Written for the Summer of Sam exchange for Mikiya2200 prompt:
John and Sam together on a hunt. For some reason Dean can't hunt with them and they have to make it work somehow. I would love to see that, although Sam doesn't really like hunting, he is still focused on a hunt and not recklessly endangering them somehow, so no hiding injuries from John that would eventually put them in danger somehow. I'm pretty open to how you want to injure Sam (or both of them?) on that hunt, whatever gets your muse going is fine with me! :D I'd love this to be somewhere in s1 somehow, so after Jess was killed and them maybe somehow bonding a little over that?
Disclaimer: The usual, no ownership
Sam woke to a blaring concentration of pain on his left thigh. Everything narrowed down to that point, his muscles clamping hard around it as his breathing picked up speed. Light flickered through his closed eyelids and when he lifted them he realized it was the brightness of a fire burning near him. Instinctively, he shifted away, but found his wrists bound fast to the silver pegs they carried in their packs for shapeshifters and werewolves, only now driven into the cold ground on either side of his head.
Panicked and hazy with pain, Sam pulled against the strips of flannel that held his arms captive and sucked in a hiss at the spike of pain in his leg.
His gaze wrenched up to a silhouette on his other side, a black shadow in the dark night. He didn't understand what happened. How he ended up staked out to the ground beneath a canopy of indistinct swaying branches. What was going on? His brain was so muddled he couldn't think. Sweat broke out across his face, coated his neck. He tried squirming away and another wave of agony pulsed through his thigh, digging his shoulder blades in the soil as his entire body stiffened and head rocked back.
"Sam." The silhouette bent close, moving into the guttering firelight that chased shadows from hard, lean features and Sam's heart slammed violently against his ribcage.
Twelve hours earlier
"Grazta." John folded his arms over his chest.
"Never heard of it," Dean growled."Thought now that we had the colt out of the vamps' hands, going after the demon was the big thing with you. Now you want to go off and hunt an overgrown pussy cat?"
"A pussy cat that's gotten more aggressive with each passing day. You'd be fine with it if it was you going." John sighed inwardly. The message about the hunt had been in his voicemail—Pastor Jim's final message, final request before that bitch came a'callin to slit his throat. He was doing this hunt. He owed Jim that.
John changed his tactic. "Look. Killing the demon is still the priority, but we are Hunters first and when there's people being slaughtered by something only a few miles away that we know how to take care of, we go. It's an easy job. Sam and I will be back tomorrow afternoon."
"Then why can't I—"
"I need you here. I need you to narrow down that list of every baby born around six months ago in this town."
"To the month? That's going to take forever." Dean frowned. "Be nice if we could pinpoint it within one week. Better yet a day."
"Got a crystal ball that can do that? 'Cause the electrical storms and dying cattle and figuring out which six-month-old the yellow eyed demon's going after are our only leads. That bastard's coming here, Dean. Soon. Within a month, possibly weeks and we need to be ready."
"Fine. I get that. But Sam's much better at research. Leave him here to do it."
John opened his mouth to argue, but there wasn't an explanation he was willing to give his sons. Dean scowled at him, not understanding why John was so adamant that Sam accompany him on this two-man job instead of him when they'd only arrived in Salvation minutes ago. It was an abrupt departure from what used to be their norm before Sam went—or rather walked out—to attend Stanford.
Sam had been quiet, sitting on the motel bed with printouts of hospital records and applications for social security numbers spread out around him on the faded orange bedspread. Every so often he glanced up between Dean and John. John felt his youngest's gaze settle over him like an accusation. He knew Sam didn't understand it either, the direct order for Dean to remain and research while he and Sam went off on another hunt. Kid probably thought it was just another power struggle between them.
Which was better than the truth—that there was no way he was leaving Sam alone in a town brimming with signs and omens suggesting that the murdering sonofabitch demon that killed Mary was on his way, not with what the demon wanted his child for. Might as well tie his son up with a pretty bow and hand him over . . . John forcefully uncurled his fists, unclenched his jaw, so his perceptive sons wouldn't sense the fear and conflict roiling through him, but they were already peering at him strangely.
John tamped down the cold clammy fear snaking up his throat. Now that he was back with his sons and the endgame was on the horizon, he was sticking to Sam like spit frozen in ice. No half-assed demon was getting around John to get at his youngest. And once they killed the damned thing, Sam would never have to know what the demon had planned. He'd never have to worry about some freaky power cropping up like the other physic kid's had. Thank God Sam hadn't yet manifested anything like that.
"Sam, let's roll." John fell back on his old stand-by. He was in charge. No arguments. "Dean. I want to know what house and what day that sick bastard is coming to."
Grabbing his bag, he walked out the door, fully expecting to be obeyed, the grief of losing Jim so uselessly kicking up dust behind each weary tread of his boots.
It was dusk by the time they hiked into the forest and started scouting out the coordinates Jim had left. A hollowness opened inside John's heart, thinking about the preacher.
"Don't let it get too close," he barked at Sam.
"I won't, Dad."
"A shot three inches from the armpit will get through the thinnest part of the hide."
"You're loaded with iron?"
"Yeah, Dad. You've asked three times. You okay?"
John pushed a branch aside, holding it back to let Sam pass. "Yeah." He frowned. "Yeah."
Sam gave him a weak smile and nodded, hitching the duffle higher onto his shoulder, neither mentioning how Jim's murder had rattled him for which John was grateful.
"Just don't let it get too close." John let Sam take the lead now, let the boy follow the tracks they'd picked up twenty minutes ago because sighting giant grazta prints wasn't foremost on his mind with his chest swimming with grief. "You know, the claws."
"I'll keep my distance." Usually at this point, Sam's voice would be pinched with annoyance. Not tonight. Guess Jim's death had rattled them both. Crouching, Sam ran long fingers in the dip of a paw print. "It stopped here. Not too long ago."
John crouched beside Sam, inspecting the fresh tracks. He envisioned the large fabled beast stopping to scent the air.
"Think it caught wind of something?" Sam kept his voice low.
John nodded. Tiny prickles rose along the back of his neck. He pointed at another track with the muzzle of his shotgun. "See how the toes dug in when it twisted back around?"
Sam's head lifted to peer into the surrounding darkness. "Us. It caught our scent."
"Slow and easy, I want you to get behind me. Get your rifle in position."
"Yessir." No questioning, no arguments. Not on the job when it counted and a swell of pride sloshed over into John's hollowness, filling it just a little.
John remained still, feeling Sam ease away. He sensed the beast watching them somewhere up ahead. Waiting until he heard the soft thud of the duffel hitting dirt and the click of Sam cocking his rifle, John stood fluidly and pumped a round into the brush, more to flush the beast out than to attempt to get a shot through the thick hide.
There was a cry like glass grinding across a whetstone. To his right the brush shook just before three hundred pounds of furious barreling grazta charged out at him. John swung the shotgun around but before he fired, two rifle shots barked out in quick succession and the beast stumbled, lumbering forward on a collision course with the ground.
John dove out of its path where the beast's momentum plowed a furrow of dirt and flying leaves through the tangled vegetation where it thudded to its side, pluming clouds of dust and debris into the air.
"Dad!" Sam came running, those liquid eyes scouring every inch of John before he'd even stopped next to him.
Straightening, John held his hand up. "I'm good."
Seeming unsatisfied, Sam nodded, his frown conveying he didn't like how close John had let the grazta get to him.
John wholeheartedly agreed with the kid on that one. He cuffed a palm over Sam's shoulder. "Nice shooting."
He felt the surprised flinch travel through the kid's body and John mentally sighed. Together they moved closer to the beast, pushing broken limbs aside with the long barrels of their guns. The grazta lay on its side, chest lifting and falling in heaving pants. It looked eerily like one of those weird-ass hairless cats. An overgrown gigantic one. In the moonlight blood shone like black tar across the leathery hide.
Well, that wasn't so hard. Time to finish the job and head back to Dean. John pressed the end of his shotgun at the area where the big cat's hide was the thinnest . . . and everything went to hell.
The grazta sprang up in a coil of muscle, teeth and claws, knocking John sideways into the bushes. Leaves and dirt swam in his twirling vision. Snarls coated the air. A shot rang out. Sam shouted.
Wrestling free of the tangling foliage, John lunged out of the brush and found Sam, standing there, blinking rapidly. He saw John and lifted his arm to point toward a swath of still fluttering broken bushes. "Ran off . . . that way." His voice came out small.
John charged forward to go after the thing while the trail was fresh.
Sam just stood there.
Something wasn't right. John stopped, squinted in the darkness, taking in the form of his son. Sam took a step forward and crumpled to the ground.
"Sam!" Grazta forgotten, John ran back to Sam, skidding to his knees and turned the kid over. "Son, what's going on? He get at you?"
Sam looked up at him, his throat working. Long fingers dragged up to clasp at John's sleeve. Frantically, John swept his hands along the kid, searching for injury, hoping beyond hope that—shit. Hope just took a nosedive in the dirt because Sam's jeans were torn. Right there on his thigh, three jagged swipes.
Dammit dammit dammit. John's pulse kicked into high gear, roaring through his veins. In a blink he had his knife out and the jeans cut open above the nasty seeping claw marks ruining his son's flesh.
John sank back, his muscles going slack with the shock of what that meant.
Venom. A quick death.
Sam's fingers went lax, dropping from his sleeve.
Not with what John knew. Twenty minutes. They had twenty minutes—probably seventeen by now—to get the venom out before it saturated Sam's system and would be too late.
John became a flurry of motion, scrabbling after the duffel where Sam dropped it and grabbing up an entire broken clump of the bush he'd been thrown into. Heat. The damn supernatural venom was attracted to heat. Get a hot enough fire going and he'd draw the poison from his son.
Pouring lighter fluid over the branches, John scouted around for suitable kindling. He didn't have time to go searching. Lips set in a hard line, John used the knife on a lock of Sam's hair from just behind his ear and tossed that under the branches. Lighting a match he tossed it on the pile and brown locks whooshed to flame. It wouldn't take long for the lighter fluid to do the rest.
Quickly, he unloaded the shells from his shotgun and placed the muzzle into the fire.
Less than fifteen minutes left.
He was going to have to do this quick and mean. His son was dead if he didn't, but the pain was going to be excruciating. Even semi-conscious, the kid was going to buck and fight him. He needed Dean here to hold Sam still, and for the hundredth time in the last five minutes, John regretted leaving his oldest behind.
Except Sam didn't have time for futile wishes. Like always, John would figure this out. His head snapped up, feeling eyes on him. The grazta was still out there and they'd only managed to make it mad.
Snagging the duffle closer, John pulled out the pegs they used when they ran out of silver bullets and with the butt of Sam's rifle drove them into the ground. He had Sam's wrists secured with strips from his shirt—easier on the skin than the coarse rope they had—when Sam roused. His features scrunched in a tightness of pain. He flinched and his eyes flared wide. Panicked, he pulled against the pegs and immediately hissed, trying to curl as a jolt of pain must have exploded in his leg.
"Sam. Easy." The confused fear coming from his son broke something deep inside John.
Sweat broke across the kid's face and he tried squirming away, but it was too much for him. The thin body stiffened so tightly John worried he'd break bones.
"Sam." John bent close, relieved when Sam seemed to be able to focus on him. Firelight flickered over the sweat-streaked planes and angles of lean features.
John cupped Sam's face. "Shhh, it's going to be okay."
"Wha . . . what's going on?" He strained his arms. "Why am I—?"
"Trust me, Sam." He didn't have time to explain, wasn't even certain that time hadn't already run out. He reached over his son, picked up the shotgun, praying it was hot enough, sat across Sam's legs—and pressed the length of his shotgun barrel across the first slash.
Sam screamed. He bucked. His back arched off the ground.
From the dark brush beyond, the grazta snarled.
John held steady. It was working. He could see it. Black sludge pulled from the wounds, wrapping around the heated metal as though the nasty venom had a life of its own. Maybe it did.
As soon as the barrel was covered, John shook it over the fire where the sludge was only too happy to fall, twisting and slithering to get at the flames.
He pushed the hot gun back onto Sam's thigh and the boy screamed again. John shut the awful cry out of his mind, focusing on his task. He had to do this. Had to save his son, even if it meant hurting him. He had to. He was not going to let him die.
Sam abruptly stopped screaming. The boy's hands were opening and closing into fists, tendons bulging at his neck.
The grazta roared. Closer.
John threw the shotgun toward the fire and scrambled up to grab Sam's face between his palms. "Breathe!" Tears or sweat, John didn't know which, dripped onto Sam's cheek. "Breathe dammit!"
Sam's eyes latched onto him, flickering in the firelight, full of fear, confusion and agony. His chest finally shuddered with a shattering breath.
John kissed Sam's wet forehead, squeezing out more tears to drop onto his son's skin. Yep, definitely tears. "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry. Just a little more."
"No, no, Dad," Sam whimpered. His brave, strong, incredibly bright son fucking whimpered because of him.
John drew back, grabbed up the shotgun and got back to work, steeling himself against his young son's guttural screams.
They were both drenched in sweat when the last of the sludge pulled from Sam's torn flesh. Though he hated to do it, John plunged the hot metal against Sam's thigh again. He had to be sure.
Satisfied, he dropped the gun and grabbed his knife, quickly slashing across the flannel binding Sam's wrist.
Tears leaked down the side of Sam's face. His head rolled side to side. "No, Dad, no more," he cried weakly.
"No, I promise. It's over." He reached across to free the kid's other arm and a low rumble rattled across the night air.
Sam's gaze tracked past him.
"Dad, run . . ."
Like hell he would.
Twisting around, John threw the knife. The large cat-like thing skittered back, the hilt of the blade bouncing where it stuck in the massive shoulder. Crap. Getting through that hide was worse than armor.
The grazta rolled to the ground, trying to dislodge the blade and John scooped up Sam's rifle. The giant cat's head snapped up as though it recognized the damage the weapon could inflict. It could learn. John mentally tucked that information away for later. He took aim.
The cat leapt into the brush.
John looked back at Sam who was working at the knots in the flannel. Sam's helpless gaze flicked back to him and John's heart pulled. Hurting, confused, having no understanding of why John had tied him down, Sam still had warned him to run. His chest expanded on a sigh, still not big enough to hold all the love he felt for the kid.
Sam's eyes widened. "Look out!"
John swung around and the grazta sailed over them, skidding across the dirt. Damn thing wasn't giving up and John wasn't getting a clear shot.
Sam tugged at the stake. The cat prowled closer, completely unhurried, knowing they weren't a match for its strength and finally figuring out their weapons weren't much of a hindrance.
There was only one thing left to do. Jumping over Sam, John kicked at the fire with the side of his boot, sending thick burning bushes into the cat's face in an explosion of sparks.
The cat hissed, swiping at his nose and John yanked, pulling the stake up with everything he had, falling onto his butt when the spike pulled free. Sam cried out at the sudden wrench on his arm.
Stumbling forward, John pulled Sam across his shoulder and dove up into an all-out sprint, ducking between the tight trees and low-hanging branches, the stake still dangling from Sam's wrist slapping at his leg. He'd barely managed to hang onto the rifle.
Bellowing growls wailed through the forest. The sound of running paws hitting dirt crunched alongside them. John caught glimpses of shiny hide and coiling muscle flashing through the dense foliage. He'd never outrun it. Their only chance was to keep moving and keep to the thickest part of the trees where the grazta's larger size couldn't get to them. But even John Winchester knew he couldn't keep this up. And damn if he wasn't going to try.
Suddenly a wall of rock loomed before him, a pockmarked hill of stone in front of a small clearing. If just one of those pockmarks was deep enough to get into . . . They'd have to get across the clearing first.
John veered toward the hill, just as the overgrown feline pounced out of the trees, snarling after them. Running with everything he had, John swung Sam down in front of him, dragging the kids legs and hurtled into the closest slash in the rock, wincing at Sam's cry as his back hit the end of the crack, smacking into rock.
There was a crash behind them. Dirt and rock rained over them. John pulled his legs up, curling into Sam. The grazta slammed against the edges of the hole again, snarling, legs and claws digging furrows into the ground as it reached inside the little cave, trying to get at them, barely out of reach. Hot breath puffed around them as the cat slowed. Moonlight slanted across large eyes staring in at them.
It couldn't reach them, but it had them trapped.
"Sam. Sam." John tapped the boy's cheek, relieved when dark lashes lifted. "Sam."
The kid's eyes drifted, taking in close rocky walls, his chest lifting and falling in rapid pants. "Dad?" Sam's gaze met his, troubled and bewildered.
John pressed his forehead to Sam's temple. "It's okay, Sam. You're okay. Don't be scared."
Sam's breath pooled across his cheek. "What happened? I don't understand."
"I know. I'm so sorry."
The grazta paced outside the hole, blocking out the night sky.
"Sam." John leaned back so he could see his face. "The grazta clawed you. I had to burn the venom out." He swallowed around the fear of how close that had been, at the horrible sound of his child's screams. "I had to keep you still. I would never . . ."
"Nuuh," Sam rasped. His head rolled so he could look up at John. "Thank you."
John went very still, amazed by how easily Sam accepted and forgave. He spoke around the lump clogging his throat. "I . . ." He swallowed. "I need to check your leg."
Sam tried to shift up, but John stopped him. "Let me."
He arranged Sam's leg over his own, careful not to place it in reach of the grazta. Sam stiffened against the movement, lips thin. John carefully peeled back the bloody cut jeans to see the wounds. He wished he had water to wash the blood away. At least it didn't look like much dirt had gotten it in, though the flesh was ragged, the blistering where he'd been burned was raw and torn where his thigh must have rubbed across John's back during their headlong flight through the trees.
The best he could do was keep any more dirt from getting into it and the only spare piece of clothing they had was Sam's overshirt. "I need your shirt to wrap this in."
"Kay." Sam's monosyllabic reply spilled out on a hitch of breath.
Frowning, John let his palm slide to the back of Sam's neck to gauge his temperature. Kid's skin was wet and clammy, but not feverish. "You hurting?"
Sam merely blinked. Of course he was hurting. Clawed then burned.
"All right, let's get you out of this shirt."
Sam nodded and let John guide his floppy arms from the long sleeves. By the time he had the shirt folded and tied around Sam's thigh, the boy was tense with pain, breathing heavily through his mouth.
"Hey, hey, it's okay." John leaned back against the rough wall and pulled Sam's head to his shoulder. The kid's hand twisted onto his T-shirt and held on.
The large cat outside growled, reasserting its proximity.
Sam's fingers curled tighter. "How are we . . ." He sucked in a breath, the act of talking zapping his strength.
"Going to get out of here?" John finished for him. Sam nodded against his shoulder. "I got it covered."
Sam tilted his face up, peering at him through glassy eyes. John felt Sam's throat, not liking the warmth he found there.
Masking his worry, he grinned. "We still have the rifle. I'm just waiting for the perfect shot. The beast's proved anything less won't cut it." He figured they only had a few more bullets so the next shot had to be exact. Problem was the little slant of a cave didn't afford any maneuverability and so far the cat's vulnerable chest area hadn't been in range. In all likelihood, he was going to have to leave the cave to get his shot.
He looked down at Sam, saw the eyelids closing. "No, Sam. Hey. Stay awake. That's an order." He jostled him lightly. With the venom and then the burning, it'd be easy for Sam to slip into shock. Dark lashes lifted fractionally.
John smiled. "That's my boy."
Sam stared at him. A tear slipped from the corner of his eye. "Dad, I'm sorry."
"This isn't your fault."
John froze, wondering what Sam knew. Could he have discovered something?
"I didn't understand . . . what you . . . how you felt—"
John squeezed his eyes closed, pulled Sam closer, the small indent in his heart reserved for the pain of losing Mary suddenly expanded, grew heavier. This was about Jessica.
He kissed the top of Sam's head. "Son, I am so so sorry. I would have done anything to spare you that." He opened his eyes, wishing he could erase the transparent misery from his son's young face.
Tears coated Sam's cheeks. "Does it . . .? Will it . . .? Does it ever stop hurting?"
Sorrow stabbed John's heart, quick and brutal. "No." Hot tears blurred his vision. "No. It never does."
On a stifled moan, Sam curled over, burying his face into John's stomach, his lean body trembling in long shuddering sobs.
And John let him, let Sam pour out his heartache in a way he probably hadn't since the girl's death.
No more words passed between them. There wasn't a need. While the grazta prowled and hissed outside the cave, John held Sam, pulling him closer and closer as though he could take all the anguish into himself by holding him hard enough.
John sat with Sam until the tremors subsided and he felt the heaviness of sleep overtake him. With one arm slung around Sam, John cocked the rifle open with the other, checking the ammunition. Two iron bullets left.
A close growl rumbled along the rock. John's gaze snapped up to meet the shining eyes of the grazta staring in at them. Waiting.
He eased out from under Sam, bumping an elbow on stone in the small space to crouch into position.
"Scoosch over you mangy excuse for a lion." He still didn't have the shot with the beast's shoulder outside the cave. The grazta's eyes flickered, caught in moonlight and John lifted the muzzle. There was more than one way to skin a cat.
The shot reverberated through the small space, painfully loud. The monster shrieked, whipping backwards. Sam jolted awake.
"Stay here!" John bolted from the cave.
The grazta thrashed about the clearing, crashing into boulders and the ground, shaking its head furiously. Blood sprayed from its eye socket.
A clean shot through the eyeball would've taken a lesser beast down.
John took aim, inhaled to steady his next shot. He'd only get one.
The feline staggered and spun, clearly out of its head when it suddenly reeled sideways, knocking John off his feet and rolled over him.
Breath pummeled from his chest, John stared hazily at the dark sky. Heavy exhalations and the scrabble of paws churning soil moved around him. Dirt flung into his face. He had to get up, had to draw air back into his lungs, had to shoot the damn grazta.
Running footfalls pounded the ground. A shadow flew over him, flinging more dirt. Shouts and yelps flooded the clearing.
John managed to turn his head, twist to his side, pull in needed oxygen that froze in his chest at the sight because there was his son within horrifying range of those venomous claws again, bashing the overgrown cat's brains in with a football sized rock.
Half-blinded, the grazta swiped out, shrieking in rage, but Sam kept behind it's front legs, slamming the rock down over and over, his features stiff with resolve.
Fear and adrenaline exploded through John, getting him to his knees where he once more brought the rifle to bear, though every instinct in him told him to run to his son, shove him out of the way. It took everything John had to remain still, sight down the barrel, watch his boy's arms lift, swing down, pushing the great cat off-balance with the shoulder lifting in another swipe, opening the chest area . . .
John pulled the trigger.
The rifle barked, recoiling into his shoulder.
The grazta went down with a scream and a thud. Dirt plumed up.
Sam stood over it, bloody rock raised for another strike, chest heaving.
John was up and running. "Did it get you anywhere?"
Sam's gaze turned to him like he didn't understand the question.
"Did it get you? Sam!" John stopped in front of Sam and took the rock from his hands, dropped it on the cat's head for good measure where it rolled off to the ground. "Are you alright?" Because John didn't know how Sam was standing, let alone able to smash a rock into a grazta's head. "Sam?"
Sam canted and John caught him, let his boy lean against him. As long as his heart still beat, he'd be the buttress to shore up his children.
Using John's arm for support, Sam straightened. One eye squinted. "You know, Dad. This job wasn't as easy as you said."
John pulled the truck into the motel parking lot and gave a sidelong glance at Sam, already feeling the loss of the closeness and innocence as he mentally geared up for the hunt of the yellow-eyed demon to resume. God willing, it would end here and Salvation would become more than the name of this town—it would be their salvation, a finish to the nightmare that was coming for his boy.
Sam wrenched his door open, pausing to glance back at John with an almost shy smile as though he too felt the shift as John clamped his emotions tightly around him. If he was going to keep Sam safe, he couldn't just be his father. He had to be the Hunter first, though for the remainder of his days he'd treasure that moment in the cave where Sam trusted him with all his pain.
Dean trudged out of the motel room, steaming mugs of Joe in both hands. John felt like singing his praises right then and there.
A frown tightened Dean's forehead as his observant gaze scanned his brother. He shoved the mug into John's hand the moment he came around the truck. "Why is he limping?"
It felt like the changing of the guards and the new guard was not happy with the old guard's performance.
Sam rolled his eyes. "It's nothing. Just got scratched up some. The stiffness's almost already worked out."
"Uh-huh." Unconvinced, Dean pulled Sam's head down for a closer look. How on earth did he know? "So why are you missing a clump of hair?"
Sam's entire body stiffened. "What?" He looked wide-eyed to John.
Lips twitching behind his coffee mug, John merely shrugged.
Skin blanching in zero to ten seconds, Sam rushed into the motel.
Before the hair drama could ensue, John snagged Dean's elbow. "Report. Tell me you figured out where this demon is going to be."
Dean shook his head. "I've narrowed it down to twenty-three kids so short of throwing a dart and hitting the right one, we're gonna have a lot of long nights outside of people's homes."
John nodded. Well, since none of them were psychic—thank God— "In that case, better stock up on the instant coffee." He'd wait out every last house if he had to.
Because John Winchester would die first before letting that damn demon have at his boy.