I don't own Sam or Dean or John or the Impala or Bobby or Supernatural…..that's all the CW. So if they would be very kind to let me borrow it all for a bit, I promise to give it back….eventually…..well. Also, I lack an editor, so any mistakes are mine and please kindly overlook them (or let me know). Thanks.

I had been wanting to write a new Supernatural story for a while, and that's actually what I intended 'Far From Home' to be, but 'Far From Home' ended up being a Robin and Batman story. So I had been working on plot points for the Winchesters and it finally gelled together.

Sam is an adorable 9 year old kid and Dean is an awesome 13.

-ff-

The LaFayette house was dark when Bobby pulled his truck into the driveway. John's jaw was set and his eyes were dangerous and deep. Bobby didn't envy Dale when John and Dean got a hold of him. As they got weapons, Bobby filled them in on what his research had turned up.

John looked at the house. "Necromancy?"

"As far as I can tell, but there's got to be something more to it. He's been careful." Bobby pushed open his door.

"Dean-"

"I'm not staying here." He spat. That was his brother in there and he was going to make sure Sam was all right.

"Cover us when we're in." John continued as though he was never interrupted.

John handed Dean a handgun and the boy expertly checked to see how it was loaded. Silver. Worked against most things. John would have been proud if he wasn't so worried and desperate to see Sam.

The there were as silent as shadows as the moved towards the house. John picked the lock on the back door and was the first in the house. He paused for a second when he caught sight of the pictures Chloe had drawn, proudly displayed on the refrigerator. Like he had done with Sam's. Bobby had mentioned Chloe, said Sam mentioned a scar like an autopsy on her, but John didn't connect that there was a kid involved.

Bobby stood at John's left elbow and met his eyes. "Basement." He breathed.

John nodded once and glanced back at Dean who was a few steps behind, his gun ready.

A heavy padlock hung open on the door, but it didn't open when John tried. He noticed something else, the door wasn't the standard wood of most basement doors, it was steel. Whatever was down there was well protected.

"Pick the lock." Dean whispered.

John glanced back at him, who knew how many other locks were on the other side. It was a waste of time.

Dean sighed and pushed past John. He pulled out his lock pick and bit his bottom lip in concentration. He was working on a theory that was more grasping at straws and hope rather than fact. The guy that took Sam seemed to be in a hurry, and not only because he was kidnapping a kid that belonged to three guys that never should be provoked into action.

It was a strong lock, stronger than the usual locks found on doors, and it took him more than a handful of minutes that felt like hours. Dean was vaguely aware of Bobby and John talking about other ways in, but he was mostly focused on the lock. The lock popped and Dean pushed the door open an inch. He stood up out of shock.

John looked over as surprised as his son. He rested his hand on Dean's shoulder, a silent 'good job' and slipped into the darkness of the basement. They paused to let their eyes and senses adjust, it would be stupid to risk any sort of light. From the depths of the basement there was the faint clanking of metal on metal, like a tool set on a metal counter and the light murmur of conversation.

John moved forward with stealth that came with years of practice. His heart pounded in his chest and all he wanted was to hold his son. He felt rather than heard Bobby and Dean behind him and there were no other hunters he'd rather have with him.

The basement was surprisingly uncluttered. Just a few boxes stacked in the corners. They passed what looked to be a table, like the ones used to hold the body during an autopsy. There was also a steel refrigerator with a padlock on it and John didn't care to find out the contents.

Light spilled from under a crack in a door in front of them. There was a small window near the top of the door. John gestured for Bobby and Dean to get against the wall as he carefully peered through the window. What he sat in the room stole his breath for a moment.

Sam lay on a steel table in only his sweatpants. He was asleep or unconscious, John couldn't tell. Dale leaned over something off to the side, he was wearing medical scrubs and had a surgical mask over his face. He straightened and turned to Sam. He gently wiped a damp cloth over Sam's forehead, like he had done it a hundred times before. John then saw what Dale had been standing by. Chloe lay on a gurney with a white sheet pulled over her legs. She was deathly pale and a heart monitor beeped irregularly next to her. There was a thick, y shaped scar down her chest, like she had been opened before.

Dale picked up a shining, silver scalpel and John kicked in the door. It was pure instinct and Bobby and Dean were right behind him. Dale was caught by surprise, but he recovered quickly when he saw three guns leveled at his head. He scooped up Sam, the boy limp in his arms, and held him in front of his chest.

"Let me explain." He held the scalpel near Sam's throat.

"Put my son down." John's words were cold and hard and dangerous.

Dale didn't flinch, he seemed as calm as if this were a conversation over beers. "I need him."

"So do I."

"You left him and I bet it wasn't the first time." His gaze flicked over to Chloe. "I've never left her a day in my life, and I never will."

Dale's words hit John deep, but he had more important things to focus on. His failings as a father were something to be thought about once his boy was safe in his arms.

"Give him to me and we'll talk."

"I'm not stupid and I know who you are." He met John's eyes. "Not your name maybe, but your type. You've been after my family for generations."

Bobby took half a step to his left.

Dale brought the scalpel closer to Sam's throat. "Don't move, any of you."

"Who am I, then?" John's eyes were only on Sam.

"A hunter. Out to destroy whatever it is you don't understand." He took a slow breath. "I've never killed anyone, I don't expect you to believe me. I don't want to hurt your boy, but I need him."

"Please." Dean lowered his gun. "He's my brother. I've always taken care of him, please."

For a moment Dale looked like he was going to let Sam go, but then his gaze fell on his daughter and it strengthened his resolve. "She needs him and I can't lose her. She's all I have left and I already lost her once."

"Lost her?" John asked, he was buying Sam time.

"She got sick and she died. But I brought her back, it's in my blood. LaFayettes have been bone polishers for centuries." He smiled at her unconscious form. "After I lost her mother and the baby in the fire, I couldn't lose anyone else. She's my life and I'm hers."

John's gun dropped a few inches. He was well aware that he and Dale had more in common than differences. John was doing the exact same thing, protecting his child at all costs.

The heart monitor beeped slower.

"There isn't much time." Dale looked John right in the eyes. "I'm sorry, really I am."

The gunshot was too loud in the room. Dale staggered back, blood already soaking his shoulder. He automatically tightened his grip on Sam and they fell to the floor together. John looked over and saw Bobby, gun still pointed at Dale, the end smoking. Dean started forward to Sam, but John held him back.

John took off his shirt, leaving just his undershirt on and wrapped it around Sam, the boy still unconscious and warm with fever. There was a cut on his arm from where the scalpel slipped, but it wasn't anything to worry about. John picked up his boy and held him close.

"Sedative, so he wouldn't feel anything." Dale gasped on the floor, his hand covered in blood as he tried to stop the flow. "Cherish them. Never know when you won't have them any more."

Bobby with his hand on Dean's shoulder.

"My great grandfather was the first in our family, took the heart of a dead soldier to save his brother. A little voodoo, some words and you get life." His words were punctuated by painful gasps. "I was just trying to save her. The hearts from the morgue didn't last long enough. Sam has so much life and she chose him. Didn't mean to, but she did and started to pull strenght from him. The nature of it, she wouldn't hurt anything if she could help it."

Dale didn't have long, Bobby was a good shot. John wanted to be repulsed, angered, shocked, but he understood Dale too well. He was intimate with the desire to save your child from everything, to protect what you gave life to with your own life, to do anything beyond reason to keep that child alive. John also knew too well the forever and deep pain of losing a wife to fire and only having her children left to remember her by.

"Hold her?" Blood ran down his chin.

John nodded. He looked at Bobby as he turned. Bobby stepped forward and took Sam as he was handed over. The boy was balanced on the edge of the table and Bobby's arms. John went over to Chloe and turned off the heart monitor. Her skin was cool and pale. Her heart beat sluggishly under John's fingers as he wrapped the sheet around her and picked her up. Her borrowed heart was counting the last beats. She was too light, too fragile. She was a beautiful little girl.

Dale smiled as John placed Chloe in his arms. He held his daughter close and breathed in the scent of her hair. He looked up and met John's eyes. John picked up Sam and held him.

John left the room, Bobby and Dean followed silently. There weren't words for what had happened and what could have happened had they been a few minutes later.

The ride back to Bobby's was silent. John sat with Sam in his arms and Dean held one of Sam's hands. Back at the house, John sat down on the couch with his son on his lap. Dean was automatically at Sam's side.

"He's okay?" Dean whispered.

John nodded.

Bobby sunk into a chair. "Christ." He ran his hand through his hair. "I never thought, John….I'm sorry."

"Don't worry, Bobby." John looked at Sam. "I would have done the same thing."

For a moment Bobby wasn't sure whether John meant letting Sam be Chloe's friend or doing what Dale did to save a child. It was too damn early in the morning and there wasn't nearly enough sleep to figure out all that had happened.

"I'm heading up to bed. You three going to get there at any point tonight?" Bobby leaned forward.

"Eventually." John nodded.

Bobby stood and left the room.

"Dad?" Dean looked up at John. "I wish I didn't feel bad for him."

John closed his eyes, a tired smile on his lips. "I know. Dean, not everything is black and white and good and evil. You know that. He was only doing what he needed to do, to save her."

"I still don't want to feel bad for him."

He put an arm around Dean's shoulders. "They're together and Sammy is safe and we're together. That's all you need to remember about tonight."

Sam shifted a little. "Daddy?" His voice was small, quiet.

"Sammy." John pressed his lips to Sam's forehead.

"Didn't want to go with him." He pulled himself closer in John's arms. "Had to. M'sorry" He choked back a sob.

John held Sam's head to his chest. "Everything's all right, now."

Sam's breathing evened out as he fell back asleep, exhausted. John stood with Sam in his arms and carried him up to bed. Dean was right behind, his hand gripped around Sam's.

John tucked his boys in the bed and Dean automatically put his arm around Sam. The younger boy turned and tucked himself against his brother's chest.

"I think his fever's down a little." Dean whispered. "Maybe."

John smiled and ran his hand over Dean's hair. "He'll be fine." He rested his hand on Sam's forehead. "Goodnight."

He got into bed and waited until he heard Dean fall asleep before he followed suit.

In the morning, when the room was bright with sunlight, both his boys were still in bed and Sam still in the protective arms of Dean. John thought briefly of going downstairs to see if Bobby was up, but he realized he didn't want to be anywhere else but with his boys. He got up and carefully sat at the end of Sam and Dean's bed.

Dean opened his eyes and looked over. "Dad?" He whispered.

John smiled and rested his hand on Dean's leg.

Dean made sure Sam was all right and then went back to sleep.

At that moment, there was nowhere else and nothing else John needed. He wanted to make sure he was paying attention to the moment because it was important. Dale had helped him realize that, and he was thankful for the message. Sometimes he wasn't always fully aware of how important his boys really were and he needed the reminder.

-ff-

note: Thank you all for the reviews, you are what kept me writing this. This wasn't quite the ending I had in mind, not this quick anyway, but this is where the story seemed to end. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing.