I am SOOO SORRY for how long this update took me! It's been almost a week and a half! Ack! I really hope this didn't come out too disjointed. I'll start with the end of the last chapter to remind everyone of where we were.
Yeesh. From now on, I'll be finishing before posting. Then I'll a) know how many chapters there are and b) be able to keep update in a timely manner.
Thanks for all your feedback on the chapter vs. epilogue thing. I decided to do what most of you suggested and do both, but I put them into one update. Thanks so much for the advice!
Um, btw, this chapter ended up being like...REALLY REALLY REALLY long (9050 words). Um, yeah. Like I said, I'm long-winded...
Blind, But Now I See: Chapter 6-
Sam gasped as his vision began to fade. Fear startled through him as he realized he was about to pass out and he was standing on the edge of a cliff. The blackness swept over him suddenly and his knees bent. "Dean!"
Sam felt himself falling forward into the embankment and then nothing.
"…I'm well aware of that thank you. I am the one with the medical degree. He's stable enough now to take him off…"
Slowly Sam came to awareness with a throbbing in his head and arm. Cracking open his eyes, he squinted at the sudden intensity of the light. Then he felt someone pulling the IV out of his arm.
"She's taking out your IV, Sam. I'm taking you off the intravenous…again. And for the record, just because you're off the intravenous, that doesn't mean you can leave the hospital."
Sam turned his head toward the doctor's voice and then stopped as he noticed that he had yet to see Dean. Quickly, he looked around. The nurse, who had finished pulling out his IV was leaving and his brother was nowhere to be seen. Dr. Hawthorne rolled his eyes. "Your brother's sleeping in the doctor's lounge."
Worried, Sam attempted to sit up and then abruptly stopped as the room began spinning. He dropped back down to the bed. "Why? What's wrong with him?"
The physician laughed. "Sam…if there were something wrong with him, he'd be in a hospital bed, not sleeping on a couch in the lounge."
Sam relaxed in relief although he looked confused. The doctor appeared amused. "He's been up for over 48 hours straight. He's got severe bruising on his neck. He was pretty much at the end of his rope…I was this close to drugging him. He said you'd expect him to be here when you woke. I told him you were twenty-three years old. Looks like Dean was right."
Sam squinted his eyes at the man. Overall he liked the doctor, but the dude seriously could be an asshole. "I was wondering where he was because I was worried about him. It had nothing to do with… nevermind. How bad are the bruises on his neck?"
Sam looked up as his brother strutted into the room. Dean nodded to him. "How're you?"
Sam shrugged. "Tired. Other than that- and the fact that I want to take a hacksaw to my arm- I'm good."
The doctor pointed to the back. "I can provide you with that service if you'd like. There are several saws around here."
This time both brothers stared incredulously at the physician. While it was true that they had fought together earlier, the man was still a professional, and still should be acting like it. Seriously, joking about removing his arm…
Noticing the brothers' stares, the doctor smirked into his fist while clearing his throat. Then he excused himself from the room. Dean sat in the chair by Sam's bed as Sam spoke. "What the hell is his problem?"
Dean shook his head and grimaced as the action pulled on his neck. "The guy may be a little unprofessional, but he saved your life twice, and helped us turn the tables on Drew. The man's got my respect."
Sam nodded- if he earned Dean's respect, he earned Sam's too. With Dean now closer and in the light, Sam could clearly make out the dark purple bruise covering the side of his brother's neck. Sam bit his lip. "Are you sure you're all right? That bruise looks bad…"
Dean felt the side of his neck and rolled his eyes. "It's fine, Sam. I just need to remember to turn my whole body and not just my head when a hot chick walks by."
Sam gave a half laugh and changed the subject. "So, did I fall off the cliff?"
Dean stared at him as though he were absurd. "Dude, like I'd ever let you fall off a cliff…"
Now if was Sam's turn to shoot his brother a crazy look. "Uh, Dean?" He pointed to his splinted arm. "You remember this?"
Dean waved him off. "No. See, there you ran off a cliff. Nothin' I can do if you decide to take a header off a twenty foot embankment."
Sam rolled his eyes. "So you caught me then?"
Dean appeared insulted. "I was right next to you, man."
Sam nodded. At least he hadn't fallen a second time. That would've sucked. He looked back up at his brother. "So what happened after I was out?"
Dean sighed and leaned back in the chair, putting his feet up on Sam's bed and closing his eyes. "Burned Drew. Then we carried your heavy ass out. Seriously dude…no more burgers for you…" Sam rolled his eyes as Dean continued, "…You were in shock by the time we got to the ambulance. Your BP dropped too low, so the doc fixed you up in the back while I drove…" Dean opened his eyes. "Man, that siren is freakin' cool. I say we get one of those bad boys on the Impala. People hear that thing comin', they jump right out of the way!"
Sam shot his brother a sarcastic look. "Yeah…I'll get right on ordering one." Dean glared and Sam resumed, "So…is Dr. Hawthorne saying anything about Drew or Danny to the police?"
Dean made a face. "What're you kidding me? Who do you think lit the lighter fluid on Drew? No way that dude's saying anything. 'Sides, there's nothin' to say now anyway. We went back last night got the bodies and buried the two with their parents."
Sam started…last night? With a look of shock, Sam questioned his brother. "Last night? Dean…what…when…how, how long was I out?"
Dean shut his eyes, leaning back again. "It's like 8 am now, so…30 hours? Man…I am beat."
And he looked it. His skin was pale, there were dark circles under his eyes; he clearly hadn't shaved… "Dean why don't you go back to the lounge and lay down? Or the motel for that matter?"
Dean shook his head, mumbling. "Nah, I'm good right here."
Sam growled in exasperation. "Dean, you're gonna fall off the chair."
"I'm fine, Sam."
Sam sighed and looked over at the buttons on the side of his bed. Then he smiled. One of the buttons was an automatic release for the bottom of the bed, which meant it would fall, abruptly. Preparing himself for the sudden drop by his legs, Sam pushed the button.
Immediately, the bottom of the bed dropped out from under Dean's feet causing him to lose his balance. Sam smirked as his brother's eyes flew open and his arms flailed in a desperate attempt to regain his stability and stop the chair from falling backwards. Somehow Dean managed to stay on the chair, but just barely. Gripping both sides of the seat, with his feet now in the floor, Dean glowered at his laughing brother. "You're an ass you know that?"
Sam bit his lips to keep from chuckling. "Dean, go sleep somewhere for real."
Dean still looked annoyed and Sam sighed. "At the very least, why don't you go sleep in the car?"
Apparently liking that idea, Dean nodded and stood up. Then he pointed at Sam. "You okay?"
Sam stared back. "In the hospital? Uh…" He looked around, "…nope, no cliffs here- I think I'm good."
Pushing the chair to the side, Dean made his way to the door. "Man, you are seriously a pain in my ass."
Sam laughed and closed his eyes, within minutes he was asleep.
--------------------------------------------3 ½ weeks later------------------------------------------
"I am so ready to ditch this place…"
Sam looked up from his seat on the bed with a smile, watching as Dean packed their gear. They had been in this town for over a month now- the longest they had spent in one place since their father died. But Sam's arm had needed it. There was an additional surgery and then three weeks of healing before it was official that he had beaten the odds. Sam laughed to himself. He damn well should've beaten the odds…if he was blessed with being one in a million for obtaining a demonic curse, he should at least get one in a million for regaining full feeling in his arm… There was supposed to be a balance in life, after all.
As Sam watched his brother pack, he was reminded of his many thoughts throughout this last hunt. Although the hunt had taken place over three weeks ago now, what had happened with Danny would stay with him forever- one more in a list of people they should have, but didn't, save.
And then there was Dean. Dean who, although he was offended to be compared to Drew, Sam couldn't help but feel that his brother had to be God's way of balancing out Drew. Where Drew had been the worst in big brothers, Dean definitely had to be the best. Of course, not that he could tell Dean that since Dean apparently took all compliments and care and support as an insult. He may be unsurpassed in his skills as an older brother, but in other ways, Dean could seriously be a pain in the ass. Why the hell was it so freakin' hard to thank him? Why couldn't Dean just accept his appreciation without taking it as an insult?
Sam thought back to what his brother had told him before his surgery- Dean had said that he owed Sam too. He had been pondering that statement for three weeks now, because he couldn't for the life of him figure out what the hell Dean owed him for. All Sam felt like recently was a burden- someone standing in the way of Dean's happiness. After all, all the demonic events in Dean's life, all the horror and the death that seemed to follow them around, was following them because of Sam. If Dean hadn't been "blessed" with having Sam as a little brother, his life would've been a hell of a lot more peaceful.
Drew's words came back to Sam's mind. There was no way Drew could have known about their father's death or the fact that Dean was stuck in his job because of Sam if Dean hadn't said anything. Sam knew the conversation between Drew and Dean had happened before Dean knew what Drew had done, but still, it didn't change the fact that Dean may have meant what he said. Then again, Dean had been pretty forceful in stating that Sam was Inot/I a burden and chances were, Drew would've twisted whatever Dean had told him. And, Sam knew, before Dean had found out that Drew was responsible for his brother's death, he had felt bad for the guy. It was likely that Dean would've spoken to Drew, told him something about losing a close family member, having a little brother, something, to empathize. And then of course, Drew would use it against him.
"Dude, have you ever seen so many fat people in your life?"
Sam stared at his brother, embarrassed, as several rather large fair patrons glared their way. "Dean…are you trying to get everyone pissed at us?"
Dean looked around the fairgrounds, making a face at all the people gorging themselves on funnel cake, ice cream, gyros, and corn dogs. "I'm sorry man, but these people…no wonder they're having a pie eating contest…that guy over there alone could probably swallow 20 pies whole."
Sam sheepishly smiled at the passersby that were shooting him looks. He whined at his brother. "Deeean…"
Dean mocked him. "Saaaaam."
Sam huffed. Then, his face lit up as he spotted one of his friends. "Hey! There's Weston!"
Dean rolled his eyes, following his brother towards his friend. "That's the one that studies all day, right?"
Sam squinted back. "They all study, Dean. We do well in school."
Dean held up his hands in a fake surrender. "Oh, well, excuse me-"
Sam interrupted him, "You know, you'd do well in school too if you ever opened one of your books."
Dean laughed. "Yeah- thanks for the lecture, Sammy, but I think I'd rather have a life."
Ignoring his brother's comment, Sam smiled as he approached his friend.
Weston smiled back. "Hey Sam! You made it!"
Sam nodded enthusiastically and pointed to his brother. "My brother took me."
The other boy looked over at Dean and then seemed to step back in shock. "He's older than you…"
Sam looked confused. "Well duh, he's sixteen."
Weston seemed stunned; then his expression turned more understanding. "Ohh, your dad made him take you…"
Sam retained his perplexed look. "No…Dean just took me."
The boy stared at Sam in awe. "Seriously? Like, he said you could hang out with him without someone making him?"
Sam nodded proudly. Just then, a beautiful teenage girl, looking to be about seventeen, came up along side Weston, putting a hand on his shoulder. She smiled sweetly at Dean and held out her right hand. "Well, hey there. I think I've seen you around the school. I'm Jocelyn. You just moved here, right?"
Dean threw on his most charming smile as he kissed, rather than shook, her hand. "Only been here a month…I'm still getting to know the place."
The girl smiled back. "Well, I'm real glad you found your way to the fair. Did you, uh, did you get a tour of the grounds yet?"
Dean raised his eyebrows and shook his head. He pointed over at Sam. "No, just got here. My little brother wanted to come, but we haven't had the pleasure of a tour. Be honest, the grounds are a bit confusing…maybe you could help us out."
Sam followed along the conversation with amazement. Weston's sister was a senior and the head cheerleader. Sam may have only been in middle school, but he was aware enough to know that senior girls, much less head cheerleaders, did not go out with sophomores, unless of course that sophomore was Dean. Dean had said two minutes to get a girl to take off her bra. How long had it been so far?
Sam looked over at his friend as Weston rolled his eyes at his sister. Seeing Sam staring, Wes moved to Sam's side and whispered into his ear. "Jocelyn and the other cheerleaders have been swooning over some new "hunk" for the past month. Guess we know who they were talking about now, huh?"
Sam bit his lip to keep from laughing. He whispered back to his friend. "Dean's good with girls."
Weston nodded. "Well then they're perfect for each other…Joce's good with guys."
Sam giggled and Jocelyn looked warily at the two boys. Then she turned back to Dean. "What do you say I give you that tour?"
Dean looked over at Sam. "You okay hanging out with your friend for a little while?"
Without waiting for a response, Jocelyn smiled and wrapped her arm through Dean's. She looked down at her brother. "Mom, dad, and Gage are already at the square dance. Why don't you guys go join them?"
Weston shook his head. "But Joce…"
But it was too late- Jocelyn and Dean were already walking away. Not that he had been given a chance to answer, but it was okay with Sam that his brother go off with Jocelyn. While hanging out with Dean at the fair would've been great, hanging out with Wes was okay too, and this way Dean could also have fun. After all, it wasn't really fair that Dean had to give up his own friends just so Sam could go to the fair.
Weston didn't seem as pleased. Sam questioned him, "Uh, did you not want to hang out with me?"
Wes shook his head. "No! No, I…it's just that the square dance is for families of four and with Joce out, my family's already got four people." Weston bit his lip as he tried to think of a solution. "Dylan, Jesse, and Graham are already there with their families, maybe one of them has an extra spot."
Sam winced. Dylan and Jesse both had families of four and Graham had a family of six. He doubted there'd be room for him with any of them.
Sure enough, when they approached the open tent, all the families seemed to be in complete sets. So Sam sat, in a rusty folding chair pushed just outside the tents boundaries. At first he watched the fun, the smiles, the family time, and in some moments, he even laughed with them- soaking up the fun of do-si-do-ing from his seat on the outskirts. But after awhile, enjoying the fun from afar became less appealing and Sam's eyes began to wander behind him, to all the fun events, displays, and games set up throughout the fair grounds. The game closest to him was called "Shoot-out," a game with air guns and targets that popped up in random order. Sam watched the various players take their turns. So far, the people of Idaho had proven their skill with guns, but none had managed a perfect score… Sam eyed the Nintendo console with desire. He had played the games at some friends houses, but of course never owned a console of his own- there really was no room for that sort of thing on the road; it would've been a waste of money… but if he WON one, chances are his father would let him keep it- so long as Sam could set it up and play it himself without bothering his father in any way…
The game wasn't easy though, he had gotten a good sense of that from watching the other players- and a perfect score would be needed to win the Nintendo. Sam admitted he was a better shot than most, but he still didn't think he was good enough to get a perfect score- but Dean could. Sam turned back to the dancing, biting his lip. He hoped Dean didn't spend the WHOLE night with the girl, but really he couldn't complain, at least Dean had taken him to the fair.
Graham plopped down next to Sam, wiping off his brow as one of his younger siblings took his spot in the square dance. "Next few dances involve six people- you could probably hook up with a group…"
Sam shrugged. "Nah, that's okay. I'm not really good at this anyway. I'd just screw everybody up." Graham nodded in understanding, still catching his breath. Sam questioned his friend. "Are you gonna ride any of the rides later?"
The other boy shook his head. "Nah. Me, Wes, Dyl, and Jes spent the whole day doin' that."
Sam slumped, dejected. "Oh."
Graham hit him on the back. "You missed most of the good stuff, but the rides stay open 'til 11 pm. Doncha got anyone to ride with?"
Sam winced as he realized he didn't. He shook his head. "No, not unless Dean meets up with me before 11."
Graham smiled knowingly. "Isn't he with Jocelyn?" At Sam's nod, Graham laughed. "I think you should just go on the rides by yourself."
Sam shot a dirty look at his friend's back as Graham rejoined the 'family fun'. Sam turned back around in his seat, looking longingly at the rides. Maybe he should ride them himself… it wasn't like he was doing anything where he was. So it was a little pathetic to be riding the fair rides alone, but at least it'd be better than watching everyone else have fun…
Sam nodded to himself and stood up determined. He would ride the rides alone. Walking over to the ticket booth, Sam fished through his pockets and found enough money for10 tickets- at most three rides. Walking over to the Tilt-a-Whirl, Sam took his place on line. It only took him a few seconds to recognize the voice of the guy standing three people in front of him.
Sucking in his lips, Sam bounced on his toes, wondering if he should alert his brother to the fact that he was standing only a few feet away. If he told Dean, he might be able to join them on the ride, but then, he'd also be intruding on his brother's good time. Cutting his sibling some slack, Sam kept quite- instead watching Dean as he flirted with the cheerleader next to him. Dean really was smooth.
Sam turned to see a large group of senior boys heading toward the cheerleader and her escort. All wore varsity jackets, although Sam couldn't tell for what team. The arrogant looking guy in the front smirked as he approached the couple. Sam watched his brother take his arm off the girl's shoulders and step back.
"Seriously? You're hanging out with the freak?"
Jocelyn rolled her eyes. "He's hot, Kev. I mean, look at him!"
Dean turned three shades of red as the sports team looked him over. The leader grimaced. "Joce, he's a sophomore and he worships Satan."
Dean stepped forward. "Dude! I do not worship Satan."
Another jock spoke, "Whatever…that's why you told Dallas that it sounded like his house had a demon in it…"
Dean defended himself. "He was the one saying that all this weird crap was happening and that his pets kept disappearing, leaving sulphur behind and then turning up three days later mutilated. I was trying to help him out!"
Sam nodded- sounded like a demon to him too. But the jocks looked at Dean like he was crazy. The leader took a step back- a semi-amused look on his face. "Wow man… you really are a freak…" He turned to his friends, "You hear that guys? He was only helping Dallas out by saying that his house was evil… Never occurred to him that Dallas was just MAKING IT UP. Only a complete wackjob would've taken him seriously…"
Dean opened his mouth to speak, but whatever he was saying was drowned out by the condescending/laughing seniors.
"Yeah and how would you know what demons are like if you don't worship Satan?"
"Man, I'm glad I'm not a sophomore, I wouldn't want to have to sit next to the weirdo."
"Yeah poor Reid- he said Dean just leeched onto him. Get this, the freak even invited himself to a movie today. The guys tried to get out of him coming, but he didn't get it- even brought his little brother along…"
"He actually thinks Royce, Reid, and Cody are his friends. He should hear what they say behind his back. Here freak, let me make it clear for you- they don't like you. When they say they don't know what they're doing for lunch everyday, they really do. They're just trying to avoid you. But you never get it do you? Everyday you just follow them into the cafeteria."
"Yeah- Cody told me that the other day, the three of them walked all over the cafeteria in between tables, over chairs, just to see what he would do. He followed them the whole way…even over the chairs. Don't you have a mind of your own? Do you not get that they don't like you?"
Sam swallowed, keeping his eyes on Dean's face. Dean didn't know he was here and while he would've loved nothing better than to defend his brother- he was old enough to know that to the seniors, Sam's twelve-year-old defense would only make Dean look worse. Dean moved back away from the twelfth graders, an unreadable look on his face. Then, he looked over at Jocelyn. "You want to go somewhere else…or you want me to leave?"
The cheerleader looked conflicted, obviously wanting to be with Dean, but not wanting to be 'the chick who's dating a freak'. She made an apologetic face. "I'm kind of friends with them…"
Dean nodded. "That's cool. Hey, I had a good time- I'll take what I can get. You're beautiful…"
Sam stood staring in admiration. If he had been in Dean's situation, there'd be no way he'd be able to handle it that smoothly. Obviously, the cheerleader was impressed as well. She blushed and kissed Dean on the cheek. "You're really sweet…"
The jocks made a face. "Aw gross… man Joce, your standards have gone to shit."
Jocelyn glared back at them. "You guys are assholes. You're just jealous because all the girls in the school think he's hot and the rest of you aren't being fawned over anymore."
The leader held up his hands in surrender. "Hey, you want to carry the son of Satan, be my guest…"
Jocelyn scowled and turned back to Dean. She squeezed his hand. "Thanks for the good time…"
He smiled, semi-quoting Casablanca. "We'll always have the state fair."
Jocelyn laughed and began walking toward square dance tent- the sports team followed her. Dean stared after them for a moment, before looking around and smiling sheepishly at the bystanders waiting in line around him. Raising his brows in salutation, Dean stepped off the line and over to the side of the ride. Sam squinted, Dean's head was down and for a second, it looked like his hands were shaking. But now that the crowd was gone, Sam could approach his brother. "Dean!"
Dean looked up with a start, an almost panicked look on his face. "I thought you were at the circle dance thing…"
Sam rolled his eyes. "Square dance, Dean…"
Dean shrugged, "Whatever. What are you doing here?"
Sam pointed to the line. "The dance was for families so I went to ride the rides."
Dean looked around the area. "Where are your friends?"
Sam nodded to the tent. "Dancing- I was gonna go on the Tilt-a-Whirl by myself. I didn't want to ruin your date, but I guess those jerks did that."
Dean paled. "How long were you there for, Sammy?"
Sam shook his head. "I don't know…hey, how come you didn't kick their ass for lying about you?"
"Lying. Right." Dean whispered the phrase, seemingly to himself, and then shrugged. "I was slightly outnumbered don't you think?"
Sam agreed. "I thought maybe I should say something, but then I didn't know if it'd make it worse to have your little brother defending you."
Dean went to respond, but Sam cut him off remembering the Shoot-out game. "Hey Dean! There's this shooting game over there and the top prize is a Nintendo if you get a perfect score. Can you get it for me? I thought dad might let me keep it if we got it for free."
Dean made a face. "These games are probably fixed, Sammy."
Sam shook his head. "No…I was watching people play it before, it's not fixed. Nobody won yet, but you're way better than them. I've seen you. You could even challenge one of those assholes to a shoot-off and make them eat their words."
Dean grimaced, not seeming to like that idea. He clamped his brother on the shoulder. "Yeah…thanks, but I think I've got enough pressure to beat that game all ready."
Sam appeared confused. "What pressure?"
Dean just shook his head and changed the subject. "So you want to ride the rides first or you want me to win you that Nintendo?"
Sam jumped in excitement. "You'll ride with me?!"
Dean stared as though he was crazy. "Um, yeah? Why? I got other things to do right now?"
Sam grinned. "Rides first. Then I want funnel cake. Then you can kick ass in that shooting game." He grabbed his brother's hand and began to pull.
Dean rolled his eyes. "Okay, well, if that's all…by the way, who's paying for all this?"
Sam stopped. He spent all his money on the ten tickets, which would now only be enough for only one ride for the two of them. Just as his disappointment fully began to take hold, he heard his brother laughing. Sam looked up.
"I'm kidding, dude. I got it. Man…you should've seen your face…"
Sam glared. "You're a dick."
Dean unsuccessfully tried to stifle his laughter. Finally, after more glaring from Sam, he stopped. "All right. Tilt-a-Whirl then?"
Sam's excitement came back full force as he hopped back onto the line. Dean kicked the dirt as he slowly followed in suit. Sam grinned showing all his teeth to his brother. "Thanks, Dean."
Dean smiled genuinely, squeezing one of Sam's shoulders as he pulled Sam back and messed up his hair. Sam fixed his appearance, leaning back against his brother as they waited in the line.
Sam grinned his way through the grass field parking lot, Nintendo in one hand and fish in a bag in the other. It was difficult to see due to the lack of lights in the field, but the moon provided some illumination. Sam read the side of the Nintendo box as he walked. "Dean! It already comes with two games! When we get back can you help me set it up? We can play SuperMarioBros. It says it comes with it…or we could play Duckhunt. I've never played that one…"
Dean shot an amused glance over at his brother. "Watch where you're goin', Sammy."
Tripping over a hole in the field, Sam stumbled but quickly regained his balance. Quickly, he checked on the small goldfish swimming in the bag, worried that the stumble had jostled it. He had won the fish himself in a ring toss game.
Dean called over to him. "I don't know where you think you're gonna put that. It's not like we can take a goldfish on the road with us."
Sam shrugged. "We can keep John while we're here though…"
Dean squinted. "John?"
Sam nodded, studying the fish's face as it bobbed up and down in the bag. "After dad."
Dean laughed. "I'm sure he'll be thrilled."
Sam looked up. "We don't have a bowl for him."
Dean raised his brows. "Don't look at me, dude. I'm not wasting what's left our money on a fishbowl."
Sam turned his attention back to his fish. John stared back at him through the bag. A sudden idea struck Sam. "I know! We can put him in the coffee pot! That's kind of shaped like a fishbowl!"
"Yeah- you tell dad that he can't have coffee anymore because his namesake fish is pissin' in the coffeepot."
Sam shook his head. "Don't be stupid, fish don't piss."
Dean shot his brother a look of disbelief. "What the hell are they teaching you in school? And you're supposed to be the smart one…"
Ignoring his brother, Sam continued to examine his fish. "I never had a pet before. It's kind of cool. I think he likes me. Dean, you think he likes me?"
Dean glanced over. "I think you should stop staring at the fish and start watching where you're going."
Sam huffed, "Give me a break, I'm perfectly able to look at my fish and walk at the- whoa," and then he went down.
Dean stopped walking and closed his eyes, a mixture of exasperation and disbelief on his face. Crossing his arms with a sigh, he waited for his brother to regain his bearings and his footing. Sam had made it back onto all fours when he called out. "Dean!"
Dean jumped at the distress in his brother's voice and ran over. Sam was on his knees, staring panicked at the tiny goldfish that was flopping around in the grass. Apparently, when Sam had fallen, the bag had broken. Sam looked up at his brother. "There's no water! I killed him!"
Dean shook his head and looked around before crouching down and putting a hand on Sam's shoulder. "It was an accident, Sammy."
Sam stared at the open mouthed, flopping fish with tears in his eyes. "I didn't even have him for fifteen minutes before I killed him! I suck!"
Dean said nothing and Sam watched as the fish seemed to pale in the moonlight. The tears in his eyes sparkled as he looked up to his brother. "I don't want him to die, Dean. He's my fish."
Dean swallowed, literally sagging with the weight that had just been thrown on his shoulders. Standing up, he looked around once again. Then, he quickly reached down, picked the fish up and began running. Having no idea what Dean was up to, but having full faith in his brother's plan, whatever it might be, Sam left his Nintendo on the ground and ran after his sibling.
Sam followed as Dean ran off the field and into the nearby woods. It was only a few seconds into the woods when Dean stopped at the edge of a swamp. Sam caught up to them, out of breath, just as Dean placed the fish down in the water. At first the fish sat still and Sam feared that it was too late for John, but all of a sudden the small goldfish seemed to spring to life, shaking it's tail and diving into the murk. Within seconds it was gone.
Dean turned to his brother. "I don't think you'll be bringing it home."
Sam shrugged. "That's okay. Just so long as he's alive. Sometimes…a parent just needs to know when to let go."
Dean laughed. "How understanding of you, Sammy. John was a lucky fish."
Sam scoffed at that. If John were a lucky fish, he wouldn't have been won by a clumsy twelve-year-old with no fishbowl. Sam stared at the ground as he followed his brother back into the field. Having returned to where they started, Sam stopped abruptly, looking around.
Dean noticed the action. "What?"
Sam looked back to the floor, the broken plastic bag remained where he had dropped it, but the Nintendo was gone. Sam looked around again. There was no sign of anybody. He turned to his brother, panicked. "I left the Nintendo here. It's gone."
Dean threw up his hands. "Well, why the hell you'd do that?"
Sam shook his head. "I was worried about John…" He looked around again, feeling the heat rise up and begin prickling his face. "It's not here Dean…"
Dean nodded looking somewhat aggravated. "Well, yeah. Someone probably saw it jut sitting there so they took it."
Filled with disappointment, tears began falling down Sam's cheeks. He was so stupid. How could he have just left the Nintendo. He should've known it was too good to be true… A Nintendo was something normal kids got to play with. Sam wiped the tears from his face, annoyed with himself. He didn't know why he was so upset. After all, only three hours ago he had never even imagined owning his own Nintendo. And only 30 minutes ago, he DIDN'T own his own Nintendo. So what was the big deal now? He was in the same position now as he had been then…but for some reason, he couldn't get the tears to stop.
Sam covered his face, ashamed, as he felt his brother come up at his side and pull him close. He buried his head as he turned into his brother's jacket. Dean seemed to accept him, despite the crying, and quietly placed one hand on Sam's back and another on the back of his head. "It's okay, Sammy."
Embarrassed, Sam pulled back and tried to wipe all the tears from his face. Dean hit his shoulder. "We'll come back tomorrow and I'll win you another one."
Sam sniffled and looked up. "You don't have to. I don't know why I'm crying. It's not like I had it very long."
Dean made no response and Sam shook his head as he continued. "It's just that it was cool, you know? It was like a trophy, nobody else could do it. And everyone knew where it we won it. It was like a sign that advertised that you were my brother… and then, of course, it'd be fun to play with too."
Dean looked at Sam as though he were crazy. "You want a sign advertising that I'm your brother."
Sam wiped his nose on his sleeve. "I'm a geek, Dean. I'm fat, I'm covered in zits-"
Dean interrupted. "You're twelve-"
Sam ignored him. "The whole town knows you. Weston said that all the cheerleaders are in love with you and think you're hot and even the guys at your school are jealous of you! And then you shoot better than everyone else…I'm proud. Like all these people want to know you and I actually do."
Dean shot his brother a look of disbelief. "Dude, it's been a long day, I think you've finally lost it…I'll get you another Nintendo tomorrow, it's no big deal."
Sam nodded and started moving forward. "Thanks, Dean."
Dean walked beside him and Sam looked up. "Dean? You think you could teach me?"
Dean shook his head in confusion. "Teach you what?"
Sam shrugged. "How to be cool?"
Dean adjusted the collar on his jacket. "Well, I don't know about that…I mean, cool's not something you can really teach there, Sammy. You just have to be lucky enough to be born with it…" Dean sighed dramatically. "There are so few of us in the world…"
Sam made a face and pushed his brother to the side. Dean laughed. "I got a better idea…how 'bout we both come back here tomorrow and you win a Nintendo for yourself."
Sam looked up with a start. "I'm not good enough."
Dean smiled. "I think I could give you a few pointers…by the time I'm through with you, the whole town will be jealous of YOU."
Sam grinned…he liked that thought…
"Hello? Earth to Sam…"
Sam shook himself out of his memories and looked up at his brother.
"Man, I must've said you name about twenty times. What planet were you on?"
Sam smiled and rubbed a hand over his face. "I was just remembering the Idaho State Fair."
Dean stared as though Sam were crazy. "What the hell is it with you and the freakin' Idaho State Fair lately?"
Sam shrugged. "Nothin'. I just…I had a good time that day."
Dean's brows shot up in surprise. "Dude, do you even remember that day?"
Sam looked up, confused. "Yeah…why?"
If possible Dean's brows went up higher. "That day sucked."
Sam stood up. "What? No it didn't!"
Dean looked around as though expecting a hidden camera show to appear out of nowhere. "Sam…you missed going on all the rides with your friends 'cause I dragged you to a crappy movie, then you got thrown into a dumpster, when we got to the fair, you had to go on all the rides by yourself because you had no family to go square dancing with, your fish died, and the Nintendo got stolen."
Sam stepped back in confusion. "Wait a minute, my fish didn't die. You saved him; you threw him in the swamp."
Dean rubbed the back of his neck and looked down. Sam frowned in suspicion at the silence. "Dean…"
Dean threw his hands up. "Oh come on Sam, what was I supposed to do? You were lookin' up at me like you expected me to make it all better. The fish was already dead."
Sam shook his head. "But I saw it swim away."
Dean grimaced in apology. "Orange leaf. I threw it in right before you caught up to me."
Sam persisted. "But I saw him shake his tail."
Dean tilted his head to the side. "No, you saw the water ripple. Made it look like the leaf was swimming."
Sam's brows drew together in upset.
"Still think it was a good day?"
Sam flopped back onto the bed. "Why didn't you just tell me he died?"
Dean rolled his eyes. "You were attached to the freakin' thing. Hell, it's twelve years later and you're still referring to it as 'he'."
Sam stared at his shoes, looking dejected. "You could've told me, Dean."
Dean sighed. "I wanted to fix it for you. You trusted me to fix it…I didn't want to let you down."
Sam understood what his brother was really saying. It wasn't just about not wanting to upset Sam, Dean had been worried that Sam wouldn't look up to him anymore. And a part of that was true, although knowing that his fish had died wouldn't have changed the way he saw Dean, but that year, the year when he was twelve, was probably the last year that he blindly worshipped his brother. After that, of course he still looked up to Dean and of course Dean's opinion meant more to him than anything, but it was different. When Sam was twelve, Dean was perfect- not human. When Sam was twelve, Dean was capable of fixing anything, every decision he made was correct, nobody could get the best of him, nobody was smarter than him, nobody was cooler than him, and he never made any mistakes. After that year, Dean somehow had become a human being, still one of the greatest human beings in the world, but no longer perfect. When he was twelve, Sam had full faith that Dean could fix any problem. After age twelve, Sam had full faith that Dean would try to fix any problem.
Sam shook his head, he hadn't realized how blind his worship was at that age until now. At the time, Sam had only seen that his brother was popular with women, great at shooting, able to handle confrontation in stride. But looking back through his memories, he could see the whole picture now. Dean hadn't been popular in school. In fact, the way it seemed, Dean hadn't had any friends at all. After all, Dean's 'friends' had been the ones talking behind his back and throwing Sam in a dumpster. Speaking of which…
Dean dropped the bag from his shoulder and looked over at his brother.
"Don't…" Sam grimaced as he tried to ask the question without insulting his brother. "Uh…"
Dean rolled his eyes. "Spit it out, Sammy."
Sam took a breath and went for it. "I was kind of surprised that you didn't go after Royce, Reid, and Cody after what they did."
Dean stared at his brother as though he were insane. "What are you kidding me? Dude, they threw you in a dumpster. Damn straight I went after them."
Sam sat back in shock. "But…you were…when?"
Dean shook his head in disbelief and picked the bag back up. "That Monday. I wasn't gonna go after them with you standing right there. Besides, I had to take you to that crappy fair. I got them when we were at school." He flashed a grin at his brother. "Don't worry, Sammy, I kicked their ass."
Sam smiled and nodded his appreciation. Then Dean sighed. "Although…kind of took the wind out of my sails when I saw that Royce had his jaw wired shut because somebody broke it…"
Sam burst out laughing as he looked over toward his brother. "I broke his jaw?"
Dean grinned back. "I made damn sure to tell everyone that it was a twelve year old that did it, too. Until then, I never knew you had it in you, Sammy."
Sam's expression became serious as he remembered that moment. "Yeah well. He said some things he shouldn't have."
Dean nodded. "I know; Cody told me what they said. Thanks man, for defending me. Although, I wasn't really thrilled that you took on five guys at once and got thrown in a dumpster because of it."
Sam stared at his brother. "Dean…" He sucked in his lip as he tried to find the right words. "You weren't popular in high school, were you?"
Dean gave him a melancholic smile and shrugged. "Depends on what you mean by popular. I was usually pretty popular with the ladies."
Sam took on a compassionate expression as he wondered if Dean's "popularity" with the girls had been a good thing in his brother's eyes. Being "popular" with most of the girls in a school would mean that Dean had been something to be had- literally- rather than someone to actually be friends with. Sam furrowed his brow. "Not with the guys though?"
Dean swallowed. "Nah…" Then he seemed to perk up. "But, hey, I was comin' from a whole other world, I mean, how many of those guys had killed two rawheads, fifteen ghosts, two demons, and a shapeshifter by their sixteenth birthday?"
Sam shook his head in wonder. "I…I never knew. I mean, I always thought you-"
"Would win most popular in the school yearbook?" Dean raised his brows as he interrupted. At Sam's nod, he smiled back. "I know. I liked it that way. I didn't want you to know the truth."
Sam squinted in confusion. The truth? Did Dean believe that Sam's blind worship had been built on lies? "Dean…you didn't have to hide it from me-"
Dean cut him off again. "Look Sam, going to school for you, it was fun. Wherever we went, you had your friends, the teachers liked you, you loved learning that book stuff. For me? It sucked. I was bored out of my mind and every three seconds I had to deal with some asshole calling me a freak or saying some shit behind my back- setting me up for humiliation. At first, I'd kick their ass, but then to be honest, it just got to a point where I just said the hell with it and learned to ignore them. But it was exhausting and it made me feel like shit- and then I'd come home and you'd…it was like all day I was a piece of shit and then around you I got elevated to a god. You looked at me like I was the end all be all of everything. I didn't want you to know-"
This time Sam interrupted. "Dean, I idolized you because of you. Not because of what other people thought, or didn't think, of you. I looked up to you because I knew all the incredible things you did with dad. I trusted you because you never, ever let me down. I had total faith in you because whenever I needed anything, I didn't even need to ask, you were already there. I believed you could do anything because anything I asked, no matter how unrealistic, you found a way to do it. You're right- I did worship the ground you walked on, but it had nothing to do with what other people thought- and it wasn't based on lies. Maybe I was a little blind and maybe I chose only to see the good things about you, but they weren't lies. Everything I thought about you, every reason that I looked up to you, was true."
Dean scoffed. "Sam, you'd go on and on about how cool I was and how you wanted to be that cool-"
Sam stood up. "You were cool, Dean. It didn't matter if the kids in your high school couldn't see it. They never even knew you. I wanted to be like you because of who you were, not what other people thought."
Dean shook his head and readjusted the bag on his shoulder. "I'm bringing this out to the car." Then, with a turn, Dean left the room.
Sam flopped backwards on the bed, flinging his good arm over his head. His brother's bottomless pit of low self-esteem was exhausting to deal with- not to mention frustrating. Sam did understand now though what he brought, or at least what he had brought to the relationship. He had begun to realize it when he heard Dean's speech to Drew, but he understood it better now. While it was true that for the most part, Sam had been dependent on Dean to save and care for him, Dean had also depended on him, but for other things. Dean had told Drew that equal sacrifices didn't mean that both people gave the same thing, it just meant that both people gave what they were capable of. Because he was younger, Sam couldn't make the same sacrifices or care for Dean the same way that Dean had cared for him, but still it seemed, that Sam was able to give his brother something back- if only by making Dean feel good about himself.
Sam bit his lip. Although he was more realistic now and knew that Dean wasn't perfect, there was still a large part of him that trusted his brother to fix everything; there was still a large part that worshipped Dean, although the idolization was no longer blind. Whereas when he was twelve Sam had wanted to be exactly like Dean, now Sam wanted to be Sam, but with some of Dean's skills and attributes- and regardless of his age, Sam was DAMN proud to have Dean for a brother.
Sam sat up on the bed and began playing with his mouth. He had an idea. Maybe there was another way he could return the favor to Dean. Sure, it wouldn't even come close to equalizing what Dean had done for him over the past year, but at least he'd show Dean that he was still idolized, at least a little bit.
Right on cue, Dean walked back in the door. He glanced down at Sam, who was once again sitting on the bed. "Seriously, man, are you coming or what?"
Sam smiled. "I was just thinking."
Dean rolled his eyes. "Oh God."
Sam laughed at the reaction. "You know...that move you made on Drew...when you went from facing the gun to holding it within a second...that was pretty awesome."
Dean beamed. "Dude, you know how long I've been waiting to use that?! I learned that one like five years ago and I never get to use it!"
Sam grinned back, then he looked at the floor. "Uh…" he coughed, "…hey, Dean?"
Dean sighed and waited for the impending question. Sam squinted up at him. "Could you teach me?"
Dean looked surprised. "The move?"
Sam nodded and Dean stepped back, looking at his brother appraisingly. Finally, he shrugged, speaking softly to his brother. "Take out your gun…"
Quickly, Sam jumped up and pulled his gun from the back of his pants. Dean walked towards him. "Okay, now point it at me."
Sam removed the magazine and the bullet from the chamber and then pointed the gun at his brother.
Dean stood two feet in front of him. "Okay, this'll be quick, keep your eyes on my hands, so you know what they do."
Sam nodded. Then Dean moved and within a second Sam found himself looking in the barrel of his own gun. He had missed the whole thing, but he couldn't help grinning. "Man, that's awesome."
Dean rolled his eyes, looking serious. "You missed the whole thing, didn't you?"
Sam nodded, still grinning. Dean laughed and handed his brother back the gun. "Okay, I'm gonna do it slower this time, so you'll have to just let go."
Sam nodded and carefully watched as his brother disarmed him once again. After the move was over, Dean looked back at him. "You think you got it?"
Sam nodded, a little unsure, and watched as Dean pointed the gun at him. Dean spoke again. "It'll be harder with your left arm strapped down like that, but you should be able to do this with one hand."
Sam agreed and took a breath. Then, he tried to replicate his brother's move. Five seconds later, he was still hanging on Dean's arm, trying to pry the gun from his brother's hands. From above him, he heard Dean's mirth-filled voice. "Dude, you suck at this. If I was a bad guy I could've killed you eight times by now."
Sam straightened up and stepped back, a frustrated look on his face. "Well what the hell am I doing wrong?"
Dean sighed. "First of all, you're coming in at the wrong position. You need all your weight on your left leg. Second…" Dean took his brother's hand and positioned in over his own on the gun. "You need these two fingers to hook the palm of my hand, and these two need to be on the gun."
Sam listened attentively as his brother taught. Finally, Dean pushed him back. "Alright, try it again."
Once again Sam moved in, trying to quickly disarm his brother…and once again, he failed.
Dean shook his head. "That was better, your feet were in the right place that time, but your hand is still grabbing wrong."
Sam growled in frustration and Dean smiled encouragingly. "You'll get it, Sammy. It took me about three months to get to a point where I was confident that it'd work."
Sam nodded and Dean pointed the gun at him again. "Try again."
Sam took a deep breath and attacked his brother again. It amazed him that even though Dean was doing him a favor by teaching him, this interaction was meaningful to Dean too. One look at his brother's face and Sam could see how much it meant to him. Dean was proud that he had impressed Sam and he was proud to be able to teach Sam.
Sam shook his head as he, yet again, failed to disarm his brother. His whole life he had tried to impress Dean, aware that what Dean thought meant more to him than almost anything…he had never realized that it worked both ways. He could've sworn a few weeks ago that he had truly known his brother, had accurately understood their relationship. But it seemed that at the time, he had only seen one side of it- in reality he had been blind...
"Sam..." Dean's voice broke through Sam's reverie, "...try again."
Oh thank goodness it's over. I again apologize for how long it took me to finish this. Thanks for being so patient. Out of curiosity, so I know for my next piece, how much did you feel that you were missing by this being a Sam pov only story? Was it okay like this, or did you feel that you were really missing something by not having Dean's pov? I'm just trying to figure out how to approach my next one, so I'm very interested in your feedback. And, as always, please let me know if you liked the story in general… Thanks!!!