I wrote this story quickly tonight and didn't do much editing. I apologize in advance for any flubs, grammatical errors, etc.

I don't own these characters; I'm just using them for fun.

Six-year-old Sam Winchester plucked at the balled up fuzz on the worn out couch as he sat watching television. It was an ugly old couch that came with the rented apartment. He didn't care about the couch. He was more concerned over the poor reception on the old TV. He could barely make out which of the Power Rangers he was watching. The colors seemed to fade in and out within the snowy screen. He finally gave up and flipped the television off.

He was bored.

He scooted himself off the couch and plopped down on the floor next to his brother. Dean was working on his school work. Sam knew Dean hated school work and it always made him grouchy. But he was bored, so he decided to test his luck.

"Dean, you want to play outside?"

"I'm busy, Sammy," Dean said without looking up from his books. He seemed to be stuck on a math problem. Sam wished he could help Dean with his homework so there would be more time to do other stuff. He hated Dean's homework almost as much as Dean did.

"Are you almost done?" Sam asked hopefully.

"No," Dean sighed, still not looking up from his books.

"Is it hard work?" Sam stared at Dean's books and tried to make sense out of the sea of numbers that covered the page.


Sam could hear the impatience creeping into Dean's voice, but he decided to try for one last question.

"When do you think you'll be done?" Sam asked his question in a whisper hoping it would disturb his brother less.

"I'll never get done if you keep buggin me, Sam," Dean said as he slammed his pencil down and stared hard at his little brother. "Now leave me alone. Go play by yourself for awhile."

Woops. He'd gone too far. Now Dean was angry with him. Sam chewed on his bottom lip for a moment as he watched Dean go back to working on his dreaded school work. He opened his mouth to apologize, but he was cut off by his father's booming voice in the kitchen.

"Samuel Winchester," John bellowed. "You leave your brother alone and let him get his homework done."

Sam climbed up onto the couch and peaked over the back toward the kitchen where his father sat cleaning his guns.

"Yes sir," he said quietly. He watched as his father picked up one of his rifles and peered down the barrel. He gave a small nod of approval at his own work before he set the gun back on the table.

"Is it clean, Daddy?" Sam asked. His voice was slightly muffled as he smushed his face into the couch cushions so that only the top of his head was peaking over the couch.


"Which one are you gonna clean now?"

"They're all clean, Sammy."

"What about that one," Sam said as he pointed toward the handgun John kept sitting closest to him. Sam knew it was his favorite.

John glanced at Sam before he spoke.

"I'm not cleaning that one tonight, Sammy," John said.

"Is it cuz you cleaned it last time?" Sam asked curiously.

"No," John said with a sigh. "I'm gonna clean that one tomorrow."

John glanced at Sam before he got up from the table and walked across the floor toward him. He picked Sam up off the couch and flipped him upside down. Sam giggled as he began tickling his tummy.

"Aren't you just a barrel of questions tonight," he said as he tortured Sam with tickling up and down his stomach.

Sam's giggles turned into a full belly laugh and he felt his face turn red as he fought to catch his breath.

"Daddy, stop!" Sam yelled through his laughter. "It tickles!"

John set Sam down on the couch and glanced toward Dean.

"How's the homework coming, Ace?" John called to him.

"I hate math," Dean grumbled in response.

"Well, keep at it," John said with a sigh. "Do the best you can."

"Yes sir," Dean said quietly.

John looked at Sam again and ruffled his hair.

"I'm going out to get us some supper," John said before pointing a finger at Sam's chest. "You leave your brother alone and let him do his homework in peace."

"Aw, Dad," Dean grumbled from his spot on the floor. "Can't you take Sam with you?"

Sam looked at Dean and stuck out his tongue, showing him what he thought of Dean's gripe.

"I'll be right back, Dean," John said with another sigh. "Sam will leave you alone. Won't you, Sam?"

"Yes sir," Sam said with a small smile.

It wasn't long after John left that Sam got antsy. He watched Dean carefully as he did his school work on the floor. Deciding to keep his word, he slid off the couch and headed for the kitchen. He tried to stay quiet so that he didn't disturb his brother.

He looked at the array of guns spread out on the table. His father had cleaned all but one. He wondered why he hadn't cleaned that one. Maybe he was too sleepy. His father worked long hours, and Sam knew it made him very tired. Maybe he could help. If he cleaned the last gun, his father wouldn't have to do it later. He could get some more rest. He'd watched his father do it a dozen times before. He could help.

Sam picked the small handgun up off the table. It was heavier than it looked. His father had always told him never to touch his guns, but maybe he wouldn't be angry about it if Sam cleaned it for him.

Sam ran his hand over the cool metal. He turned it around in his hands, inspecting it closely. He knew his father always cleaned the barrel first, then the outside. He peered down the barrel, trying to see how dirty it was. All he could see was black. How did his father know when it was clean? He turned the gun over again and inspected the outside.

His fingers brushed over the trigger.

Dean growled in frustration as he tried for the fourth time to solve the math problem. He hated math so much it made him want to scream.

A deafening bang from the kitchen made Dean freeze. He dropped his pencil. He knew that sound. He'd heard it a dozen times before while he watched his father do target practice at Uncle Bobby's.

"Sam?" He shouted for his brother as he jumped up from the floor, suddenly realizing that Sam was no longer sitting on the couch. He ducked around the couch and ran into the kitchen. What he saw made his heart stop.

Sam lay on the kitchen floor. A pool of blood was rapidly spreading around his tiny body.

"Sammy!" Dean slid to his knees next to his brother. He touched Sam's lax face and tapped his cheek lightly. "Sammy, answer me!"

Taking a deep breath, Dean moved his shaking hand from his brother's cheek down to his neck. His father had taught him how to look for a pulse. He touched two fingers to Sam's neck. At first he panicked when he felt nothing, but as he moved his fingers down slightly, he felt an unsteady beat. He didn't know how fast the heart should be pumping normally, but he thought Sam's heartbeat seemed wrong. That couldn't be good.

Sam's dark blue hoody had concealed the source of the blood visually, but Dean's fingers found the source of the blood as he felt along his body. The moment his fingers found the sticky wetness on Sam's stomach, he lifted his shirt to investigate. There was a small hole in Sam's stomach that was oozing more blood than Dean had ever seen in his life.

"No no no no no no," Dean panicked. "Sammy!"

Not knowing what else to do, he shook his little brother's tiny body. Sam's arms flopped and his head wobbled back and forth with the motion, but he didn't stir.

"Sammy, wake up!" Dean screamed. Realizing his panic for what it was, Dean tried to calm himself down. He had to help Sam.

Taking his own sweatshirt off, he balled it up and pressed down hard over the hole in his brother's stomach. His father had taught him that you had to keep pressure on a bleeding wound. What else had he taught him? Dean squeezed his eyes shut as he tried to remember.

"Keep pressure on the wound and elevate the legs," Dean said to himself as he grabbed a chair and propped Sam's legs up.

Dean pressed down harder on the wound and was rewarded by a small groan from his baby brother.

"Sam?" Dean wiped furiously at the tears that streamed down his cheeks and realized he was smearing his brother's blood on his face in the process.

"De?" Sam's voice was a whisper, but Dean held onto the hope it gave him. Sam's eyes opened to half mast, and he cast a glassy gaze in Dean's direction.

"Sammy, you gotta stay awake, okay?" Dean tried to keep the panic out of his voice, but he knew he was failing miserably.

"De, I'm cold," Sammy said softly as his eyes slid closed.

"No, Sam!" Dean shouted as loud as he could and shook his brother furiously. "Stay awake, Sammy! Stay awake!"

Sam didn't stir again, and Dean sagged in defeat. He kept pressure on his brother's wound as he began to sob.

"Sammy, I'm so sorry," he begged. "I'll play outside with you, okay? Just wake up, please."

The sound of the door opening caused Dean to spin around, but he didn't release the pressure from his brother's stomach wound.

His father stood in the doorway, hands full with takeout. His mouth was agape, staring at the scene before him. The takeout fell from John's arms and crashed to the floor as he lunged toward his sons.

"Sammy?" John's voice sounded helpless. Dean had never heard that voice from his father before. He sounded so scared.

"Dean, what happened?" John asked as he brushed Dean's hands away from Sam's stomach so that he could examine the wound.

Dean stared at his father but couldn't seem to find his voice. John's face was a mask of fear and grief as he took in the horrible condition of his youngest. Unshed tears pooled in his eyes. Dean had never seen his father cry. Not since his mother...

"Dean!" his father shouted, snapping Dean to attention.

"I-I-I heard a shot," Dean sobbed. "I found him here..."

Dean couldn't offer any more explanation, but his father didn't seem to need any. He scooped Sammy up into his arms and ordered Dean to follow him. He followed his father out to the Impala and climbed into the front seat. His father placed little Sam into his waiting arms before he ran around to the driver's side of the car. The Impala sped away from the curb with a screech.

The ride to the hospital seemed like the longest few minutes of Dean's life. The car was silent except for Dean's cries. He pleaded with Sam to wake up as he kept pressure on the wound. He rocked his brother back and forth and briefly recalled performing the same action years earlier when he rocked Sam to sleep as a baby. Sam would stare up at him and study his face intently as Dean rocked him back and forth. Eventually, Sam's eyes would roll back in his head and he would drift off to sleep. Dean always loved the moment his brother fell asleep. It was so peaceful.

Now his brother's sleep was anything but peaceful, and Dean screamed at him to wake up.

When they finally arrived at the hospital, John brought the car to a screeching halt in front of the emergency room doors. He jumped out of the car and ran to Dean's side, whipping the car door open. He grabbed Sam into his arms and took off at a run, screaming all the way.

Dean ran behind his father, joining in his screams for help.

John sat in one of the many hard plastic chairs that lined the emergency room waiting area. He looked over at Dean and felt bile rise to the back of his throat as he took in the amount of blood that covered his body.

Sammy's blood.

Only once before had he ever felt terror that compared to what he felt when he'd entered the apartment tonight. When he saw Sammy lying on the kitchen floor, he had panicked. When he saw the handgun at Sam's side, his body had grown cold and numb and he had immediately thought the worst.

I killed my son.

John shook his head and tried for the hundredth time to clear the gruesome image from his head. It was useless. That image would be etched in his brain forever. A thousand emotions were warring in his head. Worry for Sam. Worry for Dean. Panic and Fear at the possibility of losing his baby boy. Guilt and shear, unadulterated hatred at himself for being stupid enough to leave a loaded gun sitting on the kitchen table. And guilt over the fact that he was angry at Sammy for picking the gun up when he had told him a thousand times never to touch his weapons.

He hadn't intended to leave the gun there. He had planned to bring it with him. He always kept a loaded gun with him. He always liked to feel prepared. It had slipped his mind when he'd gone out for supper. If only he'd remembered...

"Mr. Spencer?"

John's head jerked up at the sound of his alias. An elderly man in a pair of green scrubs sought him out from the doors to the emergency room.

John jumped out of his seat and approached the doctor.

"I'm John Spencer," he said. His voice cracked slightly. He felt a growing sense of dread in his stomach. He tried to read the doctor's face to gauge what type of news he was about to get, but the doctor's face was unreadable.

"I'm Dr. Carey," the doctor said quickly. "Sam lost a lot of blood, but we managed to get that under control. The bullet went clean through, which in his case, was a blessing."

The doctor paused and looked at John. John felt suddenly very ashamed under the doctor's scrutinizing gaze. He could tell the man was judging him for keeping a gun within reach of a six-year-old boy.

"Miraculously, the bullet missed all of Sam's major organs," he said. "The blood loss was our main concern, but we have him stabilized."

John felt his shoulders sag in relief. He reached down to comfort Dean, who had buried his face in John's stomach. John could feel Dean sobbing quietly.

"We'll want to keep him here for about a week," the doctor continued. "I want to be sure his blood pressure remains stable and he doesn't develop any infections. All in all, he was a very lucky little boy."

"Can I see him?" John felt surprised to hear his voice squeak as he made his request. He wasn't used to feeling so anxious.

"Of course," the doctor said. "But you'll want to stay quiet and let him rest. He's got a lot of recovering to do."

John grabbed hold of Dean's hand and pulled him along as he followed the doctor down the hall to his son's room. He tried to prepare himself for the worst as he walked through the door, but the sight that greeted him still made his legs turn to Jell-O.

Sam's little body was lost in a sea of tubes and wires. He wore an oxygen mask over his face and a series of IV lines entered his tiny arms. His face was pale, and his long eyelashes cast tiny shadows on his cheeks.

John approached the bed slowly. He was afraid to touch his arms where all the IV lines battled for room, so he bent down and kissed him lightly on the forehead.

That little action stirred Sam from his slumber, and John kicked himself for waking his son.

"Daddy?" Sam's unfocused gaze settled on John.

John took a breath before he answered, hoping his voice sounded stronger than he felt.

"I'm here, Sammy."

"Did I get it clean?" Sam's voice was whisper soft. John almost missed the question.

"Did you get what clean?" John asked, wondering what his baby had been dreaming of.

"The gun," Sammy's answer made John's heart leap to his throat. "I wanted to clean it for you so you didn't have to do it tomorrow."

John felt a tear run down his cheek and the weight of the world land squarely on his shoulders.

"We'll talk about that later, Sammy," John said.

"Where's De?" Sam asked softly. He seemed to be fighting to stay awake.

"I'm here, Sammy," Dean said quietly, approaching the bed. He grabbed hold of Sam's hand and squeezed. John marveled at the way both of his boys seemed to relax at the touch.

He sat in the bedside chair and watched his sons carry on a soft conversation. He closed his eyes but quickly opened them again as the image of Sam lying on the kitchen floor flooded his brain once more. Another tear slipped down his cheek as he watched his delicate boy succumb to sleep, and he swore on Mary's grave that he would never again be so careless.

I hope you liked it - I like reviews! :)