Title: Prison Stripes

Rating: G

Summary: Sometimes real life is scarier than anything supernatural.

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters. Such is life.

Notes: Unbetaed and even shorter than the last one. This was meant to be a prison fic and ended up a flashback instead. Oh well. No spoilers, but makes more sense if you've seen 'Folsom Prison Blues'.

When he was eleven, Sam got it into his head that what they were doing was illegal. Not the credit cards, or the hustling, but the hunting itself. There must be some law on the books that required them to move from place to place and never use their real names. His father and Dean left him in a library in Massachusetts while they checked out sightings of a naga during daylight. Dean used to have to stay with him, but now that he was eleven, Dad trusted him to stay in the building until they came back, and he was free to read what he wanted. Sometimes a librarian would notice and there would be complaints that the library was not a daycare, but he wasn't the only child left there for hours at a time and Sam was always well behaved.

The library had a new carpet, but was still using card catalogues. Sam had been helping with research for ages now, so he found the Massachusetts code without any trouble and began his search. He expected something like, "Chapter 9.27: Every person who shall hunt spirits (see Subsection 2.18) outside of normal personal defense shall be punished."

But he didn't find it. In fact, there were no mentions of spirits, or monsters, or even ancient curses (which he thought surely must have impacted property laws). Instead there was, in cold, hard detail: the penalties for credit card fraud, for misrepresentation, for grave desecration, for carrying illegal firearms. The more Sam read the more ill he felt. He had the certainty of an eleven year old that his father and brother could get themselves out of any supernatural trouble. They could and did defeat anything they came up against.

People weren't so easy though. Sam could remember the tongue lashing his 4th grade teacher had given his father when he sent Sam to school with a hundred and one fever, and while it didn't happen often, the few times Dean had been caught out in one of his lies had been some of the scariest of Sam's life. Yet up until now, he hadn't realized what would happen if the police ever caught them.

They'd be separated – he looked it up. Dean might stay with him, but most likely he'd end up in juvenile, and Sam in foster care. Dad would go to jail, and he'd never see them again.

Sam was terrified. He ran for the bathroom and fled to the last stall, locking it behind him. The white tiles were cold and moldy, but he wedged himself tightly in the corner next to the toilet. There, he silently panicked and cried.

Some time later, he calmed down. In the next stall over, there was a drip from one of the pipes, and he could hear muffled voices from the other side of the wall he huddled against. He felt like he'd done hours of Dad's physical training.

There was no sign of his fit when Dean came to pick him up. When he had nightmares for months afterwards, he never told them they were about prison stripes and solitary cages.

Feedback appreciated:)