John Winchester looked absorbedly down the hill, careful to keep his binoculars shaded so as not to give himself away.

Far below, his sons were parked on a scenic overlook as they gazed out over the valley. It didn't seem like they were on any kind of hunt, he thought. At least, nothing with any urgency. They were just sitting, talking, perched on the hood of their big, black car.

As John watched, he did his best to ignore the intimate way they leaned into each other. Sam's head resting on Dean's shoulder. Dean's arm wrapped possessively around his little brother's waist.

They looked good. Strong. Happy.

He watched his boys for almost an hour, ignoring the chill fall breeze that nipped at him, until they finally slid off the car and drove down the road, toward the highway.

When John was sure they were gone, he rose from the ground, feeling every one of his 50-odd years and walked back down the rise to where he'd parked. Back inside his truck, he slumped wearily against the seat, a choked sob escaping him.

He missed his boys. With every fiber of his being, he missed them. He'd have given anything to go down the hill to them. To hug them, hold them, talk with them. Tell them how much he loved them. Anything.

He let himself wallow for a little while, then cleared his throat, wiped his eyes and started the truck.

He had things to do.

Demons to kill. Deals to break.

And a target to get off his family's back.