Title: Still Waters Run Deep
Author: Maimat The Rat
Length: 1488 words
Spoilers: Set early just after Dead in the Water
Characters: Dean, Sam
Summary: Dean told Sammy to get lost. He told Sammy to go play in traffic. He told Sammy to take a long walk off a short pier. Sammy wouldn't leave him alone.
Special thanks for my wonderful beta, Jackfan2!
Dean gets up early and walks down to the dock, picking up pebbles and small rocks along the way. He sits down on the weathered boards at the end of the pier and looks out over the lake.
There is no wind, and the water is completely still. How long will it take for the lake to drain once the dam falls apart? Will the bodies be found once the water is gone?
As the first pebble breaks the surface, rings fan out around it. It is so peaceful here on the dock, that it is hard to believe someone lost their life here yesterday.
Drowning isn't the worst way to die. Dean can think of many nastier ways to go; strung up and slowly eaten by a Wendigo comes to mind as somewhat horrible. Dying, no matter how you go about it, is rarely pretty.
The weight of his cell phone feels like dead weight in his pocket. He and Sam both need to get new phones sometime today seeing as neither of them had time to think about emptying their pockets before jumping in the lake to find Lucas.
He feels vulnerable without a working cell phone, and he can't help but think, what if Dad phones and I can't answer? One of these days, it will happen, Dad will phone and explain everything. Dean knows John Winchester isn't dead. It just isn't possible.
But then, where is he?
And why? Does Dad know how Sam's girlfriend died?
Dean tosses another stone into the lake.
Yep, there are definitely worse ways to die than drowning; like being pinned to the ceiling and burned alive.
The hollow strike of footsteps against the dock come up behind him, and Dean throws another stone into the water.
"I never took you for a sunrise loving kind of guy. Kids, sunrises, what else aren't you telling me?" Sam asks as he sits down beside his brother.
Dean shrugs. "I've been thinking about that summer we spent on Lake Michigan."
"When I was in grade three? What about it?"
"You remember that diving game?" Dean asks.
Sam goes quiet; it takes a minute for him to respond. "I wouldn't exactly call that a game."
"No. Not so much." Dean tosses in another rock. "You know I'd never... you remember it was an accident, right?"
It was the boredom. Thirteen years old; stuck in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do, and only an annoying pesky little brother for company. When Dean finally did meet a boy his own age, the last thing he wanted was that annoying pesky little brother tagging along.
Dad was gone a lot, doing research and working at the local garage for extra money. That left Dean and Sammy alone with a lot of time of their hands.
At nine, Sammy didn't need Dean to babysit him anymore, so Dean couldn't figure out why he tried to tag along every time Dean wanted to hang out with Troy. So, Dean and Troy made up a new game, ditch the kid. Hide and seek worked best, but they were only able to do it twice before Sam caught on they weren't trying to find him, and he refused to hide anymore. But he still wouldn't leave them alone.
Troy found a bike for Dean and they told Sam if he could keep up he could play with them, but neither of them counted on the kid being so fast.
Dean told Sammy to get lost. He told Sammy to go play in traffic. He told Sammy to take a long walk off a short pier. Sammy just laughed like it was all a joke. Nothing worked. No matter how mean Dean was; Sammy wouldn't leave him alone.
They called him names, pushed him in a puddle, and threw his shoe up a tree. Sammy kept coming back for more. Sammy even seemed to find some of the things they did to him funny, so it couldn't be that bad right?
One day Dean and Troy were playing fetch with a stray dog, throwing a stick in the lake and watching the dog swim out to get it. Troy saw Sam coming towards them holding his yellow Transformer toy. The dog took the stick and trotted off into the bushes.
"Hey Sammy, wanna play with us?"
The boy's face lit up. "Sure!"
Troy grabbed the Transformer and threw it in the lake. "Fetch!"
As Sammy watched his toy sink, his eyes grew watery, and his hands clenched into fists.
"I'm telling Dad." Sam promised.
"If you tell, I'm telling him why the toilet backed up last week." Dean threatened.
Sammy fixed him with one last glare, then took off his shoes, and waded in. Troy laughed, and Dean laughed, Sammy really did look like a dog treading water and diving down to look for the toy. It was tangled with weeds and covered with mud, but Sam found it. As he climbed out of the water, Dean grabbed the toy again.
"Good boy, Sammy. Fetch!" This time Dean threw it even farther.
Sam turned and watched the toy sink again. He stomped his foot in frustration and shouted at Dean, "Fart breath!"
"Turd rocket. Go get it or I'll tell Dad you swore."
"I didn't swear, dork brain." Sam wiped his eyes and trudged back into the water. He swam out to where he saw the transformer sink, and dived under. He came back up once, twice, and then... and then he didn't come back up.
Troy laughed. "He's probably just messing with you. Let's go to my place and play video games."
"Shut up." Dean stared at the spot where he last saw Sam come up for breath. A few bubbles broke the surface, but no Sam. "SAMMY!" He hurriedly took off his shoes and stepped into the lake.
How long could Sammy hold his breath?
Dean waded in further and felt the weeds pulling at his feet. The weeds were a lot thicker than he thought they'd be. Where did Sammy go down? Dean dived and searched with his hands. Nothing. He came back up.
Troy was still on shore laughing.
"Do you see him?" Dean called out.
Dean dived again, and this time he found what he was searching for. He took a fistful of Sam's shirt and pulled. He couldn't move him. Dean adjusted his hold and wrapped his arms around Sam's chest. He pulled again. He wasn't coming back up without his brother.
This time he felt some give, he pulled again and they were free.
Sammy choked and coughed up water as they broke the surface and Dean held onto him as he swam. As soon as they were close enough that Sam could touch his feet to the ground, he pushed away from Dean and scrambled for the shore on his own. He sat, coughing, spitting water, and crying.
"We should get him some water wings." Troy laughed.
"Shut up." Dean sat as close to Sammy as he could, one hand resting Sam's back.
"What a cry baby. Maybe we should call the wah-bulance."
Troy was on his ass, nose bleeding before he even knew what hit him. "I said shut up." Dean stood over him; his face was wet too, and not just from lake water.
Troy ran home, and Dean didn't see him again.
"You know," Sam starts slowly. "We never did find that Transformer toy."
"But I did give you my Walkman."
Sam laughs. "You should have seen the look on your face when I threw it in the lake. I thought you were going to faint."
"It had Dad's Zeppelin tape in it." Dean throws another stone into the water. "I was a jerk."
The tranquillity of the lake and forest surrounding them preserves the moment.
"Well," Sam breaks the silence. "You want to know what I remember?" Their eyes meet, briefly before Dean looks back towards the lake. "I remember you stayed by my side after pulling me out of those weeds and helping me back to shore. I remember you breaking that kid's nose for making fun of me. That's the jerk of a big brother I remember." He got up and slapped Dean on the shoulder. "Let's go get breakfast."