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 only have them on loan.

A.N. . . . . . Due to a mistake of my own, and requests for just a little bit more, I have obliged. So here it is, I hope that as always you enjoy the read, catch you soon with an update to Caught Between A Rock And A Hard Place, Peanut x

"I know that you're out there, you can come out of the shadows now!" Sam stated out loud, yet his eyes never left the lake he was sat on a bench in front of. The anger that had burned deep within him, had eased a little the minute that he had stormed from the room, yet unwilling to return straight away and say something he didn't mean and would no doubt regret, he had instead started walking. With no particular destination in mind he had found himself automatically putting one foot in front of the other and just moving. He didn't feel the chill that the still rising sun had yet to chase away; didn't feel the fine rain that seemed to soak him through, that had begun to fall; he just felt numb.

His mind must have known though what he required as, without any incidents, it had led him here, to a bench, in a quiet part of the towns park. He had spent the last two hours just sat there oblivious, to an untrained observer, to anything yet mindful of every movement, every sound. He'd sat there watching the pitter patter patterns that the gradually increasing rainfall had made as it hit the lakes surface; watching as the ripples that were created with each droplet that fell, feeling the rest of his anger drain at the same time.

He had stormed out of the room, for all intent and purpose, angry at his Father, but deep down he wondered if that were true; deep down he wondered if he was in actual fact, angry more with himself. It would be so easy, he knew, to blame his Dad for Jess' death, to state that his Dad's words had pushed him away, pushed him to Stanford, pushed him into Jess' oh so loving arms; but would that really be fair? It would be so easy to dump the guilt that he had been feeling straight onto his Dad's shoulders, but did he really have a right to do that? Yes John had hurt him, yes he had said words that did more damage than fists ever could, but in the end it was his own choice to pursue a relationship with Jess, it was his own need to be loved, to feel needed, wanted that kept him there.

He was the one that had lied to her every single day, the one that had kept things hidden from her, even though he knew the dangers that were out there. He was the one that had left her alone and defenceless. He was the one to blame for her death. The tears that had ceased started to fall again, tears for the shame and guilt he felt. He had always believed deep down that he was to blame yet not wanting to think he could have caused the girl he loved so dearly so much pain, he had refused to accept it wholly, lashing out at his Father it seemed was the release he needed to finally accept it. He startled slightly as footfalls crunched against dried up leaves behind him, yet didn't panic as the breeze brought forward a familiar mix of odours, the smell of gun oil, battered leather, and an aftershave long since out of style, yet still bought for the memories it brought forth.

"I'm sorry that I stormed out, I didn't mean to worry you. I just needed to think, to calm down, to start realising the truth."

"The truth? What do you mean?" John's gruff voice asked.

"I've refused to accept the truth since it happened Dad, refused to wholly acknowledge that Jess died because of me, that she died because of me, that she'd be alive and happy now if she hadn't met me. Sure I felt guilty, maybe even blamed myself, but not enough. I'm the cause of her death, me!"

"No Sam, you seriously can't believe that?"

"I can, and I do! I should have stayed out of her life, I should have walked away but I didn't I stayed because I craved the love she so willingly showed me. I could have saved her, but I just lay there paralyzed with fear. I'm a hunter Dad, I shouldn't have fears. I allowed Dean to pull me away, yet I should have tried, I should have fought, to save her."

"Sam believe me, I know, there would have been no way to save her, there was nothing you could have done."

"You're wrong!"

"How Sam? How am I wrong?"

"I had dreams for days, weeks that she was going to die. No, no, I know what you're going to say, that everyone has bad dreams, but these were real. She died exactly as I dreamt she would, pinned to the ceiling surrounded by flames. When Dean came for me I should have sent her away. I could have saved her, I should have saved her, either that or I should have died as well."

"Sam, please don't say that, don't think that. I know how you feel, I really do, but what would your death have achieved?"

"What did Jess' death achieve Dad? I should have died, I'd still be with her if I had. We would still be together, she wouldn't be alone."

"But Dean would have been! I would have been!"

"No you wouldn't have, you and Dean would have been together. You would have carried on, you would have survived."

"Do you really think that? Do you really think you mean so little to us? You're the reason we carried on all these years, you're the heart of this family Sam, the rock. If you would have died we would have crumbled. We proved that. Hell I pushed you away and in doing so alienated Dean, in the end we could barely stand being in the same room as each other, we had nothing to talk about but hunts, we didn't have you around to bring that normalcy to our lives. I truly am sorry for what I did Sam. I'm also really sorry about Jess, if I'd have known that yellow eyes would have targeted her, I would have tried to protect her. It wasn't your fault Sam, you only fell in love, followed your heart, found the normal life you craved, you can't blame yourself for wanting that. You can't blame yourself for Jess."

"It wasn't your fault either Dad, I shouldn't have lashed out at you the way I did, I shouldn't have said the things I said. You couldn't have predicted what would have happened."

"We make a right pair don't we? I guess would should join forces and hunt down the real culprit then? That is if you can stand to be around me?" John couldn't help the grin that spread across his face as Sam smiled for the first time that day, it was a smile that always reminded him of why they fought, that always reminded him of Mary. Putting his arm around Sam's shoulder he pulled his youngest son in for some much needed comfort, before whispering. "I do love you Sam, always have, always will."

Kissing the top of Sam's head he let his eyes roam to the lake and relished in the closeness of his son, a closeness that he hadn't often shown, a closeness that had been greatly missed. Breaking the silence that had fallen between them after a few minutes he spoke. "What do you say we head back? I told Dean I was heading out for breakfast, he's probably chewing his way through the carpet by now."

Standing up he extended his hand to help Sam rise before heading back towards the motel, happy in the knowledge that his small family had started to mend their bridges once more.

A.N. . . . . . Hope that it was okay, catch you later, Peanut x