Author's Note: For some reason, I really just wanted to write about Sam running away. Also, I have always been in love with this song and the lyrics of this song. It's so beautiful! So, this is the product of a plot bunny that wouldn't go away and Newsies being on TV. This story kind of ran away from me too. It's way longer than I had intended and it somehow morphed into a Bobby/Sam bonding story rather than a strictly Sam story. Still, I'm pleased with how it turned out! Please enjoy!
If the life don't seem to suit ya
How 'bout a change of scene?
—Newsies "Santa Fe"
Sam Winchester had thought this through.
He had been planning for weeks, waiting for a hunt that would take John and Dean away; leaving Sam to stay alone at whatever rental was currently serving as "home". He had been secretly storing away food and clothes into an old duffel bag that he had found in a trashcan in Chicago and he had been memorizing bus and train schedules. He was ready—had been ready—and now all he needed was the right hunt to come up.
He was going to do it this time.
He was going to run away.
Sam had wanted to run for the past few months. Ever since he had turned 13, his father had been pushing him more into hunting and practically ordering him to stop spending so much time at school to focus on the "job". Every day was an endless cycle of John chanting, "Get that exorcism memorized, Sam" and "Tell me how to hunt this, Sam". Frankly, the youngest Winchester was sick of it—sick of John ordering him around and not respecting him, sick of being forced into a life that he didn't want to be a part of and just sick of everything that had to do with hunting. Sam wanted more. He wanted to go to college and a marry a nice girl and have that perfect American dream that he saw on those cheesy movies that were sometimes on in the afternoon.
He wanted to be normal.
Was that such a crime? What was wrong with wanting something more than this dangerous life that could have him killed by the time he was 30? It scared him to think that he would die before he truly got a chance to experience all the joys that life had to offer. He didn't want that—he wanted to live until he was old and die of natural causes, not at the hands of any supernatural creature.
That was why he had to do this—he had to run away. It was his only chance to be free and to live life the way he wanted to. It was risky to run, but the thought of staying put and being told what to do with his life was much worse. Sam had to do this.
"Sam?" Dean's voice caught him off-guard and his older brother eyed him from the doorway suspiciously. "Thinking too hard again?"
"Yeah," Sam admitted as he held up a textbook. "Just some math stuff." Dean winced and Sam forced himself to chuckle so his brother wouldn't be able to really tell what was on his mind. Dean had dropped out of high school his senior year after John had given him the whole We-need-you-more speech that he had attempted to use on Sam a few weeks ago. While Dean gave no indication that he missed school or regretted his decision, Sam wondered if deep down Dean was okay with how much John pressured him into doing things. Then again, Dean was John's perfect soldier and Sam was the rebel.
"You sure you're okay?" Dean's voice snapped him out of his train of thought and Sam could see concern in his big brother's eyes.
"Fine," Sam lied quickly. "What's up?"
"Dad and I have a job," Dean explained and Sam tried not to let the happiness show on his face. Finally! This was his chance! He was going to do it! "And if you want to stay put for school and stuff, Dad said that was fine." Sam nodded appreciatively and pretended like it was school that was the reason behind his grin.
"Wendigo one state over," Dean replied. "It should take us a few days. You'll be okay by yourself?"
"I'm 13, Dean." Sam retorted and Dean chuckled dryly.
"And don't we all know it, Princess." Sam chuckled his Algebra textbook at his older brother, who managed to dodge it completely.
"When are you leaving?"
"Tomorrow morning." For some odd reason, a feeling of sadness coursed through Sam though he knew that he should be thrilled. He was finally going to be able to go! Yet, he knew that this would probably be the last time he spent with Dean for a long time. Regardless of how crappy his life was, Sam loved Dean. He would miss him when he left.
"You wanna watch a movie?" Dean's eyebrows rose in mild shock. "You can pick." Dean stepped into the small bedroom and placed a cool hand on Sam's forehead. "What?"
"No fever," Dean confirmed. He then paused, almost as if for dramatic effect. "Christo."
"What?" Dean teased with a smirk on his lips. "You never let me pick movies. You always want to watch that stupid Law&Order crap."
"That is a great show!" Sam exclaimed as he punched Dean on the arm.
"You really sure you want to do that, bitch?" Dean challenged and Sam couldn't help, but laugh.
"Bring it on, jerk!" Dean charged and Sam easily dodged him. Laughing, Sam sprinted around the room while Dean attempted to tackle him. Eventually, the two fell to the floor with a thud that echoed throughout the small house they were renting.
"Keep it down, boys!" John bellowed from the other room and immediately Dean stiffened.
"Yes, sir!" Dean called back and the smile fell from Sam's face. Dean would never change. He would always be John's perfect soldier. That was why Sam had to leave. He couldn't become a soldier—he wouldn't! He had to get out of this life and maybe one day, Dean would too.
"So, movie?" Sam ventured and Dean nodded as he grabbed the remote for the small television that they had in the bedroom.
Sam spent his last night with Dean watching a stupid movie that Dean fell asleep during and yet, he wouldn't have had it any other way.
The next morning, Sam watched with an odd sense of detachment as John and Dean loaded up the Impala with their duffels. John gruffly ordered Sam to stay inside the house and to answer the phone when they called—two rules that Sam was going to break as soon as the Impala was out of sight.
"Yes sir," Sam lied and John rewarded him with a small smile. "Be safe." John waved off his concern and got into the car. Walking over to him, Dean smirked before ruffling his hair.
"Be careful," Dean told him, a serious expression gracing his face. "If you have any problems, call." Sam nodded his head and then wrapped his arms around his older brother. It took Dean a bit off-guard, but quickly Dean's arms surrounded Sam. "Sammy? You okay?"
"Fine." Sam lied.
Dean was the one constant in his life—the one thing that he could always count on. Whenever their father had been MIA, Dean had been there to help give him some sense of a life. And now . . . now Sam was abandoning him and moving onto to a life without his big brother by his side. Running away would mean leaving Dean. It would mean that life as he knew it would change. It was a frightening prospect, even to someone who had never called a place "home" for more than a few months at a time.
"Do you need me to stay?" Dean broke off the hug and met his little brother's gaze, concern clearly written there in his eyes. "Are you coming down with something? Cause, I'll stay. Dad can fucking deal, okay?"
"Dean, no," Sam weakly protested. "Go. I'll be fine."
"I'm sure." Sam replied.
"Well, okay, then," Dean still eyed him warily so Sam shot him a fake grin. Instantly, the worry faded away from his older brother's face, replaced with happiness. "See you soon, Sammy."
"Yeah, soon." Sam echoed.
He watched his brother and father drive off into the distance and forced himself not to feel anything.
Within 15 minutes, Sam was ready to go.
He had his duffel bag in his hand, a bus ticket that would take him over the state line, and a bag of chips that would tide him over until he got off the bus. He was ready. All he had to do was walk out that door and not look back.
So, why was he hesitating?
No doubt about it, this was what Sam wanted—to be free of the hunting life. This was his chance—his moment—and if he waited too long, he might not make it at all and then how long would it be before he could try again? No, he had to leave now. He had a schedule to follow, after all.
Sam still didn't move.
What about Dean? What would happen to him if Sam left? Dean wouldn't be pleased with his decision to leave—
"No." Sam mumbled, shaking his head. He couldn't reflect on what his older brother would think. It wasn't like he was cutting Dean out of his life—he would never do that! Sam just needed out of the hunting lifestyle and running away was his only choice. Once he was settled, he would call Dean and let him know where he was.
Determined, Sam stepped outside the door and never looked back as he left the house.
How he ended up on the front porch of Bobby's house was all a big blur.
He had gotten on the bus and then after he crossed the state line, he had gotten off at the closest bus stop to Singer Salvage and then walked all the way to the porch. Why he had decided to come to Bobby's though, that was what Sam didn't understand. This wasn't really running away. All he had done was head to another hunter's house—not exactly the grand scheme he had been planning for months. Internally debating what to do, Sam was just about to knock when the door flung open. Bobby stood before him, shock and confusion evident on his face.
"Sam?" He questioned cautiously. Sam shot him a sheepish grin.
"Hi, Uncle Bobby." Bobby mumbled something gruffly before swinging the door wide open.
"Well, get in here!" Sam did as he was told and entered the house that had become the Winchesters home-away-from-home. Whenever a major hunt came up, the trio would always swing by Bobby's to get advice and occasionally back-up. Dean and Sam knew the salvage yard like the back of their hand and many a day had been spent playing hide-and-go-seek there when they had been little. Being at Bobby's had always been a break for Sam. Unlike John, Bobby had never forced Sam to do anything that involved hunting. Hell, sometimes, Bobby had gone against John's orders and had allowed Sam to just be a kid.
Was that why he had subconsciously come here?
"Everything okay?" Bobby questioned gruffly as he handed Sam a small glass of holy water. Immediately, Sam drank it—he was used to Bobby's odd methods of checking for possessions—and Bobby relaxed a bit as he saw that Sam wasn't possessed.
"Yeah." Sam lied. He knew Bobby didn't believe him in the slightest.
"Where's your daddy? And Dean?" Sam ran a hand through his hair and sighed.
"On a hunt." He answered, wondering whether he should tell Bobby the truth about what he had been planning to do. The more experienced hunter would figure it out soon enough.
"They told you to come here?" Bobby asked, clearly confused as to what Sam was doing here exactly.
"I ran away." Sam blurted out.
A paused passed.
"Well, hell," Bobby muttered, chuckling and eyes flashing with amusement. "I didn't know you had it in you, Sam." He poured himself a whisky and Sam anxiously stared up at the older man.
"Are you going to call Dad?" That would be his greatest fear. John would give him hell for this, of that Sam was sure. He would be yelled at for hours, be forced to do more training exercises than was humanely possible in one day, and the look of shame on his father's face would kill him.
"To tell him that you came here?" Bobby clarified and Sam nodded, dreading what his answer would be. "Of course, Sam, I have to. Your daddy would skin me alive if I didn't tell him you with me." Sam's face fell.
"Oh." He said dejectedly. Bobby got up from the table and reached for the phone. Sam tried to prepare himself for the disappointment that would lurk in John's eyes, for the angry words that would be hurled at him; but he found that he couldn't force himself to accept these consequences.
"John? It's Singer," Bobby's gruff voice talked into the phone and dread filled the pit of Sam's stomach. "Listen, I heard something about a werewolf near where you were staying." A pause. "No, turned out it was a dead-end. But, I thought I would take Sam with me just in case. Give him some training in the meantime." Sam's head bolted up. What the heck was Bobby talking about? Was he covering for him? "Yeah. Sure, well he's with me so go on with your hunt." He hung up.
"You didn't tell him!" Sam exclaimed, feeling extremely happy and relieved. Without thinking, the youngest Winchester immediately hugged the gruff hunter. Bobby stiffened at first, but finally accepted the hug. "Thank you, Uncle Bobby."
"You're welcome, Sam," Bobby mumbled, wondering when he had become such a sap that he was okay with getting hugs. Slowly, he pulled away from the boy and smirked. "What do you think about getting some ice cream?"
"You're the best, Uncle Bobby!" The smile that graced Sam's lips was the brightest Bobby had ever seen on the kid. It was a rare sight too, considering how hard John worked the boy. Last time he had seen Sam, John had forced the boy to spend all his time researching a purification ritual and refused to give him a break. The poor boy had practically passed out from sheer exhaustion before he had finally gotten the research completed. Sam rarely got any moments to just be a kid—maybe a few days with him could change that.
Bobby didn't know why Sam had run away, but he was damn sure going to figure it out while the kid was here and then fix it. Blood or not, Sam was just as much a part of his family as he was with John and Dean. Family helped each other out and solved problems.
That was what Bobby was going to do.
Author's Note: I had originally planned for this to be a one-shot, but it seems that my muse has overruled that decision. I'm not sure how many chapters this will be, but expect a lot of a caring Bobby! And, of course, I'll throw in some awesome big brother Dean too. So, please review!