Yay!! Final chapter!! Thank you all so much for sticking with this story while I wrote it, you guys are the best!! :D
Dean shrugged into his jacket, plucking his keys from the table and dropping them in his pocket. Their father had already left early that morning around five, explaining he had a few more things to take care of around town. Dean had learned at an early age that it was better to just accept the answer his father gave him instead of trying to get a better one. Their lives were shrouded in secrets and deception so it hardly seemed different that their own father would have a few secrets he chose to keep as well.
Sam had woken up a little over an hour ago, fully intending to go to school that day. It had taken several minutes of persuasion and convincing on Dean's part to get him to stay home, knowing full well that he wouldn't be able to make it through a full day regardless. Sam insisted he had to go, saying it was lame to skip the second day of school, but Dean countered that it would be much lamer to have to leave early without explaining why. Sam reluctantly agreed, knowing that if he left early it would make Travis think it was because of him. Letting him feel that he won that way would be much more irritating. So, with little other option, Sam was convinced to stay home all together.
The rain had stopped sometime during the night but the sky was still over cast and threatening, the breeze cool and damp. The parking lot was covered in shallow puddles, discarded plastic wrappers floating across the filthy water like small, brittle ships. The rental car was covered in leaves and twigs, probably blown away by the wind the night before.
Dean stood by the door, gazing out at the wet parking lot, his keys sitting in his palm. He needed to go into work to tell them what had happened (he didn't know the company phone number off the top of his head) because he wasn't all that comfortable leaving Sam alone for the whole day. They would probably bitch about it but his mind was made up.
"Alright, Sammy." He called, looking over his shoulder to his little brother sitting on the edge of the couch. "I'll be back in a little bit." He thought about telling Sam to call him if there were any problems but remembered he didn't have his cell phone. Not only that, but their dad had cut the line to the motel phone their first night there; he didn't trust public phones. He shrugged; he wasn't going to be gone that long.
Sam just nodded, the restless sleep he'd fallen into later in the night making him drowsy. "Alright." He said, offering his brother a small smile. He knew that Dean was just worried about him but the hovering was a little embarrassing. "I'll be fine." He reassured him as he stepped out into the parking lot.
Dean nodded. "Make sure to lock the door until I get back, alright?"
With that, Dean closed the door behind him and walked over to his car, sliding in behind the steering wheel and pulling out of the parking lot.
Not surprisingly, his boss had bitched and griped for about twenty minutes, even trying to guilt-trip him into staying to work, but Dean just shook his head. He explained that there had been a family emergency the night before and that he needed to get back home. There was really nothing they could do to force him to stay, the threat of firing him was always an option but the store was short-staffed as it was and losing another employee wouldn't be the best thing to do. Dean didn't have the heart to tell them that he'd be leaving permanently in a few weeks regardless. With much grievance, his boss agreed to let him leave, muttering under his breath as his newest employee walked out.
Dean sighed, getting back into the car and trying a few times to start the engine. The needle on the gas gauge was pointing dangerously close to empty and he felt a new wave of irritation wash through him. He'd just filled this car up a few days ago and already it was down to empty; just perfect. There was a gas station just up the street from his job so as long as the rental could make it a block or so, there wouldn't be a problem.
The car chugged along, barely making it to the gas pump before the engine began to sputter and jerk. Dean sighed again and got out, unscrewing the cap to the gas tank and dropping it into the driver's seat. The cap isn't even attached anymore, He thought, rolling his eyes at the total crappiness of his car. He dug his wallet out of his pocket and walked into the store, knowing that the pump wouldn't take cash.
A tired-looking man sat behind the front counter, his chin resting in his hand and a magazine flipped open on the counter. He glanced at Dean as he walked in but paid him little attention. Dean returned the courtesy and walked to one of the coolers at the back of the store, grabbing a soda from the rack and turning back the front.
"So ten bucks says that Howell kid won't show up today." A voice said from somewhere off to the left.
Dean stopped, recognizing Sam's fake name instantly. He waited; Howell was a pretty common last name so they could have been talking about anyone.
There was a scoff from the same area. "If that is his last name." A new voice said mockingly. "I looked through his wallet last night and that guy had like three separate IDs, each with a different name. It's like he's a terrorist or something." There was another short laugh before he continued. "Guess its good we got to him when we did."
Dean felt his fist clench next to his leg, his short nails biting into the palm of his hand. There was no doubt about it, this had to be Travis. He waited for them to walk to the front of the store before following, tossing a twenty on the counter next to the store clerk and dropping the soda on the counter as well.
Outside, three boys were walking toward the street, their backs to him. They were talking amongst themselves, laughing and cutting up as they walked.
"Travis Palmer." Dean called, watching as the middle boy turned around.
He stopped and eyed the older man for a second, turning fully to face him. "Yeah?"
Dean forced a smile and walked forward. "Hi there, my name's Dean." He said as he got closer, forcing his facial expression to remain calm and relaxed.
Travis looked at the two boys beside him and then back at Dean. "Yeah, so?"
"Well, I wanted to talk to you about my brother, Sam." Before he could react, Dean grabbed Travis by the front of his shirt and whirled him around, slamming him into one to the gas pumps. The other boys made a move to help him but one glare of the older boy stopped them in their tracks.
Travis's eyes widened a little and he struggled in the iron like grip that had him pinned to the machine. "So what, he needs his older brother to take care of his messes for him?" Travis snapped angrily, the fear behind his eyes giving him away.
Dean smirked and shoved him harder into the gas pump, pressing his forearm tightly against the boy's collarbone. "No, my brother can handle himself just fine. You just happened to be in the wrong place at the right time." He tightened his grip a little as Travis continued to struggle. "I want you to give him back his things." He growled, bringing his face closer to Travis's.
Travis nodded hesitantly, moving back a little as if he could somehow break free. "Look man, I'm sorry…" He stammered, wincing as the pain cut into his shoulder again.
Dean just shook his head and released him, making sure Travis fell into a large, gas swirled puddle behind him. "I'm only going to say this once." He said, crouching so he was eye level with the boy. "If you so much as look at my brother again the wrong way, I will find you and beat you to death with your own spinal cord. Trust me, I know how to kill you in more ways that you know how to die." He saw Travis's face pale at the seriousness behind his voice. "Do I make myself clear?"
There was a frightened nod not only from him but from the other two boys off to the side.
"Good." Dean flashed a smile and stood, walking over to his car and sliding in behind the steering wheel. He glared one last time through his rearview mirror and pulled away, leaving the boys in the parking lot of the gas station.
Sam was able to return to school the next day, his movements still slow and stiff but not quite as bad as it had been the previous day. He was surprised to see Travis had moved seats as far away from him as possible and was even more surprised to see his phone and wallet sitting on top of his desk. He didn't question it, he was more than certain Dean had something to do with it judging by the satisfied smirk he'd come back with the day before. However, his older brother never volunteered any information and simply told him not to worry about it. Sam had also figured out that they would be moving again by the end of the month but he wasn't quite as irritated by that announcement as he normally would have been. In fact, he was ready to get out of Deland.
For the rest of the month, Travis neither talked to nor looked at Sam, keeping to himself and as far away from the other boy as possible. Even Travis's friends refused to have anything to do with him but Sam was fine with that.
The day they packed up they packed up the Impala, Sam was the first one ready to leave. Usually he'd beg for them to stay a few more days but not this time, he'd had his fill of Florida for the time being. Dean wrote a long, drawn out note to the rental agency about how incredibly crappy his car was and left it on the windshield, tucked next to a cracked side mirror under a windshield wiper that didn't work.
Baton Rouge was their next stop, a long drive through a lot of trees as far as the boys were concerned but it didn't matter. Everyone was ready for a new town. So, without so much as a wave, the Impala pulled out of the parking lot of the motel they'd lived in for a little over a month and pulled onto the highway, leaving Deland and its inhabitants far behind.
So the ending was a little abrupt but I was trying to add to that sense of urgency that they had to leave. Probably didn't work...O.o Oh well, I hope you all liked it and thanks again for sticking with me!! Hope to see you soon!! :D