Author: Mink & Jink
Rating: PG - Gen- wee & teen!chesters
Spoilers: General (for all aired episodes)
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
The days went by one by one, melding into one another until Sam could no longer tell Wednesday from Friday. Time was measured in soup cans and cartoon reruns. They were like kids on a permanent summer vacation without the vacation.
It was definitely Sunday morning when Sam decided that instead of studying like he was supposed to he'd find something better to do. He shut the motel door behind him quietly so he wouldn't wake up Dean and get 20 questions about where he was going. If Dean woke up he already had all sorts of valid excuses, ice machine, soda machine, the empty dry pool that had a pinball machine outside its locked bathrooms...
One of the advantages of being 10 years old was that you could get around fairly easily without a lot of hassle from adults. Sam had learned from watching his older brother for years how it was done. My mom is just in there sir. My dad told me to pick up some milk mam. Oh, I'm sorry, we got lost. That lady over there is my aunt.
All these little phrases made watchful adults, stop watching, and let them go on their way. You had to be careful though, the bad part about being a kid was that people tended to notice you even more if you were wandering alone. He decided that he was never going to eat soup again if he could help it. Standing at the corner he considered the small diner he had walked past with Dean on their nightly sulky treks. Sam wondered why Dean hadn't thought to try this first but he supposed he sort of knew. If the trick worked it was great but if it didn't and you got caught, you got in a lot of trouble.
Sam let his growling stomach decide for him.
Sam sat happily on the motel floor with two large plastic bags. They were noisy with brown paper bags inside. He pulled them out one by one. He wasn't sure what was inside them but he prayed that it involved melted cheese.
He made enough noise that his brother woke up and rolled over on his bed to look at him.
"What are you doin'?
Sam grinned. "I got us some food."
Dean blinked at the bags. "Huh?"
Sam was extremely proud of himself, revealing his tactics in a breathless rush. "I went and told them I was picking up my food. When they weren't looking I found the order list like you told me. I saw who already paid with a credit card. I said I was them. I said Dad was waiting outside in the car."
Dean groaned and fell back onto the bed. "We have one night left here Sammy. One night."
Sam's smile faded. He thought his older brother would be happy that they didn't have to eat disgusting soup again. Guess not. He felt his fists clench and his jaw grind.
"You retard. What if they figured you out? They'd call the fuckin cops Sammy. The cops."
"Shut up. They would not!"
"Do you know what the cops would do to us?!" Dean swayed out of bed, his pale cheeks turning to angry blotches of red. "They'd take us away and dad would never find us!"
"Shut UP!" Sam stood up and yelled back. "I was just tryin to help! Why do you always have to be so...so...." Sam paused, trying to think of the worst thing he could possibly say. "....damn STUPID?"
Sam kicked the bags over and stomped down on them hard. He snatched up his jacket.
"Where are you going--" Dean stepped towards him but wobbled, his knees giving out from under him as he caught his elbow on the edge of the bed. "Shit, Sammy just wait--"
"NO!" Sam grabbed the doorknob, furiously swinging it open and slamming it behind him. It made him happy that the gigantic horrible noise it made caused everyone in the parking lot to look at him. He wanted to laugh that the motel man looked out through the dreary yellowed shades of the front office to see what was going on. Let them call the cops. He hoped every cop in the world would come.
He took off down the street at a full run.
Sam waited for the roar of the plane's engine before it soared overhead. Normally he awaited these nocturnal rushes with excitement, pretending all sorts of things. The end of the world. An alien spaceship. A Viking battle charge. Sammy loved the sensation of being on the verge. Even if he was so hungry he could cry. But tonight he didn't care. Tonight he felt strange and wrong and confused.
The park was empty and desolate at night, almost creepy. Sam, who was not afraid of many things, felt the queasiness grow in his stomach when he did not see Dean fuming up the dry grass hill. Sam pushed himself one more time on the creaking swing, its rusty chain cold in his hand, leaving a dirty stain.
The flare of his anger faded, he knew it wasn't smart to stay out here much longer. Besides some cop, any car could see him and tell someone that some kid was out here this late at night. Some kid all alone with no one coming around to look for him or care where he was.
Dean must be really mad.
With a dejected sigh, he hopped off the swing and jogged back to the motel, half hoping he would run into his brother already on his way and continue the fight. The motel room's windows were dark. Sam let himself in and locked the door behind him.
Dean hadn't come looking for him, he had just gone to bed. He felt as retarded as Dean said he was for waiting out there like some whiny little kid while Dean had just probably watched TV. He didn't want to turn on the lamp and get laughed at so he left it off. He'd just go to bed in his clothes and hope that by tomorrow--
He tripped over something in the dark and landed hard against one of the wooden chairs that sat by the table before tumbling to the floor. Startled, he rubbed his head where it had smacked against a table leg. Adrenaline sharpened his senses, his temples throbbing. Something was strange. Something wasn't right. Getting up on his knees slowly, he warily stood, putting his hands out in the dark looking for the wall so he could switch on the light. Bumping his knees painfully into the chair again he finally felt it and clicked it on.
Sam's breath caught in his throat.
Dean was laying on the floor, his jean jacket half on and his sneakers on but untied.
"Uh...D-Dean?" Sam's voice was very small.
His brother didn't stir. His face had a sheen of sweat even though the motel room was slightly chilly. This was a joke. Had to be. He told himself. Stupid Dean.
"Dean?" Sam got down and crawled over to him, cold with fear. He touched Dean's shoulder and shook him. "Dean wake up." His older brother's chest was rising and falling slowly. Sam placed his hand over where his heart was and felt the thump of it under his damp T-shirt. He grabbed his brother by the jacket, this time shaking him as hard as he possibly could.
"Uhhhh..." Dean's head bounced on the carpet as Sam shook him. His eyes flickered open.
Sam couldn't catch his breath. "D-Dean are you ok?"
"What-what happened..." He asked, his speech slurred.
The relief at hearing his brother speak made Sam light headed. "I don't-don't know?"
"I-I don't feel so good Sammy. Look, just let me rest for a sec.. and we'll go try calling Dad again..." Dean shut his eyes again and swallowed like it hurt. "Oh man, it burns real bad..."
Burns? Like itchy? Sam felt the blood drain from his face. He sat back and fought the tears that were flooding in his eyes. He hated it when his brother saw him cry. "I coulds go? I could call him, what's the number, I'll go to the phone-"
"No." Dean sighed and grimaced, any movement seemed an agony. "Don't-don't leave this room Sammy. Promise me."
Sam looked at the old plastic motel phone that only reached the front office and chewed at his lower lip. Maybe he should call the motel man Dean had paid.
"And don't call anyone else." Dean mumbled, reading his little brother like a book even now when he was so out of it. "They'll-They'll send me... somewhere...."
The thought of being left alone terrified Sam more than the sight of his older brother on the floor. What if Dad never came back? He always told them that if he didn't to call Pastor Jim but he had never thought Dean wouldn't be right there along side with him. Dean's eyes stayed closed and Sam realized he had drifted off again.
One more day.
Dean was talking and breathing. That was good right? His skin was cold but he was sweating. That usually meant bad. Sam fought to keep himself focused, fought not to cry, not to panic. Cold. He could do something about the cold. Sam scurried to the bed and pulled off all the blankets. He dropped half of them on top of Dean and the other half he bunched up around him. Dean stirred a little when he burrowed under them, curling beneath Dean's right arm.
He stayed awake as long as he could, too scared to sleep and lose track of each labored breath his brother took. Dad would be back tomorrow. Dad would know what to do.
Sam thought he heard the door click open in his dream. The sound of his father's groan as he set his equipment down on the table. There was always that smell of engine oil and that burn of recently fired sidearms. Like always. So routine. He waited to hear his father call Dean's name first then his own. But instead he heard nothing.
His eyes blinked open in confusion. He was too warm. He frowned at the dead weight on top of him, Dean's arm slung across his chest. A shadow passed over him and his eyes followed it.
"Dad?" Sam blinked weakly, uncertain.
His father did not look amused.
"What the hell is going on here?"
Then it all came back. He sat up quickly, tossing the weight of his brother's arm off. Dean groaned where he lay but did not open his eyes.
"I'm sorry! Dean he--dunno what happened--I mean, I didn't mean to."
"Ease up Sammy. Slow down."
Sam watched as his father knelt by Dean, ignoring him for the moment. He took Dean's wrist, then took his thumbs to lift Dean's eyelids, studying the dull glaze to his strangely and fully dilated eyes. Under the examination, Dean blinked awake.
"Dean, damn it, have you been in my locker?"
"N-No sir... I dun- I haven't..."
"Don't lie to me Dean."
Sam swallowed as Dean looked up at their father in dazed hurt confusion. Their father studied his face and then suddenly turned his attention to Sam. He stepped backwards and swiftly put his hands behind his back.
"Have you been in the weapons locker?"
"No, sir." Sam automatically said, the lie as easy as he had given to any other adult expecting an answer out of him.
"Empty your pockets." He ordered.
"Now." He said quietly, terribly.
"What did I tell you Dean?"
Sam watched as his father pulled his brother up, using one strong hand to support Dean's chest so he could drape him over the wastebasket at the edge of the bed. He waited until Dean stopped retching before putting him back against the propped up pillows. Sam felt sick just watching him.
"I said, what did I say?"
"Check the-the latch on the locker." His skin was almost white, and he was shivering uncontrollably. His hands shook when he tried to hold the glass his father was pressing to his mouth. But he was the most awake Sam had seen all day since their father had given him something he had stashed in that same wooden box Sam had found all those days ago.
Dean choked on the water, coughing half of it back into the glass. "Every-every day sir."
Sam fidgeted in the doorway, his cheek pressed against the wood frame. He cleared his throat. "Maybe we could go to a doctor--"
"Sam you go on to bed." Their dad said lowly without turning to look at him.
He bit his lip and drew back into the shadows of the hallway, unwilling to leave but unwilling to draw his father's ire again. Groaning, Dean weakly made to lean over to vomit again and his father tipped him back over his arm and hand to hold him over the trash can.
"You have any idea how hard that stuff is to find? Let alone the anti-venom. And now it's gone Dean."
Dean coughed and moaned, shuddering. He tried to nod between gags.
"Drink some more water." He ordered.
"Can't-can't do it--" It was almost a whimper.
"Just drink, son." He urged in a softer voice.
Sam backed away into the dark room behind him until his back met the wall. The lit bedroom beyond was filled with the steady stream of his father's low voice. And worse, he could hear the tears, his brother's tears of pain, with an edge to them that Sam knew well enough himself. Frustration and anger. Exhaustion and bafflement. Of having reached some limit of just everything and wanting to just cry until you couldn't cry anymore.
He found his bed and crawled into it, drawing the blankets over his head and curling into a ball and small as he could make himself. It felt like he should cry too.
But for some reason, he just couldn't.