A/N: Three people most responsible for this story and who I'd like to thank are: SoundedSummer, who helped me with specifics, The Silver Bullet, who REALLY helped me with legalities, andAnarchicMuse, who helped my motivation and listened to my rants. Which the other two have done as well.
WARNINGS: Allusion to past mpreg, future slash, sexual references, underage drinking, funky explanations
A knock on the door drew Dean's attention away from his brother and to their father where he was hovering in the doorway. John still looked pretty beaten up but he smiled at Dean with relief in his dark eyes. "How you feeling, dude?" he asked, the slang sounding strange in his voice.
Dean gave a small shrug. "Fine, I guess. I'm alive.
John gave a small nod. "That's what matters."
"Where were you last night?" asked Sam, his voice carrying the distinct ring of suspicion.
John's gaze slid to Sam, the older man still calm and placid. "I had some things to take care of."
Sam gave a small nod, and when he spoke it was laced with sarcasm. "Well that's specific."
Dean sighed internally. "Come on, Sam."
Sam ignored him. "Did you go after the demon?"
"You know, why don't I believe you right now?"
John straightened and took a few steps forward. There seemed to be a heaviness in his movements, and when he spoke it sounded pleading. John Winchester never pleaded for anything in his life. "Can we not fight? You know, half the time we're fighting, I don't know what we're fighting about. We're just butting heads. Sammy, I, I've made some mistakes. But I've always done the best I could. I just don't want to fight anymore, okay?"
The fire drained out of Sam's expression. "Dad, are you all right?"
Then John smiled. "Yeah. Yeah, I'm just a little tired. Hey, son, would you, uh, would you mind getting me a cup of caffeine?"
Sam nodded even though he was obviously worried. "Yeah. Yeah sure." He glanced at Dean before making his way around the bed and to the door.
Father and son watched the youngest leave before turning to face each other.
Dean knew his father better than anyone, and he knew that John was hiding something. He looked… sad. Regretful. John was a tough man, he didn't believe that either of those emotions ever accomplished anything, so why would he be so clearly displaying them? "What is it?"
John turned towards Dean, glancing at the floor, clearly avoiding Dean's eyes. "You know," he began, "when you were a kid, I'd come home from a hunt, and after what I'd seen, I'd be, I'd be wrecked. And you, you'd come up to me and you, you'd put your hand on my shoulder and you'd look me in the eye and you'd... You'd say 'It's okay, Dad'." He paused and swallowed before meeting Dean's eyes. "Dean, I'm sorry."
"You shouldn't have had to say that to me, I should have been saying that to you. You know, I put, I put too much on your shoulders, I made you grow up too fast. You took care of Sammy, you took care of me. You did that, and you didn't complain, not once." John sniffed. "I just want you to know that I am so proud of you."
Dean swallowed, unsure of what to say. "This really you talking?"
"Yeah," said John with another smile. "Yeah it's really me."
"Why are you saying this stuff?"
John stepped up to the bed, laying a hand on Dean's shoulder. "I want you to watch out for Sammy, okay?"
"Yeah, dad, you know I will." He searched his father's eyes for the truth of what was going on. "You're scaring me."
A tear was visible on John's cheek. "Don't be scared Dean. Especially not now. You need to be strong." The man swallowed. "You need to be strong for him."
"For Sammy? Why-"
"No." John cut Dean off, gripping his shoulder tightly. "Not Sammy. Lord knows he needs you too, but please, Dean, listen." After a shuddering breath he spoke again. "Dean, I've made a lot of mistakes. With you, with Sam, with a hundred other people. Most of them I thought were the right decision. But I've hurt you and I don't think I can ever make up for it."
Dean shook his head quickly. "No Dad, stop talking like that, I'm fine."
John shook his head, silencing Dean. "No, Dean, listen." His son stopped talking. "I lied to you, all those years ago. I thought I was doing what was best for you."
Dean scanned John's face, desperate to understand. "What? Dad, please-"
"Fort Smith, Arkansas, Dean."
The man froze at the name, leaning back from John as his eyes widened. When he spoke again his tone was dead, emotionless. "What are you talking about?"
"Dean, I lied to you. About everything. I wanted to protect you-"
"No." Dean's voice was dark, anger audible just below the surface. "No, don't you dare."
John plowed on regardless. "You were only sixteen Dean, a kid, I thought it would be best for you."
"No!" Dean snapped, shoving John hard enough for the older man to stumble back. Dean's lips were pulled back into a snarl and he looked ready to attack his father. "No, you do not have the right to stand there and tell me it was all a lie!"
"I thought it was best for you!"
"I thought he died!" The anger vanished as quickly as it had come, turning to tears that appeared in Dean's eyes. "I cried for him every night! I still do! And you tell me he lived?"
John closed his eyes for a moment before nodding.
Dean let out a choked sob. "Where? Why?"
"You'd passed out. Missouri, she, she told me that he wasn't entirely human."
Dean stared at his father, uncomprehending horror written all over his face.
"I took him to the hospital while you were out. He was wrapped up in a blanket, crying his head off."
Dean was full-out crying now, thick streams of tears pouring from his eyes.
"It was busy in the emergency room, no one noticed me. I handed him to a nurse. She was too surprised to do anything and I hurried out." John had a few tears of his own. "Then I went back to you. Told you he died."
"You stole him," whispered Dean, shaking his head slowly. "You told me he was gone while he was really alive and safe."
"Dean…" John swallowed again. "I don't expect you to… ever forgive me…"
"Get out." Dean's tone brokered no argument, his eyes turned cold. "Get out or so help me I will kill you."
John opened his mouth once more in an attempt to reconcile with his eldest, but he stopped when he recognized the truth in Dean's voice. So, with a silent nod, he backed out of the room, the hateful stare of his son fixed on him the entire way.
"I am sorry, Dean," John murmured to himself as he made his way to the empty hospital room down the hall, his hand wrapped around the Colt. "I am so, so sorry."
"Of course I'm coming with you, Dad!" Dean's tone was split between disbelief and indignation as he watched his father pack up a duffel bag with the weapons from the trunk. "You can't drag me all the way out here then dump me before the final stretch!"
John shot Dean an unamused look that shut him up. "This isn't about you, Dean. I brought you here with no promises that you'd be coming with me. I just can't afford to be watching your back this time, so I'm going in alone."
"That is such bull!" Dean exploded as his father swung the bag onto his shoulder and made for the door. "I'm not some little kid anymore, I don't need you to watch my back! How can you even think—"
John swung around and the thunderous expression on his face silenced Dean completely. His father stood there in the doorway, face like stone, before speaking. "Consider this a warning. I understand your frustration but next time you question me like that I'll make you regret it."
Dean swallowed and forced himself to nod in acceptance, hiding his shaking fists behind his back.
"Good," John said with a firm nod. "I'll be back late, so here." He dug into his pocket and pulled out his credit card, flicking it onto the bed. "There's a bar down the road, not too far of a walk. Be back here tomorrow morning or I'm leaving without you. Got it?"
"Good," he repeated. He glanced around the room once before looking back at Dean. "Stay out of trouble." Then he closed the door behind him.
Dean waited until the car pulled out of the lot before letting himself relax, chest shaking a little as he breathed out.
Sam ran a hand through his hair as he sipped his coffee, blinking the tiredness out of his eyes. He headed into Bobby's living room slash office, planning to check the news for a case, but what he saw made him pause for a moment before sighing and shaking his head.
The office was just as much a mess as it had been before Sam had gone to bed, papers strewn everywhere and books stacked up around the room. Dean was sitting at Bobby's desk, cellphone pressed to his ear, listening avidly to whatever the person on the other end of the line was saying. He had a pen in his hand and was taking notes on a pad of paper.
The younger brother grimaced as he went to sit on the couch, keeping his eye on his older sibling. Dean looked like hell. Dark circles lined his eyes and made it obvious how long it'd been since he'd slept. His hair was greasy and unkempt. He clearly hadn't shaved in a while, the thick stubble more than Sam had ever seen him with. Dean had run himself ragged in his quest.
Suddenly Dean spoke. "Are you sure?" What came next was likely a confirmation, because a broad grin split Dean's face, the first that his brother had seen since before the accident. "Yes! Great! I'll do that right away!" Then Dean hung up, tossing the phone onto the desk as he continued to grin.
Sam decided to speak up. "Good news, then?"
Dean jumped violently as he noticed Sam, which was yet another indicator that something was wrong; Dean was the ever-observant brother, he should have seen Sam walk in. "Sammy, how long have you been there?"
"Just a few minutes." He sipped his coffee. "Have you been up all night, Dean?"
The older man shrugged and leaned back in the chair. "It's not a big deal," he muttered, "I've done it before."
"Yeah but not several nights in a row. I know you've been barely been sleeping."
He shrugged. "So?"
Sam shook his head and sighed again. "Dean, running yourself into the ground isn't gonna help your search!"
"That's what you say!" interjected Dean suddenly, leaning forward to tear a sheet of paper off his notepad. "I finally got a hold of one of Da-John's old legal contacts, some lawyer he saved once who's now a bigtime judge."
Sam picked up on Dean's usage of their father's name. He was mad at John, something Sam could easily understand, but it didn't mean he liked it or understood it. His brother loved their father and somewhere deep down he was grieving, but the anger and betrayal he felt over whatever John had done was currently smothering it. "What did he say?" Sam finally asked, giving into Dean.
He grinned widely and slammed the paper down on the table. "I got it, Sam, I got it. He told me how to do it." The grin grew till it could have split his face. "And the best part is that I can do it right now."
Glancing from the mysterious list to his brother and back, Sam frowned. "Do what, Dean? Can you just tell me?"
"My son," Dean breathed, eyes gleaming brightly. "I know how to find him. I can finally get him back!"
The coffee cup slid from Sam's fingers and fell to the ground, smashing on the wood.
The apartment building was completely vacant when John arrived, the foreclosure sign hanging by a thread on the fence. Even from the outside the place looked awful; part of the roof had collapsed, the windows were all broken and jagged, and plants had dominated what was left like they were trying to drag the entire structure down into the dirt.
John kept his rifle cocked in his hands, pockets bulging with salt rounds. A bottle of spray paint was strapped to his chest just in case he got the opportunity to set a trap and exorcise the damn thing. He doubted it very much since it seemed like this was a trap for him, but he was nothing if not prepared.
He made his way through the first floor, the memory of where the stairs were still fresh in his mind. It felt like eons since he'd lived in the one-bedroom apartment with Mary, right after he got back from the military and had been strapped for cash. They'd been on the third floor and used to have an awful time climbing up and down after a long day. There were spiders in the walls, mildew in the shower, and the toilet got clogged nearly every go.
They'd loved it. It hadn't been much but it was their first home. And the knowledge that the demon was here, leading John into a trap in one of the few untainted memories he shared with Mary, burned in his gut like fire.
He passed the second floor and headed up to the third. The burnt-out lightbulbs flickered weakly over his head and he could feel a chill in the air, a faint smell of sulfur tickling his nostrils. He clenched his gun tighter, the cold steel a comfort.
All appeared barren but John didn't let himself be fooled by appearances. He headed down the hallway, shooting glances into the empty rooms as he passed. They were eerie, even for an experienced hunter like him; broken furniture left abandoned, doors hanging from their hinges, shadows around every corner waiting for something to jump out and attack.
To his own surprise John made it all the way to the end without anything appearing to harm him. He stopped in front of the last door, number 18. It was closed but the knob turned when he tried it, the door opening with a long, slow creak and revealing his former home.
Whoever had last owned it hadn't changed much. The carpet was still the same dirty beige it had always been, the walls still bearing tacky flower-print wallpaper. It sent a surge of nostalgia right down to John's core and he allowed himself just a moment to pause and take it in, remembering the pure bliss that had been his life before it all went to hell.
That turned out to be his one mistake. He allowed his grip of the gun to relax, just slightly, as he turned, and that made it all-too-easy for it to be wrenched from his grasp and go sliding across the floor. He tried to grab it but his arms and legs froze, rendering him as inert as a statue.
"Tsk, tsk," spoke a voice behind him, and John felt his blood run cold. A man stepped into his line of vision, emerging from the hallway to the bedroom, the shadows playing over his features not enough to disguise the gleaming yellow eyes hidden beneath a fringe of blond hair. The body he was in was of a young man in his twenties, and John knew that the physical resemblance to Dean couldn't be a coincidence. "I'd never thought you of all people would be so careless," the demon purred, voice deceptively gentle. One long finger tapped his chin in thought. "What was it my friends called you? He-Who-Cannot-Be-Surprised?" The demon grinned as if he found the phrase amusing, flashing pearly white teeth.
"You cheated," John ground out, the words being forced from between frozen lips.
The demon laughed suddenly, throwing his head back. "Of course I cheated you stupid man." He snapped his fingers and pointed to himself. "Demon."
John fought against the power holding him but couldn't move an inch. "Are you going to kill me?" he spat out as best he could.
The demon paced in front of him, smirking down at him. "I could, yes, but where's the fun in that? Here I have John Winchester at my mercy. These sort of things only happen once you know." He paused and gave a one-shouldered shrug. "Well, twice, but who's counting."
John ignored the statement, fixing the demon with the harshest glare he could manage while being unable to move. "Then what?"
The demon pretended not to hear him as it walked along the wall, dragging its finger against the wallpaper. Where it touched the paper burned away, leaving a trail of crispy paper and a foul smell in the air. "I remember when you lived here," the demon said instead, looking around the room curiously. "You had that god-awful station wagon and Mary was a waitress. You'd come home and watch TV and be so disgustingly normal that it was a pain to see." He sneered down at John. "I fixed that, though. You got your quaint little suburban house and I got the perfect place to stage a fire. Everybody wins."
"You fixed that?" John asked, curiosity peaking at the demon's words and almost managing to stifle the foreboding he felt at the thought of the demon having been watching them for so long. Because that would mean that the fire was more than a random attack, that would mean…
The demon turned to look at him with its horrible eyes and smiled widely, and suddenly he wondered if it could hear his thoughts. "Oh John," it breathed, "you of all people should know that there are no such things as accidents. Everything happens for a reason, you're just a little meat puppet dancing to our tune."
John pushed and strained against the demon's hold but it just laughed at the effort. "Our?"
Suddenly the demon threw his head back and laughed; a long, chilling, not-quite-human sound that made the walls shiver and the birds outside go silent. "Look at you!" he cried out gleefully. "Stumbling around in the dark, too blind and stupid to realize you hold the light in your hand you just haven't seen it yet." He shook his head.
John fought harder, even knowing that it was futile; hearing the demon mock him re-ignited the burning fire to see the thing die a horrible death for what it had done to Mary.
The demon walked towards him, footsteps silent on the carpet. It bent down, hands curling around John's chin. "Stupid man," it whispered, "so stupid. Running in here with your guns in a hopeless attempt to kill me. You knew they would do nothing and yet you came anyway, hmm? A suicide attempt from a man with nothing to live for."
The demons released John's mouth from its grasp, both magical and physical, and he gave it a feral grin. "Well you came," he hissed, "so I consider this a victory."
The demon cocked an eyebrow and its smirk widened. "I didn't come for you John. There is a far more valuable prize I'm here for."
John wracked his brain in confusion but nothing came to mind. Then he froze. Unless…
"Yessss," it hissed, lunging forward until its face was nearly touching his. "Where's Dean, John? Where's your son?"
Gleaming yellow eyes burned into John like pools of acid, and he screamed.
Petunia Dursley hummed to herself as she bustled around her kitchen, the radio on and playing easy-listening music as she swept the floor. The curtains were open, letting in the fresh sunlight. It was a bit too cold to open the windows, but the atmosphere was still wonderful. Vernon and Dudley had gone to the cinema for the day.
It was her favorite time of the year. Christmas had passed a few months before so no bother from Vernon's deplorable sister, the freak was at school until the end of June, and her beautiful flowers would soon be sprouting. Everything was right with the world.
As Petunia wiped down the stove she absently wondered what her neighbor, Ms. Hattersham, was doing. She was quite the bizarre person, and Petunia could never figure her out. Living in a nice, clean, suburban house, but unmarried and with no family. None of the other women knew where she got the money or what she did, but the gossip was rampant. Petunia herself had contributed a few theories, most involving possible dalliances into the raunchier side of London. However, it was mere speculation. Perhaps if Petunia invited her over for tea one afternoon they could-
The ringing of the wall phone startled her from her thoughts and she frowned, wiping her hands off on her apron before walking over to it. It was probably Mrs. Lancaster, her husband was a dreadful bore so she would often call Petunia.
Petunia answered it. "Hello?"
Static crackled for a moment before a voice spoke, one assuredly not Mrs. Lancaster's. "Is this the Dursley residence?"
She blinked in surprise, leaning against the counter. "Yes, this is Mrs. Petunia Dursley, who is speaking?"
"My name is Philip Rogers, I'm a Social Worker in service of the Crown."
Petunia froze, her mind instantly going to the worst possible solution. Had the boy talked to someone, spewed stories about them to his freakish friends? The man calling worked for the government but she wouldn't be surprised if the freaks controlled it. "Why are you calling?" she managed to ask with a reasonable amount of innocence. "Is this about my son?"
"No," Rogers responded, "this is about your nephew, who is recorded as being in your care. Is this correct?"
She seriously considered lying. "Yes, yes he is, is something wrong?"
There was a short pause before the man spoke again. "Mrs. Dursley, a rather… delicate situation has sprung up involving your nephew. There has been question of his parentage by an American, who has provided enough evidence to gain approval for a blood test. We are complying with the American Department of Health and Human Services on this matter, and you will need to bring in your nephew within four work days for a DNA test."
Most of what he'd said had flown over Petunia's head, but she got the jist of it. Enough to know that he wonderful spring day could be about to become infinitely better. "A-Are you certain?" she stuttered out, grabbing her pearl necklace. "What does this mean for the b-for Harry?"
"It means, ma'am, that the possibility exists that he was illegally removed from his family's house, and if it is so, then, should blood relation be proven, they will gain custody.
Petunia covered her mouth to silence the squeal that otherwise would have escaped. She lifted her shoulder to hold the phone as she dug through the recently-cleaned drawers in search of a pen and paper. "Oh yes, I completely understand," she babbled, "if his parents truly have right to him and miss him, he should be with his family." She even worked in a fake sniff to sound realistically caring.
"I am glad you understand."
When she finally found the items she needed she began scribbling down a letter, making sure to not let the truth come out for fear that the old man would try to stop it. "My nephew is currently at a boarding school, I will write a letter to the school to have him returned so we can conduct a DNA test, and then I shall contact you. Is that alright?" Please let it be.
"Yes," responded the man. "That will do nicely. Thank you for your time Mrs. Dursley, and if you have any more questions you can contact me or my office. Good day."
"Good day to you, Mr. Rogers," Petunia replied. The moment he'd hung up she let the phone fall, focusing all her attention on the letter. It was short and to the point, exactly what she needed. Now all she had to do was brave the freakish wizarding alley that she'd visited with her sister and never been able to forget so that she could sent it, after which she could possibly be rid of the boy forever.
It would be completely and utterly worth it.
As soon as Dean opened the door to the motel room his father was right there in his face. Ignoring the way Dean winced, large hands reached out, grabbing Dean's shoulders tightly and holding him still as John's eyes raked over his body, and Dean could've sworn that he saw worry and maybe even fear in them. He tried to banish the thought, having never seen his father afraid, but his eyes didn't lie, even as dry and tired as they were.
"Are you alright?" John demanded, pulling Dean towards the bed and shoving his butt down onto it. Dean grimaced as his father's voice incited his headache but nodded weakly. His hangover made the light seem too bright, his head pounding with every tiny movement and his muscles aching.
"Yea, yea," he muttered, shielding his eyes from the early morning sun coming through the window. He cracked one eye and peered at his father, suddenly recalling why the man had been gone all night. "How did your hunt go?"
If John heard the question he ignored it, still checking Dean over with a worry that would've concerned Dean more if he wasn't so terribly hungover. "Where were you?" the man demanded, "I told you to be back in the morning!"
"It is morning." Dean waved weakly at the window in hopes his father would catch his drift and close the blinds. No such luck. "I had to walk back," he added, leaving out why his walk had taken so long. He still hurt a little.
A scowl appeared across his father's face. "Tell me where you were." He demanded, tone brooking no argument.
Dean's eyebrows rose in surprise at the intensity. "I was with someone," he answered truthfully.
At the question Dean couldn't resist giving his father a strange look. John never asked that sort of thing before; the only thing he'd ever said in regards to Dean's sex life was to always 'wrap it up'. "I dunno," he answered truthfully. "I was kinda hammered."
"What did she look like? Did she say anything?"
"Dad, what is going on?" His father's many questions were starting to worry him a little bit. "Did something go wrong on your hunt?"
John jerked back, eyes widening for a second before he scowled. "Just answer the question, Dean."
Dean huffed and crossed his arms. "I was drunk, alright? I don't even remember his face let alone his name." Then he froze, eyes widening as he realized his slip.
John paused and stared at Dean, expression inscrutable. "His?"
Dean's throat suddenly felt dry and he swallowed hesitantly. "I was drunk," he defended himself again, "I was feeling adventurous. I've never done that before." He scowled at his father, hoping his face wasn't as red as it felt. "What of it?"
His father continued to frown but didn't say anything, and Dean's heart was beating so loudly in his chest that it was a wonder the man couldn't hear it.
"Be careful next time, alright? Don't go getting hammered with strangers; who knows what might happen." John stood from the bed and walked over to the mini-fridge, taking out a bottle of water and tossing it to Dean.
Dean's breath whooshed out of him in relief when John didn't say anything about the accidental lay with a dude. It hadn't been intentional, and certainly nothing he'd ever done before, but he told himself that it was only because, as he'd said, he was really drunk and feeling adventurous. It wasn't like he'd done weirder things with chicks.
"How did the hunt go?" He asked his father after he took a swig, hoping for a change in topic. "Did you find it?"
John paused for a moment, and Dean thought that the man might've swallowed, but then he just shook his head. "No, I was wrong; it wasn't what I was thinking of. Just a harmless ghost. Nothing major." He shot Dean a small smile, almost apologetic, which was certainly not the norm. "Sorry I left you out of it. Was just a normal salt-and-burn."
Dean shrugged off the apology. He didn't like it when his father apologized; it felt wrong. "No big deal, Dad," he answered with a grin. "No harm no foul, right?" He took another swig and missed John's full-body shudder. "So now we're gonna go back to Bobby's, right? Sammy's probably missing us."
"Yea," John agreed with a nod. "I was gonna take your brother to see that museum in D.C. he's been asking about."
"Oh yea, he'd like that."
"But first we'll go get some breakfast. Does a big greasy one sound good to you?"
Dean groaned, stomach revolting at the thought of eating, and hurried to the bathroom, just missing the way his father glanced out the window, only for the smile on his face to freeze at a blond-haired, yellow-eyed boy standing in right outside the glass, grinning like a madman.
A glass shattered against the wall, shards of glass raining down like diamonds.
"What the hell do you mean I'm pregnant!?"
John hid a wince at the screech his eldest let out, the yell loud enough to shake the windows. Missouri on the other hand was unimpressed with the decibel and simply gave him a flat, unimpressed look through her tinted glasses. "My mama gave me those glasses Dean Winchester, don't you go smashing another one!" she scolded, wagging her finger threateningly at him.
Dean just stared at her from his spot on the couch, completely bewildered. "I can't get pregnant, I'm a guy!" This time the yell was softer and more of a whine, and the slight fear underlying it was more easily heard. "I can't be—I mean I'm not—" Dean took a deep shuddering breath and shook his head. "No!"
Missouri shot John a forceful look over the top of her glasses, the earlier words she'd spoken when imparting the information to him privately rearing their head. "Tell him," she'd demanded. "Tell him or else you know it'll bite you in the ass."
"How did this happen?" Dean demanded, gaze switching between them with burning intensity. John counted his lucky stars that Sam was back at Bobby's. "How the hell did this—" He jabbed at his stomach. "—happen!?"
John grimaced as his son looked pleadingly at him, desperate for some sort of answer, asking his father to tell him the truth. "A magic spell," he half-answered, clearing his throat and pushing off the wall. "I'd expect, anyway. Not your run-of-the-mill kind, either; this would take a powerful SOB."
"How did it happen?" Dean asked, looking back down at his midsection as if expecting it to do something to indicate what had happened. He touched it hesitantly. "I don't remember us hunting anything like that…" He trailed off and turned to look back at John, brow furrowing intensely. "Wait, Dad, what about that hunt in Kansas? You didn't tell me what that was all about."
John stiffened slightly, hopefully not enough for Dean to notice. He glanced over at Missouri to see her still holding that same expression from before. Tell him the truth.
John dropped his gaze. "It was a witch." The lie slid easily off his tongue like the thousand others he'd told. "Pretty powerful one too. She was trying to summon some sort of god to give her power. She'd been cursing townspeople with all sorts of things." He hesitated, slipping a nugget of truth among the lie. "I didn't want you to get hurt."
Dean stared at him for a long moment before a bubble of laughter tinged with hysteria burst from his throat. "Not get hurt?" Dean hissed, pushing himself off the couch and storming towards his father. "I got fucking knocked up!"
The reprimand of "Language!" slipped from John's lips but Dean didn't notice, already on a roll.
"I can't have a baby!" Dean near-shrieked, pacing around the room. "And how do I know it's not some sort of freaky monster that's gonna rip me in half? How?" He swung around to look at Missouri. "Do you know?"
The psychic's eyes slid over to meet John's for a moment. He gave a brief shake of his head, trying to send a silent message, but she just smirked and looked back at Dean. "It's not a monster," she said instead. "I'd know if it was, and it's no monster."
John's eyes widened furiously but neither of the other two noticed. Dean's shoulders relaxed slightly, the wind seemingly knocked out of him. "…oh." He blinked and glanced down for a second. "Are you sure?"
She rolled her eyes and reached a hand up to smack him lightly on the side of the head. "Did I stutter, boy? No, it's no more monster than you are."
John cleared his throat and stepped forward to draw their attention back to him. Missouri turned, face unimpressed with his interruption, but Dean still looked a little bewildered and had returned his gaze to his midsection. "Missouri," he growled out, "can I speak to you for a moment?"
A colossal sigh was his answer but she acquiesced, stepping around Dean and navigating through her cluttered living room towards him. "Not here," she said before he could speak, grabbing him by the arm and dragging him down the hall to an empty room. She closed the door behind her and turned to look at him, hands on hips.
John loomed over her, face solid and eyes burning. "Why did you tell Dean all that?" he hissed angrily.
"Why didn't you tell him the truth?" She returned coolly. "Your boy deserved to know the truth and you pull some crock-and-bull crap about a witch?"
"I did that to protect him. If you go telling him that it isn't a monster then he might start wanting to keep it!"
Missouri just scowled. "I didn't lie John, I'm not you." She huffed. "That thing's no more monster than you are. Even less so I'd imagine. I just never said it was human. But I understand to you there's no difference, huh? You'd kill your own child if you thought he was tainted."
John reared back, the words cutting more than he expected, and Missouri took the chance to open the door and step out, giving him one last cold look. "You'd better take care of your boys now, John," she warned, "otherwise a day might come where the monster they're hunting is you."
Dean knew that his father was against the idea of him having a baby. The moment they left Missouri's house his father approached him about the idea—about how, even if the kid might not be a monster (his father seemed reluctant to believe Missouri even though he'd told Dean to do just that), it still wasn't natural or right. He told Dean that since it was made through magic it might be tainted with that magic. He brought up a hunter-turned-doctor he knew in Maine who would be able to perform the surgery needed to dig the thing out of Dean, magic or no magic.
At the time it had gone in one ear and out the other. He was still in shock, not quite sure what to feel. He'd seen magic spells do a lot of things in the past—bring machines to life, turn paintings real, cause unbridled destruction and mayhem—but he'd never anticipated that their lives could have an effect like this. He'd always thought that, if anything, he'd lose a limb or an eye or grow a mouth on the back of his head or something. Normal weird. Not be able to be friggin' knocked up like some teenage girl messing around behind the bleachers.
Reality reared its head soon after, however, when Dean started getting slammed with violent bouts of nausea, headaches, and cramps so bad he'd end up lying in bed for hours on end. It had been utterly awful and he almost gave into his father's offer if only to stop it.
But time went on and it all slowed down, and Dean still wouldn't say yes to John's offer. He wavered, sometimes even came very close, but couldn't bring himself to say yes. Every time he'd be considering it he would see some stupid sappy ad on TV, or tuck Sammy into bed, or even just pass a random little kid and remember that he could quite possibly become a parent. Sure, he was only about to turn seventeen, but he hadn't considered himself a child in a long time.
His father hadn't been quite so understanding. They'd had plenty of arguments about it as time passed and Dean still wouldn't agree, especially since John's friend had warned against completing the procedure once they passed a certain time. Finally push came to shove and Dean had told his father on no uncertain counts that he was keeping it, origins be damned. His father hadn't taken it well.
But still, even with all of that, Dean had never, never thought his father would do such a horrific thing as pretend his son had died. He'd always told himself that, no matter their disagreements, John loved him and would accept his choices. He had, mistakenly it seemed, thought his father respected him enough.
And Dean paid the price for that misplaced trust. He and his son both did, and for that he could never forgive his father. Not now, not ever, and even when the man was found dead Dean couldn't find a scrap of sadness or pity under the torrent of anger. In his mind, nothing suited John Winchester more than a fate to burn for eternity.
Dean held his breath as the judge opened her mouth to speak, knowing that whatever she said would determine everything for him. His lawyer had assured him that their case was completely solid, what with all the effort Dean was putting into finding his son and how little the boy's guardians cared, but he couldn't help but worry.
"The court has decided…"
He could feel how sweaty and clammy his palms were and would have wiped them on his pants if he wasn't so tense. Dean had spent an hour getting ready the morning before, wanting to make the best impression on the judge, the lawyers, and most importantly…
"...that it is in the best interests of the child…"
Why couldn't she just come out and say it? One word, yes or no.
"...Harry James Potter…"
What would his name have been if Dean had been the one to raise him?
"...that Dean Winchester…"
Oh God, this was it, he was going to be banned from ever seeing his son. Dean bit his lip and closed his eyes tightly. He wished Sam was there.
"...is the best choice of guardianship for the minor in question."
Dean's head snapped up when he heard what she'd said and his eyes grew huge. A hand on his shoulder directed his attention to his appointed lawyer, who had a small smile on his face as he gave Dean a single nod.
They'd won. Somehow they'd won. Somehow Dean was believed to be a capable adult role model, which meant…
Suddenly Dean felt the urge to puke but held it in. He managed to compose himself as he stood and thanked the judge and lawyers, a goofy grin seemingly stuck on his face. He couldn't help it. If anything it made the judge appear to like him more because she smiled back.
The door behind Dean opened and he turned, expecting to see the men leaving, but apparently there was something, or rather someone, of greater priority. All the air vanished from Dean's lungs and he was torn between crying and fainting.
The boy was small, small like Sam had been at that age. He didn't look twelve. That was only complimented by his appearance; thick messy black hair, delicate features, and huge green eyes that were so Dean it almost hurt. He looked a lot like Dean had at that age and the realization made Dean's heart clench further.
The boy, Harry, looked so lost. His arms were crossed and he was biting his lip in obvious nervousness. His gaze flicked from person to person before it finally settled on Dean, meeting the matching emerald orbs. Father and son looked upon each other for the first time ever.
As if on instinct Dean lowered himself to one knee, closer to his son's height. Harry looked ready to turn tail and run but at the same time he seemed to have set his jaw, as if readying himself. He looked like a scared animal and it cut Dean to the core.
The other members of the room faded away, Dean's focus narrowing to the nervous twelve-year-old. "Hi," he spoke softly, offering Harry as small a smile as he could manage. "My name is Dean." He reached his hand out slowly, realizing how small a distance was between them.
Harry stared at the hand with trepidation, his arms unfolding but remaining at his sides. He looked from Dean to the hand. His own right hand twitched but he seemed reluctant. However, Dean kept his hand still, ignoring the urge to pull the boy into a hug and never let him go.
Then, ever so slowly, Harry began to raise his arm. When his hand finally met Dean's it was as cold and clammy as Dean knew his own were probably. It felt small in his own, fragile, like he remembered his brother's. But different at the same time.
"Hi," murmured Harry. It was the most beautiful thing Dean had ever heard and he couldn't hold back a full smile. "I'm Harry."
"Yea." There was a definite awkwardness to the situation, one the hunter wished could go away, but it also made the situation all the more real. "I'm your dad, Harry. And I won't ever let you go again."
A/N: This is a variation of my original story idea. However, the original has been giving me some trouble so I decided to write up this. In the original Harry was eighteen, and it began in a much later season. This will be continued, the 'when' is up for debate. I will continue to write on this until the other version works, when I will work on that, and so one and so forth.
As for things like pairings and details, this is during 2nd year in the HP timeline. Harry will NOT be paired with anyone. This will eventually be Destiel, but it could be a very long time. Don't yet have a Sam pairing, feel free to tell preference in review UNLESS it is Gabriel; I do not ship Sabriel and won't write it, at least not in this.
So what are opinions? Any questions WILL be answered, and if I forgot an important detail or something tell me politely and I can add it in. We all make mistakes, I for one am prone to missing details. I like reviews, though flames really accomplish nothing. Don't like the plot? READ SOMETHING ELSE. Eesh, some people.