A/N:- The next chapter of 'No Ordinary Boys' will be up soon. :) My mind wanted me to write this. Enjoy. :)
Summary :- There are a lot of things John Winchester knows he should have said and done differently when it came to raising Sam. These are just a few of them. John's POV.
It's been three days since Mary died and each morning John wakes up to find Dean asleep in the crib with baby Sammy. His body curled protectively around his little brother's and his arms holding Sam close to him.
John knows he should say something. Tell Dean that he doesn't need to worry about getting up if the baby wakes at night. That it's John's job to take care of Sammy and keep him safe. But he doesn't. John remains silent and Dean continues to climb into the crib with his baby brother each night.
It's 2am and Sammy's been screaming non stop for hours. Not matter how hard he tries, John just can't seem to soothe the wailing one year old. He's pacing the living room floor, patting Sam's back and making shushing noises but Sammy just continues to cry and wriggle, his little face red and blotchy as he covers John's shoulder in snot and tears.
"Come on, Sammy." John pleads. "Shhh, please little man, Shhh."
There's a tugging sensation on his pant leg and when John looks down, he sees Dean stood there, looking all sleep rumbled with his arms out stretched towards his wailing brother.
John knows he should send the sleepy five year old back to bed. Tell him that's everything fine and that he'll look after Sammy. He doesn't. He hands Dean the baby and looks on as Sam seems to almost immediately settle, resting his head on his big brother's chest, hiccupping softly.
Sam's racing around the room with the energy that only three year old can possess at 5am. He's making zooming noises as he holds a toy aeroplane over his head, and John can't help but smile as he watches from the kitchen. Just as he's pouring some cereal into a bowl, John hears a surprised cry which is quickly followed by a thud.
Sam's down on the floor, holding his knee as he looks over at John with big, tearful eyes and a wobbly bottom lip.
"It's alright, Sammy." John crouches down in front him, inspecting the cut on his knee. "Don't worry, kiddo. We'll fix it up." He gently scoops Sam up and sets him down on the kitchen counter top.
"It's bleeding, daddy." Sam sniffles, wiping his nose with the back of his sleeve.
"It'll be okay." John soothes.
When he leans down and starts cleaning the cut Sam hisses, lurching away from him. "Hurts."
"It will only be for a minute, Sammy."
Sam shakes his head. "Want De to do it."
Sam's lip begins quivering again, tears threatening to spill over. "Want De."
John is Sam's father and he knows he should tell Sam that it's okay. That he's going to take care of him. He should clean up the cut, put a band aid on it and kiss it better. That's what he should do. He doesn't. He fetches Dean and watches his seven year old gently clean and rub antiseptic cream on the injured knee, murmuring comforting words that keep his little brother still and calm.
They're in a diner in the middle of god knows where. Dean's face lights up as the waitress reels off the flavours of pie they have.
"Apple." Dean grins. "It's my favourite."
"And what about you sweetie?" the waitress asks turning her attention to Sam. "What's your favorite?"
Sam's five and is going through a shy phase. John watches as the kid blushes and turns to hide his face in Dean's side.
The waitress looks over at John. Her pen poised over her notepad as she waits for John to answer for Sam. John opens his mouth but then he freezes, because he doesn't know what Sam's favorite is. He should know. As a father he should be able to answer the question easily, but he can't. He doesn't know.
"Cherry." Dean's voice answers. "Sammy's favorite is cherry."
The scream that shatters the silence of the night has John up and out of the bed within seconds, and before he even knows it he's hurrying down the hall, shotgun at the ready. The yelling has stopped by the time he reaches the boys bedroom. The door is slightly ajar and John can see Dean on Sam's bed, he's rocking his brother in his arms, murmuring, "Shhh, Sammy, it was just a nightmare" and "I'm here, I'm here" over and over, until Sam finally calms.
John knows he should go in. He should be the one to hold Sam and comfort him, sooth his fears away. He should go in but instead he walks away silently.
They're at the park and Sam is clambering all over the play equipment like an over excited monkey. Dean's watching Sammy like a hawk, his expression one of fierce protectiveness and responsibility. It's a look that doesn't belong on an eleven year old. John watches as a group of boys approach Dean, football in hand, clearly inviting him to play but Dean just shakes his head, his eyes never leaving his brother.
John knows it's his fault Dean doesn't go and play with them. He's drilled it into Dean that Sam's his responsibility. He knows he shouldn't have done that. It isn't fair and it isn't right. He knows he should go over and tell Dean that he'll watch Sam and that Dean should go have some fun, but he doesn't. He can't.
Dean's asleep on the couch. He's been running a fever for the past two days as he fights off a particularly nasty chest infection. The whole time his brother has been sick, Sam has barely left his side, watching over him with a look of unconditional love and devotion. Like Dean's his whole world.
An unpleasant, hurt feeling settles in the pit of John's stomach when he realises that Sam has never once looked at him like that. And even as he realises that Sam sees Dean more as a father than him, he knows he won't do a thing to change it. This is the only way to keep his family safe.
Thanks for reading. :) I hope you all enjoyed it. Please review. :)