Author's Note: I apologize to everyone who read the original chapter. But after some though and help from a friend of mine, I've decided to re-post this chapter without the angel-given superpowers. At first I thought I could make something of it, but I just can't seem to. Again, I apologize to everyone who was looking forwards to Sam's new powers. I hope you aren't too upset with me and continue reading the story anyways.
It was difficult for Dean to leave Sam with Bobby, especially after his brother's reaction when he'd gone to Davidston. But the grizzled hunter had explained that they would take things slow- move forward in baby steps if need be- and Dean felt a little better. The eldest Winchester started going out to work on the cars in the Salvage Yard without his sibling. Bobby would stay inside, researching for other hunters, and keeping an eye on Sam.
At first the young man was clearly distressed by Dean's absence. Sam would stare out the front window in much the same way he had the day Dean had crashed the Impala. Bobby tried his best to ignore the young man's 'puppy eyes' and get his work done but more often than not found himself at Sam's side, trying to console him. A week passed before Sam calmed down after Dean had walked out of the house. He stared at the door for a long moment before turning around and following Bobby into the living room and sitting on the couch. The veteran hunter, expecting Sam to take up his usual position between his desk and the window, couldn't help but smile when he saw the young man looked relaxed instead of agitated. Bobby smiled and walked over to Sam, grabbing the remote off the coffee table and turning the television on for him. Sam offered Bobby a small smiled and turned his attention to the screen.
Dean squeezed his brother tightly in his arms when he came inside for a little bit of lunch. Bobby had told him that Sam had finally become comfortable without him and Dean couldn't help but smile broadly at the achievement.
"I'm so proud of you, Sammy," Dean told his sibling, brushed the younger man's hair back from his face.
Sam just seemed to be glad that Dean was back with him.
"We should celebrate," Bobby suggested as all three hunters sat down to eat.
Dean looked up from his sandwich, "Sure, sounds good. How?"
"Well," Bobby spoke almost hesitantly, "There's a place downtown, a little dive of a restaurant, that makes the best burgers in South Dakota."
Dean set his sandwich down, already ready to shoot down the idea despite how awesome the burgers were.
"Bobby-" The eldest Winchester began but Bobby held up a hand, "I already know what yer gonna say, Dean. You and Sam can't stay here all day, it ain't good for either of you."
Dean frowned and glanced at his brother, slowly chewing, completely ignoring his sibling and friend.
"You've got to get over this fear that everyone's out to hurt Sam," Bobby told Dean seriously, "If anyone tries to take him away, it'll be easy to prove you can care for him. And, from what you've told me, anything assholes say goes right over his head so it shouldn't bother you if it ain't bothering him."
Dean opened his mouth to reply but then sighed, "You're right. I shouldn't let it get to me like it does. I just can't help it. I've always looked out for Sam and if anyone so much as looked at him funny I'd kick their ass. I guess I can't really do that anymore."
Bobby chuckled a little bit before Dean's expression turned serious.
"We can go," Dean conceded, "But if anything happens, we're out of there."
"Sounds fair enough to me," the veteran hunter agreed and turned his attention back to his lunch.
Dean surveyed the diner as he slid into the booth beside his brother; Sam sitting next to the wall with Bobby seated across from them.
The restaurant was old and worn but clean. The tables were dark, scarred wood; the booths padded with dark green vinyl. The walls were decorated with classic beer advertisements, neon signs and autographed pictures of famous folks who had eaten there.
Dean had to admit the place was kind of cool.
"How come we've never been here?" He asked Bobby; sure he would remember if he'd eaten in this particular diner.
Bobby shrugged, "When yer Daddy and I were still talking, you boys were too little to drag in here and then well, there was that fallin' out and you didn't show for a while. I didn't tell you about this place after 'cause you and Sam always seemed to come to visit with bad news and it didn't seem appropriate to go out for dinner."
Dean nodded thoughtfully but then smiled when a pretty young waitress approached their table.
"Hi, my name is Amy, can I get you some drinks to start off?" The waitress asked as she handed out menus- Dean taking one for both him and Sam- before getting her pad and paper ready.
"Two beers and a Coca-Cola," Bobby ordered and Amy nodded, "Coming right up."
Dean smirked as the young woman walked away, leaning slightly to get a better view of her behind as she headed towards the bar.
"Dean," Bobby reprimanded but the veteran hunter was smiling.
Dean shrugged, "What can I say? I appreciate a nice tight- Hey, Sam, what's the matter?"
The younger man's brows were knitted together in confusion, one hand on the table crunching his napkin, the other hand resting on the faux wood-paneled wall beside him.
"Sammy?" Dean turned in the booth so that his body was angled towards his sibling, "Hey, hey, what's wrong?"
Sam wasn't looking at Dean, in fact, the older brother wasn't sure his sibling was looking at anything, his eyes glassy and distant.
"Son?" Bobby leaned forward and carefully pried the paper napkin from Sam's fist.
Dean stood up and stared at the booths in front of them, wondering what could have caused Sam to act like he was.
Sitting back down, Dean frowned and brushed his brother's hair back from his face, "I don't see anything."
Bobby looked at Dean, frowning, "Do you want to leave?"
Before Dean could reply, a thought suddenly hit him. He looked up at the lights above their table, regular incandescent bulbs covered with red glass shades. Peering down, Dean saw that the shades caused a crimson glow to fall over their booth. That must be what was upsetting Sam; the light must have triggered some memory from his time in the Cage.
"Hold on Sammy," Dean murmured, "I'm going to fix this."
The hunter caught sight of their waitress and caught her eye as she approached their table with the drink.
"Uh, Amy, is there a booth that doesn't have these red lights?" Dean asked and the waitress and the girl frowned, "I don't think so. I'm sorry. Are they bothering you?"
Bobby spoke up before Dean could continue, "I forgot my glasses at home and the lights ain't great to read by."
Dean caught sight of the older hunter watching his brother and from the corner of his eye he saw Sam start to shrink into himself, his look of bewilderment turning to one of fear.
"Is he okay?" Amy asked, peering over Dean at his sibling.
Dean didn't know what to say so he told the truth, "Uh, no. He's not. Are you sure there's no place in here without these red shades?"
Dean was preparing himself to leave when Amy spoke up, "I'll go check if we can take the shades off. I'm so sorry about that."
Bobby shook his head, "Not yer fault, hon."
Dean turned back to Sam as Amy hurried away.
"What's going on? Why now?" he asked Bobby and the hunter shrugged, "Right place, right time?"
Dean scowled and reached out to place his hands on either side of his brother's face, "It's okay, Sammy. Look at me, alright?"
Reluctantly, the younger man turned his gaze on his brother but Dean didn't feel relief; that far away look in Sam's eyes scared him.
Suddenly, Sam jumped in his seat, causing Dean to flinch and the younger man wrapped one hand around his brother's wrist.
"Sam, c'mon," Dean muttered, and reached out to take hold of his brother's hand that was still resting against the wall.
Sam didn't fight his brother but his expression remained the same, scared and confused. Dean peered over his shoulder, catching sight of Amy heading towards their table with a middle-aged man in an old Ramones t-shirt.
"Hi, I'm Louis Montague, the manager," the man announced, "Amy here tells me there's a problem?"
Bobby nodded, "Do you have somewhere we can sit without these lights, or take the shades off?"
Louis looked confused for a moment, probably wondering what was wrong with red lights, before nodding.
"The other side of the restaurant doesn't have these kinds of lights," he pointed up as if the hunters had forgotten they were there.
"What kind are they?" Dean asked cautiously, keeping both hands locked around Sam's wrists as his brother began to fidget.
Louis' eyebrows knitted together, "Regular ones? They have uh, blue shades, if that helps."
Dean looked at Sam's face. Blue might be okay. Then again, it might not be. Either way, Dean knew they couldn't continue sitting here before Sam had a full-blown panic attack.
"Okay," Dean replied, "Let's try it."
Standing, pulling his brother up with him, the eldest Winchester followed the manager and Amy as they made their way across the crowded restaurant, Bobby bringing up the rear. Dean released Sam's wrists but laid a hand on his brother's shoulder.
Please let this work, Dean thought as they approached another booth, this one illuminated by blue lights.
Bobby slid into one side of the booth and Dean followed suit, sitting down across from him. Normally he'd want to have Sam sit beside the wall but Dean wasn't sure how his brother would react to the change in décor just yet.
He ignored the manager and waitress as he slid his hand down Sam's arm, gripping his wrist tightly and gently cajoled him into sitting beside him.
"C'mon Sammy," Dean muttered, not even looking at the two civilians, "That's it. There. Is that better?"
Sam stared down at the tabletop that had a faint blue glow to it from the lights overhead and let out a deep breath. He closed his eyes for a moment before opening them again, his expression no longer as distant as before.
"Atta boy," Dean praised and squeezed Sam's hand where it rested against the vinyl padding of the bench.
"Is everything alright now?" Louis asked and Bobby nodded, "We're fine."
The manager looked relieved and left, leaving Amy to take care of the small family.
"I'll get your drinks and new menus right away," she assured them and turned to go.
Dean leaned back against the booth, sighing. Sam was okay now. That was all that mattered.
"I don't know about you, Sammy," Dean announced, "But I'm ready to eat."
Bobby couldn't help but smile as Dean fussed over his brother. Dean sat close to Sam, making sure the younger man ate while his own meal went untouched.
As though he sensed the older hunter watching him, Dean looked up, "What's so funny?"
"I was just thinking how you make a fantastic mother," Bobby told Dean, his smile widening at the younger man's outraged expression.
"Shut up," the eldest Winchester growled but there was no real spite in his words.
Once Sam was finished, Dean began eating; almost inhaling the food even though it had gone cold. He didn't say anything though, looking after Sam was his top priority and if he had to eat a cold burger and fries, then so be it.
When nothing but crumbs were left on the plates, Amy came by.
"Was everything good?" she asked cheerfully. Dean and Bobby told her it was.
"Can I bring you dessert menus?" Amy asked and Dean's eyes lit up at the mention of a sweet treat.
"Do you have pie?" he asked eagerly and Bobby rolled his eyes.
"We do," the waitress informed them, "Five different kinds."
Dean grinned and asked for pecan. Amy nodded and turned to Bobby, "Can I get you anything?"
"Some coffee, hun," the grizzled hunter said and the waitress nodded, taking her leave.
"How you doing, Sammy?" Dean asked and Bobby noticed that the younger Winchester actually looked tired, his eyes half-closed.
"Don't worry," Bobby leaned forward, "Dean will make short work of that pie."
"Ha ha," Dean grumbled, reaching out to brush Sam's bangs away from his forehead.
When Amy returned with the coffee and dessert, Dean didn't immediately start eating as Bobby assumed he would. Instead, he took Bobby's saucer and unused fork and cut the slice of pie in half even though he easily could have finished it himself. Dean carefully slid one slice of the pecan pie onto the saucer and sat it in front of Sam, setting the fork in his brother's hand.
Bobby chuckled into his coffee mug as he watched, never ceasing to be amazed at how devoted Dean was to his brother.
"So," Bobby began as the two hunters sat down across from each other at the grizzled hunter's kitchen table, "Have you thought about what I've said?"
Dean raised his eyebrows, "That not everyone is out to get Sam? Or that we need at least an hour of fresh air a day?"
Bobby scowled, "Well, have you?"
Dean nodded and scratched the back of his head, "Yeah, Bobby. I did. You're right. Of course."
"And?" Bobby prompted, because Dean was not going to get out of this just because they'd had one good night in public.
"I guess we could start getting out and start acting like regular people," Dean admitted and Bobby nodded.
The young man gave Bobby his version of the 'puppy eyes' but the veteran hunter ignored them, "Retiring ain't all that bad, Dean. You're lucky you get to retire with your sanity and limbs intact, not every hunter can say the same."
Dean nodded, "Yeah, we are lucky."
Bobby frowned for a moment, wondering if the young man was going to say something else but then Dean just drained his beer and stood.
"I'm gonna go check on Sammy," the older brother said and walked out of the kitchen.
Bobby sat where he was for a second before sighing and finishing his own drink. Dean had tried to live a civilian life with Lisa and it hadn't worked out, but hopefully now that Sam was back, the transition from hunter to average Joe would become a little easier. Bobby was sure that it would, albeit with small steps.
Thanks to nupinoop296, baileylovesyou0400, daleaikman, mb64, SPN Mum, SUPERNATANGEL67, Priya723, angeleyenc, 3DBABE1999, Jkf340, emebalia, sarah, reannablue, jojospn, L.A.H.H, BranchSuper, FireInMyHeart13, mandancie, SamDeanLover28, DarkestKnight88, BlackAndWhite-X, firstcatfish, Elishab68, missingmikey, Shannanigans, NathanEngel, mechachic, Souless666, AliRose, Lacuna Everspring and Stoney Angel for reviewing.
3. Again I am sorry for changing the direction of the story and I hope you will continue reading. Please leave a review if you aren't too mad at me.