This was worse than being alone.

Sam stared across the motel room at his father sitting at the table drinking a beer. Bad part was that Dean wasn't home. His big brother had excused himself from dinner after John had made a particularly snide comment about Sam doing better than Dean had ever in school. Sam, even though he was four years younger than his nineteen-year-old brother, knew how much that hurt Dean.

His brother had given up everything for the Winchester family's well being. Specifically Sam's. However, the lack of encouragement and continuous insults from John Winchester had worn down the older son. Dean used to have so much academic potential until he began to give into John's relentless demands to become a ruthless hunter that he saw himself as. Dean didn't want that at first. He had always had a scholarship within reach for most of his early teenage years for his insurmountable knowledge of mechanics. Dean had been ready to grab that money, but then John started to leave for months at a time. The one thing Dean couldn't bear was Sam not being cared for, which would've happened. That's why he abandoned the rest of his hope of going to college.

Now, their father was at home and the brothers' seemingly calm lives were going to shit.

Sam laid back on his pillow and turned his gaze toward the motel room's door. He felt his father's presence too sharply and it made him uneasy. Nobody was ever in their room except himself and Dean.

Sam's line of sight traveled to the table where John was seated. His cell phone was resting on the table, momentarily forgotten when John had ordered Sam away from the table after Dean stormed out. Two plans were formulating in his mind at the moment: get the phone and call Dean before his father did something psycho to him in his drunken state and risk being beaten to death. Or he could run out the door and search for Dean on foot and risk being beaten to death if he came back without Dean.

Neither idea was appealing.

"Where do you think you're going, boy?" John glared at him, "Sit back down."

Sam froze in place halfway to the door that he had unconsciously been creeping toward. Slowly, he turned to face the man he barely remembered as his father. He met a cold, hazy stare that promised bad things if he disobeyed.

'Suck it up, Winchester,' he told himself, 'You can hold your own against him. You aren't a little kid anymore.'

Inside he was the same little kid that would cry himself to sleep after his father gave him a slap or two. It was true at the moment that John Winchester didn't beat his teenage sons, but the boys knew that he had a snapping point.

That day had already come, that was the frightening part. John had nearly killed Sam over a comment about John's mission to destroy the yellow-eyed demon that had murdered Mary Winchester. If Dean hadn't been there to intercede, Sam would have been in a completely different state alogether.

Dean wasn't here now and that scared Sam to death. He wouldn't be able to stop John by himself.

"What about Dean?" asked Sam.

John rolled his eyes, "Its always Dean this, Dean that with you. You're becoming a freakin' pansy-ass, boy."

Sam tried to tell himself that that was only the alcohol talking instead of his actual father, but it wasn't as convincing as he had hoped.


"What did I say, boy? Sit your ass down and shut up about your bitch brother. Serves him right for mouthing off to me in the first place. Now I know where you got your lip," John snarled.

Sam's face turned red and he stared down his father, "Don't you dare," he hissed.

John stood and advanced toward his younger son with fire in his eyes, "What did you say to me?" he asked dangerously. Sam gulped, but stood his ground. For fifteen, he was around the same height as his father. That made him more confident that he just might survive.

"Don't you dare talk about Dean like that!" Sam's voice had a growling edge to it that was more mature like Dean's.

"You little shit!"

Sam didn't remember what happened next since it came at him so fast. One second he was standing in a confrontation stance in front of his father, so close to the older man's face that he was breathing in the alcohol on John's breath. The next second he was on the ground with his nose bleeding profusely. John Winchester hauled Sam to his feet, gripping his shirt tightly, ready to punch him again. Sam raised his hand to deflect any blow that was inevitable to come. At the same time he was desperately trying to squirm out of his father's hold.

Sam mustered all of his physical and mental strength and pushed. To his surprise and his father's shock, John was sent flying across the room and crashed against the wall. For a moment, John slumped in a dazed manner.

This was his chance!

Sam raced across the room to retrieve his cell phone and his coat. Then he ran out the door without looking back at his father.

Horrified at what had just happened, Sam ran through the parking lot. On the way out, he noticed that the Impala was missing. Dean must have taken toward the road, Sam felt the rush of freedom. Nothing compared to this kind of high of breaking free. In the other part of his mind, he felt fear sapping the energy from his rush of freedom.

He needed to find Dean.