Let's have some Winchester's Miserable Childhood (tm)!
The title is taken from The Tragically Hip song Fireworks.
Believing in the Country of Me and You
(Supernatural, pre-series, 488 words)
Sam was happy to be out of that stupid rundown cabin. It had been one of the worst weeks of his life, he felt. Stuck in that thing all day while the “adults” which, for some reason, included sixteen-year-old brother, spent every day marching out into the woods to hunt a Wendigo. The adults were his dad, Uncle Bobby, and Caleb... and Sam knew that Uncle Bobby was a good tracker, and all three were really good hunters – according to themselves and Dean, anyway – but that didn’t change the fact that when Sam watched his entire family leave at dawn every morning, he was never certain if they’d ever be back.
The worst day was when they had come back early, but Dad was half carrying a limping Dean, whose face was covered in blood. When Sam saw them at a distance, he was sure the wendigo had somehow got Dean, that he was dying... but when he ran out to meet them, it turned out that Dean had just tripped on a tree-root and sprained his ankle, and then scratched his face against a tree on the way down.
Then it was Sam and Dean trapped in the tiny cabin all day, and Sam wasn’t sure if that was much better. Sam was happy, because Dean was safe with him, but Dean was miserable and convinced that he had failed their Dad and ruined everything.
So, two days later, when the three adults came home at the end of the day smiling and declaring the job done, Sam had breathed a sigh of relief and packed his bags – or, well, threw his bags in the car – it wasn’t like he had ever unpacked.
Of course, Sam should have remembered that there was never really an end to any of it. They stopped at a diner at the edge of the first city, so they could eat something other than canned food, and so Dad could buy a newspaper. Sam had barely taken a few bites before John was telling him to finish up – he’d found a hunt in Jersey.
As they walked to the car – or limped, in Dean’s case – Sam saw fireworks exploding in the air over downtown. He paused.
“Dad? Is it the 4th of July?”
“Huh, yeah, guess it is.”
“Can we stay and watch the fireworks?” Sam asked.
“Sam,” Dad said, and Sam already knew the answer. “We gotta get to Jersey, I want to start that hunt first thing tomorrow, and it’s a nine hour drive.”
“But-" Sam started, then Dean’s arm was suddenly around his shoulders, giving him a tiny squeeze. To Dad, it would just look like Dean was using Sam for support as he hobbled to the car.
“Next year, Sammy, I promise,” Dean whispered in Sam’s ear. “I’ll find the best fireworks display in the country.”
Sam sighed but kept quiet the rest of the night.