AN: This is the response to a challenge given to me by Sammygirl1963 and darksupernatural for a loving!John. The criteria is: The story can be either wee! or teen!chesters, John has to take the boys camping (no guilt involved to get him to do it), must have some sort of 'fugly creature' which John must find and fight it get his boys back, and still manage to contain - a campire scene with smores involved, hurt!dean while protecting Sammy, and a hug scene between John, Dean and Sammy. WHEW! Either they have alot of faith in my abilities to pull it off or are snickering in the wings right now, huh? lol! Ok, enough... I accept said challenge, let's see if I can pull it off.
Disclaimer: Yeah, I own Supernatural, the Winchesters and of course the Impala... and I also have my fingers and toes crossed. Jeez people, are you kidding? Of course I don't own them... it's all Kripke and company, all the time!
John looked in the rearview mirror and smiled at his boys, both using each other as pillows in the backseat. They had left Minneapolis earlier in the day after a very in depth discussion with Sammy's doctor, a doctor who had initially said that his boy was ready to be released as long as he stayed home and rested; meaning no rough housing, no excitement, no long term reading. Obviously the doc didn't know his son, which had led to the other part of the scenario – his oldest. Before he had even had a chance to open his mouth to ask the man about the restrictions, Dean had beat him to it and what came out of the kindly man's mouth, solidified his decision – well, that and knowing there was only one way he was going to get his youngest to agree to any time away from school.
"Hey Sammy, you know I've been thinking. We haven't had any down time lately and an actual vacation in… well, you know I can't think of a time we all went on a vacation. So, how about you, me and Dean pack up and head out for a week or so into Canada. There's an area that a buddy back home used to tell me about and I'm sure it's still as beautiful as it was. How about we go find out together?" he asked, knowing that he was about to get an argument, but knowing that he had to make sure that his boy took some time to heal.
Sammy looked between his brother and his dad and didn't know what to say. He could tell that Dean was completely on board with it, which made him wonder what was really going on. Sure, he had a headache, but come on… he did just tumble head over heels down a ravine into a creek bed courtesy of his feet. "Dad, we don't have to. I mean, I'm sure that there's something that we can…"
"Sammy, we all need to take a bit of time and enjoy ourselves. We all did a great job today, especially you. I wasn't thinking about the closets when we were setting up the banishing spells, that was quick thinking. So, I think we deserve a reward, just the three of us. How about it?" John asked, hoping… no, praying that he hadn't pushed too much, because he knew that was the quickest way to a shut down. When he saw the smile though, he knew he hit pay dirt and it took everything he had not to whoop in joy that what he planned had actually worked.
He hadn't been lying to Sammy when he said that he'd done a great job, if anything he hadn't praised him hard enough. Neither he nor Dean had thought to check to make sure there wasn't anything binding the spirit to the house, but Sammy did and found the plain ornament that had been given to the young bride as a wedding gift. The memory of seeing the bright light and knowing that the spell had worked and the spirit had finally been sent off would fade after time, but the look on his boys' faces when they left that house would last until the day he died – they both were happy; happier than either had been in awhile.
The incident that had them rushing off to the ER less than an hour later had been an unexpected damper on the mood, but one that couldn't have been avoided. A ravine that led down to an empty creek bed had given way at the very moment Sammy had tried to regain his footing after tripping over a root, causing the kid to tumble down to the bottom and crash his head into some stones. He wouldn't have worried about it so much except Sammy couldn't put two coherent words together to let them know if he was fine or not. The concussion diagnosis hadn't been a surprise, but the doctor's recommendation was – no school for at least a week. Yeah, easier said than done.
Admittedly, he had already been thinking about a little bit of downtime for them. They didn't take vacations like other families, but with what they did it was often easy to forget that everyone needed a chance to remember why they did what they did. Sure, it wouldn't be too long before he and Sammy were butting heads too much to agree to anything, especially vacations… but for right now, he'll take what he can get, because if his gut was right, the road was going to become dark and lonely soon enough.
Pulling himself out of his thoughts, he took another look at his boys and smiled. Right now, he just wanted to be their dad; the rest would just have to wait.
The town of Minaki, Ontario as more of a resort town, but for once that didn't deter the Winchesters. Today they were going to make the most out of everything they could before they decided whether to try an easy trail followed by camping, or possibly renting a cabin close by. Of course any decisions were going to have to wait until after they ate – so decided by the unanimous growling of the three stomachs inside the Impala.
After finding a place to park, they walked to the town square and decided to let their noses point the way. It didn't take long for Dean and Sammy to overrule their dad as soon as they smelled something that they hadn't had since leaving Maine over a year ago – real clam chowder. Normally they would have avoided it like the plague since the town was so far inland, but there was something so amazingly familiar that they had to try it.
John laughed at his boys as they tripped into the small, neat restaurant and followed them both to a booth in the corner. It was good to see them both happy, especially Sammy. He'd been worried for awhile that his sudden involvement in the family business was too much for him, but now he knew that it was mainly because his little boy's heart still hadn't hardened enough yet to shield him from the pain of losing an innocent life that was entrusted to you. It was a hard lesson, one that he had hoped Dean wouldn't have learned so early, but that was a moot point now – his oldest boy was a hardened hunter with three main focus' in his life: Sammy, the Impala, and girls – yes, in that order, no matter how much it looked like girls would have been number one on the list.
"Hey Dad, weren't you going to… you know…" Dean said slyly while trying to give a hint towards his little brother without being too obvious.
Seeing Sammy's curious look, John was about to answer, but the waitress came by and interrupted his train of thought, leaving him a little shocked at the question that his youngest was tossing at her.
"Excuse me, but I was wondering if your cook is from Maine?" Sammy asked, trying not to seem to out of place in asking something so bizarre.
The waitress thought a moment before smiling and shaking her head. "No, not Mike… but Sally the owner is. She said she had run into some trouble where she's from and decided to see how she could do here. Why sweetie, she a friend of yours, eh?"
Dean smiled before ruffling his brother's hair. "Nah, just a fan of her chowder. Sammy here smelt it a mile away and couldn't stop talking about it. Isn't that right squirt?" he asked while chucking.
"Jerk!" Sammy said with a huge smile on his face. He might still be tired, but he was having a great time and couldn't believe that they were in a place like this without someone either being possessed or it being haunted.
"Sammy son, I was hoping… well, you see your brother and I were talking and we thought you'd like to have this." John said as he passed an envelope across the table.
Sammy looked at the envelope before turning to his brother and back to his dad. Not knowing what else to do, he opened it and saw that it contained a photo. Pulling it out, he gasped softly as he reverently looked at it, allowing everything else fall away. It was a picture of his mom and dad together, with his dad still in his fatigues. They looked so happy, and his mom was so beautiful. He didn't realize he had started crying until he felt his brother's thumb wiping them away. Looking up, he suddenly felt extremely embarrassed. "Sorry." He muttered before taking another quick glance and gently placing the picture back into the envelope.
"Son, you don't have anything to be sorry about. I… we want you to have that picture, ok? We know you'll take good care of it." John said as he watched his youngest son attempt to get control over his emotions. He hadn't meant to upset the boy, and was even now wondering if he'd done the right thing.
"Thanks Dad… Dean. It's the best present I could have ever gotten… and it's not even my birthday!" Sammy said through his tears. Now he had something all his own that would remind him of his mother; now he'd never forget what she looked like.
AN: Well, there's chapter one and I haven't mangled anyone yet... not quite a record, right? What do you mean Sammy? Hey... so totally not my fault... I didn't do it... I swear... (walks off muttering) stupid root/ravine/creekbed....