Title: John's Remembrances (Dean Introspective)
Fandom: Supernatural
Characters/Pairings: John with a little Dean and Sam thrown in for angst, no pairings
Rating: G
Spoilers: Mild spoilers I guess nothing major of episode specific although John isn't dead.
Disclaimer: I wish, I don't own anything that pretty and broken.
Summary: Preseries, It's two weeks after Sam's left and when Dean gets smashed, John remembers.
Author's Note: I don't really write much John POV, but his character intrigues me (so many layers of Angst!) so, since I'm a Dean fan, I decided to write a Dean introspective from John's POV. That and I think Kripke should really give us more information on what Dean's reaction was after Sam left. Oh the Angst! Anyway, please tell me what you think. Thanks!

And on to the angst!...

John hauled Dean to bed, removed his son's boots and pulled the cheap lurid yellow motel covers over his inebriated body. Dean groaned, shifted on the bed and slid his arm under his pillow. John smiled softly knowing full well what was under said pillow, he had trained his son well. He eyed his son's back and face and sighed softly. John had gotten a call earlier in the evening asking him to pick his son up from a no-name bar not far from their motel. He had arrived to see Dean, surrounded by five bikers, all armed.

After "breaking up" the fight (kicking biker ass) he had asked around and found out that Dean had been hustling that evening. It was all the explanation he had needed. He had brought his drunk, beat-up son home and now he watched him. Watched and remembered. Sam had left two weeks ago and Dean had been devastated, not that he told John that but John knew his son. Dean had been edgy and melancholy in turns, snapping at random strangers and cleaning his weapons for hours on end. John knew their weapons, they would have needed a whole squadron's supply of weaponry to justify the hours Dean had spent cleaning these past weeks.

John eyed his son once more noticing signs of weight loss on him. Yeah, he knew about that too, had watched his son pick at food or not eat at all, all the while claiming he was fine. Fine. Yeah right. John wished he could remove the word from Dean's vocabulary. John had always had to be extra careful with Dean after a run-in with the supernatural. Sam had always been quite able to vocalize his hurts but Dean had always clammed up, refusing to admit weakness. It had led to some pretty scary close-calls over the years.

John sighed again he remembered the bright energetic child Dean had once been all those years ago, before hunting, before Mary, before everything. He remembered how Dean had closed himself off from everything after the fire. His bright-eyed little boy now looked at the world through a veil of pain and fear, not speaking, not playing, not laughing. He would just follow John around, take care of Sammy and sit quietly by himself.

When Dean had finally rejoined the world, he was no-longer the bright little boy he had once been. Instead, he had become quiet and shy, protective and obedient. Gone was the boy who would come running to his daddy with an "owie" to fix, gone was the giggling child who loved nothing more than playing football with his dad or reading stories with his mom. No, his boy had changed, he became quiet and reclusive, aiming only to please others, never thinking of his own needs or wants. He would sit and clean weapons, just the way John taught him, or practice Latin protection rituals for hours on end. He never whined, argued or complained. John knew he was at fault. Driven almost to madness with grief he hadn't noticed what had been happening to Dean until it was to late, his baby boy would never be the same again.

John sighed, Dean was now twenty-two and he had changed again. The quiet little boy had now become a cocky, confident, fearless, stoic hunter.

Dean was a man now and the few emotions he had let show when he was younger were not seen at all nowadays. When Dean was injured he brushed it off, making sure his dad and brother were okay before allowing himself to be looked after. Dean was still fiercely protective and never hesitated to jump in the path of danger to save others; especially his father or younger brother. But John never really saw true emotion on his son's face.

It was as if that four-year old boy had begun to build a wall – a weak wall, but a wall nonetheless. That four year old had then hidden his true self behind it and built it up over the years. Twenty years later, that wall was a fortress complete with sentries and cannons. Anytime John tried to get Dean to talk – it was rare but he did sometimes try, he would deflect him with humour, sarcasm or a subtle change of subject. Yes his son was a master at disguising emotions; it was one of the traits he had picked from the difficult times of their nomadic lifestyle.

John still knew his son though, and he knew that Dean valued his family above everything and that he feared failure and being alone. Sam leaving was taking it's toll. Dean had practically raised Sam, John knew that well. John remembered the fights he and Sam would get into once Sam had hit his teens. He remembered the countless times Dean had stepped between the two of them, calming their tempers before things went too far.

As the fights had increased, however, Dean hadn't always been able to stop them, leaving him desperate and hurt as the two of them shouted unforgivable, unforgettable words at each other. He remembered times where he and Sam would be so furious at each other they would become distracted during hunts. Nothing ever happened to them though, Dean would always have their back.

John was starting to realize that maybe he and Sam took Dean's support for granted. He always felt ashamed when he remembered the times both he and Sam would try and get Dean to take their side, Sam entreating, him ordering, leaving Dean to leave whichever crap motel they would be staying at and head to a bar, many times his absence would not be noticed until after they had yelled themselves hoarse.

John's gaze went once more to his son, traveling over the map of scars that stood out, some sharply, others minor imperfections is his no-longer smooth skin. John knew those scars, had stitched up and cared for the injuries that had caused most of them. He had every injury his sons had ever had to suffer because of the hunt, labeled, titled and catalogued in a folder at the back of his mind marked "Things to Think About When I Want To Beat Myself Up." It was a frequently visited place.

He knew Dean had been forced to grow up the night he had seen his mother burning on the ceiling and had his brother placed in his arms, knew that his subsequent actions afterward that fatefull night had only aided in his son's loss of innocence. Dean stopped being innocent at the age of four, but Sam, Sammy was different, John knew Dean had protected Sammy for as long as he could, and even now, Sam still retained part of that innocence. Dean was the reason for that innocence, he had raised Sammy with love and affection while he himself had grown up with only gruff orders and lectures when he failed at a task meant for those older and more experienced.

John sighed once more as he mourned his son's innocence, his mistakes in life and his decision so long ago to join the hunt. It was too late now though, now that he knew what hid in the darkness and attacked those blind to their existence, he couldn't stop hunting, not now, not ever. Not until Mary's killer was dead and her death avenged could he even think of giving up the hunt. Dean though, Dean would never stop hunting, of that he was reasonably sure.

His son didn't know anything else, had only his high school diploma and apart from being able to fix cars, build EMF meters out of walkman's and kill the supernatural, had no experience in fields of work. Sammy had left to get that experience, to have a normal life, to be safe but Dean, he knew Dean would never leave, would keep hunting until he died of old age or the hunt itself did him in. John shuddered at the thought, he had seen his son near death to many times to want to contemplate that reality. It invariably led to drinking and his son was already passed out so one of them needed to stay sober. He checked the salt lines again, passed a gentle hand over Dean's short hair and crawled into bed.

AN: I revieved some reviews saying that the story would be better if it was broken up instead of blocks of text so... reviews are my crack!!!