Title: Tantrums on the Road
Characters: John, Sam (3), Dean (7).
Scenario: wee!chester, discipline fic
Summary: Sam has a temper tantrum.
Warnings: Parental spanking of a child.
Author's Notes: Inspired by Capricorn 1986's fic where Alice nearly has a tantrum in the car.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
John Winchester turned from placing their bags in the trunk of the Impala and turned back to the apartment that they had been renting for the last eight months. Seven-year-old Dean was holding tightly to the recently turned three-year-old Sammy's hand as he carefully helped the toddler down the steps.
They were going to spend the summer at 'Uncle Bobby's', which was an eight hour drive away and John was anxious to get on the road as soon as possible.
The hunter moved towards his sons and scooped Sammy up into his arms, tossing him into the air and catching him. The toddler giggled wildly.
"Again, Daddy, again! Sammy want more!"
John obligingly threw his tiny son up a few more times, before settling the toddler gently into his carseat and strapping him in securely. Dean reached to open the passenger side door.
"Dee ride with Sammy? Pwease…"
Dean glanced at his pleading baby brother and then at his dad.
John shrugged. "It's up to you, Dean. You can ride shotgun if you want."
Another heartrending "pwease" came from the backseat and with a sigh, Dean climbed into the back next to his brother. Dean loved riding shotgun, not only because his dad sometimes let him pick the music, but because his dad would explain the mechanics of driving as they went along and Dean loved reading the dials on the dashboard. But on seeing the dimpled smile on the toddler's face, Dean felt strangely warm inside and was glad that he had made that decision.
John soon came to the unwelcome conclusion that it was going to take a lot longer to get to Bobby's than originally planned. Sam was totally potty-trained during the day, only needing to wear a pull-up at night, but the last time John had taken such a long trip with the boys in tow, Sam had still been in diapers. He had not factored into the equation the fact that his youngest couldn't yet hold himself for long periods and frequent toilet stops were needed as a result. They had already had to stop four times before John pulled into a roadside diner so that they could get some lunch.
Sam was very disgruntled at being put in a highchair. At home, he had been allowed to sit on a large cushion so that he could reach the table, but here, the diner chairs were much too low. Sam was also very small for his age, so he still fit perfectly into the high chair.
"I's a big boy!"
As John tried to put the small boy into the elevated seat, Sam actively tried to climb out of it.
"I know you're a big boy," soothed John, "you'll only have to sit in it for a little while. As soon as you've finished eating, I'll take you out."
The toddler wasn't about to be placated however and kicked out his chubby legs, preventing John from placing him in the high chair without risking hurting him.
"Sammy, stop it!" said John sternly.
The toddler didn't listen, if anything, he kicked even more wildly. With a sigh, John lifted his youngest to his shoulder and using his free hand, placed a sharp stinging swat on the boy's small bottom.
Sammy yelped in surprise and went limp, both chubby hands going back to rub at the unexpected sting. John took advantage of the child's momentary stillness and strapped him quickly into the high chair. Sam immediately pulled at the restraints, but was unable to reach the buckle to release himself.
Dean watched his baby brother in disbelief and shook his head – when was Sammy going to learn that if you didn't do what Dad said, there were always unpleasant consequences?
"Naughty, Daddy," muttered the toddler, lower lip protruding.
John had to hide a smile – Sammy looked so cute when he was sulking.
Three hours later, back on the road, John was no longer thinking that his sulking toddler was cute. The child had quickly cheered up in the diner, as Dean had gone out of his way to cajole his little brother out of his bad mood. Now however, he had an extremely cranky three-year-old on his hands. Sammy was usually put down for a nap in the afternoon, but with travelling, this had been impossible. John had hoped that the toddler would just fall asleep in the car – that had not been the case.
"Sammy's bored," whined the toddler for the umpteenth time.
John glanced in the rear-view mirror at his sons. His youngest had his arms folded across his chest and his lower lip was jutting out. Dean was playing quietly with a toy fire engine next to him – he was again seated in the back at the request of his little brother.
"Why don't you play with your toys?" suggested John patiently, knowing that there was always a bag of playthings kept in the back.
"Don't wanna," came the petulant response.
John sighed. He knew that he was entirely responsible for Sam's present mood – he knew the kid always needed his nap.
"Do you want to listen to some music then, Sammy?"
"No!" His lower lip protruded even further if that was possible.
"Hey, Sammy," came Dean's quiet voice, "how about I read to you?"
The toddler turned to his older brother, head tilted to one side, considering. After a moment he nodded. "Dee read to Sammy."
John cast a grateful look at his eldest via the rear-view mirror. It never ceased to amaze him how good Dean was with his little brother, how patient, usually forgoing what he wanted, in order to keep the toddler happy.
Dean reached into the bag and retrieved the three books currently residing in there. He held them up for his brother to see.
"Which one do you want, Sammy?"
"All, Dee. Sammy want all."
Dean rolled his eyes and sighed. He really wanted to play with the fire engine. "Okay, Sammy, I'll read them all." He shifted up until he was right next to the carseat, so that Sam could see the pictures.
"Once upon a time, there were three little pigs…." began Dean.
John glanced back at his sons once more, an affectionate smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. Sammy now had his thumb firmly planted in his mouth. He really hoped that Dean reading to him would send the kid off to sleep.
All went well until Dean was part way through the third story.
Sam mumbled something totally incoherent due to him talking around his thumb and not removing it.
"Sorry, Sammy, what did you say?" questioned Dean.
The toddler removed his thumb. "Sammy no want no more stories."
"Let's just finish this one and then you can go to sleep," coaxed Dean. Just like his Dad, he knew his baby brother was tired.
"Sammy no sweep. Not tired." His words were totally belied by the big yawn he gave.
Dean grinned at his brother's false assertion and continued reading. The next moment, the book was ripped out of his hand and thrown unceremoniously on the floor.
"Sammy no want story!" The toddler huffed indignantly at his big brother.
"Fine," muttered Dean, reaching down for the toy bag and rummaging in it. A moment later, he found what he was looking for – a Batman action figure.
Sam spotted the toy and immediately held out his chubby hand. "Sammy have?"
"No, Sammy, I'm playing with this one, you can have Robin." Dean fished in the bag again and handed the toy to his brother.
"Sammy no want!" The toddler hurled the Robin toy so hard that it flew over the front seat and landed in John's lap.
John turned and gave his youngest a brief stern look before turning his eyes back to the road. "Don't throw things, Sammy, it's naughty."
"Sammy want." This time, the toddler turned pleading puppy-dog eyes on his older brother, holding out his hand towards the Batman toy that Dean held.
John saw his eldest hesitate and knew what he was about to do. "No, Dean, don't give it to him. Sam has to learn that he can't get his own way when he has a tantrum."
On hearing his father's words, Sam clenched his little fists and screamed in temper, kicking his small legs wildly, but was unable to do any damage either to himself or anything else as the carseat kept him safely in place.
John studiously ignored the racket coming from the backseat, although he hoped the toddler would tire of his tantrum soon or he would undoubtedly end up with a splitting headache.
Dean tried to ignore his sibling's angry screaming too and really wished he was sitting shotgun at that moment, just to be further away from the ear-splitting noise.
Eventually, Sam did stop screaming, simply because his throat was getting sore and it wasn't getting the reaction he wanted from his father or brother. He looked forlornly at the action figure that Dean was now balancing on top of the toy fire engine. "Sammy want," he whimpered.
Dean didn't dare disobey his dad, although he wanted nothing more than to give his baby brother the toy he requested. Instead, he reached into the bag and offered the small boy the Joker figurine.
"You can have the baddie. How's that, Sammy?"
Instead of taking the Joker, the toddler snatched the Batman toy from his brother's hands. "Mine!"
"Sammy, give it back!" ordered John from the front seat. When the toddler refused, he spoke instead to his eldest, "Take it off him, Dean. He's got to learn."
With a heavy heart, Dean leaned over and began to prise the toy out of the three-year-old's grasp. He knew this would upset Sammy and he hated seeing his little brother upset.
Realising he was no match for his big brother's strength and that he couldn't keep hold of the toy, Sam let go and angrily grabbed two fistfuls of Dean's dark blond hair and yanked. Hard.
Dean yelled in pain, his hands automatically going to his head to try and grab the little hands and stop them from pulling.
"Sam, let go this instant!" barked John in a voice that would have made most grown men quake in their boots. It had no effect whatsoever on the stubborn toddler though. Sammy kept hold of Dean's hair and continued yanking it.
"Sammy, stop….let go….please…you're hurting me…" Dean's tearful pleas also went unheeded.
John swung the car off the road and barely waited for it to come to a standstill, before jumping out and running to the back door. He tried first to disentangle the toddler's chubby hands, but that appeared to be hurting his eldest even worse. Deciding he needed to shock the child into letting go, he quickly undid the straps on the carseat and lifted the three-year-old out. As soon as the tiny bottom was accessible, John wasted no time swatting it. Hard. It had the desired result – Sam yelped, but instantly let go of his brother's hair. Dean immediately scrambled as far away across the seat as he could get from his brother, tears running freely down his cheeks, hands unconsciously massaging his sore head.
John glanced at his seven-year-old to reassure himself that he was okay. Dean was crying and he was torn for a moment, considering what he should do first – comfort his eldest or discipline his youngest. He looked down at the toddler, whose fists contained a considerable number of hairs that had been pulled clean out of his brother's head and made up his mind. Sam had never been properly spanked before. In his short life so far, he had never received anything other than single swats for misbehaviour. That was about to change.
John sat down on the edge of the backseat and sat Sam in his lap so that the toddler was facing him.
"You've been very very naughty, Sammy, and Daddy's going to spank you."
Sam's eyes widened – he knew what spanking meant, because he'd seen it happen to Dean on a few occasions. He didn't want it to happen to him!
"No, Daddy, Sammy no want spanking." His expressive hazel eyes filled with tears.
"We do not throw things, we do not have a tantrum when we don't get what we want and we most definitely never ever pull hair! You've really hurt poor Dean."
"Sammy hurt Dee?" The toddler tried to lean around his father to see his older brother. John picked the toddler up so that he was standing on his knees and could see over his shoulder.
Sam looked over at his brother. Dean was still crying and when he saw his baby brother looking at him, he deliberately turned his back on him. Sam's face crumpled and large tears began dribbling down his baby cheeks.
"Dee mad at Sammy," he sobbed.
John had to harden his heart. He knew that the child was too young to have understood the consequences of his actions beforehand, as he had simply reacted in anger. He knew that Sam had not intended to hurt Dean. He also felt incredibly guilty, because this whole situation would have been avoided if Sam hadn't been out of sorts due to missing his afternoon nap. But he knew he couldn't let such behaviour go unchecked.
"Dean's mad and upset, because when you pulled his hair you really hurt him. I know you didn't mean to, but you're going to have to say sorry and then I'm going to spank you."
"I's sowwy, Dee, Sammy really sowwy," he sniffled.
Dean didn't respond and John figured he couldn't blame him given the circumstances.
Sam was still standing on John's knees, so keeping one arm wrapped securely around his back to prevent him from overbalancing and falling off, he reached out and undid the boy's jeans' button and zip, before pulling them down to his knees. He did the same with his Sesame Street underwear.
John then gently placed the toddler face-down across his knee. He was aware of the milestone – this was Sammy's first real spanking, but it was a milestone that he would have preferred not to have passed with either of his children.
He raised his hand and brought it down sharply, nevertheless, being careful not to spank too hard. His large hand covered the entirety of the rounded part of his young son's bottom.
Sammy actually squealed – nothing had ever hurt him in his short life as much as that did! The swats he had previously received over clothes seemed like pats in comparison.
John applied a second spank, hating himself when Sammy again cried out. His baby had been crying before the spanking had even started, but now he was sobbing loudly. He applied two more spanks in quick succession. The toddler had begun to wail. The rounded, meatiest part of Sam's buttocks was now a mottled pink colour. Knowing that he needed to make spanking something that Sam would dread, in order to make it an effective deterrent in future, John lifted one knee to change the position of the sore-looking bottom in front of him. He aimed his final two swats at the sensitive undercurve, but due to the immense size of his hand, the tops of Sam's thighs were effectively spanked as well.
"Okay, Sammy, your spanking's over now."
John pulled up the child's underwear and pants as gently as possible over the tenderised skin. He then picked the sobbing toddler up and strapped him securely back into the carseat, his thoughts now focussed on comforting his eldest. John shut that passenger door and moved around to the other side.
Dean was running the back of his hands across his eyes, trying to stop the tears. He was really angry at his brother and yet when he had heard his father spanking Sam and the little boy's sobs, he had felt bad and wanted to ask his dad to stop.
Dean let his father lift him onto his knee and enjoyed the security of being wrapped tightly in his strong arms. He snuggled into his broad chest, breathing in the unique, comforting scent that was John Winchester. He felt the gentle kiss that the hunter dropped on the top of his head.
"You okay, Ace? You know Sammy didn't mean to hurt you, don't you? He's only little, so he doesn't think of the consequences of his actions yet."
Dean sniffed and nodded. He glanced across at his crying baby brother. Sam was squirming in his carseat, trying unsuccessfully to fit his chubby hands down the sides to rub his buttocks. Dean felt sorry for him – at least whenever he'd been spanked, he'd been allowed to lie down on his stomach on his bed afterwards, but Sam was being forced to sit on his sore bottom.
When John climbed back into the driver's seat however, Dean took up shotgun position. He might feel sorry for his baby brother, but he wasn't quite ready to totally forgive him yet.
Within fifteen minutes of being back on the road, Sammy had literally cried himself to sleep. It was only when John glanced back at the sleeping toddler, taking in the thumb firmly fixed in his mouth and the wet tear tracks on his chubby cheeks, that he realised that he hadn't comforted his baby after the spanking. He had been so concerned about Dean's welfare and also tired after so many hours on the road that he had neglected to reassure Sammy that he still loved him and that he wasn't cross anymore. John felt awful. He would rectify that immediately the child woke up.
Sam was still asleep when they finally arrived at Bobby's. The lack of his nap and the stress of his first spanking had totally worn the small boy out. John carefully lifted the slumbering child out of the carseat and cradled him tenderly in his arms.
Bobby welcomed them inside and told them to make themselves comfortable while he finished making supper. John sat down on the worn leather sofa in the sitting room, still cuddling his precious bundle. Dean sat down next to him.
The toddler began to stir.
"Hey, Sammy," crooned John when he saw the two hazel eyes blinking sleepily up at him. A moment later Sam's lower lip began to tremble as he looked up at his father.
"What's the matter, Tiger?" asked John concerned, beginning to card his hand soothingly through the child's floppy hair.
"Daddy mad at Sammy?" asked the toddler after removing his thumb from his mouth, tears beginning to shine in the warm, hazel eyes.
"No, Sammy, Daddy's not mad. You were naughty, so Daddy spanked your bottom and now you're forgiven. Everything's okay now."
John lifted the child to his chest and hugged him tightly. The toddler hugged back, burying his face in the hunter's shirt. John rubbed his hand gently up and down the boy's back.
"Sammy no like spanking," the child's words were muffled as he kept his face buried, as he snuggled deeper into his dad's arms.
John chuckled. "That's what happens when little boys are naughty. Just remember I love you, Tiger."
Sam lifted his head and sneaked a peek at his big brother. The toddler watched anxiously to see if his beloved Dean would turn away again. Dean didn't – he was totally ensnared by the pleading puppy-dog gaze and the trembling lower lip.
"Dee mad at Sammy?" asked the three-year-old hesitantly.
Dean grinned and opened his arms. "No, Sammy, I'm not mad anymore. Just don't do it again, it hurt!"
Sam immediately squirmed out of his Dad's arms to seek shelter in Dean's. The small child allowed his older brother to cuddle him for a moment, before kneeling up on his lap.
"What're you doin', Sammy?" asked Dean, wrapping his arms around the child's waist so that he wouldn't fall off.
"Sammy making Dean's hair all better." The toddler placed a sloppy kiss on the top of Dean's head.