A/N: So each chapter is going to be about one of the Winchesters being left behind by someone elseā€¦because it happens enough!

xxxx

John

Standing outside a burning house, I'm cradling a trembling four year old in one hand, a squalling 6 month old in the other. We stand, the tree of us, a broken family, and watch as the hopes and dreams and love our family was based on burn away, crumble into nothing more than ash and smoke. My Mary is in there. My Mary is burning into nothingness.

Suddenly I can feel my shoulders heaving, hear the broken sobs coming out of my own mouth, and I wilt slowly to my knees. Someone tucks a blanket over my shoulders and gently pries Sam from my arms and whispers soothing sounds to him. Someone else tries to hold Dean, but he screams and clings desperately to my shirt and I wrap my arms around his quivering body.

We're taken to a surprisingly nice motel to stay for the night; Dean cries the entire time, doesn't stop when we're driving there, doesn't stop when the door closes and we're all alone for the first time, the three of us, a broken little family.

I tuck Sam into the portable crib someone rounded up for us, a task made more difficult by Dean, who refuses to let go of me. He's still screaming. I'm starting to panic.

In the end, I walk him around the room, patting his back and bouncing him gently as I did when he was a baby. I try to sing a lullaby, but the only ones I know are the songs Mary sings-sang, and my voice cracks every time I try.

Dean has stopped screaming, but his broken whimpers are nearly more heartbreaking than his wails, and I feel tears cascading down my own cheeks as I hold his head to my cheek, feel the soft blonde hair that is so like Mary's, smell the baby shampoo Mary still used to keep his eyes from stinging in the bath. I whisper into his ear, feel as he finally drifts off to sleep, tense little body relaxing and breathing mostly evening out. Every once in a while, a sigh or a half-sob mixes in with his gentle breaths and I worry every time that he'll wake.

I lower him gently onto the bed, easing his tightly clenched fists from my shirtfront, gently rubbing my thumb over his forehead when he moans slightly, let out a sigh of relief when he turns and drops back to sleep. For a moment I sit and stare at my two beautiful boys, overwhelmed by the beauty and perfection of my sons. It hits me then.; I'm raising them alone. I'm all that stands between them and the big bad world. I'm responsible for teaching them, for raising them, for protecting them. I have to find a new house and choose an elementary school for Dean to attend next year. I'll need a better job than the mechanic gig I've been holding down, and Sam will need a babysitter. How the hell do you choose a babysitter?

It's overwhelming. I hurry into the bathroom, closing the door behind me as quietly as I can. I retch into the toilet for a few minutes, tears mixing with the thin bile. I finally sink to the floor, leaning my head against the sink, letting the sobs out. I try to mute them to allow the boys sleep, but it does no good and I bawl like a baby.

Mary is gone. I'll never feel the touch of her lips again, never play with her hair. I'll never hear her laugh, the awkward guffaw that makes people stare, never hear her get the hiccoughs again, the cute, dainty ones that seem to last for hours. I'll never feel her skin, silky smooth, never smell her again, a mix of lavender and vanilla. The sobs are wrenching, make me feel like gagging and like something inside of me is tearing.

It takes me a second to hear the sharp cry that comes from the bedroom, the pure panic in Dean's high voice. The vulnerability again overwhelms me for a moment, the small 'daddy' piercing me. I dry my tears and open the door.

"Coming, Dean, hang on buddy."

I take a deep breath. I can do this. We'll survive, and endure, because that's what we have to do. We'll be okay.