Summary: Pre-series Teenchester. When someone looking for revenge on John shows up will Sam pay the ultimate price or can Dean find his brother in time? *Hurt/trapped/scared!Sam & Angry/protective big brother!Dean with some worried/stoic!John also included.
Warnings: Warnings for language and mild violence.
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters. This is written for fun & for fans from a fan.
Author Note: My wonderful beta/plot bunny feeder, Jenjoremy, wanted a little Sam-in-a-box fic and while I don't normally do a lot of teenchester fics the muse and the plot bunny decided to this time. Hope you all enjoy it. Oh, yes, it's a chapter fic but it'll update quickly.
Jackson, Tennessee, 1999:
"He's 16 years old, Dad! For once, just for once, let Sam be like every other snot-nosed teenager and let him do something normal!"
It was getting to be an old argument, one that Dean Winchester knew he'd never win because his father didn't want to see either of his sons as normal.
No, John Winchester saw soldiers and that was fine for Dean, who at 20, had given up thoughts of normal or white picket fences or even an average job. It wasn't so fine for Dean's little brother…okay, not so "little" since Sam had started some damn growth spurt and was getting closer and closer to Dean's own 6' every day.
Sam wasn't like Dean or their Dad. He didn't want to be a hunter all his life. Hell, Sammy didn't want to hunt or learn how to hunt now, and that was one of the biggest issues between John and his younger son.
Ever since the night his wife had been killed in Sam's nursery, John Winchester had been on a mission to find and destroy the thing that had killed her and all the things like it. And he'd been determined to pull his sons along for the ride regardless if they wanted it or not.
Dean had long ago accepted his fate, had willingly given up his chances for a normal life or freedom…but he still hoped that one day Sam would be able to get out. That was Dean's ultimate plan. He knew his big brained baby brother had the grades to get into a good college and while it would kill him to watch Sam walk away, Dean would swallow his own feelings to let his brother find the normal apple pie life he'd longed for.
Usually Dean tried to steer clear of John and Sam's issues, but this time he was willing to risk his father's temper. They'd been in this godforsaken small town for several weeks while John hunted two towns over, and Sam had actually made a few friends in the small high school he attended. One of those friends had asked his shy but good-looking brother to a dance…and of course their old man had refused.
"I've gone over this with your brother until I'm blue in the face, and I think I might be having a stroke," John growled, slamming the door of his truck and tossing a warning glare at his oldest son. "We're done around here. I want us packed and gone by tomorrow morning."
Dean shook his head while pocketing the keys to the shiny black 1967 Chevy Impala that had been both home and transportation since he'd been four years old. "What's one more damn day, Dad?" he demanded, frustrated at the older man's stubbornness. "Either wait one more day or you move on and we'll catch up…just let Sam have this one damn thing."
"I said we're moving on tonight and that's it," John snapped, gruff voice dropping into the deeper tone it got when his temper was on the surface or something was bothering him. "There'll be other dances or whatever the hell else he thinks he wants to do…Dean!"
Rounding the Impala's hood to cut John off before he could reach for the door to their motel room, Dean grabbed his father's arm to pull him back and put himself in his face, something else he rarely did unless pushed. "Like there were other Christmas's or birthdays when I had to lie to him about where you were? Like there were other days when it should've been his father at school parties or teachers meetings instead of me? And heaven forbid the time he was actually in a play and Pastor Jim came because you couldn't? Like there were other times then too, Dad?" he challenged hotly, tired of that being his Dad's excuse for everything Sam wanted to do or try. "He's sixteen once. You know and I know that there'll never be another dance because we never stick around long enough for him to make friends much less be asked to a dance."
"I've taught both you boys that the life we lead doesn't leave time for things like dances or plays or soccer." John glared while wondering where the hell he'd gone so wrong. "You never whined or pouted about not going to school crap like dances when you were 16. You accepted what we did and fell into place like…"
"Like a good little soldier?" Dean sneered, ignoring the pull of the stitches in his shoulder from where he'd been clawed by whatever the hell they'd been hunting. "Yeah, that's what I've always done. I've always fallen in line and obeyed every order you barked. I did it because it was easier than arguing with you, but Sammy's stronger than I am. We're not soldiers, Dad. We're your sons and just because I've always gone along with what you asked me to do…it doesn't mean Sam should. Sam is not like me.
"Sammy is too much his own person and he actually wants something more than this life of constantly moving around. He actually wants normal and real. And real to Sam includes those little things that don't mean jack squat to you…including something so simple as a goddamn high school dance with a girl he'll never see again." He was prepared to keep pushing the issue since he was already well over the proverbial cliff, but something caught his eye and suddenly everything else, his Dad, the dance, the argument, stopped mattering. "Sam!"
Whirling away from his clearly pissed off father, he lunged the few steps to the door of their motel room…the door that had been kicked open hard enough to splinter the wood. Dean had his .45 in hand even as he was crossing the threshold with his temper spiking while his heart jumped into his throat. "Sammy?"
"Dean? Dean, what the hell is the matter with…oh shit!" John stopped in mid-growl when he followed his son into the room. He expected to find his younger son where they'd left him that morning since by this time Sam should've been home from school. He wasn't expecting to find the room in shambles. He also wasn't expecting the kick in the gut feeling that hit him as it quickly became clear that the 16-year old wasn't there. "No. No, damn it. I didn't think he'd…"
Dean had just finished tearing through the bathroom and small kitchen area in the hopes of finding something that would give him hope that maybe his younger brother hadn't been in the motel room when some stupid asshole or assholes had kicked in their door, but it was clear that Sam had been in the room.
He'd seen Sam's book bag slung over a chair and his brother's history book was beside the overturned table as if the kid had been doing homework for a class he wouldn't be back to on Monday. Dean's sharp green eyes caught the edge of the blade his brother kept with him sticking out from under the edge of one of the beds like it had been dropped and kicked there. They also finally caught sight of a dark stain on the dirty pale carpet that he knew was blood and while his temper was raging, his fear was picking up as well…then his father's words penetrated his brain and he turned slowly to shoot him a look that was pure pissed off big brother.
"Ex-cuse me? You didn't think who'd do what?" Dean demanded lowly, fingers twitching on the weapon he still held as he thought back to the last week and how on edge and temperamental John had been…ever since he'd gotten a phone call one evening. "Dad? Do you know what's going on? Do you know who might've kicked in the door and grabbed Sammy?" He stood up to his full height and stepped into John's space. "Did you know that someone might kick in our door? Did you know something that you didn't think to tell me about before I left my little brother here alone and unprotected?"
"Sam's 16 years old, Dean. He's hardly a little kid who needs protection, and if he'd have paid attention to everything you and I tried to teach him these past five years, he would've been able to defend himself against…uh!" John's head suddenly snapped back at the hard fist his older son delivered to his jaw.
"Against who?" Dean was now livid, furious with himself, that he hadn't picked up on the signs of possible trouble with all the extra precautions his dad had been taking the past few days. "Damn it, Dad! What the fuck's going on? Where's Sam?" he demanded, fisting his father's jacket while the .45 was still clenched in his other hand without any real regard of how close he was coming to actually aiming it. "Who'd you piss off and why the hell didn't Sam and I know about it?"
John managed to deflect Dean's next punch and carefully sidestepped his son while grabbing the wrist of the hand that still held his jacket, recognizing the rage for what it was now. His son was pissed that the motel had been attacked, but he was more pissed that perhaps John had known the threat was there and had done nothing to stop it.
"I didn't think he'd track me back to the motel much less move this soon or that he'd…Dean!" John snapped when the sound of the .45 Colt being cocked reached his ears. "What the hell'd I teach you about not cocking a weapon unless you planned to use it?"
"Yeah, and your point would be?" Dean tossed back through clenched teeth, the vein in his forehead pounding furiously. "I'm gonna use it unless you tell me the goddamn truth about who the hell came lookin' for you and nailed my brother instead."
In the years since he first put a gun in Dean's hand to teach him to shoot, John had never once been concerned about taking a bullet either accidentally or on purpose. This time however, as he watched Dean's face and the steady way he held the weapon, he wasn't as confident.
"About 10 years ago I was on a hunt down in Georgia; a vengeful spirit was wracking havoc on a family. Well, I crossed paths with a couple other hunters, and we tried to work the case together." John spoke slowly, carefully freeing his jacket from his son's clenched fingers and moving to where one of their duffels had been dumped out. It appeared that someone had been looking for something and he was glad they'd had the duffels with the weapons in the Impala's trunk. "Clay and Pete were good ole boys with hair trigger tempers and few less morals than I have…"
"What? There's someone less morally upright than a guy who drags his two sons along from hunt to hunt and lectures his five year old son for being afraid of monsters in his closest?" Dean scoffed, sarcasm still his biggest weapon against the building fear for his brother as he kept glaring at John. He swallowed thickly as he took in the large bloodstain on the carpet and prayed that Sam had managed to get in a lucky blow on whoever grabbed him.
John's eyes glittered, and he nearly snapped his standard reply but stopped himself. It wasn't that he wasn't upset that Sam had apparently been kidnapped, he was. But John had learned a long time ago to cover his emotions because he knew they'd only make matters worse if he led by them rather than his head and training.
"Needless to say we had very different methods of working a case, so when I didn't go along with their plan to use an 80-year old woman as bait, we went our own ways. I decided to go to the last graveyard in town to try to find the grave while they thought they could trap the spirit in salt and then disperse it with some old ritual." John noticed that while Dean wasn't careful as he began to shove his own clothes and personal stuff back in his duffel, he was much more careful when he picked up his little brother's things, especially the laptop that Sam treasured.
"When the spirit realized what I was doing, digging up its grave and pouring salt on it, I guess it got pissed off and before I lit the bones on fire, it threw Pete out a window. He landed on a broken board of the fence outside. He was busted up pretty bad and ended up choking on his own blood before anyone could call for help." The senior Winchester frowned as he picked up a crumpled piece of paper on the bed, realizing that it wasn't some school note of Sam's as he'd first thought. "Clay blamed me….even tried to knife me, but I broke his arm. He promised to get even one day…but I'd always thought he'd given up hunting…or got killed himself…until last week."
"That…that call you got in the middle of the night?" Dean frowned; this could turn out to even worse than his brother being grabbed by some random nutjob.
"Clay was in town on another hunt…not the one we're on…something else. He saw me and confronted me in the street…I told him it had happened a decade ago and to let it go." John noticed the look Dean shot him and he got how stupid saying that sounded given that it had been 16 years since Mary had been killed and he still hadn't let go of it. "I don't know how he got my cell number, but when he called me that night, he was a little too close so I went to meet with him. I thought I'd convinced him to let it go, that it wasn't worth anyone else being hurt…"
As Dean reached for Sam's jacket, it suddenly became clear why his dad had been pushing to finish this job and leave town. "You knew the guy was still around. You knew he'd probably come after you…that's why you were pushing so hard to leave tonight."
He dropped the duffel on the bed and cleared the space between them in seconds, grabbing his father's jacket with both hands. "Damn it, Dad! You knew there was a pissed off bastard looking to get back at you and you didn't think I needed to know that? You didn't think it was important enough to warn me and Sam that trouble might come knocking?"
"You didn't need to know since I planned on us being long gone before Clay could figure out where we were staying." John grabbed the hand that went to strike again. "Damn it, Dean! I'm only giving you so many shots before I hit back now settle down and…"
"Screw you!" Dean yelled, furious. "You expect us to follow every order you bark without question, but you don't feel it's worth your time to tell us stuff that could concern us? And now you seem to think I shouldn't be pissed off because this asshole managed to track you down and has grabbed Sam? Well, fuck you very much, Dad!" This time it was Dean's head snapping back, but he was too pissed off to pay much attention as his eyes glittered dangerously. "I want my brother back…now," he gritted tightly.
"We're going to get Sam back, Dean," John promised firmly, wanting to reach out to his son…to squeeze his shoulder to give reassurance, but he knew if he did that now, he'd end up bleeding again. "I know you think I put hunting ahead of you boys…and I admit that sometimes I do…but this is different. This is your brother being in physical danger by a man looking to get back at me." John sighed and ran a hand over his face. "If he wanted to hurt me as payback for Pete's death, fine. But threatening my boys? Hell no. Clay never should've tried to get at me through your brother."
Dean had grown up with John's lectures. He'd seen so many layers and lies over the years that he couldn't really tell if the gruff, rough tone was one of real parental anger at his youngest son being endangered or just an act. Then he decided he really didn't care…all he wanted was to find the son of a bitch who'd thought it was a good idea to touch his little brother.
"I'm ripping his lungs out as soon as we find him," the 20-year old hunter growled, voice dropping to the deep and hard tone that so many bullies and assholes had heard over the years when they thought picking on Sam was a bright move. He paused to poke a hard finger into his father's chest while snatching the piece of paper out of his hand at the same time. "If he put his hands on Sammy or hurt him…then I might rip yours out too."
Stalking away with the duffels in his hand, Dean ignored his Dad's sharp voice as he stormed out of the motel to toss the bags in the Impala before reading the note. When he did, he felt his gut clench at the words scrawled in a heavy hand…
"'Winchester, I made you a promise all those years ago. I told you that you'd pay for costing me my friend's life. Your arrogance cost Pete and now it'll cost you. It was dumb luck that I ran across you that day and even better luck when I was finally able to track you back to this rat-trap motel to find that you weren't alone.
"'Do you know how long it took Pete to die, Winchester? He choked on his own blood, basically suffocated as his lungs filled up for nearly an hour because of you; because you just had to go do things your way. Well, I watched my friend die. Now you can wonder how your son feels as he suffocates…alone in the dark and begging for Daddy to save him. You can live the rest of your worthless life knowing your kid begged and pleaded for his life and that he died because of you.'"
"Like hell he will," Dean growled, crumpling the note in his fist. He took a few deep breaths as he tried to ignore the image of his brother, sixteen but still a kid in Dean's eyes, alone, possibly hurt, and…in the dark… "No."
There were plenty of ways to suffocate, and suffocation had to be one of the worst ways to die, but Dean had a gut clenching fear after re-reading the note that this brainless asshole might have chosen a punishment that would be especially horrible for his brother.
"I better find that kid alive or else it won't be Bobby or Pastor Jim you'll face, but me," Dean warned; he didn't care how he was speaking to his father right then. All he could see was wide fear-filled hazel eyes. He knew his brother was hurt just from the number of blood spots on the floor in the room…though he hoped some of it was his abductor's blood as well.
Dean knew Sam was hardheaded and hated hunting; the kid also hated their father's harsh training, but the kid did train, so Dean knew with some certainty that Sam hadn't gone down without a fight. Yeah, the kid would've fought, but a confused, unaware teenager who wasn't expecting trouble to show up at his door probably hadn't been a match for a full grown adult on a mission of revenge.
"I know where Clay was staying…it was just a few towns over," John was saying as he finished clearing out the room while Dean stalked the parking lot like a caged tiger. "The blood on the carpet is still tacky so he couldn't have grabbed Sam all that long ago. He'll want to draw it out, to scare him, or make him…"
Dean tried to keep his temper under control; it wouldn't help the situation if he lashed out at his father…again. "You lead, I'll follow since this is your mess to clean up…but just make sure you get this." He paused as he was sliding behind the wheel of the Impala. "The no killing humans rule gets tossed if Sam's hurt or worse…and when I get him back, you'd better never keep one more thing from me that could be a threat to him or give me grief for parking us in a decent place to give Sam a chance to recover."
John opened his mouth to argue that they didn't have time or money for that, but shut it again as glittering green eyes, eyes that could so easily remind him of his late wife's when Mary would get furious with him, just went to slits. He kept quiet while silently hoping that Clay was too engrossed in simple revenge to do more than frighten his boy.
As he pulled his big black truck out of the motel lot, he could see Dean in the Impala on his phone and cringed, figuring the boy's first call would be to Caleb. Once Caleb got word of this then it wouldn't be long before John's own phone would be ringing by an irate holy man turned hunter. "Just hang on, son," he murmured to the silent truck.
"No, he didn't give me a last name, but ask Jim. I'm sure he has pull with people who would know this yoyo," Dean snapped, whipping the Impala onto the road behind the truck while clenching the phone in his other hand. He grimaced as he heard his friend shouting complaints and curses in between a few choice words aimed toward John. "Caleb, get me a name and a current location and then get your ass to Tennessee because if Sammy's hurt, you'll be helping me bury some bodies. Yes, I said bodies and you can read into that whatever the hell you want to."
Disconnecting the call with a curse, Dean tossed the phone on the seat beside him only to look over and feel his fingers gripping the wheel harder. Sam should be sitting beside him. Sam should be, by now, making smart remarks about his choice in music or whining that he was hungry or something equally annoying but the car was silent and all Dean could do was fight his own building panic that he'd be too late and he'd lose his brother to something not even supernatural.
Fingering the black rubber bracelet he wore, one that matched one that Sam had because his pain in the ass little brother had badgered him to wear his years earlier, Dean gritted his teeth while ignoring the lump in his throat and the burning in his eyes. He offered a silent prayer to his Mom to please look out for Sammy. "Hang on, Sammy. We're coming for you."