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Brother Let Me Be Your Fortress

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Life is scary when you’re little. Especially if you’re five year old Dean Winchester.

He was so young and yet had been through so much already in his short life. Mom was… gone. And Dad was always angry and sad. Nothing Dean did seemed to make him happy. And Dean tried. He hugged him when he was sad and held his hand. Maybe if he could tell Dad he loves him and that everything is ok… But he can’t.

Still, there were good things. Like today he and Sammy were at Auntie Ellen’s while Dad was working. Sammy was bouncing away in the bounce chair on top of the table while Dean sat in the booth and colored quietly. Auntie Ellen worked on cleaning and getting the bar ready for when it opened. Occasionally she would look over and smile at them. Sometimes she’d ask Dean what he was drawing, trying to coax an answer out of him. But Dean stayed quiet and merely held up his drawing to show her. 

“That’s amazing, Dean.” Her smile was tight like the way grownups’ faces got when they were disappointed with you but didn’t want to say it.

It‘s not like Dean didn’t want to talk. He really did. But any time he opened his mouth to say something, anything, he couldn’t. He was scared to.

Besides, he didn’t need to talk. Sammy couldn’t talk yet and he was doing just fine. Like right now, he was currently cooing and bouncing along to the music Auntie Ellen was playing while she worked. Dean really liked it. It made him think of Dad.

“D-Dee,” Dean shot his head up at Sammy, who laughed. “Dee!”

Dean’s heart felt like it was too big for his chest all of a sudden as he listened to his baby brother say his first word: his name.

And that’s when it hit him: Someone had to teach Sammy how to talk. Someone who was always with him. Someone who wouldn’t leave. He needed Dean to teach him. “Sammy…” He said, voice raspy from underuse. He held out his hand for Sammy to grab on to. “Sammy.” 

“Dee! Dee!”

An excited gasp came from behind him. Auntie Ellen leaned over and gave them both a kiss on the forehead. “Auntie Ellen, Sammy said my name!”

“I heard! That’s really exciting!”

Dean beamed, puffing his chest out as he said, “And I’m gonna teach him more words. All the words.” He looked at his baby brother, eyes dewy with an emotion he couldn’t describe quite yet. “Sammy is going to be the smartest kid ever.”