Title: A Man's World
By: mickeylover303
Pairing: None
Rating: G
Words: 982
Summary: Dean was too lost to realise his own bitterness.


He caught the trees in his peripheral vision, watching them pass in some monotonous form lacking any semblance of meaning, trapped from either side. Their limbs were stretching out to him; broken and twisted, long appendages just within in reach as he spared a glance to the sleeping man huddled on the seat beside him.
“Dean, take your brother outside.”
He wanted to say no, he wanted to ask why. But he knew he couldn’t, something told him it would be better if he didn’t.
“Now, Dean.”
And he did.
With Sam in his arms, he ran through the front door of the house; nearly skipping the steps of the  porch as he held his little brother closer to his chest. The bright lights nearly blinding and the sirens nearly deafening until he turned around, and he saw his home – their home – ravaged by an uncontrollable inferno.
Strong arms, the burn of skin against skin, seeping through his pyjamas, lifting him and carrying him away from the only place he knew.
Five months.
It had been five months without any sign of their dad and Dean didn’t mind that he’d been driving nonstop. It was the first time Sam had really gotten any sleep and five hours was little compared to the past five months.
He flexed his fingers on the steering wheel, irritated that he could no longer crack his knuckles without inciting pain or stressing his joints. The radio was off and there were no cassettes he wanted to listen to. Only the soft sounds of Sam’s snoring were filling in the gap between the empty road and another lacklustre motel.
Dean held the smaller hand within his own, unconsciously rubbing his brother’s knuckles. He tightened his arm around Sam’s waist, tucking an old plaid blanket beneath the younger boy’s chin.
The rain was pelting the outside of the Impala, liquid hail that pounded on the car’s frame like sound of rock salt being released from his dad’s shotgun. It was something eight year-old Dean was used to; another night in the backseat, waiting on his father in the dead of the night.
But they had to take Sam with them this time and Dean did his best to ignore the shivering of the body in his arms.
He could only keep telling himself that Sammy was just cold.
Dean blinked as they approached a tunnel, the headlights of the Impala brightened in the confinement, reflecting off the concrete walls and glaring into Dean’s eyes.
He slightly shook his head, blinking any vestiges of lethargy that were beginning to leave him. He reached for the console, turning the air conditioner off. Sam didn’t mind the cold, but sometimes it did bother Dean.
He suppressed a shiver, repressing the urge to turn on the heat because it would make Sam uncomfortable…enough to even wake him up.
“Dean,” he heard; his mind still hazy from sleep. Someone was nudging him, shoving his shoulder as he tried to curl up to retain warmth. His name was being called and it wasn’t until the blanket was removed from his body that his mind began to work.
“Dad?” He looked up at his father questionably, the man’s face hidden in the shadows. He squinted, looking at the clock on the table and turning back to man standing above him. “It’s three in the morning…” he said, sitting up and rubbing the drowsiness from his eyes.
“I know, son, but…” His father paused, looking at the locked door of the room. The man moved his head anxiously, the rest of his body eerily still as he focussed his attention back on Dean. “Get your brother.” He nodded to the bed next to Dean’s. “Meet me in the car.”
Dean sat up quickly, any thoughts of rest now forgotten as he scrambled off the bed, stuffing his sock clad feet into his muddy shoes. Their things were already in bags barely touched the night before: a large duffel for his dad and a much smaller one Dean shared with Sam.
The door was being unlocked when Dean reached Sam, wrapping the younger boy in a blanket as he carefully picked him up, trying not to wake him up. He let his brother’s head loll on his shoulder, kneeling down to pick up a small pair of shoes.
The beds were left unmade, comforters slipping off the mattresses and close to falling on the floor.
He loosened his grip around Sam’s waist when he felt his little brother shuffling in his arms, yawning in the fabric of his shirt. He stood still, his eyes narrowed slightly as he watched his father retreat through the motel door, dusty jacket swishing while he held their bags on his shoulder.
The door began to close, creaking softly until it stopped moving, leaving enough room for he and his brother to make it through.
Dean gripped the steering wheel tightly, muscles tensing as he rubbed his palms against the rough and aged leather. He froze, body taunt when Sam snorted, the noise catching him off guard as he glanced at his brother.
The fringe of Sam’s hair was falling over his eyes as he turned to the passenger window. His clothes rustled while he moved; fabric against the upholstery until he stilled. The soft snoring returning, the younger man’s lips slightly parted and then closing as Dean turned his attention back to the road; the next town only ninety-six more miles.
He inhaled deeply, the familiar hum of the Impala his only reassurance as he made his way through the dark highway. Pushing down the gas pedal, Dean watched as the speedometer quickly made its way past the seventy mark – eighty, ninety – as he lifted his foot off the pedal, eyes unwavering as the speedometer read one hundred.
And Dean continued to ride the momentum as the Impala descended down the hill.