Reviews for Only Family Left
Phx chapter 1 . 7/20/2008
This one is a giant AW and WAH!

Those boys. Hurting so much and still trying to be there for each other... gah, where are the tissues!

The way you illustrated the intensity of their grief, and the different ways they handled it had me tearing up as I read this. But once again you pull it together so nicely through their bond as Sam turns Dean's offer back to Dean :)

My favorite part was Dean following Sam through Sam's trail of thoughtfullness.
pandora jazz chapter 1 . 7/18/2008
I loved how Dean followed Sam's 'trail of good deeds' through town, until he found his little brother, even bringing him a warm cup of coffee.

The journal was a nice touch. I would like to think that John knew what was happening to his sons. He did show up in Lawrence during "Home" and later in Chicago during "Shadows", so he did listen to their messages.

Though the brothers still had trouble talking about how their father's death was affecting them, they did make some headway.

Thanks for sharing another story with us. Your stories have been such a nice summer treat while we wait for the new season, while we wait for Kripke to fix things.

Thanks again

Take care.
PADavis chapter 1 . 7/17/2008
I'm so far behind. I loved so much about this story. Sam's progress through town as Dean pilgrimed after him, finding him, talking to him. I was not as pleased though with Dad's journal. It's me. I've read several stories where they found out that John was working behind the scenes - been the one to call Joshua to get them to LeGrange for example - and its not that I don't like the idea, and you wouldn't knowingly copy anyone, its just that my take on John is less charitable I suppose and I have trouble buying it. When Dean confronted him in Salvation, John had the perfect opportunity to prove him wrong and tell them that he had been following them. Even so, missing that opportunity is the writer's fault but... If anyone were to convince me, it would be you. Promise. I'll consider it. Another promise!

Phoebe
PsychicWonderKitty chapter 1 . 7/16/2008
Wow, you just keep churning out fics with so many great brother-moments...I love it! What a great story of our boys being there for one another. Dean pursuing a grief-stricken Sam - and I just LOVED how the trail Dean was able to follow consisted of good deeds and kind encounters...that's definitely a Sammy-trail if there ever was one! - and him finding his little bro and supporting him just by being there beside him to listen, putting aside his own grief for Sam's sake, and finding out that no matter how big Sam had gotten he still fit against Dean perfectly. I awwed out loud.

And then, Sam returning the favor to Dean, helping him through the shock of their Dad's journal, putting aside HIS own grief and reading it aloud when Dean couldn't, and letting his big bro know that the lines of communication are always open both ways. Loved the presence that John had in the story too - maybe not able to be seen many of the times, but still being there for his boys, watching over them, even if from afar. And isn't that the Winchester family in a nutshell - always there for each other, some way, somehow.

Great job yet again! :-)
DontKnowMyName chapter 1 . 7/15/2008
wow... another amazing story! So I read your author's note and I noticed your date for the first ep of Supernatural. I thought maybe you were from outside the states and thats why you had it as the 18th but I checked your bio first andd realize you actually live in the same state I do apparently which for some reason i found very cool lol, I'm weird. Anyways I think supernatural starts on sep 4th from what I last heard. Just thought I'd let you know if you haven't found out already.
Twinchy chapter 1 . 7/15/2008
Deeply moving and tenderly written story, Hanna. It's so like John (as Sam said) to keep another journal and hand it over to his sons in the end, sent by none other than Bobby.

I'm also really fond of the idea that someone else agreed with me that Daddy Winchester actually kept close track on Sam and Dean even though they never knew it (and which was only hinted at a few times on the show).

Very sweet Sam ended up reading it out loud for both of them on the lonely mountain road - and so typical for Dean that he put on the sunglasses lest his brother see his tears.
twinchaosblade chapter 1 . 7/14/2008
Thank you so much for writing this deeply moving and beautiful small fic. Since the show has sadly neglected to go into detail how the boys were dealing with their Dad's passing, especially Sam's side of it, I'm so in your debt for bringing light into the matter. Your characterizations and story ideas were marvellous-as always. You have such a wonderful and firm grip on both Sam and Dean's characters, it doesn't stop to amaze me.

I loved that Sammy had been so kind to the people in the small town, helped with the kitten and shoveling the snow for the old man. He really has a way with people, the kindness he reflects always keeps me humbled. Dean definitely couldn't have said it any better than describing his little brother as "more like a really big puppy—shaggy brown hair, sappy eyes". That was so Dean AND Sam. I was also very fond of Dean relaying that he wasn't all too pleased with Sammy outgrowing him but still realizing the kid fit into his arms alright, even after all this time.

Thank you for your more than amazing work with all these fics during the hiatus! I adore you more and more with each new fic.
Maz101 chapter 1 . 7/14/2008
This was so moving - each dealing with the other's grief in such characteristic ways.

Always a joy to read!
irismay42 chapter 1 . 7/14/2008
Always nice to see fics filling in the blanks the show never had time to fill. Loved the structure of this - Dean POV to Sam POV. And the idea of John lurking in the shadows through the first half of season 1 was fabulous - especially through episodes like Faith and Skin.
JazzyIrish chapter 1 . 7/14/2008
Another wonderful story. This one really tugged at the heart - to see both of the brothers' grief laid bare. As soon as I read Dean's "cup of caffeine" to Sam, I said "oh, no". Loved your portayal of how Sam greived for his father - we really never got to see that quiet sadness, the lonely tears, the introspection - all the things that made Sam's grief different than Dean's.

A second journal kept by John in the year they spent looking for him - what a wonderful, creative idea. A great prop to set the stage for Sam and Dean to share some moments of their differing grief together, because they really are the only family left.

Loved your two "tales" of the two brothers' encounters with triggers that they couldn't handle - alone. Of course, you really tore my poor heart with this:

'“You were,” Dean interrupted quietly. “You are. You’re just handling it a lot better than I am, man.”

Sam swallowed, stared hard at the leather binding, then swiveled his head up. “That’s ’cause I still have you.”'

I believe that's very true for Sam, because Dean raised him in so many ways that Dean is a "father figure" to Sam. But poor Dean lost the man he looked up to, the man he tried to emulate. That loss is devastating for Dean.

Thanks for sharing this beautiful fic with us. Until next time...
Floralia chapter 1 . 7/14/2008
This is so beautiful in such a simple way. The way you manage to explore their emotions yet always stay totally in character, is so impressive. It fits in so well with what we’ve been shown but manages to touch on all the elements I’d want to see; more acknowledgement of Sam’s grief, the attempt to reach out to each other, and finding some common ground in memories and an experience they can share. But there is no quick fix. This whole piece feels very true to them.
mtee1958 chapter 1 . 7/14/2008
Such a good story - thank you so much.

I love John's revelations, how he was there for them, only in the shadows. Dean hiding behind those glasses.

Sam, even in his grief being the caring person he is.
ziggy.uk chapter 1 . 7/14/2008
Awesome! I always felt that the show never really touched on Sam's grief at their dad's death, focussing on Dean's. Sam would have been in just as much pain considering the volatile relationship he had with his dad. You got it spot on the the 'cup of caffeine' triggered Sam into running out of the motel, that being the last thing his dad said to him. Typical though, him helping out others - the girl and the old man - when he was so upset himself.

The journal was inspired, would love to think there is one around somewhere as John would not have abandoned the habit of keeping a journal when he left his original one for his sons.

Taking the impala and driving out into the wilderness before reading the journal was so emotional, again so true to character, and by the end of this you felt that both of them had let go of some of their grief and could begin to heal again.

Amazing writing as usual, you always manage to get it perfect.
amyblair chapter 1 . 7/14/2008
What I really like about this is how Dean followed the path of Sam, to meet all these people who Sam touched by just being him. Helping others when he was breaking inside. I read once that one of Kripke's regrets during this time was not showing Sam's grief after Dad died and before they knew it, it was time to reveal the secret and Sam never really got to "go there". This was really moving and a very real possibility of something that could have happened off camera for the boys.

Thanks.
GoddessLaughs chapter 1 . 7/13/2008
Beautiful story, thank you so much for sharing!
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