"You Ever Dance With The Devil In The Pale Moonlight?"

Just Sam and Dean watching a movie but things are never simple for the Winchesters.

Disclaimer: Nope, I don't own the Winchesters, or Supernatural, or anything that cool so please don't rub it in...

1989 – Emmetsburg, Iowa

The Riviera Theatre's a small place, the kind of place which only ever shows two movies at a time. It's never very busy despite the love the elderly owner lavishes upon it, always ensuring the red carpet which runs from the plate glass entrance doors to the ticket kiosk is vacuumed daily although it's thread worn in places and smells kind of funny. However, most folks in town still choose to visit the multiplex out by the intersection. Probably because the multiplex is part of an obscenely successful chain of nationwide cinemas, has ten screens, sells foot long hot dogs and serves every flavour of Ben & Jerry's known to man. The Theatre is open every day, even on a Sunday and the owner's smile, which has developed an edge of desperate hope to it, is nervously flashed at anyone who lingers in the doorway to look at the film posters. Despite the Riviera Theatre's air of inescapable decay, Dean Winchester leans back in his cherry red upholstered seat and watches the "Batman" movie opening credits with a gigantic grin on his young face.

The toffee flavoured popcorn is verging on the stale side but Dean chomps his way through several huge mouthfuls with inherent glee. Sammy had insisted on a box of chocolate covered raisins. With his eyes agog at the rows of brightly packaged candy under a glass counter smeared with kiddie fingerprints Sammy had chosen something which too closely resembled fruit to be worthy of Dean's interest. So Sammy got to have the entire box to himself and had emptied half of it before the movie had even started. With popcorn filled cheeks Dean glances over at his six-year-old kid brother whose face is starting to look a touch green and sniggers in a way only loving big brother's can manage.

They're too young for the movie but it's amazing how easy it is to convince a grown-up to buy you some cinema tickets when you wave ten bucks in the face of a bum who's so anxious for a shot of hard liquor he'd buy a porn mag for a baby. They're too young for a lot of things life has dealt them but Dean wants to skip school and the darkened corner of a cinema seems a good place to hide. Not to mention that Dean had been bursting with eagerness to see the movie ever since he'd read about it in a week old newspaper discarded in the local Laundromat.

Sammy had been excited by the prospect of going to the cinema. A very rare treat for a family who watch every single dime like Ebenezer Scrooge on a good day but he'd been worried about skipping school. Worried to the point of near tears until Dean had gently reassured his little brother that all kids skip school every now and again and dad had always said that they need to try and fit in. Sammy doesn't hunt, not yet, not whilst his fingers are still too pudgy to grip the trigger of a Glock capably and his legs too short to give him enough speed. No, Sammy doesn't hunt, doesn't even know the truth about the horrors in the dark. Right now Sammy's life is as close to normal as it's ever going to get for a kid who lives like a nomad with a dad who's never around and a ten year old brother playing mummy. Dean hunts or at least tries to but it's hard when you're ten years old and at times so paralysed with fear you can't think straight. He's daddy's right hand man. A right hand man who's under five foot tall and still likes his drinks to come with a straw.

Going to the cinema is a welcome break for Dean, sitting in a cinema seat with a popcorn bucket in one hand and a soda in the other is a moment Dean truly intends to savour. There's a double-edged throwing knife tucked in the back of Dean's boot but if he doesn't think too hard about it he can pretend he can't feel the presence of cool steel chilling his warm skin.

The cinema is almost empty. It's ten thirty am on a Thursday morning after all but that's not the reason, the reason is that everyone and their grandma are at the multiplex most likely munching hot dogs that taste of paradise. There's just Sam, Dean and some old guy sat on his own at the back. The old guy Dean already has pegged as some creepy ass weirdo and if he even looks at Sam funny he's going to get a knife shoved somewhere painful. Then Batman is on the screen and Dean stops eyeballing the weirdo long enough for his jaw to drop open in awe because as far as Dean is concerned, Batman is awesome.

The movie has both brothers' undivided attention and they jump at the scary bits and laugh at the funny bits and around the time the Joker shows up Dean realizes Sammy isn't watching anymore, Sammy has his coat pulled right up over his head. Dean sucks in a breath and scans the darkened cinema for whatever it is that has his brother shaking. Shaking even though Dean's sitting right next to him but there are no ghosts, werewolves or bogeymen in sight just the old weirdo sat at the back. Dean shoots an annoyed glance over at him but he's fast asleep, his head lolling on his chest, his lips parted catching flies.

Then Dean remembers.

Remembers a murky night two years ago and four year old Sammy screaming as daddy shot the evil clown that was trying to suck the life out of little Marie Cooper. Sammy had been taken back to the motel and tucked into bed an hour later and had laid there trembling whilst Dean tried to smooth down the wayward curls that clung to his little brother's sweat soaked forehead. "Just a nightmare Sammy, it wasn't real." Dean had repeated the mantra till his throat was sore and he almost believed it himself. Dad had tried to protect them that night. Had told them to wait in the car but Sammy knew Marie from school and when he saw her walk into the fairground with her parents by her side he had hopped out of the Impala before Dean could grab him.

Dean looks up at the cinema screen in time to see Jack Nicholson's painted face cackle devilishly at Michael Keaton and he grabs Sammy's hand and runs out of the cinema with his brother dragged behind him.

When they're back at their low rent downtown two bed apartment Dean knows Sammy's trying to be brave but his brother's face isn't green anymore it's pale, too pale and his eyes keep flicking around the room as though he expects something (a clown) to jump out and eat him.

"Hey, Sammy?" Dean whispers placing a tall glass of cold milk in his brother's hand. Sammy's lip trembles and he doesn't answer like he's worried he'll start crying if he tries to say anything. "Do you want to know why I skipped class today?" Dean's not even sure he'd doing the right thing telling Sammy the truth for a change but it feels right.

Sammy sips at his milk and nods eagerly because he's the youngest Winchester and subsequently right at the bottom on the 'need to know' priority list.

"I'd got gym class today with Mr Brookes, you know he's a real hard ass right?"

Sammy giggles a little, Dean only uses words like 'ass' when daddy's not at home.

"I'd got gym but I didn't want anyone to see these." Dean lifts up his t-shirt and Sammy's eyes widen at the rainbow of purple and yellow bruises covering Dean's thin chest.

"Did daddy do that?" Sam whispers shocked, an avalanche of tears threatening to fall.

"Jeez Sammy no, of course not." Dean replies sternly because dad might be hard as nails but he doesn't hit his kids, not ever. "Remember that man on the news, the man they said was hurting people?" The man was killing people, ripping out their insides and eating their hearts. The man was a werewolf but Sammy doesn't need to know the fine details.

Sammy nods again, turning around in his seat to give Dean his full attention.

"Well dad and I stopped him last week."

"When I was staying at Pastor Jims?"

"That's right Sammy. That man's not going to hurt anyone anymore."

"Is dad like a superhero, like Batman?"

"He's just like Batman which means he can kill the Joker no problem."

Sammy smiles and Dean smiles right back when he sees his little brother's face has regained a touch of color. "Then you're like Robin?" Sammy asks pointedly.

"Kinda...but no way would I ever wear tights." Dean lifts up his arm and Sammy slides over on the coach until he's lent right up against Dean's side. "Batman and Robin, dad and me, we'd never let anyone hurt you Sammy." He whispers into the curly chestnut hair but Sammy's already let his eyes sink closed because he's six years old but he knows that much about life at least.

-0-

Okay I'm thinking about doing a second chapter to this, set in Season Three using the same theme of Sam and Dean watching a movie. Please take a moment to review and let me know what you think.

For those who've never watched "Batman" – where've you been?! And...erm...the title of this fic is a quote from the movie.