Warnings: Spanking of a teenager, angst, really mild swearing
Author's Website: GinaSciFi's LJ
Author's Notes: I wanted to try a different take on Dean's comment to Sam about Dad coming home after Sam ran away for two weeks. John does not come off that great in this, just a heads up. Feedback always appreciated.
WHEN DAD CAME HOME
Dean could feel the bile in the back of his throat, where it had been for days now. His stomach churned with acid, and he hoped he wasn't going to throw up again. He hadn't really been eating, and the dry heaves that periodically overtook him were becoming excruciating. He needed to calm down. Take deep breaths and try to think of what to do next. His dad had gone over and over exercises for calming down in a scary situation, for keeping a cool head and not panicking. But Dean had never been this scared on a hunt. He'd never been this scared in his entire life.
Six days. Six days his brother had been missing, lost somewhere, hiding somewhere, or dead somewhere. That last thought was all it took for Dean to lean over the kitchen sink, spitting up the meager contents of his stomach. He had to fucking calm down. Deep breaths. Try dad again. Go down the list of motels in the area Dean knew he was hunting. Ask for J. Elefante's room, be told no such person had checked in. Leave a message in case he checked in, "Aunt Bertha's sick, call home right away." He new it was pointless, he had called everyone of the motels at least 5 times now and never once did any of the different people he spoke with indicate that they already had a message for Mr. Elefante. He was pretty sure they were just pretending to write it down. He had to try though. The only thing he wanted more then his dad right now was his little brother.
It was his fault. They had had a fight. Before he left on the current hunt, dad had laid down the law about training. It better be done everyday, all of it. Sam was nearly sixteen years old and Dean's coddling could get him killed one day. Training before homework, before school activities. Dad expected to be able to see specific areas of improvement when he got back, or there'd be hell to pay, and that was an order. So Dean had said yes sir, like he always did.
He knew his dad was right, that Sam had to be ready in a hunt, that not being prepared could cost him his life. So he had ordered Sam straight home from school to train, and Sam of course had said no. It wasn't surprising, Sam fought tooth and nails with his dad over training, and Dean was much less intimidating, not to mention significantly less likely to add miles to his run, or smack his backside for lip. But they had fought, and Sam had asked why they had to train every damn day, why they had to be the ones to fight the monsters. Dean had told him, 'because that's what we do in this family,' and Sam had said 'well maybe I'm sick of being in this family.' Dean had been mad, and frustrated with his brother. Had been mad and frustrated with him for weeks now really, all of the fighting he was doing with dad, all of the tension Sam was causing. So Dean had said, he had yelled really, 'well maybe we're a little sick of you too Sammy!'
And Sam had left, slamming the door behind him. To school, Dean thought. Sam could always be relied on to go to school. Dean had felt guilty within five minutes, but figured he could make it up to the kid. Would maybe swing by in the impala to pick him up after school, let him pick dinner, or even a crappy chick flick after training. A peace offering. But Sam hadn't been at school, hadn't gone at all.
Ringing, the phone was ringing. Dean dove for it, afraid it would stop as suddenly as it started. Please be Sam, please be
"What the hell's going on Dean, I'm in the middle of a hunt!"
"Sam's gone dad, I can't find him. I'm sorry." Dean tried to keep his voice as steady as possible, both afraid of his dad's reaction and relieved that he had finally called back.
"How long has he been missing?" Dean could hear the fear and the irritation warring in his dad's voice. He knew as soon as he answered the question the fear would win out. He took a deep breath.
"Six days. Dad, I've looked everywhere." There was a long second of silence, then John Winchester started swearing.
"Dammit Dean! You were supposed to watch him. Stay there. I'm going to make some calls to get some feelers going. I'll be with you by tomorrow night." Dean realized his father had hung up. He put his own phone back on the cradle and sank slowly to the floor. Dad will find him, dad can find anybody.
# # #
It took nearly a week before some psychic friend of dad's came through with a town name, and another two days to narrow it down to a run down abandoned shack on the outskirts. Dean had run right in, still afraid of what he might find. But there was just Sam, standing in the middle of the room, his face tense. "Dean?"
The sight of his brother sent a wave of emotions over Dean, but the one that won out was relief. He pulled Sam into a crushing hug. "You son of a bitch."
He felt his brother shake a little bit in his arms, "I'm sorry Dean, I just..." Dean could tell by the sudden stiffness in Sam's shoulder's that dad had stepped into view. Dean wished he could make Sam understand how terrified the man had been, how he'd barely slept while his son was missing. And he wished his dad could express some of that to Sam himself. Give him something other then the icy glare he was aiming at Sam right now and the barked 'Get in the car, now.' It wasn't that Dean didn't get the anger, he did, he really did. But it seemed like lately that was all Sam ever got from their dad, and it wasn't helping anything.
The ride to the nearest motel was completely silent. Dean had read the phrase palpable tension somewhere, he wasn't one hundred percent sure what palpable meant, but he was pretty sure this was it. Dad's face was unreadable, but he was gripping the steering wheel so tight that his knuckles where white. Sam sat completely rigid in the back seat, his posture radiating anger and defiance, but Dean could see worry, fear and guilt warring in his face. Dean didn't know what to feel. He was angry with Sam for being so selfish, for making them worry so much just because he was pissed off, and he was worried for Sam because dad was so mad Dean wasn't sure what the man was going to do. Part of him wanted Sam to get his ass seriously kicked, thought that he deserved it and that it would make him think twice about running away again. But another part was afraid that would just drive Sam further away.
He knew one thing for sure, if he didn't stop feeling so angsty about everyone's feelings, he was going to start growing lady parts.
The oppressive silence continued while they settled into the room for the night. Finally their dad turned to Sam and barked an order to sit, pointing to the bed. Sam scowled at him, but did what he was told, his teeth worrying his bottom lip betrayed how nervous he was.
"Do you have anything to say for yourself Samuel?"
Dean watched the temptation to say something snotty flash in Sam's eyes, but for once Sam seemed to realize how pissed their dad was and settled for "No sir."
"Nothing? After two weeks of putting us through hell and you have nothing to say about it?"
Sam struggled again, but managed to suppress whatever he wanted to say into another "No sir." Sam glanced at Dean briefly, "I'm sorry you were worried." Dean knew that last part was directed towards him. He was pretty sure Sam didn't give a damn how their father felt right now.
John gave Sam a hard look, "you're going to be sorry about a lot more then that in a minute."
Dean saw Sam swallow hard, but he stood up slowly and walked towards their father. "Yes sir," he said, sounding both nervous and defiant.
John looked at Sam, "Not to me Sam." Sam looked at him in confusion. "It wasn't me you ran away from in a snit. You turn around and go to your brother."
Dean looked up at his dad in alarm. What the Hell was he saying? "Dad, I don't want..." Dean trailed off, unsure what to say, intimidated by the hard look in his dad's eyes.
"Don't want what Dean? To lay down the law to your brother? To do what it takes to ensure his safety? That's what caused this in the first place. He was your responsibility, and because you weren't willing to do your job right, anything could have happened to him in!" Sam was standing in between the two men, looking uncertain about what to do.
Dean's insides twisted at his dads words. It was what he had been thinking or the last two weeks. It was his fault his brother had ran away, had hidden from the people who loved him. But what his dad was asking him to do... Sure, Dean had occasionally smacked Sam, across the back of the head, or on his ass to get him moving, or to shut him up, but he had a feeling dad wasn't going to let this go at that. Dean protected Sam, he didn't hurt him. Hell, he had taken whacks from dad for shit Sam had done on more then one occasion, he couldn't do this. But what if his dad was right, if something happened to Sam because he wouldn't listen to Dean. Dean couldn't ever let that happen. Besides, Dean knew Sam was in for it either way.
"Come here Sam," Dean said quietly, glad when his brother moved to his side right away. He sat down on the bed, then glanced at his dad, unsure exactly what the man wanted.
"You know how this works Dean, when I leave you in charge of your brother I expect you to make sure he follows orders. Stop stalling and do your job."
Dean looked back at his brother, "Pants down and over my knee Sam, come on." Once Sam was settled over his lap Dean looked at the backside clenching in nervousness. He felt sick to his stomach, but knew that stalling wasn't doing either of them any favors. He raised his arm and brought his hand down. Sam jumped a little on his lap, but Dean knew it was surprise more then pain, even he could tell it wasn't a very hard smack. He tried again, but the next one wasn't much better.
"Do it right Dean, or you can both take a turn over my knee after." Dean had forgotten his dad was in the room. He steeled himself and brought his hand down hard, leaving a pink hand print in it's wake. It wasn't the threat to his own backside that got him hitting harder, even at twenty, Dean would rather take both spankings then keep delivering this one, but making Sam go over John's knee as angry as the man was wouldn't be doing his little brother any favors.
Dean continued to deliver hard swats to Sam's increasingly red behind, trying to think back to the anger he had felt when Sam had first disappeared, trying to think about how selfish the kid had been in hiding from them for two weeks, how dangerous it had been. But Sam's whimpers and kicks over his knee kept bringing him back to the present, where his brother was in pain and he was the cause.
Finally, when Sam's backside was cherry red, John spoke from across the room. "Finish up Dean." Dean wished his dad hadn't stayed in the room. If the man was going to make him do this, he could at least let him do it his way, but Dean didn't say anything. He was ready to stop now, had been ready to stop awhile ago, but he knew what his dad considered 'finishing up'.
"Almost done Sammy," he said in a quiet voice to his sobbing little brother. Dean raised his right knee a little, before delivering ten hard spanks on the under curve of each of his brother's red cheeks. It was the way John always ended a serious spanking and Dean knew from experience that it felt like being branded. He let Sam cry for a minute, then eased him up off his lap, carefully easing up the boxers and pulling Sam's jeans off the foot they were still hanging on to.
Dean was worried Sam would be mad at him, but the boy dove right into his arms, crying onto his shoulder. Dean realized his own face was wet, and quickly swiped it with the back of his sleeve, embarrassed to be crying in front of his dad. John looked at the two of them for a long moment, unreadable. "I'm going across the street, we'll stay here tonight, then head back in the morning. I expect you both to be well rested." John shut the door quietly behind him.
Yeah, Dean thought, go hide yourself in a bottle and leave me here to fix this by myself. He immediately felt guilty. His dad was trying to make him understand the responsibility of protecting someone not just from outside danger, but from themselves. His dad was doing the best he could. Dean moved Sam onto the bed they were leaning against, helping him lay face down and pulling the covers up over him. The boy had finally stopped crying, and he looked up at Dean, wincing as the blanket settled over his sore butt. "I'm sorry Dean, sorry about running away from you, and sorry he made you do that."
Dean laid down beside his brother, exhausted from weeks without sleep. "It's alright Sam, just don't do it again, please." Sam nodded to him, but Dean could tell the nod was uncertain, that it carried no promises. "Go to sleep now Sam." Dean closed his own eyes as well. He heard his brother's breath deepen and for the first time in his life it occurred to Dean how easy it would be to pick up the keys his dad had left on the night stand. He could take the Impala and just drive, as far as he could go without stopping. He could work on cars, or hustle pool. He could get a girl. No more fighting, no more fear of being left. His stomach tightened, rejecting the whole train of thought. He could never leave his brother, or his dad, or hunting. He couldn't hide from what he was.
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