A/N: This honestly came out so much longer than I intended it to be. Initially, I thought it might be two thousand words tops, but this is over six thousand. Kyaaa~! I wrote this for the Adam fan community on LiveJournal: ( community . livejournal adamwinchester/profile). Take a look if you're an Adam fan, okay? Anything goes over there - anything at all.

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters of Supernatural or the lyrics to Ill Nino's 'How Can I Live?'. This isn't really a song fic at all, I just thought it would be fun to throw in a random smattering of lyrics (which means, of course, that I couldn't come up with a good title and cheated). But, seriously, if anyone is thinking of making a video for the Winchester boys, that song would be perfect.

Warnings: Nothing too bad. Slight instances of violence and some language use. Spoilers for Jump the Shark. There's a bit of every genre - some humor, some fluff, some angst, some drama - so I hope you'll enjoy, whatever your tastes. ^^

Summary: "We have to ease Adam into our lives as gently as possible," Sam says. Apparently, Dean doesn't understand the meaning of 'ease'. Winchester brothers fluff.

How Can I Live?

How Can I Live Without You?

"Now that there's no choice but to keep him with us, we have to ease Adam into our lives as gently as possible," Sam said quietly, taking care not to wake the youngest Winchester.

Dean spared Adam a glance, to where he was sleeping on a dirty motel mattress, and nodded without really speaking, a conflicted expression on his handsome face. If it'd been up to him, he never would have gotten the kid involved in the first place – he would have left him to his safe, enviable life, sheltered from the dangers that followed their family around like the freaking pied-piper.

But nothing ever was that easy, was it? The kid's mother was dead – murdered by goddamned ghouls – and he would have died too – as ignorant to Sam and Dean as they were to him. Dean thanked his lucky stars that they'd arrived when they did, because if they hadn't...

Taking in Adam's young, peaceful face, made even more vulnerable by sleep, Dean couldn't even bear to consider that loss. The fact was, Adam was a Winchester now, and Dean's brother no less than Sammy – Dean would do whatever it took to protect his brothers.

But, as Sam had said, sometimes – more often than that, actually – there just wasn't a choice. He'd be damned if he let that – if he let anything – stop him, though. Adam would be safe, whether he wanted to be or not!

Do You Think of Me/Do You Dream of Me?

The sunlight blinking through dirty curtains woke Dean up. He scrunched his eyes together, grunted and sat up, squinting at the clock on the old desk beside him. It read ten in the morning. He sighed, swinging his legs over the side of his mattress.

It'd been a tough night's sleep. He and Sammy'd both agreed to let Adam have his own bed – half because the kid had dropped himself straight into it as soon as they'd arrived, and half because they didn't want to make this any more difficult for him than it already was. That left Dean sharing the next bed with his other brother, because the stupid ass motel couldn't even afford a damned couch. Sammy was a cuddler and he had to spend half the night playing pillow to the Sasquatch. It didn't help that Adam had nightmares – really vivid, painful ones from what he could tell – and his moaning kept Dean up all night.

He didn't blame the kid, of course. He was only a teenager who'd had no idea about the existence of the supernatural, thanks to dear old Dad, and his mom had just been killed. Dean had nightmares, too, after his mom died. And Adam wasn't even all that loud, really. But the soft, pitiful whimpering sounds he made really gripped Dean's heartstrings and plucked them to the point of tearing.

The oldest Winchester sighed, dropping his head of messy bed-hair into his hands. He didn't look up when he heard footsteps, but did when Sam settled a hand onto his shoulder. "Dude, you okay?" the middle Winchester asked, one brow quirked and his expression concerned.

"Oh, yeah," Dean replied sarcastically, "I'm just peachy, Sammy! We find out we've got a god-damned brother who Dad kept a secret from us, whose mom was freaking killed, and you ask me if I'm okay... God, Sammy!"

Sam had the decency to appear just a little repentant, though he mostly looked annoyed. "Don't take it out on me," he complained. "It's not as if I—"

A whimper from Adam, still in bed, cut him off. Both of them paused, simply listening, but the teenager didn't speak or even turn, giving no indication that he was awake.

Dean stood up, drawing Sam's eyes away from his sleeping younger brother to his older one. "I'm gonna take a shower, then head down and see if there's a place to grab some grub around here." Dean thumbed his finger in Adam's direction. "You wake up the kid and get him ready."

"But, Dean..." Sam began, before once again getting cut off.

"Don't 'but, Dean' me. Just do as I say for once!" Without waiting for a reply, Dean left. Sam sighed, the breath he let out pushing the long brown bangs back from his forehead.

He walked over to Adam's bedside, where the boy was tightly clutching a pillow and making little sniffling sounds. "Hey, buddy," Sam said, unsurprised when wet, bright baby blue eyes looked up to meet his – they were almost exactly like Dean's, an ethereal green in the right light, but somehow softer. Inwardly, Sam sighed – now he had two overemotional brothers to deal with, not that he really minded, when push came to shove.

I Am Your Mirror Image/I'm All You Left Behind

Dean managed to find a small burger joint not too far from their dilapidated motel room. At the moment, he and Sammy were tucking in, while Adam played around with the food on his plate, refusing to meet either of their eyes.

Dean didn't really mind – he wasn't quite ready to really talk to the kid just yet. Of course, Sammy hadn't gotten the memo, and he was trying to get Adam to open up. "D'you like pie?" Dean could hear the Sasquatch asking, among other things, while Adam merely shook his head without bothering to look up.

Finally, when his and Sam's plates had been wiped clean, and Adam miserably handed his back to the waitress to be dumped, over half full, Dean stood up. He wasn't even in the mood to try for the pretty server's digits. "Let's get outta here," he grumbled, leaving their money inside the bill. Sam stuck his hands into his pockets and gave up for the moment, while Adam trailed behind them like a wounded, abused puppy that had nowhere else to go, his eyes tracking shiftily from this obstacle to that. Dean sighed – things weren't going as well as he'd hoped.

When all three of them were safely inside the Impala, he ran his hands over his baby's dashboard and muttered, "We're heading to Bobby's."

Sam opened his mouth to speak, but immediately shut it when he heard Adam's voice, scratchy from disuse and many shed tears. "B-Bobby's?" the teenager questioned, looking up through his dark blonde fringe at Dean, in the front seat, with curious eyes.

"Uh, Yeah..." Dean replied, kind of start-struck. Adam hadn't spoken at all since they'd found him, hurt but alive, in the mausoleum with his mother's body. Sam had mentioned something earlier about the kid going into shock – he displayed all the signs, nerd-boy had said – and was he coming out of it now? Dean sure as hell hoped so. "He's another hunter. He'll keep you safe, kid."

Through the mirror in the car, he could see Adam's eyes widening. "Y-you're going to leave me?" he asked, voice and lips quivering.

Dean blinked and shared a look with Sam, who shrugged his broad shoulders. "Just for a little while, sport," he informed Adam. "Just till everything's safe around us."

Adam looked back down and muttered, "When will that be?"

Dean hesitated, once again locking eyes with Sam, and lied through his teeth, "Soon, kiddo. I promise."

He had a feeling Adam knew he was fibbing.

Our Life is Just a Guessing Game/That I Cannot Play

Their plans for heading to Bobby's were negated. Halfway through the trip, Adam became ill. His face was as sickly pale as it had been when Dean found him in the mausoleum, injured but not quite dead, stained in his own blood and practically gored by the ghouls, only holding on because his mother had drilled medical procedures into him – increasing pressure on his abdominal wound had kept his guts from spilling out. The sight of him like that scared Dean – more than he ever wanted to admit.

So he pulled over to the nearest motel they could find, still hours from Bobby's, and watched as Sam half-dragged their baby brother up the stairs. He swiped his stolen credit card through the hotel manager's card slot and waited impatiently for the man to let him off the hook. Then he followed his brothers up.

Adam was once again occupying one of the two mattresses and Sam was leaning his hulking form over the younger boy. He had a hand on his pale forehead, displacing the dark blonde locks that rested there. "He's burning up," he said, without really looking at Dean.

The oldest Winchester slammed a fist against one of the thin motel walls. "Dammit," he cursed, and thought he heard someone muttering for him to 'quiet down'. Ignoring whoever it was, he made his way to Sam's side. "All right," he said, trying to play it cool, "Go get some wet cloths from the bathroom. I'll get some water and something easy for him to eat, which he'll swallow with the pills. All right?"

Sam nodded, used to Dean-in-action from whenever he was sick. He felt a little jealous, actually, to see his brother taking care of someone other than him, but mostly he felt...indescribably anxious and excited. He was a big brother now, just like Dean, and he'd take care of Adam how Dean took care of him. The middle Winchester disappeared purposefully into the dingy bathroom.

Dean sighed and took over his place for a second, sitting near his sickly brother and running a hand through his sweaty hair. Then he went back down to the hotel foyer and bought some cold water from a vending machine, along with some cheese and crackers. There were probably some Tylenol fever-reducing pills in his duffel-bag, he figured.

He went back up and saw Sam already there, washing down Adam's face with the cloth he'd got. "Help him sit up, Sammy," he ordered, and Sam carefully did just that. Adam moaned a little, but Dean made a shushing sound, pressing the now-open bottle of water he'd purchased to Adam's dry, cracked lips. The teenager swallowed the fluid like he'd been deprived for years, some of it dripping down the sides of his face, and almost choked. After he was no longer parched and slightly more calm, Dean handed Adam the pills. "Take these, okay, buddy?" he said, with the slightest note of desperation in his tone. Adam observed him carefully for a second, eyes round and guileless in his youthful face, and Dean fidgeted, before the kid finally nodded, taking mercy on him. He took the pills and downed them. Dean offered him a crooked smirk and dropped the crackers on his mattress. "Eat these when you're up to it." Adam nodded.

The older Winchesters hung over the teenager carefully, observing his every move and taking in every sound he made, until it seemed he went to sleep. Then they relaxed, if only a bit.

All That Lies in Me/All That Dies in Me

There was a couch in their current motel room, so Dean decided to man it, as Sammy was too big to sleep there comfortably. Adam was already sick – he didn't want to hear Sam whining about his back the next morning, too.

It was probably about four in the morning when he heard the rustle of clothes. Dean blinked open one bleary eye and took in Sam's sleeping form, his brother's mattress in his line of vision. The giant was sprawled out all over it, practically drooling, and didn't seem to be on the verge of waking up, what with how he was clutching his pillow to him like a long lost lover – 'Ruby,' Dean thought he heard him moan, then he shuddered. He mentally shrugged and decided to fall back into dreamland.

Then he felt hands on his shoulders, gripping them tightly, and his eyes snapped open. Adam's face was very close to his, only inches away, and though he hadn't known his brother for very long, Dean knew something was seriously wrong. His pupils were dilated and no longer held the same Winchester hue, instead almost a murky brown or black. His blonde hair was matted onto his face with sweat and he looked delirious.

"J-John..." he whispered, voice cracking.

"W-what?" Dean asked, bewildered and slightly frightened by Adam's suddenly bringing up their dad, of the change in his demeanor. Adam never wanted to talk about his father.

"John," the kid repeated, "John...he did this to me...to Adam..."

Dean pushed back against the kid's weight and almost downed him. He grabbed his baby brother around the waist with one of his arms, using the other to hold back his torso in case he decided to attack. "Sammy," the older hunter called urgently. Although Sam was something of a heavy sleeper, he was also a hunter, and one who'd been so practically since birth. It didn't take much prodding on Dean's part to wake him up, and soon he saw Sam stirring. Then he turned his full attention to his youngest brother. Adam still looked deathly ill, a fact that worried him. "You aren't Adam, are you?" he asked the boy in a serious tone.

The thing inhabiting Adam's body tilted its head curiously, observing Dean with the same eyes the kid had used earlier. Something in Dean hurt at the sight and his arms tightened around the boy. "Adam is..." it said, "Adam is my baby." It spoke softly, almost reverentially, before its eyes – Adam's eyes – hardened. "Mine," it growled, pushing even closer to Dean. Sam was now behind them both, standing over the couch where Adam practically straddled Dean's lap. His eyes were confused and a little frightened – Dean couldn't blame him.

"You..you're Kate, aren't you?" Dean whispered, ignoring Sam for the moment. The creature – Adam's mom? – hissed, but didn't attack. That was practically a confirmation. Somewhat amazed, Dean breathed, "You're Adam's mom..."

"Yessss..." the spirit growled, sounding like it – she – was lamenting. "Adam, my poor Adam... All John's fault... I'm dead and Adam will die..."

He let her mutter nonsensically till that point, but felt something heat up within him at her last words. "Adam will not die!" he exclaimed, and Kate's spirit tilted its head, as comically disbelieving as something long dead could look. "Sure, you guys were put in danger because of Dad, but he tried his best to keep Adam safe. He tried his best and, dammit, we will too! We'll keep Adam safe no matter what!"

For a second, the face that had once belonged to Adam had an unreadable expression, but then the spirit laughed. The sound made shivers run down Dean's spine – it wasn't a sound denoting happiness, which laughter was usually associated with, but half-sad and half-mocking. "Adam," Kate's ghost declared, "will die and it will be all your fault—"

It's then that Sam, who'd been sneaking around unnoticed, swung and iron bat right at Adam's head. The spirit's essence vanished from the boy's frame and Adam crumpled into Dean's arms. For a long, long while, both of the older Winchesters merely stared each other down, kind of shocked, before Dean raised up a hand and gently touched it to the back of Adam's head, where it lay lolling against his shoulder. It came away bloody. "Dude!" he loudly yelled.

Sam dropped the iron bat and raised his arms in surrender, looking guilty. If they'd thought it had been going bad before, it had just gotten a whole world worse...

I Always Dream About You...

When Adam came to, his head was pounding as if a parade was going on inside it. The tempo of the throbbing of his skull matched that of the long scar – still fresh, extending from his left hip to his right shoulder, where the ghoul had attacked him – that he'd so recently acquired. He gasped and shakily sat up on the hotel mattress, placing a steadying hand to his forehead. The material there didn't feel smooth like skin, but rather rough like the cloth bandages his mom had kept around the house. The boy furrowed his brows, confused.

A movement from the corner of his eye made him turn, in time to see Sam, with a towel over his bare shoulders, come into the room. His middle brother paused to look at him, did a double take, and exclaimed, "Oh, you're awake!"

'Shouldn't I be?' Adam thought confusedly, but asked aloud, "W-what happened?" He cleared his throat right after.

Sam stared at him wonderingly for another second longer, where he lay with his elbows and feet propping him up, before he called for Dean. "Adam's awake," were his exact words, before the oldest Winchester appeared from a room – Adam couldn't recall exactly what it was, as he remembered being half-conscious when they'd arrived here.

Dean purposefully strode over to him and grabbed him by the shoulders, determination glinting in the eyes he shared with Adam. There was something ironic about this pose, something like deja-vu, but damned if Adam could remember – his head was still killing him. "Are. You. Really. Adam?" Dean asked through gritted teeth, punctuation each word by giving his younger brother a small shake.

Adam blinked, feeling even more lost. "Um..y-yeah. When wasn't I, er, me?"

Instead of answering, Dean asked, "What d'you remember?"

Adam clenched his eyes shut, trying to comply with his brother's order. "I...remember feeling really tired, really sick. Then I went to sleep and woke up." Frowning, he added, "And I still don't actually feel any better."

Dean gave a sigh of relief, and Sam wore a matching expression on his face, which didn't exactly offer Adam a clue. Great – he'd found out he had brothers, but they didn't give a crap when he told them he was ill. Just great.

"Can someone please tell me what's going on?" he asked, trying not to sound too irritated and failing miserably. He couldn't help it – they were enjoying his pain way too much, it seemed, and he couldn't concentrate when someone was playing the bongo inside his fragile skull.

His brothers exchanged a sort of amused look. "Let's just say, uh, that you weren't yourself last night," Sam informed him with a shrug of his muscular shoulders – whatever that meant.

Dean grinned like that creepy old cat from Alice in Wonderland. "Yeah, and as your big brothers, we're gonna make sure it never happens again." He cracked his knuckles in emphasis.

Adam's eyes widened. Wherever this was going, he was sure he wouldn't like it.

But We Make the Same Mistakes/Cause We're One and the Same

It seemed Sam wasn't the only psychic in the family, because Adam's prediction proved to be correct. He swallowed nervously and backpedaled on the motel mattress, his bare feet scrunching up the brown sheets along the way.

Sam, who had been standing over Dean like some sort of wall preventing escape, saw the movement and walked forward carefully, his arms out before him to indicate he meant no harm. It was much the same posture one would adopt when nearing an injured, feral animal. Adam sarcastically wondered if he would say, 'We come in peace,' or something idiotic like that.

"It's okay, buddy," the older male soothed, walking around the bed to Adam's side. "Look," he said, pulling down a corner of his shirt. A small tattoo was exposed, intricate and starkly beautiful against his pale skin. "I have one and so does Dean."

Dean, who was ruffling around his duffel-bag, paused and tugged down his own collar, showing off his ink. "Yeah," he added distractedly, eyes still locked onto the contents of his bag, "It doesn't hurt at—" He paused mid-word and suddenly exclaimed, "Aha!" He held up a pretty long needle in one triumphant fist.

Adam's eyes widened even further in his face, his skin paling in abstract horror. He tried to move further back into safety, but Sam, who was smarter than he looked, had apparently guessed as much because he had an unrelenting grip on his kid brother's shoulders, preventing him from backing away.

Dean filled the glass inside the syringe with some sort of blackish-blue paint and began closing in on Adam.

"You know," the teenager muttered, not taking his suspicious eyes off the needle, "eight percent of people with tattooing report difficulty finding jobs because of their body art."

Dean, who had been leaning over him, paused with a dumbstruck expression on his face, then guffawed. "Oh, man, Sammy!" he said, doubling over and wiping at his eyes with the hand that didn't hold the dangerous needle – which he handled far too comfortably, Adam thought. "We've got another you on our hands."

Sam's hand tightened around Adam's bicep, but even he cracked a smile. "Oh, yeah," he said vaguely, "You're pre-med, aren't you?"

The way he said it almost sounded like a punchline to a hilarious joke and Adam narrowed his eyes at him – hadn't the guy been pre-law, after all? Who was he to judge? Stupid kettle-abusing pot! Without letting on how annoyed he felt, Adam continued, "Yeah. And, do you know, over two percent of people in America have tattoos that get infected and, and...they die?" He swiveled his head around to look at both of his brothers, who looked unimpressed. "You said on the first day you weren't going to get me killed," he slowly reminded them, trying not to sound like a whiny brat.

Although he hadn't meant it all that seriously, something in Dean's eyes flashed, dark and molten like anger. "And we won't," the man growled, his teeth glinting white in the room's synthetic lighting, losing all masks of humor. Adam's body quivered a little in Sam's grasp as Dean leaned forward and undid the teenager's button-down, exposing a red and white column of flesh – composed of pale skin and mottled, ghoul-abused flesh. Adam took in a sharp breath of air as he brought the needle down, marking up one of the only areas on his front torso that hadn't already been marred by something or other.

The boy felt hot tears well up in his eyes – not from the pain, really, as Dean had already rubbed the area down with numbing alcohol and had given him pain-killers just in case – as he thought about his mom.

'Adam, you want to be a doctor someday, don't you?' she'd ask him, snuggling his tiny frame against her.

'Yeah,' he'd always chirpily reply. 'And you can be my nurse, Mom.'

And she'd laugh and say, 'I'd be too old by then,' jokingly. More seriously, she'd add, 'Rule number one of being a doctor, honey: your body is your temple. I never want to see you abusing it, like some of those kids who visit the hospital do. Don't you drink, do drugs or mark it up.'

And little him would always solemnly nod, promising never to do so. He'd never wanted to, either, even after all these years. But was it a corruption of his – of his mother's – morals if he was doing this to stay alive? He hoped not – he already felt bad enough for not being able to save her.

"There," Dean muttered, sounding oddly guilty, and Adam unscrewed his eyes, looking up at the older man. Dean took out a bandage with some antiseptic and wrapped him up with it for the third time in as many days. "Why don't you go wash up?" he continued.

Adam nodded and hopped off the bed, heading to the bathroom. When he figured he was far enough away, he rubbed his fist across his wet cheeks subtly – he didn't want his newly discovered big brothers to think he was a big ass wuss over a little tattoo. He locked the door behind him and turned on the tap, washing off his hot face.

When he was out of hearing range, Sam told Dean, "You know, that was a little harsh, dude. Ease him into it, remember?" Dean punched his arm. "Ouch, man!"

You Made Me What I Am/Then Who the Hell Am I?

Adam wasn't talking again – at least, not to his oldest brother. It seemed, even though Dean had done it for the kid's own good, his rough actions had cowed his baby brother. The man, who was currently driving in a car so quiet you could hear a pin drop, only hoped it wouldn't last long – he didn't exactly enjoy the silent treatment, especially since both of his brothers had apparently decided to tag-team him with it.

He sighed and was glad that Bobby's wasn't too far – maybe another hour? It'd be great if he could break the ice again when there, and hopefully Bobby's sharp, acerbic wit would be of help. No one could stay mad at him when he was getting called an 'idgit' every odd minute, right? He was fine with a wounded pride, as long as it got him back on good terms with his siblings.

The hour passed by quickly. When he pulled the Impala to a stop in Bobby's salvage yard, Sam and Adam followed him out like two sulky shadows. He banged on the door, wanting to get out of the outdoor chill and the cold-shoulder treatment, and Bobby opened by the sixth knock.

"Would you cool it, ya knucklehead?" the older man snapped as soon as he saw them. Sam offered him a slight smile from over Dean's shoulder, while Adam burrowed further in on himself, hunching his shoulders as Sam always did. He had pulled up the head of his dark navy hoodie, Dean noticed, and all that was really viewable of him were his big blue eyes. Bobby leaned forward and squinted through the darkness. "Well, I'll be," he said, "You must be Adam, right?"

The doe eyes blinked. "Y-you know me?" the boy shyly asked.

Bobby nodded sagely. "Idiots they may be, but these two know to keep me posted. Sam called me that very first night and I told 'em how to patch you up good and proper."

Adam smiled a little, but it looked like it took a lot of effort. Bobby noticed all three of them fidgeting and threw the door wide open. They all stared at him for a moment longer, inciting a snort. "What're you waiting for, an inscribed invitation?" he teased, and that was all it took for the Winchester boys to pile in.

But I Follow Your Steps/In the Same Way That You Just Walked Away

Bobby prepared a special dinner, just for Adam. "John was a good man," he told the boy by way of an explanation, "and I think of his boys like my own. All of 'em."

They all cleared Bobby's table of all the crap piled on top of it – books, car parts, and weapons – then watched ravenously – mostly Dean – as he set some hot pie down on the table, along with an array of other dishes, including steak and beans.

Adam squirmed uncomfortably as they all dug in, eating like men enjoying their last meal. He was still unused to their eating habits – a lot of their habits, actually. Finally, Dean sought to give his baby brother a small push. "I know he looks like a caveman—" A thumb was inclined towards Bobby, who attempted to swat him with a spoon and missed, "—but he's a great cook. Try it?"

Adam didn't meet his eyes, instead looking to some far off point, where an assortment of junk rested. "Actually, I'm not that hungry." He quickly rotated to look at Bobby. "Are we, um, staying here tonight?" The man nodded, looking slightly confused by the kid's mannerisms. "Then can I head up to bed? I'm kinda tired."

Bobby nodded again. "Sure, just go upstairs – to the left's the bathroom, and the bedrooms are through the right. Pick any room that's empty of stuff, 'cause that means nobody's using it." Adam nodded and stood up. The cap-wearing hunter added, "Meanwhile, I'll try to keep this pack of wolves at bay and save you some leftovers for breakfast."

"Thanks," Adam told him, barely above a whisper. He turned to leave, winced, and turned back. "After you're done, could you maybe look at my bandages?" He felt a little embarrassed when Sam didn't immediately reply, instead staring at him with wide eyes and bread hanging out of his mouth. His face felt hot. "I mean, I can do it myself – pre-med and all – but I just thought..." He trailed off.

"No, no!" Sam proclaimed, practically stumbling over himself to reply. He gave his younger brother a crooked grin. "Of course I'll take a look – heck, I want to – and it's what big brothers are for."

"Right, um, okay," Adam replied awkwardly, before leaving for good.

Sam beamed at his two remaining family members. "He likes me," he said, as if shocked but pleased by the idea. Dean carefully set down his spoon, which had a big ol' chunk of pie in it, and smacked his brother upside the head. "Hey, what's that for?" Sam asked, outraged.

"For being a pansy, that's what," Dean answered. The two bickered while Bobby mocked them, asking them to take it outside if they thought they were going to break things. But Dean wanted it that way, though – just like old times, antagonizing Sammy. It helped to dispel the hurt that was building deep within him.

'Yeah,' he wanted to tell Sam, 'he likes you and fucking hates me...'

I Know I'm Just a Copy/That Carries on the Stain

Adam wasn't sleeping – not really. Sam had already come in and patched him up a couple of hours back, fulfilling his self-proclaimed brotherly duties, and he was actually just lying on his side, facing the wall. He thought he'd be relieved to have his own room again. The time he'd spent in all those hotel rooms shacked up with his brothers had been terrible, then. He'd felt uncomfortable – how anyone would with a complete stranger in the room. In fact, when he was a kid and he'd begged and begged for his mom to let him sleep over at his friend Jake's house, he'd gotten much the same feeling. Except then, the boys snoozing near him had been boys he'd known and thought of as friends for years. It was worse with the brothers he'd never met before, family or not...

...Or so he'd thought. Now that he was all alone, he felt weird, almost out of place. He hadn't realized it, but having the gung-ho Dean and the mercurially sincere to stubborn Sam in the room with him had made him feel safe.

'And we won't,' Dean had said, about getting Adam killed. He spoke with such determination, such fervor. Adam had no doubt his older brother would battle a battalion of demons to save him, as would Sam. And that made him feel conflicted – on the one hand, it made him feel safe, as he'd already mentioned, but he felt freaked out at associating safety with near strangers. That just wasn't normal, was it? What had he been told since infancy – don't trust strangers – and yet here he was, giving Sam and Dean the key to his everything.

The thought was a little scary and he shivered. He tensed up completely, however, when he heard the flutter of displaced cloth and someone dropped a blanket on top of him. He screwed his eyes shut and pretended to be asleep as he felt the bed dip at his side.

"I'm sorry," Dean's voice said, sounding exhausted. Adam couldn't blame him – it was now the darker half of two in the morning. But what was Dean doing in his room? As if reading his mind, his brother answered, "I never meant to hurt you, kid. I'd never, ever want that, ya hear?" His voice sounded muffled, like he had his face in his hands, and a little sad too.

'I know,' Adam wanted to reassure him, but he didn't have the balls for it. Instead, he kept all the more still.

"You're the baby, you know?" Dean continued, ignorant to how the teenager bristled slightly at his wording. He was not a baby. "Me and Sammy both – we just wanna keep you safe, whatever it takes." He seemed really sincere, then sheepish. "I guess I just forgot that Dad wanted that, too – that you're new to all this. I should've eased you into it like Sammy said, but dammit, Adam, when that spirit said..." His voice broke a little and Adam contemplated sitting up and calming him down. But Dean forced himself to plow on before he could. "When that spirit said you'd die and it'd be my fault, something broke in me. I just saw red..."

Adam bounced a little when Dean stood up. A small column of light shone through the crack of the door that Dean opened to escape. Adam clutched the edges of his pillow tightly and fought the irrational urge to either cry or break something. Instead, he took ten calming breaths like his mom always did when she was pissed off, and felt grim determination fill him.

The Winchesters...they were messed up, but they were his family – he was a Winchester now and would be, always. He'd make things work somehow.

I Am So Like You/In So Many Ways

Adam woke up extra early, showered, and headed down to Bobby's cluttered dining room. He was surprised – and a little relieved, for some half-unknown reason – to find Dean there, eating pie.

"Was that, uh," he began from the doorway, "mine?"

Dean look up and almost choked. Adam hurried forward and rubbed a hand across his brother's back, thumping him there with a fist. After a second, Dean took in a deep breath and gifted the teenager with a sheepish smile. "Yeah...it's yours. Sorry, I got hungry."

He didn't really glance up and his face was kind of reddish, but Adam placed a hand on his shoulder and squeezed, forcing him to meet his eyes. The boy gave him a dimpled smile. "That's okay. My friend in Windom had a brother and he said the only good part about it is that he gets to 'borrow' stuff from him."

Dean blinked, then laughed, his own cheeks dimpling slightly. It was a nice sound. His brother kind of looked like him, Adam noticed. The older male reached up and scuffled Adam's dark blonde hair, making him halfheartedly attempt to bat away the large hand.

"Not the only thing," Dean assured him, still grinning. Adam sat down across from him and tugged the half-eaten pie along with its plate across the table and took a bite. It wasn't half bad – no wonder Dean loved pies so much. He didn't speak because his mouth was full, but Dean apparently mistook the silence as a bad thing. "Uh, hey, Adam..." he began and Adam's eyes immediately tracked up to meet his. It was the first time Dean called him by his name – instead of 'kid' or 'sport' or 'dude' or any number of other patronizing nicknames. He waited anxiously for Dean to continue. "Look, man, I'm sorry about what I did. I shouldn't have made you get a tattoo if you didn't want to."

"No," Adam quietly replied, but that one word was filled with more confidence than Dean had ever heard him speak – not that he had much experience in that department, really, though he'd like to. He'd always wondered if Adam was merely shy by nature or if it was their fault for affecting his life the way they had. He loved the idea of knowing Adam front and back like he did with Sam.

"'No'?" he repeated, baffled.

Adam smiled comfortingly and shrugged in the same manner Sammy was prone to. "Y-you're my big brother, you and Sam, and I know you only want to keep me safe." He blushed, averting his eyes. "You guys make me feel safe."

Dean beamed. "Really?" he asked, like an overexcited kid whose parent just gave them something they'd always wanted, but didn't believe they could have. Adam couldn't believe he could get a reaction like that from Dean 'the bad ass' Winchester.

"Yeah, really," he said anyway, trying to ignore weird notions like that. After scrutinizing his brother for a second, and feeling a sudden surge of boldness, he added, "So don't go moping around and bawling in my room at night every time I ignore you. My mom always used to say I have a moody disposition, so it's better to wait it out."

Dean opened his mouth to reply, but loud chuckles cut him off. Both he and Adam turned to find Sam, dressed in only a pair of pajama pants, laughing his ass off in the doorway. "Oh, man, Dean!" he gasped, wiping tears from his eyes, "and you say I'm prone to chick-flick moments."

"Why, you!" Dean thundered, embarrassed and outraged, and stood up. Adam laughed as he watched his brothers begin to duke it out on Bobby's dining room floor.

"I thought I told you chuckle-heads not to fight in my house," Bobby yelled from the stairs. Adam's brothers didn't even stop to spare him a glance. He shook his head and Adam watched him with wary curiosity, which earned him a slight wink. "Boys will be boys, and idiots will be idiots," he said, loud enough for Adam and said 'idiots' to hear, getting an affronted, 'Hey!' from both of them.

Adam shook his head and laughed even harder. Maybe being part of the Winchester family wasn't so bad, after all.

And the Road So Far is Paved With Bromance...

A/N: Once again, this was written for the new (and only, to be honest) Adam fan community on LJ. That link without the spaces is: ( community . livejournal adamwinchester/profile). Please visit and post anything - and I do mean anything at all - that pertains to Adam. It can be fanfiction, fanart, fanvids, discussion posts, squealing over whatever role the adorable Jake Abel manages to land, etc. It's really, really new, but I hope the community will thrive. ^^

Thanks: To everyone who decides to read this. An especially big thank you if you read it, then visit the community and make it a regular hang out spot. :)

R&R: It's probably really obvious by my amateurishness, but this is my very first Supernatural fic. I just didn't want the community to be depressingly empty, so I wrote this. So please give me feedback on this piece. I ignored a whole pile of essays to write this, but I just love Supernatural so much - it's seriously my favorite show - and I thought the baby Winchester deserved some love, too. Review?