Author: Scealai

Rating: R for language and violence Spoilers: Events from season one of 'Supernatural' may be referred to.
Summary: (AU) Dean Winchester's life was shattered when he was four years old and his father died in a mysterious house fire. Afraid for her sons, Mary abandons Dean in a church and disappears with Sam. Now an adult and a hunter, Dean searches for his lost family and the demon that tore them apart.
Disclaimer: The characters from 'Supernatural' are the property of Kripke Enterprises, Wonderland, and the CW. I'll give them back after I've had my fun.


Prologue

Dear Dean,

I know you are too young to read this and much too young to understand why I had to leave you, but I need you to know that I love you very, very much. I had to go away so that the thing that killed your Daddy can't hurt Sammy. Please forgive me for not taking you with us, but I need to know that at least one of my sons is safe and happy. Please be happy, Dean, and grow up to be good and strong like your Daddy. I will think of you and miss you every day. You are my bright, beautiful boy.

Love Always, Mommy

-----

Sammy was fussing again. Four-year-old Dean Winchester could hear his baby brother's soft snuffling noises from his room across the hall. He knew Mommy wouldn't be coming like she usually did when Sammy was up set - Daddy had taken the speaker thing out of their room because Mommy needed to rest. He had taken it downstairs with him, but he wasn't coming up to talk to Sammy. The TV. was really loud, Daddy probably couldn't hear the quiet baby sounds. Dean wasn't supposed to get out of bed once he was tucked in, unless he had to go to the bathroom, but he was also supposed to be a good big brother and take care of Sammy. Mommy said that it was his special job to make Sammy smile. Sammy was fussing and he needed to smile. He would just go into Sammy's room and make him smile and then go back to bed. Mommy and Daddy wouldn't even know.

Decision made, Dean slipped out of bed and padded into Sammy's room. His baby brother was laying in his crib, waving his little fists and gurgling. Dean dragged a little chair over to the crib and climbed up onto it. Sammy squealed when he spotted Dean. "Shh, Sammy." Dean held a finger to his lips. "Mommy and Daddy are sleeping." He pulled himself up onto the railing of the crib and teetered on his belly over the side. Sammy smiled and giggled at his big brother's hovering face. "Were you lonely, Sammy?" Dean reached down and Sammy caught his finger in one of his tiny hands. "It's okay, I'm here. Do you want me to tell you a story?" Something dark, warm and wet dripped down onto their joined hands. Dean tilted his head to look up. "Daddy?" What was Daddy doing on the ceiling? Was it a new game? He didn't look happy. Sammy started to whimper and he had a tight grip on Dean's finger. Dean teetered precariously. He hung his head. "Sorry, Daddy, I heard Sammy crying. I didn't know you were playing." Dean risked a glance up at his father through the fringe of his bangs. Yellow orange light burst from his father. Startled, Dean tumbled into the crib with Sammy. "Daddy!" Dean tried to scream, but it caught in his throat. It didn't matter though, because Sammy wailed loudly enough for the both of them. Fire. Fire was bad and Dean had to keep Sammy safe. He flung himself over his brother to shield him, but he couldn't tear his eyes away from his Daddy. At first he had thought Daddy was mad with the way his mouth was twisted and his teeth bared, but now Dean could see the tears in his Daddy's eyes.

"Sam!" Dean heard his Mommy's frantic yell. "Dean!" Dean finally managed to turn his head to see his beautiful Mommy framed in the doorway to Sammy's nursery. She looked up and she her face twisted like Daddy's. "John!" she screamed. Then she was rushing to them and scooping them up in her arms. As Mommy carried him and Sammy out of the room, Dean looked over her shoulder and saw the strange man. He was standing in a shadowed corner of the nursery, the flickering light of the fire didn't seem to touch him. His eyes gleamed yellow in the darkness and his teeth flashed as he smiled at Dean. The strange man held a finger to his lips and winked.

-----

Daddy was gone. Mommy cried all the time and they couldn't go back home. Dean clung to Sammy as they lay curled together in the playpen in the motel room. He could hear Mommy crying softly in the bed next to them. He didn't know what to say to make her stop, so he didn't say anything at all. They had been in the motel for a long time and didn't go out much. One of the times they did, Mommy had dressed him in a suit and they had gone to a church to say good-bye to Daddy, but Daddy wasn't there - just his picture. A few other times they went to a nice lady's house. She smelled funny - sharp and spicy - and she had dark skin and a bright smile. She gave Dean cookies and let him and Sammy play with cards with colorful pictures on them. Mommy still cried when they were there, but the nice lady would pat her hand and talk softly to her.

"I have to do this," Dean heard Mommy whisper. She sat up on the bed and wiped her eyes. She caught Dean's gaze and gave him a shaky smile. "Not sleepy, Dean?"

When all Mary got was a blink response she tried a different tact. Dean hadn't spoken to her or any other adult since that night. Sometimes she thought she could hear him whispering to the baby in the playpen they shared, but when she looked he would stop. Mary stood up and bent over the playpen. "How's Sammy doing?" She reached down and petted the baby's hair. Mary sighed when Dean just continued to blink at her with his big sad eyes while his hold on his baby brother tightened. She transferred her fingers to Dean's hair and ran them through the silky locks. "You are a great big brother, Dean. Sammy's lucky to have you. I hope you both forgive me some day, but I don't know what else to do."

Mary straightened and moved around the small motel room, packing up the few clothes and mementos that had survived the fire. She knew without looking that Dean watched her. He watched her almost constantly, his gaze only transferring to Sammy when the baby demanded his attention. Finished with her packing, Mary moved back to the playpen. She reached down and picked Sammy up. She hated the flare of panic that lit up Dean's hazel eyes as Sammy left his grasp. Dean had always been a loud, happy, boisterous child and now he was a barely recognizable silent, scared shell. Hopefully, in time, that would change once Dean felt safe and loved again. She hated that it would strangers that would give that to her son. Mary laid Sam down in the middle of the bed and turned back to help Dean out of the playpen. She hugged him tight once she had him in her arms. "I love you, Dean."

It was barely a whisper, but Mary still heard it and felt it against skin at the nape of her neck. The words warmed her heart as it broke into too many pieces to ever put back together again. "Love you, Mommy."

-----

They were back at the church. Dean held Mommy's hand tight as they walked through the big wooden doors. Maybe this time Daddy would be here to say good-bye. Mommy led them all the way up to the front. It was empty and dark except for the candles. Dean didn't like the tiny flickering flames. They made him think of the strange man's eyes and the fire that made Daddy go away. When Mommy sat down on one of the front benches and pulled up beside her, he cuddled up close to her. He looked up at Sammy nestled against Mommy's shoulder sleeping. A bubble would push out when he breathed out and pop when he breathed in. Seeing Sammy sleeping made Dean yawn. Mommy brushed his bangs aside and kissed his forehead. "It's okay, Dean, you can go to sleep. We're going to sit here for a while." Dean yawned again and closed his eyes. Sammy was sleeping and Mommy wasn't crying so it was okay. He felt Mommy press another kiss into his hair. "Please don't hate me. I'm so sorry, Dean, but you are going to be happy and safe. I love you," she whispered.

When Dean woke up, he knew immediately that he was alone. His head rested on one of Sammy's soft baby blankets and he was covered by the blanket that Daddy had kept in the car. Dean sat up and rubbed his eyes as he looked around. Mommy and Sammy were gone. Dean choked back a sob. Had the man with the yellow eyes come back and taken them? He had to find them. Dean pushed the blanket the rest of the way off of him and slipped off the bench. His little suitcase was under the bench and there was a white letter with his name on it taped to it. He knew it was his name because Mommy had showed him how to print it so he could make a card for Sammy.

"Dean," the nice lady's voice rang out in the deserted church. She rushed down the center path as soon as she spotted him. "Oh, Dean, I'm so sorry, baby." She picked him up and sat on the bench, settling him into her lap. "Mary, child, what did you do? This was not the answer."

Dean looked up at the nice lady. He couldn't say her name right, so she had told him to call her Missy even though he didn't call anyone anything anymore. He wanted to ask her where Mommy and Sammy went, but he couldn't say the words out loud. It had been hard enough to tell Mommy he loved her. It hurt to say things out loud - unless he was talking to Sammy. He had told Sammy all about the strange man with the yellow eyes, but Sammy wasn't here anymore to tell things to. Daddy was gone. Mommy was gone. Sammy was gone. Dean was all alone.

"Hush, baby, you are not alone," Missy promised. She dashed a few tears from her eyes before they fell down her cheeks. "Your Mommy just wanted you to be safe and happy and we're going to give her that piece of mind."

Dean didn't say anything. His family was gone and it was all his fault. If he had stayed in his room that night like he was supposed to then the strange man with the yellow eyes wouldn't have taken Daddy away and Mommy wouldn't have taken Sammy away. Dean was a bad big brother.

TBC...