I do not own Star Trek 2009 or Supernatural.
This story just slots in…well…anywhere in the series after Finding Dad and The Trouble With Security Chiefs. And it might be a little bit of a departure from the John Winchester we all know from the show, but I wanted to explore what would happen if John could return to something approaching a happier, lighter life.
John Winchester wanted back in the action. He didn't mind fixing old cars and living a quiet life of semi-retirement in the short-term but it was starting to suffocate him. Lawrence, Kansas had been the perfect place for an alcoholic to stagnate.
For a re-emerging John Winchester, it was stifling and too far away from his boys, who blasted in and out of San Francisco with regularity but rarely had time to stay long. The farm was full of bad memories that threatened to choke him on dark nights and constantly hovered even on the sunniest of days.
So he packed up, spent a few days house-hunting in San Francisco, found a house with three bedrooms and a good yard, sold the farmhouse in Kansas and moved.
It was good to move, he discovered in the process. He had always thrived on challenges, fixing up the house, painting, buying furniture for his boys (and the spare room for friends/crew members- he'd already had Castiel staying with him at the farm when the kid had caught supposedly-extinct-measles).
And Starfleet was calling again.
Unlike his boys, John Winchester wasn't in love with the stars themselves. He was drawn to the ideal of the organization – to explore new worlds with the goal of helping people. Starfleet itself was in his blood.
But they didn't want a former drunk on their ships and John understood that. Hell, he wasn't sure he wanted back on a ship anyway. That meant it would be even harder to connect with the few people he cared about.
He was sitting on his porch one fine sunny morning with a PADD, trying to decide what exactly his options were when a hover car pulled up, a wheelchair dropped out and Admiral Pike rolled up his front walk.
"Morning, sir," John called but let the man hike himself up the porch steps. John had spent a six month stint in a wheelchair himself back in crazier days and knew that independence was something a wheelchair-bound man craved.
"Winchester," Pike nodded, coming to rest in a bright, warm patch of sun. They exchanged pleasantries for a bit, talked about the boys and then John brought business up.
"Can't imagine an admiral with two terrors and their crews to look after came all the way out here just to see a washed up former drunk, sir."
The admiral grinned. "True. My time is precious these days. I want you to join Starfleet Academy."
"Been there, done that, sir. Think I'm a little old for that, eh? It was a long time ago and I'm fairly sure I don't get a reset on my career."
"You misunderstand me. We're short on good instructors. I need a tough security officer to lick some recruits into shape. My current security instructor believes in positive reinforcement, diplomatic negotiation and wants to transfer over to the linguistics department."
John's old school security-officer soul was horrified. "He what?"
"That's what I said," Pike chuckled and then sobered. "More to the point, his cadets go out into space and they don't come back. Our mortality rate's through the roof. John, I need an instructor from the seventh ring of hell so that when those kids do end up in the first ring on their maiden tour, they don't end up dead."
John sat back in his old lawn chair, thinking.
The more he thought, the more he grinned.
This could be fun.
"I'll do it."
Two months later…
"Have you heard? Commander Winchester is a demon! He makes you train twice as hard as Starfleet demands just to pass his class. It's awful!"
"He doesn't make allowances for anyone. Says it's good problem-solving practice and doesn't care how you get the job done as long as you don't cheat."
"Commander Winchester says we can't just be muscle-heads. We gotta be smart too! I get it though. Can't say "Oops, I didn't know" when someone's dead. Studying still sucks and he's ruthless."
"Ugh, I think I'm going to die, he says I'm not strong enough yet. But he kinda made sense when he said it would be a really miserable feeling to have to tell my friend's mom that I couldn't drag him out of trouble because I couldn't be bothered to work out."
The class of first years were trembling in their shiny new security boots after hearing the rumours from the second years who had had him last semester.
And when he stalked out into the brightly lit security gym, he certainly fit every stereotype. Built like an ore freighter with salt-and-pepper hair, intense eyes and a strict, old-school military bearing, Commander Winchester was not an instructor to be trifled with.
But he was fair, principled and despite what the cadets initially thought, not unreasonable (mostly). And he certainly made sure they knew their stuff backwards and in their sleep. Additionally, the cadets learned that anyone with courage and gumption found a staunch supporter in their instructor.
One petite girl in particular was determined to overcome her physical shortcomings in the fighting ring but all the bigger men were afraid to spar seriously for fear of hurting her. Commander Winchester didn't have the time to spend with her one on one, as he was in high demand by Starfleet (who had discovered that Winchester-trained cadets lived through their first missions) and was teaching a full course of classes ranging from Security 101 to Advanced Infiltration/Extraction 465.
She was at the end of her rope and almost in tears one afternoon after class when Commander Winchester called her into the gym. "Cadet Merran! I've got someone for you to spar against. Beat him and you'll have passed the class."
The cadet perked up and stuck her head into the gym.
The dude was enormous, bigger than Commander Winchester and looked about as serious as a heart attack.
"Commander Winchester here has an hour every afternoon for the next six days free. Beat him in a spar and I'll give you a 90% in the class."
"Yes?" they both asked in stereo.
"Oh," she squeaked before shaking herself. She wasn't some wilting damsel. Clearly they were related (father-son?) and she'd definitely feel better about fighting big guys if she could defeat the giant over there.
So she strapped on the gear and stepped into the ring.
And felt every lacking inch of her five foot nothing frame.
"I'm curious," she began and Commander Winchester (Jr?) grinned, releasing a lot of the tension in the room.
"I'm 6'4," he said with a chuckle. "And you are?"
"Five feet and .34 inches in the morning, five feet and .13 inches at night."
"I'm guessing you drank a lot of milk as a child."
"Not that it did any good. What's your secret?"
"I don't have one?"
She leveled a very nasty glare at his chin (as far as she could look up with the padded helmet on). "For that injustice alone, you are going down."
He laughed and brought up his guard.
It wasn't until after that week (she managed to pin him to the mat once and felt ten feet tall in the process. Winchester Sr. was impressed enough to give her an extra 10% on her final mark) that she realized just who had been sparring with her.
"Commander Sam Winchester?" Merran asked her friend, who sighed dreamily over this week's heartthrob.
"Yeah, he's so tall and handsome and apparently he's a sweetheart." The glamour rag flopped open and Winchester Jr. stared up at her, clearly part of a command crew. The Impala command crew, to be precise. The world-saving, famous, maverick command crew.
That guy had been Commander Sam Winchester?
She felt horribly embarrassed, very grateful and thoroughly cognizant of the fact that she should probably start at least watching the news.
But hey, she could boast that she'd pinned the guy to a mat in the sparring ring.
Commander Winchester in all his drill sergeant glory had paid his best class a very sparing compliment. Said class had taken the night to go out and get totally smashed in honour of the occasion.
They had then shown up for class, raring to go to work again. They knew that resting on their laurels would only get their asses handed to them.
"We're going to be doing something a little different today," Commander Winchester said in that booming parade-square voice. "You are going to follow a captain through an off-world scenario, complete with beam-down. Everyone in the shuttle."
The class followed their instructor out to the waiting transport. The sharper cadets noticed the USS Impala designation and could barely sit still for wriggling.
At least until they saw Commander Winchester's evil smirk. Upon which they all settled down immediately and prepared to die. The last time he had smiled like that, the entire class had had to complete an old FBI ritual known as Hogan's Alley with a few Winchester adjustments.
"Permission to come aboard captain?" Commander Winchester asked as the shuttle door opened.
"Permission granted," a rough voice replied and every star-struck cadet in the group had to contain a small squeal of excitement (the male cadets maintained there was no internal squealing. The girls were a little suspicious as their male counterparts' Adam's apples bobbed tellingly). Captain Dean Winchester of the USS Impala was the captain they were going to be following?
Three hours later…
"Hey Dad, I thought these kids were ready to go on an away mission?"
If Commander Winchester was a demon, Captain Winchester, the whole class had decided, was the devil himself. None of the cadets were a fan of the inexhaustible captain anymore.
"So did I. Hmm. Guess we're going to have to adjust the training schedule again."
The class did their Winchester-trained best not to expire on the spot, thus copping out and sparing themselves the agony of an increased work load.
Then there was the class who had needed a captain to follow on their mock away mission.
Captain Winchester hadn't been available.
Nor had the other (nicer) captains of Commander Winchester's acquaintance.
So Commander Winchester had shanghaied Captain Kirk into helping him.
It resulted in an incident which should not be spoken of. The class was fully convinced that Captain Kirk was, in two words, clinically insane. *
"Hey Dad, you liking the academy?" Dean asked one lazy summer weekend. Both the Impala and the Enterprise were on shore leave and John had invited both senior bridge crews over for a barbeque.
Sulu and Ash were fighting over how to roast potatoes (buried in the firepit or over the barbeque, that was the question) while Jim was dueling Sam for control of the barbeque. Castiel and Chekov were busy debating the merits of something numerical while stuffing their faces with hotdogs, Spock and Uhura were trying to keep Sam and Jim from knocking the barbeque into the kiddie pool brought over for McCoy's little Joanna. The doctors were arguing something medical while Jo egged on the barbeque fight. Bobby and Scotty were comparing transporter notes and tossing back beers.
The backyard was full of life, in short. Good food, good friends. A few of the neighbours had dropped by and John realized somehow along the road to this day, he had started actually living and interacting again.
"What son, sorry?"
"You like the academy?" Dean asked again, giving his father the 'are you with me, space cadet?' look.
"Yeah, yeah Dean, I do. I like helping those kids get ready for space. They're all bursting with idealism and dedication. I like shaping that into something practical."
"And it's fun to terrify the shit out of them."
"There is that."
"I have to know – what were you thinking, asking Jim for help?"
"I figured it'd be like asking you for help."
"Dad, I actually listen to Sammy half the time when he says something is a bad idea. For Jim to listen, there has to be a phaser in his face, sedative in his system and Spock standing over him. To his credit, the idiot is always aware of the situation, always has a plan and it's usually a good one but he constantly forgets that his junior subordinates can't keep up. Why do you think the Enterprise's premiere away team consists of senior bridge members?"
John grinned. The cadets were calling Captain Kirk's class the Incident-That-Shall-Not-Be-Mentioned. "It'll make a really good threat for years to come."
"There is that," Dean muttered and took a huge bite out of his double bacon cheeseburger. "My god, they do not make these properly in space."
John sat back in his favourite battered lawn chair and watched lazily as Dean joined the fight for the barbeque until Uhura threatened to sic Spock's nerve pinch on the combatants and claimed the barbeque for her own.
In retaliation, Dean and Jim broke out the water guns.
It was a good afternoon and John hoped Mary was watching. As the yard dissolved into watery chaos, he realized her memory no longer caused him pain like it used to. It would always ache. But he could remember the good, like the time –
He roared in shock as a cooler of ice-cube laden water was upended over his head. Dean's boisterous laughter rang out over the yard as he and Sam ran for their lives.
Like mother, like son, he remembered wryly, shaking water from one ear.
He'd have to dig out the purple Kool-Aid and dump it in Dean's blond hair.
Then he'd have to fight the Russian kid for the hose.
Plan of action laid in.
Leave the past to itself, bringing only the good memories with him.
John Winchester had a life to live.
*The full horrors of this incident may, if the author can bear to relate such a horrific series of events, manifest themselves in The Prank Defenders! But only if she can muster the courage to describe Captain Kirk turned loose on unsuspecting cadets with no Spock or McCoy to restrain him.