Disclaimer: Supernatural and all its characters belong to Kripke and the CW.
Previously on Supernatural- Both Winchesters followed the nurse to the elevator anxious to see for themselves that Sammy was truly alright.
John sat back in his chair and rubbed his tired eyes. He needed some more coffee or he was going to fall asleep. Glancing across Sammy's bed he stared at Dean who hadn't moved since they'd walked into Sammy's room hours ago. It looked like his eldest felt guilty as hell about his little brother's accident. "Good" John angrily thought as he focused back on Sammy.
It wasn't the prank he was mad about. It had all the makings of a great joke. Besides, he couldn't blame the boys for pranking each other. They'd practically grown up watching the prank wars he engaged in with Bobby, Josh, Caleb, and sometimes even Jim. It was a great way of relieving the stress of the hunting life. It was also a fun way to practice their job. After all, pranks followed the same formula as hunting from researching right down to the planning. Which is where his eldest had screwed up. The first thing you did for every hunt was research to make sure you knew who the guilty party was. Dean had just assumed Sammy had done the locker prank. He didn't even bother to check it out. If he had taken the time to look into it, he probably would have found out that his brother didn't have anything to do with that prank. It just wasn't Sammy's style. The kid was only ten so his pranks were still very simple. He'd never have even thought of a joke like that. Heck Sammy still thought girls were gross. Strike one for Dean.
Dean's next failure had been the planning. Every hunt needed to be planned out to the smallest detail taking into account things that might cause problems such as rough or uneven terrain. He had been drilling that into Dean's head for years now. And yet the kid hadn't even noticed something as big as the stairs! He was a hunter, for crap's sake! Strike two!
And his last mistake had been not obeying orders. After Sammy's last disastrous prank, John had sat both boys down and told them in no uncertain terms that pranks were strictly forbidden for the rest of the year. He knew that would be a tough order to follow but he had expected Dean and Sammy to comply. Yet Dean had seen fit to ignore that particular order. Strike three!
With all Dean's mistakes John guessed he should be happy that this hadn't been a hunt. But he wasn't. After all if this had been a hunt, Sammy wouldn't have made it out alive and that just wasn't acceptable. He would have to fix this little problem once Sam was released.
Decision made John reached over and gently ran a hand through Sammy's hair smiling as Sammy leaned into his touch. Blinking back the moisture in his eyes that was definitely from fatigue he slowly retracted his hand and stood. "Dean, go down to the cafeteria and get me some coffee." He ordered as he walked to the window.
"But dad, I wanna stay with Sammy." Dean argued.
"That was an order, Dean." John growled. "Think you can follow this one."
"Yes sir" Dean replied hanging his head. He slowly stood and shuffled to the door. He cast one last glance at his father and little brother before pulling the door open and leaving the room.
The next day
Sammy sat on his bed glancing between his brother and his dad and attempting to figure out how everything could go so screwy in the short time he had been out of it. First he's in a hospital from a fall he doesn't remember. And then there's the way Dean and his dad are acting. It's like they've switched personalities or something. Dean's always been the one who took care of him when he was hurt or sick while his dad just kind of stayed in the distance. But ever since Sam woke up, his dad has been fussing over him while Dean quietly sat over by the window. Sammy needed some answers and he needed them now. That brought up another problem; who to ask? He usually went to Dean with any questions, but his big brother hadn't said more than a handful of words to him all morning. That left his dad. "Oh, this is gonna be fun." Sammy thought as he shifted on the bed trying to find a more comfortable position for his leg.
"Eat your soup, Sammy." John ordered from his spot by the window. "The doc won't let you out of here until you eat something and keep it down."
Sammy peered at the thick concoction with the oily residue on the top and gagged bringing John immediately to his side.
"Sammy, you okay?" John asked snatching the kidney shaped bowl from the night stand. "You gonna be sick?"
"Only if I eat that." Sammy replied pushing the tray table away from him. "It looks like something Dracula puked up."
John snorted. He set the bowl back down and ruffled Sammy's hair. "Thanks for the nasty mental image dude." He said. "Want me to call the nurse and have her bring you something else?"
"Yes" Sammy mentally cheered. His plan was working perfectly. "Dad, could umm, Dean get me some chicken noodle soup from that diner? Please dad?" he asked as he turned his puppy dog look on full blast.
"Sure kiddo" John replied. Reaching into his wallet he pulled out a few bills and handed them to Dean. "Go get your brother some soup, Dean." He barked.
Sammy watched Dean's eyes light up as he took the money and hurried out of the room. As soon as the door shut behind Dean, Sam rounded on John. "What's going on dad? What happened?" he questioned.
John gave Sammy the once over as he carefully sat down on the side of the bed. "What's the last thing you remember?" he asked.
Sammy cocked his head to one side as he went over yesterday's events in his head. "Umm, Dean coming home mad." He answered.
"He tell you why he was ticked." John probed.
Sammy thought for a moment. "I don't remember." He sheepishly confessed. "Why?"
"Seems someone played a prank on your brother yesterday. Plastered his locker with pictures of a Chippendale's dancer." John explained. "Dean seemed to think you were the prankster."
Sammy mouth dropped at the accusation. Seeing the anger in his dad's face Sammy tensed as the memory of his dad's reaction to his last prank came to mind. "I, I, I didn't do it" he stuttered. "Honest dad! It w-wasn't me."
"It's alright, Sammy." John soothed as he wrapped his youngest in a hug. "I'm not mad. I know you didn't pull that prank."
Sagging in relief Sammy snuggled closer to his dad enjoying this seldom given form of comfort. Safe in his father's arms he thought over what he had learned and suddenly Dean's actions that morning made sense. Dean was angry at him! That's why he wasn't talking to Sam and why he was so happy to leave the room. He didn't want to be around his little brother! Sammy hugged his father tighter as that realization sunk in. Sammy forced his sluggish brain into service trying desperately to come up with a way to get his big brother back. Unfortunately all that seemed to accomplish was to double the headache from hell. Deciding he needed to work on his plan sometime when his head wasn't so close to exploding, Sammy pulled away from his dad and slowly laid back down. Closing his eyes he decided to take a little nap until Dean got back. There was just one thing he needed to ask his dad first. Sammy opened his eyes halfway and peered up at his father. "Hey dad." He whispered. "Why would someone put pictures of two chipmunks dancing in Dean's locker? Dad? What's so funny?"
At the diner
Dean was sitting at the counter waiting for his order when someone placed a hand on his arm. He brought his fist up as he whipped around to face the newcomer. Staring at the person in shock he quickly lowered his hand. "Tracy? What are you doing here?" he asked.
Tracy smiled sheepishly at Dean. "I heard what happened to your little brother. Is he alright?" she asked.
"He will be." Dean replied. "You come all the way here to ask that?"
"No" Tracy answered. "I, um, I found out something last night and I thought you should know. Jack Randall was the one who put those pictures in your locker. He's had a crush on me since he moved here this year. Been beating up any boy that's interested in me. Guess he knew he couldn't take you on. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I'm sorry for the way I reacted. I should have known Jack was behind it."
Dean's eyes widened as Tracy said her piece. It was Jack, not Sammy that had pranked him. Sammy was innocent and he'd gotten hurt. His dad was right. He wasn't fit to take care of his little brother. A hand on his cheek brought Dean out of his little freak out session. Realizing that he had zoned out on Tracy he blurted out, "Sorry. What did you say?"
"I said they're calling your order Dean." Tracy repeated glancing at her friend in concern. "Are you alright?"
"Yeah. Sure" Dean replied snatching his order and walking out the door with Tracy right behind him.
"Okay" Tracy hesitantly said. "Well I just wanted you to know about Jack and to tell you that you don't need to worry about payback. The football team's already taken care of that for you."
"Wait! What?" Dean asked stopping dead in his tracks. "Why would the team do that? I thought he was their quarterback?"
"Oh, he is. But only because of the coach and of course his friends the wide receivers Craig and John. The rest of the team can't stand the arrogant jerk." Tracy informed him. "They really wanted you to try out when they saw you play at P.E. They said you were just what they needed; a great quarterback and a team player. Unlike mister "I'm so wonderful".
Dean glanced at Tracy in surprise. He'd thought the other guys were just being nice to the new kid. "So what did they do?" he curiously asked when he finally found his voice.
"Oh, they just showed him that it takes more than one person to win a game." She replied with a laugh. "You should have seen it. The coach had the offense and defense scrimmage against each other. When Jack called the play and took the ball, the offense line all kneeled down and let the defense through. They hammered him into the ground. It happened twice before the coach stopped it. By then Jack couldn't even stand up."
Dean snickered. "Remind me to thank those guys." He said.
"I'll tell them." Tracy offered. "I need to tell them about my little prank anyway."
"Your prank?" Dean questioned.
"Oh yeah." Tracy replied. "I'm not letting Jack get away that easy. After all, that prank was directed at me, too."
"So what are you gonna do?" Dean asked as the couple walked in the hospital.
"I'm going to make him my special chocolate cake and give it to him a little while before the game on Friday." Tracy said. "You know the game against his old high school."
"You wouldn't?" Dean asked smirking.
"Oh but I would." Tracy replied showing Dean the box of Ex-Lax in her purse. "Shame the field's so far from the bathrooms."
"You are awesome!" Dean complimented throwing an arm around the girl's shoulders. He and Tracy talked and laughed all the way to the door of Sammy's room.
After bidding Tracy good bye, Dean quietly stepped into Sammy's room. Walking up to the bed he smiled as he looked at his sleeping father and little brother. He carefully set the soup and pudding on the tray table for later and reclaimed his seat at Sammy's side.
Later that day
By eight o'clock that evening Sammy had had enough. He had tried everything he could think of to make things up with Dean. However his brother just continued to keep his distance. And his dad's mother hen routine was really creeping him out. Sammy was tired, sore, and he needed to go to the bathroom. But there was no way he was making that trip with his dad again. Once had been humiliating enough, thank you very much. Not knowing what else to do Sammy reached over, picked up the phone, and called the one person who could sort this mess out; his Uncle Bobby. After explaining the situation to Bobby, Sammy covered the phone and hollered for Dean who immediately appeared in the door way. He watched a wealth of emotions cross his brother's face as he spoke to their uncle. Thirty minutes later Dean walked back over and handed the phone back to Sam. "Uncle Bobby? Did it work? Is he still mad at me?" Sammy asked.
"Dean's not mad at you, Sammy. He never was. Dean's upset with himself 'cause you got hurt." Bobby explained.
"But it wasn't his fault. He didn't mean for me to fall." Sammy defended.
"I know that." Bobby assured the little boy. "But it seems your dad opened that big mouth of his again. Gave Dean both barrels and your hard headed brother believes every word. I think I managed to get through to him a little bit. Afraid the rest is up to you. Now let me talk to that daddy of yours. I've got a few things to say to that idjit."
Sammy chuckled as he called for his dad. After handing the phone to his father, he held his good arm out to Dean.
"What's up, Sammy?" Dean asked as he took Sam's hand in his.
"I gotta go, Dean." Sam said. "And I'm gonna need your help to get there."
"Dad will be through in a minute, Sammy." Dean told him. "He'll take you then."
"Two things wrong with that Dean." Sammy stated. "One, I can't wait that long and two, I can't handle dad taking me again."
"That bad, huh?" Dean asked smirking. "Fine, I'll take you." Taking Sammy's arm he carefully helped his little brother to his feet. They slowly made their way across the room and disappeared down the hall.
John sat at the table phone held tightly in his hands. "You don't get it Bobby! Sammy could have been killed!" he growled into the phone. "Dean's Sam's big brother. He's supposed to take care of the kid, not let him get hurt."
"Like the boys have never gotten hurt with you on watch." Bobby huffed out. "You forget about Sammy's first steps, Johnny boy. Seems to me you were the one watching him then. And I also seem to recall that you were the one that left that gun on the table. Or what about the time you took the kid to the park and he ended up taking a swim? Or the time…"
"Enough! I get it okay. I've screwed up, too." John admitted. "But Dean's"
"Dean is a kid." Bobby broke in. "And a damn good one at that. You seem to forget that John. He's not some soldier on the front line, he's your son. And he's going to make mistakes. What happened to Sammy was one of them. Dean feels bad enough. He doesn't need you to make it worse."
"So I should just what, blow it off? Pretend it's okay?" John snarled. "I can't do that. I'm his father…"
"That's right. You're his daddy. And it's time you started acting like it." Bobby admonished. "Now go make up with your boy before I decide to come kick your a$$."
"Bye, Bobby" John said. Hanging up the phone he slowly stood and walked into the living room. He leaned against the doorway and waited for the boys. Hearing his boys' laughter John smiled. He had missed that sound lately. He watched as the boys came into the room and froze smiles dropping off their faces.
"S-sorry, dad." Dean stammered as he led his little brother back to the couch. "Sammy had to uh go to the bathroom. Said he couldn't, couldn't wait."
"Time to fix things." John thought. Careful to keep a smile on his face John walked over to the front door. "I've gotta go out for a while boys." John told his sons. "Dean, you're in charge till I get back. Watch out for Sammy for me." Grabbing his keys John walked out the door.
"Dean, what just happened?" Sammy asked as he stared at the front door.
"Umm, not sure." Dean replied scratching his head.
"Think Uncle Bobby threatened to fill dad full of buckshot again?" Sammy snickered.
"Maybe" Dean said sitting beside his little brother. Shaking his hand at his father's actions he snatched up an old notebook that was lying on the table and waved it in front of Sam. "Time to put that geek brain of yours to good use. We have a payback prank to play." He stated as he grabbed a pen.
Together the two boys carefully planned out the perfect prank making sure that they left nothing to chance.
AN- Their revenge is coming. I just have to think of it. Oh and the football prank was true. Decades ago, the coach on my dad's team (middle school, I think) decided to teach their arrogant quarterback that it takes the whole team to win a game. Too bad we don't have more coaches like him.