[identity profile] acidquill.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] verse17_17
title: with the wild wolves around you
author: [livejournal.com profile] acidquill
disclaimer: don’t own em
rating: pg
characters: John, mentions of Sam&Dean
word count: 861
notes: for [livejournal.com profile] vanae. three looks @ John. title snagged from bon iver.



John looks down at his boys and thinks, this isn’t what I wanted. Sam presses close to him, sniffling into his bathrobe; without thinking, John runs his free hand through Sammy’s dark curls. Dean fusses from the crook of his other arm. In the space of minutes, his life has been stripped away.

His wife is dead. His house is burning. He has no idea what he’s supposed to do.

The whole world has come down to his children. He holds both of them a little tighter. He remembers Sam’s first steps, his first words. Remembers the way Mary picked Sammy up and swung the baby over her head when he wobbled into her arms. She’d been so happy, her smile bright as the sun.

Guess what your boy can do, Johnny.

Only months ago, Jesus not even a year, John cradled Dean in his hands; their baby boy so damn ready for the world he showed up a month early. Mary is never going to catch Dean up in her arms when he fumbles forward on stubby little legs. Never going to hear him call out to her in that clear, high baby-voice.

Dean is never going to remember his mother.

The thought lodges deep in John’s chest, tears through his heart like paper. He vomits bile into the gutter. His throat burns. Sam hangs onto him the whole time.

Mike and Kate arrive sometime – John isn’t really sure when they showed up, only that suddenly there are hands, warm and sure, taking Dean from him. John blinks, Kate is settling the baby against her shoulder. When Mike offers the spare room, John can do nothing but accept. It’s late and he has the boys to think of. The three of them don’t have anywhere else to go.

*

“You sound like shit, Winchester.”

John smiles tiredly at Singer’s gruff voice over the phone.

“Black dogs weren’t gonna shoot themselves. Got anything else for me?”

“Not right off hand…” Bobby hesitates. “Gotta a new book or two might interest you.” John can almost see the man’s shrug through the phone. “Might take a few days to translate…”

John’s known Singer long enough to read between the lines. He would put money on the man having the spare room already made up for the boys.

“We’ll be there by Thursday,” John says and hangs up. He won’t admit it, but he’ll be damn glad to take a break. Lately, the hunts have come one after another, and while none of them were serious, John isn’t twenty anymore. He’s got two half-grown boys and he’s tired.

When he rolls the Impala past the sign for Singer Salvage, he barely gets her car stopped before Sam and Dean are out and streaking through the piles of wrecks. John takes it slower, unloading their duffels and hauling them to the porch. Bobby pops the screen door for him, slaps him on the back.

“You want a beer?”

“Sounds good.”

They stay at Bobby’s for two weeks; John gets more sleep than he’s had in the past three. He watches the boys’ brown under the sun while they clamber over fenders and tires. Singer’s not wrong about the book either. The two of them translate it in pieces, but John isn’t disappointed.

*

Dean’s heartbeat is a weak green line across a monitor; John feels his own heart stutter in his chest. He can’t lose his boys, but that is exactly what’s happening –

His baby boy is dying.

John thinks, I won’t do this again. There is a way to save Dean, and John knows he’ll take it, regardless of the consequences. He sends Sam out to Bobby and refuses to flinch at the accusations he comes back with. Arguing with Sam feels almost comforting; it’s better than nothing at all. He makes amends the best he can, for Sammy, for Dean. Stifles the urge to gather his boys to his chest and never let them go. John can’t help but remember that night nineteen years ago, when they were small enough for him to hold onto.

He sends Sam off again, afraid his oldest will see through him. Sammy’s always been good at that. John curls his hand over the back of Dean’s head one last time. They aren’t going to understand; John wishes he could explain.

In the empty hospital room, he faces the monster that’s wrecked his life, the one he owes for saving Dean’s. The demon grins. John drops the Colt onto the table between them. He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. Opens them and the demon is standing in front of him. John fights the urge to reach for the gun. The demon presses a hand against his chest, cold spreading out from its fingers.

“Night, John-boy,” the thing smirks with its borrowed mouth.

John thinks of nights spent rocking Dean to sleep, Sam’s first day of school. Of Mary’s face, tired but so happy when she uncovered a baby’s wrinkled pink face and said, “Hey little man, this is your daddy.”

His whole life he’s fought for his family, it’s only right that he dies the same way.









- end


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