Up In Smoke

Ghostly Mental Patient
Ghostly Mental Patient
Joined: 6:59 PM - Sep 28, 2006

8:10 PM - Feb 26, 2015 #1

Hey everyone!!! Here is a little two-shot that I wrote some time ago and thought I posted here (I have several stories that I thought I posted here), but didn't. This is a Three Brothers story.

The idea came from a reader on another site who asked if I could write a story about the fire I mentioned at the beginning of The Lost Son during Sam and John's fight. This is what I came up with. Hope you like it :)

I don't own them :angry:

Up In Smoke – Chapter 1

Dean sat turned in the backseat of the Impala, green eyes watching the small rental house his family currently called home growing smaller and smaller the further down the street they traveled. He turned back around with a sigh as the house disappeared completely. He momentarily glared at the back of his father's head before his eyes drifted to the side window. He crossed his arms over his chest and sighed again then grumbled some unintelligible curse, eliciting a stern look from his father in the rear view mirror.

"Can it, Dean. If the kid didn't want to come, I was certainly not going to put up with his whining the entire trip to Fremont," John snapped, his eyes returning to the street ahead of him.

"You've never let him stay home alone before, Dad. I think it's a bad idea. We don't know how long we're going to be gone. Who knows what could happen," Dean shot back. He met his brother's eyes as the eldest Winchester sibling turned in his seat and nodded his agreement.

"I think Dean's right, Dad. Sammy hasn't been left for more than a few hours before and that neighborhood isn't the best," Daniel said as he turned to look at his father's profile.

"Look…I didn't want to leave him, but with his mood of late, I certainly didn't want to be in a car with him for six hours either. It was his choice to stay, he has money if he needs anything and he has strict instructions to stay in the house unless absolutely necessary and then he can only go to the corner store or to Mrs. Negly's house," John said, his tone leaving no room for any more discussion on the subject.

Dean shook his head and went back to staring out the window while Daniel muttered a quick "yes sir" before turning his attention back to the research he held on his lap. Research that Sam had meticulously done for this current hunt…a hunt he wouldn't be on with them. Daniel had a bad feeling about leaving Sam, but then again, he always felt uneasy when Sam wasn't with them. With he and Dean out of school now, even Sam being in classes all day was hard. Daniel knew it was hard on his father too, but the man was very good at keeping his feelings hidden. He glanced over at John and could tell just by the way the man clenched his jaw that he wasn't okay with the situation either, but Daniel had to admit that Sam was being particularly difficult of late. He knew it had everything to do with raging hormones, but still, at times it was hard to not choke the little brat. Daniel smiled to himself and shook his head. Sam was really going through the wringer with this whole teenager thing, much worse than either he or Dean had dealt with. His heart went out to the kid and then he thought that maybe the time by himself may do Sam a world of good. It didn't stop him from feeling uncomfortable with the situation, but he did his best to put the bad feelings out of his mind.


Sam smiled to himself as he ascended the steps to the rundown house (shack) they currently called home. The second the Impala disappeared from sight, a feeling of freedom swept over him. He nearly skipped back toward the house before climbing the steps and stepping into the dark livingroom. No school for a week due to Spring Break, and no family to order him around seemed like heaven to the 15 year old. Sam walked to the kitchen where guns lay in a line on the yellowed kitchen table. He sighed as his gaze swept over the weapons and decided that he may as well get them cleaned now. That way he'd have the rest of his 'vacation' to do as he pleased…"as long as I stay in the house and don't draw attention," he thought ruefully to himself.

Sam pulled out a chair and sat at the table then reached for the first gun. He began to disassemble the weapon and once that was complete he went to work cleaning. Over the next four hours, he methodically worked his way through the guns until each one was laid out, barrels gleaming in the low light of the overhead light. Sam pushed back from the table and stretched his arms over his head. He twisted his neck, sighing when it cracked, releasing the tension that was causing a slight headache to creep up over the back of his head. He made his way to the refrigerator, opened the door and peered inside. Reaching in, he pulled out a half gallon of milk and an apple from the fruit crisper. Apple held tight in his teeth, he poured himself a glass of milk, put the carton back then headed for the livingroom. He set his glass of mild on the coffee table then dropped down onto the threadbare couch. He took a bite of the apple then reached for the television remote. It felt somewhat strange, and completely liberating to know that there would be no bullying big brothers to change the channel on him mid-program. A happy grin spread across his face as he settled back against the couch cushions. A night of uninterrupted television viewing lay ahead of him and he wasn't going to waste one second in starting his much longed for freedom.


"Well, this is about as much fun as a squirrel biting my nuts," Dean murmured as he shifted his feet beneath him, his back leant up against a large pine tree that had its branches bared of any needles by a long ago forest fire.

"Can it, Dean," John hissed from a few feet away, the moisture of his breath misting out in front of him in the cool night air.

"I hate to say it, Dad, but I think this hunt is a bust," Daniel offered from where he stood some ten feet away.

"Yeah, I agree, Dad. This is the third night we've been out here and all we've seen are a few raccoons and a very grumpy brown bear," Dean added, his head nodding in agreement with his brother.

John glanced from one son to the other then sighed as he pushed away from the tree he had been leaning against. "You boys are right. If something was going to happen, it would have happened by now," he admitted. He leaned over to gather up his duffel bag, smiling secretly to himself as he heard his sons doing the same thing. Truth be told, he was glad the hunt was a dud. He'd been feeling more and more uneasy being away from Sam for this long and that coupled with the thought that the last time they had tried to check in with Sam, the kid hadn't answered his phone had John antsy to get home to make sure his youngest son was safe and sound. The three Winchester men trudged silently through the forest, each sighing in relief when the Impala came to sight. They packed their gear and weapons into the trunk, climbed into the car and headed out of the forest toward the highway that would take them home.


Sam came awake with a start, his hazel eyes wide as he glanced quickly around the room. The television flickered with snow, the channel he'd been watching off the air for the night. He sat up and reached across the coffee table and flicked off the television. He stood from the couch and stretched his arms high above his head then grabbed up his cellphone and flipped it open. No new messages or calls had come in while he slept. He frowned slightly as he wondered how his father and brothers were doing on their hunt. He'd missed the call from his dad the day before and when he'd tried to call back, the call would not go through. He shuffled off down the hallway to his room, stripped off his clothes then slipped into his sleep pants and a tee shirt. Glancing toward the door, he shrugged his shoulders then crawled into bed. His teeth wouldn't rot out if he missed one night of brushing he concluded as he buried himself beneath the covers and slowly drifted to sleep, completely oblivious to the spark and crackle of unseen, frayed wires buried deep within the walls of the rundown house he called home.


"Dad, we almost home yet?" Dean asked groggily from the back seat, his sleepy eyes staring out into the darkness as he tried to figure out where they were.

John glanced into the rearview mirror at this son and smiled slightly. "We still have a few hours. You may as well get some more sleep," he answered gruffly.

"Nah, I'm okay. Looks like Danny's out for the count though," Dean said.

"Yeah, he finally lost the battle a few hours ago," John said with a chuckle.

"Have you tried to call Sammy?"

"No. I figure he's probably sleeping. We'll be home soon enough anyway," John answered.

"I guess," Dean murmured. "I wonder why he didn't answer when you called him before."

"Dean, he's fine," John said as he once again glanced at his son in the mirror. "You need to stop worrying so much about the kid. He can handle himself pretty darned well and besides, he was given strict instructions to not leave the house unless absolutely necessary. He may be being a little jerk lately, but he's not going to disobey a direct order. He's at home and perfectly safe."

"Yeah, you're right. How much trouble could he possibly get into stuck in the house for three days?" Dean said with a chuckle.


Sam wasn't sure what awoke him, but it didn't take long for him to realize that something was very, very wrong. He was having a hard time breathing and his sleep addled mind took a few moments to realize that it was because his room was filled with smoke. Sam coughed roughly as he rolled out of his bed and onto the floor, his belly as flat to the bare wood as he could possibly get it. Fear ripped through him, but he tamped it down as he began to crawl toward the door. He would have gone out his window if it hadn't been boarded up several days ago after a heavy wind had blown a branch right through it. His father never did anything half assed and the time and energy it would take to kick the boards away could very likely be the death of him. So, crawling down the hall to one of the other bedrooms and escaping from a window there was really Sam's only option.
Sam was half way down the hall when suddenly what sounded like a gunshot went off from the direction of the living room. "Oh crap…the guns!" Sam croaked out, his throat raw from the smoke and his face red from the heat that wafted over him like a furnace. Making a decision that could be his last, Sam raised up onto his hands and knees and crawled quickly towards the kitchen, the teenager praying that the fire was contained in the living room where the ammunition was stored. Obviously, the fire had reached the bag containing the bullets and Sam could only hope that he could reach the kitchen and the guns his father had accumulated over the years of hunting. Sam knew how important those guns were to his father and how upset he would be if they were destroyed. Once he reached the end of the hallway, Sam peered around the corner of the entryway and saw flames licking across the ceiling of the living room, but sighed in relief when he was that the fire had not yet reached the kitchen. He lowered down as far as he could and as quickly as he could he crawled through the corner of the living room and through the entry into the kitchen, the pops of the bullets exploding continuing as his hands met the linoleum floor.

Sam stopped as he was besieged by a lung rattling coughing fit, his body jerking violently until finally the coughing fit eased and he was able to continue into the kitchen. His eyes watering profusely and burning painfully, Sam finally reached the kitchen table where the guns still lay from when he'd cleaned them. He pulled himself up from the floor and reached for the guns. Suddenly, a loud woosh sounded from behind the teenager and he was thrown to the floor as fire erupted through the kitchen doorway and began to creep along the walls and ceilings. The heat singed Sam's hair and burned his skin and he knew that he if he didn't get out immediately, he would never get out. He crawled under the table, choosing to take the most direct way to the back door. When he finally reached the door, the kitchen was nearly engulfed in flames. Sam grabbed at the doorknob and pulled himself up, pulling the door open as he reached his feet. He flung the door open and rushed onto the small back porch. Just as his foot hit the first step down, the fire exploded through the back door and Sam flew forward off the porch, the fire completing engulfing him as his world turned completely black.

:evil Dun, dun, dun!! That's it for now. I'll post the second part in a few days.


A huge thanks to Jules' Aunt Chris (Chasidern) for my two wonderful banners and my matching avatar!

Demon Hunter
Demon Hunter
Joined: 1:26 PM - Jul 01, 2006

11:21 AM - Feb 28, 2015 #2

Figures you would leave it there Fred :thud

I love the Three Brothers verse!! I've told you before I normally don't read AU stories where there is an extra sibling but I got hooked on your stories that included Daniel :)

Actually this is funny you posted this,because I just downloaded a bunch of your stories on my Kindle so I could re-read them again. The Three Brothers stories were the first ones I nabbed :D

Can't wait until you post the next chapter!!

kiss kiss


My requested banner made by Steff's daughter Bex. Awesome job hun.

Joined: 8:42 PM - Jul 03, 2006

9:05 PM - Feb 28, 2015 #3

dun dun dun my tushie! :jacket how could you just leave us dangling :jedi

Thanks to Xlozx for the Awesome Banner and Avi!

Hounds of the Baskervilles Starts Soon! Sign up By March 18th

Ghostly Mental Patient
Ghostly Mental Patient
Joined: 6:59 PM - Sep 28, 2006

7:12 PM - Mar 09, 2015 #4

;) I cannot believe that I forgot to come in and post the second chapter! And when I tried to do it this weekend from my laptop, it would not let me even open the document!! What?! Thankfully I have the chapter on my work computer so here it is!!! :cheer

Up In Smoke – Chapter 2

John was tired…deep down to the bones tired. It had been an exhausting hunt, further complicated by the fact that his youngest son was not with him where he and his other two boys could watch out for him and keep him safe. Though John had tried to convince himself that Sam was safer at home than he would be if he had come on the hunt, he couldn’t quite get his mind to fully accept that notion. In his mind, his sons were always the safest when they were together, with him where he could keep an eye on them. Sam being the youngest, the need to always keep him in sight and protected was stronger than with the two elder Winchester boys. All three Winchester men held this to be true, much to Sam’s chagrin most of the time. John smiled to himself as he thought about his strong-willed, independent youngest son. Sam was so much like his mother that sometimes it hurt to think about it. Kind and sensitive, inquisitive almost to a fault, yet strong and able as well, Sam was the epitome of Mary. The boy drove him to the brink of madness on some days, but John could never deny the overwhelming love he had for the kid. It was the level of near insanity the boy had driven him to that had finally made John make the decision to leave Sam home alone. He didn’t like it, but he felt that at the time, Sam was safer to be alone and not near him than the alternative. So with a heavy heart and concerned mind, John had left Sam to fend for himself and it was one of the hardest things he had ever done. Now though, the hunt was over and they were only minutes from home.

John had never felt so eager to get back home after a hunt as he did at that moment so when he turned the corner onto their block, his mind could not quite comprehend what his eyes were seeing. Emergency vehicles blocked the street, the flashing lights of the fire trucks and police cruisers dancing across the houses that lined the street. A crowd of onlookers stood on the sidewalk across the street from the house the Winchesters currently called home and John had to suppress a gasp when he saw that it was that house, the house where he had left his youngest son alone for several days, that the emergency vehicles were there for. The house was nearly gone. Heavy smoke still filled the air, but the flames that had eaten the house up were out, the firefighters still obviously working on hotspots as they continued to pump ample amounts of water onto the charred remains. John could hear the anguished cries of Daniel and Dean, but the voices sounded muffled and far away to him as he tried to come to grips with what he was seeing. He slammed on the brakes of the impala, rammed it into park and was out of the car before the engine even had a chance to wind down. He ran toward the house, the father in him now fully aware of his two sons right on his tail. His dark eyes searched the area in front of the house then moved to the crowd of onlookers on the other side of the street. His eyes welled with tears as no dark mop of messy hair could be seen anywhere. He suddenly became acutely aware of raised voices and turned his gaze toward the destroyed house only to find Daniel and Dean fighting to push past several police officers and firemen as they tried to get to the house where they had left their brother all those days ago.

John ran toward the squabble and grabbed the arms of both his sons when he reached them. He pulled them away from the uniformed men and pushed them behind him. The young men complained loudly, but with one look from their father, they clamped their mouths shut and waited for him to speak. They both were like live wires standing there, their bodies shaking as the adrenaline pumped through them. Their little brother, their Sammy, had been in that house and now he was nowhere to be seen and all they wanted to do was find him, to make sure he was safe. The only obstacle that stood in their way was the group of men who just did not understand. They didn’t understand that the teenager in that house was their entire life, their whole reason for fighting as hard as they did, day in and day out. That one scrawny, bratty, pain in the butt, genius of a little brother was what kept them all going and nobody was going to stand in their way. John’s voice, low and gruff, was the only thing that kept them from moving forward again and they waited with bated breaths to hear what he had to say.

“My son…my youngest son…where is he? You got him out…you had to have gotten him out. Please tell me you got him out!”

Dean and Daniel had never heard their father sound so broken. They glanced at each other, then at John as he stood before the police officers and firemen, pleading with them to tell him that he hadn’t just lost the most precious thing in his life. Their eyes then turned to the group of men and they waited too. They waited to hear that their world had not just ended, that their reason for breathing was still alive. They didn’t have to wait long as one fireman stepped forward and reached out a gloved hand to gently grip the arm of their visibly trembling father.

“Sir, your son is on his way to the hospital. He…”

“What happened? Is he okay? What…what…where…”

“He has some burns, smoke inhalation. He was unconscious when we arrived and found him…he was still unconscious when they took him away in the ambulance,” the fireman stated sympathetically.

Daniel stepped forward then and placed it on John’s shoulder, his dark eyes staring intently the fireman. “You found him? Where did you find him?” he asked, his voice trembling with emotion.

“He was found behind the house, at the bottom of the porch stairs. He got himself out thankfully or the situation would have been much, much worse,” the fireman answered.

“He’s going to be okay, isn’t he?” Dean asked anxiously as he stepped up next to his brother.

The fireman sighed as he met Dean’s expectant gaze. “I’m sorry, I can’t tell you that for sure. He’ll be assessed at the hospital and the doctors there should be able to tell you more. He was having difficulty breathing from the smoke inhalation, but they’ll do everything they can to fix that, I assure you. I can tell you how to get to the hospital. It’s…”

“No need…I know where it is,” John’s voice sounded. “Thank you for helping my boy.” And with that, John turned and headed back to the impala, both Dean and Daniel following closely behind.

The group of men dispersed and went back to their jobs, the one fireman who had spoken to the three devastated men saying a silent prayer that the doctors could save the boy that obviously meant the world them. He turned back toward the smoldering house as the impala roared to life and disappeared down the street in a flash.


Dean hated hospitals. He hated them with every fiber of his being. He hated that any member of his family ever had to be in one, but what he hated the most was when that family member was his baby brother. It had only happened a few times. Once when Sam had been targeted by a rampaging spirit who did not want to cross over and another time when a bad case of bronchitis had decided to take a nasty turn and had become a full blown case of pneumonia. Both times nearly did the three elder Winchesters in, so the thought that Sam was here now, somewhere behind closed doors, possibly fighting for his life and definitely not where he belonged, with his family, listening as they filled him in on their latest hunting adventure, was almost more than Dean could bear. He knew his father and brother felt the same way as he did, both elder Winchesters pacing the floor like caged tigers as they watched the ER doors intently.

The Winchesters had arrived at the hospital one hour ago, the men practically running to the information desk, their three voices raising higher and higher, words pouring out in a symphony of incomprehensible gibberish as the poor receptionist tried to understand what was being shouted at her. Finally, she’d had to slam a book down on the counter to get the three of them to shut up long enough for her to ask that only one of them speak so she could actually understand who they were inquiring about. In the end, she had only been able to tell them that Sam had been brought in via ambulance and that everything was being done to help him and that they would just need to sit down and wait for a doctor to come tell them about their family member. Papers had been given to John to fill out and the three Winchesters had shuffled their way to the waiting area and that was where they were now, still in the dark about Sam and all three becoming more and more agitated as the minutes ticked by.

The ER doors finally opened and a tired looking man in scrubs stepped out with a clipboard in his hands, his eyes landing on the only people in the waiting room at the time. The poor man found himself surrounded by three very anxious, very scary looking men and he thought for a moment that he may soon be the one who needed medical attention. John, seeing the fear in the doctor’s eyes, made a low sound in his throat and both Daniel and Dean immediately backed off and let their father take the reins. John nodded slightly at his sons then turned to the man in scrubs.

“Mr. Wells?” the doctor asked as he glanced down at the clipboard he held.

“Yes, that’s me. How is my son?” John answered expectantly.

The doctor smiled tiredly at the man before him. “I’m Dr. Howard. I’ve been taking care of Sam since he was brought in. Maybe we can take a seat so we can talk a little more comfortably?”

“Just…please, tell me about my son. Is he okay?”

“Sam is going to be just fine, Mr. Wells,” Dr. Howard replied. He saw all three men visibly relax at his words and he felt his energy lift ever so slightly. He always loved it when he could share good news with desperate loved ones.

“He’s okay, then?” Daniel asked, a slight grin creeping over his handsome face.

“He’s going to need to stay in the hospital for a few days until his breathing eases, but yes, he’s okay. He is a very lucky young man from what I was told,” the doctor answered.

“The fireman told us he was burned,” Dean stated, his green eyes staring at the doctor intently.

The doctor sighed as he once again glanced down at his clipboard. “Yes, he did have some burns on his back, arms and legs, but they aren’t severe. They won’t leave any scarring, but he’ll be tender for some time. Of the most concern to me are his lungs. There is a problem with smoke inhalation, but Sam is responding well to treatment so far. We have him sedated and on oxygen.”

“When can we see him?” John asked.

“I’ll take you up right now. He should be situated in his room once we get there. He’s pretty out of it due to the pain medication we gave him, but he was awake when I left him to be transferred to a room. Shall we?” the doctor asked as he indicated the way to the elevator.

The Winchesters followed behind the doctor and within ten minutes they were outside of Sam’s hospital room, all three eager to get to finally see their youngest family member. When they stepped inside the dimly lit room they all stopped and just stared at the form lying still as can be under the bright white bedding. Sam looked small in the bed. He had IV tubes protruding from the back of his hand and an oxygen mask covered his nose and mouth. One finger had a clip on it to record his oxygen levels which they could read on the monitor beside the bed. Sam appeared to be sleeping, but when the three men stepped up to his bed, he blinked open tired, red rimmed eyes and stared up at his family. He turned his head slightly when John took his hand and gave it a gentle squeeze.

“Hey, kiddo. We can’t leave you alone for a second, can we?” John said softly, his dark eyes taking in Sam’s heat reddened cheeks and singed hair. Loose bandages covered his arms and John was sure it would be the same on his legs and back.

“’m sorry, D’d,” Sam whispered breathlessly, the words muffled to the point where they were barely audible due to the mask that covered his mouth.

“No, Sammy…I didn’t mean it like that. You have nothing to be sorry for, okay?” John said in a rush when he realized his words had been taken as an accusation.

Sam gazed up at his father then nodded slightly. He rolled his head to the other side when Daniel and Dean eased up to the side of the bed opposite John. Daniel brushed the hair from Sam’s eyes as he smiled down at his baby brother, the relief apparent in his dark eyes.

“We were so scared when we saw the house, Sammy. We didn’t know if you were still inside or not and…god, I’m so happy to see you, squirt…you have no idea!” Daniel breathed out, the young man near to tears at that point.

Sam smiled tiredly under the oxygen mask, his eyes blinking slowly as he tried to stay awake. Dean leaned over the bed and cupped the side of Sam’s face. “You rest now, Sammy. We’ll be here when you wake up, okay?” he said as his fingers brushed through the fringe of Sam’s hair.

“’kay,” Sam whispered, his eyes already closing as the pain medication and exhaustion from his very hectic day pulled him down into the abyss of slumber.

The three men stood beside the bed for several minutes just watching Sam as he slept. Finally, John huffed out a tired breath and brushed a hand through his dark hair. “I’m going to get us some coffee. I’ll be back in a few,” he said as he moved toward the door. “Watch out for your brother,” he added when he pulled the door open.

“Always,” Dean replied with a quick glance toward his father.


Sam sat on the side of his bed, his feet barely touching the floor as he waited for his brothers to return to the room with the clothes they had been instructed to go purchase by John. John was standing near the window, his dark eyes gazing out into the sunlight beyond, apparently deep in thought. Sam glanced up through his long bangs and warily eyed his father.

“Why don’t you just say it, Dad,” Sam finally said as the silence in the room became too much for him.

John turned from the window and glanced at his youngest son. The redness had faded from Sam’s face and his breathing had improved dramatically over the past three days. He was now ready to be released and John couldn’t be more happy about that. Pastor Jim was awaiting their arrival in Blue Earth where they would be spending some time while Sam recovered fully. They hadn’t spoken all that much over the course of Sam’s stay, John choosing to rent a motel room and stay there while his son’s took turns coming to the motel to sleep while the other stayed with Sam. John came every day to see how Sam was doing, but since Sam was in no danger of dying, he spent most of his time at the motel looking for another hunt, or the thing that had killed his Mary. He’d had the uncomfortable meeting with the police detectives wondering why they found the remnants of so many weapons within the charred remains of the house. That conversation was the reason they would be leaving for Blue Earth as soon as Sam’s release papers were signed.

“Why did you have so many guns, Mr. Wells?”

“I’m an ex-marine and a gun enthusiast…what can I say?”

“Okay, you’re a gun enthusiast. I’m sure that you have all the permits needed for those guns?”

“Yes, I have permits. Unfortunately, they burned up in the fire along with the guns or I would show you.”

“That is unfortunate. Guess we’ll have to do it the time consuming way and get the paperwork we need from the state.”

“Guess so.”

“So, Mr. Wells, why was your son left alone for so long in a house that was barely livable?”

“I move around a lot for my job and couldn’t find a better place to live as quickly as I needed. I was working on finding a more suitable house, but then me and my boys got called away for a job…a big job with a good paycheck. I couldn’t pass it up and Sammy didn’t want to come along. Something to do with school. I let him stay home because he is a very responsible kid.”

“He almost died, Mr. Wells. He shouldn’t have been left for that length of time…”

“Look, I get it, okay. I know he shouldn’t have been left, but I did what I had to do to care for my family. Since Sam’s mother died, my boys have had to grow up real fast and I hate it…I really, really hate it, but that’s the way it is. I have to do whatever is necessary to provide for my family and if that means that I have to leave once in a while then that’s the way it is.”

“Well, after speaking with Sam, we can’t say that there was any real neglect on your part, but Mr. Wells, in the future I would suggest that you either take your kid with you or find someplace for him to stay where he isn’t alone.”

“Yeah, I’ll do that…am I free to go now? I’d like to go to the hospital and see my son.”

“Yes, you’re free to go.”

“What did you say, Sammy?” John asked as he shook away the memories of the earlier conversation.

“I asked why you don’t just say what you want to say to me,” Sam answered.

“Um, not sure what you’re talking about, kiddo.”

Sam sighed as he fiddled with the bandages around his wrist. “The fire, Dad. You think it’s my fault…you’re pissed that I didn’t save the guns. Just say it and get it over with, okay?”

John’s eyes widened at his son’s words. He had been wondering what had caused the fire. He hadn’t heard anything from the fire investigators yet and wondered if he would before they left town. He walked over to the bed and looked down on his youngest son.

“Sam, I don’t think it’s your fault, okay, but…but what happened? Did you leave a burner on by accident?” John finally asked.

“What? No, I didn’t leave a burner on. I knew you were thinking the fire was my fault!”

“Sammy, you have to look at it from my perspective. We’ve lived in that place for awhile now and have never had a problem and then we leave you alone for a few days and it burns down? What am I supposed to think about that? And about the guns…I just…I’m wondering why you didn’t grab them as you escaped through the kitchen…they were right there, son. It took me many years to collect all those weapons and now, they’re just gone.”

“You weren’t there, Dad! The fire…it just…I…I tried to get the guns, but the fire just spread so fast. It was eating up the ceiling and…I…you know what, just…nevermind. You’ve obviously decided that I screwed up and you lost your precious guns because of it. I’m sorry I didn’t save them and only saved myself!” Sam cried, tears welling in his eyes as he dropped his head.

John sighed and brushed his hand through his hair. This was so not how he wanted this conversation to go. His son was alive and relatively healthy and that was what really mattered, but the hunter in him grieved the loss of so many good weapons…weapons that would be almost impossible to replace. He looked at Sam, his head hung low, chin to chest, the kid obviously feeling as if the guns meant more to John than he did. He reached out and gently lifted Sam’s face up to meet his. He smiled when sad, glistening hazel eyes met his.

“Sammy, I’m so damned happy you got yourself out and I’m sorry I made it sound like the guns were more important to me than you. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I love you, kiddo, and I’d give up everything I have, even my life to keep you safe. I can get more guns, but I can never replace you.”

Sam’s eyes glistened as he stared up at his father. He knew the man was upset with losing the weapons, but he only saw truth on his face as John smiled down at him. His body relaxed a bit at that and finally he smiled back up at his father. “Thanks, Dad,” he whispered softly.

“I love you, Sammy…you know that, right?”

Sam nodded as he gave John another smile. “I know, Dad…I love you too,” he said.

The door to the room flew open then and both Sam and John glanced over to see Dean and Daniel practically skip into the room, shopping bags hanging from their hands. The both stopped when they saw that Sam had obviously been crying and John was looking a bit on the guilty side.

“Um, did we miss something? Is everything okay, Sammy?” Dean asked as he glared at his father before hurrying to his kid brother’s side.

“I’m fine, Dean. I’m just really happy to be getting out of here,” Sam replied.

Dean looked at Sam suspiciously then nudged him on the shoulder. “You sure, kiddo?”

Sam sighed nudged his brother right back. “I’m sure. Now can I get dressed so we can get out of here already? And you better not have gotten me anything dorky!” he said.

“Sam, anything you wear is dorky because…well, you’re a dork!” Dean quipped as he ruffled Sam’s hair.

John chuckled and glanced at his eldest son. Daniel had a grin on his face as he watched his younger brothers. At that moment, John’s cell phone rang so he nodded at Daniel as he headed for the door. He flipped his phone open as he reached the door. “This is John,” he said into the phone as he glanced back to see his two older boys happily helping their baby brother get dressed in his new clothes. He stepped into the hallway and let the door slip shut behind him.

A half an hour later they were on the road and headed for Blue Earth. There was no doubt a hot, home cooked meal awaited them along with comfortable beds and all the hospitality they could dream of. Pastor Jim adored the Winchester boys and loved having the family stay with him and he never held back on anything when they came to visit. John listened with a grin at the banter coming from the back seat. He glanced over at Daniel who was seated in the front passenger seat, the young man turned so he too could be part of the conversation between his brothers. John returned his gaze to the highway before him and thought back to the conversation in the hallway at the hospital.

“Mr. Wells, I’m just calling to let you know that we have determined the cause of the fire that destroyed your home four days ago.”

“Yeah? What was it?”

“The fire started due to old, faulty wiring in the wall of the livingroom. It looks like the wiring hadn’t been replaced for many, many years. Possibly had never been replaced. At any rate, you should be able to get some monetary compensation from the landlord since it was his responsibility to keep up on the safety of his rental property.”

“The only thing of value that I care about is right here with me. Thank you for letting me know.”

“Of course. You take care of that family of yours, Mr. Wells.”

“No need to even say that. Thanks again.”

“You’re welcome. I’m just glad your story had a happy ending.”

John had hung the phone up after that and had gone back into Sam’s room to find all of his boys waiting anxiously to leave. They’d done so after John hunted down the release papers and now they were on their way out of town. John thought back to his conversation with Sam and also to what he had been thinking over the days that Sam was in the hospital. He had been quick to jump to the conclusion that the fire had most likely been due to Sam being irresponsible and he hated himself for allowing that to show enough that Sam was able to pick up on it. After all of his blaming Sam for the blaze, it was his own fault for neglecting to make sure that the place he had expected his sons to live in was safe. He had nobody but himself to blame and he had nearly lost his baby boy because of it. He thought to himself as he drove down that long highway that never again would he be so thickheaded and irresponsible to put any of his sons so blatantly in harm’s way again. He loved them too much for that and it was high time he proved it.


:D That's all she wrote!!! Hope you liked it!

Fred :P

A huge thanks to Jules' Aunt Chris (Chasidern) for my two wonderful banners and my matching avatar!