Sam was 11.
11 when he first wrapped his fingers around the cool metal of a 9 mil. .
11 when Dean and he were left alone while Dad was off on some hunt again two towns over.
11 when Dean taught Sam the theory of proper shooting.
"Alright Sammy there you go, stand upright."
"Good. Feet shoulders width apart."
Dean held out his unloaded gun for his brother to take and Sam shyly took it from Dean's hand. It felt heavy in the eleven year olds grasp and he was afraid he'd drop it.
Dean stepped around Sam and lifted his arms to point the gun at the target. Placing one hand over Sam's right hand Dean spoke calmly and soothingly; knowing Sam was nervous, "Put the gun in your main hand- that's right. Now lift your off hand to cup around the butt of the gun and your gun hand." He guided Sam's hands into place and cupped them with his own for a moment.
"Keep your grip firm, remember that no matter how scared you are, a steady and firm grip is a sure shot." Sam nodded as he listened to Dean and held firm his grip as instructed.
Dean nodded and then noticed the way Sam stood so tense. Taking his hands from Sam's he placed them on the younger's hips, "Relax, don't stand so rigid. Drop your hips and bend your knees," He nodded and grinned as Sam did as told, "Okay, not keep your back straight but relaxed, drop your shoulders back, and keep your head up."
Dean knew it was a lot to get but Sam was doing it all just fine. "Good, Sammy. Now lift the gun face level." He watched as Sam's arms and hands came a bit higher and Dean- still behind him- adjusted them just slightly. "Alright then," He now stepped around in front of Sam and placed a finger on the tip of the gun, "This is the sight. You want to line it up with your target and where you want to shoot."
Sam nodded again and focused on Dean's finger. When Dean was sure that Sam got what he was saying he stepped to the side he pointed at the mock target- a dusty old black and white of the town they were currently holed up in during the late fifties, "Look straight down the muzzle of the gun and line the sight up with the target."
Sam can feel Dean's eyes on him as he does as he's told. "The sight should be lined up a good two inches above the spot you actually want the shot to go so that when you pull the trigger you get the kill."
"Kill?" Sam looked to Dean with a frown in his eyes.
"We're hunters Sammy. We shoot to kill."
Sam is 16 when those words hit home.
16 when he's on a hunt with his dad and Dean and he's faced with the fact that his brother was right. Will always be right. Even when he's wrong.
Sam is 16 when he picks up Dean's discarded gun and takes aim the way he was taught five years ago.
'Two inches above the spot you actually want to shoot.'
'Drop your hips, bend your knees…back straight…relax…drop your shoulders…head up…'
Sam squeezed the trigger gently and fired the recoil barely having an effect as he watched the werewolf charging his brother drop like a lead balloon.
Dean spins around to see Sam standing with a smoking gun in his hand. "Alright Sammy!" Dean's voice is elated and John's is shocked with a hint of pride, "Nice shootin' Tex."
Sam can't help but grin abashedly at the praise from both men.
He hasn't touched one in years. Hasn't had one in his hands in so long he'd nearly forgotten the feel of cool metal like that. Forgotten nearly why he'd liked it in the first place.
But now as he takes aim at his target so long after the first time everything that was lost at Stanford comes flooding back like an old friend after a long hiatus.
'Drop your hips, bend your knees.'
'Two inches above…'
'Drop your shoulders'
Sam pulls the trigger and growls low, "We shoot to kill."