Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf?
Disclaimer: Sadly, I don't own them. If I did, I'd be driving that car to work every day, high gas prices be damned.
Thanks to Jubilea for the beta work. We're done with another one!
Also, a special thanks to S.S. for the feedback.
Finally, thanks D, for being a major pain in my bum – it reads better now.
"I'm tired," Lila said with a yawn.
Sam scooped her up with his good arm, and replied, "No problem, I've got you."
"As long as you aren't afraid of heights," Dean quipped. Alicia giggled, and grabbed Dean's hand. "We better hurry, Sam. It's already four o'clock. We're going to run out of daylight if we don't get a move on."
Sam nodded, and together they made their way slowly back down to the creek and headed for the Delaney's.
Dean stumbled under the weight of a sleeping child nestled in his arms. He had not allowed Sam to take Alicia from him, and he was paying for it now. He felt Sam's hand on his arm, steadying him, and this time he did not feel annoyance at the gesture. He was grateful. Tired green eyes met hazel-brown, and Dean nodded at the unspoken question.
Sam moved Lila to his injured side, and gathered Alicia in his other arm. Dean looked dead on his feet, and they were still almost a quarter of a mile from the farmhouse. Carrying both girls was not easy on his shoulder, but it was far easier than carrying his brother. Wordlessly, the brothers continued on to the Delaney's as the shadows lengthened, and the sun dipped closer to the horizon.
"Oh thank you, thank you, thank you," Janice gushed as ran out to meet the brothers as they approached the farmhouse. "I've been so worried, but Frank thought you boys had it handled."
"I was right too," Frank said walking out of the house, allowing the screen door to slam shut behind him. "I told you they'd be back soon." He turned his attention to the brothers and asked, "See any sign of the wolf?"
"No sir," Dean replied tiredly. "It's probably long gone by now."
"You're right, I'm sure," Frank replied relieving Sam of part of his burden. Alicia snuggled into Frank's shoulder without waking.
"Oh, let me take my baby," Janice said pulling a sleeping Lila away from Sam. She gently rocked Lila in her arms, and turned to go back into the house.
"You boys must be hungry. Why don't you stay for supper?" Frank offered.
"Thanks for the offer, but," Dean started.
"No buts, come on," Frank interrupted ushering the brothers inside. "Eleanor made a huge meal. She was worried, and when she's worried she cooks and cleans up a storm. The whole house smells like bleach now, but there is strawberry-rhubarb pie for desert."
"Actually, Mr. Delaney, if we could use your first aid supplies before dinner, it would be appreciated," Sam interjected.
"Of course," Frank replied. "I'll fetch it for you first thing. Did one of you boys get hurt out there?"
"No, it's from before," Sam answered.
"Ah," Frank replied in understanding. "You boys just head on into the bathroom, and I'll bring in the kit for you."
"Thanks," Sam said pausing to allow Dean to enter the house before him.
Minutes later, Dean was seated on the commode, while Sam repacked the first aid kit. "You know, I'm about done with this trip to the Twilight Zone," Dean remarked.
"Huh?" Sam asked not pausing in his task at hand. He crinkled his forehead in obvious confusion. "What do you mean?"
"Think about it Sam, this whole hunt has been turned upside down from the get go," Dean said. "I get stuck talking to the old ladies, you talk to the pretty girl; the deaf lady gives you a hard time, and don't forget the single most important fact – you've been driving my car."
Sam looked at Dean with an amused expression on his face. "You're not serious?" he asked.
"I am serious," Dean insisted. "The sooner we get this job over with, and life returns to normal, the happier I'll be."
"First, our lives are never what I would classify as normal. Second, I didn't realize you were such a slave to structure and control," Sam replied as he finished repacking the kit.
"I wouldn't say that," Dean protested standing up.
"I was joking," Sam explained patiently. "I totally know you need control."
"I do not," Dean said pushing past Sam and heading out of the bathroom. Sam rolled his eyes, and followed Dean out into the hall, and towards the sounds of clinking dinnerware.
The air in the dining room was redolent of roast beef, carrots, and freshly baked bread. Dean's stomach rumbled in protest, and he realized he had not eaten since breakfast. Frank waved them in, and gestured to two seats near the doorway.
"We really can't stay," Dean repeated.
"Nonsense, sit down, sit down," Frank insisted.
Dean took one of the offered seats, and lifted the glass of water to his lips. He paused, looked at Lila, and asked, "You didn't pour this, did you?" Lila giggled and shook her head. "Good," Dean replied taking a long drink.
What started on shaky ground quickly disintegrated under the weight of small talk, and the veneer of social politeness. Dean leaned closer to Sam and whispered, "If I have to listen to one more story about arthritis, mold in the refrigerator filter, or knitting, I'm going to have to shoot something."
"Calm down, I'll make a good excuse," Sam muttered. In his normal voice Sam added, "Dean, I hate to cut this evening short, but my shoulder is hurting quite a bit."
"We better get that checked out," Dean replied standing up quickly. Before Sam was even out of his chair, Alicia and Lila were on latched on to the brothers.
"Thank you," Alicia said standing on Dean's chair to give him a hug and whispered in Dean's ear. "I'll tell Mommy tonight."
"Good plan," Dean replied returning the hug. He looked over at Sam who was busy with an armful of Lila. He could not hear what Lila was saying, but Sam smiled before setting her back down.
"I'm ready," Sam stated. He stood up, and looked at Eleanor. "Thank you for dinner," he said loudly.
"You're welcome," Eleanor replied. Dean smiled with relief, as the universe as he knew it righted itself.
"What did Lila say to you?" Dean asked on the way out the door.
"She said we don't need to worry about Lynne," Sam replied following Dean outside.
"Lynne?" Dean asked throwing Sam a questioning look.
"The spirit," Sam explained. "She said Lynne went home too."
Dean shook his head and asked, "How did she know that we would want to know about Lynne?"
"I don't know," Sam answered with a shrug. "I think she may be a medium."
"I see dead people," Dean whispered opening the driver's side of the Impala.
"Nice, Dean," Sam snapped. "And, what do you think you're doing?"
"I realize you may not recognize it, but it's called driving," Dean responded sardonically slipping behind the steering wheel.
"I know what it is, I'm wondering why you are driving when you're hurt," Sam countered as he opened the passenger side door.
"If I can walk over two and a half miles, I can certainly drive my car," Dean defended. "Get in."
Sam sighed, and sat down in the passenger seat. The Impala started with a satisfyingly throaty roar, and Dean turned the car onto the road to head back to the cabin.
"Are you sure you don't mind staying another night?" Sam asked as he joined Dean on the sofa. He popped open a bottle of beer, and handed one to Dean. "Usually, you like to leave right after we finish a hunt."
"I think we're safe spending another night," Dean replied preoccupied with his leather jacket. "It's not as if the locals are coming after us with torches and pitchforks this time."
Sam lightly chuckled, and took a long swig of beer. He wrinkled his face in disgust as a waft of overpowering smell hit his nose. "Dean, what are you doing?" he asked.
"Fixing my jacket," Dean replied without looking up.
"With what?" Sam asked.
"The repair kit for the Impala," Dean replied pausing in his task long enough to take a drink.
"Dude, it's rank," Sam complained.
"You're – rank," Dean gibed. He tossed his coat into the chair next to the sofa, and packaged up the repair kit.
Sam rolled his eyes, and leaned further back into the sofa stretching his feet closer to the warmth of the fire. "Whatever Dean," he said closing his eyes.
Sam's soft snoring tore Dean's attention away from the fire. He set his empty beer bottle on the side table, and snagged the precariously perched beer bottle from Sam's grasp. He shook it lightly to gauge how much was left before taking a drink. "Half a bottle? That's light-weight even for you, Sam," Dean smirked.
Dean covered Sam with the afghan for the second night in a row. "Get some sleep, little brother," he said softly.
If you are so inclined, let me know what you liked, and I'll try to do more of it next time.
On the other hand, if there's something you really don't like, let me know and I'll try to improve.
Thanks for reading!