Sam awoke slowly as the sunlight began to filter through the shabby motel curtains. As he tried to roll his head and move his body, his muscles cried out, but the pain was not unbearable. He opened his eyes and stared at the stained ceiling above him. The room was quiet. Too quiet. Carefully he sat up. He looked quickly to the other bed and saw that Dean was still sleeping. But now he was on his side, so at least he had moved out of his comatose state. But when Sam looked around the room there was no sign of their father. "Dad?" He called softly. Slowly he got out of bed. He noticed that his and Dean's duffle bags were in the room. He glanced out the curtains and saw the Impala in the parking lot. He then made his way to the bathroom and opened the door. It was empty. There was no sign of his father any where. Then Sam noticed a piece of paper crumpled up by the garbage can. He picked it up and sat down in the chair unfolding it. When he realized what it was, his breath caught in his throat. Not again, he thought. He began to read.
I can't tell you how surprised I was to run into you. And I can't tell you how happy I was that it happened. Of course, I'm still pissed. I still can't believe you two went in there unprepared like that. Did I teach you anything?
I'm sorry. This wasn't meant to be a lecture. I'm writing this letter now, because I can't stand to leave without a word again. I need to tell you both things that I should have said long ago. I know you are going to be mad at me for leaving like this. I know you boys want things to be different. But as I explained to you before. It's just too dangerous to be around me. We are better off and safer apart. At least for now.
I want you both to know something. I haven't been the best father, and I'm not going to start making excuses about how I did the best I could. That doesn't cut it. But I want you both to know, I have never been anything but proud of both of you. You are the best sons any father could hope for. You have never let me down. I let you down. In every way. I am sorry boys. I love you both so much. Someday, this will all be over. I only pray that day comes soon so you can both move on with your life and truly live.
Take care of each other. Remember I love you.
Sam didn't even try to stop the flow of tears as they landed on the rippled paper. His father had never been so open in his life. But why? Why write this and try to throw it away? Why leave now, before they were even awake. Sam's mind was buzzing with a thousand questions that would probably never be answered. His heart was aching. All this time he wanted to find their father so he could assert his revenge along side of him. Now...now he just wanted his father. He had been away for so long he had forgotten how good it felt to be near his dad. To have his arms around him, taking care of him. Why did it always have to come down to this? Why did the evil have to enter their lives? Sam looked over to Dean. How was he going to sit there and tell his brother that their father walked away from him without a word again? It wasn't fair. Sam felt like crumpling the paper back up and burning it. He was so angry. But then he thought that it would only be right to let Dean read it too. Dean needed to know how his father felt. Especially since the man didn't have the balls to say it to their face. Sam sat there, staring at the paper lost in his thoughts. Suddenly a low moan grabbed his attention. Dean was beginning to stir.
Sam hurried to his bed and sat next to him, helping Dean turn onto his back as he struggled to move. "Dean? Dean, come on man, wake up."
Dean's eyes fluttered then opened. "Sammy." He moaned out.
"Hey man, think you took a long enough nap?" Sam said as he reached out and placed a calming hand on Dean's shoulder.
"What...happened?" Dean asked, his eyes still trying to focus on his baby brother.
"What do you remember?" Sam asked, a little worried that Dean's brain might of gotten a little too fried.
Dean was quiet for a moment, his mind was working over time trying to replay the events. Then suddenly his eyes widened slightly, "Dad was here?" He asked.
Sam only nodded, bracing himself for the next question.
Dean lifted his head a little, his eyes darting around the room. "Where is he?"
Sam swallowed hard. "Dean...he's...he's gone man."
Dean regarded Sam with a skeptical look. "What do you mean gone?"
Sam caught on right away, "Oh no! He's not dead or anything! He just...god Dean, I'm sorry...but he just left again."
Dean nodded and laid his head back down, closing his eyes.
Sam's heart dropped. "What's wrong?"
"Want to tell me what the hell happened that I feel like such shit?"
Sam shook his head. He didn't know why he thought his brother might actually talk about what happened with their dad. Oh no, that would mean he would have to show some emotional vulnerability. He couldn't believe Dean was even admitting to feeling 'like shit'. "Tell you what. Why don't you sit up, try drinking something for me, and I'll fill you in on the whole story."
Dean nodded and accepted Sam's help into a sitting position leaning against the back wall. Sam poured him a glass of the juice their dad had bought, as well as one for himself. Then he sat back next to Dean and told him everything that had happened over the last two days. As he told the story, Sam watched a flurry of emotions run across Dean's face. His brother didn't even try to hide them.
"Did I hurt you, or dad?" He asked.
Sam shook his head, "It wasn't you Dean. But don't worry, you didn't hurt us."
"And now? Are you okay Sammy?"
"Dad patched us up when he brought us here. I'll be fine." He patted Dean's knee. "And so will you. We both will."
"But he took off again?"
"Yeah" Sam answered sadly.
Dean let out a huff, "And why are we surprised?" He asked Sam, a smirk playing on his lips.
Sam smiled back. "Yeah, think we'd be used to this by now, huh?" He knew Dean was only trying to lighten the mood, and he didn't have the heart not to play along. "Oh!" Sam exclaimed, "But this time he did leave a note." Sam stood and quickly retrieved the paper. He tried to hand it to Dean to read, but Dean simply shook his head.
"It's all right Sam. I don't need to read it."
Sam was confused. The letter said so many good things. Things he was sure Dean needed to hear, just as much as he had. "But why?"
"Look Sammy. I know Dad loves us. He's doing what he thinks is best. It sucks. But we don't really have a choice in the matter. I don't need to read those words to know what that letter says. I've always known."
Sam smiled softly. "Fine. But I'll just tuck it away in my bag. In case...in case you change your mind."
Just as Sam was putting the letter away they heard a noise from the door. Someone was trying to open it. Dean immediately went for the knife under his pillow, only to discover it wasn't there. "Shit!"
Sam dove for their bag of weapons, retrieving a small pistol from the top. He stood and aimed for the door. Dean had managed to hobble out of bed and was at his side. And when the door finally opened, they both could have dropped right then and there at the sight before them.
"Dad!" Sam shouted, immediately dropping the gun as his surprised father threw his hands up in the air.
"You gonna shoot your old man Sammy?" John asked as he made his way in and shut the door. "Didn't think you boys would be awake yet. Damn good to see you both out of bed." But he ate his words as suddenly he saw Dean begin to slump, his knees giving out. He quickly ran to him and helped him back to the bed.
"Geez Dad, you scared the hell out of us!" Dean said.
"We thought you were gone." Sam said, sitting across from his father and Dean. "I got your note."
John looked a bit surprised. He thought he threw it away. He ignored Sam's comment. "Yeah, well, I had to go get my truck. "You boys feeling okay?" He asked looking back and forth between his sons. He suddenly felt very uncomfortable that they had read his letter.
"We're fine Dad." Dean told him. "You should have waited until we could drive you to your truck Dad."
"No worries kiddo. I hitch hiked."
"You what!" Both boys said in unison. "Who the hell would pick your scruffy butt up?" Dean asked.
"Hey," John said, pretending to be offended. "Your old man still has some charm left in him."
They all laughed for a moment, then a quietness settled around them. None of them knew exactly what to say next. How to ask the question about what they were going to do now. Stay together or split up?
John finally broke the silence. "Listen boys. I know I've done nothing but harp about us staying apart. And before you say anything, I still believe it's safer. But I've also discovered that you boys can be in just as much danger away from me too. I don't know that I could have lived with myself if something had happened to you two in that house. I thank God that I showed up when I did. And to be honest, I miss you boys. So...what I'm trying to say is..."
"We're gonna stick together." Sam finished for him, a wide smile forming.
"With a few conditions, yes. We're a good team boys. It's time we start acting like one."
"Yes sir." Dean and Sam said. This time Dean smiled too.
It was about damn time this family was back together.
Thanks so much to everyone who read, and also to those who reviewed. It really helps to know what people think. I hope everyone enjoyed. I hope my ending was satisfying. I know I didn't follow the show, but like I said before...this is my own time line. So thanks again!
I'll have a new story coming up this week. It's called The Watcher. Hope to see you then!