Reviews for Fathers and Sons
TikiPrincess chapter 8 . 9/21/2012
Love the little poems, but I love your insights into the characters more.

Are we going to see a drabble from John?
HeroicDean chapter 8 . 9/21/2012
Man, you really got the water works started for me this time! The genius of the writers is having our boys go through these incredibly complex and emotional journeys and actually making us-the viewers-believe it and making us be absolutely captivated by it. Sam, at the beginning, had all of this pent up frustrations about John for everything that he had lost, and everything that he wanted but never got. He was bitter and angry, and then somewhere, somehow he changed. He began to realize and recognize the man underneath the tough, unmovable front was really his father who absolutely loved and cherished his sons.

Dean always saw the good in Dad.

Unrealistic hero worship.

I hated how he took his side.

Maybe for Sam, that was when the first seeds of resentment and hatred began to take form when he saw how close John and Dean were, and how easily and effortlessly Dean took his father's side. Maybe Sam felt like he truly had no one that understood what he was going through as a small child, and that just made him feel alone at times.

We only get glimpses of what happened the night that Sam took off for Stanford, but we know enough from John's journal and from the boys' accounts of it. Dean telling Sam that it was the worst night of his life, and then Sam's version of it when John allegedly
pandora jazz chapter 8 . 9/20/2012
I hope you enjoyed your cruise. Loved the picture of the sunset.

I'm so far behind in reading chapter updates and new stories. It seems I haven't been home or just too busy to read. (By the time I type my Vancouver notes, I'll be returning from Chicago.)

So it is wonderful that when I finally have time to read, I have your chapter updates.
Chapter seven was once again good as it showed us Dean's thoughts about his father, but I really liked this one since we got to 'see' Dean through Sam's eyes.

Hope all is well.
Until next time, take care.
HeroicDean chapter 7 . 9/17/2012
I think what's probably so incredibly tragic about the entire situation is that, for years, Dean hero-worshipped John, and tried his hardest to be the perfect soldier-the one that never questioned orders, the one that always performed the task given to him to a "T". But I think that underneath all of the snark and womanizing and confidence, I think that Dean was suffering. I think the anger was always there, just simmering below the surface. In their lives, and in their particular situation, there wasn't a lot of room for heart-to-heart talks that probably would have exposed how Dean was feeling sooner, and he and John could have progressed to the healing stage that they both needed so desperately.

He was our father.

He was supposed to protect us.

Keep us safe.

Comfort us.

And again, that's the tragedy of their lives. What happened to them that fateful night was so life-changing, so devastating and shocking that there wasn't any other course for John other than go after the thing that killed his wife, the mother of his beautiful children. The father that John was died the night that Mary died, but not really, because his love for his children was, I'm sure a large part of the reason he got into this life-he wanted to keep them safe, and make sure he provided them with tools to protect themselves.

I idolized the bastard.

Wore his leather coat.

Listened to his music.

Drove his car.

Nothing but a poor imitation.

Dean was so incredibly conflicted about his feelings for his Dad. He DID idolize him, he tried his hardest to model himself after his father in every way shape or form, and I think that part of that stemmed from maybe picking up the slack for Sam, trying to lessen the load, so to speak.

What I believe is that Dean needs to reconcile the fact that no, his father was far from perfect. He messed up a lot when it came to his sons, but on the other side, he adored them. He loved them with his whole being. His whole thought process was training them so they could protect themselves.

Dean needs to believe that his father, while far from perfect, also loved him and Sam and just had problems expressing it for whatever reason that he had. Dean needs to go on the same journey of forgiveness that Sam went on with John and realize that when it mattered, John was there for them and had their backs.
sylia91 chapter 7 . 9/7/2012
I think Dean got to see a little of John's side when he had to order Ben to man the shotgun after Lisa was hurt. As usual Jensen's eyes showed his pain at forcing Ben to do this while his face was stoic like the soldier he often is.
pandora jazz chapter 6 . 9/2/2012
This does sound like the Dean we first met. 'It was all action and thrills. Adrenaline.'

I love this line in your AN, though it is a bit sad too. 'He stood tall and held them all together.' Dean always wanted to have his family together and yet after Sam left for college it was never the same again.

But as long as Sam doesn't die or leave again, Dean can be happy having his brother in his life.

Thanks for sharing another chapter with us.
sylia91 chapter 6 . 9/2/2012
It's sad that Dean subjectively feels that his worth is only in what he does, Hunting, taking care of Sam and continually sacrificing himself over and over again. Yet even when he proves himself repeatedly he still doesn't feel worthy. It doesn't help that life keeps handing him burden upon burden and multiple betrayals by those close to him just reinforce his worst fears about himself. Dean is damaged beyond repair in many ways but those very imperfections are what make him so special, now if he can somehow balance them and thrive.
SamDeanLover28 chapter 6 . 9/2/2012
irismay42 chapter 6 . 9/1/2012
That's an interesting point about Dean not being able to hide in a bottle after Mary's death the way John could. It'd be interesting to see what kind of man Dean would have turned into had that event - and the need to prove himself to his dad - not happened. I don't think he would have turned into a gambling waste of space as his subconscious painted him to be in WIAWSNB. But how would he have turned out? I suspect the love of his family and the approval of his dad would still have figured high on his priorities list!
pandora jazz chapter 5 . 8/29/2012
I am back from the convention in Vancouver (yes, we had a wonderful time!), so trying to catch up on the story alerts.

Thanks for another amazing chapter sharing Dean's thoughts and feelings with us. I think you really captured the child in Dean who always tried to make his father proud of him.
SamDeanLover28 chapter 5 . 8/25/2012
HeroicDean chapter 5 . 8/24/2012
'I needed my father.

The guy who used to play catch.

Who smiled and laughed.'

That John was the one that Dean longed for, longed for I think with an intensity that he wasn't even aware of because Dean has always longed for a quote un quote "normal life" and to him, the old John represented normal. The John that shopped with Mary for toys for Sam the week before her death, who took Dean to t-ball practice and played catch with, and the man that swept Dean up into his arms every night after work.

One thing I hate is when people say that John never loved his children, never cared about them and only cared about the great crusade. While it is true that he was obsessed with finding the killer of his wife (and of life as he had known it), he was in no way so obsessed that he would choose it over his children. Before the demon demanded his soul, he would have traded the gun for Dean without blinking!

That shows that John Winchester wasn't the soulless, evil monster that people made him out to be. He would have traded the one thing that would have given him a clear shot at his wife if it meant that Dean's life would be spared. If someone was truly evil, they would have chosen the mission. Not John.

John loved his children. All three of them. He loved Adam enough that, even though I'm sure he would have loved to have a more fulfilled relationship with him, he made the conscious decision not to in order to protect his youngest from the hell that his older half-siblings and father had gone through.

'I was a kid trying to be what he expected.

Shooting at six.

Bulls-eyeing those bottles.'

Can you imagine the indecision and pain that John Winchester felt at exposing a six-year-old child to this life? By then, John had had about a year of knowing about supernatural evil firsthand and he knew what he was exposing his children to if he trained them. So can you imagine his horror at even contemplating the idea of exposing them to that, but knowing that he had no choice either?

It was a no-win situation. He couldn't win. He couldn't give Sam the normal life that he so greatly wanted and was expressing, and he couldn't find the thing that killed Mary no matter how hard he tried. He wanted normal, just like they did but he knew it wasn't possible once they were so deep into it as they were. I'm sure that he dreamed of finally setting his gun down, and living out the rest of his life with his kids as normal citizens.

When John made the choice to leave Dean to track the demon down, I'm sure he agonized over it, I'm sure he second-guessed himself all the way through because John knew, he knew without a doubt the pain that Dean would go through once he found out that his father had abandoned him like Sam had.

I'm telling you: When John reunited with both boys in "Shadow" his expression at finally seeing them was so telling. He hadn't seen Sam in three years before then! He could have acted all macho and tough and started an argument with Sam about him leaving and abandoning them. But no. Instead, he embraced Sam just like he did Dean, with tears in his eyes.

'Taking what pride I could from that look of approval in his eyes.

That's not what I needed.

Now what I deserved.'

The tragedy of the Winchesters lives was that their destiny was sealed for them before they were even born, before they were even a thought in anyone's lives. Because when Mary made the deal to save John, she sealed her future son's fates, unknowingly setting them on the path that she so desperately did NOT want them going on.

Dean, I believe, was angry at John long before he even verbally said anything. I think it was simmering just below the surface for years! I think he resented John for taking them through this life, for not being there for them when they were grieving their mother and the life they could have had. Dean, even as an adult, was terrified of turning into his father when it concerned Ben and Lisa and how he protected them.

But it says a lot for Dean that he can find pleasure in the smallest things. For example: His greatest memory of him and John was shooting stupid cans off the fence. I know Dean loved his father and if Jeremy Carver can find a script that's amazing enough, John can come back and finally have his peace with Dean.

One thing that almost brought me to tears was when John's ghost reunited with Dean after defeating Azazel once and for all. I loved the fact that John only had eyes for Dean and when he touched Dean's shoulder and looked him in the eye, showing Dean more than words could ever convey, how proud he was of him. I loved the fact that John then was able to get out of Hell and go to wherever he is now.

'He surrendered his children.

Abandoned his duty.

Left us alone.

All childhood expectations shattered.'

I hope that Dean is able to find peace in the fact that, yes, even though John disappointed him, John still loved him, still adored him actually. He loved his children but was coping with something straight out of his worst nightmare. When John said his final goodbye, I just could not believe it. Could not believe how raw and honest he was being with his son. I was like Dean. I was in shock.

"Dean, I'm sorry."

Right there. John was verbalizing everything he, for sure had been feeling for twenty-plus years. He regretted it all. He apologized to Dean in the most sincere way he knew how. And still Dean finds fault with him and that's something that he needs to work out with himself.

Anyway, great, great chapter!
irismay42 chapter 5 . 8/24/2012
I think Dean's always going to have mixed feelings about John. It's hard to idolise someone only to have them revealed, finally, as fallible and human. I really think we need JDM back on the show so the two of them can sort out those unresolved issues!
pandora jazz chapter 4 . 8/13/2012
You always do a wonderful job sharing Dean's thoughts with us.
Thanks for the update.
HeroicDean chapter 4 . 8/12/2012
"For so long I defended him."

And that is SO true! For almost his entire life, Dean picked up the slack for John when either he was out hunting or when he was too injured to, and Dean was the one to take care of Sam from the get go. Like John said, he didn't even have to ask Dean to do that Dean just naturally ASSUMED it was his job because who else would do it? Certainly not John and certainly not whatever family they had left.

Dean defended, even worshipped his father, even though he was undoubtedly angry, because John was the only parent he had left in the world, and he was longing for his approval, and trying to understand a situation that was impossible to understand. Dean at eleven years old was expected to not only stay with Sam in run-down motel rooms in shady places, but he was also expected to be Sam's protector, his father when John wasn't able to.

Dean tried so hard to please John, to be John's back-up, to be his soldier and we learn in "Something Wicked" that it was through trial and error that Dean learned that after disobeying and almost getting Sam killed. That was the Dean that wanted to be his father's shadow, wanted to impress him but at that point in his life still wanted to be a child, still thought he could be both.

But I think his relationship with John changed drastically when John found out that Dean had left Sam to go to the arcade and, as a result, had almost gotten Sam killed by the Shtriga. I think that, to Dean, the incident was so defining and so terrifying that he just changed instantly and began following John's orders to a "T". You can see that even though the incident was so long ago, it still effected Dean not just because of the people that died as a result but because you can see that he was devastated that John "looked at him different" after that which is quite a lot to put on an eleven-year-old, but still required on John's part.

For Sam, he longed for a normal life. He longed for it because hunting, even at the age of nine or ten, was something that was not at all appealing to him and I think he resented John for making them move and putting them through that hell all the time. He longed for simplicity and that's why he ran away to Six Flags and adopted that dog for the week he was gone. He longed for it so badly that when he finally, after so many years of hurt and anger ran away, he counted that as one of his happiest memories even knowing that he was leaving Dean, he still said that was one of his favorite memories.

And he and John...they both were stubborn, both bristled against each other, though we know from Dead Man's Blood that it seems Sam started most of their fights and John just responded to it in the only way he knew how. Its interesting that John, of all people was the calmest when Sam left for Stanford. In his journal entry that was published by Alex Irvine, here's his version of how things went down that night:

"Sam told me and Dean today that he is going to Stanford. I told him that if he goes, he better stay gone. I think Dean would have taken a swing at him if I hadn't kept my cool. Barely. Trying to work out what to do about this. We can't tolerate any of us quitting. We're better as a team. I've protected Sammy his whole life, and so has Dean. Could be I've gone too easy on him. Dean always responded to discipline because he believed in the mission. I always thought that by giving Sammy more room, I'd let him find his own way to dedication like Dean's. Doesn't look like that worked out. Now he's a straight-A student, computer whiz...I think he's gone a little soft. How many tight spots have we been in since he was a baby? And now he's going to college? He can go to hell is where he can go."

Based on that, it sounds to me like Dean was even angrier than John was if he was this close to punching Sam for leaving. Or, more likely, he was hurt that after all he had done to protect Sam, he was leaving him. I remember when Sam said to Dean that he didn't even know if John wanted to see him and then in "shadow" when John finally reunited with the boys, the tears in his eyes when he saw Sam. It was a beautiful moment that I wished had lasted longer.

Bottom line: The Winchesters are complicated, tragic figures that are so incredibly fascinating to watch every week!
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