Caught Between A Rock And A Hard Place.

Summary. . . . . . . After John refuses a hunt he has been asked to do, a fellow hunter takes drastic measures to ensure his participation.

Disclaimer. . . . . . Still only playing in Kripkies sandbox.

A.N. . . . . . . Have finally come to the end of the road for this one, I have to apologize to Sammygirl1963 for taking so long to finish her birthday fic, but I hope that she along with the rest of you have enjoyed the ride. Will catch you all soon, Peanut x

For the second time that night, John found himself creeping up on yet another house that belong to Evan, well creeping as much as his steadily increasing wobbly legs would allow. Hurting everywhere John knew that only adrenaline was keeping him moving, adrenaline created by the need and the thought of getting Sam back. Too caught up in his thoughts he missed Joshua's raised hand signal to stop, colliding instead with the hunters small yet solid frame, jolting his already impaired head and enticing a hiss of pain to escape his mouth as the jolt reverberated down his damaged back.

"For God's sake John, try and concentrate, we'll only get one chance at this. Do you really want to tip Evan off that we're here?"

John wanted to shout back at Josh, wanted to ask the younger hunter who the hell was he talking too; but in the end he backed down, he knew Joshua was right, he needed to concentrate, he needed to suck up the pain he was feeling and get the job done. Nodding his acceptance that he understood, John allowed Joshua to once again take the lead and willing his battered body to cooperate began to follow, closing the distance between themselves and Evan's back door.

Joshua paused as he reached the half glass, half wooden structure. With a patience born from practice he began to listen. Drowning out his own and John's breathing, He opened up his sense and fought to capture the merest movement, creak, or groan. At catching nothing of suspicion he signalled once again to John. Taking his lock pick kit out of his pocket, he expertly made light work of the lock gaining them entry within seconds. Carefully, covertly opening the door once he had done so, Joshua whispered to John to follow as he stealthily crept inside, his eyes trained for the slightest thing out of place; not wanting a repeat of what had happened earlier in the night.

Joshua grabbed a hold of John's hand as the eldest Winchester went to blunder past him and whispered. "We do this my way John. Slow and easy, got it?"

All of John's fatherly instincts wanted to bat the mans hand away, wanted to run and find his son, yet his hunters instincts took over and won. He had already messed up once ths evening, could he really afford to slip up again when his baby's life was on the line? Nodding once again, John acquiesced consenting once again for Joshua to lead the way and take point.

Between the two of them they made quick work of checking all of the rooms in the house, troubled when they found neither resistance from Evan, nor Sam and Caleb anywhere. Returning to the kitchen they stood before the only room left unchecked, the basement. Gently pulling open the door they both slunk soundlessly down the cold stone stairs, pausing as they reached a small square hallway and yet another door. Pushing this door open both hunters stood stock still, staring at the vision that materialized as the gap grew wider.

Caleb and Evan both seemingly out cold, their bodies ripped open by bullet wounds, blood pooling about there bodies. It was another sight that had John snapping out of his daze though and rushing into the room. The sight of Sam's small body lying motionless on the rooms only cot, his hair matted with his own blood; blood that was still running down his pale, almost white features.

"No, No, No, No! Please God no, please let him be alive, please." John pleaded as he ran into the room, jumping over Evan's prone figure in his haste to get to his son. He dropped to his knees in front of the cot, not caring as his body protested the rough treatment, not caring as the coarse grit and shards of glass tore into his flesh; his mind focussed only on his baby boy and the stillness that was so unusual for him.

Picking up his baby, John's fingers quickly found his neck, his digits eagerly searching for the thump, thump as Sam's veins pushed life through them; his whole body visibly sagging when the faint throb could be felt.

"John? John? Is Sam okay? Is Sammy alive?" Joshua asked from behind them, where he was working furiously to stem the flow of blood from Caleb's body.

"Y. . . ye. . . Yeah." John replied his voice faltering as he choked back a sob. "He's been shot! But it looks like a graze from a glancing blow." John paused there as thoughts of what could have been ran through his mind, causing him to tremble involuntarily at how close he had come to losing his son. "He's unconscious though, I think from shock. How's Caleb?"

"Pretty bad. It looks like Evan roughed him up a bit, he was lucky with the gunshot though, It looks like a thru and thru, a clean thru and thru though. It seems to have missed everything vital, and it's probably what hit Sam. I'll patch him up for now and fix him up proper when we get back to Jim's. What will we do with the scum?" Josh asked, starting slightly when a smarmy voice rang out behind him.

"Now that's not a very nice way to talk to your host now is it?"

Too preoccupied with Sam and Caleb, neither John nor Josh had caught Evan slowly stirring behind them; both men missing him gradually, painfully sit up and reach for the gun h had earlier dropped. Both men saw him now though, and could only stare as he cocked the gun and once again aimed it Sam's way. "How can you call me scum and still hang around with demon lovers, Joshua?" At seeing the look of confusion on Joshua's face, Evan sneered and added. "Oh this is priceless. You don't even know! You don't know what you're trying to save. Tell him Johnny. Tell him what your baby really is!" As John remained tight lipped, Evan's anger soared. "Tell him, or I pull the trigger and you know at this range I wont miss."

John looked at his baby boy still lying so tranquil on the cot, he pushed his sons unruly bangs out of his eyes before turning wet eyes Joshua's way and saying. "Sam sees things before they happen. He has visions of the future." Evan waited for Joshua's reaction, knowing the mans reputation h trembled in anticipation of the backlash he had a feeling Josh would send John's way. Anticipation turned into rage though as Joshua calmly said only one word. "So?" Looking at Evan he added. "It don't change anything. It's still Sam."

Growling in anger at losing yet another ally, Evan shouted "He has to be stopped" as he pulled the trigger.

With reactions of a cat, John sprung throwing himself over his son shielding his body with his own. Pain ignited in his shoulder as the bullet struck, bringing brilliant flash of white to his eyes. Breathing hard he tried to control the pain, all the while waiting for another shot. When the bang came though, John was surprised at feeling no more pain, even more surprised when Joshua's face popped into his vision.

"Where's Evan?" John gasped out.

"He got away, but I think I got him again."

"You should go after him." John stated, his voice gaining strength at the thought that a danger to Sam, was still out there.

"No, I should make sure that you're okay, that Caleb is okay, that Sam is okay. Evan is shot, twice in fact and that first wound looked pretty bad. He wont be back to harm us any time soon, if ever again. Now lets get out of here and get back to Jim's"

John reluctantly nodded, he desperately wanted to go after Evan, to neutralize the threat to his son, to ensure that Sam's secret stayed just that, but he knew Josh was right, Sam and Caleb needed treatment and his own wound was beginning to throb. Turning his eyes back to Josh from the doorway that Evan had escaped through, John spoke hoping that he was making the right decision and that Sam wouldn't pay for it in the future.

"Will you be okay with Caleb? I'll take Sammy. We need to stop along the way so that I can phone Dean. I need to let him know I kept my promise."

The End.

A.N. . . . . . Well that's all folks! Thanks as always for reading, will catch you soon with a new fic and some updates to Addicted, Peanut x