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do i dare or do i dare? [userpic]

Darkness Shall Follow 5/5

March 14th, 2007 (04:45 pm)

Title: Darkness Shall Follow

Author:

faye_dartmouth

 

Rating: PG-13 for creepiness and violence, gen

Characters: John, Dean, Sam

A/N: Okay. So this is it. The last chapter. I hope this ties up the loose ends in a way that makes people feel satisfied. There's nothing worse than a fic that doesn't end right. Thanks again to Brenna and sendintheclowns, and especially to

geminigrl11, who makes all things better merely by her presence.

 

Summary: It doesn't matter who it is. It just matters that it's not both of them. That he's going to save one and probably condemn the other. This destroys him either way.

Chatper One

Chapter Two

Chatper Three

Chapter Four
 

Epilogue

-o-

It's a year after Sam leaves when John picks up a trail of disappearances in a cemetery. Jackets and shoes found in a cemetery crypt in central Oregon. And he knows the date, he knows the date too well, and three people have disappeared there and the fourth will be gone soon if someone doesn't stop it.

This time, John knows. He knows it isn't a spirit. He knows exactly what to expect.

He's more careful than usual and his stealth is animalistic. He waits and plans and comes to the graveyard when all is dark and the houses are sleeping. He carries his pistol and his knife and nothing else.

There's a teenage boy, unconscious in the grass. His skin is white with the cold, and he's not wearing a jacket or shoes. He doesn't know the boy, but he recognizes him, recognizes his own sons in him, the other victims in him.

And the man is digging. He's so intent on his project that he doesn't even hear John sneak up. He doesn't even see him as John stands there, staring in a mixture of disbelief and anger. He doesn't even hear him take out his gun and aim it. He doesn't acknowledge John at all until John releases the safety with a telltale click.

The man freezes and John already recognizes the nondescript figure. He is panting a little, shovel still in his hands, and he is remarkably clean despite his activities.

Slowly, his movements cautious and simple, the man turns and looks up at him.

Their eyes meet and it's like it's three years ago and they're both inside the crypt in Duluth, Minnesota, just the two of them and all their secrets and lies.

"John Winchester," he says and it's like he's greeting an old friend. "I didn't expect to see you here."

It's John who smiles now, grimly and decidedly. "I didn't think you'd be so stupid," he said. "Did you think I wouldn't pick up your pattern again?"

Garrett shrugs noncommittally. "I thought maybe you'd learned your lesson," he said. "That maybe you'd taken those two boys of yours and settled down, given them a real life. I heard they both survived, by the way."

John snapped, "They're both fine and safe." He's had enough of this, enough of the cockiness, enough of his words, enough of him.

Garrett laughs, nodding cordially. "For now anyway."

"I did learn my lesson," John said, straightening his aim. "And they're better than they were before. If we stick together, if we train hard enough, nothing will get us."

"You actually believe that," Garrett says, surprised. "You think if you and those two boys of yours rage against the dying of the light long enough, that you can stop it? That's what most people think. That victory is in the fight." He sighs a little. "Sometimes victory is in the letting go."

John's trembling now, shaking with barely controlled emotion. The words are hard and true and wrong and he wants to spit on them, spit on this man, beat him till he's bloody.

Garrett waits for a second, still and watching. Then he purses his lips and his eyes narrow. "What are you going to do, John? How will you protect them? If it's not me--"

That's all the incentive John needs to pull the trigger.

Garrett falls without a sound, without even twitching, and the sound of the gunshot dissipated into silence in the cold night.

He let his aim fall, peering over the edge of the hole.

The man is sprawled, the shovel just beyond his hand. A dark stain spreadsacross his chest, from a bullet to the heart.

He feels like there should be more. There should be relief, satisfaction, something, but instead he just feels cold. The night has seeped into his bones and suddenly he just wants to get out.

But he can't. Not yet. There are still too many loose ends.

He turns and looks back at the boy on the grass. Looking closer, he can see the boy is probably 15 or 16. He has dark hair that needs to be trimmed and for a moment, it reminds him a little too much of Sam. But his face is rounder, a bit more full, and his features are soft and gentle. John rolls him gently on his back and feels for a pulse. The skin is cold--a little too cold--but he's alive. He ghosts his hands over the kid's body and finds a lump on the back of his head, so he's pretty sure how the kid ended up here.

The boy should be shivering more than he is, so John takes off his jacket and drapes it over the teen. He could just call 911 and give them a tip, but that won't do. He needs to dispose of the body and he doesn't want the kid to have to wait because it seems like he's probably waited more than he has to in a lifetime.

So he scoops up the boy into his arms, careful with his head, and takes him back to the truck. He lays the kid in the passenger's seat, tucking his own coat securely around him.

He drives fast and careful, periodically placing a hand on the boy to make sure he's okay. It seems like just a knock to the head, but the kid is still out cold, and that worries John more than he thinks it should.

Because it can't get personal. He's never let himself get involved with a victim.

But this isn't a regular case. And he doesn't know this boy's name, but he knows something about the pain he's gone through, the pain he almost went through, and John feels like he knows him well enough.

When he gets to the hospital, he hands the kid over and feeds them a sob story about being in the right place at the right time. He stays until the parents arrive, a nice looking couple with two other kids in tow. They're both crying and when they hear about John they want to glom all over him, hugs and thanks and tears.

John just smiles and nods and leaves them when they see their son.

As he leaves, he takes one look through the swinging doors to see the boy sitting and awake, smiling and letting his mother hug him. His younger sister is tugging at his arm and his older brother ruffles his hair.

John walks out and doesn't look back again.

-o-

He stops in the graveyard and salts and burns Garrett. He doesn't want to have to come back here. It's the freshest body he's ever burned, but he doesn't feel an ounce of regret as the stench fills his nostrils.

While the embers are still burning, he reburies the hole that Garrett made for the boy and he takes a certain pleasure as the ashes disappear beneath the dirt.

He's supposed to meet Dean in Colorado so the fastest route would be due east, but he convinces himself that he needs a few days off and takes a detour through California. He stops in Palo Alto, but never gets out of his truck, just lingers long enough to catch a glimpse of his son carrying his backpack and nursing a cup of coffee, talking to a friend and smiling.

And it's just good to know Sam's alive, that Sam's okay, that even if they're not together, maybe there's still something good in this mess that is their lives.

-o-

He's two days late when he gets to Colorado and Dean is anxious, but trying not to show it.

John smiles and claps his son on his shoulder.

Dean just looks at him, a little confused by the affection. "You okay, Dad? Was there a problem on the hunt?"

And John almost says yes, almost explains everything, but he can't find the words. He just stands there and looks at his son. He pats Dean's shoulder again, empathically this time. "No," he says. "No problems at all."

End

Comments

Page 1 of 2[1][2]
Posted by: Amy (mellaithwen)
Posted at: March 14th, 2007 10:19 pm (UTC)

and that--aspiring serial killers, demons and/or spiritual beings with a chip on yo' shoulder--is what happens when you fuck with the Winchesters.

Hell. YEAAAAH.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: March 18th, 2007 10:34 pm (UTC)

HEE! Yes. You shouldn't cross a Winchester.

But I'm kind of sad I killed my bad guy. He was way fun to write.

Thanks so much!

(And anything from you soon??)

Posted by: Amy (mellaithwen)
Posted at: April 29th, 2007 11:19 pm (UTC)

Posted by: a rearranger of the proverbial bookshelf (embroiderama)
Posted at: March 15th, 2007 12:09 am (UTC)
John - sappy

Great ending to this! I love John getting rid of the man who hurt his boys and then saving another boy. John tries to be hard, but he can't always make his heart quite as impenetrable as he'd like. Lovely story!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: March 18th, 2007 10:35 pm (UTC)
together

I usually don't like promoting revenge because I fundamentally disagree with it, but this seemed so JOHN to me that I had to have him off the guy. It's all he knows how to do, since he can't talk to his boys.

Posted by: Cynthia (coell)
Posted at: March 15th, 2007 02:59 am (UTC)
supernatural smirk

Great story to watch develop and the ending was fine by me! Thanks for the entertainment.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: March 18th, 2007 10:37 pm (UTC)
eye roll

I'm really glad it tied together okay. Thanks for reviewing!

Posted by: kunju (innie_darling)
Posted at: March 15th, 2007 03:51 am (UTC)
dean is a target

This was so well done. All three of the Winchesters were perfectly in character, even when they were hurled so far out of their ordinary world. Fantastic job!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: March 18th, 2007 10:41 pm (UTC)

I'm so glad to know it was in character--it's hard to say how they'd really act in such extreme circumstances, but that's why it's so fun to write.

Thanks!

Posted by: luu_alita (luu_alita)
Posted at: March 15th, 2007 04:24 am (UTC)

Oh my gosh, I'd missed you posting the last two and just checked on a whim hoping you'd updated! ^_^ (Glad I did, I've been waiting for this one.)

This chap (and the other's I missed reviewing figured I'd review all in one go.) were all so great and I'm glad Sammy came out ok and wow. Great story! ^_^

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: March 18th, 2007 10:43 pm (UTC)

I'm always glad to entertain, and I'm happy this worked for you.

Thanks!

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: March 18th, 2007 10:46 pm (UTC)
puppy dog eyes

John may not be able to talk to his sons, but he loves them, and visual confirmation that they're "okay" would be the least he could do.

Having John burn Garrett bothered me a little, but it was a logical closure, and you're right, it would mean something to him conquering that fear/failure in his life.

Thanks so much!

Posted by: iyalode (iyalode)
Posted at: March 15th, 2007 09:09 am (UTC)
SPN: Papa Winchester : S1

Y'know, after reading this, John Winchester hunter extraordinare makes perfect sense. That after the incident with Garrett, that John would hone his hunting skills to perfection.

I so enjoyed this.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: March 18th, 2007 10:48 pm (UTC)
lost

You know, I hadn't even thought about that, but it does make sense. John wouldn't have cared too much about himself necessarily, but protecting the boys--it was a huge part of his life.

Thanks!

Posted by: idiot4dean (idiot4dean)
Posted at: March 15th, 2007 09:47 am (UTC)

Perfect ending for the story. John exacts revenge on the son of a bitch who messed with his family. It's a bonus that he saved someone else the heartache that he had. No-one messes with the Winchesters and lives to tell the tale.

I really enjoyed this.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: March 18th, 2007 10:49 pm (UTC)
dude

John's based his entire life on revenge, so I can't imagine he'd let anyone really get away with hurting his boys. Plus, he needed to prove himself to himself, which is why it was so important to him.

Thanks!

Posted by: An accidental stillness (iamthedirtgirl)
Posted at: March 15th, 2007 02:01 pm (UTC)
bowed

This whole story was great and you did such an interesting thing here. Besides the meat of the story. I'm a big John fan, I recognize his flaws but I adore the man. Yet I found what you did here so fascinating. John in all his screwed up ways of dealing with Mary's death and his need to protect his sons, has stepped off the path of what is best for his sons in many ways. We, the audience, know that he went too far in how he managed things at times but in the end he was right. They need everything they learned from him if they are going to survive what is coming at them. If he had pulled back and given them normal, they'd be dead and Sam would be lost. But they couldn't know that when John was raising them and the fact that you have this seriously f'd up serial killer speaking what are basic truths about the kind of parent John should be and John being, in essence, the one in the wrong in that argument, is interesting. The bastard deserved to die no doubt about it and I wish it could have been filled with fear, but it must be disturbing to John on so many levels when he does get honest with himself, like you had him do here, that a man so deeply evil could see that if it were any other man outside of John's extraordinary circumstances, that John was being a bad parent putting his children in danger and seeming to put them last in his vendetta. It's not true. He's putting them first, in the need to protect them, even though I think that eroded over time and became more and more about Mary and less about Sam and Dean, except for moments here and there, but he was driven to keep them alive and safe while raising them and he was doing right by them. He did it all for them in the end and he proved that. It's still an interesting flip on the hero/villain perspective. Sorry if this rambled or didn't make better sense. Need sleep. off to do that. Thanks for the great story.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: March 18th, 2007 11:03 pm (UTC)

I'm decidedly not a John fan, but I do find his character fascinating.

I really do think he started the hunt with the intention of revenge, with this inability to accept what had happened to him, an inability to move on from what happened. He only could think of evil and he needed to save his boys from it, and plunged ahead somewhat oblivious to the danger he was in fact putting his sons in. It's not just that hunting was dangerous, but it hampered them both emotionally, which is I think the greatest tragedy.

Did he save his boys by doing this? Arguably (though in more moderation he might have had the best of both worlds), but that's only in hidsight, and when it comes to his intentions and when he made the decision, I'm not so sure he was justified.

But that's not to say that he's not human and that I don't get it.

I really enjoyed my serial killer here--and the way he knew more inherently about parenting than John seemed to. Yet who was the better and who was the worse? Is there any validity to the words of a serial killer? John has more in common with this man than he'd probably like to admit, which is why killing him was ultiamtely so important.

Anyway, I'm rambling now :) I really appreciate your thoughts. Thanks :)

Posted by: squishy is the new shiny! (teithiwr)
Posted at: March 15th, 2007 05:44 pm (UTC)
butch!dean

Hi! I haven't read the fic yet (although I definitely will once I have time), but wanted to butt in - I just noticed you've friended me, so I wanted to comment to say that I'm friending you back. Because I'm anal like that :)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: March 18th, 2007 11:04 pm (UTC)

Hey...sorry, I guess I should have commented before I friended. I hope you don't mind :)

Posted by: squishy is the new shiny! (teithiwr)
Posted at: March 19th, 2007 12:03 pm (UTC)

Posted by: i want to cause a ruckus (geminigrl11)
Posted at: March 15th, 2007 07:37 pm (UTC)

Another gorgeous tale, Faye! I am still chilled to the bone by your villain - a true serial killer, a HUMAN who is so much worse than the normal supernatural things they hunt. How he preyed on the boys (and so John's weaknesses: his pride, his tunnel vision).

You used the boys' burials - and Sam's injuries in particular - to such good effect, setting up such a beleivable transition to Sam leaving for Stanford.

John catching back up with the bastard and setting things to rights is SOOO satisfying. And it's kind of him to spare Dean the knowledge, the memories.

Bravo!!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: March 18th, 2007 11:05 pm (UTC)

I utterly loved my serial killer. I'm kind of sad he's dead.

And I used limpness for good effect? That's like my goal in life :)

I never really find revenge satisfying, but there was a sense that it had to happen, no matter if it's right or wrong or helps or doesn't. John had to. That's that.

Thanks :)

Posted by: the fbi's most unwanted (buffyaddict13)
Posted at: March 19th, 2007 06:54 am (UTC)
sam OMG!!!!11

okay, that was good. while garret was talking to john i kept thinking, "just shoot him" and then john did. whew.

excellent, excellent fic. also, you used the word "glom" which i quite enjoyed.

thank you so much for this. *hugs*

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: March 20th, 2007 10:32 pm (UTC)

I bothered myself by having John kill him but it was the John thing to do.

And glom--hee! That's the second squee over the word I've gotten. I had no idea :)

Thanks!

Posted by: squishy is the new shiny! (teithiwr)
Posted at: March 27th, 2007 09:12 am (UTC)
light (buabs)

Wow, it really took me a long time to get down to reading this last part... *hangs head*

But anyway! I like the way you've wrapped this up - and while I don't usually feel comfortable with the whole revenge thing, it seems the only way for closure here. Also, it feels very John. I also love how he goes to check on Sam, and so you get the feeling of family even here, when Sam's parted ways with the rest.

And man, that Garrett was a twisted son of a bitch. *shudders*

Posted by: niccy07 (niccy07)
Posted at: June 1st, 2007 04:10 pm (UTC)

I love this series!!! Full with lotsa and lotsa pre-series angst!

Before I go though, I was wondering, you know that pic in your icon with Sam on a Ventilator, where is that from? I swear I don't remember that one.

Posted by: Amalthia (amothea)
Posted at: January 23rd, 2008 07:13 pm (UTC)

I liked your story.

36 Read Comments
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