Fearing The Soul Of A Clown
Summary: Tag to episode 7.14. Sam and Dean have a talk about Sam's fear of clowns.
Beta'd by sendintheclowns.
A/N: Dark themes after a light hearted episode. Mentions of child molestation but not graphic. Sam's fear seemed so intense it made me ponder what could have happened to make him so afraid of clowns and this is what came out of my warped brain.
Fearing The Soul Of A Clown
Dean sat back on the motel bed with a beer in hand. It had been a crazy hunt. Unicorns and clowns, who'd a thought? Poor Sam though, he had been run through the wringer on this one.
In the quiet of the room, with only the sound of the shower running, Dean's thoughts went to his brother. Sam had always been afraid of clowns and Dean had just chalked it up to a weird childhood fear, but now, he wondered if it was something more. Sam admitted to the hate of being deposited like the kid Dean had met, Tyler, in places like Pennywhistle. So what was it about those places that frightened his brother?
Tyler, while hating being stuck there, sure didn't seem to share Sam's fear. The youngster seemed bored and angry, all that made sense, but Sam was afraid. It took a lot to make Sam fear something, with their background he faced fears head-on on a daily basis so what made this different?
Even though Dean never relished heart to hearts, he decided he needed to investigate this further. Maybe if Sam got this fear out in the open he could move towards conquering it.
Dean was brought out of his thoughts as his younger brother emerged from the bathroom in a cloud of steam. Sam was dressed for the night in a gray t-shirt and sweatpants. His hair hung damply in ringlets around his face. The expression Sam wore was one of frustration.
"What's up Sam? I'd think you'd be happy to be rid of the clown glitter." Dean commented as Sam sat across from him on the other bed.
"That's just it, can't get all the glitter out of my hair." Sam replied petulantly.
Dean did a slight spit take in amusement before he composed himself. "You could shave it off?"
Sam just glared at him.
"I'm sure it will fall out over time. You just get to be a bit more glamorous Samantha in the mean time."
"Bite me, Dean," Sam huffed back.
"Not my type Sam."
Dean decided to make a peace offering. "I ordered pizza if you're up for it and there is beer in the cooler."
Sam smiled and got up to get himself a beer. Once he had his, he sat back down on the bed.
"So up for drinking again, Dean?" Sam poked at him.
Dean rolled his eyes. "A few beers won't do me any harm, besides would you want to eat pizza without beer?"
Sam smiled. "Good point."
"So, I was reviewing the hunt and I think we need to talk about something that happened."
Sam's eyebrows shot up in interest. "Yeah, what's bothering you?"
"Your fear of clowns, Sam," Dean answered seriously.
Sam let out an annoyed sound, "Really? Can't we just let this go? I mean, what good comes of discussing it- other than giving you more material to kid me about?"
Dean gave Sam a sympathetic smile. "Dude, I'm not kidding here. You have a real fear and up to now I've blown it off as a weird childhood phobia but now think there's something more to it."
Sam looked down at his beer in his hand. "Hated being stuck at those places is all. You apologized so we're good, really."
Dean let out a sigh. "I get that but just being stuck at those places shouldn't have led you to fear them. I mean, Tyler thought that the place sucked with good reason, but he wasn't scared even with all the weird stuff going on."
"I'm not Tyler." Sam answered quietly, continuing to stare at his beer.
"No, you're not. At his age, you were pretty fearless, so that makes this fear of clowns even more puzzling. I know in my gut that something must've happened, and until you tell me, I'm not going to let his drop. I mean it Sam." Dean replied sternly.
Sam looked up with a blank stare. His poker face in full force. "It's the past so what good does it do to dredge it up?"
"It helps you face your fear Sam. Otherwise, this case is going to haunt you and you have enough on your plate without another distraction."
Sam let out a long sigh. "Not long after I learned the truth about our family, you got tired of my questions and dumped me at a Pennywhistle's for the night while you hit the arcade down the street with the teens you were hanging with. I got it, really. I had been pestering you like crazy and you needed a break."
Dean frowned in confusion. "You'd already said clowns creeped you out by then."
Sam shrugged. "They did, but I wasn't really afraid of them. Well, anymore than most kids. But that night I was camped out at a table by myself. I had brought a book to read and was going to eat a little something and then head back to our room, but ..."
Sam paused and took a long breath. "Uh, this guy brought me my food and sat down with me. He was dressed like a clown."
"Crap." Dean replied quietly.
Sam gave him a weak nod and continued. "I tried to get rid of him, but he was persistent, and I remembered Dad's rule about not bringing attention to ourselves and I thought telling the guy off in public might not be smart. So I answered his lame questions and then he asked me to be his assistant in his show he was about to do. I said no."
"Somehow, I don't think he took no for an answer." Dean mumbled out.
Sam's eyes filled with unshed tears. "No, he started to whisper to me about how he was staying at the same motel as us. He had noticed how Dad left us alone for the whole week and still wasn't back so if I wanted him to keep his mouth shut and not report us to CPS, then I'd do as he said."
Dean felt his whole body tense with anger. He tapped down on it so that he wouldn't interrupt his brother. He needed to hear all of it even if part of him didn't want too.
"I didn't know what to do, ya know? I just nodded and he led me to a backroom. He had me sit down on this old ratty bench that was back there and he sat down next to me. I can't tell you really what he said. Something about him being lonely and needing a friend. He moved closer and started to caress my hair, whispering in my ear. I remember being frozen in fear, afraid of what was going to happen and feeling so trapped. I thought I could put up with a little attention if it meant he wouldn't tell the cops about us."
"Jesus, Sammy, we could have run..."
Sam swiped at his face. "I know, but the police would know about us, and Dad would have been so mad."
Dean wanted to say more but knew Sam needed to get this out and so he just nodded.
Sam cleared his throat, "Anyway, dude of course started moving his hands downward all the while babbling on about … I couldn't tell you. Finally his hand was resting between my thighs massaging my leg slowly moving towards my crotch, when the backdoor opened. It was a janitor and the dude jumped up. The janitor said something about him needing to get a grip or he'd have to report him and then the janitor told me to beat it. So I did."
"Why didn't you say something, Sam?" Dean replied in frustration.
"Because you would have done something stupid and I handled it." Sam replied quietly.
Dean swallowed hard. "How?"
"I waited for him until he got done with work. He was with some other employees and I shouted at him that if he ever came near me or my family that I would go to the cops and I had a witness. He said -whatever kid, like I'd want to hang with a loser like you. Something that really didn't make much sense and then I ran home. We were gone two days later and that was that."
Sam straightened up and looked Dean in the eye. Dean could see the pain and heartbreak there but also the strength.
"Shit Sam, I wish you would have said something."
Sam gave him a small smile. "It was easier at the time to bury it. I only thought about it when I saw clowns and thankfully that wasn't very often. I got too old to be dropped off at those places soon after, so it really wasn't that big a deal."
"So that's it. The whole reason for your fear?"
Dean felt like he was missing part of the story, like Sam was still hiding something. The haunted look in his brother's eyes made him feel like there was something more and that scared more than anything.
Sam shifted on the bed and began to rub the scar on his hand. That sent a shiver down Dean's spine.
"Lucifer play clown on you Sammy?" Dean choked out.
Sam nodded tightly. "He played that scene out for me without the janitor coming in when he did."
"Damn it." Dean replied. "I'm so sorry Sammy. I wish..."
"I know," Sam scrubbed at his face and sniffled. "But it's done, and I got to watch clowns die tonight so it really did help in some weird sort of way. That and talking about it, I think will help me. A human tried to hurt me wearing a clown's face and Lucifer played with those memories. Saying it out loud, and acknowledging that it all is in the past, should help me move forward I think. So thanks Dr. Phil."
Dean rolled his eyes. "So Ronald McDonald commercials won't freak you anymore?"
Sam smirked. "Dude, the day that the Snuggles Teddy Bear stops freaking you out will be the day I can tolerate Ronald."
Dean shivered. "Point taken."
Sam laughed. "So, how about surfing channels to find a good movie to watch when the pizza gets here?"
Dean tossed the remote at Sam and grabbed the giant rainbow slinky Sam had given him off the table next to the bed. He was content to let them fall back into what was normal for them. Sam's revelations were jarring and as much as Dean wanted to take them away he couldn't.
Staring at the slinky he realized that his gift of a stupid clown to Sam today had been in poor taste. He had been going for funny but knowing what he did now, it made him feel pretty guilty.
A plan of action was in order. From now on Dean would make sure to avoid teasing Sam about clowns (well as much as a big brother can avoid such things) and to avoid all clowns period. A plan he would gladly follow, because, really? Clowns were scary sons of bitches.
Thanks for reading.