Dean jerks me awake as he pulls me out of my car seat. I look up with tired eyes and see we are not at a motel this time. Or a crappy apartment building.
I lay my head on Dean's shoulder as he carries me towards Dad. I see a woman walking towards us with a smile on her face and I snuggle further into Dean's chest.
My eyebrows furrowed in confusion when she goes and kisses Dad, who smiles. Actually smiles.
Then she turns towards me and Dean. "Hi. I'm Kate. Your dad's friend."
Dean raises his eyebrows at the word friend and goes to move around her, but dad's stern voice stops him in his tracks.
"Dean. Say hi," dad growls. I notice Kate's face fall slightly, but the smile stays on her face as dad introduces us.
"Kate, this is Dean, and Sammy," dad says.
"Hi. Come on inside, I'll get you boys something to eat," she says, ushering us inside.
"Is this your house or something?" Dean asks.
"Yes, it is. So how old are you two again? I don't think your dad ever told me," she asks.
Dean eyes her for a moment, but answers. "I'm six, Sammy's two."
"That's cool. You know Dean, I know you probably don't trust me right now, but I want you to know that I'm here for you. Even when it comes to your dad," she whispers.
I look up at Dean in confusion, and he has the same expression. She notices too. "Dean, honey. I know your dad doesn't treat either of you too well. I might be dating him, but that doesn't mean I am at all okay with his treatment of you or your brother. I will always stand up to him for you."
My eyes are still on Dean, and even though I can see that he is still suspicious of her, I can also see the trust beginning to form in him.
She then smiles down at me and holds out her arms, asking Dean for permission to hold me.
"Dean, your father actually wanted to talk to you. I can hold Sam for a couple minutes. Only if it's okay with you," she offers.
Dean hesitates, but nods, reluctantly handing me over. At first I start crying and holding my arms out to Dean to get him to take me back but he just smiles sadly and runs a hand through my hair.
"It's okay, Sammy. Kate isn't going to hurt you. I just need to talk to dad for a minute, okay buddy?" Dean says, walking away slowly.
After his back disappears through the front door, I calm down a little and rest my head on Kate's shoulder.
I feel my eyes begin to close, and I see Kate hold out a bottle of milk for me. I sleepily take it, sucking on it happily.
By the time all the milk is gone, she has sat down in a rocking chair and begun to sing to me. It was a weird feeling.
Nobody had ever cared for me before, except for Dean. And my mom, I guess. But I don't remember her, so I figure Kate is the closest thing.
I feel my eyes drift closed and it doesn't take long for me to completely fall asleep, feeling safe for once.
"Dad? What did you want to talk to me about?" I ask nervously as I approach Dad.
"Dean," he says. "I wanted to apologize. I realize that I put your brother's life at risk with the pneumonia because I refused to listen to you or Bobby, and I'm sorry. Trust me, there's no way you hate me any more than I hate myself right now."
When he finishes, all I can do is stare at him in shock. An apology is the last thing I expected. He has had 'talks' with me before, but they all ended with broken bones.
My mouth keeps opening and closing, not knowing what to say. Dad simply smiles and claps me on the shoulder, leading me inside.
"Come on. You should get some rest," Dad says.
We end up in the same room as Sammy. I run over to the bed and curl up next to him, smiling as he cuddles into me.
I see Dad and Kate leave the room out of the corner of my eye, but my attention is refocused on Sammy's wheezing.
He hadn't been out of the hospital long, and I was worried he might be getting pneumonia again.
I wouldn't voice my concerns to Dad again though, because this time Sammy might not be so lucky.
I drift off to sleep quickly, my arms wrapped around Sam protectively.
Rough hands on my back brought me back to the present. I cried out as Dad dragged me out of bed.
I could hear Dean's yells behind us as Dad carried me out of the room and threw me down on the ground in the living room.
Dean was right on our tail and kneeled down next to me the second Dad's hands were off of me and he sat there and shielded Dad from coming any closer.
"Dean, move," Dad demanded.
He started waving his arms around and we both noticed how he was swaying slightly, probably due to the half empty whiskey bottle in his hand.
"What are you doing, Dad," Dean asked desperately.
Dad responded with a punch to the jaw. Dean fell to the ground and didn't move as Dad rained kicks down on Dean's abdomen.
My screams and cries grew louder and louder until Dad finally turned on me and dragged me into another room, locking the door behind us.
He simply pulled my pants down and started running his hands up and down my body as he unzipped his jeans.
He quickly thrust into me and I whimpered, the pain excruciating. Dean's yells were soon heard through the door and when he failed to get Dad to back off, he began pounding on the door, trying to break it down.
Tears were silently running down my face as I weakly pushed against Dad's chest, trying to tell him how much it hurts.
He didn't seem to notice though, and what finally got him off of me was Kate.
She returned home and got the key, walking in on Dad… hurting me. Dean still refused to tell me what it was called.
Her face went white and she rushed over, pulling me out from under him and quickly pulling my pants and diaper back up before holding me tight to her chest and running a comforting hand down my back as I sobbed and shook in fear.
She handed me over to Dean, who was standing in shock right outside the room. He snapped into action as I was held out to him and he placed my pacifier in my mouth and carried me to our room as he comforted me.
When I finally stopped yelling, I could hear Kate and Dad screaming at each other. I tried to ignore them but soon they got so loud that Dean had to walk out of the room and tear them apart.
Apparently Dad got physical. Which didn't surprise me or Dean in the slightest. After Dean stepped in, Kate followed him back to our room and sat on the bed next to me.
She gave me a sad smile and waited for Dean to return from the bathroom. When he did I saw that he was holding the med kit that he brings with us everywhere.
"Dean, you really don't have to do this," Kate protests as Dean starts cleaning the cut on her face.
"Yes I do. You helped Sammy. Now I'm helping you," Dean says simply.
I watched them silently, not knowing how to act around Kate. Yes, she stopped Dad from hurting me earlier, but I still wasn't sure if she could be trusted.
I've never trusted anyone in my life, except for Dean, obviously. So the thought of letting her get close didn't seem right.
Then my gaze drifted to the doorway, where I flinched away at the sight of Dad leaning against the doorframe.
A whimper escaped my lips and Dean turned to me, immediately holding out his arms for me, which I happily climbed into.
"What's wrong, Sammy?" He asks when he notices me shaking.
I simply whimper again and bury my face into my chest, and he turns around. I can tell he sees Dad because he tenses up and wraps a protective arm around me tightly.
"Get out of here," Dean says coldly.
He just walks over and takes me from Dean, ignoring my screams and cries. Dean runs after us, pounding his fists on Dad's back, fighting to get him to stop.
But Dad simply carries me out to the car, throws me into the backseat, and drives away, leaving Dean standing on the curb, yelling threats and curses after him.
I sat in the backseat, shaking in fear as Dad continued driving. After what felt like forever, the car stopped, and Dad dragged me out.
He pulled me towards his chest, holding me tightly as he walked towards the building in front of us.
I stopped crying quickly, seeing that Dad was carrying me into a restaurant, and I knew he didn't want me directing any attention towards us.
He walked straight to the back and ordered food to go, then walked to the bathroom to change me.
By the time we walked back out, the food was ready, and Dad strapped me into my car seat this time before driving away.
He drove for a few more hours before stopping in another small town, renting us a motel for the night.
He dropped me onto the bed, where I curled into a ball and cuddled up into the blankets, wishing Dean was here with me.
Not too long later, I hear Dad snoring and I let my eyes fall closed as well.
A harsh slap to the face woke me up, and I saw Dad leaning over me. I sat up, letting him pick me up.
He hands me a bottle and starts pacing the room while I drink. When I finish, he wordlessly hands me my pacifier before packing up our bags and strapping me back into the car.
We are in the car for hours again today, but I am surprised when we pull back up at the same house as yesterday.
Dean comes running out and grabs me quickly, running back into the house with me and holding me tightly as he lays down and starts checking me for injuries.
He looks angry when he sees the bruise forming around my eye from this morning, but seems satisfied when he finds nothing else wrong.
I frown at the sight of his own black eye. He shrugs me off and smiles at me, stroking my back until I fall asleep.
"Dad! What the hell were you thinking!" I yell, knowing I could regret it later.
"He's my son Dean, I'll do whatever I want with him," Dad says, angering me further.
"No, you lost the right to say that when you first hit him!" I yell.
"Lower your voice, Dean," he says.
I slap him as hard as I can across the face, and he snaps. He grabs me and picks me up, dragging me into his and Kate's room.
I already knew what was going to happen, and I didn't fight it, the fact that it was me and not Sammy being enough for me.
He finished quickly and I lay there silently, tears running freely down my face. I got up as fast as possible and rushed out of the room, collapsing into Kate's arms.
She happily bent over and picked me up, holding me tightly as she rubbed my back and whispered soothing words to me.
I found myself wrapping my arms around her neck as she carried me to my room, sitting down in one of the chairs quietly.
I saw Sammy still sleeping and I pulled away a little bit, the tears still falling. She smiles at me and moves me over to the bed, laying me down next to Sammy.
I move over and lay a protective arm over Sam, who cuddles into my side happily, the pacifier still stuck in his mouth.
His eyes open slightly, and he curls even further into me, holding out his arms to me. I sit up and pick him up, his head resting on my shoulder.
I feel his breathing even out and I smile, letting him sleep against me. Soon I also lay down, and I fall asleep easily next to Sammy.
I woke up to the sound of a crash coming from the kitchen. I sat up in bed, making sure Sammy was still sleeping, and I went to see what was happening.
I was met with a right hook to the jaw.
Dad's angry slurring had me standing up, only to get knocked down with a punch to the gut this time.
I didn't get up this time, knowing Dad would see it as an act of rebellion and I would end up way worse off.
He walked away and slapped Kate one more time before leaving, slamming the front door closed behind him.
"Dean! Are you alright, sweetie?" Kate asks hurriedly, running over to check me over.
"I'm okay," I say quietly.
She smiles at me sadly and pulls me into her arms, and I allow her to pick me up, carrying me to my bedroom.
She gently lays me down next to Sammy and strokes my hair until my eyes slip closed.
This time I woke up safely next to Sammy. Dad wasn't dragging us out of bed or trying to kill us.
Instead, I flinched at the sight of him leaning against the doorframe.
"I'm leaving, Dean," he says simply.
"What?" I ask incredulously.
"I found a hunt. In Maine. It's far away, so you boys will stay with Kate until I get back. I've gotten you enrolled in school and everything," he says.
Then he walks away, and I don't expect to see him again for weeks, maybe even months.
Kate walks in after him and smiles at me. "So he told you huh?"
I nod. "It's gonna be fine. Everything will be fine."
I nod again, not believing it. "Why are you dating him?"
The question is unexpected, and I surprise myself with it, but she doesn't react. Just smiles again and walks over to the chair next to our bed.
"You wouldn't understand. I know it seems like a stupid move on my part, but you just need to know that I have my reasons," she says.
It's a vague answer and I hesitate, but nod, accepting that. She walks out of the room then, leaving me alone with Sammy, who is now whimpering.
I shake him awake and the tears stream down his face, his sobs shaking his already terrified body.
I pull him close to me and rub a hand down his back as he cries, whispering soothing words to him.
He calms down pretty quickly, and I pull him into my arms, walking to the kitchen, where Kate already has a bottle of milk ready for him.
I smile and hand it to him, and he happily starts sucking on it, resting his head on my shoulder as I sit down at the kitchen table.
Kate then places a plate full of bacon, eggs, and pancakes in front of me and I stare at it in shock.
"You're not vegetarian are you?" She asks jokingly.
"No," I laugh. "It's just- the last person that ever cooked for me was, well, my mom."
Understanding dawns on her face and she frowns. "I'm sorry, Dean. About your mother, I mean."
I nod, but dig in to the food, stuffing my face as if I hadn't eaten in weeks. I guess, now that I think about it, I hadn't.
Kate laughs a little and walks away, starting to clean the dishes.
"So, Dad said he already enrolled me in school?" I ask.
"Yes, but we're just going to have to go in real quick and sign a few papers," she says quickly.
I frown. "But you're not my parent? Why are you signing it?"
She sighs. "Your dad put me down as you and Sam's guardian from now on. When he's gone, he put me in charge."
I'm about to argue, but I can tell she isn't too happy with this either, so I let it go. Then she speaks up.
"It's not that I mind it, it's just, you have a mom. Even if she's- you know. She'll always be your mom. I'm not trying to take her place, Dean. I just think that he should be the one making those decisions, not me, not on a whim," she explains.
I smile at her. "It's okay. It doesn't really bother me."
She smiles back and I notice that Sam is now asleep on my shoulder, and she offers to take him.
"Hey, I'm going to be watching him all day, every day, pretty soon, so I might as well get some practice in," she says with a smile when I hesitate to hand him over.
I hand him over, and she starts walking to the bedroom, when I stop her.
"Can we go now?" I ask.
"Sure," she says, and starts heading to grab her keys instead.
"Wait, do you have a car seat for Sammy?" I ask.
"It just so happens that I do. I have one for both of you," she says.
It barely takes a minute to get us strapped in before we are on the road, headed towards the school.
When we reach the school, Kate gets out of the driver's seat and immediately goes and unbuckles Sammy, pulling him into her arms and slipping him his pacifier before heading to my side of the car.
She unbuckles me and I climb out of her SUV, seeing her hand held out to me, and I take it, holding her hand as we walk inside.
The receptionist at the front desk smiles at us and leads us to the principal's office.
Once we get there, he takes us inside quickly and goes over everything, making sure we get all the information before sending us off.
Kate signs a few papers and makes conversation with the principal for a while. Then I see them standing up, so I do also, following them out.
She stops outside and turns to me. "So did you hear that? You will be starting tomorrow."
"Really?" I say.
"Yup," she says while strapping Sammy in, already having buckled me in.
We drive home and by the time we get there, Sammy has woken up and I offer to take him to the park, which Kate reluctantly agrees to.
However, he falls asleep in my arms on the way there so I turn back, and I lay down on our bed with him.
I find my eyes fluttering and soon, I am asleep as well.