"What happened?" Amanda asked, once she had herself under control. She hated it when those dreams came, and she'd tried so hard to keep them a secret, but now Ryon knew.
"You were dreaming again; about Danny and before." Ryon answered gently as she let go of her mother. "You're still having those nightmares, aren't you?"
Duh, Amanda thought. Yes I am, but I am not discussing them. "No. Of course not." She replied evenly.
"You are a bad liar mother." Ryon took a long look at Amanda. "If you're not having those nightmares then why do you wake up screaming my name like you're losing me all over again?"
Amanda locked eyes with Ryon. "Okay, yes. I still have the nightmares, but can you blame me?" She snapped and then she instantly regretted her words as Ryon flinched. It wasn't her fault, she'd been young and naïve. "I'm sorry, hon. This isn't your fault." Amanda quickly added knowing she didn't really blame Ryon. "I'm okay, really."
Ryon wasn't convinced that her mother was okay, but she did sense her true regret at her stinging words so she just nodded in understanding. She knew her mother wouldn't want to talk about their past in front of anyone. "Okay." She replied quietly. "But we will talk."
"Sure." Amanda agreed in like… oh never she said to herself. She turned to look at Dean who lay next to her. "Is he okay? What happened?" She asked again taking in his pasty pallor.
"When you fainted, Dean grabbed you before you could face-plant on the carpet, but the exertion was too much for him and he passed out." Ryon answered as Sam nodded in agreement.
Why did people always say women fainted and men passed out? Wasn't it the same thing? Amanda thought. She shook her had and reached out to touch the arm Dean had resting across his bare stomach as if he was trying to protect his wounds in his sleep. She could feel the physical pain he had been in, but he actually seemed to be doing better and he was just sleeping now. "He's sleeping now. His wounds are better and he's not in as much pain as before. I think he'll be fine if we can keep him in bed and resting."
"Yeah good luck with that." Sam scoffed as he listened to Amanda.
She smiled in agreement with him. "You're probably right. He'll do what he wants. Well, we may have to tie him down then."
"Again…good luck with that." Sam repeated grinning.
Amanda was sitting at the table in her room talking with Sam while they waited for Ryon to do a breakfast run. Dean was still sleeping and he appeared to be sleeping more soundly than he had the past few days.
Sam had finally came out and told them that both Dean and he were Hunters and had heard about this case from a family friend. He hadn't told them about what had recently happened to them in Chicago, which was something Amanda planned on finding out about. She'd heard him and Dean discussing it earlier and she knew it bothered Dean a lot. Whatever had happened to them; whatever had caused those other wounds to Dean's side, well she just hoped they'd been able to get rid of it.
"So Ryon told me about most of your abilities, especially your ability to feel what others feel." Sam began as he watched Amanda watching Dean. "I'm just curious about one thing though."
Amanda turned and smiled gently at the man who still felt like a young boy to her. Sam was really adorable. He reminded her of a St. Bernard; big, loveable, dependable and fiercely loyal; and dangerous when necessary.
"And what is that Sam?" She asked quietly noting how he constantly kept a watchful eye on both her and Dean. She knew he probably didn't even realize he was watching her just as much as he was watching Dean. He was in protector mode.
"Why didn't you just let go of Dean's hand when all the negativity became too much to bear?" He was amazed that she'd handled it for as long as she had, because he knew how much emotion both he and Dean could give off when they were…disagreeing on something.
Sam knew both Dean and him were very emotional, just in different ways. Sam preferred to wear his emotions; that was his way of dealing with things, but Dean kept everything inside, pushed down deep. Sam didn't have to be a witch to know just how emotional his brother really was. Dean preferred to be stoic in front of Sam and others, but he still carried a lifetime of sadness, anger, pain, regret, loneliness and love within him all pushed down deep and he never let it out. Sam didn't know how Amanda had been able to handle any of it.
Amanda leaned across the table and took one of Sam's hands in both of hers and held tightly as she looked deep into his expressive hazel eyes. She knew Sam knew Dean's pain; knew everything his brother felt before when they were a family, but she also knew Sam was not as in touch with Dean now as he once had been. She prayed that would change, because these boys needed each other. No one could protect them better than the other and they had a destiny that was rocky, but if they held onto each other they would survive it.
"Because Sam, I wasn't the one holding on." She replied softly as she shifted her gaze from Sam to rest on Dean.
Sam was sitting alone now at the table in Amanda's room as the early afternoon sun shone through the curtains. It was his shift to watch over Dean; the three of them had decided to each handle a four hour shift to keep Dean safe and this way they could all get some rest. The idea would work out just fine for all of them; at least until Dean woke up and put a stop to it, Sam thought.
Ryon was in her room sleeping and Amanda was in the woods helping to search for Brenda and Ray. She was still hoping to find the last man, Travis Well, who had not been found yet.
Sam hated this waiting, but he knew Dean could sleep all day and possibly all night. He knew he was that tired, regardless of what he said. When Amanda returned in another hour it would be her turn to watch over Dean while Ryon and Sam were planning on staking out the bar again.
Jimmy and Amanda had taken care of disposing of the five men from last night. Sam could only hope they had disposed of them the way a Hunter would.
While Sam and Amanda had talked that morning he'd gained valuable information on demons and how they were able to be killed with the blades that belonged to Amanda and the marked bullets and shells from the shotguns. Evidently the shotguns and shells had all been doused in holy water then marked with devil's traps. Sam didn't know much about devil's traps, but he planned on checking into them in the near future.
The knives were what fascinated him the most and he knew Dean would be too when he found out. It seemed the two gold and alabaster marble knives were created from the throne of Solomon himself; the King of Demons. Sam knew a little about Solomon, but not that much. He didn't realize the magnitude of Solomon's throne and that it had been a huge display of power.
Sam knew about the seal of Solomon, a ring given to him by the arch angel Michael that gave him control over demons; it gave him the power to have them do his bidding, to obey him.
The fact that Amanda's family had been gifted with two of only six known blades to survive through the centuries was exciting to Sam. Apparently they had been in Amanda's family since their beginning. Such gifts told Sam that Amanda was no ordinary witch. In Sam's mind, it meant that Amanda was one in a long line of grand high witches. Which also meant she was more powerful than she'd led him to believe. It meant she could do a lot more than she was doing. It meant he was determined to find out why she was holding back and if she could help them in their search for the yellow-eyed demon.
At the sound of a light snore coming from Dean, Sam chuckled to himself. Dean looked different when he was actually getting some real sleep. He looked younger more vulnerable somehow. But Sam knew that was not the actual case. Dean may look vulnerable, but he would never ever allow himself to be vulnerable.
Sam thought back to what he'd told Dean about going back to school again once they got the demon. He'd been thinking about that yesterday in the bar when they'd first arrived. He hated himself now for telling Dean he wanted to leave after they caught the demon.
"You and me and Dad – I mean, I want us…I want us to be together again. I want us to be a family again." Dean's eyes were shining wit the shimmer of his tears.
"Dean we are a family. I'd do anything for you. But things will never be the way they were before." Sam tried to understand Dean's need for family, but he just couldn't get past his own need to get away.
Dean looked heartbroken. "Could be." He said sadly.
"I don't want them to be. I'm not gonna live this life forever. Dean, when this is all over, you're gonna have to let me go my own way." He looked at Dean pleadingly.
Sam shuddered now at his remembered words. It was as if he'd slapped Dean when all he wanted was to have his family back again. Nothing more. It was the only dream Dean had and Sam had taken that dream and thrown it out the window. It had been the cruelest thing he'd said to him since he could remember and Sam wished with all his heart right now he could take those words back.
Because right now as he watched Dean in sleep looking so young and alone, Sam wanted nothing more than to have his family back too. He felt so guilty for causing Dean this extra pain on top of what their father had already done.
"It's not your fault Sammy."
Sam jerked at the sound of his name. He'd been looking at Dean but hadn't really seen when the man had woken up. He jumped up and hurried over to the bed as Dean grunted while trying to move himself into a sitting position.
"Hey dude, I'm okay." Dean said as he settled on the fact he wasn't going to get into the position he wanted without a little help. "Help me up Sammy."
Sam resisted the urge to help. "Dean wait a sec. You got hit pretty good back there and you passed out again man. Not to mention the stitches you still got in your side from the Deaevas."
"And your point is?" Dean snapped as he looked up at Sam.
"My point is your hurt. You got twelve stitches to your head courtesy of Amanda and you got twenty-two stitches in your side. On top of that you were out all night after getting hit and another eight hours after you passed out when Amanda fainted. You've been asleep more the last twenty-four hours than you have this past week, dude."
"Great; then I've rested enough. Now help me the hell up."
Sam sighed in resignation as he put out his hand to take Dean's and lift his brother to his feet. As soon as Dean was vertical though, all his bravado left him. He looked up into Sam's eyes and with a muffled groan he swayed into Sam. He closed his eyes and reached out with his other hand to grab a hold of Sam to keep him balanced. Sam reached out and grabbed Dean's shoulder to help stabilize his stubborn brother.
"I gotcha Dean." Sam said gently.
Dean looked back at Sam and nodded weakly and allowed Sam to push him back down on the bed in a sitting position.
Sam looked down at Dean's bowed head as he seemed to be trying to orient himself. He was amazed at how much the guy would take and never really complain. He wondered how much of Dean's bravado was just for Sam's benefit. Did he feel like he constantly had to watch out for Sam? Was that why he needed Sam? Dad? So he had someone to take care of? Because Dean had always been the one to doctor their father, to watch over him as he healed; as well as Sam when he had gotten hurt. Dean had always taken care of them both.
"You're thinking too loud Sam. It's making my head hurt." Dean said weakly. He hadn't raised his head, but he knew Sam better than Sam sometimes knew himself. "It's not your fault." He repeated.
Sam was surprised at first, then quickly realized Dean knew everything. He would know Sam would be blaming himself. "Really Dean? Because it sure feels like it is my fault. If I hadn't given you that speech about wanting to leave as soon as we kill the demon, maybe, well maybe…"
Dean did look up then and Sam could see his eyes were glinting with something that Sam could not place at first; Dean didn't look angry or sad or even really all that emotional, but Sam new something was there just under the surface.
"Maybe what Sam? Maybe I wouldn't be sitting her with stitches in my side or in my head? Stitches I have from injuries I got protecting people. Something I would do whether we'd had our talk or not about you leaving…again." Dean blinked several times and swallowed against the lump in his throat." I got news for you Sam, no matter what you say or what you do, that is never going to change. I will do what I do; I will always do this job; and I will always do my damnedest to do the right thing whether you're by my side or not."
Sam grimaced. "That's not the point and you know it. I know better than anyone you will do this job, but if I hadn't hurt you by telling you I was gonna leave then you might not feel like I don't need you. Because man, whether I'm back at school or hunting by your side I'm always gonna need you. Always. Dean, you will always be needed. I was wrong to tell you I'd leave; I'm not leaving Dean. I'm right here."
"Sam now is not the time to go into-"
"Yes it is!" Sam cut him off. "I need you to know that I need you. And I was wrong; Dad was wrong. We should never have left you. You are what keeps us together as a family. You deserve to be here more than I do." He added quietly.
"What does that mean?"
"It means you deserve to live more than I do. I'm not needed like you are. Me…Dad, we…well, we don't see eye to eye; probably never will. But you Dean…you are the one who can do this for Dad, for me. You do exactly what Dad taught you, but you're a better Hunter. Your better than me; even better than Dad, because we have revenge in our minds, but you don't. I know you want to find the demon because of Mom and Jess, but that's not what keeps you going; taking out evil; saving people. Me and Dad aren't driven by the innocent here. You are. We want revenge and you want to save people."
"Don't you say that Sam! Don't you ever say that to me!" Dean stood up and fisted his hand in Sam's shirt. "Don't put this all on Dad and yourself and don't ever tell me I'm better than either of you!"
"No! I'm not better than you or Dad ever!" Dean's tone softened. "You're smarter Sammy. Way smarter than me. You feel man; you feel for the people we help as well as the ones we can't. you care; you care so much more than I do. You make a better Hunter because you've known both lives. You know what's out there and you understand the normal safe life. You know what these people could lose. I don't. I've never really had that apple pie life; the mundane; so I don't feel for these people like you do."
"You're wrong Dean. You do feel; just as much as I do; probably more. Now you're really wrong." Sam said covering Dean's hand fisted in his shirt with his own.
"Sam!" Dean grunted. "No-
"Stop it! Both of you!" Amanda yelled at them from the entrance to the room.