Author's Note: Oh my goodness, 500 reviews? Thank you so much for all your support! It means so much to me, especially with what I've been going through. Thanks for all your patience. Here's the next prompt!

This comes from Aoi Faith who requested, "It was summer holiday and john's gonna make Sam get his first kill because no matter how good of a shooter sammy is, he refused to kill anything. Sam usually would shot a leg or shoulder to slow it or cripple it and left john and dean to finish it up. They hunt a werewolf in the forest at night. Sam was clawed first quite bad because he protected dean/john. Then john was down and dean was almost got killed. Sam shot it of course. Sam lost quite much blood and had to recover for days in Bobby's or Jim's house." This sounds great! Thanks for the prompt. Let's set this when Sam is 12. Sound good? Fair warning, this chapter doesn't pain John in too much of a good light. If you like him, you might want to skip over this chapter. Enjoy!

"The fascination of shooting as a sport depends almost wholly on whether you are at the right or wrong end of the gun."

P.G. Wodehouse


Sam holds up the gun, forcing his arm to steady so that his aim is perfect and shoots the target some twenty yards away. Out of the corner of his eye, he can see his father, arms crossed against his chest, gaze hardened and the youngest Winchester gulps nervously. This isn't the first time he's done target shooting, but usually Dean is his teacher.

"You got it, Sammy." Dean murmurs from his side and the youngest brother takes a breath in and focuses. If he can just get a perfect shot, this will all be over.

He flinches when he shoots the gun and then holds his breath as his father goes to inspect the target. Dean places a comforting hand on his shoulder and Sam smiles, trying to hide the anxiety that lurks within him. His father has been getting stricter as of late—more driven to get Sam up to par with Dean, angrier and more prone to dark rages.

Sam just wants his father to smile at him and tell him he's doing a good job.

"Perfect shot." John mutters as he comes back, a hint of a grin on his lips.

"What did I tell you?" Dean starts, practically beaming at his brother. "Sammy can shoot."

"Good." John says, patting his youngest son's head and Sam feels like he could fly. His father has been drawing into himself, so much so that the youngest Winchester had thought that he would never see him again, but there he is—the father he knows and loves, proud of him. "You can come on our next hunt then."

"Wait, what—?" Dean protests, voice tinged with shock and a bit of worry.

"He's proven he can shoot so he's ready." He grins at Sam. "Good work, Sammy. You can finally help us out."

"Just because he can handle a gun doesn't mean he should—"

"If he can shoot, he can make the kill shot." John's gaze narrows. "That's what he needs to do."

"The kill shot?" Sam echoes, not liking where this was going. "But I—"

"He's too young!" Dean snaps, deliberately challenging their father and Sam knows where this is going. He immediately tugs on his older brother's sleeve and quickly adds,

"Dean. It's okay. I can do this."

"The fuck it is!" Dean roars, too deep in his rage to realize what he's doing, of the clear rage simmering in their father's eyes. "He's twelve! He doesn't need to make the kill shot when I'll be there—"

"And what if you're not?" John challenges, voice low and dangerous. "Say a poltergeist knocks you out. Sam's the only one with a gun. You want him to what? Sit there and wait for you to wake up?"

"Of course not!" Dean snaps, but his voice was quieter now, the logic starting to worm its way into his brain. "It's just . . ."

"I've got a hunt." John informs them. "It's a simple one. Sam will take lead and he'll make the kill shot."

The order has been issued and Sam knows there was room for discussion. Once their father set his mind to something, there was no going back.

And as John stalks off towards the target, Sam slips his brother's clenched hand into his and tries to remember how to breathe again.

Sam's shot in self-defense before.

This isn't his first time on a hunt, but it is his first time taking lead. He's helped burn bodies before, even shot a few creatures in the arm or leg to slow them down, but he's never taken the kill shot before.

To be honest, he's scared to.

It's one thing to hurt something; it's another entirely to kill something. To end a life, to be the one with the blood on your hands—it terrifies him. And sure, some of these creatures needed to be killed because they killing innocent people, but some of them . . . some of them seemed more human than actual humans. There'd been a ghost a few weeks ago, terrorizing anyone that came into her old house, but all she'd done when they'd shown up was cry.

Sam had actually felt bad burning the house down.

But if making the kill shot is what will make his father happy, Sam's more than willing to do it. He wants John's approval, needs to feel like he can keep his family safe.

"You ready?" Dean's lips are in a tight line. He's nervous and Sam can't blame him. Truth be told, he's nervous too, but he plasters a grin on his face and nods.

"Let's go."

They're in the car within a matter of minutes.

The forest is quiet—too quiet.

There are no signs of activity from any creatures—no scurrying, no branches snapping, no leaves falling—and that just makes Sam hold his gun a little bit tighter in his grip. They're after a werewolf, albeit an old one judging from how intact the corpses had been. It's an easy hunt, his father told him.

All he has to do is shoot.

"Sammy?" Dean's voice is barely above a whisper, but his concerned gaze speaks volumes. It's clear his older brother doesn't want him out on this hunt and Sam can understand why, but at the same time, he is twelve years old. He'll be a teenager soon and their father is right, what if Dean isn't there? He needs to be able to protect his family.

"I'm fine." Sam shoots him a smile and his brother's stiff posture relaxes almost immediately.

"We're almost at the site that last body was found." John informs them. "Be prepared for—"

There's a growl that seems to come from everywhere at once and suddenly, Sam can see the werewolf out of the corner of his eye and no, it's not sickly, it's actually moving quite fast and towards—"

"Dean!" He screams and his body reacts. Instinctively, he slams his body into his brother's back, effectively pushing him out of the line of fire. There are sounds of gunfire, but all Sam can feel are the claws tearing into his chest and it hurts, hurts so much more than he ever thought pain could hurt.

"Sam!" Their father shouts and suddenly, the werewolf is off of him and he's on the ground, staring upwards at the night sky. There's more gunfire, more growling and he can hear his brother and father speaking, trying to come up with the best plan.

The youngest Winchester makes the mistake of glancing down at his chest. There's so much blood—too much, way too much—and he whimpers in pain. He's going to die here—

"Sammy, just hang on!" Dean practically screams and Sam can see his older brother, trying to get the werewolf worn down enough to get a good kill shot in, but the creature is fast. It has Dean and their father on the ropes and judging from the way it's bearing its teeth, it knows that.

His gun is in front of him and he forces himself to reach for it.

"Dean, on your left!" The werewolf swipes at their father and he goes flying back, head colliding with a tree. He slumps over, unconscious.

"Dammit!" Dean shouts and Sam holds the gun up, knowing that this is his only chance—maybe it's also Dean's only chance as well—and he forces his hand to be steady.

Then, he takes the shot.

Suddenly, quiet descends.

The werewolf's gaze meets his and for a second, Sam feels like the two of them are connected somehow, like the werewolf always knew this day would come. Then, it goes down and Sam lets himself relax. His body falls back down on the dirt and Dean is above him, frantically saying something Sam can't make out.

But, it doesn't matter really.

He saved his family.

He made the kill shot.

That's when he blacks out.

He comes to in a slightly familiar room and with a wide window open and a small breeze coming in. He tries to sit up, but groans with the effort. The door opens and Dean walks in, eyes bloodshot, appearance haggard.

"Sammy?" He breathes, his voice so quiet, as if he's afraid speaking too loud will ruin this moment. "You're awake."

"Hey." Sam manages to say and immediately, Dean is at his side, holding him, albeit more gently than usual.

"Jesus Christ, Sammy." Dean whispers, eyes sparkling with unshed tears. "I thought . . . fuck, I thought we'd lost you."

"M'here." Sam mumurs, relief surging through him. "S'okay now?"

"Yeah." Dean lets go, seemingly revitalized. "Yeah, everything's fine. You killed the werewolf, Sam. Saved our asses too and Dad—"

"Dad!" Sam exclaims, remembering what happened to his father. "Is he—?"

"He's fine." Dean dismisses. "He and Uncle Bobby went out into town to get some more supplies. We weren't sure how long we were going to be here." His older brother's gaze darkens and Sam can tell that it was close; that if he'd taken just a second longer to pull that trigger, he'd probably be dead.

"How long have we been here?" He recognizes the room now as one of Bobby's guest rooms and the fact that they were must mean that it was touch and go for a long time.

"You've been out for four days." Judging by Dean's tone, it must've been a long four days. "Sammy, don't ever do that again, you hear me?" At Sam's dumbstruck expression, he continues, "Pushing me out of the way like that? What the fuck were you thinking!?"

"I was trying to save you—" Sam protests, indignant.

"Well, I don't want to be saved if it means losing you!" Dean practically growls and Sam can see how much of a toll this ordeal has taken on his big brother. A lone tear snakes down Dean's cheek and Sam grips his hand, trying to offer support. "For a second, I thought that you were . . ."

"I'm not." Sam whispers.

"Just . . . be careful, okay?" He smiles, almost mournfully. "I can't lose my geek brother. Who else will tutor me in Shakespeare?"

It's a close to an "I love you" as they'll come, but Sam takes it.

"I promise to be careful, Dean."

And just like that, balance is restored to their lives once more.

Author's Note: I love writing about the boys in the past. Hope you enjoyed! Please review if you have a second. Thanks!