A/N: This is a one shot, from John's point of view. I was going through the internet and stumbled upon this quote and it was just like "Hello!" total light bulb moment. It was fun to write, I hope it was fun to read. Please review and tell me how I did. THANKS

"The walls we build around us to keep out the sadness also keep out the joy." –Jim Rohn

It breaks my heart to know my sons won't get to experience all that I have. I remember seeing Mary for the first time. She was so beautiful. Even though I denied it until the day she died, it was love at first sight. I grew up thinking that you don't truly love someone unless you've seen them at their absolute worst. I certainly didn't see her at her worst.

There she was; eighteen and on the arm of Brett Tyler, the school hero. I knew he could snap me in two, but something about her… I walked right up to her and said, "Hi, I'm John. Would you like to go out with me sometime?"

My answer was a black eye.

But I was persistent and I knew she liked those little cards in her locker and the occasional red rose. Finally she came up to me and said, "Fine, I will go out with you." And you know what I did? I said no.

It drove her crazy; me changing my mind like that. She would watch me from across the cafeteria. But as soon as I turned to look at her she'd look away. After three days of torture for both of us, I told her I would love to go out with her.

Eight years later we got married.

But our happiest moment as husband and wife was when we brought Dean into the world. He was our little prince. He was beautiful. Every movement he made fascinated me. Until that moment I didn't know I could love anything more than I did Mary, but I was horribly wrong. I loved Dean with every inch of my heart. I took one look and I knew there was no life without him.

We had four years together, just the three of us. And then we found out Mary was pregnant again. As much as I hoped for a girl to top off the family, she knew. She knew we were going to have another son. She knew we were going to have Sammy.

The connection between Sam and I was something different. Dean fit into my arms perfectly, but Sam, well he was much more comfortable with his mother. And with Dean. As much as it hurt to see my baby boy reject me in every sense of the word, it made my day to see the way Dean smiled at his baby brother and the way Sam looked up at him, physically and emotionally.

I remember seeing Mary. She was still in the bed, exhausted from a long delivery. But she was all smiles holding the blue bundle. I carried in Dean, he was struggling to hold onto the large teddy bear with his short arms. No basketball for my boy. He was built for football, even then. She looked up at me and she had never looked more radiant.

"Dean, come see your baby brother." She whispered. I set Dean down and he ran over to the bed, his blonde curls bouncing as he struggled to not trip on his untied shoes. Hey, give me a break, I was too excited to meet my new son to tie his shoelaces. Dean crawled up onto the bed and Mary made room for him in her lap and gently guided Sam's small body into Dean's waiting arms.

Dean studied the small, pink face. He gently touched Sam's head, caressing the soft curls. Mary looked across the room at me and smiled tearfully. I smiled back and watched as Dean bent down to kiss Sam.

"This is Sam. He's going to come live with us." I explained, aware how confused Dean could be. Dean looked at me.

"Not in my room!" He yelled, shaking his head. Sammy started to cry and Dean clamped his hands over his ears. Mary bounced both boys on her knees, shushing the baby. I walked over and took Sam into my arms. I rocked him gently and slowly but surely his crying subsided.

That was the moment I utterly fell in love with my youngest. His eyelids slowly slid over his big blue eyes and I smiled softly.

"Daddy is crying." I heard Dean whisper and giggle. Mary shushed him and I knew she was watching me with tears in her eyes as well.

It wasn't that I loved Sam more than I loved Dean, I just loved him differently. I felt an undying urge to protect him from everything. Even then I saw his soft shell. He would bruise easily and heal slowly.

I taught Dean to build walls. Sam taught himself to tear them down.

I taught Dean to fight vulnerability. Sam taught himself that it was okay to cry. Dean attacked life. Sam lived it.

Dean was my soldier. Sam was defiant.

Dean obeyed every command. Sam questioned every task.

I couldn't live without either.

I remember the day Mary died. I remember it perfectly. Seeing her on the ceiling, Sam warm in my arms. Then I turned and Dean was there. Oh Dean. His soul broke that day and I knew I could never leave him again with a clear conscience. The way he would look at me with those big eyes, wondering when I was going to leave him too.

When Mary burst into flames I knew she was gone. But I couldn't let go, not yet. So I handed Sam to Dean, knowing he would protect his brother. He was only four, but I knew Dean, even then, would die for Sammy. I stayed, fighting the flames with Sam's baby blanket. It was useless and I knew that very well, but I couldn't just give up.

When I finally ran from the house I saw Dean standing, watching his childhood home burn away, his parents inside. He just stood there. He didn't understand. I didn't understand. Why did something take Mary? What had she done? What had any of us done? If I didn't understand how could a four year old?

And now, as I sit here, waiting for Missouri to return I know I have failed. While most fathers dream of playing football with their boys, watching them graduate, and having grandchildren… I lust for revenge. Bloodlust drives me. Of course, I don't know if Mary's murderer even has blood… but I strive for it. I know deep down that somehow, some way, Sam is connected. Not responsible. No. Never responsible. But connected.

I regret stealing their lives away. I regret taking Dean from his first love, but I had no choice… that's a lie. I was too scared to leave him behind. If I'm not with him I can't protect him. I guess I've never put enough faith in my boys. Even when Sam left for Stanford I spent many nights watching his dorm room.

Sam and Dean never got the chance. They'll never get to live the life I have. They'll never have the experiences I had. And they'll die so young.

The tragedy of life is not that is ends too soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.

They deserved the world and could have had it.

They still could.

But revenge… its hereditary.

And I taught them well. Our walls are strong and sturdy.

No pain can get in.

And nothing can get out.

"The walls we build around us to keep out the sadness also keep out the joy." –Jim Rohn.

You're a smart man, Jim. I wonder if you had two boys. I wonder if you lost your wife to some creature. I wonder if you lost yourself the way I have.

I might not have been the best father.

But I am one hell of an architect.