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do i dare or do i dare? [userpic]

His Hand in Mine 2/2

Notes in part one.

-o-

The drive back is long.  Bobby stops to gas up the car and buys an odd assortment of food, pop, and candy at the gas station.  Dean takes the M&Ms and a bottle of root beer, and John is too tired to care that it’s the only thing Dean’s eaten all day.

Bobby offers him his choice of the rest, but John declines.  He stays where he is, his eyes fixed on Sammy, who has still refused to succumb to sleep.

It’s something John understands.  It’s almost as if Sam’s afraid of what will happen if he lets go.  So much has happened to Sam today, and John knows his youngest’s need for independence is working hard against the oppressive passivity of his wound and the drugs.  Sam simply doesn’t trust the world enough to sleep.

John wants to change that, but he can’t, so he stays in Sam’s line of sight, holding his son’s weary stare the entire way back to Bobby’s.

-o-

At home, the place is mostly as they left it.  The books of Bobby’s library are still strewn across the living room.  The dishes are still stacked in the sink.  And the boys’ room is still a mess of sheets and blankets all over the floor.

The fire has died out, and there’s a chill in the air.  Bobby just purses his lips as he goes to the thermostat and cranks it up.

John is grateful, even though he knows it doesn’t mean much now.  The fire has always come for John’s family, stealing Mary and now trying to take Sam.  It burns and it consumes, and John hopes he never has to see one again.

But, if John’s honest, he knows it’s never the fire.  The fire is a vehicle, a tool.  John’s the one who let it slip past his defenses--then and now.

This is what he’s fought against--in the haste to keep his boys safe, he’s overlooked so much, and John feels like he’s playing a game of chance with the universe.  There are monsters on one side and flames on the other, and John has nowhere to go but forward.

-o-

Sam takes a bottle and falls asleep before he’s halfway done.  John lays him down to bed, and lingers for a moment, watching him sleep.  His features look relaxed, but the bandage on his hand is bulky, and John finds no comfort.

Sighing, he leaves the room, closing the door behind him. 

Dean is at the kitchen table, still in his pajamas and now devouring his way through a package of Ho-Ho’s.  Bobby’s sitting across from him, fingering a cup of still-steaming coffee.

“Is Sammy okay?” Dean asks, chocolate on his teeth.

John takes a cup from the cupboard and pours himself some of the coffee.  He takes a long sip before answering his son.  “He’s going to be fine.”

“He was really sad,” Dean tells him.

“I know,” John says.  “His hand hurt pretty bad.”

Dean pauses for a second, frowning.  “I don’t like hearing him cry,” he says.”

John laughs a little at that, sitting down next to him.  “Me neither, kiddo,” he says.

“Daddy?” Dean asks.

“Yeah?”

“Is Bobby really our uncle?”

John raises his eyebrows, looks from Dean to Bobby.  The other man shrugs, turning a little red. “They were goin’ to kick me out,” he says.  “I needed to be family.”

John smiles a little and nods.  He remembers Bobby’s frantic driving and his constant presence at the hospital.  There’s nothing but concern and uncertainty on Singer’s face, and John knows somehow that this is a friend he needs to keep.  For his sake, for Dean’s, for Sam’s.  “At this point, Dean, he might as well be.”

-o-

Sam sleeps all afternoon.  John lets Dean go outside to build a snowman in the front yard, and he and Bobby watch him from the living room window.

“He’s a good kid,” Bobby observes.

“He is,” John agrees, though it’s a bit of an understatement.

“Never saw a kid so attuned to his brother,” Bobby tells him.  “That’s something special.”

John nods.  He knows, but he needs to be reminded.

“And Sammy--”  Bobby lets out a long breath.  “Damned if that boy ain’t made of something special.  Way his hand got?  He refused to give into it.  Can’t believe he was still awake when we got here.”

“He would have been better off asleep,” John muses.

“I got a feeling that one doesn’t want to do what’s easiest,” Bobby says, shaking his head.  “He wants to do what he knows he has to do.”

John laughs a little at that, looking at his feet.  “Yeah,” he says.  “I guess he does.”

“It’s not a bad trait to have,” Bobby tells him.  “Means he’s smart.  Independent.  The kind of stuff you can’t teach.”

“Maybe,” John says.  “I just wish he could be a little boy.”

“He’ll get past this, John,” Bobby tells him.  “Probably won’t even remember.”

John knows that’s true; but John’s not sure he’s just talking about the burn.

-o-

Sam wakes up with a high-pitched cry around seven that night.  Dean is watching TV drowsily on the couch, and Bobby has taken up residence next to him, nursing a beer and cracking joke with Dean about Scooby-Doo’s crime fighting capabilities.

John is in Sam’s room in less than two seconds, and when he opens the door, he wishes he could have been faster.  Sam’s standing on the mattress, blankie in his good hand, and he’s working himself into a good cry.

He barely sees John and he’s trying to move forward.  But the mattress is hard to walk on and Sam is distraught and he falls forward, to his hands and knees.

Which normally might not be a problem, were it not for the fresh burn.

Sam’s cries take on a frantic pitch and John scoops him off the ground and hugs him.  “It’s okay, it’s okay,” he says.  “You’re okay.”

It’s mostly true. 

But not quite true enough.

-o-

Sam settles after a bit, and John doses him with Tylenol for the pain.  He takes Sam out to the living room, settling with him on the floor.  Dean comes alive with his brother being awake, and runs to find Sam’s meager collection of toys, coming back in full force to entertain the kid.

They all make an impressive go of it, and finally get Sam to giggle and even to venture off of John’s lap when Sam’s blankie mysteriously ends up on Bobby’s head.  They eat dinner in front of the TV and Sam eats twice his share.

The hours wind down, though, and when Dean is yawning, John knows it’s time to do this.  The boys need their sleep, especially Sam, which means John has to face the thing he’s been avoiding.

He doesn’t need to bathe Sam, but he has to change the bandage.  He could probably put it off another day, but he needs to do this.

He puts Dean to bed first, giving Sam a second dose of painkiller as he does so.  They read a few books and he tucks Dean in, who is asleep before John can even shut the door behind him.

He takes Sam to the living room, bouncing him a little with a sigh.  “You ready to look at your hand, buddy?”

Sam smiles a little and tries to squirm away.  John holds fast.  “Sorry, bud,” he says.  “But we need to do this.”

Bobby looks up at him.  “You need some help?”

John looks at the pile of supplies they snagged from the hospital.  Sam’s little but he’s stronger than he should be.  The thought of strong-arming Sam into place while trying to clean the wound sounds painful for everyone involved.

He’s trusted Bobby with his much; he almost has no choice.

He nods.  “Yeah, if you could.”

“Just say what,” Bobby says, standing up. 

“Grab the supplies,” John says.  “Let’s do this in the bathroom.”

-o-

Sam’s okay until Bobby settles himself on the toilet seat and John hands Sam to him.  Sam tries to wriggle away, but Bobby jiggles him a bit.  “Easy, son,” Bobby says.  “We’ve just got to give this a look.”

John’s never sure just how much Sam understands, but he figures it’s enough.  The little boy squirms harder and squawks a little.

Rummaging through the supplies, John lays out what he needs.  Antibiotic ointment--check.  Vaseline bandages--check.  Gauze--check.

He looks at his son, who looks apprehensive as Bobby tries to distract him with a nursery rhyme. The little boy meets John’s eyes, and John knows in that instant that Sam is perfectly aware of what is about to happen.

There’s no apology John can give that will make any difference, so instead he kneels down and takes Sam’s hand.  With large, wary eyes, Sam allows the intrusion, not moving even as John pulls at the gauze still in place from the hospital.

It sticks a little, but the gauze comes free.  Sam whimpers but doesn’t cry as John unwraps the vaseline bandage.

Turning, he picks up a tepid washcloth and goes back to Sam’s hand.  Careful of the blisters still on Sam’s fingertips, he keeps his son’s hand open and gets a good look for the first time.

The skin is red and raw, with white flaps still handing over the edges.  The entire palm is affected, with pus and traces of blood lingering around the outer rim of the burn.  John winces as he dabs at it, and Sam tries to pull away with a cry.

For a moment, John almost backs out.  He wants to.  He wants to quit, to walk away.  He doesn’t want to do this--he doesn’t want to see his son like this and he doesn’t want to cause his son this pain.

But he can’t.  Because the damage is already done--by John’s negligence.  This is his responsibility and it always has been.  He has to live up to this much.

Resolved, John dabs again, squeezing a little water to try to clear away some of the build up.  Sam is crying in earnest now, miserably twisting in Bobby’s arms.   Bobby has his head turned away though his grip is solid, and John does what he has to do.

He swaths the area with antibiotic and adds a layer to the bandage for good measure.  It’s hard to position it over the palm, and even trickier to get the gauze to hold it in place.  It takes a few tries, but when John finally rips a small hole for Sam’s thumb and maneuvers the bandage in place, he decides it’s good enough. 

It’s not as good as the hospital, but his son is crying, and John won’t abide by that any more.

He picks Sam up, holding him against his chest.  Sam’s cries are loud in his ears, but John doesn’t care.

He just holds Sam and rocks him, back and forth, until Sam’s head gets heavy on his shoulder and his cries taper off and he surrenders to sleep.

-o-

He puts Sam in the mattress Bobby allotted to John, though truthfully, John hasn’t slept on it yet.  He will tonight, though, because he wants to be as close to Sam as he can.

Back in the kitchen, the day catches up with him, and he realizes how exhausted he is.  He rubs a hand over his face, when Bobby claps him on the shoulder.   “You did good,” the other man says.

John gives a humorless laugh.  “Yeah, I definitely earned my parent of the year award,” he says tiredly.

“Aw, come on,” Bobby says.  “The way you handled Sam.  I’ve treated my own wounds all my life, but one look at that little boy’s hand, and I thought I was going to pass out.  I don’t know how you did it.”

“I didn’t have a choice.”

“There’s always a choice,” Bobby counters.

John gives him a rueful smile.  “Like when I chose to let Sammy get burned in the first place?”

Bobby waves it away.  “You turned your back for two seconds,” Bobby says.  “It’s happened to everyone.”

“It can’t happen to me.”

“What makes you so different?” Bobby asks with an edge to his voice.

“I already lost my wife because I wasn’t vigilant,” John tells him plainly.  “I’ve spent the entire year since making sure I don’t lose them.”

“John, let me tell you something,” Bobby says.  “You shouldn’t be sorry for Sam getting burned.  That was an accident as plain as anything else.  But if you’re on the hunt, if you’re dragging them across the country to keep them safe, then you’ve got another think coming.  Good parents make mistakes.  Bad parents repeat them.”

John’s eyes narrow and his shoulders stiffen.  “You telling me how to raise my children?”

Bobby sighs, takes off his hat and scrubs a hand through his hair.  He looks at John again.  “I’m just telling you, you haven’t lost as much as you think you have.”

“And what would you know about it?”

“More than you think,” Bobby tells him.

John shakes his head, snorts a little.  “Not enough,” he says.  “When there’s a world full of monsters and evil, you tell me what you’d do with two young boys.”

“I’d live a life where the worst of my fears was them getting their hands burned.”

“And that’s exactly what I’m doing,” John says, and he means this.  That’s what this sacrifice is for.  That’s why the hunt matters.  That’s why it’s worth it.

Sam’s injury isn’t about John’s frenetic push for answers.  It’s about the fact that John hasn’t tried hard enough.  He has to do more, be more, give more before his sons are safe.

“Okay,” Bobby relents, holding his hands up.  “You know your boys.”

John backs off, checking his anger.  “It’s been a long day,” he says, and it has.  For all of them.  He tries to remind himself what Bobby’s done for them, and that his boys could use an uncle like this.  “I’m going to bed.”

Bobby nods, and John is almost to the door when Bobby says, “I’m sorry about the fire.”

John pauses, looking back.  “That wasn’t your fault.”

“I never should have had it going so hot,” he says.  “If I had known....”

At that, John can’t help but smile.  Bobby may know everything about demons and he may know nothing about parenting, but John can see that he’s in good company.  “I know,” he says.  “Thanks for seeing us through it.”

“Hell, what was I going to do?  Let the little guy be in pain?”

John nods.  “Still,” he says.  “It means a lot.”

Bobby holds his gaze.  “Anytime,” he says. 

In his bedroom, Sam is curled up on his tummy.  His bandaged hand is out next to him while the other is clutching his blankie under this body. 

John slides in next to him, molding his body close to Sam’s.  The toddler snuffles a little, repositioning before he settles back into sleep with a sigh.  John pulls the covers up over them and lays on his side, eyes fixed on his son in the darkness.

This is Mary’s baby, he thinks.  They had never meant to get pregnant a second time, and John had been more than somewhat uncertain about a second baby.  But Mary said that some things were meant to be, and that those things were always the most special.  She loved Sam, was careful and purposeful throughout the pregnancy, taking every precaution she could.  And every night, she had Dean say goodnight to the baby in her belly until there was no question that Sam was theirs. 

Sam had her giggle.  He had her strong-willed individualism.  He was gorgeous like her, and smart and funny.  Mary would have loved to see him growing and discovering.

And John doesn’t like to think about what other skills and attributes Sam might have had with his mother’s love.  That’s an advantage Dean will always have that Sam won’t, and there’s nothing John can do to lessen Sam’s handicap in this regard.  John can only do the best he can, and hope that Mary’s legacy is enough to help their baby boy flourish.

Sam will survive this; John’s pretty sure he will, too.

He sighs, settling deeper as weariness takes over.  He lets his mind drift, and he watches the rise and fall of his son’s back until he falls asleep.

-o-

Sam’s hand is healing well.  John goes to one follow up appointment.  They cut away more skin and leave him with the same directions.  John takes solace that the wound looks clean enough, because that has been a struggle, but when they ask about his bill, he knows it’s time to bolt.

He sweet talks a nurse into as many supplies as he can, promises the desk staff that he’ll get them a payment soon, and walks out with no intention of coming back.

He stays a few more days with Bobby, and when he starts packing his stuff, Bobby looks concerned.  “You sure they’re ready?”

John looks at his sons.  Dean is back to normal and Sam is happy more often than not.  He still gets painkiller a few times a day and he guards his hand during play, but he seems to be rebounding.  The hand still looks awful--red and chapped--but it’s clean and there’s no sign of infection.  Even the blisters on his fingers are fading, becoming soft and mushy before one finally burst the day before.

They’re healing, and John knows the best thing for all of them is to put this behind them. 

True, there’s a lot in Bobby’s books he’s yet to read.  After Sam’s accident, research had sort of taken a back seat.  Which is part of the problem.  This stop is getting messy and sentimental, and while John’s grateful for the place for his sons to get their bearings, he knows that this isn’t permanent.  It can’t be.  Not with the monster that started this still out there.  Not with Mary’s memory left to avenge.

There’s only one way to keep his boys safe, and no matter what Bobby Singer believes, John knows that means stopping the thing that started this, killing as many evil things between then and now as he can.

So it’s time to go. 

He looks Bobby squarely in the eyes.  “I know they are,” he says.  “It’s you I’m not so sure about.”

He says it lightly and Bobby can’t help but blush.  “I didn’t ask for any of this,” Bobby tells him.  “But the moment those two got in here, the moment you three settled in--I don’t know.”

“I know,” John says.  “That’s why I have to go.”

Bobby straightens himself and nods.  “If you say so.”

“We’ll be back,” John promises.

“Damn idjit,” Bobby grumbles.  “You should wait until it’s healed.”

“It’s close enough.”

“You keep tellin’ yourself that.”

John looks at his boys, looks at the beautiful children they are and wonders the men they will grow into.  He wonders what they’ll be when they’re free from this, when they’re happy and safe.  When the greatest threat is a hot fireplace.

It’s a day John can hardly imagine.

It’s a day worth fighting for.

-o-

The boys pitched a bit of a fit, but an hour in, they are settled back in the car, just like before.  The memory is fresh but fading, like the burn on Sam’s skin.  They will remember this incident and they will remember this place, both pain and joy, and ultimately just another step on the journey.

John loves his sons and he hates this life but there’s a balance in this, and if Sam’s injury has taught in him anything, it’s that wounds don’t just heal, they need care and attention before they heal just right.

That’s what John is doing.  Each hunt, each bit of research.  He’s caring for the wound that’s seared into them as best he can.  They all might scar, but it’ll heal.  It’ll heal.

In the glare of the sun behind him, he can’t see his boys so well.  He can’t see Dean’s sleep-heavy eyes or Sam’s bandaged hand.  He just hates to admit, that even if he can’t see them, they’re still there, and there’s a penance in that that John has yet to serve.

They’ll get there.  Someday, John thinks.  Someday.

Comments

Page 1 of 2[1][2]
Posted by: devon99 (devon99)
Posted at: August 21st, 2009 07:47 pm (UTC)

Quite beautifully done, your John made my heart ache.
Wonderfully emotive storytelling.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 21st, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)
letter

Thank you! Making people feel bad for John can be quite a feat in this fandom :)

Posted by: i want to cause a ruckus (geminigrl11)
Posted at: August 21st, 2009 08:25 pm (UTC)

MEEP. Poor wee!Sam...and you made John just awesome in this--showed him at all his troubled, trying-to-do-the-right-thing best. And Uncle Bobby FTW!!! Wish you hadn't been able to write this one from personal experience though. :(

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 21st, 2009 08:38 pm (UTC)
brothers malleus

Writing it was pretty therapeutic overall. I'm glad I'm able to have perspective on it--though I'm not sure telling myself it could happen to John Winchester makes me feel much better about the fact that it happened to me!

Posted by: debbiel66 (debbiel66)
Posted at: August 21st, 2009 08:31 pm (UTC)
Sam and Dean cloudy sky

I think this is one of the best toddler!Sammy stories I've read, if not the best. One of the things that works so well is the universality of John's perceived failure as a dad. Can't keep his kids away from the simplest things, how will he save them from what he knows is out there? You made John very, very human, something I appreciate now and then.

Toddler Sammy is very real - I can tell you've spent much time around children this age because it took me right back to the baby days of my own boys. His impatient little dance right before John turned around is just so dead-on. Makes the accident even more poignant.

Do you mind if I friend you so I don't miss your stories when they're posted? Thanks for this one!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 21st, 2009 08:43 pm (UTC)
the things I'd do

I've come to appreciate John more over the course of the series--for what he tried to do, what he wanted to do, and ultimately what he failed at doing. He wasn't a bad man and he wasn't really a good man. He was a lot like the rest of us--only more broken than I think we can comprehend.

My son is currently 13 months old, so wee!Sam was basically modeled completely after him and his current nuances and games. Sadly, the injury is also modeled after my little guy as well--when he was about nine months old, he touched the screen on our gas fireplace and we endured our first trip to the ER, which was where my knowledge for this fic came from (though, John should be thankful--I left out the part about being transferred to another hospital and the ambulance ride).

But my little one has recovered and there's a certain solace in knowing Sam will, too, though knowing what the rest of life holds for Sam certainly isn't much comfort.

Friend away! I tend to friend back, if that's okay with you :) Especially since I STILL owe you a review or two.....

Posted by: debbiel66 (debbiel66)
Posted at: August 22nd, 2009 12:02 am (UTC)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 22nd, 2009 03:44 am (UTC)

Posted by: blueeyeddemonliz (blueeyedliz)
Posted at: August 21st, 2009 08:51 pm (UTC)
Clown V Sam

I really enjoyed this. I'm always somewhat conflicted with how I feel about John. I don't really like the guy I guess but I can sometimes appreciate that he was a man stuck in a terrible situation, doing what he thought was best - even though I reckon revenge is a pretty self-destructive path to go down.

I loved reading Sam as a toddler. My son, Ryan, is 2 years old so the way you wrote Sam really reminded me of him...especially when Sam hurt himself because Ryan had to take a trip to the Children's Hospital just over a month ago and the panic/guilt/concern of a parent must be universal when their child is injuried - even if you're a Winchester.

Wonderful story!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 21st, 2009 09:05 pm (UTC)
geekboy

John is a difficult character. I've grown to appreciate him more over time--the fact that the show seems set on demonizing him has helped me, actually :)

And my son is 13 months old himself, which is where I pulled most of wee!Sam from. And I definitely know the guilty parent thing--Sam's incident is based on a burn my little guy endured when he was about eight months old. I left out some of the most stressful parts, actually, which included waiting for nearly a half hour before receiving help and then waiting another two hours for an ambulance transfer (which, don't even get me started on how unnecessary it was considering how little they actually ended up doing when they FINALLY treated my son). And the guilt of knowing it all happened on MY watch when I turned my back...it took me awhile to get over. This fic helped a bit :)

Thanks!

Posted by: nerthus (nerthus)
Posted at: August 21st, 2009 10:21 pm (UTC)

I love stories from the days when the boys were tiny tykes and we get to see more insight into John; this one really hit close to home with me because I could relate to it; just as you had a real life experience with your own child, when my autistic daughter was about 2 she ran up while her dad was cooking on the bbq grill out back and for no apparent reason she put not one, but BOTH palms up against the VERY hot metal outside of the grill. And rather than jerking quickly away as a 'normal' person would at the first hint of pain, my daughter just stood there shrieking in agony with both palms still pressed to the grill till my horrified ex husband wrenched her away from it. She too had terrible, huge blisters on her palms and fingers and it was definitely not fun. I was so afraid the ER docs would think we forced her hands up against it or something, but luckily her regular peds dr was in the hospital that evening doing rounds and came down and he already knew that we were evaluating her for autism, etc. and that she had abnormal behaviors and obsessive-compulsive things she did. But I still cringe just remembering her poor little sweet, baby hands so burned and blistered and weeping fluids and such for days.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 22nd, 2009 03:49 am (UTC)
devastation

Aw, your poor little girl! And to think it was both hands--that would be so hard for a little kid to deal with--and hard for you to deal with, too. And yeah--the memory is hard to deal with, even if they can't remember it. I still remember my son's cry and how much it hurt me to hear him. I never want to hear him cry like that again.

I'm glad your daughter healed--and thanks for the review!

Posted by: harrigan (harrigan)
Posted at: August 21st, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC)

Were you 'in the zone' when you wrote this? It feels like you were. It just flows so (seemingly) effortlessly and vividly.

Maybe it's because the subject is something so many of us can identify with.

I do think John was a good man, with good intentions. I think the years of hunting changed him, and he was not as sympathetic a character perhaps when the boys were the ages they were in Something Wicked and later.

But John started out as the affectionate daddy we saw in the pilot, and I think you captured brilliantly where he probably was as a parent just one year later.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 22nd, 2009 03:53 am (UTC)
whole

It was relatively easy to write because it had a lot of autobiographical element to it. I think anyone who is a parent, though, has had those moments--when something goes wrong and it just makes us realize how vulnerable our kids are. It's kind of a horrible feeling.

I think John just kept telling himself it was worth it. I don't think he ever intended it to be a lifelong thing. I think he always thought if they could just find the thing that killed Mary, they could move on and be normal. But the months turned into year and then into decades and then it became too hard to turn back. It's human.

Thanks :)

Posted by: supernaturalmommy (supernatrlmommy)
Posted at: August 22nd, 2009 12:17 am (UTC)

Another fabulous fic. Having three boys who get into all kinds of mischief, I can say the emotions John felt were totally realistic. As always, you wrote such a great voice for the Winchester gang ... great job.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 22nd, 2009 03:54 am (UTC)
never desert you

Children do find their way into the hardest situations. And no matter how hard parents try, we can't stop everything. It's a horrible lesson, but sort of a universal one.

Anyway, thanks!

Posted by: pizzapixie (pizzapixie)
Posted at: August 22nd, 2009 02:34 am (UTC)

Alright. Crystal ball? Psychic vision? You had to have seen this, that's how "real" it feels. Sorry your little one was hurt and you both suffered,but this story reflects the child's reactions to pain and the Father's guilt perfectly. And awesome Uncle Bobby! Thank you.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 22nd, 2009 03:55 am (UTC)
never alone

I think most parents have had a moment like this. It's one I never want to repeat, but I think it resonates with most people because most of us have been there.

Thanks!

Posted by: ghostfour (ghostfour)
Posted at: August 22nd, 2009 02:40 am (UTC)

Okay... this kind of ripped my heart out. The imagery of John being so not ready for what life handed him, of Sam being unexpected,and John's recognition of Dean having his memories of Mary to draw on where Sam never would. I loved that even that small, Sam's independent streak was a mile wide... and John was already tossing too much on Dean. And that John is just trying to heal a lingering wound... That image was perfect, and very much how John would have seen his new life with the boys.

This would enplane why the boys were always so close to Bobby, even after admitting that their dad and he had fought and they hadn't seen him in years. If 'Uncle Bobby's' was a long time hide-out for John, part of the boys would have always seen it as a home.

Such a *complete* look at the family through John's eyes. Both the good parts and the bad. And done with lovely writing. As always.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 22nd, 2009 03:57 am (UTC)
bloody hero

I have a lot of theories on wee!Sam and his place in the family--I've meant to write a fic about it, but I just haven't gotten there. But I do think that John has a closeness with Dean that he'll never have with Sam because the fact that he and Dean share Mary. That makes them equals in their grief, which changed their dynamic and trust extensively.

On the outside, Sam was perhaps "protected" in theory, but so much more alone and frustrated as a result. The fact that John and Dean made no effort to make Sam a part of that grief and memory only exacerbated Sam's inherent distance.

I thought bringing Bobby in here made a lot of sense--if you go through this with someone, you're going to be close to them, no matter what. It gives him the sense of family.

Thanks--I'm glad you enjoyed it. And I'm wondering when you'll be posting another fic? ;)

Posted by: a rearranger of the proverbial bookshelf (embroiderama)
Posted at: August 22nd, 2009 11:21 am (UTC)
Winchester family

Oh, poor little Sammy, and poor the rest of them that they have to see his pain without being able to fix it. This is very sad but lovely.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 28th, 2009 07:52 pm (UTC)
letter

It's always hardest on parents when little kids are hurt. They understand it more and all the things that led up to it. Kids hurt but they can move on. It's a hard truth of parenthood.

Thanks!

Posted by: Dani (pinkphoenix1985)
Posted at: August 22nd, 2009 08:35 pm (UTC)

Faye- this is fantastic! yeah, sadly John couldn't keep Sam and Dean safe from everything and accidents do happen. I really felt for John thinking about times in his life in which he wasn't ready for and he had to deal...

I love your toddler Sam! and I hope that your little guy is doing okay. It must have been very scary when he burnt himself, I can't begin to imagine. *hugs*

ps- I'm busy trying to write my first long SPN fanfic and I'm probably not going to show it to anyone 'cos it's crappy :( your 'Apocalypse Now (Absolution Later)' fic- actually got me in the mood to write something and it's a very bad attempt at the moment :/

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 28th, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC)
lost2

I think John tried hard and just didn't cope well. It's not a good thing, but I think it's incredibly human.

My little guy is doing just fine. The wound was mostly healed within a few weeks and now he doesn't even remember it (though we do!). If I look closely, I can see scars, but he's really young, so he's been remarkably resilient.

YAY SPN FIC FROM YOU! And the fact that I helped inspire it? Is flattering :) I think you should post but maybe filter it until you feel more confident? I know I'm anxious to read. If you need a beta or anything, let me know!

Posted by: Dani (pinkphoenix1985)
Posted at: August 30th, 2009 06:14 pm (UTC)

Posted by: deej1957 (deej1957)
Posted at: August 26th, 2009 08:58 pm (UTC)
baby jared

What a precious story. I loved your wee!Sammy. You did a good job with John, too, let some of his love for his boys show through. And Bobby was awesome!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 28th, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC)
how

BABY JARED!!!!!!!

I can hardly reply to your comment since I am gawking at BABY JARED!!!!!!!!

I think it is amazing how his chin is so distinctive even at that age. Not that I have spent copious amounts of time studying it or anything....

And it was geminigrl11 who noted that he is in his swing backwards. Which is just perfect :)

Right, your comment. I'm glad you liked wee!Sam! He is rather likable--at any age.

Thanks!

Posted by: TraSan (trasan)
Posted at: August 27th, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC)

Wow, Faye, probably one of my favorites of yours, ever. Great insight into where they would have been at this stage in their lives, excellent characterization, and such a gentle wave of emotion that built and receded in perfect fashion.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 28th, 2009 07:56 pm (UTC)
i have these nightmares

Aw, thank you! I wrote this rather quickly, so it was kind of rushed but I thought it came out decently. I sort of miss writing John so it's always nice to do a preseries fic from time to time to remember how things were.

Thanks!

Posted by: gidgetgal9 (gidgetgal9)
Posted at: August 27th, 2009 06:51 pm (UTC)

Such a bittersweet glimpse into lives of the Winchesters. I loved how you brought Bobby into this story and I loved getting a glimpse of John's pov as a father of young boys. :0)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 28th, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)
geekboy

John POVs can be strangely fun to write, I think. I don't do it overly often but I always like it when I do.

Thanks!

Posted by: carocali (carocali)
Posted at: August 30th, 2009 07:42 pm (UTC)

How is it that I don't have you in my meager LJ account? This cannot happen! Many thanks to TraSan who pointed me here.

SO love how you wrote this, and I vaguely remember the story of your poor baby going through this. The best way to get over things is to use fic for catharsis! And then we ALL benefit from it.

I especially love how you introduced Bobby, and then he became "Uncle Bobby" and so forth. Just so incredibly thoughtful and beautiful! I"m so glad I found it!

;D
Caroline

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 1st, 2009 03:28 pm (UTC)
whole

Hi! Imagine meeting you here!

I needed to write a fic quickly, so basing it off personal experience seemed like the fastest route--and it was rather cathartic. It helps that my little guy is completely recovered and has no memory of it so we're all moving on. This sort of made me feel like I was letting go from my own guilt in this.

Thanks!

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