I'm really really sorry for not updating any of my other fics, but I'm just not feeling them anymore and I'm having a really hard time getting back into them. I'm definitely going to get them done though, even if it's later as opposed to sooner.

The first time John ever hit Dean was when he was seven years old. They had stopped at some park while John was on a job, and he had dropped the two younger Winchesters off before making his way on with the case. He had told them to stay out of trouble. When he had come back to collect his children, he found them muddy and giggling. The mad had gripped dean tight enough to bruise and pulled him close.

"I thought I told you to stay out of trouble," he had hissed.

Dean had sported quite the bruise on his arm for a whole month. He never let Sammy jump in the mud again.

The second time was just a few months later. They were in the motel room when John heard a crash. He turned to find his eldest son hovering sheepishly over a shattered lamp. That night Dean was dragged into the bathroom after Sammy went to bed and his dad laid him out. His bottom ached for days after that.

The third time was not even a few weeks later. Sammy had been messing around in the back, despite Dean's furious whispers to cut it out. The entire ordeal ended with a spilled cup of coke on the carpet of the impala. Dean desperately tried to clean it quietly, but the slosh of the ice falling out of the cup caused John to glance back, and then down. John gave Dean an icy glare and the boy bit his lip. That night, just as the night a few weeks prior, Dean was dragged by the arm into the motel bathroom after Sammy had gone to bed. Just as before, he stripped down and John laid him out. His bottom stung and his arms burned when he finally got to go to bed that night.

It was the same each time. John would drag him into the dirty bathroom in some run down motel and he would have to strip down. Sometimes he got to keep his shirt. John would sit himself on the toilet so that he was on the boy's level and Dean would brace his arms on the wall above his head. The man would spank him, from one to over fifteen times, the force varying depending on the boy's offence. Sometimes he got the belt, but he tried hard not to do things that warranted it.

As the years passed, the lines began to blur, and it became harder and harder for Dean to distinguish what was wrong and what was right. If he did nothing, it was wrong. If he did something, it was wrong. If he asked, it was wrong. If he didn't ask, it was wrong. Everything was wrong. And he hated it.

Each hit was harsher, each session longer, more frequent, until Dean's days were no longer measured in hours or names, but hits and glares. His punishment hit its peak when he was thirteen and just becoming a man, right when his shoulders began to broaden and his voice lower in pitch. It was as if John knew that he wouldn't be able to use Dean as a punching bag for much longer.

And then he lost Sammy. Thinking back, Dean would compare it to a little slice of hell. Dean's face was usually off-limits, but not that time. John had punched and slapped and pulled, kicking and yelling, his voice rising and his fists and feet coming down harder and harder with each blow. Dean had tried desperately not to cry, not to scream in blinding pain, white clouding his vision.

It was then that he decided that there couldn't possibly be a god.

There couldn't.

Because if there was, things would be good- they would be safe.

Sammy would be safe.

Because that's all that matters, now isn't it?