To anyone else, to any other normal family, it would've been an ordinary Saturday night. But it wasn't anyone else, and it wasn't any other normal family. This was the Winchesters, and it was the eve of Sam's tenth birthday, which meant Dean had spent all of his savings on a cheap, two-day movie rental. Unfortunately, unlike the other ones, this one was Sam's choice. It wasn't Dean's type of movie per se, but he supposed he'd have to make due. John after all, was hunting as usual, not bothering to think twice about leaving the boys alone. As for Dean, he had grown up protecting Sam, becoming more of a father figure than John could ever hope to be.
Rather than another Die Hard marathon, Sam picked a cheerier movie, a simple Disney one. The Hunchback of Notre Dame, soon to become one of his favorite ones through the years.
As they hiked back to the hotel, Dean turned over to Sam, taking no notice of the dusty road, with the dead trees hanging limp on the side, and the drunk truck drives zooming past every now and then.
Dean sighed inwardly, knowing how much Sam seemed to love having the final say so. "I'm not going to be watching the movie. It's for babies. I'd rather be watching Die Hard."
Sam glanced up at his brother, not knowing what to say exactly. It wasn't a very big surprise, Dean had started to neglect him more often, since that day Sam had found him bleeding in the bathroom.
"But it's my birthday tomorrow, you said we could." Sam whined, trying to convince his brother.
"Just, shut up, okay? You don't know anything Sammy, you're just a kid."
The rest of the walk was quiet, neither of them knew exactly what to say, as they were the only friends the other had. Dean never had the time to develop a full-time relationship, though there were plenty of girls who he would've considered for the position. Instead, he settled for meaningless second base in the janitor's closet. As for Sam, the closest relationship he had was with his English teacher. The poor kid was bullied day after day, hoping Dean would always make him feel better by the end of it. However, what could Dean possibly be capable of doing, other than making Sam more miserable than he already was? Both of them complained about dinner, what movies to watch, what was good on TV, when Dad would be coming back, and the last argument that would always gift wrap the night, was when would Sam be able to leave.
Both of them would cry themselves to sleep. Dean knowing he had upset Sam, and thinking how tired he was of this life, and Sam knowing he would never be like all of the other boys at school.
Finally, after what seemed like eternity, the two approached the motel they were staying at, The Lay-Z Place. It was some local place run by John's distant friend and his wife, not a very happy looking building, nor an enjoyable one, but it was perfect for the Winchesters.
The bricks were a decaying pink colour, with yellow vines running up the sides of it like veins, and moldy windows covered by slanted faded shudders, covered in inch-thick dust. This would be their third week staying in it, and the neighbors were constantly at their door, bickering about the noise from Dean's westerns, and Sam's cartoons. It had been days since they had seen a parental figure, and were soon going to be telling maintenance.
Sam snarled at the building, his lip curling into a scowl, as he reluctantly followed Dean into the cramped room of 66.
"So? Go watch your stupid movie and shut up, I'll be in the bathroom. Don't come in unless I tell you, got it?" Dean barked, sending a chill up Sam's back. It wasn't often Sam heard Dean order him, or even yell at him. Both of them were rather peaceful around the other most of the time.
Sam blew out a breath, puffing up his cheeks as he took his movie and plopped down onto his bed. "But I wanna watch it with you, Dean." He muttered, looking up at his brother with pleading eyes, clearly watering up. "We always watch movies together. Always, you promised."
Dean ignored him, pulling open the fridge door to grab one of John's beers, leftover Kraft Dinner for Sam, and a small pocket knife, which he slid under his sleeve. He left the Kraft Dinner on the counter, not even bothering to cook it for his brother. He quickly ducked into the bathroom, silencing any conversation with Sam with the quick sound of the lock turning.
As for the younger Winchester, he just laid on his bed, not knowing what to do. Whether to insert the movie, or just go to sleep. He glanced over into the small kitchen area, spotting the leftovers sitting on the counter, debating whether or not to heat it up.
From the bed, he could hear Dean in the bathroom, taking in sharp breaths, completed with a exhale. This repeated several times, until a single wince rang out, causing Sam to jump off of the bed and run to the door. Dean had been doing this day after day, hour after hour, it was as if he couldn't stop.
Sam rapped on the door, his fist flying faster the longer it took for Dean to open. "Dean!" He called. "Dean, are you okay? Come watch with me!"
"Go away Sam, I'm fine!" Dean screamed, throwing something incredibly heavy against the door, forcing Sam to step back a bit. "I'm alright Sammy, go watch your movie." He repeated in a slow, steady voice, trying not to breathe to roughly.
Tears formed in Sam's eyes as he paced back in forth in front of the door, constantly thinking of his brother, and how he could see a small patch of blood underneath of the door, collecting more and more of the scarlet liquid by the second.
Finally, after a good five minutes he ran to the land phone, earnestly raising it to his ear and dialing in his father's cell phone, listening impatiently to the never ending ringing, waiting for it to end. Though it never did, it just rang and rang and rang.
"Hello—" John's rough voice began.
"Daddy! Daddy you have to help me, Dean's—"
"—this is John Daniels, you know what to do." A loud beep rang out, as Sam stared at nothing, thinking what was happening. Why wasn't his father picking up his phone? His brother was practically dying. He needed help. Where was John?
He sighed sharply, breathing into the phone. "Daddy, it's Sammy. Can you come home? Dean's in trouble. He's in the bathroom, with a locked door, and I think he's bleeding! I need you, daddy. Please." Sam whimpered softly, hanging up the phone with a light click, as he made his way over to the food, plopping it into the microwave. He glanced up over at the door again, waiting for his brother to pop out with a huge grin on his face, as he started the movie, and swirled Sam around in the air. But as usual, it never happened. Ever since they had changed schools again, Dean had been acting different. He wore darker clothes, and a constant scowl painted on his face.
"Ah! Fuck!" Dean screamed from the bathroom, echoing throughout the entire room, and no doubt upset the neighbors staying next door. Sam ran to the bathroom door, trying hard to kick down the door like he saw in all of Dean's cop movies. However, his foot just seemed to hit the door and bounce back as if it were made of rubber. "What the fuck are you trying to do?" Sam's heart accelerated, as he hurriedly tried the doorknob, twisting and turning until it finally released.
As the door swung open, Dean sat silently on the edge of the bathtub, his wrist covered in crimson tissue, dripping onto the linoleum. "Hey Sammy," He breathed, his voice barely audible above his whimpers. Dean drew in a quivering breath. "You have to promise me you won't tell dad."