John vs. the VCR

A/N: I don't own Supernatural Kripke and CW do. Thanks to all the fellow fan fiction writers that I asked, ok begged, for help or advice from. Hope you enjoy this story

John woke up in the middle of the night to the sounds of a heavy duty thunderstorm. He decided to make a bathroom run and then on the way back he would check on his sons. Sam, even at eight, didn't like thunderstorms and Dean was none too fond of them either, but wouldn't show it. Looking in the room his boys shared he saw one large lump under the covers on one of the beds. John had to smile, Sam had already joined Dean and from the steady movement John saw he decided they had fallen back asleep.
Shutting the door quietly behind him John turned around to face Jim Murphy. Before Jim could ask if the boys were ok. John answered his questioning look "Oh yeah they're both huddled on one bed and back asleep" answered John still smiling. "Is there something wrong?" he asked Jim knowing the cleric usually wasn't up this late?

"No but when I heard the storm, I figured I'd better check on the windows and make sure we have flashlights or candles close by." Just as the words were out of Jim's mouth, a particularly vicious and bright bolt of lightning hit near enough to the old house to shake it slightly. The small hallway was plunged into darkness as the small nightlight snapped off. "There goes the electricity, stated Jim. "We had better set a small lantern in the hall so we and the boys can see if anyone has to make a bathroom trip before the power comes back on."

"Doesn't each room have a flashlight in it?" John asked as Jim carefully walked into the bathroom where he knelt down and reached into a cupboard under the sink pulling out a small battery lantern which he set on the hall table. " Yes in the drawer of the bedside table which Dean knows, but hopefully the boys will sleep the rest of the night" Jim answered.
"Is there anything else we should do John asked while barely stifling a yawn?" "No go back to bed, hopefully by morning the power will be back on, well later in the morning anyway" Jim chuckled as the clock rang 2am. John watched Jim head back to his room then with a final look at Dean and Sam, headed back to his own bed. John laid back and listened as the storm started to taper off a bit as he slipped back into a deep sleep.
Several hours later Sam started to stir and untangle himself from the covers. Sam slowly peeled the blankets back and crawled out of the bed doing his best not to wake Dean. Sam quietly and quickly dressed then he left the room leaving the door slightly open. Sam made his way toward the kitchen where Pastor Jim was resetting the last kitchen appliance which was the oven clock, the coffee machine having been the first. Hearing footsteps Jim looked up and saw the youngest Winchester enter the kitchen. "Good morning Sam, where's Dean?"

"Morning Pastor Jim, Dean's still sleeping. What were you doing cooking breakfast?" asked Sam? "No I'm afraid last night's storm knocked the power out and all the electrical stuff needed to be reset" Jim answered. Before Sam could ask anything else, Dean came running into the kitchen looking around he saw Sam with Pastor Jim then he relaxed a little. "Morning Pastor Jim what's for breakfast and where's Dad?" Dean asked the cleric? "Your dad is in the living room resetting electronics there and in the hallway. I'll tell you boys what, you two go see if your dad needs help resetting anything that went out, and I'll get breakfast started. How does pancakes, eggs, and sausage sound.

"That sounds great Pastor Jim, come on Sam lets go see if Dad needs anything said Dean pushing Sam out of the kitchen before he could delay breakfast with questions. As Jim watched the boys walk off to find John he couldn't help but think there was something he had wanted to tell John. What John was doing was being within an inch of retrieving Holy water and exorcising the old VCR. He had woken up about half an hour before and found the power back on. He reset the clock in his room, then dressing he went in search of Jim, whom he found in the kitchen. After asking Jim if he could help John had been sent into the living room to take care of things. As he walked in, the wall clock chimed. Glancing at it he saw that it operated on a pendulum and was still correct. John looked for the next appliance that needed done. While sweeping the room in a stare he noticed the blinking 12:00 on the front of Jim's old VCR. John spotted the remote laying on the coffee table and grabbed it, studying it he saw no control buttons for the clock on it. He walked up to the TV and kneeled down in front of the VCR for a closer look where he noticed a small tab on the side. Flipping it open to find the elusive time set buttons, turning the TV on to channel four and pressing the time set button he was happy to see the words to set clock press right arrow key flash across the screen. Doing so the first line moved to the flashing 12 where the message to set hour said to press the up or down arrow. John pressed the up arrow until the number 7 appeared then he repeated the procedure for the minutes and the a.m., when he got to the last line which was tape speed he didn't have a clue so left it as it was. John pressed the enter key to program the time not realizing he hit the clear button also, which was right under the enter key.
Once again the blinking 12:00 greeted John" what the Hell" thought John not realizing that he had accidentally cleared it himself. He then proceeded to redo the whole thing again only to have one of the arrow keys stick freezing the clock at 7: and two blinking zeros. At this point he decided to unplug the VCR and start over again. Determined to give it one more try. How hard could it be for crying out loud, it's a stupid piece of metal and plastic, John thought as in his mind he prepared to do battle with it. The third time was almost the charm when the enter key stuck leaving a correct time blinking unable to finish the task. John contemplated going to the Impala and getting his shot gun when he heard two sets of light footsteps coming his way.

Sam walked in the living room Dean right behind him "morning Dad, both boys chimed. Sammy then excitedly saying, "Pastor Jim told us to help you while he gets breakfast ready." Reaching over to hug both boys John smothered a smile as Dean tried to dodge the embrace. After hugging both boys John once again focused on the VCR that was becoming the bane of his existence. "Dad we fixed the clock that's in our room already is there anything else you want us to do" Dean asked.

"Well I pretty much have the living room taken care of John asked?" John had to think quickly if he wanted to distract the boys, Sam especially, from noticing the blinking clock and commenting on it or worse being able to set it. "So why don't you two go wash up for breakfast and I'll go see if it's done or if Jim needs anything else done.

"Dad we already washed up" Sam rather whiningly informed him. Stepping on his brothers foot Dean spoke up "Dad can we see if anything is on T.V. to watch while we wait on breakfast?" Sam taking the hint from Dean added "please can we Dad?" and quit the whining tone and looked up at John with his puppy dog eyes.

John considered this, while he didn't want the boys to see the VCR he could see no real way he could refuse without them both of them asking a lot of questions. "Alright but when Jim or I call you for breakfast you better come running." Leaving his sons to find something to watch John went back to the kitchen where the smell of eggs and sausage hung heavily in the air. "Jim I think the storm might have done something to your VCR I couldn't get it to set the time."

"Half listening to John as he finished up the eggs and put them on a plate Jim suddenly remembered what he wanted to tell John earlier. "Ah yes about that, one of my parishioners gave it to me and I've had problems setting the clock since the first time it was hooked up, sorry about that."

John glared at his friend for a moment then broke into a rare grin. "At least if it's giving you problems I know it's not possessed or it's me." "Possessed are you serious, Jim starting to laugh then thought a second, then" you may have a point there." "Give me five more minutes them we can call the boys to come eat. And while you wait how about you set the table and pour juice and coffee.

As John and Jim finished up breakfast preparations Sam and Dean settled on the couch to watch cartoons and laugh about their dad and the VCR. They had seen a little more the John had realized, they could be quiet too, and they had seen John get annoyed then surrender. Sam looked at Dean and despite having had his foot stomped grinned "poor dad I don't think Pastor Jim told him that it doesn't work right" said Dean indicating the blinking VCR clock. "Do you remember last time we were here, we watch from the hall as Pastor Jim tried to set it laughed Dean as he remembered. "

Yea I think he could have taught Dad and Uncle Bobby a few new words" Sam recalled. Sam smirked as he remembered all the Latin and English words Jim had uttered under his breathe and out loud not realizing he and Dean were in hearing range. "I'd never seen him so mad at an object before."

" Hey Sam, want to see if we can get it, asked Dean, thinking for a minute Sam agreed "ok but only once I don't want to miss breakfast." Both boys knelt on the floor and Dean flipped open the control panel door. Sam pressed time set and the boys carefully pressed the arrow for the hour, then repeated it for the minutes and even the speed, carefully pressing enter holding their breathe as the correct time stayed on the VCR. "Do you think Dad or Pastor Jim will notice that it's right now Sam asked Dean, maybe but I bet they won't say anything so neither are we understand Sammy."

As Jim finished cooking he stopped and listened for a minute. "Now what" asked John seeing how Jim had stood still and seemed to be listening for something. "Nothing it just that the boys are being awfully quiet" Jim remarked wryly.

Realizing Jim was right John was immediately suspicious. "Let's go get them instead of calling them, suggested John so we can see what they're up to, thinking of several things they could be up to.

"You mean spy on your own kids, Jim accused while laughing and thinking himself that the boys must be very stealthy for neither John nor himself to have heard them.

How else am I supposed to keep ahead of them" John threw back as he walked toward the living room Jim at his heels.
Moving silently Jim and John made their way into the living room in time to see Dean and Sam finish up setting the VCR then scurry back to the couch. John spoke up" Boys breakfast is ready get into the kitchen and sits down. Yes sir" the boys chimed together and walking ahead of their father as the four of them headed toward the smell of food. Looking at the VCR with twin evil glares Jim and John then looked at each other for a half second with a straight face before cracking up. "As I see it we have two choices Jim decided out loud, we can either pretend not to notice that the clock's set and hope the boys won't say anything, or we say something and remind the boys that they showed us up. I go for choice one decided John, if we don't say anything I don't think the boys will say anything either. Come on if we want any breakfast we had better hurry up and get back to the kitchen.
In the kitchen Dean made sure that Sam was sitting at the table quietly as the waited for John and Jim to return. Sam reached for the plate containing pancakes only to have Dean stop him. "Sam just wait for dad and Pastor Jim gets here then we'll all eat together, Sam being hungry and therefore a little cranky demanded to know what was taking them so long. I don't know so just sit there drink your juice and shut up" Dean ordered. Dean had a sudden thought and snickered even as he thought quickly, it was possible that his dad and Jim had seen more then the two of them sitting on the couch. " Sam remember what I said about not saying a word about the VCR when Dad and Pastor Jim get in here, Sam nodded but then asked wouldn't they be happy that it's working? Maybe but do you remember the toaster at Uncle Bobby's and how Dad had problems with it? You mean when the toast kept coming up burnt no matter how Dad set the little knob, and then you turned it just right by accident? Nodding Dean continued do you also remember how cross and annoyed he was for a little bit, this is pretty much the same thing."

So even though it was only luck both times it makes it look like we're trying to show Dad and Pastor Jim up Sam concluded. Exactly, said Dean so unless they ask us outright we're going to play innocent." As John and Jim walked in Dean and Sam were sitting down and quietly talking about what they wanted to do and what their dad would make them do.
After John and Jim sat down everyone bowed their head and Jim asked the blessing for what they were about to eat. After the amen John reached for the plate of pancakes, took two and passed the plate on around the table and that started the rest of the food going. As John looked at his sons as they ate he thought about how much he loved them, and how much they also drove him crazy. As John finished his breakfast he looked around and realized how lucky he was to have both his sons and friends like Jim in his life.

Thanks again Kim.