Don't own them. Just playing with them for a while. I promse to put them back when I'm done.

Not making any money. Just having a bit of fun.

And all the other disclaimers I missed.

Oh...

And thanks for reading. Hope you enjoy it.


My Best Friend

Great.

Just great.

Another perfectly good Saturday afternoon shot all to hell.

Thanks to two people.

Well…one person and a seven year-old pain-in-the-ass.

But, regardless, the fact remained that they were both responsible for the fact that he was stuck inside. Probably for the whole day too.

All because he had to look after his little brother.

Again.

A little brother who, for some unknown – and equally stupid - reason, seemed to think that doing homework on a Saturday afternoon was a perfectly good way to spend the day.

Where the hell had he gotten that idea?

Certainly not from him. Probably not from Dad either. Maybe from Mom. But Dean didn't think that was likely either.

Most likely the little misfit was adopted. And not actually related to any of them. Maybe he wasn't even human. Because what normal seven year-old human child would rather do homework on a sunny Saturday afternoon than go outside and play?

Other than Sammy that is.

Could be he was really some kind of alien.

That might explain it.

But, probably not. Because aliens probably didn't like doing homework any more than humans did.

Which just made Sammy weird. And abnormal.

But it still left him as Dean's brother.

And his responsibility.

Dean sighed and looked out the big picture-window again. At the park right across the street. The one that was full of kids. Kids who knew that Saturday afternoons were meant for playing. Not for doing homework. Kids like him, who never gave a second thought to their homework after school let out on Friday afternoons. Kids who never wasted another moment thinking about their schoolwork until just before bed on Sundays. Or at least until after supper when their parents reminded them.

You know. Normal kids.

Dean shook his head at the irony of the whole situation. Because, for once they were actually staying in town. And not in some crappie motel on the outskirts of town either. Or somewhere else out in the boonies. Like some dingy backwoods cabin in the middle of nowhere. A cabin that may or may not be equipped with electricity. Nope; this time they were actually staying in a townhouse. One that was in a half-decent subdivision no less. With a crap-load of kids living all around. And a park. Right across the street. A park that, every time he looked out at it, seemed to be taunting him. Teasing him. Almost like it knew that he'd never be able to go anywhere near it.

Because every afternoon after school it was the same thing: Pick Sammy up from school. Bring him straight home and keep an eye on him. Make sure they both finished their homework so Dad could check it when he came home. Get supper if Dad wasn't there or help him with it if he was. Then they'd all sit down and eat. After which it was Dean's responsibility to do the dishes and finish the rest of his daily chores. Then he was free to go outside. Problem was, by the time he finished all that, it was always dark outside. And Sammy wasn't allowed out after dark. And seeing as Dad usually left right after supper to hunt that annoying Jersey Devil he'd come here after, Dean always ended up looking after his kid brother.

Which meant that he wasn't allowed outside either.

But today was Saturday. It was supposed to be different.

They didn't have to do their homework. Or a multitude of other chores. They had time to themselves. Time to play and meet up with the other kids at the park. The guys Dean's age playing catch and soccer, or just goofing around. The ones talking and rough-housing in the field just behind the park, simply doing whatever they could think of to get the attention of the girls who were also hanging around the park. The ones who would never admit to coming there just to watch the boys. The very same girls who, every time Dean showed up at the play structure with Sammy in tow, took one look at his brother's pretty-little doe-eyes and immediately started making a great big fuss over him. Going on and on about how adorable Sammy was and wasn't Dean just the sweetest guy in the whole world for being nice enough to bring his little brother to the park. Especially when you considered that most guys his age wouldn't be caught dead taking their little brothers anywhere.

Dean certainly wasn't going to tell them that, quite simply, he'd be dead if he didn't brought Sammy with him. That he had to bring his little brother if he had any intention of going anywhere. Because otherwise he wouldn't live to see the end of the day. Even if he left him alone for less than five minutes. No, it was just better if they figured he was a nice guy. Besides, it really was an easy way to meet girls and a fast way to get their attention. Much easier than having to work at it in a crowd of other guys. This way he didn't even have to do anything. Just walk across the street with Sammy. And Sammy wouldn't say anything to the girls about Dean having to look after him just as long as Dean took him for ice cream before they went home. That's all it took to ensure his silence and continued co-operation. It was kind of like their own little secret pact and as long as Dean made sure to honor it, Sammy would keep his mouth shut.

Dean just didn't plan on ever telling Sammy that Dad always left them enough money to buy ice cream when he went on a hunt.

And when Sammy got tired of the girls fussing all over him he'd run off to find some kids his own age to play with. Dean would continue chatting with the girls just long enough to convince one of them to keep an eye on his brother while he wandered over to meet up with the older guys. And then he'd show the girls that he wasn't some sorry excuse for a nice guy. He'd have his chance to impress them and show them that he was just as good as all the other guys. Maybe even better. Especially in all the ways that counted when it came to girls. All it took was a bit of showing-off. Just enough to convince them that he really wasn't a pansy who had nothing better to do than hang out with his little brother.

And that way he'd be sure to gain the girls' interest.

But not today.

Because today he was stuck inside with Sammy while the little brat worked on his homework.

Dean turned away from the window and glanced over at his brother who was still fervently working away at the kitchen table. The warped little kid was so wrapped up in whatever he was working on that Dean was pretty sure the entire house could collapse around him and he'd never even notice. Sammy had been sitting at that table all morning. Ever since he'd gotten up anyway. He'd wanted to start working on his homework as soon as he came downstairs but Dean told him he had to get dressed and eat his breakfast before he got into anything else. Sammy had thrown a major temper tantrum about that, noisily stomping back upstairs to get dressed and make his bed as he screamed and whined about how Dean was the absolute worstest brother on the whole entire planet! And to just wait until Dad came back home, because he was gonna tell him what a big, bad meanie Dean really was. He was the most horriblest brother a guy could have and he never, ever wanted Dad to leave him alone with Dean never, ever, ever again! No matter what! 'Cause he'd rather be dead than have to put up with Dean ever again!

Sammy didn't seem to care that Dad made the rules and not Dean. It didn't seem to matter to him in the least. Probably because it was Dean who always got left to try to enforce them. So in a seven-year-old's mind that meant that it had to be Dean's idea as well as his fault. That he was the one to blame for making him follow the rules. Simple rules like getting dressed, making his bed, eating his meals and listening to Dean whenever Dad left him in charge. The poor kid was just so hard-done-by having to follow all those tough and unfair rules.

At least he wasn't the one stuck looking after his annoying little brother all the time. Nope; that was Dean's cross to bear. And the rules Dad laid out for him were a little bit more complex. Just because he was the oldest. They were a little harder to carry out too. Things like looking after Sammy. Never leaving him alone. Making sure he ate his meals, made his bed, finished his homework, had a bath, brushed his teeth and went to bed on time. Sounded easy. But actually getting Sammy to do any of those things was a whole different ball of wax.

Because Sammy fought him tooth and nail.

About everything.

He never wanted whatever was in the cupboard for breakfast. He hated everything Dean suggested for lunch. He wasn't hungry at suppertime. He didn't think it made any sense that he had to make his bed when he was only going to have to sleep in it in a few hours anyway. Same thing about brushing his teeth. And he didn't think he should have to get dressed if he didn't want to. And there was absolutely no good reason why he should have to listen to Dean. He wasn't his father. Or even an adult. He was just his stupid brother. And Dean couldn't make him do anything he didn't want to do. So there!

That was usually about the time that Dean ran out of patience and he carried Sammy upstairs and locked him in his room. Showed the little monster that whether he liked it or not, he really was in charge. And that he'd had more enough of his attitude. And he really could make him do the things he was supposed to. That Sammy had to listen to him. All it took was keeping him shut up in his room until the little brat had exhausted his huge repertoire of alleged injustices and stopped carrying on like Dean was on some kind of a mission to murder him. Until the little ingrate was so worn out that he'd stop sniveling and, after a few minutes, he'd have had enough of being locked in his room and he'd call out quietly through the door, telling Dean how sorry he was and promise to be good.

Just as long as he didn't start to cry first. Because as soon as he started to cry, Dean would lose all his reserve and open the door before Sammy gave in. Dean would try so hard to comfort his distraught brother that he'd end up telling him that he had been wrong to lock him in his room and he was sorry for being so hard on him. But as long as Sammy didn't end up crying, he'd be repentant enough that Dean could let him out of his room with some sort of authority intact and they'd get along fine.

Until the next time Dean tried to tell him what to do. Then it would start all over again.

But today Sammy was messing with him in an entirely different way. The little bugger had no intention of leaving the house. Or even moving from the kitchen table. He just wanted to stay inside. And do his homework.

Dean didn't think it could possibly get any worse.

"Hey Sammy," Dean called invitingly, hoping to dissuade him from his homework.

"What?" Sammy answered absently without even stopping writing.

"How 'bout you and me go outside for a while? I'll take you for ice cream."

"I don't want ice cream."

"We could go to the park."

"I don't wanna go to the park."

"Well…what do you wanna do?"

"I wanna do my homework."

"Yeah, but you can do that later. After it gets dark. I'll even help you if you want. That'll make it go faster," suggested Dean.

Sam sat upright and stared at his brother. "I told you Dean…I don't want your help. I wanna do this all by myself."

"Well that still doesn't stop you from doin' it later. After supper. There'll be lots of time to finish it before you hafta go to bed."

"Uh-uh. I wanna do it now."

"But Sammy, it's really nice outside," pleaded Dean. "We should go out and get some fresh air. Just for a little while. Then you can come back and do your homework." Dean jestered toward the window hoping to use that as an incentive, " There are lots of kids your age at the park. Come and see."

"No."

"Aww, come on Sammy!"

"No," reiterated Sam sharply, turning his attention back to his work.

"But it's too nice to be cooped up inside all day."

"NO!"

"What's so important about your stupid homework anyway?" snapped Dean angrily.

"It's not stupid!"

"Okay, it's not stupid. But why do you hafta do it now?"

"Because I want to."

"Why? Is it worth a lotta marks?"

Sam shrugged. "I dunno. I just wanna do it now, that's all."

"So that means you don't care that I hafta stay inside with you while you do your homework?"

"Find something to do," replied Sam bluntly.

"There is nothing to do."

"Then watch TV."

"I tried that. There's nothin' on TV. I checked. A whole bunch of times."

Sam stared testily at Dean before responding impatiently, "Then read a book. Or find something else you like to do." Without pausing, he reiterated the words that their father always said whenever he was working on something and Sammy was pestering him, "You're a big boy now and you should be able to find something to occupy your time without my help. I have work to do. And I can't get it done if you keep bothering me."

Dean glared at his brother for a moment even though he'd known he was fighting a lost cause. Sammy simply wasn't going to give in to his pleas. Not this time. Not when he had obviously made up his mind that he was going to do his schoolwork. And no amount of persuasion, bribery or coercion was going to deter him. So, with one last look outside, Dean walked over to the couch and plopped himself down. There was still nothing to watch so he flipped lazily through the channels while he turned up the volume trying to drown out the noises that were filtering in from the playground outside.

"Would you turn that damn thing down!" barked Sammy irritably from the kitchen.

God. The kid sounded just like Dad.

"Watch your language Sammy," replied Dean crustily.

"You say words like that all the time. And worse ones too. I've heard you say them lots of times."

"Yeah? So? I'm older. Means I get to say those words."

"Dad says you don't."

"Dad's not here, Sammy." Dean pointed out, "So I can say anything I want."

"No you can't. 'Cause I'll tell Dad when he gets home if you do."

"Really? 'Cause he might be more interested to know that you're saying them now too. So if I were you. I'd just keep my big mouth shut."

Sam didn't bother to respond. And Dean turned down the volume on the television to try to appease him and to stop him from complaining any more. And for the next half-an-hour, Sam worked quietly in the kitchen while Dean channel-surfed for something to watch, pausing mostly to watch any commercials with cute girls, cool cars or catchy music. He finally caught an advertisement for a movie that would be on at the top of the hour. Godzilla vs. Mothra. It was a good enough movie; he'd seen it a few times. On other occasions like this when he had been stuck watching Sammy. And, given his current choices, he was more than willing to watch it again. Even though Sammy didn't really like it. He said it was too scary and it gave him nightmares. But that was just too bad. If the kid actually finished his homework before the movie was over, he'd just have to go upstairs and play while Dean watched the end of it.

Just a tiny bit of payback for making him stay inside all day.

But, Sammy was still working on his schoolwork when the movie ended so Dean clicked off the television and wandered over to the doorway that led into the kitchen. He leaned against the doorframe and watched his brother. Sammy glanced at him and quickly covered up his schoolwork with his arm.

"Go away, Dean."

Dean rolled his eyes. "Why?"

"Because I don't want you to see what I'm doing."

"Why not?"

"Because I don't."

"Wow! What profound reasoning," comment Dean sarcastically.

"Shut-up, Dean," snapped Sam. "And I don't have to let you see it if I don't want to. So just go away."

Dean shook his head, not understanding in the least why Sammy was being so secretive about this particular homework. He was usually more than eager to show his homework to Dean and tell him everything he was supposed to do. He usually asked Dean a million and one questions, or told him everything he already knew about it. But today, he didn't even want Dean to know what he was working on.

Dean glanced at the clock on the wall and noticed with a mixture of regret and relief that it was almost 5:30. Regret because that meant dusk was coming soon so he'd lost all opportunity to go outside. And relief because he'd somehow managed to make it through the better part of the day. But there was still lots of time to run into more problems with his brother.

"Well, Sammy," he lamented. "It's almost suppertime. And I hafta get supper ready. So I hafta come into the kitchen and you're gonna hafta put your homework aside and set the table for me."

"Just give me five more minutes. Please Dean!"

"If I give you five minutes, will you be done?"

Mostly."

"Fine" sighed Dean, "You got five more minutes but then I'm coming in to make supper whether you're finished or not." stated Dean as he turned to head back to the couch. "And you're still gonna have to set the table."

"Whadda we havin' for supper?" asked Sam inquisitively.

"Kraft Dinner."

"But we had Kraft Dinner last night," protested Sam.

"Tough. We're havin' it again tonight."

"Can't we have hot dogs?" asked Sam

"We don't have any hot dogs."

"I saw buns in the fridge this morning."

"Yeah? But you didn't see any wieners in there, did you?"

"Well, can we at least have something else instead?"

"Like what?" huffed Dean in annoyance.

"Toast. And jam."

"No Sammy. You had that for breakfast."

"So?"

"So…that means you can't have it for supper too."

"Why not?"

"Because I said you can't, that's why not."

"That's not fair."

"Maybe not. But that's the way it is."

"You're a meanie," whined Sam, "And I'm tellin' Dad."

"Go right ahead. But in the meantime, clean up your stuff 'cause I'm comin' in to make supper."

"But you said I had five more minutes."

"You did. Not my fault you wasted it bitchin' about what we're havin' for supper."

Dean walked past the table not even bothering to try to sneak a peak at his brother's schoolwork as he walked past. He went right to the stove and pulled a pot out of the drawer under the oven. Seeing that Dean really did mean business, Sam huffed angrily and gathered up all his papers so he could take them up to his room. Dean could hear him grumbling all the way up the stairs before he slammed his bedroom door, obviously trying to make a point about how annoyed he was. At least the closed door drowned out his incessant whining so Dean just ignored him and prepared the Kraft Dinner. But by the time it was ready, Sam still hadn't reappeared in the kitchen so the table remained unset. Not really wanting to start another argument with his younger brother Dean got out the utensils and glasses and set the table himself. Then he called Sam down for supper.

"I'm not coming!" bellowed Sam loudly. "I don't like Kraft Dinner!"

"Yes you do!" retorted Dean. "You ate it last night!"

"Well, I'm not eating it tonight! I don't want it!"

"You're gonna eat it anyway!" bellowed Dean up the stairs.

"No I'm not!"

"Yes you are! And if you don't come down here in fifteen seconds, you'll be sorry!" threatened Dean through gritted teeth.

"No I won't!"

"You will if I have to come up there and get you!" warned Dean.

There was no response so Dean counted loudly to ten. Then he stomped heavily onto the first step making sure Sam could hear it. With still no movement from Sammy Dean pounded his other foot heavily onto the next step before shouting out:

"Eleven!"

But Sammy still hadn't emerged from his room so Dean stomped up the next two stairs before he called out "Twelve!" with an increasing amount of annoyance in his voice.

He heard Sammy's bedroom door squeak open very slowly. But nothing else happened. Dean thumped up one more step and continued counting in rapid succession, "Thirteen! Fourteen!"

The words had no sooner rolled off the end of his tongue when Sam appeared at the top of the stairs and bolted down them, expertly ducking under Dean's arm where he had it braced against the wall. Sam scurried the rest of the way down the staircase and ran into the kitchen. Dean slowly turned around and stood on the stairs watching him while he took his seat at the table, only following him down once he was seated.

Walking into the kitchen Dean made it obvious that he was completely fed-up when he asked curtly, "Whaddya havin' to drink."

"Coke."

"Nope. No coke for supper. You know that."

"Just this once…please?" asked Sam with his most innocent smile.

"No."

"You're mean."

"Yeah, I heard ya say that before. Thousands of time. But that still doesn't mean you can have coke for supper," replied Dean. "You can have milk or water. Or nothin'."

"Can I have orange juice?" queried Sammy wide-eyed.

Dean glared back at him. "Fine. You can have orange juice. But only as long as you promise to eat all your Kraft Dinner."

"Okay, I promise."

Dean spooned out a bowlful of Kraft Dinner and put it on the table in front of his brother. Sam smiled innocently up at him as he took a spoonful of the cheesy noodles and put it in his mouth. Satisfied that Sam was really going to eat his supper, Dean got the orange juice from the fridge. He held the jug in his hand while he watched his brother eat, still somewhat doubtful that he intended to keep his promise. But after Sam had taken two more mouthfuls, Dean's uncertainty eased and he poured some juice into his brother's glass.

"Thanks," said Sam through a mouthful of food.

"Don't mention it. Just eat."

Dean turned around to get himself a bowl of Kraft Dinner. When he turned back to the table, Sam had finished his orange juice and was sitting back in his chair with a self-satisfied smile on his little angelic face. Dean warily stared back at him, waiting to see what his next trick was going to be. They stared silently at each other for a few minutes.

"Aren't you gonna eat?" asked Dean eventually.

"I'm full."

"You can't be full Sammy. You only had three bites."

"Four," corrected Sam.

"Whatever. You're still not full."

"Yes I am," stated Sam defiantly.

"Sammy, you promised you'd eat it all if I let you have orange juice."

"That was before I got full."

"Whatever. Don't eat it. See if I care," conceded Dean wearily, "But I'm savin' it to show Dad. And you're not getting' anything else to eat until tomorrow."

"I don't want anything else to eat. I'm not hungry."

"Just remember that in three hours when your stomach starts to rumble."

"I won't be hungry then either."

"Good. 'Cause you're not getting' anything. No matter how much you whine."

"I don't whine," sniveled Sam.

Dean shrugged his shoulders. When Sam stood up to leave, Dean shook his finger at him. "Uh-uh. You're gonna sit there until I'm finished so you'll be here to help me with the dishes."

"Aww," yammered Sam. "Can't I go upstairs and work on my homework until you're done?"

"No."

"Why not?"

"Because you won't come back down."

"Yes I will."

"No you won't."

"Yes I will."

"You won't Sammy. I know you won't. You've done this to me before."

"Done what to you?"

"Told me you'll come back…Oh, just skip it. You're not goin' anywhere until the dishes are done."

"Meanie."

"Whiner."

"Am not!" griped Sam as he sat back down and folded his arms across his chest.

"Are too," responded Dean without looking at him.

"Am not!"

Dean just glared at him and under his intense stare Sam remained silent.

It was quiet for the next few minutes before Sam piped up, "But it's boring just sitting here waitin' for you."

"Yeah? Well, welcome to my world."

Sam wrinkled his forehead. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"Nothin'. Just forget it."

Dean gathered up his dishes and took them to the sink. He reached down into the cupboard for the dish soap and from the corner of his eye saw Sammy dash out of the kitchen. Dean spun around just in time to see him disappear into the stairwell and darted up the stairs after him but he was just far enough behind that Sammy was able to slam his bedroom door shut before he reached him. Dean grabbed the door handle and threw all his weight against the door trying to force it open. But Sammy had barricaded himself inside.

"Sammy! Open the door!"

"No!"

"Open the door or I'll break it down!"

"No you won't! 'Cause Dad'll kill you if you do!" sneered Sam through the door.

"Not before I kill you!" threatened Dean as he violently shook the door.

"Then there's no way I'm gonna open the door," taunted Sam.

Dean was so angry that he slammed his fist against the door; he was hyperventilating while he stood outside the door trying to convince himself that he didn't really want to kill his younger brother. No matter how annoying he was. He slowly calmed down and decided to leave Sammy in his room while he went back to the kitchen and washed up the dishes on his own. Sammy would just do a half-assed job anyway and Dean would end up having to do it all over again. So he might as well just do it himself the first time and get it done right.

But, if he was quiet enough, Sam wouldn't have to know he'd gone downstairs and that would be enough to keep the little moron out of his hair for a while. So Dean tiptoed quietly down the stairs. He turned the water on to just above a trickle and washed up the few supper dishes that were there. He left Sam's uneaten supper on the counter and wrote a note to his father explaining that he hadn't been able to get Sam to eat it. He didn't bother to tell him about their agreement. He'd just let Dad deal with Sammy on his own. Dad could be pretty imposing when he demanded an explanation for something – especially to a seven-year-old. And staring down at that same seven-year-old- making him tell him with all the required 'yes-sir's' and 'no-sir's' why he didn't eat his supper would frighten Sammy enough that Dean didn't feel there was any need to make it worse.

When he'd finished writing the note, Dean walked silently back to the bottom of the stairs and listened for any noise from upstairs. It was pretty quiet so Dean decided to go into the livingroom and lay down on the couch. He watched the last twenty minutes of some news show before he got up to check on his brother. To his surprise he found him sitting at the kitchen table working on his schoolwork. Sammy hadn't seen him so Dean ducked quickly out of sight. At least the kid was being quiet and wasn't busy arguing with him just for the sake of arguing. So Dean was more than willing to leave him alone. At least until bedtime. Because he already knew they'd have another screaming match about that. So for now it was probably a good idea to let sleeping dogs lie.

Or annoying little brothers do their homework without interruption.

Dean went back to the couch. One of the stations was showing Top Gun so he got comfortable and settled down to watch it. He wished that he had brought some chips or something with him but they were in the cupboard and Dean didn't want to go back in the kitchen and run the risk of setting Sammy off again. When Top Gun ended, Dean flipped to another channel to find Die Hard had just started. During commercials Dean got up and checked on Sammy. But Sammy hadn't moved from the kitchen table. He was still working on his homework. So after visually verifying that Sammy was safe and sound, Dean would go back the couch and his movie. The movie was about three-quarters of the way through when Sammy suddenly appeared out of nowhere and stood in front of the couch looking down at Dean.

Dean looked back at him and asked sarcastically, "Ya done already?"

Sammy nodded.

"So whaddya want now?" asked Dean tersely. "It's too late to go outside. And you're not having anything to eat."

"I know," squeaked Sam meekly. "I just wanna lie down with you for a while."

Dean smiled. He pushed himself against the back of the couch and patted the cushion in front of him. "Come on, Kiddo."

Sam smiled and jumped happily onto the couch in front of his brother. As he snuggled up to Dean, he asked, "Whacha watchin'?"

"A movie."

"What's it called?"

"Die Hard."

"What's it about?"

"A cop."

"I thought you didn't like cops?"

Dean sighed. "Sammy, it's a movie. There's nothing else on. And they blow things up. Okay?"

"Okay," replied Sam contentedly before he fell silent.

It didn't take long for Sam to fall asleep. Not wanting to disturb him in case he got a second wind or something, Dean he left him on the couch in front of him until the movie ended. Dean tried to find something else to watch but he was tired too and he was soon fast asleep on the couch still holding his brother.

Dean awoke the next morning in his own bed and it took him a moment to realize that he hadn't actually come to bed on his own. That he had fallen asleep on the couch with Sammy sleeping in front of him. So the fact that he was had awoken in his own bed, meant only meant one thing.

Dad was home!

Dean jumped out of bed and ran down the hall to his father's room. Because if Dad was home he wouldn't have to worry about looking after Sammy. He'd have the entire day to himself. And that was so worth getting out of bed for. But Dean approached his father's bedroom and stopped as he reached the door. Dad wasn't there. In fact his bed was already made.

Maybe he was just downstairs.

Dean raced down the stairs to the kitchen. Sammy was already up and once again working on his schoolwork. But there wasn't any sign of Dad. Dean walked through the kitchen and into the livingroom. He wasn't there either. So Dean hesitantly looked out the window for his truck. But his parking spot was empty. The Impala was nowhere to be seen.

"Dad left about an hour ago," offered Sam without looking up.

"Did he say when he was coming back?" asked Dean hopefully.

"Not really. Said he'd probably be gone most of the day."

"Great," commented Dean sarcastically as he walked into the kitchen and sat down in the chair next to Sam. "That means I'm stuck with you all day."

Sam looked at him sadly, "That's not very nice."

"I'm sorry Sammy. I didn't mean it like that. It's just that I'd like to be able to hang out with kids my own age sometimes. And I can't do that unless Dad's here."

"Oh. I guess that's okay then," replied Sam, his momentary hurt forgotten.

Dean frowned as he looked at all the papers that Sammy had spread out all over the table. "I thought you said you finished your homework last night."

"I did. I'm workin' on my good copy now."

"And how long is that gonna take you?"

"Don't know," shrugged Sam as he picked up his pencil and commenced printing. "But there can't be any mistakes in it. It has to be perfect."

"So you're telling me that you're gonna sit here and write it over and over again until there's not a mistake on it?" enquired Dean fretfully.

Sam nodded.

Dean sighed as he got up from the table and went to look for something to eat. "Did you eat breakfast?" he asked Sam.

"Uh-huh," replied Sam. "Dad made me."

"Wha'duhya have?" asked Dean curiously.

"Kraft Dinner."

"Dad made you eat it, huh?" smirked Dean.

"Yeah. But he said you shoulda let me have toast and jam for supper if that's what I asked for."

"I bet he did," answered Dean with a shake of his head.

Dean got a bowl of cereal and leaned against the counter to eat it. He watched Sammy fervently printing away with his tongue stuck out the side of his mouth and resisted the urge to start making fun of him. Whatever the kid was working on, he was sure taking it seriously. Maybe if he just left him alone, he'd get it done and they'd have at least part of the day to go do something. Noticing that Sammy kept glancing at him, Dean decided that maybe he should just leave the room and let him work in peace. So he pushed himself away from the counter and started walking toward the livingroom, still eating his cereal.

"Where ya goin?" asked Sam.

"To the livingroom. You don't seem to want me in here."

"I don't. But Dad says you're not supposed to eat cereal in the livingroom."

"Where else am I gonna eat it?"

"On the stairs," suggested Sam without skipping a beat.

"I don't think so," answered Dean as he continued into the livingroom and sat on the couch to finish his cereal.

Dean thought he heard Sam mutter something about telling Dad before the sound from the television drowned him out. And, like every other Sunday morning, the TV shows were worse than any other time of the week. Mostly religious garbage. Run by scam artists intent on stealing their audience's money. Convince all of them that, if they just contributed enough money, they'd ensure their place in heaven. All it really took was to send donation after large donation in order to guarantee their salvation and save their poor wretched souls. Dean couldn't believe what suckers people could be. There was no salvation. But people just didn't want to believe that. So they spent millions of dollars trying to buy their way into heaven and a happy afterlife.

What morons.

Dean's attention quickly turned to what was going on outside. Even though it was just after ten o'clock there were still a fair few kids at the park already. And pretty soon more kids would join them. The kids who had been forced to go to church with their parents. Had to go every Sunday. But after church was over they were allowed to go outside and they still had the whole afternoon to play.

But only God knew how long he'd be stuck inside with Sammy today. And he wasn't telling. He was probably punishing Dean for being an atheist.

Tired of sitting on the couch, staring at the boring television, Dean got up and wandered over to the door. He glanced quickly at Sammy before he opened the door and stood in the doorway looking out at the park.

"Where ya goin'?" asked Sammy sounding somewhat concerned.

"Nowhere," replied Dean, "Just lookin' outside, seeing what's goin' on."

"Can't you see from the window in the livingroom?"

"It's not the same, Sammy."

"Why not?"

"It's just not."

"You aren't goin' outside, are you?"

Dean shrugged. "I might sit on the steps for a while."

There was a brief pause before Sam stated quietly. "Please don't go out there."

Dean sighed, "Why not?"

"Because I don't wanna be left in the house alone."

"I'll be right outside on the front steps, Sammy. I won't even shut the door."

"But I'll still be in here alone," bemoaned Sam unhappily.

Dean sighed again. "Fine. I'll stay inside."

Dean turned around and shut the door behind him as he looked into the kitchen at his brother. There were papers strewn all around the kitchen table and a bunch of crumpled pages on the floor that seemed to have been poorly-aimed in the general direction of the garbage can.

"How much longer you gonna be, Sammy?" asked Dean sullenly.

"Don't know," shrugged Sammy without looking up. "Depends how many mistakes I keep making."

"Is that what those papers on the floor are? Pages with mistakes?" Dean queried apprehensively.

"Uh-huh."

Dean rolled his eyes and noticed that Sam was writing in pen. No wonder he was making so many mistakes. "Wouldn't it be better to use a pencil? Then you could just erase your mistakes instead of starting over again."

"Uh-uh. Pencil doesn't last as long."

"Whaddya mean pencil doesn't last as long?"

"Pencil fades with time."

"Yeah, but that'll take years. And you'll be outta second grade by then."

"I know. But I want this to last forever."

"Why?"

"'Cause I do."

"That important, huh?"

"Yep."

Dean shook his head trying to understand why his brother was taking his homework so seriously. Dean couldn't remember a time when he thought he might want to keep his homework for a week, let alone forever. But, for whatever reason, Sammy was intent on having his homework just right and he obviously wasn't about to change his mind. And from the look of the kitchen table he was going to be there for a long time too. Which meant that in all likelihood Dean's whole day was completely ruined.

Dean plopped himself down on the couch and turned on the TV; but it hadn't improved any since the last time he'd turned it on so with an exasperated sigh, he turned it off again. He sat on the couch staring at the blank TV screen, trying to avoid looking out the window. But the flourish of activity across the street kept drawing his attention and he found himself constantly glancing outside. After a few minutes, Dean decided that he might as well get his own homework and work on it; there was nothing else to do. He retrieved his math and science books from his backpack and spread them out on the coffee table in front of him.

After spending about half an hour trying to concentrate on his science homework, Dean switched to math. But that was worse, because he actually had to think about what he was doing. But it was impossible to think about math when the sun was shining outside. And he wanted to be out there with it. And the dozens of other kids that were out there.

Not stuck inside with his rotten little brother.

He slammed his math textbook shut and threw his pencil across the room with as much ferocity as he could muster up. It hit the window with enough force that it bounced onto the floor and landed behind the television, Dean picked up the eraser that was on the table and threw it at the window too. As he watched the eraser ricochet around the room, he slumped back into the couch and crossed his arms over his chest. His anger unabated, Dean thrust the coffee table across the room with his foot, getting a small sense of satisfaction as his schoolbooks toppled to the floor when the table crashed into the wall. The sound of the table skidding across the floor and slamming into the wall was followed by an unsettled silence that seemed to encompass the entire house.

Finally, a small timid voice broke through the silence, "Dean?"

"What?" answered Dean cantankerously.

"How do you spell ghost?"

"g-h-o-s-t"

There was no response as Sam wrote the disputed word down before he ventured hesitantly, "That's not right. There's no 'h' in ghost."

"Yes there is Sammy," barked Dean angrily.

"Well, it doesn't sound like there is. So I doubt it's even really there. I think you're just lying to me so I get it wrong."

"Why would I do that Sammy?"

"Because you're mad at me."

"Who says I'm mad at you?"

"I can just tell that you are."

"Well…maybe I am. But that's still how to spell ghost. I wouldn't lie to you about that."

"Okay," replied Sam sounding convinced.

Dean simmered on the couch for a few more minutes before he got up and picked up his books and put the coffee table back where it belonged thankful that it hadn't left any marks on the wall. Because he wouldn't want to have to explain that to his father. By the time he'd straightened everything up and found his pencil and eraser, it was lunchtime.

Dean walked into the kitchen making sure to avoid looking at Sammy's work. He made both of them a peanut butter sandwich and left Sam's on the counter, telling him he could get it himself whenever he was hungry. Dean took his into the livingroom and once again sat down on the couch. He found a basketball game to watch on TV followed by an old western movie. He didn't recognize anyone in it but it wasn't half-bad to watch. Lots of shooting and barfights. At least it had helped to pass the time.

At three o'clock Dean got up and peeked into the kitchen at Sammy. He was still writing away and Dean noticed that his sandwich remained untouched on the counter. The kid would starve to death if he didn't get his homework done soon. Deciding that it wasn't worth an argument, Dean wandered back into the livingroom stopping to glance out the window at the playground. The park was filled with a variety of kids. All of them looking like they were having a good time. And there were some cute girls there too. Girls Dean wouldn't have minded getting to know a little. But there was fat chance of that happening. Dean closed the curtains, deciding he'd rather sit in the dark than keep watching the scene across the road. It would be better to pretend it was dark already than to be constantly reminded of what he was missing.

Not that blocking out the sunlight made him feel any better.

And he was still pissed off when he heard Sammy call his name from the kitchen.

"Yeah?" he answered unenthusiastically.

"How do you spell bestest?"

"Bestest isn't a word Sammy."

"Yes it is."

"No it's not. You just use best."

"Well, what if something is better than best?"

"It can't be. Best is the best you can get."

"Well, I need a better word."

"I can't help you Sammy. Because there is no other word."

"Then spell bestest for me anyway. Like it would be spelt if it was a real word."

Dean sighed. This was all he needed. The little brat had ruined his whole weekend. He was bound and determined to make this homework perfect and now he wanted to use a word that didn't even exist. And when the teacher pointed that out to him, Sam was sure to blame Dean for messing up his homework. And Dad wouldn't have any sympathy for him either, telling Dean that he never should have told Sam how to spell a word that didn't exist. But Dean was tired of fighting with Sam. He was tired of the little brat ruining his weekends. Tired of being left alone to babysit him. Tired of missing out on the things that other kids got to do. And if Sam wanted him to spell a made-up word, Dean was going to do that. It wasn't his fault if it wrecked his brother's stupid project, especially seeing as Sammy kept insisting he tell him how to spell it.

"b-e-a-s-t-i-e-s-t" spelled Dean slowly, giving Sam time to write it down.

"Are you sure that's how you'd spell it?" asked Sam doubtfully.

"Of course I am."

"But there's no 'a' in best so why would bestest have one?"

"'Cause it would be one of those words that changes. Sorta like mouse turns into mice when there's more than one or how you don't say I catched the ball, you say I caught it. It'd be a word like that."

"Oh okay. I guess that makes sense. Thanks."

Dean smirked to himself. Sammy was just so easy to fool. All he had to do was give him an explanation that sounded plausible and Sammy would believe him. Worked every time. And this time Dean felt a somewhat twisted sense of triumph; this was almost perfect payback for the little brat having ruined his entire weekend.

It wasn't long afterwards that Sam announced that he was almost done. All he had to do was write out the last page. Dean was beyond hoping that his brother might actually finish while it was still daylight and didn't bother to comment. Besides, he knew that simply rewriting a page might actually take three or four attempts. Especially this time, seeing as Sammy was so intent on making sure there were no mistakes. And that made Dean remember the way he spelled 'bestest' for Sammy, turning it into a word that implied a totally different meaning than what Sammy wanted. Dean began to feel bad about what he had done.

But not bad enough to say anything to Sam.

Dean was just getting ready to tell Sam that he'd have to clean up for supper when he appeared in the doorway with a big grin on his face. "Guess what?" he announced brightly.

"What?" asked Dean sounding less that enthused.

"I'm done."

"Really?"

"Yeah. We can go out and play now."

"No we can't Sammy. It's almost suppertime."

"Can't we eat later?"

"Nope. Dad'll kill me if he gets home and we haven't eaten. And after supper you have to have a bath. Then it'll be too dark to go out. So you missed your chance to go out and play."

"Well, can you at least take me for ice cream before we eat?"

"Why would I do that? Then you won't eat your supper."

"Yes I will. I promise."

"I've heard that before."

"But this time I really mean it."

"You always mean it before you get what you want. But you always change your mind afterwards. And I'm not buying into it this time. You're not getting ice cream. You're just gonna have to eat your supper."

"Aww," whined Sam, "You're mean."

"Yeah, so I've been told."

Dean walked around his brother and went into the kitchen to find something suitable for them to eat for supper. There wasn't anything in the fridge except some ground beef but Dean didn't feel like making anything too difficult, not even hamburgers. Besides he didn't even see any buns anywhere. Looking in the cupboard, Dean found a couple of cans of stew and, even though it wasn't his favorite, he decided to heat that up. Sammy seldom complained about having to eat canned stew. For some strange reason he really seemed to like it.

Where the hell had that kid come from?

After supper Sam actually stayed around to help Dean with the dishes; then he tried to coerce him into taking him for ice cream again. But it was dark outside now and Dean wasn't going to chance it. Not without knowing for certain what time Dad was coming home. He usually tried to make it home before Sammy had to go to bed on Sunday nights, especially when he'd spent the whole weekend hunting. And if he came home and they weren't there, there be hell to pay for taking Sammy out after dark. So instead Dean told Sam he could have an extra-long bath and he take as many toys as he wanted to play with.

But Dad still wasn't home by the time Sam was ready for bed. Dean even let Sam stay up an extra 30 minutes and they still hadn't heard from him. So Dean ushered his brother up to bed and lay in bed beside him until he fell asleep. Then Dean quietly got up and went back downstairs. He was just finishing his homework when hid father walked through the door.

"Hey, Sport. Sammy sleeping?"

"Yeah. For about the last hour."

"That late huh?"

"Yeah. He tried waiting up for you but he didn't make it. Fell asleep after about half an hour."

"Good thing. Or he'd be too tired for school tomorrow," stated John before changing the subject. "So how was your weekend?"

"Lousy."

"Lousy? Why?"

"'Cause Sammy spent the whole weekend doing homework. Didn't get to go outside once."

"Did he really have that much homework?" John asked a bit perplexed at what type of schoolwork could have taken up a seven-year-old's entire weekend.

"I don't think so," shrugged Dean. "He just had some assignment that he was intent on doing on his own."

"What was it about?"

"I dunno. He just said it had to be perfect. And he spent the whole weekend working on it."

"Did you check it over when he was done?"

"He wouldn't let me. Said he didn't want me to see it until he gets it back from the teacher."

"So what did you do all weekend?"

Dean looked at his father and answered bitterly, "Babysat."

oooooooooooo

On Thursday Dean picked Sammy up from school just like he always did only this time Sam wasn't the last one out of the school. He hadn't hung around the classroom offering to help the teacher with anything she needed. In fact, he came rushing out the door with a big smile on his face and waving some papers in the air. He immediately spied Dean standing by the playstructure and came dashing over to him.

"Dean! Dean! Guess what!" he shouted exuberantly.

"Your teacher finally agreed to marry you?"

"No Silly. I got my report back," replied Sam, not catching his brother's sarcasm.

"What report?"

"The one I worked on all last weekend!"

"Oh…that one," answered Dean unenthusiastically. "The one that ruined my weekend."

"Well, guess what?" Sam continued excitedly.

"What?" Dean asked disinterested. He'd rather forget the entire fiasco.

"Ms. Becker really liked it. She said it was the best one in the whole class!"

"But not the bestest?" queried Dean mockingly. He was only slightly more interested than he had been a moment before and couldn't pass up the chance to torment his little brother again, savoring the feeling of being able to bring up the error and once again relishing his small retribution for having his weekend spoiled.

But Sam was too excited to notice the gibe. "Here Dean! Read it! Tell me what you think!" and he shoved the papers toward his brother.

Dean frowned, "Can't I read it at home, Sammy?"

"No! I want you to read it now!"

"Why?"

Sam focused intently on his brother's face. "Please Dean."

Dean sighed. "Alright," he conceded reluctantly. He took the papers from Sam's hand and began reading:

I want to tell you all about my best friend but I am not telling you the name of my best friend right now. I want you to know all about him before I tell you who he is. He is sombody that I have known for a long, long time. Mostly for my whole life ever since I was a baby. There are lots of reesons why this person is my best friend. He is smart and funny and he plays with me alot. He likes to do most of the same things that I like to do. He will even do things that I like to do even if he doesn't like to do them. To me that is a real good friend. He spends lots of time with me and is always nice. He is never mean and allways trys to make me happy. He likes me a lot. I know he does because he never lets anything bad happen to me. He is not only my best friend but my best protecker too. He protecks me from bad guys and ghosts and monsters too. He says he is not a hero but I think he is because only heros worry about other people. And my best friend worrys about me. If supperheros was real he would be better than Batman. He would be the king of the supperheros. He is very speshall and I am glad he is my best friend. I think that I am his best friend too because if not he wouldn't hang around with me all the time. Sometimes we are together so much that we fight. But he allways says he is sorry first so that we don't stay mad at each other. Then maybe we wouldn't be best friends anymore and that would make me sad. Because I could never ever ever find a best friend like him again. He is not only my best friend he is also my big brother. His name is Dean and he is my beastiest friend in the whole entire world.