Author's Notes: This has spoilers for the episode 'Dead Man's Blood', and takes place right after the episode.

The Price


Dean: "Saved your ass"
John: "You're right."
Dean: "I am?"
John: "Scares the hell out of me. You two are all I've got. But I guess we are stronger as a family. So. We go after this damn thing – together."
******************

For a moment the room was silent and all three Winchester males stood still and quiet. Dean was the first to break the silence and he spoke so gently that John had to strain to hear him. "Are you sure Dad?"

Now both brothers relaxed as they watched an easy grin come across his face. "As sure as I have ever been boys, about anything."

Dean watched as Sam stepped forward with tears in his eyes and was welcomed into an embrace that was long overdue. With his free hand John Winchester motioned for his oldest to come to him as well and the three stood there holding on to each other as if nothing else existed in this or any other world.

Sam pulled away and laughed just because this was what both he and Dean had wanted, no hell needed to happen and now it was. Dean reached over and punched him lightly on the shoulder the action more affectionate than anything else and he grinned back at him. But they both looked back at John as he cleared his throat. "Now we need to sort out some things including the fact that you both disobeyed a direct order today. Since we will be working together from now on we need to make sure it doesn't happen again."

Now Dean still puzzled again pointed out that the action of disobedience had virtually saved their father's life. "Doesn't matter Dean it could have gone the other way and we all could have died. When we work together you both will be a liability unless you follow my orders exactly."

Now Sammy rolled his eyes and snorted. "Don't you think that you are being just a little hard on him Dad?"

He was surprised when his father turned a cold gaze in his direction. "Well I am not surprised as all I have heard out of you mouth since I've been back has been disrespectful. And you also disobeyed as well as that little stunt with the car which could have killed us all. Not to mention exactly when did it become all right for you to stand chest to chest with me and yell in my face Samuel?"

When Sam didn't answer John speared him with another look. "Did you hear me young man?"

Both Sam and Dean were having the oddest feeling of déjà vu for some reason. "Yes sir, I heard you."

John nodded "And do you have an answer for me?"

Now Sam shook his head. "No sir."

Both brothers looked at each other wondering what was going on. "What would have happened if you were still at home and we were hunting and any of this had happened?"

He could tell by the looks on both of their faces that he knew exactly what he was talking about. "Well, since neither of you has answered I will tell you what would have happened. I would have brought you both home and put you both over my knee. And I am thinking that is exactly where we are going today."

He looked from one amazed face to the other. "Now let's just see it done who wants to go first?"

Now Dean couldn't help himself "Go first Dad what the fuck are you talking about with go first? Did you happen to run into a turn back the clock demon cause Sam and I are like full grown men now."

Dean didn't like the look on his father's face at all. "You will be full grown men when you act like full grown mean and the way I see it that hasn't happened yet. Don't be mistaken here son I am full capable of making this happen with or with out your permission. So make it easier and just accept it."

Now Dean looked at him as if he were insane "Just accept it Dad? Did you hit your head out there with the vampires? Does insanity run in our family?"

John moved in an instant and before Dean knew it his father had a beefy hand wrapped around his bicep. "Okay then your older so makes sense that you go first."

He used his free hand to pull car keys out of his pocket and throw them to Sam who was standing looking like a deer in headlights. "Go and start cleaning the weapons and when Dean is all finished I will send him out and then you and I can have our discussion."

Sam got as far as the door before he turned around and looked at his father with his most puzzled expression. "Dad I went to college and everything."

John just shook his head "And yet you still can't follow a simple order now go."

Dean remained in his father's grasp and fought panic with all that he had. Certainly he wouldn't actually do this would he? As John pulled out the desk chair Dean felt like this was some weird hallucination. His father sat down and tried to pull him across his lap and he began to struggle. "Do you remember when you lived at home what would happen if you fought me on a punishment?"

Dean felt his own temper start to go. "Dude you can't be fucking serious I am NOT taking anything down in your weird little Walton's fantasy."

John signed resigned to the task ahead. "Keep up the mouth son and I will do it FOR you."

Dean again looked at his father as if he were in some weird dream. And John used that glazed look and hesitation to yank Dean across his knee and recognizing both the position and the iron arm around his waist Dean began to struggle. John still in top shape from all his years of hunting easily pinned the boy's arms behind his back and threw a leg over Dean's legs to hold him still. But of course being completely unable to move threw him into a panic.

John gave Dean's hands a good squeeze. "Settle down now this is going to happen."

Dean vehemently shook his head and felt some of the pressure on his hands relaxing and as he was trying to figure out what that meant he felt his father reach under him and unsnap his jeans. And before he knew it he had effectively skinned them off of him. Dean resumed his struggle and he felt a hand at the waistband of his briefs. "Want to loose these too son? At your age I'm thinking a bare assed spanking might just be embarrassing if not uncomfortable."

Now he hung his head completely defeated and bewildered. "No please Dad." He thought even the sound of his voice was pathetic.

His father removed his hand and thankfully left the briefs in place although Dean didn't figure they were going to be any help and the first swat proved that theory to be dead on. He remembered that it had hurt when he had been spanked but he sure didn't remember anything that felt like what his father was doing to his ass. The smacks just kept coming and while he made a promise to himself that he wouldn't cry he couldn't help the owws that were arriving of their own accord. And his ass felt like it was on fire and still his dad kept the steady pace. He tried squirming and wiggling and it only brought even more intense swats and after several on his legs he decided that this shit just needed to end and soon before he made an ass out of himself and cried like a little girl.

Sam stood at the tail gate of his dad's truck with cleaning rag in hand and hadn't touched a single thing. He had heard the angry words from his brother and then it sounded like a moment or two of silence and then he heard the all too familiar sound of his big brother getting his ass whipped. And it didn't sound like there was too much between dad's hand and Dean's butt either. "Oh fuck he really was serious."

Sammy leaned against the back of the truck and thought about how he had hoped this was some kind of joke. And the sound was painfully steady and Sam felt like he might just puke.

And then he realized all the things that he had said or done to dad since he had come back and he had a light bulb moment. If Dean was getting it this hard what would Dad do when it was his turn? "Oh crap this is so not cool."

He could still hear the punishing smacks and now he could even hear small owws and he knew with as tough as Dean was, if he was making oww sounds dad was giving it to him in a big way. His older brother was the toughest guy he knew. And if what was happening was making him make those sounds Sam thought maybe he might give the witness relocation program a try.

Dean hung his head and finally let the tears go as he could stand it no more. He didn't sob just quietly wept and prayed that soon it would be done. Sensing that Dean had finally given in John asked him several questions to help him focus on the reason for the punishment and not just the pain. "Why did this happen Dean?"

He struggled to answer "Cause I screwed up okay I should have done what you told me too."

And as he said it he realized that he meant it. He was nothing if not a good soldier. He was not unhappy that they had saved their fathers life but he was indeed sorry that he had disobeyed an order. "Okay then I think we are done here."

Dean took a deep breath hearing this as his father always landed the last few so that you would remember them and he had no doubt that was coming and he wasn't disappointed. If felt as if he got swatted in exactly the same place three times on each side and he just gave in and wailed. He felt his father release him and rub his back and pull his jeans back up again which started a fresh torrent of tears. It amazed him that he had been shot, knifed, stabbed, kicked, bitten and thrown with out so much as a complaint and ten minutes over the old man's knee and he was sobbing like a baby.

He felt his father help him to standing, and then taking a good look at him he patted his lap. "Did you want to sit on my lap for a minute son?"

Now Dean stopped rubbing his throbbing butt long enough to look incredulous. "I didn't wanna sit on your lap when I was ten much less now."

John fought a smile and nodded and standing up wrapped his son in a hug. And was surprised by the ferocity with which his boy hugged back. He pulled back to look into tear filled hazel eyes. "Hey just a dumb mistake is all, over and done with for now. I still love you even if you are a giant pain in the butt."

Now Dean rolled his eyes. "Yeah well if anyone is a pain in the ass Dad it is definitely you."

John just chuckled at this son of his who dealt with everything with a healthy dose of smart ass. "Do you need to talk about this some more?"

John was surprised at the horrified look on his son's face. "NO no more talking please!"

John fought a smile "I meant actually talking about things Dean."

Now Dean looked even more horrified. "You mean like about my feelings and shit?"

John resumed his stern father act. "Watch the mouth Junior and that's exactly what I meant."

He saw Dean shake his head. "No sir, I have had enough talking to last until I am your age."

John gave his shoulders a little squeeze. "Go on into the bathroom and clean up and go out and relieve Sammy and send him in."

Dean did as he was told and John noted with amusement that he walked the entire way to the bathroom rubbing his injured behind like a four year old.

Sammy heard the sounds stop and prayed that dad hadn't just killed Dean. Within a few minutes he saw the door open and Dean came out and walked towards him. With one look at his brother he knew that it had been bad. He had seen Dean drink all night and shoot pool and hit on the chicks and not even sleep a wink. He had looked much better the next morning than he did now. Sam's stomach did a slow roll.

"Hey." Sam was too horrified to return the greeting. "He wants you to go in now."

Sam shook his head. "No way, nope, not gonna happen, don't think so."

Dean turned to look at him. "I fought him Sammy and he still managed to get me over his knee, jeans down and threatened to take the rest down too. My point is just go and accept it cause if you don't you are gonna get worse than I did."

Now Sam was desperate. "But I went to college, and I'm an adult now and I don't wanna Dean!"

Any other time Dean might have laughed at Sam's antics but not now. "Go on, you are just digging your own grave buddy."

They both stopped as they heard the door open. "Samuel Winchester you have five seconds to get your butt in here."

Dean saw the look of fear in Sam's eyes as he went and he completely understood it. He leaned against the car without thinking and jumped back to standing. "Shit!!" He wondered if his ass or his life would ever be the same again.

Sam Winchester walked to the open door like a man being led to the gallows. His eyes were wide with the horror of the situation and how awful the next few minutes were gonna be. He actually stopped in his tracks and had a thought. None of this was real this was some strange assed dream that he was having because maybe he and Dean had eaten at some Mexican place for dinner. And if this was a dream then maybe it wouldn't hurt. Oh please God he sent a silent prayer that that would be the case.

Walking into the room and finding his father sitting in a chair waiting like he had so many times in Sam's youth made his stomach do a dive. He stood there and just looked at his dad for what seemed like an eternity. "Sam I don't know if you remember how this goes but generally I'm thinking we need to be within touching distance for it to work."

Sam shook his head and felt like he used to feel before a spanking, as if he were on the top of a roller coaster with no way to stop it. "Don't make this worse son come over here and let's just see it done. You know why this is happening."

He still hadn't moved and he saw a look cross his father's face that he hadn't had occasion to see for a long time but it was his last chance look. "If I have to ask once more Sam the jeans are coming down."

Oh shit, he thought that was all kinds of not good. Not wanting to but seeing no other way out he walked to where his father sat and hoped like hell that his dream theory was valid. He tried one last thing. "But Dad I'm not a child."

For whatever reason this made his old man smile. "You are my child Sammy boy and always will be. Now come on stop stalling."

He shook his head and wondered at his height how he would even fit across his dad's knees and if he didn't fit then maybe they could just forget the whole thing right? Dad took his arm and with one good yank had Sam in the proper position and Sam let a swear word slip when he found that he seemed to fit just fine. Probably looked ridiculous as hell of course but still his butt was exactly where dad needed it to be. And as soon as he was in position dad started with a swat that took Sam's breath away. Maybe it was because he hadn't had this done to him for a lot of years or maybe his memories were dim but no doubt this hurt like holy hell and his dad had just started. Within ten times of Johns hand rising and falling Sam felt tears spill down his cheeks and squirming didn't seem to do anything but encourage dad to swat harder.

It occurred to Sam that his dream theory could still be true. He said aloud two times "Wake up Sam, Wake up Sam."

But unfortunately nothing changed except his dad stopped for a moment. Sam couldn't see it from his position of facing the floor but his father was grinning. "Did you say something Sam?"

Now Sam felt sick again realizing that this was no dream and not going to stop until his father wanted it to. "I said I love you Dad."

Now John bit down on the inside of his mouth to keep from laughing. "Hold that thought Sam." And he continued to lay on the blistering smacks.

Sam finally couldn't fight it any longer his ass was an inferno and everything else ached from the squirming he was doing trying to dodge his fathers hand. He let one small sob escape his throat and the rest came with no invitation. He felt his father's hand pause. "Why are you being punished Sam?"

Unfortunately he said the first thing that came to his mind. "Cause we must be taking a tour of beyond fucked and back again welcome to my life?"

And as soon as he said it he knew it was exactly the wrong thing to say at exactly the right time. "Wrong answer Sam, the correct answer is because you disobeyed an order. You and I will be having another one of these tomorrow about your attitude since I've been back but for the insolent way you just answered my question I'm thinking something more immediate is in order."

Later Sam couldn't have told you how it happened but before he knew it his father had both jeans and boxers around his ankles and had him anchored with his leg over Sam's legs and Sam wasn't in a panic until the first swat landed. The sting elicited an actual yell from him.

Dean had made out much better outside than Sam had as he actually had a weapon in his hand. It wasn't clean but in between the sounds of the swats he would look at it every so often. The next sound he heard actually raised the hair on his neck and he immediately recognized it as the sound of Dad's hand on bare skin accompanied by a good hard yell.

"Damn it Sammy I told you not to screw around in there." He hung his head feeling badly for his brother and with the thrumming ache still in his own behind for himself as well. This whole situation just sucked.

Sam forgot about dignity, pride or even the neighbors and just howled at the punishing swats that his father was dishing out. Finally after what to Sam seemed an eternity the
hand stopped. "Do you have anything more to say to me Samuel?"

His father didn't even sound winded. "Yes sir I'm sorry."

He could feel his father nodding. "Good then we are almost done."

Now Sam's eyes widened in dread of the much feared last few swats. And dad didn't disappoint. After it was over Sam just hung his head and cried making no attempt to stop he just gave in completely and totally.

He felt his father adjusting his clothes and that would have hurt if anything at that point could have hurt any worse. His father pulled him to standing and stood up himself and walked them both over to the bed where he sat down and sat Sam down as well. He then wrapped the distraught boy in a hug and just let him cry. "I love you Sammy but it's important that you obey me."

Sam felt completely undone by what had just happened and if he knew nothing else he knew that he wouldn't be disregarding an order any time soon. "I know dad and really I am sorry."

He kissed his son on the forehead and waited a while longer until his crying was done. "I know buddy and I forgive you and I am sorry that was so hard but you have developed quite the attitude lately."

Now Sam tried to look innocent. "Dean is a bad influence on me."

John just smiled and held onto his son a little longer. "Go on into the bathroom and clean your face I'll go and get the bad influence and we can start to pack up."

Sam did as he was told and John walked out to find Dean standing over the open bed of the truck full of weapons which looked no different than before. "Close that up and come on inside."

He noticed that Dean shot him a hateful look. "You didn't have to be so hard on him Dad."

He stopped and turned around. "Dean when are you ever going to start trusting me with your brother? I am the father and I decide what is fair and just for the both of you. And unless you want more afternoons like today you should just accept it and let it go."

He walked back into the motel room and noticed that when Dean came in he looked at him and nodded and John hoped with all his heart that Dean had actually accepted it.

Sam came out of the bathroom and the look that his two sons shared did not escape his notice. "Okay you guys start packing up I'm gonna make some calls about a place for us to stay close to here and then when we get settled we can talk about plans for the demon."

Both sons nodded apparently not wanting to get into any more confrontations with their father today. Sam started packing the bags and Dean reached down to his side of the bed and tossed several empty beer bottles in the trash.

John watched what his son was doing and commented. "That's gonna have to stop to."

Now Dean turned to look at him with amazement. "What littering?"

Sam turned and felt like things were going in slow motion and he almost couldn't watch cause he was pretty sure this was gonna be a huge problem for Dean. "No Dean sitting around in bars and swilling beer that's what. I need you in top form and not hung over."

Now Sam held his breath waiting for the inevitable explosion that was coming and he didn't have to wait long. "What the fuck Dad you think that you are gonna keep me from drinking a beer?"

John advanced on his son and for the second time today wrapped a large hand around his bicep. "Yes I am Dean, and would you like another demonstration of what happens when you don't follow an order?"

Even from where he stood Sam could see Dean fighting it for all he was worth. He wanted with all that he had to tell dad to stuff it but after what had just happened he also didn't want to tell him that. "Well do you?"

Dean hung his head done for. "No sir."

John nodded happy with this outcome "Good then get busy again, both of you."

They had both cars packed and the room emptied in record time and as they walked towards the cars John turned to Dean. "Give Sammy the keys he is following us in the Impala."

Dean narrowed his eyes. "Following *us*?"

Both boys watched as John nodded. "Yeah us Dean I want some time alone with you to discuss the condition of that vintage car I gave to you."

Now Sam saw the color leave Dean's face. "Oh crap."

John just continued to look sternly to his eldest son and took the keys out of Dean's hands and gave them to Sam. The ride to the house was long and uncomfortable for both of them.

They got settled into the rental house and even made a trip to the grocery store and John fixed a meal for the three of them although it didn't escape his notice that neither of his sons sat too comfortably during dinner. They went over some plans about how they were going to handle this latest and most important hunt. Finally at ten o'clock John told both of his sons to go in and go to bed. He found himself staring at two sets of incredulous eyes. "Uh Dad it's like ten o'clock Dude."

Dean watched as his father frowned at him. "No kidding good night."

John stood up and kissed each of his sons on the forehead and turned them towards their room.

Dean and Sam looked at each other and neither said a word until finally Dean broke the silence. "What the hell has happened to our life? One minute we are these wicked cool demon hunters and the next we're four freaking years old?"

Sam put his head in his hands. "My butt I swear is NEVER gonna be the same."

Dean just shot him a disgusted look "Yeah well I see you one really sore ass and raise you the next month of car shit it's gonna take for me to do before dad is satisfied that I haven't defiled his baby permanently."

Sam very gently leaned back on the bed. "This sucks so bad why didn't we want to find the demon on our own again?"

Dean just shrugged "I don't know, what the hell were we thinking?"

There was a knock on the door and John stuck his head in. "I sent you in here to sleep not have a slumber party now get into those beds."

Both said "yes sir" before they even thought about it and then groaned when he left the room. Before too long Dean and Sam were in their beds and both still not quite believing the day that they had had. "Oh shit Dean I can't sleep its like ten fifteen I haven't been to bed this early since I was like in grade school."

Dean just smirked, "Do you have any idea how fucking long it's been since I've had to sleep on my stomach Dude?"

Now he heard Sammy groan as he struggled to find a comfortable position. "Yeah just about as long as it's been for me that was like some horrible trip down memory lane. I was having like flash backs honesty I was Dean."

Now Dean groaned. "Well swear to God I thought my ass was gonna spontaneously combust. He musta smacked me like a hundred times at least and like I said before this just sucks."

They both quieted as they heard their father yell in and tell them to go to sleep. "Yes sir."

Both brothers waited until their father was out of listening range and whispered. "Great now he thinks that we are both like twelve again. I swear Dean this has been one strange freakin day."

Suddenly Dean had a thought. "Oh shit do you suppose he'll think that we're old enough to date?"

And from the living room they both cringed when they heard their father. "Do you two actually want me to come in there?"

Dean covered his head with his pillow. "I am gonna close my eyes and when I open them I am gonna be a full grown adult again and if I'm not just shoot me."

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

Sam and Dean stood up and stretched both of Sam's hands immediately going back to rub yet again. He didn't think he had slept a wink last night because every time he rolled over onto his back it would wake him up. He looked over to his brother and caught him doing the same thing and realized he wasn't in much better shape. "So what by all that's holy do you think he has us up and out of bed already for? Unless that travel alarm is wrong it's six freakin thirty in the freakin morning."

Sam shook his head. "Dude I wouldn't be taking an attitude like that unless you want another talk with him."

Now he watched as Dean paced. "This is like some nightmare version of the damn Twilight Zone. And the thing that really frosts my cookies the worst is that we *wanted* this."

Sam thought about that for a moment. "Well to be fair we didn't really want this. We wanted to hunt the demon with dad but not in between spankings."

Now Dean actually flinched. "Do you have to say that WORD!!"

Sam just stared at his feet for a moment. "Sorry."

John opened the door to the room that they were sharing. "Hey are you guys up and dressed for a run?"

Now Dean looked as if he was crazy "Only if you are planning on either chasing us or there is a diner with hot waitresses within fifty feet."

They both saw their father smile. "No just a good, hard eight mile run. You both look like you could use some cardio."

Sam felt like he wanted to cry. "Can't I just drive along behind you guys in the Impala? And what about breakfast, we're growing boys we need our meals."

He watched as the good soldier shook his head. "Not before a run Francis unless you want to have something on your stomach to actually puke up."

Sam leaned in and in a very quiet voice said, "kiss ass."

He saw his father looking at him. "Did you say something Sam?"

Now Sam shook his head. "No I just sneezed."

"Yeah I thought that was it."

Within ten minutes they were all on the road and after some stretching went for a run. Sam was surprised that Dad ran with them and that it wasn't as hard as he remembered. They had gone about a mile and Dean was lagging behind and Sam slowed his pace to match that of this brother and let dad run ahead. "So Dean tired yet. You seem just alittle winded already."

He was gratified to see his older brother send him a hateful look. "Yeah well not all of us have those freakish gazelle girl legs that you do and actually have to work for it."

He had a mean comeback all ready when they both heard their dad yell over his shoulder. "Less talk, more work please." Sam wondered how in the hell he did that.

They had gone about five miles and were getting ready to turn around when dad suggested that they stop and take a break and drink some water. Dean took a sip and thought for sure he was going to bring it back up again and his gigantic sized brother barely looked like he had broken a sweat. Life was just not fair sometimes. Dean noticed something just over dad's right shoulder and looked closely not sure if he was seeing what he thought he was.

"Dad do you see that cave over there?"

John looked over his shoulder and simply nodded. "Yes Dean this is the woods and the woods are often full of caves."

Dean shook his head "Yeah that's true enough but see the small rock formation in front doesn't like look like the formation that Miek demons use to mark their caves?"

Sam turned to his brother certain that this was some bullshit thing he was making up. "Miek demons bro I doubt it."

Now his father turned towards Sam "As a matter of fact you brother is right they are usually Dutch in origin and although rare many still exist."

Watching as his father turned with a huge smile to his brother and patted him on the shoulder. "Good eyes Dean you have really turned into an amazing hunter."

John walked down the incline and motioned for his sons to follow and put a finger to his lips for silence. He looked at the rock formation and nodded again patting a beaming Dean on the back. "Yes son looks like your right. I have to say just how proud I am of you Dean I never would have even seen that."

They all headed back to the road. "So what's the deal with these things then dad?"

He saw his father again send his brother a look of pride. "Why don't you tell him Dean?"

Now Dean tried to look modest and not smile but Sam wanted to smack the self satisfied look off of his face. "Well Sammy they are really tall, and kind of stupid, and very slow. They live off of small animals and deer but have been known to carry off a small child if they are hungry enough, that's why they are dangerous. The rocks have something to do with their age. The one we just saw had a two and a three so that means that it is fairly young and immature."

"Good work Dean."

If his father congratulated his brother one more time he was gonna puke. "So let's just go back and kill it then."

Dean got a very grave expression "They sleep during the day and can't be killed while sleeping Sam that would be suicide because you would be trapped in their cave until it woke up."

He couldn't believe that his father actually hugged his brother. "Now that's my boy."

Sam took the opportunity to give his genius hunter brother the finger when dad had his back turned. John turned back around and walking over to Sam took his arm and swatted his already and still miserable butt twice. "Green is a bad color for you Samuel."

He fumed as he rubbed and watched helplessly as Dean added his two cents. "Listen to Dad Sammy."

They finished their run and arrived back at the rental house and dad made good to his word and fixed them all a really nice breakfast and it had been sometime since Sam had worked out and he was ravenously hungry. He noticed his father watching him eat with an amused look on his face. "Kinda reminds me of when you were thirteen and going through that growth spurt. Remember Dean?"

Now Dean smiled too. "Yeah I almost starved to death that year."

Soon they had polished off breakfast and had the dishes done. John noticed that neither boy spent too much time sitting and that had to be a carry over from yesterday. And it made him hate all that much more what he had to do but he was committed to doing it all the same.

"Dean go on out and get started on some of the car stuff we discussed yesterday please."

John saw Dean look first to him and then to his brother whose color had gone a little gray after hearing what he had said. "But Dad…"

He gave Dean's shoulder a re-assuring squeeze. 'It'll be okay son just go on now."

Dean did as he was asked and John looked to his younger son who looked like someone about to be on the receiving end of his second spanking in as many days and that was exactly who he was. "Come on lets go into the living room and talk."

He saw Sam swallow hard and he knew that the boy knew without any doubt how much trouble he was in but to his credit he did as he was asked to do. "Now you know that every since I have been back your attitude has been anywhere from disrespectful to downright rude. You could have hurt or killed all of us with that little stunt with the Impala yesterday. I told you that I was going to spank you again and I am."

He felt like an even bigger heel when he saw Sam's eyes fill with tears again. "Now we can do this two ways and the choice is entirely up to you Sam."

He watched as his son nodded. "First of all I can just do it and you can accept it and we will be done. Or you can fight me on it like yesterday with both word and deed and it can be as bad as what happened then again."

He felt an actual physical pain when he saw the look on his younger son's face at this. Sam stood up and walked to where he sat and looked at him sincerity evident on all of his features. "I'm sorry Dad about all the stuff that I said and the way that I acted especially with the car thing. I was still mad at you because you left us again after the last time."

John breathed a sigh of relief and realized that the admission his son had just made couldn't have been an easy one. "So how do you want me to handle this then?"

Sam shook his head even though no question had been asked of him. "I'll just accept it Dad please could we do it that way?"

He stood up and pulled his son into a hug. "You are a good boy Sammy and that was the best choice to make."

He held on for a moment and could feel him tremble against his chest. John sat down hating to have to do this again but knowing that it was important that both of his sons knew that they could trust him. Even if it was something as unpleasant as this. Sitting down as not to prolong the situation he reached for Sam's forearm and pulled him across his lap again.

He took a couple of deep breaths and hated having to do this as he knew it was going to be ever so unpleasant for Sam. He brought his hand down and swatted from side to side and was dismayed to hear a sob already. He had hoped that it would at least be a few minutes before Sam needed to cry. He continued to land fairly hard swats and he was sure that he felt at least as bad as Sam. It didn't take long before Sam had just given in and was accepting whatever he was doing and he knew that the point had been made and accepted.

"Are we going to need to discuss your attitude again young man?" He asked in his sternest father's voice.

Sam took a couple of hitching breaths and managed to get a no sir out. John gave him four more hard swats and just felt sick. He let the boy cry for a few minutes and then he pulled him up and sat him down on the couch on his left side. Putting an arm around him Sammy buried his face in his chest and wept. John remembered all the times in his life when Sammy had cried like that and now like then he only wanted to be able to make the pain go away but of course he couldn't.

"I'm sorry that I had to leave you before, in fact I'm sorry that I ever had to leave you son. I know it must have felt like I was deserting you."

This admission only made the weeping worse. John sat with him for a long while and could tell that he was just exhausted. "Come on lets get you back to bed for a while."

Now he felt Sam shake his head. "No dad I need to help Dean and I'm soooo sorry. Please don't be mad at me anymore."

John felt his emotions all come to the surface and he felt as raw as Sam did. "Sammy I'm not mad anymore. I forgive you buddy and I know in the future you will do better right?"

Now he was Sam nod his head. "Will you leave us again?"

John felt like his heart was being ripped out. "We are going to find the demon and finish this and I won't have to leave you. Okay?"

Sam nodded and sniffled and much to John's amusement wiped his nose on his shirt sleeve. "Come on now into bed with you for just a little while okay?"

His son's response of "yes sir" was music to his ears.

After he tucked his tall and full grown son into bed like he had when he was four, he went into the kitchen, got a cup of coffee, sat at the kitchen table, and tried his damnedest to compose himself. But really he wanted to cry every bit as much as Sam had. Finally he went to find the other problem and settle things with him. As he expected Dean was outside by the car. John noted with amusement that he didn't seem to be doing anything other than standing there and staring at the house.

"Hey how is it going with the car son?"

Dean turned a cold shoulder to him. "Yeah."

Now he walked around and got into Deans face. "Dean I know that you're mad at me but I didn't have a choice."

Now Dean snorted. "Bullshit dad. So he wasn't the good little soldier so fucking what."

John shook his head in warning. "You don't know because you aren't a father and you don't have any sons and I don't have to explain this to you. But I love you and your brother and believe me when I say I had no choice but to do what I did. And if you want to be mad at me go ahead that'll pass eventually to."

John started to walk away when he heard Dean call to him. "Dad?"

Now he turned and looked at his eldest. "Yeah Dean."

He watched as Dean furrowed his brow. "He's okay right? I mean other than the….talking stuff?"

John saw the underlying question right off the bat. "We worked through all of it Dean and he's taking a rest for alittle while."

He continued to walk and again heard Dean call to him and he turned around. "Yes Dean."

He saw a blush come across the features of his usually stoic son. "Did you want to help me out here a little bit? I think I might be able to use a second pair of hands."

He smiled a broad smile and walked towards his son thankful that this was behind them all. "You know Dean that whole thing with the Miek demon was really pretty impressive. That was a really tough one and you saw it when even I hadn't."

Now Dean blushed again. "You aren't just saying that cause I'm pissed at you are you Dad?"

John shook his head. "Wouldn't dream of it Dean, wouldn't dream of it. Now do you want me to hold that wrench for you?"

His son nodded and he did just that.


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


Sam came out of the room that he and Dean's were sleeping in feeling embarrassed and foolish. He knew that his eyes were puffy from sleeping and crying and while he had tried valiantly to fight both he had lost the battles. To his surprise Dean and dad were sitting in the kitchen and playing cards. He stood in the hallway and watched them for a few minutes and was amazed at the easy smiles and the way they seemed like friends as much as father and son.

His own paternal relationship had always been more complicated than that. But as he had told his father just yesterday now they had more similarities than differences. And he knew without any reservation that his father loved him and that made him drop his head and smile. He actually smiled at the unusual way that his father showed that love. And while this morning had really sucked he had known that he deserved it without question. And in a weird way it made him feel secure. He just shook his head at that strange truth.

He was startled as his father all but ran into him as he stood in the hallway smiling. "Hey sorry I didn't see you son, everything all right?"

Now Sam lowered his eyes and was surprised to feel a blush across his face. "Yeah and Dad I really am sorry that I behaved so badly to you."

He felt himself being pulled into a big hug and then a kiss on the forehead, which his dad always did and it made him feel about four. "We are all done with that Sammy forgotten and forgiven."

Now he laughed out loud. "Well maybe forgiven but I don't think my ass has forgotten just yet."

His father took a palm and placing it on his shoulder squeezed lightly. "Love you Sammy just remember that."

As his father walked back into his bedroom he stood there thinking it was so odd that he could be smiling and yet tears rolling down his face but that was exactly what was happening. He hastily wiped his face and went into the kitchen and found Dean looking like he wasn't just trying to eavesdrop which meant that he had been. "Hey."

Now he watched as his older brother broke out into a beautiful smile. "So hey, how was your trip down memory lane little bro. As much fun as you remember?"

He shook his head. "Shut up Dean."

Now Dean looked concerned. "Only kidding Junior I know it sucked cause I could hear most of it and it sounded hideous all right. In fact my ass was just aching in sympathy at even the thought of getting it again."

Sam leaned against the counter very gently. "Yeah well I kinda have done a hell of a lot of pushing with Dad the last few days."

Now he could see the concerned look on his older brother's face. "Sometimes it just goes with the territory Bro."

Sam nodded and sniffed and turned to look on the counter. "What is that?"

He looked into Dean's grinning face. "I dunno something Dad put into the crock pot."

Sam chuckled out loud and asked the obvious question. "Dude dad owns a crock pot?"

And now Dean was laughing too. "I don't know but whatever it is it smells great. The man is full of surprises."

John walked back into the kitchen. "It's called crock pot beef stroganoff. And it really is just great."

Both of his sons started laughing and laughed until they cried. "What is the problem with the two of you?"

Dean was the first to answer. "Well we just aren't used to you being so…..domestic I guess."

John turned to Sam now who had finally curbed his laughter. "So Dad do you like have a demon hunter's cook book out that we don't know about maybe?"

Sam looked at Dean and he picked up on it right away. "Yeah with like Poltergeist Pot Roast or Ghost Gravy."

Now of course Sam had to jump back in again. "And you could tour the country and make personal appearances and sign the cookbooks and hunt the demons. It'd be perfect."

John just shook his head. "I am going to stir my creation and when I turn back around you two had better have done a disappearing act or you'll get none of the dessert I made."

Dean just couldn't resist. "Oh is it real devils food cake."

John turned and pointed with the wooden spoon. "Go."

Soon John had served dinner and they had eaten and they both had to admit that dad was right and that his dinner was superb. Sam started carrying dishes to the sink and John told him to stop. "We have to go after this Miek demon now. It is weakest right after it wakes up."

They all headed for the car and John got several things from the back of his truck as well. Dean drove to the cave and found it fairly easily in the fading daylight. Each of them had a sword and Dean had a gun with rock salt. It was decided that John had the most experience and he would kill it. "Yeah cause this demon is tricky to kill, not as easily done as you might think."

Sammy rolled his eyes again at Dean's attempt to suck up to dad and the way that their father stood there looking all proud and Sam was surprised that he didn't hand out any damn cigars. "Yeah whatever, let's just do it."

They all went inside the cave and the demon was just waking as John had predicted and Dean hit it with the rock salt in the face. It fell back down onto the ledge it had been sleeping on and screamed in frustration and pain. John went to move in for the kill but Sammy stepped in first. He was going to show his dad that Dean wasn't the only hunter in the Winchester family.

Sam heard somewhere in the back of his mind his father yell "Nooo!!" but he didn't stop intent on murdering the demon and he plunged his sword into its chest to the hilt. He saw the satisfying whoosh as the spirit disintegrated before his eyes and then smiled at a job well done. And just as he was imagining their dad finally congratulating him on his fine skills he heard a funny tearing sound and smelled a putrid odor and then was literally pelted with buckets of pus and slime and looking to his father he found him covered even worse. He heard Dean's shocked intake of breath and turning to look at him he noticed that of course not so much as a drop had landed on the golden boy.

His father turned to look at him and Sam noticed that when he did a huge glob of slime slid down his face. "With the Miek demon having a very viscous constitution you NEVER stab them in the center of their chest Samuel. Because if you do while they die they leave a very nasty mess to clean up."

Sam turned to look at Dean gently as to not disturb the slime that covered him head to foot. He could tell with one look that the bastard was trying not to laugh. Suddenly they heard another sound from the corpse and dad was on the receiving end of another bucket or so of the gelatinous goop in the face. "Son on a bitch! Dean go to the car and see if you can find a towel or something and your brother and I will wait right here until you get back."

Sam could hear Dean laughing all the way to the car. Dean came back with some rags and they were of little use with the way both he and dad were covered. And even though he was covered in slime Sam noticed that dad sent him some very nasty looks while they tried to clean up. Meanwhile Dean drug the carcass out and burned it. Finally they cleaned out the lair and were ready to go. As they walked towards the cars Dean who had not stopped smiling since the kill started shaking his head. "Uh I think you both need to go back in dads truck cause you are all slimy and smelly and well I take the best care of the car that I am able to you know."

Both dad and San stopped and turned to look at Dean. For a minute Dean thought Sam was going to smack him. The dad looked at him and raised a filthy eyebrow "Can it Junior I'm just not in the mood."

Now Sam looked at him and smiled. "Yeah can it Junior he's just not in the mood."

Both brothers were surprised when dad turned a furious gaze in Sam's direction "Oh you are in so much trouble Sam don't even think about making it worse. I don't wanna hear a single word out of you all the way home."

"But Dad…"

He shook a still slimy finger in his face. "That's two words now shut it."

The drive back to the motel was silent and Sam thought of a million things he would like to say but unfortunately dad wasn't in a conversational mood. They went into the house and dad headed straight for the shower. Sam looked over his shoulder to see Dean grinning and fighting a laugh. It had been a long two days since dad had come back and his ass was still not recovered and something in Sam just snapped. "Oh that is just it."

Now Dean gave him his best effort at the "what?" look.

"You are so going down." And before Dean could react Sam lunged at him and knocked him to the floor.

Sam landed on top of him and Dean effectively broke his fall and because he was bigger than Dean he managed to transfer a great deal of slime onto his older brother. "Get off of me you moron."

Now Sam was just being stubborn as well as pissed and they rolled around on the floor for a minute trying each to get the upper hand. Sam managed to slam Dean's shoulder into the side of the dresser and the lamp fell and broke but neither one stopped. Now Dean was struggling to push Sam off but it seemed as it he weighed a ton. Using his legs he shoved Sam backward and smiled when he heard his back connect with the corner of the wall with a hard thud.

But Sam just shook it off and took another leap at Dean who kept trying to push Sam off but he was covered in slime that he couldn't get any leverage. Again they rolled around on the floor and this time headed towards the nightstand and the clock was the next thing to hit the floor and break. They were both so intent on getting the upper hand that neither had heard the bathroom door open. "What the hell is going on out here?"

Dad who apparently had had his shower interrupted by the noise stood there bare chested with only his jeans on. Neither Dean nor Sam answered the question that he had bellowed. "Get up both of you."

They both did as he told them and both were still breathing hard from the struggle and Sam noted with some satisfaction that Dean was also now in serious need of a shower. Dean wiped a hand across his face and swore. "Shit".

Neither one wanted to look at their father so they stared at the floor instead. "You know boys I had thought that now that you are so full grown that you would be like I don' t know- full grown. Imagine my surprise when I come back to find out that the two of you are like the biggest ten year olds I have ever had the displeasure to meet."

He paused and they both squirmed. "It isn't bad enough that neither one of you can seem to follow an order. Or that I have already blistered you both once and one of you actually twice. The thing that amazes the hell out of me is with all this one upping and who is the favorite crap that the two of you could hunt together at all."

Now Dean looked like he wanted to make a point and found himself on the receiving end of a furious glance. "Did I ask you to speak young man?"

Now Dean shook his head vigorously no. "Then don't."

And he turned to Sam "So much as a look from you Samuel and you will be very, very sorry. Understand?" Sam's eyes widened and he shook his head.

John stepped over the broken remnants of the lamp mindful of his bare feet and sat down on Sam's bed. "Dean get your ass over here."

Now Dean's eye's got wide too. "Dad?"

John tightened his jaw. "Did I stutter now move."

Dean looked at Sam like he couldn't believe what he had just heard but did as he was told. As soon as he got within touching distance John grabbed his arm and yanked him across his lap. He raised his hand and smacked Dean hard and fast and Sam actually counted fourteen swats before he stopped. It all happened so fast that Dean didn't struggle or cry but when John stood him back up he immediately reached back to rub out the sting.

"Sam."

Now Sam shook his head, as his behind still hadn't recovered from this morning or yesterday. "Dad please."

John shook his head. "If it had hurt that badly I am thinking the effects would have lasted longer than a few hours. Now Sammy."

Sam felt tears well in his eyes but dropping his head he did what he had been told to do. And like Dean he felt himself yanked over dad's knee and on the receiving end of fourteen swats. He felt dad pull him to standing and then he himself stood and headed back into the bathroom. Getting to the door he turned and looked at his recently once again chastised son's.

"Either the two of you are going to straighten up or I am going to go out and buy a good sturdy paddle cause frankly I am tired of having a sore hand from all the smacking I have been doing on both of your butts."

Dean thought his eyes were gonna pop out of his head and then he felt a nervous laugh that he couldn't stop. "Dad you're not serious?"

John looked at Dean and smiled. "Maybe I'm not and then again maybe I am. Guess you'll just have to wait and see. Now I think I'll finish in the shower get this room cleaned up."

He went back into the bathroom. For a minute Sam and Dean just stood and stared at each other horror evident on both their faces. "He wouldn't do that would he Dean?"

Now Dean shrugged "How the hell am I supposed to know?"

Neither had moved other than to try and rub the latest sting out. "Look he musta been kidding, he never even owned a …well one of those things."

Dean shook his head. "Yeah but he also used to seem to think some of this shit we did was cute too. I don't think he's amused anymore."

Now it was Sam's turn to become panicked "Oh fuck that's true."

Dean always the one in charge was the one who formulated the plan and laid it out. "Look we will just stop the crap. You are his favorite I have always know that."

Now Sam shook his head. "Oh no it's you Dean really."

Dean just shrugged "Okay look let's just clean this up and forget it okay no more of this crap while he is around."

He held out a hand, which Sam shook and they both started cleaning up the mess they had made. In the bathroom standing with his ear to the door listening to every word stood John Winchester. He had a huge grin on his face and he chuckled to himself and was damn glad to be back with his sons again. And even though they didn't need to know it he still thought they were both pretty damn funny.

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