AN: Alright... I have no idea if this one will be as good as the original, but I'm willing to give it a shot, how about you. Don't forget... this is the sequel to The Long Way Home, so if you haven't read it, you might want to.
Nowthen... Disclaimer: I own nothing of Kripke's creation or of the CW, WarnerBros, ect... I'm just playing with them, and will put them back when done... Thank you!!
Sam hated that Jenna wasn't there today of all days, he wasn't sure he'd be able to give the speech without her. Sighing, he knew it wasn't her fault that she had come down with the flu, but he still missed her. It had been two months since the day on the beach and in that amount of time they had gotten closer; in fact his brothers kept teasing him about booking a church and finding a good caterer. Smiling, he couldn't help but find the whole idea amusing; he had classmates who's parents were trying to keep their kids apart, but his brothers and the Colonel seemed determined to push him and Jenna together.
"Hey Sam, you ready to do this?" Chad Montgomery asked giving him a playful punch on the shoulder.
Smiling and shaking his head at the same time, Sam knew that he would be next but didn't really want to do it. Everyone in the class had to pick a topic and write a speech defended their point of view. It wasn't that he hadn't done the research; it was that it was a topic that would shock most of the people who heard it. Most everyone thought he'd write about his condition and the problems that society brings upon those afflicted, but he knew that would be too easy so he thought of his own life and after a series of 'what ifs' sprung out a topic that had shocked Jenna so much she cried at the thought; his topic was about children growing up in families that don't want them and how they should be given to those who do. He hadn't talked to his brothers about it, in fact he made a point of not discussing it at all, but it had been something that he had been thinking about; how his life could have been so different, how it could have turned what he has now into something so wrong.
Pulled out of his musings, he realized that Mr. Franklin was calling his name. Taking a deep breath he stepped up to the podium and began his speech, hardly needing to look at his paper as he knew the statistics as if they were burned into his brain, knew first hand what an unloving parent could do when left unchecked, and knew how it felt to look into the darkness and know that the good things that you hear about are for other people not you. He knew these things, but wouldn't change any of his experiences because of the people he now had in his life; his brothers who were always there no matter what time of day or night or what the situation, a wonderful caring girlfriend who still had a softness about her even though she knew how harsh the world could be, friends who have already gone the extra mile to make sure that he was sheltered from as much censure as they could so he could continue to fulfill a promise. All in all, he was lucky and didn't mind letting everyone know about it.
By the time he was done, the whole class sat in silence and he wondered if maybe he had totally missed the point of the assignment. When Mr. Franklin continued to look at him strangely he decided that it was time to go to his desk, but the bell rang so he was able to grab his back pack and head out the door instead. Feeling the need to get some air, he ducked through the cafeteria to sit in the atrium and collect his thoughts. Somehow he knew that he shouldn't have done that particular topic, now everyone knew exactly how twisted he actually was.
"Dude, you think too much." A voice from the doorway commented as four figures moved closer to him.
Looking at Chad first, Sam shook his head. "I'm an idiot. Everyone else was doing topics like Organic vs. Mainstream and Recycle: Does it really help? What was I thinking?" he asked the group before looking at them. When he returned to school, not only were his brothers, the Colonel, Jenna and Vic expecting trouble, they were determined to walk him into the school and each class if they had to. When they reached the front steps, his teammates walked up to his entourage and respectfully, but firmly stated, "We'll take it from here." leaving no doubt as to what would happen if anyone messed with Sam. Now he was facing them after making the biggest fool out of himself, and it wasn't sitting well with him.
A scrawny kid not quite six foot tall yet smiled, "Sam, you have nothing to be embarrassed about. Man, don't you get it, most of us only hear things like that on the news; it doesn't touch us. Hearing it from someone we know, it hits hard. You did good man, really."
Sam looked at Toby and wondered if they were giving him a hard time, but suddenly understood they were serious. Most of them never saw what life was like for thousands of people, to them life was a bunch of get together's including brunches and yachting, they had no idea what it was like to feel lucky at having a full meal in their stomach instead of bag of chips from a vending machine.
"Yeah Sam, you did real good, quit worrying. You keep this up and you'll get sick and not able to go with us to Regional's that's coming up."
Nodding, he knew they were right, he needed to let go of it. Taking a deep breath, he stood and smiled. "Ok, so who's got the excuse this time of why all of us are late to Mr. Dupree's seminar?"
Dean knew that he was in trouble; he just had that feeling. After all, things had been going way too good for way too long. When he heard the Colonel yell his name, he couldn't help but sigh and hang his head for a moment before going into the office and closing the door. He knew what was coming, and he wasn't sure if he was ready.
"Dean, I need you to get ready to go. It's a simple pick up and drop off, but it's in South America and the diplomat is insisting on a military escort. I know you're worried about leaving Sam, but the other Musketeers will be here and I really need to know that everything is taken care of and I know that if anything does go wrong you can handle it."
'Yep, knew I wasn't going to like it.' Dean thought as he thought about what he was expected to do. 'Great, I leave my kid brother behind just so I can have the privilege of babysitting some pompass ass.'
Terrance knew that Dean didn't want to go, but that unfortunately was one of the reasons why he decided on him in the first place. He had noticed how much Dean had been staying at home more while his leg healed, but even after would barely leave the apartment unless he had to, which usually entailed chasing after Sam; and it was driving the younger boy nuts. They all knew that if Sam wasn't at school or the apartment then he was with Jenna, but for some reason Dean took it upon himself to make sure that his little brother was where he said he was, as well as making certain that no one would bother him while he was away from home. It had Sam looking over his shoulder every two minutes and that disturbed everyone else around him.
"Colonel, you know that I'll go anywhere that you send me, but what about…"
"Dean, you know that those brothers of yours aren't going to let anything happen to Sam. Now what's really going on? You've been acting like a nutcase ever since you got him back."
Dean couldn't tell the Colonel what really had him nervous, he'd be in lock down quicker than a wink; not that he'd really blame him for it, it was just too suspicious. John was dead, Bobby made sure that any and all remains were taken care of properly, but he knew that there was something after his little brother still and it was making him a nervous wreck. "Sir, I'm just worried about Sammy. He seems fine, but we all know that he'll put up a brave front just so he won't be a bother to anyone."
Nodding, Terrance knew that was true, but he'd also seen a difference in Sam, as if he was starting to see that he had others around him who cared about him and wanted to help. It was a nice change, one he'd been hoping for since the day he opened his front door in the middle of the night to a soaked and terrified Sam.
"Sir, I know you think I'm insane, it's just that…"
"With everything that's happened, you're wondering if the other shoe is going to drop, right?"
Shocked, Dean looked at the Colonel and wondered if the man could read minds. Fighting down the urge to yell Christo, he instead nodded and kept his mouth shut.
The Colonel nodded and smiled, "Dean, I'd be lying if I said that I didn't worry sometimes too; the kid's been through more in the last several years than most people deal with in their whole lifetime. That doesn't mean that you lose faith in him." he said, holding up his hand to shut Dean up. "You may not feel that you have, but he does. He's starting to think that you don't trust him to take care of himself even on the more basic of levels. You need to take some time and deal with this before you push him away."
Dean thought about that and wondered how he was supposed to do that. He'd failed his little brother so many times in the past, and now he was being told that he was being too protective. Looking at the Colonel he smirked, "So, is this my CO speaking or the hopefully Father in Law to be?"
Laughing, the Colonel dismissed Dean after giving him his orders and watched the other man walk out of his office. "Smart ass." He muttered in amusement.
The guys knew what was going on, but they also knew that Sam was still in the dark and they didn't like keeping their little bro in that predicament. Looking over at Dean it was Joseph who finally spoke up.
"So Dean, you're leaving in the morning?" he asked while trying to choke down the vegan pizza that Mandy had made them for dinner.
Choking, Dean didn't know whether he should be happy that someone had brought the subject out in the open or pissed because it had happened before he had talked to Sammy about it. When he looked up he saw his little brother watching him carefully, making him realize something.
"You knew!" he practically exclaimed at Sam, making the other boy nod his head quietly. "Why didn't you say something?"
Sam shrugged his shoulders, "I figured if you wanted me to know, you'd tell me."
The others silently watched the sparse exchange take place and none were eager to interrupt, this was something the two were going to have to take care of themselves. Of course if they'd had their way about it Dean would have called Sammy up right away to let him know of what was going on. Instead the stubborn fool had waited until after a certain little brother had dragged himself home after track practice, checking on his girlfriend, and then meeting with a realtor about another possible investment property; the kid was already worn out.
Feeling a little sore about the subject, Dean looked away for a moment before he found his voice again. "Look Sammy, it's not that I didn't want to talk to you about it, it's just I think it's too soon for…"
"For what Dean? For me to be left by myself for more than fifteen minutes? For you to trust that I can take care of myself without having my big brother get me out of trouble? What Dean is it too soon for?" Sam yelled, too tired to rein in his temper and too stressed to stop the words from spilling out of his mouth.
"Wha… wait a minute… I never said I didn't trust you! Damn it Sammy, don't you get it, there could be more people out there thinking like Dad and you want me to just hand you over to them?" Dean yelled back shocking the other men into action.
"Ok you two, enough. It's one thing to have a discussion, but it's totally different if you're yelling at each other." Stephen said, while trying to diffuse the situation.
Sam stood up and was about to head towards his rebuilt room but was stopped when Dean sprung up and beat him to the door. Facing his brother all Sam could think of was getting out, and unfortunately someone was in the way. "Move!" he demanded, not thinking further than that one word.
"Not until we talk Sammy." Dean said, then saw the look on his little brother's face and understood that something else was going on. Taking one step to the side so his brother wouldn't feel completely trapped, Dean continued. "It's not that I don't trust you Sammy, I don't trust the rest of the world with you."
"Hey!" came the simultaneous response from the other Musketeers.
Dean was just about to make his apologies to his friends and brothers when the kitchen phone rang. He watched at Sammy coldly answered it, then suddenly slam down the phone before he rushed out the room.
Surprised, the others chased after him and managed to catch up to him on the landing as he was about to carry his bike down the stairs.
"Sammy, what the hell…" Dean began, all the while worried that someone else from John's past had caught up with his little brother.
"That was Celia, Jenna's been admitted!" Sam yelled as he raced out the door into the night leaving his brothers standing there stunned.
AN: Well, how'd you like it so far??