Disclaimer: Would I be writing FANFICTION if I owned them....?

As I said, this is based off of flashbacks from ephiny63's Hate is a Fourletter Word. There is some child abuse in this chapter, but it's pretty mild.

I'll see how this does, but I probably won't write more oneshots like this if I don't get a decent response.

Rating: K+

Sam is 8, Dean is 13

Enjoy! XD


Sam flipped the pillows up, pulling the sheets back. It has to be here... Throwing the pillows back down, Sam went to the dining room table and shuffled through his papers.

The door to their motel room opened and Dean stepped in. "Hey, Sammy..." Dean frowned at Sam's apparently frantic search. "What's up, dude?"

Sam threw down his papers and glared at his brother. Dean put his arms up in defense. "Whoa there, little brother, just showing a little concern," he said laughing. He put his arms back down and said, "Seriously, what's up?"

"Can't find my bracelet," Sam mumbled as he got on his stomach and reached under the cabinets, blindly searching.

Dean raised an eyebrow. "What bracelet?"

Sam closed his eyes and sighed. As he stood he said, "One of my friends from Burke gave me a small braided bracelet. It was just big enough to take off if I wanted to. I took it off before we went on our hunt yesterday and now I can't find it!" Sam walked over to the table and shuffled through the papers again.

Dean blinked at the description. Oh, shit... "Um, Sammy... About that..."

Sam whirled around. "What about it?!" he said hurriedly.

Dean bit his lip. "I think I might have thrown it away."

The color slightly left Sam's face as he quickly ran to the kitchen trash can. Dean closed his eyes. Oh, I am sooooo dead. "Sammy, I took out the trash last night. It's on a compost heap by now."

Sam stared at the empty trash can. Then he threw it down and yelled, "Why the hell did you throw it away, Dean!?"

"I thought it was trash, Sam!" Dean shot back. "I can't keep track of any of your little doo-dads!"

"'Doo-dads!?' It was from a friend! It was proof!"

"What proof? Proof for what?"

Sam sighed angrily. "Proof that we exist," he mumbled

"What?" Dean laughed incredulously. "Why they hell would you need proof like that?"

Sam shook his head. "Whatever, Dean." Sam bowed his head a little and turned around, trying to hide the tears welling up in his eyes.

Dean sighed. "Well, it's not good to keep items like that close to heart. Especially not the way we live." Dean grabbed a soda from the fridge and turned the TV on, settling down on the couch.

Sam looked at Dean incredulously. He angrily wiped the tears from his eyes and took a shaky sigh, not wanting to look like a girl. That's when Sam noticed their duffle bags in the corner of the room.

Sam gave the back of Dean's head an evil smirk. I'll show you the way we live.

---

The next evening, Dean went out to meet up with a girl at the movies. As soon as Dean was gone, Sam jumped up from the bed and quickly dug through the duffle bags. He almost giggled when he pulled out his brother's favorite hunting knife. Their father had given it to Dean on his thirteenth birthday a couple months ago. Dean treasured the thing more than food to a starving man.

"'It's not good to keep items like that close to heart,'" Sam whispered to himself.

---

Sam was studying on his bed when Dean walked in, a look of confusion on his face. "Have you seen my knife?"

"Which one?" Sam asked, not looking up from his homework.

Dean looked around, as if he had x-ray vision and could spot it anywhere. "The one Dad gave me for my birthday."

Sam shook his head, still staring at his homework. "You ask Dad? Maybe he needed to borrow it."

Dean scoffed. "You're talking about the man with 12 different blades in the back of the Impala?"

Sam shrugged. "You never know."

Dean sighed. "Well, it better show up soon." He walked out of the room and continued to search for his precious knife.

Sam smirked when his brother left. "Yeah, have fun with that," he muttered under his breath.

---

It had only been two days since Sam hid the knife, and already he was deeply starting to regret it. Dean was constantly looking for it, seriously irritable, and definitely worried. Sam could tell by Dean's expression that he was worried about telling their father that he lost the knife. The hole in Sam's gut was slowly growing and was about to tell Dean except for one thing -- Sam wanted his brother to feel miserable for a little bit. He wanted to prove to him that his bracelet was more than just a freaking 'doo-dad'. It was something precious, like the knife.

They were all sitting at the kitchen table, doing research on their next hunt; what seemed to be a haunting. John eventually sighed. "Alright Dean, what is it?"

"What's what?" Dean said automatically, not looking up from his research.

"What's did you do now? Did you get suspended again?" John asked tiredly.

"No..." Dean said. He sighed. "I lost my knife."

John raised an eyebrow. "You what?" he said dangerously low.

Dean visibly gulped. "I lost the knife you gave me."

John slowly placed his pen back on the small pile of papers in front of him. "And how exactly did you manage this?" he said, clearly angry.

Dean bowed his head, avoiding his father's look of disapproval. "I don't know," he said quietly.

"Well it didn't just disappear into thin air, did it!?"

"No, sir," Dean whispered. He seemed to be shrinking in his chair.

Sam bit his lip. The hole in his stomach turning into a great chasm. He didn't mean for it to get this bad. He just wanted to show Dean how he felt. Now their father was angry with Dean and it was all his fault. "Dad..."

"Quiet, Samuel! Dean, what the hell were you doing with it?! I gave it to you because I thought you were responsible enough to handle it!"

Dean folded in on himself even further, his shoulders minutely shaking. "I g-guess not..." he barely whispered.

Unable to take it any longer, Sam blurted out, "I did it!"

John and Dean both suddenly stared at Sam. "What are you talking about?" John said.

Sam bit his lip so hard, he could taste a small trickle of blood leaking into his mouth. "I hid his knife," Sam said meekly.

Dean's eyes widened with shock and anger. "What the hell, Sam!?" Dean yelled angrily. "I've been looking for it, worried out of my god damned mind, and you were hiding it from me?!"

Tears welled up in Sam's eyes. "I'm sorry... Really. I'm so so so sorry!"

Dean buried his head in his hands. "Just... give it back to me."

For a moment, Sam didn't move. His brother's apparent disappointment and anger towards him keeping him frozen to the spot. Sam's mind quickly tried to find a way to remedy the whole situation. His body mechanically moved itself to retrieve Dean's precious knife, all the while his brain torturing him with what his brother must be thinking of him right now.

When Sam came back with the knife and held it out, Dean roughly snatched it out of his hands. "Where the hell did you hide it?!" Dean asked angrily.

Sam bowed his head, his feeling of ingenuity for hiding it where even Dean could find it quickly morphed into something much more painful. "There was a crack behind the shower," Sam explained softly. "I put it there."

Dean shook his head angrily then marched back to his room and slammed the door, making Sam flinch. Sam looked up at his father, who hasn't spoken a word since Sam admittance. "Dad?"

John stood and said, "Apologize to your brother. Right now."

"But I just did!" The thought of bothering Dean at all right now was not at all appealing to Sam.

"Well do it again!" John said. "You stole and lied to him! You will apologize to him again right now!" John started putting the research away. "Then you and me are going out to get some dinner. We need to talk."

Sam visibly paled at the thought of a talk with his father. John Winchester had a sharp tongue and knew how to use it.

Dean was twirling his knife in his hands, relishing the feel of the cold blade, the weight of it, in his hands. Suddenly there was a soft knock on his door. "Go away, Sam."

"Dad told me to say I'm sorry..." Sam said mechanically slow.

"Dad told you to?! Why don't you say it because you mean it!?" Dean slid the knife under his pillow and sighed. "Just go away, Sam."

Sam stared at the door, making a conscious effort not to start crying. "I'm sorry," Sam said quietly.

John suddenly came up from behind him and said, "Dean, we'll be back in a bit. Your brother and I are going to get dinner."

"Whatever," Dean's voice replied.

John put a hand on Sam's shoulder. "C'mon, son," John said, leading Sam away from Dean's room.

---

There was a dead silence in the car. Sam kept waiting for the yelling to start, the accusations, the verbal cutting. But it never came.

When they got the burger joint, John ordered their food and they both waited, again, in silence. Sam was starting to hope their father would just start and get it over with already. The wait was making it all the more worse.

They got their food and were driving back to the motel when John pulled over to the side of the road. He turned off the engine and just sat there.

This is it, Sam thought. Dad's gonna chew my head off, tell me how stealing is bad, how lying is worse...

"Get out of the car," John said as he opened the door and climbed out himself.

Sam stared at his father for a moment before quickly climbing out himself. He walked over to the other side of the car where his father was and waited. "Dad?"

John was staring into the woods they were parked next too. "Sam, could you find a thin branch, flexible, but not frail?"

Sam raised an eyebrow at his father. "Why?"

"Just do it!" John snapped back.

Knowing he was in enough trouble as it was, Sam quickly ran into the woods to find a branch. Why on earth is Dad asking for a branch? The only thing I can think of is he wants to hit me... but he's never hit us! Not even spanked us! So why...?

Sam soon ran back with a branch fitting his father's description. He held it out and said, "Here, Dad."

Suddenly, John grabbed Sam's wrist while wrenching the branch out of his hand. He immediately struck Sam's open palm, leaving an angry red streak. Sam let out a yelp and instinctively closed his hand. "Dad, what the heck!?"

"Open your hand, Samuel, NOW!"

Tears starting to well in his eyes, Sam willed his hand to reopen. John struck it again, making Sam scream. "Dad...!" Sam whimpered, the tears starting to fall down his face.

John ignored his son as he continued to strike Sam's hand. The pain was growing with each strike, slowly traveling up his arm. Sam's cries reduced to pathetic whimpers as his father continued to punish him.

When John was done, he let go of Sam's wrist, letting his son fall limply to the ground, carefully cradling his hand to his chest. "That should teach you not to steal," John said angrily. "Why do you cause trouble like this, Sam?! Dean never causes trouble and yet you steal and lie and god knows what else!" He shook his head. "You're not allowed to talk for a week. Maybe that'll teach you not to lie. I hear you utter one word, or tell your brother about this at all, and I do the same to your other hand. Is that clear?"

Sam quickly nodded, the fear of more punishment choking him. He couldn't believe what his father just did. Thin rivulets of blood slowly dripped down his arm from his hand, but Sam refused to look at his hand and assess the results of his father's disappointment and anger.

"Get in the car," John growled as he slid into the driver's seat. Sam quickly obeyed, his whole body trembling. When he got in and closed the door, John growled, "Oh will you just suck it up!" Sam jumped in his seat. "I don't need you sniveling to your brother when we get back! You got what you earned. Now just suck it up and accept it!"

Sam nodded again and tried to wipe the tears off his face, but they just kept coming. His hand was on fire and the smallest movement made it feel like it was being dipped in acid. John sighed and held a piece of cloth from one of his many pockets in front of Sam's face. "Wrap your hand up. You fell and scrapped it on the ground. Next week when you're allowed to talk, that's what you're going to tell Dean if he asks, understood?"

Sam meekly took the cloth and nodded. He slowly wrapped it around his hand, nearly crying out every time it touched the broken, abused skin.

When they got back, Sam just sat himself at the table, trying to appear small as John went to get his eldest. When Dean came out of his room, he completely ignored Sam and grabbed his burger. Sam was tenderly unwrapping his from the foil, silently hoping he could eat it with one hand.

After they were done eating, Dean excused himself and shut himself back in his room. Sam flinched as the door slammed. John sighed. "Go to your room, Sam."

Sam nodded and quickly ran to his room. He was suddenly ever more grateful for the fact he and his brother had separate rooms. Usually they had to sure one, heck, sometimes they had to share one with their father! But now the Dean and their father were both angry and disappointed with him, he was thankful for the isolation of his small room, where he could muffle his cries in his pillow and never have anyone find out how weak he was.

---

The next morning, Dean knocked on Sam's bedroom door. "Sam, it's time to wake up." Dean was about to go brush his teeth when he realized Sam hadn't responded. Dean frowned. Sam usually answered with an 'okay' or 'go away' or even the occasional 'screw you.' But today, nothing.

He must be upset about last night. Dean knocked on the door again. "C'mon, Sam. I'm not mad at you anymore." No answer. "Sam..." Dean opened the door and said, "Seriously, we -- "

The room was empty. The bed was made and pajamas folded on top. Dean frowned and started towards the kitchen. He blinked in surprised when he saw Sam sitting at the table, knees drawn and shoulders slumped. Dean sighed as he walked up and placed a hand on Sam's shoulder. Sam flinched and looked up with swollen red eyes. Dean gave Sam a sympathetic smile as he sat next to his brother. "You stole my knife because I threw away your bracelet, didn't you?"

Sam sniffed and gave a small nod, carefully pulling his sleeves down. He was thankful for the cold weather and the excuse to wear long sleeves. It was much easier to hide the bandage that way.

Dean folded his hands in front of him on the table and stared at them thoughtfully. "And when you said it was 'proof that we exist', you meant that it means we're not just a passing memory to everyone we meet."

Sam looked at his brother in surprise and gave a small smirk.

Dean chuckled. "Yeah, I did a lot of serious thinking last night. Looks like when I try, I can read you like a book."

Sam smiled. He wouldn't want anyone else to read him so well.

Dean wrapped an arm around his brother and said, "You know I'm not mad anymore, right?"

Sam nodded. Dean frowned at Sam's silence. "You okay, Sam?" Sam nodded again. "You sure?" Sam nodded furiously. Dean smiled and gave him a small squeeze. "Alright."

---

As the week progressed, Dean got more and more worried. Ever since the incident, Sam hadn't uttered a single word. Thinking Sam was still upset, Dean kept telling Sam that he wasn't mad and that it was okay. Sam would just smile, nod, and move on. At one point, Dean just got frustrated when he asked what Sam wanted to eat and he just shrugged. "Why the hell aren't you talking!? I've told you I'm not mad! What more do you want?!?" When he saw his little brother look at him in surprise with tear-filled eyes, he immediately amended by saying, "I'm not mad. I'm just worried. Why aren't you talking?" Sam just shrugged.

Almost a week since it started, Dean brought it up with his father. "I'm worried, Dad. I don't know why he's not talking."

"I'm sure he's just in a mood," John said distractedly.

"For a week? Dad, he's not a girl and he's not PMS-ing!"

John looked at the calender and gave a small smile. "I'm sure he'll be back to normal soon enough. He's just upset about the knife thing." John sighed. "I just wish he wasn't so self-involved..."

Dean frowned. "You think that's it? That Sam's just being selfish?"

"Well, he obviously hasn't gotten over the incident yet, and even though it was his doing, he wants you to feel sorry for him."

Dean gave an uncertain nod. Somehow, that just didn't make sense.

---

"D-Dean?"

Dean jumped at Sam's voice. "Hey, you're talking!"

Sam gave a small nod and smile as he sat next to his brother. "Sorry for worrying you," he said, his voice hoarse from lack of use.

"It's alright, but you mind telling me what was going on?"

Sam just shrugged. "Guess I just need to think about a few things," Sam mumbled.

Dean raised an eyebrow. "You couldn't think out loud?"

Sam shook his head. "I'm really, really sorry about the knife! I didn't mean for you to get in trouble with Dad! I didn't mean -- !"

"Whoa, slow down, Sam! I thought I've told you a billion times that I'm not mad."

Sam hung his head, staring at his abused hand through the sleeve. "I know. But it still doesn't make what I did any better."

Dean sighed. "C'mon." He stood and headed outside.

"Dean?" Sam asked confused.

"Just follow me," Dean insisted.

Sam nodded and quickly slipped his shoes on, ignoring the laces. When he caught up with his brother, Dean was cutting a small strip of leather off the sleeve of his beloved jacket. "What are you doing??" Sam asked, utterly confused.

Dean beckoned his brother to come closer. "Hold your wrist out." Sam did as he was told and Dean wrapped the piece of leather around his brother's wrist. "Hold that, will ya?"

Still confused, Sam held the two ends of the strip of leather together and Dean started to dig through his pockets. When he pulled out a box of matches, Sam asked again, "What are you doing?"

Dean struck one of the matches and said, "You want proof you exist?" Dean took the ends from his brother and held them in the small flame, careful not to touch Sam's skin. "Well, here ya go." Dean put out the match and said, "You're not allowed to take this off."

Sam grabbed the now-sealed strip of leather and started to take it off, realizing it was just big enough...

Dean smiled and stopped Sam. "I know you can, but you're not allowed to."

Sam frowned. "Why not?"

Dean looked down at the makeshift bracelet, looking a little embarrassed. "I'm giving this to you to prove to you that you're not just a passing memory. Not to me. The other people don't matter, Sam. We're for each other, no one else. I don't want you to take this off because I don't want you to forget that."

Sam looked at the leather again, now seeing it in a new light. "But I'm gonna get bigger."

"I think it's big enough that you'll grow into it. At that point, you won't be able to take it off."

Sam fiddled with it a little, his eyes filling with tears. "We exist," he whispered. Then he looked up at his brother and said, "But what about you?"

Dean smiled. He put a finger through the necklace Sam had just given him months before and pulled it out. "I got this, remember?"

Sam looked at the small pendant and smiled. "And you haven't taken it off."

Dean nodded. "Next time you feel like that, and you think I won't understand, chances are I'll understand more than you'll expect. So tell me. Don't go stealing my stuff to prove a point."

Sam smiled then suddenly wrapped his arms around his bother's neck. "Thank you, Dean."

Dean smiled as he wrapped his arms around his brother. "You're welcome, Sammy."


So...? What'd ya think...

Those of you waiting for my other updates, I'M ALMOST FREE! I should be back to updating regularly soon. btw, Lightness and Darkness are next XD

If you liked this fic (or even if you didn't) please leave an utterly honest review.

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