Author's Note: This is a story born from a challenge from my friend Firechild, and the first part are her actual words.


Paying The Piper Challenge


"You better go. Unless, you know, you just want some of this." Dean gestured vaguely toward his waist, a bit of the old sadistic gleam finding its way back into his eyes.
 
"He wouldn't."
 
"Samuel Allen Winchester! Do not make me come looking for you!"
 
Dean raised his eyebrows. "Care to lay money on that?"
 
Sam opened his mouth, snapped it closed as his eyes widened, and he turned and bolted from the room like a scared

Sam flew down the hall of the rental house and into the living room stopping just before entering the room and then doing so slowly He wanted his father to know that he wasn't at his beck and call. And there in a very familiar pose he found his father standing with arms crossed over his chest impatience evident in every feature. "Took you long enough Junior."

Sam refused to allow his father to intimidate him especially given the fact that both Dean and his father used that tactic whenever necessary to get what they wanted. Sam was sure in some stupid book on the military that they both had that there was an entire chapter on that very thing that they both had memorized.

"I just didn't see what the rush was Dad. After all it wasn't like we planned this little visit or anything. We didn't know we were even going to see you until today." He dropped his head and ventured a quick glance at this father and wasn't surprised to see a flush of color cross his cheeks. Sam fought back a smile at the thought that his father never did like to be questioned or disobeyed. And unfortunately Sam always seemed to be the son who did both.

"Did it look to you like I was in any mood to deal with an attitude today young man?"

Sam fidgeted unable to stop himself even though he thought that he was well beyond the age where he was likely to be called on the carpet. "Did you want me to guess Dad?"

Sam was silently pleased to see a muscle twitch in his disciplined father's face. John Winchester paced the floor for a moment apparently trying to regain his composure. Finally looking at his youngest son he pointed to the couch. "Sit."

Even with as angry as he was with his father Sam knew better than to disregard a direct order and so he sat. "Now I think that I have made your brother aware of how I feel about his recent choices."

Sam couldn't fight the small grin that crossed his features. "Oh I think he's feeling aware all right. In fact I think his entire ass is feeling….aware."

Again he was on the receiving end of a harsh look from his father. "Well Sammy I'm glad that you are finding this to be so humorous, because Dean isn't the only one who has some things to pay the piper for."

Jumping to his feet Sam shook his head. "What was it that just got your brother punished Samuel?"

Sam knew by what he had just witnessed happening to Dean that he was treading on thin ice but he couldn't seem to stop himself. "Your pathetic need to show up and prove that you're still alpha male around here?"

Sam was pleased to see that he had hit a bull's eye with that remark as his father took a deep breath trying to remain calm. It was several minutes before his father spoke again. "No Sam it was because he took careless chances with his life and behaved in an irresponsible manner while doing so."

Sam could feel the anger that had been simmering under the surface coming out full force. "Yeah and it looks to me like you showed him just exactly what happens to bad soldiers who don't listen to their absent daddies."

"Sam I know that you are angry about my leaving but I didn't have a choice. Somehow you seem to think that means that I neither care nor have any rights as far as you and Dean are concerned and you couldn't be more wrong. I have to keep you safe and the only way I can do that is to make sure you are vigilant enough to keep yourself safe. And I think that what you need is something to remind you what happens when you break rule number one."

"What do you know of any of this? I keep myself plenty safe otherwise I wouldn't be here right now. Maybe I don't do it in the same way that G.I.Dean does but you can't be upset at me for not being a good little soldier because I'm not a soldier and I never will be. What I am is committed to see this thing through but that is because it's personal now, not because I'm some military machine." Sam was surprised to see tears fill his usually stoic father's eyes.

"I never loved you any less Sammy because you were different from Dean and me, if anything I probably loved you more. You remind me so much of your mother that sometimes it hurts."

Not willing to be pulled into his father's emotions Sam did the only thing which he could which was to strike back. "Oh well then that explains the fact that it was easier to run away from me than to stay."

His father actually flinched at his words and instead of feeling victorious Sam felt ashamed of himself.

He could see his father mentally squaring his shoulders and knew things weren't over yet. "The truth is that on several occasions recently you have gone into a dangerous situation unarmed. Situations that could have resulted in your or Dean's death. Just dumb luck has pulled you out and after today walking into the face of hell without any kind of a weapon or even a plan isn't going to appeal to you at all. You may not be a "soldier" but you will start being prepared to face what ever you are going after. That is something that both you and your brother must do each and every time. I know he knows that but now I am going to make sure you know it too. He has already paid the price for his foolish decisions and now so will you. The only difference is that yours is gonna be paid in private."

Suddenly Sam wasn't feeling so brave anymore. His dad was a big guy and strong as an ox and Sam knew that if he planned on doing the same thing to him that he had just done to Dean that there wasn't a lot of hope of him physically winning but then his mouth had always been mightier than his muscles. "Yeah well in case you haven't noticed I'm not ten years old anymore, you mighta missed that since you haven't been around much lately. I am way too old for that….be realistic."

"So after you just watched me blister your older brother's behind you're reasoning is that you are too old to be spanked?"

Sam felt his heart pick up at the flaw in that logic but he continued to try and talk his father out of what he was planning on doing. The truth was that his dad was right there had been many times in the past year that he had gone in to life and death situations unprepared but he wasn't going to admit that. It was somewhat of a sticking point between him and Dean as well. But even given that it still infuriated him that his dad thought he could still punish him.

"My birthday I didn't even hear from you and Christmas just a blip on the radar screen but stopping by to hand out some good old fashioned punishment now that you have time for. Your parenting skills really suck and so do you." Knowing just from the look on his face Sam realized that he had crossed the line for the last time.

"Enough Samuel" He stepped backward to avoid his dad's reach but John Winchester advanced on his younger son and in a split second had him by the arm and sitting down himself, flung the boy across his knees.

"I am too old for this dad, and you don't have the right." Sam threw the words at his father and squirmed but got no where due to the iron arm around his waist.

"No son I think you have proven that you really are just the right age for this and need it even more than I thought and we will see if I have that right or not." With that he started landing sharp smacks onto Sam's behind which stung so badly that for a moment Sam was stunned.

John Winchester was just starting to place some serious swats when he heard a noise and looked up to see Dean standing in the doorway. "Uh…. Dad are you sure you want to do that? I mean….."

Sam hung his head embarrassed at the position he found himself in. And Dean suddenly was on the receiving end of a pointed look from his father. "Dean do you remember the summer when you were fourteen?"

Sam took in a big breath as he remembered exactly what his father meant and saw the color drain from Dean's face. "Ah yeah well okay then if you don't need me anymore I'll just go back to my room until you're done out here."

John Winchester watched his eldest son's retreating back and thought about the incident that he was referring too.

Sammy had in a bout of defiance taken his bike and disappeared for an entire day. He and Dean had looked high and low becoming more frantic with each passing moment. For his part he had been sure that he would never see the boy alive again. And a very unusual terror had gripped his heart and all but destroyed his ability to remain calm and focused which was something that never happened. When Sam had come home he had been so upset and angry that he had actually waited until the next morning to spank him. And he had gotten about two swats in when Dean had come in and tried to plead his brothers case apparently the panic from the previous day was forgotten.

He had told Dean twice to go back to his room and stay out of what was happening. And for some reason Dean seemed to feel as is he had a say in the matter. Finally John had pulled Sam off of his lap and walking over to Dean grabbed his arm and walked him to the couch and put him into the spot where his brother had been only moments before. And he had proceeded to give Dean a world class spanking. After punishing his older son he then did the same for his younger son. He knew that his boys had a very close
relationship despite how very different they were but he refused to have to go through Dean before punishing Sam and that was both then and now.

He could feel Sam struggling against the hold he had on him and he realized that he needed to finish what he had started. He brought his hand down with enough force that he knew he was making his point well felt. And he continued until Sam was begging him to stop and while he eased the swats a bit he didn't stop. This was going to be a hard lesson and he wanted to make damn sure that Sammy got it. Finally he knew that the boy had had enough and he was just limp across his lap.

"Are you ever going to go into a dangerous situation unprepared again son?" Sam vigorously shook his head from side to side and not really wanting to but needing to he landed five more stinging swats and felt Sam just wail.

He started rubbing the boy's back and shoulders and just let him cry for a while. Finally after a few minutes he moved down alittle so that Sam's head and upper chest were in his lap and he began stroking the boy's soft hair and rubbing the back of his neck. "I love you Sammy and I am so sorry that things have been the way that they have for you and Dean. I hate this as much as you do."

He continued to hold onto his son and give him comfort and he felt that he needed it as much as Sam did. Finally he realized that the boy was asleep and he sat for a very long time grateful for the privilege of watching his youngest as he slept, knowing that he might not get the chance again for a very long time.


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Sam raised his head and opened his eyes. His head ached from all the crying that he had done and even his muscles were sore from the struggling to free himself which had done absolutely no good. And his butt still felt like there was a bonfire back there. His dad as usual had given him the full measure. He looked at the window and noticed Dean standing there. "Hey."

He could see his brother fighting a smile. "Hey yourself- you okay?"

Sam shook his head that he wasn't and completely meant it. "How long have I been asleep for?"

Dean looked at his watch. "Bout two hours and guess what no nightmares."

Sam shook his head "Yeah those happened before I went to sleep."

Dean now couldn't resist and out and out grinned. "So Francis what did he nail you for?"

Sam pushed himself to sitting and groaned. "For going in un-prepared. How the hell did he know that? Did you talk to him about it?"

Dean shook his head "Nope I guess he knew that the same way he knew the stuff at the hospital. But he does have a point you do the whole run in and worry about a weapon later thing."

Sam stood up and rubbed his behind. "Bite me."

To which Dean just chuckled. "So where is he now? Interviewing witnesses who can tell him more crap that we've done wrong?"

Again Dean laughed and shook his head. "Nope he went to the grocery store I guess the deluxe ass beating around here comes with a home cooked meal."

Now Sam smiled "Hey man I just got the standard you got the deluxe."

Dean gave Sam an intimidating look. "I thought I told you never to mention that again."

Sam snorted "Yeah like that looks gonna scare me."

The swinging door to the kitchen opened and their father stuck his head into the room. "Groceries in the car boys please bring them in while I start dinner."

As the door closed Sam looked with disbelief towards the kitchen. "What is he kidding what are we twelve?"

Now Dean smiled again. "Better pick another age Junior; twelve was a bad year for you. You were all lanky and skinny and your teeth were just huge. You looked like one of the things that we hunt down and kill Dude."

As Dean said it Sam launched himself off of the couch and went after his brother who was just barely managing to stay ahead of him. John was at the sink as his two sons went flying by and out the door both of them laughing. He closed his eyes and savored the normal moment and tucked it into the tiny corner of his heart where he kept all of his precious memories.

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