Dean sat on Bobby's porch with a beer in his hands. It had been two months since he'd been reunited with his family. Everything was going pretty well despite the fact that they'd been apart for so long. Dean couldn't seem to get Ralph out of his head though. He couldn't get over the fact that the man had tricked him so easily. Even at twelve, he'd considered himself to be pretty smart. How had he missed the hate that Ralph had for his father?
Dean turned around as his father came out. "Hey."
"Hey, son," John said before sitting down next to his son. "You okay?"
"Yeah," Dean said unconvincingly.
"You're thinking about him again, aren't you?" John asked. He could always tell when his son's mind was on Ralph.
"I can't seem to stop."
"What exactly are you thinking about," John asked.
"How I could've been so stupid," he said.
"What are you talking about? You're one of the sharpest guys I've ever met," John said.
"Well, apparently not sharp enough to know that he was lying to me," Dean said as he took a sip of his beer.
"Oh, come on, Dean, you were a kid," John said.
"Your kid, there's a difference," Dean said. He should've known better than to trust Ralph. He'd been taught better than that. "You taught me survival skills. I should've known better.
"I taught you to hold your own against ghosts, werewolves, and everything else that goes bump in the night. I didn't teach you about what to do when some psychotic human targets you. That was my mistake," John said regretfully. He thought that teaching his boys about the supernatural would benefit them, but maybe it had been a hindrance instead. Yes, they'd learned to defend themselves from the supernatural, but it seemed that it left them vulnerable to human threats. None of them had ever considered the possibility of a human coming after them.
"Look it might seem stupid now, but back then you were a child. You had no reason to doubt what that bastard told you," John said.
"I trusted him. I trusted him, and he was just using me the whole time," Dean said angrily.
John looked at his son. He could tell that this really hurt him, and not just because he thought they were dead. He felt betrayed by Ralph. "You cared about him."
"Yeah," he admitted. He hated it, but he did care about Ralph. He couldn't deny that fact. "But now I hate him. From the moment I saw his diary with your name in it, I hated him. I thought he'd killed you and Sam. And I was going to kill him for that. If Sam and Bobby hadn't come in when they did, I would've killed him."
"And then he would've gotten exactly what he wanted. He would have destroyed us all. You wouldn't have been able to forgive yourself for killing a human," John said.
"And you can?" he asked.
"I've had blood on myself before. It's nothing new," John said. He'd had to kill a lot of men in battle. One more wouldn't make much difference.
"I just wish I could get him out of my head. He's always there. No matter where I am or what I'm doing, he's always there," Dean said.
John sighed. "I think he's always going to be there unfortunately. We can't change what happened. All we can do is move on. That's the best revenge. We move on with our lives and get to know each other again."
Dean smiled. That actually sounded pretty good to him. He missed being with his family, he really did, and he really didn't want to think about the past anymore. "Yeah, that sounds good. And I think I have the perfect idea of how to start."
John was confused at first, but then he got it. "Do I hear a family hunting trip coming?"
Dean grinned and nodded.
"You sure this is a good idea, John?" Bobby asked as John packed his bags. John was planning a hunting trip. Bobby wasn't sure that was such a good idea. It hadn't been that long since they'd gotten Dean back.
"Bobby, some people heal by spending time on a shrink's couch or sitting around in their housed talking about their feelings. Not us. We heal by doing what we do best. And that's hunting. Dean wants this and he's going to get it," John said as he brought his bags out to the truck.
"You don't seriously think you're going to be playing that crap in my car, do you?" Dean asked.
"Well, it's better than the crap you listen to," Sam argued.
John and Bobby watched them bicker. "Maybe you're right, John. Maybe this is what you all need."
John just smiled and watched his sons argue. It actually felt like it used to when they were kids He knew it couldn't truly be the way it used to and that they'd probably have a bumpy road ahead of them, but for the first time in a long time, John felt like everything would be okay.
A/N: Sorry for the long delay and the bad ending that this probably is, but I lost my muse for this story and rather than leave it for another year, I decided to end it. If my muse comes back, I may rewrite or do a sequel. Anyway thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed.