John’s certain someone is after his boys. He wishes he could put it down to the growing paranoia that he knows dogs his every step, but it’s not little things that trigger this -- it’s big things.
Dean’s been having bad dreams. He won’t talk about them much, but it gives John a horrifying glimpse of how much his son saw that terrible night.
“There was a man waiting for me when I took Sammy outside,” Dean tells his father in a small whisper. “He said --”
Dean still goes through periods where he won’t talk to anyone, anyone but his baby brother, and John’s worried Dean’s going into another phase where all he’ll here from Dean is ‘yes sir’.
“What did he say, Dean?” John asks as gently as he can. He sometimes forgets that Dean’s still just a little boy.
Dean won’t look at John. “He said he was there to take us away. Keep us safe from the bad thing that hurt mommy.” Dean hesitates then goes on. “He said you were going to burn up too.”
John hands don’t tremble, but it’s a near thing as he strokes Dean’s hair. “It was just a bad dream. No ones taking you and Sammy, I promise.”
Dean looks at then and John aches at hint of disbelief in his son’s eyes.
John’s been having nightmares himself. Different ones than normal. Dreams of strangers holding his boys. Sometimes in the dreams his choking on his on blood watching Dean and Sam being taken away by people in business suits, all with the same cold eyes. In his dream he always here’s the sound of wings beating.
The first attempt happens while they’re staying a Bobby’s.
Thank god, Bobby is almost more paranoid than he is. Something tries to break the wards Bobby’s got set up on the house.
More accurately something does break the wards.
What shocks John is that it comes after him. He wakes up gasping for air to the sound of a gun shot.
“I don’t know what the hell it was, but I think shooting it just pissed it off,” Bobby tells him, later. John’s throat is red and bruising. “Looked human enough but that doesn’t mean anything.”
The first thing John had done was check on the boys, half convinced he’d find them gone. “Question is if the salt round didn’t hurt it, why’d it leave?” John asks, his voice rough.
Bobby looks thoughtful and stands up to get them more beer. “You said you thought something was after the boys?”
John nods. He finally confided that to Bobby. He is after all one of the few people John feels he can really rely on. “I thought so, but it left them alone.”
“John, if something is out to take Dean and Sam, they’re going to try and take you out first,” Bobby points out. “Kill you here wouldn’t leave the boys unprotected as my appearance would have clued it into.”
“Shit,” John swears. “What the hell am I supposed to do?”
Bobby shrugs his shoulders. “Stay here and stay low. We’ll try to figure out what exactly your midnight caller was in the mean time.”
John doesn’t like the idea of staying put longer than he has to, but if he’s dead he can’t protect the boys, he can’t kill the thing that killed Mary.
“There’s a man,” Sammy says pointing outside. It’s been three days in the attack and things have been quiet until now.
John looks to where Sam’s pointing out the window. There’s no one there.
“Sam,” John says, exasperated. “Don’t make up stories.”
Sam looks up at him with wide eyes. “I saw him!” he protests.
Dean puts a protective arm around Sam’s, like John’s going to yell. “Maybe he did,” Dean defends, then tacks on, “Sir.”
“No games you two,” John says firmly. “I’m not in the mood for it.”
Dean’s jaw twitches. “Come on, Sam. I’ll read to you.”
John glances back out the window, but there’s still no one there.
Later on, Bobby points out the set of shoe prints there in the mud in a size shoe none of them where.
John dreams of a house. It’s nothing like the one where his dreams were destroyed in, more like an oversize log cabin.
He hears Dean and Sam playing and walks down the hall to find them. He tries calling out to them, but he has no voice.
“Let’s them play in peace,” a warm male voice says behind him.
John turns going for a gun that isn’t there.
There’s a short man in his mid-30s standing there sucking on a lollipop. “Hello, John.” He looks nothing like the men in suits from John’s other dreams. He’s dressed in jeans and a red shirt.
The man’s eyes are a warm hazel-brown.
“No weapons needed here,” the man says. “I’ve been protecting their dreams. No more men in suits trying to get Dean to go away with them.”
“Who are you?” John demands. “How do you know about that?”
The man rolls his shoulders. “You can call me Luke,” he says warmly. “And I know because I took a peek into Dean’s head. I really dislike people that mess with kids, so I put a stop to that.”
John eyes him suspiciously. “Why do you even care?” he demands.
Luke spreads his hands wide. “My good deed for the century,” he suggests. “And like I said I hate those that would use little kids. Adults is one thing. Old enough to make their own beds and lie in them. But kids? They’re innocents.”
“You’re a pagan god,” John guesses.
“Ding, ding, ding,” Luke says with a grin. “And as a prize John Winchester you win yourself your own personal guardian.”
John takes a step back. “What?” he demands.
Luke grins wider. “Someones out to get you, John. If they get you it’ll be easier for them to get your kids. So, in the interest in keeping your kids safe, I’m going to keep you safe.”
“Who are these people you keep talking about?” John asks. “And why did you take an interest in my kids?”
Luke’s grin fades slightly. “Big players on the chess board, John. Big players. Take a guess, I bet you’ll get it.”
“Demons,” John says. Demons like the one he’s hunting. Does this mean he’s getting close?”
“Close,” Luke says. “Think more upstairs.”
John laughs then. “If you want me to believe that one, there are angels and two, they’re trying to kill me and take my children...”
Luke just looks at him. “I don’t care if you believe and neither do they. As for why your children...how much to you know about what happened that night in the nursery.”
John’s hands ball into fists. “How dare you bring that --”
“Do you know what the demon did to you youngest before it killed Mary?” Luke demands. “I know you have a inkling that Sam isn’t normal.”
John turns his head towards the sound of Dean and Sam’s laughter. “I -- I’ve guessed something was done to Sam.”
“He’ll be a big player or pawn at the least, on the board when he grows up,” Luke says softly. “You can’t change that. I can’t change that. But I can help you protect them.”
John looks back at Luke. “What’s the catch.”
Luke’s smile is a bit lopsided. “I can’t do it for free. There are rules, you see, and me helping a mortal for free? Well, that breaks some big ones.”
He’s going to say no. He can protect the boys just fine on his own. “What’s the price?”
Luke steps closer. “I play guardian to you, to your boys, in exchange for one thing.”
John expect Luke to say his soul.
“You share my bed,” Luke says softly.
John breath catches in his throat. He has a feeling Luke doesn’t want him to just ‘sleep’ in his bed. “I won’t be penetrated,” John says trying to keep his voice steady.
Luke shrugs. “Fine by me,” he says with a grin. “I like being on the bottom. And don’t worry I don’t expect anything out of you at first. I like my lovers willing.”
“I don’t like men,” John snaps with more force than he means too.
Luke shrugs and winks. “I’m not a man. Do we have a deal?”
John’s nails bite into the palm of his hands. “Yes,” he breaths, knowing he’ll regret this somehow.
“Good,” Luke says brightly. He steps into John space and slants his mouth over John’s.
Luke doesn’t seem to care that John stands there stock still, frozen with something like fear. He licks at John’s lips then draws back.
“See that wasn’t so bad,” Luke says brightly. “When you wake up the address to my place will be in your pocket.”
John lets out a shaky breath and just nods, not trusting his voice.
Luke touches John’s throat. “Oh, your throat will be heal too.” His fingers trace across John’s jaw line and down the sensitive curve of his throat. John shivers despite himself. Luke smiles again and places a kiss on the sensitive curve, right where it’s always turned John on the most. “Wake up now, John.”
John wakes with a soft gasp. His lips feel wet and well kissed. He’s hard in his sleep pants and sure enough in his pocket is a folded piece of paper.
He covers his face with a hand. “What have I done?” he whispers.
The memory of Luke’s smile answers him.