This was written for a couple of promp tables over at LJ. I'm still working on my chapter stories, and am hoping to get the next one of "Price of Fear" up in the next week at the latest. Thank you so much for your patience, and for reading this story. Hope you enjoy it!

Dean had sat out in the den area of the motel room, right next to the window, watching the storm, keeping one eye on Sammy, who lay sleeping in the bedroom. He made sure that Sammy had taken a bath (despite his protests of not needing one) and brushed his teeth, before the storm came, because he wanted him to be sleeping. It was a ritual that they had developed ever since Sam decided that the thunder was not God moving his furniture.

A loud clap of thunder boomed through the night, followed closely by a bright flash of lightning, rattling the windows and turning off the lights. Dean turned on his flashlight and started going through the rooms, making sure that all the salt lines were in order. Another strong boom of thunder and bright lightening came through, and Dean found himself getting a little uneasy. The storm was right on top of them now. He looked around for a moment, sensing something was off, and then he heard it.

"DEAN!!!" A loud, bloodcurdling scream coming from the bedroom. "Dean? Where are you?"

Sammy's voice shook with terror, and when Dean pointed the flashlight into the room, the four year-old was crawled up against the headboard, clutching the thin blanket close to his face. The storm must have woken him up, and now Dean had to deal with the fear he was hoping to avoid. He walked into the room and sat down on the bed, facing Sammy. He set the flashlight down, making sure that it still illuminated the room as a nightlight for his brother, and gently pulled the blankets away from Sam's face.

"Hey, it's okay. Nothing bad is going to happen to you," Dean said, soothingly, stroking the curls that were falling into Sam's face. For a couple of years now, he was calmed whenever Dean played with his hair, and Dean wasn't going to mess with a proven success.

"I'm scared, Dean. It's really loud." Sam complained in a soft, shaking voice.

Dean knew he shouldn't do it, but the mischievous part of his brain kicked in and he couldn't help it. "You shouldn't be afraid of the thunder, because it can't hurt you. The lightning is what you should really worry about. That can kill you."Sam's eyes widened and tears of fear fell down his face. Dean winced, kicking himself for talking without first thinking. He drew a shaking and sobbing Sam into his arms and held him close. "Shh, I'm not going to let anything bad happen to you. If the storm wants you, it's going to have to come through me first. Got it?"

He felt Sammy stop crying, sniffle, draw in a shaky breath, and nod his head. "What if you can't? What if it gets you first?" Sam's still shaky voice asked.

"Not going to happen. I'll always be here to take care of you. I promise. It's my job to take care of you, so nothing will ever hurt you." Dean said, with complete confidence, knowing that he needed Sammy to believe him.

"Now, let's lay down and try to go back to sleep. Okay?" He said, already starting to move Sam to lay down, with his head on the pillows. Once he had gotten Sam settled, he crawled in behind him and wrapped his arm around him, offering extra security. The storm raged on outside, and the power still wasn't back on, but they were safe together, under the soft blanket. They had weathered another summer storm. Dean knew that eventually, Sammy wouldn't need this ritual. He would outgrow not only his fear of thunder, but the absolute trust that Dean could fix everything. For now, though, he cherished the closeness.

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to leave any kind of review you'd like, whether it be constructive criticism, question, or praise.