A/N: Canon compliant, which is unusual for me. Takes place right before John skips town with the kids after the fire, minor spoilers for episode 1x9 "Home." Written for the comment-fic prompt, "When he's 5 years old, Dean Winchester Jumps for the first time." Quick explanation: Jumping is a term from the novel Jumper (also made into a movie) where the protagonist can instantly teleport himself to any location he's previously been, as long as he has a clear enough picture of it.
When he's 5 years old, Dean Winchester Jumps for the first time. He's curled up in a ball and sobbing at CPS, screaming wordlessly because all he wants to do is go home, and he can't talk and they can't just understand it. He takes a deep breath, closes his eyes to screech, and then he's elsewhere. The voices around him have stopped, the antiseptic smell has given way to ash and mold, the bed has become a hard wooden surface.
Dean opens his eyes to see his old room, his molding floor and peeling wallpaper and ruined toys – damaged first from the fire, later from the firemen's hoses. He sits and cries until his tears have dried up, wailing for someone to come. Nobody does. He sniffs and messily wipes the snot off his face and onto his shirt. Mommy doesn't show up, and neither does Daddy, and he can't hear Sammy anywhere.
It's too quiet, and Dean doesn't want to be here anymore. He wants to be in the Impala, with its leather smell like Daddy and its rumbling engine and its baby seat for Sammy. Dean remembers how he moved before. He screws his eyes closed, takes a deep breath, and screeches.
He doesn't move, but a light flicks on at the neighbor's house and suddenly there's a cold feeling that sinks into his skin and lodges in his belly. Dean whimpers and hugs his knees, ignoring the way the half-congealed snot rubs against his jeans. They're not really his clothes, anyways. His clothes got burned up in the fire along with Mommy and everything else.
Shhh, Dean, he hears. Shh, baby, it's alright.
Dean tries to cry though he's cried all he can earlier, so all that he does is hiccup miserably. Coldness runs up and down his arm until he shivers violently. He really, really doesn't want to be here.
I love you, baby. Mommy loves you.
Maybe he should try again. Dean takes a breath, squeezes his eyes shut, and wishes with all his might that he were sitting in the back of the Impala. He pictures the stitching on the seats, the dirt in the windows, the creak of worn leather, Dad's hair looming over the front seat. He thinks as hard as he can, holding his breath until his lungs burn, then opening his mouth to screech –
Remember, Dean, honey. Angels are watch –
And the steady rumble of the Impala's engine cuts through the silence and the lady's voice. Dean lowers the screech to a small whimper of gratitude, and feels the car swerve and jolt to a halt as Daddy twists in his seat with a creak of leather to look at him. "Dean!"
He reaches right over the seat to pick Dean up with his large bear hands and hugs him, and Dean buries his nose into his jacket to get rid of the smells of ash and mold. "You were hiding here all the time, huh, kiddo?" Daddy rumbles, and Dean can feel the vibrations from Daddy's chest in his own as one of Daddy's hands reaches up to scruff Dean's hair soothingly.
Dean wriggles his hands into Daddy's coat and grabs onto his shirt hard.
(Dean will never Jump again. In the morning, the Winchesters will be on the road heading towards the first of many, many crappy hotel rooms and Dean will remember the ordeal as a nightmare. He'll forget all about the coldness trying to hug and soothe him like mommy did, as well as the soft whispered words in his ear. For over twenty years he'll swear to never go back to that house but he won't remember exactly why. Then Sam's dreams will drag him back. He'll meet the ghost that smells like ash and brimstone who's dressed in a white nightgown and smiles at him and looks at him with sad eyes, and it'll all come crashing back with one choked question he never asked that long-ago night: "Mom?")