Sam sat on the cold cement, watching as Dean put the new tail light into place on the Impala. They'd been incredibly lucky to find one in the local junkyard. Otherwise, it would have taken ages to track down a replacement. '67 Impalas are kind of rare, these days.
He didn't have the know how to help, but even after yesterday's closet fiasco, Sam still insisted on sticking around while Dean worked on his car. He promised he would. Even though he knew he was pretty much off the hook, it felt like the right thing to do. Besides, Dean was in a far better mood since yesterday, and it was kind of…fun.
The doors were open, leaking the sounds of Led Zeppelin out into the motel parking lot. Dean belted out the words to Ramble On, one of his two favorites, as he put the final touches on the car. And Sam's eyes drifted to the trunk.
Recent events had dug up some…frightening memories in regards to that particular trunk.
August 23, 1995
Charleston, South Carolina
Dean pushed playfully at Sam's bony shoulder, still laughing at the fact that the younger boy was nervous to be going on his first hunt.
"Dude, relax. You're good. So long as you focus, you can fight and shoot almost as good as me!"
"You're stroking your own ego again, Dean." Sam rolled his eyes, clearly not as amused as his brother seemed to be.
"Well, at least I'm not stroking my di-"
"BOYS!" John practically shouted from the front seat.
"Yeah, Dad?" Dean snapped back. It was practically second nature to answer that quickly.
"In about two minutes, we're going to be facing a poltergeist. Now's not the time to be joking around." By what Sam could see in the rearview mirror, he was more than a little annoyed with them. "Dean, when hunting, Sam is your partner. It's your job to watch his back, and his job to watch yours. No bullshit."
"Yes, Dad." They said in unison, having enough decency to keep their heads down for the rest of the short ride to the abandoned house.
One could tell that, despite its run down appearance, the house used to be rather beautiful. Vines roped their way around the wooden banisters of the front porch, and up onto the dilapidated roof. The wooden plats covering the house were painted white, but partially covered with moss. In a way, it was still beautiful.
All three Winchesters crept up the porch, guns and salt rounds at the ready. John pushed the broken door open, revealing a large room and a staircase, both covered in dirt, trash, and broken pieces of what appeared to be ceramic. The open curio cabinet, containing larger pieces of antique dishes, seemed to support that theory.
"The local legend states that her body's in the basement. I'm gonna head down there, but I need you two to stay put. Shoot her if she comes near."
"No, Dean. I can handle myself. Stay with your brother." Dean sighed as he watched his father head to the basement door, and in.
"Great. My first hunt, and we get left to just stand here."
"What'd you expect, Sammy? Dad works alone, even when he has us. It's just a fact."
"I know, but-" Suddenly, Sam found himself flying backwards, outside. When he hit something hard, hot metal he figured was the impala, the poltergeist appeared. She, like the house she haunted, was elegant and broken. Pale as a sheet, tattered dress…she looked like she belonged in a movie about ghosts. She smiled rather deviously, and with a quick move on her part, she had him face down in the open trunk.
"SAM!" He heard Dean shout, but was too stunned to reply. And then it was dark.
Dean watched helplessly as the damn poltergeist shoved his brother in the trunk of their car. He called out, but there was no response. If there was a god, Dean prayed to him that his Sammy was alright. He also silently cursed himself for believing that Sam was ready for this. Then again, poltergeists were nasty spirits.
He shot off a round of salt-filled buck shots, none of which hit her, as she dodged them. The yard, full of junk, was the high ground in this situation, as she found things to chuck in his direction. Every time he tried to move towards the car, she'd chuck something else, and he'd jump back.
Dean tried not to listen to the pounding coming form the rear of the vehicle, no doubt, Sam. He couldn't however, block out the panicked shouts. He didn't know if they were from his brother, or from himself, but he was sickened by the fear he found there.
Sam flipped over as best as he could, wincing in pain as a stray gun pressed into his back. After moving the cold piece of metal weaponry from below him, he pounded on the trunk as best as he could. He didn't know if Dean could hear him as he screamed, but he did know that the trunk wouldn't budge.
He was trapped within.
The darkness was terrible, and he had no room to move. He was too long, so his legs were bent to his side, kicking at what was probably the back seat. His arms were at his sides, giving up on pounding into whatever they could reach. No where to go, he lay still against the trunk bottom, hoping that Dad would salt and burn the thing soon so that Dean could get him out.
"What's wrong, Sammy? You look like you've seen a ghost!" Dean chuckled, throwing his used shop rag towards his brother's face.
"It's just…" Sam spoke, eyes fixed on the closed trunk of the impala. Dean noticed his gaze, and sat down with him on the curb.
"Charleston?" He asked, still feeling guilty for stirring these emotions in his brother.
"Yeah." He mumbled dropping his eyes to view his feet. He listened to the mellow guitar in 'Stairway to Heaven' (Dean must've switched to another Zepp tape), trying to find comfort in it, and the strength to talk about this. Dean placed a hand on Sam's shoulder, attempting to give his brother exactly that.
"Dude, I know it's hard, but you can talk to me. I won't pick on you for it."
"I know. It's just that, when you locked me in the closet, I felt like I did, way back then. But at the same time, I felt worse. I knew that you weren't trying to get me out. You were keeping me in."
"I know, Sam, and I'll never do that to you again."
"I know that, too. But I can't shake these feelings." Dean pulled Sam in tighter, up against him. Hesitantly, he snaked his other arm across Sam's midsection, forming a hug.
"You'll get past them, Sammy. I promise." Sam leaned willingly against Dean now, reciprocating the rare show of affection. It may not have really seemed like it then, but it did get better.
And if not for Dean locking him in the closet, he may never have gotten over his fear of tight spaces.