The Greatest Man I Never Knew

Summary: 1-shot. Sam reads something he wasn't meant to see while with Samuel & goes off on his own only to learn something about his Father that he wasn't expecting. Robo/contemplative!Sam & sort of!John

Tags/Spoilers: Set before 06x01:Exile on Main Street.

Warnings: I'll rate for language since there are some bad words but that's about it.

Disclaimer: I don't own the boys, Supernatural, or any mentions. This is merely for fun and no profit is being made.

Author Note: Alright, not exactly what I planned but it took over. Now, anyone who knows me knows I am not a fan of John so I hardly write him and when I do, it's rarely in a good way but occasionally John's voice comes into my head and tells a story. He's still chatting so who knows what else might come but this is something that came up the other night while browsing YouTube and came across a video. I hope you enjoy it.

SPN SPN SPN SPN SPN

"'My Mary was the greatest joy in my life. Yes, as a hunter I suppose I wanted a son to carry on the Campbell name but still Deanna and I were thrilled when our Mary was born. Of course, she had more of Deanna's spirit than I liked at times because toward the end Mary was getting too many of her own ideas. She didn't want to hunt, said it wouldn't be her life no matter what I said but I was still confident that as her father I could handle my daughter and I did…until she met him.

"'Mary was much more difficult after she met that no-good, bastard of a mechanic from across town. Winchester was the downfall of my daughter and I knew it from the first moment I laid eyes on him. Guy had nothing going for him, wouldn't ever amount to anything but a mechanic and wouldn't do anything for Mary but drag her down into a life of filth, poor choices, a poor life since he'd never give her anything and kids. A houseful of brats that would waste the Campbell bloodline growing up with that for a Father.

"'I had plans to handle Winchester long before Mary could carry out her plan to run away with him but then it all changed when that damn yellow-eyed demon was lured to my Mary by the arrival of some cocky hotshot from the future or so he said. He said he was Mary's son…Mary's and John's. Oh, I saw Winchester in him. All that cocky arrogance John had I saw in this boy and I was more determined than ever to stop Mary from making a mistake. Then I couldn't.

"'My wife was killed, I remembered being possessed by the demon but I also remember it killing Winchester but then my girl went and ruined it all. She made a damn deal with a demon to save, not her parents, but that no-good son of a bitch who would end up ruining her. Mary made a deal that saved John and then according to my research, to what I've been told, went on to have two sons.

"'Mary died ten years later as a result of that deal. She died saving one of the bastard sons that Winchester was half responsible for. Oh, I know John turned hunter and became obsessed with finding out what killed her but he was a failure as a mechanic and was an even worse one as a hunter because he failed to pick up on things that I would've from the first night. If I had lived, neither of those boys would've survived to cause Mary to die because as Winchesters they possess too much of the failures that their father had.

"'Now that I'm back somehow I've learned about my 'grandsons'. Dean's the oldest, the one I met back in 1978. Named after his grandmother, he's more like John than I like. Cocky, brash, arrogant and too hot headed. Now he's gone all happy homemaker since losing his brother or so he thinks, living in small town glory with some woman and her kid. No true Campbell would give up the life and I vowed when I got back to deal with any leftover Winchester influence so one day soon I'll have to pay him a visit.

"'Then there's Sam, the youngest boy. Named after me and the one responsible for Mary's death. I should hate him the most but there's something about Sam now, after his own return from literal Hell, that makes me hold back from that. He's a scary hunter. He's got an edge that he didn't once before and while he's pushing more these past few months to approach his brother, I feel I can still handle him. I don't want him near Dean yet for more than obvious reasons but mostly because I think that with Sam I can groom him into the next pure Campbell hunter. I can wipe out what influence his brother and useless son of a bitch of a father filled his head with and…'"

Staring at the new journal with the precise handwriting of Samuel Campbell, a rare facial muscle seemed to tick as the tall young man read the latest entry again. He read the post that painted his Father in an even worse light than he used to think of him but what bothered him most was the entry focusing on him and his older brother.

"Sam?"

"You can 'handle' me? You can groom me and wipe out 'influence' that Dean and my Dad taught me?" Sam Winchester's tone was low but the normal monotone that he realized he'd been using since he woke up out of the Cage.

It had been nearly a year since that fateful day in Stull Cemetery when he willingly sacrificed himself to save not only the world from the Apocalypse but also his older brother, the man who had raised him and the one he had strived so long to match up to.

Sam's memories were flawless. He had all of them…minus what had gone on in Hell to some extent, but after waking up with people who said they were family, his Mom's family no less, he slowly began to understand that he'd lost something else because his emotions seemed off to him. He quickly realized he didn't feel things as intently as he once had but was willing to forget that in favor of hunting and leaving Dean alone.

It had only been just recently that he'd started wanting to see his brother, to talk to him but Samuel and the cousins always had reasons to keep him away. Sam had been willing to overlook that too until tonight when he'd come looking for his Grandfather, the man he'd been named after and a man he knew died back in 1978.

After reading Samuel's opinion of John Winchester, of what he thought of Dean and understanding some of the underlying meaning of his words, Sam's lessened emotions were oddly simmering when he turned to face Samuel Campbell.

"Is that why you don't want me around my brother, Samuel?" he demanded, watching the older man slowly slide the journal into a desk drawer. "You're afraid Dean's influence on me is stronger than what you think you have? You called my Father a bastard. You didn't know my Father but at least he dragged me and Dean into this life because he was trying to do right by Mom. You just pushed her because it's all you knew!"

"Sam, wait…" Samuel knew the boy was dangerous when angry and even though Sam didn't show pure emotion he was seeing more in him right then than he had all year. Going to reach for a retreating arm, he frowned when Sam whirled and shoved him back against the wall, hard. "Sam!"

"Don't touch me!" Sam gritted, hazel eyes hard as he held the older man still for another moment until he heard the office door open and he stepped back. "I'm leaving, Samuel. I have something I want to do but, just so you know, when I get back I am going for my brother and Dean had better be alright," he warned tightly, understanding what that one passage meant better than most…better than he would have years ago. "I don't want to find out that Mark or Christian paid him a visit because even though he thinks I'm dead, even though he's done what I made him promise to do, my brother is still more of a hunter than either of them and that is because of our Dad."

Storming out of the office and the Campbell compound before anyone else could stop him, Sam wasn't sure what in the journal had angered him but he did recognize that he was angry…even if it wasn't as outwardly shown as what he might have shown once.

It had been a long time that Sam allowed himself to think of John Winchester. For Sam, his Father was the man who had pushed him so hard, who had never let up, who had been constantly screaming, yelling, ranting or worse with the tiniest mistake.

Sam's earliest memories of his Dad had mainly been of watching him walk out of a motel room door after leaving him and Dean alone or with Bobby Singer or Pastor Jim. To Sam, after learning what John did for a living, his Dad seemed dangerously obsessed most of the time and forgetful that he even had sons.

As he drove the Dodge Charger he'd been driving since going on his own, Sam wasn't real certain where he was going until he pulled up in front of a storage unit that he recognized as one his Father's…the one where he and Dead found that damn cursed rabbit's foot.

"God, I hate that thing," Sam muttered, still remembering the incredible luck that turned sour just as quickly when it had been stolen from him by Bela. Though Sam wasn't certain what he hated more…the bad luck, getting shot by Bela, getting beat up by the goons Gordon sent after him or losing his favorite shoe down a sewer grate.

Smiling slightly at the memory, Sam shrugged it off as he entered the locker and felt himself drawn back to an earlier time. To when he was riding with his brother, to when things were simple…to when he could sleep and feel.

Eyes moving around, Sam's hunter senses told him that the place was secure and that he could relax…if he could bring himself to feel relaxed which he'd been having trouble with lately and that was before his doubts about his grandfather began increasing.

Laying his jacket aside, his fingers once again found the small soccer trophy that he'd won as a kid. The year his Dad had flipped out that he wanted to play soccer rather than learn how to shoot a bow. Sam recalled Dean being there for his games but never once had his own father showed that he cared enough to even make an appearance.

Wondering why he'd been pulled here when he knew he should've gone to Indiana to see Dean, Sam sat at a tiny desk pushed way back in the corner and distractedly began leafing through papers yellowed with age. Some were old newspaper articles of various supernatural things that might have caught John's eye then other article immediately drew Sam's eye and he snatched it up.

Reading the sports paper, he slowly realized it was an article about his soccer championship and he blinked when he realized his name had been circled every time it was mentioned and on the top of the article in handwriting that Sam clearly recognized as his Father's was written, 'That's my boy!'

"Huh," Sam mumbled, a little shocked by this since while his Dad had been a little freer with compliments to Dean, it took a lot of work and the occasional bitching from Dean to get John to give Sam anything like that so to see that he had a newspaper clipping about the soccer game was shocking.

Flipping through the drawers, Sam wasn't surprised in what little he found there but just as he was closing the bottom drawer his fingers touched something and his interest was instantly piqued when he pulled up the false bottom to see more papers, a small box with a Marine logo on the top and a small pair of baby shoes.

Lifting the shoes first, Sam frowned in confusion. His Dad never carried stuff around unless it was vital or at least he used to think that since his Dad had kept his soccer trophy and the first shotgun Dean made in this locker but he couldn't figure out why he'd keep a ragged pair of baby shoes until he turned them over to read a sticker on the bottom on one tiny shoe. 'Sammy's first pair of baby shoes.'

"My first…" Sam blinked at the tiny shoes then couldn't help but glance down at his much, much larger boots that he now wore and tried to imagine himself as a baby wearing these things and also tried to imagine Dean putting them on him.

As Sam knew, there were very few pictures or mementos from his childhood since most of that had been lost in the fire but as Sam began looking through the new stuff he'd found he was surprised to see photos taken of him and Dean as kids…after the fire. Photos that John had obviously taken and kept even though his sons hadn't known about them.

Sitting the small box aside for a moment, he pulled out a smaller leather bound book. It reminded Sam of the journal his Dad had kept, the one that he assumed Dean still had possession of, but wondered why his Dad would've had a smaller journal. His curiosity increased when he opened the book and read the first line…

"'Sammy said his first word today and as you told me once it wasn't 'Daddy'." as Sam read he quickly came to understand that this wasn't a hunter's journal but…a Father's and it appeared that his Dad was writing as if talking to his late wife about their sons.

Pushing the papers away and forgetting that he wasn't feeling things like he once had or that he probably shouldn't care about this discovery, Sam laid the book open and very carefully began turning the pages to read the various things John Winchester, a man he'd grown up never really knowing as anything but stern and unfeeling, had wrote.

"'After the fire it was a long time before Dean would speak. Now I think his brother is making up for that because even though mostly it's baby babble with his brother's name thrown in all Sammy does is chatter but at least it makes Dean laugh…something I was afraid the kid wouldn't do ever again. I think he's a little worried I'm upset that Sam's first word was his name rather than Daddy or Mommy but I was sort of expecting it to be. If you were still here, I'd owe you that fifty bucks since you said Sam would say 'Dean' before anything else.

"'We're at Bobby's place since I needed some help and after weeks of trying Dean finally got his little brother to take his first steps. Okay, he took two steps them plopped down, laughed and was trying again. Sam's a stubborn little guy, I'll give him that because he never gave up until he got to within throwing distance and he launched himself at Dean. Again, he walked to his brother rather than me but I was on the road hunting a spirit and wasn't the one who taught him how to stand or toddle so again it didn't shock me that his first movement on his own two little chubby legs would be to his brother. Bobby and Jim both say that Dean's raising Sam and that I'm putting more pressure on our four year old than I should be and…they're right. I know that, Mary but I also know what I have to do and what I have to sacrifice to get it done.'"

Smirking at the page, Sam knew all too well what his Dad had sacrificed in his pursuit of hunting. He'd sacrificed his sons but he'd stopped hating him for that a long time ago. Then he turned a page to see a photo of his high school graduation along with a photocopy of his diploma stuck in the pages. "What the hell?"

"'I know you're probably calling me every name in the book up there, Mary cause I do know how it looks and how it looks to the boys but I've always had reasons for what I do. The boys are growing up. I see little pieces of you in each of them but especially in Sam since Dean learned too fast to cover his emotions. Sammy's like you in a lot of ways but he's got my temper which means it's not always easy on Dean to be around us when the fights start. Sammy doesn't want to hunt, he wants normal…just like you once told me you wanted and I never understood it. I often wonder just what else there was about your family that you didn't tell me, Mary because when I met your Uncle right after you died I sure didn't believe all he said.'"

Again Sam paused to think back before recalling the last time he and Dean had been back in their pasts, to save their parents from Anna, Michael had wiped their memories so anything John had learned about them…about his wife's life as a hunter, he would have forgotten. Though Sam did make a mental note to ask Samuel or Christian just what the hell Uncle his Dad had met when his attention was drawn to the next passage.

"'Sam and I fight pretty steady and have been since he was thirteen. Dean listens without question even though I know he has limits and those usually involve his brother. Sammy, on the other hand, questions everything and bucks me at every chance. I know he knows what to do because I've seen him out practicing with Dean. The kid is a natural at tracking, stealth, and knives. He's as natural at that as Dean is with cars, conning, and guns but still he holds back. He won a soccer championship, Mary. Oh, he thinks I wasn't there because I refused to let him play and Dean forged the papers for him but…I was. I watched our boy score the winning goal and couldn't have been more proud of him…then I let both boys think I was away.

"'Sam's pissed and for once I can say that Dean is actually showing his anger at me. Usually Dean hides it in order to keep some kind of peace but tonight he's pissed and got in my face because I showed up drunk to the graduation then slipped out early. It takes a lot to make your oldest son get in my face but he was tonight. Said that after all the work Sam went to in getting good grades despite being yanked in and out of schools all these years that the least I could was show up for one day and be sober for it. I let him rant since it's rare for me to see Dean stand up to me. I don't bother to tell him that I wasn't drunk but fighting off the effects of the local painkiller some small town clinic doc had given me earlier that day before stitching up the gash in my side I'd gotten from taking down a demon or removing the shell from my shoulder I'd gotten from a guy, both of him had been a little too interested in Sammy. I don't tell either of them this since it would only be worse in the long run. I let Dean rant, and I ignore Sam that night. I wait until Dean takes his brother out to dinner to place the laptop I'd bought Sam on his bed with a card since I know you were always big on cards, Mary.

"'Tonight I did the hardest thing I ever had to do, Mary. I had to look our baby boy in the eye, which is kind of hard since the kid sprouted past his brother's 6 foot range a couple years ago, and tell him that if he walked out the door then never to come back. I'd known, despite both boys best intentions that Sam was trying for college. I had actually known he'd gotten that full ride to Stanford for the past week but had kept quiet. Oh, I wasn't shocked that our boy had gotten into a school like Stanford on a full ride since he'd gotten your brains…I was just shocked that Dean wasn't showing any response since I couldn't see him letting Sammy go and that's where tonight came in. On the one hand, I was a proud father thrilled that his kid had gotten into college since I was barely able to get through High School but then there was the other side of me, Mary. The hunter who knew the risks Sam would be in if he left us. I'd never told Dean about what I'd suspected, about the dangers his brother had been in growing up because I knew if I had he'd've been more overprotective than he already was. I wanted Sam safe, I wanted him to stay with his family but not for hunting like he thought. He was my youngest…the last child you and I brought into this world and to think of him not being around, of not hearing the usual fighting between him and Dean, was heart breaking for me but…I had to let him go and if I did it had to be a clean break for him so…I forced the fight.

"'I knew my boy so I knew if I refused to let him go that he'd finally lash back since he'd been working for this chance ever since he first started school. He wanted normal, he wanted happy ever after…like we'd planned and the only way I could give that to him was to make him mad enough to walk away without looking back. I knew Dean would get between us and despite what Dean may think it didn't come as a shock what Sam said about his brother raising him because I fully and will openly admit to you that Dean did raise Sammy. He did everything I would've done…if you hadn't died. Now, Sam's stormed off and I'm waiting for Dean to come back from driving his brother to the bus stop…I'm not stupid, I know that's where he went after he shoved me back and ran after Sam. It hurts to know I'd lost one son and am very close to losing Dean but to protect our sons I may have to do just that, hon. I swore that night you died that I'd find what killed you and I will but I'll also do what I have to in order to protect the boys…even if it means making them both hate me for being a cold-hearted bastard.'"

Rubbing a hand over eyes that he hadn't realized had blurred, Sam sat back in the rickety old chair. Numb by what he'd read and slowly coming to understand what it meant he was still stunned. Noticing a few more scattered posts he skipped to the end to see when the last time had been his father had written in the book and felt his hand shake.

"'Mary, my love, this will be the last time I'll write in this since I'm locking it up. I'm hoping one day either Sam or Dean will find it and finally understand the things I could never tell them. I've learned the truth finally of what happened in our house twenty two years ago and God help me, I don't know what to do about it. I had sworn to kill what killed you and I still will but that leaves me trying to decide what to do about Sammy. He's been touched by an evil that I only know one way to fight but no matter what else I've portrayed these past years he's still my son, our son, and I don't think I can do what it'll take to save him. I wasn't counting on Dean getting his brother back involved in this life but I've watched them from afar and Mary, those boys depend on one another so much it's like when they were kids. I know Dean's reaction if he learns the truth so before anything can touch those boys I have to handle it…I have to find a way to save Sammy before it's too late because no matter if he hates me, he still has a brother who will always need him…just like Sam will always need Dean. I will be a Father to them in this last case. I will protect our boys…no matter what.'"

"Damn it," Sam whispered, realizing that most of what he'd thought of his Dad growing up might have been wrong as he reread certain passages to understand that John had let both him and Dean believe that John's stern lectures, the harsh training, the fights had all been right.

Pocketing the journal for later reading, Sam easily popped the lock on the small box to see photos of both him and Dean but these were more recent, from before John had died. He noticed one taken of him and Jessica and also began to realize his Father had been watching him from before. There were photos of him and Dean taken with a long distance lens with various descriptions on the back in John's handwriting. He noticed a hospital bill that a quick memory jog told Sam it had been the hospital that Dean had been in after the Rawhead attack had left his brother near death.

Sam recalled calling his Dad just to tell him that Dean was dying but had never heard back. Now as he looked at the bill that had been paid in cash and in full, he wondered just where the hell his Dad had been and why he hadn't let his sons know he was close when he just as quickly shook those feelings away. Sam knew why John had kept it to himself. He knew it was for the same reason he'd done a lot of the things he had for them. Because he was their Dad but was still trying to protect them.

Digging through some little tokens in the box, Sam blinked when he came up with his old High School ring. He'd known Dean had worked hard to earn the money to buy it and had just assumed it had been hocked for ammo money when he left for college. To see that his Dad had kept it, had thought it important enough to put in this box along with a couple baby teeth in a jar, a bracelet that had clearly belonged to Mary Winchester and other things Sam recognized as belonging to him and Dean, he felt his chest tighten when he noticed two letters in the bottom of the drawer.

One was addressed to Dean while the other had his name on it. They were written in John's handwriting but the date on the letter Sam noticed as he took his out was the date his Father had died which confused him until he began to read and for the first time in over a year wished desperately for his older brother to be with him for this.

"'Sammy, I'm leaving these in a safe spot and left a note for Bobby to put them in my old storage locker for you and Dean. If you're reading this then I can assume you've found both the locker and the letter along with the other stuff I've kept over the years.

"'I'm writing this now as I sit beside your brother. He's still in a coma and you've stormed out in a huff because I'm not doing anything for him. By the time you read this I hope my plan had worked and both you and Dean're safe. Ever since waking up in the hospital after the semi hit us, I've been trying to find a way to save Dean but also to help you because Sammy I know that I have to do this at least for you.

"'Your Mom loved you, son. I never want you to think she didn't and as you learn the truth about your life, about the secrets in it, I hope you understand that nothing was ever your fault. I was harder on you than Dean because I needed you to be able to handle yourself. I left you boys alone more than I liked because I needed to find a way to protect you both and in the end I failed that because I can only think of one way to save Dean and I pray you as well.

"'Son, I was a mechanic when I got back from 'Nam. I didn't have your smarts or Dean's natural abilities to lie, con, and steal. I was a small town mechanic with nothing going for me…until I met your Mom and she literally changed my world. Oh, I knew her Dad hated my guts and old soldier senses warned me never to turn my back on the man but I loved Mary and I was willing to overlook anything else.

"'It wasn't until your Mom died and I met her Uncle that I began to understand why Mary always tried to avoid her family and why I wish I would've warned you both to watch out for Campbells. Sam, you trust your brother. You trust Bobby but you never turn your back on a Campbell if you ever meet one because aside from showing too much interest in you and Dean, I had no doubts that I was looking at a predator when I met that man so I hope you boys never have to.

"'I'm writing this to you because I needed you to understand that no matter how hard I rode you, how tough I was on you, how cold or hateful I might've seemed or the few times I did raise a hand to you I…loved you. I knew early on that to protect you and Dean I'd have to give up being a full time Father. I had to sacrifice being there for you when you were growing up, I had to let you believe what you did of me in order to protect you from the dangers that followed us but now, now that I know what I have to do finally, I need you to understand that I was always proud of you. You were smarter than I ever hoped to be and hell, if it hadn't been for you a lot of times Dean and I would've been in trouble.

"'The journal I kept when you boys were small will tell you a lot but I just wanted to say that…I'm sorry about the night you left. I was proud of you, son. I was so damn proud of you but I couldn't show it because I needed you away from the life by that point and California was the best I could do. I wish you could've had that normal life with your girlfriend and I so hope that by the time you've read this that both you and Dean have settled down because your Mom never wanted this life for her boys and…neither did I, Sammy. If I had a choice, if I could've given you anything, I would've given you that normal life growing up but to keep you safe, to try to save you, to save Dean, and to make sure Mary's sacrifice wasn't in vain I had to let you grow up like you did.

"'Take care of yourself, Sammy and watch out for Dean because your brother will do anything for you. He grew up doing that and I think he always will. Dean had doubts, that demon in the shack put more in his head and I wish I could be there in the coming days, months, years that you boys will face but…I can't. I have to do this one last thing for my sons. I'm not just doing this for Dean, Sam, but also for you because I know that Dean will stand a better chance in saving you because no matter what else…he won't take that other choice. Neither would I. I love you, Sammy. I know you think I didn't but I did and I always will. Take care, be good and…watch out for each other. Love…Dad.'"

Swallowing hard, Sam was surprised when he reached up to wipe his face he felt wetness since he hadn't felt the emotion to allow that to happen since before he went into the Cage. Now, as he read his Father's letter to him a second time and allowed himself to read not only the written words but what he could read unspoken, he slowly began to understand his Father more.

John had known all those years what he'd have to do to protect his sons so he'd allowed them to think of him as a cold hearted son of a bitch who only cared for hunting, for having soldiers to train, that he didn't give a crap about pulling them out of school after school.

He'd known all those years that to keep them safe he'd have to let his sons hate him or at least have very little love for him since he'd made it nearly impossible for Sam to love him since he barely knew his Father as a Father.

John had allowed Dean to be the one to who Sam grew to depend on, to trust, to love because he knew that in some way, some form, some time that it would be Dean that Sam would have to rely on. He had allowed Sam to hate him, to resent him because he needed that emotional distance.

Sam recalled his Dad's death, the pain and guilt he'd felt over losing his Father when there was so much he had wanted to say to him. He'd known that it had been John's death that had honestly begun Dean's spiral downward and a piece of him wondered if his Dad would still feel pride or love for him if he'd known what had been happening in the lives of his sons.

The night in the cemetery when the Devil's Gate had opened, Sam had seen the look in the spirit of his Father as he looked at them. He'd seen pride but also sadness and now, as he carefully placed both letters in the box so he could take it with him, he wondered if John would like what he'd been doing, what Dean had given up to save Sam and…

A sudden burst of wind shifted through the storage locker as if the door had been opened on a windy day but Sam knew he'd locked the door and there had been no wind when he came in so he tried to ignore that until he looked down on the desk to see a photo that he hadn't noticed before, one of his parents when they'd been younger…before either he or Dean had been born.

Having been trained as a hunter since he was small, Sam hadn't always paid attention to his senses until just recently. He felt the presence in the room but then looked when his phone suddenly went off. "Damn," grabbing it and expecting it to be Samuel or someone from that side, the younger Winchester couldn't help the small smile that came as he read the text message of coordinates on his phone.

Back before things went bad, that had been how their Dad had given them instructions on where to go and only John ever sent coordinates. Now as Sam mentally figured out these, he chuckled. "Okay, Dad. I get the message," he murmured to the silent room, smelling a hint of a familiar aftershave that reminded him of his childhood.

Sam didn't need a map to know where those numbers would lead him. He'd been using them nearly every month since his return and he would go to the small town in Indiana that his big brother was living in now. The coordinates were telling him to go to Dean and while he'd already been planning on it, the next text message with a very brief but also very telling message made up his mind.

"'He needs you, Sammy,'"

While Sam wasn't certain of that and while he wasn't certain how his brother would handle the changes in him, Sam did know his Dad wouldn't have sent the message unless he thought it was time and also because John's spirit or whatever knew something else but wouldn't voice it. He knew his younger son, no matter the change in him, needed his older brother and could pray that his boys would both be safe during this.

Grabbing up the box, journal, and a few other things he wanted to take with him, Sam paused before leaving the locker to glance back. "Thanks…Dad," he whispered, stepping outside and scowling the moment he caught sight of who was leaning on his car. "What the hell are you doing here?"

Surprised to hear an actual tone in the boy's voice, Samuel Campbell merely shrugged as he looked closer at Sam. "Was a little worried with the way you took off," he admitted casually, noticing that his younger grandson seemed to be holding onto the something much more tighter than he normally would have. "What are you doing here, Sam?"

Carefully placing the things he'd taken from the locker in the trunk of the Dodge, Sam shifted so the older man couldn't reach for either the box or the journal as he shut the lid. "Concerned about me or concerned that you were losing your shot to control me?" he threw back, opening the driver's door and tensing when a hand caught his shoulder, fighting to resist his basic response to being grabbed since only Dean had ever really been able to touch him like that without getting a fist to the face. "Let go."

Hearing the threat in the young hunter's voice, Samuel released him but stayed close to the car. "I don't plan to control you, Sam," he tried to reason then sighed. "Sam, I just want to help you become a better hunter. Your family…well, this side of it, has been hunting for generations and…"

"My brother is my real family. You, Christian, and the others may be family but be careful how to use the word because I'm still a Winchester. I'm still the son of the man you detested and I was taught by two of the best men in my life," Sam replied tightly, hazel eyes glancing back to the storage locker and hearing his Dad's voice near his ear. "You will never replace my Father or my brother to me so don't try it. Now, what did you really follow me for, Samuel?"

Not sure if he cared for this change in the boy, Samuel realized he had to pick and choose his battles and this was one he needed to back off from for the moment. "Those Djinns who attacked you when Gwen and Christian first found you," he began carefully, seeing the way Sam's shoulders tensed and knew he had his attention. "They've picked a new target."

"Good for them," Sam returned, not caring at the moment until something in the older man's body language caught his attention and it hit him. "Dean. They're going after Dean."

"Yeah, that's what we think," Samuel nodded, not caring for this turn of events but unable to prevent it and so needed to make the best of it. "I was going to send Gwen and Mark but…" he paused when a finger poked into his chest.

"You stay away from Dean," Sam growled, understanding his Father's message more now and was eager to get moving. "I'll go for Dean. You just find out what the hell is going on with these monsters."

Waiting until Sam was in the car and just getting ready to start it, Samuel leaned in the window after looking at the old storage locker building again. "Sam, what were you doing here?" he asked again, surprised when the young hunter looked up at him with an odd smile, one that reminded him of the little smiles Mary would give.

"I guess you could say I was finally getting to know the greatest man that I never had a chance to know and saying goodbye," Sam replied, rolling up the window and heading for Indiana with a deep set need to get to his brother before it was too late and only hoping it wasn't. "Goodbye, Dad and…thanks for everything."

The End