By: Oldach's Dream
Disclaimer: Sam and Dean are on my wish list, right above my two front teeth and right below peace for all mankind. Too bad I've had my front teeth for years now; and did anyone ever see that episode of the X-files when Mulder wished for world peace? Somehow, I don't think getting Sam and Dean is gonna work either.
A/N: – First off, to anyone reading Mad World, I just wanted to say that yes, that's very much still in production, I've just been having a few computer glitches that should be sorted out soon. I've got no time frame for ya, but I do have the next chapter all ready written. So don't lose faith.
A/N 2: This is a little kid fic, if you missed that. I don't know, this newest episode of the show (The Usual Suspects) just kinda gave us a new look at Sam's character. And the non-brooding, non-emo, angst-free version of Sam was one I enjoyed very much. So I guess I started thinking… What was Sam like as a kid? It couldn't have all been fighting with John – especially when he was younger. So here's my little look at that.
People Are Strange
"I need some help!" Sam shouted – sorta, it was more like a loud gasp. He just needed someone to pay attention. Someone, anyone…
"Son, son!" A man was yelling at him, the young Winchester realized, and with a sting of almost unrecognizable relief, he knew somebody had heard him. Had paid
attention. "Who are you, kid? What's going on?"
"My…my brother," he grasped at his side, distantly annoyed that the pain was distracting him so much. "My brother got really bad…he got hurt really bad. I need help. I need, someone…"
Whoever was speaking to him was too far away from Sam for him to see them clearly. Far away, yet there were hands on his shoulders. Hands that felt almost familiar. Almost comforting.
"Dad," he spoke the word as a myriad of things. The person helping him, the stranger, most have picked up on at least one or two of them.
"Where's your father?" It was a male voice, speaking these almost incomprehensible words urgently. "Where's your brother?"
"At the motel." He answered, searching rapidly through his own hazy memories for more helpful information. "It was by…railroad tracks, they were really load last night. We couldn't sleep."
"Okay," the voice seemed a little less frantic, and Sam thought maybe he'd seen the man gesture to other strangers that were also around them. Only they were gone now, and Sam was pretty sure it was just him and the original stranger.
"Okay," he said again, only it was more soothing. "Everything's gonna be okay."
"But Dean," Sam protested, knowing his brother was far from okay. His situation currently at a level rarely reached, even by the Winchesters.
His dad had said it.
"This is a dire situation, Sammy. Go get help." And when Sam hadn't moved, too terrified of leaving Dean and accidentally missing the last breath his brother might ever take - because that was his greatest fear, and he could never remember being so terrified in his whole life - John had resorted to his old fallback. "Now, Sam!" He ordered.
So Sam had run. His seven-year-old legs carrying him as fast as humanly possible to the one place where he knew people had to help you when you asked for it. He was with the stranger now, needing more reassurance than what was currently being offered to him.
"Your brother?" The man asked, gently leading the boy into another room, away from the distracting noises that had previously been surrounding them.
"Yeah," Sam responded. "He got hurt. He got really bad hurt, and dad thought it was okay. Okay enough to go home, but it wasn't, 'cause he stopped breathing and dad almost crashed the Impala, and he loves the Impala. Only Dean loves it more, 'cause it's gonna be his when he turns eighteen, but that's not for a long time, so I think dad still might love it more now. But he almost crashed it when I said Dean stopped breathing."
"Your dad was driving when your brother stopped breathing?" The stranger – the doctor, Sam amended as the man lifted him up easily, placing him on an exam table – inquired, sounding calm.
His unconcerned nature did nothing to soothe Sam's panic. He just nodded fervently. "We shoulda gone to the hospital, dad said, but we were closer to the motel, so we went there. Dad did CPR in the parking lot and made Dean breathe again, but he made me come here. He said it was bad, really bad. We've never faced really bad before, he said. Except the fire that killed our mommy, but I was only a baby, so I don't even 'member that. And there was one time a year ago that daddy and Dean said they were really scared and it was really bad that my 'pendix burst, but I don't 'member that either, 'cept a really bad tummy ache. I don't like really bad."
"I can imagine," the doctor stranger sympathized, and Sam was sure he would have explained more to the man, had the pain in his side not become more apparent as it got poked and prodded. "Does that hurt?"
"Yeah," Sam's bottom lip quivered, but he clenched it between his teeth, remembering Dean doing the same thing every time he got injured on a hunt. No one had ever told him right out, but through watching the two older men in his life; Sammy had learned never to cry – at least not in front of other people. Especially strangers.
"I think you cracked a couple ribs, kiddo." Which just made his bottom lip tremble even harder. Not because of the knowledge of the injury, but because only Dean – and sometimes daddy – ever called him kiddo. He didn't like it coming from this man, it felt like he was trying to replace the two most important people in his life. And the seven-year-old decided right then and there that he hated this stranger.
"No I didn't," he insisted stubbornly. Because people he didn't like obviously wouldn't tell him the truth. "I'm fine. It's Dean that's hurt. Go help Dean." The doctor man didn't move. "Go help Dean!"
"Go help Dean!" He screeched. Not liking son much more than kiddo. Not from him.
"Someone's on their way to the motel right now, okay?"
"No!" The stranger made the mistake of phrasing the placating statement as a question. It left a lot of room for rebellion. Which Sam was all too happy to provide. "No! I want you to go help Dean! Go help my brother, or my dad's gonna beat you up! He could so kick your ass! Dean said he could beat anyone up, 'cause he's strong and he used to be a Marine!" This man looked younger than his father, even. He had the same color hair, but a much smaller body. Less tall and with less muscle. His dad could so totally take him on.
"Don't say that!" He shouted as loud as he could. Maybe if his dad was - by some miracle - here, and heard him yelling, he would come to him, find him in the large maze of hallways and white walls and too many people and tell him everything would be okay.
"Fine," the stranger sounded mildly annoyed, and Sam was perversely glad of that. He liked making people annoyed. Except Dean, it was only fun to make Dean annoyed sometimes, 'cause most of the time it was more fun to watch Dean make other people really annoyed. He wasn't doing it for fun now, of course, but he was still glad he could do it, just incase he needed to.
"Then what's your name?"
Sam knew it was against the Winchester rules to give out his name to a stranger, to talk to a stranger, actually. But dad had already painted this scene as dire-a new and immediately hated word in his small vocabulary - and had told his youngest son to run the hospital and talk to a stranger, so he figured the normal rules must not apply in this sort of situation.
Plus, even breaking dad's rules and having the older man get mad at him later seemed more appealing at the moment than having this strange doctor continually calling him things like son and kiddo.
"Sam." He said.
"Sam what?" The doctor pressed, placing something round, which was connected to a cord that stemmed off to both his ears, over Sam's heart. "What's your last name?"
The boy, however, just shook his head back and forth stubbornly. His first name was one thing, but it was really, really against the rules to give out his last name.
"Dean says I'm not supposed to tell that to strangers, in case they're bad people." His anger was mostly gone for the moment, but he wouldn't be surprised if it came back – 'cause it did that sometimes.
The stranger sighed, lowering the heart-listening thing and looking Sam straight in the eyes. The man had bright, bright blue eyes, Sam noticed. "But, Sam," he could tell by the voice that he going to try to reason with him. "I'm a doctor. I'm a good person. I want to help you."
"Dean said anyone could be a bad person." Sam informed him, not budging on this decision. "Even doctors. Even police officers or priests or teachers or the guy delivering the pizza. They can all be bad people." He ticked off a few of the examples his big brother constantly listed for him, ready to provide more easily.
"Well," the doctor sighed. "Your brother's right. But Sam, I'm not a bad person."
Sam paused, "But Dean said all bad people would say that."
The doctor sighed again, only this time Sam was less glad, because he really hadn't been trying to annoy the doctor. He just refused to say his last name. For all he knew anyway their last name could be not their last name in this city. It could be one of their fake-real names that Dean had told him about, that they had to use sometimes.
"Okay, Sam." The man finally accepted the stubbornness that was a Winchester. "Don't tell me your last name. My name, though, is Doctor Harold. But you can call me Dave, because that's my first name."
"Okay, Dave." Sam decided that was all right after a couple of seconds. Then reality caught up with him again, and he had to ask. "Dave?" The doctor looked at him. "Where's my brother?"
"He's fine," Dave answered distractedly, now rummaging around in a drawer to Sam's right, looking for something. "He's probably somewhere in the hospital right now, getting all better."
"Dean says that fine is what people say when they really mean something else." Sam told the man, wondering why his seemingly adult-natured personality didn't know that already. "So whaddya you really mean?"
Dave sighed again, and Sam wondered why. This time he wasn't even being annoying or stubborn, he was just telling the truth.
"Can you be quiet for a couple seconds, Sammy?" And therein laid his biggest mistake.
"Don't call me Sammy!" He screamed. He hated Sammy, from anyone other than his family. Teachers weren't allowed to call him Sammy, and doctors that lied to him most certainly could not call him Sammy. "I want to know where Dean is! Now! Where's my brother?"
When Dave faced him again, he was holding a needle, his thumb poised at the protruding end, Sam knew all too well what that needle was meant for. "He's going to be fine, Sam. Now I need to give you a shot, to help with your ribs. When you wake up, you'll be able to see your brother, okay?"
He took a step closer to the boy, and for a moment, Sam considered it. Because regardless of what he yelled at Dr. Dave, his side – his ribs, he supposed, technically – really did hurt from where the mean ghost had gotten to him and thrown him into the side of the Impala. It was the door handle, actually, that had delivered the sharp blow to his bony side on impact. And the thought of falling asleep really did seem unusually appealing, especially with the promise of being able to see his brother when he woke. It seemed like an easy decision.
But the easy way out is almost always the wrong way, dad said, so when Dave came at him with the dripping needle and the cotton swab, aiming for the boy's upper arm, he acted on his seven-year-old instincts. His teeth sunk into Dr. Dave's hand as soon as it got close enough for Sam to reach.
He bit down with all his might, playing his advantage. Dave hadn't seen it coming and Dean told him that a sneak attack was always the best way to go. When he wrenched his hand away, Sam's jaw wasn't quite ready to unclench, so he went with the arm, stumbling off the exam table in the process, only separating from the doctor when he hit the floor.
He tasted something odd in his mouth – odder than skin – and only identified it when he looked up at Dr. Dave and saw that the man's hand was bleeding quite a bit.
Then there was this timeless moment, with Sam crouched on the floor, and Dave backed up against the wall, cradling his bitten hand in his not bitten hand, the needle and cotton swab discarded to the floor, forgotten in this moment; as the two had a stare-off. Like Sam and his dad sometimes did when Sam wanted to stay up an extra hour or so to finish watching a movie with Dean at night.
Only in this battle, there was no Dean to play mediator, to promise to put Sam to bed as soon as the movie was over, and to make sure he got up on time the next morning, even if he was tired. Which he always was, but would never admit.
No, in this tiny hospital room, there was only Sam and Dr. Dave. And Dr. Dave hesitated just a fraction of a second too long. And Sam – despite his injury and the pain it was causing him – bolted up, off the floor and, with a speed that would have impressed Dean, he ran out of the exam room into the wide-open hallway of the hospital.
He stood stock still in the center of it for a moment; amazed and overwhelmed at how large it was, how many directions he could choose from. Without Dean or his daddy there to take his hand and make sure he choose the right one, he was caught off-guard.
"Hey!" He heard Dave yell at him, made out his thundering footsteps behind him easily. "Stop!"
That was all the incentive Sam needed to take off running again. He darted in-between grown-up's legs, around carts being wheeled down the hallway, taking extra caution not to collide with the chairs or couches that seemed strewn about all around him annoyingly. He couldn't crash into anything. That would stop him and get him captured – make him go far away from Dean.
"Stop that kid!" He heard Dave shout again, only he was apparently talking to another doctor, because an older, white coat clad black man who had been standing in his immediate path, talking to a taller, even older guy wearing a heavy looking, bright yellow jacket, suddenly turned around and, after a brief moment of contemplation, began to run towards Sam.
Sam thought for a second that he was trapped, that these doctors were going to win and take him away from his family, panic threatened to override his senses, and bright dots started to dance in his immediate line of vision; but then he saw an opening.
He took a sharp left, darting a couple paces, dodging the grown men and barely managing to squeeze through the elevator doors before they closed. He just managed to make out Dr. Dave's crestfallen, and slightly astonished, face before metal hit metal and he was looking at himself.
Distracted from his triumph over the evil doctors, he studied his own reflection in the makeshift mirror the elevator doors provided. There was a cluster of tiny cuts on one side of his forehead, from where he hit the gravel in the parking lot after he collided with the Impala, none bleeding, but all bright red. In fact, that entire side of his face was bright red, and it still looked as if some of the tiny rocks were imbedded in his skin.
His jeans had a hole in one of the knees, but not a real bad one; one that Dean could sew up so Sam would still be able to wear them to school for a while yet. His T-shirt was dirty, but not torn or anything, which made Sam happy, 'cause this was the Def Leopard shirt that Dean had stolen for him at a mall in the last bigger city they'd stayed near. Where the alarm had gone off and they'd run the wrong way and ended up in the food court and had to hide in a bathroom for almost an hour before Dean declared it safe to sneak out.
"You look like crap, kid." There was a solitary figure standing behind him in the elevator, and when this younger man called him kid he didn't find it at all anger provoking. Because this guy was younger than Dr. Dave, and way younger than his father, he was probably still a teenager, although Sam couldn't be sure. He had dark blonde hair that fell in his eyes and when he spoke, it was with an unusual rasp at first.
Sam didn't turn to face him, but could see him clearly in the metal of the elevator doors. He had several layers of black clothing on and was leaning against the wall nonchalantly. His voice made Sam freeze.
"What?" He spoke, and looked oddly at the youngest Winchester after a moment or two of silence. "You do."
"I fell." Sam decided not talking was a scarier notion than revealing too much information to this guy. He wasn't exactly scared of this stranger, although his shadowed eyes did make him a little unsettling, it was more like he just couldn't place his finger on who he was.
He wasn't the typical adult, the one Sam knew from years of his father's lectures and his brother's reminders that he was supposed to lie to; or at least not tell the truth to - or at the very least, not the whole truth. Yet he also wasn't someone he was supposed to trust, like Pastor Jim and Caleb and Bobby. He wasn't someone he knew he should probably trust, but couldn't completely trust until Dean and/or dad had checked them out. Like the teachers at his new school, or his new neighbors; and he defiantly wasn't someone the Winchester's were trying to help –an innocent, someone that needed protecting.
He was kinda…just a scrawny teenager in the back of an elevator that Sam wasn't even supposed to be on, who smelled sorta funny. But Sam thought vaguely too that that the smell might be coming from him, not this new breed of stranger.
"Sure ya did, sport." This stranger chuckled oddly, like he didn't really mean it, yet he wanted to.
"Why does everyone gotta call me names like that?" He wondered out loud, distracted from the new man's mysterious nature. "Why can't people just call be by my name?"
He seemed to consider it momentarily and Sam was relatively shocked when he got a real answer, not just a Buzz off, ya bother me. "'Cause you're a kid," he lifted his head and some of those long bangs fell away, revealing greenish eyes that reminded him comfortingly of his brother's. "And people don't like to treat kids like they're real people. Actually, most people don't like to treat other people like they're real people. We all live in our self-absorbed little worlds, only concerned about the things that affect us. We're trapped in bubbles, kid. Little bubbles that are slowly yet absolutely sucking the life outta us. We, as a society, have to find a way to escape, before the spread of technology and human isolation by way of personalized worlds permanently hinders our ability to think for ourselves."
Sam just looked at him, tilting his head to the side and squinted slightly, as if that would bring this guy's jumbled words into focus. And while the boy didn't understand almost any of what this tall stranger had said, he didn't find the way in which he said it particularly frightening, so he decided to confide in him. "My name's Sam." After a beat, "I'm looking for my brother. He got hurt but he should be here by now."
"Oh yeah?" The stranger seemed only mildly concerned with Sam's distress, but that was enough for him.
He nodded, "I wanna find him now, but the doctors wanna give me a shot and make me go to sleep."
The tall guy nodded understandingly and pushed himself off the wall of the elevator, shoving his pale hands deep into his pockets, half smiling at him. "Okay, Sam. I think I can help you out. But you kinda gotta trust me, can you do that?"
Sam considered it.
He'd never had to decide someone's trustworthiness before. That task was always left up to either his father or his brother. His father would tell him when to be cautious, he was only allowed to talk to someone he didn't know if Dean talked to them first. He wasn't supposed to give out any information about himself – although he'd already broken that law a couple times tonight –but he was never ever allowed to go anywhere with a stranger.
Because, "For all we know, that guy's really a shape shifter, and he just got back from murdering someone." Dean's long ago words care back to him in a rush.
Or, "That stranger could really be a werewolf, Sammy. And you wouldn't even know it until it was too late." His father warned of supernatural and normal dangers all the time, although the latter could be done simply by having his boys watch the Evening News every once in a while.
But he'd never been told what makes a person untrustworthy. Well, obviously, if they had fangs or talons or something, they were no good – even Sam knew that – but what about normal looking people? How did his dad know his first grade teacher wasn't a werewolf? How did Dean know their next-door neighbor wasn't a child molester?
No one had ever taught him how to tell.
But then the elevator binged and the doors opened, assaulting Sam with a sudden gust of chilly air, as apparently they'd stopped in the parking garage.
And suddenly Sam was out of time to consider it.
"So, what's it's gonna be, Sam?" The stranger asked evenly, talking to him like an adult, an equal. And that right there pretty much made up his mind for him.
He nodded and stepped onto the concrete, following behind the stranger as the elevator doors closed behind him, cutting off his connection to the rest of the hospital and assaulting him with a sudden unwanted, echoing, and somewhat unsettling, silence.
Sam had to walk fast to keep up with this long-legged stranger, and he kept one hand plastered to his side as he did so, still feeling the pain from his ribs.
"So…" he trailed off, waiting until the man's head tilted in his direction slightly, indicating that he had his attention. "You're gonna help me find my brother, right?"
"Yeah," he nodded, and then took a deep breath. "I will. But I was kinda hoping that…"
"That what?" Sam inquired after he didn't continue, wondering absently if he was being baited.
He smiled down at Sam, looking mostly excited, but slightly nervous. "Well…I was wondering…if you wouldn't mind doing me a little favor first."
If y'all are interested…Review and I'll keep going