Author note: I've wanted to write a Supernatural fic for a long time and this is the idea that kept coming up. I don't know if it's been done. I've been having difficulty getting it together, there's so much I could write and a lot I have written, it just all needs to be put together so it's coherent. I hope this makes sense it's to the point that I just needed to get it out and see if it sinks or swims. Thank You For Reading.

Faltered: Chapter One

John Winchester never faltered. At the young age of sixteen he'd volunteered for the army and fought in the Mexican American war. He was brave and strong and let nothing scare him.

A few years after the war had ended he'd come to Lawrence, settled in as a blacksmith, and swept the prettiest girl in town off her feet. He and Mary were soon married and lived simply in a small house just outside of town. They had always seemed happy and sociable; they attended parties and were at church every Sunday. Their first son was born just a year after they were married.

Dean had been a charmer from the tender age of two he'd had anyone he'd met wrapped around his finger. The town's pastor Jim would commented on Sunday after his sermon what a happy little boy Dean was, hanging on his mother's apron strings.

The Winchesters seemed to be the perfect family. They were overjoyed by the addition of their second son four years after the first. Life for the Winchesters seemed to be ideal. Then six months after Samuel was born there was a devastating fire.

In the middle of the night the house burned to the ground. Young Dean had been injured while helping to get his baby brother out of the burning house. The four year old exhibited great courage and determination when he was hit by a falling board and still managed to make it out of the house with the baby unscathed in his arms.

As the town's people woke and started coming out of their houses to see what was happening, the damage was done. The house on the outside of town could no longer be seen in its place were flaming ruins. John had rode into town in his cart with an infant in one arm and Dean bundled in a horse blanket at his side. Jim who had run to the town bell could see John's eyes were wide and red as the cart drove past.

John halted his horse and cart in front of the Doctor's house and banged on the door. Jim took Samuel from his father and John with as much gentleness as he could muster lifted a very pale Dean from the seat.

The Doctor came and took the boy into his office and John followed the old man. Other men rush to get buckets and rode out to the Winchester house desperate to put out the flames. Somewhere someone asked where Mary was. Jim cradled the crying baby in his arms, watched as the smoke billowed from the flames and he knew that Mary was gone.

The Doctor did what he could for Dean whose ribs were injured where the falling board had struck him. The doctor had John sit as he told him the young boy had also broken his knee from landing with all his weight on it when he fell.

The old doctor wrapped the young boy's ribs tightly and braced and wrapped his leg. Dean whimpered softly and called for his mother when the pain was too much. Unable to hold the boy's hand for fear of hurting him further John gripped the table the doctor had Dean lying on till his knuckles were white.

Finally the Doctor was satisfied and decided the little boy should be moved to the bed in the next room. John did his best not to hurt the boy gently easing him into the bed arranging the pillows around him. Dean was in pain and there was nothing he could do about it.

John was trying to focus on what he could do who he could help. "Sleep now Dean." Dean nodded his head slightly as tears ran down his checks.

"Poppa, where's Sam?" The small boy's eyes were drooping.

"He's safe Dean." John assured placing a hand on Dean's chest feeling the boy's shallow breathing. Jim brought the quieted baby into his father. John stood next to the bed and looked over his shoulder at the Pastor. "I'm sorry John, there's nothing left." John nodded and in the darkened room Jim sworn he saw John Winchester cry.

Dean woke up the day after the fire and asked for his mother, John felt he had no choice but to tell the child she had died in the fire. Dean had gotten very still, he tried to hold back his tears but he was too young and to weak, he cried. John left him alone to cry. When he stopped crying John came back into the room but Dean wouldn't look at him and wouldn't talk to him.

John got so frustrated that he took the boy by the shoulders and shook him. Dean responded by wincing away from his father out of pain and fear. When John realized what he was doing he released the boy Dean cowered averting is eyes at any attempted John made to talk to his son. John grew frustrated and a heavy sadness drew down on him till he could no longer stand to be in the room. He left feeling he had utterly failed; leaving the boy alone.

John left Dean, went to the bar, and crawled into a bottle. He needed to numb himself from the world. Mary was gone and the town's people were already starting in whisper that he was the one who started the fire.

John confessed to Jim that he didn't start the fire. He didn't know what did, and that he felt at fault for not being able to save his wife.

There was no family close that John could turn to for help. It did not take long at all for John to infuriate and alienate all the good friends he and Mary had had. Jim was the one that eventually took in the downtrodden blacksmith and his family.


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