Soldier Boys

Author's Note:

Prompt comes from Elishab64 who wanted a fic where Dean thinks John is pushing Sam too hard during training.

Pre-series Teen!chester. Sam is thirteen and Dean is seventeen.

"C'mon Sam! Pick up the pace!" John shouted at his youngest like a drill sergeant.

Dean watched his brother stumble as he struggled to finish the lap around the public racetrack. John had taken his sons here to continue their training as it afforded optimal space to practice sprints and long-distance running. Luckily, it was the middle of the afternoon on an unusually hot April day when most civilians were in school or at work. They had the track all to themselves.

Dean, who was taller and who had a longer stride than his thirteen-year old brother had finished his laps first, rewarded with a bit of a rest and a bottle of cold water.

"Hurry up, Sam!" John pressed, "You'll never outrun a werewolf at that speed!"

Sam's chest was heaving and he was barely running. He looked exhausted.

"Dad," Dean said, "Maybe he should take a break. It is pretty warm out here."

John shook his head, never taking his eyes off his youngest, "He'll get a break when he finishes the lap."

Dean frowned and gulped down some water, relishing the feeling of the cool liquid running down his parched throat.

SPN

Sam could barely see straight.

He gasped for air but his lungs felt too small to inhale an adequate amount.

His head was throbbing and his muscles ached.

He needed to stop.

He didn't care if it pissed his Dad off.

He just couldn't go any farther.

Sam staggered to a halt and wiped a hand across his sweaty forehead.

"Keep going, Sam!" John shouted, his voice sounding oddly faint though he was only a few meters away, "We're not leaving until you finish!"

Sam closed his eyes as a wave of nausea rolled through him. When he opened his eyes again he was staring at the reddish pavement of the track, one cheek pressed against the hot cerement.

"SAM!"

Sam closed his eyes as Dean shouted his name.

He was okay. He just needed to rest for a minute. Dean didn't have to worry. He'd just take a short break and then he'd finish the lap.

SPN

Dean started running towards his brother as he saw Sam collapse.

Calling his brother's name, Dean's heart pounded in his chest fearfully.

Dropping onto his knees beside his sibling, Dean rolled Sam over onto his back.

Sam's face was terribly pale except for his cheeks, which were bright red as though he had a fever. His skin was slick with sweat but oddly enough was also covered in goose bumps.

Pressing two fingers to Sam's throat, Dean felt his brother's pulse weak but rapid beneath the skin.

"Shit," Dean swore and prepared to pick his brother up.

John trotted over to his sons.

"What's going on?" he asked, his expression alarmed.

"We've got to get Sam into the shade," Dean said, lifting his brother, one hand beneath the thirteen-year old's knees and the other supporting his back, "and give him some water."

John nodded and followed Dean as he hurried towards the entrance of the stadium, which was sheltered from the sun.

Dean stepped beneath the overhang and sat down, cradling his brother against his chest.

"Give me a water bottle," he demanded and John handed him one.

Dean opened the bottle with one hand and poured some of the liquid into his palm. He then carefully rubbed the cool water onto his sibling's brow, brushing Sam's bangs away from his forehead as he did so.

Sam groaned and frowned but didn't open his eyes.

"There, see," John said, "He'll be fine in a minute."

Dean glared at his father.

"If you think Sam's going to get back onto that track you're out of your mind," he snapped.

John stared at his eldest, shocked by Dean's reaction.

"Sam is going to finish his training, Dean," John told the seventeen-year old, "And I don't want to hear another word about it. Wake him up so we can finish this."

Dean couldn't believe his father!

Sam had just passed out and John wanted him to keep going!

Was he insane?

"Sam needs to rest," Dean insisted, "We're going back to the motel."

"Sam needs to suck it up and get back out there!" John snapped, his face turning red.

Dean staggered to his feet, clutching his brother to his chest like an infant.

"What is wrong with you?" he asked, "It is too hot and you're pushing Sam too far. Don't you understand that?"

John stepped up to his eldest until he was nose to nose with Dean.

"I am trying to prepare him for when I'm not here," John said in a low voice, "I'm trying to teach him the skills to survive."

"He's thirteen! He's in the eighth grade! He's a kid; not a Green Beret!" Dean snarled and turned away from John.

"Don't you walk away from me, Dean Ross Winchester!" John called but the teen ignored him.

John sometimes forgot that he and Sam were still kids, not soldiers and needed to be treated as such.

Normally Dean would just shake it off and continue it because their Dad- deep down- was only trying to make sure they were prepared for the day when they had to fend for themselves but this… this took the cake.

When Sam's life was threatened by their father's fanaticism, well, even Dean stopped being complacent and had to put his foot down.

Sam groaned again as Dean opened the door to the interior of the stadium- where the athletes got ready and spectators bought snacks- and a blast of cold air hit them.

"Shh," Dean murmured, "It's okay. I've got ya, little brother."

"D'n," Sam whispered and raised a hand to grab onto the seventeen-year old's t-shirt.

Dean knew that it was going to be awkward in the motel room once John returned but he didn't really care. John could just deal with it. Sam's life wasn't worth making their father happy. Ever.

Dean smiled down at his brother.

"I've got you, Sammy," he murmured again.

He had Sam and Sam had him and as far as Dean was concerned that was all he needed in order to face the things that went bump in the night.

Author's Note:

Thanks to Jenjoremy. mb64, reannablue, mandancie, detectivetimehunter, sbwinchester, SamDeanLover28, sammynanci, Mistycat and Guests for reviewing.

Thanks to everyone who alerted, followed and favourited.

I've posted another one-shot, called 'Guilty As Hell' for a Guest's birthday which was today. Although it isn't part of this series, it does feature hurt Sam and awesome big brother Dean. I suggest taking a look at it after reading this.

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