Well then. Here's my review. Gotta say this story has all I need to be absolutely satisfied. I love me hurt!Dean, especially shackled and unconscious, dishevelled and bruised.
The way you portray John is just... aw, I hope there were times other than in severe peril that he showed his affection for the boys. But I fear he didn't when I keep in mind how confused Dean always behaves when John shows him his love and the pride he feels for him. *sighs* Aw, the woes of being a Winchester. Dysfunctional and distressed. Yummy.
Before I go into detail with some quotations to show you my emotions and ideas about your ficlet, I wanna comment on your style. Present Tense is tricky. I've tried it. But other than me you excelled at it. It works perfectly with the urgency John feels about leaving the place asap. And it strengthens the short amount of time he spends in the house and his dispair about getting Dean off the chain and to safety. Also, the threat of being attacked is much more palpable in the present tense. It felt like I was watching a flashback on the show... all the time expecting some nasty critter to jump them. Oh, and by the way, what scumbag beat my boy up so badly? *hands on hips, tapping the floor with one foot* I demand retribution! NOW!
OK. Let's start with emo/drool-reviewing then... (This is were I totally lose it. The comments may be a little rambly and overly emotional, but they come from the bottom of my heart and somtimes from my female downstairs brain...!)
He sees Dean – his Dean, his boy – hanging from the ceiling, wrists tightly secured, feet barely touching the floor. His hands are scraped, knuckles bruised, nails torn. Whoever took him had a hell of a fight on their hands. Blood is caked around his wrists where those cruel manacles are digging in oh, so tightly. If ever there was a perfect way to describe my most favorite Dean, this is it! Great, drool-inducing and oh, can I please help him get better? And the way John assesses Dean's condition is so sweetly caring and protective. Very fatherly. An very unlike John. Altho in Shadow we see it in his eyes and in AHBL2. He truly does care about his sons...
Nobody does this to his boy and gets away with it. YAY! *cheers on vengeful!John* Go for it, John. You see that you get your handsome boy out of there and kick the supernatural bastard in its ass! Love his protectiveness. It's a very strong gene in the Winchester gene-pool!
His jacket is on the floor and he’s only wearing a t shirt and jeans. His clothes are dirty but nothing is torn. His shoes and socks are gone. I know one of the girls on this site will especially love the bare feet. Heh. *shakes head* But, OMG, what has happened to Dean? Why has he taken his shoes off? Weirdness. This screams for elaboration! Is there a sequel??? *nagnag*
John can’t help reaching out to his boy, his hand gently cupping Dean’s cheek. He feels reassured that Dean leans ever so slightly into the touch. OH, gawd. This took my breath away. Heart-breakingly sweet and caring John. And barely conscious Dean reacts to his touch in a way that shows how much he is in pain. Leaning in to a gentle touch, that's a thing Dean only does when he is in real agony... *hugs him and holds him tight so John can -for crying out loud – take him down now* And how sad is this scene? That only if Dean's in pain or mostly passed out and John is worried sick they are able to show each other their care and the desire to be close... (hm. Sounds slightly slashy... sorry... dunno how to express what I wanna say...)
He needs to see those green eyes open. Damn, so do I. Love his eyes. His freckles, lips, eyebrows hair, chest, biceps, the bum (let's not forget that!) and of course those cute bow-legs.... YUMMY.
He jerks his head back, trying to get as far away from John as possible. Ouch. That must've broken John's heart. Needing his son to be close to him and then Dean jerks away from him! And poor Dean, confused and in obvious distress. Even half-conscious he still has some fight in him! Ain't he just a hero? *daydreams*
The added weight on his shoulders causes him to cry out in pain. UGH. *is worried about Dean* Please, John. Hurry up, this boy needs a hospital! By the way, the scene reminded me a lot of What Is... Had a clear picture of Dean hanging from the rafters, pale and almost dead. Yum. How I love that episode and for so many reasons....
“Yeah, it’s me son. You’re safe now.” He holds his son for as long as he dares again, wonderful caring John, gentle and worried. And the need to hold Dean for as long as possible. *sobs* The need to be close to him, just this one time. John only now allows himself to be emotional. And just about the right time for it. 'coz Dean needs his father now. Dean needs John to be proud of him and to love him all the time. But usually, John acknowledges neither. Thanks for doing this for Dean.*sniff* For once John isn't his drill master. Jeezes. I am making myself cry here. There were many moments in this oneshot when I felt my heart burst with compassion. But these two sentences broke my heart and I am honestly still sobbing.
John feels an inexplicable sense of loss. Aw. *hugs Papa W tight*
The smell of it reinforces his guilt. too wrapped up in his obsession and now Dean is paying the price for his arrogance. Winchester guilt. Is there anything better than that? OK. There are two things. Winchester angst and Winchester agony. But guilt is fine. And boy, I feel really sorry for John. He always comes across as a harsh SOB. Thanks for showing him in another light. I do hope he was like this sometimes... The boys needed a little love and comfort. Still need that.
All in all, I thank you for sharing and hope to read more of your stuff over here...
Hugs, ~~**RC**~~ aka Ilka
Wow - talk about long reviews LOL! Thank you so much.
I have a real soft spot for John. He was this terribly obssessed man who had no idea how to show his love for his boys but I have no doubt it was there. I'm sorry we didn't get to see it more often but John's overwhelming sense of vengence came with a heavy price for all three Winchesters and in the end it seemed that the only way they knew how to communicate with each was through violence and arguing.
I could go on with my analysis of the family relationships for hours but perhaps I should just put it in another story!
I may well do a sequel (or a prequel) to this. Someone asked for one when I first published it over on FFnet and it may be something I'll do in time.
Thanks for reading and for such a great review - they make the world of difference.