--Dean: 17 Sam: 13--

Beat It

He carried Sam out to the car. Sam shook in the cold air, turning his face into Dean's chest when the bitter wind blew.

"Shh…" Dean soothed. He reached for the rear car door; Sam whimpered.

"No, Dean, don't let me go, please." He begged. Dean looked down at him, in those puppy eyes filled with tears.

"Okay," He nodded. "Okay. I won't, Sammy. I won't. Shh…"

He slid into the driver's seat, keeping Sam next to him in the passenger seat. Sam leaned against him, crying softly. Dean's heart hurt. He swallowed the lump in his throat and lifted Sam's face.

"Let me see, Sammy, lemme see." Reluctantly, Sam let Dean coax his face up. Dean's gut wrenched and his heart cracked.

A spot in Sam's hair was caked and matted with dried blood. His eye was blackened, his lip split, his cheek cut and jaw bruised. His eyes were filled with tears and his lips were trembling.

"Sammy…Sammy, I'm so sorry." He said, the pain in his chest unbearable.

"'S not your fault, Dean," He assured in a soft voice. "I shoulda paid attention."

"I should've been there, buddy. I'm so sorry. God, I'm sorry." He said, voice strained. There was a beat of silence.

"He knew Dad, didn't he?" Dean asked. Sam nodded. "Dad piss him off?" He nodded again, sniffing.

"Did you call Dad?" Sam asked hopefully. Dean laughed ruefully, letting Sam's face go.

"I called his pager I don't know how many times. Called his voicemail too. He hasn't called me back, yet," He said. Sam bowed his head. Dean hugged him. "But he will, Sammy. He will." He assured.

"When he finishes the hunt." Sam mumbled. He winced suddenly, inhaling sharply, pain shooting through him. He relaxed against Dean, crying again.

"It's okay, it's okay, Sammy. Shh…It's okay. It's alright, Sammy. I'm gonna get you home, okay?"

Sam cried the whole way to the motel room, the pain that wracked his body making it hard for him to even think.

Dean picked him up with ease once they got there. He carried him into the room and gently set him down on the bed. He grabbed the first-aid kit, some warm water and a washcloth and some ibuprofen.

"Sammy, is anything broken?" He asked. Sam gave a weary shake of his head. Dean nodded and gingerly put his hand under Sam's back, carefully lifting him up and pulling off his ripped t-shirt. He lied Sam back down, and when he saw how battered his torso was a strange surge of sadness and hate filled his stomach.

A tear slipped down his cheek; suddenly it was hard to breathe.

"I shoulda killed him." He whispered. Sam had his eyes closed, sniffing. He wiped the blood off of his face and his hair. He bandaged deep bruise on his shoulder and his ribs. He covered the cut on his back, all the while thinking he should go back and rip that guy's head off. He tried not to think about what would have happened if he would have taken longer to find him.

He got clean clothes on him, trying not to hurt him and wincing when he whimpered. He gave him the ibuprofen and the glass of water he had brought with him.

"You hungry, buddy?" He asked gently. Sam nodded feebly. God those eyes…

Dean warmed up some tomato soup and put it in a mug. He went back over to the bed and coaxed Sam into a sitting position, leaning against him. Sam drank it eagerly, wincing when it was too hot. He downed the whole thing quickly. Dean set the empty mug on the nightstand and let Sam fall against him. Dean looked down at him. His eyes were closed tight, he was biting his lip to stop himself from crying.

Dean had to swallow the lump in his throat again. "Hey, it's okay to cry, Sammy. Go ahead and cry, it's okay." Sam started sobbing against him, hugging him tightly. Dean held him, tears of his own slipping silently down his face.

"He won't hurt you anymore, Sammy. It'll be alright. Shh…I got you, Sammy. I got you." He whispered.

Sam fell asleep like that. Dean lied him down and covered him up, making sure he wasn't laying on something that would hurt later. He tried calling his father one more time, once again with no answer.

Dean stayed sitting next to Sam all night. And when he woke up crying after a nightmare he even lied next to him, falling asleep holding him.

Nothing seemed amiss when he got up the next morning. Until he saw the note on the dresser.

Dean,

Thank you for taking care of Sammy.

The guy who did it's been taken care of too.

-Dad

END

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