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Additional Notes:  This fic takes place with the assumption that John's never contacted the boys, and therefore the call at the end of Asylum, and in Scarecrow, renders it void.  I was going to trash this, but I really liked what I'd already written, so I'm just gonna throw it out there.

[ wednesday ]
by kHo

It´s a Wednesday when he shows up.  A Wednesday afternoon.  Not overcast, not overly sunny.  Just your average, middle of the week, run of the mill Wednesday.  Sam opens the door counting money, mumbling lazily and spouting off some apology about not having smaller bills until Dean pops over his shoulder and actually looks at him.


Sam´s head shoots up like a rocket, eyes widening and mouth dropping open.  “I… Dad?  I thought you were… we ordered--’

Dean´s grin is so huge it could light up the darkest day, and that´s fitting.  He pushes Sam to the side and lunges at John, throwing his arms around him, bear hug like he´s five years old again except this time he´s old enough to be the one lifting John and not the other way around.  

Dean pulls back and just like that his grin is gone and he´s swatting John in the chest, mouth turning down in that petulant frown John had always tried to fight so hard to not laugh at.  “Where the hell have you been,’ Dean asks, hitting him again and then fisting his hand in John´s shirt, like he´s afraid he´s going to disappear again, like if he doesn´t hold on, John may have never been there at all.  “How the hell did you find us?’

“I taught you how to hunt, son,’ John says, wry grin on his face as he looks over Dean´s shoulder at Sam´s still shell-shocked face.  “You really think you could best me?’

“You´re an asshole,’ Dean says, but that smile is poking through again and John feels like his heart is shattering.  

He looks up at Sam again, who is at least blinking now, and tries on a smile.  Shit for an excuse of a smile, but it makes Sam smile back and that really does break his heart.  “No hello for your father?’

Sam must have learned a few things along the years because he´s not crying right now even if John can tell he wants to.  Used to be that Sam cried at anything.  Used to be that no one knew how to make Sam cry better than John, and John feels a little proud that his son´s gained a little more control over that.  

“Sorry,’ Sam says, shaking his head and laughing.  He steps forward and opens his arms, almost hugs him but doesn´t.  Instead he looks at John and wills him to make the final step, John can read the need in his eyes.  Something like begging for forgiveness.  

So he gives him that, takes that final step and wraps his arms around Sam´s skinny body, pulls him close and never wants to let go.  He can feel his throat working around that lump lodged in the back of it and closes his eyes, tries to mark this moment in his memory.  “Missed you, kid.’

“I missed you too, Dad,’ Sam whispers into his neck, arms wrapped around John in the tightest hug he´s ever felt.  “I´m sorry.  I´m so sorry.  For everything, Dad.’

John squeezes his eyes shut tighter, tries to lighten the moment, thumps his son on the back a few times and laughs gruffly before pulling back.  “No apologies,’ he says, gripping Sam´s shoulders in his hands, smiling at him.  “Not needed.’

“The way I spoke to you, the things I said…’  Sam breaks off, and John knows.  It doesn´t matter how good Sam´s gotten at not letting himself break, he´s about to.  “Dad--’

“We both said them, Sammy,’ John says, shifting his hand to Sam´s neck and squeezing lightly, comfortingly.  “We´ll call it even.’


“Alright,’ Dean says, overly loud, overly chipper.  He claps his hands and raises his eyebrows, giving Sam a look.  “We´re dangerously close to a chick flick moment and what we should be doing is drinking beer and giving Dad a hard time for not returning our calls.’

Sam laughs and ducks his head, swallowing convulsively before backing into the room.  John feels Dean´s hand on his shoulder and takes it for what it is.  Forgiveness.  Acceptance.  A thank you.  

He watches Dean walk past him into the room and tries to force himself to move as well.  He can´t until Dean looks at him and scrunches his eyebrows together.  “Sorry,’ John says, laughing again and finally walking into the room, kicking the door shut behind him.  “Road fatigue.’

There´s a knock on the door and at Sam´s blank look Dean laughs and swats him, takes it upon himself to dig in Sam´s pocket for the money before he opens the door.  Just like it used to be.  Sam being too serious, Dean the one taking it on his shoulders to lighten it up, lift the mood.  He wonders if Sam´s ever figured it out.  That Dean takes things just as hard as he does, his coping methods just hide it well.

Dean grabs Sam´s sleeve and drags him over to the table, forcibly shoves him into the seat across from John before taking the one between them.  “Hope you feel like Chinese,’ he says, already stuffing an eggroll into his mouth, talking around the side of it.  “And if you´re really hungry, you gotta order more food, cause we get dibs.’

Sam doesn´t even look down when Dean shoves the box of rice at him, doesn´t even blink.  He just stares at  John and John knows he´s going to ask.  He just knows.  “Dad, where have you been?’

Dean kind of freezes, eyes flicking between them as he chews on his eggroll.  John takes a deep breath and closes his eyes.  This is it, this is the perfect opportunity.  This is exactly the opening he needed.  “Not now, Sammy,’ he says instead, because he doesn´t want to do this now.  Doesn´t want to do this at all.  “Later.’

John steals Dean´s eggroll just to hear him grumble and sits back, lets Dean chatter away the uncomfortable silence.