I don't own Sam or Dean or John or the Impala or Supernatural…..that's all the CW. So if they would be very kind to let me borrow it all for a bit, I promise to give it back….eventually…..well, maybe. Also, I lack an editor, so any mistakes are mine and please kindly overlook them (or let me know). Thanks.

I had the middle/end of this in my head for a while and wasn't quite sure how to get to that point. I hope this works. Thanks for reading.

Sam is 16 and Dean is 20.


Sam was half asleep when they finally pulled into the driveway of their new home. The headache that had started out as a faint throb had grown into some sort of monster that was trying to break loose, despite the aspirin he took. He started getting bad headaches, migraines, about a year ago. Not too often, just often enough that he knew when one was coming and he knew how much they sucked.

"Sam." Dean kept his voice low, he knew his brother was hurting.

"I know." He muttered.

Dean got out of the car and went around to get the bags. John pulled up and parked behind the Impala.

"How is he?" John glanced over at his boy.

"He'll be fine after getting some sleep."

John tossed Dean the keys to the upstairs of the house they were renting. Sam had opened his door and was in the process of standing. Moving made his head hurt more and he really would have been all right with staying in the car. He followed Dean up the stairs and through the door.

A ratty couch and chair sat in front of an outdated television. Sam only cared that there was at least one bed in the room that would be his and Dean's. He dropped onto the bare mattress without a second thought and covered his eyes with his arm. Dean came into the room and put Sam's bag down at the end of the bed.

Dean looked at his little brother. "You need anything?"

"No. I just wanna sleep."

"I'll find the better pain pills." Dean tossed a blanket over his brother and pulled off his shoes, like he had done when Sam was so much younger.

"Dean?" Sam raised his arm and looked at Dean with a bleary gaze.

Dean met his brother's eyes.

"Close the door? The hall light…"

"Course." He gripped Sam's arm.

Sam sighed and held tight onto a fistful of blanket. Dean closed the door most of the way on his way out of the room. He met up with John in the hallway.

John shifted the bag on his shoulder. "What brought this one on?"

"He finished school three days ago, had a week of finals and that hunt he helped us on." Dean shrugged. "I'd say it was that."

He looked in at his son and sighed, hated to see his boy in pain. Dean slipped by with an armful of sheets and blankets.

Dean made up the bed that Sam wasn't currently on. He silently fitted sheets and blankets over the mattress and tossed a pillow down. Dean hated to make Sam move, but the kid needed a real bed, not just a mattress.

"Sam." He spoke just above a breath and just under a whisper. "Sammy."

Sam shifted, but didn't uncover his eyes.

"I made up the other bed, if you can get that far, I'll leave you alone for the rest of the night."

He looked up at Dean and then over at the bed. The distance seemed much father than he wanted to move.

Dean held out his hand. "On three?"

Sam's hand shook as he gripped his brother's. He was slowly helped to his feet and guided over to the bed. The moving churned his stomach and pounded in his head. He curled into the pillow and felt Dean pull the blankets up. He took slow, shaky breaths until he was sure his head wasn't going to explode all over the walls. A cool washcloth was eased under his forehead and another over the back of his neck. Some of the tension and pain ebbed away slightly and he sighed.

"You gonna say in your jeans?"

Sam didn't answer, he didn't care. Dean knew that, but he had to ask anyway. He slipped out of the room and closed the door most of the way.

John was at the kitchen table, his notebook already open. Dean sat down across from him.

"What do we got?"

John glanced up. "Kids getting sick. Fine one moment and then in a coma, barely alive the next."

Dean looked down the hall. "Kids how old?"

"High school." He sighed. "Far as I found out, symptoms start as nosebleeds, headaches, vomiting and then they go unconscious three days after it starts."

"Any of them wake up?"

"No." John closed the notebook. "Eight kids so far, youngest was 14 and the oldest was 17."

"We're sure it's nothing else, nothing in the water or anything?"

"CDC's been all over this place and they found nothing. No toxins, no illness, just kids getting sick."

Dean met John's eyes and knew that train of thought all too well. "No."


"No." Dean stood. "He's not going to be bait."

"Never said he would be. I don't want him hurt, either. You know that."

Dean's jaw was set hard. "If anything happens, I swear to god, I will take him and you can go screw yourself."

John smiled, but it was grim and tight. "I know. We'll be right behind him the entire time. We just need him to talk to the kids, I'd be the Impala they know more than the adults at this point. Somebody saw something or heard something or knows something, and maybe they're too scared to tell anyone who looks like an adult."

"Sam know about your plan?" Dean slumped back into the chair, weary.

He nodded and closed the notebook. "He's the one that brought it up."

Dean scoffed. "Sam hasn't hardly said four words in a row to you in the past week." John reached for the journal and flipped it open.

There, in Sam's writing, under John's neat script were the words 'bet the kids know something.' Dean may have been his father's spitting image at hunting, but Sam was a pro at research. He found things even John would have missed, and the thing was, Sam actually didn't mind that part of it.

Something cold dropped into Dean's stomach and he swallowed. Sam was probably right, especially if this thing was targeting kids, but that didn't mean Dean had to like it. Most days it was hard to see the lanky, strong sixteen year old kid Sam was turning into. Every time he looked at his little brother, he still saw the wide eye six year old. Truth of it was, Sam was growing up fast and he was pushing for freedom.

A year ago Dean could hardly get Sam to shut up, now the kid could go nearly a whole day without saying much. He could go a week without saying anything at all to John, and more often than not there was a flash of defiance at his father's words. The orders were still completed without argument, but Sam's independence was growing almost as fast as he was. Dean wouldn't admit it, but Sam was only an inch shorter than him and not stopping any time soon.

Sam still needed Dean though, still sought him out for answers or help or comfort. The kid was just better at hiding it now, at being subtle. He had secrets now, things he wouldn't tell Dean, that was something else new about Sam.

"You know him, Dean. Better than anyone." John met his son's eyes. "Nothings gonna get him, cause you're going to see it a mile away.

He nodded, but his jaw was clenched.

"Dean?" Sam's voice was small and pain filled.

He turned and saw his little brother clinging to the doorframe. "Christ, Sam." Dean went to him and cupped his hand behind Sam's head. "What are you doing up?"

Sam rested his head against Dean's shoulder. "I was thirsty."

Dean pushed Sam back to bed and went to get a glass of water from the kitchen. Sam was curled against the pillow when Dean returned.

He sat on the edge of the bed. "Drink it slow."

"I know." Sam sighed and pushed himself up. He took a shaky drink and handed the glass back.

"Need anything else?"

Sam was already falling back asleep as he slumped down. Dean rested his hand on the kid's head and Sam didn't push him away. He stayed at his kid brother's side until he was sure Sam was asleep.

"He all right?" John whispered from the doorway.

Dean nodded, his hand still on Sam's head.

John sighed and left his boys alone. He ignored the brief moment where he wished he could sit in Dean's place and forced himself back to what he knew about the case.

It was another hour at Sam's bedside, before Dean shifted to standing and put sheets on the other bed. He got ready for bed and lay in the dark for a while as he listened to his little brother sleep. He was uneasy about this upcoming hunt, he didn't like putting Sam in front of whatever was dangerous, but he didn't see any other way to stop what was happening. He heard John's footsteps in the hall and then everything was quiet.


This took me a long time to write, and the next chapter might be a while. I have a friend coming to town, so I'm not sure about my free time. Perhaps the next chapters will go a little easier. Thank you all so much for reading, you are who keeps me writing, seriously.