Author's Note: This is AU so I hope you don't mind. Also, I do not own Supernatural. Anyway, I wanted to share with you all this story. It isn't my best. But as I've watched Supernatural, I personally can see Dean's transformation. He understands John more as the show goes on I think. That's just my take on it. Certain scenes, you can see he admires his father. It just is touching. So I wanted to write this fic. Because it is AU, I hope I don't step on any toes. It's just something I came up with last night and needed to type up. Enjoy!
"I...I don't think I am ready for this," Dean admitted, crumpling onto the couch. He rubbed his hands across his face, took a deep breath, and continued, "Man, I just don't think I can do this. I'm not 'Dad' material. Never have been. But this time...it's like I want this. I want to be with her and I want to be a dad to that baby," again, another sigh, "But I just don't know. We hunt, Sammy. We are always on the go. I could never be there for the kid the way he deserves."
Sam sat down next to his older brother, "Dean, the fact that you're even worried about being a good dad shows me that you will be. Yeah, we move a lot, but we can always visit. And you can always call. And you can always send cards and stuff. The kid'll love you."
Dean shook his head, "I just don't want to be like him, Sam."
Sam took a sharp breath, "I know. You won't be. He made his mistakes and you learned from those mistakes that he made. You won't make the same mistakes, Dean. It'll be fine. Look, I am going to go make a beer run. Anything else you want me to pick up?"
"Nah," Dean shook his head, "I'm good."
Sam nodded and grabbed his jacket off the hook by the door. As soon as Dean heard the door latch shut, he fell back against the couch. His head felt like it was spinning. He thought about just taking off. He and Sam could just leave and he could delete Amanda from his phone and just put all things Amanda and baby out of his mind. But he knew he couldn't do that. He couldn't turn his back on them. Amanda needed him. The kid needed him.
"It's funny," Castiel said, making his presence known. Dean had almost forgotten that he was there, sitting at the small kitchen table.
"What?" Dean spat out the question.
"Just that...John said the same thing about being a dad."
"How do you know that?" He demanded, "How do you know anything about my dad?"
"Dean, I saw everything. Naomi may have wiped out my memory, but my memories of you are too strong. Dean, John was just as worried as you were. Saying he'd never be like his father."
"He didn't know his father. He thought Grandpa had walked out on them."
"Yes, and he vowed never to be like that. Was he?"
"You mean did he ever walk out?" Dean was not in the mood to be having this conversation, "No. Family was family. Always. Still doesn't excuse his mistakes."
"Something tells me there's a lot you don't know about your dad," Cas mused.
"Are you done?" Dean asked, standing from the couch, "You didn't know my father, Cas - so stop acting like you did. Stop acting like you know anything about the man. He was ruthless and distant. If I ever - ever - turn out like him...if I ever do the things he did to us to my kid..."
"Come with me."
"What are you talking about?" Dean demanded, "I'm not going anywhere, Cas. Just drop it, alright?"
"Please," Cas looked at Dean in the way he knew Dean could never resist. He was right. Dean sighed and agreed.
"Fine. Just make it quick."
Cas nodded. Soon, Dean found himself standing in the middle of a motel room. He glanced around. There were the two familiar beds off to one side. He recognized the boys asleep in their beds. Or seemingly asleep.
"I'm sorry," Sammy's little voice whispered, "I shouldn't have wandered off..."
"Yeah, well just drop it, alright?" Dean's voice hissed.
Dean winced. He recognized this scene - this memory, "Cas, what are we doing here?" He asked, "Why are we here?"
"What happened that night, Dean?" Cas asked.
"I'm not talking about this," Dean muttered, "Not with you. Not with anyone."
"Sam got lost, right?" Cas encouraged gently, "And once you and John found him, John punished you."
"I-I was supposed to keep an eye on the kid," Dean muttered, "And he wandered off. Dad...boy Dad did a number on me that night. Man was ruthless. Held nothing back," Dean shuddered at the memory.
"Just look," Cas nodded across the room. Dean turned his attention to where his father was sitting - on the couch, beer bottle in hand. Of course. Probably drinking, watching something on TV. Probably didn't even remember or care what he had done to his son just an hour before.
Suddenly John's voice cracked, "I screwed up, Mary. I was supposed to keep our boys safe, and Sammy...I thought he was gone for good today. Damn it, Mary. I lost you, I can't lose one of those boys."
Dean moved forward, but Cas held him back, "He can't see you anyway," he explained.
"I'm supposed to take of them. I'm supposed to protect them. And Sammy...Sammy just took off. Dean...Dean was supposed to be watching him. Dean...I was supposed to be watching him," John let out a sigh, "Not Dean. Me. I let you down, Mary. I let them down. It ain't easy. This whole thing ain't easy on any of us."
John stood from the couch and made his way over to the beds. He looked at his boys and shook his head. He sat down at the small table and dug out some lose change from his pocket, "Kids like doughnuts, right? We'll get doughnuts for breakfast tomorrow. They'll love that. Sammy...he likes the ones with the sprinkles and damn pink frosting. And Dean...he likes those...uh...the...buttermilk ones. I'll get doughnuts for the boys."
Dean turned to Cas. He didn't know what to say. He certainly didn't remember any doughnuts. Suddenly, time seemed to speed up. It was daylight. Dean glanced over to the beds. The two boys were still asleep. John was tying his shoes when there was a knock on the door. His hand instinctively reached for the gun at his hip. He made his way to the door and called through it, "Who is it?"
"Mr. Fredrick...it's Jim from the front desk. Uh...Mr. Fredrick, you're behind on your payment. I've been lenient considering you have your two boys, but I am afraid unless you can pay for the room, you're going to have to leave and find somewhere else to stay. Perhaps, somewhere more within your budget."
John gritted his teeth. He swung open the door, marched over to the table with the loose change, grabbed it, and practically threw the change at Jim, "Take it."
"Mr. Fredrick...this is only a couple of dollars..."
"Take the damn money," John hissed, "I'll get you the rest tomorrow."
Jim opened his mouth to say something, but seeing the gun at John's hip, turned and left without a word. John slammed the door shut.
"Daddy..." a little voice called. Sammy was sitting up on the bed, his eyes bleary with sleep.
"Everything's fine," John barked, "Dean, get up and get Sam dressed. It's cold, so make sure he wears that jacket of his."
"He tried," Cas said, his voice barely a whisper. He knew he was treading on unsure waters right now. Dean frowned, not knowing how to respond to that.
"Damn it, Dean! Hurry up. We don't have all day. Where is Sammy's other shoe? Find the goddamned other shoe!"
"Not hard enough," Dean sighed.
"Dean...maybe I need to show you another memory."
"No!" Dean barked, "No more!"
But before he knew it, he was standing in a field with Cas. His father and the younger version of himself were lining beer cans along a fence.
"Alright," John barked, "Remember what I told you. Keep your eye on the target."
"I know, I know."
"Watch it," John glared at his son, "Now then, step back here and aim the gun...there you go. Steady. And...fire."
Dean hit the mark. Anxiously, he turned to his father, waiting some form of approval or acknowledgment. Instead, all John Winchester said was, "Again."
After the shooting practice was through, John dismissively waved his son away. Dean sighed and made his way back towards the cabin. Dean frowned as he watched the defeat in his younger self's eyes. He felt his blood boil. Didn't Dad understand all he wanted to do was make him proud.
"The hell are you doing out here?" John frowned as young Sammy wandered over towards his dad.
"I wanna shoot too!"
"No sir," John grinned, shaking his head, "Not yet. Hell, you couldn't even hold the gun if you wanted to. It's heavier than you are, Little Man."
Sammy sighed, but smiled sadly, "Dean's a great shot, huh Daddy?"
John ran a hand through his hair, not meeting Sammy's eyes, "He's still got a long way to go. Thing is, Sammy, I don't want anything happening to you two. You have to learn how to hunt and how to shoot and...how to kill. You're still young and so is Dean but with Dean, he's gotta grow up a bit faster. Kids are...vulnerable. I'm not having either of you be vulnerable. When you can hold a gun and aim, you will learn how to shoot. But not because you think it's 'cool' or anything. It's what you're gonna have to do."
Sammy frowned. John rolled his eyes, "Kids," he muttered, "You probably didn't understand a thing I just said, did you?"
Sammy shook his head, smiling he said, "But Daddy, Dean is a great shot, right?"
John frowned, a small smile tugging at one corner of his mouth, "He'll make a pretty damn good hunter one day. C'mon."
Dean watched as his father and Sammy headed back inside the cabin, John carrying the gun. He watched as for a brief moment, John almost placed his hand on Sammy's shoulder, but then sighed and kept his arm by his side. Maybe Cas had been right. Maybe his dad had tried. With what he was given, there wasn't a lot he could do. He had lost his wife and he needed to protect his sons. Maybe he was protecting them in the only way he thought was best.
"So," Cas raised an eyebrow, "There's your father."
"There's my father," Dean repeated, a small smile tugging at his lip, "I...I should have noticed more. The uh...the little stuff I guess."
"Sometimes," Cas explained, "It's easier to remember the bad than the good. And when there's a lot of bad and a lot of good, we'd rather remember the bad than admit that the person that wronged us also was good. Dean, John loved you boys very much. I saw it when I'd watch you. Not that he'd ever admit it. But he did. I know that, and I hope you know that too."
Dean thrust his hands in his pockets and kicked at the dirt a bit, "Maybe it wasn't all bad."
"He made do. And you'll make do. Dean, you're going to be a father. You can't change that. But you have a choice to make here. Do you want to leave and go on the road and forget Amanda and forget that child she is bearing? Or do you want to go on the road and keep hunting, but still be a phone call away? You're scared. I get that. I see that."
"Dad made his mistakes. I guess every dad does," Dean nodded to himself, "And I guess I will too."
"But let the good outweigh the bad. Don't pretend there won't be bad; because there always is."
Dean grinned, still kicking at the dirt. He lifted his head up, grinning at Cas and said, "Man, I'm gonna be an awesome father!"
Author's Note: Sorry to end it so poorly. Like I said, it came to me and I had to write it down. I just didn't know how to wrap it up. But I hope you still enjoyed it. Thanks for reading!