Three Little Words

by Swanseajill

Characters:Dean and Sam

Word count:5179
Spoilers:Devil's Trap
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters nor am I making any money from them.
Author's notes: Angela – I can't thank you enough for the beta and edit job you did on this. You're the best.

Summary: When an old enemy of John's forces him to choose between his sons, how will the brothers deal with the aftermath?

Prologue

Held in place by an invisible but incredibly powerful force, John Winchester gazed helplessly at his sons. Paralyzed and robbed of the power to speak, Dean and Sam hung pinned against the wall by that same supernatural energy. Between them, a large hunting knife hovered in midair, its honed edge gleaming.

"Make your choice, Winchester. Which of your sons will live and which will die?"

John shook his head. "I won't make that choice!"

The knife moved, coming to rest mere inches from Sam's face.

"What about Sam? Your youngest, your baby, the special one? Surely you won't sentence little Sammy to death?"

John's heart bled at the desperation in Sam's eyes, knowing that his son was fighting mentally against the power that held him in a futile attempt to set his own powers free. Then his eyes tracked the knife as it moved again, this time coming to rest over Dean's heart, the point just touching the fabric of his shirt.

"Yet how could you give up your firstborn, the devoted little soldier who follows you blindly like a little puppy dog?"

John met Dean's eyes, and there was no mistaking the desperate plea in their depths. "Save Sam!"

John dragged his eyes away from Dean and fastened his gaze on his captor. "Please… you don't have to do this."

"Oh, I think I do."

"You're going to kill us all anyway, Manson. What difference does it make?"

"That would be the easy way out for you, wouldn't it? No, I'm not going to kill you or the son you choose to save. I want you to suffer, Winchester. I want you to live, to spend every day for the rest of your life second-guessing the choice you made. This is your last chance. If you don't choose, I'll kill them both. Now which of your boys is going to die?"

The knife floated lazily back to its position between Dean and Sam and began to glow brightly.

"Choose!"

Two sets of eyes met his and John experienced a moment of profound pride at the strength and courage of his sons. Then he steeled himself and his eyes fixed on Dean. "Dean, I'm sorry."