Spoilers/Warnings: None. Pre-series, Sam 15, Dean 19. Beware the fluff.

Rated: T, only for language and paranoia. I can't even really blame Dean, I know I'm the pottymouth. :P

A/N: Hello! *coughs* Right, so I'm officially the biggest procrastinator ever. I promised the fic to the amazing DiTab1 as a thank you gift for making me an honorary auntie of her kittens(my nephews). This was nearly four MONTHS ago. *ashamed* I know. I'm horrid, and don't deserve my lovely boys, but because Di and the boys are the bestest ever, I have been forgiven! Nevertheless I feel awful, and owe her three fics of her choosing to make up for it! Anywho, here's the fic. Because I talk far to much, there will most likely be another A/N's at the end.

This is for DiTab1 and my nephews, and to candygal1, who is just simply awesome and the best cheerleader ever!

Disclaimer: Sam and Dean:Kripke. Kittens: DiTab1. I own nothing.

Dean sometimes wonders how life might have been if his mom had lived and his Dad hadn't become consumed by revenge. He wonders how his Dad would have been different, how he himself might have changed. He wonders, too, about Sam.

At 15, Sam is tall and gangly, all awkward limbs and messy hair. He's never really known a mother's love or how his father used to be. Dean worries about how all of this affects Sam; he fears that he didn't raise Sam the way he deserves, didn't give him all he needed. It's one of his biggest fears, failing Sam that way.

He only wonders sometimes, though, preferring not to think on things he can't change. He does the best he can, and hopes Sam will be okay anyways. It helps when he gets those little peeks at Sam's true character, a little glimpse of how he might be as a man. Those glimpses keep him going, even though sometimes Sam can be annoying as hell.

Like now for instance.

Dean stared incredulously at his younger brother. Was he serious?

Sam Winchester, probably the most dangerous, well-trained teenager on this side of the country, was currently staring his big brother down. With his arms wrapped protectively around a tattered cardboard top and his jaw set, he was the epitome of Winchester Stubbornness. Deep down, Dean knew he was about to fight a battle he had already lost.

When Sam looked like that, there wasn't a snowball's chance he'd back down but hey, Dean was a Winchester too, and he was damn well going to try.

"Sam," Dean began, trying to sound firm. "No."

"But Dean-" Sam whined back.

"No way. There is no way they are staying with us."

The creatures in question chose that moment to speak up and plead their case. From the bedraggled box came sorrowful little meows as three little kittens poked their heads up over the lid, looking innocent and adorable. Dean hated to admit it, but he felt his himself begin to crack. Damn it.

When Sam had come home with the little felines, Dean had known he was in trouble. Even after all they'd been through, Sam had an incredibly big heart and an innocence Dean desperately tries to protect.

"Look at 'em Dean!" Sam's young face somehow managed to be both stubborn and pleading at the same time. "They're so little, I couldn't just leave them! They were all alone and they were cold, obviously no one took care of them, and it kinda looked like it was gonna rain and what if they got sick? They might already be sick, I couldn't have left and you wouldn't have either Dean-"

'Oh my god' Dean absently wondered how many breaths Sam had actually taken in his little rant, which was still going. Secretly, Dean admitted that he probably wouldn't have left the stupid kittens either, and he was actually pretty proud of Sam for doing what was right and trying to help.

Still, he knew Sam and he knew John. Sam would get too attached to the little furballs, then he'd mope around for weeks when their Dad returned and made him leave the kittens behind. That was when, not if.

Dean opened his mouth and turned to Sam, prepared to shoot him down again, then groaned silently to himself. Sam, the little shit, had whipped out his patent puppy-dog eyes, and Jesus Christ, can kittens even have puppy dog eyes? Really?

"Sam…" 'Stay strong, dammit.' Dean berated himself.

"I know we can't keep them, but what if we just take care of them until Dad comes back?" Sensing weakness, Sam hurried to win Dean over. "He won't have to know! Come on Dean…."

This time, Dean couldn't hold back his groan as a cluster of pleading eyes homed in on him, accompanied by pitiful little mewls. 'Are these friggin' cats' psychic or something? It's like the actually know what's going on and are trying to break me down…' Dean grumbled to himself.

"Aw, hell," Dean muttered, "Fine! They can stay! But you're taking care of them, and I swear to God Sam, if I say they need to go, they are going. No arguments!

Sam merely beamed, ignoring Dean's scowl as he bent to pick up a kitten. 'Little bitch.' Dean thought grumpily to himself. His face couldn't help but soften though as he watched Sam lift the kittens out one by one, cooing and petting them.

There actually weren't a lot of kittens, only three; a brownish tabby, followed by two slightly smaller kittens, one gray and black streaked, one orange. (Dean could privately admit to himself that they were actually kind of cute. If Sam ever asked, he'd deny it ferverently, but yeah, they were pretty lovable.)

Yeah, Dean made plenty of mistakes and Sam definitely could have had a better childhood, a monster free one where he was raised by two loving parents instead of a clueless brother and a practically absent father. Still, as he watched Sam tenderly care for the little animals in his arms, Dean couldn't help but think maybe Sam would turn out okay in spite of it all. If nothing else, maybe he'd done this one thing right.

A/N 2: Well, that's it. I kinda don't like the beginning and end, because it feels very choopy. The transition isn't as smooth as it should be, but for the life of me, I had no clue how to fix it, so I let it be. The kittens in the story can be found here: http:/ ditab1 dot deviantart dot com/art/Cuddlefest-2010-180097157 No spaces, replace dot with "." (I hate linky things). Hope it works! They're gorgeous, right? Tiger, Lynx, and Sky are the best nephews ever ;)

Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed it! Please review and tell me what you think. Constructive criticism greatly appreciated, especially if you can tell me how the heck I can make the ending smoother. :)