Innocence Kept

By Tidia, June 2006

Words: 1.104

Beta: Mog


At the last stop, Dean had assessed the lack of funds in his wallet. After buying a package of Peanut M&M’s, Twizzlers, a bag of chips, beef jerky for sustenance and some drinks, he had ten dollars remaining. The Impala’s gas tank would laugh at the paltry amount.

Dean looked over at Sam, who had fallen asleep in an uncomfortable position. Making up his mind, he pulled over at the next motel. With a quick prod, Sammy awoke.

“What?” Sam said, chewing the sleep out of his mouth.

“Go check us in,” Dean replied, pointing the front office of the motel.

Sam wiped a hand down his face. “Yeah, alright.”

In a few moments, Dean followed Sam to the first floor corner room. He placed the bags down on the bed closest to the door. “Sammy, I’m going out for a bit.” Dean announced. “Stay here and rest up.”

Sam shrugged, providing his own explanation for Dean’s destination. “You’re going to the bar to play some pool.”

The older Winchester nodded. “Yeah, pool, we need the money-just stay put.”

“Yeah, I don’t feel like a night of beer and smoke.” Sam said as he flopped on the bed, reaching for the remote control on the nightstand.

“Sammy,” Dean grinned, as the channels whizzed by on the television, “Beer and smoke are magic words.”

Sam groaned at his brother’s retreating back.


Sam vaguely recollected Dean coming back in the room later that night, although it was probably more like early morning. But, he had been too tired to acknowledge his brother’s arrival. When Sam cracked his eyes open and noted the 7a.m. time, Dean was still sleeping in the other bed, curled on his side with a blanket covering his body.

As much as Sam wanted to linger in bed, nature was urgently calling. He got to his feet, and promptly went to the bathroom. More fully aware as he exited, he saw the rolled up cash haphazardly thrown on top of the television. Sam piled it together, and then started counting.

“Holy, Mother of . . .Dean-a thousand dollars?” Sam exclaimed, counting the money again. “You must have had some hot streak . . .Dean?” Sam whispered, wincing as he remembered that Dean had come in late and would probably not be too receptive to a voice at full volume.

Sam glanced at his brother, hoping he would still be sleeping. Dean had shifted, and now lay mostly on his back. He grunted a greeting and closed his eyes again. Sam smiled, looking forward to hearing the whole story from Dean when he was fully awake. The light expression, however, shifted quickly when Sam noticed Dean’s hands. The fingers seemed swollen and the knuckles were bruised with fresh scabs. Sam walked closer, noticing flecks of blood on the side of the bed where Dean had his hands laying moments before.

“Dean!” Sam grabbed one of his brother’s hands.

Dean ripped the hand away, rebelling against having his personal space invaded. He bolted upright in bed, blinking to bring some wetness into his dry eyes. “What!”

“Your hands,” Sam said, and then noticed that Dean’s torso had new bruises too. “What the hell happened?”

Dean looked at his hands, quickly dismissing them and hunkered back down into the still warm bed. “I got us some money Sammy, nothing happened.”

“Dean, you were fine before you left. . .” Sam tried to gage the injuries he had seen.

“I tripped-okay.” Dean said, talking into the pillow which muffled his reply.

“Tripped, okay, anything broken?” Sam said, looking at Dean’s chest and wondering about his brother’s ribs.

Sighing, Dean knew he was not going to be allowed to fall back to sleep. He pulled the blankets away, and pressed on his left side. “No,” he said. He moved to the other side, but the palpation there resulted in a sharp wince. “Maybe that one is cracked.”

“You’re cracked.” Sam retorted. He crossed to Dean’s duffle bag and dug out an ace bandage to wrap up the ribs tightly.

“It was $1200, but here…” Dean said, fumbling for the brown paper bag on the nightstand and holding it out to his brother.

Sam cocked his head to one side, wondering what was in the sack. Dean shook the bag once more and Sam grabbed it, peeking inside before pulling out the gift. “An iPod? You got me an iPod?”

“Yeah, I did.” Dean shrugged his shoulders, and under his brother’s scrutiny turned and placed his feet on the floor. Still Sam stared at him. “What?” Dean stood up, gesturing for Sam to hand over the gift. “Give it back. I thought you wanted to download your shitty music- but whatever.”

Sam studied the MP3 player again. “This is the expensive one.” Knowing that it went for at least five hundred dollars. “$200?”

“Caliente,” Dean grinned, happy that he had, in fact, made a great deal.

“It’s stolen?” Sam looked at the iPod, still in the box, as if it was sullied.

Dean shook his head. His brother was taking all the fun out of the gift. “I paid for it in cash and there is even a warranty.” Dean pointed to the part on the box that said ‘ninety day warranty.’

“Dean, thanks,” Sam replied, then looked his brother up and down. “But I didn’t need it - especially if…a fight club? What would Dad say?”

Dean snorted. “Dad is the one who had me do it in the first place.”

“What?” Sam said, shocked that their father would set his son in harm’s way. Sam curtailed the thought, since their father had always done that.

“Look,” Dean moved his neck side to side, working out the kinks. “It’s a solution to a problem and we’ll be in the black for awhile.”

Sam held up the bandages to wrap around his brother’s torso. He finished quickly, and put an extra closure on the end, just in case. “Promise me you won’t do it again.”

“Sam, it’s easy money. . .” Dean picked up his shirt from the end of the bed, where he had dropped it the night before.

“Jesus, Dean, for what - a pound of flesh?” Sam raised his voice, then brought it down again. “No…pool hustling is better than that.”

“Fine, Sammy, I won’t do it again.” Dean replied, placating his brother for the time being. Dean knew that when funds got low, he would do it again, so that Sam would never have to. He wanted Sam to keep some sort of innocence, away from the magic of beer, pool and fighting for money.



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