Present day

Dean watched Sam intently while he spoke, talking of a time where he had felt normal, where he'd had fun.

"I remember that Easter," Dean said after a moment. "Dad was laid up with a bad tear on his leg. Couldn't walk. And man, was he grumpy," he added with a vague smile. "I almost called you to beg you to come back."

Sam looked up, unsteady like hell, then held out the glass. "Gimme more," he said.

Dean sighed, poured two fingers of Jack's into the glass and then took a sip of his own. "So ... what happened? Keep talking."

Sam shifted a little uncomfortably, then sighed and dropped his head. He hadn't touched the Jack's yet. "I don't want to," he confessed.

"Sam, you gotta get this out. You're gonna feel like shit in the morning, but at least this'll be off your chest. So, keep talking," Dean insisted. "I wanna know what happened. I need to know."

Again Sam raised his head and eyed Dean sadly. "Why? You're the one who always insists you don't do chick flick moments."

Dean pursed his lips. "This isn't a chick flick moment, Sammy. This is abuse. And I need to know what happened before I can deal with it."

Sam's expression tensed a little. "Deal with it? How can you deal with it now? It happened five years ago," he said.

"Have a drink and let me worry about that," Dean countered.

Sam glanced at the glass in his hands, then made a face. "I feel sick," he muttered.

"You haven't eaten anything," Dean said, got up and raided the contents of the mini bar. He threw a bag of peanuts, a miniature roll of Pringles, a Mars bar and a Snickers bar onto the bed. "Eat that. It'll settle your stomach."

Sam eyed the items, then set the glass down on the bedside table and opened the bag of peanuts with a sigh.

"So, you're hanging out with Greg, getting smashed again, and then what?" Dean asked after a minute.

Sam made a face, grabbed the glass and emptied it in one go. "Well ... we hung out for the rest of the day," he said and smirked joylessly. "Talk about keeping the buzz going," he added and snorted.

Dean smirked lightly. "And you're giving me a hard time when I'm drunk?" he countered with a good-natured smile. "So ... tell me."

***

Five years earlier

With a week off and no Jodie to rein him in, Sam had indulged in another drinking binge with Greg to subdue the side-effects of the previous one, and ended up staggering drunk yet again. At a quarter past ten in the evening, he decided that enough was enough, he was going back to his dorm room to sleep it off and he would stay in bed all next day to just get this crap out of his system.

"Man, you can't leave now. The party's just getting started," Greg complained and hauled a pretty blonde passing by the table onto his lap. She giggled drunkenly.

Sam blinked sluggishly, then unsteadily eyed the array of empty bottles on the table between them. "Look, I'm not used to drinking this much, okay?" he slurred and was even aware of how slurred his voice was. "I need to sober up. I'm gonna spend the day with my damned head in a bucket anyway," he added and made a failed attempt at getting to his feet. "And I really don't wanna spend a week being drunk. I need to catch up on some reading and stuff," he added and sighed.

"Buzz kill," Greg sputtered and lost himself in the embrace of the blonde.

Sam arched an eyebrow, then made another attempt at getting up. "Success at last," he muttered, dropped a bill on the table to pay for his share of the booze and staggered his way through the bar toward the door.

"Hey. Where're you going?" some girl asked and threw her arms around his neck, stopping his somewhat unsteady progress. "You can't leave now. We're just getting started," she added.

Sam extracted himself from her grasp and settled for a smile rather than try and talk his way out of this. The girl was obviously drunk enough to rival his own drunkenness and immediately staggered into the next hapless guy, repeating her slurred words.

At this point Sam basically felt like he'd rammed his head into a brick wall, a few times just for good measure, with the pounding in his head and the dizziness, and not for the first time did he wish he hadn't indulged this much.

The night air was, although not cold, then at least chilly and it slammed back his drunkenness a few steps and made him shiver. "Shit. Should have brought my jacket," he muttered under his breath and troopered on in a very uneven beeline.

He got halfway back to the dorm rooms before he stopped unevenly while his stomach rolled menacingly. He clawed his fingers into his stomach and grimaced. "Aw man, not now," he muttered and sent an unsteady look around, searching for somewhere to throw up that wouldn't be immediately disgusting.

Then he settled for a bush nearby and basically felt like hitting himself over the head with something heavy for letting it get this far out. "Shit," he muttered and grimaced at the taste in his mouth. Even though he mostly wanted to curl up somewhere and go to sleep, he knew he had to get back to his own bed before he passed out. The knowledge of what was out there, what the night could hide, was always with him and he didn't like being outdoors at night when he wasn't able to defend himself.

He sneered and leaned briefly against a lamppost to wait out the roiling of his stomach, then pushed away from it and staggered onward. At the same time, that little voice in the back of his head that kept nagging him to try and stay in touch with his brother at least, was right now yelling at him to call Dean, to just let the guy know he was alive and ... well, fine was probably not the word he was looking for right now. Alive then. But he couldn't convince himself to do it, not even while being as drunk as he was. No, Dean had made it clear what he thought of Sam walking out on them and he hadn't made the effort to come after him, so Sam assumed that his brother shared their father's sentiment. 'If you walk out that door, don't bother coming back!' He could still hear his father's voice, the anger and hurt in it.

He nearly tripped over the steps leading up to the dormitory and only barely braced himself by grabbing out for and actually managing to find the banister. With an effort and keeping his eyes sternly on the ground, which was wobbling about like the deck of a ship in high seas, he climbed the steps and stopped outside the doors to the dormitory and dug around in his pocket for the key.

He found it and managed to drop it.

"Oops. Had a little too much to drink there?"

He groaned, then looked up at the owner of that voice while steadying himself against the door.

She hunkered down and picked up the key, then held it up in front of his nose. "You know, too much alcohol isn't good for you, Sam," she said.

Sam struggled to focus his gaze enough to recognize her. When he finally did, he managed a halfhearted smirk. "Kate," he slurred. "What're you doin' here? I thought you had your own place."

She smiled and even while this drunk, that smile on her lips still sent a cold shiver up his spine. There was no emotion at all in her eyes. "Oh, I do. You wanna see it?" she asked.

Sam pursed his lips, then shook his head and grabbed out for the key, but she pulled it out of his reach right before he could close his hand on it. "Not Today," he said. "'m not feeling so good right now."

"No, I can tell," she said. "You really want to go back to your bed and wake up tomorrow feeling like shit when you could be staying with me where I can take care of you?" She eyed him up and down for a moment. "Admit it, Sam. You need a little TLC right now," she added.

Without his key there wasn't much chance of getting in and that would mean he would have to go back to Charlie's to get a hold of Greg and he just couldn't face that right now. Besides, no matter what he thought of Kate, it sounded enticing to not have to wake up alone and feel miserable tomorrow.

Kate slipped his key into her pocket, then slipped an arm around his back and pulled his arm over her shoulders. "Come on, big boy. Let's get you into a decent bed. I've got a good remedy for hangovers that'll make you feel right as rain tomorrow," she promised and guided him back down the steps and over to a very expensive-looking car.

"Is that a Mustang?" he slurred. He couldn't really make out the shape in the darkness and the car was black, but he ventured a guess anyway.

"No, it's not a Mustang. It's a Ferrari," she countered, sounding a bit miffed.

"Ooh," he muttered and nearly fell against the car before she could wrestle the door open. "My brother would love this," he added and somehow managed to fold himself into the car without banging his head against the edge.

"I'm sure he would," Kate agreed and slammed the door.

Sam knew his judgment was severely impaired right now, but he was at the point where he didn't really care. Kate might be a bitch, but she seemed interested in him and he just felt the need to go with the flow right now because it was easier than fighting her. All he wanted was to lie down and sleep and she was offering him that with the promise of no hangover in the morning.

The car-ride wasn't very long B at least Sam didn't think it was, but he was fading fast and it was hard for him to keep track of where they were going B and the house the Ferrari pulled up to wasn't that impressive. It was big, but not outstandingly so.

Kate hauled him out of the car with some effort and guided him up the path from the garage to the front door, unlocked the door and allowed him to stumble inside on his own.

He leaned heavily against the wall and tried to take in the decor while trying to keep his stomach at bay. "Bathroom?" he asked after a moment.

Kate pointed toward a door and he staggered in there and threw up again, feeling more miserable than he ever had in his life. A moment after he had stopped retching, she hoisted him back to his feet and guided him toward another door. "Come on, big guy. The bed's downstairs. You'll be nice and snug down there. Nobody's gonna disturb you."

Somehow he managed to get down the stairs without falling on his face and by the time they reached the bottom, he was so close to passing out that he didn't even take in his surroundings. The only thing that mattered was the thought of a bed and being able to close his eyes and sleep.

What happened after that completely eluded him as the world swam away in a dizzying array of light and odd clanging sounds like faraway bells.

Kate made him drink something which tasted bad, but settled his stomach, and after that it was curtains for his consciousness.

***

The first thing he became aware of was the fuzziness in his head. The second thing he registered was how hard the bed felt. The third thing that pushed through his fuzzy mind was that he was cold; all over.

An attempt to shift brought him nothing. He felt oddly suspended and had a vaguely woolen taste in his mouth.

Afraid that any sudden movement would wake up his stomach and make him feel sick as a dog, he cracked an eyelid and squinted up at the ceiling above him while he tried to assess his situation. Then he became aware of two things at once. The first was that he wasn't in his dorm room. The second was that he was naked.

He had to be. Why else would he be so frigging cold all over? Slowly, he raised his head to squint at the room he was in. And then reality came crashing down over him like a damned tidal wave trying to drown him in foul rotting water. Everything assaulted him at once, the iron bed he was on, the fact that his wrists and ankles were handcuffed to the bed, that there was no mattress, but only a metal grid beneath him, that he was stark naked, and that the room had every indication of an S&M room.

At first he thought he was hallucinating, that he was imaging this because he had alcohol poisoning or something, but the hard cold grid underneath him felt too real, the cold metal of the cuffs cutting into his skin was too concrete. "Shit," he whispered, then glanced up at his right wrist first. His hands were suspended halfway up the head end of the bed, which was cast iron and damned solid-looking. He yanked at the cuff, trying to estimate how tight it was, and knew he would never be able to get his hands out of them. They were closed tightly to the point where they very nearly cut off circulation.

"Well, look who's awake."

He turned his attention toward the foot end of the bed and stalled briefly. "Kate," he rasped.

"I'm honored you remember my name, big guy," she said and ran her eyes appreciatively over him.

Sam sneered and yanked at the handcuffs. "What the hell are you up to?" he growled. "Do you really think ..."

She held up a hand, stopping him in his tracks. "Sam, let me make one thing clear, okay?" she said and smiled that creepy smile of hers. "First and foremost, nobody laughs at me," she said while her expression became almost stony. "And nobody foils my plans. Granted, I had not noticed that this little slut you hang out with wasn't into boys. Who could have known? I mean, you two are all over each other whenever you're out." She stepped around the bed and settled down on the edge of it, right next to his hip. "But you shouldn't have laughed at me. Nobody makes fun of me."

Sam felt very vulnerable right then, very much in her power, and he didn't like it one bit. Whatever she had in mind, he had a feeling he was going to regret ever having gone out for that beer in the first place. "I was drunk," he pressed out, well aware that it was the lamest excuse in the book.

"Oh, yes, of course you were," Kate replied and grimaced. "That's the dumbest excuse ever, Sam. I thought you were smarter than that." She reached into the right pocket of her slacks and pulled something out. It took a second for Sam to realize it was a syringe. "Now, I'm convinced that you think you can resist me, that nothing I can do or say will make you ... respond to me," she said with a smirk that was as vicious as a feral dog with its fangs bared, "but I say differently."

Sam stared at the syringe and suddenly, he was very scared. "What is that?" he asked.

"Oh, it's a drug, Sam. A nice, relaxing drug that'll get your stamina up and make your inhibitions disappear," she said and smiled. "I'd make you smoke it if I thought you would, but I have the distinct feeling that you're a good little boy who doesn't smoke, aren't you?" She pulled the cap off the syringe. "Now, I am in the habit of getting what I want. And I want you. No matter how." She rose, propped one knee on the edge of the bed and leaned in over him.

"Get away from me," he snapped, trying to pull away from her. But the restraints she had put on him kept him in place. He reared up as much as the cuffs allowed, feeling them cutting into his wrists rather harshly, but she pulled back in time to prevent him from head-butting her.

She smirked, which was closer to a sneer, grabbed a handful of his hair and yanked his head backward, nearly giving him whiplash in the process. "Easy now, big boy. I don't want to hurt you unnecessarily," she said, then jammed the needle into the side of his neck just above the shoulder and pushed the plunger down. Then she released him and pulled back. "It should work fairly quickly," she added with a smug grin.

Sam yanked at the restraints while a feeling of nauseating warmth spread through him. His mind began to buck against the invasive drug while his vision swam out of focus for a moment.

***

Present day

Sam paused, his gaze locked sternly on the floor in front of his feet, his hands holding the glass so tightly, Dean was actually surprised it hadn't broken yet. He knew without the shadow of a doubt what this had to cost Sam to tell him and he knew that what lay ahead had to be even tougher on his little brother. Some part of him wanted to leave it there, wanted to tell Sam that it was enough, he knew what he needed to know and that was that. But it didn't work that way, not with Sam. He needed to get it all out, to tell everything, and Dean needed to listen to it and not judge him. Not that he would. This was so obviously nothing to make fun of, even though he could tell by Sam's embarrassment that he expected it.

Inside, Dean was fuming. What he wanted to do most of all right now was to get in the Impala, drive out to Kate's place and blow her frigging brains out. And he could justify it too. That woman couldn't possibly be considered human. Not with behavior like that. But first things first. First and foremost, he needed to hear the rest. With the amount of alcohol Sam had so far consumed, Dean was pretty sure he'd sleep soundly once he'd gotten it all of his chest. And that was the time for Dean to act. He glanced briefly at his watch. It was a quarter past six in the morning, so there was plenty of time for payback.

"Go on," Sam finally said and glanced in his direction without making eye contact. "Make fun of it."

Dean eyed him for a moment, then sighed deeply. "There's nothing to make fun of, Sam," he said quietly. "Keep talking," he added.

Sam shook his head lightly and made a face. "I don't want to, Dean. It was the single most embarrassing and demeaning thing I've ever been through. I don't want to relive it."

"I know you don't, Sammy, but it won't go away unless you talk about it. You know that. And I need to know every sordid detail. So lay it on me. That's what big brothers are for, after all," Dean countered softly, well aware of how fragile Sam was right now.

Sam suddenly set the glass down on the bedside table, stretched out on the bed and draped an arm over his face. For a long moment he just lay there, staring into the darkness of his memories, while Dean watched him, hoping he didn't fall asleep so Dean would have to wake him up again to get the rest of this tale.

"Sammy, talk to me," Dean insisted.

"Can't you imagine what comes next?" Sam asked, his tone a bit hoarse. Then he suddenly sat up again, a decidedly queasy look on his face. "You'd better give me that trash can," he said and clapped a hand over his mouth.

"Bathroom, hotshot," Dean countered and nodded toward the door.

Sam was off the bed in a flash and didn't even manage the shut the door behind him before he was retching big time. Dean remained seated for a moment, then rose and followed him into the bathroom, grabbed a washcloth and wrung it out in cold water. "That'a boy, Sammy. Get it all out," he said absentmindedly while he grabbed a glass from above the sink and filled it with water.

After a moment, Sam stopped trying to upchuck his insides and brushed the fingers of his right hand through his hair, pushing it back from his brow. "Man, I am so gonna kill you for making me drink this much," he promised weakly.

Dean handed him the glass and he rinsed out his mouth and got unsteadily to his feet. "Go lie down," he said, flushed the toilet and gently shoved his brother back into the room.

He dropped back down on the bed and Dean sat down on the edge of the bed and placed the wet washcloth over Sam's eyes. "Tell me the rest, Sam," he urged him.

For a moment, Sam just lay there, unmoving, quiet like the dead, then he pulled the washcloth away from his eyes and squinted up at Dean. "Why do you need to know?"

"Because you need to talk about it and I need to know what I'm up against," Dean countered.

Sam groaned and pressed both hands over his face. Then he let his left arm fall away and draped his right arm over his face again. "I don't remember the next days clearly," he confessed. "But it's clear enough what happened."

***