Hey ho! I've had quite a few people favourite or alert this story since the last chapter, so I'm really happy to know people are still reading! Thank you so much!
Here is the next chapter, I hope you like it! Sam is fifteen and Dean is twenty by now.
Dean flicked through the magazine in his lap nervously, not even glancing at it. He was sitting cross legged on his bed, listening to the shower run. It was early in the morning, and Dean had gotten up in the middle of the night -tiptoeing quietly around Sam's bed- to set up this latest prank. As the running water filled his ears, Dean briefly wondered if his latest prank was a little extreme. And then he was reminded with the last stunt Sam had pulled. Dean's mind only touched the incredibly embarrassing memory, but he still cringed. Two things came to mind. A date with the beautiful Kirsten Applewhite, and laxatives.
Dean's attention was caught by the water suddenly being shut off. He leaned forward on his bed and stared at the stained bathroom door. He heard a low growl, and then a panicked wail. Dean sniggered as Sam started to shout from behind the door.
"My hair! Oh my god! Oh my god, MY HAIR!" Sam shrieked as Dean heard him shuffling about. As he heard his brother's footsteps reach the door and turn the handle, he held the book up in front of his face and pretended to read. The magazine shook in his hands as he tried to conceal his laughter.
The door swung open, banging against the wall and rebounding. Sam stood drenched, a towel hastily hung around his waist, the short height and chubby days were long behind the youngest Winchester. He clutched the towel with one hand and held the other up to his hair.
Or what was left of it.
"Dean!" He screamed furiously.
Sam lowered his voice, but the anger was still loud and clear. "I will give you fifty bucks if you can look at me right now and deny you had anything to do with this."
Dean turned a page, not lowering the book.
Sam flared his nostrils. "A hundred."
Slowly, the magazine came down revealing a wide eyed Dean, cheeks sucked in from biting the insides to stop a smile forming. He looked at his furious brother and his thinned out hair. Several bald patches were visable and some tufts of wet hair were still scattered around his neck.
Dean began to shake, his face screwing up as he bent over until his forehead was touching the mattress.
Sam's chin quivered. "What are the kids gonna say at school?"
At this miserable comment, Dean sucked in a deep breath and roared with laughter. He bounced back on the bed and shoved the magazine on top of his face, still screaming joyfully.
Sam joined in with a horrified scream.
He laughed when Sam was with him and he laughed when he was not.
He laughed in the morning and he laughed at night.
He laughed in the shower, and he laughed in the car.
Dean laughed, and laughed, and laughed.
Not only did he laugh, but Dean chuckled and chortled, he cackled and crowed, he giggled and sniggered and guffawed.
"You are twenty, Dean. Twenty years old!" Sam complained loudly.
The diner was busy in the lunch hours, but Sam and Dean had been lucky to find themselves a small table, surrounded by chatter and the noises of the kitchen opposite them. Sam tugged the baseball cap down further over his head and looked over his shoulder, paranoid.
"Woud you stop doing that no one's noticing." Dean said with a raised eyebrow. It had taken him almost an hour to convince Sam to come outside and by then his stomach was rumbling. Sam replied by pulling up the menu in front of his face, refusing to look at Dean.
"What, now you're not gonna talk?"
"Dad's going to kill you." Sam said hatefully.
"Now where have I heard that before? Sam stop being a girl, it's just hair."
"I look like a freak!" Sam cried, his voice growing louder. At this statement several people turned their heads but Sam didn't appear to notice.
Dean grinned. "What's that got to do with your hair?"
"That is not funny." He sounded more upset than ever.
Dean rolled his eyes, his mean mood particularly due to their father had told Dean and Sam they were not to leave the town they were in, keen on his sons to lie low after a brush with the an even more dangerous than usual and undefeated werewolf. John had gone to get back up in the form of the helpful Bobby Singer, and the twenty year old Dean had been forbidden to go after the werewolf alone like some kid. Like Sam."Man you just got to get over yourself...Here I'll do it for you." He briskly stood up from his chair and whipped the hat off Sam's head.
Sam slapped his hands over his head and hissed quickly, "Dean give it back."
Twirling the hat in his fingers Dean replied with a simple, "No."
"Dean, give it back!" He shouted the last word and shot up, snatching the cap and thrusting it back over his head.
They both looked around slowly at everyone in the diner. Little had they known, all eyes had been on them as they argued. The whole place had fallen silence at Sam's distress and his almost bald head.
Dean smiled sheepishly as he flickered his eyes over the spectators. "Nothing to see here, folks." He tried to say as cheerfully as possibly.
Folding his arms and drooping his head Sam muttered, "This is so humiliating."
Dean retorted quietly, "Can it, baldy."
At this point, an aging waitress spoke up, "What a horrible boy!"
At the back someone agreed disgustedly, "Picking on a poor cancer sufferer."
Several voices mumbled at this, all looking at Dean in a disappointed manner.
Dean's eyes widened. "What? No, he's not bald 'cos of chemotherapy-" He started, but was interrupted by the cook from behind the kitchen.
"Get that scum out of my restaurant!" He declared, and the rest of the restaurant cheered in agreement.
"What? W-wait a minute!" Dean held out his arms defensively as half the men in the building advanced on him. He turned to Sam.
"Sammy, tell them what really happened!"
Sam swivelled his eyes from an on edge Dean to the angry customers. From seconds his facial expression went from confused to a crumbled frown filled with despair.
"Why does he hurt me this way when this disease already hurts me so much?" He whined, throwing up his arms dramatically. "Why?" He dropped back onto his chair and slumped over the table pretending to break down.
Dean gaped at him as there were many outcries full of rage rippling through the diner.
"Get him out of here!"
One minute Dean had been sitting in the diner teasing his brother and waiting eagerly for the waitress to approach -either to find out about what food was being served or whether she was hot- and the next he was off his feet and being bundled out of the door.
With one big push Dean forced out of the diner, stumbling over his feet and almost meeting the floor. He spun around and stared at Sam through the window, many girls flanking him and comforting him while he held his hands tightly over the cap. Even Dean had to admit at this age he could still pull off the lost and lonely child look well. Damn.
As he stalked along the streets, stomach groaning moodily, Dean thought of what had just happened. For one he hadn't expected the kid to play along- Sam usually had such high morals, he must have been really pissed...
They thought Sam had cancer. he supposed it was quite funny really... no, it wasn't at all actually, when he thought about it.
What if Sam ever did get sick?
Suddenly Sam's patchy head didn't make him laugh anymore, instead Dean shuddered at the image. If Sam got sick, how would he even get chemotherapy? Going to a hospital could be risky, and treatment for cancer was long... could their father be able to make it work? Could Dean?
Dean didn't like his... this fear of what could possibly happen, and Dean wouldn't be able to stop it. Suddenly he was nine years old again, shotgun held loosely in his hand and watching a Shtriga hovering above his sleeping brother. He was powerless.
A sudden whack brought Dean back to the present. He looked over to his left and found he had punched a lamp post in anger. Resisting the urge to cradle his knuckles and whine over the horrible pain shivering up his arm to stop himself looking anymore stupid in public, Dean stormed back to the motel.
He wasn't powerless.
And he had to prove it somehow.
Sam returned to the motel later in the afternoon, feeling a lot better about his hair but a little uneasy about the stunt he had pulled earlier. Who would have thought going around with a practically bald head and mean older brother would get you a free meal? Sam bit his lip as he walked across the parking lot. It wasn't like he said he had cancer, he just didn't correct anyone else, he still felt bad though. It was an unethical thing to do and even the way the customers had all treated Dean made Sam slow down his pace, guilt weighing him down.
Taking his time to wipe his feet and fish out his keys from his pocket, Sam entered the room. Dean who had been leaning over a map turned his head and took a quick glance at Sam before turning back round.
"Hey." Sam said uncertainly.
Dean didn't reply.
Sam sighed. "Look I'm sorry for what happened earlier, I've been feeling kinda bad about it," he scratched the back of his neck, "but you can't exactly say you didn't see it coming."
Again, no answer from Dean.
Sam stamped his foot. "Would you say something?" He snapped.
"I'm going out." Dean said gruffly, and picked up a gun, scraping up bullets in his hand and loading it calmly.
Sam concerned eyes went from Dean to the gun to the packed bag by his bed. His eyes fell on the map, it was directions through the forest just outside this town. Sam had seen it before.
"Are you going after the werewolf? Did Dad call?" He asked.
"Yeah, I am. And no, he didn't." Dean replied, still standing with his back to his younger brother,
"What so you're going alone?" Sam said, alarmed.
Dean turned around, his face hard. "Well it beats sitting around here all useless.." Slinging the bag over his shoulder he stalked over to the door. Sam was there in a flash, standing between him and the exit.
"You're not going anywhere."
Dean snorted. "So it's your orders I'm following now?"
Sam's voice rose in defence. "Yeah! It is! I don't know why but you're not thinking straight so I'm going to do what dad says and make sure both of us keep away from that hunt."
Dean raised an eyebrow and glared at Sam. "Since when did you listen to what Dad says to you? Man what is up with you," Dean dropped the bag and gestured his arm strongly as he spoke, "whenever you're with him all you do is bitch and argue but then once in a blue moon you change like this suddenly... you become a little soldier and this whiny little hypocrite and think you can tell me what to do!"
Sam reflected the harsh gaze and said with amazement, "Have you ever paid attention to those times? Haven't you ever noticed?"
Sam lost his patience. He ranted, "I don't have to follow Dad's orders when he wants me to drop homework for hunts, or to ignore the kids at school so I don't have to make up crazy excuses for our lives, I can do what I want. But I promised myself that I'd follow his orders when it came to hunts, I don't want to get hurt and I don't want you or Dad to either!" his voice then became low, "I get it- injuries happen on hunts, we've all suffered it...But we don't need anymore by not listening to each other."
Dean recoiled, shifting from one foot to try and seriously thought over what Sam had said. "When did you decide all this exactly?"
The answer came immediately. "About two or three years ago when I saw you get hurt badly on a hunt... The only explanation Dad gave me was because you didn't follow his orders."
Dean's face dropped and his eyes flickered. Sam knew from his face that his brother remembered.
Dean scrunched up his nose at the sudden memories. "Wait, wasn't that the day you were being all smug so I tied you up 'till Dad got back?"
"That was funny."
"No it wasn't. Look, Dean-"
"Ah! Alright!" Dean threw up his arms in surrender, and stalked back over to his bed after placing the gun by the side. Sam stood by the door awkwardly, unsure whether he was bluffing or not.
"What, that's it? I was ready for a fight." Sam said confused.
Reaching over for the television remote Dean shrugged. "I don't fight girls."
Sam leaned against the door thoughtfully. A smile grew on his lips. "Wait... this is your way of admitting I'm right isn't it!"
There was a pause.
Sam smirked triumphantly, and Dean pointed a finger warningly at him.
"Don't you dare look at me like that or I'll go find the duct tape." He half joked.
"I could take you on."
"Then I'll shave off what's left of your hair."
"I'd like to see you try!"
It was strange. Sam was growing older each day, more rebellious and less willing to listen to Dean. As much as it pissed him off, Dean couldn't help but feel in cases like this it wasn't such a bad thing. Sam knew when he was being irrational and he knew how to deal with it so well that Dean would end up following his orders. But at the same time it scared him, would they still get on in ten years time? Maybe one day Sam would push away from his family for good, sick of their complex life. Maybe one day Sam would get cancer, or move away or run away.
So why worry?
He wasn't the one to fret, and so for now,
Um, ta daaaaaa!
Hee, did you like this chapter? What did you think?