Title: It ain't running away if you don't bring your toothbrush
Characters: John, Dean, Sam and Jamie Winchester
Genre: Gen PG for language
Summary: Jamie finds himself in hot water with John. Disclaimer: I own nothing but Jamie and really, I am beginning to wonder about him too.
Jamie's mad. Bitchin' mad. Mad enough to kick something. His ass is gonna be grass for no other reason than JR Banner is a dick. Yes, he was Jamie's best friend and lord knew that Jamie had gotten JR in more trouble through the years than you could shake a stick at. Turn about was fair play and all that, but it wasn't gonna save him from Gramps. No way, no how. Because there were only a few things that could guarantee an ass beating from his grandfather. Being stupid and dangerous was one of them.
So, drinking and driving was likely to fit in that category. And it didn't matter that JR talked him into it. It didn't matter that there were beautiful girls involved. Beautiful, college girls to be more specific. It didn't even matter than JR was likely in just as much trouble as Jamie was. The only possible good thing about the whole situation was that Jamie had not gotten arrested. That was JR's fault too. JR, in a drunken but probably well-timed, haze had begged the local PD not to arrest them. They were only two towns over from their hometown and Jeff Banner was the local sheriff there. Jeff had friends all over Texas and when JR and Jamie got in local trouble, it was possible that Jeff Banner's name could be said and maybe, just maybe, they would find themselves not jailed. So JR had blubbered about his daddy being the sheriff and pullease, don't throw them in jail. One phone call officer, sir and I promise we won't cause any more problems.
So…JR called his father and Jamie had called home. Where his father and his uncle were conveniently gone. Where only Gramps was home. So yeah, Jamie should just drop his head between his legs and kiss his ass goodbye.
Gramps comes into the station hard and fast like the freakish Texas weather that Jamie was so familiar with. Behind him is Jeff Banner. Jeff's a rather imposing man, large, fit and able to handle just about anything that came his way. His best friend's daddy has been a cop for a long while but he is nothing compared to John Winchester. His Gramps is a bull of a man, large through the chest, narrow through the waist. And although he's a good 20 years older than Jeff Banner, and he's not wearing a uniform, it's he who the local PD turned to. John Winchester has that effect on people. You just naturally defer to him. Even Jeff did not seem surprised that the cops handle John first.
Well, handle might not be the best word to use. They just kind of backed the fuck up, throw a lot of yes, sirs in his direction and release Jamie to his custody.
Jamie's last picture of his buddy JR is Jeff Banner frog walking his boy to their truck, dressing him up one side and down the other. JR's drunkenness might have save him from remembering the ride home, but Jamie doubts it would save his ass when he got there.
Serves the sonofabitch right.
Jamie walks quietly to Gramps' truck. Yeah, Jamie had a beer or two, but he wasn't drunk, not by a long shot. It was JR who got himself all fucked-up within an inch of his life.
Jamie just wants to diffuse the situation. Stop it before it becomes a clusterfuck.
"Gramps…sorry you had to come over here. I'm fine, really."
Gramps turned to Jamie, eyes dark and narrow.
"Were you drinkin'?"
"Were you drivin'?"
"Yes, sir. But Gramps…"
"Don't wanna hear another word."
Jamie fumes quietly and jumps up into Gramps' truck. The next ten minutes are silent, Jamie brooding and Gramps not taking his eyes off the road.
"It's not fair, Gramps. I wasn't drunk!"
"James Michael. You are getting one word of warning and be thankful you are getting that. If I hear another sound from that shotgun seat, I swear I'm gonna pull this truck over and tan your hide right here on interstate 101. Do you understand?"
Jamie is so mad he could spit nickels, but Gramps isn't lying so he nods mutely, something that would normally get him a talking to cause hey - 'can't hear your head rattle, son' but he's following the letter of the law and that should be sufficient
They pull up the long crush and run driveway to the house. Normally by now, Jamie would have calmed down but he doesn't feel calm at all. He is seething.
He jumps out of the truck, slams the door with all the force the sixteen year old has to offer and then stomps up the steps into the house.
His grandfather seems just as mad, his door slamming just as hard as he follows Jamie in.
"You're grounded. One month."
"What?" Jamie spins on Gramps. "You can't ground me for a month! I didn't even do anything but drive JR safely away from the party!"
"And to a drunk driving checkpoint where there was alcohol on your breath and your buddy blew drunker than shit!"
Then Gramps seems to think for a second about Jamie's last words. "What do you mean, I can't ground you. I can. I did. It's done. "
"If Dad were here, he'd understand. He wouldn't ground me for a week better yet a month. I mean, you might not have any social skills and maybe when you were a kid nobody liked you but I got friends and things to do."
Gramps steps up into Jamie's space.
"That may be true, but your aren't doing them for the next month. If you wanna fight about it, I can make it 6 weeks. Hell, I can make it two months. There ain't a damn thing you can do about it except maybe say "yes, sir" and turn your ass around and get up to bed."
Jamie shakes his head tightly, spins and runs up the steps, each foot slamming the hardwood with as much force as possible.
He hits his bedroom, slams the door so hard that the door jam rattles and Jamie really thinks the molding might have pulled away from the plaster. Fuck it.
From downstairs his grandfather bellows. "If I hear that door slam one more time, I'm gonna take it off the hinges!"
Jamie wants to open it again and slam it one more time just because he can, but Gramps means what he says. He always means what he says and the thought of sitting in his room without a door pisses him off. Just like the thought of sitting in this house for a month pisses him off. 'Cause when John fucking Winchester grounds you, you can kiss TV, computers, phones, video games and hell, even stepping out of the house for anything other than chores goodbye.
Jamie sits on his bed, face flushed with anger and beyond livid. Who the hell has to live like this? How many kids have a John Winchester not only as a grandfather but also as a parent? How many kids would have to put up with a Dad, Uncle Sam and a Gramps? No one in Jamie's frame of reference. Usually there is a mom and a dad, maybe one or the other, or once in a while fuckin' stepparents but this is insane. He has his own personal triple threat who watch him like fucking pit bulls and lord forbid he screw something up.
He stands rubs a hand through dark auburn hair. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. He drops to the ground and starts push ups, hard and fast, not counting, not caring and then rolls right in to crunches. He pushes so hard that his belly burns with the effort but it does nothing to take the edge off, to back his anger down to a reasonable level.
Jamie lays back on the floor, panting lightly with exertion. He is so fucking fit he can't even wear himself out with exercise. Another lovely Winchester trait that is wrong, wrong, wrong. He isn't training for the Olympics, he is just a kid. Nothing should be this hard.
It hits him then that his life is fucked up. Completely. He is a hunter, and a kid, and he has three parents who torment him routinely. He has a grandfather who should be fucking rocking on the front porch with a glass of lemonade in his hand but instead Gramps can kick anyone or anything's ass and could outshoot a Marine sniper. His life ain't no afterschool special and if it was, there would not even be a title that would fit it.
That's it. This is it. He is outa here.
Jamie grabs his duffle, rolls up his jeans, his underwear and socks. He can pack fast and with economy of motion. He reaches under his bed for his money stash. He has saved up a lot. Throws some in his jeans pocket, some in his duffle, some down the side of his boot and a little in his wallet. He slides his silver knife down the other side of his boot; it fits nicely in the specially made sheath. Anything more than a knife could get him in trouble but he is good with a knife, damn good so he feels comfortable with it.
There is a quick decision to make, where to go and for how long. Lord, knows he can't get far on foot, they live on a damn farm in the middle of nowhere. There ain't no way Gramps would sleep through the car starting up so he decides to sneak out, head to the barn and ride. There are plenty of places to hide in the hills, places where just him and a horse won't be seen. Besides, although his family are great trackers, none ride as well as he does, he will have the advantage.
Jamie doesn't think much further than that.
Later on that will come back to haunt him.
It's late by the time that Jamie has his supplies together and is mounted and on his way up the mountain. It wasn't too hard to gather dried food. Despite the fact that the Winchesters survived the Apocalypse, they can't help but be prepared and their tornado/storm shelter is loaded. It was easy enough for Jamie to slip down before he hit the barn and grab enough food to last for a few days. The air is a little cool but it feels great and for the first time since he was caught at that damn checkpoint, he feels almost good.
Jamie is comfortable riding, it is second nature to him. He clucks quietly to his horse, a bay mare with a big blaze and china eye. Even though her one blue eye gives an expression of insanity, she is sweet and kind and a mover. She likes nothing better than to be going someplace she hasn't been and she covers ground like no tomorrow. Jamie pulls up for a moment, enjoys the dawn breaking around him, the awakening of the mountain. Yeah, he needs this time to think, bring his blood pressure back down to normal teenage levels and chill himself out. He urges the mare forward with a slight nudge. "C'mon Girl, let's put some space between us and crazy Gramps." The mare needs no more incentive than that as she drives her hindquarters down and hustles her way up the mountain.
"You WHAT?" His son is hyperventilating on the other side of the phone and really, despite the fact that Dean Winchester is a grown man with a half grown kid, John doesn't need to hear that kind of attitude from his son.
"You better watch your tone, Dean." He growls low into the phone and it works instantly. He can hear Dean settle, a quiet but deep breath and then he is coherent again.
"You're right. I'm sorry. I just was not expecting to hear that you'd lost my kid."
John fumes a bit at that but takes another deep breath himself. "There was no losing of any children, Dean. Jamie just decided to leave. He took Girl and headed up the mountain. He couldn't have gone far and I'm sure I'll catch up with him sooner rather than later. When I do, that boy is gonna have a hell of a long walk back 'cause he sure as hell ain't gonna be able to sit a horse."
"Dad, just sit tight okay? Sammy and I are packin' up now."
"Damn it, Dean, you two are at least five hours away. Five hours of time wasted. No, I'm gonna go find that kid and he better hope to hell the ride calms me down. I don't think he has ever done anything so blatantly irresponsible and downright disobedient in his whole life."
"Dad, take it easy on the kid…he's just a boy. A naughty, stupid boy, but a boy nonetheless. When you catch him, why don't you let me handle it? I promise I'll give him a good licking, make him apologize and follow through with your grounding. I just don't think you are in the right frame of mind to handle the kid."
"I am in exactly the right frame of mind to handle the kid. Believe me, Dean. I don't wanna have to do this, but the boy just pissed on my authority and that never happened when you and Sam were kids without serious repercussions. It's not gonna happen with Jamie either. You comin' home now? That's just smart as long as you can get away. Hopefully, by the time you get here, Jamie and I will be home. I have the satellite phone with me, so you can reach me anytime."
"Okay, Dad. Be careful and watch out for my son."
John knows that Dean doesn't like it and normally, John would back off because Jamie is Dean's boy. But there are somethings that John is not going to tolerate.
It takes John Winchester all of ten minutes to be mounted up and moving up the trail. He can tell that Jamie is moving fast, not bothering to cover his trail or caring really. John isn't really surprised about that. There's little chance than he won't catch up with Jamie and the kid knows it. John rides hard though. Luckily his big black gelding likes traveling as much as John does.
Jamie stops for lunch at a mountain fed stream. Well, maybe not mountain fed, because these hills are not quite mountains but the water is cool and Girl buries her muzzle into the water. She takes deep mouthfuls of water, blows once and then paws in the water playfully, splashing water up Jamie's legs.
Jamie has been to this stream before. He and JR have spent quite a few hours in these hills doing things that boys do. They both are a little on the rowdy side of cowboy sometimes, but usually they mean no harm. Thinking of JR makes Jamie get a little angry again. Dumb ass best friend. Fucker had to get shitfaced and screw up last night. Jamie still thinks that he was not all that wrong. Yes, he had been drinking and driving but he hadn't driven drunk. He had taken the keys from JR, for crying out loud. Jamie thought he had chosen the responsible option and he is still a little pissed that Gramps didn't understand that. Jamie figures he just needs to give Gramps a little time to calm down and yeah, maybe even worry a bit about his grandson.
Two days, if he could stay missing for two days maybe Gramps will chill out. Maybe Gramps will feel bad enough that he'll forget all about it. He shakes his head and grimaces.
It's then that he remembers the small hunters cabin that he and JR found three summers ago.
The place was barely habitable when they found it, and really it's not all that much better now. But the boys had fixed it up. Repaired the holey roof and made it a little more weather proof. JR and Jamie used it as a place to hang out. No uncles, grandfathers, and dads to deal with. They smoked a few cigarettes there, drank a little beer and once even shared a joint. It was a clubhouse of sorts. Neither JR nor Jamie had told anyone about it, not even a few of the boys they were both close with. It was just JR's and Jamie's. They wanted to keep it that way. Jamie figures that would be a perfect place to duck out of sight for the next day or two.
"We got us a plan, Girl." Jamie rides the mare out of the water and heads up to the cabin.
Dean grips the wheel of the truck. It's a good truck, solid and a workhorse. It's not the Impala but he has learned to make do. His girl sits at home in the garage. Sometimes they take her out for a little drive or a tune up. The old girl doesn't really need it, but working under her hood is never a chore and she looks as good as the day she rolled off the line in Detroit. Dean thinks to himself that she has earned her retirement. The thought of the Impala, brings his mind back to Jamie. From Jamie it wanders to his own teenage years and of the times he had gotten behind the wheel after a beer or six. His dad had some pretty hard and fast rules regarding drinking and driving. Even when his boys were grown, he never hesitated to take a stand on something so dangerous. The kicker was, Dad was never so much upset about the drinking as he was about his boys getting behind the wheel.
He turns briefly to Sam, who is gazing out the passenger window. He can't see Sam's face but he is sure that he knows what is on his mind.
"You worried about Jamie?"
Sam nods tersely.
"He'll be alright, Sam. Dad's on his trail."
"That's one of the reasons I'm worried." Sam smiles a little at that. They both know their father.
"So, do you think that Dad is gonna kill him?" Dean's eyes are back on the road, but he glances quickly at Sam.
Sam turns to Dean in a face so typically Sam that Dean almost smiles at it.
"Hell, yeah. I think Dad is gonna kick his ass into next week."
He should be worried, he figures.
Jamie is under no illusion that his gramps won't find him. Gramps has hunted things far harder to track than a 16-year old boy. Still, the cabin can offer him some breathing space and that is what he needs.
A hour more of hard riding and Jamie sees the cabin. There is a small corral out front that Jamie and JR built their first summer there. Since the place was only accessible by horse, it was one of the first things they did. He leads Girl in, pulls off her saddle, drops it over the rail and rubs his hand roughly over her sweaty back. Despite the work, she's not really hot, just wet under her blanket. He takes off her bridle and hangs it over the saddle horn and then swats her ass.
"I'll get your water in a minute, Girl."
She moves off at a quick trot, stops and immediately lays down in the dustiest part of the corral rolling in the dirt. Jamie laughs. Every time he sees a horse roll around in the dirt it cracks him up. She stands and offers a full body shake and then walks to a little grassy area and starts to eat.
"I've been forgotten that quickly huh?" Jamie smiles, turns and then trots up the steps to the cabin. There is no lock on the door, no keys under the mat, hell there is no mat, so he pulls the latch and bumps hips on the door. It swings in easily. A split second after the door opens; Jamie realizes he is not alone.
There are a few teenage expressions that John Winchester wishes he had pictures of. He has them catalogued in his head but a hard copy would be great. Sam winning his soccer championships or Dean getting the keys to the Impala are some happy ones. Then there are a few of the times when his sons did stuff so damn stupid that their expressions would be worth visiting from time to time just on shock factor alone.
The first time Dean got arrested was when he got caught for getting a blow job.
That was an interesting look. Then the time when Sam came home so drunk he could barely find he door, only to find that John's hunt had ended earlier than expected was another classic. Now John has another teenaged face he would like to be able to add to his personal photo album of Holy Shit faces.
"Gramps." Jamie physically cannot believe that his grandfather is standing in the dimly lit cabin. It is just not possible. No one knows about this place. What is the man? Shaman? Ghost? Demi-god? Fuck no, he's a Winchester and Jamie should never have underestimated the power of that.
"I, uh…"Jamie begins but real words fail him and he settles for, "awe shit."
"Pretty much." Gramps is obviously angry but if Jamie didn't know the seriousness of this situation, he would swear there is just a hint of merriment behind his grandfather's dark brown eyes.
"How in the Hell…" Jamie starts again but his grandfather interrupts him again.
"Doesn't really matter does it? Let's just say that there is not much your gramps doesn't know about and leave it at that okay?"
Jamie sighs, there really is nothing he can do or say but a quiet, "Yes, sir."
But Jamie can think on his feet so he opts for a little conversation.
"So, Gramps, did you enjoy your quiet little hack through the woods?" Jamie tries for gentle teasing because he just wants to diffuse the situation if he can.
Jamie scuffs his booted foot on the roughly planked floor and drops his head to study what looks like might be a dead spider between the cracks. It is interesting how they seem to curl up on themselves. Fat spider body and long crumpled up legs. He envies that dead spider right about now. Jamie lifts his head slowly and then jams his hands in his jean pockets. Takes a quick look around the cabin. There are no escape routes but he knew that already. So he takes another breath, pulls his hands from his pockets and heads to the single cabinet. "Well…we don't have a lot but I can offer you a can of soup."
Jamie stops in mid reach toward the cabinet and turns to his grandfather.
"Okay. Are we doing the lecture first, the ass whippin' first or do you just wanna watch me squirm a little more before the shit hits the fan?"
Gramps tilts his head a bit and Jamie watches as a small grin to plays on his face. He can only guess that Gramps is comparing Jamie to his Dad. Cocky is Dean Winchester's favorite flavor.
Jamie sighs again and rests his ass up against the tiny, wooden counter that serves as the kitchen to the cabin.
"I know you think I'm being a hard ass about this Jamie, but you are only sixteen, there are reasons that the law doesn't let sixteen year olds drink. It is too easy to step over the line from sobriety to shitfaced. Drinking is serious shit. Drinking when you are driving is just plain stupid."
Jamie thinks about interjecting I wasn't drunk! But one look from Gramps shuts him up and he schools his face to contrite teenager getting dressed down by his grandfather.
"The law is clear on it, Jamie. Drinking and driving is wrong. "
Jamie can't help the next words out of his mouth.
"Since when do Winchesters follow the law, Gramps?" It's said with heat and a sarcastic tone that snaps his grandfather's head up. But Gramps considers carefully before answering.
"Point taken. Let me rephrase. Is there a Winchester law about drinking and driving?"
Jamie nods mutely.
"And…" Gramps prompts, brown eyes boring into Jamie's brilliant green.
"We don't do it. And if I was ever to find myself in that kind of situation, I was to call you or Sam or Dad. The repercussions of getting a phone call about have had a drink or two are far less than getting behind the wheel while drinking." Jamie says the last part slowly, like a mantra. It is a mantra, he has heard it most of his life.
"So being grounded for a month was not really all that unexpected huh? "
Jamie shakes his head again, a deep blush crawling up from his neck to his face.
"So, my punishment was appropriate for the crime. Maybe you even got off lightly because I was so mad yesterday that I didn't want to tan your ass. Plus I was hoping that maybe you and I had seen the last of that kind of dance for a while. But it seems like you think you can do what you want, when you want and then when you get caught, you figure you can pull something even stupider like running away from home."
"I wasn't running away from home."
"Your money's gone, your favorite knife is gone and even some supplies. Do you expect me to believe you just went out for a little trail ride?"
Jamie looks astonished. What the fuck does John Winchester not know about?
"Did you look at my skin mags too?"
For a second he thinks he might have stepped over the smart-ass line and moved into dangerous territory, but Gramps smiles just a bit.
"No, didn't touch them."
Jamie huffs. Is nothing sacred?
"Besides," Jamie begins his voice full of petulance. "It ain't running away if you don't bring your toothbrush."
The look Gramps gives him now is harder. Jamie can tell he is about ready to detonate. That is never a good thing. Diffusing Gramps is necessary and needs to happen right the fuck NOW.
"Look, Gramps, I'm sorry. I just wanted to get some time alone to figure some stuff out." Jamie is contrite and puts enough sugar in his words to put somebody into a diabetic coma.
t doesn't work.
"You had a whole month of alone times scheduled, Jamie. Don't treat me like an idiot. Is that what you think? That I am too damn dumb to figure this shit out?"
"No, sir." Jamie drops his head again. He knew his grandfather would figure it out, he just was not expecting it so soon.
"Okay. Lecture done. Now, you tell me why I'm gonna whup your ass."
Jamie gulps. It always ends like this and damn why is he such a moron.
"Drinking and driving. Leaving the house after I was grounded. Lying about the whole damn thing. Most of all, not following the rules. Real laws and Winchester laws."
Gramps nods. "Good enough. Drop the jeans and undershorts. That counter looks about the right height."
Jamie unsnaps and unzips. He turns around facing away from Gramps but he can hear his belt slide through the belt hoops. Fuck. He hates that sound. He drops trou and leans over the wooden counter. For a moment he feels the unsanded wood on his arms and he wishes that he and JR had done a better time finishing it. With his luck he's gonna get a splinter somewhere that should never be subjected to unfinished wood.
But that is just a brief thought because a moment later he feels the sharp smack of leather hitting his ass. Jamie hisses a deep breath but doesn't make another sound. Gramps delivers another. This one is just below the first and right across both ass cheeks. It stings like fire and he offers an involuntary gasp. Damn that man can hit. Gramps lays another molten lick, this one above the first and the belt tags both hips. He jumps a bit at that one, but doesn't step away from the counter. As usual, Gramps doesn't whip for long, he never needs to, and each stripe is calculated and efficient. Jamie sometimes wonders how much of the crying he does during a whippin' has to do with the whippin' or the embarrassment. It's probably a little of both. It's not like he gives a damn about Gramps actually watching his lily white ass turn a bright shade of crimson, it is more that Gramps feels he has to do it in the first place.
Gramps finishes quickly. Jamie knows despite his grandfather's hands on approach to parenting, he doesn't like having to tan Jamie's hide. It is a necessary responsibility, like feeding and clothing and making sure Jamie goes to school.
Jamie sucks in a deep breath at the last blazing lick and wipes his eyes. He stands there for a minute, breathing hard and hiccupping with the effort of not bawling his eyes out. He hears Gramps thread the belt back through his belt hoops. Gramps leans forward and drops a warm hand to Jamie's neck. He doesn't say anything but stands there a minute and it is all Jamie can do not to lean into his touch. But Jamie isn't a little kid anymore so he just straightens a bit and nods toward his grandfather.
Gramps turns and walks out the door. Jamie hears him step off the porch but doesn't bother listening for more than that. He reaches down and pulls up his shorts and jeans and gently draws them up over his smoking ass.
This damn cabin doesn't even have running water so he can't even stick his head under the faucet. It is then that he remembers Girl and his promise to get her some water. He walks hesitantly to the front door and opens it to see his gramps leaning over the corral, watching Girl as she continues to eat.
"I'm gonna go get a bucket of water from the stream and put it in the corral for her. " His voice is still a bit shaky but that isn't surprising.
"Good idea. Bring Mac with you, he is tied up out back."
Jamie nods; at least he knows how his grandfather got up here. Mac is a pretty fast moving horse. Still, he doesn't understand how Gramps figured it all out and he doubts he will ever be privy to that conversation anyway.
John waits until Jamie heads back behind the cabin. The water is a good ten-minute walk, so he is not terribly concerned about him hearing the conversation as he picks up his satellite phone and calls Dean. He leaves a message.
"Thanks for the intel on the cabin, Dean. Shocked the hell out of Jamie. He'll never know that you have known about this place since he and JR found it. " He chuckles low. "Besides, you just added to the legend of John Winchester, that kid is never gonna believe I can't find out about anything."
He flips the phone shut and smiles.