The Calm after the Storm.

Disclaimer: Yeah, yeah. It ain't mine.

Much thanks to PookbearD for the beta. Check out her stories as well!!

"It is silent now. The blizzard has paused and left the moment still. I think about them both at such times – roaming the shadowlands of remembrance, amidst the shards of my broken heart."

( The Looking Glass by Richard Paul Evans )

I wish I could say I never knew. I wish I could say I've truly done the best I could.

But I did. And I didn't.

So I can't.

For all the lies I've told, not many of them have been to my boys and for all it's done to them, for all the pain the truth has caused them, I can't regret it.

I regret all the things I've never done, except the lying.

God, I wish I could say I did. That I regret telling them the truth, that I regret making them live this life. I really wish I did, but I don't. And I wish that I could say that I didn't know what I was doing to them, but I did. I knew exactly what I was doing.

I haven't made a single move since that night without sorting through all the options first, without overanalysing it till the third degree, for fear that it might hurt my boys. You really think I didn't know what I was doing? You think I didn't see the pain in Dean's eyes? The confusion in Sam's? They're my children. Of course I saw.

Of course I knew.

I just didn't do anything about it. I didn't acknowledge it. To make it easier. For me, that is. I let Dean raise himself. I showed him how to cock a gun, how to sharpen a knife, how to hit bull's eye, but it was him that practised at it, by himself, every day, till one day, he was the one to draw first and kill the monster. I never taught him a thing.

I turned him into one of my soldiers. And I did it on purpose.

I put Sammy in his care. Let him make up the rules. I showed him how to bathe his brother, how to change the diapers, how to work an oven, but it was him that figured it all out. That made it happen. Until, one day, Sammy stopped responding to me and looked for Dean's approval first. I never taught him a thing.

I turned him into Sammy's father. And I did it on purpose.

I made him my soldier and Sammy's father and I never let him be a son. Because I knew it was the only way to ensure their safety. The only way to keep Sammy safe. The only way to keep me going. Because I couldn't have done what I did, thinking about my boys. I couldn't have focused on the job, worrying about my children.

So I did the only thing I could: I stopped being their father.

And with every time shut the door behind me, I felt them slipping away a bit more.

And I don't regret it. I wouldn't change a thing.

Because it made them the men they are today. And the men they are today are the only good thing I've seen in this world, save for their mother.

They save lives. They hunt evil. They make a difference. They make the world a better place.

They're heroes.

And they're brothers.

I figured that, after Sam left for college, left his brother alone, their bond would've changed. That it'd be different.

It is. They're even closer.

I saw it when we fought those vampires back in Colorado, I saw it when Sam sat in the hospital, waiting for Dean to wake up, I saw it in every single move they made.

Because they move together, in perfect unison, completely synchronized.

They don't ever move where the other can't follow.

They're magnificent, my boys...

Because I screwed up.

I can't take any credit for it, yet I do.

Because they're my sons. My boys.

They are who they are, not in spite, but because of my mistakes.

Because of my fuck-ups.

Everything I could have possibly screwed up, I did.

And they are better men because of it.

I wouldn't change a thing.

Would you mind terribly letting me know what you think? It's the end of the year again, people. Projects, books and papers are taking over my life...and your review will get me throught the day...