Dean was nearing the end of second grade when John pulled him out of school.
They were moving, again, and Dean wasn't happy about it. He really liked the school he was at. He had friends that liked him, and a teacher that was nice to him. But his dad just picked him up early from school one day, and said he wasn't going back. He didn't even get to say goodbye.
At first, Dean wanted to complain. He wanted to throw a fit because it wasn't fair- it just wasn't fair! He knew what his dad did. He had even been out shooting a few times with his dad, now. He knew how important hunting was, but why couldn't he just hunt where they were? Why'd he have to leave?
Sammy wasn't in school yet, so he really didn't mind. To him, home was just another place to sleep at, and they had a lot of those.
Sammy was almost four when they left. He had a big vocabulary for his age, and he used it all the time. He was constantly blabbering on about whatever he could, as if he was afraid that if he didn't use his words, he'd loose them.
"Sammy, please be quiet. I'm trying to work."
"But Daddy, I'm playing a game and its with this car, this one here, the blue one, and its in this town. But the red one, you see this one it's-"
"Damn it, Dean! Would you just get your brother to shut up! I have too much shit to do right now!"
"Sorry, sir. Come here, Sammy. You can show me in the other room." Dean picked up Sam's cars and had Sam follow him into the bedroom. "You know Dad's working right now. But you can tell me about your cars, Sammy."
Now they were in the backseat of the Impala while their dad drove them to Colorado. They were going to visit one of their dad's friends before they found a new place to settle down for Dean to go to school.
Dean was still upset about moving, but he knew not to say anything about it. Not right now. He was driving way faster than the speed limit, and he had a beer in one hand. Dean knew he needed to concentrate on the road right now, which he couldn't do if Dean was complaining the whole way. Besides, he could be real mean when he drank, so he would have to complain when he wasn't drinking.
Sammy was curled up on the seat beside him, sleeping. He'd been sleeping for over and hour now, and quite frankly Dean was surprised at how long he had been silent.
There wasn't much to do in the backseat of the car, especially when Sammy was asleep. He could read a book for school, but it wasn't going to do much good if the new school wanted him to read something different. On the other hand, Dean really liked reading. He liked being able to get longer and more adult books as he learned new words and got better at reading. Even Sammy was starting to recognize a few simple words, and he could already write his name. Dean taught him that, of course.
Dean heard Sam yawning, and knew that meant trouble. They still had a while to go before Colorado, and by the way John was driving, it didn't seem like they were stopping at a motel on the way. "Dean?" Sam asked immediately as he awoke.
"Shh..." Dean put one finger on his lips, shushing him. He used his other hand to stroke Sam's hair. "Go back to sleep, Sammy, it's late."
Sam rubbed his eyes with the back of his hands. "Nuh-uh. I can see the sun!" Sam protested, pointing at the sunset. "It's day!"
"Sammy, you awake?" John asked from up front, not bothering to look back. Dean noticed that his words were a little slurred... not by much, but enough for Dean to know.
"Yeah, Daddy. It's day!" Sam answered. "Where are we going?"
"I told you, Colorado. We're meeting a buddy of mine, Elkins. You remember Elkins, Sammy? You saw him when you were real little."
Sammy shook his head. "No. How far is Col-rodo?"
"A while. You may want to fall back asleep, there, Sammy. Make sure he's not too loud, Dean. I have a raging headache." As he spoke, he opened the window and threw out the empty bottle of beer onto the deserted road. Dean looked out the window and watched it smash on the pavement, leaving behind a million little pieces. John reached down to the feet space of the passenger side door, looking away from the road for a second, and grabbed another one.
"Come on, Sammy. Let's go back to sleep." Dean tried, knowing that Sam was wide awake now, and probably full of energy.
"No, I'm bored. I wanna play a game." Sam decided. "I spy!"
Too loud. "No, Sam. We gotta be quiet," Dean lowered his voice to a whisper to demonstrate. "I know, why don't we have a staring contest? You're really good at staring contests."
Sam shook his head. "Staring con-tefts are for babies, Dean. I don't wanna play."
"If they're for babies, why do I play them?"
""Cause you're stupid."
Dean rolled his eyes. Stupid was the meanest thing Sam could think of right now. A few months ago it was I don't like you, but he heard stupid on the radio one day, and now he said it all the time.
"Dean, I'm bored! Play a game!" Sam gradually was raising his voice, and he knew it was going to aggravate his dad's headache.
"Sorry!" Dean called back to his dad. He turned back to Sam. "Okay, okay. Let's play a game. It's going to be an imagining game. All the big kids play it, Sammy. You'll like it."
Sam grinned and nodded his agreement.
"You gotta lay back on the seat. Here, so do I." Dean scooted Sam over so that he was pressed up against the back of the seat, and Dean was half-on half-off the edge. He slid his arm around Sam, who immediately snuggled up against him. Dean spoke with a soft, gentle voice, just like he remembered his mom using with him. "Close your eyes. No peaking, Sammy. There. Okay, now imagine you're in a big spaceship, getting ready to launch to the moon!"
He could see Sam smiling, pressing his forehead into Dean's side. Dean brushed his hair back, making Sam scrunch up his nose. "You're going to be the first four-year old in space, ever! And you can hear the engines turning on, and it's real loud. And you look outside your window, and you can see everything moving. You're going up and up and up, and all you can see it sky!"
Sam mouthed Whoa to himself, and Dean couldn't help but grin. "You can feel the whole space ship shaking as you leave Earth. You can't see me, but I'm waving to you from the ground."
"Why aren't you in the rocket?" Sam interrupted.
"Cause... I don't know. I had to stay down on Earth. I can't go everywhere with you, buddy."
Dean frowned. "Because... you have to do things for yourself sometimes. But don't worry, bud. I'm waiting for you on Earth, okay. So when you come back you can tell me about all the aliens you met and all the planets you saw!"
Sam nodded, satisfied with his answer.
Dean continued describing to Sam all about his mission in space until he fell asleep. Soon after, Dean dozed off as well.
A little while later, Dean woke up to the sound of yelling from outside the car. He sat up, careful not to wake Sam, who had wrapped himself around him as they slept. It was fully dark outside now, but they definitely were not at Elkins cabin yet. They were at an empty gas station, who knows where.
Dean spotted his dad a few feet from the car, talking at a payphone. He struggled to sit up and press his ear against the window to hear what his dad was yelling about.
"I had to get them out of there, Daniel! It knew where we were! That means it's keeping tabs on us. I have my kids to worry about! I mean, I don't know what it wants, but... if it wants Sam, well, I'm not letting it have him!"
Dean's eyes went wide, and he pulled away from the door. His dad never told him why they left, but now he knew. It was coming after them, and it knew exactly where they were staying.
Suddenly, Dean understood why his dad pulled him out so suddenly. If Dean thought it was coming after Sammy, he'd do the same thing.
He crawled back onto the seat next to Sam, and made it look like he was sleeping. He didn't want his dad to know he was eavesdropping.
Later, when they were at the cabin and John wasn't driving anymore, Dean decided not to complain. He understood now, and he would understand at all the future moves, whythey had to move to suddenly and so often. If it was to keep Sammy safe, it was worth it.