Summary: John Winchester is found dead after a fatal fight with a creature. His sons, at the ages of 12 and just-recently-17, are adopted by a young couple in Lawrence. Dean's set on thinking there's a reason other than kindness and, determined to figure it out, falls into their family pattern as if he has no problem.

Rating: T; a little language, and some things later on. Wincest-free!


Dean Winchester took a step back from his father's grave, towards his twelve year old brother standing on the path a few feet away and tried not to let his mind wander. With eyes red and puffy, Sam sniffled and abruptly wiped tears from his cheeks with the sleeve of his jacket. The social worker Julie Christian was standing nearby, watching from under the water-resistant fabric of her umbrella and the light rainfall. The sky was dark; a storm was brewing, but she didn't feel the need to pull the boys away just yet; not until the thunder rumbled and a flash of lightning danced across the sky above their heads.

"Boys, c'mon, we've gotta go!" the blonde called out, her tone gentle.

Sam looked over to where Julie was standing with the sad look still set on his features. He was about to walk away when he realized his brother was still focused on the gravestone accompanied by an American flag. "Dean," he started. His voice was quiet, but it caught the elder's attention.

Dean cleared his throat. "Coming, Sammy," he said, voice hoarse. He spared one last look at the headstone and followed Sam towards the car. He made sure Sammy was in the backseat before he got in the passenger side, somewhat reluctantly, and buckled up.

"The Connors' are really excited to have you boys," Julie stated gently as if it'd make the idea of adoption better. "They're a nice couple, Dean." She directed it towards him only because she knew he was angry about the situation; he'd said it plain and clear that he didn't need to live in some stranger's house just because social services didn't believe he could take better care of his brother than anyone else ever would. "Try to be nice atleast, please?"

Dean felt the need to give her some response as she had been nice to him and his brother in the time spent with them. He couldn't think of anyone that wanted two teenage boys, recently turned orphans, living in their home, but he could only guess that there had to be a reason the Connors family were adopting; one he intended to find out.

He shrugged a shoulder in reply to her request and went on with concentrating on the passing, wet scenery.

Within minutes they pulled up to a twentieth century Tudor home with a brick arch in the driveway, occupied by the 1967 Chevy Impala Dean found as the one familiar thing he had left other than Sam.

"You boys ready?" Julie inquired with a comforting smile.

"As ready as I'll ever be," Dean murmured as he stepped out of the car. Sam followed his example, but his big brother flipped his hood up over his head until they were at the front door under the porch.

Julie rang the doorbell and spared a glance at the younger Winchester; distraught, exhausted and moving into a strangers' home because of the supposed lack of guardians; she had the feeling Dean could own up to the responsibility of being a parent to his brother, but holding down a job didn't seem to hold the same amount of ease.

The thick front door opened, revealing a slender young woman in her late twenties with dark brown hair, kind eyes and a smile; she was wearing denim shorts and a black t-shirt with faded purple and pink lettering that said, "You Shook Me All Night Long."

"Hey, Julie," she greeted, her voice uneasy. "Boys."

"Hi, Emily; I'm sure you remember Sam and Dean." Julie looked to the Winchester boys. "Guys."

They each scrounged up a quiet, "hi" for the blonde's nice attitude. An awkward silence later, Emily backed out of the doorway for the brothers to come in, but Julie backed out then, stating that they should get comfortable with each other; she left a phone number, made sure to get some sort of reaction from the boys, and then was on her way.

Dean stood tensely in the front hall, examining the pictures on the old corridor's walls; the one that was currently holding his attention was hidden in a dimmer corner of the den to the right of the entrance. He couldn't figure out why the photograph had been hung if it was going to be disguised in darkness like that.

"So. . ." the brunette drawled for a minute, trying to find a way to break the tension, "I was making something to eat; either one of you hungry?"

Sam looked up from his rain-spotted coat sleeves and hesitated to nod.

"How 'bout you, Dean? . . .Dean?"

"What?" he asked, suddenly brought back from his curiosity about the hidden picture.

"Are you hungry?"

He looked over at Sam whose big eyes were clearly hoping he'd say yes.

"Yeah, sure." Okay, that was a lie. He could guarantee he'd spend more of his time playing with his food and watching while Emily tried to make conversation, but he followed her into the kitchen regardless, Sammy on his trail.

The kitchen was brighter than expected since the rest of the house seemed to have darker settings, but the room they were currently standing in had off-white cupboards, light-colored hardwood floorboards and marble-topped counters. All the appliances were either white or off-white because those had been sitting there longer. The walls were painted light yellow with vines laced throughout the in-betweens of the cupboards and the window over the sink overlooking the backyard.

"I was making a sandwich, but I'm not really sure what you guys like," Emily stated as she walked over to the cupboard by the stove, her bare feet faintly brushing against the smooth hardwood floor. "There's macaroni and cheese in here, I can make that."

Dean glanced at his brother and decided he wasn't going to answer for himself. "Yeah, that's good. Sammy loves his mac and cheese." It was a small light-hearted chuckle for the younger's sake, but it was almost hopeless since Sam barely cracked a smile.

A smile flickered across the brunette's face as well as she pulled out a box of Kraft's macaroni and cheese. With the water boiling on the stovetop, she took a bite of her sandwich and settled into a chair next to the younger of the two boys.

"I can show you two your rooms while that's cooking, if you want," she said. "Sam, sweetie, you look like you need some sleep."

Sam looked up at her and shrugged limply.

"C'mon, I'll show you guys around."

Dean gestured for his brother to follow first and he obliged. Just as Emily stepped out of the kitchen, a grin spread across her face as the front door closed.

Dressed in a suit and tie, briefcase in a hand, a man looking to be about six foot and in his late twenties was standing by the doorway of the den. He'd just shrugged out of his shoes and coat when his wife spotted him and a smile spread on his features when he realized that the boys were already there.

"Hey, Em," he grinned, running a hand through his short, spiked and wet jet black hair. "Boys."

"Sam, Dean, you remember my husband, Robert; Rob," Emily said, her gaze flickering between the brothers.

Dean nodded, his facial expression not as soft as it should've been for his little brother's sake. "Yeah," he stated simply. Sam nodded also but made no move to speak.

"I was just about to show them their rooms, but there's some mac and cheese on the stove; mind keeping an eye on it for me?" she requested.

"Nope, not at all." He gave her an encouraging smile before she started off to the wide set of wooden stairs.

When the three of them made it upstairs, Emily pointed out that directly across from the top of the stairs was a TV room with video and board games for them; she mentioned that although Robert seemed to be all business, once a week, him and his buddies got together for a game night in there. Their bedroom was off to the far left down a narrow corridor that also held the bathroom. To the right of where they were standing at the top of the steps, was Sam's bedroom. The room was painted red with a double bed, a desk with a brand new Mac computer and a dresser next to the doorway.

"Julie said you were pretty into your school work," Emily said nervously, trying to get some reaction out of the younger boy.

He looked up at her, smiling subtly and nodding. "I like it," he stated.

"I'm glad," she replied. A sigh of relief escaped her lips as she turned back to lead the boys through the game room and up a small set of three steps into the room she pointed out as Dean's.

The walls were a darker, navy blue with several Metallica and AC/DC posters spread out throughout the room. There was a large stereo set up on top the dresser and other than the set of speakers flanking it, it had a surround sound set mounted to each corner of the room. His room also had a desk with a brand new Mac, but the desk wasn't quite as official looking as Sammy's had been; he was kind of glad; she didn't expect him to use it for much more than the computer. The queen sized bed had a simple black comforter on it with navy blue sheets.

"I saw the tapes in your car, I thought. . ."

"Not bad," Dean assured her. "Definitely not bad."

"Thanks," she smiled. "Um… House rules; not many, really. I'm not gonna bother containing food and drinks to the kitchen, but if you spill something…atleast clean it up," she chuckled. "Uh, Dean, curfew's at one a.m., but can be extended depending on circumstances. Friends are welcome to stay over on weekends, as long as you quiet down by twelve. During the week, dinner's usually at five thirty, I won't force you to help with dishes as long as you clean up your own. Homework after dinner, then you're free for the rest of the night. In bed by ten, Sam, light's out at ten thirty. That's really it; there aren't many chores to do around here. The only thing I won't make you clean is your room unless it gets ridiculous or there's company coming over and that doesn't happen often. So you guys are free to do as you please tonight."

"Em!" Robert's voice echoed from downstairs. "What do you want me to do with this macaroni?"

"Oh, crap," she muttered. "Sam, you still want the mac and cheese?"

Sam nodded and followed her back towards the stairs, looking back to see if his brother was following.

"I'm gonna stay up here for a little bit and watch TV, Sammy," Dean said, giving his brother a nod of encouragement. "Bring your food up here and join me, if you want."

Emily started down the stairs, figuring the younger boy could find his way back to the kitchen when he was ready.

"Go on, man, if you're hungry. You'll be fine."

Sam reluctantly went back downstairs to find the adults talking in the kitchen. He felt weird interrupting, but grateful when Robert noticed him in the doorway before he had to.

"Hey, kiddo," he said with a friendly smile. He still hadn't changed out of his suit, but he'd taken the coat and tie off.

The brunette standing in front of him turned around. "How much of this do you want, Sam?" she asked, gesturing to the pot of cheese-covered noodles.

"I um. . .just a bowl, please," he said quietly.

"Sure thing sweetie," she smiled, pulling a bowl out of the cupboard and letting Rob dish up the still steaming macaroni.

"Here ya go," she grinned, pulling a spoon from the drawer, "Be careful, it's still hot."

"'Kay," Sam mumbled, shifting on his feet. "I'm just gonna…go eat this, with Dean," he said nervously, turning around and heading back up the stairs.

"Hey, squirt," Dean said as his brother came back in, crawling in the middle of his bed and sitting Indian style. "Don't get any of that junk on my bed."

"I won't," Sam grinned back, offering Dean a spoonful when he came to sit down beside him.

Dean smirked and ate the proffered food before leaning back against his headboard. "It's a decent set up, I guess," he said quietly.

Sam stirred the mac and cheese around in his bowl but stayed quiet.

"Hey, you wanna watch a movie? I got surround sound."

"Sure," Sam smiled, leaning back against the headboard with him and sharing his macaroni as Dean found something on the TV set up on a wall mount above the stereo.

Dean looked over at Sam, snoring softly and carefully took the bowl from his limp hands.

"Hey dude," he whispered, nudging him with his elbow.

"Hmm?" Sam mumbled, cracking his eyes open.

"Time for bed, buddy."

Sam's face fell. "Oh…okay," he murmured, slipping off the bed and making his way for the door.

Dean sighed and walked with him down the hall.

"Night Sam," he said quietly.

"Night Dean," Sam said back, watching as Dean's silhouette backed out of the room, closing his door as he went.

He changed into his pajamas and glanced at the clock. It was quarter to eleven but it was Friday night; not a school night. Even with that, he decided he was too tired to stay up any later. He'd fallen asleep in Dean's room once already. Crawling into the bed, curling up under the thick blanket, he found it comforting that the room had no freaky shadows. The hall light flicked on in the hallway, giving off a small amount of light under the crack of his door. He could see the shadow of someone's feet at the door and stayed quiet as it opened for a moment and then closed again before the light turned off again outside his bedroom. It was silent in the room, but not eerily silent; just weird that he couldn't hear his big brother snoring a few feet away in the other bed. There wasn't even another bed. It was completely quiet except for his breathing, yet Sam was too tired to be disturbed by this and almost immediately fell asleep again.

Sam sat quietly crying – paralyzed – in the corner of the old, abandoned cabin the demon was holding in. His father and the Demon were talking and fighting, but he could hear nothing. Dean entered the room and when he tried calling out to warn Dean not to get in the middleSam discovered he was mute, as well. He had no ability to move, to speak, to hear; all he could do was watch uselessly as his big brother soon became part of the battle. It didn't last long; they were fighting a Demon after all. John went down first and despite the urge to scream for his father – even if it could do nothing for the lifeless, older man – he was more concerned for Dean. Only seventeen, facing the Yellow-Eyed Demon their father had been hunting down since they were kids. He screamed silently even as Dean, too, fell to the wooden floorboards, bloody and clinging to life by a thread. And Sam was still unable to move from the corner. The Demon left; leaving him to fend for himself at twelve years old.

Despite the fear that his brother was somehow hurt, Sam stayed curled up under the covers, shivering in the silence that now seemed TOO quiet. After a few minutes, he was still freaked out enough to the point where he didn't want to be alone in the unfamiliar room. With a quick count to three, he ran out of his room and through the TV room to his brother's bedroom.

Dean was lying on his stomach – snoring – half covered by the blanket and sheets twisted around his legs.

"Dean," he whispered. "Are you awake?"

"Mm, what's wrong, Sammy?" he mumbled.

"Can't sleep," he said.

The elder Winchester's eyes opened to look up at him, curiously; knowingly. "C'mon," he relented, sitting up and untangling his limbs from the linens. "Same one?" he asked, referring to the nightmare that had constantly been haunting his little brother since their father's death; he sat up against the headboard, fighting a yawn.

Sam nodded as he cuddled into his brother's side under the blankets. Dean reached over for the remote on the nightstand and turned on the TV, making sure the volume was low, even if he couldn't hear it. Both of them fell asleep within minutes, the television a makeshift nightlight with the changing hues of a movie with dark settings.

A/N: First chapter! Complete! I really hope everyone enjoys this story because this is my first work at a brotherly fic; vs. romance. Of course, I have plans for a little romance for the boys, but the main focus of this story is the brothers' relationship. :)

Please leave some feedback; I really want to know what everyone thinks.


P.S. Lots of love to Monte (Renegade87) for her help! Not only on this story, but on all my other pointless Supernatural adventures; some of which you'll probably never see, but she puts up with me anyway! (: