A few notes before you read this story…

This is a continuation of Silver Ruffian's incredibly intriguing story "Animal Crackers." After I told her how her story wouldn't leave me alone, she graciously allowed me to write my take on what happens next. I recommend you read hers before you read mine, since I jump in where she leaves off. You can find the story at: www (dot) fanfiction (dot) net (slash) s (slash) 7154985 (slash) 1 (slash) Animal_Crackers

Warning: While neither of us go into detail, our stories deal with a sensitive subject matter. My story is rated out of consideration for that subject matter.

A huge thank you to Jenn1984 for taking the time to read through this!

It's not like this is my first choice. It's not. Like I'd said, there's that grocery store down the street; but when I nick a couple sandwiches and a few cartons of milk, it only holds us for another couple of days. I can't do it again. Hitting the store another time would only make it more likely for me to get caught, meaning the cops and CPS would get called in. They are not going to take us away from our father. And they sure as hell are not going to take Sammy away from me. They aren't.

It's not a choice anymore. We have no money and Sammy needs to eat. He's my brother and I'm going to take care of him.

It's that simple.

Sammy's looking at me strangely, as if he knows exactly what I'm planning, but damned if I know how. He doesn't know about the things that go bump in the night, and my dad and I have sheltered him as much as we can from the evil that exists in humans, too.

He's a smart kid. Too smart, unfortunately.

I need to take a shower. I can't…my skin's already crawling at the thought of hands…

It's just sex. Right? No strings attached, meaningless sex.

If I repeat it enough, I'll believe it, too.

It's not until I get out of the shower and I'm getting dressed that I realize what I'm going to do. I'm staring at my dad's cologne, the bottle that's almost empty but not empty enough to be tossed out. He left it behind for me, but I can't use it now. This smell is so much a part of my dad that I can't have it attached to what I'm going to do. I can't.

I shove the bottle away ruthlessly before I turn my back on the scared reflection in the mirror. Doesn't matter how many walls I put up, I'm still scared as a frickin' girl.

I step out of the bathroom after I finish buttoning my shirt, ignoring the trembling in my fingers. Sammy's looking at me again, his eyes—what was that word my teacher used? Unform… Unfathom… Unfathomable, that's it—they were unfathomable.

I should use that word around Sammy some time. He'd be really impressed.

"Don't go, Dean. Please."

The words were quiet, but there was no mistaking how desperate he was. I hate that I'm the reason he sounds like that. I hate that he sounds like that at all. He's just a kid.

"I'm going out for a bit, Sammy. I'll be back soon and then we'll get something to eat, okay?" At least Sammy will. I doubt I'll be hungry.

"Where you gonna get the money, huh, Dean?"

Damn that kid and his logic.


"I'll be back soon."

I have no choice. We have no money and Sammy needs to eat.

I walk to the door and Sammy jumps up from the table and runs to me, grabbing my hand. "Dean!"

There are tears in his eyes, and I feel an answering prick in my own, but I can't let them fall. I won't. If I start now…

"Stay here, Sammy."

He shakes his head, tugging at my arm. "No."

"Stay here, Sammy," I order, ignoring how he finches at the hard edge to my voice.

I pull away to open the door, turning back once I've stepped outside. Sammy hasn't moved, but he's staring at me, face twisted in fear for me. He won't follow me. He's old enough to start getting curious about the orders, but young enough to still follow them.

I hope he doesn't really know what I'm doing, but then, he was with me when Morrison made his offer, and like I said, the kid's smart.

"Keep it locked until I return, Sammy." I close the door on him, shutting out the way he's pleading silently with me not to go.

I have no choice. We have no money and Sammy needs to eat.

My legs are shaking as I walk away and I lean back against the building, taking several deep breaths. It's no big deal, I tell myself. It's just sex.

I straighten then and my steps are steadier, but that could just be because I'm walking slower.

If ever there's a time to hear the Impala come roaring down the road, it's now; but it never comes. Not as I walk down the sidewalk and not when I stop across the street from Morrison's house.

I look both ways, hoping, praying to see the black car come speeding towards me, but there's nothing, and I wonder why I expect Dad to come to my rescue. I may only be twelve, but I can take care of myself and Sammy, and Dad knows that. He does. I don't need him to save me now.

I do. I do. Please, Dad…Please come back.

I cross the street and my knees start shaking as I walk up his front steps.

I don't blame my father. He's on an important mission, killing evil monsters and finding leads on what killed Mom. It's important. It is.

I pause in front of his door, hoping, praying, pleading, to hear the throaty rumble of the Impala, but still there's nothing. I can't swallow anymore because my throat's dry, and when I lift my hand to knock, I'm not surprised to see it shaking, too.

I have no choice. We have no money and Sammy needs to eat.

I don't know when Dad will get back, if Dad will get back. I have to do this.

I knock and wait, wondering if I went all this way for nothing and he won't even be home. Before I can begin to hope, though, the door opens slowly and he's staring at me. His eyes light up, and that creepy-crawly feeling starts on my skin again.

"Can I help you?" He asks.

You can go to hell, I think, but saying that won't help. "No. But I think I can help you," I say instead.

Please, Dad. Please…

He smiles and holds the door open wider, urging me to enter. It doesn't surprise me when my teeth start clacking together, but at least the sound doesn't carry. The first time I met a monster face to face, a vengeful spirit down in New Orleans who seemed hell bent on killing both me and dad, I did the same thing. Come to think of it, I'm more scared now than I was then. At least Dad was my backup that time. I'm on my own with this monster.

He leads me to the living room and circles me, licking his lips. I feel like a piece of friggin' meat and the thought almost makes me giggle.

It wasn't funny.

"I'll give you forty."

It was the same offer he'd made before.

"A hundred," I counter. We need the money.

He scoffs (that's another word Sammy would like) and I drive home the deal. I'm not dumb, I'm not naïve, and I was never sheltered except for the first four years of my life. I know.

"You're my first." I don't recognize my voice; it's deeper than usual, hoarse and raspy. He licks his lips again and I can see how excited he is.


"A hundred."

He caves, like I knew he would. He puts the money on the coffee table and kneels in front of me, staring me in the eyes. "You'll always remember me."

He's right. I will never be able to forget this.

He leans in close and I hold myself so still I think I might snap. Shying away won't help.

My eyes close when he breathes deeply, and I idly think of my dad's cologne bottle. I swallow noisily, opening my eyes as he pulls back.

He smiles. "It's okay to be nervous," he says.

I stare at him because he sounds so friggin' kind, but he's a monster. A monster.

He's unbuttoning my shirt and the chills have spread, shaking my body with the force.

It's just sex and I'm okay with this.

I have no choice. We have no money and Sammy needs to eat.

He nudges my shirt off my shoulder, his fingers lightly brushing against my skin. My eyes close again as I think about Sammy.

I don't blame him either. Never could. Not his fault we ran out of money. It's mine. I'd been careful with our funds, but obviously not careful enough.

I'm not hoping or praying or pleading anymore. It's too late for help to come. Morrison is pulling my shirt down my arms and I know. This is going to happen.

There is no choice. We have no money, but we will, and Sammy will be able to eat.

I start to cry then, because I didn't want this. I didn't, I didn't.

I flinch when the door slams open with a crash. Morrison lets out a startled gasp, his hands falling away from me. I am so grateful that he's not touching me anymore, but I'm also empty, hollow. Because I could have done it; I could have. But I don't know if I will ever be able to make myself come back, and I have no clue how I'm going to be able to take care of Sammy now. I hiccup, still crying. I want to see who or what has just blown my chances at feeding Sammy, but I'm scared that if I look, the illusion will break and no one will have rescued me.

"Get away from my son," I hear someone snarl in a deep, dangerous voice. It doesn't dawn on me that it's Dad. Why would it be him? I don't see him until he's pushing Morrison away from me and I want to look away from him, I do, but I can't, because I've never seen Dad that angry. He turns his glare on me next and I flinch.

I didn't have a choice.

Dad gathers me in his arms, and he's yelling threats over his shoulder as we barge out of the room. In the next instant, I'm in the car, and we're driving back to the motel. He doesn't say anything, just grips the steering wheel tightly, his jaw clenching and unclenching in fury.

He's going to yell at me soon, but for now, my sobs are the only sound filling the silence. I wish I could stop, but I can't. I'm too relieved, too grateful, too scared to stop. I can still feel his hands on me…

I scramble for the door handle. It's a good thing we've stopped already, or I would have fallen out of the car. I lean out the door, heaving, and Dad is suddenly there, hand squeezing the back of my neck, whispering "It's okay. It's okay. I'm here."

You weren't, I want to tell him. You were gone.

I can't say that though. I'm too busy trying to stop freaking out. Dad pulls me out of the car and into his arms. "It's over, Dean-o. It's over," he says as he carries me into the motel room. I bury my head in his neck. He smells so good, like leather and gun oil and cologne. He smells like safety, like home.

I hear a small voice call my name. It's scared and worried and I know I just can't face him right now. I'm effing sobbing my heart out and my little brother shouldn't see me like this.

"Go to your room, Sammy," Dad orders, but even I can hear how gently he says it. Sammy's the only reason Dad got there in time, and he knows that.

Dad puts me down and kneels in front of me. I hate feeling like I'm a baby, like I'm weak, but I can't let go of him, even when he tries to tug my arms away.

I was okay with it. For Sammy, I was okay with it.

"Dean-o, let me see," he says, and I realize he's scared too. He doesn't know if he was too late.

I slowly let go and step back, looking down at the floor to avoid his gaze. He carefully buttons my shirt again, but I'm still shivering and he shrugs out of his leather jacket to drape it over my shoulders.

He tilts my chin up so I meet his eyes. "What the hell were you thinking, kiddo?" He's angry, but he's worried, too.

"I didn't have a choice," I stutter. "We didn't have any money and Sammy needed to eat. I'm sorry," I add on, realizing yet again if I'd been more careful, this wouldn't have happened.

He cups the back of my neck and stares at me hard. "There's always a choice. If things get that bad, I don't care if you have to bring the cops into it. Better being taken somewhere you're safe and I can find you when I get back than…" He swallows and swears.

He tells me it's okay to do that, but I know it's not. How many times has he drilled it into my head that we are to always stay below the radar and never involve the authorities?

His fingers are digging painfully into my neck and I shudder. He lets go quickly and says, "It wasn't your fault."

I stare at him blankly, not understanding. Yes, it was. I hadn't handled the money well enough. It was my fault.

"Dean-o, it wasn't your fault," he repeats, and damn it, tears are falling down my face again.

I don't care, though, because I just saw a tear on my father's cheek. He pulls me into him, holding me, and I think I hear him whisper, "I'm sorry."

He has nothing to be sorry for. We were both doing our jobs. He was hunting evil and I was watching out for Sammy.

"It won't happen again," he whispers and I want to shake my head. When did my father decided to lie to me? Of course it will. He'll go away again and stay too long, and Sammy and I will be left trying to find a way to survive. I swallow a sob when I realize we will always have another option.

But it's okay, because Dad came through for us this time, and for that, he has nothing to be sorry for.

It's that simple.