I'm posting this in hopes of having some reviews to read on my birthday. So if you read this, please take a second to review and give me some birthday happiness. Reviews are the gift that keeps on giving. LOL
Here's another in my wee!Chester series, looking at the important lessons life has taught the Winchester brothers. Lesson 4: Sometimes being a good brother means making the ultimate sacrifice.
Take One for the Team
"Nooooooo!!!" the two-year-old's voice wailed as Sammy clung to his big brother's leg fiercely. "Wan' Deeeeean," he hiccupped a sob. "Dean don' weab Sammy."
"It's okay, buddy. I'm gonna be right here the whole time. I'm not leavin'." Dean reassured his little brother, trying to get him to calm down, but the small boy just shook his head and wrapped both arms more firmly around his older brother's leg.
Dean felt his heart give a lurch, then crack wide open at the look of misery in the toddler's puppy dog eyes. Tears overflowed, trickling down rounded baby cheeks to drip off the quivering chin below. Those eyes were both pleading and heartbroken, as if not knowing how his big brother could betray him this way. Dean felt tears begin to sting his own eyes at the sight of his little brother's distress and looked to his dad, green eyes begging for help.
"Sammy, it's nap time," John stated firmly as he tried to peel the toddler off the big brother he didn't want to be parted from. He gave Dean an apologetic look. John knew it tore the kid up to see his little brother so upset, and it was all his fault. He'd gotten wrapped up in researching an ancient Sumerian banishing ritual and had missed putting Sammy down for his nap on time. Now the tot was overtired, and having to sleep instead of spending time with his big brother—who'd finally come home from school and could play with him—seemed like the end of the world to the child.
Dean starting school this year had been really hard on the younger boy, who was used to having him there whenever he needed him. Truthfully, the adjustment had been hard on all of them. John was trying to keep that in mind and not snap at his youngest.
"Noooo!!!" Sammy sobbed, heartbroken. "Not wifout," the toddler took a hitched breath, then let out another choked sob, "my D-D-Deeeeean," he stuttered. The little boy was having a hard time catching his breath now, he was crying so hard, and Dean felt a flash of panic. He had to fix this.
"Okay, Sammy, okay." Dean wrapped his arms around the small trembling body. "It's okay, I'll stay with you. Alright? But ya gotta stop cryin', buddy." He gave the small boy a hug, tousled his hair. "You don't gotta take a nap. It's okay, Sammy." He patted the small back soothingly, rubbing circles as he comforted. "I gotcha, squirt."
John raised a brow at this and opened his mouth to protest—Sammy really did need a nap. But the look Dean gave him quelled the words. He just shook his head and left them to it, sighing softly as he went to prepare dinner. He knew Dean would have Sammy quieted in no time at all. They'd re-visit the whole nap thing then.
The little boy finally calmed down enough to ease his death grip on his brother. Now he leaned against Dean, one arm still hooked around the older boy's leg, fist clutching his jeans, the other hand occupied by the thumb in his mouth. Dean felt a tingling sensation as blood rushed back to the numb limb. He pried Sammy's arm loose and knelt down in front of him. He carefully wiped tears away from the wet, flushed cheeks with his own small fingers, then gently teased and tickled until he'd wrung a giggle from the small boy. His own breathing eased at the sound and his eyes finally stopped stinging.
Now that Sammy wasn't upset anymore, his eyelids began to droop, and Dean knew he really was tired. So he did what any good big brother would: he faked a yawn, complete with outstretched arms, like he'd seen his dad do sometimes at the end of a long day. "I'm really tired, Sammy. Think I'm gonna go lay down. Don't worry, though, ya don't gotta come. You just stay out here and play with Daddy."
Sammy's brow furrowed as he considered this, small red lips puckering. Then he shook his head decisively. "No," he asserted stubbornly, "wan' go wif Dean. Me way down too."
Dean pretended to consider this for a minute, "Wellll…" he looked down into hopeful hazel eyes and smiled, "I guess it'd be okay. But you'd have to be really quiet so I can sleep," he warned.
"Otay," Sammy chirped earnestly. "Sammy twiet."
Dean rolled his eyes. Yeah, that'd be the day. But he said nothing, just stood and took his little brother's hand in his as he walked them to the back bedroom they shared.
When dinner was ready, John went to call the boys, expecting he'd find them playing in their bedroom. Instead they were both fast asleep in Dean's bed. Sammy was curled up at Dean's side, tucked safely between him and the wall, facing his big brother. One thumb was in his now-slack mouth and drool dribbled down onto the comforter. His other small fist held tightly to Dean's tee shirt, even in sleep. Dean lay curled around his brother protectively, one arm out to encircle Sammy and hold him close while he slept, chin resting on the little boy's head. His tousled not-quite blond hair stuck out in all directions from the small hands that had run through it, and his breathing was deep and even.
But what caught John's attention was the all-too-rare look of quiet contentment on Dean's face as he slept. He remembered Dean looking just that way when he'd taken naps with Mary. John felt a pang at the remembrance and another at the realization of how few times he'd seen that look since Mary's death. His boys had always had a special bond, though, and it was never more evident than at this moment.
A lump rose in his throat just looking at them and he quietly backed out of the room, closing the door softly behind him. Dinner could wait; they had plenty of time.
Some things were more important.