A/N: So Phoebe and I were talking about this earlier today, and I got to thinking, which is never a good thing. Written quickly and unbeta'd. This one's for you, Unholy Muse!
Summary: This is my take on John Winchester in Hell. Possible spoilers for "On The Head of A Pin".
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural. This is for entertainment (good Lord, we are sick puppies!) and not for profit.
"One time only deal, Johnny Boy," Alastair purred softly as he checked the straps again. "Take the knife. You start ripping them up and you can get off the rack."
John Winchester lay there silently on the rack for a moment. He'd been dragged down to hell cursing and screaming, but he didn't fight that much. The hounds had broken both legs, chewed through his neck halfway, and nearly ripped his left arm out of its socket, but that was just for fun. Everything healed, everything grew back. That was the point. This was Hell, after all.
Alastair sneered to himself. Winchester had made the deal with Azazel out of love. Love for his eldest son, that Dean.
Something dark flickered in Winchester's eyes. Here it comes, Alastair thought. The cursing, the defiance. He was really looking forward to it, curious to see how long the Winchester patriarch would last.
Winchester blinked. "Okay."
"What? What did you say?"
"Give me the god damned knife," John gritted out.
John worked his knives. He was oblivious to the moaning and the begging. He sliced the damned souls open, and he very carefully pulled their hearts and lungs out with his bare hands. He worked silently, carefully.
And he could tell that Alastair was not pleased.
John didn't care. He blanked out the faces of the ones he worked on. They were pieces of meat, no more, no less. He didn't know what their stories were, and he didn't care.
The only face John saw when he took a break was Dean's.
He didn't love Sam any less, but he'd made the deal for Dean. Did it to keep his boy alive and breathing, because he couldn't stand the thought of his eldest son dying before he did, couldn't stand the thought of his sons being separated. Sam had a chance with Dean around.
Without Dean Sam had no chance.
They had a name for what he was doing, back in 'Nam. Called it 'going native'. "When in Rome" was the more 'civilized' term for it, and that was a laugh. It all meant the same damn thing.
John thought about it, out in the bush, with Deacon and the rest, thought about what he'd ever do if there was no hope of rescue. Wondered what he'd ever do, in someplace far away from home, if he'd ever carve a life out for himself.
And now he knew the answer to that question.
He wasn't surprised when they came for him sometime later. He wasn't what they expected. John sensed disappointment in the air. The hounds ran at him first, and John was still too much of a Marine and a hunter to go down quietly. He was torn to bits then, and everything went black, but he opened his eyes later.
He was out in the lowlands of hell, far from the rack and Alastair's knives. It was a different kind of torment, and that was okay. He could take it. It was all in the attitude.
That was what he told his boys, and that was what he believed.
Maethus always did have a knack for stating the obvious. "That wasn't righteous."
Alastair growled at him.
"The seals not broken, is it?" Maethus piped up. Well, he hadn't been that smart topside. Being in Hell didn't raise his IQ points.
Alastair took his favorite knife off the table and slashed Maethus in the face with it. "Does it look like it worked?" he snarled. The smaller demon backed away, black eyes bright with pain.
Back to the drawing board. Time to find another.
The father escaped when the Devil's Gate opened up.
Alastair flew into a rage and hacked and disemboweled his way through thousands of souls non-stop. Winchester was of no use to him. but it was just the idea that the bastard got away. It was the principle of the thing.
Alastair's mood shifted like quicksilver when he realized that Dean Winchester sold his soul to save his brother Sam.
Maethus and the others drew back. The expression on Alastair's face frightened them.
The days rolled on, turned into months, then years. Dean Winchester was dragged down to hell, and that was when the fun well and truly started. Dean came, and Dean left, thanks to that feathered fuck Castiel.
A few months after that Alastair met Dean again.
Alastair's body was wracked with pain from those damn containment sigils. His mouth was filled with blood, but he could ignore that. This was going to be interesting. So very interesting.
I know how to hurt you, Dean, Alastair thought to himself as he watched Dean roll the cart of tools into the room. I can cut you right down to your core.
"Had your pop on my rack for close to a century. Made quite a name for himself. A hundred years. And after each session, I'd make him the same offer I made you. Damned if I couldn't break him! Pulled out all the stops. But John? He was made of something unique. The stuff of heroes. And then came Dean. Dean Winchester. I thought I was up against it again. But daddy's little girl? He broke. He broke in 30. Just not the man your daddy wanted you to be, huh, Dean?"
The pain in Dean's eyes took Alastair's breath away, as always. So intense, so beautiful, so flawed.
As beautiful as the lie itself.
A/N: I don't believe that John was the righteous man. Dean was. Dean got into hunting to avenge his mother, and to make sure that no one else suffered like his family did. Dean held out because it was the right thing to do. That's what makes him righteous. John's an ex-Marine, and soldiers out in the field have been known to 'go native' in a heartbeat, especially when there's no hope of rescue. I'm interested to know what you think about that.