Mending Bridges.

Summary. . . . . . . John tries to clear the air with Sam, telling his youngest why he did what he did. Sequel to Being Cruel To Be Kind, and In The End It Didn't Really Matter. You might want to read those two first if you haven't already. I've changed some of what happens in Dead Man's Blood so that it fits with the story.

Disclaimer. . . . . . Still Kripkies, I've only got them on loan.

A.N. . . . . . Sorry this one is so late coming, I had half written it down and lost the notebook I was using. Cleaning last week, guess what showed up? After some frantic finishing touches it's now complete. As always thanks for reading, catch you later, Peanut x

They'd moved quickly from one grimy motel room to another after finding Daniel Elkin's cabin in tatters. As the dawn broke casting a brilliant reddish glow within their latest room, John watched his two sons sleeping, thoughts of how truly lucky he was racing through his mind.

He glanced at Dean, his eldest, his soldier. A battle hardened bruiser who killed first and asked questions later; a double of himself; a fighter who hid his thoughts and emotions deep behind a mask of cockiness and nonchalance; a mask that would only fall, very rarely, and reveal his true self around one person.

John turned to look at the other bed and the person sleeping there. Sam, his youngest, his scholar. A fighter with a conscience, demanding answers, solutions before weapons; a reluctant hunter who had lost so much in his short life; a hunter who's thoughts and emotions were worn with pride on his sleeve.

John had always thought that the two of them had nothing in common, that they were polar opposites, clashing heads about anything and everything. How little did he really know? How much had things changed this past year?

Almost as if sensing someone watching him Sam began stirring in his sleep, shifting from side to side, his long limbs dangling off the edge of the too small bed. He opened his eyes and sleepily began scouring the room, starting with his brother's bed. John felt a surge of pride wash over him as he watched his youngest make sure that Dean was there, that Dean was okay before sitting up and rubbing his sleep filled eyes; at least, John felt, he had done something right in his life. Over the past days he had noticed the deep bond that the two boys had. A bond that was once broken through malicious words and lashing fists, was now fixed again and stronger than ever.

Thinking back to that night brought back memories that John had long since hidden away, memories he wasn't sure he ever wanted to remember. How could he have been so stupid? Taking gossip as truth he had banished his son thinking he would be safe, when in hindsight keeping him near would have been the better, safer option. John watched as Sam stretched out the kinks in his body before ambling over to the small kitchenette and pouring himself a cup of coffee, watched as his youngest glanced once more Dean's way before reluctantly sitting down at the table John was sat at; a stifling silence descending and engulfing the room. John eventually spoke when the tension between them became unbearable.

"I came out to Palo Alto as soon as I heard, watched what was going on from afar."

Sam looked up at his father, tears brimming his eyes yet refusing to fall, his mouth clamped tightly closed.

"I wanted so badly to rush straight up to you, wanted so badly to be to be able to offer you the comfort you so needed, wanted so badly to whisk you away, to keep you from further harm, to turn back time. But I felt I'd lost all rights to come anywhere near to you. I'm so sorry, son. I'm so sorry I forced you into leaving, I'm so sorry I told you that you were no longer a part of our family, I'm so sorry I wasn't there for you when you needed me most, I'm so sorry about Jessica. She was so much like your mother."

"Why Dad?"

"Why what?"

"Why did you push me away? What did I do that was so wrong? I just wanted a chance at a normal life, why did you hate me for that?"

John stood up at Sam's last words, walking around the table he crouched down beside him. Taking his sons face in his hands, he forced Sam to look at him. "Sam, believe me, I have never hated you. I've always wanted what's best for you, for both of you. I may have had a funny way of showing it, may have gone about it the wrong way, but I did what I did to keep you safe." John stopped Sam from protesting before adding. "Before you shut me out, before you disbelieve me, let me try and explain." John hoped, prayed that after he was done Sam wouldn't walk away. Still reluctant to give away the whole truth, he started. "I've known for a while that something was targeting out family, that something was targeting you. I thought that by sending you away from this life, away from hunting you would be safe. But I also knew that you would never leave us, that you would never leave Dean. I knew that the only way to get you to take that scholarship would be to back you into a corner so to speak, so I initiated the fight. I'm sorry that I hit you son, I'm sorry that I had to dupe you, I just wanted to keep you safe. I'm sorry that in the end it didn't really matter, I'm sorry that I failed you, just like I failed your Mother. Know one thing though Sam, I never stopped loving you. I never stopped worrying about you. I would come to visit you often. Would watch you from afar and see how happy you looked. I was always proud of what you achieved, I was always proud of you."

"You're right Dad, you did have a funny way of showing it. Proud of me! Loved me! You pushed me away like some unwanted puppy, pushed me away from the most important people in my life, pushed me into a world I would never truly fit into, a world that I was never fully happy in, a world where I desperately needed my families support and love; all because you had some crazy notion that it would keep me safe? Well at least you got that bit right, at least I was safe. But what about Jessica? If I'd never have gone to Stanford, if I'd never been pushed that way, she would still be alive. How do you think that makes me feel?" Sam paused before adding. "I need to get out of here. I can't listen to anymore of this, I'm sorry."

Getting up Sam rushed to his bed, taking off the sweats he had slept in he hurriedly pulled on the dirty jeans he had dropped last night. Grabbing his jacket he stormed to the door, his hand hovering over the handle as his Dad spoke again.

"Sam, son, I'm sorry. Don't hate me please. Don't leave like this."

"I don't hate you Dad, I never have. I love you, but I can't deal with this right now." With that he opened the door and stepped out.

John stood up from the crouch he had been in, tempted to go after Sam, to make sure he didn't do anything stupid. Choosing instead to give his youngest some space, he sat down in the chair Sam had just vacated, head bowed low, face resting in his hands. He jumped slightly when another voice spoke up.

"Don't worry, he'll come back. He just needs to cool down, to sort through and organize what he's just learnt."

"He hates me right now."

"Who Sam? Nah! He's just upset and lashing out. He wasn't lying when he said he loves you.

"I hope you're right about this son, because you and Sam were both right about something else. We are stronger together."

A.N. . . . Hope that was okay for you? Will be back with some new chapters soon, Peanut x