Seventeen year old Sam is hurt, freezing, and frightened; struggling to survive the night. Confused and alone, his concussed mind thinks no one cares.
Setting: Pre Series.
Disclaimer: I don't own them, but I wished I did.
Beta: Big Thanks to Kokoda2007. She was so helpful, without changing the story, she changed the story. Amazing!
Sam's first aware moment was a solid wave of pain, not the kind of pain that was taken care of with a band aid and a hug. No, this pain was white hot, and radiated down his forehead, into the back of his head. He gasped harshly for air. It hurt to breath . He tugged air slowly into his lungs. He blinked sluggishly attempting to bring his surroundings into focus, his head resting against something smooth. A metallic taste coated his tongue and lips. Where was he? He felt his body shiver and noted the smell of old leather and Dean. The Impala? He struggled to keep his eyes open, as they tugged heavily against his face. He gazed in the darkness, through the spider web of the cracked windshield and blinked. Was that snow ? He struggled to remember what had happened. Football game… date…snow…. His thoughts were fuzzy. His head hurt and he couldn't seem to focus on just one thought. Upside down? His arm was curled beneath his head, his fingers looming out in front of his face at an odd angle. How strange, how's my arm turned like that? He wiggled, pain spiking down his arm to his shoulder, tears rising to his eyes. Arm hurts, move it . He twisted, motivated to release his arm from beneath him. His free hand flailed around, fingers grasping for purchase as he attempted to right himself in the darkness. Big mistake. He fell harshly against the dash, the mirror, and the steering wheel, arm still dangling around his forehead. A low moan escaped from his lips. The nausea rolled over him, as his head pounded, ears ringing loudly. He lay perfectly still. He struggled to catch his breath as the pain overwhelmed him. He wanted to lift his head, but all he could manage was to turn it slightly to the side. No. No. No. Don't throw up… He felt the bile rise up in his throat and roll off his lips, splashing on the gear shift and landing in a puddle below his face. Dean? He drifted, the fog around his mind hovering in closer as his eyes slowly closed. His last conscious thought was of his brother. Dean?
Dean leaned into the refrigerator and gazed around at the contents. His fingers gripped a Bud Light and eased the door shut, eyes darting up to the clock on the kitchen wall. 11:15 p.m., Sam was late. I am so kicking his ass. Maybe he's getting laid. A snarky grin rose to Dean's lips and he shuffled back to the ratty living room of the three room apartment their Dad had dumped them in three weeks ago. He yanked up the T.V. remote and eyed his cell phone. He would give Sam ten more minutes. His mind wondered two days back, the conversation with his wayward father before he left on this hunt.
"So, when we leaving on this new hunt?" Dean's piercing blue eyes gazed directly at his Dad; fingers busily cleaning the weapons. John Winchester stuffed garments into a duffle on the chair, eyes darting up to Dean and back to his work.
"You're not." John Winchester offered flatly, "I need you to stay here with Sammy." He looked hastily up and then away from his eldest stern glare. He moved quickly to his weapons bag.
Dean's fingers stopped their motions as he glared at his father.
"Why?" He questioned, confusion darting across his features.
"Listen Dean, Sam's head is not in the game. He wonders off, loses focus. The attitude, I just don't want to deal with it. Not while I'm hunting this thing that killed your mother."
"Dad…come-on. He's just a teenager. No different than I was. He likes going with us." Dean dropped the shotgun he was cleaning to his lap, eyes imploring his father to reconsider his opinion.
"No Dean, he's different. Sam needs to take things more seriously." John's tone was abrupt, and Dean felt his own anger turning up a notch.
"Sammy is a liability….always whining, complaining…." His Dad's words faded down to silence, and Dean looked keenly at his face.
"What?" Dean furrowed his brow at his Dad's wide eyes. He felt the presence behind him, saw his father's face fall, and whipped his head around to see his younger brother standing in the doorway, eyes moist and large, mouth agape.
"Look Sam, I didn't mean…" His father stepped forward, eyes fixated on his youngest, his open hand reaching out toward him.
"NO, Forget it Dad, I …I understand." Sam whispered as he brushed past his Dad and stomped heavy footed toward the bedroom, slamming the door behind him.
"Damn it, Dad." Dean snarled at his father. His concerned eyes followed his brother's hasty exit from the room.
John rolled his eyes and dug his hand through his messy hair. A pissed off look settled on his face. "He'll get over it." He said abruptly, his fingers grabbing the duffle bag from floor and slinging it to his shoulder. "I'll be back in couple of days. I left 150.00 on the kitchen counter. Watch out for your brother."
"Dad…wait." Dean stood, eyes darting from the closed bedroom door and back to his Dad's face. But John was gone, the apartment door slamming shut, his voice echoing behind him, "I'll have my cell phone, call me."
Dean released an angry breath, and slammed his hand down against the couch cushion. He was left once again to deal with the aftermath of his fathers harsh words.
Since Dean had turned 21, his Dad seemed to stay gone longer and longer on every solo hunt. He left Dean in charge. Strict orders to "take care of Sammy". Dean shrugged, shaking his head. He had looked out for Sam his entire life, taken care of him; he certainly did not need to be told to do it. It was ingrained in his being. It was who he was, what he did. He was also left with cleaning up the verbal abuse that his father dished out to his kid brother on a weekly basis. It pissed him off that his Dad always let words escape from his mouth, before he thought about what he was saying. Dean always caught in the middle, Sam and Dad arguing all the time. Sam's teenage attitude was wearing thin on them all, but Dad's relentless hunt was also a pain in his ass. He knew they needed to rid the world of evil, avenge his mother's death, but the constant bickering between Sam and his Dad was going to drive him nuts.
Dean shook his head, and glanced at the clock again. Where was Sam? It had been a long two days since Dad had left. It had taken Dean four hours to get his kid brother out of the bedroom, another 24 hours to talk about it. Actually, argue about it. A stupid conversation about Dad, hunting, and Sam's attitude. He slumped to the kitchen chair, recalling the harsh words with his brother earlier in evening. He wasn't really angry at Sam, just made that his Dad always created these messes. Why couldn't they just get along? He remembered the pained look on Sam's face, and his own harsh words reverberating in his head.
Dean heard the front door slam and Sam's school books thud down against the coffee table. He glanced up at his brother, making his grand entrance from school, and rolled his eyes, then settled back to looking at his Guns and Ammo magazine.
Sam eyed his older brother, and stood for a moment, shuffling uncomfortably.
Dean glanced up again. "What?"
Sam looked wide eyed at his older brother, then blurted, "Its Friday night….ah…can I borrow the Impala?"
Dean raised his head, eyes darting at his little brother. "You, my car, I don't think so. What Sam, you think I don't have a life? It's Friday night." A grin rose on his lips, he so loved messing with his little brother.
"De...a…n…" Sam whined, abruptly dropping to the couch in an exasperated motion, pleading look rising on his face.
"Sammy, why would I loan you my car?" Dean flung the book to the floor, grabbed up the remote, and flipped nonchalantly through TV channels, eyes flickering across to his baby brother. "The Geeks having a book club meeting or something?" Dean grinned.
"I got a date; okay….I asked a girl to the football game." Sam huffed out, a light red hue adorning the youngest Winchester's cheeks.
"Wow, Sammy. I can't believe it. Is she cute?" Dean smirked brightly at his little brother.
"Ye...yeah, she is in my sociology class. Her name is Ethel Murrow." Sam smiled widely, then frowned as Dean began to chuckle.
"Ethel?" Sammy…ain't no way you're getting laid by some girl named Ethel." Dean laughed loudly at his own joke, watching as his little brother sulked.
"You're an ass, just like Dad." Sam stammered out, his lips pursing in an angry glare.
Dean's laughter died instantly on his lips. He stared at his little brother. "Sam, Dad is not an ass. He just….he takes the hunt seriously, man. Maybe, if you would loose the attitude, take it seriously too, you guys might get along."
Sam rolled his eyes. "Attitude, what? You got to be kidding me. Are you taking up for him, Dean? You heard him, he's an ass?" Sam's voice quivered with anger. "Maybe, I don't want to take the hunt seriously; maybe I have something else planned for my life. Maybe, you should too Dean. Don't you want a life?" He stood quickly, stammering as he yanked his books off the table with one hand, eyes flitting to his brother.
Dean stood glaring at his little brother, eyebrows arching angrily across his face. "Whatever Sam. You need to grow up."
Sam's angry face gawked at his brother, bottom lip trembling slightly with Dean's words. "So… can I take the car or what?"
Dean reached into his pocket and flung the car keys at his brother's head. "Put gas in her and be back here by 11:00. Got it?"
Sam's hand jerked up and whipped the car keys from the air, as he turned hastily on his sneakers and darted from the room. "Whatever…" he whispered, as he blinked back the moisture that was brimming just below his eyelids.
Dean heaved a frustrated sigh, brought his hand up to tug through his hair, eyes watching Sam as he moved from the room. He turned to stare blankly at the T.V. Would he ever be able to get his Dad and brother to get along?