Word Count: 1,181
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His mother’s face is pale and there are tears on her cheeks. She picks him up, holding him beside her belly and Dean pats it absently.
“Don’t you ever do that again!” she says in this low, scared voice that Dean has never heard before.
“I was just-“ Dean’s starting to feel funny because his Mother’s upset and people are looking at them.
“Ever again!” she repeats, setting Dean on his feet and shaking him once, holding his shoulders.
Dean solemnly reaches up and places both palms flat on the place where they tell him his brother is. “Dad says you’re motional. Is this motional?”
His Mother lets out a shuddery laugh and scoops him up again and Dean is relieved.
Dean has a sandwich, a juice box and one of his Father’s knives in his tiny suitcase when he leaves.
He gets to the end of the property and that’s where his plans fall down. He isn’t allowed to cross the street by himself. He circles the block a few times, frustration growing. It would’ve been so much easier to leave if he’d just done it at their last house.
It backed up onto a forest and he wouldn’t have had to cross a street for ages.
Dean is eyeing the manhole cover in the middle of the road because technically that’s crossing under the street when he feels a heavy hand on his shoulder.
“Watcha doin’ kiddo?”
Dean looks over his shoulder at his Father, blocking out the sun and not looking angry anymore. Dean doesn’t understand why his Father was so mad anyway. It’s not like Sammy’s eyebrows won’t grow back.
“Running away,” Dean says stiffly, setting his case down so he can get his sandwich. He then sets the case on the grass beside the sidewalk and sits on the lid. “I’m just… resting at the moment. Running away is a lot of hard work.”
“I don’t doubt that,” John agrees, lowering onto his haunches. “Mind if I rest too? Looking for my son is hard work.”
“I guess that’s okay,” Dean allows.
He wanted to go on the fieldtrip to Washington so much that even though his Father says no, Dean is packed and waiting at the bus with everyone else.
Mrs Ellin pulls him aside when she notices him.
“Dean, I didn’t think your Dad signed your permission slip. Did he change his mind?”
“Yes Mam,” Dean says, yanking the crumpled piece of paper from his back pocket. He was getting pretty good at his Father’s signature from the times he’d had to sign notes for Sammy when his Father was away.
“Dean Winchester!” A voice cracks the early morning stillness and Dean winces, shoulders hunching.
His Father is striding across the common, long black coat trailing in the breeze and looking red-faced and furious.
Dean’s eyes flick sideways and he sees Sammy making blowfish faces on the side window of the car at him.
“Honey, I’m sure your Father has a good reason for not letting you go,” Mrs Ellin tries, patting Dean on one shoulder.
She’s not one hundred percent sure, but she thinks she hears, “Yeah, stupid werewolf!” as Dean turns and slowly makes his way over to his Father.
“Maybe just for the first couple of months, just till he’s settled.”
Dean doesn’t argue with John Winchester. Dean never argues with John Winchester.
Until he does.
“If you leave you can stay gone too.”
“Don’t say that,” Dean pleads, feeling his heart constrict.
“Okay, so maybe I saw this coming with Sam, but not with you. Never with you. We have a duty Dean, a mission. You telling me you can walk out on that?”
“It’s one or the other Dean. You can’t be Hunting and gallivanting after your brother at the same time. He doesn’t need you anyway. He made very clear he doesn’t need either of us.”
That’s not true, Dean wants to yell. He wants to scream it so badly, but the fact remains that he’s not entirely sure.
Because Sam didn’t ask him to go with him.
He just wanted to.
Dean had gotten so used to waving goodbye to things that he wanted as they disappeared over the horizon that he’d lost the knack of holding on.
“Sorry, Sir. I don’t… I’m not going anywhere.”
His Father seemed to deflate, bringing a hand up to squeeze Dean’s shoulder. “Maybe… maybe we can swing by and check on him, from time to time,” he said, his eyes skating over Dean’s face and to the wall behind his head.
“Sure Dad,” Dean sighed. “Sure we can.”
Leaving at twenty-seven is reminiscent of his attempt at flight twenty years earlier, except without the sandwich and juice box.
All he has is his knife.
He sits behind the wheel of the Impala for an hour, knuckles white from his grip on it but he can’t seem to peel them free long enough to turn the key in the ignition. There’s a tap on the window and Dean sighs.
The passenger door squeaks as it’s opened and then Sam slides in. “You know, it’s pretty damn cold out here,” he says, breath misting the air before he pulls the door closed. He turns on his side so he’s facing Dean, one leg pulled up on the seat and knee resting against the gear shift.
“I’m leaving if you don’t mind,” Dean growls, peeling one of his hands free long enough to make a dismissive gesture at Sam before returning it to the wheel.
“I noticed. You’ve been leaving for a while. Something wrong with the car?”
“Nothing’s wrong with the car,” Dean snaps.
“Okay, something wrong with you then?”
“Maybe. I seem to be having trouble. Did you whammy me or something?” Dean raises an eyebrow in suspicion and Sam chuckles.
“Not last time I checked.”
“Maybe it was a subconscious-“
“Dean, I didn’t do anything to you. You’re mad but I’m the one that runs in this family. It’s just not in you.”
Dean snorts, finally relinquishing his hold on the steering wheel and slumps back in his seat. “You don’t run. You know what you want and you move towards it. That’s different.”
“That’s…thanks,” Sam says, smiling the kind of smile that lights up his whole face and Dean grudgingly grins back, never being able to help it.
“Aw, hell Sammy. We just… I’m not sure how to do this.”
Sam reaches across, trailing fingers along Dean’s jaw. “We don’t have to figure anything out now,” he says, the smile still in his voice.
Dean turns his head just enough that Sam’s fingers are now on his lips. He presses a quick kiss to them and then pulls the hand down, resting it against his throat, against his pulse.
“You were supposed to be a married lawyer and I was supposed to die alone.”
“Things don’t always work out the way you planned.”
Dean chuckles, pulling the key out of the ignition. “It’s freezing out here,” he says.