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Out of Our Element, Gen (2/2) - My Little Corner of the World
sams1ra
sams1ra
Out of Our Element, Gen (2/2)
Title: Out of Our Element - Fire
Series: Picture Perfect.
Disclaimer: Yes, they are mine! Mine! Mine I tell you! Muahahaha! *sigh* yeah, okay, so they're not mine. meany.
Rating: PG.
Category: Gen.
Pairings: None.
Characters: Wee!Dean, baby Sam, John, Mary.
Summery: The night of November 2nd started out as just another night... It didn't end that way.
Spoilers - Uh, for the Pilot, but I'm pretty sure everyone'd seen it by now, right?
Comments: Are like cookies - the more the merrier!
Notes: Preseries. A series of oneshots about Wee!Dean. This is a two-shot, because things got lost when I tried writing it into a oneshot. A sort of 'before' and 'after'.

Out of Our Element

Fire

Lawrence, Kansas, November 2nd, 1983

It was late, but Dean just couldn't sleep. He was tired, but there was just something in the air, like an electrical current that kept him from sleeping. He had this feeling, like he gets on Christmas Eve, knowing there're gonna be presents waiting for him under the tree, knowing he'd have to wait all night before he's allowed to go get them… There was this sense of waiting for something, but the little four-year-old didn’t know what it was.

The door to his bedroom opened, and Dean looked up. His mother, already wearing her nightgown, was standing in the doorway.

"Dean? Honey, why aren't you sleeping?" she asked, nearing his bed. Dean sat up in bed.

"I don’t wanna sleep, Mommy." The little boy answered. Mary sat next to him on the bed, stroking his head affectionately.

"You have to go to sleep, love. You have kindergarten tomorrow." The mother said.

"Can you tell me a story, Mommy?" Mary sighed.

"Just a short one." she conceded. She got up and brought over the story they've been reading, reading Dean a few pages from it before she put the book down, telling her boy it was time to go to sleep. She frowned at the look on Dean's face. "What is it, Dean?" she asked. Dean shrugged, hugging her. "Oh, baby," Mary sighed, "alright, come on. I'll make you some warm milk." She said, picking Dean up in her arms and going over to the kitchen.

When Dean was finished with his milk, Mary took him back upstairs, stopping at Sammy's nursery to check up on him first. She balanced Dean on her hip.

"Come on, let's say good night to your brother." Mary said, turning the lights on in the nursery. She put Dean back down.

Baby Sammy was gurgling, looking at his little mobile with interest, hands and legs flailing uncoordinatedly. He seemed more amused than sleepy. Just wonderful, it's going to be a long night, Mary thought.

Dean rushed over to the crib, climbing over the bars and bending over to kiss his baby brother's head. Mary smiled at that. It took him a while, but Dean was finally getting used to the idea of not being an only child. He was finally starting to enjoy it.

"Good night, Sam." Dean said and Mary came over, putting one hand on Dean's back to make sure he doesn’t fall. She leaned over the crib, caressing Sam's face.

"Good night, love." She said tenderly, kissing the baby's head.

"Hey, Dean," at the sound of the familiar voice, Dean's head snapped back, blonde hair whipping around.

"Daddy!" Dean cried happily, rushing towards his tired father, who was standing at the doorway, wearing his favorite Marine T-shirt.

"Hey, buddy." John said, a smile on his face as he picked Dean up in his arms with a slight grunt. "So what do you think, you think Sammy's ready to toss around a football yet?" John asked. Dean shook his head, hair flailing again.

"No, Daddy." Dean said laughingly.

"No," John said, and Mary stroked Dean's back lovingly on her way out of the nursery.

"You got him?" she asked tiredly.

"I got him." John said, and Dean laid his head on his father's broad shoulder, wrapping his little arms around his father's neck, feeling safe now that his Daddy was back. John rubbed Dean's back.

"Sweet dreams, Sam." He said before turning off the light and getting out of the nursery. "So how come you're still up, kiddo?" John asked. Dean shrugged, holding his father just a little bit tighter. "You had a good day today?" John asked. Dean nodded.

"I learned how to write 'Sammy' and 'Puppy', and we read a story, and Mrs. Lewis says I'm the smartest kid in class." He said.

"Of course you are." John said proudly, holding onto his son just a little bit tighter, smiling a tired smile. Dean pushed back a little, so he could look at his father better.

"Are you gonna come home early tomorrow? Please Daddy? Please? I think Sammy really misses you."

"We'll see, Dean." John said, turning the light on in Dean's room. It was tidied up, almost no toys lying around. Dean must have been listening when they told him he needed to start cleaning up his room if he wanted to get a big surprise for his birthday.

John laid Dean down on the bed, and Dean crawled under the covers. The bed dipped a little as John sat down next to his boy. Dean smothered a yawn. His Daddy was home now.

"Will you tell me a story?" Dean asked, wanting to spend some more time with his father.

"Oh, I think it's too late for a story, dude." John said.

"But I'm not sleepy." Dean protested around a large yawn. John smiled, kissing his boy's head.

"Just close your eyes, I think you'd be asleep in no time." He said.

"Stay with me?" Dean asked. John nodded.

"You know, your birthday's coming up." He noted. Dean smiled goofily, sticking his hand in his father's face.

"I’ll be five." He said, spreading five little fingers.

"Ooh, five." John nodded solemnly. "Gotta watch it, kiddo. Soon you'll be older than your old man." He said seriously, and then smiled. Dean giggled.

"Can I have a party this year too, Daddy? Please?"

"Of course you're gonna have a party." John said, "With balloons and cake and lots of presents." He promised.

"And can I invite Lucas and Ricky and Ginny and Tommy and Tracy?" John chuckled.

"You can invite whoever you want." He promised.

"Yay!" John laughed at that.

"What do you want for your birthday?" John asked, already guessing the answer. Dean hesitated, and John knew exactly why. "Maybe this year, Mommy'll let you have that puppy." John said. Dean's eyes brightened with joy.

"Really?"

"We'll see," John said carefully, "If you're a good big brother and a good boy."

"I'm a good boy, Daddy. I'm a good big brother." Dean said quickly.

"Yes, you are." Mary said from her place in the doorway. John nodded at her and she came closer.

"Time to go to sleep, Dean." John said, tucking the little boy in.

"'Night, Daddy." Dean said, and John got up from the bed, kissing Mary's cheek on his way out the room.

"Good night, Dean." Mary said, turning the light off.

"Mommy, under the bed!" Dean said urgently. Mary sighed silently, turning back to Dean.

"There're no monsters under your bed, baby. You know why?" she asked.

"'Cause they're here?" Dean asked tentatively. Mary sat with him, brushing hair out of his eyes.

"That's right. Because the angels are watching over you." she said, leaning over to kiss him good night. "Good night, love." She added before leaving the room.

"Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite." The little boy answered sleepily, yawning again. Dean stared at the ceiling a moment longer, before falling asleep. The feeling was still there, the tension, the feeling something was going to happen. But his Mommy and Daddy were both there, and there were angels watching over them all.


A scream.

A scream woke him up, pulled him from the warm embrace of sleep.

Dean sat up in bed, heart pounding. He listened hard, trying to figure out what was going on.

He was used to being woken up at night, but it was usually his brother's cries that woke him, not screams and shouts. He could hear Daddy yelling, and shivered a little. He pulled his covers tighter around him, mindful of the monsters that might be lurking in the dark under his bed, and listened.

It was quiet.

No one was screaming. No one was yelling anymore, but for some reason, Dean got even more scared, heart pumping hard, eyes welling up.

"Mommy?" Dean cried in a small voice. "Mommy!" he cried again after a moment. "Daddy!" but no one came. The little boy tried calling for him Mommy and Daddy one more time, but still, no one came.

More shouts.

Daddy, looking for Mommy. But he sounded scared, and Daddy's never scared, not even from the monster hiding under the bed. And now Sammy was crying, too. And Dean gasped as a thought occurred to him.

The monsters! What if the monsters snuck out from under his bed and found their way to Sammy's room? Or maybe there were monsters under Sammy's bed, too? Dean's heart doubled its pace. He tried calling out for his parents again, but no one came. And Sammy cried louder.

And then came the heat. A sudden explosion of heat that suffocated him, burnt his lungs, made his heart pound so hard it nearly beat a way out of the four year old's chest. Hesitating a moment longer, Dean peeked under the bed.

His shoes, a sock, his fire truck, a few little green army men, a couple of dust bunnies. No monster though. Because they're not real. Daddy said so. And Mommy said the angels were watching over him, making sure no boogieman was hiding in his closet. He sure wouldn’t mind if one of them showed up right now though. Now would be a really good time for an angel to show up, tell him everything was okay.

The heat was getting worse, and Sammy was still crying. Dean hesitated a moment longer before kicking his covers away and scrambling out of bed, running for Mommy and Daddy's room.

"Daddy!"

Dad was in the hallway, a wriggling Sammy in his hands and the heat was suffocating. Dean was scared now, really, really scared, his eyes darting all over the place, trying to see, trying to understand, looking for reassurance.

And then Dad thrust the baby into Dean's arms. Not carefully handed him, but thrust him, and Dean nearly dropped him. Dean opened his mouth to say something, but his father bit him to it.

"Take your brother outside as fast as you can. Don’t look back!" Dad had ordered him, urgency in his voice. Dean hesitated for a fracture of a second, because really, there was no way Daddy had just put his baby brother in his hands and told him to run outside, into the dark, with the baby in his hands. Dean's eyes widened as he tried to balance his baby brother in his arms.

Surely, he didn’t hear right, because he wasn’t even supposed to hold Sammy unless he was sitting down and Mommy or Daddy were watching him – so surely, Daddy didn’t really tell him to run down the stairs with Sam in his arms. Dean probably just misunderstood.

"Now, Dean, go!"

His father's voice scared him, and the heat just kept getting stronger, and Sam was still crying. And Dean turned and ran.

In his pajama, feet bare, wriggling baby in his arms, Dean dashed – well, sort of, because Sam might have been little, but so was Dean, and Sammy was heavy, and Dean was a little afraid they'll both fall down the stairs.

Dean's heart was racing, he was breathing hard from fear and effort, the heat baking his skin even as he got downstairs. He was shaking a little, never letting go of his brother. He wasn't sure what to do, because he wasn't supposed to be outside after dark, was never supposed to leave the house alone, wasn't allowed to unlock the door by himself. And he was definitely not supposed to hold Sam on his own. But Dad said… Dad had ordered, and Dad only orders like that when Dean'd been bad. Was he being bad?

Get your brother outside as fast as you can, don’t look back.

Dean stared at the door. The locked door.

It was hard enough to try and unlock it without his brother in his arms. He was tall enough to reach the handle now, that's why Mommy never kept the key where he could reach it. There was a spare though, in the kitchen, out of Dean's reach.

Tears were pooling in his eyes now. There was heat and fear and Sam, and where's Mommy? What was he supposed to do? How was he supposed to open the door? Was he supposed to let Sam go in order to climb up a chair and reach the key? Was he allowed to put Sam down? Was it safe?

Dad was yelling again. Dean was shaking. He balanced his brother over his shoulder, freeing one hand and trying to reach for the key. Just an inch short. Dean reached farther, trying to stand on the tips of his toes, trying not to drop his brother, and Sam wouldn't stop crying.

"Just a little more, Sammy, I can reach it…" Dean said, stretching his arm as far as he could. Just a little more… Dean bit his lip. Just a little more… There!

"You have to stop wriggling, Sammy, or I'll drop you. You're too heavy." Dean breathed. He readjusted the baby in his arms, propping him against his little shoulder as he fiddled with the key. It didn’t look so hard when Mommy did it.

It was hot. Everything was hot, and Sam was still crying and Dean would have, too, but he had to get outside. Daddy had said so. Everything would be okay if he could just get outside.

There!

Dean yanked the door open, readjusting Sam in his arms again, and not a moment too soon, and ran outside.

It was cold outside, and the quick change from scorching hot to freezing cold stung his eyes, hurt his lungs. Dean figured Sam was just as uncomfortable, so he held his brother closer and ran, barefoot, onto the grass in the front yard.

He turned back, looking up at the nursery window up above. Orange light was coming from the window. Fire.

Sam wriggles in his arms, and Dean held onto him a bit tighter, figured if he was scared, Sammy must have been even more scared, because he was just a baby, he couldn't even talk yet.

"It's okay, Sammy."

Because it was going to be, now. They were outside, Dean would take care of his brother until Daddy and Mommy will put the fire out and take them inside, make them some hot cocoa – well, make Dean some hot cocoa, because Sam was too little to drink it – and put them to bed again. Maybe they'd all sleep together in Mommy and Daddy's room. It'll be okay. Everything will be okay. Mommy and Daddy are coming.

But minutes were ticking by, and no one got out of the house. Dean looked up at the window, and fear gripped him.

No, not fear, because he was being lifted from the ground, carried away from the house. It was so sudden he nearly dropped the baby, but strong arms held on to them both.

"I gotcha!" Daddy said, breathless, in his ear, just as the windows exploded and the fire grew even stronger, even hotter.

The next few minutes made no sense. Just a rush of hot and cold and silence and sound. And then he was sitting on the Impala next to his Dad, who was rocking Sam in his arms. Dean looked around.

"Where's Mommy?" Dean asked in a tiny voice, looking up at his father, but the older man just stared at the burning house, holding the baby closer, saying nothing. Dean looked back at the house, back at the fire eating up the upper floor – Sam's nursery, his parents' room, his own room. Mommy wasn’t still in there, right? Dean looked around again, tried to get up and go look for her, but Dad had held onto his hand, pulled him back, told him to stay.

There were sirens. Flashing lights. Fire trucks. Police. Neighbors. So many people, so many flashing lights, so hot and so cold, and still no Mommy. Dean looked back at the house. Nothing made sense. He didn’t understand, and he did.

Mommy wasn’t coming.

The End


X-posted everywhere ;)

Other Wee!Dean stories - 'There was life there, once', Picture Perfect part 1, part 2, part 3, All Over Again, part 1, part 2. Out of Our Element - Water.

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Comments
(Deleted comment)
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: June 19th, 2007 05:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Glad you liked it. Sorry it took me forever to reply...
kamikaze_redux From: kamikaze_redux Date: June 7th, 2007 02:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
And now I am in tears. I could picture all of that happening and it was so heartbreaking. So good.
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: June 19th, 2007 05:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!
Sorry for the (very) late reply. I am planning on writing more of these little fics.
(Deleted comment)
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: June 19th, 2007 05:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!
Sorry it took me forever to reply. Glad you enjoyed it.
gwendolyngrace From: gwendolyngrace Date: June 7th, 2007 06:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
woo-hoo! Payoff. Getting to see this from Dean's perspective....

I actually just watched the Pilot again last night, though this makes me want to give it another viewing....

I love how you've picked up all the pipe you laid earlier, John's history of working late, the continual quest for a pup named Sam (or Batman), and above all, the Rules where baby Sammy was concerned, so that we go with Dean as he thinks through the implications of his new circumstances.

Surely, he didn’t hear right, because he wasn’t even supposed to hold Sammy unless he was sitting down and Mommy or Daddy were watching him – so surely, Daddy didn’t really tell him to run down the stairs with Sam in his arms. Dean probably just misunderstood.

From here until they escape, it's a brilliant examination of the way a basically good kid would have to adjust when suddenly the rules change. My only hesitation about the door as an obstacle is, wouldn't they have a deadbolt? But maybe it's an old enough house that it's still key in and key out. (I wonder if the doors are any different in Home or WIAWSNB - and if there are any shots close-up enough to examine the locks....) But for the tension, the key's a good choice - certainly a chain would have been too much, Dean wouldn't have had time to drag over a chair and all that.

Meh, anyway. This:

Dean's heart was racing, he was breathing hard from fear and effort, the heat baking his skin even as he got downstairs. He was shaking a little, never letting go of his brother. He wasn't sure what to do, because he wasn't supposed to be outside after dark, was never supposed to leave the house alone, wasn't allowed to unlock the door by himself. And he was definitely not supposed to hold Sam on his own. But Dad said… Dad had ordered, and Dad only orders like that when Dean'd been bad. Was he being bad?

Just perfection. Yes, that's *exactly* the thought process, even at a racing 100 miles a minute, that a kid who heretofore has basically only wanted to do right would be thinking.

Oh, and monsters under the bed? And finding their way to Sam's bed? Killed me ded.

Thanks for providing the novelization... Now, will there be Earth and Air, too?
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: June 19th, 2007 05:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Sorry for the (very) late reply.
I'm really happy you enjoyed the story. I've been thinking about it for a long time - you can see in the pilot that the boy's hands are busy - he darts out the door, but I kept thinking of HOW he got out and just had to write it.
About Earth and Air - I've been thinking about it, but my only ideas are Earth is Mary and Air are the angels he doesn't believe in anymore.
There will be more wee!Dean stories though.
gwendolyngrace From: gwendolyngrace Date: June 19th, 2007 11:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
How can we not write more wee!Dean? wee!Dean is LOVE.

Earth is gravedigging.
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: June 20th, 2007 05:09 am (UTC) (Link)
True, that he is =]
(Deleted comment)
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: June 19th, 2007 05:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!
nohara_megami From: nohara_megami Date: June 8th, 2007 08:00 am (UTC) (Link)
This was wonderful, in a sad and painful way :( I love all the wee!Dean thoughts, they were spot on in my mind.
sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: June 19th, 2007 05:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed the story.
noirbabalon From: noirbabalon Date: June 9th, 2007 02:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Dean's race from the house and standing on the lawn waiting for his parents is one of the images that haunts me for Wee!Dean. In my mind that is the Dean that goes on through the series, stuck at age four protecting Sammy, always waiting for his father, remembering the fear and constantly afraid that everything will be taken away again...

Your story really brings that night alive...the voices of Mary and John and especially Dean are really present in their normality. The little gestures and tones.

The only thing I would suggest if I may, is your phrasing here :

She said, picking Dean up in her arms and going over to the kitchen.

When Dean was finished with his milk, Mary took him back upstairs...


It pops me out of the story. I would suggest more of a flow between the two...going downstairs, heating the milk?

Off to read the rest of your stuff....I love it when I find a great writer on a long weekend and it's raining! :-)

Thank you!


sams1ra From: sams1ra Date: June 19th, 2007 05:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed the story. I wish we could get more Wee!Chester flashbacks in the show.
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