Disclaimer: I do not own the boys or any of their stuff

Dean is 17 and Sam is 13


"The path you often take to avoid something will often lead you to it." Kung Fu Panda

Sam was mad, no, he was beyond mad. He was supposed to be on a date, an actual date. It might not have been a big deal to Dean with his one a day hotties, but that didn't mean that it was completely unimportant to Sam. He had been so excited that the bubbly blonde across the room had wanted to go out with him, but of course it was ruined. Dad, if he could be called that, had found a hunt. Of coursed Sam just had to come and miss his date. He hadn't been paying attention, he could admit that, until he heard the ear crackling roar behind him.

"Sammy!" The Werewolf snarled in agony as Dean sliced the blade through the meat of its forearm. He slashed out moving its eyes off of the youngest Winchester and seeing new prey. Dean reeled back as the giant paw uncurled towards him. The claws swiped across his thigh and he fell back with a grunt of torture. Sam lied in shock still sprawled on the forest floor looking up as his big brother got sliced because of him.

"Dean!" John cried watching his eldest go down bloody. Before the werewolf could crank open his jaw again John fired his gun. The silver squirmed through the werewolf's heart and with gun still smoking John raced to his fallen son. "Sam! Help me with your brother."

Sam snapped out of his daze and rose to his feet, nervously brushing dirt from his jeans before moving alongside his brother. Dean groaned as Sam and John helped to raise him back to his boots.

"Wait Sam Wait!" John yelped lowering Dean back to the turned up dirt, "He's bleeding too much I think the bastard nicked an artery. Keep pressure on it, I'm calling 911."

Sam nodded before pressing his shaky hands on to Dean's rapidly bleeding thigh. Dean clenched his jaw letting out a pitiful whimper and trying to raise his head and shoulders. "Stay down Dean, don't try to sit up. I'm so sorry bro, god I'm so sorry."

"It's okay Sammy." Dean grunted as his head slowly curled back to the ground. His green eyes dulled and began to hide behind heavy lids. His skin was pale and clammy, small beads of sweat beginning to accumulate on his brow, "It's kay."

"No Dean, come on, stay awake. Don't close your eyes, Dad!" Sam called terror lacing over his words as he raised his head up.

"Look for a black impala we are just off the road," John growled into the phone before looking savagely over his shoulder at his boys. His face softened as he took in his crumpled oldest, "Hurry!"

John snapped his cellphone closed and shoved it into his jeans pocket. He kneeled beside his sons and carefully jostled Dean's shoulder. His eyelids fluttered but refused to open, his lip parted as if trying to say something but nothing came out. Sweat was now gleaming all across his paled skin and a murmur of pain passed his full lips as Sam adjusted his grip.

"What happened Sam?" John growled looking up through a heavy brow and glaring at his youngest. His tense muscles almost crippled at the look in his little boy's face. He looked so guilty and sorrowful, but one glance down to his Dean's sweaty and pale face shot rage back through his veins. Sam began to part his trembling lips but closed them again and furrowed his brow never taking his watch off his big brother. "Samuel?"

"I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to I just…I wasn't… I didn't…" Sam trailed off trying hold back the flood of tears threatening to fall across the landscape of his face. Every contour was screwed up in pain as he looked to his blood soaked hands and whimpering brother.

"Sam! What happened?" John grounded out in a deathly calm tone, his dark eyes firmly planted on the teenager's face.

"I…he…and…" Sam sniffled as salt water traipsed over his cheekbones and dripped to his t shirt. Sucked in a shaky mouthful of oxygen and pressed his lips together before looking up to his father and reopening his mouth, "I wasn't paying attention and…and Dean was. He pushed me out…out of the way."

"And why exactly were you not paying attention." John spat huffing out a heated breathe and grinding his teeth together with a glare to forest floor. He couldn't help the jeaned leg sprawled there, crimson pumped over the rugged material. His eyes flickered to his eldest face, even with the lines of pain he still looked to young and vulnerable for this to be happening. He clenched his eyes shut and turned away rage welling back up inside his body.

"I… I was mad."

"You were mad? You were mad!? Your brother is lying here dying and the reason is because you were mad!?" John screamed raising his torso up from his slumped position and towering his two crumpled boys.

"Don't say that! Don't say he's dying! You don't think I know that it's stupid! That this shouldn't of happened! I know but don't you dare say that he's dying and that it was for nothing!" Sam yelled back with more force than he thought he could muster.

"St…stop…fi…fighting." A weak and broken voice begged from the floor. Dean's eyes remained sealed but his face stayed scrunched and pained as his lips let the world slip out.

"We will finish this later." John said lowly as the sound of sirens punctuated his statement. Paramedics flooded around them pulling Sam and John away to lift Dean upon a stretcher. Dean growled out a grunt of agony as his torn leg was jolted. "It's okay Dean, you are going to be okay. That is an order Dean, do you hear me?"

"Sir will you two be riding in the ambulance?" A young man in uniform questioned John.

"No, we will follow behind." John stated as calmly as he could before dragging a hand down his face, "Come on Samuel."

Sam stared down to his blood drenched hands, his brother's blood. He didn't reply but followed obediently only sparing a look over his shoulder to see his big brother being loaded into the ambulance. This was his fault, if he had just been paying attention...or if you really think about it was his Dad's fault. If he would have just let him out of this one hunt or god forbid he waits one night. Sam clambered into the car and sat with his hands open palmed in his lap. "Dad…"

"Not now, I just want to go to your brother." John snapped a sense of finality in his voice that made Sam keep his voice to himself.


The hospital was relatively busy when John Winchester jogged in his youngest in tow. He didn't know whether to happy or worried by the fact that Dean was rushed straight back into an operating room. He stepped up to the nursing station where a middle aged woman stood with an armful of folders. Her dark hair was dulled by stress and lines of worry traced her gray eyes. "My son was just rushed back do you know…"

"I'm sorry I don't but the doctor will be out to tell you something as soon as he is done. You can take a seat in the waiting room." She replied franticly sparing a sympathetic look to the disheveled father and terrorized boy at his side. She gave a terse lipped smile and turned back to a clump of file cabinets.

"Thanks." John sighed before shuffling to blue plastic chair and falling into it. His adrenaline left him and he slumped forward into his worn out hands letting his face fall and rubbing a hand over his scalp. He let his dulled look slide over to Sam. Sam was leaned back in the chair still staring almost through his blood drenched hands. Half his face was hidden behind shaggy brown hair but his hazel eyes could be seen in a crack through the curtain of bangs. They looked torn and defeated but something else was there too, almost like…anger. "Why don't you go wash your hands in the bathroom?"

Sam looked up a little shocked from his thoughts and from the concern buried in his father's voice. Sam nodded sullenly and raised up from the hard seat before walking heavily to the bathroom across the waiting room. John stood up and moved over to the coffee table and picked up a small Styrofoam cup filling it with the bitter black liquid before taking a gulp and letting the caffeine and warmth work though his body. Sam emerged from the restroom with cleaned hand and a damp face he sulked over to his original position and slinked into the chair.


"Not now, let's just find out what's happening and get Dean out of here. I'm…I'm just too tired." John grumbled refilling the small cup with the caffeinated liquid before moving to sit beside his son. Sam looked back to hands and turned them over as if looking for evidence of what had happened before shoving them in his pockets and closing his teary eyes.

"Is Dean going to be okay?" Sam questioned pitifully after a few moments of silence. He looked up through his bangs pleadingly and bit his bottom lip in anticipation.

"I sure hope so Sam." John replied coolly trying not to choke on the emotion trying to spill out of him. Sam nodded in defeat and stared down at the ground for a moment before closing his eyes again. John wanted to give his son more comfort. To tell him everything would be fine, that it wasn't his fault, but he couldn't bring his mouth to move the words into the air.

"Mr. Winston?" An older man questioned from the front of the waiting room. His glasses remained perched on his this nose and he clutched a clipboard in his heroic hands. John stood and walked across the room to the man, not even glancing back to see if Sam was following.

"That's me." John answered; the man looked down to the teenager who had moved up beside John, "This is my other son. How is Dean?"

The doctor nodded before glancing to the plastic board, "Your son is going to be okay. We don't expect any permanent damage but he will need to stay off the leg as to not tear the stitches. He did lose a lot of blood so I recommend that he stay here for at least the night."

"Is he awake? Can we see him?" Sam piped eagerly a small smile twitching at his hopeful features. The older man smiled but shook his head softly before continuing.

"He resting at the moment but you may go in if you like." The doctor replied kindly sliding the clipboard under his arm and giving a passionate smile, "I must ask exactly what happened though, its hospital policy with minors."

"Of course, I understand. Umm…We were out in the woods, just hiking and looking around, you know how boys are. A bear showed up and took a swipe at Sam but Dean…he pushed him out of the way." John lied easily only having to change a detail or two in the process. Sam clenched beside him letting his gaze fall to his muddy shows in shame.

"Well you have a very brave son." The doctor complimented looking to the younger boy in sympathy, "Do you have any other questions?"

"Can we stay here?" John rushed out resisting the urge to place a hand on Sam's shoulder.

"Of course, but your son needs his rest so I must ask that you stay quite." The doctor explained, "He is in room 412."

John nodded his thanks before placing a hand on Sam's shoulder blade and pressing him forward towards the room. Sam took an audible breath as he set is gaze on his older brother. He looked so vulnerable and young lying there on the bleached hospital sheets. Dean wasn't supposed to look that fragile, especially not because of him. No, no it was his dad's fault, wasn't it? Sam just didn't know what to believe anymore.

"Hey Dad?" Sam began quietly not moving his look from Dean, even unconscious he gave him confidence.

"Not here Samuel, you heard the doctor Dean is resting. We can discuss this tomorrow when Dean is home."

"You mean the motel." Sam muttered quietly.

"What was that? You know what never mind, just another thing we will need to discuss."


"Just get some sleep, you'll need it."


"Get me out of here!" Dean begged from his worn out position on the hospital bed. The doctor at the foot of the bed glanced over his chart before looking back up through the glasses perched on his nose. H ran a hand on his graying temple before speaking.

"Well everything looks fine, how are you feeling? Any light headedness, dizziness…" The doctor questioned before getting cut off b the anxious teen.

"No nothing I feel peachy! Can I leave now?"

"Well I don't see why not." The doctor conceded partly since the boy seemed fine and partly because he was getting on his nerves.

"Great, where are my pants?"

"Now, Dean just wait a moment." John barked to his whining son, "Is there anything else we need to know?"

"No, nothing else Dad?!" Dean called throwing his legs over the side of the bed with a wince.

"Well, it is hospital policy that the patient is wheeled out." The doctor admitted waiting for the fireworks to spark off his patient.

"No! No, oh hell no, I am not riding out of this place in a wheelchair."

"Yes Dean, you are."

"This sucks." Dean muttered haughtily limping to the bathroom with his clothes in fist. John shook his head in exasperation before throwing on his jacket and taking the wheel chair from the doctor.

"Sam I'm going to sign Dean out you wrestle him into the chair and wheel him out." John monotone pushing the chair towards his youngest and heading out to the front office, Sam nodded solemnly taking the chair in hand. Dean limped out of the bathroom and started for the door as fast as his leg could carry him.

"Dean! Aren't you forgetting something?" Sam questioned leaning his lanky frame against the object of torment for his brother.

"Whatever do you mean?" Dean asked in fake innocence before wobbling back over to the torcher device. He slumped down angrily wincing at the pull on his thigh before crossing his arms over his chest in an indignant pout. "Oh yeah this."

Sam chuckled before wheeling his brother out into the hallway. John finished signing the last of the large stack of forms before standing beside his boys. He ruffled Dean's hair which made him sink even lower into his chair. "Careful you might end up falling out and then I'll have to carry you."

Dean shot up trying to mask the pain on his features that the movement had caused. He braced his forearm over his leg and slumped against his other arm. John shook his head trying to hold back the chuckle at the bottom of his throat as the made their way out to the car. Sam helped Dean from the chair to the car even as he got an earful from his brother. They rode in silence for two main reasons, one Dean was knocked out in the passenger seat, and two John and Sam didn't want to wake him.

By the time everyone was awake and moved inside the motel room the anger had reached a boiling point. Dean was seated on the couch with remote in hand when the screaming match began.

"How could you be so stupid Sam?!" John spat at his youngest throwing his duffel on the bed without breaking eye contact.

"Me?! You are the one who made us come!" Sam yelled back leaning forward and furrowing his brows.

"This is what we do Sam, your brother can figure that out why can't you? If you would just accept that maybe Dean would stop paying for it." John snapped back through gritted teeth his tone dropping low and dangerous.

"I'm not the perfect little soldier Dad!"

"Yeah I've noticed."

"Dad, come on Sam was just upset…" Dean tried to intervene standing slowly from his perch on the couch.

"And you got hurt because of it! Stop defending him, he could have got you killed!" John bellowed switching his gaze to his eldest and wavering between the two as tears started dew up on his eyelids.

"But he didn't…"

"Not this time!"

"I would never hurt Dean! If you would just let me do something I want for once this wouldn't have happened!" Sam cried moving closer to his father, Dean moved slowly towards the pair worry evident on his face.

"I am not taking the blame for this. It's your selfish wants that got your brother hurt. You were distracted and this is what happened."

"I should be able to be distracted! Normal kids can be distracted…"

"You aren't normal…"

"I've realized that."

"Sam, I just don't want Dean to pay for a stupid mistake."

"Dean was saving me! Is that a stupid mistake?"

"Sam that isn't what he meant…" Dean spoke up taken back by the comment.

"Stay out of this Dean! I was asking Dad."

"Don't yell at your brother!"

"Please would both of you just take a breather…"Dean begged stepping closer to is screaming family.

"Shut up Dean!" They both barked shooting out there arms to punctuate the point. It all seemed slow motion from there. Both they're supposed to be soft touches whacking into to Dean's already unsteady form. Both voices still yelling back and forth as Dean fell back the only sound stopping their match was a resounding crack. They both looked towards the sound to find Dean's slumped form on the carpet next to the coffee table.

"Dean." John stated hoping he would just rouse and smirk giving a comment about his hard head. All that happened though was he saw the blossoming pool of red under his son's head, "Dean!"

"Come on wake up!" John called dropping to his knees and taking his son's frame into his arms. He shook him gently, then harder, then harder, but still nothing happened.

"Dad is he okay?" Sam's voice broke into John's jumbled mind. He looked up to his youngest who stood with a complete look of terror as he stared at his brother's unconscious form. John couldn't bring his voice to answer and just went back to jostling his son.

"Come on Dean, open your eyes!" John pleaded moving his hand to the back of Dean's head. A wave of nausea washed over him as his hand came away crimson. "Sam we can't take him back to the hospital, so umm…we are going to Bobby's."

Sam nodded and began grabbing the bags without question as John cradled Dean in his arms and carried him to the car. Sam's mind reeled as he saw his limp brother flop in his father's arms and there was a pit in his stomach because he had pushed him there.


Sam pressed towel to the back of his brother's skull to stem the blood flow and felt an eerie sense of déjà vu. A small inkling of relief fought its way to the surface as he saw the piles of cars and small house in the distance.

"We're here Sam; help me get your brother out of the car then get the door." John ordered calmly before clambering out of the impala and swinging the back door open. They shimmied Dean's limp form out of the car and he still remained silent. John checked his pulse again and found a weak but steady thrum under his fingers. After Dean was settled in John's broad arms Sam ran up the porch and to the door.

"Bobby!" Sam called banging his knuckles on the chipped door. A gruff looking man swung open the door with a bewildered look on his stubble covered face.

"Sam? What are you doing you idjit?" Bobby questioned before looking back to see John and his bundle, he swung the door open and led them to the spare bedroom where Dean was lied down. "What happened to Dean?"

"It's a long story Bobby…"

"Fine then let's just get him better, than you have got some explaining to do John."

"Fine by me." With that Bobby levered Dean's head up and took a look at the wound before checking his pulse.

"Did he hit his head?"

"Isn't that obvious?"

"No need to get all riled up on me I was just checking." Bobby growled back keeping a hand on the back of the middle Winchester's head. "Looks like a moderate concussion, he should wake up soon and we can check him from there. I'm guessing that the hospital is…"

"Out of question." John finished before pulling a chair up next to his son's bedside.

"Want to tell me that story now?" Bobby questioned, not sure whether to expect an answer or not.

"Me and Sam were fighting and we accidently…sort of…shoved him and he fell back and hit his head."

"John, I could throttle you." Bobby groaned before continuing, "Why were you and Sam fighting this time?"

"Dean's leg got sliced up by a werewolf because Sam wasn't paying attention."

"What exactly happened?"

"Sam was upset because he had a date the night of the hunt but he couldn't go. So he wasn't paying attention when the werewolf attacked and Dean got in between them. Now, don't think that I wanted Sammy to get hurt I just wish he could take this seriously so Dean didn't get the bad end of it."

"I get it John, but Dean is getting the bad end of your fighting."

"Yeah I guess Bobby."

"No…pl…please…no…fight…fighting." Dean moaned from the bed beginning to stir and toss his aching head. Pain blossomed behind his eyes and a sharp agony drummed at the back of his skull. He stirred and felt something soft beneath, and it wasn't the stale motel carpet.

"Hey son, we're right here, nobody is fighting." John explained eagerly and moving closer to his ailing son.

"Yeah your dad is just an idjit."

"Bobby?" Dean questioned slowly peeling his eyes open and looking around the bright room, "Where am i?"

"My house, you got knocked out pretty good."

"O that would explain why my head hurts, for a minute I thought it was the worst hangover ever."

"You're 17."

"Forget what I just said." Dean grinned cheekily before letting his head press back into the pillow and his eyes clenched shut.

"You alright son?" John questioned placing a hand on his boy's sweaty brow.

"Yeah, yeah it just hurts." Dean grimaced keeping his eyes screwed closed as he balled the sheets in his fist. Then the world was swimming around him, he peeled open his eyes and looked around the room. "Where am i?"