Is a little side story off of My Hands… if you read that you may know what I mean. It isn't necessary to read both. This can stand alone. It's pre-pilot. Enjoy, reviews make me happy. No flames though, please.

Big Bird and Make-believe © M.Kena

Sammy isn't his only nickname. What happens when a man with a grudge against John Winchester goes after his boys? Oneshot. Pre-pilot.


"Dean! Dean! You've got to wake up! Come on, man!" Sam yelled, holding his brother tightly. "Don't do this, please! Dean, stay with me!"

At this moment, sixteen year old Sam was sitting against the heavy wooden door, trying to keep out the crazy Mr. Marshal. He just hoped the old oak would hold its own against the dull axe the man was swinging against it.

"Dean, please." Sam sobbed, holding fistfuls of Dean's shirt in his hands. "Don't let this be it, Dean! Don't die because of some wack-job with a grudge against Dad!" Sam felt for a pulse. It was weak, but it was there.

Suddenly Dean broke into a coughing fit. Sam rubbed his back until it subsided and Dean settled against his brother, his back against Sam's chest.

"Sammy...?" Dean groaned weakly. Sam slid his arms around Dean's ribs, gently, to keep him upright.

"Yeah, I'm here, Dean." Sam whispered, turning his head so his cheek rested against Dean's sweat soaked hair. The axe finally broke through the door, just barely, but enough to make Sam nervous. "We've got to move, Dean." Sam whispered.

"I… I don't know if I… if I can." Dean admitted. Sam stood, bringing Dean with him, hating the sounds of pain Dean was making. Sam was grateful that, at twenty, Dean had stopped growing taller. Sam was all ready a few inches taller than his brother, but what his brother lacked in height, he made up for in muscle.

"Then I'll have to carry you, because we are getting out of here." Sam explained. He helped Dean stand on his feet and then ran to the window. "Come on, I'll lift you out." Sam explained. Dean shook his head solemnly. "What? Dean, come on!" Sam's voice broke. He was scared. Scared because Dean was losing too much blood. Scared because that hole in Dean's side seemed to be getting bigger. Scared because that man behind the door was laughing. Scared because he knew that window was too small for Dean. And scared because he wasn't sure they would both get out of this one.

"Sam…" Dean whispered, shaking his head again. In two strides of his long legs Sam had grasped Dean's shirt collar.

"We're getting out of here!" Sam yelled. He searched the room for something, anything to defend themselves with.

"No way out, boys!" Marshal yelled. "I'm going to make my dinner. You sit down here and enjoy your last few hours." He paused again. "And don't you worry. Your death will be slow and extremely painful. Only the best for the boys of John Winchester."

Sam didn't brother replying. He wasn't worth the energy Sam needed to focus all on finding an escape.

He heard a thud and he turned. Dean and slid to the ground. Sam rushed to his side. Dean was covered in sweat and was shaking weakly. "Sam?" Dean whispered. Sam grabbed his hand.

"Yeah?"

"Remember…" he licked his lips. "Remember when I used to call you Big Bird?" He asked. Sam felt tears well into his eyes.

"Not really." He lied. "Tell me about it." Sam asked, and got up, returning to his escape crusade.

---

"What do you want to name your brother, Dean?" Mary Winchester asked softly. It was her second hour of labor, and her only, soon to be oldest, son was sitting on the end of the bed, cautiously eyeing the IVs and monitors hooked to his mother.

"Or sister." John interrupted. He had believed through out the whole pregnancy that she was carrying a girl, but Mary insisted otherwise.

"What do you want to name your brother, Dean?" She asked again. Dean thought for a moment before smiling.

"Big Bird!" He exclaimed. John and Mary laughed.

"What about a regular name, Dean?" John offered. "Like Matthew, or Jonathan." He explained. Dean shook his head.

"You're Jonathan." He reminded his father. Dean pointed to his mother's stomach. "That's Big Bird." Dean explained.

Mary closed her eyes as a contraction hit her. "Take Dean." She whispered, not wanting the little boy to see his mother in pain.

"Mommy?" Dean asked softly. She forced a smile through the pain. John grabbed Dean, but he squirmed in his arms. "What's wrong, Mommy?"

"Mommy hurts a little Dean, its okay." John whispered. "Come on, let's go get some lunch, and a toy for Big Bird." He heard Mary sighed and grinned.

"Samuel." Dean said suddenly. "Name Big Bird, Samuel."

"That's a nice name, Dean." John said as they left the room. "Where did you hear that?"

"That's my best friend's name." Dean explained. John raised his eyebrows.

"Oh really? But last week Benjamin Harris was your best friend." John reminded him. Dean shook his head.

"Benny stole my clay and I pushed him down." Dean explained. John nodded, he remembered that note from the very polite teacher. He'd liked the way she dotted her Is with little stars and crossed her Ts perfectly, he'd noticed soon after that Dean had practiced writing his letters the same way. John could only hope the stars would disappear soon.

"And what does Daddy say about pushing people down?" John quizzed. Dean smiled.

"Pushing is not nice. Nice words are best." He recited and John nodded. "Can we get Big Bird that?" Dean asked, pointing to the teddy bear in the window of the gift shop. John nodded.

"Yeah, we'll get that for Big Bird."

---

"You remember all that?" Sam asked, trying to open the window. He knew that story by heart, Dean loved to tell it, mostly when he was drugged up at the hospital, which had been way too often for Sam's liking.

Dean didn't answer.

"Dean? You remember all that?" Sam urged, louder this time.

Still, Dean was silent.

Sam turned to see Dean with his chin to his chest, blood trickling from his mouth. "Jesus, Dean!" Sam ran to his side and patted his face until his eyes fluttered open. "You need to stay awake, okay?"

"Okay, Big Bird." Dean whispered, his eyes closing again.

"Dean!" Sam yelled, shaking his brother. His eyes opened again. "I mean it. Tell me another story, Dean?"

---

"Daddy, Sammy is sick." Dean whined pitifully, looking at the pile of vomit on the floor.

John came rushing into the room, saw the disgusting mess and then his little boy sitting on the floor, sobbing.

"Sam." John said gently, lifting him up and carrying him to the bed. "I told you to lie down." He reminded the little boy.

"Dean won't stop calling me Big Bird." Sam sobbed. John looked at Dean, who smiled innocently.

"Dean, we talked about this. Sam has asked you nicely to stop calling him Big Bird."

"But Sammy has always been Big Bird." Dean whined. "Mommy called him Big Bird too." And then John caught on.

"Oh, Dean…" John whispered, kneeling in front of his son. "Mommy called him Sammy too." John reminded him.

"But we always called him Big Bird." Dean pouted. John hugged his son tightly, one of the last times he'd do it so freely.

"Let's make a deal. One time a year you can call him Big Bird, okay?" John bartered. Dean thought it over.

"Can I still call him Sammy?" He asked slowly. John nodded.

"You can always call him Sammy."

---

Despite their impending doom, Sam chuckled. He'd have to talk to their father about that promise.

"Dean, I think I can get out this window…" Sam explained. He got a grunt in return. "Do you think…" He turned and saw that Dean had some how made it to his feet.

"I'll help you out." Dean walked towards him slowly. Sam shook his head, grasping Dean's arm and helping him back to the wall.

"I'm not leaving you here." Sam explained. "Do you think you can fit?" Sam asked, pointing to the window.

"Unless I've really lost that much blood… there is no way, Sammy." Dean explained, swaying slightly. Sam steadied him with a strong hand on his chest.

"I think I should take a look at your side." Sam whispered and lifted Dean's shirt slowly. Dean grimaced as the fabric tugged at the wound. "I can't believe he hit you, Dean." Sam whispered.

"If that damn dog hadn't been in my way…" Dean grumbled and Sam smiled. "Fido has a lot to answer to when this is over." Dean looked down at his side and winced. "Good thing that axe was so dull, or my insides would be on the floor."

" 's not funny." Sam grunted as he took off his jacket and pressed it against Dean's side.

"I'm kinda cold, Sam." Dean admitted. Sam looked at him, worry etching deep into the premature lines on his face. He forced a smile and nodded.

"Yeah, its like a freezer down here." Sam lied. Dean pretended, for Sam's sake, that he didn't see the sweat on his brother's face. He pretended he didn't know they were in the boiler room. He pretended that he didn't know he was going to die on this man's basement floor. He pretended he didn't know this would be their last adventure together. He pretended he didn't know this was the end.

He pretended for Sam.

And Sam pretended he didn't know what Dean was doing.

They pretended, just like they did when they were younger. Sam sighed and sat down next to his brother, draping an arm around his shoulders and holding him close. For a moment they pretended that everything was going to be okay. They pretended everything was normal. They pretended there was a future.

"Sam?" Dean whispered.

"Yeah, Dean." Sam whispered back, trying in vain to keep his voice steady.

"Kill him for me, okay?" He asked.

"You're going to kill him yourself." Sam pretended.

"Right. I'll make it slow, what do you think? I really want to shove him off the staircase… how's your head, by the way?"

"It's good, Dean." He closed his eyes and let his head fall onto Dean's.

"God, I'm tired. I'm thirsty too." Dean explained. Sam nodded.

"We'll go get a room in a five star hotel and sleep on new sheets. And then I'll take you to a bar and buy you as many rounds as you can hold." Sam pretended. Dean chuckled.

"You just dug yourself into a hole, buddy boy." Dean said tiredly. A gasp followed almost every word he spoke now. Dean was fading fast.

"And after we rest, we'll find Dad. And we'll kill that demon. We'll be a family again, Dean. Just like you want." Sam pretended.

"And then you'll go to college just like you want." His voice wasn't harsh or angry. "And you'll become a hot shot lawyer and keep Dad out of hot water with the law." He smacked his lips. "I mean, me and Dad, you'll keep us out of hot water."

"Yeah." Sam pretended. And with his eyes closed, he could see that future. And it was wonderful. "And you can go back to Cassie… and make me an uncle."

Dean laughed, but it quickly turned into a coughing fit. Sam opened his eyes and rubbed his brother's back. When the fit died down and Dean relaxed again, his eyes were glistening with unshed tears. He turned his head to look at Sam.

"Promise me something, Sammy?" Dean whispered. He hated the copper taste in his mouth. Damn he wanted a beer.

"Sure." Sam whispered, feeling his eyes tear up.

"You'll take care of my car." Dean smiled that smart ass smile. It wasn't until that point that Sam noticed the crimson pool they were sitting in. Dean's blood. Sam nodded, the dam had broken, and he began to cry.

"I will Dean." Sam promised, and hugged his brother tightly. "And I'll kill him. I promise I will. Please, just stay with me, Dean?" Sam begged. "I need you."

"You'll be fine, kid." Dean promised weakly. Sam shook his head.

"No, no I won't."

"You won't let me die in peace, will you?" Dean asked softly.

"I'm not going to let you die at all." Sam whispered. Dean pretended to believe him. They heard a thud upstairs. Sam looked at the ceiling and could only hope…

A FEW HOURS EARLIER

"Dad, its Sam. You remember that Marshal, guy? Yeah, well he's back, and he's pissed. He just shot out the Impala's back window, while we were in the car." Sam smiled at Dean's curse words. He was looking at the damage, yelling at the top of his lungs. "I'm calling because we're not sure how to handle this one, Dad. He's got a vendetta against us… but…" Sam stopped and sighed. "He's still just a guy. If you get this, come to Wisconsin. And I know you trusted us to handle this one on our own… but I have a bad feeling about this, Dad." He set the phone down and watched Dean pacing in the rearview mirror.

---

"Sammy!" Sam looked up at the familiar voice. His dad's face appeared in the chuck missing out of the door. "Let me in." Sam let go of Dean who had fallen unconscious. He searched for a pulse, and found a weak and fading one.

Sam got up and ran to the door, shoving aside the blockade and unlocking it. John rushed past him, straight to Dean.

"Is he…"

"Dead." John finished. "Yes."

"You killed him?" Sam asked. Dean nodded.

"This is the last time he will ever hurt you boys." John assured Sam before lifting Dean onto his back.

"He only ever hurt Dean." Sam corrected and stood next to his father, keeping close to Dean.

"I think I see blood on your head, Sam." John grunted as he started up the stairs with Dean on his back.

"I fell. It's no big deal." Sam explained. "Where were you?" John smirked.

"Sitting next to the phone in the hotel room." He explained. Sam shook his head, though he couldn't hide the smile on his face.

"You trusted us, huh?" Sam asked suspiciously.

"I'm a father, you'll understand when you have kids. I trust you, I just worry." He looked back at Dean and hiked him higher on his back when his body started to slip. "Good thing too."

"Are we taking him to the hospital?" Sam asked. John shook his head.

"Not unless we need too."

"We don't time to get him to the motel."

"There is a bed upstairs." John explained. "Go get the kit from the car and meet me in Marshal's guest room."

Sam nodded and ran off. He couldn't help but smile again at his father. Of course the guest room. He'd never let Dean lie on Marshal's bed. Not after what he had done.

---

Dean sat down on Sam's bed, watching the feverish six year old toss and turn. He was in pain, and Dean couldn't help him.

"Shh. its okay, Sammy." Dean whispered, brushing a hand over the kid's hot skin. "I'm here."

"Dean…" Sam groaned, opening his eyes. Dean nodded, placing a hand on Sam's cheek, brushing his foreheads with the pad of his thumb.

"What do you need, Big Bird." Dean teased. Sam smiled.

"Water." He explained. Dean nodded and got up. That was the first time in several years Sam had not screamed in outrage against his nickname.

It was the last time Dean would call him Big Bird.

Because when Dean returned with the water, Sam was unconscious. His face ashen and still. His chest, nonmoving.

That was the last day Dean would live without fear of losing his little brother.

That was the last day Dean was a child.

---

John set his twenty year old son down slowly, knowing how much he would hate that his father carried him to bed again. The last time that had happened was when he was fifteen… the last time Marshal intervened in their life.

"Dean." John whispered, cutting open Dean's blood soaked shirt. "Dean, I need you to wake up." He said strongly.

Sam ran in with his first aid kit and some water and towels. John nodded, inside glowing with pride. Sam, the reluctant hunter, was finally trained. He knew what to do without instruction.

"Clean the wound while I sterilize the needles…" John whispered. Sam nodded and dipped a towel into the water and set about sopping up the blood. The water was soon a pale pink color, and the towel was a dingy red.

Dean let out a deep moan and his eyelids fluttered open. "Dad…" His voice was gravely and deep. "What… what are you…"

"Shh, Dean." John whispered, returning to the room at the sound of his son's sound of pain. "I'm here. That's all that matters." He looked at Sam and Sam pressed the towel against the wound. Dean bucked slightly against the pain, but John's strong hands held his shoulders down.

"Sam, you little prick." Dean groaned jokingly. Sam laughed, but tears fell from his eyes. He hated hurting his brother, even if he was helping him.

"I'm gunna stitch you up, kiddo." John explained. "From what I can tell there is no internal damage… you were lucky."

"I got a busted rib, Dad." Dean explained. Sam flinched, he hadn't known that. John nodded.

"Two, Dean." John corrected. "I'll tape you up when I'm done here." He looked at the sixteen year old, who should have been worrying about his driver's test, or Lacey Sherbin's party next weekend, but instead, Sam pulled back his hands which were soaked with his brother's blood, and held down his brother's shoulders as his father stitched the axe wound with a sewing needle and thread.

Sam was sitting behind Dean's head on the bed, looking down at his brother's face. Dean threw his head back and pressed it into the mattress, his face contorted in pain. Dean opened his eyes and forced a smile at his kid brother.

"You're driving home, Big Bird."


I have a thing for abrupt endings. I hope no one minds. So, reviews please me. Care to write one? I'll love you forever.

I'm thinking about writing another "connected stand alone" one shot about the time Sammy got sick mentioned above, when Dean stopped being a kid. I think it would fit nicely with the new episode coming up… can't remember the title for the life of me. I think it's something like, "Something Wicked." No idea.

Oh, total side note. Wasn't Jared gorgeous in Hell House? Oh my God! He has been holding out on us. I was always itching to see Jensen shirtless… but Jared. Wow. That is all I have to say. Wow wow wow. Little Sammy ain't so little.