Living in the Gap Between Past and Future

This story was revised and edited for the Daddy Dearest challenge at spn-het-love. It is an alternate version of the prologue for "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" that we didn't use in the original fic because it didn't fit the feel of the rest of the story. It was, however, pretty perfect to pull up and polish a bit for the challenge.

Disclaimer: The Winchester boys aren't mine but I'd make Dean wear his boots all the time if they were.

Rating: PG-13

Pairings: Dean/OFC (Het)

Beta: The fantastic embroiderama kept letting me bug her in IM. She's really very, very good that way.

The sun was warm on his shoulders and his muscles ached from the rhythmic swing of the hammer against the wooden post he was setting for the gazebo. Sam was supposed to be helping him with it, getting it ready for the summer before the storms hit, but his baby brother was sprawled out on one of the lounge chairs with one arm crooked around a shaggy-haired toddler.

Sam's voice was low, reading something about a train named Tommy with a sing-song cadence, while his son giggled.

That still got Dean every time – Sam with a kid. He remembered all the scraped knees that he bandaged up and too many bowls of Lucky Charms to ever see Sam as a father. The moment the three of them had walked into that girl's apartment, littered with empty bottles and smelling like the incense was covering up something a lot more sinister, Molly picked up the toddler while Sam stared at the kid in disbelief and carried Huslu Winchester out in her own arms.

Molly probably still got Sam every time – Dean with a wife. Sam could recall every chick Dean had banged pretty much since Dean had picked him up from Stanford, and a lot of the ones from when they were traveling with Dad, to ever see Dean as the domesticated type. Hell, Dean was having a hard time accepting the fact that he was standing in the backyard of a big old white farmhouse in the middle of Kansas building a freaking gazebo for his goddamn wife.

And Sam trying to be a father wasn't all that jacked in comparison. He had the voice and the patience – all Dean had was the bruise on his thumb from bouncing the hammer backwards and a freaking headache every time he looked at the building plans spread out underneath some rock.

He fucking hated gazebos.

The back door slammed shut, bare feet slapping down the cement foundation of the porch. Dean looked up just in time to watch Molly pass by Sam and brush her hand along his brother's shoulder, ruffling Huslu's hair, before taking a sharp turn and coming down the walkway. Her mouth was working, her apron and most of her hair dusted with flour, but her feet pointed unerringly towards him until Molly was close enough for him to see the wild look in her eyes.

"I…" She began. "The doctor called," Molly added.

"You got the test results back?" Dean's stomach churned. It was sprinkling but he couldn't move. She'd been having what she called spells until Dean dragged her ass to the doctor. She kept putting it off, saying that Sam and Huslu needed her and that she had things to do around the house to make it 'child-friendly.'



"Well, it's not my heart."

Dean exhaled, pulling her close, and Molly breathed softly into his shoulder; neither one of them willing to admit that her heart was exactly what they thought the problem was in the first place. "Do you need more tests?"

"Eventually," she returned, face tilting up to look up into his as she took a step backwards. "There's going to be this ultrasound thing we'll need to get done a couple of times and the amniocentesis test is something I'm not going to be able to avoid."

"Amniocentesis…" Dean's hand slipped down to her stomach and he grinned. "You're telling me that I spawned?"

Molly nodded. "But it's not going to be easy. My doctor wants me to come in every couple of weeks to check for strain on my heart and I'm going to blow up like a balloon and I'll be hormonal and – " Suddenly, Molly choked back a sob.

"No shit." Dean chuckled when she smacked his arm before he brought up a thumb to wipe underneath her right eye. All he really wanted to do was push her against one of the poles and kiss her until it fell over because his baby was already growing inside her belly but he was guessing Sam wouldn't appreciate the PDA – and Molly looked like she was getting ready to run back inside the house. "What's the matter?" he asked softly.

"What if we don't do good by her, Winchester?"

"We're going to do damn good by her, baby." Dean was going to say more but the sky opened up and Huslu screeched, Sam picking him up by the waist and Dean dragged Molly behind him into the house. He didn't even wait to see if the kid needed a towel, just picked her up off the kitchen floor and carried her down the long hall to their bedroom. Threw her down on the quilt and stretched out on top of her, hands in her hair while he kissed her. He pulled back. "Wait a minute. You're already thinking it's a girl?"

"A mother knows these things." Molly grinned up at him.

Dean snorted. "You've been a fucking mother, what? Five minutes longer than I've been a dad?"

"Seven." Her blue eyes were solemn but her mouth was twitching.

"Those two extra minutes might make you an expert on this whole baby gig but I can still take out a ghost in thirty seconds with the right shotgun and some rock salt."

"That's going to come in really handy when you have to change a diaper." Molly rolled her eyes. "But you can teach her all those funny Latin things that Sam is always researching." Her mouth twisted up at the corner but Dean just started kissing her again – and then she wasn't so worried about his parenting skills.

When he was done with her, there'd be enough Winchesters to fill up the entire house.


The title is a lyric from the song "Love and Anger" by Kate Bush.

This was a different version of the scene we used as the prologue to "Last Fair Deal Gone Down." It didn't quite fit the feel of the story but, when I saw the surprise challenge on spnhetlove this week, I pulled it out and polished it up a little.

Molly has cardiomyapathy, a condition where the heart is enlarged. Many people with the condition can live normal lives under doctor's care.