Title: The Good Son
Author: BehrBeMine
Feedback: Show some love, guys! This is my first 'Supernatural' fic. Let me know if I suck?
Disclaimer: I don't own anything. Don't sue, I'll cry. ;p
Summary: It's what Sam can never hope to be.
Rating: G
Distribution: Yes please. Just let me know where it's going.
Classification: Sam; it's a character study
Spoilers: 'The Pilot'

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Sam was never his father's favorite child. He was too different, too independent, too tall. He eclipsed his father's height, and Dean's, by the time he was seventeen years old.

He was quite a picture to look at. Soft features that bent in empathy to all of the pain that surrounded him. He was nothing like Dean.

Dean, the favored son, with a blazing fire in his eyes that sought out mischief and devilry. He was born for the hunt. For him, it was only a matter of time before he would join his father in the search for what happened to their mother, the beloved female of their family. Dean didn't have many fights with his father; most consisted of him wanting to hunt, but not being old enough.

"You don't have the experience, the edge," his father would say. "You're too young. You'd be killed straight away."

Dean understood. Sam did not. Why did their father have to go away for so long so often? They had to cover up for him at school, telling teachers he couldn't come to the PTA meetings because he was sick or working nights that week. Dean was fine with the deceit, the lies. Teachers meant nothing to him. A straight "D" student, he messed around for the entirety of his educational experience, hefting up barely enough effort to scrape by. He was intelligent, no doubt about that, but he lacked the motivation to go anywhere with his knowledge. The only knowledge that mattered to him was that of the paranormal.

Sam was different. He loved school. He loved learning. His brain was a sponge that soaked up all that entered its path, slurping up facts years ahead of his time. He had been just a baby when his mother was taken from him, but she left him one final gift, and that was her good head. His abilities came from her, or so his father said. All of his "A" papers were glanced at by his dad, who grunted, and muttered, "Just like your mother..." He was proud of Sam. He just didn't know how to show it. He couldn't relate. His child was nothing like him.

When their dad was home, sometimes he would drive them places. To the movies, where they could spend time together in the dark, without having to create pleasant conversation. Sam often wondered if either his dad or his brother knew what pleasant conversation was. He'd sit in the car as the tall, slender trees zoomed past the windows as they traveled on their way to no place in particular. Dean turned up the Metallica. Sam crouched in the corner of the backseat with a book in his hands, his brow creased, trying his best to concentrate amidst the chaotic noise.

Dad was gone so often that they learned to fend for themselves. Sam would push his booster chair right up next to the counter in order to reach the surface to make a dinner of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He liked grape jelly best. His father always got strawberry (it was what he and Dean preferred). He learned to make macaroni and cheese. Oatmeal with brown sugar sprinkled on the top. Hot dogs. Two kids alone in a big house, with sneaky suspicions, fears, and the tortured memories of yesterdays.

Sam wouldn't say that he and Dean were ever particularly close, but they had their moments. They would commiserate about Dad being gone all the time. They would almost be getting along, and then Sam would say something like, "I hate him for doing this to us."

"Shut up. Don't say shit like that," Dean would say. And the spell would be over.

But sometimes... sometimes Dean would flick a cheesy noodle his brother's way. When it landed on his nose, warm and sticky, Sam would laugh. And he would wish he was Dean, that he could get over things so quickly; that he could forgive their father for all the times he was never, ever there. The blind faith that Dean had in his father was something Sam envied to the hilt, but he would never give up his inquiring mind. Always seeking an explanation, needing a confirmation of why something was okay. His lack of faith in his father morphed into a lack of faith in himself. A lack that he would fight all his life through.

Sam grew up. He turned eighteen. He graduated high school. And he came to his father, on one of the weeks he was home, writing in that damn journal of his, feverishly scribbling so that the writing was nearly illegible, and could be deciphered only by others with handwriting equally as bad. Sam wasn't one of those people. When he said at five years old that he wanted to be a doctor, his teacher laughed and said that would never happen, for his handwriting was too legible. That was a confusing day.

As Sam approached his father, the day after graduation, he swallowed over the lump of sickening anticipation in his throat. "Dad?"

His father looked up. "I know what you're here to ask for, son, and the answer is no."

"I want to go to college, Dad. I have this... need to learn. To get out of this place. I got a scholarship."

"I don't much care. Sam, I've decided, and you're coming hunting with us. End of story." Dad and Dean now hunted together, and they were quite a team. Surely they didn't need Sam, the young one, to slow them down.

"I can't," said Sam. "I won't."

His father didn't say anything, and he wouldn't, but Sam could see it in his eyes, his thoughts, from his deepest heart: Why can't you be more like your brother? Why can't you just respect me, and obey? Why can't you be the way I need you to be, instead of the way you insist on being?

Because, he would answer, that's who I am. I'm not a hunter, I'm not a killer, I don't follow wherever you lead. I will never be the one you rave about, the one you praise as you pat my head; who I am will stop me forever from being like Dean, the good son.

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end