I wondered what the isolation that the boys endured when they were growing up would do to them. This is my take on what could have happened. Dean is 18 and Sam is 14.
I don't own Supernatural, wish I did though!
Sam was very lonely. The only time he was ever out of their room (whichever motel it was at the time) was for school, research, hunting, or training. He rarely if ever had any friends. The kids at school never passed both Dean's and Dad's requirements for being safe enough for their youngest. Other hunters were friendly but in a fatherly, uncle, big brother kind of way. Sam just never had anyone to talk to or have fun with. He became very isolated from the rest of the world until he discovered the Internet and found a website devoted to would be writers. After reading all of the stories, he started to write and submit his own. He finally found acceptance among his many followers who only knew him as may2amlonley. His stories quickly became hits and he was among the top favorite authors.
He started to hear some of the kids at his various schools talk about his stories. They never were about his life, just tales he came up with to keep him from going crazy. He didn't know how much of himself seeped into them until Caleb told him. It came as something of a shock to find out that someone in the hunting community read them. Dean and Dad couldn't take the time of day to actually find out or care what their youngest did in his spare time. But Caleb had read his stories and knew that it was Sam who wrote them. He knew the kid inside and out. One story had disturbed him enough to finally confront Sam about it. The moment came when they were at his current residence and loading salt rounds.
"Uh, Sammy?" Caleb began.
"Do, uh, you really feel cut off from everything? Are you thinking of leaving us?" Caleb questioned.
"What do you mean?" Sam asked.
"I, uh, read an interesting story..." Caleb began.
Sam stopped what he was doing and turned a deadly pale. He had just published a story about a young man who had been isolated from the outside world by his father to keep him safe. In the story, the young man finally gave up and hung himself while his father was at work one day. The protagonist of the story had been beaten up as school many times by a certain bully and when he told his father, the father replied that the young man should suck it up and grow up. It was after a particularly bad beating, that the young man decided that life wasn't worth living and did the unthinkable. Sam wrote this story when he was being bullied at school and felt very low. Dad wasn't any help and Dean wanted Sam to finally handle it himself. Dean had always helped Sam with his bully problems before, but Sam was now sixteen and should be able to defend himself. Or so he was told.
"Sam," Caleb began again, "Why didn't you tell your Dad or Dean about your problems at school?"
Sam's eyes started to tear. He angrily brushed them away and mumbled, "They don't want to hear it, okay? I tried to tell them, but all they said was I was old enough to handle it on my own. They never want to hear about me and my problems. Hell, they don't think I have a brain cell in my head that isn't full of nonsense, school, or research. All I am to them is a waste of space or a worry. Or worse, a murderer of my own mother."
"You can't mean that!" Caleb cried.
"Apparently, you never heard Dad when he was drunk," replied Sam drily. He turned to go and left Caleb staring worriedly at his friend's retreating form.
Caleb was very worried about Sam. He knew that Sam was subjected to emotional and mental abuse from John, and now, it seemed, from Dean. He didn't know what else to do, because John would always get defensive and tell people to back off, that he knew what he was doing in his raising of his boys. So, Caleb made a couple of calls, one to Bobby Singer and the other to Pastor Jim. He told them of his concerns and gave them the website and Sam's pen name. That night, both men sat at the computer and read the stories Sam wrote. Some were funny, a few were full of angst, some were angry, and then there was the last one. All through them there was a common theme of a lonely boy who couldn't do anything right and was isolated for one reason or another. This boy was made to feel like a freak by his family and school mates. After reading all the stories, the three men got together and plotted how to let Dean and John know what was going on in Sam's head. If it didn't work, Jim and Bobby decided that they were going to take Sam away from them. He was just too precious for the abuse to continue.
Three Months Later-
John had called Jim to find out if the family could spend a week with the Pastor so they could rest up before the next hunt. Jim smiled to himself; this was a perfect time to put the plan into action. He knew that Dean liked to cruise the web for porn (he wasn't supposed to know, but the spam he got gave Dean away) and decided to make sure the website with Sam's stories was up and showing one of the stories.
Sure enough, when the Winchesters got to his home, it only took Dean a couple of hours to get bored and ask to use Pastor Jim's computer. After getting permission, Dean went to the Pastor's study and found the computer on and the story up. He went to close it but started to read it instead and became intrigued. The story was funny. It was about a frog stuck in a bathroom. It should have been boring, but Dean found himself laughing. After he finished that story, he closed it but stayed on the website to read more from that particular author. He found Sarah and the Selkie and The Sleeping Prince funny as hell. Wanda the Werewolf and The Vampire Bride were sweet stories full of love. Dean kept reading all the stories and he started to notice a few things. Whoever the author was, he or she was knowledgeable about the supernatural world. The story about demons told how to exorcise themand was complete with Devil's Traps, salt and Holy Water. Ghost stories told how to send the ghost back and that unfinished business would keep a person from going on. And so forth. But what Dean finally saw was that all the main characters had names that began with a J, a D, and an S.
It wasn't until the last story, The Lonely Boy that all the pieces to the puzzle fell into place and Dean figured out who the author was. Dean was shaken that his little brother had thoughts of suicide. He felt guilty that in trying to keep Sam safe, he had actually hurt him. Now all he wanted to do was to make it up to Sam. Dean knew that his dad wouldn't listen to him, so he decided to talk to Pastor Jim about their options and ask for help.
"Pastor Jim, could I talk to you? Alone?" Dean asked.
"Sure," Jim responded.
They went back to the study and closed the door. Jim sat at the desk with the computer and waited for Dean to gather his thoughts. Jim knew what was going on in the young man's mind. He saw that the story still on the computer was the last one Sam had written and knew that Dean put all the pieces together. Now he waited to see what the young man wanted to do to fix this problem. Jim, Bobby and Caleb already had their own solution that they would put into play if needed. It included taking Sam away from John and giving him a real life. They wanted to include Dean but were unsure how he would take being away from their father. They didn't want to make Dean choose between Sam and John, but were sure that would happen.
"I saw the stories Sam published on your computer and the last one I read really worries me," Dean began.
"It worries me too. Caleb read it first and figured out who was writing them and he was the one who brought it up. He actually talked to Sam before coming to me. Sam is feeling very depressed and lonely and as you know, he is kept separate from the rest of the world."
"Dad said we had to stay away from most people because they could hurt us by being possessed or a monster. He said that even if we do have friends, that we should keep them at arms-length so that when we leave the area it won't hurt so much. Dad said that hunters who have close relationships with civilians will lose them every time. I can handle it, I know how to keep people away from me but Sam is more sensitive, I guess."
"It's not about being sensitive. All humans need other humans to ground them and to keep them from getting isolated. Have you ever watched the Discovery Channel?"
"No, that's more of a Sammy thing," Dean replied.
"I saw a show a while ago about the importance of socialization among mammals, especially primates of which humans are a subgroup. They showcased two studies that were very interesting. The first study showed what happens if a chimpanzee was raised in a sterile environment with little to no contact. That infant became sickly and distressed. I don't know if that baby survived but if he did, I have no doubt that he would have been deeply depressed and maladjusted. The second study showed what happens if a human baby doesn't get the attention he needed. That baby became distressed then withdrawn when ignored by his mother until the mother started to pay attention to him again.
"Now, what I'm going to tell you next actually fits into what I just said. Your brother has been isolated most of his life. Your father made sure that his contacts were kept very superficial unless it's either you, me, Bobby, Caleb, or your dad and that just doesn't cut it. It has made your brother very depressed and that really worries me. From what I read and what Caleb told me, I honestly think Sam may be suicidal," Jim stopped and looked at Dean.
Dean was very pale and had been since Jim brought up the possibility that Sam was suicidal. He knew that Sam was depressed and had felt isolated most of his life but suicide? And they carried around weapons, kept guns and knives in every motel they stayed in so Sam would have easy access to a lethal item if he really wanted it. Not to mention the drugs they kept for serious wounds. Dean started to panic wondering if he could keep his baby brother safe from himself. Jim saw the panic and knew he could give Dean some information.
Dean looked at Jim. "What can I do?" he asked quietly.
"For starters, like I said talk to your brother. Isolating him further by ignoring him will not help the problem. Other changes need to be taken slowly since he will probably think you and your dad are getting ready to abandon him. Sam has no self-esteem and any kind of change may be stressful. You need to get him to socialize with kids his own age and allow him to have friends. That means, Dean, you are going to have to trust him and his own instincts. You will also need to teach him survival skills for the outside world."
Dean was worried. He had run-ins with gang members and other human nasties enough that he just wanted to wrap his baby brother in cotton and lock him in a vault somewhere. Now he was being told that for Sam to be healthy and safe from himself that Dean would have to expose him to the concept of human monsters. That didn't sit well with him. How the hell was he supposed to protect Sam?
Jim saw all that was going through Dean's mind but he knew that the overprotective brother was actually harming his brother, not saving him. Now Jim had to bring up another subject that was even more ticklish. "Dean, another thing you and your dad will have to do is to make sure Sam is praised for doing something good. This doesn't mean praise on top of a criticism, just an honest 'great job' or 'well done'. You do that but your dad doesn't. Sam knows in his heart that you love him just by what you say and do but he really doesn't feel that your dad does. In fact, he told Caleb that your dad said Sam was your mother's murderer. He said your dad was drunk at the time. Dean, this behavior must stop or you will lose Sam. This behavior is abusive and it is hurting not just your brother, but also you! You have been drinking and sleeping with lots of women. You told me this and as you can see from that pamphlet in your hand, that can construed as self-destructive behavior. "
Jim stopped suddenly and his mouth dropped open in surprise. Sam might have written about suicide but now he saw that both brothers were in danger. Quickly he schooled his face in a more comforting visage. He went on, "What you both need is some time in one place with the ability to go out and make friends. Sam needs counseling and so do you. You two boys are very special and we love you very much. There isn't anything we won't do for you, including taking you away from your father for a while." Seeing Dean's face turn white, Jim said hurriedly, "Dean, that's the last option we have. Ideally, your father should be part of the healing process but that's going to be his decision. I just want you to be aware of all possibilities."
Dean was in shock. First he found out that Sam was suicidal and it was their lifestyle that was pushing him to that decision, next he found out that Pastor Jim thought he was suicidal, finally he found out that Jim felt that a last ditch option was to take the boys away from their father. The father he practically worshiped as a hero. This was the worst thing that could happen to him, the loss of another family member. After his mother died, Dean went into a depression so deep he wouldn't talk for months. He shuddered to think what would happen now. Then he realized what Jim had said, it would be up to their dad to get with the program and help them.
"How can we tell dad what's going on without him getting pissed? He'll just say that Sam is being dramatic just to get his way and find a way to punish him. Jim, I can't take that anymore. But I don't want to have dad gone. I can't take losing another parent…." Dean started to cry.
Jim watched as the young man broke down and cried. Only a hard man wouldn't be touched and that wasn't Jim. He got up from his chair and went to Dean. Putting his arms around the distressed man, Jim started to croon soothingly.
"Shh, baby, it's all right. Shh. Do you think we would abandon you and Sam? If you need to, you will be staying here with me. We'll try to get your father to stay with you two because you need him also. Shh, Shh."
Jim and Dean stayed that way until Dean's tears dried up. "Okay, we need to figure something out so you guys can stay with John and still get the help you need. Got any ideas?"
Dean swiped his face as to get rid of the evidence of his tears. He didn't cry very often but when he let go, he really let go. Then he thought about the problem. "Why don't you do the same to dad that you did to me?"
"I can send some pamphlets to Bobby and Caleb to keep by the computer. We can make sure your dad sees them but you need to know that he may not take the hint. We also need to have you two boys change your lives so you can be healthier. What I want you to do is to make weekly calls to me for counseling. We can also do this online, but one hour for each of you and an hour for both. You are also to make a concerted effort to get out of the room and do something with kids your own age. Yeah, I know you don't usually have money but since I'm setting it up with Caleb to 'train' with your father I can make sure you have extra money to do things like go to the movies or do some school activity."
Dean agreed with the conditions but was a bit hesitant. He knew that his dad would be pissed if Sam even stepped a foot out of the room or even was late from school. John was so scared of losing his sons that he, if he could legally get away with it, he would have them chained to the beds until they needed to be out.
After a while, Dean and Jim started talking about ways to make John realize that both his sons were in trouble and that they needed help and freedoms. Telling him straight on wouldn't work, both men knew John's temper when anyone questioned his way of doing things. Last person who did that had been put in the hospital. They decided to go with the same trick that Jim had pulled on Dean with the exception that Dean would also do the same thing. They hoped that John would see the patterns and become concerned enough to finally talk to Jim before he talked to Sam. Jim then made the calls to Caleb and Bobby to let them know what was up and how they were to handle it.
It wasn't easy to do but Caleb stuck to his word and stayed close to the Winchesters. At first John was suspicious but Caleb was able to come up with excuses as to why he was around so much. He made sure John was out of the room for the boys' weekly counseling sessions with Jim. He also started to get John to let the boys go out and do things with other kids. It started slowly, like Jim asked, but Sam became agitated from the very beginning and it took Dean to explain that he wanted to spend more time with his brother but he was going nuts staying in their room of the week. Dean knew that would work since every time he played the "for me" card, Sam would crumple and go along with whatever Dean wanted to do.
The next part was even harder and that was for John to realize that there was something seriously wrong with the boys. The pamphlets on suicide were tossed in the garbage without even being read and the website was closed with John not even seeing the stories his youngest wrote. Finally Bobby had enough and yelled at John about the problems his boys had. John acted as they thought he would, he punched Bobby and packed the boys in the Impala and left. Since Bobby let the cat out of the bag about Jim and Caleb being part of the "conspiracy" as John put it, they were no longer welcome in the lives of the Winchesters. John deleted all numbers for the three men and put Sam on lockdown again. Luckily Dean's part of the whole thing was never discovered but that didn't mean he didn't suffer either. Sam got quieter and quieter until he stopped speaking or doing anything not related to research or school.
John was the one who drove Sam to school and picked him up after it let out. He also stayed in the room with his youngest to make sure Sam stayed where John told him to. After a couple of weeks of this, Dean found Sam's books and papers in the trash. Then he noticed that Sam had started to give away his clothes and other items Sam had loved. When Dean found the picture of their mom in his wallet, his terror alert went to red. He had read as much information as he could on suicide and knew these were signs that Sam was getting ready to do something. He wasn't around when Sam made his decision, though.
It started off as an easy salt and burn but John decided his eldest son needed to go with him. It was always smart to have someone at your back, he reasoned to Dean. Dean looked at him and nodded. He had a feeling that something was going to happen but just not what his dad thought might. He took as many precautions as he could by hiding all the weapons and medications they had stashed around the room. Then he went to Sam to tell him that the elder Winchesters would be back very soon.
Sam smiled at his brother and said, "Okay, Dean. Go keep dad and yourself safe." Then he hesitated before going on, "I love you big brother. You know that don't you?"
"Yeah, Sammy I do. You know I love you too, don't ya? You stay safe and I'll see you later," Dean replied. Sam nodded and gave his brother a hug.
When the men were ready to go, Sam came and said goodbye. He also gave his father a hug, something he hadn't done in years and told him to come back safe. Then he said one more time, "I love you both."
John looked puzzled but returned the hug. Dean was very worried but there wasn't anything he could do short of disobeying an order from his dad. So he kissed and hugged his brother, "Love you too Bitch. Don't do anything stupid and we'll be back in a few hours."
"Jerk," smiled Sam.
John yelled at Dean to get his ass moving. With that, Dean hugged Sam again then left. Sam looked at the closed door until the sound of the Impala's engine faded.
It was very routine, dig the grave, salt the corpse, put accelerant on it and throw a lighted match on it. The ghost made a few appearances before the Winchesters could put it to rest but John was able to shoot it with salt rounds to keep it away from Dean. Unusually, neither man had sustained an injury but Dean was feeling like something was wrong. He practically ran to the car and threw his equipment in the trunk. John was getting nervous. Dean never handled his baby like that.
With Dean driving, what was an hour drive turned into a 20 minute one and they reached the motel in time to see an ambulance pulling out of the parking lot. Dean turned white and moaned in terror. John looked at his son questioningly. He couldn't understand what was wrong until they pulled up by their door and saw that it was opened. There was a couple standing near there and John went to find out what they knew.
"We heard a loud pop and came out of our room," said the woman, "Jerry kicked the door in and found this kid with a gun close by. I called an ambulance and Jerry put pressure on the wound…can you believe that a kid would try to shoot himself?"
Hearing those words put Dean into shock. He knew that Sam was at the breaking point but didn't think he had made his decision. Calmly turning towards John, Dean threw a punch that landed John on his butt. Then he went to the Impala and took off for the hospital.
2 Hours Later-
John made it to the hospital after making sure all weapons were secured and talking to the police. He had also found the last thing Sam had written that evening. A poem that was posted to the website he published on. After reading it, John finally understood what happened and why. Now he had to be at the hospital for his sons. He knew that he had fucked up royally with both boys and hoped he had a chance to make it up to them. Before he left the room, he made a phone call to Jim and asked for help. Jim told him that he would be at there in a few hours and not to let Dean out of his sight, especially if Sam's condition went south. John blanched at that; he hadn't realized that Dean was hurting as much as Sam. He knew that he could lose both boys that night.
After hanging up with John, Jim called Bobby and Caleb. He knew Caleb was never very far away and would be able to get to the hospital within the hour. Bobby was also in the area on a hunt. Jim felt confident that those two would be able to help John with Dean.
John found Dean in the ER waiting room. He looked as though he was bleeding out. When John thought about it, that was exactly what was happening to Dean. John knew that his two sons were bonded so close that if something happened to one it happened to the other.
"Dean," John began, "has the doctor talked to you yet?"
"They had to take Sammy to surgery. They won't know what's up until they go in. Dad, he tried to kill himself!" wailed Dean. "Why? He promised he wouldn't do anything stupid! He knew we would only be gone for a few hours!"
"I don't know why he broke now. I just wish…." John broke off. He knew what he wished but couldn't bring himself to verbalize it. He wished he was a better father, that he had listened to everyone when they said that Sam was in trouble, that Mary had never died…
He hung his head with shame. It was so simple but his pride wouldn't allow him to listen to other people when they tried to tell him what he should have seen. Instead, he threw away the informational pamphlets, closed the websites, punched Bobby, and isolated his sons from the people who were helping them.
"Dean," John began, "did you know about Sam and his problems?"
"Yeah. I found out at Jim's a few months ago. We set up counseling sessions and Caleb helped us get out of the room so we could socialize with other people. Dad, they wanted to take us away from you but I didn't want to hear it. I couldn't lose another parent so we tried to let you know what was going on without telling you outright. You never wanted to hear that there was something wrong with the way you were raising us so we had to be secret. Now I may lose Sam!" Dean cried.
"Dean, I am so sorry," John said. He reached for his son and held him until Dean's tears were spent. Then he continued to hold him for the comfort it gave both of them. While they held each other, Caleb walked into the waiting room. When he saw them, he stopped to give them more time together. After a few minutes, he approached.
"Hi John, Dean," Caleb began, "Jim called and said that Sam finally broke. What happened?"
Dean told Caleb about their hunt and coming back to the motel as the ambulance was leaving. John talked about what the couple had said about finding Sam in a pool of blood with his gun close by. Caleb didn't say anything for a few minutes then he said, "Okay, what's done is done. Now we have to go forward and help your boys, John. If Sam survives…"
"Not if!" Dean shouted, "He WILL survive!"
"Okay Ace. When Sam gets better, things have got to change. It's clear he can't survive the way you live and quite frankly, it's not healthy for either boy to be so isolated. Bobby, Jim and I want you three to go live with Jim for a while. He has a psychology degree and has worked with severely depressed people before and has done wonders," Caleb paused. The next part would be tricky but needed to be done. "John, if you don't change your ways and help these two kids of yours, Jim will take them from you. Bobby and I will back Jim on this. We would rather not because they need you but for their own sakes and lives, we will. Now what do you say?"
John blanched. After talking with Dean, he knew where the other hunters stood but to hear it put so baldly was still shocking. He nodded and said, "Yes, I'll do whatever is needed to help my boys. Just tell me what to do."
Dean breathed a sigh of relief. He knew then that they would stay a family and his dad would get them the help they needed.
Bobby sat with Caleb and the Winchesters as the surgeon came out to talk to them.
"We were very lucky. When he shot the gun, he was aiming for his heart but his hand must have been shaking. He did put a hole in his left lung and it exited out his back. The bullet path was very close to the heart, though. It nicked a vein causing the bleeding and passed close to the spine which caused some swelling. Because of the excessive bleeding, he needed 3 pints of blood. Children are fragile when it comes to this kind of trauma. Because we had to transfuse him, his blood chemistry is off and because of the hole in his lung, we are dealing with a collapsed lung and his oxygen levels are very low. We were able to repair the damage and reinflate his lung. We put a tube in his chest to take care of any drainage. We also have him on a ventilator so his lung doesn't have to work so hard and it can heal. He is in a light coma. But this is to be expected. When he comes out of it, we will be doing cognitive testing to make sure there isn't any damage to his brain due to oxygen deprivation and reflexive testing to see if the swelling by his spine has paralyzed him even temporarily.
"We have him listed as critical at this time and he is in the ICU but I expect him to make a full recovery. Because of the angle of the path that the bullet took, we were able to tell this was self-inflicted. State law requires us to call CPS in these cases and they will be sending someone out to talk to you," the surgeon paused as he took in the shocked looks of the men before him. "Was he under psychiatric care before this happened?" he asked gently.
Bobby answered for the Winchesters, "Yeah, he had been getting counseling for about six months for depression. Johnny wanted to take the boys to see their grandparents in Texas and they were driving since Dean is afraid of flying. We all thought it was going to be okay. I guess Sam was worse than we all thought he was."
The doctor nodded sympathetically, "I can understand how things can happen so fast. No one really knows what can trigger a suicidal response. It usually is more than one thing and the patient himself may not be able to put a finger on it. I had a cousin who hung herself. When we looked into it, we couldn't figure out why. She had problems while growing up but she seemed to be handling it or so we thought until my aunt found her one morning, hanging from the ceiling of her bedroom," he sighed then continued, "Since your boy was under care already, I doubt CPS will take him away. They will, however, want to talk to his councilor."
"I called him right after the ambulance left," John said gruffly, "He's on his way and should be here tomorrow."
"Good. Now I'll have a nurse show you where your son is. Usually since he's in ICU, we try to limit the amount of visitors and how long they are there. But I know he will need all the support he can get so I'll waive the restrictions and have a bed and some chairs brought in. Just make sure you don't interfere with the hospital staff taking care of him." With that the surgeon left the small group.
Soon a nurse came up to them and led them to Sam, "When you go in, be prepared for what you see. We have him hooked up to a vent and a heart monitor. There is a pulse/ox monitor on his finger and there are a couple of IVs. He is very pale due to blood loss and trauma. With all that said, he is doing fine and we are keeping a close eye on him. He also has soft restraints on since his injury is self-inflicted. He will be on a 72 hour suicide watch when he comes to which you can help out with. Since he is in a light coma, he can hear you. Talk to him and encourage him to come back."
When they got to his room, all the men were shocked. The nurse had prepared them but it was nothing to actually seeing their youngest hooked up to machines and IVs. But what really got to them was how pale Sam looked. It seemed as if his color was just two shades darker than the white sheets. Dean moaned then practically ran to his brother's side. John followed a second behind his son.
It was twenty four hours before Sam started to wake up. Dean, John, Bobby, Caleb and Jim took turns by the bed to talk to the youngster. Dean refused to go back to the motel room so John went and got his and Sam's things, then he checked out. He knew they would not be coming back. When Sam got out of the hospital, John was going to take his boys to Jim's house. Then he was going to get a job so they could find a place of their own. He knew this was a wakeup call for him and he wasn't one to snooze the alarm again. He already did that once and he almost lost Sam.
After Sam woke up, Jim allowed the boys some time together then he kicked Dean out of the room and closed the door. He wanted Sam to feel safe about telling him anything.
"Samuel, why did you shoot yourself," Jim queried.
"I don't know. I guess I was just tired of being a dirty little secret," Sam confessed.
"You know your dad is just trying to keep you and Dean safe?" Jim said.
"Doesn't feel like it. Especially when Dean can go out whenever he wants to. Pastor, do you know what hell is?" Sam asked.
Feeling like this was very important, Jim said, "No Samuel, what is hell?"
Sam said the last words he would utter that day, "Being alone." Then he closed his eyes to end the session.
Frowning, Jim patted Sam's shoulder before letting Dean in the room. As Dean rushed past him, Jim was deep in thought forming plans to help the small family. Seeing the other hunters standing against the wall, he went to them.
"We have a lot of work to do. John, first of all, do you want to lose your boys?" Jim asked his eyes hard.
"No, God no!" John cried.
As Jim nodded, John revealed, "I'm going to move the boys to Blue Earth and stay with you, if that's all right. I'm going to get a job and a place for us to call home. Sammy will be in school and I'll…" John lost it and broke down. Jim went over to the distraught man and held him.
Bobby and Caleb were is silent agreement. This family was in crisis but they started down the right path to be healed. The hunters would be there for them and never let them down. Because they were family, Bobby decided he would participate in the counseling sessions. He knew that Caleb would also. Their family almost lost a precious part of it and they were damned if they would come that close again.
One year later-
Sam ran into the house, laughing as his friends followed him in. Caleb promised that they could eat over that night since John's job had him on call for the next three nights. Dean had picked up some movies the kids could watch while dinner was being cooked.
Since that night a year ago, the Winchester family had changed so very much. John found a job as a firefighter and Dean worked at Bobby's new garage. Bobby had sold his salvage yard so he could move to Blue Earth to be near the boys. Caleb had moved his base of operations there also for the same reason. When John found a house that he liked, the other hunters worked to expand it so they could all live in the same place. Bobby had the credit and Caleb the money so it was very affordable.
Over the year, Jim had Sam, Dean and John in his office for biweekly counseling appointments. Some were individual and at least once a week they had a family session. It was hard on them since John and Dean never liked showing their emotions or deepest fears but since Sam's life depended on it, they were willing to go through the "torture sessions" as Dean put it.
Some things stayed the same, Dean still checked out Sam's friends. John didn't let Sam do many of the things he wanted to do. Dean tagged along whenever Sam was out of the house. The elder Winchesters were still overprotective but they were working on it. John and Dean also hunted but they only did it on their days off and would tell Sam about it so he could research the hunt for them. Sam helped Bobby do research for other hunters also. It was his way of keeping his family safe.
But many things changed. Sam still wrote stories and published them on the internet, but the tone had changed since Sam could now go outside and have friends. Being in the same school also helped his feeling of being lonely since he no longer was the new kid every couple of months. John started to praise his good grades and even talked about Sam going to college. Dean found that his geek brother also loved playing baseball, soccer and basketball. Both Winchesters were surprised at how fast Sam picked up all the Romance languages. Sam explained that since he could read, write and speak Latin fluently, it was easy to learn the other Latin based languages.
Holidays and birthdays that had been previously ignored were now celebrated. November 2 was a day of remembrance. No longer did John go out and get drunk. Now he and Dean sat with Sam and told him about the wonderful person he never knew, his mother. John and Dean stressed that Mary loved her sons completely and had died trying to protect her youngest. Mother's Day and Mary's birthday were also celebrated with Sam and Dean planting roses for their mother. Father's Day and John's birthday were also celebrated with all the pomp and circumstance the boys could muster. Those days had John in tears of joy for his boys.
It wasn't all roses for the Winchesters. All three had bouts of depression but it never got as bad as it had for Sam. One or two of them would catch the signs and they would help the one in distress. Bobby, Jim and Caleb also helped them with that. John's struggle with his alcohol dependency was very hard on everyone but with Ala-Teen and AA, they all got through it. They were family after all.
It was a death of a loved one that spurred the family into a destructive cycle. It took the threat of a death of another to pull the family out.
They weren't the perfect family. They were argumentative, stubborn, loud and sometimes silent but they loved each other. They would die for each other. They were family.
A few notes: One is that the Discovery Channel did do a special on the importance of touch and socialization. On it had the baby chimp I described in this story. I don't know what happened to it but if it lived, it would have been maladjusted. The next is that I went online and found a website that had the signs of a suicidal person. It is that website that gave me some insight into the mind of a person who wishes to die. Alanon and Alateen are part of the AA program. Alanon is for the adult family members of an alcoholic and Alateen is for the underaged family members.
Thanks to Daiyu Amaya for beta reading this story.