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title: Marked
author: [ profile] jebbypal
Rating: E - everyone
summary: John gets some news about his boys. Pre-series.
Word count: 708

A/N: Meh, I fell out of love with this after I wrote it for some reason. But [ profile] poisontaster had already beta-ed it and kept badgering me about posting it. So here it is.

John Winchester sat in the sweat lodge and tried to ignore the fear that curled inside his belly. Three years had passed since Mary’s death and he’d used that time well. Once, he’d only known the vague concepts of Heaven and Hell preached by their small church, but now he knew more than he’d ever wanted to know.

They said knowledge was power, but in this instance they were wrong. Knowledge paralyzed him. He knew he was putting his boys in danger of physical harm or possibly worse. John couldn’t resist the call to hunt the thing that took his wife, but he couldn’t risk his boys either. He had two duties and right now they were tearing him in half.

After what seemed to be hours, the sweat lodge’s flap opened. John ignored the whisper of cool breeze through the searing heat, instead focusing all of his attention on trying to read his boys’ fate on the medicine man’s face. Respect kept John’s tongue silent as he waited for the old man to get comfortable and his granddaughter to sit at their feet.

The old man shook his head and started talking while his granddaughter translated. “Only one thing can he assure you of, hunter. Your children are free of any taint.” The teen’s words allowed John to relax fully for the first time since the November night that still haunts all of his dreams.

“But,” John looked up to see wrinkles of sympathy line the medicine man’s face, “I can not do all that you ask.”

“They’re kids, innocent. Why the hell not?” John demanded, all thought of propriety ripped from his head by the old man’s refusal.

“It’s not what he wants, be assured,” the girl answered, her tone full of reproach. “He’s done all that you ask and more for your eldest. The charms he’s given Dean will keep him safe from possession and aid his senses.”

“But Sammy-“

The old man held up his hand and shouted at him. “Anything that Grandfather would do for the baby would only hurt him. Your youngest is special and marked. Grandfather can’t tell if he was born that way or if that night changed him. The spirits already look after him and will continue to do so for a time. After that, it will be the duty of the family to protect him until he can protect himself.”

The words took John’s strength and anger away. Special. Marked. He’d worried about it given everything that he’d learned of the supernatural and demons in the years since Mary’s death. Worried more that perhaps the evil that night had contaminated one or both of his children. Worried so much that he’d ignored Missouri’s assurances that they were both fine and sought out more assurance that both were whole, healthy, and normal.

“How long?”

The girl translated the question to her grandfather and listened for the answer. “Grandfather says the spirits rarely tell us these answers. He says that it’s best that you put your faith in your own ability to protect your child so that you are ready for when you are all the protection that he has.”

John put his face in his hands and tried not to cry. Men don’t cry, he told himself, and Marines sure as hell don’t.

He looked up when he smelled the heavy smoke of tobacco. “Grandfather is blessing you and your hunts. We wish you luck, John Winchester.”

John took the pipe and inhaled deeply. Luck. Luck hadn’t done much for him so far, and for that matter, neither had any sort of god. The old man was right. All he could trust now was what he could touch – himself, Dean, and Sam.

The mission was still the same. He’d hunt down the damn thing that had killed his wife and stolen their lives away. He just had to make sure Sammy was protected and safe while he did it. He’d teach them that all they could rely on was themselves and each other. Dean was a good brother. He’d always be there for Sam and watching his back. That would have to be enough to give John the peace of mind to pursue the hunt with all his being.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-05-26 08:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I so so like this, babe. You give great John :D. "Marked". It sounds really very ominous...

(no subject)

Date: 2006-05-27 01:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Awww. This *is* wonderful.

The charms he’s given Dean will keep him safe from possession and aid his senses

so John, looking out for the boys and totally forgetting to protect himself...

and that Sammy's family is all he has to protect him? Is a very good explanation of John's later attitude.

I wonder whether he ever told Dean any of this...

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-04 09:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh wow, powerful...I actually teared up at the end when John did...*sniffles*


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