Chapter One

Sammy is Five Years Old

"Children are haughty, distainful, angry, envious, curious, lazy, interested, fickle, shy, self-indulgent, liars, deceivers.....they do not wish to suffer evil, but like to do evil : they are already adults."

Jean de La Bruyere (1645 - 1694)

18 Years Ago

The sun was shinning down on what was to be five year old Sammy Winchester's first day of school.

He held his big brothers hand tightly in excitment of what this new adventure would bring. Dean had brought him a school bag (from a local garage sale) for his books to go in, and young Sammy was eager to start his first day and be just like his big brother.

Dean smiled proudly as Sammy skipped and hopped beside him, barely containing his thrill of finally meeting his very own teacher and classmates.

They heard the bell ringing, alerting them to the fact they were a little late. But Dean was't bothered by it. Sammy, on the other hand was suddenly terrified.

"Deanie! The bell has gone! What if they shut the doors and won't let me in? What'll Daddy say?" Sammys voice tinged on fear. His wide brown eyes sort out his big brothers calm green orbs, only Dean would know what to do.

"Don't worry Sammy, I'll get you in." Dean reassured his younger sibling, who instantly looked relieved.

The brothers rounded the corner and approached the main doors. A few parents were hanging around the playground catching up on holiday gossip, as younger children toddled about trying to get up to mischief without getting caught. As Dean and Sammy reached the steps, a voice from behind made them turn in suprise.

"Wait! Please, its my first day. I don't know how to get in!" A young dark haired boy yelled at them as he ran across the playground towards them. The parents all stopped to watch the boy race towards the door.

Dean opened the door and gently pushed Sammy inside, but he held the door open for the other boy to get in as well.

"Thanks! My mommy was busy and forgot what time it was. But I'm big so I came on my own!" The boy panted as Sammy and Dean looked at him. Sammy with interest, Dean without. Sammy didn't have a 'mommy'.

"Hi, my names Sammy," the youngest of the two Winchester brothers introduced himself, then proudly showed off his older brother, "this is my big brother, Deanie. Its my first day too!"

"Hi Deanie." The young boy looked up at Dean in awe. "Wow, you're tall. My names Bradly Morgan, we can be friends!" He said to Sammy, who smiled back. Bradly held out his hand, to which Sammy held on to with his free hand so he was sandwiched in between him and Dean.

"Well this is great an' all, but we really need to get you two little guys to the class room, or you'll both be in trouble on your first day." Dean told them, secretly pleased Sammy had already made a friend his own age so quickly. "Come on."

Dean chaperoned the two young boys into the classroom. He left within minutes, seeing that Sammy and Bradly settled quickly down together.

For Dean, it was the first time he left Sammy in a room full of complete strangers, and he felt uncomfortable doing it. As Dean walked slowly to his own classroom, he wondered if their dad ever felt the same way he did right now, when he left Sammy and him in a motel on their own, or with 'friends' while he went off hunting.

Dean guessed not. He sighed before pushing open the door to his new form room and flashed a dashing smile on his face for his teacher as he entered.

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John Winchester was on a hunt.

He had been researching this particular job for a couple of weeks, and knew he'd need back up. While he waited for Jim Murphy to find him someone with the right expertise in this gig, he had rented a cheap apartment for a month and decided it was time to send Sammy to school with his older brother. It would also get his youngest son out of his hair for a while.

Sammy could 'talk the hind leg off a donkey' with all his questions, John smiled to himself. School would do his youngest son good.

The pause in their travelling would also give him some time to work with Dean's aim, and start to teach Sammy some defensive moves. Though he knew Dean would not approve...

John's phone rang and his thoughts left his children and went back to the hunt.

"Jim. What ya got for me?" He demanded as he saw the caller id.

"John, ....I've called Bobby Singer in to come give you a hand...he'll be there tomorrow."

The Winchester family ended up staying for the whole term - to Dean's amazment, and that suited young Sammy just fine.

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"Deanie, can I go to Bradly's house after school today?" The young boy was hopping from foot to foot, his too long brown hair falling in and out of his bright, excited eyes. "I promise to be good!"

Every day Dean waited outside Sammy's classroom at 3pm for his baby brother.

Every day Sammy and Bradly came out together, holding hands. They were always 'partners' in crime. They did everything together.

Today they were Batman and Robin.... Sammy was Robin and had his coat tied by the sleeves around his neck. At least they weren't playing 'mommies and daddies' today.... that was just plain embarrassing - though Sammy's teacher found it very endearing and took a photo of Sam in a big straw hat with flowers on wearing a polker dot dress holding hands with Brad who had a tophat and a bow tie. Dean knew who was incharge of this friendship and he was not sure how he felt about it.

Ms Gertie their teacher, did not have the heart to part them, not at playtime, story time, or even workbook time. She found it endearing that two new children could bond and play so well from the first day. Both had settled into school without any differculty.

Every day on the way home, all Dean got from Sammy was, "Bradly said this," and "Bradly does that."

Dean was not jealous.

Nope, nine (nearly ten) year old Dean Winchester was cool with Sammy's new 'best' friend.

Dean just wished Sammy would stop talking about Bradly like he was some sort of 'God', or as Dean suspected, Sammy had given the kid the highest status of 'Super hero'.....just like Dean himself held - in Sammy's eyes.

Dean did not want Sammy to be bossed around by anyone, except him of course.

Dean knew their Dad would move them on soon to the next hunting far as Dean was concerned, they had been here too long as it was.

The way young Bradly had taken Sammy under his wing, and the way Sammy was besotted so much with Bradly, was really begining to worry him. The sooner they moved on, the better.

Sammy had always asked questions, but now thanks to Bradly, the questions were getting harder for Dean to answer.

It was endless. "Where's our Mommy really? Why did she go?" Sammy would ask. "Bradly says we should get a new Mommy. Bradly want to know what Daddy does, what does Daddy do? Can Bradly come to tea one day? Bradly says I should ask Daddy if he wants to ask Ms Gertie to marry him, what do you think?"

Dean had had enough. "Stop! Sammy, just stop for a second will yah!" Dean took a breath and looked down at Sammy. Sammy's face was a picture of shock. Dean didn't mean to lash out with his tongue quite so sharply, but he could not take much more of this.

"I'm sorry Sammy. But you ain't gonna talk about Mom in front of Dad, ok kid? And don't even ask him to marry anyone else, coz it ain't gonna happen."

Sammy sniffed and blinked as a big fat tear fell slowly down his cheek.

Dean felt guilty now for making his baby brother cry. He hated it when Sammy cried, and this was all his own doing. "Hey, hey Sammy don't cry! You can go to Bradly's house, okay? But please don't mention mom to dad. At all."

Sammy looked up at his awesome big brother, and pushed a smile out. "Okay Deanie. I won't make Daddy cross like I made you. I'm sorry."

Sammy gave Dean a quick hug around his waste, and Dean patted Sammy's back. "So, you want to go to Bradly's house for tea tonight, huh?"

"Yes!" Sammy squealed suddenly excited and happy again. He looked around and saw Bradly standing a couple of feet from him, watching them with an interested look on his face.

"Hey Bradly! Deanie said I could go!"

Bradly grinned at both Sammy and Dean. "Yay! Come on then, my Mommy is waiting!" He stepped closer and made to grab Sammy's hand to pull him away from Dean. But Dean stopped him.

"Not so fast! I'm going to escort you both home, then I want to know what time to come back and get you, Sammy."

Sammy smiled at Dean, quite glad that Dean would also see his friends house. Bradly scowled, but Dean ignored him.

They set off together and it was only fives walk minutes from the school. Dean was introduced to Bradly's 'mommy' and he arranged to pick Sammy up at 5.30pm.

Their Dad wouldn't be home before 10pm, so they were safe.

"Be good Sammy. And have fun." Dean said before Sammy waved back at him as he was pulled into the house by Bradly.

Dean stood like a statue as the door was slammed in his face. He could hear them giggling inside, but pushed his flash of jealousy aside. Dean moved away from Bradly's house and settled himself down on the park bench under a tree, just across the road from the house so he could see all the comings and goings.

If Sammy left the house at all, Dean was going to be following. Nothing bad was going to happen to his little brother, not on his watch.

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Inside Bradly's house, Sammy was having a great time.

Bradly's mom gave them freshly cooked homemade choclate chip cookies and a glass of milk. It was the best thing Sammy had ever tasted and Mrs Morgan thought Sammy was the 'cutest thing ever'.

Sammy was shy at first, not being used to woman, but after a couple of mouthfuls of cookies was enough to loosen Sammy's tongue and all he talked about was his big brother Deanie. When Sammy told her how much Deanie would love the cookies, she smiled at his enthusiasm and gave him an extra cookie to take home, just for Dean.

After being told to go and play, Bradly took Sammy up to his bedroom. But when Bradly opened the door, instead of going inside, Sammy just stood in the hallway and gasped in shock.

The room was bright blue and had racing cars painted on the walls. Bradly even had a car shaped bed. Along the walls there were boxes and shelves full of toys and games, a train set was set up on the floor and the track continued under the bed. Sammy didn't know if he was dreaming, or if they had gone into a toy shop instead of Bradly's bedroom.

"What you staring at?" Bradlys questioning voice interupted Sammy's thoughts.

"..um...a...are we in the r..right place?" Sammy stuttered nervously, still taking in the amazing view.

Bradly gave him a strange look. "What are you talking about? This is my bedroom. Why are you looking like that?"

"Like what?" Sammy asked back, his eyes still bulging at the sight.

"Like you never seen a room before. Or is your bedroom bigger than mine?" Bradly stood in front of Sammy and put his arms on his hips, like he'd seen his Mommy do when she was waiting for an answer from him. "Don't you like my room?" His eyes narrowed, daring his new friend to say 'no'.

Sammy was intimidated by the pose his friend was doing. "N..no, no, I mean yes! I do....its just I don't have .... many toys..." as he continued to stare in awe of the room.

Bradly looked shocked. "So what do you play with then?" Bradly was curious. Sam was always asking him questions about his mommy and home and stuff. Bradly never thought anything about it until now. Sammy was weird, and Bradly told him so, but he also added that it was ok 'coz they could stil be friends.

Sammy was suddenly embarrassed. Was this 'normal'? Did everyone in his class have bedrooms that looked like this? Sammy wasn't sure what to say, so he answered with the truth.

"I play with Deanie. We play Batman, and Spiderman, and bear hunting. I have my books and ....and...." Sammy tried to think of something to impress his friend with, "...my daddy has guns!" Sam whispered the last word.

Bradly didn't look impressed until Sammy said 'guns'. His mommy wouldn't even let him say the word, let alone play with them.

"Wow!" Bradly exclaimed, "That is sooo cool! You're allowed to play with the..." he lowered his voice to a whisper too, "...guns?"

Sammy, seeing his friend excited smiled and keenly answered "Yes! Well, Deanie lets me pretend, we make them out of sticks, we also play sword fighting and stuff. Daddy doesn't like me near the real guns though...he tries to hide them, he thinks I don't know about them, but I know they're there." Sammy slapped a hand over his mouth, knowing he had said something he shouldn't have. "Don't tell anyone though, even Deanie doesn't know that I seen them in the bag!"

Dean and Daddy were always secretly whispering about the guns and other things that Sammy didn't understand. But Sammy did know that he should not to talk about the weapons to anyone. Sammy was worried, what if Bradly told someone?

But Sammy needn't have worried, Bradly was too interested in Sammy's family now. Sammy's family had guns.... and they were better than all the toys in the world. Sammy's family had a big secret and Bradly was not going to lose a friend like Sammy just for telling someone.

"So, what does your Daddy do with his guns? Is he a cop? Is he a bank robber? Is he a murdiner?" Bradly's voice became more animated as he spoke.

Sammy didn't really know what his father did. "I don't know. I don't think he is any of those peoples," was his innocent reply, too long brown hair falling into his eyes. Sammy was a little concerned that maybe he had said too much... what would Deanie say?

Bradly looked taken back. "You don't know? Why not? You're weird Sammy. Everyone knows what mommies and daddies do.... maybe your daddy is trying to find you a new mommy?"

Sammy looked thoughtfully at his friend, "I don't think so. Deanie would have said .... he got cross when I told him Daddy could marry Ms Gertie... I think Daddy is just busy. He likes the library and the regist..register...registery office, but I don't know why." Sammy bit his bottom lip nervously as he glanced at his friend. "Can we play with your toys?"

Sammy looked eagerly at the matchbox cars he had spotted, parked in the brightly coloured toy garage across the room. Bradly grinned at his friends delight, and lead Sammy over to a huge toy box. "Sure. Lets play!"

Soon both boys were playing, and for the moment, the conversation about Sammy's family was forgotten.

In childhood innocence, the seeds of self-doubt had already been sewn... and later that night as Sammy lay safetly in his bed by the wall next to Dean, he wondered about Brad, his mommy, and his roomful of toys. Sammy became aware that his little family was very different from the other children.

Sammy began to think why. Maybe Bradly, his bestest friend, would help him learn the answers. Dean got mad earlier when Sammy asked him about what daddy did and why they didn't have lots of toys ... and Dean had a funny look on his face when he ate the cookie Sammy brought home for him.

Sammy wondered why Dean looked sad. Maybe he didn't like choc-chip after all....

At the tender age of five, Sammy had already began to doubt what little he knew about his own family, and believe the things Bradly told him. Sammy saw the things he wanted to have when he looked at Bradly's family.

Sighing sadly in the semi darkness, Sammy closed his tired eyes and drifted of to sleep.

As Dean lay quietly, he heard Sammy's breathing slow, and knew his little brother had finally fallen asleep. Dean let a tear slip past. The cookie Sammy gave him tasted just like the ones his mom used to make at the weekends. It was their special treat, just the two of them while baby Sammy took his nap during the morning.

Dean hated the fact that it was Bradly's mom who gave Sammy his first taste of those cookies. He hated the fact that he had forgotten about the whole memory of it, until the taste took him back.

Dean looked at his little brothers peaceful, chubby face in the dim glow of the street lights that shone through the curtains. Dean regreted that Sammy would not get the same experiances he did... maybe Bradly was a good thing. Maybe Sammy could get a taster of what a real family was like, what their family once was like.

Something Dean and his dad could not give him.

Dean stayed awake until he heard his dad come home. Then he fell into a dreamless sleep.

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John gently pushed opened the door to the boys bedroom and smiled when he saw they were both alseep.

He wiped the dirt and sweat off his fore head before quietly shutting the door.

John had not seen Sammy awake since he started school. Dean gave him a brief about the things he needed to know, and John always just signed on the dotted line, or gave him the cash for lunch and things.

Dean was good at looking after his little brother. John wished, not for the first time, that Mary was still alive so Dean could have a childhood of his own, and so Sammy could have real parents.

The hunt had fully taken over his life. In a few days this hunt would be finished and the Winchester family were due to move on to the next hunt a few states along.

Being a hero took its toll. John's small family were paying the price so others could live.

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Sam's voice trailed off as he told Dean the feelings his five year old self had kept hidden all these years.

Dean in turn, felt horrible. He remembered Sam's first term much better than he remembered his own. At the time, Dean thought Sam had stopped asking questions because he had moved on with his thoughts, as young children often do. Dean had no idea that his little brother had been afraid to ask him, just in case Dean left him too... too afraid to be different, Sam had solidered on at school and tried to be something he was not.

Dean remembered it was a good few years before Sam started asking strange questions, and now, as he thought about it, he realised it was when Brad had appeared again.

It was the little things that mattered most to Sam, always had. Why did Dean forget that? Why did Dean not pick up on it? Maybe beacause Dean had only been nine at the first time, and after that he'd been a hormonal teenager. So Sam had known about the weapons long before Dean thought he did... figures, thought Dean, nosey little.....

Before Dean could think anymore on the matter, Sam took a deep breath and continued his tale.....