Summary: A reimagining of a scene from 9x15 set in the Pizza Pie 'verse featuring Hurt, 4-yr old Sam, 8-yr old Big Brother Dean, Awesome Uncle Bobby, and Puppy Rumsfeld – Batman, Superman, and a broken arm.
Disclaimer: The characters aren't mine. But this 'verse is...and I think I'm addicted to it.
Warnings: Spoilers for 9x15 (just this one blink-and-you-miss-it scene) and minor language
A/N: I appreciate all the PMs I received requesting I write a story about this scene. And while I also appreciated the sentiment behind this brief little flashback in 9x15, I disagreed with everything else about it. The characteristics and the logistics just didn't add up for me. So, this is my version...
Don't be afraid to jump, then fall...I'll catch you. ~ Taylor Swift
Dean sighed and cut his eyes at his brother, annoyed by the repeated pleading. "No, Sam."
"But why?" Sam asked, as four-year olds often did.
...especially this four-year old – always wanting an explanation, always wanting to understand why.
"Because I'm Batman," Dean reminded his little brother for the fifth time that morning.
The brothers still standing beside their bed wearing nothing but jeans and socks since getting dressed had been interrupted by a debate that had already lasted too long.
"But you always get to be Batman," Sam pouted, his voicing rising into a whine as he watched Dean shake out the folded t-shirt with the classic symbol.
"Sorry, Sammy," Dean told his brother, trying to ignore the kid's disappointed expression. "I don't make the rules. I didn't ask to be born as Batman."
Sam scowled. "You're not really Batman, Dean."
Dean arched an eyebrow at the challenge. "Really? And how do you know that? Have you ever seen me and Batman in the same room together?"
Sam blinked and tilted his head, confused by the question. "Um...no?"
Dean smiled, knowing what he was implying had gone right over the four-year old's head.
"So, there's your answer," the big brother concluded and then pointed at the shirt on their bedroom floor...the one Sam had dropped during his mini meltdown earlier. "And there's your shirt..."
Sam glanced at the blue shirt with the red and yellow emblem and shook his head. "But I wanna be Batman today." He paused. "Please?"
Dean groaned as the conversation came full circle and started yet again.
"Sammy. We don't have time for this. Bobby's probably already wondering where we are..."
In fact, Dean expected the older hunter to check on them any second now.
Because Bobby had gotten the brothers up almost half an hour ago...and it usually didn't take them this long to get ready.
But Sam didn't seem to care about adhering to timeframes.
"Please?" the four-year old repeated once more about being Batman.
Dean stared at his brother.
Sam stared back.
Those huge eyes beginning to fill with tears, that bottom lip beginning to quiver.
And that was it.
Without saying another word, Sam had won.
Dean sighed and shook his head, wondering if he would ever be immune to his little brother's "sad kicked puppy" expression.
"Fine," the eight-year old finally relented. "You can be Batman."
Sam beamed, instantly happy. "Really?"
Dean nodded and handed over one of his favorite shirts. "Really. But just for today," he clarified, holding his brother's gaze and making it clear that he wasn't handing over the role indefinitely.
Sam nodded, accepting Dean's terms along with his shirt, and briefly hugged the fabric to his bare chest.
Dean quirked a smile, always amazed by the simple things that made his little brother happy...and always feeling like a real superhero whenever he was the reason the kid was this happy.
Because the dimpled grin on Sam's face was worth giving up being Batman for a day.
Dean's smile lingered. "Are you gonna put it on or just hold it?" he teased as Sam continued to hug the shirt like some people hugged their trophies, overwhelmed by the honor.
Sam giggled. "I'm gonna put it on," he replied but seemed to get lost in the fabric as he attempted to do so.
Dean rolled his eyes. "Here..." he told his brother and stepped forward, straightening the shirt.
"Smells like you," Sam commented as Dean eased the shirt over his head.
Dean pulled a face. "Okay," he drawled, not realizing he had a smell.
But then again, Sam would know since the kid had spent the majority of his life sleeping with his face buried in Dean's chest...or nuzzled into Dean's neck whenever Dean held him...or tucked into Dean's side whenever the four-year old was scared.
There was no such thing as personal space between them.
They were always within reach of one another, always within touching distance, always right there.
So it was no wonder that Sam knew Dean's smell...just like Dean knew his little brother's scent.
Dean snorted as the thought crossed his mind, remembering some random wildlife documentary he had watched late one night when the motel TV had been stuck on a single channel. How the narrator had explained that a mother knew the scent of her baby...and the baby had been shown to recognize the scent of its mother as well.
Dean stared at Sam within inches of his face, readily acknowledging – at least to himself – that Sam had been his baby...and was now his kid.
And if that was a weird thing for an eight-year old to think, then so be it.
Because Sam was Dean's kid and Dean would do anything for him – including allowing the four-year old to take over his role of Batman for the day.
Sam blinked at his brother. "What?"
"Nothing," Dean dismissed and guided Sam's arms through the sleeves of his shirt before stepping back to inspect the completed outfit.
Sam bit his bottom lip, his sock-clad feet shifting uncertainly as he waited for his big brother's approval.
Dean said nothing at first, knowing this was important to Sam and thus trying not to laugh.
Because the Batman shirt was huge, looking more like a dress as it completely swallowed the small-for-his-age four-year old.
Sam's expression began to change, sensing something was wrong from Dean's continued silence.
"Do I look stupid?"
Dean scowled at Sam using that word to describe himself. "No," he assured, any temptation to tease instantly gone. "You never look stupid. You hear me? I don't want you ever saying that word about yourself. Because you're awesome."
Sam smiled shyly at his big brother's praise. "You're awesome, too," he returned with the genuine tone of a little brother looking up to his true hero. "And Batman's awesome..."
"Damn right," Dean agreed. "And you're gonna make an awesome Batman-for-the-day. We just gotta make a few adjustments..." he added and crossed behind Sam, cinching the shirt up and back and then tying the excess fabric into a loose knot.
It still wasn't a perfect fit – because an eight-year old's shirt just wasn't going to fit a scrawny four-year old – but it was better...and safer.
Dean wouldn't worry as much about Sam tripping and falling as they went through their day.
And that was all that ever mattered to Dean – that his kid was safe and happy.
The big brother smiled, settling his hands on Sam's shoulders and steering the four-year old over to the mirror mounted on the back of their bedroom door.
"What 'cha think, Sammy? Do you look like Batman?"
Sam stared at his reflection, a grin slowly returning to his face. "I look like you!"
...which was obviously more important to Sam – to emulate his big brother.
Dean smiled, feeling sappy as he always did whenever Sam tried to be like him.
"Well..." the eight-year old began. "If you look like me, then I'd say you look pretty badass."
Sam giggled and tipped his head back, leaning into Dean's chest and looking at his brother upside down. "But if I'm wearing this, what are you gonna wear?"
Dean shrugged, brushing Sam's bangs from his eyes. "I don't know. I've got plenty of other t-shirts, Sammy."
"No," Sam replied and turned, facing Dean. "If I'm Batman, I want you to be Superman."
Dean arched an eyebrow and then laughed. "Yeah...that's not happening."
Sam frowned. "Why not?"
"Lots of reasons," Dean answered vaguely, trying to avoid another debate that would further prolong him and Sam from going downstairs to eat breakfast.
Because Dean could smell Bobby cooking – good morning, bacon – and was eager to dive in.
"But why?" Sam persisted, his voice once again rising to that whine that grated on Dean's nerves.
"Jesus, here we go..." Dean muttered and shook his head. "Sam. Listen. I'm not gonna be Superman because for one thing, your shirt is too small for me."
...which was an understatement since some of Sam's clothes looked like doll's clothes compared to Dean.
"Well, that's okay," Sam replied unfazed and crossed to their dresser, digging in the bottom drawer. "You can just wear this."
"Oh my god..." Dean moaned and then laughed at the idea of him wearing that old red sheet that Bobby had cut in half to serve as Sam's Superman cape. "Sam, I don't think – "
" – don't tell me it won't fit you 'cause it will," Sam interrupted, still holding the cape in one hand while his other hand propped on his hip with the sassy authority of a four-year old who was too smart of his own good.
Dean sighed, suddenly feeling like he was dealing with a hostage negotiation.
Do what I want...and maybe then I'll let you out of this room.
And honestly, all Dean could think about was his stomach beginning to growl and that bacon waiting for him downstairs.
The eight-year old sighed again.
It wasn't like they were planning to go anywhere today. Bobby had said they were hanging around the house so he could catch up on some research, which meant only Sam and Bobby would see Dean wearing the homemade cape.
And if it made Sam happy...
Sam seemed to sense his brother beginning to give in. "Please?" he asked, shaking the cape at Dean and blinking those big eyes.
Dean pulled a face. "You know...saying 'please' and looking at me like that isn't always going to work."
Sam smiled as Dean took the cape from his grasp.
The four-year old's expression reminding Dean that Sam's go-to method of getting his way had yet to fail.
Dean hummed his reluctant agreement and gestured at the dresser. "Get me a shirt."
Sam nodded. "A blue one," he specified, as though he had already planned the perfect shirt to complete his big brother's makeshift Superman ensemble.
"Of course a blue one..." Dean echoed sarcastically and accepted the shirt, setting the cape on the edge of the bed long enough to finish getting dressed.
Seconds later, he had the red sheet tied around his neck, looking like an idiot.
But Sam was excited, the four-year old clapping his hands and bouncing in place.
"You look like Superman, Dean!"
"I look like something..." Dean agreed dryly, frowning at his reflection in the mirror as he approached the door. "C'mon. It's time to eat."
Sam wrinkled his nose as he usually did at the mention of food. "I'm not hungry."
"Well, I am," Dean returned, his tone slightly grumpy. "So, let's go..."
Sam sighed but followed his brother out of their bedroom, sidestepping Dean once they were in the hall and scampering down the stairs.
Bobby glanced up and smiled at the racket, then glanced at Rumsfeld sprawled beneath the table.
"Guess who's coming..." he sing-songed, his smile widening as the Rottweiler's stubby tail twitched in anticipation.
"Na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na...na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na...Batman!" Sam announced as he slid into view, the four-year old almost losing his balance as his sock-clad feet glided over the hardwood floor.
Bobby blinked and then chuckled at the unexpected entrance. "Well, good morning, Dark Knight."
Sam giggled, genuinely delighted by Bobby's surprise.
"Last time I saw you, you were bigger. Did you shrink?"
Sam giggled again. "No. This is Dean's shirt."
...as if Bobby didn't already know that.
After all, the older hunter had been the one to buy the Batman shirt for Dean since the eight-year old had insisted he was "too old" to wear costumes back during Halloween.
Following his big brother's lead – like always – Sam had then proclaimed that he was too old for costumes as well, which had led to Bobby buying a Superman shirt for Sam and then making a red cape out of an old sheet...because apparently four-year olds were not too old for capes.
Now several months after Halloween had come and gone, the brothers still frequently wore their Batman and Superman shirts.
But it seemed this morning, they had decided to switch...probably at Sam's persistent persuading.
And although Dean had clearly tried to make his shirt fit Sam's small body, Bobby wasn't quite sure how Dean would ever manage to wear Sam's shirt.
That would be interesting to see...
The older hunter smiled as he watched Sam slide around in the hallway, his youngest easily entertained by the smooth glide of his socks on the hardwood.
Because the last thing Bobby needed was for the kid to fall and break something.
Sam nodded at Bobby's warning and turned his attention to Rumsfeld as the dog came towards him.
"Rummy!" he greeted and hugged the overgrown puppy that was almost as tall as he was.
Rumsfeld wiggled with excitement, licking Sam's face before the four-year old released him.
"Where's Dean?" Bobby asked, knowing he had heard both boys come downstairs.
Sam looked to his left, down the hall and presumably at his brother.
Bobby arched an eyebrow at the implication that Dean was intentionally staying out of sight.
"Come on," Sam encouraged in a loud whisper and then glanced back at Bobby. "Dean's dressed up, too."
"Ahhh..." Bobby commented and prepared himself not to laugh.
Because Sam was way too excited about this...and Dean was taking way too long to appear...which meant this was going to be good.
Bobby heard Dean sigh in the hall and then shuffle forward, finally coming to stand beside Sam in the doorway.
"Super-man!" Sam declared, drawing out the word and beaming at Dean like his big brother was the best thing ever.
Bobby twitched a smile at the eight-year old wearing a blue t-shirt with a red sheet tied around his neck. "Well, ain't you somethin'..."
Dean scowled. "Shut up."
Bobby chuckled. "Are superheroes supposed to say 'shut up'?"
"No. Never," Sam replied, shaking his head as though Dean had broken some sacred code.
Dean glared at his brother. "Shut. Up."
Sam frowned and then glared back. "You're a mean Superman."
Bobby smiled at his boys, thankful they were staying with him yet again as John was off hunting...or doing god knows what, god knows where.
It really didn't matter to Bobby as long as he got to spend time with these kids – his kids, not John's.
"Maybe this will help..." Bobby predicted about improving Dean's mood as he set two plates of bacon, eggs, and toast on the table; the older hunter knowing Dean was not at his best when the eight-year old was hungry.
Dean's stomach growled loudly as he crossed to the table, pushing Sam in front of him while Rumsfeld tagged along behind.
"Apple juice for Batman..." Bobby commented as he poured, because Sam's beverage choice rarely changed. "...and for Superman?"
"Orange juice is fine," Dean mumbled around his mouthful of eggs, too consumed with eating to be bothered about the Superman title...or the red sheet still tied around his neck.
Sam poked at the food on his plate with his fork as if he had never seen eggs before.
"Sam. Don't start..." Dean warned, sensing his brother's picky eating habits rearing their ugly head. "You like eggs."
"But there's too many."
"Then eat what you want," Bobby told the four-year old, setting the brothers' juice glasses on the table and then returning to the counter for his own plate. "Whatever you don't eat, Rummy will be more than happy to help with."
Sam smiled at the mention of the dog and twisted in his chair to see Rumsfeld following behind Bobby.
Dean recognized the avoidance tactic – for Sam to keep his attention anywhere except on his meal – and tapped the edge of his brother's plate with his own fork.
"Sam. Either eat...or I will feed you."
Sam wrinkled his nose at the threat. "I'm not a baby, Dean. I'm Batman!"
Dean rolled his eyes with a snort. "Fine. If you're Batman for the day, then you have to eat. 'Cause everybody knows that Batman loves to eat..."
Bobby nodded as he sat across from the brothers. "Absolutely. Can't kick ass on an empty stomach."
Dean smiled his appreciation for the older hunter's help in this daily battle...especially since John's way of handling this was usually to rant until he made Sam cry.
Bobby winked at Dean, sipping his coffee before taking a bite of toast.
Sam sighed. "Okay," he agreed. "I guess I can eat. But there's too much bacon."
"There's no such thing as too much bacon, Sam," Dean countered, sometimes wondering how he could be related to this kid who didn't like to eat.
"Too much," Sam repeated and placed his extra slice on Dean's plate before finally beginning to eat his eggs.
"Hallelujah..." Dean muttered like he had just witnessed a miracle and resumed eating his eggs as well.
Breakfast continued undisturbed for several minutes.
Bobby and Dean cleaning their plates while Sam did his best...and Rumsfeld patiently sat nearby, waiting to finish whatever was left.
Because there was always something left on the four-year old's plate.
Sam leaned back in his chair, patting his stomach as though he had just devoured a feast instead of consuming barely enough to keep a squirrel alive.
"Can I be done now?"
Dean surveyed his brother's plate. "Finish your toast and juice...and then you can be done," he allowed, hoping for better luck at lunch.
Sam nodded his acceptance of his brother's deal and slurped his juice, coughing as he startled when one of the phones on the wall suddenly rang.
Dean rubbed Sam's back. "Easy," he murmured, cutting his eyes at the phones.
Bobby groaned – always annoyed when time with his boys was interrupted – and stood, wincing when his knees creaked and taking his coffee mug with him as he answered the house phone on the third ring.
Dean shifted in his seat, readjusting the cape tied around his neck so it didn't feel like it was strangling him, and then brushed his fingers across Sam's mouth, clearing toast crumbs.
Sam didn't seem to mind his big brother fussing over him, the four-year old too focused on trying to reach Rumsfeld as the dog playfully ducked away.
Across the kitchen, Bobby sighed. "Yeah. I guess I can do that..." he was reluctantly agreeing. "But we just finished breakfast. Give me a few minutes to clean up and get things situated here, then I'll be over."
Dean arched an eyebrow at the implication that Bobby was leaving and stared at the older hunter expectantly as Bobby hung up with another sigh.
"What's going on?"
"Nothing to worry about," Bobby assured, hearing the hint of alarm in the eight-year old's voice since Dean had been conditioned to expect the worse.
Dean marginally relaxed at Bobby's words and waited for the older hunter to continue.
"Just a good friend down the road, another mechanic..." Bobby explained, crossing to the table to collect all three plates. "He's got a car up on a lift and can't seem to figure out the problem. Wants me to come down and have a look since I've got more experience..."
Dean nodded, sometimes forgetting that Bobby had another job besides hunting...and wondering what that was like.
"I hate to leave you boys, but – "
" – it's fine," Dean told him, glancing at Sam as the kid jumped down from his chair and chased after Rumsfeld; both child and dog disappearing in the hallway.
Bobby smiled at Sam's squeals of laughter echoing through his house.
Dean smiled as well, bringing his and Sam's juice glasses to the counter and joining in helping Bobby clean up.
Bobby watched as the eight-year old's cape trailed behind him. "You know...if this is going to become a regular thing, I probably need to make you your own."
Dean shook his head, refusing the offer. "Thanks...but no. This..." He gestured at the red sheet tied around his neck. "...is just for today and only today."
Bobby arched an eyebrow as he started on the dishes. "And what makes today so special?"
Dean shrugged, not having a good answer. "I don't know. Ask Sammy. It was his idea."
Bobby nodded knowingly. "Uh-huh. And then he turned those eyes on you, didn't he?"
...like that was Sam's superpower.
Because it was.
Dean laughed like a man found out. "Yep."
Bobby chuckled. "No shame, son. We've all been there."
Dean laughed again at Bobby's confession, knowing the only other person besides Dean that Sam had wrapped around his little finger was Bobby Singer.
There was a beat of companionable silence in the kitchen, Bobby washing the dishes while Dean dried them...and then both hunters startling when Sam yelled down the hall as Rumsfeld barked.
Bobby cringed at the sudden loudness. "Maybe while I'm gone, you can take those two outside and burn off some of that energy. Then maybe we can enjoy a little peace and quiet this afternoon."
Because a tired Sammy was a sleepy Sammy...and a sleepy Sammy was easier to put down for a nap after lunch.
And while Bobby loved the kid, he really needed to focus on the research he had planned for later...which was best accomplished in a quiet house.
Dean nodded, following Bobby's thoughts.
After all, the big brother could use a little downtime as well...and Dean only got that luxury if Sam was asleep.
"I'm on it," Dean told Bobby with a conspirator's wink.
Bobby smiled. "That Frisbee they like to play with is in the back hall."
Bobby nodded. "I have to keep it hidden up there or Rummy finds it and thinks it's an inside toy."
Dean returned the nod, understanding that logic since there were things he had to hide from Sam as well for the kid's own good.
The big brother glanced over his shoulder and down the hall as Sam squealed again and then apparently collapsed in a fit of giggles at whatever Rumsfeld was doing.
Bobby quirked a smile as he handed the last plate to Dean. "I think you've got your work cut out for you," he predicted about Dean wearing out his little brother.
"I can handle it," Dean replied like the pro he was, drying the dish and then stretching to return it to the cabinet.
"I know you can," Bobby agreed, indeed knowing that Dean could handle anything related to Sam since the eight-year old always took care of his little brother.
But Bobby still felt a twinge of guilt at leaving the boys by themselves.
"We'll be fine," Dean assured the older hunter, sensing Bobby's reluctance to go now that the dishes were done. "And you'll be right back...right?"
"Right," Bobby echoed, feeling ridiculous for needing an eight-year old's encouragement to run a quick errand at a neighbor's house. "But if you need me, call me," he instructed, jotting down the neighbor's number on the notepad hanging by the phones before he crossed to the backdoor.
Dean nodded. "Got it."
Bobby nodded as well. "See you soon," he called over his shoulder. "And you two be careful..." he added, grabbing his coat on the way out.
"We will," Dean promised – because he was always careful with Sam – and listened as Bobby stomped down the porch steps.
Seconds later, Bobby's old truck sputtered to life and then eased out of the yard.
Dean sighed and turned, knowing his mission as he left the kitchen with his red cape billowing behind him. The eight-year old heading down the hall to corral an energetic little brother and an equally rambunctious dog.