Chapter 17

Before Jody could get out of the car another young man raced to aid of the one on the ground. He dropped down beside the car and started to check him over. Dean placed two fingers to Sam's neck searching for a pulse and sighed when a fast one beat against his fingers. Now there were two strangers that Jody didn't know and she saw no sign of Bobby and that concerned her. But right now her main priority was the young man not moving on the ground.

"I'll call the rescue squad." Jody said as she got out of the car and pulled her cell out.

"No!" Dean demanded harshly. "I'll take care of him. We don't..." he started his attention on Jody and not on Sam lying on the ground. Before he could finish his sentence, Sam suddenly shoved Dean as hard as he could and rolled to his feet to take off running away, thought not as fast since he was still a little shaken up. "Sonofabitch!" Dean growled springing to his feet and taking off after him.

"Stop both of you!" Jody yelled running after them because she had no idea what was going on. "Stop sheriff's department!" she yelled again as she drew he sidearm.

Dean managed to grab a fist full of Sam's hoodie and jerk him backwards when suddenly the air was filled with the loud sound of a gunshot. Without warning and going on instinct, Dean threw Sam to the ground and fell on top of him, covering his body with his own while pulling his gun from its holster and taking aim at Jody. His finger starting to tighten on the trigger, but something deep down had him pausing before he could follow through.

Jody froze when she saw the gun pointing at her chest and held her arm that was holding her own gun above her head perfectly still. She had fired into the air to get their attention and hopefully stop them from running, not expecting this response. She had seen the look on Dean's face on others that she had tracked down and knew he was dead serious and she didn't want to provoke him into firing at her since he hadn't yet. Jody was sure he wouldn't miss by the way he handled the handgun and at this distance that wasn't a good thing for her.

Neither flinched or took their eyes off each other as a small, back, feathered object suddenly fell from the sky to land between them with a soft plop. Jody swallowed hard to wet her dry mouth so she could speak when suddenly Bobby came running toward them. Only a few seconds had past since she had fired, but it seemed like long, long minutes.

"No Dean! No! I know her!" he called frantically to Dean who never wavered. When he saw that didn't work he tried something else. "Stand down solider!" Bobby commanded, stepping between the two of them to get his attention away from Jody. Bobby knew Dean was only doing what he was trained to do and was relieved that he hadn't shot back immediately, because he knew he wouldn't have missed. He knew just how close Jody came to being killed.

"Bobby be careful." Jody warned him as she slowly lowered her gun, but kept it by her side in case she needed to use it. It seemed Bobby knew these young men, but she didn't know if they were safe yet or not.

Dean frowned and blinked rapidly for a few seconds when the command sunk in. That command broke his trance and had him pulling back to survey the situation. He un-cocked his gun and started to put it back in the holster when a squeaky, raspy voice spoke from beneath him.

"Can't...Breath..." Sam wheezed as he tried to get a hand free to push Dean's weight off of him.

Dean quickly rolled off of Sam and flipped his body over to his back watching as Sam worked on pulling in a couple of short breaths as he gasped for air. He lay there not moving, waiting for the dark spots to fade away so he could see again. Sam struggled to draw in air and made strangling, gurgling noises while getting his lungs working again.

"You ok? Do I need to do CPR?" Dean asked watching Sam struggling on breathing. He laid a hand on his chest to feel if he was taking air in or not. Sam had mud and dirt smeared across his face making it hard for Dean to tell if he was turning blue or not from lack of oxygen.

"Cr'p! No!" Sam coughed hard as he rolled to his side for a moment; finally getting the air he needed, before trying to push himself to a sitting position.

"I'm sorry about that Jody, those two dumb asses are my cousin's boys and they've been staying with me for a few days." Bobby said turning to Jody. "Are you ok?"

"Yes, but why is he carrying a gun and chasing the younger one?" she questioned as she put her gun away and watched what she thought were brothers.

"You know how sibling rivalries are, horseplay gets out of hand and they get too rough and he carries a gun for his job." Bobby replied turning his head to glare at the two behind him. "Dean! Sam!" he said sternly to get their attention and to let them know he was serious. "This is Sheriff Mills, why don't you go clean up while I see what she wants?" he said dismissing them before they made more trouble.

"Alright." Dean said pulling Sam from the ground and grabbing a fist of hoodie again so he could drag him along with him.

"Don't you have something to say to the sheriff Dean?" Bobby asked as they drew along side them.

"Oh yeah...Nice shooting Sheriff." he said, nodding to the dead crow, before continuing on toward the house with Sam in tow.

Bobby looked toward where Dean nodded and saw the dead crow laying about five feet from them and turned to Jody opening his mouth to say something but was cut short when she said.

"Don't ask, just don't." she huffed rolling her eyes, and then watched the two brothers head for the house, the older still pulling the younger along with him. She didn't remember Bobby ever mentioning any cousins with children, but he didn't really talk about family. She could just hear the exchange of insults from the two guys as they neared the house.

"Will you quit pulling on me jerk!" Sam complained trying to slap Dean's firm grip away as he stumbled slightly.

"You quit being a little bitch then." Dean shot back. "I caught you; I'm not letting you go."

"No, you didn't. The sheriff's car stopped me and I think I could of gotten away from you."

"Hardly kid...Might as well accept that you lost." Dean told Sam as he pulled him into the house out of their sight.

"Idjits! You'll have to overlook their behavior; their manners need to be worked on." Bobby growled shaking his head while listening to the argument until they went inside. "So Jody, what can I do for you?" he asked wanting to get her off the guys and onto another subject.

"I wanted to see if you could look at my car. It's making a funny noise that doesn't sound good."

"Why don't we drive over to the garage and I'll check it out." he said moving around the car to get into the passenger seat while Jody got behind the wheel. "I wanna apologize for the boy's antics. Dean thought you wanted to hurt Sam."

"He seems very protective of his brother, has he always been like that?"

"More or less."

"Ex-military I take it too."

"Yep, just got out not too long ago so he's still a bit jumpy. He was on the front lines and saw too much fighting. You know how soldiers are when they first get back."

"There! Hear that?" Jody asked when the car engine made the noise again. "I understand. I've seen a few veterans just back with the same reactions."

spn

"You know you almost shot the sheriff?" Sam asked when Dean finally let him go once they were on the porch. Sam leaned down to slap the legs of his jeans to get what dirt and mud off he could before going inside.

"No, I drew on her, but I didn't shoot." Dean corrected him. "Besides she shot first, I was protecting you."

"'bout suffocated me's more like it." Sam muttered under his breath and followed Dean inside.

"I gotta say you did much better than I expected so I'll let you have the bathroom first." Dean informed him as they trudged up the stairs. "Besides, you got a lot dirtier than I did for some reason. Were you rolling around in the dirt on purpose to mast your scent or something?" he teased.

"Funny, I would of got away if I hadn't hit the sheriff's car." Sam said in a whiney voice while giving Dean a bitch face.

"Not quite Sammy, you'd be dead if I was a bad guy. I'll give you some pointers later in case the situation actually happens." Dean replied. He noticed Sam was holding his side and grimaced slightly as the walked up the stairs. "What happened? Let me see."

"Nothin'." Sam said guiltily, dropping his hand to his side trying to hide the fact it hurt like hell. "I'm fine."

"Let me see." Dean said again with more authority as he blocked the doorway to the bedroom, crossing his arms over his chest and waiting for Sam to show him.

"Fine." he sighed, pulling up his hoodie and shirt to show the beginnings of an ugly bruise on his side that continued under the waistband of his jeans. He knew that tone already and knew Dean wasn't going to let it go unless he showed him.

"Let me check it before you get in the shower." Dean said stepping out of the way so Sam could go into the bedroom.

"Ok." Sam mumbled rummaging around in his duffle for clean clothes before heading across the hall to the bathroom. He sat on the commode to take off his boots and then his jeans and grimaced when he leaned over and pain radiated from his side. After wrapping a towel around his hips, he called through the door, "You can check it now."

Dean stepped into the bathroom and sat on the commode while Sam stood by the sink so he could look at the injury on his side. He gently probed the entire bruise, checking the ribs and pulling the towel and Sam's briefs down off his hip to see how much lower it went. He could see the darkness of the bruise blossoming out across his side and down to hip bone.

"I don't feel anything broken, but it wouldn't hurt to put some balm on it after your shower. It'll at least take some of the soreness out." Dean said getting up. He looked in his bathroom bag and found the balm, sitting it on the counter by the sink. "I'll be downstairs."

"Thanks." Sam said. He stepped to the tub to turn the water on, hoping a hot shower would help with his tired body. He didn't want to tell Dean just how bad it ached since his run in with Jody's car and being tossed to the ground and squashed under Dean's body. He adjusted the temperature of the water before dropping his briefs and stepping under the hot spray letting it beat on shoulders first before turning to let it do the same on his chest. Sam let his head drop forward so the water could run over his head, wetting his hair as he slowly breathed in some deep breaths, grunting when his side protested. He grabbed his shampoo to wash his hair wanting to finish before running out of hot water.

spn

Dean was moving around the kitchen, putting together dinner when Sam came back down.

"Can I help?" he asked watching Dean stirring the food in the pots on the stove.

"You can set the table and butter the rolls."

"Sure, is Bobby going to be here? Do I need to set a plate for him?"

"He should be back by the time I'm finished cooking."

"Ok." Sam said going to the cabinet to pull out plates and the drawer for silverware. He took everything to the table and began setting it as he listened to Dean humming in the kitchen. Once he was done, Sam stepped to the counter where the rolls and butter sat.

"Watch the pots, I'm gonna take a quick shower." Dean told him as he wiped his hands on a dishtowel. "I've turned everything down so it should be ok."

"I'll keep watch." Sam said moving into the kitchen to take Dean's place. This all seem so right to Sam and without knowing it, he was gaining a new family. He peeked into the pots to see what they were having for dinner then turned back to the rolls to butter them and sit them next to the oven. He found a bottle of green tea in the fridge, smiling to himself that Dean remembered he liked the drink and had picked some up for him.

spn

When everyone got settled at the table, Dean turned to Bobby to question him about the sheriff. He didn't want to have any trouble from the locals that might start the makings of a paper trail that would lead to Bobby.

"Uncle Bobby are we ok with the sheriff? She's not gonna run my name or anything is she?" Dean asked as he passed the food around.

"Naw, we're good friends and I told her you two idjits were my cousin's kids staying with me for a few days and you could be dump asses when it came to competition. As far as the gun being pulled on her, she understood when I told her you were stationed overseas and saw too much combat and just got back. She's good, don't worry."

"Good, I don't want a paper trail leading someone here."

"I think we should be ok."

"Let's eat; I've worked up an appetite chasing Sammy down." Dean said rubbing his hands together in anticipation.

"Smells good." Sam said realizing how hungry he was too. Sam thought it was the other way around; he was the one doing all the running, but decided not to broach the subject since he didn't want to spoil the moment. It felt nice sitting down with them and having a family dinner like this. He thought this was one of the best things he missed. Sam looked up and smiled as Bobby and Dean talked among themselves about something he hadn't listened close enough to add any comments.

"You ok Sammy?" Dean asked when he saw the glassy eyed look on Sam's face, like he was far, far away right now, lost in his on thoughts.

"What? Oh, yeah, I'm fine." Sam said quickly, breaking the trance he had been in and looking down at his plate of food. He scooped some mashed potatoes on his fork and slipped it into his mouth so he wouldn't have to talk anymore.

Dean studied the young man and knew something was bothering him, but didn't pursue it. He figured Sam had a right to his personal thoughts and gave him some space. He thought about what he was planning to do tonight and wondered how Sam was going to react.


A/N: So who really won? For the reader asking about their game of hide and seek, Sam was to hide from Dean any way he could, whether it was hiding or staying on the move trying to avoid him. I hope that explains it. This was so fun to write. I could just picture it happening. I do like reviews and hope you will leave me one. NC