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Chapter 5 John Tries and Fails

John Winchester was a devastated man. His oldest son now loathed him, and he honestly didn't blame the boy.

God, he had nearly killed Sam with his instructions to suck it up and deal with it. His son had been afraid to tell anyone that he was getting beat up because he thought John would be mad it him.

It made him physically ill just to think about it.

Now he had to find some way to fix this.

If there even was a way.


Dean was sitting at Sam's bedside when John burst through the door for the second time that night. He was in no mood to deal with the man right now.

"Go away," he ordered, barely looking up from his baby.

He saw his father hesitate.

"Dean-" the man tried.

"I don't want to hear it. Not all of this is your fault, but you're at least as much to blame as I am. The only reason I'm letting myself anywhere Sam is because he's currently being extremely clingy and needs me. You don't have that excuse, so goodbye," Dean monotoned.

"Dean please," John begged. That caught Dean's attention; John never begged.

"What do you want me to do, Dad?" Dean asked sadly. "I've been taking care of Sam since I was five. You haven't so much as hugged him since he was two. You have no idea how to deal with him, and he's going to be really fragile for awhile. I really, really don't want to take the risk of you hurting him while he's already down."

"Just give me a chance. Please, Dean," he added when it seemed like Dean was gong to turn him down. "Just one chance. That's all I'm asking for."

Dean hesitated. He knew he should trust his judgment, and his judgment was telling him John would simply end up hurting them in the end.

But this was his father. The same father who used to tuck him in and read him bedtime stories when he was three and four.

"Fine," he reluctantly conceded. "One chance that's it."

John nodded with badly covered relief. He waked over to Sam's bedside and palmed the little boy's check.

"What does the doctor say?" he asked.

"Bruises on ninety percent of his body, cuts from where he dropped knives when he was practicing, three broken toes on his left foot, a broken ankle on his right foot, a broken left them which screwed up the whole rest of his hand, several broken and dislocated ribs, slashes through his chest from out last hunt, and a concussion," Dean listed off, hoping he had managed to get everything.

John turned a very interesting shade of green. Dean noted with vague fascination that he had never seen a person turn that color before.

"Go to sleep," John suggested. "Sam's going to be awake in a few hours."

"Absolutely not," Dean declared flatly.

"You just got back from a hunt, Dean. It isn't going to do Sam any good if you keel over from exhaustion on him," John reasoned.

He had Dean there.

Dean reluctantly crawled into bed next to his Sammy. If he had to sleep, he would at least sleep where he could still keep an eye on his baby.

His last conscious thought was filled with pleasure as Sam curled into him like he had been doing all his life.


Sam woke up in Dean's arms for the first time in a long time the next morning.

For awhile he lay there, completely content to just cuddle. He wondered if he should be concerned about his sudden clingyness, then decided to just let Dean deal with it.

Eventually he realized he had to get up for training. He tried to carefully maneuver his way out of the bed without waking Dean.

He should've remembered how impossible that was.

Dean's arm tightened around his waist and pulled him back to his big brother's chest.

"Where're you goin'?" Dean asked without opening his eyes.

"Got training," Sam whispered back, trying to remove Dean's arm and failing epically.

Dean's eyes snapped open instantly at that sentence. "Excuse me?" he asked in an incredulously deadly voice. Only Dean would be able to pull off that mixture of tones. "Repeat that for me please," he growled.

Sam looked at him like he'd gone insane. "I have training today," he reiterated slowly. "I also have school, so I really need to get going.

"I don't think so," Dean snarled, pulling Sam even closer to him. Sam was confused.

"But I have to," he said puzzledly. "Dad never lets us have a day off."

"You are insane if you think I'm going to let you so much as carry all your own weight," Dean informed him. "You have been officially delegated to bed rest until I deem you well enough to get back up again," he added. "Not the doctor, mind you, because they normally give in to your pushing. You can't get up until I say you can."

"But Dad," Sam started.

"Agrees with your big brother," a deep voice rumbled from the side of the bed.

Sam nearly jumped out of his skin, and certainly would've fallen out of bed if it hadn't been for Dean.

"Dad!" Sam exclaimed, trying to untangle himself from Dean and jump to attention at the Sam time. It was reflex by now.

"Calm down, Sammy!" Dean cried. Surprise mixed with warning in his voice and had Sam settling back down instantly.

Dean then sat them both up and pulled Sam into his lap. Sam settled back against his big brother's chest and found himself snuggling as close as he had when he was five or six. It was nice to just sit like this; it had been awhile.

Maybe that concussion was having more of an effect than he had thought?

He didn't really care, though. He was perfectly happy to snuggle, so he again resolved to let Dean deal with whatever was wrong. After all, Big Brother always knew best.

"We're taking a couple days off of training," John said. "At least 'till you can walk on your own again."

"I can walk on my own now," Sam insisted, feeling weaker than ever. This was what he had been trying to avoid when he didn't tell anyone about this to begin with.

As soon as he got better, his father was going to insist on even more rigorous training, and Sam really didn't think he could handle anything more without completely crumbling under the pressure.

"No, you most certainly can not," Dean stated, seemingly horrified by the simple idea of it. "Paul said you have to be off your feet for at least a month. You can't be on crutches either, because you messed up your whole hand by using the thumb after you broke it. Do you remember anything from last night?" he questioned incredulously when Sam only looked confused.

"After getting to the hospital, not much," Sam admitted. "Last clear thing is talking to Sherry. After that it's all blurred."

"Great," Dean declared sarcastically. "When did you get the concussion? By the way, you're in trouble for not telling me about that one, Mister. Concussions are not something you play around with," Dean scolded.

"I didn't play around with it, Dean. I don't really actually play all that much lately." Sam had a feeling that wasn't quite what Dean meant, but his head was kinda….odd, right now.

"Some kid kicked my head pretty hard yesterday; I think that's when it finally decided I hit it too hard. It feels funny, De," Sam said, putting a hand to his throbbing temple.

"I bet," Dean snorted. His voice was rough, but it was contrasted by gentle hands against Sam's forehead. "You're not running a fever, which means no infections in the cuts. Thank God for that one."

"I wanna go home," Sam whined. "Can we go home now, Deanie?" he pleaded.

"We'll see what the doctor says," Dean said doubtfully.

He probably didn't think Sam was anywhere near well enough to be getting out of this dump. Dean was odd like that.


Dean hadn't exactly been pleased to wake up to his baby brother trying to get out of bed. Hearing that Sam thought Dean was going to allow him to continue with his normal training….well, let's just say Dean was positive that knock on the head was really impeding Sam's judgment.

That meant Dean was going to have to keep a very close eye on him. Good; now he had an excuse to always be near Sam. Not that he really needed one, but if Dad tried to drag him off on some hunt he could say Sam couldn't be left alone whit his head like this.

Paul walked into the room almost as soon as Dean told Sam they would have to see what the man said about leaving. He was secretly hoping that Paul would order them to stay in the hospital a few more days (Dean didn't even care if Paul made up a completely imaginary reason for doing so) but the look on Paul's face didn't give him much hope.

"Can we leave?" Sam asked, getting straight to the point.

"Be nice, Sammy," Dean admonished. "He might think you don't like him and that's why you want to leave so quickly." Dean was teasing, but Sam, who had practically reverted to a five year old's mind set, took him very seriously.

Sam gasped and looked up a Paul with wide and innocent eyes. "I didn't mean it like that!" he cried. "I'm sorry!"

"Hey," Dean soothed through his alarm. "It's fine, Angel. I was just teasing," he assured.

Sam looked up at him with trust filling his unconscious puppy eyes. "You promise I didn't hurt his feelings?" he questioned.

Why was he acting so young now? He had seemed ok when he woke up. Maybe it was triggered by something Dean had done? It would be a good theory to test.

"Why don't you ask him?" Dean suggested gently.

"You didn't hurt my feeling, Sport," Paul smiled. "You hit your head pretty hard, huh?"

Sam went to nod and discovered that wasn't a good idea. "Brandon kicked it real hard," he frowned instead.

Paul, Dean, and John exchanged glances. They had one name. It was a start.

"I think you're good to go home as long as you do everything Big Brother says," Paul deliberated. "But you have to promise you'll do everything he says."

Dean wasn't particularly pleased with the idea of Sam being so far away from instant medical help, but he also knew he was almost as good a doctor as anyone you could find in a hospital.

"Thank you," Sam intoned politely. He had always been such a polite little boy. Lord knows where he got it from, cause Dean sure particularly focus on manners when Sammy was younger.

"I promise I'll listen to Dean," his brother pledged, looking up at Dean again. Dean could almost see the stars shining in his baby's eyes as the little boy watched him. It was a little disconcerting to see how high Sammy held Dean in his regard after events lately. It was also heartening and warming to know that his Sammy forgave him without Dean ever having to ask.

"Alright then," Dean agreed. "Time to get you dressed, precious."

John and Paul cautiously exited the room without drawing attention.

"K," Sam agreed. He suddenly giggled. "You sound like that evil witch in the Dorothy movie. 'I'll get you my precious, and your little dog too!'" he mimicked.

Dean stared at him incredulously and wondered just how out of it his baby was. "She says my pretty, Sammy, not my precious," he corrected. "And isn't that movie a little girly for you?"

"No," his baby brother pouted. "I like it. It has a happy ending."

"Ok," Dean placated when Sam seemed on the edge of a full on rant about how awesome that movie was. They hadn't seen it in forever because he had deemed it too girly for them. He would have to see if he could convince their father to rent it…..

He helped Sam out of the hospital gown and into his own clothing with little trouble. They were ready to leave the hospital in minutes.

He hoisted his baby onto his hip and started towards the door to Sam's room.

"Daddy?" Sam inquired, pulling at Dean's sleeve to get his big brother's attention. Not that he needed to, since he already had it.

"Yeah Baby?" Dean returned.

Sam's small hands grabbed his face to refocus his gaze on his angel, and Dean stopped walking for fear of running into something.

"I can walk," his Sammy informed him seriously.

"And I can carry you," Dean retaliated. "Besides, the doctor said he doesn't want you walking, which means that the only way you're going to get out of here is being carried. You wanna go back into the room?"

Dean knew he had won; Sam hated hospitals.

"No!" Sammy practically squealed, just like Dean had known he would. "Let's gooooooo," he added, in a tone close to a whine.

"Alright, Angel. Slow down; we're going," Dean laughed, poking Sam's nose. He moved towards the exit again.


Getting Sam home and situated again had been easy. Getting Sam to understand that he wasn't allowed to go back to school (especially when Sam had been hurt there) was a lot harder.

Sam had whined, complained, and pretty much thrown a temper tantrum. Dean had gotten him to stop by threatening to spank him, but he wouldn't have done it, even if Sam hadn't stopped. His baby was far too hurt for him to be doing anything that would add to his pain.

Sammy didn't call him on his bluff, however, and peace reigned once again.

Getting his baby brother to stop sulking after accepting the banishment of school was even harder. Dean eventually managed, but it had been difficult.

Sam's teachers had told Dean that they had slipped the end of the year tests into Sam's homework, just to see how his baby would do. It didn't count as points towards his final grade, but they had given Sam quite a few extra credit points for it.

Well, it wasn't supposed to count until it was revealed how hurt his Sammy was. Sam had apparently passed the tests with flying colors, so that meant he had also passed the grade.

Sam was very glad of this and forgave Dean for not allowing him out of the house. Dean actually did let him out of the house, but only if Dean was with him. He wasn't taking any chances with Sam's recovery.

During all this time, John stuck around. He helped awkwardly when he could, but his help was always just that; awkward. His presence made Dean's baby uncomfortable which prompted Dean to keep the older man out of the house when he could.

John was sent on grocery runs, movie runs, pain medication runs, to deal with dicks that had hurt his baby brother; anything that got the man out of the house.

So far they hadn't had much luck tracking down any of the kids. The town was so small that all the kids knew each other, and no one was willing to rat anyone out. The only one they had managed to get was the Brandon who had practically kicked Sam's head in.

Dean would've done a fairly good job kicking the kid's own head in, but Dean's boss at the mechanics shop was the child's father. Dean knew the other man well enough to know that the boy would be well and truly made to regret his actions. More so because the mechanic knew Sam and Dean and had taken a shining to both.

Dean wasn't worried, though. Eventually Brandon would slip up and mention who his friends were, one of the other kids would squeal, or he would drag something out of Sam.

They wouldn't leave town until Dean knew every single person who had so much as touched his baby had been punished.

Dean was very firm in this decision. Part of it was because he wanted to make sure the kids wouldn't mess with any other helpless, tiny little brothers. Most of it, however, was his start to proving that Sam was his and no one else's. No one could hurt what was Dean's and walk away without paying the price.

It was two weeks after Sam was released from the hospital when the first break in their new routine occurred.

John was seen pacing the apartment, running his hands through his hair and muttering.

Sam and Dean exchanged glances. It wouldn't be long now.

Sure enough, John sat them down the next day to inform them that he was leaving. It was a surprise to neither of them. They had both known that their father wouldn't stick around for long. He never did.

He was going to hunt a possible ghost in Indiana, which was more than a day's drive away. He didn't know when he would get back.

And so Sam and Dean were left alone again with only each other to depend on.

Their father had always treated them like pawns in a game of chess. They were disposable and could be left where ever.

Other people and things treated them like they were play things too. But that was ok, because, hey!, lots of people said life was a game. And now they were playing by Dean's rules.

I love that ending. I really do. I don't even know where it came from; it just kind of popped into my head one day.

It's over! Blinks rapidly. It's my first finished fic.

I still want opinions, though, because I'm already starting the sequel.

Hope to see you there!