Dean never understood exactly why Sam resented their father so much. He'd always assumed it had something to do with hunting, always being on the road, always being expected to follow John on his crazed revenge trip. Sam knows different. Sam lets Dean believe what he wants, because Sam remembers. It's all there, in harsh detail, lying in Sam's memory even if Dean's erased it from his. Sam remembers the hurt look on Dean's face the countless times John brushed him off, the darkness in his eyes when John would devote endless time and energy to a hunt and none to his sons. He remembers watching Dean grow up alone, relying on his own strength and the grim Winchester determination. He remembers Father's Day at school, when Dean would plaster on a fake smile and show up in Sam's first-grade classroom, making up some bullshit about their dad being sick. Dean was Sam's father, even when he still needed one himself. Sam remembers how Mary's death took not only their mother, but their father and their childhoods.

Sam remembers, so he fights. He fights for Dean, in place of Dean, because Dean would never lash out at their father the way Sam would. Dean would always just take it with a stone face, never even daring to look angry. So Sam starts yelling, whenever the pain in Dean's eyes breaks his own heart. He throws punches whenever John scrutinizes Dean's every flaw. He gets snarky whenever John overlooks Dean's accomplishments and focuses on his faults. He storms out of the room whenever John ignores Dean.

He'll make his father hate him, so John won't have any choice but to love Dean.

Sam remembers.

A/N: I didn't realize how much John-bashing was in this until I read it through a second time, but it's not, really. All things considered, John did a pretty damn good job raising the boys, and he's always been one of my favorite characters. But my boys are always going to hold a special place in my heart, and while I am a Dean-girl through and through, I felt it was time to give Sam a little time to shine. And given the complexity of the characters - one of the reasons I love the show - I sort of figured this actually could be a reason Sam and John always fought. Plus they're exactly alike. X3 Anyway. Cliffnotes: love John. Love Sam. Love Dean. Love y'all and your reviews most of all. XD

-Ribbons