This is my first Fan Fiction. I posted it and the formatting was wrong. I aim for this to be about 7 chapters and I've written 3. The next chapters will be more in the first person
I hope you enjoy
John Winchester didn't mean to be an arsehole or a bad Father, life (and a tendency to be driven) had just made him like that. What would have been great characteristics in a suit and tie corporate environment, weren't so great when your life was transiently providing for two Motherless boys and that is how ten-year-old Dean Winchester came to be sitting in a crappy motel room counting crumpled dollar bills taken from the secret space at the bottom of his only duffle bag, trying not to cry and with no John Winchester in sight.
To his credit, Dean was succeeding in the not crying but it has to be said, he was doing so by taking out his nerves and fears on his six-year-old brother. The problem with that, of course, was that his six-year-old brother didn't understand that Fathers can be arseholes and ten year old brothers can lash out in fear. So the six year old was curled on his side, crying into his pillow, because his superhero big brother was being a dick to him. This, not unnaturally, made Dean feel as big an arsehole as John and to be riddled with, what he couldn't yet identify as, parental guilt.
Specifically, on his occasion, John's bad parenting was that he was late, and he hadn't been in touch. He wasn't a day late, Dean was used to that and used to the gnawing fear that his Father was hurt, dead or (very deep down) had abandoned them because Dean had not lived up to expectations ( Dean knew his Father loved him and the last fear was irrational, but it was a fear nonetheless).
In this case, John was six days late. The fears of death, injury and abandonment were starting to feel, not like fears, but like logical explanations. Those fears were now overlaid with the fears of starvation, homelessness (the rent on the room was due tomorrow) and, most stomach knotting of all, the fear of discovery and separation. Not only was John AWOL, but his backups Bobby Singer and Pastor Jim were likely with John (in any event neither had answered the phone when he rang desperately the last two nights) leaving Dean well and truly on his own.
It can't be denied this was a lot for a ten year old to process but, whilst John Winchester may be an arsehole and a bad Father, one thing he had both demonstrated to Dean and trained into him was bravery and not letting fear consume you to the extent you do not find a solution. So Dean Winchester, comforter of smaller Winchesters and worrier for wayward parents, put aside his counting (in truth he knew how much money there was but he was still of an age where there was a glimmer of hope in miracles and he'd find a dollar bill was really a ten) and shuffled the four foot chasm between his bed and the bed containing the small, sniffling, miserable figure that was six years old Sammy Winchester.
"I'm sorry Sammy, I was just being a dick. It's been a shit day and I shouldn't have taken it out on you" said Dean. Dean hadn't learnt to apologise from John Winchester, but he had learnt how much it hurt when someone you loved treated you badly and he had always been determined (and in fairness to him had succeeded beyond anything that could be expected of a ten year old) that Sammy would never feel like that.
Sammy, despite his miserable snivelling six-year-old status was, of course, a Winchester and a Winchester fights back when someone wrongs them. "I hate you Dean, you're mean and I'm telling Dad you've been swearing when he comes back and that you wouldn't let me talk to him at all" sniffled Sammy, between tearful gulps, trying to raise himself by standing on the bed to his full 39 inch height and simultaneously wiping away his tears. His bravado failed at the last minute, however, and he added "I didn't mean to be naughty" in a quieter voice looking up at his brother expectantly.
That small exchange summed up the last six days for both boys.
For Dean, a daily struggle to get up, get Sammy and himself ready for school (ensuring that Sammy was clean enough and had enough of a semblance of a lunch to escape notice) and impressing time after time on Sammy the need never to say they were alone. At school, Dean himself trying to stay inconspicuous and concentrate, whilst all the time listening and hoping for the familiar roar of the Impala and thinking constantly about time ticking, motels needing paying for and WHERE WAS DAD. At home, trying to avoid the unreasonably curious motel owner (why the fuck did he care if John was there or not? The whole purpose of being in a dive motel was not only to save money but to escape any interest from others, poverty and hard lives having a tendency to dampen interest in others). At home Dean trying to work out for how long he could feed the lesser Winchester (he long since having abandoned any thought of eating anything but the barest minimum himself), trying to come up with a plan and trying to assuage the curiosity and growing concern of a little brother, too young to know the shit they were in but too old to believe that everything was alright. This is just a long way to say, trying to keep paddling and not give in to fear.
For Sammy, the usually gruff but patient brother, the teacher of numbers, letters and the tying of shoelaces, was tense, angry and distant. For Sammy, who was not used to not being the centre of Dean's universe this was a seismic event. Dean, his Dean, no longer cared at the troubles and strife's of Sammy's six-year-olds day. Dean, his Dean, no longer cared what Sammy wanted for dinner, he just threw a plate in front of him and insisted he eat. Dean, his Dean, no longer played with Sammy or told the stories that calmed him to sleep, his Dean now only sat and thought or scribbled, counted and snapped at Sammy. Even at six years old, the worry of the unshakeable big brother and the continuing absence of his Father, caused a lesser but nevertheless very real worry and tightness in little Sammy's stomach.
So that is the background to how Dean came to be apologising. One pressure too many was a small Sammy (who Dean was aware wasn't getting enough to make him stop being small) complaining of the boredom of his current diet of cheap pasta and own brand cereal. Dean, who had been blessing the couponing Gods for allowing even this meagre fare, could cope with everything, but couldn't cope with the complaints of a small boy who Dean already felt guilty and worried about not providing for. Dean knew Sammy deserved better, Sammy deserved the world and Dean, carer for smaller brothers, could not even provide the basics of life. Dean couldn't provide food and a roof over Sammy's head.
But as we've said, Dean was a brave Winchester and even at 10 years old knew it was on him to find a solution. The problem was 10 year olds aren't really given the tools to find solutions to the adult problems of feeding, clothing and putting a roof over your head. So Dean considered his options, he couldn't afford the rent, he had no one near to ask for help (Winchester's were a small, tight and impermeable group), he had no way to contact his absent Father and he needed to stay somewhere his Father could find them (he refused to believe John wouldn't return). He also had exactly $17.68 to his name, so Dean braced himself and beamed a smile at Sammy's apology that he didn't really feel, drew his brother into a hug, ruffled his hair, kissed the top of his head and said "it's all good, Sammy, but we need to get out of here. We're going on an adventure tomorrow, no more boring school Sammy! We're going to see Uncle Bobby and wait for Dad there. For now, go to bed cos we gotta start early tomorrow".
So that was Dean's plan, to pack up, taking any vestiges of food within him, and flee the curious motel owner whose rent he couldn't pay with his $17.68 and take a small brother to travel the 800 miles to Sioux Falls and hope to find Bobby home. He knew it wasn't a good plan, but he had long passed any good options and this plan got him moving, away from the risk of discovery and hopefully closer to someone who could tell him where the hell his Father was.
Decision made, Dean pushed down his own fears and questions and got into bed with Sammy (tonight wasn't a night for teeth-brushing and bubble bath) ready to get up in the middle of the night and move on, small invisible figures facing a big and dangerous world entirely alone.