Chapter 5

Sunlight sneaked through the edges of the wooden board but the room was still pretty dark, allowing Sam to wake gradually. His head was foggy and his eyelids were heavy to open and Sam's first thought of the day was 'Sleeping pills.'

He remembered having that same thought last night and connected the dots. The glass of milk that Dean had made sure he drank to the last drop. His own brother had drugged him. wasn't the first time, so why he was surprised he didn't know. He was more surprised that he hadn't suspected it.

Sam sighed and closed his eyes again, not wanting to wake up; not wanting to start, what was bound to be, a miserable day.

Did Jess manage to get any sleep last night? Doubtful - she was tied up to a chair; how could anyone sleep like that?

Was she hungry? Good chance of it; last time she had eaten something was on Friday when she had made the sandwiches and popcorn for their movie night. That was...two days ago? No way could it have been so short a time. It felt like he's been back with his family for at least a week. Although he supposes all the emotions he's gone through could make the days and nights seem longer.

What was she thinking? Did she know that Sam had tried? That he was still gonna try?

After all, he was a Winchester. Winchester's didn't give up, no matter the odds.

But his Dad and Dean would be on their guard now; would keep a closer eye on him, use Jessica to make him behave. They would lock every door and window in the cabin...

He could get the keys maybe...but where would Dean put them? If Sam knew his brother then Dean would probably keep them with him, which would make it kinda hard to get them. Unless Dean had put them in his jacket pocket instead of his jeans. Maybe if he pretended to be cold he could get Dean to give him his jacket...Nah, Sam shook his head; Dean would take them out of the jacket before giving it to Sam - his brother was far from stupid.

He could just smash a window but there were so many flaws with that plan; one: His Dad and Dean would stop him before he could even move a step and two: Jess was still tied up. And he wasn't leaving without her.

He could throw the biggest fit known to man as a distraction for Jess to untie herself somehow...maybe if he somehow managed to sneak her a small knife or something...then maybe Jess could make a run for it. But again, the windows and doors pose as a problem and by the time Jess got to either one of them his Dad or Dean would have grabbed her and...

Sam shook his head again. He needed to focus, not think about what they would do to Jess.

Begging them was out of the question: Hasn't worked so far.

He wasn't very good at manipulating people and John and Dean would see right through him, so manipulating them to do what he wanted was out.

Physical fighting?

Again, Sam shook his head. His family was stronger than him, and besides; two against one? He wouldn't stand a chance.

He could pretend to be sick; keep their attention on taking care of him instead of on Jess until he could think of something else. Sam sighed. No, Dean would know he was faking. Sam may be able to fool other people when needed, but those other people weren't the two that raised him, and, again, John and Dean would see straight through the act.

Maybe he could...

Well - there was an idea.

Sam sat up slightly and leaned against the pillows, thinking. If he could grab that somehow, and then twist away...Sam shook his head, no, that wouldn't work, he'd have to find another way. It was all about opportunity; the perfect timing. He'd probably only have a two second open window to grab what he needed before his Dad and Dean clicked on to what he intended to do.

There was a chance that it could all go spectacularly wrong, but it was a chance he had to take. What other choice did he have?

So, yeah. If he could grab that, move quick enough...then maybe he stood a chance at making this work.

He was interrupted in his planning when he heard footsteps outside the door. Clutching the blankets in his fist, Sam prepared himself. The day had started and Sam had to deal with it.

The door opened and Dean popped his head around it. Seeing Sam was awake, Dean grinned and walked into the room. "Morning, Sammy."

Sam gave a tight lipped smile but didn't verbally respond. Seeing Dean standing infront of him, wearing dark blue jeans and a grey top, and knowing what he had planned made his anxiety levels go high; not to mention knowing what the day would probably hold for Jess made his stomach turn.

"What do you say for some breakfast." Dean asked, moving towards the bed and moving the blanket off Sam. "I think Dad's doing some pancakes, and if you're good you may be able to convince him to put sliced up bananas on top."

Sam moved to sit on the edge of the bed, keeping his head down. "What time is it?" He mumbled.

Dean checked his watch. "Quarter past eight. I thought you would still be asleep. You always did need a good night's sleep before facing the day." Dean smiled fondly before the smile disappeared and he crossed his arms. "Or did that change in the three years you were away from me?" He asked, letting Sam know that he was still pissed about that.

Sam tensed. He knew Dean was gonna bring that up but he hadn't expected it to be now. "Dean..."

"But we'll deal with that later." Dean interrupted. "Right now Dad's got pancakes cooking and..." He paused and gave Sam a pointed look. "We have other things to sort out first."

And for the first time that day Sam's eyes watered. Thankfully no tears actually fell, but Sam couldn't help but feel that that's all he's done these past two days; cry and panic. It was exhausting. It wasn't even 9 o'clock in the morning and already Sam knew this day was gonna be one of his worst.

But he couldn't stay in bed and hide from it all, couldn't leave Jess to deal with his family on her own. He had to man up and follow Dean out that door. But doing that seemed so difficult at the moment; he just wanted to dive back under the covers and pretend he was back in College; that Jess had only popped the shop for some milk and everything was fine.

But seeing Dean's outstretched hand, Sam knew he didn't have a choice in the matter. Taking a deep breath, Sam took his brother's hand and was led out of the bedroom.

Walking into the kitchen behind Dean, the first person Sam saw was John. His Dad was wearing light blue jeans and a black top and was standing infront of the cooker, using a spatula to take the pancake out of the frying pan and onto a plate. He looked up and grinned when he saw them.

"Morning, Boys." He greeted. "How'd you sleep?"

"Kept tossing and turning." Dean responded, going over to the counter to help John with breakfast.

Sam ignored his family and looked around the kitchen, wanting to see...

His heart skipped when he got his first glance of her. Her hair was a complete mess, not having been brushed for two days and still damp from last night's rain. A trickle of blood slipped down her hand and Sam knew she had twisted her wrists against the ropes, trying to loosen them up but only succeeded in rubbing her skin raw. She was shivering from the damp clothes she still wore and spending the night in a cold kitchen hadn't helped. Duct tape covered her mouth and Sam clenched his fist.

How long has that been on her? Since they had gone to bed, or since they had woken up? What did she say for them to decide she needed that on her? She had to have said something, right? They wouldn't have just put it on her for no reason...right?

Since there wasn't anything he could do about it, he continued to check her over - and had to clench his fists once again. A bruise lay on her cheek, under her left eye, a mixture of yellow and blue; a bruise that wasn't there the last time Sam saw her. Was it from the two slaps she had gotten last night from his Dad and Dean? Or did it happen when Sam wasn't around?

But, again, there wasn't anything Sam could do about it.

It was her eyes that caused Sam's chest to tighten. Filled with unshed tears, her once bright blue eyes now screamed at him to help her. She looked lost and scared and Sam couldn't do a damn thing. The only thing he could offer was a sorry excuse for a reassuring smile.

He flinched when he felt a hand on his elbow and ignored the concerned look Dean gave him.

"You okay, Sammy?" Dean asked, rubbing his hand up and down Sam's arm in a comforting gesture and giving his younger brother a once over. "You seem on edge."

Sam clenched his jaw and didn't point out that he was on edge. Either Dean was purposely being ignorant of Jess being tied to a chair on the opposite side of the room, or he generally didn't understand why Sam was so jumpy. Either way, Sam didn't snap back at him like he wanted to; just kept his mouth shut and his head down and allowed Dean to gently push him into a chair at the dining room table.

He nodded his head in thanks as John placed a plate infront of him and a glass of orange juice, but kept his eyes down and his hands in his lap. Four pancakes were neatly piled on the plate, with sliced up bananas on top, covered with chocolate syrup. Sam's favourite breakfast as a kid. He snuck a glance over at Dean's breakfast as his brother sat at the top of the table, to the left of Sam - six pancakes just shoved on top of each other, covered with maple syrup with strawberry's placed on the side of the plate. Dean's third favourite breakfast as a kid; the top two being a traditional full English breakfast, and a double greasy hamburger with extra onions. As John sat in the chair opposite Sam, his simple breakfast of 5 pancakes with jif and suger, Jess gave out a small whimper, the sound dulled down due to the duct tape.

Sam's head whipped towards her but John took his attention when he tapped his fork on his plate. "You didn't answer my question, Kiddo."

Sam shifted in his chair and brought his right hand up to pick up his own fork, avoiding looking at his family in favour of poking at the pancakes. "Question?" He mumbled.

"How'd you sleep?" John repeated, before taking a bite of food.

Sam's hand tightened on his fork and he had to unclench his jaw again to answer. "The drugs did their job, if that's what you're getting at." The words were quiet but snappish enough to let them know he wasn't happy about it.

Dean took a break from shoving food into his mouth to give Sam a warning look. He swallowed what was in his mouth and put the half-eaten strawberry back down, before he placed his arms on either side of his plate. "Didn't leave us much choice with that, Sammy." He said seriously.

Before Sam could respond, he heard Jess give out another whimper and could hear her stomach rumbling from across the room. He dropped his fork and ignored the noise it made when it connected with his plate. He took a deep breath to calm himself down. Keeping his eyes on the table, he spoke quietly. "I don't wanna argue and I don't wanna fight..."

"Good. Because we don't want that either." John interrupted.

"...But could you please..." He gritted out through clenched teeth, his voice going slightly louder. He had to take another deep breath through his nose. He continued, his voice going back down to a mumble. "Can you please give her something to eat?" He didn't dare look up and see their reaction. He rushed on. "She hasn't eaten in two days, she must be starving by now, and I can't sit here eating bloody pancakes while..."

He cut himself off when Dean bounced out of his chair; the chair sliding a few inches across the floor before it stopped. John went back to his food while Sam listened to his brother bang behind him. Two minutes later, Dean walked past the table and over to Jess. He took out a small pocket knife from the back pocket of his jeans and roughly cut away the rope off of Jess's right hand, leaving the left one tied. He grabbed the back of the chair, tipped it on two legs and dragged it over to the end of tha table; putting Jess to the right of Sam and opposite himself. He walked back over to the kitchen counter, grabbed a plate and a glass of water, walked back over to Jess and slammed it down infront of her, making the plate bounce and rattle with the force he had used and the water to swish over the side of the glass.

Sam watched as Dean harshly ripped away the duct tape from her mouth before walking back to his own chair and sitting down. He looked at Sam.

"There. Happy? I even added a drink." He picked up his fork and pointed at Sam's breakfast. "Now eat your damn food."

Although Jess's breakfast wasn't as much as his own - a single ham sandwich - it was better than nothing, so Sam picked up his folk and finally took a bite of his own food, watching Jess from the corner of his eye.

She had hesitatingly picked up the corner of her sandwich and took a small nibble from it before placing it back down. Keeping her head down, she whispered, "Thank you."

Dean swallowed his food and responded. "Ain't me you have to thank, Sweetheart. If it was up to me you'd have starved to death."

Without lifting her head, Jess looked up and glared at Dean. "It wasn't you I was thanking." She snapped.

Sam looked at her with wide eyes, wondering how the hell she could still have some attitude left in her when most women would have broken by now. Although, truthfully, Sam admired her for it. That spark in her personality was one of the reasons he loved her. But a second later, panic settled in his chest and he whipped his eyes over to Dean, praying Dean wouldn't do anything in retaliation.

But Dean just looked amused as he stared back at her. "Hard to break." He acknowledged. "I like that." He smirked and gave her a wink. "Makes it so much sweeter when you finally do."

Jess continued to glare, Dean continued to smirk, John continued to eat and Sam continued to glance between his girlfriend and his brother. John put a stop to all that when he spoke.

"Sam, you haven't eaten much. Is it okay?"

Sam looked at John and nodded silently, but continued to poke at it.

"I can cut it up for you if that makes it easier." Dean offered casually, but Sam heard the warning. If Dean cut his food then Dean would also feed it to him. Sam hurriedly shook his head and took a few more bites.

The rest of breakfast continued in silence, the only noise was the silverware clanking against the plates. Jess finished first and John, Dean and Sam finished five minutes later.

"I'll clean up." Dean announced, putting his plate on top of John's empty one and picking up Sam's, carrying all three of them to the sink.

"I'll get Sam and the girl settled in the living room." John stood and tilted his neck side to side, stretching out the kinks as Dean nodded. John walked to the end of the table and pulled Jess's chair out, ignoring her flinch. He took the rope that Dean had cut off and placed it back on her wrist, not caring that it was tighter than before due to it being shorter.

"Ow." Jess complained. "Please, it's too tight..."

John placed the duct tape back on her mouth, not letting her finish. "Get over it, Darlin'." He drawled out, and walked over to Sam. "Come on, Kiddo." He encouraged Sam to stand by placing a hand under his elbow. Once Sam stood, John grabbed the back of Jess's chair, took Sam's hand and dragged them both into the living room.

He placed Jess in the middle of the room; where she had sat last night before Dean had hauled her out into the kitchen, and gently pushed Sam back into the armchair he had sat in last night.

Sam looked up at his Dad before looking at Jess and then back up at John. "Dad, the ropes too tight. Can you loosen it up a little, please?" He pleaded.

"No, Sam." Although the words were blunt, John delivered them gently, but Sam's eyes still teared up as he turned his head away. John frowned sumpathetically and stroked Sam's hair. "Sorry, Son, but you know I can't." He shook his head sadly when Sam ignored him.

John sighed and let his hand drop away from Sam's hair. He moved to sit on the couch as Dean came into the living room, drying his hands on a hand towel. He threw the towel on the end of the couch before sitting in the opposite armchair, leaning forward with his arms on his knees. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly.

"Well..." He started, looking from Jess to Sam. "Where do we even begin?" He asked John, leaning back in the chair with his arms now placed on each of the chair's arms.

John sighed and leaned forward, sitting in the position Dean had sat in a second ago. "You screwed up, Kiddo." He informed Sam - like Sam hadn't already figured it out.

"Majorly." Dean butted in, staring at Sam.

Sam kept his head down, his stomach twisting more than it did that morning when he was lying in bed. Yes, he had majorly screwed up three years ago when he had decided to run. It was a spare of the moment decision; he didn't even think. He saw the opportunity and he took it without a second thought. He realised now that it was a stupid decision but yet he couldn't regret it. He had had a year and a half of sharing his life with Jess, and no matter how these couple of days turned out, he could never regret that. And yes, he had majorly screwed up when he had ran last night, but again he couldn't regret it. He had to try; he needed to save Jess - he needed Jess to know that he was trying to save her.

But then again, his Dad and Dean had a way of making him regret things.

Dean stood and walked behind Jess, leaning his hand on the back of the chair and watched as Sam tensed up. "Why'd you do it, Sam?" He asked. Dean narrowed his eyes when Sam stayed silent. He slowly stepped around the chair and stood at the side of Jess. "You're really gonna ignore me right now, Kid?" He asked in amused disbelief. He looked at Jess and slowly raised his hand, ignoring Jess's flinch. He placed his hand gently on the top of her head and stroked her hair.

Sam never took his eyes away from his brother's hand, his heart pounding. What was he gonna do? Sam scoffed inwardly. Stupid question. He was gonna hurt her - Sam knew he was gonna hurt her...

And he couldn't do a damn thing to stop it.

But maybe he could delay it.

"I don't know." He whispered, still looking at Dean's hand on his girlfriend's head. "I don't know why. I just...I-I wasn't thinking..."

"Damn right you weren't thinking!" Sam flinched at the stern words from his Dad. John jumped off the sofa, walked behind it and started pacing up and down. "Do you have any idea what your brother and I thought when we saw the Motel room empty?" John asked angrily, not expecting, or wanting, an answer. "Do you understand the fear we felt? The panic?" John stopped his pacing and placed his hands on the back of the couch, leaning his weight on his arms, and stared at Sam.

"You're sure as hell making me understand it now, aren't you?" Sam mumbled under his breath, keeping his head down.

"What was that?" Dean asked, not really hearing what Sam had said but seeing his brother's lips move.

Sam shook his head. "Nothing." He whispered, not seeing the point in repeating it. All that would do was cause arguments and Jess would get caught up in it.

Dad and Dean stared at him suspiciously for a moment before Dean shook his head and removed his hand from Jess's hair.

"Getting back on point." He walked away from the side of the chair to stand infront of it, facing Sam. "'I don't know' is not an answer; sure as hell ain't an answer I'm happy with. So. Why'd you do it?" He asked again, crossing his arms as he stared down at his brother.

Sam closed his eyes for a moment, clenching his jaw to shut himself up. Why couldn't his brother just leave things alone?



Sam shook his head and kept his eyes closed. He could feel the emotions rise up in him; anger, frustration. He didn't want to talk about this; there wasn't any point in taking about it. He could see just how that conversation would go...

He'd tell his family why; tell them all about how scared he was, how conflicted he was, how torn he was between doing what he knew was right and the love he felt for his family. He'd tell them how he had had enough that night, how he had laid in the bed that Dean had tucked him into and imagined them torturing some poor innocent girl as she screamed for help, how he had imagined hearing her screaming as if she was next door. He'd tell them how he had tossed and turned, anxiety and fear rising up in him until he had to pace the room; how he had pictured that poor girls family hearing about her death, about how they couldn't even identify her due to how bad she looked, imagined Dad and Dean coming back to the Motel that night as if nothing had happened when he knew what they had done.

Imagined them getting caught in the act, getting arrested, getting the book thrown at them in Court, getting dragged off to Prison, leaving Sam behind to fend for himself with no family left.

It had just about drove him insane and he had to get out.

So he did. He got out; he had smashed the room window, had jumped through and hadn't looked back.

But he would tell his family this and his family would look sympathetic and tell him that they understand but running away was still the wrong thing to do and now they had to show him how wrong it was and make sure he didn't do it again, and they'd hurt Jess until both her and Sam were a crying mess and Sam's shouting out promises that he'd never do it again. Then they'd either let Jess go with some permanent injury or just put her out of her misery and kill her and then drag Sam back to the very thing he had needed to run from in the first place.

Nothing would change.

So what was the point?


Sam opened his eyes when Dean called his name and saw the point of it a second later when Dean, not taking his eyes away from Sam, lashed his hand out and backhanded Jess across the face.

Sam flinched, his jaw clenching up to stop the curses he wanted to shout out. He breathed heavily through his nose to try to calm himself down but this time it wasn't working.

He couldn't keep it in any more.

"Because of you." He spat out, looking at Dean. "Because of you and that so called Father over there. Because you both were selfish, insensitive, mentally unstable Bastards." His voice was full of venom and he showed no sign of caring about it or stopping it. "Because you did what you wanted without any regards to anyone else in the world, because you didn't care about anyone else in the world but yourselves."

Dean opened his mouth, probably to say that they cared about Sam, but Sam wouldn't let him speak.

"No! You wanted me to tell you why, Dean, so this is why!" He jumped up off the chair, standing infront of it with his back straight and fists clenched. "You say you care about me but you didn't. You don't! Otherwise you wouldn't have dragged me from Motel to Motel when I begged you for a home." He directed at John, before speaking to both his family members. "You wouldn't have drugged me to keep me docile, you wouldn't have locked me in bedrooms for days!" He listed. He took a step forward. "You wouldn't have kidnapped me and my girlfriend from our apartment in the middle of the night with a gun pointed at her head! You wouldn't have hurt her infront of me, because of me! You wouldn't make me feel so scared for her life!" He turned back to John. "That fear and panic you don't think I understand? You made me understand it every day of my life! You're making me understand it now!" He turned back to Dean, breathing heavily. "So that's why! That's why I ran three years ago, that's why I ran last night, and that's why I'll continue to run for as long as I live! Because you're both total Maniac's, complete Psycho's; sick, twisted people who need to be locked up in a mental hospital and kept away from the rest of humanity!"

The room was completely silent after Sam's shouted outburst, the only noise was Sam's heavy breathing.

Dean, John and even Jess stared at Sam in complete shock.

A second later, Sam realised what the hell he's just said.

"Oh God." He mumbled, his eyes widening. He covered his mouth with his hand as his own shock settled in. "Oh God." He repeated, the sound muffled. He swallowed hard, removing his hand from his mouth and placed it on his chest, over his heart. He could feel his heart crashing against his chest; felt how fast it was going and knew he needed to calm down.

But he couldn't calm down. The thing's he just said...

He turned around so he faced his chair, his back to everyone in the room. "Oh God." He whimpered. He hadn't meant to say any of it - he never wanted to say any of it - it had just come pouring out of him and he couldn't stop it.


Sam closed his eyes at the sound of his brother's voice. Dean sounded so...sad.

"I didn't mean it." Sam blurted out. "I'm sorry." He said breathlessly. "I'm so sorry, I didn't mean it, I don't even know where it came from, please, I'm sorry..."

He was so busy rambling that he didn't hear Dean's footsteps getting closer. He clamped his mouth shut when he felt Dean's hand on his shoulder. Dean's voice was so soft and gentle that Sam's eyes watered.

"Sammy. Calm down, Kiddo. It's okay, we're not mad, just calm yourself down, okay?"

Sam took a deep breath.

"That's it, Tiger. In and out; just breathe slowly." Dean continued his soothing words as he rubbed his hand up and down Sam's back.

It took five minutes before Sam could breathe normally. He let out one more heavy breath before he spoke, still keeping his back to the room. "You're not Psycho's." He whispered. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to say that. And I don't think you're sick and twisted."

He heard Dean let out a sigh behind him. "Sam, I want you to sit down for a minute, okay? Come on, Little Brother, sit down for me."

Sam allowed Dean to guide him ack to the chair but kept his head down, not wanting to look at his Dad or brother as shame slammed into his chest. He felt Dean sit on the arm of his chair and felt his brother's hand rest softly - reassuringly - on the back of his neck. He heard his Dad walk around to the front of the couch, sitting down on the edge of it and turning his body to face Sam.

"Sam, I want you to do something for me, alright?" John asked softly.

Sam nodded and thought it was kinda ironic that Dean and Dad were speaking to him as if he was the unstable one. But then again, after the outburst he just had...couldn't really blame them.

"Alright." John continued. "I want you to remember your 8th birthday. Can you do that for me?"

Sam frowned in confusion. His 8th birthday? What does his 8th birthday have to do with...?

But as soon as his Dad said it, memories of that day poured into his mind. Yeah, he remembered. He remembered waking up that morning in his and Dean's room at Bobby's, Dean and Dad standing around his bed singing Happy Birthday while Dean had held a small cupcake in his hand, a lit candle standing in the middle. He remembered getting the Children's Encyclopedia book from Dean that he had read over and over for months afterwards, thrilled with the new information he had learned from each page; remembered the toy cars from Bobby that he had raced with Dean in the Motel rooms when they had gotten bored with everything else; remembered the Mini Volcano Mood Light he had gotten from his Dad - for many years afterwards he had placed that light on the nightstand next to his bed, had fallen asleep watching it, had felt so calm and relaxed as it had soothed him into sleep.

He remembered that afternoon when they had gone for a walk to the back fields behind Bobby's house, through the small forest and down to the small river. Remembered Dad and Bobby setting up the picnic by the river while he and Dean had splashed in it; remembered the smiles and the laughing; remembered being pulled into Dean's side with Dean's arm around his shoulders as his brother gave him a one-arm hug; remembered running towards his Dad and being picked up, swung around in the air, and thrown over to Bobby, who had caught him, swung him around and threw him back.

Remembered sitting under the stars that night, the sound of the river relaxing him; remembered sitting on Dean's knee while Dad and Bobby lit the candles on his birthday cake. Remembered the cheering and clapping when he blew them out.

Remembered falling asleep in Dean's arms, remembered waking up in his Dad's arms as he carried him back to Bobby's house.

Sam didn't notice the small smile on his lips as he remembered but everyone else in the room did. John and Dean looked at each other and shared a secret smile, while Jess frowned in suspicion and concern.

Dean gently squeezed his brother's neck. "You remember, Sammy?"

Sam nodded.

Dean nodded back and moved off the arm of the chair to crouch infront of his brother. "Okay. Now I want you to remember your bedtimes as a kid." Dean said and Sam closed his eyes. "Do you remember? Do you remember the way Dad would run you a bath with bubbles and how you would splash away?"

Sam nodded.

"Do you remember how I would dry you off and put you in nice, clean PJ's? How me and Dad would tuck you in and stroke your hair? How I would make up a story while Dad rubbed your back?"

Sam nodded again, keeping his eyes closed as he remembered.

"And do you remember how you felt in those moments? How tired and relaxed you felt as the red glow of your Mood Light shined in the room, how safe you felt tucked between the blankets with each of us on either side of you? How loved you felt when we kissed your head and told you we loved you each night?"

Sam's eyes watered as he nodded. He remembered. And he missed it. Missed feeling like that; missed being that young - missed being that safe.

Jess frowned and finally got what was happening. Sam had told her about how good his family were at manipulating people. And that's what she was witnessing right now. And she was shocked by it. What kind of family manipulated you like that? How could they do that to him? And why can't Sam see what they were doing? She screamed behind the duct tape, wanting to get Sam's attention, wanting him to focus on what was happening now; what his family were doing now. She shut up when John glared; intimidated and afraid.

Sam's eyes snapped open when he heard Jess but Dean squeezed his knee and got his attention.

"You don't understand, Kiddo. And that's fine, we don't need you to understand. But we drugged you to keep you calm, not docile. We only ever drugged you, Sam, when you got too upset for us to be able to calm you down ourselves. You could have hurt yourself and we had to stop that." Dean explained, making sure Sam's full attention was on him and not the Bitch behind him. "And do you remember why we locked you inside bedrooms?" He asked. When Sam nodded, he continued. "Why, Sammy?"

Sam swallowed and looked at his knees. "Because I kept running away." He whispered.

"Because you kept running away." Dean confirmed. "Because each time you ran away, Kiddo, you were putting yourself in danger." Dean looked thoughtful for a moment as he shifted his weight from foot to foot but didn't stand up. "Think of it as self-harm. When someone self-harms, they're family takes them to hospital and they're constantly supervised, aren't they? Well, that's what we did, Sammy. You kept willingly putting yourself in danger and we needed to make sure you were safe." Dean paused to let that sink in and could see that Sam was thinking about it. "We didn't like doing that, Kiddo. Infact, we hated it. You think that when we did that we were tormenting you? That we were hurting you? We were hurting ourselves, Sam. We wanted nothing more than to let you out but we couldn't take the chance that you would run. You're safety was more important, Sammy." Dean explained softly. He brought his hand up and brushed his brother's hair out of his eyes.

Sam's shoulders slumped and Jess could see the surrender written on his face. He was giving into them. And going by the happy smiles on John and Dean's face, they knew it too.

Dean and John shared a glance before Dean looked over his shoulder at Jess.

"That being said..." He started, turning back to Sam. "You still ran and you still knew it was wrong to do so." He patted Sam's knee once before he stood up and stepped back. "For three years we wondered if you were even alive, Sam. We did nothing but eat, sleep and look for you. All the while scared out of our damn minds that we'll be too late to find you safe and in one piece." He took another step back, bringing himself closer to Jess. Something Sam took notice of and he frowned slightly.

Sam watched as Dean walked to the opposite side of the room and picked up his duffle-bag from the corner, which Sam didn't notice was there until now. Dean dropped the duffle down on the armchair and opened it up.

"For three years the only thought running through our minds was you. Were you safe? Were you sleeping okay? Who was there to comfort you through your nightmares? Were you eating right? Did you remember to take meds when you were sick? Who was rubbing your back when you threw up?" Dean continued talking as he unpacked the bag, taking out more rope and a dozen of knives; all different shapes and sizes. He laid them out on the couch next to John.

Sam didn't take his eyes away from the knives, tensing up as he was brought back to reality with a harsh crash. He had to stop this. Jess being in the same room as his family and a bunch of knives? Their day was about to get a hell of a lot worse.

"Dean..." He whispered, tears falling down his cheeks.

"We get why you did it, Son." John interrupted, standing up from the couch to walk over to his youngest. He placed his hand on his shoulder and squeezed it gently, half in warning to stay put and half in comfort. "But, still..."

"You shouldn't have tried to run, Sam." Dean carried on from where John trailed off. He straightened up from sorting out the knives and held his arms out to the side. "You had to have known we would've found you."

Sam frowned, his brain trying to push something to the front of his mind. Deja vu. Those words...they sounded so familiar...he'd heard them before...Where has he heard them before...?

Sam's eyes widened and his breathing picked up. He remembered. He felt his Dad rub his shoulder, heard the soft rumble of his Dad's voice but it sounded so far away.

He remembered those words...

...That dream.

"You shouldn't have tried to run, Sam."

Flames, heat, screams, air, smell...

"You had to have known we would've found you."

Sam sat in shocked silence. How did...Dean said...and that dream...those

He couldn't breathe. Those were the exact words, said in the exact tone of voice from his dream. The dream he had almost forgotten about...until now.

The dream he had had every night for two weeks. The dream that had woken him up in a sweat and panic. The dream he had pushed aside because it was just a dream.

It was just a coincidence, right? It wasn't couldn't be. It was just a dream!

But Sam's stomach was turning, his chest was tight, his heart pounded, his palms were sweating. He was panicking. He could see Dean and John looking at him, concern written all over their faces.

He shook his head. It was just a dream, just a coincidence. He needed to focus; needed to focus on the here and now, on the knives lining up on the couch, on Jess tied to a chair, on keeping his family away from Jess.


Sound came back to him, and the first sound he heard was Dean's voice.

"Stay away from her." Sam whispered faintly, staring at the knives.

Dean looked at him sadly and slowly shook his head. "Can't do that, Kiddo." He whispered back. "You need to learn." Dean walked over to stand infront of Jess, staring down at her with hate. "She kept you away from us." He sneered. "She looked after you when she didn't have the right too. She pushed herself into your life like she belonged there, and she doesn't!" Dean clenched his fists, getting more angry as he thought about it. "She has no place in this family, no place in your life."

It happened quickly. One second Dean was talking and the next he had ripped away the tape covering Jess's mouth and slammed his fist into the side of her head.

Jess's scream was full of shock and pain.

Sam jumped off the chair only to be grabbed by his Dad. "DEAN! Leave her alone!"

"She took you away!" Dean pushed out through clenched teeth, still not looking away from Jess. He brought his left hand up and lashed it back down, backhanding her across the other cheek.

Jess let out a sob.

Sam struggled to move forward but John had wrapped his arms around him and held him back. "She didn't do anything!" He shouted.

But Dean didn't seem to hear. "She slept by your side every night!" He backhanded her again, cutting her cheek with the force.

Jess cried, Sam struggled, John held his youngest back, and Dean continued.

"She put her hands on you!" He grabbed her hair, twisting it around his fist and pulled her head back.

"Ahhh!" Jess shouted, her face drenched with the tears that continuingly ran down her cheeks.

"Jess!" Sam cried, twisting his body to try and loosen John's hold on him. It didn't work.

"SHE HAD NO RIGHT!" Dean yelled and pushed the chair over. Jess fell to the floor and Dean wasted no time in bringing his leg back and delivering kick after kick to her defenceless body.

"SAM!" Jess sobbed out.

"Jess." Sam whispered brokenly. He could do nothing but struggle violently in his Dad's arms and watch his brother beat his girlfriend.

"SAM, HELP ME!" Jess screamed out as Dean brought his leg back to deliver another kick.

Time slowed down and Sam felt dizzy. He was watching everything in slow motion; watching Dean bring his leg back again and again, his brother's face red with anger. Watched as Jess cried out but couldn't hear the noise, her face red because she had trouble breathing; tears strolling down to hit the floor beneath her, spit flying out of her open mouth as she cried. His mind was running back and forth between two places: The present...

...And that dream.


Flames, heat, screams, air, smell...


Screams. They were so loud. Ringing through his ears until they echoed inside his head, over and over. No escape.



The voice in his head mixed with the voice in the room; the same voice screaming those words.

How was it possible? It had been a dream.

But so far that dream seemed to be coming true.

No. He would not let this end like the dream had. He wouldn't let it end like that! He wouldn't!


The knives on the couch.

And Sam remembered his plan from that morning. Remembered that it was all about the perfect timing.

Screw the perfect timing. It had to happen now!

He threw his head back. He didn't feel the pain as the back of his head connected with his Dad's nose. But he did feel John's arms loosen around him and he took his chance. Not wasting anytime, he dived forward, stumbling in his panic. His hand shot out to land on the couch, keeping himself from falling to the floor.

Knife. Get the knife!

His hand reached out. He felt the cold metal touch his arm. He bent his fingers. He grabed the knife.

And time resumed back to normal as Sam's long legs pushed him away from the couch and to the opposite side of it, his hand flying up to hold the knife to his own throat.

Jess was still on the floor, trying to curl up as much as she could. But John and Dean's attention was fully on him. Just like he wanted. They both stared in shock as Sam dug the knife against his skin. John's hand slowly came away from his nose and Sam saw a trickle of blood come from it but didn't care.

"Sam..." Dean said cautiously, raising his hands in the air as if Sam was a spooked animal.

"Get away from her." Sam didn't recognize his own voice. It wasn't a whisper, it didn't shake, it didn't beg. It was strong and cold and steady.

"Put the knife down." John ordered his youngest and took a cautious step forward.

Sam took a step back. "Stop!" He turned back to Dean. "Get away from her." He repeated.

And to show his family how serious he was, Sam dug the knife in deeper, a red trickle of blood appearing across his neck.

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