AN: Ok, here's something else from my totally demented mind. Let me know if I should continue with it. Thanks!!! Disclaimer: I do not own anything in reguards to Supernatural, they are from the wonderful minds of Kripke, and his awesome crew! I promise to put the boys back when I'm done (the Impala might me another matter - jk!!!)
John knew that his family had to get away from home for awhile, that's why he had insisted they all go to the Grand Canyon. Dean was now on a break from school, Mary was in between charitable functions, and the shop was doing well with the new mechanic that he and Mike had hired. Some people might call it running, but he was willing to call it what it was; saving their sanity. Last month they would have celebrated Sammy's seventeenth birthday, instead they all had sat around the kitchen table staring at nothing wondering if the youngest member of their family was still alive, and if so was he ok. Taking a peek in the rearview mirror, he saw his still beautiful wife napping in the back seat and knew that the last month had been extremely hard for her, having a friend who had a daughter Sammy's age and seeing how much the girl had grown and changed from a small child to a wonderful young woman. Thinking back now, he couldn't keep his thoughts to that night over sixteen years ago.
John had fallen asleep in front of the TV again after he Mary and Dean had checked on baby Sammy and wished him a good night. The rest of the evening had been quiet, and after tucking Dean into bed Mary had decided to call it an early night herself. It wasn't long before something had woken her and being the overprotective mother she was, had gone to check on her boys. It wasn't until she had sleepily stepped into Sammy's nursery that she knew that something was very wrong.
A scraggily looking man was pinned to Sammy's wall while another man was laughing at him. It wasn't until both men heard Mary's gasp of surprise that the man was dropped from the wall and instantly grabbed Sammy from his crib and ran past Mary, knocking her to the floor forcibly.
"JOHN!!!" Mary had screamed, horrified of what was happening, even though she couldn't believe what it was that she was seeing. The remaining man looked familiar, but before she could think about it, he disappeared leaving her to rush out the door screaming for her husband as she ran down the stairs and into the night after her baby's abductor.
He still remembered the horror he felt being woken by Mary's terrified screams, and the sight of the man running out the front door with a crying bundle in his arms. He had immediately chased the man down the street and was dismayed to see that the man was working alone as he jumped into an awaiting van and took off down the street, no lights and no license plates; just a nondescript van with no way to trace it.
He would have loved to have said that they had pulled themselves together after that, but it was a lie. Dean had spent two months not talking at all, while Mary had spent so much time crying the doctors had insisted on putting her on anti-depressants which John looked at the quack in disbelief before plowing his fist in the man's face. Of course his wife was depressed, no one had believed that someone, much less two men, had come into their home and ripped their baby boy away from them without a trace; anyone would be depressed under those circumstances.
Now though, they were going on vacation, trying not to remember that more than likely Sammy would have graduated this spring and would have either been looking at college or following his brother's footsteps as a mechanic in the shop before his training as a firefighter began.
Oh they were so proud of Dean. He was a strong young man in both body and spirit, with a quiet intelligence that often shocked people who were just meeting him. He had never gotten over the loss of his baby brother; even taking the blame that someone had snatched Sammy during 'his watch'. That had amazed the doctors after Dean had finally admitted that one, they all knew he had felt guilty, but to that extent was beyond belief; after all what could a four year old boy have done?
Looking over at his eldest son, John smiled as he watched Dean napping while he should be navigating. He knew that Dean had been out late partying with one of his girlfriends and that at the moment the young man sitting next to him had to have a killer hangover, but he couldn't feel any sympathy for him at the moment. After all, both he and Mary had been reminding their son for the last three and a half weeks about the trip. Smiling he couldn't help but wonder which girl it was last night, and if his Mary would approve; nah, she'll never approve of one of Dean's girls, that was a given.
They had crossed into the Oklahoma panhandle and it looked like they were needed another fill up, he loved the Impala but the gas mileage sucked. Seeing that there was a small gas station up ahead, he was thankful for the break. Pulling in at the pump he was almost shocked when an older man wearing a greasy uniform immediately came out and started to pump the gas. When the man came to the window John looked at him before asking, "Do you sell cold drinks here?"
The man smiled and looked at the occupants inside the classic, liking the obvious family he saw inside. "Sure do, why don' y'all go on inside an' grab some while I finish up here?" he asked, his accent clear that the man hadn't left the state in his life.
Looking the man over, John nodded, they all needed to stretch their legs and figure out where they were. Helping Mary out of the backseat, they made their way to the small shop inside and felt the immediate relief of the water cooler unit that was keeping the small area nice and comfortable in the late spring day.
Dean looked at his dad and couldn't help himself. "So dad, when are we going to put air conditioning in the car?" Seeing his dad's horrified face, he laughed as he reached to the top of the cooler and got his mom a cold 7-UP, hoping that it would help ease her stomach. He couldn't figure out why they were driving, when any long distance traveling was usually curbed by his mom's motion sickness. He knew she hated it, after all, she and dad had traveled everywhere they could after they got married, but a couple of years ago she contracted a nasty ear infection that she was still dealing with the side effects from; mainly riding in cars for too long of a time.
The old man had just walked in the door to settle the bill when a young man around Dean's age burst through the door waving a gun around. "I want all the money Joel, now! Every bit of it, no holding back!"
Shocked, all the occupants in the room stared at the young man in disbelief, wondering what possessed the kid to do this in broad daylight.
Johnny had just been dropped off outside of Goodwell, Oklahoma and it looked like his search for another ride was going to continue. If he had to deal with another perv wanting to 'sample what he had' he was going to go ballistic. What made some people think he was a pushover he didn't know, he was over six foot and although thin, he still had enough muscle mass to take care of himself in a fight if necessary. He had been told more than once that he had 'soulful eyes', whatever that meant, and unfortunately they seemed to get him into more trouble than out of it. He had seen and done too much in his sixteen years to take much stock in things like 'soulful eyes' or any other type of crap that some of his short term acquaintances had tried to sell him on. Right now though, he had to admit that he was in a tough spot, the Oklahoma panhandle wasn't the place to be to hitch a ride – there was hardly anyone around as it was, and the heat wasn't helping anything. Coming up to a gas station he thought he could find out how much further Goodwell was, and if there was a bus station he could try his luck at. He knew that he had a couple of credit cards that he hadn't used yet, but it had been awhile, and he wasn't sure that they hadn't been reported stolen, but sometimes you just have to take a risk.
Walking up to the small store he couldn't believe what he saw. Some coked out kid was trying to rob the station and the people who were in it. Normally he'd just walk away, but there was something about the woman that was there that had his inner voice kicking the crap out of the remaining pieces of his conscience while he spurred forward. "HEY!" Johnny yelled, shocking not only the people being robbed, but the idiot thief as well. "You want money? Come and take mine!"
He saw the disbelief in the clerk's eyes and had to admit that he could completely understand the sentiment, he couldn't believe he was doing this either. Seeing the man with the gun swing around at him, he knocked a display over towards the misshapen crook then clocked him on the jaw with a left hook, knocking the man out onto the floor. Looking back to the clerk, Johnny asked, "How far is it to Goodwell?"
John stood there wondering what had just happened. They hadn't seen a single soul on the highway for who knew how long, then all of a sudden this kid appears out of nowhere and saves them from being murdered. Normally he wouldn't be that dramatic, but he saw how the gunman had been shaking and the crazed look he had, made John certain that the DT's the person now knocked out on the floor was experiencing was making everything feel more prominent and intense, which was a recipe for disaster.
Looking at the kid who was calmly asking about the next town, he couldn't help but wonder who the guy was and what he was doing in the middle of nowhere with no car in sight. Hearing the clerk tell the kid that they were thirty miles away from the nearest town, he was brought out of his thoughts when he heard his wife and son both blurt out in unison. "We'll give you a ride."
Dean had no idea what just happened. He and his family were on their way to the Grand Freakin' Canyon for crying out loud, getting held up was not part of the itinerary that his mom had so meticulously sketched out. Then seeing some guy come out of no where, knock the robber out, then calmly ask for directions in such a calm and direct manner was just so far beyond Dean that he had no idea what came over him when he heard his and his mom's voice volunteer a ride into the next town. Looking at the new guy he couldn't help but play the game he had played since he was four and his baby brother had been taken away. He called it 'are you him?' Anytime he's met a boy that looked about his brother's age he'd start to compare features, but somehow always found the person lacking somehow. He had stopped playing the mental game because it was driving him mental to the point that once he was so convinced he had found Sammy, that he had practically stalked the kid for a month before he found out the kid was really from Idaho, and had the birth certificate to prove it. That let down had sent Dean crying himself to sleep for two weeks.
Now though he couldn't get the image of Sammy out of his head. Dark hair, dark green eyes, fair complexion… check, check, and check. Now all he had to do was… 'Oh my God!' Dean thought as he looked at the stranger's face as he smiled. Looking at his mom he couldn't help but notice, and he wondered if maybe she did too. He had always been told that he looked like his mom except for his eyes and smile, those were from his dad, but the person in front of him had his mom's smile and dimples like his dad, and he wondered if he was going completely insane with his secret quest to find his missing brother.
Mary had been terrified, not for herself, but for her family; they had lost so much already, there was no way they could survive losing anymore. After watching the newcomer take matters into his own hands, she couldn't help but stare at him wondering if she knew him from somewhere. When he smiled at their offer for a ride to the next town, she couldn't help but feel as if the air had been sucked out of the room but she still wasn't sure how she knew the young man. Looking at Dean she had to wonder about the look on her son's face, but decided to wait and ask him about it later in private, she didn't want to upset John with their wild musings.
John hated uncomfortable silence, so it was no surprise to his family when he looked at the young man who had just settled into the backseat of the car and said, "My name's John Winchester, this is my wife Mary, and my son Dean."
Looking at the man behind the wheel, Johnny couldn't help but wonder if this was some sort of a joke. He had been 'traveling' for over a week, and the last couple of days had been treacherous, and now he was in the midst of Ozzy and Harriet? Quickly deciding to see how it all played out, he shook the man's hand and volunteered, "Johnny Doe." At their odd looks, he laughed, "Yeah, I get that a lot. You should see what it actually says on my birth certificate." He couldn't believe he said that, he was definitely more tired than he thought.
Confused, the Winchester's looked at each other, and couldn't help but wonder what would be more odd than having the most generic name known to man. Shrugging, they got on the road and headed to their destination, not sure what they should think about their new passenger.
Dean had to wonder about the person sitting next to him, but thought better of prying and scaring the kid out of the car. It had to be a hundred degrees in the shade, and the guy had been walking by himself for who knew how long. He couldn't help but wonder what would have happened to Johnny if they hadn't met him and offered him a ride, which of course made him wonder about Sammy and if he was somewhere hitching a ride too. Shaking himself out of his reverie, he looked at Johnny. "So, what with the hitching, don't you know that's dangerous?"
John couldn't believe what had come out of Dean's mouth and was going to apologize to the young man when he heard Johnny smirk then respond with a casual, "There are things out there more dangerous."
Mary was suddenly filled with sadness that such a young man could have such a cynical view of life. Not one to hold her tongue, she turned towards him and asked, "How old are you?"
AN: And the verdict is...????