Title: From Fertile Minds
Summary: John Winchester was at wits end. His wife was dead, he was having to learn a lifetime's worth of the paranormal in a short amount of time in order to find her killer, and Sammy wouldn't stop screaming.
Disclaimer: None of it's mine. I'm just a sad little fangirl that spends her days writing fanfic and watching DVDs of her favorite shows :(
Author's Note: This was a strange idea that just sort of jumped out of a dark alley and grabbed me.
Tulpa - A physical materialization of a thought, resulting in the creation of a being or object.
John Winchester was at wits end. His wife was dead, he was having to learn a lifetime's worth of the paranormal in a short amount of time in order to find her killer, and Sammy wouldn't stop screaming.
John didn't have enough hours in the day or hands or patience to do everything he needed to. Sammy needed constant care, and John just did not have that kind of time to commit to the baby.
He needed help.
If he had been able to stay in Lawrence, he would have had friends (his and Mary's) that he trusted to watch Sammy. People who would have been more than happy to help because they felt sorry for John Winchester. But the thing that killed Mary wasn't going to stay in town, and so John wasn't about to stay. He didn't have the money to put Sammy in daycare all the time. He needed what little savings still left and what cash he could make for food, gas, guns, ammo, diapers, formula… there were too many needs and not enough means. Besides which, Sammy was all he had left; he wasn't about to trust some stranger with his baby boy.
John needed a better solution to the problem of how to properly care for Sammy while on the hunt.
He first found reference to the Tulpa in an old text on the unnatural arts of other cultures.
John had researched all the ways to break spells, glamours, and manifestations, but it never occurred to him before to create one. But he was desperate.
He learned the sigils and chants to call forth the Tulpa energy. Then he started calling people. Contacts he'd barely heard of and complete strangers involved with the business of hunting. He talked up his boys.
He stood in a motel room watching infant Sammy lying alone on a bed while he talked on the phone to anyone who would listen all about his son, Sam, and Sam's older brother, Dean.
He and Mary had long ago decided on the name for a second child after Sam. Dean for a boy, Deana for a girl.
John wanted a boy, someone strong to watch over Sam.
John put the idea of an elder son in the minds of as many people as he could. He planted the seed of Dean and waited. The Tibetan sigils and conjuring focal points in the motel room stared at him from the small gold amulet he'd carved them into… something portable that could travel.
At first, John started to think it wouldn't work. Sammy kept on crying under the care of a father stretched too thin to give him everything the infant needed.
John was at the end of his rope. He bowed his head, elbows on his knees, and fisted his hands in his own hair. He began to entertain the horrible alternatives. If he couldn't take care of Sam, he might have to find someone else who could.
He didn't want to give Sam up, but Sam deserved an attentive caretaker.
John looked up quickly and standing in front of him was a boy. Around five years old, with green eyes and tousled brown hair, wearing the gold amulet around his neck, standing before John and watching him with an expectant expression.
He even looked like he could be his and Mary's son.
The boy blinked and waited to be given direction. Purpose.
"Dean?" John croaked.
The boy claimed it, owned it, and became more real for it.
John cleared his throat and whispered hoarsely, "Go take care of your brother."
Dean nodded, turned, and went to the bed where Sammy was lying on his back wailing. Dean climbed on to the mattress with the baby and proceeded to play with him. John watched closely, afraid at first to leave Sammy alone with it, but Dean was nothing but gentle.
John had spoken of Dean to anyone who would listen as the perfect big brother, protective, attentive, devoted to Sam above all else.
Dean was what he was believed to be. What John had called him forth to be.
Dean became a permanent fixture in the Winchester family. He became a Winchester.
After a couple of years, even John began to forget that Dean had not always been there. He began to remember things differently to make Dean fit. Instead of John remembering carrying baby Sam out of the house the night of the fire, John began to remember handing Sammy to Dean to take outside.
Sammy grew up never doubting he had an older brother. John stopped worrying when Sam's first word was "Dee…" Dean wasn't going anywhere, because even if the rest of the world forgot Dean Winchester existed, the strength of Sam's belief and certainty in an old brother named Dean would keep Dean real.
Dean didn't know he was anything other than John Winchester's oldest son, Sam Winchester's older brother. Nor did he question his single-minded dedication to keeping Sam safe. That was just who Dean Winchester was.
John felt strange when he started to love the idea of Dean, until he realized Mary's memory was not that different. It wasn't wrong to love the idea of someone.
From that moment onward, as far as John Winchester was concerned, he had two sons. One he coddled for Mary's sake, and one he trusted as a caretaker to Sam and a partner on the hunt.
With Dean, John could tackle hunting and raising Sam. Dean was a natural fit for both roles.
Just as John had imagined him to be.