This one is dedicated to DreamShadows, who suggested me writing this after reading The Thirteenth Hour. Girl, I hope I didn't disappoint!

Set Pre-series, Sam has just turned 15, Dean is nineteen, and John is pissed!

Alas I don't own them, but if I did … mmmm the things I would do!


"I don't want to go."

Ever since Sam Winchester had hit puberty, he and John had butted heads. But if Dean were honest with himself, it began long before puberty – it just took Sam that long to start fighting back.

"I don't care if you don't want to go, Sam, this was not a request, it was an order."

John's deep baritone echoed from the kitchen, where his fifteen year old brother was holed up, no doubt studying or doing something equally as useless, like homework. Dean never understood the want or desire to decipher algebraic equations, but Sam enjoyed immersing himself in school, so in that Dean was at least supportive, even if he didn't agree or understand the reasoning.

"You never care what I want. Just once I wish you'd stop ordering and start being a father."

But now, as John's anger seethed in that all too low voice, Dean inched himself lower on the couch, hoping beyond hope that Sam didn't make the mistake of walking away (like Sam tended to do as of late) but as a flicker of movement caught his eye, he realized his brother was far too stubborn to have listened to that voice of reason that just had to be whispering inside his head.

"Don't you walk away from me."

John Winchester, in the epitome of angry father stormed out and snatched Sam by the arm, halting and spinning him so fast that the teen nearly fell right into him. All arms and legs since he hit his last growth spurt, sometimes Sam seemed to miscalculate his steps and fell right over his own two feet. At least when he wasn't concentrating. In soccer practice (Dean knew, he went as often as he could) or during a hunt, Sam's long limbs ate up the distance when needed.

Now, however, wasn't one of those times where his grace worked with him.

"Oh I'm sorry; I guess I forgot to ask permission … sir."

Even Dean could hear the sarcasm in his brother's voice, and cringed as he slowly turned to stare at the sight of his father as he physically shook Sam so hard Dean would later swear he heard his brother's teeth snap together. Never, in his nineteen years had Dean once feared that John would hit his brother … until that moment. He rose slowly, though what exactly he was going to do, he wasn't sure yet, he just knew he had to intervene before something terrible happened.

That something came when his father pinned Sam (who changed from seething anger to fear) to the nearest wall and all but growled out his next words.

"Shut up. If you know what's good for you, Sam, you'll shut up … just this once."

And Sam, for once, did. Dean had expected something astounding to happen, like some huge clap of thunder from God (or a damn demon!) – he even expected Sam to cry (because he sure as hell felt like it!) but true to his Winchester genes, Sam stood there, in that face off. And while there was a definite glassy sheen in his brother's eyes (and fear, let's not forget the damn fear!) he held his tears in check.

The tremble, however, could not be controlled, and perhaps it was that which drew John Winchester's emotions to just this side of fired-up pissed so that realization settled in and he stepped back.

But he didn't apologize. Oh no, the mighty John Winchester just didn't do things like that.

And Sam, for all his bravado and ire just moments ago stood frozen until the eldest Winchester broke the spell with a deep voice – the apology there in soft words, but never once spoken.

"Now get some sleep, we're leaving in the morning."

And then Dean understood. He knew dad was planning a hunt soon, but he hadn't been expecting them to be leaving so soon – and Sam had a date Saturday night, he'd even told the kid he'd drive him.

Sam, however, lacked understanding, and the look he shot Dean said as much. It was full of accusation (like why didn't Dean step in!) and hurt. He could have handled the blame, but the pain that flashed on Sam's face … that nearly tore him apart.

But it was only there a split second before Sam darted from the room, no doubt to covet tears that he didn't think Dean could hear.

Oh he heard, all too loudly. He just didn't know how to mediate when the two people he loved most in the world seemed at war half the time.

Nothing previously, however, prepared him for the cold war that was about to embark on the Winchesters.


Dawn came mighty early even though Dean barely slept a wink, though for as little as he slept, he was pretty sure that Sam slept even less. Every time he'd roll over, he'd see his little brother, laying on his back with a blank stare of the ceiling, but his few attempts of "You wanna talk about it?" only earned him his brother's back as Sam rolled to his side to face the opposite wall.

Eventually Dean got the hint, though as John's voice boomed out just as the sun was peeking over the horizon, Dean thought for sure that the cold shoulder his brother was giving him would have thawed just a little.

"Hey Sammy, time to get up…"

Sam just tossed the blankets aside and grabbed his clothes to depart for a quick shower – all without a word, not even a glance, not really. And while Dean could understand the hurt, he couldn't quite fathom a grudge lasting this long. And so he plotted to break down his little brother's defenses … one grin at a time, after all, who could resist the Dean Winchester charm?

"Sam, you're riding with me…"

Apparently his father could, but after 15 minutes of merely nods from Sam, John had no doubt realized something was up, and true to his stubborn genes, also decided he was going to break through Sam's own act of rebellion.

One look at Sam and Dean knew John had about a snowball's chance in hell of doing that. Especially since Sam didn't even nod that time, just hoisted up his rucksack and headed to their father's truck. No nod, no grunt, not even eye contact, just Sam complacently obeying – as if that had ever happened before.

It was going to be a long damn ride. He just hoped that this hunt was far more inviting than the distance his brother was putting between himself and the rest of the family. Hell, maybe he'd get lucky and some harpie would carry him off as her mate. She might be an ugly bitch, but her ta-ta's more than made up for it!


Blinking to look at a rather irritated John Winchester, Dean just smiled.

"Are you coming, or are you going to stand there and drool all day?"

Grabbing up his own bag, Dean headed for the Impala with a whimsical grin of giant titties … that faded as he glanced toward the truck. Sam was in the passenger seat, sitting as far from the driver's side as possible, with his head resting against the window.

A long damn drive indeed.


As it turns out, the hunt was a simple salt and burn that took all of five hours (as if that had ever happened in Winchester history!), outmatching their two day drive to get there. Two days in which Sam said … nothing.

Dean made faces at every rest stop, cracked jokes at every diner, and told a story so unbelievably stupid that even he found himself rolling his eyes during it. And while Sam, at times, appeared to be listening, he never once said a word. Dean didn't even get the petulant little brother look from him.

Dean was damn near at his wit's end!

"Sam, get changed, I want you to go out and run some laps."

Apparently his dad was too, though dad's idea of bringing someone around and Dean's were not exactly on the same train of thought. In fact, dad's train was on some crash course for no turn back mountain, while Dean's had been making steady progress up stubborn Sam pass with some luck and a few "I think I can's."

Sam, however, rose without a word to snatch up his sneakers and tug them on his feet.

"Dad, it's dark out."

"Sammy knows how to take care of himself."

Dean moved to the window of their current crap motel and glanced out. "It's starting to rain."

"He's a big boy, he can stand a little wet … can't you Sam?"

Sam just glanced his father's way before trudging out into the rain.

"And don't think about just standing under the awning, I'll be watching."

Dean just glowered, causing John to turn an incredulous stare at his eldest. "What?"


But it wasn't nothing … and Dean didn't sleep until Sam came in, hours later, soaked to the skin.


"C'mon Sammy, you know you can't stay mad at me…"

It was two weeks now, and Sam had gone from totally ignoring the other two Winchester's, to at least acknowledging Dean's presence with a glare or a roll of his eyes. That meant he was making progress!

John, for his part, had made Sam run laps until he threw up, and didn't seem to mind if it was pouring, he'd just stand under an awning and watch while Sam got soaked to the bone. It pissed Dean off, though as of yet, he hadn't voiced that ire, but he was pretty sure his dad knew damn well he wasn't a happy camper in this little portion of their joyride.

But Sam, for his part, had yet to speak a word to either John or Dean. It pissed John off, and worried Dean to no end. Sam was a stubborn bastard when he wanted to be, which meant that it could be the end of time before Sam said a damn thing!

"Awww, c'mon Sammy!"

That time he was given a look, one that had Sam opening his mouth as if to say, "It's Sam…" but quickly closed it again before he made that mistake.

"Hey, if you talk to me, I'll let you drive the Impala…"

Again with a look, one that clearly said what Sam did not … that he was only fifteen.

"Yeah, I know you're not old enough, but it's about time you learn." Another look and Dean waved him off. "And don't worry about dad, I'll handle dad."

Sam cast him a wary smile, one that spoke volumes without uttering a single word – which he hadn't in two full weeks!

And it was just that moment that their dad's knock signaled his entrance before the door actually opened.

"Hey boys, get your stuff packed, we're heading out to Jim Murphy's, seems he's been having a bit of trouble out there."

Sam didn't look that time, just grabbed up his bag to begin stuffing his things in there. Funny that Sam never gave dad the looks he did Dean.


Three days later and they were sitting around Jim Murphy's table over coffee, discussing what was more than likely a shape shifter, and Sam still hadn't said anything.

"So Sam, I hear you're a straight A student…"

Sam looked up to Pastor Jim and nodded with a slight look of embarrassment, but said nothing.

"Oh come now, I remember you being shy, but it hasn't been that many years that you can't talk to an old friend, has it Sam?"

"Sam isn't talking to anyone these days…"

Dean had opened his mouth to leap to his brother's defense when John decided to do it for him, though Dean doubted very seriously that it was to defend Sam at all.

"He's decided to act four again, Jim, so just do like the rest of us do and ignore him…takes away his fit throwing power."

Sam glanced between them, his jaw working with the anger (and hurt, Dean could definitely see that plain as day) before rising from the table and moving to the front door … which unbelievable didn't slam behind him. That meant Sam was more hurt than mad. Way more hurt.

Dean rose up, preparing to follow, when John's voice cut through the fog of his thoughts. "Sit down, Dean, Sam will work out his fit on his own and be back in when he simmers down."

An incredulous look was cast to his father, but reluctantly he sat, their talk of shape shifters and silver bullets lost to the stare he was fixating on the door.


They'd been at Pastor Jim's for four days when Sam came out early morning to find the kitchen empty save for the coffee that had no doubt been brewed for his father. Despite the fact that he was fifteen, Sam poured himself a cup – long nights and early mornings oft led to making due where one could … which oft times left Sam sleepy, and coffee seemed to take the edge off of that.

It was an hour later, and his third cup when Pastor Jim finally came in from outside. The look Sam cast him easy to read, even without words.

"You know, when I was your age, I used to give my father quite the fit…"

A breath was let out in exasperation. Sam doubted that the good Father ever had a dad like John Winchester. That, however, caused a chuckle from the man as he laid a hand on Sam's shoulder.

"Yeah, I know, he doesn't get you, Sam. He wants a hunter … like Dean. And you want to learn. To discover the world, and for him to be proud of you for your accomplishments…"

Hazel eyes were cast Pastor Jim's way, but with interest this time, and Jim nodded with another pat to Sam's shoulder.

"I think he gets it, at least in part. In John's own stubborn way that is. In fact, he and Dean went out after the shape shifter by themselves … all because he knows you aren't into this hunt…"

It was the first time Sam had nearly spoken in three weeks as he mouthed the word so clear to read – what, but the moment that Pastor Jim had said that his dad and Dean were out there … alone … his heart had sank somewhere in the pit of his stomach, making the coffee he'd drank want to come back up in the worst way imaginable.

Jim didn't even blink at Sam's mouthed word (he pretty much guessed the boy would talk when he was ready – and ready or not, he always came to life for Dean, especially when he thought Dean might be in danger.) just nodded toward the door. "A couple of hours ago…"

Without a word (not that that was something new in the last three weeks) Sam rushed up the stairs to the room that he and Dean shared, but was back out in a matter of minutes. Jim Murphy never had a chance to utter a word at stopping the youngest Winchester before he was out the door.


Sam had done the research for this gig, so it didn't take much to find his father and brother's whereabouts … but they had a good lead on him making catching up to them all the harder. The cab driver had given him an odd look when Sam had him let him off on the bad end of town (how else was Sam to get into the sewer without gaining too much notice?) but Sam just grabbed his bag, threw some money at the man, and took off down an alley.

But dad and Dean had a head start on him by at least an hour, if not more, so Sam hustled his way through the sewer until he was knee deep in shit (literally!) and the smell had him groaning and damn near gagging.

"I'm telling you, dad, leaving Sammy behind wasn't the best idea you've ever had..."

"I don't recall asking your opinion, Dean! Besides, he's the one who hasn't talked for three weeks now."

"Yeah, and you're the one who told him to shut up!"

The sounds of his father and brother echoed off the metal and stone, but sound tended to travel down here, bouncing off walls, rippling through water (and Sam didn't even want to know what was in there!) making it hard to determine just where they were coming from. A groan emitted from the teen as he trudged through gunk, his nose wrinkling at the prospect of what he was stepping in, but as he skidded around a corner, spotting his father and Dean just ahead and rounding another. Sam lifted a hand, nearly calling out when he spotted it … eyes that caught the glow of his flashlight, eyes dangerously close to his brother.

"Dean! Look out!"

A hiss came just as Dean swung around, the beam from his flashlight blinding Sam for a split second … a split second before blinding pain caused another light flashing behind his eyes, and then Sam was claimed in darkness.



Pain centered in his head, the sound of ungodly rock music blaring out, making him mumble, "Dean … turn that down."

"And here I thought you weren't talking to me, Sammy…"

His eyes peeked open to see Dean leaning close, too close … and the interior of his dad's truck.

"Personal … space…"

Moving back, a glare was shot his way, and Dean was giving him that look, the one that said he was in damn big trouble.

"What's the matter with you? Coming out here and drawing that shape shifter toward you like that, huh?"

"Somebody had to save your ass…."

Silence lingered between them for a moment, and Sam knew Dean was pondering how to break the ice, how to say he was sorry without losing face. So Sam broke it for him with a crooked grin that had him squinting at the little bit of light there was within the dark interior of the truck's cab.

"So … did you get the bastard?"

Before Dean could answer his father's face appeared, a grin splitting the worry lines Sam knew were there.

"Yeah, Sammy, we got him … thanks to you."

Sam grinned and closed his eyes, his nod saying it all. After all, sometimes action spoke louder than words.


DreamShadows, I hope you liked!! And to everyone else … share the love!!