Disclaimer: I wouldn't hurt them like this if I owned them.
It was funny, how I measured my life by how old Sam was. I could tell you his age for just about any major event in our lives. Couldn't tell you what state we were in, but I always knew how old Sam was.
Teenagers aren't easy for anyone to deal with, especially other teenagers, and for the three years Sam and I were both teenagers must have been hell for Dad. So when I turned twenty I was grateful to no longer be one.I thought he might have stopped fighting so hard. Sam hated his life and I couldn't say I could blame the kid. He was good at the job, sure, but it wasn't right for him. He deserved a real life.
By the time Sam turned sixteen in May he stopped fighting me so much. He didn't bitch too much about the job if I was the one behind him, and didn't complain about folding his too long body into the Impala when I was driving. The less he fought with me, though, the more he fought with Dad. They got pretty nasty too; there were a few times I thought he was going to hit Sam. Dad would always get drunk on bourbon after those fights. He only drank bourbon when he was feeling guilty about dragging us into the life.
There were a lot of unspoken rules in the Winchester family. Some were just common sense: never let Dad drown in his vomit, as much as you may want to, and Sam always got shotgun after he hit 6'2". Others were kind of ridiculous like "Driver picks the music. Shotgun shuts his cakehole." Or that no one was allowed to talk when 'Smoke on the Water' was playing. Some though were absolutely sacred: Baby always gets fixed, no matter what, because she's home, and above all else you do not talk about Mom and you do not talk about Mom on November second.
Sam had been adjusting well here, wherever here was. I didn't try to remember anymore. We had been here since mid-September, only a few weeks after school started. It had been about six weeks and it seemed like we might be able to stay a few more. Sam had made a few friends and even brought a girl around a couple of times. I knew when we eventually left it was going to be hard for him, even if he said he wasn't getting too attached.
By the beginning of November it seemed like Dad had gotten rid of every supernatural entity in a three county radius. I knew, for once, he wasn't in a hurry to get moving, to uproot Sammy from this place where he had, for the first time in close to a decade, really began to lay down roots. No matter how hard Dad tried though, and no matter how far he was willing to travel, sooner or later we would have to leave. It was just a part of the job.
On November second emotions always ran high. Sam, ever since he'd found out she died in his nursery, wallowed in misery and guilt, while Dad, if he didn't do something stupid and reckless on a hunt, drank himself stupid- once or twice he'd even come back to the motel stoned. I either wallowed or drank. Usually after I was sure Sam was in for the night and had Dad down to sleep it off I would take the car and drive a couple dozen miles outside whatever town we were in and sit on the trunk of the Impala and tell Mom about the year- the things we hunted, how Sam had done in school, how much Dad still missed her. That year though, before I got the chance to leave, in fact, right after Sam got home from school Dad showed up early, already well on his way to being hammered, extra bottle of whiskey in hand, in case the one in his bag wasn't enough.
"Boys pack your stuff. We're leaving." I saw Sam stiffen at the table.
"No, we aren't."
"You arguin' with me, boy?" Dad, apparently was looking for a fight.
"No, sir. You're in no condition to go anywhere, and I have a group presentation at school tomorrow."
"We need to leave. We've been here too long."
"We're happy here. Dean found a job. I have friends for once."
"You just want to stay for that girl, what's her name?" Dad was slurring, and I knew exactly where this was headed.
"Andy, Dad. Her name is Andy. Not that you're ever around enough to have met her."
"I've been working."
"Work implies you get paid. Hunting's more of a hobby, I'd say."
"We're leaving. Got wind of a hunt in West Virginia. You can find some other girl to get your dick wet in." For a split second I thought Sam was going to punch him. Instead he turned to face me. I hadn't even noticed he had stood up.
"I said no. Dean wants to stay too, don't you?"
"This is your fight, Sammy. Come on. Big brother won't always be there to fight your battles." Dad hadn't known what to do with Sam's lack of reaction and was going for low blows.
"Least I haven't managed to drive away every person in my life. Bobby was the last one wasn't he? Chased you off his property with a loaded shotgun?"
"Ain't his place to say how I raise you boys."
"Dean's a grown man, Dad, in case you hadn't noticed. Shoulda left home a long time ago, 'cept he had to stay doesn't he? Make sure I don't starve because when you aren't hunting you're too drunk to not drown in your own vomit."
"Done the best I could, Sammy. Can't be everything."
"Mom could." The room went still. I swear even the bacteria went still for a second.
"Well she's dead and there's no one you can blame for that but yourself."
"It's not like you tried to save her. All you ever wanted was vengeance."
"Rather have her." Dad had sunk into a chair and his eyes were drooping. Sammy's eyes were wet with tears I knew he'd shed later, in the privacy of the bathroom.
"Let it go. He's almost out. We're not going anywhere tonight."
"You are. Get out of here, Dean. When you leave tonight don't come back."
"I'll be back. Otherwise I'll be seein' on the news next week you and Dad managed to kill each other."
"See you in the morning."
"Oh, and I guess it does need saying. Never talk about Mom, Sammy."
"Yeah, I know. Just go do your thing."
"Thanks. And if he wakes up-"
"I'll try not to kill him."
I only went fourteen miles out. The town was small enough no one would be out this late anyway. I fiddled with the tab on a can of soda and watched the stars for a while.
"Hey, Mom. It's kinda been a rough year. Sammy's sixteen and he's taking it all out on Dad. He drinks too much, though. Dad that is. Don't think Sam's ever had a beer. Should probably change that. I always tell you the good stuff, but if I'm being honest there's not a lot of good stuff. If I thought I could take Sam and keep him here, get him away from this life, I would.
"I'm both his parents and it's hard. I mean I love Sam to bits but I don't see how people raise more than one kid. I got a job at the garage here. It's honest money, which Sam's happy about and I like the work.
"Dad and Sam just had this huge fight. It was about leaving, but it turned ugly, and well, we don't talk about you, especially not tonight. I almost can't wait for the kid to graduate. He's gonna go to college. I can tell. I'll miss him, but it'll be good. He deserves to get away.
"I wish we did talk about you more. I wonder if I should talk to you more, if you can hear me. Sam's doing great in school, still has a 3.9 GPA. That auto class last year ended up getting him. Dad misses you like crazy, still got drunk this year. Though that's not that rare these days. And Mom, I miss you. I miss your pies and how you believed in angels and how you made me say good night to Sam. I love you and I wish you were here." As I sat there, ignoring the tears running down my cheeks I almost thought I could feel her arms wrap around me and her warm breath at my shoulder. Maybe I should talk to her more.