A/N: Wow, so, I wrote this when I was like . . . fifteen? And holy bejesus, does it need to be revised and there is a lot of shit that needs to be changed. Especially since so much from MTAF affects this story. Anyway, bear with me here, guys. This entire story is getting a massive overhaul. I'm seriously considering just rewriting the entire thing and starting over from scratch by reposting a new version of the story.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Except my OCs, of course, but they don't come in until later.
Edited: 17 NOV 2013
November 2, 1983
Mary Winchester smiled down at her six-month-old son, bending her head to nuzzle her nose against him and delighting in the bright smile she got in return. He was precious, all chubby cheeks and dimples and wispy brown hair. Her four-year-old trailed behind her, tiny feet padding across the hardwood floor.
He was supposed to be asleep, but she supposed she couldn't fault him for wanting to make sure his little brother was okay. Ever since they had brought Sam home from the hospital, he'd been obsessed with helping her with the baby, playing with the baby, and taking care of the baby. It was nice, that her boys got along as well as they did. She could only hope that it carried on into the future.
"Say goodnight to your brother, Dean," she said with a smile, eying her son and the way he froze with eyes as wide as a deer caught in headlights. A moment later he grinned bashfully and tried to stop pretending he wasn't following her; instead, he raced right up to her. She scooped him up, pressing a soft kiss to his cheek, and he beamed at her before he stretched down into his crib and kissed the baby on the top of his head.
"G'night, Sammy," he said fondly.
Dean was getting heavy. She kissed the side of his head and lowered him back to the floor, running a hand through his brownish gold hair and pondering taking him in for another haircut soon. Maybe this this time John would be home from the garage early enough to do it himself, which Dean always seemed to love.
John was in the doorway observing the scene. He offered his wife a fond smile when she noticed him, and Dean followed the line of her gaze. His face lit up like a Christmas tree as he raced forward with a delighted cry of, "Daddy!"
"Hey, Dean," John said with a smile, scooping him right up. He was getting heavy but he wasn't too heavy to lift or carry around, not quite yet. With a little bit of careful maneuvering he settled Dean mostly against his shoulder and kissed the side of his head, bending to kiss his wife as she walked by. He appreciated the sway of her hips for a moment before he refocused his attention to his youngest, who was cooing up at his mobile.
"'Night, Sam," he murmured, reaching out to flick the lights off. "Come on, monkey, let's get you back in bed where you belong," he told Dean, rubbing his stubbled cheeks against his son's and making him laugh.
"Aw, but daaaaaaaad," the little boy complained, but he was grinning.
Quiet fell on the Winchester house, Dean fast asleep in his fireman themed room, head tucked safely against his fire-engine red sheets. The faint hum of the television came from downstairs, and in the master bedroom, Mary Winchester stirred, pulled from a sound sleep. She blinked sleepily, squinting at the time and then the baby monitor beside the bed, where she could hear Sam making noises. She clicked on the light a moment later, cringing against the bright light while she reached her hand out to search for John, but he wasn't in bed with her.
"Probably checking on Sam again," she sighed as she climbed out of bed and made her way to her baby's nursery. Sure enough, her husband was standing with his back to her, staring down at the baby. Sometimes he got in these weird moods, leftover from his time in the Marines, and he would just marvel at their children and their general existence. It was actually a little bit adorable.
"John? Is he hungry?" she asked quietly, not wanting to disturb them.
John glanced briefly over his shoulder; she got a faint line of his profile and his finger pressing into his lips in the universal sign of shhh.
"Okay," she murmured with a shrug, heading back to the bedroom for some much needed sleep. A flickering lamp caught her attention as she frowned, her mind briefly transporting back to—no. No, that was impossible. Her brow furrowed when she recognized the flickering lights downstairs as the TV still being on, and rolled her eyes a bit because her husband had forgotten for the ten millionth time to turn the stupid thing off before he came upstairs.
She huffed and walked with a purpose, fully intending to turn it off and then give her husband an earful. When she got the landing, it took her a full ten seconds to process what she was seeing.
John, asleep in the recliner with the remote still in his hand, the TV flickering through scenes of Vietnam, and her stomach bottomed out because someone was upstairs in her baby's nursery.
Panic seized her as she remembered, she remembered so much so quickly as she spun, as she sprinted for her son's room with a frantic gasp of, "Sammy!"
The man turned towards her, and she caught his eyes in the light and she knew, she knew what was going on and the terror pulsed through her because she should have known, she should have known this would happen and this day would come. She should have protected her sons, she should have warned John, oh god, oh god Sammy, and Dean, and John—
It was him.
John jerked awake at the sound of Mary's scream, his battle-honed reflexes having him up off the couch before he was even consciously aware of his actions. He took the stairs two at a time, franticly crying, "Mary! Mary!"
In a full panic he crashed into Sam's room, looked around, and let out a sigh of relief because the nursery was empty. Sam was in his crib, wide awake and babbling as babies did. He reached down, trailed his fingers over baby-soft skin.
"Hey, Sammy," he murmured tenderly.
Sammy cooed softly and kicked his feet, clenched fists swinging in the air.
John frowned when something dripped onto the blanket beside his baby's head. He looked at it curiously as he trailed his finger through it. It was warm, and familiar.
The liquid dripped onto the back of his hand. With a frown, he trained his gaze upward in confusion until fell backwards on the floor in horror.
His wife was on the ceiling, she was on the ceiling, with blood blossoming from her abdomen, eyes wide and full of pain and terror, mouth open in a soundless scream—
"Mary!" he screamed, leaping to his feet and reaching for her, only to dive to the floor again when fire blossomed around her form, surged towards him with searing heat, and the room was on fire. Sam was crying, screaming as the heat assaulted him, fat tears sliding down his face.
His son, he had to get his son outside, now.
John scooped him up and ran out of the room, curling his torso protectively over Sammy, shielding him from the heat and the brightness.
Dean was running down the hall when John came out of the nursery with flames licking at his heels.
"Daddy, what's wrong?" Dean asked, horrified by the scene behind his dad, by the heat of the fire, the brightness of it, the sharp, acrid scent of smoke. "Daddy?" he said fearfully, his voice wobbling as he realized there were tears on his father's cheeks.
John placed his baby in Dean's arms and shouted, "Take your brother outside as fast as you can. Now, Dean! Go!"
The little boy didn't argue. He clasped his baby brother to his chest and ran for the stairs, careful not to trip and fall as he raced down them, hauled open the front door and ran onto the lawn. The grass was cold and wet on his bare feet, his brother a warm and crying weight in his arms. He stopped and turned around in time to watch the upstairs windows on that side of the house explode from the heat, hungry flames rushing out the window into the night sky.
"It's okay, Sammy," he told his baby brother even as his voice wobbled in fear because his mom and dad were still in there, and fire was bad, it was bad—
In the nursery, the flames had become a solid wall, a strange and unearthly laugh pulsing with the flames. John screamed in desperation because he couldn't get through the door, he couldn't get through the heat to his wife, and as he scrambled backwards, he saw it—he saw the silhouette in the shape of a man as the terrible laughter started up again, and he realized his sons were outside, they could still be in danger, even as his heart was shattered and the part of him that had been entwined with his wife died forever, because he was too late. He'd been too late, and he knew his wife was gone, gone forever, and something had taken her from him.
Dean watched the smoke billowing from the windows with tears on his own cheeks, voice raw from calling out for his parents, and he yelped when strong arms scooped him up and carried him away from the house. He just clung to Sammy and to his dad and cried, because his mommy wasn't with him, and he knew what it meant even though his dad wouldn't tell him.
The fire department arrived and put the flames out, leaving a hollowed-out blackened room where Sammy's nursery had once been. John sat on the trunk of his Chevy Impala, Dean pressed against the length of his thigh and clinging to his side. His arm was resting over his son's shoulders, keeping him there, solid, real, alive. Sam was cradled in his other arm, quiet in sleep now, even as the remnants of their lives continued to glow and burn in the Kansas night.
John looked up at what was left of the house, revenge burning in his veins.
And so, it began.
Singer Salvage Yard
March 9, 1984
Bobby Singer was a bitter middle-aged man with no family, and John was no psychologist but he could see the same pain in the grizzled older man that he saw in himself. The same pain of loss, of losing his soul mate, of losing half of his heart.
He told the grumpy bastard his story anyway, told him he'd been looking for someone to explain everything to him for months.
The old coot had flat-out told him he'd been asking the wrong questions to the wrong people, and set about correcting all his misconceptions and teaching him what he really needed to know.
About hunting, about the creatures of the night, about demons and spirits and all kinds of things that John wouldn't have kicked up in his wildest imagination.
"What did you say your wife's maiden name was again?" Bobby grumped one day, Sam asleep in a port-a-crib in the kitchen while Dean sat beside him quietly building with Legos that the old grizzled hunter had dug out of the attic the day before.
"Campbell," John supplied in a suspicious tone, because the question was completely out of the blue, as was Bobby's pinched expression at the name. "Her name was Mary Campbell, her parents were — "
"Samuel and Deana Campbell," the older man finished for him, pulling his hat off to shove a hand through his hair as he exhaled slowly, eyeing the former marine with a measuring look.
"How did you know that?"
Bobby sighed and said, "Not every day two hunters show up brutally murdered on the same day and their daughter vanishes into the night. Especially when those concerned belong to one of the oldest hunting families around. Even four years later, it's something I hear about all the time. Word is they were killed by some kind of demon."
"I saw it," growled John, fiercely, so fiercely that Dean flinched from beside the crib and looked up at them with fear-filled eyes.
"Positive. It was in the nursery. It . . . I could hear it laughing."
"Damn," Bobby sighed, palming his face. "Alright, alright, fine. Fine. You and me, and these here boys, we need to go on a road trip."
John's expression pinched. "Road trip? What the hell for?" he demanded, somewhat angrily.
Bobby gave him his very best do not shit with me expression and harrumphed grumpily. "There are some people you need to meet, that's what the hell for. Some people, part of an, uh, organization, you might say. This life, it's good to have backup, people you can rely on."
He just stared at the older man who had become his mentor after the past through months. "A road trip," he repeated slowly.
"A road trip," Bobby confirmed. "To Wyoming. Pack your shit, we leave in ten."
Thunder Creek, Wyoming
Marcy 11, 1984
"This is fucking insane," John bit out angrily, slamming his hand down on the table. He couldn't believe Bobby Singer had just dumped him with these people without so much as a fare-thee-well, couldn't believe Singer had abandoned him with these hardass hunter assholes who thought they knew everything.
"This is how we work," the signore roared in return, slamming both fists down hard enough to shake the table and knock over their glasses of water. "Damn it, this already cost you your wife, do you want it to cost you your kids, too?"
"Don't you dare tell me how to raise my kids. My kids are perfectly safe with Bobby!"
"Who is not their father. You need to get your goddamn head on straight. Just racing in blindly, thirsting for revenge, that is going to get your stupid ass killed."
John ground his teeth audibly, already regretting agreeing to this. "I refuse to have a partner. I won't do it," he snarled.
"Fine," the signore snarled back. "Then you check in three times a month, you keep us posted on what you find and if you find a way to track this thing. It might not be just your family, Winchester. One of our own lost his own wife in the same way, left him widowed with a girl and two boys. We do this together, as a team." Blue eyes met hazel in a challenge that John lost. "Three times a week, or I send someone to put you down. You risk exposure to us all in your current mental state."
"Fine," he half-shouted, accepting the leather-bound journal the taller man was holding out for him.
The signore was just as mad. He gestured at the door and barked, "Now get the hell off my property, asshole."
"Good riddance," John grumbled, stomping out the door and taking great satisfaction in slamming the damn thing behind him in that blue-eyed asshole's face.