Disclaimer: If only, if only, the woodpecker sighed... (I think those are the lyrics :P)

This is my masterpiece oneshot. (At least so far) I've had this little story cooking in my head for a while now and only now wrote it out. So I hope you all enjoy!

Dean is ten, Sam is six.


"What the hell is this?" John growled.

Dean kept his head down and shrugged. He expected this. John may have been obsessed with hunting, but he also wanted Dean to get good grades in school. Admittedly, the main reason was so that the school didn't pay any 'special' attention to the small family.

"You're failing in every class!" John yelled. "Care to explain?!"

Dean shrugged again.

John looked at the progress report. He read over the notes that the teachers left. "It says here you don't do you homework, you sleep during class, and you don't study. This..." John waved the progress report in front of Dean's face, "is not acceptable!"

Dean nodded.

"Look at me, son."

Dean bit his lip. He gulped as he slowly raised his eyes to meet his father's. He saw anger, frustration, and worst of all, disappointment. Dean felt like he was being stabbed in the chest as John's disappointment bore holes in him. He fought hard to keep his tears back.

"Why is it so hard for you to at least do your freaking homework?" John said accusingly. "How much are you goofing off?"

"I - uh... I sometimes play football with Mike and Jake," Dean said quietly.

John sighed. "Well, from now on, no more. If Mike and Jake ask you to play, you say no. You spend that time doing your homework. Am I clear?"

"Yes, sir," Dean whispered.

John kept eye contact with his son for a few moments, making sure Dean understood. "Good." John sighed the progress report and gave it back to Dean. "I'm leaving tomorrow. Pastor Jim needs some help with a werewolf. I should be back in no more than three days."

"Okay," Dean said.

"You and Sam will be alright?"

Dean nodded, smiling a little to show his father he was confident. "I'll take care of everything."

---

Two days later

Sam was watching cartoons while Dean sat at the kitchen table doing his math homework. His leg jigged up and down, telling of unreleased energy he contained.

Just as his father ordered, Dean refused any invitation to play football with his friends. As a result, Dean was getting restless and irritable.

Dean always woke up early in the morning, making sure all the protection wards and salt lines were undisturbed. Then he'd make breakfast, wake Sam up, and get him ready for school. At school, Dean checked up on Sam every chance he could. Though wanting to keep his 'cool' appearance, he made sure no one else, including Sam, could tell he was actually doing so.

After school, Dean would help Sam with any homework he had. Afterward, Sam would watch his cartoons and that's usually when he played football with Mike and Jake. When Sam's TV programs were over, he'd usually come outside and watch, cheering for his big brother.

When Mike and Jake had to go home, Dean would play Sam's silly and, often times, stupid games. Then he'd make dinner, usually something microwavable. After dinner, Dean had to check the wards and salt again, and get Sam and himself ready for bed. After reading Sam's favorite stories until he was asleep, Dean would practice his Latin before turning in himself.

Sometimes he would have to take Sam to the grocery store to buy some food or get any supplies they were running low on. At Sam's age, he was growing like a weed. So Dean often had to sacrifice his own portion of dinner so he could save up and buy Sam some new clothing. Sometimes when John was home he remembered to buy clothes for Sam if Dean asked. Dean didn't bother asking for some new clothes for himself.

And with all of this, Dean's release was football. When Dean played football, it was the one time in the day he could actually let loose and just have fun. Sure, he had fun doing things with his little brother, but Sam was his little brother. To just play some rough sports with guys his age let him release all that energy he has, being a kid and all.

Now that he was doing homework instead, Dean felt overwhelmed and pressured. But this is what his father expected of him, so he did what expected of him.

---

Dean was tapping his pencil against his desk. Mrs. Henreques was returning their math test today and Dean was nervous about his grade.

John knew the test was coming home today and shot Dean a warning glare that morning, obviously telling him that his grades had better have improved. Dean certainly hoped so. He stayed up to almost one in the morning studying for this test.

Mrs. Henreques walked down the aisles of desks, placing the tests upside down in front of each student. Dean watched his peers reactions to their grades. Most of them remained impassive, but some did silent 'YES!' movements while others slumped in their chairs.

When the teacher set his test down, Dean just stared at it for a moment, his fingers tapping the desk at an annoying rate. Unable to stand it any longer, Dean grabbed his test and flipped it over.

C minus. Dean stared at it. A smile quickly spread across his face before he did his own 'YES!' movement. He usually barely got a single question right, now he has a C!

He couldn't wait to show his father.

---

"Dad!" Dean yelled as he burst into the house. "Dad!"

"Dean!" Sam yelled. "Stop yelling!"

"Shut up, Sammy!" Dean said good-naturedly. He gave Sam a gentle shove onto the couch. Sam burst into giggles as he bounced against the cushions.

"Dad!"

"In here, Dean."

Dean rushed into his father's bedroom. John was sitting at a desk, research covered all surfaces. Dean slammed his test in front of his father and smiled.

There was a moment of silence. The only sound was Dean's heavy breathing from running.

John gave a small nod, turning back to his research. "It'll do. Just don't slack off again."

Dean stared at the back of his father's head. Then, holding back tears, Dean turned and left the room, marching to his own. He fell on his bed and stuffed his face into his pillow before screaming in frustration. He ignored the wetness that he felt as the pillow started to absorb his tears.

"Dean?"

Dean flinched. He sat up, quickly wiping his face off, and plastered a smile on his face. "Hey, Sammy..."

Sam looked at his brother worriedly. "You okay?"

Dean nodded. "Yeah, Sammy, I'm fine."

Sam frowned. He climbed onto the bed and took a closer look at Dean's face. "Do you have a owchie?"

Dean laughed. "What?!"

"You're crying. You only suppose ta cry when ya got a owchie."

Dean sighed and gave a small smile. "I'm not crying, Sam."

Sam crossed his arms and gave his brother a stubborn pout. "Yes, you were."

An evil twinkle sparked in Dean's eye. "You wanna bet?"

Sam looked a little uneasy. "But you were..."

Dean smirked. "I bet you'll be crying when I'm done with you!"

Sam shrieked as Dean tackled Sam and started to tickle him mercilessly. "You crying yet!?" Dean yelled.

Sam managed to shake his head through his thunderous screams of laughter. Dean pulled Sam closer, pulled up his shirt, and gave him a raspberry on his stomach. Sam screamed in glee at the feeling.

"Ha!" Dean yelled in victory. "You're crying!" Sam shook his head in denial. Dean gave Sam another raspberry, electing an even louder scream of laughter from Sam.

"S-stop it!" Sam begged, small tears falling down his smiling face. "Pl-lease st-t-top it..." Sam burst into laughter as Dean continued to tickle him.

After Dean stopped, they both lay on the bed, panting and giggling. Dean smiled. His disappointment at his father's reaction seemed so insignificant now. All Dean had to do now was study and make sure his grades stayed up. He could handle not playing football. Besides, Dean's first job was his family. Sam's well-being and John's orders will always come first.

---

A couple weeks later, Dean's previously positive outlook of life turned extremely negative.

John left for another hunt, promising to be back in a week or so. Meanwhile, Dean got short-tempered and tended to suddenly burst at people. The fact that they were running low on food and money was not helping, making him worried about what he was going to do if John came home later than planned. He had quite eating dinner altogether to make sure Sam had something on his plate for a few more nights.

He yelled at Mrs. Henreques three times already, each time sending him to the principal's. The first was before John left and resulted with a spanking from his father. John had yet to learn about the other two.

He even yelled at Sam once. Sam had asked him to play Chutes and Ladders with him and Dean snapped back, saying Sam needed to stop being a baby and bugging him all the time. He regretted it a moment later when Sam started to cry and ran back into his room, which he shared with Dean. Guilt rising up in him, Dean quickly followed, apologizing and promising to make it up to him. Sam asked to be hugged, and then all was forgiven.

Dean was writing a paper for social studies when a someone knocked the motel room door. Dean closed his eyes and sighed. Mike and Jake had yet to give up getting Dean to play with them.

Dean got up and opened the door, unsurprised to see Mike and Jake standing there.

"Any chance you changed your mind?" Jake asked hopefully.

Dean sighed and shook his head. He wanted to. He wanted to so badly. He longed to just tackle someone, grab the ball, and run as fast as he could to touchdown. But...

"C'mon!" Mike begged. "It's been weeks now! Can't you just play for one day! That's all we're asking for, man!"

Dean didn't reply. His fingers tapped the door frame impatiently. One day, he told himself. "Alright." Mike and Jake smiled in victory. "Just give me a sec." Dean ran back inside. He found Sam watching his cartoons, as usual. "Sammy."

Sam turned his head towards Dean, keeping his eyes glued to the screen. "Huh?"

"I'm going to play football with Mike and Jake. Come out once your shows over."

"'Kay," Sam said distractedly.

"Sam!"

Sam jumped, his head spinning to face Dean's. "Yeah?"

"Did you hear what I said?"

"Come out once my show is over."

Dean smiled. "Good."

---

Dean whooped in victory through his deep breaths as he threw the ball against the ground hard. That was his eleventh touchdown today. For the first time in weeks, he felt released and free. His body didn't feel like a coiled spring and he could finally breathe!

"Hey," Mike said. "Isn't that your brother?"

Dean paused in his victory celebration. Sure enough, Sam was running out of the motel and towards the small yard where they were all playing, smiling and calling for Dean.

Crossing the street, completely ignoring the approaching car.

"Sam, STOP!" Dean screamed.

The squeal of breaks, a sickening thud, and Sam's body flew through the air. It seemed like forever he was flying until he landed on the asphalt with a loud crack.

"SAM!" Dean sprinted to where Sam's body lay. He fell to his knees and flipped Sam over. Dean gasped at the small amount of blood coming out of the corner of Sam's mouth. His arm was also broken, his forearm bent at an odd angle. "Sam, wake up!" Dean screamed, tears falling unheeded down his face. He grabbed Sam's shirt and started to shake him hard. "Sam, WAKE UP!"

"Kid, stop!" A man grabbed Dean and pulled him away. "Someone call 911!" he yelled.

"Leggo of me!" Dean screamed. "Sam! Wake up, now! That's a fucking order! Sam! SAM!"

---

John ran into the hospital and stopped a nurse. "Where's my son?!" he shouted angrily.

"Sir, calm down..."

"Don't tell me to calm down! Where's my son!?"

"What's his name?" the nurse asked calmly.

"Sam Winchester!"

---

Dean had Sam's limp hand tightly in his. He kept his eyes glued on Sam, tears often falling down his face. Every once and a while, a doctor would force Dean to get some sleep and eat a little, but Dean spent every moment he could keeping physical contact with Sam and keeping a watchful eye over him.

He didn't know what happened to Sam physically, but he knew that Sam almost died. All the doctors had been worried. They kept saying he was 'too young' or it was 'too soon.'

The door suddenly burst open. Dean jumped and momentarily looked away from his brother.

John was standing there, a little flushed. He quickly walked to Sam's bedside and placed a large hand on Sam's forehead.

"Dad...?" Dean said.

John closed his eyes and blew out a slow sigh. When he looked at Dean, his eyes were unreadable.

"Mr. Winchester?"

John turned to the doorway where the doctor stood. "You Sammy's doctor?"

The man nodded. He walked in and held out hand. "I'm Dr. Trislinski."

John took his hand and chuckled. "That's a mouthful."

"You can call me Dr. Tris, if you like. Everyone does."

John sobered up and looked over at Sam. "What happened?"

Dr. Tris looked at Dean for a moment. "You may want to have your son removed..."

""M okay," Dean insisted. He wanted to hear what exactly happened to baby brother.

Dr. Tris gave John a look. When John nodded, Dr. Tris sighed and said, "You're son was hit by a car. The collision was strong enough to break a couple of Sam's ribs and send him flying. When he landed, he landed on his arm, breaking it. Now one of the broken ribs punctured a lung, so we had to do an emergency operation."

John paled. "But he's okay, now, right?"

Dr. Tris smiled. "He should be fine. He'll be in some pain, but we were able to realign his bones and fix his lung. I'll prescribe him some pain meds and he should be fine in a few weeks."

"That's it?" John asked incredulously.

"You'd be surprised how quickly young children heal."

John nodded. "Okay, thank you, doctor. Oh, how soon can he leave?"

"I want to keep him for at least another night, just to make sure he doesn't have any infections. After that, as soon as he wakes up and get's checked out."

John smiled and offered his hand. "Thank you. For everything."

Dr. Tris smiled back. "You're welcome." And with this, he left.

John closed the hospital room door, giving him some privacy. His smile quickly turning into a scowl. "Dean?"

Dean jumped in his seat. After hearing what exactly was wrong with Sam, his guilt and shock increased tenfold. He blanked out on the rest of the conversation. But his father's commanding voice brought him back to earth. "Y-yes?"

John turned around and faced Dean. Dean shrunk under his father's accusing glare. "What... happened...?"

Dean started to shake. "S-Sam w-was runnin' t-towards me... and... when h-he was a-about to c-cr-ross the street..." Dean licked his lips and tried to stop his stuttering. "I told him to st-top." Dean shook his head, tears starting to fall. "But he didn't listen..."

"Don't blame Sam for this!" John barked. "You were supposed to look after him! What the fuck were you doing?!"

Dean started to sob. He brought a hand up and tried to wipe the tears off his face. "Pl-laying f-football..." Dean whispered.

John thought he heard wrong. "You were doing what?!"

"Football..."

"Are you serious!?" John roared. "After I told you not to! I was assuming you were working on your homework! But no, you were being selfish as usual and playing around with your friends! And Sam almost died as a result!"

Dean was twisting his hands together, shaking violently, tears and snot falling down his face completely unheeded now. His father's palpable disappointment and anger and his own guilt pressed hard on him, threatening to crush him. "D-daddy..."

"Don't 'Daddy' me! You put yourself before your family, before Sam, and this is the result! Not to mention CPS might get involved now if your grades are still shitty! Are you trying to tear the family apart!?" John screamed. He waited expectantly for an answer, instead only getting his son's sobs. "So you have nothing to say for yourself." He sighed in disgust. He turned to Sam and brushed the bangs away from Sam's eyes. "I think you should get some water."

Dean tried to get his sobs to calm down. "B-but I wanna st-tay here wit' Sammy..."

John closed his eyes. "I think you've done enough damage for now."

Dean stiffened. He bit his lip as he quickly ran out of the room. He ran to the bathroom and locked himself into one of the stalls at the end. He curled himself into the corner and allowed himself to sob. He let them shake his body and rip his soul as his father's words repeated in his head over and over again. "'M sorry..." he whimpered. "'M so sorry...!" Dean rocked himself, locked in his guilt and despair.

After his sobs calmed down, there was only his thoughts. His father made it quite clear. Dean had been selfish. He wanted to play football just so he could feel better. He neglected to take care of Sam and now he was in the hospital, unconscious and probably in pain. Dean rocked harder at the thought of his baby brother in pain. He'd do anything right now to make it so he was the one thatgot hit by the car. Maybe John would have considered a decent punishment for not taking care of Sam and for disobeying orders. It certainly would have been better than his father's rejection and disappointment.

Dean clenched his fists and grit his teeth. He couldn't repeat his mistakes again. From here on in, he was going to stop being so self-involved. From here on in, he will always obey his father's orders to the letter. From here on in, he will take care of Sam, and make sure nothing happens to him ever again.


The End!

So....What'd ya think?

"Leggo of me!" Dean screamed. "Sam! Wake up, now! That's a fucking order! Sam! SAM!" For any of you who thought it was strange having ten-year-old Dean giving an order and cussing like this, my idea was Dean was imitating his father in hope that Sam might respond.

PLEASE TELL ME ALL YOUR THOUGHTS, GOOD OR BAD! THE DRAGON IS VERY HUNGRY!