Author: Atalantaj

Prompt: #10- Emotional Release

Rating: PG-13

Type of Story: General/Angst

Author's Website:Atalantaj's LJ

Author's Note: The characters Sam, Dean and John Winchester do not belong to me nor does the universe they inhabit. These guys belong to their creator Eric Kripke and to the CW network. I make no money off this whatsoever. Thanks to nocturnal08 at live journal for the fabulous beta on the first half of this. Summary- John helps his son to cry.

Emotional Release

When John Winchester walked through the front door of the two bedroom, upstairs, apartment that he had been living in with his children for the past two months the last thing he expected at one in the morning was to find his youngest curled up on the sofa with a blanket, pillow and remote control watching reruns of eighties crime shows.

"Sam why are you still up?" John asked with irritation. His whole body ached from the hunt he had just finished and he really wasn't in the mood to deal with his ten year old who knew better then to be up at this time, unless he was sick or hurt, and Sam didn't seem to be in either of those categories.

"I'm watching Hunter." Sam smiled.

"Get to bed." John said coldly.


"Excuse me?" John demanded surprised.

"I'm not sharing a room with Dean anymore." Sam crossed his arms and looked at his father in the eyes. "I'm tired of him always being so mean to me."

"What did he do now kiddo?" John sighed. He took a seat next to his youngest and softened his tone. He was willing to be sympathetic, as lately Sam had been on the receiving end of nothing but his brother's anger.

"He told me that Kevin should have been his brother instead of me. He wants Kevin here and not me and Kevin is dead." Sam started to cry. "I don't know why Dean would say that. I didn't do anything to him."

"I know you didn't. Do you remember that talk we had about Dean having to grieve over Kevin? That's what he's doing. It's just going to take some time."

"It's already been two months." Sam protested.

"You can't put a time limit on something like that." John said quietly and that was the truth to him. He still didn't think he had gotten over Mary's death and her life had been taken ten years ago.

"Why doesn't he just cry and get over it?" Sam grumbled. "That's what his problem is. He won't cry. He just wants to be mad instead." Sam said with frustration. He turned back to the television for a moment and then looked at his dad again. "I don't like Dean hurting like that."

"Me neither kiddo, I'll talk to him when he wakes up, okay?"

"Okay." Sam yawned. "Hey dad?"


"Isn't Hunter the coolest name for a show ever?"

"Yeah, it is." John put his arm around Sam and pulled Sam closer, so his kid was snuggled up to his side. He kissed Sam on top of his head and waited patiently for the little boy to fall asleep. When he did, he carried him into his room and tucked Sam tightly in his bed. He walked to Dean and kissed him also.

John watched Dean carefully. The kid wasn't even at peace when he slept; at least he hadn't been for the past two months now. John thought of his son's friend Kevin. His family lived year round in an RV camp where the Winchesters had stopped about three years back. The kid's father was one of the maintenance people and his mother ran the store. John didn't have an RV, but the camp also had tent sites and they had spent the summer living at the park in a couple of tents. John had gotten free rent working twenty hours a week on security, and between free rent, his credit cards, and gambling there was more then enough money for food and other expenses. The camp couldn't have been in a nicer place either. It was in Southern California and nestled right next to the ocean.

John couldn't remember exactly how Kevin and Dean met, but before he realized it the two of them were inseparable. It was rare for Dean to hit it off with anyone outside their tiny family, but for the next three months, the only thing his oldest talked about was his friend Kevin. The two of them spent all their free time together, usually hiking, bicycling, boogie boarding, or exploring the small city a few blocks from the camp.

Kevin seemed like a nice kid to John. He was always respectful and his parents were friendly enough. Sam begged to differ though. Kevin was three years older then Dean, and Sam thought he was bossy. The seven year old didn't understand why Dean listened to his new friend, when the only other person Dean ever took orders from was their father. Sam also complained that Dean spent too much time with Kevin, but when Sam hung out with the both of them, he always seemed to have fun, except for a couple of times when Sam stomped dramatically up the drive, complaining that Kevin wasn't his brother and therefore had no right to tell him what to do. John always snorted at that. Sam wouldn't admit it but he knew the chain of command. If John wasn't there, then Dean was the ranking officer, but that was it. The kid wasn't making room for anyone else.

They only stayed at the RV Park for one summer, three months; but Dean had since then referred to Kevin as his best friend.

Two months ago, when they were driving the west coast, John thought he would surprise Dean by stopping at the park to visit his friend. He couldn't remember the last time he had seen his oldest so happy. His happiness was crushed minutes later though when they went into the store to find Kevin's mother who explained to them that her son had passed away a year earlier from leukemia.

Dean had been nothing but angry since. John had tried to give Dean time to mourn his friend's passing, but the truth of the matter was that he couldn't handle another minute of his son being in so much pain. Sam had been right. Dean needed to cry. He needed to release all the feelings pent up inside of him and John hoped he could help his child do that. He just wasn't exactly sure how to go about it quite yet.

"Dad?" Dean asked opening his eyes and looking at his father sitting across from him on their cheap desk chair. Dean scanned the empty bed across from him. "Where's Sam?" Dean asked groggily.

"He went to church with the neighbors."

"With Tommy and his parents?"


"But, we're not even Catholic." Dean rolled his eyes.

"I asked him to go with them."

"Great, now he's going to come home preaching like he always does when he goes to church. The only person I want to hear the gospel from is Jim, not my pain in the ass little brother." Dean grumbled. "Why'd you tell him to go anyway?"

"You and I need to talk kiddo."

"I'm in trouble for last night aren't I?"

"Well, I wasn't impressed to find your brother up at one in the morning watching television, if that's what you're referring to?"

"Yeah, I know. I told him to shut up and go to sleep, and to not leave his bed but he wasn't in the listening mood and I was too tired to smack him for it." Dean said haughtily. He wanted to continue his rant but the look of disapproval on his father's face was a bit too much for him.

"I wouldn't hit Sam." Dean sighed. "I was joking about the smacking him part."

"Good, so why would you tell him that you wish he wasn't your brother?"

"What? He really believed that? Aw, Sammy." Dean shook his head.

"Is there a reason for him not to believe that? At least lately?"

"What do you mean?" Dean asked hurtfully.

"I don't think you're dealing with Kevin's death properly."

"Properly? Since when does this family do anything properly?"

"Dean." John said firmly.

"Yes sir." Dean looked at his father obediently.

"I get that you're angry and you have a right to be. You lost your best friend, that would piss me off too, but you can't stay this way. All those feelings inside that you're trying to cover up and ignore they're there for a reason. You need to let them out. Being angry isn't going to make them go away or change what happened to Kevin. It's okay to be sad about it Dean.

"What do you want me to do? Cry!" Dean protested vehemently. Crying won't bring him back."

"No, but it might just help you to feel better." John said evenly.

"I can't?"

"Can't what?"

"I can't cry?"

"Can't or won't?" John asked suspiciously.

"I can't." Dean said laying back down in his bed. He looked up at the ceiling.

John was at a loss for words. The best the older Winchester could come up with is that all those years of drilling into Dean's head that he was his father's soldier and soldiers didn't cry had paid off. His orders of Dean being strong for his brother and his cruel teasing of "If I wanted a kid who was a weeper, then I would have had a daughter, and are you a boy or a girl? Then stop your bawling" had come back to haunt him, and in the worst possible way.

He was ashamed of himself and needed to fix this. It wasn't fair to his boy who was suffering so much. He wondered when he had become such a lousy father, making his son believe it was wrong to cry. He had an idea on how to help Dean. He took a deep breath, thinking he was fucked in the head for even considering it, but Dean was a tough kid and didn't hold grudges, at least not against his father, and if it would help Dean to feel better then it was worth it.

"What's wrong?" Dean asked looking at his father and wondering why he had all of a sudden gotten quiet.

"We still need to address your behavior towards your brother, not being respectful to Sam is being disrespectful to me, and you know I have no tolerance for that." John said sternly. He felt like the biggest asshole at the moment, but couldn't think of a better way to go about his plan.

"I'm sorry dad." Dean said shamefully. He always thought the worst thing he could ever do is let his father down by not taking care of his brother, and for the last two months Dean hadn't done much but yell at the ten year old.

"Sorry, isn't going to cut it this time kiddo. You deal with Kevin's death however you like, but you don't take your anger out on your little brother, got it?"

"Yes sir."

"Over my lap Dean?" John said patting his lap and taking a deep breath.

"Uh, what for?" Dean asked apprehensively.

"What do you think?"

"You're going to sp-. I mean I'm getting a-, but dad I'm fourteen."

"Don't matter much to me. You could be twenty four and I would still spank you if I thought it would help you."

"Yes Sir." Dean walked over to his father and looked down at him nervously. He couldn't bring himself to bend down over his father's lap. John could sense how uncomfortable the anticipation of getting a spanking was and quickly grabbed Dean by the arm and guided him into position. He wrapped a tight arm around his son's slender waist to hold him in place and began the spanking.

He started in on the back of Dean's thighs with firm open handed slaps. He kept his fingers splayed and his wrist flexible, instead of making his hand into the shape of a paddle. He was going more for a stinging sensation instead of a bruising feeling. The sting would linger but the spanking wouldn't be as harsh. It was also louder and John hoped that would help his son to focus more on everything. John spanked his son steadily and was relieved when Dean started to squirm in his lap a few minutes later.

"Dad I'm sorry. I shouldn't have been mean to Sammy." Dean pouted. He wasn't sure how much more of his father's large hand crashing down onto his behind he could take without sobbing like a little bitch. "I don't get it. You haven't spanked me in years, and I don't remember you getting this upset when I teased Sam in the past." Dean said miserably. He put a hand back to cover his behind and his father caught it and pinned it securely against his back.

"This isn't fair!" He yelled, and violently jerked himself forward in an attempt to crawl off his father's lap, and usually an outburst like that during a spanking immediately got his pants pulled down to his knees and a few blows with the belt, but John just paused a moment, sighed, repositioned him and continued with the spanking in silence.

"So you enjoy spanking your kids? That's kind of fucked up dad." Dean blurted out bitterly. He regretted it as soon as the words came out of his mouth. He didn't talk to his father like that.

"Watch your mouth little boy. I'm holding all the cards here." John warned, but didn't so much as land a single harder swat for the snarky comment.

"I'm sorry. I just don't get it. I didn't do anything wrong." and it was those words that got him to thinking about Kevin.

"Dean. Hey you all right? Whoa, that was pretty freaky huh?" Kevin said dropping his boogie board onto the sand. He looked out at the huge waves behind him and listened to them crashing into the sand violently. He shook his head. "I think you're mom was right about angels watching over you. I'm really sorry. I shouldn't have dragged you out here." Kevin said regretfully.

Dean didn't say anything but was shaking. He wanted to cry but was too cold, tired and exhausted to. Kevin draped a towel over his shoulders and Dean wrapped himself up in it gratefully and sat down in the sand. He looked up at Kevin towering over him. "Probably shouldn't have been out here so early and without our dads or a lifeguard." Dean explained. "That's why this happened."

"No way man. They could have all been here and you could have still gotten caught in that rip tide. It wasn't punishment for going to the beach without the grown ups" Kevin said gently. "Sometimes bad things just happen." I'm the one responsible for you coming out here and if you want to tell your dad or my parents, I'll take the blame."

"I agreed to come."

"Not really. You didn't have much of a choice."

"Yeah I did."

"Nope, you definitely didn't. If you didn't come I would have kicked your little ass, plain and simple, that's how the adults will see it, and that's what I'm sticking to."

"You couldn't kick my ass if you tried." Dean smirked. He stood up and Kevin followed.

"Wanna bet?" Kevin said taking a step towards Dean. He chuckled when Dean got into a fighting stance. The kid was cute. He put his hand out to measure how much height he had over Dean. "Seriously man I have a good three years and like five inches over you."


"So, that means that I would cream you in a fight."

"Not uh. You haven't been trained to fight like I have."

"Don't matter dude. I'm older and have more life experience. That totally means I would win."

"Yeah, in your dreams." Dean smiled.

"Whatever. So what do you say we get out of here and get some breakfast? I don't know about you but I'm starving." Kevin gathered their few belongings and headed towards the dunes that would lead them back to the streets.

"Sounds good, and Kevin?"

"Yeah Deaner."

"Don't call me that." Dean complained.

"Why not? It's your name."

"Thanks for saving my life." Dean said softly.

"Don't have to thank me for that man, just next time try swimming to the side if you get caught in a rip tide, and don't panic. That's the worst thing you can do in a bad situation and you know it."

"Yes Sir." Dean said with embarrassment.

"You should have seen yourself. You were such a little girl out there." Kevin started waving his hands frantically. "Help me. Help me." He teased. Dean punched him in the shoulder and Kevin laughed.

Dean grunted at the continuing assault from his father. He thought hard on the reason for the spanking and it finally came to him. His father was trying to get him to cry over Kevin. He felt a sense of betrayal and started to get angry and then all the memories of Kevin started to flood his mind; three months of nothing but kindness and the realization that he would never see his friend again took over him, and that along with the steady rhythm of his father's hand coming down over and over onto his tender butt, and the pain the spanking was leaving behind, and a fear that the spanking would never come to end, was too much for him. A tear finally trickled down his cheek and then sobs wracked his skinny frame and Dean was all out bawling.

"I miss him dad." Dean wailed. "I miss him. He took care of me. No one ever took care of me before. No one ever looked after me the way I look after Sammy. He was my big brother." Dean yelled out tearfully. "I never had a big brother before."

John wiped away one of his own tears and started to rub his son gently on the back. "Let it out son. You cry for him. It's ok." John said soothingly. He tried to pull Dean up into a sitting position to hold him in his arms, but the young teenager resisted. John guessed that for as obvious as it was that his boy was crying that Dean still didn't want his father to see it. John could respect that and just held onto his son tightly so that he wouldn't fall off his lap.

John waited for more words on Kevin from his son but the only thing Dean did was cry and John let him. He had been so caught up in Dean's grief that he hadn't heard the front door open or seen his youngest peeking his head into the bedroom. Sam wasn't sure if he was welcome into the room or not.

He had come home to the sound of his father spanking his brother and raced towards the bedroom angrily. His friend Tom had given him a bible and Sam almost threw it at his father's head, but when Dean started to cry and gave his tearful admission, and John stopped the spanking Sam understood what was going on. He started up his own tears at seeing Dean in so much pain, but kept quiet, not wanting to take any of their father's time away from Dean, but now he was starting to feel forgotten.

"It's okay Sammy." Dean said as if on queue. "You can come in." Dean started to pull himself off his father's lap. John helped him to stand and then looked at Sam.

"How did you know I was here?" Sam asked curiously. He wiped his tears away.

"I always know when you're around. It's kind of my job." Dean said exhausted. He crawled into his bed stomach first and Sam pounced on Dean's bed next to him.

"Sam, your brother needs to rest. Why don't we leave him alone for a bit?"

"Well I could rest with him." Sam said lying down on his side next to Dean.


"It's okay dad. I don't mind him being here." Dean assured his father.

"I'll be in the other room if you need anything kiddo." John placed a hand on top of Dean's head. "You did well son. I'm proud of you." He offered, and felt like a jerk for doing so. He had just beaten his son to get him to cry and didn't think he should be so content with himself for that. He walked out of the room; needing a drink.

"Dean do you really wish I wasn't your little brother?" Sam asked unsurely.

"Dude, what are you thinking? Of course not."

"But you said."

"I was upset, but I didn't mean it. You're a pain in the ass but I wouldn't trade you for anything."



"I wouldn't trade you for anything either." Sam promised. "Hey Dean, I'm awfully sorry about Kevin. I didn't know he was like a big brother to you. " Sam admitted. "I guess that's why you always listened to him huh? Because big brothers are the boss."

"You got that right."

"I still don't think it's fair though."

"What's not fair?"

"You get to be a big brother and got to be a little brother too. I'll never get to boss anyone around." Sam pouted.

"Tough break." Dean yawned. He curled up on his side away from Sam, hating how exhausting being upset was. He had just gotten up and was ready to go back to sleep again.

"Dean you okay?"

"Yeah. Dad didn't hit so hard you know?" Dean lied.

"No. I mean really okay. I mean about Kevin?"

"No." Dean said weakly. He felt a tear streak down his cheek.

"Oh." Sam said miserably He put a hand on Dean's shoulder.

"Don't mean I won't get better though. I think this crying crap is a good start." Dean admitted feeling better then he had about everything since he found out two months back. It felt good not to hold everything inside.

"It definitely is."

"Yeah." Dean closed his eyes and fell asleep again.