The Plan

Sam Winchester sat quietly and calculated sure that the act of counting was the only thing keeping him sane. That was six stories of things that go bump in the night, four of things that go splat and five of his personal scare the crap out of you favorite- things that have no faces. Finally he leaned forward towards the front seat of the car and cleared his throat. Immediately his older brother Dean looked over his shoulder at him. "What?"

Now Sam just couldn't contain his frustration at being held captive in the back seat, and forced to listen to just one more Dad or Dean Story of what happens on the front line in the war against evil, being told as if they were cherished memories of some demented variety.

"What?"

"What Dean….it's bad enough we have to live this shit do we also have to talk about it until some of us are ready to poke our eyes out with pencils?"

He saw his father turn to look at Dean with amusement evident on his face. "What's the matter sweetheart is it that time of the month again?"

Now for a moment he was too furious to even speak and also watched as his father sent Dean a disapproving look. And without thinking he shot his brother a hand gesture and mouthed a phrase which Dean picked up on and Dad missed and was in all actuality anatomically impossible.

Dean turned around to face the front of the vehicle grinning from ear to ear. He was not sure why when you added their dad to the equation he suddenly reverted to fifteen and Sammy again became the prime target but he did. Oh well he thought to himself if it ain't broke don't fix it. Now dad turned to look at Sam who was still impatient and now also fuming in the back seat. "Soon Sammy."

Turning back again to his brother Dean smiled. "Don't get your panties in a bunch Samantha we will be there in just a few."

Dean was totally unprepared for the hard smack to the back of his head that was his brother's reply. It all but bounced his head off of the dashboard. "Hey what the f…"

He went to turn and smack Sam back but he felt his father's large hand grabbing the front of his jacket. "Did you not pick up the stern and nasty look that I just sent you Junior? In case you no longer speak dad it meant knock...it…the...hell...off."

Now Dean waited until he released the front of his jacket and with as much dignity as he could muster he straightened it. "Well he smacked me."

Now dad looked at him grimly and resolute "Better him than me Dean."

Sammy leaned back on the seat again now smiling himself. Ahhh something that feels so good about getting your older brother in trouble. The fact that every day of the week they were together and got along extremely well but as soon as dad came around they both reverted to the same old childish behavior didn't escape him either. The next few miles were driven with all of them in silence and then he saw the mailbox or what used to be the mailbox of the abandoned farmhouse that they were looking for. And he could see the transformation come over the two in the front seat.

Both sets of broad shoulders squared at almost the same time and something about that was so familiar as to even be comforting. His father and his brother preparing to go into battle. To some that might seem like the definition of odd but for him it was just another day in Paradise. It had been about two weeks since the day that dad had blistered Deans butt for lying and hitching and a whole list of other naughty crimes. He had told them both that for the next few months they would stay together. Sam still thought that the ex marine didn't really trust Dean to keep his promises. And while Sam knew that Dean had been on best behavior since that day he was still glad to have dad around for any reason.

Sam tried to focus on what Dad was saying to them both remembering well how badly thing can go south when you aren't prepared. And having old eagle eye dad around he also had a strong desire to protect his own butt. Cause knowing that he had punished Dean badly enough that he had gotten emotional about it was both an amazement to Sam and a worry. "I definitely don't wanna go there."

Now dad turned to look at him and he didn't realize that he had spoken the words aloud. "Go where son?"

Scrambling for an answer Sam just went with the obvious. "Well you said you would take the back door and Dean and I should take the front. So I'm thinking I don't wanna go there….as in the back door."

Now Dean turned to him shaking his head with eyebrows raised at what Sam had just said and was prepared to make a classic Dean remark when they both saw the serious look on their dads face. "Don't do it Dean."

"Shit." Seeing the intensity on his father's face once again Dean gave in, always the good soldier. "Yes sir."

And John continued with the meticulously prepared instructions and finally the three got out of the car and carefully entered the darkened house as equipped as they could be.
********************

Sam, Dean and John arrived back at the rented house in the woods and the three definitely looked worse for the wear. John got out of the car first and was followed by Sam who for some reason kept looking to Dean. "You grab the crossbow and other stuff Dean and I'll get the weapons case."

Dean eyes immediately shifted to Sam who stepped up to the plate. "I'll get them Dad."

He did so and watched as his older brother climbed out of the car and tried to stand up straight. They both lagged behind hoping that their father won't notice that Dean was barely moving at all.

San drug the heavy equipment into the living room of the small house and set it on the floor. He watched as Dean tried to make his moving around look as natural as he could. Suddenly John turned to Dean. "Let's see your injuries now son."

Looking paler both Sam and Dean shook their heads. "There aren't any injuries dad I am just fine."

Even Sam knew that Dean had said that with far too much emphasis on fine. "Your hands Junior let me see your hands. I told you not to touch that things face or it would burn your hands."

The sigh of relief from both brothers was almost audible in the room. "Oh my hands right well they really aren't that bad."

John walked to the bedroom he was sleeping in and the brother exchanged another panicked look as their father walked back into the room carrying the first aide kit. He sat down on the couch and gave Dean the nod. "Well come over here I can't bandage them from over there."

Dean slowly did as his father asked and held out both of his hands. Grasping them and then turning them over John looked puzzled. "The burns are on the backs of your hands not the palms. How did that happen?"

Dean looked to his speechless brother and thought that if Sammy's eyes got any wider dad was gonna know something was up. "I don't know it happened so quickly and then
it just happened…."

Watching his brother dance around the issue of how his hands got burned without really telling his dad how his hands got burned was interesting to Sam. "Yeah I got that it just happened Dean now how about you explain to me just how it happened."

Sam could see his usually stoic brother in just alittle panic mode and while it amused him he knew that if Dean went down then so did he and that he wanted to avoid at all costs. He had loved having his dad around again and some of the fury that he had felt towards him was easing but the whole answer to the problem being the time old tradition of smacking his behind until he cried like a girl now that he wasn't anxious to re-visit and would do whatever it took to avoid.

"The thing threw me out of the way and it just leapt on Dean and somehow he touched its face to push it away while I scrambled to shoot it with the rock salt." Now Dean turned his head in his direction amazement evident on his handsome features a look which dad didn't miss.

"Is that right Dean is that how it went down? And if so why didn't you just shoot it Sammy as soon as you opened the door?" It seemed as if the moment that John asked that question just hung in the air forever and both John and Sam turned to Dean when he answered the question.

"The gun misfired Dad and that's exactly what Sam did." Not missing the look exchanged again between his two sons John just nodded promising himself that he would find out one way or another exactly what these two were hiding. And knowing the best way to do that would be to put their fears at rest he just nodded and started dressing the burns on Dean's hands. In reality there had only been one time when the two of them had joined together and presented him with a huge lie as if it were a birthday present all neat and wrapped with a bow. And by the time all of that had washed out he had actually spanked Dean twice and Sam once and he would have thought that they both wouldn't have wanted to take that trip down memory lane but apparently he was wrong.

By the time John got medication and dressings put on Dean's hands he looked to his sons and realized how tired they both were and Dean especially looked worn out. "Hey guys its late why don't we just hit the hay."

For once he got no argument and he noticed that Dean waited until he went into the kitchen of the small house before he moved. He swore to himself that he would figure out exactly what was going on. But for tonight he was just going to let it rest.

Sam watched with panic as Dean barely hobbled in to the room they were sharing. "Damn it Dean maybe we ought to take you back to the ER."

Now Dean fixed him with an intense glare. "Yeah that sounds like a lot of fun. Let's ask dad to come with us, maybe we can all go for ice cream after."

Ignoring his brother's sarcasm he watched as Dean sat down and struggled to take off his boots. "Look Junior I'll be all right I just need a good nights sleep. Give me two of those pain pills that'll do it."

For a moment Sam looked like he was struggling with not wanting to tell Dean something but then he just blurted it out. "They are in the first aide kit in dad's bedroom."

"Son of a…"

"Well we could just make up some reason to go in there and grab them when he wasn't looking."

Dean actually rolled his eyes at Sam's grand plan. "What are we five now? Look I'll just go in there and tell him the damn truth. We are like grown now and this whole dumb assed concept of being afraid of what daddy's gonna do is just stupid dude. So like if he wants to play the game where he lights into us it just won't be like a big deal."

Dean looked to his brother who was staring at him like he had just said they were gonna fly to the moon. "Did that sound as stupid as I think it sounded Sam?"

Now Sam nodded grimly "Yeah all that and more."

Now Dean sighed "Well then original plan of lying and covering it up it is."

Sam sat down on his bed relief evident on his face. "Thank God."

Now Dean again tried to find a comfortable position on the bed. "Well I could go in there and tell him that I have this cut on my finger and that I need a band aide and then I could just take the pills when I got the stuff for my finger."

Dean considered the offer. "I don't know let me see the digit."

Sam held out his hand and looking at it Dean shook his head "No way Francis that is just a scrape only a wuss would want a band aide for that."

The Dean suddenly smiled at Sam "Hey I see the beauty in that dad will completely buy that. Good plan."

Now Sam gave his brother a dirty look. "Keep it up Dean and I'll show you another finger."

"Ohhhh I'm shaking in my jammies over here Dude."

Sam considered things "I should just let you suffer."

Now Dean nodded and tried to re-adjust his position on the bed. "You should but you won't."

Sammy swore knowing that he was right. "Well no time like the present I guess."

Dean grimaced as he tried again to move and he watched Sam head for dad's room hoping his mission would be a success.

John Winchester was busy at his own laptop researching when he heard a knock. Knowing that Dean tended to pound on doors he figured it was Sam and he wasn't surprised to see that he was correct. "Hey Sammy come on in."

He noticed the dark scowl on the boy's face. "It's just Sam now dad I'm not seven anymore."

Now John fought the urge to smile. "Okay then Sam what did you need?"

Now Sam could have kicked himself for his earlier comments. "Well I have this little abrasion on my finger and I needed a band aide."

The fatherly instinct took over and John walked to where his son stood "Let me see it Sam."

When Sam held out his finger John inspected it carefully. "On this finger I don't see anything."

Now Sam rolled his eyes "Right here dad" and he pointed it out.

Now John couldn't stop the grin. "That?"

And suddenly Sam was mad. "Yeah Dad that…why the hell is it that everything I do you and Dean find so fucking cute?"

Sam didn't even see it coming when his dad swatted him hard across the seat of his jeans. "Because you are cute Junior and I have heard enough of that mouth too. Now go and dress your wound."

Sam could tell his father was barely suppressing a grin. Using his injured hand to rub his behind he walked to the first aide kit and got both a band aid and four of the prescription pain pills from the bottle. He turned to go and felt like maybe he should apologize for his earlier outburst even if it had earned him a swat. "Dad I..."

Now John looked at his son again with a gleam in his eye. "What Sammy did you need me to kiss the boo boo now?"

The apology died on his lips and he was suddenly furious again. "Real funny and at least I see where Dean gets his smart ass genes from Dad."

As he turned to walk out the door he was surprised to feel his fathers hand on his arm pulling him into a hug. "No Sam I'm sorry it's just sometimes I forget just how grown up you are. Now I love you and go to bed."

Feeling his dad place a kiss on his forehead, which was in direct conflict with what he had just said Sam headed back to their room. Sam stopped in the kitchen and got Dean a glass of water and handed him both the water and the pills. "Hey thanks Dude these ribs are hurting like a bitch."

"Yeah well I ended up getting swatted for my trouble thank you very much."

Now Dean even with as much pain as he was in smiled. "Swear to God if you tell me that I am cute again…."

Dean fought to compose himself. "So Francis what'd you do? You were in there for like two minutes."

Now Sammy scowled. "I said fuck."

Dean knew from personal experience that that particular word was one of his fathers least favorite. "Oh Sammy bad choice there, he isn't really fond of swearing but that word he has some large problems with."

Now he found himself on the receiving end of a vicious look from his younger brother. "Well thanks so much Dean for sharing."

Now Dean couldn't help the snort. "Like you didn't figure that out the night you told him to fuck off and he beat your ass. I thought you were the smart one here."

"Just take your pills and go to sleep and hey Dean if it gets worse you're gonna have to wake me up and I'll go get Dad."

Dean again fought to find a comfortable position. "Yeah cause that way it will hurt so much less."

It was a good two hours before John Winchester finished his research on his laptop and decided to take one more walk around the small rental house. Walking by the second bedroom he saw a light under the door and figured Sammy was asleep at his laptop again. Gently he opened the door and found exactly that. He quietly took the laptop off of his sons bed and put it on the dresser turning back to cover Sam and unable to resist planting another kiss on his forehead.

He noticed Dean was tossing and turning and for some reason was asleep on his stomach which John knew he never did. The covers on the bed where tangled around his legs and he pulled a blanket out of the closet and went to cover his older son. But something caught his eye on Dean's back. He gently lifted his tee shirt up and was surprised to see bruising across his rib cage and lower back. Just by looking at the pattern of the bruised he knew that the creature that they had killed had made the marks. So why had neither Dean nor Sam told him about this. And even more to the point Dean was not supposed to be engaging in any hand to hand and he knew that. Suddenly John had a pretty good idea just what his son's had attempted to keep from him, and an even better idea of what he needed to do about it.


Sam woke several times during the night to check on Dean and his back. His older brother managed to sleep through most of the night with the help of the pilfered pain medication. Sam wished that he could just go in and tell their dad the truth but he knew that he couldn't. Finally at about five a.m. Dean fell into a deep sleep and finally Sam laid back and relaxed himself exhausted from the worry about Dean and the burden of lying to Dad about all of this.

The smell of bacon followed John into the bedroom where both brothers were sleeping. "Hey guys its ten o'clock time to get up and eat some breakfast."

Sam opened his eyes and waited until he saw his fathers retreating back and then turned to Dean. "Dean are you okay? How are you feeling?"

He saw his older brother raise an eyebrow at him. "Like something really fugly kicked the crap outta me yesterday."

But Sam noted with some relief that when Dean sat up he did it with more ease than he had last night.

They both threw on pants and shirts and headed for the breakfast table. It looked like dad had out done himself and there were all of their favorite breakfast foods including waffles for Dean. The three has a nice and leisurely breakfast and enjoyed spending some relaxed time as a family for the first time in a long time. And all three were aware of how precious these little stolen moments were. Sam kept checking on Dean across the table and was happy to see that he was moving without severe pain and only once or twice did he notice him wincing and thank God dad appeared to have missed it both times. Finally after they finished eating their father turned to them both.

"Go on in and sit down on the couch I want to talk to both of you."

Looking with surprise to Dean he just shrugged and then winced again and they both followed their father into the living room of the small rental house. "Now are you guys comfortable?"

Not sure where this was headed both boys answered "Yes sir" in unison.

"Now I wanted to know if there was anything else about last night that you needed to tell me."

Sam fought to keep the panic off of his face and of course Dean was much better at that than he was and smoothly answered. "No, it happened pretty much like we said."

Now John nodded and fixed both of his sons with a hard look that neither one liked too much. "Okay then Dean stand up and take off your shirt."

Sam looked at Dean and could feel his heart rate go into hyper drive. But as always Dean had a plan. "Look you just can't waltz back into our life anytime you want too and think that you are gonna pick up where you left off. You haven't been around to be a father to either one of us lately."

Sam was shocked at the words and didn't even realize that Dean had been angry with their father as he was always defending every choice he made to Sam. And if Sam had been surprised by Dean's statements he was flabbergasted by his father's response….he laughed. "That was an excellent try son but you do realize that I actually wrote an entire chapter in one of the manuals on diversionary tactics don't you? Now stand up and take off your shirt and remember that while I don't want to if I have to I can take it off for you."

Now Sam didn't miss the blush that came across Dean's face at the threat and he slowly stood up and walked to where their father sat and carefully drug his shirt over his head. "There are you happy now?"

Sam watched as their father nodded. "Very impressive Dean now turn around."

He heard Dean mutter a curse word, and it was dad's least favorite, as he turned around. John reached out and gently probed several of the deeper bruises causing Dean to hiss through his teeth. "Okay then put your shirt back on and sit back down next to your brother."

Dean did as he was told and they both waited.

"Let me tell you what I am pretty positive happened last night. Sometime after I walked to the back of the farmhouse it was decided that Dean would go in first and take the weapon with him. The thing attacked as soon as Dean was in the door and it knocked the gun to the floor. Then in defending himself Dean landed some punches on its face and that why the burns on his hands are on the front and not the back. It then started striking back to defend itself and that's how Dean got all those bruises. Meanwhile Sammy had retrieved the gun with the rock salt and finally managed to shoot it and by then I was coming in the back way and killed it. Am I missing anything boys?"

Sam thought he might throw up but he looked at amazement when Dean opened his mouth again. "As a matter of fact dad you did. On the front porch my mouth was a little dry and I asked Sam if he had any gum but he didn't."

Now Sam swung his head around to stare at Dean as if he had never seen him before and he wondered why Dean always picked the worst times of all to go into smart assed mode. He looked at their dad who was clearly counting in his head and all there sat in silence for a few minutes before John spoke again his voice low and dangerous. "Is that a yes sir that is how it happened then Dean?"

Sam took this opportunity to jump in and answer before Dean got them both drawn and quartered. "Yes sir that is exactly how it happened."

"And is that why Sam came to me last night for a bandage for a scrape so that he could lift some pain pills for you Dean?"

Dean didn't answer but Sam couldn't believe it when was then on the receiving end of a vicious look from Dean. "What Dean? Like Dad didn't already know?"

"Remind me not to trust you with any state secrets anytime little Bro."

Now Sam looked at him with frustration. "This is actually your fault Dean."

Now he saw Dean lean in towards him with fire in his eyes and they both heard what sounded suspiciously like a growl from their dad. "Now is NOT the time to get into a pushy shovey boys about who is at fault there is plenty of blame to go around."

For the first time Sam looked at him and began to become really worried. "Dean you and I will discuss your mistakes in a few days after those bruises have faded. And Sam you and I will talk about your part in all of this now."

Standing up John pulled out his wallet and gave Dean some money. "Go to the grocery store and buy milk, eggs and bread."

Now Dean looked at him and shook his head no. "It isn't like I haven't heard it before dad. The summer he was eleven he spent more time staring at the floor from across your lap than he did walking upright. You really don't have to send me on a stupid errand."

Sam shrank back at the look his father sent to Dean and taking two big steps John was almost nose to nose with him. "I am getting very tired of hearing you tell me no. The next words out of your mouth that don't end with yes sir are gonna get you swatted bruises or no bruises. Now I want you to go to the grocery store because we need bread, eggs and milk and I will not ask again. Do I make myself understood?"

He finished his verbal dressing down of Dean by grabbing a hold of his arm just in case the answer given was not the correct one. Sam thought for sure that Dean's injuries were gonna be the least of his troubles soon and he just held his breath waiting for his brother's answer. "Yes sir."

Sending Sam a look, which was both regret and anger Dean grabbed his jacket and headed for the door only to be stopped by his father's question. "Have you taken anything for pain today?"

He shook his head no that he had not. "Are you comfortable enough to go to the store?"

Now Dean dropped his gaze. "Yes sir." John just nodded and watched the back of his eldest son walk out the door before turning to look at Sam.

"I know dad that this seems bad but really I didn't have anything in this one it was all Dean."

John looked at his son totally unconvinced. "Oh really? What was the last thing I told you before we got out of the car?"

Sam paused not wanting to answer but not seeing any other choice. "Sammy"

He could tell from the low timbre of his father's voice that it was not a question to be ignored. "To go in first and make sure Dean stayed behind me and to carry the weapon."

John nodded glad that his youngest son had at least heard what he had told him. "And why Sam?"

Sam definitely didn't want to answer that question because he knew it would hang him for sure. He had figured at the time if something were to go wrong it would fall on Dean. He hadn't even thought about the whole area of disregarding an order from their dad and now here it was. "Because he wasn't strong enough to lead in yet and he could get hurt."

Oh crap he knew just from the look on his dad's face where this was headed. "And what happened?"

Now Sam stared down at his hands. "He wasn't strong enough to lead in yet and he got hurt again?"

John nodded and Sam tried to lighten up the mood. "Don't I get any points for knowing the right answer at least?"

Now John looked grim "No because you knew it then and it still didn't keep you from making the wrong choice. So actually that has earned you bad points although Lord knows you don't need any more of those."

Sam watched as his dad brought a chair in from the small kitchen and sat down. "Come on over here."

Now Sam felt sick again "C'mon dad lets not do that again. It hurts, it's embarrassing, I hate it, and you don't like it either. How about a really harsh lecture – the kind where I'm actually crying at the end? You're very good at those."

Sam could see that his father was fighting a grin and continued to look stern just patted his lap and Sam knew that the inevitable was about to become reality. "Yes sir."

He walked to where his father was sitting and felt him grab his wrist to pull him across his lap. "Look dad this is just so uncomfortable to be in that position."

Sam was mortified to hear how whiney and childish that had sounded. "Did you want to find out if it's a more comfortable position with those jeans around your ankles son?"

Sam felt his stomach take a nose dive and shook his head no, gave up and leaned into it.

He didn't have to wait long because immediately his dad started swatting and hard too. Within a very short time Sam was squirming trying to dodge the hand that felt like iron. He fought with himself to just remain still and not cry. But dad kept landing swats in the same place three at a time before moving on to the next area and Sam was becoming frantic. He needed it to end or he wasn't going to be able to keep either of those promises. He threw back his hand trying to protect both his behind and what was left of his dignity but dad just captured it and never missed a beat.

He was horrified to hear small noises escaping his throat and although he didn't realize that he was crying his face was wet with tears. He didn't think he could handle anymore and he wondered if dads hand felt as bad as his behind did. "Dad please no more, I'm sorry I won't ever do it again."

He all but wailed the apology but if anything his father just increased the force behind the swats. He could feel the sobs building up in his chest and he fought as long as he could and finally he was done for. He was convinced his dad had no intention of stopping and he hung his head and sobbed thoroughly chastised.

But to his dismay his father continued to administer the punishing swats. He was unable to catch his breath from crying so hard and his chest was starting to hurt almost as much as he behind did. "I want you to think about this the next time you decide to disobey an order from me Sam that could cost you or your brother's life."

And before Sam had even time to think about it, dad laid five hard swats on his behind and legs. It felt as if something gave way in his chest and he just hung his head and cried in great hitching sobs and felt his dad rubbing his back.

Finally after a few minutes he could feel his dad pulling him to standing and then he guided them both over to the couch. Sam fought with all that he had to pull himself back together and was doing fine until he sat down and found sitting was not something he ever wanted to do again. Looking up in a panic he felt both his fathers hand on his shoulder and his finger under his chin with which he turned his face upwards towards his own. "Take some deep breaths buddy it'll help."

Sam did as he was told and then felt his dad sit down next to him and surround him with a hug. He gave in to the opportunity to put his head on the broad shoulder and cry. But these were cleansing tears and tears of relief and after a few minutes they slowed down and then stopped.

"Okay so are we clear about this? In case you didn't know this is a big one Sam."

Now Sam looked at him as if he had lost his mind. "Was the first clue how hard you just beat my ass?"

He saw dad frown at his language. "You or Dean could have been killed. You know that Sam."

Sam looked around "Funny I don't see Dean here."

Now Sam thought maybe he had overstepped it again. "Don't worry his turn is coming and it's going to be worse than yours was."

Sam's eyes widened "Worse what could be worse- are you gonna actually kill him?"

Now dad looked grim. "Maybe, but it would be a real waste of all that sarcastic energy now wouldn't it?"

Sam saw his father become serious again. "You know that I love you Sam and I forgive you? Although I never want this to happen again got it?"

Sam looked puzzled "The not obeying an order or the spanking cause I'm thinking neither one is sounding too good right now."

His father smiled at Sam's apparent return of humor and the fact that he continued to squirm trying to find a comfortable position. "You know dad I really missed you when you were gone and all but I'm thinking maybe having you hundreds of miles from us isn't always a bad thing."

Now John did smile. "I am so glad to see Sammy that Dean wasn't the only one to inherit the smart assed genes. Go and wash up and then clean up the kitchen."

Sammy did as he was told and even though he didn't think he was going to be doing any sitting any time soon for some reason it felt good to know that dad still cared about keeping them safe. And it felt good knowing that even when he screwed up dad still loved him when all was said and done. But best of all it felt good knowing that his punishment was over and Dean's was not and he could torture big brother with that knowledge until it happened. Things that go bump in the night- no problem, ghosts with no heads- no big deal, zombies that walk the earth- piece of cake but a promised trip over John Winchesters knee in your future was enough to send the bravest of the brave screaming into the night. Sam did the dishes and smiled. "I tried to tell him."

*****************************************

Dean heard a wheezing sound and it kept intruding into his great dream about the girl in the tiny little bikini. He tried putting the pillow over his head but it didn't work and then the girl and her bikini were gone for good. Finally unable to get back to sleep his sat up and looked over to Sam's bed. "Hey Sam are you okay?"

He answered yes but it seemed as if it were forced through a throat lined with gravel. "Then how come you sound like one of the things we kill in the throes of its death?"

Now he noted Sam's flushed face as well. "It's just a sore throat and for God's sake don't tell Dad."

"Dad Sammy's sick." Dean yelled. "Sorry dude but someone needed to do it."

He didn't miss the angry look his younger brother sent in his direction. "It wouldn't have anything to do with today being your big day now would it. Those bruises were all but non-existent when you came out of the shower last night. Just a fond memory and now you are once again the picture of health." He finished his taunt with a round of coughing.

John came into the room with a worried look on his face and headed for Sam's bed to press the back of his hand on his forehead. "Hmm you are alittle warm kiddo. What's wrong son?"

Sam rolled his eyes "Nothing I'm fine."

Now Dean snorted "Just listen to him he sounds like Darth Vader's brother."

Now Sam turned towards his older brother. "I'm sure even he would be a better brother than some people I know. Really Dad I'm fine."

Now even Dean could see that dad hadn't taken too kindly to being blown off and he sat down on the side of Sam's bed. "Okay Sam now I am going to ask you nicely one more time what is wrong and if you tell me again that you are fine Bad Dad is gonna make an appearance and you know we don't like him."

Again Sam rolled his eyes at how humorous dad thought he was but he knew better than to ignore the thinly veiled threat. "My throat is kind of sore and I might have a headache sort of."

"Lie back down and I will make you some tea with honey and bring you some aspirin."

As soon as he got up and walked away Sam threw the covers off and went to stand up. Without even turning around dad growled "Back into bed now Samuel!"

Turning to Dean he grimaced "How does he do that what has he got eyes in the back of his head."

But when he looked at his brother all he could see was a smile. "Yup looks like he's gonna be ever so busy caring for poor little sick Sammykins. I guess teaching me a lesson is just gonna hafta wait. Too bad really."

Within a few minutes dad had returned and brought tea and toast and some aspirin and cough syrup. "Dean go ahead and get dressed for the day and have some breakfast. I have to run some errands again today and you might as well come with me so that Sam can sleep."

"Yes sir."

John was relieved to see his son obeying his orders for once and he spent the next few minutes talking to Sam and making sure that it was just a cold and nothing more. When he finally emerged from the boys room Dean was dressed and ready for the day and sitting on the couch.

Getting into the car Dean noticed that his father seemed quiet even by his standards. And they drove away from the motel and into the country. At one point his father actually pulled onto a dirt road. Soon enough Dean could see why they had come as there was an old farmhouse and barn. "What are we doing here dad and whose house is this?"

Now John just smiled at his son. "A friend of mine owns it but hasn't lived here for years. He told me that if I was ever in the area to check out the house and see if it was still standing. Come on let's go for a walk."

Dean got out of the car and followed his dad.

They walked by the farmhouse, which Dean imagined had at some time in the past been quite pretty but it was just about to fall down. And then of course they walked past the old red barn that too had seen better days. Still not sure what the point was with this little hiking expedition he continued to follow his father. Soon they were coming up on a small shed which for some reason dad opened the door to and stepped inside motioning for Dean to do the same. And never one to disobey an order he did as was asked of him.

Dean looked around the small shed and was confused. "Why did we need to come in here again?"

And then he saw the stacks of split logs on the floor with the stacks almost reaching the ceiling. Looking around he noticed the only furnishing inside the small structure were two benches and a square table. He looked now towards his father and realization dawned. "Holy shit dad is this an actual woodshed?"

Watching his father nodding grimly he suddenly knew exactly why they were here and he felt his stomach drop. "You brought me out to a woodshed?"

Dean realized that once again he had underestimated his father. "Honestly Dude you are the master of the ironic twist for sure."

John fixed him with a hard and even stare. "Actually Dean I thought it seemed oddly appropriate."

The shock oh his little surprise was beginning to wear off and the panic was beginning to set in. John Winchester watched the emotions play across the guarded face of his oldest son and knew it was now or never. "Sit down Dean!"

Feeling more than just a little uncomfortable that he and his dad were finally going to clear the air Dean did as he had been told and tried to keep his heart from beating out of his chest. "Now shall we discuss all the things that have brought us to this point? The amazingly poor decisions, the dangerous situation that you put both you and your brother in and …."

Dean knew that now was not the time to phase out but he couldn't help staring at a spot just over his father's right shoulder. "Are you even listening to me son? What do you keep looking at anyway?"

Dean just paled and swallowed hard not taking his eyes off of the spot he was staring at until finally John turned around. And to his surprise there hanging on the wall was an old fashioned, well worn, vicious looking razor strap. And suddenly he knew what his son had been thinking "Oh for the love of heaven Dean!"

Now John watched as a flush came over Dean's face. "Well I don't know you mighta put it there. The way Sam's been talking all week you plan on making this something I won't ever forget."

Now John cursed for a moment shaking his head with disbelief that his own son didn't know him any better than that. "And so you think I'm planning on beating you with a strap then?"

Now John was surprised to see the uncertainty on the boy's face. "Have I ever beaten you before?"

Dean shook his head no and wouldn't meet his father's eyes. "Look at me please."

John saw the look in his eyes, that was not quite fear but not quite trust either. "Come over here"

He watched as his oldest obeyed his command with such dread on his face that it made him ache to see it. He stood up and wrapped the boy in a solid hug. "I love you Dean there isn't anything that is going to happen today that we can't handle and get through together. Understand?"

He was glad to see Dean nod and relax. It was hard to believe that he actually preferred the smart ass to this, but he did. "And if I had known you would have taken a razor strap this seriously son I would have bought one years ago."

He was pleased to see Dean roll his eyes. "You missed your calling Dad stand up comedy awaits."

"And you know exactly why Sam has been riding you so hard this week. Do you remember the summer he was eleven? I know you do because you yourself brought it up the other day. Remember what started that whole string of punishments?"

Suddenly his usually vocal son was quiet. "You and Sam poured fifty boxes of strawberry jello into the Henderson's pool while they were on vacation. Ringing any bells now son?"

Unable to help himself Dean smiled "It was sort of like a science experiment that got away from us dad."

"Yeah I remember that completely believable explanation from that night."

"And actually it was cherry jello Sam hates the strawberry stuff."

"Anyway by the time I found out what you both had done he had already gone to the Wilson's cabin with his friend Robbie and he wasn't even home the night you and I squared things for your part in it. And then you called him every single night and tortured him about what I was going to do to him when he came home. Mr. Wilson even commented to me what a loving and close relationship the two of you had but that had nothing to do with it. You were just trying to terrify him about what was going to happen when he got back."

Now Dean smiled. "Yeah and it worked to."

"So this last week was payback plain and simple, it took him a few years but he evened the score."

John knew that the time to get it all out in the open had arrived and he started with the son who usually was so good about following orders. "How did it come about that you went in first and had the weapon and Sam was the back up?"

Now he saw Dean actually squirm and take another quick glance at the strap hanging ominously on the wall. "Well I thought at the time it seemed like a good idea. I was feeling better and….."

Now John gave Dean another harsh look. "And so it was just fine to disregard the order that I had given you then?"

Now Dean shook his head knowing exactly how wrong that was. "And did Sammy want to do it your way?"

And again Dean was honest enough to shake his head no. "And did you give any thought that you could have gotten both you and your brother killed?"

John could feel the regret when Dean answered "no sir." John took a few more deep breaths trying to calm himself. "And what was your main motivation with this?"

Now Dean looked even more nervous. "I was getting tired of seeing Sam get to do all the fun stuff while I had to just sit back and watch."

Now John actually had a thought that he might just shake Dean just a little first and then he quickly fought for control of his anger. "You were injured and that made you mad because I had kept you on a tight leash due to that. Is that correct?"

Now he watched as his son squirmed. "It sounds kinda bad when you put it like that Dad."

John shook his head. "You are an amazing hunter son; your skills are far past anything I could have dreamed of."

Now he saw a smile grace his son's handsome face. "But the only quality that you seem to lack is maturity. And maybe you actually have the concepts all down but you chose on occasion to ignore them. So I'm thinking that I will help you to remember the things that you have been taught."

Now he noted with satisfaction that Dean was looking more uncomfortable because they were about to get to the meat of the discussion. "So I think that since you are refusing to use the good judgment that I know that you possess and insisting on acting like a six year old whose only interest is doing what he wants then that is how you will be treated. First of all for the next few weeks until I decide differently you will remain on restricted duty. Sam will remain the "senior officer" until then."

Now Dean was looking at him as if he had lost his mind. "WHAT!!! That's not fair and I am not taking orders from him."

Now John crossed his arms over his chest trying not to react to Dean's anger. "Oh yes, but I think that you will."

Now he saw Dean struggling to not lose complete control of his temper. "Look just take that relic off the wall and beat me with it and we'll call it even. I'll laugh; I'll cry it'll become a part of me."

He said it with a great deal of Dean bravado but John wasn't buying it. "I believe that you heard what I said and I am thinking that it really is the correct punishment for you if you hate it this much."

Now he saw desperation in his son's eyes. "Please dad don't make me take orders from Sam."

Now John shook his head "This is a closed subject son except for the rest of your punishment."

Dean had put his head into his hands and looked up at those words. "The rest of my punishment? You mean that's not all of it?"

Now John just shook his head at how this child of his could be so brilliant and so dense at the same time. "Dean we are sitting in a woodshed, did you think I was done?"

"What is it with you today Dad have you been on a recent seminar on the best way to effectively torture someone?"

John refused to even smile at the smart comment and continued to look at his son harshly. "Now since the behavior has reverted to about the age of six I think the spanking should follow suit."

If the situation wasn't so serious he would have laughed at the look on Dean's face as realization dawned on him. "Ah crap."

John motioned for his son to come to where he sat and even with all the rebelliousness of late he was happy to see Dean do as he asked.

"Okay then what are you about to be punished for Dean?"

Dean rolled his eyes at the fact that his father was making him say it just like he used to when Dean was actually six. "Cause you're such a hard ass."

John counted to ten and wondered how many millions he had counted ten at a time. Grabbing his son's upper arm he gave Dean a little shake. "One more time- what are you about to be punished for?"

John saw Dean suddenly look very serious and in a quiet voice he answered the question. "I disobeyed an order and could have gotten myself or Sam killed. I used a weapon when I was still injured and I knew even when I was doing it that it was wrong. And I have fought you on every thing that you have asked of me lately."

John sighed glad at least that the boy understood just how serious this was. "You know what I want you to do now son."

Again Dean pleaded. "Please Dad I'm sorry."

And John knowing just how he felt nodded. "I know buddy me too. Now do it."

Dean unzipped his jeans and fought to relax and not panic as his father put him into the time old position. He felt an arm secure his waist and he bit down on his lip refusing to allow his father to see how upset he was. If this had to happen then at least he would take it like a man. That resolve lasted until he felt his father tug his boxers down to join his jeans around his ankles. "Dad…."

There was no response to his last plea other than a palm addressing his sins on bare skin. The first swat hurt badly enough to take his breath away and his father was landing them hard and fast with no time in between. He struggled to remain still and not be overcome by the fierce sting of this punishment but his body refused to cooperate. There was just something so intense and humbling about this position and what his father was doing and he fought tears with all that he had. And finally he could not avoid crying any longer and it seemed to help. But his father kept perfect measure swat after swat. And soon he was squirming and his father simply got a tighter grip and continued.

He was tough and had suffered many injuries in his young life and was no stranger to pain. But this was so intense that it totally captured his attention and felt as if it would never end. He was sure that there wasn't an inch of skin on his butt or upper legs that dad had left untouched. A few groans became outright cries and they graduated to pleading and then begging and still the swats continued to fall.

Even in the haze of his discomfort he realized what he hadn't actually said. He had been wrong, he had known better and he had known just how dangerous the game that he had been playing lately was. He fought to focus on anything other than what his dad's hand was doing but he found himself unable to either avoid or deny it. "I won't ever take stupid chances with my life or Sam's life again …..Dad please…." He felt the blistering swats continue and finally defeated he just gave into it.

He felt a warm and re-assuring hand rubbing the back of his neck and his father's deep voice telling him that it was over and that he was all right. He suddenly felt like he had the night that he had climbed the fence at the cemetery and fallen. He felt tired, defeated and everything hurt. But he knew that with his father once the punishment was over everything was forgiven and he was desperate for that forgiveness now. He yelped as he felt his father re-adjust his clothing and help him to stand on shaky legs.

If there had been anyone else around he might have been embarrassed when his father pulled him back down onto his lap and hugged him hard. Dean was surprised to find that he was crying again but for some reason he couldn't seem to stop it. "I love you Dean, and I forgive you and I will help you to figure this all out. But NEVER again!!"

Dean just nodded and fought the tears. "Yes sir I got it now."

He was glad to feel himself being wrapped in another hug and much like he had when he was six he laid his head on his fathers broad shoulder for just a few minutes and felt safe. Having had about all the emotional stuff that he could handle for one day he finally stood up.

He immediately reached back and attempted to rub out the sting and didn't fail to notice that the action brought a small smile to his father's face although he could see that his father was fighting it. "Swear to God dad if you tell me that I'm cute standing here with my ass on fire I'm not ever gonna forgive you."

Now John stood up himself "Maybe it something that goes with the act of spanking you like you were six again."

Now Dean threw a look of disbelief at his father "If you had ever spanked me like that when I was six I would be a much better person now Dad."

Now John grinned out and out thrilled to see the return of his smart assed son. "Come on wise guy let's walk back to the car."

They arrived back at the car and John opened his door when he noticed Dean looking at the trees. "Hey dad is that an ash or a sugar maple I can never tell them apart?"

John answered his question and went to get into the car. "But Dude which one has bigger leaves?"

Now John was halfway into the explanation when the truth dawned on him. "You don't want to get back in the car and sit down do you Junior?"

He saw Dean shake his head vigorously no. "Hell no are you kidding?"

Now John smiled again. "All right about half a mile down this way is a creek. We can walk down there and see if we can find it. Sound okay?"

Dean nodded in answer to the question. "Can I sit in it when we find it?"

Now John gave him the warning look. "Okay, okay I was just asking. This whole Sam being in charge thing- we don't have to tell him he's in charge do we?"

Now John sighed thinking it was going to be a long two weeks. "No son we are gonna see if he can guess that he's in charge."

Now Dean rolled his eyes at his father's comment. "Are you gonna make him follow all the stupid and pointless rules that you make me follow?"

John stopped walking long enough to turn and look at Dean not believing what he had just said. "How is it Dean that I have never had you tested for Tourettes Syndrome?"

Now Dean snorted "Dude you can be such a smart ass sometimes what's with that?"

John actually laughed out loud at Dean's observation and he walked along side his son in the beautiful sunshine and the clean, fresh air and didn't even attempt to wipe the smile off of his face.
**************************

Dean watched the scenery as they got closer and closer to the little house that his father had rented and where Sam was now. He squirmed for the hundredth time trying to find a comfortable position but he knew no such position existed. He had tried for the last half an hour to find one to no avail. But at least it wasn't as bad as right after his dad had finished. And even with the swats his behind has taken it was nothing compared to the thrashing his pride had gotten. At his age to be in that position and bare no less and having to tell dad exactly what he had done wrong…. he felt his face burning with embarrassment again just remembering it. Dad knew damn good and well that the sting to his butt would fade but the sting to his pride would certainly linger. And of best of all little brother got to be in charge until dad decided he had been punished or tortured enough. Oh wasn't that going to be a treat and a half.

"You doing okay Dean?" He knew that while dad could have handled things any one of twenty different ways and that he had gotten no pleasure from the way he had handled it. Except of course the whole woodshed thing, you weren't ever gonna convince him that the old man didn't think he was extra clever for thinking up that. But he knew as he always had that his father loved him and when he was hurt dad was hurt and so he knew that days like today weren't ever easy for him either. Although you would never have known that from the way dad had lit into his tail earlier.

"Yeah just not so comfie is all. And I know, I know before you say it that I earned that, I deserved it and I was lucky it wasn't worse."

Now he saw his father frown in his direction. "I was going to say that we will be home soon and hopefully you will feel better then."

Now Dean dropped his gaze suddenly ashamed of his inability to just shut up when the time was right. "Oh sorry."

He saw his father now turn a concerned parental glance in his direction. "Dean?"

And he sent him his best toothy grin. "No Dad I'm good really, no worries."

John again glanced as his son and wondering just how much truth was in that statement. They pulled up in front of the small house that John had rented for a short time. He turned to his son and looked him over again. "I have to run and check if there is anything that has come to the post office box. I'll be back in about fifteen minutes and then we can have some late lunch. You really are all right kiddo?"

Now Dean nodded and John put a hand on the back of his neck and pulled him towards him planting a solid kiss on his forehead. "Love you Dean. Now go on in the house and make sure Sam is all right."

He was pleased to see that his hard headed son didn't fight the kiss that he gave him and smiling he watched Dean climb out of the car and walk towards the door.

Dean also watched as dad backed out of the driveway and drove off. He looked around the small house and spotting some flowers he snatched one off of its stem and crushed it in his hand. When he had pulverized the flower he dusted his face with the mess and then brushed it off. He couldn't have even counted to ten before the allergies started. His eyes started to water and his nose to run and he stood and waited for it to reach a crescendo before he walked slowly and carefully towards the house.

He quietly opened the door and found Sam sitting on the couch watching television. He sniffed loudly and ignored the tears on his cheeks. "Hey."

Now he saw Sam frown in worry immediately and felt a momentary stab of guilt. "Hey Dean are you all right man?"

Now Dean sniffed again and just shook his head no and looked at the floor. He heard Sam come closer to where he was and stare at the tears on his face. "Dean did something happen while you and dad were gone?"

Dean counted to five and then reached around to rub his behind and acted like he didn't want Sam to see him doing it. "Oh man he did it didn't he?"

Now Dean again sniffed and hoping his overacting wasn't gonna give him away. He tried to look devastated and nodded. "Yeah he sure did."

He looked up and the sadness he saw there in Sam's face was almost enough to make him stop. Almost but not quite. "Do you want to talk about it?"

Now Dean sniffed again and wiped his nose on the sleeve of his coat. "Not really…. but he took me to an old farm house that had a woodshed and there was this wicked looking strap thing on the wall and…"

Dean gave alittle hitching sob and he swore to God if Sammy's eyes got any wider they were gonna fall out of his head. "And then he punished me."

He looked up from underneath his lashes to look at Sam and almost laughed at his brother standing there with his mouth hanging open. "Dad took you to a woodshed and he hit you with a strap."

Not wanting to say yes as that was a lie he took the approach of going around the question. "He really let me have it."

Again he threw in a sniff and knew this charade couldn't go on for much longer as his allergies were easing off now that he didn't have a face full of flower anymore. "Our dad did as in John Winchester?"

Dean should have know that Sam wouldn't buy it but he was gonna give it his best shot and he just nodded sadly. "How bad was it?"

Dean smiled at Sam's car accident mentality. He didn't really want to look but he couldn't help himself. "It was just aw…aw…awful!!"

He all but sobbed the last word and hoped his over the top performance was good enough. "Aww God Dean I'm so sorry and then I've been yanking your chain about this all week."

Now Dean fought a grin with all he had and Sam surprised him by grabbing him and pulling him into a big, girlie hug. "I am so sorry man."

And then Dean just lost it and rocked with laughter. Sam thinking that he was crying became even more upset. "Come on it'll be all right you know that he loves you."

Sam pulled back to look at Dean and realized that he was laughing. "You bastard!! This was all a joke to you?"

Dean wiped his face and smiled. "Not a joke really more of a way of paying you back for the weeks worth of "oh boy are you gonna get it from dad" shit. And you thought you were the only one if the family with drama in your blood."

Now Dean could see Sam's temper slowly reach the boiling point. "Did you even get punished today Big Brother?"

Now Dean nodded "Yep but you don't really think some little spanking is gonna hurt me do ya? You may cry like a little girl but not me Samantha. And the Oscar goes to….."

Dean started to walk away and he got about four steps when Sam gave him a good shove and he fell to the floor and instinctively rolled and kicked Sam's feet out from under him. And the two rolled around on the floor for a few seconds struggling to get the upper hand. Dean hadn't wrestled with Sam in a very long time, not since they were kids. And not often with Sam being as angry as he was now. Dean wondered if he knew what he had gotten himself into. And while Sam had long arms and legs he still didn't have the strength that Dean had. Before too many minutes of honest to god struggle Dean had rolled over and was straddling Sam attempting to pin his hands behind his head. Both had been so engrossed in the struggle that neither had heard the door opening.

"Get off of him Dean!"

Dean heard the words at the very same time he felt this fathers huge hand lift him off of Sam by the back of his shirt. Dad then reached down and pulled Sammy to standing and gave each of them a good shove backwards to effectively separate them. "Now what in the hell is going on here?"

Neither spoke and just continued to glare at each other and Dean was surprised to find that he was almost as mad as Sam was. The moment of silence hung in the air. Dad stepped over to Sammy and gave him a little shake. "Answer my question son!"

"He came in here all fake tears and sobbing about how you had taken him out to a woodshed somewhere and beat him with a strap which frankly I think sounds like an excellent idea."

Now John turned to look at his older son amazement evident on his face and suddenly Dean was looking at his boots as if they were very interesting. "And the big jerk that I am I was trying to comfort his ass."

Dean in that instant knew that maybe he might have overstepped things with this one as the look that his father sent him was enough to cause him to take a step backward out of his reach again. "You did WHAT?"

Both brothers actually flinched at the sound of those three words, which were directed at Dean. "Sam go back to the bedroom for a minute I need to talk to you brother."

And Sam did as he was told catching Dean's eye on the way past him and giving him his best big happy grin. Dean knew exactly what Sammy was smiling at as he walked past it was because once again he was back in trouble with dad. "Shit."

Now dad stepped to where he stood. "Yeah swearing is really going to help you here son. Now why in the name of heaven did you just do that? You know for whatever misguided reason he loves you."

"I was just….I don't know …. it seemed like…"

Now John just shook his head. "Well sounds like some solid reasoning there champ."

John pulled out the chair to the table and sat down, and Dean hung his head for a minute thinking for sure he was about to be the recipient of his second trip over dad's knee in one short morning. "Sit down we clearly need to talk."

Dean did as he was told grateful to be sitting down and again winced still not recovered completely from the last 'talk'"

"Now earlier today you got spanked because you have been making decisions that are immature at best and just plain stupid at worst. Isn't that true?"

Now Dean squirmed in his chair. "Stupid is kind of a harsh word Dad and I don't think calling your children stupid will get you nominated for father of the year either."

Now Dean was very unhappy to see dad lean in so that they were almost nose to nose. "Are you having some sort of episode of brain damage here son? Do you really want to antagonize me right now?"

Dean hadn't often seen that look on his father's face, but he knew for sure that now was not the time to push. "No sir."

Now John leaned back again and sighed. "Okay then you are going to go in there and make things right with your brother. And if you don't or he won't forgive you then you and I will be doing that thing again- the one we did this morning that you disliked so much. Only this time since it'll be the second time I have had to punish you *today* for the same thing it will be much, much worse."

Dean really didn't want to go in and apologize to Sam but he wanted to do what his father said a whole lot less and much, much worse didn't sound so good either seeing as how the first time had sucked enough on its own merit. "Yes sir."

Dean walked down the hall wondering what the hell he had thought he was doing earlier and held no false hopes that even if Sam forgave him any of this was going to be the easy way. He opened the door and Sam was sitting on his bed and still looked furious. "Hey."

Now Sam stood up and got almost nose to nose with Dean. "Did he send you in here to make nice nice with me Dean cause it isn't gonna work."

Now Dean dropped his head and sighed. "Yeah he did and I guess if you don't forgive me I'm gonna get my ass beat again."

Now Sam smiled. "Good cause I definitely am not gonna forgive you that was just mean."

Now Dean sat down on his bed and nodded. "I know I don't even know what I was thinking. Okay that's a lie I do know exactly what I was thinking. Before he did the whole this is gonna hurt you more than me thing he told me that as part of my punishment that you were gonna stay in charge for the next couple of weeks and I guess I might have been kinda touchy about that."

Sam couldn't help the surprised look that crossed his face. "So he did actually punish you then?"

Now Dean looked uncomfortable. "Yeah the part about the woodshed and the strap was true, but he didn't use the strap just his hand and it hurt like hell and yes Francis I too cried like a little girl."

For some reason hearing Dean admit that didn't make Sam quite as happy as he thought it would. "Where did he even find a woodshed anyway?"

Now Dean shook his head "I don't know, it was on a farm that an old friend of his owns or something equally stupid as that."

Now Sam was fighting a smile "I'll bet you were just a little surprised."

"Yeah you think? And man the place musta given him some inspiration cause he just blistered my butt. I mean I thought letting you be in charge was bad enough."

Sam didn't look too convinced. "Yeah well you had no business disregarding an order."

Now Dean looked disgusted. "Dude you are in charge for one week and you are already like the good little soldier."

"I am not a soldier Dean good or otherwise and I sure as hell don't want to be in charge."

Now Dean grimaced "Ever hear him say I'm telling and not asking. I think this is gonna be one of those. Lets just hope you don't get both of us killed."

Now Sam again got nose to nose with his brother. "Why do you say crap like that? Are you trying to get me to smack you one?"

Dean made a come on motion with his hand just to egg Sammy on. He was surprised when Sam jumped on him and knocked him to the floor and for the second time in an hour they were rolling around on the floor. The door flew open and again John pulled one son off of the other although this time it was Sam off of Dean. "Is this how the two of you settle things?"

Now he saw them both trying not to grin. "Sorta? And anyway Dad Dean hits like a girl."

Now Dean turned and smacked this brother on the back of the head. "Yeah well you are a girl Sammy so there."

John rubbed his temples and groaned. "So is everything all right then Sam?" He watched as his youngest son looked to his brother. "Yeah I guess so but he is still just a gigantic ass."

As he said that Dean lunged forward as if he was going to go after Sam again and was stopped when his father caught him by the collar of his shirt. "Do it and die Dean."

Dean held up both hands in surrender. "Now if the two of you are finished there is a job for us tonight. I need some research done and some plans made and if the two of you think you are up for it and can stop rolling around on the floor for longer that ten minutes I could use your help."

John Winchester walked down the hall back to the small living room and couldn't help the smile that always seemed to be plastered across his face when he was around these two. He had felt like a huge part of who he was had died with his wife and yet whenever he was with these two headstrong, passionate and totally alive sons of his he felt as if she were here again. He didn't know how tonight's battle would go or tomorrow or even the day after but he knew one thing. As long as the two in the other room drew breath his life and the life of his late wife would go on.

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