"Since when do you watch the news?" John asks as he walks out of the bathroom to find his twenty-year-old son on the couch.
"I was bored and didn't feel like watching Dr. Phil," Dean replies, keeping his eyes focused on the television.
"You could probably use some therapy." He chuckles at his own joke as well as the look Dean sends his way.
"Yeah, because of my fucked up childhood and suppressed memories?" It's Dean's turn to smile at the un-amused glare his father is now sending him.
"Very funny, smart ass," John turns to walk into the kitchenette but stops instantly at the curse that suddenly leaves his son's mouth.
A breaking news banner is displayed on the screen, grabbing John's attention as he inches closer to the back of the couch. The two men stare intently, hearing what the reporter is saying but not quite understanding.
"The shooting began about forty-five minutes ago when police were tipped off by a student using their cell phone from inside the building. The student reported hearing shoots and screams down the hall from where they were hiding in the bathroom." The camera travels from the reporter to the school behind her.
Dean and John both share a frightened glance before reluctantly turning back to the news. Kids run from every exit, most screaming and crying while some seem to need assistance due to injuries. The whole seen was terrifying, but knowing your child is in there made it millions of times worse.
"That's Sammy's school?" John asks, already knowing the answer but hoping he is wrong.
Dean doesn't answer him. Instead he stands suddenly, grabbing his keys from the table and heading out the door. His hands are shaking so much it's difficult to unlock the door but he manages anyway.
Placing a firm but comforting hand on Dean's shoulder, John grabs the keys from his son and points to the passenger's side. Dean stares up at him as if to argue, but realizing it's safer to let his father drive.
He realizes he's no good to his brother dead. Even though he usually has nerves of steel, this is an exception. When it comes to Sammy, everything is a whole different story.
"I'm sure he's fine, Son," John says softly, trying to keep his nerves down as well.
"How can you be sure? Why didn't he text me or something?" Dean questions, voice brimming on the edge of panic.
John doesn't answer; he doesn't know how to answer. Dean slumps in his seat, staring out the window as he holds his cell phone close to him, stealing a glance at it every ten seconds.
By the time they reached the school the panic is uncontrollable. John hops a curve and parks the Impala on a grassy plot, not even bothering to try and make it onto the actual school grounds.
"Are you going to use one of your badges?" Dean asks, quickly digging through the assortment of aliases they had in the glove compartment.
"I don't think so," John answers.
"Too many cops are already here, Dean." He watches the anger rush over his son in an instant.
"Then why the hell did you come?" Dean yells. "You going sit here with your thumb up your ass?"
"I'm here as a father," John tries to keep his cool. "That's my little boy in there just as he's your little brother."
Dean swallows the lump in his throat, seeing just how scared his father really is. There is a moment of silence before Dean smils, letting a soft chuckle escape his lips.
"Don't think Sammy would appreciate us going all possessive and calling him little," Dean laughs.
"Since when do we care?" John smiles, slowly opening his door. "He'll always be little to us."
The two pull themselves from the car and headed for the school. The screams and cries get louder as they approach the police barrier. Before they can get any closer a shot fireds, followed shortly after by two more. The panic rises even more, if that's possible, and the Winchesters stand, frozen, behind all the chaos.
Dean's ring tone brings them back to reality as he pulls the phone from his pocket and stares at it. He looks up to his father, hands shaking now, before he swallows and answers the call.
John's eyes light up and his undivided attention is now focused on Dean and his cell phone.
"Hey, Dean," Sam replies in a soft whisper.
"Are you okay, Sammy?" Dean asks trying to cover the panic in his voice but failing.
"I'm fine," he whispers again. "Where are you?"
"Dad and I are outside, buddy." There's silence on the other line. "Everything's going to be okay, Sammy, I promise. Where exactly are you?"
Dean hears movement on the other line before his brother's soft whisper sounds an order to one of his classmates. The fact that Sam is able to remain calm and take control of such a horrible situation has pride swelling within him, and he smiles slightly.
"I'm in biology," Sam catches on to what Dean's really asking after he answers. "It's room 204, upstairs, right past the lobby, on the left side of the hallway."
"Is anyone hurt?" The question is short but means so much.
"Not in here," his voice gets even softer. "The teacher locked us in here and went to help but he hasn't been back. I hear the screams and everyone in here is scared, but I'm trying to keep them quiet. I don't think he's been down this hallway."
It is so hard for Dean to hear his brother's whispers and the words are rushing from Sam's mouth, without him even taking a breath. Summing it up in his head Dean comes to the conclusion that Sammy is in control, yet scared shitless at the same time.
Just as Dean is about to respond to his brother, another round of shots are fired from inside the building. Even John jumps at the sound, turning to his eldest son, as if checking to make sure his youngest is still okay.
"Sammy?" Dean questions in panic, having heard the shot from the phone as well as where he is standing.
"I'm here," Sam whispers, his voice trembling slightly. "I'm here, Dean, but he's getting closer."
"How close do you think he is, Sam?" Dean asks, knowing his brother can easily judge a distance of a sound.
"Uh," Sam hesitates. "I think he's in room 207, so about three classrooms down."
"Sammy, I'm going to go talk to the cops okay but Dad will stay on the phone with you." Dean goes to hand his father the phone but Sam's voice stops him.
"Dean," he cries in a choked sob, trying his best to cover it but failing.
"It's okay, Sammy. We're here, okay? Everything's going to be okay." Dean can feel the tears brimming in his own eyes and seeing his father tearing up as well does nothing but encourage them to fall.
"I'm scared, Dean." The admission is frightening even if Dean knew it all along.
"Do you trust me, Sam?" Dean asks quickly, thinking of a way to keep his brother calm.
"Then believe me when I say," Dean takes a deep breathe to settle his own nerves a bit before continuing. "I will not let anything happen to you, little brother. As God as my witness I will do anything to save you. Now do you believe that?"
"Yes." Sam smiles to himself, allowing his brother's words sink in and register.
"Good. So don't be going all girly on me, bitch," he jokes, lightening the mood as much as he can. "I need to you to stay strong for me too, can you do that?"
"I can try." It's a reluctant reply.
"Sammy…" Dean pushes, needing more of an answer.
"I can, Dean. I can do it for you," he answers more confidently this time and lets another small smile form. "Jerk."
"That's what I want to hear," Dean smiles himself before letting the corners of his mouth drop once again. "Now just keep talking to Dad okay and I'll see you soon."
"Okay, Dean," The phone is passed to John quickly as Dean rushes off towards the front of the crowd where all the police stand, waiting.
"You can't come up here, sir," one of the officers orders as Dean pushes his way through people.
"My brother just called me from inside the building and told me where the shooter is located," Dean rushes, not even worried about what had been said.
"He called you from inside?" the officer asks, alerting another officer to join their conversation.
"Yes, the shooter was in 207 when I spoke to him and he said the shots seem to be getting closer to where he is." There's a short pause before the other officer jogs away toward someone in the front of the building.
The second officer turns and points toward Dean just as more shots are heard. The man he's speaking to grabs his radio quickly before the two turn and head towards Dean. John hurries through the people and makes his way up to the front as well. His hand is visibly shaking as he holds the phone to his ear, the other hand pressed against his forehead.
"Sammy?" John questions, his voice shaking slightly.
"Hi, Dad," Sam whispers softly. "Are you okay?"
John almost snorts at the question, knowing he should be the one asking that question instead. He swallows twice before he can once again speak, without frightening his boy anymore.
"I'm fine, Sammy," he voices more comfortably. "How you holding up, Kiddo?"
"I've been better." Johns senses the slight smile in his son's voice and can't help but smile himself. "I don't think I like school anymore, Dad."
"Never thought I'd hear you say that, kid," John laughs softly, running his hand through his matted hair. "We're going to get you out of there, you know that right?"
There's a silence on the other end that has John growing even more nervous until he hears the screams and is no longer nervous, but terrified. He hears Sam bark orders to someone before softening his tone to calm the others down the only way he can.
John stands frozen, his legs shaking and knees threatening to buckle beneath him but he remains steady. Sam seems to have gotten everyone to calm down but a few whimpers are still heard in the background. When his son addresses him he's startled back to reality.
"Dad," Sam whispers as soft as possible, making it difficult for John to hear him.
"Yea, son, I'm here," He reassures Sam, while trying to steady himself.
"He's coming, Dad," the words are quick and rushed.
"Sammy…" John doesn't even have time to finish his sentence before he hears a crash on the other line followed by screams and even worse, shots.
John doesn't even think. As soon as he hears the shots he's yelling Sam's name into the phone while running towards the front of the crowd where Dean is. Nothing else is heard on the other line by the time he reaches his eldest son.
The two Winchesters share a terrified glance as John drops the phone from his ear and hands it back to Dean. There's nothing but pure silence until another round of shots is heard, causing every hair on their bodies to stand on edge.
"Dad?" Dean questions, his voice creaking.
"I lost the call." It felt as if he has lost more than just a phone call. "He said the shooter was there and then I heard…"
"No, Dad," his son stares at him, eyes wide in horror.
"I don't know, Dean." That's all he can manage to say at this point. He really has no idea.
"He's coming, Dad," Sam whispers to his father as the door flies open.
Some of the kids scream out at the sudden intrusion, while the others are too shocked to realize what is happening. Sam watches as a dark figure enters the room with a gun raised. Shots are fired randomly, causing Sam to jump and shut his phone, ending the conversation with his father.
Even he is unable to comprehend exactly what is going on around him. He watches as the rest of his classmates scatter away from the bodies of others who are not going to be making it out alive.
Sudden thoughts run through his mind, leaving him paralyzed. He may not be making it out of here alive. This could be it for him. All this time hunting with his father and brother and a stupid homicidal teenager is going to take him out in school.
Shots ring through his ears bring him back to reality. Without even thinking about what he's doing, he finds himself on his feet rushing towards the gunman.
"Stop!" Sam screams wrestling for the gun.
His mind is in overdrive and he's not even thinking at this point. All he can hope is that his training has helped in more things than just hunting. He feels himself stumble over his own feet, missing his target and ending up in a chokehold with a gun to his head.
That's when he notices the tears. That's when he realizes he's shaking. That's when he realizes he's going to die. He's going to die.
"You think you're so tough don't you, Winchester?" It takes a second for Sam to realize the boy knew his name.
He doesn't say anything but when he turns his head away from the barrel of the gun he sees the slightly blurry face of the teen. Tommy Jacobs. He sits behind him in Biology, in this classroom. Everyone's always making fun of him.
That's when it clicks. This boy fits every description of a typical student shooter. He's been taunted probably all his life and has finally lost it, but Sam had made an effort to befriend him. Sam never judged the kid and had even made an effort to be his partner for the bio project, even when everyone else called Sam out on it.
"Tommy," Sam whispers, trying to gather his composure and remain calm. "You don't want to do this."
"I don't?" Tommy asks with a laugh. "Every one of these kids made a fucking fool out of me some time or another and now I'm getting revenge."
"This isn't the way to do it, Tommy!" His voice cracks slightly. "You don't have to kill to get a point across. Please just let them go."
Sam feels himself moving but he doesn't realize his feet are actually working. He's being pulled toward the door, barrel still resting against his head. The heat has already burned his scalp, but he's forgot about the pain.
"Okay, Sam." The snicker from the teen makes Sam extremely uncomfortable. "I'll let them go, but you're coming with me."
"Just don't hurt anyone else," Sam pleas.
"Aww," Tommy whines a bit before letting out another laugh. "Well, someone has to pay for your daring act. How about two more for the road?"
The barrel is pulled from Sam's head in a flash and he hears the gun being cocked but is unable to close his eyes. Two shots ring out and Sam can only watch as two more students fall to the ground, lifeless.
"No!" Sam can hear himself scream but doesn't realize it's coming from his own mouth.
His knees buckle beneath him and he can no longer maintain whatever calm he possesses. He has only been at this school for about six months but he has actually made friends. He has actually considered some of these kids friends.
There on the ground lies the closest friend he had ever had other than his brother. He'd never been one to get close to people but he let his guard down and now that person lies dead because of him. Two people were just shot and killed because of him.
"Come on, Winchester," Tommy drags Sam to the door, gun now resting against his scalp again and burning another section of his skin.
The shaking that has taken over his body is so far out of control. He doesn't even bother to hide his emotions anymore. Though he doesn't feel his tears, he knows his fear is unmistakable.
He's seen his father kill before but never has he watched someone, someone guilty of nothing other than a few childish pranks, be killed. His friends are dead and there is nothing he can do. He caused two deaths and watched four more.
Sam's eyes open just as they reach the front doors. He hears, rather than sees, all the commotion first. There has to be at least half a dozen cop cars scattered out front, some even up on the sidewalk.
The cold air reaches his senses as the door is pushed open and he's being pulled outside. People scream but Sam's become so numb. He has become so used to that sound today that he doesn't even realize why they scream.
"Sam!" He hears his brother shout from somewhere. Somewhere too far away, from somewhere that isn't right next to him.
Another shot it fired but Sam doesn't even flinch. He doesn't even realize the gun is still pressed against his head, nor does he feel when is finally does drop and the grip on his loosens to nothing.
He hears his father and brother yelling again but everything spins around him. His world suddenly goes black but he doesn't feel himself hitting the ground.
"Someone's coming out!" An officer from in front of the school shouts and the silence among the crowd is deafening.
Everyone has their attention focused on the four doors as a dark figure exits, holding someone else in their grasp. He drags the lanky boy in his hands out into plain view, seeming to shove the gun harder into the boy's head.
"Sam!" Dean yells as he tries to push forward.
Officers push him back but he continues to fight until strong arms find their way around his shoulders and hold him in place. He turns to see his father standing over him, looking just at frightened as him. Why isn't he doing anything?
Just then another shot rings out and Dean fights even harder, trying to break free and get to his brother. He doesn't even realize when his fathers grip ceases and both him and John are pushing their way forward, screaming out for the youngest. Sam falls lifelessly to the ground, along side the gunman.
"Sir, you have to stay back," an officer warns.
John doesn't even think as he raises his fist, knocking the younger man to the ground and running toward his son. Both him and Dean are by Sam in a second, falling to their knees next to him. John pulls the boy toward him and cradles Sam in his arms.
It scares him how still his little boy is, but the hot breaths reassure him, although weak, he's still alive. That's all that matters. Sam's alive, and there's no sign of physical injury. The boy is only frightened out of his mind.
Gently placing one arm under Sam's knees and the other under his shoulders, John hoists his son into his arms and holds him close. He's thankful Sam hasn't gotten too big, even with his recent growth spurt; he was still a skinny kid and light enough to carry with out too much trouble.
"Dean, go let the cops know we're taking him home," John orders and his eldest reluctantly turns away from his family. "And make sure you give them our number and address."
He watches Dean hurry away, unable to let either of his children too far from his sight at this point. Too much has happened in the last couple of hours for him to feel safe, letting his kids wander too far from him.
Once Dean is back at his side, the three of them head back to the car, John's arms starting to burn a bit from the extra weight he's carrying. Dean slips into the back seat, allowing his father to gently lay Sam next to him.
John gets into the front seat and starts the car as Dean pulls his brother closer, letting the boys head rest against his thigh. Sam's eyes flutter open slightly with the moment and it takes a minute for him to become aware of his surroundings once again.
He feels safe this time. The warmth of his brother, the sound of the Impala, and the presence of his father, let him know he's home. He's safe and…
"I'm okay?" he questions softly, not realizing he's spoken out loud.
"Didn't I tell you to trust me, kiddo?" Dean questions from above him.
"I'm sorry, Dean," his voice cracks again but his eyes meet his brother's. "I'm sorry I doubted you."
"It's okay, little brother," Dean smiles, letting his hand rest affectionately on his brothers head. "I wasn't so sure of myself there for a bit either."
Sam lets out a small laugh and turns his head to the side, peering at the back of his father's head. He can see John's fists clenching the steering wheel tightly, so tightly they're starting to turn white.
"Are you okay, Dad?" Sam asks, sounding too much like a scared five-year-old for any of their liking.
John turns for just a second to look at his son. He can't help but let a smile. Both of his boys are fine. After one long-ass day and a very close call, both of his boys are safe.
"Couldn't be better, Sammy," John says truthfully, stealing one more glance at the two sitting in the back seat.
"Good," Sam whispers. "Hey, Dad?"
"Can we take a break from hunting for awhile?" he asks softly, scared of the answer.
"Why?" John realizes it's a dumb question but he can't stop from asking it.
"I just can't watch it anymore," the boy's eyes close again and Dean tightens his hold on him. "I can't watch anyone else I care about get hurt, especially you and Dean. I just can't watch anymore death."
Dean spots a wet streak roll down his brother's cheek and he gently chases it away with his thumb, waiting for the teen to open his eyes. When their eyes finally do meet Dean smiles and lightly pats Sam's head.
"How's a little fishing sound?" John asks, turning to his boys with a smile.
Things are okay, or at least they are getting there. It will take Sam some time to get over what he's witnessed and experienced but it'll get there. His boys are safe and that's all that matters.