One shots seem to be controlling my mind at the moment… Sorry, :') this one came to me when some footage of a heaving street in New York popped up on the news a couple of days ago, coupled with the memory of my brother losing our youngest sister in the middle of a tube station a few years back. It's crazy where inspiration comes from.
Disclaimer: Own nothing.
One second Sam was there. The twelve – year – old had been latching onto Dean's belt with a vice-like grip, a life raft in the coursing streams of people, the pair fighting to stay on the sidewalk as it burst its bank, flooding onto the main road.
And the next, he was gone.
Dean felt the pull on his jeans tighten, then disappear altogether, filled by that momentary confusion that arrives when something you were holding escapes your grasp, followed by the instinctual reaction to catch it before it topples to the ground.
He fished a hand behind him, desperately searching for the familiar mop of messy hair, coming into contact instead with a faux-leather handbag, squeezing it tight in the false-hope his brother's scalp had been burnt to the same texture, damning himself as he withdrew the thought; stupid, stupid wish.
"Hey, get off, jackass!" came a shout, the smooth fabric being ripped from his grasp and then smacked across the back of his head. He turned to apologize, speaking instead to a disheveled looking man, who shoved him out of his way, into the path of a burly construction worker. Dean raised his eyebrows as the man loomed over him, retreating to the inside of the sidewalk, his back to a store window as he scanned the vicinity for any sign of his straggly-haired little brother, backpack tight on his shoulders as he conducted his own search for his missing sibling.
Dean's breath caught in his throat as he wrenched his cell from his pocket, quickly dialing the familiar, worn number, cursing as it went straight to voicemail.
He snorted to himself as he shoved the cell into his jacket. No way would he have heard that from his backpack… Gonna have to teach the squirt to keep the fucking thing in his pocket.
He knew he needed to act fast; if the speed he'd been separated from the crazy handbag lady in the fast-moving crowds was anything to go by, Sam could be three blocks away by now.
Panic overcame him as he realized what he'd done.
He'd lost his little brother.
He put his hands over his head as a hundred thousand images swam past his eyes; Sam crushed by careless onlookers; Sam squeezed onto the road, a car speeding forward; Sam carried off into the night by the crowd…
"Sam!" he yelled, wild eyes analyzing each shocked face that trailed momentarily towards him, "Sammy!"
He leapt back into the flow of people, ducking in and out of the crowd in his fruitless search for that one kid out of thousands, hoping Sam's eyes would meet his.
But to no avail.
He walked the same street another dozen times, earning concerned glances from store owners and café waiters as he bobbed in every half hour or so, flashing a crumpled picture of his brother to anyone who spared him a moment. He begged cashiers to keep an eye out, to let the kid know his brother was looking for him, to keep him behind the counter until he came back.
"Look," said one, a short, blonde haired woman who had obviously seen the same thing hundreds of times in the past, "the cops have probably picked him up somewhere, taken him to the station. Why don't you check there out?"
Dean shook his head. "No. We don't deal with cops. He'd be outta there before they'd offer him the first phone call."
The woman frowned, eyes searching Dean's face for any sign of deceit, clearly having been hustled one too many times. "I don't know what to tell you," she sighed, smiling as the final customers left the store, "don't you have a building or something you visit sometimes around here? When I was a kid my dad always told me to wait outside the library."
"We ain't from around here."
"I can tell; no one I know from here would lose his little broth-… I'm sorry, I didn't mean it to come out like that," she finished quickly, heart crumbling at Dean's torn expression. She motioned to the door, "I'm closing, and you're gonna wanna get outta here before the rain starts. November weather ain't so kind these days."
"I don't know where to go, there's only one place we've…" a light bulb lit above Dean's head as he thought of something. "The car… Thank you, thankyouthankyouthankyou!" He yelled, grabbing the picture from the desk and tearing out of the door.
She watched, bewildered as the stormed out of the store, trailing his steps as she closed the door and flipped the open sign. "You're welcome."
Sam sat on the park bench, swinging his legs idly as he watched the crowd sizzle down then bulk right up again as the five o' clock rush came by, thousands of people cueing to cross the deadly New York roads.
Three hours and fifty-two minutes he'd been here, 'Here' being a small green park, surrounded by trees and towered by huge buildings, framed by a stealthy flow of people bulking out the sidewalk.
This was the closest he could get to where he hoped the car had been parked hours ago; he had more sense than to even attempt crossing that road. Dean would roast him…
He pulled his legs to his chest as another cold breeze brushed past, swirling leaves and debris past the bench. He frowned as the darkness threatened to blanket the sky, complete with a throw of clouds, spitting thick droplets of rain. He tugged his coat tighter around him as those thoughts started to bubble in his mind. They'd started the moment he let go of Dean's belt; he'd only turned because a car had screeched nearby, making him jump enough to recoil into a protective stance.
And Dean was gone.
It had taken him a good half hour to retrace his steps to here, remembering his brother's instructions should he ever get lost. Wait at the car, he'd say, find it and wait for me there.
But what if he didn't come and find him? What if Dean had wanted this to happen?
He shook himself. No, even after the argument they'd had earlier about a toothbrush. Dean would find him. They'd only stepped out to find a drugstore for a new one on their way back from the hotel they were staying at, planning on skipping town after purchasing a new one; but it had taken hours to come across a store that sold a damn toothbrush, and they'd been circling the same streets all day. Dean had told him before they even stepped out of the front door of the hotel to hold onto his belt and not let go under any circumstances. And now he'd really dropped himself in it.
He checked his cell again, obsessively pressing the on button. "Damn good day to forget to charge it," he mumbled, earning a curious glance from a passerby.
The rain was falling heavily now, seeping into his ancient coat. He watched the tall buildings as the lights gradually blinked on one by one, a strangely beautiful replacement for stars in the black sky.
He drew his eyes away from the scene, instead staring ahead of him.
And it was damn scary.
He could barely decipher one body from the other, the crowd melting into a multicolored snake, weaving through the streets.
How was he meant to pick Dean out of a crowd if he couldn't even tell one freaking coat from the other?
He sighed, almost watching the dark envelope his last hopes of being found.
And then he heard it.
His head perked up, searching the crowd for the familiar green eyes. Relief flooded through him as his big brother tore through the darkness, eyes wide and worried. He sagged, legs falling from his chest, arms sinking to his side, sighing as he realized he finally wasn't alone out here anymore.
"Sammy, y'allright?" he asked, skidding to his knees in front of his kid brother, cupping his chin with one hand, quickly scanning him for injury, "y'hurt?'
Sam gripped onto his brother's arm, barely able to contain his smile.
"I'm sorry I let go," he said shyly before being pulled into a bone crushing hug on Dean's lap, rocking gently on the muddy grass.
"My God, you're freezing," muttered Dean, shrugging off his jacket and pulling it around Sam, "why didn't you call?"
"No battery," he replied.
"I'm… I can't reach it just yet."
Dean laughed into the park, guilt suddenly washing over him as he realized he'd done this, he'd almost lost his brother in New-fucking-York. "Sammy, I'm sorry."
"For losing you."
"It was me that let go."
"It looks like I'm gonna have to freakin' cuff you to me,, huh?"
Sam giggled, reaching for his bag as he stood.
"I'll get that," said Dean, swinging it onto his shoulder. He pulled his brother to his side, relief spilling through him as he scanned the walkway for danger before melting into the crowd. "Nice job with remembering to wait by the car, too."
"But I didn't; I didn't want to cross the road."
"Thank God for that."
"I thought you'd forgotten me," admitted Sam, reclaiming his grip on Dean's belt.
Dean laughed, pulling Sam closer to him and kissing his head as they stopped for the lights.
"Never, Sammy. Never."
"Us against the world, huh?"
"That's right. But tonight all I wanna face is the highway outta here and the next motel we find. Sound good?"
Sam smiled, tremoring body finally stilling as he was tucked further into Dean's side.
Just something I wanted to write; not brilliant, not BETA'd, just something that reminded me of our drama; we found our sister five minutes after losing her, sitting on the bench, fuming at us because we'd missed the train. She was "Convinced" not to tell our parents about the episode with a lifetime supply of ice cream courtesy of my brother.
Review if you like, muchos love.