A/N. A little one shot based on the scene in "Home" where Dean calls John. I hope you all enjoy! A huge thank you to all those who have read/followed/favorited or reviewed my work. And as always, I do not own Supernatural, regrettably.

The Wall Crumbles

The wall had been present in Dean Winchester's life for years.

As a four-year-old, carrying baby Sammy out the front door of his burning home, the wall began to form, brick by brick, slowly rising as the weight of the new world he'd been thrust into began to haunt him. As the years passed and Sam grew older, the wall grew. The world his father had bequeathed his children carried a heavy price, one of destruction, fear, and death. One that no child should ever have to live in. As Dean tried to protect his little brother from the horrors of the supernatural world, a new layer of bricks were added. "Protect Sammy," John Winchester had insisted, and Dean followed through with every fiber of his being. Other than the Shtriga incident from years before, the wall remained strong, the life draining witch only chipping at the surface.

Inch by inch, Dean's wall grew in size, leaving him weary and heavily burdened from the road. But now, Sam's latest vision had brought the brothers back home. And not just to their hometown, but to their childhood home, the one where he had lived four happy years with his parents, six months as the big brother he had always dreamed of being. A home which was haunted by possibly the very thing that had killed their mom and Jessica. To go back to Lawrence had been one of the hardest things Dean had done in his life. And that had been before meeting Jenny and her children. But to see the young family possible face the same fate as the Winchesters? It was too much.

And there were selfish reasons, too. The minute Dean had stepped through the threshold, into the kitchen where years earlier Mary Winchester had made him peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (with the crust cut off, of course), it had brought Dean back to happier times, to meals around a kitchen table with two loving and very much alive parents watching fondly; to sitting on the sofa with newborn Sammy in his arms, staring with wonder and love at the big eyes and furrowed brow; running in the front yard on summer afternoons as their dad grilled burgers and hotdogs and their mom set huge bowls of coleslaw and potato salad on the picnic table., beside the pitcher of lemonade . And a deep dis apple pie for desert, of course. Dean closed his eyes, felt a sharp pain in his chest as he realized where his love for the pastry had originated.

And then there were the pictures. John smiling for the camera in a baseball cap; Dean holding baby Sammy in the backseat of what was no doubt the Impala; and the worst one, a family portrait taken in te front yard, beside the very tree Sam had seen in his visions. The Winchesters, someone (no doubt their mom) had scrawled on the back in faded blue ink: John, Mary, Dean, and little Sammy. That one picture had been enough to cause that wall, that fortified structure built from years of hardship and tough love, to crumble.

And so, he called his father. Hiding in a corner behind the fill up station, Dean hesitatingly pulled out his cell phone, dialed John Winchester's number. As expected, he was greeted not by his father personally, but by the same recorded message both he and Sam had heard more times than they would care to remember. This is John Winchester. If this is an emergency, call my son, Dean, at 866-907-3235.

For a moment, Dean paused, came close to snapping the phone shut and forgetting about the entire thing. But as he feels the wall crumble, emotions overwhelming him for the first time in years, the hunter spoke, trying to keep some form of composure. Just in case Sam happened to look for him.

"Dad? I know I've left you messages before. I don't even know if you'll get 'em." Dean can feel the emotions getting the better of him. Clearing his throat to hold back the tears, he continued. This is important. He needs his father to be there, not just to help with the hunt, but to feel his presence. To know that John Winchester still cared. "But I'm with Sam. And we're in Lawrence. And there's somethin' in our old house. I don't know if it's the thing that killed Mom or not, but…." Oh god, he can't cry. He needs to be strong. For Sammy. "I don't know what to do."

And he can't control himself. Tears well in his eyes as he feels the remnants of the wall, the one he had built so long ago, crash below. He feels so vulnerable, so naked. And, as he leaves a message he knows John Winchester will likely never hear, let alone respond to, Dean suddenly felt alone. No matter that Sam is waiting, no doubt impatiently for him in the Impala. Dean closes his eyes, and suddenly he is four again, eyes wide wit terror as his father thrusts baby Sammy in his arms, ordering him to leave and not look back. He can remember the heat, the smell of the smoke, the tiny whimpers as Sam's cries settle in is big brother's arms (even back then, Dean ad always been his brother's protector).

"So, whatever you're doin', if you could get here. Please. I need your help, Dad." Silence. And as Dean Winchester ends the call, pocketing the phone and wiping his eyes with the back of his hand, he can sense the last brick crumble beneath him.