A/N: This story takes place after my first fic, I'm Proud of You Son. You don't have to read that to follow this one, but you can if you want to. There is also a small spoiler for Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things in this chapter and in the author's note at the end of this chapter. Sorry for the delay in posting this. I found a beta reader, and I want to say a huge thank you to Soar for all her help.
Summary: John, Dean and Sam visit Mary's grave and run into an unexpected visitor.
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural and I'm not making any money. I promise to return them when I'm done.
"Bobby, thanks for everything," said John as he was packing the last of his things into the trunk of his son's '67 Chevy Impala.
"No thanks necessary, John. Just look after yourself and our boys. Or else!"
"You have my word."
It had been 4 months since the semi had broadsided them, after they'd tried to stop The Demon. John could not believe how close he had come to losing both his boys. Sam, thank God, had not been seriously injured, but Dean had ended up in a coma. He had almost died. While Dean had been comatose, John had ended up taking a trip down memory lane and he had realized that his life would be meaningless without his sons. He made a promise that he would be there for his boys.
Dean's recovery was long. Between the demon and the accident, his lungs had been badly damaged, but Dean fought hard to get back in shape and now, four months later, the doctors had finally given him a clean bill of health.
Both Dean and Sam had been surprised by their father's behaviour during Dean's hospital stay. Dean had been shocked when his father wouldn't let him sign himself out AMA. He had made Dean follow every one of the doctor's instructions to the letter. Sam had also been shocked that his father had stuck around. During Dean's recovery, he never even once mentioned hunting, or the demon. John and Sam still had their share of arguments, but for the most part, they managed to get along.
Bobby had taken them in until Dean could get his strength back. He gave John a job in his salvage yard and when Dean got a little stronger, he joined them. Sam, who'd never had Dean or John's mechanical skills, had taken a part time job at a local bookstore.
John had a lot of time on his hands to think. After the accident, Dean had been placed on a ventilator. He'd ended up with a tracheotomy, a hole cut into the neck to allow him to breath through a tube without causing damage to his throat For reasons John could not even begin to guess at, Dean had a phobia about surgery and had not reacted well to the news that, after he had the vent removed, the tracheotomy incision had to be closed surgically. John had held his son in his arms the whole night, trying to keep Dean calm and from bolting out of the hospital. With Sam and Bobby's help, John had somehow managed to get Dean to talk to him. John had learned a lot of things that surprised him.
Dean did not change overnight, but John did notice he seemed a little more willing to talk to his family, he, Sam and John had a couple of serious discussions. However, there was one area that was still strictly taboo. Dean would never talk about his mother. When Dean had been in the hospital, John had accidentally come across a letter and found out that his son had applied to college. He was filled with pride when he found out his oldest had received a full scholarship to MIT. Sam had gotten Dean to admit that he applied to make his mother proud. It really saddened John that Dean had no problem admitting that his mother might have been disappointed in him, but could not, or would not, let himself think that she was proud of the man he had become. So John, even though he knew that it would be extremely hard on Dean, and that he would object, had planned to take his boys to visit their mother's grave.
John looked up as Sam came out of the house.
"You ready, Sam?"
"Where's your brother?"
"He's in the house, double checking to make sure he didn't forget anything."
"You mean he's stalling."
"Yeah. Dad, do you think this is a good idea? Do you think he's ready for this?"
"Sam, he's never going to be ready, but this is something I think we all need to do." John sighed heavily. "I'll go see if he's all set."
Back in the house, Dean was sitting on the bed, in the room that he and Sam had been sharing. He looked up and saw Bobby enter the room.
"You about ready, Kiddo? Your daddy's looking for you."
"Yup, just um… double checking." Dean said, turning back to his things.
"You ok, son?"
"Why wouldn't I be? I just think this is a waste of time. There are so many potential leads for a good hunt. It's been way to long since I was on one.
"You know you can talk to me right?" Bobby offered.
"Yeah I know, Bobby, and thank you, but I'm fine. Nothing to talk about."
"Dean!" he heard his father's voice. "Get a move on before I let Sammy drive and you know the rule."
"I'm coming," Dean answered back "And no way am I listening to that tortured emo stuff."
Dean got up and left the room and Bobby followed. He was going really going to miss the Winchesters.
John loaded the last of Dean's things into the car. He wanted to drive, but Dean reminded John that it was his car. Besides, as bad as Sam's emo rock was, John's country and western stuff was worse. John was just glad to have something to distract Dean. There was little talk as they drove toward Wichita, Kansas, where Mary's father had placed a headstone. About a half hour before they reached the cemetery, John got the argument from Dean that he had been expecting.
"Come on, this is stupid," Dean said.
"What is?" John asked.
"Going to see mom's grave. She doesn't even have a grave. There was no body left after the fire," Dean protested.
"She has a headstone," his father pointed out.
"Put up by her father, a man we don't even know. You want to go pay your respects to a slab of granite put up by a stranger, come on."
'Dean, that's not the point," John answered.
"Then enlighten me."
"It's not about her body, or a casket, it's about her memory, okay, and after everything that's happened, it just seems like the right thing to do."
"Irrational is what it is."
"Look, dude, I think this is something we all need to do," John explained patiently.
"Why don't we try to find a hunt? It's been a while since we kicked some evil ass."
"Good idea, son, and we will after we do this. Sound good to you, Sam?" John asked his younger son.
"Yeah," Sam responded.
Much too soon for Dean's liking, they pulled up at St. Matthew's Cemetery. John and Sam got out of the car and started to head toward the headstones. They got about five feet from the car when they realized they were missing someone. John turned back and he saw that Dean was still sitting in the driver's seat, making no move to get out of the car.
"Sam, wait here," John ordered his younger son.
"Dad, don't push too hard alright," Sam requested, his voice betraying his concern.
"Don't worry, kiddo," John said before he walked back to the car.
"Hey, Dean, you coming?"
"I'll wait here for you, okay, please, Dad?" John wanted to tell Dean to get out of the car, but his son never said please. Dean had made a lot of progress since he had been released from the hospital, and John knew that Dean would retreat behind his walls if he pushed too hard.
"No problem, son. We'll be right over there if you change your mind."
John walked back to Sam and they made their way to Mary's grave. It was extremely difficult for both of them. At first, they didn't know what to say, so they started with small talk. They filled Mary in on everything that had been happening and before they knew it, almost 45 minutes had passed. Sam glanced up to the car. Dean had not moved.
"Dad, are you sure this was a good idea?" Sam asked his father.
"Yeah, Sam. It is something we all needed. Just give your brother some time ok? I mean, the fact that he's even here at all is progress."
"What do you mean?" Sam asked, his curiosity piqued by his father's statement.
"Whenever we would pass through this way, I would drop by here. I had to leave Dean at the hotel. He would pitch a fit if I even tried to bring him."
"I never knew that." Sam turned and looked back toward the car, surprised by his father's statement. Dean hadn't moved a muscle and despite his father's insistence that Dean could handle this, Sam was still worried. "I'm going to go check on him."
"Okay, I'll be there shortly."
John turned back to Mary's grave.
"You'd be real proud of them, Mary. They're good boys."
"Who are you and why are you here?" a voice said behind him, startling the hunter.
John turned around and found himself staring at a man he had not seen in 23 years. The man was just as shocked to see who it was.
"John Winchester, what the hell are you doing here?"
John looked directly into the eyes of Mary's father and said, "Hello, Frank."
A/N: This story was inspired by Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things. When Dean mentioned the uncle, I was hoping he would show up when the boys were there. Since in my Story, "I'm Proud of You Son, I had it that Mary's parents were still alive, I figured it made the most sense for them to run into Mary's father. Hope you liked this chapter. Please read and review.