Author's notes: Well you asked for it, and you know I'm more than happy to give it to you. You all wanted big emotional scene and I hope I did it justice. It's the kind of scene I wish they could have had at some point on the show but now it's too late and we will never get it. Well what is fan fiction for if we can't have them doing what they can't do on the show.
My original story idea didn't have Sammy shooting John, but shooting Dean instead. It was one of my failed fics that I started last year and set aside when I couldn't get it to work out right. As we all know, Sammy shot Dean for real on the show, so I didn't really want to do that again in this story. Besides, I couldn't get the logistics worked out. The basic story was the same as this one except it started in the present where Sam found out the truth and then Dean had to explain what really happened. The rest of the story was told in flashback and much shorter than this one turned out. Try it as I could I just couldn't make a decent story out of it. One day I pulled it back up and started to approach it from a different angle. This is the result of that. I know this chapter is long but it is the conclusion so I think you all will forgive me. Thanks for taking the time to read and many thanks to all who have reviewed or who will do so after this chapter.
Months went by. What nightmares Sam after that day were few and far between and to John's relief, never about the shooting, or so he thought. John went back to his hunts, none the worse for wear. Dean continued vacillating between being John's right hand man and his big brother routine of watching Sammy. He never strayed far from his brother, always vigilant, always awake at a moments notice if Sammy happened to cry out in the night.
One night, while John was off chasing down a routine spirit, Sam woke up screaming, terrified about something in his closet. Dean did his best to comfort the terrified 9 yr old but Sammy continued to shake and wouldn't go back to sleep until John came home. Without thinking, John reached into his duffle bag and pulled out his spare .45, telling the young boy it would protect him from anything that could possibly be in the closet. Sammy stood there shocked as he looked down at the gun. He'd expected his Dad to at least go open the closet to make sure it was safe but no, John just told him he was old enough to protect himself and left it at that. Exhausted from his hunt, John didn't give it another thought and never notice the terrified look on Sam's face as he walked back to his bedroom with the gun in his hand.
Dean saw the look though. He took the gun from Sammy's hand, made sure the safety was still on and put it in their shared nightstand. Sammy spent the rest of the night in Dean's bed with the closet doors wide open and the lights burning brightly. He stared all night between the closet and the nightstand never knowing which scared him more, the gun or the monster. Dean laid awake as well waiting for the questions he was positive Sammy was going to ask. They never came. Two days later they moved on and Sam never had another dream about a 'monster in the closet'. John figured it was because Sam had the .45 and thereby felt he had some protection against it. Dean knew otherwise. Sammy never touched that gun after that night and when they left, Dean carried it along with his stuff.
After Christmas they ended up in Blue Earth again. John had a hunt nearby and Jim welcomed the visitors even though the winter was particularly bad and they had to spend the majority of their time inside. It was business as usual for the Winchesters. Jim set up a sort of gun range in the church's garage and training continued despite the frigid weather. The first thing Jim observed was how much time Sam spent time in his library and not out with John and Dean doing weapons training. He noted while he watched, that Sam had subconsciously developed an aversion to guns. He wondered if John had also noticed and brought it to John's attention one day when they were alone.
But Jim didn't have to tell John his observations, John had noticed the same thing himself. When Jim brought up the fact that it was probably the result of the shooting he and John got into a serious shouting match. John remained adamant that Sammy not be told about the shooting. They almost got came to blows before Jim relented and allowed John, as Sam's father, to make the final decision. Jim didn't like it, but then neither did John. Sammy had to know how to handle a gun, their lives could possibly depend on it someday. What if Sam never wanted to fire a gun again? John was not willing to accept that possibility.
More than once he had to push Sam to resume his weapons training. Dean as usual tried to make it easier for his little brother. They took turns challenging each other on who was the better shot. Dean was by far, but none the less, Sammy managed to win a few target practices himself. John observed their training and was glad to see Sam had retained his skills despite the lack of practice. Days went by and Sam begrudgingly fell back into their normal practice routine without any further problems. Still there was something strange about firing a gun for Sammy, something that nagged in the back of his head. Being only nine, he just shook it off and assumed it was because his father had been on him about his training. After another heated conversation with Jim, John relented regarding the target practice and allowed Sam to spend as much time as he wanted in Jim's library. To John's surprise it paid off. One day Sam came out with a book of Latin and translated it so perfectly even John was impressed. Relieved, Dean was just glad Sam had found something he was good at that took the focus off of guns.
After almost of week of being cooped up, John allowed the boys some down time. It was a moment of weakness he regretting shortly after. While Dean and Sammy were out enjoying the winter wonderland, Dean sustained a serious head injury falling on some ice. Combined with the subsequent hypothermia it was touch and go for days and John spent every waking hour at Dean side. Jim kept an eye on Sam while John spent hours at the hospital. He was fully prepared for this new tragedy to awaken bad memories of the last one for Sammy and was more than troubled when it didn't. Jim thought about voicing his concerns again but knew John had more than enough on his plate and let it go. John's only thoughts were about Dean and his recovery and rightfully so. The shooting was never mentioned again for the duration of their visit.
Years went by. The boys now 17 and 21 were more involved with John's hunts and more than a few times they had to shoot their way out of a situation. Dean fell in line and never gave John a moment's trouble regarding his training and the constant moving around. Sammy on the other hand just got more resistant to the whole idea of hunting the older he got. Training was purposely forgotten, weapons conveniently left behind, and opinions never voiced before were now shouted between John and himself. More than once Dean had to separate his brother and father when they scuffled about what ever the current issue was. Sam wanted a normal life and a normal life did not revolve around "shoot first ask questions later." John, just as stubborn insisted, no ordered Sam live up to his obligations and hunt with them. Dean could only watch as it went down hill from there.
After a practically grueling hunt, they all came back to their rental house battered and bruised. Dean was limping, his right shoulder wrenched after being tossed down the stairs. Sam was mostly banged up, having missed the bulk of the attack by the poltergeist. John on the other hand, managed to get himself thrown through a window and was bleeding from various cuts all over his body. Normally it would be Dean's duty to stitch everyone up but with his shoulder all screwed up it was decided Sammy could manage just as well. Most of John's cuts weren't that deep and Sam just bandaged them up. Left with a couple of the deep ones on his fathers left side, Sam pulled out the suture kit and went to work.
That was when he noticed the scars and right away he knew what had caused them.
"Dad when did you get shot?" Sam asked innocently. In all the years they had been hunting, not once did he remember his father getting shot. Slashed, knifed, and tossed, with more than a few broken bones but never shot, Sammy was sure of that. Dean shot John a terrified look.
"It's nothing." John answered gruffly, aware that Dean was staring at him.
"Nothing? Dad, this looks really bad. How come I don't know about it?" Sam asked immediately concerned. "Dean did you see this?"
"Yeah dude I did." Dean answered desperate to find a way to change the subject.
"Sammy just drop it, it happened a long time ago." John ordered his youngest son.
"Dad what the hell? I mean this looks serious enough that you could have been killed, at the very least you probably ended up in the hospital, and gun shot wounds don't heal overnight. When ever this happened you were laid up for weeks afterwards, maybe longer. Where the hell was I?" He looked at his father waiting for the answer to his questions.
"Sam I'm ordering you to drop it….Now!" John said shouting a little too loudly. Winching as he pulled on some of the deeper cuts, he took a deep breath and looked over at Dean. Dean just stood there like a deer in the headlights. For years he'd been doing what ever it took to keep his brother unaware of what happened that night and now in right in front of him, his whole family was about to explode. He looked over at Sam and knew his brother wasn't about to give it up.
"Dad just tell him….." Dean whispered, his voice shaking a little.
"Dad tell me what?" Sam demanded. John remained quiet, still looking at Dean. Dean returned John's glare and took a deep breath, letting it out slowly.
"It happened when you were nine…." Dean started but was interrupted by John.
"Dean…" John hissed.
"Dad it's time….. He has the right to know." Dean started again.
"Know what Dean? Jesus what the hell happened?' Sam demanded again. Dean started to falter but then took another deep breath and continued.
"Do you remember the summer we spent up at Pastor Jim's place, the one right before I got my noodle whacked on the ice that next January?"
"Yeah, sort of…." Sam closed his eyes and tried to remember back that far.
"Do you remember why we were in the first place?" Dean asked hesitantly. Sam opened his eyes and looked between John and his brother.
"Dad got hurt and we laid up at Pastor Jim's until he got better." Sam acknowledged. He didn't remember much about that summer, just having fun with Dean on Jim's property and spending time in Jim's library. Things were quiet. He remembered they didn't go hunting because John was still recuperating.
"Do you remember how Dad got hurt?" Dean asked slowly. The moment of truth was upon them now. Sammy still looked puzzled. He vaguely remembered John being hurt, then suddenly he remembered something about a monster attacking the car.
"We were up in Colorado. You and Dad went off to do a salt and burn and left me back in the car. All I really remember is I was sick and Dad made me take this really disgusting cold medicine." He stopped and scratched his head. "Then I don't know, this thing, some sort of monster, attacked the car just as you and Dad were getting back. I remember Dad got hurt pretty bad, and you had to drive us back. Then Pastor Jim showed up to help us take care of him. After that I'm not sure what happened."
"Dad wasn't attacked by a monster." Dean said it so softly Sam wasn't sure he had heard him correctly.
"What?" Sam shook his head. What the hell was his brother trying to tell him? He looked at John for clarification.
"Dad wasn't attacked by a monster…." Dean said again, this time a little louder. Sam continued to look at his father and was shocked when John nodded, confirming what Dean was saying.
"What do you mean Dad wasn't attacked by a monster, what the hell was it then?. I mean it tried to get in the car, and I had to get Dad's .22 out of the glove box and then there was a loud bang………." Sammy suddenly stopped dead. His eyes flew open wide in terror.
"I shot Dad…………." he whispered sinking down on the floor.
Sammy……" Dean got up and tried to move over to his little brother but Sam just shoved Dean's hand off when he reached down to touch his shoulder. Jumping up, Sam spun around and looked at his father.
"Dad, oh my god it was me……it wasn't a monster…. I'm the monster……" Sam sobbed, tears welling up in his eyes.
"Sammy stop!" John commanded getting up as well. He grabbed Sam by the shoulders and held him in front of him. "It was an accident, a stupid, stupid accident. You had no idea what you were doing. It's my damn fault for giving you that stupid cold medicine in the first place. You were so sick, I should have just left you and Dean back at the house. If I had just listened to your brother, none of this would have happened, he knew how sick you were. I just wanted to get the damn hunt over with and get back on the road. You know what the ironic thing is Sammy……we never got a chance to burn that bastards bones. By the time we found the damn corpse it was pouring again, I couldn't get a single match to stay lit. The whole thing was one big screw up from start to finish."
Sam continued to look at John, tears rolling down his face.
"Dad I could've killed you…." He said with a hitch in his voice.
"It wasn't your fault." John said pulling Sam close to him. Sam returned the gesture, wrapping his arms around his father and sobbing into his shoulder.
Dean watched as his father and brother reconciled the tragedy that almost ended his family. He wiped away his own tears as his father continued to comfort his brother. After a moment, Sam pulled away and looked over at Dean.
"You knew…the whole time you knew…." Sam said wiping away his tears. For a moment he was beyond angry that his brother would have kept something this serious from him. One look at Dean how ever changed his mind. Dean would never have hidden something this serious from him out of malice. No, it was another way of protecting him, like Dean always did. Sam reached out and pulled Dean over to the two of them. After a few minutes the three Winchester men pulled apart and dried their respective tears.
Things got better for awhile after that. Wounds healed, scars faded. Sam made a solemn vow that day that neither Dean or John would ever be in that position where they would have to protect him from anything ever again. John took it as sign that Sammy would make hunting his full time priority and was grateful his youngest son would be at his side. Dean too interpreted his vow the same way and for a while Sam allowed them their belief.
In truth Sammy had other plans and they didn't involve hunting. No longer was he going to let them protect him… from anything. No longer was he willing to watch his father and brother get banged up on a hunt. No longer was he willing to sit back and watch the rest of the world live their normal lives while he was out saving the world from darkness, as his father put it one day. Soon enough he started to pull away once again from his family's chosen lifestyle. Once John figured it out they had terrible battles. Line were drawn, words were spoken in anger and regret and in the end the one thing John had always feared the most came true. They lost Sam. They lost Sam to normal. They lost Sam to a future that didn't include them. What they didn't know is they had lost Sam long before that fateful night when he packed his bag and slammed the door.
All they had left after that night were more scars and no one escaped unscathed.