Dean stumbled backwards more from shock than the force of the actual blow. Tripping over a downed tree Dean landed on his butt. First, his dad and now, his baby brother, the two people he loved most in the world had both punched him within a week of each other. There was a yellowing bruise on the left side of his face from where his dad had punched him. True, his dad had meant to hit Sam and Dean had gotten in the way, but he would never allow his dad to hurt Sammy. It had been a rough hunt for them all and John had been so drunk and Sammy was being a whiney little bitch things had quickly escalated to a new level of tension. Dean had just managed to pushhis way in between his brother and father when the blow had come. For some reason, Sammy had been pissed off at him every since for taking the blow that was intended for him. Sam had never intended on hitting his brother it was his father he wanted to hit. But, when Dean had grabbed him and spun him, it was like his fist had a mind of its own. Sure, he was mad at his brother for stepping in and taking the punch for him like he was a baby he was twelve years old. He didn't need Dean fighting his battles for him. But he was even madder at his dad for throwing it. John Winchester had never raised a hand to his sons in anger before. Sam wanted to puke the minute his fist had connected solidly with his brother's jaw. Now Dean was sitting on the ground, his legs still on the log he had tripped over, looking like his whole world had just shattered. "De Dean I… I'm." Sam stuttered trying to find the words to tell Dean how sorry he was. Glaring at his father and brother Dean scrambled to his feet. "Son..." Dean shook his head and took off running through the bushes. John stood watching the retreating back of his oldest son. He couldn't believe Sam had hit Dean. Of course, he never thought he would ever be angry enough or drunk enough to lay a hurtful hand on one of his children. And yet, he had tried to punch Sammy; his precious baby boy. If Dean had not been there, he probably would have broken Sam's jaw. Honestly, he was surprised he didn't break Dean's. Now, he couldn't remember what the hell he and Sam had even been fighting over. People had been disappearing in these woods. John wouldn't-he couldn't-lose one of his sons. "Grab your stuff and move your ass. I don't know what the hell your brother was thinking running off like that." Anger was an emotion that John could deal with, so that's what he concentrated on as he grabbed his and Dean's packs.
Dean's lungs were screaming for him to stop so he could draw in a breath; his legs were on fire. But Dean couldn't stop, he had to get away; he couldn't take it anymore. He was finally forced to stop when the world suddenly shifted and he landed face down on the forest floor. Gasping, Dean rolled over on his back. 'Sammy hates me and dad I don't even know how dad feels. But I do know that I'll never good enough or fast enough or smart enough. They'll kill each other without me around to act as referee.' Dean lay on the ground panting as he tried to fight back the tears. He was just so tired and it hurt so badly. At the moment, Dean just couldn't find it in himself to care if his dad and brother tore each other to pieces.
"DEAN!" John and Sammy had been looking for two hours and hadn't come across the first sign of Dean. Sammy could feel panic squeezing his heart a little tighter every second that went by without a sign of his brother. 'This can't be happening. Dean can't be gone. I can't live without him. This is all my fault. He never would have run away if I hadn't hit him. Oh God, I need you Dean... I know I said I didn't, but I need my big brother.' "DEAN! WHERE ARE YOU, SON?" John knew that with every second that passed their chances of finding Dean was getting smaller and smaller. 'I can't believe Dean could be so stupid and selfish. Who I'm I trying to fool? This is all my fault. My youngest son hates me and Dean has run away because we both hit him. I have never told Dean how important he is to me and how much I appreciate everything he does for me and Sammy. I can't remember the last time I told him that I love him and I've never told him how proud I am of him.' John was pulled from his thoughts by the of Sam's gasp. Rushing over to where his youngest was standing, John felt his heart freeze at the sight of the pile of clothes lying in front of them. "Dad, those are Dean's." Sam was struggling to keep his voice from cracking. John knelt down beside the clothes and started checking them for signs of blood. "No blood there; not ripped up. It's almost like..." 'He stripped. Oh God, please don't let him have had some sort of mental break down and now he's running around the woods nude. Mac tried to warn me I was too hard on him. No, no, no! Dean is stronger than that something must have happened.' "Dad?" Sam was touching his shoulder trying to get his attention. "What, son?" "Look," Sam whispered, pointing at the bush across from them. In one smooth movement, John stood grabbing his shotgun off the ground and shoving Sam behind him. John aimed the shotgun at the bush as its branches shook.