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May Robinson [userpic]

Fic: Family, Faith & Certitude (ch 3 of 7)

November 17th, 2007 (08:33 am)

where i am: still home
how i am: peaceful
accompanied by: Butterfly, Jimmy Rankin

Summary: Bobby POV. Dean gets whomped, Sammy gets protective, John gets bad-ass and Bobby gets a shot at setting something right. Hurt/comfort, angst in spades. Chapter 3 of 7 in total.
Rating: PG13, T (harsh language)
Wordcount: approx. 12,000
Pairing/Characters: Genfic, no pairings. Bobby Singer, Dean, Sam & John Winchester
Spoilers: Minor, none beyond 2.22
Disclaimers: See my profile page
A/N: See Chapter 1 for author's notes   
Family, Faith & Certitude
by May Robinson
As fights went, this one was only remarkable in that Halpern actually stayed upright after Dean's first punch. Mind you, he likely would have gone down from the left hook that solidly connected with his ribcage. It was just that the right cross that Dean immediately followed it up with staggered Halpern for a second or two, before gravity finally took over and planted him on his ass on the parking lot's slush covered surface.
Clearly old Dan's daddy never taught him not to drop his left when he was about to take a swing with his right.
Bobby had hold of an elated Sam, not wanting the kid's gloating to rub further salt in Halpern's wounds. Bobby almost felt sorry for the guy. Almost. After all, his wife had just deserted him for a much younger man and Dean had pretty near emasculated him in front of town, God and country without even breaking a sweat.
John and Dean stood shoulder to shoulder ahead of Bobby and Sam, a united front looking down on Halpern, still seated on his ass, his jeans soaking up the lot's filthy snow. Nobody had come to the man's aid, either tired of his bullshit or still wary of the fight. Likely a bit of both.
"Are we done here?" John asked of him, the question purely a courtesy.
Halpern ducked his head, kept it there until finally looking up at both Dean and John. Resignation heavy on his shoulders, reflected in his eyes. "Yeah, we're done. I'm done." Heaving a defeated sigh, he thrust an arm out toward Dean. "Give me a hand up, would ya, kid?"
Dean didn't hesitate, his forgiving nature being what it was, and stepped forward to grasp Halpern's hand.
That Halpern, who was so clearly right-handed in the fight, had reached up with his left must have registered as wrong with John a split second before it did with Bobby. But in that second, as John shouted, "Dean, no!" the panther struck and Bobby watched in horror as Dean was suddenly pulled forward and down, crumpling to the ground as Halpern swung with his right and drove a knife deep into Dean's gut.
Amid the clamor of shocked pandemonium that had broken out once again, Sam screamed his brother's name and scrambled forward dragging an unresisting Bobby along. Both of them dropped to their knees next to John, who held his writhing son across his knees and against his chest. The kid was in a world of pain, crying out, and John was panicked in a way that Bobby had never seen before, pleading with Dean to let go of the wound so that he could take a look. Fast flowing blood was blossoming from beneath pale hands clamped over the wound, and Bobby had to look away from the appalling sight.
Finding a justification for his weakness, he took a look around the parking lot, assessing if there were any further threats. The red-stained knife lay within Bobby's reach, well away from Halpern who had once again been restrained by others and stood about twenty feet away, shoved up against a parked Dodge Ram. Sporting a few extra bruises but seemingly unresisting once again.
"Don't even let him fucking twitch," Bobby yelled over to Halpern's subduers, venom in his voice. Feeling some semblance of control, despite a weak attempt at tuning out Dean's ragged breaths, Bobby called out again. "Has anybody called 9-1-1? We need cops and an ambulance."
"They're both on the way." Somebody shouted back. A few of the onlookers approached, no doubt about to offer their help, but Bobby stopped them in their tracks with a glare. No doctors or nurses had stepped up so he figured John and he were best qualified to look after Dean anyway. He'd ask for help if and when they needed it, but not until then. Neither John nor his boys needed anyone else hovering around, witnessing their pain. Satisfied the authorities were on their way, Bobby returned his focus to Dean, and to see what he could do to help John.
John must have found his bearings again, and had somehow managed to convince or likely order Dean to relinquish his grip on the wound. Covered in too much blood, one of the boy's hands was now being held by Sammy, the youngest Winchester crying silent streams of tears as he hung on like a vice. Dean's other hand rested weakly atop his father's two, pressing a remnant of John's work-shirt firmly against the wound.
"Help's on the way," Bobby informed them, forcing false cheer and equally false confidence out of his throat. "You hear me, John? Help's comin'," Bobby repeated, trying to break through the mantra of, "it's all right, you're gonna be all right," that John was whispering to Dean.
Dean was barely conscious, pale green eyes riveted to his dad's face by sheer will alone, but damn did he look bad. Those eyes were sunk into skin so void of color, even his lips were white, and the boy was sweating despite the chill in the air. Those signs mixed with his rapid breathing meant the kid was going into shock and Bobby quickly removed his jacket and added it to the one John had already wrapped around his son's shoulders.
Whether he was reacting to the help or just now recognizing why it was necessary, John finally acknowledged Bobby's earlier words. Leaning in toward Bobby, as though he could spare Dean from hearing the words, John whispered harshly, "Bobby, we can't wait. I don't know if it hit anything vital but he's still losing too much blood."
If Bobby's heart sank at the grief and desperation threaded through John's words, Sammy's despondent, "Daddy?" nearly did him in. Instead he gathered his wits, shook himself off and decided he'd have to take command.
"Okay, you got it, John. Where're the keys?" While John slid a hand into his pocket and fished out his keys, Bobby placed his palm overtop of the remaining one John had pressed against Dean. Trading off again, Dean cried out from the movement and changes in pressure, and Bobby cringed at the sound, feeling wholly inadequate and apologizing before dangling the keys in front of Sam. "Sam, I need you to go get the car."
"What? No! I gotta stay with Dean."
Bobby understood Sam's resistance, the kid was petrified for his brother. Dean didn't have time for an argument though, so Bobby had to tear a page out of John's book and reluctantly raised his voice. "Sam, I need you to listen to me now, boy," he pressed, wincing at the startled look that played across the boy's face, before adding, "I'm gonna drive you all to the hospital but I need you to go get the car, alright? Let me stay here and help your dad with Dean."
The boy's eyes were still streaming tears and Bobby hated himself at that moment, seeing the reflection of betrayal written all over Sam's face. "But, no--" he practically whimpered. That was John's Sammy, though. Defiant to the end. It was only fitting then that his brother's breathless voice put a stop to it.
"Sammy, go. . . I'll be okay."
"Okay, okay, I'm sorry. I'll go." Unable to say no to his brother, Sam still didn't release his grip from Dean until he'd carefully exchanged Bobby's hand for his. Snatching up the keys, the youngest Winchester took off like a streak. "I'll be right back," drifting back to them as he ran toward the Impala.   
"Always was. . . an excitable. . . little twerp," Dean gasped out, catching both Bobby and John off guard. And though Bobby did choke out a laugh at the kid's completely unexpected levity, what sounded more like a sob escaped from John's lips, only to blend with the strained smile he wore for the kid suffering in his hold.
Recognizing that John needed a minute, and heartened by Dean's relative awareness, Bobby decided he'd keep talking, hoping he'd be able to stave off any further symptoms of shock. "Hey, kid. Looks like I get the honor of drivin' your lady, huh?"
"Just treat her. . . with respect," Dean answered, his willingness to play along a testament to the Winchester stubbornness Bobby vowed he'd never disparage again.
"Don't worry, son," John added, curled over his boy so that their faces were merely inches apart. "I'll keep watch. You know her virtue's always been safe with me."
Dean coughed out a painful laugh, tears leaking from his eyes, but Bobby'd lay odds that John was as relieved as he was that no blood had found its way into Dean's mouth. Any comeback the kid might have made though was forestalled by the sound of four hundred and twenty-seven cubic inches of V8 engine revving for all it was worth.
"Here she comes, sport," John said, reassurance in his tone. Shooting Bobby an anxious glance, he added, "We need to get you upright. You think you can stand with some help?"
Locking eyes with his father, Dean must have found the strength he was looking for and answered with an almost convincing, "Yeah, okay," before clamping his lower lip between his front teeth and weakly reaching up to wrap an arm around his father's neck. Bobby helped him with that effort and, on the count of three, he and John hoisted Dean up on his feet, sandwiched between the two of them.
Despite his best efforts to suppress it, the scream wrenched from Dean's throat was heartrending and Bobby couldn't fault John the tears in his eyes as he asked Bobby to take charge of maintaining pressure on the wound, allowing him the freedom to simply stand there holding onto his son while the kid shuddered in his embrace.
Sammy arrived within seconds and Bobby thanked God for rolled up windows and throaty V8 engines. Sam still looked worried but also relieved to see Dean upright, a fallacy he was more than willing to allow the boy. Jumping out of the car with more energy than Bobby could ever hope to muster, Sam opened all the doors before coming to stand next to their huddled group. Placing a tentative hand on his brother's shoulder he finally spoke. "I'm back, Dean." God, did he sound young. Then, removing some sterile packages from one of his pockets, he optimistically announced, "I pulled out some pressure bandages from the kit."
"Good work, Sammy," John replied, his praise more gentle than Bobby could recall hearing from the man in years. "Can you take him, Bobby?" he asked. And Bobby immediately understood that John wanted him to take Dean's weight so that he could apply the bandages. "You need to take it all," he directed huskily and, as Bobby watched John slide his hand up from Dean's back to support his neck, he realized with growing fear that John had been almost fully supporting his son.
Wedged between them as he was, shifting Dean from John's hold to Bobby's wasn't too difficult. At this point the kid could only articulate a grunt while they changed positions and Bobby blinked back the prickle of tears that sprung to his own eyes when Dean's head weakly lolled against his shoulder.
Deftly applying the pressure bandages, with Sammy's help, John began to wrap Dean's waist with further bandaging. After a number of good turns, he handed the wrap to a startled Sam saying, "Take over, kiddo. You got Dean, Bobby?"
Bobby didn't like the sound of that at all. Nor did he like the thunderous expression taking over John's face.
Sam's was a question. Bobby's. . . more like a warning.
"Do. You. Have. Him?"
"Yes, John--" Glancing at a bewildered Sam, Bobby gritted his teeth before he said anything else to the boy's fucking idiot of a father. His concern for what was about to happen warring with his own anger at being completely helpless to do anything to prevent it. 
"All right then."
"Dad?" That was from Dean and Bobby had to admit it shocked the hell out of him to discover the kid was still even remotely aware. Surprised his dad, too, especially when Dean managed to briefly grasp onto John's sleeve.
All evidence of his brewing hostility suddenly gone, John lowered himself to meet Dean's barely open eyes. "Right here, bud."
"Stay. . . Don'. . . lea. . ." It was more than obvious that the boy was truly struggling now and Bobby hoped like hell he'd get through to his old man in a way that no-one else could.
"No worries, kiddo. I'm not going anywhere." Smoothing a hand through Dean's hair, John's breath hitched as he stopped to stare at the blood staining his hand. Blood that now tainted Dean's hair too.
Bobby knew then that not even Dean could stop his father's lethal intentions.
Closing his eyes briefly as he drew in a deep breath, John straightened up and fondly ruffled Sam's hair before backing away from their little group, surprising Bobby and certainly Sam as the words, "I'm here, Dean. Right here," spilled again from his lips.
John kept moving, walking backwards despite the sureness of each step, his voice gradually rising even though its tone remained gentle. Repeating his promised "I'm right here" until he'd paced a distance no more than three of four strides away from Halpern.
Once again, the remaining crowd got a free show, gasping and shrieking at John's display. Bobby pulled Sammy into his side just as John finally turned around, drawing his .45 and stalking the rest of the way toward his target. The men restraining Halpern wisely fled, leaving him to cower against the pickup truck he'd been held against. John continued his approach, arm extended, gun unwavering until its muzzle was pressed up against the man's chest. Bobby knew John had yet to make his point and when he promptly repositioned and drove the Colt up underneath Halpern's chin, lifting him with enough force to raise him up on his toes, Bobby figured John was getting awful close to the punch-line.
Bobby couldn't make out what John said to the man, didn't honestly think he wanted to know. Suffice it to say, Halpern's humiliation was at last complete when a stain suddenly appeared and spread from his crotch down his pant leg, just before John let fly with a familiar looking though much more savage right cross. Knocking him out cold and leaving him to slump bonelessly into a heap once more into the slush.
Turning around and jogging straight back to Bobby and the boys, John threw an absurdly casual "Make sure that piece of shit gets arrested before somebody kills him" over his shoulder to the astonished spectators. Immediately riveted on the kid in Bobby's hold, he lightly cupped Dean's face, whispered, "See? Still here, sport," into his ear and, every bit as tender as he was brutal just moments earlier, took him from Bobby and lifted him into his arms, sliding into the back-seat with Dean clutched against his chest.


Posted by: hucknclem (hucknclem)
Posted at: November 17th, 2007 06:05 pm (UTC)

OMG. If you got my e-mail, you know I read the first two chapters on Fanfiction.net, which were just fabulous, but this one? Honestly the most riveted I've been during a fic, maybe - ever, LOL. I actually gasped when the knife came out, and I love the way you've written John, and his devastation here is SOOOO amazingly good. I was so ready for him to kill the guy right there, and I loved the way he kept raising his voice so Dean could still hear him. Brilliant detail, and I can't wait to read the rest. Thanks for the read! :)

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: November 17th, 2007 07:15 pm (UTC)

Thank-you! Riveted is such a great compliment, I'm so glad that scene worked as well as it did for you.

I actually got the last of the betas back sooner than I expected and decided I'd post it all to lj today and then finish posting to ff.net tomorrow. The files have to be slightly reformatted differently and I've about hit my threshold today ;-)

I hope the rest of the chapters do this one justice in your mind. Thanks as always for reading!

Posted by: nonniemous (ex_nonniemou154)
Posted at: November 18th, 2007 05:43 am (UTC)

You know, I'm almost disappointed John didn't shoot the guy. But at least he peed his pants in public. *evil g*

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: November 18th, 2007 05:59 am (UTC)
Dad Dean

Oh, I know... killing Halpern had crossed my mind but I went with the muse and I think the total humiliation worked okay too ;).

Posted by: alleysweeper (alleysweeper)
Posted at: November 28th, 2007 08:33 am (UTC)
Ecstasy or agony?

Son-of-a-bitch! This guy has to die!

John, John, John. You have such a nice gun, a Colt .45 and all. It would have made such a nice sound taking out...oh...a knee cap. What? Just saying. Liked the gun.


Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: November 28th, 2007 11:54 pm (UTC)

Now, wasn't my actual use of the gun references pathetic in the long run? Never once mentioned 1911... tsk, tsk, tsk. Knowledge is golden though and perhaps it will come up in another fic? I really wanted John to cap the guy. Alas, too many witnesses and Dean needed him anyway.

Posted by: alleysweeper (alleysweeper)
Posted at: December 1st, 2007 08:09 am (UTC)

Your gun reference in that scene was perfect! Throwing in the model would have been overkill.

You're right about John. But a little bit of pain...;)


Posted by: Megan (smokeyhorse)
Posted at: May 29th, 2008 11:21 am (UTC)

Instant replay of me reading this chapter:

*calmly sips Gatorade*

Oh, yay! Dean kicked Halpern's ass! Go Dean! Oh, he's going home now, disaster averted. Winchesters layin' down the law., just like it shou - HOLY SHIT HE STABBED DEAN!! OMG! OMG! OMG!


End replay.

Totally did NOT see that coming!! I was all calm and sniggering about Dean kicking Halpern's ass so fast and effortlessy and then WHAM - you stabbed Dean. LOL

Love John there at the end - I grinned ear to ear when he made Halpern piss his pants. :-D

Ok, I HAVE to keep reading now.

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: May 30th, 2008 12:02 am (UTC)
Dean FFnC

I'm so thrilled to know that you were as blindsided by the attack as Dean, John and Bobby (and Sam) were. that's what I was hoping for as I wrote this chapter.

Thank-you for letting me know (and in a particularly fun way *g*) this part worked as intended ;).