December 10th, 2019

sga au

off the cutting room floor: Freestyle

Last week's fic took me nearly two years to write. Thought you guys might enjoy seeing all the versions that just didn't work for one reason or another.



There's a noisy family of five just a couple hundred feet down the shore from where John's own children are wading tentatively along the reservoir's edge. From time to time one of the parents shouts ineffectively from where they're sitting at a dilapidated picnic table, nursing beers and playing cards.

All the yelling reminds John vaguely of his stint in the Marines--this whole summer has, what with Frank staying at the bunker to ride his ass. The Council might say it's simply a routine check-in on a new warder, but John knows better, has overheard Frank questioning Dean about what kinds of things he does with his father. And Dean tries to give the right answers, but John's man enough to admit he hasn't given his son a whole lot to work with.

Hence this little trip--if he has his way, his boys will never need to know how to swim and pitch a tent, but it's a good enough excuse to get out from under Frank's eye for a couple days, to look like just a slightly-harried single father taking advantage of having a fellow warder available to mind the shop. If nothing else, maybe it'll get Frank to stop the heavy-handed reminiscing of when his own son was Dean's age. Apparently the kid had been a real hellion, though Frank seemed to get a kick out of that fact, for some reason.

Dean, on the other hand, is currently following John's orders and slowly leading Sam out to where the lake's deep enough for them to start paddling experimentally, their underwear reflecting bright against the dark water. John hadn't seen any point in buying them swim trunks--once they're properly submerged it's not like anyone will be able to tell the difference.

Over the shrieks of the other kids, John can just make out Sam's complaints to Dean about how cold the water is, his voice shrill enough to carry across to where John's just finished laying out their camping gear, back underneath the treeline. "And the bottom feels all slimy!"

"Well, if you get deep enough to swim, you won't have to touch the bottom," Dean says, ever the ten-year-old voice of reason. Sam doesn't look much impressed, but he follows his brother in a little further, until they're up to their shoulders and there's a sudden yelp of shock from Sam, followed by a wild flurry of splashing--though Dean's obviously still solidly planted, so there's no actual danger.

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