AN: Sorry it's taken me so long to get this updated. The holidays were murder! But here's the next chapter and hopefully I will get this finished up soon. Thank you to everyone reading and keep up the reviews!
Amanda stood just on the edge of the woods with her eyes closed; daylight was slowly fading and she knew they didn't have much time. Sam was on her left and Ryon on her right. Jimmy, Rick and Dusty stood behind her as they all waited for Amanda to tell them which way to go.
Sam brushed a lock of his hair from his eyes as he shifted his weapons duffle on his shoulder. He had his Glock in his other hand and he had Dean's Bowie knife at his back. "How much longer Amanda? I can't just stand here waiting while Dean's out there going through God knows what."
"Soon Sam." She replied without opening her eyes. "Ryon, have you seen anything else?"
Ryon had explained her earlier vision to Amanda; about seeing her mother kill Dean. Somehow the vision had to be wrong because there was no way her mother would hurt him, let alone kill him.
"No nothing." Ryon answered. She'd brought her favorite weapon with her, her crossbow. She loved this weapon and she had the quiver of arrows and bolts slung across her back for quick access.
Amanda opened her eyes and turned to look at Sam. "Have you had any visions Sam?"
Sam turned quickly to look down at Amanda. How did she know about his visions? "What do you mean?" He asked, as panic took hold of him.
"We don't have time for denials, Sam. I know you have the sight. Just as Ryon does, maybe even stronger, but you fight it. You think it makes you…evil. But it doesn't Sam. It doesn't matter how you acquired it, it doesn't make you bad."
Sam just looked at the woman. How could she know that? He knew better than anyone that it at least made him messed up for sure. "I know what I've got is not right. The way I got it…well, I'm not sure exactly, but I feel it involved evil."
"Yes, it does. The demon that killed your mother is involved."
"How can you know that?"
Amanda reached out and gently touched Sam's arm. "I know because I felt Dean's pain when he was having his nightmare. He doesn't know that I know though." She spoke softly, for Sam only. "He carries a lot of guilt within him over that; over your family, over you, over everything."
Of course he does Sam thought as he heaved a heavy sigh. Dean always blamed himself even when it wasn't really his fault. "I haven't seen anything. I try not to use it anymore. I don't really have any control over it and sometimes it scares…scares me. I know it scares Dean…he…he doesn't admit that, but I know it does. He tries to understand, but he can't."
"What you have, your ability Sam, it doesn't make you evil. No matter where it came from. Free will is a gift given to all God's children. No demon, no angel, nothing can change that, no matter what they may say. Only you can change yourself by your own choices, Sam. There is a limit to how much control a demon can force on a human being." Amanda paused. "I know you think Dean feels it makes you some kind of…freak, but he doesn't really think that. He just doesn't understand it because of how the demon is involved. He's never called you evil and he's never lied to you Sam. He never has."
Sam tried to swallow the lump in his throat. Ever since they'd found Max, Sam had worried he'd end up being like him. He was worried he was destined to end up like him. And maybe he would have if he hadn't had Dean; he'd done his best to keep Sam grounded; sane. "I know." He answered nervously. "That's why we have to find him. He keeps me safe, he grounds me. I don't think I can do any of this, the hunts, anything without him."
Amanda patted Sam's arm as she reached out for Ryon's hand with her other hand. When Ryon slipped her hand in her mother's, Amanda pulled her close and then slipped Ryon's hand into Sam's. "Take Ryon's hand Sam. Let her show you what she sees. Let her help you feel." She said as she stepped back from the pair. "Trust in what she can show you."
Ryon nodded at her mother. "Close your eyes Sam and just let go. Let yourself feel the air, the wind. Let yourself smell the forest. Use those senses and focus on Dean." She instructed him softly.
As he obeyed, she took her free hand and placed it alongside his face. She concentrated on her earlier vision. When she could feel Sam begin to see what she'd seen, she slowly pulled her hand from his face and then her other from within his grasp. She let him slowly begin to experience the vision on his own.
Amanda watched as Sam received the vision from Ryon, then as Ryon pulled free from Sam, she gently reached out and placed her hand on Sam's arm again. She felt him as he experienced the vision.
Sam felt Ryon's withdrawal, but not Amanda's touch as he kept his focus on the vision and on Dean. He could see Dean running through the woods. He was being chased by something and it was dark. He could see that Dean kept looking behind him at whatever was chasing him, and Sam could see Dean's gun in his left hand. Sam registered that as odd since Dean was right-handed and his right arm did not appear to be damaged in any way. But he knew Dean was trained to use his left hand just as easily as his right. That was something Sam hadn't been able to master as well as Dean.
He watched as Dean finally stopped and turned around raising the gun as he did so. He watched as Dean shot whatever had been coming after him. His first thought was that it was a spirit, but her features weren't right actually for that, they didn't seem…well, she didn't seem to be dead. She seemed to be solid with the exception of being to fly or float. She was flying at Dean.
Her face was in the shadows, but Sam knew instinctively that she was a woman because of the flowing lavender dress blowing out around her. Suddenly Sam saw Dean raise the colt and fire twice at the woman, hitting her in the chest. As Sam watched, the woman fell to the forest floor and he was able to see her face clearly now. He saw Dean standing over the woman and quickly dropping the gun to suddenly gather her in his arms and cradle her to his chest. He saw Dean cradling Amanda in his arms as she died.
Blinking heavily, Dean could only sit and stare into the darkness that surrounded him so completely. He hurt everywhere. He hurt like hell. He was hard pressed to say what hurt worse. Pain slowly brought some lucidity back as he tried to push himself back up the pole with a strength that was severely lacking.
The splinters were digging deep trenches in his back, his head throbbed like a bitch, his side hurt from the ripped stitches and his leg muscles kept twitching. He knew it was only a matter of time before his body would betray him; he just hoped someone would find him before then. He hoped they would want to find him.
After what happened with Sam and their father back in Chicago, he was beginning to worry more and more about where he stood with his family. Sam had made it clear he would leave once they killed this demon; and their father had just up and left Dean before and he'd been quick to run off again right after Dean had told Sam that their dad was better off without them around.
Dean knew in his heart it was best for their father if he was alone, but what he hadn't told Sam was that Dean felt they were better off without their dad around too. It was Dean's job to protect Sammy and truth be told, he found his job harder with their father around.
First, the two of them fought constantly putting Dean in the middle, forcing him to pick a side. It was hard enough having to listen to the two of them go at it let alone being forced to choose between the two of them.
Then there was the fact their father always had to be in charge. Dean secretly hated that as much as Sam did. It wasn't because he felt his father was wrong in his plans nor did he doubt his father's knowledge and abilities, because Dean was trained to follow orders; that was the problem. Dean couldn't always follow his father's orders and be there to watch over Sam when Sam refused to listen to their father.
Dean always kept his mouth shut only voicing his 'yes sirs' and no sirs' where needed and did the best he could to be what his father wanted from him. For his father, for his brother Dean always did what they asked. Always.
Back when they'd been in Lawrence helping that family in their old house and when Sam had been trapped inside, Dean had busted his way in to get to Sam. To protect him. When he'd rushed into that kitchen, Dean had come face to face with the spirit of their mother.
Dean knew Sam had been through a lot just from losing Jess and Dean had remembered how broken his father had been after losing their mom. He's seen both of them suffer through their losses, but neither of them had ever realized that Dean had lost things too. Not just a mother, but Dean had lost a father, lost his own childhood.
Dean had become Sam's father the minute that demon had taken their mother, because the loss of her had taken the father he'd briefly known as well. From that moment, Dean had lost a normal father figure. John had become obsessed with finding that demon, training his sons to fight the supernatural, that he'd forgotten he was still their father.
What Dean had lost made him stronger and he made damn sure Sammy had everything he could possibly give him. Just as a father should. Dean helped care for Sammy, helped to raise him. Dean had given him everything that he hadn't had for himself.
And when Dean had seen their mom's spirit, he'd been so overwhelmed with emotion; and when she'd smiled at him calling him by name, well he just about lost it right then. He'd missed her so damn much.
But when she turned and walked past him to go up to Sam and tell Sam she was sorry…it had hurt. He didn't really register her sacrificing herself after that. He only really remembered how she'd walked past him and apologized to Sammy. She was sorry for what had happened to Sam; not Dean. Never Dean.
Dean had lost just as much as Sam and she was only sorry for what Sam had lost. That had been when Dean realized that he needed his family much more than they actually needed him.
His dad had been right when he'd told Sam that he chose Sam to live because Dean knew he couldn't handle Sam's death. Sam would grieve for Dean, then he'd find their father and the both of them would move on. They may end up killing each other, but the two would move on. They'd find that yellow-eyed son of a bitch and end him, at least Dean could take comfort in that.
I just want us to be a family again…Dean remembered his words to Sam not so long ago in that hotel room in Chicago. He really did want them all to just be a family again, but more than that, Dean just wanted his family to need him as much as he needed them.
He was tired of being the good little soldier; of being the one who had to suck it up and bury all his feelings. He hated having to cram them away so that he could take care of John or Sam and protect all the innocent people who had no idea what was really out there in this world. He was tired of failing them; of not being what they needed or wanted. He was just so damned tired of it all.
Then Dean thought of Mandy. He truly cared for that woman; much more than he had thought he cared for Cassie. He had loved Cassie, but he realized now he didn't care for Cassie like he cared for Mandy. The way he felt when he was with Mandy, well it was much more than he'd felt with Cassie. He knew he was falling in love with Mandy and that he didn't think he'd ever find a love like that ever again. He smiled a little as he realized she loved him too. And she'd come for him.
Dean just hoped it'd be soon. He didn't know how much more he could take and his body wasn't keeping up with his mind on trying to hold it together. He was too tired and he just wanted to get back home. Home in his car with Sam riding shotgun as they saved people, hunted things. And maybe even share time with Mandy here and there. Maybe even…
"You don't have a home Dean." Came Eva's voice again, trying to brutally push him over that edge.
"Yes, I do." He managed to croak out in response to her.
"No Dean, you don't." She repeated in her ugly cruel tone. "No one wants you. Not really."
Dean just smiled as he thought about Sam and Mandy. Maybe Sam didn't need him as much as Dean needed him, but Dean knew Sam would still come for him. He knew Mandy would come. And as long as he had Sammy, Dean had a home. It was wherever Sam was.
Sam gasped as he felt the vision; it was as if it was actually happening right around him. He opened his eyes to see Ryon and Amanda standing there watching him. "What was that?" He asked confused.
"Tell me what you saw Sam." Amanda knew what he'd seen, she'd seen it herself in her own mind's eye, but she needed Sam to focus on it, remember it; feel it for himself.
"I saw…I saw Dean kill you." He said still shocked by what he'd seen and how intense the vision had been for him. It had been intense, but without the headaches he usually got when one came out of nowhere.
"Wait…what?" Ryon looked between her mother and Sam. "That's not my vision. That's not how I saw it end."
Sam turned to her. "What do you mean? What did you see?"
"In my vision, I saw my mother kill Dean."
They both turned to look at Amanda. "What does that mean?" Sam said it first.
Amanda looked at each of them. "It means that either vision could likely happen; unless we change the outcome." She replied cryptically. "Either vision is a possibility."
Before Sam could question her anymore, he felt something inside his head start hammering behind his eyes as he heard the words that Dean was thinking to himself. As long as he had Sammy, Dean had a home. It was wherever Sam was.
Sam gasped again as he heard those words echo in his mind; then they hit him. He looked at Amanda again.
"Did…did you see…hear that?" He asked, rubbing at his temples. At her nod, he asked again, "What does it mean?"
"It means that he's fighting Sam, the best he can. That's good news. It means we have time and we will find him. You know that no matter what happens between you and Dean, he will always fight…for you. He will always do that. He needs you now, more than he has ever needed you." Amanda paused as she reached out to touch Sam's arm. "You owe it to him to do the same for him. Fight for him."
Sam's first thought was to argue he always fought, but then he realized what Dean had been thinking and how he'd told Dean before he would leave hunting once the demon was dead. "Dean has to know that I would fight for him."
"Does he Sam?" Amanda looked at him and he could swear she was seeing everything inside of him; down to his very soul. "Dean doesn't think he's worth saving. He doesn't think you or your father need him anymore."
"Not worth… but that's ridiculous. Dean is the best at everything. He's good at whatever he does and I need him. More than I ever believed. I think… well, I think I'll probably always need my big brother."
"That's just it Sam. You and your father… look I know you love him, I do. It's just that you told him you'd leave him… and you've done that before. And your father has left him twice now, well… Dean just feels… abandoned. Not wanted."
"What… no way. I need him." Sam sounded heartbroken as he realized she was right.
"Then tell him that the minute you get the chance."
Sam thought about what Amanda was telling him. It was true; all of it. Sam knew Dean would die for him. But Dean needed to know Sam would do the same. Dean had been the one that raised Sam, not John. Dean had been there for everything.
John had been wrong; Sam now realized. He couldn't live without Dean. Not now; not ever. Sam needed Dean. Dean was important to him; he was important period. Suddenly Sam was angry. Not just at Eva for taking his brother from him, but at himself for not realizing sooner just how important Dean was to him.
"That bitch is not going to take my brother away from me. Let's go." He growled as he prepared himself for a fight.
If this bitch wanted a fight, she was gonna get one hell of a good one, het thought. Then he was gonna shoot her ass.