Disclaimers: As much as I regret it, I do not own the characters of John, Sam, and Dean Winchester. With even more regret, I do not own the actors responsible for bringing our favorite two boys to life. I do however own this Alternate Universe Plot.

A/N: This fic was written before the episode of Something Wicked and without seeing the episode where the boys meet up with their Dad in Chicago. Without seeing John Winchester as a loving (or at least protective) parent, I chose to write a fic where John was a drunk who truly abandoned his sons for long periods of time for no reason at all. Although I now appreciate some of John's choices, most of my fics will not have much to do with him at all, or will put him in a poor light, in accordance to Sam's initial opinions in the pilot.

This fic is based on one question. What if John Winchester deliberately placed a young Sammy in danger and tried to prevent Dean from rescuing his baby brother? Enjoy.

Dean Winchester was almost eighteen years old when his father took off to North Dakota, leaving his two sons alone in a run-down apartment building in Texas with no money, no food, and no adult supervision. For two months, he worked an after-school job as a mechanic at the local garage, and worked nights, clearing tables at a bar that paid him under the table and looked the other way about his age, and pool hustling during his breaks. He made sure that there was food on the table for Sam, gas in the Impala, and the rent was paid so that the building manager didn't have a reason to come snoop around. Without hesitation, he signed permission slips for class field trips, and called in sick for Sam. He had done all of these tasks before while John Winchester was around and drunk or occupied on a hunt, had run the household since he was six years old. Nearly twelve years later, he was more than capable of looking after both Sam and himself. But this hunting trip was the final straw for Dean. It was the longest John Winchester had ever been gone for, and Dean was terrified that they had been abandoned.

He put on an act around his brother who was thirteen and a half at the time, pretending that their father was going to come home any day, but by the time Dean hit his eighteenth birthday and celebrated it by taking Sam out to eat at Pizza Hut for a decent meal, Sam knew just as well as he did, that they were on their own. He never said anything about it, but Dean could see it in his eyes. Sam knew.

When his father reappeared in the bar a week later, Dean was relieved to see him even though he was incredibly angry with the man. The relief lasted all of two seconds, before Dean noticed that the man was drunk, and had a death grip on Sam's shoulder. Dean may have spent a third of his life in different bars, but he had never permitted Sammy to enter one. He crossed the room, abandoning a promising pool game, to rescue his brother. Sheer anger filled him when he saw Sam flinching under the heavy hand. What right did John Winchester have to waltz back in like this and treat his youngest son in such a manner?

Dead drunk, John had grinned even after Dean broke his grip on Sam and placed a protective arm over the younger boy's shoulders. "Brought back a real prize this time, Dean," he had whooped. "Perfect for Sam's first solo hunt."

Dean jerked away from the man who reeked of alcohol, holy water, garlic, and other offensive scents. His first solo hunt had been against a wendigo and he had been twelve years old, but Sam did not hunt alone. Dean always watched his back since John couldn't be trusted to do it. He refused to allow the thirteen year old out alone after dark, loaded gun or not.

John could not be reasoned with, and Dean contemplated just knocking him unconscious and dragging him out to the truck for the night. The audience kept him from following through, and by the time he got John out of the bar, his father had realized that his eldest son did not agree with him about the importance of Sam fighting the werewolf that had followed John back.

As a result, Dean found himself laying on the pavement with a nasty headache while Sam was tossed into the truck that disappeared down the road. He was angry, and almost started running down the road after the truck. Since he had no hope of catching it, he ran back for the Impala instead, snatching a pistol loaded with silver bullets from the glove compartment as he drove towards the only treed area in town, a budding Christmas tree farm. That would be where he found the werewolf.

He found John watching from the front seat of the truck as Sam ran from the monster, rolling under trees and making sharp turns that the creature could not imitate quickly enough. It was a deadly game of keep away that couldn't last much longer. Sam's eyes lit up in relief when he saw Dean and he sprinted for his older brother, stumbling at the last second. Dean had caught his arm, whipping Sam behind his own body as he emptied a round into the werewolf. None of the wounds were fatal. But it took the wolf a few minutes to recover from the exposure to silver. Dean shoved Sam in the direction of the Impala, and the younger boy obeyed the unspoken command immediately. John had stumbled from the truck angry that Dean had interfered, obviously unaware that the wolf was still alive. Dean reloaded his gun in time to see the wolf lumber to its feet, eyes set on John Winchester.

Sam never realized that Dean had killed their father. Dean never fired a shot of course. The body had been mangled by the werewolf and the police claimed a natural wild animal. But Dean had stood there and allowed the creature to attack and kill his father without blinking an eyelash. Dean had waited for the creature to slink away from the body to put a bullet in its heart. Then he walked away from the bodies, climbed into the Impala, and drove Sam home, checking him over carefully for injuries. The next morning whoever owned the farm found the bodies and called the police who called Dean. Dean broke the news to Sam, unsurprised that the boy didn't care one way or the other. They made an impressive act of mourning sons for the police, the school, and Dean's boss.

The only thing that John Winchester had ever done right in his life, was to take out a heavy life insurance policy and arrange for custody of Sam to be transferred to Dean immediately upon his eighteenth birthday should anything ever happen to him on a hunt. The important birthday had already passed, and no one contested him taking care of his brother. He sold the truck and set up a hefty savings account with almost all of the money, paying only for the bare minimum funeral expenses. Sam might need it someday, and Dean intended to have it ready. He quit working at the bar, locked the weaponry in a sturdy cabinet, and was finally legally recognized as what he had been all along, Sammy's guardian.

He never asked himself why he had done it. Never cared. If Sam ever suspected, which Dean doubted, the younger boy never said a word. Their life was much better without John Winchester.

A/N: What do you think? Feel free to flame if you wish, but I ignore them anyway. If you like it, let me know, and check out my other Supernatural Stories: Dear Little One and The Huntress.