Info: Pre-series. John's just begun hunting and dealing with a motherless four-year-old and infant. And Dean seems more keyed into his little brother than their father is.

AN: Possibly will be turned into a series of drabbles on the boys from John's point of view. Before destiny and fate; when there was only a single monster-hunting father and two very special brothers.

Summary: Before everything, John saw glimpses of who his boys would be.

Cry

"Go to sleep Sammy," John begged "Please."

John sat in a chair in the main room of the small, one bedroom he'd managed to lease for a bit. He held Sammy as the infant continued to cry.

John felt like he might too. He missed Mary. Bone deep missed her, like a part of his soul had been torn away. He was trying so hard to find what killed her, but every step he took toward her was like moving in molasses and seemed to bring him further from his boys.

He was always gone. Always…hunting. This new life he'd never known until his old one was snatched away from him.

From all of them.

John was worn and weary and squirming package in his arms just wouldn't quiet down.

God he was tired…

"Daddy?"

The lined face looked up blearily and tried for a smile at his oldest.

"Did Sammy wake you? Go back to bed Dean."

The boy looked unsure, cautious in his pajamas, but he came toward his father anyway.

"I can take care of Sammy."

John smiled then and shook his head.

"I've got him kiddo. Go on back to sleep."

But Dean wouldn't be persuaded it seemed. More insistently, he told John again.

"I can take care of Sammy."

The man was taken aback for a moment. That had sounded like more of an order than a request. Like Dean was telling him what he was going to do. And sure enough, the four year old's little arms were held out demandingly, a slight crease to his brow.

Finally, John acquiesced. Weariness and confusion pulling him into the decision.

"Alright Dean. Sit here and be careful." John instructed. "Support his head-"

"I know." Clipped, like he was offended his father wasn't aware that of course he knew how to take care of his baby brother.

The new hunter was uncertain, but as soon as he placed the loud little thing in Dean's arms, the older brother started shushing Sammy. Tiny hands pulled at the blanket and swaddled the infant more tightly in it.

Really, John didn't think the toddler would have much luck, but he weaved his way to the bedroom anyway, telling his son to come get him if anything happened, if he needed anything.

Dean nodded at him distractedly, like he was being a bother.

John landed on top of the covers, still fully clothed and feeling sleep rushing in on him. As he went under, his last thought was of how quiet the house was.