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Fic: Looking Through Windows 3/3

It was one thing to remove your presence from your brother’s life by choice, Dean reflected. It was something entirely different when your brother forcibly kicked you out and blockaded the door to prevent any sort of reunion. He had always planned to go back once he thought Sam was ready to handle him and all the baggage that goes with a Hunter, but then months had turned into a year had turned into seven years and he never went back. He kept telling himself that it was better this way, though the truth was that it was easier. If he never saw Sammy, he never had to worry about disappointing him.

Now that Sam was the one who had decided to cut all communications Dean could see how much it rankled to be on the outside of your brother’s life. He had always hoped that he would have a chance to get to know Sam’s son, but that would obviously have to wait until Sam had cooled down a little.

In the meantime Dean jumped into work and his family with a little more single-minded focus than before. Sam would calm down eventually. Dean knew his brother, and he knew that once he stopped hurting so much from Jessica’s death Sam would make some sort of gesture that meant he was forgiven for whatever had happened at the funeral. Bobby hadn’t been able to really describe it and Dean’s memory of the surrounding time was patchy at best. He was just glad that Lisa and Ben hadn’t been around for it. That was something that neither one of them needed.

He still checked in on his brother and his nephew every time he drove through the area, even though Sam would probably not appreciate it. It was a compulsion he couldn’t ignore, the need to see his brother with his own eyes and to make sure that Sam was happy and safe. It sometimes surprised him that nothing had come after his brother in revenge, but Sam was apparently the one Winchester who had successfully gotten out of the life.

Dean was glad to see it, even if it hurt a little to see his brother happy without him. Hopefully it wouldn’t take too long for Sam to cool down and then they could be brothers again.

xxx

“Why?” It probably wasn’t the only question Sam wanted to ask, but it was at the top of the list of questions that Dean had been expecting. “Why did you disappear when Dad died? What happened?”

Dean shook his head, leaning back against the couch. Ben was passed out on a sleeping bag on the floor, Peter blessedly asleep in his small bed, safe and home and alive. Dean was planning on leaving in the morning with Ben, hopefully after he finally managed a decent night’s sleep. Life with Lisa spoiled him sometimes. He missed his warm, comfortable bed and the woman who was undoubtedly making use of it at this very moment. “I don’t think you want the answer to that, Sammy. I’m just drunk enough to tell you right now.”

“Good.” Sam leaned in close, the hand holding his own drink trembling a little. “I think it’s about time I found out how Dad died.”

Dean had an abrupt flashback to nine-year-old Sammy, demanding to know the truth about what their father did. It dissolved quickly, leaving the older, taller version staring at him with the same eyes. “Please, Sammy. Don’t make me tell you this. You don’t want to know, man.”

“I do, Dean. I really, really do. You just showed up at Stanford, scared the shit out of Jessica and told me he was dead, and then you disappeared. I need to know, I want to know, and I deserve to know. Tell me, Dean.”

Dean set down his drink, long-buried anger and resentment flaring to life. “Fine, Sammy,” he said, his voice harsh. “You want to know? I’ll tell you.” He stood up, unable to talk about this while sitting down. “We found the thing that killed Mom. That’s what happened, Sammy. We found it and we killed it, and it took Dad down with it.”

“What was it?” Sam looked uneasy, which Dean heartily agreed with. He had purposefully buried these memories underneath a mountain of good ones he’d made with Lisa and Ben, and now Sam was dredging them back up along with all the pain they inevitably brought with them.

“A demon. Real old, real powerful. Bastard had a plan,” and he was not telling his brother about that. It had freaked him out entirely to find out what the yellow-eyed son of a bitch had done to his brother. “We got a hold of a gun that could kill anything and we trapped it, but it got to Dad first. The stubborn son of a bitch wanted to question the damn thing, and it ended up getting loose and doing more damage before I could put a bullet in its skull. Got Dad to the hospital, but it was too late by then. The demon damaged his heart too badly for the doctors to fix it.” Dean let out a shaky breath. There was more that Sam should probably know, but he needed a break before he dove into it.

Sam was looking a little shell-shocked. Dean didn’t blame him. It was a lot to take in. “How did Dad find it?”

“He was tracking omens,” Dean said, a tone of admiration creeping into his voice despite the lingering anger with his father. “The thing was so old and evil that everywhere it went there were cattle deaths, electrical storms, unexplained fires, that sort of thing. Dad noticed a pattern to the omens that matched up with something he’d dug up years ago.” There was more to the situation that he wasn’t going in to, but those things were impossible to explain. Even Dean didn’t really understand the help they had received.

“And what did you do after you told me?” Sam asked, his eyes taking on that pleading look that in the past had him giving up dates with cheerleaders to help his brother with some project or another. “I was worried, Dean. You just disappeared, wouldn’t answer your cell. None of our friends heard anything at all about you.”

“I got very, very drunk,” Dean told him. “And then I started hunting by myself.” He glanced at the couch, suddenly very tired. He didn’t want to do this anymore, hadn’t wanted to relive any of this shit. He wanted to sleep, and he wanted to pack up his baby and drive home with his son and collapse into his own bed and make love to Lisa. Hunting was a young man’s game and he felt ancient right now, worn down and used up and ready for retirement. “I’m going to bed, Sammy. You got any more questions, you can ask them in the morning.” Rest would make the feeling fade; it always did.

His brain decided that this would be a great time to replay the night his dad died, which he’d been both expecting and dreading. Sam’s questions had dragged up things that were best left alone, tucked away in a forgotten corner of his mind. Even when he woke up he couldn’t stop from thinking about it.

Dean still didn’t know how his Dad had learned the things they had needed to track down, trap and kill the yellow-eyed demon. Well, that wasn’t precisely true. He just didn’t know the identity of the short guy with the brown eyes and the weird sense of humor. Dean sometimes thought he knew who the guy was, that they had met before somewhere, but when he tried to remember all he got was a headache for his troubles. The source of the information didn’t matter that much. What mattered was that the intel was good.

It hadn’t taken long to set up. Dad had taken a quick trip to Colorado, coming back looking stern and a little angry, but with the gun they needed. Dean had spent the time scouting out a good, secure location and tracking down the ingredients they needed for both the summoning and the trap.

One of the things Dad’s mysterious contact had provided was the demon’s true name. This turned out to be the key to summoning it. The key to trapping it was, of course, blood. Dean wasn’t surprised; it was always blood. Dean’s blood had been recommended as the better choice, and they spent some time carefully painting the new symbols that had been drilled into both of their heads.

Once that was done, Dad gave Dean the Colt. They both knew that Dean was the better shot of the two of them, and John would be busy playing bait. He’d managed to interfere with the demon’s plans on more than one occasion, and was certain that the thing would go for John if given half the chance. It was a bit of a switch-up; Dean was usually the one who played bait. He had a natural talent for pissing off both people and creatures.

Then, of course, the yellow-eyed demon showed up and proceeded to wreck that carefully laid plan. He ignored John and went straight for Dean, taking the time to wrap the hands of his stolen body around Dean’s neck and begin to slowly, personally strangle him. Dean had a feeling that the demon wanted him to suffer, since it could have just killed him straight away instead of toying with him.

He had no idea how his father got the demon to leave him alone or how it had ended up in the circle despite it’s best efforts to avoid the trap. He did remember the taunting, though, the way Azazel mocked both of them before Dad gave the OK and Dean took the shot.

It died with a somewhat shocked expression, as if it was surprised at that outcome and had completely expected to somehow talk his way out of the situation. Dean had turned to Dad, a smile on his face, to see his father crumpled on the ground outside of the circle.

After that it was a blur of rushing to the hospital and fending off medical attention so that they would pay more attention to Dad and he could slip out and clean up. That particular effort failed when he passed out, his throat swelling shut because of the damage. He woke up on a ventilator to a doctor telling him that he would need to keep the tube in his throat for at least another day while the swelling went down a little bit more. No one would tell him about his Dad and he was quickly sedated to keep him calm and to make him stop fighting against the ventilator.

The second time he woke up, the tube was gone and he was hooked up to an oxygen cannula and a heart monitor. That was when they finally told him that Dad hadn’t made it, that he’d died of major heart trauma. He overheard one doctor telling another that the patient’s heart had practically exploded inside his chest, and Dean knew they were talking about his Dad. The demon had gotten one last good blow in.

He’d called Bobby Singer and checked himself out AMA, stealing his Dad’s body from the morgue. They’d built a pyre on the back of Bobby’s property and burned it into ash. He’d made sure that Sam knew Dad was dead. And then he’d gone to ground and spent a month falling into the bottle, trying to forget all of it. He wasn’t sure exactly what had taken him to Lisa’s once he’d sobered up. There had been a case in the area, but it had been flimsy at best before he stumbled on several more suspicious deaths. Like he’d gotten accustomed to doing, Dean focused on those memories to bury the pain of his father’s death.

She was still unbelievably hot. That had been his first thought when he’d landed on her doorstep. Incredibly hot, and now a mom of a kid who could very easily be Dean’s if he did his math correctly. And then he found out that there wasn’t just one strange death, but about six. All men, all fathers. Some of them were divorced or separated from their families, but some of them had stable happy lives up until they fell off of a ladder or stumbled down a flight of stairs. The mark on the back of one mother’s neck was the last clue he needed for the identity of the creatures responsible, and the red clay under a windowsill gave him a location. Lisa had invited him inside when he’d brought Ben back safe and sound. They’d sat down in the living room and had a beer together while Ben played in the other room and Lisa had asked him if this had always been what he’d done with his life. He’d told her the truth, the second time in his life he’d ever told a woman the truth, and she’d smiled and kissed him.

“Stay here for a while,” Lisa said, a small smile on her face.

Dean tried to marshal up an argument against the simple phrase, paired with that smile. “I shouldn’t,” he finally said. “You don’t need someone like me in your life.”

“Why don’t you let me make those decisions?” She reached up one hand, resting it on his cheek. “Is there somewhere you need to be?”

Dean shook his head. “No, but . . . ,” he glanced over at Ben, playing at the kitchen table with his headphones on. “You’re absolutely sure he isn’t mine?”

“There was a guy back then. I had a blood test done.” Lisa was studying him now, warm brown eyes practically seeing through his skin. “You don’t look happy about that.”

“I don’t have any real family left,” Dean confessed. “My mom died when I was a kid, dad died a couple of years back, and my brother . . .” he trailed off, not wanting to get i to the Sammy mess just now. “It was nice, not feeling alone.” He’d been alone for a long time, unable to just stop even though they’d finally gotten the demon that killed his mom.

Lisa looked at him very carefully. “You don’t have to be alone, Dean. Stay with us for a while. Ben would like to spend time with you. So would I.”

He slept on the couch that first night, waking up when Lisa came down the stairs to get ready for work and thankfully managing to keep the knife under his pillow from being seen. Dean would be the first to admit that he was crap at relationships; the only serious relationship he’d had to date was with a girl who, he could now see, didn’t really know anything about him. Despite this, even he was aware enough to know that he and Lisa really needed to talk about this situation. So when Lisa sat down to eat breakfast, Dean got up from the couch, started coffee, and sat down across from her.

“I’m not the greatest guy. I’m a little bit crazy and I’ve done some things that the cops would be very interested in if they knew about them. I swear too much, I drink too much, and I once put Nair in my brother’s shampoo bottle. The longest relationship I’ve ever had lasted two weeks before she told me to never come back. So why would you ask me to stay?”

Lisa reached across the table and grabbed his hands, her grip strong and firm. “Because you’re a good man. You saved Ben’s life, which means you saved me. Ben likes you, you’re good with him, and I like you too.” Then she stood up, put her dishes in the sink, and kissed him on the way out of the room, discussion over.

He stayed for two weeks that first time before a hunt popped up in Chicago and he was on the road again. After a month he came back a little hesitantly, unsure whether Lisa would still want him around. It took six months of this pattern before he figured out that she understood about what he did and why he did it and that she would continue to welcome him back.

Slotting into life with Lisa and Ben was easier than he expected, in a lot of ways. Lisa was a creature of habit, despite her free-wheeling youth, and Dean could count on certain things being true whenever he made it back to their house. The lawn got mowed on Saturday mornings, unless the weather kept it from happening. Laundry was done on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings, although he rarely managed to make it in time. The consistent schedule helped when he came home from hunting; he knew that on Thursdays Lisa was done teaching at noon and Ben had tae kwon do after school with two of his friends, so there was a five hour gap of alone time that they could use.

That was the thought that Dean clung to in an effort to shove the memories of his dad’s death back into their little box. Him and Lisa, house to themselves for several hours. Those hours were typically one of the highlights of his week. They’d christened every room in the house except for Ben’s, which they both agreed was too weird, and the basement, which had spiders. Neither one of them were fond of spiders.

He took a deep breath and released it slowly, then another, and slowly drifted back to sleep.

xxx

Life after Jessica was a little colder than he was used to, more empty without her warmth and laughter. Taking care of Peter did an admirable job of filling in the gaps, but as wonderful as his son was he couldn’t fill every one. Sam had a worried feeling that this hole in his life would always be there in some form or another, and for the first time in his life he felt like he understood his father. If this was what John Winchester had felt like when Sam’s mother had been killed, no wonder the man went off the deep end.

The idea gave him a little more resolve. The last thing Sam wanted was to turn into his father in any way, shape, or form. John Winchester had left his scars on Sam’s life and Sam had no desire to inflict any of the same marks on Peter.

It got easier after the initial numbness and the excruciating pain had both passed by a little. Peter gave him a reason to smile and laugh again, which was probably what helped the most. His job with the firm kept him busy, and that helped as well.

What struck him the most was the fact that the pain never really went away. It was made easier with time and his son and his work, but underneath it all Jess’ death still quietly ached, so constant that he became accustomed to it.

Sam did what any sane person with chronic pain would do: he set his jaw and endured. It would be better some day.

xxx

Ben managed to beat his dad when it came to waking up, for once, and he was glad he did. Petey had been too tired and strung out last night for anything fun, which Ben could understand. He still had the occasional nightmare about the cage in the basement and the thing that looked like Mrs. Piper grabbing him, still sometimes woke up to the sensation of needle-sharp teeth in the back of his neck. He knew his dad had the same kind of bad dreams every once in a while and that his mom came into his room in the middle of the night to reassure herself that Ben was alive and himself and not some creepy thing with hollow eyes and a mouthful of teeth. His cousin would eventually figure out how to live with what had happened.

This morning Petey woke up shortly after Ben and after a little bit of awkwardness they ended up in the kitchen making breakfast for when Dad and Uncle Sam woke up. Peter was a little helpless when it came to cooking, so Ben had him set the table and dig out the syrup and butter and jam while Ben pulled out a box of pancake mix and a frying pan. Dean was better at this, but Ben knew his way enough around a kitchen to make pancakes and scrambled eggs and grilled cheese and he could handle it.

His cousin was doing much better in the light of morning, answering questions that Ben asked and asking a boatload of his own. He shut up for a minute or two when Dad shuffled in, lured by the smell of food and coffee despite how unbelievably tired he probably was, but Dad got him talking again soon enough. Ben remembered being that age and meeting Dean and knowing how unbearably cool he was. Having Dean save you was just icing on the cake.

Uncle Sam came in right about the time that Dad took over the pancake duties so Ben could eat. “What are you three up to?”

“We’re discussing comparative literature, Sammy,” his dad said easily. “Have a seat, Ben made coffee. Coffee that he isn’t allowed to have a second cup of.”

Damn it, he thought he’d been sneaky enough that Dean hadn’t noticed him inching toward the coffee pot. “Come on, dude, I’m seventeen.”

“And you’ve already had one cup. You’ll probably end up having another on the drive back. Don’t want to stunt your growth.”

Ben rolled his eyes. “I’m already taller than you, dude. I think I’m good.”

“Don’t you want to be taller than your Uncle Sam?” Dean grinned from his spot by the stove. He added another stack of pancakes to the plate in the middle of the table. “Eat.”

It didn’t take much more urging than that. Ben sat down and reached for the strawberry jam that he’d found in the cupboard, breaking the seal on the jar and spreading it liberally across a stack of pancakes. “Do you think we can stop on the way home?”

“And do what?”

Ben smiled, feeling a little sheepish. “Visit Uncle Bobby?” Out of the corner of his eye he saw an expression cross his uncle’s face, there and gone in an instant. He didn’t think anyone else in the room caught it; Dad was looking at him and Petey was focused on pancakes. It had disappeared so quickly that most people probably wouldn’t have been able to decipher it, but Ben had spent the last ten years learning how to read a man who rarely talked about what he was feeling. Sam was hurt that they were leaving today, and even more hurt that they would be stopping to see Bobby just to visit.

He didn’t really like his newly introduced uncle that much. Sam had a habit of talking down to his dad like Dean was stupid, and while Dean might not get bent out of shape about it Ben totally reserved the right to get pissed off. Dean was one of the smartest people that Ben knew, even if he’d never gone to college, and no one should be allowed to talk to him like that. Besides, Sam was rude and demanding and he’d talked down to Ben like he was some little kid. Uncle Bobby was clearly the superior uncle in this situation.

Except . . .Dean loved Sam. Ben could see it pretty clearly, since anyone else in the world would probably have been laid out flat at the first snide comment. He was enjoying being around his brother, and Sam wanted to spend more time with him.

Damn it.

He rethought his plan. As much as he was enjoying his cousin, who had turned out to be a pretty cool kid even if he was a little quiet, Ben had wanted to leave today. Job done (successfully, ‘cause he and Dean were an awesome team), time to head out. He’d only suggested visiting Bobby because he loved the man’s house and rarely got to go. Bobby tended to come to them when he visited, probably so he wouldn’t have to clean. He wanted to leave Colorado in the rearview mirror, and Dean would probably oblige him if he kept his mouth shut.

But Dean wanted to stay with his brother. Not forever, but just for a little while longer. Ben could read his dad by now, even when the man tried to hide his feelings away like he was doing now. He cleared his throat and prepared to do something nice for Dean. He did kind of owe the guy for taking him along on this hunt. “Actually, I think I need to teach Petey how to plan a water balloon raid on the girls next door.” He grinned at his dad, lifting his eyebrows in an expression that he hoped the man wasn’t too distracted to read. Dad could usually read him better than anyone else, but his Uncle Sam was a really, really tall distraction.

Ben saw the moment Dean caught on to what he was really saying, able to pick out the gratitude in his father’s eyes before the man turned his attention to the lawyer sitting at the table. “Yeah, Sammy,” he drawled out, green eyes shining. “What do you say? Every kid should known how to plan and execute a water balloon attack.”

Sam looked a little confused, but he went with it, probably swept up in the force of Dean’s personality. “As long as you don’t bomb Mrs. Hunt downstairs,” he allowed.

“How long do you think you’ll need to teach him?” Dean asked.

“Do you think we can leave tomorrow morning?” He’d be scrambling to keep Petey distracted for that long. His newly-minted cousin was very quick on the uptake.

“All right then. We’ll leave after breakfast tomorrow.” Dean smiled again, that weird, fond quirk that he usually only bestowed on Ben. “Be sure and call Bobby sometime today to let him know we’ll be stopping by.”

“Awesome!” He hadn’t been expecting that. Dean really wanted to get home.

“Besides, I’m sure Petey here would love to show you his tae kwon do. Ben’s been taking classes since he was a kid,” he told the boy with a conspiratorial wink.

“My name is Peter,” the boy muttered darkly, and Dean’s smile inexplicably widened.

“So it is, kiddo.”

Sam rolled his eyes and huffed out a laugh. “Your Uncle Dean is always going to all you by a nickname,” he told Petey. “Probably Ben will, too. Just go ahead and enjoy it, kiddo.”

xxx

The first time he noticed the grey hair Dean had a minor meltdown over it and what it meant. Lisa had been the only one to see it, but that didn’t make the fact any less embarrassing.

The grey hair took him by surprise. Dean didn’t tend to spend much time in front of a mirror beyond a quick glance to make sure he hadn’t missed anything shaving and that his tie was straight when he needed to interact with law enforcement. He was only thirty-four, for heaven’s sake, way too young for grey hair, but there it was, glaring at him. There were lines on his face now, faint ones around his eyes and mouth and on his forehead. His hands ached in the cold, years of broken fingers from thrown punches coming back to haunt him, and if he hadn’t added running with Ben to his PT schedule, he would probably have needed to worry about middle-aged spread.

It was a little disconcerting considering Dean had never expected to live to thirty. Now here he was, actually looking at the possibility of thirty-five and forty and maybe even more. He had a kid and a steady girlfriend and a home to come back to when a hunt was over, all things he would have thought impossible ten years ago. It wasn’t exactly some sort of rosy fantasy, but it suited him. He could have Ben and Lisa, and he could have the work he had been trained for his entire life.

He couldn’t have Sammy, but that was something else entirely, something he wasn’t going to think about. Sam would come around someday. Dean’s younger brother was almost exactly like their father, and while John’s temper might burn long and hot, eventually all of the bad things would burn away. He just had to be patient.

xxx

Ben was one sneaky kid. Dean picked up on his son’s plan to give him time with Sam from the beginning, but he wasn’t sure that Sam had noticed. It had been a long time since he’d been around anyone that devious. Then again, Sam had been just as tricky when he was a kid. He would probably never know for sure.

Of course, with Ben watching out for Petey and keeping him occupied and not thinking about the events of the past two days, he might have the chance to find out. Sam had always had a problem keeping a secret when alcohol was involved.

First he would have to get through Sam’s interrogation, though, and that would be the tricky part. Sam had become a lawyer for a reason, after all.

“How did you end up staying in one place?” Sam asked, his eyes on his brother’s face. “You always hated it when we were kids.”

Dean smiled, remembering. “Lisa offered.”

“That’s it?” Sam sounded a little put out by that. “You stayed for ten years with the same woman because she said you could?”

“She’s the only one who ever has, once the hunting came into the picture. I had a girlfriend before her. Cassie. When I told her what I did for a living, she broke up with me and basically kicked me out the door.”

“And you still told Lisa?”

“No. She kind of found out. There was a nest of changelings in her neighborhood that were swapping out the kids with creepy little Stepford vampires. That’s why Ben knows so much about them. I found the kids, torched the mama changeling, and brought them all back home.”

“And you still hunt.” It obviously made no sense to Sam, who had been compartmentalizing for most of his life. Hunting didn’t fit into normal, happy life, according to Dean’s little brother. Dean doubted that he’d be able to convince Sam otherwise in the little time they had.

“I’m gone for a couple weeks at a time. I do odd jobs around the neighborhood when I’m home, work under the table at a local garage, that kind of thing. It’s not perfect, but it works for us.” It had been damned hard to adjust at the beginning, but now they had something of a routine that worked for all of them.

“All right, that’s good to know,” Sam said. There was a somewhat comfortable silence as they eyed each other. Dean had been reminded of just how similar the two of them could be over the last few days, and also of how different. In some ways it was like being around his dad again, because for all of their arguing and posturing Sam and John Winchester were always far more alike than either one of them liked to admit. Sam took a deep breath, let it out slowly. “What happened at Jess’ funeral?”

“I don’t know, man.” He held up his hand to forestall the inevitable protest. “I’m not messing around with you or avoiding the question. I honestly don’t remember. I had a doozy of a concussion and a possible skull fracture that the first doctor didn’t see and I have this major gap in my memory.” It wasn’t strictly true. Dean remembered flashes of the funeral and Sam’s anger, but telling his brother that wouldn’t give them the kind of reunion that they were both trying for now. It was best to just let that particular wound heal rather than to poke it anymore. Dean had figured out a long time ago what Sam had thought was taking place and knew that his brother hadn’t meant anything by the harsh words. Sam was too much like their father sometimes, and John had always had this tendency to act and speak without thinking when it wasn’t about the hunt.

He grinned at Sam, feeling the slight pull of the scar as he did so. “Enough about me, Sam. Tell me about your kid.”

Sam glanced over into the next room, a fond expression that made him look like their father crossing his face as he looked at his son. “He’s everything.”

Dean could understand that completely.

xxx

Dean and Ben hit the road incredibly early the next morning, by his standards: the sun was just starting to lighten the horizon a little and the streets were practically empty. Sam and Peter came down to see them off, the two of them standing on the sidewalk while Dean started up the Impala.

He took a second to enjoy the smooth rumble of the engine, something he tried to do as often as possible. It was one of the few constants from his old life, tied irrevocably into his current one. He glanced through the car window at his brother, actually smiling at the two of them as he pulled away from the curb. Sam had one long arm wrapped around Pete’s shoulders and the two of them were waving when Dean took one final look in the rearview mirror.

Then they turned the corner and Sam and Pete were gone from sight. Dean shifted in his seat, grinned at his son in the passenger seat, and pointed the car towards home.

They’d been gone too long.

Comments

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
jujuberry136
Aug. 1st, 2011 09:53 pm (UTC)
It was sad reading Sam as a huge jerk, but I'm so glad he and Dean are on their way to reconciliation. Love the life you created for Dean - chores around the neighborhood when not hunting. His relationship with Ben was also sweet.

Thanks for sharing!
faithburke
Aug. 1st, 2011 10:13 pm (UTC)
I didn't think Sam was really a jerk, so much as he was a tad selfish. Season One Sam was not terribly inclined to give his family the benefit of the doubt. I'm glad you liked reading about Dean and his life, though.
greeneyes_fan
Aug. 1st, 2011 09:58 pm (UTC)
Wow, this is just... HERE.

The sacrifices and regrets, the years, the children and everything that lies between them. Well done!
faithburke
Aug. 1st, 2011 10:19 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it! I was worried it was a little too rosy and optimistic.
onechairleft
Aug. 1st, 2011 11:17 pm (UTC)
This was a lovely 'what if', interfering Angels included.

You did a lovely job of painting what Dean would have been like without Sam- that is, doing the same job, for the same reasons, but with a different focus to his life.

Also, I really liked your Ben & Lisa, because I think a lot of authors treat them as throwaway characters.

Anyhoo, nice work; much enjoyed. Thanks for sharing! :)
faithburke
Aug. 7th, 2011 08:29 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you liked reading it! This is pretty much the life I want for Dean.

And you're the first person to pick up on the interfering Angels, too.
sandycub
Aug. 2nd, 2011 03:58 am (UTC)
What a story! Such detail, such sadness! At least they found their way back to each other now!
faithburke
Aug. 7th, 2011 08:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reviewing! Yes, I am pretty much unable to keep them apart.
lita_of_jupiter
Aug. 3rd, 2011 03:27 am (UTC)
this was a great surprise, once again I loved your use of Lisa and Ben, specially how you handled Dean's focus on the hunt and how it relates to finding kids which he is awesome with, i really liked how protective Ben was of his dad and how the dynamic between them all worked, shame more Lisa couldnt be added!
catnthecradle
Aug. 3rd, 2011 07:37 pm (UTC)
Your Dean was AWESOME, and I loved his and Ben's relationship. I think you Sam is the way he would of gone if he didn't have Dean (and all the Supernatural crap) in his life to pull his head out of his ass.

LOVED the child thief ghost, and the Peter Pan reference, I could definitely see it as a MOW on Supernatural. Great case fic, wonderful story and terrific characters, what more could I want. Definitely going into my memories and kindle.

Thank you for sharing.
faithburke
Aug. 7th, 2011 08:15 pm (UTC)
This was my first actual case story, so I'm glad you liked it. I watched a lot of season one to try and get the dynamics of Sam and Dean's personalities, too.
fates3
Aug. 4th, 2011 01:00 am (UTC)
Great story! Love your Dean and so happy that he had Lisa and Ben in his life, since Sam was such a jerk about kicking him out. Wish that Sam had acknowledged that to his brother and made some kind of effort to get to know Ben once the dust had settled. It doesn't surprise me that Sam was so rude and disdainful of Ben as Dean's child, since Sam is so self centered on the show.

I really enjoyed your Lisa and the way that Dean built a functional and supportive family with her, that gave him the love and respect that he so needs but has never received. Awesome!
faithburke
Aug. 7th, 2011 08:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm a big fan of Dean, Lisa and Ben as a family unit, so I'm glad you liked it too.
farfadine
Aug. 4th, 2011 09:34 am (UTC)
It was really good and well written. Dean's live with Ben and Lisa is fantastic and I like that Ben was there on the hunt too.
Really great and definitely a favorite!
darkestnight12
Aug. 4th, 2011 10:02 pm (UTC)
Darn, I so wanted a scene where Ben would be able to chew out Sam for being a jerk to Dean because Dean's wa~y too nice to Sam over all the mean things Sam does to him. ;D I love how Dean's found a home with Lisa and the comfortable father role he's made with Ben. The spoiled kid-ghost was sorta disturbing. o_o All those poor kids that died! I love how Dean thinks about the families that those kids belonged to, and instead of just burning down the barn to avoid more kid-ghosts, he's going to call the cops to give those families closer. A sad closer, but closer nonetheless.
faithburke
Aug. 7th, 2011 07:57 pm (UTC)
Wow, I'm glad you liked it! I liked the kid-ghost myself. Thanks for reading!
embroiderama
Aug. 5th, 2011 02:00 am (UTC)
I really like this--the different kinds of lives Sam and Dean figured out for themselves and their different tragedies. It was sad to see them so distant from each other, but you gave us hope of more reconciliation. Lovely!
faithburke
Aug. 7th, 2011 07:37 pm (UTC)
Wow, thanks! That was what I was trying to express, I think.
abrakadabrah
Aug. 7th, 2011 03:26 am (UTC)
Enjoyable read - loved the season 1 AU which also contained elements of the later seasons to fill out the story.
Though I was disappointed not to see a reaction from Sam when he learned that Dean was concussed at Jess' funeral.
faithburke
Aug. 7th, 2011 07:01 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I'm glad you liked it! I might do timestamps of some of the missing scenes at some later point.
kaddywhak
Sep. 3rd, 2011 07:08 am (UTC)
This is just SO awesome! Especially that tentative bond-forming the brothers are slowly relearning. Also, Ben and Dean's relationship in this was adorable, and you managed to create/write child characters who I LOVED, which is a rare and amazing thing. :P
faithburke
Sep. 17th, 2011 01:28 pm (UTC)
Wow, thanks! I'm a sucker for Daddy!Dean, and also for happy endings.
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