7:30 a.m. on a sunny Saturday morning, adn out of nowhere... the evil plot bunnies attack! This idea hit me so hard it would have knocked me on my butt had I not been laying in bed! Needless to say, it's been bugging me all day and I just had to write it.

Summary: Dean's tried all his life to be good enough, and Sam's finally giving him the chance. One-shot with some flashbacks and a random ending, but it's TOTALLY worth your time :)


It had only been for a minute. He'd had to do his homework, and Sammy wouldn't stop begging, and he figured that he could kill two birds with one stone. So, he took Sammy to the park, and while his little brother was running around in the woodchips, Dean sat down on a bench and started his homework.

He had a test coming up, a big one judging by the teacher's tone of voice. It would be one of his first tests of the sixth grade, and he didn't want to look like an idiot in front of his new teacher. Or his dad.

Dad had already gotten on his case one time too many the year before for flunking classes, and Dean wasn't in the mood for another 'you need to study more' lecture. So he'd taken Sammy to the park and cracked open his math book.

The boy sighed, glancing up momentarily to check on his little brother. Sammy was sliding down the curvy slide, a big smile plastered on his face. Dean turned back to his homework.

It was like another language, letters and numbers all mixed together, and his mind couldn't seem to make sense of any of it. He'd missed too much. All of the different towns had run their classes on different schedules, and he was either freakishly ahead or terribly behind in every subject. It just didn't seem fair.

But Dean was going to make it work. He was going to study, and he was going to pass. He was going to make his dad proud.

And that's when he heard it.

"What were you thinking?" John hissed, staring his oldest son down as they stood in the hospital waiting room.

"I…I just thought-"

"You didn't think, Dean, you never do. Why weren't you watching him?"

"He wanted to go to the park," Dean explained hurriedly, "but I had to study, so I thought… I took my backpack and while he was-"

"Why weren't you watching him?"

Dean shrugged. "I wanna pass math, sir."

"I told you before I left that you were to watch him, son. You disobeyed a direct order. Do you remember what happened the last time you did that?"

Dean nodded sadly. "Yes, sir."

"What was it?"

The little boy gulped. "Sammy… almost…"

"Out with it."

"He could have died, sir. He could have died because of me."

John nodded. "And now he's got a sprained ankle and a broken wrist because some snot-nosed little brat thought he'd be a bully. Your brother is hurt because you weren't there to protect him."

"Yes, sir."

"Now tell me, son, what's more important to you, your brother, or your grades?"

"My brother, sir."

"All right, then."

5 Years Later

He'd always wanted something on the refrigerator. He knew it was kind of cheesy, but he'd never had a paper good enough. He could remember stupid drawings made by a clumsy four-year-old hanging up all over the house in Lawrence. It had been kind of nice.

That had been the last time anything of his had been hanging anywhere. Dad didn't ask to see his school papers, and Dean was actually kind of glad about that. Since Sammy had broken his wrist at that playground, the eldest brother had kind of shrugged off academics. He had to, in order to keep Sammy safe.

But he'd gotten a B on this test, an actual B. It was the best he'd done in a while, and in History, of all things.

He figured he'd just hang it up on the fridge, all casual-like, and when his dad noticed… well, he'd get a freakin' hero's parade for his amount of Civil War knowledge. His dad was gonna be so proud.

That was when he saw it.

"Dad, guess what?" Sam shouted, rushing up to greet his father as the older man walked through the door, "I got an A+ on my last math test! I hung it up on the fridge. Come see!"

John smiled encouragingly and followed his youngest boy into the kitchen, where one sheet of paper stood out clearly against the crappy brown on the motel fridge. "That's awesome, Sammy," he smiled, "that's great. Did you tell Dean?"

Sam nodded. "He didn't seem too happy about it, though. Do you think he's mad at me for something?"

His father shook his head. "No, kiddo." He turned to walk out of the room and find his other son. "Good job on the test."

Dean ducked back around the corner and into the bedroom he shared with his little brother before John had a chance to find him spying. He sighed as he stretched out on his bed. He knew what he had to do.

He was never gonna be good enough for the fridge, never gonna be smart enough in school.

But he was a damned good hunter, and he was going to use that to his advantage. He was going to make his father proud.

"You're sure about this, son?" John asked, staring into his oldest son's bright hazel eyes.

Dean nodded, searching his father's gaze for signs of compassion, acceptance, pride… really, anything other than that blank disappointment that now clouded them. "I'm sure, dad. I wanna drop out of school. I wanna hunt full-time. With you. We can pick up the pace on my training, and I can get field experience, and everything. It'll be cool."

John shook his head. "I'm not sure-"

"Come on, dad. There's a war coming. You keep telling me that, and the fact is that every war needs soldiers. I'm one of those soldiers, dad, I just need the training. I want to do this."

John nodded, defeated. His son was stubborn, and if he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and drop out of high school, then he would do it. Nothing anyone said or did could stop him.

12 Years Later

Sammy stared at the little boy sitting at the table and sighed. It was all his fault. He hadn't had his brother's back, hadn't been able to stop the witch before she could hit Dean with one last spell. And it had been a doozey.

The five-year-old hummed as the crayon moved across the paper and Sam turned back to the stack of bills he had yet to pay. The apartment he'd rented was sucking up more money than he'd first thought, and he wasn't getting paid enough to support both of them.

He'd thought about hunting, about heading back out on the road. It was completely possible, seeing as how the witch's spell had been more physical than mental. Dean was still in there somewhere, he'd just given up fighting for a while. Sam couldn't blame him.

He sighed again and rested his head in his hands. It seemed hopeless sometimes. He was just one man. He couldn't handle it by himself. Sometimes he wished he could just call up his dad and dump all of this burden on someone more experienced, but Dean had made him promise.

Dean, before letting go of whatever weak strings were holding his adult mind in place, had made Sammy promise not to get rid of him. He'd stressed the fact that he didn't wasn't to be left in their father's care. He much preferred it when Sam played daddy.

That was great for Dean, of course. He was finally getting a real childhood, without all the moves and hunts. Sam was getting a little stressed, though.

He jumped as he felt a little body squirming up onto his lap. "Hey, man," he said softly, "what's up?"

Dean looked up at him with wide hazel eyes, concern fighting for control under the innocence of a little boy's features. "You ok, Sammy?"

Sam nodded. "Yeah. Just, uh, looking at some papers."

Dean glanced at the pile that sat on the table and wrinkled his little nose. "Hate math," he muttered.

"Yeah, I know," Sam grinned, watching as his brother's suddenly sharp, appraising eyes scanned the bills in front of them. He's still in there, under the surface. He's not gonna let you handle this alone. "You all right?"

Dean jumped a little, like he'd been caught doing something bad, and looked up at Sam with that little kid innocence in his eyes again. "I drew you a picture," he announced, holding it up for the now-older brother to see.

Sammy looked over the paper, a shaky crayon drawing of two stick figures standing beside what was probably supposed to be a black car. "That's awesome," he said.

The boy bit his lip, looking away from the man that had generously agreed to raise him again when they'd found out that some spells can't be reversed. He crinkled the edges of the paper in his hands, obviously nervous about something. "Um…"

"You know what I think?" Sam asked, grinning as he slid the boy off his lap and onto the floor.


"I think," he replied, taking the paper and heading across the room to their small refrigerator, "that something this cool should be put on display for everyone, huh?" Dean smiled as his brother grabbed a couple of magnets and stuck the drawing up on the fridge. "There. Perfect. What do you think?"

The boy looked at it for a while, cocking his head to one side to inspect his handiwork. He nodded. "It's good?"

Sammy nodded. "Yeah, kiddo. It's good."

Another large smile stood out on the boy's face as he turned and went back into the living room, and Sam could have sworn he felt something travel the length of the room, something invisible passing from his brother to himself. Accomplishment, a feeling of finally being good enough for someone after waiting so long for any form of acceptance. It almost made his heart hurt.

"Dad, what did you do to him?" Sam whispered, heading back to the bills and shaking his head, "what on earth did you do?"

Dean poked his head back into the room. "Sammy?" he asked.

Sam turned, flashing a quick smile. "Yeah?"

"I think maybe you should call Missouri."

The older man's brow furrowed in confusion. Why on earth would he call their old friend, and why did Dean sound different somehow? "Why's that?"

The little boy smiled, eyes shining with understanding that only a lifetime of trouble could bring, and Sammy knew that his brother was back, at least for a while. "I think she can help with the bills, dude."


So, any reviews? Come on, I can take it :)