A/N This piece is part of the Revelations AU. If you havent read Revelations or Lost and Found you may wish to do so before reading this piece. Its a bit of a slow start to set the stage as it happens 16 years later in the Winchesters lives. But dont worry. Our boys are still our boys. No matter how much they have grown.
Mary Samantha Winchester was a daddy's girl from day one. She had a loving family. Two uncles (sort of three) 4 cousins (almost 6 maybe) and an extended support group that spread across the country. Her best friend was her Aunt Kaylie, even though she wouldn't admit that to anyone approaching her own age, followed closely by a full blood 14 year old boxer named Ginger Bear who limped on all four paws and had to work to climb into the back seat of the ancient Impala.
Sometimes when the weather would turn bad, really bad, her father moved the same way, and Mary worried. Her father was a force of nature in her eyes, invincible like superman and twice as heroic. She loved him with everything she had in her.
Even when he took her car keys.
Even when he grounded her.
Even when she had screamed at him that she hated him and wished he would leave her alone.
Which seemed to be happening more often lately. Ever since she had turned 16. She had been allowed to go out at 16 provided she was the one driving. Which was a distinction she didn't understand. After all wasn't the guy supposed to be the one with the car and the money and the do all the asking and pursuing? But her father seemed to think it was a safety issue or something. Just one more thing she didn't get. Probably would never get. Because for all of the heroic, force of nature, amazing loving man that she knew her father to be, there was a part of him that she would never understand. Unfortunately she was positive that lack of understanding was mutual.
She glared at the door when the knock came. "Go away." She yelled at the door and wrapped herself around the aging dog that shared her bed, and wished she was part of a normal family.
The door opened anyway, and her Uncle Sam poked his head in. "Hey, you got a minute?"
Mary sat up and shrugged.
Sam came in and closed the door. He pulled the computer chair from her desk over to beside the bed. "So, what brought on the fireworks this time?"
"Uncle Sam-" she said in a long suffering not quite whine that Sam knew so well. It didn't surprise him, they had been raised by the same man after all. So he simply raised an eye brow and stared at her waiting for her to start talking. Like her father you couldn't drag any thing out of her she didn't want to give up. Fortunately it was in the nature of teenaged girls to want to share.
"Fine, I was out late last night. I was supposed to be back by midnight but you guys were off on a hunt and I didn't think I would get caught but somehow he knew that I was late and he just assumed that I was out doing something wrong. He doesn't trust me, Sam, he doesn't trust me at all." She said and tossed herself back down on the bed, causing the dog to whine as she was jostled.
"Okay, first off.. if he hadn't trusted you, you would have been waiting in the back seat of the Impala while we were dealing with the ghost." Sam pointed out. "Or spending the night with Kaylie. Second, when we got home at 1 AM you weren't home and we went out looking for you, and then the car was still hot in the driveway at 3 AM when we got back. Doesn't matter what you were doing, you were three hours past curfew. That's not losing track of time that's willfully staying out too late. So yeah. He's pissed. More than that, he's hurt. He trusted you and you abused that trust."
"Of course you're taking his side." She grumbled.
"Nope, merely stating the obvious. And that maybe you might want to go down to the garage and apologize before he beats every car on the block into submission."
"Why should I go apologize?" She exclaimed, sitting up again. "He treated me like a.. a... criminal or something. I fell asleep on the beach, it's not like I was out screwing around, getting into trouble. "
"Don't know how to break it to you kiddo, but you were probably in more danger on the beach than we were in dealing with the poltergeist. You gotta start thinking. Rules are there for a reason. Trust me, your dad isn't big on rules any more than you are."
"Are we talking about the same Dean Winchester?" Mary asked sullenly. "Cause my dad, is big on rules. At least when they have anything to do with me."
"Because he wants you safe. Because he loves you. Like it or not, the world is all about rules. And another thing,even when you don't mean it, telling him you hate him, well that just about rips his heart out, so knock it off. You're getting too old for temper tantrums."
She sighed, and nodded, resting her head on the dogs head for a moment. "Okay, I'll go talk to him."
"Good." Sam told her. "So hurry up, if you two work things out in time you can go to Vigil with me tonight."
"Oh yay. Church. I'm so excited, Uncle Sam. "
"It's not here." He pointed out and reached for her phone when it started to ring. "Oh hey Bobby, how ya feelin' man?"
"Good point." She said and sat up. "Come on Ginger Bear. Let's go see Dad before I have a chance to think about it." Mary grabbed the leash and headed down the stairs, waiting for the aging dog to catch up. She wasn't sure this was such a good idea but it was worth a shot. She hated fighting with him, but she hated not being trusted even more.
She entered the garage a few minutes later, and winced hearing the sound of slamming tools even though her father would never admit that he was slamming them.
"Daddy?" She called out hesitantly.
Three hours late. Three hours. At least she hadn't tried to come up with a sorry excuse like 'I lost track of time' or worse, 'the car broke down.' Three hours. And he was supposed to be 'fine' with that because she was sixteen. If there was ever a time NOT to be fine with that, it was when a girl was sixteen. Because he remembered sixteen year old girls. From the viewpoint of a sixteen or seventeen year old boy.
And damn she looked so much like her mother. And he could remember quite clearly his first thoughts when he first met Chavi. But again, with that 'trust' thing.
The 'I hate you' wasn't a good thing either. Followed by 'I wish Mom was alive!' That one hurt. So Dean did what he always did. Fixed cars, even if he was fixing what he already broke in venting out his temper.
And then, that little voice.
"Yeah." He said with a sigh, coming out from under a car and wiping his hands on a rag. Today was a good day, hot and dry, he moved easily. Shit, was this why his own father was cranky? But Dean's body had been broken so many times, and put together through not quite natural means so many times, there were after effects.
Not that he'd ever admit it. Even as he was scarfing down Tylenol.
She looked at her father, and felt like a little girl again. Which was how she was sure he saw her still. "Dad... I'm sorry. You know... for those things that I said." She was, she didn't like hurting him at all. He got that look in his eyes that just ripped her little heart out. She didn't like disappointing him either. He always made such a point of telling her how proud he was of her, whether it was because she knew how to change out a carburator, or when she managed to struggle her grades up to B's from the D's they inevitably wound up being once she got distracted by... whatever the latest distraction was. He knew that it wasn't that she wasn't smart, she just wasn't interested in half of what she was learning in school. So it hurt when he got that look. When he suddenly wasn't proud of her any more. And Mary tended to lash out when she hurt.
"You can't say things like that." Dean said as he cleaned his tools off. "Because life happens,and we don't always like how it happens. Anything you say to anyone could be the last words you ever say to that person." Winchesters knew that too well. Their father's last words to Sam? Would you mind getting me a cup of caffeine? Last words to Dean? Save your brother, or you have to kill him. And Jack, he'd never gotten much in the way of first words, never mind last words.
Which was why Dean made it a point to tell Mary how proud he was of her as often as he could. Because...he was now the age John was when he had died. It hung on his mind, as much as he tried to shove it off. He finished putting his tools away and turned toward his daughter.
"Look, I know rules suck. You're looking at a guy who's broken most of them. Some of them before they were even thought of. I just don't want you to have to go through what I did to learn my lesson." Staring down the death penalty wasn't fun. "I know you're growing up, as much as it causes me nearly physical pain to admit it," he said with a grin, "I know that. I do. Doesn't change the fact that I am your father and I was pretty much put on this earth to protect you."
"Isn't that what you tell Uncle Sam? That you were put on earth to protect him?" She said sheepishly. She had been sheltered in many ways. At least when compared to her father and uncles. Death wasn't something alien to her but the only close death in her life had been her mother and she had never even been held by her. "I wasn't doing anything wrong... other than staying out late. I just wanted to stay longer at the beach. I like it there when no one else is around. And then I fell asleep in the car. "
"Other than staying out late." Dean said with a chuckle. "You were parked on the beach, sleeping. Probably with the windows down, car unlocked, and keys in the ignition. Believe me, in cases like that, it's the human monsters you have to worry about. You want to go to a beach with no one around, ask Ben. I'm sure he knows of a few. But I had one simple rule, in by midnight, and you broke it. It's not that hard a rule. Maybe you didn't mean to, but you still did."
"Why midnight?" She asked, challenging the curfew. "It seems like such an arbitrary time, and I was perfectly safe. It's not like I sleep heavy. I was just snoozing. I would have heard someone if they had come over to the car. " It was a lame attempt, but she had to try. She loved her father, she did, but she was convinced that surely none of her friends had to endure the indignity of a midnight curfew. He was just too strict.
"Okay." Dean said. "I happen to know that Bethany," a friend of Mary's, whose single mother was known to hit on Dean, "has a curfew of ten. Is that better?" Midnight. In some cultures it was the witching hour. In her mother's gypsy culture, it was one o'clock in the morning. Others believed it was three AM. Either way, he wanted her home before either of those.
"No sir." She said, sullenly. "Sorry." She added. "Can we just... get past this being mad at each other thing? I know it doesn't seem like it but... I don't like being angry." She was a teenager and a Winchester. The temper was still in that raging out of control stage and generally her only target was her father. "Maybe do something so I don't have to go to church with Uncle Sam and Kevin." Kevin being Sam's adopted son. They were the same age but he was a little too gung ho on the hunting thing for her taste. Although she supposed if she had lost both of her parents to a demon, she would be too.
Dean had to laugh at that. "Get out of going to church?" He said, laughing. "I don't know, could be a nice grounding. But Sammy would definitely let me have it for using his church as a discipline technique. Which on its own can be entertaining...but okay, we'll think of something else."
"Thank you!" She said. She didn't mind going to mass on Sunday but she had no desire to go on confession night. That whole process made no sense to her. "How did he wind up in church all the time and you and Uncle Jack would rather have root canals than set foot in the place?"
"We're not that bad. We've set foot plenty of times without root canals." Dean pointed out. "Well, Sammy had a...crisis of faith...before you were even born." There were some things he hadn't told his daughter. The yellow eyed demon she knew about. She didn't know the demon's role in Sam's birth though. That was up to Sam to explain if he felt the need. "So he traveled a lot, and met this man named Father Pavel, who was an exorcist. Turned Sammy onto being Catholic. It felt right to him, so he kept up on it."
"Okay. So what shall we do tonight?" Mary asked.
"Well, going to church is out. I'm still shocked the place doesn't burn down whenever I step in it." Dean said with a chuckle. "So, I don't know. We can grab something to eat and go from there."
"Okay... so... when are Sam and Kevin actually moving out. It's gonna be weird not having them around the place anymore. " No matter how much she and Kevin fought, there was genuine affection between them. They were family now. It had taken four years to get the kids to think of themselves as really family, but now they might as well be siblings instead of cousins in some respects.
"Word is by this weekend." Dean said. "Sam's got another pair of kids he's going to go see, and see if he can help them." Much like Sam did with Kevin. "And it is going to be weird. Not to mention quiet." He wasn't sure how he felt about that. His house had never really been quiet.
"More kids huh. Well I guess it makes sense. It would be hard to relate to an adoptive family that couldn't really understand why you were an orphan in the first place." She figured it would be hard enough with out the added complication of having to not say the word Demon or Werewolf or whatever supernatural thing it was out there that destroyed your family. "At least he is finally moving in with Aunt Rachel. Now if he would just ... ask her to marry him cause you know that whole living in sin thing is going to make him nuts after a while."
"I think he's flexible on that point." Dean said with a chuckle, knowing there would be no marriage until Sam had fully banished Jessica from his mind. Not that he thought about her and compared her to Rachel. Just that he saw her on the ceiling, dying in front of him. "Besides, I think he wants to outdo Jack with kids."
"Well... two more in the wings, that would put them at tied. " Mary said shaking her head. "Those two compete a lot, have you noticed that?" She didn't understand why most of it revolved around her father though.
"Noticing it for years." Dean said with a chuckle as he finished cleaning and putting away his tools. "Was surprised you caught on, thought they were a bit better at hiding it."
Mary just gave her father a look. "Please" She said. "Okay... so I will take Ginger Bear home so you can finish up and we can go to dinner. So am I dressing nice or are we talking drippy red meat?"
"Drippy red meat." Dean said. "For you. I like to make sure mine's dead. How I fathered a child who eats her meat raw I will never know. Obviously some weird mutation of genes."
"It's not raw." She said with a laugh. "Besides I would think someone of your advanced age would be more interested in tender meat than shoe leather on a plate." She teased.
"Ouch. Advanced age? Well, the stomach of this advanced aged person likes meat it doesn't have to cook before digesting." He said with a laugh. "Advanced age. Now that one hurt. Go take the dog home, brat."
"See you in a bit, Daddy." She told him, eyes twinkling merrily as she urged the aging dog back out of the garage door, passing Sam as he made his way inside.
"Hey. What are you doing over the next few days?" Sam asked his brother.
"Well, thought I'd weasel my way into the Dallas cheerleaders locker room and show them all a good time, but my daughter just pointed out that I'm of an advanced age and they might kill me with their enthusiasm. So that plan's out the window." Dean said with a chuckle. "Which leaves me with, wow a big fat hole in my schedule. No, I'm not going to a prayer-a-thon with you."
"Dude... we don't do that." He said with a laugh. "That's the Pentecostals next door, but I understand they have a great time." He sighed. "Just got off the phone with Bobby. He fell, busted his hip, and is currently in the hospital with pins in places where there used to be a healthy bone."
"Oh shit." Dean said with a wince. "Broken hip? Damn." Of all the things to bring Bobby Singer down, something as mundane as a broken hip never crossed his mind. "He's not seriously thinking he's going back to his house, is he? you know, where he fell and all? How long was he there before he dragged himself across the floor to a phone to call for help anyway?"
"He pointedly avoided answering that question. But he mentioned being dehydrated. So it was probably a while." Which didn't please Sam at all. Bobby was in his late 70s. Some people could live on thier own into their 90s but usually not those who have lived as hard as Bobby Singer.
"All right then." Dean said. "We'll drive out and tell him he's freaking come back to Texas whether he likes it or not. I figure between the two of us we should be able to browbeat him enough, right?"
"Dude, he was the one person that stood a chance standing up to Dad with a mad on. Not sure he's gonna be an easy sell even in his current condition but that's the plan. He's gonna be there a while so we can probably take off tomorrow. We won't be able to drive him back but we can come up with something."
"Dude, he's in the hospital. With a broken hip. Which means no weapons and limited mobility. Believe me, Dad never had it this easy." Dean said with a laugh. "And if we catch him when he's stoned off pain meds, even better. I don't know, med flight or something. Business has been great, I can completely wing it. Broken hip, damn."
"Kevin and I can clear out my room tonight. It's on the first floor, perfect place for him. We will have to pack up that house of his. That's going to be a nightmare."
"Shit, I forgot about that house of his. Maybe we can enlist Jack. And Kevin and Mary. We're going to need all hands on deck for that one." Dean said with a shake of his head. "Well, remember when Mrs Brown across the street broke her hip?" He said, referencing an old old woman who had lived across the street. Sam was the one who found her, when he went to check on her. "She went to some rehab place, then off to live with her daughter in Florida. It's not like they're going to release Bobby from the hospital and that's it."
"True there will be time to get things taken care of. But damn with all those books we might have to build another room onto the house for them." Sam said with a laugh. "Can't put the man's research materials out of his reach. Trust me you don't want to do that."
"True. He'd hurt himself, then us, to get to them." Dean said. "So tomorrow we'll get going, bright and early. That will give me time to find coverage for the shop."
"Do we pack up the family and go then? Or make arrangements for the kids." It was funny to Sam, their children were teenagers and they made arrangements, when in their own childhood they had been on thier own when still in the single digits.
Dean grinned. "We'll sic Ben on them. He'll love it, even if he'll never admit it. Come on, what's a better babysitter to ensure curfew than a fire demon who can track you?" He said with a chuckle.
Sam laughed. "There is that." Kevin had once had difficulty with Ben because he was a demon, but eventually he realized that it wasn't the same. Ben was just a guy whose father happened to be a demon. He liked the guy now. Generally taking great joy in pestering him. Kevin should have been born a Winchester as far as Sam was concerned.
"So we'll go ask Ben." Dean said. "I'm sure it won't be a problem. He might even have a little fun with it. Then we'll go convince Bobby, and see when he'll be released from the hospital, get a time line on things. But in the meanwhile, I got a date with my daughter. She feels it's okay to be seen in public with me tonight."
"What did you do to rate?" Sam asked. "An hour ago she hated you and said you treated her like a criminal." He laughed a little, remembering such things coming out of his mouth at that age too, just with a little more volume and a lot less running to his room.
"I got her out of vigil tonight." Dean said with an impish smirk. "You'd be surprised how well that goes over. No one except you likes to go on confession night, Sam. Face it, you're the only Catholic among us."
"I don't like it." He admitted. "Just don't like taking any chances. " Sam had ferociously guarded his soul since having it returned to him in nice shiny condition 16 years previous. He had not once willingly used his abilities since that night. Didn't even know if he still had them. Didn't want to know. Visions weren't something he could control. But they weren't as common any more.
Dean laughed. "Sam, if I went to confession, the priest would keel over after he dropped the Bible." He said. "And you know it." His soul wasn't nice and shiny. It was a good soul, but it was also a well used soul. And he knew it. "I think it's best if I stay away from the confessional."
"Wouldn't do you any good anyway, you aren't Catholic for one, and for another absolution works on the principal that you really will try and work on not committing that particular sin again. You...are unrepentant." Sam wasn't exactly a fanatic, no matter how much his family liked to tease him about it. If he were he wouldn't be moving in with his girlfriend or taking in the occasional striptease at Ben's club. He was just... careful.
"Okay, you're right. But I'm one handsome unrepentant sinner." He said with a grin. "Come on, let's go see if we can bribe Ben with something."
"Another heater?" Sam said. "It's only 110 in his house." He said as he started toward the Car.
"Ooh there's an idea." Dean said. "Hey, he's the one who said he visited Hell once, and it wasn't hot enough for him. I swear he's one whacked out demon." He shook his head as he slid behind the wheel of the Impala, still His Car. "Did you think twenty years ago we'd be bribing a demon to watch our kids?"
"20 years ago I didn't think we would have kids." Sam said with a laugh. He had wanted them, wanted to make a family with Jessica and settle down, but part of him had always known that was a nice dream and nothing more. Even when he was going through the motions at Stanford.
"I didn't think I'd live to see thirty." Dean said with a laugh. "Amazing how the time flies, isn't it? Thank god it does, because if it didn't I'd be bald from tearing my hair out."
"I give you two years with that hair of yours. Mary is old enough to date now." Sam teased. He knew how Dean felt about his daughter and boys. He found it hilarious.
"Don't even start." Dean grumbled. "She's not old enough to date, I don't care what you, or Kaylie or anyone else says. We'll see how Jack feels on the subject when Abby gets up there."
"What, you want her first experience with dating to be when she is at college and no where near you ? Think about it." Sam said.
"Do you really think I was born yesterday?" Dean asked. "The question should really be do I want her first experience that I KNOW about to be at college or whatever. Please, I'm not an idiot. I just choose to confront her only when she really tests the limits of curfew." He'd grown up in a warzone between parent and child. He'd learned to pick his battles, something John never did.
Sam laughed and shook his head. "Don't encourage the sneaking, Dude. Cause it did such wonders for my and Dad's relationship when I did it."
"Ah, see, that's because Dad and you had a blow up after each and every time." Dean said. "I've learned. I pick my battles. Besides, Mary and I are completely different than you and Dad. First off, she's fairly normal, for what it's worth."
"Nice." Sam said with a grin on his face. "I'm just saying she is going to date whether you want her to or not. Better that you know who she is with and when. "
"Dude, the poor guy will have to make it through me. Then you. Then Jack. And if he's still alive, Ben. And if he's still able to crawl, I bet Bobby can finish him off by then. Really, no worries." Dean said with a laugh. "You got it easy, you've got a boy."
"All of that just to take a girl out to get a burger and fries, maybe a movie?" Sam shook his head. "And no, having a boy isn't easy. It's just different. Sadly Kevin is a bit... inept with girls. Hoping he grows out of that before college. "
"He should. You did." Dean teased. "He'll be fine, once he gets over the whole awkward teen thing. Give him time." He pulled up in front of Ben's club. "God I hope he's here, because I really don't want to go to his house."
"It's okay to not touch the thermostat." Sam said. "You can handle the heat for 5 minutes." He teased.
"Yeah right." Dean said as his cell phone rang. "Hello. Oh hey Ben. Yeah, we're at the club right now, me and Sam. Okay. We'll be right in I guess." He said and hung up. "That was Ben, he's in the club, because Fate loves me today, and he wants to talk to us. Why am I scared?" He said with a laugh as Jack pulled up. "Ooh looks like someone else got the demon page too."
"Last time he called us like this we were supposed to help with auditioning strippers. Rachel nearly killed me after that one."
"Hey," Jack said. "Any idea what it is he wants?"
"Hopefully it's to audition strippers." Dean said with a boyish grin. "I don't know what problem you two had, I had a ball!" Dean said with a chuckle as they walked through the bar to the back where Ben kept his office.
"Thanks guys." Ben said as the three brothers came in. "I'm going to die."
Jack paused and looked at Ben, frowning. "Excuse me?" He asked. He had thought Ben had gotten past that death wish thing. He seemed to like being Uncle (Grandfather) to Jack's children after all.
Sam raised an eyebrow. "Well that was unexpected."
"So we're not here to audition strippers?" Dean said, with disappointment and got slugged in the shoulder by Jack for that one.
"Relax. Not really. But I'm quite sick of greying my hair. So I'm going to die and come back. Except I won't be me. I'll be my handsome, charming younger cousin named...well...Ben." Ben said with a laugh. "So I get to make out a will." He gestured to the papers in front of him. "So what do you kids want?" Kids, he called them kids, though he looked to be a peer of Jack's now (when he wasn't greying his hair) and a tad younger than Dean.
"Shouldn't you leave all that stuff to this guy named Ben?" Jack asked, thinking this was the strangest thing he had ever done, and he had been involved in some really strange things since meeting his brothers.
"I don't need anything from you, Ben." Sam said with a chuckle, not quite sure what to make of all of this.
"Okay, fine." Ben said. "I'll just tell Rachel, and Kaylie, and Mary that you three due to some male pride or something, turned down an inheritance."
Dean whistled at that. "Okay, maybe we should re think this then."
"I don't know... seems weird since you aren't really dying or anything." Sam said. "Just... set up a trust for Kevin or something. I don't know... "
"Why are you giving your things away?" Jack asked still confused.
"Because." Ben said, patiently, as if it were obvious. "That's what people do when they die, right? Humans leave things to their people. Well, you guys and all your little rugrats are my...well...people. And did you know you can get this kit, and it's all fill in the blanks?"
"I think he's having fun with this." Dean said. "Okay, I'm scared now."
Sam shook his head. "We're his people." He said with a laugh.
"But you aren't really dying you could just... give it all to this Ben guy that's gonna get the house and the clubs." Jack said. This was just too weird. In a strangely sweet sort of way.
"Please tell me you're going to be a lot friendlier to 'this Ben guy.'" Ben said.
"'This Ben guy' is you, dude." Dean said. "Too friendly and you'll think you're in the twilight zone."
"True." Ben said. "Come on, why are you guys making this so difficult? This is the first time I've died. Every other time I just picked up and moved on. So when people die, they're expected to have a will and stuff. And sure, I'm leaving the clubs, the house, the car and a bulk of the money and stocks to myself. But I should leave you guys something. And I did that whole college trust thing once you people started spawning, or adopting, however you want to see it. No idea how much college goes for, you know, since Jack was stubborn and wouldn't let me pay and all. So they're each getting a million. Is that about right?"
"Yeah. If they attended a bunch of colleges and racked up one hell of a bar tab." Dean said, eyes widening a bit at that.
Sam sank down into a chair. "Okay, guess I don't have to worry about college funds... Kevin will have enough to share with any kid I could manage to adopt... even if I picked up another dozen or so." He said. "I ahm.. thank you... but that's not why we're here actually." Sam wasn't comfortable with all this talk of inheritances and fake deaths. "We were wondering if you could keep an eye on the kids for a few days. Bobby fell and busted his hip. We're gonna go out and try and bully him into coming back here with us."
"Well, I was going to buy a plane and crash it on Tuesday..." Ben said.
"Yeah, well, can you put it off?" Dean asked, clearing his throat. Some things about Ben just remained strange no matter how long he lived as a human.
"Sure." Ben said with a shrug. "Give me more time to crunch some numbers. Maybe Bobby wants some money."
"Ben..." Dean said, trying not to laugh. "Do you have any idea how much money a million dollars is?"
"Uh...well...it's got six zeroes after it?" Ben said. "Look, when I first married my wife, one day you could get a washing machine, a good one, for thirty bucks." Ben had no concept of money. He just squirreled it away because he had nothing better to do with it, since he didn't have many needs. And some of the money went way up in value, with stocks and such. "Sure, I'll look after them. They can help me with this."
"Right." Sam said in a nervous tone. "Okay... this is definitely different."
"What ever, man... you need to take that up with Kaylie, cause I just bring home the paycheck, she makes sure everything gets taken care of, and I like it that way. I start making money decisions like that and she might start expecting me to do more of that shit and ... I hate it so... there." Jack said. He was used to Ben's strangeness, but this was the first time he had ever planned his death.
"Look, boys, it's either I die, or I leave. This way, I die, I come back and I have another thirty or so years here." It made logical sense to Ben. "But okay, I'll take it up with Kaylie."
"You know what, Ben? How about you leave me two million dollars?"
"Thatta boy!" Ben said, nearly excitedly as he scribbled it down. "I knew one of you would get the hang of this game."
"And I'll pay you two million dollars to watch Mary and keep her out of trouble while we're getting Bobby." Dean said with a grin.
Sam laughed at that one. "Trust me... you will earn it. She doesn't go anywhere without that dog." Not that the dog was bad it was just... old... with that old dog... smell. That Mary never seemed to notice.
"Hey, leave Ginger Bear alone." Dean said. "Okay so that's settled. Bobby should be fun to deal with."
"You need a new definition of fun, Dean." Ben said. "Because he was cranky before he broke his hip. Unless they have him on good drugs, then it could be fun."
"Bobby is a 79 year old hunter. He is probably trying to get them to turn the morphine drip off and let him hobble on home. This is going to be anything but fun, and somewhere in heaven Dad is going to be watching and laughing his ass off while we try and corral him."
"Again, he's seventy nine years old." Dean said. "It'll be a piece of cake. We can take him if it comes to that. So, Jack, give Kaylie our best. We all still on for Sunday dinner?"
"Yep, if the weather holds, we'll be grilling out back. More room for kids then. Will you have the new kids yet then?" Jack asked.
"Weekend visits for now. They've been through a lot. Especially Tessa. She doesn't talk yet. She'll come out of it eventually. But yeah, expect us to bring all three on Sunday."
"Should I sit this one out?" Ben asked. "I mean, Kevin had me pegged as a demon a mile away. I'm really over making kids cry. Got over that a couple hundred years ago."
"No it's alright if you are there." Sam said. "You are part of the family and that's why we do these weekend visits. If they can't handle it... then we find them another family." It was harsh but it was how things worked. He didn't want to spring Ben on them later and have the whole thing explode after they had brought them home to stay.
"All right then. I'll bring the steaks." Ben said with a nod. "I'll bring my space heater to your place, Dean. Since I know you like your house cold and all."
"68 degrees is not cold." Dean said with a roll of his eyes.
"Whatever. So when are you guys leaving?"
"Tomorrow morning." Sam said. "Which means we need to get going. You have a date with your daughter, and I have to break it to Rachel that I will be spending the better part of a week out of town."
"If you're lucky you won't be sleeping on the couch." Dean said with a laugh. "See you later Ben. Come on Sam, I have to drive you home."
"I'm not sleeping on the couch. I still have a room at your place, remember." He said, following Dean out the door. "It's going to be rough seeing Bobby this way." Bobby Singer had always been a powerhouse of a man. One of the few that could stand toe to toe with his father and not blink once. It had been easy to pretend he still was that powerhouse, since Bobby had been blessed with good mental health in his old age. No Alzheimer's, or senility. No dementia. Just a body that wasn't willing to keep up with the mind any more.
"Yeah tell me about it. And Bobby'll chew us a new one, bedridden or not, if we try to treat him any different too." Dean said. "This should be interesting."
"Well it's not like his brain isn't working... just his bones." Sam said. "I am floored the man lasted this long. Hell I'm surprised we lasted this long!"
"Dude, I shouldn't have survived my twenties." Dean said with a laugh. "Believe me, I'm just as surprised as you are. And that we're having a demon babysit our kids. And the fact we have kids in the first place."
"I'm moving in with someone... still scared as hell about that, but what's a guy to do?" He shrugged. He couldn't live in fear of the son of a bitch coming back...well... he could but he couldn't let it dictate his life anymore. If he did he wouldn't have a life.
Dean laughed. "What's a guy to do? Memorize these important lines. Yes, dear. Whatever you say, honey. Of course those pants don't make you look fat. I was not looking at her. And what a brilliant idea!"
"You've seen Rachel, right?" Sam asked with a laugh. "The only thing that could make her look fat is a fat suit. " Sometimes he worried that she was a little too thin, but she could keep up with Kevin in the eating department. So it wasn't like she was starving herself.
"Okay, but you've got all the answers to anything she might ask." Dean said with a laugh. "Sam you'll be fine. Might actually relax for a moment or two if you try too."
"If I can get the nightmares to stop." Sam admitted. "Every time we start talking about setting a date I see it all over again."
"Sam, you'll probably have those nightmares whether you're married or not." Dean said. "I'd just bite the bullet and go for it if that's what you want. That bastard can't rule our lives forever, he's done enough damage, don't you think?"
"More than enough." Sam said but the look on his face seemed to turn back the years and he looked like the young man who had seen his world go up in flames once more.
"All right, don't be a girl about it." Dean teased his brother, to break the moment of maudlin. "The real question is how long can a good Catholic boy like you continue living in sin? You know, we've got some bets on that."
Sam couldn't help but laugh. "I don't know. We'll see. I'm not exactly a fanatic you know."
"Yeah, gives me hope that I'll win then." Dean said with a grin as he pulled up in front of his house. "Okay, let's go break the news to the kids about Bobby." Who they considered their uncle, Kevin especially, who loved the old hunter.
"Yeah. if he says no we can always have Ben bring the kids out. Secret weapon. " Sam suggested. "He still has a weakness for kids. Guess it wasn't just us."
"Or it's because they're ours." Dean said as he got out of the Impala. "Mary? Kevin? You guys home? Come on down, we gotta talk to you."
Kevin came down the stairs with all the normal reluctance of a teenager. "What's up?"
Mary came out of her room followed by her dog as usual.
"It's your Uncle Bobby. He took a fall and is in the hospital." Sam said. "Busted his hip. Dean and I are gonna go check on him tomorrow and see if we can't talk him into coming to stay here."
"Busted his hip?" Mary asked. "That's not gonna heal right at his age, is it?"
"At his age, probably not." Dean said. Because he played it as straight with his daughter as he could, all the time. He'd seen what his father keeping some things hidden had done to Sam. And himself, truthfully. Not to mention Jack. "So he's gonna be in the hospital, then we'll get him transferred to a rehab around here, once he's released, well, he'll have Sam's old room."
"Huh." Kevin said. "You really think he's gonna go for that, so easily? Thought you guys knew him pretty well?"
"No one said anything about easy, Kev." Sam said. "But he can't live on his own anymore and there aren't alot of other options that he would like any better. Unfortunately he isn't gonna want to hear that he can't live on his own, or that Rumsfeld doesn't count as a roommate."
"Rumsfeld is older than Mary's dog." Kevin said with a shake of his head. "Well, can I go? To make sure he's okay? I could go house sit for him."
"Oh yeah. You and a house full of demon hunting knowledge. You'd completely get your homework done." Dean said.
"Definitely not. But when it's time to pack up the house you can come with. " Sam said. "Ben is coming over while we are gone."
"Ben? God I'm going to melt." Mary complained. "Better stock up on bags of ice."
"Hey, you like Ben. Besides, he's got a project for you guys any ways." Dean said, shaking his head at the thought of a bunch of teenagers helping an old demon with his will.
"I love Ben... " Mary said. "I don't love sweating... so what project?" She asked.
"He's, ah," Dean laughed. "He's making out a will. Like he's playing Monopoly or something. Should keep you two occupied."
"A will?" Kevin said. "A demon is making out a will. Wow. Hey, is he leaving us anything?"
"That's what he wants help with. But you are not to take advantage of him." Sam said sternly. "I mean it. "
Mary laughed. "Yeah like we could take advantage of him."
"Oh, Sam, lighten up." Dean said with a laugh. "After all, they're minors, so if they do take advantage of it, it gets held in trust with us as the trustees, we can do what we want with it. Like donate it to charity or American Idol or something."
"That's harsh." Kevin said.
"Works for me... except for that whole American Idol thing." Sam shuddered.
"We're not going to take advantage of the innocent demon, Uncle Sam." Mary said rolling her eyes.
"Yeah, right." Dean said, not believing that for a second. "Just remember a demon's retribution is a complete bitch. And he's sneaky. With a lot of friends. On, weirdly enough, both sides." He shook his head at that for a moment. "So ready for dinner?"
"Sure, let's go." Mary said with a grin. "If you are going out of town and leaving me with a baby sitter at my age, you're springing for dessert."
"You never get sick of extorting me, do you?" Dean said with a laugh. "See you guys later."
"I don't need a babysitter." Kevin said to Sam. "I really don't."
"Probably not, but we need you to have one." Sam said. It was something they had both sworn never to do to their children. Leave them alone to face the world, waiting for them to come back.
Kevin made a face. "So I can train to hunt, but when I'm not handling dangerous weaponry and ritual material I get treated like I'm Abby or something?" Kevin said. "That's bull and you know it."
"You're not being treated like Abby." Sam said. "Come on, let's go get Rachel and get some dinner ourselves. " He led the way out to the truck. "It's one of those screwed up things that kids wind up paying for their grandparents' mistakes. But it's how things are. "
"Yeah, well, how things are suck." Kevin said. He had a babysitter. At his age. As if school wasn't hard enough, wait until the kids heard about this one. He was lucky if a girl glanced at him, but he certainly didn't want them glancing at him with laughter. At least, more than they already did.
"The alternative sucked too." Sam said with a sigh. "Dean and I used to wait in hotel rooms alone while Dad hunted. We were about a year older than Abby and Benjamin. A lot of things happened that we don't want to happen to our families."
"Yeah. Who cares if I ever get a date as long as your conscience is clear, right?" Kevin said as he got into the truck. "Fine. We'll be fine. We'll be perfect little angels for our favorite demon. Promise."
"Why would Ben staying at the house make you not get a date? Kevin... the only thing keeping you from getting a date is you not asking the girls out." Although he was afraid of Kevin having Dean's taste in women and not many guys could get the wanna be beauty queens in high school.
Kevin looked pained as he looked out the window. Why didn't he ask girls out? Because that would require talking to them. And not stuttering, stumbling or dropping everything all over himself. Which was a feat he couldn't quite manage. He'd watch Dean, well, Uncle Dean, with women. So freaking effortless. And to hear the man he considered his father rag on the man he considered his uncle, it had nearly always been like that. A quick grin, a wink, and Dean was set. Kevin? He never got that far. And winking, grinning and talking together? He couldn't manage that around a girl, that was for sure. "Yeah, well..." Kevin said. "High school sucks."
"Yeah well, only two more years to go... then college." Sam said. "I didn't date much until college either. Dean swore I was adopted when I went stag to my junior prom."
"Yeah, I guess I at least have that excuse right?" Kevin said with a grin. "I am adopted! Obviously I can't be expected to have inherited any of the whole girl snaring genes when technically I don't share any genes. Takes some of the weight off." He said with a chuckle.
Sam laughed. "You'll figure out girls. Or at least how to get their attention. I don't think girls understand girls." Sam certainly didn't. "But don't let Ben give you too many ideas about girls... unless he is drunk and he's talking about the Great Depression. Which will probably make you want to run and hide anyway. He's a maudlin drunk."
"Great. So my babysitter is a maudlin, strip club owning, heavy drinking chain smoking demon. Who probably still, even in that state, can pick up women with a glance." Kevin said. "Yeah, that should make me feel non pathetic."
"Kevin, you're not pathetic." Sam said with a smile as they pulled up in front of Rachel's office and turned off the engine. "Anything but. You have been through things that would put just about everyone you go to school with in a straight jacket, including your teachers. And yet here you are having a perfectly normal conversation about girls. That in and of itself is pretty amazing. Most of the jocks roaming the halls... you can out do physically because of the training you have. You think on your feet and know what to do in a crisis. And you still manage not to hurt anyone if you can avoid it. I'm proud of you. " He could remember feeling that way himself. Especially when he was watching Dean pick up girls like it was nothing. "No, that doesn't help with the dry mouth and shaking hands every time a girl walks by, but it does mean you aren't pathetic by a long shot."
"Yeah, I know." Kevin said with a chuckle as he climbed over the front seat to the back, seeing Rachel come out. "Can't get any worse after high school."
"Hey." Rachel said as she got into the truck, leaning over and giving Sam a kiss.
"Hey yourself." Sam said, then explained about Bobby and that he and Dean were leaving the next morning. "So, where do you want to go to dinner tonight?"
"I'm definitely in the mood for pasta." She said with a grin. "Poor Bobby, this is definitely going to be a blow for him." She knew how independent the old hunter was, and liked to be. The hospitalization itself had to be a nightmare.
"Yeah. I'm hoping he will come back here with us." Sam said as he started toward the restaurant. "There is a rehab place that specializes in this sort of thing locally and we could have him flown straight here from the hospital. But he is going to fight us tooth and nail, I know."
"If he adamantly refuses and you can't convince him, you could always be named his guardian." Rachel said. "It's a last resort thing, but it would work." Kevin started laughing fromt he back seat.
"Would that make Uncle Bobby my brother then?" He asked, laughing still.
Sam started laughing then. "He would never forgive me if we did that. So I hope it isn't possible. He's lost enough of his dignity already with this." He parked the truck. "But we will be back by the weekend on this trip, we have that family dinner at Jack and Kaylie's on Sunday and the weekend visit with the kids. Oh...and Ben is watching Kevin and Mary while we're gone. He wants their help making his will."
"Will? He's making a will?" Rachel said. From a purely human perspective, which Rachel was (purely human that is), making a will was fatalistic and morbid. "Is he all right?"
"He's fine, but he's planning on buying and crashing a plane, then leaving most of his stuff to his younger relative named ...well.. Ben. But he seems to think he needs to leave everyone else something as well. Because it's what people do when they die or something like that."
"Aw, that's kinda sweet." Rachel said with a smile. "He likes you guys, even if he won't admit it." Then she stopped. "So you and your brother had the bright idea of having two teenagers help him with his will? Are you nuts?"
"It won't be that bad." Kevin said. "I mean, hello, he can always say no."
Sam laughed. "He's like a big kid playing with monopoly money. And the kids know that we have control of what ever they arrange to get, so if it's outrageous, we can rectify it. "
"Good idea." Rachel said. "Good thing he's pulling this while they're minors then. Because they might have taken him for a ride then."
"Okay, Ben has no idea what he's doing with money, but he's not an idiot. Else Uncle Jack would be completely spoiled by someone other than his wife." Kevin pointed out as he pulled out a hand held video game.
"There is always that." Sam said with a shrug. "And anything passed around the family can be gathered up and given back to him when this whole fun of faking his death is done. but I gotta tell you if he expects me to cry at his fake funeral... not happening."
"Oh, come on honey." Rachel said with a grin. "You could give the eulogy. 'There was this time...sixteen years ago...when he beat the shit out of me...' And sob right through it. You know he wants a good show."
"It's going to be us and a lot of strippers... some of them now too old to look at with out cringing anymore." Sam said. "I don't know that he needs some grand eulogy... Dean might be up for that though. He misses the con I think."
"And the bartenders from the two clubs, the waitresses, and anyone else he's run across in the community." Rachel said. "He did raise Jack, I don't think he did that by closing himself off to hanging with strippers only."
"Oh Uncle Dean will rock the eulogy. Probably leave Ben and you in tears." Kevin said. "I'll sell the tickets."
Sam led the way inside, and they were directed to an open table. "I'm not going to cry." He held out the chair for Rachel, pushing it in for her before taking his own seat.
Kevin chuckled as he sat down. "Yeah, right." He said. "Come on, we all know Uncle Dean. Guy should have been a speech writer for a politician."
"Kevin, no one's going to cry. Because we know he's alive, remember?" Rachel said with a laugh.
"Yeah it ahm... puts a damper on that whole bawling our eyes out thing when we're trying not to laugh." Sam said as he looked at the menu.
"Maybe we should have the kids..." She looked at Kevin. "The ones younger than you and Mary, maybe Mark, sit out the funeral. Not every Winchester is gifted with your brother's particular brand of bull shit."
"I think you are right. I will talk to Jack about it. Definitely not taking Tessa and Simon if they are with us at that point. I cannot believe how weird my family is."
"It's completely weird. The most normal person in it is the demon." Kevin said with a laugh. "So when are the kids coming anyway?"
"We get a weekend visit with them this weekend. Rachel and I have already had a few visits. Tessa, the little girl, doesn't talk. She is pretty fragile really. She watched her natural family die while she hid under the cupboards at 5 and now she lost her foster family... Simon's family. Both were hunter families but it doesn't help make you ready for that."
Kevin was silent at that and stared intently at the menu. He knew about things like that. Hunter families that didn't make it. Fathers that went out and never came back. A demon that turned on his mother. He knew about things like that. "The spaghetti looks good." He said idly.
Rachel passed Sam a look. There were a few things that could still get to Kevin. Demons killing humans was one of them. "Yeah, it does. I think I'll have that too."
"I'm sorry Kevin." Sam said. It had been bad timing, but the truth of the matter was, this was their lives. If it wasn't something Kevin could handle, then he was going to have a hard time as a hunter. Demons destroyed families. It's what they do. Sam couldn't shelter the boy anymore. It wouldn't be doing him any favors.
Kevin looked up from his menu. "I know." He said. "I just don't want to talk about it, is all. You two can talk about it when I'm not around, but I don't want to talk about it." Sounding for all the world like Dean in that moment, though there was absolutely no genetic connection.
A public restaurant wasn't the place to press the issue, so Sam let it drop. He knew how hard it was to lose someone you loved, and yes he still bore the scars from it. But he also knew that swallowing it whole and shoving it to the back didn't always work out the way you wanted it to. Maybe they needed a sunrise walk before he headed for the Dakotas.
"So, we should probably start looking for a bigger place." He suggested to Rachel. "Something we own and can modify as needed."
"We should. We can drive around a bit after dinner. See who we're going to hound tomorrow." Rachel said with a laugh.
"I don't want to change schools." Kevin said adamantly. He might not have a way with girls, but he had friends at his school he'd rather not lose because of some arbitrary move.
"I can understand that. We'll do our best to keep you in the same school district. And you two can go house hunting while Dean and I are out of town. We'll hit your favorites when I get back."
"That sounds good." Rachel said as they put their orders in.
"Yea. Sounds like loads of fun." Kevin said with a chuckle. "House hunting. Well, I guess its better than cleaning the bathroom."
"Look at it as new bedroom hunting." Sam said.
Mary grinned broadly as they brought out the steaks. "Oh yeah... that's a steak." She said looking at the plate mounded with a thick steak and fries.
Dean watched in dismay as she cut into her steak and pink juice came out. "That's not a steak, that's a health hazard." Dean said. "I swear, you were switched at birth or something. Only explanation. Or when I dropped you on your head. Rare, ick."
"You dropped me on my head?" She asked. "You? Highly unlikely." She told him as she popped a bite of the pink but cooked through meat into her mouth and savored it.
"Well, I could have." Dean said. "And maybe if I did, would have knocked some sense into you." He said with a chuckle. "Now, when Bobby comes home to our place, I'm gonna need some help. Because he is a cranky, stubborn old bastard." He said with a chuckle.
"Yeah cause I have so much experience with that." She teased. "But do you really think you can get him to move here?" She asked. "I mean... would you in his position?"
"Probably not." He said as he ate his fries. "Course, I'm not the one with pins in my hip suffering from dehydration. He doesn't have a choice. He'll get used to it after a while." Because Bobby didn't have a choice on that matter. "Besides, it'll give Ginger Bear someone to play with, someone that she can keep up with."
"Bobby and Ginger?" She asked and laughed. "And I sincerely hope you plan on using a different tactic than that to convince him." She shook her head. "You'll get used to it never worked on me, can't imagine it would would on a man who is used to being in control of his own life."
"He took care of me and Sam when we were kids. When your grandfather would go off on his hunts. Helped rescue us a couple of times. When we needed Bobby, he had a way of turning up with the right answer. Now it's our turn to take care of him is all. We owe him." Dean said with a shrug.
"I know and I think it's the right thing, I just ... well... think you need to be careful of Uncle Bobby's dignity right now."
"We can handle this." Dean said. "But while we're gone, you need to rest up. And that whole curfew thing, completely enforced. But once Bobby's transferred to the rehab center, we gotta go pack up his house."
"Wow...where are we gonna put all of his books? You know if it's just me, you and Uncle Bobby we could turn the family room into like... his personal space cause Kevin's room is right off of there. Still don't know where all those books are gonna go but it would at least feel like he had some privacy and control over his life."
"That's a good idea." Dean said, nodding. "We can expand that room a bit, we've got enough space on that side of the house. See how long it stays organized for. Should calm him down a bit. Besides, it's not like we don't have things for him to work on."
"Exactly. And when you get that old and infirm, I figure I'll put a keg out in the garage with a broken car as bait then lock the doors till you see reason."
"Oh great." Dean said with a laugh. "Keep up talk like that, you're going to quickly lose the favorite child spot. I don't plan on being old and infirm any time soon. I figure if I can keep intimidating any guy that dares to shadow my doorstep, means I still got it."
"How can I lose the favorite child spot? I'm the only child. It automatically goes to me." She said with a laugh. "At least it won't be completely quiet around the house. Gonna miss Uncle Sam and Kevin."
"It's not like they're moving far away." Dean said. "Besides, we'll see more of Sam and Jack than we did before. After all, now they're on even footing in the competition for my attention, neither lives with me anymore." It amused him more than anything else, because it hadn't come to blows in a long time.
"Those two are funny. " Mary said. "Some days I am glad that I'm an only child, others... I think you had it pretty cool."
"Well, Jack didn't come along until I was twenty seven. Till then, from the age of four, it was just me and Sam." Dean said. Not wanting to point out to his daughter that the relationship he and Sam had was hardly the typical brother relationship. Even he'd admit, now, that there was a whole lot of co dependency there. Not to mention Dean had pretty much raised Sam, and himself, at the same time.
"So how did they deal with Mom taking all of your attention?" They didn't speak of her mother. Not because it was taboo really but just because no one wanted to bring up anything that would cause her father pain.
"Well, Uncle Sam wasn't there for that part." Dean said with a wince. "That was during his...crisis of faith...period. We didn't really reconnect until your mom's funeral. Jack, oh he loved her. She usually took his side in things." Things like patching Dean up, and getting Dean to admit that he needed patching up in the first place.
Mary laughed. "They ganged up on you, huh? Do you think he'll ever marry Rachel?"
"Yeah, they ganged up on me. Your mom made up an acronym that Uncle Jack still loves to throw in my face." Dean said with a laugh. "Yeah, they'll get married. Might be to share social security, but they'll get married. Count on it."
"Made up an acronym?" She asked with a laugh. "The one he uses when you say your fine,yet bleeding more than my steak?"
"Yeah, that would be the one." Dean said with a laugh. "Courtesy of your mother. I think she knew me a little too well. Couldn't slip anything past her, and believe me, I tried. Lots."
"I don't understand how you manage to con anyone at all. You're so transparent it isn't even funny."
"Transparent?" Dean said. "Sweetheart, you're looking at a man who convinced legions of people he was an FBI agent, morgue attendant, park ranger, homeland security, insurance adjuster, cop, bikini inspector..."
She raised an eyebrow. "Bikini inspector I would believe... so long as it was a self appointed position."
"Self appointed?" Dean said with a laugh. "I get it. It's because I'm Dad. Don't worry, I forgive you for your lack of faith in me."
"You think there is actually someone out there hiring Bikini inspectors? Do women your age actually buy that sort of line?"
"I don't even think there is such a job. I made it as a gag to get at your uncle. But doesn't matter. They just have to believe that it's a real job, and you've got it." Dean said. "That's all it is, someone else believing whatever you say. It's a talent, that thank god I don't think you inherited. Because you can't lie worth a damn." And that wasn't a bad thing, he didn't want that sort of life for her.
"Yeah but it's damned hard to get a lie past me too. So I think it's a talent I will count myself lucky to have. So Daddy... there is this movie playing that I really want to go see, and my friend Jason wants to go see it... and ahm... we'd like to see it together... as a date."
"Jason? Date? Dark movie theater? Jason as in boy Jason with boy parts?" Dean said. "Oh boy. Do I get to meet this Jason? And you're driving, right? Is this just a courtesy ask or is this a real ask?" Meaning had she already made plans and was going to do it anyway no matter what he said.
"I said I would go if you said yes, he knows your rule about it having to be my car. It's a crowded movie theater, and yeah I can have Jason come over when you get back. We were wanting to go this Saturday."
"This Jason, this boiling ball of barely contained hormones in a teenager's body...he's not the reason you were three hours late for curfew last night, is he?" Dean asked as he ate his steak. God, a date. This was one of those times he really wished his late wife was still alive. Because he knew too clearly how a teenage boy thought. And it wasn't any sort of thoughts he wanted around his daughter!
"No, Daddy. I was out there alone. I promise. " Mary wasn't one to make out in public places like the beach. Mostly because there was no telling where or when her father would show up. Not that she had done anything more than making out or that her father needed to know she had done even that much.
"As much as I'd love to investigate the possibility of sending you off to a convent or something," Dean said with a sigh, "sure. I guess that will be all right." He'd learned from his father that the quickest way to make sure a kid did something was to tell the kid absolutely not. Worked with Sam, after all. No you can't go to Stanford. So where did Sam go? And the last thing he wanted was something that stupid between him and his only child. Dean was going to have to admit that Mary was growing up, thank God he had a road trip coming up with his brother.
"Thank you." She said getting up from her seat and coming around the table to hug her father. Then went back and sat down, blushing as several patrons were smiling at them indulgently. "Just don't say the word Convent around Uncle Sam... he knows far too many priests for me to be comfortable with that." She teased.
"Oh I don't know, I'm pretty comfortable with the idea." Dean said with a grin. "I'm sure we could find a nice isolated one too. You know, there are all girl colleges too. Just putting that out there."
She wrinkled her nose. "And what's the point in that?" She asked. "I don't even know what I want to do yet. Let's hold off on college until I decide that I want to even go. And convent... definitely out. Not ready to give the rest of my life over to any man... not even God."
"And that's a great thing for me to hear." Dean said with a laugh. He'd tackle the college thing later. Even if he had to find someone to write her essay for her, she was going.
She pushed her plate away. "So, now that I am almost grown and out of your hair... when are you gonna start seriously dating again?"
"What? Where'd that one come into play?" Dean asked. "Hate to break it to you, I'm not a serious dating type. That's all your uncles."
"You married Mom... you had to seriously date at some point in your life." She pointed out. "I don't want you to be alone when I move out and Uncle Bobby doesn't count."
"Uncle Bobby does too count. You should go bug Ben. He's been single longer than I have." Dean said with a chuckle. "And he's got no one in the house."
"Ben isn't my father." She said as she looked over the dessert menu. "And he has far too much baggage to ever be happy anyway."
"Actually, I think what makes him happiest is to be miserable." Dean said, laughing. "I'm fine, Mary. You don't have to worry about me. Been taking care of myself for a long time now, and been doing a pretty good job of it too."
"Right... cause that line works so well on you when Sam says it." She said with a laugh and motioned the waitress over to order the dessert she wanted.
Dean passed on dessert and ordered another beer instead. "Difference, Sam hasn't been taking care of himself as long as he thinks he has." Dean said with a laugh.
"Neither have you Dad. It's kind of a mutual thing going on there...and he is moving out and getting married theoretically. So I'm a little worried."
"Don't worry so much. I'll be fine." Dean said. "It's not like he's going away forever. I can still bug him. And there's Bobby, and the shop, and Jack...and you're not as grown up as you think you are besides."
"Never said I was grown up. Just that I will be moving out in a couple years. "
"Are you trying to kill me here?" Dean said. "Wow, dating, moving out...you're not pregnant are you?"
"Nope. Can't catch what you're not exposed to." She said with a laugh. "And see... that's what I mean. You're gonna need someone there. Otherwise it wouldn't bug you that I'm growing up."
"Hold that thought." Dean said and took out his cell phone, calling Jack. "Hey Jack." He said, laying it on the table and turning the speaker phone feature on. "Really quick question. You're all married and crap, so we can consider that as you having someone there, right?"
"Yeah." Jack said with a laugh. "Where did that question come from?"
"So you've got your wife who's there, and she's a pretty big part of your life." Dean said. "So does this mean Abby gets a free pass to...oh I don't know...date? Break curfew? Hang out with boys at all hours? Play a little show and tell? Obviously because Kaylie's there, all that stuff doesn't bug you at all, right?"
"Okay... who handed you the crack pipe?" Jack asked as Mary groaned in the background. "Abby can date when she is 16, if the boy has the balls to ask my permission first. The rest of that... hell no."
"Thank you." Dean said, trying not to laugh. "I'll explain Mary's little theory to you later. You'll get a huge kick out of it, bro." He said as he hung up and looked at Mary expectantly at Jack's blow up of her own theory.
Mary gave a growling sigh. "Well that was embarrassing." She said. "So it isn't that you are going to be lonely, you just want me to be 12 for the rest of my life."
Dean gave her an exasperated look. "Well, why didn't you just say that?" He said. "And you're only half right. I like the age of six better. You were a whole lot easier to pick up then." He said with a laugh.
"Because I was hoping that... I don't know... you could be happy somewhere along the way. I don't want you to be lonely." She said. "And I would so not want to be 6 forever. "
"I loved the age of six. Boys had cooties." Dean said with a laugh. "Mary, I'm fine. I'm not lonely, I'm not unhappy, it's not your job to fix my life. It's my job to control yours, remember?"
"Control is such a strong word... especially at my age." She pointed out.
"I'm not that bad, and you know it." Dean said. "Is it so freaking wrong for me to want to protect my only child? Especially since I know what's out there, human and not so human? Is that so wrong and evil of me?"
"No, Dad... but I'm not a little girl anymore. I'm not gonna do anything stupid, okay."
Dean had to laugh at that. Either that or choke on his beer. "Sweetheart, you're a Winchester. Doing something stupid is written into the genetic code. Trust me. You're a direct descendant of the king of doing stupid things, me. Just ask your uncle Sam."
Mary laughed. "And you wonder why I worry about you." She said rolling her eyes.
The next morning seemed to come earlier than Sam would have liked, but he was at Dean's bright and early starting a pot of coffee before going to knock on Dean's door.
Dean pulled the blankets over his head as soon as he smelled the coffee. Dammit,it was morning already. But he got up and opened the door just as Sam was about to knock on his bedroom door. "This getting up early crap is for the birds." He mumbled as he took the coffee and started drinking. He was a night owl, not a morning bird. Always had been.
"Yeah well, if we don't leave now...we'll be spending two nights in crappy motels instead of one." He pointed out. Sam was always up to watch the sunrise, whether he saw it at the beginning of the day or the end of a very long day was neither here nor there.
"You and sunrises." Dean said as he drank his coffee. And got another cup. "You know, mornings are meant to be slept through. That's the beauty of mornings. Sleep through them, stay up all night." He yawned. "You pack the car?"
"Yeah, I packed the car." Sam said with a laugh. "As though its ever really unpacked. Come on sleepy head, I'll take the first shift."
"Like hell." Dean said as he went to get dressed. Then he rapped on Mary's door. "We're going." He said and was rewarded with a muffled grunt in reply, which made him chuckle. "That's my girl." He said. "A non morning person just like her old man." Then he went back out. "Okay, I got first shift. And probably second and third. You drive my car like you're driving your car."
"Dean, I have been driving your car since I was 22, I think I can handle her at this late date." Sam said shaking his head. "Come on slow poke, breakfast on the road. I want to get to Bobby before he kills the hospital staff in the escape."
"I don't know, that could be funny." Dean said as he left money for Mary and Kevin. "Fine, let's go." He said with a chuckle as they headed out to the Impala. It was still on the road. It was nearly sixty years old, well, the model year was, and had been rebuilt over the years. Parts replaced and fixed. Dean was forced to give up his cassette player once they stopped making cassettes period and his old ones started to wear out. So he had a CD player now. Since they still made CDs.
"When was the last time we drove farther than Louisiana? I'm starting to feel old and I haven't even hit middle age yet." Sam said as he walked over to the car and started to check the supplies. It had been a very long time since they had been on the road. Really on the road.
"You know, you always make fun of this car. But I've been offered serious, and I mean serious, money for her." Dean said.
"I still bet if you had driven her down into that pit you put me in... she wouldn't have come out of it. " He teased. "She's got to be possessed. Or on her 14th engine. But I can well imagine you get offered a fortune for her. Glad you never took 'em up on it."
"Shut up and get in the car." Dean said. He had a bag packed. He always had a bag packed. Their hunts had gotten a bit farther outside the immediate community circle, so he kept one in the car at all times. "She's not possessed. Your just jealous because you've gone through...how many vehicles?"
"3." Sam said. "And I am not jealous. I prefer to make my commitments to real live human beings." He said as he got into the car. "Did your wife know your mistress was into chrome?" It was safe to tease a little now. It had been 16 years. It had been natural selection, not some monster lying in wait. Dean still grieved but the thought of his wife didn't kill him any more. How could it when he looked into her face every time he saw his daughter?
"Oh yeah." Dean said with a laugh. "She was well aware of it. And she was just as mocking as you, though never near the car. She, at least, had respect." He teased his brother. He turned the ignition on, the car still ran like it did when their father was driving it. They stopped by Dean's so he could reiterate the rules and leave the money, then hit the highway. No longer were they afraid to drive main roads. Backroads were fun, and they still took them, but high ways weren't forbidden anymore. Hell, cops never bothered to pull them over, not because of the passengers, but probably in awe of the car.
Sam settled into a comfortable position. He had more aches and pains than most men his age, but it wasn't bad.He was still able to be comfortable for long periods of time in the car. He shook his head, thinking of all the memories made in that car. Dean memories. John memories. Their childhood had been spent in this car. "So have you let Mary drive her yet?"
"She learned to drive on this car." Dean said with a laugh. "Because if she can drive this, she can drive anything. Especially those new cars," anything made after 1975 in his view, "with their power steering and computer chips and everything." In the end, Dean had gotten Mary something smaller, something not so much a tank.
"The computer chips are evil, but other than that, nothing wrong with a newer car... when you aren't having to drive through houses or ride out killer Semi attacks." Sam pointed out. Mostly he hated on board computers because they were a pain in the ass to work on when something was wrong with the car. Didn't matter that it could be a great diagnostic tool. Didn't do you any good when it was the computer that fried.
"Didn't say anything was wrong with them. Just that I don't like them for myself." Dean said with a laugh. "Besides, this baby runs as well as she did the day she came out of the factory. Can't send a car like this out to pasture. That would be a sin, wouldn't it, Sam?" He still teased his brother about his hard Catholic leanings.
"Somehow I don't think it's something you would have to go to confession for, but she might come back and run you down if you did." He told him.
The miles melted away behind them, in some ways taking the years with them as the brothers bantered and argued and reminisced about adventures past. People and places permanently ingrained in their memories, even if not their hearts.
"I can't believe this motel is still here." Sam said as they pulled into the parking lot.
Dean laughed and went and got a room. "I can't believe I paid for it with my own credit card." He said, shaking his head. They went to the room and Dean just stared, before laughing. "Looks like it's in exactly the same condition as the last time we were here. Like a porn set or something."
"Do you realize those curtains are probaby as old as your car?" Sam said as he set the bag on the bed, sitting down beside it. "Almost feels like we're stepping back in time, doesn't it? Too bad the aches and pains don't go away with it." He said with a chuckle. "So.. you wanna go get food while I call Rachel?"
"So, you want me to leave so you can talk dirty to your girlfriend?" Dean said. "Yeah, sure, call me when you're done. Would hate to completely time warp and walk in on you and all."
"Hey, she wanted me to call from the car... I could have always went for the food myself." Sam said with a laugh. "And it's not porn when it's with a real girl, wasn't that your definition before? "
"Dude, it's only NOT porn if the real girl is here." Dean said. "That's my bed. Stay off it, horn dog."
Sam laughed. "Just go get food." He said as he started to dial the phone. "Unless you want to listen in, in which case I'll just come along and defile your car."
"I'm going, I'm going." Dean said as he left with a wave.
Rachel answered on the fourth ring. "So you two decided to stop for the night? Thought you guys would drive all night, recapturing the good old days." She teased.
"I'm so not 23 anymore." He said with a sigh. "No driving all night, besides then we wouldn't get to remember the cheap motel experience." Sam smiled. "I've missed you. How sad is that? Less than 24 hours and I feel like I haven't seen you in forever."
"That's not sad at all." Rachel said. "I'm glad you finally called, I can't sleep. Big old bed, all alone...not restful at all." She said with a chuckle. "I'm sleeping on your pillow. That's sadder."
"Not sad at all. Kinda sweet actually. And here I thought you would be glad for a night without my snoring." He said with a laugh. "You remembered to put up the protections on the windows and doors right? "
"Of course I did." Rachel said. "Though I think you should relax. It's been sixteen years and not a peep from him at all. Maybe he..moved on. Or I don't know, found a new hobby."
"He isn't the only thing out there, baby. If he were Dean and I would have a lot fewer scars . You still wearing the amulet I gave you?" He asked. He couldn't lose her like he had Jessica or Madison. Their deaths still haunted him. Flames danced on the ceiling in his dreams. He still couldn't eat chocolate chip cookies. It was messed up. But that was his life. It had been a lot better since the ritual, since they had settled down, but it was still a mess inside.
"Yes, I'm wearing it." Rachel said then she grinned. "It's all I'm wearing. The amulet, your pillow...and you're in a motel with your brother. Do you know how messed up that is?" She teased.
"Well actually Dean is out getting food, so I am here all alone." He told her as he lay down on the bed, pointedly not looking at the ceiling.
Her laughter came over the phone. "So should we pass dirty photos of each other through our cell phones then? God, you don't even know how long you're going to be gone, do you?"
"Shouldn't be long. This isn't a hunt or anything. We're just checking in with Bobby. Probably spend the day with him once we get there and come back the next. Dirty pictures, huh? Don't know if I want pictures of me at my age out there. Much less in a seedy motel room.. unless it... really turns you on." He said laughing, and blushing.
"Actually, it's the blush I can nearly hear over the phone that's a real turn on. Blushing people are a hard thing to find these days." She said with a laugh. "So you better keep it."
"I don't think that's going to be going away any time soon if I haven't lost it by now. So did you have any ideas about our vacation?" He asked her.
"I was thinking a cruise." She said. "Checked out some cruise lines...definitely not the touristy ones. I was thinking the ones where you just sail off and stay at sea until it's time to come back. Or, we could rent a boat of our own."
"Only if you know how to sail. I never learned. But I like the idea of staying on a boat... ship... what ever. They do Alaskan cruises, could be a lot of fun, definitely don't have to worry about sunscreen or a lot of tourists running us over."
"Sounds perfect. I'll see when I can get us booked." She said. "Think you'll be back by next month?"
"I will be back by next week. Probably even by this weekend. I promise. This isn't a hunt. " He said with a laugh.
"Oh good. Then you'll definitely be up for the cruise. When you're bruised you get cranky." She teased. Well, he did. It was a family trait she guessed.
Sam laughed. "Everyone gets cranky when they are bruised." He could hear the Impala pull into the parking space out in front of the door. "Dean's back. Guess our window for naughty talk is closed. But that's okay. I'll make it up to you in person when I get back."
"You better." She said. "I'll be waiting. Impatiently, but waiting."
Dean came in with the food. "Took my time, tracked down a supermarket with beer. Because I am an awesome brother."
Sam laughed. "I gotta go, he is telling me what an awesome brother he is. I should pay some attention to him. I love you, I'll call you tomorrow."
"Aww..that was sweet." Dean said as he tossed his brother a beer. "I feel nearly like a favorite house pet. Anyway, called the kids, they're fine. Double checked with the neighbors and everything's quiet. Jack's gonna do a drive by later. Like I said, no faith."
"Can you hear this guy? Love you. Talk to you tomorrow." He said again as he hung up. "You are barely house broken, I wouldn't call you a favorite house pet." Sam told his brother as he opened the beer. "What's for dinner?"
"Wings. Beer." Dean said with a shrug as he sat on his own bed. "You stayed off my bed, right? No freaky stuff while I was gone?"
"Dude... THAT's your bed? Oh man I'm sorry, I thought it was this one. I was just waiting for ...you know... over here." He said managing somehow to keep a straight face as he got up to get his share of the hot wings and another beer.
Dean gave him a long look. "You're a bitch." He said, shaking his head. "Dude, you don't joke about things like that!" He wondered if they were too old for payback.
Sam just gave him an innocent look. "Really, I'll trade you beds if you want." He said.
"Bitch." Dean repeated as he opened his beer. "Come on, eat up so we can get to sleep. Sooner we get to Bobby, less likely my house will be trashed." Not that they'd rush, they just wouldn't dawdle. Because even in the old days they rarely, if ever, dawdled.
"Jerk." Sam laughed. "The house will be fine. "
"Yeah, okay." Dean said with a chuckle. "Like we can really trust Ben to keep a lid on things, right?" He took his share of the wings. "So what's our plan? Go in there and tell him like it is and try not to get hit or things thrown at us?"
"We might want to say hi, how ya feeling first." Sam said. "But yeah pretty much. You know... I've gone in to a dangerous hunt with less trepidation."
"Tell me about it." Dean said. "I'd rather go after a wendigo with a spork." He said as they finished eating. "Okay, let's deal with this in the morning. We should be there by afternoon." He said as he turned out the light and rolled over onto his stomach to get some sleep.
It was a small hospital in the town not far from Bobby's house. "Okay... here's hoping they have him on the good stuff when we go in there." Sam said.
Dean took a deep breath as they stood outside Bobby's room. "Oh boy." He said. "You heard what the nurse said? They had to give him a private room because he scared all his other roommates with 'ghost stories' and stuff. Grown freaking men asking to be sedated over a few spirit stories."
"It's possible they were more afraid of Bobby than the stories." Sam said with a laugh. He rapped lightly on the door and pushed it open. "Hey man, how ya doing?"
Bobby looked over at the door, and saw John's Boys come in. They'd always be John's Boys, even if John had been dead these twenty years or so. "Hey kids. I didn't mean for you guys to come up. Just wanted you to know where I was if you called."
"Dude, come on. I love hospitals." Dean said with a laugh as he pulled up a chair. "At least you've got some cute ones."
Sam pulled a chair over closer to the bed. "So what are they saying? When will you be getting started on your physical therapy?"
"Tomorrow they're saying." Bobby said as he drank a glass of water. Looking all the world like he was home and they'd stopped by for a visit. Even if, right now, he couldn't get out of bed. "Told them I'm doing it a week here, at most, the rest can be done at home. I ain't staying here, even if I have to jump out the window."
"Sounds like a plan. Break the other hip and all." Dean said with a frown.
Sam ignored the scowl from Bobby, figuring it was just the beginning really. "We ahm... don't think you ought to be living alone anymore, Bobby. If you were dehydrated when they found you, you had to have been lying there a while. Next time you might not be so lucky."
Bobby's eyes cut to Sam, and glare from them was still powerful. "No." He said. "I know what you two boys are thinking, and I'm sorry you drove all this way with that fool idea in your heads, but no."
"Come on, Bobby." Dean tried in a different tone. "You live out in the middle of nowhere. Sometimes your phone doesn't even work. Besides, the kids will love having you there."
Bobby's glare turned on Dean in that moment. "I can take care of myself. I know you think you are trying to help me here, but you're not."
"Bobby." Sam said in a firm tone, not entirely unlike his father's. "You could have died. You aren't going to be as mobile as you used to be, Dude, you're pushing 80... it's okay to not live alone. "
"I've lived alone for a long time." Bobby said. "Me and my dog, we were getting along fine. It's just a setback, it happens. I'll be as right as rain in a bit."
"Bobby, last time we're going to ask. Then we're going to start telling." Dean said and Bobby looked between the two. Dealing with John had been bad enough, but both his boys sicced on him, with his tone? This was a joke from on high, he swore it. Unfortunately, he was either the punchline or the butt of it.
"Look... Kevin and I are moving out of Dean's place and in with Rachel...there is going to be room for you there, we'll build on if we have to to give you a place for all your books. You can bring the dog- he and Ginger-bear can limp around the back yard together. We're not asking you to lay down and die, just be safe."
"And what am I supposed to do with my salvage yard? My house? I have a busted hip, I'm not retired. And I can't exactly climb into the back of your ancient car and drive back to Texas." Bobby shot back.
"Who said anything about retired? I have a bunch of green mechanics you can whip into shape if you want." Dean said. "And the house, keep it, sell it, up to you. And you're going to stay here, then we'll get you transferred to a rehab facility near Corpus."
"Rehab facility... nursing home you mean." Bobby said with a growl. "I'm not going into a damned nursing home."
"It's not a nursing home..." Sam started to say.
"It's a nursing home, and moving in with you would be retiring. No to both."
"Fine." Dean said. "But I was talking with your doctor.."
"You did WHAT?" Bobby nearly got out of bed for that one.
"Yeah, I talked with him. And he tells me that my uncle can't live by himself out in the middle of nowhere. If you don't come with us, he'll have you declared incompetent and then you will be put in a nursing home." Dean said firmly, standing up. "We all know you're not incompetent, but he'll have you declared as such. So that's your choice, Bobby. Here, then a rehab facility for rehabilitation, then home with us, or here then a nursing home far away from where people can visit you. Until you go nuts. What's it gonna be?"
Bobby let loose with a string of invectives to make a sailor blush. "That's black mail, and it's underhanded even for a Winchester."
"Hey, it's not like we were the ones in here telling hunting stories to scare the roommates away... you set that one up yourself. We're just the dutiful nephews willing to take you off the poor doctor's hands."
"Dutiful nephews my ass." Bobby said but had to chuckle and shake his head a bit. "Damn it... I like my privacy."
"Dude, I don't live in a circus tent." Dean said. "All the rooms have walls. Besides, you'll pretty much have the first floor, Mary's room and my room are on the second floor. Besides, I need someone to help me scare off boyfriends. She's going on a...kill me now...date...on Saturday."
Bobby started laughing. "What? Couldn't get that tower built fast enough?" He shook his head. "You boys have me over a barrel. I'll go, but the first time either of you starts treating me like one of your kids, I'll kick your ass. I'm not too old to do that."
"We'd never do that." Dean promised. "And hey, there are some good points, right? Ben owns a strip club. Kaylie's the only one out of all us that really knows how to cook, lots of little children to tell all sorts of frightening stories to behind their father's back. Mary and Kevin will hang on every word, maybe Mark too. I've got a garage. And we'll get on a couple other rooms to yours for all your research and papers."
"And how is your brother going to feel about having me that close by?" Bobby asked. "He's been good about keeping that all bottled up but you know it's there."
"You did help get Ben out of the pit that day." Dean pointed out. "Fine, I'll ask him. At this rate, he's going to think I'm drunk dialing him." He said with a chuckle as he dialed Jack's cell. "Hey Jack...if I ask you a question, you'll always give me an honest answer, right? Even if you think I won't like the answer?"
"Yeah." Jack said. He didn't see much point in doing otherwise. One of the side effects of being raised by a demon who could give a shit what people thought of him. A tendency toward the blunt side of honest.
"Good." Dean said. "So remember when we told you we were headed up to Dakota where Bobby busted his hip...what do you honestly feel about him coming to live with me?" Since he was in the room with Bobby, he didn't spell out the fact that Bobby couldn't take care of himself anymore. Or Bobby would have been forced to show Dean that no matter how old either of them were, he'd hand Dean his ass in a sling shot.
"I don't care who moves in with you." Jack said honestly. "So long as he isn't sleeping on my couch, I'm fine. Just another body at Sunday dinner."
"You mean that?" Dean asked, just to be sure. Not that Jack had ever spared his feelings before!
"Yeah... I'm over it, honestly. " Jack had gotten to know Bobby and believed that the man regretted having nearly killed him in the past. That was enough at this late date. Besides, he was like family to Dean and Sam.
"Thanks, dude." Dean said, relieved. "Tell Kaylie I'm requesting some pie on Sunday." There would be a few weeks until Bobby came to Corpus, so this Sunday at least would be peaceful.
"I'll let her know." Jack said. "Talk to you when you get back."
Bobby scowled, knowing what was coming, and he wasnt sure how he felt about it. "Fine." He growled. "But it's under protest."
"If it weren't I'd think you hit your head instead." Dean said. "Bobby, it'll be fine. You were a great teacher to me and Sam, now there's this whole other generation of Winchesters just waiting. Besides, I got Ben babysitting, and if I don't come back with you, Mary will kill me after enduring the heatwave in my house."
"You have those kids being baby sat?" Bobby asked "At their age? You are moving me into a war zone."
"Hell yeah." Dean said. "I'm not my father. I know better than to leave two sixteen year olds alone in a house. This way, no parties, curfew is enforced, besides, they're helping him make out his will. They'll be millionaires by the time we get there."
Bobby simply shook his head. "Not everything your daddy did was wrong. Granted he had you on your own far too early, but smothering the kids is just as bad." He wasn't going to touch the fact that he had them being babysat by a demon. Maybe it was a good thing he was going there after all.
"No, but most of what he did should have gotten social services called on us." Dean pointed out. "Since I'm not mobile like we were when we were kids, I'd rather err on the side of caution when it comes to the state." He said honestly.
"There is that." Bobby said. "But social services would have gotten you boys killed early on."
"Oh definitely. Doesn't change the fact that I know what it's like to be questioned at school by someone who couldn't understand, then leave town in the middle of the night. Start a new school under a fake name, that sort of thing I didn't want for my kid. Worked great for me, doesn't work for everyone."
"Are they hunting?" Bobby asked.
"Kevin is, but he and I go out and do things like, repelling and stuff that could be considered extreme sports... explains away the bruises." Sam said. "Rachel and I are in the process of getting to know a couple more kids. Their parents were hunters. You might know the families, Maxwell and Grey. They were partners. Maxwell died and Grey took in his daughter, Same demon caught up to Grey a few weeks ago."
"I heard about that through the grapevine. It was assumed the kids got killed too." Bobby said with a shake of his head.
"Mary knows how. She knows how to research, she knows weapons. But she doesn't hunt. So far it hasn't become an issue for her." Dean said. Probably because as she grew older she learned the story behind her father's scars, if not see her uncle stitch up new ones. "But two more kids for Sammy, then he'll be caught up to Jack. Then maybe they can stop competing."
"I'm not competing with Jack." Sam said rolling his eyes. "He's always accusing us of that." He shook his head. " Jack and I cant figure that one out."
Bobby and Dean exchanged a glance and a quiet chuckle. Bobby had been Sam's sounding board for years on his jealousy toward Jack, and he was willing to bet Jack's wife was the sounding board for Jack's jealousy of Sam. Strange relationship, but at least they were getting along now!
"Dude, you tried to hijack his wedding. We still don't know why." Dean said with a laugh.
"I didn't hijack his wedding... I was just... helping was all. Not my fault the bride had some strange notion it was all about her." Sam said, blushing a little. He had missed Dean's wedding and knew there wouldn't be another one for his older brother. So he had tried to compensate for that with Jack's.
"Uh huh." Dean said. "Well, Bobby, we're going to go get a hotel and a bite to eat. No terrorizing the nurses, got it? I mean that." Dean said. "Bad enough what you did to the roommates you used to have."
Bobby grinned. "Don't have roommates anymore, now do I?" He said. "Don't worry about a hotel. Just head on out to my place. Check on the dog for me. Not sure I trust the people that were supposed to go out there and check on him. "
"Probably because they're afraid of him." Dean said with a laugh. "We'll go check on Rumsfeld." Who, like his master, shouldn't have lived this long. "We'll take him home with us, okay?"
"Thank you. I would feel better if he were with you. His vitamins and food are under the sink." The dog was old enough that he needed special care, and under that gruff exterior, Bobby was enough of a softy to make sure that he got it.
"Got it." Dean said as they headed out. Dean took a look around the house. "Damn." He said. It was worse than usual. Someone had come by and made sure Rumsfeld was fed, but that was about it.
The aging dog was obviously pining the absence of his human companion, but lifted his head at the Winchesters, managing a quiet "oof" of greeting.
"Looks like Bobby has been declining for a while." Sam said as he knelt to scratch the dog behind the ears. "It's alright boy, you'll get him back, we promise."
Dean set out the vitamins and some fresh water, he and Mary had nearly the same routine for her dog, as he looked around the place. "Yeah, looks like." He said, throwing out old food that had rotted while he was in the hospital. "Damn, this place is going to be hell to pack up."
"Yeah I know. I think we need to take it in stages. Or hire help because this is... a lot of stuff. He has more books than we have stuff in general. I'm amazed at his research material."
"Who we gonna hire?" Dean asked. "Can't hire regular people, not with this stuff. Can't hire most hunters, they'll make off with half of it." He said with a sigh. "Stages is probably best, drag everyone out here except Ben." Since some of this stuff would be...uncomfortable...to say the least, to the demon in question.
"Yeah, no doubt. Let's get some sleep. We got a long drive tomorrow. I'll start calling around about boxes and moving trucks when we get home. "
Dean chuckled. "You're a wimp. Long drive? Please. It's just from South Dakota to Texas. That's your definition of long?" He said as he found bedding, since who knew when the last time that spare room had even been entered, and tossed Sam his share.
"Two day drive? Long." Sam said. "Remember, I was never the one that wanted my butt permanently attached to a car seat." Sam said taking the spare blankets and pillows.
"Yeah, I remember. Just for you, I'll make the drive last only a day and a half, okay?" Dean said with a chuckle as he laid down the salt lines and all the other protections.
"Jerk." Sam said with a laugh.
It watched the brothers as they set their protections in place. A pity. It had hoped to take them in their sleep.
Dean looked out the window, he thought he had seen something. But nothing was there. So he figured it was just his imagination acting up on him. After all, road trip with his brother...what were the chances of something happening? Because they were pretty damn good, he just expected it.
"Get your ass to sleep, bitch. So you're not whining you're tired tomorrow." Dean said with an easy laugh as he got into the bed he had staked out for himself.