A/N Just a short story I wrote to try to rid myself of my writer's block. But, I am almost finished my screenplay which means I will continue "Controlled" - probably rewrite it completely, to tell you the truth. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this little snippet for now. Needed some John and Dean schmoop! LoL Please R&R?

John Winchester watched helplessly as his eldest son writhed on the bed. The 22-year-old yanked at the ropes that were binding his ankles and wrists to the bedposts, the sweat rolling down his face and chest in rivulets. His jeans, still covered in blood and dirt from their most recent hunt, scraped against the blanket below him as he bucked and thrashed on the mattress, baring his teeth at an unknown attacker in his mind, snarling and growling against the transformation wanting so desperately to take place. He turned pleading eyes on his father, silently begging him to take the pain away, to end it.

John warily wiped a hand down his face, his concern for his son clear in his deep brown eyes, in the worry lines surrounding them. He longed to reach out, to offer some sort of comfort - but he knew any comfort would be shunned while Dean was in this state, under this spell. The man internally cursed the witch who had dared to do this to his son, causing his eldest, the fierce protector of this family, the boy who had been forced to become a man so early in his young life, to now be fighting tooth and nail to stop himself from becoming something they hunted.

He glanced at his watch, calculating how much of the window of opportunity remained. His eyes then moved to his annoyingly-silent-cell-phone. Come on, Bobby! Finish this! Finish it and call me!

John had fervently wanted to be the one to end this witch, to end the suffering she had caused his boy. But, Bobby had reminded him that Dean needed him to be here when he came back to himself, if he came back to himself. Because, no matter what Bobby did, everything depended on Dean's strength to withstand the agony, to continue to fight against the curse and what the curse stood for, what it could do if he faltered for even a moment.

"Dad, please!"

The whimper that escaped, something John had ever heard uttered from his eldest son's lips, broke the man's heart like nothing else ever could. He grabbed the wet cloth sitting on the nightstand and wiped it across Dean's face and neck, surprised when his son leaned into the touch, whimpering again for some kind of relief. Then, the green eyes flew open, the intense gaze holding his father's in a stranglehold.

"You have to end it, Dad! You have to end it!"

"Shhhh, kiddo. It's not gonna come to that, okay? I won't let it."

Dean squeezed his eyes shut, his hips and back arching off the bed as he held back the agonizing scream once again. "If I change… Dad, you have to… please… promise me…" The words were uttered between gasps of pain and John's heart broke even further when he saw a tear escape his usually stoic son's right eye, travelled down his temple toward the pillow. But John's thumb caught it before it hit its intended target, grasped his son's chin between thumb and forefinger, firmly turning the young man to face him.

"It won't come to that, Dean. I'm going to save you. Bobby and I are both going to save you. You just have to keep fighting for a little while longer, okay? Just a little while longer. Can you do that for me, Sport?"

Dean nodded weakly before he arched off the bed again, this time unable to hold back the scream that had been sitting in his throat for the past several hours, causing John to thank God that Bobby didn't have any neighbours in close proximity because they would surely have called the police as soon as they'd heard that guttural cry.

Suddenly, Dean dropped to the bed, weak and spent. As John reached out to check for a pulse, his own heart stuttering with the fear that he had lost his son, the annoyingly-silent-cell-phone decided to break its silence. Without missing a beat, John pressed his fingers at the juncture just below Dean's jaw even as he opened the cell phone and placed it urgently against his ear. He sighed with relief when he found his son's pulse. "Talk to me, Bobby. Tell me it's over."

"It's over, John. That crazy witch gave me a run fer my money, but it's over. I ended her. I'm on my way to torch the body now, then I'll be back home before sunrise. How's Dean?"

"He's good," John replied instantly, not wanting to give away Dean's obvious distress to even their family's closest friend.

Bobby didn't sound convinced but he ended the call anyway, allowing John to return his full attention to his son.

Dean's face was turned away from him. John found that he needed his son to look at him, needed that link to convince himself that his son was still with him. But, first, he had some work to do. He untied the wrist closest to him, moved down to the ankle. When he started on the other ankle, he glanced up at Dean, aching for that eye contact but Dean was steadfastly avoiding looking at him. The older Winchester finally knelt on the bed and untied his son's other wrist, then leaned down into his line of sight, only to have Dean start to turn away again.

But, John wasn't going to allow that. He had to know his son was really all right, that he hadn't lied to Bobby. Keeping one hand on his son's recently freed wrist, he reached out with his other hand, cupped his son's jaw and pulled his face back to him, ducking his head again to make that much needed eye contact. What he saw floored him. Amidst the pain in those green eyes, was a clear and unadulterated shame. He moved his hand to stroke his son's hair, something he hadn't done in he didn't know how many years, then again cupped his jaw tenderly but firmly. "What is it, Sport? You did it, you beat her!"

"'M sorry, Dad," Dean said, the words so soft his father had to lean forward to hear him. John pulled his head back in surprise and wonder.

"Sorry? What do you have to be sorry for?"

Dean tried to turn away again but John kept a firm hold on him, halting any kind of escape. "F' bein' weak."

"What? Dean, you beat her! You won! Nothin' weak about that, son."

Unable to turn away, Dean chose to squeeze his eyes shut instead, unwittingly pushing tears past his defenses and down his cheeks.

John wiped one tear away with his thumb, causing Dean to flinch back into his pillow. "Talk to me, Sport."

"Screamed," Dean muttered, breath hitching both from the pain and the emotions he was trying to keep at bay.

The older Winchester sighed.

Dean cringed inwardly, knowing from the sigh that his father was disappointed in him, ashamed. He was totally unprepared to have his father grip his wrist tighter and pull him up towards him.

"C'mere," John muttered softly, pulling his son against his chest and wrapping his arms around him. He could feel his boy fighting weakly against the hold, squirming to get free.

"Lemme go," Dean insisted, not wanting the comfort - in his mind, not deserving it.

"Shhh, I gotcha, son. I gotcha."

Those simple words brought Dean back to the night of the fire, the night he looked up at Sammy's nursery window and saw his mother burning on the ceiling. That memory, coupled with the his baby brother's recent departure to school, the agony of the past several hours, the shame that he felt when he'd lost control - all of these things ganged up on him, caused him to start to break, to lose control in a whole other way.

John could feel his son shake in his arms, trying desperately to hold up his barriers, still attempting to break free of his father's hold. But the older Winchester knew without a doubt that this intervention of sorts was way overdue. He increased the strength of his hold, wrapped his arms tighter around his son, until he finally felt the shoulders shake, heard the sobs break free… at which time, he began to rock his son gently, stroking his hair, speaking softly while pressing his cheek against the crown of his son's head - "I gotcha, son. I gotcha."


A/N I know, I know... Sap-Central, right? LoL Sorry if I made anyone cringe...