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SPN Fic: Ten Going on Thirteen (Gen, PG13, Pre-Series) - Bloodslave for Cookies
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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Fri, Sep. 8th, 2006 05:02 am
SPN Fic: Ten Going on Thirteen (Gen, PG13, Pre-Series)


*sigh* This started out as a drabble. A nice, little, snarky, Dean-is-being-a-bitch drabble. Then it took a wrong turn somewhere, and things when horribly, horribly wrong. I think my John angst meter is busted. Cause once again, this was supposed to be a break from the a John AngstMobile.

Yeah. Best laid plans and all that.

Anyways. By the time I got done with it, the thing matched for one of my as-of-yet-unfulfilled Firsts Chart prompts, so this one is for "First Injury."

Heh. It was really just supposed to be Breakfast snark. Really.


Title: Ten Going on Thirteen
Author: dodger_winslow
Challenge: spn_challenges First Time Chart (First Injury)
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Gen, pre-series
Pairings: None
Warnings/Spoilers: Violence, Language
Disclaimers: I don't own the boys, I'm just stalking them for a while.

Summary: For a ten year old, Dean really had the pain-in-the-ass part of being mature for his age down pat. 


Ten Going on Thirteen

 

"What can I get you, doll?" the waitress asked, her pen at the ready.

Dean just looked at her.

"Honey?" she prompted after a beat.

He still didn’t answer.

"He’ll have the prunes," John said, studying his own menu.

"I don’t want prunes," Dean said.

John glanced up, looked at his son across the table between them. "Then tell her what you want, because prunes are the alternative to speaking up when you’re asked."

Sammy snickered. The waitress did her best not to smile.

"I want pancakes," Dean said, speaking to the waitress, his expression ripe with resentment, his tone rich with attitude. "With syrup."

"You want any bacon with that, doll?" she asked.

"My name’s Dean," Dean told her pointedly.

"Your name is going to be Rides-in-the-Trunk if you don’t keep a civil tongue in your head, boy," John warned.

"Yes, sir," Dean answered. He didn’t say anything else.

"So … is that bacon yes or bacon no?"

John looked up when Dean didn’t answer. He was pushed back into the corner of the booth, sulking, his arms crossed, looking like exactly what he was: a kid who hit his truculent teens three damn years ahead of schedule. John sighed. "Yes, he’ll have bacon," he told the waitress, folding his menu and putting it on the table. "And this one," he jerked his thumb at Sammy sitting beside him in the booth, just barely tall enough for his chin to clear table level, "will have scrambled eggs and –"

"I want Fruit Loops," Sammy said.

"— and link sausages," John finished, his tone a warning to Sammy. "Orange juice for both of them, and milk. Just coffee for me."

"So … ixnay on the Fruit Oopslay?" she asked.

John chuckled. "Right."

"And you’re not eating nothing, Darlin?" she asked. She looked at Dean, smiled, and popped her gum before looking back expectantly to John. "Big strapping boy like you?"

"Just coffee," he repeated. "Thanks."

"Ah, come on," she cajoled. "Play along."

John frowned. "Excuse me?"

"Well Doll here told me his name," she tilted her head to indicate Dean. "Only seems right that Darlin’ should, too."

John smiled. "John," he said.

"And I’m Sammy," Sammy piped up.

"Nice to meet you, John. And your lovely son. And Doll here, too." She smiled at Dean again, then left them with an exaggerated sway of her rather impressive hips.

"Ixnay on the Fruit Oopslay," Dean muttered under his breath, mocking her with both his tone and his expression. "What a twit."

John sighed. He put his face in his hand and rubbed at his eyes. He’d been driving for eighteen hours straight. He was tired, his head ached, and Dean was seriously trying his patience.

Dean could feel censure coming; he tried to head it off at the pass by saying, "My name isn’t Doll."

That helped. It helped so much.

"Dammit, Dean …" John started. He lifted his face out of his hand to look at his son. Dean was looking back, his arms still crossed, his expressions still one hundred percent teenager. For a ten year old, he really had the pain-in-the-ass part of being mature for his age down pat. "Never mind," he said finally. "Just … never mind."

"Well, it isn’t," Dean muttered.

John ignored it like he didn’t hear.

"How come I can’t have Fruit Loops?" Sam asked.

"Because you had M&Ms for dinner," John answered.

"What does that have to do with it?"

"You only get one multi-color meal every twenty four hours," John said. "House rules."

"Since when?"

"Since forever."

Dean was scooching along the sticky orange vinyl of his seat like he was getting ready to get up. "Where do you think you’re going?" John asked.

"To see a horse about a man," Dean said.

John just looked at him.

"What?" Dean said after a beat. "Caleb says it that way all the time."

"It’s ‘see a man about a horse,’ Dean," John said tiredly. "And you aren’t Caleb. Which is a good thing, for the most part."

"I like Caleb," Dean said. Not because he particularly liked Caleb, but because it was something he could say to piss his old man off. He’d been working on that for the last eighteen hours. He was mad they were moving again, and he was making a point. The point started out having something to do with some girl he liked and didn’t want to leave. It ended up being just about pissing his old man off. Punishing him. Being a general pain in the ass because he could. And because he wanted to be.

John was tolerating it because, in some ways, Dean was right. He’d promised they’d stay through the summer, and they’d only stayed five weeks.

"So do I," John said. "But that doesn’t mean I want him being my son’s role model. You want a role model, try Pastor Jim on for size."

Dean snorted his opinion of that suggestion. "So can I go or what? Or do I just have to sit here and hold it until I blow up?" He must have seen something in John’s eyes, because he added a little too quickly, "Seriously, Dad. I gotta go."

John sighed. "Fine. Go. Take your brother with you."

"I don’t wanna go," Sammy said. "I want to stay here with you."

"Tough luck, dickweasle," Dean said. "Come on."

"What did you call him?" John snapped.

"Dickweasle," Dean answered.

John just looked at him.

"What? It just means stupid."

John counted to ten in his head. He counted to ten again. And then a third time. By the time he got to forty, Dean was starting to fidget, but he was only just getting to the point where he could trust himself to speak again.

"Don’t call your brother that again," John said finally, having to work a little to get the words past his teeth without letting all the other words that wanted to tag along for the ride come, too.

"Whatever. Come on, dorkweasle."

Sam looked up at his father. "Do I have to?" He looked far more worried than he should have.

"Just go with him, Sammy," John said. "I’ll still be here when you get back."

"But I don’t like horses," Sam said.

Dean rolled his eyes. "You are such a geek."

John tried not to smile. "That’s just a saying, Sammy. Dean’s going to the little girl’s room."

Sam’s eyes got even more worried. "I don’t want to go there either," he said.

"You can go to the men’s room, Sammy. Your brother’s the only one acting like a little bitch."

"Ha ha," Dean said. "Very funny. You should be a comedian."

John looked at him. "You’ve got about one more, Dean," he said, "and then you and I are going to go see a man about a boy." Then, to Sammy, "Go with him, Sammy. I’ll save your place for you."

"Okay."

John started to move to let Sam out of the booth, but he’d already dipped below table level, wriggled past John’s legs, and emerged at his brother’s side.

"Let’s go see somebody’s horses," Sammy suggested.

Dean rolled his eyes again, but herded his brother toward the restrooms without calling him a geek again. Or a spaz. Or a nerd. Or an assface. Or any of the hundred other colorful names Dean had for his little brother, all of which John had long ago decided to view as terms of endearment, dickweasle excepted.

Dickweasle.

John tried not to grin. He failed. Despite the fact that he’d wanted to clock Dean for at least seventeen and a half of the last eighteen hours, he had to admit that dickweasle was a pretty good one. Or at least an original one.

Dean was nothing if not original.

And a real pain in the ass. 

Very much his father’s son, as Mary would no doubt point out if she were there. Not that John was particularly proud of how accurate the likeness was at this particular moment in time; but still, Mary would have noted it, trying very hard not to grin. And failing.

The door to the small diner jingled as it opened. John looked up, saw it coming before the cook did. The shotgun roared, and the cook came apart. The man wielding the weapon chambered another round as his partner stepped to the cash register, put a nine mil in the waitress’s stunned, white face and said, "Everything you’ve got. In a bag. Now."

The man with the shotgun was covering the diner itself now, his threat made in blood and brains on the diner’s back wall, a dictum so unequivocal it froze the flight instinct of every person in the room to an absolute stand still.

No one moved. No one breathed. The only sound in the place was the frantic scratching of the waitress’s fingernails as she opened the register and dug all the bills from the cash drawer to drop them in a paper bag rattling in her shaking hand.

Tucked in his belt at the small of his back, John’s .45 was cold and useless against his skin. The guy with the shotgun had assessed the threats in the room with a single glance, and John was right at the top of the list. If he so much as twitched, the wall behind him was going to be put to the same decorator’s touch as the one behind the cook had been moments earlier.

"Hurry up," the man with the handgun snapped.

"Fart Breath," Dean said as he opened the bathroom door, pushing Sammy out first then following close on his heels.

The shotgun barrel was already moving. John was, too, but there wasn’t any way he was going to make it in time, not to the man holding the gun, and not between that gun and his unsuspecting sons.

"Dean!" he bellowed.

And the shotgun roared.

Time lurched, stretched, stopped. For an eternity of milliseconds, John hung suspended between panic and despair; between madness and rage; between horror and agony.

Time jolted again, and resumed. He got between the shotgun and his sons after the first blast was already past. The .45 was level, firing. It took the man’s head off his shoulders as he jacked another round into the chamber.

The nine mil in his partner’s hand snapped, sharp and brittle. The bullet hit John, spun him as he pulled the .45’s trigger a second time. The shooter’s knees buckled. He went down, his left eye missing, along with some of the more essential parts of his brain.

The diner blurred as John went down, too. It became streaks of color against his awareness, clatters of sound that turned on and off like Dean jacking with a stereo in WalMart just because he was ten and he was bored.

Pain bloomed in John’s gut, flowered up into his chest and down into his groin like ink dropped in water. He lost the .45 as he hit the diner floor, the metal clatter of it spinning off to the left as his skull bounced off no-wax linoleum.

The diner went deathly silent, a preternatural still John knew was in his head, not in the air around him. He was facing back toward the restrooms now, one hundred and eighty degrees from his original position. Through the haze of acid pain warping the world around him, he could see Dean’s eyes staring back at him from where his son lay sprawled on the floor, half under a table, Sammy trapped beneath him.

Dean’s eyes were wide, horrified, frozen.

He blinked.

They were alive. Dean’s eyes were alive.

John began to breathe again in huge wheezing, choking, huffing gurgles. His body settled against the floor, spasming in small convulsions as his gut tried and failed to pull him into a fetal ball.

Dean was still staring at him.

John smiled just to let him know it was okay. Everything was going to be okay. He could see Sammy wriggling under his brother’s weight, trying to free himself. A ten year old folded around a six year old like a flesh-and-bone flak jacket, Dean wasn’t moving, wasn’t letting his charge squirm free of the protective barrier he’d made of his own body.

John nodded, hoping Dean would understand that as approval. He wanted to say something, to tell Dean how well he’d done, but it was as much as he could do to just keep breathing.

Dean started to scrambled, his limbs akimbo as he struggled for traction on the slick linoleum. He found the floor with his hands, with his feet. Shoving Sammy deeper under the diner table, back into the shadows where it was safe, he shouted at his brother in a voice John had used on Dean more times than either of them could count, "Stay!" before scuttling to John’s side.

"Dad."

Dean’s voice was a terrified whisper. John had never seen his son so uncertain, so lost in what he should do. For a moment, he looked seven rather than ten going on thirteen going on twenty seven.

"Dean," John returned. He reached out with one hand, put it to the side of his son’s face. His fingers were garish with blood. They stained Dean’s cheek, his jaw, his neck. "Good boy, Dean," he said, his voice hoarse, rusty. "You did good." He coughed, gasped, coughed again. His hand fell away, his knuckles cracking against the floor.

"Dad," Dean said again.

John closed his eyes. It was bad. He’d been shot before, and he knew the difference between no big deal and bad. And this was bad.

He was bleeding out fast, loosing too much of the available volume to the floor around him, slicking the linoleum red and treacherous. He didn’t have much time if he wanted to stick around. Dean was holding on to his shoulder, trying to shake him back awake. Every jarring rattle was like being beaten with a bat. He tried to tell Dean as much, tried to tell him to stop; but his mind wouldn’t function through the muzz invading it, tangling his thoughts in webs of confused dislocation.

The pain was stunning. In just the past few minutes, it had evolved from a single point of entry to a global body rebellion, radiating through every muscle and bone to such a comprehensive degree he couldn’t tell where he’d been shot any longer. In the chest. In the gut. In the side. Somewhere off center mass, somewhere that could spin him with the impact of the bullet going in.

"Sammy." It was Dean’s voice. He sounded calm, now. Almost adult. "Go get me the shotgun. Bring it back. Hurry."

"No," John hissed. He reached out to where he thought Dean was, but found nothing there. "Pulse. First."

"It’s all right, Dad," Dean assured him. "They’re dead, trust me. Go, Sammy. Now." Then, like he was addressing some kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar, he said, "You. Bring me a knife. And matches. And you, get some sheets, or napkins, or whatever I can use to stop the bleeding."

John could hear Sammy coming back, could tell it was him by the sound of his little boy footsteps. He forced his eyes open, forced them to focus. Sammy had the shotgun. He was carrying it exactly the way John taught him to.

Six years old, and he knew the proper way to carry a loaded gun.

"Good job, Sammy," John whispered.

Sammy set the gun down carefully at Dean’s side. His eyes were huge. His face was as white as Mary’s skin in the winter.

"Dad, I need you to roll over," Dean said. "Can you roll over? I need you on your back."

John was on his side, curled into a fetal position, wrapped around the wound instinctively, but in a way that kept Dean from getting to it. From seeing it, assessing it, treating it.

Good boy, Dean,
he thought. Good boy.

"I can .. yeah … I think …" He tried to roll.

And failed.

The effort nearly drove him off the rim of consciousness. The diner was going dark around him. The air went cold on his skin, growing heavy in how it felt there. His body trembled … a pain reaction rather than a response to temperature change.

"Stay with me, Dad," Dean was saying. Not pleading, not begging; but saying. Ordering, almost. His voice was calm. Controlled. Unequivocal. "You have to stay with me. I need you to stay with me."

Good boy, Dean.

"I’m serious, Dad. Stick with me. Sammy, come here and hold his hand. Talk to him. Keep him with us."

"Still." John gasped, wheezed, coughed. "Here."

"Good. Hold his hand, Sammy."

Sammy took John’s hand. He put his face on John’s, his lips right next to John’s ear. "Stay here, Daddy. Stay here. Stay here. Don’t go. Stay here, Daddy. Stay here …"

"I need help," Dean was telling someone. "I need him on his back. Get something for under his shoulders, and for under his feet."

Half a dozen hands grabbed John from half a dozen different directions at once and tried to tear him apart. He knew they were probably doing their best to be gentle, but it felt like they were playing tug of war with his body as they twisted him out of the fetal position and put him to his back as Dean instructed.

The agony of it snapped him back to awareness like a tazer to the testicles. He let loose a string of profanities he would have kicked Dean’s ass for indulging. Dean looked up from what he was doing, met John’s eyes. "That’s a hundred and fifty dollars to the curse kitty, Dad," he said.

John tried to laugh, coughed instead. His lungs rattled with the effort it was to breathe. Dean heard it, assessed it properly, told one of his assistants to prop John up, put something under his back to keep the bronchial tubes open and his airway clear.

Good boy, Dean. Good boy.

Sammy wasn’t holding his hand any longer. He’d left him, gone somewhere else. John missed his son’s mantra in his ear, reminding him to stay, reminding him not to go away.

Reminding him why he had to live, why he had to fight, why he had to stay here with Dean as long as he could, give Dean a chance to save him, give him time to do what he was doing, doing right, doing smart, doing as fast as he possibly could.

Sammy came back from where ever he’d gone. He had two fistfuls of white cotton napkins. Dean took them, warned him – "Gonna hurt, Dad" – then put them against his side.

The pain was like a scrub brush put to a burn. John did his best to control it, to deal with it, but he heard the sounds he was making, distant echoes in his awareness, keening whines like a wounded animal in its death throes, or a furious spirit protesting the burning of its bones to ashes.

"Put your hands right here, Sammy," Dean said. "Push in, hold it tight."

"Let me do that, honey," the waitress’s voice offered.

"No." Dean voice was firm, authoritative. "Sammy knows what he’s doing. He’ll do it right. Do it, Sammy. Press it in tight."

John gasped as the intensity of the pain multiplied exponentially. It felt like Sammy’s hands had gone inside his body, just above his right hip, driving through his flesh and into his gut as if Dean’s plan involved plugging the hole in the dike with Sammy’s fists from the inside out.

"Son of a bitch," he hissed. "Son of a bitch. Son of a bitch."

"I’m sorry, Daddy. I’m sorry." Sammy was crying, but he kept the pressure on.

"You’re doing fine, Sammy," Dean told his little brother calmly. "Just keep doing it, no matter what, okay?"

"I’m sorry, Daddy," Sammy said again.

"Okay," John managed. "Okay, Sammy." His lips were so thick he could hardly speak. His tongue felt like a slab of meat in his mouth, not connected to anything, just lying there in the way, helping nothing and hurting everything in how much harder it was to breathe around it. "Dean," he groaned. Then, when Dean didn’t answer, louder, "Dean."

"Just a minute, Dad."

"Not enough," John said. He didn’t know whether Dean could hear him or not. He couldn’t speak any louder, so he found Sammy’s eyes, fixed him with a gaze he knew Sammy would recognize as important, then said again, "Not enough. Sammy. Tell. Not. Enough."

"Dad says it’s not enough," Sammy repeated.

"I know. I’m working on it."

Something cracked, and Dean cursed. It was an impressive set of profanities for a ten year old. John smiled, wishing Mary was here to see her son, see how much he’d grown up. What a little Marine he was, calm and cool and collected while he barked orders at a handful of adults in an effort to keep his dad from bleeding out on the floor of some crappy diner they’d stopped at because he wouldn’t quit bitching about being hungry long enough to make it to the next town and a real restaurant.

"Okay. Move your hands, Sammy," Dean said.

"But – "

"Just do it."

Sammy obeyed.

For just a moment, the easing of pressure was a Godsend. Then Dean began peeling the blood soaked napkins out of the wound where the pressure of Sammy’s hands had pressed them, and it almost did John in. He twisted in agony, sound moiling through him as he grabbed at Dean instinctively, frantic, desperate, trying to stop him.

"Hold on to him, damnit!" Dean snapped.

The hands that tried to pull him apart earlier grabbed him again, held him still, kept him from keeping Dean from doing what Dean had to do. Dean pulled the napkins free and threw them aside. Leaning in, he concentrated his every attention to the task of emptying the contents of two shotgun shells he’d carved open with a butcher knife into and around the gaping wound in John’s side.

The fire of the gunpowder was mind numbing; but it was a relief of sorts from the napkins peeling out of his flesh. And John knew it was nothing compared to what his son was getting ready to do.

What he’d taught his son to do -- in theory, never in practice -- if he ever ran into a situation where he was bleeding seriously enough he wasn’t going to make it to help without cauterizing the wound. Field Medic 101: Something every Marine knew how to do but few had the guts to do, on themselves or anyone else.

But his son wasn’t just any Marine. He was one of the tough ones. One of the smart ones. One of the fearless ones. At ten, his son was a better Marine than most men could ever dream of being … when he wasn’t calling his little brother a dickweasle or aping some poor waitress because she’d dared to call him "Doll."

"Dean," John hissed.

Dean looked up, met his eyes.

"Come here," John ordered.

"No time, Dad. It’s now or never."

"Make time," John snarled, coughing with the effort; choking, wheezing, hacking, convulsing.

Dean’s expression cracked. He leaned in close to John’s face to hear what his Dad wanted to tell him.

John reached out for him. His hand weighed more than the damn Impala, but he managed to get it to the back of his son’s neck, to hold on to him there, to squeeze, to connect with Dean the only way he had left to connect with him. "Right choices," he whispered, his voice barely reaching the inches between them. "Smart. Doesn’t work, not your fault."

"We don’t have time for this, Dad," Dean said.

"Love you," John finished. "Proud of you."

"I know that."

John nodded. He let go of Dean’s neck, his hand falling away. "Do it."

Dean picked up a small tin of wooden matches. His hands were shaking. His voice wasn’t. "Look away, Sammy."

Dean struck a match, met John’s eyes.

John nodded.

Dean dropped the match to the wound. John’s world exploded, and everything went black.

*

He woke slowly, the sound of the heart monitor the first thing of which he became consciously aware. The room was dark, quiet, sterile. He could hear Sammy snoring, feel the warmth of Dean’s hand in his.

Working against the monumental weight of his eyelids, John forced his eyes to open.

Dean was sitting in a chair by his bed. He was sound asleep, his skin fresh and clean, no sign of his father’s blood, no indication of bruising or other injury of his own. He was wearing a shirt that wasn’t his, three sizes too big with sleeves rolled to bulges at his wrists just to put the cuffs high enough to clear his hands.

Sammy was curled up in a second chair several feet away. Tucked in on himself, arms wrapped around his knees so he’d fit between the chair’s arms, he looked like a puppy circled three time to a comfortable position in his dog bed.

He, too, was wearing unfamiliar clothes, too big, but clean.

John licked his lips. They were dry, cracked. He had an oxygen feed in his nose, and a central line taped to his collarbone. He squeezed Dean’s hand a little. Dean’s eyes popped open. He sat up, leaned forward.

"You’re awake."

"Thank you, Captain Obvious," John rasped.

Dean grinned. "How do you feel?" he asked.

"Like someone shot me, then set me on fire."

Dean’s grin widened. "Don’t blame me. I only set you on fire."

John smiled back. The expression hurt, but he forced it for a moment before letting it fall away. "Water," he whispered.

"Can’t. Doctor said cracked ice is okay though."

"Okay."

Dean scooped ice into his mouth. John held it under his tongue, let it melt so it could trickle down the burning parch of his throat. Dean got up, soaked a washcloth in water then brought it back to dab it against John’s lips.

John studied his son in the ambient light that seeped in from the hallway. "What did the doctors say?" he asked when Dean had worked enough moisture into his mouth that he could talk without feeling like his flesh was going to split down to the bone.

"That you’re a tough son of a bitch," Dean said.

"Hey. Mouth."

"That’s what they said. Honest."

"Anything else?"

"That you’re a lucky one, too. Me being your kid was their point there, I think."

John smiled a little. "Give you a timeframe?"

"No. Said they’d worry about that after you woke up."

"How long have I been out?"

"Two days."

"Fuck."

Dean grinned. "Hey. Mouth."

"DFS have you?" John asked.

"No. Kelly lied to them. Said she was your girlfriend, and that she’d take care of us. She’s been pretty cool. She’s let us stay here the whole time, sleep here in the room with you."

"Who’s Kelly?"

"Oh. Sorry. The waitress. The one who kept calling me Doll."

John nodded, then regretted it.

"Should I get the nurse?" Dean asked, his voice tense.

"No. I should just quit nodding my head. So … she still call you Doll?"

Dean grinned again. "Yeah," he said, blushing a little. "But I don’t mind it so much now."

"Not a bad thing to be called by a pretty girl," John pointed out.

Dean laughed a little self consciously. "Yeah. That’s what I decided. I think she has a crush on me, but I told her I just wanted to be friends."

John laughed, and regretted that more than nodding. "Son of a bitch, Dean," he hissed. "Don’t do that to your old man."

"Sorry," Dean said, not sorry at all.

"So how you and Sammy doing?"

"We’re good."

"He having nightmares?"

"Some."

"You?"

"No," Dean lied.

"Yeah. Right. Crawl up here with me."

Dean hesitated. "I’m not supposed to do that."

"Says who?"

"Lily. She’s your night nurse."

"Well fuck Lily. Crawl up here."

Dean didn’t have to be asked again. Careful to stay on the left side, away from the wound and clear of any of the half a dozen IV and monitor lines that webbed John to a variety of machines, Dean crawled into the hospital bed and burrowed in under the thin, white blanket, pressing in close to his father’s side, squirreling up under his arm so he could use John’s shoulder as a pillow.

"You comfortable?" John asked when Dean finally quit squirming.

"No. Not really."

"Me neither," John agreed.

"You want me to go back to the chair?"

"No. Stay here for a while."

"Okay."

They laid there in the darkness, listening to the heart monitor and the quiet, regular rhythm of Sammy’s snore.

"You did good, Dean," John said after a long beat. "Not sure I could have hit the floor with Sammy that quick. You saved his life. Saved mine."

"I was scared shitless," Dean admitted.

John didn’t call him on his language this time, saying instead, "Of course you were. If something like that didn’t scare you, I’d have to commit you for a go round or two in the psych ward. But you didn’t let it own you. That’s the important thing. You were scared, but you still did what had to be done."

"Sammy did good," Dean offered. "He did everything I told him to, exactly the way I said."

"Sammy’s always going to do what you tell him to. Well, at least until he gets taller than you. But those adults … hard for a kid to order adults around like that. You handled them like a pro. I was proud of you."

Dean sniffed, wiped at his face with one hand. "Thanks," he said, his voice soft.

"Yeah. Don’t let it go to your head though. You still can’t call Sammy a dickweasle."

Dean snickered. "You should have seen your face."

"Dickweasle?" John repeated. "I should have kicked your ass."

"It really does just mean stupid."

"I don’t care. I still should have kicked your ass, just on general principles."

Dean snickered again. John tightened his arm around him, pulling his son closer so he could rest his face against the top of Dean’s head. "Thought I lost you there for a minute, kiddo."

"Yeah," Dean whispered, his body trembling a little as he spoke. "Me, too."

The door opened, and a nurse walked in.

"Uh oh," Dean said.

"Busted?" John asked him.

"Yeah."

The nurse smiled at John. "I thought maybe you were awake." Then to Dean, she added, "And that you were doing exactly what I told you not to do, young man."

"My fault," John said.

"I kind of figured that, too," the nurse said. She checked John’s monitors, his IV status, his vitals. When she was finished, she said, "Five more minutes, then I want him back in the chair."

"Yes, Ma’am," John agreed.

She smiled again. "You’re a lucky man," she said. "Most kids his age can’t keep a civil tongue in their head, let alone stop a man from bleeding out with shotgun shells and a match. Pretty creative kid you have there, in a scary kind of way."

"He watches a lot of war movies," John said. "And we’re still working on the civil tongue part."

She laughed. "I’ll just bet you are," she said. She left them alone then, reminding John as she went, "Five minutes. Not a second longer."

Five minutes later, when Lily’s deadline passed, they were both sound asleep, Dean still tucked tight under his father’s arm, John’s heart monitor pulsing strong and steady in the dark, quiet room.

-finis-

 


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pheebs1
pheebs1
Pheebs1
Fri, Sep. 8th, 2006 10:49 am (UTC)

Gosh I really loved this. For a start, I loved how you turned it into First Injury - and one of John's, not the boys, that was a nice change. I really liked Snarkybeing a pain Dean, cos the boys would be a pain a lot of the time, and you caught that so well. The family snarking, and I wanna kick his ass, but the warmth underneath it all. Dean dealing with John, and ordering the adults around made me sad, a little, for Dean's childhood, but kinda proud of him too. I loved the end, with Dean praising Sam to john,and the waitress helping them out. Perfect.


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Tue, Sep. 12th, 2006 09:21 am (UTC)

Thanks. I'm having a blast with those prompts, trying to find a way to apply them that isn't the way they are intended to be applied. But dang, I've really got to start writing shorter stories for them. LOL


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vaznetti
vaznetti
Vanzetti
Fri, Sep. 8th, 2006 10:57 am (UTC)

Well, the thing about seeing a horse about a man made me laugh out loud. That whole opening scene is just priceless. Yay!

And then... oh. Dean taking over because he has to, and the way John thinks of him there. ::snifles:: And John telling him to make time, in case this is it. Woe!

But I loved the final scene, as well. Aww. But seriously yes, you've got something broken in there. I mean, I realize that basically John's life is pain, but this all seems a bit... well, of course, we're getting good fic out of it. I just worry about you.


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el1ie
el1ie
Invisible Friend
Sat, Sep. 9th, 2006 02:59 pm (UTC)

I adore the family relationships in this.

This is how I want to think about how the Winchesters grew up. So many stories seem to latch onto the horrors of their young lives. Here you mix those undeniable horrors in with the warmth, humour and understanding that has allowed Dean and Sam to grow into the characters that we have come to love on the show.

I love to see John portrayed like this, as a father who loves his boys and to see how much like him both boys are.

Great storytelling, perfect visuals and some hilarious dialogue all mixed in with some truly heart wrenching scenes, all of which fit the canon of the show perfectly.

I adored it and am saving it to read again, thanks so much for sharing. :)


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embroiderama
embroiderama
a rearranger of the proverbial bookshelf
Fri, Sep. 8th, 2006 11:32 am (UTC)

Oh, wow. If this is broken, why would you want to fix it? I love, love snarky Dean, and John trying to handle him, and then Dean handling the crisis so well.

His face was as white as Mary’s skin in the winter.

This line was particularly beautiful, especially from John's bleeding-out POV.


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Tue, Sep. 12th, 2006 09:30 am (UTC)

Thank you. I was hoping that line wasn't too out of context to be effective. But for me, it was an intent to communicate how much John still views his world in terms of Mary. She may be dead, but she's still with him in so many ways.


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beanside
beanside
Teesa
Fri, Sep. 8th, 2006 11:56 am (UTC)

*wibble* Oh, Dean. I really don't even have the words for this. It was painful, and beautiful, and I loved your Dean, and your John.

I could totally see Dean in my brain, all snark until the shit hit the fan. It's very much what we've seen in the series. And John, doing that instinctive 'must not laugh and encourage him' Daddy thing, torn between throttling him and hugging him.

And wee Sammy, following Dean's orders like a pro! Just...*flail*


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Tue, Sep. 12th, 2006 09:33 am (UTC)

Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. I really got a kick out of poor Dean having to go from pain-in-the-ass teenager to hero-boy without any time to prep or anything. And I just can't see the father John is not being amused by something like "dickweasle" popping up in his son's vocabulary. Even if he CAN'T afford to let Dean see that.

And, TBT, I think the payoff of the whole story for me is in the hospital, when John mentions "dickweasle" and Dean says "you should have seen your face." Like the only reason he said it was to get to his dad ... which I SO see as a Dean trait, even if much of the SPN fandom sees him as blindly obedient. I see him engaged in a more subversive form of prank war with John, but still engaged. :D


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kattahj
kattahj
Katta
Fri, Sep. 8th, 2006 12:13 pm (UTC)

This was great - I love that Dean's so collected, and that John is so very aware of it.


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Tue, Sep. 12th, 2006 09:35 am (UTC)

Thanks! I wanted to make it clear that John realizes he is in the best possible hands. That he knows, if anyone can save him, Dean can. And that he's doing everything he can to try and give Dean the time to do it. That was something I found very important to the story ... not that John was trying to comfort Dean about his impending demise, but rather that he was depending on Dean to save his life ... something that is part of their relationship as father and son in their supernatural hunting, and that makes their relationship as father and son totally unique, IMO


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dolimir_k
dolimir_k
Dolimir
Fri, Sep. 8th, 2006 12:27 pm (UTC)

You know, I've discovered, through reading your stories, that I really like John being hurt. Go figure. Of course, I like the comfort part too! LOL!

The action here was very clear. Wonderful done, as usual!


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Tue, Sep. 12th, 2006 09:36 am (UTC)

LOL! Poor John. You'd think we'd be nicer to him, given how much we love him, wouldn't you?

I'm glad you liked it. I've found I like John hurt, too ... but shhhhhhh, that's a secret. :D


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nilchance
nilchance
Jess
Fri, Sep. 8th, 2006 12:33 pm (UTC)

This is awesome. I love Dean here: still thoroughly a kid, maddening and frustrating and terrifyingly competant. John is wonderful, flawed but trying his damnedest. Sam breaks my heart a little. It rocks the house all around.


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Tue, Sep. 12th, 2006 09:39 am (UTC)

Thanks! I think the intensity of their effort is the paramount thing here. How much John is trying to get his own body between that shotgun and his kids; and how much Dean can set aside everything about being a child and being scared in order to save his dad. And to that end also, how much Sammy is able to set aside being terrified to a degree where he can follow Dean's instructions compitently -- and how much faith Dean has in Sammy to do that, him not letting an adult do something because he knows Sammy will do it right.

To me, that is part of what elevates the Winchesters above a normal family. They are flawed and messed up and have all sorts of regular dysfunctions, but the INTENSITY of their devotion to each other and how close they are to that intensity on a daily basis makes them something completely unique as a family unit. Which is what I love about them.


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tabaqui
tabaqui
tabaqui
Fri, Sep. 8th, 2006 12:42 pm (UTC)

Ah ha ha.
How much do i love sullen, *pushing* Dean? About a billion.
Yis.

And oh yis, i love that he did that horrific thing, voice calm, heart probably beating right out of his chest.

That he knows how - that he had to...
*sniffle*
*clings*


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Tue, Sep. 12th, 2006 09:41 am (UTC)

Thanks. And absolutely ... calm voice, heart out of control. When he's got the matches ... his hands shaking but his voice not. Because his hands can afford to shake, but if his voice did, Sammy would know how scared he was.

I love Dean rising to the occasion, even as a ten year old. And being a bit of a brat, too. Dickweasle. That still kinda cracks me up. :D


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apieceofcake
apieceofcake
Jo
Fri, Sep. 8th, 2006 12:47 pm (UTC)

I've got 2 11 year olds going on 13 :-(

Dean though he was 10 going on 13, he ended up 10 going on older than most of us..he really stepped up to the mark.

Loved Dean, loved John and little Sammy. And that scene with John & Dean in the hospital..awesome!

You've really got it in for John at the moment..not that I'm complaining..bring it on ;-) *g*


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Tue, Sep. 12th, 2006 09:42 am (UTC)

LOL. I'm always amazed how often my nephew (who I helped raise) ends up in my Dean and/or Sammy characterizations as children. He's 19 now, and I told him the other day he was the inspiration for the Sammy dance. He laughed and laughed and laughed, because he knew EXACTLY what I was talking about. :D


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phantomas
phantomas
phantomas
Fri, Sep. 8th, 2006 12:48 pm (UTC)

I'll never catch up if you people keep posting pearls like this :)

You know, as far as I am concerned, the John and Dean relationship, especially as the biys are growing up: you're IT. *g*
No, relaly, i mean that, I can 'see' these scenes happening between them, these exchanges.
thank you so much. for the story. not for delaying me in my catching up mission ;P
*hugs you tight*


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Tue, Sep. 12th, 2006 09:46 am (UTC)

You rock for saying this. Thank you so much.


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bbrownsugar
bbrownsugar
Elle
Fri, Sep. 8th, 2006 12:54 pm (UTC)

I love it. I love the way John has raised his boys, and I love that six-year-old Sammy knows how to probably hold a loaded shotgun. It makes me wonder just how early he introduced them to it, and how long it took for it to stick.

Great story!


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bbrownsugar
bbrownsugar
Elle
Fri, Sep. 8th, 2006 01:16 pm (UTC)

That was supposed to be 'properly'. I haven't had coffee yet ;(.


ReplyThread Parent
quellefromage
quellefromage
quellefromage
Fri, Sep. 8th, 2006 01:09 pm (UTC)

Wow. Intense, and damned funny, too. I enjoyed the hell out of this. You just keep on doing what you need to do to John, Dean and Sam, and everything will be just fine. Thanks for sharing this.


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Tue, Sep. 12th, 2006 09:45 am (UTC)

Thanks! I'm glad you liked it.


ReplyThread Parent
wishforhome
wishforhome
but you won't be fooling me
Fri, Sep. 8th, 2006 02:21 pm (UTC)

*cries*

Okay, this is gorgeous. Dean!snark to John!bleeding and my heart just breaks and then feels all warm and fuzzy and... I'm in love.

Yeah, that about sums it up. I'm completely in love.

So when are you gonna finish that other one so that I can fall in love with it too?


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Tue, Sep. 12th, 2006 09:44 am (UTC)

Thanks! LOL ... I actually kinda posted this one because I've been torturing you by not finishing the other one. Figured I needed to give you something to read until I can quit expanding SEASONs to opus length and actually end it so you can start it. :D


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wishforhome
wishforhome
but you won't be fooling me
Fri, Sep. 8th, 2006 02:36 pm (UTC)

And I've been meaning to ask -- do you have AIM, Yahoo! Messenger or MSN?


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Tue, Sep. 12th, 2006 09:47 am (UTC)

I'm to computers what Dean is to ... um ... airplanes. If I tried to put an instant messenger on this thing, it would probably blow up on me. Or try, at least. :D


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marinarusalka
marinarusalka
Rusalka
Fri, Sep. 8th, 2006 02:37 pm (UTC)

I'm gonna sabotage your John Angst Meter and keep it broken, if it produces fic like this. :-)

Loved the snarky humor of the opening scene, then the sudden shift to violence and horror, and Dean being so brave and competent, and Sam being a scared little kid but still doing what his big brother said. Loved John's pride in his kids, and him saying goodbye just in case. And the final scene in the hospital was just the right combo of sweet and funny.


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Tue, Sep. 12th, 2006 09:50 am (UTC)

Thanks! I'm glad you dug the suddenness of that shift. It was kind of weird, as the story actually shifted on me that quickly. It wasn't until Dean and Sammy were in the restroom that I actually realized what this story was getting ready to do. And since really, all I had in my head at that point was breakfast snark anyway, I thought ... why the heck not? Which kind of made it a little weird, as I was caught as flat footed by the sudden shift into emergency mode as the characters were, which think kind of helped out in feeling where they were at.


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Tue, Sep. 12th, 2006 09:51 am (UTC)

Thank you. *bow* *bow* *throws chocolate out in gratitude for slow clapping*


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deirdre_c
deirdre_c
Entendre? Make mine a double.
Fri, Sep. 8th, 2006 02:41 pm (UTC)

Terrific, hon! I love foul-mouthed John to pieces! I love how he doesn't talk down to the boys:

John tried not to smile. "That’s just a saying, Sammy. Dean’s going to the little girl’s room."
Sam’s eyes got even more worried. "I don’t want to go there either," he said.
"You can go to the men’s room, Sammy. Your brother’s the only one acting like a little bitch."


Hee!

And the action is great! That both boys were working in lock-step, that John took that moment to reassure Dean, just in case he didn't make it. So, so good. Thanks for sharing!


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Tue, Sep. 12th, 2006 09:57 am (UTC)

Thanks! It as really important to me that John make sure Dean knew he'd done everything right even if it didn't work. He was so proud of seeing how Dean responded to the situation, and given his physical condition, he couldn't really tell him that the way I'm sure he would have liked. But I think it would have been so important to him to make sure that if it failed and he died, that Dean not blame himself for not being able to save him when he'd done so much more than any other kid could be expected to do.

I think that would have been essential to John to get out. One of those things he'd come back from the grave to tell him, if he had to. At which time, Dean would no doubt salt and burn him, but still ... :D


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trishabooms
trishabooms
trishabooms
Fri, Sep. 8th, 2006 02:52 pm (UTC)

This was just superb! Excellent writing.
Thank you for the read.


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Tue, Sep. 12th, 2006 09:58 am (UTC)

Thanks. I apprecaite it.


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ginnytonnick
ginnytonnick
SUGAR AND SPICED RUM AND EVERYTHING NICE
Fri, Sep. 8th, 2006 03:20 pm (UTC)

Love this. I can't pull out any parts to point to, because it's as a whole that it's perfect.


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Tue, Sep. 12th, 2006 09:59 am (UTC)

Thanks so much.


ReplyThread Parent
littlewings04
littlewings04
Wednesday Addams in Grad School
Fri, Sep. 8th, 2006 03:30 pm (UTC)

This is really great. Well-paced and the writing is wicked tight. John calling Dean his little Marine really hit me hard, mostly because my Dad called me similiar things growing up whenever I handled emergencies with sure and steady hands. Brought back a lot of memories there, and it just fit. I really loved this.


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Tue, Sep. 12th, 2006 09:53 am (UTC)

Wicked tight. I LOVE that description. Thank you SO much. Very cool it tapped into something personal for you. I think the aspect of seeing your child rise to a challenge is a bit universal in terms of parent love and pride, only unique for John in terms of his son's challenge being so life and death in the articulation rather than something more along the lines of getting an A on a term paper or something.


ReplyThread Parent
antigone11
antigone11
antigone11
Fri, Sep. 8th, 2006 04:41 pm (UTC)

"Yeah. Right. Crawl up here with me."

Dean hesitated. "I’m not supposed to do that."

"Says who?"

"Lily. She’s your night nurse."


That sounds like he tried it while John was still unconscious. *sniff* I love Dean careening back and forth between being a child and a responsible adult. Sure he's doing a few years too soon, but with his upbringing it doesn't surprise me.


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Tue, Sep. 12th, 2006 09:59 am (UTC)

LOL. I'm so glad it read that way as that is exactly what I was thinking. Um ... I tried that already Dad and found out it's against the rules. :D


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Tue, Sep. 12th, 2006 10:03 am (UTC)

Thanks! I enjoyed letting it be a moment of crisis that didn't have anything to do with being supernatural, but did use the same skills that John taught them for their supernatural work. Kind of a bonus thing: if you ever need this to survive when a ghost gets you, you've got it. And, oh yeah, if a robber ever shoots me in a diner, you can save my life with it to. So bonus, dude! :D

Someone in one of the prompts communities mentioned that they wanted to read some SPN fic that had to do with them dealing with non-supernatural every diay problems, and while I didn't write that for this (armed robbery didn't really seem to fit the every-day aspect of the request), it did put me to thinking what kind of thing the family might face that would require their skills but not be supernatural in nature ... kind of along the Benders line. Which I'm pretty sure was in my head when this story took off in the direction it did. Cause it sure wasn't planned.


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adelheide
adelheide
Queen of the Monkey People
Fri, Sep. 8th, 2006 06:32 pm (UTC)

Um...I thought you needed a break from the John angst?

Not that I mind. This was fabulous. I love how you capture the petulance to Dean and the sunniness of Sam. Because, yeah, kids get to a certain age and then they just start banging on your buttons because they know they can.

Dickweasel--hee.


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Tue, Sep. 12th, 2006 10:04 am (UTC)

LOL. I decided it was a break from John's MENTAL angst I needed. At least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. :D

I thought you might get a kick out of dickweasle LOL


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tsuki_no_bara
tsuki_no_bara
cindy
Fri, Sep. 8th, 2006 07:01 pm (UTC)

i love the interaction with john and the boys before he gets shot, and then with dean in the hospital - john the dad, not john the drill sergeant, when it was still early enough in their demon-hunting career for him to remember how to BE a dad. i love snarky!dean and wee!sammy, and i really like how dean pulls it together after john's shot, altho wow, scary shit. no ten-year-old should know how to cauterize a wound, much less have to do it. john's thought processes while he's bleeding out are very vivid - i think that's the word i want - very thorough and very good. i love that he told dean he was proud of him, because i don't think john said that very often.

Sammy’s always going to do what you tell him to. Well, at least until he gets taller than you. - and then he's not going to listen to anyone.


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Tue, Sep. 12th, 2006 10:07 am (UTC)

Thanks! I was really digging on the opportunity to put John's life in Dean's hands in a way where John would feel like Dean is who he would want taking care of him in this situation, as compared to someone else. I think that's more relevant to their realtionship than it is sometimes portrayed -- how much John trusts Dean as much as Dean trusts John, and that he doesn't just view him as a son, but also as a peer in many ways, even if it is a younger, protoge type peer.


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