Disclaimer: Me own Supernatural? Hon, I can barely buy groceries.

High school was rough for Sam. Not too surprising. Poor kid was a late bloomer. He was different. He just radiated it. He'd always been dangerous. Part of his training. I'd figured once he shot up when he was a sophomore and actually started to look dangerous they'd back off. I'd never met anyone who was willing to pick a fight with someone half a foot taller than them. Sure he was still gangly as all hell, but these kids were stupid. Least that's what I thought.

Didn't help much that Sammy wouldn't raise his voice, let alone his hand to defend himself. Even after he grew he was still an easy target- being different still made you as much a target in high school as it did in first grade. People didn't grow up that fast. He was quiet, always reading, wasn't too big into sports- not that we ever stayed in one place long enough for that to matter, and just awkward enough with the ladies I was ashamed to call him my baby brother.

We were at this one school, some podunk town in Arkansas that still thought it was 1955. It was where I finally decided to drop out. Dad had started me in school so late I was three-quarters of the way through senior year and pushing nineteen. I was a hunter and didn't need much more than a GED anyway.

That town had been awful for Sam. He had always done better in bigger towns. He could blend in easier when he wasn't the only freak. I wasn't too worried. I knew that if it really came down to it he could take care of himself. Besides it wasn't like we wouldn't be moving on soon anyway.

Sam seemed quieter than usual, not complaining when Dad started to show the signs of getting ready to move on. I had to admit I was ready to get out of there, too. I hadn't been able to find much work so money was tighter than usual. I didn't really think too much of Sam's behavior, putting it off to the impending end of the school year, which for Sam didn't mean freedom so much as long days stuffed in the back of the Impala getting dragged around the country.

It wasn't until one Thursday in late April that I realized how bad school had gotten for Sam. I was waiting to pick him up, glancing at the clock. It usually took him about ten minutes to get to his locker and shove his way out of the building. When seventeen minutes passed I still wasn't too worried, figuring he was talking to a teacher or something. After twenty-five minutes passed I knew something was wrong. It had been way too long and I knew Sam would call if he'd decided to go to a friend's.

I was on the phone, calling Sam as I stuffed my gun into the back of my pants. It wasn't a supernatural being. I could just tell. What kind of creature was stupid enough to attack a school in broad daylight? Better to be prepared for the worst. Sam's phone rang and jumped to voicemail. I cursed and called again. I could just hear the ringing over some late stayers congregating around a bathroom.

"Come on out, bigfoot."

"We ain't gonna hurt you."

"Fuck off." I heard Sam yell from inside the bathroom.

"Sorry, baby, we don't swing that way." The first little punk said it. It took me a moment to place him, but I recognized him as the preacher's son.

"Just leave me alone and let me go home."

"We already got you wet, just wanna make sure your nose is gonna heal up good." Red flashed through my eyes at that point. If they had hurt Sammy I was going to kill them.

"Just leave."

"Your little blond boyfriend isn't here to save you, Sammy."

"He's my brother, and don't call me Sammy."

"Oi, leave him alone!"

"Oh, look Sammy, guess he did show up after all."

"Get lost."

"What're you going to do. It's not like you can hit me."

"Wanna bet?"

"You'll get arrested."

"You hurt my baby brother." Sam inched his way out of the bathroom, looking ashamed. His hair was soaked, but there was no blood on him.

"I'm not scared of you." The little punk had the audacity to swing at me. I automatically caught his fist and twisted, not enough to break it, just enough so that he would think twice about doing it again.

"Ow! You broke my hand!"

"No, no I didn't. Come on, Sammy." Sam waited until we were outside to explode.

"I can fight my own battles, Dean!"

"Yeah, you were doin' such a great job of that."

"Next time, just let me handle it."

"Then actually handle it Sam."

Dad was pissed when I told him what had happened. We figured it be best to slip out in case the kids parents decided to file assault charges. I crawled into the back of the Impala with Sam. I waited until I was pretty sure he was asleep before saying anything.

"I'll always defend you, Sammy."

A/N: I had protective Dean feels ok? I still do.