Title: Homeward Bound
By: KaitlynRose
Pairing: gen
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: I don't own them so please don't sue me.
Summary: My take on the thoughts of the Winchester boys while fighting the poltergiest and then what might have happened after they left.


Dean sat behind the kitchen table waiting for a second attack. His heart was pounding in his chest. That had been close. Too close. If his reflexes had been one second slower he would be shish kabob right now.

He jumped up and shoved his bag into the wall before anything else could happen. He heard a cry come from the basement. He ran off for the basement door.


Sam jumped when he heard the lamp smash. Unfortunately he turned his head in the wrong direction. The next second the cord wrapped around his throat and dragged him onto his back. He struggled and clawed at the cord that continued to snake around his neck tighter and tighter. He grunted in pain and struggled to pull a breath.

He realized he wasn't going to be able to pry it off his neck. He grabbed the pouch and reached for the wall. It was the only way he was going to survive. He tried desperately to reach but the cord was not only choking him, it was holding him in place. He couldn't get up or move.

Black dots were beginning to form in his vision and his limbs were starting to feel heavy and numb. Had he survived being strangled by the shape shifter only to die now by strangulation?

Air. He needed air. He dropped the small bag and collapsed onto the floor. He stopped struggling and his hands relaxed on his chest.


Dean called down to the basement.

"Missouri! Are you all right?"

"I'm okay," she hollered. "I'll be there in a minute."

Dean remembered Sam upstairs. He took off running as fast as he could go. He took the stairs two at a time and raced down the hall and entered the bedroom.

"Sam!" he cried when he saw his brother on the flooring with the cord around his throat.

Dean dove to the floor and pulled at the cord that was cutting off Sam's oxygen. "Sam!"

"Ahhhhhhhh," Dean groaned from the exertion. He had gotten his fingers under the top loop but Sam was still being strangled by the other two loops.

'He's dying! It's killing him!' Those words ran through Dean's head. Sam was no longer moving, his arms were now lying on the floor next to him, and his eyes were rolling up into his head.

Dean saw the bag and grabbed it. He moved to the wall and kicked and kicked until he put a whole in the damn thing. He stuffed the pouch inside and dropped to the floor when the poltergeist chose to show itself before making a very angry and loud exit from the house.

It took a second for the shock to wear off and then Dean was crawling his way towards Sam who was still in trouble.

Dean lifted Sam into his arms and untied the cord at the back of Sam's neck and began to unwind the length once, twice, three times before Sam was finally free. Sam immediately started to fall back towards the floor but Dean caught him before he was half way down and pulled his barely conscious brother into a fierce and protective hug. He held Sam close and listened as his brother drew in deep breaths.

Dean had been so frightened and concerned for Sam's safety that for once he didn't even stop to think about the fact that he was hugging Sam or that tears were forming in his eyes. All that mattered at the moment was that Sam was alive. He had managed to save him once again.

Sam leaned heavily into Dean and let his brother hold him. He was shaking slightly and he hoped Dean didn't notice. Slowly but surely the numbness left his arms and legs and his head began to clear of the fog that had settled over it.

Even once Sam's breathing had returned to normal Dean held on to Sam. He felt Sam's trembling begin to ease.

Sam raised his hand and felt the raw skin around his neck. Dean pulled Sam back some so he could take a look. Quickly Dean also ran a hand over Sam's neck to check for swelling or some other injury.

"I'm okay," Sam said with a shaky breath.

"Are you sure?" Dean asked. He was still feeling protective. What if the spell hadn't worked? What if it came after Sam again?

"I'm sure," Sam replied a bit more confidently. Sam moved to stand up and right away Dean jumped up and helped pull Sam to his feet. Sam wobbled for a second but Dean kept a strong hand on his arm until he was steady on his feet again.

"Thanks," Sam said.

"Y'er welcome," Dean replied. "What is it with you and getting strangled?" Dean needed to stop the emotions that were still threatening him and the only way he knew how to do that was with humor. "I'm going to start putting neck braces on you before we go on a hunt from now on!"

Sam gave him a weak smile. "We better get down stairs and see if it's all clear now."

"Yeah…sure." Dean went down the stairs first so he could grab Sam if he got dizzy but they made it to the bottom okay. Sam seemed to be recovering quickly enough but he still had a haunted look on his face.

"I'm glad to see you two are okay," Missouri said as she surveyed the kitchen. She knew something bad had happened upstairs. She felt the emotions and thoughts coming off the boys. Sam was glad to be okay, but the one that was truly shaken the most was Dean. Her heart went out to the boy. His primary concern was protecting his baby brother. He placed Sam's life above his own.

"Is it over?" Dean asked.

"Yes, yes it is," she announced.

"Are you sure?" Sam asked.

"Yes, why?"

He just shook his head.


Hours later Dean laid back uncomfortably in the car. He was tired. They'd fought the poltergeist, cleaned the house, parted with their hard earned cash, and yet here they still were, sitting in the car in front of the house that Dean wanted to never see again.

He knew Sam was just being cautious but this was ridiculous and Dean had no problem letting Sam know how ridiculous it was, or that he could be sleeping in a real bed right now.

"Dean!" Sam shouted and jumped from the car.

On pure instinct Dean jumped out too. Then he saw Jennie pounding at her window.

"I'll get Jennie, you get the kids," Dean ordered. They ran through the front door and once more Dean raced up the stairs. It wasn't hard to get Jennie outside. He waited anxiously for Sam and the kids to join them.

Sam ran in and grabbed the boy and then stopped when he got to Sari's room. The fire spirit was standing there. Fire! Why did it have to be fire? Ever since Jess…no, he didn't have time to be afraid. He carefully made his way around it and grabbed Sari and dodged out of the room and back down the stairs. He set the kids down. He had to check something. For a moment he had felt something…something familiar…something good.

"Sari, take your brother and run outside."

The next thing he knew Sari was screaming and he was flying across the floor. He grabbed for the door casings or furniture but nothing was in reach. He stopped with a crash as he slammed into the kitchen table and chairs.

He stood up only to have something powerful and strong lift him from the floor and throw him into the kitchen cabinets. Glasses and dishes broke as he made contact and then fell to the floor.


"Where's Sam?" Dean demanded.

"Something's got him," the little girl cried.

Dean looked up and saw the front door slam itself shut. His heart dropped into the pit of his stomach. Not again. Why did this thing want Sam so badly?

He sprinted to the trunk of the car and rummaged through till he found what he needed. He hauled ass back to the house and started chopping at the front door.


Sam grunted as he was thrown into yet another wall. This thing was using him for a volley ball. Dean…where was Dean.


Dean broke through the top part of the door. "SAM!" he shouted but there was no answered. He continued to beat at the door with the ax. "SAM!"


Sam was grabbed from behind and once more hit the wall, only this time he didn't drop to the floor. This time he was stuck. He tried to move his head but it was forcefully slammed back. He focused all his energy on raising right hand. He made some progress only to have it too snap back into place.

He stopped struggling when he saw it. The fire spirit had descended and was slowly but surely making its way to him. The fire was coming to claim him after all. He felt a surge of hope as he heard Dean screaming his name.

Dean swung the ax one last time and made a hole large enough for him to crawl through. He dropped the ax and raised his gun.

"SAM!" he yelled as he made his way through the house. "SAM!" Why didn't Sam answer him? Where the hell was he?

Then he saw Sam standing there in the kitchen but something was wrong. Sam wasn't standing, he was pinned. He saw Sam move his eyes to look at him and then look away. Dean turned and saw it. Instantly he raised the salt filled shot gun.

"Wait," Sam called.

"For what?" Dean demanded.

"I think I know who it is. I can see her."

A moment later the fire vanished and there was their mother standing there.

"Mom?" Dean gasped. Tears came to his eyes and his throat closed. He couldn't speak.

Mary smiled lovingly at him. "Dean." Dean felt his heart fill to bursting. His mother was standing there. He wanted to reach out and touch her but he was afraid it would all be an illusion so he kept still, willing the moment not to end.

Mary turned to smile at Sam. Her baby was all grown now. "Sam."

Instantly the tears began to fall down his cheeks. This was the first time he had ever seen her other than the few pictures his father had kept. She was beautiful…like Jess. He wished he wasn't stuck to the wall. He wanted to hug her…hold her…have her put her arms around him just once.

Then her expression changed from one of happiness to sadness. "I'm sorry."

Sam was confused and he shook his head. "Sorry? For what?" He waited for her to reply but she just continued to look at him with her heart broken stare.

Still Sam waited but she didn't answer. Finally she turned away. Sam wanted an answer. Why was she sorry? Had he done something wrong? Had she? He was about to call out to her but she had started talking to what ever it was that was holding him against the wall.

"Get out of my house, and let go of my son!"

She burst into a fiery blaze which shot up towards the ceiling. As fast as it had started it ended.

Sam felt himself come unglued from the wall and his body relaxed. The tears still fell, and where he had felt a moment of happiness, he now felt empty. Mom was gone. Really, truly gone, and she wouldn't be coming back. He didn't know how he knew that, but he did, and it made his heart ache.

"It's over," he told Dean.

Dean had yet to move himself. Sam knew Dean was a little in shock, and probably feeling the same sense of loss he was feeling from the too brief encounter.

"Is she coming back?" Dean suddenly asked.

"I don't think so," Sam replied as more tears fell.

The two made eye contact for the first time and for the second time that night Dean pulled Sam into a gruff embrace with his free arm wrapped around Sam's neck. Sam rested his forehead on Dean's shoulder and tried desperately to stop the tears from falling. It wasn't fair. The first time he ever got to see and talk with his mother it lasted for all of five…maybe ten seconds. He had so much to ask, and he knew somehow she would have had the answers if she had only had the time.

"Come on, let's go," Dean said and gave Sam a hard pat on the back. Sam nodded and followed Dean out of the house where Jennie and the kids were still waiting.


Sam sat on the porch stairs. Once more he was willing himself not to cry. He hadn't shed any tears yet, but they were there, threatening to fall. He saw…felt…Missouri reaching out to him to hold him, but he didn't want her to do it. He wouldn't be able to hold it in if she did that. He would lose it for sure and cry like a baby.

She must have sensed his feelings because she slowly pulled away before she actually touched him. He was actually grateful when Dean called to him. He needed to leave this place. His emotions were too raw and being here was tearing him apart. He understood why Dean had resisted coming here so strongly.

Once in the car with Dean he settled into a familiar seat and tried to relax. Dean didn't turn on the radio. Instead they drove in silence for almost an hour before Dean finally broke it.

"So how long have you had these vision things?"

Sam swallowed. Part of him was glad Dean finally knew the truth. Another part of him hated the fact that his secret was out. It only served to condemn him to be an even bigger freak.

"Uh…about a year before I went to college," Sam replied.

"You mean you knew before you left and you didn't tell us," Dean exclaimed.

"I was afraid. I didn't really believe them for the most part. Plus, I knew if Dad knew he would never let me go. He would have chained me to the car or something."

"Damn right he would have, and he would have been right to. Sam, somehow, you are a part of this. I mean all of this."

"Don't you think I know that! Don't you think I know that mom died over my bed, shed her blood on my head, just like Jess did. The two women who loved me unconditionally were both murdered right over my head. Add in the visions and the nightmares and yeah, I'm very much aware that everything that's happening is my fault! I don't know how, but it is."

"Sam, that's not true," Dean insisted.

"Isn't it? How many women have burst into flames over your bed? Huh? Oh yeah, that's right, NONE!"

Dean pulled the car over to the side of the road and slammed on the brakes.

"Now listen, I admit there is some fucked up stuff going on, and no, I don't have the answers, but I want you to know right now that this isn't your fault. Maybe something is following you or stalking you or whatever, but you are a victim as much as mom or Jess."

"You don't understand how I feel. I'm afraid to get close to anyone. I'm afraid that if I let myself love anyone, or heaven forbid if I let them love me, they'll die. I'm every bit as cursed as that Indian burial ground."


"Hell, maybe you should even get far away from me," Sam interrupted. "For all we know you might be the next person stuck on the ceiling bursting into flames."

"That isn't going to happen," Dean said.

"How do you know?" Sam exclaimed, once more releasing the fear and heartache he was feeling.

"Well, for one I'm not a woman."

"But do we know for sure it only goes after women?"

"So far that's been its pattern."

"Two deaths does not make a pattern," Sam said and dropped his head into his hands. "I don't know what I would do if this thing came after you."

Dean put on a brave face, trying desperately not to let Sam know that he was freaking him out. "Listen, you had dreams of Jess for days before anything happened. Right?"

"Right," Sam said, willing the guilt he still felt to stay buried.

"Well, if you start dreaming of me stuck on the ceiling, I'll worry about it then. For now, we've got work to do. Got it?"

Sam gave him a small grin. "Yeah, I got it."

"Sam, I know you're scared. I know you're worried, but you can't fight this thing alone. We're in this together. I'll watch your back and you watch mine. We're going to find it and kill it, and then if you want to leave and go live your fairy tale life you can, and you won't have to worry if some monster will show up and take it all away from you."

"Dean, I'm never going to live a fairy tale life. This is my life now. I admit it isn't necessarily the life I wanted, but it's the life that has been handed to me. Like you said, we're in this together now."

Dean smiled. It was the first real smile Sam had seen on his face since they crossed the Kansas border.

"Okay then, let's go find something to kill," Dean said with a smile, and turned on the radio as he punched the accelerator to the floor.


Dean had driven for eight straight hours. Sam had a feeling Dean would drive all the way to the coast if he let him. All Dean wanted was to put as much distance as possible between them and Lawrence. Sam understood. The past two days had been emotionally draining for both of them. Dean was trying to act so strong, so unfazed, but Sam knew better.

At first Dean had put on a happy face for Sam, especially after their talk about Sam's fears about being cursed, but as the time went by and the road continued to stretch before them Dean had become grumpy and snappy. He had yelled at Sam at least three times today and over truly stupid crap. Now Dean was mad at him simply because he had to go to the bathroom.

"Can't you just hold it?" Dean griped.

"I've been holding it for the past two hours. Dean, if you don't want to stop at a rest stop then at least pull over on the side of the road or your car is going to become very wet very soon."

"Son of a..." Dean mumbled but pulled the car over as soon as he saw a cluster of trees a few feet from the road.

Sam would have preferred a bathroom but at the moment he would settle for almost anything. Sam jumped out of the car and hustled to the trees. After doing his business he moved over and just stood there for a moment.

It felt good to be standing, but it also felt good to be away from the tension of the car. Sam wasn't mad at Dean. He knew why he was so angry, but it was hard to deal with none the less. Sam was also hurting from the last two days. His heart ached for a mother he had never known, a woman who looked at him with such love, and then such pity. He still didn't understand her apology, but he knew that something bad was coming. He just didn't know what.

Without warning the tears returned and he buried his face in his hands. Damn it he didn't want to cry again. Dean would think he was pretty pathetic if he kept breaking down every time something happened, but ever since he had laid eyes on the ghost of his mother he had been struggling to hold it in.

He needed to have some time alone. He needed to get away from Dean and let it out, but Dean didn't show any signs of stopping the car anytime soon.

As his frustration grew to match his heart ache he began to cry, to truly fall apart and sob. Oh god, he needed to pull himself together. Dean was surely getting angrier as he sat in the car waiting for Sam to finish. Any minute now Dean would be coming to get him.

Without even thinking about what he was doing Sam began to run further into the woods and further away from Dean. Tears streaked down his face and his breathing came in short gasps. He had no idea where he was going or even what the hell he was doing. The only thing going through his head was that he couldn't let Dean see how weak he was...what a baby his little brother really was.

The fact that Dean was also struggling with his emotions didn't even cross his mind, or the reason for why Dean was being an asshole.

Sam just continued to run.


"Sam, where the hell are you?" Dean muttered. It wasn't like Sam could fall in for god's sake. He looked at his watch. Sam had been behind the trees for over five minutes now. He suddenly hoped Sam hadn't had to do the other one. Damn it, he should have just found his brother a bathroom instead of making him search around for some leaves.

Several more minutes dragged by and Dean started to get concerned. He watched the second hand on his watch make one last full circle before he finally opened the car door and went to find Sam. With his luck Sam had probably been bitten in the ass by a snake or something. Well, he had no intentions of sucking poison out of Sam's rear end if that was the case. He'd fight spirits, demons, and even really pissed off poltergeists if he needed to, to protect his little brother, but sometimes you just had to draw the line and a snake bite to the ass was definitely on the other side of the line.

"Sam, what the hell is..." he stopped talking as he rounded the bend and realized Sam wasn't there. He began to turn and look around every where. "Sam?" He walked a little farther on. "SAM!" His brother wasn't any where to be seen.

He looked at the ground to see if he could spot Sam's foot prints. He could see where Sam had stood and then he saw the prints in the dirt move off with long strides between the steps. Sam was running, but why? There were no prints to show that anything had been chasing him, but then most of the things they hunted didn't leave foot prints anyway.

Dean ran back to the car and popped the trunk. He grabbed the shot gun, his blade, and a handful of rounds. He closed the lid and ran back to the woods. He had to find Sam.


Sam came upon a small stream and he finally stopped running. He had no idea where he was and he didn't care. He sat down hard upon the ground, once more buried his face in his hands, and cried. He didn't hold back this time. No one was around to hear him. He let everything come to the surface; the sadness, the pain, the fear, the worry, the loss, the despair. He cried until he was choking so hard he thought he might vomit and even that didn't stop him.

He just wrapped his arms tight around him self and rocked back and forth in a steady rhythm. He cried for his mother, he cried for Jess, he cried for his missing father, he cried for himself, and he even cried for Dean because he knew his brother would never break down and cry. That seemed every bit as tragic to him as everything else he had endured these past several months.

Sam actually lay down on his side and rested his head on his arms as the tears continued to flow and his nose started to drip. The running water and several birds over head were the only witnesses to his gut wrenching breakdown.


Dean moved quickly but quietly through the woods. Tracking Sam had been pretty easy. Sam obviously wasn't trying to hide from anything since he had made no attempt to cover his tracks. Or, maybe Sam was in danger and hadn't had time to cover his tracks. That thought spurred Dean on to greater speeds himself.

Finally Dean heard something…crying. He moved in the direction and stepped past a thicket of trees. He stopped cold when he finally saw Sam. His brother was lying on the cold and damp ground sobbing his eyes out. Shit! Dean didn't know how to deal with this. Why couldn't it have been a monster or a demon? Protecting Sam was something he knew how to do almost by instinct, comforting him on the other hand, he didn't have a clue.

He stood there a minute longer and then turned to walk away. Sam didn't know Dean had seen him. He could walk away and just go back to the car and pretend like nothing was wrong. He even took several quiet steps to do just that. Then he realized that he couldn't pretend like nothing was wrong. One look at Sam and it was really fucking obvious something was wrong. Shit, shit, shit! Why did Sam have to fall apart today? Didn't he realize Dean was only holding it together by a thread himself?

Finally Dean took a deep breath and ran a shaky hand through his hair. Sam needed him to be strong, and damn it he would be. At least he had known his mother. True, he didn't remember too much, he'd been five when she died, but still, he could close his eyes and remember some things. Sam had never had that. Sam would never remember being kissed by her, being held by her, or having her read a story to him. Sam's one and only memory of his mother would be of her going up in flames to save him from a poltergeist.

No, that wasn't true; Sam would have a second memory too. For the rest of his life Sam would remember her looking at him with pity and saying she was sorry. Dean had wondered what mom was sorry about. He had his suspicions. Dean believed mom knew about Sam's visions. Then again maybe she was apologizing to him for what happened to Jess. Hell, maybe she was apologizing that Sam had been sucked back into a life he had worked so hard to get out of.

Dean turned around and looked at Sam. He was quieting down. He had finally cried himself out. Dean started to walk over to Sam. Sam made no inclination that he knew Dean was there.

Dean kneeled down and put a hand on Sam's shoulder. Sam instantly flinched and sat up. He quickly wiped at his eyes and his nose.

"Dean…I'm…I'm sor…"

"Sam, it's okay," Dean said. "You scared me by running off though."

"I didn't want you to know," Sam replied. "You're always so strong. Nothing bothers you. I wish I was like that. I know you hate chick flick moments."


"I'm sorry if I disappointed you. I was always a disappointment to dad, and now you."

"Sam, I'm not disappointed with you," Dean told him. He had a seat on the ground next to Sam. "You've always been…sensitive."

"Don't you mean a baby," Sam said sarcastically.

"No. Bro, you've been through a lot. I get it, really I do. The truth is the last couple of days did a number on me as well. Seeing mom…and then you…Christ, that thing was strangling you. I was pulling and pulling and I couldn't get it off."

"But you figured it out," Sam said.

"Yeah, but you almost died. For the first time I came up against something I couldn't fight. If it weren't for mom sacrificing herself…I…I don't know what would have happened." Dean's throat was getting tight and it was getting harder and harder to speak. "She was beautiful, wasn't she?"

"Yeah, she was. She kind of reminded me of Jess."

"She looked exactly the same," Dean said. "She hadn't changed a bit…frozen in time I guess."

Sam watched Dean closely. He saw his brother's eyes growing red and glassy and he heard the cracking of his voice. Sam reached out and put a hand on Dean's shoulder.

"It's okay you know."

"What's okay?" Dean asked.

"To cry."

Dean laughed, but it came out more like a sob. "I don't cry, Sam. That's more your thing."

"And your thing is to get mad and yell at me for no reason."

Dean looked at him in surprise. He hadn't realized he had done that to Sam, but now that Sam had mentioned it, he guessed he had been acting like a bossy jerk since leaving Lawrence this morning.

"Sam, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to take it out on you…I guess you and I just have different ways of dealing with shit."

"Yeah, well, it was no big deal. I know I don't always make things easy on you. I don't mind being your verbal punching bag once in a while." Sam drew his knees up to his chest and wrapped his arms around them. It was starting to get late and he was getting cold now, yet he didn't want to go back to the car just yet.

Dean must have sensed Sam's need. Though he felt a little self conscious, he reached his arm out and wrapped it around Sam's shoulders. Sam turned his head and gave him a sad little smile before looking back at the running water.

The two sat that way in silence for almost a half an hour, just taking comfort in the other's presence. Finally Dean motioned for Sam it was time to go. The sun had set and the moon was full in the sky.


Dean watched as Sam slept. His brother was out. All the crying earlier had exhausted him. He walked over to Sam and pulled the covers up to his shoulders and tucked him in.

Sam remained soundly asleep. Dean grabbed his car keys and his coat. He opened the motel room door as quietly as possible and then pulled it shut behind him. He walked over to his car and got inside. He turned on the battery without turning on the engine. At once Pantera drummed loudly though the speakers, but not so loud as to wake anyone in their rooms.

Dean laid his head on the steering wheel and closed his eyes. A moment later the tears came…and Dean cried.

The end