Title: Beginnings
By: Swissalo
Pairing: gen
Rating: G
Summary: After all a promise is a promise, and Dean wasn't one to back out of a promise of his.


Dean was four when he first noticed that something strange was happening in his house. Being the only child in the family so far was lonely, there were the other kids in the neighborhood that he could play with but even in his four-year-old mind, it wasn't enough. Tony Brasbur from five houses up and across the street had a big brother that teased him endlessly. But when Tony had broken his arm falling out of the apple tree in Ms. Hansen's yard, Jacob had rushed to his little brother's aid. When Tony was bullied by some of the older kids in the neighborhood, Jacob was the first to come to his defense.

Dean wanted that, he wanted someone to tease and protect, not like a little sister you couldn't get away with teasing them, they'd cry. But Dean wanted someone to watch after like Jacob did for Tony. So, when Dean noticed that baby things were being brought out of the unused attic space and up from the basement, he hoped. He'd sit on the top of the stairs and watch as his father moved the old baby crib into the front room down the hall, only two doors from his. His dad would stop every so often and let him help carry some of the lighter things into the room with him. Hey Buddy, his dad would start out, come over here and help your old man with this; it was always something small like some blankets and toys but it never mattered. Dean felt like he was needed already and he didn't even know if he was going to have a baby brother or sister. But right now it didn't matter he was helping and he was going to be just like Jacob Brasbur when the time came.

Sometimes when Dean wasn't playing with the other boys in the neighborhood, he was helping his mother. As she already quite big in the belly, Dean helped with getting something that his mother couldn't reach, only if it was down low and easy to move. If it were to high up or to big, she'd give him a big smile and a wink and say they'd leave it for his father to get. Then when his father got back home from work, sometimes late in the evening Dean would be sitting on the bottom of the hallway stairs and smile up at his father as his mother came waddling into the room. He'd watch as his parents spoke of sweet pleasantries before being lifted into his father's arms so he could tell him exactly what needed to be moved from that high up shelf or that too big for little hands to move item.

Dean was almost five when he was awoken by his father coming into his room. It was time to go to the hospital; his baby brother was going to be born soon. Though Dean had wanted to stay awake and see his baby brother after he was born, Dean fell back to sleep almost as soon as he was placed in the back seat of the car. He didn't wake back up until well after his baby brother had been born, he'd pouted for a bit before his father had brought him into the hospital room. It wasn't his fault that the nurse wasn't very nice to him and he didn't understand. His mother had been laying reclined on the metal hospital bed with a blue bundle in her arms, she had smiled at him, but his hazel eyes had been completely focused on his baby brother. He swore then and there that he would always protect his baby brother, Sammy, he didn't like Samuel or Sam, but Sammy worked.

When Sammy was brought home from the hospital, Dean was beyond ecstatic, he might not be able to protect his brother from any bullies, that was he parents job for the time being. Even he knew that, but now he wasn't alone, there was someone else that he could take care of and have fun with. He had first been allowed to hold Sammy when his baby brother had been home for almost two weeks. That was something he would never forget, Sam's baby blue eyes were already starting to turn green and they stared straight at him, straight through him. It had cemented everything he had thought before his baby brother had been born, it was his job to protect his baby brother from the things his parents couldn't.

Everything changed though, that night Dean remembered being awoken by his mother's screams, he remembered having his baby brother shoved into his arms as his father screamed for him to take Sam and run. As he stared up at the window, the window that glowed golden the window that was in Sammy's room, Dean tightened his hold on five-month-old Sammy. He didn't remember when his father had taken Sammy out of his hold, he had been to consumed with pain at the moment. His father had come out of the house but his mother hadn't, she was only going to come out of that house once more. At some point, he had been left to hold the now sleeping Sam as his father had gone to talk to the police. Dean remembered looking down at his baby brother and wiping away the drops of red before knowing that his task to protect his baby brother had just become a lot harder.

Their life hadn't gotten any easier after that, sure, their father mourned for a few months. By the time Dean was six he was being enrolled into any defense class his father could get him into. Sammy only two then and still too young to join any of the classes was taken care of for the most part by childcare people. Tired though he may be after school and defense class Dean still made time for his baby brother. He was rewarded with sloppy baby kisses and wobbly hugs as Sammy was still unsure about his own two legs.

When Sammy was finally able to join the defense classes, everything started to change again. Their father who had been collecting information about the supernatural during the evening and the odd family trips they took was actively hunting the creatures now. Everything was starting to suffer, they had to sell their house because they couldn't afford it. Sam who enjoyed school because of all the other kids he got to meet was being lugged around from city to city. Dean didn't enjoy it anymore than his baby brother but he understood, he remembered the golden light, he knew that something had killed his mother and it definitely wasn't anything human. But Dean didn't enjoy rocking his baby brother to sleep every night as Sammy cried about not getting to have any friends. Dean didn't enjoy watching his baby brother lose his innocence as they grew up and followed after their father.

It was however almost a relief for Dean as much as Sam when they were finally able to settle into another town and start school again. With John going out every once in a while to hunt down something supernatural. Dean got a taste of real life and he didn't like it all that much, but it was better for his baby brother, Sammy was thriving and it was all that mattered to Dean he hated to see his baby brother hurt.

When Dean was nineteen, he thought he had broken his promise to Sammy, some demon spirit creature had gotten a hold of Sam and Dean had been the one to find his baby brother's beaten body days later in a cave. Dean had been more than relieved to find out later that their father had killed the creature, but he still remembered the pain that had shown in those green eyes when their dad had decided it was better to leave afterwards and go home. Their dad had cared, but he thought it was a better lesson to be learned Sam was old enough to learn something from it. Dean had spent the nights checking up on his baby brother and making excuses with the school about why Sam couldn't come in.

Dean did remember seeing their father come in on some nights, when he had hidden in the shadows. John had talked to Sam's sleeping form and apologized for his actions, took care of some of the wounds that were taking time to heal. But Dean never told Sam about those nights as he listened to his father whisper words of comfort to the fever-ridden boy. Those were things that John had to do himself. It had been the final straw for Sammy though, school became Sammy's refuge.

Dean remembered going to bed tired from a hunt that he had gone on with John to find Sammy still awake working diligently on some paper for school. He remembers because Sammy had pushed him out of the room, maybe not by force but certainly with words and his careless attitude towards Dean's enquiries. He remembered because it had hurt. Almost as much as when Sam started to growl out that his name was Sam and he was tired of answering to Sammy, he wasn't twelve any more.

When Sam had decided to leave for college Dean had been more hurt than when his baby brother had pushed him away. Because he couldn't protect Sam if he was on the other side of the country. But Sam getting away from hunting was probably the best thing that could happen to Sam at least, Dean still worried especially when he never heard anything from Sam once his brother had left. But in the end he figured out that it was better for him to just concentrate on the hunts, Sam would at some point learn the errors of his choice and until then he was just had to wait. But Dean would still worry and even if his baby brother never realized it, Dean had made a promise before Sam was born and he wasn't going to ever back out on that. After all a promise is a promise, though Dean was certain that he became more of a protector for his little brother than Jacob Brasbur had ever been for Tony, even if Sam was probably never going to talk to him again.