Title: Family Portrait

Author: BlazeorFade

Rating: T

Summary: Dean, Sam and Jack ruminate on each other. Told in the first person.

Disclaimer: I own Jack, but not the boys but y'all knew that already.

Dean Winchester

All my life I was taught to respect women. Even a one-night stand doesn't deserve to be treated with anything but respect. Dad would beat me senseless if he ever heard of me mistreating a female, not that I ever would.

All my life I've always thought that women were to be protected. Not because they were weaker, but because the Winchester history with women made us a bit possessive and aggressive when it comes to any that might wander into our lives, even temporarily. I still feel this way, its been ingrained in me and Sammy. But now there's Jack. Jack is tough as nails, cocky as all hell and independent.

Occasionally a bit of a soft side shows through though. Like when she spent hours letting Sam grill her on everything Jess said or did when she came to her when she was 'asleep'. She repeated what happened ten different ways and the boy still had more questions. Or how she took care of him in the backseat when he had a vision during the fight with the Schneewittchen, careful and soothing. And keeping Madeleine sure that she's still alive and kicking even if the woman doesn't know exactly what we do everyday. Things like that.

When we wander into the occasional bar guys stare at Jack, follow her with their eyes, she says its great because their so busy looking at her pretty face that they don't notice the hand lifting their wallets. She hasn't picked pockets since hooking up with us though. I thought it was a little disturbing how she was able to think of her looks as another tool in her arsenal. So I watch close now, but Jack will usually flirt for bit and then get bored with whoever she was talking with and walk back to Sammy to keep him company while I hustle pool or poker. Its hilarious. I've seen her walk away mid-sentence, like a cat who just caught sight of something shiny.

Jack throws herself headfirst into everything she does. She doesn't do things half assed. When we first told her to come on the road with us she was adamant that it would be trouble, that she wasn't anyone's 'protector', which is such a load of bullshit. She's a fighter through and through. But when she decided to come on the road with me and Sam, she fell right into the job like it was breathing.

She has a dark past. Hell who doesn't in this gig? You don't go to school on career day and say you want to hunt demons and ghosts for a living. This is a job that's dropped on you like a brick. You either go with it, run from it or you let it kill you. I can see there's pain that goes bone deep in her , I'd like to know what happened. I know the story behind all Sam and Dad's scars but not Jack's, not yet. She's not the kind of person that you just come out and ask for her life story, pretty sure if I got her drunk she'd tell some interesting stories. But then there's the whole angry, fire wielding warrior chic thing, so yeah, I'm not up for pissing Jackie off any time soon, thanks.

I get it, I'm curious but I'm not going to pry. She wants to tell us someday and we'll be here.

There are times when each of us gets a tired, withdrawn, overwhelmed. I try to keep it from happening but its a given. When Sam goes through that I'll know he's alright when he goes in for one of his damn chick flick moments. Jack will just slip back into the old routine, a smirk or a smartass comment being the only indication its okay again. Sam calls it 'Jack-ism'. Its half snark, thirty percent body language, ten percent brutal truth and ten percent laughter.

Jack is strong, but every now and then, rarer even then those moments of softness there's a flash of pain, a mask of avoidance and another crack in the fa├žade of everything's okay, I can handle it alone. But that doesn't mean shit. Half the time I think I'm breaking too. The other half I know I am.

"Hey Dean. Whatcha doin? We gotta go?" Jack is asking poking her head into the room.

"Nothin. I'll be there in a minute." I reply.

"Can I drive?" She asks. I laugh because, well that's just funny. She scowls.

"Fine I'm telling Sam it was your idea to put chili pepper in his coffee the other day." Jack says.

"I think the fact that it was in my coffee not his will speak for itself." I remind her.

"Oh right." She tugged on her hair, realizing she'd just given herself away.

"You know you're dead now right?" I ask her with a raised eyebrow.

"I've accepted my fate." She says with feigned graveness.

"Go put the bags in the trunk." I order her snickering.

"Yeah that'll work, now say pretty please." She snorts. She walks away humming that song she always hums. The one that describes every day of our lives.

-fin