The room was small; not so small that there was hardly any room to navigate, but not too large that it was oversized. The walls were bare, and the furniture was sparse. Two beds and a couch in one room next door, and a table in the next pressed against a far wall next to the small kitchenette. It was obvious that there wasn't much to tie the residents down to the small space, but it was enough for the moment. One of the chairs was pushed back from the small table, and a pool of crayons and miscellaneous papers were scattered across the light surface.

Dean paused in his movements of polishing one of his father's pistols as he heard Sammy call him from the kitchen, and with a slight shake of his head and a small smile, the elder boy carefully put the weapon down on the bed and walked over to the doorway. At seeing Sammy hunched over his project, something that his teacher had assigned for the weekend, his shaggy hair sticking up in every direction, Dean took a moment to simply smirk. That was his little brother, alright. Always doing the best he could for a project that was probably only for fun.

"What do ya need, Sammy?" he asked, sauntering into the kitchen and moving over to look over Sammy's shoulder.

There appeared to be some kind of picture book going on, judging by the scrawled notes that accompanied the brightly colored pictures that his little brother had drawn. Dean's hazel eyes wandered over them each, scrutinizing them carefully and silently praising Sammy's talent as an artist. The kid really did have an eye for detail; he'd even managed to get the detail on Dad's shirt just-so. It would be interesting to see what would happen in a couple of years, too, if given the chance.

"I need help with the gun." Sam replied innocently, holding up the sheet that he was currently working on and using the infamous puppy eyes. Dean blinked, totally not expecting that one, and did a double-take as he looked at the picture that Sammy was holding up for inspection.

"Sammy…why are you drawing you holding a gun?" Dean asked carefully, gently taking the sheet of paper from his little brother and taking care to keep his face neutral. Was this because of Dad and his 'training' that he took Sammy along to these days? Dean knew the kind of training that being a Hunter entailed, and if there was one thing that he didn't want to see happen, it was Sammy becoming brainwashed like the rest of them. It was his job as a big brother to make sure that Sammy was safe, and if it meant fending off his father for a few more years, it would be worth it.

"'Cause that's what Daddy says I'm gonna grow up to do." Sam replied, turning in his chair to give his big brother a wise look before turning back around and beginning to work on another picture, the one in Dean's hands already forgotten.

Dean sucked in a breath, looking at the picture in his hands again in a new light. So, it appeared that Dad had managed to already get into his baby brother's head and change a few of his career choices around on him. Alright then, it was time to embrace the big brother style and sit Sammy down for a talk.

"Sammy…" Dean said, pulling out another chair and sitting himself down on it. He had to hop a little, though, considering his feet still couldn't touch the ground, but he was growing! "You know it's okay to be like the other kids, right?"

Sam's head bobbed once, though he hunched down a little further as his fingers clenched around his crayon.

Hoo boy…here we go. Dean thought. Leaning forward, the elder Winchester reached over and pulled his baby brother's chin up, forcing him to look at him with pathetic brown-caramel eyes. "Sammy…" he softened his tone, offering Sam a smile. "You don't have to do what Dad tells you to do all the time. It's okay to make some friends and do normal things."

"But Dad always says not to get attached to anybody." Sam mumbled, jerking his head away from Dean's hand and leveling a stare that told the other boy more than he wanted to know about what he knew about his situation. "Because if you get attached, you could get dead."

Dean's heart clenched at the sudden hurt that he could hear in Sammy's voice, and in a show of emotion, grabbed Sam's hand and held it tight.

"I know, Sammy, but Dad's paranoid. He's always like that." Dean said softly. "I promise nothing'll happen to anybody. Not as long as I'm around."

"You promise?" Sam studied his big brother seriously, jaw set tight in a manner not unlike their Dad's. Again, Dean resisted the urge to get mad. It wasn't their fault that their Dad controlled every little thing in their lives. It wasn't their fault that Mom died. It wasn't their fault that they kept motel-hopping to stay one step ahead of whatever could be following.

It wasn't their fault that Sammy was growing up too fast.

"I promise." Dean nodded, meaning it with all of his heart. He really did. He would do anything for his little brother, even if it meant he had to make promises like these to keep him happy and healthy and acting like the other kids did.

"Okay. Will you help me change the picture then?"

Dean smirked at Sam's sudden change in mood, and grabbed for the crayon that Sammy held out for him to take.

"What are you gonna draw instead?" Dean inquired.

"I wanna draw my big brother." Sam grinned.

Sometimes, Dean mused, it was hard being the kid of a Hunter. But it was times like this, when he and Sammy were together, that made it all worth it. When they could just draw with crayons like there was nothing wrong with the world and live in their own little bubble. If only for a while, it was enough just being a big brother.

"Okay, Sammy." He smiled, getting down to work.