Chapter 7: Christmas Break
Dean dropped Sam off at school. Sam went to his homeroom class and sat in his seat. Josh came in a few minutes later and sat next to Sam. Sam hadn't seen Josh in about two weeks. It was like he just up and disappeared. Sam watched Josh sit down.
"Where have you been?" Sam asked Josh. Josh put his head down and didn't answer. "Josh, come on. What's wrong?"
"Just leave me alone," snapped Josh.
Sam jumped a little at the harshness of Josh's tone. He didn't know what he did to upset Josh so much. It wasn't like Sam had seen him in two weeks. Sam sat back in his chair and put his head down. This was going to be a long day. Usually, Josh would make the day bearable when it came to Mr. Baxter, but now Josh isn't talking to him so that meant he would have to deal with the homeroom teacher on his own.
As Sam thought, the day went by eerily quiet. He and Josh didn't talk. It didn't mean that Sam wasn't worried about his friend. It wasn't like him to not talk to him. He thought they were friends. Now, Sam began to wonder if what his Dad and brother were saying where true; friends were a luxury that the Winchesters couldn't afford. Even Jasmine didn't say much to Sam today. He just got a casual hi and bye when she walked passed him. Not even a smile. Sam shook his head and headed back to the homeroom class for the end of the day announcements.
Like always, when the announcements came on, he didn't speak. He didn't even look up. Then he heard the dreaded sound.
"Mr. Winchester," Steven said. "I want you to stay for a few minutes after the bell rings."
Sam's heart sank to his stomach. He couldn't keep hiding bruises from Dean. He got away with it one time. He doesn't think that he would next time. He knows in the back of Dean's mind that something was fishy about the explanation that he gave both his father and brother. Sam didn't want to press his luck with another lie.
"Did you hear me, Samuel?" Steven said.
"Yes sir," Sam said. "Sorry sir."
Sam looked over at Josh, hoping that he would look over at him. Josh didn't move one muscle. He didn't even acknowledge that Sam was looking at him. Sam put his head back down and waited for the inevitable ringing of the bell that to some signaled freedom, but to him it signaled dread and pain.
Riiing! Everyone got up and gathered their things. Sam didn't even move. Josh left without even saying anything. Sam's stomach was turning flips on him. He was scared out of his mind, wondering what he did the warrant him staying after class. Again. For the entire time that their Dad had been home, Sam didn't have to stay. During that time he actually had a fun time in homeroom. Now it's back to the way it was.
"Mr. Winchester," Steven said pulling Sam out of his thoughts. "Come here, please."
Dean was sitting in the Impala waiting on Sam- the windows rolled down and classic rock blasting from the speakers- when he saw Josh walking out of the school. Dean got out of the car.
"Josh," Dean called out. Josh looked up and then back down and headed for the buses. Dean's brow creased. He didn't just see him do that. Josh just completely ignored him as if he didn't say anything.
"Josh!" Dean said louder. Josh knew he could keep the act up any longer, stopped and faced Dean. Dean was walking over to him.
"What's wrong?" Dean asked.
"Nothing," Josh answered. "Sam's still in the school. Go talk to him. He needs to tell you something important."
"Go to our homeroom class," Josh said. "If you hurry, you just might catch him." Josh turned and headed back to the buses. Dean looked at him and then headed into the school. Something in him told him to rush. Run. Dean turned the corner that lead to Sam's homeroom class and almost ran into Mr. Baxter.
"Oh excuse...Mr. Winchester," Steven said. "What are you doing here?"
"In the classroom," Steven shrugged. Dean walked past Steven and headed towards the class room. He didn't acknowledge or even hear Steven's question of why he was in the school as the homeroom teacher knew he usually waited outside. Dean got to the class room, not expecting to find Sam as he did. He opened the door and saw Sam was sitting in his chair in the far corner of the room, writing.
"Sammy," Dean said.
Sam's stomach dropped. He didn't want to lift his head and look at his brother. He so wished that Dean wasn't standing there at that moment. How was he going to explain? Dean could tell Sam was hiding something.
"Sam," Dean said in a much sterner voice. "Look at me."
Reluctantly, Sam lifted his head. Dean walked over to his desk and looked at Sam. There was nothing on his face that would cause him to keep his head down. He didn't know why Sam felt the need to hide his face.
"Sammy," Dean said turning the chair in front of Sam's desk around so he could sit across from him. "What's going on? Josh pretty much tells me to run in here; you look like you've seen a ghost. Is everything alright?"
"Yeah, everything's fine," Sam lied. "I have to finish this before I can go."
Dean looked down at the papers. "What is this?" Taking the paper Sam was writing on and read it. "What is this? Lines? Why are your writing lines, Sam?"
Sam put his head back down.
"I will not cheat on my test. What the hell, Sam? Really. Cheating. This is not like you. Do you want me to call Dad?"
"What," Sam said softly. "And tell him you found a hunt?"
"Seriously, dude?! Screw the hunt! " Dean was fuming now. "What if Steven calls Dad again. I won't be able to keep Dad from taking you out of here. Which right now, doesn't seem like a bad idea."
Sam looked up at Dean with real hurt in his eyes. Dean knew that something was bothering him and it wasn't the lines he had to write. He just didn't know how to get Sam to talk.
"I wish you would talk to me, Sammy." Dean put the paper back in front of Sam and stood up.
"Dean," Sam said. "Can we go home?"
Now, Dean really knew that something was wrong. Whenever Sam would sound like a small child wanting to go home he knew something was bothering him and Sam just didn't know how to tell him.
"Yeah, Squirt. Get your things."
Sam got up and packed his book bag, Dean took his bag and they walked towards the door. Steven walked in.
"Where do you think you're going, Mr. Winchester?"
"I'm taking my brother home. Problem?" Dean asked. He had his hand on the back of Sam's neck steering him out of the room. As if he needed permission to take his baby brother anywhere! Dean could feel Sam shaking. They walked out of the school. Dean practically pushing Sam towards the car in a hurry because he knew that when Sam said he wanted to go home, he didn't mean the apartment. Sam got in the passenger side of the Impala, closed the door and curled up against the door. Dean put Sam's bag in the back seat and got behind the steering wheel and turned the key to bring the Impala to life.
"Hold on, baby brother," Dean said. "We're moving." Dean put the car in drive and drove out of the school parking lot.
Dean headed to the apartment.
"Stay here," Dean said getting out of the car. Sam didn't move from the passenger's seat. When Dean came back to the car, he had his duffel bag on his shoulder. Dean looked at Sam through the car window and saw that Sam was asleep. Dean put the duffel in the trunk and got back in the driver's seat.
Dean decided that they needed some Winchester normalcy. Dean stopped at a gas station, filled up the tank, got some snack foods and drove. They just drove and drove. Dean didn't have a plan of where they were headed. He just knew that Sam needed to have the comforts of home that he was use to. Riding in the Impala, with his brother right next to him listening to him sing to the Classic Rock from his tape deck. Dean drove for about four hours. They could really care less where they were. Sam was asleep. To be it all honest, Sam was asleep before they even left the city limits. Dean knew he couldn't keep driving forever. So he decided to stop at the nearest motel, Sam still asleep. Dean checked in, pulled the car to the motel room door. He grabbed his sleeping brother and carried him through the room to the bed furthest from the door. They stayed the night. The next morning, Dean went and got breakfast the next morning. When he got back, Sam began to wake up.
"D'n," Sam slurred.
"Hey, Squirt. I see you finally woke up."
"Where are we?"
"Nowhere in particular. I just drove after we left the school. You were out like a light. You slept the whole way here. So I got to thinking." Dean tossed Sam a breakfast biscuit. "How would you like to go to Bobby's for Christmas break?"
"Yeah," Sam said beaming. "When are we going?"
"Now," Dean said.
"What about your job," Sam asked. "You just can't leave."
"Well, while you were sleep, I talked with Gus and he said that it would be alright if I had a couple of weeks off, since they aren't that busy during this time of year. You can stand to have a small reprieve from school. Break starts in three days, and you looked like you needed some time away from there. Eat."
Sam took a bite from his biscuit. He realized that all this time he wanted to be normal and this was normal. Driving around from state to state. Going to different schools. Eating on the road. Not having to be tied down to anything. He thought that going to one school was what he wanted, but now he's not so sure. He loves it. It's something that he needed for if he wanted to go to college someday, but with everything he's been through he wasn't so sure now. He looked up at his brother. Dean sitting in the other bed eating his breakfast surfing the channels on the television. He loved his brother. He appreciates everything that Dean sacrificed for him, not that he would tell him since he knows Dean's theory on chick-flick moments. Sam smiled at himself and ate his biscuit.
Dean got up and called Bobby.
"Hey Bobby," Dean said.
"Dean," Bobby said. "How is everything going? How is Sam liking staying in one school?"
"Oh fine. Listen, I'm calling because, Sam's on Christmas break and I have a couple weeks off. Could we come by for a couple of days?"
"Sure, boy," Bobby said. "Dean, is everything alright?"
"Yeah, everything's fine."
"Okay. When are you coming?"
"We should be there maybe tonight if not tomorrow morning."
"Alright. I'll have your room ready."
"Thanks Bobby." Dean hung up the phone. "You ready to go?" He asked to Sam.
Sam got up and gathered up his few things and left the motel room and got in the car. Dean did a once over on the room to make sure they didn't leave anything and he closed up the room and headed for the car. He checked out and they headed for Bobby's.
They got there that night. Everything was going like usual. Sam and Dean had their room that they shared whenever they stayed at Bobby's. They were there a couple of days when a familiar truck came up the driveway. John pulled into the driveway and saw the Impala parked and instantly got worried. He slammed the gear into park and didn't even get the car off before jumping out of the car. He just knew something was wrong. One of his rules was that if anything should happen and he couldn't get in touch with him that he should head to Bobby's. Now coming over for a supply run, and seeing the car in the driveway, so many things rushed into John's head. What's wrong with his sons? Is it Sam? Is it Dean? John ran up the back door and almost broke it down trying to get in. He got a sigh of relief when he walked into the house and saw Sam was standing in the kitchen washing his dishes. He walked over to Sam and grabbed him up and gave him the biggest hug. He didn't care that Sam just spilled soapy water all over the floor from the dish he was cleaning.
"Dad," Sam managed to get out.
"Are you okay?" John asked finally putting Sam down.
"Yeah, I'm fine. We're fine." Sam said putting the dish back down in the sink. "What's wrong?"
Dean walked into the kitchen. John looked at Dean and walked over and gave him a hug. Pure shock was on Dean's face, as still on Sam's.
"Dad," Dean said. "Dad, you're scaring us. What's wrong?"
John let go of Dean and stepped back. "I'm scaring you. Imagine how I felt when I saw the Impala in the driveway and I know I left you two about a week ago."
"Sorry, Dad," Dean said. "We didn't mean to worry you. Sam's on Christmas break, and I thought we could take a drive. I asked Bobby if it was okay if we came for a couple of days."
Sam was so happy his brother didn't tell their Dad the real reason to why they were there.
"So everything is okay?" John asked.
"Yeah, everything's fine."
John raked his shaky hand down his face trying to calm down his nerves. Seeing the Impala and knowing that his sons were alone without him, he just knew he had to calm down.
"Dad, are you okay?" Sam asked.
"Just give me a minute," John said and walked out of the house. Sam and Dean looked at each other. They have never seen their father like that. He was genuinely scared. The great John Winchester. Growing up they have know him to be the hard-ass of the family. Nothing could crack John. But today both sons realized there was one weakness that John had. It was them.
The next few days were just wonderful. They all had a good time. There were no arguments, no bickering. Christmas was great. They all sat together and had dinner. They watched old movies and just enjoyed their time together. While they were there, John put his phone on the charger and left it in the kitchen.
"Dean, here take these to the kitchen," John said, handing him some glasses from the kitchen cupboard. "Sam, go help him."
Dean and Sam got up and gather their glasses and any other dishes that were in the living room and headed to the kitchen.
"Dean, check my phone for me," John yelled from the other room.
Sam put the glasses in the sink and headed back to the living room. When Dean checked John's phone, it rang. Dean answered it.
"Mr. Winchester, this is Steven Baxter."
"What do you want?" Dean said getting angry.
"I need to talk to you about your son."
"What about Sammy?"
"I want to let you know that Sam has skipped school the last three days before break and that he will have to stay after school once a week for detention to make up the time he missed."
"That's not happening," Dean said. "When I come to pick him up, I am always there on time at 3:30. Now he has until 3:45 to be at my car, or I am coming to get him. I don't like you Steven. I don't like whatever you're doing to my brother."
"Yeah, Dean. This staying after classes are going to stop. I'm tired of waiting on him because of you."
"Now, see here, Dean," Steven tried to say.
"Another thing, if you call my Dad's phone one more time trying to get Sammy in trouble, you'll have me to deal with. If I find I out that there is more going on between you and Sammy, I promise you, I will kill you. Good bye Steven." Dean hung up the phone. He turned and saw Sam standing behind him. He was white as a sheet.
"What did you do?" Sam asked with sound barely coming from him.
"What are you talking about?" Dean's brow creased. "I'm tired of waiting for you to come out of school. I don't trust that Steven." Dean lowered his voice so that their Dad and Bobby couldn't hear them. "I don't want you staying after class. If he tells you to stay, get up and leave anyway. I'll deal with it. You wanted to stay in a school for the whole year, and I am going to try to make that happen. But it's going to be without all the stress that you've been coming home with."
Dean walked out of the kitchen and left Sam standing there. Sam really didn't know what to do. His heart was screaming TELL DEAN, but his head kept saying HE'S NOT GOING TO BELIEVE YOU. HE'S GOING TO BE MAD. Now Dean has made Mr. Baxter mad. What was going to happen now?
Sam left the kitchen and went upstairs. With everything that he was feeling, if he sat in the room with the three of them one of them would know that something was wrong and if asked they would know he was lying.
As much as they wanted to stay, Dean got a call from Gus asking him when he was coming back. A lady came in and wanted to have engine work done, but she only wanted Dean to work on the car because she got the referral from another customer. So they started packing to head back to their apartment. Dean packed up the car and Sam was sitting in the passenger's seat. This time John was watching his boys leave.
"Drive carefully," John said.
"We will. See you later, Dad," Dean said getting in the car.
Dean put the car in gear and backed out of the driveway. It took a day and a half to get back to the apartment. When they arrived, Sam grabbed the duffel and Dean called their Dad to let him know that they had got home safely. Dean came in and sat on the couch. He decided he would give Gus a call and let him know that he was back in town and would start work tomorrow. Sam went to his room and put his things up and just lay down on the end of his bed.
The rest of Christmas break went without a hitch. Dean went to work and kept a low profile. But he kept his hunter eye sharp for anything out of the ordinary. He hadn't spoken to Gus yet about his granddaughter. He didn't want to come off as insensitive since Gus has never talked about his family at the job. As of right now, no one was getting hurt, and they haven't so far, so he thought it would be such a bad idea if he waits till he gets more proof.
School started back again and Dean dropped Sam off like he always did in the same spot.
"Sammy," Dean said before Sam opened the door.
"Yeah," Sam said looking at him.
"Remember what I said. When the bell rings, I don't care what he says, you come to this car."
"Okay." Sam opened the door.
"That's an order, Sam." Dean voice was very stern. It meant that he meant business. Sam nodded and got out of the car.
Sam walked into the school. After the cold shoulder he received from Josh and Jasmine he didn't expect any different. He walked into his homeroom class and sat in his usual seat in the back corner. Josh and Jasmine came in, they were talking and laughing. Sam watched them take their seats. He noticed that Josh, this time, sat over with Jasmine. Sam put his head down. He had never felt more alone than he did at that moment. Just like the last day he was here, he knew that it was going to be a long day. The bell rang for the day to start. Mr. Baxter came in to the room. There was no 'Good Morning,' no 'I hope you all had a wonderful vacation.' It was just...
"Mr. Winchester," Mr. Baxter said. "When the bell rings for first period, you better not move."
Sam stomach was doing killer flips. Now what was he going to do? He knew when he found out what Dean said it was going to be bad. Josh and Jasmine looked over at Sam, who had his head down. The bell rang. Everyone gathered up their belongings and left the room. Sam didn't move. He was in the same position he was when he sat down. When everyone left and the room was quiet, Mr. Baxter walked over to Sam's desk.
"Well," Steven said. "Mr. Winchester, did you have fun skipping school?
Sam didn't say anything. He didn't move his head. It stayed lowered. Steven slammed his hands on Sam's desk causing him to jump in his seat. Steven grabs hold of Sam's collar and yanked him out from behind his desk and slammed him into the wall closest to them.
"Well, Mr. Winchester, you have in-school suspension. You're with me all day. For the next two weeks."
Sam couldn't believe it. Not only would it be a long day. Sam now knew it was going to be a long and PAINFUL day!