Dean threw back another shot of Jack Daniels as he looked around the bar. He'd purposely picked the shadiest one the small town had to offer. Towards the front was a pool table. The players were all rough bikers in more leather than a herd of cattle. There was also enough chain to set off any metal detector within one hundred feet. The women were tough blondes, not their natural color. This was Dean's favorite kind of place.
His father would kick his ass if he knew he was here. Dean was so mad he hoped his dad would walk through the doors just so he would have someone to vent against. Filling the glass with amber liquid took a steady hand and Dean noticed his was far from steady. He was proud of himself when he didn't spill too much and held the shot up.
"Here's to you, Dad," Dean said. "You sure know how to fuck things up."
The young hunter put the shot to his lip and threw his head back. He couldn't single out the blame to his father. He poured another glass.
"And to Sammy." The liquid sloshed over the rim. "You sure know how to fuck things up too."
The eldest Winchester brother laughed as he swallowed the shot. The night had gone to hell fast.
"You what?" John Winchester growled.
"I applied to Stanford," Sam answered.
"Sam this isn't a good time," Dean said, stepping between the two.
"When will it be a good time?" Sam demanded. "I got a full ride to a prestigious college. I thought you'd be proud."
"We need you," John pointed out.
"For what? To be your research assistant? To pick up dinner when the two of you want it?"
"Sam," Dean warned.
"To pull your weight," John roared.
"I'm going Dad," Sam said throwing clothes in a duffle. "I'm eighteen and you can't stop me."
"Sam," Dean pleaded.
"No, Dean," Sam protested. "I have to do this. You know I've been applying. You never tried to stop me."
"You knew!" John glared at his eldest.
"Nice going Sam." Dean turned to face his father. "I knew he'd been applying, but I never thought he'd go."
"I don't believe this!"
Dean stood helpless as he watched his father storm around the room. Sam continued to throw his clothes into a duffle. When it was full he grabbed his backpack and loaded his laptop.
"The bus leaves in two hours," Sam said looking at Dean.
"You walk out of here don't come back," John warned.
"You've got to be kidding?" Sam laughed.
"You heard me!" John said.
"Like I'd want to come back," Sam scoffed. "That's why I'm leaving in the first place. I want to be normal."
"Normal!" John bellowed. "Just because you didn't grow up in a house with a picket face doesn't mean you're not normal."
"No, I grew up learning how to use every weapon available to man," Sam said shaking his head. "When most kids would get a toy for their birthday I'd get the crap beat out of me while you tried teaching us a new fighting technique."
"It was for you own protection!"
Dean watch helplessly as his father and brother argued. He knew he wasn't going to be able to patch this one up. Sam was leaving. He was going to lose the one thing that meant more to him than the hunt. The argument got more heated as the two Winchester men hurled insults at each other. Sam finally grabbed his stuff and stormed out of the motel. Dean watched as his father went next. He dropped on the bed with a weary sigh.
Dean laughed and took a swig directly from the bottle. The bartender noticed and came over to where the young hunter was sitting.
"Might want to take it easy son."
"I don't think so," Dean answered.
"I have final say who gets served," the older man said.
"I'm not hurting anyone," Dean slurred.
"You will when you try to leave," the bartender pointed out.
Dean reached into his jean pocket struggling to take out his keys. The first pocket held his phone. He dropped that on the bar while he dug into his other pocket for his car keys. When he finally found them he dropped them next to his phone.
The bartender left the young man, taking the keys and the phone. He knew something had to be eating at the kid. The look in his eyes had the bartender wondering if he'd lost his best friend. This gave him an idea and he flipped open the phone. Scrolling through the list of numbers he found one number and called.
John Winchester walked into the biker bar and sighed. When he'd received the call he couldn't believe Dean would be so stupid. After he'd calmed down he knew tonight's fight with Sam had hurt Dean even more then his youngest. As John walked towards the bar the man behind the counter walked over to him.
"He must be yours," the bartender said, handing John the keys and phone.
The bartender gestured to the dark end of the bar. John could barely make out his son in the shadows. It was almost 3 AM but there were still plenty of patrons nursing drinks. The older hunter stopped a few feet from his son. Dean was drinking Jack Daniels straight out of the bottle. His son had to be hurting if he was doing something he vowed he'd never do. Dean had been old enough to see John drink himself into a stupor the first few years after his mother died. John always regretted that dark time in his life, but he regretted even more that Dean had been a witness.
"Dean," John called as he walked closer.
Bleary eyes looked up. "Well if it isn't the almighty John Winchester."
"Son." John reached out his hand.
"Don't you, son, me!" Dean yelled. "Not after what you did!"
"This will all work out."
"How!" Dean demanded. "First Mom, then Sam. You told me to watch him. How the fuck am I supposed to do that when he's clear across the country!"
"Come on, Dean."
"No!" Dean pulled away from him.
"What you going to kick me out too?" Dean laughed. "Because I'm not being a good little soldier."
John grabbed Dean's arm intending to drag him out of the bar. He hadn't been prepared for his son to punch him. The older Winchester instinctively grabbed Dean's arm as he tried throwing another punch. John easily pulled Dean into a chokehold. He in no way wanted to start a bar fight. With Dean the way he was someone would get hurt. His son struggled harder as John slowly applied pressure. When Dean went limp John threw him over his shoulder and headed for the door.
Once outside John walked to the Impala and opened the back door. He laid Dean on the backseat then walked around to the driver's side. He'd have to come back tomorrow for the truck. The motel wasn't far. Inside he placed Dean on he bed furthest from the door. Sighing, he pulled off Dean's boots then grabbed the comforter off the other bed and threw it over his son. John sat down next to his son and ran his fingers threw his eldest's hair.
"I don't know how to make this right," John admitted. "But I swear I won't let anything happen to Sammy."
John brushed his hand over Dean's head one more time then stood up. He kicked off his boots as he walked over to the door. Once the locks were secure he lay on the empty bed. He'd lost one son tonight. He vowed not to lose the other.