Three days later

The next three days counted among the least likeable Dean had ever lived through. Sam said next to nothing and paid even less attention. Generally, he was drugged out of his mind, of course, which accounted for his lack of attention, but Dean was still worried sick most of the time.

"I think we should leave," Sam suddenly said, his voice sluggish, and glanced at him. He had spent all three days in bed and was still feverish, although not as badly as before.

Dean, who was in the process of cleaning some guns just to keep busy, looked up and eyed him with a frown. "Why?" he asked.

"We shouldn't stay here," Sam said and made a face when he shifted a little. "Let's go to Bobby's."

"You haven't been out of bed for three days, dude. I don't think it'll be the best thing for you to have to sit in the damned car for however long this drive is gonna take," Dean countered. "Besides, you've still got a fever, Sam. I think we should stay until that at least is gone."

Sam's attention drifted for a moment. "I don't like it here," he muttered.

Dean considered the layout of the room, then suddenly realized that this was the exact same type of room as the one he had found Sam in and he mentally felt like kicking himself for not having been aware of it. With a sigh, he put the gun back together and dropped it into the weapon's bag. "Okay, we'll leave," he agreed and got up.

By now he was aware that there was another burn that Sam hadn't wanted to show him so far, and he was sure there was more to it than it just being in an awkward place too, but he hadn't pushed and Sam hadn't offered to share the information.

Sam shifted again and groaned.

"Are you sure about this?" Dean asked. Truth be told, he couldn't wait to get away from this place, but he hadn't wanted to put any pressure on Sam.

Moving seemed to cause him a hell of a lot more pain than it should, but Sam pushed the sheets aside and pulled his legs over the edge of the bed. By the time he managed to plant his feet on the carpet, he was pale and sweating. "Yes," he pressed out through clenched teeth. "I'm sure." Reluctantly, he looked up to meet Dean's eyes, then held out a hand. "Help me up."

Dean grabbed his hand and hauled him to his feet, then grabbed him to steady him when it looked like he couldn't remain standing on his own. "Dammit, Sam. You're in no condition to get up, let alone walk."

"I wanna leave," Sam rasped and leaned heavily against Dean.

"Okay, fine. But you're gonna take it easy, you hear me? And you're riding in the back," Dean countered while straining to keep his unsteady sibling on his feet. "And if I have to drug you into oblivion to make it tolerable, then you're gonna take that without bitching about it."

Sam's hold on Dean's shoulders was becoming painful at this point. "Now would be a good time," he nearly whimpered before his knees gave out beneath him.

Dean's reaction was to grab a solid hold of him to stop him from falling and maybe re-injuring his left knee, but that turned out to not be such a good idea. When he hurriedly wrapped both arms around Sam, he pulled him close, which brought the burns on Sam's chest in contact with his t-shirt and that sure as hell did him no favors. Dean did the only thing he could think of at the spur of a moment and took two steps forward so he could spill Sam back onto his bed. "Aw shit," Dean muttered at seeing the blood already seeping through the fabric of the sheet Sam had wrapped around himself. "Okay, we're not going anywhere until you can at least stand on your own," he added, grabbed Sam's legs and hauled them up on the bed, then pulled the covers back over him.

Sam didn't object, but Dean had the distinct impression that he couldn't have said anything even if he had wanted to.


Fever-induced nightmares were the worst and it didn't help when there were drugs in the mixture too. Sam's perception of what had happened to him lately altered slightly when he woke up with his heart beating so fast, he for a moment feared it was going to emerge through his ribs. His subconsciousness was aware of his dire predicament and kept him immobile until he could assess where he was and that he was in no immediate danger of being abused in any way.

Only then did he manage to draw in a breath of air, which he did slowly to steady his thudding heartbeat and calm his raging fears. It was dark, but not so dark that he couldn't see. The painkiller was wearing off and the constant prickling from his burns became more insistent with each beat of his heart.

He lay still, unmoving, while his mind tumbled along, falling over itself in an attempt to avoid all the unpleasantness he had gotten himself into lately. And there was still no question about where the blame was placed for this.


Dean sounded downright groggy and Sam regretted that he had woken up. He didn't feel like talking, didn't feel like informing his brother about how much he hurt and how much he wanted to crawl under a damned rock and hide there until this was forgotten by all but himself. So he didn't move and he didn't respond, just lay there and stared up at the ceiling while the pain slowly crept back into his body and lit it on fire. Soon he wouldn't be able to hide how he felt any more and Dean, if he stayed awake long enough, would know and would insist on helping him.


He closed his lids and stared into the darkness behind them; the darkness that held new terrors now; new painful and shameful terrors. The part of him that was still a scared little kid who wanted his daddy, flared up along with the pain and he barely prevented himself for reaching for the lamp to turn the light on. He knew that any movement would escalate the agony, but the darkness scared him right now. It was irrational, just like his unexplainable fear of clowns had always been, and it grew exponentially with every now ragged breath he took and every quivering beat of his heart.

A click followed by the flood of warm light stopped him breathing for a second. He cracked an eyelid and squinted at Dean when his brother settled down on the edge of his bed, his expression lined with fatigue and worry.

With the light came release from the fear at least and his breathing evened out instantly while his heartbeat slowed down to a normal pace again.

Dean took the role of care-giver very seriously, always had, and despite his occasional crack when Sam had been sick, he had never made fun of Sam when his illness had been more serious. Without the slightest hint of discomfort or embarrassment, Dean draped a hand over Sam's brow and frowned. "You're still hot," he said.

Sam expected an addendum to that, a joke at his expense, but it didn't come. Dean's expression remained serious, worried, worn.

"How's the pain?" he asked after a moment and removed his hand again.

Not knowing how to answer that question, Sam remained silent and just regarded his brother through half-open lids. The pain was bad and it was getting worse all the time, but the physical pain he could handle. That wasn't what would keep him awake and shivering in the darkness. It was the mental pain he was in, the degradation of his self-worth, the sense that he had done something that was unforgivable, no matter what the intention behind it had been. He wanted the drug, wanted the blissful oblivion it granted at the peek of its performance.

At his lack of response, Dean sighed lightly, got up and disappeared into the bathroom only to return with the pieces of cloth he had diminished a sheet to earlier. He pulled the covers away from Sam's chest and replaced the now dry and warm cloths covering his burns and replaced them with the chilled, moist ones. And it did help. It soothed the oncoming storm of pain that would ravage him as surely as the demon had, and he closed his eyes again and sighed lightly.

Dean replaced the covers and reached for the lamp, but Sam lashed out and grabbed his wrist, stopping him. "Leave it on," he rasped.

Dean met his eyes for a second, then nodded. "Sure," he agreed. "Do you need a shot for the pain?"

Sam shook his head lightly and closed his eyes again. The darkness was not a friend right now. He needed the light more than he wanted to admit. With the light on, he could weather the pain, could handle the tightness of the skin around the wounds, the dull throb of the various bruises, the vague ache of his left knee that almost vanished beneath all the other aches and pains he now had.

"Wake me if it gets too bad," Dean said quietly and got back into bed.

It didn't take long before his breathing evened out and he slept again. Sam turned his head and looked over at him and all he could think was that it was worth it. The pain, the degradation, the canyon-sized fissure in his ego. He could handle all of it if it meant that Dean would still be there in three weeks time. The contract had burned, but Sam still wasn't a hundred percent sure that was all it took. He almost managed a smile, albeit a rueful one. Considering what he had just gone through to get his hands on the contract, he figured it was a little bit more than 'all it took'.

Somehow, he managed to drift off and ignore the pain for the time being. But even with the light on, his sleep was troubled, uneasy, filled with half-remembered monsters that made any true rest impossible.


Despite the inactivity of the last few days, Dean felt more tired than he had any right to be. Granted, his sleep was interrupted like clockwork despite the fact that Sam never actually said a word. Dean's sleep was so superficial that any change in Sam's breathing alerted him and pulled him back to the surface, and he began to understand what new parents had to be going through.

Still, he didn't complain. He felt he had no right to moan about interrupted sleep when Sam couldn't even stand on his own two feet. The burns were healing, but Sam's impromptu urge to get the hell out of Dodge had reopened two of them and the cracks in the otherwise solid scabs had become infected despite the antibiotic treatment.

On the fifth day, Sam insisted on repeating the failed attempt at getting up and this time, he did better. He took it more slowly and allowed the partial treatment of the burns on his chest. He did insist on handling the rest himself, alone, in the bathroom, and Dean's imagination once more went into overdrive. He had a fairly good idea of where the last, major burn might be, but some darker impulse insisted that the top of the burn he had seen on Sam's lower stomach wasn't the only thing the kid had to treat. And it made him shudder in sympathy and disgust. But only when Sam wasn't looking.

Any urge he might have felt to crack jokes to handle the situation was undermined whenever Sam groaned in pain, because Dean knew how tough his brother was when it came to pain and the fact alone that he voiced his agony at certain points was enough to tell Dean how badly he was really hurting. And there was no room for jokes in that scenario.

Upon Sam's insistence, Dean packed up and got ready to leave this hotel of horrors behind. He lugged everything into the car, leaving Sam to finish up at his own pace, and then returned to the room to wait.

The hotel owner had informed Dean, kindly and nervously, that they were not being charged for the room and that anything they might have taken from the mini bar was on the house. Dean had gruffly thanked him, but didn't really care one way or another. They would have paid with a fake credit card anyway, but the money didn't interest him in the least at this point. All he cared about was Sam's well-being.

After what seemed like forever, the door to the bathroom finally opened and Sam emerged, slightly hunched over, his complexion waxen. He was wearing a pair of loose sweats and a t-shirt and he looked like he was about to be sick.

Dean stepped forward to help him over to the bed. "Sit down for a moment," he suggested.

"No, let's just get out of here," Sam rasped and glanced down himself as if unsure of how much more he could handle.

"Sam, give yourself time. We're not in any great hurry here," Dean tried, but Sam shook his head and changed direction toward the door.

Dean sighed and fell in step with him, supporting him as much as he could without touching any of the wounds.

By the time they reached the car, Dean had to admit that he was surprised that Sam hadn't passed out on him. He got him settled in the backseat, then eyed him for a moment. "You're tougher than nails, dude. You know that?" he asked and tried a vague smile. There wasn't much to smile at right now and Dean intended to get them as close to Bobby's as he could before pulling over for the night. He had no illusions that they could make it all the way. This drive was going to be careful and slow.

Sam let his head drop back against the door and closed his eyes.

"I'll be right back," Dean said and closed the backdoor.


The pain was bad, but not so bad that it would deter him from getting away from this little hellhole. Sam knew that it didn't really matter where he went, that Dawn could find him and do this to him again if she wanted to, but he clung to the illusion that he'd be safer at Bobby's than anywhere else.

While waiting for Dean to return, he started drifting, his mind dredging up old, half-forgotten scenes, and he could hear his father's voice, angry and scared at the same time, bellowing at someone.

"Nobody does that to my kid. Nobody! I don't give a shit who you are or what you think you can accomplish!"

Sam frowned and opened his eyes. He couldn't remember the incident, but he could feel dad's arm around him. He hadn't been very old and he had a vague recollection of being swept off the floor and into his father's embrace. John had held him tightly, his heart racing in his chest. He had smelled of sawdust and soap and sweat and Sam had never felt more safe in his life.

The memory lowered his emotional threshold and he struggled against the tears rising in his eyes. Despite his lifelong lacking faith in his father's hero-status, which Dean seemed to have believed in more than anything, he felt reduced to that little kid again who wanted his daddy. In spite of all the harsh words said between them during his life, Sam realized that he actually had shared his brother's belief that John was invincible. And it had hurt like nothing else could to realize that his father was only a mortal man with faults and flaws.


He hadn't heard the driver side door opening and quickly scrubbed the back of one hand over one cheek to remove the telltale signs of his emotional state.

"What's wrong?" Dean was back in full worry-mode.

"Nothing," Sam muttered and avoided looking at his brother. How embarrassing was this? He wouldn't tell Dean what had been going through his head, because it wasn't fair. Dad had been there at times, but Dean had always been there when he needed him. Always.

For whatever reason, Dean let it slide. He didn't ask what was wrong again, only slid behind the wheel, shut the door and started the engine.

They drove in silence for a while and Sam had one of those rare opportunities where he could watch his brother without getting a snippy comment about it. If Dean noticed that he was watching him, he showed no sign of it.

"Dean?" Sam shifted a little and grimaced at the stab of pain this caused from the burn on his lower abdomen.

"What?" Dean asked and briefly glanced back at him. "You okay?"

"Yeah," Sam replied. "I just ... had this weird memory." He frowned while trying to extract some kind of sense from that fragment without being able to. "It was Dad. He was ... pissed about something. Said something about ... that nobody did that to a kid of his. I can't have been very old."

Dean drove on in silence for a bit. "You were three," he suddenly said. "I remember that incident. I always thought your fear of clowns came from that time," he added. His tone remained serious throughout.

"What happened?" Sam asked.

"To be honest, I don't remember exactly what it was, but this guy ... I think he was a hoodoo priest or something, kept babbling about driving out evil spirits. Apparently his followers had kinda lost faith in the guy. He was all hot air and a bit nutty on top. Why we were there I don't remember, but dad obviously had a job there and this guy seemed hellbent on driving the evil out of both of us. He scared the crap out of me, but you were nearly paralyzed with fear. He had painted his face and looked like all sorts of crazy. Dad nearly had a fit when he realized what that guy was doing." Dean draped his arm over the back of the seat and sent a quick glance back at Sam. "You didn't say a word for about three days after that and you had nightmares every night. And after that you hated clowns like the plague."

Sam blinked. He still didn't remember the specifics, but it made sense that something like that would install a phobia in him. He shifted again and flinched when he moved his left shoulder.


"It's okay," he pressed out. "Just my shoulder."

Dean glanced back at him with a frown. "Your shoulder?" he asked, looking surprised. "What about your shoulder?"

Sam closed his eyes and gingerly rubbed the sore joint. "She dislocated it," he said quietly.

Dean's response should have been predictable, but it still hit Sam with surprise when Dean floored the breaks and skittered the car off the road, nearly causing an accident when the car behind them raced past with a blaring horn. Dean turned in his seat and stared at Sam. "She what?" he snapped.

"It's not that bad," Sam pressed out and pushed himself back on the seat. The hap-hazardous breaking maneuver had almost spilled him off it. "It's just sore."

"Sore? Jeez, Sam! What else did she do to you this time around, huh?" Dean huffed. He was angry and looked damned uncomfortable right now.

Sam met his eyes and just held his gaze for a moment. "Do you really want to know?" he asked.

The silence stretched long and heavy between them, then Dean grimaced. "No, I don't," he admitted reluctantly and with a sneer turned back to the steering wheel. Then he slapped the steering wheel with one hand and turned back to face Sam. "Yes, I do, actually. I wanna know what she did to you so I can bash her frigging head in the next time I lay eyes on that bitch."

Sam stared at him, his expression rigid. The idea of talking about it made him feel sick to his stomach. "She ... burned me," he pressed out. "And then she expected me to perform."

Dean paled at his words. Then a hectic blush of pure anger crept into his cheeks. "Son of a bitch," he hissed and once again turned back to the steering wheel. "I'm gonna kill her," he growled. "I'm gonna make her suffer and I'm gonna kill her. Nobody does that to my brother. Nobody!" he added, his tone shaky with anger. "I don't care who she is or what she can do. She's dead!"

Sam slumped back into the corner between seat and door and closed his eyes. He was certain that Dean had no idea how much he sounded like dad right now. The same blistering anger, the same words even. And it gave birth to an idea that slowly began to grow in his subconsciousness. "Could we just get going?" he finally asked and wished that he'd taken a shot of the painkiller. The pain wasn't that bad, but it would stop his mind from working for a while and he needed that more than anything right now.

Dean sat still for a moment, then nodded. "Sure," he said, his tone tight. There was no doubt in Sam's mind that it would take a while for Dean to get over this and he was convinced that his brother had every intention of seeing this through to the bitter end. And all Sam could think of right then was that this one belonged to him. He would adopt another phobia if he didn't find a way to kill that hag himself and the idea of how to go about it was already taking shape.


Six hours later

When they reached a town called Ogallala in Nebraska, Dean decided he had driven enough and Sam needed a break. So he found the first motel on their way and checked them in. Fortunately, the room was on the ground floor and Dean could park the car right in front of the door to save Sam from having to move too much.

Once Sam was settled, Dean lugged their stuff inside and finally closed the door behind him.

Sam shifted himself into a more comfortable position on the bed and briefly closed his eyes. "I hate this," he confessed.

Dean nodded. "Yeah, I don't blame you," he agreed. "We should eat something. You hungry?" he asked. "I saw a sign for a Taco Bell."

Sam nodded. "Just nothing too ... greasy, okay?" he begged.

"I'll see what they have," Dean agreed. "I just need to take a leak before I leave," he added, strode into the bathroom and closed the door behind him.

Ever since Sam's revelation, he hadn't been alone long enough to allow himself any reaction other than blistering anger. For a moment, he just stood there, hands clenched into fists, his gaze on nothing. Then he turned toward the mirror over the sink and met his own eyes.

"I know how dead you are inside. How worthless you feel. I know how you look into a mirror and hate what you see."

The words of his demonic self made him jittery. A dream? Yeah, but there was truth in dreams, and he felt worthless right now, he felt sick and twisted and angrier than hell because this was happening to Sam and he couldn't stop it. Twice now it had happened and twice he hadn't been able to stop it. And it wasn't the physical abuse that cut the deepest. Sam healed fast and he healed good. But his mind ...

He grabbed the edges of the sink and let his head drop. He couldn't face himself right now, couldn't stand the loathing he felt at his own inability to stop this, to save Sam from this. His eyes burned and he feared he would lose it somewhere along the way, would go nuts on some unsuspecting participant and take all his anger and hatred out on someone who didn't deserve it. He wanted to blame someone else, wanted more than anything to point a finger at dad and blame him for his own inadequacies. But, truth be told, there was that little deal about free will that left him teetering on the edge of oblivion. No matter how much he might like to blame others for his own shortcomings, he knew that, ultimately, it was all on his head. He had the final say in how he handled things, not dad and not Sam.

Almost afraid to, he raised his head and faced himself in the mirror again, only then becoming aware of the tears leaking from his eyes. "Never again," he whispered. "I don't care what it takes, but this doesn't happen again."

It was an oath easily made, but it would be so much harder to keep. He scrubbed a palm over his face, wiping the tears away, then splashed some water on his face to further eradicate the signs of his near breakdown. There was no room for his self-pity in this. Sam came first. Sam always came first. And right now his brother needed him to be strong.

He chanced one last glance at the mirror and gave himself a wry smile. And he still hated what he saw there.

Then he left and headed out to get them something to eat, briefly wondering if Sam could tell how he felt. The kid didn't say anything and Dean figured Sam was too preoccupied by his own lousy condition to pay any attention to his slowly unraveling big brother.

He got in the car and drove the one mile to the Taco Bell he had seen a sign for and ordered food on auto-pilot, then proceeded to wear grooves in the floor in front of the cash register while glancing at his watch every minute or so.

"Got somewhere to be, sugar?" the woman behind the register asked him after a moment.

"Yeah," he countered and stopped pacing. He didn't feel like elaborating and so didn't. And the woman didn't ask.

He hated being away from Sam right now. He didn't like leaving him alone for any amount of time and it irked him that he hadn't taken the time to check if there were places in Ogallala that delivered.

With a grimace, he paid for the food when it finally arrived and left the restaurant again with a sense of urgency that was eating him alive. It made him nervous to such a degree that his hand was shaking when he tried to insert the key. "Son of a bitch," he snapped when he missed the ignition for the third time. He leaned back for a second, drew in a deep breath and held it, then exhaled slowly. "Slow and steady," he muttered and finally managed to insert the key.

It took him all of five minutes to get back to the motel and he still felt jittery like hell until he opened the door to the room and found Sam still present and accounted for. Unable not to, he exhaled in a sigh.

Sam eyed him for a second. "You okay?" he asked.

"Yeah, fine," Dean claimed and positioned the bag of food on the table by the window. "How are you feeling?" he asked and sent a quick look toward the night stand. If Sam had taken a shot for the pain, he had put it all away again.

"I've been worse," Sam said and let his head drop back against the wall. "How far is it to Bobby's from here?"

"About five hours, give or take," Dean countered and unpacked the bag. "At our pace, it'll be more like seven, I think," he added and brought the boxes of food over to the bed. "Got a little bit of everything here," he added. "I think this is supposed to be Chinese."

Sam reached out for one of the boxes and Dean barely avoided flinching at the sight of the light burns peppering his lower arm while he tried not to think about what Sam had more or less told him. Sam grabbed the box that contained what passed for Chinese noodles, and inspected the contents for a moment. Dean handed him a fork, which he accepted without a word and they ate in silence.

As expected, Sam didn't eat much.

"Dean ..." he trailed of, a thoughtful look in his eyes. His bloodshot eye was clearing up and looked more normal now and the bridge of his nose wasn't so swollen any more, while the discoloration of the skin had withdrawn and was now a faint yellow.

"What?" Dean asked and set his own box aside. Truth be told, he wasn't that hungry himself.

Sam shifted a little, then focused on Dean. "None of this is your fault. You know that," he said. "I knew what I was getting into."

Dean let his gaze roam over the room rather than meet Sam's eyes. "I kinda get the feeling that this turned out to be a little different than what you expected, Sam. Hell, it turned out a lot different from what I had in mind."

"It's still not your fault," Sam insisted quietly.

"I don't know. If I'd paid more attention ..." He stopped and shook his head a little. Yup, self-loathing and mental self-flagellation was a big part of who he was right now and it was a pretty bitter pill to swallow.

"Dean," Sam said and leaned forward a bit, which caused a brief twitch in his expression when that obviously caused him pain. It incited him to lean back again. "You couldn't have done anything. She didn't just turn up. She ... brought me to her."

Dean frowned. "What do you mean?"

"I don't know how. All I know is one second I was standing in front of the vending machine, then next I wasn't," Sam said and reached up to carefully rub his left shoulder. "Aw, man. I'm tired of this," he muttered and let his head drop back against the wall again.

"I totally get that," Dean agreed. "But it's not gonna happen again, dude. That much I can promise you. Bobby'll know a way to keep her away from you."

"Well, the contract is broken. She can't use that any more," Sam countered tiredly. "If it hadn't been for the contract, I would have exorcized her the second time. But ..."

"Sam, do you really think that the contract is broken?" Dean asked and eyed him closely.

Sam met his gaze for a moment, then grimaced lightly. "To be honest, I don't know," he admitted. "I keep thinking it was too easy."

"Easy?" Dean was startled to say the least. "Easy?" he repeated. "Sam, none of this has been easy. That bitch has taken advantage of you because she knows your weakness. This is as far from easy as it can get."

Sam stared ahead of himself for a moment. "I think dad was always so tough on us so we wouldn't stand up for him if we had to," he suddenly said.

Incoherent talk like that was usually connected to fevers high enough to fry an egg, but Sam didn't look feverish. He looked thoughtful and tired and despondent. "Where did that come from?"

"I've been thinking about it. Trying to figure out why dad was always such a bastard. You know. Always barking orders and being ... well ... an ass. I think he did it so we would distance ourselves from him." Sam scratched his nose and flinched. "So we wouldn't ... do this for him."

If Sam had slapped him and declared he hated him, Dean couldn't have been more surprised. At times he forgot how deeply Sam submerged himself in whatever was on his mind and he began to think that the tears of earlier were somehow connected to this line of thinking. "Where are you going with this?" he asked.

Sam shrugged his right shoulder lightly. "Don't know. Nowhere," he muttered and sighed deeply. "I was just thinking about dad," he added and glanced at Dean, then looked away. "I miss him," he confessed, his tone thick with unshed tears. "I miss what we never had."

Dean could only guess what was doing this to Sam right now, but he figured he knew. "You remember him better now, don't you? What he could be like when he wasn't an ass?"

Sam nodded, but said nothing in return.

"You know, sometimes I wonder what our lives would have been like if mom hadn't ..." Dean trailed off, still marred by the memory even though he hadn't actually witnessed the death of his mother. But on account of what had happened to Jessica three years ago, he had a fairly good idea of what it had been like and what it had done to his father to witness that. If there was one thing Dean remembered clearly from the time before the fire, it was the feeling of warmth and love between his parents, the cocoon of protection and belonging he had lived in back then.

"I wish I remembered her," Sam whispered.

"Yeah, so do I," Dean agreed, then drew in a deep breath to steady himself. "Okay, enough! This isn't helping anything. Let's get some rest and we'll take off right after breakfast tomorrow. The sooner we get to Bobby's the better," he added and rose to get ready for bed. He glanced at his watch and couldn't help a groan. "This has got to be the first time in ... well, a lifetime, that I've gone to bed before ten p.m. without being thrashed within an inch of my life," he complained and gave Sam a lopsided grin.

Sam merely looked at him, then shifted himself lower on the bed until he was lying down. And once again the thought crossed Dean's mind that it was going to be a long time before he would see his brother smile again.