Sam and Dean walked back into the emergency room with Marta between them holding their hands. She was excited to meet her baby brother. Dean stopped and put his ear to the door to listen for a moment before knocking softly.
"Can we come in?" Dean called giving the door a little push to crack it open.
"Come in boys," Mason replied looking up as they stepped into the room.
"Daddy! Momma!" Marta cried softly running to the bed where Mason sat holding his son.
"Hello sweetie, meet your new little brother, Quinn Mason?" Mason told her.
Dean reached down to pick her up so she could see better as she stared lovingly at the bundle in her Daddy's arms.
"He's so little," she whispered.
"Yep and you're a big sister now and you'll have to help look after your little brother," Dean told him.
Sam stood slightly to the side watching the scene play out and watching Dean's face soften as he talked to Marta and looked at the baby.
"How are you doing Mia?" Dean asked.
"Exhausted. I want to thank you and Sam for your help," she sighed not able to keep the weariness from her voice.
"We were glad to help," Sam told her.
"Could I ask one more favor?" Mason asked.
"Can you stay with Mia and the kids so I can run home and get the car seat and a few things? We're going to stay overnight and take them home in the morning."
"Sure, no problem," Dean assured him.
"I won't be long. Here you go Sam," he replied shifting his bundle to Sam's arms.
"No, no…I mean…I've not…" Sam tried to protest as the baby was put into his arms. Sam stood rigid not sure what to do as he looked down into the baby's face. Quinn opened his eyes to start up at Sam for a moment before rolling his head and yawning.
"It's fine Sam, just support his head," Mia instructed him. She could not help but smile at him as he cradled her son in his arms with fear on his face.
"Why don't you sit down Sammy? You're less likely to drop him, and that would be a really long fall," Dean teased with a smile on his face.
Sam threw him a bitch face but carefully moved to a chair and sat down. He continued to stare at his precious cargo as the baby wiggled around for a moment before deciding to go back to sleep. Sam relaxed a little now that he was still and looked over at Dean smirking at him as he took the other chair and positioned Marta in his lap.
"You're doing fine Sam," Mia assured him.
"Would you like him back?" Sam asked.
"No, he seems happy and content, so I think I'll try and rest for a few minutes."
"Okay sure," Sam nodded. "Dean," Sam whispered softly.
"What?" he replied.
"Switch with me," he pleaded.
"Nope, he's sleeping, don't want to disturb him. Besides, you're doing okay."
"Jerk," he mouthed to him.
"Bitch," Dean mouthed back with a smile as Marta leaned back into his chest and hummed to herself as she looked at a story book.
Dean looked up as Sam strolled into the kitchen the following morning. They had stayed at the hospital until Mason had returned and then left the happy family to get acquainted with their newborn. Dean had taken Sam by the store in town to pick up a baby gift for Mason and Mia's new son. He had let Sam do the choosing and after thirty minutes of looking at everything in the baby section, Sam picked out an outfit, little pair of shoes, and a soft bunny with floppy ears. Dean would not let him look at anything else and insisted that was fine and shooed him toward the checkout.
"Are you still going into town today?" he questioned.
"Yes, I found a bus schedule while we were in town, so I know the times it runs," Sam replied.
"Just be careful okay?"
"I know, I'm the oddball here. I'll watch myself."
"I'll be home about the same time as yesterday."
"Do you wanna meet in town for lunch at that diner you like?"
"Yeah, we can do that."
"I bet there's a waitress that'd be happy to see you."
"Don't know about that. She didn't much like the conversation last time."
"She knows now; I'm sure things will be different. Text me when you leave work and I'll meet you at the diner."
"Okay, don't overdo it or anything today. You're still getting your strength back."
"I'll be fine, I'm almost healed Dean."
"I'll text you and let you know when I'm off." Dean headed into the garage to the Impala to head for work.
Sam fixed a cup of coffee and scrambled a couple of eggs and made toast for his breakfast. Since he was going into town, he wanted to have something more substantial to hold him over until lunch. Once he was done, Sam got ready to leave. He was going to drop the gifts off at Mason's and head down to the bus stop. He was looking forward to getting out on his own and exploring the town. He wanted to get a feel of the area and learn where things were.
Sam walked up the walkway to Mason's front door and rang the bell. He looked around as he waited for someone to answer. He looked up smiling but it turned into an uncertain expression when a stranger opened to door.
"Umm… Hi…I'm Sam, I live down the street," Sam started not sure exactly what to say since he had not met anyone else from the town.
"Oh, you're the human," the woman said sniffing softly toward Sam. "Nice to meet you Sam. I'm Kia, Mia's cousin."
"Mmm… Okay, well…" he stammered. "I just wanted to drop this gift off for the baby."
"That's so nice of you," she cooed. "Would you like to come in?"
"No, no, I've got to catch the bus into town. Just tell them I stopped by."
"I will Sam, nice to meet you," Kia told him taking the bag from him.
"You too, goodbye," Sam waved heading down the steps and to the sidewalk. He walked at a fast pace wanting to get to the bus stop so he would not miss the bus. He caught his breath as he leaned against the cover for the bus stop. Sam looked down the street as a bus came his way and stopped beside him.
The doors opened and the driver looked to Sam before asking, "Need to head into town?"
Sam cleared his throat and got his breath. "Yes please," Sam replied. He stepped up the steps and stopped. "How much?"
"It's free, find a seat," he said closing the door behind Sam.
Sam moved down the aisle to the first empty seat and sat down. He tried to act natural and not be nervous being on a bus filled with werewolves. There were ten other clan members seated around him and he felt small and unprotected since he did not think carrying a gun would be a good idea. He did have a knife in his boot, but it would not be of much use since he was outnumbered.
He bit his lip as he kept his eyes straight ahead trying to ignore all the eyes on him. He could hear soft mumbling and whispering behind him and knew they were talking about him; he was the new subject for the entire clan. He meant to ask Mason when was the last time they allowed a human to join the clan when he got a chance. Sam was sure this was not a common occurrence and knew it had to do with Dean being a member now.
The bus stopped at one end of the beginning of the business district. Sam got up and quickly exited the bus and looked around trying to decide where to go. He was surprised when an older woman stopped next to him and offered him a map of the business area. She gave him a warm smile and pat on the arm, before she strolled down the street without saying a word.
"Thanks," Sam called to her feeling a little better. He opened the map and checked it out before deciding where he was going first. He started walking down the street looking into glass windows of the different businesses. If something looked interesting, Sam took the time to go in and check the store out. The one he really wanted to visit was the used bookstore knowing it would be cheaper than trying to buy new books.
Sam was amazed at what he was seeing around the town compared to other towns he had visited over the years. And everywhere he went, he noticed people would take one sniff and know who he was. He was not sure how he smelled different and was going to ask Dean about it. It was like this is actually the place where everyone knows each other, and he liked it.
This was the first time Sam did not have to hide or pretend to be someone else, but it was weird too, when they have always tried not to let people know who they were. So far, no one seemed upset or seemed threatening toward him; they were more curious than anything. It was like he was the shiny, new toy, and everyone wanted to see him. Most of his fears were fading away now that he got out among the locals actually seeing them and not seeing monsters but town people.
The cleanness of the streets and alleyways made the town look like a storybook place. There was no litter around the trashcans, in the drains or curbs, or scattered anywhere in the grassy areas. It was almost like the town was not real but make believe. Sam pondered how a bunch of 'monsters' could create and live in such a Utopian society, with no real crime, no unemployment, and everything kept so clean and neat.
There was a large park near the middle of the blocks of businesses and he wandered toward it seeing benches, picnic tables, an area fenced off with a playground for kids with all kinds of equipment for them to enjoy. There were shade trees planted throughout and a small pond that had ducks floating around along the edge. He stopped to watch a small group of people doing Tai Chi. This was something he had wanted to try but they never really settled in one place long enough for him to find a group and try it. He knew Dean mentioned there was a gym that he worked out at and wondered what other activities they might offer. Checking the time, Sam decided to find the used bookstore so he would have time to browse before having to meet Dean for lunch.
Sam pushed the door open to the used bookstore and ducked when a loud jingling sounded over his head. He looked up at the bell that rang and slowly let the door close. He looked around at the shelves and tables of books that filled the room and moved to a table to look at the titles. It was laid out neatly and orderly with no mess.
"Hello, can I help you?" a female voice asked from behind Sam.
He turned to see a young woman around his age walking toward him. She had long, honey brown hair that was pulled into a ponytail, but strands hung down framing her oval face and huge grey eyes that took in everything. She was not what he would call gorgeous, but she was good looking. She was taller than most women and he did not have to look down to her as much as usual.
"Oh," she said when she got close enough to smell him. "I mean, can I help you?" she asked again trying not to sound flustered or nervous.
"Hi," Sam told her giving her a shy smile. "I was just looking around."
"Anything in particular you're looking for?"
"I like nonfiction, true crime stories, serial killers. Do you have any really good sales by chance? I need to watch my money."
"Let me see," she hummed looking around at the tables. "I think you might find something over here on this table. They've been marked down to almost nothing."
"I'm Sam, by the way," he offered introducing himself.
"Talia, and it's nice to meet you," she replied giving him a small smile.
Sam stopped beside her at the table and began to look through the titles of the books. He could sense her standing close by and wanted to say something but was not sure if he should.
"How long have you been working here?" he asked trying to make small talk.
"Oh, since I was five. The store has been passed down in my family for a long time. I'm the fourth generation to work here. It's not a booming business, but people like the prices and my brother and father go out looking for good deals and bring boxes of books back that we sort and stock the shelves with. Any we don't think will sell goes to the public library, so there's no waste."
"Wow, a family business. Are a lot of the places like that around here?"
"Well, haven't really thought about it, but I guess some are. We're a tight knit community. Can I ask you something?"
"Your brother, he was bitten and turned."
"Yes, by a rogue werewolf from your clan."
"And you didn't have any doubts or uncertainties or fears of him? You were able to accept him when you found out, aren't you afraid he might turn on you one day?"
Sam looked at her and saw the curiosity in her eyes. She was not trying to be cruel or disrespectful, but curious.
"No, that would never happen. I mean I was shocked and scared at first, but I knew Dean would never hurt me no matter what he was. He's my big brother and pretty much raised me when our Mom was killed. He's been my protector all my life and still is. I guess the bond we have couldn't be broken, even after what happened."
"Sounds like you have an interesting story. Is it true that you are a hunter?"
"Yes, we both are."
"How did you get into that?"
"We were raised in it. Our Dad was a hunter and he taught us so we could protect ourselves and help others."
Talia did not ask any more questions as she picked up a couple of books and looked at them for a moment before putting them back and picking up another one.
"You might like this one," she offered holding it out to Sam.
"Thanks," Sam replied taking the book and looked up at her face when their fingers touched and neither wanted to let go. Sam felt a tingling that ran up his arm from their lingering touch.
"I might have a couple of books in back if you'd like me to look," she quickly said pulling her hand back.
"Sure, that would be great," he nodded picking up another book from the table. He followed her to the checkout counter and waited as she disappeared through a door behind it. He let his eyes wander around the store lost in thought about what he was learning about this Community that his brother now belonged to and he did too.
"Here we go," Talia said. She sat two more books on the counter for Sam to look at and waited as he read the back cover of each.
"We're running a special, buy two get one free," she offered.
"Really? That's a good deal. You know I'll take these three."
"Good choices. If you give me your phone number, I'll be happy to call you when we get any new books in I think you might like."
"That would be great," Sam nodded. He took a pen and pad and wrote down his cell number for her. "Do you work here every day?"
"I alternate with my brother, this week I'm working the next three days and get two days off and work four days. I know it's a weird schedule, but it gives me a break to do other things."
"Maybe you'd like to have lunch in the park one day?" Sam asked cautiously not sure if he was overstepping here or not. He did not know how she would feel by the request, if she'd want to go out with a human.
"That sounds like fun. I'd like that."
Sam picked up a card for the bookstore with their number.
"Why don't I give you a call in a couple of days and we'll set it up?"
"Alright, let me ring these books up," she told him scanning the books. "That will be three dollars and sixty cents."
"Okay," Sam said digging into his pocket for four dollars. He handed her the money and took his change and the bag with the books. "It was nice to meet you Talia. I better run; I'm meeting my brother for lunch."
"The same Sam, I look forward to your call."
"Bye," Sam told her, nodding his head. "And thank you for your help with the books." Sam left the store and checked to see how far the diner was from the bookstore. He hurried down the street toward the diner hoping to get there about the same time as Dean. He was smiling and thinking today was a good day and he could see why Dean liked it here. They did not have to pretend here; they could be themselves and no one cared who they were. His steps were lighter, and he had a smile on his face when he found the diner and stepped inside to see if Dean was there.
Dean could see Sam walking down the sidewalk toward the diner from his seat in the back booth. He studied him and thought something was different about him. He had a lopsided smile and a twinkle in his eyes. He was walking with a bounce to his steps. Something must have happened to put him in a really good mood. Dean waved him over when he stepped inside and waited for him to sit down before interrogating him.
"So, what did you do today?" Dean asked arching an eyebrow and studying him closely.
"Nothing, I just explored the town a little," Sam replied.
"Something has got you in a better mood than usual?" Dean calculated. "You didn't?" he asked in shock.
"You met a girl, didn't you?" he whispered. "I know that look."
"No!" Sam insisted, but could not lie to his brother. "Maybe," he said sheepishly, hanging his head with a small smile on his face.
"You do know that she's…"
"Well, hello you two, good to see you back," Sophie greeted them, her eyes only on Dean as she tried to get his attention.
"Hey Sophie, we'll have the same as last time," Dean told her, not paying attention to her flirting.
"Coming right up. Boy you guys are an easy table," she mumbled, walking away as she scribbled on her pad.
"Okay, where was I? Oh yeah, you know everyone here is, you know," Dean asked Sam.
"Yeah, I know, but she's really nice and it's only lunch in the park."
"I'd just be cautious Sammy, everyone seems accepting, but I don't know how they'll feel with you dating one of their own."
"It's only lunch," Sam huffed rolling his eyes at his brother. It was only lunch, he thought, wasn't it? He leaned back in his seat as he mulled his thoughts over in his mind.
A/N: Sam is impressed with the town and the members of the clan. He does feel a little uncomfortable by all the attention since he is the only human there. Of course, I would have him meet a female werewolf and like her. We will see where that goes. I do like reviews. NC