Hey guys, this is my entry for the Supernaturalaholics Anonymous / The Winchester Gospels "Big Bang" Fan Fiction Challenge! Hope you like it! It's preseason, so no real spoilers. Lots of action, drama, angst and potty mouth!
John dropped the bomb on Sam at breakfast.
Sam dropped his spoon into his cereal bowl. "Quit the debate team!" he gasped incredulously. "But why?"
"Because last target practice you only hit six out of ten bottles." John took another sip of coffee, eying his youngest son warily.
Sam flushed angrily. His shortcomings in comparison to Dean in this area had already been impressed on him, more than once, over the last several months. "What's that got to do with the debate team?" he asked tightly.
"You're too distracted, Sam," John said flatly. "That kind of shooting will get you killed. Or your brother, or me. You need to get your focus back where it belongs. On the hunt."
Sam tried to stay calm, knowing that him losing his temper would only make his father dig his heels in. "Dad, we talked about this. I've added another two hours a week to my target practice. You said that would be enough!"
John shrugged. "I changed my mind." He rose from the table.
Sam got up too. "Dad, the debate team is important to me!" he protested, voice rising despite himself. "We've got our final debates next week and I've spent hours getting ready for them - "
"Which proves my point," John interrupted. "That's time you should be spending on training. No, Sam. Learning how to shoot is more important than arguing about bullshit with a bunch of kids."
Sam felt a sharp stab of pain at his father's casual dismissal. "Dad, it's not – this isn't arguing. My team needs me next week. They even elected me captain –"
"Sam," John interrupted him, amused. "That doesn't surprise me at all. You could make an argument for the sky being green."
"Dad, this is important to me, please." Sam's voice trembled with urgency.
"I want you home right after school tomorrow. I'm getting off work early and we're going up to Outlook to do some shooting."
"Dad - "
"No, Sam. We're done."
John started to turn away. Sam, flushed hot with rage, grabbed a coffee cup from the table and threw it at his father. "You son of a bitch!"
John ducked, barely avoiding the missile. It shattered against the kitchen cabinet, coffee and shards of porcelain exploding out in a wide swath.
"What the hell!" John yelled, astounded. "Sam!"
"I'm not done, you bastard!" Sam shouted back.
"Have you lost your goddamned mind? Get hold of yourself, boy!"
"I have had it!" Eyes blazing, fists clenched, Sam advanced on him. "I'm sick of you treating me like a soldier in your damned army! I am not quitting the debate team!"
"If I say you quit, then by God you quit!" John growled.
"Just who the hell do you think you're talking to?"
"I'm talking to the asshole who's trying to ruin my life!" Sam raged.
John grabbed Sam by the shoulder and shoved him up against the wall. "You ungrateful little shit!"
Sam gave a bitter laugh. "What the hell do I have to be grateful for? For you dragging me around the country like luggage? For treating me like a prisoner? For telling me every single damned day that I'm not fucking good enough?"
Footsteps thudded down the stairs and Dean burst into the room, face sharp with alarm. "Sam! Dad!"
Ignoring his brother, Sam pulled out of his father's grip. "This is bullshit! It's bad enough I never get more than a few weeks at any one school and that I don't have any friends - shit, you'll probably drag us out of town before school's over anyway! While we're here I'm staying on the team!"
"You're quitting, Sam."
"I'm – fucking – not!" Sam bit out stubbornly.
"Dad?" Dean said.
John held up a hand and Dean stilled instantly.
John stared at his youngest son and, with his eldest son there, managed to rein his temper in. "Yeah, Sam, you are."
Dean put a hand on Sam's arm and murmured something quietly.
Sam flung him off angrily, hot eyes fixed on his father. "You can't make me."
Lips tight, John turned away and grabbed his keys from the kitchen table. Eyes flat and cold, he said, "You quit the team, Sam. Or I'll yank your ass out of school."
He left the house, slamming the door behind him. A minute later, they heard his truck roar off down the street.
Dean was stunned. "Jesus, Sam." This scene had been excessive, even by Winchester standards.
Sam stood frozen. He couldn't think. He could barely breathe. His father's threat consumed him.
You quit the team, Sam. Or I'll yank your ass out of school.
No more school. No possibility of the college scholarship his school counselor had talked about. No way out of this life. All of his time training and hunting. Stuck in an endless round of kill or be killed, for the rest of his life.
This is your life, Sam Winchester.
Nausea twisted through him and he lurched to the sink, losing what little breakfast he'd eaten before his father lowered the boom.
Dean was beside him quickly, rubbing his back comfortingly as Sam choked up the last of his cereal and orange juice. When the paroxysms ended, Dean said, "You okay, Sammy?"
Sam looked at him despairingly. "What the hell do you care?"
"Come on, Sam –"
Sam shoved past Dean and stumbled upstairs to their room.
After cleaning up the mess in the kitchen, Dean found his brother lying on his bed, back turned to the door.
"Sam?" Dean asked quietly.
"Leave me alone." His voice was muffled.
"Sammy, if you'd just -"
"Goddamn it, leave me alone!"
Dean left, closing the door with a sharp click. Sam listened to the sound of his brother walking down the hall and downstairs. Then he buried his face in his pillow and let his tears fall.
The house was quiet when John came home that evening.
Dean was in the kitchen getting dinner together. With a nod to his father, he dusted the chicken pieces with garlic and lemon pepper and stuck the pan into the oven, along with a few potatoes.
Then he took a bottle of Jack Daniels out of the cupboard along with two glasses and sat down at the table with his father, pouring them each a generous measure of the whiskey.
John took a swallow and sighed contentedly.
"Yeah, we're good," Dean answered easily. "Bobby call yet?"
"He's got demon sign pointing northeast. He'll call when he's got the location nailed." John took another swallow. "How's your brother?"
"Haven't heard a peep out of him since I got home."
"I got a call from his school," said John. "Sam didn't go in today."
"No?" Dean said, surprised. Sam hated to miss school. They practically had to tie him to his bed if he got sick on a school day.
"I told them he was sick," John went on. "As upset as he was, it's probably a good thing he stayed home."
John scowled at him. "You got something to say?" he said a little sharply.
Dean shook his head emphatically. "You're not getting me in the middle of it." "Good." John drained his glass and stood up. "I'm gonna grab a shower before dinner. How about we go out later, shoot a little pool?"
Dean grinned. "Think you can take me, old man?"
John smiled. "This old man is gonna kick your ass, boy."
On his way to the bathroom, John paused outside the boys' bedroom door and listened. It was quiet inside. There was none of the music that usually marked one of his sons being inside.
He knocked softly but there was no answer.
Damn it, he hated being on the outs with the boy, but Sam needed to learn that he couldn't always have what he wanted.
He'd get over it, he always did. After all, it wasn't like the debate team had any practical application in their life.
Putting the problem of youngest son out of his mind, he walked on to his shower.
Dinner was quiet. John and Dean made casual conversation about the last hunt and the possible upcoming hunt back east. Sam ate little, kept his eyes on his plate and said nothing. When dinner was over, he washed and dried the dishes and then went back upstairs to his room.
When Dean went in later, Sam was lying on his bed, staring up at the ceiling.
"We're going out for a while. You'll be okay?"
Sam nodded but said nothing.
"You know, this silent treatment is getting old," Dean snapped, irritated. "What the hell are you mad at me for?"
Sam got off the bed and walked past Dean and down the hall to the bathroom, closing and locking the door behind him.
Dean trailed him and banged on the door. "You're a real pain in the ass, you know that? You got something to say to me, then freaking say it!"
The door flew open.
"You want me to say something, Dean?" Sam hissed. "Fine! Thanks a lot for all your support this morning! You know how much the debate club means to me but did you say anything to Dad? Hell, no!" "I'm sick of getting caught between you two," Dean hissed back. "Stop trying to drag me into your shit!"
"You're a selfish prick!" Sam said, shaking with anger. "Screw it, you know what? Forget about it. You go on, Dean. Go hang out with Dad. You both have what you want, so I guess that's all that matters."
Stung, Dean snapped, "Damn it, Sam, when are you going to freaking grow up?"
"Dean!" John called from downstairs.
"Go on, go back to Dad," Sam spat angrily. "Be his good little soldier, his fucking robot! Just leave me the hell alone. I don't need you anymore!"
He shoved past Dean and ran back to the bedroom, slamming the door behind him.
"Dean, what's going on?" John called impatiently from downstairs. "Let's get going! That beer isn't going to drink itself!"
"Gimme a minute, Dad!" Dean called back. Scowling, he stomped back to the bedroom. Ready to kick the door in if he had to, he stopped when he heard Sam crying. The sounds were low and choked, Sam obviously trying to stop, trying not to be overheard.
He sighed. Crap.
"Dean!" John's voice was impatient. Dean could hear him starting up the stairs.
John coming up here right now would be a disaster. It was one thing if Dean saw Sam crying. If John saw him, Sam would freak out for sure.
Dean went quickly to the stairs and met his father at the top. "Sorry, Dad. Let's go."
John looked toward the boys' room. Dean moved past him, walking hurriedly down the stairs. "Come on, old man. If I don't beat you two games out of three tonight, I'll wash your truck once a week for the next month!"