A/N:This story is for the lovely Gidgetgal9 who won a fic from me at Kazcon. The proceeds went toward a donation to National Lung Cancer Partnership in recognition of Kim Manners. I'm so glad I was able to be a part of it even if I couldn't make it to the convention. Thanks to sendintheclowns and blueeyedliz for their support and beta and thanks to Gidgetgal9 for biding on me! I hope you enjoy reading this story as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Warnings/Spoilers:Minor character death and spoilers for End of Season 1 and Early Season 2. Does hurt Sam need a warning?
Disclaimer: Don't own.
Summary: A Rescue mission gone wrong leaves Sam injured and the brothers with the responsibility of five-year-old twin girls who share a surprisingly strong connection to Sam that goes well beyond the loss of their parents.
Of all the days Dean could have chosen, Sam should have known it'd be the hottest day of the entire year.
For the past few months there has been an ever growing rift between him and Dean. The slightest thing turned into a full blown argument these days.
Sam knew Dean was only looking for an excuse to kick his ass today, after yet another pointless fight. The fact that it was so hot outside only added to Sam's punishment.
All of his protests had fallen on deaf ears and Dean couldn't even compromise by waiting till evening. No. They had to be outside, hidden behind their current motel, sparring in the heat of summer.
Definitely not how Sam wanted to spend his day and he was quite aware that Dean knew it.
"Come on, Sammy, look alive!" Dean bounced a bit on his feet with the energy of a five year old and Sam couldn't help but roll his eyes. "The sooner you get with it, the sooner I can kick your ass."
"This is ridiculous, Dean." Despite knowing it would get him nowhere, Sam continued to voice his displeasure just for the heck of it. "It's like a hundred and twenty degrees out here."
"Since when are you scared to sweat a bit?"
"I'm more afraid of heat stroke."
He twisted the cap off his water, surprised that it was still pretty cold, as Dean glared at him with obvious annoyance. Taking a quick sip of his water, sure to save some for when he'd need it most, he threw the bottle back to the ground and turned toward his brother.
"You finished bitching?" Dean didn't even wait for him to reply before throwing the first punch.
Luckily, Sam's reflexes kicked in and he easily ducked away from the punch, throwing a right hook at the same time. Dean just as easily picked up on his move and blocked it, throwing another punch of his own. They were in full sparring mode now.
Sam was never too great at this part of their training, and despite the height difference, Dean could take him down rather easily. Put him up against anything or anyone else and Sam could just as easily win the fight, but he never could against Dean.
He liked to think it was just because he was afraid of hurting his brother, but he knew that wasn't the real reason. Dean could take down just about any opponent and while that fact often made Sam feel safe it also annoyed him when he was the opponent.
Sam rolled his eyes again when Dean paused for a second to rip off his sweaty t-shirt but not long after Sam was shedding his own. Both he and Dean were drenched, but neither willing to give in and call it quits; not till at least one of them goes down.
Having enough of the lame punches being thrown, Sam threw his leg out, catching Dean in the knee and nearly sending the older brother to the ground. Dean was quick to readjust his stance and growled slightly at the unfair move.
"You wanna play dirty, Samuel?"
Sam knew things were going to get rough now and if he was being truthful, the use of his full name definitely frightened him a bit. Dean was a force to be reckoned with when he got angry, especially when sparring.
Before Sam could even see it coming, Dean lunged forward, knocking Sam to the ground and pinning Sam's right arm behind his back.
Sam gasped as the wind was knocked out of him with the hard fall but he snapped back in time to elbow Dean in the ribs, hard enough to force his brother to release him. Dean reacted to the pain for only a second before throwing himself back at Sam and successfully pinning him to the ground again.
Just as Sam was about to counterattack, he heard Dean's cell phone start ringing, thankful for a reason to end their tiring battle.
He smiled at Dean's groan but regretted it when his brother pushed him to the ground, harder than necessary, as Dean got up to get the phone.
"You're lucky, Bitch."
"This mean's I won." He rubbed at his arm as he picked himself up and grabbed his discarded shirt.
"The hell it does!" The look on Dean's face had him nearly falling back to the ground with laughter. "You had a face full of dirt. That automatically makes me the winner."
Before Sam could say anything else, Dean answered the phone with a cocky grin and Sam glared at his brother for a few seconds before moving closer to hear the conversation. He couldn't make out the voice on the other end but just by the way Dean addressed the person, he knew it was Bobby.
He mentally thanked Bobby for once again saving him, though he wasn't exactly in danger, he was still glad the elder hunter always knew the right time to call.
"What's going on?" Sam wiped the sweat from his forehead with his shirt and then tugged the already damp material back over his head.
When he looked back over toward Dean, his brother was holding up a silencing hand and if Sam had any energy left, he's pretty sure he would have broken it. He hated being silenced.
Dean always told him he acted like a child sometimes and while usually it would piss him off, he had to admit that he was definitely acting like one now. If Dean wasn't on the phone Sam was sure his brother would have been laughing at the way he stomped his foot and walked away.
He didn't care at the moment though. He reached down and picked up his water bottle, swallowing nearly half of the warm water in one gulp before picking up his brother's shirt and slowly walking back toward Dean.
Sam handed Dean the shirt and growled when his brother grabbed the water bottle as well, "Get your own, jerk!"
Of course Dean didn't listen and Sam threw a pretty hard punch as Dean sucked down the rest of the water. He smirked when Dean choked slightly on the water but then his brother handed him the empty bottle with another cocky grin and Sam's triumph quickly faded.
"Alright we'll be there." Dean ended the call and finally turned toward Sam who was waiting very impatiently for an explanation.
"That was Bobby?" Sam asked, making sure his assumption was correct, as he followed Dean back toward their motel room.
"What'd he want?"
"Are you five?"
Sam stared at Dean in confusion when his brother stopped in front of their door until he realized Dean was referring to his excessive questioning. He couldn't help it though, being kept out of the loop always made him anxious.
"If you would just tell me what's going on I wouldn't have to ask." He rounded his shoulders and stood straighter as if to make a point. "What does Bobby need our help with?"
"A friend of Bobby's, Dave Mason, was on a hunt and he ran into a bit of trouble."
Sam watched as Dean pushed the door open and headed right to the first bed, plopping down on top of the rumpled sheets. He stood in the doorway for a few seconds, trying to figure out where he knew that name from until it finally hit him.
"He was a friend of Dad's too, right?" He sat down in one of the chairs near the tiny table and waited till Dean nodded. "So what happened?"
"Dave was hunting a demon in Missouri and apparently he got a little too close to killing it."
"Is he okay?"
"He's fine." Sam saw the anger in Dean's eyes as his brother dug through the duffle beside him. "The damn thing snatched his kids then skipped town."
Now Sam understood the anger.
Another thing Dean would never admit was his big soft spot for kids, add to that, children of a hunter who were taken by a demon. Sam knew Dean was going to find the thing and try to kill it in the least humane way possible, though humane probably doesn't apply to demons.
"Does Bobby have any leads on where it skipped off too?"
"He's tracked some electrical storms out in Minnesota, thinks the thing might have headed north." Dean pulls out a clean change of clothes, shoving the sweaty shirt back into the duffle before turning back toward Sam. "We get cleaned up then we head out."
Sam didn't even bother arguing as Dean stormed off into the tiny bathroom he just sighed and headed over to his own bed. He dug out a change of clothing for himself and then took a seat on the mattress.
He'd been hoping for just a small break, actually believing that the sparring was Dean's way of saying they could take the day off, but he should have known better. It's not that he blamed Dean because he was all for catching a demon, especially one messing with another family.
If Mason was anything like John Winchester then they were going to have their hands full. Sam couldn't imagine what their father would have been like if something had snatched Dean and him, but he knew it wouldn't have been pretty. If their father even thought something looked at them funny, the thing was dead within seconds.
Sam wondered if Mason's kids even knew what their father did, if they had similar training that he and Dean had. He figured most hunters tried to keep their children out of the loop, his father had tried it with him, but now Sam was glad they were trained, glad they'd get the chance to help another family.
He was pulled from his thoughts when the bathroom door opened and Dean walked out, the steam following. Sam rolled his eyes as he headed in for his own showering, knowing full well that he would be taking a cold one, which would be fine if he hadn't been hoping to loosen his tight muscles.
"Meet ya out in the car, Sam." Dean sat on the edge of the bed and pulled on his boots before he grabbed Sam's duffle bag. "I want to hit the road within the hour so hurry up."
"Please," Sam threw up his middle finger when he reached the bathroom door. "It won't take me that long, Dean."
"Well you are kind of girly."
Sam slammed the door behind him, shutting out the loud laughter from his brother but he was smiling to himself as he climbed into the shower, letting the water wash away any of the doubts he had. They were going to save those children because they most certainly were not letting another family be ruined by a demon.
By the time they reached Minnesota Dean was a bundle full of nerves.
He had hoped they'd make good time, but of course luck was never on their side, having hit every possible traffic jam in the Midwest. They were rushing the clock once again and Dean didn't want to waste time that should be spent finding the kids but now they were definitely behind.
They pulled into an old abandoned gas station and Bobby was already there, standing at the trunk of his car with another man, whom Dean presumed to be Mason.
"Hey boys," Bobby clapped him and Sam on the shoulder as they made their way toward the two older men. "Thanks for coming on such short notice."
Dean nodded and looked to Sam, thinking his brother would do the talking but instead Sam simply held a hand out toward Mason with a sad smile. Obviously, Dean wasn't the only one putting a connection between their family and the Masons.
Mason looked at Sam for a moment, staring at the kid's offered hand and Dean was starting to think the guy was going to reject their help until he reluctantly shook Sam's hand. If the situation weren't so grim, Dean would have probably laughed at the way his brother introduced himself but he had to give Sam credit for breaking the ice.
Mason continued to stare at Sam, his eyes slowly following up to Sam's face and Dean knew exactly what was coming next.
"I knew you when you were barely knee high." The older man laughed but clapped Sam's hand in both of his, the tension thankfully removed and Dean couldn't help but snicker himself.
"He went through a bit of a growth spurt." Dean held out his own hand and Mason turned toward him with a smile as he released Sam.
"I'd say." The man holds onto Dean's hand a bit longer, their eyes meeting for a few moments and Dean starts to feel slightly awkward. "I really appreciate you boys helping me out. Your dad taught you both well and I could really use the help."
"Well, he didn't have many friends," Dean felt the pang in his heart at the mention of his father but he hide it with a smile. "But he never was one to let them down."
"He was a good man."
"Yeah." Dean nodded his thanks, knowing Mason understood. "That he was."
"So what kind of demon are we dealing with?" Once again Dean was thankful that his brother was there, bringing them back to the task at hand and pulling Dean from his thoughts.
Bobby pushed them toward his car where all the notes were laid out over the trunk and Dean knew with that amount of research, they were definitely bringing this thing down. There was no way the four of them, four of the best hunters in the gig, were going to let a demon beat them.
According to Bobby and Mason's notes, the demon was pretty low on the food chain and was simply getting its kicks by turning small town folk against each other. Mason apparently found a lead on who it was possessing and was closing in when the thing snatched his kids.
The girl Dave believed it had possessed was missing, no body found, so they were assuming the demon was still lugging around the same host. Mason had a picture of the missing girl so at least, if they were right, then they knew who they're looking for.
"Any chance your kids have their cell phone on them?"
Dean looked to Sam in confusion but remembered who the geek in their operation was. Sam's gotten them out of a lot of dilemmas with his geeky brain.
"They don't have phones." Dean and Sam both stared at Mason, finding it unbelievable that kids these days would be without a phone, especially the kids of a hunter. "They're only five."
"My girls," Mason pulled out his wallet and flipped it open, holding up a picture of his two girls. "They're five year old twins, Meghan and Mackenzie."
"Oh," Dean wanted to laugh at the look on Sam's face but his face couldn't have looked any better. "Well that explains why they were easy to snag, no offense."
"I wanted to keep them out of everything, at least for a while anyways."
"Believe me," He looked over at Sam with a sad smile and he knew Sam picked up on it. "I understand."
"Who were they with when they were taken?"
"They were with me, sleeping." Mason ran a hand through his hair and then turned back to Dean. "We don't have any family, my wife passed away about a year ago and neither of us had anyone else so it's just me and the girls now. I don't hunt much but when I do I hire a babysitter."
"You hire a babysitter?"
"There's a website, it's a long story, but it's definitely creditworthy."
"Wow," Dean laughed slightly but then stopped, smile falling instantly. "Sorry, it's just, it amazes me what you can find online nowadays."
For a second Dean worried he had upset Mason but finally the older man smiled, "It comes in handy when you're always on the move."
The group fell into another short silence before Bobby was pulling them out, handing both Sam and Dean a few pages of notes. Dean scanned them quickly but carefully and then nodded at the two older hunters, motioning for Sam to head back to the car.
"We'll split up," Dean motioned between him and his brother, hating that he was even suggesting it but there really wasn't much time. "We're going to find your girls, Dave."
"Thank you." Dave shook his hand and waved goodbye to Sam before climbing into Bobby's car.
Dean turned to Bobby once Sam and Dave were gone, "You think we'll get them back?"
"I hope so." Bobby didn't even try to cover his doubt and Dean read it loud and clear, if they're even alive. "Stay in touch and please be careful. Don't go too far from each other, okay? We don't know exactly what we're dealing with."
"We're dealing with a demon," Dean corrected with a small smile. "One that's not living past today."
"Let's just make sure that we do."
Dean nodded and clapped the older hunter on the shoulder before he turned away and headed back to the Impala. When his eyes fell on his brother sitting in the passenger seat, nose stuffed in the research, he felt his anger rush back with full force. He knew all too well what it felt like to lose someone to a demon but he couldn't imagine losing the only person he had left, the person he spent his life taking care of and trying to protect.
"So according to Bobby's notes, the activity is pretty much centered in this one town."
Dean nodded and pretended to be paying attention to Sam but his mind was finding it a bit hard to focus. He kept his eyes straight forward, his vision tunneling, as they raced across Minnesota on a hunt that neither of them knew too much about.
"Are you even listening to me, Dean?"
"Yeah," He lied, still keeping his eyes focused ahead. "Of course I am."
"You have no idea what I even said."
"Sure I do."
He turned his head for a second and caught Sam's awaiting glare but he didn't know what else to say. Instead of answering Sam's obvious question he just shrugged his shoulders and acted as if nothing had happened.
"So where should we look first?"
"Dean," Sam closed the folder and Dean knew what was coming next as his brother turned toward him with those sympathetic eyes. "You've got to stay focused, man. We're going to find them but not if you're spacing out like this."
"Shut it, Sam." He turned toward Sam with a glare and the younger man quickly snapped his mouth closed.
Without another word Sam turned back to the research and Dean went back to his own thoughts, only feeling slightly guilty for shutting his brother out once again. Since their father died, Dean was shutting Sam out more and more even if all he really wanted to do was keep the kid close and out of harm's way.
Sam had been pushing him to talk, trying to pull Dean out of the thoughts that were tormenting him but it just made Dean push back harder. He feared Sam would get tired of it soon and give up, maybe leave again, and Dean wasn't sure he could take that.
He didn't want to let it go that far but he was struggling and the only thing keeping him going was Sam, even if he couldn't say what he really felt.
"Bobby and Dave are checking out the east side of the town," Sam didn't even try to meet his eyes this time and Dean swallowed the lump in his throat.
"So we're checking the west side?"
"Looks like it," Sam pointed to a rather large area on the map Bobby had given them and circled a particular section. "I'll check out this part. It's apparently an old produce farm that's been abandoned for a few years now, if I were a demon, that'd be a pretty good place to hide."
"Why do you get that part?"
"Are we going to argue about this too?"
"No," He turned down one of the side streets, nearly sending the car into the surrounding fields. "I'm just…"
"What, Dean?" Sam's eyes took on the typical angry glare they got when Dean threatened his manhood. "I can take care of myself."
"That's not the problem, Sam!"
"Then what is?"
He slammed his hand against the steering wheel but didn't say a word as they made their way to the farm. It wasn't that he doubted Sam's ability; he just didn't want to test their luck.
When they pulled up to the farm, Dean abruptly stopped the car right in front of the gated entrance and waited. Sam didn't make a move to get out until Dean reached over and opened the door.
"Dean," He didn't look at Sam, just turned back to stare out the windshield. "I didn't mean to make it a fight. I'm sorry."
Sometimes Dean knew he was being an ass and this was definitely one of those times. He should be the one apologizing to Sam because anything the kid said these days he turned into a fight. Most of the time it wasn't Sam's fault, yet Sam was always the one saying sorry.
He waited till Sam was out of the car, heading toward the opened field before he called out the window, "Be careful, Sammy."
Sam didn't turn around and Dean didn't even know if his words had reached his brother or not but he didn't wait any longer. He threw the car into drive, making a rather sharp u-turn, and headed back out toward the main road.
Somewhere in the pit of his stomach, had he not been ignoring it, he would have realized he'd made a huge error in judgment. He would have turned the car right back around, if only he had listened to his gut.
To be Continued…
Thank you all so much for reading and I really hope you'll stick with me!
There's definitely more hurt!Sam to come with sweet moments between the boys and the girls.
I'm really excited about this story so hopefully you all will continue to enjoy it!