Characters: Sam, John, Dean
Word Count: 1,300
Warnings: highlight to read child abuse, brief allusions to possible sexual abuse.
Summary: AU. It was just five dollars. It was just a field trip. This is just the punishment.
Notes: Old fic written for last year's blindfold_spn. Shameful cliches, etc. Also for dark_bingo, prompt: "heat."
By the time they get home, the silence has begun stripping away at their flesh.
Dad sets the keys down on the small table next to the door and starts to take off his jacket. Dean edges towards the bedroom, and Sam is at his heels. Both of them are watching Dad, though Sam can feel Dean's eyes on him too, as Dad hangs his coat.
Dad sighs, a low, disappointed sound.
"It was—" Sam can't help himself, can't stop the words, though fear should have nauseated him beyond anything more than breathing. He can see Dean out of the corner of his eye, and he can imagine the look on his face. His stomach roils hard, cold terror pulsing through him with every heartbeat. "It was just five dollars, Dad. I just wanted to—"
Dad turns and looks down at Sam and Sam's throat goes dry, fast, clicking for moisture as he swallows.
Dad looks up at Dean, says quietly, "I want you to go upstairs son."
Sam feels Dean's movements like they're his own. The way he glances down at Sam, then back at Dad. The way his mouth opens for the smallest second like he might say something, but then closes again because Dean will never speak a word against Dad. The way he turns, hesitantly, like something's tugging hard at his heart and begging him to stay, begging him to stop this somehow, begging him to run away, far away, run forever so they can be okay for once.
That's what Sam had said, the other day. Let's run away, Dean. Let's just go. Please, I want to go. And Dean had looked at him with something in his eyes that Sam couldn't stand to see. Dean was a good kid. Dean was a good, good kid and he'd been raised right and Dad had never had to punish him, not once, not for nothing. Didn't mean Dean couldn't be scared though. Dean counted Sam's scars sometimes, Sam knew, counted them as he washed Sam up on those days Sam fucked up so much Dad had to take lengths to make sure he learned his lesson. Dean counted the scars and the fresh wounds and everything. And he got scared. The threat was worse. The threat hung over your head and made you lie awake at night, crying. That's how Sam knew Dean wouldn't be able to run away, not ever. Sam never blamed him, not once, because he knew he had legs of his own and could run just as well as anyone. But he never made it out the door. And it wasn't from fear that Dad might take it out on Dean, because that was too far-fetched to even imagine, Dad ever saying a harsh word to Dean or lifting a hand to him. That was impossible. It wasn't even 'cause Dad would find him again. That was just an excuse. No, Sam didn't run 'cause he was scared of being on his own. Dad took care of him, whatever else he might do. Dad made sure Sam stayed alive. Dad was there for Sam and Dean and that's why Sam couldn't leave.
He was ten years old. Where would he go, anyways?
Dean's at the top of the stairs now, and Dad calls up in his gruff, gentle voice saying, "I'm proud of you, Dean. Good job on the hunt."
Dean doesn't stop and doesn't turn, but it doesn't matter because Dad's already looking at Sam.
"Sammy," he says quietly. "Aw, Sammy."
He reaches out and pulls Sam gently towards him, an arm around his shoulder as he leads him to the couch.
"Dad—" Sam chokes, starting to cry now, starting to panic. "I just wanted to go on the field trip, Dad, I just—"
Dad's already lighting the cigarette. His lifts it to his lips and sucks lightly, then sighs. "You stole, Sam. From your own father. I don't care how much it was, the fact is, you stole. Like a petty thief. For a field trip?" He shakes his head. "Every time I think, maybe now Sammy's learned, you go and fuck up again. How many times are you going to make me do this Sammy? How many times are you going to make me hurt my own boy?"
"Daddy," Sam sobs. He's blubbering horribly, tears pouring down his cheeks. He can't sit upright from the force of his cries. He's gonna get a whipping just for being a baby. Why can't he just fucking stop?
"Sam?" Dad prompts.
"I – I – I – I don't know. I don't know what's wrong with me," Sam sobs.
"I've told you Sammy, I told you. It's in your blood and you have to fight it. I've told you a hundred times over, but every time I turn my back, there you are again, acting like a little shit, disgracing me, embarrassing Dean. You want us to regret you, Sammy?" Dad's voice is quiet, gentle. "Do you want us to not want you? 'Cause eventually, that's what's going to happen. Keep this up kiddo, and that's where you're headed. What're you gonna do if Dean up and leaves one day 'cause he couldn't stand to look at you?"
Sam shakes his head, crying too hard to even try speaking.
He hears Dad takes another drag of the cigarette. "Lift your shirt," he says. His voice is firm, but Sam – he can't. He just can't.
"I'm going to say it once more Sam," Dad says softly. "If you don't lift your shirt now, I'll take you to my bedroom. Is that what you want?"
Sam shakes his head, and lifts his shirt, though it hurts everything in him to do so.
"Good boy," Dad praises quietly. "Good, good boy." He helps Sam lie back, carefully, against the couch cushions, and gently rests his palm on Sam's stomach, where the other burns lie, in groups of five. They're scattered across his stomach now, because his back is almost full. Sometimes Dad likes to put the new ones right over a fresh burn, but Sam doesn't usually fuck up twice in such a short time, and putting a new burn over scar tissue is pointless.
Dad runs his fingers over a clear spot, soothingly.
"Hold your breath, now. Not a sound."
Sam holds his breath and when the cigarette presses against his skin, he feels like his ears have exploded. His teeth grind together, and he can't stop his throat from making a sound as it strains against the screams that want so badly to burst from him. His abdomen is cramping from the tension of trying not to curl up, his free hand and his legs trembling as Dad presses down harder. His stomach twitches with his pounding heart. His eyes are closed so tightly he's seeing white, but he's stopped crying. His tears always have a way of drying up when they get to the actual punishment.
A breath more and it's over, the pain receding so quickly Sam's left shuddering from head to foot, shuddering like he's going to fall apart and clatter to the floor. His head is against Dad's chest before he knows it, and Dad's shushing him soothingly, running a hand through his hair kindly, as Sam struggles to breathe.
"Good boy," Dad says. "My good, good boy. I love you so much."
Sam's hands have fallen into Dad's lap, but he pulls them carefully away, away from the warmth that he can feel at his dad's crotch, away from the feeling it gives him.
Dad keeps petting him. Sam stays still and breaths.