BATTLE SCARS

WOW: Raw. Extra challenge this week; write a longer story. So here are 500 words set during the Pilot; not canon.

Sam's POV. Dean really wants to convince Sam that the hunter's life is not so bad. In that case, he really should keep his shirt on …

Spoilers: Set during the Pilot, so possibly very, very vague spoilers for that.

Disclaimer: I don't own them, however much I plot and scheme.

xxxxx

There are certain things a man notices about his brother, things like the pattern of his breathing when he's asleep and the tone of his voice when he's got something on his mind; and then there are certain things a man doesn't notice about his brother. Stuff like whether he needs to shave or the colour of the socks he's wearing.

Then there are other things. Things a man tries really hard not to notice, but he does anyway.

Things like his brother's scars.

xxxxx

I know Dean doesn't want to discourage me now he's finally managed to drag me on this hunt. He thinks the 'normal' life has made me soft. He wants to prove that the hunter's life isn't so bad after all; that it's all just one big blast, two young guys shooting the breeze with a bagful of guns and a black muscle car.

What's not to like?

Well, I'm not keen on the bit about sleeping with a damn great knife under your pillow for a start.

Perhaps Dean's right; perhaps I have gotten soft. Perhaps the normal life has made me secure and content and blunted that sharp edge of steel that the hunters' life hones.

But I don't fear this life, I hate it; and if ever I needed a reminder of why, I got it this evening when Dean pulled off his shirt before turning in.

The first thing I noticed was the long, curving scar, running from just under his right shoulder blade to his spine; I remembered that one from when Dean was eighteen and the black dog he was hunting with Dad turned on him. I remembered the blood, the gaping open wound, the sixty five stitches; the rabies shots. All that pain and horror faded now to nothing more than a faint grey trail.

Then there's the long-healed bullet wound in his shoulder; I remember that too. Dean was twenty-two, and the reckless asshole fixed it himself with a pair of tweezers, our entire stock of peroxide and half a bottle of bourbon.

All around his hands and arms, I can see the scars; blade slashes, mis-shapen knuckles, puncture wounds and bite marks. Some I remember and some are new additions to the collection.

There's the long, straight scar across the front of his shoulder; a surgical repair to a broken collarbone; and then three parallel gashes, running neatly along the contours of the ribs on his left side, obviously made by claws; damn big ones it seems, and recent too - the wound's still raw and healing.

'It was nothing' apparently.

Well, I've never seen 'nothing' leave a mark like that before.

Then way low down on his belly, there's his stupid little appendectomy scar; a faint memento of normality amidst the rest of the carnage.

xxxxx

Life's a journey, and a hunter's life is no different … except that Dean's body carries a map of his journey so far.

As much as I love my brother, it's a journey I've no desire to take.

xxxxx

end