Author's Note: This story has spoilers for the episode 'Nightmare'.

The Visions

Dean and Sam had just gotten to the secluded cabin and stowed their stuff. Dean had rented it for a week and had actually gone to the grocery store and laid in supplies. Even he realized that the both of them needed a rest but Sam was his major concern right now. He was not psychic like Sam but he was perceptive and he knew damn good and well that the last case that they had worked had all but done Sam in. Feeling much like a mother hen he had sent Sammy to bed and setting the weapons out started his ritual cleaning and maintenance more to give his mind something to do than anything else.

Truth be told Sam had scared the hell out of him the last few days and he wasn't sure what to make of any of it. He knew that somehow they were both connected to the boy who had killed himself, but especially Sam. But the thing that had terrified him this time had been Sammy's visions. Not so much because of what he had seen although that was scary enough, but more because of what they seemed to take out of him. He was in a very fragile emotional state right now and it worried his brother a great deal. And while Dean avoided emotional crap as much as he could there was no avoiding this cause Sammy was in pain.

He finished his job with the weapons and put everything back into the case he carried all of them in and laid down on the sofa. What he really wanted was to think about all of this. If he could only figure out some way to help his brother deal with some of what he had seen and heard they could put it behind them. And not for the first time either he wished Dad were here to help him sort this all out. And within a few minutes he too fell asleep.

A loud banging noise startled Dean out of his deep sleep and it took him a few minutes to realize where he was and what he was doing. Again he heard the noise and it finally made sense that someone was at the door. He stood up feeling stiff from being thrown into the wall yesterday and stretched reaching almost by instinct for his knife which was on the table next to where he had fallen asleep. Getting to the door and seeing that it was daylight he became more irritated than afraid. He wondered who the hell would be at their front door at this hour of the morning. He tried to look through the window but was unable to see anything. Cautiously opening the door he was astounded at what he found there.

"Dad? What are you doing here?"

He felt himself being pulled into a hug and unable to help himself he hugged back and felt tears sting his eyes. "How did you even know where we were?"

Dean looked at his father and realized that never had he been happier to see him and it was as if his earlier wish had been granted. If ever Sam needed him it was now but how had he known that? Once again it occurred to him that his dad still hadn't said a word. "Dad?"

Looking closely he almost couldn't believe that he saw tears in his stoic father's eyes. "Sorry son I just wanted to take a minute and really look at you. You look tired Dean; I understand that the last one was a bad one."

Now Dean felt his eyes widen and again wondered just how John Winchester knew that. But he did know it and it was most certainly the truth of the situation. "Yeah forget about me Sam took the worst of it."

John Winchester eyed his oldest son critically. "Even so you look bad and don't try to pretend you don't feel just as bad as you look either."

Dean ducked his head feeling chastised and wondered in amazement when he would stop feeling like a little kid when his dad was around. "Where is Sammy?"

Dean looked over his shoulder towards the back of the cabin where Sam was still sleeping. "He's still asleep."

John nodded. "For how long?"

Consulting his watch Dean realized that his brother had already been asleep for fourteen hours and told their father as much. "Okay then he will keep; first of all I need to have a talk with you about some things."

For some reason Dean just didn't like the look on his fathers face or the way that he had made that announcement. "Look Dad I have a million things to do here, maybe we could talk later."

As he walked past his father to go into the kitchen he was amazed to feel him grab his arm and use that to hold him in place as he landed a hard swat onto his backside. "Owww Dad what the hell?"

He looked to his father who looked resolute. "We will talk now young man."

Using the same hand he had just delivered a swat with John Winchester pushed his son towards the couch. But stubborn to the end Dean refused to sit down. "Look Dad it isn't like I am some nine year old you can't just come in here and start swatting me and think that is gonna make me do what you want."

All John did was take one more step towards Dean and raised his eyebrows.

"Okay, okay then I'm sitting now are you happy?"

John fixed his oldest son with a harsh glance and was pleased to see him squirm. "Now the last time I saw you, we had a rather intense discussion about your foolishly putting your life in danger. Do you remember that son?"

Dean looked at him like he had lost his mind. "Oh yeah Dad I haven't exactly forgotten about that night and in fact not too damn likely that I ever will either."

Dean stopped and then paused thinking that maybe he stepped over that line that he loved to walk on yet again. "Well for something that had such a profound effect on you it doesn't seem like you learned a whole lot."

Now Dean just looked confused. "How did you come to that conclusion?"

John stood over his son and crossed his arms. "Well maybe it was the fact that you stepped in front of a loaded gun and almost got your brains blown out for starters."

Dean felt the color leave his face. "There is just no way that you could know about that."

And only then did he realize that if his father hadn't known he had just all but confessed. "Shit."

"Now today my main concern is Sam, and then later on you and I will be having a discussion about how fighting the fight can be done without constantly putting your own life on the line."

Now Dean was fidgeting on the couch. "By discussion do you mean like the kind where we sit down and share a couple of brewskies and talk or the kind where you yell at me hard enough to peel the wallpaper off the walls?"

John shook his head and Dean looked miserable. "Oh crap you mean the kind where you don't say anything and I say stuff like oww, oww, please I'm sorry, I'll agree to anything if you just stop?"

"That is exactly the kind of discussion we will be having."

"Dude that's just wrong."

"Here." John reached in his pocket and handed Dean a good sum on money. "Go into town and go to the grocery store and buy some groceries."

He wasn't surprised when his son once again resisted. "I already bought groceries Dad."

John shook his head at what he heard. "Yeah but use that money and buy some healthy stuff. Fruit and steaks and stuff that you and Sam like. And get some ice-cream he always did like ice cream."

Dean rolled his eyes. "Yeah like when he was four maybe."

John stopped and turned to look harshly at his older son. "Did you say something son?"

Knowing better than to answer that question Dean just shook his head no and getting his coat headed for the door. "You wouldn't be sending me out for some bogus errand to ditch me would you? I mean this would be a good way to get rid of me so that you can come down hard on little brother now wouldn't it?"

By looking at the expression on his face Dean knew that his dad had taken about all the lip that he was going to. "That's entirely between Sam and I and you are already in deep enough with me. Did you want to make it worse for yourself?"

John was not surprised to see his oldest son suddenly staring at his feet as if they were as a great interest. "Did you hear me son?"

Dean rolled his eyes again "Yeah I heard you and yeah I'm going to the store now."

Dean threw his coat on and headed for the door. "Look Dad just go easy on Sam, this has been really hard on him."

John just shook his head. "When are you going to start trusting me about issues dealing with your brother?"

When Dean had no answer he just patted him on the back. "Now go on and get out of here and I promise to tread lightly about some things with Sammy."

Dean turned and looked pleadingly at his father one more time. "But Dad…."

John loosing complete patience with his elder son pointed to the door. "Go!" And much to his relief his son obeyed.

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

John Winchester went into the small kitchen of the cabin and looked around determining what was where and looking at the groceries that Dean had bought. He had to hand it to his son he had done a credible job of buying healthy and nutritious food. And that fact alone scared him more that almost anything. John wondered what Dean was preparing for. He looked over his shoulder towards the hallway where the bedrooms were and heard the shower running. He took a deep breath knowing that now it was time for the healing to begin. He went quietly into the bedroom where Sam had been sleeping and made the bed and then sat down on it.

He didn't have to wait long before his youngest son made an entrance in his boxers and tee shirt to retrieve the rest of his clothes. He was shocked at the dark circles underneath the handsome boy's eyes. After fourteen plus hours he should at least look alittle rested. John wondered how often he was waking with nightmares. "Dad…what are you doing here?"

He was further dismayed to hear the hint of tears in Sam's voice. Dean had definitely been right Sam had taken this hard. He stood and embraced the boy worried further to find that he was actually trembling. No wonder Dean had been so adamant that he be gentle with the boy.

"I came son because I knew that you needed me."

Sam pulled away from him and the angry boy that he had been at the beginning of the last visit they had resurfaced. "Yeah I'm sure that's it."

John knew that he needed to get the upper hand and damn fast. "I thought we were past that anger son, I thought last time I saw you we worked through some of that."

His younger son fixed him with an unhappy look. "Yeah I'm sure you did think that Dad. It must make walking away from both of your sons so much easier for you."

Knowing that they had bigger things to solve John took the direct approach. "We are not going to go there this time Sam. I get it… I was gone and you were angry and probably still are and I need to prove that I am still alpha male. And you know what son maybe I do but even given that, this time we aren't gonna go there. This time isn't about any of that this time is about you."

He was surprised to see Sam's face crumble and he pulled his now crying son into an embrace and then lead him to the bed where he sat them both down. "I'm sorry Dad; I can't seem to stop crying. Everything hurts so much. He said his father blamed him; he blamed him for all of it, even his mother's death. Did you ever want to blame me? Was it my fault? His father hurt him…did you ever want to hurt me? Did I deserve that…did he?"

John felt sick as he had known much but not all of what the boy had said to Sam but he didn't want to stop the flow of words knowing instinctively that his son needed to say them aloud.

Pulling his son to his chest he just held on for what seemed like a long time until the tears slowed. Putting a finger under his chin and turning the tear stained face towards his he looked at his precious son. "Sam I never blamed you because none of this was your fault. I never wanted to hurt you and never would and would kill anyone who did. You don't deserve anything but love and acceptance. This boy's father was sick and filled with hate and who knows what else. He had no right to do the things that he did to his son. Is that why the boy killed him because he used to abuse him?"

Sam wiped his face and nodded. "Yeah but not used to either, he still did right up until he died. He showed us bruises that he had on his ribs from a beating."

Both father and son sat for a long moment each caught up in their own thoughts. "A lot of this son I just don't know about yet, but one thing for certain is that you have never deserved to be treated with anything but love and kindness."

Sam dissolved into another bout of tears and John grabbed him again and held on tight. After a few minutes John once again looked into tear filled green eyes. "Thanks Dad for not blaming me or hating me."

The former military man knew from the quivering lip that Sammy was fighting with all he had that that admission had not been easy for him to make. "I could never hate you Sammy boy you have to know that…never as long as I draw breath."

Sam looked surprisingly relieved, and John vowed to himself that before the next week was over, that both of these boys of his would know just how much he loved them.

Looking to his youngest he knew without asking that he still had yet to hear all of it. "Okay buddy tell me the rest."

Sammy's eyes widened and he sighed. "The visions were in the daytime instead of being nightmares and well when Dean was upstairs and I was locked in a closet I….."

John looked to his child curious as to what he was going to say. "You…." he prompted.

"I moved a really big china cabinet to get to Dean."

Now John sighed with relief. "Well son adrenaline is an amazing thing and surprising strength is just one thing that can happen."

Suddenly Sam looked sick. "I did it with my mind Dad."

John sat for a moment trying to assimilate the information he had just been given. "Oh."

Now he could see the anger spark again in Sam's eyes. "Oh…oh… that's all you have to say is oh. How bout saying what you really think and that's like I must be some kind of freak like this kid was. Well at least there is another reason for you to stay the hell away from me, beside the whole I look like Mom thing."

John fought the anger that rose to the surface knowing that his child was once again testing him. "I already told you Samuel that we are not going there this time. Make no mistake I won't tell you again."

Apparently his own anger must have been evident on his features as Sam looked at him and swallowing hard dissolved into tears again. Again pulling the boy to his chest he held on tight. "You are not a freak Sam and you know that. The ability to move things with your mind is just an ability much like any other. Let's just wait and see what happens with it before you get all freaked out. When you think about it that ability is what saved Dean's life, but unfortunately not his behind."

Sam nodded and then what he had just been told must have sunk in. "You didn't?"

He looked to his father and was not pleased to see a determined look on his face. "No I didn't but I'm gonna, in fact both of my sons apparently need a reminder about following the rules yet again."

Now Sam grimaced. "Both of your sons? As in me too?"

Now John looked unhappy. "Fraid so Sammy, you should never have talked Dean into letting you have five seconds alone with this kid much less five minutes. And whose idea was it for the two of you to impersonate priests for the love of all that's holy?"

Sam's only answer was a shrug of his shoulders. "I had to talk to him Dad it was the only way."

Now John looked unconvinced. "It was not the only way and not only that but it didn't work now did it? In fact it almost got everyone killed. And another thing just tell me that you didn't have to work hard to convince Dean to let you do it. Just tell me that he was on board from the moment you mentioned it."

Sam sat unusually silent while John nodded his head. "I thought so; Dean wasn't for that at all was he? I'll bet he even told you no at least once didn't he?"

Still he got no answer from his son. "Samuel answer my question!"

Sammy shook his head. "I don't want to on the grounds it might incriminate me?"

And inwardly John smiled as for as old as he was Sammy looked like someone caught with his hand in the cookie jar. "That is answer enough then. Stand up."

Sam shook his head no. "C'mon Dad that's a really bad idea violence never solved anything."

Actually John was glad that Sam had brought that up, even though he knew that he had said it in a joking manner. "This isn't violence and it isn't abuse, but it is an unpleasant form of punishment that will hopefully help you to remember that next time putting your life on the table for any reason is not acceptable. Now it'll go easier if you just accept it."

There was a long moment as Sam thought about it and John held his breath. He knew that he had the physical strength to make his son submit if he had to but he really didn't want to have to force this on Sam in the fragile condition he was in. But he knew with his whole heart that after the twisted things that Sam had heard from this boy he needed to understand what the worst that would happen would be. And the punishment he was about to receive qualified as that.

Finally just as John thought he was going to have to push the issue Sam slowly stood up and as easily as he could he pulled him across his lap making sure that the boy's chest was resting on the bed. "Sorry Sammy but you know that you have earned this."

With that he started placing swats that he was careful to not make too hard. He was mindful of both the state of mind that Sam was in as well as the fact that he was wearing only boxers and he knew that he didn't have to swat hard to make an impression.

He had just reached ten swats and felt Sam sobbing but still he continued. He didn't have the heart to lecture as he punished this time as he knew that he probably should have. So he just continued to spank and when Sam threw his hand back trying to stop the actions of his own hand he simply caught it and gently pinned it behind his back. And soon after that he could hear Sammy begging him to stop and still he persisted. He could feel the heat from the boy's behind and his own hand was on fire so he knew Sam felt even worse when finally he felt the boy just give in and wail.

He stopped glad that it was done and rubbed the boys back while he allowed him to both cry and settle down. Finally he helped him to standing and standing himself he wrapped him in a hug wanting nothing more than to never let go. John was unsure how long they stood there but finally Sammy spoke. "Dad... can't ...breathe."

Smiling John released his smart assed son and gently wiped the tears from his face glad to see some of the haunted look gone from his eyes. "Are we clear on this Junior?"

Sam looked down at the floor and reached back to rub his behind looking no different than he had when he was eight and John had spanked him for skipping school. A little fact which Dean had found out and had come directly to him with. He had actually given Dean a few swats too because he didn't want the boy to think tattling on his brother was a good thing, but Sammy had definitely gotten a good spanking that time. And John had known both then and now that Dean only had Sam's best interest at heart. And looking to his almost grown son he still saw the little boy that he was only just a little taller now. "Yes sir, I think we're clear."

John hugged the boy again and pulled back the covers for him. "In you go."

He wasn't surprised to see Sam roll his eyes and resist. "But Dad…I'm not tired anymore and I just slept all night and ….."

He stilled the boy's protests with another swat on his behind. "Owww."

John noticed that that was all it took to bring the tears to the surface again but at least Sam climbed back into bed. Shifting around to find a comfortable position on his stomach John pulled the covers over him and sat down beside him. He started rubbing comforting circles on his back.

"Did you want to hear a bed time story son?"

Sam lifted his head and looked at him with surprise. "Okay I guess it doesn't have any monsters does it?"

John fought a smile and shook his head no. "There once was this really sweet, handsome and talented kid who had visions. It really worried him that this made him different but actually it didn't. And then he worried that he was going to change but that never happened either. He stayed the same sweet, handsome and talented kid that he always was. And just like was the case from the moment he was born he was protected and loved by his older brother and his dad. And once he stopped doing stupid things like trying to get himself killed he was able to sleep on his back again. The end."

Sam lifted his head off the pillow to look at him, smiling. "Your story telling skills need some work Dad."

John bent down and placed a kiss on the back of his head. 'I love you Sammy now close your eyes and go back to sleep."

And for once miracle of miracle his stubborn son did just as he was told and John sat with him until relieved he knew that Sam had drifted back into a sound sleep.

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

Sam rolled over onto his back and groaned immediately rolling back onto his stomach. He lifted his head and reached over to the nightstand for his watch. Could it really be almost five o'clock? Man he had slept the day away. Pushing back the covers he crawled out of the bed and stretched. Other than the mild ache in his behind he actually felt pretty good. He wondered if it was because his dad came or because it seemed like everyone still loved him even now that he was vision boy. Either way it felt like someone had taken a huge weight off of his shoulders.

He pulled on a pair of socks and then his jeans grimacing as he pulled them up. He had forgotten just how hard his dad could swat, you would think that would factor in when he made the really stupid decisions that he made but nope it never seemed to. He pulled on a long sleeved shirt and ran his fingers through his hair and was ready for the day. Well what was left of it that is. Walking down the hall he found Dean stretched out on the couch. Clearly from the comfortable way he was laying Dad either hadn't followed up with his promise yet or had changed his mind. Thinking about that Sam was sure it was probably just option number one.

Seeing perfectly well that Dean was reading Sam asked him a question. "So whatcha doing?"

For some reason Dean quickly closed the book and stuck it between the back of the couch and the cushions. "Just reading a book."

Now Sammy felt downright devilish. "Bout what?"

Dean looked slightly put out. "About ghosts for God's sake Sam. Goes with the job man- you know research."

Before his brother could stop him he quickly reached into the cushions and pulled out a romance novel. "Holy shit Dean you're reading 'The Pirates Wench'?"

Dean grabbed it out of his hand and didn't say anything. "Was that Fabio on the cover Bro?"

Now Dean looked up and glared at his brother. "It was a small grocery store and they didn't have much to choose from Francis. And anyway didn't you always wonder if pirates did well with the chicks, I mean the eye patch and all the adventures and crap."

Now Sam laughed long and hard and when he stopped he noticed that Dean didn't look all that worried about the book anymore and was wearing his concerned older brother face. "So are you okay?"

Sam reached back and again rubbed. "He sure can smack hard for such an old man!"

Now looking at the horrified look on Dean's face Sam paled. "Oh shit is he standing behind me?"

"Nah I just wanted to mess with ya sweetheart he is out taking a walk."

Now Sam looked first relieved and then confused "Dad is taking a walk? Is something chasing him?"

Dean laughed at the truth of what his brother had just said. "No what he is really doing is making sure the perimeters are secure but he would never actually say that."

"So I understand that you are also on the list for the deluxe over the knee treatment."

Dean scoffed "No Dad was just bluffing; we both know I am way too old for that stuff."

Now Sam smiled "Oh really, didn't he just blister your behind recently Bro?"

Sending a nasty look at his brother Dean shook his head. "I told you never to mention that again and that was a one time thing. Really kiddo no worries."

Sam looked distinctly unconvinced but didn't push the issue. Turning towards the kitchen Sam inhaled deeply. "Oh man it smells good in there what's in the oven?"

Dean sat up on the couch. "I think it's a roast or something."

Now Sam smiled broadly "the kind with potatoes and carrots?" Dean rolled his eyes and snorted "Who am I Julia Child I have no idea!"

Sam looked disappointed and Dean suddenly had a thought. "But there is ice cream."

Getting up from the couch and walking towards the freezer Dean looked back at Sam over his shoulder. "I got your favorite."

Walking into the kitchen Dean tossed him a half gallon of peanut butter cup ice cream. "Hey that's your favorite mine is Swiss almond."

Sam handed it back to his brother only to be handed a half gallon of Swiss almond. "I know Francis don't get your panties in a bunch I was only kidding."

"Whoa this is just great thanks Dean." They both got spoons out of the drawer and began digging into the ice cream cartons both silently enjoying the normal feeling of eating ice cream together directly out of the carton. Neither one heard the front door open.

"Why are the two of you eating ice cream so close to dinner?"

Both boys looked up to see a rather perturbed father standing in front of them and Dean turned to Sam. "I told you it was a bad idea to eat ice cream this close to dinner but you had to insist didn't you?"

Much to John's delight Sam reached over and smacked Dean on the back of the head. "Hey hands off of the hair little brother."

And he reached over and smacked back and Sam retaliated with a good-natured shoulder shove. John stepped in knowing that if he didn't soon they would be rolling around on the kitchen floor like two playful puppies. "Enough! Dean set the table, and Sam there is some mix in the cabinet and a pitcher so make some ice tea and put it on the table."

Both boys were still raring to have a go at each other and John sincerely hoped giving each of them something to do would help. But of course some things must run their inevitable course. Somewhere around four smacks and shoves later John stepped between his two laughing sons and gave them a look which caused the smiles to freeze on their faces. "Next guy who smacks the other guy is gonna get a smack from me……got it?"

They both nodded and returned to their individual tasks and soon the table was ready and John loaded it with food. For the first time in a long time the two brothers sat down with their father and shared a normal dinner. Several times John looked with amazement to Sammy's plate and the amount of food that he was consuming.

Dean was watching his dad watch his brother and smiling as well. If anyone knew how much Sam could eat it was him. But seeing a relaxed look on his younger brother's features for the first time since all this had started was enough to make Dean happy. And it felt so good to be back with dad if even for just a short while. It felt like Dean didn't have to be dad anymore and he could leave the difficult things to him. It looked a lot to Dean like dad had handled the whole thing with Sammy pretty well to. They finished their meal and both boys were surprised when John brought out a cake. "Geez Dad when did you go all Martha Stewart?" But smart remark aside Dean had a terrible sweet tooth and was delighted about dessert.

After dinner Sam and Dean did the dishes which was only fair as dad had prepared the meal. They both sat down on the couch and really relaxed for the first time in weeks, maybe even for the first time in months. John came into the room and handed Sam the keys to the Impala. "Sam I need a newspaper could you go into town and get one for me please?"

Sam stood up and nodded. "Sure dad did you need anything else? Dean lets go."

Dean stood up and reached to Sam for the keys. "No -Dean is going to be staying here with me."

John watched as the boys exchanged a look and he didn't miss the comment that Sam made to his brother under his breath. "Bluffing my ass."

But he grabbed his coat and with one last look at his brother he let himself out of the front door of the cabin. John turned his gaze to the son who was all but squirming in front of him. "Gee Dad, if you wanted to be alone with me all you had to do was ask. I mean you did buy me dinner and all."

John bit the inside of he cheek to keep from smiling at what an amazing smart ass this kid was. Putting the stern father look into place he motioned for Dean to sit down on the couch and then he stood in front of him. "I'm sure you know what's going to happen now don't you?"

Dean shook his head. "Nah I thought the punishment was letting Sammy take the car. Honest to God Dad, he's probably got Mariah Carey blaring from my speaker's right this minute. By the time he comes back it'll be a chick mobile."

John turned his back and walked into the kitchen not wanting Dean to see the huge smile on his face. He squared his shoulders and walked back into the room and again addressed his son. 'There is nothing funny about putting you life on the line and in a few minutes you aren't gonna think it's anything to laugh at either."

Having said that he reached down and unbuckled his belt hating what was about to happen. Suddenly Dean didn't look so relaxed. 'Whoa Dad what is that all about?"

John doubled the belt in his hand "This is the second time in less than a year that I have had to do this over your being careless with you life. I intend to make sure the lesson sticks this time son."

Knowing Dean was starting to panic he quickly sat down beside him and had him over his lap in a few seconds. Pinning his arm behind his back he started delivering hard and fast swats to the boys behind.

John had forgotten how strong this kid of his was and he was struggling for all he was worth. And not wanting to but knowing that he needed to John increased the force behind the swats. Dean responded immediately by crying out and then asking him to please stop. And finally after what seemed to John like a really long time Dean gave in to the inevitable and just stayed still and cried. He continued to spank his son for a few minutes longer glad that it was at an end. Finally with a sigh he stopped and set his belt down on the table letting go of his hold on his eldest son.

Helping him to his feet he also stood up and surrounded him in a hug allowing him to cry all that he needed to, and he wasn't surprised that Dean took him up on his invitation. Finally he saw his son begin to calm down and he wiped his face on his shirt sleeves. "Come on."

Putting a hand on his lower back he pushed Dean towards the bedroom. "Wait why are we going back there?"

John stopped where he stood. "Because you're tired son, you have circles under your young eyes and you just had probably the first real meal that you have eaten in some time not to mention a good hard spanking. Like it or not you are going to rest now."

Dean just gave in and started walking towards the bedroom. "When did you get so bossy anyway Dad?"

John put his head down so that the boy wouldn't see him smile at his apparent return of spirit. Guiding his son into the room and towards unused twin bed he looked sternly at the boy. "Lie down and try to go to sleep."

Dean wrinkled up his nose in distaste. "I don't need a nap. It's not like I'm an old man like…."

Dean stopped and John looked at him closely. "An old man like who?"

He watched as Dean squirmed again "like some people – geez Dad sensitive much?"

Just as he had done for Sam earlier he pulled back the covers. "Get. In. Now."

Dean kicked off his boots and did as he was told. And again John sat down on the edge of the bed next to his son. "I'm sorry that was so rough Dean. I love you and it would kill me if you managed to pull this action hero crap and get yourself killed. Understand?"

Dean lifted his head off of the pillow and winced. 'Oh yeah I understand all right, no more action hero you got it Dad."

John leaned down and kissed his son on the head. "Good boy now try to sleep a little please."

As he was leaving the room he heard Dean call his name. "Dad, when Sam comes back if the car is ruined just douse it with gasoline and set it on fire and let it die. Don't try to bring it back."

John didn't try to hide the huge smile that came to his face for a moment and then he got serious. "Dean I appreciate the way that you took care of your brother through this one. You made his emotional safety your primary concern even though you were worried and upset yourself. I am really proud of you."

Much to his amazement Dean laughed. "Yeah well next time try just thanking me- cause my ass is just on fire right now and I don't think I could have handled any more pride."

Chuckling John stepped into the hallway. "Get some rest wise guy."

Having said that he walked back down the hall and smiled all the way to the living room. He went into the kitchen and stared out the window thinking about his sons and wishing that their lives had been different. He wondered and not for the first time how his wife would have felt about the fine young men that she gave birth to. As he did every day of his life he missed her with an intensity that made him actually ache. He shook his head as if to clear his thoughts and walked into the living room and put his belt back on. The last thing he needed was to have words with Sam now about how he had punished Dean.

It never ceased to amaze him the bond that those two had and thank God for that as he knew that they had saved each other many times over in many ways. He wasn't sure what the future held for any of them but knowing that he had a whole week to spend with them and just enjoy their company and being dad meant the world to him. Hopefully he could help them both to heal a little so that when they had to part company again they would all be better equipped emotionally. And so with this end in mind and for one week, for once in all their lives the hunt could just wait.

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