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May Robinson [userpic]

Fic Completed: Armistice (ch 9 of 9)

August 26th, 2007 (03:58 pm)
how i am: accomplished
accompanied by: Streetheart, cover - Under My Thumb

Summary: Pre-series. A hunt gone terribly wrong prompts John's first trip to Stanford. Dean's hurt and hurting, father and son angst ensues. Chapter 9 of 9.
Rating: T (PG-13), language.
Pairing: None, Gen, Dean and John Winchester
Spoilers: None, but for John's quote from "In My Time of Dying" shown below.
Notes: This story was first posted to ff.net between June and July and, now that I have discovered the wonderful world of lj SPN fic (thanks to gatorpez), I've posted it here. Kudos to Jennie and  heather03nmgfor graciously helping out in their areas of expertise and to BEKi for the kick in the butt that spurred this story toward "better". Huge glops of gratitude go to big_pinkwho wisely agreed that betaing Armistice while commencing her outstanding Fire in the Hole probably wasn't a very good idea (g). Don't think I won't be bugging you once again for another beta though! And finally, to Penny, my longtime beta-extraordinaire… thanks so much for pinch-hitting. I knew spending time with the Winchesters would make it all worthwhile.   
Disclaimers: See my profile page.
by May Robinson

"I’ve made some mistakes. But I’ve always done the best I could." In My Time of Dying, episode 2.01

Chapter 9 - Armistice

John made a quick visual sweep of the cabin before closing it up for good. Throwing his weapons bag over his shoulder, he ambled over to the Impala, opened the trunk and loaded the duffel inside. Taking in a deep breath of fresh ocean air, John smiled to himself, more content than he'd been in months.

So much for money not buying happiness.

Okay, so the beachfront cottage had been one hell of an indulgence, way out of the Winchesters' usual league. But Dean needed some honest to God decent rest and a fleabag motel just wasn't going to cut it this time. So, John Wyman's American Express card got another workout and father and son got soft sheets and firm mattresses for a change, satellite TV, an internet connection (for their newly acquired laptop) and, oh yeah, a floor-to-ceiling view of the Pacific Ocean.

After Dean had admitted his subterfuge and that an actual meeting with Sam hadn't been in the cards, the two of them had stayed only about twenty minutes longer at Stanford. They'd watched the party's goings on in muted contemplation, Dean giving the occasional commentary on this geek or that jock, or whether this blonde's or that brunette's breasts were real. He was certain Jessica's were home grown -- John adamantly refused to speculate.

Eventually Dean had gotten quiet, and then his head grew heavy against John's neck and shoulder and that was when John had decided it was time to hit the road.

Without waking Dean, he'd managed to lay him down, his head resting on the pillow next to John once again. The blanket only up to his waist since, despite the shade, the car had warmed up considerably while he'd kept it idling so long. John had intended to pull out then but found it impossible to drive away, to leave Sammy behind. Instead, he'd continued to watch as Sam interacted with his friends, always with Jessica's hand in his, and John had felt both pain and pride. Wishing Mary could have been there to see her baby boy, happy and so obviously in love. If not for the comforting steady rise and fall of Dean's chest beneath his palm, the loss John had felt at that moment would have damn near crippled him.

Fate, or rather a resounding chant for "beer, more beer" intervened though and Sam and a considerably shorter and stockier friend had disappeared through the nearest door to the residence. Shaking off his hypocritical consternation over underage drinking - hell, Sam was just shy of twenty-one, not to mention Dean had been downing beers in pool halls with his old man by the time he was seventeen - John had forced himself to leave. Maneuvering out of the parking space and shifting into drive before allowing himself time to reconsider. Never once looking in the rearview. After all, he and Dean would be back this way again.

Decision already made, John had driven south. Even though Dean had been in dire need of a proper bed, staying in Palo Alto would have felt like picking at an open sore, so John had decided the ninety minutes to Monterey would be their destination. Figuring Dean would get a kick out of its historical importance - that being the legendary rock festival and not its significance during the Mexican-American war - John had been right. Dean had fallen for Monterey. Its pop-culture history combined with the recuperative properties of the ocean air and their peaceful surroundings, not to mention that all important satellite television, all had helped Dean to finally start bouncing back from his concussion.

After Dr. Rowe's imposed additional 24-hour concussion watch had ended, John had ordered Dean to sleep. Typically, his kid had attacked the command with gusto, sleeping straight through for a good sixteen hours. Or thereabouts. John had eventually succumbed to his own fatigue and had woken up a short while after Dean, or so he'd been told.

Dean had spent another day confined to the cottage, though he'd watched TV - a big screen one, much to his delight - from the couch, not the bed. He'd gotten better at sitting up, hadn't needed a ton of support but even now vertigo was still an issue and his head simply felt better having something soft to lean it against.

By the next day, he'd been twitchy - or, more aptly, bitchy - so John had slung an arm around Dean's neck and they'd gone for the first of many walks along the shore. Dean was still tiring quickly and, yeah, so, maybe John's grip that first time out had been excessive the closer they got to the water. What could he say. . . post-concussive vertigo mixed with boardwalks, boulders and high tide made him a little antsy. So sue him.

They'd picked out a couple of those boulders to climb and plant their asses on and, given the fact that his vision still wasn't quite right, Dean probably did overdo with the binoculars. Still, he was relaxed and recovering and since they'd soon be facing a two thousand mile drive, John had allowed it. Hell, he'd enjoyed it. Couldn't remember the last time he'd spent this much time with either of his boys when a hunt wasn't involved.

John had to admit he was itching to get back to the hunt. But Dean was still on the disabled list and needed more time to recover. John wasn't about to deny him that nor abandon him to the call of the hunt. After nearly losing him to Wellington's ghost, he sure as hell wasn't going to beat himself up for enjoying a little quality time. Fact was, it was long overdue.

It was time to get the hell out of Dodge though. Lay John and Dean Wyman's credit cards to rest. John was ready, the Impala packed and all he needed was his co-pilot. He thought about laying on the horn but, in the middle of all this placid nature, it somehow just seemed wrong. He knew where he'd find Dean anyway.

Making his way over to their boulders, John muffled the urge to give Dean shit for climbing up the steepest one on his own. Though he couldn't honestly say at this point whether his motivation was actually worry for Dean or for his own forty-nine year old knees.

Practically hop-scotching his way over to his son, there was no need to announce his arrival as he scrabbled his way over to perch next to Dean. Immediately handing his binoculars to his father, Dean's only greeting was, "Here, look," as he pointed out over the water. "Max out your range. Between one and two o'clock."

Following Dean's instructions, it only took John a second or two to zero in on the pod. The whales were far off but, even at a distance there was no doubt in John's mind what he was looking at. "Orcas," he whispered, and then cleared his throat, embarrassed at the awe he'd heard coming from his own lips.

"Not too shabby, Captain Nolan," Dean replied, laughter in his voice. "Whale Watch says they've been around since Saturday. Finally found 'em."

John turned to Dean then, handing over the binoculars, his son's enthusiasm every bit as enticing as watching a group of Killer Whales. Dean's color was back -- finally. Admittedly, the winds were so brisk at times John could probably put that down to wind burn. But he didn't believe it. Not for a minute. This furlough had done them both a world of good. It may well have been too risky to fuck around with credit card fraud in a place like this - hence why they were about to hightail it - but John had no regrets.

Aside from having to put a premature end to nature boy's whale watching.

"We ready to rock?" Dean suddenly asked, lowering the binoculars and proving once again that he had a sixth sense when it came to his father's thoughts.

Using his boots and butt, John quickly shinnied his way off of the boulder and then turned back to help Dean. Feeling regretful about cutting their last day in Monterey short, that sentiment came through as he answered, "'Fraid so, dude."

Dean just shrugged, packed the binoculars into the case hanging from his neck, then leaned down to grip the hands reaching up for him. They'd done this a few times now; Dean's balance still not what it should have been and getting on the boulder was a hell of a lot easier than the dismount. And every time, John was struck by the memory of another, still brimming with innocence. . .

"Daddy, I climbed too high." Not yet five and already a daredevil and John, panicked heart slamming against his chest, not yet the man who'd turn misfortune into a training exercise but rather one freely giving of hugs and kisses, reaching up with trembling arms, "'S okay, tiger. Grab on, Daddy won't let you fall. . ."

Sliding off the big rock now, Dean landed in John's ready grasp and the two of them stood there a minute clinging to each other until Dean's knees locked into place and his equilibrium finally accepted the fact that the only things actually moving in his periphery were the Pacific's waves crashing against the shore.

"Okay, I'm good," Dean declared, still looking a little too unsteady for John's liking.

"You sure?"

"Yeah, thanks," was his reply, though letting go any time soon didn't appear to be in the kid's plans.

Despite John's reservations, he ushered Dean forward anyway. Under John's arm and held close, no way would John let his boy fall. It wasn't until minutes later, when they'd navigated the rocky shore and found themselves on level ground, that John relinquished his hold. Opting to keep Dean's pace though, walking next to him, their shoulders nearly touching.

The newly washed and waxed Impala sat waiting for them in the parking lot, glistening under the sun in all its sleek black glory. "Ah, baby, not yet," Dean said longingly and John damn near expected the Chevy to sigh its own disappointment. It had gone unspoken that the kid wasn't yet ready to drive. John had to admit, even though he still loved driving the Impala, he'd have been more than happy to relinquish the wheel.

John had already opened the driver's door before noticing that Dean wasn't yet making any effort to climb into his side. Dean just stood there, casually leaning against the sedan, his hands clasped together on the Impala's roof as he seemingly took in the sights and scenery all around them. Taking it all in one last time. God knew their next stop would more than likely be a dive.


"Where we headed?" He abruptly asked, deflecting John's concern.

"Jim's again. Pick up the truck. Figure we can hole up there for a while," John responded then added, pointedly, "You're still on the D.L."

"I'm all right, Dad."

John didn't like the defensiveness and guilt creeping into Dean's voice. "You're not arguing with me, are you?" His tone holding as much teasing humor in it as it did warning.

"No, sir. Not me." The feigned innocence was downright comical. Just the response John had been aiming for.

"Good. Besides, Jim and I need to have a little talk," he added ominously.

A smirk played across Dean's features and John was glad to see it. "You planning on giving him a blast of shit?"

Climbing into the seat, John chuckled at that perceptiveness again. John was sure he'd vowed only to himself that Jim Murphy was going to take his share of heat over the debacle that had been the Wellington hunt. "Oh, yeah. You can count on it," he smiled grimly. Hell, John had no qualms whatsoever about placing blame where it belonged. Dean's insight was only half right this time though. "I've got a lot of things to say to him," John continued, sharing a conspiratorial smile with Dean as he joined his father inside the car, quietly adding, just as they both slammed the doors closed, "Maybe even thanks."

"Come again?"

Firing up the engine, John chose not to respond, instead turning to ask Dean, "You wanna take seventeen north or one-fifty-six east?" He was giving Dean the option to drive by Stanford again if he wanted to.

Dean didn't answer immediately. Not with words anyway. His eyes were telling a different story though, reflecting gratitude and, dare John think it, the admiration and devotion he used to always wear on his sleeve before Sammy left. A moment later, as he answered the unspoken real question, the corners of Dean's mouth quirked up then broke into a grin. "Nah, we don't need to draw any attention to the car again this soon. Besides, he's probably naked and plastered in Malibu by now."

John winced. He so did not want to go there.

"You sure?" John asked, changing the subject. Wanting to ensure that Dean knew his offer was genuine. "We're not on the clock."

"Yeah." Another smile appeared, softer this time. "Next time though, huh?"

John mirrored Dean's smile with one of his own. "Sure." Nodding to Dean and to himself, he promised, "Count on it."

Twenty minutes later, driving east on one-fifty-six, fingers tapping the steering wheel in time with Up Around the Bend, John heard the telltale slide of weighted fabric against leather. Then felt the heavy thud of Dean's head against his shoulder, the Impala's tranquilizing abilities having worked their magic once again. Unable to contain another grin, John shifted slightly, raising his arm and gently pulling Dean in under it, snug against his side. Kid was going to be embarrassed as hell when he woke up like this.

Not to mention the cricks and kinks they'd likely both end up with.

Tempted to wake Dean, one look at that peaceful face stopped him cold. Dean was looking so much younger these days. Or maybe, without Sammy around to compare him to, John was just finally opening his eyes to what had been there all along. Either way, he decided against disturbing his son's sleep. What was a little muscle strain and stiffness in the grand scheme of things anyway?

With that in mind, John awkwardly reached over to turn CCR down; changing his mind the moment the distinctive opening riff of Sweet Child o' Mine reached his ears. Though John found himself generally and quite contentedly mired in late sixties and seventies rock, it had been a teenage Dean who'd introduced Guns N' Roses to his at first skeptical, then appreciative father.

Listening to the lyrics now and looking down once more at that youthful face, John couldn't help but shake his head and chuckle at the irony of Sister Carol's words back at the hospital. And think about the bittersweet memories the song and the image of a youthful, sleeping Dean evoked. . . taking him away to that special place, if he stared too long, he knew he'd break down and cry.

Okay, he had to admit that the whole premise of the song was wrong but, thinking about this last week or so spent with his kid - first hating to look into those pain-filled eyes and then spending these last few utterly enjoyable days of downtime in Monterey, where everything damn near did feel as fresh as the bright blue sky - somehow the song still fit. And knowing that Dean could sleep through a bomb blast right now and not even twitch, instead of turning the radio down, John turned it up just slightly, let his arm drape around Dean again and quietly sang along.

After all, Sammy was safe and happy and Dean was at his father's side, beginning to heal in every sense of the word. What better reasons could John ever have?


July, 2007


Additional notes: Lyrics to Sweet Child o' Mine have been borrowed without the permission of Messrs Rose, Slash, Stradlin and Adler. The song was reputedly written in 1987 as a love-song for Erin Everly, Axl Rose's then future wife. Still, the words always make me think of tragic sons and tortured heroes such as Johnny Lancer and Dean Winchester and, in the case of Dean, I can't imagine John thinking otherwise whenever it came on the radio.

Kudos to anyone who recognized "Captain Nolan", Richard Harris' character in "Orca". I had to use IMDb to look him up. Dean would remember though, I'm sure of it ;-).

Thanks so much to all the readers who have been so supportive of my first multi-chapter Supernatural story. 

Back to Ch 1   Ch 2   Ch 3   Ch 4   Ch 5   Ch 6   Ch 7   Ch 8

Cross-posted to:

Posted Nov. '07 to:


Page 1 of 2[1][2]
Posted by: gatorpez (gatorpez)
Posted at: August 26th, 2007 08:27 pm (UTC)

I loved your Mag7 fics, so I'm *really* happy that you're now writing in the Supernatural fandom! I can't wait to read more!

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: August 26th, 2007 08:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Armistice
Burgundy Dean

Hey, there! My first lj message from you! LOVE your icon!

Thanks for the cheerleading, girl. Hopefully the muse will smack me with something new to write real soon.

Posted by: Late Night Drops of Random (moondropz)
Posted at: August 26th, 2007 08:46 pm (UTC)
Ackles glee!

*Sighs* That was awesome in every sense of the word! But I'm sad now-lol. It's the end ;-( But I have a very good feeling that there will be many more exceptional stories from you-and that fills me with glee!

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: August 26th, 2007 08:57 pm (UTC)

I definitely want to thank you for going along on this ride with me and bringing such enthusiasm for the story. I'm very fortunate that the story was received so well over at ff.net and hope I get the same reaction over here. Your wonderful feedback is certainly encouraging but please feel free to spread the word (g).

I'm feeling a little drained posting so much of it today (my computer room is too damn hot!) so I still don't have the energy to load it to the comms but will get started on that soon. Thanks one more time for your enthusiasm!

Posted by: Late Night Drops of Random (moondropz)
Posted at: August 26th, 2007 09:03 pm (UTC)

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: August 26th, 2007 10:40 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Late Night Drops of Random (moondropz)
Posted at: August 26th, 2007 11:04 pm (UTC)

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: August 26th, 2007 11:36 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Late Night Drops of Random (moondropz)
Posted at: August 26th, 2007 11:57 pm (UTC)

Posted by: kunju (innie_darling)
Posted at: August 27th, 2007 01:52 am (UTC)
dean is a man of sorrow

That was wonderful - a real treat to get to see John figuring out a little about Dean and trying to change his own behavior accordingly.

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: August 27th, 2007 02:02 am (UTC)
Burgundy Dean

Thank-you! I always had the feeling that Dean and John would have been very much in sync as working partners and wanted to show this but also show the independence that Dean would have had to project to his father in order for John to willingly let Dean go out on hunts on his own after Sam left them. That they love each other deeply I think is a given but I wanted to explore that as well (obviously ). Thanks so much for reading and taking a moment to let me know you enjoyed the story.

Posted by: An accidental stillness (iamthedirtgirl)
Posted at: August 27th, 2007 10:59 am (UTC)

Hi, I just found this fic, and I've been reading through it over the weekend. I have to tell you that I think this is such a beautiful story. I started thinking I was gonna just get some really nice hurtdean and instead found a gem of a story about fathers and sons and the love they have and the things they're willing to do. I adore how you've portrayed John in this, he's so human. I think you really nailed what I think they tried on the show to indicate the character to be like and how he felt about his kids. I love his discoveries of Dean and what he needs. It was incredible to read him knowing his kid so well and knowing Dean so well, I've always believed it was like that, and so it made it all the more touching when Dean's emotions were out of control so severely and John did his best to protect Dean and make him feel safe while helping to let the kid have his dignity both with his father and around the hospital staff. The interaction was so realistic and then the trip to stanford. It makes me laugh a bit that, since Dean needed to recuperate so badly that they didn't just let him finish getting well and then go when Dean was well enough to handle the drive safely and Sam was back from spring break, but it was such an urgent thing, Dean had hit his point of needing to see Sam and it couldn't wait any longer and that John respected that need acknowlegded in his mind that Sam was Dean's son just as much as he was John's. This was just all so incredibly layered and sweet and absorbing and of course, full of Dean hurt so awesome job! I'm saving this to my memories and I'm so glad you're sharing your work over here at lj, I go to ff.net but it's kinda daunting and hard to tell what's going to be good and what isn't and I look forward to reading anything else in the spn fandom you write and I hope that's a lot of multi chaptered angsty, hurty goodness. Maybe have em on a hunt next time and beat the crap out of everybody...c'mon you know you want to. *grins* Sorry I didn't leave feedback on the actual individual chapters. Usually I do like to leave feedback on all chapters and really talk about all the cool stuff you've brought up, but this story sucked me in and I didn't want to stop except for when I had to actually step away from the computer. Welcome here, I'm gonna route around in your Mag seven stuff cause I never did join the fandom but I have a few friends who did and would point me to good fics and I'm excited to see what you've written since I love the show and really like your writing.Thanks for the hard work and for sharing it with us. *hugs*

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: August 28th, 2007 12:13 am (UTC)
Dad Dean

Wow, what lovely, thoughtful feedback. Thank-you! I'm so happy you enjoyed my portrayal of John. "Human" John is truly who I aim to represent and it's such a relief when feedback such as yours validates my efforts.

I think you hit the nail on the head in terms of Dean's urgent need to see Sam and, though it's possible they could have waited for Sam's return, I honestly couldn't see either of them sitting idly and waiting once Dean started becoming more mobile. Which is one reason I was comfortable writing the urgent timing. Dean needed to see Sam NOW and knew the longer he waited, the more likely it would be that it wouldn't happen at all. If nothing else, he and John have to keep moving to stay ahead of the credit card fraud. I'm glad this plot-point seemed plausible to you.

Regarding my mag7 fic, it was recently drawn to my attention that a number of my links aren't working. I'm not my own webmaster and haven't even mentioned the issue to my friend who archives the stories for me. However, for those links you may wish to check out but can't access, you can also find those stories under the name May Robinson at the following site:
Apparently my email link is also dead so, if you do have any feedback, I'd love to hear from you over here.

I haven't started anything new yet in terms of a SPN story but, never fear, an emotionally and/or physically hurt Dean will always be in the equation (g). In the mean time, if you haven't checked out my first fic "All Told" posted here on my lj, please do. The response to it was very positive so I think you'd enjoy it. Thanks again for taking the time to read my story and to send such lovely feedback!

Posted by: An accidental stillness (iamthedirtgirl)
Posted at: August 28th, 2007 03:56 pm (UTC)

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: August 29th, 2007 03:24 am (UTC)

Posted by: Invisible Friend (el1ie)
Posted at: August 27th, 2007 03:11 pm (UTC)



Well you can tell I don't really know what to say about this can't you? *G*

I had a pretty good idea from your last short story that I was going to love it, so waited for you to get it all posted then sat down and indulged myself, greedy cow that I am!

I loved it, let's get that out of the way first and foremost.

I really appreciated the time you took with this one. So many times potential serious injuries are rushed I find, the logical progression of this made perfect sense to me and the flow of the story felt fuller and more accomplished from the details of the injury and the care that needed to be taken.

Over the top of all this though you layered the wonderful complex relationships of the Winchester family. I loved the way you drew the differences between the John/Sam, John/Dean, Dean/Sam interactions and yet still made the connections between all three. Yeah, Sam was right there through this story, neither John nor Dean would be the characters they are without Sam and I really loved his presence in John's head and Dean's heart.

You had some lovely moments of humour in here and I can't help but think that there were plenty of fun times for the Winchester boys growing up but this wasn't one of those times and yet still the hints of those memories seep through and that was a really nice touch.

Lots of touches back to the canon that we do know about John gave a reality to this story and his inner thoughts about both his boys, his regrets and his promises and his temper that allows him to forget those promises were very realistic. I loved your John, a father with flaws and overwhelming love and protection for his sons was a delight to read.

Best parts I think were the times when John and Dean were so much on the same page that they were channelling each other's thoughts and similarly reflecting that all three share this quality only on different planes and never seemingly on the same wavelength nine times out of ten - but that tenth? Wow, it was so sad at times to read how wrong things can turn out when you don't pay attention.

The nun Carol? was a lovely touch and made a great fun scene in the hospital that tumbled well into another gap between John and Dean and then you linked back to her at the end and that tucked the story up all nice and neat. I loved the last couple of chapters and the way John and Dean reconciled seeing Sam with a change in the future of their own strained relationship and the promise of trying to make things better.

Loved most of all that the Winchester code of silence is still strong here, no way are either of them going to say something out loud when making the other guess and strive for the answer is more fitting. Hah! BOYS!

Thanks so much for posting this over here, I really enjoyed this one...

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: August 28th, 2007 01:03 am (UTC)
Mumpy Icon-Trunk

Hi, el1ie and thanks so very much for taking the time to send such thoughtful and thought-provoking feedback. I'm thrilled you enjoyed the story, had hoped that after All Told, this wouldn't be a disappointment.

I confess that I had a certain reluctance to portray the concussion as "realistic" as I did - didn't want to have to deal with IVs, O2, etc. I'm glad I was convinced otherwise because, ultimately, I do believe this realism added to the quality of the story. I certainly don't regret it!

You're so right about that one time in 10. I genuinely feel that, for individuals who feel as deeply and passionately as both John and Dean do, working so closely for so long would put them very much in sync with each other. And to not be in sync would be dramatic and painfully difficult for them both. Sam's leaving would clearly impact heavily on both men.

I'm glad you enjoyed Sister Carol's part in the story and the added bits of humour, also. It's not my forte but, in trying to stay in character, these moments came fairly easily, which was a blessing.

I had to leave the story on a positive note, without it being roses and sunshine obviously but God, Dean suffered so much in season 2, I wanted both him and his father to have a little peace... if only for a while. And since I felt there must have been a time of acceptance, at some point after Sam left, where John's mind and heart were at ease enough to be able to brag about his son's schooling. And, at the same time, placed Dean in enough of a comfort zone so that he could resist calling Sam for 2 or more years and work side by side with his dad and become the independent young man his dad would trust and feel secure in having him hunt on his own. For me, this is the story of that transition.

Thank-you so much again for your enthusiasm. Feedback like this is golden!

Posted by: kj_svala (kj_svala)
Posted at: September 9th, 2007 09:16 pm (UTC)

Hello, my 1st reply on one of your storys, actually,the first I read. I can not give you that much detail feedback as other, english is not my 1st language.
But I can tell you, I love this. I love how you portait, both John and Dean. I`m sure after this, John knows a lot more about his oldest son than he did before.
Dean was so Dean for me in this one. Putting everything else over his own well being, as always. He is so desparate when it comes with his family, he is willing to do anything.
I think John never understood how close Dean actually was with Sam, how much it had hurt Dean to be always smack in the middle when these two started to fight again. And John never understood how much Dean missed Sam.
I also never got why Sam didn `t answer Deans calls. I mean, Sam left because he wanted to live his own life, to go to school aso, and he left after a huge fight with John. But this is not Dean fault. I think if Sam would not have left his brother behind like he did, Dean would have never felt the need to act like you described in this story.

I have to thank you for this story, again. Consider it saved forever.

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: September 10th, 2007 02:18 am (UTC)
Dad Dean

Thank-you so much for taking the time to write in and your English is terrific, so no need to worry :). I'm very glad you enjoyed this story and how the relationships were portrayed.

Thanks again!

Posted by: saberivojo (saberivojo)
Posted at: September 11th, 2007 12:05 am (UTC)

What a great story. I think it is cool that Dean manipulated John just to see Sam. It is funny that both Dean and John realize that Dean's injuries would only drive the wedge deeper between John and Sam.

I love the image of Dean driving in the car with his head resting on John's lap as he slept, and again at the end with John snugging Dean up against him in the car.

Great job on Dean and John's voice. To me that can make or break a fic, and this seems pretty true to what I imagine them to be.

May I friend? I would love to read more! Thanks.

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: September 12th, 2007 03:08 am (UTC)
Dad Dean

Thank-you! Your feedback regarding their "voices" is the most rewarding since characterization is of utmost importance to me (clearly, my stories aren't overly plot-driven LOL). I'm so happy you enjoyed the story and please feel free to friend me. Thanks again!

Posted by: ange (kavousi)
Posted at: September 15th, 2007 09:24 am (UTC)

That was epic and so beautiful! Your characterizations were so real and avoided the usual, way too simplistic and false, bad dad John stuff. Just amazing!

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: September 15th, 2007 10:12 pm (UTC)

I can't thank you enough for your feedback. Signing on this morning and seeing your gorgeous icon just started off my day with a grin and a bang (and maybe a touch of drool, too)!! What a super picture of the man :)

I'm delighted that you enjoyed my characterizations and I solemnly swear that I will never write John in a "bad dad" manner. Considering the extraordinary circumstances he found himself and his children in, I think he managed to raise two fine young men. He's definitely flawed but very, very real in my eyes and I hope my stories do him justice. If you haven't read it already, I'd love for you to read "All Told" posted 7/19 on my lj site at http://may7fic.livejournal.com/933.html#cutid1. It's a Tall Tales one-shot tag but, even though John's not there, the story is truly an ode to a father who loved his boys dearly. I think you might like it ;).

Thanks for giving Armistice a try and for taking the time to comment.

Posted by: ange (kavousi)
Posted at: September 16th, 2007 12:59 pm (UTC)

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: September 17th, 2007 07:35 pm (UTC)

Posted by: ange (kavousi)
Posted at: September 17th, 2007 09:15 pm (UTC)

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: September 18th, 2007 12:49 am (UTC)

Posted by: ange (kavousi)
Posted at: September 18th, 2007 02:26 am (UTC)

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: September 18th, 2007 02:50 am (UTC)

Posted by: Killing threads since 2000 CE (gwendolyngrace)
Posted at: September 17th, 2007 06:15 pm (UTC)
John by agent00

Yay for singing Papa Winchester! I love the balance in this between them - John learning to accept Dean as an adult but still feeling paternal toward a child... the line about smoothing circles on Dean's chest and how offering that kind of comfort was "like falling off a bike," just that he didn't get to do it often anymore kinda broke me.

And Dean - consumed by wanting to see Sam, which John interprets as talking to Sam! Yay. And how he had already had hunters check up on Sam when in the area and report back to him... so very, very John.

Oh, boys. Much love for this excellent study in the dynamic during Sam's Stanford period. (My only quibble is that I believe Jessica is supposed to be a year younger than Sam? So wouldn't she not be a student yet (unless she skipped a year, which is possible)? It's minor, though - I only ask because I started a Sam'n'Jess fic to practice my Sammy voice and had to revise so they would not be in the same year.)

Still, love Papa Winchester givin' Dean some healin comfort. Woot!

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: September 17th, 2007 07:16 pm (UTC)
Bros on set

Can't help but enjoy John giving comfort - or at least I can't (g)!

I'm so pleased you enjoyed the story and its study of the father/son dynamics of the wonderful Winchesters. They are truly fascinating to me, as well as being damn gorgeous and irresistible:).

Interesting that you brought up Jess' age and it's certainly a valid point. Since I chose to use the "Sam's been gone 2 years" premise though, that actually places both he and Jessica as slightly older than the average out-of-highschooler in this story (assuming Jess is a freshman and not in 2nd year), so that's how I was able to bring her onto the scene. Even though it defies logic (as does every monster/entity they encounter, afterall), I tend to lean toward the "gone 2 years" concept. Having said that, if a story I write works better using "Sam's been gone 4 years", I won't hesitate to use it. Thanks to Kripke and crew, neither are set in stone so that's a sandbox we can play in as we choose ;-)

Thanks for reading and I truly appreciate you taking the time to write in.

Posted by: All hurt, no comfort (big_pink)
Posted at: September 23rd, 2007 03:44 pm (UTC)

Hey, lookit! I actually finished a fic! It's a miracle!! So nice to tuck this one alongside my one take on the same timeframe and, yes, I think I needed to finish mine before reading this. We write a different John, and as we've talked about, that's a-ok.

You which bit I loved the most, though? The Monterey stint! It's so quiet and nice. I think that the whole part of the hunting life after Sam left and before the series commenced is ripe for exploration. After the initial shock of Sam not being there, and working through whatever an author feels that the guys must have gone through, I like to think there was a kinda...nice...or at least somewhat stable time with Dean and his father.

I think, generally, that John is a hard man, and his interactions with his sons bordering on the abusive -- but there has to be more, because I don't think Dean loves him blindly.

Bravo! More soon?

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: September 25th, 2007 12:32 am (UTC)

Hey, girl, so glad you were able to find the time to read this and I'm glad you got something out of it :).

I so love your portrayal of John and thoroughly believe it when I read it so I don't know if we see him all that differently, rather we just tend to grasp onto the parts of canon we choose to explore more in our stories. I pick the easy-praise giving John from DMB and you pick the ass from DMB who chastises Dean over the state of the Impala, that kind of thing :).

I'm pleased you enjoyed ch 9 and, truthfully, I'm very happy with it as well. I genuinely believe that, after a rocky period of however long, John and Dean would have gone through a lull where they found some peace - where Dean didn't have to play mediator and feel torn apart John didn't have to always be the bad guy/tyrant. Though they both would still have missed Sammy, life would have been easier for a time. I can't imagine otherwise.

And I do have faith in adult Dean's assessment love for and devotion to John. There had to have been good times... times of fun and tenderness and that makes his grief even harder to witness.

Thanks for sending your feedback. I've got nothing SPN down the pike at the moment but Penny and I are very close to concluding our Lancer epic (about 90% is with our beta, already) and, once it's put to bed, s3 of SPN should be in full swing so hopefully some plot-bunnies will strike.

Posted by: phantomas (phantomas)
Posted at: September 23rd, 2007 11:43 pm (UTC)

(here via papawinchester)

Let me first apologise for not having commented on each chapter, but I just didn't want to stop reading :)

Thank you for writing (finally!) an excellent John, a man that loves his sons deeply, even too much, and yet is quite unable to be straightforward about it, thus resolving to jokes and diversions and deflections. I utterly loved his internal monologues about the voices in his head, his sons' and Mary's, and I loved all of the interactions with Dean (and anyone else, at that ;), Dean knowing John so well and easing his way around hard patches. I love that you write a Dean that really desperately needs to see his brother, and yet is NOT the pathetic woobie that some time fanon makes him (a pet peeve of mine), but just a big brother, hurt and confused and really needing to check up on his little brother, because him being away and out of touch is just too fresh, too new, too raw.

I love that you give equal attention to John's feeling as to Dean's. I think you really 'get' John, if I may say so: vulnerable in his own ways, and really, in fact, bad tempered in a way, but so well intentioned in another.

I also loved how you had Sam still very much present, in the story, in the way John has his son's voice/critique of his actions internalized, and in the way John in fact recognise SAm's rebellion for what it is, partly natural, partly his own legacy of temper, partly worry for his own father and brother, exposed to the danger of hunting, all the time.

I loved the image of Sam's laughing, of Jessica there, the image of John and Dean in the Impala, making treasure of that sight, letting it soothe them. I love the Dean tricked John! LOL

There are many funny lines, all throughout the story, interspersed with the more serious/introspective moments. Maybe a hint of purplish prose here and there, (hope you don't mind me saying so), but just a hint.

I truly loved it, and after a couple of years of reading stories (apart from a few exceptions) where John is little more than a brute, and most often just an obstacle between Sam and Dean's love (whether brotherly or otherwise), your story just makes me SO very happy :D
Thank you. This is the caring, trying-to-do-my-best John that I fell head over heels for :)

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: September 25th, 2007 12:05 am (UTC)

Thanks so much for the welcome to papawinchester and for the lovely feedback. I'm so happy you enjoyed my portrayal of John... I can go on and on about how I feel about him but think that this story and "All Told" (my first) pretty much make it clear. Flawed but very human, he's a fascinating character and I wholeheartedly have faith in Dean's love for the man - that John was worthy of it.

Fandom often misses the easy praise he gave his boys in DMB (in favor of his very human but out-of-line chastising of Dean for the Impala's state) just as they dismiss his understanding "it's all right" when Dean apologizes for potentially leading John into Meg's trap in Shadow. They seem to glom onto Sam's early season 1 assessment of their father and Dean's guilt-driven memories of the shtriga incident instead of recognizing the positive things he does/says as well. It's my hope that my stories straddle the line and show John as the multi-layered, complex man I believe him to be.

I had to laugh at your purplish prose comment... I spent much of this weekend working on de-purpling a "Lancer" fic I started almost 2 years ago that has sat for the last year but is now almost complete and in a beta's hands. I confess, I enjoy waxing purple at times and often rely on my betas to rein me in :). So, no offense taken - I'm just glad the majority of the story worked for you.

Thank again so much for taking the time to read the story and for sending such thoughtful feedback.

Posted by: blueeyedgirl_70 (blueeyedgirl_70)
Posted at: October 9th, 2007 11:55 pm (UTC)
by: <lj user = daddy's litt" title="by: daddy's litt" />

This was absolutely wonderful. The way you wrote John and Dean is just so true to how I see them as being. Especially after Sammy left. Dean was always his 'daddy's little boy and later his little soldier' it was wonderful to see them getting back to that time and allowing each other to 'be' that for one another. Dean may be 25 but he still needs his daddy (he still needs him now at 27!) Thanks for writing such a beautiful fic. I'd love to read more.


Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: October 10th, 2007 12:25 am (UTC)
Dad Dean

Thank-you, I'm so glad you enjoyed the story. It always thrills me to know there are other fans who view the John-Dean relationship similarly as I do. I think it's very true that Dean still needs John and I don't think Dean has felt a moment of true security since John died. As much as Sam is there to watch Dean's back, a lifetime of being Sam's protector won't allow him to feel the same kind of safety net with Sam as he had with his dad. It's one of the things that breaks my heart most about John dying.

My only other SPN fic is a one-shot. John's not in it but it's very much a tribute to the man. If you'd like to check it out, you'll find it here:


Thanks so much for reading and for taking the time to let me know you liked my story.

Posted by: Vanzetti (vaznetti)
Posted at: November 3rd, 2007 11:18 pm (UTC)
john is a dork

Hi -- I've had this bookmarked to read for ages, and finally got around to it, and am very glad that I did. I love the way you've written John here -- how much he loves his sons, and how awkward he is about expressing it. I think I especially liked the scene at Stanford, when he sees Sam for the first time, and then when he and Dean are both watching him. Just lovely, and as I say, the characters all felt very right, but especially John.

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: November 4th, 2007 12:35 am (UTC)

Thank-you! I just love John and love to hear from people who feel I've got his characterization right. He's complex and messed up but I do think he gets a bad wrap with a lot of SPN fans.

I really appreciate you taking the time to read this story and for letting me know what you thought of it. I'm so glad it was worth the bookmark ;).

Posted by: Pheebs1 (pheebs1)
Posted at: January 12th, 2008 12:14 am (UTC)
Dean and Sam close up chairs

I think it's completely understandable that Dean just wanted to see Sam was okay for himself. I really felt for both of them there, watching Sam happy.

Tempted to wake Dean, one look at that peaceful face stopped him cold. Dean was looking so much younger these days. Or maybe, without Sammy around to compare him to, John was just finally opening his eyes to what had been there all along. This observation was awesome.

I really enjoyed this story - you kept and held my attention throughout and I was keen to know whether they'd seen Sam (and what would happen) at the end. I like your characterisation of John - very much feels like John to me! Thank you.

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: January 13th, 2008 02:53 am (UTC)
GIF John Grave

I think it's completely understandable that Dean just wanted to see Sam was okay for himself. I really felt for both of them there, watching Sam happy.

Depending on what Sam was doing if Dean had gone on his own, I suspect he would've approached Sam. Particularly if he was on his own. But, given his injuries and understanding of Sam, that option was taken away from him. Being so close though (in proximity and as bros), John was asking too much to expect that Dean wouldn't want to go to Palo Alto. I'm glad you were touched by the 'watching' scene. It was actually pretty tough to write - for me - emotionally.

Thanks for your kind words about John's characterization. He's a wonderfully complex character and I really try to do him justice, without turning him into an unrealistic teddy-bear ;).

Thanks again for giving the story a read. I will definitely check out more of yours!

Edited at 2008-01-13 02:54 am (UTC)

Posted by: colombelle (colombelle)
Posted at: April 8th, 2008 09:15 pm (UTC)
prison brothers

This story really warmed up and broke my heart at the very same time. I reall enjoyed the insight in John's mind and that you didn't portray him as the bad father and loved how you just nailed the characters' voices.

In the end I even found myself wondering whether the two might meet Sam or nor, aware of the fact that this couldn't happen if you'd stick to the things mentioned in the series. Still, I really was in tears when the two arrived at college...

To put it in a nutshell: This was truly awesome!

And I'm so gonna listen to Guns'n'Roses now...

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: April 8th, 2008 11:14 pm (UTC)
Jensen Sepia Smile

Thank-you ever so much for such lovely comments. Feedback like this makes writing these stories so very worthwhile.

It's always a thrill to read that the voices worked and I'm glad you enjoyed my portrayal of John. Though he could act like an ass, I never believed he was one and hoped this story would show both sides. It's heartening to know that you enjoyed my characterization of him, or rather, who I believe him to be.

I truly appreciate you taking the time to both read and send your feedback. Thanks again.

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