By Enola Jones

The first time Sam had a vision, Dean held his head in his lap and wanted to say, This wasn't too bad Sammy, sometimes it's like a bomb going off in your head or Do you feel what they feel when you see them? or just Oh, thank God, it's not just me.

But John's standing right there, and instead Dean cut his eyes sideways and said, "What the hell, Sam?"

Sam shook his head and shrugged. "Dunno.....hurt....."

"Sam," John began.

"Dad, I've got this," Dean interrupted. He looked up at his father. "Seriously -- I've got this."

John looked at him for a long moment, then stood up. "Okay, Dean. I trust you." He carded his hand through Sam's long hair. "Take care of your brother." And he left the room.

Dean waited until he heard the Impala drive away, then he grabbed Sam into a bear hug and whispered, "Dad's gone. It's just the two of us. Tell me, are you honestly okay?"

"I'm scared," Sam whispered into his neck. "I'm really scared. That really hurt, D..."

"Bet it did," Dean said, rocking him slightly. "What did you see?"

Slowly, Sam's head tilted back until he was frowning into Dean's eyes. "....see?"

Dean nodded. "What did you see?"

"But....I thought...."

A sad smile touched Dean's lips. "Dude -- Dad was right there. You think I'm gonna tell him these are more than just headaches?"

Sam frowned a little deeper. "Uh.... yeah. It's Dad."

"Exactly, Sammy. It's Dad. Our dad, who hunts people who do things like this because he thinks they're all evil!"

Alarm reared in Sam's eyes and he clutched at Dean's shirt. "I'm .... I'm evil?" he whispered brokenly.

"No! No, Sammy, I didn't mean it that way at all!" He licked his lips. "Sammy -- am I evil?"

"No!" came the immediate reply. "No, you've got the biggest heart and you treat everybody politely that's not a teacher of yours and you're always here for me and---"

Dean felt him still and watched those fox eyes focus on his face. He could almost see the wheels turning. He gave Sam a small smile. Come on, Sammy-boy. Put it together. Don't make me say it out loud. I don't know if I can ... not even for you.

Slowly, realisation began to light the moss-coloured eyes, that widened with the shock of it. Sam didn't try to pull away, which gave Dean some hope, but his jaw lowered as he gaped openly at his older brother.

Dean's shoulder lifted in a too-casual shrug.


Dean nodded slowly.

"You? You see things?"

Another slow nod.

"Like this? Pain and all?"

"Pain and all," Dean whispered.

Sam's hands left his hold on Dean's shirt and snaked around his body, grabbing him in a hug that was as much convulsion as it was an attempt at comfort. "How.... How long?"

"Since I was about your age," Dean said, his own arms tightening in reassurance. "Twelve, thirteen. Puberty hit and they started."

"And you kept it from Dad," Sam realised, but Dean heard the unspoken and from me.

"I kept it from Dad," Dean emphasized the name, "because I know him. He'd try to exorcise me or hunt me down. I kept it from you, because if there was a chance that I was the only freak in the family, I was sure as hell gonna keep you away from it." He smiled against Sam's hair. "Because I know you -- you'd have been counting down the days in either excitement or terror until your own abilities developed and you'd have it hanging over your head and there was no way I was going to have that happen to you."

Sam tilted his head up so he could look at his brother's face. "But they have."

"Yeah, squirt. They have." Dean stood, carrying Sam with him and sat him on the bed. "So now we're in the same boat."

"Keeping it from Dad."

"Right. So come on, little brother -- what did you see?"

"Someone sh-shot Dad."

Dean's face hardened. "Where was he?"

"At the convenient store on the other end of town."

Dean spared Sam a quick hug before standing up. "Let's go." He didn't bother to correct Sam's mispronunciation of "convenience" this time. "That's just where Dad's gone, if I know him."

A quick phone call brought a taxi to their room. They piled into it and had just given the name of the store their father was more than likely at -- when Sam saw Dean's eyes go huge and horrifyingly blank.

He reached over and grabbed Dean's wrist. But the stare lasted until they pulled up outside of the store. Dean hissed, his forehead falling into his palm, and he shook his head as they exited the taxi.

Sam threw a handful of bills at the driver --- not even bothering to see if they were anywhere close to the right amount -- and tugged Dean to the side. "So that was one of your visions."

Dean nodded, miserably.

"What did you see?"

"We're packing as soon as this is over," Dean hissed. "Taking the Impala and leaving. Dad is going to find out and we'll be in danger."

Sam slowly nodded and they snuck quietly up to the store.

The store was being robbed. The teenager beside the register was waving a gun around and John was clearly trying to talk him into dropping the gun.

"I've got an idea," Sam said suddenly. "Cover me."

Dean nodded, trusting his brother implicitly. They were joined by more than blood now, and somehow he sensed what Sam was planning.

Sam ambled into the store like he was the clueless 13 year old he appeared to be. He was whistling and strutting a little. Ignoring the guy with the gun, he strode right up to the counter and brazenly asked for a pack of cigarettes. He smacked down a piece of plastic. "I got ID..."

And suddenly he had the barrel of a gun behind his ear. "Boy, your timing stinks," the robber ground out.

Sam shrugged. "It's been said." He actually turned and smiled at the robber. "Besides, my timing's just about perfect."

"What do you mean?" the robber asked, frowning.

And Sam threw himself to the side as John Winchester barreled into the kid, picking up the gun and literally throwing it right into Dean's hands as he entered the store.

Sam had been gambling on his father's you-messed-with-my-boys instinct coming through.

The Winchesters stood side-by-side as the robber was led away in handcuffs. The cab driver came back to give Sam his $40 in change from the handful of bills that had been tossed in his lap.

John squeezed their shoulders. "I don't know how you knew," he breathed. "But I'm glad you showed up. C'mon -- let's go get some rest. I think we need it."

The boys looked at each other. They had packing to do.

"Dean," John said suddenly. "I've been thinking. That's the last cab ride you boys will take. I'm going car shopping tomorrow. You can have the Impala. Happy birthday, son."

Dean froze, a look of stunned shock on his face. He grinned and thanked his father.

Sam was grinning as well, but a current of cold passed through the boys as they looked at each other.

Dean's vision still had to come to pass.

They were leaving. The two of them against the world. Two young psychics on their own.

Somehow, it felt like it was the way it should always have been.


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