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Summary: Snapshots into the life of Dawn Winchester.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Supernatural > Dawn-Centered > Theme: Real FamilyjadedhavokFR1323,6024122,30016 Nov 0916 Nov 09Yes

Key Memories.

NOTE: This is an AU where Dawn was placed with John Winchester, rather than Buffy, to be protected. These are snapshots of her memories (and the altered memories Dean and Sam now have of her). Spoilers for t.he pilot episode of Supernatural, as well as a few things we've learned about Dean and Sam's childhoods. Warning: I'm not a big John Winchester fan and that is reflected here.

Disclaimer: Supernatural and all of its characters are owned by Eric Kripke and the CW. The character Dawn Summers is owned by Joss Whedon. No copyright infringement is intended.

A few days before Sam turned six, John Winchester dropped his sons off with Bobby Singer and vanished for two weeks. He didn’t call on Sam’s birthday, didn’t tell Bobby where he was going. Bobby was about sure he’d just inherited two scrawny little kids and was thinking about enrolling them in school when John showed back up, but he wasn’t alone.

A small, dark haired, bright eyed toddler was clinging to his hand, dressed in an alarming amount of pink. John rubbed at the back of his neck before calling his boys over and kneeling down to their level.

“Dean, Sam. This is Dawn Mary Winchester. She’s your little sister.”

Dean recoiled, “Mom’s dead. We can’t have a little sister.”

“She has a different mom than you two, but she’s still my daughter.”

Dean scowled. He may only have been ten, but he knew what that meant, “You don’t love Mom anymore. You replaced her!”

“No!” John snapped. “Dean, I will always love your mother. What Joyce –Dawn’s mother –and I had was nothing more than two lonely people in need of comfort.”

Sam’s lower lip wobbled, “You forgot ‘bout me, Daddy. Am… Am I gonna be ‘placed too?”

John sighed harshly through his nose and reached for Sam with the hand not wrapped around the little girl at his side. He pulled his younger son close and kissed his hair. “I’m sorry I couldn’t be here for your birthday, Sammy. Dawnie’s mom died, too, and I had to go get her.”

Dean’s eyes widened. “She die like Mom did?”

John shook his head at Dean, “No, it wasn’t the same. It was different, but we’re all Dawn has now. Her mama is gone and her big sister is going to live with her own dad. You’re both gonna be good big brothers to Dawnie, right?”

Sam’s eyes lit up, “I’m a big brother? Like Dean?”

“Yah, buddy. Just like Dean.”

Dean crawled across the floor on his hands and knees to look at Dawn. “Hi, Dawnie. I’m Dean and I’m gonna be your big brother. This is Sammy, and he’s still little, but he’s your big brother, too. I’m just the biggest brother. We’ll take care of you.”

“Dawnie’s still too little for school, Dad! She’s three.” Dean protested. Dawn had only been with them for six months, but that was too long for John Winchester to sit still.

“I can’t leave her home alone, can I, Dean? She’ll go to school and this way, she’s just a year behind Sam.”

“Why can’t you just stay home?”

“You know why, Dean,” John growled, “I’ve got to be out there, looking for it! End of discussion!”

John stormed out of the trailer they were renting, leaving Dean to stare helplessly at the spot his father had just been standing.


Dean turned toward the couch, where Sammy and Dawn were curled tightly together. Sam’s eyes were wide and curious and just a bit scared, like they always were when John yelled. Dawn’s eyes were wet; she didn’t like yelling.

“Looking for what, Dean?”

“Nothing, Sam.” Dean said dimly, “Almost bedtime. C’mon. You and Dawn both need baths, okay?”

“Daddy, Daddy!” Dawn called excitedly, bursting into the cabin they’d been staying at for the past month. Sam and Dean were right behind her, smiling at their little sister’s glee. All three faces fell when they took in the empty one-room space.

Sam tugged a note from the fridge, “’Dean, got a call from Pastor Jim. Be back by Monday.’”

Dawn pursed her lips together, “B-but my recital’s tonight! Daddy said he’d go and I practiced really hard.”

Dean draped an arm around the five-year-old’s shoulders and kissed the top of her head. “Don’t worry about it, kid. Sammy and I’ll still be there. Right, Sammy?”

Sam nodded, “Yah! Wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

Sam shook his head and pushed Dawn the presents he’d unwrapped, “Here, Dawnie. You can have mine, too. I don’t need a Barbie or a baton.”

Dawn grinned, “Thanks, Sammy! Thanks, Dean!” She kissed both their cheeks before running over to dump her new toys on her bed.

She fell asleep with her new doll tucked under one arm. Dean pulled the blankets up around her shoulders and kissed the top of her head before he climbed into bed with Sam.

When John got back two days later, he didn’t ask about Dawn’s new toys, or about the amulet hanging around Dean’s neck. He just directed the three into the Impala –Sam and Dawn in the back, Dean up front with Dad –and headed to the next hunt.

“Dean! Oh my God, DEAN!” Dawn shrieked from the bathroom.

Dean bolted upright in bed, rolling sideways onto the floor. He came to his feet with a knife in one hand and his gun in the other, shouldered open the bathroom door, and froze. Behind him, Sam had grabbed the shotgun, moving up behind Dean with it tucked firmly against his shoulder.

Dawn was on her feet, staring in horror at the toilet. Dean glanced over and flushed.

Ah, shit.

“Christ,” he groaned, promptly turning around and heading out of the bathroom. He tossed the knife and gun onto the bed and sat down, face in his palms.

He did not want to deal with this shit.

Sam was still frozen halfway in the door, face redder than a tomato. “Um. Ah, Dean?”

Dean groaned again, came back up on his feet, and moved back to the bathroom, “You’re tellin’ me you never talked about this in school?” he asked Dawn, gesturing with his hand.

Dawn’s cheeks were bright red, “No! We have, just… Dean, I don’t, don’t have anything and, and what do I do?”

“Christ.” Dean repeated, turning and thunking his head against the wall. “Okay, Sam, you stay with Dawn. I’m gonna go find an open store and… get Dawn some supplies. I’m gonna fucking kill Dad for being in fucking Idaho right now.”

Dean watched silently as Sam packed his things, Dawn curled up in his lap with her wet face pressed into his neck so she didn’t have to watch. They were all silent. When Sam zipped his duffle shut, Dawn shoved away from Dean and threw herself at Sam, wrapping her arms around his waist and crying into his shoulder.

“Don’t leave us, Sammy. Please, don’t leave us. Don’t leave me.”

John chose that moment to walk back into the motel room, back from the bar across the street. He raised his eyebrows at the packed bag on the bed. Dean stood up, gently tugged Dawn away from Sam and wrapped her in a hug.

Sam lifted his chin and faced down John, an act the darkest creatures didn’t have the courage to do. “I’m leaving. Going to college.”

John scoffed, “We can’t afford it, kid.”

“Don’t need to. I got a full ride. To Stanford. I’m gonna be a lawyer.”

“Forget it, Sam. Your family needs you.”

Sam shook his head, “No, Dad. Your family needs you. I’m eighteen. I’m supposed to go to college.”

He picked up his bag and started for the door.

“If you walk out that door, don’t you ever come back! You hear me, Sam?”

Dawn cried harder into Dean’s shoulder, “Sammy!” She wailed.

Dean nodded at Sam, eyes wet but refusing to cry. He had to be strong, for Sam and Dawn. “Good luck, Sammy.”

Sam walked out with his head held high, despite the tears on his face.

“What about this one? It’s cheap!”

Dean glanced over at his sister and cringed, “Dawn, you don’t need anything lacy. Plain, white, and cheap. Stuff grandmas wear. No one’s gonna be seeing them ‘til your fifty anyway.”

Dawn huffed and hung the lacy red bra back on the rack. “I’m fifteen, Dean. You first had sex when you were thirteen. Sam was fourteen.”

“You’re a girl. You’re not having sex until I’m dead.”

Dawn rolled her eyes, “You’re such a jerk. Just because I’m a girl, doesn’t mean I can’t have sex!”

“Unless you want your brother goin’ to jail for murder, Dawnie, you’ll stay away from the boys, hear me?”

“Yah, because the girls stay away from you.”

“Those girls are hussies and my little sister isn’t a hussy.”

“I can’t believe you just used the word hussy. God, you’re not Bobby.”

“Bobby ever catches you with a boy, and you’ll wish I got a hold of him, first.”

A quiet noise jerked Sam from his sleep. His eyes snapped open, scanning the room quickly but finding no immediate threats. A second clatter from down the hall and Sam was out of bed, grabbing the baseball bat Jess kept by the door. He snuck down the hall, cautious and careful.

He saw a shadow and swung the bat, caught off guard by a second figure that shoved him from the side. They both went sprawling on the ground. Unprepared for more than one trespasser, Sam was easily pinned to the floor.

“Out of practice, Sammy?”

Sam froze and squinted into the darkness in disbelief. “Dean?”

The kitchen light flicked on and, sure enough, Sam found himself looking up at his older brother’s smirking face. Dean hadn’t changed a bit in the three years they’d been apart: same cocky expression, same faded t-shirt, same leather jacket. Dean’s amulet had fallen forward, a familiar and barely noticeable weight against Sam’s chest.

Twisting his neck, Sam’s eyes widened at the sight of his kid sister. Last time he’d seen her, she’d been a scrawny fifteen-year-old with her nose buried in a book. She’d grown up a hell of a lot, though. Gone were her awkward, lanky limbs, replaced with the Winchester grace. Her hair was pulled back into a messy ponytail, her legs looked like went on forever in tight jeans, she had a leather jacket tossed on over a Metallica shirt that was probably a hand-me-down from Dean, and heavy combat boots on her feet. Sam could hardly believe it even was his sister, because when in the hell had little Dawnie gotten breasts?

Dawn rolled blue eyes, sharp with annoyance, as she moved away from the light switch. With a boot to his side, she shoved Dean off Sam and the eldest Winchester sibling laughed as he collapsed on the ground next to Sam.

“Sam?” Jess called, moving down the hall. She gasped when she came into the room, eyes flickering from the baseball bat on the floor, to Dean, to Dawn, before finally resting on Sam. “What’s going on?”

Dean and Sam were both on their feet in seconds, Dawn backing down and moving subtly towards Dean. Sam rubbed at the back of his neck, “Jess, this… this is my brother, Dean, and our kid sister, Dawn.”

“Not a kid,” Dawn muttered, but no one paid her any attention.

“Oh, it… it couldn’t wait until morning? They had to break in?”

“Didn’t know Sam lived with someone,” Dean drawled. He sent an appreciative look over Jess’ long legs, bared by her oversized Smurf nightshirt.

“We just need to talk to Sam. In private.” Dawn spoke up. She hoped up on the counter and picked at the cuticles around her fingernails, totally dismissing Sam’s girlfriend.

Sam bristled at that, and draped a protective arm around Jess’ shoulders. “No. No, she can stay.”

Dawn’s eyes narrowed, “We haven’t heard from Dad in a few days.”

Sam scoffed and rolled his eyes, “Probably out with his best buds: Jim, Jack, and Jose.”

Dean gritted his teeth together, “Dad went on a hunting trip,” he sent a pointed look to Jess, “And he hasn’t called in a few days.”

Sam’s eyes widened and cut over to Dawn, finally taking notice of the dark circles under her eyes and the bruising of her lower lip. She always had had a bad habit of gnawing at it until it bled when she worried. “Jess, I need to talk to my brother and sister… in private.”

Jess muttered darkly, but she left them be. Sam fucking loved that girl. He thought about the ring he had hidden in his sock drawer.

“How long has he been missing?”

Dean and Dawn exchanged looks. “Nearly two weeks,” Dawn whispered.

Sam shut his eyes briefly. Two weeks. Fuck, he probably wasn’t even alive. They were just looking for a body at this rate.

“Where was he last headed?”

“It’s not far. We need your help, Sam.” Dean looked completely exhausted. Sam wondered how far he’d driven, how long it’d been since his brother had slept.

“I have to be back by Monday.”

Dean nodded, “We’ll get you back.”

Sam nodded and went to tell Jess he was leaving.

When he got back, after his interview, Sam was going to ask her. He’d ask Jess to marry him and they’d have an amazing life together. He could really leave all the monsters and ghosts and hunting behind him.

But first, he’d help his brother and sister find their dad.

A/N: First of all, this is one of the first fics I've written in ages that wasn't a slashfic, so. Um, yah. Hopefully it didn't suck. Second, super mega thank yous to my beta, best friend, and muse, Mandy, for giving me this plot bunny, encouraging me, finding all my tiny mistakes, and begging me for more. She usually wins, so there may be more to come (I really wanna write Dawn facing down Ruby and/or Jo, and I wanna write more of Bobby and then there's CASTIEL, which, okay, *flail*). I hope you enjoyed; this is my first fic archived on this site, so please tell me what you think.
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