam took the chance to run to the silver knife laying on the floor where he'd dropped it. He turned to glare at her, arm raised, prepared to stab that repulsing bitch straight in the heart as soon as she came close enough.

The daemon watched the large human warily as she jumped up from the floor, her eyes never leaving his as they changed color and there was Jessica again. Sam squared his shoulders, breathing heavily from his nose as he spoke, "Don't you fucking dare, I swear I'll kill you good for that!"

The Lamia quickly stopped, eyes glittering as she held up her hands placatingly, and she started begging, "I'm sorry, but it's just that I need you, need you so bad- that's why I did it."

She took a step forward and Sam - to Dean's chagrin - didn't back away, just stared at her. "I want you, anything, please Sam, I will- I'm gonna explode if you don't."

The mere tone in her mesmerizing, seductive voice was enough to push the tall man to the edge, just an inch from falling right back into the pit.

Seeing that Sam wasn't protesting but looking unsure, she trailed off. The daemon knew she had him right where she wanted. Reaching out, she drew her fingers over his chest and down his stomach, lightly touching the edge of his jeans and Sam shifted his hips almost imperceptibly in return. Dean glowered at his brother, knowing Sam's resistance started to waver again and he gritted his teeth.

"Listen to me, Sam," Dean called urgently. "She's lying, this isn't real, that bitch doesn't want you - she want your youth. Don't believe her, it's not true, okay?"

Sam already knew that; he understood so damn well what the daemon was doing, that she was luring him to her trap again. His body however refused to give up on his need for her, the lust still pounding on and on and on, longing for her warm embrace and he just... desperately wanted her. All over him, everywhere; under him and - oh god - on top of him, and-

The younger man swallowed audibly, his gaze momentarily flying to Dean who looked back with such intense anger and a hint of nervous worry, it scared Sam enough to seriously consider stepping away from the Lamia again.

Sensing this, she sent a withering glare Dean's way, deciding to take action before that stupid guy changed his brother's mind once more. "Please, Sam.."

"Are you going to listen to her, a fucking Lamia, or me, your big brother?"

Honestly, Sam didn't know. He was torn between the two, didn't know what to do at all, fighting huge inner battles because this was just so damn hard.

The daemon scowled, then erased the remaining distance between them with a long step, paying no mind to Dean's loud arguments and orders, and she pressed herself onto Sam. He inhaled sharply, those weird but oh-so-very-pleasurable sensations flooding through every part of him again.

"Holy-" he blurted out when her thigh was between his legs again, now so teasingly near where he wanted it to be. Close enough to make a man crazy.

Big brothers be damned. Sam yet again abandoned his only weapon, throwing it away, to place his hands on her neck as she leaned up for another breath-taking kiss. They became intense, almost raw as seconds passed - greedy for more. Their lips came crashing together over and over again, bruising and unyielding, their hands wandering over each other like it was life or death.
Every inch of Sam was tingling and he felt like crawling out of his skin from the strange pleasure, but he needed it to continue forever, blocking out Dean's voice that never seemed to quiet down for a moment. He was confined to her.

The Lamia herself was actually enjoying it too, this little situation between them. The human was delirious of desire, moaning for her and she was happy to oblige. After all, this was what she did for a living.

Both of them were too busy to notice the sudden silence. Dean's constant yelling had ceased, and while Sam kept that thing occupied, he was shuffling awkwardly in the chair towards the deserted knife. This could take a while.

The Lamia trailed kisses down Sam's face down to his neck again and left a bruising mark, then she simply couldn't take it anymore - the daemon needed his youth, now.

Her sharp teeth shot out and into his flesh, stinging him, but he didn't seem to mind this at all. Maybe he likes it rough, she mused and started to rub herself against Sam to bring more arousal to life, 'cause it was making him taste so amazingly sweet.

Sam was beyond reason at this point; his eyes closed shut, his jaw set, and muscles shaking from exertion. He felt tired as she continued drinking him dry of youth, weaker by the second, but he didn't say anything. Just leaned his head against her shoulder because he... was oddly heavy. So heavy…

The youngest Winchester slid down the wall, his legs unable to support his weight any longer and the Lamia followed him the whole way, her teeth still buried deep in his neck. He almost fell asleep like that, still holding her.

Then without a warning, she was ripped out of his arms and Sam heard her hiss before a strangled scream escaped her and he looked up in surprise. Trying to blink away the blur, a strong hand suddenly grabbed his shirt and Sam was mercilessly dragged behind the older man, stumbling bad and nearly falling down the stairs because he couldn't hold his balance for that long.

What the hell is happening? Sam was confused. He just wanted to lay down and rest, but instead he was pulled around from one spot to another for some reason, the surroundings changing too fast and it made his head spin and he wanted it to stop.

"Come on, Sammy," Dean urged, worry evident in his voice, "we don't have much time, you gotta hurry up."

"I can't, too tired," came the faint reply, deepening Dean's frown. Who knew how much that Lamia managed to drink from his brother?

Hastily, he stepped behind Sam and began to push him forcefully to get them out faster, careful so the kid wouldn't fall on something as they made their way out of the house.

Dean didn't let him go, not even when they were right next to his precious car. Sam winced when he was basically thrown into the passenger seat, but Dean needed to speed this up and didn't have the time to be gentle and considerate right now.

He flung himself behind the wheel and drove them away as fast as he could, keeping a watchful eye on the half-sleeping boy next to him. Honestly, Dean was terrified, his heart wrenching in concern and his blood pressure was probably way too high to be healthy, but the current state of Sam scared the hell out of him.

When they finally arrived at the motel, Dean got out and rounded the car and bent over in order to look at Sam firmly after he'd opened the door, "Dude, put your arm around my shoulders."


"You are gonna need the support." There was a sad sigh, then Sam carefully got guided outside and he obediently placed an arm around the blonde man.

Dean was right. He did need the support, his legs were almost buckling beneath him as they nice and slow walked to their room and he mumbled a quiet apology to his brother. "Dean? 'M real sorry."
"Not now."

Sam's heart sank at the stiff tone of the response; it was obvious that he'd screwed up big time. Dammit.
"Okay, Sam. Let's get you some shut-eye."

Dean didn't loosen his grip around his brother until he could put him down safely on one of the beds and Sam did another attempt to talk to him, but was abruptly cut off.

"Lay down," the older Winchester ordered curtly.
His baby brother didn't fight him on this, didn't really have the strength to, which ironically enough, troubled Dean. There was something really wrong if Sam just let things go without the heart-to-heart conversation first.

Dean knew he wouldn't sleep that night. He had to watch Sam for any signs of sickness, needed to protect him if things suddenly went south, no matter what. Even if he wished to throttle the kid at the moment.

His brother was fast asleep already, looking so young with his unruly hair pointed in every direction and so completely exhausted, a part of Dean's anger melted away at the sight. He had to take care of Sam first, later they would go from there.

The older man took off Sam's shoes, reaching to unbuckle his belt as well when Sam started to stir anxiously. Dean hushed him softly and pulled off his jeans, throwing them to the floor. Careful not to wake his little brother up, he inched up the blanket laying beneath the large man to freedom and draped it over him.

With a loud sigh, Dean flopped down on the sofa, turning the TV on, but left the volume low so his brother could get some peace and quiet. He tried to concentrate on the program, but his thoughts drifted off, replaying the day's events in his head.

Dean rubbed his face with a hand, feeling weary and frustrated. He couldn't understand why Sam hadn't listen to him.

"I guess I will found out tomorrow," he mumbled to himself.

* * *

Sam huffed out a complaint as his shoulder was shaken roughly - he'd just fallen asleep for God's sake and now he was supposed to be up and at 'em? No way. No way in friggin' hell.

Instead, he rolled over on his stomach and burrowed his face into the pillow. He heard a noisy exhale of annoyance behind him, but he couldn't care less. Too early for that. Or late. What time was it even?

"Go away, dude," Sam grunted, his voice muffled.

"Yeah, that's not gonna happen, Sleeping Beauty," Dean responded, grabbing the blanket to rip it off him. "Gotta check up on you. You've been basically unconscious for 11 solid hours already."

The younger man looked up just enough to stare at him skeptically, "You can't be serious."

"Serious as a heart attack, Sammy."

"But.. I'm still tired. Really very tired."

"Oh really," Dean muttered and sat down on the opposite bed. "Can you imagine, getting your youth sucked out of you makes you tired! Who could've thought?"

Sam tensed up for a second, gulped nervously and then took a searching look at his brother. It wasn't a pretty sight. "What about you? Have you slept at all?"

"Dozed off every now and then. Got a couple of hours."

"Maybe you should-"

"No," the blonde interrupted, "let's not make this about me. How are you feeling?"

"Uh, like I said - really tired."

Sam rested his head on his arms, fighting to keep his eyes open as he continued, "Otherwise I'm alright, I think. I can't really feel much more than exhaustion right now."

Dean nodded with unease. How much rest would Sam need? "I'll give you a couple of hours more."

His kid brother looked immensely relieved at this information, as if forcing himself to stay awake at the moment was ridiculously hard work to maintain. After giving the older Winchester a quick thankful smile, Sam laid back and relaxed.

Those couple of hours went awfully fast. Too soon, that familiar voice was dragging him back to awareness. "Just... just a few more minutes..."

"I have given you a 'few more minutes', Sam. Four hours to be exact."

Wait, what?

"You've asked me two times already. Come on, you gotta get up!"

I have? When?

"To be honest, it's creeping me out, man - it can't be good to sleep like this."

Who cares..?

There was sound of movement before Sam sensed the presence of his brother by the bedside, his gaze upon him, hard and unforgiving.

"Sammy? I swear, if you just fell asleep on me..." Dean started.

"Hmmmnn," a soft mumble emerged from the kid to declare that he was in fact still awake.

"Look at me."

Sam strangled a yawn as he peeked up and squinted at the light flooding the room, hurting his eyes. "What time is it?"

"It's 12 o'clock," Dean informed him grimly. "You've been out seen eight. Last night."


"Yeah. Oh. Now get your ass out of bed and take a cold shower. That ought to wake you up properly."

Sam didn't really want to do that, but he figured it wasn't a good idea to voice that opinion. Not now. With great effort, he swung his legs over the edge, stood up and took a couple of unsteady steps forwards, only to have his head spinning and a buzz ringing in his ears.

Certain he was going to faint, Sam closed his eyes and waited for the inevitable impact with the floor, but it never came. Dean had seized him by the arm and was currently holding him up with a worried expression.

"Hey, be careful!" the older Winchester exclaimed, slowly releasing him. "You've been horizontal for quite some time, you know."

"Ah, yeah, didn't think of that," Sam cleared his throat and he rubbed his neck awkwardly, "I'm.. Eh- I'm gonna go take that shower now."

He felt Dean watching him as he moved towards the bathroom, obviously ready to catch him again if needed and Sam suppressed a sigh, knowing his big brother was just being observant. He stepped inside and locked the door, staring at his reflection for a while.

Dean would probably stand right outside and listen for any signs of him falling in there. Sam couldn't blame him, he would be doing the same thing if it was the other way around.

None of them had ever been in this situation before, therefore they couldn't say what the consequences of it might be. No, he had to be watched out for right now, who knew if he all of a sudden was going to drop to the ground, a heartbeat from death?

The youngest brother finally let out that rib-cracking sigh, grimacing at the mirror. At least he still looked his age. Maybe the Lamia didn't get so much of his youth after all.

Yeah. You can always hope.

Sam's body still felt a little odd, that weird heavy sensation hanging over him like an invisible weight. It wasn't necessarily a problem, but it did irritate him somewhat. The dark-haired man decided it would probably vanish with time as he stripped off his clothes and got into the shower.

The cold water hit his skin without mercy and he tried to ignore the urge to back away with a squeal, gritting his teeth in determination to hold his ground even though it was near torture.

Now, what is this? Trying to compensate for the complete lack of control you had over yourself yesterday?, a thought taunted, white-hot anger surfacing within him.

Yesterday. How could he be so reckless? Sure, that Lamia had tricked him- right, she tricked him. He was an idiot, waltzing into her trap, swallowed it hook, line and sinker - knowing Lamias like to mess with you.

Sam wanted to bang his head into the tiles for being such a fool, but Dean would probably hear it and he didn't want that to happen. Instead he stepped out of the shower, wrapping himself in a towel. Dean was right, the cold water had sobered him up a bit, but he was still fairly tired.

Not until the kid was dressed and settled down in front of the TV in all safety did Dean dare to go and pick up some lunch for them, and he gave a last order for Sam to stay seated over his shoulder before closing the door.

With Dean out, Sam's thoughts attacked him raw with teeth and claws; ridiculing him for his big mistakes the previous day, telling him how fucking weak he was - couldn't stop that goddamn Lamia from getting inside his head. Pathetic.

"And you call yourself a hunter, huh?" he mumbled.

By the time his brother was back with a bag of food, Sam had cut himself down several times in his mind, beating himself up over and over again without a hint of forgiveness. He didn't believe he deserved better anyway.

The Winchesters ate quietly, both of them lost in thought. Every once in a while, they would sneak a glance at the other, wondering which of them would break the silence first. Sam didn't doubt for a second that Dean surely had an opinion or two about the little show the previous day.

In the end, it was Dean who cleared his throat and spoke up, "How are you doing?"

"Just fine."

"Uh-huh," Dean nodded, "I can see that."

"Yeah, yeah," Sam said sullenly, playing around with the food in front of him.

Dean sighed and leaned back in his chair. "We gotta talk about yesterday."

Here we go.

"Care to tell why you didn't listen to me?"

"Look, it doesn't matter, okay? Spare the lecture, I'm already aware I screwed up," after a tiny pause, he added; "It's not such a big deal anyway - I'm obviously alive. It can't be that bad. Why are we wasting time on this? We should be out killing that thing right now."

"Not a big deal?! You didn't just screw up, Sam, you unnecessarily risked your life back there - twice," Dean retorted, his voice raising. "She actually got a piece of your youth!"

"I know," the younger brother muttered, his eyes downcast.

"So yeah, it does matter. I want to know why the hell you didn't listen."

Sam desperately grasped for a reasonable excuse, "I was under her spe-"

"Don't lie to me," Dean was definitely irritated now. "I was there, you know. You reacted to me, you even looked at me, but still you chose to ignore me and dismiss orders."

Sam didn't want to admit what happened - his damaged pride refused confessions and sensible explanations to spill. He'd been messed with and bewitched, not strong enough to keep that daemon from playing games with his mind, and it was a severe blow to take for the tall man. Too severe.

Nor did he want to address the mistakes he'd done aloud, convinced it would be too much for him to deal with if he let the words free. It was one thing to carry them around in his thoughts to torment him to insanity, but talking about it?

Dean had been there, like he said, he saw everything; why did they have to talk about it? Sure, he obviously never saw the whole eye-thing and Sam wished to keep him none the wiser about it - couldn't admit to fall for such a simple trick because honestly, it was too damn humiliating. He was raised a hunter and knew better.

He unquestionably wasn't up for discussing the naked, plain truth with an enraged family member at the moment - or ever for that part - nope, the only thing he wanted was to murder a certain Lamia for fucking up his head and crushing whatever dignity he had into little pieces.

Stubbornly clamping his mouth shut, Sam folded his arms and then glared demonstratively at the wall. Dean shot up from his seat and reached over to grab the kid by the shirt in order to get his undivided attention, jaw working in anger.

"You better start explaining, little brother," Dean's eyes burned of intensity and warnings. "Why. did. you. dismiss. my. orders?"

But Sam failed to answer, didn't even acknowledge him with a look while he shrugged. Dean's nostrils flared of annoyance as he made way around the table, hauled Sam into a standing position and whirled him sideways, landing three firm swats on his backside in a flurry.

"Hey!" Sam protested loudly, jumping back to avoid the harsh hand - very indignant over what just occurred. "You can't do that!"

"Oh, I can't? Watch me!" the older Winchester growled and lunged forward to grab his arm and planted another smack with a mean sting.

A small gasp escaped Sam's lips and he cursed furiously, twisting to get away from the other man, a deep blush on his cheeks. This was just ridiculous, even by his brother's standards. He wasn't twelve anymore.

"Stop it!"

The Winchesters were practically dancing around the kitchen area - one trying to evade getting walloped and the other trying to hit a moving target with grim dedication. Shouting at each other, both of them let their point of view be heard;

"You have no right to beat me!"

"The hell I don't - you disobeyed orders! TWICE!"

"Fuck off, Dean! You're not Dad."

The corner of Dean's mouth twitched of rage and he put more effort in his aiming, scoring a couple of satisfying, painful slaps which drew another outcry from his brother.

"You let that Lamia get close to you, even touch you," he continued intently, unyielding. "You did everything you're not supposed to do in that situation."

"So what? It isn't that bad, goddammit!" And I'm gonna clean up this whole mess, Sam's thoughts screamed, but never did the words fall from his lips, I'll fix my mistakes!

"Stop being so fucking careless about this!" Dean yelled and did a failed attempt to smack the boy again. "I'm not saying you should've ganked her by your own, but the least you should do is to defend yourself!"

"Whatever, man," was the defiant reply.

"You made every mistake in the book; it's not just 'whatever' and it still matters!"

When Sam felt his brother's hand connect with his ass yet another time, he reinforced his struggles to break free. "Ow! Can you quit that?"

"Why should I?!"

"I have a goddamn reason," Sam snapped.

"Then go ahead and tell me!"

The taller man glowered at the other. "Let me go first."

Dean shook his head, his grip still as tight as ever as he looked expectantly at Sam, who could only slouch in resignation.

"Fine. She messed with my head, okay? I let her get to me, trick me and I fucked up," he sputtered the confession between gritted teeth.

"Hell yeah you did," Dean readily agreed as a disapproving frown crept up on his face. "You basically allowed her to trap you, and boy if she had you right where she wanted."

Sam just glared, his body taut; almost shivering of all the emotions flooding him from every direction possible like a black, freezing cold sea around him, drowning him and he couldn't reach the surface for air, something pulling him down - stuck beneath the ruthless waves of his own anger, disappointment and wounded pride, and it hurt, ached so bad.

It was tearing the poor boy up. He was completely lost, disoriented by the darkness surrounding him and he couldn't find his way out of this and fuck, fuck, fuck!

Sam was so upset with himself and truthfully ashamed of how he'd handled the situation, how he'd got played like a gullible fool and he had to make it right somehow - prove to himself, to Dean and the whole goddamn universe that he was strong enough to stand against a stupid daemon. He was capable of resisting her, of controlling himself and be stoic - he just was!

The youngest Winchester did understand perfectly well why Dean was mad at him - that made it two of them - but it still stung like a bitch and the disapproval jabbed cruelly at his heart.

"Now we gotta take care of this problem," Dean's voice brought him back to reality, obviously irritated, "I'm going to call around and see if someone knows anything about the possibility to get youth back from a Lamia. Don't want you to die because of this."

With a final, hard swat he released Sam and sat back in the chair, fishing his phone out from his pocket and clicked up the contact list with a sigh. Sam only stood there motionless for a while, feeling a bit embarrassed after this whole scenario.

A part of him was left in shock that his brother had actually spanked him, freaking smacked him like a disobedient child. Well, it hadn't been a real ass-kicking, didn't even hurt that much - but still, it was unbelievable. Dignity was obviously a lost memory around here.

There was a scoff from the table. "You stuck or something?"

Sam offered his brother a murderous look, "Dean, shouldn't we be hunting down the daemon instead of-"

"Of course not, not until we know a way to snatch your youth back."

The dark-haired man's mouth opened and closed multiple times with an objection on his tongue, before he simply gave up and walked up to a bed and dropped onto it - falling back to lay down as he listened to Dean ringing hunter after hunter up to ask for advise.

* * *

"No, it's alright. Thanks anyway, Chris," the blonde said tiredly and hung up. That was the seventh call without progress and it was getting on his nerves. He'd call one hunter and get referred to another, none of which had answers. Dean had a whole list of numbers by now.

He glanced over at Sam and wondered what they were going to do if there was no way to get all his youth back. Hell, they didn't even know how this would affect him.

Meanwhile, Sam pondered over how he should proceed from this - contemplating going back Lamia's nest and try to kill her himself. That would be the ultimate proof of his mental strength and he could regain his dignity, the best recovery from all these mistakes. A daemon like that is practically useless without its' powers and mind games, so if Sam could stand against her, he could gank her.

Although, it was a potential suicide mission - if he fell into her trap again, he'd be a dead man without Dean there to save his ass. Sam snorted at this thought, of course he wouldn't get trapped again. He was just got caught off guard yesterday and besides, now he knew her little tricks. It wouldn't work again.

Dean didn't want to help out; okay. But that bitch was as good as dead. Sam was alright, the whole losing-youth-thing didn't have that much effect on him apparently and he couldn't see the point of dragging this out. What if the Lamia ran away?

"Maybe I should go and check if there's any clues at the library," Sam said when he'd heard Dean grumble for minutes straight.


"No? You can't just say no!"

"I just did, you're not going anywhere," Dean responded.

"Look, I'm being reasonable here. I want to be useful, not just sit around," the tone in his voice was next to a whine, "I may find something that can help us."

"I gotta watch out for you, Sam."

"I'm absolutely fine," he insisted with an affirming nod. "I don't need a babysitter, I'm only going to the library for God's sake. Not like I'm heading out for a long run or anything."

Dean scrutinized him carefully in silence before reluctantly accepting the offer. "Okay then, but only for a couple of hours. You'll answer immediately if I call and-"

"Oh come on," Sam exclaimed, cutting him off, "I'm twenty-two, dude. There's no need to go through the safety rules. I think I know them already."

"You didn't yesterday," Dean remarked heartlessly, his little brother giving him a wounded look under his bangs, but he bluntly ignored it and threw the keys to the Impala towards Sam. "Get going."

Sam didn't wait to abide, still fairly upset by the snide comment, and got up to retrieve his shoes. He was out of the motel room within seconds, the fresh air calming him down a bit. After taking a silver knife out of the trunk and putting it in his pocket - just in case - he climbed into the driver seat.

Dean stared at his phone, reflective. He was surprised over lashing out on Sam like that, even swatting him some. It wasn't what he'd planned at all, but the nonchalant attitude his brother gave him - like it didn't matter - on top of the events yesterday made him see red and he had acted on impulse; automatically doing what he would've done before Sam ran away to college.

After thinking it over, Dean decided the kid brought it upon himself. He definitely deserved it, no matter how old he was - just imagine how furious their father would've been if he'd been around to witness the ordeal.

Thank God he hadn't.

Then Dean dialed the unknown number he'd received from an acquaintance, claiming that this person would probably have the information he requested, but he didn't get his hopes up yet.

"Nah, I'm sorry, I have no idea," said the man he was currently talking with, "but I have a guy that may know though - I'll get back to you with his number 'cause I don't have it right now."

"Thank you, man, I appreciate it."

How many people do I have to call?, he wondered gruffly. Although Dean was aware that he would easily contact every hunter on this planet if he had to. There was nothing he wouldn't do to protect Sam - he'd sacrifice his life in a heartbeat for that boy.

Dean picked at his fingernails while he waited. He didn't want to hold up the line by phoning other people in case that man rang him up.

God, this was nerve wracking. He felt restless just sitting there, but there wasn't anything else to do right now. Clean the weapons maybe?

Oh right. Sam took the whole arsenal with him to the library - fucking great. Dean only had one lonely gun left in the room. Perhaps he should research on the laptop meanwhile. Yeah. That sounded like a good idea.

* * *

Sam picked another book, seemingly old and dusty, from the shelves in the quiet library. It was quite relaxing, his anger cooling off ever so slightly as he read line after line about Lamias.

But he wasn't searching for a solution to get back his youth however. No, what he was looking for was their greatest weakness, they should have some kind of Achille's heel - most supernatural beings did - so he could take this bitch out quickly. By himself.

An excerpt of the text in front of him made the young man draw his eyebrows together in wonderment; "A number of tales originated in ancient Greek mythology claims a demigod, who walked amongst humans on Earth, told the most efficient way to kill a Lamia. He came forth saying rosemary, salt and fire is lethal to a daemon of this kind. The majority of these stories tell us that mortals often used this method to defend themselves against the feared creatures."

He'd never heard about that before. His family always used silver knives, blessed by a priest, to gank these things. It was the most common way as far as he knew, although it could be hard to get close enough to stab them without getting touched, hence the unwritten rule why you never should hunt a Lamia solo. And why Sam was looking for another way.
Hesitant, he asked himself if it was a wise choice to try out this alternative - what if it didn't work? Deciding to learn more about the theory, Sam went to an available computer and started to research - enjoying every minute of it.

There wasn't much information about it on the internet, the theory not being that widely known, but Sam read every tale, report and hypotheses he came across and he felt more and more confident about this. But he had to be completely sure before he jumped into the gunfire.

The youngest Winchester was so engrossed in his task that the ringtone of his cell made him jump and he resisted rolling his eyes when Dean's name was presented on the screen.

"What?" he answered.

"Oh, there's no need to be so polite, Sammy," Dean said, sarcasm dripping in his voice. "You found anything?"

"No." Technically, it wasn't a lie. He didn't have anything on the freakin' miracle Dean was looking for - not that he'd tried to figure something out either.

"Alright. Come back to the motel soon."

Sam didn't appreciate the short, demanding tone in his brother's voice, but at least he wasn't put through the silent treatment, which Dean was admirably good at, by the way.

He merely muttered something that sounded like an okay and ended the conversation. It felt as if somebody had thrown him back to his teenage years for fun, his father and brother constantly bossing him around like a pair of drill sergeants.

Sam examined the computer for a moment, a website begging him to read it. "... A couple of minutes more won't hurt..."

Dean rubbed his eyes wearily. He was just about to phone some guy who had 'the most knowledge about the supernatural out there' as Eric - surely that was his name? - put it. Apparently this man was somewhat of a weirdo though, and Dean was told to have patience, keep calm and let him talk, even if it makes no sense.

The older brother scratched his head and leaned back. Eric said that the man was a hunter once, but now he considered himself retired and nobody really tried to contact him anymore, because he usually declined to help.

'Besides, guy's really old, like Stone Age-old, I don't think he would be much use in a hunt anymore,' the other hunter claimed.

Dean listened to the signals go forth, hoping the man would pick up. He had almost given up when an 'hello?' finally came from the other side of the line.

"Hello, sir. My name is Dean Winchester. A fellow hunter told me to contact you for help."

"Dean Winchester, I've been expecting you! Jack Andrews to your service," very cheerful man, this. "It's my outmost pleasure to hear from you, my friend."

Dean quirked his eyebrows, but didn't comment, "Yeah, I'm, uh... I'm sure it is. Anyway, I got a question for you."

"Ah, yes - you want to know if your brother can take back the youth so wrongly stolen from him, correct? Yes, yes, this is possible."

"It is? How?" The blonde sat straighter, his eyes wide in interest.

"It's very doable," Jack mumbled.

"Care to elaborate?" There was a long pause. "Sir? Are you still there..?"

"Son, where's your brother at? Do you know what he's really doing?"

"Wait, what?" Dean inquired, confused. "He's at the library, researching. Why do you ask?"

"Oh, nothing, just curious."

"Yeah, okay," the younger man swallowed, getting a little nervous; a mantra in his head trying to remind him about the mental state of Jack. "So, um.. back to the questi-"

Mr. Andrews cut him short by humming an unfamiliar melody, his raspy and dark voice rumbling low. Dean found it bizarrely soothing and.. and comforting; the soft tones felt precisely like his mother's loving touch used to. Gentle, warm and smooth.

A part of him was freaked out by this, but he didn't say anything - simply sat there, listening closely, until Jack suddenly stopped. Dean couldn't stop the twinge of dismay, but chose to disregard it. It was only appropriate.

"Excuse me. You see, I've got this song in my head and I can't get it out - it's been there for years. It reminded me of you, so I knew you would come around sooner or later," Jack explained and then chuckled, "I've been awaiting you for such an exceptionally long time now."

What the hell did that nut job babble about? They've never met, not once. How could a song remind you of a complete stranger?

"... Mr. Andrews," he managed to stay polite, "I only need to know how to get back my brother's youth."

"Naturally. Sam's life is indeed important, just like yours."
The retired hunter started to hum again, now another melody that didn't seem to effect Dean in any way at all. He then added, "For a completely different purpose."

Dean visibly deflated. He didn't want to listen to what sounded like an inspirational quote taken from Dr. Phil, merely wanted to know how to save Sam - was that too much to request?

"Look, I'm not calling to boost my self-esteem," he snapped. "I don't know how much the Lamia stole from Sam and I want to fix this situation as soon as I can."

"Oh, I understand," the other man sounded really serious now. "You're in a hurry. Okay, dear. I'll tell you."

Dean almost laughed at being called dear by some strange, elderly hunter, but fought the urge away, instead opted for a slow exhale of relief. "Thank you, sir."

"But you have to come to my house first."

"What?" Dean exclaimed with a growing sense of dejection. "Why?"

"Because I have the supplies you need for a spell of this proportion, or maybe you have the pulverized ribs of a daemon already?" Jack replied calmly. "And the only copy left of the sacred Book of Spells coming from Greece, you have that too, I assume."

Dean grimaced at the sour remark. "Uh- not really," he admitted. "I see your point. Where do you live?"

After they'd hung up, Dean suddenly realized that Jack had mentioned Sam's name before him. Creepy bastard.

When Sam eventually arrived back to the motel, Dean filled him in on the details about the conversation and what the weird hunter was offering.

"So this guy just invited you over?" Sam asked in disbelief. "Isn't that a bit.. odd?"

"Probably. Don't know, don't care either. He may be the solution to our problem and that's good enough for me right now."

Sam still wore an uncertain expression on his face, "Are you sure?"

"Yep. Come on, we gotta leave if we're planning to get to Louisiana any time soon," Dean gestured towards the door. It was at minimum a seven hour drive to Jack's place and he desired to be there as fast as he could. But he couldn't say he was looking forward to drive all night though.

Sam stared at him - this was possibly too good to be true. He'd been wondering how he was supposed to sneak out and deal with the Lamia, if he would be forced to tip-toe out in the middle of the night or something. But if Dean was in Louisiana...

The little brother took a deep breath to prepare himself for the coming argument. "I want to stay here."

"Are you kidding me?"

"No. Just hear me out for a sec! I'm tired, okay? I want to rest, that's it," Sam lied without batting an eye, but a sense of guilt twisted around in his stomach.

Dean studied him with suspicion and Sam had to keep himself from fidgeting, that if anything would give him away pretty immediately. "You can't make me go with you, Dean."

He raised an eyebrow dangerously. "Is that a challenge?"

"Of course not. I'm- eh.. Please?" Sam sent him a pitiful puppy-eyed look, full force.

Dean honestly tried to resist that damned look, he really did. They had a huge debate about the matter, endless arguments flying over the room back and forth, his little brother still looking like a kicked dog during the whole time - in the end, he couldn't take it anymore.

The elder Winchester finally threw in the towel and nodded. "Alright, fine, but you're staying inside to rest, except when you need to pick up some food."

Sam would've agreed to anything at this point, just to have his brother out of the way from his plans. When Dean finally backed the car out from the parking lot, he did lay down for a short nap, his energy spent.

Hours later, while Sam was still having a 'quick' nap, music blasted in the Impala and Dean sang along loudly, drumming his hands on the wheel to the beat. He wanted to keep his mind busy, but an unsettling hunch suggested it been a mistake to leave Sam behind. It was bothering.

It was solely Jack's fault too, his question being a constant echo in Dean's head and it was making him slightly concerned. What was Sam doing that he supposedly should know about? Dean chewed on his bottom lip thoughtfully as he stared at the road flickering by in front of him. He better not be up to something stupid.

It would be another hour or so before he'd reach the small town. Stopping by a petrol station for some gas for his motor driven baby, Dean breathed in the night air and supported himself against the car. This whole experience wore him down - he hadn't relaxed properly since his brother got in trouble and his body ached for sleep.

Well, I will be there around 4 a.m, I got some time, the blonde hunter reasoned, I'll just check into a motel and get some Z's before paying ole' Jack a visit. Sounded like a plan, because it wasn't in him to stroll into an elderly - and probably very tired - man's home at the crack of dawn if it wasn't an immediate emergency.

When Dean finally stumbled inside of a scabby motel room, he curled up on the bed without undressing, too exhausted to. It had been such a long drive.

* * *

Dean Winchester was woken up by a ray of sunlight resting directly on his face through the half-closed blinds, and groaned miserably. Life sucked, big time. Who even came up with the idea of living?

He sat up and reached to grab the clock from the nightstand and check the time. 09:14. Roughly four hours sleep then - should be enough. He needed to get this show on the road pronto, time was not for wasting right now.

After a refreshing shower, Dean called Sam to make sure everything was alright with him, but the conversation had been everything but nice. His baby brother was being a whiny little brat as usual, complaining about Dean being controlling and overprotective and yada yada yada.

"Well, excuse me for wanting to see if you were okay," without bidding goodbye, he snapped the phone shut and pinched the bridge of his nose in annoyance.

Why was it that everything Dean did was deemed wrong for somebody? If he was doing his job, taking care of Sam like he'd been taught, then he got bitched at and accused of being possessive. If he did the other way around and let the younger brother run more freely, his father would be breathing down his neck in no time.

Perhaps they should try that one out - it might draw their missing dad out of the shadows and present himself at last. Dean snorted at the idea and pushed down the hurt rapidly swelling in his chest, didn't want to handle it or even acknowledge its' existence.

The blonde hunter felt abandoned by the man he'd admired all his life and followed like a faithful, loyal dog. He recognized there had to be some kind of reason for the father to disappear, but damn if it still didn't pain him to wander around in the dark like this.

No orders, no directions, no nothing; just a lost twenty-six-year-old trying to do the right thing and take care of his responsibilities. Always watch out for Sam, hunt things down and save people.

All while trying to figure out where his dad was and what he expected of Dean, because his first-born honestly had no idea. Fucking clueless on what to do.

But at least he had Sam with him; finally had Sammy back. And there was no way he was going to let that kid slip between his fingers again - nope, too painful. The wound Sam had ripped open by leaving them for a normal life in college was still raw and infected.

Nowadays, it was easier to deal with. Either it was because his brother was home again - fixing the damage he caused on Dean's soul by his mere presence - or he was getting used to the feeling. He hoped for the first alternative.

The engine purred as Dean made his way through the small town. It was quite a cute little place, he concluded and stopped for a lady in order to let her cross the street. She waved gratefully with a nice, big grin on her lips and dutifully ran over to the other side, not wanting to hold Dean up more than necessary.

The young man's frustration started to grew when he realized he couldn't find that nine-kinds-of-crazy-guy's place and he didn't pick up his phone either. Yet again, Dean turned the car around and drove back into the village, trying to find someone to ask.

"Aha! That will do," he exclaimed, spotting a convenience store.

The store was empty, nothing but noisy water pipes keeping Dean company before he saw a female emerge from a door and hurry up to the counter to sit down, probably thinking he was a customer.

"Hi," he smiled, liking what he saw. "I need some directions for a friend's house, you think you can help a hopeless guy out?"

"Sure thing, darling," the cashier put a stray piece of brown hair behind her ear and leaned forward, "I know this town by heart - born and raised here for all my 21 years living."

Yup. Dean enjoyed this. "Thank you very much.." he glanced down to read her name sign, "..Katherine, I appreciate it."

"Oh, please, call me Kat - only my grandmother says Katherine," she urged, then laughed, "And my mom when I'm in trouble, then I'm always Katherine Emily."

"You're often in trouble?" Dean half-smirked as his eyes twinkled mischievously.

Kat lifted an eyebrow pointedly, "Well, I'm not God's best child, if that's what's you're aiming for."

They went silent for a while, the mood playful as their gazes crashed into each other. She was very, very attractive - most gorgeous hazel-green eyes he'd seen. No doubt, this was exactly what Dean needed.

Suddenly, their flirting was interrupted by a cough behind him. "Pardon me, I don't want to interfere with the sexual tension here, but I need to purchase my lunch and get my solitary, lonesome ass back to school."

Dean looked back to see a guy about his brother's age grinning widely at them. Pale, lanky with a strand of freckles decorating his face, and a bit on the nerdy side, but he seemed to sparkle of personality and joy.

This kid didn't make any lick of sense to the blonde Winchester - he was so full of life, so innocent and unspoiled by the lack of mercy in the world. Didn't take up much space physically, but his spirit was all over this place, practically bouncing off the walls, which had Dean staring at him stupidly, taken aback by the other man and his happy, kind eyes.

"Oh! Hello, George!" Kat chirped and gestured towards Dean, "I was just talking to.. Uh, what's your name?"

"Eh- Dean, my name's Dean."

George's hand came flying to shake his in great enthusiasm, "Nice to meet you, dude - I'm George Decker! You're new here?"

"No, no, I'm only here to visit a friend, which brings us back on why I came here from the beginning," his focus darted between the two, not knowing who he should be looking at. "Do you know a certain Jack Andrews and where I can find him?"

Kat instantly wrinkled her nose in disgust. "Are you friends with that creep?"

"Well, not really friends. I've spoken to him once on the phone and he got some things I need."

"I don't think you should go there without someone joining you. You might get brutally murdered otherwise. I mean, he says the weirdest things..."

George knitted his eyebrows together, "Kat, don't be like that. He's a lonely, eldery man and he could do good with someone stopping by!"

"What about his special interest in weapons? Mrs. Lockheart told me about it, you know."

"Sheriff Phillips would probably have withdrawn Mr. Andrews' weapon collection if there was any signs of misuse," the kid retorted, still very mild in his approach.

Dean suppressed a chuckle thinking about his own arsenal in the trunk, but remained quiet and listened to the two discuss his personal safety. It felt quite nice actually.

"I guess you're right," George sighed after considering a particular strong argument about Jack's insanity doled out by the now smug girl and he faced Dean again. "I should go with you, just in case. Have your back if something happens."

The blonde man nearly burst out laughing, ignoring the urge to hug the kid for being so precious and innocent in his reasoning. George still watched him with determination, as if it wasn't even up for debate, and Dean didn't think it was possible but it melted his heart to see it.

Probably because it reminded him of a certain little brother of his when Sam was just a child and still believed in a better world, thought it could be fixed somehow - it was the same innocent determination that made his baby bro want to set everything right. Still did sometimes.

Dean's heart started to ache a little at the memories flashing through his mind and he decided to move this on. "Look, I'm thankful and all, but I think I'll be alright, you guys."

"You sure, man? I promise there's no trouble at all," George said, Kat nodding along to his words in the background.

The corners of Dean's mouth twitched upwards, but he didn't want to offend them, so he simply asked for the directions again.

"Oh, do you have a map on you?"

When they had pointed out the way for him, Kat shot him a warning glance. "If you haven't swung in here by tomorrow and proved your survival, we will look for you. The old dude is really physco killer material."

"Amen to that," George chimed in, the ghost of a laugh resting upon his face. "Seriously though, I'm with Kat on this one."

Dean looked from one to the other of the young pair and with a shrug, he agreed to the deal. Surely Jack and I will be done by tomorrow?

"Watch out when you drive there, he lives all by himself really deep into the woods-"

"Muuurdereeeerr," Katherine put the word in sing-song and Dean actually cracked up, the sound next to unfamiliar to his own ears.

"-and," George continued, "there will be no help to find if you get stuck or something."

The hunter thanked them for the help and concern and left with a small shake of his head. What kind of people was that?

* * *

George was right. Jack lived very far into the forest. Asphalt streets and civilization had come to a sudden halt a couple of miles ago, instead there was now a rocky dirt road and trees, trees and oh, more fucking trees. Dean briefly worried about the long branches scratching the black paint of his car and drove a little slower to prevent any major damage.

The kids back at the store had told him to just follow the road until he could turn left at the sign saying 'Private Area', then simply drive. After a while, Dean would reach Mr. Andrews' property. Apparently it was a gate and fence to get behind first, but that wouldn't be too much trouble.

But that notion changed pretty fast when Dean got closer to said gate. It was huge, quite spectacular and grand, to say the least. He stepped outside the Impala, his neck crooked as he estimated the height. Must be at least 5 yards.

Well, he wouldn't be jumping that thing; that's for sure.

Dean tried the intercom, he tried the phone, but the retired hunter didn't respond to either and it was really starting to get on his nerves. He pursed his lips before eyeing the chain-link fence thoughtfully. I can probably climb over that.

Before he did any climbing at all though, Dean loaded up with a gun and a knife - this could easily turn bad and the older brother wouldn't do Sam any favors being six feet under.

He stuck his fingers and shoes between the wires, wrinkling his nose at the sticky material covering the fence - later found out it was a form of ointment for protection against the supernatural - and pushed himself upwards with a low grunt.

It didn't take the well-trained, strong man much time to heave himself over and land in the grass on the other side, and he wiped off his hands on his jeans with a satisfied expression, then turned and scurried up to the entrance of the impressive house. This guy had obviously spent quite a lot of money on this property. If it was his earnings or not was to be left unsaid.

With the gun securely in his hand, Dean pressed a finger against the doorbell and listened closely for any signs of life in there, but there was nothing but silence. He tensed up, instinctively suspicious. The door was locked, but it wasn't anything Dean couldn't pick open.

Knowing it wasn't the greatest idea to creep up on a hunter, retired or not, he carefully walked inside and looked around, ready for fight. At first it seemed to be like any other hall, but Dean's trained eyes quickly noticed sigils and items for various purposes and sighed sadly.

Once a hunter, always a hunter.

The middle Winchester perked his ears up as he continued further into the house. It would be typical if the old man had decided to kiss the world farewell and follow the Reaper to party with the Devil for eternity, before he even got the chance to tell Dean what to do.

Hysterically typical.

But all of a sudden, while he roamed about in the enormous living room, Dean was almost jerked off his feet as he propelled backwards with a surprised gasp; a freakin' arrow pinning his shirts - thus also him - to the wall. Another swoosch pierced through the air and this one he felt brush against skin, hissing at the slight pain.

Dean was totally immobile at this point, his heels barely touching the floor and his eyes searched in alarm after the Archer to potentially put a bullet in him, but couldn't find anybody.

"Hey! Don't do that!" he cried out as yet another arrow drilled through his clothes, dangerously close to wounding him. "Come on, I'm pretty harmless right now."

A voice startled him slightly, thundering in the otherwise quiet room, "Drop your gun!"

It sounded vaguely similar to the same man he'd spoken to yesterday, but it was hard to tell because of the harsh tone. "Sir? It's D-"

"Drop the gun, boy," the stranger repeated, "You don't want me to say it again."

Dean mutely agreed - he didn't. And so he did as told. An elderly man instantly emerged from the shadows behind a door to remove the weapon and then he straightened up, regarding the blonde coldly. "What do you want?"

"I want to speak with Jack."

"Better start talking then, 'cause he's standing right in front of you."

"You're Jack?" Dean completely deadpanned. This wasn't the fragile, decrepit guy he'd imagined. At all. No, this was the opposite to that.

This man was a giant war-machine for fuck's sake! Taller than Sam by at least two inches, broad-shouldered with quite impressive muscles for his age, and he was glaring with the most dangerous, intimidating ice-blue eyes Dean ever seen.

And it scared the crap outta him.

"Damn straight I am." Mr. Andrews raked a callused hand through his brilliant, white hair before crossing his arms and waited for the boy to continue.

The young hunter was at loss for words, dumbfounded by the unexpected authority. When Jack took a step closer to him, Dean caught himself pressing closer to the wall automatically, his heart skipping a beat in fear. "Didn't you have something to say?"

"Yes, Sir- eh, my.. my brother- solution to- I mean.." Dean couldn't believe he was actually stuttering like this and he wasn't even making any sense. ".. I, uh.."

With a quirked eyebrow from Jack's side, Dean let his voice trail off. "Son, I'm not gonna shoot yah. Well, not if you got a good reason I shouldn't that is - get to the damn point."

"I'm Dean Winchester," the kid announced after gulping nervously. "Y-you said you could help me?"

To his astonishment, Jack's grim expression fell immediately and he broke into a bright smile, the wrinkles around his suddenly gentle eyes increasing. "I was just thinking about you!"

He grabbed one of the arrows, pulling it out as he spoke, "I didn't know you'd already arrived. You shouldn't have snuck into my home like that, boy - could get you killed, you know."

"I tried to contact you, but you wouldn't answer my calls," Dean interjected, but quickly added a respectful, "..sir!"

It was woven into his every fiber to respect authorities. Which usually included his father almost exclusively, only a few others, but Jack was totally in the same league. The two simply demanded obedience with their mere existence. Although this guy seemed a little more cheerful than his dad.

"I'm very sorry, but I didn't hear. I was in the basement and well, it's actually sound-proof. Nobody alerted me either, oddly enough."

Dean gave him a strange look - they were completely alone in the house, who was supposed to tell him? As he was freed from the wall, he stood at attention without a second thought, and Jack nodded with an amused, little smirk; "At ease, soldier. So, where's the young man in question?"

"Are you referring to my brother?"

"I am."

"He's still in Alabama, resting up," Dean answered uneasily and when Jack drew his eyebrows together, he swallowed. "Is there a problem?"

The elder man shrugged after a moment of silence. "No. I don't think so, at least."

He didn't really believe him, but let it go - Jack didn't seem to be the type you'd like to force something out of.

"Uh.. Sir? Can I have my gun back?" Dean asked carefully.

"What, doesn't the knife suffice?" Mr. Andrews gestured at his pocket, but still handed the gun over, "Don't try to shoot me though. You won't be quick enough."

"How.. how did you know about the knife?"

"I know a lot of things I'm not supposed to."

Jack beckoned for Dean to follow him and they walked through the house. "Sorry about ruining your clothes, but every now and then uninvited guests drops by and they always out to steal something. People, supernatural things, whatever it may be - greedy like hell."

"What do they want from you?"

"Except everything? Anything else. I've got quite valuable possessions, you see. Including myself."

They climbed down the stairs to the basement and Dean's mouth fell open - it was filled with books, drawings, jars and- oh look, it's a Devil's trap painted on the ceiling, he mused. There was freaky stuff everywhere. You name it; coins, hex-bags, amulets, bones, herbs, and so much else.

Despite of the general creepiness of the place, it was quite cool. Fascinating, as Sam would put it. Although Dean wasn't convinced that he'd like to know what was in the freezer standing in the corner. Sure as hell not ice cream and frozen pizza.

Dean stared at a deserted piece of paper on the floor before picking it up, pulling a face at the detailed sketch of some sort of distorted creature he'd never seen before. "What is this?"

"Huh? Oh, just a demon I've met once," Jack informed him. "A damn ugly one, too. They all are beneath their chosen cover."

"You've seen a demon without a meat suit?"

"Indeed I have - multiple times. It's always an unpleasant experience."

The blonde blinked perplexed. Dude was crazy, you couldn't see demons in their true form! He wisely shut his mouth though. It wasn't worth it.

At Jack's order to come and sit next to him at the large desk, Dean hurried over and a big book was opened in front of him. "Here's the Greek Book of Spells I was talking about."

Dean's eyes moved from the presented words to Jack, back to the book and then to Jack again. "It's- uh. It's in Greek."

Andrews chuckled. "What did you expect? An English translation? This is the only existing example left, kid."

"But I don't speak Greek."

"I'm aware, that's why I started to translate the part you're interested in the moment we hang up. I'm not completely finished yet, but it doesn't matter," Jack began to gather papers from the desk and offered them to Dean, "because you gotta be educated about this before you try it out."

It was instructions on how to capture a Lamia, which Dean thought was impossible. Funny enough, it wasn't even that complicated. You need the blood of a man dying of old age to paint a circle and some certain signs and voila; you're left with a trap - she won't be able to get out of it. "This won't take me long to learn."

"Good, because you have this to recite as well," the retired hunter shoved even more papers in his hands, full of notes, and Dean sighed. "Don't whine, boy, I never said it'd be easy. This kind of thing is extreme, takes a lot of preparation."

"Why does it need to be a dying man's blood? Do you have some or eh-- do we need to..?"

"No need. I've got all kind of blood you can imagine," Jack smirked. "Old age is dangerous to Lamias, it's their worst enemy - that's why they hunt youth. If you draw a trap with old-aged blood, they can't overstep it. For a human, it'd be like someone had put up walls of fire around him."

They sat in silence for a while, both occupied with their work. Dean was trying hard to memorize what he was reading, in wonderment of all this information, all this knowledge he never before laid his eyes on.

Suddenly he scoffed. "Sam would've love this. It'd be like a wet dream for him."

"I'm sure he would," Jack mumbled, chewing thoughtfully on his pen.

It didn't take long before Dean's stomach virtually wailed of hunger and he blushed slightly, muttering an apology, but Jack simply laughed and announced that he was going to make them something to eat.

"Do not touch anything, son! Consider yourself warned," he called over his shoulder as he headed upstairs.

Dean eyed his surroundings with caution. "Don't worry, not planning to."

Instead he phoned Sam again to tell about the progress, reading from the translated notes Jack had recently written down. "... and after that, you gotta blend some weird, special oil with the smashed ribs of a daemon, the blood and a couple of hairs from the youngster - in this case you - and rosemary and salt in a bowl, then-"

"Wait, did you say salt and rosemary?"

"Yes. Apparently spices don't tickle Lamias' fancy at all."

"What about, uh, fire?"

"... Sam," Dean frowned at his brother's excited voice, "How did you know about that?"

"I don't really-- I mean, I think I read something about fire and Lamias yesterday at the library," Sam quickly explained, much more discreet this time. "Just wondered if you had too."

The older Winchester wasn't truly convinced, but decided his brother had no reason to lie to him. "Yeah, I have actually. You're supposed to set the ingredients on fire and pour the burning liquid over her and chant the last part of the spell that's gonna summon back your youth."

"Oh? And that won't kill her?"

"Not until you add more of the spices and barbecue the bitch thoroughly," Dean snorted. "To be honest, some of these notes sounds like recipes."

His brother had gone oddly quiet on the other end as he thought over the information he's been given - this was good news. It only confirmed the theory.

"You should've been here, Sam. There's so much crap you would kill to have your hand on, the guy's a real collector of weird shit. I'm talking hardcore supernatural stuff from.. basically everywhere."

"Speaking of which.. What's Jack like?" Sam couldn't deny he was curious.

Dean glanced up the stairs to see if the coast was clear before he answered, "Let me tell you, dude.. This old man ain't to play with. He's friggin' King Kong with a hint of Robin Hood, nailed me to the wall with - and I shit you not - arrows. Actual arrows. The bastard is a hunter if I've ever seen one."

"Are you serious?" Sam asked incredulously. "Why did he shoot at you with arrows?"

"Well, I'm not much of a threat decorating the wall like some fancy piece of art, am I? He surprised me, never even heard him coming and the next thing I know I was hanging there like an idiot."

"That's.. a little creepy."

Dean nodded uselessly, considering Sam couldn't see him. "My shirts are ruined, but he definitely got his message across. Don't mess with strange, retired hunters."

The brothers exchanged a few more words before hanging up and Dean tuned his attention back on the book he was currently reading. It was telling him about a spell that could very briefly halt a daemon's powers. The explanation to why this was needed was that they had to touch the Lamia in order to summon back Sam's youth, and if she still had her mojo working, it probably wouldn't turn out that pretty.

Then Jack interrupted his thoughts with a plate of different kinds of sandwiches, a freakin' mountain of them, and two bottles of beer. A huge smile formed on his face as the other hunter's eyes widened and his mouth watered in anticipation. "Lunch is served, buddy!"

"Goddammit, my head hurts," Dean complained later, and all but face-planted the desk, "I've read everything you gave me. Can I get some rest now?"

Mr. Andrews chuckled with a nod. "Sure. You've earned it. I'm just gonna finish up this part here, then I'm done translating for you. Afterwards, we should do some practical rehearsing."

Dean looked up at him, "What do you mean?"

"I'd like to hear you chant the spells because you seriously must get the words right. I'll give you a paper with them written down, but you gotta say them correctly. And you need to practice drawing the trap," Jack stood up and twisted his back with a crack.

The boy leaned his chin on the edge of a book and pouted slightly, as he didn't think all of this was necessary, but of course he didn't protest. If this guy told him to jump, he'd ask how high. Jack just had that influence on you.

Back in Alabama however, Sam had been shopping for supplies. A part of him was fighting the decision to do this alone for more than one reason, and he couldn't stop feeling bad about going behind Dean's back, but he knew his brother would dismiss this whole idea instantly if he knew about it.

Sam was convinced he was alright without the piece of missing youth. It didn't seem to be to any trouble for him. Also, Lamias didn't stay at the same place for very long, especially not when they have been attacked and Dean was aware of this.

Once when they were only teenagers, Sam and Dean had been hunting one together with their dad and she successfully escaped them. It was hell to try and find her again, because after that she was careful in her tracks, hiding in forests and picking victims nobody reported missing. It was seven months of playing hide and seek with a daemon, and their father had been too stubborn to let her go. Sam really didn't feel like going through that again.

Besides, he didn't need that youth back, 'cause he'd probably be dead within a few years anyway. Guys like him were deemed to die young.

And I know what to do, so why worry?, Sam forced himself to stop thinking so much. This was gonna happen, no matter what. He shouldn't over think it.

It was nice day outside and he stopped a second to enjoy the warmth of the sun on his face, wishing he could stay like that, but he had to continue his journey.

The tall man felt a little uncomfortable as the trees towered over him, casting intimidating, chilly shadow everywhere, and his gaze flew in every direction around him to make sure he was really alone. Why did Lamias have to live in the woods?

It'd been a long way to her house, longer than Sam expected and he'd walked for ages, but now he finally could see the building from afar. Stopping, he swung his backpack down to the ground and crouched down, grabbing the rosemary and salt to blend in a smaller bucket, along with some lighter fluid. Better make sure she really got ignited.

And without further ado, Sam proceeded to make one of the biggest mistakes in his life - he barged inside without his brother there to help.

* * *

"You're getting there, the pronunciation was almost correct this time," Jack encouraged with a choked laugh. "Almost.."

Dean snorted. "Great."

"Come on, one more time."

Dean repeated the chant, the words rolling uncomfortably off his lips and he grimaced slightly, but the older hunter seemed pretty happy with it.

"Exellent! Good job, boy. You're..." Jack's voice suddenly trailed off and his eyes glazed over as he stared into thin air, not moving at all. Hell, he barely breathed.

"Jack..? Jack!" Dean exclaimed, grabbing him by the arm and shook lightly. "Can you hear me?"

No response. What-so-ever. The blonde was two heartbeats from calling after an ambulance when Mr. Andrews suddenly gasped for air, blinking a couple of times as he turned worried eyes to Dean.

"Oh thank God, I thought you were having a stroke or something, you scare-"

"Dean, I think your brother is in trouble!" Jack cut him off urgently. "He walked into the Lamia's nest to kill her by himself, and the last thing I heard was his scream."

It felt as if he'd thrown a bucket of cold water over Dean. ".. What? How do you..?"

"I hear these songs in my head. They tell me about scenarios from people's lives - past, present and future, it's changing from time to time. This was present though."

"And you heard Sam getting hurt?" Dean said intently, his pulse fastening in dread.


"Why should I believe you? It sounds insane. It is insane!"

Mr. Andrews sighed and started to hum that melody from yesterday, the one he'd sung on the phone. The youngest of the two momentarily went still to devour every single tone of the song before it stopped.

"That's your song, Dean. Don't you think it's a little bit weird that you react so well to it if I was lying to you?"

Dean frowned, still uncomfortable with the whole thing, but nodded slowly. It was weird.

"Call him if you need proof. He won't pick up," Jack continued and leaned his hip against the table.

The boy did as suggested, fear nearly overpowering him when no one answered. He tried again, and yet another time before he accepted Jack's story. "Fuck- I gotta go!"

"Wait for me. We need to pack first."

Dean froze in his tracks to look over at the retired hunter. "What? You're coming with?"

"I originally thought you and Sam would hunt the daemon together, but that obviously can't be done now, and I won't let you hunt this thing alone," Jack explained calmly as he stuffed a duffel bag with the things they needed. "It's out of the question - don't want you to end up like your brother."

"But.. Aren't you retired?"

Mr. Andrews smiled, but it didn't reach his eyes this time. "Well, I'm trying to be, but it doesn't really work that way, not in this profession - monsters don't care if you're getting old and tired."

Dean stood quiet, regarding the elderly hunter with a sympathetic look.

"I feel responsible for this whole mess as well," Jack continued. "If I'd knew this was going to happen.."

"It's not your fault!" Dean argued. "Like you said, you didn't know."

"No, but if I hadn't tried to act like I could be retired, like I'm not supposed to hunt anymore, Sam wouldn't be in danger now. I would've gone to Alabama and helped you out, instead of making you leave to be educated about the procedure."

"Oh, come on.. You're a stay-at-home-hunter, I never expected you to drop everything to come rushing to our aid." The younger man nodded pointedly, before adding; "Especially since you're considered to be off-limits in the hunter community nowadays. We're lucky you even offered to teach me about it, you could've rightfully told me to stick it where the sun don’t shine 'cause you ain't in business anymore."

Jack zipped the bag close firmly and then sighed. "I guess you got a point," he conceded.

"Listen, I was stupid enough to leave Sam behind and he was thickheaded enough to think he could do this on his own. With all due respect, you shouldn't tag along. You're retired."

"Oh no, buddy - I told you I won't let you go solo. It's too dangerous and it'd probably end up with two dead brothers for no good," Jack set his jaw resolutely. "I'm going with you, and that's final."


"No buts, kid. It's going to happen whether you like it or not, so you might as well come to terms with it."

He would never admit it, but Dean was actually relieved by this. Someone else taking charge and calling the shots for a while. It was comforting in a way. "Yes, sir."

They were out on the roads admirably quickly and Dean put all his weight on the accelerator, trying to force the Impala to go faster and the car roared in dismay when stones hit its' undercarriage.

"If you don't slow down, we're going to be dead before we can save the boy," Jack remarked softly. He understood why Dean was in such a hurry, but this wasn't safe for anyone.

Dean's effort to slow down was utterly pathetic and soon he was up in the previous speed again, but the white-haired man decided to let him. After all, it was the kid's family member they were talking about here, and he knew all about the responsibility Dean felt towards Sam.

Meanwhile, said kid was thinking about his little brother, panic escalating rapidly and he felt sick with worry. He tried to silence the question about Sam's survival that rumbled around in his head, but it was yelling too loud. Jack had heard Sam screaming - it didn't bode well.

His fingers were wrapped so hard around the wheel that his knuckles turned white, but he wasn't even aware. The only thing he could concentrate on was getting to that damn Lamia's house.

With a low growl, he pressed down the pedal further.

* * *

It was in the middle of the night when they reached their destination. The house was completely dark when the couple slowly rolled to a halt at a safe distance, seemingly deserted. They gave each other a knowing look before slinking out of the car and retrieving their stuff - holding the very same hard, serious expression on their faces.

The hunters had already gone through the plan several times on the way there, so they knew what to do.

"We shouldn't take the front door, she's probably on her guard now," Jack mumbled in a hushed tone, Dean nodding in agreement. "Let's go around the house and look for another way in."

Jack went first, his steps feather light as they got closer to the building. Dean was right behind him, honestly impressed by the other man's skill at stealth.

"Aha!" the older of them exclaimed, pointing at a basement door with a long finger.

Dean grabbed the handle and pulled upwards, surprised when the door opened. The men stared at the black hole for a while, somewhat apprehensive.

"That was way too easy," Jack finally said, rubbing his chin thoughtfully.

"Maybe it's a trap," Dean suggested as he crouched, sticking his head down to look for any evidence of a Lamia, directing the flashlight in every angle, but couldn't find anything. "The room is empty as far as I can tell. Should we risk it?"

"Well, I don't see why not. There's no other way inside, except for the windows of course, but they tend to be rather noisy when you break 'em, so I advise we skip that."

"Sounds good to me."

Slowly and carefully, they climbed their way down the ladder and looked around, half-expecting something to attack them, but nothing happened. After a couple of moments in absolute silence, Jack gestured for Dean to go ahead up the stairs.

The hunters ended up in the hallway, listening closely for any signs of danger before they snuck into the kitchen. When they were assured the daemon wasn't there, they quickly got busy, working according the plan.

Dean climbed up on a chair with a jar of blood in one hand, put the flashlight between his teeth and sank two fingers into the red liquid with a grimace of disgust. This was definitely not his view of a fun night out.

".. aand I'm done!" Dean dropped his arm to his side and looked his creation proudly. "Goddammit, I'm better than Picasso himself."

"I've never understood art, but that is pretty great," Jack endorsed. "Although I doubt we'll be seeing it at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it's good enough to trap a Lamia at least."

"Speaking of Lamias.. Let's get the bitch down here."

It was harder than they'd thought to lure the Lamia into the trap and they both got some minor damage before she was captured - Dean had backed away slowly from her, talking in a placating manner and when she charged forward to attack him, he just smiled.

"What the-" the daemon exclaimed in shock when she hit an invisible force field, then she tried to leap forward again, but it was like she'd crashed into a wall.

"Oh, sweetheart.." Dean tsked. "Look up."

She blinked at him and slowly turned her eyes upwards, hissing angrily at what she saw, "You bastards!"

Jack barked out a laugh. "Because you're such an angel, hm?"

He fished up a paper from his pocket, unfurling it and started to chant the spell to take away her powers for a moment. He paused to smear sacred oil on her while the daemon screeched in protest and tried to use the last bit of her powers to bewitch him, but the human didn't stay still long enough for her weakening abilities to affect him and she gnarled furiously. Jack stepped away from her and finished the spell and the evil creature was now more or less defenseless.

Some time later, she was tied up against a chair and all set for the rest of the session - now they just needed Sam, some of his blood and a couple of his hairs. If he's still alive.. Dean's heart clenched painfully at the thought, but he pushed it away. No time for that now.

Pulling out another chair from beneath the table, he placed it in front of the Lamia with the back facing her and straddled the seat. Leaning his arms against the backrest, he scrutinized her neutrally.

"Have you killed my brother yet?"

The daemon shot daggers at him, "Maybe, maybe not."

"I strongly recommend you answer the boy," Jack warned.

"How come?"

Before Dean could react, Jack had launched at her and she gasped when he slid the silver knife across her arm - burning like fire.

"Answer the question," he growled, "You're not in the position to play games. We have full control over you."

"He's dead," the Lamia spat, her voice dripping of hate. "Oh, let me tell you how good he tasted as he took his last breath, it was amazing."

Dean stared at her, not wanting to believe her- no, it can't be true, Sam isn't dead, no! NO! He shot up from the chair as his hand curled up into a fist and punched her with all his might.

She grunted, but looked up in glee, laughing at him, "He's as dead as your soul, sweetie."

Dean's face twitched and he turned around, snatching the knife from Jack and he cut her, out of control- the blade slashing through her flesh again and again; her screams like music to his ears. But the elderly hunter got a hold of him and pushed him away, trying to reason with him through the hurricane of emotions inside him.

"Hey! HEY! She may be lying!" Jack hissed into his ear. "You can't kill her until you got real proof that your brother isn't alive if you want his youth back. Calm the hell down, boy!"

He breathed heavily, trying to get a grip on himself because the other man was right - Dean couldn't kill her. Not yet.

Jack didn't let go of him until Dean had given him the sharp item back and he mentioned for the blonde to stand back with a gesture - I've got this.

"I don't believe you. Where's the young fellow at, if I may ask?"

"Give me one reason why I should tell you," she cooed.

"Well, I can just search the whole place if you rather," Dean interrupted, a knowing smile creeping upon his face as he continued, "but then I've to leave you with my friend here.."

The older man was playing with the knife, tracing a finger along the silver blade and his eyes turned a couple of shades darker as he looked coldly at the Lamia. He practically screamed danger right then. Dean suppressed the urge to shiver, telling himself this guy was a professional hunter, but damn - Jack Andrews was fucking scary when he wanted to be.

"I don't think you would like being alone with him for so long - I, for one, wouldn't.." he trailed off, waiting for the daemon's response.

"I'm not afraid of some repulsive human."

"Are you sure about that?"

The Lamia pursed her lips, glaring spitefully at him. "Yes."

Jack scoffed, stalking up to her and bent over to whispering something to her. Dean couldn't make out what he'd said and raised an questioning eyebrow when the daemon's eyes widened, a hint of terror flickering by.

"And I will do it too," the white-haired man stepped back, folding his arms. "And we've got all the time in the world.. What a delightful experience we'll share, you and me."

Dean looked from one to the other, but decided not to ask about details. Whatever the guy said, it seemed to work and he was totally fine with that.

"Now, I'm going to give you one more chance - where's my brother?" he repeated casually, and when she didn't answer immediately, he added; "Or I can give you and Jack some privacy."

The Lamia glared at Dean, pondering over what he'd said. The younger human was annoying the hell out of her, but she didn't want to be left with the other man for the time it'd take to find the missing brother - he didn't seem to wish her the best of destinies and torture had never been her thing really. Well, eh, performed on her that is.

"The attic's got a room.." she reluctantly started, "he's locked in there."

"Where's the key?"

"Master bedroom, on the nightstand."

Dean nodded curtly and stood up. "That wasn't so hard, was it?"

The daemon simply rolled her eyes and looked away; the spitting image of a sulking woman who doesn't get her way. Such a shame she wasn't human.

Dean watched her in amusement for a second, then faced Jack. "Just.. don't kill her while I'm away, okay?"

Jack promised to do his best and he hurried upstairs - wanting to be with his brother as soon as he could, to see him breathe with his own eyes; the bitch's lies had scared him to the core. She never told him if she drank youth of his brother or not, so he might be too weak to function at this point and Dean simply had to fix this right fucking now.

Picking up the key, he ran out to the hall again, looking up to find the loft hatch. Spotting it at the other end, he rushed over and pulled the string, a ladder falling out to be at his service, nearly knocking the older brother down. He swore in annoyance, then quickly climbed up.

The attic was dusty, dark and silent and Dean squinted his eyes in order to see anything. His hand slid against the wall for a switch and he huffed impatiently - a second away from saying 'screw it' and feel his way to the door he was looking for - when he finally found it.

During the whole ordeal downstairs, Sam had merely stirred on the mattress laying on the floor as loud, crashing sounds and yells drilled through his sleeping mind, but he didn't wake up. After the encounter with the Lamia, he was exhausted.

She hadn't taken more youth of him when she captured him. She gladly told him she was full, already drank some poor bastard dry, but the daemon wasn't dumb enough to throw away a meal. Especially one that wanted to see her dead so badly. Instead she opted for locking him up for the time being.

He couldn't do anything about it either. She'd tied his hands up behind his back and the door was too sturdy to kick down - it didn't stop Sam from trying every now and then though - but he was utterly and totally stuck in this situation of which he'd brought upon himself. The tall man felt like such an idiot that he nearly hoped his brother wouldn't manage to come to his rescue before it was too late.

Well. The brother in question was thinking he was resting up in a motel room, meaning there's a high possibility he'd actually be too late. Sam had worried for hours, pacing up and down the small space while berating himself for this stunt, before he just gave up and settled down.

So it was unbeknownst to Sam, Dean was actually right there with him.

"Sam! Sammy!"

Someone was clinging to his shirt, shaking him frantically and he moaned- wait a minute. He recognized that voice. "Dean...?"

"Yeah, it's me, come on, look at me."

The youngest Winchester had never been so relieved to see his brother before. He kind of felt like crying - of course Dean would save him; always has, always will, in some freakin' way or another. "But.. How did you know?"

"Apparently Jack's a psychic and thank fuck for that-- it doesn't matter, how are you?"

Sam blinked a couple of times, perplexed over this information. "Uh- I'm fine. She didn't drink more from me.. already taken some other dude's youth."

Dean let out a huge breath, all concern and worry following the air out of his body and he slumped back, suddenly feeling angry. No, not just angry - he was completely furious at the kid for doing this, to himself and to Dean. How fucking dared he?!

He stared intently at Sam, a couple of tense, quiet moments passing as a dark, roaring anger quickly escalated within him. He'd been on a emotional roller coaster since they left Jack's and this was the straw that broke the camel's back, pushing him over the edge and every painful thought, feeling and fear that'd tormented him for hours turned into a white-hot fury.

Sam sensed that something was going on in his brother's head and it wasn't good, but he couldn't find the courage to ask what was wrong. Already knew anyway - he was wrong. The way he'd acted was wrong, the stupid antics based on damaged pride was so goddamn wrong it was laughable, and the amount of trouble he'd marched his way into was insane, enough to bury him and God knows he earned it all.

"Look, Dean, I'm sor-" Sam's apology was interrupted by Dean roughly yanking him onto his stomach and he squealed embarrassingly high-pitched in surprise, the air rushing out of his lungs by the force.

His eyes widened when a hand connected smartly with his backside and he shook his head; no, not here- "OW!"

The power behind the swats was tremendous, and they came so fast, near desperate at this point. Dean was hitting in blind rage with all the strength he could muster, completely lost in it, trembling as the fury overtook his whole existence. It almost ripped his soul apart he was so angry, because Sam willingly risked his life for nothing. The line of Dean's thoughts drove his hand down if possible harder.

Sam tried to strangle his yelps, but it hurt too much and it was fucking intense, leaving him short of breath. He did a failed attempt to cover himself up with his hands, but considering they were tied up together, it was ridiculously easy for Dean to hold them out of the way and Sam shook his head in protest - so very remorseful, so extremely remorseful.

"M'sorry," he blurted out under the onslaught, "R-really!"

Dean didn't reply, just kept his hand crashing into him again and again and again, while Sam could only wriggle around in all his helplessness, his vision rapidly blurring.

"Aaah-aow!" a sob wrenched out of Sam's throat - he'd never felt this pathetic and vulnerable at the hands of his brother before and it scared him senseless. But then again, you've never made him this angry, you idiot.

All of a sudden, it came to an abrupt end and Dean crawled backwards, away from the other man. The agony struck him like a freight train and he curled up, wrapping his arms around his legs as nausea overwhelmed him. He hadn't been prepared for such an outburst of anger, shouldn't have punished the kid in that state- oh God.

Sam took several gulps of air to calm down before looking over at the older Winchester, his heart exploding from sadness at what he saw. "Dean," his voice broke with emotion, sounding like a teenager again, "Dean, it's okay, man."

Dean shook his head against his knees, no, it wasn't okay and he wasn't okay. This got way out of hand. He just wanted to melt away, through the floor and down into the earth and lay there for a while, trying to get his shit together.

The taller man swallowed a knot of guilt in his stomach because this was all his fault and he'd brought every one of those smacks upon himself. Sam shuffled over to Dean, sitting down on his shins in order to avoid any direct contact to his backside and tried to get as close as possible. He was still tied up, so he couldn't put an arm around the other, even though he wished to.

When Dean finally looked up, Sam could see the remains of tears in his eyes and it felt far worse than the spanking had. "I shouldn't have hit you like that."

"It's alright. Didn't even last that long." That was true. It hadn't, but it did leave quite an impact anyway. "You wouldn't mind helping me out of these ropes though?"

Downstairs in the kitchen, Jack whistled cheerfully as they waited for the boys to come back. The daemon grumbled, the mere existence of this man bothering her. The merry melody did not help this matter.

"What the hell is taking them so long?" she groaned after a while. "Are they planning to settle down up there? In that case, I'm gonna need some rent."

"Nah, they're just… setting a couple of things straight," Jack said. "Have patience. I wouldn't be so eager for their return if I were you."

"I've always been a girl who likes action. This bores me and I can't stand boredom, you see."

The elderly man was just about to respond when the brothers emerged and he turned to look at the youngest of them. "Well, who have we got here – if it isn’t Mr. Independent himself."

Sam blushed slightly and cleared his throat. "Hm, yeah. Nice to meet you, Mr. Andrews."

"This was a dumb plan, son."

"I'm aware."

It was a strained silence before Dean clapped his hands and mentioned towards the Lamia. "Come on people, there's youth to summon back and bitches to kill, so let's get to it."

* * *

The daemon became rabid the more Jack chanted, her head twisting from one side to another as panicked screams filled the room and she frantically tried to hold on to the youth they were trying to take. It was horribly painful, worse than anything she ever had experienced before, an unbearable burn ringing through her body and it came in waves, drowning her.

"Stop it," the Lamia panted, sweat running down her beautiful face and she clenched her teeth. "Please!"

Sam scratched his neck in distress, forcing himself to look away before he begged them to stop. It was miserable to witness this absolute torture, the blunt abuse laid upon her; a part of him was still connected with the creature and her cries hurt, but he refused to interfere - was gonna stand against it this time.

He closed his eyes and repeated silently in his head what she'd done to him, wondering where the desire for revenge had gone to now - Sam should be enjoying this for God's sake! Well, at least not sympathize with her.

When Sam had tried to kill the Lamia before, he'd barged in with his damn bucket and splashed the liquid over her, but as he was trying to aim a lit match at her, she simply reached out for him and pulled him close, into her arms. She'd played with his hair soothingly, cooing and mumbling and he tried to resist the daemon with every last bit of his willpower, but it was a quickly losing battle and in the end, Sam let himself down spectacularly.

This failure wasn't something he would forget soon. Seeing her like this, defenseless and bound under their control, should be quite satisfying - this time, she would be the one to lose, and Sam would walk away with his life and youth intact. His pride and dignity however had suffered a dent or two.

The Lamia suddenly went still, the kitchen becoming oddly quiet, her eyes huge and glazed. Dean knitted his eyebrows together and looked at Jack questioningly, but then Sam gasped loudly and braced himself against the table.

"Sam!" Dean rushed to his side and seized his arm to support him, trying to get eye contact, but Sam didn't even see him.

It was the strangest sensation to have youth knocked into you again, much weirder than having it drunken out. Sam wouldn't say it was painful, but it definitely tingled a little, then it felt as if someone stroke his soul with velvet soft hands, warm and soft, and the heaviness he'd been carrying around since that night slowly vanished.

"What's happening?" Dean asked nervously.

"He's getting his youth back. He'll come around eventually, but it's quite a thing to undergo," Jack explained with a calming voice. "Sam's body has been missing it, so I doubt it's unpleasant for him. For the Lamia on the other hand…"

The older Winchester didn't give two hoots about her. She could rot in the fieriest pits of Hell for all he cared. "As long as Sam's okay, I'm good."

"He will be," the older gentleman smiled gently. "But you need to finish what you started."

Dean gave him a bewildered look, "What?"

At the same moment, Sam blinked and he looked around in slight confusion, his gaze stopping at his brother's worried face and he remember where he was. "I- eh, I'm.. alright. I've got it back."

The daemon decided to join them too, coughing blood and breathing shallow - it was like somebody had torn her insides apart and she couldn't fix it, being too weak to even sit up straight. It was immensely agonizing, her exhausted body shaking of pain.

"You wanna kill me? Do it. Now!" she wheezed to the floor. Anything was better than this.

"You got it." Jack poured the last of the oil mixed with ribs, salt and rosemary over her and picked up the matchbox, but then he paused and faced the younger men. "You two, go outside for a second."

The brothers hesitated, but obeyed, and Jack didn't proceed until he heard the front door close behind them.

"Why did he send us out?" Sam asked, wincing slightly as they sat down on the hood of the Impala.

Dean shrugged, just as puzzled. "You tell me."

The dark-haired man bit on his lip, lost in thought. He felt guilty for this stupid mess, and he knew Dean was still upset by the way his shoulders were raised and tense, and that ever-lasting frown on his face told Sam this problem wasn't over and done with. But he was certain Dean would try to pretend it was.

Because his big brother usually chose to bury stuff somewhere deep inside him and never bring it up again, but you can only do that so many times until you snap. Which he kind of did earlier today - showing a rare display of raw emotion. Sure, the anger was common enough, but afterwards, when Dean had bundled up on the floor… he was just a lost little boy sitting there.

Tears prickled behind Sam's eyes and he fought them away, it wasn't the right time to cry, but dammit - he knew the guy like the back of his hand and knew how much their father's complete silence hurt him, but of course Dean wouldn't admit that.

Sam sighed deeply. He wasn't making it easier for his brother by doing shit like this, and he cursed the way he was controlled by his feelings rather than being in control of them. It seemed to be one of his biggest flaws.

"You okay?" Dean wondered quietly, already knowing the answer.


The blonde's lips formed a sad smile because Sam seemed to think he wouldn't be able to tell the difference. The kid virtually screamed of anxiety, for crying out loud. "Sure you are."

The conversation died out after that and neither of them tried to pick it up again. Sam wanted to talk about this, but didn't know how to formulate it, while Dean didn't think there was anything left to say, so they simply sat there.

Back inside, Jack turned his back to the daemon as she yelled out the last of her misery, the flames swirling around her. I'm too damn old for this, he thought, feeling bitter. A whole life filled with this had marked the man severely. He grabbed his duffel bag and hurried outside, the fresh air smooth against his wrinkled skin and Jack took a deep breath. It's been a long day.

As he approached the car and the brothers, he reflected on how weary they looked. Mr. Andrews was all too familiar with this feeling and shook his head; they were such good boys and deserved better than the hunter's life. It could break even the strongest.

The trio packed themselves into the vehicle, leaving the house behind them, driving fast. None felt like staying a second longer than necessary. The atmosphere in the car was quite depressed, but then again, so were the hunters.

"Eh, Mr. Andrews?" Sam piped up from the backseat, clearing his throat. "I just wanted to… I'm... I am sorry for all the trouble."

"Yeah, I'm sorry too," Dean chimed in. "You're a retired man, then we come along and practically give you no choice but to hunt again."

Jack couldn't help but smile. "No worries. After all, it was quite an adventure."

"Can't thank you enough," Dean looked over at him. "Seriously, I owe you for helping my dense brother out."

"You owe me nothing, boy. It was my pleasure. So, which one of us will make the anonymous phone call to the fire department?"

* * *

Dean opened the door to the motel room and made a dramatic, swiping gesture, "Welcome to our humble abode, Jack - make yourself at home."

"Ah, this is one part I'll never miss about being a hunter," Jack muttered. "The endless, dirty hotel rooms."

"Oh, I don't know, this one isn't so bad actually," Dean smirked and plopped down on a bed, lying down with a grunt.

"You guys want anything? We got..." the youngest paused to check, and awkwardly finished his sentence, "…salt and rosemary. Never mind."

The others stared at him, wavering between hysterically laughing or crying in a corner, and Sam's face went a little bit redder.

"There's beer in the car," Dean offered, but the elderly hunter simply shook his head.

"I've passed the age where you can drink beer at this time of the day long ago."

"Do you need a place to crash? We'll drive you home later - it's the least we can do. "

Jack examined the room with critical eyes and pulled a face. "I'm good, thank you," he firmly declined and Sam chuckled. "I think I want to sleep in my own clean bed. Besides, I should never be away from home too long, I need to guard my possessions, you know."

"Right, all that creepy stuff," the blonde got up on two feet, grimacing. "Don't see why anyone would want it."

"If you knew what some of it could do," Jack teased, "You'd want it too."

"How are you getting back to Louisiana?"

"Oh, I have my ways."

Dean started to grin, "You're gonna take your broom or something? Black magic, maybe?"

The tall, old man laughed and put an arm around him. "I guess you'll never know." Jack tucked him in closer for a half-hug, stopping briefly to look sternly at Sam. "Don't do anything that reckless again, or I'll come and flick your ear for an hour or two."

"Copy that," he mumbled, inspecting his shoes closely for a moment. "Sorry. Again."

"It's forgiven and forgotten. You're a good kid, Sam."

After bidding goodbye, he went outside and to Jack's genuine surprise, Dean followed him and closed the door behind them, hesitant and doubtful.

"Something wrong, my friend?"

The other man rubbed his hand over his chin, green eyes resting on the ground. "Uhm.. What should I do with him, sir?"

Understanding what he meant, the hunter clasped a warm hand on Dean's shoulder and said gently, "Well, that's not my decision. Do what you think it's right, because you know that kid better than anyone else. Whatever you choose to do, it'll be for his own good."

With a final squeeze, Jack Andrews smiled encouragingly and left. Dean looked at his retreating back for a while, wondering where he was heading before sighing and turned around to join his brother again.

Sam was antsy, pacing around without a set destination. Every time he tried to settle down, his legs started to jump up and down in restlessness and in the end, he was up wandering about again. His brother was in bed, attempting to sleep, but the pitter-pattering kept him awake.

"Goddammit, Sam!" he eventually bellowed and sat up, watching the younger man angrily. "Can you please chill the hell out?"

"Obviously not."

Dean groaned, perfectly aware why Sam behaved like this - they needed to have a heartfelt discussion for it to stop. Talk through what happened. Fuck that. "Suit yourself then."

His plan to ignore his little brother turned out to be impossible. The constant movements weren't the worst part, it was the sighs and those little whiny, apprehensive sounds of dismay that got to him. Dean glared at the wall and tried not to listen, gritting his teeth in annoyance as the time passed.

"Alright! AL-FUCKING-RIGHT!" Dean jumped up and stalked to the kitchen area to fetch a chair and he sat down, folding his arms. "Let's talk, Sammy, say what you need to say!"

"Go back to bed, Dean," Sam retorted in a low tone. "You don't wanna talk."

"I would gladly do that, but I can't because someone here keeps waking me up. So, let's have this conversation and get over with, 'cause I want some damn sleep."

"I just... I'm sorry, okay? It was a stupid thing to do," Sam reluctantly looked over at his brother.

"Yes, it was. I told you that we weren't killing that Lamia until we got your youth back."

"And I tried to, I know. Look, I was just so pissed off because she messed with my head and... I had to do something."

Dean shook his head. "No, you could've waited. In the end, you'd still get to gank the bitch. But I guess you wanted the foreplay, hm?"

The younger Winchester ran a hand through his hair in frustration, wanting Dean to understand why he'd done it, but he wasn't sure if that was achievable.

"M'orry," realizing he didn't have much to say at this point, he just repeated the same words and it didn't work anyway.

"What do you want me to do, Sammy?" Dean sighed, crooking his neck to stare at the ceiling for a while, then he closed his eyes and laced his fingers behind his head. "You didn't just make one little mistake here. You went behind my back, lied several times, broke my trust, put yourself into gunfire more than once and--"

He was cut off by a weight landing over his lap and grunted, surprised, and looked down to see his baby brother bent over it, back muscles rigid as violin strings. "... Sam?"

"Please, just do it," Sam whispered, his face beet red. He couldn't believe he'd actually thrown himself over Dean's knee, asking for such a childish punishment, but it was really called for. "I screwed up so bad."

Dean frowned, not wanting to do this, not after the incident back at the daemon's place. "I've already done this. Didn't work out that great, so... up you get."

But the other man didn't budge an inch, if anything he became heavier.

"No, you didn't do it right, properly… or whatever... Didn't- didn't, ehm, finish-" Sam briefly asked himself what the hell he was doing. This was fucking humiliating.

Dean opened his mouth, then closed it, recalling Jack's words in the kitchen, 'you need to finish what you started', and he nearly laughed out loud. That creepy bastard knew all along, didn't he?!

"Listen," he started. "It's- I don't know if I can do it. I lost control earlier."

"I know. I don't care, 'cause I'd probably react the same way," Sam exhaled slowly. "But it didn't feel like... like a punishment, more like a- uh, demonstration of your anger, like when you punch me."

"I guess that's one way to put it," Dean smirked despite himself.

"You didn't hurt me, man. Well, it undoubtedly hurt when you whacked me, but you didn't do any lasting damage. I can't even feel it anymore, because it was over that quick."

The older brother was still hesitant, but Sam could feel his resistance falter ever so slightly and pressed on, "I know you gotta be mad at me for what I did and I was totally out of line, and that's not acceptable."

"Damn straight it isn't," the blonde readily agreed.

There was a pause and Sam huffed - this was excruciatingly awkward, simply lying there, sprawled over his brother's lap and talking as if this was ordinary business for them. "You think this is easy for me, Dean? To put myself in this awful position and fucking ask for it?"

Dean's face immediately softened and he began to rub small reassuring circles on the tense back in front of him, understanding how embarrassing and downright humbling this must be for the other boy. It was one thing to get your ass kicked against your will or when you really don't have a choice, but actually requesting it was a whole different matter.

"I won't force you to do it," Sam sighed and hung his head in resignation. "But both of us know I deserve it. You were furious back there, now you're not - you won't beat the living hell outta me, Dean. I trust you."

The last three words choked the older brother up a little. Sam still trusted him to punish him fairly, even after getting wailed on far too harsh. It felt really good.

"Okay, Sam," he finally announced, "but it won't be a walk in the park, I'm just telling you - you broke way too many rules, you know."

"I'm already aware of that, or I wouldn't bother to go through with this."

Dean nodded although Sam couldn't see him and took a deep breath to prepare himself. It wouldn't be easy, but his brother obviously needed it and he'd never deny Sam something he needed.

Lifting his hand up high, he brought it down with a resounding smack and the kid flinched, mostly from surprise. Dean repeated the action, then he fell into a steady rhythm as Sam crinkled his nose at the rising sting.

After a while, the older Winchester stopped and reached beneath him, fumbling with Sam's belt and he suppressed a groan, knowing from experience what was going to happen next. He'd asked for this, he couldn't argue about the conditions of the punishment. Just gotta suck it up, man.

Dean tugged the jeans down, but left the underwear, impressed by the lack of protests from his sibling. Usually Sam would fuss around, a hand often came flying back to yank the clothing back in place and his mouth would never shut up for a moment, but this time he didn't even sigh.

It felt kinda weird though. Never before had Sam tried to make it easier to spank him, nope, very much the opposite to that really, struggling from the beginning with claws and teeth.

Oh well.

He resumed smacking the presented backside, instantly getting more reaction from his brother. Sam grimaced, grabbing the leg of the chair as he tried to remain stoic and quiet. He didn't want to make this harder on Dean than necessary.

But of course, that was a war he was destined to lose. It didn't take long for a yelp to escape Sam's lips, and his hips shifted every now and then in discomfort, because his ass was really starting to burn. A part of him wondered how out of his mind he must've been to want this punishment.

"Aah!" he gasped at a particularly hard swat. After that, it all went downhill.

Soon enough, Sam was twisting around, trying to wriggle his way out of Dean's grip, but he failed miserably. His brother didn't miss a beat, no matter how much he moved.

"Settle down, Sam," Dean ordered sternly, "We're not close to done yet."

God, that wasn't the sentence he wanted to hear. "I'm sorry!"

The onslaught continued and Sam's eyes filled with unshed tears as Dean raised his hand over and over again, swinging it down firmly and another burst of pain would shoot through his aching behind.

"Ow! Okay, okay-" he cried out, his legs twitching in reaction. "Please! OUCH!"

Dean steeled his heart at the plea, knowing that if he was going to do this, he had to do it properly, although his little brother probably wouldn't agree right now. A hand snuck back, trying to cover as much as possible of the hurting area and Dean ceased momentarily to snatch his wrist, holding it against Sam's hip.

Sam whimpered pathetically as the spanking started up again, hating the immobility with a passion and he began to cry, tears running down and dissolving into the carpet beneath them.

"I- so-oww- really sorry!"

The older Winchester aimed the majority of his swats at the sensitive under curve now and Sam shook his head, "No, no- Aah! Stop!"

Baffled, but rather relieved when Dean actually did stop, he forced some air into his lungs to regain his composure somewhat. His ass was throbbing, but not remotely close to what he'd been expecting. But the moment of peace was disturbed when he felt his brother ripping out the belt from the loops of Sam's jeans.


"I'm sorry, Sammy, but you messed up royally," Dean sounded really upset about what he was about to do, and Sam looked over his shoulder to find his older brother staring at the accessory with loathing. Then he turned back to the floor, trying to brace himself for the next part, because it was going to hurt like hell.

"Here we go," Dean warned.

Sam closed his eyes automatically as the belt whistled through the air, but nothing could've prepared him for the line of fire appearing across his backside and he cried out.


"You will never go behind my back again." Another crack rang through the room to punctuate the sentence.

"AAH!" Sam shook his head frantically, "I won't!"

"You're not gonna lie to me," Dean continued, a lump growing in his throat, and landed the stripe of leather again.

His little brother jerked in pain with a pitiful wail and his legs kicked for a second, trying to relieve the burn somehow.

"No more stupid - bordering on suicidal - ideas to gank things you can't kill by yourself because your damn pride is hurt."

"Ahh- owww, I'm- M'sorry, please," Sam was sobbing now, his messy hair falling around his face like a curtain.

"You won't risk your life unnecessarily, we put our lives on the line enough as it is," the blonde let the belt fly again and connect with his brother, a little bit harder this time.

The kid yelled something incomprehensible, his limbs moving at their own accord and Dean patiently waited until he'd stopped trashing about before carrying on.

"Five more, Sammy. Afterwards the slate will be wiped clean and you'll be forgiven, okay?" he asked softly, and the other man nodded, still crying his heart out in the crook of his arm. He just wanted it to be over. "Get ready."

The last five lashes were quick but hard and Sam's muffled crying grew louder, then he simply gave up, letting the pain swallow him whole 'cause he was tired of fighting against it. His body went limp over Dean's lap, harsh sobs wrecking through him without end.

The past few days had been rough, but it was finally over. He was okay, Dean was okay, there was no more daemon - everything was alright. He was forgiven, had paid the piper good, it was all good now.

Dean sighed, hating to see his brother torn up like this. He stroked Sam's back soothingly, humming gently to calm the distraught boy the best he could. It took a while, but Sam pulled himself together and with some help, he stood up.

He realized he'd kicked his jeans off, but that didn't really matter because it would hurt way too much to put them back on. Dean took a good look at his brother and almost collapsed; his baby brother looked utterly miserable, tragic even, and he didn't need more convincing to reach out and pull Sam into a bone-crushing hug.

Sam melted into the embrace, thirsty for the comfort and warmth. He breathed in the familiar scent, relaxing because there wasn't much that made him feel safer than that.

"She turned her eyes into Jessica's," he mumbled the confession, his vision blurring again. "Looked exactly like hers, even the expression in them."

The older Winchester frowned and tugged him in closer, "That son of a bitch. If I could, I'd kill her again. Why didn't you just tell me before?"

"Cause I really shouldn't have fallen for such a simple trick, been hunting for the most of my life and I should know…"

"Maybe, maybe not, but let me tell you this - it was one hell of a trick. She played on one of your weaknesses," Dean said in a serious tone. "It's always hard when those bastards do that."

When they finally let go of each other, they were so tired they could've fallen asleep standing and after a moment of silence, they both agreed it was time to get some rest.

Dean crawled down under the covers and yawned, glancing over at his brother at the opposite bed and smiled warmly at the sight of the tall man laying on his stomach, looking exactly like he had years ago after similar situations - some things never change.

* * *

The Winchesters had woken up after a long, nice sleep and their mood were better than it had for quite a while - Sam was even joking around with his older brother like he used to, and they were just enjoying each others company for the first time in months.

"Should we look after another case?" Sam asked, stretched out on his side on the couch as they were watching TV lazily, and Dean shook his head from the other corner.

"Nah, not yet. Let's relax for a day or two," he replied, taking a sip of his beer. "I'm sure the world won't go under for that."

"Besides, I doubt you wanna spend time sitting down in the Impala for hours," he added and popped a half-hearted smack at his brother's backside, laughing at the immediate yelp and not so gentle kick in his ribs that quickly followed.

Dean's phone went off, the ringtone interfering with their pleasant banter and he rolled his eyes, retrieving it from his pocket and answered, feeling Sam watching him curiously.

"Hi, it's Jack," the elderly hunter replied.

"Oh, hi Jack. What's up?"

"Just wanted to ask you something."

"Shoot," Dean said and put his feet up on the table.

"Care to explain why the cashier asked me where I've hidden your body when I was out grocery shopping?"