This one-shot was inspired by windscryer, and one of her posts in a discussion titled "Things I've learned from Supernatural fanfiction". It didn't leave me alone for the entire weekend until I sat down and wrote it. Since she was the one who inspired this story, this one is for windscryer. You can find the actual wording of her post that triggered this story in the end-notes.
This is a pure smush-fest (of the gen and absolutely non-slashy kind). Pretty much plotless, too. Just lots and loads of brotherly love.
Summary: Everybody has that one place where they feel safe, no matter the circumstances. Even Samuel Winchester.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything Supernatural. That belongs solely to their rightful owners. No copyright infringement is intended and no money is being made with this.
No spoilers whatsoever. How could there be, without a real plot? ;-)
Everybody had it, that one place that automatically made them feel safe. No matter the circumstances.
The rich and the paranoid built panic rooms in their houses to protect them. Others found different means of making them feel safe – bars in front of the windows, alarm systems, remote-controlled locks and floodlights. But that wasn't what Sam was thinking about. No, he was thinking about more abstract places here. Places that gave a far more primal, far more precious feeling of absolute safety. A feeling that stemmed from a time when you were small and weak enough to need something to give you safety, a feeling that grew and stayed with you even when you outgrew that age.
During his childhood, Sam had stayed in a few places long enough to get to know some of the children better. He wouldn't call it making real friends, but there were a precious few classmates Sam had gotten to know well enough to know that everybody had those safe places, and that they were different for everybody.
Some of his friends had tree houses, places high above the ground where nothing bad could get to them. Others retreated into their rooms, built caves of blankets and pillows underneath their beds to escape the fear of monsters and the sounds of shouting adults from below. Others yet again had their safe spot far away and reclusive, a spot to retreat to when the real world became all too real to deal with.
Over the course of his childhood, Sam had learned that it was normal to have such a safe place. Just as normal as having a home, a family, hopes and dreams.
Sam's childhood had not been normal. Not by a long shot.
Home had been the Impala, small and cramped and always on the road, never staying in a place for long enough to make that become his home. Family had been his father and his brother, always missing that integral part that would have made them a normal. Hopes and dreams had been things for the darkness of the night, when his father wasn't there to crush them with the reality of their life.
In Sam's childhood, amongst ghosts, spirits and creatures, safety had been a luxury.
But Sam had always had a safe place. No matter how unusual his life had been, that was one thing Sam had always shared with the other, normal children.
It hadn't been a tree house because they had never stayed in one place long enough to build one. It hadn't been a burrow underneath his bed either, because contrary to other children he had known what lurked in the darkness and what could hide underneath your bed if you weren't careful. And it hadn't been a reclusive spot because his father and brother had never left him out of their sight for long enough to find recluse.
His safe place had always been something else entirely. It still was.
It was the place where three year old Sammy had been able to fall asleep despite his fear of the dark and the nightmares.
It was the place where nine year old Sam had calmed down when their father had been late to return from a hunt, and he had been afraid that something bad had gotten him.
It was the place where Sam had curled up after he had seen his first spirit, when the reality of just how different their life was from normal had finally hit.
It was the only place that had been able to make him feel safe and whole whenever the memory of the mother he had never gotten to know caught up with him and threw his world into darkness and pain.
It was the place where he was now. And it made him feel safe. He knew he was in the safest possible place, the place where he could rest and let go because nothing could get to him. It didn't matter that his injured leg was throbbing, and that the pounding in his head drowned out nearly all other sounds. It didn't matter that the room around them was in complete chaos and disarray thanks to one pissed off poltergeist that they had sent into the great beyond, or that he was going to spend the night here because the light snowfall outside had turned into a frigging blizzard while the poltergeist had thrown every heavy object it could find at them.
None of that mattered.
Because he was safe.
"It's okay. We'll be out of here as soon as that storm lets up, get a real bandage on your leg. Once I dig the car out of the frigging snow, that is."
Sam tiredly nodded his head. Not a good idea, since the whole world started spinning at the small movement. He heard a groan and distinctly knew that it had come from him.
"Hey! Don't fall asleep on me here, concussion-boy."
The arm around his shoulder tightened perceptibly, and a small smile stole across Sam's face despite the pain.
"Good. Because I'll not drag your unconscious and comatose body to the car. Not in this snow."
The smile widened, and Sam turned his face into Dean's shoulder a little more.
It had gotten rarer, that Sam got the chance to be in the one place that made him feel safe. He had grown older, grown out of being Sammy, grown out of the need to be constantly sheltered and protected. They might be brothers, would always be brothers, but they were also guys. The privilege of being a little brother only stretched so far, and the lengths of what a big brother was willing to do did, too.
Dean always gave willingly, especially to Sam. But now that he was grown, that kind of comfort only happened when Sam was hurt enough for Dean to worry. In emergencies, when nobody else was around to witness how Dean let his guard down and allowed Sam to feel safe.
Sam knew that his injuries weren't bad, no matter how much he hurt right now. Certainly they were not life-threatening, and Dean knew that as well. But still Dean was worried, worried that Sam was going to fall asleep, worried that the leg injury was worse than it looked. Worried enough to pull Sam into his safe place.
Sam didn't want to abuse that worry. Absolutely not. He didn't want to play the injury to meet his needs, not if it worried Dean more than it should. But sometimes, he just needed that feeling of being safe, being in a place where nothing and nobody was going to hurt him. And there was only one place that gave Sam that feeling. One place where Sam felt safe and protected, could regress to being Sammy, the scared little boy who sought comfort with the only person who always made him feel safe.
And Dean allowed him to do that, which meant it was okay. It was okay to be Sammy looking for a safe place to curl up in until he felt better.
Everybody had that one place that made them feel absolutely, instinctively safe, no matter the circumstances.
And for Sam Winchester that had never been a physical place, but a person. Dean. And it didn't matter if he was three or twenty-three years old. The safest place in the world for him was curled up under Dean's arm. And for tonight, that was where he was going to stay.
The post that triggered this story was the following: "Sammy knows that the safest place in the world for him is curled up under Dean's arm. No matter if he's three or twenty-three."
It simply screamed to be written, so please forgive all the smush and plotlessness.
Thanks for reading, and as always, please let me know what you think.