Author's Note: This was written for the spn_summergen challenge for mimblexwimble based off one of her prompts. Now that the reveals and stuff have been posted I have the all clear to post it here. I really hope you enjoy it! Thanks, Charity
"It's Sam. Sammy is a chubby twelve year old."
It isn't like Sam just eats and eats and eats.
He works out just as much as Dean does, does all the basic training that their Dad requires of them, prefers generally more healthy food-'rabbit food' as Dean calls it-to anything greasy. So Sam is far from being unhealthy.
His body just doesn't seem to understand that. Sam sighs as he tightens his towel, looks once more at his bruises, and walks away from the mirror. If Dean ever caught him staring at the mirror like a girl, he'd never hear the end of it.
He's gained two pounds this week. He secretly checks his weight in the boys' locker room after P.E, silently praying that the numbers will go down and his body will start to slim out. Every time he looks though, he gets more disappointed.
Leaving his disgusting clothes balled in a corner, Sam exits the bathroom, checking to make sure Dean isn't in the vicinity as he heads to the bedroom to get dressed. Once in clean clothes, and shaking his still-damp hair, he heads to the fridge. He's hungry. They can't afford much junk food anyway, so it's not like he's porking out.
Spying a juicy apple, he immediately snatches it up and takes a bite. The crisp sweetness fills his mouth and he moans with pleasure. There certainly was nothing like a great tasting apple to help him work through his trauma.
"You sound awful happy there, Sammy."
Sam jumps at his brother's voice and almost drops his prize in the process. Turning around, his face reddens at the blatant leer on his brother's face. "Shut up, jerk," Sam whispers with a furious blush.
Dean smirks and pushes himself off the door frame he was leaning on. Good-naturedly pushing Sam away from the fridge, Dean bends and digs around.
"There you are, baby."
Sam makes a funny face when Dean pulls out the leftover half of a subway sandwich from last night.
"That's gonna be all gross now, Dean," Sam protests as Dean unwraps the soggy bread. "And the vegetables are the only part that's healthy for you," he adds as Dean pulls out the limp lettuce and lifeless tomato slices, dropping them on the wrapping.
"Your point?" Dean asks as he takes a bite of the noxious sandwich, making Sam twist his lips in disgust.
"Never mind," Sam shakes his head at his brother's antics and sits down at the pockmarked kitchen table. He savours another bite of his apple, but swallows quickly when he notices Dean is just staring at him.
"You know what, man," Dean responds casually, setting his sandwich down to stare straight in Sam's eyes. For all that Sam can convince a teacher of anything, he can never slide an evasion past his brother. He doesn't want to admit the real reason he was so late getting home from school. Dad was off on a hunt close by, and as usual Dean has strict orders to watch out for Sam. To Dean's—and Dad's—displeasure, the distance between the high school and the middle school and time they end classes doesn't allow Dean to meet Sam to walk him home. So Sam is being permitted the overwhelming privilege—that just about every other kid had earned by fourth grade—of walking home alone. And he is supposed to be buried in his homework by the time Dean gets in the door, not sneaking and pretending he'd been in the apartment all along.
"I-I was helping my teacher after school," Sam mumbles while staring at his apple, hoping that not looking at Dean will disguise the lie and that he'd cleaned everything off his face.
Dean stares at him for several seconds before his face eases up. "Don't do it again without letting me know in advance, ok?"
Sam smiles at Dean and apologizes for worrying Dean.
"I wasn't worried, bitch," Dean snarks, though his eyes say something different. Dean can't lie to Sam either, but Dean diverts Sam's thought by grabbing his head against his ribs and ruffles Sam's hair. Sam yelps at the noogie and glares as he tries to fix his hair back the way it was.
"Sparring after you finish your homework, okay?"
Sam smiles at his brother the best he can and nods his head in agreement.
The real reason for Sam's lateness was that he had been ambushed on the walk home.
Brian Miller was the classic bully Dean had warned Sam about when Sam was starting middle school—about five school districts ago. Thankfully Sam had been lucky so far, carefully melting into the background of each school they attended so well that only the teachers seemed to register his presence. This semester, though, he wasn't so fortunate.
Brian Miller immediately noticed him when in the first P.E class Sam had accidentally tripped while running which caused Brian to fall over him. For that blunder it seemed like Sam was fair game.
At first the teasing was easy to manage. Just tune the kid out. Sure, some of the jabs stung a little but Sam continued to ignore them until Brian called him 'fatchester' in the locker room and it seemed everyone else took notice. Now there were boys snickering at him in the hallway, trying to out-do each other with inventive ways to call Sam fat or ask him if he broke the scale yet or if his mama was as fat as him.
That one hurt.
One night after supper Sam studied his body in the bathroom mirror, kneeling on the edge of the sink to see his shape better. He was noticeably rounder than other boys—and significantly shorter. If he was taller the weight would be better distributed, but with his small statute it seemed to have settled all along his belly and face.
Then the bullying increased from just words to physical pranks like knocking his books out of his arms or tripping him in the hallway—to a painful chorus of 'oink-oink' noises.
The last three days Brian had followed him home. The punk was a good head taller than Sam and could even have weighed more but it was from muscle in Brian's shoulders, not puddling around his belly. Sam finally decided to try cutting through the alleys. The thought that Brain was following him, watching him as he walked home, gave him goosebumps just thinking about it.
His feet ached from having to do all those laps around the gym in sneakers that were a half-size too small. He needed a new pair, but he couldn't ask Dean about it, Sam knew Dad hadn't left extra money, just enough for food until Dad got back.
What Sam really wanted was to sit back on the tatty couch, put his feet up, and go to sleep for ten years.
Trudging along with his pinched toes and a skinned knee—he'd tripped in P.E. class again and Sam put the blame completely on the shoes—he figured the only thing that could make it worse was for it to rain.
Someone should have given Brian Miller that memo.
Sam was actually embarrassed by how easily Brian knocked him over. Sam would like to blame it on the pain in his feet but he knew that he simply wasn't paying attention. Not paying attention could get you killed on a hunt, or worse get your family killed. So tracking a black dog? Easy. Stealthy coming up on a shapeshifter to kill his ass? Piece of cake. Realizing the school bully has been following you? Obviously too hard for him.
Trying his best to block the bully's arm Sam scrambled to his feet, letting go of his backpack, but Brian was faster. He caught Sam's forearm before Sam could hit back and fiercely twisted it behind Sam's back, then shoved him against a wooden garage door.
Sam gasped in pain, doing his best to squirm out of the painful hold, but Brian pulled harder and Sam squealed as he thought his elbow was going to break.
"Hey, fatchester. Going to go dumpster diving now? Bet you'll find a nice afterschool snack!" Brain sneered cruelly as his hand tightened around Sam's bent wrist.
Sam winced as his face scraped against the garage but he refused to answer the bully. Brian wasn't a murderer. Asshole? Yes. Murderer? No. Sam didn't fight as Brian pulled his bent arm, stumbling a few feet to the left. Towards the open garbage dumpster next to the garage. He realized too late what was going to happen, and didn't react fast enough when Brian released his arm only to pick Sam up bodily toss him headfirst into the stinking trash.
And then Brian slammed the lid down.
Sam tried not to breathe, the smell of rotten fruit and other rancid odors making him want to puke. He couldn't think about what was touching him, smearing on his clothes, his hands, his face. He heard Brian's muffled voice gleefully tossing out more taunts, and Sam didn't move until it had been silent for what felt like two hours but was really only fifteen minutes when Sam finally pushed up the metal lid and could see his watch.
He'd snuck in the apartment as stealthily as he could, cracking the door open just enough to see that Dean was not in the living room and then ducking into the bathroom to take care of himself.
Taking off his clothes was a chore in it itself. His whole body ached and every tug of his shirt sent waves of pain through his body. And there was the nasty stench rising from his clothes as he gingerly peeled them off, making Sam gag every time he had to breathe in.
Throwing his clothes in the corner, vowing to himself he should burn them later, Sam stepped into the shower and sighed as the hot water pounded on his sore muscles. Dirt and other noxious substances melted off, congealing in a brown puddle as they awaited the ride down the drain.
Sam felt his throat convulse at the smell, the heat making his head begin to hurt. He prayed throughout that he wouldn't throw up from it all.
Trying to wash around his shins was a real chore. They'd hit the dumpster as Brian hurled him in.
The bruises were an angry red bordering on purple. Trying to scrub around them made Sam wince and wonder if he'd had longer legs would they still be so banged up.
Sam sighed and poked at his stomach, noting how soft it was, unlike his brother who was all muscle.
The bruises hurt, especially on his side where he'd hit the pavement, and his shoulder and arm ache. Every time he moves it makes him wince in pain but he can't let Dean see. He knows how his big brother would react and Sam can't risk Dean getting suspended. Or worse, their father finding out and exacting punishment in the form of more training.
Telling his brother he doesn't feel like sparring tonight will only send Dean on the alert. He just has to suck it up, do his homework, then go spar with his bother. It's not like Dean will hurt him or anything. Sam can do this.
"Alright, Sammy, finish your homework and then we'll head out back so I can beat your ass again, deal?" Dean smirks making Sam's insides feel like jelly. He's just kidding. He's just kidding. He's just kidding.
"Sure, I'll be done in a bit." Watching his brother walk away to their shared bedroom, Sam sighs when the door shuts. His stiffened posture relaxes and he does his best not to grimace. He just has to make sure Dean really doesn't kick his ass. At the moment, a strong wind could blow Sam over and Dean is like a hurricane.
Sliding his finished homework into his book bag, Sam takes a deep breath. His abused shoulder is pulsing in a slow, sickening throb that almost makes him want to throw up.
Taking another deep breath Sam closes his eyes and then reopens them. Walking out into their backyard he can see his brother doing pushups.
It means Dean is itching to get some physical training in. When Dean is in that kind of mood he gives it his all. Which on any other day, would be great because Sam loves a challenge, but today it spells a lot of pain and hurt for him.
Sam doesn't try and approach Dean with stealth, he purposefully makes sounds so Dean can see him approaching.
"Finally, Sammy. I was getting bored out here," Dean snarks, wiping his dirty palms onto his jeans, getting into a fighting stance.
Sam gulps and tries to hide the dread he's feeling. "Nah you're like a dog, a stick would amuse you."
Dean's face hardens as his eyes gleam wickedly. Sam shakes a little as he brings his hands up into a fighting stance.
"Well believe me, little brother, this doggy can bite." With those words Dean is off.
Quick jabs and harsh blows rock Sam's arms as he does his best to use his uninjured side and shoulder to block Dean's blows.
Dean doesn't notice Sam's hesitation, though, he's enthralled with the idea of sparring so much so Sam doesn't think Dean will stop until there's only a little puddle of Sammy-goo.
"Is that all you got?" Dean grunts out, as Sam ducks but Dean's left arm knocks him off balance.
Dad taught them that move a while ago. Swing from the far left, aiming at an opponent's head to confuse them and knock them off balance, and when they are teetering you use your right to come up and catch them with a right hook.
Dean would never really hit him with a right hook of course, so it was more like a push. Sam feels his feet slip from under him and he lands harshly on the hard ground. He grunts as fireworks of pain shoot out from his injured shoulder and his bruises pull painfully. He closes his eyes and does his best to hold the tears in.
Dean is standing over him, sweating and grinning at his victory. Sam would normally grouch at being beaten so easily but he is ready to wave the white flag. Another round and Sam would no doubt be needing the emergency room.
"You're getting soft there, Sammy," Dean teases. Sam lets his brother pull him up and holds in the yelp of pain that wants to escape.
Sam smiles and tries to hide how shitty he feels. "Nah, I just let you win."
"You better not have, bitch," Dean chortles, pulling his brother in so he can rest his arm around Sam's neck.
His brother's arm feels like a fifty pound weight as his shoulder groans in protest but Dean is so busy teasing that he's not noticing Sam's discomfort. And really, that's what Sam wants, so he goes along with it.
Around nine o'clock Dean gets edgy, going to the door several times like he's about to step out and then looking at Sam and sitting back on the couch to stare at the TV. About the fifth time Dean does that, Sam slips into the bathroom to pull his t-shirt off. His shoulder bone seems okay, not broken or dislocated but it is definitely swollen. He will have to ice it tonight or Dean will realize something's wrong for sure.
He has bright red marks, the start of bruises from the sparring, mixing with darker marks from the encounter with Brian. Dean probably won't notice the different shades.
Sighing that his injuries don't appear any worse, Sam slips his shirt back on with a grimace just as Dean knocks on the bathroom door.
"It's time for you to go to bed, Sammy. Will you be okay, squirt, if I leave you alone for half an hour? There's something I've gotta do…get some, uh, notes for class tomorrow and I'll be right back…"
Dean trails off like he's rethinking the idea, but Sam is relieved he'll be able to fix an ice pack without Dean getting suspicious.
"Sure, I'm tired, and I know the drill, don't open the door, don't mess the salt lines, go ahead, Dean, I'm not a little kid."
"Sam, Sammy! Wake up man, come on."
Sam groans as Dean's loud voice reverberates in his ear drums. "T'd." Sam mumbles and tries to dig deeper under his blankets. The sharp shake of his shoulder has him freezing and locking up. A hurt sound escapes his lips as his body remembers yesterday's abuse.
"Dude, how late did you stay up last night?" Dean questions.
Sam just groans and closes his eyes. Morning already?It doesn't feel like he slept an hour between waking up from the pain and dealing with the melted bag of ice.
All in all Sam has had a pretty shitty night, and Dean isn't helping any with his insistent shaking and loud voice.
"I'm up." Sam hollers as Dean once again began shaking his pain-rattled body.
"Hurry up, dude. We both overslept and we're going to be late."
Sam sighs. Maybe I can just skip school and Dean will never know?Sam wonders. He really doesn't want to face Brian again today.
Sam doesn't want to press his luck, though, it's been a miracle thus far keeping this all from Dean and if he skips class the school will call to check on him.
Just great.Sam winces as he sits up in bed, his shoulder protesting the move as the dull pain began to ratchet up another notch. His body is just plain sore, the bruises painful to the touch. Sam isn't even sure he can make it out of bed.
"Sammy, move your ass, we got to be out of here in fifteen!"
Sam sighs at hearing his brother's voice. He sounded anxious, maybe even a little mad. I wonder if Dad called this morning? Dean always gets tense when Dad checks in, especially if Dad says he'd be gone longer. Sam wouldn't really put it past him. I'll ask Dean later when I don't feel like my limbs will fall off.
Gritting his teeth, Sam manages to get up and slowly shuffle to his duffel bag to pull out some clean clothes to wear. Practically dragging his body out of the doorway, Sam checked for his brother and once the coast was clear he makes it to the bathroom and shuts the door.
Setting his clothes on the toilet lid, he undresses and whimpers when his shoulder is pulled by his shirt, trying not to break down and cry. Getting into the shower, Sam sighs as the hot water soothes his aching muscles. It's nowhere near better, but it's a start.
"Sammy! Stop primping and get your ass out here!"
Sam jumps at his brother's voice and almost loses his footing. "I'll be out in a minute, jerk!" Sam yells back.
When Dean doesn't comment further Sam sighs and rests his forehead against the tile wall. It's going to be a long day.
The walk to their schools is made in silence. Dean still seems to be in a pissy mood and Sam just doesn't feel like talking.
The middle school is first. Dean always makes sure Sam gets to school on time, even if he's late himself. Sam always rolls his eyes at Dean's over-protective nature, but today, Sam doesn't mind the reassurance. It seems like Brian is always waiting for Sam as he walks onto the campus. It gives him chills, makes him feel uneasy and a little afraid. Having his older brother at his side today is comforting. Dean is intimidating just by his stature and physique, and word about his attitude travels fast whenever new kids are involved.
Even in the middle school Dean Winchester's reputation has travelled through the grapevine via siblings. When he and Dean are in the same building, everyone knows to leave Winchester's little brother alone. But now…Sam is just a punching bag. Sam wishes again he didn't have that little belly roll and such round cheeks. No one will ever think he's a badass.
"Make sure you're at home on time today, Sammy," Dean orders, his gruff voice barking out orders much like Dad's.
"Okay." Sam agrees.
"Alright," Dean licks his lips and puts his hands in his jacket pockets. He looks nervous, and for what Sam doesn't understand. What did Dad say to Dean?
"I'll see you when I get home, Sam. I might be a little late, okay?" Dean settles his hand on Sam's shoulder, thankfully his uninjured one, and squeezes lightly.
Sam feels his stomach flutter as he watches his big brother walk away. He's afraid to turn around in case Brian is watching him from the steps of the school building, but the bell rings and Sam needs to head to class. Sam turns around and notices everyone else butBrian.
Maybe Brian's out sick today,Sam hopes as he walks up to the steps to begin his day.
Sam drags his feet as he walks along a different alley today to get home. Since Brian was absent, Sam got a reprieve from the physical abuse but the emotional jabs still came when Brian's buddies make pig noises at him before P.E. starts. Sam waits till everyone leaves the locker room before he dares to change afterward. He thought he could handle the taunts, they were just words and Sam should know more than anyone that fists hurt much worse than words.
Why do I feel so crappy then? Like I got sucker punched in the gut? Sam wonders solemnly. Am I really that fat? At first he didn't think so, maybe a little chubby, sure but now...now Sam doesn't know what to think. Why would these kids call him these names if it weren't true? Maybe Sam has just been denying it, refusing to notice his problem. I don't want to be a disappointment to anyone. Especially Dean and Dad.
His eyes begin to droop from overtaxing his body today. His muscles ache, his head hurts a little, his shoulder still throbs, and all he wants to do is lay down. Maybe I should just tell Dean? Sam wonders silently, trying to weigh the pros and cons of the decision. What could it hurt? If anything, it will prevent me from getting more hurt.Then that voice in his head says Dean won't take the news too well, will go after Brian and maybe send the kid to the E.R which could result in assault charges and one very pissed off Dad, one jailbird brother, and one very guilty Sam.
Sam sighs. That definitely isn't an option. It's not like they are staying here long. Unless Dad called Dean this morning to say he would be gone longer, they shouldn't be here for more than a few more days.
Only a few more days.Sam thinks to himself. Just a few, and then they should be gone.
Sam is pretty much daydreaming on his feet thinking about leaving this place when he hears it.
He freezes and listens as voices filters in from an open garage. He stops before walking across the opening, listening carefully to assess what is going on before he is exposed. "Man, this is some nice weed, Brian." As soon as he hears the words Sam notices the pungently sweet smell wafting into the alley. Shit. He's blundered into the hangout of Brian and his cronies.
Dean had mentioned marijuana in reference to some musicians and seemed unexpectedly knowledgeable about the effects, but Sam didn't know if that was from personal experience or just hearing about it. But Sam remembers Dean said it can make a person lethargic and loopy.
Sam listens closely as Brain answers lazily.
"I know, right? My brother had a whole stash of this stuff under his bed. Treats it like it's gold, dude. And he has no idea I know about it."
The rest of the boys actually giggle. "No wonder why, dude."
Sam furrows his brows as he tries to figure how to get past the garage without being seen. He leans in to hear better when his shirt catches on some bushes which rattle against the garage. Sam freezes.
"What was that?"
"What, man?" A confused voice responds.
Sam backs up slowly and tries to slide around the side of the garage but he's stopped by a chainlink fence. .
"There's somebody out there!"
I have to get out of here.
There's no point in being quiet, Sam hopes he can just outrun them and he scrambles up and over the three-foot fence and through the backyard it encloses, then out the gate at the other end. Adrenaline pumps through his system, giving him the strength and energy to dart down the sidewalk toward their small home as angry voices call after him.
Just two blocks from safety, Sam no longer hears Brian's gang behind him. Looking back as he is still running, Sam breathes a sigh of relief when he doesn't see anyone behind him. He's not going to slow down, though…
It feels like a brick wall falling on him, except brick walls don't have arms and legs. Sam crashes to the ground but remembers to go limp so as not to break something. He brings both arms in as his side takes the fall. Pain dances across his vision as his sore shoulder collides with the pavement He screams as he curls in on himself, hoping to stop the hurt just by remaining still.
"It's 'fatchester' thinking about stealing our weed—or maybe squealing on us?" Brian accuses, his sneaker smashing into Sam's midsection.
"No, not…not saying anything!" Sam gasps.
"You're not welcome here and I'm going to teach you what we do to fat punks who spy on us." Brian bends down, a cold grin on his face as his fist pulls back and smashes into Sam's face.
He sees stars, about a million of them, and almost passes out. And then his training kicks in, his adrenaline-filled body pulsing between flight or fight, and Sam is sick of running.
So he fights back, sweeping his leg around and catching Brian by surprise. The bully trips, and Sam has a moment to get on his feet. He knows that he has to stay upright to have any chance, lesson number one from practicing with Dean. Before Brian straightens up Sam punches as hard as he can with his throbbing arm, catching Brian's chin. The blow makes his knuckles sting but Sam hits again, this time Brian's nose, and feels a momentary satisfaction as blood spurts down Brian's lip.
Unfortunately Brian's pals are still there.
Hands grab Sam's arms and hold them back while the third boy starts pummelling Sam's ribs. Sam knows he's in trouble, he's got one desperate move left and if it doesn't work, well, there'll only be pieces of him left.
His foot connects with the crotch of the boy in front of him while at the same time Sam whips his head back to bash the nose of the one holding his arms. He's free and running while they are still yelping.
Sam bursts into the apartment, slams the door, and makes sure it is locked. With the relief of safety, he leans against the door and slides to the floor. His ribs ache with every careful breath.
Sam starts to worry about what Dean is going to see, then remembers his brother saying he was going to be late. Thankful for small favors, Sam inches toward the bathroom. He wants a shower and to go to bed. Worried that he might have a broken rib, Sam gently presses each one. None of them shift, just hurt like a bitch. Sam feels tears begin to collect in his eyes as he controls his breathing.
His shoulder feels numb, and Sam isn't sure whether that signals something worse, and his head is pounding from connecting with the other boy's face. He peers at his eyes in the mirror, trying to decide if his pupils are the same size or if he has a concussion. He remembers Dean and Dad take Tylenol for that, and decides he is allowed to give himself some for all the aches combined.
Time crawls as Sam gingerly steps into the shower and washes off the blood and grime from his body. His left eye has swollen shut by the time Sam finally comes out of the shower.
He manages to make a sling out of his t-shirt to keep his shoulder immobile. His hands are shaking as he ties the knot. He is a big, throbbing mess of bruises and cuts. Every part of his body aches to lay down, but Sam has to make sure when Dean comes home that the evidence is gone and his body is hidden so Dean wouldn't notice the bruises.
The shirt is a no go, he can't get one over the handmade sling. He will just have to make sure the covers are well over his shoulders and up to his neck. He carefully fills another plastic bag with ice from the freezer and heads to bed. He makes no attempt to turn on the light as he pulls the covers down with his good arm and slowly gets into bed. His bruises are throbbing and he wants to just sink to the ground and die. He tries to lay facing the wall so Dean won't see the black eye, but Sam can't bear laying on his battered shoulder. His black eye will have to be hidden behind his bangs. If it's dark in the room Dean won't notice anyway. I hope.
But as he settles into the least uncomfortable position, Sam thinks to wonder where his brother is, anyway.
Sleep comes slowly.
Sam must have drifted off because the sound of the door shutting softly awakens him. He hopes it's Dean because he's too tired to even move for a weapon.
His good eye slowly flutters open and he confirms it is his brother in the room. He shuts his eye again quickly as Dean moves over to the side of Sam's bed.
"You asleep, Sammy?"
Sam stays still.
"Guess so, huh. I'm sorry I'm so late. I shouldn'ta gone…Dad would have my ass for leaving you alone…"
Sam hears Dean move away, hears the sounds of Dean stripping off his shirt and shucking his jeans to the floor. He squints his good eye open as the light from the bathroom illuminates Dean for a moment, and Sam notices odd bruises around Dean's neck. Sam furrows his brow and tries to figure out what could have hurt his brother.
Sam can see Dean fingering the marks as he looks in the bathroom mirror, and suddenly everything clicks. Hickeys. Dean's been out with a girl.
Sam smiles at the idea but then gasps as the movement pulls on his split lip.
Dean freezes at the small sound and Sam stirs a little to make Dean think Sam was just moving in his sleep. Dean comes out of the bathroom and stares at Sam for a moment before sighing and climbing into his own bed.
Sam's last thought before sleeping again is how will he hide his injuries from Dean tomorrow. And that he really can't go back to school one more day. He didn't know if his heart could handle the jeers and taunts. Hell, his bodycan't handle it.
Sam stirs at his brother's voice and listens as what sounds like his Dad tells Dean to head to the Impala.
Keeping his eyes shut as he hears his Dad approach, Sam stays still hoping he won't have to get up and walk. He doesn't think he can even sit up, laying in bed has stiffened up all the places Sam is hurt. He thinks he couldn't even form a sentence right now, his face feels like the skin will split if he moves it.
Dad smells like aftershave and gunpowder as he leans down. Sam feels himself panic thinking Dad will see all the cuts and his black eye but it must be too dark because Dad doesn't say a word, just slides one arm under Sam's back and the other under his knees and carefully lifts him up, still bundled in the blanket.
Sam holds in the grimace and noises that want to escape. His body protests the position fiercely as all his bruises come alive at once.
He must not have done a good job at hiding the noises, though.
"It's alright, Sammy, it's just Daddy," John whispers softly in his ear. Sam relaxes against his Dad's body and feels himself settled next to Dean in the back seat. He rests his head against Dean's thigh and feels Dean's hand settle on his shoulder—fortunately, the one that hasn't been twisted. They'll be miles away from this town by morning.
It will be okay now.
"What the hell? Dean!?"
Sam moans at the loud voice and rubs his face against his pillow trying to block the noise out. He winces as his black eye gets smashed against the pillow.
"I-I don't know when all this happened! Jesus!"
He hears Dean's voice, laced with worry and panic.
That's when everything comes slamming back to him.
He moans as his one eye flutters open. The sun is shining through an unfamiliar window. His brother and his Dad are standing over him, looks of identical horror on their faces.
Sam tries to focus his vision but everything is fuzzy.
"Sammy, what the hell happened?" Dean spoke first, making Sam internally wince at the anger in his voice.
"Dean," John reprimands.
"I-" Sam begins but winces at how dry his throat is.
His Dad must be able to tell what's wrong, as he steps away and then returns with a glass of water with a straw in it and he gently helps Sam sit up so he can take a few sips.
He must look like absolute crap. Sam feels like crap.
His Dad pulls the blanket away from Sam and frowns at the vicious marks decorating Sam's chest, then carefully runs his hands over Sam's ribs. He tries not to react, but Sam can't help the gasp when John touches his shoulder.
"Sammy, what happened?" John's tone won't allow for anything but the truth. Sometimes Sam really hates that about his Dad.
He stares at his brother's wide eyes and into his Dad's stern face and feels his lip quiver a little and the words burst out without thinking. "Am I fat?"
"What?" John asked, perplexed. "Sammy, what are you talking about?"
Dean moves closer to the other side of Sam, his face equally as confused as John's.
"A boy at school, he sa-said I was fat and-" Sam looks down, not even bothering to continue on with his sentence. Shame beats through him at having to admit his insecurity.
"That doesn't explain this black eye."
"Dude, was this kid bullying you or something?" Dean's voice went from soft to hard in about three seconds.
"Sam? John asks gently, settling a big palm on Sam's knee under the covers. Sam relaxes a little.
"Yeah…I thought I could handle it." Sam looks at Dean. "I didn't want to make a big deal about it and I- I was just…" Sam drops his eyes again.
"Embarrassed?" John offers softly.
Sam nodded and looks at John with tear-filled eyes.
"There's nothing to be embarrassed about, Sammy. That kid had no right to do those things to you. That kid is lucky we're about five towns out from that place or I'd march into that school and get that boy's parents in the school office so fast their heads would spin."
Sam cheeks heat up in a blush at his Dad's words.
"Dad's right, Sammy. And it's always alright to ask for help from us." Dean's voice is still hard. "If I'd have known..." Dean looks away and scratches at the back of his head. Sam suddenly realizes that Dean is blaming himself for not seeing what was going on.
"I'm sorry." Sam offers to both his brother and father.
"You've got nothing to be sorry for, son. But you have to tell us when something is wrong, it's our job to protect you." At those words Dad looks hard at Dean, who looks down.
"You could have been seriously injured and needed a hospital, son. That's nothing to mess around with, understand?"
"Yes, sir." Sam answers firmly.
"Good boy," John smiles and refrained from ruffling Sam's hair. "Nothing seems broken, just heavily bruised. You're lucky your shoulder isn't dislocated, kiddo, but you did good with the ice. Did you take anything?"
"That was the right thing to do."
Sam blushes at the approval. "Thank you."
"But you look like crap, son. If I put you into school looking like this, Child Services will want to know what happened. You're going to be homeschooled for a couple weeks."
"O-okay, Dad." He feels his Dad watching closely as he tries to lay back down.
"I think you'll feel better if I tape those ribs. I'm gonna get the first aid kit."
With that John gets off the bed. It's quiet as Dean just sits there, slowly tightening his hands into fists.
"Dean?" Sam asks timidly.
"You should have told me, Sammy," Dean says tightly.
"I sparred with you, Sammy, I could have hurt you."
Sam swallows and doesn't say anything else.
"Who is this kid?"
"Why? It's not like we-"
"Who is he?"
Sam sighs. His brother isn't going to let this go, and Sam really just wants to lay down and go back to sleep. "His name is Brian Miller. And I didn't want you to get in trouble for me."
Dean breathes deeply. Sam watches as Dean slowly uncurls his fists. "Still should have told me," Dean mutters. "I woulda never…"
Sam grins. "Hey, you got some nice bruises too, Dean. But you probably had more fun getting yours."
Dean's hand moves to the neck of his t-shirt. "Shit, can you…"
Sam laughs then winces. "Dad won't see 'em. I saw your neck last night when you came home. And don't make me laugh."
Sam sees how badly his failure to protect Sam hurts Dean, but Sam knows it's not Dean's fault.
"Yeah, Sam, I know."
John is back and winds an Ace bandage around Sam's ribs, gives him some more Tylenol, and tells him to sleep.
Sam smiles and settles back against the pillows. Everything will be alright as long as he has his family around. As he slips his one eye closed he feels the covers pulled up over him gently. He breathes deeply as he feels a hand slide gently through his hair, soothing. He knows instantly by the feel that it's his brother.
"Go to bed, squirt." Dean says gently.
Sam sighs and drifts off into a peaceful slumber.
On the porch John pulls out his phone. A certain punk is going to learn a lesson about picking on other kids.
Well I hope you all enjoyed this little story. I wanted to explore that little throw away line from the Pilot because Jared is far from chubby and so is Colin Ford. And it just went so well with her prompt about bullying so I just had to do it. Hope you enjoyed it. Please leave a review. Thanks, Charity