Prompt: #40 Protection
Type of Story: General
Author's Website: Cat's Website
Author's Note: Disclaimer: I don't own anything from Supernatural and I'm not making any money from this fic. Warning: Spoilers for the episode 'Something Wicked'. Summary: Dean feels guilty for leaving Sam alone when the Shtriga goes after him. John helps him deal with his guilt.
Dean sat in the car next to his brother, staring at Sammy with an almost bewildered look on his face. I almost got my little brother killed. The silence from the front of the Impala was difficult to deal with; but what was worse was that Dean's failure to follow orders had almost ended with Sam - the one person he'd sworn to protect before anything else - being hurt or even killed.
For his part, Sam didn't even seem to have realised how close to death he'd really come. Then again, he'd slept through the entirety of the attack. He actually seemed more worried about the deadly silence between his dad and big brother than anything else.
Of course, there was an unspoken agreement between Dean and John that Sam wasn't going to know about the supernatural until he was quite a bit older.
John parked the Impala outside Pastor Jim's house and then got out of the car. His mouth set in a grim line, he walked round and opened the back door, then picked up the sleeping Sam. "Come on, Dean." Hardly sparing a glance at his eldest, John headed over to the house, leaving Dean to pick up the rear.
By the time Pastor Jim had opened the door to John's insistent knocking, Dean was almost stumbling on his feet from exhaustion. However, he wasn't nearly ready to let himself fall asleep yet. He'd already left Sam once; and look what happened there.
Dean followed his dad into the house, and Pastor Jim closed the door softly behind him. "What happened?" the older man asked softly.
"The Shtriga I've been hunting," John answered simply. "My sons need to rest." He looked over his shoulder at Dean. "Come on." Without waiting for a response, he headed over to the stairs and started walking up to the room Sam and Dean always stayed in whenever they were at Pastor Jim's. After a moment's hesitation, Dean trailed after his dad.
Later, Dean still couldn't sleep. He lay in his bed, staring up at the ceiling, and glancing periodically towards his brother. Not only was he worried about leaving Sam on his own, but he was also feeling guilty about having gone off and left his brother alone.
What if the Shtriga comes back?
As he heard the sound of someone entering the room, Dean got to his feet, reaching for the shotgun that was lying on the floor next to his bed. As he squinted through the darkness, though, he realised who it was and relaxed somewhat. "Dad? What are you doing here?" he asked. "Sammy's all right," he added, slightly defensively.
John frowned at his eldest, a faint gleam of worry in his eyes. "You shouldn't still be up, Dean. Can't you sleep?"
"I have to look after Sammy."
John stepped nearer to his son, and reached out to touch his head. "I'm here now, son. You can just go to sleep now." When Dean didn't answer, he frowned and looked closely at him. "What's wrong?"
"I didn't do what you said. And because of that, Sammy could have been hurt." Dean refused to meet his dad's gaze. "I'm sorry. It was stupid of me to go off and leave him like that." His lower lip started to quiver; and he bit down on it hard, refusing to cry.
John studied Dean's face for a few moments in the dim light. Then, he sat down on Dean's bed and pulled his eldest son over his knees.
"Dad?" Dean gasped, his hands shooting out to catch his balance. "You can't do this! It's not fair! I'm too old!"
John shook his head slightly. "I'm going to help you get over your feeling of guilt, Dean. And then, you're going to rest like you should have been doing before I came in." Without waiting for a response, he started bringing his hand down in sharp smacks all over Dean's pajama-clad behind.
Within moments, Dean was wriggling around, trying to avoid the hard swats. "Dad... I'm sorry..." he panted, the first tears slipping out of his eyes and down his cheeks. At the same time, he felt as if a painful weight was being relieved off his chest, even though his bottom was gradually getting sorer.
John ignored Dean's words and continued with the hard spanking, listening for when the moment was right to stop. When it finally came, Dean just slumped and lay limp over his dad's lap, crying out all his guilt and exhaustion. John ended the spanking with one final swat to his 'sit spot' and then gathered his son up into his arms. Ruefully, he realised that soon, Dean would get too old to allow his father to hug him.
"Shh. It's all right. It's all over now. I've got you."
Dean clung to his dad and sobbed, choking out apologies. He sat there for a long time; and didn't protest when John carefully picked him up and put him on the bed.
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