One Little, Two Little, Three Little Demons

Chapter One: The Dark Haired One

"It's okay, Dean," John reassured his oldest son. "Sammy will be fine. We'll figure it out. Why don't you go back to bed?"

Dean shook his head yes, but remained planted where he stood next to John's bed, holding his little brother's limp hand in his. John sighed, but did not press the issue further. Dean was terrified. Could he blame him? So was he, after all. John continued to stroke his youngest son's back, holding him close to his body. Sammy made no sounds or movements; the only indications that he was conscious were his racing heartbeat and wide staring eyes. God, what did I miss? John thought silently. WHAT DID I MISS?

"You want to sleep with us?" John asked Dean a moment later.

Dean nodded his head yes again and climbed into bed next to Sammy, still tightly holding his little brother's hand.


Two months ago…

"But I don't wanna move again!" Seven year-old Sam protested as he crossed his arms in front of his chest.

"You'll like this new town, Sammy. Lots of room to run around," John said optimistically as he stuffed his clothes into his duffle bag.

"I don't care! It's hard to make new friends!" Sam said with a frown as he stamped his foot.

"Well, maybe if you weren't such a whiny bitch it would be easier!" Eleven year-old Dean shot back.

"Dean, watch your mouth and leave your brother alone," John reprimanded his oldest son. When John saw Sam stick his tongue out at Dean in response, he did his best to hide a smile.

"Well he is," Dean mumbled.

"Cut it out. Both of you," John said. "And hurry up and pack your stuff. If they charge us extra for being here past check out time, it's coming out of both of your pockets."

John suppressed another smile when his sons predictably rushed to grab their things out of the drawers and off of the floor.

"Can I sit in the front?" Sam asked hopefully as John threw the last of their bags into the trunk of the Impala.

"No," Dean answered simply as he hopped into the front seat and shut the door.

"But he always gets to sit in the front!" Sam protested to their father.

"Because I'm the oldest," Dean answered after he stuck his head out of the window.

"You can sit in the front next time, Sammy, okay? We have got to get going," John said.

Sam didn't say anything else, but Dean recognized his brother's classic pouting expression easily enough. He smiled victoriously when Sam climbed into the backseat a moment later.

After John climbed into the driver's seat, he took one last look at the run down building as he drove them away from their latest home. A home that was a crappy motel room, sure, but it had been home to them for a while nonetheless. John felt sorry for his boys about that, but he had no choice. Hunting was a job that was difficult on all of them in more ways than one, but that was the cards they had been dealt when something unknown murdered his wife and the boys' mother on Sam's six month birthday. Until he could finally find out what it was and how to kill it, he would continue to kill anything evil he found find along the way. Even if it didn't bring him any closer to killing it and avenging Mary's death, it could save some other family from the same other horrible fate.

John glanced over at Dean who was fiddling with the radio. Dean seemed to love the hunting lifestyle, always thirsty for knowledge about the supernatural and anxious to move onto the next town. But not Sam. John next glanced in the mirror at his youngest son who was staring out the window, doing his best to hide the fact that he was crying. Sam was so sensitive, like his mother was, and it killed John that he could never tell him that everything was going to be okay. Because he didn't know that. So he did the next best thing that he could think of at that moment.

"Hey, Sammy?" John asked.

John waited for Sam to compose himself before continuing to speak, not wanting to needlessly embarrass him in front of Dean.

"You pick where we eat lunch, okay?" John asked. "Just tell me when you see where you want us to stop."

Sam smiled, and John couldn't help but smile in return. Sam's smile could light up a room. Another attribute he got from his mother.

"All right!" Sammy said as he quickly wiped the tears from his cheeks with his sleeve.

"Hey!" Dean said, his turn to protest now. "He picked last time. It's my turn!"

"I don't think so," John responded, still smiling.

"Why not?" Dean asked.

"Because I'm the father," John answered simply.

Dean frowned but did not protest further, always mindful of his father's wishes.

"Fine. I'm not hungry anyway," Dean said.

Everyone laughed a moment later when Dean's stomach grumbled, and all arguments were forgotten. Forty-five minutes later, everyone was settled in a booth at McDonald's. Dean was secretly glad that Sammy had chosen this fast food place for lunch, even though he would never give him the satisfaction of saying it. More food for the money was always his favorite.

"So, dad, what are we hunting next?" Dean inquired excitedly, not bothering to finish his mouthful of food first.

"Dean. Swallow and then talk," John answered.

Dean swallowed quickly and then opened his mouth to show it was empty.

"Eww!" Sam said as he covered his eyes.

John didn't miss the fact that Sammy was smiling though. Dean's comedic behavior was a constant source of enjoyment for them, a welcome diversion from their often grueling daily routine of hunting.

"Don't know yet. But there have been a number of demonic omens popping up in the town where we're headed. Can you give me an example of a demonic omen, Sammy?"

Dean squirmed in his seat, anxious to give his father the answer. Now this kind of test he would always pass with flying colors.

Sammy stuck his tongue out a bit as he thought about his response.

"Umm," Sam began.

"Lighting storms!" Dean blurted out.

"Dean, I asked your brother," John said gently. "Sam?"

"He said what…what I was going to say," Sam answered quietly.

"I know more ways, dad!" Dean jumped in quickly. "Mutilated animals. Dead plants-."

"Okay, okay. Good job, Dean," John said with a smile before turning to his youngest. "It's okay. Sam," John said as he ruffled his hair. "You'll get another turn. Now, Dean, what is one of the fastest way to determine if someone is possessed by a demon?"

"Throw holy water on 'em!" Dean answered triumphantly.

"You got it," John answered as he held out some change. "Now go buy yourself an ice cream cone."

"Yes!" Dean cheered as he snatched the money out of his father's hand and raced from the table to the counter.

"One more chance, Sam," John said as he turned back to the smaller boy. "How do you kill a werewolf?"

"Silver bullet!" Sam answered with a big smile.

"Great!" John said as he pulled some more change out of his pocket. Sam smiled and took the money from his hand. After counting the coins, he looked at his father in confusion.

"But you didn't give me enough money to get you a cone too."

"Here we are boys," John said wearily after he unlocked the motel room door and walked inside.

"Ugh," Dean commented. "Better get your vacuum cleaner out, Samantha. This place is a mess!"

"Be quiet, Dean," Sam responded, unperturbed by his brother's usual good natured teasing comments as he walked over and sat down on one of the queen beds.

"You boys get ready for bed right away," John said. "It's very late. And you boys have school tomorrow."

"But there's a good horror movie on t.v. Could be good research," Dean said.

"Nice try. Bed. Now," John ordered. "Sammy, why don't you-,"

John didn't need to finish his sentence, his youngest son already asleep on the bed.

Sam walked with Dean and his father to the principal's office, eyeing the other children as they did him as they passed by. Sam already felt like they didn't like him, as if they could already sense that he was very different from them. When he looked down at his feet, he felt Dean's hand on his shoulder.

"Don't worry, Sammy. Anyone bothers you, you tell me and I'll kick some ass," Dean whispered so his father couldn't hear.

Sam smiled, and a bit of the anxiety washed away. Not because he was planning on telling Dean to fight anyone for him, but because Dean really was a good brother when it mattered.

Unbeknownst to the Winchester clan, three boys noticed Sammy because he was exactly the kind of different they had counted on.

"There. The dark haired one," the one blonde haired boy said to the other two brown haired boys.

"He doesn't look like much, Jason," the taller of the other two commented as they watched them disappear into the principal's office.

"Well, that's not for you to decide, now is it, Jonathan!" Jason said as he punched him hard in the arm.

"Ow!" Jonathan protested.

"He IS one of the chosen ones. Therefore he IS the one that we want. Got it?" Jason reiterated.

"Okay, okay!" Jonathan conceded as he rubbed his throbbing arm.

"The father was so gullible to bring them here. Little does he know that we left the signs on purpose to draw them here," the shorter of the brown haired boys commented with a sly smile.

"Exactly, Rob. Humans. So predictable," Jason said, smiling too. "You all know what to do?"

The other two nodded their heads in understanding. When the bell rang a moment later, they went their separate ways to class.

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