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SPN Fic: Keep Going (Gen, R, Pre-Series/SPN Christmas) - Bloodslave for Cookies
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I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Sun, Dec. 16th, 2007 05:46 am
SPN Fic: Keep Going (Gen, R, Pre-Series/SPN Christmas)

So okay, A Very Supernatural Christmas wasn't nearly as bad as I feared it would be. In fact, the episode itself, while not anywhere out of the middle zone (at best) in terms of good, didn't actually even torque me with what it chose to do on the John front. Why? Because I could come up with twenty-seven different reasons why John wasn't there within three minutes that didn't require him to be an asshole or not love his sons. And that was without even trying. In fact, nothing the episode aired actually made John out as anything other than missing. WHY he was missing was left completely off camera, so it didn't put anything into canon that I have to look at and go "Uh uh, no fucking way!" which, of course, was my big fear.

Now FANON, on the other hand, seems to have more or less lost its nut over this episode. Of course, John wasn't there because he FORGOT Christmas. Or he doesn't CARE about Christmas. Or he doesn't love his sons enough to BE THERE for Christmas. Or so on, and so on, and so on.

All of which, of course, kinda torques me a little. I know it shouldn't. I know I should just roll my eyes and say "whatEVA" in that "talk to the hand" tone of voice teen girls manage so well. But, you know, I haven't been a teen girl in a very long, long, long time, so instead I thought hey, I should write a meta.

And then I thought no, I don't wanna write a meta. Because as much as I can point out 27 different "John wasn't there because" pro-John scenarios, none of them have any more foundation in the actual show canon as established by this episode than any of the fanon con-John scenarios do. The simple truth is: the show left it completely up to us.

So grabbing that donkey and running like a bitch with it, I was right in the middle of finishing off a two chapter installment of Skin Deep (virtually all Bobby, BTW, except for the rather explicit John/Mary sex stuff ... how the hell did that get in there again?) when this story ambushed me and demanded that I write it instead. So I did. Because, you know, John loves Christmas. He stole a BEER WREATH for Dean, for God's sake. So here's my take on where John was during the flashback sequences of A Very Supernatural Christmas.

And for all you fellow Johners out there? Merry Christmas, y'all. This one's for you. Because we all know this is the way it really happened, right? Even if those other SPN fen think John was absentee for some other, less reasonable reason.

Title: Keep Going
Author: Dodger Winslow
Genre: Gen, Pre-series
Word Count: 4,130
Rating: R for language
Spoilers: A Very Supernatural Christmas
Disclaimer: I don't own the boys, I'm just stalking them for a while ...

Summary: He was too far off the road. No one would see him lying here in a ditch; and even if they did, they probably wouldn’t stop. If he didn’t get up again, he’d freeze to death right where he fell, and they wouldn’t find his body until the spring thaw. That was as bad as lying there curled up in a fetal ball by a bloody tree; it was as bad as letting himself crawl into a cave and lie down because at least it was dry there, even if it was still freezing and he wouldn’t make it through the night on naked stone. He had to keep going, dammit.He had to keep going.

Keep Going


John tripped, fell, got up again, kept going. He wasn’t sure where he was, wasn’t sure how long he’d been repeating this endless repetition of one foot in front of the other.

A day maybe.

Or three.

He wasn’t sure.

He couldn’t tell.

He heard a car and thought it was in his mind. He didn’t turn because if he had, he wasn’t sure he wouldn’t fall again. He didn’t stop because if he had, he wasn’t sure he’d be able to get himself going again.

And he had to keep going.

He tripped, fell, got up again, kept going.

"Hey. Are you okay?"

John heard the question, but it didn’t make much sense to him. He would have answered it if he could have figured out how to do that; but he wasn’t sure what that would entail, and he couldn’t afford to waste the energy to figure it out.

He tripped, fell, got up again, kept going.

"Son of a …"

He heard the sound of tires losing traction on ice, then heard a car door slam and someone’s boots crunching their way across the road in his direction. But even so, it still surprised him when someone touched him. Scared him. He jerked away, tried to defend himself but only managed to trip, fall, roll down an incline into the ditch again, lie there in the snow and bleed into the cold ground again.


He was too far off the road. No one would see him lying here in a ditch; and even if they did, they probably wouldn’t stop. If he didn’t get up again, he’d freeze to death right where he fell, and they wouldn’t find his body until the spring thaw. That was as bad as lying there curled up in a fetal ball by a bloody tree; it was as bad as letting himself crawl into a cave and lie down because at least it was dry there, even if it was still freezing and he wouldn’t make it through the night on naked stone.

He had to keep going, dammit.

He had to keep going.

John struggled against the slick of cold snow, cursing the lack of traction as he tried to make it to his feet again, tried with everything he still had just to keep going. He only got as far as his knees before he lost his balance again, fell again, landed on his face in the snow again. His busted arm was twisted up under him this time, and the pain made the world seem dully indistinct and overpoweringly bright at the same time. He thought he might puke, but he didn’t … if for no other reason than because he simply didn’t have the strength it took to accomplish that biological function any more.

He would have liked to take a breather just to rest for a minute, but he was afraid if he did, he wouldn’t be able to get going again, and he had to keep going.

Digging his good hand into numbingly cold snow, John twisted raw fingers in until he found a grip he could use to claw his way back to his knees. He didn’t know where his gloves were, but they sure would be nice right about now. He was pretty sure he’d had a hat at one point, too; but he didn’t know where that was any more either, and his ears were so numb it didn’t really seem important any more.

He wasn’t sure if he was flat on his face or swaying unsteadily on his knees in the ditch when someone touched him again, but it didn’t scare him this time … not because he expected it any more than he had the last time so much as just because he didn’t even have the strength it took to be scared any more.

Fuck being scared. Fuck defending himself from attack. What he needed right now was to keep going. That was all that really mattered at this point: just to keep going.

Whoever touched him was talking to him in a voice he could barely hear. He couldn’t make out a damn thing they were saying, couldn’t have made any sense of it even if he’d been able to figure out what the words were. To be perfectly honest, he wasn’t even sure there was someone there until a shoulder slipped under his armpit and a hand knotted itself into his jacket and someone helped him back to his feet again, steadied him there until his knees quit trying to give in and dump him back on his ass.

He turned his head, blinked blood out of his eyes as he tried to focus.

"I think your arm’s broken," whoever it was said. "Try not to move it any more than you have to, okay?"

Sure. Whatever. He didn’t really give a shit about his arm right now anyway. He just needed to get moving again. Just needed to keep going.

He wasn’t sure if he said something to that effect or not, but they were moving again when he tripped, almost fell, thought he was going to fall until the man wedged under his arm caught him by the wrist and the jacket, held onto him and kept him upright.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa. Don’t be getting yourself all twisted up there, friend. Let me do the hard stuff, and you just worry about putting one foot in front of the other, okay?"

John thought about telling the man they weren’t friends and decided against it. He tried to tell the man he was late, though, and that he had to keep going or he wasn’t going to make it home again; but he couldn’t get the words to come out in any order that made sense even to him, let alone to somebody else.

He wasn’t quite sure what in the hell they were doing until they were actually out of the ditch and standing on the side of the road again. Climbing that small incline was just about the hardest thing he’d ever done, but they made it without falling again, and that was something special. The man was still talking to John like he was a five-year-old on a bike without training wheels, and John still wasn’t following a damn thing the guy said, but just the sound of his voice was encouraging. It helped just to know someone was there, just to know someone had stopped after six cars passing him and not one of them stopping to come back.

Maybe they were friends after all.

At some point in the endless journey across the road to the car idling on the other shoulder, John decided the guy must be a father. He had that kind of perseverance in how he never lost his patience with John tripping, nearly falling, struggling to get his balance back again, fighting through the pain just to keep himself going.

He had no idea how long it took them to actually get to the car, but when they did, he fell again before the man could get him inside. He apologized as best he could while the poor guy was busting a gut trying to horse him back to his feet; but his lips were so numb they couldn’t actually form words, so he just mumbled something incoherent, hoped the sentiment came through in how hard his hands were shaking when the man finally got him balanced again, finally got the car door open so he could maneuver John into the backseat like a two hundred pound sack of dead meat.

The inside of the car was warm, and it felt a bit like heaven. He thought for several miles that it was just him in the backseat and the guy who dragged him out of the ditch driving, but then he realized there was a woman sitting right beside him, and she kept touching his face with something that might have been a scarf, or maybe it was just her fingers. She must have wiped blood out of his eyes six or seven times, tried at least that hard to warm his skin up by laying her palms flat on his cheeks, on his forehead and chin, on his neck, over his ears.

He heard a child’s voice, but couldn’t tell if it was a girl or boy.

"Is he going to die, Mama?"

"No, Livy. Turn around and help your daddy drive."

A girl then, he thought. Either that or a boy who was going to get in a lot of fights when he was older.

The air in the car stayed a nice, even warm; and it eventually seeped deep enough into his skin to start thawing him from numb to something that aspired with all its heart to just please, dear God please, be numb. The pain rose through his body like Armageddon on a hell of a lot more than just four horses, and John paid it due homage by letting out a string of curses that no doubt scorched Livy’s tender eardrums to ash before he remembered there was a child in the car and did what he could to bite down on the worst of his overly explicit profanities.

"What does fuck mean, Mama?"

"Turn around and ask your daddy, Livy," the woman said.

She was still working overtime to keep his eyes free of the slow seep of blood coming off a deep gash in his forehead, and another one higher on his scalp. Her hands felt more like heating pads when she laid them to his face now that the handprints of holy water pressed into a possessed man’s flesh they’d seemed to be earlier. He realized she was talking to him suddenly, and that she had been all along. Her words started making a little sense once he knew they were there, once he knew he was supposed to listen.

Even though she really didn’t have much to say beyond empty platitudes and hollow re-assurances, those things were spoken in the tone of someone trying to comfort a total stranger for no better reason than because they were the kind of person who would stop on an icy road to try and comfort a total stranger. John felt a little sick with how grateful he was for such a simple thing, how much it helped to hear anything at all spoken by someone who’d cared enough just to stop and help him when he didn’t think he could keep going if someone didn’t.

He forced his eyes open, turned his head to look at her, blinked through the haze of disorientation to try and see her. She might have been twenty or she might have been fifty. He wasn’t sure. He couldn’t tell.

"What day is it?" he asked.

His voice cooperated enough to put the words into some kind of cohesive order this time, but he didn’t think she understood him because she didn’t answer, she just said, "Shhhhh. It’s not far now. We’ll be there in no time, you’ll see."

More empty platitudes. More hollow re-assurances.

"What day?" he asked again.

"It’s Christmas!" Livy offered brightly from where she was hanging over the front seat, watching him. "We’re going to be late to Grandma’s house, and that’s just tough if she doesn’t like it."

"Livy Ann," her mother snapped. "For the last time, turn around and sit down."

The girl sighed expressively. "Yes, Mama," she said, then offered John a fervent "Merry Christmas," before she complied.

"How’s he doing, Kay?" someone asked. The man. The guy who picked him up and kept him going.

"He’s still bleeding. Hurry if you can."

"Ice is pretty bad," the man told her. "Going as fast as I can without running the risk of putting us all in the ditch."

"Thank you for stopping," John whispered.

The woman smiled at him. Whatever age she was, she had a beautiful smile. "What’s your name?" she asked like she wasn’t sure if he spoke English or not. "Can you tell me what your name is?"

"John," he said.

"John?" she repeated. "Is that what you said? John?"

"John," he agreed.

"John," she repeated a second time. She still didn’t look like she was sure she’d gotten it right. "John what?" she asked after a moment. "Can you tell me your last name, John?"

He swallowed, didn’t answer that one because he had no idea which credit card he was carrying, or what the insurance card in his wallet would say.

"Do you have a phone?" he asked instead.

"Phone?" She looked at him like he’d asked for a fucking reindeer or something.

"Phone," he agreed. "Do you … have a … phone."

"We’re almost there, John," she said, patting his broken arm, turning the world a greyish-green with the pain of just a small touch.

"Holy mother of God …" John hissed, gritting his teeth, working as hard as he could not to call her something else entirely. "Fuck. Oh, fuck. Fuck."

She understood that. "Put your hands over your ears again, Livy," she said, smiling at John like she didn’t want to wash his mouth out with soap even though her eyes indicated she might actually feel quite differently.

"Sorry," he managed. "Just. My arm."

"It’s okay," she said, patting him again. "Don’t worry about it."

He let lose another string of descriptive profanities, actually succeeded in getting his point across this time.

"Oh, God." She blanched, almost touched his arm a third time before she caught herself. "I’m so sorry, John."

"T’s okay," he gritted out between clenched teeth. "Don’t worry about it."

"God’s mother is Mary," Livy offered from the front seat. "And she’s holy because she's Madonna."

"Jesus’s mother is Mary," her mother corrected, not touching the Madonna thing with a ten-foot pole. "And you don’t have your hands over your ears, do you, young lady?"

"Mary," John whispered under his breath.

"Mary’s mother is Joseph," Livy clarified helpfully.

Her father snorted.

"Today is Jesus’s birthday," she added. "We’re going to Grandma’s house to eat cake."

"Turkey," her mother corrected.

"And pumpkin pie," her dad offered in a tone of voice that sounded like a smile.

"A phone," John said again, forcing the words to get them past his teeth. "Please … do you have a phone?"

"We’re only a couple minutes away now, John," the woman told him. "We’ll be there soon. Just try to lie still, okay?"

"My boys …" he said.

The car swerved a little as the man in the front seat twisted around, looked over his shoulder.

"Pay attention to the road, Bill," the woman snapped. Then to John, she said, "Are your boys still in the car, John?" Her eyes were bright with fear; her pretty smile, twisted in an effort not to look as horrified as she sounded.

"No," he whispered. "Home alone. Expecting me."

"Oh, thank God," the man in the front seat said fervently.

"God watches over you when you’re home alone," Livy opined.

"We’re almost there, John," the woman told him. "We’ll have them call your boys from the hospital, okay?"

"How old are your boys?" Livy asked. "Do they like cake?"

They must have been bored out of their minds in an ER on Christmas day because there was a gurney and half a dozen people on him almost before the car finished rolling to a stop. "You’ll be okay, John," the woman told him as the hospital staff did their damnedest to tear him apart by dragging him out of the car and loading him onto a gurney. "Everything will be okay, now." She looked at one of the nurses and said, "I think his sons are home alone. Somebody needs to call them." She held John’s hand until they had him settled, then let it go as they wheeled him away.

"Bye bye!" Livy called, waving enthusiastically at him from the front seat. "See you later, alligator!"

"Crocodile," John muttered, pretty sure she couldn’t hear him, but willing to say it just in case.

"Not too soon, you big baboon!" he heard her calling after him as the bay doors popped open and they wheeled him into the ER proper. The place was small and virtually empty. There’d been some kind of ice storm, he heard someone say. Evidently, in their neck of the woods, that meant people stayed the fuck home where they belonged rather than getting out on the roads and running into one another.

They must have assumed he wasn’t from around there because they attributed his cracked head to a windshield and the broken arm and ribs to a steering wheel. They quizzed him a little, asking if there were any other cars involved or if there was anyone with him who might still be out there, then watched his responses like they were at least as interested in the way he answered as they were in the actual answers he gave. He lied his ass off for the most part, considering it a Christmas present of sorts to preserve their peace of mind by not telling them what really tried to wrap him around a tree the hard way before he killed the evil fuck with silver and consecrated iron.

They did a pretty thorough once-over, then settled into stitching up the worst of his gashes while they waited for chest films and told him he was slotted for a CAT scan as soon as they found the guy who knew how to run it. He hoped they were kidding, but he suspected they weren’t.

They had him covered with half a dozen blankets in deference to the fact that his skin temperature was equitable to an ice cube in an igloo, and they had hot packs and heating pads packed in on either side of him, as well as under his knees, ankles and the small of his back. By the time the deep chill had started to ease out of his body cavity, he’d asked three people for a phone without getting one, and he was starting to get a little pissy about it. One of the nurses made a counter-offer, told him she’d dial if he told her the number; so he recited them slowly, careful to get them in the right order despite the fact that some fresh-faced jack-off was stitching his head shut like he’d been gotten his suture training in a taxidermy school or a mortuary.

When the nurse handed him the receiver, the line was already ringing. Dean sounded half frantic and half terrified when he said, "Hello?"

"Hey, bud," John whispered.

"Dad." The boy started crying, then did his damnedest to sound like he wasn’t. "Where are you? Are you okay? Sammy’s been scared shitless."

"I’m okay," John lied. "You?"

"Yeah. We’re okay. We’re fine. Where are you? What happened?"

"Got held up," John managed. "Be home in a couple of days. Sorry about Christmas."

"Don’t worry about stupid Christmas," Dean said, the tears in his voice more evident under the stress of that single word. "As long as you’re okay, that’s all that matters. Are you okay?"

"I’m okay," he lied again. "Promise."

"Sammy was scared," Dean said again. "He was really, really scared, Dad."

"I know. Tell him I’m sorry."

Somebody was fucking with his arm while John talked, and the sudden jerk on it almost made him black out. "Son of a bitch," he hissed, swallowing hard to keep the pain from coming out as a scream until it settled back to a dull roar. "That’s still attached, you dumb bastard," he told the ER doc who shrugged his direction, gave him a half-smile that said "thought you weren’t paying attention, figured that was a good time to set it."

"Are you in a hospital, Dad?" Dean demanded, his tone tight with almost frantic concern.

"I’m in a bar somewhere," John lied. "Drinking myself through Christmas and into the New Year."

Dean hesitated, then asked, "Huh?"

"You heard me."

"I can hear you’re in a hospital, Dad. Why are you saying you’re in a bar?"

"I’m not telling you that," John clarified. "You’re telling Sammy that."

"I am?" Dean said. Then, "Why?"

"Because I told you to."

Dean didn’t say anything.

"Let him be mad at me, Dean," John added finally, quietly. "It’s better than being scared every time I’m two hours late getting home."


"No buts," John interrupted. "You know the truth; that’s enough for me. And I’m telling you the truth, so that’s enough for you, right?"

"I’m sorry, Mr. White," the nurse who’d given him the phone said. "The CAT scan’s free, and the doctor wants you to have your head examined, so you’ll have to say goodbye now."

He nodded a little, regretted doing that a lot.

"Why are you having your head examined?" Dean demanded before he had a chance to say anything more.

"Because I’m not smart enough to keep it away from trees," John told him. "I have to go now, Dean. I’ll be home in a couple of days. Take care of your brother."

"Don’t go yet, Dad."

"I have to," John repeated. "I’m sorry, son. I meant to be there."

"I know."

The nurse didn’t give him a chance to say goodbye before she took the phone out of his hand. He would have fought her for it, but he was too fucking tired, and she looked like she could kick his ass on a good day.

And this was most definitely not a good day.

Dean must have said something as she started to put the receiver back in the cradle, because she stopped, held the phone up to her ear for a second then said, "Okay, but only that."

She held the phone down again, and Dean said, "I love you, Dad. I’ll take care of Sammy. I’ll make sure he has a good Christmas."

"Good boy," John said, fighting the tightness in his throat to get the words out. "Wish I was there."

"I wish you were, too," Dean said, his voice catching. "Call me tomorrow, okay?"

"Count on it," John said.

The nurse took the phone away again, and they started wheeling him down a hallway. Someone who wasn’t the nurse with the phone or the guy who set his arm smiled down at him and said, "Don’t worry, Mr. White. You’ll be home before you know it."

"First Christmas I’ve ever missed," he managed like that would matter in the slightest to her.

But it seemed to. She seemed to actually give a shit that there were tears leaking from his eyes now when there hadn’t been any there before, tears tracking down the side of his face to pool in his ears because he was being a punk-ass bitch about something that couldn’t be helped.

"The first one’s always the hardest," she told him kindly. "I’m sure their mother will hold the fort until you get home again."

"Yeah," John said, listening to the relentless pulse of blood through his veins. "Their mother will hold the fort." He closed his eyes, tried to imagine Mary’s face, tried to remember his first Christmas with her rather than his first Christmas without her.

The gurney jolted over a rough spot in the floor, and he must have grunted, because someone said "Sorry ’bout that."

"Yeah," he mumbled. "First one’s always the hardest."

He closed his hand to a fist, trying to hold on, trying to keep going. To his surprise, he felt fingers already there; felt someone’s hand in his, holding on, holding back. He opened his eyes as the gurney jolted on rough linoleum floor tiles for the second time and saw the same nurse keeping pace by his side: the one who gave a shit that some stranger was crying over missing Christmas with a couple of boys she didn’t know from Adam.

And she was holding his hand.

The damn woman was holding his hand.

"Thank you," John whispered, blinking back tears again as he tightened his grip on her, held on just because she was there.

She squeezed his hand as hard as he was squeezing hers, smiled at him and said, "Merry Christmas, Mr. White."

"John," he said, his voice cracking.

"Merry Christmas, John," she revised.

She stayed with him until they had him set up for the CAT scan, only left after they’d started the damn thing up with enough buzzing clatter to wake the dead. John closed his eyes and listened to the ruckus, thought about his boys waiting for him and did his best to get up again and keep going.





Tags: , , ,
Current Mood: satisfied satisfied


Sun, Dec. 16th, 2007 12:43 pm (UTC)

That was so wonderful and sooooo needed! You explained things the way I see them in my head, like telling Sammy he's at a bar, not hurt.

I'm glad the ep didnt damn John...very relieved, just staying away from the general fandom to prevent a John bashing stroke.

Now, if we can make it through ep 10 in canon and fanon, life will be great!

I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Wed, Dec. 19th, 2007 06:50 am (UTC)

Thank ya! I've avoided as much of the John-bashing as I can, too. Can't avoid it all, but I'm pretty good at spotting it a mile off, so I detour if I can.

ReplyThread Parent
Sun, Dec. 16th, 2007 01:01 pm (UTC)

Thank you for this, Dodger. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I was contemplating writing a very long and nasty letter to Kripke about vilifying dead parents mid-series so you can glorify surrogate parents (who are incidentally played by conveniently recurring cast members who belong to the network) IS NOT CRICKET!

I KNOW the show left it open. But it doesn't hurt any less that the boys would think that way about a man who sold his soul for them and did the best he could, even though it wasn't always enough. And it sure doesn't hurt any less than FANDOM as a collective seems to think that Papa Winchester was an obsessed bastard who put the hunt before his boys and never let them have a childhood. Dude, he went to great lengths to preserve Sammy's innocence for eight years, even when he knew that Dean's innocence had been a lost cause ever since his mother went up in flames. And that makes him a bad parent how?

I suspect, however, that you won't be this magnanimous about episode ten. Even I wanted to pull a Missouri and take a slipper to Dean's rather fine behind about that, and that was just from reading the SIDES. I'm only going to wait for so long for you to clean up your act, Kripke!

Mon, Dec. 17th, 2007 08:46 pm (UTC)

I suspect, however, that you won't be this magnanimous about episode ten.

FWIW, I don't see it quite that bad ... I've read the 3.10 sides, and it's not a true look at John at all. What I read/saw was a twisted distortion of John, not a real memory or flashback at all. Which, as Dodger is saying here, has everything to do with perception. Perception and reality are not always the same flavor.

LOL, and I always insist the glass is half full. *G*
Cheers ~


ReplyThread Parent Expand

(no subject) - (Anonymous)
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Wed, Dec. 19th, 2007 07:10 am (UTC)

Thanks! Other than the obvious episode tie that prompted me to write this one, I was following a string I've been tugging on for quite a while in wanting to show the Winchesters in the position that is more normal to the people they save. So I was having fun with all the OCs just in bringing them in and out of John's range of vision at a time when he was in dramatic need as a reflection of how victims of Supernatural evil must sometimes feel when someone like John or Dean or Sam shows up and saves them just because they can, even though they are total strangers and have no real reason to risk anything for these people, other than that the people need help.

For me, there's such a strong sense of isolation in the Winchesters that I don't think they tend to be the beneficiary of much Samaratin kindness, so I wanted some people to move in and out of John's space in this story, none of them ever hanging around long enough for him to actually get to know them or thank them, but feeling the same kind of gratitude for their help that others must feel for the Winchesters help when they receive it.

ReplyThread Parent
I am weasel
Sun, Dec. 16th, 2007 01:52 pm (UTC)

I loved this.

The only way that man would have missed Christmas was if he'd been unable to get to his boys, not because he didn't want to, especially when they were still that young. He just wouldn't forget about it or them.

Excellent fic. :D

I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Wed, Dec. 19th, 2007 07:12 am (UTC)

Thank ya much! And absolutey ... I'm with you 100% on the idea that John wouldn't have missed this without a serious reason to do so. I could come up with a dozen of them right off the top of my head when I first saw the ep, but of course, the H/C one is going to be the most fun to write ... :D

ReplyThread Parent
Sun, Dec. 16th, 2007 02:05 pm (UTC)

I just knew it had to be something like this. Leave it to Dodger to figure it out for me.

Well done. What a wonderful fic to wake up to on Sunday morning.

It is sad but true that Dean did have a lot of responsbility. But that is just the way it was. I breaks my heart that John would rather Sam think he spent Christmas in a bar rather than at a hospital. But that fits into new canon doesn't it? Sam is not even supposed to know about hunting. What other reason could there be?


I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Wed, Dec. 19th, 2007 07:13 am (UTC)

Thanks. :D

I don't buy the "Sam doesn't know about hunting until he's 8." He would have had to be an idiot, and he was anything but an idiot. For me, that "revelation" was pure stupidity on their part, and I plan to ignore the hell out of it in most things I write. :D

ReplyThread Parent
Sun, Dec. 16th, 2007 02:40 pm (UTC)

What? You mean John WASN'T relaxing on a beach somewhere?


Thanks for this.

I'm very afraid of the anti-John backlash after episode 10. I just hope it turns out to be less bad than we expect, as this episode one was.

Sun, Dec. 16th, 2007 02:45 pm (UTC)

And I forgot to say: At some point in the endless journey across the road to the car idling on the other shoulder, John decided the guy must be a father. He had that kind of perseverance in how he never lost his patience with John tripping, nearly falling, struggling to get his balance back again, fighting through the pain just to keep himself going. is a thing of great beauty.

ReplyThread Parent Expand

Sun, Dec. 16th, 2007 03:18 pm (UTC)
Keep Going

Thank you so much for this. Jeffery Dean Morgan has become a full fledged star in his own right (movies popping up all over) and now even my 18 year old daughter is madly in love with him (even though I have to admit she fell hard for Denny way back when, who didn't?).

Whether you know it or not, you keep the John Winchester lore going in a way that serves his character, because most of the time he ends up the bad guy. To this day, Stay just crushes me, because of the relationship between him and Dean.

Anyway, thank you, it was heartbreaking and lovely. I loved Livy and her kind family and the nurse and of course the phone conversation between John and Dean.
As a mom, especially when my daughter was small, I always thought the key was to KEEP GOING too, no matter what life threw at us, because there was no way in hell I wasn't gonna be there for her. So far so good.

If I don't get a chance later, wanted to say Merry Christmas!

I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Wed, Dec. 19th, 2007 07:33 am (UTC)
Re: Keep Going

Merry Christmas to you, too! And thanks so much for the kind words ... especially about playing any part in keeping the John lore on track. Probably goes without saying that I love John to a ridiculous degree, so you saying my fic might help shed light on his struggle in ways that portrays it as noble rather than selfish is greatly appreciated. Certainly, exploring the difficulty of his choices and the tragedy of his life and how those two things present such huge obstacles to overcome in loving his children productively while also raising them and trying to keep them safe ... that's everything I love about Supernatural in a nutshell, and it all seems to be embraced by the John story arcs for me.

And I couldn't agree with you more about keeping going being the important thing about life. I have a piece on my wall based around a saying I find personally powerful and relevant: "The secret to winning at life is endurance."

Last man standing, and all that jazz. And John really typifies that struggle. Dean's comment about him "taking some horrible beatings, but he just kept coming" is very much an acknowledgement of the hero John is just in surviving his life for as long as he did.

ReplyThread Parent
Sun, Dec. 16th, 2007 03:26 pm (UTC)

I'm glad they left it open, because we get this :-) Which is of course what did happen!

>> Now FANON, on the other hand, seems to have more or less lost its nut over this episode. Of course, John wasn't there because he FORGOT Christmas. Or he doesn't CARE about Christmas. Or he doesn't love his sons enough to BE THERE for Christmas. Or so on, and so on, and so on.

I'm glad to say I haven't seen any of that.

Thank you :-)

I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Wed, Dec. 19th, 2007 07:34 am (UTC)

You're welcome. :D

And I'm really glad they left it open, too. This left so much room to speculate in, and those are the sweet spots for any fanfic writer, IMO.

ReplyThread Parent
a cool and cryptic inside joke
Sun, Dec. 16th, 2007 03:40 pm (UTC)

Oh this was just heartbreaking. So so well done and a very nice take on the John situation ! :)

I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Wed, Dec. 19th, 2007 07:35 am (UTC)

Thanks so much.

ReplyThread Parent

(no subject) - (Anonymous)
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Wed, Dec. 19th, 2007 07:35 am (UTC)

I am with you 1000% on that. Period. Exclamation point.

ReplyThread Parent
Sun, Dec. 16th, 2007 04:13 pm (UTC)

Wonderful! I adore this story. I was so sad because it seemed that John had let the boys down; this is so reasonable an explanation I hope it gets picked up as fanon. (for those who don't know - fanon is a fact that the fans make up that gets accepted as canon even if it isn't.)

I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Wed, Dec. 19th, 2007 07:36 am (UTC)

Thank ya much. I know John was doing something important. The hard part for me was to figure out which one of the many possibilities to pick to write about. :D

ReplyThread Parent
Sun, Dec. 16th, 2007 04:27 pm (UTC)

Oh, John.

I love 'Sammy was really, really scared'... Oh Dean...
These boys.

Lovely stuff.

I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Wed, Dec. 19th, 2007 07:38 am (UTC)

Thanks. :D

I was hoping that would come through: the whole Dean talking about his own fear by telling John that Sammy was scared ... when clearly, Sammy was much more IRKED than scared. Appreciate you letting me know it did.

ReplyThread Parent
Sun, Dec. 16th, 2007 04:32 pm (UTC)

Yes! Thank you! I can totally picture this happening and am so happy you wrote it.

I am so glad to see at least one person writing that John wasn't a lousy, uncaring father. Seriously, if he was so uncaring, he'd have dropped Dean and Sam off somewhere and walked away from them a long time ago, right? But, that's not what he did. He loved them so much that he kept them near him as much as possible and risked his life trying to keep them safe while saving other people's lives.

And I like that John told Dean the truth but wanted Sammy to still be in the dark because he didn't want him to worry. That tells me John cares right there.

And the tears while he was being taken for the CAT scan. My heart broke. I wanted to thank the nurse for grabbing his hand and letting him know that someone else DID care too.

Thank you so much for this one!

I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Wed, Dec. 19th, 2007 07:39 am (UTC)

Thanks! I love John, both as a man and a father. And the men Sam and Dean grew up to be with no one other than John serving as a primary influence on them proves to me, beyond any doubt, that he must have been an AWESOME dad, even if he did make his mistakes along the way. Pretty much like any other dad.

ReplyThread Parent
not quite tame
Sun, Dec. 16th, 2007 04:34 pm (UTC)

*howls, pounces on you*

Thank you. That's the sort of thing I needed to see. And then there's the bit where he shows up after a few days, and they all go out to the movies or something, because hey, the song says it's the twelve days of Christmas and who are we to argue, right, boys?

But thank you anyhow.

I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Wed, Dec. 19th, 2007 07:40 am (UTC)

LOL. I actually hae written a sequel to this that takes place shortly after John gets back home. Don't know when I'll post it ... probably just after Christmas.

ReplyThread Parent
Sun, Dec. 16th, 2007 04:49 pm (UTC)

EXACTLY! John would have been there if he could, and...yeah. Only this is only going to scare Sammy more, poor kid, since he now knows the truth about monsters and is worried about his dad getting got and so on, so it all just feeds into grown-up Emo!Sammy.

Thank you--though, really, the apologetics shouldn't be necessary. /sigh/ Oh, well...

I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Wed, Dec. 19th, 2007 07:43 am (UTC)

Thanks. For me, this wasn't really apologetics so much as it was clarification as to what John was doing when he didn't show up. There are givens to the John character from the way they've defined him, as a man, and as a father. And one of those givens is that he loved his sons and cared about their happiness. That he's never missed a Christmas before now clarifies he understands the importance of Christmas, so those assuming he didn't show up for some frivolous reason or because he just forgot are assuming something that is contrary to the show's canon in how they've portrayed John. So for me, I was just shining a flashlight on the off-camera activity. And, you know, playing with hurt!John, which is always fun. And kinda hot. :D

ReplyThread Parent