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[personal profile] ramble_on 2013-11-12 10:00 pm (UTC)(link)
When it first happened, Dean was sure they could find a way out of it.

Everyone was put on research duty — Garth, Kevin, and even Cas did everything they could to try and reverse the curse. Dean even managed to summon Charlie from Oz to solicit her help. Sam, meanwhile, cried and woke Dean up at night. He needed to eat every couple of hours, being a newborn, and Dean had to invest in some decent infant furniture, like bumbo seats and cribs. They tried all sorts of solutions, from spells to rituals to even hunting down a few monsters and witches to ask them if they had any answers. Every time, they came up short, and eventually, it became obvious that there was no reversing it: Sam just needed to grow up all over again.

For a while, Dean waffled on what to do. Quitting hunting couldn't possibly work, but at the same time, Dean didn't want to be another John. He wanted to give Sam another chance at being able to have a childhood — at growing up the way he always should have, with stability and without monsters lurking in every corner. He tried, for a while, to leave Sam with Cas or with Garth (who loved the kid, and took great pleasure in calling himself an uncle), but eventually, Dean realized it just wasn't going to work.

Sam was eight months old when Dean decided not to hunt anymore.

For a while, he lived in the bunker, but it had become a hub for hunters and Men of Letters alike, and Dean was getting tired of loud, heated discussions about hunts and research waking Sam up in the middle of the night. So he left.

He rented a cottage in California, not too far from the college town where Sam used to live, thinking that Sam would like to grow up close to the beach and not too far from the one place that gave him a normal life. Dean still helped with research, occasionally, as he was still considered part of the Men of Letters, but he had to find a real job if they were sticking around for a while. Otherwise, he'd get caught scamming credit card companies, and then he'd go to jail.

He went back to construction. Working with cars made more sense, maybe, but Dean had a reference for his previous construction work, and that meant being able to secure that job a lot easier than a mechanic position.

Sam grew older. Cas, Garth, and Kevin would visit, but not very often, because Dean lived so far. Dean focused on teaching Sam everything he taught once before, only this time, with stability and the maturity of age. Meanwhile, Dean waffled between affection and missing the 'real' Sam a lot. Sam had been his companion throughout most of his life — so much more than just a brother — and losing that hurt. Losing hunting hurt, too, because Dean struggled with it — still lined the house with salt and slept with a knife beneath his pillow and holy water under his bed.

It was really hard, but Dean had done it all once before. He could do it again.

He missed Lisa, though. Sometimes, he considered going back to her, but that was just and idle fantasy. She wouldn't take him back, because she didn't have any idea who he was.

Eventually, Sam grew old enough to hit kindergarten, and Dean was left with a stretch of time where only his job could entertain him, and that was bitter-sweet. He missed Sam, but at the same time, he could focus his energy more on helping out with the Men of Letters, and maybe consider some close-by salt and burns.

One day, he returns home before Sam gets out of school with a gash along his forehead and a slight limp, and Dean thinks he needs to stop, again. Sam will ask questions, because the kid has always been too sharp for his own good, and Dean can't drag him back into that.

He cleans up and makes some dinner, waiting for the school bus to arrive and Sam to walk through the door.
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[personal profile] ramble_on 2013-11-13 10:14 pm (UTC)(link)
Dean enjoys cooking, and since Sam is a growing boy and they don't need to survive off of Lucky Charms and Spaghetti-O's this time around, he tries to do the balanced meal thing. Cuts back on burgers and grease a little. Tonight, it's parmesan chicken cutlets with two sides: peas and mac and cheese. Dean won't eat the peas, though. Some habits die hard.

He smiles when Sam makes it into the kitchen, feeling a surge of pride that he's already flirting with girls. He can't help it — it's kind of nice seeing the old Sam in him, but it's also nice when Dean gets to feel as though Sam is taking after him. A confusing set of emotions, since he isn't actually Sam's father — but he's used to that by now.

"Really?" he asks, raising his eyebrows and looking a little amused. Shouldn't kids this age be worried about cooties? He isn't complaining, though. "Good for you. Did your teacher get mad?" He's been doing this long enough to know that some parents aren't cool with children being children. Luckily, though, Sam's as good of a kid as Dean could have ever hoped for.

Maybe even too good.
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[personal profile] ramble_on 2013-11-16 10:41 pm (UTC)(link)
"She's probably jealous," Dean offers. "I bet no one kisses her."

He smirks, checking on the cutlets before giving his full attention to Sam. The look he gives Sam is scrutinizing, recognizing that there might be a little more to the question.

"Yeah, sometimes." If he quits hunting. Which he is doing.

Trying to do.

He still has work, though, with hours that can be a little irregular, which means that he can't commit to always, but he can try. "If I don't work late."

He walks over to Sam, ruffling his hair and then kneeling down in front of him. "Why don't you like the bus?"
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[personal profile] ramble_on 2013-11-19 09:22 am (UTC)(link)
"Okay, okay." Dean smiles, with a mix of amusement but also a little concern. He's wondered, as Sam has gotten older, whether he'd recover any memories from before. He hadn't shown any signs of doing so, really, but Dean still worried. Sam dealt with a lot of shit he doesn't need to remember before his brain can even handle that stuff — or ever, if Dean can help it.

So he asks himself: Does Sam like riding in the car because he just likes riding in the car? Or is it familiar?

Then, Dean tells himself he's worrying too much, being a typical parent, and that Sam doesn't remember anything. He's just a kid that doesn't want to ride the busy.

"All good reasons. I'll pick you up when I can." And after a moment: "We can start tomorrow." He gets off early enough. They can make it work.

"Wash your hands. It's dinner time." When Dean was younger, watching Sam while only a kid himself, washing hands wasn't so important. Now, though, Dean makes the connection of Sam not watching his hands to Sam bringing home all sorts of bugs that not only make him sick, but that Dean inevitably catches as well. So hand washing is a new routine.
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[personal profile] ramble_on 2013-11-20 08:35 am (UTC)(link)
"Nothing that awesome," Dean replies, brushing his hand carefully across the wound. "Got it at work." Not entirely false, because Dean doesn't want to raise Sam on lies all over again, but not the whole truth, either.
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[personal profile] ramble_on 2013-11-21 08:57 am (UTC)(link)
He watches Sam run off before returning to his food — didn't need to be reminded a second time over. Still too responsible for his own good. He's going to grow up a nerd all over again.

But Dean thinks that fondly.

He misses those parts of Sam. All of Sam.

"Hit my head on something sharp," Dean replies evenly, pulling the cutlets out. "I gotta be more careful." Work safer jobs, or don't work them at all, really, is what it comes down to. He has Sam to think about now.

Dean starts preparing their plates. "You skin anything today?" Because kids and skinned knees go hand-in-hand together.
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[personal profile] ramble_on 2013-11-23 01:59 pm (UTC)(link)
Dean is in the process of preparing his and Sam's plates, listening as he focuses on the food, but he stops when Sam says that, glancing over his shoulder to look at him. He should be all about zombies, right? That's a kid thing...or so Dean assumes.

This is the area in which Dean is most insecure. When Sam was young the first time around, it would have made sense — once he knew what was out there, at least, playing zombies wouldn't have been as fun. But Sam is sheltered from that now. So why the hesitation? Is that just what normal kids do sometimes?

Dean's feeling like he's overthinking this, so he tries to just let it go. "Monkey bars are better," Dean replies. "You've been good at climbing since before you could talk. Made it hard for me to leave you in a room for a second."

He brings the plates to the table.

"C'mon, let's eat."
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[personal profile] ramble_on 2013-11-28 06:25 am (UTC)(link)
After Sam finishes his homework, Dean sits with him and watches a few cartoons. Not too long, though; as much as he enjoys hanging out with Sam (kid or not), he has a lot of other responsibilities to worry about too — especially since he's trying to balance work with the occasional hunt and taking care of Sam. It doesn't leave much time to paying bills or cleaning the house, so he has to do those tasks when he can. He washes their dinner plates, fixes up the kitchen, and then gets online to manage finances for a little while — something he never had to do even when he had a home in the bunker. A little with Lisa, but that — was lifetimes ago.

Eventually, it's starting to get late. Dean's about to call out and tell Sam to get ready for bed, but he has the sense to walk over there first. Sees that Sam is sleeping already, and smiles a little, watching him look so peaceful. Sleeping in a way that isn't on top of desks or curled up over research — fretting about cases and about himself.

Dean walks over, scoops him up, and carries him into the bedroom. As an adult, Sam was big on oral hygiene — they both were, really. But Dean can make an allowance if Sam's so tired, so he decides to skip the brushing teeth ritual for tonight.

He does, however, take out some pajamas. Sets Sam on the bed, and starts helping him out of his clothes. "Let's get your pjs on, then you can go back to sleep."
noquests: (13. hug)

[personal profile] noquests 2013-11-28 07:11 am (UTC)(link)
Sam whines, but complies anyway. It's a common routine now, one that Sam's all too familiar with to the point that he barely stirs, not enough to be coherent; instead he flops in his brother's — father's — arms until he's finally settled, destined to kick his sheets off him within the next few hours. He does seem to have enough mind to realize Dean is there, because he curls his fingers around his dad's sleeve and nestles further into the pillow before curling his hands up close to his face.

"Love you, dad," he mutters softly.

A few hours later, Sammy startles awake, looks wildly around the darkness of his room, and flies out of his bed — his face is crumpled with fear when he practically leaps into Dean's bed and crawls beneath the blankets, until his face finally hits his father's bicep and he presses himself close to Dean's ribs. He's practically a (frightened) octopus, wrapping himself around until he's suction-cupped on.

He breathes heavy, thinking of big red noses and glitter and manic laughter.

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[personal profile] ramble_on 2013-11-30 08:09 am (UTC)(link)
It always makes Dean smile, seeing Sam like that — in bed, sleeping peacefully, murmuring good nights and looking like Sam should. Untouched by anything dark, free from the burden that he carried as an adult. It makes all of this worthwhile, even if Dean has his doubts and struggles. Even if he has moments of questioning if this is the right thing, if raising Sam in a kind of lie is what he should be doing (not his father; not his life; empty spaces in the stories he tells Sam about his own life; lies about where he goes when he isn't working).

"Love you too, Sammy," he whispers back, because even though he's never done that whole love thing before, he does now — because all kids at Sam's age should hear that. Should know.

It's true that parenthood — however messed up the circumstances may be — changes you.

Dean finishes up, and turns in not too long after Sam. It's been a long day, after all, and — well, Dean's kind of taught himself to sleep when Sam sleeps. Another adjustment he's made as a parent. It came with waking up with Sam every couple of hours during his infancy, and stealing naps whenever Sam would go quiet. It came with having to wake up bright and early later, after Sam would sleep through the night.

It isn't long before Sam is making his way into his bed. It's familiar to Dean, and he doesn't mind it, shifting so that Sam can curl in close. "You're okay, Sammy," Dean mumbles, putting an arm over Sam to make him feel shielded and secure.

And he is okay. Because built into the house, carefully tucked away out of sight, beneath rugs, and behind pictures are wards and salt lines and devil's traps.

Because nothing is getting into the Winchesters' home.

He falls back asleep, Sam safe against him.
noquests: (09. motels suck)

[personal profile] noquests 2013-12-03 03:28 am (UTC)(link)
Safe. But even with Dean there, there's still dreams — some very strange dreams, and he doesn't understand what they mean. Or remember most of them; he wakes up silently, pulls Dean's arm closer, and watches the ceiling, and sometimes, something about just that fact makes him so uneasy, he has to bury his face again in his father's ribs. The next day, he wakes up and dresses, goes off to school, same as he always has; the cycle repeats, and he loses track of the times where things feel strange.

It's Sam's day to be Caught Being Good at lunch. He gets to pick from the treasure chest, and the kids all clap for him, and he feels special; in the end, his eyes are drawn to a small, colorful rainbow slinky — it's just a little knock-off one, probably a dollar from the dollar store, but his mind drifts to something he doesn't even remember all that well. He thinks of the clowns and the scary feeling in his stomach, but he also thinks of how much he likes when dad smiles.

Sammy grabs the slinky. He wraps it in colorful construction paper in class, and his teacher doesn't seem to mind, when he says it's for his father. She just smiles brightly and pats his shoulder and says he's doing wonderfully at taping the edges around it, and Sam smiles with pride. It's only when they're on the bus home that things are bad; the boy who kicks his seat (he's so much bigger, Sam doesn't like him, he just doesn't) takes his present, eager to see what it is, and Sam yells loud. The bus driver hushes them in the back, but doesn't she get it? His gift — it has to be back in his hands, because he's supposed to hand it to Dean, because Dean earned that.

"We earned that!" Sam cries, before the boy throws it in a panic out the window thanks to Sam's angry lunging. He watches from the hazy glass as it sails into the bushes and trees on the side of the road, just before the bus pulls in to drop him off at the cottage. It's supposed to be a straight jog to his home, and the bus driver makes sure he gets there — he even opens the front door a little before stopping himself, staring at his own feet.

No, no, no — this isn't right at all. It's not fair. His lip trembles and he closes the door silently, looking out at the expanse of trees that would undoubtedly lead to his present near the main road. It is probably sitting in a bush, and the animals will get it, and then Dad'll never get it.

But he's Caught Being Good today.

He has to be good, and he's not supposed to...

He swallows hard and begins to trek through the brush that the toy must've fallen in, vanishing into the greenery. It should just take a minute; he'll just take a minute, because he has to find it, has to make the scene in his head right. He's just gotta. He can't let his brother down; can't let him down. Not his br — his father. Not his dad.

It's okay. He's been alone before. He's walked in forests before.

He just must've been small, because he doesn't remember it.

Except for when Dad takes him hiking.
Edited 2013-12-03 03:33 (UTC)
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[personal profile] ramble_on 2013-12-05 12:09 am (UTC)(link)
Sam's late getting home.

Naturally, Dean's worried. He's given it five minutes, to see if maybe the bus is running late, or something, but he finally gives in and calls the school. They report back that Sam got on his bus and left on time, so he should be home.

Dean pulls on a jacket and leaves, arming up out of habit and dread at what could have happened. What if is a question he has asked himself a lot since this whole thing happened. The Winchesters haven't exactly had it easy, and even if the supernatural has mostly left them alone, it doesn't mean that they'll be free of it forever.

Basically, Dean has a lot to worry about. Not to mention mundane concerns, too, like it's cold out and he doesn't know if Sam is wearing his jacket, and what if he's lost somewhere, or if someone hurt him, or —

Dean starts walking down the sidewalk, calling out, "Sammy!" as he traces the bus route.
noquests: (05. nightmares)

[personal profile] noquests 2013-12-05 02:15 am (UTC)(link)
Sam finds the wrapped gift sitting at the bottom of a slope, and that's exactly where he slips and skins his knee, crashing to the bottom. He sits up and everything's slow to react: grabs the present, looks around, and then realizes everything hurts. He scratched his cheek on a branch and his leg burns from the landing and he ripped his favorite sweater. It's nothing, really, simply a few bumps and bruises, but Sammy isn't Sam. Sammy isn't used to claws or knives cutting him, or the pain of being thrown by a poltergeist.

So he takes in the shadowy world around him, the sudden realzation of lonliness, the ache of the oozing knee scrape, and begins to bawl. He's scared to try to climb back up the slope, and he thinks -- distantly -- that there are things in the shade that want to eat him. He doesn't know why he thinks this, but it seems too possible to bear.

"Daaaaad!!" A sob, a hic. He stands up keeps crying, chin tipped back a little as he lets out his frustrations toward the tree tops. "Daaaad!" But he gives up temporarily after the second cry, rubbing one eye with a dirt-dusted fist. The only way to go that isn't climbing is forward, and it's so frightening, and he just can't do that.
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[personal profile] ramble_on 2013-12-05 07:17 am (UTC)(link)
Dean worries, but he doesn't panic.

This is familiar, in a way. Sam in trouble, Dean going to find him. He doesn't want it — and he is concerned about what he's going to find, if he finds anything at all — but he can handle it. For years, he and Sam risked their lives, and Dean has gone to rescue Sam countless times. This is nothing new.

He hurries though, calling out a couple more times, in between stretches of silence when he listens for replies. He's passing the area that's thick with brush and trees, and that's when he hears it. A little faint, but easily distinguished.

"Sammy, I'm coming!" Dean calls back, hoping that Sam can hear him over his wails. Dean runs into the brush, pulling out his gun without a thought, and as soon as he reaches the slope —

He stops. Sam's okay. There's no wendigo, no werewolf, no demon. Just Sammy at the bottom, crying, dirty, and holding a little parcel.

Dean slips his gun away, then makes his way down the slope.

"Hey. I got you," he says as soon as he's level with Sam, crouching and pulling Sam to him. He rubs small circles on over his back, hoping to help calm Sam down. "You're okay."

Calming Sam comes first. The questions will come after.
noquests: (13. hug)

[personal profile] noquests 2013-12-05 08:24 am (UTC)(link)
Sam clings to him for dear life, tears wetting Dean's shirt. There's an instant relief and feeling of security, in the embrace. Sam doesn't want to let go, just wants to sit here like a baby and hold his father until everything feels alright again and his knees and hands and face stop hurting. He gasps and makes little sad noises like he can't remember how to stop crying, but eventually he calms enough to start talking quickly, "Marcus threw my present I wrapped for you out the b-bus and I j-j-just wanted it back, I slipped, I fell down h-hard — "

He makes a miserable sound like he might start bawling again, but he smashes his ear against Dean's shoulder and tries to quell the shivering of his shoulders. Don't be mad, please don't be mad. He doesn't want you to be mad.

"I was b-bad. I'm sorry, I'm really sorry, I broke the rules, I'm sorry."
Edited (already forgetting facts tsk tsk ashlee) 2013-12-05 08:26 (UTC)
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[personal profile] ramble_on 2013-12-06 07:54 am (UTC)(link)
Dean tries to soothe Sam by keeping him close, continuing to rub those small circles on his back, until finally Sam talks — in a rush, but at least he's calming down enough to get words out.

"Easy. I'm not mad. Take a breath. A deep one." Dean demonstrates, trying to calm Sam with his own example. "It's okay." And it is. Sam's safe, if a little roughed up, and there's nothing supernatural out to get him. That's what matters.

"C'mon. We'll go home and get you patched up, and then we can talk about it." Dean scoops him up in his arms and takes the long way around the slope so they can make their way back.
noquests: (10. woe)

[personal profile] noquests 2013-12-06 08:26 am (UTC)(link)
He listens and earnestly breathes in deep and long, the sound shuddering and loud. It seems to calm him, and he lays his head back down on Dean's shoulder and sniffs hard, not letting go of the small gift in his hands, arms around his brother's neck. "I fell — I scraped my knee." Which is funny in a way Sam doesn't think of, considering Dean had checked for knee scrapes just yesterday. Kids really do like their leg wounds, it seems. "I got Caught Being Good, dad, I — I got a ribbon. It's in my backpack..."

Which kind of has dirt on it now, but whatever. He sniffs again, rambles about anything, feels the twinge in his knee and hiccups faintly now that his breathing isn't as panicked.

"I don't gotta go to the hospital, do I? It's not b-bad, right?"

He hates the hospital. In ways he doesn't comprehend, even with his dislike of needles and medicine.
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[personal profile] ramble_on 2013-12-08 08:09 am (UTC)(link)
Dean does think of it, and he smiles a little, holding Sam close so that he can't really tell. "A scraped knee ain't so bad. We'll get it taken care of. No hospitals, I promise." It's nice, in a way — not that Sam is hurt, but that a bad day only amounts to a scraped knee, and not wounds that need stitches and bones that need to be reset.

Dean smiles a little more obviously when Sam mentions his ribbon. "That's great, Sammy. I'm proud of you." He misses the days of calling Sam a nerd and giving him a little shove, but Dean's always felt proud of Sam's progress in school. Even if the whole college thing had wound up being a disaster for everyone involved — and even if he took it as a betrayal. There was still, underneath all of that, a sense of pride.

They make it home, and Dean sets Sam on the counter in the bathroom. He then gets the first aid kit — still well-stocked, even now — and takes out the antiseptic and one of those large bandages that are perfect for knee scrapes.

"Why'd that kid throw your present?" he asks as he bends down to take a look.
noquests: (07. puppy face)

[personal profile] noquests 2013-12-08 09:49 am (UTC)(link)
Sam picks at the hem of his sleeve at the question and shrugs, uncomfortable. Really, the kid wasn't all that nice to him, but he was a lot bigger and — despite Sam standing up to him often enough — the kid never really gave Sam much of a break as long as he was in his presence. Most of the time, Sam could just complain to the teachers when he was mean, especially if he took something of his or shoved at him out of jealously when the kids all played tag; Marcus was a slow runner. It wasn't Sam's fault. It wasn't.

"Marcus kicks my seat. He's mean sometimes..."

Sam's eyes prickle with new unshead tears at the pain in his knee, but he wipes his eyes, determined not to cry anymore today. The small cut on his face aches at the passing of his palm over it.

"He took your present, and I — I was gonna jump on him, but he threw it out the bus. I had to get it back."
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[personal profile] ramble_on 2013-12-11 09:50 pm (UTC)(link)
"Might need to take a swing at him or something, Sammy. Sometimes that's what it takes. Show him you're not gonna take his crap anymore. One time, and I bet he backs off." Maybe it isn't the best parental advice, but Dean believes that kids should stand up for themselves. Not really hurt the kid, just show him he knows a thing or two about sticking up for himself — without having to get teased for going to a teacher.

"Want me to help?" Dean could, and he thinks it'd be the best and easiest choice. But he's also pretty savvy to the way kids work, and he knows that sometimes, a parent getting involved can have the opposite effect on a situation. He doesn't want to make things worse for Sam, but he'd scare the hell out of the kid to get him to back off.

Meanwhile, he cleans off the cut as carefully as possible, then puts the bandage on. "Good as new." He pats Sam's arm, giving him a smile. "Bet it hardly even hurts anymore."
noquests: (03. secret shit)

[personal profile] noquests 2013-12-15 01:22 am (UTC)(link)
Sam wrinkles his nose and replies (in a skeptical, Sam tone): "Duuude, I can't hit people!" But rest assured he's taking every word Dean says to his heart and mind. Dean offers to help, and he flusters a bit at that -- even as a kindergartner, something about his dad having to come bail him out of bullies makes him feel like a baby. He doesn't want to be a baby; he wants to be a big kid his dad can be super proud of. So he puffs out his chest and shakes his head. "You don't got to. I can take care'a it."

Sure, his eyes are red-rimmed and glossy, but he's determined to shape up now. When Dean's done taking care of his leg, Sam twists on the counter and reaches for the small wrapped present, offering it to Dean with both hands jutted outward suddenly. His expression brightens a little, sure that his -- his father would love it. "For you! It's something you wanted!"
Edited 2013-12-15 01:23 (UTC)
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[personal profile] ramble_on 2013-12-18 01:59 am (UTC)(link)
"You let me know if it keeps happening," Dean replies. He wants to stand up for Sam — and also encourage him to stand his ground. Not that he wants Sam to get into a fist fight, but he needs to know how to show school bullies that he isn't going to take any of their crap.

Like he did before. A long time ago.

Except now Sam isn't being taught how to hunt monsters. He isn't going to know how to pack a real punch.

"All that trouble for this, huh?" Dean asks as he takes the present. He smiles as he opens the construction paper.

When he sees what it is, though, his smile falters a little. A rainbow slinky — there's no way that Sam should know he wanted that. This Sam wasn't around for anything involving Dean's desire for one — or for the time that he bought him one. Once again, Dean finds himself getting worried about just how much Sam is going to remember with more time.

There's a lot of shit that Dean doesn't want him to know.

He tries to cover for the falter, pulling Sam in for a hug. "I did want one." Once, a long time ago. "How did you know?"
noquests: (10. woe)

[personal profile] noquests 2013-12-21 07:16 am (UTC)(link)
Sam's smile brightens, but he hesitates, suddenly unsure himself.

"I — " His own smile falters a little. "You said before. So I got it for you, because we earned that. And you gave me a scary clown doll and that was really mean 'cus you know I don't like the clowns, but I..." He rubs his hairline, looking down. He's not sure where he got that idea from, but he's sure of it. He really is. He says softer, worriedly: "... We earned it."
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[personal profile] ramble_on 2014-01-07 08:30 pm (UTC)(link)
That's the last thing that Dean wants to hear — that Sam has some memories of before. If he's remembering that, then he could remember anything about how "other" life — and there's plenty there that's terrible.

Dean covers up the parental sense of horror that comes with this knowledge by giving Sam a smile. "Sounds like a dream," he tells him. "I wouldn't give you a clown doll."

Not now, at least. Things were different when Sam was his brother and not, essentially, his kid.

He stands and ruffles Sam's hair.

"Don't worry about it. You hungry?"

Meanwhile, Dean makes plans to get in contact with Cas, Kevin, Charlie — do some research on how to deal with this new development. Dean isn't going to let Sam start remembering things like Hell.

Or Gadreel.
noquests: (07. puppy face)

[personal profile] noquests 2014-01-08 04:22 am (UTC)(link)
"If you did ever get me a clown doll, I'd kick you in the leg really hard!" He sounds completely sure of this, crossing his arms defensively. He looks hesitant after a minute, though. "Do you really like it? If you don't I can give it back and pick something else... I - they had cars, too, and I know you like cars but..."

It felt perfect when he grabbed that slinky.

Maybe that was really really stupid.

"I can get the car next time; I'm good a lot. I can get the car next."
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[personal profile] ramble_on 2014-01-08 10:33 am (UTC)(link)
"I love it," Dean tells him with sincerity. Just because this has triggered a memory for Sam doesn't mean Dean isn't appreciative. He was happy about it the first time, and it hasn't changed a second-time over. It's just — hard. He's trying to keep a normal life for Sam, like Sam always wanted, and he feels like it's just a struggle.

He's been waiting for the other shoe to drop since Dean realized Sam was never turning back.

"I'm gonna put it on my dresser." He lifts up the slinky, looking at it, then giving Sam a smile. "It's perfect."
noquests: (05. nightmares)

[personal profile] noquests 2014-01-09 05:40 am (UTC)(link)
Sam smiles big, bright and dimpled.

Good. That's all he'd wanted.

And it makes the day a little better. And days turn into weeks — weeks of Sam waking up, not knowing really why, just that he's a little afraid when he does and has to seek comfort in Dean's bed. He turns into a little octopus and curls around his father (brother), not at all eager to let him go. Mostly, though, life is easy. Sam makes great grades, even gets caught being good again — gets a little black car to sit next to Dean's slinky, Little things seem to come back to him. Little, innocent, safe things. Sometimes he draws sigils; sure, they're more oval and incorrect, but they're close enough, clearly demonstrate things like angel warding spells and devil traps.

He plays with army soldiers. Begged Dean to buy him a tub.

Despite the relapses, the sudden bouts of memory, he seems happy. Is happy. Even if he senses a change in his dad, like maybe something's bothering him... Maybe work is hard. Working can be tough.

It's a month later that things go bad.

Today, when he moves to leave the school and get on the bus, though... He notices someone watching carefully. And really, Sam wouldn't have thought anything of it, would have left the yard to step up the bus steps — but then the man blinks and for a moment, just a moment, his eyes are black as the dark. They fill his eyes and make Sam's heart stutter in his chest, and he turns and yells and runs as fast as he can toward the innermost part of the school. The teachers follow, completely baffled, and he gets to the center of the facility before his teacher scoops him up and struggles to hold him.

"Sam!! Sam, what on earth -- what's wrong? Sam??" But he just kicks and yells for them to let go, that he wants his dad, cries for his father. Even in the office, he sits in the chair in the furthest corner, legs drawn up and huddled up close to his chest. Every person that passes sets him on edge.

ramble_on: <lj user="iconific"> (pic#6695869)

[personal profile] ramble_on 2014-01-10 10:25 pm (UTC)(link)
As the days go by, Dean gets progressively more worried about Sam. Sure, he's back to being the happy kid that he was before he went on a slinky hunt, but he remembers too much. The army men Dean could dismiss. He could even try to logic out the slinky situation. But the sigils are proof that there's too much flooding back into his head, and Dean knows he has to put a stop to it.

He talks to Kevin and Cas. They start researching if there's anyway to reverse it, or at least stop it from continuing. Dean starts looking around for any experts with whom he could talk, psychics or hunters who have been in the life for even longer than Dean. Anyone who might have a lead.

No one comes up with any answers, but they keep looking.

Meanwhile, Dean stops hunting again — even the minor salt-and-burns. He focuses his free time on the research.

Despite the memories, though, Sam still seems at peace. And if nothing else, that offers Dean a small comfort.

Until he gets a phone call from the school, telling him that Sam had some sort of panic attack — an outburst unlike him, that he's terrified of something. Dean leaves work and heads there immediately, finding Sam sitting in a corner and looking terrified. Dean is fearing the worst as he ignores the office staff for the moment, walking right over to Sam and crouching down in front of him.

"Sammy, hey." He scans his face, as though that'll offer some insight. "What's going on?" He puts a hand on his arm, albeit carefully, not wanting to spook him.
noquests: (13. hug)

[personal profile] noquests 2014-01-11 04:33 am (UTC)(link)
Sam's wide-eye gaze snaps to Dean and he still seems to hesitate, but doesn't flinch away from his brother's touch. No, he reaches back, his small grip strong on Dean's sleeves. It just takes that much reality (his dad his here, he's safe, it's okay) that he suddenly clamors and climbs up his father to hold him tightly. He tucks his chin against his shoulder and finds purchase there in a clingy embrace. His voice is a low, low whisper despite the urgency in his tone, like he knows that it's something he shouldn't say loudly:

"I saw, outside the fence, I saw; his eyes turned black, dad, I swear they turned black, and I ran because I knew I had to run, I just knew — "
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[personal profile] ramble_on 2014-01-11 05:59 am (UTC)(link)
Dean expects that Sam is remembering Hell. Or Lucifer. Or worse, sharing his body with an angel.

He doesn't expect this. Something else to worry about on top of everything he's already scrambling to solve.

He takes Sam in his arms, holding him back as though he can offer him security. As though this news doesn't tell him that they've been still for so long, that they might have to pick up and leave. He wanted to give Sam a stable life — the kind he's always wanted — but if there are demons looking for him, then they might not have a choice.

But why? They're out of the game. Dean leaves them alone, he expects the same in return. The apocalypse has been averted, and the likelihood of them trying again when they've already been stopped isn't high. At least not until they have other vessels they can use, when Dean and Sam are long-gone.

It isn't a coincidence though. Dean knows better.

Keeping Sam close, he whispers, "You did good, Sammy," barely audible so that the office staff doesn't hear him. "That was the right thing."

Eventually, when it seems like Sam has calmed down just a little, Dean picks him up. "We're going home," he tells the office staff. One of them — and older woman, short brown hair, frowning with creases in her face — asks him what happened, if Sam has a history of doing this, if he's ever been evaluated.

But Dean just walks out and carries Sam to the car. He doesn't know if they're staying past tonight; no use in making up lies and answering questions until he knows for sure.
noquests: (10. woe)

[personal profile] noquests 2014-01-12 10:53 pm (UTC)(link)
Sam clings to his father, silent for a while. They're leaving the school, and Sam thinks... thinks so very distantly they're leaving again. But they've never left before. He doesn't understand why he thinks it or where it comes from, but he just tightens his hold and mumbles, "... What're we gonna do, dad...?" Because Dean is the answer to all the questions, and his word is law -- and that scares Sam a little, because it means whatever happens now is gonna happen, if dad wants it to. He doesn't know how he understands it so well, but he knows.
ramble_on: <lj user="iconific"> (pic#6617116)

[personal profile] ramble_on 2014-01-14 07:45 pm (UTC)(link)
"We're gonna head home and pack some bags." He shifts Sam in his hold, then once they get to the Impala, opens the door for him. "Get in. We gotta be quick."

It isn't that he thinks there are going to be demons knocking on his door immediately, but the fact that they're eyeing Sam at all is alarming. Dean is the one who risked this situation, and he knows it, but he just wanted Sam to have the stable life for which he had hoped.

But it turns out that the Winchesters still can't get a break.

"We'll go to the bunker. Stay a few days." Or for forever. Until they find out what's going on,Dean's choices are basically to take life on the road or to hole up in the bunker. The latter is preferable, because the bunker is safest.

Dean gets in the driver's side and heads back.
noquests: (09. motels suck)

[personal profile] noquests 2014-01-17 05:04 am (UTC)(link)
Sam sits quietly for a little of the drive, still a bit pale and on edge, but eventually it settles into a quiet fear nestling in his wavering stare. He hugs his backpack, which has homework he's supposed to have finished by tomorrow. Something about this is unspeakably familiar, leaving stones in his belly, a slow-rising panic or pain or something Sam can't put his small finger on.

"... We're — are we gonna come back soon?"
Edited 2014-01-17 05:05 (UTC)
ramble_on: <lj user="iconific"> (pic#7098079)

[personal profile] ramble_on 2014-01-23 06:39 am (UTC)(link)
Dean sighs. This is exactly what he never wanted to put Sam through, but — at least they got a few good years here. Maybe they can get a few good years somewhere else too. That's better than moving around all the time. He'll do the best he can, but before he can get that far, they need to go somewhere safe.

"I don't think so, Sammy. We might need to move. Somewhere new. Maybe you can pick somewhere for us this time." Hell, maybe they should spin a globe and point. Go somewhere out of the country.

They get to the house and Dean parks.

"We're gonna pack quick. Whatever you can fit into your bags, but make sure you got the important things." He knows Sam will. Sam's always been responsible — even before this.

He gets out of the car, waits for Sam so they can stay close, and then they walk into the house.

And everything is trashed. Dean stops, grabbing Sam and pulling him behind him.

The wards. The salt lines. Dean checks them religiously, so how the hell — Doesn't matter. Dean grabs Sam, not willing to encounter anyone or anything with him in tow.

"Sammy, let's get in the car. Now."
noquests: (11. crap)

[personal profile] noquests 2014-01-25 09:02 pm (UTC)(link)
"Dad — but, but our stuff — " He doesn't rush in, doesn't disobey entirely, but he stands there like he's not quite sure he heard everything just right. His eyes are wide as they scan the room, hands clutched protectively in front of his chest. Like he's scared to touch anything for fear that the image will worsen. He doesn't understand; everything was fine, everything was home and family and school and homework and TV — and now... "Dad, what happened? Why's everything broken?"
ramble_on: <lj user="iconific"> (pic#7098079)

[personal profile] ramble_on 2014-02-06 12:36 am (UTC)(link)
Dean doesn't hesitate, even if Sam does. It occurs to him that maybe he's done him a disservice by not training him to act in situations like these. He hadn't wanted to be like John, had wanted Sam to be a normal kid, but now that they're in the thick of what was probably inevitable, Dean's torn.

Or will be, after he gets them the hell out of there.

"We'll buy new stuff," he says in a poor attempt to comfort Sam, rather than bark more orders, fighting with the urge to do just that. He grabs Sam, pulling him roughly to the car, then just lifting him. He pulls the door open, puts Sam inside, and then shuts it so he can walk around and get in the driver's seat.
noquests: (05. nightmares)

[personal profile] noquests 2014-02-08 07:36 am (UTC)(link)
Sam clumsily starts trying to put his seatbelt back on when he notices something rushing in the corner of his eye. The bogeyman, he thinks, and it's rushing right for his door. He leaps and hits the lock, and the demon can't yank open his door now. He must've come from the forested area near their home, heard the roaring engine return to the busted-up home.

"Dad!!" he cries out, close to hysterics when he catches the full sight of black eyes near the window. The demon settles for smashing his elbow through Sam's window, and the child curls up into the well of the seat as window glass rains down on him.
ramble_on: <lj user="iconific"> (pic#6617136)

[personal profile] ramble_on 2014-02-10 03:53 am (UTC)(link)
As soon as Dean sees the figure, he's reaching in the car, getting a hold on Sam and trying to jerk him toward the driver's side while opening up the glove box. He rummages around, gets the hidden compartment open, and pulls out Ruby's knife.

"I got you," he tells Sam, yanking him again, trying to keep him out of the demon's grip. Meanwhile, the demon reaches in, thinking it can get a hold on Sam before Dean can do anything about it.

He's wrong. Dean moves forward, stepping on the seat, completely ignoring the glass, and he manages to stab the demon. It dies, but Dean doesn't spare time to watch. He starts the car and peels out.

His arm is bleeding from where he pressed up against the window, but that's the last thing on his mind. "You okay, Sammy?" he asks, pressing a hand against Sam's chest, checking him over for injuries as best he can while he drives.
noquests: (09. motels suck)

[personal profile] noquests 2014-02-12 05:04 am (UTC)(link)
Sam is breathing heavy and shaking nearly into a fit, his arms encircled crushingly tight on his little green school backpack he had never left behind. He just nods because he's not sure how else to explain that he's scared and is too stunned to even start crying, and there's glass on the seat and in his hair and on the floor — his breath hitches but he tries to control it. He's never been this scared before, and his eyes are wide and translucently hazel against his anxious complexion. It appears the only real injury is a small cut on his cheek where he'd been nicked by the falling window.

"Black eyes," he says in nearly a whisper, heartbeat racing when Dean's palm is pressed there. "Are they gonna take me away?"